Friday, June 24, 2011

Let's Talk About Something Else

If you want to read something totally different. Here's a post I wrote about money stuff.

Pregnancy after IF/Loss- Ticking Off My Wishlist (sorta)

I've made it to 38.5 weeks. Who knew I'd ever make it to 'heavily pregnant'?

Think I'm on 10kgs in terms of weight increase so 'heavily' is definitely appropriate. No wonder I'm having trouble getting out of the car, out of bed, off the couch, etc. haha...

ANYWAY. I've been asking myself, "Have I gotten to do everything I wanted to do while being pregnant?"... you know, like when you save up things-to-do for a holiday or Disneyland with a list of things like food to eat and books to read, etc?

I'm FAST getting to the end, and I think so. Here are my 'things':

- Wear all the clothes you've been accumulating that you thought you'd one day wear as maternity clothes, or actually are. DO IT.
It has been fun. Though you have to laugh when you start to get sick of stretchy tights or at the fact that I don't fit that well into my maternity jeans anymore- believe it or not, they are too tight when I sit! (Jeanswest has pretty good and affordable maternity jeans.)

- Linger while in baby stores and sections.
It was hard to do at first, but you get there as pregnancy progresses (thankful) and it is nice sort of being a 'normal' pregnant woman. Though the silly part is you get tired walking around malls and so shopping stamina isn't what it used to be!

- Try not to be apologetic. (That's me.)
If you want a super awesome baby room, go for it! Show it off. You've been staring at that spare room for so long, having it filled with a child's things is so surreal.

($20 change table from trademe and lovely baby basket given to us from a lady at church!)

(baby bunting made by my friend ju! note: photo is deceiving cos' rest of the room is actually filled with random stuff on the floor haha.)

If you want to take lots of belly-photos, do it! We did.

(last week. sammy the dog has started to take part too. he looks a little funny- naked- here cos' his collar is off!)
- Celebrate.
As I make my way through this list I think most of them you are iffy with at first, especially if you have been through IF and/or baby loss. That's ok. What I mean is celebrate every day you get to carry this baby, and let others celebrate with you too. Whether it is just with simple things along the way, or a big baby shower at the end, whatever suits your style.

(look at the mad amount of gifts we got! thank you so much.)

- Remember the things you wanted to do before dealing with IF/loss made you forget, and do them or consider them again...
For me, it is simple things like thinking about what diaper system to use (though I sort of put that off for now cos' it is a little overwhelming). And random objects I want to buy for the baby one day like gumboots... Or to do with birthing, things you thought you'd try- water birth?

- Deal with your Facebook issues haha... (this was personal for me, maybe not for everyone)
You guys know that Facebook can be a source of difficulty for many of us going through IF or baby loss and definitely has been the case for me, so for me I wanted to be careful how I used it during pregnancy.

Yet I didn't want to hold back expressing how God has walked us through this, how thankful we are to be pregnant and to acknowledge that we are being prayed for by many people. (And many overseas friends and family simply wanted to know how it has been.) So... I've done it. I have posted stuff.

This has been tricky and thought I've wanted to be sensitive, I'm sure I haven't done all of it perfectly... but if I'm not sure sometimes I only show certain 'statuses' and 'photos' to certain close family and friends instead of everyone on the list. Of course, it is also just lovely to receive well-wishes and to know others are thinking of us.

- Embrace all the baby-baby stuff that you once were allergic to. (It is not wrong.)
I didn't think I would but I have gone on to Babycenter most weeks since the start to find out what 'vegetable' my baby is close in size to. I know it is a random thing to go on for, as Babycenter also offers a lot of other great things about pregnancy and parenting haha, but I've enjoyed it and it has provided a few laughs! This week the baby is like a leek.

Which is very nice and slim. Thankyouverymuch.

HOWEVER, check out the vegetable photo for the next 2 weeks: Watermelon and pumpkin! NO WORDS NEEDED to express how we feel about that.

- Do something only pregnant people can. Even if you said you'd never do it...
I have to admit I told friends I'd never do a pregnancy photoshoot because the ones I've seen are so cheesy (please don't be offended) but also, the truth is they have been hard to look at cos' I've been so jealous and envious of those who have been able to take part!

So one day when a sweet friend told me a photography place was doing a session for free, where you also get a couple free prints, I was like, NAH. But then I had a look at their stuff and it was really quite pretty. Plus it was valued at around $300 (wowmama)!

And then I thought, well, if the husband agrees (that'll be a long-shot) that'll help us decide. Turns out, he said yes! And I think we were also both thinking, "When are we gonna be able to do this again?" ... so we went for it.

It was pretty hilarious because we are fairly shy in some ways. Yet we decided to do it and enjoy it. And we did. We may never show those photos to anyone but it was a good laugh and an experience to remember!

Overall, I think I'm trying to say that for us, this has been such a dream come true. Knowing that we really don't know what the future brings, and this may be our only experience of being pregnant for the full NINE months, the husband and I have tried to appreciate and enjoy it where possible.

Thank you God that we have been able to relax in these later months of it and have been able to savour it with help from others.

(have to show off this beautiful baby blanket made my the husband's aunt. mailed all the way from canada. oh and lovely cribset sent to me by my sis-in-law, K, from the u.s. thanks girl!)

Come on baby! We'd love to meet you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Baby Shower

I had my baby shower about a week and a bit ago. Sorry for the delay!

Here is a special perspective on it from my friend Ch.

As for me... I don't know where to start! Hmmm... so I'm going to scatter photos throughout this post. Visuals are always good.

(party favours and soother lollies, for wearing as a necklance-game, at the entrance)

(cake! wonderfully iced.)

I loved every bit of it and I felt much like a queen. There was so much effort put into it I don't even dare to imagine how much time and energy they spent on planning and preparing!

(My dear friends K, Ch and Lr organised and set up a beautiful party and my other lovely friends who attended and helped showered me (and the baby) with lots of precious gifts.)

(This was where everyone oohed and ahhed! Overall look inspired by Amy Atlas, cake stands were made like in this blog post, and food was painstakingly picked and colour coordinated by K and Ch- some stuff was even sent from the US.)

I have to say I was nervous about it because it is simply weird being the centre of attention. Plus, it was a baby shower, for goodness sakes'! Um... a concept you guys probably know I wasn't so keen on for a while there. And I knew there may be a few friends attending it who would find it hard too!

(So I told specific friends to anticipate my baby shower invite and I hope that helped them prepare for it. It blew me away that pretty much everyone on the invite list came... unless they were living long distance or were not feeling well. Crazy huh.)

(we played 2 fun games and I appreciated that they were short and sweet. what i wanted! i think my hair looks a bit like a helmet here haha. oh well.)

I know that it is important to celebrate this little life that God has so greatly provided and given us, so the baby shower was a great way to do that. And for me personally it was also a special way to have many of my dear friends take part in the 'joy' side of the story, and not just the hard parts! (Even though I was getting the gifts haha.)

(so many many gifts)

Some major highlights of the shower were:
- the decorations/presentation of EVERYTHING, especialy the table of food/candy/treats
- a little speech that my friend Ch wrote and delivered, which meant a lot to me (yes there were tears!)
- just having everyone come, mingle and have a fun time with me/baby.

(got the colour theme yet? and don't you love those stands!)

(yes we're a little bit into these gorgeous jars!)

I can't say THANK YOU enough!

(cheesy photo but kinda fun too!)

** All these photos were taken by Michelle D- Outstretched Photography & Design. Thanks M! **

Monday, June 06, 2011

From others...

Here are a couple links...

- Divided, by Heather

This post is a very personal one to Heather, who has gone through an agonizing time of waiting and also a recent loss.

This post also leapt out at me because a good friend and I have been talking about how for her, miscarriage marked an unexpected change in her perspective, like her life became sort of split into two timelines, before and after. It is like the world changed colour.

- The Question that Breaks My Heart, by Rachel

This one probably many of us dealing with or who have dealt with IF can connect with. I appreciate how many of these women bring the perspective back to Christ, hard hard hard as it may be. It is a good reminder for me...

Ten Things at 2pm

1. My baby shower is this coming Sunday. I am very excited about it, yet I'm nervous too! This whole deal is a dream come true. Yet that 'allergy' to baby showers still lingers a little. I'm just stoked that I have friends organising it, friends coming and celebrating with me... even those who are in the midst of waiting. Thanks you guys.

2. Long weekend here (Queens Birthday weekend) so it has been nice. I spent most of Saturday being tired and lying on the couch haha...

3. While I was lying about the house, the husband helped finish off this 'floating shelves and box seats' project that we have been planning for a couple years (yes it takes us a while to get round to it). Love it and love him!

(when we first moved here in 2007... the corner looked like this)

(...then we slowly changed it...)

( it looks like this! just need stuff on the shelves.)

4. 36 weeks. I need to do a hospital tour, finish packing my bag and a bag for the baby (yikes!), maybe decorate his room a little if I have time and um... energy etc. Crazy stuff! I think I keep stalling getting the bags packed because it all seems too real and rather scary!

(some days i feel like this. a bit mad-excited that i am having a baby. um... no, nothing to do with me liking this brand of tampons or anything haha.)

5. I have also used one of the baby's waterproof cot mattress protectors (yes dual-purpose! It is a second hand one from my sis-in-law in the U.S. who passed some down. We're so practical it is not funny.) and a towel to line where I sleep, they say to do something like that just in case your waters break while sleeping. Unlikely, according to stats, but why not save our mattress from getting wet with icky waters.

6. As pregnancy has gone on, my bladder is definitely being squished and simply not as strong. Not fun in the night.

7. Thankful for the little group we started at church a few months ago, as a bunch of women praying for each other, to do with infertility and loss... we usually correspond by email but we are planning a get together! Looking forward to it and hoping that God uses us to continue to impact other women around us who may be going through similar things.

8. Been totally craving nasty fried foods and ice-cream... and giving in haha. Hope it doesn't last.

9. The dryer appears to be malfunctioning (ok. definitely not using reusable nappies anytime soon haha!) and some other house bits are falling apart. Bummer timing... Money and time- two things we never seem to have enough of huh- hard not to get frustrated!

10. Where is my brain? If you find it let me know!

(this is me a few weeks ago with a 'delayed' birthday present that i got to open from lovely friends- a beautiful set of china made into a layered cake holder thing! it even says 'april' in the tea cup.)