Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Status Updates

I could write a hundred Facebook status updates about this day.

Amy Cooper does not like waking up at 4:00 a.m. But once I'm up, I kind of want to text everyone to make them be up with me.

Amy Cooper thinks being induced is like checking into a hotel. There are no contractions yet, and you walk to the desk like, "Hi, I'm here to have a baby" and they are all like, "Right this way, dear. We've been waiting for you." And then I think "Be Our Guest" plays over the hospital loudspeaker.

Amy Cooper realizes that IVs and my left hand do not get along well. With two births now, my veins blow up and it's really ugly. And then I come really, really close to passing out, which is a great way to start things off.

Amy Cooper cries a lot when she realizes that things aren't going to move slow and peaceful. They are going to move fast and peaceful, which is a little overwhelming. Water broke (gushing is gross), first pitocin contraction, and epidural being inserted all at the same moment make for a major freaking out in my head.

Amy Cooper is able to have a baby, start to finish, in three hours. When someone tells you, "Three pushes and we were done", they aren't just bragging. They are still in shock.

Amy Cooper thinks seeing her husband proudly holding their new daughter is a gorgeous sight.

Amy Cooper touched a placenta, against my better judgment.

Amy Cooper thinks every newborn baby is beautiful, but especially mine. :)

Amy Cooper could eat non-stop for 24 hours and I didn't even work that hard.

Amy Cooper saw Abigail be the most precious big sister today, and for just a second, wanted her to be that newborn baby in her arms again.

Amy Cooper has lots of people who love her family. Like lots and lots and lots.

Amy Cooper changed the channel when "Family Guy" came on, and taught Sadie her first important life lesson....we don't watch "Family Guy."

Amy Cooper is singing praise songs to Sadie in a tired voice. And Sadie is looking at her bright-eyed, as if to say, "I'm not sure who this creature is, but I think I like her."

Amy Cooper admits that last night she had a moment before bed of being scared, and told Paul "I like being just the three of us." Then today she laughed when she thought, What if Michelle Dugger said that every time she had a baby? "I like just being a family of 17. I'm not ready to be a family of 18."

Amy Cooper really should have taken a nap this afternoon when Sadie was getting cleaned up in the nursery.

Amy Cooper is using a pacifier with Sadie already today, and is not going to feel guilty about it like I did with Abigail.

Amy Cooper has a baby who is crying in her bassinet right now, and needs to quit making status updates. I'm going to go cuddle instead.

Monday, February 22, 2010

They Still Matter

Last night I was searching for a blog I had written about a year ago to send to a friend. I originally thought that I had written it about a year and a half ago, so I began my search around October and November of '08. In my searching, I opened that little memory box of my second miscarriage. I re-read blogs that I haven't read in several months. And I remembered.

I'm at a beautiful place right now, to be able to remember not because the pain is too raw or the memory too fresh, but because I don't want to forget. As much as I have joked about how "done" I am with this pregnancy, and ready to hold our little one in my arms, I am trying to relish these last few days of feeling this life inside of me before she is out into the open world. When she balls herself up into uncomfortable peaks and my stomach looks distorted beyond measure, I gently rub my hand in a circle until she settles back into place. I can feel her foot jutting against my skin, almost as if I could place an ink pad on the outside and make a perfect stamp of her footprint. I feel her hiccup, sometimes multiple times a day, and watch my skin jump repeatedly in the same area to the left of my belly button.

I know that this stage will all be over soon. She will soon be out of my body, growing faster than I will be ready for. Re-reading my blogs last night from my miscarriage made me recall those feelings again...the apprehension after our first miscarriage, the waiting to tell everyone I was pregnant, hearing that baby's heartbeat on two occasions, waking up that morning to the realization that something was wrong, and a few days later, experiencing the physical and heartfelt pain of life leaving my body too soon. Not to hold a baby in my arms. Not to introduce Abigail to her new sibling. Just to be gone, waiting for God to show me what I was supposed to learn through the experience.

I remember now because I don't want to forget. I want to welcome with great joy our new baby. I'm not nervous like I was with Abigail...maybe more prepared for what we have been through before, maybe not. I'm just ready. But in the midst of anticipation, I want to remember the two before. Because all babies are precious to their parents, whether they are held in our arms or only in our hearts and our memories. And because they were here, in this belly of mine that is now overflowing with jumpy, jerky, full movement, I am able to love and appreciate this pregnancy even more....even if just for a few more days.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sneak Peek

These are a sampling of the (gorgeous) pictures that my friend Hilary took for Kylene and Erin's wedding. I pretty much think if Hilary could follow me around life with a camera in hand, my life would look amazing. And so would yours. It's the one allowance I would make for being followed by paparazzi. Thank you, Hilary!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Closing In, Storing Up

I have two weeks until my due date. I have gotten the go-ahead from two doctors to be induced next week (at 39 weeks) if I choose to be. I haven't decided that yet, and will take the next week scrutinizing every little ache and pain to see if it was "for real this time."

I think this week I will work on cuddling my daughter as much as possible. Just to store up. Considering she starts just about every morning with climbing into bed next to me and saying, "Mommy, put your feet on the floor," it doesn't always lend itself toward the morning cuddles. But then we go out to the couch and burrow under a blanket and she says, "Let's snuggle." And we do, even if it's just for a few minutes until she jumps up to go torture the cat or play in her room. It's a few minutes of wonderful every morning, and I'm trying to store up. Not that I'm expecting cuddles and snuggles to stop when the baby arrives....I just want to remember for this one moment what it was like when it was "just us."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Girl's Gotta Brag

So far this week, my husband has:
1. Worked from home one afternoon when I wasn't feeling well so that he could care for Abigail while I slept.
2. Put Abigail to bed the same evening so I could go to be early.
3. Loaded the dishes in the dishwasher.
4. Brought me flowers.
5. Asked me to dinner.
6. Asked me to a movie.
7. Lined up babysitting for Abigail for said date.
8. Told me, when I was feeling guilty for "losing that lovin' feeling" in these latter stages of pregnancy, that my body is a vessel caring for another life, and that I needn't feel bad. (Which strangely enough, are very romantic words to hear)

For a girl whose two primary love languages are quality time and acts of service, this man has made my love tank quite full. Gary Chapman has taught him well. Or has nothin' on him. One or the other.

Oh! Give me something refreshing to eat—and quickly!
Apricots, raisins—anything. I'm about to faint with love! (Song of Solomon 2:5)

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Great Day for a White Wedding

We made it to and through the wedding this weekend for my sweet friend, Kylene. She and I were college roommates for two years, and I felt quite honored when she asked me to be the Matron of Honor for her big day. Of course, when she asked me, I had not yet gotten the memo that there was a baby growing inside of me. When I found out our joyous news, I had to tell my two bridal friends at the time that I was expecting. It's hard to know how to share your joy over being pregnant while also feeling apologetic to the brides that you are causing added stress to their wedding days by saying, "Sooooo, the good news is, I'm pregnant! The bad news is, I will be almost 37 weeks at your wedding." (It was about 15 weeks at my friend Alison's, so that didn't pose too much of a wardrobe malfunction).

Both brides handled my news with excitement and grace, and I wouldn't have blamed them a bit if at least once they had the fleeting thought of I can't believe I have to deal with this on top of everything else. It's a good thing they both love me.

Poor Kylene, on top of any normal wedding stress, she also had the joy of a snowstorm sweeping through on the day of her rehearsal. We made the two-hour drive to our destination, as did all the rest of the wedding party. But whoo doggies, did it snow that day. Luckily, her wedding day turned out to be this beautiful sunny/snowy day that made for some perfect photo ops.

My friend Hilary who took our family photos back in November did the wedding photography, and I am waiting with great anticipation (HILARY) to see the pictures. Because this girl can take wedding pictures like you wouldn't believe. And she sees beauty in the littlest things like a flower girls Mary Janes or the sunlight streaming through a stained-glass window. Or a snowball fight, which is what the groomsmen got to do after the ceremony. I promise to post some of those pretty things as soon as they are ready (HILARY). Poor girl, we are a demanding bunch.

But for now, here is a picture of my just-shy-of-37-week-pregnant self in my bridesmaid dress, taken with Paul's cell phone. Not nearly the same quality of what is to come, but here it is. And for the record, I loved my dress and it was crazy comfortable. Which is why I am currently wearing it as I sit on my couch typing a blog. Only kidding (as far as you know).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Google Images Gets It Right

So, we had our 36 week checkup yesterday with our new doctor. He will be doing our delivery, and I liked him a lot. I felt very comfortable with him, and he seemed to be really attentive to our concerns (not like we really have "concerns" other than "how many more nights of zero sleep and getting up to pee three times on average do we have?").

Oh, and for you LOST fans, he pretty much looks just like this guy:

Which could be pretty cool, or kind of intimidating when you consider the fertility issues of the women on the island. But I digress....

And this is pretty much what it feels like this kiddo has been doing inside of me for the last week or so. I like to call it the "corkscrew".

It feels, um, great.

And this is what I am supposed to do this weekend, with current standing at 2-3 cm dilated and 50% effaced:

Except my dress is MUCH prettier. But I may look as wide as the hoop in that bride's wedding dress. I do kind of dig the hats, though. Sometimes the 80s just got it right.

So, there you are with my week in descriptive pictures. If you are reading this on Facebook, you have to click on my blog to see the pictures, because FB doesn't show them in a note, and they are truly priceless. And accurate.