Whoa, baby!

19 Feb

Seriously, though.  Whoa.  This whole baby thing takes you by storm and all of a sudden you wake up one morning with an (almost) 4 month old baby smiling up at you, wondering how the HECK time has managed so fly by so rapidly.

I believe I last left off at about 37 weeks pregnant. So, let me give you a little run-down on how we welcomed out sweet baby girl into this crazy world…

The last few weeks leading up to her birth were, unfortunately, just as I had expected; miserable.  Despite an easy pregnancy during the other 8 months, the level of discomfort that comes with those last few weeks is just impossible to escape. I felt like I weighed about 300 pounds and could barely make it up and down the stairs to our 2nd floor condo without having to stop for a break (which my husband found pretty entertaining). It took all my energy just to get out of bed in the mornings (or up from ANY seated and/or lying position for that matter). My legs hurt, my feet hurt,  my back hurt, my neck hurt, you name it… it hurt.  I had to have help getting shoes on (because, let’s be real, there was no getting around that belly) and the allure of those cute maternity clothes had most definitely worn off.  Whew. Just plain exhausting. But I knew that it all just meant that I was so close to finally getting to see my sweet girl’s face for the first time. So, I managed.

Even though I was steadily “progressing” during my weekly OB visits leading up to her birth, little one decided not to make her appearance until a couple of days after she was due (but managed to arrive before induction date). No surprise there. I had contractions through the night on several occasions before the real thing, but then I would awake in the morning to (oh so sadly) find they had ceased. That was always a bummer, once you’d gotten your hopes up to finally get. that. baby. OUT.  But finally, the night my parents arrived in town, the contractions started again and this time they meant business. My parents arrived late on a Saturday night. That night, like several before, I was awake with steady (but not consistently-spaced) contractions. Only this time, when I woke up in the morning, they were still hanging around. I knew that this was the real deal this time. We met my parents for a late breakfast and I sat giddy with excitement while we chatted and I watched everyone eat (hey, I wasn’t about to shovel down my normal abundance of food knowing I might be going into labor soon!). Afterwards, my parents just hung out at our place with us.  Mom and I went on a walk to help force things along.  Long story a little shorter, later that afternoon things started getting a little more uncomfortable in terms of contractions. And after my water broke (which I hear is somewhat rare to happen on it’s own) I decided it was finally time to make the call.  My doctor told me to head on over to the hospital but that I could “take my time”.  Luckily, I didn’t take her advice… because in the mere 15 minutes it took to get to the hospital my contractions went from pretty uncomfortable to PAINful and just about 2 minutes apart. Oh. Wow. I had no idea.

I told the nurses as SOON as I put that ugly gown on that I wanted the epidural asap. The nurse informed me, however, that “the nurses are on shift change and everyone is dragging their feet so it might be a while”. Umm?? Are you kidding me?! I understand that you’re ready to get out of here and move on with your night but I’m HAVING A BABY here. Pratt and I both found her sentiments a bit ridiculous (I mean, even if that’s true… you don’t TELL the patient, right?).  In addition, I had to get an IV going and let it run its course first. So after the nurse stabbed me for 20 minutes (and successfully busted a vein in the process) it was finally time. And an hour and a half of misery later, I finally got my happy juice.  And let me tell you this… I don’t know how on earth (or WHY) anyyyyone would want to go without it.  Yikes.  Lucky are those who get the goods before the contractions get bad.  Lucky, lucky you. 🙂

I was hoping (despite my better knowledge) for a quick labor/delivery since I had been progressing right along for a couple of weeks. This was not the case. I labored for 8 or so hours. And then I pushed for over 2!  Yeah, it was about as exhausting as it sounds.  The laboring was fairly easy since I was able to nap on and off with the help of the epidural.  The pushing, not so easy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted.  I was so thankful to have my sweet husband by my side for constant encouragement.  And about 12 hours after we arrived at the hospital, we finally welcomed our beautiful, screaming, chubby-cheeked (large-headed) little girl into our arms.

Leila Jo was born on October 29, 2012.
8 pounds, 12 ounces. 21 inches long.
Looking JUST like her daddy.

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I’ m not going to lie, the whole birthing process is a little traumatic (not to mention the recovery… a whole other story!).  If asked that day, I would have told you she was going to be an only child.  BUT, just as my mother told me (they do know best, don’t they?) the more time that passes, the less I remember the painful details.  My memories of that day now mostly revolve around that moment they placed my baby on my chest.  I would love to describe how amazing that moment truly is, but there are simply no words that could adequately express the range of emotions I felt in that moment.  But boy was there love.  I will tell you that at night in the hospital, when everyone had gone, everything got quiet, and my husband was sleeping soundly in the chair next to me… I laid awake with my baby in my arms and cried.  And cried and cried and cried.  Not tears of sadness or pain.  Tears of joy for sure.  The love I felt was just so overwhelming that my heart literally ached because of how incredibly FULL is was. I was just feeling so in love and so so so very blessed and in awe of this little miracle in my arms. How did we get so lucky?

Those swollen-hearted tears continued for several weeks in the silent moments cuddling with my sweet baby.  And even now, though she’s not so willing to cuddle in my arms to be admired anymore ( 😦 ) I still get overly emotional when I stare at those chubby little cheeks and she flashes me that gummy grin of hers.  HOW did we get so lucky?  How is she mine??  It’s unreal.  In addition, , my amazing husband has become the sweetest dad right before my eyes (I knew he would be). I don’t think he knew what a baby would do to him, or just how much love he would have for this little person.  Watching him with her melts my heart daily.  I’ll never forget what he said the day we brought her home. We were in the car driving home (with me in the backseat staring at our girl) and in reference to her birth he said “you know, it’s like a vacation you look forward to… except when the day gets here, the fun is just beginning”. So true. 🙂

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Be Back Soon!

4 Nov

Temporary hiatas. 

I’ll be back to blogging when I can
pull myself away from this sweetness. 

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So in love & incredibly blessed.

Capturing the “Bump”

1 Oct

When I was in Nashville last month for my baby shower, my sister-in-law (who has recently started her own photography business) offered to snap a few maternity pics for me. I happily agreed.  Here’s some pictures of me & baby (with cameo’s from my favorite nieces) and a couple of me & husband + baby from the day of my shower. I was planning on a self photo shoot (where I set the camera up and hand it to my husband/tripod) so this was definitely an easier way to go! 🙂 And I love how they turned out. Thanks, Sarah!

I’ll probably have the husband snap a few more before baby bird makes her arrival (just to capture the growth, which is definitely ever-changing), so I need to get to work teaching him how to work my camera.  He needs to learn to use it anyways.  Hey, I might want to be IN some of these photos with my girl once she’s born. 😉 I can’t stay behind the camera forever.

**These were taken when I was around 32 weeks pregnant. I just recently found out the due date the OB had listed and the one I had created on my own were about a week off.  Their’s was earlier.  I’ll take it!

34.5 Weeks

23 Sep

Things around here are moving at an incredible rate (all I can think of now is Jim Carey and the Shaggin Waggon). I haven’t done much updating on the actual pregnancy thing lately.  And I’m rapidly running out of time to do so.

I just had an appointment with my OB on Thursday. Everything looked good! There are 3 female doctors at my practice and I actually have no idea who is supposed to deliver me.  I should probably ask the procedure for that, huh?  Whoops.  I made my initial appointment with doc #1, whom I saw about 3 times, then the following times I saw doc #2, and I’ve yet to see doc #3.  But, I will have the opportunity to finally meet her next week.  I assumed doc #1 would be the “prefered” doc on call for when I deliver and the others would serve as backups… but now that they’ve got me making the rounds with all of them I have no idea.  Luckily I have really liked them all so far, so I’m not at all worried.  I know I’m in good hands however it goes down.

The OB (doc #1 again) said my blood sugar numbers looked excellent (a fact confirmed the week prior by my endocrinologist). She said everything else looked good.  Baby’s heart rate was great. My blood pressure didn’t raise any eyebrows. My weight didn’t raise any concerns (which was not true the previous visit for which they “claimed” I gained 7, yes SEVEN, pounds.). And I’m measuring right on schedule.  She did tell me that I’ll need to have another ultrasound before my due date because of the whole diabetes thing.  I think they just want to make sure she’s not a monster baby yet.  Maybe this time little girl will cooperate and flash us a good profile shot (yeah right). Also, she did inform me that although they wouldn’t need to induce me early as long as I continue to manage my numbers well and without insulin, that they also wouldn’t le me go past my due date.  SO, this baby will be here in no more than 6 weeks. Eeeek. Crazy.

I don’t love the idea of having to induce. Luckily it wouldn’t be “early” if we do it, but still.  So many times the baby just isn’t ready to arrive and the process of inducing ultimately leads to a c-section.  I  suppose it’s not the end of the world, but I’d love to avoid a c-section if at all possible.  I just want to be able to focus most of my attention on the little baby when I get home and not so much on having to take care of myself.  But a happy healthy little one is priority numero uno.

I go back next week again for the Group B Strep test, and then I start my weekly visits for checking my “progress”.  I hate the overshare of the terms used to describe this process and will spare you of those details.  You’re welcome.  I just can’t believe we’re already at that point! We’ve got so many little things to take care of before this baby comes, and I just hope we get them all done in time.  It seems like the days are just slipping away from us now.

Here’s a few baby-related pics snapped here and there (by phone) over the last several weeks.

30 Weeks – Nashville, TN

31 Weeks – Nashville, TN (and a better shot of the belly!)

Baby Girl’s room is hiding under there somewhere. Washing, cleaning, and organizing.   A bit of nesting ensued. 

Sweet husband put the crib together while I was in Nashville.  AND he painted the baby’s room.  How great is he?? Love her pretty bedding! (Oh, and please ignore the fact that the headboard was installed backwards, no big deal.  Just a minor re-build needed)  😉

Cheap changing table we snatched up at a consignment sale. 

Just a little stroll on the husband’s birthday.

The three of us on Pratt’s 29th (who, he’s getting old!) birthday.

34 (ish) Weeks

Pamalama Does D.C.

22 Sep

I recently got the opportunity to spend a long, glorious, extended time visiting with my momma. Anybody who knows me at all knows how close I am to my mom. So, you can understand that  living about 700 miles away from her isn’t the easiest thing for this girl.  Especially being pregnant.  There’s so much I want her here for, or to ask her about, or to share with her, etc. etc. SO, we had ourselves a little (big) together-fest. Originally, mom had planned on coming to spend a week with us in Virginia so we could just hang out, shop, talk baby, and just be us for days in a row. We don’t usually get much of this when I go to Nashville because there’s so many people to visit and so many distractions that cut away at our time.  And even when her and dad come to visit, they’re only in town for a couple of days, and really that’s just not long enough.  So, with the approval of my sweet husband (who really could have cared less since (1) mom is the most easy-going person on earth and (2) he was spending most of his hours at the office anyway), she booked her trip.  I was so excited.

On top of this week together, I also had a week in Nashville planned shortly after.  One of my best friends was having a bachelorette weekend in the mountains one weekend, and my baby shower in Nashville was the following weekend. So the plan was to fly to Nashville the first weekend, bum a ride to the bachelorette party, and then spend the week in between celebrations in Nashville with the family. But then… mom and I both came to the realization that we were flying to Nashville just 3 days apart from each other.  And that’s just silly, no? So naturally, I decided to up my departure a little and fly out early with her.  This gave us extra time together AND as a bonus, neither of us had to fly alone. 🙂 SO, let me provide those calculations for you… that’s nearly 3 weeks of Pam-Becky time. Oh yeah.  That happened.

During her week in Virginia we shopped some, ate out a lot, talked a lot of baby talk, went to 3 doctor’s appointments (including an ultrasound where our stubborn girl yet again flaunted her “no pictures please” hand-in-front-of-face pose), and spent every morning with a cup of coffee and a little Hoda & Kathy Lee. 🙂  It was total girl time.  Then, since Pratt had Friday off, we took the opportunity to show mom a little of D.C. She hadn’t been since she was tiny and we thought it would be a fun way to spend an afternoon.  We briefly toured a couple Smithsonian’s, and made our way around the major monuments as well.  It was a HOT day and I must say that I had never felt more pregnant than I did at the end of that day.  We must have walked for about 5 miles, in the hot, unclouded sun.  I think I might have even waddled a little that day.  Yeah.  It was rough. But we had a lot of fun being tourists.  There is still so much we’ve yet to see/experience ourselves.

Here are some photos from the Virginia/D.C. portion of our visit. I’ll save the Nashville/baby shower photos for a separate post because it totally deserves its own. A LOT of work was put into that very special day. Keep your eyes open for that one soon.

Pre-waddle

Jaws of Megalodon

Mrs. President

Taking a breather…

Ahh, “home”

Current home…

Past home (cheesy enough yet?)

Me & Momma at Lincoln Memorial looking over Reflecting Pool/Washington Monument

Vietnam Vet Memorial

I apologize for the sub-par quality of the photos.  Little effort or care is taken in photography when you are pregnant, hot, and waddling around in the sun for hours.  At least it got documented (thanks mostly to mom, who actually brought her camera along for the day).

I had such a great time having mom up here all to myself.  It’s so comforting to have her around.  That whole mother/daughter thing is undeniable.  Girls just want their mammas, ya know?  I hope my little girl and I can be as close as my own mother and I are. I’ve already decided she’s never going to college and will live with us forever.  Pratt is OK with this because then we don’t have to worry about trying to save for college funds, ha! Seriously though… I get misty-eyed now just thinking about her leaving home one day down the road.  What’s wrong with me??

I can’t wait to have mom here again for a little bit after this girl is born.  I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep her prisoner and never let her leave though. Mom, I know you are reading this… just go ahead and plan on staying for at least like 6 months.  That’s totally normal, right? No? I’ll cook for you? Bake cookies? Let you hold the baby all day?? Prettyplease.

More Catching Up

21 Sep

I had a few more “unpublished” photos hanging out on my laptop that I thought should be shared.

A photo of the soon-to-be’s on our first Mother’s Day.

Here are a couple pictures from our quick visit to Nashville over Memorial Day.  Mom wanted my “bump” in the pictures but unfortunately, it was just more of a “bulge” at this point, so no such luck! 🙂

Here are some photos from my brother’s friend’s wedding.  Or, my friend’s brother’s wedding.  Or, our family friends’ wedding… however you want to put it.  It was a “family” reunion of sorts. Our family, along with two others, have all remained friends since practically birth when our parents attended church together.  We started as a group of 10 kids and have added multiple babies, husbands, and wives along the way. What a group…

Myself, Amber, and Addie. Best friends for life. I feel like I should pair this photo with various (and somewhat embarrassing) photos of us throughout the years.  Hmm… maybe another post. 🙂 Newsflash for this trio: Addie is getting married in November and Amber is expecting a little one in early Spring! Such amazing things happening in all of our lives.  So blessed.

These two had a little secret (yet unverified at the time of photo) bun in the oven here.  Those are the smiles of happy expectant parents! 🙂 So excited for them and that Amber and I got to be pregnant at the same time, even if for just a little. They are going to be great parents.

Catching Up on Summer

18 Sep

This post is a little late, but I didn’t want to move on to other things without including it.  Back in June, Pratt and I, along with his whole family, spent a few days vacationing in Pensacola, FL.  Originally, Pratt and I were planning a beach trip for just the two of us, seeing as it would be the last one if that kind for years to come.  But, after talking about it we thought it might be fun to invite his family along because none of them had been to Pensacola, and we just knew everyone would love it as much as we do (or so we had hoped). Surprisingly, everyone was interested and eventually we put our sandy plans into action.

I can’t speak for his family, but I know Pratt and I had a blast.  And by “blast” I mean a totally relaxing, lazy, warm, vacation filled with nothing but lounging by the water and eating loads of great food. Our ideal vacation, really. Unlike many beach visits in the past, I spent the entire time smothered in SPF 50 or higher and shaded under a big ol’ umbrella.  And it was heavenly.  Tanning is just so much work, and I’m glad my days baking in the sun are over and I can officially enjoy just *being* at the beach.  The breeze, the sound of waves crashing (or kiddies splashing), the warmth of the sun, some good tunes on the iPod, and my adorable husband by my side.  Who knew life could be so perfectly lazy?

I did have one (or 2-ish) kind of rough days while on our little vacation, however.  One dragged-out migraine and some heat-induced nausea (and sickness). That was no fun.  Also, a tropical storm (Debby to be exact) threatened to ruin the weather perfection for all of us, but no such luck.  She might have won the battle one day (with mostly just some insane wind and stormy-clouds) but luckily I was already huddled up in bed under the covers trying to cure my migraine, so nothing was missed on my part.  And I’m pretty sure the Pratt’s enjoyed hanging out and playing games together (as far as I could tell from the happy-family-sounds  coming from the next room).

So overall, a pretty successful beach trip.  As always, I wished it could have been longer. BUT, Pratt and I had a very special little moment on our last day that made it all worth while.  While lounging in the shade, grasping at every last-minute of beachiness we could before having to depart for the airport, I not only distinctly felt our baby girl kick, but Pratt actually got to feel it too! I had *thought* I had felt her numerous times before, but until this day I wasn’t really sure what I was feeling.  As soon as I felt her, I grabbed Pratt’s hand, put it on my belly, and right on cue she kicked again and it was simply amazing.  Both of us were so astonished.  Clearly baby girl loves the beach as much as her mom and dad and was just kicking in protest of our looming departure.

Now onto the goods. Here’s some photos from our trip.

The “original” Pratt Ladies

The bump at 22(ish) weeks

Husband and his sisters

Just looking casually handsome while I played with the camera.

An early morning walk on our last day at the beach…

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