Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thank the good Lord for gas (among other things)

Our first week home with Gracie has been nothing if not eventful.  The day after we got home, the incision from my c-section opened...this is disgusting, both literally and figuratively.  To make matter worse, the doctors keep saying they usually only see this happen in obese patients...does wonders for the hormonal post-partum psyche.  I will spare you any further details, but let's just say, GROSS.

Gracie is absolutely perfect in every way...but she does have a slight problem with, well, gas.  Usually just gas that hits around 11:00 pm and lasts until somewhere around 3:00 or 4:00 am and seems only to be comforted my constant movement.  I think I've probably burned off half my baby weight just walking around our living room.

And, of course, we are still adjusting to all of the normal newborn things...hundreds of diaper changes, minutes of sleep, lots of "what do we do nows?"

Last night I was around lap 60, passing the Christmas tree with screaming baby in hand.  Open incision, open shirt, nasty bathrobe, no more than an hour of sleep with no end of sight....and all I could think was "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You" .  It was all I could do not to cry with gratitude (those darn hormones again), I have a baby girl, she is healthy and happy.  We are normal, newborn parents doing normal, newborn things. 

Thank the good Lord for gas (among other things).

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Grace Louise Harris Comes Home

I am soaking up every minute of a newborn Gracie, honestly I could just look at her all day.

Here are just a few pictures of our first days home, I am just so thrilled to have this little girl home and in my arms I can hardly stand it.







I know, I know, she's mine so I think she is the cutest baby in the world...but really, she might be the cutest baby in the world.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Amazing Grace






T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.


And Grace, my fears relieved.

How precious did that Grace appear

The hour I first believed.







Through many dangers, toils and snares

I have already come;

'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far

and Grace will lead me home.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Someone's Coming to Town...and it's not Santa

Well, it looks like I was right about Gracie being a bit of a party girl and wanting to join us for Christmas...the doctor called tonight and it looks like our girl will be joining the world around 12:30 tomorrow!!

My blood pressure was a little high (no surprise there), so to be on the safe side Gracie is coming a bit early.

I am so excited (and nervous and scared out of my mind), and trying to remember that this baby is and always has been an answer to a prayer.  God has his hand on this child and she has a heck of an angel boy looking out for her, too.

So, by this time tomorrow night Gracie will be here.  In the meantime, please just pray pray pray!!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Words of Wisdom and One Week!!

Last night I was having one of my many moments of panic, when my mom gave me some words of wisdom that I am going to try to live by until Gracie makes her appearance...

She said, "Sometimes you just have to believe everything is going to be alright.  Believe it."

So that is my mantra from here on out, I'm just going to believe it.

The good news is that I only have to work at this piece of advice for 7 more days! Seriously, the fact that I'm having a baby girl in one week has really not sunken in yet.  "Won't I be surprised when" is probably a huge understatement!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Come Baby Come

I know it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was telling this baby to stay...and she has obeyed beautifully...but now that we are well into week 38, I am ready to get this show on the road.  I know, I know at most I have 8 days left...but honestly, at this point, you might as well tell me it's 8 years.

First and foremost, I am ready to get a healthy baby girl here who I (we) will love and adore and squeeze to pieces.

But there are a few other things I will be more than happy to be finished with, like....

Freaking out every time I don't feel the baby move for five minutes
Literally rolling out of bed and all of the sound effects that entails
Not being able to brush my teeth in the morning because my man-hands are too swollen
Wondering what the heck a contraction feels like, if I am having one and at what point I need to high-tail it to labor and delivery
Being unable to pry my boots off my big fat feet at the end of the day
Going to the doctor

So, come on Gracie, I don't blame you for wanting to stick around and enjoy a few extra days of holiday eating...but come before Christmas and I promise there will be lots and lots of presents!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Kind of a Funny Story

Just so you know I haven't completely lost my sense of humor,  a funny thing that happened over the past week...

Parke recently got a new job and we are thrilled about it.  Last Saturday was his company holiday party/picnic.  It was the first time I was meeting everyone so I did the best I could dressing to impress at 9 months pregnant.  It's a large company, but thankfully they provided name tags to help out those (aka me) who can hardly remember their own name, much less someone's they just met.

I thought I'd done a good job of being pretty darn cute...until we got home and it was discovered that "Hi My Name is Anne Harris" was actually not stuck to my shirt where it had been placed, but had traveled down my belly and settled somewhere under the vicinity of Gracie...out of my sight but not out of the sight of others, who no doubt wondered why I thought it necessary to introduce them all to my crotch.

Since then, I've come home and discovered (on separate occasions) almost an entire candy cane and a wad of gum stuck where I can no longer see.  I think it's safe to say time is almost up on the pregnancy when you find more junk stuck to your nether regions than you would find under the basic couch cushion, don't you?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

It's been a heck of a 24 hours.  Yesterday, I had my last ultrasound with Gracie.  There was quite a language barrier between the tech and myself, and although I warned her she was dealing with a crazy woman who needed as much reassurance as possible, let's just say she did not heed my advice.

Granted, she didn't say anything was really wrong with Gracie, she just didn't tell me that there wasn't.  The session ended with her hustling me back to the waiting room, telling me the doctor would be with me shortly to go over the results.  Hysterics ensued, Parke was called and being the good husband that he is came right away, and there we sat waiting on the doctor.  Who came in and told us he didn't think we had anything to worry about.  This was more than enough for Parke, but I was beside myself. To put it mildly, I lost it yesterday.

It was one of the lowest points I've had since we lost Rip.  I was basically without faith, hope, trust...you name it, I didn't have it.  I was determined to cling to all of the scary maybes, it was and to an extent still is literally beyond me to believe that we could just be normal this time around, have a healthy baby and go home and live our lives... that is what I want more than anything in the world.

Enter my mom, and Parke, and my dad, and countless girlfriends I couldn't live without...all telling me that they believe with their whole hearts this baby is going to be fine.  Enter a 10:00 pm email from my doctor (who was not in the office yesterday), followed by a cell phone call this morning, telling me she also believes this baby is going to be just fine. What a difference a day makes.

It may be beyond me at this point to believe in the best.  But the lesson I have learned over and over again this year is that God knows when life gets to be much, and he sends just the right people to believe for you until you have the strength to drag yourself back up again.  So thankful for my people.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Last night, I attended our annual Christmas parade...it is one of my favorite holiday traditions and this year did not disappoint...lots of candy canes, colored lights and "what were they thinking" dance routines.

I could not help but remember the parade last year, it was held three weeks after Rip died.  Now, I can't imagine why we went, but I guess it was because it was what we always did and at that point normalcy was all we wanted.  It was my first "big" outing where I was going to be around kids. I made it through the night without crying. I remember calling my parents afterwards and being so proud of myself for that.

And then you fast forward 13 months.  It is almost unbelievable how much can change in so little time.  I sat there last night 9 months pregnant, after wondering last year if I would ever be able to get pregnant again.  I waved and cooed at babies when last year I couldn't even look too closely at anyone under the age to six.  I was able to talk about next year, what it would be like to come to that same parade with an almost one year old.

I know there is no need for a disclaimer here...Rip's loss and all that goes with it doesn't go away, ever.  But the ability to feel joy again when it seems like just yesterday I wondered if I would ever make it though a day without crying...to me, that is almost miraculous.

No wonder they call it the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

She's Got...Man Hands

Lately, I'm a prime example of what Jerry Seinfeld was talking about when he referred to "man hands".

I've never had good looking hands...at best they are nondescript, if not a little on the meaty side.  But wow, nine months of pregnancy has taken them to a new level.  All of the fluid I am carrying around has turned my once under-the radar phalanges into ten big fat stuffed sausages hanging from two great slabs of beef (nice mental image, I know).  My wedding rings are a distant memory and my attempt to help matters with a manicure left everyone feeling a little squeamish.

Is having man hands for a few more weeks worth it?  Absolutely.  I feel sure all will return to normal once Gracie arrives...in the meantime, let me know if you need any shellfish cracked or hunks of meat de-boned.  Might as well put these suckers to work.


(Not my actual hand, but pretty darned close)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like baby...

Gracie's nursery is complete! Below is the finished product, I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out.


Kind of hoping she gets here before Christmas to enjoy her fabulous tree!


 My mom painted the zebra and Parke's mom sewed the bedding and the shades for us...Gracie has some talented ladies to live up to!


My great-grandmother's rocking chair, can't wait to be rocking away with baby in my arms


That's probably an understatement


Poor old brown dog, senses life as he knows it is coming to an end

Monday, December 5, 2011

The truth is...

Here is the honest truth...the closer we get to "D" day, the more terrified I get.

If I were to list everything that I have worried about today...even in the last hour...someone would haul me off to the asylum.

The bottom line is that we need this baby girl.  We need her to get here safely, to be healthy...to be ours.  Love and need this great is the scariest thing in the world.

If I've learned anything this year, it is that I am not in control.  I am doing everything I can possibly do to make sure that this baby arrives safe and sound, including annoying the living daylights out of my doctors (I am sure they all have little advent-like calendars, counting down to the day they have seen and heard the last of me!).  But at the end of the day, I can't control what happens next.

So somewhere in the midst of my fear, I have to let go...the only thing I can hold on to at this point is faith, and let me tell you, I am clinging for dear life.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Priorities

Making a list of what we have versus what we need before Gracie's arrival...

Crib sheets...none
Towels...not yet
Burp Cloths...no
Diaper Cream...nada

Three pairs of faux fur boots...check, check and check!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Big Day

12-1-11 is a big day in the Harris household...

First of all, it's our anniversary! Four years married, twelve (twelve!) years together.  You know how everyone always tells you marriage is hard work and blah blah blah.  Well, they're right, and this year has brought us a whole heaping of blah blah blah.  But you know what?  I am still excited to go home and see my husband every day.  I know that not everyone is that lucky, and I am thankful.

Happy Anniversary to a great husband and dad!

Also big in our world today..it is Gracie's birth month!! When I got pregnant with her, it seemed like this day would never come.  It's been a long, sometimes really hard, road but thank the lord we have made it this far. Only three and a half weeks until her arrival, scheduled for December 27th at 8:00 am...all good thoughts and prayers are GREATLY appreciated.