Friday, January 28, 2011

37 Weeks

37 weeks
Friday, January 28, 2011

I had my 37 week check-up today with Dr. Gass. I am measuring 39 weeks and he says I'm definitely having me a big baby girl! At my last ultrasound Mallory weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and that was 3 weeks ago! They're predicting that if we go to the c-section date of Feb. 10, that she will weigh 9 pounds! Whoa, baby! I had a surprise cervix check today and I'm 1 cm dilated. He checked the cervix last week but said that would be the only check since we're having a c-seciton anyway. But, I've been having real contractions since my check-up last week and also last Saturday we thought my water had broken, so he wanted to check the cervix just to make sure official labor has not begun. He did a test also today to see if it is my water breaking, but of course it's just my inability to hold in my urine! Ha! A problem I've had ever since pushing for 3 hours with Mason!

So, today just revealed that Mallory will be much bigger than Mason, that her heartbeart is fast and strong, my blood pressure is right where it needs to be, and my c-section is still scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 10. I'm still thinking sooner than that, but we'll see. :) I've had so much pressure and pain for the last 3 months to the point where some days I literally thought the baby was coming out of me. I never once felt this with Mason, but I've heard it's way different the 2nd time around. The pressure hasn't been as bad since I was put on partial bedrest back in November. I'm so glad I've been forced to slow down and stay off my feet because it has really helped me to feel better and I'm sure it's helped me to be able to keep the baby in this long.

I knew my baby girl was a big 'un and that my belly is measuring further along than what I really am, but I didn't realize how huge my belly was til looking at these pics right after Marc took them a few minutes ago! The first bare belly pic is unbelievable. I'm definitely bigger now than I was the day I delivered Mason at 39 weeks, 1 day!

Please continue to keep Mallory Jane and me in your prayers! These next couple of weeks are so unpredictable. Who knows if she will be here tomorrow or February 10th! Either way, we get to meet our miracle baby #2 very, very soon and we could not feel any more thankful or blessed! Our God is SO good!

33 & 34 Week Belly Shots

33 Weeks
New Year's Eve in Gatlinburg!

34 Weeks

Whoa, Baby!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Greatest Crib Ever!

The first huge furniture purchase Marc and I ever made was Mason's nursery furniture. I did the most research for months to find the sturdiest, safest, longest-lasting, highest-quality furniture for our son. We use hand-me-downs for our living room furniture, a dining room table from Goodwill, and a $200 Ikea dresser for our bedroom, but when it comes to Mason we only wanted the BEST for our firstborn! We found this beautiful Munire Essex set at USA Baby in Franklin, TN, and with the help of Marc's parents we were able to order it. We could not believe how much was being spent on this furniture, but knew it would last forever... and that's because we got a convertible crib! That's right folks, the crib that converts to a toddler bed and then eventually a full-sized bed! So, in other words, Mason is stuck with it til he's 18, oh and I'm sure his wife would just love it if he even decides to take it with him when he moves out of the house and gets married. Thank you.

After almost 2 1/2 years sleeping soundly in his crib, we decided to go ahead and change it to the toddler bed in order to A) transition him into the full-sized bed by getting him used to not having a railing or "protection" going all the way around; B) give him more room to spread out and not feel as "claustrophobic" since he's getting taller every day, and C) just all the changes that come along with getting a baby sister! On September 2, 2010, Mason's DaDa spent countless hours converting the crib to the most perfect toddler bed for his son. Well, not really hours... maybe an hour or so. Mason LOVED it, to say the least, and jumped right in that bed with his juice and posed away for that camera. For the first few weeks we would put him to bed at naptime & night and he would stay in the bed, not even attempting to escape. Even though it had the most obvious open space and would have been the easiest!! Well, the day in October I was hosting a baby shower for my friend, Stephanie, Mason decided he was done with his nap and wanted to join in the excitement of the party. So, he hopped right out of that bed and came running into the living room and plopped himself smack dab in the middle of the kids who were playing. I walked into the living room and was the most confused as to how he got out there. Some ladies told me they saw him hop right out of that bed. So that's when it began. The very challenging phase of the 2 1/2 year old! Mason has always been an "easy" child until we started dealing with this sleeping issue.

On December 4, 2010, Marc convered Mason's bed to the final stage: the FULL-SIZED BED! And of course, the sleeping issue went even more downhill! Mason definitely wouldn't stay in his bed then. For the first couple of weeks one of us would have to lay down with him in bed for at least 45 minutes to help him fall asleep. We would pat his tummy, scratch his back, sing to him, read to him, etc... whatever we could do to get him to fall asleep. Then, we would very carefully sneak out of his bed and out of his room. Well, Mason wouldn't let that happen. He would immediate wake up, start crying, and motioning for us to come back to bed. So, then we would either make the decision to sleep the whole night in his bed, or bring him to our bed where we would be the most comfortable. We FINALLY got our child to sleep in bed with us! I know, I know.. a strange goal. But, for 2 1/2 years Marc and I dreamed of the day that Mason would cuddle up in our bed with us. Hmm... when that day did come, we wanted to take back our dream! Ha! :) Yes, we love Mason cuddling up with us, but we honestly cannot sleep when he is in bed with us. On top of the fact that we don't want him to get into this habit and still be wanting to sleep with us when Mallory gets here. We can't have 2 kiddos in bed with us! Mallory will be sleeping in a bassinet in our room for a while since her room is so far away. So, Mason will definitely want to get in on the action then! Anyway, after a couple of weeks of us having to sleep in Mason's bed or put him in bed with us, we decided to take control of the situation and NOT allow him to sleep in our bed. So, now we just take turns trying to put him to sleep in his own bed and then resting with him for a while until we tiptoe back into our room. It always works until about 3 am, and then Mason gets up and runs into our room begging for one of us to go back to "Mason's crib." Well, at least we're kinda conquering the "Mason sleeps only in his own bed" part of the situation.

Oh, and as for naps... you may as well forget it! And one more thing, at least all of this situation makes for some cute pictures! Thank you.

Last picture of Mason's sweet crib :(

Trying out his toddler bed for the very first time
Asleep within 5 minutes... it's hard work helping your DaDa fix you up a "big boy bed"!
Poor baby looked so uncomfortable & cold in that toddler bed, so we had to add a blanket.
Woke up on the wrong side of the bed already!
Day 2 in the Toddler Bed!
Already pushing his limits by trying out out the things that are "no no"!
Little stinker with his Capri Sun

Oh, let's try one of these things we call a "pillow"... I've never slept with one of these before! Hmm.... let me think about it...
And it can go this way...
Oh, this way should be interesting!
Oh, forget it! I'm getting rid of this thang!
He finally gave up messing with the pillow and fell fast asleep!

Okay, enough of that... Three months later: the final stage!
Da Da hard at work... again!
I just had to include this of Mason's special little Christmas tree. It's been in his room every year so that we can put his special ornaments on there that people gave us when we found out he was a boy Dec. 08 and some that I bought as soon as we found out. We need to get him a bigger tree for next year since he's a big boy now!
The finished product and Mason trying out his big bed for the first time! I promise, it was not an easy task to get him to fall asleep in it! This was only after lots of book reading, singing, discussing, arguing, getting up 500 times and turning the light on & off, etc. But then of course looks like a perfect little angel when he's sleeping! :)
We used his crib bumpers the first few days to kinda protect him from falling out of the bed or hitting his head against the wall. We now have bed rails that we're borrowing from a friend but haven't tried them out yet.
We had a full-sized bed we kept in Mason's nursery in Nashville since that room had to also still serve as our guest room. Target happened to have this bedding set that matched Mason's crib bedding perfectly, so I bought it for that full bed. I'm so glad I did cuz now I have something cute to put on his big boy bed that isn't too babyish. I really didn't want to have to go out now and buy him a new bedspread, and I ended up not having to spend a dime on this "transition." Maybe in a few years I'll let him pick out some new fun theme!

He woke up and had a brief spat with his monkey... I love in the pic above how you see the sweet little monkey asleep next to his big friend!

All snuggled up with his monkey & "special blankie"... he finally has found some items that he would like to sleep with. He has never really had a "lovey" so I'm glad he has one now cuz hopefully they'll help him feel a little more secure in his big boy bed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

32 Weeks at Christmas!

This was written December 26, but is just now being posted! So just pretend that it's Dec. 26. :)
Christmas Eve at Aunt Linzett & Uncle Steve's house

Christmas Day at our house celebrating with our parents

Love this picture of my mom & me! It's just one that I think I'll treasure always, especially when Mallory is 16 and I'm showing her pictures of when I was pregnant with her.

WHEN AM I DUE? C-section scheduled for Thursday, February 10, 2011 (original due date: Feb. 18)

WEIGHT: 149 lbs at my 32 week-check up this past Thursday... At 4 weeks I weighed 122 lbs. Weight gain total: 27 lbs.

Still pouring in from friends! I have maternity clothes out the ying-yang! I'm having a hard time now keeping with with belongs to who! I'm definitely way past the point of being able to wear the maternity clothes I wore with Mason, even all the way up to the very end. I am pretty much uncomfortable now in anything I wear, except for some pj pants and Marc's x-large t-shirts! That's what I hang out in during the day. I'm also still wearing my Jockey comfy pants and hoodies. They actually kinda make me feel a little bit cute AND they're comfy at the same time!! :) When I do have to actually get ready, I wear maternity Heidi Klum skinny jeans (my newest purchase from Motherhood Maternity) or leggings and boots, maternity sleeved, tissue thin fitted shirts from Target. Those are really the only shirts that are fitting over my tummy now. I've also bought a couple of long "boyfriend" cardigans to throw over those tees sometimes. I throw on a long necklace to dress the shirt/cardigan up a little and I'm good to go! I ordered myself some goodies from while I was Christmas shopping on that site since I'm growing out of all my clothes. I ordered a purple velour maternity sweatsuit, which I love! The pants are so soft and comfy and aren't too tight around my waist. The jacket has a drawstring just under my chest and is very flattering. I kinda got the J. Lo look goin'! Ha! I actually bought it to wear as a going-home outfit, but I've already busted it out to wear while I'm still pregnant since it looked so comfy. I also bought a couple of long sweaters at Motherhood, one of which I'm wearing in the pics above.
As you can see in the Christmas Eve pic above, dresses are now making me look HUGE!!! So even though I lived in them at the beginning of the pregnancy, bye bye to dresses now for me! I have a couple that still look okay, so I'll be busting those out for church, but for now on I need to wear shirts that hug my belly so I'll actually look pregnant and not like a cow. Ha! :)

SHOWING?? Oh, most definitely! At my 32 week check-up I was measuring almost 34 weeks ahead. So, my belly is measuring a couple of weeks bigger than what it should, but Dr. Gass isn't too worried. He says that the most weight gain happens during this point of the pregnancy and things should start evening out soon. He told me that I'm definitely "out there" and that he even liked my outfit on Thursday. Ha! :)

FEELIN' THE BABY?? 24/7! Mallory is constantly moving and it's usually on the right side of my belly. I'm pretty sure half of these movements I feel are Braxton Hicks, but I'm starting to get them confused. I'm not just feeling little ripples across the tummy, these are some serious movements that take my breath away. Even though they're very uncomfortable, they're constant reminders that I have a healthy, active baby girl growing in my tummy. Thank you, God!

SLEEP: Since my 30 week check-up of being put on partial bed rest, I have been resting a ton during the day. I stay off my feet as much as I can. I am still pretty exhausted all the time and fall asleep on and off on the couch while Mason is watching t.v. Thankfully we have a little boy who has never really "gotten in to stuff" so I know it's okay to shut my eyes for a few minutes while he's entertaining himself. I have to rest during the day, because I'm not getting solid sleep at night. Mason has pretty much stopped sleeping since we turned his bed to a toddler bed and then to the full-sized bed, so one of us usually has to sleep with him in his bed every night. Or, we'll put him bed with us. So, we're not getting as much sleep as we're used to. It's been a big challenge for us dealing with this lack of sleep since we've been so spoiled for 2 1/2 years by a child who LOVES to sleep! I know it's just all to prepare us for when Mallory gets here.

WHAT I MISS: Being comfortable. Mason sleeping 12 hours a day. Mason napping during the day while I also nap. Being comfy in clothes. Having lots of energy. Working out. Picking my baby up. I hate to complain about any of this because I'm just so thankful to be pregnant with a healthy baby girl, but, it's still been a very, very challenging few months. I know this baby girl is going to be somethin' special because of how big of a stinker she's been! :)

CRAVINGS & AVERSIONS: My nausea FINALLY ended around Week 24, so I'm eating more now. My newest random craving is Pimento Cheese Sandwiches!! I could eat 5 a day, but I usually just have 2. :) I also buy Rotisserie Chickens at the grocery and dig into it as soon as I'm unloading the groceries out of the van and into the house! Still loving pizza, but it cramps my tummy and I usually regret it! Still loving cereal, especially fake brand Lucky Charms and salads. And I could eat Fazoli's every day of the week. Not really wanting milkshakes as much. Haven't been craving fruit at all with this pregnancy. Love me some fast food fries. I know, the most horrible thang in the world for you. But, Marc has been having to get us drive-thru most nights since I'm not able to stand on my feet and cook. So, fries it is! They're sooo yummy! Still disgusted by the idea of blueberries. Not really any other specific aversions.

UPDATE ON BABY GIRL: We had a high-risk ultrasound Wednesday, Dec. 22 with the specialist at the Maternal Fetal Group, and they said that Mallory already weighs close to 5 pounds! They say that if I go all the way to my c-section date of Feb. 10, she will probably weigh close to NINE POUNDS!! What in the world?!?!?! Mason was only 7, so they're saying that this explains why I'm having a harder time carrying Mallory and why I'm having all that pain and pressure. We're so thankful that everything is still looking good in the ultrasounds and that she is growing away and is very active. They thought that with the 2-vessel umbilical cord that her growth would be slowed, but it's actually been the exact opposite! We can't imagine how big she would be if I had all 3 vessels, so the 2 vessels are actually a blessing in disguise.

You're probably wondering why I haven't yet talked about the NURSERY?? Well, because there isn't one!! Thank you. We are turning our guest/sewing/play room into Mallory's nursery, but with Marc studying for his boards the past few months and me not feeling well, we haven't done one thing. My dad did come here a few weekends ago to help me organize the closet in that room and make some room for some of Mallory's things. That was a start and helped me feel like we accomplished SOMETHING at least. Still waiting for the crib to come in. At first they said it should be delivered the first week of December, but that came and went and still no crib. The latest is that it is on backorder and won't be shipped until Feb. 7th. Thank you. So, no hopes of a crib until AFTER Mallory is born. And, I have these great intentions of ordering fabric and making the bedding. I've been researching fabric for MONTHS and just can't make up my mind! I promise I'll do it soon. I've just been concentrating on Christmas and have these wonderful plans of spending January getting the nursery ready. Mallory's dresser & vanity that I ordered off of Craig's List are still sitting in the garage waiting to be moved into her room. So, everything is just kinda in disarray right now and I feel SO unprepared for her to get here! I know a nursery does not matter at all, but I just think my mind will feel more settled once I see the beginnings of a nursery. By 34 weeks with Mason, the nursery was as done as it was going to get and I was just so ready for him to get here. So, that gives me 2 weeks to make a little bit more progress! After the holidays our parents will come and help us move furniture around and get Mason's "new" playroom ready (we're turning the dining room into the play/sewing room). THEN we'll be able to start setting up the nursery. Just bear with me! I'm soooo excited to get this sweet girl's nursery ready and know it'll be a project that'll last several months. I've been waiting for this for so long!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

30 Weeks... time to slow down!

30 weeks at the Certain Family Christmas... with Marc's cousin, Ginny Sue, who had just announced she was 12 weeks pregnant! How fun! Next Christmas we'll have TWO new sweet babies at family Christmas!

I had my 30 week-check up on Thursday, December 9th, two days before Christmas with Marc's family. I was given some news that I kinda thought I was going to hear at some point during this pregnancy, and I actually received the news with open arms! I'm measuring about 32 weeks and Mallory has measured a little bit ahead the past couple of months, so Dr. Gass is predicting that she's going to be bigger than Mason was. I am also having a difficult time standing up or walking for any period of time because I've been getting so dizzy and weak and having to sit down. I have also been experiencing a lot of pressure and pain in my pelvic region and it's worrying me because it literally feels like Mallory is going to come right out of me! I'm not even kidding. I never once felt that with Mason. I felt great and full of energy and definitely not this weak at the end of the pregnancy like this. So, after Dr. Gass heard me explain all of this, he said that for now on I needed to stay off my feet as much as possible, which means absolutely NO grocery shopping or going to stores and no chasing Mason! He also said that I can't pick Mason up or really hold him for a long period of time. He wants me to go to Feb. 10 if at all possible and he says the only way for me to do that and to be comfortable is to rest as much as I can. Of course this feels like awful timing since Marc's family Christmas is THIS weekend and then the rest of December is crazy with family stuff, but it's also a God-send that he's making me slow down because I would have completely worn myself out over the holidays if I weren't "forced" to rest.

I am actually thrilled to be on "partial" bedrest because I know it is the best thing for Mallory and me. I need to take care of this big baby girl and I want to feel better and try to enjoy the rest of the pregnancy. I wouldn't be this thrilled if I wouldn't of had this great idea to do pretty much all our Christmas shopping online this year. I've never been much of one to do that, but I just haven't felt like going out into all the mess of the shopping world and fight all that traffic. So, I've been sitting at home, on the couch, in my pj's, shopping away for about a month now. It's been so great! And usually the doorbell rings at least once a day of UPS or Fed Ex dropping off a fun package. I'm so thankful I haven't left my Christmas shopping to the last minute this year and that I started early in ordering things here and there online. Man, I would be in some serious trouble though if I had planned on leaving my shopping for later in December and if I didn't like hanging out in my pj's on the computer!

So, upon receiving this news, I tried to bring up to Dr. Gass the idea of moving the date of the c-section up to earlier in February. He was not at all about this idea and did not seem concerned about the weight of the baby or me. He said, "Well, that's the great thing about having a c-section!" Well, I was hoping he would feel sorry for how uncomfortable I am (ha!) and say we could have Mallory earlier, but he wouldn't budge. He just said that we needed to try our best to leave Mallory in until Feb. 10 that that the partial bedrest should help with that. He's just worried that if take her too soon then her lungs could be underdeveloped and she would have to spend some time in the NICU. Of course I don't want that at all for my baby girl and I don't want to be selfish, so I'm going to trust his judgement and just be patient.

So, February 10th it still is!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

29 weeks & Marc's Work Christmas Party!

29 weeks on December 3, 2010 at the Graves-Gilbert Christmas Party
It's that time of the year that we all look forward to... the spouse's work Christmas party!! Those are always a little awkard and hard to get through because you gotta put on a smile and be introduced to 500 people and sit and listen to conversations between your spouse and random people about what they do at work. Thank you. Actually, I've never minded Marc's work Christmas parties. Vanderbilt had the best ones ever and we would look forward to them because they gave out the most awesome door prizes ever... like $100 gift cards to our fave restaurants and weekend trips to New York. Thank you. So, we were kinda excited about our first Graves-Gilbert Christmas Party thinking that it would be just as exciting (we had to miss it last year since I was sick). Well, let's just say we didn't go home with any fun prizes, but we did get to spend the evening sitting and chatting with our friends from church, Dr. Patti & Steve. Patti is a pediatrician at Graves-Gilbert (and Mason's pediatrician!). We had fun looking at some of the cool cars, since we were at the Corvette Museum and all. AND, Marc got to show off his baby momma and look like "the man." Ha!

Okay, so let's back up a little to my dilemma. With my growing discomfort, there was NO WAY I could find something in my closet that was cute and dressy enough to wear to the party that would actually be comfy enough to last a few hours of not driving me crazy, and to be stretchy enough to leave room for eating lots of yummy food! So, off to Motherhood Maternity I went. It's really been a few years since I've gone shopping for an outfit to wear to a certain event because I'm just too cheap to justify spending extra money like that, but this was an emergency. Ha! The girl helped me find this really holiday-ish looking tank top thang that she said would look "super cute" with a little black cardigan over it. Thank you. And, I happened to have a dressy cardigan my mom got me a few years ago for Christmas that I could squeeze onto my arms. The best part was that I could wear black leggings and tall black boots since the shirt was long and flowy enough to look right with them. So, I just had to buy one maternity tank top and the Christmas party outfit was complete! Well, I did walk down the mall a few stores and found this hoochie teeny-boppin' cute store that sold lots of fun jewelry. I bought a couple of necklaces to spruce up the outfit a little. I love them and have already gotten the most use out of them. I call them my "maternity jewelry." Thank you.

Oh, and you wonder where Mason was? Well, we were kinda in the middle of his "don't wanna sleep" crisis and Marc and I are two exhausted parents. We had not had any sleep that week of trying to deal with Mason adjusting to his new big boy bed and having to take him back and forth to his bed all night long and eventually giving up and letting him sleep with us, which meant no sleep for us because of him kicking and moving the entire night. I called my dad and pleaded with him to come and get Mason on Friday for him to spend the night in Nashville that night so that Marc and I could have a break and get a good night's rest. AND, it worked out because we needed someone to watch Mason that night so that we could go to Marc's party. It was so great because we got to sleep in Saturday morning for the first time in a while. We went to Nashville Saturday night to get Mason and were soooo excited to see him and have him back with us... even if it meant right back to the sleep crisis! So, sleep or no sleep, we missed our baby boy like crazy!!

Here are some belly shot pics before we left for the party and of our fun night out on the town:

Checkin' out the museum with Patti & Steve... we would love to take Mason back to the Corvette Museum cuz he would be in the most awe seeing all those "vroom vrooms"!
I love him!
Dr. Patti & Steve... we are so blessed to have a wonderful, Christmas pediatrican for Mason who also just happens to go to church with us!

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