Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dear Baby ((36 weeks)),

Dear Sweet Baby,

I can't stop thinking about you! I am so excited for your arrival, and even feel a little bit guilty wishing you'd come before December 15th. I realize that's horrible. You stay in there and cook, get nice and chubby. BUT if you decide to come early, I am READY to hold you with my arms instead of my belly, and I know your dad is ready to hold you for the first time.

Photo by Greer Inez
((A while back...I'm definitely a lot bigger now!))

I was having some fear with the upcoming c-section, only because I remember the previous one felt like torture. I don't remember the recovery with your big sister; I only remember cherishing those first precious days with her ((and that gives me SO much excitement for YOUR arrival!)). However, I remember the procedure in detail, the burning of the cautery, the ripping and tearing ((not expected)) and pulling and pressure ((expected)). I talked to Heather ((our midwife)) about this, and she was very reassuring. With your cesarean being planned, I will have a SPINAL rather than an EPIDURAL, which will provide much more of a numbing sensation. Apparently, 1 in 5 women with an epidural during cesarean have an experience similar to mine.

When I was pregnant with your sister, I assumed I would have the natural birth I envisioned hundreds of times. I never visualized a cesarean, and even skipped that part of the birthing class. I associated c-section with failure and fear before I ever had it, so I think in a way, I manifested that for myself.

This time, I've been working on visualizing "the perfect c-section." I envision waking up early, knowing it's your BIRTHDAY, and even getting ready with hair and make-up. This will make me feel excited + confident. Then, we will walk into the hospital, check in, and go to pre-op. I know that nurse will get my IV on her first time because I'm a badass IV-starter, and the good karma I put out at my work will definitely come back to me. Hehe. Then, when the anesthesiologist puts in the spinal, I will barely feel a poke, and then feel completely numb. In the operating room, I'll have your dad by my side, as I feel nothing but excitement for seeing your face. I'll get to hold you immediately after you're out, and letting you go out of my arms and sharing you will be the hardest part of my day.

And so it is!

I have a lot more inner peace than I did with the previous pregnancy. Life is far more stable for us now, and I haven't had extreme mood swings. In fact, your dad even said he wished I was pregnant all the time. Ha! I'm just so pleased with how life is going for us right now. Daddy is doing so well at work, having fun and passionately engaging with his clients, while bringing home that bacon. I still love going to work 3 days a week. We love our modest home, and I absolutely love making small improvements here and there to make it even more enjoyable ((see nesting, below, hehe)).

((Not a recent pic...this was at 31 weeks, about a month ago))

Position: Last week, Heather said she felt a head up near my left breast, and predicts you're breech ((head up rather than the typical head down position)). We didn't verify with a sonogram, because nothing changes for us; you're a scheduled cesarean either way. Honestly, I think it gives you character. I don't mind. When you were transverse, it was more uncomfortable for me ((horizontal, head on the left, feet on the right)).

That Weird Extra Fluid Thing We Had: The polyhydramnios has completely cleared up. No extra fluid! You're swallowing and peeing like a champ. It was just one of those weird things that went away on it's own.

Fun Pregnancy Symptom: I've been NESTING, which has been so fun for me. The outside of our house is being painted today and tomorrow. I absolutely love it. I busted out cloth diaper hand-me-downs from Cousin Molly and figured out what all I need to be successful with these at our home. We will get your bassinet from Binky and Papa's very soon, and set it up in our room. I've ordered your matching Christmas pj's with your sissy ((and maybe me and daddy, too...sorry in advance, we are kind of nerdy parents)). I've placed your little tiny newborn clothes on my bump and just pictured your beautiful face so many times. I can't wait to hold you!

Size: I have gained a little over 40 pounds so far. I've consistently been measuring at larger than average, but while it used to be a few weeks ahead, now it's only 1 week ahead. Even my maternity scrubs are tight. I've been loving the sh*t out of my maternity leggings and oversized sweaters//shirts.

Names: Vivienne Rose, Everleigh Rose, Norah Rose. You'll likely be one of those. We'll wait to see your face. For more thoughts on naming you, reference this post.

Cravings: Have kind of settled down. I definitely was on a dairy kick for a while, wanting every flavor of cream cheese, even eating ricotta cheese straight from the tub. Any and all childhood cereals. A new cinnamon roll shop opened in the city I work, and I've frequented too many times. They know me as the "cute pregnant lady who wept when she ate her first Cinnaholic roll" which is sadly, true. Even more sad, I haven't cried at much at all this pregnancy. I've not really been too emotional, but the cinnamon roll seemed to evoke tears. Haha. Anyway, I've been a huge fan of food and eating whatever//whenever, but nothing out of the ordinary lately.

Movement: I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now. You've been moving around constantly. I am confident this is the last time I'll be pregnant, and I know in the future when other women describe their pregnancies, I'll have a little bit of envy. This is such a sacred time, and I know it. I'll miss feeling you move the most. I'm never alone. I have two hearts in my one body. I have an angel dwelling spirit-side contained in my flawed, earth-side body. I am so grateful to be carrying you, but I'm even more ready to meet you and see what changes you bring to our family. We knew we wanted you before you were even created. And life will be forever changed, for the better, in 2 1/2 weeks.

I might not get a chance to blog again before your arrival, and I know I'll go back and read this, thinking, "I can't believe I hadn't even seen her or known her then. That seems like a lifetime ago!"

Just know that no matter what happens, on any day, at any given moment, I LOVE YOU. I love you so much I can barely stand it. You're my DAUGHTER! My BABY! I'll love you forever no matter what. My sweet, sweet, baby. Come on down. I'm ready for you.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sweet Baby, What Will We Call You?

A little over two years ago, I wrote a post about names and how they define our personalities, per Pierre Le Rouzic from his international bestseller, "The Name Book." I shared the "personality types" based off our names, for our little family of three. Now that we are expanding to a family of four, we are taking this new baby's name quite seriously! My mother-in-law owns this book, and literally, pages are falling out now because of how often we look through it. It's currently in our home, as we ponder names for this precious baby, due exactly four weeks from today!

When Lilah Grace was born, we had 3 names in mind for her: Ardyn Brooke, Everleigh Joy, and Lilah Grace.

As soon as George held her for the first time (my arms were still strapped down to the OR table), I anxiously asked him, "What's her name!?" He looked at our crying newborn and asked her, "Are you Everleigh Joy?" as she continued to wail. Then, he asked, "Are you Lilah Grace?" and she stopped crying, as if she had heard her name for the first time. So, basically, she named herself. We don't know that we will have that situation repeat itself, but we want to see this little baby's face before deciding on her name.

This go around, we have 3 names in mind, with Everleigh making a comeback, only with a different middle name. "Rose" is my late grandmother's name, my mother's middle name, and my sister's middle name. Since we don't know that my sister is going to have girls, I want to be sure the name lives on. I also love that both our girls will have classic, one-syllable, timeless names. Grace and Rose.

Our three potential names for this baby (as of late) are: Everleigh Rose, Vivienne Rose, and Norah Rose.

I am so unbelievably excited to meet this baby. Literally, I think about her and holding her, and kissing her and nursing her and nuzzling her and smelling her, at least one hundred times a day. Everytime she moves, I get butterflies and a warm wave floods my body with excitement and anticipation. I know once we name her, it will seem so obvious, like "she's always been a (Everleigh//Vivienne//Norah)," but until then, I'm not so sure. I had a dream that we named her Norah Lynn a few weeks ago, for whatever that's worth. I also dreamt I had her early at 35 weeks. I turned 35 weeks yesterday, so assuming I go these next 5 days without going into labor, my dreams haven't necessarily been premonitions.

Here are the "Personality Types" of each of these names. Norah has two, which honestly, I don't really get, but there ya have it.

Everly (Everleigh)
"Bringer of Hope"
Element: Fire
Mineral: Antimony
Animal: Turtle Dove
Plant: Chestnut Tree
Color: Red

  • You know what you want 
  • High morals, a self-assurance that comes from your unabiding faith, and your capacity for self-denial in order to reach your goals
  • You are able to dedicate yourself to your community or to a cause, and even though you can be convincingly enthusiastic, you are essentially reserved

  • Both an extrovert and an introvert, and sometimes it is difficult to tell which is more important to you-your need to be active in the world, or your need to protect your private life
  • You have a very strong will, but you tend to conceal it so that your reactions to situations are somewhat restrained and understated

  • In every way, you are a (wo)man of deeds and not words 
  • You influence others
  • You're not interested in establishing your own reputation or a great name for yourself, but in doing things well
  • Most likely, you decide early on in life what it is that you want to do. You are able to devote yourself to a cause, body and soul, but without becoming fanatical
  • You are slow to anger, and rare is the day that you find reason to let go with a biting word or an angry outburst

  • You have a very good intuition, but it is so well integrated in your whole personality that it doesn't seem like intuition
  • Your imagination is rich and well-disciplined, and your subdued attractiveness is captivating

  • More holistic than it is analytic
  • Your astonishing memory retains not only great moments, but the details of things
  • You tend to be selective in what you want to learn, though you are a marvelous student

  • You are a warm and gentle lover, but you hardly ever allow your emotions to get out of control
  • There is something self-assured about you which attracts people to you, and because you are not at all possessive, you allow others to express their affections openly

  • In general, your health is excellent
  • You rarely tire and are at your healthy best when you take the time every day to walk in the fresh air

  • Genuine friendliness that makes people think they've been taken into your family once they meet you
  • You have a special gift for communicating your warmth; and part of it is that it would never cross your mind to belittle another person for any reason
  • You are a gracious, giving host, and though perhaps not the life of the party, you're certainly its soul. When you do take time to relax among a gathering of friends, you give off a warm, secure feeling-a feeling of peacefulness, and home for tomorrow.

Vivian (Vivienne)
"Woman of Quiet Force"
Element: Earth
Mineral: Seleniate
Animal: Sole
Plant: Fern
Color: Red

  • Your strong emotions and positive morality, in combination with your will, make you a resourceful and goal-directed person. 
  • Though you often appear quiet and sober on the outside, you are motivated by a forceful combination of intellect, principles, and purpose. 
  • You're a faithful, dedicated worker and friend with an unobtrusive charm and high ideals.

  • Natural introversion
  • You lean toward shyness, yet are perfectly capable of lashing out with ferocity should your personal universe be threatened 
  • You are quick to anger over emotional issues
  • You are not easily discouraged from pursuing a course which you've chosen

  • Meticulous and well-organized
  • It takes you a little while to adapt to a new situation, though once you have made the adjustment, you become dedicated to the job

  • There is something captivating about your intuition-all the more pity that you do not heed your inner voice more often than you do
  • It is penetrating and effective, but you tend not to put much faith in it.

  • Your mind works systematically and methodically, and yet it is lively. 
  • Analytical
  • Your memory, like your intellect, is well-structured and vast.

  • You tend to restrain yourself when it comes to expressing your feelings, partly because of a natural distrust of others' affections. 
  • Great declarations of love are downright distasteful to you-too theatrical and pretentious to be real. Still, you can be a most endearing and faithful lover.

  • Although you tire easily and your health can suffer from nervous strain, you enjoy generally good vitality and health. 
  • You need fresh air and some sort of regular exercise in order to keep from succumbing to mental exhaustion.

  • Small circle of faithful friends whom you entertain with a quiet charm. 
  • A surprise party is a horror to you.
  • Often you become upset by the superficiality of large gatherings and tend to shy away from a demanding social schedule.

actually has TWO Personality Types:
"Perfect Beauty" and "Bearer of Good Fortune"

"Perfect Beauty"
Element: Air
Mineral: Jade
Animal: Codfish
Plant: Orchid
Color: Yellow

  • It is almost as if you are ruled by your emotions
  • Very sentimental
  • Emotional at heart, with the capacity to distance yourself from the world and assume a mask of regality
  • Innate sense of poetry, of beauty and elegance
  • Fragile and need to have tenderness returned in order to thrive

  • Rely upon beauty and charm to get you through
  • Postpone things, and highly sentimental nature runs the risk of carrying you into fantasy rather than action into the real world 
  • Introvert, but even withdrawn, you can rely on your will power to overcome adverse situations
  • That powerful will can turn to stubbornness 
  • As slow to forgive as you are quick to anger
  • Need for discipline
  • Once you establish structure, you can be a good student, especially if your studies have to do with tradition-the classics, art, or history.
  • Great appreciation for wealth and luxury, tend to prefer careers in which there is a side of glamor
  • Independence is very important for you and routine work would be offensive to your fine sensibilities
  • What makes you so enchantingly beautiful is your powerful intuition. It is so effective that it seems at times as if you have the gift of prophecy.
  • Your inner self lends you a sort of other-worldliness which people find charming and irresistibly attractive.
  • Very holistic; not going to bother yourself with details
  • You see a situation all at once, as a competent picture
  • Your curiosity is intense, and your verbal gifts are splendid
  • Boundless emotions
  • Affection and love are highest on your list of life's priorities
  • You need a lot of tenderness and affection, which you can return twofold. 
  • Your taste for comfort might lead you to a permanent relationship with an older man-someone who can give you the stability you so need
  • Fragile constitution, a strict regimen is essential for your good health
  • Acute sensitivity makes you prone to certain psychosomatic illnesses, but nothing major
  • Charming and graceful
  • Dazzling hostess
  • There is something in you that craves ritual and ceremony; most of your entertaining is likely to be rather formal and traditional
  • More men than women in your close circle of friends

Personality Type #2 
"Bearer of Good Fortune"
Element: Air
Mineral: Marble
Animal: Doe
Plant: Linden tree
Color: Orange
  • Fascinating woman with an illuminating tenderness and deep dedication to the higher qualities of life
  • Anything selfish and false in the world offends you to the core
  • Rigorous principles and sense of honor that comes from the heart
  • Strong emotions, but you tend to keep them channeled in useful activity that is of service to other people
  • Tend to excuse others' behavior and make too many demands on yourself
  • Emotions become taxed, so temper can flare up and explode
  • Terrible fear of being betrayed
  • Natural extrovert; you act with great self-confidence when you have a mission to perform, but otherwise, tend to be fairly timid
  • Astonishing quality of will; you have a great influence on people, transforming their attitudes and evoking their humanity and responsiveness to the ills of their fellow man
  • Happiest when you are sharing and giving of yourself
  • Attentive to needs of others; likely to pursue activities involving service to humanity
  • You plan well for your career and are not afraid of lengthy study or apprenticeship
  • Admirable mother, understanding and nurturing. Would also be an excellent doctor or nurse, or a field worker for social service agencies. Whatever you do, you seem to bring light and better awareness to all those around you.
  • For someone with so much empathy, you put little trust in your inner voice
  • You put your faith in reason and your own code of conduct
  • Mind is quick and alert
  • Able to get a broad perspective on a problem quickly and can confront complex situations 
  • Fine memory, especially for events with emotional charge to them
  • Curiosity is active but never invades the privacy of others
  • You need a tender, sensitive love which will match your own
  • Very emotional by nature, but your morals do not allow you to be flippant about your affections
  • Faithful, dedicated lover and wife 
  • Vitality is excellent
  • Zest for life helps you overcome illness
  • Radiant personality shines on those around you; charming and cheerful
  • Excellent and discreet hostess, always sure that everyone is happy and has what (s)he needs
  • Loud or brassy parties usually appall you, as does anything that is superficial and insincere
  • Happiest with a small group of loving friends who can share your warmth and generosity of spirit with genuine appreciation