Friday, November 18, 2011

My, oh my... how time flies!

Obviously its been a long time since I've updated my blog. You could say I've been... busy.

So where are we now? Well, Baby Neal is now 14.5 weeks and in these last three months I've learned so much about babies, boys, boobs, bottles, butt cream and everything else starting with b and beyond. Mostly I've learned that motherhood is NO joke. It truly is the hardest, yet most important, job of my life.

If you're my friend on Facebook, then you've probably seen the multitude of pictures I've posted of our new family. I'm pretty sure my son thinks the camera is a permanent fixture on my body. He's just as familiar with the camera as he is with other parts of my body, haha.


Too soon, too soon.

One thing we started is taking "basket pictures" through all major milestones of his growth. We started with "Week 1" of life, to 2 weeks, 3 weeks, etc... I've been uploading them to Facebook and they generate quite a few comments on how this tiny lil baby has exploded into a bonafied man child. I see him every day and there's times where I cant believe how big he is. Sometimes it seems that hes grown exponentially overnight. Some of you may not be on Facebook, so perhaps you haven't seen the basket pics. And in that case, feast your eyes on my growing baby boy!

Now that I've bragged about my beautiful son, I seriously vow to be better about blogging. Its a good outlet for me and a way to document things in baby Neal's life. Stick with me friends, there's a lot to write about!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Deliver me, Lord

So it's been 10 whole days since Baby Neal Michael came into this world. On one hand, it feels like it was just yesterday and sometimes it feels like I've been doing this for weeks already.

Monday, August 8th, was an interesting day to say the least. Neal and I reported to Baptist Hospital at 4:30am and I was induced at about 6am. I had already started contractions the night before, but my doctor was disappointed that I had not dilated anymore over two weeks time. Not only that, the baby was turned upside down and had not "dropped" far enough. The doctor said with the combination of those things, she was leaning towards a possible c-section but wanted to see what a few hours of pitocin and labor would do. I was very upset with the idea of c-section because it had never entered my mind. This whole pregnancy had been "textbook" for the most part and I guess in my mind, I figured the delivery would be the same. However, after several hours of labor, the baby was not progressing anymore and neither was I.

By lunchtime, there was still no change and my doctor once again said the contractions pattern and every else was pointing to a c-section. I spent the entire day praying that God's will be done. I was so scared of a c-section, but I also knew that my doctor had to do everything possible to keep me and the baby safe. I swear to you that in an hours time, everything changed. I went from 4cm to 9cm, the baby completely turned around, dropped and after 50 minutes of pushing and his umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck THREE TIMES, Neal Michael came into the world at 2:59pm weighing 8 pounds 10.6 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long. But best of all, he was healthy.
Meeting Neal Michael for the first time.
My doctor said it was a miracle of the human body and there was no other way to explain how my body did everything it needed to in an hour. Well, I say its a God thing. There is no other way to explain how everything turned around for us. I am thanking God for how things went that day. I will swear on my life that He's the only reason our delivery turned out like it did.

It was a fast labor and relatively easy, after the epidural of course. Baby Neal arrived safe and sound and healthy as all get out. We spent a few days in the hospital and now here we are in our loving home in Hendersonville, trying to adjust to this new path in our lives. There have been a few sleepless nights and some lively days, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Daddy Neal and Baby Neal just after he was born!
 Being a mother is something I cannot explain. Just saying "I'm a mother" sounds surreal. But after a very long 41 1/2 weeks, there was nothing better than seeing my baby for the first time. He's beautiful. Perhaps I'm partial, but he absolutely is a beautiful baby. He has a head full of auburnish hair and big blue eyes, like his dad. He has full lips like me, 10 long fingers and 10 perfect toes. Even when he's screaming at me, hes gorgeous.

Keeping this blog during my pregnancy has been wonderful. I like to think of it as a great way to reflect back on my first pregnancy and a way to keep stories for baby Neal one day. Now we're onto another great blog... one of a first time mom and dad in welcoming this precious life into our world. So stay tuned. Lord only knows the stories that will follow!

Meet Baby Neal Michael!
~Jenn... the newest member of the MILF club. (Or so my husband says.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sleep little baby....

Slowly, but surely, the nursery has been completed. Well, except for the obvious missing piece. :)

Side Note: Speaking of that, I had another doctor's appointment today and Baby Neal is just partying like a rock star and seems as comfortable as can be. Since last week's appointment, there has been little to no change in dilation and the non-stress tests just shows an active, but happy, baby. Anything can still happen, but my doctor believes that he will most likely arrive on the scheduled inducement date, which is set for this upcoming Monday, August 8th. (On a personal note, I think 8.8 is a cool birthday to have and easy to remember!) I really wish he would come on his own accord, because knowing that I have to report to the hospital so early on Monday will most likely keep me anxious for the remainder of the week. So I ask your continued thoughts and prayers for peace of mind and most importantly, health and a safe delivery for both me and baby!

But back to the original reason of this blog...
We are very proud of the nursery as it was put together with sweat, love and tears (hormone induced, of course!) It's a very peaceful space and Neal and I find ourselves stopping and just staring in at it all the time. Planning and completing the nursery together as a couple was a wonderful experience for us. Sometimes we'd just sit and talk about what the next few weeks, months and years will hold in this room and we can't help but just smile (or cry, in my case) over the blessing we're about to receive. And we welcome it with wide open arms!

We didn't go with a "theme" per se - we went more with colors so we could have more options. The micro-fiber chair is a rocker glider and OH SO comfortable!  

Hand painted letters for his name and applique's that match his quilt.
We went with espresso stained cherry furniture, which my husband lovingly put together. (And it was NOT easy!!)
Here is an up close view of some of the goodies on top of the drawers. His "first" picture from our first ultrasound, an engraved memory box, UT booties for upcoming game days, and a cute police car picture frame. We already have a cute police onsie for him to wear when he meets Daddy's co-workers, then we'll work on filling the picture frame! :)
Just another view of the nursery. We have a matching changing table to the left of the crib with organizational baskets full of baby stuff just waiting to be used!

Friday, July 29, 2011

I can't wait...

I can't wait for the obvious thing... Baby Neal.

But as much as I can't wait to meet my lil' baby face to face, there are some other things in life that will be welcomed with open arms into the Harris home.
  • Cold lunch meat. (Pregnant women can't eat it because of the risk of listeria. I'll start with a Publix deli sandwich. YUM!)
  • To be able to wear my wedding rings again. (My fingers have been a little swollen to the point where its hard to get the rings off at night, so to be on the safe side, I'm not wearing them. However, I've been wearing another ring so not to be confused with a baby momma with no baby daddy.)
  • Non-monitored use of splenda, tea and seafood. (All in moderation, of course.)
  • The use of hot tubs at my local YMCA or whenever we go on vacation again.
  • An occasional glass of wine. (I didn't drink much at all before I got pregnant, but have you ever wanted something that you KNOW you can't have? That's been my issue. The smell is wine during my pregnancy has been divine!)
  • My crystal clear skin. (Pregnancy has not been my friend when it comes to acne.)
  • To be able to wear all my cute shoes again. 
  • Prenatal vitamins (My hair and nails look amazing!)

Things I will not miss about pregnancy:
  • Prenatal vitamins. (But Jenn, you just said that you'll miss them!? YES, hear me out.... My OB just advised me that I'll have to continue to take them as long as I'm breastfeeding. However, they give me the worst indigestion, after tastes and they're huge.)
  • My increased migraines. (They were pretty bad in the 1st and 2nd trimester.)
  • Cankles
  • Comfortable sleeping positions. (Notice I didn't say "sleep" because I realize I won't get much of that when Baby Neal arrives. I just want to be able to sleep without tossing and turning due to this big belly.
  • The ability to move without grunting or making noises. (BTW, I don't do this on purpose, its just really hard getting up and down these days.)
  • My annoyance with incessant noises. (Clicks, rattles and roaring noises (like the AC) annoy me to no end.)
  • Heat sensitivity. (I think this summer has been brutal for anyone, but being this pregnant in July is particularly cruel.)

Things I will miss about pregnancy:
  • Baby Neal's kicks
  • The excuse to not have to suck in.
  • Comfy, flowy clothes
  • Pulling "the pregnancy card"
  • "Eating for two" excuse. (Although I've gained minimal weight during this pregnancy, it's easier to get away with having ice cream at odd hours due to my current condition.)
  • Taking naps in the middle of the day because "I feel like it."
  • Gifts randomly showing up at my front door (people love buying baby stuff it seems! And I'm grateful for them!)
  • Buy One, Get One Free yogurt from Sweet CeCe's
  • The excuse about being so tired that I don't have to work out.
I'll probably add to this list, but these are the major things that come to mind.
Oh! My next blog will include completed nursery pics. So stay tuned!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What a wonderful world

Thinking about the arrival of Baby Neal brings alot of different feelings. I feel overwhelmed with joy and excitment, but with that also comes some anxiety of how much our lives are about to change - in all ways. But even when I think about that, nothing compares to what the baby will go through.

Have you ever thought about what birth is like for the actual baby?

For the last 39 weeks, Baby Neal has been in a dark, warm space. He's fed when he wants, he sleeps at will, it's comfy in there, he can practice acrobatics all day. He has no idea that in a matter of days or weeks that he will be ripped from the only home he's known and brought into a bright world with massive versions of himself staring at him all day. The muffled voices he's heard since conception will now have a face. But he doesnt even know what a face is! And thats one thing I find really facinating about newborns.

Everything I've read says that for the first few weeks, the baby doesnt need rattles and colors and toys. They focus on faces and intently at that. It's just hard to imagine whats going through their little minds. So when I think about our first day with Baby Neal, it probably wont compare to his first experience with us. (Good thing my husband looks like a giant baby in the face, so he'll be in good and like company!)

UPDATE:  We had another appointment yesterday morning that included an ultrasound. The ultrasound shows that everything is normal and seemingly healthy. Baby Neal, once again, proved to be camera shy and kept his little hand balled up over his face, so we couldnt get a good profile picture. He's estimated to be about 8.1 pounds, give or take half a pound. He's still very active and seems to be comfortable in there. My doctor is still good with an induction date of August 8th but we're hoping he makes his own way out before then! The actual due date (7/30) is fast approaching, but I'm keeping faith that he'll come with the time is right. :)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I wonder....

One of the biggest things on my mind (aside from the fear of the unknown with my impending labor and delivery) is what this little baby boy will look like. Especially in the last few months it has consumed my mind on a daily basis.

Will he look just like his daddy, or his mom? Or will he be a perfect mix?
Will he have my brown eyes or will Neal's baby blues win out? (My vote is for big blue eyes!)
My husband was born a red head (on St. Patrick's Day no less.) Will Baby Neal be a ginger too?
Just some of many questions....

I know he'll be beautiful, no matter what, but I cant help but wonder what this little life we've created together will look like.
I've never "seen" him. I haven't heard his cries. I'm not even sure how big he is. But I love him already. It's a feeling I cant describe. I've already gotten to know this little baby over the last 38.5 weeks through his little jabs of love (I hope!) and all the fun and not so fun things he's put me through. Its so weird to think that in a matter of days or weeks that I'll finally be able to put a face with this little baby I've been sharing my body and life with for these last 9 months.

I'm anxiously and eagerly awaiting Baby Neal Michael's arrival. I think the three of us have no idea what to expect of each other, but I can tell you this... he is totally loved already and there's alot more where that came from!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Baby Neal update

For those I haven't talked to, we had another OB appointment on Monday. Unfortunately there was no change in a week's time - I'm still only 1 centimeter dilated. My doctor was hoping for a little more difference, and so she's scheduled an ultrasound for this upcoming Monday to make get a fetal weight estimate. My doctor said they can tell his weight within a few ounces. She wants to do it to find out his size and make sure he's not too big. I may have mentioned in my last blog that just in case, an induction date of August 8th has been set. However if the ultrasound shows that he's already big enough, they wont let me wait that long. I'm just excited to see Baby Neal again and to get some updated ultrasound pictures for his baby book. So you wont hear me complaining about see him again! :)

I can feel differences in my body already. He's dropped lower and so that's put a lot of added pressure in my lower back. And Sleep? Ooooh, sleep. I miss you. I think this is nature's way of preparing me for a newborn. Apparently babies don't let you sleep through the night either, so why not start now? Also, in the last few days, my adorable son has felt it necessary to revert back to 1st and 2nd trimester activities including nausea and vomiting. Yes, I know, fun stuff.

In the last few weeks, people have been asking me if I hate pregnancy yet. A week ago, that was a very odd question to me because I had grown perfectly content with my pregnant body. Now a week has passed and in that time we've had some awesome Tennessee heat advisories and that has radically changed my perspective on how agreeable pregnancy is with me.

Ask me that question now. Want to guess my answer?
Let's just say, I'm getting anxious to meet baby Neal....