Tuesday, January 22, 2013

35.6 - It's getting closer...

The aches and pains are getting serious.  My hips and legs hurt just about all the time.  I'm up every hour or so in the middle of the night, both to pee and to flip over because of the aforementioned sore hips.  Sitting too long is painful.  My ankles are swollen to twice their normal size by the end of the day.  I haven't been able to wear my wedding band for weeks, and my garnet, which used to be so loose it would sometimes fall off my finger, is now tight and leaves a mark when I wear it.  My belly is huge, and my maternity yoga pants are my best friends.  Water gives me heartburn. 

With all that said, I'm still not to the point of wishing to speed up her imminent arrival.  She's got at least 4 more weeks to cook - she's welcome to take all the time she needs.  (And my feelings on that are only slightly influenced by the fact that i'm not nearly prepared at work to be out for 8 weeks.)  I've enjoyed this pregnancy very much, and as much as I'm looking forward to meeting this little girl I've been growing for the last 9 months, I like knowing she's safe and warm inside me.  (And it's freezing outside!) 

We're getting our ducks in a row.  I'm not panicked about home stuff nearly as much as I was - it's all coming together.  It'll all work out, it'll all be fine. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

34.6 - Holy smokes, this is really happening.

Her arrival is just around the corner and there are a million things I want to record for posterity but when I sit down to do it I suddenly can't remember anything I wanted to say, or can't find an interesting way to say the things I can remember.

Maggie threw a baby shower for us this past Saturday, and it was the best baby shower I've ever been to.  Not that I've been to a lot of showers, but seriously, this one was fantastic.  No games (I always kind of hate the games at baby showers, especially that melted chocolate bar in the diaper game - EWW!), just a few hours hanging out with some amazing women, laughing our asses off and oohing and ahhing over little baby things and exclaiming over the size of my big ol' belly.  She and Tammy and Melinda came up with an amazing spread of food - little turkey and ham and cheese sandwiches on puff pastry, tarts made from wonton wrappers and pudding (?) and blueberries and raspberries, delicious homemade mints, cake pops (!!!), jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon, chips & dip - I'm sure I'm forgetting something.  Maggie took care of my one request - ice cream punch made from orange sherbet and ginger ale, my absolute favorite drink ever.  I think I had 3 huge glasses - I'm surprised I didn't go into sugar shock, especially after the cake pops were thrown in on top.  For activities, Maggie had attendees write messages on white fabric squares with fabric markers - she's going to sew them to some beautifully patterned fabrics she cut to size and turn them into the most amazing personalized burp cloths...I get teary-eyed just thinking of how special those are.  She also took blank note cards and printed at the top "To the baby..." and "To Nat & Jimi..." and had guests write little notes, which then went into a small photo book.  I cried my eyes out when I read the messages from our friends; I felt so loved, and it makes my heart so full of happy to know how much love our Village already has for our daughter.  Melinda was the official shower photographer, and the pictures she took are a fantastic representation of the day - I'll steal them from Facebook soon enough and share them here.  I had no idea my belly is so big, or that I make so many funny faces throughout the course of an afternoon.  :)  The day was so full of love, it was overwhelming.  The generosity and thoughtfulness of our friends blows me away.  I don't know how I'll ever thank Maggie and Tammy and Melinda for all the work they put into that party; it was more perfect than I could've possibly imagined. 

Once I got home that afternoon, I was completely wiped out, but of course, with a house full of baby gifts, the nesting has kicked in full force.  Despite my exhaustion, I vacuumed and cleaned the carpet in baby girl's bedroom - I needed to start moving things in there, and I couldn't do that until the floor was clear and clean.  Then I moved everything I could onto her bookcase, just to have something baby in the room, rather than a big empty space.  It's Tuesday now, and we came home to find the crib and mattress waiting for us on the front porch, so the bed is assembled and in place now.  Things are coming together.  The dresser needs one more coat of paint and some contact paper to line the drawers and it'll be ready to move into place, and then I can start washing and putting away little baby clothes.  I'm not so overwhelmed by my list today.  Things are getting marked off. 

I had my next-to-last 2 week appointment with my midwife yesterday; I went in with a million questions, and she was able to give me good answers for nearly all of them.  I've nearly finished my birth plan, but I'm still not sure where I stand on the vitamin K shot they'll want to give her immediately after birth.  I've decided I'm cool with the antibiotic eye goop, even though I don't have any yuckies that would make it necessary.  We'll pass on the Hep B vaccine for now - I think we can keep her away from the stripper poles and dirty drug needles for a few more years yet.  I'm going to call our family doctor and seek his opinion on the vitamin K injection and take it from there.  I've got a little time before I have to decide.

I've ordered a breast pump through a medical supplier that my insurance covers, and I've got my fingers crossed that it arrives before I have to go out and spend $300 of my money on one.  Apparently, with the Affordable Care Act making it mandatory for insurance companies to cover pumps, medical supply companies have been overwhelmed by the demand and ran out.  The most popular brands aren't available now for the foreseeable future - maybe until April or later - and the shipment of "off-brands" has been delayed by weeks.  It's a little stressful, but I'm trying to assure myself that with having 5 weeks before my due date, and then maybe another 2 or 3 weeks before I'd need to start pumping, surely I'll have a pump before my need becomes critical.  Right?  Surely. 

I washed all the cloth diapers given to us by Lori, and the site of them hanging up to dry made my heart full of happy.  I reminded myself tonight that I need to remember how excited I am right now about those diapers, and try to maintain that attitude, even when they've recently been full of shit.  I need to try to remember my excitement about all of this - I wanted this little girl so very desperately for so very long, I sincerely hope I'm able to keep focus on the miracle of her, rather than becoming frustrated or overwhelmed by all the work it's going to take to raise her properly.  She is my greatest gift, my most precious parcel - I want my huge joy for her to always outshine any small day to day details. 

I have crib sheets in the dryer - I'm going to go get them and make my daughter's bed for the first time.  I'm going to remember my excitement at this moment, because the next time I change them it'll be because she's pooped or peed or puked on them, and I'm sure my giddiness will be much smaller then. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

33.4 - Creation of Baby's First Piece of Art

Today was awesome.  I just want to go ahead and put that out there first.  AWESOME.  Melinda took me to the zoo, to meet an elephant named Micki.  Micki painted a picture for my daughter's bedroom.  An elephant painted a picture for my daughter.  See what I meant when I said today was awesome?!
Melinda supplied the canvas, and I got to choose the colors.  They told me it was best to only pick a few colors, because otherwise it could end up as one big blob of indistinguishable paint on the canvas.  I chose purple, green, pink, and orange - all colors that are prominent in the curtains that will hang in baby girl's room. 
Then it was time to meet Micki.  She's so pretty, and so huge.
Mark is a good friend of Melinda and her husband; he's the trainer who works with the elephants on a regular, and the inside connection that made today possible.  He was also the master of the brushes and paints, and wiped off Micki's nose between brushstrokes.
I stood off to the side and took pictures and grinned from ear to ear. 

Micki is so beautiful. 
I tried not to cry, but my eyes were full the entire time.
Micki loves sweets.  To get her to do the "trick" (paint), they bribe her with jelly beans. 
I brought her some marshmallows, too.  Apparently, they're one of her favorites. 
She likes to suck on them until they dissolve. 
Time to flip the canvas for the next color applications.
I was just so in awe. 
I was trying to soak in every awesome minute of this experience.  I want to remember it forever.
As a safety precaution, Micki has to keep her trunk up between brushstrokes.  She was so sweet, but she's ginormous and it's probably a good idea to keep in mind the fact that she's a million times bigger than any of the rest of us.  As much as I would've liked to just love on her, it was probably a good idea to keep her in line and on her best behavior.
Almost finished, just needs the artist's signature...
That's her trunk print on the bottom left, in orange. 
Me, Melinda, and Micki.  (And baby girl, of course.)
They let me pet her. 
I thanked her for painting a picture for my baby girl.
It was a wonderful, awesome, AMAZING experience.
I can't wait to hang that painting in the nursery.
I don't know how I'll ever thank Melinda enough for making this happen. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

33.1 - My little pineapple

- Touch up paint in nursery
- Paint trim in nursery
- finish sanding dresser/changing table
- Paint dresser/changing table
- Paint drawer pulls for dresser/changing table
- Install ceiling light in nursery
- Clean carpet in nursery
- Order crib and crib mattress; assemble crib
- Make and hang curtains in nursery
- Make crib skirt
- Wash diapers and newborn clothes
- Complete birth plan
- Order breast pump
- Attend breastfeeding class
- Tour hospital
- Pack hospital bag
- Buy postpartum supplies (pads, etc.)
- Stock up on daily necessities (soap/TP/etc.)
- Make freezer meals

I'm starting to freak the fuck out.  Less than seven weeks to go and that list is just the stuff I can remember at this moment that we need to do.  I nearly had a panic attack last night, lying in bed making that list in my head. 

Oh my goodness, there is so much to do.  SO MUCH.
Jimi reminds me that all she needs is a clean butt, a warm bed, and a full belly.  The rest is just details.  Of course, he's right.  But oh goodness, I want everything to be perfect and just right for her when she arrives.  I want to bring her into a home that's perfectly prepared and ready for her.  I want to feel calm and collected when I go to the hospital, not panicked and stressed. 
And then I worry, what if no one gets us anything from our registries?  What if we end up with none of the stuff we need for her, and we have to buy it all ourselves?  How will we afford all of it?  This is the problem with waiting until 6 weeks before your due date to have a baby shower, I suppose.  And then I feel like an entitled asshole for feeling like other people should buy us anything at all - of course no one has to buy us anything and it's shitty of me to expect them to.  But I think in the back of my mind I've just assumed that the people who know what babies need would hook us up, and that our sad lack of knowledge would be covered up by their generosity, because I'll be honest, I don't have a clue what babies need.  I've never done this before.  It's all new to me, and more than a little terrifying.  Who decided to let me be a mom?  I have no idea what I'm doing. 
We'll figure it all out, of course.  And Jimi's doing a good job talking me off my ledge, believe it or not.  I'm much calmer now than I was last night or this morning.  This is just the residual.
Work has exploded in a bit of crazy, too, and that's not helping my stress.  Our administrative assistant is leaving in two weeks.  Did I mention my baby is due in seven weeks?  That means I've got next to no time to hire and train a replacement, in addition to training our salesman to take my place while I'm out.  Oh boy! 
And our shower has been draining slow for the last few weeks, so I finally browbeat Jimi into fixing it tonight.  Now it doesn't drain at all.  It's 10:30 at night, and it needs to be taken apart completely so he can find the clog and get things moving.  Fuck.
But baby girl is doing well.  She measures perfectly, her heart rate is in the 150s, her head is still down, and she moves all the time.  She's over 4 pounds now and 17 inches long.  I love her more every day, and despite the crazy surrounding her impending arrival, I'm so looking forward to meeting her. 


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