Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Go Time

40 weeks. I made it to 40 weeks.

Thar she blows!

(I don't actually think I look like a whale. I just feel like one.)

I was really hoping I wouldn't make it to 40 weeks. I wanted baby #2 to come on his own. I had convinced myself that my experience with Blake was just a fluke. Surely my body wouldn't betray me a second time.

Alas, here I am. 40 weeks pregnant and no signs that my body is going to kick into gear and start doing what it's supposed to do. And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

My emotions have run the gamut from being disappointed that I'll be having a c-section again, to frustration that my body doesn't work properly, to just wanting this baby to be out of me so he can stretch without kicking me in the ribs.

My experience with having Blake (12 hours of labor that ended in a c-section) has left me somewhat nervous about how this c-section and subsequent recovery is going to play out. And while this go round will be different because I know I'm going to the hospital to have a c-section, I'm still nervous about the whole recovery part. Will I feel awful? Will I have good nurses to help me, or will my experience at the hospital be somewhat on the negative side? Will the lady I have to share a room with be inconsiderate and make my hospital stay even worse?

I keep reminding myself that ultimately all I really want is a healthy baby. And if that means a less than stellar hospital experience and a painful recovery, so be it.

Life rarely goes as planned. But that doesn't mean it won't turn out wonderfully.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our First Thanksgiving...

Obviously this isn't our first Thanksgiving. But, it was the first time we celebrated Thanksgiving with just the three of us.

The first Thanksgiving we lived in Brooklyn, we celebrated with some friends in our ward. Last year we headed to VA to visit Evan's aunt and uncle and saw my family for a day.

This year with a baby supposedly on his way, I decided a nice, quiet Thanksgiving dinner was in order. In fact, I had only planned on making the Thanksgiving foods that I like. Luckily those just so happened to be Evan's favorite Thanksgiving foods, too! And even better, neither one of us really like turkey, so I was off the hook there.

I planned a simple menu of rotisserie chicken (a la Costco), the legendary Havert's mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, green beans, and apple pie a la mode (a la Marie Calendar). It was the least stressful Thanksgiving dinner I've ever made and one of the tastiest!

This is my "chicken carving" smile.

And the next day we kicked off the Christmas season by pulling out our Christmas tree and decorations. When Blake saw Evan getting the tree out he yelled, "It's Christmastime!"

I think it's safe to say we are all ready for Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

THE Baby Shower

Writing about this baby shower will not do it justice. I almost didn't write about it because I've been content to just relive it over and over in my head. Words will not convey how truly amazing it was.

But here goes.

My friend Lindsay asked if she could throw a baby shower for me a few months ago. Of course I said yes. And thanks to pregnancy brain, I actually forgot about it until Lindsay handed me a keepsake invitation at church. The week leading up to the shower I started feeling bad that my mom and sister were not going to be able to attend. And then I had a fleeting thought: What if my mom and sister actually showed up at this shower to surprise me?! I actually played the scene over and over in my head while I tried to fall asleep one night. I would turn and see them walk in, scream, run and hug them, and then immediately start crying. And that's pretty much what happened.

After thinking about how amazing it would be if they did surprise me, I convinced myself that it would be nearly impossible for them to come to Brooklyn for my baby shower. My grandmother had recently fallen and broken her leg so my mom was at the hospital and then nursing home all day, every day. And my sister works full-time and can't just take days off. So I put the thought out of my head.

The day of the baby shower Lindsay picked me up (which I thought was a little suspicious since she was hosting the baby shower, but I figured she had people helping her set up) and we headed to the church. We walked in and passed the gym, which was set up for what looked like a luncheon. We headed to the Relief Society room where some friends had already gathered. I chatted for a few minutes and then the festivities began.

As Lindsay welcomed people to the baby shower, she said she thought she heard a few more people coming down the hall and poked her head out of the door to see. Lo and behold, my mother and sister walked in right behind her. And it unfolded just as I had imagined it would: screaming, hugging, crying. It was almost as if all the difficulties of this pregnancy came spilling out into my mom's arms, like I was saying, "It's been so hard. I know it will be worth it, but it's really been so hard."

What I didn't anticipate was this overwhelming feeling of just wanting my mom to take me home with her right then and there. Not to my apartment, but to her house in Virginia. As fun as this baby shower was going to be, I wanted nothing more than to just go home with her. I'm almost 28 years old and I turned into that little girl whose mom surprises her at school to eat lunch together, and then cries and begs her mommy to take her home with her instead of leaving her at school. Except she'd be leaving me in Brooklyn. To have a baby.

Once I got over the initial shock of having my mom and sister in the same room, I thought Lindsay would continue the baby shower and we'd all have a grand ol' time.

Then my sister stepped behind me, introduced herself and started explaining the first baby shower game. I still hadn't caught on that my mom and sister were the ones who had actually planned the baby shower. They weren't just there for the baby shower. They had brought the baby shower with them from Virginia!

I kid you not, they literally transported all of the decorations, games, gifts for winners of the games, gifts for me, and food for 30+ people from Virginia to Brooklyn. I still can't believe it. Well, actually I can because if anyone knows my mom, it's totally something she would do.

We played a few games, opened amazing gifts, and then ate a delicious lunch of barbecue sandwiches, coleslaw, cinnamon apples, and of course, cake. (Ukrop's cake at that! They know me too well.)

After everyone left we cleaned everything up and headed to my apartment to surprise Blake and Evan. That's right. Evan didn't even know about it!

My mom and sister were leaving the next day so Blake made the most of his time with Grandma and Aunt Tori. And to be honest, if it hadn't been ward conference, I would've stayed home from church to hang out with them. I was still at the church when they called and told me they were leaving and could swing by and pick me up so I wouldn't have to take the bus home. It took every ounce of strength not to tell them to come get me and just take me with them. Evan could pack our bags and we'd be on our way to a Virginia vacation. I'd figure out the whole having a baby thing later.

Alas, I let them go knowing they'd return in a few short weeks when baby #2 arrived.

Like I said, my words won't do it justice. There's no way I can convey just how amazing it was. I don't even know if the people at the baby shower really understood how amazing it was. But being able to celebrate the impending arrival of this baby with friends AND my mom and sister was just what I needed to make it to the end.

And just how there are no words to describe this incredible day, there are no words to express my gratitude to the people involved in making this baby shower a success. Lindsay, who I now know can keep the secret of all secrets was instrumental in helping my mom and sister pull this whole thing off. And Yeenor, who found out about the surprise the night before when she saw my mom and sister setting up at the church, was so kind and helpful to my mom and sister.

My dad and brother were also a big help. My dad, the ultimate boy scout, rigged up a system for them to transport all the food and other things they needed for this trip. And my brother Jordan was kind enough to let them leave for a few days while he managed things at home.

And of course, my mom and sister. I will never ever forget how loved I felt when I saw them walk in the door. I would've known how much they love me even if they hadn't done all of this elaborate planning and scheming to throw me a baby shower. But it was just another testament of the incredible family of which I am blessed to be a part.

photo cred: Emily Johnson (because I didn't think to bring my own camera...)

Monday, November 19, 2012

The End

1 week until D-Day.

I don't know what this last week of my pregnancy will bring, but I do know that this baby will be outside my body in one week.

Truth be told, my whole pregnancy I was determined for him to come on his own. Determined not to have another c-section. And when my doctor told me that I was a good candidate for a VBAC, I had the motivation to finish this pregnancy on a positive note.

But I'm 39 weeks* pregnant and there are absolutely no signs that this little boy wants to meet us. And that's kind of depressing.

I haven't done a very good job of recording the monthly happenings of this pregnancy. Mainly because they're kind of depressing, too.

First trimester: Extreme fatigue and nausea (no vomiting, but nausea so severe all I could do was lay on my couch as still as possible while Blake watched TV for hours each morning)

Second trimester: Nausea wears off for the most part, fatigue sticks around, depression sets in. Oh, and hello varicose veins. You are very ugly and itchy.

Third trimester: I've probably felt my best during this last trimester. The antepartum depression I was experiencing only pops up for a day or 2 every few weeks instead of hanging over me for weeks at a time. I'm incredibly uncomfortable as the baby kicks me in the ribs and punches me in the bladder. Oh, and sciatica. Let's add that to the list. For as uncomfortable as I've been, I did start to panic one night when baby boy wasn't moving like he usually does when I was laying in bed. After a few handfuls of chocolate chips (no orange juice on hand...) he kicked up again and I welcomed the discomfort.

This pregnancy hasn't been all bad. A few highlights:

First trimester: Having Blake tell Evan I was pregnant. Evan thought Blake was handing him a thermometer.

Second trimester: Finding out we're having another boy and realizing how perfect this was because we basically had all the baby stuff we would need!

Third trimester: Blake feeling the baby move and listening to him talk about how much he loves him and how he'll help out once the baby gets here. He also likes to remind me not to hit "baby brudder". And of course, having my mom and sister plan a baby shower for me from afar and surprising me at said baby shower. More on that later.

If my memory serves me correctly, Blake's pregnancy was infinitely easier than this one. I thought I was going to be one of those women who had easy pregnancies. Boy was I wrong.

With one week left, it's starting to feel like all the bad stuff didn't matter. I'm alive. The baby is alive. Blake is alive (and can recite whole episodes of his favorite shows...facepalm). So for as much as I've struggled physically and emotionally during this pregnancy, I made it to the end. And as sad as it makes me to think that this delivery will probably be via c-section, I'm trying to remain positive and start gearing myself up mentally for the recovery and postpartum hormones that took me by surprise when I had Blake.

I don't think I'm out of the woods yet. My expectations for the postpartum period are realistic, so I expect life to be pretty rough for a while. Surprisingly, knowing what to expect makes the thought of caring for a newborn again a little less scary.

1 week. I can do it.

*Sorry, no bump picture. I pretty much look the same as my 37 week picture. Maybe a tad rounder.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Snow Day

The snow started around 10am on Wednesday, but from the looks of things I didn't think it was going to stick. As I pushed my cart down the hallway of our building Wednesday night, I was surprised at the mini blizzard raging outside. People probably thought I was little crazy as I hauled 2 bags of laundry a block and a half to the good laundromat, but I was rewarded when I had the whole place to myself. (Not that an empty laundromat is a fun place to be. I just knew I could use as many washers and dryers as I needed. I get excited about small things like that these days.)

When I got home from doing laundry I told Blake all about the snow and how we would go play in it tomorrow. He was so excited he asked to wear his mittens to bed. The next morning, after about 20 minutes of suiting up for a snowy adventure, we headed outside for a little frolicking in the snow. Well, as much frolicking as a city sidewalk will allow.

Snow days are also a great time to use the dollar Grandma sent you to ride the train you pass by on a weekly basis and have a minor meltdown when Mom says you cannot ride it.

And it was everything a little boy could dream of.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Sunday, 9:30am:
Blake: You is Whitney. He is Evan. I is Blakey. We are family.

Tuesday, 5pm:
Me: It's almost time for dinner. What do you want to eat?
Blake: Suckers and marshmallows!

Thursday, 3am:
Blake: Mom! Moooooooooooooooom! Come here yittle second!
Me: (all sorts of grunting as I struggle to get out of bed) What do you need?
Blake: I question for you.
Me: Ok.
Blake: I want Toby.
Me: You want me to find Toby?
Blake: Yes. You help me?

Thursday, 9:30am:
Blake: What are you doing?
Me: I'm pretending your leg is a guitar and playing it.
Blake: That impossible!
Me: That's impossible?
Blake: That impossible for 'tar is weg.

Thursday, 1pm:
Blake: Moooooom! You come here?
Me: (enter Blake's room) What do you need?
Blake: You came! Good choicey!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween and a Hurricane

Well, I guess it was really the hurricane first, then Halloween.

Our neighborhood  had a few fallen trees after Sandy hit, but we came out of it relatively unscathed. And while I wasn't really scared during the storm, it was the strongest wind I've ever heard. I can't imagine how frightening it was for people to watch rising flood waters invade their homes!

Fireman Sam is here to check things out.
Heading out to check on the nabe.

We didn't lose power or internet, so being cooped up for a week wasn't horrible. The worst thing that happened to us was losing cell phone service for a few days. I didn't really think it was a big deal until I started going through a scenario where I went into labor but didn't have the ability to call anyone to take Blake or get a ride to the hospital. Luckily that didn't happen.

With Hurricane Sandy hitting the week of Halloween, no one knew if trick-or-treating was actually going to happen. This would've been Blake's first experience with trick-or-treating so if it had been cancelled he wouldn't have known the difference. Luckily for Blake (and me, since I've been snacking on his candy) trick-or-treating was on, so we headed out with friends to collect some loot.

Come on, guys!

Trick-or-treating in Brooklyn is a lot different than trick-or-treating in the 'burbs. Instead of going house to house you go store to store collecting your candy. Blake seemed pretty confused about the whole process. All I could think about was the line from Jerry Seinfeld's bit, "What is this? Who’s giving out candy? Someone’s giving out candy? Who is giving out this candy? Everyone we know is just giving out candy?!" Blake couldn't process that people were just giving him candy, and lots of it!

The funniest part of trick-or-treating was when a confused Blake followed the crowd of trick-or-treaters into a pizza place and held his bucket up to a patron waiting in line and said, "Trick or treat!" to which the guy responded, "Sorry man. I don't have any candy!"

After a few blocks (it doesn't take much to fill up your bucket!) we called it a day and headed back home.


Despite Hurricane Sandy, Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Can't believe next Halloween we'll have a 3 year old and an almost 1 year old!

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's the Final Countdown

37 weeks

I feel awkward. Even though this was my idea.
What is she doing?

Flying stick!