Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Showered with love

OMG!!! The big day finally arrived,not the birth of the baby but the baby shower. I finally found something to wear,though it was not at all spectacular, the waters in Atlanta receded and we were ready to go.

The shower was absolutely amazing. My mother, sister and friend Courtney hosted the amazing event with additional contributions from countless friends and family members. I didn't know much about what would happen at the shower but I knew the food would mostly salads. At the beginning of the pregnancy, I only wanted salad. When we were discussing a shower menu, I randomly said I don't care if it's all salads. So she went with it. It was wonderful.

There was a mixed green salad, Greek cucumber and tomato salad, chicken salad, turkey salad, fruit salad, cheese and deserts. Yummo! That was my kind of menu. Wowsers. I spent most of the shower walking back and forth to the food as people played games and socialized. I never really stopped eating.

The rest of the shower was equally amazing. My mom had a preggo picture of Steven and I for everyone to sign. Then there was the cutest baby shower book with guest signatures, guest advice, pictures and all types of things. The shower games were original and obviously challenging, as I was chased away from table after table because I was talking when people were trying to concentrate. LOL. The favors were all personalized and adorable. The cover of the game books was a reproduction of the canvas that inspired the nursery design. I was so outdone by the attention to detail and seeing so many random conversations held with my mom brought into this shower. I felt so loved.

My Mothers

Anywho, the most amazing part was how generous everyone was. I always appreciate any gift I receive but I was floored by the thought and consideration people placed into the gifts. Though I had a registry, there were many who purchased off registry and they considered the lack of space in our loft, my taste and the theme. We walked away from that shower with virtually everything we needed for TJ. Our parents have been extremely generous purchasing the crib,changing table, travel system, bassinet and more clothes than I can stand to hang (still working on it). Everything else we could imagine was purchased by the shower guests.

Me and the shower spoil

I still get choked up when I think about how much the shower was a blessing to us. We spent a lot of time worrying about how we would be able to afford this surprise baby of ours. This shows me God's timing is always the best timing. Worry or not, He always supplies.

I am on cloud 9.

A few pics more

I said I couldn't wait to see my son in those clothes, so someone put his ultrasound picture in this outfit. I thought it was funny.

4 generations of Smith women. Gotta Love it.

My college girlfriends representing

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3 days until the Shower

After all the waiting for the shower day to be here,it's finally upon me and I am not ready. Not only did I not do anything on my list of to-dos to be done before the shower, but I have the list before that to contend with as well. I still don't have anything to wear and at this point, I probably won't have anything. I am practically beyond caring anymore. I am tired of looking for something I like only for it to look gross. If I were bold enough, I would show up in jeans but I don't want my mother to kill me. I'm sure I will figure something out.

In more important news. My beloved city of Atlanta has been hit with the worst flooding seen in my lifetime. Mine is not a terribly long lifetime but still this flooding is worth mentioning. As of yesterday 9 people have died, 11 or so counties are declared disaster zones and millions of dollars in damage was done. I ask anyone reading this to take some time to pray for the residents of metro Atlanta. This is a stressful and I am sure fear ridden situation. Anyone involved needs as much support as possible.

I am happy to report my family and friends are all safe and dry. A few people had minor damage from the storm but no flooding. Whatever was lost could be replaced in these cases, so all is well.

My mother also assured me the city will be all dried up and functioning in time for my shower. I am really excited the shower is still on because this would be my last chance to see my family and friends before the birth. I am most certainly not willing to make the 3.5 hour drive anytime post 30 weeks, so this will be it. I am also excited to be surrounded by women who have preceded me in motherhood. I pray some of that wisdom is passed on to me and I walk away confident in my abilities. I believe one person's strength can easily become another's through the sharing of experiences. Who knows?

I also have the dreaded 28 week check up today. I am praying I will be able to choke down that glucose syrup stuff. I am also praying that I pass it and won't have to go on to take the fasting glucose test. If there is one thing I can't do these days, it's fast. I also have major blood work and all kinds of other things going on. I am pretty sure I have gained more weight than I should and my iron levels are probably pretty low. I have not taken prenatal vitamins in a little over a week. I ran out and did not make the trip across town to get them at Whole Foods. I really don't want to take them anymore.

I will get all of that together as soon as possible. I don't feel as if I am making the best decisions for this baby right now. But I am tired. I have been choking those pills down for over 23 weeks now. I'm tired and I want a Martini. I guess the being pregnant thing is getting old just like the books warned it would.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Week 27 and I'm on the grow.

Every once in a while, Steve attends an event inviting enough (read: the food is guaranteed to be awesome and abundant)for me to put my big belly and swollen ankles into something somewhat swanky. Mind you I wear a dress just about 5 days out of every week because it's easier and less constricting. However that usually entails a jersey knit of some sort and flat strappy sandals. These here and there events usually require a little more glitz and they always seem to start after 7pm. Steve knows 6pm is my cutoff time for leaving the house. If I am not out of the house by 6 chances are, I am not leaving. Well unless I am getting food and often in those cases I just ask Steven to go.

Anywho, I got a little dressed up last night. A jersey knit dress, yes but a little more refined, along with real shoes, jewelry and a little makeup. Well the infamous waist cincher in me decided to put a belt above the basketball writhing around my midsection at the time. The belt goes on and OH MY LORD I screamed. It's huge. I know I live with this belly and I should never be shocked but it seems like it grew in exponentially in the last few days.

I am realizing a theme here. Every other post I talk about unbelievable growth in my belly. Maybe I should drop the un and just call it believable because at this point, this is the pattern. Some people ask me if I am sure there is only one baby in there....I always say yeah there is just one but maybe he is the size of two babies. I am just ready for my gestational diabetes test to be sure he is not indeed going to be the biggest baby on earth. I am doing better with my weight, so I am know that it's not me.

I'm watching this.

8 days till the shower!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eat Without Ceasing

Ok so I meant to mention the progress I have made with this commitment to a new way of eating and exercising. Since I gained 10 lbs in 5 weeks, I put the brakes on eating whatever I wanted (even though I never got completely out of control). As of 25 weeks I had gained a total of 17lbs throughout this pregnancy. Since I had hoped to cap my weight gain at 25 lbs, I was terribly disappointed in this news. This only left me 8 lbs to gain over the remaining 15 weeks. My doctor convinced me that it would be perfectly normal for me to gain 40 lbs. We met in the middle and set a 30 lb cap.

Now at 27 weeks, I am still at the 17 lb mark with 13 weeks to go and 13 lbs left to gain. At first I felt kinda bad for even thinking about limiting myself but that is a healthy pace 1 lb a week. So I am going to stick with that.

The newest problem I have is my desire to eat consistently.

Today I started the day with a protein based smoothie.

For a snack I had hummus and pita chips 2 hours later.

Then I had an orange, a serving of walnuts and a few dried cranberries 1 hour later.

I am pretty sure I will be ready for lunch promptly at 12 even though I ate all of that food just a few hours before.

I don't know what to do about this. I will keep trying to choose healthy low calorie foods or at least foods that pack a powerful punch, like walnuts but in small quantities.

I have an apple and bag of carrots lined up for my afternoon snack. We shall see.

Counting Down the Days Till My Baby Shower

I have to admit, I am so excited about this shower I can barely take it. Something about these showers bring out the kid in me. It's like Christmas or a birthday where you eat cake or other sweets and then you get to unwrap all of these presents in pretty packaging.LOL I can't help it, I'm excited.

I am also excited about just going home in general. I know this will be my final visit home of the year and I plan to making the most of it. I am trying to be sure I visit my favorite restaurants (I am sure I will enjoy it even more as a 3 trimester preggo), my favorite shops, my old church, my college (gotta see if I can find some baby gear represented my school) and more importantly loads of family and friends to see.

Fortunately, I will see most of my female family members and friends at my baby shower. I will see everyone else throughout the remaining time.

So in preparation for the shower, I am trying to perfect this mess of a baby registry situation I have. It seems as if every time I turn around, I read there is something I must have that I haven't purchased or registered for and then I find out something is overrated and will only collect dust in my already cramped living space. What help are these baby sites and magazines if they can't ever reach a firm decision about what is essential. So I guess I will be pruning the registries up until Friday and then I will leave it alone.Hopefully I haven't asked people to spend money on useless items especially in these tough economic times. Maybe I will spend today checking my list again.

10 days to go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creepy Thoughts

Today I was reading through some posts on a hair forum I frequent. While browsing the Pregnancy and Parenting section I came upon a thread titled Labour and Delivery 4things you never thought you would need. The poster listed some items that seemed to would scare even the bravest souls.

Here is her post


Okay this is for all you ladies who are facing Labor and Delivery for the first time... or not.

Aside from the regular things you pack for the hospital you may find the following helpful after labor:

1.Depends underwear ... yes the ones older people use for incontinence... after you finish laboring there will be quite a bit of lochia/blood; the Depends works better than sanitary napkins because it catches EVERYTHING and is also disposable.

2. Adult wipes ( found in the same isle as Depends )it may be a while until you can take a shower and these help you to freshen up all over until.

3. A grabber tool to help you reach things without having to get up

4. Colgate Wisp or something similar ( again until you can get to the bathroom)


I'm thinking OMG. Depends???? I know I will need pads but will it really come down to me wearing an adult diaper. Wipes, I kinda get that but how long will it be before I shower again? A grabber tool? Really??

Am I having a baby or am I having an organ removed? I guess I am completely disconnected from what this experience really is. It only got more strange as the people started responding to what she said. Other items mentioned were

Peri Bottles for rinsing down there in case of tears (ouch)
Donut seat in case of tears or just because (ouch)
A silt seat ( I still have no idea what that is)
Someone mentioned freezing the pads or depends (really????)

Ok so I have 13 weeks to go and at this point a world of growing and maturing to do surrounding this subject. I just thought I would have my baby, if I tore they would stitch it. The worse I was worried about is trying to get him to latch. I know there are epidural headaches but I rather take the edge off the pain with IV drugs and skip the spinal situation. I know things are achey down there but pillows and flowing streams of water never entered the picture. Wowsers. Now the reality starts to hit me. I have to pass this baby through my body and it will probably be a little traumatic.

I will begin the mantra, my body was divinely created to nurture and deliver this baby. Labor is miraculous and natural...whatever happens is part of my journey to motherhood. I can do this.

I will repeat this every time I imagine my husband having to help me in an adult diaper. Also when I imagine how difficult it will be to delete that image from his memory.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More to love.

So I have not been doing well with weight gain. I managed to make it though 20 weeks only gaining 7lbs. But since then all bets have been off. I gained 10 lbs in 5 weeks and who knows what happened in the last 2 weeks. So by 25 weeks I gained 17 lbs. I shudder to think about what will happen over the next 15 weeks.

I have analyzed the possible causes. I taught art at a summer camp which caused me to be on my feet for 4 hours or more everyday. I did that until 20 weeks. Then I spent 2.5 weeks completely out of commission because of terrible sciatic nerve pain, which was corrected by a chiropractor(chiropractors are amazing), so I was in the bed or on the couch not moving. I did not alter my diet, infact this was the time when my appetite finally took a hike and I started battling cravings. In retrospect, I practiced some terrible habits.

I am really trying to cap it off at 35 lbs but I feel like I am out pacing that or in dager of outpacing that. I just keep telling myself just a pound a week and all will be well but something is not connecting. I have made some major changes since week 25 but I am still gaining like crazy.

Here is the evidence

I am all over this now. Trying to eat large volumes of low calorie high nutrient foods and take Zumba 4 times a week. We will see what that does for me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nursery In Progress...well kinda.

We are using a jungle theme for the nursery but without all of the jungle animals. Elephants and trees will be the predominant feature in the nursery. When I first made this choice, I figured it should be fairly easy to accomplish. How wrong could one be. Not only did I not like much of what I found but what I did like was on another continent, so I couldn't see it in person and it was super expensive to purchase and ship.

I wanted the mod elephant look, which is much softer than a real elephant. It will be softer but not hokey. I don't want the nursery to look too cartoony because adults will have to spend plenty of time in the nursery as well. So it needs to be comfy for everyone, I am sure my mom will need to say it should be all about TJ. Anyway, I found some really cute things online but the prices were outrageous,so I decided to purchase the materials try my hand at it.

Here are the results

I think it worked out well and I saved about $250 doing this myself. I think I paid $5 for the stool, $8 for the canvas, $3 for the brushes and less than $12 for the paint.

I am now looking for a huge stencil for the wall mural. I want the mod elephant look and one of those safari trees. Like the trees from The Lion King but I don't know what they are called. In the meantime,I will be working on additional items for the nursery as well as getting the walls painted before the baby shower.... 3 weeks from now. Start the countdown!

Other Stuff

It took us little to no time to choose a name for our son because,well I don't know why. It just happened. We are naming him Thomas Joseph. Thomas is my mother's maiden name and my grandfather in-law's first name. Joseph is my father in law's first name. We feel it's only right to give our children complete family names or at the very least have the names inspired by family members.

So Thomas Joseph it is. I love it because it sounds serious and somewhat stately but we can call him TJ which is as sweet as it gets. So from the date of the ultrasound and beyond he has been TJ or baby TJ. I am so in love! LOL.

Once we got through the 20 weeks scan, I started focusing on the birth and beyond. The best way I could do that was by seeking information about the unavoidable....fears about the following;
loss of sleep
marital changes.

For me the only way to combat fear is to trust God and seek information. I am doing both.

I have used the following books as sources of information about all of these topics. While I don't agree with everything in them and one of them I'm not so crazy about at all. Each has provided some useful tips, insights and encouragement.

I absolutely love the childbirth books,though I don't think they are for the faint of heart. There are a lot of hair raising statistics about the child birthing industry. So I would warn anyone to proceed with caution if you are planning on having a C-section or a medically induced birth. Well I think it's good info but it will scare you. I personally like to know what I am dealing with and I don't like anything to be sugar coated. I am never afraid of the truth but I am spooked by the unknown.

Anywho, I have head my head in a book for the last 5 weeks and I am feeling better about this entire process. While I know there are some problems that can not be avoided, I am sure my faith and God's plan for my life will ultimately yield the best results.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still catching up

After passing 20 weeks, it seemed like my stomach got bigger every 2 days. I went from not needing maternity clothes to needing them like plant needs sun.

Here are a few pictures.

19 weeks 5 days

22 weeks

23 weeks

24 weeks

I am rapidly expanding. At my last doctor's appointment the midwife predicted the baby to be about 3 lbs. The ultrasound said 2 lbs 6 ounces. We are well on our way.

Busy Busy Busy

It has been forever since I have posted a message because life really got crazy.
Here is the rundown of what's been happening.

I met and surpassed 20 weeks with little to no drama. We had a 20 week anatomy scan and found out we are having a huge baby boy. He was over a pound (in ultrasound estimate land) at 20 weeks. I must say he is the cutest little boy I have ever seen.

Even though I am stoked about our baby boy, I was shocked that I was right about the sex. I wanted a girl so badly but I kept telling my husband it will be a boy just because I want the opposite. So when the tech told us to guess, my jaw dropped. At first sight we knew it was a boy and I was speechless. It took me 10 minutes to actually say something and all I could do is mumble as I cried. I was just amazed by the little person hanging out in my belly.

I waited as we looked for 4 heart chambers, 10 fingers and toes, a well formed brain, eye sockets, ears, lips and a nose. He had a huge belly complete with all of the organs that should have been there. They only spotted one problem which was a slight dilation in the kidney area. We were told he probably needed to urine and we would have to come back for another look in 5 weeks.

As far as I was concerned he was perfect and whatever the dilation meant could be remedied. There was not an ounce of worry or sadness in my heart.

As soon as we left the doctors office, we went to eat because I was too nervous to eat the entire day. I had a celebratory 4 ounces of wine and lots of french fries as we discussed the possibilities. Once we were done with that we hit the stores. The buying frenzy officially started.

Oh yeah by 20 weeks, I finally started to look preggo.