Saturday, October 31, 2009

32 Weeks

Only 8 more to go...that is if I make it to my due date.  I'm consistently measuring 3 weeks bigger than average.  So, I look (and feel!) 35 weeks.  New developments over the past couple weeks:
-Griffin is now 5 lbs., and it SUPER active.  
-I have discovered that Griffin responds to deep in classrooms with male professors.  He just goes crazy during my 3 hour Monday class with Mr. Baarendse and my other 3 hour Monday class with Dr. Gentry.
-He is usually in the perfect position for birth (head down, back curved along the left side of my belly).
-He has officially kicked Oliver in the face :)
-I woke up last Thursday morning with my first stretch marks :(  They are low on my belly, smaller, and pink.  Although it is a tad sad (I thought I might be one of the "lucky" ones to not get stretch marks), I realize it's all for a wonderful cause...So I don't mind the marks that much.  What I DO mind is the PAIN!  They hurt so, so bad...almost like a burn!  Any suggestions are welcome.  They don't hurt as bad now as they did for the first several days; however, it doesn't appear they're going to stop hurting because Griffin (and therefore, my belly) continues to get bigger.
-I am having increasing difficulty walking, standing up, sleeping, name it.  I think my body must be secreting PLENTY of that relaxin hormone that causes your joints, ligaments and bones to soften because I'm feeling plenty of joint, tendon, and ligament pain.  The latest development is that if I'm walking barefoot, I can feel the tendon in my arch stretch/pull.  Ew & ow. 
-I am starting to get excited about going into labor.  I feel as though I've passed the "hump" of fear, and have moved on to the more productive determined attitude.  At this point (and I'm sure I'll increasingly feel this way), I am willing to do whatever it takes to 1.)  finally meet my baby boy  2.)  put an end to the difficulties and pains of the last trimester :)

Updated Timeline

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Semester...

These are the books I am having to read this semester, minus one or two.  Of course, I'm also trying to squeeze in as many books as possible on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, newborn care, babies, being a mom, etc.  On top of this, I cannot seem to stop myself from wanting to get into some non-school-required fiction...but, who has the time?!  The Brothers Karamazov, Gilead, Metamorphosis, and The Oresteia beckon me daily.  Sometimes, I even flirt with a chapter or two.  Oh, I am so looking forward to the days where I will have total reading freedom...Days when I am not so bogged down with required reading that I am unable to do any for leisure/simple enjoyment.  Oliver is an incredibly fast reader, which allows him to handle substantial amounts of leisure reading.  I, on the other hand, am not so speedy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

30 Week Pictures

30 Weeks With My Griffin - Highs & Lows

Only 10 more weeks to go!  People are starting to tell me that I "look like i'm going to have this baby any day now."  Not sure what to do with that.

New developments:  

Griffin is over 3 lbs, and his main jobs these days are 
1. getting fat,
2. developing his brain,
3. hanging out under my right ribs (ouch!), and
4. making a scene practicing all his "tricks":  stretching, hiccuping, and kicking (all of which can now be seen by anyone near me).

As I type this, he is hiccuping away.  I just love my little man.  This pregnancy has truly been one of the greatest times in my life.  What a great blessing I've been given...  I'm so thankful.

That being said, even a relatively "easy" pregnancy like mine has not been all highs; there have certainly been some lows...Some pretty low lows.  Insomnia plagues me.  Last week, I went for 3 consecutive nights without any sleep...any.  On the 3rd day, I just sat on the couch and wept, wondering when I was ever going to sleep again.  When you go without sleep for that long, you start to feel like you're going to lose your mind.  That feeling caused me to have an anxiety attack.  Then, due to lack of sleep, I caught a flu bug.  My back and hips hurt pretty much 100% of the time now, and heartburn continues to rear its ugly little head.  None of these things show any signs of getting better before I get through the next 10 weeks.  

At the end of this next 10 weeks lies my greatest source of anxiety and fear:  the labor/delivery.  I would rather hide this fear and look brave to the outside world...but I really feel like "getting it out there" once and for all will help me to process things better than stewing internally.  I do not know what to expect out of labor.  I cannot imagine how it will feel, how I will respond, what could go wrong, etc. etc.  There are so many unknowns.  Usually, I don't get all worked up over the unknowns in life.  I am typically laid back in that respect, but this is a different ball game.  We have chosen to give birth at Covenant Birth Center with a midwife and no pain medication.  As much as I know and have peace that this is the right decision for Oliver, the baby, and I, I still cannot stop fearing the experience of labor/delivery.  I know many, many, many women have had unmedicated, natural births for thousands of years.  I know they were able to do it and, for many, multiple times in their lives.  As much as that intellectually satisfies me, it does not emotionally satisfy me whatsoever.  I've watched plenty of natural birthing videos lately.  There is no denying that the bringing of a baby into the world is a beautiful thing, but it is also just plain horrifying!  Many of the women in these videos have given birth multiple times before, and they still seemingly enter the realm of "losing it" during labor...How on earth can I, a first time mom of a potentially pretty big baby, handle it?  I'm not just worried about the level of pain I must endure; I'm also worried about the length of time I'll have to endure the different levels of pain and if I'll have the gumption to push through the pain at the very end of it all.  I'm not an expert on endurance or pain tolerance.  I know this baby has got to come out no matter what, and I am determined to bring him into the world with as little intervention as possible for his safety.  But I am scared.  Period.

All that being said...WHEW!  I realize that I need to depend on the Lord for strength, wisdom, endurance, etc.  I know that I cannot do this on my own, as is the case with everything in this life.  That does not mean, however, that it'll be easy, not painful, not terrifying.  Hopefully, the more I talk about my fears and concerns, the quicker I can get past this rut and move into excitement and anticipation of the big day.  I am hoping and praying that I can process through the muck and come to a place where I feel empowered as a woman and as God's daughter to finish what has been started in this pregnancy.  I want to look forward to labor and delivery as part of the journey into motherhood, as a physical and emotional gift.  I am blessed with being able to be pregnant.  I am blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby boy.  I am blessed with being created in such a way to be able to give birth to a child.  Instead of cowering behind negative emotions and feelings of foreboding, I want to embrace the birthing experience with open arms, knowing I am bringing my son into this world in the best possible way I know how.  May God give me the strength and wisdom to walk toward December 21st with my head held high and with my fears behind me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Proper Name

Proper names are poetry in the raw. Like all poetry they are untranslatable.  
-W. H. Auden
It appears that after 3 name polls, 7 months of gestation, countless fun naming conversations, and a hint of anxiety over "getting this right," we have settled on a name for our baby boy bean!  And that name is....[drumroll, please]....

Griffin Oliver Thompson

With the name Griffin, there is the possibility of two equally great nicknames:  GRIF-FIN "Griff" and "Finn"  Take your pick!  How fun is that?!  Oliver has been head-over-heels sold on this name for quite a while now.  We agree that it works well for every stage of life.  It can be cute, but it can be manly, strong, and powerful as well.  It has an element of mystery, as the name is shared with a mythological creature.  There are no other L's to stumble over when combined with "Oliver" as the middle name.  It was tied for 3rd (and last) place with "Archer" in the final four name poll with 23% of the votes, but the following info concerning the others in the final four will reveal the happenings with the other names.

Concerning the other names in the "final four":

-Archer (Ari) - (23% of the vote)  This name just didn't win our hearts.  We think it's a great name, but we never were able to see it as the name of our son.

-Sullivan (Sulli) - (34% of the vote)  We had discovered several months ago in a conversation with good friends of ours that we had both discovered this name separately and were thinking of it as our boy name choice, if we were having boys.  (They didn't find out the sex of the baby until he was delivered.)  They did wind up having a beautiful baby boy and naming him Sullivan.  We're so happy for them and just love little Sully.  We decided it would just be weird to name our baby boy Sullivan when we are such good friends with this couple and plan on having our sons be good friends too :)  But, when potential son #2 rolls around, Sullivan is definitely at the top of our list.

-Finley (Finn) - (46% of the vote)  As our friend, Aaron Burt, pointed out, "Finn" can be used as a nickname for Griffin as well.  I always liked "Finley," but it made it so far mainly because of the nickname "Finn," which I LOVE, LOVE.  Since we can "have our cake and eat it too" with the name "Griffin," it made this final decision much easier.  For those who voted for Finley (Finn), it won in the name poll!  But I suppose it's not really getting the boot either, since Finn is still an option for a nickname.

Thanks for all your votes and comments during this process.  I suppose we have over 2 months in which to change our minds on baby boy's name, but we'll just have to wait and see!  We're not signing any blood oaths here :)  Who knows-we could hold the baby for the first time and see clearly that his name is supposed to be "Augustine Clement Ignatius Cyprian Thompson."  Or God could speak to us and command that his name be this or that.  So, with that being said, we leave the door open to the possibilities but have chosen a "placeholder" name which will become his name, barring any unforeseen future naming happenings.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chicken & Sausage Paella-YUM!

So, I found this wonderful crock-pot recipe in a cookbook and decided to give it a spin...  It is so fantastic, I had to share it.  Not only is it DELISH, but it is also low fat!  Here goes:

Prep Time:  30 min.
Cook Time:  7-8 hours on low (3.5-4 on high)
Makes:  6 servings
2.5-3 lbs. chicken pieces (I used chicken breasts cut in 3 pieces)
1 T cooking oil
8 oz cooked smoked turkey sausage chopped up
1 lg. onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 t thyme
1/4 t black pepper
1/8 t saffron (or 1/4 t tumeric)
1 14 oz can of chicken broth
1/2 c water
2 c chopped tomatoes (I used extra peas instead)
2 med. yellow or green sweet peppers cut into thin, bite sized strips
1 c frozen peas (I used 2 c.)
3 c hot cooked rice or one 10 oz package saffron-flavored yellow rice mix, cooked according to directions (I used the yellow saffron rice mix...AMAZING)

In large skillet, brown chicken pieces in hot oil.  Drain fat.  In 3.5-4 quart crock-pot/slow cooker, place chicken pieces, turkey sausage, and onion.  Sprinkle with garlic, thyme, black pepper, and saffron/tumeric.  Pour broth and water over all.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours (or high for 3.5-4 hours).  Add tomatoes, sweet peppers and peas to the cooker.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Like I said, SUPER good and SUPER easy!

October 1st

What a gorgeous day!  We are so enjoying the beginning of our favorite season.  Instead of taking the "belly journal" shots inside (as we usually do because of the awful SC heat & humidity), we decided to take them in our back"yard"/"forest."