Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Information I was Fine Without

We had our birthing class again last night. It focused on C-Sections. There were six of us there. The nurse told us that, statistically, two of us would have a C-Section. I am not a fan of that idea and I would have gone along blissfully without that knowledge. You know, one comes up unexpectedly at the end and you just have to go with it. But now I know ahead of time there's this decent chance of a C-Section. Was that really necessary? I think not.

Here are some other things that I find unnecessary. When in labor at the hospital, I will not be able to eat or drink (even water). I will only have ice chips and this doesn't change regardless of the length of my labor. They will, however, insert an IV if I start to dehydrate. I find that incredibly sweet. Now I have read in numerous books that hospitals do not allow eating or drinking during labor so I was prepared for this. However, I have also read that there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that drinking water is harmful to mom or baby even if an emergency surgery were to take place. It's just a rule. A stupid one in my small brain, but anyway. Here's what gets me. Jory and I have been told REPEATEDLY by nurses, in our birthing class, in books, by other people, etc. that it is very important that Jory have snacks and beverages with him during labor because it is absolutely necessary that he keep his strength up. For what? Is he pushing out a baby I don't know about? I can go 24 hours without water, but he's really going to need a Cliff Bar to get through this?

Anyway, Little One has still not received the memo that he or she may drop now. So I'm still not sleeping much. Do you think it's making me cranky?

Finally - two questions I am getting a lot: YES, the story of the Asian woman is true and happened just like that and she was entirely confident in her prediction of a boy. And, YES, there are still dates available in the Baby Pool if you'd like a chance to win some fun money. Of course, all of the available dates are before the due date since NO ONE thinks I am going to have this baby early. Another bit of information that I was fine without, by the way. Lie to me, people. Tell me that babies come early for first time mothers all the time!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The End is Near

Tomorrow is my last day in the eighth month of pregnancy. As I enter the ninth month, I know that we are very close to meeting our son or daughter. I am so excited about that and so ready to be a parent with my husband. On a selfish note, I am ready to be more comfortable than I am with a child under my ribs! On the other hand, I will miss feeling the baby inside of me and watching my stomach each night as Little One gets positioned for the evening. I'll miss knowing that there is a miracle from God growing inside of me and I'll miss seeing strangers' faces light up when they realize I am pregnant. God's way of bring new life into the world is truly amazing and I love being a part of that.

As far as practical matters go, the room is ready for Little One! Jory got the changing table together last week and we really have everything we need. The car seats aren't actually in the cars, but they are ready to be installed and will be soon. The hospital bag is packed (at least for me and Little One - I don't think Jory's thought about taking anything for himself), the stroller is put together and the room is full of blankets, stuffed animals and love.

We had to cancel our appointment with the Pain Management Nurse this weekend. Jory made the executive decision that I couldn't handle a drive to and from Dallas and I know he was right because I spent the entire weekend in bed except for going to church! I just got very run down from not sleeping well at night and it is super uncomfortable for me to ride in a car. The nurse has graciously offered to come to Tyler for our appointment! My doctor promises that my uncomfortable state will improve when Little One drops. I tell Little One daily that it is time to drop and he or she stubbornly ignores me. I am afraid that is a sign of things to come.

Friday I was running errands and an Oriental woman came near me and stopped and proceeded to scrutinize my stomach. She then walked slowly around me and then faced me and said, "Boy." I explained that we hadn't found out the gender of the baby. She again said, "Boy." I asked, "You think it's a boy? I think it's a girl." She then placed her hand on my back behind my right ribs and said, "Back of baby's head here. Boy." (She was, by the way, painfully correct about the location of this child's head.) So there you have it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Doctor Appointment

We had our 34 week appointment this morning. Our next appointment is in two weeks and then every week after that. At our next appointment, the doctor will start checking my dilation. We are definitely getting close. She said that we are now at the point that labor would not be stopped if I went into it. So, sometime over the next seven weeks Little One will enter the world! We've actually started a Baby Pool. For $5 you can pick the date you think Baby Allen will show up. Although Jory and I would both love to see this child sooner rather than later (especially me!), we are not optimistic. We both chose dates past the due date!

As far as the appointment, it was routine and all is very well. My blood pressure is something like 106/64. Just slightly above normal for me. The doctor loves the low blood pressure. I am measuring perfectly for being 34 weeks and the doctor said the baby should drop any day now (YAY!). Little One's heartbeat is 160. I told my husband that means I'm right - this is a girl. However, my father is still stubbornly insisting that I'm wrong. One of us is going to be incorrect and whichever one it is will be genuinely shocked as we are both so sure.

We met Little One's pediatrician yesterday and we loved him! He came HIGHLY recommended and he's an Aggie which is all Jory needed to know. He was great and I feel very comfortable with him. He is also conservative - especially when it comes to medicating - and I really like that.
Monday was our third Child Birthing class. We watched two birth videos. One even had NEEDLES in it and Jory was still completely fine. He's right - he is a rock! I am so glad to know that I will be able to have my husband by my side when I give birth.

Last weekend was a huge nesting weekend for us. Jory worked much harder than I did and the house is definitely ready for baby. The room looks really good. We still have to get the changing table and Jory's mom has some pictures for us to hang, but everything else is done and it has come together beautifully. Jory has also put together strollers, car seats, baby carriers, etc. Not to mention that the garage is FINALLY emptied out from our U-Haul trip a month ago! Whew! It was a big weekend and we both feel really good about what got done.

Saturday we head to Dallas to see the Pain Management nurse again and Monday we have a tour of the hospital and will complete our birthing plan. Yes, we are definitely close!

Update: Our changing table came tonight and it looks like it's going to match! We'll get it together soon and have pictures of the room!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History Made

Sara has done a wonderful job of chronicling the significant events that have unfolded during our pregnancy. I feel compelled to add to that with today's events. Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States today. He is the first man of African-American descent to hold our highest elected office. The inauguration drew a crowd estimated to have been between "hundreds of thousands" and "two million". All accounts that I have read and heard have commented on the energy and excitement that filled the crowd and the event. The new President's inaugural address mentioned the challenges we have ahead of us, and called on each person to assume responsibility for being part of the solution. Government can't, and shouldn't, do it for us. That should be music to the ears of those who fear that he will lead a big government build up that some have called "socialism".

But my point is not to argue for or against what our new President stands for. My point here is twofold. First, I want to acknowledge the historical significance of this day. Whether you agree with the President's policies or not, it is hard to argue against the significance of the day that a man with dark skin and a Middle Eastern-sounding name was sworn in as President of the United States. It represents the culmination of a monumental change in our country's acceptance of those different than the majority.

Second, the presence of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of energized, inspired and motivated people attending this event in person cannot be overlooked. In this age of being able to watch everything that happens in the world in real time on sixteen different channels from a multitude of mobile devices, all those people decided that wasn't enough for them. They had to be there in person, to see this for themselves. When was the last time that happened? Has it ever happened? Don't underestimate the power of inspired, energized people to do great things.

I am proud to be an American today. I have a basic, underlying belief that we have the ability to overcome the issues we are facing. That belief has nothing to do with how large or small a role government will play in this. It has nothing to do with what the President will or won't be able to accomplish. It has everything to do with what can be accomplished by an inspired people.

That is the world I want Little One to come into and experience. I hope that all of us who will play a role in shaping Little One's views and opinions will focus on the positive, hopeful and optimistic things in the world around us. I want to shield them from negativity, cynicism, and despair. Those aren't the qualities God wants us to display. I want Little One to have a solid sense of faith, love and hope, regardless of which political party is in office. They are entering a wonderful world that isn't on the way down, but on its way up. Whether you voted for the man or not, today's events demonstrate that in inspiring, energizing terms.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I am a ROCK!

As Sara mentioned in her post earlier this week, our birthing class last Monday included a video of an actual birth. I am BAD when it comes to blood, medical procedures, injuries, broken bones, etc. I knew fairly earlier on in life that God did not design me to be a doctor. So I have been more than a little nervous that this birth thing was not going to be good for me. I want to be the good supportive coach that Sara needs, but was afraid that my weak stomach might prevent me from doing so. I envisioned myself in a waiting room watching Sportscenter waiting to hear how things went. I guess there are plenty of dads who did it exactly this way because that used to be the accepted role for the father. But now it is completely different, and I have felt this pressure that you aren't a good dad if you aren't all up in the doctor's business while this is going on, videotaping the whole thing, cutting the cord, etc. I just wasn't sure I was up for all of that, and I have felt horribly about that.

My mind (and Sara's) was put at some ease after Monday's class. The video showed all of the different stages of labor. The majority of it was basically this poor woman looking ridiculously uncomfortable and in pain. I felt bad for her, but made it through with stomach intact. Then she got to the hospital. Then she hit "transition" phase, which REALLY looked uncomfortable. Still, I was doing fine. I knew what was coming, though. I was bracing myself as best I could. One shot of the head coming through. Then, "one more good push" and the rest of the body literally popped out and we're done. I couldn't believe it. It was almost done before I realized it had started! I guess I didn't realize how quickly (in relation to the whole labor process) the actual delivery was.

The nurse warned us, though, about the delivery of the placenta. She said a lot of people made it through the delivery of the child just fine, but were unprepared for the delivery of the placenta. This, indeed, was significantly more "gross" than the delivery of the baby, but not that bad. Having had the experience of watching piglets and puppies being born, I had seen that part before.

So, in my best Rocky Balboa impersonation, I stand before you with fists clenched in the air and yelling, "I DID IT!!!" I'm not going to say in my newly-found state of bravado that I am a cord cutter, but we'll see. I am relieved, though, that I may be able to handle the support role which is the main thing I want to do.

I must confess that I felt a surprising amount of emotion during the birth video. Instead of feeling light-headed and dizzy, I felt a lump in my throat and tears well up in my eyes. And I was watching a video of someone I don't even know! I can't imagine the emotions I'll feel when it is my wife giving birth to our child. What an amazing blessing and life event we are about to experience!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This is the cutest diaper stacker ever! You can't see the details, though. You'll just have to trust me that it's super cute.

Here are some pictures of the bedding.Here are the curtains. We will hang them this weekend.Here's the lamp shade. Jory bought a lamp last night, so we'll get that put together this weekend.Didn't Ann do a great job? We really should have the nursery put together this weekend, so I should be able to post good pictures of the final product next week.

I had a hard time taking good pictures of all the adorable outfits we got at our shower last weekend, but they were so sweet! We got a lot of Winnie the Pooh stuff - I LOVE Winnie the Pooh. I really, really do! So Little One is just going to be decked out so cute!

Here's a picture of the girl coming home outfit.

And a close up of the cute little feet!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fun Stuff for Little One

I have heard the greatest things about Janie and Jack's clothes. We don't have one here, but I've been online to check it out. I heard from Meg that they were having a huge sale. Look what I got for 65% off!

This has little deer on the body suit and on the jumper. I think it's just too sweet. It's technically for a boy, but I think it could go either way. If not (and Little One's a girl), I guess I'll just keep it until we have a boy or until someone I know does! I just couldn't resist - especially at the price.

Here are two other things that we got on sale - they came in the mail yesterday:

These are Kissy Kissy newborn sleepers and they are SO soft! And they were super cheap for Kissy Kissy! We have decided to use these as the coming home outfits and we're sending back the bunting we had. I'll have to take pictures of these outfits close up at home so you can see the adorable flowers on the feet of the girl sleeper. The return policy on these is 14 days, so we'll be stuck with one of them - maybe our next baby will be the opposite gender!

In very important news, Jory did GREAT during the birthing video last night. I think he's awfully proud of himself! We are both really relieved that it looks like he'll be able to stay with me when Little One arrives.

In other Fun Stuff for Baby news, Jory's Aunt and Uncle sent us this today for Tummy Time! I am so excited - it's a Bobby Activity Mat!

Finally, we went to see Jesus Christ Superstar tonight. Our very musical child danced the entire time! At our birthing class last night we focused on relaxation and the instructor played music to help us relax. I must be the only one who is carrying a child that goes nuts at the sound of music because everyone else seemed pretty relaxed by it. Speaking of the sound of music, I found out tonight that Jory has never seen The Sound of Music. I feel like that's wrong, so I am renting it this weekend. I am sure that Little One will love it even if his or her Daddy doesn't. I also found out that my husband has never read the end of the book Of Mice and Men. I'm not going to force that sadness on him, but it came up that he might want to see the play version and I wondered what a shock it may be if you don't expect the ending...

Anyway, have a wonderful week!

Monday, January 12, 2009


We had a wonderful weekend! Jory's aunt Jane and his cousins Meredith and Elizabeth threw us a delightful shower! I really enjoyed every minute of it! Most of Jory's family was there and it was so nice to visit with them. And my college roommate's mom, Kathy, who I just adore drove up from Houston! She spent the night with us and I loved getting to spend time with her.

We also got a lot of wonderful gifts! We will take pictures this week, but we have a busy week so it may be a few days. I feel like we are pretty much set on baby items. There are a few things we still need to get (we ordered another changing table today), but for the most part we are good to go. We have been so blessed by everyone! Jory's dad and step-mom bought us the Jogging Stroller that Jory so desperately wanted. I already knew that we would be purchasing this Jeep All Terrain Stroller if we were not gifted it and I really didn't think anyone would buy it for us. He is so, so, so excited. I'm excited, too, because now Little One can go on Daddy's daily runs and I can have a little work out time of my own!
We also got the Boppy and the Bumbo which I understand are absolute necessities. And we received a convertible car seat which is a HUGE blessing! It was a Christmas present from Jory's Dad and Wendy.
I'll also have to take a picture of the SOFT blanket that Jory's Dad bought Little One for Christmas. I LOVE it! I think Grandad might be getting excited!

Ann came this weekend with her precious girls who just keep growing and growing. They are so sweet! We LOVE our bedding. I can't wait to put pictures on the blog so you can see it. It is very, very cute and it will look great for either a boy or a girl. The room is starting to come together. We need to hang the curtains and do some little things, but it's definitely functional and looking like an actual nursery.

I'm 33 weeks pregnant today and I can't believe I have seven more weeks. I am feeling like I should be done with pregnancy by now. Seven weeks seems like a long time. Especially with this rib issue. There is absolutely no doubt that I have two bruised ribs. They hurt constantly, but the pain becomes excruciating if I cough, sneeze or bend in anyway that puts the weight of the baby on my ribs. I spend half of my time wincing in pain. But that's nothing compared to what happened at 4 this morning when Little One had a kicking fit that directly targeted the two bruised ribs. I laid in bed with tears in my eyes begging the child to "Please stop. Please stop it." Isn't that pitiful? I am vowing to stop complaining about the ribs after this post. I must remember that I have had an abnormally easy pregnancy. I am also thinking that labor may not seem so bad if I can keep in mind that it will end the rib assault.

As far as looking forward to meeting Little One, I am very, very excited to hold him or her in my arms. But I am starting to get nervous about caring for a newborn. I am blessed to have MANY reassuring friends who have made it through and try to convince me that I will do great. One of them wrote this to me today:

I was a nervous wreck…completely normal. I was scared I wouldn’t know how to hold them…or I would squish them or something….It’s weird….as soon as they hand them to you, you will know what to do….and all of that uncertainty and fear will completely go away. You will still be a little nervous with the first bath…and the first couple of diapers, but by day 2 or 3, you’re a pro. It’s amazing how fast it will happen, but after about a week, you will know the best way to feed, burp, change a diaper, how to comfort…no one will be able to do it as good as you. It’s wonderful!!! And you will be great!!!! The pediatrician will help tons during the first year. They will tell you when to switch to solids, or start feeding rice, how to transition to formula, etc….and ask if the baby is holding head up, or trying to roll over. You won’t have a lot of time to read books once the baby comes, so the pedi will be a huge source of information. I’m so excited for you!

That was helpful and Kathy was very helpful this weekend and very encouraging. I am extremely blessed with a wonderful support system.

That's pretty much it. We have our second birthing class tonight and we'll see how Jory does with the Birthing Video. That should give us an idea of how essential a backup coach will be!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I fully believe that Little One has bruised a couple of my ribs. I tell my husband this many, many times each day. I have not gotten much of a reaction from him. Tonight I decided that I was frustrated with his apparent lack of understanding of how much pain I am in. He agreed that he had no concept of the pain as he had never bruised a rib. I suggested that we bruise some of his ribs so that he could show me proper empathy. He did not like that idea at all. He decided that someday he would have an ailment to which I couldn't relate and that would even out the fact that he can't understand my current pain. I asked him if he thought there was any ailment that would be comparable to carrying a child in your ribs. He felt certain there was. I politely disagreed.

In any case, look how cute he is with this baby carrier that Doug and Mindy gave us. He really wanted a baby carrier and this is a super nice one. And since he let me take his picture in it I guess I'll forgive him for being an idiot and not letting me bruise his ribs. Here are some more items that Doug and Mindy passed on. Look at how cute this Ohio State hat is! I was very excited. I think Jory was too, he was just hiding it very well.

This is a sleeper we bought Addy a while back. It's now been passed back to us! It's for 6-9 months. It's already hanging in the closet waiting for Little One to be big enough to wear it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More Baby Stuff!

These are some booties and mittens that were made for me and my brother when we were little. These blankets were made by my Grandma Shirley 30+ years ago. They are so soft!We haven't done much else to the room, but we did hang some pictures:

We are getting our bedding TOMORROW! I am very excited.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Here I am at 32 weeks: Now, remember those pictures I posted of things in Little One's room that excluded wide pictures of the entire room? Remember how I said I didn't make much progress on the room between Christmas and New Year's? Here's what the room looked like when we got back from the lake Saturday:
Here's the bed that I refused to take a picture of:

BUT, here is what the room looked like by Sunday afternoon:
The baskets in the corner will go on the changing table. We're taking the one we ordered back, so we are at ground zero with that:
Here's the bed!

Here's the closet. Little One has no clothes. When people find out what they're having, they get closets full of clothes. I think everyone is holding off on clothes until Little One is born.
That suitcase is the hospital bag, but it's not packed. At least not with the important stuff. That's on the to do list!

We still have a garage full of stuff to go through, so more progress should be made soon!


Okay, so there's a lot of stuff you have to do to get ready to have a baby. I have made an appointment with a pediatrician (he makes new moms meet with him before the baby's born), I've made an appointment with a birth planner at the hospital (we'll get a tour and design a plan for the birth), I've completed pre-registration with the hospital (you still have to register when you get there), I've filled out pre-admission data (this is somehow different from pre-registration though the information seems the same), I've signed up for a breast feeding class and we've attended our first child birthing class. Whew! I wonder what people do when they go into pre-term labor? None of this stuff would be done! It's amazing that the birth could even take place without all the pre-birth paperwork.

In any case, I've followed all of my instructions. I have NOT, though, taken my 32 week picture which should have been done yesterday and probably won't get done until tomorrow at this point. It's on the list, though.

We got our changing table yesterday, but it's lighter than the other furniture in the room - we knew that was a risk ordering online and we can return it to the local store, but we haven't decided what we're going to do.

We did attend the first child birthing class last night. There were seven couples. The instructor says that number dwindles by the end (the class lasts five Mondays) and there is one couple in the class that is due in less than two weeks(!), so they for sure won't make the whole thing. There are two other women that are due the same week as we are. There are three couples having girls and three having boys. We're the only ones that are making a surprise out of it, though the instructor says that's becoming more common. She also said that birth without drugs is becoming more common - who knew? The class was very basic last night. Next week starts the birth videos. Jory is nervous about those and the instructor didn't help by saying that men have passed out watching them before! Everyone keep him in your thoughts next Monday night.

Jory has a meeting in Dallas tonight so I'll be working around the house and hope to make a little more progress. We should get our bedding this weekend AND Jory's Aunt Jane is giving us a shower this weekend for the Allen family and a few of our friends that live in this area. So, maybe soon Little One's room will start looking like a real live nursery.

And, finally, the most important news: Ole Miss won the Cotton Bowl! Oh my goodness! First of all, Ole Miss WENT to the Cotton Bowl(!), but WINNING it? WOW. That was a highlight of my year that probably won't be overcome until Little One makes an entrance! On a sadder note, the Buckeyes did not fair as well in the Fiesta Bowl. They did, however, have a presentable score at the end which is some kind of victory after the past two years.

Monday, January 5, 2009

32 Weeks

We'll take a 32 week picture tonight to post. I feel much better about being in my eighth month - when people ask how far along I am, at 7 months some would look at me like I was just way too huge. I think it's okay to be huge in your eighth month, though, so I'm comforted psychologically.

We had our doctor's appointment today. We go every other week now. It was routine and there are no problems. I've gained 26 pounds, my blood pressure is good, the baby's measurements are right on track and the heartbeat is in the 150s. All is well! We have been blessed with such an easy pregnancy!

We start our birthing classes tonight. We aren't sure what to expect...but I am excited to be starting them. The doctor told us today that it's time to get serious: Pre-register at the hospital, get a hospital tour, meet with someone to do a birthing plan, pack the hospital bag...I can't believe we are getting that close!

Between Christmas and New Years I did try to get a few things organized in the baby's room. I didn't get very far, but you can see the progress here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas and New Years

We finished up 2008 last week and it was a WONDERFUL year! Both Jory and I can say with confidence that it was the best year of our lives! We rang it in at his parent's lake house and that was perfect! We spent a relaxing couple of days with Kim and John and thoroughly enjoyed all of it! We were able to visit with the one-on-one with no distractions or time limitations and it seems that it has been a while since we've gotten to slow the pace down and do that! We also got a lot of R&R on the porch overlooking a very peaceful lake. It was really one of the best weekends and I can't think of a better way to have brought in 2009!

Also speaking of wonderful, Have I mentioned how wonderful Christmas was? Here are some pictures from our Ohio trip:

This is me just being pregnant:

Here's Jory finally relaxing on the evening of Christmas:

This is Peyton (5) on Christmas Eve in her church clothes. Isn't she so pretty?
This is Dillon (3) with a nerf machine gun. Probably a bad idea on someone's part, but he sure enjoyed it!
Colton (9) in his new Browns jersey on Christmas. What a die-hard fan!
Addy (1) on Christmas Eve. Look at that hair!
I can't wait until 2010 when Little One goes to Ohio for Christmas. We'll be adding a nearly two year old to the festivities! I am already way too excited!!!!!
On another note, more of you have asked about the Odyssey post than any other post I've done. Jory has conceded that we can hold off on an Odyssey until we have at least one actual child, if not two. He's still infatuated with them, though. On the way back from Ohio he played Count the Odysseys. Between Cambridge and Memphis he counted 206. That's not counting all the ones he missed in the dark, fog and rain! So he has concluded - obviously - that everyone owns one except for us!