The Journey to a Little One to Call Our Own

One gal's experiences dealing with IF, pregnancy, the birth of our first son, parenthood, and doing it all over again with our second son... here is our journey.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

29 Weeks!

I am a couple days late with my weekly update... Mr. D and I were busy bees this weekend! We finished the nursery to the best of our abilities, which feels awesome. We are waiting on bedding, a rug, and our chair, but the walls are painted, furniture is in, and crib assembled. Every milestone reminds me how much closer we are getting to welcoming this little guy to the world, and it's mind-boggling. So much left to do, but we'll get it done.

Here's my 29 week update:

Best Moment of the Week: Starting baby classes. We have so much to learn, and it's nice that Mr. D and I have dedicated time as a couple for the next several weeks to sit down and focus on learning what we need to know.

Oh, and receiving our Pack & Play and some fun gifts from our registry in the mail! We've received a few gifts here and there, but we received a huge package on our front steps last week - gifts from my aunt & uncle. So fun!

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Week: "Are you sure you don't want to cloth diaper?" Oh, yes. Quite positive, actually. Women who decide to do it are no different than women who decide not to... totally a preferential thing in my opinion. But not only is it quite the process, but it's not a solution to waste in landfills... there are equally as many environmental reasons to NOT cloth diaper as other options. Totally a personal choice, and I don't think anything less (or more) of people who cloth diaper, but I know it's not for me.

Obsessions: Figuring out how the heck to lay at night in bed. It's impossible to get comfortable, but I'm not complaining. It's just awkward. I feel like I've tried everything. Overall, I am a pretty hard sleeper, so I am not really losing sleep by not being positioned comfortably, but it is kind of annoying.

Also, trying to figure out butt vs. head or foot vs. arm when little man moves around.

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Baby Class #2, and taking Friday off work. Mr. D and I are headed to our annual cabin weekend with 3 other couples, and it is always a blast. Last year, I wrote two posts about our cabin weekend - it was interesting for me to reflect back to how I was feeling by reading this post and this post. It will certainly will be different this year being pregnant :) And, the weather is supposed to be AWESOME - sunny, hot, and high 80's.... bring on the sun!

What I Miss the Most: I know I will miss drinking this weekend... it's usually a weekend full of lots of beer and fun drinks. I am already stocked up on non-alcoholic sparking grape juice :)

Symptoms: Uncomfortable sleeping and starting to get slight back-aches in my lower back. Still nothing really to complain about... not sure I would complain anyway. Overall, I love being pregnant :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baby Classes

Mr. D and I started baby classes last night. Two-hour sessions for 6 consecutive Wednesdays.

The Pros? Well, our hospital is BEAUTIFUL. It was built a year-and-a-half ago, and it's gorgeous. Staff is AMAZING, and so is my Doctor. So, that's a plus. Our instructor is super nice, and we are in class with 10 other couples. The classes are intense - learning about everything from signs of labor, labor, delivery, breathing techniques, relaxation, newborn care, post-delivery care for mom, support help... you name it. The session cost $110, and judging from what we learned last night, that is definitely money well-spent.

Cons? Well, I am now completely stunned by the fact that I actually have to give birth. Mr. D keeps asking, "well, didn't you expect that you'd have to go into labor at some point?" Yes, but after seeing all the images I saw last night, visualizing how large my crotch is going to have to stretch, and giving it some thought, I am officially freaked. I know I posted that this is all out of my control, so why worry, right?

I need to get myself back to that spot... not worrying about what I can't control. It's going to hurt. A lot. But somehow, that baby has to come out, and although it won't be pleasant, I prefer it the natural way (with some help from drugs) and am going to fight like hell to make it happen The instructor showed us the "circle of pain" - basically, tension = fear = more pain, and the cycle continues. The key is to lower tension so that your body doesn't get scared and kick into thinking "oh-my-God-please-help-me-this-is-the-worst-pain-in-my-whole-life." Even though that may be true, the key is to keep your body from tensing up and getting scared.

Easier said than done. I have to learn how to talk myself out of getting tense.

I hope baby classes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 teach me how.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baby Craze... or, Should I Say, Craziness

Now, before I start this post, I want to put it out there that I am very excited that we are welcoming our first child, and I am doing everything I can do prepare myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically for the transition to mommyhood.

But can I be honest? It's not ALL I think about. Sure, I am excited, but there's things I do other than focus 100% of my time and energy getting ready for this little guy. And, while I want to do what's best for my baby (who doesn't?), I am okay with not being uber-prepared and over-the-top with my baby knowledge. I am cool with learning as we go.

The reason I am saying this is because I continue to get advice from moms who have "been there, done that". Everything from baby bottles to carseats, burping techniques to baby lotions. And I never steer clear of the advice - I take it in stride, thank them for their thoughts, and choose whether or not I want to apply any of their recommendations.

But what really kills me is how incredibly stressful it must be for those women to be super-opinionated and informed about EVERYTHING that has to do with having a baby. There are seriously women who I think went a little baby-crazy and are over-informed. Isn't part of the journey learning as you go, and not being over-the-top with knowing EVERYTHING there is to know about having a baby and raising a child? I don't know... maybe I am blowing it out of proportion, but it's starting to have an effect on me.

Like today... I was asked by a co-worker (mother to a 4-month old) if I am planning to breastfeed. My response? I am not really sure yet - I am sure we'll figure it out soon. The look of utter shock and disappointment I received in return was priceless.

Another example... what kind of diapers are we going to use? My answer: probably Pampers... they came recommended by a couple people and it's between that or Huggies. The response: well, did you even research different brands or cloth diapering? My response: Pretty sure cloth diapering is not happening for many different reasons, and no, I haven't researched every brand out there. But I am sure he will be just fine in the diapers we choose.

Don't get me wrong. I know there is a TON to learn, and I am sure looking back in a year, I will know how I could have prepared myself more. But, isn't that what it's all about? Learning along the way, morphing to what your child needs? I am all for preparing for things in life, but I refuse to have baby craziness...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

28 Weeks!

Ahhh... love Saturday mornings :) It's raining outside, but warm - very typical for Midwest, city weather in May - and I am sitting at my computer with a cup of warm oatmeal after Mr. D and I took our dog out for a walk. So peaceful. Mr. D is painting the nursery today. Baby's room will have light blue walls with the chocolate-brown-colored furniture (crib, dresser, another dresser/changing table, and chair). It's all so incredibly surreal.

How is it, that after 28 weeks of pregnancy, I still can't believe I am pregnant? Damn IF... it never, ever goes away. But, I know I am a way more sensitive person after experiencing IF. For example, when women at work start talking about my baby or how I am feeling (which is every day), it still feels weird to talk about it. It's not that I don't want to talk about it, I just get this weird sense of, "Hold your breath, Mrs. D... this could all be a dream." Once an IFer, always an IFer, I guess. Wouldn't want it any other way.

So, as I officially turn the page into my 3rd trimester (which I can not BELIEVE), here is my weekly recap:

Best Moment of the Week: When laying down, realizing that I can tell how he's positioned. Usually he has his butt above my belly button and head pointed down. I never understood how pregnant women could feel their stomach and say, "Oh, here's the head, and here's an arm!" But I get it now. I've formed such a fun bond with our little guy, and I guess I just came to learn how he likes to lay and position himself. I can try to explain it to Mr. D, but unless you feel it, it's hard to grasp. It's a fun bond between my little man and me :)

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Week: "Are you scared to give birth?" Okay, what kind of question is that?! Here's my answer: not at all. I have always been someone who doesn't worry or think about things that I can't control. Mr. D is different about this - he will sit and talk about "what if's" about anything and everything in life and it drives me CRAZY. With every situation in life, I could come up with at least 100 "if's"... none of which I care to think about, because I can't control the outcome. Labor/delivery is the same thing. Sure, I can learn and prepare my body as much as possible, but at the end of the day, this baby is going to have to come out of me somehow. Stressing out and getting scared about how it's going to happen is not my concern - that's why I have a fabulous OB :) Of course, I am sure it will hurt. But, after trying for over 2 years to welcome this little man to the world, I can do it. I know I can.

Obsessions: Food-wise, berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries... whatever. They all sound great. Non-food-wise, getting the nursery situated.

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Starting baby classes! Mr. D and I signed up for the 6-week series of Wednesday night classes. it was 6 consecutive weekly classes, or an entire weekend. We chose the 6-week series for two reasons. The first is completely selfish: spring/summer weekends in Minnesota are completely priceless. The weather is FINALLY beautiful and hot, and we spend most of them outside, on the lake, and busy with different get-togethers. It would be hard to commit to a whole summer weekend inside at a hospital. The second reason is because we really have NO idea what we are doing, and need as much time as possible to learn about how to prepare ourselves for this little guy to join us. The weekly sessions will ensure we have time to digest the material, come up with questions, and discuss what we've learned with each other. Wednesday is our first session!

What I Miss the Most: Sleeping. It's getting tougher to rotate in the middle of the night and stay on my side. I can't just sit up like I used to, either... I have to force myself up with my arms. It's not horrible, but I do miss the easy days of moving around in bed with ease.

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, leg cramps at night (NOT fun).

Monday, May 16, 2011

27 Weeks!

Every milestone amazes me. 27 weeks. So far along, yet still far away. I now know why women need this much time to prepare... if our little guy was to arrive right now, we are NOT ready. There's so much to do! Emotionally and mentally, we are ready, but we still have SO much to purchase, learn, and get situated.... all in due time, I guess :)

Here's my rundown:

Best Moment of the Week: Feeling him move all around! He jumps, spins, flips, kicks, and isn't afraid to move so dramatically that my tummy moves. It's so funny! I could watch my stomach all day :)

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Week: One that is kind of flattering, I think: "Wow, you have a basketball and don't look like the typical wide pregnant lady!" I've worked hard and exercised enough to know that I need to keep my body in a good place, so that after he's born, I can work quickly to get back to "normal." The only area I've grown is in my stomach (and a little in my boobs, I guess) and I love my round basketball belly :)

Obsessions: Strawberries. Not sure where that one came from, but I am eating a lot of strawberries lately. I don't believe in cravings, persay, but I really enjoy strawberries. Could eat them all day.

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Getting a portion of our bedding in the mail! It's supposed to arrive mid-week, and we are planning on painting the nursery this weekend. His room will be light, sky-blue, but we want to wait to match colors until we have a piece of his bedding. Yay!

What I Miss the Most: Pretty much anything I can't have, including wine, soft cheese, sushi, and deli meat. I also miss not being able to see my toes anymore... makes shaving my legs even that more interesting!

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, and starting not to sleep wonderfully at night. It is a process to flip over to the other side. I have to wake up, hoist myself up, turn, re-situate my body pillow, and try to get comfortable again. This happens multiple times per night.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

24, 25, and now... 26 Weeks!

I've never gone 3 weeks without posting! I can't believe it. Actually, thinking about it, I guess I can. I think I just got through the craziest, busiest period of my life... with the move, our jobs, family get-togethers, cleaning, getting the new house all situated... it's been crazy. Overwhelming at times, but all good things happening. So, sorry I've been MIA. We didn't have internet for 2 weeks with the move, and I didn't even miss it. I had no time!

Anyway, I have SO much to catch up on... blog girlfriends are in the middle of IVF (Jes, thinking of you, sister!!), became pregnant (yay, Allison!), and are progressing well through their pregnancies (Kay, tasilver... so many of you... congrats!). I will be stopping by to post my comments today and tomorrow.

XOXO to all of you - I haven't forgotten about you and promise to read up on your lives!

As for me, I will post the last 3 weekly updates together; see below:

Best Moment of the Weeks: Too many to count. Literally :) But here are a few: organizing our new house with Mr. D, celebrating my Dad's 60th birthday, getting through a huge presentation at work to several leaders that I think I did really well, hearing plans about baby showers my friends and family are throwing for me, meeting new neighbors, getting the baby furniture into the nursery, reconnecting with my cousin who I hadn't talked to in over a year, belly growing every day. The last one... tummy growing... is incredible. If I do say so myself, I look like one of those cute pregnant ladies I've always dreamed to be. I am following a pregnancy diet so that it's easier for me to shed the baby weight after he is born, and let me tell you... it's paying off. I've gained 7 healthy pounds during my pregnancy, and my Doctor is really impressed. I don't look pregnant anywhere but right where my tummy is... it's a big basketball :)

Entertaining Question/Comment of the Weeks: Oh gosh... nothing really sticks out. I feel like in the past few weeks, though, the resounding question both Mr. D and I have received (together and individually) is: "What are you going to name him?" We have our list down to the top 3, and more realistically, probably top 2. One of those names keeps coming up from both of us as we talk about it... the name just fits. So, I am pretty sure we know what the name will be. But, we won't commit to it until we see him when he's born. And, we're not sharing :)

Obsessions: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion - haven't seen a stretch mark yet, and I am hoping to never, ever see one! Keeping my hands on my tummy to feel him move... he is a jumper, roller, kicker, squirmer, you name it. I just love the movement. Mr. D gets to feel him almost every night, too. I can always count on some good movement about an hour after I eat.

What I am Most Looking Forward to This Week: Things finally calming down a bit and getting things in order. I have my next Doctor appointment on Monday - the one where I drink the nasty substance and they check for gestational diabetes - so, please keep your fingers crossed that everything looks okay!

What I Miss the Most: Hands down, wine. I crave it every single day, but remained strong and still haven't had even a sip since the day we found out I am pregnant. I could also go for some lovely feta or blue cheese on salads. Oh, and tuna sandwiches.

Symptoms: I've started getting slight contractions several times a day... it's SO weird. My stomach tenses up and becomes harder than a rock. My doctor said it's completely normal, and it will frequently happen. The first time it happened, I thought I was going into premature labor (it doesn't hurt, but I can tell my stomach is tightening). My first thought was, "Oh my God, we are losing the baby," but now it's part of every day routine. Must be nature's way of preparing me for the future!