Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Birth of My Baby Bear, Part 1: Anticipation

When I went in for my 38 week appointment, I had been having contractions off and on days. This was quite different than when I was pregnant with June Apple, which basically went something like this: water broke, contractions started and 9 hours later and three pushes later, BAM! she was born. With this pregnancy, I had been feeling like I was just a visitor in this little (big) boy's body. His presence was so immense, I felt him every time he made a slight movement. I felt like he was pushing out of my uterus on all sides, perhaps as if to say, "Hey, I know my big sister is a little distracting, but don't forget about me!!" When I went in for my appointment, the midwife offered to strip my membranes, which I declined to do, wanting the process to just happen. As much as I wanted him to be born, I wanted him to come when he was ready, knowing that he'd prefer to call the shots. Plus, I was enjoying the anticipation, the unknowing, kind of like a surprise birthday party I knew was going to happen, but not when.When June Apple arrived at 37 weeks, I had yet to experience that anticipation, as I expected to be pregnant for several more weeks. Plus she was so tiny, she didn't feel as omnipresent in my body, thus I wasn't as anxious to have her on the outside, I was this guy. My bags were packed and ready.
I kept trying to have the nursery tidy and ready, but June Apple, the toddler tornado, had other plans.

On Saturday, September 16, my contractions had become more regular, but were not strong enough to stop me in my tracks. It was a beautiful day and we went to the farmers market and I soaked in our family of three, excited that it was soon to be four! We ran into several friends and I was excited knowing that the next time I saw them, I would have our baby boy with us!

I spent the afternoon reading my go-to birthing books, filled with lovely birth stories to get me in the right frame of mind. Many women talk about turning inward in the days leading up to child birth. I found myself feeling quieter, reserved, calm, peaceful. The anticipation of the previous days and weeks seemed to drift away, and I felt ready to receive.
In keeping with tradition, I decided to share a meal with my good friend, Angela. You might remember that I ate dinner at Angela's house the night I went into labor with June Apple, so I thought, I'd keep that good thing going. We ate at an awesome Cuban restaurant. I ordered a spicy, garlicky dish and spent some time carrying June Apple around, hoping that the extra exercise might move things along. Contractions were present, but not stronger than they had been that morning and I went to sleep, hoping for a good nights rest, feeling like the next day would be a busy one.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fair game

Amos recently played the Kentucky State Fair, so I thought it was high time that I expose June Apple to all things great about the state fair, ie funnel cakes and cows. And apparently, fake flower arrangement competitions. Our good friend Emily went along for the good times, and a good time it was! Here are some highlights from the day:
****Note the powdered sugar belly. Good 'till the last lick!*****

Another wonderful event occurred this past weekend, one of my dearest bestie, Britten's wedding! Not only was I in the honored position of serving as a bridesmaid, but June Apple made her debut as a flower girl. Of course, all of our practice at cleaning up after ourselves at home, came in handy when she dutifully picked up all the flower petals along the way, as soon as the other flower girl, Jolene let them fall. Poor Jolene, 4 years old, was a bit distressed at this kink in the plan, so I needed to come out and help Miss June along, so Jolene could go ahead with her important job. June Apple is VERY energetic these days, and were it not for Amos, my mom, my mother-in-law, and my dad, all being at the wedding to help wrangle her, I probably would have gone in to labor from running around after her. Instead, I got to enjoy being pampered and made up, and getting my hair did with other gorgeous ladies, as well as dance the night away surrounded by some of my most favorite people. I was so, so, so honored and blessed to be a part of Britt's special and beautiful day. I am so excited for her and her new life with her wonderful husband, David. Yay for love!

So, although there was a torrential downpour outside when it was time to take my pic for week 37. But boy, was I joyous! Time keeps on tickin' tickin' tickin' into the future.....

Dear Baby Bear,

Mama was a dancing queen this past weekend. I hope you enjoyed the extra boogie party! I'm guessing that you did, since you boogie so much on your own in Mama's tummy all day, every day! You have been in the same position (head down, butt up, with your feet poking my right side) for several weeks. Hopefully you'll stay put in this position, because that is exactly where you need to be for a smooth delivery! You love to kick my side and your Papa and I can see your feet and little butt pushing, pushing, saying, "Let me outta here!" Soon enough, Baby, soon enough.

Your Papa, big sister and I love you very much.


Sunday, August 26, 2012


This week my mom and and wonderful friend, Emily, threw me a lovely baby "sprinkle" at my house, which included a bunch of wonderful ladies, great food and I scored some awesome decorated onesies for Baby Bear to wear each month for his monthly pics. It was so much fun! Here are some pictures from the day:


Here is my pic from week 36. Can't believe we are getting so close! I have so much to do! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Dear Baby Bear,

We are getting closer to coming up with a good "short list" for your name. We won't make a final decision until you are born and we meet you, face to face. I hope that you help us make the decision an easy one! Choosing a name for someone is no small task. Maybe you can send us a sign of what you'd like to be called.  Either way, help a mama out, will ya?

Your Papa, June Apple and I love you very much,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vacay in Paradise!

Needless to say, we had a wonderful, relaxing vacation in Florida. Last year, June Apple and I were sequestered in the house for much of the time because she was too young to wear sunscreen. This year, we soaked up the sun, sand, and waves to the fullest extent! June Apple loved the ocean so much we could only spend short amounts of time in the water, because she constantly was trying to wriggle free from our arms. She loved the pool, and we watched her like a hawk, because one minute she'd be splashing on the side of the pool and then she would just dive right in.

I had lots of school related work to do, which had me slightly overwhelmed. So perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that our wifi connection sucked, so my ability to work on my dissertation was extremely limited, so I was actually "forced" to relax and enjoy myself. What a shame ;)

Our friends who live in Florida, Allen and Jeanette came to visit us for a couple days with their boys, Gabriel and Pablo. I was curious to see how June Apple would do with Gabe, 3 years and baby Pablo, who is 9 months old. Needless to say, she was SMITTEN. In fact I think her outpouring show of love overwhelmed them, as she was always trying to hug and kiss them. She was enamored with Pablo and wanted to sit in anyone's lap that was holding him, so she coud get closer. She also wanted to help feed him and "help" in any way she could. Good practice run for whats to come. She never seemed to be jealous when I was holding him and I was happy to see how much she enjoyed both boys, or as she called the, "My Babies."

So here are some photo highlights from our time there. Can't wait to go back next year with Baby Bear in tow!

So, here's a pic of me at 35 weeks, right after our return from sunny Florida.

Dear Baby Bear,

I wonder if you will love the water as much as we all do. It certainly felt so amazing to swim on our vacation with you in my belly because I could weightless for a little bit. Can't wait to take many vacations with you and jump in the waves together!

We love you very much,


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Leaving on a jet plane...

So, this week we go on vacation! Amos left about a week before us, and was kind enough to take all of our luggage down to Florida with him. Last year we all drove together, and in my memory, June Apple cried nearly 70 percent of the hellish 15 hours we were in the car. I was not going through that again! Her car threshold maxes out as about 1 1/2 hours. Plus, the idea of riding in the car, as pregnant as I am, for that long, sounded pretty awful. So, with our midwives blessing, I decided to fly down.  Since Amos had taken all of our stuff with him, all I really needed to bring was what we might need en route on the plane, a stroller, and her car seat (the latter two I was able to check- for free!). I scoured the blogosphere, as well as asked my friends with babies who were seasoned flyers, for tips on how to keep a toddler happy in my diminishing lap for the two, 1 1/2 hour flights we would be taking to get there and back. Below is a picture of everything I was able to cram in to a backpack, the contents of which included: snacks for both of us, a change of clothes for both of us, books, a mini-magnadoodle, my laptop, my iPhone, plenty of diapers and wipes, my purse, June's loveys, my purse, various toiletries in case of emergency, a sippy cup for JA and a water bottle for me. Whew! I can't believe I got it all in! And needless to say, we used much of what I packed.
June Apple was an awesome travel buddy and we had lots of fun running around the terminal looking at planes and practicing her new walking skills.

On the planes, albeit a bit cramped with her long body and my big belly, we did pretty well. The biggest hits that kept her occupied included the magnadoodle, books, and my iPhone. Of course, she thoroughly enjoyed chatting with all the fellow passengers and charming everyone with her endless wit. She even managed to get a few winks here and there!
So we landed safely in Florida, we eagerly met up with Amos who we had missed dearly in our week apart, and we hit the road heading straight for the beach! Smooth sailing (or flying) for June Apple's first trip through the friendly skies.

Although not the greatest picture, taken before bed on night, here I am, 34 weeks and counting....look at the belly! There is a baby in there!
Dear Baby Bear,

I can't wait to take you on adventures with us. Your Papa and I have always had the travel bug and we hope that someday, perhaps soon, we can all go on fun trips, not only to the beach, but to far and away places that peak your curiosity and fill you with a love for trying new foods and peeking around new corners and meeting new people and seeing things you never thought possible. I can't wait to be along for the ride with you and try and see the new world through your eyes!

You Papa, June Apple and I love you very much.


Monday, August 6, 2012

33 weeks

Let the vacationing begin! Last week, June Bug and I were recovering from a nasty bout of the stomach bug, all thanks to some infectious little rug rat at a bridal shower we went to (all the kids and one, unlucky pregnant lady) got sick. Amos left us a couple days ago to make his way down to Florida, with all of our vacation gear, and June Apple and I will fly down to meet him later this week. I had originally made our plans thinking that I couldn't take the time off of my internship, but as the time grew near, I realized, with Amos gone, I wouldn't have anyone to watch June during said internship, so I had to take the time off anyway! Kind of a bummer because I would've gone to Florida much earlier, but it is what it is, and our tickets couldn't be changed. AH well. I'll just soak up the special one on one time with June Apple, before her little brother joins us. It also means a week of single parenthood, which is TIRING! Big props to all those single moms and dads out there! Here are some pics from our week thus far:

So, June Apple and I are spending our days lying around, running errands to prep for our trip, and eating tons of fruit (see picture above). I've also had to squeeze in time to work on the first chapter of my dissertation in prep for a meeting this week, along with prepping for a human development class I am teaching in the fall. How perfect to be pregnant/birthing a baby and teaching human development. I am sure all my 18 year old freshman students will appreciate how perfect it is. Perhaps I will treat them with a video of the birth. Good times ahead!

June Apple and I will take our first flight together this week, so check back for an update on how we survived that. I didn't buy her a seat, since she is young enough to fly for free, if she sits on my (diminished) lap. Fingers crossed the flight attendants feel sorry for us and move us to business class.....

Above is a picture from week 33. Week 32's picture didn't happen in the wake of the stomach flu. trust me. It wouldn't have been pretty.

Dear Baby Bear,

I really hope you weren't feeling sick when I was last week. You certainly were flipping around a lot, which is all at once comforting and sickening, when Mama has the stomach flu. 

After Papa left for Florida, your sister and I went to the grocery store to buy food for the week. When I got to the checkout, I realized I had 10 pounds of fruit (no kidding) and a couple gallons of milk. Baby Bear, you have been all about the natural sweetness these days that fruit brings. I take it as a beautiful sign of whats to come.

The days are getting closer....

Your Papa, June Apple and I love you very much.