June 24, 2013



Still no baby.

Working on 5 days late right now. I think? Maybe 4.  It doesn't matter.  I just know that right now? The baby was supposed to be OUTSIDE my body, not still chillaxing INside.

Clearly I'm handling it well.

Here's the thing....I wasn't going to write this post if I went overdue.  I was going to just keep all the anxiety and stress and disappointment inside, knowing full well and focusing on the fact that it literally cannot stay in there forever and eventually I'll have my baby....

But holding it in is killing me.  I'M UPSET ABOUT IT.  Okay?  I mean I'm still not this bad:

....but I definitely have a new respect for Rachel in this episode, whereas I used to tell Michael, "I will NEVER act that way when I'm pregnant!"  Truthfully, that's because I never expected to go beyond my due date.  And, even though I'm frustrated and sad that I don't have a baby in my arms yet, I am still NOT THIS MEAN to my husband.  If anything, I've been borderline rude and negligent of every other well-meaning person in my life just so I can save up all my nice and patient behavior for my sweet husband.  He's been amazing, and I know he hates that he can't really do anything to make this happen more quickly for me/us.

I'm not even all that miserably uncomfortable, physically.  There are moments where I still feel like someone is trying to pull me apart like a wishbone, but that's usually a quick hip/groin pain that goes away with a quick stretch the other way.  There are times when I feel quite uncomfortable (and the rising Texas temperatures aren't helping), but really I feel fine.  Put it this way....if I were 37 weeks, I wouldn't be complaining.  I have zero contractions/pre-labor signs. I have decent energy and all that. I still look pretty non-swollen (though the rings are officially off) and the nurse last week told me how pretty my belly is. But I was supposed to have a baby by now!

I hate not knowing. I hate doing all the (healthy and proven) things that are supposed to move things along and seeing/feeling no progress.  I hate thinking that I might have to be medically induced and possibly have a C-section.  And please...PLEASE...do not tell me things like "Well whatever it takes to get your healthy baby!" or "It's allllllllllll gonna be worth it when you see him/her!"

I KNOW that. I really really know that.  Trust me that I know that. 

But right now? It sucks.  It's frustrating and I hate feeling this way.

I also know that nobody knows what to say to me because they either a) don't understand because they've never been pregnant or didn't go late or b) have that legendary "pregnancy amnesia" working for them because of their sweet new babies.  Or because they just think there's nothing anyone can say to me right now, which is only partly true.  If you can make me laugh, that's the way to go.  Saying things like "What the hell is up with your kid? RUDE!" is more likely to make me smile and laugh than "Hang in there! YOU'RE SO CLOSE!"  And for God's sake, don't tell me how late you were.  That doesn't help.

I know that's not fair, but it's the truth.  I know that's not attractive, but I am wearing myself out trying to be able to help it.  Hence, this blog post. 

It's negative and it's whiny and it's gonna seem REAL stupid and silly when I post about my birth story and am looking at my perfect little newborn...but this is the reality of my NOW.

And I have to let it out somewhere.  And typing up a blog post makes me feel better than just sobbing and crying uncontrollably.

So....if you made it this far, thank you.  If you're rolling your eyes at me, that's okay too.  :) 

June 13, 2013

Weighing on my Mind, Part 2

Today I am 39 weeks pregnant.  Which means it's officially one week exactly until my due date. 

The first thing weighing on my mind right now, obviously, is "LET'S GO BABY R, IT'S TIME TO GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD!"

One, because I'm anxious to meet him or her.  I'm tired of saying "it."  I'm ready to know who the baby looks more like...whether or not it has red hair...whether or not it has hair at ALL...all those things.  I'm happy that I've provided such a comfortable living environment for this child, but it's time to make your DEBUT, little one!

Two, because I really don't want to go past my due date and start hearing words like "induction."  I had my 39 week appointment this morning and not a lot of progress is being made (I'll save terms like "dilation and effacement" for the birth story, when it actually matters. You're welcome.), but some is.  Just...not as much as I was hoping for. 

So, if I make it to my next week's appointment (which will be right at 40 weeks), I'll have to have a sonogram and a BPP (biophysical profile) to just make sure the baby is comfy and not stressing out and that fluid levels are good.  This is not a big deal...it's just a way to check to make sure they can let me go a little longer and not have to induce labor.  I just...ehhhh....I don't want another sonogram.  I don't want to start throwing around terms like "fluid levels" and "biophysical profile."  I know that it's just a precautionary measure to make sure we don't have to induce, but I just am now hoping and praying that Baby R decides s/he's ready to meet us before next Thursday's appointment!

Here's another thing that's been "weigh"-ing on my mind.  Remember when I wrote this post about the total mindf**k that is gaining weight during pregnancy when you've struggled and fought the scale your whole life?

Well I didn't stay under the number I was hoping to stay under (that was kind of a pipe dream anyway, I think....and my immense cravings for sugary sweet things and Slurpees didn't help, either), but I'm STILL under the Big Scary Number, which is the heaviest I have ever been in my life:

December 2009 at my heaviest. I HATE this picture.
As of today, I am STILL 2lbs under this number, and I'm 9 months pregnant (10, really, if you wanna count the WHOLE thing and that month you don't know you're pregnant).  To me, this is a HUGE accomplishment.  If I can grow another human being inside of my body and eat pretty much whatever I want (because believe that I DID) during pregnancy and still not hit my highest weight ever, then I'm happy.  Also, I KNOW I can lose the weight.  Because I've already done it. 

So there's THAT.

The THIRD thing weighing on my mind these days...FEAR.

Absolutely petrifying fear.  I have NO idea what to expect....both from labor & delivery AND from, oh you know, TAKING CARE OF A NEWBORN. 

I started crying last weekend because I told Michael I'm scared.  I've been getting these great emails all throughout my pregnancy about which baby products are best, and what's best to have around the house as soon as Baby is born, etc....but the last couple of them were about postpartum recovery.  Sheesh...according to these emails, my bathroom will resemble a horror movie and/or a HazMat zone and everything is going to hurt LIKE A LOT and blood everywhere and sitting down hurts and....yeah.  Sounds reassuring, huh?

I started to get more afraid of recovery than actual delivery.  I have, since then, talked to a few women and felt a little better knowing that it's obviously different for every woman.  But still.  It's scary to think about being exhausted, hormonal, AND busted up from delivery.  It's also scary to think about poor Michael dealing with all of that.

So I'm back to praying.  Praying that God will take away my fear because, underneath my fears I still want to go as natural and medical/intervention-free as possible.  I know I can do it.  I was designed to do it.

It's a strange mental place to be in, these last few weeks.  I'm scared, but I'm excited.  I'm nervous, but I'm anxious.  I have no idea what to expect.  I could go another two weeks (NOOOOOO) or I could be at the hospital tonight.  It's times like these that show me what a control freak I really am about some things...I like to plan my life, and you just can't plan for some things.  I can prepare a nursery, but there's no real way to prepare yourself for something you've never done before.

So I'm trying to go back to the prayers and the affirmations and the meditation on what a beautiful and natural experience this is, and how blessed we are to have the opportunity to have a family. 

I'm hoping that my next blog post will be a birth story, so, thanks for sticking around this blog this whole pregnancy with me!!

June 6, 2013


As we approach go-time to have little Baby R (I'm at 38 weeks today...no discernible progress, but that means nothing, really), I keep thinking about my husband.  Our relationship.  How it has changed. How it will change.  How it is right at this moment, in these last few days/weeks of "just us."

Our first picture together, almost 11 years ago.

I'm one of those people who can honestly say I knew when we started dating that Michael would be the man I would marry.  There wasn't ever a doubt in my mind.  I didn't know when (it'd be six years until we got engaged, and we would throw a cross-country move to Boston into the mix beforehand) or how or where....but I knew it would happen.

One of our engagement pictures -- my favorite.

We got engaged on June 21st, 2007.  It was the summer solstice -- the longest day of the year -- and we had been planning a trip to a bed & breakfast in Vermont.  Instead of picking me up at the train station after work as we'd agreed, he texted me and told me he'd left the car for me and walked home.

I got into the car and saw a note taped to the steering wheel with "M" on the outside.  Inside was a clue. It led me to another clue with a note that said "A" on the outside.  Then to another that said "RR," and then another that said "Y," and then to one final note in our apartment complex that said "ME" on the outside.

Shaking, I walked into our apartment to find him wearing a suit and tie, on one knee, with candles lit. I remember I was wearing a white sundress.  He read me a letter, detailing the reasons he loved me, and then he opened a white box and offered me a ring.  Folded into the box was a fortune from a fortune cookie that he'd saved.  It said "Stop searching forever. Happiness is just next to you."

Hold that thought...

We got married on September 6th, 2008.  It was one of the best days of my life, but I still count the day we got engaged as "better," simply because it was just the two of us. We were the only ones in that moment. One of my favorite moments of our wedding was the last dance at the reception.  The guests left to go get ready for our Grand Exit. The DJ started "The Last Dance" by Frank Sinatra, then left the room.  The photographers left.  The waitstaff left.  Everyone left and it was just us -- alone on an empty dance floor.

Hold that thought...

Since our wedding, we've been through the typical (I suppose nothing is typical when it's specific to you as a couple, but...) ups and downs as a married couple.  We've been selfish, at times.  We've been too needy or too distant.  We've held grudges and taken things for granted.

But we've laughed until we nearly cried at inside jokes.  We've communicated across a room full of strangers, friends, and/or family members with just the raising of an eyebrow or a facial expression.  We've talked and talked and talked.  We adopted our "first born:"

I can honestly say that, even after almost a decade of being together, I didn't really get it until the past year and a half or so.  As I said earlier, I knew in the first weeks of dating that this would be the man with whom I'd spend the rest of my life.  I knew I loved him...as someone who is young and immature can be in love.

In the past year or so, though, our honesty and communication have improved.  We've grown up.  We both want God first in our marriage and in our family.  We've learned things about who we are individually that have shaped and molded who we are as a couple. In some ways, I started to feel like it was a brand new chapter in our lives -- a chapter that will still contain stress and conflict, but that will be a continuation of the journey of two main characters who have really changed and matured.

It's cliché, I know, but I can honestly say I love him more now than any other time in the past decade. I love him in a brand new way.  I love how he is a Spiritual leader in our family by his actions and his words, but in his own quiet way.  He's taught me to stop and listen rather than be quick to make my point.  He's always there to remind me to laugh at stupid things until you cry.  He's taught me about grace and forgiveness.

There have been times recently when I'm truly overwhelmed by how much I love my husband, and then overwhelmed at how long it took me to "get here." To see it how it's supposed to be, finally.  How God always intended a marriage to be.

Remember when I said earlier that I still place the day we got engaged over the day we got married?  It's close enough to be a tie, but the reason that the engagement stands out is because it was just us.  It was all about us in that moment.

Looking back over the past year and a half, the moments that stick out to me the most are the moments when it was "just us."  After years of being physically (and sometimes emotionally) apart for one reason or another due to rehearsals, our own selfish plans, or just conflicting schedules, we've both put us on the front-burner.  Invitations are turned down, politely.  Plans are sometimes cancelled. Us is a now a much higher priority.

Obviously, one of the moments topping the list of late is the moment we found out I was going to have a baby.  It was early on a Sunday morning, and the three of us (he and I and Carmen, of course) were just lounging and cuddling on our bed, and I decided it was time to take a test. I just had a feeling...I know my body and I knew something was different.

Just like I will never forget the look in his eyes and the smile on his face when he opened that white jewelry box and asked me to be his wife, I will never forget the way his eyes grew to the size of dinner plates when this time it was I who held out a white object.  He saw the word "Pregnant" on the little tiny screen and, once again, our lives were changed forever.


I have been wanting to write a post about my husband for a long time now, and a couple of weeks before the expected delivery of our first child seemed like a good time to do it.  For one thing, I wanted to just brag.  He is an amazing husband, an incredible best friend, and the best doggy daddy an accident-prone pitbull could ask for.

He's been an amazing husband throughout my pregnancy.  He's thoughtful, he's proud of me and tells me often, he's dedicated and supportive, and he's so excited.  

I truly cannot wait to see him be a father. If it overwhelms me to think about how much I love him now, when it's just us and our little baby bull Carmen, I can't even imagine how it will make me feel when I hear him announce "It's a _____!" and when I see him hold our son/daughter for the first time.

For anyone who thinks we are being selfish or plain old spiteful when we ask that we have no visitors until hours after our baby is born, and who do not understand why we don't want anyone with us in the delivery room except the necessary medical personnel, please try to understand --

Everything wonderful and life-changing that has ever happened to us has been when it's just us. Our engagement.  The last dance at our wedding.  The late-night, sometimes tear-filled (on my part) conversations that got us through hard times.  The nights holding our shaking dog recovering from surgery.  The moment we found out we were going to be parents.  The first time we heard our baby's heartbeat...

We only want the same thing when we increase our family by one more.  When us takes on new meaning.

Our baby is due on June 20th.  I have to admit that, while I'd like to welcome him/her whenever the timing is perfect, I wouldn't mind being one day late and delivering on June 21st.  The summer solstice.  The longest day of the year.  The six year anniversary of the day we got engaged.

Earlier this week, we got Chinese food for dinner. As I opened my fortune cookie, my pregnancy hormones kicked into gear and I suddenly started crying.  "Honey, look!" I exclaimed, and I showed him my fortune:

Maybe it's a sign that this baby will arrive on that special anniversary date.  Or maybe it was just a coincidence...surely these fortunes get used over and over again.  Or maybe it was just a reminder of just how far we've come together and how different our journey is about to be.  No matter what, though, I'll be putting this one inside that yellowing white box along with the original.

It's a reminder about us. And it's about to change forever.