Pregnancy Update – 39 Weeks

39 Weeks

For all of her hurry to be out in the world a few weeks ago it now seems that this little girl has decided she is very content to stay where she is. (I, however, have been growing a little less content with this arrangement as time goes on.)

Zoe continues to be an active baby. Sometimes, especially in the evening, it looks like I have a couple of squirrels chasing each other around and around inside my belly. I feel like I am literally about to pop.

I had really hoped she would come last week as I am uncomfortable with the doctor I’m pretty much stuck with due to our insurance situation. Last week she was away on vacation, so I did a lot of walking and tried to encourage things along. The doctor’s vacation came to an end yesterday so now I’m just hoping that when it happens it is at night on a day that my doctor is not the one on call. I do feel better about the whole situation than I did a couple of weeks ago though as we have hired a doula to be there for the birth. I met with her a couple of weekends ago and she seems like a perfect fit for our situation.

So now we just hurry up and wait. The birth plan is written and copied. The bags are all packed and sitting by the door. Zoe’s car seat is installed. My brother and his wife are now visiting ready to take care of Eli when we have to leave for the hospital. They are also spending gobs of time with him now affording me a lot of pre-labor rest. I actually napped over 4 hours over the course of the other day! My husband’s siblings are also at the ready to help out with the little feller. He’ll be having such a good time that maybe he won’t even notice that I’m gone for a couple of days.

Sitting in my very cluttered work space.

Sitting in my very cluttered work space. Not a whole lot happening here these days other than the occasional sitting.  🙂

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E is for Elephant

Elephant SoftieI’ve not been doing a whole lot of sewing or crafting as of late, but as I have been waiting for this baby to come I realized I wanted Eli to have something new and Mama-made to hold onto when I go to the hospital. Due to the flu season being what it is this year they are limiting all visitors to the maternity floor to spouses and the baby’s grandparents only, and certainly no children under 16 years of age allowed! This is going to be a bit hard on Eli (and me as well, if I’m honest) even though I know he will be well taken care of while I am absent.

I like seeing the softies that other people make in magazines at the book store. They are so ugly-cute and fun. It’s a no-pressure project because as long as it holds together you really can’t go wrong.

crocheting an elephant ear

I started off by crocheting a pair of ears. They came out slightly differently shaped but once sewn onto the head I found they were just fine.

Elephant softie side view

The body and trunk are made with a remnant from a man’s shirt that had been used previously in a quilting project. The arms and legs were from an old felted wool sweater. I embroidered an “E”, added a braided tail and finished the critter off with a couple of button eyes.

Eli hugging his elephant

Simple, quick and definitely huggable.

Letter to Eli- 34 and 35 Months

Dear Eli,

Riding the carousel during an outing with Aunt Jacki.

Riding the carousel during an outing with Aunt Jacki.

I have not gotten your monthly letter done for a couple of months here. I am sorry. Things have been crazy and when there has been time and energy to write I felt so overwhelmed by all there is to say I’ve hardly known where to start. I guess I’m now just giving up on the idea of the full accounting of Christmas… it’s now past Valentine’s Day for goodness sake! And honestly, I need to rethink the timing and format of these letters to you. If I’m having trouble getting them done now, how will it be when there is a new baby in the house? And as you get older, speaking of your age in terms of months is beginning to seem a little silly. Yet I love taking the time to reflect on and record your growth and development. I like having a place to put the pictures that we take of you over the course of a month… and I also need this external reminder to take pictures each month as I’m not so good about that when just left to my own devices.

Uncle Kevin and Aunt Misa sent an otabe treat from Japan. "I had totabe (otabe)! Totabe be fun! Totabe be tummy fun!" You haven't stopped talking and dreaming about having more "totabe" since!

Uncle Kevin and Aunt Misa sent an otabe treat from Japan. “I had totabe (otabe)! Totabe be fun! Totabe be tummy fun!” You haven’t stopped talking and dreaming about having more “totabe” since!

Aside from the joy of seeing you really interact with the extended family in Tucson, the biggest Christmas development in your life was that you overcame your fear of dogs! I can’t even begin to tell you how huge this is. You now enjoy your time visiting relatives who own dogs. You are no longer constantly on high alert whenever we are outside, constantly scanning your surroundings and overcome by anxiety whenever a dog appeared on the horizon. When we returned from Tucson we wondered how much your new found enjoyment of our extended family’s pets would transfer to other canines we run across in daily life. When we took a New Year’s Day stroll around Laguna Beach and you actually felt slighted and disappointed each time we passed someone walking their dog who didn’t stop for you to pet the dog and have it sniff your hand we knew that indeed we had experienced a Christmas miracle! Your personal little mantra “I be okay” is a powerful thing. And while you are actually not saying it so often yourself anymore you should know that many in our clan are still quoting your phrase to themselves when feeling a need for the reminder.

Mia is your new best friend. You love to play fetch with her, although the poor dog is a bit confused when you run after the ball you've just thrown and try to fetch it before she can!

Mia is your new best friend. You love to play fetch with her, although the poor dog is a bit confused when you run after the ball you’ve just thrown and try to fetch it before she can!

I expect your little sister will be making her appearance any day soon… if these contractions get any more regular maybe even today! I’ve been so very aware of the fact that soon you will be sharing our attention with a newborn. While I am excited to welcome her into our family and begin the process of getting to know her I can’t help but wonder (and perhaps worry a bit) about how it will change our relationship. I’ve been soaking up extended cuddle times with you, and being on bed rest most of the past month has given me plenty of them, mindful that soon such uninterrupted time will be a thing of the past. And you, my boy, are a cuddle junkie! A year ago when you were constantly showing up the Energizer Rabbit I never would have guessed that I would be blessed with so much time to just hold you along side me. It’s truly the best thing ever! Except for the fact that a goodly part of the reason you are content to do so has been you’ve repeatedly experienced the joys of one strain of the flu after another this winter.

With Carly on your Christmas desert hike. You went off on the hike with relatives and without your parents and had the time of your life! You still talk daily about the "pokey" cactus, though I'm very glad they made such an impression on you without any painful encounters. You are a good listener and take adult warnings seriously... cautious like your father :-)

With Carly on your Christmas desert hike. You went off on the hike with relatives  (without your parents!) and had the time of your life! You still talk daily about the “pokey” cactus, though I’m very glad they made such an impression on you without any painful encounters. You are a good listener and take adult warnings seriously… cautious like your father 🙂

Although I know things will be changing in our family dynamic soon, and that the initially it may be a bit rough at times for you, you have shown me again and again how adaptable you can be when given time and space to work through a new adjustment. For your part, you are so excited to have your sister join us after waiting so, so very long! You often come to me to tell me you think it is time for us to go to the hospital to get the baby out! You’ve been know to try to stretch my belly button open to get a peak inside. A few days ago you took your foot to my belly button and told me you wanted to go into my belly. I wondered if you were feeling to need to be the baby again and asked “Why, Eli?” You gave me that look of long-suffering patience with my less than acute perception and answered, “to play with Zoe.”

Fishing for algae in the canal at the park.

Fishing for algae in the canal at the park.

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The catch of the day!

Your ability to answer “why” questions is a new development of the past couple of weeks, and you often begin your answer with the word “because”. It is wonderful to finally have you explain to us the reasoning behind some of the things you will say and do or about a reaction you are having. We are often astounded by the connections you will make between ideas! Your language development has become nothing short of amazing. During our cuddle times you love to just converse with me. In fact you like holding conversations so much that you get upset when other people talk to each other instead of with you. “No Mama, no talk to Daddy. Talk to Eli.” It’s a behavior and expectation we really need to work on, but honestly, it’s a great problem for us to have! Today at a donut shop the girl behind the counter remarked at how much you were speaking. Of course, she had no idea that this little boy who now can sit and narrate the minutest detail of his experience had less than 20 words to his vocabulary just a year ago. It was about the nicest off-hand comment a stranger has ever made to us about you… even better than the times people go on and on about how adorable you are!

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Lately you ask me, without exaggeration, at least 20 times a day if I am your Mommy. You do so with the sweetest tone of voice, and I don’t think the question comes from any real doubt on your part as to whether I am you mother or not. You often tend to phrase statements in the form of questions and this is your way of marking our relationship. It is often quickly followed by you making the universal sound of melting over cuteness (“Aaawwww!”) and hugging whichever part of me is closest to you. Eli, I am incredibly blessed to be your Mommy. There are few things in this life that make me feel as happy as being your mother does. I will always be your Mommy even when you have long outgrown the use of the word. (Which, I have to say, is not yet. Please stop calling me Mom… you’re not even three yet! Mommy or Mama will do just fine for at least a couple more years. Please?!??)

I love you so very, very much!

Mama

Pregnancy Update-36 Weeks

 

12 days on bedrest and Zoe is still where she is supposed to be. The contractions had finally eased up about 4 days ago, but then I got up to go to my OB appointment Tuesday. Between that and the fact that I’ve managed  to come down with the flu -complete with marathon coughing fits – they have now resumed once again.  Only about once an hour at this point, but when they do hit they last up to six minutes and are strong enough that there is no talking through them.  So we will see if lots of bed rest will work again to get them to stop.

 

Zoe looks like she is doing very well though. The ultrasound technician guesstimated that she is between 6 lbs 4 oz and 6 lbs 12oz at this point. I know these predictions can vary quite a bit from reality, but it was still comforting to hear. She is head down and turned to one side. Her heart rate was good at 134 beats per minute.

 

It looks like we can go home tomorrow! I won’t be able to help much with resettling the house if just walking into a doctor’s appointment, sitting around there for a little over an hour and then going straight home had such an effect on me earlier in the week.  Thankfully I have a great husband and also offers of help from others as well.