Saturday, March 31, 2012

Take a tour through Jack Robert's nursery...

We are not completely finished with Jack's nursery, but we are most definitely ready for Little Boo to make it his home!  Basically, we just need a bookshelf for him (in place of where the tv stand is) and handle pulls for his dresser/changer...so, just minor details that do not make or break it, know what I mean??  Other than that, we are finito!  We are happy with the way things worked out and think Jack will love his room!  We sure do!

See what you think...

view from doorway

view from just inside doorway to crib

glider and hanging light

glider, changer/ dresser

this is where his bookshelf will be...not this tv stand

Little Boo's door

view of things Mommy painted

I took two old windows and painted them like I painted his dresser.
Then, I hung antique knobs and the letters I painted like the windows and  dresser

up close look at letters and old painted windows

Jackbaby's crib.  His Nanny did an excellent job finding his bedding!

view towards window

view of room with some natural light

I am in LOVE with the vintage hanging light I found at my favorite vintage store!

light on!

I HATED this fan WITH. A. BURNING. PASSION.  Thus, Jack's Aunt LuLu (my friend, Lucy), gave me the idea to paint the blades and get new shades.  I painted the blades to match the vintage hanging light and will be looking for some complementary shades to coincide!

view of dresser/changer and his monogram behind it.  See what I mean about needing the handle/ pulls??

a vintage chair and pillow :)
and a present from Aunt LoLo (the owl print)

Jackbaby's closet door and some painted stuff from Mommy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

watch out world, here he comes!

Well, here we are...36 weeks, 3 days: a time I for sure knew was coming, but felt like would never get here!  We have a few updates about doctor's visits...we've had A TON over the past 2-3 weeks after my blood pressure issue came on, but we are so, so grateful to have been put in so many capable hands.  On Friday, B and I heard some of the most devastating news: that something was not "right" with our son.  We had an ultrasound and were soon told that our son may have a growth dysfunction...meaning, he wasn't growing any longer inside my womb. I shared those results last Friday here on the blog after it happened, but we went to a high-risk doctor for an ultrasound on Tuesday and to say we were surprised, is an understatement.  We went expecting to hear some more bad news (I even had mine and Jack's hospital bags and my pillows with me because we were certain I may be delivering THAT day!), but much to our excitement, we found that there is nothing wrong with our Little Boo at all!!!  The doctor and the ultrasound tech did their measurements and tests and it turns out that Jack is about 6 pounds!!!  They said that everything looks absolutely beautiful with our son...he is receiving adequate nutrition and blood supply from the umbilical cord and all his major organs are functioning flawlessly.  He could even see that Jack has a bunch of hair and that there was urine backed up in his kidneys...CRAZY!  The appointment could NOT have gone any better and we are so relieved and are feeling so, so blessed.

We went for another check-up today and all was well and wonderful for a bit...but with my gestational hypertension, I have to have an NST (non-stress test) with each and every visit which is where they hook up Jack and me to the fetal monitor.  During this, I got super hot and my anxiety started getting really high, so then Jack's heart rate went up, up, up which then made me even more anxious and my BP climbed higher yet again.  Thus, my doctor says that my BP will only get worse (not better) over the next couple of weeks and that could be incredibly detrimental to Jack and me, so we will still be having a c-section on Tuesday (April 3rd) at 10:30a.m. at Central Baptist Hospital.   We cannot wait to meet our sweet, sweet baby boy and if you're out and able, swing on by and meet him too...we'd love to have ya!  Watch out world, HERE. HE. COMES!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's making me smile this week...

other than knowing I will meet my son in less than 7 days...

In the midst of the craziness that has become our life these days, B and I have found ourselves a bit stressed and a bit worrisome over the events that are soon to transpire.  Um, HELLO we are going to be parents at least 3 weeks sooner than we ever anticipated...ahhhhhhh!!!  Thus, I have to think, what am I REALLY stressed about?!?  Nothing.  And my worries?  They too should soon subside.  I know they most definitely will the moment I hold my sweet, sweet baby boy in my arms for the very first time.  Things are pretty serious and will be until we meet him...he IS the most important thing.

but in the meantime, we also have a few terrific things going on.  One, our son coming is terrific.  It's beyond terrific.  It's actually terrifically untoppable...BUT we also have a certain little game going on this Saturday.  The University of Kentucky has made it to the Final Four for the second year in a row and the Elite Eight for the 3rd year in a row...holy cow, we're back on top where we belong...where every UK fan has always known we stand...and where every UK fan has never given up hope to be.  It feels good and well, it feels right.  The only kink in this excitement is the fact that we have to play Louisville.  I have many a Louisville fan friends and this will undoubtedly anger them a bit, but I absolutely, wholeheartedly DETEST Louisville.  Seriously.  I cringe at the thought of playing against a team that many friends root for...I can just see it getting UGLY.  And heaven forbid if UK were to have an 'off' day and UofL pull off a surprise win, we'd probably have to move.  Louisville IS  a good team, and they are capable of great things...I'd just hate nothing more than to be the great thing they're capable of beating. I don't think I could stomach a loss to them.  So until the game happens, here are a few little things that have been making me smile...





















And finally, here some pics of things at my school shower yesterday...



My teammates are so thoughtful and so are the other people that I'm blessed to work with.  Did you SEE my cake and did you SEE my cupcakes?!?  I love, love, loooooooove them!!!  So precious!  My teammate, Page, even arranged to have my preggo punch for me...ahhhhh!!!!  Remember me saying that's all I drank for weeks and weeks back at the beginning of my pregnancy?!?  It and Ale8 are the nectar of the gods.  Seriously.  I highly recommend trying it.  Tee-hee!

Now, off to the doctor we go...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Little Boo is coming...

...sooner than later, it seems!  We have a c-section scheduled for Tuesday, April 3rd at 10:30a.m. unless things look worse tomorrow at our high-risk ultrasound...which we are most definitely hoping is NOT the case.  What that means is they may find that Jack is in somewhat distress, or they see that I am low on amniotic fluid and he is not getting adequate nutrition from the umbilical cord...meaning, he is basically starving in there.  Yikes.  Let's hope that is not the case!  I keep thinking, what have I done wrong?  What could I have done to prevent this?  I so badly just want to help my child, and cannot help but feel fault in this matter.  No parent ever wants to hear that her child is suffering or something is wrong.  Needless to say, I left there a hysterical mess.  Thank goodness for my husband.  And thank goodness for my OB-GYN.  She is AMAZING to say the least.  We absolutely ADORE her...wholeheartedly!  Like, I am pretty sure she hung the moon.

The good news is that all his other tests on his breathing practice, lungs, heart, organ functioning were all perfect - he passed with flying colors!  Like I said before, our doctor is AMAZING.  She has been so supportive and encouraging through this entire experience, always having Little Boo's best interest at heart.  Upon seeing that he is quite small, she immediately began laying out steps to ensure his safety and health as well as mine.  In conjunction with low birth weight, I have gestational hypertension which just means that my body is basically stressing out and causing my blood pressure to be all out of whack...never consistent.  I do not have preeclampsia which is a blessing, but it is still necessary that they get Jack out as soon as I am full-term because this stress and inconsistent BP could be even more detrimental to an already struggling, itty bitty little guy.  I am 36 weeks today, but they want to wait until I am 37 weeks which is next week!  It is crazy to think that our son will be here in 8 days from today...ahhhhh!!!  

Are we ready?!?  Well...that's debatable.  Most would say we have everything we need and I most definitely am NOT denying that fact, but there is still so much I feel I need to get done...my head is absolutely spinning!!!  To be honest, it's all little things and silly things and things you'd probably want to slap me and be like, "seriously Abby?!?"   I know, I know...I'm ridiculous.  Hey, at least I admit it :)
So...with THAT being said, I'm letting it all go and simply focusing on resting and the positive of this which is that our sweet baby boy will be here soon!  Very, very soon!  I am confident that we are doing what is best for him to ensure he is well and wonderful and we absolutely cannot wait to meet him!  I know the minute I hold him in my arms, all worries will subside and nothing else will matter except him in that moment and him for the rest of our lives.  I've said all along that he was our late Easter gift and it seems that now, he is simply our Easter gift...so beat THAT, Mr. Easter Bunny!  
   

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm a worrier, it's what I do...

...and apparently sometimes for good reason.  Today, we went back to the doctor and had an ultrasound for growth monitoring of Little Boo.  Well, I've worried that this blood pressure issue could be affecting him and it seems that my worries were somewhat legit.  You see, Jack has only gained 2 ounces IN 3 WEEKS.  Yes folks, since my last ultrasound, Jack Robert Thomas has gained no weight.  He was already little then...went from being in the 19th percentile for weight all the way down to the 9th which is where a baby at 33 weeks should weigh, not a baby at almost 36. And NOT music to my ears.  This is quite a concern.  I too have gained NO weight in well over 7 weeks (I have actually LOST it).  While that is something I had wished for as I hated...no wait, detested seeing the scale creep up and up (sometimes more drastically than others), I certainly did not think it would affect my son.  Has it affected my son?  Let's be clear, I have NOT been dieting or watching what I eat...I'm pregnant, I eat everything and I eat all the time!  So has my high blood pressure been affecting him?  Why is he not gaining any weight??  I am freaking out!  It doesn't help that MY doctor is on vacation this week.

They ran several tests today on his breathing, his heart functioning, his movement, etc...and he passed all with flying colors (perfect score, actually), but he is just little.  Reeeeaaallly little.  The good news, is that my BP was actually perfect for the first time in weeks which just shows us that bed rest IS the best thing for us overall and it was the right decision/solution.  So good news there.  But how do I get Jackbaby to gain weight?!?  I go back Monday and then again for another ultrasound on Thursday, but they could be taking him on April 2nd or 3rd once I hit 37 weeks due to this low birth weight and high BP.  She said it could be better because they can monitor him and do so much more for him once he is outside of the womb.  No parent wants to hear that something isn't going as perfectly with your child as you had hoped.  I am just worried.  Really, really worried.      

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Goodies for my students

I really wanted to do something sweet for my students because every year, they become a part of me...always leaving lasting impressions on my soul and footprints on my heart.  This year, these students are no exception to that...and to be honest, many of the kids I have need more love, attention, support, encouragement, and devotion than any other group I've ever had.  Being that many have been through more heartache and suffering in 9-10 years than I could ever imagine in my 28, I try to be a positive and loving influence every day they're at school.  Each day, I greet them at the door to our classroom and every afternoon, I stand by the door again to hug them goodbye and tell them that I hope they have a great night, that I cannot wait to see them the next day, and that I love them so much.  It breaks my heart to hear several of them tell me that I am the only person that tells them that "I love you" each day.  I even had one student tell me that that is why he continues to come to school.  :(  While many push my buttons on a daily basis and test my patience more often than not, I still love them endlessly and unconditionally.

Monday, I kind of had a feeling that once I got to the doctor, I'd be put on bed rest, but I didn't tell my students because I did not want them to worry, nor did I want to lay the "big kid" language of blood pressure and tests and such on them.  I now so wish I had been more open and honest about it prior to then, because I have been worried and upset ever since that they may be feeling like I abandoned them.  I so do not want them to think or feel that!  I figured on my last day (which was supposed to be April 13th), we'd have a party and say our "goodbyes"...errrrr, "I'll be seeing yous"  and leaving on a sad, but positive note...yet with this BP stuff, no such luck.

Therefore, I have been working on some goodies and ideas for my kids so we can stay connected.  I have been with them for over 28 weeks of school and 8 weeks is a long time to be away from those precious smiles, jokes, and strong bonds we have established so I want them to know that they are ALWAYS on my mind.  First, I got the large "campfire" size marshmallows and put them on lollipop sticks and then I dunked them in chocolate candy coating.  Next, I allowed the chocolate to harden and then covered each with a very light layer of sparkle gel frosting and rolled them in silver, white, and green shimmer sugar.  Finally, I wrapped the marshmallow treats in candy wrapping, tied them with a ribbon, and attached a note on a cardstock gift tag to each that said, 'Thank you for letting me have my Mommy!  Love, Baby Jack".
Here's the treat from Baby Jack


Simple, but I wanted something meaningful!
don't know why this won't rotate?!?
The students also needed something from ME, so I bought plastic Easter eggs and some cute cardstock and wrote in permanent marker on the outside of the egg: the student's name, I love you, and Love Mrs. T.  Inside the egg, I wrote a personalized message on the cardstock to the students, telling them what I already miss most.  Finally, I bought cute little stationery greeting cards at "Michael's" that were on sale for $0.30 (can YOU believe THAT?!?  30 cents??  BARGAIN!!!) and wrote my address on the front of the envelope and a stamp attached so they can mail me a letter, or reply back to the one I plan on sending them!

We also have 3-4 times a week Skype sessions planned so we can continue to communicate and stay in touch. Also, this will allow them to see Little Boo once he comes...they are SO excited for that...they've manned a countdown on my whiteboard since I first told them I was expecting! Today, I couldn't wait until this afternoon so I called my room and asked my sub to put me on speakerphone so I could wish them "Good Luck" on their MAP tests and tell them I love them and can't wait to see them.  They were so excited, it was precious!  Now, I get to surprise them this afternoon and I CANNOT wait!!!  YAAAAY!!!

35 week update

I am writing this post to you from HOME...during the middle of the day...and it's Thursday!  Ahhhhh!!! While being on bed rest is quite the stress inducing thought for me with my not having near enough sick days situation (see the post before this for explanation), I must admit: I am kind of enjoying that I'm partially fulfilling my dream of eventually becoming a stay at home mommy...which will most likely never happen so I'll relish in this while I can!  Hey, dare to dream, huh?!?  There really is so much I've needed to get done and have been freaking out about there not being enough time...so I do feel that my prayers have been answered on that note...BUT I must also admit that I DO already miss my students and interacting with other grown-ups during the day and I AM constantly worried about having sick days.  The whole situation is making me so anxious to meet little guy...I just cannot wait until he's here.  I know all worries will subside the minute I see his precious face and hold my tiny, sweet, angel baby in my arms.  He could come ANY day and be great, per the doctor so that is excellent news too!     

How far along: 35 weeks, 3 day

Size of our little Jackrabbit: a butternut squash!  
I'm not a fan of butternut squash, but I AM a fan of sweet Jackbaby growing, growing, growing!!!

OR...a "Crenshaw Melon" (WTF is THAT?!?)  Here's a pic...

Best moment of the week: MARCH MADNESS!!!  That is seriously ALL my father and I did this past weekend...watch basketball.  And... it was a BLAST!  B was out of town for his best friend's bachelor party (after our scare at the doctor on Thursday, he was saying he wasn't going to go, but there was NO way I was going to let him do that because I knew Jack and I were just fine) so I was put on lockdown (my modified bed rest) at Daddy Bob (BigBob - per Jack's name for him) and Mama Suz's.  Thus, I told my dad he was NOT allowed to work on Saturday and we had to spend the entire weekend watching every basketball game possible...which was EXACTLY what we did.  I loved every minute of extra time with my amazing fam! They took GREAT care of me and my mama made me some delicious food.  They're just the best and while I could NOT wait to see my Braddy Beawr, I still was quite sad leaving the fam on Sunday.  I really am so blessed to have such wonderful family who takes such excellent care of me and Baby Jack.

other notable moments:I lost 5 pounds from Thursday to Monday!  Hollllllerrrrr!  The only negative thing about that is, is that is symptomatic of my blood pressure issue because I've been so nauseas and haven't been eating much.

Another notable moment:
I was sitting in my chair at the front of my classroom and Jack was moving so much, my students could see it from their seats...it was awesome and we had so much fun watching him move!

Also (and FINALLY), UK is in the SWEET SIXTEEN!!!  We are still on top where we belong, people! Yes, we had to play my alma mater (WKU) in the first round, but there was NEVER a choice for me as to who to root for.  I spent almost 5 years at WKU and loved every minute (I seriously have the best memories of college), but I've lived in the Lexington area and been a fan of the Big Blue for over 28 years...my entire life.  I am all for WKU when they're playing anyone but UK and when it comes to being against UK, there is NO choice...C-A-T-S all the way!  Hopefully, this is OUR year to bring home title number 8!

worries/ anxieties: having enough days for my maternity leave.  As I've been saying, we have to use our sick days for maternity leave - we are not just given them...and if I do not have days, I have to take days without pay. Well, I only needed a few before I was put on bed rest...but now that I'm on bed rest, I need 28 more days. Gulp!  The good thing about teaching is that other teachers or school employees can donate to my sick bank, but I feel uncomfortable asking anyone because I do not want them to feel obligated. I am so, so, sooooo very, very grateful to those that have donated so far...I cannot tell you how very much it means to B and me!  It really helps my stressing mindset a whole lot!

Also, I've still got some details to work out in the nursery, but this is now a GREAT thing because it gives me something to do and devote my attention to with all my time off that I now have!

Symptoms: Now that I am home and resting, my swelling is much, MUCH less.  Other good news on the symptoms front: while my BP may be high, they are confident it is just from stress and NOT because of preeclampsia .  Thus, that is what prompted them to put me on bed rest and banned me from working (her exact words were NO way, NO how, NOT happening...eeek!) because Jack is doing phenomenally in here, but being that my high BP is stress induced, that could be extremely detrimental to his well being...which we obviously do not want. It's also a good thing because I need to relax and rest so I'm not fully confined to the bed or couch.  I can actually get out and have lunch or see a movie, I just cannot do anything that could be stressful or elevate my BP.  I asked about my two upcoming showers and she said I can go to both...YAY!

Apparently, I also have the telltale stride...the pregnant penguin waddle, per comments from many!  Bahahaha!  Wide load coming through!

Mood: While I may be stressed, I am in a FANTASTIC mood!  I have time to really enjoy this pregnancy and I am taking FULL advantage of it!  I'm actually going to make this bed rest my b*tch and totally dominate it!  bahahahahahaha!

Cravings/ aversions: my appetite is back to not really being there.  I have just been so nauseas that I am eating far less...but once I do start, I find it hard to stop...eeeek!  I have been instructed to really limit my sodium intake so I went yesterday and got me a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies to eat while I am home and now have time to fix something that is healthy.  I am also always craving buffalo wings and buffalo wing sauce and ALWAYS something sweet.  I've also been really craving Rally's fries for some reason which is obviously not good for restricting sodium intake.  The Rally's in Winchester has the best Ale8 in the world.  Seriously...I have absolutely NO idea what they do to it, but it is amazing!  The nectar of the gods. 

Sleep: last night was not great because I was up worrying, but other than that, I've been sleeping about 12 hours a night...at least!  Gotta get it in now while I can because I know that is about to change reeeeeaal quick.

What I miss/ am looking forward to: I miss being able to fit into my bathing suits because I would have laid out yesterday and today in the beautiful sunshine and warm weather we've been having...but I will NOT be putting the foulness that was once a good stomach in the line of vision for my neighbors.  They've probably suffered enough in their life without having to see fatty me out on our back patio!

I'm looking forward to seeing my students today...I really do miss them already and I do not want them to feel abandoned since I left so abruptly without an explanation or even a goodbye.  I made them a special treat with a note attached that said, "Thank you for letting me have my Mommy for a while!  Love, Baby Jack".  I also got them plastic Easter eggs and put a personalized message in each that tells that student specifically what I will miss most about him/her.  Then, I also addressed an envelope to them with a stamp so they can reply with a letter in the mail to me after I write one to them to stay in touch!

And finally, besides looking forward to meeting Sweet Baby Jack, I have 2 showers coming up in the meantime that I cannot wait to go to.  One is with my people at school (I know my amazing teammates have been working up something wonderful), and the other is being thrown by my sister-in-law and mother-in-law with all my college girlfriends.  Knowing Christi (my S-i-L - Jack's "Aunt Sis"), it will be amazing!

Movement: I can tell he's getting cramped in there because his movements are more of his feet/ knees poking out on one side, or his elbows up in my ribs and fingers on the other side.  He also sometimes gets so lopsided in there and I have a big hump on one side...it looks hilarious!  I also love that people can see him moving...it's pretty fun!

Milestones for little man: At about 18-20 inches long, Jackbaby should be weighing in close to 6 pounds!  He is still gaining weight and becoming rounder in appearance.  By the end of next week, he is considered full term and could come any day, healthily!  YAAAAY!  It just seems so surreal!  We absolutely CANNOT wait to meet him!  He should be head-down by now, but I know that he is not.  He wasn't on our 32 week check-up and this next should determine whether a c-section is needed or not.  I know he hasn't turned yet because his movements haven't changed.  Hiccups are also always on my middle left side...where they were when they determined he's wedged in there sideways...or, also known as breech.  I never feel him anywhere along the middle of abdomen - just on the two sides...like I was then.  So, no change thus far.  We will know for sure on Friday when we get to see Little Boo again via an ultrasound for growth monitoring!

Jack's skull isn't the only soft structure in his little body as most of his bones and cartilage are quite soft as well (they'll harden over the first few years of his life) - allowing for an easier journey as he squeezes through the birth canal...IF he goes that way...it's not looking like it will.  At this stage, bones are also not fused together yet which is why we have that preciously delicate soft spot on his little head.  By now, many of his systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms - and just about ready for life on the outside.  Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and Jack's immune system has matured enough to protect him from infections outside the womb.  Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches so we want to keep him cooking as long as possible!  One such example of a system still maturing is: digestion - which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth.  Why's that?  You may ask.  Well, inside his little gestational cocoon, Jack has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning the digestive system - thought developed - hasn't been operational so he'll need the first year or two to bring this system up to speed.

Randomness: I got my legs shaved the other day!  But, parts of them are still hard to reach!  I definitely cannot paint my toenails and they are a sad, sad scene.  Guess a pedicure is in my near future!  I'm also getting down about a certain pair of womanly assets.  Not to get too graphic or offer TMI, but I have always been known to have a good set.  Well, they're not quite making the cut any longer and looking as great as they were before.  I guess that's my only downside of pregnancy because the rest has been lovely1  I have really enjoyed being pregnant and am so excited to finally meet the result of these looonnng months of waiting and waiting!

4-5 weeks until we meet our little guy!!!