Saturday, May 31, 2008

What Time Is It?!

Like most newborns, Eli came to us with his days and nights mixed up. This meant that he slept all day and screamed all night - not incredibly fun. So we've spent the past couple of days concentrating on trying to get his days and nights back in order! To help him learn what daytime is, we're trying to spend more time awake during the day, and we're also trying to expose him to more natural sunlight.

We do waketime after he eats and before he naps, and usually Daddy does his waketime. He reads to him or sings to him. We look forward to when we can play together! Here is a picture of Daddy reading Eli his favorite thing so far - Business Week magazine. He apparently likes it better than any of the Dr. Suess or other books Daddy has read to him. I guess he gets that from his Dad... :)His daytime naps are usually taken in his bouncy chair near a window - not directly in the sun, but with enough sunlight to help him know that it's brighter now than in his crib at night. We also try to get him outside some during the day, so here is a picture of our first walk! Our neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks, so I'm not thrilled about just taking him out for a walk here. So we got in the car and drove to a nearby trail on the river, just about 10 minutes from our house. It was fun, and Eli slept all the way through it.Our problem now is that he seems to be enjoying waketime too much during the day, and it's hard to get him to go down for a daytime nap. We're hoping that will all adjust itself out soon. But our nights are MUCH more pleasant than they were at first... Instead of spending the 2 or 3 hours between feedings trying to console a screaming baby, Daddy gets to just spend 30 minutes or so sitting next to the crib making sure the pacifier doesn't fall out... I guess that's better...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Miracle Solution

First of all, a quick health update: We went back to the doctor today, and Eli's jaundice is officially on the mend! His numbers are still going down, and the doctor says he's good to go. Praise the Lord! He has lost some more weight since our last visit, which most babies are gaining by now. But the doctor said that it's probably because we cut out the formula supplements, and that he thinks we'll be fine if we keep doing what we'll doing. We'll probably take him back next week just to get weighed again and make sure he's gaining for our own peace of mind, but the doctor doesn't need to see him again until he's 1 month old!

Now, let me just say that last night was really hard. Eli was just not sleeping. He'll eat a full meal, and then just scream like he's still hungry. So I'd feed him, and then Justin would spend the next 2 hours trying to console him until I'd wake up to feed him again. Sometimes he would fall asleep, but usually not. We tried giving him a bottle to see if he really was hungry, but he screamed after that too. Terrible. So the whole household was just exhausted and overwrought. And really this has been happening every night since we came home from the hospital - he just doesn't get contented enough after a feeding to fall asleep, so our nights have been long and hard. BUT then at about 7 this morning, I had a brainwave. Maybe he just needs to suck in order to soothe himself! We had intended to not use pacifiers, at least this early, to try to avoid nipple confusion with his feeding. But at this point, we would try anything. So we pulled out the pacifier, and I gave it to him after his feeding. I tell you what, the kid went straight to sleep. It was like a dadgum miracle. I am really REALLY sad we didn't think of it sooner and avoid some of the difficulty we've had. So now the pacifier is our new best friend, and we're hoping that tonight and all subsequent nights will be much better.

And here are a few more pictures for your viewing enjoyment:
Coming home from the hospitalThe welcome sign that his grandparents had waiting for himMy little angelThere's a peek at his eyes!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Making Progress

Just wanted to update everybody - my milk came in this morning! So that is a huge relief and hopefully now we can start getting everything figured out. We have an amazing lactation consultant affiliated with our hospital, and she has been priceless in helping us figure out what to do. We spent an hour with her today, and she said that I'm making enough milk that we can eliminate the formula feedings. That is a huge relief for me - I was really frustrated with not being able to produce enough for him. So we're still working on him getting used to not having a big full formula belly after each feeding, but hopefully we'll get our routine fixed in the next day or two. Now we just need to get him to actually sleep between feedings! Please pray for us as we try to get all this stuff figured out. I truly believe that parenting will become more joyful in the next few weeks as things get settled down and we start to feel more like we know what we're doing! I have more pictures to post, but need to get them uploaded - hopefully in the next day or two. Thanks for all your kind thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Home and Doing Great

I'm finally taking a minute to check in! Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments and for your prayers for us! God was so faithful in answering our every prayer for a perfect delivery - PRAISE HIM with us! I will take some time soon to post the full account of our labor and delivery, but not at the moment. Instead, I'll give a brief update of our status now.

We came home from the hospital yesterday (Friday) afternoon. They almost didn't let us go because Eli has some pretty heavy jaundice (yellow coloring because of too-high levels of bilirubin in the blood). However, they decided to let us go home and try taking care of it on our own with frequent feedings and exposure to sunlight. Since my milk hasn't come in yet, we're supplementing the breast with formula in order to get his system working. So we spent the night getting up every 3 hours to feed - first breast and then bottle. It was pretty exhausting, but we went back to the doctor today and he has made really good progress, so that's great news! Please pray for us that he continues to improve (We go back to the doctor on Tuesday, and his levels should be completely back to normal by then.), that we can continue to adjust to the schedule with a newborn, and that I will get the rest I need and be diligent about resting instead of doing unnecessary things (like blogging?!). Please also pray that my milk will come in soon - it's really frustrating to have a hungry baby that needs frequent feedings for his jaundice, and I can't do anything about it!

I was just rereading the previous paragraph, and it sounds kinda "just the facts." So let me just tell you that I love this precious baby boy, and I am so thrilled and proud and overwhelmed and joyful to be a mommy. This is what I was made for, plain and simple. Justin mentioned in a previous post that he is more emotional than I am over all this, and it's true. I think I've just been preparing and planning for so long, that now it feels like I'm finally able to get down to business and accomplish all my plans. Being a mommy to a newborn is busy work! But I love where we are and how we got here and where we're going, and I look forward to seeing Eli grow and develop before my eyes.

I won't take the time to post more now, but I will add a few more pictures for your viewing enjoyment:Look at that sweet face!Our little familyHis first time in the carseat to come home from the hospitalIn the sun to get rid of his jaundice. Daddy is exceptionally proud of his choice of headgear. (That's a Jimmie Johnson hat - Justin's favorite NASCAR driver.)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pics of Baby Eli

This is Justin again. Taking a break from the hospital while Elias is getting circumcised. Things are going well. He's a big boy and is almost always hungry. He's feeding well, but we'll probably start supplementing Joni's feedings with some formula from a syringe in order to get him more comfortable until Joni's milk comes in.

He's got both of his grandmothers and aunts doting on him. Both sets of grandparents will be living with us this next week.

Joni is feeling great and I'm so proud of her. I'm an emotional basketcase but she's being really solid, so we have a role reversal. I'm just postpartum and it will be a while before my hormones get back to normal. We both finally got some sleep last night while Eli was in the nursery; they brought him back to us every 3 hours for feedings. That was a big help.

The hospital and staff have been wonderful. Everyone really friendly and providing for all our needs. The food is a full-menu room service so Joni is eating well. The woman who did our birthing classes is the lactation consultant, so things just working out really well.

Here are some pics of him!

With Nana

With Grandma

Him being fussy this morning.

Sleepy/fussy/hungry boy.

His first picture.
Joni after giving birth.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elias John Tapp!

(This is Justin writing)
Elias is here! He was born at 2:24am on May 21st. 9 lbs 7 oz, 22 inches long.

Joni was a real trooper and we were blessed to have a fully natural birth. She labored for several hours at home and we went to the hospital at midnight. Things escalated quickly and it took a while for the on-call doctor to arrive so she could push him out. He is very beautiful and we are VERY blessed!

No complications with his delivery, he came out easily. But, he was so big that he "tore her a new one," as the doctor put it. But, she's doing fine. We'll be in the hospital 48 hours total due to her strep b.

But, praise the Lord and thanks for your prayers! Pictures soon!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good News and Bad News

We had another doctor's appointment today! The good news is that the baby has indeed dropped some, and my cervix is dilated to 2 cm! So we're making progress and that's great!

The bad news, however, is that I was up all night with pretty strong, frequent, painful contractions, so I should be a lot further along than 2 cm after all that. (For the most part, what is happening is that the lower part of my uterus is contracting, not the whole thing. So I have sharp pains down below, but it's not actually pushing the baby downward to make progress the way contractions should.) So the doctor felt like I may or may not continue to make progress, and it's probably going to be a really long and hard several days of painful contractions before I finally do have the baby, IF I do at all. So he strongly recommended that we go straight to the hospital and let them break my water to try to speed up labor and get things moving. However, the problem with that is twofold: Firstly, artificially breaking the water means much more painful and difficult contractions than before the water has broken, and I think it's unlikely I'd be able to go on with the drug-free birth I want if my water is broken prematurely. Secondly, there's no guarantee that breaking the water would actually jump-start labor. If it doesn't, we'd be looking at a c-section. So we declined his advice to go have the water broken, and we decided to just come home and wait for labor to progress on its own.

This is all well and good, but the contractions I'm having are really quite painful, and I'm kind of dreading the thought of 2, 3, or more days of this. So I ask for your prayers that labor progresses quickly and this baby comes OUT! Pray that my uterus will contract fully and do the work it's supposed to do! Pray also that I can get some rest - I barely slept last night, and I really don't need to be exhausted right now. I'm going to try to take a nap right now!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Book PREviews

I thought some of you may be interested in the books we have read and like for pregnancy/childbirth, infant/baby care, and childrearing. So I wanted to give you a preview of what we're doing! I'm waiting to write reviews of the books until I have actually put their concepts into practice and can tell you how they work for me. So this will just be a taste of what's to come!

Hypnobabies, by Kerry Tuschhoff - Recommended by my sister
This isn't actually a book, it's a 6-week childbirth preparation program for women who are at the end of their pregnancies and want a natural childbirth. It is a "self-hypnosis" program, which sounds weird, but it's not the same kind of hypnosis you see on TV where "you're getting very sleepy" and you can make somebody who's been hypnotized think they're a squirrel or something. I would describe it more as techniques for teaching you how to completely relax your mind and body. The concept is that childbirth is so painful because women are afraid, which causes them to be tense, which causes them pain, which causes them to be more afraid, and the cycle continues. So if you can be educated about your childbirth choices, know what to expect, and know how to relax your mind and body to break the cycle, childbirth will be much easier and shorter. This is how it's SUPPOSED to work - I'll let you know how it goes. :) I do already know that the relaxation techniques are great in helping me rest and get to sleep at night, and the "natural anesthesia" you can create with your mind has already helped me in getting rid of headaches and backaches.

BabyWise, by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam - Recommended by my sister and several other friends
I have not actually read the book BabyWise. I have read the Christian version by the same author, which is called Let the Children Come Along the Infant Way. From what I understand, the concepts are identical, but the presentation is just a little different. This is apparently a very controversial book, but it seems like mostly common sense to me. Basically, as my child's parent, I am responsible for teaching him when and how to eat, be awake, and sleep so that he can develop properly and learn how to function in our world. This book gives a step-by-step way in which I can do that. As someone who is very organized and orderly, I look forward to learning how Eli and I can get on a system together that optimizes health and life for both of us.

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau - Recommended by my sister-in-law
When I first heard about this book, I thought it was going to be totally opposite from the BabyWise system. However, after reading it, I think the two go perfectly hand-in-hand. BabyWise offers more of the system and structure, Baby Whisperer tells you more how the same system can be applied to your own child given his personality. I think the two books can be melded together to make a really neat approach, and I look forward to trying it with Eli! I think it is also an excellent way to learn how to read and understand our child, since we're planning on parenting using the below book.

Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp - Given to us by our former Sunday School teacher in Waco
This book won't be something we can put into practice until Eli is a little older and begins developing a mind/will of his own. But I am THRILLED at having this book already and being able to start out parenting with the concepts it provides. This is the most Scriptural approach to parenting I have ever heard of. It will NOT be easy, not in the slightest. But I cannot wait to see it working! The basic principle is that you can't just raise your children training them to act or not act a certain way without addressing the heart issues behind all their actions. We believe that all people are born with sin natures, and it's these predispositions to sin that make a child disobey, lie, speak disrespectfully, etc. So if you just punish him for lying without ever addressing the sinful nature behind WHY he lies, then you're doing him a real disservice. This book provides a biblical approach to discipline that allows parents to know their children's strengths and weaknesses, understand the heart issues behind what they do, and address them in the context of training your children to be worshippers who want to glorify God with their behavior. Heavy, but really powerful.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Due Date!

Happy Due Date to me! My sweet boy decided not to come on his due date, but that's ok. We had a nice day anyway. Here's a picture of us to commemorate 40 weeks!I'm just about certain he has dropped at least some, and my contractions are definitely getting stronger. So who knows? There is a full moon on Monday, and they say that labor & delivery wards are overflowing when it's a full moon! :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thanks and Stats

First of all, I just wanted to thank EVERYBODY for all of the kind comments and emails you have sent me in the past couple of weeks! I've tried to respond to them, but I'm sure I've missed somebody. And I want you to know that your support and encouragement hasn't gone unappreciated! I also really appreciate your prayers - I have felt them SO MUCH over the past couple of days. God has given me so much peace about our situation. Whether I go into labor on my own and birth him vaginally, go into labor on my own and end up needing a c-section, or wait 2 more weeks and then just have the c-section - all of those are good and admirable ways to give birth, and what matters most is a healthy baby. I am still asking and believing God for our "ideal" birth, but I am prepared to trust Him should He give us something else. Please keep praying and we'll keep you updated!

I've had so many people tell me the stories of their births, and I am just amazed by how different each one is and how many different ways it can work out! So out of curiosity, I've compiled the data to see what the trend is. This is information on the 28 babies (single births - I didn't include multiples!) that I know that have been born in the past 4 years. (I'm sure I know more, but I either can't remember or don't know how they were born.) Of these:

- 13 of the mothers went into labor on their own and gave
birth vaginally (47%)
- 3 of the mothers went into labor on their own and gave birth by c-section (11%)
- 4 of the mothers were induced and gave birth vaginally (14%)
- 2 of the mothers were induced and gave birth by c-section (7%)
- 6 had elective c-sections (21%)

I don't think this proves or says anything, but I just thought it was interesting, and I'm encouraged at how many actually went into labor on their own and gave birth vaginally! It seemed like everybody I knew was telling me about their induction or c-section story (not that there's anything wrong with that and I love hearing your stories - I was just starting to feel like nobody gave birth without interventions anymore)! But when I stopped and looked at the data, more than half waited until they went into labor on their own, and more than 80% of those that did had vaginal births.

My next question is, for those of you that did go into labor on your own, WHEN did you go into labor in comparison with your due date? From what I understand, when allowed to proceed without intervention, most first-time moms don't go into labor until after their estimated due date... I may be working on another post about estimated due dates and gestation for first-time moms, but this post is already long enough. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kind in All His Works

I was reading this Psalm last night, and God really used it to bring me comfort and confidence in Him. I've marked in blue the verses that really stood out to me.

Psalm 145

Great Is the LORD
A Song of Praise. Of David.
1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.
7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.
The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Discouraging Day

Well, it's been a pretty discouraging day, and we'd really appreciate your prayers. As a background, I've been having regular contractions for a week now - generally about 15 minutes apart. They are not at all painful, but I can feel that my uterus is tightening up - like the feeling when you flex your arms or something except I'm not in control of when it tightens and lets go. So last night they started to come closer together, 6-10 minutes apart. I went to sleep and woke up at 4am, and they were coming CLOSE. So I timed them and they were every THREE minutes. Generally, you don't have contractions 3 minutes apart unless you're giving birth. I timed them for a full hour to see what they'd do, and they stayed 3 minutes apart for a full hour. So I thought about waking up Justin and seeing if we should go to the hospital, but I knew from how calm I was and how little pain I was in, that there's no way this was actually it. So I just made myself relax and went back to sleep. I figured even though this clearly isn't time now, these fast contractions must mean that something is happening, and I'm going to need my rest. So when I woke up this morning, the contractions were more like 6-7 minutes apart and still not at all painful. So we just got ready and went to our scheduled doctor's appointment this afternoon, thinking they could tell us what was up.

So we got to the doctor, and the first thing we have is the ultrasound. The technician is like "Whoa, this baby is big..." "That's one big head he's got there..." "His belly measurement is off the charts..." In fact, he was so big that the machine couldn't actually give us an estimate of what it thought he weighed. It came up with 10 lbs, 5 oz, but the ultrasound tech said that doesn't really mean anything, because his belly measurement was so big that the machine didn't even use it. She that just from looking at him, she'd estimate him at 9-something. She said it's highly unlikely that he'd gain almost 2 pounds in 2 weeks, so she knows that 10,5 isn't accurate. (We didn't get any good pictures of him this week - sorry!)

Then it's time to see the doctor. I tell her about my night of contractions, and she does an internal exam... Nothing, zip, nada. He hasn't dropped at all, and so he's not putting any pressure on my cervix to make it start dilating. That doesn't mean he won't drop or that I couldn't dilate fully in just a matter of hours. But it's looking less and less likely that is going to happen. She said that of course they can never predict these things and every woman/baby is different, but if she were to make an educated guess, it would still be weeks before I went into labor on my own. Waiting weeks is not recommended considering how big this baby is. So she recommended that we go over to the hospital and hook up to the monitors to actually check my contractions and see if they're putting any stress on the baby. They also took some blood because they want to recheck my sugar and see if I developed gestational diabetes since I had the test weeks ago. This would explain the baby's large size and would affect how they treat him after birth. We should get those results at next week's appointment.

We did NOT expect a trip to the hospital today! But off we go to labor & delivery to get checked in and hooked up to the monitor! (Side note: I'd never been admitted to a hospital before... I got the wristband and everything. Didn't expect that would ever happen until I was giving birth.) So I get settled into a room and they hook me up to the monitors: one measuring my contractions, one measuring the baby's heartbeat, and one measuring my blood pressure. (Which the nurse said was a little high... I wonder why... Maybe I was a little stressed out?!?!) She said that as long as everything was looking fine, they'd only leave me hooked up for 15 minutes. It wasn't incredibly comfortable, but it wasn't the end of the world. It was a little nerve-wracking sitting there listening to the baby's heartbeat and the way it fluctuates. I would get nervous with every drop in rate, but I could tell that its fluctuations were in no way related to my contractions. So after the 15 minutes, the OB on call came in to talk about what's going on. This is the first OB I ever met with, the one who first introduced to me the idea of c-section.

He said this is the situation: The baby is doing great, healthy as a horse, having a grand old time in there. What my uterus is doing is so weak that it really can't even be classified as contractions - more just like little muscle irritations. This is why I'm not in any pain. With the baby still so high above the birth canal, my cervix just isn't dilating. And now the baby is getting so big that it's getting likely that he may not be able to drop into my birth canal. So there is a chance that we could sit here for weeks and weeks, and I'd never go into labor on my own, Eli would just get bigger and bigger in there. We are already past the point of inducing labor - he is already so big that an induction just isn't worth the risk. So our two options are to wait for nature to take its course, acknowledging that at some point we're going to have to make a decision that we've waited long enough, or go ahead and schedule the c-section. Both doctors we talked to today didn't have any problem at all with us wanting to wait another week or even 2 weeks to see what happens before we schedule a c-section. But they both seemed pretty confident that that will be the end result here. They just don't think I'm going to go into labor on my own, they don't think that Eli will even fit into the birth canal to get it started. So their basic stance is: Wait as long as you want before you let us give you the c-section you're going to end up with.

That is really, really discouraging to me, and frankly pretty scary. This is my son's life and health we're talking about here, and I don't take that responsibility lightly. But our stance this whole time has been that God is perfectly in control and He can be trusted with the timing and circumstances of Eli's birth. And no matter what happened today, God is no less in control today than He was yesterday. He is not surprised by the lack of progress I seem to be making, nor is He surprised at how big Eli is. (In fact, He's the only One who actually KNOWS how big Eli really is.) At the same time, the responsibility of being Eli's parents is a heavy one and one that God chose for us, and I wonder if at some point He will want us to step up and make a choice for the good of our son? If that is the case, how do we know when that is? We certainly believe it isn't now - we haven't even reached our due date yet. So our next appointment is set for next Tuesday.

And so I'm just begging for your prayers that Eli will come on his own SOON and be born healthy and safely. Pray that we can glorify God with our trust in Him, and that our choosing to trust will prove to be the best for all involved.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

9 Months!

Here's my 9 month picture! 9 months pregnant?! Whoa.Justin thinks that I'm still enjoying being pregnant too much for Eli to come. He wonders if maybe I have to get really miserable the way most women do before I'll actually give birth... I am starting to get more and more uncomfortable, but I think it would be nice if I could just avoid the whole miserable stage of pregnancy. We'll see! :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Date Night

Last night Justin took me out on the sweetest date night! We went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, and I ate SO MUCH FOOD! The dinner was good, but the dessert was amazing... A banana chimichanga. They wrapped a banana in a tortilla and fried it, served with ice cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. Oh my heavens. I could go back for one of those every day. :)

Then we went to the dollar movies and saw The Bucket List. That movie was SO MUCH BETTER than I expected it to be! I laughed, I cried, I thought deeply about what is most important in life. If you haven't seen it, see it. You won't regret it.

So today makes 39 weeks! I cannot believe that we are one week away from our due date! (I'll wait to post a belly picture until tomorrow, since that will be 9 months.) I'm almost certain he has turned anterior (meaning he is facing the back), which is the ideal position for birthing. He also seems to be dropping a bit, so hopefully he'll be coming soon! :)

And just so you don't worry, I have put my blog sign-in information on a post-it note next to the computer, so whoever comes home from the hospital first after the baby is born can post a note on here letting you know about it! You'll all know as soon as possible when we have news!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Playing with Daddy

We had the sweetest experience last night, and I just had to share about it on here! We were laying in bed talking before turning out the light last night, and Justin had his hand resting on my belly. He unconsciously started rubbing my belly, and we were both surprised when Eli started responding! Whenever Justin would rub his hand over Eli's feet, Eli would move them in response! Then Justin said "Let's see what he does when I rub in a circle..." and Eli responded with a HUGE kick! It was so hilarious, and the surprised look of joy on Justin's face was awesome! Then it bowled me over when Justin said, "Hey! We're playing!" I was laughing so hard, though, that it disrupted playtime. But it was so sweet and special last night to have the first of many, many times that Eli will be playing with his Daddy. :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Appointment Today

I had a doctor's appointment today, and there's no news! Last night I started having pretty regular contractions - about every 15 minutes - and they continued all night and even now. So I thought that might be an indication that things are getting started. However, the doc did an internal exam, and she said nothing's happening in there yet. (No dilation at all.) Soooo, although the contractions are a good sign that things are happening, it could still be weeks before anything actually does. OR it could all happen at once right away. So, you just never know! We're just going to keep doing what we're doing and praying that he comes at the right time. The good news is that my belly measurement didn't give the doc any concern, and so she said it'll be fine to wait for another ultrasound until my appointment next Tuesday. So please pray that either he comes before then or that the ultrasound shows that he hasn't grown so much that the doctors are going to give us a hard time about not inducing or opting for a c-section!

Monday, May 05, 2008

As If I Needed an Excuse to Indulge...

I saw this article in a Baby Center newsletter update, and I just HAD to laugh. As if I needed an excuse to indulge in chocolate!!!

It's an article released by Reuters last Monday titled:

"Chocolate may ward off pregnancy complication"

Oh yeah. Here are a few key excerpts:
Indulging in chocolate during pregnancy could help ward off a serious complication known as preeclampsia, new research suggests.

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is rich in a chemical called theobromine, which stimulates the heart, relaxes smooth muscle and dilates blood vessels, and has been used to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries, Dr. Elizabeth W. Triche of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut and colleagues write.

Preeclampsia, in which blood pressure spikes during pregnancy while excess protein is released into the urine, has many features in common with heart disease, the researchers add.

Women who consumed the most chocolate and those whose infants had the highest concentration of theobromine in their cord blood were the least likely to develop preeclampsia. Women in the highest quarter for cord blood theobromine were 69 percent less likely to develop the complication than those in the lowest quarter.

Women who ate five or more servings of chocolate each week in their third trimester of pregnancy were 40 percent less likely to develop preeclampsia than those who ate chocolate less than once a week.

As ashamed as I should be to admit it, I'm pretty sure I qualify as a woman who ate 5 or more servings of chocolate each week in my third trimester. And I have been remarkably healthy with no signs whatsoever of preeclampsia... So bring on the chocolate!!! :)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

38 Weeks

I was too lazy to get a picture yesterday, so technically this is my "38 weeks and 1 day" picture. I almost didn't bother taking it because I didn't think a week would make much of a difference. But I think my belly looks WAAAAY bigger in this picture than it did last week. Maybe it's just the shirt and the way the gathers are bunching on my belly. But dude! I'm huge!

Every Saturday night we have to decide where we want to go to church in the morning. We haven't found a church that we love and want to be a part of, and we haven't really been looking for that, since we don't think we're in this area permanently. However, as we were discussing last night where to go and what we might like to do in the weeks ahead, the thought struck me that by next Sunday, we could have a baby. That is freaking me out a little! I mean, I do want him to come this week if he's ready. My mother-in-law is convinced that he'll be born next Sunday, on Mother's Day - I think that would be sweet, but I also wouldn't mind if I was ALREADY a mother by Mother's Day... But then at the same time, we might not be getting ready to go to church next Sunday morning because we have a newborn in the house?!?!?!?! WHOA! This may or may not make any sense. Just sharing what's going on in that crazy head o' mine.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nursery is READY!

We've been gathering and organizing things for Eli's nursery, and now I think it's finally ready! So I thought I'd post a few pictures of the space we've created for the little man. This clearly won't be his permanent nursery, since it's in my in-laws' house. But they have been so kind in allowing us to set things up exactly how we want them, and I think it's going to be perfect for the first part of his life!His area isn't a room, it's a hallway loft. Our bedroom is on the left and the room Justin has been using as an office is on the right. I wanted him to be as close as possible without actually being in our room, so his little pack-n-play is right on the other side of the wall from where I'll be sleeping! We're waiting to buy his nursery furniture until we actually have a nursery to put it in. In the meantime, I think the pack-n-play with the bassinet insert will be just fine. I like him being out in the hallway too, because then I should be able to hear him even if I'm downstairs. We do have both audio and video baby monitors, but still!
I also wanted to make sure to get a close-up shot of the wall hanging that his Aunt Nicole made for him. SOOOOO cute! She made it to match his bedding set (You can see pieces of it in the tablecloth and lampshade.), and it is just adorable! I actually got teary-eyed when we put it up on the wall because it was so sweet and just a reminder that there will actually be a little Elias here to claim that area SOON!So we are excited and (I think!) just about as ready as people can get. I am getting more physically uncomfortable the bigger he gets and the more Braxton-Hicks contractions I'm having. So I still wouldn't call myself READY, but I'm getting there. :) I'd put my current status as "If he arrives today, that would be ok with me."