Sometimes you just need to treasure the ponders of your heart...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Come Down, Baby!

September 28, 2014 has dawned cool and beautiful.  Clear blue sky, golden leaves, and the faintest of breezes -- it is the perfect fall day.  Wouldn't it be a great day to have a baby??

It's September 28, 2014 and it feels historic because Little One is officially full term. 

It's my due date, y'all!

Somehow we made it to forty full weeks of pregnancy.  I'm sitting in my rocking chair near the open window covered in vines and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.  Forty weeks is a long time.  My entire 2014 has been "pregnancy" and goodness gracious, I am just ready to hold my baby.

I'm actually just a tad disappointed that I'm not already.  Why?  Storytime!

Rewind to Tuesday, September 24.  I wake up feeling sick.  This isn't abnormal; morning sickness decided the final month would be a good time to kick in with a vengeance again.  Why did it feel like my first trimester again?!  I went to work because I was trying to hold out until next week to take my maternity leave.  Lunch rolls around and I just want to take a nap, so I find an unoccupied office, turn off the lights and shut the door, and sit in the chair with my feet up on the desk.  This worked beautifully the day before resulting in more energy and a fresh outlook on life (just kidding, but it was refreshing!).  However, on Tuesday, no dice.  With my eyes closed and nothing moving, I suddenly feel seasick and have to force my eyes open to re-orient myself.  I feel miserable.  My lunch break isn't even over when I go into my boss' office and tell her I'm going home for the day -- BUT I'll be back tomorrow!!!  She gives me a knowing look (no, you won't!), and tells me to go get some rest.  Thankfully, Landon was downtown for a gig, so I just chilled in the car while waiting for him to pack up and we went home.  Easy.

Fast forward a few hours.  Contractions!  What??  I thought I just wasn't feeling good!  But contractions they were, and getting closer together.  Landon downloaded an app to track them, and would run to hit "start" whenever I started waving my hand at him. Only 15-30 minutes apart, we decided I should just try to go to sleep between them because I would need my rest.  Maybe tomorrow would be the big day! 

I woke up on time to go to work, wondering if I should.  The contractions had slowed down while I was sleeping, only waking me up once or twice.  We sat in bed and debated and eventually decided, it's time to start my leave.  It was a little disappointing that I was starting it a week early -- I'll be going back to work a week before Christmas now -- but we knew the wise thing was to be rested going into labor and delivery.  I texted my boss (you gotta love modern communication) and informed her I was done.  She was excited, to say the least, and understanding and told me to stop thinking about work (I kept texting her little things that I remembered, but my temp was/is fully prepared to take over, so it was unnecessary in reality but necessary to my over-working brain).

So we faced Wednesday with a wide open schedule.  How lovely to be at home in the middle of the day!  The contractions were occasional.  Nothing major.  It made me wonder if I had made the right choice to stay home.  But late in the afternoon the contractions picked up.  They hit 8-16 minutes apart and my mom started to find an early morning flight.  We excitedly put the hospital bag near the front door and went to bed around 2am, again looking to charge up as much as we could.

I woke up on Thursday around 7 and nothing.  No contractions.  I realized I had slept through most of the night without feeling anything either.  What was this??  I was pretty stressed, actually, and more than a little mad.  Irrationally maybe, but don't argue with pregnant emotions.  ;)  My mom was on flight already, traveling across the country on her birthday with the anticipation that it might be her granddaughter's birthday, too.  But I was just plain grumpy.  "I'm just so ready to have this baby!!!!" I'm sure I said at least 68 times that morning.  Landon talked me off the cliff and took me to Babies 'R' Us while we waited for my mom to arrive.  I had a gift card, a $5 rewards coupon, and an incredibly coupon for 20% an item that came in the mail that day, and I felt like some retail therapy.  Granted, we bought nothing exciting, but a protective, waterproof Boppy cover seemed necessary and I was happy to buy it finally.

And while walking around the store -- contraction!  It was oddly encouraging because after all, who really wants to start labor only to have it stop a million times??  I just want my baby!!

It took a few more hours for another contraction to hit, but it did and then they started to pick up.  Mom was here, so Little One was welcome to come.  We went about our daily lives, threw the last few items in the hospital bag, and made sure everything was in order for us to go.  They were getting close, long, and more intense.  Surely, this was it!  We played Mario Kart for while, each race ending with a contraction (odd how perfectly timed they were!), and hit that longed-for 5 minutes apart for at least an hour mark.  They had been over 2 minutes long at this point, too, and I was ready.  I called the doctor's answering service around 11:20 and received a call back from the on-call doctor within minutes.  She said she'd let the hospital know I was on my way!

We took a few "last pregnant" pictures and got in the car, my mom following in another car so she'd have transportation later.  We were excited and raring to go.  We parked and walked over -- I was feeling energized and wanted to help this baby along any way possible.  The ER staff was incredibly friendly and a little shocked: "You're like the 6th one tonight!!"  We got settled in a room and waited to meet our nurse.

Lulu was her name and she was just lovely.  Her full name was something Native American for "Happy" and she lived up to it.  "Lulu is just easier to remember when you're delivering."  Agreed.  I still can't remember her full name!  She strapped the monitor on and you would have thought Little One was a Rockette -- she kicked against that monitor so much!!  You could barely hear her strong heart beat for all the static and movement sounds that overpowered it.  We chatted for a few minutes about what I had been experiencing and how she was going to check my dilation and then what our options would be based on what that was.  So she checked -- and it was the most uncomfortable, painful thing I've ever experienced so far.  I knew it would be uncomfortable, but painful?  Yep.  Because 1) my cervix was still pointed backwards, so she had to move it forward, 2) it was still pretty high and hadn't lowered yet, 3) Little One was kicking against her making it hard to find the opening, and 4) I was only halfway effaced and not a bit dilated.  She gave us two options: walk around for an hour to try to jumpstart it and then check again, or just go home and rest where I'd be more comfortable.  She left so we could discuss and I burst into tears.  Not just a little trickle, either.  Full on weeping as if I was grieving.  And I was to a certain extent.  I was expecting to meet my little girl and here I was being told that that wasn't about to happen anytime soon.

Let me just say I have an amazing husband.  I cried for a long time.  I don't know how I would have handled someone's stormy grief, but he was amazing. 

The nurse came back in, saw my tear-stained, reddened face and very kindly talked through our options again with us.  She mentioned that this was totally normal for first-time moms, that my body was just getting in some good practice, and that it wasn't that "nothing" was happening -- it just wasn't time to go yet.  I hadn't had a single contraction since we arrived.  We signed our discharge papers before we were even processed through admission.

They needed to get a good 15 minute heart beat script for the baby before we could go.  They could clearly see and hear that she was strong and healthy, but she was moving so much that it wasn't registering well and they needed to "prove" to the doctor that she was fine.  After two different nurses adjusted the monitor, held it in place, and gave up, they brought in a resident with an ultrasound.  So we did get to see our little girl, even if we didn't get to hold her.  But true to form, she wouldn't show us her face, though we did get a very detailed look at her little fingers which was so precious.  The ultrasound confirmed that she was strong and healthy, so we grabbed our stuff and left, still quite tearful and heavy hearted, not to mentioned extremely exhausted now that the adrenaline rush was over.  It was 2am.

Meanwhile, during all the drama, we had texted family and close friends that we were headed to the hospital and it was baby time.  About the same time we were getting the news that we should just go home, Landon's parents were texting that they were in the car and on their way to Denver.  They hadn't gotten too far from Wichita when we told them to just go back because nothing was happening.

We got home and fell into bed, exhausted, weary, and disappointed, after shooting out another, "So sorry it's so late, but...false alarm." text.  I woke up to lots of sympathy and encouragement, which was helpful, as I pretty much started crying again as soon as I woke up.  Landon and I talked for a long time.  There's something so helpful about just realizing that you're both feeling similarly.  He was disappointed, too, and I don't think I was expecting that.  He affirmed my grief over the "death of the moment" and reminded me that she is coming, one way or another.  Again, there's something very helpful about feelings, however dramatic, being affirmed and comforted.

About an hour later it was time for my weekly doctor's appointment.  As I checked in, I was told my doctor was at the hospital -- she had just delivered one baby and had FIVE more to deliver.  They actually thought that I was one of them.  I ended up just seeing the other doctor in the practice because there was no real chance of her coming back for a checkup and why reschedule for Tuesday when I needed to schedule an actual appointment on Tuesday anyway??  He was super nice and very quick.  We talked through us going to the hospital the night before and how his bet was that anything I had already experienced would actually end up being doubled in pain amounts.  He even quoted a 1930's supreme court justice: "I don't know how to define pornography, but I know it when I see it." which was his way of telling me I would know when I was actually in labor.  Ha!

This weekend has been pretty uneventful, labor-wise.  Very few contractions, which I tend to discount because they are so mild.  Yesterday we went up to Boulder, met up with my uncle and cousin, wandered the farmer's market and Pearl Street, went to the tea tour at Celestial Seasonings, drove up to NCAR and saw amazing views, and finished up at a Chinese restaurant.  It was so fun and relaxing.  I loved being able to take a drive, see the changing colors, and be so close to the mountains.  Today we plan on walking around the lake at Denver City Park and going to the free day at the Natural History and Science Museum.  I figure any walking, bumpy car rides, spicy food, raspberry leaf tea, and, um, any other typical "get labor going" things can't hurt, right?? ;)

So, here I am on my due date, with a squirmy baby still inside, though much lower than she's ever been, hoping that my water will just break so that I will know without a doubt that I am for real in labor.  More than anything I just don't want to be induced, and while I have 7-9 days before that's a reality, I'm trying not to just feel the clock ticking down.  One thing IS certain -- I will meet my baby very soon.  I would very much like that to be today.  I keep thinking about the song from Shrek: The Musical - "I Know It's Today".....which she sang everyday for years.  Haha.  At least I DO have an "expiration date", so to speak.  "Day number....two hundred and eighty...."

I'm ready.  Have I mentioned that??  I'm hoping this little girl is just very punctual.  Come today, baby!!  We were joking that she has one grandmother who is always early, one who is always late, and a mother who is always right on time....and a wildcard father. ;)  But who can predict when she will actually come?  I think that's what drives me crazy.  The doctor on Friday mentioned how it was like being a kid waiting for Christmas.  I countered with, "Yeah, but in this case, you don't know when Christmas is!!"  It's way more like waiting for a proposal you know is coming but don't know when!  :)

While in our childbirth class, our instructor told us, "Every time you have a contraction, think or speak - "Come down, baby!  Come down, baby!""  It cracked me up.  Still does.  But I find myself saying it, because that's what I want.

It's September 28th.  COME DOWN, BABY!!!!!

Oh, and, just to drive you crazy...I think we have settled on a name.  But you'll have to wait till her birth to find it out!! :D

September 27, 2014 - Just about 40 weeks

Thursday, September 11, 2014

When is Opening Night?

Photo Credit: Jackie Cooper Photography

The stage is set.  The costumes are ready to go.  The cast and crew are assembled and know what to do.  Everything - props, music, lighting, promo photos even - everything has been thought of and attended to.  Everyone nervously, but excitedly, is filled with anticipation as opening night approaches.  Even the audience is excited!  But there's just one teeny, tiny problem.

No one knows when opening night is!

It could be any night (or even day!) during a specific window of time, but no one really knows for sure when it will actually be.  So the actors continue doing warm ups and breathing exercises, making sure their costumes are fresh and ready, checking that their props are in order, walking the set, and going over the script -- which is mostly improv anyway.  They've prepared for months and are ready to go as soon as the director says, "It's time!"

A most unnerving way to produce theatre.

Can you even imagine that??  In theory it does sound a little intriguing.  Anticipation is usually 90% of the fun.  It would certainly be an experiment in actor/tech preparedness and professionalism.  A sort of "theatre of surprise."  Maybe I'll try it some day. ;)

Oh wait...  I already am.

Nearly 38 weeks of preparing, studying, rehearsing, creating a set, arranging props, accumulating costumes, and getting the actors in order -- all in preparation for a certain leading lady's big debut.

So....when is opening night??

It could be tonight!  Or tomorrow morning.  Or a week from now.  Or two.  Or three and a half.  Maybe she has stage fright and we'll have to coax her out a bit.  Maybe she's a line-stepper/cue-jumper and will surprise when least expected.  Perhaps she is a drama queen and will demand a long, lengthy, improvised monologue that keeps everyone longing for her long-windedness to end.  It's possible that she's fantastically on time and sticks to the script.  What a good little performer.

Whatever the case, opening night is soon.  So soon.  We're so close.

Our beautiful little star will be born very soon.

I have a feeling there won't be a dry eye in the audience...

Photo Credit: Jackie Cooper Photography

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pray with us?


You heard me -- thirty-six crazy weeks in and who knows how many to go.

I cannot believe it.  It's September 2, folks.  This is potentially my daughter's birth month!  When counting down to the due date, we're in the 20's.  It's going so lightning fast and so agonizingly slow.

This weekend we took a mini-babymoon up in the mountains.  Friends of ours in Eagle, CO, graciously opened their home to us to relax and recharge surrounded by mountains.  The loveliness of "getting away" was only exceeded by the loveliness of our constant lovely view.  See?

Last week was a whirlwind of delightful baby showers.  

On Sunday, August 24th, my theatre friends poured out lots of love and balloons and blessed our socks off!  The best part?  They sent me home with three trays of brownies.  Yum!

On Thursday, August 28th, my company threw me an amazingly fun shower with monkeys and frogs everywhere!  If you don't remember, I'm OBSESSED with monkeys and frogs right now.  It all blew me away -- the sheer generosity of my coworkers, the adorableness of all the monkeys and frogs, but mostly the sheer generosity of my coworkers.  I am continually blessed to work for Bonanza Creek with such an amazing boss, surrounded by people I truly enjoy working with.  Little One, Landon, and I were blessed for sure.  Most of the photos involve me making some kind of crazy "Awwww!" face -- just like the one below.

 Upon our return from our babymoon, we trekked down to Littleton for a third baby shower with friends from church.  We had a great time!  It was so relaxing to barbeque, chat, and be entertained by the 1 year old stealing the show. :)  Our future danced before us.  Of course, the highlight of the night was the little game we played.  I discovered something about my husband that night -- he is really good at "Pin the ____ on the____" games.  And this one was no different...


That's a winner, folks!  It's a girl!  All of us ladies decided it was a game that only the men needed to play.  Makes sense, right?  It's the most adult I've ever felt at a party. ;)

So, after a week of showering Little One, our place is bursting with baby stuff.

That particular pile 'o' blessing is my goal for this week.  Little One could come today and she'd survive quite well -- but there still a few things that would make her survival a little more comfortable.  Since I've had quite a few people ask what we still need, below is a list.  All of it can be found on our registry at, but I'm also not afraid of second-hand, passed around items.  

In no particular order:
  • Changing pad liners
  • 4moms Mamaroo Infant Insert
  • Burp cloths
  • Mamas and Papas Baby Snug Floor Seat
  • Nursing cover
  • JJ Cole Agility Stretch Wrap Carrier
  • Evenflo Active Carrier
  • Temporal Artery Thermometer
  • Baby Bathtub
  • Video Monitor
  • Play yard waterproof pad
  • Play yard sheets
  • 2 Baby gates
  • Bobby Pillow Protector
  • Diaper Cream
  • Diapers & Wipes!!!
  • Diaper pail inserts
We are extremely blessed and humbled by all the generosity that has supplied our "big" items, tons of clothes, storybooks, toys, and blankets.   Thank you all!!!

Now, to the title topic.  More than anything, I would ask you to pray with us.  We are in the homiest part of the home stretch, with each day bringing the question, "Will it be today??"  There are a few things that we are specifically praying about and I'd like to invite you to join with us.

Of course, "healthy mom and baby" are the top priority, but within that, here are some ways you can specifically pray with us.

  1. One Week Late: Call me crazy, but I'm praying that she will be one week late AND that I will be able to work through that week.  If I'm unable to work (bed rest, etc), then she might as well come already, but if she is a week late and I can work, then my maternity leave will take me through Christmas, which means we may actually be able to see family this year!!
  2. Going into Labor:   I'm praying that I will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am in labor.  I'm a watcher, so I'm constantly thinking, "Is this it?  Is that it?  What if it's today??" so for the sake of my sanity, I am determined to discontinue that line of thinking and just live normally and hopefully.  I've also heard too many stories of people not knowing they are in labor, and while that's nice and all, I like to know what's going on. ;)
  3. Natural Labor and Delivery:  I am hoping and praying to go as unmedicated, non-intervention, naturally as possible (terrible grammar, but you get the idea!).  We are finishing our "Unmedicated Childbirth" class this week and I'm feeling empowered and well-informed.  I am not "against" epidurals, etc, but I have a greater desire to be an active participant in my daughter's birth, come what may pain-wise.  I'm leaving the door open, but I am very much hoping to stick it out.  I have two friends who have given birth in the last 6 weeks completely naturally and they have each encouraged me greatly that I can do it, too.  So much better than the usual skepticism of others who tell me I'll be begging for that epidural.  Not helpful.
  4. No Tearing:  I am fully aware that most first time moms tear during their delivery -- but again, I know plenty of women who didn't, and I am praying that I am one of them. 
  5. Needle Fear:  This is a big one.  We've decided to utilize the hospital and stay with my OB/GYN.  I like her a lot, and I'd prefer to be in a setting where they can immediately help if something goes wrong.  As many of you probably know, they automatically prep you with an IV when you arrive to deliver.  I have to majorly work through this.  My doctor won't even discuss other options -- and honestly, I don't blame her.  My fear has gone down, but it's not gone.  Will you pray with me that by the time I get there, my fear of the IV, the blood draws, and anything else needle-wise will be gone?  People say it will be the furthest thing from my mind, but as I stand now, it won't be.  It will be what I hyper-focus on and I will lose the empowerment of being actively involved.  No, it won't be hooked up to anything; yes, they are going to wrap it so I "won't even know it's there" (right).  It will be in my forearm and not my hand or inside of my elbow -- which is helpful, btw.  There's not much anyone can say that will relieve this phobia.  It seriously must be supernaturally removed.  So please pray.
  6. Nurses/Medical Staff:  We're praying about the people involved in the labor and delivery room.  It's quite wonderful that it IS the same room and we won't be moving in between.  I've never really done well in medical settings, but having the right medical team makes all the difference.  Please pray with us for very skilled, compassionate nurses who ease tension and don't add to it, who can advocate for us, who are encouraging and supportive in the "natural" track, who are patient to explain and discuss what's going on, who do not rush me or make me feel weak/stupid/petty/silly, who aren't too frazzled by the laboring women next door, who bring peace with them, who are practical and down to earth, and who just in general are helpful and not pushy.  (Do I have preconceived notions about all this???  Noooo.....)
  7. My Doctor: Again with the preconceived notions....I'm very much praying that my doctor will be patient and very, very slow to jump to any interventions (read: episiotomy, forceps, vacuum, C-section, etc), that she won't be pushy when it comes to those interventions unless there truly is an emergency situation, that we will actually get our doctor and not someone on-call that we don't know, that she will continue to support natural/unmedicated delivery, and that she will have all the support she needs.
  8. Peace in the Room:  My greatest prayer in all of this is that there would be such a peace in our room, that people would walk in and palpably feel the peace, that I wouldn't be an anxious, demanding, crazy, unhinged mess, but able to breathe, relax even, and rest in the knowledge that I'm not alone through any of this.  "Loves endures all things" is still my mantra of sorts.  I'll be breathing that in throughout it all. 
So, will you join us in praying over this labor and delivery whenever it happens?  Feel free to share any verses that helped you through your childbirth process or that just help you in hard/scary/painful times in general.

We appreciate you being involved in our expanding family!  Let's see what the next 4-5 weeks bring!!