Monday, March 30, 2009

Jack update

I had an ultrasound this afternoon, and wanted to post a quick update.

Fatty McFat Fetus is still a chunky guy, but he's leaned out a little since my 34 week ultrasound. He is now estimated to be between 7.5 and 8 lbs. His head is still in the 99th percentile...hurray? The surprising thing is that his legs are really short which must come from Troy's side of the family, cause in my family we're really long-legged!

She said with all his measurements, he's measuring about 2-3 days behind, which would put my due date around April 4th. We shall see!

The good news is that he's head down with his face towards my back. This is such great news because it avoids the "sunny-side up" position that causes a lot of back labor that causes a ton of unnecessary pain.

We'll be seeing you grandpa...

After fighting for a few days, my Grandpa Vern passed away around 3:45 pm last Friday.

Grandpa Vern was a very special person. I know everyone says that about their family, but Grandpa was EXTRA special! He was adopted as a little kid in to a family that did not treat him well or teach him by example how to be a productive member of society. After going out on his own as a teen, Grandpa had to learn his own life skills and how to be a good person. He did fine, but really came in to his own after meeting my Nana. Together they raised 3 boys, and were married for 50 years before she passed away in 1994.

Given Grandpa's upbringing, he was understandably aloof and not very affectionate for a long time. About 10 years ago, my sister, my cousins, and I finally started ganging up on him and forcing him to tell us he loved us back after we would say "I love you Grandpa". Even towards the end we had to say it twice to get him to say it back; not because he didn't want to say it, but because he loved that we would press the issue. He got a total kick out of the fact that we cared enough to always much sure he told us he loved us back.

Grandpa spent the last few years in his own home thanks to the amazing generosity of my Uncle Jim and Aunt Connie. They moved in with him and treated him like the king he was. They greatly improved his quality of life with healthy home cooked meals, getting him to switch his coffee for green tea, and bringing life and laughter in to a home that had been quiet since my Nana passed away. My whole family owes them a debt of gratitude for helping our beloved Grandpa be so happy in his final years.

Towards the end of his life, he was in and out of rehab facilities to try and get his strength back. Because I work from home, I was able to spend at least an hour a day, almost every day with him. Much of that time he spent napping, but we did get a chance to visit, tell stories, and play cribbage. Even with his poor health, he still kicked my ass at cribbage the last 5 times we played!

His health took a drastic turn last Sunday night, and the family rallied around him and he hardly had a moment to himself! He was moved to hospice on Tuesday evening, and I will forever be thankful to the wonderful people who made his last few days so comfortable and treated him and his family with so much respect.

Friday around noon Grandpa opened his eyes for the first time in a few days and looked towards heaven. The vast majority of his family who loved him so much was surrounding him in his room. There were a few who couldn't be there because of distance or schedules, but he knew how much they were thinking of him, and the amount of love they had for him made it seem like they were right there in the room with him.

After he opened his eyes, we were all able to tell him that we didn't want him in pain anymore, and that after almost 90 years of working so hard on behalf of everyone else, it was time for him to do something selfish and let go and go to heaven to be with Nana.

Personally I feel so much guilt for not getting Jack here in time to meet his great Grandpa, and for Grandpa to get to meet his first great grandkid, but I simply can't dwell on that. I think Grandpa and Jack had a little chat and decided that with everything going on, I couldn't properly focus on taking care of a newborn while making sure I spent quality time with Grandpa. I'm pretty sure that Jack told Grandpa that he would rather he be with Nana in heaven and watch him grow up, then spend more time on earth and be in pain. Jack is such a lucky little boy to have two of his very own guardian angels.

After opening his eyes, Grandpa held on for about another 3-4 hours. That was a blessing and gave my sister time to get there from work to say her own goodbyes. When Grandpa's breathing became labored, we all repeated that we wanted him to be at peace and to stop fighting for us.

The last few weeks in the hospital he had been able to see Jack moving around in my belly but was always a little too weirded out to touch him. A few minutes before he passed, I put his hand on my stomach and Jack kicked it a few times. Even though Grandpa had 1 foot in heaven, he responded to Jack's kick and was able to smile with his eyes so I know he felt it.

I think in the end, it worked out how Grandpa wanted it to. He grew up in a family that didn't care about him, but in his last moments was surrounded by people who loved him so much that they spent the last few weeks simply watching him sleep. What a testament to an amazing man he was.

Our family is torn between being sad and missing such a special man, and being relieved and happy that he is at peace.

If you stuck through this post (it's a long one), I'll reward you with one of my favorite photos of my grandpa. About a year ago, he somehow heard a rumor that bow ties were back in style. He dug one out of his drawer and had my Aunt Connie take a photo of him. How cute is he!?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This is what the last day of work looks like

Sorry the picture is so blurry, but it's taken from my blackberry. Today is my last day of work prior to maternity leave, and I decided to finally give Troy the livingroom and take a 1 pm call in our bedroom so that he coud have the Tivo.

Notice the styling lap desk (that oddly fits around my belly perfectly) and the super sexy headset. And I'm sitting cross-legged...I didn't lose the bottom half of my legs!

Dear Jack: you've been served

My dearest little one, you've been served:

You can consider this your official notice that my warm and toasty uterus is no longer accepting tenants.

I can understand your confusion - after all you're such a good little (fat) fetus, I'm still extremely comfortable for being 39 weeks pregnant, and I promised you that I would never try and force you out against your will. But mommy's grandpa is very very sick and told her that he is planning on hanging on until he gets a chance to meet you - his first great grandbaby.

I know you're sad to lose grandpa soon, but he's in good spirits and has led an amazing life. He's tired and wants to meet you soon! So, little buddy, if you are ready, come on out. The weather isn't great, but mom and dad have lots of blankets ready for you and will keep you warm and toasty. M'kay?

Mom did 2 set of sprints up 10 flights of stairs yesterday, walked the local Fred Meyer store 3 times, and vacuumed and mopped the whole apartment trying to jiggle you loose. Please cooperate.

Week 39 (last week pregnant...?) photo:

Photo taken from the bathroom at my grandpa's hospice. It's a much brighter mirror than any we have at home! The people at Kitsap County Hospice are amazing. My grandpa is in such a fantastic place to receive care, and I couldn't be happier that he is comfortable.

And before I get back to work, a super cute Jack story: Yesterday I was sitting on the couch and he had been snoozing for a while. I don't know if he had a bad dream or something, but all of the sudden he just tried to LAUNCH himself out of my stomach. He pretty much startled himself awake. Troy was out, but I really wish someone had been here to see it because it was SO CUTE. I laughed for a good 10 minutes.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How you know you've failed your childbirth class coach

We had our final baby class today (two classes combined in to one LONG LONG day), and we were discussing the "average" size of a baby. She mentioned that Bradley Babies (from the Bradley Method that we've been studying) typically are a little larger because the moms are so healthy from eating and exercising.

Is this wrong that I could only think of wanting the teacher to leave so that I could molest the bag of Peanut Butter Oreos in the kitchen? I did wash them down with organic milk...that's healthy right?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Get this out of your system now little dude!

My dear little man,

You and I need to have a chat about two things: sleep & manners.

Sleep: I understand that you think it's SO funny to get up and play at any point between 1 and 5 am and wake me up with a "Jack Attack"*. I don't know why you want me to have to sleep on the couch because you're so wiggly. Get it out of your system now, because when you're here Mom and Dad would like SOME sleep at some point.

Manners: I get it, you like funny things. But kicking mommy's new friend Sloshy off of her belly over and over and over is NOT funny (ok, it kind of is). Do you not like being warm and toasty? Do you want mom's belly and ribs to hurt from your constant kicking? Please refrain from launching things of my stomach!


*Jack Attack (a verb): The fetal art of impersonating James Brown impersonating a cheerleader who is in turn impersonating Michael Phelps

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The new love of my life

My Walgreens hot water bottle. God bless the bottle and Troy for picking this up for me.

I started having a sharp pain in my rib today and the nurse suggested using heat to see if it helped (because I'm not bleeding or contracting, they don't think anything is wrong). It's helped a bit, but in the process I've fallen in deeply deeply love with this rubber miracle bag.

It's so snuggly against Jack and feels great on my back. I love it so much I named him "Sloshy". We're now BHWBF (Best Hot Water Bottles Forever).

In other non-silly news, it's absolutely gorgeous here today. We've had a crazy ass winter, but today is the kind of day that make people want to live in the Pacific Northwest. It's cold as balls, but the sky is blue, the snow-covered mountains are out, and the sun is shining!

Monday, March 9, 2009

You know that scene at the end of Braveheart?

The one where William Wallace is being pulled apart by ropes and horses for crimes against the English? Well, WTF did I do to piss off the English?!?!?!?

My hips are pretty damn sore these days. Overall I feel pretty good (Troy and I even took a 2 mile walk on Saturday), but I will occasionally get these really sharp stabbing pains in my hips that last for about 5 seconds and will usually inspire a strong four-letter word from my mouth.

So English, I'm sorry ok? All is forgiven now right?


Thursday, March 5, 2009

36 week belly

I was going to post on Tuesday, but I haven't been motivated to actually do my hair until today...=D
And in the photo with the sports bra, the mirror distorted my arm - it's not that flabby!

Monday, March 2, 2009

I really like my doctor

My doctor is always professional but I've gotten along well with her because she supports our natural childbirth plans etc. She didn't lecture me when I turned down an internal exam today (they're unnecessary and don't really tell you much) like most doctors would. She read our birth plan while I was in the room and said that she liked it, didn't have a problem with any of it, and thought it was very doable.

But why I realized today that I REALLY like her is when she was going over my ultrasound results from 2 weeks ago when she was nervous that my uterus is too small. She said that I'm just one of those tall women that hide my big baby in a small uterus. I told her that I've taken to calling Jack "Fatty McFat Fetus" and "Jabba the Fetus". She laughed, and got a look on her face and said "what about FAT JACK"!? After 2 months of being very professional, it was fun to see her crack a joke.

And then on my way home, I finally gave in to a temptation I've been fighting for about 4 weeks. At the grocery store I find myself drawn to the little packages of chocolate covered donuts, like a sailor to a siren's song. I've been able to quell the urge, but this morning I decided to indulge and get it out of my system. I'm currently sitting on the couch in a high fructose corn syrup coma and couldn't be happier. It's out of my system and I'll abstain until Jack is here.

On an unrelated note, I've now gained a total of 13 lbs. 6+ of that is baby, and about 1 is boobs. :::high-fives myself:::