Saturday, September 22, 2012

Colette's Arrival

Warning:  This post is not for the faint of heart.  First, it’s really long.  For many of you, it may seem like too much information, for others, like myself when I was pregnant, you will appreciate all the gory details.  Reading stories of natural births, rather through one of Ina May Gaskins books, online, or hearing them from other women, was empowering for me.  Knowing what was to come helped me gain strength throughout my pregnancy, and I hope telling this story will do the same for someone.

Colette Marie Roth was born September 13, 2012 at 12:15 AM after a brief two hours of labor.  But it didn’t really begin there.  Let me back up to the previous Thursday afternoon when we went in for our 37-week checkup.  I had mentioned to the doctor that I’d been having contractions off and on all week.  She said that was normal, but she had a much more surprised tone after doing the cervical check.  I was 3 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and at a minus 1 station (I’m still not sure if that’s how I say that).  I don’t know if this is unusual for first time moms at this point in their pregnancy, but I was certainly happy to hear that over the past week I had essentially labored through the first phase of labor!  She explained to me that this did not mean that the baby was necessarily coming anytime soon, but that when he or she did decide to arrive that the labor would be quicker than I had expected (um, understatement of the year!) as I would begin labor in the active labor phase (the second phase of labor, the third is pushing).  She then gave us instructions on how to deliver a baby in a car, which was a real possibility since we live roughly an hour from the Santa Cruz hospital we’d chosen to deliver in.

That night and off and on for the next few days I had times of much more painful contractions.  In between contractions I would feel nauseated and began to think, “this is it!” but the contractions never sustained longer than 45 minutes.  I didn’t want her to come too soon, but I jokingly asked the little baby in my belly to arrive Wednesday evening (the 12th) after John’s last final.  That would give us eleven days together before John had to go back to school.  Apparently, I have a very obliging child. 

The night of the twelfth I began having some contractions around 10:15.  I didn’t think anything of it, because I’d been having contractions almost every night at that time for a week and a half.  I started timing them; they were lasting 2 minutes, which was unusual, but they were six minutes apart. We headed to bed at 10:45 and the minute my head hit the pillow I felt (and I swear I heard) a POP!  It felt like punch, and it was painful.  To the point that I may have possibly said a swear word.  I jumped up and water started pouring down my leg as I ran to the bathroom.  John followed me asking what was wrong and I told him to call Michelle (our doula) because my water had just broke.  That’s when things started getting tough.  Instantly the contractions were stronger, faster, and harder.  John told Michelle the timing of my contractions and asked her if we should go to the hospital.  She asked him if I was crying.  We both found this to be an odd question, but told her that I wasn’t crying, but that it was getting real at this point.  She instructed him to call the hospital.  When he got off the phone I told him that we had to leave now, no matter what the nurse at the hospital said. 

It took me a little while to be able to walk down the stairs and outside to the car as John scrambled to get the last minute essentials.  Between contractions I talked to all the necessary people on the phone.  I’m pretty sure my mom and sister got the wrath of my pain when they both asked me if was doing my Lamaze breathing.  (I apologized later). 

By the time we hit Moss Landing, which is about half way to Santa Cruz, John was slowing down for the intense fog and I was getting pretty panicky.  The contractions were only two minutes apart and with each contraction I was gripping the dash and leaking more fluid.  That really freaked me out.  I didn’t know that your water could just keep breaking, so I started thinking something was wrong.  By the time we got back on the freeway stretch of hwy 1, John was passing a construction zone and slowed down even more! I was losing my mind.  I kept telling him something wasn’t right.  At this point my contractions were ZERO minutes apart.  It was just one wave rushing into another.  Honestly, it made me think of surfing.  Like when you are out and some huge set is coming through and you keep trying to swim back out to catch one, but you’re losing ground every time.  I felt like the waves were overtaking me, as if I were going to drown in pain. 

John seemed to think I was handling it all pretty well.  He told me later that he knew I was in pain, but figured we had a few hours to go.  I was thinking that I couldn’t see how this could get worse, and wondering if I could handle six or seven more hours of it until I got to 10 cm.  Oh, little did I know.

We pulled up to the hospital and stopped in front (where the sign said “No parking”) and I slowly got out of the car while John grabbed the bag.  It was dark inside and when I walked up to the automatic doors they didn’t open.  I was beyond sanity and just started banging on the glass doors.  A nurse came up from behind me and explained that we’d have to go to the emergency entrance, as this entrance closed at 8:30.  I’m pretty sure the look I gave her explained that wasn’t going to happen.  She used the intercom to ask for someone to bring a wheelchair and she told me to sit down to wait.  I tried to sit down on the bench outside, but that’s when the burning sensation began.  I had read enough about birth to know that this meant it was time to push.  I’m pretty sure my eyes were bugging out of my head as I was thinking I was going to have my baby in the parking lot!!  I started telling the nurse, in a very audible tone, that we had to go; this baby was coming!  I told her it was burning and that the head was coming.  Then she said the absolute wrong thing:  “Is this your first baby?  No, honey, that baby is not coming right now.”

Why do people do that?  Like you don’t know what’s going on with your own body??

Luckily, the security guard arrived and pushed me to the delivery room.  The nurses helped me onto the bed and checked for dilation.  I heard her say, “Oh my God, she’s at ten.” Told you so.

The doctor on call came in and they had me lay back and put my feet in stirrups.  I told them this wasn’t right, this wasn’t how I was supposed to do this.  The nurse explained that this is how you have a baby and that I needed to hold my breath, put my chin to my chest, and push.  I didn’t argue, but none of it felt right to me.  Shouldn’t gravity have been helping me out in this?

I tried a few pushes, annoyed that no one was listening to me.  I didn’t have much progress.  I kept trying to focus my energy, but honestly, I didn’t know how to push from that location.  Maybe that sounds silly, but, well, I’d never done it before!

Luckily, my OB arrived in minutes and she had the nurses raise the bed and lower the stirrups.   Right again, I thought to myself.  Now in a closer to seated position I began to push with every contraction.  That’s when utter pandemonium began.  I could feel the baby’s head with every push and I was screaming.  I wasn’t meaning to, by any means, but it was like something else had just taken over.  The nurses keep telling me to stop screaming and hold my breath and push.  And I kept trying, but I wasn’t really making much progress.  It was finally at this point that I thought, I don’t want to do this anymore.  I’ll just stay pregnant.  Why did I want to do this naturally?!  But darn logic kicked in to remind me that there was no possible way to get relief other than to just have the baby at this point.

I started hearing the nurses talking to the doctor, I heard them talking about heart rates and whose was whose.  Then my OB looked at me and said, “Jessica, you have to push this baby out right now.  The heart rate has dropped and it needs to come out.  If you don’t push it out with this contraction I’ll have to do an episiotomy.”  I knew then that this was serious.  We chose this doc because she’s so adamant about natural birth.  She wouldn’t suggest cutting someone if it wasn’t serious business.  I’d love to say that this was my shining moment and that I did it then, I had my baby and everything was perfect.  But I pushed and pushed and when I was done, she was still in there. 

That push did move her around though.  Her heart rate went back up! After that last push, though, I was determined.  I guess my doctor could see determination in my eyes, because she knew.  She told John to take my clothes off so the baby could lay skin-to-skin with me immediately.  He pulled my top off removing the oxygen mask they had given me to wear between contractions. 

When the next contraction came everyone around me blurred.  I was so focused.  I could see everyone yelling around me, cheering me on, but the only person I heard was John telling me to push, telling me I was doing great, that I was almost there until it happened.  All at once, the baby came out- head, body, adorable bum and all :).  The doctor put her directly on my chest and I just looked at her, taking the whole thing in before I realized I still didn’t know the gender!  I started asking What is it? What is it? The doctor suggested I turn the baby over on its back, when I did John told me we had a baby girl! I asked hm if he was happy, if he had secretly wanted a boy, but he said he wanted God's perfect will, and that's what we got :)

I felt like I had been in the pushing stage for hours.  Turned out I only pushed for 25 minutes!  I had experienced all of active labor in the car, and all of early labor over the course of ten days at home.  It was and still is hard to wrap my head around.  Maybe because I didn’t really have the time to process what was happening with my body.

Looking back, I’m overwhelmed at God’s provisions and blessings.  I told this story to our pediatrician at our first visit this week, and he said the same thing all my doctors have said:  “You were made to have babies.”  I don’t know really how much I believe that, but I do believe that I was made to have this baby.  In my pregnancy, delivery, and in holding my newborn I can see how God had his hand in this entire process.  I had an absolutely perfect pregnancy, medically speaking.  My delivery was everything we’d prayed for and more. It was a natural and fast vaginal delivery with no pain medications whatsoever.  And our girl is perfectly healthy, a very healthy eater (haha) and a great sleeper.  Even my silly little wishes of not wanting to be cursed with swollen ankles in pregnancy, telling the baby to show up after John’s last final, and praying that our baby would have John’s nose were answered. 

The Lord listens to even the smallest of prayers. 

And now we have a beautiful daughter that is fearfully and wonderfully made (psalm 139).  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9 can only get bigger and better from here!

There are only 24 days left until my due date.  PRAISE GOD!!!  I am so ready to meet our kiddo and find out what it is!!! Everyone I meet, and very often people I don't know at all, want to tell me what I'm having (they all say a boy), but I'm dying to know!  Furthermore, I'm so ready to not be pregnant anymore.  It's crazy how I've been trying to gain 20 lbs. since high school and now that I have (albeit all in one place was not exactly the plan), I have decided that I will never, ever take being skinny for granted again. 

Seriously?  Look at this!

So my baby apps tell me that our kid is the size of a watermelon now.  I didn't need to read that to figure that out.  It seriously looks like I swallowed a whole watermelon!  How hilarious is this belly?

The stats say that the baby is 19-22 inches and 6.5 lbs, roughly.  I don't know where they get these estimates, because some people go full term and their baby doesn't weigh that much, but I guess these are averages.

At this point, we're basically just waiting for baby us to decide when to show up.  I think it has at least been considering it's options, as I had contractions all day Sunday.  They were even consistent, but would only last for about an hour and then go away.  Although it wasn't necessarily a fun day, it was really good for me because I found that my head was in the right place.  I wasn't scared or worried, rather I was calm and getting rather excited, like "okay, let's do this!"  Although, honestly, I don't want he or she to rush.  I want it to get chubby and let it's brain and lungs develop as much as possible, which is significant in these last few weeks.  I mean, heck, if I've survived 9 months, what's 24 more days?

In the meantime, I'll keep working on baby us' rug.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

8 months...geeez!!

"This stuff is gettin' REAL!"

That's a quote from my husband :)  Last week we had a tiny scare that involved a hospital visit -it was a false alarm and everything is still going really well, but this was the quote that came out of it.  And it's true, it really kind of hit home after that.  We're really going to be parents, and REALLY pretty soon.
I mean, we're at eight months now.  8 months?!  Actually, 33 weeks tomorrow!!  We're gonna have a teeny tiny itty bitty widdle baby in our arms within the next seven-ish weeks!  ho-leeeee cow!

Luckily, we learned some important lessons during our hospital visit.
1.  We feel even more secure in our choice of hospital.  The nurses were awesome, and they were very straight up with us.  They answered our questions and weren't afraid to tell us the best and worst possible scenarios.  I appreciate that- why do they keep you guessing sometimes?

2. When I do go into labor, our drive should not be within the hours of 4 and 7 in the evening.  It took us an hour and a half to get there with rush-hour traffic!!  That's not so conducive for a crazy lady in labor.

3.  Pizza my heart is right down the street.  We know where to get grub when it's all said and done.

Now that we have those valuable jewels of knowledge under our belt, we're ready.  We got this. What else could we possibly need to know ;)
Can you believe this is my workout DRESS??  It's very much a shirt these days :)

I couldn't decide which one I looked fatter in.

What else??...Oh, stats and updates!!

  • Baby-us is the size of a honeydew melon!!!  17-19 inches (roughly) and 4.5 lbs!
  • All the books and websites say the kiddo is running out of room to move around, but I think it missed that memo, because it's still walking the rim of my left side at night.  Which leads to...
  • 3rd trimester insomnia.  I've got it super bad.  And it's SO frustrating.  If the baby is not kicking me, then it's the darn Braxton Hicks contractions keeping me up.  I try to go to sleep around 8:30 or 9, but I end up getting up and reading or something until the Sandman shows up between 11pm and 1 am.  
  • Although I haven't gained any more weight, my fingers look like they have.  I'm thankful this is the only part of me swelling (I have nightmares of cankles), but it means that I can't wear my rings anymore.  I'm trying to convince John to fly back to New Zealand to have the jeweler make me another custom ring in a bigger size...but he's not game.  Although he may change his mind if he had extra time to climb and surf while he was there...
Finally, I must admit that I have a new obsession.  Nesting.  It's like the rest of life has completely fallen to the waist side and all I can do is get ready for the future President's arrival!  I'm organizing (and reorganizing) all the babies things, I've put together every baby contraption I can ...stroller, co-sleeper, baby seat, etc.  and I've begun making a rug for the nursery.  Not that our kid even has a nursery, but it will someday.  Hopefully when we move in December it will get a room.  It's a bit ambitious, but I wanted to make an eco-friendly rug, so our baby could crawl around and not ingest fumes of formaldehyde and pesticides.  It's made from t-shirts from our closet, friends, goodwill, etc. How's that for reusing? :)
So this is it (well, the slow beginning of it):
This is about 6 shirts..and 1 1/2 weeks of work! 
Yeah, I have a long way to go.  Maybe it'll be done by the time our kiddo is 10!

Friday, August 3, 2012

$.02 on the chicken sandwich

I should preface, this post has nothing to do with our baby.

This post is my two cents about this whole Chick-fil-A craziness, and why it makes me insane and happy all at the same time :) Insane, because although I believe this to be an important issue in this country right now, it has completely taken over my news feed.  More than the Colorado massacre, more than the Olympics, more than Joseph Kony and the LRA, more than the upcoming election.  It is all about the leader of the chicken sandwich and his views?!?!?!

So I saw this picture on a friend's facebook page and I felt that it truly explained why this whole thing actually makes me pretty happy.

Finally, the American people are willing to put their money where their mouth is!!  It doesn't matter where you stand on the issue of gay marriage, people are either supporting chick-fil-a financially (with record numbers on August 1) or not supporting them at all.  WHICH IS AWESOME!  Either way, people are actually feeling passionate about a cause and working for or against it!  Proof that it can be done!  My hope, as Willy Wonka is mentioning here, is that more Americans will boycott what they think is wrong!  Why are we giving money to companies that support something we hate?! 

I've talked about this before, about how every purchase you make is a vote and people are voting on chick-fil-a and this issue.  Why aren't people voting about these issues???:

  • Discrimination against African Americans- Wonderbread (They make bread, Twinkies, etc.)
  • Discrimination against pregnant employees- Verizon (check your phone, most likely you support them)
  • Unnecessary animal testing - Proctor and Gamble (they make everything:  Clairol, Tide, Gain, Gillette, Pampers, Iams, Downey, Cascade, Bounty, Tampax.  Seriously, everything, so check your labels.)
  • Child slave labor and aggressive takeovers of family farms- Nestle (time to pick a new chocolate, folks. As well as Gerber foods, Coffeemate, Dreyer's and Haagen Dazs ice cream, certain bottled waters- they are all made by Nestle.  All contributing to child slave labor.)
  • Involvement in plastic toy sweatshops and cause for rain forest deforestation abroad- KFC (Chicken again)
  • And many, many more!

I'd also like to point out that these aren't just companies that SAY how they feel on these topics, these are companies that actually ACT on these topics.  They've all been sued for these acts and yet, the American people just keep right on supporting them with their hard-earned money.  

So please, continue to boycott companies that you feel you don't agree with!!!  But please don't stop with politics or religion.  Boycott the companies that are actually physically hurting people and the environment as well. I believe August 1 showed that when the American people put their money where their mouth is, no matter what side you support, we can make a difference!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's funny how some weeks nothing notable really happens and others I have so much to say.  This week is the latter.

I'll start with our baby stats :

  • Baby Colette or John weighs 3-3.2 lbs!
  • The size of a head of lettuce!! (one site says 15.7 in. long another says 18.  Sounds like a pretty big difference to me!) 
  • As of today we have roughly 9 weeks and 1 day to go!
  • Brain development is HUGE right now; as of this week our baby can perceive info from all 5 senses.
Last week was a pretty busy week baby-wise.   We met with our future pediatrician AND had a breastfeeding class (well, I did, John was exempt).

Interviewing the pediatrician was awesome!!  Not necessarily the interview, but finding someone like-minded to be our baby's doctor was wonderful!  The doc specializes in pediatrics and preventative medicine.  He believes in treating illnesses naturally before rushing to prescribe antibiotics; the idea is to prevent diseases rather than create immunity to medication.  He also has a wonderful schedule for vaccinations and pointed out that they are negotiable and that we should decide as parents what is best for our children. 

I already know what you are thinking and before you flip out, yes, we are going to vaccinate our child. (Well, except for the Chickenpox vaccination, that seems unneccessary to me)  We are, however, going to follow a more extended schedule.  Especially since I have a close family member with arthritis.  (Vaccines are linked to autism, ADHD, and rheumatoid arthritis).  Research has shown links to autism and vaccines, and after working as a behavioral therapist for children with autism, and witnessing how hard life can be for them and their families, I just can't justify the risks.  I realize that this could just be one small portion of the equation, along with eating food with pesticides, watching television before the age of 3, giving an infant Tylenol, or taking it while pregnant, having a large number of fetal ultrasounds during pregnancy, etc., etc.  Children in the military have the highest rates of Autism (I believe 1 in 8 boys now), and no one is sure why.  This tells me that I should just take more precautions.

He also gave me a list of supplements to take and things to not use.  The list of items to avoid include:

  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Teflon
  • Aluminum
  • Plastics
  • Microwave
If you don't know yet why I LOVE this doc, then I you haven't been listening to my rants for the past couple of years :)  These are the same things we outlaw in our house, except aluminum, that's a new one for me.  

Anyway, on his list of supplements he suggested that pregnant and nursing mothers eat 2 eggs a day (among many other things).  I mention this because, the idea of eating eggs is the most difficult for me.  I don't think I've ever eaten an egg not hidden in a chocolate cake or something.  Besides the fact that they are nasty chicken abortion, the smell and texture make me gag.  But as John reminded me (with a devious smirk), it's for the baby.  So far I have gotten up to one egg actually eaten alone.  I tried scrambled, but half-way through I just about tossed my cookies.  The next day I somehow managed a whole hard-boiled egg (strategically washed down with a giant gulp of juice after each bite).  I'm sneaking them in more and more with fried rice, baked goods (such as lemon bars- which was the recipe that used the most eggs in my cookbook), and french toast.  I'm open to any suggestions you may have!!  I have deemed this one of the biggest challenges of pregnancy I have faced thus far.  Yes, it is right up there with the carpal tunnel and surviving migraines with no pain meds!

This weekend we are celebrating our birthdays and baby moon (ie. one last getaway as a 2 person family) in our old stomping grounds, Mammoth Lakes!!  I can't believe we're already at 7 1/2 months!!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Twenty-nine weeks today, and 3 1/2 weeks until I turn 29.  Man, time flies!!

I guess I should tell you what baby us and I have been doing since my last update.  First, we had a "Hey girl" weekend with my bestie Linds, while my husband dragged her husband up a mountain in Yosemite.  (Typical ;) ).  It was pretty great just eating good food, having some girl time, and watching Ryan Gosling movies.  If you haven't seen this Ryan Gosling fad of "hey girl" you should check this out.  It's my favorite :D

Ryan Gosling on Cloth Diapers

Some are a tad inappropriate, but I love the last one :)

I've also started swimming, which is INCREDIBLE!!  I mean, I've always loved swimming, but having the feeling of being weightless when my belly feels so crazy heavy all the time is great! And it's hilarious watching the visual responses when I get out of the pool and people realize that I'm pregnant.  I guess it's hard to tell in the water??
 It's also been a great way to get me doing something.  I've been pretty down since school (work) has been out.  I really miss my kiddos and I miss the fulfillment of teaching.  I feel this way every summer, but it's harder knowing that I won't be going back in August.

I've been keeping busy by working on my classes (I'm just taking one towards my doctorate right now...and it's pretty boring), and reading a new parenting book each week.  Last week was Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.   It was a fabulous read!  It wasn't like most parenting books, it was written more like a novel and really fun.  I read the whole thing in a day.  The book compares American moms to Parisian moms and investigates why (largely) American children whine, have less patience, are demanding, etc., whereas Parisian children seem to have much more self-control and patience.  It turns out, after reading the book, Parisian moms are just like Southern moms.  I should thank my mom for being so tough.

Last week I had a very interesting OB appointment.  My doctor first wanted to talk to me about how we plan to space out our children.  This seemed random to me since the first one is still in my belly, but we discussed the current research about the negative effects for mom and baby to get pregnant too soon in-between.  (Risks of obesity, Autism, etc. if a year or less apart).  We really don't have a plan, but I'd like some serious time to get a grip on this whole mom bit first.

Then she wanted to discuss breastfeeding.  And not in the typical, it's-a-good-idea way, but in her total Santa Cruz hippie way in which she believes breastfeeding should be done very openly, very often.  She advises against covering up, or excusing yourself in public at all.  I totally respect her passion and I, of all people, want to support advocacy for a good cause.  Women shouldn't have to cover up or be discreet at all, it's a natural thing.  I think it's awesome how supportive she is of that!! However, I couldn't help but smile and remind her that I'm from the South.  Today I saw one of my pastors from church at the pool and I couldn't even go talk to him because I felt it inappopriate that I was swimming in my bikini!  How will I ever be at the comfort level she's talking about?!

Anyway, moms that can be the change for breastfeeding women, I admire you so very much!  However, I have already ordered a "hooter hider" for use in public places.

Last, but certainly not least, the baby stats!!

  • 29 weeks today (I think we covered that), but that means we should have a baby within the next 11 (or so) weeks!!  Eeeek!  I can't wait!!
  • Baby-us is the size of a small cabbage!!
  • Roughly 17 inches 
  • Around 2.9 lbs.
  • And we've finally, I'm pretty sure it's final now, decided on names.  Boy:  John Lincoln; Girl: Collette Marie (or Colette..I dunno about the spelling yet)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Baby stats this week:
  • The baby is the length of a cucumber!!  Around 15 inches long!
  • Weighs between 1.7-2.2 lbs.  (and feels like it, geez!)
  • Our kid is the next Mia Hamm..or Muhammed Ali.  It really digs kicking and punching me at the same time.
  • It's so big that I can actually SEE where it is in my belly sometimes! Last night you could see it's head sticking out of one side of my belly and feel the bum near the bottom.  How CrAzY is that?!
26 weeks is 6 1/2 months.  I read that this week our baby could actually survive if it decided to meet the world, although it would have no fat on it whatsoever.  That's a fear of mine, the baby being premie.  I actually had a nightmare about it the other night.  I've been having lots of dreams about baby us and labor and the like, but this was just kind of lumped all my fears into one.

I dreamed that we went in for our next appointment and they admitted me to the hospital because I went into labor.  I ended up passing out from the pain and they couldn't wake me up.  The doctor assumed the pain was too much so she gave me an epidural.  Well, that made me so loopy and out of it that I couldn't push, even when they told me to, so they did a C-section.  I was still so drugged up after they took the baby out that I couldn't even focus enough to hold my own precious baby.  They told me it was a girl (which was shocking as everyone tells me it's a boy these days) and asked me what I wanted to name it.  I could barely even remember what names we had decided upon.  It was so horrible!!  

I know that I need to have real expectations for birth.  I know that it may not work out exactly as I have planned. So maybe these dreams are to prepare me for varying scenarios.  Regardless, I just hope that I have confidence in myself enough to make the safest decisions for my baby.  I don't want to be clouded by the temptation of medications or let my fears convince me that my body that it wasn't made to do this, because I was.  I know that.  I was wonderfully and fearfully made.  Jesus tells me so :)

Oh, and here is this week's pic (or what I like to call evidence of the baby-growth explosion!)  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Holy Cow...6 months!!

Ohhhh man, I am so behind on this blog (as to be expected).  In my defense, the last two weeks were pretty stinkin' hectic!  We went to San Diego for our wedding anniversary and had an AMAZING time!!  We went to our favorite museums, soaked up some sun on the beach, and visited with some friends :)  We were only home 2 days before we packed up and traveled home to Tennessee for my brother-in-law's wedding.  That trip was also incredible, but for totally different reasons.  We were able to visit with so many wonderful family members and friends!  Some of which I hadn't seen in YEARS!  My mom threw us a baby shower and I was just overwhelmed with the love and blessings from the people in my life!
This was our lunch on our first ever, 1st class flight we took traveling to TN.  (We were totally the annoying Beverly Hillbillies riding up there)

Needless to say, by the time I got home I was joyfully exhausted!  Traveling is MUCH more difficult pregnant!  When I got home I slept every minute that I wasn't at work for two days.  (And I ate a salad for every meal.  I love southern food, but lordy I think I ate 4 lbs. of bacon while I was there ;)

Since then, it has come to my attention that I'm going to be having a baby pretty soon.   In 3-4 months soon.  When did this happen?!  It seems like I was just complaining about how long this process was taking and now I'm like, "Whoa Nelly!!  Slooooooow down!"  One minute I'm finding it frustrating that my favorite jeans don't button and all of a sudden I look like this:

That hump there is 24 cm!  Inside the baby is about the size of an eggplant (or loaf of bread depending on which website you read), it's about 9 inches and 1.7lbs.  and grOWING!!

We had our 24 week appointment on Friday and it turned out to be really awesome!  Our midwife was super positive!  She said that we're right on target for progress, the baby is doing great, and that it is so lucky to have parents like us :)  That was the sweetest part!

I have to admit, I can't really have any complaints (although you all know that I do from time to time). Largely, I just feel so blessed.  I couldn't ask for a healthier baby or pregnancy so far.  The weight is right on track for me and the baby, it's loving life kicking and doing acrobatics (or sometimes punching and kicking at the same time- which is a seriously wild feeling!), and it is surrounded by such blessings and love that it won't want for anything when it arrives!

The carpal tunnel stinks, but it doesn't effect our baby in any way and John has really been awesome through it.  Hey, how else would he have learned to do ponytails on girls if he didn't have to do my hair when my arm flares up?  It's great practice if we have a little lady :)

Today we had a meeting with our doula and she gave us all kinds of resources to look into for childbirth and breastfeeding classes.  It seems silly that women have been doing this since the dawn of time and now we have to take classes for it.  But, I'm not gonna lie, I want all the info I can get my hands on.  So, I'll let you know how that goes :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


The highlight of week twenty-one so far was the wonderful shower/get together that I had with my preschool moms last night!  We all had dinner at my favorite place in Carmel and cake from my favorite bakery and I got to hang out with my favorite moms!!  What could be better?!  Any teacher will tell you that they understand their kiddos better after meeting their parents.  The same is true of my kiddos this year.  It is so obvious why they are all so amazing, they have amazing parents!!

So now we have even more awesomeness for baby us.  And the best part- almost every gift was a wonderful hand-me-down or organic gift!  Our baby will be leaving a tiny footprint on the Earth with it's tiny feet :)  Thanks moms, for supporting our weirdness :D

Other than that, nothing notably cool has been going on.  We're getting pumped about heading to San Diego to celebrate our anniversary this weekend.  Three years of marriage!  It's crazy how it seems like yesterday that we got married, but at the same time, it's like this is how it's always been :)

Today I began (trying) to organize some of the baby stuff in our tiny apartment.  I began by gathering a HUGE box and labeling it "Clothes Jessica can't wear until she's no longer pregnant...and is sick of looking longingly at" and filled it with just that.  It really opened up a lot of space in the closet!!  So that section is being filled up with sweet baby clothes and gifts from friends and fam :)

Here are some pics to illustrate my reasoning for limiting my closet:

I can't help but laugh at my own crazy face in this pic! haha, I took this one before work one morning to send to my mom :)

And a more close-up look.  
I've now gained 11 lbs. since I got preggo.  Someone told me today that I shouldn't worry because my legs still look like toothpicks (uhhh....thanks????), but I'm not too worried.  I figure that's about right for half way.  Anyway, I've got a cantelope (or camelope as one of my all-time fave kiddos would say) in my belly.  :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Week twenty started off with a jolt.  Literally. I was stopped at a redlight on my way to work and was rear-ended.  The car is fine (because Elly, the Element, is a beast), but I was completely freaked out about baby us.  I was super nauseated (I found out later because of the adrenaline) and after the police came and the insurance info was exchanged I drove home and just sat in our parking lot for a minute.  I put my hand on my belly and baby us started to kick.  I couldn't help but smile and cry and start praying.  I thanked God that we were okay and that He showed me once again that I should be trusting Him, as He is in control :)

The weekend just got awesome after that!  I graduated, or so they tell me, on Saturday.  That was another one of God's gifts.  There's no way I could have gotten a two-year graduate degree in one year while working 2-3 jobs AND pregnant if it wasn't by His grace....and John's patience with me losing my mind at times :)  To celebrate we went to San Francisco with our friends and toured Alcatraz before having a wonderful dinner overlooking the city.  If you go to Grandviews, I highly recommend the crab cakes!
Hubz, me and my big ole belly

A super-cool pic John took in our hotel

For Mother's Day my husband surprised me with some TOMS sunglasses!!!  As you may know, I love, LoVe, LOVE TOMS shoes.  The company gives a pair of shoes to those in need when you purchase a pair, they call it one for one.  Well, their sunglasses work in much the same way.  When you get a pair of shades from TOMS they give sight by means of surgeries, glasses, etc. to someone in need in a poor country.  Sadly, I'm one of those people that break sunglasses on a regular basis, so I couldn't justify spending the money (they're not cheap!) on some TOMS.  But Huberoosky did.  He used the money he's been saving from selling off his sports gear he no longer uses and then sneakily had them sent to a friend's house so he could surprise me.  I was pretty shocked, as we had agreed not to get each other Mom and Dad gifts until after the baby came.  You know, that whole "we have a baby and a house to save for" bit. The best part was the way he wrapped it all up :)
My TOMS shades!!
My card, folded into an origami flower.  Can I say coolest Hubz EVER?!

Monday we had our 20 week appointment.  To be honest, we didn't get any great pics.  There's one of his or her foot that is pretty cute if you can figure out what it is.  I found this pic on the internet that just wowed me so I thought I'd share it instead.  This is a baby that was born at 21 weeks and actually made it!! What a miracle!! And look how tiny it's little feet are!!
 For those of you that were anticipating the ultrasound pics so that you could decipher for yourself what the sex is, it wouldn't have done you any good anyway.  Baby us had its knees pulled up to its chin so even the doc doesn't know if we're having a boy or girl yet.  But the good news is she said our baby is perfect!! :)

In other news, the preparation is coming along swimmingly!  Our living room is currently filling up with awesome gifts from friends and family and we've just got the information packet from our diaper service we're planning to use!!  It turns out that not only is using our diaper service going to be way better for the planet, it's going to be cheaper than using disposables too!!  Yaay for a healthier baby, healthier world, and healthier wallet!!  Here's a pic that was included in the packet.  It really hits home!!
You probably can't read the sign, but it says, "2 years worth of disposable diapers 6-10,000 diapers for 1 baby over a diapering period vs. 2 years worth of cloth diapers for 1 baby.  YOU DECIDE!"  It's crazy if you think about it.  Most people these days don't potty train their kids until closer to age 3, so that right side pile would be even bigger!  Of course, the cloth side would stay the same because you only buy them once :)

I often get a lot of "interesting" :) comments from people when talking about my future parenting choices, such as cloth diapers.  For those questioning whether cloth might be right for them here is an awesome post I found about how unhealthy disposables can be for your kiddo  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Baby stats this week:
  •  Kicking!!  The baby is kicking like crazy now!!  Hubz has gotten to feel it as well!  So far it seems that baby us loves music and southern food.  At least, this is when we get the most baby action going.  Last night I cooked one of my favorite country meals and baby us did an actual FLIP in my belly!! (It was cool, but kinda hurt!) So let's get some fried potatoes on the table and Elvis in the background.  This is truly a child after my own heart :)
  • Fruit size:  Mango, but only for a couple more days.  Friday, (2 more days) I think we are supposed to hit cantelope status!!!  Right now it's 6 1/2" long and 10 oz!
  • Monday we have our 20 week appointment!  We have the option to find out the sex, although we won't.  (Man, it's tempting sometimes).  However, I am excited to see our kiddo again!
Mommy stats this week:
  • Carpal Tunnel is better!!  This is completely due to the power of prayer!!  Last week I had no issues with my hand/wrist/arm and was able to finish the last of my papers for school!  I did have one incident when I got up in the middle of the night and my whole arm was numb (I had a real time trying to use the bathroom and wash my hands at 2 AM with one numb arm!!) and yesterday the other arm started hurting. Ugh.  But at least I was able to get work done!!  Praise God!
  • Belly- Comments range these days from "Wow, starting to show huh?" to "Teacher Jessica, your belly is getting so BIG and FAT!!!"  (gotta love 4 year-olds).  I still have one pair of yoga pants that fit, so that keeps me happy.
  • Baby stuff!! We've already been getting awesome gifts for the baby delivered from friends and family!  We feel SO thankful and SO blessed!! I don't know about you, but when I first saw the list of stuff you have to buy to have a kid, I wanted to cry!! (I'm pretty sure I did, but we'll blame it on hormones).  Now we have boxes piled up in our tiny living room just waiting to be opened upon the arrival of the future President (that's what I've been calling baby us lately). 
Overall, week 19 has rocked!!  I can't wait to see our baby in week 20 and introduce him or her (or at least introduce my big belly) to our family in week 23, when we get to visit Tennesseee!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


 Right now we're 18 weeks into our pregnancy.  The baby is the size of a mango!! (about 6 inches long and half a pound!)  You can definitely see that it's getting bigger by my bump!

This week there were some definite joys and issues.  The first was the amazing joy of feeling our baby move!  Baby us was pretty active this week.  I first felt it after a huge sneeze.  He or she started kicking like crazy as if to say, "Hey, Mama, I don't like that!!"  Then again in yoga class and one night while watching a documentary on climate change.  The movie was making me so sad, seeing how global warming is affecting polar bears and their babies.  That's when our little baby starting moving around.  I took this as proof that baby us is as passionate about environmental issues as we are :)  Already upset about climate change and not even born yet?!- I can't wait to see the amazing ways our child is going to change the world!!

The biggest negative this week is pictured below.  Pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome.

See how nasty and swollen my hand/arm is?!  UGGH!  My plan for this weekend was to finish my last two papers for my class.  This is the LAST CLASS for my Education Specialist degree.  Unfortunately this craziness started Thursday.  It probably didn't help that I lifted weights in my workout and then went to yoga that night. This picture was taken yesterday.  This was after 2 nights of barely sleeping from being so uncomfortable.  I never took carpal tunnel seriously, but this mess hurts!!!  My hand and arm throbbed for two days straight!  It was worse at night and in the morning (something about the blood flow makes this the case). After resting, icing, heating, and elevating for two days I'm finally able to type this in short spurts throughout the day.  (And cook, brush my teeth well, dress myself, open doors, and all the other junk I couldn't really do for two days).  I'm glad it's easing off, but I read in my baby books and on the Mayo clinic site that this will be ongoing until after the baby is born.  So the work I was hoping to finish up in a few days is now going to have to be spread out over the course of quite a few days.  C'est la vie.

I suppose the biggest thing for me this week (and most weeks) is determining God's lessons for me through pregnancy.  I get so frustrated at times because I feel like I'm supposed to say that pregnancy is beautiful and I love every minute of it (like most women I know do) or frustrated that I can't do the normal everyday things I did before (like, I dunno, wear my jeans, have the energy to work 2 jobs, keep the house clean and get in a good 3 mile run, or sleep without a throbbing swollen ugly hand).  The truth... is pregnancy kinda sucks.  Why doesn't anyone tell you that?

But, enough whining and back to the point.  God's lessons.  I know that Hebrews 12:11 tells us, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."  I know that God is using every little bit of this 9-10 months to prepare me for the most important job there is.  I know that, and I am grateful for the honor. So, I'm trying to find the purpose in each frustration.  And, I'm working on thanking God for the discipline!

Friday, April 20, 2012


There are two reminders we keep on our bathroom mirror. They are basically the sum of the reason our marriage works.

 The first reminder says, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." 1 Corinthians 4:2 I found this verse in college and it has basically been my life mantra. I really try not to take the Lord's gifts for granted. I knew having the opportunity to go to college was a true gift from God. He had entrusted me with an opportunity that very few in my family had ever had, and I was determined to prove faithful and to value that gift with everything. I feel the same way about being eco. That the Lord entrusted us with this planet, so we are to prove faithful to it. That's why being green, to me, means being a good steward and Christian. The same is true of my students in my class, my educational opportunities, and most certainly, my marriage. I know what an incredible blessing it is to have a good marriage. I also know that the Lord has entrusted me with the happiness and love of an extraordinary person. I keep that verse up to remind myself every day that God gave me this man to love and cherish, and that He expects me to prove faithful to such a responsibility. That's how I feel about having a baby too. I know how incredibly difficult it is for some women to have children. I know that some never do. I also know that God would not have entrusted me with this (future President, next Billy Graham, missionary, curer of cancer) if He didn't expect me to prove faithful to the honor of having it.

 The other reminder on our mirror is pretty much the reason I'm not losing my mind being pregnant. It says, "Words are important. Words are important. Words are important." John put those words up for himself. Shortly after our first year of marriage we read the 5 Love Languages. We never could figure out what John's love language is (either I'm doing an awesome job and he's never felt unloved, or he's an incredibly secure and happy person ALL the time. Could be a little of both ;). ) My love language is apparently words of affirmation. As pathetic and shallow as it may sound, it turns out I need to hear that I'm great to believe it. That is especially true now. Mostly these days I'm tired and unproductive, and still freaking out over the rapid growth of my stomach. Luckily, the hubz realizes that I just need someone to tell me it's all okay and I'm still pretty and a good wife, teacher, friend, student, etc. And when he does I feel at peace again. I'm not sure if it's what he says, or more so that someone like him thinks these things about someone like me that really does the trick. Either way, it totally works for us. 

Sometimes when I start getting all freaked out about how having a baby is going to change our lives so drastically, I think about these reminders and how it just seems that they can be true in any situation we encounter. I suppose we'll find a system with "baby us" that works for us too. We'll figure out how to all take care of each other.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sweet 16

Sorry I skipped last week, but between Easter, nothing blog-worthy to talk about and my belly pics (in my Easter dress!) getting deleted, I just decided to wait for this week.

So this week we had another OB appointment. It was kinda lame. We got to hear the heartbeat, but I was really hoping to see our little cutie (who is the size of an avacado) again. Also, the midwife always wants to talk about what's troubling me. It feels much like therapy. This week we discussed the panic I sometimes get into when thinking about being a stay-home mom. Not that I don't want to be there for my child, and I know it's the best thing to have that kind of consistency in such a non-consistent life like the military, but I've been working non-stop since I was 13. Working only one job feels foreign. It's my hobby, and passion, will being a wife and mother be enough for me? Or will I be a grouchy pants everyday? These are my worries.

Hubz doesn't seem to have any worries. He's cool as a cucumber. He says he'll probably start freaking out as we're driving to the hospital :)

Baby wise, everything still looks great. No issues this week, and I'm feeling good! I even gained another pound!

Oh yeah, this is all 123 lbs. of baby incubator right here!!

I know what you are thinking, "Wow! Jess really stepped up the game on the photos this week!", but really it's all the Hubberoosky. He's gotten super into photoshop lately and taking HDR photos (I can't totally explain what this is). He's got some really amazing shots!

After the appointment in Santa Cruz we had a little date night in town and on our way home we stopped in this strawberry patch for some pics. It's pretty handy having an awesome photographer at my disposal ;)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

3.5 months!

Yup, that's right, we're at 14 weeks. Geez! The whole first trimester I felt like this pregnancy deal is taking FOREVER! I just want to meet our teeny tiny little baby!! But now I'm thinking, holy cow! 14 weeks already?! I'm sure this is probably one of those things that changes back and forth.

This week I did gain a pound. Yaay! I could tell because this is the week that my pants stopped buttoning. (not a yaay). It makes sense though, because baby us is now the size of a navel orange!! I didn't quite realize how big that was until we got our CSA box this week and had some navel oranges in them.

No wonder my pants won't button!

Let's see...the good and bad of this week. Definitely the worst part of this week was Tuesday. I blacked out at work. Never a good thing. My doctor said I've been doing too much, although I credit the episode more to blood sugar. However, it was a pretty hectic day and I had been pushing myself in workouts the two days before. Anyway, it was quite a wake up call! I quit my behavioral therapist job, so now I'm just working one job (and just a two-hour tutoring deal on the side) and I'm only taking one class for my doctorate this quarter. Hopefully this cut-back and adding some more protein to my diet will prevent that from happening again. YIKES!

The good, or best part of this week was that my hubz came home from his trip to the Grand Canyon! I'm sure most women feel this way, but I I just don't function the same without him here. Life is well...dull without him. I'm sure this is partially because I'm so insanely in love with him, but part of it is well, frankly, I have an awesome husband! I've included a short video of him here to demonstrate just how lovable he is ;)

Hahaha! Isn't he silly?!
We went to play racquetball today, which I'll admit is a bit more challenging for me these days as I really can't jump or reach far for the ball. I'm not supposed to twist my torso and I'm really slow when it comes to running after the ball. This video is Hubber's depiction of my pregnant racquetball skills. *eyeroll* He cracks me right up! :D

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Welp, we're now 13 weeks into our journey with Baby Us! Our little bit is the size of a lime (about 3 inches) now. We had a busy week this week signing our contract with our doula and meeting our new OB and midwife, whom we absolutely love :) Friday we had just a quick appointment where we were able to hear the heartbeat again, but not able to view the baby this week. Normally we wouldn't have appointments so close together, but since we switched doctors we had a meet and greet appointment with them. I have a short video here where you can hear the heartbeat. It's not as excting as seeing our precious soul, but a wonderful reassurance that he or she is still partying it up in there :)

I don't have a pic of my belly, as I didn't gain any weight this week; my belly didn't really change enough to constitute another pic of it. Anyway, my handsome photographer is in the Grand Canyon with his brother :)

The highlight of this week was just getting our ducks in a row for our support team. Our new OB is a HUGE supporter of natural birth, and our doula is just a blessing with all the support she's already provided through education. I've been scared that I'm not tough enough to climb this mountain, so to speak, but with these amazing women and my greatest supporter ever, my husband, behind me I just feel overwhelmed with encouragement and love that I can do this the way that God created me to.

The tough spot this week has been emotions. I feel like a nutcase on a rollercoaster, for real!! So far I haven't had the easiest pregnancy, although it could certainly be worse! I do thank God for the troubles that I've had, knowing that they are really blessings. However, sometimes I feel guilty when women talk about how awesome pregnancy is and I want to punch them in the throat ;)

I've had awesome help from friends and family this week. Hubz, as always, has been so tremendously amazing! He found our doula and new OB, made all the appointments, and has done all the work of scheduling, listing and asking questions, and praying for us to find the right "team". My friends Michi and Caroline helped me work on the (overwhelming!!) registry. And my future sis-in-law sent me some great info on baby dental care! I feel exceptionally blessed to have such amazing, supportive people in my life!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baby us!!!

I guess if you're reading this you probably already know that we are going to have a mini-us or baby-us at the end of Sept.!!

I wanted to start using my blog as a place for updates so I'm not bombarding people on facebook with info, and so I don't leave anyone that wants to know about us out of the loop.

So here goes!

This is the latest pic of baby us :) It was taken last Thursday (March 8). It was so cool because little bit just starting dancing and kicking its little feet while we were watching!! It was amazing!! The doc said everything looks PERFECT with me and the baby! That was a HUGE load off! He actually said that I was made to have this baby. I thought that was pretty funny, since I feel the same way :) And ironically, that's what the doctor told my mom when she was pregnant with me!!

Today I'm am 12 weeks preggo. So the baby is the size of a peach!! Isn't that a peach? (hehe). This week my biggest challenge has been weight. I'm very thankful that I'm no longer sick all day everyday or sleeping my life away, but I am having a big issue with my belly. I never thought I'd be that way. I mean, I think pregnant women look adorable!! But so far I've gained 4 lbs. (This is a feat that previously took me about 10 years to do). All four of those pounds are in my belly, I swear, It's SO big! I knew it was coming, but I guess I didn't expect it so soon! Starting this week I'm supposed to gain a pound a week! EEk!

In other news, we met with a prospective doula this week and have an appointment with our new hippie-and-more-natural-birth-friendly OB and midwife next week :)

...Oh, and here are some tidbits to answer some of the most common questions we've been getting:
1. No, we don't plan to find out what we're having. We'd like to be surprised :)
2. The only names we are sure of are the boy's first name, after his daddy :), and if it's a girl, the middle name will be Marie, after both our grandmothers.
3. We have started registering, but since I'm a researching eco-nut it's taking me a while to research each product so if you want to check it out it's at And we're hoping for most things to be used (bought off ebay or whatever) or organic to allow our baby to have the smallest eco-footprint possible.
4. And we did get our extension to stay in California until December so we won't be moving and having a baby in the same week (yaay!)

If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me. I feel like it's pretty hard to keep people in the loop when you live on the other side of the country :/