Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Thursday, July 31, 2008

NOT Yet! ~ Update!

Went to the dr today and had an exam to check things out. While Aiden is way down there (I didn't need an exam to tell me that - I know quite on my own!), my cervix is not open. So the dr says I shouldn't be going early. That's very reassuring! :)

See you Wednesday, Aiden!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Not YET!

So it is exactly one week before the scheduled c-section... And for the past week, I have been worried over every single contraction I have. Maybe it's silly, but maybe not... In the past 2 hours and ten minutes, I have had 8 contractions. Not what I am wanting. Remember - we really want this guy to wait until next Wednesday before he arrives because Ryan will then get an extra 3 weeks off from work (paid!). I'm feeling the pressure in a number of ways............................

Please pray, send out thoughts, whatever it is you do - that this little guy can stay in there one more week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Than My Belly

I had a dream the other night. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep, couldn't stop thinking. The dream wasn't directly related to Aiden being born, and I actually can't remember now what the dream was about, but I know it made me realize something I hadn't consciously been aware of.

I have been telling Ryan that I'm not sure I'm quite ready for the little guy to come out of my belly and into the "real world." It's not that I'm not ready to hold him and take care of him. I just love having him in there and with me all the time, with just me (yes, I'll admit that!). Right now, he's all mine, but soon I'll have to share him. We joke about that because once he's out, Ryan will get to take him, too. He'll tell Aiden through my belly, mommy will have to share you with me soon!

But what got me thinking this night when I woke up was the fact that, I have to share him with the world now, but in a different way. In my belly, I am the one taking care of him. I take care of myself, and he gets everything he needs through me. I know he is safe and healthy in there. He has everything he needs. Once he is out in the world, though, he is exposed to so much more. I'm not just talking about germs and such, though that's there, too. Other people can affect him, can do him good or harm, can teach him things, can expose him to all sorts of things. I'm not at all worried about Ryan taking care of him. I know he will be fantastic. But I have to think about how others will treat him, what they can and will do to him and for him. I have to worry about what he'll learn, what he'll eat, wear, everything.

The world can be a scary place, and now Aiden will be exposed to that instead of only experiencing the warmth and safety of my belly. He will soon be able to experience discomfort, pain, cold, hunger. There is just so much that can affect him once he's out of me, and there is so much to consider. I love having him in my belly and knowing that he is in the best place possible. Don't get me wrong, I'm not scared. Just as all you other parents, I want the best for my child. I want to know he's protected, he's happy, and that he's getting the absolute best he can possibly have. And soon it will take more than my body to ensure that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


They say that no two children in a family are alike. I think that pregnancy is the same way! There have been some similarities, but there have been a lot of differences between my pregnancy with Camden and this one with Aiden.

Yeah, I still got the severe morning sickness, but this time was worse, I do believe. Never had meds with Camden, though I remember how sick I was through month 5. Not a lot of fun to be dry heaving all day and have to cut back to part time at work b/c I couldn't make it in due to being so sick. But this time, it got too bad NOT to have any meds. I'm still on them. I've been wondering - do I really still need them even now? I've tried to go off a few times, even though I just take one pill when I get up now. But this morning, I forgot! I kept wondering why I was so nauseous when I ate the same thing for breakfast and then when I was still sick to my stomach before it was lunch time. Finally it hit me - didn't take your meds today!! So, yeah, still need them.

With Camden, I got these horrible, horrible leg cramps in the middle of the night - all the time. What a way to wake up, huh? This time, I kept waiting for them. I've had maybe two. I take measures to try not to have them, such as not stretching my legs when I wake up. I always feel that the muscles are so tight and am sure that if I stretch them out before I get up and walk around, surely I'll have a cramp. Not sure if that's made any difference, but I haven't had cramps like I did before. That's been really nice!

I also had heartburn like crazy with Camden!! I carried Tums around in my purse and popped them like candy all day long! I was prepared early on this time. I have some in the bathroom, in my purse, etc, etc. I think I have taken Tums twice! But I'm not complaining. At all.

I can't remember how often I had to get up in the middle of the night during the last pregnancy - to pee, of course. But I'm sure I did it plenty. This time - nope. I think I have woken up and had to go ONE time! Now, I do take measures to help with this, of course. I stop drinking after a certain time each night (or at least only take a few sips if I really need it). I go before I get into bed, and then I read until I'm falling asleep - and am sure to get up and make sure my bladder is as empty as possible before sleep comes. It seems to have worked. I've been thinking this for a while but was afraid to voice it and have my luck change! I think it's pretty safe to say at this point, though. It's been nice not to have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. I do wake up lots, but I'm one of those people that just can't go right back to sleep if I get up. So I am VERY thankful!!!

Weight gain... This one is a little funny to me. I have gained less this time around, but my ending weight is about the same with Aiden as it was with Camden. I started out about 20lbs smaller prepregnancy with Camden and ended up about the same. I wonder if a woman's body just knows where she needs to be or something like that. Hmmm.... Not sure.

I didn't get Braxton Hicks contractions with Camden, which is not abnormal with a first. And with this one, I started getting them at 13 weeks. That's been different for me. I get them all the time right now, but I can tell they're still just BH contractions. Every time I get one, though, I pay close attention to how long it lasts, how often it happens, etc, etc. I am so aware of every tiny little thing that happens to my body right now!

With Camden, I'm sure I had some back problems and sore muscles. But man, this time around it is killing me!! I am aware that much of it is due to some areas being out of alignment, after going to physical therapy for a while. My pelvic area is better over the last month, though it's a little worse now that he's moved down there and pushes on the bones more... My back, though - wow! Now that is just nonstop. That and the pain from my ribs being pushed out, too.

Sorry if it sounds like I went back to complaining there... Not intending to. But these are some of the major differences I have noticed from the two pregnancies. It makes me wonder how the third will be and what other differences I will experience. And yes, there will be a third (at least). ;)

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane...

Ok, so not really - I'm not going anywhere on any kind of plane. But that song has been in my head for the past week.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go....

The hospital bags are all packed just in case - my bag, Ryan's bag, laptop, cameras, everything! All that's left is a few things I still use everyday, and I've got my list ready for that. What a way to make his arrival so REAL other than packing hospital bags. Wow! It also meant that, not only did I have to pack my things (or Ryan's or Camden's), but I had to get AIDEN'S things ready! I had to sterilize his pacifiers (b/c I want him having the ones I have picked out, not what the hospital gives the babies), get his going-home outfit, pack scratch mittens, nursing items I need, and some other little things.

Aiden's going home outfit is really special, sentimental. When Camden was born, my mom made his Christening gown, and he wore that home from the hospital. Of course, nobody expected him to be soooo big, so we couldn't even close the back of the gown! But he still wore it. Nine years later, it's still in perfect condition and waiting for Aiden to wear it home, as well. It will mean so much for him to be able to wear it just like his big brother did!

Camden in his Christening gown that Mammaw Melly made

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Little Grumbling...Topped Off With GOOD Thoughts

So now that I'm in the "final stretch" things are getting even more uncomfortable. You other moms know what I'm talking about. I'm really trying to focus on the great experiences from the pregnancy, but I want to take just a moment to complain a bit. Then I'll be done with it. :)

  • I am not sleeping well AT ALL, of course. I was getting these annoying leg pains when sleeping. Whichever side I was sleeping on, that leg would hurt, waking me up. I would turn over - which is nothing easy at this point!! - to the other side. The leg would stop hurting, but an hour later, I'm awake again from the other leg, the one I am now lying on. Back and forth all night. Waking up every hour or two just to switch sides. The dr said this was normal, actually - from pressure on my nerves from the baby weight. So I've finally found a sort of solution... I am not wedged between two pillows, one on each side, so that I am not on my back or my side (if that makes sense at all!). No more leg problems, but I'm still waking up every hour or two, and it's not really all that comfortable.
  • My back is killing me! Nonstop. Upper. Lower. You name it - it hurts.
  • Every time I move, I sound like it's the most difficult thing ever. I have to put so much effort into getting up, down, everything which means all this huffing and puffing and then big sighs once I'm done with all the work (yes, even from just getting up sometimes!). I can't seem to do anything without making a bunch of noise!
  • Oh, and if I for some reason need to sit on the floor...just try to watch me get up! If Ryan's not around to help, getting up involves both hands, knees, and all sorts of struggling...
  • Every time I move, I have a contraction. No, they're still Braxton Hicks - no labor (thankfully!) yet. But it's still happening all the time, it seems. My whole belly gets hard for a minute or so every time I bend or lean over, and whenever I do all sorts of things! Of course I can't bend much... It can be pretty funny to watch, I'm sure.
  • Sitting down is even uncomfortable sometimes. Now that Aiden has moved down a bunch more, I feel like I'm squishing him at times! And when he moves, he'll move onto my bladder suddenly, then off again, on again... You get the picture.
  • My belly is definitely outgrowing my maternity clothes at this point. I am constantly having to pull down my shirts to cover it all the way (that is - the ones that I can still wear, which are few).
  • Every little thing I do is exhausting! Man - just fixing my hair does me in! Sometimes just standing for a bit has me feeling weak and out of it.
But none of that's stopping me!!! Regardless of how difficult every little thing seems to be these days, I still LOVE being pregnant! People are already assuming that I am anxious to NOT be pregnant anymore and that I'm just miserable. Well, sometimes I'm a bit miserable, I suppose - but I am certainly not anxious to not be pregnant! I am not going to wish away the last couple weeks when I know that once it's over, it's over. Yes, I can't wait to have my little boy in my arms. I still love him being in my belly, though. I get him all to myself and have him with me every second of the day. All I have to do is put my hand on my belly, and I can feel him moving around in there.

I can even watch him and feel him practicing his breathing! My belly will barely move up and down as he "breathes" in my tummy. It's really amazing!

I know I am going to miss being pregnant. I have been looking forward to it for so long, and nine months (well, it's really 10 now isn't it?) does go by so quickly! And I already know that as hard as pregnancy can be for me, I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Totally fits!

So this is the card that Ryan gave me for our anniversary. I laughed out loud when I saw it because it totally fits me! Yes, I will stick out my tongue and go "pbth" plenty. ;) (Oh, he does his fair share, too! But it's all in good fun.)

Inside: Making faces behind the back of whoever's acting childish helps, too.

And yes, we both make plenty of faces at one another - we don't bother with doing it behind each other's backs, though! :)

I just thought the card was hilarious. Totally us!!

Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary!!!

July 15th was my and Ryan's 2nd wedding anniversary. We celebrated the way we normally do (yes, I know it's only been two years, so it might sound silly to say "normally" but we did this the day after our wedding and for each anniversary since and plan on continuing...) - by having dinner at The Melting Pot.

Oh yummy. It was so good. I kept telling Aiden that he needed to move down to make room for all the food I was eating b/c I WAS going to eat it, regardless of how full I might have felt! Haha! There would be no stopping - especially once dessert came our way! It was a great night, and once again we sat in the special, intimate seating areas down "Lover's Lane" (yes, it's really called that), where we had curtains we could even close for privacy if we wanted, which we actually didn't use this year - it gets too hot in there if you do...(from the steam from the food, people!!! geez.... I can hear some of you making little comments about that already. You know who you are!).

Dinner at The Melting Pot in Durham

Yummy! Dessert!!!

And a couple wedding pics :)

Showered with (even more!) Baby Gifts!

This past weekend, we traveled out of town for the last time until the baby comes. I think Ryan's mom was a bit nervous having us so far away from home and me being 36 weeks, but it went well. The traveling wasn't too bad (the trip before was a few hours more driving, so this wasn't a big deal! Haha!), and we took it easy over the weekend. We went to Huntington for a baby shower where we got a lot of nice things. Someone even found some gDiapers for us! It was really cool. She said she heard we were having a "green" baby and gave us some of the gDiapers, some Seventh Generation wipes, and packed them in a reusable back from Whole Foods. I thought it was really cool. (And yes, we are having a "green" baby! And we do use the reusable grocery bags, too!) :)

We also got another homemade quilt, this one from Ryan's sister Rachel. I had no idea she could sew like this! It is beautiful!!! Here are a just a couple pics...

Rachel's quilt for Aiden

Me and Ryan with our moms :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How do you make such BIG babies??

This was the first thing the nurse said to me today at the dr office.

We were in for our visit, with questions in hand (as always!), one of which was if they were going to try to estimate Aiden's size/weight. I know they can't know for sure and a guess is just that, but I am just so curious! I know he's not as big as Camden was when he was born b/c I am not showing that big. But I'm still big and am so curious as to how big Aiden will be. Since we had the cool lady and it was a really early appt (VERY early, so nobody else was hardly there), she said, let's go see! We did a quick ultrasound and got to peek in at our little guy! I was soooo excited!!!

Based on his measurements (head, spine, legs, etc), he is estimated to be 7.4 lbs right now, so she guesses he'll at least be 9lbs when he's born, considering I don't go into labor before the c-section is scheduled. So, yeah, he's not going to be as big as Camden was, but he still should be a big guy. The first thing she said when we saw him was that he IS big. "How do you make such big babies? And with you so small!!" I don't know, but apparently I do!

The ultrasound pics weren't that good and clear this time around. We weren't in for a long one, and he's bigger now, too. Plus, the good machines are at the hospital (where they do the routine ultrasounds). But here is one we got from today that shows his face. The white on the right side is his hair - looks like a crew cut (kind of like dad's hair, huh? haha!). You can see his eye with a little white line under it - that's his eye lashes. So cool that we can see even that. She tried to get a 3 or 4 D pic of his face, but he kept putting his arm over it, making it pretty much impossible. His head was so low down and turned to the back, so it was hard to get a face pic at all to begin with.

Aiden's face at 35 weeks

She also measured my belly, and this time around I do not measure on target - I measure two weeks over (37). I have definitely noticed a difference in the belly lately, especially since I seem to be outgrowing my maternity tops! (Yikes!) And when Aiden moves around now, it can REALLY hurt! Not that I'm complaining. I'll take the bad with the good. :)

We also double checked...and Aiden IS still a BOY. Nice to know. :) Oh, and I really do think he has Ryan's lips.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Aiden's Official "DUE" Date

Officially, Aiden's due date is August 10th, but since Camden was sooo big (11lbs), the drs are going to do a c-section the week before. That size is too big to risk delivering naturally after I've already had a c-section.

So....we were recently told we would need to do the section between Aug 3-5, and we had kind of settled on the 4th. But then...Ryan's work interfered. They have a great paternity leave - he first has to take 3 weeks vacation (which is no problem b/c he gets plenty vacation time from Duke to begin with), and he is then given another 3 weeks paid paternity leave - giving him 6 weeks at home with our new baby (paid)!

BUT they just told him that the "qualifying event" (Aiden being born) must occur on or after he has been with Duke for 12 months. That 12 month mark - August 6th. Are we cutting it close or what?? So the drs say it should be fine to move the section back to the 6th. It's annoying that they can't be a little flexible with one or two days (or even allowing him to take extra vacation time to make up for it), but we are also grateful that the timing is as close as it is and that we *should* be able to make it.

Now we just have to hope and pray that I don't go into labor early... That would not be good! It would be great to have that 3 weeks paid time off! I was induced with Camden on his due date, not going into labor on my own before that, so I'm not too worried. But you never know!!

We still have yet to meet the dr that is on the schedule the 6th, so that is our next move - to meet with her as much as possible between now and then. If we don't like her, a dr we do know and like is on the schedule on the 7th. But this lady has much more experience and we've heard good things about her, so let's keep our fingers crossed. (She's actually booked with appts until the end of August, but I refuse to have a dr I don't know deliver my baby if I have anything to say about it - and I will have things to say about it.)

So - that's that. As of now, Aiden will be joining us on August the 6th at Duke Hospital. And I plan on TRYING to keep July as stress-free as possible and doing as little as possible so that I *hopefully* do not go into labor early!

UPDATE - we have scheduled the rest of our dr appts since we will be meeting weekly from now on. And they managed to get us two appts with the dr that will be doing the c-section. :) I told Ryan ahead of time that I required meeting with her at least twice if she was going to be doing major surgery on me (I think that is quite reasonable of me to expect, too!), and he made that happen. We've heard she's a great dr, and she is one of the main ones at the practice, so we feel pretty good about her - and are looking forward to getting to meet her now.

Please keep us in your prayers that Aiden will stay put until the 6th! Some people have commented that I look like I have dropped some already - and looking at my weekly pictures and basing things on what I (and HE) feels like, I think I have some. I continue to get BH contractions, though they are a little stronger than what they were before (I've been getting them since week 13, though, so that doesn't really say much for now...). The little guy is definitely getting bigger. He's running out of room but still tries to move as much, so I'm constantly yelling "Ouch!" and trying to push him back in a bit so he doesn't hurt as much. And I'm starting to outgrow many of my maternity clothes (yikes! and I still have over 4 more weeks to grow!!!). But hopefully he will STAY IN THERE! :) I know I can't help it if he comes earlier, but I would hate for Ryan to miss out on those 3 extra weeks at home with his new baby!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Mommy, I want to come HOME."

It's that time of year again where Camden has his BIG visit with his dad and their family. He goes to KY for 4 whole weeks, which is hard on mommy. He's always fine with it and has a lot of fun. This time has been a little different, though. He stayed a few days with my mother and his cousin (who is a year older than him) before going to his dad's, and he is getting an extra couple days at his dad's so that we will meet again on a weekend day (well, Ryan will b/c it will be too far along in the pregnancy for me to travel). So, instead of 4 weeks, it's really almost 5. When getting ready to leave him last week, he even said to me, "Why can't you stay?" I was surprised but didn't think much of it. I reminded him that Ryan had to go back to work the next day. He wasn't upset, though. Of course, I cried when we hugged and said our goodbyes, as we were pulling away, and for a while on the road. It's just such a long time away from my baby - and such a big distance, too.

Camden and I saying "Goodbye" for the next month. :(

The next night, Camden called me at 10pm, which surprised me. He kept saying things were fine and he just wanted to talk, though he never calls me - I always call. (I even ask him when he wants me to call him so that I'm not crowding him - even if it's hard to wait, though he usually asks me to call every or every other day.) But he finally admitted he was homesick. He said, "I want to come home." And I could soon tell he was crying, given away by his sniffles and me asking - is your nose running or are you crying? My child has NEVER been homesick in his life (and neither have I, so this is new to me in many ways). Hearing him so sad and crying on the other line just tore my heart into pieces. We both talked and cried for the next hour until he got off to go to bed. He kept telling me he wanted me to come and get him, he wanted me there, he wanted to come home. The hardest part was just not being able to do what BOTH of us wanted (of course I wanted to bring him home!!!) and knowing that he was far away, hurting - too far for me to be able to comfort him. I couldn't hold him or rub his back and sing to him while he went to sleep. I could only talk to him over the phone lines. This was definitely one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had with him - maybe it was the most up to this point even. For once, I looked at Ryan and said, "I don't know what to tell him. I don't know what to do to help him." And that is very hard for a mom.

He's doing better now. Sounds great when we talk and says that he's not as homesick, though he admits he's still a little homesick. I think it surprised him so much b/c it was his first time, and surely that made it harder on him and scared him some. He's getting older and is starting to see things differently, and perhaps that's part of the reason he suddenly got homesick this time. Sometimes it hurts me a little to know that I am missing him like crazy while he's having too much fun to think about missing me. But after this call, I know it feels worse to know he misses me and that he is hurting. It hurts me more b/c I can't do anything to fix it for him, and that's what I always want to do - to make it better. That's my job as his mommy.

Camden wanted a picture with my belly showing. :)
He's so sweet and is really excited about Aiden arriving.
He keeps saying, "I can't wait for it to be August already!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kentucky Baby Showers and Birthday Parties!

We took a trip to KY this past weekend. In two days, we had two baby showers and two birthday parties. It was Camden's actual birthday on Saturday, and big brother could not be overlooked. :) So after each shower, we had a party for him, as well. One of each at my mom's and then my dad's. It was so great getting to see everyone - a lot of family and many friends, some of which we haven't seen in about two years!! I wish I had been able to get more pictures of everyone and had more time to actually sit down and chat more. Being the person opening gifts and all, it was difficult to do that, though. I realize the big downside to having everyone get together is that it is so hard to actually get to spend much time with anyone, so I ended up seeing some people that I really wanted to see but not really getting to have time with them.

We got a lot of nice baby items we needed, many things from our registries and some nice extras, as well. Here are some pics of the weekend:

To see larger pictures, just click on the album and go to our picasa album.