April 25, 2013

Weeks 31 & 32

With all that has gone on the last two weeks I have neglected to sit down and write for week 31, so in this long post I will attempt to touch on details but not inundate you with too much. 

Here we find ourselves at week 32 and as Robert and I enjoyed a late night sushi dinner after our second birthing class we realized how time has flied. November when we shared our good fortune with all of you seems ages ago and yet June is right around the corner. We are thoroughly enjoying our weekly classes as it is bringing light to the journey that is literally just around the bend. Healthy babies are born anywhere from about 37-42 weeks, and labor is not stopped if it begins at 36 weeks, which means in a month we could be undergoing a major life changing event, can you believe it? Sometimes I cannot. As I said before I am not afraid of giving birth, for some reason I know that I can handle it 100% and I am over joyed with the idea of bringing a little one home and all that it entails. In our birthing class this week we talked about fears, ironically the men seemed to have more than the women, and it made me realize how unprepared I feel in other aspects of this adventure. Most of my fears remain in what happens when the baby comes home rather than the hospital experience itself, which may be partly due to our hospital tour two weeks ago. I had prepared myself to come in with "guns a blazing" ready to defend myself and our birth plan, only to be confronted with a very comforting and calming approach to birth. Robert and I have chosen to have Baby Gerrans at Kaiser in San Francisco which is a teaching hospital and has a rather strict reputation. I, like Robert likes to point out, have a much for free-spirited approach to the whole birth thing (he would call it my Santa Cruz hippie-ness, which really shows how little he knows about actual hippies) so a teaching hospital is not necessarily my cup of tea. However, we both care more about the soil than the institution so it was a no brainer choice for us. SF Kaiser is not only a teaching hospital, but it also a high-risk hospital meaning that if there is a chance for complications you are birthing there rather than one of the bay area's many birthing centers. Because of this their rates of cesareans etc are much higher than one would like and they freely express that. However they provide and encourage many modern (and ancient) practices for coping which I was very happy to discover. After our tour I felt a wave a relief come over me, which for a pregnant woman is a VERY good thing.

In our birthing class we have met some very nice people and it has been comforting to chat with them about the things we are all going through. Out of the six couples in the class we are the only ones to not know the gender of our baby, which I love and they seem to enjoy too. After the baby shower game that Hayley put together it seems that the old wives would say that I am having a girl, pretty funny since I still feel like there is a little boy inside of me. I did have one day last week where I seriously doubted myself and began to think of Baby Gerrans as a little girl and felt guilty for calling her a he, but alas I still find myself saying he and deep down I still believe we are having a boy. Won't we be shocked when baby comes out as a girl :)

Many of your were able to attend the lovely shower that Shelly, Carolyn, and Lisa threw for me. It was absolutely perfect from the weather to the location, to the food and the details I loved every minute of it. I had never had a shower like that before and for it to be my only one I couldn't have asked for anything more. Hayley, you did an impeccable job with the games, especially the one that incorporated Robert's perspective. Whoever made sure that I made it home with the guests answer sheets, bless you, as we had a great time reading through all of them. I had to get his clarification on a few like the diapers. The question being "How many diapers does a baby need each day?" and his answer was "2 because we are using reusable diapers that's the hippie from Santa Cruz's idea". I believed he assumed that while the baby is wearing one we will be washing the other because in the next question he talks about having to do ten loads of laundry a day :). Low and behold we received some of the reusable diapers in the mail yesterday (thanks Mandi & Katie) and it seems like he might be right. We'll likely use two outer shells a day with about 10+ inserts so he was pretty close afterall :) Now the six dogs thing......over my dead body honey!
I have scanned and posted his answers below for those of you who didn't make it to the shower or would like to read them again.

So we have had the shower, we did the tour, started our preparation classes, and this week I have begun packing our hospital bags. Still haven't received our nursery furniture yet (of course I had to order the made-to-order kind) but they assure me it should be here in the next two weeks. Once this arrives we will be ready for you Baby Gerrans, but please stay in until you are ready for us. I am not to the point of feeling uncomfortable or wanting him out yet. I am still a very content pregnant lady with the occasional foot swelling usually due to the heat (86 degrees? we are still in April right??) or a lack of water (still working on that). People keep approaching me and asking when I am due as apparently I look like I am "ready to pop", even our birthing class instructor mentioned my size. You should see some of the looks of pity that I get from people when I say I am not due until June. Luckily I do not offend easily and I already know I am having big foot's baby, so I am preparing for a big one.

I haven't been nesting quite yet. I did some of this around the 5 month mark, cleaning out closets that is, but maybe that will come when the furniture is here. I have however been reading up a storm. Thanks to Amelia for your recommended reading list which has steam rolled into many other books. I get my love of reading from my grandma's especially my Grandma Donna who was a librarian for many years and gifted me wonderful books throughout my childhood :) It seems that Baby Gerrans is going to be a reader too. He loves to hear me read out loud to him which I did with all the books that I received as shower gifts. His in the womb favorites seem to be Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Dr. Seuss'  ABC's (a theme there?). I am so excited about all the books especially the Dr. Seuss ones as that is what my mom read to us when we were little, and many of you know my life long affinity for The Lorax - that honey is where my environmentalist side comes from, NOT from growing up in SC! I am reading many parenting, birthing, sleeping, and eating books to get ready for Baby Gerrans and it has been so fun! I feel as if I am in college again without having to put all my research together in a term paper, woo whoo! I have made a list (to the right) of all the books I have tackled so far, but still have many piled up on the night stand and am always welcoming suggestions. Robert doesn't share my thirst of knowledge but I think many fathers-to-be are like this because most of the books have a synopsis in the back which he will happily read; 15 pages instead of 300 means we are both happy. I know there is so much bad parenting advice out there and many parents are great without reading a thing, but I like to be informed in every challenge I undergo of all sides so reading is absolutely for me. Yes its not for everyone.

(If you are reading this through your email you have to click on the title to be directed to the actual blog where you can see my reading list, vote for the baby gender and see my favorite resources. Quotes from the readings are coming soon.)

Lastly lets end this really long post, that could be longer :), with a Baby Gerrans story of the week. Baby is growing and growing and space is becoming tight. Pretty soon he will flip (fingers crossed) and get in his birthing position but for now he is enjoying what little space he has left. The other morning as he was giving me my 7 am wake up call he hit my ribs for the first time. Now I have had women describe this to me and state how uncomfortable it is and I have to admit it is such a weird feeling that it is actually really uncomfortable. Something pushing from within on such a concrete part of your structure is so backwards. It makes your whole rib cage shake, which ripples into other parts of your body, totally bizarre. But in typical Baby Gerrans fashion it did not end with just a few kicks. Baby Gerrans proceeded to trace along the entire base of my rib cage, back and forth three times gently. I must have a scientist inside of me as he seemed to be so interested in this new part of his ever shrinking world. It did not hurt by any means but was so fascinating, it was sort of like when he traced Robert's hand, but he traced my rib cage, so cool. These are the moments I truly love the most about being pregnant and why I love having this blog to catalog them.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to cherish the ones you love.


Robert's answer's from shower game.

I will post more shower pics next week when more people have a chance to send them but thought  I would throw this action shot in so you could see how large the belly is these days.

Robert snapped this photo of me trying out our new stroller, I am sure I will be in this position quite a lot in the next year or so :)

April 15, 2013

Week 30 - Sending Love

As I sit here to write I can't seem to bring myself to jot down all the joy I have had this week with the tragedies that unfolded in Boston today. I, like many, have been glued to the news since I found out. Rather than go on about my pregnancy this week I just wanted to take a moment to share my love with you all and encourage you to share your love with your loved ones.  We cannot control the world, we can only control ourselves. Hug, kiss, and hold your loved ones tight, make sure they know how much they mean to you.  Life is precious.

A picture from our honeymoon of the lowing of the flag at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. Seems there will always be some sort of evil in the world, but it will never cease to bring people together.

A note for Baby Gerrans - You have not yet truly entered this world, but soon you will learn that it is composed of many good people and some bad.  As I was driving home from the city today I kept worrying about the kind of world that I was bringing you into, one where such a positive event dedicated to another tragedy can end in such a horrible way. I quickly realized that if we focus on the negative all we get is negative and while this event is tragic all we can do is send our love to those families and do good in our daily lives. The world is not perfect, nothing is, hopefully this lesson is not as hard for you as it was for me. Be strong, have faith, and do good. Know that the world that your father and I will create for you will be filled with unconditional love, hopefully we can spread that love together.

April 8, 2013

Week 29 - Magical Moments

Week 29 started out as grumpy one. Why was I grumpy you ask, who knows! I thought maybe it was the messy house, but it is still a bit messy and unorganized yet my mood has improved so lets just blame this one on hormones :) This week I had a doctor's appointment and everything is looking good. I got to hear the Baby's heart beat which is starting to slow down, totally normal, and was clocking in at 130 beats per minute, also normal. I had to get my first injection, which is way worse than giving blood, and I cried like an infant as I buried my face into Robert's stomach. I started to cry before the nurse even brought out the needle. My doctor had the talk with me about not projecting my fear of needles to Baby, which I totally agree, so Dad looks like you have a lot of doctor duty in the next 18 years :)

We had a truly magical moment this week. As many of you know Robert has changed to a dog-watch schedule, meaning that he is working the night shift. It is hard to switch from a schedule like that to normal people hours on days off, so he often comes to bed in the wee hours. On one of these particular nights he crawled into bed with me and put his large hand on the right side of my belly. As it rested there Baby Gerrans became very curious about it. First he started by punching it and then tracing it, tracing it with one appendage  first (I assume hands) and then with two appendages. The movements where all along the outer rim of Robert's hand. It woke me up as I had never felt this kind of movement before and of course Robert noticed it. We both laid there not moving marveling in the movements of our little one. This was by far the best moment, not only can he hear Dad's voice but they had there first physical encounter, pretty amazing. Baby Gerrans had been a little shy to Dad's touch before this moment so I am so glad that all three of us got to share it.

I bought my first maternity ware this week. Since my belly is getting so heavy my thighs have turned into tree trunks and the inner parts rub together uncomfortably. I bought some leggings to wear under dresses and skirts, which helps keep the waddling down a little :). The size small is a bit big but I am sure that I will grow into them soon. At Mandi's adorable Baby Shower this weekend we played the string game and I used my belly as a marker since she and I look to be about the same size. Her belly is a couple inches larger than mine, as it should she is a month ahead of me, but I am measuring in at 39" this week. In the pics below you can see her and I belly to belly. Can't wait for my shower in 2 weeks, the Grandma's and Aunt Shelly have been busy planning and I know it will just be wonderful!

Lastly I have to thank my lucky stars and make them known to all that I am truly appreciating every moment of this pregnancy. I ran into a friend of a friend at the Farmer's Market who was due with a girl in the first week of June, but lost the baby in March. We also prayed for a family who lost their baby at 22 weeks in church on Easter. These events have got me thinking about how truly blessed I am. We are not out of the clear yet and frankly we never really will be. For the rest of my life worry will be apart of my world. I assume part of becoming a parent will be to face this emotion day in and day out as you never stop worrying about your children, right? I feel so blessed to have made it this far and hold each and every moment so close to my heart. We never know why it happens but it does. I hope that both of those families find joy around the corner.

We are off to a hospital tour this week, which should be very interesting.


Shelly and I with all of her beautiful children on Easter. Check out my Easter egg ;)

Robert and I infront of the fireplace on Easter. Can you spy my protruding belly button?

Here we are belly to belly on Mandi's beautiful deck. Cousins in the womb.

A pillow I made out of my Grandma Marilyn's walking jacket for the twin bed in the nursery. My grandmother wore this jacket all the time, I have many memories of her in it, and now it lives on as a pillow for Baby Gerrans.