Friday, July 30, 2010

Publix Cashier Predictions

Several months ago, when I was about 16 weeks or so, I went grocery shopping to Publix. The cashier asked me how long I had to go, and I told her several months. Her response was, "They is wrong." Then she and the lady bagging my groceries spent the rest of the time talking about I definitely was due soon and not in several months, and that my doctor had my dates wrong. They also told me I was having a girl. I told them I didn't know yet, but they insisted it was a girl and clearly didn't trust some ultrasound machine over their own intuition.

There must be something about me and Publix cashiers, because I stopped by for a few quick things after lunch with a friend earlier today and this is the conversation I had with today's cashier:

Her: Mmmmm. What you got in that belly?
Me: It's a girl.
Her: How much longer you got?
Me: 11 days.
Her: Mmmmm. She gonna be a biiiiiiiiiiig baby.
Me: Maybe so. They estimated that she'll be about 9 pounds.
Her: I don't know. My last baby was 9 pounds 2 ounces and my belly weren't near as big as yours.
Me: {nothing}
Her: You gonna have to push that baby out?
Me: No, c-section.
Her: Good, because I don't think you'd be able to push that one out. Mmmmm.

For the record, I am 38 weeks today and my uterus is measuring about 36 1/2 weeks (it's been measuring 1-2 weeks behind for a couple of months now). When I had an ultrasound not quite 6 weeks ago, the baby was measuring over a week ahead. I'm sure that no one really knows how big Penelope is going to be. But clearly this Publix cashier is quite sure that she is right, and didn't seem to care much for the more traditional (somewhat scientific) methods of predicting a baby size. We'll see whose right soon enough!! Maybe the Publix cashiers have another potential career possibility. . . .

I had an appointment yesterday afternoon, and my doctor literally laughed out loud when she checked me -- I am STILL 1/2 cm dilated. The same as I was almost ten weeks ago. And, I'm 38 weeks today, so I've been considered "full-term" for a week. It's an amazing place to be right now. It's looking like Penelope will be here on August 10 unless she decides to make an earlier appearance. I'm going to try to stop making predictions with this child -- she has been nothing but surprises!!

I'm still getting out a little bit which is nice, but usually brings on a lot of strong contractions that night. At this point I'm not so worried about what the contractions will do to my cervix as I am how bad I will hurt. So, I try to take it easy within reason just to avoid the inevitable contractions that do nothing other than bother me.

Gary and I did go to dinner last Saturday night. We had a great time. I also got all dressed up for the occasion and we took pictures. Here they are:

Because we couldn't help it, we took some "prom pose" pictures -- and because I couldn't help it, I had to edit one in an appropriately cheesy manner:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Hammer's Fire Truck

What is this, a phone? Hello? Hello?

Dad, what is that and what are you doing to my fire truck?

(This is self-explanatory.)

Okay, give it to me.

And then. . . .

Let's get out of here, Piper!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Penelope Update. . . .

Today I am 36 weeks and 4 days according to me, and 36 weeks and 2 days according to my doctor's office. Pretty close regardless. I had an appointment yesterday and Penelope looks great. My cervix still has not changed in 8 weeks. I have absolutely no idea how. I almost asked my doctor: "Are you sure you are checking my cervix? Are you sure there's not a big gaping hole down there with a baby's head coming out?" But I refrained. I have no idea how I was starting to dilate and efface 8 weeks ago and now I'm at a standstill. And I have no idea how the contractions I had with the kids had me fully dilated at 30 weeks, but much worse contractions now do nothing. But, I will take it for what it's worth and just be happy that I can cook Penelope for a while longer and hopefully end up with a big, healthy, term baby. If I make it that long, I have a scheduled c-section date of August 10 at noon, when I will be 39 weeks and 4 days according to me, and 39 weeks and 2 days according to my doctor's office. I'm coming up on 4 weeks since I've had a MEU visit, and I'm hoping to keep that streak going for quite a while. I'm still having a lot of contractions, and overall they are stronger than they were, but not so close together for long enough that I feel compelled to visit the MEU at this point in the game when no one will be stopping labor.

I had a lovely mani-pedi last Friday with Cathy and Ann, and managed to get in a hair appointment earlier today. Even though I'm completely and totally worn out now from all of the "activity" and the contractions that follow, I feel as though I at least look a little more like myself.

I did bust out my camera and take a few pictures of the kids this past weekend. Not many, but a few. I'll try to get those posted in a couple of days.

Monday, July 12, 2010

35 Weeks . . . and 3 Days. . . .

Well, I'm still pregnant and it's 35 weeks and 3 days today, so I've made (and passed) my second goal due date. My third goal due date is 37 weeks, when Penelope would be considered full-term. Some days I think Penelope is planning her appearance for that day, and other days I think she has no plans to exit. Likewise, some days I feel great and as if I can easily make it indefinitely on bedrest, and other days I am not sure I can make it through the day. This past Friday, at 35 weeks, I stopped taking my procardia, which I had been taking every 6 hours to help with contractions. I'm still on alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (a/k/a 17P or delalutin) injections every 5 days, but I will stop taking those in 2 weeks when I am 37 weeks. I can still take Tylenol, percocet, and ambien as needed. I usually take Tylenol once or twice a day to help with the contractions, percocet 2-3 times a week if my contractions start getting out of control, and ambien every night (which usually gives me 5-6 hours of sleep and occasionally more, though I do wake up every now and then with particularly strong contractions).

My contractions have consistently picked up in strength, though they don't seem to be as frequent (most of the time) as they had been. Now I usually have contractions every 8-10 minutes throughout the day -- but sometimes as close as 3-5 minutes. Once they hit 3-5 minutes, I start really paying attention to them, but they usually slow down within a couple of hours or so and after I take percocet so I can avoid going into the hospital. From what I understand, at this point the doctors will probably not stop labor, but they also will not help it along (absent a problem with the Penelope where she needs to come out sooner). Apparently, whether labor is stopped or not may depend on whatever physician is attending when I go in, so things aren't exactly concrete. I'm a huge planner, so I'm trying not to think about how things aren't exactly set in stone yet.

I had an appointment last Tuesday and my cervix still hadn't changed -- I was still 1/2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I go back a week from today for another appointment. I haven't been back to the MEU in two weeks, which is the longest I've gone without a MEU visit since they started up for contractions this pregnancy.

Gary and I have already decided that if I am still pregnant next Friday when I turn 36 weeks that I am leaving this house for a mani-pedi. I've now been on bedrest for 7 weeks and only have left for doctor's appointments and hospital visits. I can't wait to have a "fun" trip away from the house!!

The nursery is almost ready, and so are we. Gary has a small list of things to do -- install the carseat bases, hang a couple of decorative items, put some bookshelves together, etc. My mom was here a few weeks ago and helped me clean out Penelope's closet, and I've gone through the girls old "small" clothes and pulled out things for Penelope, which Stephanie washed and put away for me. Penelope's crib is made, and her glider and ottoman should be here in 2-3 weeks. Since I'll be having a repeat c-section and not even walking up the stairs for 2-3 weeks after I have her, I think it will be here in plenty of time.

I started this post on Friday with great intentions of posting some pictures as well. I do have some pictures of me -- and the cake Gary brought me for our 35 week celebration. However, those pictures are all on Gary's camera and I've been too lazy to get them. I'll try to post those at some point. And maybe we'll even take some more pictures soon with my camera, which for some reason I find easier to upload.

And now we just wait on Penelope. . . .

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Foyer Portraits

The kids have started a program called the Busy BEES, as recommended by our developmental specialist, Beth, and our speech therapist, Jennifer. It's sort of a short preschool program which will give the kids some time to socialize with other kids. It lasts an hour and 45 minutes, and is once a week through the second week in August. The kids are starting Mother's Day Out (twice weekly for 4 hours at a time) in September, so Busy BEES is the perfect way to ease them into Mother's Day Out. Their first "class" was earlier this week.

For their birthday, Cathy and Amanda gave the kids adorable personalized backpacks (which the kids knew all about thanks to Dora the Explorer -- they wear them and run around screaming "backpack"). So, since the kids were going to "school," we got the kids dressed, put on their backpacks, and I started taking pictures. I have taken pictures sitting in our foyer before, so I decided to try that again, and just hope they came to me since I can't run around after them. For some reason, we have fantastic light there in the mornings (and in fact is where Heather Swanner took the kids' newborn pictures).

To be honest I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the photos. I think it's the best set of photos that I've taken yet. . . .

Piper was not in a great mood, but then Piper has been a little grumpy lately, probably having something to do with getting in her two-year molars. Here are her photos:

Henry was in a great mood, as usual. He also had a little Blue Steel for the camera. . . .

Rosemary amazed me. Usually I have the WORST time getting photos of this child. She usually is a little ham, but then as soon as she sees a camera she gets solemn. That morning, though, Rosemary was being her regular self even in front of the camera.

I'm really glad that I've gotten better at editing on Photoshop Elements for these photos. Honestly, I didn't do much to them, but it was nice to add a little here and there. I really feel like these photos captured my kids. I hope that this is a sign that my photography is improving and is not just a fluke!!

Oh, and the kids had a fantastic time at Busy BEES. Gary and Stephanie took them since I am on bedrest, and they both seemed to think that the kids had a great time. It absolutely wore them out, though. When they got home, I met them at the door and Rosemary sat down and had me take off her shoes. Then she laid down on the rug as if she were going to sleep right then and there! Stephanie said that everyone managed to stay awake through lunch, then took a really long nap. I can't imagine how tired they are going to be after four hours of Mother's Day Out. . . .

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

How To Slip N Slide

1. Stake the Slip N Slide into the ground.

2. Stay hydrated.

3. Attach the hose to the Slip N Slide.

4. Put on swimsuits.

5. Apply Sunscreen.

6. Have an experienced Slip N Slider demonstrate the proper form.

The first volunteer -- Rosemary! No surprise there. . . .

Then, Piper decided to give it a shot. . . .

Piper truly had excellent form. Then Henry decided that he wanted to try out the Slip N Slide himself.

Ready . . . Set . . .

Go . . .

. . . poor kid still hasn't figured out how to pick up that big noggin . . .

. . . come on, buddy . . .

. . . there you go!

And then he was ready to try it again!

The kids had a great time, and so did the grown-ups.

And when Piper wasn't Slip N Sliding, she was hard at work. It's a rough life!

I apologize if you've already seen these pictures on Facebook, but they were quite simply too entertaining not to publish them somewhere immediately. . . .