Obviously nothing can adequately prepare you for parenthood, but we enrolled in three baby classes to help us learn a few things about taking care of a tiny human who is 100% dependent on us…it just seemed smart.
We actually did the classes in what I would consider reverse order – newborn, breastfeeding and then labor and delivery. In the newborn class, we changed clothes/diapers, bathed and aspirated a baby doll and learned about infant cues and some basic do’s and don’t’s. Breastfeeding taught us how to feed the child…obviously. And the labor and delivery class walked us through what would happen with my body during L&D and recovery, ways to cope with the pain, various pain relief options and a tour of the birthing suites/mother-baby rooms.
They were all helpful in their own way, but of course there is no “typical” labor or baby – so we’ll just have to play the cards we’re dealt when that day arrives. Let’s hope God deals us a stacked hand of short labor, high pain tolerance and a happy, healthy baby boy – but if not, He’ll be there to help us through :) Perhaps we’ll have Phyllis, the nurse who taught 2 of our 3 classes, as our mother/baby nurse!
Also, my doctor appears to be on the same page as me on every important baby birthing subject – how many people can be in the room, immediate skin-to-skin contact, delayed cord cutting and using a C-section as a last possible resort – so that’s great! Dr. Miller has been great through all of this and I’m starting to get really excited about Luke actually being here…which is good, since I’m 32 weeks pregnant!
Hands down, taking a Babymoon was a great idea, perhaps one of our best – I’d encourage anyone to do it. Sure, it’s a vacation with a silly moniker attached, but it’s fun and blissful – and in our case, the last vacation as a family of two.
We spent four amazing nights and five days at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, a beautiful, secluded, all-inclusive resort in the “Romantic Zone” of the city (aka south of the city, on the Bay of Banderas). Every day, we alternated between beach and pool, beneath the palapa or the umbrella. Every night, the sunset was phenomenal – God really showed off his artistic abilities. There were several serious conversations about “was this better than our honeymoon?” Although we never determined a solid yes/no (settling on “it’s just DIFFERENT and AMAZING!”), I think if I’d been able to drink the fruity adult beverages and do something adventurous (say, ziplining), it may have put it over the top.
This vacation was a stark contrast from last summer’s big Euro Trip. There, we were blowing and going, seeing 5 things per day and running around like lunatics. This time, we slept late, ate whatever/whenever/for free, toured nothing and were extremely lazy. I read TWO books. It was GLORIOUS.
Y’all…Garth Brooks is hands down the best performer I’ve ever seen. From first note to last, he was energetic, engaging and entertaining, giving the audience everything we wanted. Perhaps there is something magical about being born on February 7…I’m just saying.
On Saturday, six of my favorite siblings (me and Kourt, Haley and Ashley, and Blake and Andee) took the Toyota Center by storm to see Garth Brooks perform in Houston for the first time in 17 years. I’ve long counted having not seen Garth perform live as a regret in life (granted, I was only 12 the last time he was in town), so as soon as the concert announcement was made I KNEW I was going, no matter what. Luckily, the concert was at Toyota Center and my CEO has VIP ticket access to all TC events, thanks to his longtime status as a Houston Rockets season ticket holder (thanks again, Phil!) – I emailed him weeks before tickets went on sale, begging him to send me his VIP access code. Of course, he did – and we scored 10th row center seats! It was FANTASTIC.
I knew the show was going to be amazing when Garth opened with “I have been in your position and have come to hear one of my old favorite acts perform. I know you want to hear the old stuff. Sure, I have a new album coming out – but we’re not going to play any of that. We’re going to play the good stuff! The stuff you love!” GOOD MAN, GARTH. GOOD MAN.
If there is a Garth Brooks song you can name off the top of your head, he played it – and every single audience member sang along to every word of every verse. Yes, even the bonus verses found only when Garth sings live! I correctly predicted the first and last Garth songs to be played (HOLLA!) and enjoyed every second of his 2 hour and 15 minute performance. I was exhausted just watching him run around – and laughed at his fat/old guy jokes (made as his own expense) :)
Thanks so much for all of your prayers and well wishes last week as Chad had his ESI (epidural steroid injection) to fix a slipped disc. He’s been injured for many months now (we aren’t exactly sure how long, nor how he did it), and the ESI has definitely had a significant impact on his pain level. It takes a full two weeks to know the results, but he is still in some pain (especially when walking), so it looks like we may have to do a series of the shots :( Keep praying, y’all! We need him 100% when Luke gets here :)
Also, I’d just like to add that the doctor said he should have been in so much pain that he wasn’t able to walk or get out of bed. Apparently Baby Daddy has the pain tolerance of a superhero – is there any way he can deliver the baby for me? That’d be great.
Last weekend, my mom and I went to San Francisco together for a bit of mother/daughter fun before my conference began. I’d never been to San Francisco before, so I did what any OCD Type A person would do – researched, planned and made an agenda of things to see and do while there :)
Mom, like Chad, thought I was a slave driver and evil sadist for all of the walking required, but she took it like a champ (just like Chad did in Europe) and admittedly enjoyed her time with me and in the city. We went to Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ghiradelli building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods and Sausalito in less than 48 hours – a success for sure :) I also made mom stand in line at Mama’s on Washington Square, a famous breakfast/brunch place, for an hour and a half in the freezing cold, windy weather. Yes, it was cold (and there was a very annoying and loud woman standing right behind us), but once we started eating those rage feelings subsided :)
After mom left, I went to the park across the street from the Painted Ladies (the Full House houses, for all of my fellow late 80’s/early 90’s children) and read my book/ate ice cream for the remainder of the day. Sunday night-Wednesday afternoon were spent at the conference and then I was back on a plane to Houston!
Hiking through Muir Woods
Behind bars at Alcatraz!
Lots has happened in the world of Baby Prep this week!
I’ve officially booked our maternity and newborn photographer – Melissa Parsons! I really liked her soft, natural photos and hope to have some beautiful weather for the maternity session on August 16. I’ll be 35 weeks and nice and round by then, no doubt about it! I am definitely worried about the heat, but we’ll make do. And I’m pleased to report that she fell short of the budget by $25, so Chad was thrilled as well :)
Additionally, we ordered Luke’s bedding and it will arrive later today! It usually takes two weeks, but someone cancelled their order at the last minute and she had an extra crib sheet and skirt lying around, so she overnighted them to us for free. Excited to see them tonight! We’ll take them to Lowe’s so that they can match the mint and grey for the paint we’ll use for the nursery. WHOO HOO!
Finally, the registries (Target and Babies R Us) are done! Well, at least I think they are. If any experienced mamas see I’ve left something off, please let me know!
Here is a list of friends who are expecting right now (and I know about their pregnancies and they’re public knowledge):
- Jackie (boy/girl twins – due in October!)
- Erin (TBD – due in December!)
- Nicki (baby girl – due in October!)
- Kelley (TBD – due in September!)
I still have several ladies on my prayer list for pregnancies and healthy babies, but it’s exciting to celebrate with these mamas! Jackie I’ve known since middle school, Erin is a sweet friend I met in Little Rock who is currently living in Germany, Nicki is also a sweet friend I met in Little Rock and Kelley is my former cardio hip-hop workout teacher/Houston Texans cheerleader. A diverse and amazing group of women!
Congrats, mamas! I promised Erin I’d be the voice of “it gets better” when our timezone difference is no longer an issue (because we’ll both be on Baby Time), so who wants to be that for me???