Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fender Benders and Fluffy New Friends

Nothing like the high pitch sound of screeching tires coming from behind, as you are traveling a whopping 5 mph on the entrance ramp to a major highway....behind a line of cars doing the same. Nowhere to go, and nothing you can do at that point, except just wait to be smacked from behind.

Luckily our damage was very minor. Thank you Acura!
His car will take a little more to fix.

Apparently, this guy wasn't paying attention. Texting? Who knows, but he was texting non-stop after we pulled over to assess the damage in the median of I-35. Of course, he also had no driver's license (only an ID from Mexico) and spoke very little English. Great! We had to beg the cops to come, as they do not typically come to minor car accidents in TX. They tell you to just exchange info. Um, really? It's so weird and off-putting, not only that the they don't officially place blame on the faulty driver, but that you are forced to give the other party your address.

We're not the biggest fans of strangers having our address and actually had a security system installed when we first moved here because of this....hubby was in an accident with some very ignorant people who were threatening him after THEY ran a stop sign and totaled his car in downtown Austin. This weekend's incident makes our 4th accident in a 4th car, since living here in only 5 years. Someone please remind me why on earth people are scared to fly? Anyhoo, cops finally came, issued the other driver two tickets, and sent us on our way.

It wasn't until later that I started wondering and hoping that nothing could possibly be wrong with Preston or the pregnancy. I felt fine, the damage and impact we felt was minimal, and no signs of anything awry. However, this is when I probably shouldn't google stuff, because I found a whole plethora of less than reassuring info. about detached placentas and other ill side effects of collisions while pregnant.

We were just at the perinatologist 4 days earlier (receiving another great report), but after a call to the nurse, back in we went to check things out. I was asked about signs of possible complications including those associated with detached placenta, and was experiencing none (severe pain & bruising of abdomen, bleeding, cramping, baby moving less, etc.). An u/s of Preston revealed he was wiggling around like crazy, showing off with the cutest stretching motions with his arms. We'd never seen him sport those moves before, and now hubby's convinced he's clearly warming up to swing a golf club. Amniotic fluid looked good, heartbeat was strong @ 155 bpm, and placenta was still attached just as it should be. In the peri's words, "Baby is happy as a clam in there!"

We didn't leave without becoming privy to some of the doc's crazy stories about patients he's seen get in accidents. One actually got hit by a train on the driver's side of her car while pregnant, another fell out of the back of a pick-up truck while it was moving, and countless others have fallen down stairs. Sometimes I have to wonder why he tells us this stuff, but I get his personality by now...he was just trying to illustrate when to worry and when not to worry.

In our case, no need to worry. Life goes on. Insurance is handling the damage to our vehicle. Going through something minor like this is always a good wake-up call. Even though this wasn't our fault, I really should follow a safer distance behind other vehicles myself and be extra careful. I don't need anything more severe to teach me that lesson.

I'm also glad that I pray over our family most every morning... I'd actually just prayed the morning of the fender bender for protection as we traveled to our Baby Care Basics class that day. (The fender bender occurred on our return home). At first, I was kind of annoyed, like HELLO GOD, didn't you hear me ask for protection and safety today??? Once I put things in perspective though, I realized that HE DID protect us. It really could have been much worse, and we could be dealing with a whole different set of circumstances right now. We're just so very thankful we're not.

And of course, just as I was questioning whether God is actually protecting us or if He hears my prayers (for the millionth time), the next day I woke up to this devotional...

Leave it to the Jesus Calling devotional to give me the reminders I need, right when I need them most. Seriously love this book...always on-time!

In other good news, I received an awesome gift that I couldn't resist sharing. We've named him "Bob" after my favorite grandpa who passed away, and because...well he just seems like a Bob. He was a thank you gift from my dear friend, Suzanne, who is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people on the planet...like a long lost sister who definitely lives much too far away. Suzanne, if you read this, you'll be happy to know that Walter's new brother, Bob, is enjoying his new home under the tree in Preston's nursery. hehe

You must snuggle Bob to appreciate him fully! OMG so soft!

I cannot stop touching this little guy. He's so stinking SOFT and just begs to be snuggled every time I pass by him. I know Preston will absolutely love him too.

Please stop by to wish Suzanne happy thoughts and prayers as she travels to CO this week for an endometrial lining check and possible frozen embryo transfer. As many of you know, it's very touch and go leading up to any transfer, and she deserves every bit of encouragement she can get!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mixed Emotions of Mother's Day, but Hooty Hoo! Nursery is Complete

This Mother's Day was a bit surreal. I had several people texting me and tagging me in Happy Mother's Day posts on facebook. On one hand, it feels nice to even be considered part of this "exclusive club" that has obviously existed for centuries prior to us becoming pregnant. On the other hand, in the strangest of ways, I couldn't help but think of the old SNL skit with Eddie Murphy called "White Like Me." Such a classic! Watch through the link if you haven't seen it.

In the video, Murphy goes undercover as a white person to see what it's really like. About half-way through, there is a bus scene where he becomes privy to the big "party" that's been going on without him this whole time. The look on his face... exactly how I felt this Mother's Day.

I will be the first to admit I haven't come to terms emotionally with all of the scars left behind from "Project Reproduction." I'm sure to some, it may seem like I should just be happy we're pregnant and get over it already, but unless you've traveled a similar path please don't judge. I know now, that being pregnant does not simply erase all of the hurt left behind or the feelings of inadequacy.

Part of me thinks some of the bitterness still remains in part as a classically conditioned response....after putting up barriers and walls to protect myself from hurting for so long, I formed automated responses to dealing and blocking things out....to the point where it's second nature. And while I'm trying to break those habits and focus on where we're at NOW, I am continually surprised at the random unwanted emotions that continue to crop up out of nowhere. I'm trying my best to learn how to navigate "the other side."

One of the ways I've tried to heal is to let my worries go regarding pregnancy losses of the past. I haven't bought an at-home doppler to monitor heart rate of the baby at home like many women do, because I feel it's a way to force myself to let go of control and worry. While it might seem like a small step, it's allowing me to place my faith in God more, and to also truly rest from trying to control things. Instead, I'm doing weekly pregnancy devotionals to pray about each step of the pregnancy.

The other thing I've done is force myself to enjoy the milestones of this pregnancy. It took courage to make a public pregnancy announcement to family and friends outside of my blog buddies, because of past experiences. A part of me thought that if I made an announcement I would be jinxed and would lose the pregnancy the next day....probably because this is what happened with our first pregnancy. I know it's highly irrational, but this is the crazy kind of stuff that goes through one's head who's experienced losses.

It was hard to gain enough confidence to buy that first baby outfit and to purchase nursery decor at first. What if I woke up and this was all a dream? What if just when I did these things, this pregnancy was taken from me? I'm sure there is a better approach to dealing with those feelings that emerged, but all I knew to do was STUFF IT back down deep inside...forcing myself to JUST LET GO AND TRUST.

This weekend, we did this in a very big way. I told the hubby that the only thing I wanted for Mother's Day was to finish the nursery, and we did just that...

I am in love with this special place we've created for our little one. I'm in love with the most amazing man that has been there every step of the way. I'm in love with this child that is being heaven sent into our arms in only a few shorts months.

So yes, resolved to enjoy this pregnancy, despite any hesitation to open my heart too much, and to make this an experience that hubby and I will remember as one of the best times of our lives. And it has been.....it truly has. There are the fears, and there are the annoying feelings of bitterness that still make their presence known, but overall these have been some of the best days of my life. The only thing better will be meeting Preston Alexander face-to-face.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Little Sunshine & A Lot of Bathing Suit Material

Praise God, the sunshine is making a more consistent appearance. We've been blessed with sunny 80's the past couple weeks, and today it will hit 90! YESSSS!

I realized that I have only one month's time to enjoy the quiet solitude of our community pool before it becomes infiltrated by kids blowing off steam from the school year. I've been taking full advantage of this little slice of (quiet) heaven while I can...

Have you ever seen yourself in a picture or looked in the mirror and had to do a double take, like WHO is that person?! I must admit, I looked down one day at the obscene view of someone much too large to be stuffing herself into a bikini, and realized it was yours truly. Gasp! As much as I love the warmth of the sun on my belly, and the fact that a little sun has lessened the appearance of the lovely Lovenox bruises still making a daily appearance on my tummy, I decided it was high time to cover it up already!

Just the thought of trying to find a maternity bathing suit made me want to curl up on the couch and read a book instead. However, low and behold Target saved the day yet again. Actually, this was not a "maternity" bathing suit, but many other clothes I've bought recently aren't either. It just happened to cover my rump and my bump with enough square footage of cloth, and for only $40 total SOLD...

$25 for top & $15 for bottom @ Target

I happen to love this shade of blue and not because my hubby is a FL Gator. This is the 3rd bathing suit I've owned in this color. When I got home, I realized I must document this momentous occasion by making a "before and after" pic, because it's just too perfect an opportunity not to.  If there is one thing I can do well, it's make fun of myself, and I'm brazen enough to share if it can bring a chuckle to someone else's day...

After @ 24 Weeks

HA! If that isn't a reality check, I don't know what is! Someday in the far far away future, I will hopefully have some semblance of the ole bod back, but for now it's worth every sacrifice in the world to be topping a record scale weight and sporting a "mom suit."

Then came the reality check that laying out is not such an easy task anymore either. Not allowed to lay on my back for an extended time, and there is no way I can lay on the belly either. After trying the whole laying out on my side thing (sans pillow between knees...big mistake), and then not being able to walk for 24 hours afterwards, I sought out a better option and found this...

$17 @ WalMart

I highly recommend one of these spring rafts w/mesh hammocks to float in. It's super lightweight, only requires a few seconds to blow up the outer ring & pillow, and folds up into this handy little bag. You can lay face down with your tummy on the mesh hammock immersed into water. There is zero resistance and you can finally get some sun on your backside. Score!

OB has assured me I can swim safely the entire pregnancy, and there are no restrictions as far as laying in cold water or sunning myself. Both he and my dermatologist have also told me there are no specific ingredients or chemicals to avoid in sunscreens either, although I take that sort of advice with a grain of salt and try to make the best choices I can, despite their lackadaisical approach to consumer products.

Obviously, the best choice for sunscreen would probably be slathering ourselves with mud, but that's no fun to lay out in. And because I'm not appearing on an episode of Naked and Afraid anytime soon, I highly doubt you'll see me sporting mud head to toe. The other option is a 100% mineral sunscreen, but unfortunately most I've used are thick and pasty, and I'm not even going to try applying that mess on my back. So, I decided I'm not fixated on being "perfect" in regards to a sunscreen choice, but will be "better" where I can. I found this sunscreen spray, which I LOVE! Although it's not perfect, it doesn't contain oxybenzone or nanoparticles, and it's a brand name I trust more than others.

$10/bottle @ Sprouts

Looooove this stuff. Check it out if you are looking for a sunscreen that feels soft (like a very light oil), smells fabulous (like a dreamscicle), sprays upside down, and prevents burning while still leaving you with a nice even tan. If you have a Sprouts nearby, they are having a 25% off sale on all body products this month, and there is a $2 coupon on each bottle on top of their store discount. If you are a fellow fan of the EWG website, they have a pretty handy page with other options in their Guide to Sunscreens you can check out as well.

Changing gears and speaking of exciting new products, we received our first registry gifts from some sweet friends recently (Thanks Tim & Kristin!).
It was a sweet moment to open up those gifts. Everything makes me cry these days, and of course that brought a couple happy tears. People are so generous, and I'm very thankful to those reaching out with love and support and celebrating right along with us. Still pinching myself that this is actually happening, and that we are getting to experience some fun milestones of pregnancy like other "normal people." :)

We had our 24 week apt. with our OB on Friday, and although we didn't get an u/s we weren't disappointed.  Preston has been throwing some major kicks and jabs and doing well at reminding me that he's alive and well in there. His kicks are definitely up a notch from what they first were at 17.5 weeks, when movement was first evident. The TV remote, which was resting on my side the other day, actually jumped from his kicks. So wild. Hopefully hubby won't get too sick of me remarking about the movement, because it's just so cool to feel, and I don't think I'll ever lose my fascination with the whole thing.

Preston's heartbeat was strong @ 151 bpm, and I still get all giddy every time I hear it, especially since I don't use an at home doppler and am resolved not to buy one. Not being a control freak with at home monitoring is helping me strengthen my "faith muscle, " and waiting for doctor's apts. to hear the heartbeat makes it that much more special each time.

All in all, things couldn't be any better. A happy wife is a happy life. We've gotten quite a bit done with the nursery, but still aren't completely finished. Will post an update on that once it's complete. Right now, the sun is calling my name. :)