Little Miss Baby J

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Monday, February 28, 2011

A bundle of nerves - the Waiting Game

Tomorrow morning I have my 37 week appointment with Dr. N, and I am DYING to find out if I've progressed any. ...and trying not to get my hopes up if she tells me I haven't.

We're ready. -- Or rather, we think we're ready. DH is nervous as can be -- I think the reality and increasing proximity of my due date is really freaking him out...

Case in point - packing the hospital bags.

We had talked about needed to have bags packed for the hospital even prior to our 'babymoon' a few weeks ago... and you would think that last week's news from Dr. N would have jump-started that process.


I brought it up that very evening, when we got home from work - need to get those bags packed!

I brought it up that Thursday - he assured me we'd tackle it Friday night.

Friday night came and went - we got home later than anticipated, and DH suggested we wait 'til Saturday when we'd have 'more time' and were better-rested.

Saturday came and went -- and while I did some pre-packing laundry to get ready for packing -- DH did everything he could to avoid it. ...He even started working on our tax return as his procrastination!

When we went to bed that evening, I cornered him on the issue -- and he admitted that the procrastination was all stemming from his nervousness about it all (L&D, bringing the baby home, my impending retirement from work--and the pressure that puts on HIM to provide for us), and that packing the hospital bag made it seem that much more imminent and he'd been avoiding it.

But we know that God has, in all things, provided abundantly more than we've needed for each and every circumstance... and we know that He will continue to do so after I 'retire' from the working world. So I tried as best I could to comfort my hubby with reminders of how He's provided for us in the past... As to the nervousness about the baby's impending arrival -- I told him he's not the only one nervous about it (and also QUITE anxious for it to get here already!!). And while I know it will be tough and a major blur for a few (or more) weeks, I know we're ready for this.

We're practically there... the moment we've been praying for and dreaming of for almost 5 years now.

So we woke up Sunday morning, went to sunday school, and then skipped big church to come back home and pack our bags. They're now residing in the hallway upstairs, all set and ready to go.

Every time I see them, I get a little thrill down my spine. ...and I can't help but wonder when we'll need them.

I wake up most mornings with the same thought... will today be the day that Baby J makes her grand entrance? Will I get to meet my little one today?

Only God knows!

Hoping tomorrow's appointment brings good news --- and if not, that my walk with a good friend after work will get things moving!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So this is really happening, huh?

Well folks, I guess I'm really going to have a baby soon... and maybe sooner than I thought!

I had my 36 week appointment today. This marked the first of my 'weekly' visits, of which they always do an internal exam of my girly parts. (woohoo)

Dr. N was asking the routine questions - have I been having any contractions? Do I feel ok? Have I noticed any swelling? etc? which my responses were yes, yes, and yes... though only braxton hicks (to my knowledge), and only minimal swelling (mostly in my feet/legs by the end of the day).

So you understand why it would shock my socks off when Dr. N finishes her internal exam by telling me she needs to ask me the contraction question again -- since I'm 3 cm dialated and 70% effaced already!!

Wwhhhat the whaaaaat???

Shocked. Seriously shocked, people.

And a tad deliriously happy/excited/nervous/anxious.... I am so READY to meet Little Miss! ...But oh my -- we gotta get on it with some other stuff-- don't have the car seat in yet, don't have any NB size diapers (am praying my baby won't quite fit into the size 1 8lb+ size...!), haven't packed a hospital bag yet ----haven't even taken the freakin' tour of the hospital to know where to GO yet...

But all that stuff'll fall into place, right??

Dr. N did warn me that my dialation/effacement doesn't necessarily mean that I'll go into 'active' labor before my due date (3 weeks 4 days away). She said they can't really predict when I'll go -- it could be another 2 weeks, or 2 days. It all boils down to when my body says it's time. But whenever labor really kicks in, they won't do anything to stop Baby J from making her grand entrance, at this point.

...In sharing this news with a) my DH, and b) my boss,I think I might have caused a mini-panic for both of them... heee. If we can just finish up the interview process for my boss, I think he'd feel a lot better. As for DH -- I think he's going to continue in mini-panic mode, whatever happens at this point.

I'm just so ready to meet my baby girl!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Work Daze

The decision has been made, and the boss and HR informed -- I will be staying home after my 12 weeks of FMLA are over.

Even though this was what my heart has been leaning toward all along, it was still quite difficult to actually say the words out loud.

...Didn't help the situation any that my boss has been making random comments vascillating between "when your leave is over/when you're back" and "you're going to love being home/we're really going to miss you" -- leaving me wondering what they're thinking? Did I even need to make it a formal statement, or did they already assume I'd stay home??

But in the end, I confirmed with my boss that I would, indeed, be choosing to stay home with Baby J.

...It's a scary statement to make these days, given the present economy and all... who in their right minds walks away from a good job, working with great people, and good benefits??

So I am just trusting in God's leading, that this IS the right decision for me and for our family...and praying that I don't end up going stir-crazy -- like my sister did when she was at home (her hubby ended up making her go back into the working world, just because they couldn't afford to keep paying for all her new house 'projects.' Poor guy would come home from work to find a wall taken down, or their bed thrown away!)

The next few weeks are likely to be tough at work, too. They've started the process of looking for my replacement, and we have 5 internal candidates to interview early next week... one of them being my assistant.

Don't get me wrong -- my assistant is wonderful, and has made life in my dept these past 2 years SO much smoother and easier. But she's not the right person for my job. Her personality and the way she handles stress and conflict would just not mesh well with it at all... nor do I think she'd be happy doing it in the long run. --Happy with the increased pay, maybe, but not the job itself.

At my work, they make you take these online 'profiles' that determine whether you would be a match to a certain job position or not... and typically won't interview any candidates with less than a 70% match to the job.

However, in my assistant's case, they're making an exception. Her profile was not a match for the job - not by a significant amount - but they've decided to let her interview anyways, since she 'stood in the gap' for me and my basic job responsibilities last year during our Project From Hell. They say she's earned the right to an interview.

While I don't disagree that she's earned that right - I do wonder if that's giving her false hope, and setting me (and my boss) up for a harder time later, when she doesn't get the role. She's already made comments to others on how she considers herself already trained to do my job, and that it would 'annoy her to train someone else to be her boss.' ...NOT a good sign... Although she did cover the basics, and did a fairly good job of it -- she didn't take care of everything that falls under the scope of my total job, nor did everything she handled during my absence get done 100% correctly... not an easy thing to address with someone after-the-fact, and without coming across as a horrid micro-manager with a laundry-list of wrong-doings to pin on their employee.

Since her profile is so very much mismatched to the job, I know they wouldn't really consider her as a candidate beyond the first interview... which just seems so cruel. Wouldn't it be better to be told that a computer claims you're not a match for a role (less personal), than to get to interview for the job, and then be rejected?? I just feel like she'll take it so much harder after the interview.

Selfishly, I also worry about the stress or tension that will play out once she's been rejected... it's not going to be fun. She's much more on the dramatic/emotional side anyways, so I'm already anticipating the depth of anger/resentment/guilt-inflicting looks or comments/bitterness that may crop up from all this. ---Not to mention, how she'll adjust to whoever will be her new manager!

For myself, I'm praying for this process to go quickly, and be as painless and drama-free as possible... and for my department, I'm praying that God will prepare the heart of both my assistant, and my replacement, for one another -- to accept them with an open heart, no matter how this plays out.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thirty Days and Counting...

So in the next 4 weeks (give or take one), we're going to be leaving a hospital with a teeny tiny baby girl... and life as we've known it will never be the same.

This is all starting to feel very, very real.

As in a, wow-oh-my-gosh-am-I-ready-no-help-we're-not-ready-yet sort of way.

Since my last post, we've had our 4 baby showers, and baby things have now taken over our house. ...Mostly in the form of pink clothing, but thankfully not all of it!

I've done four loads of baby-specific laundry.... and pulling out one teeny-tiny outfit after another doesn't seem to lessen the shock of how very small this little one may be.

The baby's room is set up - furniture in place, bedding washed and on the bed, clothes and blankets and bibs and socks and sleepers either folded and in drawers or hung up, all just waiting to be used.

Only a few things left to purchase from our registries -- and thanks to an overabundance of newborn clothes and duplicate books/other items, we have a good bit of store credit to use towards fulfilling the 'basics' we still need. (DH is pretty darn excited about that!)

The baby showers were absolutely beautiful, each one. It was fun to see the different groups of people at each, and of course everyone was overwhelmingly generous and so thoughtful in how each one was planned, decorated, presented. But they were also hard, in a way. Even though it's an amazing feeling to finally be at a baby shower thrown for your own baby -- it doesn't lessen the strange feeling over being at a baby shower--even one you've looked forward to!--after having avoided them or suffered through so many for so long. That's a weird transition. I also don't relish being the center of attention -- so just having that many people eyeing me all at once was a tad disconcerting!

I almost made it through all four with no crying... almost.

But in the end, I am blessed with beautiful memories of each - and DH, Baby J, and I are most definitely blessed by the love and generosity of so many friends and family.

Last weekend we took our 'babymoon' trip down to Seagrove Beach, FL - so nice to get away for a few days! We both took off Thursday and Friday to make it a good long weekend trip and man, was it. We did a whole lotta nothing... which was absolutely fine in my book. Every day we'd walk on the beach for a few hours after breakfast, then go explore the area - either Seaside, which we could walk into, or another local beach town within a short drive of Seagrove. Then we'd have lunch wherever we were, head back to the beach cottage for a short rest (or more Sportscenter, as in the case of DH), and then hit the beach again around 4 or 5 to watch the sun go down and walk more. Every night we tried a different local restaurant - which is always fun in my book. Then we'd stop and get a dollar movie from Redbox and call it an evening. (Note to self - never subject yourself to "The Other Guys" again - it was awful! and move "Red" up in your queue)

We lucked into sunny weather while there, but sadly, it wasn't terribly warm... it was mostly in the low-to-mid 50's during the day, and 30's at night. But at least a) that gave me an additional excuse to avoid any sort of bathing suit experience at 35 weeks, and b) we never really got sweaty during all our beach walking! So there were definitely some good advantages to the cool weather. ..That, and I could cuddle up more to the hubby. Always a plus!

As of Saturday, I'll be 36 weeks and officially in the 'no travel' zone... craziness. This pregnancy has just been flying by for me. ...Which means I need to get a move on getting everything else set up or put away and organized! (yikes) Before I know it, she'll be here!

Body-wise, I am definitely feeling very pregnant these days. Big, uncomfortable, easily flushed and hot, and starting to notice slight swelling in my hands, legs & feet. Even a slight spreading of my feet, which I'd long been praying to avoid (please don't be permanent! I love my fun heels and all my boots!!) The pregnancy waddle is definitely unavoidable now, for which DH gets endless entertainment -- that, and the sound of my groaning as I try to roll from one side to the other during the night... not an easy task, at this point. Braxton-Hicks are becoming a companion to any form of activity - even just walking up the stairs, or from my desk to the restroom at work.

But despite it all, I am grateful for every single second of discomfort. I am just so grateful to be here - to be carrying Little Miss - and to be this close to meeting our little girl.

The next 30 days can't pass quickly enough!