Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thankfuls 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!  Ever since I have been a little girl I have been making a list of 100 things I am thankful for each year on (or close to) Thanksgiving Day.  The tradition was started by my mom on a car ride out to Iowa to visit family for Thanksgiving and has continued.

Thankfuls for 2017 (in no particular order):
1. God - faithful, kind, compassionate, sovereign
2. Wheelchairs
3. My wife (said by Ian)
5. Coffee
6. a job
7. leftovers!
8. Samuel Cary
8.5 Coach P and Heather
9. My husband (said by Alissa)
10. naps

From Samuel:
11. Corn Toothbrush (and all chew toys in general)
12. Wind Chimes
13. Boxes that one can sit in
14. End of Nap time
15. Sitting on Dad/ Grandpa's shoulders
16. People (repeatedly) picking up what I have dropped
17. Tylenol for teething
18. warm hats for cold walks
19. pacis (and blessed silence - added by Samuel's Mom)
20. Halloween is only once a year
21. the Jumparoo - thanks to Uncle Dan and Aunt Sara

22. car rides and walks that put Samuel to sleep
23. police and firefighters
24. craft beer
25. dishwashers
26. water bottles
27. restaurants to go to when you don't feel like cooking
28. disposable diapers
29. gyms
30. dreadmills for cold days or dark nights
31. fitbit
32. community that embraces (and celebrates) us like family
33. witnessing the joy and delight brought to grandparents by Samuel
34. Christmas music
35. all the people who have helped, encouraged, and supported us as we have moved
36. catalogs that come in the mail
37. friends that listen with their hearts
38. the Bible
39. drive throughs
40. DQ Blizzards
41. Target
42. Costco (costco diapers - see #28)
43. Vista being family
44. good co workers
45. health insurance
46. taking the Fit in to get a new turn signal and getting the air conditioner fixed by surprise
47. sweet potato souffle
48. epidurals
49. caesarean section for when things do not go as planned
50. smart phones
51. Chick fil A 
52. doughnuts (and students who came to doughnuts and derivatives)
53. Calc 3 MIT Lectures on youtube
54. bouncy seats, swings, boxes, high chairs, strollers, and other things that contain Samuel
55. times that we communicate clearly
56. deodorant
58. Mom forums
59. Necklaces that Samuel can safely on
60. misletoe
61. air conditioning
62. stevia
63. decaffeinated beverages
64. La Croix
65. Coke
66. special egg rolls
67. soccer
68. cross country and track
69. dogs (said by Ian)
70. books
71. trees
72. flowers
73. wreaths
74. crisp morning air
75. smooth running trails
76. sea salt dark chocolate
77. white noise maker
78. wood burning fireplaces
79. magic eraser
80. foot rubs
81. ponytail holders
82. real cream for coffee
83. moving company
84. Hadley Rose and the Donkey
85. technology that keep us in touch with family and friends
86. shoes
87. the fact that no one can stay awake forever
88. gum
89. we survived seminary
90. wine
91. cinnamon rolls
92. the Babylon Bee
93. eggs
94. slippers
95. bacon
96. paper snowflakes
97. those that welcome us with open arms
98. magic the gathering (said by Ian)
99. scented candles
100. Grandpa and Kathryn

Monday, June 5, 2017

seven years

Today is our SEVEN year wedding anniversary - wootwoot! I thought I would share seven things I love about Ian (in no particular order).

1. Ian points us to Jesus and the Gospel. 
He is so faithful in this. We have friends that say, "Everything is negotiable... except us and Jesus." Ian has adopted this for us as well. I can get caught up in superficial things, but Ian stays focused on eternity.

2. Ian knows me better than I know myself.
There are times that I am externally processing my life and Ian will say something and I am like, "Boom! Yes! How do you know me better than I know myself?" or we will play, "Guess what Alissa is thinking right now?" And he can guess 100% of the time (even when I think I am thinking crazy weird not related to what we are doing thoughts).

3. Ian believes in me, encourages me to be brave, and chase my dreams.
Sometimes I am asked to take on big projects and I lack the self-confidence that I can do it. Or sometimes I lack the courage to do small things (like talk to people). Ian reminds me of what I have already accomplished, who I am (You are Alissa Ferguson, you work hard, and you can do it.) and what others have said to me.  Some of my proudest accomplishment I would never have attempted if it was not for Ian cheering me on.

4. Ian can make me laugh even when I have zero desire to find humor in a situation.
I don't know how he does it.  I can go from fuming angry to cracking up (and calmer) in moments when Ian reframes our situations. He also cracks himself up, which is good because I do not make him laugh often enough.

5. Ian is patient with me.
I am not very patient with myself (and sometimes others). I want everyone to have the same unreasonably high expectations that I do. I have said this many times, but it is still true - I am so glad I am not married to me.  It is good that I am married to Ian.

6. Ian speaks truth into my life.
Worry Kills.
Expectations are meant to be broken.
You need a pedicure.

Just a few of the truth bombs that Ian has dropped in my life in the last few months.

7. Ian still sees life as an adventure.
I probably would have lost the adventure mindset somewhere along the way (when we moved back to America) but Ian still reminds me that we are in adventure mode and that we are on an adventure because we are changing the world.

seven years later
Bonus: He buys me ice cream. And he rubs my feet. Some said it would not last after we got married - it has. He is my favorite and my bestie.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The birth of Samuel Cary part 5 - the C section

I am writing this post to try to remember all the details of our son's birth - maybe too many details.  Feel free to read along or just scroll through and look at pictures.

I did not finish this post for a long time (like 10.5 months AFTER Samuel was born) so here are my foggy memories:

Once the forceps did not work, I knew that I was going to have a c section.  I pretty much just laid in there and cried and tried to not cry while people went into action.  Dr. Bozeman was really sweet and as I was signing my life away he told me, "You tried everything you could. You are not failing." My response was to cry harder and ask Ian to bring puke bags into the Operating Room with us.

Ian was getting scrubs on.  Dr. Bozeman was stitching me (becuase I pushed long enough/ hard enough / whatever enough to tear).  Even with an epidural it was not a pleasant experience.  I found out that Sara could not go with us into the operating room.  Only one person was allowed and we thought it would be good if Samuel's father was there for his birth.  I was nervous about Ian holding the puke bags.

They wheeled me into the operating room.  People kept walking up to me and introducing themselves and telling me their duties.  I did not care in the least at that moment, but I do remember thinking, "there are SO MANY people in here".  I had to be switched to a different bed and I was so impressed by how amazingly smooth the procedure went (I am guessing this is part of people's every day job, but for someone who has never stayed in the hospital for longer than a few hours, I was impressed!)

Dr. Bozeman had another doctor assisting him with the procedure.  It just so happened to be Dr. Jill Ingenito.  Dr. Ingenito just so happened to be the doctor who removed my arm stick 38 weeks and 5 days before Samuel was born.  She told me to start taking prenatal vitamins and to stop drinking alcohol (at that time).  I was all like, "Oh it is going to take us years to get pregnant.  I will think about possibly starting prenatals soon." Dr. Bozeman and Dr. Ingenito had a chuckle about it.  I was not chuckling.

Anyway, I do remember that there were two anesthesiologists or one anesthesiologist and one assistant to the anesthesiologist.  One was a man and one was a woman.  The woman anesthesiologist gave me the play by play of what was happening.  She stood above me and would hold my face in her hands and bend over and talk right into my face any time she wanted to tell me something.  At the time, it was reassuring and sweet.

Dr. B and Dr. I were going about the c section and shooting the breeze like it was no big deal.  I was crying, trying not throw up any more, and trying to process my life.  I did throw up once or twice in the operating room.  I can't remember if it was before or after Samuel was born.

They did announce, "Your son is about to be born.... He is here!" (I don't remember what they said but it was something along those lines.)  Soon, I could hear his cry.  I had not really stopped crying in the last 45 minutes, so I just kept crying.  

Ian went over to check on him and ended up cutting the umbilical cord (not by his consent, but it makes for a funny memory). Eventually they brought Samuel all swaddled up in a blanket over to let me see him and hold him.  The man anesthesiologist took a couple "first family pictures" I did not look at the camera.  I did not smile.  I laid there and cried.  I don't know if I even held Samuel.  Then they took Samuel and Ian off somewhere.  I can't remember when I stopped crying, but I was trying to pull myself together while they stitched me up.

I feel like it was half an hour later that I was wheeled into an alcove of a hallway with a chair for Ian.  Samuel was in his little plastic bed thing, just taking the world (I was surprised he was not crying). Ian and I tried to process our life and call people and send pictures etc.  We did it!  We had become parents.  Ian did not faint.  I did not make it anywhere close to having an unmedicated all natural birth, but a few months later I would finally accept it.  We did find out that Samuel had a slightly over 15 inch circumference of his head which is huge.  One nurse practitioner mentioned that I may have broken my pelvis or something if I had pushed him out (Lordhavemercy).  Samuel Cary weighed 8 pounds 7 ounces and was 21.5 inches long when he was born at 3:01pm. 

I could probably ramble on and on about our stay in the hospital but I will end here.  The adventure of parenting has just begun.  We are so thankful for our friends and family that supported us so much the first few weeks of Samuel's life.  We would not have made it without yall.  Much love and thanks.

The birth of Samuel Cary part 4 - the pushing

I am writing this post to try to remember all the details of our son's birth - maybe too many details.  Feel free to read along.

Once Casey came back she asked if Ian would like to cut the cord after the baby was born.  His reply was a solid, "NO!" Then she asked me if I wanted to cut the cord after the baby was born.  My reply was also a solid, "NO!" Our friend, Sara, was there and so Casey asked her and she was like, "Of course! That would be so cool!"

I told Casey that this was my first rodeo as far as giving birth and Ian and I had not attended any birthing classes or really had any idea what we were doing.  She assured us that this was okay and that she would just teach us her own method.

I was supposed to wait for a contraction (which I could not really feel all that much) and then hold my breathe and push. Casey would count to ten. I would exhale, inhale and repeat. And a third time. It sounded so easy.

On the second or third push Casey told us, "Your baby has hair!" I thought, "YES! This is working wootwoot!" and on the push after that, "He has long dark hair." I was encouraged.

Aunt Sara and Samuel
The story gets fairly boring for the next few hours.  I pushed and I pushed. I started throwing up about an hour or so into the pushing.  God Bless Sara and Ian.  Sara held the puke bag and helped me rinse me mouth out after I threw up each time.  Good thing the room was well stocked with puke bags. Ian was so great!  He held my leg and was so encouraging. (I kept waiting for him to pass out or something and he did not.  He hung in there for the entire process and was so great!) Actually everyone was encouraging.  I specifically remember asking Casey how I was doing at one point and she told me that 75 to 80% of my pushing was good.  The main thing I HATED was holding my breathe. I could rant about that for a long time. I don't think the person who proposed holding one's breathe while trying to push what feels like a bowling ball out of one's self did not had any experience in doing so.

Casey was SO GREAT! She was so encouraging and she did not give up on me. She was the slowest count-er to ten that I have ever met.  I would try to count to ten slowly in my mind and I would be at twenty and she would be at six.  One thing that I will always laugh about is my memory of pushing.  I told Ian later, "I know I pushed for three hours, but I was only pushing like every 10 or 15 minutes... so it wasn't really that much." He looked at me with a shocked face and said, "No. I was watching the monitor, you were pushing every 2 to 4 minutes." Hahaha - time can become a funny thing.

At one point after I had thrown up and was feeling exhausted, I pathetically asked Ian, "Once this is all done (and in my brain I added, "And I survive this ordeal alive...") can you please find me some Sprite." The only thing I want after throwing up is Sprite.  Of course I was restricted to ice chips. Ian agreed to find me some Sprite.

At one point I think they may have turned down my epidural so that I could feel the contractions so I would know when to push as it was not timing out correctly.  I can't really remember... it is part of the fog now.

I don't remember how far along we were, but at one point Casey asked me how much I had left in the tank.  I gave a pretty vague answer. I did not feel like I knew. At that point it felt like I was going to spend the rest of my life pushing as I was not really making any progress.  

Dr. Bozemann came in around the two and half or three hour mark of pushing.  He said that I had four options:
  1. Turn the epidural off and let nature take its course - Um, NO, I was not about to do that.
  2. Keep pushing - well I had not really progressed (in my opinion) in the last three hours, so I am not sure why this was an option
  3. Try forceps or vacuum - I was not crazy about this option.
  4. C-section - at that moment in time I thought, "I will do anything so that I do not have to have a c-section."
My only "birth plan" was: do whatever the trained people tell me to do. Unfortunately all the medically trained people were like, "What do you want to do?" and Ian and I were like, "Tell us what to do!" By order of elimination we decided to try forceps.

I don't remember a whole lot at this point - they had me put my legs in stirrups and my legs started shaking uncontrollably. They did a quick ultrasound to see what way the baby was facing.  A LOT of people started coming in the room. I think I tried to keep pushing through most of this because trying to breathe through a contraction and not push was WAY more painful than pushing.

Once everything was ready, they told me to push. Sweet Lord Jesus, Rapture Me Now. Pushing with forceps was hands down the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.  I was willing to do anything in that moment to not experience that pain again.  I screamed (from pain) and then started crying (because I knew I was going to have to have a c-section).  

The birth of Samuel Cary part 3 - the unnatural labor (aka magical unicorns, rainbows, and puppies)

I am writing this post to try to remember all the details of our son's birth - maybe too many details.  Feel free to read along.

At 7am Dr. Bailey, an anesthesiologists, came in and introduced herself.  Ali, our night nurse, was there too.  Ian was awake and hanging out.  I was scared to get the epidural and exhausted and discouraged.  Dr. Bailey was amazing! She was direct and quick.

I sat on the edge of the bed and hugged a pillow.  Ali directed Ian to sit on a little stool that had wheels on the bottom and be near me (I whispered in an angry voice for him to back up - sorry Love - I laugh now when I think back on it.) I don't remember all the directions, but at one point Dr. Bailey said that I would feel a sting in my back (a tiny bit painful, but nothing in comparison to contractions or other pain I have felt in my life). I cried during the procedure (spoiler alert: I cried a lot during the whole giving birth process).  Why did I cry? I am not 100% sure - I think I was disappointed in myself for getting an epidural.  Dr. Bailey said the whole procedure took about 17 minutes. 

Napping in his Baby Box
Once I got all hooked up and good to go, I was told to lay on my back for 20 minutes to let the medicine disperse correctly. Glory, glory, hallelujah - I got to lay on my back after months of being told not to. One thing I did not know was that once you have an epidural, you are not allowed to get out of bed and need to be catheterized (how did all of my friends leave this part out of their stories!?!).  I told myself that I did not really have a choice and to just get over it.  In case you are wondering the PRO of having an epidural far outweighs the CON of having a catheter put in.

Since it was coming up on shift change time, Dr. Webster and Ali came by.  Dr. Webster checked things out and told me I was 6 cm dilated (wootwoot!). Then she said that she was wrong and I was only 3 (bummer!). Dr. Webster (I think her name was Kelcey) told me that she was going off and Dr. Bozeman was coming on duty.  She mentioned that he had a lot of experience and if she ever had to deliver using forceps, he would be the person she would choose. (At the time, Ian and I found it to be a weird tidbit to share.) 

his favorite position to nap - being held
My new nurse, Casey, came on shift and introduced herself to me. I love Casey! She will forever be remembered as the best nurse that has ever lived and all future nurses will have to live up to her crazy awesomeness.  She told us a little bit about herself and that she was good with me hanging out for awhile.

After they left, Ian mentioned that he was tired and hungry (and I think I gave him the death stare) and he headed out to find some breakfast.  I told him, "Under no circumstances will you bring a cup of coffee into this room!" Clearly the epidural did not take all of my unkindness away. I drifted in and out of sleep for a little while.  At one point someone came in the room for me to sign some papers.  I think I would have signed anything at that point. I think one was for the hospital to take photos of the baby later (which we opted out of), one was for a hepatitis B vaccine, and one was something super crazy like "if you are about to die, can we try these things to keep you alive".

Once the epidural kicked in, my contractions slowed down so they put me on pitocin to keep things moving. I felt nothing! (and I was ecstatic about feeling nothing). I tried to get some rest as I knew we had a long day ahead of us.

I woke up around 9:30 or so and found our friend Sara chatting with Ian. We filled her in on what had happened and we were just shooting the breeze. We decided to take bets on when the baby would be born.  I remember that I thought 6pm. Ian said 3pm, Dan said 2pm, and Sara said 4pm.  I don't remember what anyone else guessed.  I do remember thinking, "TWO P.M.!?!? These people are crazy, I won't even be fully dilated by then."  I told Ian that he needed to tweet out, "Have a good day!" for me so the kids would know that I was in labor at the hospital.

Around 10:30 or so I felt "different" like I needed to pee (but I had an empty bladder). Casey came by (or we called her, I can't remember) and she checked - I was 10 cm and ready to push.  I was SHOCKED. (At pretty much every point in this story I was shocked and in denial but this was probably the most shocking part - I felt exactly the same at 10 cm as I did at 1 cm).

Casey told me that she needed to go pump for her 6 month old daughter and that she would be back in half hour and start pushing.  If you have been reading along on these pregnancy posts and labor posts than it will not be hard for you to believe that I was in disbelief and denial.  To help the thirty minutes pass we turned on the TV and watched some show on HGTV about people who win the lottery and then use the money to buy a house and furnish it.  I don't know if we really paid attention, but we all pretended to watch it.  (We never turned the TV off so I can remember throughout the next couple of hours seeing the TV still on and chuckling in my head.)

The birth of Samuel Cary part 2 - "The All Natural Labor"

The point of this post is so that I can remember what happened - feel free to read along.

While I was being admitted, hooked up to an IV, and monitored, Ian and I were having a full on conversation about what he needed to do - mainly run home for stuff and fill the car (with the car seat in it) up with gas.  Since I had not packed a bag for the hospital (it was on my to-do for that day) I was saying a lot of things like, "... in the bottom drawer of the dresser there are gray fleece sweatpants, get those..." Ian was googling, "What to pack in the hospital bag" and I am pretty sure our nurse, Ali, thought we were crazy.

The way our health insurance provider works is they have two OB/GYNs rotate through the labor and delivery unit at the hospital.  The first doctor was really nice - Dr. Webster - I think.  My blood pressure was a little bit elevated, so she gave me some possible scenarios that we would be facing and I expressed my desire to do whatever was best.  However I really, really, really wanted to go all natural.  Dr. Webster was so nice!  She let me get out of bed and do whatever for an hour and then I had to get in bed and be monitored for 20 minutes.

Once Ian left (around 1 am I think), Ali brought an exercise ball in for me. My contractions were really manageable at this point.  I knew that I should try to rest, but once someone told me that I was having a baby, I had way too much adrenaline in my system to try to sleep or be stationary.  I spent a lot of time walking with my IV cart (super annoying - you would think in 2017 they could invent an IV cart that would move easily), bouncing on the ball, and just trying to breathe through each contraction.  I can't really describe how a contraction feels - mine were all in my back - the main issue is I could not find a comfortable position (and I tried every position known to man) to be in.  Once the contraction would pass, I would be fine, but in the middle - oh man - they were not fun.

I think Ian got back to the hospital around 3 am and I was definitely feeling the contractions at that point (I was having contractions when we first arrived at the hospital - I just did not notice them).  There was a couch/bench in the room and Ian stretched out and went to sleep.  Before he drifted off, he reminded that we live in a day and age of epidurals and that I have choices.  I don't know what I replied, but it was not the kindest.

Around 4 or 5, Ali came in to hook me up for monitoring and the contractions were getting really unbearable while I was in bed.  I would just sit and watch the clock waiting for 20 minutes to pass and for Ali to come back and let me get up and move around again for 40-60 minutes.  This time, though, the baby's heart rate did not measure the way they wanted it to, so I had to stay in bed for more monitoring.  I was really discouraged in that moment.  Ian was asleep, I had just talked myself off the ledge for 20 minutes, and Ali did not know how much longer I had to stay in bed.  Thankfully, the baby's heart rate returned to normal in the next 10 minutes and I think I jumped out of bed.

I do not have a great memory of timing, but it was starting to feel like I was having three contractions back to back and then a break for 10 to 15 minutes.  I really wanted a tall (bar height?) counter to lean against during each contraction.  Yet, there was only a normal counter for the sink.  I was starting to have a hard time thinking during each contraction. 

I had a little conversation with myself that basically went like this, "Could I keep going all natural?" YES! "For how long?" I don't know.  "Will you be in any shape to push if you get no sleep tonight and labor takes 12 more hours and you are not allowed to eat?" Probably not. "Do you want to bite your husband's head off each time he tries to be nice to you?" No. "Can you continue to sit in bed and be monitored for 20 minutes at a time and not move around if the contractions get stronger?" Maybe, but it is torturous. 

So at 6am I told my nurse Ali that I would take an epidural. She said that two other people had just requested epidurals as well.  I told her I was not in a hurry and the other two could get theirs first.
how I felt during contractions
Other things I remember from this part:
  • Ali was a traveling nurse from the Dallas area.  Her accent was so cute!
  • I went to the bathroom several times.  Getting the IV cart in and out of the bathroom was not easy (did I mention that the person who designed the IV cart would not be rated (by me) as effective at their job?).
  • Our hospital room was near the helicopter landing pad - I would not have known this except there was a little blinking in our room ALL night.  I was so annoyed by it! (I was pretty much annoyed by everything to be honest).
  • At 3am (or so) I realized that I needed to put in for a sub on Monday so I bounced on the exercise ball and went online to put in for a sub for Monday and Tuesday. It took me awhile to get it done, but I did it!
  • Ian texted his parents and my parents around 2am to tell them we were at the hospital - I was not the happiest camper about this (I wanted to wait until 8 or 9).  I don't remember why it felt like such a big deal at the time but it did.

The birth of Samuel Cary part 1 - am I in labor?

I am going to guess that this will be a long post but the point is so that I can remember what happened.  I feel like some details are already fading or blurring together, so I want to try to write out as much of the story as I can remember.  I will intersperse cute pictures of my kid if you just want to see baby pictures.

Thursday, April 20th was a normal day - I got up, went to work, and came home.  The next day was a comp day for conferences, so I was looking forward to a three day weekend.  I stayed after school and made sure all my grading was done and my sub binder was ready to go.  I really believed that I would be back at school on Monday, but on the off chance that something happened, I wanted to leave everything in good shape.  *At this point, my first three subs had canceled on me so I did not know who would be my sub should I have the baby over the weekend.*  During 4th period Calc BC that day, the kids asked how they would know if I went into labor or not.  We decided on a secret code: I would tweet out "have a good day" whenever I was at the hospital having the baby.  A lot of the kiddos wanted me to give birth on 4/20 and I was bound and determined that it would not happen.

Easter Sunday - five days before Samuel arrived
Once I got home, I made a to-do list for the next day (run to Costco, pack a bag for the hospital, write thank you notes etc.) and then Ian and I worked on rearranging our bedroom.  I wanted to put the bed in a corner (really inconvenient for Ian to get in and out of bed now) but it was the only way to create more space in our bedroom.  We had been talking about rearranging our bedroom for a month or so and I was glad that we finally got it done.

I had had a cold for most of the week and my nurse practitioner suggested that I try some Tylenol PM if I could not sleep. Since I had a lot that I wanted to accomplish the next day, I decided to take a Tylenol PM and get a good night of sleep.  Ian went to hang out with his brother and some friends but had to work the next day so I knew that he would not be too late.  I think I went to bed around 8 pm and was out like a light.  I woke up at 11 and thought, "something is different".  I got up to use the restroom and realized that I had completely soaked myself.  I was definitely feeling the Tylenol PM at this point and drowsily told Ian that either my water had broke or I had slept so deeply that I had peed myself.

We tried to google the difference and that was not helpful.  I told him that we could call the hospital and check with them.  We did not get a direct answer from the hospital (due to our health insurance provider) but Ian stuck with it and kept finding numbers to call until he could talk to someone.  I had gone back to bed and was trying to fall back asleep.  The questions that we got asked were...interesting... "Are you having contractions? {No, if I was, I would be timing them and know when to go into the hospital} Is part of the baby exposed? {NO! If I had half a baby hanging out of me, I would not be talking to you.}" Even though we answered no to each question she asked us, we were still encouraged to go in and be evaluated.  She reminded us that if part of the baby became exposed on the ride to the hospital to pull over and call 911.

I grabbed my purse and Ian grabbed the camera (I rolled my eyes and told him to leave it at home) and we headed to the hospital.  The whole way there we laughed about being first-time parents and how we were going to get sent home.  I was hopeful that we would be back home and asleep by 1 am.

We did not really take into consideration that it was the middle of the night.  We parked where we had planned and went to enter the hospital only to realize all the doors were locked so we started walking in the street (there weren't any sidewalks) to another entrance.  At this point I was laughing out loud - it was freezing so Ian was walking fast but I couldn't keep up - and the whole scenario was hilarious to my sleep deprived mind.

We finally figured out how to get into the hospital. Ian was so great - he wanted to give anyone and everyone all the details as to why we were at the hospital.  I was like, "Cut the chase - it is a security guard, he does not want to know our whole life story - just show him your ID".  We headed up to the labor and delivery floor and were shown to triage (a room that is none too big with a bed, a baby bed and warmer, a bathroom, and a monitoring system... and a chair for Ian to sit in).

Our triage nurse's name was Jennifer and she was energetic! I got changed, she hooked me up for monitoring and then tested to see if my water had broken.  I had to chuckle because the way you find out is watching a small piece of paper - if there is one line your water has not broken, if there are two lines, then your water has broken (just like a pregnancy test).  Jennifer told us that it could take up to 10 minutes to get the results.  Ian and I watched the clock as it was 11:55 pm at this point.  I was pretty positive that I would not have a baby in the next five minutes, but we had nothing else to do, so watch the clock we did.  4/20 came to an end and April 21st began.  Jennifer came in to check the results.  I rambled on about how I could kinda see the second line but it was not super visible and yada, yada, yada.  She took one look and gave us a big smile and said, "There are two lines!  We are having a baby!"  

My first reaction (mentally) "Can we just freeze all of this and I can come back in a few days!?!?  I have stuff to do tomorrow (well now tomorrow was today). Can we just wait 24 hours?" I think I just stared at her.  She told us we were going to be moved into a labor and delivery room and she would be back in a moment.  Ian and I just stared at each other and laughed nervously as we waited.  And mentioned repeatedly how shocked we both were.

Jennifer came back pretty quickly and started to escort us to our new room.  Someone from admissions was waiting for us in the hallway and was asking for information and signatures - I will make the following statement several times - you could have asked me to sign anything at that moment and I would have been in so much shock that I would have signed my name to just about anything.

Monday, April 17, 2017

40 weeks

Well, here we are at 40 weeks pregnant.  I will say it is fun to have people ask, "When are you due?" and to be able to answer, "Monday" or "any day" and then see their expressions.

A recap of the past few weeks:
Week 36 - SPRING BREAK!  What a glorious week and by that I mean we worked our tails off but it was so nice to cross stuff off the list and get stuff done!  The weather was amazing so I tried to get out and walk each day.  I had a doctor's appointment and saw an actual doctor (usually I see a nurse practitioner).  We had a ten-second ultrasound to see if the baby's head was down - it is.  I was a little bit, like, "Hey!  Can we see something besides a circle that represents his head?"  "What about an arm or a leg or something!?!?".  I think I went to Target almost every day.  For what? You may ask...I don't remember but I found a reason to go and wander around.  I know one or two of the days it was for thank you notes.  I chopped about 10 inches of hair off and enjoyed getting my hair washed and head massaged.  
37 weeks 5 days
Week 37 - I can't remember anything interesting happening - school, school, and more school.  Ian finished up his oral antibiotics for impetigo and it finally looks like it is healing!  My first long term sub canceled on me.  So I started my search for another one.  The baby really likes to stick his butt out - several times a day my stomach will bulge on the right side near my belly button.  I have decided that it is his butt and I give him a few pats each time he sticks his derriere out.  

Week 38 - We were productive.  It finally seemed real enough that we are possibly having a baby so we installed the car seat bases, assembled the stroller, and put together a swing that some friends loaned us.  I washed a bunch of blankets, burp clothes, and one sleeper.  We went out to eat at some "nicer" restaurants that we had gift cards for (thank you Calc 3 students!).  We decided on a name (we think).  (And that was all basically in one afternoon).  My second long term sub canceled on me.  We had a doctor's appointment and my sugar was elevated (of course!) so they want me to come back in a week.

39 weeks 2 days
Week 39 - Long term sub #3 is the charm (finger crossed - she has not canceled yet).  It was a relaxed week at work in some ways.  There was a lot of state testing and so fewer classes to teach, but I did my best to crank out 6 weeks of sub plans and stay caught up.  I treated myself to a Starbucks and a pedicure.  My ankles and fingers just started to swell this week and they are not underachievers in the swelling department.  I am not ready for the baby to come yet, so I stopped exercising (which why I think the swelling came on so quickly).  The good news - it does not hurt at all.  

Waiting for my toes to dry and watching my belly physically move when the baby moves

I keep waiting to get to the stage of, "I am so big.  I can't sleep.  I am so uncomfortable.  Just come already, Baby!"  But it has not happened yet.  I feel pretty good and I once I fall asleep I am good for the rest of the night.  I had one poor night of sleep where I kept waking up with intense back pain and a horrible leg cramp.  I was concerned that I was maybe going into labor, but the next day everything was normal.  I mentioned to nurse practitioner that I hope to make it 41 weeks and 4 days and she told me that I was the first person she had ever heard that from.  We shall see.  {I would try to make it to 42 weeks, but the nurse practitioner has already said 41.5 weeks is the limit.}

At this point, I keep comparing my pregnancy to a marathon.  A marathon is 26.2 miles, which is 42.195 kilometers (and yes, they mark each and every km in Korea when you run a marathon). So I have told myself a week = a kilometer.  At this point, I am somewhere between 24.5-25 miles into my 26.2 miles analogy.  24.5 miles is not a fun spot to be and you are so close, yet so far.  At 24.5 miles, you just put your head down and get through it.  I would definitely take 40 weeks pregnant over hanging out at 24.8 miles of a marathon.  All of that to say, it gives me a good perspective and helps me stay patient.

Monday, March 20, 2017

36 weeks!

I went to finish off my 36-week pregnancy draft and realized that I have not recorded anything over the last few weeks - whoops!  I can not believe that I am 36 weeks pregnant and at the same time I feel like I have been pregnant forever!

32 weeks - I had my 32-week doctor's appointment while Ian had his first day at Sprouts.  I had an alarming (from what I could gather) amount of sugar in my urine so I got to do another three-hour glucose test.  I would say that Ian and I have our glucose testing routine down (dare I say we are experts?).  I did not feel as good this time around but my numbers were actually lower.

33 weeks - I bought my first pair of maternity leggings!  They are glorious.  I am pretty much wearing dresses to school at this point so it is great to have a pair of leggings to wear that fit!  

34 weeks - I don't have any specific memory of anything special happening this week.  I think we had interviews at school - I got asked every 20 minutes if I was okay - I just laugh.  I am either having an easy pregnancy or other pregnant woman play the pregnancy card way too often.  

Interview Committee Day
We also found out somewhere along the way that Ian did not have shingles but potentially impetigo.  So I have been doing laundry like crazy (I was doing tons of laundry when we thought it was shingles).  At this point whatever is on his arm has been there for at least 2 months and we probably went an entire month before we tried to treat it so I think whatever it is I am not going to get.  But we are trying to be responsible adults so the laundry parties continue.  

35 weeks - Pi Day happened.  I ate so much pie - it was ridiculous.  The very sweet Math Department also threw me a baby shower/ special lunch on Pi Day so it was extra special.  They got me "Introductory Calculus for Infants" and everyone signed the front cover.  Hands down my favorite baby book so far.  Hopefully my kid will have it memorized at an early age and then can read it to himself.  I also worked on finding a long term sub.  

The little man's first Pi Day (the shirt reads, "QT Pi" when not reflected in the mirror).

We are still in a state of the unknown as far as the next few months.  We don't have a plan for post-May.  And my type A planner self is trying to be okay with it - or at least patient.  We haven't taken any birth or infant classes.  We haven't installed a car seat (or even taken it out of the box for that matter).  We haven't picked a name or washed a single item of baby clothes.  We don't know what a job for Ian or health insurance looks like for us after June.  We could be living anywhere in a few months.  
Nevertheless, God has a little boy for us to love and raise for His Glory.  God is good and He is faithful.

36 weeks 1 day - waiting for my workout buddy

Monday, February 20, 2017

32 weeks pregnant

Is it possible that I am 32 weeks pregnant!?!?!  WHAT?  I remember when I first found out I was pregnant and downloaded a pregnancy app to my phone and scrolled through and saw that I would be 32 weeks in February... it seemed so far away then.  But alas, 32 weeks has arrived.

I feel like a lot has happened in the last few weeks, but not many photos.

28 weeks: We toured the hospital.  Panic and terror set in.  I told Ian on the way home, "Wouldn't it be great if there is a 50/50 chance that we are having a little boy or a goldfish?  And we got goldfish!  I wish we were having a goldfish!"  Had my 28 week check up and glucose test.  I failed my first glucose test so I got to do the three hour test.  Ian was a trooper and sat with me through all the tests.  Thankfully I passed every stage of the three hour test, so I am in the clear.  I think I may have failed the first one because I had a HUGE bowl of ice cream the night before (whoops).
Hospital tour day!  28 weeks
29 weeks: I was hit with the plague that has been going around school.  I went from "I think I am catching a cold" on Tuesday afternoon to "I am definitely getting a cold" on Wednesday morning to "I am so sick" Wednesday afternoon.  Whatever it was, it came on quick and I, of course, ended up throwing up at school and heading home early.  Have I mentioned that I am really ready to be done throwing up for quite a while?  I pretty much slept the rest of Wednesday, most of Thursday, most of Friday, and tried to recover on Saturday and Sunday.  I had some pretty discouraging moments while sick - trying to imagine caring for an infant and having NO energy (and anytime I got out of bed for more than 10 minutes feeling nausea.)  Hopefully the fourth trimester does not go that way...

30 weeks: I tried to get caught up on life after being sick and still rest.  I miss taking Nyquil so much!  My mother-in-law came in town towards the end of the week and was able to attend my baby shower.  It was such a sweet shower thrown by friends from school and attended by all the different friends I have in Denver.  Everyone at the shower decorated a onesie for a little guy - I can't wait to put him in them.  There are different sizes so he can wear onesies for almost an entire year - everyone was so creative with how they decorated.  People were so generous with their gifts!  It was definitely overwhelming to be loved on so much!

This got delivered to me during lunch on February 14th - Thank you 6th period Calc BC

31 weeks: I tried to start exercising again after recovering (mostly) from being sick.  We celebrated our last Valentine's Day sans kids with a Little Caesar's pizza and studying calculus (me) and Ian studying for his oral exams in March.  My poor husband!  He had a dry spot/rash on his arm for quite awhile and I was not sympathetic at all towards him (sorry Love!) It continuously got worse and worse until he decided to go to urgent care.  He has shingles!  Yikes!  So we got to do research (and freak ourselves out for an hour or two) about being exposed to shingles while pregnant.  I am going to check with my doctor when I see her this week - but at this point, I think we are okay. Ian's shingles are healing and he is feeling better.  I hope that this is not foreshadowing my parenting skills "Suck it up!  Brush it off!  You're fine kiddo!" and then find out he has a broken bone or something...

31 weeks 4 days - after a very long day at school
I guess I should include that I am still feeling good.  I have not had any Braxton-Hicks contractions.  I use the restroom about the same as before I was pregnant.  I only get achy and uncomfortable for a few hours before bed at night.  I am sleeping almost as well as before I was pregnant (before I was pregnant, I would lay down, fall asleep within 5 minutes and not wake up until my alarm went off - it was awesome).  I have not had too many vivid dreams [except for the one last week when I had the baby but he had shark teeth and breastfeeding was a hot mess and no one believed me that he had shark teeth (HE DID!)]  Every so often I have a rough night.  I am not swelling too much.  I get really painful cramps in my legs during the night every other week or so.  I get heartburn if I eat too much and then lay down right away.  But all symptoms are quite manageable.  I am hoping that I have another 4-6 weeks of feeling this way?  We shall see.

The other day we were driving somewhere and I was rambling something about how worried I am about something (nonbaby related) and Ian said, "Worry kills."  And it has stuck with me - along with the idea that worry is a choice.  Just like joy is a choice and love is a choice.  So I am trying to choose to not worry.  I try to think of this sweet song when I feel the worry creep in.  I don't know how often I think of Ian and me "getting to be the ones" that watch our little one grow up and help him create fun memories.

Monday, January 23, 2017

28 weeks

I think it took me a solid 6.5 months to believe that I am pregnant - I finally believe it and only forget a couple of times a day that I am.  I think part of the reason I finally believe it is my belly is big.  I met someone for the first time the other evening and she asked when I was due.  I told her April and she replied, "Oh fun!  I am due in May with my second." AND SHE WAS BARELY SHOWING.  I told Ian about it later and we both laughed.  The other reason that I finally believe that I am pregnant is that I can feel the baby move every so often.  Some days he moves a lot and some days I don't feel anything.  

24 weeks 4 days

If there is one thing that I have learned during this pregnancy it is how most Americans feel about exercise.  I have been doing a pretty steady combination of elliptical and lifting weights for a few months and I am so over it.  I will listen to music, watch TV, do anything to keep my mind off the fact that I am exercising.  I do not particularly look forward to the part of my day when I work out.  It takes zero effort to convince me not to work out.  And I rely on meeting other people to force me to work out most days.  I remind myself that it is not forever and I can get back to running in a few (five?) months once the weather is nice.  I will say that exercising helps me sleep so much better.  

26 weeks 4 days - post workout.  Good thing my husband lets me borrow shirts that fit!
I think I am on the brink of getting so big everything hurts and day-to-day tasks are more difficult.  The past 6-8 weeks have been great!  I understand why some women love being pregnant.  (I don't know if I will ever say that, but I understand the sentiment much more now than in weeks 0-16).  I know a lot of women have a hard time in the third trimester, I am hoping if I keep busy at school maybe it will pass quickly.  I definitely have been getting a lot of "When are you due?" questions recently.  I tell people mid April and you can tell they thought I was going to say in 3 weeks.  I just chuckle on the inside.

26 weeks 1 day - this dress is super comfy and I probably going to wear until it does not fit!
We are still in name gridlock: Samuel Henry vs. Benjamin Lewis.  The other night we tried to come up with a third possibility but we could not land on anything specific.

I have been returning to my, "Lord prepare our hearts for what you have for us."  I read this story the other day and it has stuck with me.  Some days I am so focused on school and my babies there I don't have too much time to worry and other days it feels like every 5 minutes I am worrying, "What if Ian does not find a job?" "What if I can't feel the baby move today because something is wrong with him - would I even know?"  "How in the world will I know what to do with a baby?"  "What if my maternity leave does not work out?"  "Will I have to come in for a few days at the end of the school year?"  "What do I do with a baby while I am at school?" "How much is it going to cost to have this baby?" "What if we name the baby something and then in a year we realize it was the wrong name?" "Was this a fluke?  Will we be able to have more children?" and it can keep going on and on.  Some of the worries feel small and some feel big. I am a big fan of preaching the gospel to myself so here is what the gospel sounds like these days:

  • Regardless of how big or small my worries feel, God is bigger.
  • Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.
  • God is good.  He has a plan - for His Glory.
  • Ian once told me that the verse, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" can be thought of as, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the fruit of your obedience."  The phase, "fruit of your obedience" is something that I have been pondering.  I love John Piper - here is a short article from him on the verse.
The best way to silence the worry is to start with, "Lord prepare our hearts for what you have for us."  It seems to cut through all the voices and clutter (and some days exhaustion) in my thoughts and give me space to remind myself who my God is and what He has done.