Tuesday, August 31, 2010

push present

Have you ever heard of a push present? I'm pretty sure Shawn thinks I made up the entire idea. The basic gist is that a woman receives a nice present after she gives birth - usually some kind of jewelry. I can be a little picky about my jewelry, so I decided that instead of getting a necklace, I'd like a new handbag. I bought my red handbag soon after Jude was born, and it was getting more than a little worn. I figure if I keep buying a new bag with each child, I'll get a new one every two years at the rate we're going. So without further ado, behold my push present:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

old school sunday

People have been telling us how much Jude and Cohen look alike, but it's hard for us to remember what Jude looked like in those early weeks. Here are the photos we have of Jude's first couple of weeks of life. So does Cohen look like Jude? You be the judge!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

jude & cohen

Wow, seeing their two names together like that still seems a little strange!

Thus far, Jude has done astonishing well with Cohen. We do our best to give Jude as much focused attention as we can, but it's significantly less than he's used to. He hasn't exhibited any signs of jealousy (yet...I'm sure it's coming at some point though), and actually wants to comfort Cohen when he's crying. Of course, Jude's version of comforting is to try and hand Cohen a car or a sippy cup. I'll take it, though.

Overall, Jude vacillates between not really caring what's going on with Cohen and being curious about why he's crying or how we're changing his diaper. I'm grateful that we haven't had to deal with a lot of jealousy issues so far, but I'm not naive enough to think it'll always be like this. Soon enough, I'm sure I'll be hearing, "Moooommmm! Cohen took my train!" For now, I'm enjoying that each boy is pretty content to live in his own little world.

We picked up Jude on our way home from the hospital, and he was pretty intrigued by his new friend in the backseat:

The nurse gave Jude an "I am a BIG brother" sticker, which Jude promptly put on his head. Just to make sure everyone knows, I guess:

Monday, August 23, 2010

our family

My good friend and very talented photographer friend, Jenn came to the hospital the evening after I gave birth to Cohen to capture those sweet moments of our new family all together for the first time.

Jude meeting Cohen for the first time. Just one day before I had been marveling at how small Jude's hands were, and they now looked gigantic when he laid it on Cohen's side.

It's an indescribable feeling - to know that your heart has just doubled its size in love.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

old school sunday

As we watch Cohen grow, it's been fun to look back to those first few days we had with Jude:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


While this may not be the case for every postpartum woman, I've been surprised that recovering after Baby #2 is infinitely easier than recovering after Baby #1. I actually tore more this time around, but am able to move with much more ease than I could at this point with Jude. I remember crying every time I peed, and have been pleasantly surprised at my painless peeing. I think this might be a good time to remind you that any filter I may have had is effectively gone at this point - worn down by both exhaustion and the general invasion of privacy that is childbirth.

Anyway, so my physical recovery has been easier than I ever would have thought or expected.

Wanna know my secret? Whiskey. On the rocks, straight up, with a twist:

Just kidding. I don't even actually know what most of those words mean. The only thing I can think that has made a difference is just that this was my second labor, and my body is able to heal a little more quickly. Maybe? I don't know. I'm just grateful - the physical recovery was one of the things I was dreading. I still have to take it easy and can't pick Jude up or run after him as much as I'd like, but it's nice to not be in as much pain as I expected.

And while I'm talking about recovering, here are the only two pictures we got of our guests who visited at the hospital (though we had many more than two visitors), Brittany and Kayla:

And now since both Jude and Cohen are napping peacefully, I think I'll grab a nap myself!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

birth pics

I don't have any photos of the actual labor process because we were all a little shocked at how quickly things were going, and were focusing on well...laboring. By the time Shawn, Rhonda, and I had time to catch our breaths and even think about photos, Cohen was born! Here are the precious photos we were able to get of those moments immediately after Cohen made his arrival:

"He looks like your Gramma," was Shawn's response when I asked if he looked like the name Cohen would suit him. I'm sorry Mom, but the name "Betty" just didn't seem quite right:

Falling in love:

Being sewn up while Shawn gave Cohen some loving:

Everything went so quickly that we didn't even have a chance to call our family until Cohen was already here:

Sweet, sweet baby boy:
We are officially home from the hospital and had our first night at home last night. Jude's done so well with Cohen, though it's already not easy to juggle the needs of both. We're waiting for Cohen to begin the screaming fest that we had with Jude as a baby, but so far he's a very low maintenance newborn. Our biggest issue right now is that the sweet boy just doesn't want to eat very often. We're making an appointment tomorrow to see the pediatrician though, so we'll see what's going on. My posts will most likely be very sporadic for the next little bit, but I'm excited to start uploading some photos and sharing more of how having two under two is going!

Friday, August 13, 2010

birth story, part two

Around 4:45 am, Shawn and I headed to our hospital - carefully running red lights and getting there as quickly as possible. I continued to groan through the contractions, and also continued to feel perfectly fine between them. A couple of weeks ago, I read that emitting a low groan when you're having contractions is much more effective than letting out yells or screams (I did a lot of screaming in pain with Jude). Apparently keeping your tone low helps you feel more in control. I thought it was kind of bull hockey when I read it, but gave it a go anyway. For me at least, it really did help.

On our way into the hospital from the car, I stopped once to lean over a bike rail through a contraction, but was still fine to walk and talk before and after. Shawn and I got to triage, I got changed and got my vitals checked, and was told that I was dilated to a "4" at 5:10am. I had a feeling that I probably wasn't super far along, so I was okay with things seemingly going slowly. The doctor requested that rather than send me home, I take some time to do some walking to see if we could get things progressing. As I was sitting up in the bed and putting on my shoes to start walking, I mentioned that I had a headache and asked if I could get some Tylenol. The headache caused the nurse to check my blood pressure, which was a little high. She continued checking for about twenty minutes, and it was apparently only getting higher - so walking was out of the question! I stayed in triage while they set up my birthing room, and leaned over the bed - groaning and swaying- while Shawn rubbed my lower back to get through each contraction. I was starting to feel a little nauseated after the contractions and was also beginning to feel more worn out in between. Rhonda brought me a wet rag to put over my head (I still had that dang headache), so I laid in the bed in between contractions with the rag on my forehead and rested.

Once the birthing room was ready and I was wheeled in, the contractions picked up pretty significantly. I had been saying that I'd like an epidural in a bit, but they needed to do some blood tests to make sure everything was okay with my blood pressure and I could handle it. While I waited for the tests, I did my best to focus on getting through each contraction. I remember desperately wanting to get up and lean on the edge of the bed, but I wasn't allowed. I eventually figured out that laying on my side and kind of swaying my legs and hips back and forth helped me get through.

I've heard women talking about being in a zone through natural childbirth, and I guess that's kind of what you'd say I felt. I had Rhonda and Shawn on either side of me through each contraction, and I honestly don't remember too much of what they said. Every once in awhile though, I would feel like I was on the edge of sanity, and someone would say something that would snap me back into thinking, "You can do this. You've got this, it's not that bad. You've got this." At one point Rhonda said something along the lines of, "Each contraction is bringing you closer to Baby Cohen, Jen," which got me through several difficult ones. I did my best to stop fighting against the pain and imagine it literally drawing my baby closer to me. I also focused on Jude, reminding myself that the pain I was feeling was very, very temporary compared to the joy of having sweet Cohen in my arms. I have a feeling that instead of tightening up my body (including my cervix) out of instinct with each contraction, I started to try and loosen myself up in anticipation of the pain bringing Cohen towards me.

And that, my friends would be when the figurative crap hit the fan.

My blood tests came back normal, so the sweet promise that the epidural would be coming soon got me through the next contraction or two. Because of the intensity of what I was feeling, the nurse offered me some Stadol to help take off the edge - about which I was extremely excited. I felt a little bit of an urge to push as I was having one of the contractions, but the fear of having to be checked made me keep that to myself until I felt the same urge with the next two. Because of the epidural, I never felt the urge to push with Jude, so I was also in a bit of disbelief. As my contraction was subsiding, I said to Rhonda, "I feel...I kind of feel like I need to..."

I saw Rhonda and the nurse give each other a look, and Rhonda asked, "You need to what, honey?"

"I feel like I need to push a little, but please don't let them check me while I'm having a contraction," I begged. During the next contraction, the nurse informed me that I wouldn't be able to receive the Stadol because if I was ready to deliver soon, there was a chance of it crossing the placenta. I was checked, and had progressed from a 4 to a 9 in about forty minutes. I was feeling an urge to push with each contraction, and began to ask for the anesthesiologist a bit more forcefully. I was so scared about pushing and probably tearing without any pain medication, and Shawn says that fear was written all over my face. Beyond that, the contractions were extremely, extremely painful and I was having a much more difficult time staying in control.

Without realizing it, I began singing (in my head) a song called "Mystery" by Charlie Hall. I couldn't remember all the words though, so I was focusing over and over on the line, "Sweet Jesus Christ, my sanity," and through the worst of the contractions I was groaning, "My God, My God, My God, My God, My God." In the moment, I was trying to focus on asking Him for the strength and courage to do what seemed impossible before me. I hoped that each contraction would be last one without the epidural, and the anesthesiologist finally, finally, finally got there!

I sat on the edge of the bed and Rhonda gave me a pillow to hug while Shawn let me lean my head and arms into him. I remember feeling the strength in his arms and thinking that I could be strong because he was strong. The anesthesiologist seemed to take forever, and the urge to push was only getting more difficult to withstand. After a minute, I felt my water break, and the urge to push quickly intensified ten fold. By the time he had finished I couldn't help but bearing down when I felt the urge, and the delivery room suddenly turned into a flurry. The minute he finished, I was whirled around on my back, my feet were in stirrups, and the doctor plus several nurses were in the room.

I had kind of a moment of disbelief and remember thinking, "No. No way. It cannot possibly be time to push. This is way too soon!" It all felt incredibly surreal as I asked over and over, "When will the medicine kick in? I don't want to do this without medicine, when will it kick in???" Through the entire labor, I found it most helpful to not look at either Shawn or Rhonda. I knew that I would probably see sympathy and helplessness in their eyes, and I knew that'd give me permission to feel sorry for myself. I instead closed my eyes or focused on the wall or ceiling. Apparently at this point, I looked at Rhonda though, and pleaded, "Please make it stop." Rhonda replied, "It's going to stop. One way or the other." I'm sure she was much encouraging than that, but that's what my head heard and what reminded me that this was completely temporary and actually coming to an end soon.

The urge to push soon became so overwhelming that I couldn't deny it, so when the urge came - I pushed. In a weird way, it was a relief and actually felt good to just let my body go and do what it felt it needed to do. The most pain I felt was when Cohen's head was crowning, and I'm pretty sure I said something like, "I CAN'T DO THIS!"

Had I been someone else in the room, I think I would've chuckled at that. Not only could I do it, but I was.

In the next push, I could feel his shoulders coming through, and with one more push he was out. I'm guessing I pushed maybe five times...and that's a high guess. I will never forget the feeling of pushing that baby out of my body, and the immediate sense of absolute relief I felt. As soon as I saw him being taken to the warmer, I did a very strange giggle/cry for a few minutes. I knew I probably sounded ridiculous, but I really couldn't help it - I was in complete and utter shock at what I had just done. I found strength I didn't know I possessed, and did something I didn't think I was capable of. Once I looked at the clock, I also realized that I had just had a three and a half hour labor, and couldn't help but laugh at how ridiculous that was.

Thankfully the epidural kicked in at that point, so while I could feel the placenta being delivered, I only felt small pinches when the doctor sewed up my two second degree tears. Cohen was cleaned up and Shawn held him while I was sewn and cleaned. Within probably ten minutes of giving birth, I was suddenly more exhausted than I've ever been. I'm not sure if I was worn out, or if it was a result of the hormones released in giving birth naturally, but I held Cohen and it was all I could do to not take a nap.

He has some slight facial bruising, some broken blood vessels in his eyes, and initially had some swelling from his rocket-like trip, but each of those things are temporary and are getting better. He's perfect and sweet and is absolutely amazing!

I'll update when I get a chance about how Jude has reacted to Cohen, how Shawn and I are feeling, what we can see of Cohen's personality so far, and all that other good stuff - but for now, I'm going to rest.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Cohen Bennett Maurer! Cohen was born at 7:10am on Thursday, August 12th, 2010. The name Cohen means "priest," and the name Bennett means, "blessed little one."

I really want to get Cohen's birth story in writing before I start to forget details, so I hope you don't mind if I post it here. Fair warning - this will be filled with all sorts of gross details. Feel free to stop reading if you're squeamish.

I had what felt like an extra cranky day yesterday (Wednesday), and when I tried to explain it to Shawn, I really couldn't. I knew I was uncomfortable and hot, I knew I was tired of the waiting game, and I knew the fear of postpartum depression was looming over me, but I just couldn't articulate why my day was so rough. As you might've read from my previous post, Jude knew exactly what I needed and managed to melt away all of those issues with just one hug and two kisses.

Shawn came home from church, and while we tried our best to stay up for our favorite Wednesday night show (Psych), we both decided to call it a night around 10:15. At exactly 3:33 (I remember looking at the clock), I woke up with a contraction much stronger than any of the others I'd been feeling. I laid in bed until a second one passed (about ten minutes later), and then got up to see if emptying my bladder would help. Once I crawled back into bed, I felt two more within about fifteen minutes and they were strong enough that I needed to move to my side and kind of groan through them.

Shawn has never let me forget that I labored for a little over an hour with Jude while he slept soundly, so per his request I made sure I woke up him to tell him that I was going to start timing them. I was trying to not jump the gun, but I knew that these were very different and I had a gut feeling that we'd end up in labor that night. I timed the contractions for about forty minutes, and they were coming at about every 5-7 minutes. They quickly turned to contractions that made me stop what I was doing and do a kind of breathing/groaning thing.

These contractions were a bit different than my ones with Jude. With Jude, the contractions were one on top of each other immediately, and I never really got much of a break in between. In fact, when the contractions DID take a break, my stomach was so sore that I was still in pain. My contractions with Cohen were intense while I was having them, but I felt perfectly normal once they stopped. In fact, I had a bit of an inward battle going. When I wasn't contracting, I was thinking, "I might be blowing this out of proportion. I feel just fine, I have a feeling we have plenty of time." Then when the contraction hit I thought, "Oh, heck no! This is some serious junk!"

So I woke Shawn up (who I think had probably been mostly awake, waiting on me to either come back to bed or tell him we needed to leave), and told him that I thought he had time to grab a quick shower. While Shawn showered, I packed the last few things for my bag, made the bed, and cleaned up the house. Shawn made fun of me -especially when I started cleaning the kitchen sink - but when I was feeling good I wanted to keep myself busy to keep my mind off of the pain. When I had a contraction, I would lean over either our bed or the kitchen table and rest my head in my forearms. I would sway a little bit and groan a low groan while Shawn rubbed my lower back. After about a minute, I'd feel like nothing had just happened and would go about getting things ready.

Shawn called Katie to come and stay with Jude, and I called Rhonda to meet us at the hospital. I still felt like we probably had plenty of time and wasn't very worried about getting there quickly. Shawn and I peeked in on Jude one last time, whispered our "I love yous," and headed off.

I'd like to complete this story in one go round, but it looks like Cohen has woken up! I'll be back to finish the story, I promise (and yes...the gross stuff is still to come).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

i want to remember this

In just a few short years (maybe even months!) this period of our lives will be a blur that I'll say went by entirely too quickly. While we're waiting to hold Baby Deuce in our arms, I've been focusing on really cherishing my time with Jude - soaking in his chubby little hands, his big blue eyes, and the way he runs with reckless abandon. I want to remember this.

Jude doesn't often give hugs, and tends to give kisses only when he deems it appropriate. My question of, "Can I have a kiss?" is most often met with a matter of fact, "No" and turning of his head. I've had kind of a long day today, and was really looking forward to getting him down for the night. Jude started showing symptoms of a cold today, so I was rushing around - trying to get his mattress propped up and the dehumidifier set up. Moving quickly through his night time routine, I read from his Children's Bible, gave him a final drink from his sippy, and turned off the lamp. After I told him it was time to pray, Jude stopped me short by leaning his head into my chest and wrapping his arms wide around my arms. I felt him squeezing to me tightly - giving me a hug. Then Jude looked up at me, took out his paci, and stretched his neck upwards towards me - his official "kissing" position.

Every worry, stress, and physical discomfort I'd felt that day melted away when I looked into those eyes, kissed those sweet lips, and felt those chubby little fingers clinging tightly to my upper arms. Putting his paci back in, Jude leaned in for another kiss, and then settled quietly into the crook of my arms.

We usually lay Jude down for the night when he's drowsy but still awake, in order to help him learn to fall asleep on his own. I have to admit that tonight I rocked him an extra long time. I took my time listening to his breaths becoming deeper, watching his eyes close, and feeling his body sinking into sleep. I won't be rocking him to sleep forever and while each stage of his life will hold sweet memories for me, I don't want to forget this one moment of tenderness that reminded me why everything...everything...is worth it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

if i had my way...

The baby would totally be born today. Not only would it work out well for Shawn's schedule, but then the baby's birthday would be 8/9/10, which is just cool! I'm not really feeling a lot of contractions and babies are notorious for not caring about the convenience of their parents, so I'm not holding my breath.

Are you ready for the 5th clue of the baby's name?

1. The name is not associated with the Beatles
2. It's not a common name, but it's not a made up name
3. The name has the letter "E" in it
4. The name has the letter "H" in it

And number 5...

The name is of Hebrew origin! Woo -hoo, exciting stuff, huh? This baby better come soon, or you all will have guessed the name and keeping it a secret will be a moot point!

Alright Baby Deuce, feel free to come along today, dear son.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

things never to say to a pregnant woman

1. "Wow, you're huge! Are you about ready to pop?"
This one would seem pretty obvious, but it's amazing how many people (mostly men, it seems) think it's okay to say this to a pregnant woman. On the flip side, you really want to avoid ANY comment on a pregnant woman's size. I've had friends who didn't gain much weight at first and felt really self-conscious that they were doing something wrong or hurting the baby. People's well intentioned assertions of how small they still were only served to make their anxieties worse. To be safe, you just want to stick to something generic like, "You look great!"

2. "You know how to get that labor started, right?" Hint, hint, wink, wink, elbow, elbow.
Yes... we know you're talking about sex. There's no good way to answer when someone says that, and it's incredibly awkward for everyone involved. The only exception to this is that a good friend of the same gender can say this to the husband or wife - but not in the company of other people. And DEFINITELY not in front of your husband's Jr. High students.

3. "Well, don't go into labor on Thursday, 'cause I need your husband to do x, y, and z for me on Thursday."
While the pregnant woman might then say, "Oh, well I hope the baby waits until Friday, then!" she's probably thinking something along the lines of, "Seriously? Could you be anymore selfish or myopic?" Ummm...or maybe that's just me. Either way, the truth is that the statement IS selfish. I don't know about other pregnant women, but I'm extremely conscious of trying to not go into labor at a time that's inconvenient for Shawn's work. While I'm certain you could find at least five other people to do x, y, and z for you, I'm pretty sure I have only one option in my child's father. Let's not pretend that the birth of our second child can or should be planned around the tasks you have for my husband.

Ahem...stepping off my soapbox now.

4. "Ooooh! I just love to touch baby bellies, let me feel!"
Over my two pregnancies I've realized that I actually like when good friends or family just reach over and touch my belly - especially if the baby is moving. And I don't terribly mind when random people want to touch my belly, I just really appreciate when they ask first. You lose so much privacy and modesty throughout pregnancy, it's nice to at least pretend like your body isn't suddenly public property. That being said, some women get really angry when you just touch their belly - so always asking first is a good rule of thumb. Don't assume that pregnancy makes their bellies your property to touch.

5. "My labor was forty-three hours long, I pooped on the table, the epidural wore off, and then I actually gave birth to an alien."
Save your war stories for either a second time Mom or women who are not pregnant. First time Moms are so anxious anyway, telling them the worst of your labor is really just cruel. And as a good rule of thumb, you probably want to hold off telling second time Moms in their third trimester.

6. "You should have the baby on such and such day because my cousin's Aunt's best friend's Mom was born that day!"
I'm a total hypocrite on this one, because it's one of my pet peeves but I find myself doing it to other people. It's hard when you hear a date to NOT say that it's so and so's birthday that the Mama has never met or heard of. And yet, I told Shawn the other day that I'm tired of taking requests for this baby's birthday. Like most pregnant women, I don't care whose birthday is in two weeks, and it gets old hearing people tell you that you should wait until then to have the baby. "Yeah...probably not," is what I want to say.

Pregnant women are dealing with a lot. Their hormones are crazy, their bodies are huge, their anxiety is at its height, and somehow the social norms of what is acceptable to say to someone are thrown out the window as soon as she starts announce her bundle of joy. Take it easy on her, and put some thought into what you say!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

crappiest clue ever

As my friend Patrice said, anyway. Truth be told, Shawn and I really do want to keep Deuce's name a secret, so my clues are a little vague on purpose. Still - some of you have made some really great guesses, although the actual name has yet to be guessed! To help out with my apparently crappy clue yesterday, I thought I'd let you know that the photo from yesterday is actually going to be hanging in the nursery, alongside several others including this one:

It really IS so exciting to hear the names people come up with, and I have to admit that it's making the end of this pregnancy feel a little more fun.

After posting that I hadn't had many "real" contractions lately, I spent most of last night and this morning with contractions at every 20 minutes. My back, legs, and lower stomach were sore this morning from all the contracting I did last night. They've fizzled out this afternoon, so whether today will be Deuce's birthday or not is still anyone's guess. We here at the Maurer household are just waiting patiently for now and will be thrilled for him to arrive whatever day he happens to arrive.

Friday, August 6, 2010

cervical compliments

Well friends, I'm still here and still pregnant! We had a Baby Deuce appointment this morning and the verdict is that nothing has really changed. I'm actually okay with this since I've had a significant reduction in painful contractions lately. I'm still having tons of Braxton-Hicks, but nothing that makes me stay up at night or need to do deep breathing. We talked a little about possible induction, but Shawn and I feel like we should wait until I'm 41 weeks along to induce, since it's entirely possible I'll go into labor beforehand. Our doctor said that at 39 weeks we're candidates for induction, but without medical cause, I just don't see the point. If Deuce is still nestled all snug in there at our appointment next Friday, we'll talk about scheduling something.

In the meantime, everything else looks perfect. The doctor said that my weight, blood pressure, and urine are awesome, and she also gave me more compliments on the favorability of my cervix than any woman should ever hear.

Since I feel like a puffer fish though, I guess it's nice to hear that something is lookin' good.

Shawn and I are having a lot of fun keeping people guessing about the baby's name. We always get a kick out of names our students come up with as possible candidates. So far, Demi Lovato Maurer has been my favorite. If you've been following along, then you know that:

1. It is a name that is not associated with the Beatles (as that's the first question people ask)
2. It's not a common name, but it's also not a made up name
And here is your third hint for Baby Deuce's name:

If you can guess his name based on those three hints, then you'll win some kind of awesome prize. Something super fun like...taking Baby Deuce for night duty so Shawn and I get some sleep one night. You know - I'm just generous like that.

After a few days of excessive Judeabug whining and watching his naps and nighttime sleep dwindle, I think I've come to the conclusion that he's getting his two year molars. He's been randomly signing "it hurts," has been chewing on his fingers and drooling, and has been waking up crying at night (which he hasn't done in a good long while). I felt his back gums this morning, and they're feeling a little swollen - so steady doses of teething tablets and Tylenol it is! I'm actually glad to have found a reason for his whining. It always helps me to be more patient with him when I understand that he's genuinely in pain and not just being a stinker. On top of that, he's probably super tired since he's just not sleeping well.

This is just another reason why I'm okay with waiting a bit to have this baby. Having a newborn and a teething toddler is really just a combination I'm alright with avoiding. Besides the teething issue, Jude is getting simultaneously sweeter and more precocious as each day passes. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of big brother he is, to watching him adjust, and to watching him and Baby Deuce grow as friends.

Before I know it, I'll be logging into Blogger to update you all that Demi Lovato Maurer is here!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

39 weeks!

It's hard to believe, but I am 39 weeks pregnant as of today. I know I say this often, but I feel like it was just yesterday that I sat across the kitchen table from Shawn and said, "I think I might be pregnant." I'm not sure that even now I've wrapped my mind around the fact that we'll soon be bringing home a newborn and our family will be a family of four. Yet here I sit - a rounded belly, a nursery ready, and a hospital bag packed.

I have to say that I have been doing considerably better since I whined yesterday. I was able to actually sleep for about twenty minutes while Jude napped yesterday and with the help of some Tylenol PM, I mostly slept through the night last night. I also realized that a big part of my migraines were because I'm grinding my teeth when I sleep (probably contributing to my lack of sleep, too). I used my mouth guard (I know....sexy!) last night and did NOT wake up with a headache! I still have this cold/cough deal, but with some decent sleep and no headache, that's nothin'. So many of you called/emailed/stopped by to check on me, and I really, really appreciate it. It was just one of those days where I felt overwhelmed and tired. I'm certain it won't be the last time, but I'm so blessed that so many people cared enough to make sure I was okay and give me suggestions for how to handle it all.

I'm hoping today to spend some time loving on Jude, make some peach muffins, do some ministry, and rest up for impending labor. Our next appointment is Friday morning, so if we don't go into labor before then, I'll be sure to update with any news!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

all bets are off

I've been trying really hard to not complain throughout the pregnancy, and truthfully - I haven't had a lot to complain about. I still count myself grateful for a healthy pregnancy and being able to stay home, but I've definitely hit the miserable-end-of-pregnancy stage. I'm not sure why, but I've started having insomnia. Even though I'm exhausted, I can't sleep at night or for naps, I just lay in bed getting angrier and angrier with myself for not getting the sleep I know my body needs. I've had light migraines on and off for about a week now, which are just killing me and any productivity I might have. And then of course, I'm really starting to swell (my blood pressure is still very low, or else the headaches and swelling would make me want to be checked for preeclampsia) and I've been fighting a cold for about a week and a half now.

I think Jude may have my cold as he's been a little more whiny the past couple of days...his high pitched whining and my headaches/exhaustion have not been the most pleasant combination.

And then perhaps the worst of it all is that I realize the only way to stop these pregnancy symptoms is to have the baby. And I know that being pregnant is the easy part of having a baby - it's the newborn stage that is so challenging for me. So as tired and worn down as I'm feeling right now, I'm well aware that it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

And with that, I really will stop my pregnancy whining. Very soon I won't be pregnant any longer, and I'll miss feeling Baby Deuce move and being able to focus solely on Jude. Until then, I'll just keep plugging away! There - I'm all done with the whining!

Monday, August 2, 2010

indulge me

I know it's not the most creative blog post I've ever written, but laundry and groceries are calling my name today, so I thought I'd be a big fat copy cat of my friend Patrice and tag myself with some questions. I know they're things you were just dying to ask me anyway:

What experience has shaped you most and why?
Just one? The summer before my junior year of college I worked for a summer at a Christian camp in the Pocono Mountains. I had never been to the Pocono Mountains, I'd never been to this camp, and I'd never met anyone from the camp before I got off the airplane in Philly. It could have been a total disaster and I could have been homesick and miserable, but it was one of the most formative experiences I've had. I learned a lot about ministry, about how far I can push myself, and about my character. I made some great friends, but being away from ANYthing comfortable (I gave up electricity and regular showering...not to mention sleep!) put me in a place to hear God more clearly than I ever had.

If you had a whole day with no commitments, what would you do?
I would sleep until 9:30, then get up and go for a run. I'd take a long bath, have a big breakfast with Shawn, and then go do something girly like get a cute haircut or a facial or something. I'd then go to Starbucks and drink a Venti iced nonfat white chocolate mocha while I read my Bible and prayed. After that, I'd go on a small shopping spree, and then head home and take a nap. Then I'd meet some friends for dinner and to see a movie. After the movie, I'd probably go home to get into my pjs and cuddle with Shawn.

Not that I've thought this idea through or anything like that.

What food or drink could you never give up?
I don't think there's anything I absolutely couldn't give up. I really like Reese's and diet Pepsi, so I'd rather NOT give those things up. But I could.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?
I'd love to visit Ireland, but I'd really love to go to England again with Shawn. I want to take him to Widnes and show him where I lived for a few months. I want to experience Liverpool with him, and I'd love to see Wales together.

Who do you have a crush on?
Have you seen my husband?! Especially when he's chasing Jude around the house? Pretty sure it doesn't get any "crushier" than that.

If you were leader of your country, what would you do?
I'd probably work towards getting us out of debt, but that's just because that's about the only thing I'd be good at as the leader of the country. You would NOT want me making military decisions or rational decisions of any kind, actually.

Give me one savory recipe that doesn’t include cheese.
It doesn't exist. My motto is that cheese makes everything better, and it's a motto that has served me pretty well.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
For the longest time, an actress.

If you could spend just one day in someone else’s body, who would it be?
I'd like to spend a day in my own body before getting pregnant with Jude. I was in really great shape and fueled my body well. I know that bearing children has changed my body in some ways that are forever different (like maybe a stretch mark or two and hips that don't lie), but I do hope to one day get that active self back.

Which woman writer, living or dead, do you admire most?
I don't know that I necessarily admire her (I don't know enough of her personal life to know if she warrants admiration), but I enjoy Sylvia Plath's writing. Books about crazy people and how they got to be that way are fascinating to me.

What character trait inspires you the most?
I think honesty is inspiring to me. In close relationships, I admire honesty in the sense of vulnerability. In less close relationships, I admire honesty in the sense of bluntness. I love it when I'm taken by surprise by someone's honesty.

What is your favorite kind of music?
Um...mellow, soulful music?

What is one fact about you that most people who know you wouldn’t guess?
I like to fish (well, as long as I don't have to touch the worm or the fish). So I guess I like to be away from the world and cast a line into a body of water would be more accurate.

If money were no object, what's one thing you don't own now or can't afford to do that you'd like to have or do?
I think I'd buy us a second vehicle. We're saving to get a small SUV or something in which the soon to be four of us can travel, but I would get Shawn his dream vehicle. He's been the primary driver of our beater cars, and I'd love to get him something that he'd be excited to drive.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

old school sunday

I like to take the occasional Sunday to post photos of our lives before kids. Since this blog is mostly about our journey as parents, it's fun to look back to that time in our lives when we didn't have children.

I ran my first ever race - a 5k - in 2008. I had always made fun of runners. They were so unnecessarily serious, it seemed. And they always looked miserable. Rarely do you see a runner smile as he's running.

That is, until I started running myself. I discovered that it's addictive. I set out to run a 5k, and by the time I got pregnant with Jude, I was running 13 miles at a time in preparation for a half-marathon.

In between pregnancies, I got back up to running six miles, but running got put on the back burner when my business started. Then I got pregnant again. One day...one day...I will again wake up to get in an early morning run. One day an "easy" run will be five miles. One day I'll set my sights to that half-marathon I never did, and will even begin looking towards running a marathon. I really miss running. I'd even say I ache for it - a part of myself that I've lost in parenthood and that I'm longing to get back.

Pre-race! You can tell how early it is by how squinty my eyes are. The earlier the squintier.


I had been battling a tough chest cold the days before the race and because of that - I wasn't able to run the entire 5k. I got to the last half mile and had to start walking - defeatedly. I had on my headphones and was getting so frustrated with myself when I all of a sudden heard flip flops flopping on the pavement behind me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Shawn (who had come merely for support) running up behind me. "Come on," he said, "Run with me." My husband ran beside me as I finished that last half-mile, and endured strange looks from other runners as they watched the guy running in flip-flops and khaki shorts. Right before the finish line, Shawn ran to the side and let me cross the finish. I was tired and mad at myself, but I knew that I had a husband who supported and even admired me. I knew that no matter what we went through, he'd be running right next to me.