so long 2013

2012 was easily the best year of my life.
And 2013 was easily the toughest.

Everything I ever thought I knew about myself suddenly changed and my self confidence was thrown for a loop. It was crazy. And hard.

I'd like to think I grew up a bit. Maybe I'm a little more patient. Maybe more confident. Maybe slightly more emotionally mature? Mostly I feel like I was thrown into a bunch of impossible situations and I just did all I could to not drown. I'm not sure that's growth... could just be survival.

I had to self-validate myself over and over and over. I would say that is this year's theme.
Self-validation. Forced confidence. Yeah.

We moved to Rexburg in January, leaving my entire life behind. EVERYTHING was new. I left BYU just when things were getting good: I was sitting comfortably in the Illustration program, loving my friends, getting closer to my professors... And BYU-I is not BYU. I knew nobody, I hated everybody and I just did. not. want. to. be. there. I couldn't find a job for months. I was stuck in this small town, doing nothing, knowing nobody. The distance from Provo made relationships with even my closest friends really difficult and somehow I lost the ability to really communicate with any of them. I felt isolated. Except for Andy. Andy is awesome. No one ever needs to doubt the awesomeness that Andy Vidmar. But it took a lot of effort to get myself out of that depressing rut.

And then I got pregnant. Don't get me wrong, that was completely awesome, but becoming a mom is the most terrifying thing. That responsibility is endless. It's the biggest commitment I'll ever make in my life, and I feel like I made the decision too quickly. My word, the boy I birthed is beyond perfect and I love him to pieces, but me as a person? I am 21 years old and utterly too immature to be handling such a giant job. But you know, fake it till you make it, right? It's taken all I've got to stay confident in the face of the doubters (me being the biggest doubter of them all of course). It wasn't until after he was born that I started to understand that being Rory's mom is really what I'm meant to do. I am thrilled now... but for months I was constantly judging myself and doubting myself and was just so worried about what I was doing and why I was doing it. Also, birthing a 10 pounder really took a toll on what was once my nice skinny bod. I gained 50 lbs in one year. You can't do that without crushing emotional side effects. Talk about self-validation. It takes all I've got to not be disgusted what the body see in the mirror every day. I'm working hard on staying proud of my body.

So those were the hard things, but YES there WERE good things. Obviously being married to Andy is a riot and we're going on our second year and our relationship has truly never been better. This year I discovered my love for oil painting and I improved tremendously. I spent the majority of this year pregnant, and though it was tough, it was also an amazing experience. I basically traveled the entire month of August. I got to escape Rexburg and move up to beautiful Spokane. I spent endless amounts of time relaxing and preparing for our baby boy's birth, while having a blast getting to know Andy's family better. I BIRTHED RORY BOY and spent the last two months absolutely loving being his mama. For the most part, I was happy. There were just a lot of tough moments that I know I will cringe when I think back on.

I am so excited for a fresh start. Jimmy Fallon excited. Even though we are moving back to Rexburg again at the end of this week, I am way more optimistic than I was a year ago. Being Rory's mama gives me a huge reason to try my hardest every single day and I am just so excited for his first year, no matter where we are. Wahoo. I'm also going to graduate from college this year (hopefully), which is a huge step forward in life.

So cheers 2013. GOODBYE.


happy christmas

It's christmas and I'm celebrating with this mini family of mine and already it's dark outside and Rory's first christmas is almost over and no matter how hard I try I can't make time stop. 

So we took a short walk outside in the cold because I wanted to step back and take a deep breath of cold air and let Rory fall asleep on my chest while I talked to Andy about our life and our future and how it's all moving too fast. 

I was telling Andy about how much I hate that Rory is getting so big. His christmas jammies are size 3-6 months and he is only 6 weeks old. I took him to the pediatrician yesterday and he weighs 12 lbs 9 oz. He's a full 3 lbs over his birthweight. This is the smallest he will ever be ever ever again and that just breaks my heart. There is no possible way to adequately soak his newbornness   He's turned from a newborn into a bonafide smiling baby boy. There should be a rewind button. If there was I would just keep skipping back to revisit even the hardest memories when he was the smallest because even though I was trying my hardest to soak it all in there are too many moments that went by too fast. When your life is based on another's it's hard to let moments go because it's not just your own moments that pass quickly, it's also someone else's. 

But today was the absolute best and even though he was 100% oblivious I got to watch Rory enjoy his very first christmas. He was never put down- being passed from one relative to the next all day long. He was bombarded with presents from all of his loved ones from all over the country. And me, Rory and Andy got to be all together as a famdamily. I loved every quick passing minute of it. 

Merry Christmas everyone!


15 things that saved my sanity during the first month of motherhood

It has been 5 WEEKS since Rory James was born.  Frick on a stick! Doesn't that just blow your mind? Is it even possible that I've had this little buddy of mine for almost five whole weeks? It kind of makes me sick to my stomach seeing how fast time is flying.

Thinking back to the day Rory was born, I've realized how badly I've depended on certain things to get me through each day. Some of these things are absolutely mandatory, and I thought I'd share them with the world.

1. My Brest Friend Pillow

Number one on the list because it is my number one lifesaver. Holy. Crap. This is easily my favorite purchase that I made, once I got past that ridiculous name of course. I'm embarrassed for the manufacturers on that one. Unlike the popular Boppy pillows, this one clips behind your back and really hangs onto you so that the baby doesn't slip between you and the pillow. The back support is fantastic, and there is a pocket that hangs off the front in which I keep a few useful things like burp cloths and nipple cream. I take this pillow with me all over the house and I use it almost every time I feed Rory. Haven't washed the cover yet though and it's developing a lovely crust from dripped milk... Taking that cover on and off does not sound fun so I'm procrastinating.

2. Hospital water jug

Because I'm exclusively breastfeeding I'm friggin thirsty. I'm constantly guzzling water and I'm not about to go refilling a million glasses every few hours. The jug that they give to you at the hospital is perfectly huge and I always have it with me. I basically fill it to the brim with ice and let it melt so I always have some cold water with me. My most common request of Andy is to please go refill my water please oh please!

3. Free hospital junk

Aside from the big ugly water jug, there are a lot of other magical things the hospital hands you. Before we left the nurse said we could take anything that was disposable. Booyah. We stole a whole pack of diapers and a bunch of wipes, all of which lasted us two weeks at home. That's a lot. I also took a can of healing spray, some mesh panties, giant pads, and the spray bottle that is oh so important for your delicate lady parts. Fill that spray bottle with warm water and it is the most wonderful experience you'll ever have on the toilet. No kidding.

4. Avent Manual Breast Pump

Hey new moms, do you feel chained down? Ever want to leave your house for more than 2 hours at a time?  Then a breast pump is mandatory. Expensive, but it's the only way you can rejoin society. I haven't quite figured out how to manage pumping on a regular basis - I'm still just trying to keep a constant supply up - but having a pump allowed me to leave Rory with my in-laws on thanksgiving to go see a movie. Andy and I can go out to eat when we want to or go out shopping because we have a bottle with a bit of breastmilk in it. I love it. I get frazzled easily if we go out and my only option is to breastfeed because I'm not nearly coordinated enough to do it in public, and it really takes some guts to pop your boob out when everyone can see you. I got a manual Avent pump because it's small, quiet, easy to wash, and it pumps straight into the bottle. Awesome.

5. Nipple Shield

Rory and I had BIG ISSUES trying to breastfeed. My lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield which I've been using on a regular basis and has completely saved us. I'm trying to wean him off of it right now, but it's a life saver during those 3am feedings when I can hardly keep my eyes open and don't want to spend 5 frustrating minutes trying to get him to latch correctly.

6. Skip Hop Diaper Bag

There were a few things that I spent way too many hours researching on Amazon. Like really, waaaaaay too many hours. I blame those hours on the fact that I spent like 6 pregnant weeks just hanging out with no agenda and so much time to kill on the internet. The Skip Hop Diaper Bag that we went with is highly rated on amazon for good reason. Perfect size, lots of space, the pockets close easily with magnets and it has clips so it can hang off the back of a stroller. It also doesn't look too feminine for my manly-man husband to hold for a while.

7. Britax Travel System

Thank you oh thank you kind mother for this gift. Every time we pull out this stroller Andy always raves about how much he loves it. The carseat pops in and out of its base like it's nothing, and the stroller is so easy to maneuver. We bought this insert to keep Rory snuggly and warm, and dude he will just konk out whenever we buckle him in. He sleeps most soundly in his carseat, even compared to being swaddled in his crib. So far the only thing I can complain about is the size of the basket underneath the stroller. No question, it's too small. But overall I'm totally happy with this system. Plus it looks snazzy and expensive.

8. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets

SWADDLE BLANKETS. I think we've ended up with 6 of these and I would not trade them for anything. We use them every single day. My mom showed us a magical swaddle that is different from the one the nurses show you in the hospital - maybe sometime I'll try to describe it for you all - and we wrap him up tightly every night. He loves it. We bring these all over the house. They are perfectly lightweight but still keep in some warmth. I know they're expensive. Being on a college student's budget, more blankets were not something we wanted to spend a bunch of cash on. But they are so so so worth it!

9. Netflix

In order to stay sane I know I need something to occupy my brain while I breastfeed for hours and hours and hours every day. My routine: turn on my selected tv show on Netflix (I've watched episodes of Scrubs, Freaks & Geeks, Breaking Bad, and 30 Rock in the last 5 weeks), grab my water jug and my brest-friend pillow (gagging at that name still. seriously!?), squat down on my bed and let Rory go to town while I watch funny shows and play Candy Crush on my iphone. Netflix is a true life saver during those early morning feedings where it takes all my effort to get out of bed.

10. A Giant Sweater to Hide the Lumps

Guys, I still have over 20 pounds to lose before I get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I feel gross and I look gross. I'm still wearing my maternity pants and it's been a whole month. So what can I do to help my poor self esteem? Hide it all! I got a giant sweater on a black friday sale at Old Navy and I wear it all. the. time.

11. Nipple Butter & Breast Pads

Managing my lumpy awkward mess of a post-partum body has been it's own adventure. Add on some raw nipples that feel like they've been attacked by a cheese grater? Not great. I'm not particular to this nipple butter... it's organic and it smells a bit like chocolate which is nice, but the important idea was to have something to protect those poor nippies from the world. Disposable breast pads are essential unless you think it's okay to walk around with milk dripping off your t-shirt. I layered up those breast pads with some soothing nipple cream and my aching boobs thanked me.

12. Co-sleeper

I have a confession. Rory slept in our bed with us until he was a week old. I know. How awful and careless must we be?? To be honest I loved it. I loved waking up and having him right there. I loved falling asleep with a protective arm wrapped around him. I'm a super light sleeper and I was confident he would be fine. Others were not so confident, and insisted that we find a different solution. My in-laws ended up buying us this co-sleeper that fits in right next to our bed. It's works great for us because he's not so far away that I freak out when I can't see him, but he's not too close that others freak out that we might squish him. Win win.

13. Belly wrap

I really really wanted a fancy post-partum wrap. Like really really bad. I'm dying to get back to a comfortable shape and I just about went out and spent $90 on some snazzy post-partum gear. But I didn't. Instead I found a more reasonably priced $25 option at walgreens. Just a run-of-the-mill Ace support brace that worked just fine for the 2 weeks I could stand it. At first it felt amazing to have everything held together, but after a while the brace felt uncomfortable and now I only wear it occasionally. I do still wish that I had the money to go get a real post-partum brace, but I guess the real moral of the story is that I was glad to have something to hold my insides together when I felt like I was drooping every single direction.

14. Wubbanub Pacifier

I kind of hate that we use pacifiers as much as we do, but they're an amazing invention. They calm Rory down instantly and sometimes are the difference between minutes of crying and seconds of crying. I'll take that. A friend gave us this super cute dinosaur pacifier toy that Rory can grab ahold of with his hands and keep the pacifier end in his mouth. That way we don't always have to be reaching over to pop it back in his mouth when accidentally spits it out. Brilliant!

15. A Spectacular Support Group

I am one lucky lady when it comes to family support. Not only do I have a fantastic husband who is willing to refill my water jug 8 times a day and who comes home from work with a hot chocolate for me and a diaper change for Rory, but I also have some loving in-laws who offer to take Rory in the early mornings while I catch up on some much needed sleep. My mom flew across the country for an entire week, leaving four kids at home, in order to teach us her tips and tricks and then cry with me when I really needed to just vent. I'm so blessed to be related to all these great people.

There are still some problems I have no solution for and am still struggling with. Baby acne is plaguing little Rory's handsome face. Cradle cap is giving him dandruff. My word, I need a real good nursing bra. Rory's socks will not stay on, and our bathtub situation could probably be better, but hey. We're figuring this crap out as we go. I'm just happy we've found some things that work so well for us.


one month old

Rory James,

You, sweet boy, are a month old today. That floors me. Already you are filling out your clothes and are showing obvious signs of growing up. I've never enjoyed my life quite so much as I do with you. Being your mama brings an immense satisfaction that I've never felt before.

You are the happiest baby. Yes you cry, but never without a reason. Most the time you are just content to lay in my lap and stare into my face. When you sleep with your mouth open I lean in to smell your delicious sweet breath. I stroke your cheeks, I kiss your forehead, I rub your ears and play with your fingers. You are just the most adorable newborn and I love that I get to keep you all to myself.

Lately you have been sleeping pretty restlessly. Your eyes wiggle beneath your lids like you're dreaming and you fuss every few minutes. But before long you relax again. When you sleep you make these high pitched sighs that are so adorable. Your favorite sleeping place is on my chest. I love that. I love love love that that is where you fall asleep the easiest. I'd so much rather hold you during all your naps than lay you down anywhere. My productivity level is at zero, but I'm holding you as close as I can and I am completely satisfied.

Your hair is amazing. Whenever we meet new people, the first thing they comment on is your gorgeous head of thick hair. It sticks straight up for a few days after we wash it. It's so fuzzy and soft I can't stop touching it. We always know when Papa Vidmar has been holding you because his your is all greasy from him stroking it so much.

I never thought I'd be one of those ridiculous moms who coo at their babies, making funny faces and stupid noises, trying to get a response out of an obviously oblivious baby. But I am. And I'm the worst. When I wasn't watching, Andy used my phone to record me sticking out my tongue at you and talking like cookie monster. In my defense, I did get a smile out of you at one point. 

Your skin is peeling like you're shedding snakeskin. First your feet, then your hands now your face and back. It's taking all my willpower to not peel it like a sunburn. You still have some baby acne. It doesn't bother me nearly as much as I expected it would, though we might try out some infant eczema cream to clear it up. 

Your first bath was fantastic. We had to wait a long time because your umbilical stump seemed to stay on forever, and the day before it fell off you got circumcised. I held you in my lap in the bath water and you were just silently staring up at us with the biggest eyes. You LOVED that bath and didn't make a peep the entire time even when Andy accidentally dripped water in your eye. Your second bath was not nearly as great. After screaming bloody murder I pulled you out and fed you right there on the floor to calm you down and you peed all over my leg. Thanks for that. 

Your farts rock. Seriously though, they are louder than anything I could ever produce. Incredibly impressive. I can feel your stomach rumbling with gas while I feed you. You are a very gassy baby. You also pee on someone at least once a day. We are still trying to figure out how to manage your diaper changes without leaving you exposed long enough to pee on one of us.

Your lips are so tiny. So itty bitty. You have a fabulous poop face where your eyebrows go high, your eyes get all watery and your tiny little lips pout and your face gets all red. We think it's hilarious. Your eyebrows are already so expressive, though you usually are frowning pretty seriously. It's like you're trying really hard to focus. When you sneeze, you sneeze with your whole body and your arms fly up and sometimes you hit yourself in the face. Hiccups bother the crap out of you. You are always pretty fussy until they go away, which I find ironic as you used to have hiccups two or three times a day when I was pregnant with you and sometimes it drove me nuts too. 

Last week you started following us with your eyes. Sometimes when I move too quickly it startles you and it takes you a bit to find me again. I think it's hilarious. Your neck muscles are getting stronger and stronger. After a nice nap and good feeding, I hold you up and you swing your head round and round and round as though you're trying to absorb everything around you as fast as you can. When Andy holds you he does it with you and I'm pretty sure it's the cutest scene in the world.

Once you started screaming in pain while I was changing your diaper. I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I saw that you had a fistful of your own hair clenched tightly in your hand and were pulling on it with all your might. You poor dumb baby! I couldn't help but laugh a bit as I did all I could to get you to relax your arm and let go of your hair. Am I evil? 

You have my ears. There's a wiggly "dogbite" on the tip just like mine. Yours also are sprouting little hairs along the edges like an old man. Your pediatrician made fun of you for that. Your feet are exact copies of your daddy's. Exactly. You have the Vidmar opposable big toe. Your hands however, remind me of my brother's. Big long fingers with small palms, though chunkier than mine. I love your wobbly legs and itty bitty knees. I spend a lot of time wiggling your legs around.

You wake up every single day at 4am. What's that about. I watch netflix while I drowsily feed you. Everything from the emporer's new groove to 30 rock to freaks and geeks to mythbusters. It's a good thing you're not impressionable yet or you might be pretty confused from those weird shows. 

Your dad makes up new ridiculously lame songs every day to console you while he changes your diaper. It's adorable to see him interact with you. He loves you so much. When it's midnight and I'm just about ready to crash, he'll swaddle you up and lay you on his belly while he talks to you. He's so great with you and I can't wait to see you two become best buddies.

I love that you are so healthy, Rory boy. I love that we get to keep you forever and that I get to watch you grow up every day. Being your mama is the most intimidating responsibility, but I'll take it on gladly because you are just so friggin adorable. I love you buddy.

See all "letters to Rory".


breastfeeding woes

Breastfeeding sucks. At first. For us, at least.

Rory was born with a two 9's on the Apgar scale- basically perfect. Perfect and huge with the most gorgeous brown hair. But for the first 8 or so hours of his life he made these constant coo'ing noises with every breath he took. The doctors ordered a few stress tests because they were afraid he was working too hard to breathe, though there never was any definite diagnosis. These consistent coo'ing noises were ADORABLE and I seriously am getting teary just thinking about how cute they were and how I almost miss them (hormones much? gosh), but they definitely interfered with Rory's ability to breastfeed. He couldn't concentrate or just wasn't interested. I don't remember how long it was exactly, but it was a while before we were able to successfully get some milk into him, despite him being placed immediately on my chest after birth. It was a bummer, but I was thrilled at the fact that everything with the whole birth went so perfectly and nothing could get me down.

^^Rory's cooing noises recorded by my mama in the hospital.

Over the next few hours we had help from a few nurses, though now that I think about it they weren't much help at all. As sweet as they were, most of the time they were rushed and I didn't get many answers out of them. Rory wouldn't latch. He'd jump right off as soon as I'd think he was in the right place. Over and over they told me that it wasn't an issue - newborns are sleepy for the first 24 hours and Rory was especially tired because of my epidural. I really tried not to worry, but my baby had no food in his belly. Eventually we talked to a lactation consultant who helped out a lot and I got answers, but Rory still seemed sleepy and didn't latch well. He'd pull away frustrated a few seconds after I'd get him on. We left the hospital frustrated but hopeful. I thought I'd figured it out.

Wrong-o. I don't know how I got through the next two days. I really really don't. Rory never latched for more than a few seconds at a time. My milk hadn't come in and Rory was so drowsy. He slept for hours at a time - which is not a good thing with such a young baby. He once went 7 hours without eating and it scared the hell out of me. Every 3 hours or so I'd wake him up and spend an hour and a half to two hours squeezing what I could into his mouth. I was so worried that he was starving.

But we had an appointment with our pediatrician when he was 3 days old and she calmed us immensely. He wasn't jaundiced, he was definitely healthy, but he had lost a pound which was a bit over 10% of his body weight. Losing 10% is normal for a newborn, but the pediatrician gave us some formula to supplement with until my milk came in. I can't describe the relief. She asked if I had any problem giving my baby formula and I was like "are you kidding? Food in my baby's belly?! I LOVE IT. I'LL DO IT!" We went home and I did my best to breastfeed, then we tried our one and only time supplementing. He took half an ounce. Heh. Jeez baby why??

But you know what, miracles do happen. My milk came in that day. Rory still wouldn't latch, but my milk was in! I pumped a few ounces and we made it through the night by syringing that miracle juice into Rory boy's mouth.  But yes. I was at my wit's end. Like I said, I don't know how I made it through those first couple of days without a serious breakdown.

AND THEN. My mom and Andy's mom accompanied Rory and I to an appointment with a lactation specialist at the hospital the next afternoon. I remember being hopeful, but not expectant. Turns out, this lady was sent straight from heaven itself. She took one look at Rory trying to hang on to my boob and immediately said "I know what's wrong." She helped me put on a small silicone fake nipple thingy, we situated Rory.. and he latched. And he guzzled. Holy crap that kid just ate and ate. And I just started sobbing. My hands were preoccupied so my tears just dripped down my face. Oh the happiness and satisfaction I felt seeing my baby boy eat.

We weighed him after eating and he had gained 2.5 ounces in the 20 or so minutes we were at that appointment. The consultant graciously handed us the nipple shield and sent us on our way.

Have we had issues since? Yes. BUT Rory is past his birth weight now and is as healthy as can be. I'm working now on weaning him off the nipple shield. I don't want to be using it long-term, but it is just so easy to pop on and off. Hopefully we'll be done with it in the next few weeks. Hopefully :)


happy thanksgiving

This holiday season I am grateful for a lot of things, such as:

Rory's hair
Andy's facial hair
My family
My friends
Pumpkin pie

But most of all?
I am just super happy to not be pregnant anymore. 

Praise The Lord. 

Happy thanksgiving everyone :)


rory james' birth story

On Friday November 8th I was just over 39 weeks and we had a doctor's appointment. Doctor Z was out of town so we were meeting with a different guy, who shall be henceforth known as Doctor P. His picture made him look like he might be in his forties but after he left we guessed that he was probably no more than like 27. So young! We got along SO great which was the luckiest thing because -spoiler alert- he was the doctor who ended up delivering my baby. Random coinkidink that we just happened to have an appointment with this awesome young hip doctor who we just happened to get along with even better than Dr. Z? Probably not. Seriously, the stars were aligned for this entire experience. We had talked earlier with Dr. Z about how we needed to decide whether to induce or do a c-section because of baby's giant size (thanks gestational diabetes), but we came in still clueless as to what we wanted to do. I wanted a vaginal delivery, but the fear of bringing any harm to my baby was terrifying. Andy was leaning towards a c-section because it seemed like the safer option with less unknowns. We had a long talk with Dr. P, who told us very convincingly that there was no best option. The only way we'll know what the best option would have been would be after the fact when the damage (or no damage) was done. There were obviously risks both ways, but he asked me sincerely what type of birth experience I would prefer to have. I told him I'd much rather have a induction and he told us that he was very supportive of that idea. So we scheduled it for Sunday night, 2 days away, despite the odds of a successful induction being completely against us, i.e. my cervix was at 1cm at best, this was my first baby, first induction, and the chances of me ending up with a c-section were well over 30%. I honestly felt that as long as the doctors would just humor me for a couple of hours while we tried to kick start my labor, I would be satisfied with that 'birth experience' and would more easily hand myself over to the c-section surgeons.

Sunday evening Andy and his mom made us a big steak and sweet potato dinner as a last hurrah. I was so nervous. So ridiculously nervous. The butterflies were attacking my innards. I just kept imagining all these worst case scenarios that I was worried were inevitable. Andy and his dad gave me a blessing right before we left, and though it was mighty comforting, I was still so scared. 

We checked in at the hospital at 8:00 and the moment I entered the room they had me strip and put on a lovely hospital tent. We got a corner room which was HUGE. At first we were so excited to have all that space, but then we realized that the only couch was on the complete other side of the room and Andy had no where else to sit except for the rolling doctor chairs which were incredibly uncomfortable. It turned out to be a big nuisance for him to be so far away from me. Anyway, they put in an IV (after 2 tries they got it. I was expecting it to be a lot worse than it was... everyone always complains about how scary and painful IV's are! I guess I'm just so used to getting my blood drawn that it was hardly a big deal) and immediately started throwing all these monitors on my belly. One of them senses contractions and apparently upon entering the hospital I was contracting every 2 minutes but couldn't feel them! Can you imagine my excitement? My body was already doing something productive! Also, the hospital gave me an awesome waterbottle filled to the brim with pebbled ice. It's as though they knew me already. 

(***Just warning you all that I'll be mentioning a few lady issues that might make some squeamish. I won't go into too much detail, but don't hate me for explaining the process of childbirth a wee bit. This is a birth story after all.)

The first thing they tried was a drug called cytocin. Basically it's a pill that they place next to your cervix to get it to ripen up a bit ( btw isn't the word 'ripen' such an awful word to use for a cervix? I keep picturing an over ripened peach or something gross and mushy. blegh).

So they put in the first pill and we just had to wait and see if it worked. The contractions starting to get a little stronger. My stomach would just harden up and I'd feel a bit of pressure, and then after about 30 seconds it would let up again. Nothing terrible. Nothing that I hadn't felt before. Just more consistent. We were told to get some sleep but I got maybe an hour at most. The stupid baby heart monitor kept falling off and beeping and waking me up every 15 minutes, and I was so uncomfortable with my butt hanging out of my hospital gown I just finally took it off and put on a sports bra and boxer shorts. Andy conked out for a good while. 4 hours after putting in the pill they came and checked me. No progress yet, but the contractions were continuously getting stronger. They were happening pretty regularly and I was definitely starting to hurt. I was bummed out that I hadn't made any progress though. To me that was just foreshadowing the fact that we were going to end up in a c-section later on that day and that was hard to accept. I continued to flip through channels, trying to lull myself to sleep. (Why is Law and Order SVU ALWAYS on? 3 am and I'm trying to figure out what season it is based on Olivia's haircut. Are there really so many of us weirdos that sincerely love that show?)

At around 10 am they came and checked me again and I had actually progressed a bit! 1.5 cm dilated. Since my contractions were happening so regularly - I think it was every 2 minutes still, but they were getting really intense - they started me on pitocen. Seriously, about 5 minutes after they hooked the pitocen to my IV my water broke. By itself! No poking or prodding necessary. My friends, I was ecstatic. This meant my body was responding to the contractions and was actually willing to get this baby out of me. And it was a gush! People keep saying to expect a trickle, but no no this hot liquid poured out and all over basically everything. My cute boxer shorts I was wearing were soaked and useless from then on. 

About an hour after getting pitocen the contractions were getting HARD. I think the combination of my water breaking and the pitocen just sped up labor so fast and I wasn't prepared for it. I couldn't hold still during the contractions, and I had to get up and move around. My movement was definitely limited though because I was hooked up to all these monitors and IV's, so basically I just stood and hugged Andy through the contractions and swayed from side to side. UGH it was endless. If I could describe it? It felt like a horse was kicking me in my pelvis - but it was constant pain and constant pressure. Until it let up - then I felt completely normal. I could talk normally and laugh at the stupid people on America's Next Top Model with Andy and his mom, who came just around then to support. 

The pain was so startling. All I could do was hold onto Andy, sway, moan, and breeeeeaaathe. I just kept taking big deep breaths and moaning. The contractions were 2 minutes apart at most, which worried the doctors a bit. They didn't expect the contractions to be so close together and they blamed they cytocin. This lasted for hours. It got to the point where I didn't a chance to relax between those contractions. I was just exhausted. And in SO MUCH PAIN. We kept the America's Next Top Model marathon going on the entire time. I didn't want the room to be quiet, and that show was the perfect distraction. I could watch it when I wanted and could tune out during a contraction and no one would be the wiser and I would hardly miss a thing. Jeez I love reality shows. 

The nurse came in around 2 pm to check my cervix. She said I was at a "stretchy 3" and could get an epidural if I wanted. I said YES!!! Giving into an epidural at 3cm felt a bit like I was a wuss but OMG I didn't care. The intensity of the contractions was unreal. Like nothing I had ever expected. Seriously I think it was the combination of the pitocen and my water breaking that got them so intense so fast. I got an epidural, though it was the most painful experience of my life. They make you sit on the bed hunched over for a good 20 minutes while they insert the tube that gives you the medicine into your back. You have to sit incredibly still. The contractions were monstrous at this point, happening every minute or so, and I was sobbing while they inserted the giant needle in my back. UGH it was the worst thing in the entire world. BUT - 15 minutes later? I couldn't even feel aaaannyyytttthhhiiingg. It was MAGICAL. 

It was at this point that mom arrived. She had cut my dad's birthday weekend in NYC to fly across the country just for us. She saw me in bed RIGHT after I got my epidural and wow was such a great moment. Seeing my mom, finally being able to relax and breathe... I just cried when I saw her. 

SO. Since everything had become absolute bliss and I was laying in bed with 0 pain I decided to take a nap. And I slept for like 2 hours. Mom went and ate in the cafeteria with Andy's parents and when they came back I was totally out. 

Pretty soon the nurses came and checked me again, and suddenly I was at 5cm! Zoom zoom zoom!  I started to shiver, which apparently is a side effect of the epidural medicine. It didn't bother me much, but it drove Andy nuts. He was constantly worried that I was freezing cold, and it probably didn't help that I couldn't give him a definite answer if I was or wasn't... Dude I'm numb! Feel my feet and tell me if they're cold or not. Sorrrrry babe. Since my legs were completely numb I had to stay in the bed, and when you're pregnant you're not supposed to lay on your back because your heavy uterus squishes a really important blood vessel, so they kind of situated me on my side.  Every hour they'd come in to "rotisseree me" by flipping me over onto my other side and then they'd check my cervix. The next hour I was at a 7, and then an hour after that I was at a 9!!!! Things were suddenly moving SO SO FAST. Ho. Ly. Crap. I was nervous, scared that something bad could still happen, but SO HAPPY that things were actually moving along! The freaking induction worked! After they checked that I was at a 9 I made sure that my epidural wasn't too high so I could start feeling contractions. Since I'd been laying on my right side for a while, somehow gravity had worked its magic and I could sort of feel the contractions on my left side again, though my right side was completely dead. 

Once I started feeling the contractions a bit on my left side I had to be quiet and concentrate on my breathing again. Before long I felt the need to push. With every contraction I would bear down like I was trying to poop out the biggest turd of my life. The nurses came to check me again and they could feel his head. He was so close! For the next hour or so I just pushed and pushed and pushed. My legs were super numb- especially my right one. I could hold up my left one for some reason but my right one was just this dead weight. Mom held up my right leg and Andy held my left and I just puuuushed (Andy's mom was in the room too, and apparently my dad was on speakerphone. Yikes.) At one point the nurses told me to put my hand down and feel his head and I did and I just sobbed. I could feel his squishy little head and it was right there!!! Dr. P was on call that night because it was Dr. Z's daughter's birthday (oops, didn't tell me that!) and once he came in and suddenly there was a whirlwind of nurses and doctors and lights and medicine. I was so focused on just pushing as hard as I could I hardly noticed. The support from Dr. P was amazing. He told me when to push, when to relax, and they brought in a big mirror so I could see they baby coming out. Afterwords, Andy kept talking about how freaking patient Dr. P was. He wasn't trying to rush anything, he used a TON of warm oil and just let things happen at their own pace. I have him to thank for the absolute minimal tearing I had. 

I think it was about a half hour of pushing and then suddenly his head, then shoulders, then whole body poured out and he was suddenly here. He was immediately placed on my chest and he was covered in cheesy vernix and he was crying and was HUGE and so healthy. Everything happened perfectly. I just cried and cried. It was the biggest relief to have him out, healthy, perfect, happy and nothing bad happened. I kept asking Andy, "is everything okay? Is anyone hurt?" and the answer was always "everything is perfect. You're done, everything is perfect". Even me. There are 4 degrees of tearing, 4th being the very worst kind of tear that takes weeks to heal up. I only had a 1st degree tear and it was super shallow. With such a big baby, that is INCREDIBLE! All hail Dr. P. for that one! Eventually they took Rory off me and Andy cut his cord and they wiped him down and weighed him and then handed him back to me while they stitched me up a bit. I couldn't stop looking at him. I seriously haven't stopped looking at him since. I miss him so badly right now and he's barely 10 feet away napping in his crib.

I was so focused on Rory that I didn't even notice Andy cutting the cord and I didn't even see the placenta. The doctors kept working on me for like 10 or 15 minutes after he was born and I was mostly unaware of anything besides him, though, I had absolutely no idea that it would be so painful getting that afterbirth out. The doctors kept pushing on my belly, trying to get it out and that was seriously uncomfortable. They even kept my pitocen going until everything was clear. Yum. 

Rory is a dream baby. He will sleep and sleep and wake up and look up at me with the biggest eyes and he coos and hiccups and is just the most perfect baby in the whole world. We've definitely run into some bumps with breastfeeding but we're getting it down and I'm slowly conquering the anxieties I've been having (I'll talk more about that later...) Mostly I am just beyond grateful for the experience we had. As cliché as it may sound, it was better than anything I could ever have hoped for. AND it gave us Rory James. So there's that :)

I'm currently holding Rory boy in my arms, typing with one hand, laughing at the poop faces mixed with gummy smiles that he makes before a giant fart. Andy and I are watching old SNL episodes on Netflix after eating a fantastic brinner with his family. These are the small moments that I was craving for the endless weeks that I felt over-pregnant. Though there is an underlying terror of the responsibility I now have, that's mostly buried beneath the love and satisfaction I feel every day being Rory's mama. I love this.

Kudos to my mom for these great pictures. I literally handed her my camera moments before pushing Rory out with only quick instructions on how the dials worked. She did wonderful work! And that last picture? Taken with an iphone. I know. I want to mount it on my wall.

Thanks for patiently making your way through this post. I know it was the longest thing you've ever read. It's honestly every single detail I can possibly remember about Rory being born. But you know what, totally worth writing down.


one week old

It's surreal.

I can't wrap my head around everything that has happened this past week. Honestly, I feel like a lifetime of emotions and events have happened in the last 7 days. My whole direction in life has upped and changed itself. It's amazing. Ahhhhhmazing.

I have a son. I'm a mama to the most beautiful baby boy. I ... just.... I can't even start to describe how I feel about that. Terrified. Overwhelmed. And hopelessly drowning in this endless ocean of mushy love. See? I just shouldn't talk about it. There aren't words.

There are a few important things I want to remember about this week: The PERFECTLY AMAZING BIRTH that I never expected, the impossible breastfeeding challenge that we overcame, the huge blessing that it was to have my mom and Andy's parents with us every step of the way, how I can't think too hard about how perfect Rory is without literally tearing up. Hormones, I know. This week has been a complete whirlwind and every single second has been so gratifying.

We've been through so many ups and downs I almost get nauseous thinking about it. I really hope I can find the time this week to write more about them all - especially our birth story and breastfeeding woes. Hang tight and let me get the hang of this "no sleep" thing and maybe I'll be able to sit down and actually remember things.

Meanwhile I'm going to go fetch my Rory boy out of his crib because it's been 30 minutes and I already can't stand how much I miss him.


These pictures were taken by my sis-in-law Emma. Gotta give credit to that creative genius who captures such fantastic tear-inducing photos ;)


introducing our new best buddy

He's here! After a very VERY successful induction, Rory James was born on 11/11 at 8:24 after about 24 hours of labor. 9lbs 14 oz and 100% absolutely perfect. Can't wait to share his birth story as it was the most stunning, moving, incredible, awesome experience of my whole life. I honestly cannot believe what lucky people we are.


next time you hear from me I will be somebody's mama

That's right folks!

Tomorrow night we're going to the hospital to get this chunky boy out of my uber pregnant body!

It's most likely we'll be seeing baby's face sometime on Monday. My mom is flying in at 12:30p on so I'll just have to keep my fingers (and legs) crossed until she gets here.

We decided to go with an induction rather than opt first for a c-section. My doctor is incredibly supportive of our plan and both Andy and I feel really confident about our decision. Obviously I'm terrified of any complications, but there is no "best" decision in our situation. The only way we'll know what decision was best will be after the fact. PRAYING SO HARD that everything goes well. SO SO HARD.

Anyway, prepare yourselves for a MAJOR photo dump that will... last... forever. Sorry not sorry. This is now a mommy blog. Can't stop me now! I'M SO EXCITED!

See y'all on the flippity flip! Life changing moments coming my way!!


one more week

My due date is ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!
No matter what, Andy and I will be PARENTS before then.
Really freaky that everyone seems to be okay with the idea of Andy and me raising a baby.
Don't they know how crazy messed up and immature we are?

Tomorrow morning we have a doctor's appointment where we'll hopefully schedule either an induction or c-section for early next week. The doc sent us home last time telling us to think about which we want to do, but I still haven't made a decision. There are still too many variables. If he's gained a bunch more weight then I'll most likely opt for a c-section even though I've hated hated hated the idea of a c-section from the very beginning. There was one point that I was hoping to try a drug-free natural birth! How did I end up here? The idea of going through major surgery makes me sick, but if it keeps my fat baby safe and healthy then it's a no brainer. Did I tell you all that last week he was measuring over 9 pounds? 9 whole freaking pounds already! Though I like the idea of being induced a whole lot more, I just don't know if it's even an option. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

These past few weeks have been incredibly strange. I've never put so much effort into making time pass as quickly as possible. I'm not sure how I'll handle myself once I have responsibility again. What's that like? Baby boy- you best be prepared for a few craaaazy weeks.

Cheers to being in the last week of pregnancy!


being pregnant was my halloween costume

Halloween this year was sadly very anti-climactic. No parties, no costumes, no pumpkin carving... possibly because of the lack of children in our household. Andy's mom is awesome and she put up the cutest decorations, but that was kind of the extent of our Halloween spirit. Andy and I made plans to celebrate a little. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings which recently opened up in Spokane Valley. Yay! So much meat and so few carbs makes me extremely happy. And then we met up with Andy's brother Paul and his wife Katherine to go see Ender's Game.

Andy has been DYING to see Ender's Game. He is not a reader. He never has been. But one of the few books he's read is Ender's Game and he's basically obsessed with the entire series. LOVES IT. Whenever we've talked about me going into labor, his one condition was that it had to be after Ender's Game comes out. We planned to go to the midnight showing because technically it wasn't supposed to come out until November 1st, but for some reason it was showing at 8pm last night. Rock on. 

We went 45 minutes early so that we'd be able to get great seats (which obviously turned out to not be an issue as we were the first ones in the theater), and is it just us or is "First Look" a mandatory part of a successful movie night? We never miss it. 

Sadly, the movie turned out to be a giant disappointment, especially for poor Andy. This was his first time watching a favorite book get massacred by the movie version and he was so distraught. But it was really fun talking analytically about the whole thing the entire ride home.

Because it was Halloween I decided to cheat on my diabetic diet. This is the very first official cheat I've allowed myself since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes so obviously it was a huge deal. The Safeway in Liberty Lake has basically every single type of Ben & Jerry's and it took me a good 5 minutes or so to decide what flavor to go with. I finally decided on "Vanilla Fudge Caramel" and man oh man ice cream has never tasted so good. 

We ended the night watching the season 2 finale of The Newsroom which is this seriously fantastic tv show that we've gotten into that stars Jeff Daniels. Guys it's amazing, go watch it. 

Although we spent a lot of time coming up with clever costume ideas for my pregnantness, my ambition quickly fizzled. I didn't have a special place to showcase my creativity this year and as Halloween quickly approached I just decided I didn't care enough to try.

But we did come up with some awesome ideas.

My favorite was definitely wearing a giant tshirt, basketball shorts, crocs with socks and a bushy mustache and going as Andy's dad (who is pictured below on the right). Yes it might sound cruel but you have to understand Andy's family. He thought it was absolutely hilarious.

Another great idea: wearing all grey and black, painting my stomach like the Death Star and Andy would go as Chewbacca (because his beard right now is ridiculously great).

Andy's brother thought I should go as Mother Eve by curling my hair and wearing leaves and moss. Gross.

At one point someone decided I should paint my belly black, attach a chain to it somehow and go naked so that I was Miley Cyrus in her 'wrecking ball' music video.

Yeah I could never have made that work....

I'm extremely excited for next year's Halloween mostly because we'll get to dress up our baby boy and go back to college Halloween parties and take pictures and mercilessly chow down of my favorite candy. Only 364 days until then!


post-pregnancy stuff that i'm absurdly excited for.....

sleeping on my stomach rather than obnoxiously shifting from side to side a zillion times each night because comfort eludes me. stomach sleepers unite!

wearing all the cute fall sweaters that I've accumulated over the years that have been gathering dust in my closet because they reach only to my belly button right now.

for my feet to regain their slim boniness that I've missed. My mother-in-law took me to go get a pedicure last week and, though it felt amazing, I could hardly enjoy it because I hate these fat dimply piggies I call toes. Also I'd love to be able to fit into my shoes again.

for my body to finally kick this ridiculous cold that I've had for the past week. Not pregnancy related, but still. I'm looking forward to having clear nostrils again.

to be able to be on my feet for more than 20 minutes without having cramps, contractions, or charlie horses.

for people to stop looking at me with this face:

because my belly is so obviously huge and uncomfortable it basically hurts to look at me. 

maybe getting my pre-pregnancy body back? hopefully? I'm not sure how optimistic to be about getting all skinny again. I would like to admit openly that I spend way too much time checking out old pictures of myself and thinking, "for seriousness? I remember thinking I was fat when this picture was taken." maybe someday I'll have a healthy body image. Ha. But that day is definitely not today.

peeing the regular amount every day. I've forgotten how many times is normal. Twice? Last night alone I got out of bed 5 times to urinate.

for my fat fingers to slim down so my wedding ring will fit again. It hasn't fit since month 3.

to not feel like my body is being ripped apart from the inside. I mean I love him, but sometime when this boy kicks it's like he's trying to destroy me.... that might have to do with the fact that he's in the 95th percentile in size. Have I already mentioned that?

to be able to eat the following cravings that have plagued me since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes: a cinnamon roll, a wendy's frosty, french fries, hash browns, MILK, a purple slushie, hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, MILK, sourdough bread, kit kats, chocolate milk, milkshakes, MILK, corn bread, pancakes, ice cream, bananas, and last but not least, milk.


feeling baby kick

watching baby kick

watching/feeling baby hiccup

watching Andy watch/feel baby kick/hiccup

the excuse to lay around like a big lazy butt and do absolutely nothing for anyone but myself.

and that's it. 

If you were to ask me a few months ago what I enjoyed about being pregnant, my answer would probably include some happy fluffy nonsense about the magic of pregnancy and the incredible spirit growing inside me and all of these marvelous life lessons I've learned and how happy I am to be able to bring life into this fabulous world. But you ask a 9-month-full-term-overweight-mess-of-a-woman that question and I'm sorry but there are no words to describe how badly I want all of this to be over.




I wish I had more of an update for you all,
but really we're just waiting.

Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting.
Waiting is exhausting. And extremely uncomfortable.

Everything is ready. Andy set up the crib, we have the car seat in the car, all of the baby's clothes and blankets are washed and folded. I think I got carried away. And I got carried away waaaay too early because now there is nothing left to do and I still have a few weeks until anything is supposed to happen. Blah. I am just too excited to meet this kid. The anticipation is killing me. Most of my preggo friends have recently had their babies and jeez louise I am so jealous.

Last week was especially hard. I was so uncomfortable it was difficult to move much. Every time I got up the pressure was so crazy and I was constantly having contractions (but only when I stood, which is how I knew it wasn't true labor). I also get these really crazy charlie horse things in my groin that start up when I move around. So sitting and laying down has been my favorite option. And then suddenly there was a day where I had a ton of energy and the pressure from the baby was suddenly not so intense. What did I do with all that energy? I think I took a 30 minute walk and called it good. And then watched all my shows saved on the DVR. And that energy was gone within 24 hours. Now I'm just completely exhausted again.

^^Addie is my best buddy. We nap together and watch Project Runway marathons without judging each other.

I'm supposed to be spending all my time working really hard on my independent study classes so that I can get them finished before the end of the year.... but instead I just lounge. I think there were 4 days in a row last week that I didn't change out of sweatpants (which kind of makes sense as I only have one pair of maternity pants that fit).  I do make an effort to switch up my extra large t-shirts, so you know, it's not too pathetic..... ack (I also shower on a regular basis. I'd like to make that much clear). I'm living the life I'm supposed to wait to live until I have a newborn and right now I feel guilty for how ridiculously unproductive I'm being. If I had a baby that I was taking care of I would totally not need to defend myself here because lounging and relaxing is what is expected. But right now it's just pathetic. But I still don't have the energy to change up my daily ritual and I just am not ambitious enough to try to make a dent in these dumb online classes. So we're back to waiting and waiting for this baby to make his appearance. I have another doctor's appointment in 2 days and I would love to have a definite conversation about when we'll be inducing. Getting a date set would but such a relief.

So that's that. Baby Vidmar is technically full-term this week, though he is huge and would have probably passed as full term 3 or 4 weeks ago. At 35 weeks he was over 7 pounds. 2 weeks later? Who knows. (Actually my ribs probably know. There is this one spot on my right side that this kid tends to favor when he's especially rowdy and I swear to you I am bruising internally). Just hoping that time starts moving really fast!


he's a fatty

First of all, today marks exactly 35 weeks of pregnancy. 35!
I've spent the majority of the year 2013 with a baby growing in my belly. 
And now I'm almost done! Huzzah!

Yesterday I went in for an ultrasound. I was extremely nervous. There has been a LOT leading up to this. So many uncertainties that we were finally going to get the answers to, the biggest one being his size. Ladies with gestational diabetes tend to have very large babies, and the fact that me, Andy, and all of our siblings were pretty huge when we were born? Like 9 pounders? Not comforting. With big babies come big complications and at this point I just wanted to know already.

Our last ultrasound was almost 4 months ago when we discovered the baby's manhood.  Finally he was up there on the screen, positioned perfectly, his head down towards my pelvis with a chubby little hand squashed up by his face. You could literally see the fat rolls on his arms. One of the first things the technician mentioned when looking at his face was the ridiculous amount of hair he had and I did a mental victory lap around the entire hospital. YAYYYYYY BABY HAIR! No big headed bald troll babies for us! 

I mean would you look at that? Does that make anybody else insanely happy?

Suddenly the technician switched gears and turned on some 3D magic. Andy and I looked at each other in shock because as far as we knew- 3D ultrasounds were an extra pricey deal that only rich people got to experience. Apparently not! And our baby is gorgeous.

I still can't stop looking at this photo. It almost doesn't look like an ultrasound. It's just that perfect. And his chunky wrist! I can't handle it. He was sleeping and just so comfy in his corner he didn't want to move and give us a picture of the front of his face. The technician stayed down there for like 10 minutes purposely bugging him trying to get him to budge, but our stubborn little buddy was just so content. We only got a few profile shots but hey! I'm SO not complaining. We weren't expecting a 3D shot so this was such a surprise gift anyway! We sat in the waiting room looking at all these photos for a few minutes before we talked to the doctor. It's strange but I just couldn't connect that adorable squashed up face on the ultrasound screen with the ghostly kicking I've been feeling inside me. This baby I was looking at is the same one that has the hiccups 2-3 times a day, the same one who joyfully wiggles to Mumford and Sons, the one who we'll be meeting in just a few weeks....It's taken a while to connect those ideas all together. How could this be an actual little person inside me, complete with a thick head of hair and my nose? I mean look! That's my nose!

Finally we got to talk to our doctor and we got the news that we were expecting. This kid is gigantic. At 35 weeks he is measuring in the 95th percentile. 7lbs, 3oz. That's how big he should be at over 38 weeks. The doctor said that there is no avoiding the fact that this is going to be a big baby. If we wanted to avoid that we'd have to deliver him now and he is just not ready. We'll do another ultrasound at 39 weeks and then talk about inducing or doing a c-section. The biggest risk for a huge baby being delivered naturally is shoulder dystocia- where the baby's shoulder gets stuck and his collar bone breaks which might lead to permanent nerve damage. Obviously that is something we want to avoid, so if the baby is looking like he's going to be 10 pounds or more by 39 weeks then our safest option would be to schedule a c-section. The most that I can do right now is stick to my diet plan and keep my blood sugar stable.

While we were expecting this, I am still disappointed with the way this conversation went. After we left I finally got my head around what the doctor said and I wanted to walk right back in there and discuss it all over again. I do not want to wait until 39 weeks to talk about an induction or c-section. By that point it might be too late to discuss any other options because he'll be too big. I want to talk about this within the next few weeks - do some tests to see if his lungs are ready and then possibly induce at 37-38 weeks so I can deliver naturally. I just don't want to be backed into a corner with no other option but a c-section. So I have another appointment in 2 weeks. I plan to hash all of this out then, but in the meantime all I can do is get comfortable with my meat and veggies and keep my blood sugar as low as possible.

But all in all, I was very happy after that doctor's appointment. Yes, he is a huge baby and there is a lot we are going to have to discuss, but the doctor was very impressed with how I've been handling my blood sugar. I still don't need any medication. I've lost weight since my last appointment 2 weeks ago which has me over the moon. Our baby is completely adorable and healthy and has a magnificent amount of hair. When I laid down on the examination table the doctor felt my stomach and said, "you know you're having a contraction right now, right?" and I was like is that what that is? I feel those all the time when I change positions quickly and I thought it was just round ligament pain. Sweet confirmation. Also, it now makes sense why I look and feel ridiculously huge - it's because I'm carrying a full term baby.

I'm making good progress and I am happy. Happy happy happy. I might take this happy energy and go wash some baby clothes and prepare a hospital bag (because I'm still secretly praying I go into labor, right now, by myself. And then I'd have a sweet itty bitty baby boy and could eat a cinnamon roll. How amazing would that be?)



Back in October 2011 I had just started seriously dating some guy. To be honest, it was the first time I'd 'seriously' dated someone... ever.... I blame that on my ridiculously small high school and lack of normal social skills. But this guy had somehow decided that I was worthy of his charismatic awesomeness. I mean, he was a popular kid. It only took him a few weeks after he had moved into my apartment complex and he already had probably four times the amount of friends I had - not that I cared at the time. I spent most of my days watching Friends reruns and eating Nutella by the spoonful and I promise, I was quite content. Then all of the sudden he was this huge part of my life. We spent every single day together - and when he had to go back to school we spent every night on the phone and I missed him. I missed him like crazy. He was constantly on my mind. Exactly 2 years ago I made a weekend trip up to see him and we watched general conference by ourselves on his couch. He made us pancakes and was surprisingly a diligent note taker. We had only been dating a few months. It was then that we had our first conversation about our future together. I remember my face felt so hot when the word "marriage" was brought up and I was so embarrassed to even be thinking of that. But we talked about it. It was what we both wanted, and as far as we knew we wanted it with each other.

It's surreal to think that it was only two years ago that we took these pictures - just starting to date, nervous, self-conscious, wearing matching bracelets that we had just won at nickelcade... Sometimes I really miss the excitement of our budding relationship.

But then I look at this dude, who is right now blowing of some steam playing Battlefield while I sit on the bed with my laptop resting on my gigantic uterus pinning yet another load of stylish baby clothing. Every twenty minutes or so he'll turn and grab my foot, ask if I'm doing okay, smile, and then declare in a ridiculous voice that he loves me. Last night he dropped everything and spent over two hours patiently helping my sobbing pregnantness when I was so hopelessly frustrated with my online class I could have puked. He is not one to carefully read instructions, but does so almost completely willingly while I sit on the floor and watch him labor away putting together an ikea crib for our unborn baby boy. Lately he's been spending countless hours planning out a budget that will keep his family afloat for the next year. When I fart loudly, he publicly takes the blame. He knows that when I ask for a drink from the gas station it is always a 44 oz diet coke full to the brim with ice, and sometimes a snickers bar. If I enter our room and he's watching Firefly he will immediately switch it off and turn it to something else because he knows just how very much I detest that show. Every day he tells me I'm beautiful, kisses my stretched out belly, then whispers some obnoxiously dirty secret to his baby just loud enough so I can hear, laugh, and smack him.

These photos are quite telling. I love looking at them, because I see two things: First, the shy beginnings of our relationship (and the ridiculously good looking stud I fell in love with). Second,  I feel like they are so descriptive of what we have in our relationship now. It's just so comfortable. Within a few weeks we'll have added a third member to our tiny family and to be honest I'm terrified. Scared of the responsibility, definitely, but more so of how it will affect our relationship.  Ideally it will do wonders and we'll be more in love than ever, but I am wary of how difficult it might be. So now I'm doing all I can to just soak up the awesomeness that we have right now. Andy man is amazing. And if you couldn't tell by this long sappy post, I love him a lot.

-btw thanks Emma for letting me steal these pictures off your facebook page. Have I told you lately that you are an amazing photographer? Gracias.


i've got a bad case of the diabetes

I have diabetes.
Gestational diabetes, but still. Diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is like a temporary type 2 that comes with pregnancy. Has to do with an imbalance of hormones and the fact that the placenta doesn't filter sugar properly....and stuff. Yay. 2-10% of all pregnant ladies get this. Way to be part of the minority, Rachel.

Usually when you are about 28 weeks pregnant you'll go get screened to make sure your blood sugar is normal, but since I moved out of Idaho and then spent a month partying it up in Utah I didn't get tested until 31 weeks. They brought me in and plopped down a cloyingly sweet sugary drink that I was to guzzle, and then an hour later they drew my blood and high-fived me on my way out. Not a big deal, unless you fail. Which they immediately called and told me that I did. My blood glucose was at 144 and the cut off was 129, so they had me go in for more testing two weeks later. I had to fast for 12 hours before this appointment (gah! so hard for my pregnantness). They tested my fasting blood sugar, plopped down an even nastier version of the cloyingly sweet drink and then continued to stab me over 7 times for the next 3 hours (I just have ridiculously hard-to-find veins. My body is too cushy. It's a real problem.) It actually wasn't that bad. I finally finished Mindy Kaling's book, got started on The Fault in Our Stars, and watched all the weird old ladies at the Ob-gyn office. Seriously, what a crowd. Time flew.

But I failed miserably. All of my scores were offensively high. When a doctor tells you that you've failed a blood glucose test, doesn't that just sound like you've failed your pregnancy midterm or something? All the nurses were very solemn, and I was extremely upset. I didn't know anything gestational diabetes. The only thing I thought I knew was that you get it when you've gained too much weight, and gaining weight has been a huge problem for me. It's an extreme sore spot. I've been so disgusted over the fact that I've gained so much that hearing that I now had a version of type 2 diabetes? The absolute worst. I felt like it was all my fault and that my baby was going to have complications and then all those complications were going to be my fault too--despite what my doctor kept saying about how I could have gained only 20 pounds and I would still have some level of gestational diabetes and that this can be controlled through diet and medication. Andy dropped me off at home after my appointment and I immediately put on my running shoes and went out and walked for over an hour. I just couldn't take my fatness any more and I felt completely horrible (btw walking for so long is HARD right now. My hips and pelvis are so sore and I feel like my uterus might just fall right through me. So. Heavy.) I feel bad that I totally didn't believe my doctor. Is it strange that I felt like he was just saying what I wanted to hear? I left that appointment feeling completely responsible and like this pregnancy was just a complete failure. Like someone stamped a black mark on my forehead that read FAT LOSER WHO ALREADY RUINED HER FIRST BABY.

My older sister Becca is a type 1 diabetic and has been for almost 13 years, but she's on an LDS mission and I couldn't exactly call her up and talk to her about this. So I called my mom, who was there when 11 year old Becca was diagnosed, there to absorb all the information she could from the doctor about her situation, there to help Becca with this huge lifestyle change. She was the perfect person to talk to in my extremely brittle emotional state. We talked about how for reals this wasn't my fault--the doctor wouldn't just go about saying that, you dummy. We made a list of all the great low-carb foods I'll be able to eat. We talked through how simple this would be and how C'MON Rachel this is not a death sentence. It sucks that this happened, but I can make it 6 weeks on a low carb diet. That's all it's going to take. I felt great after this conversation. A lot more optimistic. Though I still kept googling things like "gestational diabetes and big babies" and "late diagnosis of gestational diabetes".

Since I wasn't diagnosed until 33 weeks, my biggest worry is how much harm has already been done. Diabetics are known for their huge babies and I'm terrified of having an unhealthy monster baby with complications and low blood sugar who will have to be monitored for a long time. I'm trying to assure myself that the fact that my uterus is measuring exactly right means he's not ginormous yet and he will stay a healthy weight if I can keep my diet under control, but I don't know if that's necessarily true. I have an ultrasound in about a week and I guess that might be the only way to really tell. I do not want to be induced early or have to get a C-section just because he's a big baby. He needs to cook for as long as he can. That's the only thing that has me super nervous.

Andy's family is the best about all of this btw. They totally give me a hard time about it but they all are so health conscious (Andy excluded) that they know 100% what gestational diabetes is and how to best eat low carb. Andy's brother Paul is always saying I've got a bad case of the diabeetus and a few days ago we grilled and ate an entire pack of bacon together (yeah I know, all fat...but NO CARBS). I'm so glad to be up here with them where there is absolutely no judgement and just tons of support. Except that Andy has no idea what a carb is and keeps asking me if I can eat pasta or chocolate. Dummy. I need to make him a chart or something.

I met with my dietician yesterday. Best news ever was that I don't have to be put on medication unless I'm unable to control this with a low carb diet. Also, this whole deal will immediately stop once I give birth. They'll be more watchful of the baby's blood sugar to make sure that he's balancing out correctly, but as for me--I can eat a cinnamon roll the minute after I push him out of my lady parts. YAYYYY! My doctor got me all set up with my finger pricker thingy and blood tester gadget and a whole bunch of testing strips. Watching my sister Becca prick herself for 13 years has me feeling a lot more confident about using this stuff. For the last 24 hours I've been poking and testing and eating and feeling--trying to get the hang of this. So far all my readings have been really great. Success!

Sorry for the novel. Thankfully you all only have to hear about this for 6 more weeks.
Wait.... 6 MORE WEEKS?!? Holy freaking A. This shiz is really happening.