Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Week with Papa and Mimi!

This week was the last official visit of 'mom' and 'dad'. I keep thinking about how my parents never referred much to my grandparents as mom and dad, it was always grandma, papa or nana. So next time they visit they will be henceforth "Papa (like pawpaw) and Mimi"! A scary thing to think about! (And incredibly exciting and wonderful at the same time).

Dad aka Papa, arrived with a boot on his foot. Rest assured it was a quality product from DeRoyal - which probably explains why he's doing so well without it at this point in the week. ;-) He twisted his ankle going down some stairs getting of a plane last week and was told he had to wear the boot for a week. (Which he did before promptly taking it off after a week). While we had a list of tasks for mom and dad to help with, the first on dad's agenda was the crib - and he wasted no time doing it the night he arrived.

It soon ended up being a joint venture between Papa, Mimi and Daddy.

I "supervised". ;-) I've now gained ten pounds in pregnancy weight and feeling the third trimester fatigue. Oddly enough, I still feel better than I have in my pregnancy thus far, but my feet, ankles, knees and back are definitely feeling the effects of that extra weight! I was so thankful for the help!

As many of you have heard already, I bought fabric for this nursery before Stephen and I were even trying to get pregnant. I think at that point we were thinking we would try in the near future but I also knew I had several friends trying to get pregnant. I bought the designer $12.99 a yard Alexander Henry fabric on red dot clearance at JoAnn when it went half off the clearance price. There were four coordinating prints and I bought the whole bolt of what was left in all of them for just $3 a yard! I was so pleased with myself and fell in love with it so much, I just kept putting off using it until I knew when I got pregnant that was what I was going to use!

I picked what appeared to be a very simple valance for the curtains, but like most everything we worked on this week, it all took twice as long as it should have. The ripping out of seams and tweaking of patterns were all worth it though! I was so thankful for mom's help with all that because if I were doing it myself I would have lost the energy and given up.

Meanwhile, Dad worked on things we're not so great at. Our crib wasn't exactly the nicest of cribs, and had several open holes from screws after we put it together. Dad bought pegs to fill the holes, finished them to match the crib and glued them in place.

When we took down the existing valance and hardware, it appeared the current paint color was applied around the valance so the paint color was different when we took it down. Once again dad worked hard to spackle the holes from the old valance (and a crack in the wall from where the house had settled) and then repainted with the existing wall color.

That wasn't all we made him do though! We took advantage of his handy work while we had him! We are using Stephen's childhood furniture from Austria in the baby's nursery. When we moved, there was a small piece that got damaged in the move. The front ledge was split off because the movers stacked something heavy on it. We were given $200 dollars to fix it (which if you think about what was paid in the first place, then to pay duties and have it shipped back to the states probably really didn't do it justice) but the movers had no one to recommend to fix it. Papa to the rescue! It's not perfect as I expect it never will be and I think Papa the perfectionist was a bit disappointed (that's not where I get it from at all I'm sure!) but we are thrilled to have it back to functional and it really does look nice!

Here you can see a picture of the finished curtains, the crib, and the piece that Dad/Papa fixed is the squatty chest under the window.  It's perfect for storing some of those blankets we got at the shower!

Here are some more views of the nursery!

 This is a picture to show the rug mom and dad helped supply. (As if their labor wasn't enough!) I wasn't crazy about it on the hanger, but when we got it home it really completed the room! That was thanks to mom's brilliant vision!
 This corner features the biggest chest that we're putting her clothes in and the toy bins we bought from Ikea.
 In the corner where the stool is will have a glider which we ordered and are waiting to come in. The room has a ton of natural light in the day so when that chair comes in, I plan on just sitting there and dreaming about baby girl. It will also provide a very pleasant spot to breastfeed and read all those wonderful books! The room has a natural peaceful feeling to it.
 A mesh bumper per recommendation of a fellow church mom. She says there's also a mesh topper you can get to keep the cat out, but since we keep him shut in the living room most of the time, I'm waiting to see if that will last and if I'll actually need it. I also bought a soft cover for the boppy (the u-shapped pillow). If you've been out of the baby world for a while, it goes around your waist to help support the baby when you're sitting and holding her. We also have two monkey headed blankets, one for play and one to wash. Another mom friend's recommendation! I remember hating it when mom took my blankie away to wash it! Of course, I probably held on to it for a little while longer than normal!
 Not sure how to tilt the picture at this point, but this idea of storing onsies came from pinterest. You just roll them up and put them in her own compartment. The ones in the divider next to it have matching leggings.
 Here's a drawer of sleepers and other pj's.
 Everything in the previous two drawers is 3-6 month size, and this is a drawer of newborn clothes. Being a gestational diabetes baby I was afraid to register for too many little things. Mom says all my clothes were too big for me in the beginning and she used them anyway, so I figure I'll do the same.
This is six-twelve month and twelve month clothes. I also didn't want to get too many of them, because depending on what her actual growth rate might be (did she get daddy or mommy's height?) she may be in sixth month clothing in the winter or she may not. It will be fun to do some extra shopping for clothes later anyway!

 And after all that hard work, it was time to sit and enjoy!
 Mr. Cat never has a problem with that.

 Here we are proud parents to be!
And yes, I'm coming towards the end of 28 weeks and I am that big. Starting to panic a little...

And as if getting all of this set didn't make for a busy enough week...Wednesday I took another fun trip to Labor and Delivery for peeing myself. Yes, I thought my water was leaking but rest assured, I just suffered from a swift kick in the bladder. *DOH*

I probably did a little too much trying to rush and get things done. The curtains stressed me out taking two days to make when it should have taken two hours. Baby girl was sitting so low, I finally understood what people mean when they feel like the baby is going to fall out. I was also suffering for some uncomfortable symptoms that are just too much information to share with the general public. Then I started to feel pain radiating up my back (which was different than the usual nerve pain in my low back and down my legs) and some general cramp-iness. When I had contractions at 23 weeks, they told me the best thing to do is lay down, drink some water (because dehydration can cause contractions) and start tracking to see if there's a pattern. Well as soon as I did that, laid flat and got all my many pillows comfortably situated and did some slow breathing I felt this gush of water. I went to see what it looked like (I'll spare you the details and you can thank me later), and really wasn't sure what it was. Mom encouraged me to take precautions (since that's how she found out she was leaking fluid with me at 27 weeks) and my ob didn't really want to take chances either. Mom took me to the hospital and we promised to keep Stephen and Papa/Dad informed if something was up. Mind you this is Lent, the week before Holy Week at about three o'clock in the afternoon when there are services in the evening. Baby girl just likes to get her Daddy's blood pressure up. 

My blood pressure however was fine, baby girls heart beat was strong and steady like always and turns out my cramps weren't contractions after all. Mimi got to hear baby girl's heart and her kicks so at least we got something out of it! They ran a few tests all coming back normal. My cervix is closed (thank goodness) and we were sent home with a diagnosis of peeing my pants. Humbling really. But I was assured it happens all the time and better safe than sorry.

The extra bummer about all this was it caused me to miss my session with the diabetic counselor that we worked so hard to get moved up. Maybe Baby Girl just likes to mess with both Dad and MOM! My sugar levels have been ok based on the small steps I've taken myself, but I still could have desperately used that session! I'm hoping it won't take long for me to get back in.

Friday was just a normal check-up day with the OB. I typically go every 2 to three weeks since I'm sort of considered high risk. We got a good report and he agreed my sugar levels were doing ok, but said there would be some room for fine tuning. At this point it looks like I won't have to take medicine or do insulin shots, but that will continue to be monitored for the rest of my pregnancy. The only sort of downside we got was that she's measuring a little big (just via tape measure). Because of this, I have a growth scan via sonogram coming up on Tuesday. I'm hoping it's not because of the diabetes, but maybe that they do actually have my due date a little wrong and now that I'm eating regularly and keeping food down, she's starting to catch up. If not, well...I'm hoping the "tweaking" of my sugar numbers will keep her growth at bay. It's not only that I don't want to deliver a 9 lb baby, I also just adore babies when they're tiny and I feel like a 9 pounder will take some of that time away Well there are other reasons the fact I have twelve weeks until full term and some days my size leaves me absolutely miserable and I can't imagine being any bigger. As well as a fear of having to have a c-section. I know lots of people do it, but I would LOVE to avoid major surgery! 

I'll go back in two weeks and get the results of the sonogram from Dr. Anderson as well as hopefully have seen the dietician and talk more with Dr. Anderson about my sugar numbers.

All in all, not a bad week. I forgot to mention my sewing room that was covered in a thick cloud of dust from the remodel was cleaned by mom. I can't even really describe to you how thankful I am for that. Now I can put it back together again and my house my actually have some cohesive order to it. 

OH so thankful for the hard work my parents put in - especially on what was essentially a vacation! We are very loved!

B is for Books and Baby Shower!

Last Saturday night my parents arrived in town for the week. It'd been a year since they visited Amarillo as mom used her spring break to spend time with us for that trip too. This year it was especially exciting to have them come because the church threw me a baby shower while they were here. Because of the large number of pictures I have and all the things we got into during the week following - the baby shower is going to have a post of it's own!

The shower was thrown by ladies at Beautiful Savior and if the number of ladies who planned it were the only ones to show up, I would have thought the shower a huge success.The shower started at 4:00 and ended at 6:30 as a 'drop-in' in kind of thing. I swear there was a point in time when I have never seen that fellowship hall so full. Not only were there a ton of people, there were a lot of older ladies that came back out for the shower that sometimes don't even make it on a Sunday morning. Talk about feeling the love! Everyone seemed to have a great time and the buzz and excitement permeated the air  the whole time. I had to take a break from opening presents to actually enjoy all the refreshments people worked so hard was VERY brief and I STILL ended up closing the party by finishing opening gifts.

Here are a few pictures of the spread these ladies put out!

 The cake says "Thank You Lord for this Precious Baby to Stephen and Betsy". It couldn't have been a better cake caption - unless there was enough cake to add precious baby to our congregation, because that's how we really felt!

 This was the cutest veggie dip bowl! A bunny rabbit!

 Along with the bunny bowl was a huge spread of fresh veggies, some fresh fruit, a variety of finger sandwiches and of course, cake and punch!

This baby is so loved and spoiled by everyone here already!

I could post a billion pictures of opening presents, but here is just a few! We got a lot of the things we needed that were on our registry, plus because of the book themed baby shower - a lot of great books to read. However, lots of people put in some long hours for some beautiful homemade gifts!

 Two ladies worked on this blanket. The middle was crocheted by one woman, and the border knitted by another! Love the team work!
 This quilt with the purple cross in the center was talked about in cognito for several months! Laurie kept waiting to hear what I was having to choose colors. You can't see it here, but each white square surrounding the purple cross has a different color pastel polka-dot. The cross is a purple and white polka-dot. I love the way the cross stands out. She'll recognize the cross from an early age since I can put her down for tummy time on this blanket!
 Ada, pictured in the "hot seat" here, hand embroidered this blanket. I have SO much respect for that as I am absolutely terrible at it. I asked her if it took her forever and she said it did, but smiled and didn't seem to mind. I always want people to know I appreciate the effort it takes!

Two ladies from Viking (where I work) also made gifts but unfortunately I did not get pictures of those (I think someone else did so we may have a round two of pictures from the shower. I had vaguely heard of their plans when I gave them the date for the shower - and knowing what fantastic work they do, I was super excited for the quilt that Jenis pieced and stippled herself, and the cutest little purple dress (because Jeanne knows I'm a purple girl- of course the daughter will be) with bloomers. I was so pleased they came to the shower when they knew no one but each other. That store (and those ladies) have been such a blessing to me, especially because they picked up right where I left off and the store is running great without me there all the time. We all worked hard to turn it around and I'm pleased they take as much pride in it as I did and that they continue to love and support me so much even after I got pregnant and left them high and dry being so ill with this pregnancy!

This is not to diminish the gifts that weren't homemade. We needed the essentials we also received and having the financial burden of having a lot of them gifted to us was a huge blessing. Not to mention, baby girl will be the cutest dressed of them all!

Here's a shot or two of the crowd...

There was some discussion about when the last time a pastor had actually had their child while they were serving at Beautiful Savior and I don't think an answer was found. Pastor Meyer (the one before us) had young kids when he got here, but they weren't born here. He served here 20 years before us and it seemed as though they didn't think the pastor before him had kids here either. I guess that makes for the reason for all the fuss. Either way, we were incredibly thankful! I'm still blown away by the generosity and excitement of everyone. I cannot hardly put into words how blessed I feel! These people care for us so much! 

Mom said she had a conversation with a parishoner who lamented she was afraid she wouldn't have us for very long...especially now with the baby. Mom was honest and admitted her desire to have her grand baby close, but it's hard to be too sad when we're taken such good care of. Who knows when and where God will call us, but for right now, we are so thankful for the gift God gives us in the people of this church. It's sad to say, but not everyone is so blessed, and while I'll admit I suffer from homesickness like a champ sometimes, it's hard to think of leaving a place where people care so much about being living the Christian life. These people do mission well, they care for one another and yes every church has it's ups and downs, but sacrificing location for a place where God is up to so much good is hard to think about!

The rest of this week was spent putting together the nursery which was a bigger task than I had realized. Stephen and I were SO thankful for the help my mom and dad offered. If it weren't for them, I don't think we would ever have the nursery put together! Stay tuned...

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Diabetic Life/Preparing for Motherhood/Upcoming Excitement!


So this is my life for the next little while. I finally have the glucometer and feel as though a little bit of control has returned back to my world. My appointment after much back and forth finally got moved to next Wednesday. 

I'll admit, I finally had my nervous breakdown - as I think I needed to. I hope none of the language in the previous post was too much. As a pastors wife I know I should be exemplary...but sometimes I just have to call things what they are and as of the last post, I was on the brink of losing my mind. Add depression, hormones and your world just constantly feeling like it's being flipped upside down and it creates a perfect storm for a nervous breakdown. 

Stephen is fantastic in these instances. I honest to goodness sometimes think I married him because he's the only one that can handle me. I need his calm personality and lately I've needed it more than I have in a LONG time. He allows me to rest, but forces me up and to not be complacent. (And he's about the only person I'll listen to when he says "No you're going outside, you're going to read, we're going to the canyon and you're getting some sun while I take a bike ride." Sorry mom...I know you try. ;-) Ugh, tears as I write this (lots of loving tears and pregnancy hormones!). I love my husband so much, while I couldn't have done this without him, I certainly couldn't do it without his continued support.

From here on out, I'll be tracking my sugar once in the morning fasting (which means, I have to actually drag myself out of bed before my regular 10 am...a tough thing lately as I seem to finally find a solid deep sleep around 5:00-6:00am these days...oh and the anemia thing...). Then two hours after each meal. So far my meal plan won't be changing drastically. The nurse who taught me to use my meter today said to watch carbs and balance them with proteins but not to get too much into the counting game yet. If I find out how I respond to the things I normally eat, then we'll know more what's necessary to change or not change by the time I meet with the dietician. (Can I just let out a big FAT sigh of relief here??????) So between my three meals, I'll also work in three snacks. This is more food than I think I've eaten my entire pregnancy. It now seems like my world will revolve around eating and sugar checking.

I'm not a good eater. I'll admit hyperemesis does that to you. In all seriousness, I think there is a fair amount of PTSD that comes from throwing up everything you swallow (or try to) for weeks at a time. I'm sometimes just scared to eat, even though I only throw up once or twice a week now. I plan to address this with my dietician.

My nurse practitioner also told me something I did not know about GD (gestational diabetes). You're 50% more likely to develop Diabetes 2 in your lifetime if you've had GD. I asked her if it was weight related since there's often a stigma attached to D2 and weight. She said that while weight is certainly a contributing factor - it is not one in pregnancy (or at least not mine) and has more to do with my body's ability to regulate insulin. Therefore, if I already have a tendency to not regulate it properly and you throw a wrench in things like pregnancy or excessive weight gain - you're more likely to throw your body out of whack. It's a good reality check at my young age to not let myself go - especially as a mom who will no doubt be one of those moms that's always kids first.

So many of you have been so supportive in offering your advice on how to be diabetic and control things well. I want you to know I sincerely thank you - as you also have helped my sanity when I haven't had answers. I'm finally feeling a little more informed and much better off.

And now for the second totally different topic - preparing for Motherhood!

I was fortunate enough to feel well enough to attend a free breastfeeding 101 class offered through the health system here. I learned a lot including lots of truths and myths, the best information about current pumps out there, and most of all the free support BSA (our hospital system) offers through out your breast feeding journey even after you leave the hospital. Many of you know, I was very much on the fence about this for a fair number of reasons. The class helped calm some of my fears and put many worries aside plus hearing the number of benefits for not only m y daughter, but myself makes a pretty hard case against just formula feeding. 

Even better, I found out about a series of other free classes they offer including childbirth and "Mommy 101" - a class that helps you decipher how to use all the gadgets and things out on the market, what's necessary and what will completely fly out the window when actually taking care of a baby. There's also a monthly support group for breastfeeding. (Did I mention all of these are free???) I'm pretty sure I'm going to be signing Stephen up for Daddy Boot Camp too!

In other news...

Mom and Dad will arrive on Saturday and we are getting ready to put them to work! Stephen helped rearrange some furniture in our guest bedroom to set up our twin bed and make room for the crib in the other bedroom/nursery. The room is all set for Dad and Stephen to tackle putting together the crib, and furniture can be anchored to the wall. We managed to find a crib in a light oak color. Nancy and Jim were nice enough to give us Stephen's childhood bedroom furniture from Austria (if you remember it has a light oak top and a green stain for the draws/cabinets). We've got enough pieces for her clothes and changing table. Mom is going to help me with the curtains and the bed linens and by the time they leave we're hoping we'll have the nursery all ready to go!

Another thing that will help - the church is graciously throwing me a baby shower on Sunday. Not only am I super excited to share the experience with my mom, she's going to help me organize the nursery afterward (something she is far more gifted at than I)! 

One more thing we're looking forward to is a visit from Craig and Caroline in April. With the nursery all set they'll be plenty of room for the air mattress for Craig and with the twin bed taking place in an "official" guest room, Caroline will actually have her own bed to sleep in. Apart from the air mattress part (sorry Craig) - it feels like we actually have a home we can have guests sleep in and don't have to throw people on the couch. Ah, we're such grown-ups now! 

We are so looking forward to our family visiting! I can't even remember the last time I got to see Craig and haven't had the privilege of meeting Carolina yet- so that visit is going to be super special and may involve a little diet breaking with a trip to the Big Texan.

Just so the rest of the family doesn't miss out, we might have to spot a big table at the BIG Texan to have a BIG baptismal lunch once baby girl gets here. Rest assured though, even if she's born a Texan, she'll always know her roots are in Tennessee! Her blood runs Tennessee orange by nature of her parents and there's no escaping that!

I know I always end this way, but truly...thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you to all of you who sent messages to me empathizing and advice giving in the past week and beyond. God has blessed me with some really fabulous people in life!