Wednesday, December 23, 2009

38 Weeks

I feel HUGE!

Last Tuesday (37 weeks) I went to the doctor and he said that Lane has turned head-down. This was fantastic news because he had thought she was breech at my 35-week appointment, so we're really glad that she decided to turn! The doctor also said that I have "a roomy pelvis," which I took as "good birthing hips," and the doctor agreed. He said that this should make my labor easier/quicker because she'll be able to move down the birth canal more easily than in women who have narrower pelvises. Lane is now officially full-term, so as far as we're concerned, she can come any day now (except for Christmas day, and preferably not New Year's Day/my 30th birthday). My sister and brother-in-law made it in today and Rachel is here until January 3rd. Maybe Lane will make an appearance in time for Aunt Rachel to get a peek at her!

Almost 2 weeks ago I had yet another fun-and-exciting trip to the ER in the middle of the night. My stomach woke me up, hurting much like the previous time we went to the ER. I ate something and drank a lot of water and waited about an hour before calling the hospital and them confirming that I should go in. So, mom and I headed to the hospital (Shannon was at work), where they monitored me and the baby. I was having contractions and was dilated a centimeter, so they wanted to monitor me to find out if the contractions were causing the dilation or if I was previously dilated and the contractions were being caused by something else (and my doctor was out of town so they couldn't ask him if I was dilated at my last appointment). Anyways, after monitoring me for awhile and giving me some apple juice to drink, the pain got worse (to the point of me asking for medication to ease it). 30 minutes later, I threw up and then felt fine. They kept me for another 6 hours or so to monitor my contractions (which I was still having but couldn't feel) and then sent me home, determining that I have an "irritable uterus" and wasn't actually in labor.

All that to say that things are fine! I've gained 28 pounds, even if I don't look like it. My back still hurts if I sit or stand too long, and I'm not sleeping very well at night. My bladder has surely been squashed to the size of a walnut, because I have to pee all the live-long-day. But other than those few minor complaints, I'm feeling just fine, and ready for Lane to be here! I'm going to try an all-natural labor with no epidural or pain meds. Our hospital does administer morphine between 4 and 8 centimeters dilation for pain relief, so if my labor goes really long or I don't think I can handle it, I may get some morphine to help me get some rest. We shall see, though!

Hopefully there will be no 40-week belly picture. You can all join us in praying for an easy and quick labor (as far as first-time labors go), and a baby that comes before the end of the year (very little to do with a tax-deduction, mostly to do with a health insurance deductible that renews on the 1st). Maybe in 2 weeks we'll have pictures of a baby instead of a belly!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Babymoon/Belated Anniversary Trip

Last week, Shannon and I made the long trip from Kenai to Anchorage to celebrate our anniversary (four months late) and our Babymoon, or last trip as a couple without children. We had wanted to go to Charleston back in August, but our schedule was so insane (what with moving and all) that we decided to wait to celebrate until we were "settled" in Alaska by going to the Princess Lodge. Well, unbeknownst to us, the Princess Lodge closed for the winter on September 12th, three days after we arrived in Alaska. So we were forced to come up with an alternate plan. Living on the peninsula, there aren't really that many options, so to Anchorage we went!

We left Kenai on Sunday afternoon and drove to Girdwood where we parked at the Alyeska Resort and took the tram to the top of the mountain where we had dinner at the Seven Glaciers Restaurant, overlooking Alyeska's ski slopes and the Cook Inlet.

Outside the Alyeska Resort, holding our tram tickets.

The view from the top.

Shannon at our table, surrounded by mountains.

The view of the sunset from our table.

After leaving Seven Glaciers, we headed for Anchorage and checked into our hotel downtown. While I won't comment on the hotel or even mention which one we stayed at (priceline is severely disappointing sometimes!), at least the view was good!

The view to the right out our hotel window.

The view to the left.

After checking into the hotel we headed to the store to buy some yogurt and coffee creamer for breakfast in the morning, and then we went to TGIFriday's for dessert. Then it was back to the hotel for a hot bath (for me), ESPN (for Shannon), and in bed early (for both of us).

Monday morning we slept in (until 7:30 when nearby construction woke us up). We took the morning easy, eating breakfast in our room and enjoying the coffeepot. Then we went to the movies, where we saw Everybody's Fine. It wasn't the best movie ever, but neither was it bad, so we had a good time. Then we headed to Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse for lunch. I had eaten there once before, back in 2005, but my sister recommended it as one of the better places to eat, so that's where we headed! Shannon got fish & chips (he was jealous of my fish & chips at Seven Glaciers) and I got chicken fettucine, which I never do, because I know it's loaded with fat and calories. But it was what I wanted, and I'm pregnant and entitled to gain weight, so I ordered it! Yum.

The sign over the bar in Humpy's. For those of you who don't know, a humpy is a pink salmon.

Us in our booth with the humpy behind us!

My chicken fettucine, oh-so-bad for me, but oh-so-delicious!

After eating lunch we wandered around downtown for awhile, looking in fun shops and doing a bit of Christmas shopping. Then we headed to Babies 'R Us and registered for baby stuff, and then we headed to the Dimond mall where we watched some little kids at hockey practice, had a cup of soup at The Perfect Cup, and ice cream at Baskin Robins. Then it was back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep!

Tuesday morning we woke up and went to Great Harvest Bread Company, one of my favorite places in Anchorage. Shannon had never been to one, so when he asked for three samples of bread and got three real slices, he was shocked! We ate our bread samples and got some hot chocolate and a loaf of bread to-go.

The outside of Great Harvest Bread Company in Anchorage.

Mmm, a thick slice of bread, fresh hot chocolate, and a loaf of cinnamon-chip bread for the road!

Next it was back downtown to do a bit of baby shopping (diaper bag and mom-things) before heading back to the hotel to pack up and check out. We headed back to TGIFriday's for lunch, because when we were there on Sunday evening we scored some coupons for $5 sandwiches. So back we went, both getting a different chicken sandwich and splitting regular fries and sweet potato fries for a grand total of $15 after leaving a pretty good tip for our waiter!

Happy Anniversary to us with HUGE chicken sandwiches for $5 each!

And then it was time to head back to Kenai. We stopped in Girdwood to take some pictures of the mountains and frozen inlet, and then drove the remaining 2 1/2 hours home. All in all, it was a pretty good trip! The only thing that would have made it better would have been to be able to stay in a swanky hotel...but we spent most of our time out-and-about anyways, so it didn't really matter. Happy Babymoon/Anniversary to us!

The view of the inlet from a pull-off in Girdwood.

This view never gets old!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fun Stuff

A couple of weeks ago as I was flipping through the Sunday paper I discovered a local "contest" where you could win a free turkey. Simply cut out the paper turkeys in the paper, fill them out with your name, phone number, and address, and drop them at local businesses which would be doing drawings for free turkeys for the winners. So, I filled out about 10 or 12 of them and Shannon and I took about 30 minutes driving around and dropping the turkeys off at local businesses. It was almost like a date. :-) Lo and behold, we won one! Mom went to pick it up the next day (because you know, pregnant women shouldn't lift an 18-pound turkey, haha).

Shannon felt that braving the cold to run all the paper turkeys into the businesses was worth it for this beaut!

Thanksgiving was a pretty good and relaxing day. It was a bit of a bummer because Shannon had to work from Wednesday evening until Saturday evening straight through, but they did give him a few hours off on Thursday morning/afternoon so he could come enjoy a meal with us.

Mom's carving the turkey while my brother Sean looks at my Sweet Potato Casserole with contempt.

It snowed a lot this past week! Monday night and Tuesday morning we got between six and eight inches! They finally plowed our road last night, which was a very nice surprise after driving home from our birthing class: no having to maneuver my way through the deep snow on the road after all!

This picture was taken on Thanksgiving.

Shannon and I buy one new ornament every year for our Christmas tree. Our "First Christmas" ornament is two s'mores in bridal attire. I don't remember what last year's ornament is (I think I couldn't find one I really liked so I just got a cheap one at Target). But this year's ornament came from The Moose Is Loose on our trip last week.

Quite appropriate for our first Christmas in Alaska with a baby on the way, don't you think?

And on Monday when I got home from work, Shannon had surprised me with these beauties:

Blue and orange guessed it...Auburn! It's a miracle I managed to finagle myself out of a blue and orange wedding!

Shannon and I had decided that we weren't going to spend a lot of money on baby clothes for multiple reasons: 1) we're still not 100% sure that it's a girl, 2) we're moving in 2 1/2 months, 3) Then we're moving again two months after that, 4) And then we're moving again two months after that, and 5) babies outgrow newborn or 0-3 months clothes so quickly that it just didn't seem to make a lot of sense to buy a lot of things that might or might not fit for more than a month or two. For these reasons, we had what we felt was an adequate amount of baby clothing, but not a surplus by any means. Then last week, we received a package in the mail from my sister. Christmas had come early! She had mailed us an absolute ton of gently used baby girl clothes that had been given to her specifically for us.
I don't know how she did it, but I do know that we are blessed beyond belief. We lack for nothing now, thanks to her (or thanks to God for giving me a kind and thoughtful sister who wanted to bless us immeasurably).

Onesie after onesie, hat after hat, dress after dress, outfit after outfit...our little girl will be all decked out after all!