Tuesday, April 23, 2013

27 Weeks

I think I've wrapped my head around being pregnant, and I'm beginning to feel settled about a baby coming into our home... but the one thing I still don't have a good grip on is that this baby is GROWING inside me. Right this minute. There is a moving, living, human being inside of me. It's just too crazy! I must admit that I've been known to roll my eyes at women who seemed so dreamy and naive when they described their baby as a "miracle", but the further I venture into this pregnancy, the more I feel like I must be drinking the same kool-aid. It's so true... it is a complete and utter miracle that our bodies do the things that they do, and without much effort from myself my body knows how to sustain and grow another body. Even on days where I feel like I didn't do anything significant or that I accomplished nothing on my list... I have to remember that I did manage one really incredible thing. I supported the life of another human and helped him to grow just a little bit more. While I was busy sleeping, our baby is learning how to react to the sound of our voices and is practicing for his grand entry into this world. Miracle is really the only way to explain this phenomenon.

Revelations aside... now that we can feel bug moving more and more, my favorite time of day is when we lay down in bed each night and he does flips and tricks for us. The other night when Keith started talking he went CRAZY and now that his movements are obvious enough for others to feel he's been showing off for friends too. Regardless, he always kicks longer and stronger when Keith's hand is on my belly... how does he know?!

In other news, this week I spilled some juice in my lap while I was driving, and I couldn't see past my belly to clean it up. Hopefully my feet are still down there, because everything is starting to be a little more hidden haha.

We had an extremely normal midwife appointment this week... I had to take the glucose test which I passed with flying colors (even though I had like 4 cookies right before I got there, oops) and we're starting to think about our birthing plan, so since everyone always says that things go the exact opposite of the way you plan them... should I just write that I want to labor for more than 24 hours and then be forced to have a c-section? Great birth plan right? Ok, done :) We started our birthing class this week, which I think is going to be great for us. We really don't know the first thing about what is about to happen, so it's definitely going to be an eye opener. The hope is that we walk out of it with less questions and way less fears. We've also learned that I'm pretty terrible at relaxing and turning off my brain... gotta start working on that!

No other significant news from this week to share, except that baby boy seems pretty content to rest his little foot right in my rib. It's not quite as uncomfortable as I'm sure it will be once he's a little bigger... so for now it's just a sweet little reminder of where he's laying while I work all day. Love this little guy so much!

Monday, April 22, 2013


These are some pretty unimaginable words for me to have to write at this time, and I wasn't sure that I was going to post something about this at all. When I tried to write other posts (or do anything in general) and came across his photo though... it just left me feeling like I need to get these words off my chest, and share my feelings with others.

On Saturday, April 6th Keith and I woke up to find that our cat Theo had passed away. 

If you've ever read our blog before or know anything about us... you know about our cat. He was a huge part of our lives and a genuine member of our family. He's been with us since before we got married, and we've only ever really lived together without him for maybe 6 months. Theo came to us as a 22nd birthday present for me. We were living in Philadelphia at the time, Keith worked lots of late nights and with my graduate school schedule I was home a lot and got really lonely. I remember the day we got him so well! Keith was off, so I took the day off too and when we woke up he told me he had a surprise and we got ready for a drive out to the mall he was currently working at. We stopped at Chick-fil-A for a breakfast treat, and by then I was SO antsy and had a small hunch that this was going to involve bringing a new friend home. We drove through a strange neighborhood for awhile before stopping at a strangers house who Keith called to come out and meet us. She walked us over to the house next door and we went into their garage to peek into a box with the smallest tiniest kittens I had ever seen! They had been born under this families porch and they were looking for homes for them all. Initially they wanted us to take both of the boys, but we were only interested in getting one (a decision we later regretted when we realized how hyper Theo was going to be...) Regardless, I picked up one little guy and knew he needed to be mine. We took him home that day and he's changed our lives considerably since then.

I think it goes without saying that Theo wasn't always the easiest pet. After lots of moving around homes he was a little cranky around people he didn't know and his favorite toy in the whole world was peoples hands. He was known to attack your ankles if you talked on the phone too long and his newest dislike is if I spent too much time working at my computer (to which he would try to steal the mouse from my hand). But despite all the snakes, the mice, the BIRDS and other mayhem he brought to our home, he was ours and he loved us so much. He had lots of ways that he would show that love: special cuddles in the morning, naps on my lap under a blanket, and the excited way he would greet us and not let us out of his sight when we got home from a trip.

I think being home alone now is going to be really hard, 90% of the odd noises that we hear in our house were from him. We knew his sounds so well, like, when he came in the cat door or jumped off the counter or the little noises he made when he was stretching. I feel so frustrated because my brain is still "hearing" those things and its such a cruel trick. We have so many routines that revolved around him: 7pm is dinner time, all the blinds have to be raised at least a foot because he loved to sit in the window sills (and wreck the blinds if they weren't out of the way). I always started my morning by feeding him and having him sit in the sink with me while I got ready. Even going to the grocery store and not going down the pet food aisle, it breaks my heart. It was so easy for us to add him to our lives, but learning how to live without him has been much harder... we all had our place in this home, and there is a giant Theo sized hole here. Now we have no need for pet insurance and all those medicine droppers that we had to use when he needed antibiotics. Now all the toilet paper tubes and hair ties on the floor look less like favorite toys and more like trash we've just neglected. There are reminders of him everywhere I go, and it's absolutely laughable the things that will trigger my craziness. Let's make a quick list of some of the things that have made me cry this month: 1. a fly in our bedroom when I was trying to take a nap (because he would have loved to try and catch it) 2. having a bowl of ice cream and not having him there to beg to lick the bowl. 3. a beautiful sunny day with SO many chirping birds (he would have been out terrorizing them for sure) 4. finding his cat food prescription in my wallet when I was looking for a coupon. 5. deep cleaning our house and finding his fur just about everywhere... I could go on.

This is all so fresh, and it happened so suddenly that I just don't really know the best way to grieve. I feel ridiculous for getting upset every time I walk down the hall, or pass by his favorite chair. Part of me just expects him to be there when I get up from the couch because he knows that means it time for his nighttime snack. I don't want to forget him, but I'm ready for these memories to become happy and funny instead of how extremely sad and piercing they currently feel. I just cannot wrap my head around the idea that he's gone, that he's not just outside or away at the vet.

If anyone is interested in a brief version of the story, we're 99% positive that he was poisoned by something. Whether it was an animal he ate, or just something bad that he got into while he was outside... either way it moved quickly without any signs to us or anyway that we could have helped him. That Friday night he was acting completely normal, he ate his dinner and laid with us on the couch. Early Saturday he woke me up begging for food and I closed him out of our room, and when I got up to go to the bathroom at 6:30 I noticed that he had gone poop on the floor (which has never happened in 4 years). I got Keith up because it just didn't seem normal and that's when Keith found him, already gone. We had a very emotional morning, and it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I refused to believe that Theo was actually gone and made Keith wrap him up in his favorite blanket so that I could see him and say my goodbyes. We eventually buried him in the backyard which was probably his favorite place on the planet, and now we have a place to visit him (whenever I can manage that without completely losing it)

In the meantime, we are living in a pet free home which feels quite sad. In an effort to look on the bright side I hope that this makes the transition of adding the baby to our home this summer a little easier. I was just a tiny bit worried about how Theo was going to react to all of the changes, and now I can wipe away any of those fears. But truly, I would gladly worry about Theo bringing in pet snakes for our son if it meant he could come back and live with us forever.

I miss him, and I think I'll miss him for quite some time. Before too long our hearts will heal and we'll be able to invite a new pet into our lives. Bear with me now, here are some of my favorite photos of Theo that I have on my computer from the past year....

Lastly I just want to say thank you to everyone who has offered kind words to us this past month and checked in to see how we're doing. Thank you to all our friends who ever came by our house while we were away to watch Theo and make sure he had plenty of food. That means more to us than you'll know and we're sure he appreciated it too. And of course, thank you to everyone who has ever hung out at our house or stayed for the weekend and had put up with the full harassment from our favorite cat, he was still learning how to be sweet and we appreciate that you didn't hold that against him haha.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

26 Weeks

Lets just say that week 26 was not the easiest one we've had so far. I would gladly take months of morning sickness, backaches or whatever instead of dealing with the pain we felt this week. Obviously as you may have seen us post online, this is the week we lost our cat Theo. Keith and I talked about it and both agreed that this was a pretty unfortunate time in my life to deal with a loss like this, just based on my already heightened hormone levels. It was a pretty tearful week to say the least. While I'm absolutely still devastated, I'm thankfully working through the crying fits and trying to find ways to see happy memories in all those reminders laying around the house. I know that not everyone views their pets this way, but in our eyes, Theo was our first baby... the first creature we were ever entrusted with the sole care of. Gosh we loved him, and he loved us and he needed us. He was the best and will never be forgotten in this home. I have a longer post written about this, I just haven't had the heart this week to finish it yet.

Sad sappiness aside and on to some more baby bug updates... Week 26 also happened to be the week we took a trip with friends to Knoxville! I'm quite proud of myself for packing ample snacks to never have needed to feel desperate for food, or sick because I didn't have enough energy. After a full day of car riding, walking, listening to music and generally being awake that's pretty impressive! On another note, for a baby who usually only comes out to play when everything is quiet and still, he gave me some fairly strong kicks during some of the shows we were at... this guy is certainly going to be a music lover :-)

And speaking of kicks, I have some updates from the two year olds (who are actually all turning 3 these days). Number one, I can no longer mention to my class that the baby is kicking me... "Ms Dana, why is that baby kicking you? Doesn't he know its not nice to kick your friends? He needs to listen the first time. I would have to go in time out if I kicked my mommy, is your baby in time out?" It never ends haha INSTEAD! I just tell them the baby is waving hello and that seems to do the trick. And number two... the bluntness is always such a comedic treat. One of my boys whose mom recently had a baby pointed at my shirt during lunch and told me I have milk. Now mind you... I had just passed out their milk cups and could very possibly have spilled some on myself, so I looked down and asked him whether I had some on my shirt or not and he very kindly said no, "in your breast, you have milk in your breast, Ms Dana." That and the never ending question train that leads to being asked things like, "is the baby drinking your blood" or "is he playing with your bones?" It's a good thing I love these little guys haha. Thankfully they love me back even in all their weirdness and LOVE giving my belly lots of extra hugs and kisses. Now if they could just stop passing their germs off to me...

ps- where is this beautiful, full and thick pregnancy hair that people have told me about?! My just seems way more gross and greasy these days, boo!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

25 Weeks

Sorry if these have gotten monotonous, each week certainly blends into the other at this point which thankfully means that my symptoms haven't really gotten any crazier as I continue to get larger and larger. I have noticed though, especially since the weather has gotten warmer, that I need to be wearing better shoes or my feet and legs are extremely sore at the end of the day. It's amazing what carrying 20 extra pounds on your body all day can do... lets just not mention that this baby only weighs a whopping 2 pounds, ugh.

Some random things I made notes about for the week: I've been oddly feeling a bit claustrophobic recently, like there's not enough space in my own body. I get super uncomfortable if I need to sit somewhere where I can't easily spread out or get up, and need to take a step back when standing in a group of people. Sometimes even on the couch I feel like there's not enough room to breathe, which I think has less to do with actually lack of space and more to do with the cramming together of all my organs to make room for another human inside me.

Otherwise, I've just been clumsier than usual despite my best efforts to be extremely careful. I can routinely be found bumping into door ways or completely misjudging the amount of space my belly takes up. Thankfully I have other people around me to remind me that even though I'm still quite mobile and capable, there are just some things a clumsy pregnant girl shouldn't be doing... like standing on a chair in my classroom to reach something on a tall shelf, oops.

Nothing else too exciting to report! No news is certainly good news at this point!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

24 Weeks

(I began writing this forever ago, just bear with me as I try and catch up on these)

Hey there week 24 (you were two weeks ago... but)! We've got some definite baby kicks coming our way!

Tiny Mr. Richards is now very clearly making his presence known and it's been fun trying to guess what he's up to in there. There are some nights that Keith will put his hand on my tummy and (it seems that) bug will go out of his way to change positions just to kick for him. I think it was much more noticeable for me to feel him since I was home on spring break and doing more relaxing than normal, but I can tell that he's growing and getting much stronger. I love that Keith can finally start experiencing some of this whole "baby growing inside me" business. Now that I can feel him more, it's definitely been distracting. I waited so long for those little kicks and nudges to start, that now I don't want to miss any of them! I know that once he gets bigger I won't be quite as excited about feeling all those wiggles, but for now I can't help but give him my full attention when he gives me a little hello kick.

Week 24 was when I had my spring break from school which was a little different than I thought it would be. I ended up not getting as much done as I wanted to, but that was mostly because I developed a little stomach bug and wasn't feeling great. We just stayed in town, got some rest, enjoyed all the extra baby kicks that I could feel and took advantage of any of the nice days that we could... (even though it snowed the first two days, and rained the last 4 ugh). When we were out at the mall one night, we popped into Old Navy because they were having a sale and grabbed a couple cute outfits. As much as we are thankful for the things that we're given, and all the gifts we've been receiving, it's still nice to have a couple things we've picked out just for our boy.

In other news, now that we have a name picked out, we've been using it at home a bunch which has made it VERY hard not to start using it in front of others. My wonderful husband has already slipped a couple of times and though we're still absolutely committed to keeping it a secret until he arrives, there are 4 people on this planet (who have been sworn to secrecy) who do know what our little boy will be called. That being said, you can all stop guessing! We're still not telling ;)