Introducing My Beautiful Daughter

Kennedy Ann Boles was born Sunday July 29, 2012 at 9:46pm
She weighs 8lbs 10oz and measures 21in long


Kennedy's Birth Story

**Before you begin reading, let me warn you that this is detailed and graphic... but then again, what birth is actually clean and pretty?  :)

So Friday night (40w 2d) I went to work (3:30pm-midnight) and came home to a super drunk husband.  Cue super pissed off pregnant lady.  After a 2 hour argument, I started having contractions.  They were somewhat regular, but not clearly timeable so I decided to take a bath and relax the best I could.  About 4:00am, they seemed to be fairly regular (about 5 minutes apart, lasting about a minute), but I wasn’t convinced it was the real deal.  They weren’t terribly painful, just annoying.  I decided to get some rest and over the next few hours they faded to nothing.

Saturday morning I was trying to decide whether I should go into work that afternoon or not.  I consulted with my OB who said it sounded like I was in early labor and their advice would be to walk it out… I could walk at home, at the mall or go to work and walk around… whatever I felt comfortable doing as long as I didn’t do anything crazy.  At this stage, it could still be a few days before I went into active labor, so I figured I may as well go to work… so I did.  I worked my full shift Saturday night and came home around 12:30am Sunday morning.

Shortly after I got home, the contractions started again and I thought “grrrreat… here we go again… another few hours of pointless contractions…” so I tried to just get some rest.  The contractions were a little more painful than the night before so I wasn’t able to fall asleep, but they still weren’t too bad.  After an hour of feeling them regularly every 5-7 minutes, I decided to bounce on my birthing ball, then take a bath and see if things progressed.  They still were not very painful, but they did seem to be getting more regular.  Around 4 am, I went to bounce on my birthing ball again after my bath and felt something dripping down my leg.  I woke up my husband and told him I was pretty sure I had not peed myself… so I might be leaking fluid.  It was a very slow dribble, so I thought I might try again to get a little rest, knowing that I would have to go into the hospital soon if my water had broken.  The contractions became a little more intense and were now between 4-5 minutes apart… rest was just not happening.  I walked around my house and bounced on my ball for about 2 more hours then finally called the on call OB.  He told me it sounded like I was in labor and that I should come to the hospital.

So I did what every rational, laboring pregnant mama would do… I took a shower, shaved my legs, ate a little breakfast, did my makeup, took my last bump picture....
  and repacked (for the 16th time) my hospital bag.  Kevin played around with the car seat and decided it was a good time to read the instruction manual.  Lol.

We got to the hospital at 8:00am and went to triage.  I was swabbed and told that my water had broken, so I would be admitted.  Then I was checked and told I was at 2cm.  Crap!!  This was one of my nightmare scenarios… getting to the hospital waaaay too early and being stuck in L&D jail for days.  Bleh.  I was pretty bummed, but on the upside, I knew baby would be arriving at some point within the next 24 hours… but I knew my hopes of a med-free delivery were a little lower at this point, because you can only go for so long with ruptured membranes and if I didn’t progress quick enough on my own, I would have to turn to meds.  So I headed to my L&D room and the ball bouncing/hall walking began.  I walked and walked and bounced and bounced for 2 hours straight.

*I should add here that the entire time I was in my room, I had The Food Network on TV.  Why, I don’t know… I was only able to have clear liquids and the food looked so so yummy.  It was TORTURE!!!

At 10:00am, the on call doctor came to see me and suggested we start Pitocin to move things along.  I was pissed!  Umm… hello, dude, I haven’t been checked in 2 hours, this is the first time you have ever seen me let alone my hoo ha.  Umm… no.  I asked if I could have one more hour then get checked again to see if I was able to progress on my own rather than jump straight into the Pitocin.  He reluctantly agreed.  Sooo… I bounced and bounced and walked and walked some more.

Around 11:30 I was checked again.  Still.a.2!?!?!?!  Gaaah!!!  I was pretty upset.  Come ON cervix.  Do your JOB!!!  

At noon I was started on Pitocin and within an hour or so the contractions started to become intensely painful and closer together.  I now needed continuous monitoring (because of the Pitocin) so I decided to just stay in my room and walk, rock, bounce on my ball.  I could have continued to walk the halls, but the portable monitors are a pain in the butt and, to be honest, I was starting to get really discouraged anyway.  Soon each contraction became more and more painful and they seemed closer and closer together.  I felt myself fighting the pain and tensing up, but I couldn’t help it.  Pitocin contractions feel unnatural and completely different from the contractions before.  I was pretty miserable.  

A few hours later, maybe 3:00pm or so, I started to get nauseous then started throwing up.  I got some IV Zofran, which took the edge off, but not for long.  I was feeling completely defeated and frustrated… I planned on nothing going as planned… but that didn’t make it any less frustrating.

Around 4:00pm, my nurse came in and had a conversation with me that salvaged my entire birthing experience.  She told me that she knew I wanted to try a med-free natural birth, but that I was tensing and fighting through the pain and, as such, not allowing my body to progress as it should.  She empathized and told me that she understands how much different the Pitocin makes everything and that she thought, if I would consider it, an epidural would be good for me in this instance.  She had not steered me wrong up to that point and I trusted her.  I asked to be checked once more (which is standard before an epi anyway) and then I would decide.

I was checked again shortly after and was only a 3.  I wanted to cry.  A freaking 3!?!?!?  All of that pain and I had only progressed one stinking centimeter.  Not cool.  This cemented my decision to have the epidural and it was placed at 4:30pm.

The epidural was an interesting experience.  It took 2 tries (which I thought was pretty good.  I have mild scoliosis, so I was prepared for a rough time if I went for an epi).  I think the thought of it is 1000x worse than the actual procedure.  The local anesthetic felt like a tiny pinch, but because of the location it just seems scarier.  The epidural itself felt like a little pressure going in… once in place my legs felt really warm, then heavy, then tingly.  At first only my left leg felt this way and I was nervous.  The anesthesiologist and nurse encouraged me to tell them everything I felt, and assured me over and over that everything I was feeling was normal.  My blood pressure did drop a little low after the epi kicked in, so I was given epinephrine which corrected it quickly.

Once the epi was in place, my nurse placed a catheter (second best thing ever!) then helped me to lie on my side.  She asked “Are you feeling those?”… “feeling what?”… “you’re having a very strong contraction”… “I am??  SWEET!!  I don’t feel a thing!!”… It was glorious.  She suggested that I try to get some rest and suggested Kevin go grab something to eat… I told him he better not bring anything back to the room… I was still starving.

Within minutes I was zonked out.  Once I was asleep, Kevin left to grab some food.  An hour or so later, he poked his head back into the room and said he was going to be in the bathroom for a few.  Umm… ok?  Then I saw him sneak in a Subway bag.  I was pissed!!  He looked really upset and told me that Subway was closing so they kicked him out with his food and he didn’t have anywhere to go eat, plus he was worried about me so he just came right back.  Lol.  I told him to just come eat in the room since I was half asleep anyway.  Poor guy.  To his credit, he did keep a steady supply of juice, jello and ice chips at my bedside.  Love that guy!

Around 7:30, a resident came in to check me and I was a… wait for it… wait for it… 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Holy crap!!  It took me hours and hours of walking and bouncing and painful contractions to go from a 2 to a 3… now in 3 hours of napping and relaxing I went from a 3 to a 9.  Umm… heck yeah!!!  The epidural had allowed me to relax enough to progress with the contractions.  Woohoo!!!

About 30 minutes later I was a 10 and given the option of doing some passive decent (sitting straight up, maintaining very very light pressure and allowing gravity to help the baby descend through the birth canal) or doing some practice pushes.  I was so happy with how I was able to progress with the epi that I decided to let my body do its thing and do some passive decent.  The nurse helped me to sit straight up and I did this for about half an hour, then it was show time.  I was pretty much the happiest laboring, ready to push pregnant lady ever... thank you, epidural!!!

The doctor mentioned turning off the epidural and I was terrified!!  He explained that some women have a difficult time pushing effectively with the epidural.  I told him “I promise I will be the BEST pusher ever… please don’t turn it off!!”.  He laughed and said “ok, we’ll give it a shot.”  I pushed and pushed and pushed… he was pretty impressed and said we could leave it on.  Thank goodness!  I was able to feel pressure… lots of pressure… but not really any pain.

*Let me add here that the entire time, I totally felt like I had to poop.  And not just poop, but I swear I thought if I pushed with ALL my strength, I was going to totally shoot a turd straight across the room.  I actually held back a little on the pushing because of this.

So the doctors and nurse helped to coach me on when to push and when to just maintain pressure.  Kevin held my hand, leg, ice chips… he kissed my forehead and was my biggest cheerleader.  I was really impressed with how well he did.  With each push I knew I was getting closer, because his eyes got wider and wider.  During one push, the resident said “holy hair!” and Kevin agreed that he could see a lot of hair… this motivated me to push even harder and longer.  Soon I felt the infamous “ring of fire” and felt the baby crowning.  About this time, I was starting to feel pretty exhausted and I leaned my head back and closed my eyes.  The nurse lifted my head up and told me to look at my baby!  Holy crap!?!?!  My baby!?!?!  I could see my baby’s head!!  Oh my gosh!!  I pushed through 2 more contractions and out the baby came at 9:46pm, wiggling and screaming.

The doctor held the baby up for Kevin to get a peek at the goods… Kevin looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “It’s a GIRL!!!”  Time stood still.  If I could live in one moment for all eternity… this would be it.  This one single moment was absolute perfection.  I felt like my heart was just going to explode with love…. My husband’s eyes, my baby crying… just wow.

The nurse laid my beautiful baby girl on my chest and I was complete.   
She nursed like a champ then daddy got to hold her while I delivered the placenta.  I ended up without a single stitch or tear… very very lucky.  Shortly after, during my first fundal check I passed a huge clot and started to bleed quite a bit.  The nurse had to page the doctors back into the room to make sure I wasn’t hemorrhaging.  It was pretty unnerving, but everything ended up being ok.  They checked me internally then increased the Pitocin and did some fundal massage.  Oh… and they put Miso up my butt.  Yeah… that’s right… up my butt.  Not awesome… but I was on such a high staring at my beautiful little girl that I hardly noticed.

So that is the long (long, long) version of Kennedy’s grand entrance into this world.  She weighed 8lb 10oz and measured 21in long.  We are so in love and so truly blessed to finally hold our rainbow in our arms.
Proud Daddy!!


40 Week Check In

So today is the day we have been counting down to since we first saw those two pink lines.  Today is our due date and, while it's pretty clear that baby will not be joining us today... it's still a very exciting milestone.  I can't believe we really made it to 40 weeks!!  Back in November it seemed like this day would never come... and now that it's here, it seems like time November 11th was just yesterday.  What happened?  Where did the time go?  As excited as I am to become a mom and to finally meet my little wiggle worm... I'm not sure that I am ready to not be pregnant any more.  :)  Ready or not though, this little one will be joining us very very soon!!  Eeeeeek!!!
How Big Is Baby?

  • So apparently, this is a jackfruit.  I really have no idea what a jackfruit is, or what it tastes like.... but I can tell you that it takes up an awful lot of room in my belly.  Cheers to my baby jackfruit!!
Baby’s Development
  • Baby will be here at any moment!
How Big Is Mommy?
  • Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen... that's right... 40 weeks pregnant and wearing- make that ROCKING- some super cute wedge heels.  Go me!!!
How Am I feeling?
  • Physically:  All things considered, I feel pretty darn good.  I haven't felt any contractions and, although several people have told me I look like I have "dropped" (and for each that has said I dropped, another has said that I am still carrying very high... lol)... I really haven't felt a thing.  Laying in bed isn't super comfortable, but I am so exhausted after a long day of work (yes, I am still working... go me again!!) that I usually have no probably falling right to sleep.
  • Emotionally:  I am so excited to meet this little one... but at the same time not ready to not be pregnant anymore.  What a twisted combination of emotions.  I can't believe how fast the time has flown by and I am doing my best to savor every last moment that I have left.  It's crazy to think that baby could be here any day!! 
Any new developments, milestones?  Anything new?
  • My appointment last Thursday went really well.  I discussed by birth plan with my OB, we reviewed signs/symptoms of labor and what would happen if I went past my due date.  I am scheduled for my "post due" appointment tomorrow.
    • Love:  The look on people's faces when they ask when I am due and I respond "today"... priceless!!!
    • Hate:  That the end of this amazing, emotional, exciting, terrifying pregnancy journey is almost over.  I wish I could hit pause for a few and just soak it all in.
    Any upcoming developments, milestones?  What's next?
    • Next appointment is TOMORROW!!!  :)  I am scheduled for an ultrasound (to check size, position and fluid level), an internal check (to check dilation and effacement) and a Non-Stress Test (to check for contractions and make sure baby is handling everything ok).  Fingers crossed for a good appointment and the thumbs up to allow baby to keep cooking just one more week!!


    39 Week Check In

    39 weeks!!  One week until our official due date, but (hopefully) 2 more weeks until baby's arrival.  Either way, we are so so SO close!!
    How Big Is Baby?

    • Watermelon!!  Schnikies!!!  That's humongous!!
    Baby’s Development
    • Baby will be able to flex his/her limbs at this point and his fingernails may extend past his/her fingertips..
    How Big Is Mommy?
    • I really don't feel like I have gotten all that much bigger, which is probably a good thing.
    How Am I feeling?
    • Physically:  The foot swelling and pain is out of control this week.  I have started wearing compression stockings to work every day (holy hotness, by the way)... but this swelling is relentless.  Back pain is also coming back with a vengeance, but then again I shouldn't expect to feel like a million bucks at 9 months pregnant, right?  In some ways I am glad that the end of this pregnancy is nearing because it is starting to take it's toll on my body....
    • Emotionally: ... but in other ways I am sad, scared, over-the-moon happy, excited, scared, nervous and umm... scared that we will have this baby in our arms SO SOON!!!  I mean... who approved this?  Lol.  I couldn't be happier to be {this close} to being a mommy... but then again... what the heck do I know about being a mom?  I am also still struggling with the bittersweetness of not feeling the baby in my belly any more.
    Any new developments, milestones?  Anything new?
    • Nothing new really since last week.  I have felt a few random cramps and such, but no contractions to speak of.  Next appointment is tomorrow, so we will see what's cooking.  :)
    • We did get to attend a friend's baby shower this past Sunday.  They are due exactly one month to the day after us and it has been pretty cool to shares the ups and downs of pregnancy together.  The shower was a lot of fun.
    • Love:  Frozen grapes are still my refreshing snack of the moment.  I bring a bag of grapes to work everyday and toss them in the freezer when I get there... then on my way home I have a nice cool snack!
    • Hate:  Still hating my fat elephant feet.
    Any upcoming developments, milestones?  What's next?
    • Next appointment is TOMORROW!!!  :)


    Crock Pot Craziness!!

    For the past few weeks, like any expectant mother, I have been thinking about doing some prep work and planning ahead for when the baby arrives.  One of the ideas that I had was to plan out, shop for and prepare some crock pot meals that can be frozen then thawed and cooked with little time or effort on my part.  I spent some time browsing around online and found a few websites for inspiration.  My initial plan was to select several recipes, prepare a shopping list with all of the ingredients we will need then go from there.  However, since Kevin and I pretty much never cook from a recipe, we scrapped that idea and decided to just wing it.

    Before I go any farther, I have to say that I have the absolute most awesome husband in the world.  When I told him about my plan, he was all about it and jumped in head first to help.  So... we made our plans for Saturday (mind you, we only get one out of every 6 weekends off together and this weekend was our last weekend off together before the baby arrives)... and Operation MakeAShitloadOfCrockpotMeals was born.  :)

    Saturday morning, we went to the local farmer's market and stocked up on as many fresh veggies are we could.  Unfortunately, the selection wasn't too great this weekend, so we didn't end up with much.  I would love to buy our meats and such from the market, but the price is just unreasonable.  :(  

     So... next up was BJs (Similar to Sams Club or Costco)

    We loaded up on meats- bought a HUGE beef chuck roast and pork roast, then asked to have them cut into smaller roasts and stew size pieces (less work for us later!).  We got 2 large packages of boneless skinless chicken, a large package of ground beef and a large package of hot sausage.  

    We needed more vegetables, since the farmer's market wasn't so hot this week.  We were torn on what kind (fresh vs frozen) of veggies to get, but ended up going with frozen... less hassle/prep and BJ's prices were great on their organic bulk frozen veggies.

    Last up, we bought a handful of popular spices/seasonings in bulk (Ranch dressing mix, Onion soup mix, Italian seasoning, BBQ seasoning/sauce) as well as a few marinades, everything else we had at home.

    The prep...
    When we got home, I began labeling gallon size Ziploc freezer bags and making index cards for each meal with the ingredients and the recipe.  I highlighted anything we will need to buy later.

    Meanwhile, DH prepped all of the veggies that were not frozen (potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic), then put all veggies (fresh and frozen) in their own individual bowl.

    Finally, we started preparing the bags.  DH worked on the meat, then I went through with a measuring cup and scooped the veggies into the bags.  Last, we added any necessary seasoning and sealed the bags.  Dropped them into the freezer and... voila!!  We were able to make 36 meals out of our ingredients, several of them large enough to yield seconds for sure.  I must say, we are quite proud of ourselves.  :)

    The finished products!!  36 meals!!

    I did a price breakdown,and the total came to about $200...

    I did use several ingredients that I had in my pantry already (olive oil, hot sauce, different seasonings, etc) that I didn't account for... 
    Also, a few of the meals will require some sort of dairy to be added prior to serving, but it makes no sense to buy it now because it will spoil before we need it.  We will just buy these as we need them.  As such, I did not account for this in the total, but it shouldn't add more than $10-$15.

    Also, several of the meals will be served with pasta, rice or bread... which I also did not account for.  We have a ridiculous pasta/rice stash and will buy the bread as we need it.  These were not factored into the total, but shouldn't add more than $10-$15.

     That said, all in all I think the grand total is probably closer to $6/meal.

    Below is the price breakdown and a list of the meals I made... If you are interested in any recipes, let me know.  They are all super super easy!!

    We are soooooo very glad we did this today.  Not only did we take one hassle away from the hectic transition to parenthood and save a boatload of money... but it was actually a really fun day with the hubby.  Win win!!

    Price Breakdown...

    Ground Beef: $2.75/lb, approximately 6 lbs- total $16.56
    Beef Roast: $2.99/lb, approximately 15 lbs- total $45.60
    Pork Loin: $2.49/lb, approximately 8 lbs- total $20.10
    Boneless skinless chicken breast: $1.89/lb, approximately 11.5 lbs- total $21.90
    Hot Italian Sausage: $2.99/lb, approximately 3 lbs, total- $9.12

    Potatoes: $4.69 for 10 lbs (only used half, so $2.35)
    Carrots: $5.58 for 6 lbs
    Broccoli: $6.59
    Corn: $6.39
    Green Beans: $5.99
    Peppers & Onions: $5.99
    Peas: $6.39
    Canned diced tomatoes: $5.39 for 8 cans
    Canned tomato sauce: $6.59 for 12 cans
    Onion: 3 at 3 for $1.00
    Garlic: 3 at 3 for $2.00

    Seasonings and Marinades:
    Onion Soup Mix:  $3.49 for 12 packets (only used 2/3, so $2.33)
    Italian dressing: $2.99
    Ranch Dressing Mix: $2.99 for 4 packets
    Basil & Garlic: $4.99
    Various seasoning packets: 6 at $1.00/each- total $6.00
    General Tso Marinade: $4.19
    Teriyaki Marinade $1.99
    Soy Sauce: $1.00

    Ziploc Bags- Gallon Freezer- $11.99- $3.00 coupon (used ¼, so $2.25)

    Total:  195.27
    1. Sausage with Peppers and Onions with sauce 
    2. Sausage with Peppers and Onions without sauce
    3. General Tso Chicken
    4. General Tso Chicken
    5. Crack Chicken
    6. Italian Herb Chicken
    7. Chicken Fajitas 
    8. Chicken with Corn and Black Beans 
    9. Teriyaki Chicken
    10. Jerk Chicken
    11. Chicken-n-Dumplings 
    12. Chicken Noodle Soup
    13. Brown Sugar Bourbon Chicken 
    14.  Beef Stroganoff
    15. Beef Stroganoff 
    16. Beef Stew
    17. Beef Stew 
    18. Extra Veggie Beef Stew
    19. Savory Beef Roast 
    20. Italian Style Beef Roast 
    21. Asian Beef and Broccoli 
    22. Spicy Tomato Beef Roast 
    23. 3 Envelope Beef Sliders
    24. Philly Cheese Steak
    25. Dino BBQ Pulled Pork
    26. Paula Deen Pulled Pork
    27. Savory Pork Roast 
    28. Creamy Ranch Pork Roast
    29. Asian Pork Roast 
    30. Spicy Asian Pork Strips
    31. Hawaiian Luau Pork
    32. Beef Tacos
    33. Spicy Ranch Burgers
    34. Meat and Pepper Sauce (for Spaghetti/Ziti)
    35. Meat and Pepper Sauce (for Spaghetti/Ziti)
    36. Meat and Pepper Sauce (for Spaghetti/Ziti)


    My Birth Plan

    Let me start this off by saying that the idea of a birth "plan" (to me) is more of a wish list than an actual plan.  The only true "plan" is to get the baby out safely... everything else is just details.  That said, every expectant mama has certain thoughts and hopes with regard to how their ideal birthing experience (pre, during and post delivery) would take place.  After much thought and discussion with my OB, I decided to put some of my wants/wishes in writing in the form of a birth plan.  Luckily, the hospital I plan to deliver at is very much into family bonding so it was not necessary for me to include many of my desires (rooming in, procedures in room, husband remains in room) for post-delivery.

    The entire "plan", of course is subject to change depending on the condition of mama and/or baby and I think it's important to understand, for anyone writing a birth plan, that the "plan" can go flying out the window in the blink of an eye... but as long as baby and mama are healthy, that's what truly matters.

    It is also important, if writing a birth plan, to try to think about the "what-ifs" and alternate scenarios (for example... many mamas planning on a natural delivery do not give second thought to a c-section... but emergencies happen and it's nice to have given it some thought ahead of time.  Your wishes may or may not be able to be accommodated, but if you don't have anything thought out ahead... you stand no chance of seeing your wishes carried through.)  Remember... it never hurts to ask, but in the heat of the moment you may not think to ask.  Having things written out ahead of time will help communicate your desires to your medical team.

    Without further ado, here is my ideal birth "plan"... I guess we'll see in a few weeks whether or not this plan works out.

    Ideally, I would like to have a medication free, natural birth.  I realize that this may not be possible and am willing to accept any medical intervention necessary to ensure the safe delivery of my baby- My husband and I would like to be part of the decision making process as much as possible.  

    Below are a few requests that I would like, if at all possible, to be accommodated:

    -          Movement:
    o   I would prefer to be able to walk, change positions, move, bounce on a ball, etc. for as long as possible.
    o    I would prefer not to be confined to the bed until/unless absolutely necessary.

    -          Monitoring:
    o   I would prefer intermittent monitoring (vs continuous).  I would like to be able to get in/out of shower or bath, walk the halls, change positions, bounce on a ball, etc.
    o   I would like to avoid an internal monitor, if possible, but understand this may be medically necessary dependent on circumstances.

    -          Medication:
    o   I would prefer to attempt a medication-free labor and birth.  However, I trust my medical team and if they feel it is in my/baby’s best interest (ex. delayed progress and expected long labor), I welcome suggestions for pain meds and/or epidural.
    o   If medication becomes necessary or suggested, I would prefer to start with medications that will allow me to continue to walk, change positions, etc.

    -          Episiotomy:
    o   I would prefer to avoid an episiotomy, if at all possible.
    o   I have been doing Kegel exercises and perineal massage and would like to continue these during labor.
    o   I would like coaching on when to push and when not to push to attempt to avoid a tear.

    -          Delivery:
    o   I would like coaching on when to push and when not to push.
    o   My husband and I have elected to not find out the gender of the baby until birth.  It would mean the world to us if Kevin was the first one to announce “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl”.  Please ensure that he is able to see the gender of the baby immediately after delivery, as I will be anxiously awaiting his announcement.  J

    -          After delivery:
    o   I would like the baby placed on my chest immediately after delivery.  No need to clean. 
    o   I do plan to breast feed and would like to be able to nurse my baby as soon as he/she is ready.

    -          Umbilical Cord:
    o   I would prefer to do delayed cord clamping/cutting.  I would like to have the cord remain attached until after delivery of the placenta or until the cord stops pulsating.
    o   When it is time to cut the cord, my husband, Kevin would like to be the one to cut it.

    -          C-Section:
    o   I would like to avoid a c-section, if at all possible, but if one becomes necessary,
    §  I would like my husband to be present in the room.
    §  I would like to remain awake, with the curtain lowered.
    §  I would like the baby to be given to Kevin as soon as possible.
    §  I would like to see the baby and nurse as soon as possible.


    38 Week Check In

    38 weeks.... wowza!!!  The light at the end of this pregnancy tunnel is getting brighter and brighter.  So hard to believe that we are so close!

    How Big Is Baby?

    • A pumpkin!!  Wow!!  Can't believe how big baby is!
    Baby’s Development
    • At 38 weeks, baby’s probably sitting pretty low in my pelvis, which means s/he’s bumping into all kinds of nerves down there -- including some pretty sensitive ones I might not know I had.
    How Big Is Mommy?

    • Definitely feel like I am dropping now... little by little.
    • The picture on the right is Lucy and I goofing off... I decided I was going to hang out upside down with my legs crossed so baby stays put for an extra week.  Lucy decided to keep me company.  :)
    How Am I feeling?
    • Physically: Well... for the most part, pretty darn good.  I really shouldn't complain... however, my feet are starting to swell and ache, which is a real pain.  I should be thankful that I made it this long without any swelling or true aches and pains, but thinking about the next 2+ weeks like this is tough.  I can do it though.  :)
    • Emotionally:  So excited!  I am having dinner with some girlfriends tonight and I couldn't be more psyched to enjoy what will most likely be my last girls night out.
    Any new developments, milestones?  Anything new?
    • I had an appointment today... which was pretty uneventful.  Because of my union's short term disability supplement (see developments below for details)... I am going to try to keep this baby in there until August 1st.  As such, I decided to not get an internal exam today.  I am kind of bummed because I am very curious if I am progressing toward labor, dilating or effaced... but it's not worth stirring things up if I can hang in there for a few more weeks.  Baby will be here soon enough one way or the other.
    • Love:  Seltzer water has been particularly refreshing during this hot hot hot week.  I'm enjoying some raspberry lime flavored seltzer right now.  Yummy!
    • Hate:  Fat elephant feet.  Not awesome.
    Any upcoming developments, milestones?  What's next?
    • Next appointment is next Thursday... it's hard to believe that baby could actually arrive before then.  Wow!!
    • So about my short term disability.  (anger stirs up inside and blood pressure begins to rise...)... I found out just this morning that because I transferred to a new union when I became an RN, I am not eligible to collect any union benefits- including the short term disability supplement that I have been paying for- until I have paid six full months of premiums.... in other words, August 1st.  Wouldn't it figure that it's one week PAST my due date??  Grr.  Lucking, I have statistics on my side and know that my chances of baby arriving late are pretty good.  A full week late... I'm not so sure... but I will do my best to keep him/her snug and cozy until then.  :)


    Recipe: Super Easy Creamy Beef Stroganoff

    Well first, let me apologize for not having a yummy picture to pair with this, although, in all honestly, even the most perfectly executed Beef Stroganoff still resembles dog food, in my opinion.  Second, this is really not a typical summer meal... but I had thawed out beef stew meat and was at a loss for what to do with it, grilling was not an option, so voila... Beef Stroganoff it was.  And Deeeee-licious it was also.  :)  

    This is the perfect "what the heck am I going to throw together for dinner?" meal, because most of the ingredients, if not all, are things that you just have in your pantry or fridge... at least I do.

    • 1 pound beef stew meat
    • 1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
    • 1 package brown gravy mix
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 brick cream cheese (I use fat free)
    • Egg noodles
    • Sour cream (also use fat free)

    Mix the beef, onion soup mix, gravy mix and water together until beef is well coated in the crock pot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2, stir occasionally.  About 20 minutes before you are ready to serve, stir in the cream cheese and turn crock pot to low or warm.  Cook the egg noodles.

    Serve egg noodles, topped with the creamy beef stroganoff and add a little dollop of sour cream on top.... that's it!!  (Told ya it was easy).  :)


    37 Week Check In

    FULL TERM!!!  Wowee!!!  This means that baby can make their appearance, safely, any day now.  Any day... I can't believe we are here!!  This is just mind blowing.  Last night, I browsed through some of my older check-ins... (yes another teary-eyed moment of bitter sweetness)... I am so so happy and thankful to be here.  Next up... Baby time!!!

    How Big Is Baby?

    • Melon!!  Holy big baby!!  I can't believe I'm going to have to push something that size... never mind... I don't really want to think about it right now.  :?
    Baby’s Development
    • Around 37 weeks, many moms-to-be find themselves organizing cupboards and scrubbing their floors. That’s the nesting instinct kicking in as my body senses baby will be here shortly.
    • At this point, baby's organs and body systems are fully developed and ready for the real world...  baby is still growing though... gaining half an ounce a day!  Grow baby grow!
    How Big Is Mommy?
    • I think I may have started to drop, at least a little bit.  It's hard to tell from the pictures though because they all have a different background (note to self: next pregnancy, take weekly bump picture in the exact same place every week!).
    How Am I feeling?
    • Physically:  Great!  I can feel baby's position now and know that s/he is head down.  I feel lots of stretching and kicking up near my ribs (ouch!) and little squirmy hand movements down low.  I have also seen and felt hiccups and practice breathing.  Truly amazing.  Umm... as for me, my feet hurt like a sonofagun... but otherwise I am doing great.  Back pain seems to have lessened a bit, which is also worth celebrating.
    • Emotionally: In complete shock that we are full term.  I still don't think the whole baby-could-be-here-any-day has full sunk in yet, but we are just super excited.
    Any new developments, milestones?  Anything new?
    • I had an appointment on Monday, which went well.  I had my GBS (Group B Strep) test done, which was no big deal.  I was hoping for an internal check, but it was still a little too early to start those... so next week.  The OB did say the baby was "way low!" and commended me on my ball bouncing.  :)  Guess it was worth it.  For now, I am to continue ball bouncing, walking, warm baths, RRL tea and EPO supplements.  Hopefully all of this hard work before will make labor a little smoother.
    • Love:  Still obsessing over fresh cherries, frozen grapes and tomato/cucumber salad.  Nom Nom.  Oh... and Kevin and I made some turkey burgers the other night (note to self: must post recipe) that were to die for!!  My new favorite burger!!
    • Hate:  I might have to think for a little while on this one.  :)
    Any upcoming developments, milestones?  What's next?
    • Next appointment is one week from today.  I will be 38 weeks and will hopefully get my first internal exam which should tell us if we are progressing toward labor.  :)  Oh my gosh... LABOR!!!  Yikes!!!