Jackson Wesley, you are 3 months old!

Bare with me here, it’s been an emotional week!  On February 18th, Jackson was officially 3 months old.  Where on earth have the months gone?

the best smile in the world

the best smile in the world

He has changed so much!  Those legs and cheeks keep chunking up!

He has changed so much! Those legs and cheeks keep chunking up!

So much has happened in a month.  He has grown and grown!  He hasn’t been weighed since his 2 month appointment but he is solidly in 3-6 clothes and I’m not sure how much longer he will be in them.  He is so long!

Here’s some of the things that have happened in the last month:

Jackson made some new friends.

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My aunt’s cat…biggest world in the world.

He watched the Seahawks play in the Super Bowl!

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And was very sad when they lost…

Pulling his best "Cry Brady"

Pulling his best “Cry Brady”

Celebrated Erin’s first birthday in Heaven with her favorite Chik Fila Sweet Tea!

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Gave Momma her favorite yellow roses for Valentine’s Day

So handsome!

So handsome!

Perfected his “not impressed” face

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Found his thumb…and threw his first tantrum when he couldn’t get it to cooperate.

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Got his first ashes for Ash Wednesday from Grampa

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Starting sleeping in his crib!

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...while Mom sat and watched him sleep for hours...

…while Mom sat and watched him sleep for hours…

And spent extra time snuggling with Momma when she was so sad about having to leave him to go back to work.

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This last month flew by and was so full of wonderful moments.  As cliched as it is, I truly cherish every second with this boy.  I went back for work on Monday and while I really do love my job, leaving Jacks was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I always knew it would be hard, but I could never have imagined quite how painful it would really be.  We are truly BLESSED that Jackson spends the day with his grandmothers.  If he wasn’t with family, I really don’t know how I’d make it through.  Every day gets a bit easier in the fact that the routine becomes more familiar, but it is far from easy.  Luckily I have some wonderful students and coworkers that make the day much brighter.

flowers

Jackson, you are our whole world.  You make our lives so bright and wonderful.  You are the greatest blessing.  There is absolutely nothing I could have ever done to deserve you, but the best part is…God chose to give you to us not because we deserve you, but because he knew we needed you.  In theory, you need us for just about everything…but the truth is, my love…I need you more than I could ever say.  I had no idea why life was so incomplete until you came along and completed it.  We love watching you grow and change.  You are sleeping a good 8 hours most nights, but are not much into naps!  Once you are up, you might take one morning nap, but other than that, you are pretty much ready to go for the day.  You are trying so hard to sit up and stand up by yourself…and you are just as stubborn as Momma and Daddy, we will all learn to control it together.  You love to lay on your play mat and hit at your toys.  You smile so big when we come get you from your crib in the morning, than quickly get very very mad until you get your breakfast.  You eat constantly!  I’ve heard one tiny giggle out of you and can’t wait to hear more.  You are such a cuddle bug which I love so much.  You also love being sung to and you are starting to sing along in your own way.  It is so funny!  You’re favorite songs are “You Are My Sunshine” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” (probably because that’s what I sing the most :-).  I still shed a few tears every time I have to leave you, but I feel so happy to know how content and happy you are with your grandparents.  I love seeing you grow, but please…don’t grow up so fast!  We love you with our whole hearts.

Jackson Wesley, you are 2 months old!

2 months old.  My baby boy is two months old.  I really don’t know where the time has gone.  Some days can feel rather…slow.  Yet the weeks are flying by.  He is so different every day. 2month

Jackson 1 month vs. 2 months, love how much chunkier he is!

Jackson 1 month vs. 2 months, love how much chunkier he is!

So much has happened in the last month! We celebrated Jackson’s first Christmas

First Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve :-)

First Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve :-)

christmas4

Christmas Eve

Matching with Daddy...it outfit was a bit too big

Matching with Daddy…it outfit was a bit too big

All Jackson's Uncles home from school

All Jackson’s Uncles home from school

Jackson also gave us the BEST Christmas gift ever and slept through the night on Christmas Eve!  Ever since then, he usually sleeps a good 6 hour stretch (or more) at night, waking up from time to time, but falling back to sleep within minutes. Jackson brought in his first New Year (by sleeping) sillyCelebrated lots of family birthdays December was his great grandfather, Boppy’s birthday boppy And January was his momma’s (me :-) and Great PopPop (we both have 1/4 birthdays, his Great Grandmom is the middle of the month)… birthday

dressed up for Momma's birthday, and found his pockets!

dressed up for Momma’s birthday, and found his pockets!

And his Gramma, Grandpa, and Uncle Isaac’s birthdays. papaj He watched a lot of Ravens and Seahawks (sadly watched the Ravens loose in the playoffs, but the Seahawks are headed to the Superbowl!) ravensHe grew alot!   We have his 2 month appointment tomorrow but when he was weighed on Monday, he was up to 11lbs 3 ozs!  His cheeks have filled back out, his legs are getting chunkier, and he just looks more “round” all around, rather than the little skinny thing he was.  And he is still so long!  I can’t wait to find how long he actually is now.  He sleeps in a “Rock ‘n Play” which helps him sleep more upright which helped with his spit up issue, but I always have to push him up higher because if he wiggles around (which he does all the time) he slides down so his legs hang off the end! He’s officially out of his 0-3 clothes.  It took me about 4 tries to actually pack them up.  And I cried all 4 times.  But I finally got those clothes put away for any future brothers Jackson may have.

Jackson was baptized

On Sunday, January 11, 2015 Jackson Wesley was baptized by his grandfather at St. Stephen’s REC.  It was such a wonderful, blessed day!

As soon as we got his outfit on, he promptly spit up all over it, oh well

As soon as we got his outfit on, he promptly spit up all over it, oh well

Was very suspicious of his bonnet

Was very suspicious of his bonnet

I’ll have to remember to come back and add more pictures when I get them.  Many of our closet family members and friends came to celebrate with us.  It was a beautiful day.

Had a big photo shoot!

Amanda, who photographed our wedding (and engagement photos, and gender reveal photos) invited us up to her house to snap some pictures of Jacks.  Seriously, she’s amazing…she just threw some stuff together in the house and in a matter of 20 minutes we had some beautiful pictures!

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jackson10 jackson2 jackson7 jackson14

Jackson currently loves:

Smiling.  He smiles so much and is starting to “talk” more and more.  When he first wakes up in the morning, if he isn’t crying for food, he’s smiling and talking away

Silly faces

Silly faces

Sucking his thumb (when he can find it) and hands (when he can’t)

thumb

His swing, especially the cows on his swing!

swing

As soon as I sit him in his swing, he immediately stares straight up at the cows, waiting for me to turn them on.  Then he will sit and talk to them until he falls asleep or I take him out.

Being held.  Sometimes he just wants to be held and bounced.  In the evening, his stomach seems to bother him and he just wants to be bounced and bounced.  While I could sit and snuggle him forever, my biceps can only handle so much bouncing and there are only so many things you can do one handed.  Which is where babywearing comes into play.  A friend recommended I look into babywearing which sounds really strange at first.  But we got a carrier, and he LOVES it.  Once he gets settled in what I call his “baby backpack” he either just looks around at everything or falls asleep.  That way he gets the snuggles and bouncing he wants, and I can get other things done.  There are great ergonomic options out there (Tula Baby Carriers are our favorite)…It is wonderful!

tula tula2

Eating.This boy can eat.  Especially between 6-10PM when he seems to want to eat every hour.  During the day he eats about every 2-3 hours until he starts cluster feeding at night.  But the good news is it seems to help he sleep more longer periods at night.  But when he wakes up, he wants his breakfast immediately!

His play mat.  Like the cows on his swing, he likes things that hang over head and move.  We can lay on the floor for a LONG time before he gets bored…or hungry.

Hanging out with Momma on the play mat

Hanging out with Momma on the play mat

Grabbing.  He’s started to learn to grip and even reach out for things.  He can’t actually reach and grab anything on his own, but once he has a hold of something, he holds on tight…including hair.

ho

holding hands

Matching Daddy.  Okay, maybe I love this more than he does, but I can’t get enough of it.

matching sweathers

matching sweaters

And we still have a love/hate relationship with Athena :-).  He likes to touch her and she is always next to him, but he DOES NOT like to be licked…

athena athena2

I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.  It is my last month home with him before I go back to work, and I can’t lie and say I’m not already very nervous and emotional about it.  It is so fun watching him discover the world…but I wish time would slow down just a bit :-)

Jackson Wesley, you are 1 month old!

My little boy was 1 month old as of this past Tuesday.

jackson1month

I have no idea where these past 4 weeks have gone.  There were some days at the beginning that felt like they would never end, yet now the days are flying by and I adore every second with this little one.  Of course we have had our challenges.  The first night we brought him home, he decided he didn’t need to sleep until 4AM and he only slept until 7AM.  That night as we watched hour after hour tick by with a crying little boy I felt less than confident about my ability to be a mother.  I felt like no matter what, I just couldn’t figure out what he needed.  He didn’t want to eat, he didn’t need to be changed, and he apparently didn’t need to sleep.  But we eventually realized he just needed us.  He just needed to be held and cuddled.  This whole thing wasn’t just brand new for Jared and I, but this whole world was completely new to Jackson and this home was a completely different environment than what he was used to.  And he just needed to be held to feel secure.  So we spent that whole sleepless night holding him and signing to him and eventually it got better.  And every day (and night) gets a little bit easier.  Jackson is teaching me that I don’t need certain skills to be his mother.  I am his mother because God chose to give him to me.  And Jackson is slowly teaching me exactly what to do.

Just before leaving the hospital

Just before leaving the hospital

Challenges:

Eating: The first month of parenthood has been utterly amazing, but has not come without its challenges. Jackson was a great latcher from day 1.  In fact, one of the nurses said he would probably latch to the wall if we let him.  But that brought a good bit of discomfort for me.  The first week and a half of feedings were down right painful, and often made my toes curl and my eyes tear up.  But we stuck with it (and luckily for me, I have an aunt who is pretty much a lactation expert) and feedings become much easier and more comfortable for both of us.  This is such a relief but nursing was something very important to me.  I am not against supplementing and in fact in the first few weeks we were having to do that, but There is something so natural and special about that time and I really didn’t want to give it up.  Which brings me to our next challenge…

Weight Gain:  Jackson weighed 8lb 10ozs at birth.  According to his hospital records, he lost 5 ozs the first night and another 5ozs the second.  We was born on Tuesday and by his first doctor’s appointment on Friday, we was down to 8lbs.  The doctor said this was still in the acceptable range and we’d probably be back up to birth weight by the time he had his 2 week checkup.  He was having plenty of wet diapers and wasn’t jaundiced so we weren’t worried.  However, at his two week appointment he was only up to 8lbs 3ozs, still 7 ozs short of where we had hoped.  His measurements put him at the 95th percentile for height but just the 50th for weight.  He was eating often but was seeming to spit up a good amount after most feedings.  He wasn’t fussy or otherwise unhealthy, so the pediatrician gave me some tips to try (as did my aunt) and I decided to call to lactation consultant at the hospital.  By the end of that week he was only back up another 2 ozs which had be feeling terrible.  I felt like I was failing my little boy.  Again, outside of the weight loss, he was perfectly healthy and the doctor didn’t suspect acid reflux.  We realized that he was potentially overeating and thus causing him to spit up.

At his 2 week checkup...always looking so suspicious

At his 2 week checkup…always looking so suspicious

The hospital offers a free lactation support and resource meeting every Monday morning so I decided to take Jacks.  They weighed him at the beginning and he was still only 8lb 5ozs (at three weeks).  I fed him and they weighed him again and it showed he took in a good 2.5ozs so we wasn’t having intake problems.  Everyone seemed a bit stumped but the nurse gave me some more ideas to try.  With all the tips, I spent the next week going strictly off of Jackson’s cues; feeding him whenever he seemed even a bit hungry, but not waking him to eat.  We also tried limiting him to 15 minutes at a time and tried some new bottles for any supplementing.  While he did have a few bad spit ups (never knew fluids could come out of such a small body with such force!), he seemed to be doing better and his cheeks were starting to plump up again.  This Monday we went back to the lactation group and Jackson was up to 8lbs 12 ozs!  OVER birthweight!  By his doctor’s appointment this Wednesday, he was up to 8, 14!  Good news and a big relief for his Momma.

Getting his cheeks back.

Getting his cheeks back.

Hives:  About 2 weeks ago, we went to get out Christmas tree.  That night I noticed I was breaking out in hives.  I have sensitive skin and I figured it was just a reaction to the tree from touching it and decorating it.  Several days later, they hadn’t gone away.  In fact they had spread and gotten worse.  After a week, I was covered in hives from my shoulders down to my ankles and they were painful.  I was scratching my skin open in my sleep and nothing seemed to get rid of them (I’ve tried more lotions and antihistamines than I knew existed).  Now, a full two weeks later, I’m still covered in hives.  According to my doctor and the pediatrician, I am very lucky to be one of the few women who have an allergic reaction to the hormones released while breastfeeding.  Hopefully, they should resolve themselves in the next week or so, if not I’ll have to see the dermatologist.  I just want to stop itching!

Bath time: he hates it.  He screams bloody murder the entire time.  He absolutely hates being cold (can’t blame him) so I thought once his umbilical cord fell off and we were able to give him a real bath rather than just a wash clothe wipe down he’d be happier…nope!

jackson12

Triumphs:

Jackson: he is just so incredible.  We are constantly in awe of just how cool he is.  It’s so amazing realizing he is ours forever :-)

jackson9

Sleep:  This is completely on and off but he gives us a 4-5 hour stretch most nights.  Although other nights he wants to eat every 1-2 hours.  We take what we can get!

jackson6

Athena:  I was very nervous how our first baby, our almost 2 year old doberman/lab mix was going to handle the new baby.  She loves attention and wants to be touched at all times.  She also loves to play which often involves jumping around like a kangaroo.  I was worried she’d think Jackson was a new toy.  But for the most part, she has been very good with him.  She watches him all the time and wants to be with him.  Only problem is sometimes she wants to be on top of him.  But she is very sweet and takes care of her new buddy.

jackson8 jackson7

Holidays:  We were so lucky to have Jackson here on Thanksgiving.  I’m sure it was an overwhelming day for him, but everyone is so in love with him.  He started the day watching Daddy, his grandfather, and uncles play in their Turkey Bowl and spent the afternoon/evening getting to know my wonderful, crazy family.

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Our little football

jackson3

He also got to visit Santa for the first time (who happens to be one of my dad’s best friends volunteering as Santa)…

jacksonsanta

And we got out first Christmas card picture as a family of three.

jacksonchristmas

Alert: This little guy is so alert!  He is now learning to focus his eyes in on things and loves to look at lights (especially Christmas lights) and bright colors, and now makes eye contact.  He also seems to be learning how to control the muscles in his face and makes tons of silly faces, sticks his tongue out, and moves his mouth all around like he’s trying to talk.  We even get the occasional smile.

jacksonfootball

Strong:  Jackson has been very strong since day 1.  Yes, I might be a bit biased but his pediatrician and all the nurses say so as well ;-).  He’s been trying to roll over since 2 weeks and he has really good head control (and actually doesn’t scream during tummy time).

Hanging out with Sydney, trying to roll over at 2 weeks.

Hanging out with Sydney, trying to roll over at 2 weeks.

Adjusting:  We are slowly figuring this whole parenthood thing out.  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed but all the things I don’t know, but I realize we are just going to continue to learn and will never have it completely figured out.  We will make mistakes but in the long run, we just want the very best for our little guy and I know we will do everything we can to make sure he is happy and healthy and knows he’s loved.

Most days I look like a zombie, but I adore our snuggle time.

Most days I look like a zombie, but I adore our snuggle time.

I’m also slowly adjusting to this new body.  I pretty much live in yoga pants because they are pretty much the only pants that fit correctly (my prepregnancy jeans are still uncomfortably tight, and my maternity jeans hang off me and fall down).  My stomach is still covered with stretch marks that I know will fade, but be a part of me forever.  Where I used to have core muscles, I now have what feels like a ball of jelly hanging off my stomach.  After Jackson was born, I was amazed how weak my core felt.  Sitting up and coughing actually hurt my stomach.  But things are slowly getting stronger.  I am slowly upping my activity (been reminding myself from day one not to do too much too fast) and know I will eventually start to feel like myself, physically, again.  I realize my body did something incredible.  It created, nurtured, protected, and birthed something so beautiful and I am thankful for that ability.  So I have to cut myself some slack and appreciate it as part of the process.

3 Days before Jackson was born

3 Days before Jackson was born

1 month post baby...finally snuck away to the gym (just walking on the treadmill and easy elliptical workouts at this point)

1 month post baby…finally snuck away to the gym (just walking on the treadmill and easy elliptical workouts at this point)

It just amazes me how much he changes every day.  I could look at him forever.  He is perfection in my book : ) jackson14

Happy Due Date, Jackson Wesley!

So I wrote up this post last week, but then somehow my computer froze and didn’t auto save anything.  At that point, the baby was up and I just never got around to rewriting it.  But now that today is our little guy’s estimated due date and we have Daddy home to hold him, I thought it would be a good day to finally type up Jackson’s birth story.  I don’t expect anyone but me to actually be interested in reading this, but it is something I want to remember (well…there are parts I guess I wouldn’t mind forgetting) and I want to write it up before I start forgetting.

On Saturday, 11/15 we were 38 weeks and I look liked this…

38 Weeks

38 Weeks

Not long after 12:27 on Tuesday 11/18 I looked like this…

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 3.03.06 PM

So how did we get from Picture A to Picture B?  That story starts around 4AM on Monday morning.  I woke up to go to the bathroom and realized my water may have broken.  It wasn’t a big gush like I was expecting so I really wasn’t sure.  I woke Jared up and told him I wasn’t sure what happened but that my water may have broken but I decided to wait it out to see if anything further happened.  Neither of us could get back to sleep but I didn’t notice anything else happening so we both got up and went to work like normal.  While I was at school, I was noticing some cramping and some other TMI symptoms but nothing consistent and again I chalked it up to normal late pregnancy discomfort, plus I had a doctor’s appointment the next morning so I decided to wait until then.

On my way home from school I started noticing the cramping and…leaking…a bit more and realized it was probably best to at least call the doctor.  I was sure she would tell me just to wait it out until my appointment but I was surprised when she told me she needed me to try to come in to L&D ASAP.  My primary doctor is a part of an associate group and I had met with pretty much all of the doctors in my practice at this point, with the exception of the midwife (who I was supposed to be meeting the next morning).  She happened to be the one on call and in the sweetest possible way, she told me it was pretty stupid of me to have waited so long to call her.  Although I was Group B Strep negative, she didn’t want to risk the baby or I going much longer if my water had indeed broken at 4AM.

I called Jared and told him what was going on but that I still didn’t think anything “real” was happening and not to leave work early, that I’d fill him in when I knew more.  I then called my mom who offered to drive me to the hospital.  As I went to get in my mom’s car I felt the “pop” and gush.  I quickly ran back into the house to change my clothes and get a towel for the car.  I think that’s when it hit me that something might actually be happening.

Jared ended up beating us to the hospital and once we were checked into triage, a resident came in to test my water.  According to the monitor I was contracting about every 3-5 minutes, but I was only feeling some of them and they were very mild.  The resident said all the visible signs of the exam were pointing to negative but that he was going to test the fluid anyway.  I started to think “if that wasn’t my water breaking…then what the heck is going on?”. However, he quickly returned and said “yep, you’re in labor”.  What a surreal thing to hear.  I was supposed to go to school the next day!  We still hadn’t cleaned up the house!  We were supposed to have another 2 weeks!  But baby’s do what they want to do and there is no changing that.  That’s when I got the wonderful IV.  I do not like visible needles (ie. being able to see things sticking into my veins) so this was not fun.  But I some how got through it with only minor lightheadedness.

I was still only 2 cm dilated so I knew we still had a while to go.  I remember thinking at this point that I really wish I had eaten something.  Because you can’t have anything but ice chips while in labor, and I hadn’t eaten since lunch time…it was going to be a long night.  They got us set up in a delivery suite (which was actually very nice and spacious) and my dad came to hang out as well.  Jared called his parents and updated them, but because they live much further from the hospital, we told them we’d call once things got moving more.  Around 11:30PM the midwife came back to check me and I was still only at 2.5cm so my parents finally decided to go home and get some sleep.  Everyone told me to try to get some sleep but between the discomfort, the anticipation, and being hooked up to so many different things, sleep was not coming.  Jared and I watched the baby episodes of The Office and it hit me that this would be our last night as a family of two.  Around 2AM I finally gave in and asked for the Benedryl to help me sleep.  While it did make me very sleepy, I didn’t sleep much because the nurse kept coming in every 30 minutes making me change positions because of the baby’s heart rate.

By 5AM, I was starting to really feel contractions.  And they hurt.  While the ones in my stomach were bad, it was the pains I was feeling in my back that really stopped me in my tracks.  The midwife came back in and checked me and I still wasn’t progressing like she wanted.  She told me because it had been over 24 hours since my water starting breaking, we needed to speed things up to keep me and the baby safe from infection so we were going to have to start Pitocin.  I took one final shower…the hot water felt so good on my back but I was having trouble standing up through the contractions.  Then we got the Pitocin hooked up and things really started moving.

By 7AM I was in a good bit of pain.  The contractions were coming often and strong and I’m surprised I didn’t break Jared’s hand through a couple of them.  I was begging him to watch the monitor and tell me when they were peaking and fading and it was all I could do to focus and get through each one.  The midwife came and checked me again and I was finally at 4cms which meant I could have the epidural.  As I mentioned, I do not like the thought of needles, especially the thought of needles in my spine, but at this point, they could have come at me with a 20 ft needle and I would have welcomed it if it meant relief.  The anesthesiologist came with with another resident.  Lucky me…I got to be the test subject for this particular resident.  Don’t get me wrong, she was very sweet, but after being stuck 5 times I was over it.  It took a full hour for her to place it correctly…an hour of sitting in an uncomfortable position, while contracting, while also not being able to move because someone was injecting my spine.  Not fun.  Thank goodness for Jared sitting in front of me helping me focus on holding the correct position and not moving.  I’m pretty sure I begged him to make it stop a few times.  But once it was placed and the meds started to take effect, I finally felt like I could relax a bit.

It was crazy to look at the monitor and see that I was contracting, but not being able to feel the pain anymore…at least for a little bit.  Soon the contractions starting coming back and they had to come redose me because it was wearing off.  This happened once more, apparently being tall can effect the amount needed.  This next part is a bit of a blur…as they were redosing me, I started feeling really weak, cold, and sleepy.  My body started shaking really bad and I felt like I couldn’t get my eyes to focus on anything so I closed them.  Next thing I knew, I woke up with the most wonderful heated blanket on, and oxygen mask over my face, and a very scared looking husband holding my hand.  I remember hearing him say, “I don’t like seeing her with that on”.  Poor guy, I must have scared him pretty bad.  Apparently I had a weird reaction to the anesthesia and my blood pressure dropped very low.  Once they got the oxygen on, I came back to, feeling much better, and my blood pressure stabilized.  Needless to say, the epidural was not exactly a seamless process for me.  BUT it was helping ease the contractions, however the back pain was still there : ( and still intense.  The nurse told me I could have a Popsicle if I wanted it and oh my goodness…I don’t know if anything has ever tasted so good!

At this point it was a little after 9AM and the midwife came and checked me once again and I was at 5cms.  She told me to expect to progress at about 1 cm/hour.  I remember looking at the clock and realizing it could be well after 3PM before he was born and the thought made me want to cry.  I was already so tired and uncomfortable but there was really nothing I could do about it so I did my best to set my mind on the moment and taking it all moment by moment.  Unfortunately the midwife told me she was at the end of her shift but that I was doing great (ha!) and she would come by and visit me AND the baby as soon as she could the next day.  I was sad to see her go.  She was so incredibly motherly and nurturing and really helped keep me calm.  But the doctor who relieved her was also great (I had met her twice before).  I really did luck out with my doctors and nurses.  They were all wonderful.

Around 10:30 or so I started feeling the urge to push and it was only getting stronger.  I told my nurse and she said because I was just at 5cm it was probably too early but she called the doctor back anyway.  When the doctor checked me she said, “yep you’re at 10!  It’s time to push!”.  Some how I jumped from 5cm-10cm in a little over and hour and it was go time.  The nurse coached me through a couple of practice pushes and the urge was getting harder and harder to resist.  The doctor got herself prepped and told me first time mom’s can expect to push anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple hours.

At this point, Jared’s mom joined us in the room.  My mom was staying to help (and I am so thankful for that.  My husband was absolutely incredible throughout the entire thing..he never left my side and was so great at keeping me as positive as possible…but it really helped having someone who had been through childbirth before).  Jared’s mom kept asking if I was sure it was okay for her to be there.  This was her first grandchild as well and I wanted her to be there to experience it, and honestly at that point, there could have been anyone in the world in there looking at me naked and it wouldn’t have phased me.  I just wanted to be done.

Once pushing started the nurse and doctor told me I was a “great pusher” and asked if I was a runner or avid exerciser.  I couldn’t help but laugh a bit because I have felt so UNFIT the last month but they told me they can always tell when people stay in shape through pregnancy because it makes the pushing much easier.  Within 20 minutes they were telling me they could see his head, that he did in fact have some hair (I was convinced he’d be bald) and that he could be here any minute.  Well…that’s where things stopped.  He just wasn’t moving any further.  For another hour and a half I pushed with very little progress.  We had even added in a 4th push per contraction but he just wouldn’t budge.  I have never in my life been so emotionally and physically exhausted.  I always knew labor would be hard, but I didn’t realized how insanely physical it was.  Plus, I was having intense pain in my right hip (I found out later this can be a side effect of a slightly off center epidural…I was basically having labor pains in my hip).  Between contractions my mom and Jared were massaging it which helped but that was honestly the worst pain of the whole experience.

This is when I started to feel desperate.  I was so exhausted and felt like I had absolutely nothing left, yet he still wasn’t here.  I had been pushing for close to 2 hours.  I finally started crying, frantically saying “I really can’t do this anymore…you need to find another way!”.  Rationally I knew I could and would in fact make it through but I just couldn’t wrap my head around that.  My mom, my nurse and Jared helped pull me through, telling me I was doing such a great job and that I’d be holding my baby soon.  I always remember screaming, “why can’t I do this?!” at one point and Jared told me, “yes you can, you ARE doing this!”.  Finally, with what felt like the last bit of energy I had, I pushed through another contraction and the doctor went in and grabbed him and helped pull him out.  I heard his first cry and there are no words for the relief that washed over me.  The nurse and doctor both said, “oh my goodness, where were you hiding him he’s so big!”.  At 12:27pm on November 18th, 2014, Jackson Wesley Jorgensen entered the world.

They put him on my chest and all I could do was stare at him.  All I managed to say was, “I’m your Momma!” and looked up at Jared who had tears running down his face which was one of the most endearing things I had ever seen.  My husband is a strong man.  He is a fixer.  All he wants to do is take care of the people he loves and as I looked at his beaming, tear stained face, I realized that as hard as this whole thing was on me, it was just as hard on him, in a different way.  He saw the pain and desperation I was going through and he couldn’t fix it and I know that was incredibly hard and painful for him.  But here we were, staring at this sweet, not so little, cone headed angel (being stuck so long gave his head quite the funny shape, luckily it has evened out) and realizing he was ours forever was the best feeling imaginable.  Jared was amazed how big his hands were and we were both amazed how perfect he was.

I kept him on my chest for about 30 minutes just taking in everything about him. Plus he was quite the wonderful distraction as the doctor was stitching everything back up.  I finally handed him over to get cleaned off and weighed.  I almost passed out when they told me he was 8lbs 10 ozs!  Just the week before the doctor had told me she estimated him around 7lbs.

I looked over and saw my husband holding my son and my heart just melted.

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These two wonderful men were instantly my whole world and I fell in love with both of them all over again.  I also remember being amazed how immediately the pains were gone.  All the pains in my back and hip were gone and aside from feeling completely drained, I didn’t feel too bad.  Adrenaline and drugs are wonderful things!  After delivering the placenta and having the doctor push on my stomach to clear everything out (gross), I was officially done with labor.  I had Jackson back and the nurse helped me try breastfeeding for the first time and he latched on right away.

Eventually the grandfathers were able to come in and everyone was immediately in love his this scrunch faced little guy.  They took him to get his bath and vitals finished up and they helped us move to the Mother and Baby wing, and I admit, the whole time he was gone I felt empty.  I couldn’t believe how in a matter of minutes I was to attached to that little one.

I hate the way I look in this picture...I didn't realize how horribly puffy and exhausted I looked, BUT it is our first family photo so I have to love it.

I HATE the way I look in this picture…I didn’t realize how horribly puffy and exhausted I looked, BUT it is our first family photo so I have to love it.

So happy Due Date, Jackson Wesley!  You surprised us but I wouldn’t have it any other way!  The pediatrician said he doesn’t show any signs of being an early baby, we are thinking he was right on time, the EDD was just off.  Either way, he came exactly when he was supposed to and is so perfect.  I already can’t believe how much he has changed in 11 short days.  Even when we are getting up with him in the middle of the night, it feels like time is going by too fast.

Jackson Wesley Jorgensen, 1 day old.  Already so much personality!

Jackson Wesley Jorgensen, 1 day old. Already so much personality!

 

1 Week Old

1 Week Old.  Always looks suspicious.

My little baby burrito not wanting to make up this morning.

My little baby burrito not wanting to make up this morning.

Our first anniversary was a bit different than I may have ever thought...instead of waking up next to one amazing man, I woke up between two ; )

Our first anniversary was a bit different than I may have ever thought…instead of waking up next to one amazing man, I woke up between two ; )

Labor was by far the hardest, most miserable, most miraculously wonderful thing I have ever done.  Our lives are forever changed for the better.  We are now a family of three.  I adore my boys to pieces.

Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 4.16.03 PMAnd I’m pretty happy that today I am at home with my Jorgensen men, rather than giving birth ; )

37 Weeks: Showers and Catching Up!

37 Weeks!  We officially have a full term baby!  Although he still has about 3 weeks until his due date, in theory he could come at any time now and would most likely thrive.  Such a crazy feeling knowing we could become the Jorgensen trio literally any day now!

It has been a long time since I made a baby update!  My last update was at 30 weeks and now here I am at 37.  I won’t lie, October was probably one of the hardest months of my life.  I lost a beautiful friend, I got put on half days at work because of the stupid vein/circulation issues going on in my lower half that were only being exasperated by standing most of the day, and we were dealing with another personal issue at home that didn’t help matters.  It was emotionally and spiritually trying and painful and pregnancy hormones did not help me handle these events any better.  I had more than one total break down but through the love of my family and friends and a bit of faith and soul searching, we got through it. But October wasn’t all bad!  It was the month of baby showers.  Honestly, the love that other people already have for my little boy and unbelievable and those moments truly helped pull me through a rough time.  On the 4th, my cousin threw me a beautiful shower.  She is going to be Jackson’s godmother and has always been like the big sister I didn’t have.  She did a beautiful job on everything and the generosity and love from everyone was so amazing!

My best friends!  Jackson's crazy, fun aunts : )

My best friends! Jackson’s crazy, fun aunts : )

Jackson's Pop aka my dad

Jackson’s Pop aka my dad

beautiful cake and cupcakes

beautiful cake and cupcakes

So many elephants : )

So many elephants : )

Later that week, my coworkers threw me a surprise shower.  It was so touching and kind of them!  I love my job and the people I work with!  They have been so incredibly supportive through the past few months, often taking care of me better than I take care of myself! shower5 Then, a couple weeks later the ladies of our church threw us yet another beautiful shower, complete with an awesome homemade cupcake sculpture!

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Athena enjoyed sneaking away with anything she could grab, especially baby socks and stuffed animals...jealous big sister.

Athena enjoyed sneaking away with anything she could grab, especially baby socks and stuffed animals…jealous big sister.

Truly, we were so spoiled.  Not only did Jackson get tons of beautiful things, but realizing how many people care about us and are excited to meet him is a blessing entirely on its own. So…some pictures from the last month and a half…

31 Weeks out catching the last few days of the sunflowers

31 Weeks out catching the last few days of the sunflowers.  I hope to take Jackson back next year and continue this is a family tradition…

32weeks

32 Weeks

35weeks

35 weeks: Charlie Brown, Linus, and the Great Pumpkin hanging out with Syd and Hayden at the ASA Halloween 5K (sadly no 5K for me)

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The teachers dressed up as characters from books for Halloween at school, this was a fun one : ) I may already be thinking about Jackson’s costume for next year

36.5weeks

36.5 Weeks… totally popping and starting to drop a bit. My wardrobe is quite limited these days.

How Big is Baby?: Winter Melon…no idea what that is.  Our doctor hasn’t given us any size estimations, which I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know anyway.  But according to “normal” standards, he is probably somewhere between 6-9 lbs right now (hoping he’s on the lower end!), gaining about 1/2  and ounce a day.  He’s a growing boy!  He is head down and his feet live in my rib cage at all times which makes sitting rather uncomfortable.
Symptoms:  Just generally uncomfortable.  I don’t know where else he’s going to expand over the next few weeks, it is already so cramped in there!  He tends to hang out on my right side and as I said above, his feet live in my rib cage giving my lungs a lot less space to expand so I get out of breath very easy.  Varicose veins are evil and my right foot likes to turn purple.  Every doctor I’ve seen at my practice tells me it is very uncommon for someone my age to get them this severe with a first pregnancy.  I’m just lucky I guess!  My doctor was concerned that the circulation issues seemed to be isolated so much to my right side (left side looks untouched and rarely swells) so she sent me for an ultrasound of my legs a couple weeks ago to rule out any clots.  Luckily no clots!  But at that point she put me on the half days at work.  When I’m not at work, I pretty much have my legs up at all times which really has helped with some of the pain.  Good news is I haven’t really had an issue with heart burn except occasionally when I lay down at night and no real stomach issues.  I had a stomach bug last month that I was petrified was a return of morning sickness as I’ve heard can happen at the end, but fortunately it went away after 24 hours or so.

Maternity Clothes:  Nothing new…don’t want to buy anything else at this point so I rotate through a very select few outfits for work and have been stealing a lot of Jared’s clothes at home…

Stretch Marks: Yes.  Big time.  They first popped up around 30 weeks but he’s been growing so much in the past month that they have definitely spread up toward my belly button.  Trying my best to be okay with this.  It is just another sign that he is growing like he should.  But my stomach is so darn itchy all the time!  And when I accidentally scratch over the stretch marks…ouch!  Coco butter and Gold Bond lotion are good friends of mine lately.

Sleeping?:  Ehhh…it’s not great, not terrible.  I wake up about 4-5 times a night to go to the bathroom and getting back in bed is a challenge, as is trying to roll over!  I always feel like a car in a tight spot that has to do a 20 point turn to get out.  But once I’m comfortable, I typically fall back asleep fairly easily.  Because I’ve been working afternoons, I have more time to get myself up in the morning which is helpful.  I’m still typically up by 7 or so, but the extra time to gradually get up makes a difference!

What I Miss Most:  Not wanting to scratch the skin off my stomach!  Being able to fit into clothes.  Being able to sit comfortably.  The ability to stand without pelvis pressure.  Feeling like myself again!  Just the usual ; ) But truly, I can’t complain.  He is still growing and moving as he should and I’d take it all plus more to keep him healthy and happy.  I’m so thankful for no true complications.

Food Cravings:  Sweets.  It’s bad.  I think I’m taking advantage of the last few weeks of feeling like I can eat whatever I feel like.

Food Aversions:  No one food in particular…it’s more that I can’t eat much at one time without feeling uncomfortable full…and unfortunately I’m a fast eater so I tend to forget this.  By the time the full feeling hits, it’s too late.

What I’m Looking Forward to:  Meeting this little love of my life!  I feel like I know him so well, yet still know so little about him!  I can’t wait to see what he looks like, what his little personality is like, and just what it’s like to cuddle him!

What I Currently Love:  My family and friends who have made this all so much easier.  I also love just standing in his room and picturing him in there.  I painted an old dresser to make his room and the new dressers and changing tables we ordered came in…still waiting on his crib.  We ordered back in August and it keeps getting back ordered.  They PROMISE it will be here next week…we’ll see. dresser dresser2 Workouts:  Blah.  That’s all I have to say there.  Although I’m supposed to keep my legs up, the doctor also told me not to become completely inactive because that can just exasperate any circulation and clotting issues so on the weekend when I’m not at work, she recommends getting in some walking or other low impact exercise like light elliptical workouts.  It is frustrating.

Best Moments this Week:  Humble brag…I finished my last grad class that I will take before baby (I’m taking the next period off for obvious reasons) with 100% : ).  Doubt those 100%’s will continue after the baby so getting one last one in felt good!  Also finally feel like all of my subplans are in place for maternity leave which is a huge relief.

If you actually read through to this point, I’m impressed!  Sorry for what I’m sure are multiple grammar errors…maybe I’ll come back and proof read at some point ; ) Proof reading is not my strong point!

Heartbreak.

Earlier this week I was all set to write a happy post about week 31 and the wonderful shower I shared with my family and friends on Saturday.  It was wonderful.  And I will write about it.  But unfortunately, I feel there is another post that I just write more for my own sake than any, but also because I feel Erin’s smiles desires to be shared as much as possible.

Last night, just after 7:30PM, we lost my dear, wonderful, beautiful, sarcastic, strong, faithful friend, Erin Elizabeth Dean.  For those who know me well or even just follow along on facebook, you know that Erin has been fighting a long, hard battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma for 5.5 years.  The past 5.5 years have been nothing but a roller coaster for Erin and her family.  She would hit a high and get some great news, just to be plunged right back down.  Erin became a bit of a medical anomaly as she often told me that doctors just didn’t understand why certain things that should have worked different, or why suddenly cancer spots would be shrinking.  But Erin was far from typical.

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Those who knew Erin, knew her smile first and foremost.  Erin was one of those people that just couldn’t take a bad picture.  She was extremely photogenic and even when making silly faces, she glowed in pictures.  Her smile was literally been lighting up my facebook wall all day as people have been posting her photos along with tributes to her.  Hair or no hair, she was stunning.  She could even make hospital gowns look good!  Her love for her parents, siblings, friends, and the Lord radiated through her.

erin

Another thing many adored about Erin was her sarcastic, some times dry, always hilarious sense of humor.  She was a kind, positive person but she could make off handed comments that would stop you in your tracks and make you crack up.  She was never rude or bitter, but she also knew how to stand up for herself and I will always admire her for that.  She knew her body more than anyone and she knew when things weren’t right.  And she wasn’t afraid to speak up.  There were times when I’d be hanging out with her at the hospital and Erin was pretty much telling the nurses how to do their jobs.  Don’t get me wrong.  This was never in a rude “know it all” way.  It was more of a “look, I’ve done this 100 times, I know something isn’t right.  I need it fixed” kind of way.  I will always admire that about her.  She was her own best advocate…not something many of us can say.  She wasn’t one to smile and nod, and then complain later.  No, she took everything head on and addressed it at its roots.  She was a favorite of much of the oncology staff and was a bit of a celebrity around UMD.

Getting ready for my wedding last November.  Seriously, just stunning.

Getting ready for my wedding last November. Seriously, just stunning.

I don’t think any of us can ever really know the pain Erin lived in.  She did her best to live her life as normal as possible.  Whenever possible, she was out doing things and living life.  You would never have known she lived in constant, chronic pain.  She never complained but every once in a while you could see her wince when the pain was hitting her particularly hard.

Erin, always up for anything.

Erin, always up for anything.

That’s why I knew something really wasn’t right when I talked to her last Friday night.  All week we had been chatting back and forth about my upcoming baby shower and how excited we were to see each other.  But on Friday she told me she didn’t think she was going to make it.  That this round of chemo was hitting her harder than she expected and she just didn’t think she had the strength.  I of course told her I would miss her very much but her well being came first and that we would find a time the following week (this week) to meet up and do something.  I could tell she was disappointed but more so, I could tell she must really have been feeling awful because she rarely let her illness stop her from doing things she wanted.  She typically suffered in silence (again with that same radiant smile on her face).

One of Erin's greatest loves were her beagles!

One of Erin’s greatest loves were her beagles!

The last time I talked to Erin was Sunday night.  The last message I have from her reads, “I would love to see you soon though so I can see you open the baby’s presents…I can’t wait to meet him!”.  That was Erin.  Despite feeling miserable, she was thinking about me and the baby.  The last thing I sent to her was at 5:21pm yesterday.  All I could manage to say was “Love you, E”.  She was already sedated at that point and while she never read it on Earth, I hope the message carries over to Heaven.  I hope she knows how truly loved and adored she was.

erin6

Last night I got a call from Erin’s mom.  She simply said, “we lost her”.  I was crushed.  Absolutely crushed.  It may sound silly but Erin seemed indestructible.  She had beat the odds so many times that I just couldn’t accept this time was different.  Honestly, I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  There have been tears, sadness, anger, confusion…you name it.  But deep down I know this means Erin never has to hurt again.  She never has to put the brave face on and pretend to be okay.  She is with our Savior and she is now at eternal peace, and for that I have to be thankful.  I know it is selfish to want her to stay here, but I will miss her terribly.

Last night, there was a beautiful moon.  It was so bright and so vibrant.  Quite similar to Erin.  It made me think back to a night two summers ago.  Erin had come down to the beach with me and my family and we were walking on the boardwalk one night.  All the sudden she just stopped and whipped out her camera (which was with her always).  She simply said, “it’s okay you guys can go ahead”.  Well we weren’t going anywhere but I was curious to see what had caught her attention.  Then I realized she was taking pictures of the moon.  While it was pretty, I clearly was missing whatever she was seeing because she was snapping picture after picture, changing the flash and lighting settings, going from different angles, etc.  Erin loved photography but she saw something in the moon that night and appreciated it for what it was, when I would have simply walked on without every really noting the beauty of it.  Last night I looked up at the moon and I think I finally saw what Erin saw.  The true, peaceful, eternal light of it.  Now Erin lives in eternal peaceful light.

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That same trip my mom asked her one night how she managed to handle everything with such grace.  Erin replied, “I stopped worrying a long time ago”.  Now, handling anxiety has never been my strength.  I tend to let worry get the best of me, often about things outside of my control.  So I asked her how she did that.  She said, “well…you could worry about something all you want.  But it doesn’t change anything.  All it does is waste energy you could be using on something positive”.  Those simple words will forever stick with me.

The craziest part about this whole thing is without cancer, I probably would have never met Erin.  I first met her in San Diego, while I was there to run my first marathon.  I was running it as a part of Team in Training (a running based fundraiser for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).  Erin was what they called an “honored teammate” or someone either fighting or who has fought Leukemia or Lymphoma who served as inspiration.  Erin was in San Diego to attempt to walk the half marathon.  At the time she was undergoing treatment and didn’t make it through the whole race, but I was blown away by her resolve to start and do her best, despite being so sick.  From then on out, we stayed in touch and built a friendship I will forever me thankful for.  Last November she stood up with me as a bridesmaid as I married the love of my life.

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Erin, my life is forever changed simply for having known you.  You are a light in my life and will forever be one of my many heroes.  Thank you for helping me realize what truly matters in life and that pointless worry just isn’t worth it.  Thank you for reminding me that things are just things and that loving each other is what matters.  That God has a plan for everything and even when we don’t understand it, we can trust in it.  Help watch over my little Jackson.  Help me to teach him all the things you taught me.  I promise I will tell him all about you.  I’ll see you again my friend.

Please, above all else, keep Erin’s parents and siblings at the top of your thoughts and prayers.  I cannot imagine the pain they are going through.  They are a close, loving, tight family and I know this loss will be felt deeply forever.

Weeks 29 and 30: Getting honest about a changing body…

Week 30.  Wow, don’t know how that happened.  If all goes according to plan, that mean roughly 10 weeks left.  I remember the early months feeling like the weeks were inching by and feeling so sick…worried I’d never feel any better.  Then second trimester came and went in a flash.  Third trimester so far has definitely been a bit of a challenging but the weeks still seem to fly by and I can’t believe how soon he will be here with us.  I have felt like his momma since the first time I saw that little wiggly splotch on the ultra sound but it will be so cool to officially be a family of 3.  So terrifying, yet so exciting.

But there are some very real facts that I’ve been forced to face as of late.  I never thought pregnancy would be easy for me.  I’ve known since I was very young that I wanted to be a mom one day and I just love every little movement I feel from him, but I can’t say I haven’t had my moments of frustration and anger directed toward my pregnant body.  It is a weird feeling…being so in awe of my body’s ability to keep this little guy safe and healthy yet still resenting it at times.  I have struggled with some deep seeded body image issues ever since I can remember.  I have not always treated my body very well.  I have never handled change too well and often took out that extra stress and anxiety on my body.  It was my one thing that I had control over and I used that fact to do some very unhealthy things in the past.

Now here I am facing the biggest change of my life and I do not have that coping mechanism anymore.  Not only am I facing the fact that my life will never be the same, but my body won’t either and as much as I hate to admit it, that terrifies me.  I wouldn’t change a single thing about my life right now.  There is NOTHING I’d trade for my little boy, but learning to cut myself some slack has been challenging.  The facts are this.  My right leg is being taken over my purple splotches of spider and varicose veins.  Little stretch marks are snaking their way onto my belly.  My chest has a life of it’s own (aka I feel like “the girls” are out of control).  My hair, while thicker, also seems to have taken on a darker/duller color than I’m used to.  I’m lucky to get a week free from breakouts.  My skin is dry and itchy.  Oh, and then there’s the weight gain.  Yes, I know it is supposed to happen.  It HAS to happen.  I don’t let the doctors tell me my weight (I just ask them to tell me if I’m in the healthy range).  But I did accidentally see “the number” on a lab form and well…it was a number I have never seen before and I know it will only get higher.  My rational brain knows why my body must get bigger, yet there is still that small voice inside of me that screams just thinking about it.

And then there is exercise.  Exercise has been my outlet for a long time.  But I don’t really have that right now.  I’ve tried to stay as active as I can, but the truth is I get out of breath and worn out much easier and there are plenty of exercises that I physically just can’t do right now.  I haven’t even attempted running in months because it was just too uncomfortable.  And that is hard for me to accept.

And of course there is that fear of what will happen after he is born.  How will I handle all these left over changes in my body and how will I learn to accept the new me?  I know that some things will go back to normal, and plenty of others will not.  That is a very scary thing for me to confront.

But the most important fact is that this is not just my body right now.  This is two of us.  My body is doing exactly what it should to grow this little person.  And despite all my fears, I’m in awe of that.  There are days when I stand in front of the mirror and the panic starts to set in, but then Jacks kicks me in the side as if to say, “seriously Mom?  Get a grip!” and I love him for it.  The truth is neither my life nor my body will ever be the same.  They will be better simply because of this little person.  He has already taught me so very much and he hasn’t even been born yet.  On top of that, I don’t know where I’d be without my incredibly supportive and understanding husband and family.  They know me and my anxieties and they take care of me.  My husband says I’m the most beautiful I’ve ever been and even though I don’t feel it, I know he means it.  Plenty of people love me exactly how I am, and I’m slowly learning to as well.

For comparison’s sake, here’s the same shirt at 15 weeks and 30 weeks!

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How Big is Baby?: Large Cabage

Maternity Clothes:  I bought a pair of BeActive yoga legging from Target and they are amazing!  I want another pair!  They have a very supportive but not constrictive belly panel that feels really good on my lower belly (where I usually feel the most tension and pressure).  But the back is still cut low so they don’t feel too hot.

Stretch Marks: Yep…they’re here.  Starting to creep up on the underside of my belly.  I guess that’s what all this itchy skin has been about.

Sleeping?:  Pretty good!  I had a bad sore throat earlier this week (that LUCKILY has not turned into a full blown cold) which made it much harder to fall back asleep when I was waking up to use the bathroom.  That has calmed down (so thankful).  We had off today for Rosh Hashanah so I got to sleep till 7:30 (amazing the difference between 6:15 and 7:30!). 

What I Miss Most:  Mostly just not feeling so worn out.  The end of the day is such a challenge lately.  The walk to my car usually requires me to stop once or twice which is frustrating.  Oh, and my memory!  I never truly understood the concept of pregnancy brain until it started taking over.  I’m so forgetful and it is very annoying.  I got to my classroom on Wednesday and realized I had left all my bags in the car.  Tuesday morning I left for school without my school ID or keys (that I need to get into buildings) and had to go back and get them.  I am all about lists lately!

Food Cravings:  Honey.  Tea with honey was amazing on my sore throat but it is also amazing on pretty much everything lately.

Food Aversions:  Still mostly just strong food smells.

What I’m Looking Forward to:  Hopefully making some progress on the nursery this weekend.  We have all of the furniture except the crib (still waiting on it), just need to finish painting the walls!  I spent a few hours today organizing/cleaning out the clothes I had in those closets.  It was mostly clothes I haven’t worn in probably over a year but was holding onto for not so healthy reasons.  It was challenging but definitely felt good to just let go of a lot of them.  And now we actually have rooms for Jackson’s clothes : ).  We are so blessed that many people have already given us some adorable clothes and I LOVE seeing them hanging up in those closets!

What I Currently Love:  My husband.  I have no idea how but he always manages to wake up when I’m trying to get back into bed at night and always reaches over and helps me.  He can tell when I’m getting frustrated with myself and always knows the right thing to say.

Workouts:  Not too bad!  I did a VERY modified Crossfit workout on Saturday but I still did it!  Been doing lots of walking at work and have been able to sneak in a few elliptical workouts at the gym.  Varicose veins have made my right leg their home (ugh) and WOW they hurt!  But getting in small workouts seems to help (as does keeping my legs up whenever possible).

Best Moments this Week:  I have felt pretty productive this week which is a good feeling because most the time I just feel too tired to get everything done that I want.  Yes, the house still needs cleaning but getting there piece by piece.

Week 29 was also the week I got to see one of my best friends get married!  It was the perfect day and she was the perfect bride.  Got to spend the whole day with some of my very best friends, including some I haven’t seen in WAY too long.  And despite the belly getting in the way, Jared managed to find a way to dance with me : )  Yes, I may have felt a bit like a hippopotamus in my gray dress (the dress was absolutely gorgeous!  I just felt so big in it), but I wouldn’t have traded being there that day for ANYTHING.

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Week 28

As of Saturday, I am 29 weeks.  I can’t believe this coming week I will be out of the 20’s!  Too crazy!  This weather has been a welcome change from that little heat wave we had and it does make a difference on how I feel.  While in the midst of those 95 degree, super humid days, my legs and feet were just constantly throbbing and while they didn’t look swollen, they certainly felt that way.  While my legs, feet, and back and certainly still achy by the end of the day, it doesn’t feel nearly as draining as it did in the heat.

I had my first experience with contractions this past week which meant a day and a half of pretty much lying still (seriously, if I had to do best rest I of course would, but a day of it was enough…I admire women who have survived months of bed rest!).  Everything went back to normal and all is well but wow, that was a weird/scary feeling!  Every little change that comes with pregnancy is so new which can lead to some scary situations.  It can be so frustrating not being able to tell if what I’m feeling is normal or not (and Jared banned me from looking symptoms up on the internet a long time ago).  But what I do know if I will do anything in the world to make sure this boy is taken care of to the absolute best of my ability, and if that means overreacting sometimes, I guess I’m okay with that.

Speaking of which, the Adele cover of “Make You Feel My Love” has been renamed “The Jackson Song” in my mind.  It is the song that sums up pretty much everything I feel about him and makes me well up with happy tears.  I’m sure he’ll just love my constant reminders that a “girly song” is his song in my book.

“When the evening shadows and the stars appear,
And there is no one there to dry your tears,
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love.”

But anyway, this is what Week 28 looked like.

How Big is Baby?: Acorn Squash?

Maternity Clothes:  Nothing new

Stretch Marks: Found on little one on the left side of my belly

Sleeping?:  As long as I have plenty of pillows, it isn’t too bad.  And by plenty of pillows, I mean at least 5 (I’ve officially stolen all of the pillows from the guest room).  I prop my legs up on two, have to have one between my knees, and two under my head.  I sometimes prop another one up against my back to keep my from rolling over so much, because when I start to roll over in my sleep it wakes me up because I can’t do it naturally anymore.  I’m not at the point where I sometimes have to ask Jared for help getting up or rolling over (embarrassing).  I never realized how much our abs do for us with everyday tasks until mine were rendered useless!

What I Miss Most:  Hmm…I miss a lot of things, like taking full breaths!  Little Man like to wedge himself up under my rib cage a lot, especially when I lay down which makes it pretty hard to expand my lungs all the way.  Hence the reason  get out of breath laying in bed.  I also miss being able to do things for myself.  As I said, I’m becoming more and more dependent on Jared especially early in the morning and later at night.  It is increasingly more frustrating.  I have to admit I burst into angry tears the other night because I was so frustrated I couldn’t easily get into our very high set bed.  But I know I’m being silly and I’m lucky to have a husband to offers help before I even realize I need it.  Oh, and I miss having clear skin for more than a day!

Food Cravings:  Not food, but really cold water.  All the time.  I don’t know what I would do if I forgot to bring my water bottle to school.  Also discovered Edys Outshine Fruit and Veggie Popsicle.  Yum!

Food Aversions:  Mostly the smell of cooked vegetables.

What I’m Looking Forward to:  Cleaning our house and picking up the furniture for Jackson’s room!  The past few weeks and weekends have been so hectic and our house shows it.  I’ve never been overly organized with my things, as my mom can attest.  With my work, I’m super diligent…with things…not so much.  But lately the mess was been stressing me out and overwhelming me more and more (first signs of nesting?).  I’m excited to have a relatively “down” weekend to get things back in order so that we can pick up the nursery furniture and actually have a place to put it!

What I Currently Love:  My friends!  And some really wonderful, understanding coworkers.

Workouts:  Blah…don’t want to talk about it…But working on a huge campus has its perks…I’ve been wearing my Garmin Vivofit at work and realized I walk an average of 4.5 miles a day while at work.  It’s not much but it keeps me moving at least.

Best Moments this Week:  One of my best friends got married on Saturday and it was perfect!  But that is technically in the Week 29 territory so I’ll leave that for next week.

The weekend before, we got to go see my brother in law, Joel, play football.  He goes to college up in New Hampshire so Jared and I haven’t been able to see any of his college games.  He was playing at Bowie State so the whole family headed down to watch.  It was a brutally hot day but it was so great to get to see Joel not only play, but win!  And it was Jackson’s first football game!

Pregame selfie

The three of us : )

The family, post game

Week 27

Well today officially marks week 28 which is without debate, third trimester.  Some say 27 weeks is, some say 28…but I guess hitting 28 officially welcomes me to the last third of pregnancy.  There were weeks (and days…and hours…) that went by really slowly, but in the grand scheme of thing, the months are flying by and I know before we know it we will be no longer be a couple, but a trio.  I’m slowly but surely feeling more ready, while all the while feeling more terrified!  So this is what week 27 looked like… 

Students have been back at school for a week and half now and I am definitely starting to feel the effects of pregnancy.  I am getting worn out much faster than I did last year.  I have to be careful about sitting down on the floor with the kids (as is habit; however, some times I can’t really get back up without a chair, stool, to table to pull myself up with).  I work on a beautiful but BIG campus that requires a lot of walking around during the day and I’m realizing how much easier I get out of breath and if I’m not careful, dizzy.  I am a fast walker.  I don’t stroll.  But I’m learning I can’t exactly power my way from one place to the next anymore.

Symptoms update…I have totally lucked out this summer in regards to weather.  For the most part, this past summer was incredibly nice in comparison to the typical hot, humid summers we get in Maryland.  But the heat wave that hit this past week hit me hard.  It was the first week where I truly thought to myself, “so THIS is what pregnancy is like”.  I struggled.  Big time.  I HATE admitting that especially because for the most part, I have felt pretty darn good the past few months.  But being a teacher means you don’t sit.  You are standing, moving, running around, etc.  That plus the heat left my body feeling exhausted and painful by the time I was walking back to my car at the end of the day.  My feet throb, my head hurts, I get out of breath, and most annoying of all, my legs cramp up bad!  I was used to the occasional night calf cramp, but this is something new.  And I hate to admit it, but I have experienced my first spider veins.  They appeared out of no where, high up on my thighs.  They hurt, and they pulse, and feel like deep bruises.  But sometimes I’m walking or getting up out of a chair and get shooting pains up and down my legs into my pelvis.  As soon as I get home, I try to sit with my legs propped up and I sleep with them elevated which helps but getting out of the bed in the morning can be painful.  Couple that with the tailbone pain and the pressure in the bottom of my belly and I feel like my body is screaming at me.  So yes, this past week was a struggle and I’m hoping it was just exaggerated symptoms because of getting back into the routine of school and the heat.  HOWEVER I’d do all this and a heck of a lot more if it means my little boy is growing and developing the way he should.  I’m not sure I would trade all the bad symptoms for the joy he brings me with his little kicks and movements.  Every time I feel him move, I stop thinking of the achy body, because he is all that matters.  

Speaking of movements, he is REALLY learning to use those little legs and arms.  I can actually see my belly move or bulge out in certain spots.  It is so cool!  He makes me smile : )  I swear he is already developing his own little personality.  Wow, I just can’t wait to meet him!

Yes, I’m a rambler…so for the short update, here it is:

How Big is Baby?: Eggplant

Maternity Clothes:  Old Navy had a big Labor Day sale last week so I picked up some yoga pants, leggings, and 2 shirts from the maternity sale.  Not exactly helping my work clothing options though…

Stretch Marks: Still none, but do spider veins count?  Ugh.

Sleeping?:  It varies.  I can’t just roll over naturally anymore so I tend to wake up to roll over.  Some nights I only get up once or twice, others it is more like 3 or 4.  Some mornings I’m wide awake by 4:30-5AM, others I can barely drag myself out of bed when the alarm goes off at 6:15/6:30.

What I Miss Most:  Understanding my body…well not that I ever really “appreciated it” the way I should.  But feeling so “slow” is frustrating and I miss just being able to move the way I used to.  BUT I am honestly amazed that my body just knows what to do to take care of my little man so I can trying to cut myself some slack.  My insanely wonderful, supportive husband has adopted the phrase, “don’t be a hero” when he thinks I might be overdoing it or getting overly frustrated.  He is so good at helping me when I need it and reassuring me that this is all SUPPOSED to happen and I don’t have anything to feel guilty about. 

Food Cravings:  Bananas and bagels

Food Aversions:  At school, we eat lunch with the kids.  Let’s just say watching a room full of 6-10 year olds eat (and create very unique food combinations) can make you feel adverse to quite a wide range of foods ; )

What I’m Looking Forward to:  Getting my Rh injection out of the way at my next doctor’s appointment on Monday.  I’m A-, Jared is O+, meaning I need the injection to protect future pregnancies (apparently if the baby is Rh+ my body, being Rh- will develop antibodies to reject and future Rh+ blood.  While it won’t affect this pregnancy, if future babies are Rh+, my body would attack it as foreign.  The injection pretty much masks that effect).  I completely understand why it is necessary, just never really a big fan of needles.  

And by the way, my best friend is getting MARRIED next Saturday!!!!!!! I just cannot wait!!! It is going to be an amazing wedding between two amazing people and I am so honored to be a part of it (even if my bridesmaids dress looks a bit awkward). 

What I Currently Love: His movements!  I love that I can feel and see them from the outside now!  I can also feel the little bumps and bulges in my belly and tell where he is cuddling up.  So cool!  Also love completing little projects for the nursery.  I saw some really cute personalized toy boxes at Pottery Barn but they were way more than I wanted to spend.  So I spent labor day making my own from things found at Michaels (wooden crate, spray paint, wooden letters and footballs, and then left over paint from his room).  It’s no pinterest prize, but it will do : ) 

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Workouts:  This week was rough.  But I did go use the cross trainer for a while today.  I’ve read low impact exercise can really help with the circulation issues behind the leg cramps and pains so hoping to find more of a routine this week. 

Best Moments this Week:  Time with family : )  Jackson is already so loved by our friends and family and I feel infinitely blessed by that.  I have some insanely wonderful people in my life and and so very happy that Jackson will have them as a part of his.  Also, this will sound a bit dramatic I guess, but I cherish those quiet moments with my husband when I am completely free to just let go.  I guess as women we tend to always second guess ourselves with feelings of inadequacy.  I’m always worried that I’m complaining too much, or being too dramatic, or not handling pregnancy with the strength I should.  It’s very hard not to compare myself to the superwomen who seem to be completely unphased by pregnancy.  I’m also always worrying if I’m doing the right thing for the baby and if I will be able to take care of him the way he needs.  Jared is always there to listen to me when I need to just let all the emotions go.  He knows when to just listen and when there is something I need to hear.  He is an incredible support system and he is kinda wonderful : )  

And just a bit of a humble brag…landed a 100% in my last grad class.  Now that school is back in session and baby will be here before I know it, not sure there will be any more 100%’s, but I’m learning to be okay with that. 

27 weeks!

27 weeks!

Week 25 and 26

I realized I never posted an update for 25 weeks.  I guess that’s what going back to school can do!  We went back to school about a week and a half ago for teacher training/professional development/getting the classrooms ready.  I will tell you, until actually going through it, I never had ANY idea how much work goes into getting a classroom ready for the first week of school!  As soon as you feel like you have a handle on it, there are 100 other things to do.  But nonetheless, students arrived today to a happy, welcoming classroom!  It was watching my kids/parents from last year (who didn’t know I was pregnant at the end of last school year) react when they see me.  Definitely look pregnant these days! 

Being back at school is really making me feel “pregnant”.  I’m realizing my limitations more and more (no more sitting on the floor or in 6 year old sized chairs!).  I get out of breath way too easy (annoying), I get light headed and dizzy when I stand up too fast, and I’m constantly switching from standing to sitting as doing either one for more than 20 minutes makes everything hurt.  BUT I love it.  There are certainly things that I could do without, but for the most part I have truly enjoyed being pregnant.  I love having this constant little companion with me and can’t help but giggle every time he kicks (even when it hurts), simply because it reminds me he is there and well. 

How Big is Baby?: Head of lettuce! 

Maternity Clothes:  Nothing new.  But I sadly think I will have to buy a couple things to get me through the next 3 months at work.  My “professional” options are dwindling. 

Stretch Marks: No marks, just the same tight, itchy skin. 

Sleeping?:  Not bad.  Getting back into the routine of waking up early (well this morning I was wide awake by 5AM because I was so paranoid my alarms wouldn’t go off).  Rolling over is getting harder and harder so I have to make a good, solid, conscious effort to change positions which doesn’t help trying to fall quickly back to sleep.  I’m also realizing I can’t stay on either side for more than a couple hours without getting sore.  Oh, and the dreaded calf cramps.  I scared my poor husband half to death last week when I actually screamed when one crept up on me.  But oh well, I know it won’t be getting any easier in the near future so enjoying the sleep that I do get! 

What I Miss Most:  Feeling mobile. 

Food Cravings:  No exact cravings but I find I get really hungry right before bed.  

Food Aversions:  Anything with a particularly strong smell.   

What I’m Looking Forward to:  Getting to know this new class of kids.  I’ve only had them for one day but they seem like a great group and I am excited to spend the next several months with them before maternity leave kicks in.  Also excited to get back into a routine.  However, I can’t lie and say I’m not excited to have Monday off.  We usually go the the fair for the races with my family on Labor Day.  Hoping for nice weather!    

What I Currently Love: Catching up with colleagues, the feeling of new beginnings, and actually looking pregnant (people are actually starting to make comments asking when I’m due, if it’s a boy or girls, etc).  It’s nice to finally feel like I look pregnant and not just “big”).

Workouts:  I was so worn out by the end of the day the past 2 weeks that the most “working out” I’ve done is walking between the copy room and my classroom.  I did do a great crossfit workout last Saturday which felt awesome.  I definitely had to modify a lot and slow down, but it felt good. 

26 Weeks

26 Weeks

Best Moment(s) This Week: Did my glucose test last week.  While I did not enjoy it at all (wow, that glucose drink is just as gross as I thought it would be), it felt good to get it out of the way.  I did that last Thursday and haven’t heard anything back so I’m hoping that means I passed and don’t have to go in for the 3 hour test.  Meeting my new class.  Getting my room together.  Oh and finally finishing the wall in Jackson’s room!  Still need to touch up a few spots but the big stuff is done!  SO happy we are painting the rest of the walls SOLID yellow. 

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

 

Finally!

Finally!

Oh, and these two start kindergarten and 3rd grade today!  WOW have they grown up fast.  I adore them to pieces and love them to death.  So very proud of them. 

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