Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Bird's Nest

Nell got a "fisheye" shot of the nursery.

Some little details.

Little Girl's room is very small so we had to really use the space carefully. There is no closet or built in shelving or anything. Here are some things that we did to capitalize on the space:
-Changing pad on dresser
-Baskets under the crib
-Book shelf with baskets
-Pocket shelves with baskets next to the glider as well as over the diaper changing area.
-all baby gear that I got is the smallest, cheapest, and most collapsable model i could find so that it can be stored under the crib, in the corner or in the dungeon. Seriously, everything: baby bath, baby swing, bassinet, packnplay, etc...

I have been amazed at how economically we could put together this space. I got the crib years ago at a garage sale for a few bucks and Landon refinished it with spray paint. I bought the glider for $35 at a local consignment shop and refinished it with fabric given to me by my sis. The mattress i purchased used on consignment for cheap. Otherwise, we already had the dresser and book shelf. Friends and family have been so generous to us at our baby showers, we really haven't needed to buy much at all. 

Mom and Nell helped put on the finishing touches during their Christmas trip out here. I specifically asked my sister, who is crazy organized, to help me come up with some creative storage ideas. And my mom really can look at a room and have great vision for its potential, so they were a huge help. I felt like I had to harness them a little bit, as they were very excited and had A LOT of ideas. I still wanted the space to be simple and be ours. And I think it is exactly that! I am very grateful and so excited to put our Little Girl in here soon.

Any day now....

Friday, December 28, 2012

Little Baby: 37 weeks

  Merry Christmas!

Family left to return to Colorado Wednesday and we are getting a little R&R&R (rest, relaxation, and regrouping) around our house. I am fortunate to have been able to take off the entire week, which is 9 days! What a luxury. During those 9 days, it SNOWED! We had near-blizzard conditions at times and sweet floating snowflakes at other times. I LOVE having white Christmases, and this year we were clobbered with snow. Dad and Landon were able to ski on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and ice climb as well.   Mom and Nell helped me put together a beautiful nursery for the baby (or maybe i helped them put it together...). Otherwise, we just spent some good time together.

It snowed all day yesterday and into today. I really would love our baby to be born on a snowy day. Days of snow are so peaceful and beautiful.

Enjoying my Christmas present from my baby's daddy.
It'll fit better come summer. Excited to get our family into the woods!

Little Baby is 37 weeks

This is a very important week as Little Girl is finally full-term. 

I had an appointment with my OB today. I am 2 cm dilated, and 80% effaced. She thinks baby could come any day, although she said it could also be a few weeks. So we will just wait and see. 

Unfortunately, I tested positive for StrepB, which will complicate labor plans a little bit. This just means that I will be administered an IV antibiotic during labor and things need to progress relatively quickly to decrease the risk of infecting her. according to the CDC, if I am given antibiotics during labor, she has a 1 in 4000 chance of contracting GBS. 

Today I packed my hospital bag. Baby's was packed last week. So we are ready to go whenever the time arrives! 

I still feel like there is much to do at work in preparation for my maternity leave. We have hired an intern who will help out during the 10 weeks that I am on leave. Many people ask me when my leave begins and i'm planning on working until my water breaks. I'm not sure if it is wise to work until "d-day", but I'd rather spend every day of the 10 weeks with my baby girl instead of sacrificing those days to merely sit around waiting for her arrival. 

I will update again after my appointment next week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Little Baby: 36 weeks

Christmas Eve. What a joyous time of year!

Right now my parents and sister are in town to celebrate Christmas with us. It is really wonderful to get to celebrate Christmas in our own home without having to travel at all for the holiday. It takes a lot of stress out of the season - getting to stay home.

On their first day here, Mom and Nell were on a mission to help me complete the baby's nursery. It is just beautiful. In fact, I am sitting in it right now as I write this. When the husband saw it complete, he called it "The Bird's Nest". That's about right. It's the sweetest birdy-themed little room for our little chick! Now all we need is the baby. It feels great to have the nursery completed. 

36 weeks:
Last Monday (a week ago), I was 1cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby was in position -1 in the birth canal
(sorry, i was unable to resize this one)

Women can stay dilated 1cm for the entire last month of their pregnancy. However, the effacement and lightening (dropping) of the baby in the birth canal means that this baby will probably be early. That makes me happy. I want her to stay inside as long as it takes for her to be healthy and strong when she comes out, but i would really love to finally hold her and to finally not have a pregnant body any more. 

The news about her progress kicked both landon and I's nesting instincts up a notch. Three days last week I woke around 3am with baby concerns on the mind: choosing a name, packing our bags (mine still isn't packed), finishing the nursery, getting the rest of the baby stuff that I need, etc... Made for some exhausting days, having not gotten much sleep last week. People tell me that it's just preparing me for my lack of constant sleep once she arrives. But at least when she is here I don't have to go to work for 8 hours in such an exhausted state. I'll let you know later if these sleepless nights "prepare" me for anything. My guess is that lack of sleep doesn't prepare one for lack of sleep ;)

I completed my breastfeeding class last week. It was interesting. I spent the break crying in the bathroom because I was the only expectant mother in the entire group to plan on putting her baby in daycare. It made me feel like a poor parent. I think the class did a good job at teaching about what to expect if I have a "normal" experience. I didn't learn anything about unique situations or babies. I didn't know that breastfeeding takes up practically half of your new-mommy life at the beginning. Sheesh. I am looking forward to it, though. Here in Utah, you get very experienced women teaching these classes. My teacher has 10 children! 

It is exciting to think that Little Baby should arrive in a few weeks. In the meantime, I just keep getting bigger and bigger. I am getting increasingly uncomfortable with some intense round ligament pain, braxton hicks transactions, and sciatic nerve pain. However, I remain so grateful that this pregnancy has gone so smoothly and I have been mostly comfortable throughout these 9 months. 

In a few days Little Baby should be full-term. I am not going back to work from my Christmas vacation until Monday. Having a long 9 days off is something that I have been really needing and looking forward to. 

Tomorrow is Christmas! So grateful to get to celebrate the gift of "God with us" with my family in Utah this year. Merry Christmas to you and I hope you will celebrate with much joy and thankfulness. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Little Baby: 35 Weeks

  Our baby had hiccups at around 5am this morning. Sleep is hard to come by these days, for Mr McBrayer and for myself.

With only 10 days until our little girl is full-term, we are getting more prepared for her arrival.

Baby's daddy built a cloth diaper sprayer with about a billion separate parts that he located from the hardware store and a plumbing shop. 

It works beautifully.

We had two Christmas parties with our colleagues this last week. I've also had several days of Christmas cooking and crafting. So we are feeling Christmas drawing near and are looking forward to the arrival of the Sheely family come Friday.

Although we have received 20" of snow in the mountains, we spent 10 hours in a childbirthing class this weekend. 

We were surprised by how much we enjoyed it. We learned a lot. We received a tour of the hospital and every little thing inside of the labor and delivery rooms and recovery rooms. I really appreciated that because I feel like i can visualize this whole mysterious and terrifying experience better, which makes it less mysterious and terrifying! It was fun to be surrounded by other parents-to-be and hear their questions. I really am amazed at how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful pregnancy. I think I took more bathroom breaks than all the other women, but i wasn't miserably huge, on the verge of passing out, unable to fit in my shoes, hormonal, or snacking on tums... 

Doony putting in his 15 minutes with "the belly". It was 25lbs. He didn't like the way it felt on his stomach, and it was uncomfortable to wear standing, he said. I told him that I've put on more than that! Luckily for me, though, it was a gradual 8 months instead of 8 seconds, so my body is more used to it. I didn't have him try to tie his shoes walk up and down the stairs, ha! 

This last week has been nice because for some unknown reason, I have been more comfortable in general than the week before. This week, Little Baby stayed curled up inside my belly pretty well. I did feel her often pushing beneath my ribs, but I didn't feel like she was being magnetized away from my body, like i did the week before. Today, however, has been a different story. It is a little more than uncomfortable. It is a little painful to feel my skin stretch to tightly, and sometimes i feel like her boney butt and little feet have got to be bruising me with the discomfort she causes.

Updates in pregnancy land:
my belly button is starting to pop out just a little bit (can't see in the picture). 
I haven't shaved my legs in 3 weeks.
She is 20 inches long and 5 1/2lbs. 
We still don't have a name for her. 
Even my maternity clothes are starting to get too small.
Thoughts of being able to drink beer or go skiing in less than 2 months makes me giddy. But not as giddy as the thought of cuddling my baby girl at last...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little Baby: 34 Weeks

  I feel so fortunate when the big snow storms arrive during the weekend. It is wonderful to wake to snow and be able to just sit home and enjoy it instead of bustling off to work. This was another snowy weekend this winter and I took full advantage of it by making a lot of Christmas goodness in my kitchen while singing along to Christmas music. 

Landon preparing his powder skis last night for this morning's 12 inches of powder.

Like I mentioned previously, I'm not making much for Christmas - especially not with my sewing maching. Every year, though, I like to put together something in my kitchen in bulk that I can give to multiple people, like colleagues or friends from church, or whomever we would want to give a gift.

Burlap pillow covers I made for this winter

Also this week I felt like I was truly in the thick of this pregnancy.

Little Baby is 34 Weeks:

By now our baby is 5lbs and 19 inches - pretty big baby, eh?
This week the "nesting" instinct not only arrived in force, but totally clobbered me. We were finally able to put a dresser in the baby's room which was the last thing I needed in order to begin putting the nursery together.  We don't have a closet in there so everything has just been sitting in piles on the ground waiting for this dresser. Sorting out all of the baby's clothes and washing it all and organizing it in the dresser took several hours and a lot of it was in the middle of the night. Wednesday morning, I woke at 3:30am and couldn't think of anything else except for our little girl's room so I just gave up on sleeping and spent that entire night/morning doing her laundry and sorting through her drawers. I was the first person in Target that morning to buy a few things I realized I still needed after I took an inventory of everything we have. 

A few days this week I have awoke in the morning to find Landon on the couch. My snoring is getting worse, apparently , which is absolutely a pregnancy side-affect!

I also have experienced my first sciatic nerve pain, which was honestly awful. It was so piercing and painful, I could hardly walk by the end of my work day. It took 3 or 4 days to go away completely. 

My maternity clothes are starting to feel too tight and uncomfortable. I've never been one to lounge around in pj's, but every day when I get home I put on my elastic pants and baggy sweatshirt immediately. 

I have had several people this week tell me that it looks like the baby is coming "any day now". These kind of comments don't actually bother me.  I certainly feel huge. I hate to inform them that I still have a month and a half. erg!

This baby FEELS huge. I actually asked my doctor of she was sideways because I can often feel her feet on my ribs or my hips. And my doctor thought that I was funny. In fact, our little girl has been head-down for a long time and still is, she is just running out of room in there and sometimes likes to kick her legs out in uncomfortable positions. 

I officially cannot tie my shoes any more. Luckily I have several velcro or slip-on shoes in my winter wardrobe. And the sweetest husband ever.

Next weekend we will go to our birthing classes, of which I am a little nervous about and a little excited about. I really have no clue about childbirth and neither does my husband (beyond what you can learn on the internet), so I am hoping it will help us feel more prepared

I am looking forwar to Christmas. And Doons and I finished our Christmas shopping this week, and with new snow and Christmas crafting complete, I am prepared and stoked. I am excited to have a week's break from work and family here to visit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Little Baby: 33 Weeks

 Welcome December!

This week we have begun Christmas preparations around our home.

Decking of halls with Christmas lights and the smell of evergreens are my favorite parts of this season (except for the snow, of course!) Our Noble Fir is beautiful! As several of our Christmas lights are at least 10 years old, we had to expire some of them this year. So our Christmas tree has doned LED lights. It is less traditional-looking but still beautiful. Doons and I are fortunate that we both brought a box of our childhood Christmas ornaments into our marriage, so it is really fun and special to sit here and look at our ornaments, some just as old as we are! 

With December now here, I am reminded that our daughter will be born NEXT MONTH! amazing. 

At 33 weeks, she is 4.5lbs and is 19 inches. 
Her movements are less extreme but she squirms for longer durations these days. I am finding that her movement has become much less of an annoyance and is now a comfort to me, to know that she is doing well.

Sleep has been our biggest struggle around here. I have been slightly under the weather, which makes it hard for me to breathe at night. This pulls me out of sleep often. Landon has spent several nights on the couch as my snoring and constant movement make it nearly impossible for him to sleep. Today we skipped church, both of us conceding to more sleep. 

The aches of pregnancy are getting more uncomfortable. This week I experienced my first braxton-hicks contraction, which was more of a surprise than anything. My back aches often, and I find myself using a heat pad while I'm at work and when I lay down for bed. Heartburn is becoming a regular occurance, and I can't believe that some people have to put up with it all of the time. I can tell that my joints have loosened up a bit, especially my hips. By 4pm most days, I feel like our little girl is being pulled forward and down by gravity which can sometimes be a little painful - i like it when she's crammed in close and snug.

As I mentioned last week, I still have some sewing planned. With the preparations that I am undertaking for this baby, I don't have as much motivation or time to do home-made gifts this Christmas. Usually I really enjoy making things for family and friends but this year I will just surrender to the other things (mostly this baby!) going on in my life... Maybe next year (would I really have more time with an 11 month old?).

The husband and I are trying to make every day an enjoyable time together. This week we went out to dinner one night and to a movie another. Things we don't usually do too often, but we want to take advantage of these last few months (weeks!) when we are baby-free and can go out on the town without any cares beyond each other. Dooney and I have so much fun together and are blessed by such wonderful friends. This is a really wonderful season of our life. We are so grateful.