Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trial Run...

So, we had a little bit of excitement this weekend. I'll start at the beginning.

Saturday we were in Greenville for Caleb's shower. It was great seeing all of our friends from Greenville and spending some time with my family. Saturday night we drove back to Roanoke with the plan to spend Sunday relaxing, working in Caleb's nursery, and preparing to go back to school the next day.

We slept in on Sunday and then I woke up to make breakfast. At that point, I was feeling some tightness in my stomach, which I figured were just Braxton-Hicks contractions. At about 12:30, I started having a sharp painful feeling low in my stomach that would come on suddenly, last for about 30 seconds, and then go away. This started happening every 10 minutes or so. I thought it may be because I was sitting around and I needed to get up and move some. So Zeb and I worked on sorting through the things we had gotten at the shower. We hung all of Caleb's clothes in his closet, arranged them by size, and organized his dresser drawers. I was definitely in nesting mode.

I continued to have sharp pains that would come on suddenly, last for a few seconds, then go away. I kept watching the clock to see how frequently they were occurring. I decided it'd be best to call the doctor, so I explained to the nurse what was happening and she suggested changing what I had been doing (if I was sitting, walk around for awhile, or vice-versa), taking a shower or bath, drinking lots of fluids, and tracking how often I was feeling the pains. So I downed a bunch of Gatorade, took a shower, made stroganoff (yum!) for dinner, ate dinner, and watched some TV. The pains in my stomach kept happening, and at this point I had had more than 6 in an hour.

Now because I'm a first-time mom, I've never experienced contractions or labor, and I tend to overreact about changes in my body, I really didn't want to be one of those people who was overreacting about having contractions. But, because I had had so many sharp pains in a short time, I told Zeb I felt like we should go to Labor and Delivery (like the nurse had suggested if I had more than 6 sharp pains an hour).

Driving to the hospital, I had 3 sharp pains in 15 minutes. When we got there, I explained what had been happening and they took me back to the LDR triage. They did a urinalysis test, that showed some blood, hooked me up to the fetal heartbeat monitor and contraction monitor, and checked to see if I was dilating. Sure enough, I was having contractions but I wasn't dilating or effacing (signs of real labor). Because I was just at 35 weeks, the nurse gave me a shot to stop the contractions which she warned would make me feel jittery and make my heart race (she was right). She then made me drink a bunch of water and I stayed hooked up to the monitors for a few hours. She also said because the urinalysis showed blood there was a possibility I could have kidney stones or a bladder infection but we wouldn't know the results for a few days. After awhile, my contractions stopped hurting and weren't spiking on the monitor. The nurse checked me again and I still wasn't dilating, so I was cleared to go home.

The nurse assured us that we were right to come in and I hadn't overreacted at all because I was having true contractions, though I was not technically in labor. I am thankful for the experience because now I know what true contractions will feel like and I know the process of coming to the hospital, being checked, and getting hooked up to the monitors. For someone who has never been a hospital patient, never had any type of surgery, and never given birth, this was all very calming to me. Zeb and I loved sitting there watching and listening to Caleb's heartbeat change between 120-155bpm. The nurse told us this was a good sign that he was active and healthy. I like to say that it was somewhat of a practice run and now I definitely feel even more prepared and relaxed about my impending labor, which, according to my doctor, could definitely be more impending than we had originally thought. He said if my contractions start up again after this week, they won't really worry about stopping them because Caleb is already a healthy size and weight (he's fairly big already) and it wouldn't be risky. The lab results came back yesterday and I don't have kidney stones or a bladder infection, which is obviously a big praise.

We are so thankful to God that Caleb continues to grow and be healthy. Although him coming early would throw my work/maternity leave plans off significantly, I know that God is in control and He will provide for us. So, this could possibly be the last post I make before we become a family of 3, or my pregnancy could go on for another 4 weeks. Either way, I am so excited about being a mom and having a beautiful, healthy boy to hold.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Break

34 weeks and growing!

Well, it's been a surprising, relaxing, and fun week at the Pike house. Spring Break started last Friday at 4:00 when I came home from school. It was such a good feeling knowing I had a full week ahead of me to relax. Things that made this Spring Break memorable:

1. Shannon and Zeb had been planning her surprise visit since January. Saturday afternoon I was getting ready in our bathroom and there was a knock on my bedroom door. I peaked out, and there stood Shannon! I was completely surprised and so happy! We hadn't seen each other since August and I didn't think I would see her until late summer. I'm so glad we got to spend a few days together. We had some fun dinner-dates, shopping trips, good times watching Will & Grace (kinda a tradition for us), and it was nice just to have her to hang out with. Wednesday came too quickly and we had to take her back to the airport. I won't see her again until at least August, but I'm glad she got to see me in my pregnant state and help me prepare for Caleb's arrival. I love you, Shannon! Thanks for the wonderful surprise visit!

2. After a few trial runs, we finally picked out a paint color (Sherwin Williams' Latte) for Caleb's room. Katie came over on Thursday and we spent the day painting Caleb's room and organizing the clothes in his closet. I'm glad his nursery it starting to show some progress. Zeb is finishing up the second coat of paint and cutting in at the ceiling (me + ladder = bad idea) and then we'll be able to move all his furniture back in and finish up decorating this weekend.

3. Last weekend Zeb set up Caleb's Pack-n-Play in our bedroom. It's now sitting next to my side of the bed and it's where Caleb will be sleeping for the first few months thanks to the attached bassinet and changing table. I love waking up and seeing it every morning, knowing that pretty soon our precious son will be sleeping in it.

4. We had our 35th week appointment today. I weigh 143 (gained 18 pounds), my blood pressure continues to be in a great range, I have no swelling in my face or ankles (yay!), Caleb's heartbeat is 135bpm, and the doctor says everything looks right on schedule. He's still confident that I will be able to deliver naturally, which is encouraging. (Stop laughing, mom and Amanda)

After reading Kaci's blog, I have to say that I agree with many of her pregnancy observations. I have loved being pregnant, but here are some things I could live without:
  • Constant heartburn, no matter what I eat. (Seriously, oatmeal?) Antacids are my friends.
  • Not being able to bend down. But I have become quite skilled at picking up things with my feet.
  • Not being able to sit up from lying down without assistance.
  • My maternity jeans always falling down (they don't have belt loops!) and the pouches never fit quite right.
  • Constant trips to the bathroom. Can't sit through a movie, sleep for more than a few hours, or go shopping without needing to take regular bathroom breaks.
  • My belly-button popping out (almost). It itches, feels really weird if something bumps it, and shows through certain shirts. I pray that it returns to normal after Caleb's born. I keep hearing that your belly-button is like a Butterball turkey; when it pops out, that means the baby is done. If that's true, then I'd say Caleb should be coming soon.
  • Breathing heavily and not even realizing it. I don't know how often people ask "Are you ok? You're breathing really heavily." Yeah, well breathing is difficult when you have an 18-inch long baby taking up your lung space.
  • Feeling like a rotisserie chicken at night. I have to roll from my right to left side throughout the night. Zeb will elbow me if he wakes up and I'm sleeping on my back because it's not good for pregnant women, due to all the extra weight; it cuts off blood flow to your heart. I'm very thankful for my body pillow.
At our last sonogram appointment we were told that Caleb has long legs, was 5.5 lbs (at 32 weeks), and that his head is average-sized (yay, not too big!). As usual, we got a copy of the sonogram video and have watched it a few times since. We can tell (with parents in agreement) that Caleb will look a lot like his daddy (cute chubby cheeks and full head of hair). I'm so thankful to hear that he's healthy and growing. God is good! We are so blessed to be Caleb's parents!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts of a Tired Teacher

After another rough week at work, I have come to a lot of conclusions:

1. I cannot wait until Caleb is here. I cannot wait until all I have to worry about is him and his needs. I want to be able to hold him and kiss him and play with him without interruption. I want him to be the center of my attention, not my job and the overwhelming stress that comes with it. I am not afraid or ashamed to admit that sometimes I pray for bed rest or early labor (within the last month of my pregnancy, of course) just so I get more time with my son and less time to stress about work. All rational thinking makes me realize that this would not be good financially for my family; for me to miss more than my 6 weeks of work, but yet, I almost pray for some miracle where I can miss work and still be able to pay rent and bills.

2. I constantly feel guilty that I am not devoting enough time to my husband or my pregnancy. I do not eat right, I let everything stress me out, I am terrible about taking care of myself and remembering to take my vitamins, and I spend too much time with my mind on other things that aren't as important as my family. I wish that I could say that Caleb's nursery is completely decorated and ready for his arrival. I wish I could say that I come home each night and make an amazing dinner and then help clean the dishes. I wish I could say that I have helped unpack boxes and sort through stuff that should have been thrown out a long time ago. But, I can't say that I do any of these things because I've put other things before what really matters in life.

3. I am constantly exposed to children who don't just get to be kids; who are forced to grow up way too fast. I see children every day who get whatever their heart desires at the drop of a hat and don't know the importance of hard work, discipline, and respect for authority. It makes me more and more thankful each day that I was raised by two amazing parents who taught me all of these things. Not only do I have wonderful parents, but I have a whole network of friends and family members who truly care about me and my wellbeing. They are there for Zeb and me both; to go to for advice, to vent to, and to share happy times with. I miss being in a "small town" bubble sometimes, because that's where I felt truly cared about and loved the most.

4. I miss College Station and how things "used to be". I miss working in the Office of the Commandant with men and women who I had the utmost respect for. I miss working in the office of a 3-star General who I looked up to like a father or grandfather. I miss the privilege of working with a whole group of current and former military personnel, from the General, to Colonel Betty, to Gunny Parker. I miss the ladies in our office who were like sisters and crazy aunts to me. I miss the cadets I got to interact with everyday who, even when they were in trouble or making my job more difficult, they were respectful and always polite. I loved the atmosphere in that office. It was like a family to me and, even though I may have complained at the time of being bored at work or frustrated with some situations, I really was happy. Even though it was only part time, at student worker pay and we were broke I was truly happy to be where I was. I hated when I had to quit to make more time for my field experiences and student teaching. If life allowed it, I would drop everything and go back to A&M and find a job under General Van Alstyne, no matter the pay.

5. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I miss Greenville and all of its greatness. Of course I have Zeb and Scout to come home to every night, but here in Roanoke, I feel like that's the only thing familiar I have. It really is a lonely feeling to not have any other social outlets during the week. This is why we both feel the need to go "home" to Greenville on the weekends. I need familiarity and normalcy. I need my church family at Gateway. I know that in the future we will be put in a lot of unfamiliar situations, but there will be a commonality between us and other military families. It won't be hard to feel a sense of belonging and family.

It may sound like I'm ungrateful for my current job or current situation. Please don't misunderstand me; I am so thankful that I am employed when there are so many classmates that I graduated with that are still struggling to find employment. What makes me sad is that the past few months have made me doubt what I always believed I wanted to do with my life. One thing I know for sure is that I love working with children. But, I feel God is calling me to work with kids who need me because they have nothing else. All of the experiences I've had up until this year were working with children who were thankful for school because it was a place of refuge to them. Even in a orphanage in Mexico, where the children had nothing, I felt at home being there and ministering to those kids.

It's just been a really difficult last few months and it has really got me thinking about the future. One thing I know without a doubt is that, when Caleb arrives, he will be my main focus and I will be so happy to just be his mother. He is the greatest gift that God has ever given to me or Zeb and we are both so very thankful to be his parents. I'm not afraid to tell anyone reading this that I just need prayers and uplifting to get me through the next 93days. Sometimes I feel like I won't make it that far without breaking down but I am constantly reminded of God's provision and blessings and that makes the rough stuff feel a little better. At some point I may regret posting this "rant" but right now it just feels good to get it off my chest. If you've read this far, I apologize for sounding whine-y or for boring you.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What does 2010 have in store?

Well, I opened this account back in the summer when I was unemployed and thought blogging would be a fun thing to do to pass the time. Flash forward 6 months and, wow, how things have changed. Since I opened this account at the end of July, I have become a 2nd grade teacher in Northwest ISD, moved to an awesome house in Roanoke, and most importantly, Zeb and I found out that we will be parents in April!

With all the big changes that have happened and are happening in our lives, I thought it would be fun to try and record some of our lives in blog-form. Though we might not live the most exciting or interesting life, I feel like there is a lot to share with my friends and family.

So, here it goes. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and starting a Pike family blog. I really don't know exactly what this will turn into. I may post weekly updates or I may only post once a month or so. One thing I do know is that we will soon get to meet our son, Caleb Samuel and we could not be more excited. What I envision doing with this blog is sharing my excitement, fears, and experiences as a mom-to-be and first-time parent.

If anyone out there stumbles upon my blog, I hope you enjoy it! May it give you a glimpse into my life as a wife, mother, and teacher who is excited about what God is doing in her life and the life of her family.