Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Baby Shelley: 36-37 weeks




36-37 Weeks

Weight gain: 26 lbs. -- They were very pleased at my last appointment. :)

Maternity clothes: I've been wearing Jordan's clothes a lot at home. I can tell my body temperature has gone up because I'm definitely not cold like I usually am! The go-to outfit these days consists of stretchy pants/leggings, a tank top, and a cardigan. 

Sleep: The heartburn is significantly better which makes for better sleep! This is supposedly because the baby is moving down, and I believe it because I definitely have increased pelvic pressure and the waddling has started. :) I've always been one to be able to wake up and go right back to sleep, but lately this is pretty much impossible. If I wake up, I'm up. 

Medication: Same -- one Zofran a day, Zantac as needed. The nausea has actually increased lately but it's under control with the medicine.

Gender: BOY!

Food cravings: McDonald's sweet tea, mac and cheese, breakfast food -- especially bacon.

Food aversions: Still just depends on the day and the moment. Usually if anything gets to me it's chicken, but I can kill some Zaxby's or ChickFilA so I don't know. It varies.

Mood: ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE. I don't know what has happened in the past week or so, I guess the hormones are just at a max, but I have seriously been a MESS. I've been so goofy and hyper sometimes, but then the next day I'll cry three times for NO reason. We were on our way to our friends' house for dinner and out of nowhere I was bawling. Poor Jordan, he did a double take and was like, "What's wrong??" and all I could say was "I don't knowwww." And then when I slowed down a bit he asked if there was anything he could do or what I needed and I replied, "We're having a baby and it's SO WEIRD," and started crying again. So yeah, that's how it's been lately.

Movement: His limbs can stick out pretty far these days. Sometimes I really can't concentrate on what I'm doing or even participate in a conversation because the kid is so distracting with his movements. He also seems to sleep in longer increments though.

Milestones: Had my last shower with my wonderful church family and it was Star Wars themed. :) LOVED it. I'm now full term and can give birth at the birthing center at any time. We finished our birthing classes and newborn care class, now we just have the breastfeeding class. Jordan installed the car seat which weirds me out when I'm driving around!

Best moments of the week: My awesome Star Wars shower planned by my amazing friend Sydney, my mom and mother-in-law coming over and talking all things baby with them, many snow days which seemed like more vacation with Jordan -- made snow cream for the first time, built Snowpel & Snowbert the snowmen, watched lots of Parks & Rec with Eric and Amy, ate lots of breakfast food. It was so nice to be snowed in. :) Jordan's best friend Patrick stayed with us for a couple nights, had a very fun night of watching NC State's victory over UNC with him and the Allreds, Had brunch with some of my high school friends and ate strawberry banana Nutella crepes. :) 

Quotes: We made the mistake of going to Verizon together to get Jordan a new phone. I should have just stayed in the car because they made EVERYTHING they said to us or tried to sell us about the baby. Here's a few things: Boys are awful and so much harder than girls, we need more data because I'll use more because of the baby, we need a new tablet that has LTE because of the baby (what else would we do when we're waiting for him at the hospital?!), we need a video monitor camera that goes with the phone for the baby, we need heavy duty phone cases and screen protectors because of the baby, we need better cameras on our phones for the baby, and on and on and on. We like to make decisions like that together, but good grief I should not have gone in there. In the end he got exactly what he went in there for and was not swayed by any of this. :) 

After I returned some stuff to Target I sat down at their Starbucks to write some thank you notes. A worker was walking by and asked how I was doing, talked about the weather, and asked if I was writing invitations. I told him they were thank yous and he asked, "For what occasion, a wedding?" Bless him. The way I was sitting with my big cardigan it may have been hard to see the belly, but even if he was just being careful it was nice to have someone asking me friendly questions that didn't jump right into, "Any day now, huh?" or in one person at Target's case, just looking at my stomach and saying, "Oh my."

At my church shower I was given a little ball toy for the baby called a Rubbabub. My mom pronounced it Rubbaboob and then my mother-in-law went on to say it must be to rub on your chest to prepare for the roughness of breastfeeding........and this is why being around both of our moms is very entertaining. :)

Jordan quotes: The only quotes that are coming to my mind are from when Jordan's best friend was staying with us and a couple of our other friends were over. They were asking about the birthing classes which provided for some VERY interesting conversation and preconceived notions that were completely wrong from the boys. I'll refrain from putting them here though.

Verses I've been dwelling on: I've been writing down encouraging verses for labor (and life!) which has been a great process. Here's one of the many Psalms I've written down: 

"For You have been my help,
and in the shadow of Your wings
I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to You,
Your right hand upholds me."
-- Psalm 63:7-8

Ashley

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Baby Shelley: 34-35 Weeks




34-35 Weeks

Weight gain: 22 lbs.! Yay! I'm sad that my midwife appointment had to be rescheduled due to snow because I'm excited to show her my weight gain and food log. I've been eating SO much meat and eggs, y'all.

Maternity clothes: I've worn the black pants pictured above almost every day for a week and a half. They're just SO comfy and I can make them looks somewhat dressy when necessary. They are Jessica Simpson from Destination Maternity.

Sleep: It's sadly come to the point where Jordan and I have to sleep separately often. With the herniated discs in his back, he already doesn't sleep well. Then there's me taking three bathroom trips a night and flopping my belly over to get out of bed and using a giant pillow and it's just not a great combo. A king bed would definitely help with this situation, but oh well. This will be a short time in the grand scheme of things.

Medication: Same -- one Zofran a day, Zantac as needed.

Gender: BOY! Which was confirmed again at our ultrasound when I asked if he's still a boy. He is.

Food cravings: STEAK STEAK STEAK STEAK and ice cream

Food aversions: Still just don't have a great relationship with food in general. But I've been tracking my eating for the midwife and doing well, I think!

Mood: Let me just tell you about the crying I did during our little babymoon Valentine getaway. Firstly, I cried at Jordan's card he made for me because it had an adorable stick figure portrait of our soon to be family of three and it was just ridiculously sweet. He also wrote the verse, "Her children rise up and call her blessed" but replaced the word "children" with what we think will be our son's name and I just couldn't handle it. Then, while walking around downtown Wilmington I had to keep stopping and sitting for little breaks due to not being able to breathe like normal and that I'm beginning to waddle a bit and tire easily. If I started to feel badly I just sat down on the first bench or chair available outside. At one point I sat down in a chair for about 30 seconds and a guy came out of a store and asked if we were going to order something and said that I was sitting on his "patio" which was actually just a grouping of chairs on the regular sidewalk. I understand where he was coming from, but he wasn't the nicest about it and it made tears well up in my eyes immediately. I was trying not to cry because I knew I was being stupid and didn't want Jordan to see. We then kept walking a little bit and found a bench to sit down. A horse drawn carriage pulled up that was doing a tour and was changing out their passengers. I looked at the horse and he just looked SO sad that it made the tears start pouring down my face. Jordan then realized that I was upset and was very comforting while trying not to laugh although I was laughing too. Later that night, we were watching one of our favorite shows, Parks & Recreation. A recently married couple on the show spontaneously drove to the Grand Canyon and I started bawling because now we can't spontaneously drive to the Grand Canyon. Through tears and sobs I was saying, "And I know you've been to the Grand Canyon like three times but I've never seen it and now we can't drive there and everything is changing and nothing will be the same" and ohmyword WHO AM I. This was all in one day. Poor Jordan.

Movement: I definitely don't have to count kicks because he is still moving around tons, especially when I'm trying to go to sleep.

Milestones: Had two more incredible showers --  a little one with my high school friends and a big one in Jordan's hometown of Greensboro. Our ultrasound at 34 weeks went well and baby boy seems to be growing just fine in spite of their concerns about my weight gain. It was hard to tell what I was looking at, though, because he's so smushed in there! We started birthing classes which have been both helpful and slightly traumatizing.  

Best moments of the week: We had maternity pictures taken at our house and I can't wait to see all of them! Some of my friends from high school came over and threw me a little shower that was so special and fun. Then the next day we headed over to Greensboro for a shower at Jordan's Granma's house. SO many sweet ladies came and were overwhelmingly generous. You should see this kid's closet now. We had hilarious game nights with our friends the Ashleys and then the Fords. And like I mentioned, we had a WONDERFUL babymoon/anniversary/Valentine getaway to Wilmington. Delicious food, relaxing, putt putt, exploring downtown, watching basketball, shopping, just hanging out and sharing a comfy king sized bed. :) I am still in awe of how perfect for me Jordan is. NOT perfect (I mean we did have a little disagreement about how many pillows should be in our bed) but perfect for ME. Also since the baby has been acquiring some books at these showers, Jordan has started reading them to him every night which is equally cute and entertaining.

Quotes: Jordan's parents gave us a high chair (yay!) and wrote on the tag, "To our precious grandson and all his brothers and sisters". Haha! Love it!

This isn't a quote, just an observation. I'm big enough now that strangers do double takes at me and really just stare. Like sometimes uncomfortably stare. Which I'm sure I've done to a pregnant woman before but it's odd to be on the receiving end. I've noticed this the most at the gym. When I go to the gym (which should be more often) it's usually when older people are there and they LOVE to stare. And point, even. It's pretty funny. It probably has to do with the way I'm walking on the treadmill and how humorous I'm sure that looks.

Jordan quotes:

J: "What book should I read to him tonight?"
A: "How about The Very Hungry Caterpillar? It's a classic."
J: "Okay." Reads book. Gets to last page. Spoiler/entire book alert: caterpillar eats food and then becomes butterfly. Jordan turns page thinking there is more story. Realizes he is at end of story.
J: "THAT'S IT?! THIS WAS TWELVE DOLLARS?!"
A: "It's a board book! Were you expecting a compelling plot twist??"

After the last shower, we took out all the clothes and realized that baby has a LOT of sports themed items. I mean a lot. For some reason people associate us with liking sports....why could that be?? (JOKE. We love sports.) Jordan proclaimed, "Well, we now have a new laundry category. We can sort clothes into darks, whites, and sports."

We were also going through his blankets when Jordan expressed confusion on what they actually were: "So these 'receiving blankets'...they can be burp cloths, right? I feel like we'll be burping him more than we'll be receiving him."

Before our little trip, Jordan sat me down and said, "I need to know you heard and understood me correctly when I said don't get me anything for Valentine's Day. Please tell me that you understand this." So I said okay I guess and asked about an anniversary gift. He said, "A baby. You will be getting me a baby and that is all."

Verses I've been dwelling on: "Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." -- 1 Peter 1:13

I can't remember if I've mentioned that 1 Peter is my book that I'm going to be studying and attempting to memorize this year, but it is. :) 

Ashley

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Baby Shelley: 32-33 Weeks




32-33 Weeks

Weight gain: 19 lbs. -- Although I think this is great considering how sick I've been and how far I've come with eating food, my midwives are a little concerned about my "poor weight gain" and have referred me for an ultrasound to check on the baby's growth. 

Maternity clothes: I'm wearing the same comfy outfits over and over these days, and I'm sure that will only increase! So far I've been really pleased with all the maternity clothes I've gotten and how much I've worn them, so I hope to do a post on that.

Sleep: Has been better the past couple weeks. I've had a couples days when I wake up ridiculously early and can't go back to sleep, but I'd much rather do that than not be able to initially get to sleep.

Medication: Still on one Zofran a day. I went a day without it and felt alright, but then the next day I did NOT feel well at all. So still daily. Zantac for heartburn as needed (almost daily).

Gender: BOY!

Food cravings: STEAK still, which was wonderfully fulfilled at the Angus Barn on Monday night. It was glorious.

Food aversions: Still depends on the day and moment, but I still don't have much of an appetite most of the time so I have to force myself to eat what the midwife has told me to eat. (Lots of protein! I feel like a body builder trying to make gains at this point.)

Mood: I've been more emotional the past couple weeks for sure.

Movement: Lots of stretching and lopsidedness that makes me jump sometimes! 

Milestones: Had another amazing baby shower and received our travel system stroller and carseat! 

Best moments of the week: Jordan led the worship music for a marriage retreat in Myrtle Beach which was really fun. Everyone was so kind to us and we learned a lot. We also stayed in a hotel with an indoor pool and I LOVED floating in the water. :) My second baby shower was at my parents' best friends the Browns' house. Ladies from my chapel growing up who kept me in the nursery came which was so sweet and special. There were also family members and friends who we've known forever. So basically this was the everyone-who-knew-me-as-a-baby shower, haha. They even gave me my favorite baby toy from back in the day that's not made anymore! (A Tupperware blue and red shapes ball) We went out to eat with Jordan's parents to celebrate him passing his PE exam and that was wonderful. Jordan and I had a great date night at Dave & Buster's. We really are having some FUN times right now.

Quotes: This one is actually from myself. Upon receiving the travel system at my shower, I tried to explain to everyone that it wasn't just the stroller, it's also the car seat. But I couldn't think of the word car seat, so I called it a "baby carrying case". They all picked on me the rest of the time about that. 

At the marriage retreat they had a program booklet to follow along with and take notes. In the front they welcomed us as their guests and had an adorable and funny poem written about us. What made it even funnier was that at the beginning it called us Ashley and Jordan, but when it started talking about us having a baby, it said "Josh the father". Josh is Jordan's older brother. So I had multiple people asking me about how Jordan is my husband but apparently Josh is the father. Yeah. Haha. Jordan has been accidentally called Josh his whole life, though, so he wasn't surprised. :)

Jordan quotes: No specific quotes are coming to my mind, but he's been so funny to me when we get baby stuff. After each shower I've had, as soon as I come home he wants to go through everything, organize it, decide if anything needs to be taken back, and then assemble whatever needs to be put together. Right away. As I'm sitting on the floor slowly looking through the cards people gave us like three times. Haha. He is SO efficient and makes me make decisions which is one of the many reasons he is so well suited for me. :) Even when he got home late the other night after Bible study and was tired, he wanted to immediately take out the travel system and put it together when I thought he'd just want to go to bed. 

Verses I've been dwelling on: Psalm 139, the passage that I referred to in my last post, has been a sweet comfort to us lately. Jordan read it to me again last night and it just filled me with peace. 
Ashley

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Who Are You?: How Having a Baby Reminds Me of Our First Date

In my last post, I mentioned how I have feelings about this baby that are hard to explain. One way to explain a small part of this goes back to my first real date with Jordan. 

We had hung out numerous times in groups, and it was easy to see him since he lived in the building next to mine, but this was the first time he actually asked me out. (Which caused me to jump up and down on my bed like a 12 year old.)

So when Jordan and I went on our first date, he picked me up in "The White Blur" (a Chevy Cavalier Rally Sport) and took me to Noodles & Company at Cameron Village. I had never been there before. He ordered the mac & cheese with chicken and I did too. It's still what we get there.

He was wearing a yellow MTYC polo shirt. I had on a comfy, spring dress that was a mixture of purples, teals, and yellows. We were both starting to get tan as it was April and that's when everyone skips ahead to summer here in NC. 

We sat across from each other at a booth. I'm sure I was giggly as usual. Man, he was handsome. 

boyfriend & girlfriend in 2010 :) with him being ridiculous of course.


There are a couple things I vividly remember from that date. The first one is that after dinner we watched the movie Seven Pounds at my apartment. I had a separate sound system with speakers but the remote was dead, so I had to get up and adjust the volume until it was right. While I was up, Jordan smoothly put his left arm up on the back of the couch so it ended up behind me when I sat back down. So naturally I spent the next fifteen minutes to an hour wondering if he was trying to put his arm around me or not. (He was.) After the movie we sat there and talked for a long time and he told me a story about how he "ran away" from home when he was little taking his McGee & Me backpack full of necessities into the woods. I was pretty smitten. (Still am.)

The second thing I remember was at dinner. This isn't something that happened, but a feeling. As we were sitting there eating our mac & cheese and talking, I distinctly remember having an overwhelming feeling that I wanted to know every little thing about him. This feeling was so strong that it was like a physical weight on me, this question of "Who are you?" I had never been so intrigued by someone. It was exciting, but at the same time bewildering because at that point I barely knew anything. I wanted to know it all and I wanted to know it fast. I also realized how creepy this would sound if he could read my mind. So I waited until way, way later when we were engaged to tell him this. (4 months, HA!)

This is kinda how I feel about the baby. I am overwhelmed by him. He's a person, someone who is so physically close to me (using my body as a house is about as close as it gets) and yet I don't know him at all. There have been times when I've wondered out loud to him, "Who are you??" And when I'm testing out what we think his name will be I'll say, "Are you ______?" He is a mystery. 

But just like with Jordan, the mystery is what makes it awesome. I've had the incredible privilege of getting to know Jordan for five years now, and would love to continue to do so for as long as the Lord allows. 

And now I get to know a new Shelley guy. With his own personality and mysteries. Maybe some of the things I've learned about his dad will show up with him too. I hope so. 

What amazes me about all of this, is that as I'm wondering, "Who are you?" I can know that he is already fully known and loved by the One who created him. To God, my son isn't a mystery. 

Psalm 139:1-17

O Lord, You have searched me and known me!
You know what I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there Your hand shall lead me,
and Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to You;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with You.
For You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in Your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!


This comforts me, amazes me, and causes me to worship. Who am I that the Lord would want to know me, know everything about me, and still love me? And my husband. And my son. It is grace upon grace. Praise His Name!

Ashley

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Baby Shelley: 30-31 Weeks




30-31 Weeks

Weight gain: 15 lbs. (This is a misleading number, because in the beginning I lost weight. This number is how much I'm up from my pre-pregnancy weight!)

Maternity clothes: Things are starting to get tight. I hit up a certain underclothing store's semi-annual sale if ya know what I mean.

Sleep: Random insomnia, heart burn, and aching back and ribs contribute to weird sleep. But I can't complain. I just hate that I wake Jordan up with my tossing and turning. :(

Medication: Still on one Zofran a day. Zantac for heartburn as needed (almost daily). Supplementing my prenatal vitamin with a magnesium pill daily now.

Gender: BOY!

Food cravings: Pizza, specifically Little Caesar's deep dish. Milk and cookies. Frostys. McDonald's sweet tea. You know, lots of healthy stuff. :)

Food aversions: Totally depends on the day. But it seems like I just don't want food in general like I used to. And it definitely doesn't fit in my stomach like it used to! I get full so easily and quickly. So basically my appetite in general is just weird.

Mood: Well, people keep asking me if I'm nervous or excited and honestly most of the time I'm kinda...nothing. Because it's just extremely surreal. For instance: I had my first baby shower (which was awesome) and while I was sitting there with my friends eating delicious snacks and talking/laughing like normal, my mom came over to take my plate & situate me where I needed to be to open gifts. I had this weird moment of surprise and felt startled because I had legitimately forgotten that this event was for me & MY baby. A baby that will be born to me. And my husband. A boy. Who currently resides in my tummy. But will somehow exit and (Lord willing) exist in my life. These amazing people were there to give us gifts. Because this baby will live with me & I will take care of it. WHAT. It seemed so, so crazy. I am so inadequate and feel not cut out for this at all, but at the same time I'm not normally dwelling on that or nervous about it. It's a mixture of having the Lord's peace that passes understanding & me being naive and not knowing what to expect. It's hard to put into words, obviously, because I know I'm doing a poor job of it. And it's not that I don't have feelings toward my baby, it's just all very strange. Separate post to come on this weirdness.

Movement: The movements keep getting bigger and bigger. My midwife was laughing at how much he was moving around when we were listening to the heartbeat. It makes me wonder if he's playing, if he's uncomfortable, if he's trying to escape, if he's going to be crazy active once he gets out, etc.

Milestones: PASSED my 3 hour glucose test after I failed the first screening. So that was a relief & answer to prayer. Especially because I'm a horribly queasy person prone to fainting and was dreading having my blood drawn 4 times in a few hours without having eaten anything. But I made it through! Had my first baby shower which was such a joy. Our family and friends are the best.

Best moments of the week: Definitely the baby shower with some of my best friends and their moms. It was so fun and we got some amazing stuff! We've also been spending lots of time with friends -- having them over, playing games, going out to eat. Really trying to soak up the fun and fancy free time we have before the baby comes. Not that we won't still do that stuff, it'll just be different. :) My brother stayed with me while Jordan was out of town and I loved getting to spend time with him, especially because he moved to Charlotte this past weekend! Love that kid. We ate ice cream and played video games like the good ol' days.

Quotes: One of my best friends Britney had her second baby boy recently. (Woooooo!) My mom and her mom are very close so my mom was getting text updates about the whole process. I wasn't there, but my mom and brother were sitting in my parents' living room when my mom looked at her phone and excitedly exclaimed, "The baby is coming!" referring to Britney. She scared the mess out of my brother and he was like "WHATTTTT!!!" thinking she was talking about me. I so wish I could've witnessed this scene.

Jordan quotes: We've been trying out names and I think we have it narrowed down but aren't going to officially commit until the birth. So Jordan has been practicing. We'll be riding in the car and he'll randomly act like he's talking to our son who's in an imaginary car seat in the back. Or we'll be sitting on the couch and he'll start rocking a make believe rock-n-play telling him to "shhhh". 

Verses I've been dwelling on: 1 Peter. Because that's the book I'm memorizing this year. So packed full of truth and conviction and goodness that it just NEEDS to be in my head. Read it!

Ashley
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