She’s Here!

She arrived on her due date, 3/16/2012 at 9:13pm.  Wonderful birth experience that I will write about in detail at a later time.  9 lbs. and 20 inches of squishiness.  Meet our 4th daughter, Charlotte Claire…

C - birth

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Still here

I’m still here. I’m still pregnant. I’m still shocked I’m still here and still pregnant.  My official due date is this Friday and this little girl is quickly running out of time to arrive on her own.  My 40 week appointment is Thursday and I ‘ll be requesting another membrane sweep in hopes of moving things along.  Each day that goes by makes me feel that my body won’t do what it’s supposed to do (that it’s failing me, again) and my confidence wanes even further.  If she doesn’t show up on her own before then, I’ll have a scheduled induction either this coming Monday or Wednesday (we’re still tossing dates around).  As much as I DO NOT want to be induced, there are other factors at play and eventually, I’ll have to give in.  Everything seems to be ready and in order, I even broke down and mopped the floors today.  I’d been putting it off because, well, I hate to mop and also because I figure my mom needed SOMETHING to do while I was in the hospital.  I have contractions during the day and especially at night, but they never seem to intensify or go anywhere – the only thing they do at night is make it really difficult for me to sleep.  It’s beyond frustrating.  I booked myself a prenatal massage for tomorrow evening, I’m excited for a lower back massage – that seems to be the thing that hurts the most.  I’m also excited to lay on my belly and remove the pressure from my lower back for 50 glorious minutes.  For the record, none of the old wives tales work.  I haven’t tried them all, but I’ve tried a bunch.  And if I have to unpack one more thing from my hospital bag, I’m going to cry.

38 plus 1

Well, I’m officially the most pregnant I’ve ever been.  I delivered A at 38 weeks exactly and today marks 38 weeks and 1 day of this pregnancy.  The past few days I’ve been feeling quite a few contractions and I’ve been fairly nauseated also.  I figured my body was prepping itself for labor and even went as far as telling my Hubs I was calling my symptoms early labor…that could last for a few hours or for many, many days.  My doctor’s appointment yesterday confirmed my thoughts as I’m 2-3 cms dilated, about 70% effaced and Baby C has started to scoot downwards.  Based on my conversation with my doc yesterday, I’m a walking time bomb.  I could truly go into labor at any time.  I have visions of my water breaking in public and I’ve decided to avoid upholstered furniture whenever possible.  However, she did start talking induction next Friday at 39 weeks.  Apparently she’s going to be out of town the week of Spring Break so if I don’t go into labor on my own before then, she’s more than happy to induce me early Friday, break my water around 8am and most likely have a baby before 5pm.  These are her words.  She also said she wouldn’t even consider it an induction at this point and more of an augmentation since I’m already in the early stages of labor.  I really don’t want an induction for purely convenience sake (I don’t have a problem with it at all, I was just hoping for a different experience this time around), but at the same time, I’m not entirely thrilled about not having my doctor there.  I trust her.  If everything goes according to plan, I won’t really need the doctor to do anything but catch the baby on the way out, but what if something happens?  I know she fully trusts her partners, and I’m even able to request another doctor or her midwife (I’ve already decided on the midwife) but I dunno.  We’re taking the weekend to talk and think about it.  I called back after leaving my appointment yesterday and spoke to sweet, calm Monica because I forgot to ask about a membrane sweep while I was there.  She agreed it was worth a shot so I’m scheduled for one on Tuesday morning with the midwife.  This works out well because it’s low intervention; it’s only going to work if my body is ready.  If it’s going to send me into labor, it will most likely happen within 24 hours which allows me to still deliver with my doc.  If it doesn’t, it still gives me time to get on the schedule for an induction on Friday.  Also, if we decided against the induction, I’ve been able to see the midwife again (her name is Lori) so she’ll know I’ve asked for her to deliver Baby C and we can chat a little about my plans.  I figure it’s worth a shot and Monica says Lori is REALLY good at membrane sweeps.  How’s that for something to add to your resume?

It’s supposed to be beautiful here this weekend and we’ll spend the weekend doing yard work and getting some last minute housework done.  I assume the Hubs and I will try to find some time to get jiggy with it too, since my doc swears that’s really the only “at home” remedy to help with labor.  I suppose I should also pack my hospital bag, which I STILL haven’t done.  Hubs DID get the actual bag out for me last night though, so we’re making progress.  Maggie has her annual checkup this morning and I think that’s the last errand on my list of stuff to do before Baby C gets here.  I don’t exactly know where my list is…I actually have several going at once.  She’s been coughing some so I’m slightly on edge about getting bad news, but she was coughing last year too, and it turned out to be allergies.  I’m crossing all my crossables that A is in a better mood today.  She’s been a force to be reckoned with this week and I really hate the thought of having to leave her suddenly for a few days to have a baby while she and I aren’t getting along.  I’m thinking she’ll probably get booted outside with the dogs for the majority of the day so hopefully it will be good for her soul.  And now, I think it’s time for a cup of coffee on the patio.

XOXO,

B

I’m braving a bikini wax today.

I’m no waxing virgin.  I’ve done everything from eyebrows to bikini to brazilian for years now and frankly, I don’t find it to be that bad.  The lady I go to came highly recommended by a few people and she’s great…which makes a big difference.  Not only is she skilled and quick, but we chit-chat the whole time I’m laying there in a slightly compromising position while she spreads hot wax on my nether-regions and rips my pubic hair out.  While not at the top of my list of fun things to do, waxing doesn’t normally scare me.  It does today though.  You see, I’ve apparently been doing SUCH a good job practicing my Hypnobirthing relaxation techniques that some intruder came into my bedroom, acquired a pair of steel-toed boots and kicked me, repeatedly, in the crotch.  I had no idea this was happening (since I was so relaxed and all) and wasn’t aware of the damage that had been done until the next morning when I could barely get out of bed and hobble to the bathroom.  It was the kind of pain where you expect blood, bruising and swelling, only upon closer inspection (not that close, really, I’m 35 weeks pregnant after all), everything looked fine.  Obviously a more likely scenario is that my body is like, “Oh, yeah, I remember this.  Let me go ahead and stretch those ligaments and open up that pelvis ahead of time for ya.”  More likely, yes, but not NEAR as much fun to tell people.  Or perhaps there’s a head sitting in my pelvis and pressing down on my cervix.  A girl can dream.   So while the pain is a little better than it was a few days ago, I fear the pain that is still there might make this upcoming bikini wax a little nightmarish.  It really doesn’t matter though, because I’m apparently growing a rainforest down under and I can’t accept it any longer.

I went out this past weekend and spent what I consider to be a ridiculous amount of money on nursing attire.  I needed nursing bras, a few nursing tanks and wanted some nursing pajamas for the hospital, around the house and basically the next year of my life.  This stuff, rarely, if ever, goes on sale so I was forced to pay full-price, except for the pj’s, which were buy 1 get 1 free.  For some reason, the last time around, I decided I didn’t need nursing bras or breast pads or any of that fancy-schmancy nursing attire.  And I didn’t for a few days.  Until my milk came in.  I was perfectly fine in the hospital fighting the cups of my bra down so I could feed A.  Once I got home I pretty much went braless and it took me days, DAYS, to discover that when A nursed on one side I was, quite literally, spewing milk from the other side.  I could not for the life of me figure out why my shirt and boppy were wet…and why my child’s clothes were wet.  The story I love to tell is my 20-something sister sitting on the couch with me while I’m nursing…I have no shirt on and no bra (I lack some of the basic ins and outs of modesty people…especially around my family) and I’m squirting milk out of one boob.  My poor sister…I’m pretty sure I scarred her for life.  (She also sanitized the pieces of my breast pump for me.  The hilarious images of her boiling my breast pump parts in the kitchen and removing them from the water with tongs still makes me smile.)  Thankfully she had enough decency to say, “Um, can I get you a towel or something?”  I was too busy laughing to answer her.  I found it incredibly funny at the time, and still do.  I had tears rolling down my face I thought it was so funny.  I still didn’t get it though.  I remember looking down as the photographer was leaving after A’s newborn portraits and seeing a wet spot about the size of a nickel on my shirt.  I was like, “What the hell is that?”  She was 2 weeks old at this point and I STILL hadn’t figured out my boobs were leaking.  I wasn’t totally ignorant either.  I took a class and read several books specific to breastfeeding.  For some reason though, I figured the rules didn’t apply to me.  I don’t remember when I finally decided I needed some nursing bras and breast pads, but it took waaaaaay too long for me to come to that conclusion.  I’m set this time around though.  Except for one thing…

The Hubs got onto me last night because all my new, ‘spensive nursing attire is still sitting in the shopping bags.  I can’t bring myself to take the tags off, wash it and toss a few things into a bag for the hospital.  I don’t mean to be difficult, I just have this mental block and every time I think about doing something like packing a freaking hospital bag, I convince myself I still have plenty of time.  It’s a defense mechanism and the real reason is that I’m afraid to pack a bag with nursing clothes, a baby blanket, a stuffed animal for Baby C and her coming home outfit; all this stuff that indicates I ACTUALLY EXPECT to bring home a living, breathing baby.  It’s so weird, but I’ve promised him I would at least wash the new clothes today so we’ll see if I make any progress.  A and I spent several hours yesterday afternoon with my mom.  Both my parents and my in-laws wanted to purchase something substantial for Baby C.  My in-laws bought the new glider (wonder when it’s going to be ready?) so that left a new breast pump or a new diaper bag for my parents to purchase.  I don’t need a new diaper bag.  I have an INSANELY expensive one that I adore but I WANTED a new one for this baby.  I found a gorgeous new one yesterday that my mom happily purchased for me.  I’m excited about it but it’s still sitting in my bedroom.  Haven’t even taken it out of its beautiful bag and dust cover.  I just can’t.  Not yet.  The pricey diaper bags have ALWAYS been my thing.  I used to joke with the Hubs that if I ever decided I wanted to have kids, he was going to have to agree to a $1500 diaper bag.  He thought I was joking.  No he didn’t, he knew I was serious.  I didn’t spend quite that much the first time around, and my mom only spent a fraction of that, but there’s something about making such a large, luxurious,  intentional for Baby C purchase that has me a little freaked out.  Hubs told me last night he doesn’t think I’ve actually wrapped my head around the idea that we’re HAVING ANOTHER BABY.  I think he’s right, but I’m not sure how to fix it.  I’m going through all the motions, I’m excited about meeting her, preparing for labor and delivery and finishing up her nursery, yet, I’m not sure I’ve actually grasped that we’re leaving our home with 1 little girl and coming home with 2 little girls.  And my latest irrational, pregnancy-induced, hormonal fear?  That Baby C will be born a “he” instead of a “she”.  Pretty sure the Hubs wants out at this point.  He can’t take the crazy much longer.

So, if you hear screaming from deep within the heart of Texas in the next hour…no worries, it’s just a much too vain pregnant lady getting her lady bits waxed in an attempt not to appear as a freak show for all the nurses and doctors that will see her most treasured body parts over the coming weeks.  And blah, blah, blah, they’re professionals that see it everyday, they don’t care…yeah, I know.  I’ve heard it all.  But I like to think they too can at least appreciate the effort.

I’m starting to believe…

No, not in Tim Tebow.  I was already a believer in Tebow…but I digress.

I’m starting to believe these fortune cookie fortunes are more than just coincidence.  Now, I’m a smart person.  I know these fortunes are mass-produced and randomly stuck into fortune cookies, shipped all over the world and there is no rhyme or reason to who gets what.  But I dunno, I kind of like believing in a higher power that works through something as simple as a fortune cookie to remind people to stay on track; stay the course…to remind them of their goals and dreams.  After my last post about my New Year’s fortune, Hubs finally opened his this weekend.  Now, if you’ve been following along at all, you know that the Hubs and I have some big plans.  That’s why his fortune kind of gave me goosebumps.

fortune 2

If you’re interested…here’s the long version of why this particular fortune is so cool.

I’m feeling somewhat melancholy today.  Hubs’ travel schedule has been fairly light since about Thanksgiving.  He’s traveled some, but not much.  He’s also had quite a bit of time off work and we’ve spent a lot of time together as a family.  He left today on the first trip of MANY over the next month and a half.  I knew it was coming and I understand why he has to put in so much travel right now, but it’s still hard.  It’s always hardest to have him leave when he’s been home for a while.  It takes me some time to re-adjust to being alone.  In addition, I’m feeling slightly anxious about adding a new baby.  I’ve treated this pregnancy as an after thought much of the time.  Partly out of fear, partly out of necessity since I have another child to care for.  We’ve been working like crazy to get A moved into her new room.  It’s coming together but still isn’t done and in the process I’ve completely destroyed the nursery.  Just walking past the room makes me nervous because it’s in SUCH disarray.  Not that Baby C will care what her room looks like, but I’d really like for it to be done before she gets here.

I’m starting to experience some sadness about A not being an only child anymore too.  I don’t think that helps my feelings regarding the heavy travel schedule; it just adds to my desire to have my family home.  Together, and close by.  I keep trying to tell myself giving her a sibling is an awesome gift, but I’m not sure I can fathom life with more than just her.  I’m not worried about loving another child, or having room in my heart for another child, I just find myself unable to grasp the concept of another child in this house.  The logistics are mind-boggling.  It’s been just me and A for so long, I know so much about her and I am able to devote so much of myself to her.  I know that just won’t be possible once Baby C gets here and it makes me sad.  I wish it didn’t, it feels like I’m doing Baby C a disservice and she’s not even here yet.  Makes me want to really dig in and savor these last weeks with just A.

I find myself worrying about silly things.  Getting upset about situations that haven’t even come to fruition.  I’m feeling fearful about the safety of Hubs and A…given the events that play out in my head you’d think I watch too much Lifetime TV, but I don’t.  Not at all actually.  I know it’s the hormones, but it makes me feel like a crazy person.  I’m doing better believing that Baby C will make a safe arrival, but I still have moments of sheer panic that send me running walking quickly usually kind of limping (since my feet and legs constantly fall asleep) for a glass of water or frantically tapping my belly to get some movement out of her.  As we start to make strides towards ACTUALLY getting our home ready for another baby I can’t help but wonder, what if?  I put off doing pretty much anything until after Christmas.  I just wasn’t confident enough to get anything started.  I fully believe tragedy can strike again.  I had such a hard time ordering my glider last week.  The last time I placed an order for furniture, I had to send my mom to the store the next day to un-order said furniture.  To top it all off, I have more contractions each day than I care to admit.  I know they’re normal.  I know they don’t “mean” anything.  But it’s still nerve-wracking.  I never had early contractions with A, so this is fairly new territory.  I plan to mention it to my doc at my appointment on Friday.  I’ll be 32 weeks.  I’m aware that if Baby C were to show up now, her chances of survival are very good, but we’d obviously be dealing with a long stint in the NICU.  I’d like to avoid it and I just keep telling myself, despite the daily contractions, she’s not coming until March.

On a lighter note, since it’s Tuesday, and I pretty much ALWAYS go to Target on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I had to laugh at my purchases today.  1 box of mac and cheese for A.  1 box of shells and cheese for me.  1 frozen cheese pizza for us to share.  1 box of individual deep dish cheese pizzas for me.  1 bag of sour cream and onion potato chips.  And 1 box of maxi pads for, uh, various reasons.  I was embarrassed as I checked out.  I’m still slightly embarrassed, but only slightly.

Welcome, 2012.

First of all, 29 weeks as of this past Friday.  Hard to believe and if I’m being honest (which I always am here) I’m still not convinced we’re having another baby.  She moves quite a bit these days and is making it very difficult to sleep at night.  Sometimes I get so excited about meeting her and holding her tiny body in my arms I can’t hardly stand it.  I don’t think about it often because I’m still afraid of something going wrong.  But so far, things are going splendid.  Passed my 3-hr glucose test with flying colors and we’re rounding the corner into the home stretch.  Baby C has a place to sleep and a car seat so as long as we swing by the store to pick up diapers on the way home from the hospital, we should be good.  I kid, I kid.  Sort of.

29 weeks

At first glance, 2011 was a truly awful year. I mean, for months I’ve been thinking about how glad I was going to be to see 2011 end. How much relief I would feel to put the year behind me. Upon closer inspection, however, I’m starting to think 2011 may be one of the best years of my life. Not without its hardships and difficulties, of course, but the start of something. Hubs and I have discussed 2011 at length. He says 2011 was full of emotional extremes…I agree. There is no denying it was a year that changed us. Drastically. Forever. You see, there were 2 people who were simply living their lives, unencumbered by tragedy, that died in a hospital room right along with our twins in March. 2 new people were born. 2 people with a new passion. 2 people with a burning desire to change their world. 2 people who were no longer satisfied with saying, “someday” or “what if”. 2 people who were no longer going to simply dream, but were going to DO. 2011 has been a year of reflection. A year of thinking. 2012 will be a year of doing. There is a lot of work ahead of both of us. We each have ideas that have formed in our minds, in our souls, and we share a long-term vision for our life together. We’ve been given an inkling about how to get there. For the Hubs, he formed and founded his own company. It’s small, on the side for now, but has the potential to grow into an enormous beast. I’m not sure how long it will take to get there, but it will eventually be what he does for his living.  I know it like I know the sky is blue.  I’ve got my own little business idea brewing. I’ve had it for a while, but only recently had the courage, mental capability, whatever you want to call it to put my thoughts into action and see where it goes. My husband is fully supportive and actually has a greater vision for my little biz than I do right now. I’ve also taken steps to advance my photography. That’s a totally personal hobby/passion, something I’ve never really spent time on but I’m finding it important. It just feels good to be behind the lens. Once I pick up the camera and start clicking, I can’t stop. It fulfills a place in my soul I didn’t know existed. This little blog here was born out of the tragedy of 2011. I’m not sure where it’s headed either. I love having a place to express my thoughts and share a few of my pictures, but I’m certainly not attracting thousands of readers. I haven’t told anyone in real life, except my husband, that this blog even exists. Maybe someday, but not right now. I just feel like I need to keep writing, need to keep sharing. Hopefully my story, my journey, will help someone else through a difficult time. At the very least, I can read through some of my older posts and see growth, which was really my intention all along.

We rang in the new year last night laying in bed, with me struggling to keep my eyes open until midnight. It’s never been a big party night for us, and last night was no exception. Save the fact we got all the Christmas decorations taken down and put away…that deserves a little celebration, right? Except I think both of us wanted to see 2011 off last night and take a deep breath, look 2012 in the eyes and say, “bring it on.” I’m still not sure where this little life of ours is headed, but I do think 2011 was the start of something big; so it seems wrong to just write of 2011 as a big pile of crap and move on. And I think 2012 holds a lot of potential so long as we’re willing to put in the work. The general fear of failure or fear of the unknown isn’t so great once you experience a loss such as ours. It makes you more willing to take risks, knowing that if you can get through something like losing the twins, you can get through pretty much anything. Teaches you that fear, or not knowing, isn’t a reason not to try. That’s a tough lesson to learn, one I’m not sure I could have learned any other way. So we’ll start 2012 just like any other Sunday. Up early, groaning, as we hear A banging around in her room. We’ll head to church soon and we’re spending the afternoon working on A’s new room so hopefully Baby C will have her own room once she gets here in a few short months. Either way, the Hubs and I head into 2012 with the knowledge that if we work hard enough, if we dig deep enough, if we stay the course, our true purpose and visions will start to become our reality.

Guilt

It’s something I have plenty of.  And something I’ve been really struggling with over the past few days.  If anyone is in need of an extra dose, I’d be happy to share.

I’ve always been a guilty-feeling person.  I guess it’s part of my nature.  It’s also a sign of a lack of confidence, but that’s a different topic.  I don’t struggle as much with guilt as I once did, but it’s still there.  The guilt I deal with now seems more important than earlier in my life.  I feel guilty about my lack of attention to my role as a wife.  I feel guilty about my lack of attention to my role as a house wife/mom.  I really kind of suck at it.  It’s a lot of work maintaining this house with 2 adults, 1 toddler and 3 out-of-control dogs.  We don’t live in squalor, but I’m just not real good about the day to day stuff…and I regularly feel guilty about it.  I feel most guilty about my parenting.  Most days I go to bed feeling as though A didn’t get my 100% all day and I feel bad about it.  I hate the nights when I watch the clock and just wait for bedtime.  I know it happens to everyone, and it doesn’t make me a bad mom per say, but to spend your evenings reflecting upon your day and not liking the conclusion is a tough pill to swallow.

I’m struggling most with my feelings of guilt about this new baby.  My head understands that I cannot expect the same kind of attention, conversation and thoughts be given to this baby since we have another child to care for.  However, it seems like Baby C is only real to me and the Hubs.  And if I’m being honest, I think sometimes she’s not really real to us either.  We were in College Station last week and had stopped to pick up some new Aggie Swag where A selected a small stuffed Revielle.  We, of course, bought it for her and she carried it around all weekend.  It wasn’t expensive at all ($10) and we had extra money set aside for exactly that.  That was Wednesday.  It took me until Sunday night for a light bulb to go off that it never even occurred to me to pick one up for Baby C.  I’ve been feeling guilty and bummed-out ever since.  I’m still beating myself up about it.  It makes me sad and I can’t help but wonder if there’s some deeper meaning behind the whole scenario.  In addition to the realization, it got me thinking about the behavior of our families.  I was pregnant with A the exact same time of year, which means that I was shocked when A was gifted several things on Christmas of 2008; before she was even born.  Now, I find myself fretting that Baby C will get nothing.  Mostly because our families don’t talk about her at all.  No one asks about her, no one really brings her up.  It’s like she doesn’t exist.  I was talking with a girlfriend the other day and she assures me it’s simply the dreaded second-child syndrome.  That it was the same way with her 2nd daughter.  But I don’t know, when I mentioned it to Hubs he reminded me that I/we don’t really talk about her to other people.  He also reminded me that for 20 weeks, she was pretty much a secret to everyone except our closest friends and immediate family and the whole topic was somewhat taboo amongst them, too.  Also, we aren’t sharing her name and we did so with A as soon as we picked it.  Maybe we should change our decision and share her name…but I’m not convinced that would change anything.  So now I feel like I’ve done this to myself and to her.  It’s my fault no one seems to think she’s real, it’s my fault no one is particularly attached to her.  It’s my fault our families don’t seem at all excited about her.  I don’t know how to fix this either.  Hubs suggested ordering her the stuffed Revielle online, but’s it’s just not the same.  He also suggested we talk about her more…but what is there to say?  We haven’t even really begun to prepare for her at all here at home and I have no idea how to go about “discussing” her.  The whole thing just makes me sad.  And the saddest part of all is that I’m concerned our families view Baby C as “sloppy-seconds” after losing the twins.  She’s soooooo much more than that to us.  She’s our little girl.  She’s another person for us to cuddle, for me to nurse, for us to mold and shape and help grow.  She’ll have her own personality and will cement herself into our lives in her own special way.  She’s the sister to our little girl and I know she’s a missing piece to our puzzle.  She was very much wanted even before she was conceived; I yearned to be pregnant with her without knowing anything about her.  Now I know a lot about her.  She’s a thumb-sucker (I was a thumb-sucker) and has big feet, based on my last sono.  She doesn’t like loud noises or loud music in the car.  She’s quiet and still when I get stressed-out or upset.  She’ll start kicking around the most once I have a glass of ice water…sugar and caffeine don’t seem to do much for her.  She moves the most late at night and into the early mornings and tends to be asleep when I wake up around 7.  She wouldn’t exist at all if it hadn’t been for the tragedy of the twins and that right there makes her very, very special.  Like I said before, I don’t know how to fix it and I’m not even sure how to deal with the whole thing.  I realize I may be pleasantly surprised on Christmas, but I doubt it.  It just doesn’t feel the same as it did with A, and it’s a real bummer.

24 Weeks

Ahhh, home sweet home.  There really just isn’t anything quite like coming home.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traveling.  To nice places.  With my husband…sometimes my kiddo.  Traveling to someplace that caters to me, makes my bed every day, picks up my messes and basically demands I do nothing but relax and enjoy.  I think we all know holiday travel meets none of the former criteria.

We’ve made it home safe and sound after a whirl-wind trip to College Station for Thanksgiving and for the football game.  We had a fine time, I especially enjoyed Wednesday.  Hubs was nice enough to run me by the local camera shop and I was able to purchase a brand new 50mm/f1.8 lens to use while we were gone.  I had originally intended to purchase the 50mm/f1.4 but I HADN’T originally intended to drop my camera forcing me into replacing my kit lens.  So, I opted for the lens that was still a major improvement but about $300 cheaper than my original intention.  My next purchase will be made soon, I just don’t know when.  Also, I’ll be replacing my camera body when (WARNING:  Following words may be offensive to some) I can budget (AHHHH!) and save-up (GASP!) for the pricey piece of equipment.  Anyways, we finally headed out-of-town around noon (our goal was 10ish…eye roll) and once we made it into town, had a ball.  Purchased some new Aggie swag (because we can never have enough), took a little tour around campus, watched little A run and have the time of her life around said campus and she was a trooper and even stuck it out for Yell Practice.  She even got to pet Reveille.  I got it on video; she doesn’t realize it now, but that’s a very special thing.  I ended up sleeping with A while Hubs slept in the twin bed in another room.  I hate, hate, hate finally being in the same city as my husband and not sharing a bed with him.  BUT, I felt awful asking A to spend the night alone in a strange place.  I knew she’d be scared.  I slept ok until about 4am when she started squirming around.  Thanksgiving Day proved to be the chaotic and frantic day I predicted it would be…lots of stories I will share with you shortly.  I’m sure you all have stories of your own.  Thursday night was a late one for Hubs and I and when the 2 of us finally crawled into bed with A, we were absolutely beat.  Needless to say, 3 people in a double bed didn’t work very well.  I finally kicked Hubs out around 3am so at least he could get some zzzzzz’s.  I don’t think it happened thanks to his grandmother that insists on rising at 4am and the neighbors roosters, but I digress…Around 3am my child woke up crying and BEGGING to go home.  Cue heartbreak.  She was awake, and so was I, for a few hours.  We hauled butt out of there as soon as we could this morning.  Pulled into our driveway about 1pm, had A in bed for a nap around 1:30 and Hubs and I also crashed for a few hours.  I actually JUST NOW took that shower I’ve been needing since last night.  The Christmas decorations we were going to get started on today are waiting until tomorrow.  I’m absolutely beat, and my body aches thanks to the massive amounts of walking I’ve done over the past few days.  Also, I wanted to take A to a parade tonight but I just couldn’t muster the energy…and the other 2 members of my family seemed more than ok with it but I’m still slightly bummed to have missed it.  So, all in all, a good time was had, but I am so very thankful to be home.  The dogs are happy to be home too.  They stayed with the vet and all 3 of them are absolutely passed out right now.  In fact, I don’t even know where Maggie is, I haven’t seen her since she got home.  They always come home tired…I don’t think they sleep well away from home either.

In other news, today is 24 weeks, which means that if Earl(ette) had to be delivered, she has a chance of survival outside the womb.  Things look much more promising in terms of her survival each week that passes, but there is a slight, and I mean very slight comfort in knowing that she has a chance.  24 weeks also means I have a self-imposed ban on travel until after her safe arrival.  We’re lucky enough to live in an area with several Level 3 NICU’s and I don’t plan to be more than about 10 minutes away from one until after she’s born.  I’m sure that gets me a few eye rolls but, eh, I don’t really care.

So, I promise to be back to play out the hilarious and unbelievable details of our Thanksgiving holiday.  In the meantime, I’m going to plant myself on the couch and watch some mindless tv.  A good night’s sleep is in order for all the decorating that has to take place tomorrow and Sunday.  I’ll leave you with my 24-week self-portrait taken yesterday.  I’m not actually as large as I appear in this photo, but I thought it was cute none-the-less.

24 week belly shot

I can’t seem to name this baby…

Last Friday did not disappoint in its promise to be filled with emotions.  My inability to stop crying after leaving the doctor’s office with the best possible news was a testament to the pent-up stress and worry I’ve been carrying since July.  The weekend brought with it the stress that one feels when one realizes OH MY GOD WE HAVE A NEW BABY COMING AND I’VE WASTED HALF MY TIME BEING WORRIED AND OH MY GOD HOW AM I GOING TO GET EVERYTHING DONE AND OH HOLY CRAP WE PROBABLY DON’T EVEN HAVE 20 FULL WEEKS BECAUSE A WAS 2 WEEKS EARLY AND THEY SAY THE 2ND (4TH) ONE COMES EARLIER AND I KNOW WE DON’T NEED A TON OF STUFF BUT WE STILL NEED SOME STUFF AND I DON’T WANT TO WAIT UNTIL AFTER SHE’S BORN BECAUSE THEN I’LL BE DOING EVERYTHING WITH A TODDLER AND AN INFANT AND OH MY GOD THERE’S STILL THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS TO DEAL WITH.  So, alas, here I am, 6 days out from my BIG doctor’s appointment and I’m not feeling the magical release I was hoping to feel that would remain for the duration of this pregnancy (I didn’t really expect it to happen, but I was slightly hopeful).  And I can’t seem to name this baby.  Names are important to me, and it is also important to me to have a name quickly so that I/we are able to call this baby by name.  The problem is, the last time we FINALLY decided upon names, our babies died a few days later.  I feel like once I name this little girl I’ve started the beginning of the end.  I suppose she already has a name; I do believe, after all, that God knows us before we are even formed in the womb so it really doesn’t matter that we haven’t decided upon or discovered her name yet.  If she already has one, the act of us actually making a decision isn’t going to affect the outcome of this pregnancy at all.  Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.  If I’m being honest with you, I think she already has a name.  There’s one I tossed out a few days ago and just as easily as A’s name was decided upon, this one went over well and meets all of our requirements.  Hubs liked it and even came back a few days later to tell me he’d been thinking about it, and really liked it.  I think he’s ready to commit, I’m not.

In addition to the naming conundrum…I can’t buy anything.  I want to, badly.  I at least purchased her a tiny sock monkey doll so she’ll have SOMETHING we’ve given her at the hospital.  It was one of my biggest regrets with the twins…to not have anything to give them, to put in their bassinet, that we had purchased for them.  But I don’t feel the joy and excitement one should feel purchasing teeny-tiny baby items and I still feel a lot of fear.  I think my defense mechanisms are working overtime.  If I don’t buy anything, then I won’t get so attached.  I don’t want it to be that way.  I want to go out, happen upon some toy, blanket or piece of clothing and feel that tug to purchase it for MY little girl.  To have that quick mental image of her wearing it or playing with it.  I have a whole list of items I want to purchase and I probably need to start getting at least a few, but I’m just still so scared.  Even though I feel her move daily, it’s not constant.  She’ll have REALLY active days then be fairly quiet for several days which leaves me constantly shaking my belly to wake her or darting to my room for a quick doppler check.  I’m so sad for the loss of innocence about pregnancy.  I would love to go out shopping, blissfully unaware of the potential tragedies that are experienced everyday.  I would love to make purchases lovingly and not make purchases with the thought, “Gosh, I really hope she gets to use this.”

I have an unexpected “day off” today.  Hubs will be out pretty late tonight for a meeting, so he hung around and took A to school.  My mother-in-law called yesterday and wanted to pick her up from school and keep her for a few hours.  So basically, I have until 5ish all to myself and I don’t even have to cook dinner thanks to some yummy left over beef stew in the fridge.  It actually worked out great.  I have several errands to run and a few things to do around the house.  I ordered most of A’s Christmas presents yesterday off Amazon and need to pick up one more thing for her today.  I have NO CLUE what I’m going to do with all the boxes once they arrive.  NO CLUE.  I need to run to the post office, purchase several birthday gifts for parties this weekend and I’m sure I’ll go to Target.  I always go to Target.  Also on my agenda for the day…order baby bedding.

Results

It’s been a challenging 24 hours.  I almost wrote about it yesterday, but I was getting kind of tired of myself so, I didn’t.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  First, I was up late.  Damn ball game.  Then it was cold.  And once I woke up this morning around 6:30, there was no going back to sleep.  I couldn’t stop shaking, my stomach was in knots and no matter how much I told myself to calm the eff down, it didn’t work.  My defense mechanisms have been working overtime to prepare me for the worst possible news; I’ve been there…it does happen.

My appointment was at 8:30.  First one of the day.  Of course, the tech was late.  Blah.  And while very nice, proceeded to inform me she wouldn’t be able to give me any results…I would have to wait for my doctor to review the scans.  Thankfully I was already scheduled to visit my doc right after the ultrasound.  She was aware of my history, I made sure to tell her first thing that I was totally freaked out.  That all I cared to hear was that my baby was healthy…

I’ve been crying since I left the doctor’s office, I can’t seem to get the tears to stop.  Surprisingly, I haven’t done a ton of crying during this pregnancy so far, I guess I’ve been saving it up.

It’s a girl.

And y’all…she’s perfectly healthy.

It's a Girl!