Friday, August 16, 2013

Full Term! + Week 38

38 weeks
2013 & 1989

On the left is a picture of my mom pregnant with me.
Let's hope I can convince one of my daughters to carry on the tradition so we can start a human Russian nesting doll collage.

Before getting pregnant, I wouldn't have let myself get anywhere near excited about reaching 37 weeks. The women in my family have a long history of delivering at at least 41 weeks. My grandma was pregnant with her last baby for 11 months--not joking. If history is any indication, I won't be having this baby for another month. But having a didelphic uterus put my care-givers in constant fear of pre-term labor. They were continually giving us milestones to reach--"Get to 14 weeks and you probably won't miscarry...Get to 24 weeks and there may be a chance for your baby....Get to 28 weeks and the baby is viable...Get to 32 weeks..." and, finally, "Get to 37 weeks and you're in the clear!" So we're feeling very blessed to have finally reached what is considered "full term." Joel even woke me up early with a "Happy 37 weeks!" and high fives for me and the baby. But then he quickly lulled me back to sleep because nobody wakes up a pregnant lady.

While I'm now 38 weeks and the baby could come literally any day now, I don't feel rushed. I am slowly putting things in order during my "resting and nesting" period. It's kind of wonderful. I read, organize, work on projects, eat my weight in Otter Pops, and take naps. I think everyone should follow the Duchess of Cambridge's example and go into "hiding" the last month of pregnancy. Who really wants to see someone's arms, butt and face get fat? Let us pregnant women keep at least some scrap of dignity.

On that positive note, this baby is a miracle. All babies are miracles. I am constantly amazed by this whole process. I am so close to getting to hold my baby in my arms. I get to meet my son and get to know this unique human being that God, Joel and I have created. Joel will be a father soon and I will be a mother. It's becoming more tangible by the second as I prepare his bassinet, put his clothes in drawers and pack our bags. The other night I was busy washing a third load of baby clothes (we really have a problem) while Joel scrubbed the bath tub "for the baby." I realized then that we were parents, and that I am so happy to be a parent alongside Joel. Pregnancy has not always been easy on our marriage but its end result, this beautiful baby boy, is the fulfillment of our marriage covenants. We've become one in this life and we will spend eternity nurturing our union. I know it won't be easy--nothing is--but I know it is the most important thing we will ever do.

We went in for our last growth ultrasound yesterday. I'm so ready to no longer just be seeing my baby in black and white. We did get to see a lovely fat layer around his belly though. It made me so happy. They estimated his weight to be 6 1/2 lbs. but their margin of error is large so who knows. My midwife told me they just had a mother deliver a 12 lb. baby in 3 pushes! Pray that my baby is not 12 lbs. Pray hard.

Here's the thing about having so many ultrasounds, especially late in the pregnancy--you get to see many amazing details but you also see some strange stuff. For instance, yesterday we watched our son empty his bladder...and then drink it. Do I have the next Bear Grylls inside of me? We also got to see an incredibly detailed shot of his heart beating. I feel overly sentimental describing it like this, but it was absolutely beautiful. It took my breath away. He's got a good heart, just like his dad.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Baby Shower

Mama and Baby Castro were showered with a lot of love from our wonderful friends. They threw us the perfect children's book themed celebration. It was truly beyond what I could've imagined my baby shower would be. The hard work that went into it makes me feel overwhelmed with gratitude and love for my dear friends who have become like family to me. This baby will be born into a very special East Coast family! 

The whole place was covered in books. You know me, this is my kind of heaven.

The decorations, the food, and the entire layout was beautiful. Nicole made a breakfast casserole that spoke to practically all of my pregnancy cravings. I loved it so much I want to eat it right after this baby is born as my celebratory meal. Yum!

Each dish and drink went along with the theme.

We played a "Guess Who" game with a mix of celebrity and my and Joel's baby pictures.

My favorite presents were each of the guests' lists of "Well Wishes" for the baby. I took them home and read through them out loud with Joel. They were sweet, funny and very special words I will keep forever. These were some of my favorites:

I hope you...beat your dad at soccer.
I hope you your parents.
I hope you wisdom.
I hope you aren't afraid of...failure.
I hope you never forget...that you are loved.
I hope you respect...nature.
I hope you tap dance. :)

Thank you to Lizzy (not pictured because she was busy nurturing her sweet twins in the hospital), Sarah, Nicole, Nicki and Colleen for putting together this grand baby shower. They are quite the creative team and pulled off an amazing celebration. 

Thank you to everyone who came, and those friends who live far away that have showered us with cards, emails, phone calls and gifts over the past few months. Thank you, thank you, thank you!