Saturday, December 30, 2006

Day 20

Wow, I can't believe it has really been almost three weeks that we have had Emelia. She continues to be a good baby which is a blessing from God because when she wails - like at bath time - it about kills me. I really don't know what I would do if she did that all the time. God certainly knows what each person can handle.

I am really looking forward to the one month mark because I will be more relaxed about taking her out. Next week I am going over to my friends house. She has a baby that is one month older than Emmy so we will have a play date. Okay so it is definitely more for the mommies than the babies but mommies need playdates to.

Jeff bought me a breast pump for Christmas. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. I was thrilled. I have pumped a few times and we are going to try to give her a bottle on Monday. Happy New Year!

The baby blues have pretty much disappeared. I still get weepy for no apparent reason, but I was like that before so why should now be any different. Next week will be tough because Jeff is going to go back to work. He has only worked two-three full days since Emmy was born. otherwise he has gone in for a few hours and come home. We will see how I do then. It seems like it might be time to feed again so I better run but I will try to write more soon.

Bottom line babies are good, hard, but good. Don't delude yourself to think that it is all sunshine and roses and warm bonds of love. It is trying and hard and joyful and sweet and did I mention hard?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Day 12

I can't type much as the bean is asleep in my arms right now and typing with one hand sucks. She is still a really good baby and I am still having a bit of the blues but they are getting better each day. Yesterday was a really good day. I have to remember to take pleasure in the little things like an afternoon cup of coffee or a sweet face from the bean. Her umbilical cord fell off which is a nice milestone. I have to measure some sort of progress and for now that will do. I will attempt to write more soon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day Nine

So we have had the bean for a week now and today is Jeff's first full day back at work. So far so good. I have showered, brushed my teeth, washed my face (with moisturizer application) loaded and started the dishwasher and picked up the random baby debris that litters the house and eaten breakfast.

I have to start by saying we are INCREDIBLY BLESSED. Emmy had her first pediatrician appointment yesterday and has already gained weight - lots of it. She weighs 8 pounds now which is back up to birth weight and then some. She had a hepatitis B vaccine (so now she can share needles with Tommy Lee and feel OK about it) and cried for all of ten seconds. I think Jeff had more to say about it then she did. The doctor says she is an amazing baby. The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy and Baby's First Year says the average baby cries for about 3-4 hours a day. Emmy has cried for about three hours in the whole week we have had her. She rarely cries - when she is hungry and I have missed the other signs or when we take a bath, that is it. She went four hours between feedings last night which is AMAZING. I am sleeping an average of 7 hours a night in two-three hour chunks. All of this adds up to one really good baby and a HUGE blessing for two scared new parents.

All of that being said I am still suffering from the baby blues. I have a great outlook in the morning and then in the afternoon I start to think what have I done today besides feed/change the baby? Then I start to think this is what the rest of my life is going to be like. Then I start thinking what if this good baby business is all just a fluke and she will start screaming uncontrollably tonight. What if I get no sleep? What if she keeps Jeff awake? (He has been great by the way!) Then I feel guilty for having these feelings because she is a beautiful and good baby. What is the matter with me, I don't deserve her. Then the whole cycle starts all over again. I talked to a friend of mine who is a doctor and she assured me this is all very normal that my hormones are trying to figure out where the middle is again and despite how good the bean is it is a major life adjustment. Thank heaven for friends with medical expertise. She made me feel much better.

I have decided to just wait it out for a few weeks and hope it tapers off. In the mean time I am trying to set small goals for myself each day so I feel like I accomplished something.

In the morning when I am feeding her and she makes silly faces at me I am in awe that God has given me a miracle. I just have to fight off the afternoon demons and realize that this is work and it is hard work and there are no clients or bosses to tell me how fabulous I am but that one day a happy healthy little girl will be proof enough for me. I have been very honest so please don't judge me. If you must, go ahead, just don't tell me about it. : )

Thanks for listening world...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Well She is Here

So she is finally here after all of the waiting and all of the drama. Here is the story of labor and delivery and then later I will post the story of the first week.

I started having contractions on Saturday morning but nothing ever happened. I walked and I vacuumed and I played board games. Nothing. Went to bed Saturday night and still felt the contractions. They were intermittent. I was trying to time them but I was sleeping through half of them. Finally at about 4:15 I got up and walked around. They started coming every three minutes. I woke Jeff up and told him to shower and get ready to go to the hospital. We were admitted around 6:00 a.m. I was dilated to about a 3 which was pretty good considering I was a nothing on Thursday. But then the contractions sort of simmered down. I walked around the hospital. The bummer of it all was I was hungry I hadn't eaten since 6:00 Saturday night. They wouldn't let me eat, only a popsicle. They put in an IV and started some pitocin around 8:00 or so. Jeff and I watched Monster's Inc., the contractions started to get stronger. About 10:00 the pain got pretty bad. I stuck it out until 11:30 or so. I wanted to wait to get the epidural until I was dilated to a six or so. The nurse convinced me there was no reason to wait, I was almost a four. So I took her advice. Thank goodness. I was in an awful lot of pain from about 10-12. The epidural kicked in and then you could have dropped a piano on my legs and I wouldn't have felt it. At 2:00 they broke my water and I was a six. I asked them to scale back the epidural a bit because I felt too numb. At this point I had been on and off the pitocin. Things would go good on the pitocin and then they would take me off because my natural resting state was too high and things would peter out. Around 5:00 or so they said I was an 8. I was starting to get discouraged. This was the second time the tears came that day, pre-epidural was the first time. They said this was fairly normal for first time moms, a centimeter an hour, but that the last two centimeters would go pretty fast. At this point I could feel the contractions, not painful just immense pressure because the baby was so low. At 7:00 they decided I was 10 centimeters and ready to go. They gave me a test push to see how quickly that would go, decided this wasn't going to take long and called the doctor. At 7:15 I started pushing for real, I pushed through 4 contractions and at 7:31 she was born. She was great and the whole experience was pretty darn good. So far I feel incredibly blessed but am still having a bit of baby blues which I will write more about later. For now here are some photos.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I Think I Can... I Think I Can

Well, I think I am in labor. No seriously. About 3:45 this morning I had to go to the bathroom - shocking - and I felt bad cramps. I thought I just had to go poo but alas they did not stop. As a matter of fact when I thought about it they seemed to come every 10 minutes or so. I told Jeff, I think this is it, he said do we need to go to the hospital because you know they say to wait. I said no, we can wait until they are about 3-5 minutes apart and until I wash the bathroom rugs. I am pleased to report the contractions seem to be about 8 minutes apart and the rugs are in the washer. We will see what happens from here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Different Point of View

So as of today I have been home about four days. There is not one single chore left to do this weekend. The house is clean, the laundry is done, the groceries have been purchased and the ironing is hanging in the closet. I suspect Jeff is pretty excited. I am too, but I don't know what Jeff and I will do with ourselves this weekend. Maybe we will just watch a lot of football to catch up from last weekend.

Our power finally came back on Tuesday night as we were about to pack up for night two at Korri's house. What a blessing Korri was - her house was perfect because we could put both of the pets in the basement with us where we had a bed and a TV - A TV PEOPLE! - and a bathroom. Jeff came home Tuesday to find me sitting in the dark playing solitaire on my phone. We had just put the last of the supplies in the car and were getting ready to go get dinner when we saw the lights come on. It was as though the sky opened up and God smiled right on me. We were so excited. I continue to pray for people here in Missouri and Illinois as some people still don't have power.

I had a doctor's appointment on Thursday and the bean still seems quite content in her little world. I have not dilated and am about 80% effaced. (I never thought I would speak of my cervix so freely and often with the whole world.) I have a stress test and an ultrasound on Monday if the baby has not come. If everything looks fine we will probably schedule an induction later next week.

I don't love the idea of being induced as supposedly it makes for longer and more painful labor - just what I was hoping for - but if that is what it takes to get Emmy to come out than I am good with it.

Tonight we are going to a formal holiday party for the Pujols Family Foundation. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous and attractive than maternity tights and a cocktail dress from the maternity store. I will try to compensate with hair and makeup but I am going to have to pull out some serious stops to make up for the round factor. I plan to start getting ready 2 hours before we have to leave mostly because it will take me 20 minutes just to put on the tights.

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's Electric Part II

By now you may have heard that the "midwest" was hit hard by an ice storm last Thursday causing approximately half a million people in St. Louis to lose their power. I am one of those people. It sucks...Bad. Now we lost power in July due to a freak thunderstorm and it was not good but overall it could have been worse - it could have been like last night. Last night was one of the worst nights of my life.

We are now on day 4 of no power and our house was 42 degrees when I left this morning. At 3:00 I woke up and just wanted it to be morning so I could get in the shower and get out of our house. Why are we still staying there you may ask? A couple of things...

We stayed Thursday night and it was fine. We stayed Friday night and it was cold but not to bad. We slept in our bed wearing hats and scarves and gloves and so many other layers that rolling over was a futile attempt. Saturday it was pretty cold so we stayed at friends but left both the dog and the cat because our friends have a dog and Murphy does not do well with other dogs. I was worried sick about them. I realize they are pets and they have fur coats but still...

Yesterday we had eight different people from our church, some I had never even met before, offer to let us and the pets stay with them. My friend Korri said we could stay with her so the plan was that if the power was not back on by 7:30 we would pack up the dog and go. We aren't sure about the cat at this point because it may be more traumatic for her to go somewhere else than to stay at home and curl up in the linen closet. Then at 7:45 we saw a sign from above - a power truck. Men with flashlights and trucks and radios and such spent the next two hours on our street. Then they drove away and our power was still not on. We thought for sure it would only be a matter of minutes so we laid down on an air mattress in front of the fire place to wait it out. The power never came back on. At 2:00 I woke up and just cried because it was so cold. My feet were frozen and my hips were numb from laying on my side, it was awful. This morning Jeff and I got up and put all of our clothes in the bathroom, took a mercifully hot shower (God bless our gas hot water heater) and left the house as fast as we could. I blow dried my hair from the vents in the car and took all of about fifteen minutes to get ready. I kept trying to think about all of our blessings and how glad I was not to be going through this alone but I will confess it was hard.

As of lunch Jeff went home and checked and we still have no power. I WILL NOT SLEEP IN THAT HOUSE AGAIN TONIGHT! We are hoping Korri is still good with us coming over and if not I will sleep in the car or something.

I definitely know they have lots of crews working on it and I have all the respect in the world for the guys freezing their tails off in the hopes that I don't have to freeze mine off one more night. I have been checking the City of Kirkwood's web site for updates all day and as a former PR person I wanted to give counsel to the City of Kirkwood. First, when you change the update time, change the language of the update. At least make it look like you are making progress. Second - someone needs a lesson in spin. Here is what their web site had to say.

"Approximately 600 of Kirkwood ElectricĂ‚’s customers remain without power. A 5-man crew from Hannibal, Mo, arrived this morning to assist Kirkwood Electric crews with power restoration. Kirkwood Electric crews have been working nearly around the clock since last Thursday night to clear storm damage and restore electric service. Because fatigue and exhaustion are concerns during outages such as this, the city is grateful for the assistance from Hannibal to aid our crews so that work can continue safely for all involved. "

You mean to tell me you have 600 customers without power which translates to about 1800 people and you got FIVE guys to come help? You have the nerve to tell me about the concerns about fatigue and exhaustion and then tell me you magnanimously brought in FIVE guys from outside. Seriously, I could have rounded up FIVE guys myself. Really it should read like this....

Approximately 80% of Kirkwood Electric's customers have power fully restored to their homes. Our crews have been working tirelessly so we have called in for reinforcements from outside the area. The additional workers arrived today and should help expedite the power recovery process for the remaining 600 customers without power.

Okay, I believe I have vented enough. The really great thing about the power outage is I have forgotten completely about being anxious about the bean coming. As Jeff says, my water can't break because it is frozen. : )

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Being Thankful

As Thanksgiving approaches I have been thinking about all of the things I am thankful for. I know I sound like a Charlie Brown special. I have a great family and a special baby on the way. God has blessed me with tremendous friends and the resources not to have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I have a good job that I like well enough and that hopefully will be flexible with me after the baby is born and a nursery full of all of the supplies the bean could possibly need thanks to generous friends and family. I just feel so blessed. I really do.

The countdown to bean's arrival continues. Everyone at the office thinks it is going to be sometime over the holiday weekend. I think my boss might have a cow, no pun intended, if that happens because I am smack in the middle of writing a new business presentation that is due on Wednesday. I am working down to the wire but I have decided that the 30th will be my last day. That will give me a week to be at home before bean's official due date. I am hoping to relax and hang out with my friends who are already on maternity leave maybe offering a bit of baby respite so they can you know shower and stuff. :)

I hope all of my friends and family who read this have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Redbeard the Redbird Lover

So remeber how nutso I told you Jeff was about the post-season? Here is proof. This was the game where the Cards clinched the NLDS. Note his red beard and hair. Yes, I love him even though he is nuts!

No Really, I am Happy to Be This Large

This is my first attempt at posting photos so here is one of me feeling very preggo for those of you who have not seen my girth. This was actually about a month ago so I am even larger now. Maybe I will try to get my entire body in one frame and post that later.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two Down, Two to Go

So as previously stated there are/were four of us at church that were pregnant. The second of our friends had her baby this weeked. She is super cute. That leaves me and my friend with a January due date. We went to visit my friend in the hospital and she looked great. It is so weird, I think you sort of expect that the mom and dad will suddenly look different, but they look the same, just now they have a child. It is a bit of a weird phenomenom.

Now I really am in the home stretch. I am just over 36 weeks and technically Emmy could come at any time and boy howdy I am ready. Last night, I got up to go to the bathroom, came back to bed and 13 minutes later had to go again. I sort of think Emmy sits in there and waits until just after I get comfy and them uses my bladder as a trampoline. I think she thinks it is funny, I suppose it sort of is.

Today it is raining and for some reason this last trimester I get a bit blue when it rains. I think I tend to slow down a bit when it rains and that allows the sad feelings to creep in. I miss my mom something fierce and am trying really hard not to think about it. ( I know that is not the healthiest way to deal with it but at the same time if I let the water trickle through the dam, next thing you know I have a flood.) I really just wish she could be here to guide me and help me and just make me feel better about things.

In other news things are winding down at work. I am trying to off load as much info as possible to the team so that while I am out they can be moving all of our programs forward. I think I am going to have my last day be November 30. That is only about a week before I would officially leave because if Emmy is not here by my due date I am not coming in to the office to wait for her. The 30 is the end of a pay period though so that makes sense since I am not going to be paid for my maternity leave. That is really only about two weeks away. WOW!

Anyhoo, just waiting for the bean, I will keep you posted as I wait.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Almost 36 Weeks

Went to the doctor today and it seems as though the baby has dropped slightly but everything else is still locked up tight. The bean is still snug as a bug in a rug baking away. This is both good and bad news. It is good news because technically if she popped out today she would be about a month early. This is bad news because it means I could have as many as six more weeks of being preggo. Sleep has become elusive and comfort is a thing of the past. I have to pee constantly and am just a touch nauseous.

I got a flu shot today as well. That was the easiest needle I have encountered in a long time. Jeff was very nervous since he does not like needles but even he thought it was a piece of cake.

This weekend is house cleaning and yard cleaning for Jeff and I. The leaves came down in droves this week and our yard is covered. So I am going to attempt to do house work and yard work on Saturday and then do a lot of nothing on Sunday. I do need to go get nursing bras and make a quick exchange at the maternity store but other than that seriously I promised Jeff we could relax on Sunday. I will try to convince myself that I am keeping the Sabbath holy. I will let you know on Monday how I do.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Functioning Human

I have returned to my regular state of normalcy - if you could call my regular state normal. I have stopped obsessing about things in the house and things at work. Thanks to all of you who have been praying that I would find some peace.
I have detected a pattern. I whip myself up in to a frenzy on the weekends because all I think about is home/baby stuff. Then I go to work on Monday, settle back in to a work routine and calm down. Then I wake up Saturday morning yearning to color code my closet. Everyone at work is convinced the baby is coming sooner rather than later because this nesting instinct has gotten so bad. I am evening nesting at work. I have cleaned out files and told people about my secret hiding place on the server and what not.
In other news, I was pleased to wake up this morning to the news of a democratic Senate victory in Missouri. This great red state of mine has elected a democrat to the Senate, not by much, but we did it. I think people may be voting less for the democrats and more against the republicans. It will be interesting to see what this means for our country and the war in Iraq.
Okay, enough rambling for now...

Monday, November 06, 2006


This past weekend I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself that I was going to do really well with the whole labor thing. I am not going to have too much anxiety or fear and I will just kick back and enjoy these last few weeks of sleep-filled nights. I know God is in control and when He says it is time, it is time. Nothing to it....

I am a fool.

As I looked in the mirror today it looks a little bit like my belly is lower. Last night I had pretty serious Braxton Hicks or fake contractions as I call them and I wondered what was going on inside there. So then I convinced myself it is all in my head and I am nuts. I sit down to my status meeting this morning and one of my co-workers says the baby looks like it has dropped a little bit. Holy crap, maybe it isn't all in my head. Maybe she really has dropped. All of which means approximately nothing because the seven web sites I have looked at this morning all say she could drop two-four weeks before labor.

Well we definitely need to make it two weeks and four weeks is fine too, but I swear I am starting to get antsy. I can't concentrate on work, all I want to do is clean and organize and sort and fold and file. I cleaned out all of the drawers in the kitchen this weekend. I also made the world's most expensive trip to Super Wal-mart because I wanted to make sure we do not run out of anything until January. The pets have extra food, we have enough toilet paper to do a righteous eighth grade TP job - on the White House. I bought everything we need for Thanksgiving, even though it is a good two and a half weeks away. I did read an article today that says you should have approximately 150 diapers on hand for right after the baby is born. I think I only have like 75, holy crap, gonna have to go back to Wal-Mart. Seriously I am spiraling out of control. It sort of feels like I had about six cups of coffee and chased it with a side of Mountain Dew.


Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What Was That Twinge?

Well, I am pretty much ready for this thing to happen at any time. I will pack my hospital bag this weekend and we will put the car seat in Jeff's car and then we are all ready. I don't know why I think this is coming sooner than expected but I really do.

The two big things I am holding out for...
I made an appointment to interview a pediatrician and she is on vacation until 11/20. So I need to make it until after that. In addition I would like to put up my Christmas decorations and tree Thanksgiving weekend so if I can hold on until 11/27 I will be in good shape. I am a little more flexible on the Christmas decorating because Jeff's parents will be here for Thanksgiving so it might be nice to have Emmy while they are here, but we will see how it goes.

Sunday November 12 I will be 36 weeks which is considered full term and the healthiest possible arrival time for the baby (36-42 weeks) so I am game any time after that. With all of that being said I am now acutely aware of every nuance of motion/pain/ache/etc. That my body produces. What was that, was that the begining of labor? I promise I won't be one of those people who attempts to check herself in to the hospital five times and is sent home every time. I will probably end up waiting to long, but I am ready for the next stage of the adventure.

I know that the next stage will bring ridiculous difficulty and that it will be harder than anything I have ever done or ever will do, but I feel ready. Breastfeeding - I embrace the pain. Sleeplessness - bring it on. Diaper duty - I am armed with the diaper genie II - for serious stink. I know when that time actually gets here I will pray to God to make it all go away but at this point I just pray that God will make me a good mommy and Emmy a good baby and a Cardinal fan. God is good and He will see me through.

Monday, October 30, 2006

34 Weeks and Counting

I had another shower this weekend. This one was thrown by my friends from church. My friend Britt flew in from LA and Penny drove in from Nashville. It was so nice. I had a great time at the shower and got so many nice things. It was great seeing Penny and Britt. There is something special about old friends. It was also nice to be able to introduce my old friends to my fabulous new friends. I realized that I am sort of a unique hybrid of the two. I still have some of my old LA ways but I have adopted many of the valuable Midwestern qualities of my new friends. (Most of my new friends aren't actually from the Midwest, but I associate all that is good about them with being a Midwestern thing.)

Speaking of special, my husband is tremendous. On Friday - game five of the World Series where we were probably going to clinch it all - he gave up his ticket so one of his co-worker's sons could go and so he could spend time with me. He brought me flowers and made me dinner and we watched the game together. I could not believe he would give up his ticket for me. He truly is selfless. What a great hubby!

We did in fact win the World Series and this town has not stopped buzzing yet. It is pretty neat to see how crazy everyone is about their Cardinals.

Not much else to report. I am just feeling ready. I have a weird feeling that I will not end up lasting 40 weeks. I just sort of feel like it is going to be early. I can't tell you why just an odd feeling. We will see, I also thought I was having a boy so my "feelings" are not the most reliable. I would like to make it at least 2-3 more weeks so that everything is full term but after 37 weeks I am open for business.

We'll wait and see...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Large and in Charge

I feel VERY pregnant right about now. I am not sure how there is still room for my intestines because it feels like I am all baby and all belly. Emmy has taken to kicking/hitting less and swimming more. I can feel her doing flip turns and the backstroke it seems like. Apparently your fluid level increases fairly dramatically in the last tri mester which is part of the phenomenon. It is such a weird feeling. For my non-pregnant friends, try to imagine someone moved your pancreas a little to the left and then to the right and then back again. For 32 years my insides have been relatively stationary and now I have Michael Phelps in there swimming for his eighth medal.

I made the last of my doctors appointments today. It really hit me that I only have about 6.5 more weeks. CRAZY!!! I have been talking to my friend who's baby is going on two weeks old and she basically said it is so much harder than you can ever imagine. I am trying to practice imagining it to be the WORST thing in the world so maybe, just maybe, I won't be so caught off guard. Every night I pray that God will let Emmy be healthy and happy and that He will make me a good mommy.

In other news, the Cardinals are now in the World Series so the LONGEST SPORTS SEASON EVER, continues to roll in my house. I am trying so hard to be supportive of Jeff's Cardinals love affair, but I am really quite over it. I want the Cardinals to win because I would love to see this town rewarded for its faithful devotion, I just would like to see them win soon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

What Do You Call a Baby Cardinal?

The Lou is all abuzz today as the Cardinals pulled out an unbelievable nail-biter of a win against the NY Mets to win the NLCS and advance to the World Series. At one point we were going to be lucky to even make the playoffs and now we are headed to Detroit to play for the big money. Needless to say this is big news in my house.

Last night I was taking a bath when Jeff came in wearing a red STL stocking cap and red STL gloves. "I have to go to the gloves, it is 1-1 in the 8th, the gloves are lucky." Whatever you say big guy. I love my husband for being such a nut.

Baseball has pretty much taken over every aspect of our lives at this point but Jeff obviously still has an eye on the fact that we are going to have a baby, as evidenced by the following post on his blog.

"A couple nights ago I actually prayed that Emelia would like baseball. I am sure it is because the Cards are in the post-season and I think about baseball a lot right now. When I went to Game 4 here in St. Louis, where the Cards clinched the series and advanced to the NLCS, I spotted several families and it made me think about how cool it would be to be at a game with my daughter and, hopefully, to have her root for her favorite player and be excited if we win and sad if we lose. Of course, she might hate baseball, and that is OK, but I can dream, can't I?OK, honesty alert--I just re-read that last graph. It really will not be acceptable if Emmy doesn't like baseball! : ) "

That's pretty cute huh?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Beginning of the Baby Chain

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but there are four of us at church that are pregnant. Our due dates are as follows, Oct. 8, Nov. 20, Dec. 10, Jan. 11. It is a certifiable baby boom.

My first friend was due Oct. 8 and her baby boy showed no sign of being ready to enter the world. After another week and still no movement the doctor recommended a c-section. So yesterday morning she went in and two hours later she had a baby. He is 8lbs. 10 oz. and apparently has a record setting large head. (Thank goodness she didn't try to fit that through the birth canal if you know what I mean.) Jeff and I went to visit the couple last night. Everyone is doing well. I asked her if it was weird to suddenly have a baby and she said it was a little strange but that from the minute they put him in her arms she felt like she had been holding him forever. Now she maintains that she still feels clueless so it isn't like suddenly she has the answers to every baby mystery out there but she feels like she can do it. That was like music to my ears.

I hope it is the same way for me. I am starting to reach the point where I am ready to be done being pregnant and to start caring for Emmy. I am still scared of toxic diapers and uncooperative breast feeding but I am ready to try it. Everywhere I turn there is differing advice on how to do just about everything relating to baby. I have decided to be informed but to spend more time praying than reading because I figure if anyone really knows how to do it it's God. So why not go to the source. So today I feel ready but tomorrow who knows, I might be back to being petrified. I was an emotional nut before getting pregnant, addiing all of the extra hormones surely didn't help matters.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Real World

So I realized today that reality has set in. I am not just pregnant, I am actually going to give birth. Now I know this doesn't surprise any of you, but it is big news for me. I think once I found out I was pregnant I spent a lot of time thinking/reading about being pregnant. What to expect at this week and why my belly feels like that and why even Cheerios give me heartburn, etc. Now I have sort of gotten used to the alien in my body and am realizing that soon I will have a baby. That baby will then turn in to a toddler and then a child and then a teenager, etc. I feel a bit overwhelmed at the change in my life. I can sort of imagine childbirth and even the baby's first year, but after that I can't even daydream because I don't know what it looks like.

Jeff recently wrote on his blog that he feels more prepared than ever and is ready to be a dad, although the child better like baseball. (It is playoff time in the Lou so baseball fever has clearly consumed his brain.) I however feel less prepared than I felt a week ago. I feel prepared for the beginning but how can I ever prepare for all that is to come after that. I guess that is what life is all about, never knowing how things will play out just trusting that God has a plan for you. I read a snazzy little tidbit recently that said "What the Lord takes you to, He will get you through." I believe that with all my heart as I have seen it in my own life several times, but that doesn't mean I am not scared.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Whirlwind Weekends

I now spend most of each weekend devoted to "finishing" the nursery. Things are almost done and I am loving the way everything looks. I found my Eiffel Tower lamp and bought the lampshade that matches our bedding. I have hung the bedding blanket on the wall as well as the matching wall decorations, the only thing missing is the shelf and her name on the wall. If I spent this much time finding a pediatrician I would not be awake at night worrying about what I haven't done.

I have started to get a bit restless. I am feeling like there are only a few things left to do and then other days I feel like it is probably just the calm before the storm. Who knows, all I know is life as I know if is about to change dramatically.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Let the Nesting Begin

This weekend we had our second of three showers. It was terrific. I got to see my family and I also got to see all of my mom's friends. They are such a crucial link to mom. All the way home from Bloomington I thanked God that my mom was such a good friend and cultivated relationships with such excellent people. Each one of them reminds me of my mom in some way or another.

The good news is we got some lovely stuff for the baby. The bad news is the nursery was not prepared for the influx of stuff. What that meant is that on Sunday I channeled my mom and "got busy." I worked around the house from 12:00 when we got home from church/Target until 8:45 when Jeff banned me from starting any new projects. We finally finished the "easy-to-assemble" dresser and got that moved in to place. Then I started sorting through the clothes and separating them by size. The bigger ones went in to a tub to be used later and the smaller ones went in to the washing machine. I washed all of the bedding and all of the towels/clothes we received. Jeff was funny as I was pouring the clothes in to the washer he smiled and said look at all of that little stuff. I decided that baby socks, while being ridiculously cute, are even worse to launder than regular socks, which I loathe. Socks suck! At about 8:00 I began assembling the bouncy chair which was when Jeff yelled at me for starting a new project at this time of night. But once I was done I just sat in the rocker and took in the glory of the clean nursery, sloppy paint job and imperfectly assembled dresser and all. It all looks pretty darn good and I am proud to put my bean in there once she comes.

I still feel slightly overwhelmed with all of the stuff I need to know so I have started thinking about the "rules" at night before I go to bed. No immersion bathing until the umbilical stump falls off, alcohol swab the stump every time you change the diaper, no pacifiers for two weeks or until breastfeeding is well established, no bottle until four weeks, bath every three days, the 5 S's of a happy baby, feed every two hours, don't let them sleep more than three hours at a time during the day, wake them up to feed at night if they have slept four hours, count stools and wet diapers to know if your baby is getting enough to eat, etc. I am sure once the baby comes and I am sleeping for about four hours a night I will forget the rules completely and some sort of survival instinct will kick in but for now I am busy chanting. The chanting makes me feel better though and that makes me feel like I might be able to do this after all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is It Nap Time?

So as I hit the home stretch , as every pregnancy web site calls it, I am having two very distinct emotions. I definitely feel like "okay let's do this already " and I also feel a sense of peace about the craziness that will be my life once the baby comes. I have truly experienced every emotion I can think of in the last 7 months. I have spent a lot of time being scared of what the birth will bring and being terrified that I won't be able to cut it as a mom. At this point I am willing to concede that I won't do everything right and that is ok. I have enough humility to ask for help. I am not ashamed to say I can't do this alone and I will ask whoever is there for whatever help I think they can offer. My days of prideful independence are over. I think that peace settling in has led to the other emotion of "lets get the show on the road." If I am feeling that way as I approach week 30 I can only imagine how I will feel at week 38.

The other things I am feeling are raging heartburn, overwhelming tiredness and the constant desire to pee. I go to the bathroom every hour all night long. Each time I get up to use the bathroom I eat two more TUMS. I believe that all of this contributes to the tiredness I feel. I am so tired right now as I type this that I can hardly keep my eyes open. I have to figure out some way to combat all of this because I can't concentrate and work is the longest 8 hours of life each day. I live for getting in the car to go home because that means I am that much closer to going to sleep.

I am thinking this is just another phase that I will settle in to but I sure hope the settling happens soon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Hope the Test is Take Home

So tonight I have breastfeeding class. Jeff was supposed to go with me but instead he is down in New Orleans doing something with the Best Damn Sports Show Period. I am guessing he won't be missing much but I can definitely fill him in. I believe this is our last class in the whole child bearing department, at least for now. I am not sure exactly what we will cover but if I knew there was a class offered on the subject and I didn't take it I would be busy wondering what I had missed. I am so anal like that.

We finally got the carpet down in the baby's room. It took the carpet guys all of 45 minutes to rip up the old and put down the new. Once they were done I decided I would move the crib, which Jeff has assembled in the living room since we knew the carpet was being changed, in to the nursery. It didn't fit through the door. Because I am a stubborn old goat I even tried taking the mattress out and turning the dang thing on its side. That didn't work either. When Jeff arrived home I was in a state of complete frustration. I informed him he would have to take it apart and then reassemble it in the room. He began frantically trying to get it through the door - unsuccessfully might I add. I barked at him about something and left for a seminar at church. I find it is always a good idea to yell at your husband in the most un-Christianlike way possible before heading out to God's house. I called to apologize on my way to the class and told him I would help him take it apart later. Well I called when I was on my way home and he had no luck and had decided against starting to disassemble it in favor of watching the Cardinals game. (I didn't love that answer but now I was leaving God's house and really had NO excuse for being un-Christianlike.) Thank goodness because when I got home not only was the crib in the nursery, Jeff had put all of the bedding on it as well. Turns out he popped our new windows out of the frame (they are apparently meant to do that) and shoved the crib in from the outside through the window. Our neighbors must think we are nuts. I am pretty sure they are right.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Baby Uggs

My friends Chrissy and Susan came to visit me on Friday. (They are the animal trainers I used to work with and they really came to visit my dog but I am lucky they like me too.) They brought me a basketful of baby goodies. The most ridiculously adorable thing in the basket were the itty bitty Ugg boots. I am thinking I will make Emmy wear them in the summer with a mini skirt and tank top but then she might be confused with Mischa Barton. They are so cute I want to eat them.

It was a relatively peaceful weekend with a couple of hours of work thrown in. Things were fairly PC (pregnancy crazies) free. I did yell at Jeff at one point for being so uncompassionate as to take up two thirds of the couch which only left me with one third of the couch. He looked at me like I was on crack and scooted over. God bless him!

We finished painting the nursery this weekend. It is a bit messy but I conceded that Emmy will never know. As for the rest of you who may visit my house you are not allowed to think or say anything snotty about the paint job in the baby's room. See, that should take care of any of my perfectionist issues/insecurities. We will get the new carpet this week and hopefully get the furniture set up by the weekend. That means we should have everything in place by October which makes me happy.

I am getting to the point now where I want to get the show on the road. For those of us who had a long engagement it sort of feels like that. The whole bloody wedding was planned by July and still I had two months of waiting with serious anticipation/anxiety. That is about where I am at with the baby factor. I am officially nine weeks away from what they consider full term which is sort of weird and sort of exciting.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Maybe the Donuts Were a Bad Idea

Do you all remember when I was rattling on about how I wish I had a belly and I looked pregnant and what not? Well, the belly has arrived. Yea, I kind of like it. What I don't like is the fact that it brought along its good friends right and left thigh. They decided they needed extra company and brought their cousin gigantic butt! I knew things were not fitting as pleasantly as they used to but when you put on maternity clothes it is tough to tell where they don't fit, you just know they don't.

Today I went to the doctor and she promptly informed me I had gained nine pounds. Now, I was dressing with intention on all of my doctors visits, i.e. wearing lightweight clothing, no accessories and shoes that could be slipped off so as not to add a single additional ounce to my charted weight. Today is a bit on the breezy side so I had on jeans/t-shirt/sweatshirt. To top it all off I was wearing a headband - that is at least an extra .5 ounces! The doctor mentioned that I still have weight to gain as we hit the home stretch and that I should try to watch my eating and exercising habits. I wondered if she meant watching the three chocolate chip cookies go in to my mouth or if she meant watching myself lick the glaze from the Krispy Kremes off of my fingers. I have had the worst sweet tooth this month so I am trying to cut back on that and hopefully next time I go in I will only have gained a few pounds. Maybe I will just wear my bathing suit to the doctors office, that is bound to buy me at least two pounds.

Today was the gestational diabetes test. Basically you drink this sickeningly sweet kool-aid, wait an hour get some blood drawn and wait for them to tell you if you have any issues. Overall it wasn't bad but that sugary sweet stuff had to account for at least a pound of water weight, damn them!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Three is No Longer My Lucky Number

So ever since I made the varsity cheerleading squad my sophomore year of high school wearing the number three, I have adopted it as my "lucky number." Because I believe things happen because of God and not because of luck this is sort of a silly thing but none the less I like the number three and anything divisible by three. I am beginning to rethink that.

I have hit the third trimester. I am not sure when exactly it starts because you are actually supposed to be pregnant for 40 weeks which if you do the math is ten months. The three trimesters of three months each is yet another scam perpetrated by the man. The biggest change I have noticed is my emotions. They are a disaster. I feel at times like I am completely unraveling. The slightest affront sends me in to tears. Sometimes I want to cry and have absolutely no reason to do so. Anything that even remotely reminds me of my mom sends me in to a tailspin. I am not angry at all or even testy, I am just so darn sad. It isn't all the time, but it washes over me periodically like a wave. Someone else from my childbirth class was saying her emotional crazies have gotten worse the closer she gets to delivery. I am hoping mine doesn't get a whole lot worse or people will think I am crazy. There is no current scientific proof that I am not, but I would hate for everyone to think I am nuts!

Monday, September 11, 2006

So Much to Tell

It seems like an eternity since I have posted anything so forgive me in advance for the length of this post.

Las Vegas was great. It was the perfect mix of doing nothing and doing stuff. We laid by the pool, my $16 Target maternity swimsuit did me well. Funny story... The very first day we got there I changed and then I went to find a place to put all of our stuff. I found a nice quiet spot next to a group of older couples and settled in. Now I had two motives for sitting near the older couple - one they looked about like I did in a swimsuit, two they were not smoking like chimneys like the younger couples gathered around the pool. I was pleased with my location. Then all of the sudden here comes this Nicki Hilton look-alike who plops down in the chair in front of me. I thought seriously out of the 480 chairs around this pool you had to sit next to me. She pulls off her clothes to reveal this perfect black bikini. Envy begins to course through my bloated veins. Finally after having been hit on by the world's least attractive guy she decides to move somewhere else and I thought thank goodness for small miracles. : )

We enjoyed some good food and some good shows and still managed to get lots of sleep which was really nice. We got back at 2:00 am Thursday morning. We slept in on Thursday and then had our second ultrasound. The great news is they didn't see the cyst in Emmy's little head this time. It appears as though she is progressing normally and everything looks good. God is so good. Thanks to all of my friends and family that prayed for us.

Thursday afternoon since I was already feeling guilty about not getting anything done we went and bought baby furniture. Once again the incredible growing Camry managed to fit three large boxes containing a crib and dresser/changer combo unit. That car never ceases to amaze me.

Saturday was our first childbirth class. WOW! It was a little bit crazy. We watched a video on labor and delivery and I nearly had a panic attack. I thought how will I ever be able to do this? How will I do this without my mom? Then I got so sad and then I tried not to cry which only made the panicky feelings worse. It was pretty bad for about twenty minutes. Then I got over it and things started to get better. I learned a lot about the whole birthing process that I did not know before. I had seen the movies and shoot I watched Rachel have a baby on Friends so I figured that was pretty much how it is. FYI - that is not accurate. I know you all aren't surprised, but I was a little taken aback. By the time class was over I felt a whole lot more prepared for what is to come.

We moved all of the furniture out of the baby's room and decided we needed to get new carpet so we did that. Hopefully it will be installed in the next few weeks. We started painting the room. By we, I mean Jeff. It was very hard for me to have no control over the painting process because Jeff does not share in my meticulous nature so he does things a bit different than I would but God love him he is working hard on it. It got the second coat this weekend and the trim painting should be finished by next weekend.

Saturday of this weekend was the second childbirth class. It was actually worse than the first. The first one was sort of here's what you can expect during childbirth and the second one was here is everything that could go wrong - vacuums, forceps and c-sections oh my! I am no longer scared of the pain now I want to just try to stick out the pain as long as I can because once you get the epidural you are confined to bed and it begins to up the need for interventional measures and c-sections. There is nothing wrong with a c-section, everyone in my family has had one except my cousin Julie, the recovery time is just longer which stinks. It isn't like you don't have enough to do without trying to recover from surgery on top of everything. I think poor Jeff was more freaked out than I was because he is scared something will happen to me. He is a very good man and practiced rubbing my back and breathing with me this weekend.

Other than all of that not much is going on. I have started to be able to see the baby kick on the outside which is funny, it looks like there is an alien in my belly. I am starting to feel really full and fat and slightly uncomfortable. I am sure that only gets worse but I am not complaining, simply commenting. I actually sort of like being pregnant aside from the morning sickness, heart burn and constipation. (Have I mentioned the constipation, Lord help me!)

Okay I am done for today...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

So apparently my incessant whining about wanting a donut was heard loud and clear by my co-workers. When I arrived at the office this morning there was a bakery box full of donuts. I have eaten 2.5. I loved every bite.

Can I tell you what I am not loving? Baseball season! I love football, I tolerate baseball. Baseball goes on forever though. I have to be careful because not liking baseball in St. Louis is a sin punishable by removal from the city. Jeff has gotten so in to baseball since we moved here. I like watching the games with him because he gets such pleasure from it, but I am so over the Cardinals. Yes we are still in first place in the central division, but the rest of the division sucks just as bad as we do. No matter what we do our starting pitching blows and the only bright spots in our line up are Duncan (nice job for a rookie) and Pujols. I am just over it. I am ready for football, real football, not this pre season scrubs play half the game football. Only two more weeks. I think it should be mandatory that baseball immediately ends when football starts. That would be perfection!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

From the Outside In

Lately I have started to be able to feel the baby move from outside my body. What I mean is I can put my hand on my belly and feel something poke out. On the inside it feels like a bubble breaking but on the outside it feels like a little poke. It is very weird and every time it happens I am unprepared for it.

The other thing that has started happening lately is my cravings have gotten out of control. Right now I want a donut. I have wanted a donut for the last two days. Usually when our computer guy comes, he brings Krispy Kremes and supposedly he was going to come yesterday and he didn't. Then he was supposed to come today and he didn't again. I was livid! Where the heck was I supposed to get a donut? What is the matter with people? I may have to try to con Jeff in to stopping at the grocery store on the way home. At this point I would take a day old donut from the grocery store bakery. Now that is desperate!

Jeff and I are leaving for Las Vegas on Sunday. I am starting to get excited to go but I am also a bit anxious. Mostly I am worried about finding a cute cheap maternity swim suit and then feeling like a big white whale once I get there. There really is no disguising my largesse at this point, not like I was a supermodel to begin with so I don't know what my problem is. (Yes I do realize I just spent the last paragraph talking about donuts and now I am talking about feeling fat, but such is my reality.) We are going to see our friends Dana and Marc in Vegas and we are going to see The Phantom of the Opera and Ka (the new Cirque du Soleil at MGM) so it should be loads of fun. I will keep you posted on the maternity swimwear ordeal. Shopping for a swimsuit stinks to begin with let alone a maternity job. UGH!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Who Buys a Ralph Lauren Onesie?

This weekend was our first shower with Jeff's family in Iowa. It is about four hours each way and we literally drove in on Saturday and drove home on Sunday. It was a short trip but it was a really nice trip. I got to spend some quality time with Elsiemae (Jeff's mom) and Shelly (Jeff's sister). We went to the SUPER TARGET, yes you read that right, a brand new Target that has everything from groceries to a Starbucks. I could have pitched a tent in the camping supplies aisle and never left the store ever again. The baby section is way better than our Target. I had serious Target envy by the time I left. We had a good time looking at baby stuff - we bought Emmy a little Iowa Hawkeyes sleeper so she can cheer for the Hawkeyes with daddy. We also talked a lot about having kids, I was in good company considering Elsie birthed 16 children and Shelly is on her third pregnancy in two years.

I was telling them I am expecting the first six months to be miserable and to feel as though I might not survive. If they are better than that I will be pleasantly surprised but at least this way I will sort of be as prepared as I can be for that no sleep, how does everyone else do this feeling. They said it was as bad as all of that but it gets better and the love and joy that you feel are also hard to predict and measure. That made me feel better.

Shelly brought me a huge Rubbermaid tub of baby clothes from Danika since she is having a boy this time around. We started looking through them and many of them are brand new. They either didn't fit Danika or they were the wrong season, like a 6-9 month fleece sleeper but Danika was 6-9 months in summer. I had to laugh, about half way through the tub was a little white onesie with a pink polo pony on it. I about died. Shelly is the last person you would expect to have something like that - she is the queen of dollar stretching and doesn't have a pretentious bone in her body. She laughed and said it must have been a gift. I just had to wonder who buys that? Apparently lots of people do because I bet Ralph Lauren wouldn't be making them if no one was buying them.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Heart Benji

It is over. Last night I deleted the last episode of So You Think You Can Dance from my Tivo until next summer. I almost saved it so I could watch it over and over but I thought that would be overkill. My very favorite dancer from day one, Benji, won. Benji at one point put his dance career on hold to serve on a mission in Mexico helping orphans. What is not to love about Benji? I was so sad to see it end. I think I have issues.

We hired someone new and I was telling her about my obsession and low and behold she loves Benji and SYTYCD too! Who knew?!?

I hope Emmy realizes the sacrifices mommy made for her. The tour is coming to St. Louis and I told Jeff I didn't want to get tickets because we could use that money for baby stuff.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The First Shower

Our first "informal" baby shower is this weekend. It is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with Jeff's family. I am pretty sure it is really an excuse to get together and play cards but I might be wrong. His family is BIG on cards. I stink at most every card game but they are kind enough to teach me idiot games that keep me occupied.

I am excited to see his family. We will probably get to see about 1/3 of them. Sister Shellie is coming in from Minneapolis and sister Liz will come in from Makokota, Iowa and then Rodney, Amy, Karen and Dave all live in CR. The only bad part is boarding the dog and the five hour car trip. I hate road trips. If it is more than three hours I would rather fly but this shouldn't be too bad. I will take a book and try to sleep a little.

Speaking of sleep, I have been getting very little the last few nights. For some reason I have not been sleeping well and it wreaks havoc on my body. I am exhausted by 9:30 am and crabby by 3:00 pm. I just keep waking up to pee and then not being able to go back to sleep. Last night was pretty good but I kept dreaming about Hell's Kitchen. Who said reality TV was bad for you. I think it is just getting harder to get comfortable. It sort of feels like I am sleeping on a sack of potatoes. Nothing hurts it just feels odd. I am sure that will only get better - ok so not really.

I am approximately 23 weeks this week. When I think about that I realize I am more than halfway there. I sort of think 30 weeks will be a big deal because really it is a total crap shoot from there on out. Oh boy, I already get panicky just thinking about it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Insert Screw E into Hole Two

We did it! Jeff and I put together the first baby furniture purchase and we are still married. You see, putting together furniture in our house often causes domestic discord. I tend to get anal and bossy (imagine that), Jeff throws the directions aside, I freak out and we yell at each other until whatever furniture piece is built and fairly stable.

We put together the rocker I ordered from and it really only took 15 minutes. The chair looks nice and it perfectly matches the bedding set we bought. Slowly but surely we are getting the nursery together. We are taking baby steps because otherwise, like everything else, it starts to feel a bit overwhelming.

The other very exciting thing that happened this weekend is I watched football. Oh sure it is preseason and the key players only play for one possession, but it is still football. I LOVE FOOTBALL! It is so much better than baseball, we watched that too. I can't wait for the regular season to start. The only other girl that I know that relates to my excitement is my friend Kim. Kim is a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I am a big Dallas Cowboys fan and one year when we were both running around in the same circle in college they played each other in the Super Bowl. It was a big day for Kim and I. My boys won that game but it was the cause of a solid week's worth of animosity. I thought of her as The Bus and the Steelers won last year. I didn't know where Kim was but I was sure she was thrilled. Enough about football for now...

Emmy has started to kick or punch or do Tae Bo or something every morning when I wake up. It is like she has a morning workout plan. (Maybe she is trying to encourage mommy to get out of bed and work out I don't know, but it feels funny.) It sort of feels like gas with no pay off. I sort of enjoy it though, it seems like our little secret time together.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Kind of Mom I Won't Be

Yesterday I spent a large portion of my day in the Kansas City airport, specifically the Southwest terminal. The Southwest terminal has exactly three things, Starbuck's, Burger King/Sbarro and a Mexican place. Not exactly the best airport to get stuck in. On top of all that, I was without my lip balm because I had to check it to avoid having it confiscated. Darn terrorists! Now we all know that the airport is an excellent place to people watch. What you might not know is it is also an excellent place to pick up parenting DOs and DON'Ts.

-Prepare for delays with a myriad of snack/toy options appropriate to your child
-Travel with a stroller or sling or something to carry the little person around in - this also works as an excellent sleeping location as I noticed yesterday
-Make yourself and your children comfortable with blankets or sweatshirts or whatever is available
-Keep your children within a three foot radius of you at all times (you would be surprised how many people do not abide by this one - have they never seen those kidnapping movies?)

-Let your children stand on furniture, just because it isn't your chair doesn't mean they should be allowed to stand on it.
-Take your airport frustration out on your kids (tough to abide by but necessary)
--Pack everything your child owns in a carry on-seriously!
-Let your kids run wild - it annoys everyone else

My best parent-to-be moment came when I was in the restroom for the 90th time and I hear a woman instructing her child not to touch anything. "Don't let your shirt touch the wall Becky, stand perfectly still!" Now don't get me wrong, I don't want my kid to lick the toilet but they are not going to catch a fever if their shirt brushes the bathroom wall. Call me crazy but I am not an anti-bacterial gel kind of girl.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What is it with Baby Stuff and Fish

So I did the deed this weekend, no, not that deed. I registered for all of the stuff I think I will need. Here is what I learned...

-The stores think you need a lot more stuff than you really do.
-There is no one around who likes us enough to buy us a crib so why do they want you to register for that? Buy your own darn baby furniture.
- Jeff thinks the baby should have pink EVERYTHING. I said, "You can pick between these three car seats as they are all the same brand just different patterns" and he picked the pink and gray "Lindsey" version. Go figure!
-The "best" high chair is also the ugliest but it is the only one with a washable and dryable seat cushion and two dishwasher safe trays so I picked that one anyway. I love my dishwasher almost as much as my husband.
-There is power in a scanner gun, Jeff and I fought over it in Babies R Us. I let him have it since I did Target by myself the day before.
-Baby Depot is the cheapest of all the baby stores but they don't have them everywhere. (They are inside Burlington Coat Factory.) So if you live near one, take my registries and go to the Baby Depot, everything is about $10 cheaper.
-Note to gift buying friends I don't really care what print the onesies or t-shirts or sleepers are, so pick the ones you like as long as it doesn't have trucks on it, even then I am not real picky.
-Breast pumps freak me out.
-I like to say the word Boppy. Say it, it is fun!
-I swear I could hear my mom giving commentary the whole time. "Look at those cute pajamas, get that!"
-And finally, I learned that you can always change your mind as I have already altered my registries online today. God bless the Internet!

Friday, August 04, 2006

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

Like I said, we are registering this weekend and I have been studying. I have called people, reviewed emails from new moms, read my Baby Bargains book and checked on Consumer Reports web site. Basically I didn't study this hard for the SATs when I took them. You would think that my child's very future depends on what high chair I buy. I dreamed about Pack and Plays all night last night. That and the Sig Eps formal. Don't ask, it is a long story.

In other news, I just got an email from my friend announcing that leggings are the big thing for fall. I can remember a time when I lived in leggings and big oversized sweatshirts. That was our winter uniform in college. I may have to revisit those times. Perhaps that will bring me comfort when I have a screaming newborn and it is 8 degrees outside. I look forward to January.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Me, Jeff and a Bar Code Scanner

I think this is the big weekend...Jeff and I are going to register. His family is going to throw us a shower in a couple of weeks, very spontaneous and fun of them, so we figured we ought to register for the occasion. The last time I registered I just ran around Linens and Things with a scanner gun going "Ooohhhh, I like that, click, and of course we need breakfast in bed trays, click." This time I have to register for actual things that I will need. I was talking to another friend of mine that is pregnant and she swears her registry has 30 teething rings and one bottle. Again, this is where all of my friends lists really will come in handy. I swear my friend Jeanette, or Nutty as we affectionately call her, has been a life saver. No wonder giving birth is like joining a sorority, you have to know way more than the secret handshake and password to get in. You have to know about Boppys and breast pumps and strollers and mittens. When Jeanette, who lives in California, first t old me she got mittens I was very confused as I was sure her baby's hands could not have been that cold in Cali in December. Then she told me they are so the baby doesn't scratch herself. Who knew?

I have finally started to have dreams about having a baby. Up until now I have had all sorts of weird dreams about everyone I have ever known. Seriously, every ex-boyfriend, high school acquaintance and second grade best friend have made appearances in my dreams in the last two months. Suddenly I have begun dreaming about having a baby. Of course they are terrible, anxiety filled dreams about leaving the child in the car and getting arrested, but at least they are about the baby. My friend who is a licensed therapist says that the good news is having a baby is real to me now, the bad news is I am living out all of my fears in my dreams. Let me tell you, it doesn't make for a good night's sleep.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Why I Married This Man...

You may recall in a past post I wrote about a minor meltdown in Baby Depot because Jeff did not like my choice in baby bedding. It was all a scam. I put the poor man through the ringer because he was trying to surprise me. I suck!

So I came home on Friday to a giant bag on the kitchen table with a card for me. (It was my birthday but I thought we had just decided to go to the mall and pick out a nice maternity dress for my gift.) I opened the bag and there was my French poodle bedding set, the one I had my heart set on, the one Jeff supposedly didn't like. (See the link below, this is not where we got it from, they have it at Baby Depot and online at Target but the picture is best on this overpriced Web site.)

I was so surprised and then I started to cry, yes again, because I thought he had bought me this bedding that he didn't like and I didn't want to have a nursery he hated. He told me it had all been a ruse, he liked the bedding but he had decided to buy it as a gift so he didn't want me to buy it that day. So alas, all's well that ends well and I have a very good husband.

Thanks to all of you who have helped me decipher the universe of baby needs...swings and bouncers and car seats oh my! My friend Jeanette gave me practical, real life baby tested advice and my friend Britt gave me a list. You know how I feel about lists. I could practically color code it and die right now. I had dinner with another friend who is pregnant this weekend and she had some good recommendations that she had gotten as well. See, you ask for guidance and God provides. I promise to all of my friends when you have babies I will make you lovely color coded product specific lists in return for all of the graciousness I have been shown.

The other good news is that this week's food obsession - bye bye bagels - is salad. I have yet to have a really healthy food need so I am going to ride this as long as possible.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

M is for Mom , N is for Newborn, O is for Overwhelmed

Jeff and I have been trying to talk about budgets and figuring out how much we want to spend on all of the baby stuff. You can get a little crazy if you don't keep an eye on things. I think the baby business is designed that way. So as we determine what we need I don't even know what to put on the list. Things I know - crib, mattress, bedding, dresser/changer, rocking chair, diapers, clothes, pacifiers, bottles and stuff for breast feeding (I don't know exactly what that entails but I will have a whole class on that from the hospital.) That is it. What else does one need, I know a car seat and a stroller I assume, but when do you need a high chair? What other stuff do you need? What is a nice to have but not a must? I don't know enough other people who have had babies so I don't know how to even figure all of this stuff out. I searched for a newborn checklist on the Internet but all the lists I found are put out by stores. Again, they think I need way more things than I probably really do. Oh and by the way it says I need washcloths, how many six or sixty? I need a guide. Anyone know of a good book? See, you can see it happening right before your very eyes, I am getting the snowball effect. What started as a little snowball is turning in to an avalanche and then it all lands at the bottom of the hill with a loud kersplat and an OHMYGOSHWHATAMIDOING!!??!!??!!??

Okay deep breaths, deep calming pre-natal yoga breaths. I have a few books at home, maybe I will look in there? If all else fails I will watch the elimination episode of So You Think You Can Dance and bury my head in the reality TV sand.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Chester Cheetah

I actually brought the ultrasound pictures to work today. I felt a little cheesy because when I see them even I have a hard time making them out but the one of her sucking her thumb really is pretty cute. I never thought I would be the person who shares ultrasound pictures with the world but I guess you learn something new about yourself all of the time. I am a cheeseball!

Things seem to be going along pretty well except for I had a few sort of psychotic moments over the weekend. I think I just get overwhelmed with the whole crib/bedding/nursery stuff. I start seeing all of these choices and I can't decide what I like or what I should get. Should we get a $300 convertible crib or should we get the $180 regular crib? What about mattresses and bedding should it be pink or should it be more neutral? I realize that in the grand scheme of things this really isn't a big deal but when I am standing in Baby Depot and Jeff is telling me he doesn't like the one I have my heart set on I turn in to a crazy lady. I cry which makes Jeff feel bad and then I start to miss my mom. I don't know that one has anything to do with the other but I think if my mom were here she would have words of wisdom and she would LOVE to go to five baby stores with me just to look. (Jeff does not so much LOVE this and I don't think he even really likes it.) I am sure it will all work itself out and no one will tell me I picked the wrong dust ruffle or the wrong crib, I just want everything to be safe and nice for the baby.

I just had the weirdest experience. As I looked up from writing this I saw a dove outside my office window. I am convinced that doves are a symbol of my mom. When we were having the backyard redone with her inheritance money, every time I interviewed a contractor there was a dove that would sit on my window sill. On Friday when I got home from the ultrasound there were two doves in the driveway. Whenever I get particularly stressed or sad or scared I see a dove and it just lets me know I am cared for by my heavenly father even though my earthly mother is gone. It brings me some level of comfort. God is good.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Well we finally got power on Saturday but since Jeff had been three whole days without a fantasy baseball sighting, computer time was hard to come by. So today I shall post about the ultrasound...

It was such a wild and crazy experience. First of all I should not have drank nearly as much water as I did but in classic Erika fashion I thought if they say 24 oz in one hour I will try to make it at least 40 oz. just to be on the safe side. (Supposedly the fuller your bladder the better they can see everything.) With the fullness of my bladder they should have just been able to see straight through me without the machine. The tech said she had never seen such a full bladder. Because of this I was fairly miserable during the whole experience because I had to pee like no other. So next time I will just follow the instructions.

It is a little bit weird. You lay down, they rub some goo on your belly and suddenly you are see through. It is the oddest thing. They would say here is the arm and that really looked like an arm or at least an x-ray of an arm. Then they would say this if the stomach and bladder. That looked more like an ink blot. We saw the baby's hands and feet as well as all of the major organs and they said that everything looked really good. Then at the end of the exam they said that the only minor thing was a cyst on the chortoid in the brain. It didn't sound very minor to me at the time. They said that it is a little thing and the only reason they were bringing it up is because it can be a marker for a disease called Trisomy 18 which is a very severe genetic disorder. They offered us an amniocentesis which would tell us conclusively that it was or wasn't this disease but then they said that 1\200 amnios result in loss of the baby. Not very good odds in my book. Luckily we had a doctors appointment right after this so they told us to talk things over with our doctor.

Thank goodness for our doctor. She basically said not to be scared that this cyst if that really is what it is, is probably no big deal. She had never delivered a baby with Trisomy 18 that you did not know conclusively from the ultrasound that that is what it was. This cyst is one marker out of like six and the other five markers were not there. To reassure everyone she is ordering another ultrasound for 6-8 weeks and she bets the cyst will be gone. So we still feel pretty positive but it certainly gives us a very specific prayer request.

In all of this we also found out that it is a girl! What a relief since we could not agree on a boy name. Emilia Mae will probably be her name barring any sort of craziness between now and December. They confirmed our due date for 12/10 and said the baby is approximately 12 oz. Which is normal. So in September I will probably have another ultrasound but in the meantime please pray for Emmy that the cyst would clear itself up and that she would be healthy.

One final note about the power - I think it was God's way of telling me to clean out the refrigerator. Just as I finished scrubbing the last shelf the power came back on. Now when I open the door to the fridge I am downright gleeful!

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's Electric!

Jeff was singing the theme song to the Electric Slide this morning but the words had been changed to go something like this...(Hum along) Can't watch the TV - it's electric, boogie woogey woogey, don't have no AC - it's electric, boogie woogey woogey... We have now been without power for 36 hours. We had severe storms rip through The Lou on Wednesday night and lost power at around 7:00 p.m. We have not opened the refrigerator since in the hopes that the cool would stay inside and help decrease the spoilage. It is about 85 in the house which is not as bad as it could be considering it was 98 outside yesterday. We have been sleeping in the basement, it is sort of like a camping trip mixed with a Little House on the Prairie episode. We went to bed at 8:30 last night because well it was pitch dark in the basement but too hot to be upstairs so we talked about how we want to get new windows and then drifted off to dreamland right as someone was getting kicked off of SYTYCD. I was most upset about the fact that Wednesday and Thursday are pivotal TV nights for me and as Jeff astutely sang, the TIVO is also electric. UGH!!!!!

Well, folks, today is the big day. I am forming my drinking plan for the day and it started with a decaf iced latte from Starbucks. That is as good a way as any to begin my crazy liquid ingestion phase. I really don't feel any anxiety currently. God has blessed me with a lot of peace about the situation. No matter what we find out I know God is in control and He will help me figure out what's next. Now I am just excited to be able to see the bean I hope it is not shy. I have a weird sense that it is a boy but hopefully we will know more this afternoon. I will do a post-appointment post if we have electricity when I get home otherwise it will have to wait until Monday.

Have a good Friday and good luck trying to get the Electric Slide song out of your head...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Doctor Said it Would be Like This

So as of my last doctor's appointment I had not gained any weight. I had lost weight initially from being so sick and then I gained that back to bring me back to where I started. The doctor said watch out for the next month you will just wake up one day and have a belly sprouting out. Well on Monday I was five days away from my next doctor's appointment and still no real sign of "the belly." Then Monday night I felt like my belly was a little bit bigger, probably too much snacking during the day. (The belly is very sensitive to how much I eat - too many bowls of cereal and I look like a bloated pig.)

Then I woke up on Tuesday and looked like a 50 year old man who had been drinking three beers a day for most of his natural life. You know that man, he looks normal from the back but turns around and looks like he swallowed a beach ball. I now look like that man, except exchange a beach ball for a watermelon, laying longways on my abdomen. It is very odd. I have not weighed myself yet to see what sort of gain I am looking at but it sure feels like a lot. Several people commented to me yesterday that now I look pregnant. I wanted to say well good at least I don't just look fat, but I refrained.

The ultrasound is this Friday and I am both excited and anxious. I have been praying every morning before I get out of bed that the bean is healthy and strong. I know God is listening but I am anxious to see more of His plan for our family. Oh the joys of modern medicine. Okay so the other weird thing about the ultrasound - you have to have a full bladder for it to work. I don't know why but I do know I have to drink 24 oz of water in the hour before the appointment. How I will be able to sit through the ultrasound without going to the restroom is beyond me. Should make for some fun times.

I will post on Friday after the appointment what we found out.

Now I am off to balance all of my program budgets. YIPPEE!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Why Being Pregnant Alternately RULES/SUCKS

Being pregnant rules because you always have something to talk about, no matter who you meet, take for instance Albert Pujols. For those of my friends who don't live in STL, Albert is the Cardinals first baseman, leading home run hitter and overall deity of St. Louis. Jeff and I went to an event for the Pujols Family Foundation on Saturday night. It was a great father son bowling event in conjunction with the St. Louis Down Syndrome Association. The kids looked like they were having an amazing time. Everyone was knee deep in pizza, ice cream and cosmic bowling. You can't really ask for much more. Jeff and I had the honor of actually meeting Albert and his wife at this event via Jeff's contact at the Foundation. (Another awesome guy!) Albert was so kind and asked me when I was due and how far along I was. I knew that there was a chance we would meet him that night and I was worried because I tend to get stupid in those types of situations and start saying things like "How bout those Cardinals!?!" But having the bean to talk about instantly made things more comfortable. Side Note: I couldn't stop staring at his teeth, they are lovely. I kept thinking he should smile more when he is playing baseball. Jeff informed me that he is probably pretty intense when he is on the field (DUH!) and that smiling probably does not add to his overall threat to the opposing team. Good point.

Being pregnant sucks because nothing fits right and I still get the pukes every now and again. My old clothes don't so much fit but maternity clothes still have this puffy belly that I need to grow in to. I feel like Goldi Locks without a bed that is just right. I did buy a cute top this weekend. I have a meeting coming up for one of my clients that involves all of the creatives from the various agencies. I always try to wear something that says "I am smart and strategic and completely creative without being a poser." Yes I do understand that I actually am a poser by virtue of the fact that I try to find an outfit that says that I am not, but that is okay with me. Only I know that, well and all of you know that but none of them know that, so it is okay.

I was also very upset that I threw up my IHOP strawberry french toast yesterday. It was so good going down, I was sad to see it come up. You win some you lose some.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lucky Penny Part Two

Penny and I had a delightful visit. I met her outside as she was pulling up and the first thing she said was "look at your little belly." Maybe my belly is in better shape than I previously thought. I adore her boyfriend. He makes her visibly happy and I can't ask for anything more, plus he has this fabulous Scottish accent that makes him all the more likeable.

We went out to dinner and there was never a break in conversation - it was fun and relaxed and just downright pleasant. Our other houseguests had a late baseball game and another one early this morning so there was no clash of the houseguests as I had feared. We didn't even have to draw straws for the bathroom. YIPPEE!

The other major plus is I got to watch So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) and Rock Star Supernova and get some work done before she even got there. All things considered Thursday was a banner day.

We are expecting record heat here in St. Louis all weekend which may be a good excuse to go to the mall - it is air conditioned. I will try to pull this off on Jeff and see how it goes. Definitely glad we finished the bulk of the yardwork last weekend.

I think I may have felt the baby move this morning. People say it feels a lot like gas pains with no actual gas so it is hard to know what is what especially with my looney digestive system, but I think it was the bean. I felt it first thing when I woke up as though it was saying good morning. I thought maybe I felt something last week too but I am more sure of this morning's feelings than last weeks. I wish my belly would just light up or something so I know what is what. Okay I suppose I ought to actually do some work today so I better get to it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lucky Penny

So today my best friend Penny is coming to visit. She and her boyfriend are moving to Nashville and stopping for a quick overnight visit on their way there. I am so excited but nervous at the same time. She has been my best friend since 7th grade and could care less what my house or appearence looks like but I still want everything to be perfect. ( I even washed my hair for the occasion, you know how much I hate doing that since pregnancy brought me a case of the frizzies.) I haven't seen her in over a year and she is the first new person to see the belly. (Sad little state that it is.) I just look fat and puffy as opposed to cute and preggo.

Jeff and I are going to the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill concert tomorrow. Yippee! I love me some Tim McGraw. I suppose it is okay that he brought his wife along this time, but next time I want a solo tour. I will write on Monday about how lovely he was and how ok she way.

I signed up for my childbirth classes and a breastfeeding class. I figure I am all about instructions so I will take everything I can get before the bean comes in to the world. They don't start until September so I have some time to study up before I go.

By the way I have so much TV to catch up on it is not even funny. Wednesday is like my reality TV bliss night but I have Bible study so I can't watch anything. Dear God, thank you for the TIVO and the person who invented it and the genius folks behind Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance. I am enjoying Rock Star Supernova, although I believe it borders on hedonistic so I will try to enjoy it less than the rest of the things I TIVO during Bible study. XOXO, E

That's it for now, I am off to tidy up the house, watch my TV shows, pretend to work and await Penny's arrival.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Belly Thoughts

I wish I looked more pregnant. Right now I just look fat. I have always been more on the Kate Winslet side than the Kate Moss side so I am not one of those pregnant women who looks like I swallowed a basketball. I have just sort of expanded around the midsection to the point where regular jeans are uncomfortable if I have to sit down but maternity jeans are just a bit overkill. I wish I had a nice round belly. I know I should be grateful that I have stopped throwing up and am actually gaining any weight at all. I am also not gaining much weight which should make "losing the baby weight" easier when all is said and done but I want to be a cute pregnant woman. I don't want people to look at me cross-eyed when I order a virgin daiquiri.

In other news I am starting to be anxious about the ultrasound. It is coming up on July 21 and I am excited to see everything and learn about the baby's progression and sex but I am also nervous. I want the baby to be healthy and growing well. I t think that is another reason I worry about the belly. What if the baby isn't growing and that is why my belly isn't getting bigger? I need to look up how big the baby should be right now. I suppose my belly wouldn't have to get much bigger to accommodate the bean since I probably have enough room in my belly for a flippin watermelon.

I know in about three months I will probably look back at this post and discuss how "crazy" I was for wishing I was bigger but such is life.


So as I lay in bed last night, my mind full of Rock Star Supernova (more on that later), I begin to think about my blog. My thoughts went something like this...
1. How fun, I made a blog
2. Now what?
3. I should develop rules for my blog

That was pretty much where I landed. I need rules. As much as I like to say rules are for other people (that really only applies to parking) I need rules. Rules help me set boundaries and give me a place to act out my rebellion by breaking them. So here are my rules.

-I will not write anything that I would not want my mother to see. My mother is gone from this earth but her rules of good taste (barring her love of fart jokes) still apply.
-I will not write anything overly personal about my friends. If they wanted to share their lives with others they would have their own blog.
-I will not write defamatory things about my place of employment. I don't always love my job but I have never been fired from anything and I don't want to start now.
-I will try to stay focused on pregnant life at least for now. I need to have a focus otherwise this will turn in to a blog about reality television and my passion for So You Think You Can Dance.

Those are my rules I will try to stick to them. I reserve the right to abridge my rules at any time if necessary.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Still blogging...

I was just trying to see if I could figure out how to get back here and post again. Alas I have found my way; those breadcrumbs in my keyboard definitely helped. (okay so maybe those are just leftovers from my hot pocket.)

I have figured out why I decided to blog today...

I feel GREAT! No, not just good, not just non-pukey, but genuinely great. I am not tired, I don't feel sick to my stomach and I don't want to cry - for any reason. This is a banner day in the history of my pregnancy. On top of that I am getting my haircut tonight so I will undoubtedly look just like Sandra Bullock tomorrow. (That is the magazine picture I am taking my stylist so certainly she will make me look just like her. Although, through the years I have taken my stylists pictures of everyone from Alyssa Milano to Britney Spears and I never have ended up looking like them. I get a great haircut but that is about it. I suppose I should just be happy I didn't end up looking like Britney as she is looking a bit rough lately.)

Okay enough blogging for today... although this is fun stuff!

Look ma, I'm blogging...

So I am not entirely sure why I started a blog or why I chose today to do it, but here I am blogging. I am pregnant which is not revolutionary in and of itself, millions of women have done it before me (shoot, my mother-in-law has done it 16 times) but it seemed like the type of thing you would want to journal about. I journaled after my mom died and all it did was make my hand tired so I have decided to go this route. Skip the baby journal, I am blogging.

You may wonder about the title of my blog. My husband is known as "The Moc" (rhymes with smoke) and so I was by default Mrs. Moc so I decided to be Moc mom.

I am not sure what else to write about, I am alternately filled with about 57 paragraphs worth of stuff I feel like I should share and at the same time cautious of not assuming that the world would care a rat's tail about even one of those 57 paragraphs. I will have to think it over and find a happy medium. For now, hello world.