Monday, January 30, 2012

Maternity + Baby Book

Click on over to HANNA MAC photography and check out what this creative mom put together for her baby.  She recorded each week of pregnancy with photos and her thoughts on the crazy experience.  This is a great keepsake that any child would love to have and look back on through their years.

 Here are few example pages from the maternity book...
Photo via HANNA MAC

Photo via HANNA MAC
Photo via HANNA MAC

Photo via HANNA MAC

Photo via HANNA MAC
 You've gotta check out the rest of this adorable book, here!!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Now if her maternity book wasn't enough cuteness for you to handle, check out her daughter's baby book here.
 Here are a few example pages...
Photo via HANNA MAC
Photo via HANNA MAC

A Great Maternity Series

While looking at this maternity photo series, I actually caught myself thinking "Dangit, can't I start my pregnancy over again so that I can do something creative like this?"  What, crazy lady!?  Start from the beginning?!  Uh-uh, no way...I'm 2/3 of the way there and ain't going back for nothin'!  Although I do wish I would have started documenting my pregnancy from the beginning, like this mom and dad did over at their blog called Pacing the Panic Room.

How awesome does this gal look (weeks 37-40)?

Photo via Pacing the Panic Room

Photo via Pacing the Panic Room

Photo via Pacing the Panic Room

Photo via Pacing the Panic Room
 Interested in seeing her maternity series beginning with week 17?  Click here

Chalkboards and Photography

I was browsing through some fun and clever ideas for using photography to capture each month of my (unborn) child's life, once she arrives.  I stumbled upon the blog of The Letter B Photography, a husband and wife photography two-some.  Check out this photo series of their kids' first year, one month at a time.

Photo via The Letter B Photography
I love the addition of the chalkboard wall in the background.  I've gotta have a chalkboard in Mia's room...not a wall (I would if I could), but a nice big board will do.

I dug a little deeper into these photographer's blog and found some pretty amazing maternity shots....

All photos via

And a few kids photos...
Photo via The Letter B Photography

Photo via The Letter B Photography

 You can check out their website here.

Go and "like" their Facebook here.

The do maternity sessions, birth sessions, weddings, portrait sessions, family sessions, kid and baby sessions and engagement/couples sessions (and more).  I'm not familiar with pricing for photo sessions, so I couldn't tell you if they're a good deal.  I do know that they're too pricey for me and my family right now.  If I could, I'd use them for pretty much every session they offer.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Paper Lanterns Decor

I have 2 white, round paper lanterns in my room, each with a light inside.  I've always loved their look, whether in the home or when decorating a patio area, an outdoor space for a wedding or just a party.  I found this picture here at Apartment Therapy.
I'll definitely be adding this look to Mia's nursery, I just haven't decided on the colors I want.  The best part is, the price for these is so cheap!  Head on over to Asian Ideas and check out their paper lanterns here for different sizes and colors and for some unbeatable prices.

I Love Lamp...

I came across an old wooden lamp that I used to have in my bedroom years ago.  I'm not crazy about its look now, but instead of tossing it, I know I can give it another go with a new coat of paint and a different shade.  I found this great redo at Apartment Therapy.

 Check out the details here.

28 Weeks Pregnant {Chinese Cabbage}

My little Chinese Cabbage and I have made it through 28 weeks are now entering our 3rd trimester!
(Average measurements: 14.8 inches, 2.25 pounds )

  • Dominic and I rummaged through my garage and sorted out all the house stuff that I took to San Diego with me when I lived there.  We're still hoping to be moving out soon.
  • The stress over finding a house has continued to be hot and heavy this week.  Halfway through the week, we heard from the owners of the house we really want to rent, but nothing is certain yet.  We know the current tenants are moving out in February sometime and we just have to arrange a time to meet with one of the owners and view the house.  All of our eggs are currently in this one basket.
  • Dominic began making his very first quilt this week, and finished it within just a few days.  I showed him how to do it, but he did all the work himself.  I'm very impressed with this man.  What's even cooler than this?  The quilt is for his daughter.  What a special gift, one that I know she'll love for life :)
  • We had a hospital tour scheduled this week, but it was rescheduled for next week.
  • The word has continued to spread at work among my students.  "Miss Misty, is there really a baby in your belly?"  One 6year old girl said, "When you have the baby, it's really gonna hurt."  Ya, thanks.  More of their parents have been catching wind of the news, too, and I've been getting more "Congratulations!" and "Wow, your 6 months along already?  You look great!  I was giant at this stage in my pregnancy."  I don't really know what I'm supposed to look like at this point, so I guess it's a relief to hear that I don't actually look like a whale.
  • I'm trying out a new and hip's called "The Waddle"
  • I'm hitting up the bathroom significantly more now.  This makes wearing leggings everyday way more appealing to quicken the potty process.
  • I feel more stretched.  My belly is tighter and harder, so I'm nervously awaiting stretch marks any day now.
  • I put music to my belly for the first time.  Song chosen: Papa Was a Rolling Stone, by The Temptations.  I think Mia could use a bit of soul.  I love this song right now.

Baby Center's information for week 28 says, "By this week, your baby can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.  You're in the home stretch! The third and final trimester starts this week. If you're like most women, you'll gain about 11 pounds this trimester. 
At this point, you'll likely visit your doctor every two weeks. Then, at 36 weeks, you'll switch to weekly visits. Depending on your risk factors, your practitioner may recommend repeating blood tests for HIV and syphilis now, as well as doing cultures for chlamydia and gonorrhea, to be certain of your status before delivery.  Around this time, some women feel an unpleasant "creepy-crawly" sensation in their lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them while trying to relax or sleep. If this sensation is at least temporarily relieved when you move, you may have what's known as restless legs syndrome (RLS). No one knows for sure what causes RLS, but it's relatively common among expectant mothers. Try stretching or massaging your legs, and cut down on caffeine, which can make the symptoms worse. Ask your caregiver if you should try iron supplements, which can sometimes relieve RLS."

Monday, January 23, 2012

27 Weeks Pregnant {Cauliflower}

Ok, baby Cauliflower...27 weeks down and more-than-I'd-like-to-count-right-now to go!
(Average measurements: 14.5 inches, 2 pounds)
  • Dominic and I had a delicious sushi dinner date.  Don't judge me...I know which sushi is "safe"!
  • We continued our "house hunt" over the weekend.  We found one we liked and viewed it with the property manager.  We both could see ourselves living there so we filled out the apps, even though it's a little more $ than we'd like to spend.  But here's the thing: Dominic's friend owns another house that we both like even BETTER than anything we've seen and his current tenants are supposed to be moving out, but we don't know when.  They can't get a hold of the tenants (going through a divorce).  That means we're stuck on which basket to put all of our eggs in.  We're running out of time and the stress of it hit us pretty hard this week.  Do we keep searching? Or do we hope for "The One" to come through, hopefully before Mia does.  Literally.
  • My friend, Noelle, gave me 2 trash bags full of maternity clothes!  Woohoo!  In one of those bags is an awesome pair of skinny maternity jeans.  Kind of funny using the words skinny and maternity in the same sentence.
  • I had Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off from work (a perk of being a teacher) and I think Mia was pretty stoked about it.  That night, she made my belly look like a water bed with all of her movements.  They've officially gone from little bumps and pokes to strides and wave-like motions.  Amazing.
  • Had another doctor's appointment..the one where you drink "the juice" to test your glucose levels, I guess?  Anyways, you have 5 minutes to drink the orange stuff, then you have to wait an hour and get blood drawn.  I've heard it tastes awful but I disagree.  I actually liked it.  I was tempted to ask for another!  Well the results came back and everything is fine.  I also got my flu shot.  Yuck.
  • Movies watched: Contagion (it was good, but a little anti-climactic and slow) and Hall Pass (it had its few funny moments...glad I waited until it came out on cable).
  • In other pregnancy related updates, my nose is still constantly stuffed, my lower back continues to bother me at times, my belly is getting bigger by the day, I'm so easily winded and find myself out of breath often, my nipples are starting to become sensitive again...but most importantly, NO CONTRACTIONS! :)

     My BabyBump phone app says, "This week your baby looks like a thinner, redder, more wrinkled version of what she will look like at birth, but in the next few weeks more fat will fill out her appearance.  Your baby's immune system is continuing to mature as are your baby's lungs which are still practicing breathing amniotic fluid.  Just when you were getting used to your second trimester, you may find new uncomfortable symptoms beginning during your third trimester.  You may notice more leg cramps due to the pressure of your uterus on your veins and nerves running from your torso to your legs.  Remember to stretch and move your legs to ease or prevent cramping."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Lovely Belly Lump

Yeah, that's right...I sing the name of this post to the tune of a Black Eyed Peas song, so what?
Here it is, kids: My first shared pictures of my baby bump belly lump at 26 weeks and 4 days.

Kinda reminds you of a whale and its blowhole, don't it ;)

 Oh yeah, and before you go...mind voting for my blog by clicking on the link (followed by one more link)?  Thanks! Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs

Friday, January 13, 2012

26 Weeks Pregnant {Hothouse Cucumber}

Hey there, my little "cucumber"!  We've made it through 26 weeks, together :)
(Average measurements: 14 inches, 1.75 pounds)
  • I went off my uterus relaxing medication.  All week long, I've been a tad bit nervous that my contractions may show their ugly face again.  So far...nada.
  • As posted here, I was surprised with the Back 'N Belly Chic!  I've been praying to the pillow gods to bless me with some sweet, cushioned back support.  Well ask, and ye shall receive.  My darling fiance (oh, how I love thee) ordered this bad boy for me online and on my bed it now lays.  I call it my "pea pod."  I feel so secure and cozy in it.  My one complaint: I don't want to get out of bed in the morning when my alarm clock goes off.  It takes me about 15 minutes to exit the "pea pod."
  • I've been doing a poor job of getting to bed early.  Sleep is gold.  Current goal: asleep by 10pm.
  • We've checked out more houses for rent this week.  Still haven't found something we can both agree on.  They haven't been horrible, but not real winners either.  The search continues...
  • Thursday, I went home from work an hour early due to bad heartburn and back pain/cramping.  Ugh, double whammy!  My salad's dressing was way to vinegary and was trying to burn a hole through my stomach.  I was on my feet most of the day, more than I'd prefer, and my back was killing.  I went home and spent an hour just trying to get comfortable.  I finally felt normal after dinner.  I get the message, tummy...bland/mild food from here on out.  Boring...but worth it.  If anyone has any tips on avoiding heartburn, or how to alleviate it once it starts...SPILL THE BEANS!
  • My little Mia has been noticeably LESS active this week.  What happened, baby?  I only feel her maybe a handful of times in the day, and the movements I do feel are small flutters.  Slight concern has settled in.
  • More of my students are noticing my baby bump.  I already mentioned that my 2nd graders all know because their teacher told them.  One of those kids said to me the other day, "Miss Misty, my baby cousin was born with a hole in his heart.  I think it's because God has to make babies so fast, and then he uses a sling shot to fling them down into the mommy's belly."  I had a few other younger students actually notice all on their own.  "Are you pregnant?" the bump for sure, folks.

My BabyBump phone app says, "By now, your baby's lungs and brain are much more developed.  In fact, your baby can likely detect light and dark through the optic nerve.  Your baby can now also hear more than just your rumbling tummy, such as outside noises like your partner's voice.  Earlier in your pregnancy your blood pressure probably dropped.  But now, the reverse is in effect with your blood pressure increasing a bit.  And it's likely you'll still have an aching back as the weight of your belly continues to grow and shift forward.  When moving or bending and lifting, it's important to maintain proper posture.  For additional back support, some women favor maternity belts which provide support under your belly and stabilize your back."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spelling in Style

I came across these really cute and affordable (if you have a short name) letter decor at Anthropologie a few days ago and had to get em.  They're soft, covered in fabric and the edges in corduroy.  Each letter (even if it's the same letter) has a slightly different pattern, so it was fun rummaging through the bins to find the perfect one.  Once we finally find a house, I'm so eager to hang these up in my little Mia's nursery.

Photo via Anthropologie

Order letters online here , $14 each

Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby got "Back 'N Bellly"!!!

As you pregnant gals know, and you future preggers will know...being pregnant isn't the most comfortable situation to be in.  I'm 25 1/2 weeks along and I've already been introduced to some back discomfort and "pinches," as I like to call them.  I'm at a point where they're bearable and not painful just yet, but they're not going away and I know will only come stronger as time goes by, and as I grow.  I've mentioned many times to my hunny that I'd just LOVE to have one of those "mommy pillows" to sleep with to help support my tummy and my dang back.  Well...that sneaky lil' stinker was listening.  He ordered this bad boy in the mail and surprised me today with it!
It's a Back 'N Belly Chic contoured body pillow by Leachco.  You can find one here.

And here it is, waiting patiently for me to jump carefully climb into bed and cuddle it until morning.  I'm thrilled to have one of these, let me tell you.  Aside from keeping a constant supply of ice cream in the freezer, this is the best gift Dominic could have given me.  You just can't put a price on comfort and a good night sleep.  What a thoughtful and giving guy I have.  Thank you!!! xo
(FYI: I painted the art on the wall.  It was a an art class assignment when I was attending SDSU.  It's Nicole Richie)
Although I haven't usehhhd itet, here are a few comments left on my Facebook page about it, from 2 pregnant gals in their almost 8th month!...
"This is way better than mine... get it!! Especially if you're gonna be on bed rest for awhile. It's only gonna get harder to get comfortable as you get bigger... trust me!"
"YUP - this is the one Whit's letting me borrow & I LOVE IT!!! Don't wanna give it back LOL! It's freakin' awesome!! Helps with the fart burn & breathing easier at night too cause it keeps you a little erect."

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fun with photo cards

I don't know about you, but with each year that passes (and as I age) I find that my mailbox becomes fuller around the Christmas holiday.  Sure, with catalogs and ads and crazy sales to get you to buy, buy, buy...but also with delightful Christmas family photos and cards wishing me and mine the merriest and most joyful holiday.  I love seeing all the smiling faces and the cute pet moments captured on a postcard.  I'm thrilled at the idea that I'll get to make one with Dominic, Mia and the dog next year.  And even before that, I'll be sending out baby announcements most likely in May (she's due April 22).  Here are some pretty adorable examples of different fun photo opportunities...

 This photo comes from a seriously talented photographer's website.  Check out Hanna Mac Photography HERE

Totally cute idea for announcing that you're pregnant, perhaps.  Can't find the source, though :(

Photo via Tinyprints

How precious is this little cuddle bug, cuddling her teddy.  Photo via Inabitots

Using letters, words, symbols, and/or signs is a great and cute idea. Photo source here.

This perfect holiday card comes from a very stylish and adorable new mom's blog, The Daybook.

I love the sofa in an unlikely place, idea.  Photo via All We Need is Amor

You can snag this outfit on Etsy, here.

Capturing a fun moment and sharing it via a holiday card...clever :)  Photo via here

Friday, January 6, 2012

25 Weeks Pregnant {Rutabaga}

My little rutabaga (whatever the heck that is) and I carefully and slowly made it through week 25.
(Average measurements: 13.5 inches, 1.5 pounds)

  • I haven't had any more contractions or pain or discomfort in my uterus.  I've been taking the week very easy and trying to stay off my feet as much as I can help it.
  • Since I had to really take it easy over last weekend, I sat myself down and started making a quilt for my daughter and another for...possibly a friend or possibly for sale?  Haven't decided.
  • I made Dominic's and my first breakfast of 2012 extra delicious...warm cinnamon rolls from Trader Joe's :)  I absolutely love that store.
  • I experienced the worst heartburn I've ever had in my whole 28 years of life!  Dominic and I made steak for dinner and we topped it off with some sauteed mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Garlic is tricky with me sometimes.  I love the stuff but sometimes it does a number on me.  Soon after dinner, my insides were burning and churning and shooting with pain.  I lost all energy and desire to even move.  Nothing helped and no position was comfortable to be in.  I couldn't even breathe normally.  Poor Dominic was again left helpless to yet another side effect of being pregnant.  He rubbed my back for a while which helped calm me down.  This pain and discomfort lasted about 3 hours before I just knocked out for the night.  I awoke the next morning, normal again.
  • After a few months of absence, Froyo Life frozen yogurt was sweetly savored and enjoyed and a craving was finally satisfied.
  • I FINALLY finished my baby registries!  Time consuming is quite the understatement when it comes to these things!  There's so much to choose from and as a first time mom, I don't know exactly what I'm going to need.  I went through so many product reviews, too, to make sure I didn't choose cheap stuff.  Hopefully I did good.  I'm registered at Target, Babies R Us, and Sears.  If you'd like the link to them, feel free to message me :)
  • I had a doctor appointment 3 days ago and everything's fine.  I've gained a total of 12 pounds now.  I'm also still taking my uterus relaxing pills, but will be stopping them this weekend.
  • I went back to work this week.  My first day (Wednesday), I worked from 12pm-4pm.  I made it through just fine.  Everyone was glad to see that I was OK.  Thursday and today I worked full 8 hour days.  Yesterday I had a pinch in my back from lunch until I went to bed.  Ugh.  Today, I was pretty comfortable. 
  • One of my co-workers told her 2nd grade class that I'm pregnant...which is fine.  It was going to happen sooner or later and I think it's easier when word spreads, rather than me announce it to all my 180 students.  When I pulled some of those 2nd graders for art class, they all asked me if that was true and then congratulated me when I said yes.  I even got a few hugs.  One girl said, "Is it a boy or a girl?  A girl?!  Oh yay!  I like girls because they can make more people!"
  • House hunt update:  I signed us up on because the listings on Craigslist were minimal and not very good.  We're approaching "the yellow" as far as urgency goes on finding a place to live.  So far, there are some decent listings on the website and Dominic and I have already driven by all the houses that we're interested in possibly renting.  There's one that we're hopeful about and they're having a sort of open-house on the 15th.  *Fingers crossed* that we like it...and if so...snatch it right up.

My phone's BabyBump app says, "Your baby's body parts are continuing to become more proportional to each other.  Baby fat is also continuing to fill in your baby's wrinkled skin for a smoother look and more hair is growing, developing texture and color.  Now roughly the size of a soccer ball, your uterus is halfway between your sternum and your bellybutton.  All this growing might cause your stretched out skin to feel itchy in places.  Try to relieve the itching with lotions and moisturizers.  On the flip side, you're probably still enjoying the fullness of your hair, actually caused by your hormones decreasing the shedding process.  Unfortunately, this extra hair won't last after you've given birth."

24 Weeks Pregnant {Corn}

After a very scary incident this week, I can thankfully say that my little corn on the cob and I have made it through 24 weeks! (on 12/30/11)
(Average Measurements: 12.5 inches, 1.25 pounds)

  • My nose has yet to unstuff itself.  Put another box of tissues on the grocery list.
  • I woke up 4 mornings this week with a bloody nose, after my usual A.M. nose blowing.
  • I felt baby Mia moving ALL of Christmas Eve...the most I've felt her in one day.
  • Dominic bought me a humidifier from Bed, Bath and Beyond to try and rid the bloody noses.
  • I was literally in bed for 4 days in a row (2 in the hospital and 2 at home) as a result of our "Christmas Scare of 2011" incident.  The other 3 days I was on light bed rest.
  • I got an unwelcome sneak-peek of what contractions feel like.  I experienced them all Christmas day and  intensely that night, ending me up in the hospital.  I'm still sticking with my all natural birth plan.  I think I can handle the pain.
  • Is it possible that my uterus freaked out because Mia had a sudden growth spurt??  I swear, my stomach grew inches while I was in the hospital!  Once I was home, my tummy was feeling tighter and a little more stretched and I actually look pregnant now...and not just fat :)
  • My love and trust for my fiance grew this week.  He was everything I needed him to be during such a trying time.  Oh, and he still can't take his hands off of me and my belly.  The bump drives him wild!
 Photo via

My phone's BabyBump app says, "With all the rapidly developing senses in your baby, she should probably be able to sense what is upside down or right side up.  Your baby's respiratory system is also rapidly growing, lungs are developing in preparation for breathing, moving amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs.  For now your baby still gets oxygen through your placenta.
Your uterus is roughly 2 inches above your bellybutton.  Around this time your medical practitioner may perform a glucose screen test to check for gestational diabetes which affects around 10% of all pregnant women.  It can be left a risk to you and your baby if left untreated.  This condition often disappears for most women after pregnancy."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The "Christmas Scare" of 2011!

Our Christmas morning started out as expected and planned...almost.  We were excited that this holiday had finally come, and for what the rest of the day had in store for us.  We had no idea just how eventful the day would turn out to be!

I woke up with some slight cramping and discomfort on my right side, a few inches below my belly button where I imagine my uterus is still hanging out.  I wasn't in pain so I just dismissed it as normal "growing pains," or maybe it was from me "holding it" through the night and not using the bathroom HOURS ago when I should have.  Dominic and I joined my brother, his girlfriend and my parents at our house for our annual and DELICIOUS homemade Eggs Benedict.  You see, my stepdad was a chef at one time and I've never had a better plate of Eggs Benedict than's all in the Hollandaise sauce.
After breakfast, we opened our gifts.  The cramping that I felt in the morning was still nagging at me.  I laid on the floor and slowly stretched.  Whenever I stood up straight, I felt a tightening or a stretching feeling in my uterus, so I sat a lot.  What was going on?!  I wondered, "Could this pain be due to the fact that I don't get to experience a Christmas tree this year and I'm oh-so-sad about it??"  See this year's "tree" here...
Holiday festivities continued at Dominic's house where we exchanged gifts with his sister, brother-in-law, dad, and Roxi dog.  Over the next few hours my pains were still hitting me, so I drank a lot of water thinking this could help.  Nah.

We were back at my house for dinner, another outstanding homemade meal made by my stepdad.  He made Cioppino which is a seafood stew.  It's mostly made up of clams, mussels, crab legs, shrimp and scallops, all in a tomato based sauce.  I love seafood.  After some family shmoozing, it was back to Dominic's for the night.  At this point, I was hurting badly and planned to just lay down for the night and try to relax.  By 10:30pm, I was in extreme pain and in the fetal position on the bed.  I was breathing heavily and having shooting cramps, pain, and tightening in/near my uterus.  They were happening minutes apart now and there was no sign of them easing up.  I definitely knew something was wrong and poor Dominic was so worried and didn't know how to help me feel better.  He said, "Call your mom."  She always knows what to do and in this case it was to call my doctor.  Now you might be thinking to yourself, DUH!  Why didn't you call earlier?!  Answer (2 parts): 1) All my life, I have never been one to call the doctor for pretty much anything unless I was having an emergency.  I always would let my colds or flus run their course with over-the-counter remedies.  2) I had no idea that the doctor's office had a phone service that would be there to take my call on a Sunday, on Christmas, in the middle of the night!  Pure ignorance on my part there, I guess.  I thought my only options at a time like this were Urgent Care or the Emergency room!  So, I called my doctor's office and was given the number to the on-call doctor (mine was unavailable).  Our instructions were to head to the hospital now...they will be expecting me.  After grabbing a few things from my house and changing my underwear (because my mom always said it's good to have on a clean pair of underwear in case you're rushed to the hospital), and after a short, nerve-wracking drive where I couldn't stop shaking, we arrived at the hospital.  Minutes later I was admitted into the labor and delivery unit around 11:30pm.

Everything happened pretty quickly up until I was in a bed in a room that only had curtains to separate the few patients that it held.  This room was meant for keeping a close eye and ear on the moms.  At this point, the pain wasn't nearly as bad as it had been at Dominic's house.  They took a urine sample and a blood sample (I hate needles!).  They hooked me up to an IV (more needles) to help hydrate me.  I had 2 different monitors wrapped around my belly, one monitored (loudly) the baby's heartbeat and the other monitored my contractions.  Yes...CONTRACTIONS.  That's the pain I was experiencing all day!  They were coming every 3 to 5 to 8 minutes.  Dominic and I didn't even know what had hit us.  We were pretty quiet for all the commotion that had been going on around us.  I think we were in shock, confused, horrified and also in disbelief that I was having contractions all day and still at this point.  We were scared that there was even a possibility that I could go into premature labor at only 23 weeks.  We didn't say much to each other, we just held hands a lot.  We were hit even harder when the nurse said that she was about to check if my cervix was dilated!  Oh, please NO!  Dominic and I exchanged a quick look of pure fear before the nurse began.  After a little 2-finger check, our first sigh of relief came.  It was closed.  More good news came, all the tests they had run all came back fine.  I didn't know what that really meant, all I knew is that this baby isn't coming tonight.  Whew!  Dominic stayed right by my side through all of this and my mom stuck it out in the waiting room.  

Around 3am, I was moved into my own private, large room in the high risk section of the maternity unit.  Both my mom and Dominic were allowed to be in there with me.  I still had an IV plugged in my hand and only one monitor wrapped around my belly, recording any contractions.  They had greatly reduced.  We were drained.  At 4am, I livened the room up a bit once I was told that I was getting an injection right in the butt.  Did I mention I hate needles?  Once I saw the needle I tried to get out of was big.  The nurse promised she had a special trick that would help me take it.  I turned on my left side, my mom faced me and held my hand.  This wasn't good enough.  I told her to SQUEEZE my hand...harder, HARDER!  I was panicking on the inside.  The nurse rubbed my skin clean with alcohol, and then started slapping my bum!  I could feel it jiggle and was thinking how great of a visual this must have been for Dominic and my mom!  Eeww.  At the same time as one of the slaps, the nurse injected the needle.  Yeow!  Seconds after she pulled it out, it felt sore and bruised like she had just given me a dead leg (on my rear).  Relief came at the thought that at least it was over...until...I was told I will be having the same shot AGAIN, in 24 hours.  Not only do I have to do this again, but it will be at 4am, which means I'll be here another night?!  Aw, crap.  My mom went home soon after this and Dominic slept in my room on a fold out bed.  We got 3 hours of sleep at the most.

We were up around 7:30am (Monday).   Don't I look purdy...yikes.
 I ordered and ate breakfast: fruit & yogurt parfait, an omelette with mushrooms and cheese, milk.  My mom came back around 9am.  Dom went home soon after.  The on-call doctor came by to see me around 11am for maybe 10 minutes.  He was unsure of why I had contractions this early.  His best guess was that I had a severe case of Round Ligament Syndrome, which could have greatly aggravated my uterus, causing it to have contractions.  He had me taking a pill (Procardia) every 6 hours to relax my uterus.  He also wanted to observe me longer to make sure I was in the clear of any further complications so he gave us the great (sarcasm) news that I was to stay another night.  I ordered and ate lunch: grilled chicken sandwich, chocolate milk.  My mom left and I was alone until 4pm.  All I could do all day was to lie there.  Take a look around...

  Since I had a constant hydration drip going in me and I was drinking a lot of water and all the cranberry juice cups they could give me, I had to pee every 1-2 hours.  To do this, I had to unplug the contractions monitor on the left side of my bed and then unplug the IV drip to my right.  Then, I had to wheel the IV "stroller" into the bathroom with me while keeping the belly monitor still wrapped around, and while juggling 2 different cords.  It was a pain in the butt (no, not like the needle to the butt earlier experienced).  The only pain I felt during the day was when I had to pee.  The cramping and tightness I felt the day before would come back pretty strong as I...urinated.  It hurt.  My whole body clenched until it was over, and even then my "cramp" would hurt a few minutes longer.  Aside from my many annoying bathroom breaks, I just watched TV.  My brother and his girlfriend visited me around 4pm for a few hours.  Dominic came back to see me at some point during that time. I ordered and ate dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs, grilled mixed veggies, chocolate milk.  Then, my parents came by for the last bit of visiting hours (over at 8pm).  I slept alone that night.  I made the decision for my caregivers (Dominic & Mom) that they both stay home that night and get some sleep, since both of them had only about 4 hours of it total since I'd been in there.  I braved the 4am needle to the butt by myself that night morning...with my face in the pillow.

Good morning, Tuesday.  I greet you with the hope that this will be the day I can return home.  I ordered and ate breakfast: cream of wheat with raisins and brown sugar, milk.  My mom stopped by around 10am for about an hour before heading to work.  I spent all afternoon doing the bathroom dance I explained, and wondering when my doctor was going to see me..I was told it would be soon.  I made a few phone calls, chatting with a few friends on my condition.  I ordered and ate lunch: turkey and swiss cheese sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo, potato salad, pickle, chocolate milk.  
 Dominic worked all day and came to see me around 3pm.  At this point, I was told we'd see my doctor between 4-5pm.  While waiting, I received flowers and a balloon that was sent from Dom's best friend and his wife.  So thoughtful and very sweet.  Made me smile.
 Dominic sponge bathed me by the sink.  That was a first for us.  It was very sweet to have him take care of me like that.    My mom was back around 5pm.  Soon after, MY doctor poked her head in!  She told me I could go home!  I had to be on bed rest all of Wednesday and Thursday, but at least I'd be home.  I was also to continue taking the uterus relaxing pills every 6 hours and to take it very easy.  I was in the car and on my way home at 7:30pm.  Goodbye, hospital.

Wednesday, I literally was in bed all day as the doctor ordered...but with a new view and a better attitude.
 I only got up to shower in the morning and to use the bathroom.  My mom made me breakfast and lunch and I ate them in bed.  Dominic came by in the evening with dinner: chef salad.  Thursday looked a lot like Wednesday, but with a little more sitting at the computer rather than lying in bed all day (which I still did a lot of).  I chatted with my doctor to check in with her and she said I could be more "active" over the weekend, which still meant to rest and take it easy, but I could at least leave my bed and bedroom :)  I had both my mom and Dominic watching over my every move to ensure that I wasn't straining myself, on my feet for too long, or overdoing anything.  I was able to get out of the house a few times over the weekend to visit a friend in the hospital (again, the hospital) and meet her brand new baby girl that she had on Wednesday.  I also spent time at the sewing machine making a few quilts.  I'd say I took it easy.

I was supposed to go back to work today, but my doctor instructed me not to until after seeing me at our appointment that I had this afternoon.  I spent the afternoon finishing up my baby registries online (man those are time consuming!).  All was good at the appointment.  I've had no pain or discomfort to report about so my doctor gave me the green light to go back to work, but to try and stay off my feet as much as possible.  Once I get instructions in writing tomorrow from the doctor, I'll hopefully be back to work tomorrow afternoon!  We're all hoping that this was just a fluke incident and that all is good.  I feel good.

I'd like to conclude this lengthy post by thanking my dearest fiance for the much support and love he gave me throughout this whole ordeal, and for the continuing support he's giving me now.  He stayed calm, cool and collected for us when we both should have been freaking out.  He made sure I had everything I needed, he gave me more kisses and hugs than I know what to do with, and he gave our baby, Mia, more pep talks than she'd like (Okaaay, dad!) about staying in my belly for a few more months and taking it easy on her nervous, new parents.  I love you, Dominic.  We love you.  Also, thank you to my most nurturing and helpful mom, who is always there for me when I need her, no matter what.  She's never let me down.  She always puts me first.  I'm so thankful for her and everything that she does for me.  I've got a pretty great care team on my side.  I'm lucky.