Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elf Yourself

I couldn't help myself... this video cracks me up - gotta love Carter break dancing! Elf Yourself

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

ABCs of Me

First of all... worst blogger of the year award definitely goes to me. I'm sorry to all my friends and family who check back often for updates but life has definitely taken over! Quick updates - Carter is now 7 months old, has 2 teeth (bottom middle - adorable!), sits on his own, and crawled for the first time this week. Life is FLYING by and I haven't even had a moment to share all of that with you, so I'm sorry.

I find that I only have 45-90 minutes at a time of "free time" (Carter's naps!) so I am going to use this chunk to blog today :)

I saw this cute list of ABC's on my bff's blog here and thought it'd be fun to do. So here goes some random/fun things about me from A-Z...

A. Anniversary celebrations - Brian and I love to celebrate our wedding anniversary (3-8-08). For our one year we went to The Biltmore in Asheville. For our 1.5 year (we got excited haha) we went to Punta Cana! For our 2 year, we stayed in town (because our wallets were still recovering from Punta Cana) and had a fancy steak dinner out on the town. For our 3 year, I was 8 months preggers so we laid low on the travel but Brian got me some AMAZING boots and cooked me a delicious dinner at home :) Our four year is coming up, what shall we do???
Punta Cana

B. Brian - my husband, my best friend, my everything. I couldn't love him more!

C. Chores that you hate - hmmm all of them? I hate dusting b/c it makes me sneeze. I hate cleaning toilets just because they are toilets. I'll stop at those two.

D. Dog - our one year old (almost 2 year old!) Puggle puppy named Penny. She sleeps in our bed, don't judge.

E. Essential start to your day - apple juice, The Today Show, breakfast (how do some people skip this meal!?!?!), and a kiss from hubs and baby

F. Favorite TV show(s) - King of Queens, Friends (I am Monica to a T!), Entourage, Sex & City, TMZ, How I Met Your Mother, Big Love, Weeds, Modern Family, United States of Tara... do I have time to watch all of these? Definitely not.

G. Gold or Silver? - Hmmm, that's a toss up and it changes daily. But gold for the moment.

H. Height - I swear it changes each time. I'm either 5'5" or 5'5 1/2"

I. Instruments you play - Piano for a few years as a child and flute for about 3 weeks. I had to quit the flute because it made me dizzy to keep exhaling and blowing air haha

J. Jif PB - I put it on everything: celery, bagels, apples, bananas, sandwiches, Vanilla Wafers, etc. You name it, I put PB on it.

K. Kids - Carter is our only one for now :) If we could afford it and I wouldn't go insane, I would want to be like the Duggars and have 20 kids!

L. Live - I grew up in the same house with my family in Roswell my whole life. Obviously now that I am married I live with Brian and Carter and Penny now... but we are still in Roswell :)

M. Mom - I am very close to my mom. I look like her and act like her. She lives 2 minutes away. Love her!

N. Nuts - I pretend I am allergic to any and all (cashews, almonds, etc.) just because I dislike them so.

O. Overnight hospital stays - only when I had my c-section and I was there for FOUR days. MIZ!

P. Pinterest - I am addicted.

Q. Quesadillas - I order the same thing at all Mexican restaurants - chicken and cheese quesadillas... no peppers, no onions. Just chicken and cheese. Nothing else on the plate (no sour cream, no guacamole, etc.) b/c I don't want anything touching my child-like quesadilla. Yes, I eat like a child.

R. Right or left handed - Righty

S. Siblings - I have one older sister, Deborah. She's a high school counselor and MADE to do that! We are POLAR opposites and yet she was my maid of honor and is one of my best friends :)

T. TMZ - it's how I keep up on current events in the world ;)

U. Ultrasound - I definitely recommend to all my friends to get a 3-D ultrasound done of your baby. Coolest thing ever!

V. Vegetable I hate - parsnips... made them for Carter (trying to be a good mom and let him try new things!) and I took a taste... OH... MY... GOSH. What are those things? YUCK!

W. Water - I have it with me at ALL times and drink ungodly amounts of it!

X. eXercise - yikes I need more of it!

Y. You're does not = Your... biggest pet peeve!

Z. ZTA - my college sorority... ZLAM!

Phew that was exhausting and fun! It only took me 30 minutes holla! Does anyone have the same facts as me? I'd love to see your ABC lists!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Life is SOOO different now...

Well apparently I thought I'd have all the time in the world to be blogging, posting pictures, eating bon bons, and watching soap operas being a mom... I was wrong. My life is SO busy in SUCH a different way. I went from working 9 hour days, running errands, ironing clothes, making dinners, going out with friends to movies, cleaning the house, working out at the gym, fun vacations with Brian to now only having 1-2 hours at a time to get anything done (while Carter naps). And let's be honest, when Carter does decide to nap, the last thing I want to do is exercise or blog haha. I'd rather take a nap myself take a much needed shower, or eat a quick snack. I barely have time to check emails these days. BUT I will say with 100% certainty, I have never been happier. I love my new life.

Loving Carter is a completely new kind of love. I am head over heels in love with Brian and he is my everything. But Carter is a whole new bag of tricks. A whole new kind of love. I finally feel what my mom and dad feel for me and my sister. I finally feel what all my other mom friends feel. It's fantastic!

Carter is 5 months old today. That blows my mind. Time has completely flown by. But I can say that Brian and I have relished in every single moment. We took 187 photos of his first bites of cereal. That is crazy. We take Carter and Penny for a walk together as a family every single night. Carter sits in his bouncy seat while Brian and I eat dinner at the kitchen table every night. We feed Carter his last meal of the night in the nursery together - while one of his gives him his bottle, the other is reading a night time story. We say our prayers together then put our little man to bed. Carter and I have lots of fun during the day when it's just us, too. We go to a mommy & me playgroup with 4-8 other babies and mommies a few times a month - these are some moms that I met while doing prenatal yoga. Carter and I go to a story & song playgroup at the library once a week. We run errands all over town together (usually only having time to run one errand at a time haha). We splash around in the baby pool on our back porch. We go for a morning walk with Penny in our neighborhood. The list goes on. I am soaking up every precious moment.

Carter is doing great. He has a WONDERFUL personality. Brian can make him laugh SO hard just by making silly faces or noises. Carter doesn't cry too much and when he does it's very obvious why - "I'm hot", "I'm tired", or "Don't change my diaper" are the usual reasons. He is doing SO well with sleep training and now sleeps 8 hours solid at night. I realize this may not be as wonderful as other babies that naturally sleep 10-12 hours from the day came home from the hospital haha. But Carter has come a LONG way and to be sleeping 8 hours solid is pure Heaven on Earth!

Alright, photo time...
Lydie came to meet Carter when he was just a few weeks old :)
My parents hosted a Sip n See when Carter was one month old for all my friends and family to meet our little guy. This is a pic with my teacher friends from work :)
I'm telling you, Brian can make Carter laugh like no other!
We took Carter to Santa Rosa Beach with my family when he was just 6 weeks old
our little family of 3
his first beach experience
dinner out as a family - we took turns holding Carter throughout the meal
Carter's first dip in the pool :)
meeting Aunt Chelly
meeting Aunt Emmy :)
tummy time with William, our bff

our 3 month photo shoot
me and my little 3 month old boy :)
Mary Catherine came to meet Mr. Carter :)
playdate with Everett (2.5 weeks older) and William (12 days younger)
4 months old
Happy Father's Day!
Carter LOVES bath time!
Uncle Marcus came to meet Mr. Carter & brought him this adorable outfit!
4.5 months old
eating rice cereal for the first time & loving it!
CiCi made us this adorable outfit
5 months old

Monday, May 30, 2011

How is our baby boy already 7 weeks old?

Time has FLOWN by. Carter is already 7 weeks old and I am having a hard time coming to grips with that. Some days have crept by slowly when I am watching the clock tick and it reaches 6pm and I am asking myself, "Where is Daddy? Hurry home!" But then most of the time, I am relishing in every sweet moment with my baby boy.

Brian and I are baffled that Carter is already 7 weeks old. It is just wild. We have experienced so much life and love in these past few weeks. I have been a bad blogger, so I will try to catch everyone up. The first few weeks of recovery for me were VERY difficult. Having the last minute c-section was really rough. Brian stepped in and took COMPLETE control. He had to tend to not only me but to Carter, too. I had absolutely no ab muscles (still don't, let's be honest!) and Brian had to lower me and lift me off the bed at night. Along with not being able to take care of my own self, I had a VERY difficult time just sitting there knowing that I couldn't help Carter either. I couldn't lift Carter out of his crib or bend over to change his diaper or burp him because his legs would hit my stomach and could only nurse in certain positions. It was heart wrenching. BUT having the most wonderful husband in the world definitely made it easier and I was able to fall in love with Brian in a whole new way. I LOVED watching him take complete care of Carter - changing diapers, burping, swaddling, rocking, singing, and bathing. I am forever grateful that Brian was able to take 2 weeks paternity leave and be at home with us.

The day Brian went back to work was VERY tough and as you can imagine I cried. I still wasn't "up to par" in my own personal recovery so my wonderful mom, who Carter will call CiCi, stepped in. CiCi and I have spent A LOT of qt together these past few weeks as we both tried to tackle the day "shifts" until Brian got home. CiCi has been a HUGE help with cleaning, laundry, dishes, making meals, letting me nap in between feedings, and giving Carter some special grandma love :) I am trying to "wean" off CiCi and am now spending most of each day alone with Carter. I still need her help for a few hours each day so I can shower and nap (gotta love my once daily nap!!).
CiCi is VERY in love with her grandbaby
Papa and Carter wearing matching shirts
Aunt Deb and Carter
Mimi was thrilled to be in town for the birth and actually won the "bet" we had and chose April 7 as his due date!

Carter is TOTALLY the love of our lives. He is beautiful and perfect and we find ourselves staring at his precious face all the time. We discovered that he has reflux :( and is now on Prevacid every day. The meds as well as propping up his mattress and holding him upright after each feeding really seem to help. He has his nights and days figured out and ON AVERAGE will sleep from 930p-7a and only waking once to eat. Obviously it'd be much nicer for him to not wake at all to eat, but I'm not complaining at all!! Anything is better than those 1 hour "naps" we used to get at night! At our last doctor appointment, Carter weighed in a 9 pounds 14 ounces and was at the 50th percentile. He is a long and lean boy with Brian's body type for sure. We have also been taking Carter to see Dr. Salminen (my spine doctor/chiropractor who practices NUCCA) and he has been adjusting Carter. Dr. Salminen diagnosed Carter with torticollis from the c-section but with just two adjustments Carter is "perfect" now :)
wearing a cute little onesie
I am SO in love :)Penny is VERY protective of her baby brother

We have had SO many wonderful friends and family over to the house to visit and meet Carter. I will put pics of all our visitors in another post. Carter also has quite a few friends his age nearby - Abigail (born in early March), Everett (born in late March), and William (born in late April). We have had SO much fun hanging out with his baby friends and I have certainly enjoyed the "mommy talk" with each of those moms. I feel like I bore my friends who don't have kids to death with all the baby talk. I can attest to that because when I wasn't a mom and would have to hear all about my friend's child's sleep schedule or eating habits I was a bit bored. So it is quite nice to have a mommy to bounce ideas off of and chat with! Although I will say most of my friends who aren't moms have been WONDERFUL and have crocheted blankets and made little onesies and brought over meals and loved on Carter. Obviously, I have fabulous friends!!!

Looking back on these past 7 weeks, I am shocked that we have made it this far. Carter is a WONDERFUL baby and we have been truly blessed to have been given a healthy, happy boy. I will try to blog better from here on out, but just bear with me, I'm a new mom :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Newborn Photo Session

We had a WONDERFUL 4 hour long newborn photo session with Elizabeth Smith, who owns Libbie Wicket. She did a fabulous job and Carter was on (semi) good behavior. We were immensely impressed with the images she captured and had a very hard time deciding which images to purchase. Here is a link to Elizabeth's blog about us and our photo shoot :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Carter Matthew Hake has arrived :)

Reader beware: This is a LONG and detailed blog entry. Read at your own risk.

We went in for our regular 39 week appointment on Wednesday, April 6 with Dixie (one of our favorite midwives) at 11:20am. I had still been having the random contractions off and on but measured at only 1cm and 0% effaced. Brian, Dixie and I had a long discussion about our options and how I was feeling. Dixie said that "my emotional state trumped all" and if I was ready, then let's do it. So we scheduled my induction to begin that night. Brian and I were SUPER excited and of course very anxious. We were sent home and told that Northside Hospital would call us when they were ready for us to check in.

We got a phone call from Northside at 7:30pm and they told us to arrive at 9:00pm. Brian and I finished packing up our last minute items, tidied up the house, grabbed some Chick Fil A for dinner and drove to the hospital. It was hard to believe that it was actually going to happen!

We got admitted to our room A1 at 10:00pm and began filling out stacks and stacks of paperwork. I got my IV put in and let me just say this may have been one of the worst parts of the whole experience. It took 2 different nurses, 45 minutes, and 3 different "stabs" to get the IV in. Of course, I almost passed out and began to cry. Christine, another midwife that some of my fellow pregnant friends (Allie and Mandy) really like, came to our room and checked me. Still only 1 cm dilated. Christine inserted the Cervadil around 12midnight. Brian and I were left alone in our room from 12midnight to 4:00am to try and get some rest. I was hooked up to the machines that showed my contractions and Carter's heartrate. I was having contractions that were VERY random but were on average about 5 minutes apart. Some of my contractions lasted 8-9 minutes long. Please imagine. Yikes. I slept in the hospital bed (and Brian on the "sofa") from 12-1:30am and also did a lot of praying. I had to keep waking Brian up to take me potty and help me unplug from the machines. By 1:30am there was no more hope of sleeping for me (sweet Brian kept on snoozing), so I watched tv and played on my phone. At 4:30am, I was having some low back/buttock pain so the nurse gave me a shot of pain meds. At this point, I was told I only had 30 more minutes to eat "my last meal" so I sent Brian to get me a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit from McDonald's. Yum.

It is now, of course, Thursday April 7. My nurse, LaShonda (who we really liked!) came in at 6:05am to pull out my Cervadil and gave me the sad news that I had no change in dilation or effacement. Frustrating!

Every 12 hours, we got a new nurse. Goodbye LaShonda. Hello Kathy B.

The nurse put in the Pitocin drip at 7:00am and a blood pressure cuff on my arm that would automatically take my BP every 15 minutes (quite annoying). I was told no more eating and only clear liquids. If you know me, you know that no eating is a tough thing. #1 I love food. #2 I am hypoglycemic and need to eat every 3 hours.

Christine, the midwife, came back at 8:00am to check me. After being on the Pitocin for only 1 hour, I was still only 1 cm dilated but now 70% effaced. Brian and I got really excited at this point and started having some hope! Maybe my early morning prayers had worked!! Christine told me at this point no more liquids and I can only have ice chips! AHHHHH

By 8:30am, my contractions were now 1-4 minutes apart and getting more painful. At 10:00am Christine came back and gave me Fentanyl (pain med) in my IV to help me relax and then proceeded to break my water. LOTS of water. This didn't hurt as bad as I was expecting, just more pressure. My contractions started to get MUCH more intense after my water broke.

My mom arrived at 8:45am and my dad arrived at 10:15am. I was happy to see them and have their love and support. I didn't let them stay in the room for long - too much going on, but I was glad to have them close by in the waiting room.

I got checked again by Christine at 10:30am and was now 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. WAHOO! Brian and I got even more excited. All of this stuff (waters being broken, Pitocin drip, Cervadil over night, etc) was working!!

30 minutes later, the nurse gave me another dose of Fentanyl (to calm my anxiousness) and then inserted the epidural with the help of Dr. Meredith. Not gonna lie, the epidural was a bit painful. I started to cry as I leaned over the side of the hospital bed and Brian and the nurse had to hold me down so I wouldn't jump. Brian did a WONDERFUL job of calming me down. He rubbed my shoulders and scratched my head and whispered sweet words to me. Again, I would die without him.

It only took about 15 minutes for the epidural to kick in. By 11:35am I was numb and started to fall asleep. Thank God! The contractions I was feeling and struggling through before now felt like light pressure. Thank you God for drugs like that!

I woke up from my nap at 1:30pm. Christine (midwife) and Kathy (nurse) were in the room checking on me and Carter's heart rate began to drop quickly. It dropped down to 60bpm. Brian watched as Christine and Kathy begin frantically flipping me from side to side (as I was numb and couldn't move myself) trying to get a good read on Carter's heartbeat. I was given an oxygen mask and looked over at Brian's face and he was white as a ghost. I started to cry and Brian began to cry. Thankfully, after a few scary minutes, Carter began to recover and his heartrate came back up. SUPER scary moment. Again, I am so glad Brian was in the room with me at that moment.

Kathy put in my catheter and Christine checked me again. I had reached 4cm and 90% effacement and a -1 station. WAHOO!! So even though we had that scary moment with Carter's heartrate, we were headed in the right direction.

Christine came back to the room at 4:00pm and sadly, I was STILL only 4cm and my contractions were still not "regular" enough. Once they stopped the Pitocin, I wasn't having contractions on my own. Also, Carter was "locked in place" but facing the side (ideally, he should be facing my back). What in the world? So Christine recommended I have a C-Section. Brian and I agreed and decided whatever the doctors recommend I should just go with. Of course, we had planned on a vaginal delivery, but I was having such a tough time and Carter was too, we decided a C-Section was the way to go.

30 minutes later a new anesthesiologist named Victoria (loved her) came in and gave me MULTIPLE doses in my epidural while testing me at the same time to see how numb my abdomen was getting. I think she gave me 5 extra doses. Listen, I didn't want to be able to feel a thing! The nurses came in and gave Brian some scrubs to put on over his clothes, shoes, hair and even a face mask. My parents came into the room to get all of our bags and I could tell my mom was freaked out. I couldn't even look at her because I didn't want to get more worked up and scared than I already was. My mom and dad kissed me on my forehead and left. I was wheeled up on my hospital bed to OR Room #2. Brian had to wait out in the hall while they prepped me for surgery. I hated this part because I had to be away from Brian. Christine (midwife), Dr. Jill Henke (a doctor from my OB/GYN practice), the anesthesiologist, and about 5 or 6 other nurses were in the OR with me getting me prepped. It was SO scary being hoisted from the hospital bed to the operating table. I could hear everything they were saying but I couldn't move because of the epidural. The set everything up and draped a sheet in front of my face so I couldn't see anything. Brian was allowed to enter the OR and was told to come sit by the head of the bed and not touch anything. I was freaking out and VIOLENTLY shaking all over my body uncontrollably. Brian, again, did a phenomenal job of calming me down. He didn't show any signs of fear (even though I know he was scared), kept his hand on my shoulder/head/face the entire time, and talked to me in a calm sweet voice. After 5 minutes of VERY intense pressure/pushing/proding that I could feel up in my chest and entire abdomen area, they pulled Carter out. Brian stood up and started snapping pictures of Carter. Brian started crying first, then I of course joined in. Brian wiped away my tears for me. Carter's official birth time was 5:09pm :)

While they stitched me up, the nurses were cleaning Carter. I could feel TONS of pressure as they stitched me up. Gross. They finished cleaning Carter and laid him on my chest for me to kiss him. I loved this part and hated it at the same time. I loved being able to feel him on my chest and kiss him but I hated that I couldn't move my arms and hold him close. Complete torture. The nurses then gave Carter over to Brian to hold and they snapped some pictures of my 2 men together. Brian then followed Carter and a nurse to the recovery room where they weighed, measured, and bathed him. Carter's official birth weight was 8 lbs 4 oz and his height was 21 inches :) They gave him a shot of Vitamin K and Erythromicin for his eyes. I, again, was left alone. I am not a fan of these moments. The doctors finished stitching me up and wheeled me to the recovery room to meet up with Carter and Brian.

The recovery room was total madness. We were surrounded by 6 other moms/babies/dads and separated only by a curtain from each other. So we had the pleasure of hearing all the other babies crying. That was crazy. A few nurses came in to push on my stomach (ouch) and a few other recovery things. They wheeled me in my hospital bed and Brian pushed the bassinet with Carter and we went to our room #191. I was hoisted onto my new hospital bed (where I have been for 3 days now!) and about 3 different nurses started running tests on me (vitals mostly).

It was now 7pm and Michele and Victoria (new nurses) told me I was allowed to have liquids. GLORIOUS! I noshed on ice chips and sipped on water. It was heavenly! Michele and Victoria tried to help me with breastfeeding and pushed on my stomach. Both of which were very painful. They also ran a few tests on Carter.

My parents, my sister Deborah, and Brian's mom came back to the room and took turns holding Carter for the first time. I was VERY out of it but I know that everyone fell in love instantly with Carter!

So even though our labor/delivery turned out completely different than we had hoped for, it was a beautiful story with a perfect ending. And although I am in severe pain with recovery of a C-Section and Brian and I are exhausted beyond belief, we have the most beautiful and wonderful son. We are in love with Carter and are thrilled to have him in our lives now. We have been blessed beyond belief and I know that our lives will completely change. But all for the better.

Welcome to the world Carter Matthew Hake. We love you SO incredibly much!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Carter's Nursery

Well after MANY months of shopping, planning, organizing, dreaming and prepping... we have finally completed Carter's nursery!

Oh and now we can finally officially announce his name - Carter!!! We had been keeping it a secret (most family and friends knew) up until now for many reasons... one it took us a while to decide on a name and two I was getting tired of fellow teachers and their comments. When we were tossing other names back and forth and I would mention some of our top choices to a fellow teacher I would hear comments like, "UGH I had a child with X name last year and he was such a pain," etc. So we decided to keep it hush hush until I was on maternity leave and could be away from all the comments. But we are SO happy with our choice in names :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

38 Weeks & Counting...

So I have hit 38 weeks. And we are counting. It is SUCH a waiting game because it could be any moment now... or it could still be 2 weeks away. We are as ready as we could possibly be. The nursery is complete (I will post pics soon), we have taken all the baby prep classes, we have received everything (at least all of the necessary items!) off our registries, our hospital bags are packed, the hospital route(s) are mapped out, etc. If he came tonight, we'd be ready.

But alas, we have arrived at 38 weeks and still no baby.

We had our ultrasound this morning (to determine the size & position of the baby) and my sweet husband joined me at the appointment. It was a very short appointment. The ultrasound technician was very thorough and was quick to tell us that Baby Hake was definitely head down and in the "right" position. She took some measurements of his head (normal: measuring at 38 weeks), his belly (a bit bigger: measuring at 39 weeks, which if he has been eating what I've been eating it's no suprise haha), my fluid level (normal), his heart rate (149 bpm), and his approximate weight (7 1/2 pounds). We asked her how accurate the weight was and she said "pretty accurate", so if he gains a 1/2 pound each week (which is "normal") between now and delivery, it looks like we'll have an 8 1/2 pound baby on our hands. Not as bad as I thought - I was expecting him to already be 10 pounds! The ultrasound technician informed us that he had definitely dropped and was "very low" and headed in the right direction, so that was nice to hear.

I had originally changed my actual 38 week appointment (because I did NOT want to see Heather, the midwife I don't enjoy) to tomorrow but the ultrasound technician informed me that Dixie (my favorite midwife) could squeeze me in right after the ultrasound. SCORE! So Brian and I got to meet with Dixie :)

Dixie told me that I was still 0 cm dilated and 0% effaced. I, of course, was discouraged and it must've shown on my face. Dixie did a WONDERFUL job of encouraging me but also validating my concerns and pains. Dixie told me how when she was pregnant that she went to the hospital 3 times with false alarms... and she's a midwife! She told me that I WAS indeed having true contractions, they just weren't strong/consistent enough to help me dilate. Brian, Dixie and I discussed the possibilities of induction. Dixie said she won't dilate anyone until 39 weeks, to allow for healthy lung development. So at my next appointment (39 weeks, next week) we will discuss it. Dixie said if I am dilated/effaced then we might schedule an induction for 39 1/2 weeks. If I am still at 0 cm then we might schedule an induction for 40 1/2 weeks. Either way, this baby will be delivered at the latest 41 weeks. THANK GOD! Have I mentioned how much I love Dixie? :)

What have I been doing to pass the time this past week? Well since I am done with work (wahoo!) and don't have deadlines or lesson plans to write or emails from crazy overbearing parents, I have had MUCH less stress in my life. Here is what I have done to occupy my time:
- lunch/hang with friends (Monday: Nine Street Kitchen in Historic Roswell with my mom, Greyson and Harriet. Tuesday: Brio with Anna (my cousin). Wednesday: Nicole (my friend from small group) came over here with her 3 week old precious baby Abigail. Friday: Greyson came over, we ordered pizza and watched "How Do You Know" movie. Saturday: Stacy came over in the AM just to hang)... have I mentioned that I have the BEST friends in the world?!?!
- catching up on tv shows I've been missing (my DVR was getting backed up!)
- propping my feet up (the swelling has gone down A LOT!)
- Skyping with my college bffs
- had a service come out to clean our carpets (hadn't been done in the 2 year we've lived here)
- organized the nursery
- a LOT of online shopping (sorry Brian!)
- cleaned the house (finally got to dusting the upstairs, laundry galore, etc.)
- making lists (who to call on way to hospital, who to invite to Sip and See, double checking list of what to pack for hospital now that we've had a trial run, etc.)
- QT with Penny :) She needs it.
- making "summer goody bags" for my 20 students for when I go back to visit them in May
- playing Words with Friends AND Word Feud... I'm slightly addicted
- walking (more like waddling) around the neighborhood with Brian and Penny

Needless to say, I am keeping quite busy. I am very grateful for all my friends who have been helping to keep me entertained. I am very grateful for my sweet puppy Penny who snuggles me when I feel lonely. I am most grateful for my amazing husband who has listened to me complain about my Fred Flintstone feet, rubbed my achy back with tennis balls, made me delicious dinners (he's in the other room making me pancakes for dinner right now YUM!), refilled my water, helped me clean and organize the nursery, run errands for me on the weekends, and helped me to put on my shoes when I can't reach my feet anymore... all of this after he a hard day of work at the office, too. I love him SO incredibly much!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

37 Week Appointment

Since our "alarm" on Saturday at the hospital, life has been a little crazy here at home. I have continued to have contractions but they are still inconsistent. Each contraction lasts at least one minute, but the frequency is random. Sometimes they are 2 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart, and then I'll go 15 minutes without having one at all. The intensity of each contraction has increased as well and not only am I feeling them in my lower stomach but now it has moved to my low back and bum area as well. I have also had swelling in my hands/ankles for the past few weeks, but my gracious that has increased as well - it is now VERY painful and much more swollen. I am swollen in my ankles, tops of my feet, and fingers. I have been trying to take it easy here at home and sweet Brian has definitely helped me out a lot. I took a relaxing bubble bath, went for a walk in the neighborhood, drinking TONS of water, and have been trying to keep my feet elevated as much as possible. But, as you can imagine, sitting around with my feet propped up all day is quite boring. I have tried to occupy my time by chatting on the phone with friends, reading baby books, shopping online (woopsies!), watching tv, and napping. But I must be honest - if this (contractions, swelling, and boredom) continues for 3 more weeks, I might go crazy.

I had my 37 week appointment yesterday and met with Heather, the midwife at my OB/GYN appointment that is my least favorite. Heather "checked me" and told me that I was still 0cm dilated and not effaced at all (which confuses me because at the hospital on Saturday she told me that my cervix had softened a bit, so is it possible to go BACK?!?!). Heather did say that Baby Hake had indeed dropped and she could tell he was headed down, which was good. Brian and I talked with Heather about our next steps. She informed us to continue doing what we were doing - relax, feet up, drink lots of water, monitor contractions, and wait. BOO. Heather said this routine could continue for days or weeks and I may actually "last" until my due date. Another BOO. She said we would look at inducing later on. BOO.

One piece of good news from our appointment was that my Group B Strep test came back and everything looks good! :)

Brian and I went to the front desk after meeting with Heather and changed our 38 week appointment to another midwife. I don't want to meet with Heather again. I will be going in for an ultrasound (to determine position and size of Baby Hake) next Monday and then going in for my 38 week appointment with Christine (another midwife, who my pregnant friend Allie really likes!) the very next day. I just want to get different opinions and advice. Our 39 week appointment is with Dixie, our ultimate favorite midwife.

Driving home from our appointment yesterday was quite sad. In fact, these past few days have been quite sad. Brian and I are feeling like we keep getting our bubble burst. On Saturday we were excited as we drove to the hospital, thinking "this could be it". We were excited to watch the contractions on the monitor lasting one minute with five minutes in between. But then Heather came in and told us I was 0cm. Yesterday driving to our 37 week appointment, we were excited thinking that since my contractions had continued and increased in intensity here at home that maybe I had dilated a little bit. But then Heather came in and told us I was 0cm still.

I'm trying to stay positive and I realize I am only 20 days away from my due date. And I realize that 20 days sounds like it will fly by, but again when you are propped up on pillows and sitting around bored all day, I am thinking it may creep by. Brian and I have discussed that we are trying to understand God's timing of it all and maybe Baby Hake needs some more time to grow and develop, but patience is not my best trait as most of you know.

Looking back, I have had a WONDERFUL pregnancy! First and second trimester was so great - I felt great, thought I looked pretty cute in maternity clothes, only got sick one time, was on cloud 9 to be pregnant with sweet Brian, and had a lot of fun shopping for baby items. Third trimester has been a bit different. I am trying not to complain TOO much and I feel like, for my personality, I have done a great job of being positive throughout my pregnancy. So just bear with me these next 1-3 weeks as I vent. I am just SO ready to meet Baby Hake. I want to hold him in my arms and not in my belly anymore...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

False Alarm

March 19, 2011 was quite a day. I woke up feeling great. Brian and I made eggs and bacon for breakfast. Brian had to go into work (boo for Saturday work!) and I went to get a haircut. Brian and I met back at home around lunchtime and decided we would go out to lunch and see an early movie. We dropped Penny off at my parents' house and headed toward the mall area. As we were driving, I started to get weird cramps in my low stomach. I ignored them, thinking they were just random and would go away soon. They, of course, did not go away. Within a matter of 20 minutes, the intensity and frequency of these cramps had increased. Brian and I pulled the car over and did a little research to figure out what these cramps were. We discovered that they might be CONTRACTIONS!!

Of course, we panicked. How could I be having contractions when I'm only 36w4d (36 weeks and 4 days) pregnant? I was showing no other symptoms of labor (my water hadn't broken, etc) so we were confused. As the intensity and frequency picked up, we decided to call my OB/GYN just to check in and get their opinion. I spoke with Heather, a midwife, and she said I needed to start timing the contractions and then call her back in an hour. So, starting at 1:15pm, I began timing my contractions.

Of course, we changed our movie/lunch plans, and drove back home so I could be comfortable. We called Heather back around 2:45pm with the "results." On average, I was having a contraction every 5.5 minutes and they were lasting 45 seconds. Heather said we needed to meet her at the hospital. Brian and I calmly grabbed our hospital bags (which you know I have had packed for weeks now!) and drove to the hospital. I had contractions the whole way to the hospital. These contractions were now getting a bit more intense.

Northside Hospital admitted me and gave us a delivery room. I changed into the beautiful hospital gown and was greeted by a Labor/Delivery Nurse. Brian and I filled out a HUGE stack of paperwork, my blood pressure was checked and I was hooked up to two monitors. One monitor would keep track of Baby Hake's heart beat and the other monitor would keep track of my contractions. The monitor was able to pick up contractions in between my contractions. In other words, I was only feeling the super intense ones, whereas I was apparently having small ones in between those as well!

Heather came in and checked me. She said I was effaced a little bit, but not dilated at all. Bummer. She explained all the options and asked a lot of questions. She decided to give me an IV of fluids and monitor me for 2 hours and then reassess the situation. Heather returned to our room after 2 hours had passed and the IV bag had been drained into my system to find that I was still having contractions. She checked me again, but I still wasn't dilated :(

We all discussed the possibilities and Brian/I asked 29340 questions. Heather informed us that labor was near, she just wasn't sure HOW near. I could end up back at the hospital in one day, one week, or three weeks. It's too difficult to predict timing. The Labor/Delivery Nurse came back in the room and gave me a numbing shot of Nubain/Phenegren to help ease the contraction pains and help me to sleep that night.

Brian and I left the hospital around 6:30pm and drove home. We were quite sad that we had gotten that far, only to be sent back home. We talked the whole way home, inbetween me falling asleep from the medicine, about everything that had happened. I was glad to know that I was having true contractions and wasn't making anything up in my head. I was glad to know that I was timing my contractions correctly. We were both happy to know that labor was in the near future, whether it be days or weeks. But we were sad that we would have to return home and now wait it out.

I slept like a ROCK last night and only woke up to rotate to the other side. I didn't have any contractions (or if I did, I was too passed out to feel them) in the night. I got 11 hours of sleep and it was glorious. I woke up this morning very achy and groggy.

I am going to follow "doctor's orders" and take it easy. Thank goodness I am done with work! Heather said I need to rest, drink TONS of water, taking warm baths/showers, go for walks, and continue to monitor my contractions. So, needless to say, you may be hearing the "Good News" any day now or it could be 3 weeks from now. I have my 37 week appointment on Tuesday and will get rechecked (by Heather actually!) and will keep everyone posted.

Last Day of Work :(

I turned in my maternity leave letter to my Principal on February 17th telling her that I would be starting my maternity leave on March 21st. Under FMLA I am allowed to have 12 weeks unpaid leave, but I was only going to be using 10 of those allotted weeks. Of course, my Principal was upset that I was leaving AT ALL and wasn't too terribly nice about the whole situation. In fact, she hasn't been the most pleasant person throughout my entire pregnancy. She is just all "business" and not really a "people person." She informed me that contracts for 2011-2012 would be coming out the very next day and that whatever I put on my contract was legally binding.

So I took my contract home and looked it over with Brian and my family. We had an entire week (Winter Break!) to make a decision. After MUCH thought, prayer and discussion, I turned my contract back into my Principal on February 28th along with a letter of resignation. I was TERRIFIED at how she would respond to it. 36 hours later, my Principal finally approached me and told me that she understood my decision and knew I would be so happy at home with my baby. She also went on to say what a great teacher I have been and how I was born to do this and whenever I decide to return to teaching she would "love to have me back." I, of course, had a total out of body experience. Up until this point, she has never said any words of affirmation to me and has been quite cold. Obviously, God knew that I needed a positive reaction from her and He gave it to me.

I proceeded to tell my 2nd grade team about my decision. We all broke down in tears and all the ladies told me what a great addition to the team I had been that year. They said they were so happy for me that I could stay at home with my baby but they were sad for themselves that I wouldn't be working with them anymore. I can't express enough how much I LOVE my 2nd grade team. They all took me under their wings and showed me the ropes. They spent COUNTLESS hours with me, answering my 1239408124 questions and giving me advice along the way. I have been SO very blessed to have them all by my side this year. They made my first year of teaching so enjoyable. I am going to miss them all VERY much!

My last day of school was March 18, 2011. I had sent out letters to all the parents informing them of my decision a few weeks prior and had gotten numerous emails and letters back from them saying how much they'd all miss me and how I had changed their child's life for the better. I can't tell you how MUCH it all meant to me. I thrive off of words of affirmation (my top love language is physical touch, but words of affirmation is a close second). Leading up until March 18th, the students would draw me pictures with frowny faces and write sweet notes telling me "please don't leave us." So sweet. My last day was great and the kids made it special. The morning routine was business as usual (spelling test, etc). I decided that I would make the afternoon a little more fun though.

We returned from lunch and I called up all the students who had prayer requests to the front of the room. Half the class said they needed to pray that day. So sweet Olivia (one of my students) opened up the prayer and then the kids went down the line, one-by-one, praying for certain things. Some of their requests were:
"Please be with Mrs. Hake and help her to be comfortable."
"Please be with Mr. Brian and help him to be a good dad."
"Please be with the doctors and help them to get the baby out safely."
"Please be with Mrs. Hake and help her to pick a good baby name."
I am always the one to close the prayers, so when it got down to my turn I started to thank God for the beautiful weather and then said, "I want to thank You for each and every student in here. I know that You placed them into my classroom and into my life for a reason..." And then I broke down COMPLETELY. It was the type of cry where you can't catch your breath. Thank goodness my parapro, Lisa, was in the room and she picked up where I left off. Of course, her prayer didn't make matters any better because she started thanking God for ME and all that I had done to change lives. As Lisa was praying, I started to hear sniffles around the room and I knew that some of the other students had started crying, too. After the prayer was over, I pulled myself together and wiped away my tears.

That afternoon was a lot of fun - filled with yummy snacks and fun games. The parents sent in BEAUTIFUL flowers and tons of gifts. The last thing we did was a Compliment Circle. I had each student write their name at the top of a piece of paper and we passed it around. Everyone had to write a compliment about that person on the paper. In the end, we got our own paper back with 20 compliments written. It was very sweet to see what everyone said about others and also to read my own. It is something I will keep forever.

The last thing I did, one minute before the bell rang, was announce Baby Hake's name to the class. They all got COMPLETELY silent (they have been waiting for this moment for months now, SO cute!) and then started a drum roll on their desks. I announced the name (which I will announce to the world later!) and they all cheered SO loudly. You would have thought they all just won the lottery. It was adorable.

I hugged them all goodbye one-by-one and told them that I loved them so very much. I got quite a few emails that night. One mom told me that Emily (one of my students) got out to the car at carpool and bawled the whole way home :(

It is such a great feeling to finally find out what you are supposed to do with your life. I found out this past year once I began teaching. I know that I was created to be a teacher. Although I complain a lot about being tired and being stressed, it is very fulfilling and I am so passionate about it. I had the most wonderful year, surrounded by great co-workers, and blessed with sweet students. I LOVE second grade. Although I am BEYOND thrilled to be a stay at home these next few years with Baby Hake (and other babies to come!), I am excited to one day return to teaching. But for now, I will pack it all away in storage...

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the year:Mrs. Hake's first day of school - I was SO nervous (and apparently pregnant)!
first day of school - all the girls
first day of school - all the boys
first day of school - whole class
100th Day of School with our awesome "100" glasses on :)
Christmas 2010
Botanical Gardens field trip
my 20 angels :)
History Day - my students chose an important person in History to research & then had to dress up as that character to tell a story about themselves