Pregnancy Update #4: Less than a month!

How far along? 36 weeks pregnant… That means 4 weeks left, but really only 26 days. Yes, we have less than a month until due date! I am seriously SUPER excited!
Size of baby: According to our most recent ultrasound, we are looking at big boy. Doctor said that he is currently measuring approximately 7lbs, he has HAIR, and the ultrasound technician said that he is getting some cheeks to form on his little face.
Stretch marks? Yes, more pregnancy battle scars. I am going to actually stop answering this questions because it is getting a little sad and pretty depressing when I actually have to review it.
Sleep: Fleeting! I seem to have to get up to race to the bathroom almost once an hour. He has found my bladder to be the most comfortable cushion, which unfortunately is not so comfortable for me. I have been trying to nap a little more though. It seems to help, but I feel so lazy when I do. I suppose I will just have to do my best with this one.
Best moment this week: Finally getting on Maternity Leave. We have officially had time now to get some items in the nursery. It has been fantastic to see how it all unfolds. I still have so much that I want to do to his room, but it will just have to take some time and I will have to be patient with myself.
Movement: He is still moving around, but not as definitive when it comes to movement. That just means more rolling around, not as much punching or kicking. I feel his little butt roll across my tummy when he changes direction. I can almost feel a leg or an elbow sometimes, but it just depends on his movement for the day. The one thing that keeps me up at night is his constant movement. He feels like it’s time to rock out when it’s 11:50pm.
Food cravings: Nothing too specific. I have gotten a little bit of a sweet tooth, but all in all nothing too special. As always milk is a favorite, but again… nothing odd or spectacular.
Labor Signs: Feeling a lot of cramping, but I have contributed it mostly to gas and (WARNING, TMI) constipation. Last night was the first night where I had a good long cramp in my belly. It felt like someone punched me and left a pretty nasty bruise, but to be honest I don’t really think that any of it is labor. I am sure as soon as I feel it I will know it, but right now… it’s not looking like it.
What I miss: I miss being able to put on my pants or underwear without difficulty. Now, it feels like I have to play a game of target practice in order to get my feet in the right holes. It’s practically impossible to bend over, pick things up off the floor, or get out of a vehicle without assistance.
What I am looking forward to: I can’t wait to be ready and waiting for him. Right now, I still feel so unprepared. I have a nursery to prepare, the labor bag, collect some other items for after his arrival, etc. Once it’s all done I will feel like I am ready for him.
Weekly Wisdom: Getting ready is more than just a task, it’s a damn challenge. If anything, I request of any man asking of any pregnant woman to just please be patient. It may be a long wait, but it’s worth it. 
Milestones: We officially got the carrier installed for the car seat. We took a class and got it cleared by the certified fire-fighter. It was an excellent opportunity and a great learning experience, but now we are at least ready to carry a newborn in our vehicle. YAY!

     I am getting so excited! I know that people are thinking that oh, you are right around the corner. I feel like a ticking time bomb. When will I “go off” and go into labor. I am almost half expecting to go into sudden labor at the worst possible time. I mean over the next few weeks we don’t have a lot going on, but what we do have going on could definitely ruin some plans. I just keep telling myself that Peyton will come when he is good and ready and when that time comes we will deal with it as best as possible.

     The other thing that I am kind of looking forward to, is a little before his arrival time I am going to be staying with my parents so I have someone to drive me when I go into labor. I am looking forward to this for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I will be around people who will be able to distract me. I know toward the end of it all I am going to be so anxious and excited it will be hard to focus on anything else. When I am with my family, I will be able to be distracted by either Nintendo64, Monopoly, Dominoes, Card Games, etc. I will need some good distractions.

     Now… it’s just time to wait. What did you do the month leading up to your due date? Any fun games or suggestions you could offer me? Did we want to start a pool of people betting on arrival date? I would love to start something like that. Well, look forward to hearing from you have a great night everyone!


A letter to my son

Dear Peyton,

I am sure you already know this is your mother, Stephanie. I thought it would be a good idea to write you a little something before your arrival. We have you scheduled to be here November 24th, 2012, but we all know that the doctors don’t know everything and it’s all going to depend on you. You will come when you are good and ready.

Anyways, I wanted to take the time to write you because I am so excited for you to be here! When we first found out you were on your way, which was 2 days before our wedding day, by the way. Excellent timing might I add. I was so scared. I have always wanted to be a mother I just didn’t know where to begin. That plus I didn’t know if you would stick around, but through God’s multiple blessings I was able to keep you happy and healthy so you can grow into a beautiful little boy.

Now I haven’t met you yet, but I know that you will come out to be a beautiful little man. With the constant movement I feel in my tummy I can only imagine that you are going to be a spunky, active, crazy little guy. I really can’t wait. You will be by far my greatest challenge and greatest accomplishment. I keep wondering what milestone we will see you accomplish first. If it will be your first smile, your first yawn, your first laugh, etc. It will be so much fun to see you grow.

All that I hope for you is that you can grow up loving your family, cherishing your friends and memories, and valuing your morals. I want to see you grow into a wonderful man that is successful, kind, smart, and funny. I know with the example and guidance from your amazing father we will have no problems with that. I also want you to be confident in yourself, know who you are and what you want without having your peers trying to influence you. I want you to feel comfortable having your own opinions. I want you to do and accomplish anything you set your mind to and know that you are worth so much.

I want you to know that no matter what I will always love you. If you pee on me when we change you, if I catch you playing with the wawa food, if you get accustomed to messing with Keidy, and even other times in the future when you may get in even bigger trouble… I will promise you, forever, I will love you. Even when we get in our own scuffles  through our tempers and frustration I will always love you. There is not one thing you could do that would make me not love you.

So, with that being said… I can’t wait for your arrival and to finally hold you in my arms. My pregnancy with you has been such an amazing experience. I could not be more blessed. I will look forward to having you with us. Starting our family and countless memories will be our next big adventure. We have so many people looking forward to meeting you too.

I love you my boy.

Stephanie Ann Gutierrez (Your Mother)

PS- One day we will have to talk about how we picked your name. You can start by researching quarterback Peyton Manning. Love you!

"… you make it impossible for me to hate you…"

     Today was the first day of my maternity leave. I have to admit it was a very productive day. We got a lot done, but to say the least is was taxing. For having the day off work, it felt a lot like we (both Ben and I) were still working. If anything we took a day to get stuff done.

     The day started at a breast feeding class that we arrived late for. I suppose they should have notified us that it was not going to be taking place in the same spot as our other classes, but oh well… we eventually found it. This class was of course very “pro-breast feeding” and almost discouraged the thought of formulas and even pumping (which, I thought was a little weird). But, it did have a lot of good information to offer us, and of course the materails are always helpful. They almost seem to be a little more helpful than the instructor. LOL!

     After our class, we went to grab some food and headed home. We needed to pick up our baby carrier/car seat because we had an appointment to have it installed and inspected by the local fire department. Some where prior to our appointment we managed to sneak in a small 15 minute cat nap, and then we were off and running again.

     We had our appointment with Andrew at Dept. 84 in Pittsburgh. They are the only local place that offers free instruction and inspection of the car seat. To be honest I thought I was going to have to resort to AAA, but lose out on the information. With AAA they just offer an appointment to make sure that it is in there properly. I would like to make sure that I know how to install it right and that I am setting it in the vehicle properly so I don’t get stuck at the hospital. Apparently if it is not installed properly, the hospital will not let you take the baby home. NO BUENO! But, when we met with Andrew, he was fantastic. He showed us how to get it in the car. Where the safest place in the car would be for the car seat. He also instructed us on how to make sure that the baby is in the car seat properly. I am really quite impressed that it was like a personal instruction. I would definitely recommend this to anyone! I am totally not the kind of person that would want to waste a whole lot of time if I don’t have to, but this is for your baby people.

     After our appointment, we came home to organize. We finally were able to get the items from my parents house over to our place so we can set up the nursery. I was quite ecstatic. Not to mention it involves looking at Peyton’s stuff… totally exciting. Anyways, we spent another good couple hours working on that. Arranging furniture, tossing out garbage, seeing about items to donate, etc. After all that time I am still not done, but we got a lot arranged and the remainder of the work I can pretty much do on my own (Ben did all the heavy lifting of course).

     When all the major stuff was done, we opted to just sit and watch movies. First up, Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition. I love this movie, but at the same time it can be so depressing. The second, and one of my personal favorites, was Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. This movie is by far ingenious. It has the perfect mix of drama, humor, and romance. I know that people probably think that it is out dated, but with this movie… it can’t be out dated. It applies to relationships now just as well as it did in the past. Plus, who can deny that the most humorous part in the movie is the fake orgasm!?!?!? I mean this is perfect. It makes you laugh, cry, and make you want to hang out with your significant other. I just know that the second Harry Connick Jr. starts singing “It had to be you” in the opening credits, it makes me want to push everything off to the side and focus.

That and at the end when they are in the passionate conversation about why Harry loves Sally, and all she can say is “… you make it impossible for me to hate you, Harry…”. It makes me think of Ben. I can never get mad or stay mad at Ben. Even at the times when we are most frustrated with each other, I would much rather talk to him than anyone else. Him and his beautiful face make me fall in love with him all over again and again and again. He is my best friend.

But, that was pretty much our evening, and just so everyone knows… I love being on maternity leave! Not to mention, each day gets closer to meeting Peyton. Well, have a great night everyone.

It’s almost over…

     Tomorrow is my last day of work. I have been waiting for this day since I went back to work to be honest. I thought I wouldn’t make it. I thought that I would cave in and break like I did last time. I felt like maybe I just needed to get out before I went under. Well, to be honest if it weren’t for my loving hubby I would have given in to the temptation to leave a long time ago. With his help and constant  motivation, I was able to make it to my last day.

     How do I feel about it being my last day of work? I am sure you are all giggling, just knowing that I am completely and utterly thrilled. I can’t wait to be finally free from that constant nagging, gut wrenching, hell hole of a place. I am sure my pregnancy has a huge hold on why I don’t like the place all that much right now, but at the same time, I have not been very pleased with it for a while before that.

     Now some of you may wonder what I will do with my new found freedom. To be honest, I am looking forward to getting prepared for Peyton. I feel like I still have so much to do. I need to prepare the nursery. I have to clean up our room, and I really need to make sure that I have everything ready for labor and delivery. I also want to start walking a lot more. Take the dogs out, walk with my girlfriends, etc. I just want to get a little more prepared for him.

     What will my co-workers say about me leaving? Well, I know they are not too thrilled. I don’t think they will so much miss me, the person, but I think they will miss the extra body to do more work. That really is what they will want returning in January. I know that the thought of me returning and coming back is what offers them some relief. To be honest I think that I am just the extra paper pusher that makes them think they aren’t all that alone.

     I suppose the big question is what will I do when January comes? I will cross that bridge when I get there. I know that I am going to want to be with my son, so that is a given. I suppose the back up question to that is will I ever be willing to subject myself to 11 hour days 5 days a week again? Required overtime? No pay increase in 2.5 years? No promotion after they promised it to me about a million times over? Hmmm… lots to think about.

     Well… what I can say for now is it is almost over!

39 days left

     I have 39 days until this baby will be here (according to my due date of course). I am looking forward to seeing his little face. I can’t wait to see if he has hair, what color his eyes will be, if he will have Ben’s darker complexion or my fair skin. I keep wondering what kind of personality he will have. I wonder will he have my temper? Ben’s sense of humor? My stubbornness? I just want so badly for him to be out and about with us.

     With the days passing by it gets harder and harder for me to be patient. As the doctors have warned it has also been increasingly more difficult physically. To put it more bluntly, I have a hard time getting out of bed due to hip/back/muscle pain, I cry all the time (probably from hormones), and Peyton constantly uses my bladder and my intestines as a trampoline. I am sure he is having a grand ol’ time in there, but I am having one hell of a time.

     My level of anxiety has also hit an all time high. I know the good majority if not all of it has been self inflicted, but at the same time, it is scaring me no matter how it was inflicted. I have been a person who is always afraid of the unknown, but even more so when it comes to health. I have been taking these labor and delivery classes that have quite frankly come to terrify me. Before I took these classes I felt like I was ok with whatever would happen. I felt like I knew I could and will get through it despite all that I will need to do physically and I will just deal. Now, after all the information I am afraid of meds, emergency c-sections, and what kind of limitations the hospital will put on my experience. Call me obsessive, but I keep dwelling on the “what if’s”. I know I shouldn’t and that it will only make things worse, but my mind can’t help it.

     Last night was the 4th of our 4 labor and delivery classes. I actually had to get up and leave with Ben because I was having a panic attack after they showed us a video about c-section deliveries. The thought of having to have a c-section is what scares me. I am sure if I was actually forced to do it and went through it, I wouldn’t be so bad… but the thought of rushing through to an emergency c-section just makes me scared. Being strapped down, semi-conscious/available for my baby, feeling everything but not being able to see or hold my son… even now makes me freak.

     I know when it comes to delivering my son I will do what I have to do so that we are both as safe and healthy as possible, whether that means natural labor or c-section, we will cross that bridge when we get there. I just know that I am getting more and more nervous as the time passes. I just want to know what to expect. This is my first baby and so it makes me so much more nervous not knowing. Ugh… patience is not something that my son will inherit from me. I am lacking in that department like crazy.

     Well, I am going to try and focus on other things, like getting ready for him. I still want to prep his room, I will be on maternity leave soon and will want to do some of his laundry. I am going to have to figure out when I will be coming over to my parents house prior to due date so I can have someone to drive me in case I go into labor when Ben is at work. Oh, the planning…

One Great Day

     Today was a great day. Not only was it special because I got to celebrate the soon to be arrival of my Peyton, but I got to do it with some amazing people. I knew that we were going to be a small crew, but the actual outcome was better described as intimate. Natalie, one of my oldest and dearest friends, threw me the baby shower with some assistance from my friends Michelle and Kate. It ended up being so perfect. We had some excellent company, wonderful conversation, and just a great afternoon.

     It’s days like today that make me realize that I have some fantastic people in my life. We all laughed and talked. They made me and my Peyton feel very special. I just couldn’t imagine my life without these people. I got to spend time with my soon-to-be sister-in-law. I got to enjoy the company of her mom and Michelle’s mom. It was just an enjoyable afternoon.
     I suppose I could be upset about the people who did not attend, but to be honest… if they didn’t attend they were the ones who missed out. We still had a great time. Plus, stuff happens, things come up, if they can’t make it I just hope that they are ok and that nothing terrible happened. All I can say though, is with or without them, I had a great time with my girls.
     They were so wonderful with my theme too! They stuck with the Winnie the Pooh theme. We had a diaper cake, balloons that were Winnie the Pooh, napkins, plates, favors, and additional decor that was all Winnie the Pooh. I loved it! Here are some pictures from the day. I will have some more from later.

It has officially hit me…

     Over the past few weeks, if you have been reading up on the posts, you would be aware that I am taking some classes in preparation for the next part of my pregnancy… LABOR. I suppose this past week has been by far the most eye opening. I am now officially anxious, nervous, worried, scared, etc. This week was my 3rd Labor and Delivery class, the hospital tour (at the Walnut Creek Kaiser Hospital, where I will be delivering), and then tomorrow I will be attending the Newborn Care class.

     The Labor and Deliver class freaked me out in the medical sense. I know they try and prepare you for the worst, but to be honest I was already expecting something pretty awful, but now I am getting it full force. They are talking about the epidural, which I really don’t want and would hope to avoid. The pitocin, which I would rather not touch with a 10 foot pole if not longer. All the little probes and monitors involved in checking on these drugs. The catheter, the IV, the afterbirth, the tearing, the whole laboring mess.

     Then when we went to the hospital tour, Ben keeps saying how cool everything is and I am starting to get nervous again. The nurses, the rooms, the bed, the stirrups, the nursery, the NICU, etc. I am starting to visualize what will be going and it’s freaking me out. I am looking at the labor room and the recovery room thinking to myself… I will be here in less than 2 months. I will be in that bed laboring over my child.

     I suppose it’s all overwhelming. I am just getting used to his kicks and punches in my belly and now he is ready to come out?!?! I have to push him out of WHERE?!?! What if something goes wrong? What happens   if I need help, but don’t want meds? What if I need a C-Section? What if I have to share a room with another mother and their baby? Will I be ready for it? Can I handle it?

     Millions of questions are flooding my mind like a dam that just burst. Will I be a good mother? Can I get through it without medications? What happens if Ben isn’t there? Will I be able to make it to the hospital in time? If I do take some meds, how will my baby handle it? I am just having it finally set in that I am actually going to have to go through this. I am going to have to complete the biggest “final exam” of my life and I have no idea how to prepare and if I can ever be prepared enough.

     UGH! I know I can’t really think about it until it really happens, but I am just scared. This is my vent/rant and I hope that I can find some kind of words of wisdom from all those who have already gone through it. What are some of your experiences? When did it set in for you that it was all really happening?