Sunday, December 19, 2010

Newborn Photos

A friend of mine, Katie Ryan, is a FABulous photographer. When I found out I was pregnant, I was really excited to have Katie take pictures of my kid. This morning, Katie came over and took some newborn photos of Hannah, and I'm so glad she did. I love the way they turned out! Even better, I'm glad we have some photos of her when she's so small.

Thanks, Katie!

http://katieryanphotography.blogspot.com/2010/12/hanna-newborn.html

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Three Years Married, Ten Years Together

Today is our wedding anniversary.


"But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take...It is indeed a fearful gamble...Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take...If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanant; into that love which is not possession, but participation...When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling..."

--From The Irrational Season, by Madeline L'Engle

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sunrise

During my pregnancy, hen I was at my most down and most anxious, I would sing her this song. I would feel her moving inside me and together, we'd sing this song.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,

and I say it’s all right


Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right


Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…


Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it’s all right


It’s all right

~George Harrison

It is all right. And now, she's finally here.
Hannah Grace
December 7th, 2010
6:09 p.m.
7 lbs, 3 oz.
19 3/4 in. long
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Before the Dawn

Dear Hannah,

Your birth day is coming. The day we get to meet you is just about here, and I have to say--no one is more excited to meet you than I am! After feeling you growing and moving inside me for months, I feel like I know you already, but there is so much more I don't know about you. What do you look like? Do you have hair, and if you do what color is it? Did you inheirit my big nose or my big feet? (Sorry about those, by the way.) Will you have my sense of humor or your dad's? Will you love chocolate on the outside as much as you do on the inside? Will you be the most paranoid baby ever thanks to the endless Law & Order: SVU bender I went on during my pregnancy? Most importantly, are you a Sox fan or a Cubs fan?

I had a great time decorating your nursery. I wanted it to be perfect for you. (Just ask your dad! I drove him nuts.) It's still not done--mostly because I procrastinate (and yet I sit here wondering why I'm still pregnant....looks like you inheirited my tendency to be late to everything!), but it's pretty close. Thankfully you won't be sleeping there for a few weeks, so I have time to get it exactly the way I want it for you before you officially move in. We've been spending a lot of time in there, though. I sit in the glider and rock with you, and I've been reading all the books we got for your library, all gifts from people who love you more than you can possibly imagine.

It's been hard for me, the last few days, dealing with all the phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook messages (don't ask what Facebook is...it'll be dead by the time you're old enough to understand), and family website posts left by our family and friends. In these last few days with you, I just want to enjoy our time together. I've been ignoring my cell phone and not answering texts and messages because they aggrivate me--your dad and I have been waiting to meet you since April, months before anyone else knew we were expecting. It's hard for me to hear how badly everyone else wants to meet you because I really just can't wait to hold you in my arms and look at the little person who's been squirming and stretching around inside me since springtime. I have to keep reminding myself that everyone else already loves you and wants to meet you, not as badly as we do, but pretty close.

It's been a strange few weeks as I approach your birth day. Gradually, you've been growing from my conceptual daughter to my real, live one. Seeing you in an ultrasound and hearing your heartbeat bring us closer and closer to the reality that one day soon you won't be an image on a screen or a pounding echo on a doppler, but a living, breathing, beautiful little girl. Seeing your sweet face in my ultrasound last week was incredible. You haven't always been upfront about showing us your face, though you've never been shy about showing us that you're a girl (a trait that already has your dad worried). But, after some shifting and straining on my part, we were able to get your hands away from your face and your face away from my pelvic bones (HOW is that comfortable???) and we got some great images of your face. Seeing you up close like that just makes me even more excited for the day I get to meet you. I'll get to look into your eyes and hold you and see just how chubby those cheeks of yours really are.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the kind of mom I'm going to be and the kind of mother you're going to get. I know that I'm going to make mistakes and I have to apologize in advance for those. I know that we'll argue and disagree and there are so many things I'm going to not let you do, either because they aren't safe or because I'm going to be a Nervous Nelly, but I promise you that I won't keep you in a bubble. I promise I will let you fall down and bump your head sometimes. I promise that I will let you make mistakes, learn things for yourself, and occassionally eat something questionable-looking off of the floor. I promise you that no matter what, we're going to have fun.

And, I promise you that for every "fun" thing I want to keep you from doing, one of my friends will stand up with 14 photos of me doing ridiculously stupid things, thus rendering my decisions worthless. You, my dear, will have plenty of allies in your Quest To Make Mom Look Like A Moron. Trust me.

Your dad is so excited to meet you. I keep catching him looking at my belly and his eyes are a dead giveaway that he's so thrilled to meet you. When I realized I was pregnant, I was in shock. When your dad heard I was pregnant, he first went into shock and shortly afterwards got excited. He hasn't stopped being excited for your arrival since spring. You two are going to have a lot of fun together.

I haven't always loved being pregnant, but I've loved every kick and stretch you throw my way. Even though my ribs are bruised and you've danced my internal organs to mush, I wouldn't have it any other way. My friends who have had kids all used to tell me how much they missed feeling their babies moving around inside them. I used to think they were nuts. "Don't they love having their bodies back? Don't they enjoy being a normal size again and not as big as a house?" But now, I finally get it. In a few days, I'll have to share you with everyone. You'll be more popular than a Tickle Me Elmo (another ancient piece of technology that will mean nothing to you)! I can already feel myself longing for the days when I had you all to myself and I could feel you dancing away on my ribs, telling me that you liked what I made for dinner or that you approve of the giant chocolate Frosty I just packed away. I'm going to miss that.

Instead, I get to hold you in my arms and do my best to make you laugh and smile. I get to take you shopping and out to the zoo. We'll go on long walks together and I'll introduce you to my favorite books. I'll take you to a carnival and we'll get sick on cotton candy and the Tilt-A-Whirl. Like I said, we're going to have a lot of fun.

No matter what happens, I want you to know that today and always you are loved. You are so loved by everyone in your world. No one has had the chance to meet you yet, but they love you dearly. You are a lucky little girl.

But trust me, baby. No one loves you more than me.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Due Date

Well folks, we made it! Happy Due Date to me! I have to say, I'm a little annoyed that I'm still pregnant (mostly because I'm super uncomfortable), but I'm incredibly grateful that my body did exactly what it was supposed to do and has kept my daughter safe and warm for the last 9 months with few surprises.

And to everyone (cough Mom cough) who says I never finish anything I start, all I have to say is.....SEE?!?!

My doctor was surprised to see me at my last appointment--she thought for sure that they'd keep me and induce me after all the tests they did last Saturday. But, we're both thankful I made it to my appointment with a healthy inside baby (even though I was really hoping to have a damn good excuse to skip that appointment).

That being said, it won't be long now. I can definitely feel my body preparing for this baby, and the contractions are coming on stronger and more frequently. Sometimes I barely notice them, and sometimes they hit me hard enough that I need to stop what I'm doing and wait it out. As strange as those are, those are my favorite because they bring me closer and closer to meeting my little one.

Happy St. Nick's, everyone! I hope you found something delightful in your shoes. We didn't, but you never know...the day's still young. :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today

So. One week of maternity leave down, and still no baby. I'm a little frustrated with that, mostly because I didn't want to make it to my due date and it looks like I'm going to. I knew that was a very definite possibility with this being my first pregnancy and all, but I was still hopeful that sometime before Week 40 rolled on in that I'd have a baby in my arms instead of my uterus. Oh well! The longer she bakes, the better.

The thing is, the boredom has officially set in. On one hand, I like having time off work to chill and get ready for the baby--this week I've been able to do a lot of sorting (all from the comfort of my couch) and packing things away, so I feel really good about the progress that's been made. As long as I'm relatively stationary, my blood pressure is great, so the less I push myself, the better. The downside to all this sitting is that I'm not doing much walking so I'm not progressing as fast as I could be with all this laboring business.

Today, for example, I did a lot of online shopping and finished up with most of my/our Christmas shopping. I got all of Graham's presents, and pretty much everything else for our family members. That's a huge load off my mind. The few gifts we need to buy we can get next week, either by one of us going out (and by one of us, I really mean Graham) or by ordering online.

I also got our grocery shopping done--also online. I've fallen pretty hard for Peapod.com. Their prices aren't always the greatest, but I tend to shop all the sales and cheaper items anyway, and they still accept coupons like a regular grocery store, the money is just credited back to you later. They also send me coupons pretty often for $2 an order, and I pair those up with their delivery discounts; I can save $2 or $3 sometimes depending on the time frame I choose for my delivery. Today I saved $4, on top of the coupons I'll turn over tomorrow. Normally, I really love grocery shopping. I don't mind it, and I try to go when the stores aren't swamped. The thing is, lately grocery shopping has been a huge pain for me. It's taking me twice as long to get all the shopping done because I'm getting winded in the stores, and because The Holidays are upon us, the stores are even more crowded than usual and my usual parking spots are all taken, so I'm walking further and further just to get into the store. Major dislike! And then, when I get home, I'm getting winded going to and from the car to get all the groceries inside. Peapod delivers to me, so I can shop all week and add things to my cart online, and then I pick my delivery time, check out, and voila! My groceries delivered to me the next day. Sweeeeeeeeeet.

After my online shopping binge, I finished the remaining load of laundry left over from Graham's work yesterday, so all I did was switch over the comforter to the dryer, and then I washed our bedsheets. Come to think of it, the bedsheets are probably still in the dryer.....

I wrote a long manifesto to my friend Jess, then I decided that I had to do something, so I baked some cookies! I sat in the kitchen and found a cookie recipe that I could do based on what I had in my kitchen, and I whipped up a few batches of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. That was great, because I was able to mix everything together and in 15 minutes, I had a batch of cookies in the oven and I just switched them out after 20 minutes. (I also did two loads of dishes today....ssssh! I just couldn't help myself. I needed to. I did dishes yesterday afternoon but we didn't do the dinner dishes yesterday, and we just did a quick rinse because our dinner wasn't very involved anyway. But, after dinner last night, breakfast, my lunch, and the cookies? Yikes! They had to be done.)

Graham came home and he put away the last of the Christmas boxes in the living room. I sat down and played with the cat for a little bit, and he's been really busy since coming home. He took care of the recycling mountain in the mud room, moved a bunch of boxes, set up his Christmas village under the tree, filled the car with gas, and worked on a few small projects while dinner baked in the oven.

Now he's doing the dishes, I'm looking at a Christmas cookie cookbook (in between blogging, of course), and we're thinking about watching one of our rentals or a Christmas movie when he's done. It's going to be a nice, restful weekend here on Natchez. We'll watch the snow fall, drink some cocoa, and wait for the baby to get here. Then again, it is going to snow, and we've got a history with snow, so who knows? Baby could be here this time tomorrow if we're lucky!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weekly Update: 39 Weeks (Final Edition!) (Hopefully.)

How far along? 39 weeks, 3 days.

How big is baby? Around 6 lbs, hopefully a little heavier than that. 14-15 inches, crown to rump. We'll find out at our growth scan later this week.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 32-33 lbs. I was down a little after my appointment this morning, which is supposedly normal, according to the nurse.

Next Appointment: Growth scan ultrasound later on this week, and then....next week (unless she chooses to arrive before then. I'm okay with that!)

Maternity Clothes: Obviously, but I've been able to hang out in comfy clothes and pjs for a few days. Those are awesome because they're pre-pregnancy and stretchy, so they "still fit".

Sleep: My mom always told me that someday I'd regret sleeping in so much and wasting away so much of my life. Guess what, Mom? I don't regret it at all! Now that I can't get comfortable or remain comfortable for very long, I miss sleep. In a few days or weeks, once I have a spawn of my very own, I won't be sleeping much then, either, and I'll miss all the sleep I used to get. But not once will I regret it--sleep is good, friends. Sleep is very good.

Best Moment This Week: Getting the Christmas tree up and decorated, getting the house decorated, and gettng at least part of the holiday shopping done. We got gypped on Christmas decorating last year, so it's great being able to decorate our tree in our home and really get a feeling for the holidays.

Annoyance of the Week: I'm still pregnant. I know it's a good thing, but geez....I'm huge and uncomfortable and I want to meet my baby already!
Movement: Still good. Her active periods have changed now that I'm getting more and more contractions and my body is getting ready, but when she's active, look out!

Planning/Preparation: Aside from reading the last few books, I'm as ready as can be for this peanut.

Belly Button In/Out: It's gross. It may never go back in.

Gender: This baby better still be female.

What I Miss: Anything and everything I used to be able to do easily, even a month or two ago. I'd really like to be able to touch my toes again.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Being not pregnant!

Contractions: Yup! We almost went in last night because I was having contractions that were pretty frequent and getting stronger, and then they just stopped. I was PISSED. At least I wasn't that lady who shows up to L&D 4 times before her baby's born! I promised myself that I wouldn't constantly be going back and forth to the hospital unless I was sure I was in labor.

Milestones?: Getting a firm date set for the Baby Relocation Program (a.k.a. induction!) if she doesn't arrive on her own.