As promised: baby shower pics ❤
But before I tell you about the shower, best to follow up from 36 Weeks *Update Part 1* I had the US and baby girl looked textbook-perfect and we *finally* were discharged after 6.5 mind-numbing hours spent in L&D. And it goes without saying that I feel very fortunate to be 36 weeks gestation with a healthy baby. A *BIG* healthy baby…no measurements were taken during today’s US but it was quite clear that she is already big enough to be full-term, and the US tech agreed she’s a big girl and laughed and said “Maybe it’s better not to know exactly”…which is true…but…#*%*@.
Mr. MLACS Update:
And then to follow-up on the update on Mr. MLACS…he’s calmed down and has processed and accepted both the good and bad news he got today.
On the bright side, he can be here with me and continue to help me and support me. Like, I can hardly tie my shoes or remember to take my medications. I certainly can’t exercise our puppy. And I’m so tired and my heartburn/reflux is so intense at night that I often wouldn’t eat if he didn’t feed me–he’ll go get me a milk shake when nothing else will do. In fact he’ll do (and does) anything and everything to make me comfortable and secure. He builds my “pillow fort” at night. Props my feet up. Brings me water with a bend-y straw. The other night he made me a bubble bath & wrapped me in a warm fluffy towel when I was finished. He actually purchased the rest of our registry items *without me even asking* because all I managed to do last week was sleep, eat, and drag myself to our myriad appointments. He’s my *HERO*. So yeah, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he is VERY MUCH *needed and wanted* at home.
Also, this basically guarantees that he will be present for our baby’s birth. I’m not due until March 9th, but he was going to leave Feb. 11th and not return until the 27th–at which time I would be 38w4d. I was *dreading* him being gone and paranoid about potentially being alone when I went into labor…so we actually hired a doula this weekend because I was beginning to panic at the thought of him leaving for work (I’ll elaborate on our doula–she’s great). Also worth mentioning: I am a “Hypnobabies” drop-out (will likewise elaborate on this). Thus I’m *THRILLED* that Mr. MLACS isn’t traveling to rural Canada for 2 weeks (potentially missing his daughter’s birth).
Another bonus of him not being “cleared” to return to work is that it undoubtedly would have taken a toll on him and slowed his healing process. While home he is able to sleep, relax, watch what he eats, and he is free from the stress of his job. Over the last few weeks we’ve built a routine. When he goes back to work he will have to play ‘catch-up’ and also create a new routine trying to balance his health with work, with no support from me, and that will test him–if he were to go back right now it would probably cause him to take two steps back in his recovery. So it’s good that his cardiologist is being cautious with him…*He is precious to me*. He also has easy access to his doctors and the hospital, whereas his work site is remote and medical care is a flight (or two) away.
So yeah, it sucks that Mr. MLACS is still “sidelined” from work, but *everything happens for a reason* (often beyond our comprehension) and besides the obvious, I trust that this is all part of God’s plan for our family. Trial and tribulation strengthen the fabric of our lives. And luckily Mr. MLACS has good insurance so he’s still getting paid 60% of his normal wages, which is enough because we live well within our means. It just may mean that we decide to postpone the planned purchase of a family vehicle (to replace my compact car–which is like sardine can for Mr. MLACS). No big deal.
I was all psyched to attend Hypnobabies class and committed to having a natural birth. But sh*t happens. The class was starting at the end of January, just a couple weeks after Mr. MLACS’s hospitalization/diagnosis and a few days before I was expecting a visit from my MIL and a house full of people for our baby shower. And Hypnobabies requires that you practice (meditate) for about an hour a day… All of a sudden I found myself overwhelmed and I knew I couldn’t put in the time and attention required to be successful (i.e. to justify paying $450 for this 6 week class and materials). So I emailed the instructor my apologies, forfeited my $50 deposit, and told Dr. Angel we wouldn’t be attending after all (he was not disappointed). But then…I found myself 30+ weeks gestation with *no birth plan*. So I started thinking about hiring a doula–which I had previously considered. My counselor/prenatal yoga instructor/certified doula trainer *knows me* and since she instructs classes of eager new doulas she is also privileged to know pretty much every doula within 100 miles. So when I told her I had a budget of about $400 (what I would’ve spent on Hypnobabies minus the $50 deposit) and asked her who she thought I’d “jive” with, she gave me a couple names and a bit of background. One stuck out to me, so I finally contacted her and then me and Mr. MLACS met with her this weekend…
We met her at a cafe and she was actually not what I expected. My counselor described her as an older, experienced, mother to grown children. She has apprenticed under a well-known (re: $1500 per birth) doula who was actually a friend of mine back in the day, and that definitely gave her credibility with me. I guess we’ll call her Justice or “J” for short, because she actually has a career in the legal profession. So anyways, my big pregnant belly and my big burly husband walked in the cafe and I saw this gorgeous redhead wave and smile from across the room (I guess we’re easy to pick out of a line-up). She was dressed casually but very classy with a silk scarf and just the right amount of jewelry. She is “older” at age 55, but certainly not what I had expected. She didn’t look particularly “earth mama/hippy-ish”, the way most doulas I know do. So we sat down and talked. She was organized and methodical with her questions, while also exuding a lot of warmth. She seemed very genuine. Self-assured but very eager to learn and adapt to our needs–we would be her third client/birth. I asked her why she wanted to be a doula. She replied that she had always wanted to be a Midwife, but that she became a single mother with 3 kids and found herself supporting them via a career as a clerk in a law office, where she has worked her way up. She’s planning to retire in the next 5 years and wants to *pursue her dream* by becoming a doula and then possibly continuing her education to become a Midwife.
I loved her answer.
I identify with her. I’ve “shelved” my dream of becoming an RN and postponed my education and training to have a family. I’d like to think that my depth and breadth of life experience will benefit me and help me to better serve my future patients. I worry that I’ll give up on my dream. And meeting “J” and hearing her honest answer to my question endeared her to me and also inspired me. I knew then that she was “the one”. And then she told me her fee was exactly $400, and I asked her where do I sign and did she require cash or a check? And Mr. MLACS promptly went to the bank next to the cafe and surprised her with a wad of $20 bills, paid-in-full, and we all left the cafe feeling relieved and excited for the journey ahead. Amen.
The Baby Shower:
We had our shower Sat. Jan. 31st, at our house. I deign to fully acknowledge it as a *home* because we don’t own it and will likely be moving within a few months-ish. But if “home is where the heart is” then we can call it home. Certainly the neighbors are nice and our pets love it here, and most of all we will bring our baby *home* to the little nest we’ve fashioned.
But up until 3 days before the baby shower there were still unpacked boxes and nothing on the walls and it was in dire need of a thorough cleaning. I had my work cut out for me and I was *under the gun*. Luckily Mr. MLACS jumped to my rescue and helped me check off my “to do” list with nary a complaint. Then I hired a girl my sister knows to come clean the house from top to bottom, cuz Lord knows I am not cut out for that even when I’m not 8 months pregnant.
After it was all said and done, I stood back to admire how handsome our house looked when it was restored to it’s former glory and accessorized.
The day of the baby shower we had professional photos taken beforehand in the nursery, then we were sent away while my girlfriends decorated, and we returned to a festive scene–the girls did a fantastic job! The theme was “baby it’s cold outside” with accents of pink and silver and sparkle and snowflakes. And I can’t believe how generous everyone was with their (limited) time and resources…there were 2 varieties of homemade *gluten-free* soups, a cascade of tea-sized sandwiches, a fancy salad, a hot cocoa bar with toppings and liquors to add, a mimosa bar, and the crown jewel: a display of fabulously decorated *gluten-free* cupcakes! 3 of the 4 friends responsible for this spread couldn’t even attend the shower, and I was touched that they still took the time and trouble to contribute.
Mr. MLACS attended and that made it even more fun–we played the obligatory games and opened presents together. The very first gift made me *ugly cry*, as it was an eyelet dress from my sister–and our dear departed Mother had intended it for my sister’s “hope chest” for her babies, but my sister decided it was meant for her niece. I was speechless and bawling in front of a room full of people. But we hugged and moved on to the rest of this *massive* pile of gifts–most of it was from my MIL, who happens to LOVE shopping and lives dangerously close to the outlet malls. So I have like 100lbs of baby clothes and blankets to wash, and I probly won’t need to purchase clothes…well, *ever*. On the other hand, I won’t hesitate to donate or sell the excess either, as I am not obligated to be the dumping ground for my MIL’s shopping habit, however well-intentioned it may be. We got some lovely keepsakes and luckily a fair amount of necessary items from our registry. All-in-all, it was one of the very best days of my life ❤
I feel like I’m forgetting things I wanted to share with you…maybe a few random bullet-points??
● I woke up from a nap with braxton-hicks contractions the other day, but I was disoriented (from waking) and surprised by the pain…I walked into the living room and Mr. MLACS saw the pained/confused look on my face and asked me if I was ok, and I responded “I…don’t know…” and my lip quivered and I began to cry out of distress. Luckily he soothed/calmed me and then drew me a bath and kept an eye on me–I couldn’t ask for a better partner. But this begs the question: am I going to *freak out* and fall apart at the onset of labor??? I hope not…
● I’m really sick of the “vaccination wars”, pitting the vaxxers against the anti-vaxxers. There is no *winning* side here, both sides are valid. But FYI, I am choosing to vaccinate and YES I’ve done my research and the topic is not up for debate. Trust me, e’rybody has been sending me articles to read. But when I want to know about a medical issue, I read the actual *research studies*, not articles written by people interpreting the research to support their own agendas. Just sayin’.
● I’ve got gluten-free & low-sodium recipes to post, if anyone cares?
● I’m up 19lbs from pre-pregnancy, nearly half of which has accumulated in the last 3-4 weeks. I haven’t talked much about weight because everyone is different and I don’t want you to think I’m vain or worried about it. I don’t want to make women feel bad if they gained 50lbs because some women are meant to gain 50lbs–I’ve seen a lot of “fat shaming” on babycenter and that sh*t is not cool. But I am pleasantly surprised that my weight gain has been minimal, I mean, since I’ve always tended to be curvy (and sometimes chunky).
● Sex…we last tried at 33 weeks and it was painful for both of us. And although I feel attractive and certainly Mr. MLACS finds me attractive (and I find him very appealing), I can’t say that I miss sex at the moment. Well, maybe a little. C’est la vie.
● I have previously had lactose intolerance for the better part of my life and have had to pick-and-choose which dairy products I ate–cheese was usually fine but ice cream would make me gassy and bloated…until *now*. Now I can consume dairy without consequences! Unfortunately, Dr. Angel says that will likely revert back to an intolerance after birth. Phooey.
● I saw a lactation consultant last week. And guess what–she’s a fellow infertile, now 22 weeks with fraternal twins! She was an L&D Nurse for years prior to becoming a lactation consultant. After our appointment Mr. MLACS commented “I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do her job while going through infertility. That would be torture.” And I have never been more proud of him than I was when he said those words.