Tuesday, May 27, 2008

False Labor or the Real Deal?

Today marks a day when contractions became my reality. Frequent and regular contractions, I must say. For the past two hours I've had one every ten minutes, on the minute. Will this progress to one every five minutes or come to a stop so I can get a night's sleep? My mother is here tonight as Steve is at work, and I can't thank her enough for her company! We'll see if I end up being admitted to the hospital sometime between now and daylight....exciting times! Really, despite the uncomfortable tension of the contractions, the excitement for what lies ahead carries me through! Stay tuned!

True Guinness Baby

She has not arrived yet, but when she does I know she will have a taste for spuds and Guinness! Steve and I had a baby shower thrown for us by his nursing staff at Riverside Community Hospital. Such generosity! The ladies that came were festive and truly enjoyed the Irish spirit! Our little gal is now supplied with 'I love Daddy' clothing and a solid stash of diapers. We indulged ourselves with Tres Leches cake and ice cream while enjoying the company of our niece, Natalia Patterson (Steve's twin brother and his wife's baby, just three months of age).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Well, I don't know about you and all your experiences with carrying a baby, but I am ready. AND, so is Baby Patterson. This is me, today, week 38 and six days. I'm considered 'full term' at this point and as my brother-in-law says, 'she's fully roasted'! Crazy how our bodies morph into odd shapes, not only due to weight gain/loss, aging and possibly any creative surgeries one pursues but especially when pregnant. I've reached that phase of the pregnancy that no mother tells you about until you are knee deep in it and they lend their empathic ear! 
Honestly, pregnancy is not easy and I say that knowing this one has been nothing but easy when compared to a handful of other mothers-to-be. I've had one bout of morning sickness that lasted a mere five minutes, endured a 24 hour flu over the New Year, and how could I forget, one token hemorrhoid. That's real personal, I know. But, now at full term status misery has struck. Back aches, carpel tunnel, swollen feet, fat face, big boobs and maternity clothing that doesn't fit. Hmmm, sounds really lovely doesn't it? 
You can't turn over in your bed let alone climb into it. Our bed is so high it's a strain to pull up and make it in. Everything operates in slow motion for me. If the phone were to ring right now I wouldn't be able to answer it in time so I just let it ring and wait until I get up to see who called. I have to use the restroom every hour for hardly anything to drain out, but there is enough pressure going on that relief is felt! 
While it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm actually amused by it all. There must be something to this. God really had a plan: God decided that pregnancy will be short-lived, an average of 9 months long. It will consist of extreme emotions, body changes and end in a miracle of life. The catch is the latter part, a miracle of life. That's it. That's the secret! All this misery I have been feeling has arrived during the last two weeks for a reason. God knows I can endure it as what lies ahead will be so magnanimous it will erase all my feelings and physical pains. Now I see why mothers hardly talk about the last part of the last trimester, it doesn't exist for them anymore as they are consumed by their miracle! However, when faced with an expecting mother-to-be like me, they can recall the experience and affirm my reality only to follow with some encouraging words like 'it's all worth it, just wait until that baby is on your chest looking at you for the first time, you won't remember anything you just went through.' 
My prayer is that this is not some urban motherhood myth or old wives tale, but in fact, the pure truth. My hunch is that just like I feel and look like Baby Patterson is ready to pop, her miracle of being will truly erase my current aches and fat pains! 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mother Nature...

It's raining outside! What is happening to our planet? Just days ago I was complaining about excessive swelling induced by the excessive heat (104 degrees) and today the buckets of Mother Nature's tears are flooding my yard! Hear me out, I'm not complaining as I really love the rain, but it does make one wonder what is happening to our planet to cause such extreme weather changes. Better yet, it makes you challenge yourself with the question, 'what can I do to make a difference with this planet?'
I can only hope that I will be able to teach my girl basic values of conscience living. While I'm no expert and seem to be more unconscionable about my routine happenings, I am struck by the magnitude of what lies ahead. What I say, what I do, and how I say what I'm going to do all impacts the development of my daughter. She will truly be witness to everything and like all moms out there, I'm certain the feelings are shared: we want to ensure our children are raised with values and principles that will enable them to be prosperous, wise, responsible, mature and ultimately happily fulfilled. It's a big task, an enormous endeavor. But, as my mother raised me with what she knew to be best, I, too, have confidence that I'll raise my daughter as such. She's going to be a little sprout that will blossom with time into a beautiful young lady!
Now, off to enjoy this rain a little more....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Can I get new feet?

Today was sweltering.
It was 104 degrees.
My feet didn't enjoy this.
I started my morning at the dog park with Cosimo, hiding in the shade.
Following an afternoon outdoor tea party at my girlfriends house, my feet swelled to a new size.
"You could get stretch marks in your feet, they are so swollen!"
Let's pray I don't establish some new groundbreaking pregnancy symptom typical of mothers-to-be as they approach the last weeks....foot stretch marks. Can you imagine? Horrific. It's bad enough that my foot has grown one whole size in the course of nine months--although it will be a good excuse for shopping once Baby Patterson arrives!
They say to keep your feet elevated when you are swollen; well, what they really mean is if you are swelling you need to stay in bed. Really, it's way more comfortable to be propped up in your bed with mounds of pillows underneath your legs and feet than find some place on your sofa and jimmy rig a way to elevate your limbs.
This photo captures the state of my feet at 10am....by 4pm they were much larger (if you can even imagine) and now at 11pm the size of my feet actually match the size of my ankle as that has grown in diameter as well!
I'm feeling a little ugly and disgusted with it really. BUT, I will survive. It's only two more weeks to go.
I can do this.
I can do this.
Mind over matter.
My feet are swollen, so what!
I'm envisioning what I'll look like one month from now. Will I be living barefoot or be wearing something new and strappy for the summer while I hold onto Baby Patterson and smother her in kisses, forgetting about all the swelling and discomfort?

Benet Graduated!

My little brother isn't so little anymore! Not only is he to become an exceptional uncle to Baby Patterson, but he is to become a business man. He has the firm handshake down, the strong and direct eye contact--he is confident in his own skin, something that too often is NOT found in the typical 22 year old male. I'm so proud of him and what lies ahead for his future. Right now he is in Egypt on an adventure with 11 other fraternity brothers and the guide who happens to be a priest and fraternity mentor. His recent e-mail stated the weather was 120 degrees yet despite the heat he is making his way through the pyramids and even cruising down the Nile!
Here we are at his Graduation ceremony that was held on May 10th--very different from the small fan fare of my college graduation. Either way, it was memorable and just makes me smile with joy for his success!
Then of course I had to include a shot of my belly at week 37...Scott was trying to see if there was competition in size, key word 'trying'. Sorry Scott, there is no competition! I win!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Well, the cravings came back this week--or maybe I've been consuming too many sugar food products recently that my taste buds were temporarily going through a withdrawal demanding I take matters into my own hands this afternoon and bake some intense brownies. It all started when I was at the grocery store, exhausted from a day of travel and errands, but was on a mission to pick up a few items for the home and (drum roll please) a brownie. Initially the idea was to locate a bakery on the route of errands to enjoy just one brownie. Surely in suburbia one would think brownie bakeries would be in every shopping center but not the case. Although now I am flooded with businesses that would have satisfied this craving--at the moment, nothing came to mind except to walk down the aisle of the grocery store where all the box mixes lined the shelves. It was a heavenly jaunt, I must say. Looking at all the types of brownies: Hershey's Double Chocolate, Fudge Brownie, Dark Chocolate and even a Peanut Butter Cup Brownie. The choices were overwhelming I walked away. No more than five minutes passed and I was back in the aisle, contemplating the choices once again. I grabbed the family size Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie mix and was off. Salivating.
I sit now, fully satisfied, thinking about the evening's quest. Will it ever stop? I wonder if, when I am breastfeeding, I'll experience similar cravings. Hopefully it will be for watermelon or the world's best nectarine, something with greater nutritional value. We'll see. Should you be in the neighborhood, stop on over, I'll have a brownie waiting for you.
Peace out!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Heirloom

When my baby shower happened I learned that the family bassinet that I inherited for this baby Patterson has a history that is over 115 years! My jaw dropped at this news and I felt like I was floating. How can this be? If it's 2008 today it implies that this bassinet was constructed around 1893...incredible. Surely it's undergone several coats of varying hazardous paints to bring me to my paint of choice: standard white spray paint...still hazardous I suppose. I believe it was teal at one point as evidenced by the bottom of the bassinet. Well, baby Patterson will have an immune system of steal so no hazardous fumes will intoxicate her little body, she'll be protected!
I finished the skirt of the bassinet over the weekend. Thank goodness you can't see stitches up close as I'm no seamstress, not to mention that now since I've made the skirt, I'd like to do it again, a bit different and with heavier fabric. But, who has time for that, really. This baby won't know the difference. I'm just proud to have been part of the Heirloom history!

Nursery in waiting...

I find myself going into the nursery just to look at it, as if I need to make certain it is still there, fully intact and blossoming into its full potential with each passing day. What am I concerned about, will it grow legs and walk out of the house? This nursery does something to me when I peer in, possibly pinches me to make real my situation. I'm pregnant. 36 weeks at that! While my belly is proof enough along with the back aches, constant bathroom breaks and morning hand swelling, the nursery sends me into a state of joyful anticipation. The aches dissipate, I forget that I'm swollen, and my mind takes a ride to another place, a place of hope, excitement and real tenderness. I look at the crib and sit in awe that a little creation will be in there soon, staring back at me. I see the glider and I envision what my life is about to become: a nursing mother, holding her baby close to her heart. Then when I see the clothes my body tingles with a giddiness, it's like being eight years old and playing house with your dolls...play dress ups and have tea parties. I'm going to have a girl who will be dressed everyday, most likely more than twice--there are certainly enough clothes in that closet of hers. It will be like my childhood, but this time with a real baby doll and the fact that I'm no longer eight, I'm thirty!
For my indulgence, here is my nursery that is truly blossoming. I have found great comfort in this sanctuary and I look forward to how it will become the safe haven for my girl. Enjoy!