We are borrowing one of our neighbors basinets for little Reagan, and what can I say I love to share pictures of our angel.
This is our baby corner, or nursery since the house is essentially one room.
And here is our bundle of joy.
Cramps. Contractions. All day. Being pregnant was not at all what I expected. I had several friends and even one sister that seemed to just breeze through it. Then there was me: all-day-and-then-some sickness, minor infections, twisted round ligaments, anemia, and now my constant labor pains. I almost -almost- wanted to sink into a pathetic state of self pity until I thought of a few things:
1. I wasn't sick my entire pregnancy.
2. I don't have the chronic back pain that some women experience.
3. I have no major complications.
4. My baby is healthy (and oh so beautiful!).
5. I have no stretch marks due to pregnancy.
6. My ankles and feet and legs are not swollen.
And most of all
7. I can have children. I'm sure there are many women who would endure much worse just to be a mom.
Yup, can't really feel sorry for myself now.
Have a fabulous day!
So here's the deal: since week 29 I have had painful cramping in my lower abdomen several times a day. I have also had contractions on a daily basis.
Starting at week 36 I have had even more intense (can't walk, can't talk), steady contractions. I can't follow the 5-1-1 or 4-1-1 rule because I've had them five minutes apart, lasting one minute, for upwards of six hours and still no baby. The baby has also been applying a lot of pressure on my pelvis with her head. For the last three weeks I've been dilated between 1/2 and 1 and between 80-90% effaced. With our insurance, we see who ever is on duty, we don't necessarily have a set doctor we see every time. Every doctor or nurse I've seen for the last three weeks makes the same comment, "Wow baby is really low and is really pushing. She's ready to come out, all we need now is for your contractions to start..." Are you kidding me? Contractions are not the problem.
Anyway, at yesterday's check-up everything was normal until they measured my belly. After a couple times measuring, the doctor said she would have to order an ultra sound because I was measuring small. Even though the most likely reason is that the baby is simply in a different position, it's procedure to do the ultra sound anyway just to be safe.
It was a good thing because we actually got to see our baby for the first time (see the post below). The nurse technician asked if I had always measured small and I told her that I was not aware of it if I had. She checked all the vital stuff - fluid, cord, placenta (I don't know why but I hate that word. It makes me shutter) - and it all looked fine so she informed us that Ryan and I simply "make" small babies. Our baby is about 6 lbs. Doesn't sound too bad (after all, Ryan was a 6 lb. baby as were two of his siblings), but you have to remember I live in Hawaii, many of the Polynesian, and haole, women have large babies. And for a Cunningham baby, that's pretty small.
Anyway, so that's our update for now. Hopefully our next update will be a birth announcement.
Today was our third ultra sound (see story above for details). The first was at 8 weeks when she looked just like a little gummy bear. She twitched and moved an arm nub, but that was pretty much it. The next was at 17 weeks when we found out she was a girl. She looked more like a baby, but still just kind of a blob-like. Then there was today. She's not just a baby to me anymore, she's a person. When you see the things I saw today, I don't know what kind of sane person can argue that my baby is not a living being. You would have to be heartless or crazy to justify that.
Usually I'm not a big fan of 3-D ultra sounds, the first one they did when our baby was 17 weeks was weird and kind of creepy. But today was different. It was an amazing experience. Even the nurses said they hadn't seen anything like it. They kept calling to each other to come look. They apologized it was taking so long, but they said this was a rare treat for them and they wanted to watch as long as they could. They even put her picture on their "Wall of Fame" where they keep their favorite ultra sound pictures. Their only complaint was that our baby moves so much and so rapidly it was hard for them to get clear pictures.
I saw incredible things that these still photos don't capture. She kept her eyes open the entire time (the nurses said that rarely ever happens, they kept muttering "amazing"), she opened and closed her mouth repeatedly, she winced, she smiled, she played with her fingers, she touched her face... it was just... beyond words.
One of my sisters said our baby looked creepy, but in a good way. I think she's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen (even if she is a little creepy ;-) ) and I can't wait to meet her.
Sorry the pictures aren't the best, they're pictures of not very clear prints.
That line across her cheek is the umbilical cord.
Ryan likes this picture because it looks like she's sticking out her tongue.
She blinked here so she looks like a peaceful, sleeping baby.
Technology blows my mind! I know, small explosion right? ;-)
As most of you know, I like to read books that teach principles of success. A recurring theme that comes up often is this: "You don't always get what you want, you don't always get what you deserve (thank heaven!), but you almost always get what you expect." It's a proven fact that the person who wakes up saying "Today's going to be a great day" has a better day than the person who wakes up and says (or groans) "Ugghh".
So what is my great expectation? I want to have a natural childbirth: no drugs, no "assistance", no interventions. That being said let me clarify a few things. First, I've learned never to say never so I am leaving my mind, and options, open. As with everything in life, we'll take it one step at a time. Second, I believe that birth is unique to every woman and I don't feel that any one way is the best way for everyone. If you carried a baby all those months and brought it into the world, I don't care how it came - you deserve a medal! Third, I'm not trying to prove anything. After kidney stones, ulcers, and large ovarian cysts, I don't feel the need to prove to anyone that I'm tough. And I don't think that having a natural birth makes a woman a better person or a better mother than a woman who had an assisted delivery.
I'm simply doing this because I feel like it's right for me. Childbirth, in my mind, is a very personal thing and until I got pregnant I thought it a very private thing. It didn't take long for me to realize that most people, even guys, have no problem asking very probing questions. The one I get asked most is "Are you having an epidural?" It's hard to fight the urge to ask "Why does it matter to you?" and instead smile and explain how I feel. Usually my reply is met by a condescending smirk and a guarantee that I won't last an hour without one. Sometimes women look concerned and try to kindly lecture me on how I'm a wide-eyed Pollyanna that just doesn't understand how hard childbirth is. When I meet either of these kinds of women I politely change the subject or end the conversation. I don't want negative in my brain.
I never said I expected easy or painless or even fast. I only said natural. Why is that so hard for people to accept? Why does everyone feel the need to tell me how they feel about my decision?
So how do I "channel" my expectations? I seek out women who are supportive and positive. I have spoken with three women recently who have experienced birth in almost every way thinkable and all said that their natural birth was there favorite experience. I take just a few minutes everyday to mentally visualize a positive labor and delivery. I read books about the benefits of natural childbirth and the stories of mothers who have had great success delivering naturally. Lastly, I tell myself that I can do this. I was made to do this.
So there you have it. In a week or two I'll put up a post telling you how it went :-)
I have an awesome husband! Last week he used his two days off to build this little shed behind the house. We're learning the hard way that babies take up a lot of space and when you only have 277 sq. ft. to work with.... well you get the idea. So Ryan created a space for us to store stuff like my saddle, our boogie boards, snorkel gear, tennis rackets, etc.
What do you think? Someone from church asked what we were doing and I jokingly replied "Building a nursery". He thought that was actually pretty funny.
When I mentioned that I tried riding the motorcycle last week (for the first time in a long time) my mother-in-law laughed and said "I want a picture of that!"
So here you go...
It takes me two attempts and help from Ryan to climb on. Also, it made me laugh last week when Ryan asked "Can you move back any? Your belly's poking me."
PS - No, we do not ride around dressed like this. You may notice that the Shadow is still chained to the wall. This was just a picture we took one evening for Donna.