Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Apology

I have to formally apologize to all women who have ever been pregnant.

You see, I’ve always looked at women who are as pregnant as I am right now and thought they were absolutely stunning.  There’s just something about a pregnant woman that has always fascinated me… something I’ve always seen as SO beautiful.  And in the past I’ve always heard women who are as pregnant as I am right now stating that they were SO ready to be NOT pregnant.  And it always took me by surprise.  I mean, really?!  But you look so beautiful and it’s just such a miracle and isn’t it so cool to have your baby inside of you and omigosh-how-could-you-NOT-want-to-be-pregnant?!

         Um.  Now I get it.

         Prepare yourself for whining…

I’m exhausted.  I can’t sleep for more than an hour straight at night.  I’m sore.  I can’t breathe.  I’m nauseous.  I have to carry a jumbo-sized container of Tums in my purse for indigestion.  My feet and legs and ankles and arms and wrists and fingers are swollen.  My boobs are gigantic.  I’m down to about 5 maternity clothing items that fit.  All of my shoes are too small.  I’m getting a double chin.  The swelling is causing my skin on my arms and legs to look splotchy.  And I have to pee like every minute and a half.

But OH Baby Peele how I love you, and trust me I’d go through this for 40 more weeks if it meant meeting a healthy, strong bug when it’s all said and done.  So don’t get me wrong.  You just keep on growing and chubbing up as much as you need to, and I’ll hang in there as long as you need me to…

I just understand why women this pregnant say they’re ready to reach the finish line… That’s all. J

It is crazy to me how much things have hit me head on here in the last few weeks.  Trying to exercise this week was nearly impossible.  The pressure in my pelvis while I walked on the treadmill was almost unbearable – How do people do it?!  I’m ready to give up on exercising for the last two weeks, but then I start to feel guilty, like I’m letting myself and our little one down by being a sloth rather than being healthy!!

I’m down to 10 more days of work until my maternity leave starts – woohoo!  And honestly, the best part of only having 10 days left is that I only have to pick out 10 MORE OUTFITS!!!  As I wrote earlier, finding clothes to wear these days is TOUGH.  I’ve given up on trying to be a cute, pregnant lady and feel quite accomplished if I find something to wear that isn’t the exact same thing I wore the day before.

As far as my maternity leave starting… I had to go ahead and choose a date since someone is covering my job for me while I’m away.  And I went ahead and chose October 7th as my last day because the next week there are all sorts of trainings/meetings to prepare for the upcoming months, so it really makes sense to have her go ahead and take my place.  But I’m SO worried that our little one will decide to arrive LATE and I’ll be stuck at home going stir crazy waiting for labor to start!  Oh well… I will not worry about the things I can’t control. J  (haha, riiiiiiight.)

Anyway, onto exciting news… We had a GREAT 37 week checkup this past week and got to see our little bug!!!!  As I posted last week, the doctor ordered an ultrasound to see just how massive this baby is.  It was so neat to see him/her!!  The ultrasound tech said there’s definitely hair (thank you, heartburn) and estimated the baby to be about 7 pounds, 11 ounces.  That would make for around a 9 pounder come Baby Peele’s birthday.  Now, of course the scans can be off – they say give or take a half-pound – but we’re definitely expecting a big ol’ baby. J  Our bug had his/her face smashed up into the side of my pelvis, so we could just BARELY make out the face, but let me tell you there are some CHUBBY cheeks and a BIG ol’ forehead.  I am SO in love already. J

We go back on Wednesday for our 38 week checkup, and I already can’t wait!!  How did I EVER manage to wait 4 weeks between appointments?!  This whole going every week thing is AWESOME!

We also finished up our childbirth classes this week (cue graduation song) and had our hospital tour.  The hospital tour got me even MORE excited!!  I can’t wait to pull up to the hospital in labor. J

We had a wonderful weekend hanging out with the hub’s mom and stepdad.  They graciously showed up in Winston to help us with anything and everything!  Laundry got done, the yard was worked on, the dishes were cleaned, delicious food was eaten, and good times were had.  Thank you Bonnie and Tom!!!!

By the way, wanna know one upside of being this pregnant?  EVERYONE answers their phone when you call them.  You never get anyone’s voicemail, because they think every phone call is to tell them you’re in labor!  Ha!!

So now, we wait.  Remember in an old post, when Baby Peele started kicking, and I said everyday felt like Christmas, because I just got so excited to go through the day waiting for his/her little kicks and punches?!  Yeah, that’s nothing compared to the Christmas-like butterflies I have now.  Like everyday could be Baby Peele’s birthday.  It’s so exciting… the anticipation of meeting our son/daughter, finally giving him/her a name, finally seeing my incredible hub be a dad.  If you can’t tell, I absolutely cannot wait to have this baby.  But to my little bug – you take all the time you need… Just know that we’re ready when you’re ready. J

 Baby Peele was pushing against my tummy right when his/her daddy snapped the picture!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Anddddd I No Longer Have Ankles.

Yep, that’s right.  My ankles are gone.  The swelling crept on pretty early, about four weeks ago, but I was able to keep most of it at bay by chugging water, elevating my feet when possible, and exercising.  However, the swelling has now trumped all of my efforts and is winning the war.  It came on full fledge Wednesday evening, just in time for me to get weighed at the doctor on Thursday afternoon.  An eight-pound gain, folks.  Eight pounds in two weeks.  And no, I’m not eating us out of house and home, or sitting around like a sloth – in actuality, I’ve been eating much healthier lately because I’ve felt so darn HEAVY (because of, ah hem, the swelling)… I figured eating salads for lunch everyday would help combat the “I feel like a moose” mentality.  I’ve also been trying really hard to walk on the treadmill and lift weights as much as physically possible.  So yes, I believe the eight-pound gain is due to the fluid that my body is now storing.  Especially since around 4:00pm on Thursday I realized my ankles had disappeared.  My body is like a freaking cactus right now.  I feel like if you stuck a straw in me like they do on cartoons you’d be able to siphon out a gallon of fluid.  And “they” say that drinking water will actually help flush out fluid, so I’ve been chugging H20 like it’s nobody’s business.  But then, on Friday, I felt like I was drowning from the inside out – and I still had no ankles – so I give up.

         So ankles, I guess I’ll be seeing you around… sometime in the next one to three weeks.

That’s right, people – ONE TO THREE WEEKS!!!!!!  As of tomorrow, we’ll be 37 weeks, which means officially FULL TERM!!!!!  This is the last goal I’ve been so excited about reaching.  And while we still have some things on our to-do list, medically speaking Baby Peele is ready to kick the world’s butt, so I’m ready for him/her to arrive whenever he/she calls it quits on the inside.  I can’t wait to meet him/her and I can’t WAIT to stop using the / symbol!!!!!!

We had our 36 week checkup this week, during which my doctor again proclaimed that there’s definitely a “big youngin’” in me.  My 36-week belly is also measuring 38 weeks, so it’s no wonder I’ve been physically struggling!  He finally revealed that he thinks Baby Peele is already in the ballpark of seven pounds (!!!), and he went ahead and scheduled an ultrasound for this Thursday so we can get an idea of just how large and in charge this baby is.  I can’t wait to see our little one again, it’s been almost twenty weeks since our anatomy scan!!  I also found out that I’m about half a centimeter dilated – woohoo!  While this means absolutely nothing, it was exciting to know that at least SOMETHING has happened.  My doctor does not do weekly dilation checks, though, because I think he feels like it gets people’s hopes up.  Technically you can walk around three centimeters dilated for weeks, or you can be zero centimeters and go into labor an hour later – so what’s the point, I guess?

We got infant CPR certified today, we have our hospital tour tomorrow, and we have our last childbirth class on Thursday – We’re nearing the finish line!  And they SHOULD be done with the inside work on our house tomorrow – they’ll finish up the roof later this week.  I had a teensy tiny little meltdown on Friday evening when I walked in from work and saw the state of our house – I tell ya, working for months to get things where you want them to be only to have everything flipped upside down plus crazy pregnant lady hormones plus discomfort plus exhaustion equals a tearful disaster.  But I got over it… for now. J

I had my first experience with Braxton Hicks contractions yesterday, too.  They were mostly in my back, and they definitely weren’t pleasant – though I know they’re nothing compared to what real contractions will feel like.  But, for one reason or another, I have no fear or worries when it comes to labor.  Because our bug is measuring so big, I’m coming to terms with the fact that a c-section may very well be in our future… and I’m trying to have absolutely no plans or expectations about the labor and delivery, because I feel like it’s a situation that is so far out of my control.  Trying to be in control of something that is beyond your control = insanity.  Even I, obsessive-compulsive-type-a-personality-planner know that. J  What will be, will be.  And at the end of the day, if Baby Peele and I are both okay and healthy when it’s all said and done, then I will consider it a perfect labor and delivery. J

By the way, I haven’t given a shout out to my awesome hub lately.  I’m not even sure that he reads the blog anymore, he’s gotten pretty busy.  But I have to remind you that I am married to the most incredible man.  And one of the reasons I am SO excited about Baby Peele making his/her debut is so he can hold his son/daughter in his arms.  You see, I’ve been holding our little one inside of me for nine months now… don’t you think it’s about time he had his turn? J

 Feeling rather LARGE these days!
Running out of clothes that fit!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bugs for my Bug and SURPRISE! Bammy is turning 60!

Once again, this is going to be a post that is short on words, and long on pictures.  But before, I start, I have to say…


Ok, now back to business.  We had a pretty good week this week... I forced myself to do a lot more rest and a little less production.  We had our final baby shower at the school where I work, and it was adorable!  As you know, I refer to our little one as “bug” – So the shower was bug-themed!

The tables were SO cute!  That's "dirt dessert" in the pail!!

Handmade tablecloths and ladybug/caterpillar cupcakes - SO cute!!

 Mom- and Dad-to-be!!  (Notice the ladybug/caterpillar balloons in the background!)

Everyone in the library!

My awesome friend, L WOOD (who helped host the shower) - THANK YOU!!!

I work with the best staff and they made me, my hub, and our little one feel so special. J

We also had a BIG weekend that I couldn’t talk about in any earlier posts because it was a surprise for my mom!!  After months and months of secretive planning, it was finally time for my mom’s surprise 60th birthday party!  While I'm not technically supposed to travel more than an hour away from home now that I’m headed toward the pregnancy finish line, we held our breath and headed to Columbia (with our hospital bags and car seat installed, of course… JUST in case).  Luckily, we didn’t need it – and the party was a HUGE success!  Here are a few pics from the event.  (I wish I knew how to link the video of when my mom walked in… it was the best reaction to a surprise I’ve EVER seen!!!)

 My nephew Banks waiting on Bammy to arrive!

 James & Lu

 I think she's almost here!


 22 Weeks & 35 Weeks!

 Watching everyone on the dance floor!

 Reading Mama our poem

 Mama & Digby taking it all in

 We just told her we're sending her to the US Open next year :)

 Mama and all her kiddos

 We love you!

 Whit & Octo-Ron :)

 Mama laying down the law and telling people to get up and dance!

 Gram and Grandma Jackie tearing up the dance floor!

 LOVE him

Gram and my adorable hub!

So obviously the weekend was an absolute blast, it was so nice to so many of my family members and of course it was priceless seeing my mom so happy.  I hope this gave her the tiniest glimpse of just how special she is!  (LOVE YOU BAMMY!!!)

I must admit that I am relieved to be back home and still knocked up.  The ride home was a little rough, and made me realize why, in fact, they advise against traveling.  I think Baby Peele was just in a tough position, so we kept having to stop so I could walk around and empty my bladder in attempts to get more comfortable.  I immediately put my pajamas on and parked my STILL widening tush on the couch as soon as we got home.  And now, the countdown begins. J

We have our 36-week checkup this Thursday, and I’m anxious to see how big we’re measuring and if my doctor decides to order a growth ultrasound.  We’re having some pretty major work done on the house this week (including a new roof, digging tunnels in the yard, and redoing ceilings – including the one in the nursery)… so needless to say, I’ll be glad when my house is put back together since we’ve worked so hard to get it where it is right now.  (And yes, I realize that we’re cutting it pretty close here… long story… And the more I think about it, the more my blood pressure rises, so I’m going to pretend like it’s not even happening J.)

Only 20 more days of work, and one week from Monday we’ll officially be full-term – WOOHOO!  Keep cookin’ Baby Peele!!!

35 Weeks in stripes!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You still have HOW long?! There's NO WAY you'll last 'til 40 weeks! Are you SURE there's only one in there?!

Oh the things people will say to you when you’re pregnant.  Just when I think I’ve heard it all – someone says something else.  And it’s mostly women!  Women who’ve actually been pregnant before!  Don’t y’all remember what it’s like to be this pregnant?  To FEEL like a house without being reminded that you LOOK like a house?  GEEZ. J

And let me tell you, at this stage of the game, I do NOT need to be reminded by anyone that I am, indeed, knocked up.  There’s not a moment that goes by that I forget it – trust me.  And not just because of my little bug constantly moving and kicking (which, by the way, I’m going to miss terribly once he/she decides to cross to the outside) – but because of EVERYTHING ELSE.  And when I say everything else, I mean all of the joys that come along with being this L.A.R.G.E. – joys that have hit me head on in the last week or so.

While it probably doesn’t help that the hub and I had weeknight obligations EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT this week, I felt a level of exhaustion this week that I’ve never felt before.  And yes, people, I know – “just wait ‘til the baby’s born” – but at least when the baby is born I’ll be able to lay my eyes on the little bug and it’ll make it all worth it.  This recent bout of exhaustion is tear-jerking – call me a drama queen if you want – but it’s like a bone-deep, painful, unimaginable level of physical exhaustion that I’ve never experienced before.  And honestly I think what’s been most surprising is how fast it came on.  For example, I decided to get my still-widening butt on the treadmill yesterday… walked on an incline for 40 minutes, not very fast – and an hour later, I felt like I’d run a marathon.

Like I said, I’ve probably pushed it a little bit this week, and I’ve definitely learned my lesson.  Mama Peele – it’s time to sloooooow down.

But let me tell you – slowing down is tough to do when your brain says, “But you still need to do this!  And do that!  And don’t forget about this, either!”  But I’m working on it. J

So beyond this new level of tiredness, I find the rest of the last-month-of-pregnancy-woes to be quite humorous.  I mean how can you not laugh at yourself when it takes you ten minutes to try to put on socks?  It’s an art, I tell you – bending at just the right angle where my belly doesn’t feel like I’m squishing it to pieces and just a little to the side so that I can slip my sock over my toes.  Sometimes it takes three or four attempts before I can get the sock hooked just right.  And let’s not even talk about trying to tie my own shoes.

Oh, and how about the amount of sweat that appears after the simple act of blow-drying my hair?  I find showering to be something to celebrate these days (I won’t even mention shaving) – but showering seems pretty irrelevant when, by the time I’ve blow-dried my hair, I need another shower.  And speaking of sweat… The other day I got up from my desk at work and I had two sweat circles where my belly sits on top of my legs.  Beautiful.

I tell you, I just have to laugh at myself at this point!  But I can’t laugh too hard, because… well… let’s just say Depends should start marketing toward pregnant people and not just the elderly.

Let’s see… what else – Oh the swelling.  No matter how much water I drink and how often I try to put my feet up, my feet, legs, and fingers are dunzo.  I can’t wear my engagement ring anymore, and I have a blister from trying to shove my wedding band on and off.  I know I need to just give up, but I can’t stand the thought of not wearing a ring!

Oh, and also, these days, when I get my mind stuck on a certain food item, I HAVE to have it.  Like immediately.  Like on Wednesday, I was so tired, and walked out to my car after work, and was about to leave for the day, when I remembered the Tootsie Pop sitting in my desk drawer.  And I HAD to have it.  Like right then.  So I got out of my car, walked back into the building, and had the secretary unlock my office for me – all for a Tootsie Pop.  It was blue, if you care to know.

And, I’m finally hopeful that our little won’t be completely bald, because I had my first experience with terrible heartburn and indigestion this week – Let’s just say I won’t be eating wings again until Baby Peele makes his/her debut.

Even funnier than my own ridiculous pregnancy stories are the things the kids at school are saying.  This was their first full week back at school, and they are just amazed that my belly is sticking out so far.  (Don’t worry, kiddos, I am, too!)  One first grader turned to her friend and said, “Dang!  That girl pregnant!”  A third grade boy whispered (not very quietly) to the girl beside him, “Mrs. Peele got a fat belly now!”  To which she replied, “She’s pregnant!”  And he said, “Oh… well that’s good!”  Most of the kindergarten students just simply ask if there’s a baby in my belly, though one obviously advanced five-year-old just simply stated, “I like your baby!”  To which I said, “Thanks!  Me too!”  I’ve also had, “I hope you have a nice baby!”  And one little boy who, everyday, says, “The baby is STILL in there?!”  Let’s hope so, buddy… let’s hope so.

While all the kids ask me over and over if it’s a boy or a girl, I enjoy asking them what THEIR opinion is.  One little boy SWEARS that his five-year-old brother has NEVER predicted wrong.  So I proceeded to walk straight into the little boy’s class and ask his opinion.  “Boy.”  He said, matter-of-factly.  Interesting.  We’ll know soon enough!

Speaking of when we’ll know, everyone appears to believe I’ll be having Baby Peele sooner than later.  Now, these people know how my neurotic mind works, so I almost wish they’d keep this opinion to themselves!!  I just want to make sure he/she stays cooking for at least two more weeks, so we can make it to full-term and make sure the little bug is healthy enough to kick the world’s butt.  He/she is definitely growing in there, as the doctor declared at our checkup this week.  (His words were, “There’s a big youngin’ in there!”)  If I haven’t mentioned it before, my hub was TEN POUND ELEVEN OUNCES.  I’m clenching as I type.

So the doctor said he’ll probably order a growth ultrasound in a couple weeks so we can see just how big Baby Peele is and whether I’m going to pop out a walking, talking toddler.

We also started our childbirth classes this past week – we go for four Thursdays in a row.  I actually really enjoyed the class!  The instructor was great, and I love spending any sort of quality time with my hub, especially when it is centered around the upcoming arrival of our little one. J

Ok, so I’ve definitely made up for last week’s skimpy post with this wordy one.  As I said, it’s been an eventful time in the 40-week-expansion-project.  Next week I’ll be posting lots of pics – We have our last baby shower this week at my school!  I can’t wait!!

In the meantime, Monday is something to celebrate – it’s the special 35/35 day.  I’ll be 35 weeks pregnant, with only 35 days to go!! J

There it is at 34 weeks in all its glory!
My hub says the bump is already getting lower!