Thursday, January 24, 2013

Postpartum: Reflections of a New Mommy

**This week's entry is more about the thoughts of a postpartum mom, and less about sweet Jackson. Much more to come on our little man soon as we reflect on his first month of life :)

Love takes on a new form when you're a parent. I've never loved anyone as much as I love and adore my husband, until I met my son. The love I have for Jackson, even as a new parent, is unimaginable. Sometimes I have to stop whatever I'm doing to just stare at him, or hold him close with lots of kisses and whisper to him how much I love him. I'm afraid I'll just squeeze him to death, I love him so much. Seeing Jax's little smiles in his sleep, or more recently, hearing him laugh in his sleep, makes me so excited to spend more time with him.

The flipside of this unconditional, devoted love is the uncontrollable fear I have for Jax. I have this desire to keep him safe, and perfect, and unharmed forever. I know that his heart will be broken, he'll fall and get injured, he'll even feel pain when he doesn't get his way- but for now I just want to keep his life perfect. I worry so much for him, I'm sure part of it is postpartum hormones kicking in. It's such a new sensation to love someone so much- and such a relief. Prior to his birth, I loved little Jackson, but the pregnancy was something that was happening to ME. I felt like any decisions were mine to make, and while factoring in my soon to be child, I was still able to be selfish in my decisions. I even asked a few friends and family members about my feeling of disconnect from him. I was so worried that I wouldn't feel like his mother- because being pregnant I didn't feel like a mom, just a pregnant lady. Now, all of my decisions are based around Jax. When will he need me to be home so he can nurse, what can I eat to make sure he gets nutrients, how I must nap so I can be alert and ready for him in the middle of the night. It's like the center of my universe has totally shifted. I think only fellow moms and dads can understand.

One of my favorite new feelings of love is the deepening of adoration and love for my husband. Watching him be a dad to our son fills my heart with so much joy. I am so grateful to be able to share my life with Dan, but even more grateful that my son has Dan for a daddy- he is so wonderful. And while I'm sure we will make lots of mistakes as parents, I can't wait to see how we grow as parents and partners in marriage. Again, this new found depth of love has a flipside. Seeing Dan as a dad makes me miss his dad even more. I miss Jackson's Grandpa Scot in a way I can't explain. I miss the opportunities Jax would have with Scot. I miss the hugs and kisses and games of catch they would have played. Scot was such a wonderful husband and father, I love seeing him shine through Dan and his siblings. I can't wait to see how he continues to be part of our lives and influence our family, even in his absence. (again- hormones kick in here).

Dec 23 (one month to due date, 9 days to delivery) v. Jan 23
Mama and baby. 22 days old. Jan 23, 2013
I have been blessed with a low maintenance recovery. While I know how amazing it is to have my body bounce back so well, I couldn't help but feel this feeling of betrayal. Dan can vouch for the fact that I was worried that I was recovering too quickly. Within a few days of birth I was back into pre pregnancy clothes, and now I am back to pre pregnancy size, clothes, everything. There is this weird feeling though- this feeling of loss from not being pregnant. Almost like I was robbed of those last few intimate weeks with my little man. Just he and I. Me feeling him move, him growing inside me. Jackson was three weeks early, and healthy and perfect, but by the time his due date rolled around, there is little trace of the fact I was pregnant (except for maybe these porn star quality breastfeeding boobies). Again, I think the hormones are contributing here, but it has been hard to be happy about such a quick recovery. Almost like my body forgot I was even pregnant. Like it never happened. How can that happen? I love my son so much how can my body not remember that? This probably doesn't make any sense- but, figured I'd allow insight into the postpartum brain for a minute.

2 week WBC. Showered and dressed. Jan 15, 2013
Jackson has already had his share of doctor's visits for well baby checks, EKG's, heart murmur check, jaundice, and we even got a referral for a hip 'click'. I have no idea how I will handle his 2 month well baby with immunizations, because I already cry for Jax. At his two week check, a mistake by the tech lead us to believe he wasn't gaining weight properly, despite his amazing breastfeeding. (seriously, my son does all the work on that one- and he is a breastfeeding champ! I am so proud of him). After finding out he wasn't gaining weight, I cried at almost every feeding. I had this helpless feeling thinking he was not growing properly and it was all my fault. We found out the next day that there was a mistake, and he is growing and perfect, but in the mean time I was a wreck on behalf of my son. There was a day that his circumcision was bleeding a little, and I lost it. I couldn't help but cry and worry that I'd done something wrong. (notice a crying trend in this postpartum hormone roller coaster?!) Of course, Jax has been wonderful through everything, and in hindsight, he is still perfect with no problems.

There is something spiritual about being a parent. Jackson's arrival has made me keenly aware of how precious life is, as well as how out of control we are. I don't remember the last time I prayed so frequently. Prayers for his health. Prayers for my husband. Prayers for our family. Prayers for sleep. Prayers for work flexibility. Prayers of thanksgiving. Prayers for strength and guidance as we raise this little baby boy to be an honest, God fearing man. I've never been so aware of my own inadequacy, nor have I ever prayed more for my actions and words to reflect God and not my own sinful nature. Again, I know we will make mistakes as parents, especially when showing grace, mercy and patience to our children- but I am so grateful for parenthood pushing me closer in my relationship with God and my reliance on Him daily.

Dan and I have been told over and over that we're so laid back. We don't think so. But we have tried to welcome any family, friends, and visitors who want to come to the house at any time. Whether for a week, or just for an hour, we've opened our home to anyone who wants to come. I hope this openness continues as our family grows, and that we're able to show our children how to love the people in our lives. Some of our favorite visitors (besides our amazing families- love you mamas!) have been people from our church. Dan and I have been frequenting a church, but have not yet become members. We've visited a Sunday school class twice. TWICE. Upon hearing of Jackson's birth, this class took the initiative to bring us multiple meals a week, pray for us/ with us, and today we even had someone come take baby pictures of Jackson for free! We have been so thankful and so blessed by this body of believers. It has shown us, yet again, God's ability to provide and encourage fellowship with his followers. Yet another reason this whole experience has brought us closer in our walks with Him.

From meals, to family visiting to help us, to work flexibility, we've consistently seen the miracle of God's provision. Matthew 6: 25-34 states that worrying is futile, and that God will provide. This section of scripture has been a consistent theme the past two years for Dan and I. From our families, to finances, to my career, God has continued to faithfully provide all of our needs. We continue to struggle with letting go of the worry, and trusting Him to provide for our family. The most recent example of provision (in addition to the generous meals we've been receiving) has been regarding my career. I applied for a position as adjunct faculty teaching Nutrition next fall at the local college. Last week, I received a phone call that I got the job! Yet again, God has provided for us. Since my current job is allows one full day (or two half days) off each week, I should be able to continue working full time while starting my dream job as an undergraduate nutrition professor. I am so excited, and yet again, I have been pushed in the arms of God with thankfulness for his provision for our family.

Exclusive breastfeeding has been such a blessing, and has been easy when I stay home all day. I have been fearing my return to work and the beginning of pumping since before Jax was born. I am hoping I am able to continue breastfeeding without needing formula supplementation. In preparation, I have been pumping 1-2 times/day to begin a freezer stash. This has helped my pump and I get to know each other (we'll be spending lots of time together very soon) and pumping has also helped keep my milk production high. Being a consultant, I am in a different workplace everyday and have no office in any of the buildings. Returning to work/ pumping will require borrowing an office, or pumping in my car. As my return to work approaches, my anxiety over pumping location/ schedule has increased. In the meantime, I've been able to freeze almost 50 oz in the past week or two, and I average 3-6 oz per session, after nursing. Yay milk machine!

While I am not looking forward to sharing feeding responsibilities with a bottle, I am so grateful for the chance to pump and continue his breastmilk only diet. The healthiest thing I can do for my son right now is breastfeed him, especially considering his premie status- so I plan to pump/ nurse as long as I can, no matter what. As with everything I've said in the past, I could never do this without my husband Dan. His support and encouragement have been the most important, most valuable resource as a new mother.

Breastfeeding must haves:
A few things I've found essential to breastfeeding as a new mom.
Breastfeeding musthaves
1. Breastfeeding station with comfortable chair, dim light for late nights, drink, snack, something to read, boppy and blanket. (blanket comes in handy for a side effect of postpartum I wasn't aware of- fluctuating temperature regulation).
2. Mum to be lotion. This lotion is so moisturizing and silky smooth! I used it all through pregnancy with NO STRETCH MARKS. I bought it at Motherhood Maternity and continue to use it now- especially on my torso. It states it's midwife approved and safe for contact with baby's skin vs. scented/ dyed lotions so common in the market.
3. Watch. A good watch and/or timer has been so helpful to keep track of nursing times. Sometimes Jax is sleepy, and I have to wake him up after 4 hours so that he stays on track for weight gain/ eating. This watch has a digital output, but also has programmable alarms/ timers. This will be handy when we start trying to get him on a schedule before I return to work.
4. New mom journal. This journal was bought at Target. It has a section for when to give shots, when teething occurs, a section for ins/outs, and a section to track sleep. The ins/ outs section allows you to track wet/ dirty diapers, and if bf you can track which side/ how long at each feeding. For formula, you can track time and oz drank. This has been a Godsend- especially when the Dr. started telling me he wasn't gaining weight right (good thing they were wrong). I was able to go back and see exactly how he'd been eating/ pooping/ peeing to see he was getting enough breastmilk in.
5. Another thing (not pictured) is a good breastpump. This is essential for breastfeeding mamas who want to continue when they return to work. I purchased the Medela Pump In Style (tote). We bought it from Bed Bath and and were able to apply a 20% off coupon- the ones that everyone has from the mail. Recently Babies R Us had a breast pump sale. To any mamas considering bf/ pumping: do your research, then look for coupons, sales, and used pumps! Used pumps are a great buy, just make sure to buy your own accessory kit of phlanges, tubing and bottles.

This post has been mostly about new mom life, but I can't help but share more pictures of my little man. Now, blog readers, you can have insight into the workings of my brain, and also the miracle of our son I get to witness everyday. Here's just a few of my favorite pics from the past three weeks:

Jackson first photo. Jan 1, 2013 8:45am
Naptime thinking. Jan 10, 2013
Strike a pose. Jan 12, 2013
More naptime thinking. Jan 13, 2013
Naptime silly faces
Sleepy smiles

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Arrival of Jackson Scot Campbell

Jackson Scot Campbell was born January 1, 2013- a whopping 22 days early! He is perfect and we are totally in love. Here is his story. 

Christmas week: Picture on last entry
The week of Christmas I was feeling especially exhausted and even noticed a sudden waddle in my step. There was an aching pain in my pubic bone, like I had walked into a table or been kicked with a boot. I attributed this to ligaments loosening and my pubic symphasis widening to prepare for delivery- I didn't realize how much Jackson had dropped. Even still, babies can drop weeks before they are born, so I didn't think much of it. Braxton Hicks were still happening, but I hadn't noticed any real contractions. Back pain continued, and late night bathroom breaks/ insomnia increased. I didn't have a real nesting time, although there was an afternoon where we argued about my desire to have the nursery ready to go now. I explained to Dan that there's not much we can control, but having it done and ready, even if it was 4 weeks til my due date, is something we can control. We also finished up 'baby class' with our doula. October was really early to take delivery/ newborn care classes, and the November class we signed up for was cancelled. In December, noone was hosting their classes due to the holidays. January classes would be too close to our due date for comfort (in hindsight we are glad we didn't wait!) We ended up finding a doula who would offer in home, private lessons on topics like labor, breastfeeding, newborn care, etc. She was absolutely wonderful and we finished our last class the week before Christmas. 

Dan and I spent Christmas alone with Wally, and prepared to have his family in town later in the week for a late Christmas/ New Year's Eve celebration. Dan had the week of Christmas off due to holiday down time (you got either Christmas week or New Year's week off). Dan enjoyed the week relaxing with Wally and preparing for family, while I worked ahead at work to finish up projects to allow schedule flexibility while our family was in town. (Hindsight: glad I worked ahead). 

Family visits: pictures on last entry
Dan's family arrived later in the week, and we were so glad to have a house full of people! We celebrated our late Christmas and spent the weekend laughing, playing board games, eating way too much, and generally enjoying time together. Sunday the 30th we went to Wonder Works and spent the afternoon. I was feeling especially good, given I was able to rubber-band-trick some pre prego jeans to rock with these cute brown boots! I was bummed to miss some of the fun at Wonder Works, like the high ropes course, the swing around roller coaster thing, and the laser tag, but again... I was very content with our weekend and our last few weeks before baby. At one point, we  took the stairs to the next floor instead of the elevator- little did I know there was no second floor! I climbed from the first to the third floor and while I was not excited to be so exhausted and pregnant, I was grateful to be healthy enough to complete the feat. (These stairs come into play the next morning.) 

While the family was in town, we remarked how it's too bad Jackson's due date was still almost a month away, because it'd be cool if he was born while everyone was here. Even on New Year's Eve we commented that it's too bad he won't be born on time for the 2012 tax break. To which I replied "Ya, pretty sure I will not be birthing this baby in the next 24 hours" (This was about 6 hours before my water broke). We bought a cute Alabama onesie one day, and it was size 3-6 mo. We said the size didn't matter cause he won't be here for the championship game anyway (ya.... he was a week old, lol.)

New Year's Eve:
I woke up this morning with very sore legs, feeling generally fatigued and with a bit of a sore throat. Dan's family was fighting a cold all weekend, so I figured I was also starting to fight it. I attributed the sore legs to the previous day's stair climb, although Dan's mom had told me how with one of her labors her main symptom was sore legs (apparently a sign of early labor is fatigue and soreness). I decided to sleep in two more hours and go to work late. I normally do not work Mondays, but rather than do 8 hours New Year's Day, I wanted to do 4 on the 31st and 4 hours on the 1st to split up the work to have more time with family. I worked my half day, feeling very productive and optimistic about completing my December to-do's, heading into January much more confident in my new job. On the way home from work, I met Dan and his mom at the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital to get a tour. We had been meaning to get a tour and pre-register, and figured waiting until she could go with would be a fun thing to do together. About 3:30pm, we toured L&D and picked up the three sets of paperwork they make you fill out when you arrive. (Hey, we'll have them ready and just date/time them when the time comes)

That afternoon, I got a second wind (apparently also a sign of early labor- energy burst). We cooked up a storm of appetizers and munchies and proceeded to, yet again, eat way too much. This is when we commented on how Jackson would not be born in the next 24 hours. The boys played video games and drank beer, while us girls got ready for a night on the town. Here's our spread of munchies that night: 

8:00pm: We girls decide we need cute outfits to wear out and head to the store. Sara and Sam found cute shirts, and I was hoping to find either a cute dress, or skinny prego jeans, something- with no luck. We arrived home to start getting ready about 9:00pm. At this point, I was feeling very large, and pregnant, and generally throwing myself a  pity party about being pregnant. I wanted to wear something cute, or sparkly, or anything than basically everything I had. After multiple outfit changes, I decided on a green pre-prego dress with boots and a cardigan. 

10:00pm: Kathy (Dan's mom) and I drive the crew to Pier Park to enjoy the Panama City Beach Ball Drop at midnight with live music and lots of people. We've heard it's lots of fun and decided it would be a fun way to ring in the new year. Here's a picture of the 6 of us, taken by Kathy, just before we left the house: 

11:45pm- ish: While talking to one of Dan's coworkers and her husband, I feel a pop in my lower back. Sort of a rubberband snap/ baby kick feel near my tailbone. It wasn't painful, but I remember thinking it was a weird spot to feel him kick. Again, I chalked it up to Jackson settling in and my ligaments stretching. Then I feel a little trickle, and worried I might have a repeat of the garage/ groceries story, I head for a bathroom. The single stall bathroom of course has a line of drunk younger than me girls, going two by two to chat it up and taking entirely too long. As I try to squeeze and cross my legs, the trickle continues. Finally, I ask if I can cut the line and say it's "kind of an emergency." I get into the bathroom, empty my bladder, and notice still a little leak. Thinking now that Jackson is just sitting on my bladder, I decided to fold up some TP to catch the slow trickle, and proceed to wash my hands. While washing, I soak through my makeshift pad and think... well that's not good. I repeat the process and head for a bigger bathroom. 

11:50pm: I find a bathroom that is not a porta potty or a one-stall and settle in for a few minutes. On the way between the bathrooms, I call my dad (a Physician's Assistant) to ask what it's like when your water breaks. He tells me it is a big gush of water and that it likely didn't break for me, but I am not convinced since I have heard it can be a small trickle, or even barely noticeable. As I sit in my lonesome stall, I discover the fluid is slightly tinted pink/ peach color and has a sweet smell. Definitely not urine.... ok... At this point I am convinced that something is going on, but surely it was not my water. I text Kathy and tell her I am leaking fluid. We soon rendezvous to discuss what to do. 

Midnight, New Year's Eve: Kathy and I are convinced that my water has broken, and we need to update Dan and head home. We all kiss each other as the ball drops, and update the 4 college kids that we are leaving and they should stay and enjoy. We head to the car, discussing what happened and what to do next. Now, I must say, Dan and I don't go out often anymore, and especially don't get many chances to drink and let loose. This, however, was New Year's Eve, and Dan was enjoying the fellowship and drinks with the guys. So... that said... we head to the car. I ask Dan if he has a workout towel anywhere in the car for me to sit on, and the conversation goes like this: 
"Do you have a towel for me to sit on?"
"Yes, but go sit down."
"Right, but do you have a towel I can sit on?"
"Yes, but get in the car, I'll get it."
"No, Dan, do you have it for me to sit on IN the car?"
"Yes, Heather. I will. get. it."
"Dan, get in the car, I see it. (as I grab the towel) I need it to sit down babe."- as I am laughing at him
"Ok, now sit."

Shortly after midnight: We are trying to leave the festivities, as the fireworks are going off right after the ball drop. Bad idea. Traffic is unreal, and the cops are diverting us this random way to control the traffic flow. We debated asking if we could go the normal way and blaming it on my labor, but considering we had an open container in the car that was left by one of the boys, we stayed the course. We finally arrived home late, probably 1am or so. 

At home: We had not finished packing my hospital bag, but we had bought all of the necessary items and made a to-pack list. Our doula had told us that false labor contractions will subside in a warm bath sometimes, so in I went while Dan tried to help pack the bag. Now, Dan helping pack while tipsy and frantic was quite the sight. Finally, we gave him a specific task: blow up the yoga ball. Well, in his fast pumping, the hose flies out and air whooshes out of the ball. Dan frantically reattaches and pumps more vigorously than ever. I received no response from the OB on call, so we decide to head to the hospital anyway. I get out of the bath, wash off my makeup, and tell Dan to relax for a few minutes while I finish packing. This is what he and Wally did: 

2:00am: I grab a quick snack before we leave for the hospital: Frosted Flakes. Right about now, the other 4 return from Pier Park, with McDonald's in hand. Dan also decides to eat quickly, and in scarfing his sandwich bites the heck out of his cheek. Apparently it was a bad bite, and was gushing blood into his mouth. Of course Rob uses his flashlight app to look into Dan's mouth, remarks how gross it is, and then Matt joins the viewing. I decided I wanted to see, and weave my way through the maze of hands and heads near Dan's mouth right as someone tells Dan to move his hand. His hand comes down, hits the cereal bowl, and we are left with Frosted Flakes and milk everywhere. Kathy comes down the hall to find the four of us twisted together, covered in cereal, laughing, with Wally licking at our feet. Ok... clearly a sign it is time to leave. 

2:30am: Admitted to the hospital at 1cm, 85%. 

5:00am: 5cm. Contractions are very strong. Dan has been a wonderful coach and helper. We've sat on the yoga ball, taken a warm shower, even walked the halls some. Right about now is when things turn. Dan has been coaching me through contractions saying "you're ok, it's ok." At this point I have been increasingly annoyed by this phrase and I grab his shirt saying "STOP saying it's ok. I know it is. I'm not dying. Find something else to say." Dan looks at his mom for help, and while hiding her laughter, she encourages him to tell me I'm doing great, and we're almost done. The nurse told me things were progressing well and she thinks I'll be having this baby by breakfast, to which I reply "What time is breakfast?"

6:30am: 8-9cm. I decide to give in and get the epidural. 

7:00am: Epidural. The NA asks me, while administering the epidural, if anyone's ever told me I have a little bit of scoliosis back there. (Are you serious?! I am mid contraction, getting an epidural. I don't want to talk about the dang scoliosis.)

7:30am: Time to push, with a fresh epidural. 

 8:35am: Dan and I are both exhausted, and Jackson Scot Campbell arrives at 7# 12.8oz, 20 1/4 inches long. Beautiful and perfect. We are so blessed.

Jackson Scot Campbell 
Proud Daddy with his boy
Campbell Family Jan 2, 2013
Wally getting Jackson's scent from a shirt, right before he cuddles with it :) 
Ready to head home Jan 3, 2013
Wally and Jackson meet Jan 3, 2013
One of Jackson's favorite nap spots- Dad's chest. 
Our little man is quite the thinker. He often takes breaks while awake to strike a pose similar to this one. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Third trimester updates

Well here is an old update that I never published... sort of obsolete now, but still a few stories worth sharing:

Dan's shoulder surgery: 
Dan had surgery in the end of October on his torn labrum. His recovery has been slow and steady, and his function is finally returning to normal! He is able to hold our baby boy and help with lifting that I couldn't do later in the third trimester and early postpartum period- so we have been very grateful for the timing of that schedule. Trapping Dan at home for two weeks while he recovered from surgery was interesting... we have little house projects we want to accomplish, and my poor hubby was only able to use one arm, aka look at his to do list and be helpless. I know he's glad to be back to normal now and working on projects :)

The worst day of his recovery, for me as his wife, was my second day back to work- three days after his surgery. I was getting ready for work and I caught Wally digging up a storm in the backyard. He was standing in a hole wide enough to fit his whole body, and deep enough to be knee deep! I yelled at him to stop and rushed out to the back porch, only to see on the opposite side of the yard, something fluffy and white on the ground. My first thought was a racoon or something injured. As I got closer, I realize it was a cat, looking awfully dead to me. So I throw the tiniest, pencil size stick at it. Cat doesn't move (definitely dead) but now Wally discovers the cat and fetches this mini stick for me. We didn't have a shovel or anything for me to pick up said dead cat with, so I usher Wally inside, update Dan- who had just taken another round of pain meds and returned to his upright sleeping position- and go to eat my breakfast. At this point in the morning, 7am, I decide to chalk the day up to a loss for healthy eating and I enjoyed not one, but two cupcakes for breakfast. They're like muffins right?

Baby showers:
Dan and I were blessed to have not one, but two baby showers thrown for us.

In Omaha, my mom and sister threw a shower with games, friends, family, and yummy munchies! We got tons of blankets and clothes for Jackson, which have been so wonderful since he was an early surprise. What's funny is at the Omaha shower we got multiple newborn outfits and I thought "shame he won't fit into these for long"- as I was expecting an 8-9 pound baby. Well, thank you Omaha shower attendants for the cute, tiny clothes!! Our 22 day early baby boy came in just under 8 pounds, and needs Newborn size clothes :)

In Orlando, Dan's mom and sister threw us our second shower, and in true Campbell fashion, it was a to-do! I think they enjoyed having something else to focus on besides finals, because there were lots of crafts, games and snacks that I am sure were Pinterest researched :) This shower was co-ed and complete with adult beverages, TONS OF FOOD, and so, so many gifts. We were so grateful to be able to share this shower together and see everyone while we were home. My favorite part of this day was as Sara and I returned from pre-party pedis and I wanted lunch. Since we were only having "a few snacks" I figured I should eat lunch, so I didn't pig out on all of the food for the party. (Seriously, Campbell family and friends reading this- I should know better than to ever show up at a Campbell/ Cook/ Kaiser function and NOT expect way too much food). Anyway, we drove thru a new McDonald's to pick us up lunch and Dan a snack and it went something like this:

"Welcome to McDonald's, can I take your order"
"Yes, can we have a Quarter Pounder Meal, a peppermint mocha, and a fruit and walnut salad, please?"
"Um, let me see if we have that..." (What?)
returns..."Ma'am, we don't have the fruit and walnut salad, can I get you something else instead?"
"Oh, ok, um... can I have a fruit and yogurt parfait please?"
"Fruit and yogurt parfait?"
"Yes ma'am"
"Let me see if we have that..." (again... what? as we start to laugh)
returns... "I'm sorry, but we don't have that either. Would you like some cookies for free instead?"
(Who replaces salad and/or a yogurt with cookies?!) "No thank you, we'll just take the meal with Diet Coke and the mocha please."
"Oh, you want a meal drink and the mocha?"
"If we can..."
"Ok, do you want me to ring up them mocha as your meal drink and purchase an extra Diet Coke, or do you just want the meal with the mocha in addition?"
(we can barely stop from laughing in disbelief at this point) "Whatever's easier"
"Do you want the mocha hot or iced?"
"Iced would be great"
"Let me see if we have that..." (OMGOSH... this must be a prank).
"Ok ma'am, you're total is... (some random amount). Please pull to the first window."
Pull around, pay and then learn this:
"Sorry, our power just went out so we don't have some of the menu items. So sorry about all of that."
"Oh, ok, no big deal."
Second window: "Hi, you have a quarter pounder meal with Diet Coke and a small, iced, skim peppermint mocha?"
"Ok, here's your diet coke... for the quarter pounder, we can't toast the bun, so is a cold bun ok?" (at this point I'm just smiling, laughing, and think to myself, do we have a choice?
garage pee)
"Non toasted is just fine." (to ourselves: what next, raw potatoes? Ma'am, is it ok if we give you potato slices, and you just microwave them at home? We both keep laughing...)
Finally, after about 10 minutes in the drive thru "OK, here's your Peppermint Mocha, we gave you a large even though you only ordered a small. And we threw in some apple pies for you too. Sorry again and come back soon."
"Thank you."

What a mess that trip to McD's turned out to be! Worst part- the house was FILLED with food. It's like every person brought a book, present AND food. So there was plenty to eat, and leftover. Hence, my McD's stop was not necessary, and Sara didn't even get anything to eat, except free apple pies I guess."

Pregnancy bladder:
For those of you who've been pregnant or currently are, pregnancy bladder is self explanatory. For the rest of you, or anyone who enjoys a great story, here's the definition in story form:

One night, I was unloading groceries into our garage with the house door closed, then from the garage to the house with the garage door closed. Our dog LOVES to play catch me if you can by darting out any open door to the front yard, and I did not feel like playing, hence my use the garage tactic. (We still have things to be hauled away and our donation pile in the garage, so parking my car inside was not an option). Dan was still recovering from surgery, so he wasn't able to use his right arm to carry anything. I had one light box left from Sam's to unload, but it was big enough to need two arms to balance, so I was bringing it in. Now, our garage door has something wrong with it and you have to hold the button down for the door to shut. Since I have this darting puppy, the garage door NEEDS to be shut before I open the house door. So I prop the box between my hip and the door frame, hold the button with one hand and the box with the other, and then it happens. Jackson shifted. All of a sudden an uncontrollable urge to pee hit me and I was trapped. If I open the door and run, Wally will escape through the not yet closed door. Finally the door closes, but then I am paralyzed. The trickle has started. If I move, surely the flood gates will open and I will full on pee, but if I don't move, I will keep peeing in my pants. I finally manage to kick open the house door, crying in laughter, to have Dan come around the corner and say "What are you doing?!" "I'm peeing my pants!!!" "What? You peed your pants?!" "NO! I AM peeing my pants!" Finally, by the grace of God I get to a stopping point and I'm able to dam the flood to make a run for it. As I step in the house, Dan says, "Take your shoes off!" "I didn't pee on them" "Yes you did! Take them off!" still laughing I say "ok, haha" and dart towards the hallway. Dan: "Wait, take your pants off and put them in the washer, you just peed on them." "oh my gosh, ok, haha". (remove pants and now REALLY dart towards the hallway because I am now bottomless in the kitchen/ washroom. "Wait, where are you going?" "To the bathroom!!" "you just peed your pants!" Me: "Yes I did, but I'm not done, I just got to a stopping point!" (as I run down the hallway, top covered, bottom bare as a baby's butt.) Needless to say, I now understand pregnancy bladder. And have a funny story to share :)

Pregnancy symptoms: 
Third trimester brought a sudden onset of fatigue, heartburn all over again, late night bathroom breaks increased in frequency, my back was sore ALL the time, and insomnia (between bathroom breaks) increased. I had increasing anxiety over our preparedness and my pregnancy body. At one point, while out with friends in Orlando, I felt totally judged for being the big ole prego lady in the bar. Chances are noone there noticed me, let alone my prego, swollen belly. The best relief for pregnancy back pain was the yoga ball to bounce/ rock on, and laying on the floor on my back. I know I'm not supposed to lay on my back, but laying on the floor and rolling my back into the ground, stretching out the lower part of my back, was the best feeling ever. I attributed some of my soreness and fatigue to the fact that Jackson was measuring ahead. Although I was convinced he wouldn't be early, I figured he'd be a big baby when he came on time, or even late (boy was I wrong there.)

Job, nursery, and holidays: 
Apparently I decided that at 30 weeks pregnant, it was a good idea to start a new job. My old job had pros and cons, and the new one has the opposite pros and cons. It's been an adjustment, but such a huge blessing for my career, schedule and our monthly budget. The nursery is complete, and at time of delivery was only missing our dresser, which was in place before we left the hospital :) For thanksgiving my family came into town for a few days, and we were able to relax and enjoy way too much food together. For Christmas, Dan and I celebrated just the two of us with Wally. We missed our families terribly, but tried to relish in the last few weeks of solitude. Little did we know we were down to the last few days already. The weekend after Christmas, Dan's family came into town for a late holiday and to celebrate New Year's Eve with us. That's when things got interesting...

Photos to share: 
Dan ready for surgery

Husker game while home for baby shower. Such a fun day!

After returning from Nebraska trip, Wally was SO happy to see dad :) 

First day at new job- showing up very pregnant. 

4D ultrasound at 32 weeks. Look at those handsome chubby cheeks! 
Family Christmas photo 2012. Our Orlando baby shower haul behind us- we are SO blessed. 

Still getting even bigger, feeling very pregnant. 

Best friend's Master's graduation. So proud of her! Enjoyed out last road trip before delivery- feeling even more pregnant.
Waiting for Christmas, and counting down the last month until baby's arrival- so we thought.
Wally is ready for the guest room to be filled with family! 

Beautiful baby boy nursery ready for our little man
December 30th- day before labor started. Look how much he dropped! Rocking pre-prego jeans and feeling very pregnant, but very fit. 
Our boys before embarking through Wonder Works. Such a fun triple day date. Last one for a while