Monday, March 31, 2008

Kid is Content

All signs point to Friday for delivery. At my NST, there was no change in my status. This boy and my body are fine with the status quo. Guess, he'll be a good fit for his family.

As for Ella, she counters my rising anxiety with plenty of comic relief. Here was one of our conversations yesterday. Picture Ella walking down the stairs with a perplexed look on her face.

E: "Mommy, I'm scared."
Me: "Why you scared, honey?"
E: "He's going get me, mommy."
Me: "Who's gonna get you honey?"
E: "The Cookie Monster."

Her dad and I break out into laughter. Probaby not the best response when your child expresses her fears. I quickly recomposed myself and responded: "Honey, Cookie Monster is not scary. He is friendly." Well, that is debatable, but it seemed to be enough for her at that moment.

Tonight after changing a dirty diaper, she ran back downstairs to continue playing, but I knew better than to flush the poop without her assistance. As the minute, she hears the toliet flush, she freaks out. It's as if she has to say goodbye personally to each of her bowel movements. (She also has a peculiar desire to see the contents of each dirty diaper. The moment you pull it away from her body she asks to see it.) So, I hollared after her asking if she wanted to help wisk the poop away. She did come running back up the stairs, but she wasn't sure what I said as her response was, "You asking a question mommy?"

When did this kid become quite the conversationalist? A day doesn't pass without me shaking my head in amazement about the conversations we have or the observations she makes about the world around her.

No Change

No real clues or indications that labor will start naturally before our scheduled check in time on Thursday. Yet, I realize there still is time. I have another NST today at the doctor's office and I'll be curious if the machine picks up any contractions or provides any indication that my body is moving in the general direction of labor. I fear my body is in for a shock come Friday once the pitocin starts coursing through my veins. The awful induction stories that have been lovingly shared with me far outweigh the positive induction stories.

Rather than focusing on how baby boy will arrive, I'm attempting to channel my energy and thoughts into meeting him regardless of how he gets here. While the journey is part of the cherished adventure, this time I'm really looking forward to the end result.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eviction Notice

The boy has been put on notice by my doctor. If nothing happens by Thursday evening, I am to report to the hospital at 8 pm to get the process started. Full on induction would begin Friday morning, meaning sometime on 4/4 the boy should make his appearance.

My doc thinks there is a distinct possibility and probability that I will have to be induced to get this guy to greet the world. I am not experiencing any contractions and my body and the boy don't seem to be preparing for labor. I did a non-stress test at my appointment just to check in on baby boy and he passed the test with flying colors. My doc expects him to end up between 7 1/2 to 8 lbs.

It's crazy to know I have a definite end date. In the prep department, progress is steadily being made. I wrote a massive list of things I would like to see accomplished before he comes. Mike's only comment was "I am amazed and how your brain works." We tackled quite a few tasks today and tomorrow should be another productive day. What doesn't get done, doesn't get done.

The little guy was showered with some goodies early today as I was the honored guest at a low-key but fun baby shower. Ella tagged along at this "party for girls only" and she was so well-behaved and helpful. She even got a few gifts just for being the big sister. Some of the items for baby boy were completely impractical -- like an adorable blue bow tie and sweater vest (separate outfits), but that was the fun of the shower. After today, this should be one well-dressed kid.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

From Field Trip to a Panic Attack

Ella is heading on her first-ever field trip. My sweet, precious baby girl will board a bus, take a seat and be transported to Wonderscope with her friends and other kids from the center. When I picked her up today, the permission sheet was waiting for me in her mailbox. It outlined the cost and the fact she will need a sack lunch (that alone confounds me -- what do I pack for Ella that will keep all morning?) I can't believe at the young age of two-years-old that it is time for her first adventure away from the classroom.

I believe she is ready and the staff is more than capable. My concern is the timing. It's scheduled for Monday, April 7th. Her teacher indicated that they need parent volunteers to come along. I would love to witness and participate in the outing, but I'm fairly confident that I'll have a newborn by then and shoved head first into the world of sleep deprivation. Maybe Mike will be able to go? It all depends on when baby boy enters this world. Perhaps the timing is perfect as it will serve as a nice distraction from her world being turned upside down. Regardless, I really don't want her to miss this.

Somehow on the drive home, I went from disbelief regarding this field trip to a complete and utter panic attack. Nothing specific happened. No contraction took my breath away, but once the garage door shut, my emotions instantly shifted. I was stressed and overwhelmed with how unprepared we are. We have tackled quite a bit, but as I walk through the house, I begin to outline a laundry list of things I want to tackle before baby boy comes. I realize everything won't get done, but it doesn't stop me from wanting it done.

Mike walked in and I instantly apologized and said, "I'm on edge. I'm not mad at you, but I'm totally panicking." He, being the wonderful and calm presence in our house, didn't patronize or belittle me. He just said, "I know. It's okay." On top of my panic attack, I started to completely stress eat. I found myself pondering new concrete combinations at Sheridan's and fighting a desire to tear through all of Ella's Easter candy. Can we say stress eater! For a solid 10 minutes, I was paralyzed and could only sit in the nursery rocking and writing a mental list of tasks still to be tackled. I finally convinced myself with Mike's loving prodding to just tackle something, anything. It helped. I started with reviewing what was already packed in the hospital bag and then adding to the list of items we will need to throw in at the last minute. We've made more progress this evening on my extensive mental list and I sincerely hope we have this weekend. Time, time, time is what I need. Mike is racing around the house knocking things off the list. I still have some energy this evening. I better go join him.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baby Watch

I realized today that Baby Watch 2008 has officially begun. It hit when I walked in to work this morning, and our department's secretary sighed with relief and said, "Good, you're here." My first thought was, "of course, I'm here. I work here." Like an idiot, it registered with me a few seconds later that any day now I could start my day in the hospital and not at work. No, I am not in denial. I do realize this baby is coming. I just don't believe it is going to be any day soon. I really think he is going to need some prodding in order to enter this world.

Our loved ones are definitely rooting for certain days. My sweet and angelic cousin Rachel would have preferred yesterday since it was her birthday. Grandma Pam needs this boy to make an appearance by Saturday, maybe Sunday at the latest, in order to spend some time with him before her job chains her to her desk for the first half of April. And then Uncle Scotty and Auntie T, as well as our good friends the Comers, are hoping the boy makes an appearance before leaving on their vacations.

I am enjoying the anticipation and wondering each day if that will be the day I meet my sweet boy, but it will happen in due time. As crazy as it sounds, I'm fine to still be pregnant in a week. But, will I feel this way a week from now?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Angelic Princesses

Angelic Princesses
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Goodness, I've been post happy these past few days, and I've taken quite a few photos recently. I had to share this one of the sweet girls. Ella was so excited when mom asked her to pose for a photo with Payton that she practically climbed over Payton to get into position. My kid just idolizes her.

I've been a bit nostalgic lately, which I can only assume is normal with the impending birth of a second child, that I've been flipping through photos from Ella's first years. I realized we didn't have a decent, recent picture of Payton and Ella together, so I am so happy this one turned out as well as it did. This one is definitely being posted to her bulletin board.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bellies Full

Man, we've eaten well today. My belly is full and this boy must have no room because I swear a foot is lodged in my ribs and it hurts. We started the day with homemade cinnamon rolls, fruit and some leftover bacon. The rolls were good, but not has fabulous as I had hoped. I definitely will make them again as the dough is a keeper. The inside mix needs some tweaking. I admit I did run low on cinnamon, but it had other issues than just that. I also would alter the frosting by using less cream cheese. My overall assessment: very yummy with definite potential.

Our Easter dinner was a tasty success. Ham was definitely easy, and even though I am not crazy about ham, Mike, Payton and Rene raved about it. In addition to the ham, I also made green bean casserole and fruit salad. Rene added homemade scallop potatoes and dinner rolls to the menu. Those potatoes were so divine. Rene excels at making home style quality food, and these potatoes didn't disappoint. Although, it's better not knowing how much butter was in the dish. We finished off the meal with a chocolate mousse pie, which was rich and decadent. In addition to good food, we enjoyed having the opportunity to catch up with Rene and Payton. Ella was bouncing off the walls having Payton around to follow and mimic.

Food, more so an over abundance of candy, was the recurring theme for the weekend. From birthday candy to Easter candy, we are overrun with junk. We had so much that we repurposed some of the candy given by the grandparents and from her daycare party to fill the eggs that the Easter Bunny left for Ella to discover. I figure in a year this kid would be on to us. Hopefully we can push it off on the expected visitors stopping by to welcome baby boy into this world, whenever that maybe.

Weekend Recap

Order Up
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Update on baby boy: As my doctor said at my Friday appointment, this kid is content as a lark and is just happy staying inside me. I hope this means we won't have to force him out. The doc said she expected to see me in a week -- still pregnant of course, but she said stranger things have happened. I am completely okay with this. For the most part, I feel good for being this far along. Of course, I get uncomfortable and various parts of my body start aching at different times, but I am happy to continue to shelter this little guy until he's ready or the doc decides his time is up. It was a very brief appointment as she squeezed me in between a emergency c-section and another delivery.

After the appointment, I picked up Ella early from daycare and then we swung through and got Mike before heading to Paradise Park in Lee's Summit. Mike and I thought Ella would benefit from some extra family time and doing something special. Mike was a last minute addition to our outing and thank goodness he was there. Ella isn't quite big enough to tackle all the tunnels, so he had to help her weave her way to the top, so she could slide down the windy slide. There was no way I would have fit with my basketball stomach and I can only the imagine the meltdowns that would have occurred. The ball pit and the pizza parlor were other areas Ella really enjoyed. (See photos of our adventure here.) With all the time spent serving mom and dad fake pizza, we decided to cap off the evening with real pizza from Waldo's Pizza. It was so yummy.

Today was errand day. It included the standard weekend errands -- Target and grocery store, as well as a trip to Stride Ride to get some new shoes for E, who has crazy wide feet and grows out of shoes faster than any other clothing item. We finally ended our morning run at Babies R Us where we picked up a few items for baby boy. After nap time, we helped Carter celebrate his 2nd birthday. Ella was the only girl but it didn't stop her from joining in all the fun. Tomorrow, we are having Rene and Payton over for dinner. I have a chocolate mousse pie and homemade cinnamon rolls in the fridge, which is why I am still up at this ungodly hour. For our Easter meal, I'll be cooking my first ham. I know it's tradition, but I'm not crazy about ham. I just hope it tastes good. Now that I've updated about our exciting weekend events, I should attempt to get some sleep.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Less Than Two Weeks

My body is ready to pop. Will I make it to April? I don't know, but tonight my body does not feel normal. Then again, I am two weeks, if not less, from giving birth to my second child -- what is normal? It's a full moon tonight, so you never know what could happen. Ella was born on a night of a full moon. I really need to at least get through this weekend before this baby is born. I just need more time, yet there is so little left.

Mike is trimming my toenails right now because I can't do it for myself. I hate asking him to do it, but I just can't bend down to reach them. I have very ugly, nasty feet and he's being so gentle. On top of that, the poor guy has had to tolerate a very whiny and exhausted wife this past week. After a long day at work, I really have no energy to cook dinner or accomplish much on our list. He lets me just relax and makes no comments about my behavior. What a good husband, and now he's telling me to close the computer and get some sleep.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Baby Prep

Progress is being made. It's high time as we have less than two weeks to go, so really it could be any day now that baby boy decides to make his appearance. As much as my body is ready to serve an eviction notice, I need this time to finish preparations. This weekend we did knock off a few more items on our to-do list. The swing, bouncy seat, bottles and infant toys have been relocated from the basement to their new homes. Car seats are ready to be installed. All clothes have been washed and unpacked. We selected a going-home outfit. Unrelated to baby boy, we finished hanging a few more decor items in Ella's room.

We still have yet to pack the hospital bag -- it's on tap for tonight. We pulled out the bag we plan to use as a reminder to tackle that task. Find the pack-n-play. I'm not sure I'm ready for it to be set up in our room yet. Finish cleaning and organizing the nursery. It's in a good shape. I just need or want to reorganize the closet a bit. A trip to Babies R Us is still on my list as we need to pick up a crib mattress and a few basic items including some diapers. Pick up a gift for baby brother to give to Ella -- not sure what that will be. I am sure I will think of more as the day progresses. Work wise, I don't feel as prepared. I'm hoping to make good progress on that front this week.

As for Ella, I feel like we have made a good effort to prepare her for baby brother's existence. She understands that he is in my belly as she occasionally will lift my shirt to kiss my stomach or talk to him. She is also aware that he will be sleeping in the crib and using these new contraptions we pulled out this weekend. We had some battles over her wanting to climb in the swing and sit in the bouncy seat, yet nothing I wasn't anticipating. Since we had a low-key weekend at home, I tried to spend lots of time with her just playing and being silly, and giving her lots of hugs and kisses. My worry with her has escalated in recent days. No real reason other than knowing her world is about to be rocked and forever changed. The same is true for us.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easter Snow Hunt

Easter Snow Hunt
Originally uploaded by mbowling
So much is wrong with this picture. A kid should not be bundled up to participate in an Easter egg hunt.

Snow littered the lawn Saturday morning. Even with the dusting, we still opted to bundle up and trek over to the neighborhood park to partake in our subdivision Easter egg hunt. We promptly arrived at 9:45 am to greet the Easter Bunny, but he was a no-show as was the hunt. We weren't the only families waiting. While it was apparent there were no eggs hidden in the park, it would have been nice if a sign or a neighborhood representative would have greeted us in the park. Rather, the sign informing us that the hunt was canceled was posted at the entrance of the neighborhood. That's a helpful location. The sign said the hunt will happen MAY 29. Who knows if that was a mis-print or not.

Poor Ella. She has yet to really experience her first Easter egg hunt. Last year, the weather also interfered with our plans. We have one more weekend to attempt a hunt, even if it's in our own yard.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Week of Nice Surprises

I had such anxiety as this week started, mainly because of worries at work. Even with all that, this has been a nice week of fun surprises. First, I come in Monday to find a woman on my floor had brought me in three large shopping bags full of baby boy clothes. It took me two trips to load the clothes in my car. I came home and "oohed and awed" over the little treasures. I definitely got some quality items that will be put to good use. It was so generous of her and such a nice unexpected surprise. The closet will now be overflowing with boy newborn clothing.

My second fun surprise was Tricia offering me a ticket to see "I Love You Because" at AHT. I am guilty of passing on social opportunities during the week because of the logistics involved with Ella. Plus, I just want to see her little sweet face. With all that, I am so happy that I took an evening to see the show. Great show -- had me reminiscing over Mike's and my early dating days. Wonderful company. Overall, a quality night of entertainment and as an added benefit it was a cheap evening out. As Tricia and I were conversing and waiting for Mike to pick up Ella, a woman from D'Bronx walked up and handed us slices of pizza rather than throwing them out. A touch greasy, but it was free so we gobbled it up.

My last surprise happened again at work. During our floor's monthly food celebration, I was handed a card from our floor. I was in the middle of a conversation, so I didn't open it until I was back at my desk after sampling the tasty treats. The sweet card contained plenty of good wishes for baby boy and a gift card to Babies R Us. Again, completely unexpected and so thoughtful of the ladies on my floor. I'm excited to go shopping for a few boy items. Maybe we can squeeze in a trip to BRU this weekend.

The week isn't over. Hello lottery ticket.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Achy, Achy Lungs

Lungs still ache, but I am ever so slowly starting to feel like a normal human being again. I still wear out quite easily, but my husband has allowed me or insisted that I rest and relax. I don't sit every easily, but I have tried to put forth a good effort. I am ready to fully return to the land of the living as I have lost a whole week to this illness, and the clock is ticking.

I can't recall a time in my past when I have ever battled bronchitis. My typically ailment was strep throat, which I haven't faced since my tonsils were removed in 2002. I really hope this is one of the few times my body has to fight this. It's painful and exhausting. At my ob appointment on Friday, my doctor and I discussed the bronchitis and she forcefully encouraged me to get healthy as quick as I can. With labor and delivery around the corner, her concern similar to my primary care doctor is this developing into something worse like pneumonia. Unless I make significant strides, she threw out such words as chest x-ray and doctor-ordered rest. Both docs have no concern with the baby, more with me and how I would handle labor while I'm still battling the bronchitis. I hope to not find this out.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Plague on Our House

First, it was an ear infection. Next came the hand, foot and mouth with the impetigo. And now, it's bronchitis for mom. We need to change the karma. My lungs ache and hurt. At the doctor's recommendation and the encouragement of others, I am staying at home once again today. I hope to rest as much as possible. I woke feeling pretty good. I had slept fairly well considering I'm battling this sickness and am 36+ weeks (and my hips just ache). I thought I can do this. I can survive another day, and then I crawled out of bed. Once I get Mike and Ella out the door, it's back to bed for me.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Ella and I spent two hours at the doctor's office where they confirmed it's hand, foot and mouth. They also said the rash on her face looks like impetigo, which is a bacterial infection that develops when there is a sore or a rash that has been scratched repetitively. We left with another prescription for an antibotic, directions to continually and regualarly apply neosporin around her mouth, and instructions to try and keep Ella from rubbing her mouth. The doc admitted this wouldn't be easy. We have the go ahead to go back to daycare tomorrow. While I take comfort in knowing she is not contagious, her face tells another story. I hope we see significant improvement overnight.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Rash and Hospital Visits

Through self-diagnosis, Mike and I have determined Ella probably has hand, foot and mouth. Of course, we'll take her to the doctor tomorrow for confirmation, but based on the rash and the mouth sores, I would be surprised if it was something else. On top of that, she has been on antibiotics for an ear infection, so I suspect whatever she does have is viral. Overall, she's has been a good patient, although there have been plenty of tears shed.

While she was napping, I had my maternity care appointment at the hospital. I got to sign lots of forms, review my medical history and discuss my birth plan, which is essentially survive for as long as I can before insisting on the epidural. Not a lot has changed at the hospital since I had Ella. The hospital is still under construction and parking is still limited. They are more adamant about the floor nap time from 2 to 4 pm to give moms and babies a break from all interruptions. Some of the birthing rooms now have a whirlpool tub, so I certainly requested one of those. The nurse took me to see one and it was a deja vu moment as she took me into the same birthing room where Ella was born -- 282. Being at the hospital brought back so many memories from Ella's birth and definitely made me keenly aware how quickly this baby boy could be making his appearance.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sunny Days Inside

Mike and I were eagerly anticipating the beautiful weather expected today as cabin fever had definitely struck this household. We had no real agenda except for enjoying a taste of spring. Well, our plans were quickly derailed when E woke up with a 101 temp. No other symptoms just a high fever all day, so most of the day was spent close to home. The poor thing was fairly clingy, alternating between mom and dad, and fairly miserable most of the day. We did convince her to go for a ride in her wagon, so we were able to enjoy a few moments of the nice weather. I hope she's able to quickly kick whatever is ailing her, I hate to see her like this and am a touch dumbfounded by what's causing the high temp.

Being at home did give me the opportunity to finish cleaning out the nursery closet. It is now empty and ready to be filled with baby boy's clothes. I also went through bins full of Ella's old clothes and pulled out quite a stack that baby boy should be able to use. I was pleasantly surprised by how much we actually do have. This helped decrease my worries that the boy wouldn't spend his days only donning a diaper and channeling WT influences. Now I just need to get everything washed and moved into his bedroom. Small steps, but it is progress.

I must thank everyone for the outpouring of kind words and support. I was fairly miserable earlier this week and there was no way to sugar coat it. My spirit has improved, but my body and my perspective on my body remains the same. I know I am on the down hill side of this pregnancy, and I will get through. Some days you just feel every aspect of the pregnancy more than others.