31 December 2013

31 Weeks: The End of a Year

We had a lovely, relaxing Christmas with Danny's mom and step-dad. Getting out of the house (and the city) to spend time in their cozy, river-side cottage home was just what we needed. It feels nice to be taken care of when you are used to doing everything yourself. I've been battling burnout from work lately (due to my pregnant state, not the task load), so a day or two away was really great.

The view!
I've appreciated my saved-up vacation days and the extra few days off my job offered this year. I wish I could say I've done a lot of productive things, but I've mostly relaxed, slept, and given myself some time to reflect and think ahead. Sometimes life just doesn't give you time for introspection.

2013. What a year of roller coaster ups and downs! The early part was taken up with my car accident, the search for a "new" used vehicle, sorting out insurance and therapy, Danny searching for a job after his layoff, then rejoining the workforce in May, with me working extra long hours at work that month. Right after that is when we conceived, and we found out for sure at the end of June. When we got back from our Nashville vacation, we dove into the thick of it with a family wedding, prenatal and therapy appointments (for my injuries), our "new" car dying, the long search for yet another vehicle ending in the surprise gift of our new car from friends. Then, our house nearly burned down days before the start-up of programs at work, and Danny started a new job. Between a busy fall schedule, appointments, and the clean-up efforts, months passed...until we decided to move and spent weeks packing before we ended up in our new home at the start of December. And here we are, still unpacking and trying to get settled as quickly as possible. We feel like we've hardly come up for air!

Little boots for little feet!
2014. My hopes for this new year is that life settles down a little. That my therapy appointments can ebb, then cease as I recover. That my work replacement is found and trained quickly. That things progress with Danny's job and he is assigned support. That in the next few weeks we are able to spend some quality time together before our little Shrimpy arrives. That everything goes smoothly with our delivery prep and the baby's arrival. That the baby will be healthy and strong. That we adjust okay to our new financial situation once I'm on maternity leave. That we settle quickly into a schedule and a balance with our little one. Really, I don't think I want anything more than that.

I think the greatest lessons I've learned this year are a bit hard to put into words. I've grown in thankfulness for the many blessings in our lives. In my appreciation of Danny, our family, and our extended web of friends. In perspective. In my spiritual walk. In forgiveness. In openness. I hope that these things keep growing in 2014 and beyond.

Lots of love from us to each of you as we transition to this new year!

30 Weeks at Christmas.

22 December 2013

A Drop of Christmas Thankfulness

Christmas always makes me think about how much I (and we) have, and how grateful I am for the people in our lives. I don't think that has ever been more true than this year as we prepare to start our little family. A friend commented today about how blessed our baby is to have parents like us, and a community of friends to help support and nurture this little life. I hadn't thought about that, to be honest. With all of our family so far-flung, I've been really sad when thinking about how rare it will be that our kiddo will get to see her extended family. We are so fortunate to have a large support system of friends here in the city, some with kids, some without, all with something to contribute to her in some way.

That said, I can't wait to introduce her to our parents and siblings and any other family she is lucky enough to have in her life. I hope that opportunities open up when we least expect it to see them and share in the joy of raising her.

And, of course, I am constantly reminded of what a blessing I have in Danny. His strength, support, kindness, and willingness to sacrifice for his family (and friends) are truly remarkable gifts. He is a "real man"; a wonderful partner, and soon-to-be awesome dad.

...and all that sappy jazz. ;)

Merry Christmas, family and friends! Please know just how much you are each loved and appreciated by us!

19 December 2013

29 Weeks: Deck the Halls with Boughs of - SLEEEEEEP!

How are Mama and Papa?
We are pooped out. Danny has been working three jobs, and we've been so busy trying to get ready for Christmas between paperwork crises and parties and all the rest of it. We appreciate our new bed soooo much, I can't even tell you. Thanks to the new mattress, I no longer have to sleep atop my Throne of Pillows. I can just sleep with a body pillow like a (mostly) normal person.

I had my last checkup with my regular doctor this week, as I'll be seeing an obstetrician from here on out, starting January 6. She said that everything was perfect (including my glucose test, YEAH!)...except I'm anemic. Despite my vitamin supplements! It didn't really surprise me; I have a lot of the classic signs, including fatigue, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and irritability. Hopefully I can modify my diet a little to get what I'm missing.

Speaking of diet, it looks like I have finally started to gain some weight, and rapidly! I have put on 6lb since my last appointment 4 weeks ago! That averages out to 1.5lb/week! Usually at this point, women put on only 0.5lb or 1lb per week. If I keep at it, I'll actually hit the "recommended" weight gain of 25lb.

How is Baby?
All in all, things are good. Shrimpy has flipped upside down, so now she has discovered the joy of repeatedly tapping on the bottom of my uterus (seriously, like 30 times in a row) or punching my bladder, or squirming around (which is the weirdest feeling!) Even with my squished stomach with its hormone-lax muscles making me almost lose everything I eat, I am so incredibly grateful for my healthy, totally standard pregnancy. And my bladder-punching baby!

One of the funniest things the baby does happens in the middle of the night. I will sleep for a few hours on one side, then cautiously turn over. I can't just flip over like before; this literally takes me about 20 to 30 seconds, as my bones and uterus and muscles have to move around and adjust to the new position. When I finally get to the new position, Shrimpy has a flail-attack with all limbs going at once. I always imagine gravity making her sink into one side while I'm sleeping, then I turn and she sinks down to the other side. It always makes me smile (through the discomfort).

Why No Pictures?!
I have pictures to share but haven't had a chance to scan them in yet. I'll post them soon! I finally got a few with my handsome baby daddy. Shrimpy might be getting her picture taken again in a few weeks too; a friend who has already visited my OB said that she routinely does 34 week ultrasounds just to make sure all is well. I am hoping we get to have another peek at our little one. Fingers crossed!

09 December 2013

27-28 Weeks: The Walking Punching Bag

Wowza, it has been a crazy few weeks! I feel like I am always saying that, but then again, it has been a whirlwind year. Sometimes I wish I could slow life down so I could get a handle on it. It's just whizzing by so quickly.

Weeks 25, 26, and most of 27 were a blur due to packing, then moving. We have now been living in our new home for a little over a week, and we just got our internet hooked up today. Between packing, then moving, working full time or more, waiting on the delivery of our new bed (!), and the installation of our internet/phone and a new washer, it's been rough. Poor Danny is just beat. We've slowed down our unpacking schedule a little to keep ourselves from burning out.

Photo evidence: papa is pooped.

We love our new apartment so far, besides ThunderFoot, our upstairs neighbor (aka "Thor"). Unfortunately, there is not a heck of a lot of soundproofing separating our two apartments. I guess Shrimpy will just drown them out with her siren-wail soon enough. Thankfully, we don't hear anything in our bedroom, so our sleep has been unaffected.

It is crazy to think that in 10 weeks to the day and hour, I'll have just finished up my last day of work and supper, and we'll begin the belly-watch as we wait for our little one to arrive. In 12 short weeks, our baby will probably be here!

I handed in the rough draft for my job ad today, and I am writing a job manual and prepping a training schedule. I can't even fathom that I'll be showing someone the ropes soon in order to leave for a full year! I have some anxiety about it all, but I'm trying to remember that I will probably not give a hoot once I'm at home with my baby!

Unreal. I'm pretty calm about pregnancy and prepping for the baby and delivery, but it's the whole taking the kid home part that I am a little freaked out about. They're going to give me a baby, and then I am going to be a parent. For the rest of my life. Forever. It's a weighty thing to process. It just doesn't sink in until you start to approach that day.

Good news: we got an insanely good price on a new mattress set (75% off!) so I am finally sleeping without my Fortress of Pillows. It is LOVELY.

Bad news: well, it's actually a good thing, technically. The baby has gone into Super-Attack mode. She literally kicked, punched, rolled, and pushed for about 24 hours straight yesterday. I don't think she slept or rested for longer than a few minutes at a time. No exaggeration. And now that she is a little stronger, it is getting painful and really uncomfortable! I love it and dread it at the same time. :)

Anyway, I should probably get back to the unpacking, so here are some photos for your viewing pleasure! We missed week 25 altogether due to packing up our old apartment. If you've seen week 24 or 26 pictures, you'll be able to tell that I really popped out between weeks 25-27!

Week 28!