JESSICA @ 30 WEEKS

Apparently I’m a pretty good crock-pot.  We had our 30-week visit and ultrasound this morning and the babies are fat and happy.  Baby Boy is weighing in at about 3 lbs 12 oz and Baby Girl is about 3 lbs 7 oz.  She’s right on schedule and he’s about a week bigger, which has been his style the whole way.  He’s also quite the exhibitionist and doesn’t shy away from the camera.  She, on the other hand, does not like to be messed with.  Inevitably her hands are in front of her face, and today she had both a leg and arm blocking her head.  We’re curious to see if these personality traits persist after they are born.

They are both being stubborn about their positions.  On Friday, I was having extreme discomfort and thought I was going to look down and see an alien coming from my belly button.  I hoped that they were turning around, but no such luck with that endeavor.  I guess they like having their heads crammed up against my rib cage.  I’m going to have to reach into a big bag of tricks to see what we can do to get these little rascals to get in the right position so I don’t have to have a c-section.

Thankfully, I’m not having any preterm labor and everything appears to be moving along as it should.  We want to keep these little ones cooking as long as possible.  For now, I will continue to watch my belly morph into unnatural positions and keep watch on my belly button.  In terms of turkey, I’m almost done.

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SUNDAY … FOUR DAYS AND COUNTING

Sunday, we were all exhausted from the big party on Saturday, so we had to run around quickly to get ready for church. Patty teaches children’s church so all the children, except Joel, went with her. The twins enjoyed playing with all the new toys and did quite well until story time. Natalie started to fuss, so I took her out and we walked around the church. In the sanctuary they were singing, so Natalie calmed down and listened to the music. Jim saw us and led us to where they were sitting. I was a bit nervous about us sitting there since Natalie had never sat through a church service; but, she behaved beautifully and I was very proud of her!

Once we got to their house the twins went down for their nap, the boys went out on the pond in a boat, while Patty and I got ready for our pictures later that afternoon. The pictures turned out well, even with Natalie and Julian trying so hard to squirm their way out!

Then it was off to supper at The Rain Forest Café. What a fun place that is! The kids just loved it. When the thunderstorm started, Natalie just held on to me for dear life! She soon realized that she was safe and the big gorillas were not going to attack her. Natalie then laughed at the gorillas playing in the band! Not only was the Rain Forest Café a great place for the kids, but the food was actually good too! We all had a great time. The meal was topped off with Chad getting a volcano chocolate cake. A perfect ending to another wonderful day!

Later that night when all the children were in bed, Brian helped Patty join Facebook. Brian just loves Facebook and thinks everyone should be on it too. It is a great way to communicate to lots of people at one time. I had asked most of my Facebook friends to become fans of the NEDC and many did! That way you can see at a glance what the latest news is at the NEDC. Since my Mom has been in the hospital, I have used it as a way to request prayer for her and update people on her status. Now that Patty is on Facebook, she can become hooked like the rest of us!

PREGNANCY & PEDOMETERS

I drink a lot of water. I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle. Not only is this a good general health practice, I also have had a history of dehydration resulting loss of consciousness. As a result, frequent trips to the bathroom are just a part of being me. When I got pregnant I figured I was already used to my frequent bathroom trips, so how much more could I really go? Turns out…quite a bit.
Recently, my manager asked me to put together a walking program and research pedometers for our department. I designed a challenge to have our group walk from Louisville to New Orleans this year. Everyone would get a pedometer to wear daily and earn prizes for reaching checkpoint cities by certain dates. The pedometer I found is the most accurate pedometer I’ve ever worn…meaning I don’t earn steps by spinning around in my office chair.
This pedometer tells me that from my desk it is 140 steps round trip to and from the bathroom. It also tells me that it’s not uncommon for me to walk up to 1.9 miles during my time in the office…and a majority of that is racked up on my bathroom visits. Many people think I’m “on their same schedule” as we see each other in the bathroom. What they don’t realize is that I’m on everyone’s schedules!
I’ve learned that I can no longer spend 30 minutes on the elliptical machine because I have to keep getting off to run to the bathroom. I’ve also learned that when I walk in my neighborhood, it’s best to take laps so when I pass my house I can waddle in for a quick pit stop. Yoga has become entertaining as each week I discover another pose that doesn’t quite work the way it used to and getting my hands to my feet isn’t very graceful anymore. I’ve started warning my new students that yoga won’t make them look like Buddha and not to worry if I have to run out of the class for a minute. Swimming seems to be the best exercise because it allows my belly to hang which gives my bladder a much-needed reprieve from all the kicks and jabs it’s currently enduring. So, swimming it is…no matter how frightening I may look in my maternity racing suit.

That’s me instructing yoga on Monday night.  Straddle splits is one of the few poses where my belly doesn’t interfere and still feels good.

BITTERSWEET HOMECOMING

As always, all good things must come to an end.  Tuesday morning was wet and rainy, which matched my mood when I awoke and realized this would be my last chance to be with the Baileys’ for who knows how long.  My children and I are usually not “morning people” per se, but we quickly got ready so we could spend a precious few minutes together before they departed.  My sister Cathy was going to get Joel & Chad off to school for me while I drove the Baileys to the airport.  We almost had a repeat of being lost when we set out with the backroads directions from MapQuest, but Jim saved the day with an alternate route.  I tried my best to delay the inevitable, but we did arrive at the airport in plenty of time, and after one last round of hugs and well wishes we parted.

It wasn’t until I was retracing my route along those quiet, wet, dreary back roads that the silence hit me.  There would be no more pitter-patter, chattering or belly laughs.  I had so enjoyed the time I spent not only with all of them, but it was a chance to recall how much I miss my boys being that age.  It is a rare  opportunity that you get a second chance, and this was close as I could get to “relive” some of those moments.  I can see so much of my of not only my boys, but some mannerisms of my nieces and the cute things they all would do when small.  I know Brian and Marti enjoy and love Natalie and Julian very much.  I can see they live for the moments they snatch over the course of a busy day for a cuddle, kiss or romp.  They are truly blessed.  Thanks for sharing your gifts with those around you, and especially us.

When I got home from the airport, Cathy and I talked about how well we thought the visit had gone.  I told her I would like to plan a trip to Tennessee maybe one year for Natalie & Julian’s birthday, because it is near our spring vacation.  She said she would love to see them again, and if all my family couldn’t go, she would accompany me.  She was sad to see them leave, for she really had enjoyed spending time with them all.  After she left, I was getting Chad ready for school when he burst into tears, crying how he “missed the Baileys so much.”  I told him we all did, and that was a good thing, because it meant we had had a wonderful time together and it is OK to be sad when it ends.

As I begin the process of putting my house back in order, I am reminded of different parts of our trip and smile.  As I folded the Pack & Plays, I remembered walking down the hall in the morning and seeing one or both of the twins either asleep or waiting for someone to get them.  As I switch our “old towels” for the “new towels”, I remember the bathtimes that Chad, Natalie & Julian shared.  They loved to help each other “wash” their hair.  Over the next couple of days as we slip back into our normal routine, something will make me think of this weekend and I’ll smile.