Tuesday, April 23, 2013

More than just Cake

Keeping our secret!!
After Scott and I learned the gender of our baby, my mom was just dying to know what we were having.  She tried tricking me into giving her hints.  She tried mind games trying to convince me that I had slipped and called it a "he." (For the record, I did not slip).  She would say, "It would be so much easier for me to go shopping if I knew whether to get girl clothes or boy clothes"....as if all the stores were going to sell all their baby clothes prior to her getting there.  She just couldn't wait.

It was actually pretty easy to keep our secret for 3.5 days.  We told Paisley, which of course prompted him to randomly yell "Girl" (pro-nouced Guu-rl) at any given time.  But other than telling him, we were pretty excited to let everyone find out at our gender party on Saturday night. 
Our "girl" cake
I baked a 2 layer strawberry cake with cream cheese icing.  When we threw Paisley's gender party, I made a blue angel food cake with chocolate icing.  I just love to gather our immediate family together as we share this news with them.  I love the anticipation that builds as they stare at the cake trying to spot a misplaced crumb that will give away the color of the inside of the cake. 
Cutting the Cake!
Our moms cut the cake (just like last time).  It's safe to say they were excited it was pink.
It's a GIRL!!
Mom had brought gifts in a blue bag and a pink bag.  She happily handed over the pink bag and inside was a  pink stuffed bunny and the cutest little girl outfit you could imagine.  I can only dream of what our little girl will look like wearing it. 

The cake was delicious and the word was out.  Our little family was adding a girl. 

My silly, loving, and all -knowing Grandpa Vic
This knowledge brought tears to my moms eyes as she thought back to the days prior to my grandfathers death....before I even knew I was pregnant, he knew....and he told me to take care of that little girl. 

Don't you worry grandpa, that baby girl is going to be well taken care of.  Keep an eye on her until she makes it to my arms, ok?

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.....That is what Little Girls are Made of...

Bunnies, Eggs and LOTS of Chocolate

I have always loved celebrating holidays.  I love everything about the decor, the atmosphere, the gathering of family and the abundance of food.  Having a little person to share these holidays with and teach our family traditions to have made holidays even more enjoyable than they were before. 
The girls and P with the traditional bunny cake
This Easter was no exception.  With my sister splitting her time between cities we were forced to celebrate Easter with my side of the family twice (oh the horror of having 2 parties instead of 1!).  The weekend prior to Easter everyone gathered at my parents house.  Paisley got to enjoy his Easter basket from Nana and Papaw and we dined on ham with all the fixings.  My dad thought it would be funny to spray Paisley with silly string, he didn't find it amusing, nor did his Nana.  Nor did his momma.  Actually the only person who really enjoyed seeing the fear in my child's eyes was his dear Aunt Bunny.  She's got a twisted sense of humor and I wasn't surprised as she laughed loudly while I wiped the tears out of P's eyes.  However, it was a fun day and my child will officially hate silly string for the rest of his life.  And Karma will probably find a way to get my father and sister back for scarring my poor child.
Post-silly string incident (no laughing at my poor baby)
The following weekend was actually Easter.  We spent Saturday at the nursing home of my grandmother.  There was an Easter egg hunt and all the nursing home residents sat in their wheelchairs in the hallway passing out eggs to the children.  With this being P's first egg hunt I wasn't really sure what he would think of it.  I was surprised, literally to tears, as my child held out his little bunny covered bucket to each of the elderly residents, and as they placed eggs in his basket he would give them a huge smile, wave his chubby fingers, and attempt to say "Thank you," which sounded more like "shoo shoo."  Each resident received the same smile and wave, as if he knew exactly what was happening.  My heart soared and I was so proud of my happy, friendly, and appreciative little boy. 
The Best of the Best...I've learned from my mom who learned from her mom...
We enjoyed spending the time with Great-Grandma Florence.  We pushed her along with us and she was on double duty, passing out eggs to children we passed while getting to watch her great-grandson gather eggs.  She loved spending the time with him and I was so happy we were able to spend the time with her.  The nursing home had hot dogs and chips for everyone so P and his Great were able to have snack time together.  He was more interested in playing peek-a-boo with her, but he did manage to eat a little something.
Mr. Big Heart
On Easter it was back to my parents for a friend chicken meal.  Paisley got another Easter basket (yes, they gave him 2...) and Scott and I got ours as well.  No matter how full my belly, there is always room for Cadbury Mini-Eggs and Reese Peanut Butter Eggs. My Easter basket contained some cute maternity shirts which were much needed as this belly just keeps getting bigger and bigger (that could be the fault of the mini-eggs and not the baby).
Nana and her Easter orchid
After a great lunch with my parents we headed to Scott's parents where more food and additional baskets of candies and gifts were bestowed upon us.  Paisley enjoyed running around with his cousins and as the night wore on, we could tell our baby was full of sugar and running low on energy, a dangerous combination.  It was time to head home.
I'm pretty sure I got the sticky colorful film of jelly beans off his face before he fell into a deep sleep.  I know his dreams were full of deviled eggs (which he liked!), chocolate bunnies, and plastic eggs as he drifted off into dreamland.
Our little bunny
The reason for the holiday was not completely lost upon our boy.  Even though we visited the Easter Bunny and feasted upon good food and candies, he heard the story of our Lord that died upon the cross and rose again on the third day.  He loves the story of the Good Shepard and points out the little lambs while saying "Baaaaa."  While I don't blog about our beliefs or religion often, it is in our minds and hearts and in the mind and heart of our little.  And to us, that is exactly where it needs to be.
Happy Easter!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Life as a Pregnant Momma

The Pregnant Momma
As I had my blood drawn for the triple screen test, I was nervous.  My wonderful Dr. told me she would call if the test came back with a positive for increased levels of AFP, hCG, or Estriol.  I should have asked how long the results typically take because after a week went by, I wasn't sure if I should be relieved because she hadn't called or if I should continue to worry because the results weren't back.  I did what any normal concerned Momma would do...I called the office.  I explained that I knew they wouldn't call unless the test came back with "something," but I needed to know if I could go ahead and stop worrying.  She laughed and said she would check if the results were back.  She put me on hold and the only sounds I could hear were my heartbeat and the elevator music.  My heartbeat was louder than the music yet strangely it seemed they were in tune.  I heard the "hold" button click off and she said with a laugh "you have nothing to worry about, the test came back clear." I let out the breath I had been holding and thanked her.  I quickly called Scott.

I am much more nervous this time around.  That probably doesn't make sense as I am having zero issues with this pregnancy.  But the truth is, I know what is at stake.  I know how it feels to have your newborn placed in your arms and to have your child look into your eyes for the first time as if saying "So YOU'RE my Momma."  I know what's at stake.  I know what we lose if something goes wrong. 

My emotions are on high alert this time around.  I feel as though I can't tell Paisley I love him enough times in one day.  I can't quit kissing this tiny boy who just wants to play with his trucks, but his dang ole' Momma keeps picking him up and rubbing her cheek against his.  I hold him longer at night in the dark of his room, telling him sweet dreams and kissing his face before I have to lay him in bed and walk out of his room.  Pregnancy has made me fall even more in love with our tiny tot.  I realize his time as an only child is quickly coming to an end.  I want need him to know well before this new little fish arrives that he is special and loved.  That he is and always will be my baby. 

We were nervous and scared and so in love
The night before our anatomy scan that dark cloud of concern joined me on the couch.  It sat there as I watched our sleeping baby on the monitor.  Typically the optimist, I just felt I needed to brace my heart for darkness that could enter our lives.  If something were to happen with our baby, it wasn't just Scott and I that it would affect, but also the life of our little boy.  The thought of little P seeing his Momma and Poppa going through any sort of hurt or grief was enough to get my emotions going, as if my emotions need anymore than a Hallmark commercial to get them going at this point. 

That night I had a dream that not only woke me from my sleep, but woke me with tears streaming down my face.  When I was pregnant with P, I dreamt about him, I dreamt about our blue eyed baby boy before we were even 7 weeks along.  At that point, I knew in my heart that we were having a boy and he was perfect.   I carried that thought with me throughout my entire pregnancy.  I would even say seeing him in my dreams, knowing he was going to be ok, was enough to get me through those months on bed rest.  On this particular emotion filled night, my dreams took me to the delivery room.  As I was about to give birth Dr. Turquist-Wells, the MFM Specialist walked into our room.  This specialist helped bring our healthy Paisley into the world, but she was also the bearer of bad news.  As I saw her in my dream, I lost it.  I screamed at her, asking her why she was there.  She always delivered bad news, therefore as she appeared as I was about to give birth, I just knew something was wrong with the baby.  My mother scolded me for being rude but I explained she was bringing us bad news about our baby.  Thru my tears, the Dr said with a smile, "I'm here to tell you everything is fine and your baby is perfect."  As she said those words I collapsed into a sobbing heap.  At that point I woke up. 
The smallest holder of my heart
I told Scott about the dream and said I think it was my bodies way of telling me to relax.  I chose to take my dream as a sign that we, all 4 of us, are going to be fine and healthy. 

The following day as I laid down on the examine table and the warm jelly was spread across my stomach, Scott took my hand and we breathed in deep.  This was it.  Within moments we would find out the gender of our baby and also get a good look at the structural development of baby as well as its heart.  I wanted to stop time and just stay with what we currently knew...that we had one healthy baby boy and I was currently pregnant with zero issues.  That was enough for me.  I just wanted to take this picture perfect scenario and run out of there as fast as I could.  But, knowledge is power and we were ready to hear about this new life forming inside.

As the baby appeared on the screen, the flickering heartbeat quickly became visible.  That was the first step towards me relaxing.  As the tech explained they were doing a very thorough examine and not to think anything as they lingered over certain areas longer than others.  She knows me well and how my brain works. 
Sweetest kisses
Each bone was perfect in length.  The nasal bone was visible.  All 4 chambers of the heart were clear.  The head was measuring perfectly.  As she listed off each item, Scott would squeeze my hand and a tear would roll down the side of my face.  Finally, finally we were having our perfect ultra sound.  Finally we weren't hearing words like "chromosomal" or "abnormal."  The words "structurally perfect" were spoken and "no issues."  My placenta was even further away from the birth canal than they hoped which makes Vasa Previa a non-existent concern.  She asked if we wanted to know the gender and with large smiles and light shoulders, Scott and I both said "Yes" and exclaimed our predictions for the gender.  We both guessed it right.

The big gender reveal for our family is going to be Saturday night.  I know it's kind of cruel to not tell you now, but this is just a cheap way for me to get you back to my blog in the future. 

As of right now, I feel like I can relax and enjoy this last 1/2 of the pregnancy.  I've got my emotions in check and Paisley is just going to have to understand that Momma needs a lot of kisses.  This pregnancy business is one wild ride, but I wouldn't trade it for any other experience.  We are on this ride, the 4 of us, together.