Monday, January 30, 2012

Aubrey turns 3!

In all the chaos of having a newborn in the house, we got to add in a celebration of Aubrey turning 3. I am glad that I had the distraction of being exhausted or otherwise I would have been a lot more sad that my baby girl is not even a toddler anymore. We started the morning out by taking her for the 3-year check-up. She was so excited to finally get to go to her doctor after going to all of my OB appointments for so long. She weighs 34 lbs (75th percentile) and is 36" tall (50th percentile). She passed her developmental screening with flying colors and Dr. Honeycutt said she looks great. The doctor also said her tubes were still in place and looked exactly as they should. Towards the end of the appointment she did get a little distracted and didn't want to follow directions, but overall she did really well for the doctor. We celebrated a great check-up by going to Duncan Donuts for Aubrey to get her first donut as a birthday treat.

After dinner, we added even more sugar to the day with some cake. We forgot to buy the candles and a professional cake decorator I am not,  but the cake tasted pretty yummy anyway.

And, of course, what 3-year old's birthday would be complete without presents?!

Aubrey was pretty sad at the end of the night that her birthday was over and asked if we could do it again the next day. We explained her birthday is only once a year, but luckily for her she gets to extend her birthday another week because her party is scheduled for February 4th due to Mason's arrival. She is so excited to be having a birthday party and asks everyday if its time for her party.

So, my little girl turned 3 and I made it through the day with no tears (at least, not related to her birthday). I'd call that a success because it really is bittersweet to see how much she has grown and blossomed over the past 3 years. My little girl is quite a big girl now and I really couldn't be prouder, even if I do wish she'd slow down on growing just a bit.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mason's First Week

I was so glad to be discharged from the hospital after 48 hours. The car ride home was a little sad because I couldn't ride in the back seat with him because of Aubrey's seat. But, I was comforted by the fact that we now have 2 car seats in the back and that is a major blessing. When we arrived home, we were greeted by 2 very excited puppies, Aubrey, and my mom. It was so strange to see Todd carry the car seat in the house and know that Mason was in that seat instead of Aubrey. It made me realize how big Aubrey has gotten which made me sad all over again.

Aubrey was so excited to have him home and asked us to take a picture of them together before we could even get him out of his seat.

Hanging out during his first day home.

I had my first post partum meltdown Monday night because it really hit me that I would never be pregnant again. This coming from the lady who hated being pregnant. I guess I will miss more of the anticipation and excitement that comes with being pregnant and that moment when they put that new baby in your arms for the first time. Its like crack, I swear. I know our family is complete and I have no desire to be pregnant again, I just felt sad that it was over and knowing I won't experience those things again. Luckily, Todd took my dramatics in stride and helped to comfort me through the tears.

Tuesday was Mason's first bath at home. He was about as excited to have a bath as I was to be running on 5 hours of sleep. Luckily for him, the bath was fast and we quickly warmed him back up and comforted him with a paci before he fell asleep.

The expected reaction to his bath.

All better being snuggled up and dry

Wednesday was our first trip out to take Mason to the doctor. Unfortunately, they told us Mason had dropped another 3 ounce since coming home, but Dr. Honeycutt seemed to think now that my milk was in his weight should come back up soon. She said everything else looked great and wanted us to come back in a week for a weight check.

Dressed and ready for the doctor. He was none too happy about it.

Snuggling with Todd on the couch.

Thursday was our appointment with the lactation consultant. My milk started coming in late on Tuesday and I felt that Mason and I finally had a little groove in nursing. I knew he was draining me yet, but I was still really engorged so I hoped once we got that milk out we would be in better shape. The consultant weighed him and it appeared he had dropped another ounce since his doctor's appointment the day before. She had me nurse him and in 30 minutes he only took in half an ounce. I knew he was a little slow and really hard to wake up, but I was surprised that was all he had taken in. She then had me pump off what was left in my breasts and it was felt great to not be engorged anymore. She said she was concerned about Mason's weight and the fact he was not taking in much milk, so she wanted me to start pumping after every nursing session and supplementing with what I pumped. I was so upset because I know breastfed babies aren't supposed to have a bottle for the first few weeks until breastfeeding is established. It was part of the downfall to nursing Aubrey and I didn't want that to happen again. She said his suction was good, but it feels like he could have a high palate and she didn't want me to loose my supply in the time it took him to get stronger and nurse better. I left the appointment so mad and upset and wondered how I was going to make this work. Nursing for 30 minutes and pumping plus feeding was going to be tediously long at night when I just wanted go back to sleep. We wondered if she even knew what she was talking about, but I later read in my nursing mother's book that her treatment plan was recommended so I sucked it up and decided I would make it work somehow.

Friday was picture day. I found a great photographer online who does on location photography so we would have more natural pictures instead of just the posed studio shots. It was awesome to watch a professional photographer in action and see how she did her job. She posted a few sneak peaks on her Facebook page and I love what I've seen so far. I can't wait to get our disk so I can print and share them with everyone.

Saturday our grand adventures included a running errands (just so I could get out of the house) and then a visit from Todd's parents, sister and her boyfriend. The exhaustion of pumping and nursing was starting to get to me by that point so I was not the happiest of company. This was the start to my daily meltdowns about the nursing/pumping situation and lack of sleep was not helping them.

Hanging out in the bouncy seat.

He was supposed to be doing tummy time. This is what he thought of tummy time.

Sunday was Mason's first real adventure outside the house. My coworker has a son that is Aubrey's age and we had wanted to get them together to play for a while. So Sunday we took both kids to Discovery Place Kids and they had a blast. I decided to go with them and used it as a learning tool in how to change diapers and wear Mason in the Moby wrap in public. It was a little tough, but I managed to make it work. Aubrey melted down when we left and Mason melted down in the car so we had to deal with both of them screaming in the car for the first time. Fun times, this 2 kids thing. Mason also made his first trip to Target with me to pick up a few supplies that afternoon. It was my first time out of the house alone and first time driving, so it was a weird experience for me. It had to be a super quick trip to fit inside the pumping/nursing schedule, but it was still nice to get out and experience some normalcy in my life again. 

All in all, the transition week home was not terrible. There were tough times, but that was expected. It is awesome to see Aubrey interact and love on her brother. She is handling the transition so much better than we thought and that is a blessing. Mason is such a chill baby and that also makes life easier. He really only cries when he is hungry and since we have to wake him to eat, that doesn't happen very often. He does get a little fussy during diaper changes, but a dry diaper and some snuggles stops that fussiness before it gets out of hand. The real fun will begin with Todd going back to work and me being a mom to 2 children all day everyday. Luckily, my mom will be helping me out when she can because I am sure I am going to need it. Managing Aubrey by herself can be exhausting so I can only imagine adding a needy newborn to the mix on very little sleep. Let the fun begin!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Welcome to the World Mason

During my 40-week (part 2) check-up, Dr. Miles decided that I was ready for an induction that day due to my rising blood pressure and the fact I was almost 41-weeks along. So  I left the doctor's office, called Todd and my mom, grabbed a bite to eat, and then headed to the hospital. It was such a weird feeling to walk into the hospital, not be in labor, but know that I was going to leave with a baby soon. I was a little nervous about the induction process and knowing it could lead to complications, but the benefits outweighed the consequences at that point and I knew I would just have to deal what ever came my way.

After completing all my treatment paperwork, I put on my gown and hopped in the bed. The nurse came in to insert my IV and I have never hurt so much from something in my life. She was pretty rough putting in my arm and I swear she hit something, whether it was a bone or a nerve. Luckily, the pain passed pretty fast. Dr. Little then came in to check my cervix and see what was happening down there. She said I was maybe 2 cm. So, it sounds like Dr. Miles may have been fudging my progress a little. I was a little disappointed, but since the IV was in my arm I knew I wasn't going anywhere. Dr. Little said I was going to start pitocin and see how that worked for me. The nurse started my pitocin and antibiotics (due to being Group B strep positive at 20 weeks) and left us to hang out. The next few hours were pretty easy so we just relaxed while the drugs did their work. I struggled with the antibiotics because they burned my arm a lot, but luckily the other doses I received that night weren't so bad. Mom left with Aubrey around 7 so she could go home and go to bed and I cried a little when she left. It was so strange knowing the next time I saw her, she would be a big sister. Mom called us and let us talk to her before she went to sleep and I cried again when I told her good night. 

My night nurse came in at 7:00 and cranked up my piton and the contractions started picking up. I was able to handle them until about 11:30 when they started getting really painful. Dr. Little checked me and said I was 4 cm and gave the green light for my epidural. The anesthesiologist came in a little after 12:00 to start my epidural. As soon as he walked in, I recognized him from Aubrey's delivery and knew I would be ok. He did a fantastic job with my first epidural so I hoped he could do the same this time. My contractions were every 2-3 minutes at this point and I had at least 2-3 in the time it took him to get it started. I was finally pain free about 20 minutes later so Todd and I decided to try and sleep. Try was the operative word because something about my epidural made me itchy. So I spent all this time trying to scratch and stop the itching instead of relaxing.

After a little bit of quiet, the nurse came in and made me lie on my side because they were having a hard time monitoring Mason's heart beat. However, not only did she put me on my side, she also slightly inverted the bed so most of my weight was on my shoulder. At this point, I had 5 nurses in my room and I asked how many patients were laboring and found out I was the only one so they decided to get give me the "Beyonce treatment" (since supposedly Beyonce was a diva while she delivered her baby and was catered to by all the hospital staff). I tolerated lying on my side as long as I could, but after an hour begged to be moved because my hip and shoulder really hurt. I also started to notice that I was feeling a lot more pressure inside and then the pressure started getting really uncomfortable. I was allowed to flip back to my back and it felt like heaven.

At 3:30, my nurse checked me and said I was making great progress but Mason was still really high. Dr. Little checked me at 4:00 and said I was 9 cm so she was going to break my water. At this point, all hell broke loose. Immediately, the contractions intensified by 1000 and I realized my epidural wasn't working like it should. I started screaming because there was so much intense pressure. They told me his heart rate kept dropping below 100 and he wasn't handling the contractions well.  Dr. Little and the nurses were trying to calm me down while they inserted an internal monitoring device on Mason. Dr. Little said if they couldn't get him stable they would have to take me down for an emergency C-section and I lost it. I had never felt so helpless in my life and scared that things were not going to end well. They called the anesthesiologist back down to correct my epidural and I later found out he upped my dose to half of what they give a C-section patient. They also gave me a dose of terbutaline to stop the contractions. Finally, the pain and pressure started to subside and they were able to stabilize Mason's heart beat to the 150's and we were able to relax. Dr. Little explained that Mason dropped from a -2 station to a 0 or +1 in a matter of minutes. His rapid drop combined with several long back-to-back contractions led to the pain and and Mason was not able to handle the contractions well.

Todd and I were able to get some rest until 6:00 when Dr. Little checked me again and gave the good news I was complete at 10 cm. She said she wanted me to labor down some to make it a little easier to push and give my epidural time to wear off some so I could feel the urge to push. She also warned she would have the vacuum ready in case Mason stopped tolerating the contractions and needed to come out fast. Around 6:30, we did a few practice pushes and she said I made a lot of progress with those pushes and she thought he would be coming soon. A little before 7, I did a few more practice pushes and the next thing I knew the room was filling with nurses. I was starting to feel my toes and they knew my epidural was fading so we started pushing. After the first set of pushes, Dr. Little told me she was putting away the vacuum since I was moving him so well myself and Mason was doing ok. After what seemed like only a few more pushes, Dr. Little asked me to stop pushing and Todd told me his heart sank when he looked down because Mason's head was out but the cord was around his neck. Dr. Little tried to distract me by saying he had a head full of dark hair. I was so out of it that I gave Todd this confused look because I didn't understand how he could have dark hair. Then I realized, duh, husband has dark hair and it made more sense to my tired brain. Todd said Dr. Little quickly clamped the cord and had me push 1 more time and before I knew it he was out. After 8 minutes of pushing, Mason James was born at 7:04 AM. I immediately started crying in relief not realizing they were rushing Mason to the warming table. I still had no clue about the cord and later found out there was also meconium in my amniotic fluid so they were observing him for any signs of distress. After a minute, I heard his glorious first cry and wanted to hold him. Unfortunately, they took a long time to clean him and do their assessments so when they were finished Dr. Little was still stitching me up. She said I did have a 2nd degree tear along with some superficial labia tears and it seemed like it took forever to stitch. The stitching was not comfortable and all I wanted to do was put my legs down which made me irritable. I was afraid to hold him while she was still stitching so Todd was the first to hold him. Finally, 35 minutes after he was born, Dr. Little finished her repairs and I was able to hold my son for the first time. It was an amazing experience to see his beautiful little eyes staring back at me. While it wasn't like the first time holding experience I had hoped for, it was still so special and instantly relaxed me. After 5 months of trying to get pregnant and 9 months of pregnancy, our son was safe and sound in my arms and there is no better feeling than that. After all the staff left, Todd and I were able to just sit and enjoy this new little person and relax from the stress of the past few hours.

Around 9:00, my mom brought Aubrey to the hospital. I was attempting to nurse Mason for the first time when she walked in and she gave the craziest, unhappy look. After I finished nursing, we let Aubrey open her big sister present from Mason (a necklace that says Big Sis and has her birth stone) and she also opened Mason's present from her (his little brother onsie). After presents, the rest of the family start coming in to visit. Aubrey held Mason for the first time and I thought my heart was going to explode into a million pieces of happiness. She was so gentle and so sweet and seemed to love him instantly. I was so scared about what her reaction to him would be but she proved that all those fears were pointless. The nurse made Aubrey's day by letting her help with Mason's first bath and she ate it up. She had such a blast helping that I could see this would be a new favorite activity at home for a while.

The nurses got me up and moving while the family visited and I was amazed that I felt pretty good considering what I had been through. The rest of the day was a blur of nursing and visitors so by 7:30 that night I was exhausted and gross feeling. We sent Mason the nursery so I could get a shower and take a short nap.

The rest of the hospital stay was focused on getting Mason to eat because he was soooo sleepy. They delayed his circumcision to Monday instead of Sunday because he went 6 hours without eating on Sunday. The nurses and I worked really hard on his eating and by Sunday evening he had made some progress.

Monday morning, they took Mason back for his circumcision while I started to pack up. Todd said when he got to the hospital, he heard Mason screaming in the nursery and this broke my heart. Even though it was a decision we both made together, it still hurt to hear that our child was in pain. After they brought him back to my room, the nurse started our discharge work and by 10:30, we were on our way home.

Aubrey was so excited to see us when we walked in the door and the dogs were ecstatic. I was so happy to be home and it hit me that this was it. Our little family is complete and perfect. I have never been so happy in my life.

Helping the nurse with his first bath

Love snug as a bug baby

Our first family portrait

When they are fighting in a few years, I will show them this picture to remind them how they are supposed to love each other.

All dressed and ready to come home

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

40-week visit Part 2

Since I would be 41-weeks pregnant on Saturday, Dr. Vuong gave me the choice of scheduling my appointment on Friday or Monday. I hoped to see more progress sooner, so I scheduled it on Friday. I threw my hospital bag in the car just in case I got the news I was going to the hospital after my appointment, but seriously expecting I was coming back home afterwards instead. Due to the high blood pressures and excitement of Monday's appointment, I got a 3rd ultrasound, or biophysical profile at this appointment. I decided to take Aubrey to the appointment with me because I thought she might like to see Mason on the tv screen again. As usual, she really wasn't interested in watching the ultrasound because she was more interested in the toys at the office. But, I was fascinated with the ultrasound because I could tell how much bigger Mason had gotten since our 3D ultrasound. She did all the measurements and gave an estimate that he would weigh 6 lbs, 14 oz. I know this is computer generated based on measurements, but I called BS as soon as she said it. I've felt for the past few months that Mason is bigger than Aubrey was at birth and even Dr. Vuong estimated 7 lbs and 9 or 10 oz. But, the important part of the ultrasound was that Mason was doing well and seemed happy as a clam in his tightly cramped quarters. So, I was sent to the waiting room to wait on the regular portion of my doctor's visit.

So, the CMA took my blood pressure and told me it was 126/102. Not good. She took it again with a different cuff and it was 124/100. So, a good bit higher than the last appointment so I knew there would have to be some decisions made before I left that office about when Mason would be arriving. Dr. Miles came in to check me and said he was concerned about the blood pressure, but less so than normal because I still had 0 other symptoms of pre-eclampsia. He did my internal check and shocked me by saying I was 3 cm. Whoo-hoo! He then asked me how I felt about being induced vs waiting. I told him I was more than ready to be induced if he felt I was ready. He said early the next week could be good, but asked if I would be ready that evening if there was a bed ready. Abso-freakin-lutely. So, he said he would call over the hospital and check on the bed status and come back to talk. So, I starting getting excited because I know the end is near. A few minutes later he walked back in the room and gave me the some of the best news I heard in weeks: they had a bed and were waiting for me. Sweeeet. He then cracked the joke that it was appropriate that I saw him today because I also saw him for my first prenatal appointment so he was my first and last of this pregnancy. So, he was the one that gave me 2 of the best parts of my pregnancy (confirmation and planning the end) and that is so awesome. He encouraged me to go ahead and schedule my 6-week follow-up appointment on my way out so I took care of that before running out of the office to put plans in place. I called Todd first and let him know the good news and made arrangements with him. Then, I called my mom to tell her the news so she could come get Aubrey from the hospital. She encouraged me to go get some real food since I might not be allowed to eat once I got there. Even though I had no appetite, I decided to go ahead and get a burger and let Aubrey have the fries because I just couldn't get them down because I was so excited. I then made the drive to the hospital and as soon as I pulled in the parking lot the reality of what was going on hit me. It was strange to know that I was driving myself to the hospital and would be leaving with my new baby the next time I sat in my car. After taking a few deep breaths and gathering my thoughts and bags, I took Aubrey's hand and walked in to the hospital not knowing what was going to happen but so excited to have the show started.

More to come in the birth story post.

January 9-January 15

The early part of the week was same old, same old for our family but ended in a lot of excitement that deserves its own post. So, I'll just post 2 pictures from the week.

Aubrey discovered the joy that is building forts in the living room while I worked on Wednesday. The best part is that she calls is building "forks" instead of forts so I have to think about what she is asking each time.

She was obsessed with putting her teddy "grounds"(aka teddy grahams) in a straight line across the table.

More about our exciting weekend to follow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

40-week check up

This visit was quite a different visit for me. Everything started out normal, like waiting in the obnoxiously hot waiting rooms forever and then waiting half-naked in my room forever. I hate having afternoon appointments, but this was the only available time for my check up so I took it knowing I'd be there for a while. The CMA who took my vitals but didn't tell me anything was out of the ordinary so I was surprised when a different CMA took me to my room and asked to repeat my blood pressure. She said the first reading had been 124/94. So she took it again and it was still 124/92. She asked about any other pre-eclampsia symptoms and I told her I wasn't having any. Mason must have been napping or relaxing when she was listening to his heartbeat because it was 138. Dr. Vuong came in and said she was a little concerned about the blood pressure, but wanted to check me out first to see what was going on. Unfortunately, she said I am still only at 1cm dilated and he is still really high. She said if I were 2-3 cm dilated, she would go ahead and send me over to the hospital for an induction, but with only being at 1 cm, that doesn't make me a super great candidate for induction at this point. But, she was concerned about the blood pressure and wanted to have it checked out, so she decided to send me to the hospital for a non stress test and blood work to make sure there was no pre-eclampsia. If they found nothing, I would go home. If they did find something I would be induced and hope it didn't lead to a c-section. Immediately, my adrenaline kicks in, which I think is the only thing that kept me from bursting out into tears right then. This appointment sounded so much like my 40-week appointment with Aubrey, minus being sent to the hospital. Luckily, I had to focus on calling Todd and my mom to tell them the news and then drive over to the hospital that I didn't have time to think about crying.

It was so surreal going back to the hospital because it was the first time I've been there since we left with Aubrey. It was almost like being admitted because they asked me a million questions, took all of my insurance paperwork and then led to me to a triage room that included a real bed and all of the good equipment. My nurse even had me take my clothes off and gown up, another surreal feeling. She found Mason immediately with the monitor and took my first blood pressure, which ended up being 116/64. She said many of the women come over from the doctor's office with high blood pressures and complaining how hot it is over there and when they hook them up to the monitors there everything is all good. She said they would still draw the blood and send it to the lab but since my urine was negative for any protein and I showed minimal swelling, she was pretty sure I would be going home within an hour. So, I relaxed in the bed and enjoyed watching HGTV for an hour while I listened to Mason's heart beat on the monitor. She came back in around 5:30, said my blood work was great except for being a little low in potassium, but otherwise I was free to go. Again, another weird feeling to just put my clothes on and walk out of the hospital by myself. I am glad everything turned out ok and really glad I didn't need to be induced. I would really like to go into labor on my own again and avoid a c-section if at all possible. So, if I don't go into labor I have another visit scheduled on Friday, which will include a biophysical profile followed by a visit with the doctor. Since I will be 41 weeks on Saturday, I have a sneaking suspicion I will leave with an induction scheduled, but we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, this little boy will decide its time to come out and see the world before everyone threatens to force him out.

January 2-8

Another week of hibernation for us. I was telling Todd that after Aubrey was born, the idea of being in this house for more than 2 days drove me crazy and I always had to find an excuse to leave. Now, the idea of 2 days (or more) in the house sounds great. I really have 0 motivation to go out and do anything. I did manage to get groceries during the week just in case Mason decided to surprise us and arrive on his due date. Its sad that I really was happy to get home and relax after getting groceries like I had competed in a marathon or something.

Friday, I did manage to find some motivation to take Aubrey outside to enjoy the fantastic 65+ degree weather. I had thought about taking her to our neighborhood park, but the idea of pushing the stroller uphill by myself didn't seem as appealing, so we got out the bubbles and enjoyed the porch instead.

Saturday was D-day in our house, as in Mason's due date. Todd was hell bent we were going to get this baby out of my belly so he planned a day of old wives tales to get the party started, including a long walk and a date night to a local Mexican place. We knew that things probably wouldn't work, just like they didn't work with Aubrey, but it was fun to think they could. We did enjoy walking with Aubrey around the neighborhood dawned on me while we were there that it would probably be our last walk as a family of 3. This made me a little sad, but excited at the same time. Todd's parents came over Saturday night to watch Aubrey so we could enjoy our traditional due date meal of Mexican food. We stuffed ourselves silly with chips and salsa before ending a very exciting night by going to Lowe's to buy a few things for the house. The reality finally sat in around 8-ish that Mason was just not going to come on his due date and we just accepted the fact that we will just have to keep waiting. I was really hoping that my doctor would be wrong about babies following similar patterns, but that's why he has the medical degree and I do not. I'll go to the doctor on Monday and hopefully not leave crying a bucket of tears like I did after my 40-week appointment with Aubrey. I am a little more motivated by the fact that I am more of a candidate for a successful induction this time than I was with Aubrey. At least I am not staring down a probable C-section before we even get started.

Sunday was a lazy day around the house. I think Todd and I were both hoping I'd go into labor after our Saturday adventures. Unfortunately, labor signs were a no show so we just did a little bit of cleaning and watched tv. We did make it to our church small group and had a nice dinner with our friends. It was calming to have our friends praying for us and Mason which helped us relax and enjoy the evening. We were both disappointed to go bed that night and hoped we would hear better news at the next doctor's appointment.

Why, yes. That is my almost 3-year old playing with the baby play mat. She is loving the toys we put out in Mason's room.

I took this picture while we were sitting outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and cracked up when I was editing because on the large version you can clearly see my reflection in Aubrey's eyes. This picture also makes me sad because Aubrey looks so grow up. Sigh...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mason's Room

Finally, 39 weeks and 2 days into this pregnancy, Todd and I finished the nursery. Its been functionally ready for a few weeks now, but it still needed a few decorations before we could call it mostly complete.  We will add pictures above the dresser/changing area after his newborn pictures finished. And we will probably purchase a frame for the map we just wanted to get it up in the room and see how we liked it before dropping cash on a frame.

So, here we go....

I really love his name above the bed. But there were some serious curse words said while putting it up there. It wasn't quite as easy as the directions made it sound, but worth it in the end.

I have missed sitting in the glider since Aubrey outgrew rocking. But, I am sure the glider and I will be more than reacquainted soon enough.

The dresser/changing station with all of his new cloth diapers. I didn't cloth diaper Aubrey as a newborn so this will be a new adventure for both of us. 

Keeping Aubrey out of Mason's stuffed animals has been quite a chore. Just something new I guess.

Above the bookcase is a vintage airplane instrument panel and flight maps of Raleigh (Todd's hometown) and Charlotte (more or less my hometown)

After I posted the pictures on Facebook, someone commented "Now all you need is Mason to go in the room" and they are absolutely right. We are 100% ready for him whenever he wants to make his appearance.

39-week visit

We are now in those last few boring doctor visits that I really hate going to. However, I was excited when I got to the office because I ran into a friend who has been trying to get pregnant for 3 years and is now 14-weeks along. Seeing my friend definitely put a smile on my face because I know that miracles are happening all around and we are so blessed to be where we are.

This visit was with the nurse practitioner again so they were able to move me pretty fast. I wasn't sure how long I'd be there at first because the office was hopping, but they were calling me back before I'd even given my sample. Mason's heartbeat was higher than usual at 160, but he was having a dance party right before she checked it so I knew he was ok.

After Mason playing tricks with us Friday night, I really thought we might see more progress by the time I got to the doctor Monday morning. I had a few painful contractions last week and the Braxton Hicks contractions have really picked up. So I was a little disappointed when she told me I was in the same place as last week. While I'm still not in a super rush for him to get here, I was hoping for more progress so when the time comes I don't have to labor as long. But as usual for my children, they will take their own sweet time and do things at their own pace. We just have to sit back and be patient and see what will happen next. So, I scheduled my next visit for 40 weeks, 2 days and we'll see what happens from there.

December 26-January 1

I've made it. With this entry, I have successfully completed my 52-week blog. There were some weeks it was tough and the entry was not published until Thursday or Friday, but all 52 weeks of our year were documented and that was my goal.

This week was that super quiet lull between the holidays. Todd had a short work week and even got to attend the Belk Bowl to watch his beloved Wolfpack win the game. Aubrey and I mostly hung around the house as I've entered the hibernation phase. Our only outing of the week was to pick up a few last minute things for my hospital visit at Target. Luckily, Aubrey entertained herself all week with her new Christmas toys and art work so it made being a hermit a little easier.

Playing with her LeapPad while I worked.

Mason decided to start playing with our heads Friday night and made us think he was ready make an arrival. I started feeling pretty yucky after dinner, including diarrhea and menstrual-like cramps. I felt a lot like this the day I started having contractions with Aubrey so I thought maybe this was the start with Mason. I knew if it was the start of something I would need to get some sleep, so I managed to fall asleep around 11, only to wake up disappointed around 2 or 3 because I felt fine again. I was a little sad to wake up the next morning and realize we weren't going to be holding a baby anytime soon, but also a little thankful we had a little more time to enjoy the quiet in our house.

Saturday was my mom's birthday so the family went out to eat with the rest of the New Year's Eve crowd. Luckily, we managed to get there pretty early so the wait wasn't too bad. Aubrey was thoroughly entertained by my sister so it was almost like Todd and I got to enjoy a mostly peaceful dinner by ourselves.

I was trying to take a picture of Aubrey before dinner and this is the face she gave me. 

Todd and I spent the last few hours of the year quietly at home watching the final Harry Potter movie and then the traditional Dick Clark special on tv. We were amazed when the local tv channel showed the downtown Charlotte celebration and there were several children Aubrey's age running around. I am pretty sure Aubrey would have been a nightmare at that late time so I couldn't imagine taking her out for New Year's Eve. After the ball dropped, a bunch of people in the area had fireworks so Todd and I stood outside watching those before calling it a night at 12:30.

Amazingly, Aubrey let us sleep late New Year's morning. We spent the day hanging around the house and even took Aubrey to the neighborhood park since the temps were in the 60's. We sadly took down the Christmas decorations after Aubrey went to bed and I was finally able to put the last few baby items in their place. 

So, our 2011 ended as quietly as it began 365 days prior. We were blessed with a generally quiet, great year and hope 2012 brings us more of the same.