Friday, January 29, 2010

Fit As a Fiddle

Happy Friday!

My mom and I are going to work in the nursery some tomorrow morning while Ricky puts together the car seat. Since Aolani is officially dubbed "full-term" as of today (37 weeks), I suppose we are trying to get ready for her big debut.

This is a very similar profile picture compared to the previous two. This time was really exciting because I got to watch her lips move like she was talking to us ("Ready or not?!"). In reality, she was probably practicing her suckle. She weighed in at 6 lbs 5 oz and was practicing her breathing. She is still pretty active to be in such a tight ball. She had a full bladder we could see. The ultrasound tech gave her an 8 out of 8 score for her biophysical exam. He couldn't believe how healthy she was and said that she was the healthiest baby they've seen lately!

Oh, and Ricky got approved to take six weeks of FMLA paternity leave once she's born to be able to help me recover! We are so excited and thankful to God for this time we will get to have together as a family!!

  • I had a dream the other night about Aolani. She had been born for two weeks, and no one would let me change my daughter's diaper yet! I finally got to change her and yelled, "This is not Aolani!" The baby was a boy! Don't worry; they confirm her femininity every week :)

  • My computer is dying a slow and scary death. It's seven years old, which is apparently its lifespan. Last week it kept randomly crashing on me. It takes a while to complete otherwise very quick tasks, such as opening the Internet. We got it on and backed up the entire hard drive. After some prayer and discussion, we thought it wise to just invest in a new CPU (my screen is wonderful). Ricky thought it would really help me instead of spending sufficient time battling with this "I-do-whatever-I-want" computer. I called Dell and explained that I need the cheapest desktop CPU they had. After trying to rip me off three times, I finally got it ordered! We are hoping it arrives before Aolani :)

  • We went out to eat last week. Saw an old man playing himself in chess. As we are always prepared for unplanned dates such as this one, we went back to the van and excavated our cheapo, magnetic, travel chess board. Although I had beaten Ricky the last few times we played, he dominated this match! It is really nice to have your spouse not only enjoy chess but to be on the same playing field. Spuds + chess = fun for budgeting nerds. Hint: leave the game in the car if you go to a *nice* restaurant. Hint #2: Where's Waldo is something else we keep handy in the car.

  • We've been practicing my squats (which is suppose to let gravity help pull her down). For a woman with poor leg-muscle control, let's just say this is interesting ;)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Final Countdown!

Yes, it's true -- We are in the last month of this pregnancy. It's unbelievable! We hit the mark a week ago but have been so busy, as you can imagine :)

This is real. I am growing DAILY now. Aolani is a big girl.

There is hardly any room on my lap to carry anything on it anymore because the rest of my legs (not covered by her) are forced so far apart!

I'll try and give quick notes on some of last week's events:
  • Ricky finally went to the dentist and got four fillings (two new, two replacements for old metal ones). They didn't numb him well enough before the drilling started and found out the hard way :) However, it is over and he is so glad to have no more metal in his mouth.
  • Ultrasounds are every week, but no pictures from last week. Hopefully, I'll get one tomorrow. Last week they tracked her for 20 minutes and wanted to see if I was having any contractions. None yet. They had a band strapped with some monitors on her, and she was not a fan. You could hear and see her trying to get them off her home. Aolani says, "Don't cramp my style!"
  • I had a fitting for a new (or simply modified) wheelchair. After almost five years of using this chair, I had a list of changes I wanted to make. Hopefully, I can get a completely new chair, soon! We are excited though.
  • As you can see, my hair got the axe. I had about 11 inches chopped. This was my 5th time donating to Locks of Love. As you know, I chop it off and then it takes two years to grow out long enough to do it again. That's right. Two years of no haircuts. However, that might be the last time I do that. I am just so glad that it is cut, short, and ready for baby. Ricky likes it and calls it my "Mommy 'Do."
  • We got to meet with Aolani's pediatrician and tour the clinic. We are thankful she hasn't come yet because I really wanted to go to this small practice, but it took four months to even get in!
  • Other appointments included my regular OB/GYN (30-lb weight gain for me so far), chiropractor (such relief now that the back pain has really increased) and our natural childbirth class (so fun and enlightening).

Aolani is already such a joy to us ;) She wiggles a lot, and it is visible. It's one of my favorite things -- watching my belly move. We enjoy seeing her poke, kick, flip sides and stick her heiny out! I'll try and post again later this week :)

Showers of Love

We had two baby showers this past month, which were both very different but with the same result: Aolani is already so treasured!

The first one was very small and cozy. It was at my sister-in-law's house (Lindsay is on the left), and she had some fun games to play. A few of our friends came who do not go to our church. My mom prepared most of the food, and our friend (Alli is on the right) did all the decorating and organizing. It was delightful.

This is Ricky's guess at how big around I was. However, I think he either got overzealous, was trying to be funny, or was suggesting that this was how big I "felt" to him. (It is not such a far-cry now!)

This was our church shower. It was beautiful. There were banners for my mom and me to wear. A lady we don't even know made the cake. Our friend, Margie, even made a cloud that reads, "God bless Aolani our 'heavenly cloud.' " Ricky is holding it; it's definitely going up in her room!

One of the highlights was definitely when some of the ladies from our small groups performed a hula-song-and-dance routine just for Aolani.

Friday, January 15, 2010

35 Weeks

Here's this week's ultrasound picture. It's very similar to the one from last week. She's already acting ornery like her mother. The tech really wanted her to move while she was on the screen, but she wouldn't budge amidst all the shaking and poking. She moved all that morning during breakfast, in the waiting room, and right after I got up from the table! Hehe. They usually want her to be still when she won't stop moving.

Also, I met with the anesthesiologist this past week. Gave him the few articles there are on how anesthesia reacts in people with FA. It was an uneventful meeting. Please pray with us that I will not need anesthesia!
Her movements have become uncomfortable. Gone are the "flutter" days. I had a notebook resting on my abdomen that I was reading while reclining this afternoon. A few jabs from her and the notebook fell off!

We just love our natural childbirth classes! We HIGHLY recommend that every pregnant woman take them. We had three more couples join, so now there are seven total.

Last night we met with our doula for the first time. It was such a blessed time. She has four kids (all natural births) and even birthed her last child in her tub at home with a midwife! I mentioned before that she was my sister-in-law's doula, but I didn't mention that (it turns out) she is the sister of a missionary couple we support in Italy! Definitely a "small world" situation. She helps me to feel so much stronger, safer, more secure, and more prepared. I certainly wouldn't attempt a natural childbirth without the support of a midwife or doula. I know she will be a pivotal asset for my labor support team. Here we are:

Note: Please remember to lift Haiti up in your prayers, especially that many would recognize Jesus as their ultimate need amidst such devastation!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Don't Give Up"

I just have to brag on my honey. For my Christmas present Ricky painted this piece of artwork, which he entitled Don't Give Up. He started it back in October, and he had purchased the canvas while I wasn't at work. He worked on it every Sunday afternoon, IN THE ATTIC. He didn't want me to have any clue what he was up to, and he had all the details worked out so I would never get suspicious. He led me to believe that he was upstairs reading or playing on his laptop. Anyway, this picture is suppose to be Jesus showing me my home on the New Earth. Ricky is holding Aolani, and they are waiting for me right down the path. Further down the road are the people that Ricky says I have impacted for Christ while living on the present earth. And there are a ton of details that I would not explain well (mansion, windows, forest, cliffs, birds, flowers, palm trees, island, whales, horses, stream, vineyard, colors, etc). I love the wounds he painted in Jesus' hands. As you can imagine, I was and am deeply moved, humbled, thankful, and encouraged by what Ricky painted. It is hanging in our room.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.
Philippians 1:21-26

Friday, January 8, 2010

34 Weeks (and Counting)

So, this one is kind of hard to figure out (took us awhile).

The picture is in the correct position for you to see straight on. It is a close up of her face (profile). You can see her forehead, nose, eye, upper lip and then her hand is in the way!

She weighed in at 5 lbs 2 oz (and I was hoping to give birth to a little baby). They said she had a great growth spurt, and she is incredibly healthy. She would constantly wiggle, even though she was in the correct birthing position.

Today a first occurred. I was stretched out on the couch, and my belly started moving (on the outside) like she was making little jabs all over. It was exciting!

We had our first natural childbirth class last weekend and loved it. The classes last for six weeks. There were four couples, including us. One couple is being surprised about the sex and the other two are having boys. They are all due 2-3 months after I am and probably think we're crazy for waiting so long to start class (it's complicated how that happened). We begin to meet with our doula next week.

Now, I have to begin to get ultrasounds every week and go to a million other appointments. I think all the doctors are really milking the situation since I'm labeled "high-risk." It's going to be very hectic for awhile with appointments for the medical world, our "natural childbirth" meetings, regular doctor appointments, and other meetings! Everyday is some appointment. There's even one day loaded with four appointments! If I was still at work, there would be no way I could muster the energy for all these appointments!

Staying home has been such a blessing for me. I am lying down several hours a day to rest. The swelling has gotten better, and the pain in my hips goes away when I stretch out. I feel better overall; all it took was some R & R. The sad part is that Ricky and I miss each other terribly being apart during the day. We had gotten spoiled enjoying each other all day.

Oh, and Aolani sends her love (and a kick).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Who Disturbs My Slumber?

Ricky, I got to pee.

[Nudge, nudge]

Ricky. Seriously. I got to go.

Please, Ricky. PLEASE.

What? What do you want?

I need to use the bathroom.


Because I got to go. I'm pregnant.

Well, I can't help it if it's Christmas. (Note: this conversation was NOT on Christmas)

Ricky, you're talking in your sleep.

No, I'm not.

Yes, you are. You're delusional again.

No, you are.

[Sigh] Ricky, WAKE UP!

What's your problem?!

I really need to use the bathroom.

I'm sleeping. Can it wait?


Bottom line: This went on EVERY night. For 20 minutes. As of last week, Ricky and I had to start sleeping separately. We were losing so much sleep trying to wake him up to either get up, move, or help me turn over. Yet, sleeping apart still seems so tragic to us. Sleeping together and snuggling is such a joy to us. But, alas, we had to forfeit this treat for better sleep during my final weeks. At least it is just until she arrives.

Note: Ricky only talks to me like this when he is asleep. When Ricky is conscious, he is quite sweet and gentle.

Another note: Now I call him on the cell phone when I need to use the potty. The ring jolts him awake, and he runs to my room very quickly :)