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S: Connor Reid Seymour - '09 From Maternity to Year One '11

FC: Connor Reid Seymour | we welcome you...

1: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - A Not So Top-Secret Announcement On Monday night, since my period was officially a week late and I had extra pregnancy tests stashed in the linen closet, I decided to take one on a whim although I was positive Aunt Flo was on her way in just a matter of time. When I went in several minutes later to check the test I knew was going to be negative so when I saw two lines, however faint, I had to do a double-take. OMG, two lines... two lines means pregnant!! And so, I took another test immediately whose results were a little darker but still very inconclusive in my mind. Jay was completely unaware of what was occurring in the next room and caught off-guard when I clumsily spilled the news. I ran (literally} into the living room and told him I needed to go to the store. He looked at me completely confused and asked why, at 7:30p I needed to go to the store? From behind my back, I pulled out the last test and said, “because I think we’re pregnant and I need more tests to be sure”. He was, needless to say, shocked and in disbelief, convinced it hadn’t happened this first month either. He suggested I wait until my already scheduled doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, but was he kidding? I couldn’t possibly wait that long! So, I drove to Wal-Mart to buy another box of pregnancy tests, this time with the words clearly visible without the possibility of misreading. Jay and I waited while I took the test and after a few minutes, it clearly showed PREGNANT in the window. We just stared at each other from opposite sides of the couch, grinning and in a state of complete shock – and then I started to bawl. Emotions had finally overcome me! By bedtime, my mind was in overdrive, thinking of all the things I’d already done wrong and worrying about – well, absolutely everything! I didn’t sleep much Monday night to say the least. Since finding out Monday night that we’re indeed pregnant, the last couple of days have been a complete whirlwind! Although we weren’t expecting this miracle to happen quite so quickly, or on the first try, it’s amazing news and we both feel so incredibly blessed – along with another bazillion emotions. Jay is cautiously excited, and I completely understand why. It’s so early and it still seems so unreal that everything has happened so fast. He said over and over again, "I thought you said this would take awhile". And I don’t think he truly trusted the results of two First Response and an EPT pregnancy test either!! However, I switched my appointment to Tuesday morning and my doctor confirmed the good news – and was just as surprised (and thrilled) as we were that it happened so quickly! Our initial due date is April 13, 2010. We’ve spent the last couple of days surprising our families and that has been such a fun experience, every time! Our families are overjoyed and ecstatic for us and we can’t wait to tell the rest of the world! We’re taking each day as it comes and praying that this will be a healthy and smooth pregnancy and in nine months, that we’ll have a beautiful, healthy, happy and absolutely loved baby. Our lives are about to change forever!! | we're

2: SHARING OUR NEWS | Monday, August 17, 2009 – 6 Weeks We've spent the last couple of days surprising friends and family with our special news. I had a hard time keeping the news to myself - I was ready to shout it from the rooftops! The first to learn about you was Aunt Jessie. She was too impatient to hear the news from in person and instead, forced me into telling her about you over the phone. No matter, I could hear in her voice just how excited and how ready she is to spoil you! I met Grammy for lunch the day after we found out and brought along a special gift to welcome her into grand-motherhood (a little wooden calendar to count down the weeks until you'll be here with us). I've never seen her look more excited! I made a special trip to surprise Papa with a gift of his own - a baby cell phone; I told him we were going to need to add another line to our family phone plan and he knew immediately just what news I was delivering! Your Daddy called Grandma and Grandpa, GiGi, Uncle Blake and I spoke to Aunt Erin. Everyone is beyond overjoyed and anticipating your arrival in April. We swore everyone to secrecy but it didn't take long for your parents to spill the news themselves. We were just too excited to keep it to ourselves!! I told all of your Aunties this week - Jamie (who shed some tears at our lunch together), Cassie, Abbie and Rusti who all squealed with delight and welcomed me into the wonderful world of Mommyhood! Our family and friend are already so in love with you Baby Seymour! Even though I'm still shocked that this is all happening so fast, this pregnancy and our baby is the very first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the very last thing on my mind before I fall asleep at night. Already, motherhood has changed me. This will prove to be a very long nine months and will require an excruciating amount of patience on my part. I'm already feeling impatient, wanting to feel more pregnant but more so, to be reassured that our baby is healthy and happy inside of me. My friends assure me that at some point, I will live to regret that statement. That there will come a day when I can't wait for this little one to get out of me! I just can't believe that I have our greatest creation within me and in a relatively short period of time, this little clump of cells will become my world and change the way I love. | Thursday, August 20, 2009 - Impatient Sentiments Even though I’m still shocked that this is all happening so fast, this pregnancy and our baby is the very first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the very last thing on my mind before I fall asleep at night. Already, motherhood has changed me. This will prove to be a very long nine months and will require an excruciating amount of patience on my part. I’m already feeling impatient, wanting to feel more pregnant but more so, to be reassured that our baby is healthy and happy inside of me. My friends assure me that at some point, I will live to regret that statement. That there will come a day when I can’t wait for this little one to get out of me! I’m anxious to listen to his or her little heartbeat and share that moment with Jay, even though that appointment is still weeks away. I just can’t believe that I have our greatest creation within me and in a relatively | Tuesday, September 8, 2009 – 9 Weeks This week my baby, you are the size of an olive. Well, this week I finally feel pregnant - oh, your Aunties were so right! I've had severe nausea and vomiting for days, with a slew of other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms (heartburn, brutal fatigue, swollen and tender breasts) but as each day passes, I'm feeling more and more human again. It's all worth it when I remind myself that this all means that you are healthy and growing strong. That affirmation and Saltine crackers have been my saving grace this week!! | Monday, September 14, 2009 -Week 10 After the brutality of Week Nine with nausea and other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, my energy level has increased a bit from where it was and my appetite has reappeared for the most part. I’m feeling more and more human! Now that I'm feeling so much better, my impatient nature is rearing its ugly head again. I cannot wait to find out just who it is in there!! In fact, after the craft show with Grammy this past weekend, I finally succumbed to the Drano test (which she swears worked both times, for me and Aunt Jessie). The science experiment was eruptive and the result was blue which Grammy indicates means girl. After looking on the internet and depending on what site is reviewed, blue means boy and/or girl. So, my reward for being so impatient is an inconclusive result - it serves me right! No matter what news the big ultrasound reveals, we absolutely are already in love with our little "pumpkin head"! I’m looking forward to our first appointment with the doctor next Friday when we will hear his/her heartbeat for the very first time. I cannot wait!! | Thursday, September 17, 2009 – “Conversations” One night while lying in bed, I began to feel some changes in the way my stomach feels and mentioned to Jay that, "my stomach feels so weird". He looked at me wide-eyed and said in only a tone appropriate for Jay, "well yeah, there's a god-damned human being in there!!" and I was hysterically laughing. Well, when you put it like that, yes!!

3: Monday, September 21, 2009 – 11 Weeks Thankfully, I've regained some of my energy and I've been feeling pretty great most days. My appetite seems to be back to normal now that my nausea has passed for the most part. This reprieve allowed me to get out shopping this weekend with Grammy for some maternity clothing. After stepping on the scale this morning, I haven't gained much if any weight which is just fine with me as long as this plum is getting all he/she needs! We have our first prenatal appointment with our OB on Friday morning when we'll hear the heartbeat for the very first time and I can hardly wait! I doubt I'll get any sleep between now and then but I just can't wait to hear our healthy baby. I know it'll provide some reassurance for both Jay and I. I can only imagine it'll make this little miracle even more real to us and that I'm bound to have a very emotional reaction to what will likely become my favorite sound in the world. I'm feeling a great sense of relief to be at the end of the first trimester and blessed that this has been such a healthy pregnancy for Baby Seymour. | Friday, October 2, 2009 – 12 Weeks All week, today's appointment has been the only thing on my mind! Daddy and I met Dr. Schoenmaker for our initial prenatal exam and we heard your heart beat for the very first time, once the nurse finally located you Squirmy! It was incredible at 164 beats, and is my new favorite sound in this world. I looked over at your Dad and he had the biggest smile on his face, from ear to ear. It's moments like this that we'll forever remember. I also received the flu shot this weekend (we'll shortly be getting the H1N1 "swine flu" vaccine when it’s available) since we are considered high-risk. Anything for you, Baby! | Wednesday, October 7, 2009 – 13 Weeks It's finally the fall season in Michigan and I'm feeling every bit of the cooler weather. I've been struggling with a cold most of the week - a sore throat, an achy body and just a general feeling of wanting to stay under the covers all day but there is good news that this week brings you are 13 weeks old (11 fetal weeks, to be exact)! This week happily brings us to the end of the first trimester together my little "peach" and it's time to celebrate!! To me, this must mean that you are healthy and happy to be growing inside me and I couldn't be more honored to have you here. Or more anxious to find out more about just who you are! There has been so much speculation after your first official heart beat was recorded last week as to whether the nursery should be painted in pink or in blue. Both of your Grandmas and Aunt Jessie are guessing that you will be a girl, while Aunt Erin is convinced that you're a boy and rather excited to have a rough and tumble playmate for your cousin, Caedin. Your Daddy and I both agreed from almost the very second that we learned we were pregnant that you were a little girl, but the more time that passes, the more muddled my "maternal instincts" seem to get. I've had two very vivid dreams and you were most definitely not a girl; nope, instead a healthy, beautiful boy. I guess only time (and our 19 week ultrasound on November 19th 2009) will reveal just who you are. No matter, you are already surrounded by so much love from your family and friends and there is such great anticipation surrounding your arrival - in several months, of course! I already find myself spending countless hours daydreaming about you. Will you have Daddy's eyelashes and Mommy's great creative flair, or Mommy's curly hair and Daddy's sense of adventure? Whoever you'll be, we love you! | Monday, October 19, 2009 – 15 Weeks I am feeling wonderful at this stage in the pregnancy game, baby-wise. If only this sinus infection would work its way out, I’d be practically normal again! Since I’m feeling so well and I haven’t yet begun to feel the baby move, I’m anxious more now than ever to feel those pregnancy feelings roar again. I just cannot wait to feel the first tiny flutters of my little one. I know in time, the kicks to the ribs and nightly jabs that keep me from sleeping will become tiresome, but for now, that’s all I long to feel | Long ago, when you were but a dream of ours to be - we LOVED you even then.

4: Friday, November 6, 2009 – 17 Weeks At 17 weeks, you are now the size of a baked potato! Oh my Little One, what a week it’s been! With no signs of any uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms, I’m able to concentrate on the millions of thoughts I have about you each and every day. I am anxious more than ever for you to make your presence finally known but I’m trying to be a patient mother. It’s sometimes difficult to “feel” very pregnant without any of the yucky symptoms constantly reminding me and not having felt you move yet but I’m so thankful that we’ve both had a very pleasant pregnancy for the most part! We had our 16 week OB appointment today (albeit a week late) with Dr. Clara Regal and Grammy was excited to join us. We’re both very healthy!! Your heartbeat was much easier to find this time, at a rate of 152. My “little” uterus is measuring right on schedule for 17 weeks, I’ve gained 2 pounds since our last visit, the Cystic Fibrosis test came back negative and I received the last of the blood work needed for the genetic testing. In preparation for the flu/swine flu season, I’ll be receiving the H1N1 vaccine tomorrow at a clinic (with Aunt Jessie) since Sparrow Hospital doesn’t have a supply. Grammy and I had lunch at El Az Teco together after the appointment; it’s only my third trip there this week. Now that Mexican food is settling well again, my crazy pregnancy hormones seem to be controlling my appetite a bit! I’ve had only one pregnancy-related meltdown so far, although I’m not so sure Daddy would agree!! The enormity of your impending arrival finally caught up to me, and I felt a bit overwhelmed in a weak moment. I’m quite positive that every mother experiences those same fears at some point. After a few tears and a hug from your supportive Dad, all was better again. There are only 13 days until your gender will be revealed to us and I am in countdown-mode. So far, the majority of our friends and family agree that you’re a boy – and honestly, I’m starting to think blue too, although I’m not at all sure why. If you are a boy, I have chosen the most adorable bedding for your nursery and if you’re a girl, well then, you have the most beautiful name already picked out for you. | Over the weekend, Aunt Jessie and I bought a doll that cries just like you will most definitely do to prepare your furry siblings for your arrival. Koda and Ducati are both very curious whenever the baby cries or makes suckling noises. Koda is ultra-protective, as we knew she would be. She lies wherever the baby is and plays keep away with Ducati. Ducati perks up his ears at each new noise and wants to have a front-and-center seat for all the action. We’re hoping that by the time you actually arrive, they will be well-behaved doggies and leave you slobber-free! | Monday, November 9, 2009 – 18 Weeks Today, (thanks to the powerful persuasion of Auntie Cassie) I was able to catch my first sneak peek at you. Auntie Abbie and I attended her appointment this afternoon after our lunch together and she sweet-talked the ultrasound technician into ‘secretly’ catching your first image for us. Auntie Abbie cried, Auntie Cassie was amazed and I was simply in awe by how perfectly you appeared. Silly as it may sound, for some reason, I was not expecting to see anything on the screen but when you suddenly appeared, I could make out every inch of you – a hand, a leg, your spine, a healthy beating heart and one cute little nose. You appeared to be blowing little bubbles (of amniotic fluid) and bumbling happily and healthily about inside the womb. In that moment, you became more real to me than ever before. Although the technician could clearly tell your gender, I waited to find out. In just ten days, I will share that amazing moment with your Daddy, your Grandma & your Aunt; but until then, I carry around your image in my mind and smile. | November 10, 2009 We had an unexpected appointment this afternoon due to a suspect kidney infection. While I was there, I got a chance to hear your heartbeat once again – 148 today with a strong, healthy rhythm. If the old wives’ tale is right, you are a boy! And the genetic testing results I received today state that you a very healthy fetus, girl or boy!!

5: November 19, 2009 – 19 Weeks (Ultrasound Appointment – “The Big Reveal”) Waiting for this appointment has made for one impatient and sleepy Momma! I was so excited the night before this appointment that I had a hard time falling asleep and an even harder time of staying asleep. I watched the clock, counting down as the hours passed until we’d find out just who was in that womb of mine. I was so excited when the alarm went off that morning Daddy, Grammy and Aunt Jessie were all in attendance and the OB staff was pretty impressed with the number of spectators you brought in with you. They couldn’t know the half of all those waiting anxiously near their computers or phones for the official word, or just how excited your family really was for this day. The weeks before, family and friends made guess after guess as to what your gender would be. Everyone with their own theory based on if I was feeling nauseous, if I was shaving my legs more or less, what your heart rate history had been, was I carrying high or low, the results of the Drano test, predictions from the Chinese Birth Chart, the estimated date of conception or going on pure whim. By far and large, the majority voted for Team Blue! Lying in that darkened room on that table with my belly exposed and seeing the first images of you on the screen, surrounded by people who love us both was one of the happiest moments of my life, and one I’ll never forget. I think I must have worn a smile on my face the entire appointment – and then long after too! The ultrasound technician took various measurements as we all collectively waited impatiently for the big reveal. Of course, being your father’s child, you were being difficult; sitting in a breach position and hiding your ‘parts’ from all of us! It was only after a more invasive ultrasound that your gender was revealed and the technician’s hunch that you were a boy because you were frequently grabbing at your ‘parts’, obviously fascinated by yourself! I think Daddy was initially shocked, he was preparing himself for life with a little girl and already worrying about the day that she’d bring a date home to meet him Looking around the room, it was obvious that everyone was blissfully happy and couldn’t imagine you being anything other than a little boy. Grammy was leaking tears of joy, Daddy had a huge grin (and sense of relief) on his face and Auntie was all smiles, already contemplating what her first blue purchase would be!Dr. Schoenmaker met with us afterwards to review all of your pictures and he couldn’t have been more satisfied with your progress. You were a healthy boy with a heart rate of 139 (a number which threw Aunt Erin off and she changed her guess to girl at the last moment) and your estimated weight was of a pound, measuring right on schedule. You were a BOY, at last we knew! After the initial week or so, I just knew you would be. The day before our appointment I couldn’t stand it any longer and purchased boy bedding at a great sale price, going with my hunch that you would need a blue room and not a pink one. So see, your Mom IS ALWAYS RIGHT – that’s important to remember! A boy meant that I would be the mother of a son. For whatever reason while growing up, I never envisioned myself as a mother of a son but now that I was going to be, I really couldn’t imagine it any other way. I immediately began to daydream about what our life would become with you in it. I had no disappointment, reservations or worries, only pure and absolute joy. Only in addition, a new anxiety about waiting many more months before we could meet. However, without any name ideas that Daddy and I could agree on, it’s probably a good thing for you that we have some time to contemplate. Otherwise, in the heat of frustration and exhaustion of labor, you could wind up being a Grover or a Sabastian. But don’t worry little man, we’ll come through for you - we always will!

6: Monday, November 30, 2009 – 21 Weeks After so much anticipation of feeling your first movements, I think I finally felt you making your presence known today. It was after lunch while I was at my desk when I felt the oddest sensation – a small flick coming from within... followed by another and another – and then as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared. Oh my goodness, was this really you FINALLY? I truly think it was! What an amazing feeling to connect with you, my son on such an unexplainable level. Several times this week I’ve felt the same sensation from time to time (usually occurring after a meal) and now I’m almost certain it’s you making me aware of my little man! Your Daddy is so excited, he’s already started putting his hand upon my tummy and hoping to feel your movement too. I have a feeling it’ll be a few more weeks until you’re strong enough for Daddy to feel, but I have no doubt that when it happens, your Dad won’t be able to keep his hands off of us! | Tuesday, December 7, 2009 – 22 Weeks Holy cow buddy, you’ve been quite an acrobat! This last week was incredibly exciting as I finally felt my little man making his presence known. And once you started, you haven’t stopped! I feel you move within me every day from time to time – especially after meals and at bedtime. Other women have tried to explain to me what the first fetal movements would feel like – a flutter or gas bubbles in my tummy but feeling your movements have been unlike anything I could have ever imagined and more amazing than I could ever explain. To me, it began as tiny flicks from inside and I wasn’t quite sure if what I was feeling was you but after a week of feeling the same sensation and monitoring your rhythms, I couldn’t be more sure. Each little movement you make, I am glad to be reminded that you’re right here with me. Even the occasional jab to my bladder!Today your Daddy felt you move for the very first time although I he wasn’t completely sure. He did! It’s so much more exciting now that we can share you and it has been such an emotional bond between the two of us, knowing that we created you with all our love. I love your Daddy more now than ever and can’t imagine how I will ever love him more for giving me such a precious gift. | Tuesday, December 14, 2009 – 23 Weeks Daddy and I were having dinner last night, watching the movie Knocked Up (which we both decided will be a very long time before you see) and our conversation revolved around our favorite topic as of late – YOU! Your Dad shared with me that he’s fearful of the beginning (the delivery, which makes more sense for me to be afraid of) and age 18 when you will leave our so-called ‘nest’. He’s already worrying about the day when you won’t be here with us all of the time; and also that he’ll become one of those child-free, dog-obsessed men like both of your grandfathers! In all seriousness, I cannot believe how quickly you have softened your rugged, macho Dad! You’ll have him crumbling in your little, sticky hands in no time. | There are several explanations including: * My due date may be off and I’m further along, which greatly excited Grammy and I!! * There is a lot of amniotic fluid protecting you in that womb ‘o mine. * You are in a breach position (which we know you were at the ultrasound appointment) although I’m fairly confident that you have moved and are currently stretched comfortable across my torso. * You may be bigger than-normal because of gestational diabetes . * Or, I may simply be carrying a big, beautiful, perfectly healthy baby boy! I will continue to be measured at each visit and be closely monitored but the results of the glucose test over the next few weeks will be greatly informative. If I continue to measure large, I will have another ultrasound around week 38 to find out why. Until then, I’m not worrying about it too much; the holidays and my little man kicking me and constantly reminding me that he’s healthy are the perfect distractions! | Monday, December 21, 2009 – 24 Weeks We had our 24th week appointment last Friday, a week early and Grammy attended last minute. The nurse immediately found your healthy and strong heartbeat of 155. Apparently now that we’re both much bigger, it’s way easier to find! I received information pamphlets on breastfeeding, the stages of labor, my pain control options (YES, please!) and the glucose screening test which I will have to do in the next couple of weeks. My fundal height (the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus; as a rule of thumb, your fundal height (in centimeters) should roughly equal the number of weeks you're pregnant. Measuring large for dates means your fundal height is more than 2 centimeters larger than average for your stage of pregnancy, based on your due date) is measuring a little large at this

7: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 – 25 Weeks You celebrated your first Christmas little boy, well almost. You may not have been able to open the many gifts you received from your family or see the lights twinkle on the Christmas tree, but you were very much a part of every celebration. As usual, there were too many places to be and not enough time to go around but we managed to celebrate at your great Grandma & Grandpa Byrnes’ where everyone is super excited about your arrival in the Spring and already fondly calling you the ‘Little Goomer’, at your grandpa’s request! Christmas Eve ended at The Seymour’s with the whole extended family, a festive spread and a fun gift exchange. Daddy and I drove home on icy roads and were relieved to be in our pajamas just in time for “A Christmas Story”. We decided not to exchange gifts this year, instead trying to pay off our debts and stock up our savings as much as we can before you arrive but Daddy remembered to get me a card, well he made one which was even better! Pregnancy brain has totally affected everything for me, including remembering a card for the man I love, at the very least. Inside the homemade card (because your Dad forgot too, only not completely) that read #1 Wife was an awesome poem that even mentioned you, Baby No Name was one of my favorite gifts that he has ever given me. It was hysterical and set the tone for the rest of Christmas and this Christmas was by far one of the best, as my recent memory serves. We woke up early to head to Grandma & Grandpa Seymour’s to join the rest of the family – GG, Uncle Blake, Aunt Erin, Mike and your cousin Caedin for Christmas breakfast. Sharing in Caedin’s first Christmas memory was so much fun. We’re all anticipating how much more fun next year will be when both of you boys will experience it together! There were presents galore – my most favorite, a food processor that will be used to make your baby food when the time comes; and you were spoiled too with a new blue, cozy snowsuit from Grandma & Grandpa and a Tiger/Little Man outfit from Aunt Erin, Mike & Caedin. It was a wonderful spending time with the family on Christmas morning and then it was on to Grammy & Papa’s to celebrate with Aunt Jessie & Matt... Aunt Jessie was thrilled when we finally arrived and the present-opening could commence! You had your very own stocking (with a variety of things for your diaper bag and a board book) and a pile of presents waiting for you - Aunt Jessie & Matt bought you the softest blue lovey, a gray Michigan onesie and cap and a black, manly UFC onesie. Grammy & Papa bought you the cutest 3-piece Monkey outfit and board book, a noisy penguin toy, a stuffed moose and Christmas book. And we didn’t do too shabby either, enjoying a pile of presents ourselves! We feasted on a huge meal of filet mignon, lobsters for the boys and plenty of yummy side dishes and then spent the rest of the day (and well into the night) enjoying quality family time. We played the Wii for hours where I impressed everyone by winning every game I attempted to everyone’s utter disbelief with my perfect balance and skills until ‘ the Christmas incident of 2009’ where my bladder gave way after choking on a sip of water while watching your Aunt hula hoop it up! They wouldn’t let me live it down and I’m sure will still be talking about it when you’re old enough to drive! Grammy, Auntie & I played games until the boys finally joined us for a few rounds of poker to end the night. Daddy and I finally headed for home a little before midnight, pleasantly exhausted from a wonderful holiday.We ate too much, we exchanged great gifts, we laughed until some of us peed and we all agree that it was one of the most fun Christmases we’ve had in a long time!! I just can’t wait until you’re here with us next year to know what truly great families you have and how special this time of year is for all of us. Merry Christmas, my son! | Monday, January 4, 2010 – 26 Weeks Happy New Year Baby!! We rang in the New Year celebrating with The Nixon’s at their house (with pizza and the kiddies) and were home by 12:20a. I’d like to say that your parents turned into old farts when we got pregnant but the truth is - we’re just old farts!! We celebrated New Year’s Day at Grandma & Grandpa Seymour’s with the whole family and stuffed ourselves silly all day long. I spent the rest of the long weekend taking down all of the Christmas decorations and I couldn’t help but think this time next year that I’ll have an extra little set of hands to help me. That excites me more than you could know! As I’m nearing the end of my second trimester, I’m wondering if a lack of sleep now is supposed to prepare me for the lack of sleep I’ll receive as a new mother. And if so, I’m getting good practice in at this stage in the game. For the last two weeks or so, sleep has become almost impossible. I get a very strong, annoying pain that radiates between my shoulder blades all the way into my chest whenever I lay on my sides; the preferred sleeping position for pregnancy. I’m really hoping that a trip to the chiropractor today will give me some relief and zzz’s since I need all the energy I can get nowadays to prepare for you until you arrive. As for everything else, I can't complain too much... my weight gain and growing belly is finally making every day things more and more challenging – like putting on my socks and tying my shoes, clipping and painting my toe nails, shaving my legs, hauling laundry up and down the stairs, getting out of bed and off the couch, etc. And to think, we have 3 more months of growing ahead of us!! I'm looking forward to my OB appointment next Friday and hoping that I'm measuring back on track. It'll be one less thing I have to worry about! Until then, I find myself nesting a lot - that is, when I'm not completely exhausted from carrying around this extra load!! | Tuesday, January 5, 2010 Next on my baby to-do list: pack our hospital bag. Your Dad surprised me yet again (while laying in bed on New Year’s Eve) by saying that ‘we’ should be prepared for anything at this point in the pregnancy and have a hospital bag all set to go. As far off as I initially thought he was, he’s actually right! All of the articles I’ve read suggest the end of the sixth month, which we’re at – so I’m researching into just what packing a complete hospital bag for you, Daddy and myself entails. He’s become a little worrier as he prepares for his new Daddy role. I think the closer April gets, the more this becomes real for him. I’m seeing a whole other side to him that I never knew was there and I think it’s very cute!

8: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 – 28 Weeks I can hardly believe that we’re in our third and last trimester already and that your Big Arrival Day is steadily approaching, just 12 weeks left! There is ‘big news’ to report your cousin Gavin Daison Crips was born Thursday, January 14th at a healthy 8lbs 7oz in Ohio. You’ll be meeting your new playmate very soon! Also, Timery and Corey Smith are having a little boy (due in June 2010) and Pat & Nicole Justice are expecting a baby in August 2010 which means that you likely have two friends already in your classroom when you’re ready to start school – oh my, that’s a scary thought I see trips to the Principal’s office already! I’ve missed four days of work on account of a major head cold/sinus infection that has taken my body hostage. It’s definitely less fun being sick when you’re pregnant and unable to take normal medications to feel human but I think we’re finally on the mend! It couldn’t come fast enough for your Daddy though. He’s been worried about us the entire time – and that the amount of coughing would trigger pre-term labor. I know he’s excited to meet you, but not quite yet! He finally made me go to the doctor’s office yesterday. Sick as I was/am, it was nice to be at home with your Dad and the doggies for a few days of complete rest and relaxation. The time away from work did allow me to work on baby duty details, a bit. On Friday, I picked out (with Grammy’s help) the new carpet for your nursery that will be installed shortly. I am proud to say that you will no longer have to worry about mauve carpeting in your bedroom thanks to your Momma, and your Momma alone! Once the new carpeting is laid, we will be able to pick up the beautiful furniture suite your Grandma & Grandpa Seymour so generously bought for you. I can’t wait to see it all in place where the only missing piece will be you! Daddy & I have signed up for a Baby CPR and First Aid class in early February so that we’ll feel better equipped to handle anything that you bring our way; your health and safety are of our utmost concern. We’ve also got a Laugh & Learn All about Childbirth video to teach us about the labor and birthing process that I know your Dad is just dying to watch! Your baby shower invitations (that your Momma helped with by putting the stamps on in the wrong place and Grammy had to re-do) went out on Monday and I’m already very much looking forward to February 21st when we’ll be showered with baby goodies just for you! This weekend I helped (roll tiny diapers) for your Aunt Jessie’s special shower project – a diaper cake especially for you its just adorable, and she’s so very proud of it! We had our 28 week appointment (a week early) and glucose screening test on Friday morning where your heartbeat was a strong and healthy 177. I’m still measuring a bit big (@ 29 weeks) again, but Dr. Levitt was unconcerned at this point. The glucose test wasn’t nearly as awful as I was afraid of. The worst part of the entire process was your pretty impatient father waiting an hour in the lab before my blood draw! I felt a little queasy afterwards and was glad to have him there with me. Unfortunately, I found out this morning that we failed the initial glucose screening test which means that we’ll be going back again for more for a three-hour test. It’s pretty normal to fail the first and pass the second time around so I’m hoping that’s the case for us. The silver lining to retaking this test is that I will need to consume a good amount of carbohydrates for a few days before the test; something I’ve never have a problem with! We’ll cross our fingers that gestational diabetes isn’t something we have to worry about but if it is, we’ll deal with it and do whatever we have to ensuring your health and well-being.12 weeks my son, 12 weeks!! | Friday, January 29, 2010 – 29 Weeks “Call it a hunch, call it mother's intuition, call it whatever you must... I have a beautiful, amazing child! My son is adorable, absolutely precious in every way. This ultrasound makes me more excited than ever to finally hold him in my arms. I my son!!” This is what I wrote as my Facebook status (funny to think that one day, Facebook will I’m sure, just be an old memory) after seeing you in our complimentary and educational 3D Ultrasound at Lansing Community College. Aunt Jessie was with us, enjoying it every bit as much as I was! Based on LCC's measurements, we’re measuring a bit over 32 weeks and you weigh roughly 3.5lbs - a little larger than the average baby, putting your best guesstimated due date for March 25th ! During your ultrasound you were very cooperative and extremely active, even jabbing and kicking the ultrasound technicians a time or two! We watched you practice your breathing (scoring bonus points from the techs), squirm all about, tug on the umbilical cord, showing off your boy parts, waving to your Momma and even flipping us off (it’s completely true, I swear – and your Daddy was SO proud). You have hair atop your head and your Momma’s nose, I think! For an hour, I laid in amazement watching you on screen – my absolutely perfect, already adorable Little Man! It was the most incredible thing to see and I wish your Dad & Grammy had been there to share it because the printed pictures just don’t do you justice. It was the coolest, but nothing compared to how incredible seeing you in my arms for the first time will be. Yesterday just made me incredibly ready for that moment! After following a specialized diet for a few days this week, I had to succumb to the 3-hour (more like 4-hour) glucose testing and one too many blood draws. It wasn’t as bad as I feared but it wasn’t pleasant. I felt queasy the rest of the day, either from all the extra pokes ( I hope you take after your Daddy and have good veins) or the yucky sweetened drink. We’ll find out more about this after our glucose test results come in next week but I’m glad it’s over for now! | FEELING RELIEVED {In Maternity Triage}

9: Sunday, January 24, 2010 – 28 Weeks We’ve had a very scary accident this week Baby No Name and we took a nasty tumble... On Thursday afternoon as I was leaving lunch with Auntie Jamie and carrying my leftovers, I slipped and fell frontwards (on my hands, knees, chest and belly) onto the pavement on my way to the car. With pavement bits stuck into the pads of my hands and scabbed knees and sour cream and refried beans down the front of me – in my hair, along my neck, into my cleavage and all over my shirt, the farthest thing from my mind was my appearance, or even how much the tumble hurt. My only thought was YOU. What had just happened, what had I done? Were you okay? Leaving the crushed contents of what was left of my squashed lunch on the sidewalk, I managed to compose myself long enough to get into the car and drive back to the office to clean myself up while waiting for the OB’s office to return from lunch hours. I called your Dad on my way in to tell him what had just happened and that’s when I began to sob. I was afraid but it wasn’t until I actually said it out loud that the reality of the fall hit me. Daddy was beyond concerned; I could tell in his voice how helpless he truly felt and how the minutes would drag on for him as well. My next call was to Aunt Jessie, hoping she was out of work for the afternoon in case I needed to be seen by the doctor which I thought was pretty inevitable. She was at work and rightly startled when my tears got the best of me again but dropped everything to rush to our side the moment we hung up. In the meantime, my OB’s nurse had returned my call and notified me to head straight to triage where I could expect at least a four-hour visit, complete with blood work and fetal monitoring. So that’s where we headed as soon as Auntie Jessie arrived at the office. Once in triage, I gave a urine sample, dressed in my hospital gown, had my temperature and blood pressure taken and was strapped with fetal monitors to track your heartbeat and note any “labor-like” contractions and then tubes of my blood were drawn for testing. The fear was an abruption to the placenta which would put us at risk for pre-term labor or any fetal stress. Silly as it may be, I felt reassured and less anxious being in the hospital, knowing that we were in the right place if anything was wrong. Aunt Jessie entertained me while we watched your stats on the monitor and both silently whispered prayers. In fact, you had a lot of friends and family praying for you! Grammy headed to the hospital as soon as we finally reached her and so did Auntie Jamie, who were both crying at their desks and worried for us both. The four of us sat in my triage room for hours, laughing actually and remaining positive; with each passing hour, filled with more hope and good news. Daddy was in constant communication with us and called frequently. I can only imagine the wreck he was waiting at home for any news but I think he was far better off in the comfort of our home than in the hospital, freaking out. The blood work came back negative (which was a great thing and meant there were no abruptions; your blood was not mixing with mine), your heart rate was big and strong and I only had two mild contractions the entire time I was there (which occurs at the point in pregnancy anyways) which meant I could go home and not worry about an extended hospital stay. I was sent home with a list of pre-term labor symptoms to watch out for, advice on how to count your kicks and strict instructions to take it easy for the next twenty-four hours. The immediate risk had ended but my fear had not. On my drive home, my fear and relief finally sunk in and I was petrified of what could have happened to you. My Mommy guilt completely took over and I was sobbing at the dinner table with Daddy not knowing how I would have coped if things had turned out differently and blaming myself for what had happened to us, to you. For the first time, I felt like a real Mom – experiencing the mixture of the terrible dread of not being able to completely protect you and feeling overwhelmingly blessed, thanking God that you were safe inside me. We thank our lucky stars that you are a healthy little boy and we love you to bits Baby No Name!!

10: Sunday, January 31, 2010 We had the new carpeting installed in your nursery on this week and it made such an improvement from the girly carpet that was in your room before – nothing but the best for my son! Daddy & I also picked up and put together (quite easily I might add) your beautiful crib on Saturday. It’s just gorgeous, even your Dad agrees! These two new additions made me extremely excited for our new addition!! Also, after having some cramping in the middle of the night on Saturday, I decided it was probably time to finally pack our hospital bag as much as possible – which I did. We’re still missing a few key things but after our shower in a couple of weeks, we’ll be all set and ready for our trip to the hospital and even more ready to bring you home. | Tuesday, February 2, 2010 – 30 Weeks Well kiddo, we have Gestational Diabetes...The nurse called yesterday to deliver the news and although I’m sure everything will be just fine, the news has hit me harder than I thought it would, considering I had my suspicions any way. Your Dad has been a great support and full of encouragement but I guess my Mommy guilt hits again. I just feel like maybe I could have better prepared my body for pregnancy and took better care of myself for you, my baby boy. Granted, I’m a little anxious and worried about the monitoring and controlling the diabetes with diet and exercise but my main concern is the effect it will have on you, ‘Baby No Name’. I just want to be certain that you’re as healthy as possible. Today I’m trying to be more positive and take the information in stride; trusting that my baby boy will be just perfect & healthy - if maybe a little earlier than we’d planned. It now makes much more sense as to why you’ve been measuring on the large side and I have a gut feeling that the doctors will induce me early. We may just have another March birthday on our calendars! | Monday, February 08, 2010 – 31 Weeks We’ve now entered the single-digit portion of our Baby No Name countdown – only nine weeks (or less, as I imagine) until we meet you, our son!! Speaking of countdowns, there are only 13 more days until the Baby Shower and I’m so excited to see what everyone has bought especially for you. Getting some of the essentials will definitely calm my nerves a bit since that is what I seem to obsess over these days; making sure that you have everything you will need (and will ever want) when you finally arrive! Our first shower gifts have arrived this week from family and friends who are unable to attend: Aunt Marcia, Uncle Terry & Kristen had a Pack ‘N Play with a great toy delivered for you this week while Shannon (Brunn) Pesch dropped off a bag full of goodies – disposable cloths, two pairs of booties, a package of Mickey Mouse socks, two colorful toys for your stroller and a Bob the Builder ball, etc. This weekend, I found some great artwork (an alphabet chart and numbers) and the perfect curtains/rod for the nursery. With Grammy’s help, we installed the rod and curtains. It’s looking more and more ready for your arrival! I’m hoping to have the glider recovered (from Teddy Bears to a pale blue) this week to match your beautiful room. Daddy & I attended an Infant First Aid/CPR class on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday with Aunt Erin & Mike, Grandma Seymour and a few others. Although I hope it’s a skill that we’ll never have to put into practice your Dad and I both feel a bit relieved to know that we’re not completely helpless if the situation arises. I was so impressed with your Dad; he didn’t complain one bit about spending his Sunday afternoon in a class and was actively participating by asking wonderful questions and taking all of the information in. It’s just one more indication as to what a great father you will have! This week seems to be filling up by the second! I have my Gestational Diabetes Education class tomorrow morning where I’m hoping to get a lot of important information about this condition and all of my monitoring supplies. Hopefully every measure I take will help to keep you healthy and strong! I’m also helping Auntie Jamie with Kendall’s 1st birthday invitations by doing a birthday cake photo shoot which means time spent baking the giant cupcake, gathering shoot supplies and snapping some photos of Little Miss mid-week. On Thursday, we’re skipping work to watch your favorite cousin Caedin and I couldn’t be more excited to spend the entire day with him – he’s just beginning to walk now so it should be extra adventurous! Although we don’t have any real plans yet, I’m looking forward to my 29th birthday and Valentine’s Day! Sleep: Uncomfortable! I’m still getting the sharp pain between my shoulder blades that radiates into my ribs when I lie on my sides. And when it’s not pain keeping me up, it’s the half dozen trips to the bathroom. Needless to say, sleep is eluding me! Best Moment of the Week: Our Infant CPR/First Aid class on Sunday. Jay was actively involved, asking wonderful questions and taking all of the information in – not complaining one bit about taking a class on a Sunday. He never ceases to surprise me! Movement: Crazy strong! Baby No Name is most active at night or when I lie on my sides. He seems to get shy (or stubborn) anytime anyone wants to feel him though! Food Cravings: Something sugary now that it’s a no-no Labor Signs: Just random Braxton Hicks contractions Belly Button In or Out? It’s still in! What I Miss: The ability to shave my legs, tie my shoes, cut my toenails or turn in bed. What I Am Looking Forward To This Week: The Gestational Diabetes Education class on Tuesday. I think I’ll feel better equipped when I’m educated with some information to keep Baby No Name and myself healthy. Also, my 29th birthday and Valentine’s Day!

11: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 – 31 Weeks I attended the Gestational Diabetes education class today and learned so much about insulin in pregnancy, meal planning and monitoring my glucose levels. I’m feeling much less anxiety surrounding the entire thing and am so relieved to finally have some direction. And the pricking of my finger, although its four times a day, isn’t so bad after all. I want you to assure you that I’m doing all I can to make sure you are a healthy baby boy! And this weekend Daddy & I had our CPR class... | Monday, February 15, 2010 – 32 Weeks “A Big Weekend” My 29th birthday was on Saturday. Grammy, Aunt Jessie & Auntie Jamie spent the day celebrating my special day with lunch at Bravo and a sappy movie, Dear John. Can you believe I was the only one (probably in the entire theater) that didn’t shed a tear? No one could believe it, but I personally think you are temporarily sucking all of the sensitivity out of me for the time being! It was a wonderful afternoon. Unfortunately, the dinner plans your Dad had were scratched because he was feeling so lousy but we made the best out of frozen pizza and a TBS movie! I just can’t imagine a better gift than the impending arrival of a precious baby boy to cushion the reality of this being the last year of my twenties! I just don’t know where the time goes, honestly And then Sunday was Valentine’s Day! This is one of my favorite holidays as you will no doubt learn, despite the lack of decorations or festivities this year. My idea of romance has entirely changed – Daddy making me a home-cooked and delicious breakfast while he ate something frozen because we were out of eggs is true love! And so is the vacuuming he did entirely without being asked afterwards. I hope you will remember that this is all a woman ever really wants!! We celebrated the occasion with you in mind (as you always are), by watching our birthing and labor video. And then, we joined Grammy, Papa, Auntie & Matt for my birthday dinner of fajitas. It was nice to spend the day with so many people I love! This week I’m really looking forward to a spa day and dinner with the girls on Saturday and then your baby shower on Sunday afternoon. Auntie has been working so hard to make this shower nice for us and I just know she will have outdone herself. So much of the details are from the heart we are so lucky! | Friday, February 19, 2010 – 32 Weeks Today was our 32 week check-up and I was anxiously awaiting this appointment to find out if you’d be coming early due to the Gestational Diabetes, and just how it affects you. Here’s what we learned: After stepping on the scale, I quickly calculated the 24lb total gain. It’s now very clear why I had no choice but to move my seat back in the car and tilt the steering wheel yet again! It looks like I won’t be sticking to my goal of 25, but if you are growing strong and healthy, I can deal with the gain – what’s a couple more pounds at this point anyway? Your heartbeat was strong 158 and the nurse commented that although you still have no name, you are a very happy guy in there! You seem to be loving the breech position. So what I thought was your cute bottom, was actually your tiny head. I apologize in advance for patting your head all these weeks, my mistake! Daddy & I met with Dr. Barton this time and he wasn’t thrilled with my blood glucose levels over the last week and a half. Of the recorded values almost 30% were high, most occurring after breakfast. He prescribed medication for me twice a day. We’re hoping that the medication does the trick for both you and I and that insulin won’t be something that we’ll have to consider. He then measured my abdomen and my dear boy, you are going to be tall like your Daddy but you are also continuing to measure large, 36 weeks already! I swear my eyes must have bulged out of my head upon hearing this news! WOW I’m just not sure how we’ll continue to grow for the next two months at this rate. I feel as if I may burst now!! Measuring 4 weeks ahead made me a little nervous and spurred several questions in my mind. Would they induce me early due to your size? Would this mean an automatic caesarean? Were you okay? Dr. Barton explained that diabetic babies are larger, but that their lung development tends to be less developed and the placenta ages faster due to the out of whack insulin. In short, you will not be coming earlier as I had begun to anticipate. At most, I may be induced at 39 weeks once your lungs have matured. And although your larger size makes a c-section a greater possibility, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the road we must take. The good news is that (TMI, most likely for you) that my cervix is 66% longer than average – mine being 5cm, almost 6cm and the average being 3cm. It means less chance for preterm labor and that my ‘girly parts’ are awesome (Doctor’s words, not mine) for laboring, and a very good thing for a large baby. Are you blushing yet, son? If we can get the blood levels a little more in line, we may be able to slow down your growth rate and give me a fighting chance to have the natural birth I want so much. We have a follow-up appointment in two weeks to check my glucose levels with the new medication and an ultrasound to get a more accurate measurement of your growth. Until then, I’m trying not to let the latest news affect me too much but hearing the news today that my diet wasn’t enough made me feel like I have failed you. It’s silly I know, your Daddy tells me so. Also, your dresser/changing table arrived this week. Papa made the trip to pick it up for us and it looks beautiful in your room.

12: Very Special Memories... | Saturday, February 20, 2010 – 32Weeks The girls and I had a fabulous day @ the spa... I indulged in a pregnancy massage and was finally able to lay on my tummy again w/the help of a large pillow. It’s been ages & felt amazing!! By the time the hour was over, I was melted butter! Our elaborate spa experience was filled w/great friends, relaxing in plush robes & slippers & lots of laughter. Jamie joined us for dinner @ the pizza house to make a perfect & yummy end to the day! I hope it won't be too long before I can get back to the spa and indulge once again - as a new mommy, I imagine I'll need some rest & relaxation!! | Sunday, February 21, 2010 – 32Weeks “Our Baby Shower” Today was a very special occasion for us – it was our baby shower, and it was fantabulous! Your Aunt Jessie poured her heart and soul (and paychecks) into every detail to make it such a special event in our honor. St. Isidore Catholic Church, in Laingsburg was decorated in decadent chocolate brown and bright blue hues to match your theme, the spread of food was incredibly yummy and every table was filled with guests so excited for your arrival! It took over two hours to open all of the gifts purchased especially for you, and by the end of the shower, I was completely exhausted!! Although I didn’t get nearly enough time to chat with our friends and family (especially those who traveled quite a bit for the day like cousin Amanda and her kiddies from three Rivers, cousin Amy from Ohio and Amy Ditmar from Chicago), it was inspiring to be around so many people who have nothing but well wishes and love for us. As I sat in the glider this evening after your shower, completely engulfed in a mountain of gifts from our very generous gang of friends and family, I was overwhelmed not by the amount of work that lay ahead, but by the love and joy that surrounds your arrival. You couldn’t imagine all of the incredible feelings of love and happiness that everyone shares for you already. It’s so touching to know that my baby boy is already so adored. | Spa Day @ The University Club | Some

15: Thursday, February 25, 2010 – 33 Weeks It’s been an exhausting week for your Momma. I’ve been doing loads of laundry non-stop, organizing your baby items and spending as much time as possible in your room every night after work trying to make a dent in the load of gifts you received to make your nursery a place that you will feel safe in, well cared for and surrounded by love. It doesn’t take too much to empty my energy tank but thinking of you brings a little pep back into my step every time! | Monday, March 1, 2010 – 34 Weeks Today begins the first day of March and brings our Baby No Name countdown to six weeks or less. It’s so hard to believe since I remember so vividly those first few weeks, imagining how slowly the weeks of pregnancy ahead would be ,but the closer your due date approaches, the more rapidly time seems to speed up – and the more prepared “we” begin to feel. This weekend was filled with lots of preparation, including a massive trip to Babies ‘R Us and Target with Grammy & Aunt Jessie on Saturday. Despite receiving tons of gifts from the baby shower, believe it or not, we still needed quite a bit – including a high chair, bottles, infant medications and countless things that you will never remember. We appear to be well-stocked for the moment and thanks to your grandma and aunt, everything has its place.On Friday afternoon, we have our 34 week appointment with Dr. Hawkins and a second ultrasound to get a more accurate measurement of your size. At this point in time, I have no idea of your size but I am fairly certain there isn’t much more room to accommodate your pattern of growth! I think we’ll have a better idea of what to expect after this appointment, but for now, I’m just anxious to see my favorite little man again!

16: Friday, March 5, 2010 - 34 Weeks For some reason I was very anxious about today’s ultrasound appointment, but also very excited. I was relieved when 1 o’clock finally arrived and answers were quick to follow. Daddy & I were able to see you on the screen and were completely mesmerized ONCE AGAIN! Through your ultrasound, we learned that you are no longer in the breech position, but head down – and that makes your Momma very happy! The technician snapped a few pictures of your long foot and your facial profile, something that’s usually pretty difficult to get this far along in pregnancy thank you for cooperating Baby No Name. After the ultrasound, we met with Dr. Hawkins (whom Daddy & I really liked) to find out the results of your measurements. No surprise to us, you’re not a little guy you are just under the 90%tile for your weight, coming in at 2,965 grams. We had no idea what that meant until Daddy went home to get online to calculate it out – 2,965 grams = 6.53670 lb and 1 Pound = 16 Ounces so we’ve concluded that you are 6lbs 8oz, to the best of our mathematical knowledge! Dr. Hawkins spent some time reviewing my glucose readings and discussed adjusting the medication amount since several of mine were still high but we’ll give it another week to see how things are being controlled before they address it again. With this stage in pregnancy, our OB appointments will be becoming more regular with once a week visits and we’ll have another ultrasound appointment at 38 weeks to determine your measurements again. Dr. Hawkins advised us that your birthday would most likely be happening earlier than your original due date of April 14th. So, we’re preparing to be induced some time the week of April 5th in just four short weeks!! Other facts from our visit: Mommy only gained .2 lbs from her visit two weeks ago, bringing the grand total to 26 lbs. You are very active still, which I love! And your heart rate was a playful 142. My fundal measurement this week was 36 weeks as opposed to two weeks ago when it was 36 weeks. I’m wondering if that’s because the Gestational Diabetes is being better controlled now and your growth is slowing, but that’s just my guess. My next appointment where I’ll get an exam and the Strep B test is this Friday with Dr. Schoenmaker. It’ll be nice to check-in with him after many months and determine our game plan. We may even be able to choose our induction date - and your birth date!! | GETTING | closer... | we're

17: Monday, March 08, 2010 – 35 Weeks So far, I can honestly say that I’ve been pretty “cool as a cucumber” during the majority of this pregnancy, however that streak is beginning to crumble. I have had an episode or two of sheer panic the last few days. Saturday morning as I laid in bed, going over the growing to-do list in my mind, the reality and gigantic responsibility of caring for a baby suddenly hit me in its entirety. I know, just four weeks shy from “Delivery Day” and it’s now just settling in? Ugh, that’s perfect timing! In the beginning, nine months of pregnancy seem like an eternity with plenty of time to plan and anticipate, but as the months quickly roll by and time suddenly dwindles, you find yourself left with just four weeks left and a mountain of new doubts that your mind has previously been able to avoid. I find myself wondering if I can do this, and not just the scary part of labor and delivery, but the really scary part of being a mother. What will I do with a baby of my own? And how will we do this? I’ve been reassured by every experienced mother that these feelings are completely normal, natural and even expected, but then why do I suddenly feel like the world’s worst mother-to-be with guilty feelings springing up all over the place? I hope that when you read this entry that you don’t feel like at the end, I second-guessed you coming into our lives. I think it all really boils down to my fear of letting you down, in some way, in any way. As a first-time mom, I have no idea what you will have in store for us or what to expect, and that is scary but it’s also bound to make for an exciting, magical ride. Lucky for us, we also have a lot of ready and willing hands on deck to help. I know that the moment you are placed in my arms, I’ll melt and forget all about these last few days of worry. We can do this, I know we can!! | Tuesday, March 9, 2010 – 35 Weeks I’ve had a really productive morning here @ work preparing for my upcoming maternity leave (which begins April 2nd), I've had my healthy little lunch and now I desperately need a nap! It reminds me of those days in the first trimester when I would have to sneak out to my car and spend the lunch hour snoozing. I wish it were warm enough to do that now because this momma is pure exhausted! My nights are filled with sleepless tossing & turning, trying to get comfortable while you stretch, wiggle and have your way in my tummy. By morning, I'm a zombie! Thankfully your daddy is picking up my slack - helping around the house with the vacuuming hauling the loads of laundry up the stairs for me, taking care of things on my worrisome to-do list, and anything I ask of him all while offering his hugs, understanding and support. This week especially he has been my rock. I don't know what I'd do without him... I'm thankful for my husband and am confident that he will be the best daddy when you arrive in just a few short weeks. We are really lucky!! | Monday, March 15, 2010 – 36 Weeks I am uncomfortable and tired to say the least, kiddo! Measuring at full-term already, I can’t imagine just where else you have to grow but I know that we’re in the home stretch now and soon enough you’ll be in my arms and not kicking my bladder or taking up permanent residence in my rib cage – and that makes me HAPPY! The tired part, I should probably just get used to I’m afraid!! Highlights of our last OB appointment from Friday that Grammy attended with us: My exam included the Strep B test, we’ll await the results. Dr. Schoenmaker was very satisfied with my glucose levels.. I, or shall I say “we” are measuring @ 40 weeks already!! Dr. Schoenmaker wasn’t sold on setting an induction date, choosing a wait-and-see kind of attitude. We’ll know better with each week’s progress and you’ll tell us when we’re ready! From this point on, my weekly appointments will be more in-depth with close monitoring of my glucose levels and blood pressure (which has been perfect so far), non-stress testing to evaluate your movements and heart rates and ultrasound to better determine your size and watch your growth to conduct a full physical exam of your health. The doctors will rate activity, muscle tone, the presence or absence of breathing movements, the amount of amniotic fluid and the placenta's condition. Aren’t you impressed by all this attention?! I spent the drizzly weekend working on the last of the baby shower thank you notes, resting as much as possible, attending a baby shower for Timery Smith (Ethan’s Momma), catching up on laundry and house-cleaning and celebrating your Grammy’s 52nd birthday. All in all, we’re in excellent shape for your arrival and that makes me more than anxious to meet you! | YOU ARE OUR COME TRUE | wish

18: Friday, March 19, 2010 – 36 Weeks This afternoon is our first biophysical profile appointment and up until this morning, I really had no concerns but now, I have to admit, I’m a little nervous. A BIO WHAT?? A biophysical profile combines an ultrasound evaluation with a non-stress test (NST) to assess fetal well-being during the third trimester. This test is performed if there is a question about fetal health and well being resulting from either an examination, maternal/fetal symptoms, or if the pregnancy is considered high risk (which ours is, due to gestational diabetes). The complete screening observes body movements, muscle tone, breathing movements and the amount of amniotic fluid, as well as how fetal movement affect heart rate. The results are then added for a total score ranging from 0 to 10; where 8-10 is normal, 6 is considered borderline and below 6 is worrisome. Depending on your baby's score and other factors (such as the baby's size and other complications), your practitioner may decide that you need further testing, or, if the baby isn't doing well and needs to be delivered, you'll be induced or have a c-section earlier than expected. And that’s when I began to freak out! It’s just a lot to take in and I can’t possibly imagine anything being wrong with you or this pregnancy. The thought of that sends me straight into an emotional tailspin. I’m sure I’m simply being overly hormonal and expressing my Mommy worry in full force but I can’t help it – I just want you to be okay; more than okay. Thank goodness Daddy will be there to hold my hand And thankfully, everything went well. Daddy sat with me while I was strapped to the monitors during the non-stress test and per usual, you didn’t want to cooperate on command. You were napping, naturally but with a little poking and prodding, you came around and began to “fight” back. In the ultrasound, we were told that my amniotic fluid level is decreasing which apparently is what we want at this point. Dr. Schluckbier was pleased with the results of all our tests and stable glucose levels, although my blood pressure was a bit elevated but I’m blaming that one on my nerves. He even prescribed me a torture-like harness called the ‘Prenatal Cradle’ to help relieve some of my pelvic pain. I’m sincerely hoping this works, so I’m giving it a shot. All in all, you are wonderfully healthy, active and very happy – just as we’d hoped!! | Monday, March 22, 2010 – 37 Weeks 37 weeks, holy cow!! That’s just about how I feel in my current body, but also knowing that you could possibly arrive at any time makes all this pain and exhaustion worth it. I feel as if I’m carrying a bowling ball in my pelvis these last few weeks. The OB wrote me a prescription for a prenatal cradle to help carry the weight. I’m hoping it works but to be honest my son, I’d be ready to meet you WHENEVER!! This week we’ve been busy in preparation for your impending (and probably not soon enough for me) arrival. I indulged myself with a manicure/pedicure and haircut, knowing that it could be the last for some time. I borrowed the bassinet from Aunti Rusti, had nursing bra fitting, the car was cleaned and finely detailed, your car seat was installed and inspected by the hospital staff. Pictures were hung in the nursery as well as the video monitor, and all of your laundry is finally finished and put away! The physical strain became too much weight to bare, quite literally and made me one exhausted Momma. Of course Daddy started to worry and we thought that maybe starting to cut back the hours I was at work was the right thing for both of us. I spent quite a few afternoons with my feet up on the couch, napping and watching my belly – just waiting for YOU!

19: Jay & Jenny's Diaper Party

20: {maternity shoot} 3.27.2010

22: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 38 Weeks (already 3cm dilated) Today "we" had an ultrasound/non-stress test visit with Dr. Hawkins and Grammy came along with us, knowing that this could very well be out last OB appointment before your big day! After a quick ultrasound of measurements, Dr. Hawkins came in to discuss that because of your apparent size (predicted at over 9 lbs. with a large head circumference: OUCH) and my obvious discomfort and fear equated a perfect situation for a planned cesarean delivery which made the most sense for both of our safety - and Daddy would be thrilled knowing exactly "when" you'd be joining us! As much as I feared having surgery, the thought of having a healthy delivery, at any cost, was all that mattered to me. With a few date options, I looked over to Grammy and chose, April 8th at 8:00a with Dr. Levitt but I was hoping you might decide to come a little early, over the Easter weekend! The three of us spent the rest of the afternoon having lunch, running last-minute errands and preparing for our world to be FOREVER changed. MATERNITY LEAVE OFFICIALLY BEGAN: Monday, April 6th, 2010!! | Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - Here Comes Baby... Daddy and I spent the our last child-free weekend in a blissful daze, just trying to imagine how life would feel once you arrived, and also, trying to enjoy the last few moments as a couple before parenthood. In doing so (which I hope to never have to explain), I started having contractions regularly around 9p and it seemed as if you were deciding you might like to meet us before our scheduled morning c-section. After about an hour of timing my contractions, I phoned the on-call OB and they suggested I come to the hospital whenever possible. I woke Daddy up, told him the news and we sprang into action - calling our families, saying goodbye to the dogs and grabbing our hospital bags. As we were headed out the door, a wave of tears and emotions hit me, and Daddy and I embraced for a very long and anxious hug. It suddenly became very real - and a little scary that our lives were going to change in ways we hadn't even considered. I knew that the next time I was walking into our house, we would be a family of three. I just hoped and prayed that you would arrive healthy and happy. Aunt Jessie, Aunt Erin and Grandma Seymour (while Grammy & Papa awaited word at home) joined us in maternity triage as the nurses monitored my contractions and other vitals. At almost midnight and a few hours at a stand-still, my contractions slowed and then stopped altogether, creating a disappointment in us all. Grandma Seymour sweetly persuaded the hospital staff to get us a room to catch some sleep before the morning's surgery so we didn't have to go home, while the rest of our family uncomfortably camped out overnight in the waiting room. I'm not sure I slept at all that night in our warm and cramped quarters; too many bright lights, beeping machines, nurse chatter in the hallway, an uncomfortable hospital bed and the sheer fact that I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY!! Daddy must have felt the same nervous anxiety and restlessness since he tossed and turned all night too on a much too tiny pull-out sleeper. I counted each hour until you would be safely in my arms... At morning, while I was worrying about the surgery and having some serious nervousness, a flood of family - Grammy & Papa, Aunt Jessie, Aunt Erin, Uncle Blake, Grandma & Poppa came in to wish us luck and snap a few photos and videos before your birth day. The nurses helped us prep in our fancy surgery garb and gave me some medication to reduce nausea and began an IV port in my arm. We shared our last goodbye hugs, and anticipatory tears with our families and then I walked back to surgery, saying goodbye to Daddy for a short time, as well. It was just you, and me...

23: HERE we go... | When I walked into the sterile surgical room staffed with a complete medical team and odd-looking tools and contraptions, I wanted to run away. Consciously, I had to force myself not to. I'd never been so scared or excited in my entire life. As I positioned myself on the gurney for the anesthesiologist to give me the spinal, I prayed that I could be strong for us both. I really just wanted your Daddy with me, needed him was more like it. And then, he was. As I was concentrating on the sounds and sights of my surroundings and the sensation of my body going numb, I felt loving and familiar hands on mine - and I relaxed immediately at your Daddy's touch. Together, I knew that I could do this and then I just so desperately wanted you with us. It felt like eons from my end of the operating table, but Daddy says it really was a very short time after all the pulling and stretching until you appeared. I held my breath until I heard you cry, the most beautiful and reassuring sound in the world - and then I joined you, in total instantaneous momma-love tears. The nurses held you up past the curtain so I could see my beautiful, perfect (and smaller-than-predicted) baby boy for the very first time. I melted when my eyes laid upon your sweet face. The nurses bundled you in a baby blanket once you were cleaned off and took our first family photo. You were whisked you off pretty quickly since your blood sugar was a little on the low side; I was stitched me and swept to recovery until we were reunited. Daddy and I shared tearful and awe-struck hugs and kisses over you and greeted your family when they were allowed to visit with our new and improved family.

24: April 8, 2010 | 8lbs 3.6oz | 21in | 8:21am

25: A DREAM COME TRUE | Welcome Baby Boy | Connor Reid Seymour

28: already so very loved!

33: Sunday, April 11, 2010 - Our Home-Coming I think Daddy & I were both surprised (and feeling a little uneasy) when the hospital finally released us to go home, and it was just - US. I took great comfort in knowing that someone who actually knew what they were doing was just a few steps away but you were so incredibly sweet and cuddly that I was also ready to get you home and begin our new life, just the three of us - and our doggies. Daddy drove careful and slow on our first car-ride, completely aware and feeling responsible for the precious cargo on board. Already a caring Daddy! Our first few days at home were spent gazing upon you while you were sleeping; sleeping in your bassinet, sleeping on my chest, sleeping in your Daddy's arms... you did A LOT of sleeping those first few days! Mommy & Daddy adjusted to our new duties and planned our days and nights according to your time clock, or lack thereof. Feedings, diaper changes, bath-time, laundry...

35: we

37: Newborn Session with Danielle Coppersmith Photography

38: Grammy's Little Miracle On Tuesday, April 13th, just two days after we brought you home from the hospital, Grammy was admitted in to the hospital herself after days of being sick (and not being able to see you). Grammy's illness (which came to be a horrendous bout of pneumonia) quickly took hold and landed her in the ICU, just a few floors above where we were staying in the hospital just days before. Essentially on life support, Grammy was fighting day and night to get back to us, to you - I'm sure. Those were exceptionally hard days for Mommy, a new baby and a terribly sick mommy myself. I just wanted so badly to have you both at my side those early days, it wore on me heavily, taking the sleep-deprivation to a whole other level. However, Daddy was our rock and took such special care of us both; picking up my slack and doing anything he could to help. When I was finally able to visit Grammy on her worst day by far in the hospital (on Sunday, April 18th), I brought Grammy a special gift from you - a baby blue angel lovey from your collection with special instructions to get better, and quickly. Papa and Aunt Jessie accounted how Grammy clutched your special blanket in a very conscious effort, although she was anything but. The pneumonia was strong but nothing compared to your amazing grandmother, or her desire to get back to you. We truly believe that you were the miracle that saved her. You are so blessed to have such a strong, loving, devoted, beautiful and wonderful woman in your life. And I am forever grateful for you both.

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  • Title: Aqua Themed Guest Book
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