Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Me and daddy.... Two peas in a pod

Sophia Grace, day two of life!! She is really taking a liking to this world!! She has a wonderful disposition and is adjusting well. Mommy and Daddy are also adjusting well to being new parents!!! We are having such a wonderful time with her!! We have been blessed by many guests and visitors while in the hospital. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement! Also, thank you to all of you that have sent emails -- we love hearing from you!!

Sophia taking a snooze on the Boppy after eating...

Sophia snoozin' on daddy after her morning feeding ....

Sophia and daddy ... She is snoozin' again...

We have been so blessed over the past two nights... we got 6 hours of sleep total the first night here at the hospital and over 7 hours last night. We are attributing her excellent sleeping pattern to the "Miracle Blanket" swaddler that we were given prior to her birth!! (Thanks Justin and Kristel). She is staying in the room with us at all times and has never been seperated to go to the nursery! They bring the nursery equipment, scales, etc to us! We are stuck to her like glue!!!

We will be heading home today in the early part of the afternoon!! We are planning on attending a wild New Year's Eve Party in Avon. It will probably consist of laughin', sleepin', eatin', sleepin', eatin'..... AND lots of rockin'! She might even meet Dick Clark tonight!!

Allyson and Sophia

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oh the Labor Pains...

Many have asked that I share a little bit of our labor and delivery experience... so this post will be dedicated to all the hard work it took to bring little Sophia into the world!! Where to begin??? I guess the VERY BEGINNING....

Sunday morning December 28th 1am

I was sleeping nicely, woke up to some "contractions." I was thrilled b/c these are the first that I had really felt and thought maybe, just maybe, my body was going into labor on its own as opposed to having to be inducted. I had a few other signs that could support my hypothesis! Needless to say I was excited and pretty much wide awake. How was I going to really go back to sleep until 5:40am when the alarm was "supposed" to go off??? So I didn't really sleep -- just laid there in bed dying for morning to come to get this show on the road.

Nate and I got up, got ready, and headed to the hospital. Since I previously blogged about our arrival, I won't go into depth -- recap (the doctor checked me and I was 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced). She started me on Pitocin to induce my labor. Thankfully my body had started some contractions on its own...which worked with alongside the Pitocin.

I was on the Pitocin Sunday from about 9:30am to 5pm when the doctor came back into check me to see the progress I had made and to evaluate if the PIT was working. Basically, throughout the day, they increased my PIT every 30 minutes to cause the contractions to be more intense, effective, and consistent to work her down the birth canal. The doctors words were "make Allyson uncomfortable... b/c then I will know her cervix is changing..." By the mid afternoon, I was starting to get pretty "uncomfortable" -- or at least I thought I knew what uncomfortable was.... little did I know, my journey had just begun.

At 5pm, the doctor checked me and I was STILL 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She was able to get in and strip my membranes though (which was a VERY painful exam and procedure) ... overall, there was only a TINY change after 8 hours of PIT. Needless to say I about lost it.... I couldn't keep it together... just balled my eyes out b/c the pain from the contractions was intense and I had made (in my mind) ABSOLUTELY no progress. I was getting pretty tired too b/c I had been up since 1am.

At that point my awesome nurse (who is a good family friend) took charge and asked all our family in our room to leave and turned off all the lights, and Nate and I had peace and quiet for me to start focusing on the contractions and pains to come. This whole time, they are still ramping up the PIT.

5pm to 10pm was the LONGEST 5 hours of my life. It was the most excruiating pain I had EVER felt. Since they were trying to send my body into labor, ramping up the PIT caused very intense contractions. I was having contractions every 2 1/2 to 3 minutes that last at least 90 seconds. There are a lot of "3 min" segments in 5 hours!!! Believe me!!! Nate's hand got a nice squeezing job -- with every contraction, I held his hand VERY hard, looked him straight in the eye, and had to do my deep breathing to make it through the contraction. After it was over, it seemed like no time at all until the next one started. I wasn't getting much rest in between contractions.

I kept looking at the clock thinking, how am I ever going to survive? And I thought my back pain was the worst pain I had felt!! Around 8pm, I didn't think I was going to make it... the nurse told me I could get a small dose of Nubain to take the edge off and to be able to rest b/w contractions. I hesitated b/c I really didn't want drugs, and wanted to try to do it on my own. However, since I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I said, bring on the Nubain. Once I got a 1/2 dose of Nubain, I was able to at least rest during the contractions. They weren't any easier or less intense... (I have been told that the Nubain caused me to act a little loopy too). Finally, when they were almost maxed out on the PIT and I was in horrible pain, she came in and checked me around 10pm. I was 4-5 cm dilated and over 80% effaced. This was WONDERFUL news for me!! Progress... but we still had a LONG way to 10 cm dilated.

At this point, I was at a crossroads... My intention with this delivery was to go natural. Women of many ages past did it over and over again... I felt it was also an amazing sense of accomplishment! Nate and I had taken some extra classes to prepare ourselves for what was to come.... well, everyone's labor story is different and you can't predict what will happen.

After laboring from 8am to 10pm all day Sunday, I didn't know how much longer I could go. The doctor had previously mentioned we could turn off the PIT and let me rest for a few hours and start it up again... HECK NO... I wanted so bad to get this child out!!! Also, you have to remember that I haven't eaten all day long b/c I was on the PIT. I had a bowl of oatmeal at 5:40am -- and it was 10pm!!!! For those of you that know me well -- you know that I eat at least every few hours... not eating was one of the hardest parts of the day... they want you to be able to have success.... but you can't nourish your body -- besides with ice chips! Big deal....

After my thought and consideration, I decided to get an epidural. I knew I needed rest and relief from the contractions and wanted to have enough energy to push her out... Getting the epidural was the BEST thing I could have ever done. I progressed from 5 to 9 cm in 1 hour. When the doctor came in to check me around 11pm, she said, WOW, you are getting close to delivery!!! I couldn't even believe it... the end was FINALLY in sight for me.

She had me "labor down" for another 60 minutes and she checked me and I was complete... ready to push. Sophia was having some decels in her HR, so the doctor really wanted to get her out for fear the cord was around her neck.

By the time we got everything set up, I started pushing around 1:30am... Sophia wasn't doing well during the contractions and pushing, so I could only push every other contraction, which increase the amount of time pushing. I also had to push most of it on my side... she seemed to respond better to that position. I pushed for about 45 minutes or so... and Sophia Grace came into the world to FINALLY meet her mom and dad after this long, difficult process.

It ended up that she did in fact have the cord around her neck and the doctor was able to get it off right away. Due to the lengthy process pushing, she was pretty flimsy when she came out... good old gray color... she only got a 5 on the apgar scale... but that quickly improved with stimulation, suction, and time. By her 3rd rating, she was up to an 8 on the apgar scale.

Despite the whole process being (A) EXTREMELY LONG (B) nothing what we had planned, expected, or even hoped for and (C) did I mention extremely long, we were blessed with a wonderful, healthy baby girl.... she is such a blessing to us and what an awesome reward at the end of the long process. I kept saying to Nate, "I can't believe she is here... she is our child...I am a mother." I was thrilled and so excited!!

She has been doing well since her arrival to the world!!! She actually let mom and dad get about 6 hours of sleep total last night!! This was WONDERFUL for mama b/c I pretty much hadn't slept at all from 1am Sunday morning to 10pm Monday night. Yep -- count up those hours ... a lot for 1 person to be awake straight!!

So that is the story of our labor and delievery journey!! It was very long and hard.... but the reward was well worth it....

Please keep up on the blog for more updates.... hope you enjoyed the pictures below!!

First pictures of Sophia Grace...

The "Long" awaited pictures!!!

(Blogger owner disclosure: Faithful readers... here are some pictures... now remember, these aren't the ones from my husband the professional photographer. We have wait until we get home to load those types of files onto the computer and get them uploaded!!! But here are a few to wet your whistle. Obviously, the pictures don't do her justice b/c she is so adorable!!! )

Since we had a very good night last night, I plan to blog about all the labor details (for those of you that want to know it!) So, stay tuned for that!!

Allyson and Sophia

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sophia Grace is HERE!!

Well, after a very long day of labor.... she finally arrived!!! More details to come but the important info is below.

Sophia Grace Long
Born 2:22am
7 lbs 8 oz
20.5 inches long
13.75 inches (head circumference)

We are both doing well!! Daddy is very tired and is snoozing while mommy is updating everyone!!!

Stay tuned for more info and pictures!!
Allyson and Sophia and Nate

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Give me a little P-I-T

Greetings from LDRP #4 at Methodist Hospital ... (Erin P's former room).

We arrived shortly before 8am, got checked in with the front desk, and admitted. Our nurse put a very cute sign on our door that said, "Welcome Nate, Allyson, and Little Sophia." (Perks of going somewhere when you know people in high places). The doctor came in and checked me. I was 1 cm dilated, 50 % effaced, and contracting somewhat on my own in a "fairly" consistent manor. She decided to skip the Cytotec and head straight to the Pitocin. They have cranked me up 1 notch, and I am contracting about every 2.5-3 minutes. Let's hope these are "effective and productive" contractions. We will try the Pit for about 4-6 hours and see the progress before a recheck.

PS> For those that are anxious to know, we took our last profile pic last night but weren't able to get it posted. I have it ... promise!

Allyson, Nate, and Peanut

Heading to the hospital...

Greetings my faithful blog readers....

We are packing up the car and getting ready to head to the hospital. I have had a few signs of labor this morning (starting at 1am) ... so my body might just have decided that it is ready to get this labor process started on its own as opposed to be pumped full of drugs!! That is fine with me!!!

We will post information as it becomes available.... We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers!! Keep 'em coming....

Stay Tuned...

Allyson and Peanut and Nate (The SUPER-COACH!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Final Countdown...

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!! Peanut decided she still wants to bake a little longer, so needless to say she is STILL inside her mama!!! I think she knew she wouldn't get good eats, so she is waiting until we finish both families Christmas celebrations before making her grand appearance. Pumpkin pie vs. breast milk... give me a break, which would you prefer?

The plan still stands to go in Sunday morning at 8am for an induction.

Please keep us in your prayers. I am very nervous about the whole process!! Plus, I just found out once I get started on the Pitocin (actual drug for the induction), I can't eat. So, if it takes her 12 hours to come out... I will be without food for 12 hours. For those of you that know me well... this is going to be a huge feat in itself!!! Guess it will help me get a jump start on this weight loss! :) HEHE

Assuming we can get internet access at the hospital, we will post some pictures and information!!!

Please continue to pray for us!!! We are very thankful for everyone's thoughts, prayers, and encouragement... it is a LONG marathon and this body is ready to cross the finish line and get her prize!

Allyson and Peanut

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A light at the end of the "LONG" tunnel....

No pun intended... Ha Ha Ha

Unless Peanut decides she is ready to venture into this world on her own before the weekend, we will be going to the hospital on Sunday morning for an induction. I really did not want to be induced, but I can't go on with this horrible pain much longer. Every step I take is very painful and limits everything I do. I am excited that we at least have a "light at the end of our LONG tunnel." The doctor told me it could take 2 days -- "so don't bank on a baby on Sunday!!" So, needless to say we are expecting the longest, hoping for the best!!!

Our prayers is that Peanut would prefer to just come on out before Sunday, but I think she likes her 98.7 degree home and isn't thrilled about the FREEZING Indiana weather. Maybe if it was August, she would feel differently and not know the difference!! She is probably thinking, "I can't handle 50 degree temperature swings in 1 day!!"

Since Peanut decided she didn't want to come before Christmas, she isn't going to get out of wearing her "Baby's first Christmas and Reindeer outfits." If you come over and see her in those, don't think I am crazy and have lost track of time with the lack of sleep ... just know I am trying to get good use out of them!!! Gotta put them to good use b/c she won't be fitting into them next year for her actual "first Christmas."

We also want give a shout out to the White Family -- Michelle and Justin welcomed Lila Jane White into the world yesterday, 12/23 at 11:19 am. She was 7 pounds 4 oz. and 21 inches long. Mom and Baby are doing well!! Lila Jane will have a new playmate soon!! When they get older, then can complain to each other about their birthday's being right around Christmas!!! At least they can find comfort in knowing they aren't alone!! :)

We wish you all a Merry Christmas!!!
Allyson and Peanut

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On to plan B...

Well, there was absolutely NO MEMBRANE MAGIC today. She tried and tried but my pesky cervix wanted to stay shut!! Tear!!! No immediate relief in sight!

We are looking at a weekend induction... no specifics yet, more info to come... stay posted!

Allyson and Peanut (the bun in the oven that won't stop baking)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Membrane magic...

Status update from Prego-Mama and Peanut....

I know that I have lots of prayer warriors out there praying for us and praying this child will come ASAP b/c when mama ain't happy, nobody is happy!

Here is your new prayer mission (if you choose to accept, which we hope you will) --- PLEASE pray for some "membrane magic" tomorrow (12/23) at 3pm. (For those of you that are mom's and/or medical people or just very knowledgeable in the OB area, I don't need to explain this... however, if you don't know what I mean... feel free to email me and I can fill you in.)

Hopefully my cervix will be "ripe" enough for this procedure which would hopefully naturally induce labor within 48 hours. If the cervix isn't ready, then we are looking at/planning for some "weekend" options (if you know what I mean).

I am praying that we won't have to look at "weekend" options and this small, yet probably very painful (but not worse than the pain I am in currently) procedure will work!!

Please pray for God to work some "membrane magic."

Allyson and Peanut (the cute trouble maker)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Walmart or BUST....

For those of you that have been following my blog for the past few days, know the horrible pain I have been in that has severely limited my mobility. Well, I stooped to a new level today.... we were out of groceries, and I am the one that typically does the grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is quite difficult if you can't walk (without immense pain) ... especially in a big box store like Walmart that has seriously 50+ aisles. Nate volunteered to go with me and help me out...but he said I needed to ride in a cart. I told him that there was no way in the world I would or could let myself get on one of these hideous things... Can you say I had a serious pride issue with this? He said, let's at least try....

Needless to say, the pain was too great last night, I just couldn't bear the thought of going out. Today after church (my only outing for the weekend), we thought we would go to Wally-world and try to get a few groceries. The pain was so bad walking in from the car to the front door (and my sweet husband even dropped me off), that I went up to the Walmart front door greeter (aka "item return police") and said, "I think I am going to have to suck up my pride and borrow one of your lovely motorized shopping carts." She looked at me in a weird sort of way and said, "They are over there... help yourself." Gee Thanks Lady! I know I am NOT 82 years old, I do have a big coat on hiding the fact I am major PREGO, but seriously... didn't you see my major GIMP when I was walking in the front door??? Don't I look like I am in pain?

I unplugged the scooter cart and took off my coat so everyone would be able to see I was major PREGO and put my belongings in the front basket. I waited for Nate to park the car and come meet me. He got a grocery cart and off we went.... up and down the aisles at Walmart... me leading in my scooter and him behind walking the cart. I can say that I cranked that baby up and maxed out the speed. (They actually go a lot faster than one would think!) I almost ran over a few people while I was dodging the crowds in the baking aisle.

We went over to get some bananas and I went one way, Nate the other... when I wanted to back up and head towards Nate, I heard this most familar noise.... For those of you that don't know (and who really would) when you reverse a scooter cart, it makes a VERY LOUD beeping noise... kind of reminded me of the noise that those HUGE machines make.... saying, "Wide load coming through, WATCH OUT." Nate couldn't help himself from dying laughing.... we both were laughing.... but he could barely keep it together. I kept telling him to stop laughing and it made it worse... like a little kid.

Throughout the 30 minute adventure, I got quite a few stares driving my Wally-Beamer down the aisles. I really think some people were secretly jealous of me... b/c who wouldn't be... isn't that everyone's dream???

So, that is the exciting Walmart adventure story. Needless to say, it was quite a humbling experience... however, I wish NEVER to have to ride in one of those again.

Until the next adventure of the GIMP...

Allyson and Peanut (the causative agent)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Royal Pain in the butt....

Yes, she is a "pain in my butt" and hasn't even been born yet!!! I know she is loving that right now!! I will be excited when I can share all these stories with her and how miserable she made her mother!!! (I know you who are mothers are thinking, just wait, it gets worse...)

Well folks, the pain is still very present when I am walking or up moving around, I am down right miserable, can't walk well, and feel helpless. I have created a new "cowboy" walk as Nate calls it trying to walk with my legs spread apart. Pretty comical to watch -- looks like I have a really bad case of MONSTER hemorrhoids ... however it seems to relieve a tiny bit of the pain, but it is still very much there. At Tuesday's doctor's appt, something must be done!!!!!

Yesterday I had some "osteopathic techniques" done that could help induce labor in 8 hours -- but as you can see, I am typing this blog so I am still at home and NOT in labor.

Nate and I also went out to eat Mexican with Apryl, Greg, and Olivia last night -- Very enjoyable dinner with friends and I even made my tongue burn with the salsa and drank 3 glasses of water --- still didn't work.

I am running out of ideas folks, especially now that I can't "exercise" her out as I had always intended...

What to do today??? Hum, sit around??? Be bored... Doesn't that sound like fun??

I need to go to the grocery and the thought of that just makes me scream from the pain it would cause. Nate tells me that he will go with me and push the cart and have me get in one of those motorized scooters... can't you just see me now... that thing goes slower than dirt... and I know I might get a little "aisle"-rage (instead of road rage) and run people over!!! At least it would make me laugh!! He also suggested we could take our camera and take a picture of me in it... not sure I want to remember that!!! Not my idea of a "Kodak moment!"

Well, more later... I wish from the hospital, but from our HOME computer. Tear...

Allyson and Peanut

Friday, December 19, 2008

I wish I could say labor pains…

….however all I can say is left butt pains!!!! Tear! :(

For those of you who feel left out of the loop, let me catch you up to speed. Monday and Tuesday evenings I had lots of extra pressure after rolling around on the birth/balance/yoga ball. There were also deep pains in my upper left butt cheek. However, after a good night’s sleep, I was always able to get up and walk it off. No problems working, exercising, walking, nothing!! Wednesday night I sat on the ball for over an hour reading my book and felt awesome – until I got up. I must have really opened up that pelvis for Peanut to nestle herself far into my pelvic region. I went to bed on Wednesday night with quite a bit of pain, but thought – I can walk it off in the morning. Well, that was not true. Each time I got up to go to the bathroom Wed night into Thursday morning, I was gimping myself to the bathroom. The pain was NOT gone by morning. I gimped myself to work and had horrible left butt pain and even back pain all morning long. I was very uncomfortable. Everyone at work thought I might be having “back labor” to which I was very excited about and it made the pain a “little more tolerable.” As you know, I had a doctor’s appt yesterday and NO SIGNS OF ACTIVE LABOR. Peanut’s head is right down there (which I was told was a good thing b/c it meant she still wasn’t floating) and the cervix is softening --- however, it is still fairly posterior (for all your former mamas and medical people). I told her that I was absolutely miserable and couldn’t take much more of this. By the time I got home last night, I was in such pain walking that I had tears in my eyes. Poor Nate didn’t even get dinner cooked for him! I rolled around on the ball last night, took a long hot bath, used an electric massagers, did all my stretches to make her move, and NOTHING worked!! I am still in HORRIBLE pain and have 3 days left to work. I am not sure how I am going to work under this amount of pain. With every step I take, I have horrible pains – bring tears to my eyes at times. So, we will see what today and this weekend bring, and I might have to call the doctor on Sunday if it isn’t any better. I worry about permanent nerve damage with all of this compression on the nerve!!!!

I am really searching long and hard for the ejection button – but Peanut’s stay is UP in this womb!!!! If you have any tips where it might be, please let me know!!

Please pray for pain relief and/or LABOR!!!! She MUST COME OUT!!!
Allyson and the rebel Peanut

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Noah's Ark...

Week 38: The waiting game…

W – Worry – but why worry? Oh, maybe b/c there are about 1 million reasons too!! But also, 1 million reasons not too!! I have to choose not to worry! Or I would drive myself insane!
A – Always look for ways to cause contractions and induce labor!
I – Intense, very intense pelvic pressure
T – Treat yourself to a pedicure and haircut – b/c I am going to this week!!

One of the weekly emails said this is what most moms are thinking… “Please don't let my water break at an inopportune time like in the middle of a client meeting or during my pedicure or at a fancy restaurant ..."
Not this Prego-mama – I am saying, “Please let my water break ANYWHERE!! I don’t care where!! Bring it on baby!!!” I already told the girls that work at the gym to not be worried if they see a little “flood” on the treadmill or elliptical machine – or the machines start shorting out and sparks fly – it isn’t the return of Noah’s Ark and the great flood – just the birth of our child!!! J They just nervously laugh!! I probably find it more funny than they do – b/c they know they will have to clean it up!! HEHE

This week in the news:

-Peanut should weight about 6.8 – 7 lbs by now.

-Peanut should be over 19.5 inches long! Similar to the length of a leek. A leek?? What? Why don’t they use something normal and more common?

-What color will Peanut’s eyes be? They tell me that if she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. A child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. Interesting tidbit of info huh?

-Peanut’s intestines have accumulated a considerable amount of meconium (AKA black tar-like POOP). I have been told to prepare for the 100-wipe diaper change.

-Peanut might just scratch herself in the womb as the fingernails have grown over the fingertips now.

-Peanut’s lungs continue to mature and her brain and nerve function are working better every day.

Exciting stuff huh? Peanut and I go to the doctor on Thursday afternoon, so check the blog on Thursday evening or Friday for an update!!

Allyson and Peanut

Saturday, December 13, 2008

No more "Debbie-downer"...

Dear friends....

I realize that my last post reflected quite an attitude of "Debbie-downer." In the beginning, I committed to my readers and to myself that I would be honest and forth right in my feelings. I knew every post wouldn't be funny and light-hearted as life isn't always that way. Pregnancy truly has been a process for me towards growth, maturity, development, reliance, and patience. Many steps forward, yet many steps backwards.

In the last minute preparations for Peanut, I have forgotten to sit back and be thankful for where the Lord has brought us thus far. I am so "geared up" and "keyed up" with the "here and now" and the "near future" that I have missed this time for reflection and thanksgiving. God has truly been very gracious to Nate and I in providing us beautiful (unborn) child -- and lately, I have been very ungrateful! Today was a day that I was able to relax and spend time with Him and seek truth in the midst of all the lies I am currently believing. I wanted to blog about some of the encouragement I found in Him today.

(A little background) Nate and I have been studying Galatians together over the past 6 months, and today's study focused on the birth of Issac and Ishmael. (Gen 17:1-5) Sarah and Abraham lacked faith that God would truly provide the son that He has promised years before. Sarah decided to take matters into her own hands and suggest Abraham bear a child with Hagar -- eventually leading to the birth of Ishmael. Ishmael's conception and birth symbolizes (to me) the problems with taking things in your own hands and not waiting for God's promises to be fulfilled. At God's appointed time, He allowed Sarah to bear Abraham a child, Issac, which was THE child God promised many times in the previous years. Through Issac, the nations would be blessed. Issac was conceived and birthed through a PROMISE and at God's perfect time and thus resulted in a blessing.

I was deeply convicted that I have been trying to get Peanut to come out in my time and not relying on God to reveal His time and allow for her birth. I continue to aimlessly try to find the "eject" button -- I am missing my lesson on faith as Sarah missed hers.

Ps 118:24 -- "This is the day that the Lord has made, be glad and rejoice in it." I must remember this verse daily and be thankful for each day, each pain, each contraction, each kick, each hiccup, each hour spent with Peanut, whether it is inside or outside the womb.

Gen 49:25 -- "From the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty who blesses you, with blessings of heaven above, belssings of the deep that lies beneath, and blessings of the breasts and the womb." He is continuing to bless my womb and will provide all that little Peanut needs. I must trust in Him and His provision.

Is 40:11 -- "He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in His arm. He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young." He is in control of this labor and delivery. He will lead Peanut out in His "appointed" time and in His "appointed" way.

As I approach these last few week(s), I must obey Phil 4:8 -- "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things." I have to cast out the fears and lies with TRUTH so that I am prepared to face what lies ahead for all of us....

I hope you have been encouraged by these verses and I have been.... From this day, I commit my attitude to the Lord and pray that He will look upon us with favor and blessing as we have this child.

Allyson and Peanut

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mixed Emotions

Well, we had our 37 week check-up today at the doctor. I left with quite mixed emotions. The good news is that I have officially "dropped" as I had hoped/expected. It must have been on Monday when I started feeling all that intense pressure. I asked the doctor if she was going to check my cervix today and she said she didn't usually this early b/c it could cause quite a bit of unnecessary pain for information that (most likely) wouldn't change anything. I was grateful not have to go through the "pain," but was also interested if I was dilated at all. Of course, I choose the no pain route... maybe I will be checked next week at 38?

I also brought up induction (on my due date if I hadn't gone before) and she said that she typically doesn't do a "convenience" induction -- meaning I could still be carrying this child WELL into the new year!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! That actually brings tears to my eyes to think about being pregnant into January!!!! I am so ready to meet this little child of ours, that I can hardly stand it... the thought of being pregnant another 4 weeks is too much for this prego-mama to handle!!! It is so hard when 3 other people I know at my same stage in pregnancy (a few days give or take) have "birth" dates or are at least progressing towards freedom!!! It is hard to be patient and trust that my body and my baby know what to do!!! Sometimes I just want to help Sophia out and say... "GET OUT NOW!!" (In a sweet, kind motherly way of course!!!)

Tomorrow is a full-moon and along with that comes GRAVITATIONAL pull!!! Hopefully this will work to our advantage and pull her down a little bit further and give her a little "jump start." Now I know this is all wishful thinking (no one needs to inform me of this) ... but it is something positive to hang my hat on if you will.

As most of you know, I "sometimes" haven't been the most positive person when it came to my pregnancy -- ok, maybe "most" of the time. I really had no reason not to think positive, but with the burden of "knowing too much medically," I trended towards the worry aspect/side. I was always thinking of the worst case scenario and ALL that could happen in the womb ... now I am finally faced with the reality that this birth is going to really happen!!I haven't really let my mind wrap around this concept until recently. It is really a pretty frightening concept... pushing a watermelon (as my patients refer to my belly) out a hole the size of a lima bean!! YIKES

Watching the childbirth videos in class really brought my attention to the intensity of the labor/delivery process and the immense amounts of pain associated with labor and delivery. I have been really trying to think positively over the past week that we can do this... I can do this... God will give me strength and the ability to get her out. Also, the fact that women have been doing this since Eve!!!

However, I have been recently bombarded by MANY people of all different professions, ages, and walks of life telling me how hard this is going to be... how intense it is going to be... and ask me if I am prepared... ask me if Nate and I can handle this together alone??? It is so hard not to say back and say, "Really? It is going to be hard? I was thinking it would be a cake walk ..." Do people think they put your mind at ease with those kind of comments? I am not saying that I want to be told it is so easy and no pain. I KNOW it is going to be really hard and frankly I don't want to be reminded of that all day long!! With all my own negative thinking, I need some positive encouragement in these last few weeks!!! Don't ya think?? I have a dear friend from church that has passed on some encouraging statements of faith and I will be meditating on those for these last few weeks. I need a NICE, HUGE dose of positive thinking right now!!!

Well, time for Peanut and I to hit the sack.... tomorrow is FRIDAY!!! YEAH!!

Allyson and Peanut

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Swiss Chard...

This week in the news….

Well folks, we have made it to 37 weeks!! Hip Hip Hooray!!

Who knew by “official terminology”, they consider the baby full term at 37 weeks. That is news to this prego-mama!! I still think I want her in there baking 1 more week for full lung development and surfactant!

We go see the doctor this week on Thursday, so hopefully we will have more updates/progress by then!! Last night I could have sworn that I was “dropping” b/c of the intense pressure in my pelvic region all evening! I was so excited despite the intense groin-sciatica pains. However, when I got up this morning, I feel like I look the same as I did yesterday morning!! So sad!!

The weekly update tells me that Peanut’s growth has slowed down dramatically this week which should be good news to me and my birth canal. Interesting way to think about it huh??

So, I ask, if they consider her full-term at 37 weeks, what in the world is she still doing inside of me!!! I am ready to hit the ejection button soon!!! The updates tell me that she is working on her breathing, sucking, sleeping, gazing and peeing abilities. Nice, real nice people. Can’t we come up with something better than that?

She should be b/w 19-20 inches long and 6 ½ lbs. One of the weekly updates says that she is head to heal similar to a stalk of Swiss chard. What is a swiss chard???

Well, I had to google this one b/c I didn’t know…. “Swiss chard is a vegetable that is often overlooked. It is worth a try, however. Colorful and tasty, Swiss chard is full of nutritional goodness. Swiss chard is related to the beet, and comes in a variety of colors. The leafy portion is always a nice green, while the stalk can be white, bright yellow, or a Christmas red. If you are growing your own, or buy it from a farmer's market, it is not unusual to see all three colors packaged together as 'Rainbow Chard'. A very colorful salad or vegetable dish can be made using all three colors together. The edible portion is the leaf and stalk. The stalk needs to cook longer than the leaf, so it can be treated as two separate vegetables. The younger, sweeter leaves can be put raw in salads, providing color, nutrition, and a spinach-like taste. Larger leaves can be chopped and cooked. The leafy portions cook quickly like spinach; the stalks should be chopped into bite-size pieces and can be sautéed or steamed for a longer period of time than the leaves.”

Don’t you feel like you learned something today????

Sorry for the most boring post EVER!!! I know, these email updates are getting LAME!!!

More news later this week….

Allyson and Peanut

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weekend Adventures..

Weekend Adventures for the Longs...

I can't believe the first weekend in December has come and (almost) gone!!! We had a wonderful weekend!!! Just a few more and our Princess will be here (hopefully)!!!

Saturday morning we awoke to snow!!! It was a rude awakening that WINTER is HERE!! The only good thing about that fact is that Peanut is coming soon!!! After a good gym workout, we headed over to the Avon Fire Department and met with the Public Safety guru to have her properly install our car seats/bases into both vehicles. What a wonderful FREE service that we can utilize b/c we pay taxes!! I highly recommend this service to anyone!! We feel great about Peanut's safety!! Now we just have to watch out for all the bozo drivers on the road!! As you can see in the picture below, the only thing that is missing now is PEANUT!!!

After our visit with the AFD, I headed down to Apryl's for a nice lunch with the girls (Apryl, myself, and her almost 2 year old daughter Olivia). We had a WONDERFUL yummy lunch and great conversations!! I had to get all my last minute questions answered!! Apryl has been such a dear friend and blessing in many ways throughout my pregnacy!!

After lunch I headed to Metropolis to shop for nursing bras. I drug my poor sister with me -- although she is ALWAYS up for a trip to the mall!! I have to say that the selection of nursing bras is HORRIBLE!! I wanted to try lots of different styles on to see which fit I liked best. The problem was that NO ONE carries my cup size in the store!!! (For all of you moms, yes, I knew to even look at the cup size up from my current one). The lady at JC Penny said, "Oh I am sorry mam, that just isn't a common cup size. You can order that size online." I felt like I needed to go to the junior training bra section and look for "junior nursing bras." I wanted to say lady, not all women aren't blessed with "lots of top" if you know what I mean. Neverthesless, I found a few that "might work" so I bought them. However, after getting them home, I decided I am just going to go with a friend's recommendation of the Bravdo! nursing bra. I have to order it online though...good thing they have free shipping!! Hope they feel better than the few I bought at JC Penny's.

Saturday evening Nate and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. (It is really on Tuesday 12/9.) Nate allowed me to relax and rest while he cooked an amazing candlelight dinner. We talked about our favorite memories over our 2nd year and what we are looking forward to for next year!! Next year we will need a babysitter!! Any takers/volunteers?? :)

We always try to find meaningful gifts for each other that have to do more with quality time as opposed to objects. Nate asked the I read one of his favorite chapters in The Severe Mercy book as he recorded it on the computer so he can listen to it on his long commute to work! Nate in turn gave me a 1 hour massage! It is pretty hard to find a comfortable position for a prego-woman's massage. He did well! :) I felt like I was at a Salon/Spa. Of course after a long massage, this prego-mama was ready for bed at 9pm!!!

After a long night due to frequent trips to the bathroom (#4 -- yes, FOUR trips)... we made it up early for church. After church, Sam came up from the G-wood to see Sophia's room and then we headed out for a girls lunch while Nate studied. It was great to catch up.

My chore this afternoon is to actually PACK the hospital bag. Nate has been very concerned that we won't have our bag packed in time so he asked me to do it this weekend. Of course it is a lot easier b/c I already have the list typed out (right EEP?). After a little more questioning, I figured out why he was worried it wouldn't be packed in time.... he was worried he wouldn't have all his special snacks and treats to take to the hospital. As you can see below, I made my Kroger run to get all his goodies. He is so excited about his food treats. He said, "If I am going to be able to survive labor, I am going to need good nourishment!" No worries that we don't have the toothbrush and clothes packed, WE HAVE FOOD!

As we get ready to begin week 37, I am getting very anxious for our little Peanut to arrive. I am getting very anxious to be DONE working too! :) This 37th week is crucial for her little lungs, but after this week, Peanut will be getting an eviction notice from her mama telling her that her time in the oven is DONE and she must come out!!! However, as you can see in the picture below of her door hanging... "Princess needs her beauty rest..." She gets my permission for one more week of beauty rest, then it is time to show her face!!! In reference to one of my favorite movies, "Bring it on..."

Stay tuned, more to come this week...

Allyson and Princess Peanut

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

See ya around "30" day mark...

We have finally hit the “under 30 day” mark on the Wiget!!! You don’t know how amazing it is to see under 30 days on my little floating peanut on the right side of this blog!!! I remember the days when we were in the 200’s!!!

Hopefully Peanut won’t decide to use up all those 27 days!! Hopefully she will be so stinkin’ excited to come out and meet her parents that she leaves about 14 days left on the ticker!!! Here’s to hoping right???

Well, as you can see from the recent blog posts, we have been busy little bees preparing for Peanut’s arrival!! She continues to make her presence known throughout the day as she shifts into crazy positions!! At times I wonder if she is doing spread eagles with her arms and her legs!!! It is so crazy to feel a little “tickle” from her hand in my groin area and also a kick up near my xiphoid process ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! Sometimes she seriously feels about 25 inches long!!! She still has yet to find my ribs though and I am VERY thankful for that!!

Everyone continues to ask me if I am feeling any Braxton-Hicks contractions and my answer is, “Well, I don’t think so.” I have read about what they feel like – but you must understand that my stomach is tight all the time and I don’t know if I would know the difference. Although, I somewhat start panicking (internally) that it means I will for sure go the FULL 40 weeks!! YIKES!!!! Another thing that everyone keeps telling me is “Wow, sure doesn’t look like you have dropped. The baby usually drops two weeks before labor.” Another internal panic sets daily as she remains “ridin’ high” – at least another two weeks or MORE!!!!

I know she will come when she is ready, but she must sense that her mother and father are VERY excited to meet her and ready to get this show on the road. It is so hard for my Type A personality to sit back and just “relax” and enjoy my last few weeks of freedom, peace, and quiet. I really wish I could but I can’t do ANY of these things b/c I am very anxious for her to come!! I am ready to be a REAL mom and not a “MIT-WBIB” (mother-in-training-while-baby-is-baking). Cute huh?

Well, this week in the news….

Week 36

- Peanut continues to gain at least ½ pound per week! She is gaining fat needed to regulate her body temperature.
- They tell me she will be 15% fat at birth. Interesting huh?
- Her gums are firm with ridges that look somewhat like teeth. Just gotta wait to see the actual pearly whites!
- She should be about 18 ½ inches long and over 6 lbs.
- She continues to shed most of her downy covering and is starting to shed some of the vernix.

Not much on the weekly update!! Just packing on the pounds (like her mother is) and waiting to make an appearance!

Allyson and Peanut

Monday, December 1, 2008

36 weeks and growing!

19, 25, 31, and 36 weeks... and she keeps on growing!

As I look back over the past four pictures, I can't believe how much I "popped" out b/c weeks 31 to 36 weeks!! YIKES!!! Can everyone see how high she is riding me?? She is starting to take my "breath away" literally!! I really hope she drops soon so that I can get some relief!! For some odd reason though, I can still workout without many breathing problems!! Maybe b/c I am bouncing her up and and down and she can't hang up near my lungs as much! Isn't that a miracle and blessing!!! I sure think so!

Week 36 OB visit tomorrow and stay tuned for the Week 36 update. I tell ya though, they are getting lamer and lamer by the week! (Is lamer even a word?)

Allyson and "High-riding" Peanut