Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Crazy Grandma

My mom brought my grandparents to visit Travis and I recently. Grandma and Grandpa began talking about their latest stay in Florida, where they go every winter.

Grandma: You should see the women down there! They line up to kiss him (my grandpa) when we arrive, they line up to dance with him every Friday night and they line up to kiss him when we leave. You should see them!

Grandpa: Well, what she's not telling you is the other side - all those ladies' husbands are lined up to kiss and dance with her.

Grandma: Oh well, those guys are nice, but I wouldn't wipe my ass on them.

"I wouldn't wipe my ass on them"???? I'm not sure exactly what that means but it's really funny, especially coming from my 80 year old grandma.

Monday, April 28, 2008


#1 - I'm still pregnant. 39 weeks and 5 days.

#2 - Wednesday is my last day of work. Unless I have the baby before then. I was really hoping I would have had the baby before then.

#3 - Spicy food has not induced labor. Nor has working, walking or other suggested methods.

#4 - We have carpet! There is now finally one thing that is complete in our house! This makes me so, so, so very happy! Carpet!
Here's the pictures:

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Surprise phone call

Yesterday afternoon I received a surprise phone call from my very good friend, Sr. Myriam Caritas with the Sisters of Life. Her mom, niece and sister are visiting her and she used the opportunity of her sister's cell phone to see about my baby. Here's a recap of how the conversation went:

I'm still pregnant.

She got to meet the pope! (She was at the Mass at the Cathedral and Yankee Stadium. But she also went to the prayer vigil that the Sisters of Life and the CFRs held outside the bishop's home where the pope stayed. It was there that he came out, and Sr. MC was right in front. She grasped his hand with both of hers and said, "Holy Father, we will be professing vows this summer; please pray for us." He thanked her for her prayers, having misunderstood her, but the bishop then said something to him in Italian ending with "Cardinal O'Connor," the Sisters' founder. The Holy Father's face then lit up and he said, "Oh. The Sisters of Life. Yes; God bless you.")

I cried as she told me the story.

She asked about names. (Lydia Anne or Bennett Mark)

I told her about the recent activities at the EC Newman Center (Sr. MC was my campus minister before she was a sister and when I was an EC student. I now am the staff advisor and coordinate ministry there.)

I told her a joke about the Assumption of Mary (feast day Aug 15th) that I heard from a priest who works in college campus ministry. In his words, "Mary goes to Heaven and the rest of the world goes to hell."

She said she had to get going because Mass was beginning. Fr. Benedict Groeschel was preaching.

I told her how I'd love to be there and reminded her of how she first introduced me to him through his book Arise from Darkness.

I then told her (there was no asking) that she should offer up her Mass for me so that I will go into labor soon.

She was glad to do so, especially since it was the feast of St. Mark.

It was almost a 20 minute conversation and it was so, so wonderful hearing from her.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April - a month of anniversaries

It was 2 years ago that Travis came to me and said he wanted to date me and that he was confident it was God's will that we do so. Having very recently figured out that I loved him beyond friendship, I agreed to give it a go.

It was 1 year ago that Travis and I embarked on our great Scottish honeymoon. We came back from that adventure better friends and more in love than ever.

Not so coincidentally, it was also 1 year ago that I became pregnant with our first baby, Peter Mark, who would have been born in January.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Prepping for the Home Birth

My due date is April 30th - 8 days away. My baby dropped a little over a week ago, so if I stick to the average then my baby should be coming soon. I think this is a possibility because I've been having contractions. They haven't been getting longer, stronger and closer together, but they have been happening since yesterday morning.

Here's a run down of THE DAY.

The people who will be at the birth:
Bernice, my midwife
one of Bernice's assistants (probably Brandy from Peoria who is training to be a home birth midwife)
Laura, my good friend from high school. She delivered her second boy at home and has considered training to be a doula (birthing assistant).

When people will be called:
The beginning of labor will be just me and Travis (he'll come home from work if needed). As I time contractions and recognize that they are progressing (and it's the real thing) I'll call Bernice and Laura to give them both a head's up.

Once the contractions are 5 minutes apart and about a minute long I'll call Bernice and she'll come down. (She lives about an hour north.) I will also call Laura, who lives 10 minutes away but will have to take her boys to grandma's.

What will everyone do once they get to our house?
Bernice and her assistant will monitor me and the baby on a regular basis. Everyone present will help me as little or as much as I'd like or need. There will be suggestions for positions for easier laboring. Counter pressure and massage will be used to ease pain. Encouragement will be given. I'll probably labor some in the shower and on all fours since both have offered a lot of relief already.

I honestly think I'll probably want just Travis with me for a lot of it. But the others will be available for his breaks.

Laura will also be serving as our "house fairy" running errands or throwing in a load of towels if needed. She also has the assignment of making the Birth Day Cake, pineapple upside down cake, please. :)

What if there are problems?
Then we will go to OSF 20 minutes away, driving the speed limit, and Bernice's consulting doctor will take over there. We will probably go in Bernice's mini van because there is more room for me to sprawl out.

Statistically speaking, a home birth is riskier for a first time mother. But the chances of me having complications are still less than if I were having a planned hospital birth because "interventions" like inducing labor and giving epidurals often lead to more interventions which can lead to more complications, including c-sections.

Since my baby is not breech and my pregnancy has been a healthy one, and I haven't gained too much weight, all signs are pointing to a normal delivery.

And when the baby's crowning and out - then what happens?
Travis and Bernice will be catching the baby together. He will then pass our child up to me and I will warm him with skin to skin contact. As Trav and I are lovin' on the baby Bernice and her assistant will check him out and wipe him off. We will be able to hold the baby as long as there is nothing wrong. (If there is something wrong they will have medical equipment with them.)

The cord will be cut once it has stopped pulsing so that baby gets all the nutrients he can. I will deliver the afterbirth naturally, it won't be tugged or cranked out like they sometimes do in hospitals.

I will begin nursing as soon as possible.

Bernice and the others will stay for a few hours to continue to monitor the baby and I. We will also call our parents and ask them to spread the word and come on over.

Good Info on Cloth

Rixa at The True Face of Birth has a wonderful collection of advice from cloth diapering moms. You should really check it out if you've ever considered it or are wondering why in the world Travis and I are doing it.

It's been really helpful, and I think based on it we'll alter some of what we were going to get.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

38 weeks and 1 day

A little bit of a baby update.

For the last two nights I have had some warm up contractions. Nothing strong or consistent but noticeable.

Today I saw Bernice, our midwife, again. Two weeks ago when I saw her my belly, which had been measuring 2 weeks ahead the whole pregnancy, measured 4 weeks ahead. I also had gained 10 pounds from the last time I had seen her. Her exact words were, "You need to stop." It was the closest thing to a scolding I think I could get from grandmotherly Bernice so I took her very seriously.

But today we found out I had only gained 1 pound in the last two weeks! Woo baby! Also, my belly is now measuring at 38 weeks - right on target with where I am. The reason - the baby has dropped. In the words of Bernice's assistant, "The baby is really low and really deep," head nestled well in the pelvic cradle. This is super good news. I think the baby dropped over the weekend, and generally a mother will go into labor 2 weeks after the drop. People get ready - this baby is coming!

Good times

Larry, Moe and Curly

St. Mary of the Carrots

I'm so excited about our super cute crib bedding I could almost eat it all up.

Many thanks to the women of St. Luke's for throwing me this shower. :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

The House

This is the order for things to be accomplished:

- finish tiling the bathroom (1/2 done)*
- finish mudding the living room (1/4 done)*
- finish the bedroom closet (hanging drywall, mudding, installing light)*
- finish mudding the bathroom
- install lights in bathroom*
- finish mudding the dining room and kitchen
- sand everything
- paint living room, dining room, bathroom and remaining wall in kitchen
- finish everything in laundry room (drywall, mudding, flooring)
- fix the kitchen window

This * means that I want it done before the baby comes. I'd like to organize and put away things for the baby. But first we need to make room in the bedroom for that to happen. And to make room in the bedroom we need our closet to be finished so clothes and hamper can be moved in there. I'd also like to unpack all the books that are currently stashed downstairs, upstairs and in our room, but the bookshelf will go in the living room and we need the mudding to be done so the carpet can be laid before the books come out.

And really, having the bathroom done is just because I will probably be laboring in there a lot and I'd like it to be nice.

Go, Travis, Go! You can do it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What my job has taught me about parents and being thankful

In my job I spend just as much time working with potential students as I do with their parents and through this I have gotten many glimpses of what I do want to be like and what I most definitely do not want to be like.

For instance, the whole micro-managing of my child's life cannot happen. The kid then has a rebellious side and the parent is annoying as all get out. Of course the parent needs to be in charge but I much prefer my mom's take on it all. She trusted us until she had a reason not to trust us. (And please note that my brothers and I are all with outstanding significant others, never partied, have good jobs and are well respected.)

But then, folks, there's the other parents who I love working with. Usually their children are first generation college students. They want the absolute best for their kid and are willing to make sacrifices to help pay for their child's education. They do not complain about not having money and then drive the Lexus to the country club. They are kind, appreciative and fun.

For example, yesterday was our first days of enrollment for incoming freshmen. One girl, P, came with her mom. They were slightly overwhelmed but everything was taken care of and at the end of the day, while P was taking care of some other things, her mom came up to my office to say good-bye. She thanked me over and over and kept giving me hugs of appreciation. She told me repeatedly that I needed to stay in touch with her daughter after I left because I had meant so much to both of them. She said that when she comes to visit she will have P email me so I can bring the baby to campus and she can meet up with us.

I sincerely hope that I can be that grateful for and appreciative of the people who come into my life.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"Send 12 Swiss Guard to arrest them all."

Travis and I have recently fallen in love with Cardinal Arinze due, in large part, to the following clip from a conference Q&A. I tried repeatedly to post the the video to the blog but it never worked. Follow the link, though, it's totally worth it. The Cardinal is honest, straightforward and really funny. (You may have to click okay about 6 times first. Sorry, I don't know why it does that.)

On a side note, my favorite part of the video is when Cardinal Arinze says, "We have no choice," in regards to following Divine Law. He does not say it as one who has submitted but one who is convicted.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Congratulations to my baby brother, who is engaged to a wonderful woman!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Baby Showers

Here's some pictures from baby showers that have been thrown recently.
At the shower my office threw for me.
The table from the shower the EC staff ladies threw for me.

The onesie my sister-in-law decorated at the shower my family threw for me.

This one was done by my younger brother's girlfriend.

This is the one I did.

The diapers with snacks at the shower Trav's family threw for me.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Come on, baby!

Our midwife came to the house today.

Blood pressure - good.
Heartbeat - good.
Protein levels - good.

Weight gain - bad. (Too much baby shower cake.)
Size of my belly - bad. (I have measured 2 weeks ahead the whole pregnancy but this week I was 4 weeks ahead.)

Fact that I've been having a few contractions, a stretchy/achy feeling and that I've had a lil' bit o bloody show - VERY GOOD! (This doesn't mean that the baby will come soon, but they are all good signs that the baby could come soon.)

I know that I will miss feeling the baby move inside of me, but I am so ready to sleep on my stomach and back again, and to start losing some weight, and to bend over, and to not pee 3 times every night. I don't think I'm being too ridiculous with these things. Do you?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Baby Names

If we have a girl we will name her Lydia Anne. Case closed.

If we have a boy... well... we don't quite know what we will name him.


Benedict Mark
This is after the Holy Father and my grandpa, Benno. We would call him Ben, though I may also call him Benno. Problems with this name are the association with Mr. Arnold the traitor and the dict ending which has the potential from teasing.

Blaise Mark
This name comes from St. Blaise, the patron of throat maladies. We like it, but I fear it might be too trendy-seeming. Like naming your kid Jett or Apple. Will people buy him fire stuff? That would be annoying.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think, please.