Thursday, April 7, 2011

Forgot to Mention

Hi Again, Baby,

I forgot to mention that I also got quite the haircut yesterday.

I've been growing my hair out since before I met your dad - so for almost four years now!

Once I had grown it out for about two years, I decided I might as well keep going and just donate it to Locks of Love when it got long enough. Not long after I made that decision, my cousin Renee was diagnosed with cancer, so that only deepened my resolve. I figured it could be a way to honor her (she just celebrated one year of being cancer free, by the way - so amazing!).

I was going to wait until after you arrived to cut it, but it has been driving me nuts lately (plus, I'm going through shampoo like no one's business. Plus, I probably won't have time to go out and get a haircut for quite a while after you're born.), and your dad convinced me to make an appointment for before you arrived. So, Tuesday night, I made the call and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday.

I normally am not attached to my hair that much, but I've been growing it for so long that I actually had a minor panic attack after making the appointment and made your dad measure my hair to see how much I would have left over after donating!

So, yesterday, I donated 10 inches to Locks for Love, and then, in styling my new, much shorter 'do, the stylist cut off another 1-2 inches. I lost about a foot of hair yesterday. So insane!

It feels great, though, and I'm so glad that I was able to donate my hair to such a worthy cause!

What I didn't realize going in was that my salon actually gives quite the discount for donating your hair - who would have thought? I figured they'd just cut it off, give it back to me, and then style it.

No, sir.

They cut it off and then styled it, alright, but they took care of sending it in and handling that portion of the process (which I was glad about, because only after they cut off my ponytails did I realize how creeped out I would be by having to take locks of my own hair home with me!).

Plus, they gave me $45 off of my haircut and spent almost 1 1/2 hours with me!

What a blessing!

Here I was worrying about spending so much on a haircut (normally I go to training stylists, so I don't usually pay more than $10-15 for my haircuts, but this time, since it was such a huge change and I knew that I'd be in lots of pictures after having my haircut, what with you arriving so soon and all, I figured it was worth it to pay full price [$50! Outrageous]), and then in the end, not only did I get more time and attention spent on my hair than usual, but it only cost me $5!

So, if anyone out there is reading this, lives in MN, and is hoping to donate to Locks of Love, check out Juut Salon Spa - definitely the perfect place to do so!

I just feel like a million bucks with my new, freshly-cut, spring-y hairstyle - now I feel officially ready to have some family photos taken when you get here!



Awkward Prenatal Appointments & Contractions

Hi Baby,

I know I only wrote to you a few days ago, but we had an awkward and funny experience at our prenatal appointment yesterday that I just had to share with you.

Last week at my 36 week prenatal appointment, my midwife did a cervical check to see if we were making any progress. While there, I asked her if I should expect to have a check done every week, or if that would be it for a while. She told me that we definitely wouldn't do one at the next appointment, but that we might do another one once I reach 38 or 39 weeks, depending on how things are going.

So, yesterday, at my 37 week prenatal appointment, I didn't expect to have a cervical check done. I figured it would be a quick appointment like the rest are, with just having my blood pressure, weight, and fundal height checked, and getting a chance, as always, to listen to your heartbeat for a second.

So, we get to the appointment and the nurse takes my blood pressure and weighs me. Then she tells me, "You're going to go waist-down today so that they can check you." And I said, "Oh, really? Are you sure? At my last appointment, they said that we wouldn't be doing that this week."

"Yes, I'm sure. Once you hit 36 weeks, we have you go waist-down so we can check you every week."


I mean, I wasn't going to argue with her. This is the nurse, for pete's sake. She's much more likely to know what's going on than I am!

So, I head into the exam room, strip down, sit on the table, and wait for the midwife.

Your dad and I chat for a few minutes about how funny it would be if the nurse was wrong, and I really wasn't supposed to be half-naked for the exam today. It would certainly be a story to tell!

In walks the midwife, and sure enough, she looks at me and says something to the effect of, "You just wanted to go waist-down today?"

Oh boy.

Or, as your great-grandpa would say, "Oi vey."

Holy awkward, Batman.

I explained to her that I didn't think I was supposed to, but the nurse insisted. The midwife just kind of chuckled and said, "No, we're not going to check you again this week. It can be kind of disheartening to moms if we check them every week and there isn't much progress. We'll check you again next week."

So, that made for an interesting appointment!

Then, when I laid back for the midwife to measure my stomach and listen to your heartbeat, my stomach was shaped really, really funny. It was all egg-shaped on one side. I figured you just were moving into a silly position, but the midwife said, "Nope - that's a contraction."

Who would've known?

I couldn't feel it AT ALL.

But, now that I know what to look for, I've noticed that I am having tons and tons and tons of braxton hicks contractions (at least, I'm pretty sure they're braxton hicks!).

Sometimes I'll get four or five in a matter of 20 minutes or a half-hour! It's crazy!

Now I'm realizing why it may be difficult to discern real labor from false labor, so I'm hoping for a definite sign when labor actually arrives - like my water breaking, or something along those lines.

Anyway, it looks like my body is doing what it needs to to prepare for your arrival, and I am seriously counting down the days until I get to meet you!

19 days until our EDD!

Love you lots,


Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Hi Baby Boy,

Well, we are officially full-term today!


I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it!

Now that we're full-term, anytime you decide to come into the world is fine by me. We just had to wait until we hit 37 weeks, or the hospital wouldn't let me attempt a waterbirth, and since I've been really excited about trying a waterbirth, that would've been a bummer.

So, you are in the clear to arrive anytime you want from here on out!

Personally, I'd like to wait until after this Thursday, because then we will be done with all of our prenatal classes. Oh, and your dad is requesting that you start the labor process on a Friday, so he can have as much time with us as possible while taking as few PTO days as possible.

Ultimately, though, we don't care when you come. We're just excited to meet you, whenever you decide you've cooked long enough in there :)

But please don't make us wait until May!

I love, love, love you - congratulations to us both on making it to full-term!



Friday, April 1, 2011

Emotional Much?

Hi Baby,

For the first time in this pregnancy, I've felt really, really hormonal the past couple of days.

Seriously, I will just start crying at the oddest times (like when reading something completely unemotional, for example), and I can actually physically feel that it is my pregnancy hormones getting the best of me.

It's a very, very weird feeling to know that I'm going to cry and that there is no reason for it and that there is nothing I can do about it.

It makes me wonder what postpartum will look like! Hopefully the "baby blues" won't get the best of me!

So maybe it's my pregnancy hormones that are making me feel all nostalgic and gushy inside and leading me to write you this letter.

Or maybe not.

Maybe I'd be feeling this way and writing this to you no matter what, with or without hormones.

Either way, I just want you to know how excited I am to meet you. I honestly cannot even express in words how deep my love for you runs. It actually overwhelms me sometimes, to love so very deeply this little, tiny person inside of me whom I've never met face-to-face. It's so true what they say - you can't understand a mother's love unless you experience it firsthand. I'm starting to realize that now. And I really feel ready to be your mother. I know I won't be perfect, but I will be the best mother I can for you.

It's amazing how connected I feel to you, even though I've never truly met you.

Even though I've never seen your face, I feel like I know you.

I feel like I know your personality, I know your characteristics, I know your disposition.

At least, I feel like I know you so much more intimately than anyone else does. After all, you've been inside of me for over 8 months now. And while for at least half of that time, I couldn't feel you move or see how you were changing my body, the 3-4ish months that I have been able to do so have affected me so deeply.

My body is so different now than it was before you. And it will never, ever be the same as it was before you entered my life. Ever. And while a very tiny part of me is a bit sad that my stomach will never, ever be without stretch marks again, most of me is so grateful for that fact.

I actually have physical evidence that you are inside of me. And even after you come out, I will continue to have this physical evidence of the 9 months that we were intimately connected for the rest of my life.

I love that.

I love that I will never, ever be the same as I was before you entered my world.

I love that there will always be a physical reminder of what it was like to have you inside of me, long after you have come out and entered the big, scary, wonderful, terrible "real world."

I don't think I've ever actually mentioned it to anyone before, but I have a physical reminder of your sister on my body, too.

When I was in the hospital miscarrying your sister, they gave me an IV. I had never had an IV before. I honestly have no concept of how long it was in - maybe an hour or so? Maybe longer?

Eventually they took the IV out for obvious reasons, and I didn't think too much of it.

But as my body began to heal physically after losing our first child, that area where they had placed my IV developed a very tiny, round scar - almost too small to notice, definitely too small to even show up in a photo. A reminder of the IV. A reminder of our first child. A reminder of my baby girl and the very short time she was with us.

It's actually comforting for me to have that scar. It reminds me of that experience. Sometimes I feel crazy for missing the little baby that was inside of me for such a short time and that I really, to be honest, didn't feel ready for in the first place. Sometimes I almost start to question if that really happened to me. But when I start to wonder that, I can always look down at my arm and be reminded that it did happen. We did have another baby. We do have another baby.

I actually won't let anyone draw blood from my left arm anymore, because I'm so afraid that they will mess up that scar or make another scar, and then I won't be able to know which scar is which. I'm lucky that both of my arms have good veins, because I only let doctors draw blood from my right arm, now.

It may seem silly, but it's my way of protecting the memory of your sister. I couldn't save her. I couldn't protect her physically. But I can protect her memory.

So, even though my stomach will never look the same again - it will never be quite as flat and shapely and unscathed as it was before - even though it will never be quite as beautiful (at least by society's standards) as it was before, I love my stretch marks. They remind me of you. They will always remind me of you. And, personally, I think that makes my stomach more beautiful than it's ever been before. Just like that little, tiny scar from the IV makes my left arm more beautiful than it ever was before your sister entered our world. I love that my body carries scars from both of my children. We will never be a complete family here on earth. We will never all be together in this lifetime. But, in a way, we will always be together because my body carries the memory of your sister, though she cannot be physically present with us. And even when you someday go off to school or move out of our home to get married, you will still be with your dad and I, too - present in the memories that my scars carry with them.

I mean it when I say that I can't wait to see your face for the first time. I can't wait to see the face of this little child who has stolen my heart and has made me fall completely in love with him. I can hardly stand the fact that I have another 3 weeks before you're due to enter the world. I can hardly stand the wait.

I love you so much more than I can say.

With All My Heart,