Thursday, June 27, 2013

34 Weeks - Lightning Bugs and The Poky Little Puppy

34 Weeks! Am I the only one who cannot believe how close we are getting to due date?! To say that time is flying by is an absolute understatement. It is still hard to believe that Bennett and I are soon to be mommy and daddy..... wonder when that will ever actually sink in? Since the crib, almost finished nursery (just a couple things left to hang on the walls- blog post will follow completion!), and closet full of baby clothes hasn't done the trick yet, maybe Bennett installing the carseat will! I keep telling him we need to go ahead and get that bad boy situated. They say you can never be over dressed or over educated {to which I agree}, I'd add or over prepared. I always prefer to be done way ahead of time! And since I still have that gut feeling that she will be a week or so early, I want to make sure everything is 100% ready asap! On that note, I really really do hope she comes around the 38-39 week mark. Things are starting to get prettyyyyyyy uncomfortable in this belly. I won't lie, up until about the past week I have thought at times "Yeah this whole pregnancy thing gets uncomforatble occasionally but this really isn't that bad, I don't know why women say it's as hard as they do". Well well well, has this last week told me a different story. I am officially starting to feel the "pressure" that women speak of. I literally feel at times that my belly is just going to completely pop like a balloon when pushed with a straight pin. On top of that, one of little Caroline's body parts seems to find a very comfortable home right under the right side of my ribs any time I sit for longer than 10 minutes. Sitting down these days is an absolute nightmare due to that. Standing up is a nightmare due to the belly pressure. I find myself most comfortable laying on my side.... too bad that's not exactly an option for the whole day. haha.

The other night, Bennett called me to the front door and said "OH man babe come here you gotta see this!"... Once I rolled off the bed {that's pretty much the only way to get up these days} and got to the door, I saw literally dozens and dozens and dozens of fireflies just lighting up the night! He and I both immediately started reminiscing to when we were kids and would get so excited about catching fireflies {I always called them "Lightning Bugs"} at night. I can remember putting them in a glass with some plastic wrap on top. Mom and Dad would always punch holes in the wrap for me "so they could breathe". Then, I'd put the glass on my nightstand and go to sleep! {btw- am I the only one who always woke up to dead lightning bugs in the morning?} Then over the weekend while we were out and about running errands, I wondered over to the book section of Mast General Store. I'm trying to build Caroline's little book collection and thought I'd see what they had, when I ran across "The Poky Little Puppy"....a book that I know if I read once, I literally read 100 times as a child! When I say "I read", I suppose I technically mean Mom read to me. Although she will tell you that I pretty much memorized every book cover to cover before I could even read myself. "The Poky Little Puppy" was one of my mom's favorite books as a little girl, then one of mine, and now it is sitting on Caroline's bookshelf.... hopefully to be one of hers as well!! I bring up the fireflies {lightning bugs} and Poky Little Puppy to say that I love thinking about the fact that I am about to have the greatest opportunity to create memories with my baby daughter as she grows up and hope that one day, she looks outside her front door to lightning bugs or comes across the Poky Little Puppy  book and is reminded of the memories we were able to make and gets a big smile on her face just like I did :)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

33 Weeks: The Epidural Decision

33 weeks today! I cannot believe that our due date is only 49 days away. Time just keeps passing, Caroline just keeps growing, and boy oh boy does it ever just keep getting hotter and hotter outside! Being pregnant {very pregnant} in the summer is quite the experience. I feel like I should carry around one of the squirt bottles that has a fan attached to it so that I can mist myself regularly. I hate to complain because I know it all will be so worth it in the end, but DANG! On a serious note, the heat is a small price to pay when I get to feel this precious little life moving like crazy inside of me. She is quite the active little booger. As a matter of fact, I'm convinced she rarely sleeps.... wonder if she is going to continue that lifestyle outside the womb? If so, I guess we better prepare ourselves huh? Bennett and I have so much fun not only feeling her move, but laying down and literally watching her move inside my belly! Again I'll say that I'm absolutely fascinated by the miracle that is growing inside of me and the miracle of life in general.
{Love that baby girl so much already!}

So, Bennett and I had quite the day this past Saturday. We spent 8 hours in childbirthing class! Participating in anything that has to do with Caroline makes me happy happy happy so needless to say, I was absolutely ecstatic to attend. Plus the fact that I {obviously since this is my first child} have absolutely NO clue what to expect besides what I've read on the Internet {yikes}, so I was also just really looking forward to the learning aspect of it as well. And let me tell ya, we learned. The only person in the class who I think did not learn is the one lady who asked more than once if she could get up and move around, use the birthing ball, etc once she received an epidural. Ummmm..... Seriously? Even the instructor seemed to finally get annoyed with the question. How many times does she have to tell you that it numbs you from the waist down?! Poor lady. Speaking of epidural.... the Lamaze class sealed my decision {I'm pretty sure at least} to go at this whole labor process without the epidural. I'm convinced I can do it and convinced that both me and Caroline will be better off for it. Now, maybe I'll change my mind when I'm having hellish contractions.... but I hope not. I'm sticking to my decision! Some may think I'm nuts. I actually keep thinking of what one of our good friends Blake told me- "Lauren, it's not like anyone gives you a gold medal for having the baby without an epidural. I'd think someone was nuts if they came into my dental practice and told me they wanted me to pull their tooth without numbing them first". hahaha while I thought he made a VERY valid point.... I don't think I'm persuaded. So, no epidural it is. Even Bennett is on board with that decision! Which I should add, when Sujata {our precious instructor} walked everyone through a ten minute breathing, relaxation exercise with the lights off and nice music playing in the background..... I all of a sudden heard some snoring coming from my left about 9 minutes in.... Yep, Bennett was so relaxed and into his breathing that he fell right asleep. Perhaps I should take some tips from him :)

{He also really enjoyed the birthing ball}

Thursday, June 13, 2013

32 Weeks: Showering Caroline

This is a week that I actually cannot believe is here- 32 weeks. You know how you always have some sort of time frame in your head where you think to yourself "Man, wonder what it'll be like once I get to (fill in blank)". For example, when I was a pre-teen and early teen I always daydreamed about what I would be like once I turned 17. No reason why. Nothing astronomically important happens at 17. But for some reason, that was just "the age" I always looked forward to and "wondered what I would be like" at. Well, same goes for 32 weeks pregnant. Why 32 weeks? No clue. But for some reason I can just remember even when I first found out I was pregnant, thinking to myself "Wonder what it will be like when I'm 32 weeks pregnant... that's far away though... but I can't wait to be 32 weeks pregnant." And now here I am. A whopping 32 weeks pregnant with big belly and set of ta-ta's to prove it. WOWZERS. I cannot believe how fast time is passing by! To answer my question to myself of "wonder what it will feel like", for the most part I still feel really great! I have been {knock on wood} fortunate to have quite an enjoyable pregnancy experience. Lately my biggest complaint is that little Caroline likes to wedge her foot under my ribs on the right side and it hurts BAD. I'm also getting a little heated more than usual. And actually, I experienced my feet slightly swelling for the first time on Tuesday.... that was not fun. Oh and then there's still that pesky heartburn lingering around. Zantac 150 is my best friend right now. Aside from those things- I'm just peachy. It all seems like a small price to pay when I think of the precious blessing that we will be holding in our arms in just a matter of weeks! I have this lingering inclination that she is going to come early... like a week or two early. I have no reasoning on which to base this- just a gut instinct. We will see :)

{Another mirror pic this week since I'm out of town... I'll be glad to get back to the chalkboard!}

Last Saturday was a big day for baby girl! Her Aunt Whitney threw just the most fabulous shower at Great Aunt Kimmy's house. We had a blast with family and some of our closest friends. Every little detail was absolutely beautiful and perfect. I was just so overwhelmed with happiness and joy to know that Caroline already has so many people that love her before she is even here... she is such a lucky little girl!
{Love these two. Marty made quite the drive just to be there to celebrate with us, and she ended up getting to feel Caroline kick! And my sweet sister worked so hard to make it just the perfect day!}

We are blessed to have received SO MANY AMAZINGGGG gifts at our shower. I hate that I didn't even have time to organize/put things away since we got home Sunday from Georgia- I had to back my bags and fly right to Richmond for the week so everything is still currently piled in Caroline's room awaiting my return {see pic below}. I have to say though that of all the wonderful things we received, my absolute favorite gift is the pearl bracelet that my Aunt A {Caroline's Great Aunt A} strung for Caroline using my Great Granny's {Caroline's Great GREAT Granny's} pearls. What a special special gift that I know I will certainly cherish forever and I know that Caroline will as well. Family heirlooms are the best kind of treasure. I'm getting teary just typing about how special that gift was/is to me!
{That's alot of love we received!!! Can't wait to get back get to organizing!}
{Love this. Just love this}
As the days and weeks pass by, my heart just grows more and more full of love for this precious baby girl growing inside of me. More than I can even count on a daily basis, I get lost in daydreams about my sweet little Caroline Anne. Everyday I pray that God will help me to show her the most Godly example I can of how to be a wife and mother, how to love Him, how to love others, how to be kind but not a pushover, strong but not hard headed, and how to grow to be the wonderful woman that she was created to be. I'm so excited for the journey that is ahead of myself and Bennett, and cannot wait to be Smith- party of 3 :)

PS- Two things I'm really looking forward to this week. #1- My Aunt Deb finds out the gender of her little one today.. I'm rooting for pink!! #2- Saturday we have birthing class.... bring on the breathing exercises!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

31 Weeks: The Nesting Begins

I feel as if I should begin by saying that sweet Caroline is currently having one heck of a playday inside my womb while I type this... pure happiness! I know I say this every week, but I cannot BELIEVE we've made it to the 31 week mark! To me, it sounds crazy to say we have only 9 weeks {give or take} until we meet our precious little girl. According to my BabyCenter update... "she measures approximately 16 inches, weighs approximately 3 1/3 pounds, and is heading into a growth spurt".... a growth spurt?!?! I feel like we've been in a growth spurt for at least 3-4 weeks now! It is hilarious {and somewhat alarming} how many times per week I hear "Are you sure you're not having twins?" Granted, some people say it in jest... but some people say it in 100% seriousness. I've learned not to take offense to this, even though I haven't quite decided exactly how one really is supposed to "take" a comment like this... I just laugh and say "I certainly hope not!" God bless the women that give birth to twins/muliples! Although I will say that I do believe we have enough clothes to dress twins.... this little girl definitely has some duds to sport around town! This week, I began washing the first little bit of her newborn clothes and I gotta say- I don't think there is much better in the world than the smell of those precious teeny tiny little clothes after they've been freshly washed with that baby detergent {except of course, baby Caroline herself!}
{Since Bennett is out of town, I had to do a good ole mirror pic this morning}

Speaking of washing baby clothes, I think it is safe to say that the "nesting" instinct you always hear about has officially set in. I find myself wanting to clean out drawers, de-clutter closets, organize the garage {yep that's right babe, I have quite a project for when you get home... don't be too excited}, etc.  I am quite a neat/clean freak by nature anyway so it doesn't surprise me that this whole nesting thing is bringing it out even more so. I've also reverted back to my days of compulsive list making. Things left to buy, things left to organize, stuff for hospital bags... right when I get to cross one thing off the list, I think of another to add! Something just feels SO GOOD about crossing a task off of a list though, doesn't it? I'm more than ready to reach the point of having everything completely ready for her arrival that way we can just relax and wait for the big day! On that note, I should add that we are super excited to head to Georgia Saturday to celebrate Caroline at her baby shower down there! This little baby girl is already SO loved by SO many people and that makes my heart happy happy happy. {Disclaimer: I love her the most!!!!!!!!!!!! :) }

I had a pretty sad moment earlier this week..... the moment I realized that it may officially be time to temporarily retire or seriously cut back on the amount of time I spend in high heels. My job requires me to be on my feet a pretty good bit and on Monday, I honestly did not think I was going to make it through the day. I was having some pretty severe round ligament pain {pregnant ladies out there, that stuff is no joke.... growing pains like none other!} and I'm pretty sure that the heels were making it about 100 times worse. Literally walking all of a sudden became a chore. I thought something was wrong until I called my doctor, talked to the nurse, found out I was "only experiencing round ligament pain" and she basically told me just to take some Tylenol and a warm bath. I'm sure she thought I was crazy for calling about that but hey, I've never had a baby before...anything that doesn't feel normal to me means I need an explanation for it! haha. The past two days, I've worn flats all day and had a much better experience. So I guess flats it is for me {during the workday, at least}

{So happy to have gotten to see Scott and Sara this weekend and their little baby in her tummy, she is 19 weeks today!}