Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Waiting Game

A single pregnancy lasts a long time.  9 months, 40 weeks, 2/3 of a year.  However you want to look at it, it is still a long time.  And when you are the one who is pregnant, it seems to stretch out like an eternity before you.  Never ending or maybe that is the way you want to imagine it in your mind.  But at the same time, it goes by so fast you almost miss it.  At least that is the way it is for me.  I tell people I only have 3 months left and they tell me it will be here before I know it.  But to me, it feels like it was just yesterday that I found out Jackson was on his way.

Thinking back over the last 6 months today, I realized that pregnancy is nothing but a big waiting game. After the initial thrill of finding out you are pregnant, you have to wait until you find out if the baby is a boy or a girl.  Then you have to wait again until you actually have to baby.  In between those moments, there are a lot of little moments: hearing the heartbeat for the first time, feeling the first kicks, picking out a name.  They are all fun and they are all preparation for meeting your little one but the anticipation of the big moment of arrival is probably the biggest waiting game of all.

I made the comment on twitter today that I was starting to lose track of what week I am in.  The truth is they have blended together a bit for me.  One of my friends responded to my comment that I should think in terms of how long I have left, not in terms of how far along I am.  At that point, I started to panic.  I know how long I have left and, while that 13 weeks feels like a long time, it really isn't that long in the grand scheme of things.  I look at the list of everything I need to do and everything I need to get between now and my overly anal brain kicks in and I can't stand it.  There is so much hurry up and wait.  I don't deal well with that.  Patience has never been my strong point.  Part of me wants to go to sleep and wake up and Jackson be here.  I want to meet my son.  And part of me wants to wait and enjoy this and savor the time we have just the two of us before I have to share him with the rest of the world.  And then there is the part that is completely freaking out about what to do once Jackson gets here.  I really do hope that the maternal instinct kicks in because I feel like I have no clue how to handle a newborn.  But I guess I will get through it somehow.  I don't have much of a choice now!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend Ramblings

I can't say that Easter Weekend was anything overly exciting in our household.  However, a couple of funny (or at least interesting to me) things happened that I thought I might share.

  • I ran home after work on Friday before running errands and let Maverick out.  As I was getting ready to leave for my pedicure, I went outside to let the pup back in.  He was no where to be found.  My yard isn't that big and there is no where for him to hide except his dog house, even the gate was closed so I panicked.  Turns out he found a hole under our fence and had decided he needed a play date with the neighbor's 9 month old boxer puppy.  Good thing the two dogs get along well.  But still, it was nerve wracking until I realized where he was and got him back on my side of the fence.  The amusing part was watching him lay on his side to crawl back under the fence with the biggest grin on his face.  Fat doggy almost didn't make it back through the hole.  We have temporarily filled it with large rocks and bricks until we can fix the issue.
  • Thinking that going to the grocery store in the middle of the afternoon on Good Friday would be better than waiting until Saturday of Easter weekend is still a bad idea especially when you aren't going to buy food for the holiday meal.  HEB was a mad house and it took me over an hour to get my weekly shopping done.
  • It also isn't smart to wait until Saturday night to realize you need a few last minute items for the Kiddo's Easter basket.  Thank goodness for Walgreen's.
  • Saturday ended up being a spring cleaning day for me which in itself was interesting.  I am OK with sorting out junk mail and clutter to take to the trash.  Sweeping hurts my back on a normal basis but it is one of those chores that has to been done regularly when you have a dog who sheds and hard wood floors.  But cleaning the bathtub at 6 months pregnant, that is just mean.  I really want to hire a cleaning lady for the rest of the pregnancy (or at least before my mom comes to visit.)
  • Jackson decided to finally let Daddy really feel a kick Saturday morning.  Tiny Tot was in full wiggle worm mode and let Chris feel a swift one right into my left side.  
  • Somehow, despite having my camera in my purse, I did not get a single picture of us all dressed up Sunday or the finished product of Kiddo's Easter basket.  I think it is more to do with my lack of desire to have my picture taken right now.  Every time I see a picture of myself, I just feel huge.  As Chris would say, I am pregnant.  I am supposed to look like that but it still doesn't make me happy.  It's a complex I have along with worrying about whether or not my butt has gotten bigger.  (Chris swears it hasn't.  I can't help but think he is lying.)
On a completely separate side note, today is my nephew's 15th birthday.  FIFTEEN!  I am really starting to feel old.  He was born my freshman year in college and I just have a hard time grasping that he is really that old now.  In my mind, he is still the 9 year old little kid I left behind when I moved to Texas almost 6 years ago.  It amazes me to see how much he and my niece have changed in that time.  Happy Birthday, Jay!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Inspiration

Chris and I were able to go register for baby gear a couple of weeks ago.   We went into the experience with an idea of what we wanted.  I had read a lot of reviews on various brands and had a pretty good  idea of the brands I was leaning towards.  Beyond that, it was a matter of picking out a fabric I liked.  One thing I hadn't taken into consideration was the weight of some of the products we would be shopping for.  I was surprised at how heavy some of the car seats and strollers were and quickly realized that some of them I wouldn't be able to handle on my own.  We quickly scrapped our plans of registering for the travel system I had initially picked out and decided to look at the other options in the store.  After one of the clerks in the store tried to talk us into a $300 travel system, we finally settled on a separate car seat and stroller that we had looked at as a joke to begin with until we realized the weight was good and we actually liked the pattern.  Further exploration of the store revealed that there was a pack  n' play and diaper bag in the same paper and thus our theme was born.

I had really wanted to do the nursery in black and white houndstooth with some red thrown in to pay tribute to my beloved Crimson Tide.  So everything I had looked at up to that point fell within that color scheme.  I had even located a car seat with houndstooth fabric that I would have loved if I could have tested the matching stroller (they didn't carry it in the store).  I never would have imagined that I would end up with this particular theme and that I would like it so much.  After we finished registering, I decided to hunt online to see what I could find in nursery bedding that would coordinate with our emerging theme.  The first page that came up on my search sealed the deal for me.  It was then that I knew exactly what I would use for the nursery.  This was the picture that I saw:
Green and Brown Elephant Baby NurseryPippin by Graco - Graco  - Babies"R"Us
The second picture is the pattern of the stroller and car seat we picked out.  I guess it was all meant to be.  The bedding used in the first picture Carter's Green Elephant while our stroller set is Pippin by Graco.  I love the brown letters with his name on the wall but I know we won't be painting the room in the green and brown.  I think our tan walls will be a perfect compliment to everything we have picked out.  I just can't wait to get started on all now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's in a Name?

After I posted the news that it's a boy, I realized I failed to mention that we had decided on a name.  Several people have asked so I thought I would share a little bit of the background on how we decided to name our son.  Chris and I struggled with names before we knew what the baby was.  We would toss at ideas that would get knocked down until we finally settled on one girl's name.  We went into the ultrasound still thinking the baby was a girl which worked out fine since we only had a girl's name picked out.  I think I was in denial that it could possibly be a boy.  After the ultrasound revealed our boy, Chris and I went to Chick Fil A for breakfast where the realization set in that our baby didn't have a name.  So it was time to start the discussion over and see if we could come up with a boy's name we both liked.

Using family names is sort of a tradition in my family.  My brothers and I all have family names.  My niece and nephew have family names.  Even Chris and Kiddo share the same middle name that has been passed down to the first born son in his family.  I had decided that our girl's name would use my middle name to follow that tradition. It was important to me that the baby's name have some sort of meaning to us and not just be a random name we picked out of a baby book.  After all, naming a kid is a big deal.  They are stuck with it for the rest of their lives.

So there we sat in Chick Fil A and I hesitantly threw out a name that I had considered for years to be the perfect name for my son.  The problem was the name had become extremely popular in the last couple of years to the extent that two of my friends had named their sons the same thing in the last year.  But it was MY name and I had said since college I wanted to use it.  The combination of first and middle name I offered paid tribute to both sides of the family so I had a feeling it would be perfect.  Chris tossed the name around a bit before finally declaring he liked it.

And thus, Jackson Christopher came to be.  So there you have it.  In a booth in Chick Fil A, my baby was named.  Hope the little one likes it because he is stuck with it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

J-Day 2011

In my previous post, I mentioned I was going home to see my aunt receive an award from the college we both attended.  I realized I hadn't mentioned too much about Judson on here so I thought it was time to share a little background information.  I completed my bachelor's degree at a small liberal arts college in west central Alabama called Judson College. Not to be confused with Judson University in Illinois, my Judson isn't your typical college.  It is a Southern Baptist women's college, one of only 44 women's college remaining in the nation today.  It was founded in 1838 and was named after Ann Hasseltine Judson, America's first female foreign missionary.  Obviously, this is a place full of history and tradition and I was honored to be a part of the legacy of Judson women.

So my trip home found me spending most of my time not in my home town but in the town I spent 4 years of my life, learning and growing and becoming part of the person I am today.  J-Day at Judson is probably similar to what most colleges would have for Homecoming.  Reunions are held.  Meetings are held.  Awards are given away.  I, personally, was hoping for the "traveled furthest distance" award but alas, I was beaten out by someone from Los Angeles.  However, if there had been an award for traveled furthest distance and pregnant, that would have gone to your's truly.  (By the way, it is 708 miles from my house in Texas to Bibb Street in Marion, Alabama where Judson is located.)  My aunt, Carol, was given the Alumnae Loyalty Award for her work and dedication to the school over the years.  You will notice in the article that my mom also attended Judson so the Judson tradition is pretty strong in my family.

The weekend in Marion was great.  Sometimes I forget how much I enjoyed my time at Judson and I regret that I didn't appreciate it more while I was there.  I was able to see my two former suite mates (and two of my closest friends) as well as many other people I knew when went to school there.  We also had a lot of my family come up for the awards banquet to honor my aunt.  Here is a picture of most of my family who attended the banquet.
Notice I hid behind the love seat in order to hide my massive belly.  (The last thing I want is tons of pictures of me swollen and 6 months pregnant!)  However, I miss judged the space between the sofa and the table next to it and I couldn't get back out from behind the sofa when we were done with pictures.  The president of the college, Dr. Potts, walked up about that time and ended up moving the sofa for me.  I was slightly embarrassed but this was someone who had known me since I was 11 years old so I guess I get a pass on that one. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Swollen Ankles and Airplanes

I flew home to Alabama last weekend to see my aunt receive an award from the college we both attended.  As is always my luck, my trip did not go as planned.  It never seems to fail that I have issues traveling when I am trying to get somewhere for something.  This trip was no exception.  And factor in being nearly 6 months pregnant and that made the day all that much more fun.  After taking Kiddo to school, Chris and I headed south towards the airport stopping for breakfast at Chick Fil A and a quick Target run on the way.  Just the day before, I had been telling him the story of my 16 hour trip to Alabama in 2007.  I guess I jinxed myself because Thursday turned out to be much the same.

We arrived at the airport around 9 for my 10:20 flight and everything was going swimmingly until the plane that was supposed to take me to DFW arrived.  Apparently the plane needed maintenance and no one was certain how long that would take.  The flight was cancelled.  At that point, cell phones came out and everyone hurried to get in line at the counter to make arrangements to get to their respective destinations.  The American Airlines rep I talked to apparently didn't get the memo that the flight was actually cancelled but just delayed.  She left me on the same flight and placed me on a later flight out of DFW.  Fortunately for me, I decided to stay in line because the counter agent told me the flight I was on was not going to be leaving Austin and placed me on another flight to DFW.  Now, there are only 3 flights out of DFW to Mobile on a daily basis.  One in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.  I was originally scheduled to leave Dallas on the afternoon flight which clearly wasn't going to happen since I wouldn't be flying to Dallas in the afternoon.  My new flight to DFW was leaving at 4:40 which meant I wouldn't get to Mobile until 7:55 that evening.  Lucky me!  I got to spend the next 6 hours in the Austin airport.

At that point, I contemplated what to do.  Did I call Chris and beg him to drive 45 minutes out of his way to pick me up for a couple of hours only to have to drop me back off before he had to pick Kiddo up from school?  Did I call someone to pick me up and take me to work since my office was only 10 minutes from the airport and try to be productive for a couple of hours?  Did I want to fool with waddling my way through security again?  Eventually I just decided to stay put.  My feet and back were already starting to hurt walking around the concourse and at least I had a good book to read.  Clay was even nice enough to spend his breaks hanging out with me since he works at the airport.  The moments of brotherly kindness are few and far between so you have to take them where you can get them, I guess.

When you spend that much time in the airport, you do get to see some interesting things.  Unfortunately I
couldn't snap pictures of all the strange outfits and weird happenings I observed.  I did, however, learn that the locks on the bathroom doors are made by a company called Hiny Hiders.

Also, spending 6 hours in one airport and a total of 11 hours traveling definitely does a number on the ankles of a pregnant woman.  Now, I started swelling a couple of weeks ago so this wasn't a first but my cankles were by far the worst I had seen them at the end of the day.  This was taken about an hour before my flight left Austin.  (At least my pedicure looked nice.)

Once I finally arrived in Mobile after barely having enough time to find a bathroom and take the tram to the next concourse for my flight out of DFW, I was exhausted and hungry.  And of course, my luggage was no where to be found.  Fortunately, a very friendly American Airlines employee remembered taking my suit case off a plane earlier in the day and brought my bag to me.  All-in-all, I learned one very important lesson: my body does not like traveling while pregnant.  It is not something I will be doing again anytime soon or during future pregnancies.