Saturday, April 30, 2011

Do You Feel Anything NOW?

Daniel drove me CRAZY Thursday morning! (In a completely cute way, of course!)

I was cramping pretty regularly for a couple of hours; they were even being picked up *a little* during my NST. After he started realizing that they were coming every 10 minutes, he started driving me nuts, asking

"Have you felt anything again?"
"Are you feeling anything now?"
"What about now?"

How sweet is that? He was so excited and wanting to be so involved that he pestered me to death!

Yesterday I started feeling some as well. The second he saw it on my face (note to self: "learn to control facial expressions") he started with the question firing squad again. I told him to knock it off and I'd give him a full report after an hour has past.

He made it 20 minutes. :-)

Love ya, Daniel! And I'm so glad you want to be involved in every step!

A Mom (or Two)

Mom and Me, June 2005
My Mom's in today while D's shooting a wedding. She's been cleaning out the fridge, washing dishes, straightening up, etc, etc ... but most importantly we've been chatting. That's my favorite part of spending time with Mom -- the "talking time". I'll admit it, we're so alike that sometimes our mutual stubborness or sensitivity will cause a glimpse of tension. But now that I've surpassed the teenage years, those tense moments are few and far between.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how she's always been the Mom and I've always been the child. How strange is it going to be when I join that rank of "Mommy"?! Of course, I know I'll ALWAYS be her "baby", but I'll be a Mom and a "baby" (if you will). We'll both be Moms. How neat is that?

A Little About "Mom and Me":
My favorite "Mom and Me" tradition: Going to Neyland Stadium to root on the Vols. What other mother-daughter duo do you know of who does that? It's absolutely wonderful! We've been doing it since I was in the 7th grade or so -- even driving 5 hours several weekends in a row to watch them play. Some seasons are more "productive" than others for them, but it's ALWAYS fun "Mom and Me" time!

Our Fashion Sense: We both enjoy shopping (maybe a little too much) and like to be nicely covered (i.e. modest) but fashionable (check out her pointy toe shoes in the pick above!). I've got a trillion clothes in my closet and she's got a zillion and two in hers. Someday maybe I'll catch up! 

Our Music Ability: Mom's a great pianist (although she may be hesitant to admit it) and I'm not too bad myself... we're both especially good sight readers. We also both played clarinet. She played through college (in the Pride of the Southland) and me through high school.

Favorite "Mom and Me" Time When I Was "Little": Going to the library and picking out books for the summer reading program. I can close my eyes and almost smell the smell of the basement of the library. Great times!

Favorite "Mom and Me" Trip: When been on a couple of trips with "just us girls", and while our England trip was the most memorable, I think I'm going to pick our Washington D.C. vaca for a rather odd reason. (TMI alert...) We were on our way to the airport (to leave to go to D.C.) and I started complaining about my stomach hurting. I had eaten a McDonald's breakfast, so I figured that accounted for the weirdness I felt. When we got to the airport (barely on time for the flight) I made a quick pit stop in the bathroom and discovered something frightening ... you guessed it! I had started my period. It was hot in D.C., we were walking a ton, and I was having to deal with the stress and pains that went along with Aunt Flo. I'm sure I was a terror to be around! But you know what sticks out in my mind? All the fun we had! We visited a tons of museums, memorials, etc and Mom made me make the best of it! 

Thanks, Mom for always urging me to push through!

(Side Note: If Jenaleigh has blonde hair, you now know who to blame!)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dear Baby . Weddings

Dear Jenaleigh,

A portrait (by your Mee Mee) of your Aunt
Rachel as a child, trying on your Mee Mee's
wedding dress.
Your daddy and I were on our way to an appointment with our midwife when my mind started to wander into the future ... your wedding day. I said something to your daddy about how someday he'll have to walk you down that aisle and give you away. He gave me a very serious look (and I could almost see a tear starting to form) and told me, "Take that back! Don't say that again!"

You see, your Daddy is already very attached to you (as am I) and it's so difficult to think about that day when you'll leave our family and be joined together with a man to start your own. 

However, we're going to try our best to teach you about God's plan for marriage, about the relationship and roles between husband and wife, and we are regularly in prayer about your future (I even wrote a post for the whole world to see about how I'm praying for your future 'in-laws'.)

So today as the rest of the world is SO excited about the marriage of Prince William and Kate (I'm sure you'll learn more about them when you get here), I'm thinking about you! Kate was a stunning bride and I LOVED her dress. But I know on your wedding day -- perhaps a breezy day in spring or a winter wonderland in December -- you'll be the most beautiful bride ever. My baby, who I haven't even met yet.


You can vote every day (until May 18) if you'd like!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Jenaleigh's Accessories

I love accessories (thank you Mom, for instilling that in me!). Unfortunately, I have a horrible habit of wearing a necklace once and then losing it ... wearing a pair of earrings out and then taking one off in the shower and one off in the bed ... you get the picture!

But, I am going to try HARD not to lose these precious accessories, headbands for Jenaleigh:

Too cute, right?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

37 Week Update

It's so difficult to believe that we're at 37 weeks (which is considered "term" by most medical professionals)! So, here's the low down:

Weight Gain: 22 pounds (and it doesn't seem to be going up anytime soon since baby has got my stomach scrunched to the size of a pea so I can't eat much). I'm pretty pleased with that! (the weight gain, not the scrunching of the stomach). I know it could have been less, but for me who can gain 20 pounds in 6 months when I'm NOT preggo, I'll take this one as a small victory in self control!

My 'Threads': If you know me (or at least the pre-pregnant me), you know I'm not one for sweat pants and t-shirts. So, being on bedrest has made it a little difficult. I want to look "nice", but it's sometimes not the most comfy to lay in bed in jeans and a sweater. HOWEVER, I have been dressing decently about every other day and find that dresses (weird, I know) are actually comfy to lounge in!

Food Cravings: I haven't had many this whole pregnancy. Fresh fruit still makes me happy, but this past week I've been wanting RESTAURANT food. Maybe this means I just want to be able to get out and go eat at restaurants! What I'd love to have right now:
  • Venti Carmel Frappucino (decaf, of course)
  • Zuppa Tuscana, Olive Garden
  • Breadsticks and Alfredo Dip, Olive Garden
  • Cheese Biscuits, Red Lobster
  • Roast Beef & Cheddar Sandwich, Arby's
  • Strawberry Cake, Dumplin's
  • Sausage & Feta Calzone (from anywhere, really!)
  • Loaded Bake Potato, Outback Steakhouse
  • Beef & Cheese Burrito (almost any Mexican Restaurant will do...)
Jenaleigh is...: Hiccuping. A lot. Mainly at night. When I'm trying to sleep. She hasn't felt as crazy active as she was in previous weeks (probably due to her cramped quarters), but she's still moving like a champ! She's also firmly head down (she's been there since week 30 as far as I know).

Feelings/Thoughts/Concerns: Once I'm off bedrest (in 5 days) I'll probably go into "freak out mode", but right now I'm cool, calm, and collected (well, as much as a hormonal pregnant lady can be). I know many women at this point in the game can't wait to "get the baby out", but I'm enjoying being pregnant! Don't get me wrong, I am completely looking forward to having her here in my arms, but I think bedrest makes the "symptoms" of a usually uncomfortable time period in a woman's life less noticeable. I'm not sore all the time, I'm not swollen, I don't feel like a cow, etc...

"Stuff" Status: The nursery is about 98% completed (thank you SO much D for putting the furniture together, Dad and cousin R for taking "stuff" out of boxes and assembling them, and Mom for putting "stuff" where it belongs in the nursery!) We just need to put the washed sheet on mattress, hang the valence, and move the crib over a little and we'll put a check mark on that project. Oh, and the car seat is ONE step closer to the car -- it's sitting by the front door!

Stupid Thing I Did This Week: (Sorry Mom, I know you hate the word "stupid" and the word "hate" for that matter...) Just a few seconds ago my water bottle lept to the floor behind the coffee table. Hanging on to the bed with one arm, I reached my other arm down to scoop it up. I immediately realized I had reached a little too far and then panicked thinking I had done damage to baby. Thank you so much to the caring nurse who picked up the phone at L&D when I called for reassurance tonight! She said I probably just strained a muscle since I've been on bedrest for so long and just to be sure to mention it at my appt tomorrow (which I will do!) I know the worry will never end, even when she gets here!

Exciting News: I've been nominated for the top 25 pregnancy journals along with several journals that I subscribe to! What an honor! Click the image below to vote for me (please)!

Going to be Induced? Educate Yourself.

While in the hospital in Louisville, my perinatoligist was discussing how, if under his care, he would like to induce me at 39 weeks. He was raving about this drug that he uses that causes more "natural" contractions. The conversation went something like this ...

Me: "So, what's this drug's name?"
Dr.: "Cytotec. And it really mimics the natural pattern of labor. It's great."
Me: "Wow! If I did have to be induced, that sounds wonderful! Why isn't it used more? Why do we mainly hear about Pitocin?"
Dr. : "I'm not sure."

I now know why. 

Cyctotec (a drug designed for treating ulcers) is NOT approved for use in pregnant women, in fact the company explicitly WARNS against use in that group of people. Doesn't the graphic on the label on the drug itself say enough?

However, doctors (just like the one I encountered) are not telling women this fact and using it as an induction aide in an estimated 200,000 births yearly. They're not warning women of the outstanding risks of
  • uterine rupture (even in women without previous cesarean sections)
  • postpartum hemorrhage
  • fetal distress
  • amniotic embolism
  • fetal death
  • maternal death
Her story may be rare, but Tatia Oden-French's is one that is heart wrenching. In 2001 Tatia was expecting her first child and was in perfect health, excited about a natural childbirth. However, her care provider decided since she was 2 weeks overdue that she should be induced. The drug of choice: Cytotec (also known as Misoprostol). Ten hours after been administered Cyctotec, Tatia experienced hyper-stimulation of the uterus, an amniotic fluid embolism, and ended up having an emergency C-Section. Both Tatia and her baby died in the operating room. Her mother, Maddie Oden, adamantly claims that Tatia was never informed of the risks of this harmful drug, Cytotec.

Maddie Oden, now spends much of her time lobbying for the ban of usage of Cytotec in pregnant women. 

Another reason the drug is so harmful to pregnant women is that has not gone through the clinical studies and trials necessary to be approved for use on pregnant women. (Which is one of the reasons hospitals prefer to use it -- it's cheap since it hasn't been studied in an expensive clinical trial on pregnant ladies) Therefore, there is no "standard", "correct dosage" . It comes in a pill form, which doctors have to cut up even though the pill is not meant to be divided in that manner (the active ingredients may not be equally distributed).

Being in a pill form also causes another danger. With Pitocin (in a drip form) if adverse reactions are detected the medication drip can be stopped and the medication cleared from the body rapidly. But, with Cytotec, there's no "taking back" a pill once it's been administered. One just has to hope that it goes okay!

Even Cytotec's manufacturer, Seale, took the time to write out a plea to warn the medical community in 2000:
"Serious adverse events have been reported following off-label use of Cytotec in pregnant women including maternal or fetal death, uterine rupture …amniotic fluid embolism"

Yet medical professionals still continue to administer the drug.

If your doctor mentions induction to you, please ask questions and make informed decisions. It enrages me that the doctor that I mentioned at the beginning of the post seemed to be holding back information from me. Maybe he doesn't know the risks. How much scarier is that thought?

Thankfully I now know and will be refusing Cytotec if ever offered to me. Make your own choices. (Read how making your own medical choices is closely related to making your own spiritual choices over at The Christian Practice.)

Links to Info on Cytotec:
WSMV's News Story on Cytotec
The Tatia Oden French Foundation

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Birth Story Monday . Baby Andrew's Story

(Martha's Notes: I've only known Holly for a few months; but she's already come to my rescue at least twice! First of all, I was quite frantic about switching care providers mid-pregnancy. Before we had even moved to Hardin I posted on FB about how I wasn't having much luck finding a midwife in the Western KY area and sweet Holly messaged me and told me about Candy (one of the few-- if not the only -- midwives allowed to deliver in hospitals in the area). Then I was have difficulties finding a doula and Holly pointed me in the direction of her sister-in-law, Stephanie! Woohoo! Anyway, here Holly shares her fourth kiddo's birth story on Birth Story Monday -- which happens to fall on a Tuesday today ;-) !)

Baby Andrew's Story
By: Holly R.
This is Andrew's story, he was born December 7, 2007. He is my fourth, and Lord willing, final baby. With this pregnancy, and my previous two, I had gestational diabetes(gd). I was blessed to be able to control it with diet only and weekly non-stress tests. Other than the gd I had a normal pregnancy.

Our main concern with Andrew was his size. I have big babies, they get bigger with each one I have. Although I have big babies, I have never had a c-section or an episiotomy. Little did I know though that Andrew would not be big, he would be huge.

My older three children were born in Lexington at Central Baptist Hospital, but this time I used a midwife, Candy. I loved my doctor in Lexington, but Candy being a midwife approached pregnancy not as a medical condition, but a natural process of life. Candy was a wonderful support and advocate for me.  

At 39 weeks Candy ordered an ultrasound to try to get estimate of Andrew's size, as she was very nervous about him fitting through my pelvis. The ultrasound was done and the estimate -- 10 pounds. Candy said the doctor would probably want to do a c-section. Now I know that c-sections are sometimes necessary, but, in my humble opinion, are performed way too often. This was a route Tim, Candy, and I did not want to take, but it was up to Dr. Wynstra and what he felt was safe. In the end Dr. Wynstra said my pelvis had proven itself in my other deliveries and felt it would be ok to let me try a vaginal delivery. It was Wednesday, I was told to come back Friday morning to be induced. My first induction.

I arrived at the birthing center bright and early and got all hooked up and the pitocin was started. On a side note, I think pitocin may possibly be a tool of the devil. Anyway, Candy came in and made me get out of the bed and told me she didn't want to see me in that bed again! I was to be up moving or on the birthing ball. Since I was attached to monitors, moving was a little more difficult. I must say though that I LOVED the birthing ball, it was great.

I labored all day and into the evening. Pitocin contractions are different, they come closer together than regular ones. At about 5:00 I was at a 4 and requested my epidural, sweet sweet relief. I am not ashamed to admit to having epidurals with all four babies, it was a good choice for me. I kept laboring another hour and half and my blood pressure dropped. They started pumping fluids into me and got it brought back up. It was then time to push. 

Candy had me lay on my side and push, but that wasn't really working, so in came the stirrups. This was actually funny, because it took Candy and two nurses to figure out how to put the stirrups on the bed! Candy had also called Dr. Wynstra in, just in case Andrew would't fit and a c-section was needed. I began pushing again, with great encouragement from Candy and Dr. Wynstra. They got the vacuum out and used it to help me, but I really don't think it helped all that much. After much pushing, they were saying look, look here he comes. I looked down and saw my precious boy slide out, face up. The first words I heard are, "We have got to get him on the scale." 

He was huge. Andrew Nicolas weighed 11 lbs 7 oz and was 22 inches long. He was born the size of a three month old. No newborn diapers for him and the little shirts they put on the babies didn't fit him, way too small. The little hat was too small also and wouldn't stay on. He was perfectly healthy and absolutely beautiful.

I was told that he was the biggest baby born vaginally at Jackson Purchase, I hope no poor woman gets to break my record. It was a difficult delivery, but the payoff was amazing. There is nothing in the world like looking into your child's eyes for the first time, even when it is number four, it was amazing each and every time. I thank God for letting me get to experience it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fur Babies

Our "babies" will be dogs soon.

Daniel and I got into a habit of calling our 2 crazy, goofy, teenager dogs "babies". I'm thinking that once Jenaleigh gets here, they will turn into dogs! ;-)

Don't get me wrong. We are NOT the type of people who treat our dogs like people. They stay outside; they eat dog food; they only get bathed when they really really really really need it. But, for the past three years they have been our "children" (hopefully we'll treat our real child a little better than them!)

So, here's a post all about them. Our current children, soon-to-be D.O.G.S.

Ella: We got our black, goofy, adorable lab Ella in 2008 right after we moved to Sweetwater. She was a problem child from the beginning. She loved to bite when she was small! Not cute little puppy bites, but *ouch* bites. In addition to that, she had a problem.

A "pee" problem.

Apparently Ella was born with only one functioning kidney -- the other kidney was there, but it hadn't formed completly. This, along with ureters that are a little "off" causes her to leak. She did undergo surgery as a puppy to try to correct the problem. But, it didn't work. The vet said she could live a perfectly normal life as a leaky dog, so she continues to be just that -- a leaky faucet.

Thankfully, she's grown out of biting. But she still thinks she's a puppy. Even though she's not.


Maggie was a stray, who immediately helped Ella get over her "biting" problem. I think Ella learned what it felt like to be bitten and therefore stopped biting! When we first got her she wouldn't look anyone in the eye; but, love has helped her get over that! Maggie is still somewhat shy, but also hyper and loves to LICK! YUCK!

She's a sweet dog (especially when she's not around Ella). But, you can NOT let this dog lose without a lead. She will put her nose to the ground and go wherever the scent takes her. (This is the opposite of Ella, who may run a little bit ahead, but then turns back to make sure we're still there.)

Together this daring duo are crazy dogs who whine and whimper when the other's not near. They're sisters! They're our "babies"! They're our .... dogs!

Daniel took our fur babies for a stroll and to his amazement, Ella actually played in the water! I know, I know, it may not seem like a big deal for most, but as a puppy she HATED the water -- was TERRIFIED of it. So, this was a great moment for the proud daddy Daniel!

(Viewing Tip: You may want to press "play" then "pause" and then wait a couple of minutes. This will let the video load fully before you start watching it and prevent interruptions!)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anti "Push Present"

For those of you who aren't in the know ... a "push present" (or "push gift") is a gift from the dad to the mom as a "thank you" or "way to go" for giving birth to their new baby.

In my situation, I am very ANTI push present. I feel like it should be me giving Daniel the gift! I know, I know, pregnancy, labor, delivery, etc is such hard work, but my husband has done a TON of hard work during this whole pregnancy!

(I'm sure he isn't going to like the fact that I'm bragging on him ... but, I'm going to do it anyway!)

During my 6 weeks of "morning sickness", the EXTRA stuff he did, included:
  • Ran out at all hours of the day/night to buy me food that I thought wouldn't make me sick (turns out, most of it still did)
  • Cooked meals that I thought would be appetizing (most of them stayed on my plate and not in my stomach)
  • Ran up and down the stairs to bring me things while I was in bed
  • Washed the dishes/Cleaned the kitchen
  • Concocted a ginger tea to help battle the nausea (it worked but was GROSS)

During the last 6 weeks, the EXTRA stuff he did, included:
  • Spent more than16 hours on the road traveling from Hardin to the hospital to be with me
  • Slept on an uncomfy pull out bed on the days he was in the hospital with me
  • Put together baby furniture (all FOUR pieces of furniture that came boxed up in a jillion pieces)
  • Brings me my breakfast in bed every morning
  • Prepares/Cooks ALL of my meals for me (except when we're blessed to have friends bring over food for us!)
  • Brings a plate of food to to me wherever I am
  • Refills my water cup throughout the day
  • Does a ton of laundry
  • Does even more loads of dishes
  • Has kept (and continues to keep) the house in tip top shape
During all of the pregnancy, the EXTRA stuff he did, included:
  • Dealing with my crazy mood swings and outbursts of tears
  • Tagged along to 23409832 doctors/midwife appointments
  • Been an emotional rock for me
  • Asked questions and tried to stay as informed as possible about what was going on in each stage of pregnancy
  • Feeding the dogs each and every morning (used to be one of my "chores")
  • ... and much much more...

Before you start saying, "But he's supposed to do those things" or "You're doing the hard work carrying the baby", let me stop you. I understand that I am doing a great and noble thing by carrying our child in my womb, but I also understand that D is doing a great and noble thing by being such a wonderful husband!

Many many many men are not this attentive to their pregnant wives! Some because they have no choice (thankfully Daniel's job hours are somewhat "flexible), some because they aren't in tune with what their wives need; some because they're just meanies!

I am SO thankful to have a husband is willing to do so much for me. I think he deserves a push present! What about you? :-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Midweek Must-Reads

There were just too many great blog posts in the blogosphere today that I had to share!
  1. "About Couponing" -- A post (by my great friend Robin) with great considerations about couponing. Read it before you start your own couponing adventures!
  2. "H.A.L.T. & C.E.A.S.E." -- A post to help us "fight it out" in our marriages in a pleasing way to God!
  3. "Stuffed Poblano Peppers" -- This has me salivating.
  4. "Women's Wednesday: At Least It's A One-Piece...?" -- Okay, so this is a shameless plug for an article I wrote for my weekly Women's Wednesday over at my husband's blog. Give it a chance!
  5. "That Four Letter Word: PROM" -- This was a late addition to the list, but it's something I feel SO strongly about that I just had to include. A MUST read for parents and teens.
Enjoy your reading!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So, I finally made a decision ... I'm going with the ERGObaby. 

We already have a custom made sling ( thanks to our talented seamstress friend, Mel! But, I decided we needed another option in addition to the sling. 

After much research (and sorting through a ton of confusing opinions and preferences), I ordered an ERGObaby carrier (with the heart2heart infant insert). It's one of the more pricier options, but I think it's going to be great for us!

Here's why...

  • design supports a correct sitting position for the baby's hip, pelvis and spine growth
  • disperses most of the baby's weight between the hips and thighs, which helps to eliminate compression of the spine when hanging by the crotch which most other designs require
  • balances the baby's weight to parents' hips and shoulders, and alleviates physical stress for the parent.
  • suitable for newborn through toddler (up to 40 lbs)
  • you can nurse baby while he/she is in the ERGObaby carrier.
  • the infant insert (Heart2Heart) design encourages healthy maturation of the spine by supporting the pelvis, hip joint, and leg position rather than putting a baby in a compromising sitting position before the spine is ready. 
  • the infant insert design easily enables parents to ensure that their newborn is positioned correctly on the pillow, keeping pressure off the developing sacrum, and supports the development of the spine and hips. It snaps closed around the infant, holding the baby in a cozy, protected environment close to the heart, as well as in an ergonomically correct natural sitting position.
I'll let you know what I think when it gets here and I start using it! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birth Story Monday . Baby Isaac's Story

(Martha’s Notes: I met Jessica while in college when we both were attending the Pleasant View Church of Christ. We quickly became friends, as did our husbands, and enjoyed talking about clothes, pop culture, and life in general together! Enjoy her story of a relatively uncomplicated labor and delivery!)

Baby Isaac's Story
by Jessica H.
This is my story of how it all went down at the end of my pregnancy with my baby boy, Isaac.
I was originally supposed to be due on October 2, 2009 but my son had other plans. Around the second week of August I started dilating and felt the heaviness on my bladder. Around the last week of August I had managed to get to a "3" and had to leave work early because I had horrible contractions, so I went to the doctor and was placed on a monitor and given an IV to slow them down.

On September 14th I had a busy day with my patients in the dental clinic and went home to lay down. I woke up at midnight with my water breaking in my sleep! It was so weird like someone twisted a lemon in my belly and popped the juice! We were so excited and my husband got upset because I wanted to take a shower and do my hair- my husband is a nurse anesthetist so he takes these things seriously! I sat on towels all the way to the hospital and they got me in a delivery room when all the contractions started like major menstrual cramps gone terribly wrong!

So, the student anesthetist comes in the room and what do you know- he is my husband's classmate! So, he will not touch me out of extreme fear of "messing up", so I had to endure more pain and wait on the licensed anesthetist.

I got my epi and was high on life- pushed my precious little baby boy out and he just looked at me as to say, "So you are the crazy person always talking on the outside!"

About 2 hrs later I was eating lunch and asking all the nurses for hair gel because I left mine at home. My grandmother thought I was doing too much with drying my hair, applying makeup, and obsessing over hair gel to have just delivered a baby.

We left the hospital in 2 days and began our lives as parents.

Four weeks after, I had to return to Baptist Hospital to have my right ovary removed due to a dermoid cyst. It was soo hard to deal with this and take care of my son!

I also went back to work exactly a week after that because I was putting my husband through school- that whole experience put me in postpartum depression. It was all okay once I talked to a therapist and got myself together. I talk about this because I don't want other moms to be ashamed of this disorder. It is normal and it is okay to admit it- especially new moms.

We now live in a new city- Columbus, OH and my son is enjoying his preschool. I love my little family of my husband, son, and me. I will never forget being pregnant with Isaac because I enjoyed every minute of it and I just wanted to embrace every aspect!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Hired a What-a? A Doula?

The conversation usually goes something like this ...

Me: "We're preparing for a natural childbirth. Our primary care provider is a midwife and we have hired a fantastic doula, Stephanie."

Typical Response: "Oh, so you're having your baby at home and you've hired a what-a?"

Okay, first of all midwifes aren't just for home-births -- we're having a hospital birth. Does that have me jumping up and down with joy? Nope. But, obviously the Lord had a plan for us when moved and were forced to switch from our birth center to a hospital (due to Kentucky's lack of birth centers!), because now that we know about my Protein S Deficiency, a hospital is probably a safer place.

Next, on to the whole doula business. Seriously. Where have you people been!?! In fact as I'm typing this out the spell check doesn't even recognize the word doula! So, let me do some edumacating ...

A birth doula is someone to provide emotional, physical, and informational support continually throughout the labor process. Unlike the doctors and nurses who will check in sporadically, a doula is constantly with you, walking and talking you through what's happening to your body, providing you with options for non-medicated pain relief, and being a pillar of comfort during a time of unknowns!

"So, are you saying that Daniel's going to be no help, that's why you need a doula?"

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Doulas play a support role for both mom and dad, and can even help INCREASE the amount of involvement from dad by teaching and helping him to be a coach to the extent that he wishes. Daniel is excited about our wonderful doula! He wants her there -- someone who can gently guide us through the process and be a calming force  in an otherwise hectic and pressure filled hospital environment.

And get this -- there are real statisically supported benefits to having a doula!

(From Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
  • tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
  • reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
  • reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction
  • reduces the requests for pain medication and epidurals, as well as the incidence of cesareans
Now that you know, share with others who may not!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

High. Risk. Pregnancy.


Those were the words I saw scribbled at the bottom of the billing slip I was to hand the receptionist on the way out of my Midwife's office on Friday. Of course I'm high risk. I was in the hospital for THREE WHOLE weeks! But there was just something about seeing those words in ink that made me do a double take. Oh well, this high risk gal's going to give it her all to make it to term! :-)

Medical Happenings
For those of you who want a medical update on me, here goes! (For the rest who may not care as much for details, scroll on down!) ...

1) Candy (my midwife) wants me to come in for monitoring 2x a week once I hit 36 (next week). She chatted with Dr. P about it, and he said it wasn't necessary; but, we're still going to do it. It makes me happy to know that she's taking a few extra steps to ensure baby's well being!

2) Dr. P told Candy that I was absolutely under no circumstances whatsoever to be allowed to go past my due date. He recommends induction at 39 (if I haven't gone into labor by then); but, Candy and I discussed it and decided that as long as everything is perfect with the monitoring and u/s's then I can wait until my due date for induction (again, if I haven't gone into labor naturally by then).

3) Candy said there was a slight infection detected in my sample and put me on antibiotics right away (as you probably know, infections can increase the risk of pre-term labor significantly).

4) Bedrest: I'm going to be off bedrest starting May 1. Let the countdown begin!
Last night, Amy and Greg came over to provide us with a wonderful meal and wait on me hand and foot! I didn't have to lift a finger! I sat on the couch most of the night while they brought me dessert, drinks, etc. It was wonderful to be able to still be on "bedrest" and able to enjoy some socialization (and yummy yummy food - fettuccine alfredo, salad, bread, and a chocolate cake concoction with caramel, whipped topping, and reece's cups)!

Also, the ladies from church are taking turns bringing food for a little bit, taking a load off of Daniel's shoulders (even though he is an excellent cook). What a blessing to part of such a loving church family at the Hardin church of Christ! Pair the cooking with the cleaning Mom's done for us today ("yay" to clean bathrooms, polished furniture, and an organized bedroom!), means that Daniel and I set for at least the next week!

Finally, I'll leave you with a picture...

Too cute socks (yep, they're socks that look like shoes!!!) that I received in the mail from Aunt N & Uncle T:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Welcome Home to ... Anxiety?

We made it! We're home! So, why did I feel so ... anxious?

Last night I was a wreck full of horrible thoughts. "What If's" were abounding. Now that I was home from the hospital, I was on my own (or at least that's what was running through my anxious brain at the time). No nurse to come rushing in if I pressed a call button. No experienced person to tell me "That's normal." No OB just down the hall in case labor came. 

In addition to all of those thoughts, one main concern was looming ... THE SHOTS.

As you can read HERE, I mastered giving myself Arixtra, the blood thinner used to help combat my Protein S Deficiency. I gave myself that shot for a good 1 week before leaving the hospital. 

Fast forward to the trip home. Daniel and I stop at a Walgreens in Elizabethtown to get the Arixtra filled. They fill it and I ask about the cost... 

$1500 for one month -- and that was AFTER insurance.

Guess what it was BEFORE my insurance? ....


SERIOUSLY?! Are you joking? THANKFULLY, Dr. P had given me a prescription for Heparin in case my insurance did not cover enough of the cost. So began our quest for Heparin. It seems that it is not widely carried in drug stores, but the Murray Hospital Pharmacy was able to get some from the hospital to cover us for a couple of days until the rest came in.

Okay, so the money crisis was averted (Heparin is only going to be about $300-400 a month instead of the $1500!). However, that leads me to my next panic filled moment... when I began thinking about having to give myself the Heparin. 

Let me first say that the Arixtra that I was taking came nice and pre-filled, and a lovely SHORT needle. I have to fill the heparin myself out of vials and the needle is a lot longer (okay, its only 5/8", but STILL....) So, I started to go crazy with thoughts of  "What if I do it wrong." "What if I measure incorrectly" "What if I have a reaction", etc, etc, etc, etc, etc...

Thankfully, my loving husband asked Amanda, a nurse who's a member at Hardin church of Christ, to come to my rescue and walk me through it. 

Amanda arrived this morning with her too cute baby boy, Silas, and we did it! I made it through my first dose of Heparin, and it didn't hurt too badly... The bruising on the other hand, that's going to be ugly (and I have to give myself the shot 2x a day)! 

I'm great now. No more crazy anxiety (other than the normal stuff that comes with being pregnant). So, thank you so much Amanda for helping and thank you Daniel for being proactive and helping me to get over my panic.

Philippians 4:6. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Baby . Homecoming

Dearest Jenaleigh,

It's the middle of April and the weather is so pretty. It makes me imagine all the fun we'll get into next year in the spring and summer -- rolling around in the grass, chasing each other around in the yard, playing in the dirt. Your daddy will be there in the middle of all the fun, too! He loves playing outside!

Tomorrow is a big day for us. We're coming home from the hospital (if the Lord wills). Your mommy has been here for almost three weeks! Wow! And you've stayed safe inside of me and active the whole time. In fact, a few nurses have even told us how "textbook" you are after you're on the monitor each day. But you know what I think? You're even better than textbook! And you've been sooooo active lately. I can't believe that you still have room to move around, but you sure to roll your bottom up into my ribs!

Anyway, back to tomorrow... We're coming home! The next time (hopefully) we come home from a hospital we'll have a little Jenaleigh in our arms. I'm so excited for that day to get here. I can't wait to place you in your bassinet for the first time, to rock you in my glider for the first time, to bath you for the first time, and all the host of "firsts" that will follow. Just a few more weeks until your "estimated date of arrival"!

I love you,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hospital Bag List

I feel like we're experts now at the whole hospital stay thing! Now that I know more, I've revised my hospital bag list for the labor/deliver/postpartum stay. Check it out (keep in mind some items are for Daniel's entertainment!):
  • The paperwork: birth plan, ID, insurance card
  • Make-Up & Toiletry Bag 
  • Boppy Pillow (for nursing and for general pillow use)
  • Pillow with Pretty Pillowcase (this will be behind my head in lots of photos, why not make a pretty backdrop?)
  • Daniel's Phone, full of Harry Connick Jr. music
  • Camera with Charger
  • My Phone Charger
  • Pink Fuzzy Footies (thanks Amy!)
  • Lace Maternity/Nursing Robe -- My mom bought this for me while we were in New Orleans, just for this occasion! I had it at the hospital during our current stay, but decided to wait to wear it for the BIG OCCASION! (Mine's like the one here, but blue and brown):
  • Nightgowns, Nursing Tops, and Lounge Pants (-- I really prefer to wear my own clothes, even though I know that soe of them may get ruined. It'll help me feel at ease!)
  • Nursing Pads, Cream, and Bra
  • Kindle & Laptop
  • Going Home Outfit (for me)
  • Going Home Outfit (for baby)
  • Baby Book (to record Jenaleigh's cute little footprints -- thanks Aunt Ann for the baby book!)
  • Carseat (preferably in the car, right?)
  • Diaper Bag
  • Receiving Blankets
  • Clothes & Toiletries for Daniel
Additions to the List Due to This 3 Week Hospital Experience:
  • Ear Plugs & Eye Mask (I'm not sure if I'll be using them when trying to sleep, since I hope to "room-in"; but, maybe Daniel will use them to get a better night's sleep!)
  • Rain Machine (on our alarm clock --- very helpful when trying to block out distracting sounds)
  • Aloe & Soft Linen Body, Room, & Linen Spritz (The Body Shop) -- This has been wonderufl to have during this hospital stay. It makes the room smell like home.)
  • Change for the Vending Machines
  • 2 Bath Towels (The hospital towels are SO scratchy)
  • TOILET PAPER (Seriosly. Hospital. TP. Is. Bad.)
  • Hair Dryer (I was shocked to learn that Norton's Antepartum Unit didn't have a single hair dryer. Daniel had to go buy me one!)
  • Plastic bag for really dirty clothes, another plastic bag for tiny bit dirty clothes

Have I missed anything?

Birth Story Monday . Baby Noah's Story

(Martha’s Notes: I can’t remember the first time I met Rachel. She was a grade ahead of me in school, so I’m sure I always ‘knew of her’. But, the first time I really got to know her was in band. She played the clarinet and just happened to play it so well that she was first chair. I aspired to be like her in many ways, her gentle spirit, positive attitudes, and musical ability. Rachel was a great role model for me in high school – 
whether she knew it then or not! Anyway, on to the main event… the birth story!)

Guest Writer: Rachel

Blair and I decided to try to have a baby in May of 2009. Six weeks later, I found out I was pregnant!

After a healthy, normal pregnancy I went to the doctor for my 39 week check-up. It was four days before the due date, and I was feeling great. I was teaching at the time, and I had even spent 30 minutes dancing with kindergarteners that morning. I had to wait a little longer than usual to see my midwife, and I started developing a headache in the waiting room. When the nurse came to get me she did the usual weight check and then led me to a room.

She took my blood pressure. And took my blood pressure. AND TOOK MY BLOOD PRESSURE!
After a few odd looks at me, she quickly left the room to find my midwife. Jan came in, sat down, and took my blood pressure. Again. She looked at me and asked how I was feeling. I mentioned that I had a bit of a sinus headache, but other than that, I felt great. Jan said that I most likely did not have a sinus headache. That's when the blood pressure taking became very important. The week before, like every other week, my pressure had been 110 over 80. This week it was 195 over 135. Wait. WHAT? 195 over 135?! How did that happen?! Jan said she wanted us to go to the hospital immediately, and I asked if we could run home first and get my bags. She said no. She didn't want to take the risk of me having a stroke. WHAT? How did this happen? I was completely baffled. This was most certainly not a part of the birth plan.

Once we were at the hospital and checked in it didn't take too long to get a room. We were blessed to get there at a slow time, so we were able to get a LDR room (labor, delivery, recovery) where Noah would be able to stay with us after he was born. It even had a private shower. My pitocin drip was started and we were off!

I was only dilated to 2 cm when we got there, so they had the drip on pretty high. Several hours and no further dilation later, they continued to up my dose. And up it. And up it. For most of my pregnancy, Noah was head down, with his head planted firmly into my left pelvic bone. He liked it there. A lot. So much that he decided he was not going to rotate any further. The nurse practically insisted that I get an epidural. After three attempts by the anesthesiologist, the epidural catheter was in. It did me no good. Noah's position caused labor pains very similar to back labor with is unaffected by epidurals.

After thirteen hours of labor, the doctor (my midwife couldn't make it) decided it was time. They brought in the delivery team, and I got to pushing. Pushing was actually my favorite part of labor and delivery. I was in control of every bit of it, and the breathing techniques I learned as a voice major in college were extremely helpful. An hour-and-a-half later, I was holding my dear sweet Noah.

Unfortunately, my story doesn't end here. There's no, "And the next day the three of us went home with Blair and me smiling at our new bundle of joy." The doctor who delivered Noah was an unsupervised first year resident. I had second degree tearing due to Noah's 8-pound, sideways birth, and he was more concerned with the fact that he didn't really know how to suture my tear than he was in the fact that his hasty deliver of the placenta has ruptured my uterus, and I was bleeding out. I lost three units of blood before someone came in to check on him. It took a very long time and several different techniques to get the bleeding to stop.

Once it did, I settled in to learn how to nurse. The hospital had a great lactation team. They did everything they could to get us off to a good start. It was a struggle to get started. My breasts weren't quite made right for nursing, so we had to use some "products" to get going. But once my nurses figured out what needed to be done Noah and I hit the ground running.

Running, figuratively of course, because after all of that blood loss, no one thought to replace any of it.

Twenty-four hours later my new nurse noticed my levels were "off" and checked with the on-call obgyn. Sure enough, I needed a transfusion. Unfortunately, the wing of the hospital I was in didn't perform transfusions. So, remember that great LDR room I got? I had to leave. I was taken to a different part of the hospital. My new room barely had its own bathroom, and there was no shower. The walls were dingy. And my hormones were starting to crash. Quickly. With the transfusion I received several bags of fluid and two units of blood. 

During all of this, my medical team had been trying unsuccessfully to stabilize my blood pressure (what landed me in the hospital in the first place). I was unable to get out of bed on my own. A shower was out of the question. The blood loss hadn't helped the situation at all. Each afternoon I was told to expect to be there another day.

Unfortunately, I discovered in my second day after birth that I fall into the category of women who struggle with postpartum depression. By the third day, I found myself severely panicked and being loaded with anti-depressants and sleep aids in addition to the never-ending flow of fluid bags to lower my blood pressure.

Four days after delivering Noah, I insisted that my doctor discharge me. I was not going to stay any longer. He let me go with the condition that I stay on bed rest at home. I agreed and left the hospital with prescriptions for two pain killers, antibiotics, stool softeners, anti-depressants, birth control, and blood pressure meds.

However, none of that mattered as I sat in the back and stared and the most perfect little face ever created. Moments after I delivered Noah, my nurse asked how many children I wanted. I replied "Four," because no matter how difficult labor and delivery might be, it is worth it all for the privilege of raising a child.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Do I Miss? Day 19 of Hospital 'Bedrest'

I saw a status on Facebook this afternoon that put a huge smile on my face... 

It was from a lovely Christian lady who's expecting (due just a week after us). She was on bedrest for quite a bit longer than me (7 weeks) and was given the "all clear" a few days ago to graduate from bedrest. Her status today was about how great it was to be able to attend worship services on a Sunday morning after not being able to for so long! 

How wonderful it must have been for her to be able to physically be in the midst of all the saints that she had missed worshiping with for so long?!

What about you? If you were confined to a bed or to a hospital, what would you miss the most? Me? I miss my wonderful bed at home; but more importantly I miss attending worship services with the Christians that meet at the Hardin church of Christ.  I hope to see you all soon!


I have no developments for you on the pregnancy front today (or for the past few days). Dr. P gets back from his vacation today, so hopefully he won't find any reason to keep me here for longer than Wednesday! Only a few more days!

Tracy, the night nurse just came in. She was here with me on my 3rd and 4th nights in the hospital and witnessed my tears over the pain of the penicillin drip they were giving me (every four hours!) She even slowed the drip down, but it still hurt like nothing else! Thankfully Dr. P gave the go ahead to take out my saline lock on day 4; but, I'll never forget the feeling of those meds making my veins weaker and weaker!

Anyway, when Tracy walked into the room tonight she asked if I remembered her (of course!) and we reminisced about that lovely penicillin. I so appreciate how sweet she was when I was in such pain. I love great nurses! :-)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm Praying for a Special Couple

I'm sure most of you, like me, pray daily for your baby -- whether that baby is still in the womb or in your arms. There are any things I pray when praying for her -- I pray that she will grow to love the Lord will all her heart; I pray that we as parents will teach her God's ways and model to her the Christian life; I pray for her health; I pray for her future husband; but there are also two more important people I mention when praying for her...

her future husband's mom and dad.

Now before you raise an eyebrow and say, "But what if she doesn't want to get married? Aren't placing your assumptions in the way?", know that I am adding an important phrase -- "if it be Your [God's] will" -- just as Jesus prayed in Matthew 26:39 for God's will to be done.

Anyway, back to the praying for Jen's future hubby's mom and dad... I pray that this couple is making the necessary preparations to raise their son to...
1. a Christian who will help my daughter reach heaven someday.
2. a loving husband who my daughter will gladly let lead her. [Eph 5:25 and 1 Cor 11:3]
3. an authoritative, yet gentle father who will bring up children God's way. [Eph 6:4]

I sometimes try to imagine this couple - my future son-in-law's parents. Are they someone we know? Is he a preacher? Is she a Bible class teacher? Have we brushed shoulders at Polishing the Pulpit but never met? Someday we will know the answers to these questions, but for now prayer will be all sufficient.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gifts, Ina May, and Unexpected Tidbits

The lady who brings in the mail commented on how popular I am! I don't think that's what it is at all; rather, I think I've been blessed with friends and family who are extremely caring and giving! 

Speaking of... my good friend Robin just sent me a care package -- a kit to make felt cookies for Jenaleigh! The end product will be this:

I'll have to post a picture of one of mine when I finish to see if I can do it as beautifully as Robin! Read more about how to make these super cute cookies here:

I also received a beautiful "basket of sunshine" full of daisies topped off with a Willow Tree Angel from Lisa and Theresa (two fabulous ladies I was privileged to get to know while growing up):

Here's the Sunshine Willow that came with the flowers: 

Add to that the flowers I received last week from my aunt & uncle, the abundance of cards, and the 3 care baskets/boxes --- my room is overflowing with love! Thank you all!

On the pregnancy front today... I reread Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and my wishes and hopes for a natural childbirth experience were reaffirmed. I was starting to completely give up on them due to this whole hospital experience, but I've been renewed! I believe in my body's ability, and I believe that if the circumstances cooperate, I can do it without medication or other invasive medical procedures. However, I am going to revise my birth plan a little to reflect some considerations due to my Arixtra injections, but I'm still hoping to go 99.99% "natural". But, rest assured, I know plans sometime change (see Suzanne's birth story here).

8 Unexpected Pregnancy Tidbits
(I didn't know about until I became pregnant...)
1. Super Crazy Sense of Smell. For example, the flowers that my mom brought last week... everyone else had stopped detecting their aroma after 30 minutes or so. For me? I was still smelling them for a couple of hours!
2. People Like to Scare You. I don't know how many labor horror stories I've heard. Or how breastfeeding is just impossible. Or how I'll never have another full nights' sleep until I'm 70 years old. You get the picture! There is a very fine line between helpful advice and just wanting to scare the pregnant lady, and I'm thinking some people get their thrill from making us panic! ;-)
3. Cry Baby Cry. The silliest things make me cry. For example, Daniel told me a story about how he went to Disney the summer before he entered fifth grade. That fall when he returned to school he was sharing with the other kids what he did over summer break -- Disney! The other kids started making fun of him, because he was too old to go to Disney World! HOW SAD! Okay, maybe it's not that sad, but it made be bawl like a baby!!
5. Baby kicks can hurt! I love feeling my baby move. Hands down the BEST feeling in the world. However, sometimes it not only startles me but hurts me! That being said, don’t stop a-kickin’, baby!
6. Weird Shaped Belly. Not all women get the cute round basketball belly. I always envisioned my stomach would be enourmous, poking far far out. Well, that’s not really happening with me. Sure, my profile pic on Facebook looks cute, but it was partially the shirt and partially the angle the picture was taken. I do have a much bigger belly than pre-pregnancy, but I didn’t know that it wouldn’t look like all those posterchilds for pregnancy!
7. Breathing & Eating Take Effort. Towards the end, all of your organs are being squished up by the uterus  and it becomes difficult to breath or even eat much.
8. Bashful? Who Me? I'm pretty sure I never would have freely talked about discharge, cervixes, or uteri (is that the plural of uterus?) before pregnancy. Now, I don't even flinch!

Did you learn anything about pregnancy while pregnant that you never knew before? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

34 Weeks | Day 15 of Hospital 'Bedrest'

Today marks the completion of two full weeks in the hospital - meaning I've only got 7 to go! But, more importantly... I'm 34 weeks today! Woohooo! This is such good news, because babies born between 34-37 usually have no lasting health problems because of pre-term labor and have only a short (if any) stay in the hospital after birth. No, no, I don't think Jenaleigh will be greeting the world anytime before 37 weeks, but it's still great to know she's would be greatly developed and mostly okay if she did arrive this soon!

Ultrasound Day
The first ultrasound I had here at the hospital was technically on a Thursday, meaning 13 days ago. However, I've been pestering Debbie (the U/S tech) enough about doing another measurement check on Jenaleigh that I think she bent the rules and went ahead and did another one today even though they're supposed to wait 14 days between measurements!

So, at first, the student (ultrasound tech in training) did all the measurements. I could tell by looking on the screen that they were on the looooooooooow side (for example, her skull put her in the 1.4 percentile with an EDD of 6/11!). Then Debbie did the measurements. With Debbie's measurements AVERAGED in with the student's, baby's growth was pretty good, and her estimated weight was 4 lbs 11 oz. (a 6 oz gain in 2 weeks).

I left the U/S room feeling a little bummed, because I knew that a 4 oz gain in 6 weeks was not a stellar growth. But, it was growth. I sat down in my room for about .23 milliseconds and Debbie (remember, she's the experienced U/S tech) came in there and told me the following:

"I wanted you to know that I just now took out the student's measurements and looked at only mine (not the average of our combined measurements). So, looking at only the measurements I took, your baby's estimated weight is.....


Seriously? Wow! At 34 weeks gestational age, it looks like our baby is little chubby cutie!

So, in honor of being 34 weeks, I thought I would do a LONG list today (34 items long, to be exact) of random facts about me. So, here goes!

34 Random Facts About this 34 Week Pregnant Lady:
  1. Something I look forward to all year long: POLISHING THE PULPIT. If you've never been, you have no idea what you're missing. The spiritual nourishment and fellowship there is, I'm convinced, as close to heaven as we can get on this earth. Consider adding it to your family's budget and calendar this year.
  2. Favorite Food:  Too many to name; right now I'm craving a sausage calzone with feta cheese
  3. Favorite Candy: Milk Chocolate.
  4. Favorite Movie: Fiddler on the Roof
  5. Favorite Singer: Harry Connick Jr. To say he's my 'favorite' is an understatement. He IS a musical genius!
  6. Favorite Season: Spring. I always get so giddy when the weather starts getting warm!
  7. Favorite Day of the week: The Lord's Day, Sunday!
  8. Favorite Store: H&M and IKEA. Too bad both are located very far away from us!
  9. Favorite Team: THE VOLS (mainly football, but I was into basketball during the Pearl era... I may not be a follower now that he's gone).  I've been going to games for forever, due to a Mom who is equally as loyal to her team.
  10. Favorite thing to do on a rainy morning: Drink hot chocolate and just be still.
  11. Favorite childhood memory: I have many. But, my favorite is of one particular hot day in the summer when I had gone to stay with my Grandparents. My grandfather made me an ice cream float and then told me we were going "Rabbit Hunting", ie. mowing the grass. I hopped on his lap and was on the look out for bunnies as we rode around (mowing) the large field on their property. (And yes, I know it's not safe to have children on your lap while you're mowing). After we had successfully gone on our rabbit hunt (ie. mowed the entire yard), we went to the shed and pulled out some popsicles waiting just for me in the freezer.
  12. I've been to England, Scotland, Costa Rica, Mexico, Kenya, and Africa.
  13. I'm an only child.
  14. I don't want Jenaleigh to be an only child! (It got lonely being one myself, although my parents did a great job of being my playmates.)
  15. I lost 60 pounds in 8th grade. 
  16. I gained the "Freshman" 15 my first year in college.
  17. I gained 45 pounds after we got married. (I blame Daniel's yummy cooking.)
  18. I lost 40 pounds two years ago.
  19. I gained 20 pounds back over last summer's vacation and during various traveling gigs.
  20. I've gained about 20 pounds thus far during pregnancy. (Did you keep track of all that math??)
  21. I struggle with my weight! (In case you couldn't tell from the previous items on this list!)
  22. When I'm wide awake, but trying to go to sleep, I'll make up a crazy story (usually about food coming to life) and tell it to Daniel (it definitely puts him to sleep and makes me drowsy to listen to myself).
  23. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication with a Concentration in Corporate Communication and a double minor in General Business and Public Relations.
  24. I have completed 33 hours towards a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Yes, that means all of my coursework is finished, with only a thesis waiting to be finished. Someday, maybe.
  25. I can play the piano and clarinet well. Other instruments that I am "passable" at include the alto saxophone and xylophone.
  26. Truthfully, I think my high school was more difficult (academically speaking) than Austin Peay State University was.... That being said, Westview is a GREAT school with wonderful AP classes.
  27. We've toyed with the idea of homeschooling. I won't go into that here and now. But, it may happen.
  28. I discouraged Daniel from starting a wedding photography business. I told him that it would never make it. ( Now, I'm the main owner/operator/editor/photographer!
  29. I got married when I was 18 (1 month shy of 19).
  30. For a very long time, I didn't like children.
  31. The kids at Sweetwater church of Christ helped me get over my dislike of kiddos! Through teaching them and watching their little minds grow with knowledge of the Lord, I came to understand how much of a blessing children are! Love you -- Sara, Ashton, Krista, Landon, and even Drew! :-)
  32. I love being a preacher's wife! It's so much fun to get to know people on a different level and walk with them intimately during their struggles and triumphs.
  33. I'm an Aveda girl (if you don't know what I'm talking about click here), through and through (and I miss Scott, Eric, and Christine at Avail). However, due to finances with a new baby, I'm thinking this is one area where I'll need to sacrifice!
  34. I've been bitten by a snake. (In a controlled setting...)