25 August 2008

30 Weeks

How you feelin'?  Hot Hot Hot!  Human oven, Laura Hughes, reporting from Get-these-covers-off-of-me, Georgia. ;)  The term "bun in the oven" has never felt so relevant.  I have always been a sleep with the covers kind of gal.  Even in the summer I like the safety and comfort of being all covered up.  Not anymore!  Now I am a side-sleeping, no cover wearing, body pillow hugging girl who wakes up at least three times a night to pee.  Gone are the days of falling asleep on my back all nestled in my covers ready for a perfectly uninterrupted 8-9 hours of sleep.  Now I'm dealing with the prospect on any given night I might wake up to pee and not be able to fall back asleep for several hours.  I'm not sure who this new person is... 

Well, I'm afraid this week has been the calm before the storm.  After this week we enter into no-free-weekend zone.  Every weekend between now and the end of September we have something baby related going on.  And our weekdays are filled too with pediatrician interviews, hospital tours and child-birthing classes.  Thankfully by the time October gets here things won't be so hectic.  I've tried to schedule all our going-ons before October just in case little missy comes early.  But, I'm hoping she'll stay right on schedule and we'll be able to relax and nest during my favorite month of the year.  And did I mention we're down to 10 weeks left!

This has been the week of "You're how far along??  You're kidding!"  I definitely would not say that I'm "carrying small"...Lord knows I have packed on plenty of new weight.  But, I am carrying spread out and not all right out in front.  This has the joyous effect of simply making me look fat...and not pregnant.  At least not to strangers.  And for those of you who are about to say, "No, Laura...you definitely look pregnant!"...I have to tell you I met a couple this weekend who could not tell I was pregnant.  We were eating at a restaurant for a friend's birthday and they asked what was good.  I told them the last time I was there I had really bad morning sickness so nothing really seemed good.  They proceeded to ask how old my child was!  I said, "Um, well about 7 months" and patted my belly.  They went on and on about they couldn't even tell I was pregnant.  I think I would take it as a compliment if I hadn't already gained so much weight.  I think maybe it also depends on what I wear.  I need to be rocking more high waisted shirts so I can take advantage of the kindness of strangers while I can. ;)  

I had another Dr.'s appointment this week and everything looks good.  I asked the Dr. about how I am carrying and if I should be concerned that the baby isn't growing enough.  Her words were, "Don't worry.  Sometimes first babies 'hide'."  She said as long as I'm feeling consistent movement (and boy am I ever!) and measuring on track all should be good.  Baby B's heartbeat was still going strong.

For the past couple of weeks I have been having what I think are Braxton Hicks contractions sporadically.  I'm not having them very much...not even everyday.  They're coming maybe once or twice every few days.  When it happens my belly gets really tight like everything is tensing up.  And it usually feels like my uterus is pressing directly on my bladder.  Whenever it happens I either have to sit still until it passes...or make a beeline for the bathroom.  I wouldn't say that they're painful...it's just a weird sensation.

I am so excited for our trip to Paducah this weekend!  It will be our last trip until B gets here.  The Hughes are throwing us a shower which should be a lot of fun.  Plus it will be good to spend time with the family.  Hope you all have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend!

18 August 2008

28-29 Weeks

Hello 3rd trimester...and hello appetite!!  I can't believe we've made it this far!  The end is definitely in sight (scarily!).  I am really feeling more pregnant lately since I am FINALLY starting to have a true baby belly and not just extra fluff.  Plus, my appetite is just now starting to resemble a hungry pregnant lady.  Other than wanting a little bit of chocolate everyday and craving fruit...I haven't really had any of the odd cravings you hear about.  Nor have I really had a bigger appetite.  I've been pretty much eating the way I always do with an extra snack here and there (oh, and some form of chocolate pretty much everyday)...until this week.  Now I'm feeling more hungry and my usual servings sizes aren't always cutting it.  Hopefully, it won't get too out of control! ;) 

Also, I have been so tired the past few weeks.  I am attributing the appetite and sleepiness to baby B's growth.  She's measuring in at about 2 1/2 pounds right now.  And considering she will grow another 3-5 pounds between now and her birth...it's no wonder she's sucking everything out of me!  Another weird symptom I've been having lately is difficulty breathing.  Actually, it's a really common symptom...not that weird.  It just feels weird when it happens.  It's not all the time...just every once in a while I'll start to notice that my breathing is labored.  And it usually isn't connected with anything specific.  It's just as likely to happen in the middle of the night as when I'm doing an activity.  

I'll leave you with a funny story.  This actually happened a few weeks ago...but, I keep forgetting to write about it.  So, I finally had a stranger comment on my pregnancy.  I know since I'm not carrying all out in front of me it's taken a while for me to really look pregnant and not just chubby.  Anyways, I co-teach a class on preparing for a kidney transplant for potential patients and their families on Tuesday afternoons.  I was waiting in the back of the room for my turn to teach and I noticed a rather large man sitting in the back of the room.  Just to get the character in your mind...he was wearing overalls and a John Deer type hat.  He really did look fresh off the farm.  While I was sitting back there he got up and slowly walked to the refrigerator to get his Coke out and slowly walked back to his seat.  When it was my turn to teach my co-worker introduced me and I headed for the front of the class.  Now you have to understand that the "mood" of these classes are different every week.  Sometimes we get a very serious or even angry group...and sometimes they are light-hearted and jokey.  On this day I could sense they were having a good time.  So, I get up and start walking to the front and my overall-wearing friend in the back hollers out, "What you walking so slow for?!"  The class chuckles and before I know what I'm saying I take my cue for a comeback..."I know what my excuse is...what's yours?"  Everyone laughs and the man hollers back, "Well, I was born this way!".  I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders.

Now ya'll know what I've said about pregnant Laura...she's feisty!  But, seriously...if my boss is reading this, it was all in good-hearted fun.  I was just building some rapport. ;)  

As you can see, Kit fixed the picture on my banner to make it fit the whole screen.  Thanks, love...it looks great!

17 August 2008

Remembering Our First Angel

A year ago today was the due date for our first pregnancy.  Today we would have a one-year old if things had gone differently.  This week I've been very quiet inside as I remember the one we didn't get to keep.  I've always been a date person...I can remember people's birthdays (although not as good as my mom), anniversaries, and random events.  So, even with all the joy and gratitude I have to be carrying baby B...I can't help but remember a time with this date held so much promise for us.

I found out I was pregnant in mid-December 2006.  It was Christmas season and I can still hear the songs on the Sarah McLachlan Christmas album I was playing over and over when I think about that month.  Our niece had just been born a month and a half earlier and I was so excited that these cousins were going to be so close in age.  Both of our parents were with us that Christmas...so, we got to share the news and excitement with them together.  It never even crossed my mind to be worried that something would go wrong.  My great-grandmother had 8 children, for crying out loud!  Losing a baby was probably the furthest thing from my mind.

I guess part of the pain from losing that first baby came from my naivete.  It probably didn't help that the miscarriage itself was pretty traumatic...complete with a night spent in the ER.  And for a girl who's hardly ever been sick, much less in the hospital, it was all a shock to my system.  But none of that compares with the utter heartache I felt in the days, weeks, months that followed.  I had no idea my heart could break the way it did.  For a long time I couldn't see how I would get out of muck of that grief.  

A year ago today I remember bracing myself for what I was sure was going to be a hard day.  I took the day off of work and Kit & I went down to Savannah to work on the house.  I wanted to spend the morning by myself to have room for tears and a kind of final remembering.  For the past 7 months I had been plagued with thinking things like, "Today I would be in my second trimester" or "We would be having our big ultrasound this week."  This day would be the last date that held meaning for that pregnancy...and I was hoping to have some kind of release.

And wouldn't you know it...God surprised me with joy that day.  I couldn't even find a tear.  I spent the morning taking a long walk and going over with God everything I had to be grateful for that had happened the past year.  It was definitely not how I expected to spend that morning...but, I am so thankful for that memory.  During the months after the miscarriage I remember thinking that I wouldn't be happy or feel joy until I was pregnant again.  God wanted to show me a different way.  I had grieved...and healing had occurred.

So today I'm remembering the baby we never got to meet...the angel that gave us so much in such a short a time.  I remember the way my heart broke and truly grieved that we would never hold that baby during this life.  But, I also remember how losing this baby brought me so deep into the presence of God's healing.  I remember how He very carefully sewed up the hole in my heart and once again gave me joy.

08 August 2008


Today I am carrying around the memory of an event that will never happen. Today we should be in the Bahamas. Today we should be celebrating Lisa's marriage to John. I remember so well when she told us they were planning their wedding for this date in the Bahamas. I was amazed by her hope and ability to continue living and planning even when she was submerged in treatments and Dr. visits. She had just completed her stem cell transplant and was living with the full conviction that healing was inevitable. Let's plan a wedding! Kit set up a website for the event and they sent out save the date cards. 08.08.08...They chose this day because John's hockey number is 8 and they thought it would be an easy way for him to remember their anniversary. This was going to be a celebration like none other. We were already anticipating so much to be grateful for. After everything they had battled, they deserved to have the party of the decade.

I was pregnant with my second pregnancy when they started planning the wedding and the baby was due in May. I remember being so concerned about what I was going to do with our 3 month old while we made the trip to the Bahamas. I couldn't imagine being away from such a small baby...but how would a 3 month old do with such a trip? I wanted to be able to kick back and enjoy the festivities...but already I was a protective mommy and didn't want to think about leaving my little one. What a life lesson this all has been....because here we are today, no wedding trip to the Bahamas and no 3 month old baby. Sometimes you really have no idea how things are going to go.

I have been missing Lisa in a very selfish way the past few weeks. It's funny the way grief sneaks up on you and hits you in seemingly random ways. I had one of those moments the other day where I was struck with such an obvious fact it seemed odd that I was even having such thoughts. I don't remember exactly what I was doing...but, all of a sudden the thought popped in my mind, "Oh my goodness...Lisa never even knew I was pregnant. Her last memory of me was my last miscarriage." And even as I was thinking this, another part of me was thinking, "Well, duh, Laura...of course she didn't." But even as obvious as this is, the reality of it still took my breath away like it was the first time I realized it.

I had the same type of moment when I watched
The Business of Being Born a month or so ago. The movie itself is a fairly emotional documentary about pregancy and childbirth in America...and I suppose I am in a pretty hormonal way right now. Anyways, at the end of the movie they played an Emmylou Harris song about angels. I'm not really sure what song it is, but it hit me swift and strong. Lisa loved Emmylou. And the combination of images of new babies and Emmylou crooning about angels sent me over the edge. I began sobbing uncontrollably with the realization that that is what Lisa is to us now...an angel. She won't be here when our daughter is born. She won't rub on my growing belly and giggle at how big I'm getting. She won't share in all the little memories I've been holding so dear. And most painful of all...baby girl will never know her Aunt Lisa. And while all this stuff is so obvious and selfish...it still hits me sometimes like I'm just now learning of her death.

So today I hold my open palms up to God. I say thank you for my precious daughter...for her heartbeat and breath and little kicks. I embrace my gratitude and happiness and lightness of being that I felt so far from a year ago. And I also embrace my sadness. I let myself question why Lisa is gone. I let my tears flow for all the plans that didn't get to be...for weddings we'll never get to celebrate and babies we'll never get to hold. And isn't this living? Always teetering between the bitter and the sweet. I accept it all...and pray for the strength to walk through all seasons of life with hope, gratitude and a very big love.

*How bizarre is it that I made this post at exactly 8am??

05 August 2008

Sweet Memory

I am constantly one step behind baby B's kicks when trying to get Kit (or really anyone) to feel her.  We have spent so many moments on the couch watching tv with his hand patiently on my belly...waiting.  Nope, not her style.  She likes to wait until after I go to bed to put on her dancin' shoes.  And boy does she ever!  I didn't realize exactly how much she was moving at night until I woke up at 3am one morning for my third trip to the bathroom.  When I laid back down she was dancin' all over the place!  So this is when you get your groove on, girl?

Most nights I am in bed and knocked out before Kit is even thinking about going to bed...especially when I have to be up early for work the next day.  Well, this morning Kit told me about the sweetest moment he & B shared last night after I was already asleep.  He said that when he came to bed he snuggled up with me and put his hand on my belly and she was kicking away.  So, he stayed there for a bit and relished the presence of his baby girl.  I thought it was cute that he said, "How do you sleep when she's moving like that?  Doesn't it wake you up?" ;)  I guess not! 

I am so glad he was finally able to really feel her moving like I get to everyday.  Feeling her baby kicks is such a precious reminder that she's really here and she's growing and she's a part of who we are.  I loved hearing the happiness in his voice and had images of many daddy-daughter moments to come. 

03 August 2008

27 Weeks

Welcome home Sarah!!  Sister Sarah has been studying and gallivanting around London for the past 6 weeks and just got home this weekend.  My parents and Narnie went to visit her and tour the area for the last week of her trip.  I'm envious of all that they got to see and experience...but, not of all the traveling.  Part of me wishes we got to go too.  But I know I would have been miserable and worn out with all the walking, subway and train rides and long flights.  Next time!

So, our duty while the family was gone was to keep Mitzi (my parent's shitzu).  It was definitely our turn...as Mom & Dad have kept Penny so many times for us to travel and play.  But, I have to say I was more than ready to pass her off today when they got home.  Oh Mitzi, Mitzi, Mitzi...She's an old dog, prissy and set in her ways.  And she loves my dad like nothing else.  And why shouldn't she?  He treats her like the princess: long walks, car rides wherever he goes, a little bit of wet food mixed in with her dry, and of course the endless table scraps.  Penny always comes home way spoiled when she stays with them.  To quote my mom, "When I die, I want to come back as one of Ted's dogs."  Really, the animals at my parent's house have the good life.

So it's no wonder that when Ted is away Mitzi is prone to mild-severe depression.  This can involve protesting food & treats, sleeping all day, and staying underneath the bed for hours (even when you have a platform bed that really is too close to the ground to be squeezing under).  But Mitzi's prize-winning act of defiance this week was a little stunt she pulled last Saturday.  Sonya and I had been to the grocery store getting stuff for the party and Kit was up at the pool relaxing.  When we got home we were in and out of the garage bringing in groceries.  On one of our "outs" back to the garage Mitzi saw her opening and slipped through the open door.  And while I was focused on Mitzi, Penny made her escape.

So now both of the dogs are trotting down the street pleased with their Saturday adventure.  I wasn't too concerned because we do live in a gated community.  I yelled for Sonya to get their leashes and headed after them.  It wasn't until I actually got to the gate opening that I realized there is a perfect dog-sized gap in the gate where cars come in.  And there's no sign of the dogs.  Shoot!!  I leave the community and take off running down the street where I see Mitzi darting through traffic to the other side.  So here I am 6 months pregnant, running down the street, screaming and half crying for Mitzi.  All the while trying to call Kit on my cellphone.  I know I looked like a lunatic.  I wasn't as worried about Penny because I knew she would come when she was called.  And she did.  Thank goodness for Sonya!  She came running behind me with leashes and immediately grabbed Penny (who hadn't made the trek across the street), leashed her and hung it on a stake in the ground.  Then she took off across the street to fetch Mitzi.

Sonya was able to seduce Mitzi, wrangle her with the leash and bring her home.  All the while I am in such a tizzy I'm afraid I have hurt the baby.  It's not good to have such high emotions during pregnancy, right?  But, we all survived.  Mitzi survived my wrath...Baby B and I survived the whole ordeal.  We even had just enough time for a cocktail (juice and sparkling water) and a short nap before the party.  Mitzi, I love ya...but, I'm glad you're home. 

In baby news, we bought our crib and changing table from Ikea yesterday!  After months of deliberating and comparing we took the plunge.  I have to give a big shout out to Kit who spent the majority of the day today putting them together.  Thanks, love...they look great!  They're still hanging out in a room half filled with other non-baby stuff...but, it's a start, right?  It's nice being able to cross things off the long list.