Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No More Baby Showers

This weekend was the last of my baby showers...bitter/sweet.

Aimee and Kate gave me an AMAZING baby shower on Saturday. I loved everything about it!!! First of all, the shower was beautifully decorated. Those two girls are so creative. The theme of the shower was: ABC's. They had cute alphabet signs hanging around the house, homemade sugar cookies of my initials and Emily's, and of course the cake was decorated with ABC's. The shower began with the food (an excellent way of starting any party), and I loved that they had the outside deck all set up with multiple tables to eat and socialize in the warm sun. Once all of the guests arrived and had a chance to feast...we came inside to play yet another new baby shower game (at least it was new to me...since I have been avoiding baby showers for the last four years). The game was a memory game. They had a poster board all done up with 3X5 cards that had different baby related items on the back. If you were able to find a match, you won a candy bar that was related to baby item. For example: Inverted Nipples = Milk Duds, and Parents = Nerds Candy. After each of the games were played, it was gift opening time.
I was so amazed at how much thought and love went into creating this shower. It just continues to remind me of how wonderful my friends are. I truly am blessed by each of them. THANK YOU AIMEE AND KATE!!!

Sunday, the following day, I had my last shower. This one was given to me by different family members: My two Aunts: Hallie and Fran, my sister-in-law: Tammi, and my mother-in-law: Yo. I am so surprised to have been given five baby showers that are all unique in their own special way. This shower started off with the CRAZIEST of baby shower games...the ol' melted candy in the diaper and you try and guess what it is. Everyone got a hoot out of this game. I couldn't believe how competitive these women were...some went so far as to taste the melted chocolate. Imagine...a diaper with some sort of melted chocolate (resembling *poop*) and watching as someone puts the diaper up to their mouth. It was GREAT!!! This game was the perfect ice breaker. Afterwards, mothers were encouraged to share "motherly" stories. These were really fun to hear. I warned my mother to "choose her words wisely". She didn't embarrass me too much :) Once the last story was shared, everyone went to fill up their plates with yummy food and, for the last time, it was time to open gifts.

Emily has been so blessed by each and everyone of these baby showers. We are so thankful to everyone who offered up continual prayer for Craig and I, as well as for Emily. It is clear, that we are surrounded by people who love and care for us deeply. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Nesting Phase....

My nesting phase is not only driving my husband crazy, but I am also driving myself crazy!!! I have created two lists: one that my husband said he would complete and one for myself to complete. Unfortunately, as I attempt to accomplish my list my husband keeps reminding me that none of the things on my list "have" to get done before Emily arrives. That's what he thinks. I keep trying to explain to the man that I understand none of it HAS to get done, but in a sense...it does...to me!!! I have all of these things that I would like to get accomplished BEFORE Emily arrives so that I don't have to worry about AFTER she arrives. I know that if it doesn't get done then it will only continue to stress me out afterwards because I know that I won't have the time to accomplish it with Emily.

So...Craig has finally come to an acceptance of his list and I am AMAZED at what he has accomplished!! He has spent the past couple of weekends working out in the yard. He even recruited our nephew to help him out. The yard is finally starting to fit in with our neighbors manicured yards. My favorite accomplishment of his, thus far, is the basement. The thing was OUT OF CONTROL. He took two days to purge, organize, and clean the whole thing. You can actually see the floor!!! This may not seem like a huge accomplishment, but if you have actually seen the basement, you would know that this he had to have worked his butt off!!!

As for my list...I have been focusing on one room per day since school has been out. I have cleaned the carpets, washed all of Emily's clothes, ran around returning some the gifts that received doubles of...and then purchasing the left over items from our registry. I just need to finish my thank-you notes and get them in the mail.

Just when I think my to-do list is getting smaller, I keep finding things to add to it. Will this ever end?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Last Childbirth Class...Empathy Belly

Our final childbirth class was not as tense as the first. Craig was back from Alaska, so he was able to attend...unfortunately the information that was most beneficial for him was given on the first day. Class started with each couple presenting their homework. We were assigned the topic of natural induction, so we just named a few different options and how they worked. After each couple presented, we were to simulate 2nd stage labor and try a few of the positions that we learned from the previous week. It was difficult, and sometimes frustrating, because Craig wasn't there for any of those positions...so I had to try and direct him and it didn't always work out the way I would have liked..I was grateful for the instructor coming over to help guide him with some of the positions. Overall, Craig did well...considering he wasn't there last week. While working through the positions, the instructor asked for volunteers from the men to wear the "Empathy Belly". Right away, I pointed to Craig and he stood up willingly. Before placing the suit on, the instructor wrapped a small corset type thing around his diaphragm to simulate pressure on the lungs. Inside the belly area is a large sack full of warm water. Underneath the water sack there is a large bean bag to help push on the bladder. The suit, as a whole, weighed about 35 pounds. Craig wore the suit for a couple of hours...and did quite well. During our break, we walked around the hospital and Craig was even comfortable enough to head towards the cafeteria to get a coke. I was so proud of him. The only reason he eventually took it off was because his water broke...actually the bag just sprung a small leak and he was getting pretty wet.

This week the focus was more on the medicated side of delivery...unlike last week, which FREAKED ME OUT!!! We watched a video of a woman using different analgesics and anesthesia, and another video of the administration of an epideral. These women looked much more content throughout the delivery than any of the women in the previous videos from last week. That was a relief!!

Unfortunately, today's class was a bit more dry and felt like an eternity to get through. It was hard to stay awake towards the end...I wanted to take a nap so desperately. At times, Craig rested his eyes for a little too long and did the whole "head bopping". I understood, but at the same time it was a bit disheartening. Well...we got through to the end, and even though I am worried about Craig being my "coach" having only been to one class and having a hard time staying away, at times, during the second class...I KNOW that Craig will pull through and do whatever he needs to do to help me through delivery...that's just the way that Craig is...he rarely disappoints!!

Just under 6 weeks remaining. I am so glad to be out of school so that I can focus my attention on getting the house ready, the nursery ready, and packing my hospital bag. We are so excited to meet Emily!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

First Childbirth Class

I just came home from my first childbirth class. YIKES!!

At the beginning of my pregnancy, I wasn't sure that I even wanted to go to a childbirth class. I just figured that whatever they had to teach me would be thrown out the window at the time of delivery. Then, one of our couple friends (who is about two weeks ahead of me) suggested that we take childbirth classes together. That actually sounded like fun...at least we would have friends in the class to make fun of the craziness.

Unfortunately, AFTER we signed up and paid for a class...THEN Craig remembers that he has a scheduling conflict, on the first day, that he can't get out of. I was/am pretty upset about that because the classes are a FULL day (9-5) of information that Craig is going to be missing out on...information that, after going through the first class now, if SO important for him to know: how he can help me to stay calm, how he can give massages to help me through different sorts of pains, how he can suggest different positions and be supportive, and last...but not least, what he can expect from me so that he isn't offended and hurt. Sure...I can tell him all of this stuff, but I don't think it would be received the same way as hearing it from the instructor.
Speaking of the instructor...she was GREAT!! I loved her!!
Thankfully, my mother was willing and able to give up her Saturday to fill in for Craig. She did great!!
The class was really good!! I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it and found the information to be helpful. I am so glad that we didn't pass this opportunity up. The instructor walked us through a number of different positions to help us through labor pains. We even had to do the "ice in the hand" trick to simulate pain and figure out how to get through it. I thought this was going to be a joke...NOPE!! We had to do it three times. The first was for 30 seconds...I was practically in tears because, I want to say, it just reminded me that this entire experience was real and I am going to be giving birth in a few weeks, but having to squeeze a handful of ice in my hands for 30 seconds was PAINFUL...it stung!! Then the instructor showed us a stretching position to do next as we held the ice again...this time it was for one minute. To my surprise, it was a lot easier. Finally, she added the music as we stretched and held the ice...for a minute and a half. Again...easier. It really showed me that I don't want to stay in bed during the contractions...until I get the epideral of course.
We also watched a number of videos...all of which FREAKED ME OUT. I'm not even kidding, my neck is still tense after watching those delivery videos. We watched a video of women working through their contractions. We even watched a video of women giving water births. After these videos...I told Emily that she needs to find some other way to come out because the traditional way is not going to cut it for me. NO WAY JOSE!!

Well...day one of two is done. Craig will be able to attend next week's class. Two words for him...EMPATHY BELLY!!! I can't wait!! I'm bringing a camera...and believe me...they will all be posted!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

2nd Baby Shower...SO COOL!!!

You Apfel ladies are AMAZING!!! That was just the coolest baby shower that I have ever been to. Where do I even begin? OK...the shower started out with a game, one that I have never played before. It was great!! We were each given a long list of candy bar names. Then Jessica would call out something related to having a baby (for example: the hospital bill) and then we would try to figure out which candy bar matched..."100 Grand". After the game, then Rachael gave the devotional. She placed a bag in front of me with random gifts. With each gift that I pulled out, Rachael read words of advice that applied to that gift along with a Bible verse for encouragement. It was so neat!!

Afterwards, they played the DVD of "The Wright Story" that was shown at our church on Mother's Day. There wasn't a dry eye in the room...not even mine. I still cannot watch that video without crying. I was doing to great too. I was so sure that this would be the time that I could get through it without crying...then the part came where I talked about our IVF...it is at this point that the tears begin to well up...and then overflow. That was it, I couldn't hold them back anymore. Thankfully, the girls planned ahead and there was a box of tissues going around the room.

Once the video was over, Rachael opened up in prayer and, those who felt led, prayed a prayer for me and baby Emily. It was no neat...so meaningful. I have never been to a baby shower that was so full of love.

Gift time arrived...there were so many. Emily is so blessed!! I was so lucky to get a "one of a kind" from Lorraine and Sharon. Sharon crocheted the MOST beautiful pink blanket and Lorraine knitted together a matching sweater, bonnet, and booties. ADORABLE!!! Of course, I was showered with clothes...the cutest clothes: beautiful dresses, sets, cardigans...I even received tights with lace on the bottom.

Now...the coolest gift that I have ever received (and I'm not talking about just a baby shower gift...this was the gift of all gifts), was from Jessica. Two years ago, when Craig and I finally decided to move forward with IVF, we had a huge garage sale. Many friends and family donated to the sale. Some of the things that I put up for sale were my old school toys (Barbies, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Straw. Shortcake, etc) Well, Jessica came to the sale and purchased all of my Barbies, including her corvette. She told me that they were for her Mother-In-Law who just adopted some girls. However, I found out today that she was not being honest with me :) It turns out that she purchased those Barbies in hopes that one day I would have a baby girl to give them to. When I opened up her gift, I KNEW...as soon as I saw the corvette, what she had done!! I couldn't believe it...I was in shock!! My mom then shared with everyone the story behind the gift, and once again...the tissue box made its way around the room.
I know eventually you will be reading...you Apfel ladies have always been so thoughtful!! Your baby shower will be one that Emily hears about for years...I can't wait to play Barbies with her now!! Don't worry though Rachael...you can choose which Barbie you want to play with before Emily chooses. It is only fair!! I love you guys!!!


It hit me last week...Emily has to come out. Yes...yes...I knew that already, but for some reason it was never that big of a deal. I guess I just focused on all of the other stuff: watching my belly grow, feeling her kick and move inside of me, eventually holding my baby girl...I didn't leave any time to think or worry about the delivery part. Well, needless to say...I'm thinking about it now.
I would just love it if there was a way that they could knock me out completely and then wake me up once Emily is out and wrapped in a blanket...and would it be too much to ask if my hair and make-up could stay perfect?!? You know...for the pictures!!

On top of freaking out, I have also entered into the "nesting" phase of pregnancy. YIKES!! I sat down on my computer and created a crazy long TO-DO list. Craig is not understanding this phase at all. To him, our house is fine, her nursery is ready...what more do we need to do? I have a HUGE list that says otherwise!! OK...I understand that my list doesn't HAVE to get done...it has no effect on Emily...it is just full of things that I don't want to have to "feel" like I will never be able to get it done after Emily has arrived. I have already started going through each of the rooms in the house and creating a "Goodwill" pile...more like a mountain. I have a huge list of things I want to get done in the yard, and for some reason, I really want to clean and organize the basement. Nope...Emily will probably never even see the basement for the first few years...but I want to get it done, it is out of control down there.
I tell you, girl friends are just the coolest thing ever. I started mentioning this crazy list to one of my friends, and right away she volunteered to come and help me with the worst thing on my list...the basement!! She then suggested that I round up a few more friends...and so I did...and they AGREED!!! I can't believe it!! I have three girlfriends coming over to help me clean out my basement!! These kinds of friends are few and far between...they are THE BEST!!! THANK YOU!!! I can't wait to start crossing stuff off my list.

My 1st Baby Shower

My friends at work gave me my first baby shower. It was a lot of fun!! The day before this shower, when my alarm went off, I immediately thought to myself, "IS IT THURSDAY YET?" Nope...so I hit the snooze button. The alarm goes off again and I thought to myself, "IS IT THURSDAY NOW?" Nope...so I hit the snooze button again. I don't remember exactly how many times I went through this routine, but I did finally get out of bed to get ready for work.

Finally, Thursday arrived.

Once school was out, I headed out to my friends house. The spread was perfect...yummy food, refreshing punch, and the perfect cake. Once everyone arrived, we played the games and then opened the gifts. Emily is going to be the best dressed little girl out there. It has become very apparent that everyone LOVES to buy little girl clothes. Who can blame them...they are too adorable!!

Is This Really Real?!?

I have to admit...I still have this feeling that "being pregnant" is not real. Yes...my belly is huge, it looks like a bowl of jelly when she moves around, and some of her kicks inflict a little bit of pain, but for some reason...I don't think it will be really "real" until Emily is in my arms.
For example, the morning of my first baby shower...I started to freak out a little bit because when I finally got out of bed, Emily wasn't doing anything...I couldn't feel her (Normally she gives me a few good kicks as she adjusts from me getting out of bed). I was so fearful that something had happened, maybe I slept on my back for too long...I don't know!! I just remember thinking that it was all too good to be true. Now that the day had finally arrived to celebrate, my first baby shower, I feared that I had lost her.
Needless to say...she started moving and my fears had subsided...but not completely. Unfortunately, it is and has always been in the back of my head that this entire experience is too good to be true...a tease almost. I have two more months to go...and I am so hoping that she comes early. I just want to meet her and hold her in my arms.