Wednesday, November 24, 2010

38 Week Appointment - Getting Closer!

Another wonderful weekly update on baby Stern. Little guy is anxious to get out of there... and I'm anxious to get him out. I'm closing up shop if he doesn't come out soon! Haha just kidding. He can take his sweet ol' time if he pleases. I don't mind a few extra days enjoying my little man just me and him.

First, yesterday I went to interview another pediatrician. She was referred to me by several people at church, so I figured I'd like her. She was amazing. I am so glad that I found her. She is super conservative with vaccinations and totally supported me with my convictions on them. She actually encouraged me not to get some of them even before I told her my concerns with them. She thinks that the vaccination schedule these days is way too much for a newborn. She also spent tons of time talking to me and understanding my family history. She also gave me some tips on getting through these past days/weeks of pregnancy. So, finally, Cai will have a doctor to go to once he's born. Exciting.

Went to the midwife today again. First of all, good news that he is in the right position. After she told us last week that he was posterior, I have been working really hard on getting him turned around. I have been leaning on an exercise ball, trying not to recline or put up my feet, I've been on my hands and knees a lot. It's been uncomfortable but I REALLY didn't want to go through labor with a posterior baby knowing that it is way more painful and can add many hours onto labor. SO... I've been trying to let gravity do its thing to turn him around. And, she checked him today and said that he is in a great position! YAY because I definitely thought that he was still posterior. Basically, from me looking down on my belly, he is facing my back and his back and butt are all the way along my left side (which is why I constantly have a protruding butt sticking out) haha. And I feel his kicks mostly on my right side. She said that his butt sticks out a lot because he is stretching. Which makes sense... newborn babies are always doing that cute little stretch thing.
She also felt around my belly and said that his head is even lower and it can't get any lower. Basically, he is right in position for delivery. Crazy to think that he is in the spot he will be in for when I start pushing. Let me tell ya... this past week, I can definitely feel it!! He has dropped so low that it is painful to walk. I also was up for about 3 hours last night because my back was hurting so bad. Another indicator that he's ready to come out. Yesterday and today I have been having constant contractions (irregular) and can for sure feel my body doing some strange things. I'm great with my body doing whatever it wants to get ready for labor. That just means less to do when I actually AM in labor. The midwife said that usually people go into labor about 2 weeks after the baby has officially dropped. Well, the boy dropped about 2 weeks ago way into the birth canal. She said... "see ya next week... unless I see you before..." That's a weird thought.

My sister, Christen, is coming and will be here tonight. It would be really cool if he decided to make his grand entrance with his aunt Christen around. It wouldn't surprise me... she has a party everywhere she goes and everyone loves to be around her. She has more friends than anyone I've ever met. Micaiah is probably just excited to meet her :)
We plan on doing a LOT of movie watching and chilling out. She is so sweet and is making breakfast for us tomorrow and then is going to make some turkey, potatoes, cornbread, stuffing and pumpkin pie for us. I'm so spoiled. My midwife warned me not to stuff myself... she said that I may be miserable if I gain too much more weight and the baby still hasn't come by next week. But she can't see how that would happen considering he is about to fall out lol.

Anyway, I'm just here with my irregular contractions... wondering when they will turn into real ones. I'm being spoiled by my husband (whom I totally don't deserve) and soon I will be spoiled by my sister. I'm having constant heartburn (which is weird and random because I thought it went away) and I'm still hoping that the whole heartburn connection with a full head of hair is true. I'm just waiting and honestly loving it and taking everything in. This is my first baby and the beginning of a very huge and defining season for our little family. Time is, surprisingly, going by fast... even though I may not realize it right now. I still can't believe that I am only about a week away from the due date and next week is DECEMBER!? I'm enjoying my last days as a single couple with my hubby. We can't wait to meet our boy, but even through all the discomfort and anxiousness to see him... we are just enjoying life.

SO.... that's the update. Only the baby knows when he will come. So, don't ask me why I'm still pregnant, or tell me I look huge. Otherwise, I'll either smack you or I'll tell you that YOU look huge. Just kidding :)
But, seriously, I'm surprised at some of the awkward and so completely naive things that people say to a pregnant woman. It baffles me.

We are just waiting, like everyone else. I'm not sure of the exact date. So, we will update everyone and you will know when he is here because we will be posting a picture asap!!

Hope everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving, thanking the One who is truly deserving of our praise and taking time to notice how good He is to us. Jesus, You are so good!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Learning to Relax

Things are going good this week so far. Probably the hardest week I've had in my pregnancy, physically, but still going fine.
Yesterday was the most miserable with swelling.. but my most incredible husband (seriously he is) put my feet in a bucket of water, massaged them, and cleaned up the house. Gosh he is so great. I feel like our kids are the luckiest kids on the planet to have him as a dad.

Anyway, the back pain has begun. I don't like to complain about all these things because I know it just means that he is coming. It means that he is that much closer to being here. The swollen feet and hands just mean that he is pushing harder on all those blood vessels. The hurting back means that he's falling down further. It's exciting... while still uncomfortable. I do have an occasional break down here and there just because it hurts sometimes. But, I quickly snap out of it. My son will be here so soon!! I think my back hurts mainly because he is still posterior (from what I can tell). His spine is pushing against mine at this point, and it's causing some back pain. I've been trying everything possible to get him turned around. We got an exercise ball which has been awesome. I lean over it so that the gravity will (hopefully) make his back fall the other way. Even if I start labor with him in posterior, I'm having faith that he will turn. I'm also having more and more Braxton Hicks, which are sometimes kind of painful. My body is definitely starting to move along. Whether he is early, late, or right on time... my body is doing just what it needs to do.

My oldest sister, Christen, decided randomly yesterday that she would be coming to ATL to visit us this week. I am super close to both of my sisters, so I am really excited to see her. She is one of those people that is so easy to have around. She said she will just sit and watch movies if we want (which has been a lot of what I do anyway). She's so thoughtful and encouraging... I'm thinking this is the perfect time for her to come. Plus, she is convinced that I am going to go into labor this week. Haha. We will see about that. I'm trying not to think about it.

And, along those lines, I decided that I am taking a Facebook break. Probably until the baby is born. I have found that Facebook makes it even harder for me to mentally deal with the last couple weeks of being pregnant. I already have tons of people asking me if the baby is here yet day to day (which I love), but having it constantly on Facebook is hard for me. I also have found that I can't quite keep up with messages and phone calls lately. I'm having a hard time as it is just sitting on a couch, much less keeping up with emails and phone calls. I realize that this is a time in my life where it's ok to worry about myself. That's not to say I don't completely enjoy catching up with people... but I feel overwhelmed a little bit with how many people have asked to talk to me before I go into labor. I'm trying to keep my head calm and try to stay encouraged with the Lord and what He has told me about how he will provide during labor. So, for now, I'm going to stick with that and after the baby is out... I will be able to have an awesome testimony of His goodness and how He was there for me. So... I just thought people should know that just in case they feel like I'm not getting back with them. It's a weird season for me (since it is so new) and I'm trying to soak it all in.
Will's rule for me today was to not think about when baby is coming. I am allowed to be excited, but I need to just live my life like it is any other day. I'm not as mobile, so I just need to read a book or watch a movie. I need to recharge before he gets here. (Once again... what a good husband!).

So, that's what's up for now. Tomorrow we have our midwife appointment. Can't wait to see what they say this week :)

I'm still going to keep everyone updated on my blog, so don't worry!! :) haha.

Friday, November 19, 2010

37 Week Appointment- He's Comin!

Here's me 37.5 weeks. Feeling huge, and proud of it. The little guy is growing so fast and every day I feel bigger and bigger. I'm totally learning to embrace it though because I know it is such a good thing.

We went to the midwife yesterday. It was our most exciting appointment yet :) And not just because Will learned some new things.... hahaha.

We got a little bored waiting in the exam room.

Here's the update on the little guy as of now. First of all, we got to meet the other midwife, Margaret. We have heard so many awesome things about her and we were wanting to meet her before the baby came because there is a chance we will have her or the other midwife... depending on who's on call. Margaret has been doing this for 25 years or something crazy like that. She is so knowledgeable in what she is doing. Anjli, her partner, is also sooo awesome. We feel so great about both of them and would love either one of them to be there. We feel blessed for that!
Anyway, the first thing she did was ask me how I was feeling. I immediately responded with, "good, but I'm ready to have this baby" and she said..."well, you know that first time moms usually don't have their babies early, right? Most likely you will be late. I'm guessing mid-December by the looks of your due date." Everyone has always told me this... that first time moms always go late. I have been telling myself this through the pregnancy, so I have been kind of expectant of it... not hoping too much. She said she just wanted me to know the reality of it so that I'm not disappointed. I appreciate that. Then she felt my belly... pushed him around to see where he was at. She looked at me with a surprised face when she felt lower down in my pelvis and said, "your baby is REALLY low." Coming from Margaret, I knew that she really meant it. She is the type of person that would not tell you something unless it was true. Again, she is a realist and didn't want to get my hopes up. She said, "I think he might fall out" :) haha. Then she asked me how long he has been dropped, to which Will responded "oh about 2 weeks." She was surprised by that too. But just in this past week have I felt like he has really made his way down. She quickly changed her mind and said, "well, you could have this baby in 10 days." AHH 10 days?? I've been telling myself that I still have 3 or 4 weeks left. It hit me so hard... yikes! And then as she was feeling around she had to stop because she could feel my braxton hicks contractions coming on strong. It was cool for her to confirm that that's what I've been feeling about 5,000 times a day. I just didn't know it. I asked her, since the baby is so low, what her predictions were on dilation and effacement (since they won't do an exam until 39 weeks). She said, I would guess that you are a couple cm dilated and 80% effaced. She said that she is hoping that I will get up to 5 or 6 cm before I even know I'm in labor... which, by the looks of things, could very well happen. I wouldn't mind that either!! :)
She felt around some more and said, "hmm, I feel too many baby parts by your ribs" she was feeling legs and arms, instead of feeling his back. The baby is obviously definitely head down and in the pelvis, but he is facing the wrong way :( Little booger. No wonder I've been feeling his every movement. My stomach is constantly looking like I have an alien in it because his arms and legs are facing outward instead of inward. I asked her if it was something to be concerned about and she said that normally it just means that you have a longer labor because the baby isn't fitting into the pelvis how he is supposed to. BUT, she said that in my case with the baby already being so low, "he must have a mind and a plan of his own." Haha, that's my boy.

So, she gave me some things to do to try and get him moved around. Will and I bought a birthing ball yesterday, which is supposed to be one of the best ways to turn him. She also told me to get on my hands and knees a few times a day and rock back and forth. Hopefully they help and he is not stubborn!

I really enjoyed hearing all of this because it means that everything I have been feeling is not in my head. Like, I've been feeling TONS of pressure on my pelvis this past week or two. Well, the baby is extremely low, about ready to come out! My bladder doesn't seem to have an off button anymore. I literally go to the bathroom about 5 times before I go to bed in hopes that I won't have to get up in the middle of the night... but still end up getting up anyway. When I have to use my abs to get out of bed, it's SUPER uncomfortable because the poor baby's head is pushing on me.
As with him being posterior... I always thought it was weird that I always felt his feet up on my ribs, when I was supposed to be feeling them on my side. Will and I also noticed for a while that my belly button hasn't "popped" out completely, which was always confusing. It's because a posterior baby wraps around the stomach in a C shape instead of there being a continuous back on my belly. Also, I've been feeling some grinding on my pelvic bone, which is just because he is not facing the right way and his head isn't fitting exactly right, like a key in a key hole. I also constantly feel his little arms and hands wiggling way down low which is one of the main indicators that he is the wrong way.
SO, I'm not a crazy person :) Well, maybe with other things... but that's another post.

I also learned that I have been losing weight. How weird! I feel like I'm eating more than ever, and somehow I am losing?? Last week, I didn't gain any weight. This week, I lost 2 pounds. I asked her if it was normal and she said it does happen, but it's really rare. So, hallelujah! Maybe I am losing some of this dang water weight! Ugh, it's so miserable. My fingers are bigger than Will's... no joke.

The other day, I was nesting more that I EVER have and I completely cleaned the apartment in one day. Seriously took about 4 or 5 hours scouring it. Suddenly I got a burst of energy... and part of me started freaking out that the place wasn't completely ready (in my mind) for the baby. I vacuumed, swept, mopped, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned the kitchens, washed all the rugs, washed all the sheets, washed all the towels, did ALL the laundry and put it all away, pre registered for the hospital, gave Gibson a bath, made my husband lunch. I mean, I was literally out of my mind. Afterwards, my hips have never hurt so bad in my life. I tried to lie down... but it just made it worse. The only thing that gave me relief was the bath tub. Oh I love baths. This is how I know I was made for a water birth :)

Anyway, I truly believe that this little guy will be here really soon. Even putting all my hopes aside of him coming early, my body is showing all signs of an early arrival. I think everyone would be really surprised if he was late. If Margaret says he is coming, he probably is. This lady doesn't mess around. Ha. But, then again, you never know with these little babies.

She made sure I was registered at the hospital and all ready to go. She's also going to circumcise him after 2 weeks of birth. It's so nice that we will wait 2 weeks for that because I love having the peace of mind that he will have some time to let his little body start clotting blood and everything.

So, to sum it up... I am BEYOND excited, slightly freaking out, and still have some patience. I can't believe I will see the little face that has been growing inside of me soon. That I will touch the little feet that have been buried under my ribs. That I will kiss the little mouth that is constantly hiccuping inside of me. That I will smell the tiny head that I feeling pushing on me all the time. It's really not real to me yet, and probably won't be until he comes out.

For now, I am going to go on my daily walk and continue to try to get him in the right position to make his debut.

One thing Will and I know for SURE... we have been praying for him to come in the right time when he is healthy. Well, whenever he comes is whenever he is healthy. I can rest on that.

So, now that we are truly in the last days... any predictions on birth dates for the Cai guy? I'm still sticking to my November 25th... Will is still stuck on his Dec 3rd. Will he be a November or a December baby? I guess only he can decide.

Friday, November 12, 2010

36 Week Appointment

We had our 36 week midwife appointment yesterday. Again, not much to report besides the fact that the little guy is doing awesome.

She said I am measuring 37 weeks... sooo maybe he actually WILL come early?? Either that, or I will have a big baby :)

I was surprised because I hadn't gained any weight in an entire week. This hasn't happened in my whole pregnancy (well, not since 1st trimester at least). Apparently the baby is still gaining weight, but I might start losing some weight due to losing some fluids and what not.

My test for Group B streptococcus came back negative. YAY. This means that I don't have to be put on antibiotics while I'm in labor. I hate antibiotics, so I was so excited about this. I guess it is a normal thing that women can have, and if passed to the baby it can be dangerous after birth where the baby can catch pneumonia and other sicknesses.


I am frustrated at ALL those people who told me that the last month of pregnancy is torture. Not really frustrated, just laughing. I didn't realize how much my body is made to do all this. This last month has actually been really enjoyable so far. I am surprised at how well I am able to get around, even despite the baby being dropped. I go on walks every day and it is really no different than when I was walking at 6 months. I may have to put my feet up more every once in a while, but it really isn't so hard. I'm so thankful for this. Because of what so many people had told me, I was expecting to feel like a train ran me over 50 times a day and that I would be miserable. I mean, my back doesn't even hurt. I still have 3 more weeks til the due date, but I am highly expectant to stay feeling good! :)

I watched some water birth videos online last night and it HIT me! I will be doing this veryyy soon, and it also hit me that I have an actual baby inside of me. All of the babies they were delivering were around the same age as mine and same weight. I have a real baby in me. That is so crazy.

I also learned that in the last month of pregnancy, a baby cries in the womb. Because they are practicing for life outside the womb, they will cry if they are hungry or scared from a noise. It makes me sad that my little guy might be crying. Well, obviously he's not crying... he is showing facial expressions that show that he's sad. Awww! Poor thing.

Haha. Anyway, that's it to update right now. It's basically just a waiting game at this point. Still hoping the little man comes early. Will and I made bets of when we thought he would come. Mine is November 25th and Will's is December 3rd. We will see! Hopefully we won't go until December 20th... but, if that's when he's ready, that's when he's ready.

Here's an update on what he's up to...he's actually more like a 37 week baby by now, but this is 36 weeks. Just in case you didn't know what everything is, it's labeled for you :) haha.

Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Walk Through The Years

Yesterday was our 2 year anniversary. I can't believe that it has already been 2 years since that frigid cold day in November. The funny thing is, I didn't care one bit that it was 30 degrees and we were outside for 2 hours taking pictures. I was so enthralled with Will and so excited to be his wife. I felt like I was in a different world and nothing else mattered.
Today, I feel even MORE that way. I am so in love with this man that God has given me and feel incredibly blessed that God chose him for me. I truly feel undeserving... which makes it even more special.
We have been reminiscing and talking about the past 2 years... and all we can come up with is how much we love how much more we've fallen in love. There is so much more grace for each other in our marriage, there is so much more understanding, so much more just pure love for each other. It's beautiful :) Even through the, what most would consider, "hard times" that we've had... they have surprisingly brought us so much closer. Most newlyweds don't have to move across country twice in 6 months. Or most newlyweds don't have to have 3 different jobs, 3 different places to live, and 4 different churches in 6 months. This past year has definitely been interesting... but God gave us so much grace to go through it together that now all we can say is how extremely BLESSED we are because we came through it together and our marriage is stronger because of it. Isn't it great how God works? I trust Will more than ever before. He is the best spiritual leader and so dependable. I LOVE the thought of depending on him. It's wonderful.

Anyway, happy anniversary to my one and only love. Thanks for these amazing past 2 years and for always sticking closer to me every day!! Can't wait to see you as a dad in a couple weeks. I will love you even MORE (and I don't know how that is possible). You are incredible.
Love you, Will Stern :)

A look at our relationship through the years....

Will invited me to The Call. Afterwards, he sat by me on the bus ride home and decided that he would officially "pursue" dating me :)
Will asked me on our first date. Best night ever. He showed up in a tie and coat with flowers in hand. Took me to Maggianos for a nice dinner and then to a fun coffee place afterwards.
We took a trip early on in our relationship to visit my sister and RC in Columbus. Our very first road trip together.
MARCH 2008
I was in Florida visiting my family at the same time Will was in Florida with his family. They invited me to come up for a couple days to spend time with them. He also met my family for the first time.
Will is always making me cry when I laugh. He is so funny.
APRIL 2008
Early days of dating at Destiny.
MAY 2008
Random pictures in the park with Will's new camera.
JUNE 2008
Will met all of my dad's side of the family at my grandma's 80th birthday party.
Putt putt with my fam.
The airplane ride home, right before he proposed.
JUNE 30TH 2008
Proposed once we got home. I was a happy girl!
Engagement pics.

After 10 months of dating and engagement, we tied the knot.
THE kiss.
First dance to the song he wrote me.
Cake in the face :)
Freezing cold, but I didn't care.


About to take an evening boat ride over to Kokomo.
Stuck in the ocean on this stupid thing, going in circles.

Horseback riding through the Jamaican mountains.
Marriage license. It's official.
First Christmas.
Loving the snow.
MARCH 2009
First trip to Sanibel as a married couple.
On the boat with my parents.
MAY 2009
Decided to buy some chickens when we visited my sister in Kentucky. Goes down as one of our favorite memories :)

Decided to buy this little guy. BEST dog!!
FALL 2009
Frantically getting our house ready to sell once we decided to move.
Visited my family for my dad's 60th birthday. Went to Disney World.
We were, randomly, at the doctor's office with my grandma when she got the bad news that she had pancreatic cancer. She passed away 3 months later... but we were so excited to be able to spend time with her.
Christmas 2009
Taking me to our favorite sushi restaurant for my 23rd.
March 2010
Found a place to live while in Louisiana.
APRIL 2010
Official move out date. We loved our first house.
The HUGE moving truck that poor Will had to drive for 13+ hours. Not fun.
About an hour into the move to Louisiana, I get a call from the doctor that I am pregnant. Talk about huge life changes all at once!
Having some fun in Louisiana at some plantations.
4th of July in the Baton Rouge heat waiting for the fireworks.
Our first crawfish boil.

Decided that we are moving to Atlanta. Out to dinner to celebrate (we were excited to leave LA).
Found out that our baby is a BOY.
We had to move within a week of deciding. Poor Will had to do all the moving since I was halfway through my pregnancy. He packed the entire huge truck in 105 degree weather. Louisiana has the WORST summers I have ever felt. Miserable. He's a trooper.
My sister and RC visited since we lived a little closer.

Getting closer to having the baby. Got a 4D ultrasound of the little guy.
Picture from last night with the flowers he got me for our 2 years.
36.5 week picture of the big man.
Maggianos for our 2 year anniversary. One of our last official dates before Micaiah gets here.

What a journey!!!! So glad I had an amazing man to walk through everything with.

Can't wait for MANY more years with you, babe!!