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March 27, 2014

38 Weeks Pregnant: Pumpkin

Week 38

Under 15 days?!
This is completely insane.
Updates from last week are pretty significant.
2cm dilated and 50% effaced!
That’s right, this ball is a rollin’ right along!
I’m praying that things continue to progress, but if they don’t we’ve been scheduled to go in the night of the 16th.
My doctor, Jake and I decided that drawing a line in the sand on Jaxon’s eviction date was what would be best due to his size as well as the swelling that has been pretty consistent these past 4 weeks.
The one downside is that if no progress is made before then, the inducing could take a really long time… And I don’t like the idea of that.
My swelling is ok.
It doesn’t hurt, or go above my ankles.
It’s just weird feeling the fluid slushing around when I walk.
Lovely, I know.
Jaxon has dropped, significantly.
I still don’t have any specific cravings, other than a 3 day stint of needing a mango strawberry smoothie from Culvers.
I do have habitual things that I eat every day or so.
I have peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, with a glass of milk and my prenatals.
On my morning break, I get an orange muffin and a chocolate milk.
For lunch I try to eat something green, either a small salad or a little bowl of broccoli, along with my meal.
The rest of it is just whatever sounds good.
I’m dealing more with a loss of appetite more than anything else.
There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to eat when there is all this pressure in your abdomen.
My reflux is very mild, especially since Jaxon dropped.
I’m not sleeping great.
Because of either a cold or allergies I have been very congested and Jake informed me that I’ve developed a snoring problem.
Isn’t that just lovely?
I’m not comfortable taking a decongestant, even one of the ‘safe’ ones.
I don’t really know why.
I’m hoping that once Jax is here I will be able to take a decongestant that will work faster, with less doses so I won’t have to skip many feedings, and I’ll be all better.
Also, losing the 45+ lbs. that I have gained in the past 10 months may help some too.
My Braxton hicks only happen at night.
It’s pretty crappy.
Add this to the bad sleeping and you can just imagine my state in the morning, when my alarm goes off at 5:45am.
Jake has really been great.
He is trying to be in a good mood and excited with me as often as possible in order to distract me.
It really does help, having him be a goof while I am laying with my feet up all the time.
But I know that the excitement is sincere.
I am starting to think that he got all my nesting urges.
His energy is a bit much sometimes, but I really love how helpful he has been.
Even if some of the help is because I can’t bend over or get myself off the couch without a little help.
Well The countdown is on.
It may end up being wrong… But at least there is one!!!
13 days!

March 26, 2014

37 Weeks: Watermelon Status!

We made it past the safe point!
37 weeks means less heel pricks and monitoring for my little boy.
Jax is the size of a watermelon!

I am getting to the point where my patients for waiting is wearing thin.
Well, we can say my patients in general is pretty much gone.
If I could, I would take the next 3 weeks off, but I just know that I would hate myself when my maternity leave was ending earlier.
I also think that I would probably drive myself insane if I took too much time off beforehand.
I’m still feeling really good.
I actually feel guilty complaining about the tiny things that bother me because I know how blessed I’ve been with this pregnancy.
I’m tired.
I’m not having any insomnia issues, but I’m tired all the time.
All the time.
Jaxon’s kicks aren’t really kicks anymore. They were up until this week.
Now they are more like leaps.
For example, Jax will position himself on the top of my left hip and launch his butt into the air.
Meaning that he is catapulting his butt straight out then when he meets my resistance he peg legs and I end up with feet almost protruding out right above my hip again.
It’s lovely.
Our car seat is installed and we are trying to get use to the new blind spot that we have.
Everyone gets pretty excited when they see it.
My one tip for new parents putting in car seats;
Sit on the base in order to get the restraint tight enough to avoid random wiggling.
I’m excited to announce that I am experiencing more reflux.
So, Jax may have hair!
This is exciting because I was bald until I was 2… And then I started having that awkward baby hair growth that can’t really be cut for another year.
For girls born bald, bows and headbands are you friend.
Otherwise people think you are a boy.
Firsthand experience, right here.
Not a whole lot more has progressed since last week in the nursery department of life.
We just haven’t had time to do much.
I got a massage on Monday and it was glorious!
It didn’t really help with much, but it was really great getting to relax and not feel guilty about it.
Getting the knots out of my back was a bonus.
Big sis and I traded pants in the middle of the work day.
Her pants were too big and mine were too small.
It was a pretty amazing trade because I thought my legs were being cut off when I was sitting at my desk.
And Big Sis’ pants were a baggy mess.
So she is keeping the ones that I wore and I’m keeping hers until I deliver.
It was pretty funny.
I found out that my uterus goes all the way up to my sternum and everything of my own is stuck behind the dang thing.
This means rib dancing is becoming Jaxon’s specialty.
Also, I learned another new things about pregnancy.
Nothing out front is mine anymore.
It’s official.

March 25, 2014

Dear Jaxon,

A few months ago I purchased a small leather notebook, intending to really journal about what pregnancy was like.
Needless to say, I was terrible about it and didn't do it once.
 Instead I have decided to turn it into a collection of letters to my son. 

I hope to fill my small journal, and many more.
 On special events and birthdays.
Days when I am madder than a hatter, just to give a dose of reality. 
I hope to have Jake write a few so that together we can give them to Jaxon once he is older. 
Maybe he will think they are corny. 
Maybe he will love love them.

Either way I was surprised to find the words harder to write than I thought. How do you say the right things to convey feelings that are hard to express through mere words? 
It's like how in Hebrew, or many other languages, there are many different words for a single English word. 
Nothing will do justice to the things I want to share with my little boy.

My very first letter.


     You have been such a blessing to me. Having you here, nestled safe inside of me, has been one of the best experiences of my life. It has given me the chance to fall in love with your every kick and hiccup. I feel as though I know you as I know myself. Possibly better. As you continue to sleep and stretch inside, I can’t help but stare and wonder at the miracle God has given your father and I. We know that you are a blessing onto our lives and will bring us joy and completion as individuals as well as completion as a family. Your father and I are meant to be parents. We were meant to be your parents. I have to admit that we are nervous. The idea of caring for someone that means more to us than or own lives is a great responsibility. It’s intimidating. I know that we will make mistakes and by the grace of God

We are not the perfect family and I guarantee that we never will be. But so long as our family is founded in faith and prayer I know that we will make it through any challenge that comes our way. I want you to know that your father and I want what is best for you. We want to offer you a life full of happiness and love. While we may not know everything, we do know how to love. We know how to love with our whole hearts. You coming into our lives has made us realize that we have more than enough love inside of us to love you unconditionally and completely.I’m sure that sometimes we will struggle. That you will question your parent’s sanity. But any confusion, disappointment or hardship that comes to us will be handled with the same love and care that brought you into this world.

     You are so much a part of us that the excitement of meeting you is almost too much to take. We want to know you and learn all of your little quirks. We want to see whose eyes you have, whose nose, whose fingers. We want to watch you grow and flourish in the life that God has in store for you. I wonder daily if you will have your father’s determination, my temper, your father’s tinkering, my love of theatre or our joint love of music. Or maybe you will be completely different. Maybe you will be completely your own person with new and exciting ways that your father and I will have to learn as we go.

      Mainly, I pray that you will come to understand, appreciate and share in the love that we have for the Lord. To know the love that the Lord has for us, our family and our way of life. To know Him as a loving parent to us all. 

We love you so much.


March 24, 2014

Little Charlotte!

I have a new Niece!

Charlotte Grace!

Isn't she the cutest?!

She was 6lbs 11oz and 19 inches.

This makes 4 nephews and 4 nieces!
My family is so blessed!

March 20, 2014

36 weeks: 9 Months: Jax is a Melon!

If you don't want to say Melon with a Christopher Walken accent, shame on you.

Jaxon started off week 36 making me very nervous.
He flipped sides, so his feet were pushing off my left hip bone and seemed to have gotten himself into a really comfortable position, or a tough one, where he wasn't as into moving and stretching as before.
It made me paranoid.

He's perfectly fine and all of my kick counts have been perfect, finishing my 10-15 kicks in 15 minutes or less.

My reflux is getting a little more frequent, but it's not too big of a deal.

I've been having a lot of pelvic pressure...
It's a new and interesting feeling that I'm not quite sure how to deal with.

Bags are packed.

my appetite has lessened significantly. 
I don't know if it is due to Jax's size or my reflux.
Bring on the power bars and forced meals.

My energy was really bad at the end of last week. 

I have my prenatal massage this weekend and I'm SO excited about it.

Mom and I went out and did a little things shopping trip to be sure that I had all the common things that might not have been though of before.
I love that someone wanted to go shopping with me.
Jake isn't so into baby prep shopping yet. 
I'm all about stopping and looking things over, getting competitive pricing and reading ingredients.
He doesn't have the patients for that quite yet.
He would much rather I already know what I want to get. 
Once I make all the decisions and he just has to restock he will be a happy boy.

We haven't set up the nursery yet because of how busy we have been.
We did make sure to unpack and put together the glider, just in case Jaxon chose to make an early appearance.
Everything else is on hold.
I know that family members are more than willing to help out, but in all honesty I'm OK with how things are going. 
But I want my husband to be able to help out, for his sake as much as mine.

Jaxon has a bed in our room all ready to go, and that is the most important part..
Everything else, in all honesty, is fluff.
Just so long as he is healthy he could even sleep in a basket...
Not that I'm promoting that, but I'm just saying.

Today, we had a scan to check Jaxon's vitals and everything.
Since he was measuring large, my Dr. wanted to be sure that it wouldn't be an issue for labor.
His femur is measuring at 74th percentile.
His belly is measuring at 85th percentile.
His head is measuring at 95th percentile.
Yes, his head is measuring at 41 weeks and I'm going to give birth to a bobble head.
It's going to be great!
And no, I'm not kidding.
My Dr. guessed that he is currently around 7lbs 2oz right now.
He is going to possibly be 8 to 8.5lbs!
Now., that's a BIG boy!

March 18, 2014

Celebrate Pregnancy

This past weekend Jake and I met up with my absolute favorite photographer, Kama, for maternity pictures.

We all had reservations about what the outcome would be due to the recent weather keeping Ohio soggy and brown.
Our original shoot place had to change due to Patty's day celebrations at the very last moment. 
On the fly we decided to go to a wildlife park near our house.

With multiple entrances to the park, we finally found each other and set off to do some picture taking.

The wind was bitter, but the sun and sky were beautiful!

After a while we all decided to warm up back at our place.
With some wardrobe changes we decided that we couldn't think of anything else and called it a day.
Kama is so sweet and offered to meet up again if the outside pictures didn't turn out quite enough pictures to document the occasion.

Luckily that won't be necessary.
Here is Kama's blog post of some of her favorites.
I can't wait to get the full haul of pictures!
I adore them!!!

March 12, 2014

Baby Shower Recap

My baby shower has come and gone. 
It was such a great time, with friends and family showing so much support and love.

{Little Man Mustache theme!}
{Big Sis and I before everyone started showing up.}
{BigSis's BFF from high school. She's practically my other big sister.}
{Yummy punch with little French duckies}
{The cake made by a family friend. it was SOOOO good, and everything is homemade!}
{Little 'Boy Oh Boy' blue nail polishes and baby stats sheet for guests to fill out.}
{WJ and Mom starting the project.}
{A, K and WK}
{Friends and Big Sis sporting their mustaches}
{Drunk French ducks}
{The party in full swing}
{Jake and I with some theatre friends}

{One of my favorite gifts from SIL. I love it so much!}
{The clothes haul, thanks mostly to Mom and MIL}
{The end result of the project. Every guest decorated a letter of the alphabet for Jaxon's nursery wall and put their name on the back}
It was such a great time and everyone was so busy with the letters that my pictures were the only ones to be taken... 
That just goes to show how fun it was... 
And how forgetful I was to ask for pictures.

It truly was the best and I am so blessed to have the support and love surrounding my family.

March 11, 2014

35 weeks: Coconut

I'm astounded every time another week passes.
It's intimidating.
5 weeks left.
That's under 40 days.
That's not much longer than month.

That's crazy!

I'm feeling a lot of pressure this week. 
It's interesting to feel him drop and pop back up.
Not my favorite.

I had my first appointment for checking dilation.
1cm dilated.
Jaxon was at -4 when she checked... Meaning he was pretty high and not dropped.
And there was not really any thinning out of my mucus.
Lovely huh?

So I'm ahead of the game... But not at the same time.
My OB guessed that I'd make it into April.

I'm at 42lbs over my starting weight. 
I'm relieved that about 15 of that is baby and placenta. 

I'm getting really tired. 
I'm waking up fairly frequently during the night because I'm paranoid about my swelling and water consumption.
I'm absolutely terrible during the work day, when I need to be good due to being on and off my feet so often, and I try to make up for it at night by sleeping with a water bottle within hands reach.

My swelling is about the same.
Mainly it happens when I get hotter.. But also if I have been on my feet too long.
Probably because when I'm up, I'm constantly moving.
All of my tests are still saying that there sin't any protein present, so it's just regular edema.

Jaxon's kicks have turned into major stretching.
And he gets the hiccups fairly often.
But this week he has begun to slow down due to not having much room.
Because of this I'm really starting to do my kick counts.
I haven't really before this because his movement was so frequent and pronounced.
Hey, this may be the one thing that I actually get paranoid about.
At least it's a good thing to obsess about.

On to week 36!

March 10, 2014

Dear Erin Pre-Pregnancy,

This post is completely about me looking at myself in retrospect.
It's completely true, the whole saying about hindsight.

If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have told you all of the benefits of natural childbirth and, basically, how i didn't approve of meds during labor.
Shoot, I posted about it and caused a heck of a lot of discourse in my family.
I was completely naive and closed minded.

This post is for myself as much as other individuals who have never carried a child inside of them.

Never judge anyone when it comes to labor.
You are not them.
They are not you.
You have no idea what their pregnancy has been like.
You have no idea what labor feels like.
No one has the same experience.
You can't generalize and clump pregnant people together.
As long as mom and baby are healthy and happy, it is no ones business to judge what happens in a labor and delivery room.

When did it start to matter how the baby came out, anyway?
Why are individuals claiming that methods that they may have never experienced are less than?
Why are mom's feeling guilty for how they delivered their child?
Labor shaming.
That's what I'm going to call it.
Women and institutions are so quick to shoot down a practice that is different from their own.
We should be uniting as women and mothers, rather than letting something like that claw us apart.

Dear Pregnant Mom-to-be,
Do what is best for you.
Don't feel obligated to deliver your baby in any certain fashion because of what others say.
Natural tear
Whatever your choices, feel secure in them and in the fact that you are going to choose what is best for YOU.

I'd also give you the advice that other moms have given me.
Go with the flow.
Yes, voice preferences, but don't pin your hopes and dreams on those choices.
Be prepared to have them change...
Flexibility is key.

I can also tell you that as a child of a post-natal nurse, who worked in labor and delivery for many years, birth plans are not the favorite most awesome thing for the hospital staff to deal with.
They go by them if they are given, but it can cause a hindrance in your care.
It also causes friction between staff and family when having to deviate from the birth plan for the best of the situation.
Changes to birth plans upset the family.
Not being able to adjust to the situation can frustrate the staff.

My solution is to go in with an open mind.
If I am able to go natural, then I'd like to.
If that doesn't happen. If I'm too tired to push effectively. If the pain is too much to bear and I'm just upsetting myself, I'll get an epidural.
If Little Man is in any kind of danger, we're cutting me open.

I'll  make my preferences known on the smaller things, the eye petroleum, immediate skin-to-skin and attempt to breast feed, family doing the first bath.
Those kind of things.

I figure the less uptight I am about my labor experience the more relaxed I can be.
The more relaxed I am, the better the experience.

March 6, 2014

Pregos All Around!

I may have forgot to mention that Big Sis is prego...

It's a GIRL!

So Paisley is going to be a big sister and there is one more chance for getting a little redheaded child in this family. 
I'm pulling for it, if you couldn't tell.

Big Sis is three months behind me and is due in late July.

That means that every girl in my family has been pregnant in the past year.
Also that in October, every girl in my family was pregnant.

I love it!

March 4, 2014

34 weeks: Little Man is the size of a Cantaloupe

I’m basically good to go.
My family would tell you that I have to wait until after my baby shower this weekend.
My body tells me that I’m gonna be prego for a while longer.
I’m not having anything more than the Braxton hicks tightening.
Every once in a while Little Man decides that kicking my pelvic floor is entertaining.
In the meantime I sit really still and question if I’m going to pee my pants.
Then, I keegle.
That’s been an interesting new feeling.

I’ve not peed my pants, so far.
I’m pretty proud of that… But we will see what the next 6 weeks brings.

Another new sensation is Little Man kicking or pushing off the top of my hip bone.

I’m at my whits end with maternity clothes.
Not only do I feel huge (because I am carrying a basketball) in everything I wear…
I had to go up a pant size in work pants.
I absolutely hate thinking that I’m purchasing pants that I’ll only wear a few times.
However, with Big Sis 3 months behind me, she has started demanding clothes.
Since they are hers to begin with, I guess giving her back some of her maternity wardrobe is the nice thing to do.
It’s funny how much I ended up getting of my own.
I thought by sharing clothes we would be saving money.
That doesn’t work when you have babies in different seasons and 3 years apart.

Add this stupid long and crazy winter onto it and you get clothing frustration.
Add my love for retail therapy and you get ‘Erin’s Maternity Wardrobe That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen’.
I don’t mind.
My non maternity wardrobe lasted me quite a long time, I just filled in the gaps as I went.

This week was my last voice lesson until after Little Man is here.
It’s absolutely crazy how hard it is to really sing with him in there.
Sometimes, I’ll be really steady and have the energy to do things correctly.
Other times, it’s amazing how much can be effected by a small change in positions for him.
Makes me feel like a beginner with fliers and messed up breath support.
I’m just glad that my health has been so good with Little Man, and that I haven’t had to make up for any sick days.
Hopefully I’ll be able to jump back into lessons pretty soon after Little Man is here.

I’m still feeling really good.
I’ve been having more swelling.
Well, not more, it’s just happening more often.
My dr. said it’s because Little Man is sitting so low that when I sit for too long he is pretty much cutting off blood flow to my lower body.
It’s a joy.

Crossing my legs has all of a sudden been impossible.
I’m expecting that tying my shoes will be the next to go.

March 3, 2014

Oscars 2014

I know that there is a lot going on in the world right now. And like everyone else I’m going to talk about something that I can actually weigh in on and know what I’m talking about.

The Oscars!
Without seeing any of the movies (except Frozen) I was fairly close.
But let’s get down to the juicy stuff…
The Dresses!!!!!

Since I always prefer to see red carpet arrivals so I can make my own conclusion.

My Favorites
{I adore this art deco look. Way to class it up Gaga!}
{I really like this half cape and the draping.}
{This dress. Yes! I love it.}
{I really like the hip fluff. I can't help it.}
{Thank you for wearing a unusual color. plus your dress is AMAZING!}
{I'm telling you. That hip fluf is so vintage. I love it.}
{I adore the simplicity with the gorgeous gold cape!}
{The baby blue. The shape. It's heaven}

Not Thrilled
{This looks like a black suit of armor...}
{This is not the most flattering dress... At all.}
{The color is classy, the shape is not.} 
{Did she steal this dress from Meryl Streep?}
{It looks like there are paper snowmen attached to her dress...}
{The only reason I say not quite to this is because I think I've seen this same combination on Meryl about 49581612 times...}

The Pregos!!!
{Interesting choice with the waistline... But hey!}
{Now that's what I'm talking about!}
{The black hides the bump. But she still looks great.}
My all time favorite of the night!
{GET IT!!}