Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gweneth Louise

To say we're a bit emotional this morning would be an understatement - but, this is a level of emotion we've waited - what feels like - a very long time for. Today, in just a few short hours, we will meet our little girl. We will look into her eyes - knowing, with God's help, we created a life.

I continue to look back on the journey that brought us here - now more than ever feeling the warmth of God's plan for us. He always understood what our path would be - never letting us lose Faith. Without even laying eyes on our baby, we're filled with this uncontrollable amount of unconditional love.

There have been so many times in our relationship that I have fallen in love with Eric all over again, and this morning is most certainly one of the those top moments. I want nothing more than to remember the look on his face when he sees his little girl for the very first time.

I've thought for a very long time about what I'd write this morning, what I could possibly share, and the only thing I kept thinking about was Gwen and reading to her this message:

Gweneth Louise, you are a flawless gift from God. Your Daddy and I dreamed of this day and what it would be like, but never did we imagine how perfect this feeling truly is. As we've anxiously waited for you to arrive, you've brought so much joy to our life. Without knowing it, you've shined a light on our future. May you always be selfless and faithful, open and fearless, as great as you could be. You are my pretty thing. Happy Birthday, Gwen - Mommy and Daddy love you very much.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last Reflection

It's still unreal to think this time tomorrow we will be holding our little girl. That every day going forward we will be parents. Eric and I will quickly start referring to each other as "Mommy" and "Daddy" in conversation. It's yet to really hit me, that the little kicks in my stomach tonight won't be hidden anymore - that she'll be here with us.

My Last - Week 39 - Reflections...

Movement: Constant. I've grown incredibly selfish to Gwen's kicks over the past few days, as I imagine what it will be like not to feel her in my belly anymore. She still loves to show off in the morning and at night after dinner. People kept telling me that the more she slows down the chances are labor is right around the corner...not for Gwen! One of my favorite feelings is putting my hand on the upper, left side of my belly and feeling her little round foot move (at least, I imagine it's her foot!). I can't lie - a part of me will miss this feeling tomorrow morning.

Cravings/Aversions: Truthfully, nothing anymore. I'm not a very picky eater - never have been - and I can simply order anything off of a menu. I did have to convince Eric to spice up our last grocery list with new items...he was falling into the same routine and this girl wanted some pizazz! 

I am feeling: Anxious. Excited. Calm. Ready. :) I've never been more prepared for something in my entire life, but at the same time feeling so completely lost. I'm very ready to meet my baby and to watch her squirm, laugh, cry and grow. I could not feel more blessed to be experiencing this moment with Eric, my very best friend.

What I miss most: Sleeping on my stomach. (OK - there, I said it.) For a very long time there wasn't much I missed...but now, I miss it. Maybe it's because I've become increasingly uncomfortable over the past four weeks - but, I'm so ready to be able to sleep on my stomach while bending my knee up to where it won't hit my belly.

Best moment of the past week: Our doctor's visit last Tuesday - where we found out we would have only one more week! After that - it would have to be last night's date night. We didn't go anywhere fancy, took a walk around Target to "walk off" the chips and salsa as we always do...but, for the last time it was just Eric and I.

What I'm looking forward to this week: this a trick question?!...without words, I think everyone knows what we're looking forward to.

With that being said - I want nothing more than to remember every minute of this feeling.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Last Week

This week has been full of "lasts". The last grocery shopping trip before we spend a few days in the hospital. The last Friday night where Eric has to work late and I'm home watching late-night TV until he comes home alone. The last Saturday and Sunday we'll spend as a solely, married couple. And, tonight, the last date night where we don't have to get a babysitter.

We've wrapped up just about everything we can - which, everything Gwen-related was tackled almost weeks ago. I've officially packed my bag for the hospital, made the "do not forget" list to check and double-check before we walk out the door on Wednesday and have straightened up the house for home visits when we return.

It still feels as if we're simply planning for a vacation - that it doesn't feel real. It's unimaginable to me, that in just TWO days we will be holding our baby...and will officially be parents. I continue to feed the "How are you feeling?" question - and Eric gets the "Are you nervous?" Our responses never change - I feel great, just counting down the days (now almost hours!) and not nervous at all. I imagine we'll both be nervous driving to the hospital Wednesday morning - but until then, there's a strange calmness between the two of us.

I've read, researched, asked questions - as much as I possibly can to prepare myself for the emotions of Wednesday...and each time, it almost triggers what emotions I have left. I feel like the last nine months have gone by in a blink of an eye. If at all possible, I pray that the next two days fly by - but that our first few days with her go by extremely slow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arrival Time

It's official...we're on the books!!

Today I received the phone call from Dr. Bell's nurse explaining that we are to arrive at the hospital next Wednesday at 8am. Gwen's delivery will begin at 10am! :)

We have only one week to go...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Worth the Wait

Not only is today the beginning of Week 38 - but, Eric and I had our much-anticipated ultrasound and, what is now our last, weekly appointment. At today's visit we not only got one last look at Gwen's squished body and face, but we now have an actual DUE DATE!

It's completely Wednesday, the 18th, we will be welcoming our little girl into our crazy world...and truly, not much of this excitement can be contained. I want so badly for this next week to fly by - even faster than the last nine months.

During today's ultrasound we got a good glimpse at her squished face...including her chubby, little cheeks. The ultrasound tech did mention that her head is measuring on schedule - that really the only thing pushing her off is the size of her tummy. I think Eric and I can both agree that some of the best news given today was being told she has hair on her head! And, not just a strand or two...the tech mentioned it was hanging in front of her face! :) I, being bald as a baby, love the idea of Gwen having hair - it will make her cute brain-squeezers look so darn perfect!

It was also confirmed that will be over 9lbs, which I'm slowly starting to come to terms with. Not that I expect her to come out crawling or potty-trained (if only that were an option!) - but, I also want her to be healthy. Because of her size, we've opted for a c-section delivery. Dr. Bell gave us the choice, but wasn't too confident I would be able to delivery naturally. I specifically asked her if it was strange, as a woman, to question wanting a natural birth at if she's my therapist.

Eric and I had a long conversation about how Gwen would be delivered - and because there's absolutely no progress being made (still not dilated and she still hasn't dropped), the entire process and procedure of a natural birth would span past 24 hours. And, at the "end" - we could potentially have to have an emergency c-section. I've loved being pregnant, and have loved being given the opportunity to carry our child - but never have I been "connected" to having a natural delivery. I don't feel as if my entire being will be unjustified, because I chose not to deliver naturally - but rather as "quickly" as possible to see my baby.

Therefore, now - we wait. We're currently waiting for a call back from the office with our official arrive-at-the-hospital time. All of the planning, scheduling, preparation, check-ups, will be worth the wait! :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

14 days and counting...

Hello, Full-Term!! :)

Yesterday's weekly appointment was quick and easy - as Gwen has still not progressed. I walked into the doctor's office and was immediately taken back to the room (no check-in, no-nothin'!) - totally felt like a celebrity. I know some women, when making it to Week 37, would probably consider no progress a downer...but, not this Momma! Granted, I'm very ready to meet my baby girl - and be "normal" again - but, I'd also really like the extra week to wrap everything up. I keep telling people, it's the control-freak in me, that just doesn't like not being fully prepared.

Dr. Bell is on vacation this week, so yesterday I was checked out by the Nurse Practitioner...who was wonderful! Gwen's heartbeat was racing at 155 bpm. The nurse went as far to say, she doesn't think Gwen is coming on her own anytime soon.

Last week I did have the beta-strep test completed, and like most women - my test came back positive. I'm very at ease with this test, because of the easy solution, should I go into labor on my own. The nurse stressed the commonness of this test over and over - and that the hospital will be informed immediately at "go time".

Gwen continues to bounce around in my belly throughout the day. I can say her kicks are finally starting to get a tad-bit violent. She's now hanging out around the middle of my belly, with the little feet and hands being felt on my left side. I keep thinking about how it will be to not feel her move anymore...but, of course - that comes it the thought of actually having her here!

The most common question Eric and I are being asked now is: "Are you nervous??" Nervous, no - not at all. We will be on the day of her arrival - especially if it's as scheduled as it all appears it to be and we will wake up knowing our lives are about to change forever. But, right now - we're just soaking in the last few days that we have as just the two of us.

Exactly TWO WEEKS from today - we will be holding our baby. I pray that the days absolutely fly by!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Completely Shut

Today was Gwen's Week 36 check-up. At today's appointment her heart was racing at 154 bpm - staying as consistent as ever. She's measuring "on schedule" - compared to the development we learned of over the last two weeks. Meaning, she's still measuring beyond Week 36 - but not going too far beyond what she was last week.

The biggest difference between today's appointment and the rest was Dr. Bell checked to see if I was dilated or not.

(Side note...I did not expect this part of the exam to hurt as bad as it about extreme discomfort!)

She not only mentioned that I'm not dilated whatsoever, but that I'm "completely shut" AND Gwen is still "up high". (I added the "up" part, so that you do not confuse our baby with a drug addict.) This really eased my mind and cleared a small bit of going-into-labor-too-soon fear. Of course, Gwen could still come whenever she sees fit - but the chances at this stage are still low.

Our next appointment is next Tuesday - which we will be without Dr. Bell, as she's on vacation. We'll, instead, meet with the Nurse Practitioner - and have the same exam. Today we officially scheduled our Week 38 ultrasound for April 10th. It's amazing to think that in just a few short weeks (at this point, is it okay to say "a few short days"?!) we will have a narrowed down, delivery date. The Control Freak in me loves this - the other side of me just can't believe this is all happening.

Over the last week - I've felt great. Definitely feeling like a beached whale when I sit down - and, I will quote Jessica Simpson with "I feel like I have a bowling ball on my who-ha!" Sleeping has gotten MUCH better - despite getting up every few hours. For a while I was sleeping with a pillow between my knees - helping my back - which, I found wasn't helping what really hurt (my hips). I slept without the pillow last night and was able to sleep through the night with almost no pain. We'll see if the streak goes on...

Gwen is still constantly moving. She specifically seems to show-off for Dr. Bell, and is still extremely active in the morning and at night, after dinner. When she's moving, she turns into my biggest distraction. I absolutely love watching her kick, move and bounce around.

I'm beginning to wrap up items and organize procedures at work. What I first thought was a small list - keeps growing. It does make a girl feel pretty good about everything she manages for a company! This weekend we have just a few last-minute items to pick up, specifically milk-machine (as Angie likes to call it!) accessories. As for the everything else - I think we're as ready and set as we could possibly be.

(I would like to ask tonight, for those who read this Blog, to keep my Papaw in your prayers as we inch closer to Friday. Last week we learned that he has been diagnosed with colon cancer, and will undergo surgery to remove the cancerous spot on Friday. My Papaw has been an absolute guardian and mentor throughout so many moments of my life - I can't imagine the worry he must be feeling, compared to the worry I feel. I know, in a time like this, he turns to God for support and prayer - and I am committed to doing the same.)