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33 Weeks

The baby shower and our flooding incident have gotten me so behind. But regardless of the status of our house, baby Britton is still on her way, so I need to get it together!

How far along? 33 weeks and 6 days
Total weight gain: 24 pounds. I don't even want to talk about it.
Maternity clothes: Pretty much all the time. My belly has gotten so much bigger these last few weeks!
Sleep: Fleeting. Between multiple bathroom trips each night and Britton doing the conga line around 4:30 each morning, I am quickly learn how to function on less and less sleep.
Best moment this week: Putting the car seat bases in our cars. We can take our baby home from the hospital when the time comes. Yay!
Miss anything? Sub sandwiches. My ribs not hurting. Actually being able to get off of the couch without feeling like a beached whale.
Movement: I feel tiny baby body parts pretty consistently now. Landon and I like to guess what it is we're feeling--is that an elbow or a knee?
Food cravings: Salads. Lots and lots of salad. And fruit. I've wanted watermelon for months now, and Landon found me one at Publix. It was $6, but worth every penny. I ate the entire thing in two days!
Anything making you queasy or sick?  Heartburn is still in full swing, so taking my medicine is a must if I don't want to feel horrible. Citrus, chocolate and tomatoes are particularly bad triggers. 
Gender: Girl! Her name is Britton.
Labor signs: Still having those Braxton-Hicks. I'm using them to practice my Hypnobabies birthing method.

Symptoms: It's pretty obvious that I'm pregnant now--the belly definitely gives it away. 
Belly button in or out? It's still hanging on as an innie. But I think that fight may be settled anytime now.
Wedding rings on or off? On. The swelling comes and go, but isn't ever bad enough for me to be uncomfortable yet.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, tempered with horror that my house still isn't livable yet (and probably won't be for several more weeks). 
Looking forward to: Finishing up with school, having our second baby shower, meeting my little girl.

Disaster!: Or, This Couldn't Come at a Worse Time

I've been quiet the last week or so.

There are two reasons for this:
1) I've had a lot going on. We're going through a new members' class at church, we had our first baby shower last weekend, and I'm trying to get through everything necessary right here at the end of the school year.

2) Our house in basically uninhabitable.

Let me explain.

Almost two weeks ago, I was home with an atrocious cold. I slept the majority of the day because I felt so bad, but woke up around 4:30 when my sister brought me a milkshake as a pick-me-up. She and I chatted as I finished my shake until 4:50. To her, nothing looked out of the ordinary.

I went back to sleep after she left at 4:50 until Landon arrived home around 5:30 or so. He came bursting into our bedroom, asking me where all the water came from. In my cold-induced state, I had no clue what he was talking about until I realized I could hear water squishing in the carpet every time he took a step.


Marooned in the bed because of the water, I watched as Landon took our shop-vac and got up as much of the standing water as possible. Neither of us had any idea at this point how the carpet had gotten completely soaked all the way from the top of the stairs into our room and halfway down the hall to the nursery.

For the next hour or so, we did our best to clean up the water with towels and then attempted to dry everything with our big portable fan.

Downstairs, below the water, the sheetrock had started to sag in a few places, so Landon stabbed the ceiling to release the water. After that, the ceiling looked better, so we went to bed, hoping that our efforts to dry everything out would be successful. We also made plans to call in a water removal service the next morning to get whatever moisture remained.

When we went to sleep, the house looked normal, albeit a little damp.

When we came downstairs the next morning, the den looked like this:

At some point in the night, the sheetrock had weakened and an entire 12x8 piece had succumbed to gravity. Luckily, we'd moved the desk out from under that part of the ceiling because we were afraid of a water leakage in the night, but we didn't move it far enough and the sheetrock smushed my hard drive with all of my backed-up pictures, our two bookcases and the dog's cage.
Luckily, I think I can get the pictures off of the hard drive, and the books on the shelves are okay. Phoebe, though tramatized, is okay as well.
Our house, however, is not. Apparently, the damage was caused by a surge of water in our washing machine; a valve that should have stopped it broke in the process, which allowed the water to leak out everywhere unchecked. The washing machine wasn't in use when any of this happened, so we may have to replace our (probably faulty) washer, too.
Because of the damage, all of the carpet upstairs and the hardwoods downstairs are going to be removed. To accomplish this, the furniture is pushed all over the place, and our house is basically uninhabitable right now. Thankfully, my mom and dad have welcomed us back over to their house, which is so much more convenient than living in a hotel for weeks at a time.
The insurance company is taking FOREVER to process our claim, which means that almost two weeks into this mess, we still don't have the go-ahead to hire the contractor. We'll be with my parents at least until the end of April, and that's if the insurance claim goes through today, and the contractors can come out tomorrow, and they work super fast this week and next. More likely, we're looking at two to three weeks before the mess is undone.
As long as I can bring my baby home from the hospital to her own nursery (that we ALMOST had finished before this!!), I will be a happy camper. Now, to see what the next few weeks hold...

Baby Shower!

This past weekend, I had my first baby shower in Florence, South Carolina. So many family members came from both mine and Landon's families--Britton is so loved already.

My sister and my mom hosted the party at our favorite BBQ place in Florence (Cain's on Pamplico Highway), and it was so much fun. It was relaxed, everyone was chatty, and the food was great. Just the recipe for a wonderful shower!

My sister is a wonderful baker, and made the most delicious cake for the party: my favorite, which is wedding cake (i.e. pound cake) and wedding cake icing (i.e. not the low fat stuff). We're using Skip Hop Treetop Friends bedding for Britton's nursery, and the invitations matched the bedding. Amber copied the owl from the invite/ bedding to put on the cake...AND she free-handed all of the lettering! So impressed!

The parents-to-be. My belly is getting bigger by the day!

Our Skip Hop-themed diaper cake and presents.

Amber (my sister) also got super crafty on the diaper cake. The diapers are surrounded by receiving blankets (also owl patterned, of course) and then decorated with miniature versions of Johnson and Johnson baby bath supplies. The topper is a Skip Hop baby toy (Amber added the little bow to make it more girly!). 

Landon and I had a fantastic time with our families, and we received so many thoughtful, sweet gifts. One more baby shower to go in May (hosted by Landon's siblings), and then the next big thing on the calendar will be baby Britton's arrival!

30 Weeks

Another week has come and gone, and I'm seven days closer to meeting my daughter!

How far along? 30 weeks and 6 days
Total weight gain:  20 pounds. I'm basically avoiding the scale at this point, as the numbers are just terrifying.
Maternity clothes: I can still get away with any stretchy waistband pant or skirt, but maternity shirts are a must have. Since I can't go shopping for new clothes (or won't--I'm too close to the end to buy new maternity stuff), I've focused my attention on new sandals for the gorgeous spring weather.
Sleep: Generally, better. I've had a cold the last few days, so that's made me need a few more naps here and there.
Best moment this week: Spending an afternoon getting pampered with Landon. We got pedicures (no nail polish for Landon) with hot stone massage, then went out to eat, and followed that up with HUGE ice creams for dessert. I am so excited to meet Britton, but I will miss the spontaneous dates with Landon!
Miss anything? Bending over without hurting, being able to sleep through the night without having to get up and go to the bathroom, buying regular clothes!
Movement:  All the time! I'm not exactly sure what she's doing in there, but the tango, cross-country running practice, and martial arts are all strong possibilities.
Food cravings:  Nothing recently. I've eaten pretty much anything that people put in front of me.
Anything making you queasy or sick?  Nothing, as long as I remember to take my heartburn medicine!
Gender: Girl! Her name is Britton.
Labor signs: Nothing yet--only a few more weeks, and Britton can make her debut whenever she gets good and ready. Hang in there, baby girl!

Symptoms: the need to buy increasing amounts of baby clothes, heartburn, having to be hauled out of soft chairs (like the couch or papasan)
Belly button in or out? It is sooo close to being out. Half of it looks out while the other is still clearly in. Weird.
Wedding rings on or off? On, but I can tell there's some swelling. Eek.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy. Happy and excited.
Looking forward to: My first baby shower is this weekend! Hooray!

28 Weeks

I took pictures of my 24th week, but never got around to posting them (thanks, norovirus). With the hospital stay during my 25th week, the subsequent recovery during my 26th week, and then trying to get my life back together last week, I didn't have much time to take pictures. However, I'm feeling human again, so it's time to get back into the swing of things...and that includes my weekly updates!

How far along? 28 weeks and 2 days
Total weight gain:  14 pounds.
Maternity clothes: It depends. I love my maternity pants and shorts, but I can still fit in any of my pants or skirts that have drawstrings or elastic waists. My empire waist pre-pregnancy dresses are still in heavy rotation. As for tops, I have no chose but to wear my maternity shirts because my regular tops (even the stretchy ones) aren't long enough to fit over this belly!
Sleep: It's odd--I actually feel peppier now than before I went into the hospital. So far, the third trimester is treating me well, and I no longer have to take a nap every single day.
Best moment this week: Making some serious progress on the nursery. More to come on that as we really finish up.
Miss anything? Cold sub sandwiches, buying cute new shorts for spring (the maternity shorts are just sooo boring), and having a wide range of movement. I also miss being able to buckle my sandals--Landon has to do it for me, and I feel like a three-year-old!
Movement:  Definitely, though it's changed over the last week or so. She used to give me these little jabs and punches, and I couldn't feel her moving from place to place. Now, I can feel as she slides up and down, and the kicks and punches are getting much more substantial. When she's really going, I can watch her move my stomach from side to side, which is a little unnerving.
Food cravings:  After being sick with the stomach flu and being nauseous during the recovery period, any food looks good to me right now.
Anything making you queasy or sick?  Heartburn has replaced the queasiness, so I have to take my Tums and/or Pepcid to be able to enjoy spicy foods, chocolate, tomato-based dishes, and citrus.
Gender: Girl! Her name is Britton.
Labor signs: I had a few Braxton-Hicks contractions in the hospital due to the dehydration, but other than that, no labor signs. Hopefully, Britton is happy in there and will cook for at least another ten or so weeks.

Symptoms: Heartburn, big belly, the beginnings of the pregnancy waddle
Belly button in or out? Just barely in. It looks so weird right now that the doctor in the emergency room asked me if the nurse had done some sort of procedure on it. Nope, I'm just pregnant with an indecisive belly button.
Wedding rings on or off? On. Luckily, I haven't had any issues with pregnancy swelling yet.
Happy or moody most of the time:  Happy, definitely. I feel like my moods have really evened out lately, which we're all happy about.
Looking forward to: My baby shower in April. My mom and sister found invites that match Britton's bedding, and I found a beautiful new dress to wear. So excited!

My Unexpected Tour of the Maternity Ward, Part II

Check out Part I here.

After being violently ill with a horrible stomach bug for over twelve hours and being admitted to the hospital for a day, I thought I was on my way to recovery. I'd been given massive amounts of fluids to re-hydrate me after my bout with norovirus, but my journey to wellness was nowhere in sight.

All of those fluids caused my electrolytes to get out of whack, which meant that early, early on Friday morning, my blood pressure bottomed out around 80/30. I don't remember much about that part of my hospital stay, other than I have never felt so cold, and that I was shaking so badly that I couldn't hold onto anything. 

Friday morning is mostly lost to me, which is probably a good thing based on what my husband and family have told me. The doctors and nurses were worried about Britton, but she was a champ throughout the entire process, and never showed any issues with her heart rate or fetal movement.

In an effort to get my blood pressure back up, and my electrolytes stable, I was started on magnesium and potassium drips. Those things HURT so badly going into my IV--I felt as if my entire arm was on fire. The nurses had to cut the drip dosage way down because I was in so much pain. The infusions lasted hours and hours, but I didn't care as long as my arm wasn't burning. 

Then, Saturday night, I began to get super uncomfortable--not because I was tired of being in bed, or because of the IV, but because I felt like I couldn't breathe as easily and I was having trouble moving around. My mom kept saying that I looked as if I were already full term suddenly. We figured it was because I'd lost weight throughout the entire ordeal and that my stomach looked larger as a result. Sleeping that last night in the hospital was horrid because I couldn't get comfortable and I felt so big. 

I was so happy to go home Saturday afternoon after over fifty hours in the hospital. The first thing I did when I went home was to weigh since all of the staff told me not to be alarmed if I'd lost weight. 

In reality, I had gained ten pounds since I'd last weighed on Monday. All of those electrolytes had built up in my system and caused my blood pressure to stabilize, but they hadn't gone away like they were supposed to. And the worse thing was that I continued to retain fluids that Saturday night. I cried and cried because I couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did, and all I wanted to do at that point was go to sleep in my own bed. That wasn't happening because I could hardly breathe when I laid down, so I dozed on and off sitting straight up in our papasan chair. 

It also scared me because I could barely feel Britton under all of that weight, and I didn't want something to happen to either of us this late in the game, especially considering everything else we'd been though. 

As of this morning, all of the weight is gone, and I'm definitely on the mend. I saw the doctor yesterday, and she reconfirmed that Britton and I are progressing well after our ordeal. I'm cleared for work again on Friday, and I'm excited to rejoin the land of the living as I get my strength back.

Here's to hoping that all of you stay healthy! 

My Unexpected Tour of the Maternity Ward, Part I

I've been AWOL around here lately. We're starting our fourth quarter at school, I'm trying to get motivated to finish all of the things I need to do before the baby arrives, and life just wears me out these days.

I felt bad about letting my blog languish. I'd even gotten Landon to take my pictures so I could do another weekly pregnancy update (which clearly shows my commitment to the cause).

But then last Wednesday happened. I got up, went to school and taught as usual. I was a little tired when I got home, so I laid down for about an hour before Landon got off work. He'd gotten some great news at work, so we got ready and ate at our favorite local Italian place. After dinner, we went shopping for a few things, came back to the house, and had a quiet evening.

About 8 o'clock on Wednesday, I told Landon that I didn't feel well, and that I was going to bed early. As soon as I changed into my pajamas, my stomach started cramping horribly, and just as suddenly, I had to throw up. I'm seriously allergic to shellfish, and for a moment, I wondered if I had somehow accidentally gotten some shrimp or crab in my pasta dish from that night.

But usually, when I get allergy-related food poisoning, I barf and immediately feel better. This stomach thing was brutal. For the next six hours, I continued to be violently sick, with increasingly short intervals between each bout. At 2 AM on Thursday morning, I was so exhausted I could hardly see straight, and Landon insisted that we go to the emergency room.

I figured we'd go, get some fluids pumped into me, and get sent home. Oh, how wrong I was. The ER doctor took one look at my pregnant self and immediately recommended that I be admitted to the hospital because I'd gotten ahold of the superbug norovirus that's going around. By 5:30 Thursday morning, I'd been hooked up to an IV and had been wheeled on a gurney up to labor and delivery so that the maternity ward nurses could keep a better watch on me.

When someone who's pregnant gets that dehydrated, there's always the chance of pre-term labor, and my doctor didn't want any part of that, so I was given fluids. LOTS and LOTS of fluids.

The good news? I was working on being re-hydrated.

The bad news? I had no clue what was coming.

Check out part II tomorrow...