Thursday, September 20, 2012

38 weeks!

How do I say this?  Today is the first day where I don't feel anxious to just go ahead and have this little boy come.  Um....  Today is the first day where I bodily feel content to still be pregnant.


38 weeks and 2 days!
For those that missed that post a couple days ago that detailed my run in with an overly stuffed grocery bag and the nearly gut wrenching pain my lower right back has been in, just know that for the last month I have been in agonizing lower back pain.

And today for the first time, I have been limping around out of habit and not out of pain.  :-D !!!!!!!

My chiropractor finally was like, "you need to go back on active care and get in here several times in a row."  I was in so much pain that I readily agreed and was accordingly told to get in there 3 times last week and 3 times this week (and who knows what in the future).  Finally after having 5 adjustments fairly successively in a row, my excruciating back pain is lessening.

People, I cannot tell you how amazing that feels.  My wallet could tell you how amazing that feels though given how much I've spent at the chiropractor in the last week and a half.  But let me just assure you that while it stings ever so much the thought of spending a chunk of money at the chiropractor day after day (and I realize I am SO blessed to be able to do that anyways), I have to admit that it has drastically improved my pain, my mood, and my outlook.

So getting back to the whole anxious baby arrival thing?  I have been in so much pain for the last month that all I could think about was getting un-pregnant for the sake of letting my back recover.  Not going into labor so I could hold my bundle of joy. Not the excitement of getting to meet little baby brother and cuddle him like I do his older brother.  Not even because I was tired of pregnancy aches and pains.  I was in So. Much. Pain. from the lower back injury (exacerbated by being pregnant), that all I could do was think of myself and how much I desperately wanted - needed - to have this baby as early as possible just to stop the pain.

And you know what.  Today is the first day in a long time where I've been content to be pregnant and to continue to let this little one bake as long as he needs to.  Today I'm enjoying knowing he is safe in my belly still and I don't have to worry about the host of things in life that will bombard him once he is out.  Today, in spite of normal pregnancy aches and pains, I feel as though I move about the house easily and pain-free simply because I don't have the near debilitating pain in my lower back.

Today I love being pregnant, love this little one and limp out of a protective habit not because it is actually needed today.

Now goodness knows tonight I could sleep on my back wrong again, or twist a little too much and sneeze at the same time and cause that one spot to slip back out of it's so gingerly aligned correct placement today.  

But that is tonight or tomorrow, and today is right now.  Right now I'm so grateful God has blessed me with some refreshing enjoyment of being pregnant.  Grateful that I don't have to wish for this baby's arrival simply because I'm in so much pain.  Grateful that I can look forward to snuggling him and kissing him and loving on him.

I've said it before and I'll say it again -

Any day now baby bro!

But today there is no rush if you need a little more cooking time.  ;-)

A Day in the Life of....

...38 weeks pregnant.

written yesterday evening and then forgot to hit publish

1. Seed milk time!  Every 5 days or so I whip up some seed milk for little Chuckles.  In addition to our normal seeds and dates, the one this morning had a splash of vanilla, some unsweetened coconut and a little bit of chia.  Fun times.

2.  Green smoothie time!  One of the few pictures Charlie actually posed willingly for - with a smile - and for more than nano second.  We love our green smoothies and love starting out our days with a healthy dose of greens, fruit and seeds.

3.  Yesterday I was 38 weeks on the dot.  But we frequently forget to take my weekly pictures on the real day, and actually, due to a melt down during breakfast and Daddy rushing out the door to work, we forgot it yet again today.  So I snapped this quick, just to make sure we have something for this week, should I continue to forget to take it.  I feel so. big.  And so. ready.  And this baby is so. low. I can barely bend over anymore.  Any day now little dude.

4. I think I should get props for trying out a new hairstyle at 38 weeks.  I haven't tried a new hairstyle in months!!  What possessed me I'm not sure.  I've been wanting to try it for a while, and maybe I was secretly hoping it would be easy enough to do that, when labor threatened, I could quickly do my hair and might have shot at a better "first picture with baby after birth" picture.  You should see my first picture with Charlie.  It's awful.  But I'm glad I have it nonetheless.  It's all about memories peeps, not beauty.  But if I can get a labor friendly hairstyle in, I'm not complaining. ;-)

 5.  My sister and I are gung-ho hard lotion bars right now.  In fact we are in experimental mode.  The bar on the left is one that I've had for a while and love.  The middle is one I just received from Made On, and the one on the right is a homemade one that Carrie made.  We are trying to get the consistency just how we like it so that we can successfully make homemade bars for ourselves.  SOO much cheaper.  But if you you have really dry hands and don't have a hankering to try making yourself, I seriously recommend purchasing a bar to try - especially a Made On bar.  My hands are in love.

6.  I have discovered a love for crowder peas.  My husband has always loved them, but just this summer I've hopped on the band wagon and joined in his enthusiasm.  I managed to make it to Farmer's Market this morning and bought a 1/2 bushel of crowder peas to freeze for later use.  I actually weighed it out and finally figured out that a 1/2 bushel of peas is roughly 12 cups or 4lbs.  A far cry from a 1/2 bushel of apples which is about 20lbs.  Dinner later?  Yum!

7.  My mom, dad, sister and niece came over today to help me do some last minute cleaning before baby.  So, So, SO appreciated!  DJ actually had to finish her school while she was here and then set about creating a nice train track set up for Charlie for when he gets home from Grammy's.

8.  Some cleaning supplies hanging about.  We (and by that I mean mostly my family) managed to get most surfaces dusted, some windows vacuumed out, carpets vacuumed, my car cleaned out, some clutter picked up and floors cleaned.  My bathroom floor is so clean and slick now thanks to Cathy, and my kitchen floor is Ah-Mazing!  Thanks to mom for bringing her crazy floor scrubbing machine pictured below and taking care of all that built up grime on my kitchen floor that my regular mop wouldn't get up.

9.  If it weren't amazing enough to have family come and help you clean your house, having a friend then come and bring you dinner so you don't have to worry about feeding yourself after a long afternoon of work just tops it off tremendously.  My good friend Karoline popped over to drop off some very delicious kale and white bean soup, sweet potato and apple casserole and blueberry oat muffins.  I had to snap the picture very quickly because I was so hungry I immediately dug in.  So good.  Luckily she gave me a large pot of the soup, so I have leftovers for tomorrow. :-)

10.  Poor Lully got peed on this morning, so he finally made it into the wash this evening.   I am making a rather insane attempt at [at least] potty awareness if not an attempt at potty training.  Yes I know I'm 38 weeks.  It just sort of happened.  And he seems much less reluctant this time.  So it may fizzle out into nothingness again like our other attempts, or maybe this time we'll be blessed to have a mostly potty trained kid by the time baby brother shows up.  Either way, at least this time has been much less mentally tedious on me (in spite of being in pain and barely able to move), and shown me that potty training might not always have to be the bane of my existence.

11.  Things I wish I'd remembered to snap pics of?

A before and after of my kitchen floor - Dude!  Some in action shots of the cleaning going on - peeps were busy.  Dad snoozing in the living room chair during cleaning breaks - :-).  Charlie picking out his cucumber at Farmer's Market - love!  And Charlie Lego-ing it up at Grammy's house with Uncle David.  (Charlie's not obsessed with Legos....or Uncle David....riiiight.... )

So that was my day at 38 weeks and a day.  More varied and unusual than my normal days these days.

Good times. :)

Come any day baby bro!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are you for SERIOUS?!?

I don't even really know what to write.  I spent large chunks of yesterday being seriously weepy if not down right sobbing.  I blame a large chunk of it on pregnancy hormones, but I know I would have cried even if I wasn't pregnant.  So maybe having an easy out was good. :)

We spent our last official therapy session at CPD yesterday.  We took Lisa and Shirley some pictures we colored, we chewed lots of food mommy managed to bring in, Lisa gave us special papers, and mommy started crying.  For real, serious, crying.  Cried in the office.  Cried on the car ride home.  And cried at home.  Charlie sat in the back of the car bewildered and kept asking "what you worrying about Mommy?"  I couldn't even blubber out that I wasn't worrying, just this strange mix of relief/excitement/apprehension/pride/grief/tiredness.  He wouldn't have gotten it anyways, so it's a good thing he eventually gave up and just said "it's okay!  you saw a paramedic truck!".  

I did choke out some giggles.  What a relief he knows just what to say.

For three years we have have trekked to CPD on a weekly or biweekly basis.  I have made pureed foods so much longer than I anticipated.  (Till Charlie was 2 1/2 years old.)  The only peaceful meals I've had are ones where he was napping or at someone else's house (which was rare since monitoring Charlie's eating was more involved and I didn't want most people to have to mess with it).  I have chewed so much food with my mouth open, chanted innumerable times "chew, chew, keep chewing!"  "use your big boy teeth."  "make your tongue move it to the side."  "don't swallow until you've chewed it.", tried so many mouth exercises, nearly broke down multiple times over trying to do nursing, pumping, bottle feeding and bottle exercises all at the same time.  Oh wait, there were definitely break downs.  And we have been through 4 therapists.

Lisa has been our most recent and last therapist.  I forget when we started with her, but I think it's been at least 14 months or so.  She's been patient, encouraging, supportive, understanding, excited for our new addition coming up, and really encouraging through all the tired, sick pregnancy weeks where I knew I wasn't as on top of Charlie's work as I should have been.  She's been great.  We'll be sad not to see her on a regular basis now.  We'll be sad not to see everyone at CPD actually.  When you spend 3 years walking into the same office on a near weekly basis, you do become attached.

So today, we were given the golden piece of information that we are done with active therapy.  I've been dying to hear that nearly the whole time we've been going, yet I'm so apprehensive about being on our own.  Truthfully, we will most likely go back in a couple times after we get settled in with the new baby, for sporadic check ups to make sure things are still looking good.  This isn't goodbye forever.  Actually, I'd still take the baby back in to show him off, and to visit with everyone even if it was goodbye forever, because we WILL miss them.  But along with my shear joy of being released from active therapy, really does come a great deal of apprehension.  Charlie has made tons of big strides in the last 8 months.  He really has grown up and improved and overcome lots of eating issues.  But I know we aren't perfect.  I know there are textures he still struggles with.  I know this won't be the end of my chanting "chew, chew, more chewing".  And I know every meal won't be easy breezy from here on out.

But for now.  We. Are. Done.  :-D

And I couldn't be more grateful.    Thank you Lord for seeing us through.

And now it's off to another baby doctor appt! :-D

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

32-37 Weeks!

32-37 weeks, moving from L to R, starting at the top.

Being pregnant with a toddler is hard.  My hats are off to all the mamas out there who are pregnant with multiple kiddos already.  I know you grow and stretch gradually as God gives you things, but wow trying to imagine this pregnancy with more than one kiddo is hard.

Actually, let me retract that.  Trying to imagine this 3rd trimester with more than one kiddo has been hard.  The rest of the pregnancy I probably could have done with more than one kiddo.  This third trimester has presented with all the typical 3rd trimester aches and pains, plus weird anxiety and insomnia, plus a lower back that has basically given up on me and refuses to work.

Let's all take note that the lower back is not the fault of this baby.  Well, I mean, the babe's partially to blame in that if he weren't here, I'd have full use of my muscles and that darned grocery bag would not have presented so heavy.  Yes, it was a grocery bag that did my back in.   Admittedly, I usually grumble about my grocery baggers under-filling my reusable bags, thereby requiring me to still take home multiple plastic bags on each trip.  Grumble grumble.  Don't they get that my reusable bags are more awesome than that and can heft some serious weight?  However, about 2 weeks ago (gosh probably 3 at this point), I had an over-zealous bagger who over-filled my reusable bags.  Except I didn't catch this phenomenon until I was mid-lift with one of these grocery bags and felt sharp shooting pains all in my right lower back.  I think it was a bag of all cans, disguised with some fluffy produce at the top.

Oh so deceiving and oh so cruel.

Let's just say I've pretty much been limping around ever since and in almost constant pain.  Charlie and I have resorted to so much couch time that I really feel bad for him.  Of course he's not feeling bad because it involves movies and ipad.  :-P

The good news is, I'm still healthy, the baby is still doing well, and I'VE HIT 37 WEEKS AND AM ALLOWED TO GO INTO LABOR ANYTIME I WANT NOW!!!!

Okay maybe that's anytime the baby is ready now.  Wish I could do anytime I wanted. :-)

Actually, I'm in pain so much of the time now that I feel like I constantly grumble.  Not a realization I'm proud of.  Let's see how many things I can be thankful for.

1. Baby is healthy.

2. Baby is not measuring extremely big right now (oh I beg of thee, let him stay that way and not jump up to 9 or 10lbs or something).

3. I can still move period.  Even if it is slow.  and limping.  and painful.  It's not bed rest.

4. My husband has a job that allows me to have stopped teaching at this point, which means I have less needed movement.

5. L&D bags are packed and thanks to some friends, I've gotten more of my house cleaned than I would have on my own. :-)

6. My son still gleefully volunteers kisses to my growing belly, and really does appear to be excited for baby brother's arrival.  (Even if he retracts some of that joy when he sees how busy mommy becomes.)

7. At max I have another 5 weeks of this.  Even if not an ounce of my being wants to think about that scenario, 5 weeks still technically better than having 10 weeks of this left.  I should remind myself of that.

8. I have fresh Farmer's Market crowder peas cooking right now, and I am TOTALLY looking forward to eating them.

9. My mother has, in deference to my birthday request, agreed to bring me a large bag full of ready to steam (meaning washed and de-stemmed) Farmer's Market kale, once a week, for 6 weeks postpartum, just so that I can have my beloved steamed kale, brown rice and tangy tahini dressing while recovering with a newborn, without all the extra work of taking care of the kale myself.  LOVE THAT MOM! :)

10.  I get to hold sweet little baby boy in my arms sooner rather than later, and that my friends, despite the pain, makes my heart glad.

There. Now that I'm on a roll, there are lots of things I should be more thankful for.  But so as not to bore you, I'll cease listing.  That list was more for my personal benefit to remind myself that no matter how much pain I'm in, there are still things in life worth being thankful for.

Feel free to come any day now baby boy!  We love you already and are eagerly awaiting your arrival. :-)