Sweet Shepherd Pie

My sweet Shep is nine days old, which seems like a lifetime to me. Nine days?! I’m working on his birth story, slowly but surely, and really trying to rest and recover as quickly as possible. In the mean time, here’s what has been going on:

We took Shepherd home last Wednesday, and my parents were here with us until Friday. They took great care of us while we were still in the hospital, cleaning and cooking meals when they weren’t at the Family Care Unit with us. I can’t describe how much I love seeing our family with our baby. I am so thankful for these moments! Thank you, Mom and Dad, and we can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks! The ride home from the hospital was rainy, and Aaron drove five miles per hour slower than he usually does. It felt surreal to sit in the backseat with my baby on our way to our home. Slightly scary and overwhelming, certainly, but also incredibly… incredible. I remember thinking about how everything he was seeing and hearing was for the first time. I still feel intimidated by that. I want to expose him to the best of everything and inundate his little world with love and enrichment.

After my parents left on Friday, we went to Shepherd’s first doctor’s visit. He was a doll except for when he had to be weighed; he hated feeling his back against the cold of the scale. When we left the hospital, Shepherd was down to 8 lbs., 1 oz., and by Friday, he had gained back about three ounces and was 8 lbs., 4 oz. I was worried about how much he was eating, but our doctor was really pleased and told us to keep it up. I used to read things like this and not really understand (or care, honestly) why people were mentioning it; after taking this perfectly helpless but perfectly resilient little one home, I get it. In the hospital, the nurses could answer all of our questions, the lactation consultants could tell me if his eating and bathroom habits were normal and they were all there around the clock. At home, the schedules and lists we keep are the way we know if he is doing well, and until yesterday, I was obsessed with logging every minute of every nursing and every diaper change. We use the Medela iBreastfeed app, if you’re in the market, and it’s phenomenal! We are so cool for being excited over this kind of stuff đŸ™‚ Aaron kept track of everything on his phone until he went back to work this week, and now I do it on mine. I am still logging diaper changes, but I feel like we’ve gotten in to a more natural nursing schedule, and I don’t feel like I need to log every minute.

On Saturday evening, Aaron’s mom and sisters Shannon and Tiffany and our niece Imogen got to Tallahassee. Karen, Tiffany and Imogen were planning on spending a few days with Shannon in Chattanooga, but the four decided to take a detour to come meet Shepherd. My sister-in-law Tiffany also took some amazing newborn photos of Shepherd while she was here. Tiffany is a birth photographer in Denver, and so we were just thrilled that she could be in Tallahassee. I am in love with the results, and I am so thankful to Tiffany for taking the time out of her vacation to capture these memories of this tiny baby boy for us! Thank you, Tiff!

Shepherd also got to meet his Uncle TJ and Aunt Tiffany via skype just before the Academy Awards on Sunday night. TJ and Tiffany just announced that they are having a baby in September, and we are so happy for them.

After a very busy and filled-to-the-brim first week, Sheppy and his mama have been lying low this week. I have tried to rest and not do much, but I’m still perfecting the sleep-while-the-baby-sleeps routine. It’s not easy to nap even when Shepherd’s sleeping because of the lists looming in my head, even though I know it will all still be there tomorrow. I just want to spend every moment with him. He is an absolute angel, and all the cliches are true. I don’t want to miss a second of his little life.

Thank you so much to everyone who has showered our family with love over the best week and a half. You’ve blessed us beyond belief, and we are so thankful for you! Shepherd is a blessed little guy, and we are, too. We are so thankful!

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38 Weeks

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38 Weeks
{February 6-12, 2012}

My sweet baby guy, you are now officially 39 weeks old! Your 38th week was a big one… literally, your mama feels like she swallowed a basketball. My stomach is h-u-g-e, and this week I got a lot of “any day now!” and “you look like you’re going to pop!”

Your sweet dad continues to be the kind of guy I hope you will grow up to be when, one day, you have a wife who is tired, emotional, feeling very large and having trouble bending over because she’s going to have your baby. He won’t let me pick up anything from the floor or get anything from lower cabinets if he sees me trying to do it. I’m so thankful for how well he loves me, and you, too.

You continue to measure respective to your “week,” and I don’t really have an idea about how big you will be when you are born. Your dad was over nine pounds, though, which has me a little worried… a lot of people (including the guy at Chipotle) are guessing you’re going to be a big little guy! I have been dreaming a lot about your little face. I wonder often what you look like, what color your eyes will be, if you’ll have any hair and if so, what color it will be. I have heard old wives tales about heartburn and hair, and this week was the first time I’ve really experienced any heartburn. Maybe you will have some hair after all! I don’t really know how to tell if you’ve “dropped,” and some days I think you have, and some days I think you haven’t. I just want you to be happy and content in there for as long as you need to be.

I’m having a lot of trouble getting in and out of cars, doing things that require one foot at a time, like putting on or taking off shoes, getting dressed and staying comfortable in bed. It’s been a painful few days, especially in the mornings when I first wake up. This has been the only reason I have wished for you to hurry up and get here.

It might sound weird, but I love being pregnant with you. I know I will love when you are really here, with us, but it’s been wonderful to get to know you and be the only person who does for the past few months. Other people can sometimes see you move and feel you when you kick, but only I can feel it or see it every single time. I know your rhythms, and you know mine. I love this little time that has been just ours. You’ll never be so connected to me again, which is neither sad nor happy, it is just different. You have changed my body, my heart and my soul, in ways I expected and in ways I didn’t expect. I am so grateful for you, and I am blessed to be your mama.

You are going to be here soon, and I can’t believe that. Your dad and I are so overjoyed to meet you. We can’t wait for you to join us on our adventures, to meet the family who loves you, to grow and change and become the man God already designed you to be.

Cravings: citrus, citrus, citrus!
38 week appointment: a healthy heartbeat, measuring 38 cm, 60 percent effaced.
Nursery: It’s ready for you! We put up frames with cartoon pictures your dad drew when he was a little boy over the changing table this weekend; they are so funny and I think you will like them when you are older.
Baby’s name: A lot of people think your name is Samuel! We haven’t told anyone, and this is making your Aunt Jillian crazy. She wants to know and can’t believe we haven’t told her yet.
Etc. We are going to take part in a research study this Friday night (if you don’t arrive before then)! We are going to spend the night in the Labor and Delivery unit at TMH for the FSU College of Medicine. Your dad is going to spend the night at the hospital, too… it will be good practice for what’s coming soon!

To read more about our journey through our first pregnancy, click here!

Annual Friday Deluge of Random Thoughts

I’m terrible about not posting for a week and then writing down all of my randoms at the end of the work week. Content—I’m doing it wrong. Oh well.

  • The potato cravings are back with a vengeance. I’m eating one right now, actually. 
  • Aaron got me a massage for Valentine’s Day. It’s tomorrow, and I haven’t been so excited for something in a long time. I am eager to be forced to reeeelaxxxxxx. I know I won’t be able to take out my lists and write things down. I might just fall asleep.
  • I also might just do it and get a pedicure at the Aveda institute here. Splurge? Yes. Worth it? Probably. 
  • This baby’s estimated due date is ten days away. Want to know the truth? I don’t feel at all like he will be here soon. Maybe that’s just because I don’t feel terrible. It seems like most of the experiences I’ve heard about when baby arrives, mamas describe themselves as terribly miserable and ready. I think I am ready (as I’ll ever be), but I’m definitely not miserable. Does that change quickly? 
  • If this baby doesn’t come early, I am doing a research study on the effects of melatonin in pregnancies after 36 weeks with the College of Medicine here. I need the clinical nursing director to call me back so I can sign the consent forms and make some cash! 
  • I had to go to urgent care yesterday. I hate that place. The PA and doctor who saw me were really nice, though. 
  • Do you ever think about what your best season is? I mean, the one where you feel and act and are happiest? I think since moving to Florida, I say mine is winter; that’s probably because we don’t have winter here. Aaron reminds me that I used to hate walking out in the cold when we lived in Nebraska. I don’t remember hating it, but I do remember being shaking cold.
  • I still haven’t packed a hospital bag. I am doing that tonight. 
  • We don’t have a middle name for S. Nix yet. 
  • I think “when are you due?” is a much nicer-sounding question than “are you about to pop?!” although the latter doesn’t really bother me that much. I know I’m big. At least the guy at Chipotle kindly lied said you don’t look big, you just look like you’re having a big baby! I’ll probably continue eating there forever because of that comment.
  • Two weekends ago Aaron asked me to clean up the back of his hair with the barber’s razor. Have I ever blogged about this before? This is the bane of my existence, but Aaron won’t go somewhere to have his hair cut anymore. Anyway, he asked me to help, and I told him I would do it, but I didn’t have any idea how to cut men’s hair. He said just do your best. Famous last words. I really messed up about a three-inch section of his hair. It looked terrible, but I wouldn’t let him shave his entire head to match the length. Thankfully, it’s pretty much grown out to be unnoticeable now. I still hate that razor system and think paying for a good hair cut is worth it.
  • I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. It is frustrating to anticipate having the energy to do X number of tasks and not being able to get through them all. I feel like my to-do list never shrinks because I can’t get all of the stuff done I want to, so I end up spreading it out.
  • I had to fill up my car with gas this morning. It was $3.56 and cost $37 to fill the tank. I’m thankful for my small car at times like this!

37 Weeks – Superbowl Edition!

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37 Weeks! 



How was this week? This week was a big mental mile marker for us as Baby Nix is now full term. At about 3 a.m. Monday I woke up to mild discomfort (like cramps-sort of) and thought “wow, this hurts.” Fortunately, I was asleep again by 4 a.m. or so, and I think it was just prelabor. Nonetheless, I need to pack my bags for the hospital, as both Aaron and my mom reminded me last weekend (repeatedly).

It’s February. I can’t believe it. Last weekend, my amazing, generous parents drove to Tallahassee from Texas to spend a day and a half with us assisting in preparing for baby. They brought the refinished dresser and a bunch of baby stuff that couldn’t fit in our car on the way home from Christmas, and it was exciting to re-open things. I am so thankful for them. Next time we see my parents, we will have a baby of our own.

My dear friend Jennifer took maternity photos on Sunday, which I’m eager to see. We took pictures at home; it seemed perfect to record us in the place we spend so much time instead of going out somewhere. I think in a few years we and, one day, our children will treasure seeing what our life was like before they arrived.

37 week appointment: This week’s appointment was very brief. I hate taking my sick leave to sit in the doctor’s appointment for a 20 minute visit. Nonetheless, at 37 weeks 2 days, I’m measuring well and have gained 15 pounds total. Baby’s feet are kicking out the left side of my stomach a good inch above the right side, and it’s so funny to see how lopsided I look. It’s fun to push back on his heels. His heartbeat was about 150 at the appointment.

Cravings: Piggy’s BBQ, a McChicken sandwich from McDonald’s, cookie dough… there’s a marked difference in what I’m hungry for lately. For lunch on Wednesday I had leftover BBQ and waffles. Yep. And it was amazing. I think I’ve been hungrier this week than I’ve been in the last 36 combined. I found Cadbury mini eggs in a fun-size when we were grocery shopping, and oh my deliciousness, I wish I purchased a box of them.

Nursery: With exception of a crib skirt and curtains, baby guy’s room is ready for him! I’m eager to share

Baby’s name: A definite first name and a few contenders for middle names. Aaron’s bent toward traditional middle names cracks me up; I can practically guess what he might suggest. Since the baby’s first name is a patronym, it makes it more difficult to come up with a middle name I like (because most of those are patronyms, too).

How am I feeling? I get really nervous when I go to sleep for some reason. I wake up on my back a lot, and despite my doctor’s reassurance that it really is OK, I don’t like it and poke and prod at baby immediately to feel his movement and make sure he is well. Sleeping on my side is getting old; One thing I don’t remember reading anything about is how strange my stomach would look when I woke up from sleeping on my side. My stomach looks long and narrow, and I can’t imagine how a 6-7 pound, 20-plus inch baby fits in there. I feel worst earliest in the morning or whenever I wake up for the bathroom; I always think “this might be it!” but I’m not really sure why. 
I walk up to the third floor to my office every morning, and it wears me out lately if I walk too fast. I need to do a better job about taking short breaks to walk around; everything (EVERYTHING!) from my waist down hurts about halfway through the morning and afternoon if I don’t. My feet haven’t swollen like they did in the last couple weeks, though.
In the evenings I get tired and, unfortunately for Aaron, come home and feel the need to finish a lot of projects that just wear me out and frustrate me if I don’t finish them. I am thankful he deals with my task lists and does what he can to help me until I sit down and get in a bad mood that I didn’t finish everything. I’m slowly trying to learn that it’s not all going to be done before baby guy arrives, and that’s OK. I’m thankful for how much extra Aaron is pitching in so I can stay relaxed. 
The last noteworthy comment about how I’m feeling physically is how irritating this new back pain is. It’s near my tailbone, and I woke up with it pinching this morning. I think he might be hitting a nerve, and it’s impossible to sit down or stand up without favoring my right side a ton. Hopefully he’ll adjust a little bit. 
Truthfully, as much as I’m eager for his arrival, I don’t mind these late stages of pregnancy. I want him to stay put for as long as he needs to and is healthy for him.

Etc.: One thing I keep thinking about is a 3D ultrasound. We are so close to meeting him now that it wouldn’t make sense to spend $200 to see his face, but part of me wishes we had done it a few weeks ago. I know I will appreciate puttting that cash toward something else, but I really can’t wait to see him.

Tonight Aaron is cheering for the Patriots and I am enjoying all of the delicious snacks (see cravings paragraph above). Whomever you’re cheering for, I hope you have a great Super Bowl Sunday night and a relaxing end of the weekend!

To read more about our journey through our first pregnancy, click here!