Thursday, March 31, 2011

God's in Charge!

My entire pregnancy has been filled with doctor's telling me something will/may be wrong, but they are the ones that have been wrong. Obviously, without a shadow of a doubt, Andrew is a blessing from God, meant to be here on this Earth from God, and protected by God. There is no other way to look at it.
Psalm 139:13-16 (Message):

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

you formed me in my mother's womb.

I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!

Body and soul, I am marvelously made!

I worship in adoration—what a creation!

You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body;

You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,

how I was sculpted from nothing into something.

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;

all the stages of my life were spread out before you,

The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.

And the verse that is above Andrew's crib, James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maternity Leave

Yesterday started my maternity leave.

First, Tawni and I walked the Moreno Valley mall for about an hour and a half. About 11, we stopped walking and let Sammy play in their play center and made faces with Nate. He loved the "equipment," especially this blue car.
We ate lunch at Chick-fil-A and chatted at home while the boys napped. After leaving Tawni's I went to Target pick up a few things for the hospital stay (snacks for Dave really).
Cooked dinner (shocker, I know) and organized some more of the house. I had a list for Dave to do when he got home, which he didn't really enjoy. We went back to Target for a few things I forgot and curtain rods for the dining room giant sliding door.

This morning I was up at 5:45 (sleeping in would be TOO nice) and started the day slowly. I finished a bit of the organizing, finished some laundry, did the dishes, but mainly prepared for the best thing since sliced bread--the cleaning lady!
I decided months ago that I would hire a company to come and clean my house before Andrew's arrival. I did some research, got some price quotes, and ended up hiring MaidPro. The lovely cleaning lady came at 9 am this morning.While she cleaned my house, I walked Reese around the neighborhood. I must have been a sight to see because no less than five of my elderly (over 80) neighbors came out and talked to me on my walk. They all know Dave and know what I look like, but I don't think I've ever talked to any of them before. It was nice. After my walk, I finished handwriting the envelopes for the baby announcements and messed around on the internet.

At 11 (while she is still cleaning), I made my way to the two childcare centers on my "top" list. Mother's intuition of not, I had an immediate feeling of relief/happiness when I went to the second place. Andrew can be here and I can feel 100% good about it. The Growing Place is about 1/4th of a mile from our house and will be Andrew's growing place in August when I have to go back to work. I love that they have structured play for infants and daily "outside" time (my two favorite parts of the program there versus the other places).
It's pricey, but I think it will be worth it.

After returning home from my childcare tours (while she is still cleaning), Dave came home for lunch with Bakers. Bakers is a bit of a pregnancy craving--I rarely ate it before and now want it all the time. We shared lunch and I told him about the childcare centers.

MaidPro finished about 45 minutes ago and my house sparkles! It's exciting.

I have two hours to kill before my doctor's appointment at 4, I'm going to try to take a nap... Melissa and Des are coming for dinner (maybe I should plan something to eat).

Tomorrow's agenda: pedicures and manicures in the morning with Melissa and Des and maybe a movie?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 39

I LOOK: obviously hugely pregnant with a downward pointing belly, but surprisingly not much bigger than last week. I've started getting looks of pity in public. I must be waddling more than normal.

I FEEL: exhausted. Read previous post about my newest enemy: sleep.

  • Baby Preparations: I finished my sub plans and left my keys at work on Friday at 4:45 pm, so now we are officially into maternity leave time. As I said last week, all the baby prep stuff is done and now we're in the waiting stage. We did pick up the breast pump yesterday at Babies R Us (using our 10% completion coupon, the in-store sale, a gift card, and store credit)...

  • Baby Movements: Drew has slowed down this week; he still moves more than 10 times an hour so it is nothing to worry about.

  • Weird Pregnancy Symptom: I think I've been having mild contractions the past two days, but I'm not sure. As I told Dave last night, they may be contractions, but they may be nothing. I've made it this entire time without having Braxton Hicks contractions, and I rarely had period cramps, so I'm not really sure what they are going to feel like...

I CRAVE: sleep? Nothing food-wise sounds good, but I pretty much eat anything in front of me.

I THINK: Andrew can come any day now, although Dave is requesting any day after Tuesday. Friday or later would make him an April baby like he's suppose to be.

I HOPE: I'm starting to get stressed about the actual labor process, when it is going to "start" and how it is going to progress, and how I'm going to deal with the pain. I'm praying that regardless of the when and how, that I'm strong enough to do it. Dave needs to be able to handle it too, so my hope is that we are both as prepared as we think we are...

I'm EXCITED: to be on maternity leave. My plans for this week include: taking a nap every day, walking the mall with Tawni and boys, pedicure/manicure, visiting childcare centers, having Merry Maids come and clean my house (nesting?!), movies and lunch with Des, and just relaxing before he gets here!

Next doctor's appointment: Tuesday, 3/29 at 4:10 pm.

My enemy


It is something that I LOVE. I know I've talked about it before, but I like to sleep nine to ten hours a night. Without it, I am cranky and work at a much less effective speed. I haven't slept well in about five months, which I guess is pretty normal for pregnancy. At first, the problem was that I usually sleep on my stomach or back, which isn't compatible with pregnancy.

We invested in one of these...

It helped, along with many a few other pillows, back rubs, and Tylenol.

As I got bigger and bigger, the amount of times I got up to go to the bathroom increased, but that wasn't that big of a deal. I could go right back to sleep...

Flipping over became pretty much impossible without getting out of bed completely and laying back down again, but that wasn't that big of a deal. I could go right back to sleep...

Dreams became pretty vivid (scary and "normal") and would wake me up in a shock, but that wasn't that big of a deal. I could go right back to sleep...

Now my hips, thighs, and knees hurt. I can fall asleep pretty darn quickly, but staying asleep more than four hours (with bathroom trips, flipping over, etc included in that 4 hours) is impossible. My legs hurt so badly that the only think I can do it get up. I can't go back to sleep. I can't sleep at all. The past two weeks I was up fully no later than 5 am, which was okay because I would get dressed and go to work early to help get things finished for my sub. Yesterday (Saturday), I was up at 4:45 am. Today, 5:02 am.

As everyone says, "your body is preparing for an infant." For some reason, this statement makes me angry. Obviously when Andrew is here, I'll be sleeping less, but at least there will be a REASON to be awake. There will be something that needs to be done when I'm awake (rather than writing a complaining blog, watching tv, and pacing the house)... AND, when I am actually asleep I may actually sleep soundly. The other main flaw I see in this statement is that right now I should be sleeping MORE to prepare for sleeping less later.

Okay, complaint over.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I can't live without right now...

I feel like everything I have to say sounds like a complaint, but life isn't really that bad right now. So instead of writing anything, I thought I'd show you the things that have made the last few weeks/months better.

My Converse tennis shoes have managed to keep my feet pretty happy while teaching. I have gray and black and I wear there at least four days a week.
Cuties--easy to peal and no seeds! I eat 4-10 per day... keeps this pregnant body "regular."
Super dry hands eat this up!
These are wipes for adults that are flushable. They have saved me from having my own diaper rash...
Drinking water has become my arch nemesis due to acid reflux. For whatever reason, Gatorade has been better than water, so at least I'm staying hydrated.
I'm used more of these beauties in the past few months that I have in YEARS!
I may turn into this string cheese guy with the amount of this I've eaten during the past nine months. Any time I feel sick, I eat string cheese. Quick and easy protein.
I spend way too much time on the bump but it makes me happy and feel normal in pregnancy when everything seems abnormal.
This is my daily breakfast addition that gives me a full serving of fruits and veggies.
I take this every morning and it has saved me. Sometimes I take a second one in the evening if the acid reflux is still bugging me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Media Arts Baby Shower

This lovely lady, Darrelynn, and the rest of the Media Arts crew of teachers further spoiled Baby Andrew and me with a baby shower today! Darrelynn organized everyone together to show their love! We ate Bakers together and had cake/ice cream sandwiches :)
Gina helped assemble the yummy dessert!
I was showered with more gifts!
(Lots of the practical things that we still needed--baby monitors, diaper genie, genie refills, size 1 diapers, crib sheets, and a gift card to Babies R Us) Patricia and Tracie
Although I am 38 weeks and 4 days, I think I actually look pretty normal in this picture, so I had to share it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Celebrating Drew

Today at lunch, Mr. Toner (from Central, now at AHS with me) walked in with the cutest cake ever! Toner's wife and daughter made the yummy lemon cake to celebrate Drew's arrival. A few minutes later, Calvin and Shana (the other Central converts) came in to celebrate too!! It was a mini celebration for baby! So cool! We ate, talked, and had a great time at lunch today :) Only three more days of work for me!

Monday, March 21, 2011

38 week appointment

My doctor's appointment today went well. My midwife checked out my swelling (she says it is so minor that she wouldn't even notice it if I hadn't pointed it out), blood pressure (119/76), and weight (um, we won't go there). Everything looks good.
I also had my first internal check to see how things are progressing "down there." I was a bit nervous because I had heard that it was extremely painful. It wasn't that bad; maybe I'm not as much as a wimp as I think I am. The good news was that my body is actually making progress. I am 50% effaced and 3 cm dilated. Andrew's head is at -3 station has has a way to drop before he is ready to come out. As you can see from the illustration below 0 is the "crowning" stage of labor.
My midwife didn't seem to think that he'd be making his appearance anytime before his due date, but you never know.
I also got my official "off work" letter to start off this Friday! I go back next Tuesday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week 38

I LOOK: Other than the fact that Drew is clearly lower, I have nothing to say so I'll use other people's words.
  • "You get bigger every day Mrs. Pfeffer," says a ninth grade girl on Wednesday.
  • "It looks like you have a basketball in there," says a tenth grade boy on Friday.
  • "He is a lot lower than yesterday," says a co-worker.
  • "Um, are you sure you're not going to pop now?" says another co-work.

I had minor swelling on Wednesday and Thursday after two really long days and hotter than average temperatures. Thankfully it doesn't seem to be a daily issue and it goes away pretty quickly once I get home and put my feet up. I have eleven (yes, I counted) half inch (yes, I measured) stretch marks that have appeared this week where my B-belly use to indent, but has now completely turned into a D-belly. I thought I wouldn't get any considering how many I have from childhood/teenage years, but it hadn't occurred to me that my significant indent would stretch out so significantly. It is pretty funny considering they are all across the middle/frong of my pregnant belly.

I FEEL: sore. My hips and lower back hurt a lot whenever I get up in the morning. The pain goes away as the day goes on, or at least I'm not focused on it at work. By early afternoon, the pain comes back depending on how much I stood during the day. By the evening, everything hurts no matter what. Getting up and down from a chair, couch, or bed isn't comfortable. Oh well, such is life at 38 weeks pregnant. Overall though, I can say that I'm not totally uncomfortable.

  • Baby Preparations: everything is done baby wise. I spend some more time working on the baby book and organized the nursery more (not that it needed it). Most of my "baby prep" this week has been on maternity sub plans. I'm sure I'm making them much more complicated than I need to be... but between four different classes for nine weeks... that is 180 hours of unique teaching that needs to be done. It makes me tired thinking about it.
  • Baby Movements: Lots of pushing around... sometimes it feels like Drew's head is bouncing off my hip bones.
  • Weird Pregnancy Symptom: On Friday morning, I lost my mucus plug. Yep, it is just like it sounds--a whole lot of mucus--this means pretty much nothing in the grand-pregnancy time table. After losing your mp, labor can start in one day or two weeks.

I CRAVE: after weeks of not being hungry, my hunger has kicked into full gear. I'm pretty much hungry constantly--I've been eating a lot of string cheese, apples, cuties, and ice cream.

I THINK: it is a really good thing that I have five days of work left (last day is March 25) and I'm questioning why I didn't decide to stop working earlier. I'm pretty sure that the "cleaning" nesting stage won't come, or if it does I won't have the energy for it.

I HOPE: Drew stays an inside baby until at least next Friday or Saturday. I really, really don't want to start labor at school, nor do I want to have to suddenly not be at school. I hope that I'll be able to finish Act III and IV of Romeo and Juliet before Friday. OH, yeah, on the baby front, if he does decide to come out this week I hope that he's happy, healthy, and I actually survive labor.

I'm EXCITED: to meet our son! And to only have 5 days more of work (repeat from last week)!

DOCs SAY: Appointment tomorrow--I'll update then :)

This week was a bit stressful with Dave getting sick (he's now feeling a lot better), me sleeping on the couch and in the nursery (not a good idea), and trying to prepare for nine weeks of maternity leave (I haven't left school before 4:45 pm).

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sick Dave

Dave is officially sick again with a pretty nasty virus (confirmed by Kaiser today); he's had a fever, sore throat, major congestion, etc as is contagious for a few more days.

Please pray for us, specifically that I won't get it and that he'll be better before Andrew makes his appearance!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finished Nursery

Andrew's nursery is done!
With his name sticker up, dresser filled, and adorable art hung, it is ready to welcome him home. It was extremely hard to photograph the room and still show the perspective correctly, so I have a lot of shots for you!
The view from the door to the right The view from the door, to the center of the room. The view from the door, to the left.
The view from the crib
The view from the closet
A few of my favorite things in the room
Reese has NO idea what is about to come into this room...
Shelf above changing table with Dreams and Prayer for Baby Andrew and the "Mixed-up Chameleon" and the changing table baskets filled with needed goodies!
All the 0-3 month clothes ready to go (dresser holds the newborn clothes right now)

Interesting Viewpoint

I thought I was HUGE at 25 weeks... I guess not!
Notice how I had to crop my butt out of the 37 week picture so that it would fit into the collage page... sad, very sad...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week 37

Today marks Drew's "full term" date. If he comes anytime between now and 41 weeks (April 10th), he'll be ready to go. At this point, he is able to function as a healthy baby outside of mommy. I LOOK: After his flipping experience last week, I've noticed a few changes. First, and probably most obvious, my belly is now pointing out much lower than before. The top of my stomach isn't as stretched. On Friday, after working for 11 hours at school, my right foot/ankle swelled a little bit. I probably shouldn't have worn flip flops and I really shouldn't have worked that much.

I FEEL: My symptoms have now changed pretty significantly. Instead of the top of my tummy being numb constantly, I now have pressure on my pelvis and hip bones. My ribs feel fantastic!! The acid reflux has gotten better, but hasn't gone away completely.

  • Baby Preparations: See below for this weekend's projects :)
  • Baby Movements: These have changed a lot too! I finally understand the kicking thing; instead of constant pushing, I feel hard kicks all over my stomach.
  • Weird Pregnancy Symptom: pretty extreme exhaustion has kicked in this week, yet I haven't let myself stop or slow down. Well, until this morning, when I managed to sleep until 9:55 (new time).

I CRAVE: hasn't changed since last week--nothing much.

I THINK: I'd spent so much time thinking about having a c-section and knowing the "time and place" that everything would occur and now we don't need that (which is good!) so I've been stressing about the uncertainty of the actual labor starting process. Also, I had a pretty intense dream on Tuesday night that Drew came early and my classroom was a disaster, so in active labor, I was at Arlington cleaning up... needless to day, I worked an extra two hours on Friday after working cleaning and organizing everything to make sure that wouldn't happen!

I HOPE: this week is low key and there isn't much to report :) Tomorrow, I take my Media Arts students on a field trip to the Norton Simon and I'm looking forward to a relaxing day with them and a few fellow teachers. The walking will be good for me and baby (although, Dave is worried that something will happen when I'm an hour away from home). Still praying for a healthy and happy little boy on the smaller side :)

I'm EXCITED: to meet our son! And to only have 10 days more of work!

DOC's SAY: Everything was wonderful at our appointment last Monday, my blood work came back all positive despite the huge bruise the bad tech left when drawing it. My midwife saw no need to have me back in one week, so I am on a 2-week rotation (next appointment=March 21).

This weekend's projects:

Dave "rubbed on" Andrew's wall sticker above his crib.

I made goodie bags for the nurses I'll have during delivery and recovery
(I'm fully expecting that I'll be a horrible, "make fun of you because you're whining" patient and I'll need all the sucking up I can get ahead of time so they won't hate me)
I finished adding photographs to my pregnancy journal
and added a few more thoughts for Andrew to read when he's older
I sorted and washed the 0-3 month clothes from Tawni and Rachel.
Yes, these are JUST 0-3 month clothes...
And upon recommendation from a few bumpies, I separated my hospital bag into labor and delivery items and baby items. This gave me more room to add Dave's change of clothes, snacks, and a few more "entertainment" items for our L&D experience.

And, yes, I know I haven't given you a full tour of the nursery yet. I promise it is coming. Everything wasn't quite ready... but it is getting there.