El Frijol Juarez

Apprehensions and Aspirations

As of Monday, I will offically be a full-time working mom. I am starting a full-time Clinical Therapist position with Cherokee Health Systems in their north Powell office. Cherokee is a regional community health organization that integrates primary care with mental health. This leaves me feeling extremely conflicted. Before I became a mother I would read about moms and their constant conflict of emotions and their absolute contradictions. I was unable at that time to wrap my mind around the concept. I can say with confidence that I now completely understand. Understanding has not brought any sense of ease but rather a sense of exasperation and frustration.

On the one hand, I am very excited to be back in my field. I have really missed social work and being around others of the same mindset. I am a passionate individual and I miss having an avenue in which to chanel this.Β However, I am so very sad and anxious to be away from Eliana full-time.

Allow me to back-up a bit. I had always believed that I would be a working mom until toward the end of my pregnancy when I began to question that. In our society there is little room for middle ground in this topic. One is (typically) either a “working mom” or a “stay-at-home mom” and both comes with it’s own set of negative connotations, judgements, pressures, and baggage. I, for one, think that this sucks.

When I believed myself to be a working mom I was under the illusion that to be a part of the feminist mentality I needed to do what I could to show that women really can have it all…family and career and do both well. I could be completely wrong but there seems to be some pressure that in order to not seem “old fashioned” a woman should be a working mom.

Society seems to judge women who decide to stay at home, especially if they have an advanced degree. I must admit that I was one of those people before I became a mom myself. I would hear about women who had law degrees or PhDs and decided to be a stay-at-home mom and I would think to myself how they are just dropping everything to be at home with their kids and what a waste of a great degree. Now being a mom, I know it’s no where near that simple.

I always had respect for women who stayed at home. It’s not like I thought they were lazy or anything to that effect. I knew (but didn’t really know) what a tough job it was to stay at home and raise kids and keep the home. The feminist side of me, though…cringed at the thought. It seemed so 1950s! I now realize that it is a true struggle to decide to stay at home.

I have been home, for the most part, for over the past year. I worked some part-time but not really any crazy hours, usually. I thrived being at home with my daughter. I enjoy the small moments we share and being able to see her grow and develop each and every day. I have grown and learned so much in this past year.

Some moments were transendent and beautiful, other moments were utterly crushing and difficult. I say moments because it’s not a full day. There was never a whole day that was amazing or a whole day that was a struggle. There were moments, seconds maybe…maybe hours. A day is a contradiction of emotions. But I wouldn’t trade a single second of my experience for anything. I cherish every moment I have had with her. I know how lucky I am to have had this time with her.

Our society has done mothers such an injustice. We are forced to have to choose between a love for our children and a desire to pursue a career. For me, being a social worker is simply a part of who I am…my passion drives my career. Why must I have to choose?? While I have enjoyed being at home, I’ve missed my work. There are other countries who understand this struggle and have worked to help mothers and fathers alike. There are countries who give long maternity and paternity leave and ensure that their jobs are waiting for them when they are ready to return to work. Some even provide part-time positions to help parentsΒ balance Β the two.

I will work 40 hours a week at my job and will be home by 5:30, if I’m lucky since I will be driving home from Powell. That gives me some time to cook dinner, during which I will not be able to interact as long with Eliana, eat, play for a bit maybe then it’s bedtime. I will do this 5 days a week. Then I have the weekend but typically there is always something to do. I want people to understand that I’m not trying to just complain. I want to bring light to an issue I really think is overlooked in this country.

I know there are many many moms out there who do this. I am in no way saying that this makes anyone a bad mom but I struggle with how I am going to be the kind of mom I want to be when there will be such a time restriction.

I really want to return to work because I love it but also because I am so SO close to getting my LCSW. I only have about 900 clinical contact hours to go, I think. It’s a little while but not too bad. I think about the fact that I went to school as long as I did, putting forth all that effort, working the past 3 years to get all these hours (sometimes at places that were less than desireable)…if I don’t finish this, it would make all of that in vain. I can’t do that. I have to finish this, but I just wonder, at what cost.

The next lesson looming ahead for me is learning to balance the two. I just don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I’ve missed my daughter’s childhood because I was working. I also don’t want to wake up one day and realized that I have no other successes and no identity outside of being mom and wife. I want to be a wonderful mom but I also want a career that is all mine. I’m certain I am not the only one out there experiencing.

The easiest way to describe this conflict is to tell you about my reaction as soon as I received the call offering me the position. I immediately got off the phone estatic as I hugged Carlos and told him about the awesome news…then moments later I was in tears as I thought about what this would mean for me as a mom. Things are so much more complicated now than they ever used to be. Oh, how I wish there were a simple answer.

It would be nice if this country were more understanding of parenting and offered better maternity and paternity benefits. At my last job, I only had the option of taking all of my PTO. They were too small of a company to have to adhere to FMLA. But even FMLA is not time that is paid, it’s unpaid leave that simply assures you will have your job after 12 weeks…12 weeks, folks…that’s nothing in parent time. Just so you know. There’s my two cents on that.

On to a change of pace and change of subject. A little update on Eliana. πŸ™‚

Her surgery has been rescheduled for February 22nd as she is still a little sick, poor thing. She still has some congestion and is coughing. It’s been over 3 weeks so I think I’m going to give the doctor’s office a call again tomorrow.

She just continues to grow and change everyday. She’s such an active child. She doesn’t sit still very well at all! πŸ˜‰ Until now, Carlos and I have turned our living room into part of her playroom but we are working to convert one of the rooms downstairs into her own playroom. It’s a work in progress. She is still adjusting to the daycare. They only do one nap a day and she is pretty solidly taking to naps a day so I think that’s really tough on her. They have said that her drop-offs are getting better. Her teachers told me that she settles down not long after I leave so that’s a relief to say the least.

Her newest thing has been dancing. Carlos will play music in the evenings when he is home while they play and I make dinner. She will then start dancing. We’ve tried our very best to capture it on video but then she becomes camera shy. Haha! My little girl is growing up and hasn’t slept in my arms in so long but she let me the other day…I was totally in heaven! She wasn’t feeling well and was having trouble sleeping…she then fell asleep in my arms for about an hour and a half. It was the best! πŸ™‚ Here are some recent photots…

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Looking cool in her new shades

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The onsie says, “my uncle is the best!”

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She loves her scooting/riding puppy

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Daddy is super jealous of her perfect squat

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Friends!

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Ooooh!

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Just hanging out

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Haha

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Proof she let me hold her while she slept…a little piece of heaven!

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On Being a Mom…

I am going to preface this post with a disclaimer to say that this is entirely my opinion and experience and not a blanket statement for how others’ feel or think. All of what I’m going to say may be completely in my imagination or it could truly exist. If it is only my perception, then I apologize. πŸ˜‰

In the months prior to Eliana’s birth I read a lot of books and information about parenting and babies. Then after I became a mother, I read even more information!! There are so many various theories and parenting styles out there. If any of you really know me, then you know that I was seeking the ONE RIGHT way to do things. I was sure there had to be one! Haha…how laughable that seems now. πŸ˜‰

I wanted to make sure I was doing the best job as a mother so I strived to figure out what was the correct way. The more I read the more confused I became due to the plethora of different ideals out there. I was obviously not experienced in this and had no idea what to expect. Just after Eliana was born my husband introduced me to the Baby WiseΒ book. He had heard about it from a coworker and found the ideas in it to be intriguing as it encourages parents to set the scheduling for the baby so that they can be more flexible in feedings and have baby be able to sleep through the night. So of, course it sounded like a great plan.

In the beginning I very much strictly adhered to this. Not necessarily because it was what I thought was completely right but because I was so overwhelmed that there was comfort in having a structure for things. But in some ways it seemed like I had one foot in and one foot out as I was also a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing mama.

I knew moms who adhered more to the attachment parenting mindset. A part of me wished I could be more of this mindset. I felt that I was being far too rigid in my parenting style and wasn’t being as flexible as I saw other mothers being or as I would liked to be. This helped me to start gradually making some changes. I learned to loosen up and relax a bit on scheduling. I still like structure and I like knowing what to expect but I have learned to let go a bit.

In my growth as a mom I have noticed the lack of understanding and compassion in the mothering community. I am certainly also guilty of being critical of other mothers who do things or think differently than me. I’m not sure where this roots from, but I strongly feel this needs to STOP!

Motherhood is a time when support and encouragement is essential and we are living in a society where that is not given but rather it’s a I’m right, you’re wrong kind of deal. Just to give you information about my parenting style…I no longer say I adhere to a certain type (because I don’t want to box myself in). I am (still) a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing mama. I pureed my own baby food rather than doing store bought. We never gave Eliana formula again after the first week of her being home. We do our best to give her healthy foods that are not processed (or as little processing as possible). We work to be as gender neutral as is possible in our dichotomous society. This does not describe me entirely as a mom but gives you an idea. I’d like to think that I am kind of a “crunchy” mom but with some more convention.

I know that what I do is not what all other moms do. I know there are moms out there who formula feed, who stopped breastfeeding already…etc, etc…the list could go on and on. There is just an air of criticism from all sides, it seems. There’s criticism for the mom who gives her child formula, before one understands what the circumstances are. There is criticism for the mom who co-sleeps. Why all the negativity?

We all have our own styles and approaches since we are all different individuals, as are our children. Why is it so difficult to have our own ideas and thoughts and still respect others?

I think this stems from our own insecurities, myself included. My suspicion is that it is to help solidify our own beliefs in our way of doing things. That somehow respecting others’ ideas would mean that ours is not correct or something to that effect. Being a mom is a hard enough job on it’s own, why do we insist on making it more difficult by trying to isolate ourselves and others?

I’ve tried very hard to be more self-aware and recognize when I am being critical of other moms. I consciously seek out others’ ideas as a way to help me diversify my own. And there are times when others’ thoughts help shift my own. This is how we learn and this is how we grow. I think it’s rather arrogant to be so rigid in thinking that their ideas are the right ones and I think this keeps us from developing as mothers and as humans.

Along with this negativity, another thing that I’ve been coping with that has been difficult has been receiving unsolicited advice. Again, it’s not to say that I don’t have things to learn but I will seek out information if I need it. I am happy to approach someone to ask their opinions on parenting but I feel somewhat confident in decisions I’ve made and feel like I am a fairly competent person to make choices for myself, my child, and my family.

I don’t want this to come across the wrong way. I am appreciative of people caring and providing their assistance but after a while it becomes more than tiresome. I think part of my issue with it is that I interpret it as not having confidence in my abilities. As I mentioned before, we are all different kinds of mothers/parents and our children are individuals and we do what works for us. I think a lot of this has to do with providing support and encouragement rather than criticism and unnecessary comments. I hold true to the things I believe in but also respect that others have their own beliefs.

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Keeping Up with the Juarezes

So my post the other day caught up on recent happenings and I realized that it has been a VERY long time since I last posted. Suprise, suprise…

So let me take it back a bit for you! In early October 2013, we took a trip to Charleston, S.C. with my parents. It was a great getaway and we had a wonderful time! This was Eliana’s first time to the beach and she took to it marvelously. She didn’t even give us a single problem during the flights and in the airports. It was great. Here are some photos from the trip…

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In the Knoxville airport before our flight

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Checking it all out

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Juarez family photo

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Getting acclimated

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With Mimi and Papa Bob

In October, Carlos also turned 30! πŸ™‚ We had a gathering with family and friends and Eliana got to meet her Uncle Marcos for the first time! I think he was a hit…

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See what I mean?

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Yep, happy girl!

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Happy Birthday, Daddy!!

At the end of October we dressed little Eliana up as a cat and went to Boo at the Zoo which is an event at the Knoxville Zoo where kids and families can come trick-or-treat and see animals as well. She wasn’t terribly impressed…

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Hugs for Daddy

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We also did a little trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.

One of Carlos’ good friends from high school got married in November and we enjoyed that wedding. It’s crazy to see how our lives are changing so much everyday.

Then it was Thanksgiving! Carlos came down from Johnson City to celebrate with us and my parents. It was a nice relaxing sort of deal. πŸ™‚ Eliana had turkey for the first time and wasn’t too crazy about but, of course, loved all the veggies! She also took a few steps that day!!!

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Her first Thanksgiving meal…she looks excited

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Love Grandpa’s head!

Then it was time to prepare for the Christmas festivities. We took Eliana to the mall to get her picture taken with Santa. It went well for all of 2 seconds then she had a meltdown. 😦 At least she looked adorable in the outfit from Aunt Desiree!

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All dressed up and ready to go!

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Right before she started crying…

Around this time, one of my favorite baby stores, Bohemian Baby, moved from its location in east Knoxville to a very convenient west Knoxville location and had a great grand opening. We went and were able to do some painting with them!

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Putting her handprint on the wall…she loved it!

And, FINALLY, photos from Christmas!! She seemed to enjoy Christmas and before the day was finished she had figured out the process of opening presents. She got very involved! She got a lot of fun toys, lots of clothes and plenty of books. Uncle Marcos flew down several days before Christmas and Grandpa came down a few days before. We had a great visit and my parents came over on Christmas Day and I made a Korean meal of Bulgogi and Japchae for dinner. It was wonderful to have family around. πŸ™‚

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Cookies for Santa…and Eliana apparently

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A blanket Mommy sewed just for Eliana…

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From Santa

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Also from Santa…she loves sleeping with Eeyore

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From Great Aunt Gail…loves it!

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With Papa Bob and Mimi

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Family photo

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And last, but not least, photos from Minnesota!! Eliana had a wonderful time seeing Nona and Grandpa Gus, Papa and Nana and all her many aunts, uncles and cousins. She got quite a lot of goodies up there as well. Pretty sure we won’t need to buy her any toys anytime soon. We had a wonderful birthday celebration. It was really wonderful seeing all the family! We only wish we could have visited longer.

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Opening presents from Nona and Grandpa Gus

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All her loot from Nona and Grandpa Gus! πŸ™‚

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With Papa and Nana

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Take 2

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This may have been her favorite toy there…

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New Year’s Eve Feast!

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Poor Baby…at St. Paul Children’s Hospital

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Happy Birthday, Uncle Marcos!!

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The Birthday Girls!

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Maya and Eliana

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Some of the baby cousins

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So what do I do with this thing?

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Oooh
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Yay!

And, last but not least, birthday party pictures from Knoxville! I think she had fun with her friends who came and enjoyed opening more presents. As you can tell by the picture, she’s still not sure about that cupcake thing.

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imageHappy Birthday, Eliana!

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This thing again…

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Hard to Believe It’s Been a Year!

I am finally getting a chance to catch up after a crazy start to the year. We decided to visit Carlos’ family in Minnesota over the holidays so we drove up the day after Christmas and left the day after Eliana’s birthday. That was certainly a trip home to remember, to say the least.
What should have been a 15 or 16 hour drive home ended up being a 39.5 hour drive home. We obviously had not anticipated the “polar vortex” situation blasting straight through our path the day we decided to leave. We left Minnesota around 8 pm on January 4th in the hopes of driving through the night (as we did without a glitch on the way up) so that Eliana could sleep for most of the trip and have to spend as little awake time in the car as possible.
This plan lasted until we hit Rochelle, Illinois around 2 am then at that point we couldn’t even see a car length in front of us. It was so dark with no lights on the interstate and snow was blowing like crazy. We carefully pulled into a hotel and decided to sleep there until the morning and then hit the ground running and make up for lost time. So much for that! We woke up to news of the polar vortex and snow from Illinois through Indiana. We decided we would take it slow and make it home later that day.
The drive through Illinois was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life…I mean, ever. It was better than driving through the night since we could see a little better with the sun up but not much. For a while the snow wasn’t too bad. It was blowing but the humidity seemed low so it wasn’t sticking to the ground. It was merely blowing across the interstate; however, the snow was coming down so hard and fast it was difficult to see very far in front of us. We took it very slow but then we eventually hit where the snow and ice were covering the road. We were literally driving 35 mph on the interstate. It’s hard to believe but there were maniacs out driving 50-60 mph like nothing was going on. That was one of the scariest parts, not so much what we were doing but how careless others were being. The tractor trailers were awful!
We left Rochelle, Illinois around 8 am and arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana around 4 pm central time. That’s a really long time, folks. All Carlos and I could think was if we could just make it to Indianapolis we would be home free. We were hoping we would’ve been home by now…ah, if only! Turns out the snow and ice was going further south and east by this time. We continued to Louisville, Kentucky and decided to pull off the interstate to eat. The snow had dissipated and we felt relieved and thought we would finally make it home tonight to sleep in our own beds.
Then we got back on the road…We lasted until about Mount Vernon, Kentucky. It had gotten dark and the snow was coming down again and we still had the mountains to contend with so we decided to stay the night in a hotel again. We were lucky we found an exit with a Denny’s because I was out of our store of snacks and food for Eliana. We ended up having a great breakfast and got on the road about 9 am. The roads on 75 were great and pretty clear. We finally pulled into our driveway around 12:30 pm on Monday, January 6th. Poor Eliana! She was such a trooper for the whole trip. She definitely fussed at times but was awesome for 95% of the trip. We are seriously blessed to have such a content child.
Prior to this nightmare of a drive, Eliana ended up getting sick New Year’s Eve. At around 5 or 6 months, Carlos and I noticed a little lump in the back of her neck where it meets her shoulder. We showed her pediatrician and were referred to a pediatric surgeon who diagnosed it was a Cystic Hygroma or Lymphatic Malformation. It was a malfunction of the lymphatic system in that when she gets sick and her lymph nodes swell the one on the back of her neck swells a lot then does not drain as it should so the lump continues to get larger.
We noticed on the morning of New Years that it swelled quite a bit and was causing her pain so we decided to take her to the Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. They told us that she had an infection and prescribed her antibiotics. All this to say that we got in to see her pediatric surgeon in Knoxville who ordered an MRI and confirmed that she has a veno-lymphatic malformation and we scheduled for Eliana to have surgery to remove it on February 7th.
What a start to 2014…way to start it off with a bang! πŸ˜‰
On the bright side, I interviewed for a therapist position with Cherokee Health Systems at their Powell office and was offered the job while I was in Minnesota! πŸ™‚ It’s exciting to be going back to my career but I am so heartbroken to not be at home with my baby all day. 😦 I haven’t started the position yet as I am waiting for Eliana’s surgery and some other things but I will hopefully be starting soon. They have been oh so patient and kind during this whole process and I very much appreciate it. There is so much conflict going on for me internally about this whole working mom thing…but that’s for another post.
So on January 3rd Miss Eliana turned a year old!!! It’s so hard to believe that it’s been a whole year. It seems like yesterday but on the other hand it’s hard for me to remember a time before her. We celebrated with family up in Minnesota and she seemed to have a fun time. Pictures will be coming soon! πŸ˜‰ She was not as certain about her cupcake and ended up not eating a single bite but happily ate banana instead. All day I would look up at the clock to see the time to think back to what I was doing at that time a year ago…it was so surreal to think back on that day like that. AT 7:14 pm CST/8:14 pm EST I gave my little Eliana a kiss on her forehead while she nursed and said “Happy Birthday,” right at the time when she was born.
What a joy this past year has been…what trying moments and triumphant moments…what tears, what smiles and laughter! How I have enjoyed motherhood. It is an amazing journey that I have only just begun but I am thrilled to see what is to come.
On January 11th, we had a birthday party here in Knoxville with family and some of Eliana’s friends. It was great fun! She had a blast playing with friends and opening presents (which she has figured out now). She was still not a fan of cupcakes…
I will be sure to post photos from both parties very soon.
To update you on some of her recent milestones…
So around November sometime Eliana was continuing to pull up on everything but then seemed to want to move from there…around Thanksgiving she started taking her first few steps. Eek! She finally started walking on her own a week or so after that. Our little walking girl! So hard to believe. She’s also got a pretty great appetite…she loves spaghetti (that was the first real meal she tried) and also loves Korean food. She continues to love her vegetables as well as bananas and avocado. She is able to say “dada” and “mama” but she has really been favoring “dada” more recently. She has taken to calling milk “nana” though we aren’t sure why and calls bananas “nana” as well but it’s more like “nanana” so at least she’s gotten the number of syllables right! She’s a very curious child and still SO active!! We can tell, however, that she is definitely getting into that toddler stage. She is more determined and will definitely let us know if she’s not happy with something. She’s also testing those boundaries. We are trying to stay consistent with her in maintaining those boundaries but sometimes can be difficult when she turns those eyes on you…we.must.stay.strong!! πŸ˜‰
She started at a daycare center about 2 1/2 weeks in preparation for me returning to work. That was a difficult day…to say the least!! I will talk in more detail about this in a later post but she is starting to adjust but she continues to cry everyday that I leave. She only goes there part-time on Mondays and Tuesdays. When I start my position my mom will keep her on Wednesdays and Thursdays and Carlos will have her on Fridays. This is only a temporary setup because our goal is to get in her into a great Montessori program in August.
Wow, long post…hope I was able to capture the last several months and recent happenings! πŸ™‚ And, of course, some photos! I know I’m leaving some stuff out so I will try to post again soon!
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Eliana 9 months old
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Eliana 10 months old
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Eliana 11 months old
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My baby…one year old!!! Happy Birthday!!
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Meeting Uncle Marcos for the first time!!!
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Halloween…our little kitty cat
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Multitasking…
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Love this little face!
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Lucy needed some love
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Finally! Catch-Up Time!

This is me trying to be more diligent about posting regularly. So I first have to start by updating everyone on the last, what is it, 6 months?!?! Yikes!! Anywho…

Today has been a little bit of a tough day. I didn’t end up going to work. She was having a very rough day. She woke up about 30 minutes earlier than usual. She ate and played for a little while but got tired earlier because of her early wake-up. She napped for about 40 minutes before she awoke crying. She was pretty inconsolable for a while. My suspicion is that her tongue still feels strange to her (and may still be sore?) and I also think she may be cutting some teeth. 😦 My poor baby. I fed her and we played again for a while but she was tired early again so I laid her down for a nap. She slept for about an hour before it was the same thing. I fed her and then put her in the ringsling and she ended up sleeping there for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I hope this passes soon. I hate hearing her in such pain. One upside is that she was more cuddly today than usual. πŸ™‚ I so miss that!

So the last time I really posted was when she was about 2 months old. That seems like FOREVER ago!!! She grows and changes so much everyday…especially since she hit that 6 month mark, it seems. It’s hard to believe that when I posted about her progress the last time I was talking about tummy time!! Wow! So let’s play a little catch up…if my mind can go back that far!

In April, I got a part-time job work for my former boss Holly Hambright at her fabulous catering company, Holly’s Eventful Dining. It is also a little restaurant by day and dinner on the weekends. This was so that I could supplement Carlos’ income without having to leave little one full-time. At first I was just working events on the weekends and my mother would help with watching Eliana. In June I started working a couple of days a week at the shop. On those days Mimi (my mother) watches Eliana. We are so lucky and thankful to have family close by to help! I enjoy working and having some time away from home but I miss her tremendously.

Carlos and I have been talking about me returning to a Social Work job. I was on track to obtain a license as an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and am now only a little over 900 hours away…I have to have a total of 3,000 hours! I feel like I need to complete this but it’s such a difficult thing now with being a mother. As someone who considers herself to be pretty liberal and progressive I imagined that I would return to work fairly quickly after having little one and be a working mom. I thought I understood the societal pressures for mothers but I truly had no idea. I understood it from a observer’s perspective but not from a personal one. I feel conflicted between wanting to be home with Eliana and being present for all her moments and with wanting to teach her that women can work and have a family. I feel torn between wanting to be a full-time mom and being a woman with a career. I wish this country were kinder to mother and provided opportunities where we can manage to do both. I don’t want sacrifice my career and my passion but I certainly don’t want to sacrifice being a mother. I know I can be a mother while working but I am so enjoying my time spent alone with her during the day and I know I would miss that terribly. I’m still trying to sort it all out. I’m sure other career mothers can empathize.

As far as la frijolita goes…she is one active baby, to put it mildly. Around 6 months, right around the time Nona (Carlos’ mom), Grandpa Gus, Nana (Grandma Gosselin), and Papa (Grandpa Gosselin) left to be exact, she began to crawl!!! Ever since she started trying to sit around mid-May she wanted to be on the move. She is a champion crawler now! At the end of July she began pulling up. Now she pulls up on EVERYTHING!! We got her a toy that is a small table so that she can stand and play. She has started “cruising” around it to reach various toys. It’s fascinating to see her develop, change and hit these major milestones. She also enjoys holding Daddy’s or my hands and walking around. We predict that she’ll be walking by November.

Eliana is still a pretty laid back and easy going but just very active. While she is so laid back she is very determined and independent. She wants to do things for herself and figure things out for herself. She’s not terribly cuddly. 😦 She hasn’t been since she was very young. Oh, I really miss that!!! She smiles and laughs often. πŸ™‚ She can be a little chatterbox. She’s testing out her Bs and her Ms. She has gotten her Gs down. She has recently started waving (kind of).

Right before Nona’s visit in July she started solid foods. She has done very well with that. Our little girl LOVES vegetables. I’m OK with that! πŸ˜‰ She loves sweet potatoes and peas but also enjoys zucchini, squash, green beans, and spinach. She eats fruit and likes it OK but is not nearly as enthusiastic about them as she is veggies. She does really like avocado but also seems to enjoy apples and pears. She’s not as big of a fan of peaches or bananas. She has also started some finger foods and really enjoys feeding herself. She LOVE Puffs and Mum Mums. She much prefers to feed herself whenever possible.

This is a super long post. I hope I have sufficiently caught everyone up on Eliana’s life up to this point.

 

Monthly Photos

E 1 monthEliana one month old

E 2 monthsEliana 2 months old

EG 3 monthsEliana 3 months old

E 4 months2Eliana 4 months old

E 5 monthsEliana 5 months old

E 6 monthsEliana 6 months old

E 7 monthsEliana 7 months old

E 8 monthsEliana 8 months old

Other Photos

Evie and EEvelyn Mae and Eliana Guadalupe: Friends from the beginning

Eliana and Evie2Eliana and Evie after dinner at Surin

Eliana and Evie3Eliana and Evie after a lunch date

Eliana and EvieGood friends!

Eliana and Evelyn MaeSuch big girls!! πŸ™‚

Nervous

Kisses!

Family Photo

Eliana and LucyGreat buds

B&W Eliana

Coy Eliana

Angel faceWhat a little angel face!

At the barnFun time at the farm

Eliana and granddudeEliana with her Abuelito

Eliana and cupsFirst starting to sit up…she loves her stackable cups

Mommy and ElianaMy first Mother’s Day

Mothers day

Mimi and Eliana Mothers day

Daddy and EShe loves her Daddy!

daddy and eliana2Daddy’s First Father’s Day

Fathers day

E and Papa Bob

Papa Bob and Eliana

E and NonaYay! Nona’s here!

Story time

Nona and eliana

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Papa, Nana and EVisiting with Nana and Papa

Gus and ElianaGrandpa Gus and Eliana

Grandpa Gus and E

Nana and Eliana

4 generations4 generations

Papa, Nana and Eliana

Granddude and E

Eliana and Daddy

Eliana and Papa Bob

Moustache Eliana

Nap timeNaps are the best!

Solid foodEating sweet potatoes

Toes are goodEating her feet

Yes, Mommy?Yes?

SunglassesDaddy, Eliana and their shades

The JuarezesFamily photo

Kaos babyOur little Kaos baby…in her gi and camo already! πŸ˜‰

Eliana ShoppingReady to shop! And thank you, Seth and Sabrina! We LOVE the Anywhere Chair!

Daddy getting E's bellyGetting belly raspberries from Daddy

Mommy and EQuiet time with Mommy

Eliana Laughing

Sleeping EG

Daddy Ergo walkTaking a walk with Daddy

Walks with DaddyRiding in the stroller, lookin’ at Daddy

Nurse inA family photo at the “nurse-in,” Eliana’s first protest! πŸ˜‰

On Daddys shoulders

Eliana in ball pitShe LOVED this!

Eliana MonroeEliana Monroe

E in RobeThank you, Aunt Lindzy for my ducky robe!

E wrecking magsLoves pulling down the magazines

E StandingStanding!

Eliana Lucy & LilyHanging out with Lucy and Lily

Brandon Amy & EHello, Brandon and Amy!

E and EloiseMeeting Eloise!!!

Emily and EWith Emily!

Eliana and the MorgansWith the Morgans

Eliana and MadisonEliana and her friend, Madison!

Eliana and LeoEliana with her newest friend, Leo!

BIG smileI love that smile…

EG walking with GranddudeWalking with Granddude

Granddude and Eliana

Mimi and E

EG and Papa Bob

Eliana with grandparents

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Oh the Relief!

Phew! The surgery is over! YAY! πŸ™‚ Eliana did great and I am one relieved Mommy…

So we arrived at the hospital at 6:30am and checked in. She hadn’t had anything except for breastmilk as usual at 7:30pm Wednesday night. I figured she would be starving and might be fussy but she was pretty content while we were hanging out in the hospital room waiting for her to get prepped. She was wide awake and enjoying spending time with Carlos and me. Around the time they came to take us up to the surgical holding area she became a bit fussy but nothing too bad.

Before they took us up, we met with a nurse anesthetist to discuss anesthesia as well as talked with the nurse on her floor. It was great to have our questions answered before the actual procedure. They took us up to the surgical holding area where we had the opportunity to meet with Eliana’s actual anesthesiologist. I was so anxious by this point. Thankfully the staff at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital were all amazing!!! We couldn’t have asked for better bedside manner.He was able to further answer any questions. He let us know that she would be given gas through a mask first then given an IV. Eliana’s ENT specialist was present at the time and informed us that she would need to be intubated due to the procedure being on her tongue. Both doctors discussed with us what that would mean for Eliana in surgery and in recovery. They were so sweet with her and kind to Carlos and me about our anxiety. I cannot begin to say in words how difficult it was for me to hand my little baby over to them. But I knew she would be in good hands. πŸ™‚

The surgery lasted about 30 minutes total. It was so fast! She was in recovery for about a half an hour. When they brought her back to the room she was crying so hard. My heart broke for her! She was hoarse from the intubation and was probably so confused. She was difficult to console at this point. I tried nursing her and she would latch for a bit then unlatch and cry. This went on for about a 45 minutes. I have seriously never seen my child this upset. It was so hard!! But eventually she calmed down and nursed. She seemed to be a bit more content after that but not quite herself.

She had a pretty good day yesterday, considering. She slept some and played quietly. She woke up this morning pretty much back to normal. She seems to be having some difficulty eating soft solid foods but nothing serious that I can tell. I’m sure her tongue feels weird, especially with the stitches, and it might still be a little sore. Thankfully everything went well and I’m able to breath a HUGE sigh of relief. Thank you to everyone for their kind words, encouragement and reassurance. Some pictures for everyone! πŸ˜‰

 

Mommy & EHappy Eliana before surgery!

Daddy & EPoor baby…so upset!

Mimi & EWIth Mimi

Daddy & E2Hanging out with Daddy…

Mommy & E2There’s a smile!

EG2Sleepy…

EGPassed out!

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Been WAY too long!

It was been a VERY long time since my last post. I really am going to try to keep up with this better! I got a part-time job and between that and taking care of Eliana I’ve been staying pretty busy. I have really missed blogging though.

My main reason for posting today is to share with family and friends that Eliana will be having surgery tomorrow. While we were at the hospital, after she was born, Carlos and I noticed a couple of little whitish spots on her tongue. We inquired about it with the pediatrician on-call and she assured us it was nothing. We have since talked with her pediatrician and he wanted to wait until she was a little older before sending her to an ENT specialist.

About a month ago we had our first visit with Dr. Ray, her ENT. He took a look and said he thought it was benign but wanted to remove it and send it to pathology just to be sure. 😦 That same day, she and I met with a pediatric surgeon regarding a lump she has where the back of her neck meets her shoulder. He informed me that it was a Cystic Hygroma or Lymphatic Malformation. He wanted to do an ultrasound to get more information and see what steps to take next. Eliana had the ultrasound the next week and he let me know that he did not think surgery was necessary at this time due to the location, extent and Eliana’s age. He had me to schedule a follow-up appointment in six months and told me to keep an eye out for any growth or infection.

So, thankfully, she will only be having one surgery rather than two tomorrow. They will be keeping her overnight mainly because they are unsure of the extent of the tongue lesions and because the surgery is in her mouth they want to watch for any swelling. We are to be at the hospital at 6:45am…so early! And they think she will be going into surgery around 8:00 or 8:30am.

I know I’m just being a silly old mom but I am so nervous and scared. I know it’s not some major surgery with any major risks…I understand this on a logical level but on an emotional and irrational level, I’m terrified. I keep thinking about all the worst case scenarios. She has never had anesthesia and I’m worried that she could have a reaction. Just the fact that she’s having any surgery is nerve-racking. It’s all those kinds of thoughts that are creating all this anxiety in me. I’m trying to not dwell on it but that is much easier said than done. I will try and post very soon regarding her surgery and recovery as well as updating everyone on her development and such! πŸ™‚

On a separate note…Nona (aka Karen) came down for a visit this past weekend! πŸ™‚ YAY! I think Eliana thoroughly enjoyed it…I think Nona had a little fun, too. πŸ˜‰ We had a big weekend! Karen, Carlos and I took Eliana down to campus on Saturday. It was a bit hot for her but she seemed to have a big time. We got to see some friends and hang out for a little bit. Then Sunday Karen, Carlos, Eliana, my mom and I took a trip down to the Ripley’s Aquarium. It was so much fun! Eliana had a great time looking all the fish. She was completely mesmerized! I think she might become a Marine Biologist one day… πŸ˜‰ It was really great having Karen down for a visit. It’s hard to believe the next time we see her Eliana will almost be a year old!! Time is just flying by…where did my little baby girl go??…

Here are some recent pictures for everyone!! πŸ™‚

 

Carlos and ECarlos and Eliana on the day of UT’s first game of the season! GO VOLS!!

Karen, me and ElianaThe girls on game day!

Karen readingSome special Nona and Eliana time

Eliana and KarenShe loves her Nona!

The ladiesThe ladies at the aquarium

Mom and ElianaMimi and Eliana

Eliana and Karen2Eliana and Nona admiring the Nettlefish

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Life with Eliana

Wow! It’s been a while since I lasted posted. Things have been a little hectic and I definitely do not have as much time on my hands these days. Our lives have changed dramatically, of course! πŸ˜‰ Eliana is 8 weeks old as of yesterday. It seems unbelievable! Time just flies and yet it seems like she’s always been with us.

She has been the greatest joy. I am so enjoying my time home with her. I stay pretty busy but it’s all worth it. My days generally start around 7 am and she eats every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. We both really miss Daddy but it’s nice when he’s home for three day weekends. πŸ™‚ She is growing so fast. I am so excited and pleased to see her progress but I have to admit that I am also a bit sad. A part of me can’t wait for her to continue to grow and see her personality develop but another part of me wants her to stay exactly the way she is now. It’s bittersweet for sure.

So to recap how we have managed until this point…the days in the hospital were pretty great except for the fact that Carlos got sick. 😦 We were just so thrilled with our baby girl and so excited to bring her home. By Saturday after she was born, both Carlos and I were ready to get home with her and start our lives together in the comfort of our home. I was excited getting in the car on the way home from the hospital and we stopped by the drug store to pick up my prescriptions. Carlos and Karen went in to pick up a few items and I waited in the car with Eliana. I began to look around me and suddenly the magnitude of having a baby and all the responsibility that comes with that really hit me. I’m sure a lot of this was due to major hormonal changes. I felt so overwhelmed looking around me at this world that had changed in such an absolute and permanent way. That evening was a tough evening for me. I was tearful and couldn’t seem to harness all the huge emotions I was experiencing.

That night was a bit of a nightmare because it seemed that my milk had not quite come in. She was so hungry and I wasn’t able to provide what she needed. I was so against supplementing with formula that I was trying to avoid that as much as possible but the lactation consultant at the hospital suggested I try this contraption called SNS. It’s this crazy thing that has a little tube and you can fill it with formula to help with getting necessary nutrients to baby. It was horrible…it took like an hour or longer to feed her. Blah! She did not sleep more than 10 or 15 minutes at time because she was so hungry. I can tell you I felt like the worst mother in the world because I felt like I couldn’t feed my poor hungry baby. I woke up Saturday morning at 6 am and did not sleep at all until Sunday morning at 6 am when Karen came in and made me sleep while she watched Eliana. Sunday wasn’t a bad day. We worked on the SNS again and it seemed to go OK. But then the night came and it was miserable again. It was another night of no sleep and by this point not I was not only tearful and emotional from the hormones but also a wreck from sleep deprivation. This was not a fun time.

Thankfully we had an appointment with her pediatrician Monday afternoon. Carlos, Karen and I made the trip together with Eliana in tow. I’m fairly certain that Carlos and I looked horrible from lack of sleep. I cannot say this enough…our pediatrician’s nurse was and is AMAZING!!!! I cannot thank her enough. Meeting her was the turn around. She took one look at me and knew I was in need of assistance. So we discussed the issues I was having with nursing. She told me for the short term I needed to supplement with formula and not with the SNS. She helped me with positioning and sold me on the Brest Friend…all you soon-to-be moms or new moms…it is a MUST to buy the Brest Friend. DO NOT waste your time with the Boppy or other nursing pillows. The Brest Friend was my lifesaver and my best friend! πŸ˜‰ I went home from our appointment feeling a million times better and with some relief. That night was great and went well. Eliana was a little jaundiced hen she was born and so we had to revisit the doctor the next day and the nurse made a comment on how much more relaxed and well-rested Carlos and I seemed. πŸ™‚

Since that bit of hiccup in the beginning, things have been going pretty well. Eliana did not need the formula for long. By the time Karen left to go back to Minnesota the next Sunday, she was off the formula and exclusively breastfeeding! YAY! πŸ™‚ Eliana is a champ at nursing and, when we went in for her 3 week check up, she weighed in at 8 lbs 4 oz!!! Our little chunkster! πŸ˜‰ She just continues to grow and grow! I am thankful that things with breastfeeding were resolved.

Around the time of her 3 week check-up Carlos and I began using the cloth gDiapers, thanks to Simone and Tyler! Thanks again guys…WE LOVE IT!! It is an amazing system. About a week ago I started using cloth wipes that I cut up from unused receiving blankets and a homemade solution. I thought the amount of laundry would be awful but it really hasn’t been that bad. Plus it’s definitely a cost saving! It costs a bit more upfront but it’s definitely better in the long run.

Since she was doing so well with nursing, Carlos began giving her a bottle or so a day around week 4. She’s taken to that just fine and it has not interfered with nursing. We are so thankful and lucky to have such a wonderful baby. She’s pretty easygoing and laid back. Recently she’s had a bit more of a fussy period in the evenings but my suspicion is that she may have a bit of mild reflux and it seems to be a little worse around the evening hours. Nothing major. She spits up occasionally but the thing that confirms my suspicion is that she is more fussy when she is laying down and will stop fussing when she is upright. We are working to resolve this by trying to keep her upright more after feedings and will be trying elevating her mattress in her crib.

When we were planning for her arrival I was certain that we wouldn’t need a bassinet and would start out letting her sleep in her crib in her room…so much for that!!! Haha! πŸ™‚ Neither of us could bring ourselves to put her in her room that was SO FAR AWAY! We decided to use her pack ‘n play rather than purchasing a bassinet. It was a pain to take it up and down the stairs because she napped in it downstairs while we were down there during the day. I felt so much better having her close by and being able to hear her breath and all. But by the time she was about 5 or 6 weeks old Carlos and I was feeling a lot more comfortable and so we started letting her sleep in her crib and it’s worked out just fine now. πŸ™‚

I cannot put into words the love I feel for this little precious one! I knew I would love her but I had no idea what it really would be like. When I was feeling overwhelmed in the beginning it was not because I was put off by motherhood but, rather that, I was trying to embrace it so and I was fearful I would not measure up. I still have those insecurities and question myself often…maybe a little too often but it’s gotten a lot better since those first few days.

She is an amazing little person and she has brought such joy into this house, not to mention hours of entertainment just watching her. She is starting to interact more with us now. She smiles and is more vocal. She is dying to stand and does so with our assistance!! It’s amazing. We’ve heard from several people that allowing her to do this could hurt her legs. Rest assured, we have done the appropriate research and this was the belief years ago but it seems this is no longer a concern. She has tummy time a few times a day for several minutes and she does well holding her head up. She’s got much better control of her head when she’s held upright. It’s so amazing watching her hit these milestones!! πŸ™‚ I am including several photos to catch everyone up…

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Daddy and Eliana in the early days

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Mommy and baby burrito

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Grandma and baby

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Proud Grandparents!

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Linda, Eliana and her Abuelo

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Eliana Guadalupe’s Birth Story

 

For those who are unaware…Eliana Guadalupe has arrived!!! πŸ™‚ It’s been a little while since her birth but Carlos and I have been a bit busy so this is my first opportunity to share her birth story.

 

Here is a photo of Carlos and me at the hospital

 

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So things pretty much started after my post on Wednesday January 2nd. Well, maybe a little before then but as I said, I was unaware. So that night while I blogged I was still noticing that discomfort but I really didn’t think too much about it. Carlos was concerned and felt like I was going into labor. I was certain I wasn’t and that what I was experiencing was false labor but because I was having some pain, I decided to take a relaxing bath. Carlos felt pretty sure I was going into labor but I assured him I wasn’t and we went to bed about 10:30 or so.

I woke up about an hour later with more discomfort and some pain like menstrual cramps. I woke Carlos up and we started timing the contractions. They were anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes apart for the next hour so he called the doctor’s office. The on-call doctor returned our call and discussed with Carlos what was going on and suggested we stay home and continue to watch the contractions for the next hour or two. She said if the pain intensified then to come into the hospital. He then called his mom in Minnesota to let her know what was going on. She lives in Central Time zone and thought he was calling at midnight to wish her a happy birthday. She was very surprised to hear that I might be in labor and asked to be kept informed so she could try to book a flight that day, if necessary. Carlos rested some and I tried to relax and rest, too, but I was too uncomfortable. The cramping feeling was getting a little more intense and finally around 2:30 I woke Carlos up and said I thought we may want to go to the hospital just to make sure I wasn’t in labor. I still was convinced I was in false labor. Thankfully we already had everything packed and ready to go. We gathered up a few last minutes things and made our way to the hospital.

We arrived at Fort Sander Regional around 3:30 and got checked in. They took me into triage and monitored Eliana and me for about an hour. The nurse informed me around 5 am that we were having a baby that day. Imagine my surprise!! They rolled me into the Labor, Delivery and Recovery room and Carlos and I started making the important phone calls while the nursing staff got me all settled in. Carlos’ mom was able to book a flight that morning to arrive in Knoxville around 2:45 pm with her husband.

The first few hours were pretty uneventful. Carlos and I both tried resting up for the eventful day ahead. Neither one of us was very successful. The on-call doctor came in around 7 am and we discussed my birthing plan (which, of course, I left at home…go figure!). She let me know that my progress had slowed since being admitted and discussed wanting to break my water. My birth plan was to try and limit any kind of augmentation of labor. I let her know this and she said she understood. Carlos and I decided instead to take walks around the floor in the hopes of breaking my water naturally. We did this about three separate times for about 30 minutes each time…and they were no walk in the park, let me tell you. The contractions were definitely becoming increasingly uncomfortable but still not terribly painful. I had thought I would get an epidural but I still wanted to hold out until I felt I really needed it.

My parents arrived at the hospital around 10 am and Carlos’ father around noon. Mostly during this time was periodically walking around the unit and laying in the bed. The on-call doctor from the morning ended her shift and another doctor came on. She came in to discuss my birthing plan. She understood my desire to avoid having them break my water and my aversion to pitocin. We made a plan that if by the afternoon I had not progressed in labor and my water still hadn’t broken they would do that but that we would still hold off on the pitocin unless absolutely necessary. By the time she came back to check on me around 1 pm I still hadn’t progressed and my water had not broken so she went ahead and did that. I was still trying to hold out on the epidural at this point.

Once they broke my water the contractions became very intense and close together. At first it was bearable but painful…then it became down right miserable. I could no longer focus on anything. After about an hour of this, I decided to go ahead with the epidural. It was one of the things I was most nervous about. But really it was nothing. They gave me the lowest dose and it took the edge off the contractions. That only lasted for a little while though. Soon enough the contractions were almost as intense as it was before they placed the epidural. They ended up giving me a booster to the epidural and that finally eased the pain. So much so that I was finally able to rest a bit. After a full day of work the day before and not resting that night, I was super tired. So it was nice to be able to close my eyes for that hour.

The doctor came back to check on my progress and, thankfully, I was moving along so they did not feel like I needed pitocin. Around 6 or so they said that I was ready to push. I had three wonderful support people in the room with me. My amazing husband, mother and mother-in-law. They were wonderful to have present with me. I was so nervous but so excited to finally meet la frijolita!! πŸ™‚ After about an hour of pushing the epidural was wearing off. The contractions were getting to be painful again but it actually helped in the pushing process to be able to feel the contractions and pain. I ended up pushing for about two hours…it was pretty exhausting but after those two hours I was finally able to meet Eliana Guadalupe. πŸ™‚ At the very end pushing the doctor had to give me some oxygen because Eliana’s heart rate started to drop. When they saw her the doctor realized that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck but they quickly took care of that. She was beautiful…it was such an amazing experience to see her. I immediately started to cry. She was perfect…

Eliana was born at 8:14 pm, weighed 6 lbs and 6 oz and was 19 in in length…just beautiful…

Meet Eliana Guadalupe

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37 weeks!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!
So today Eliana is the size of a winter melon (whatever that is!). It is now less than 3 weeks away until her due date!!! WOW! I don’t think it’s really quite hit me that she will be here so soon. It seems surreal.
So if you couldn’t tell by my last post I have have been nesting like a mad woman! πŸ™‚ All of Eliana’s laundry is now done (probably the only time I will be able to say this from here on out!) and all of Carlos’ and my laundry is now complete. I wanted to have a good head start with laundry before la frijolita arrives. All of her bottles, cups, spoons, and such are also clean! πŸ™‚ My closet is finally organized and all of my bathroom drawers as well. There is still plenty to be done but I am feeling pretty good about what all has been taken care of so far. There is still some cleaning to be done, especially since Karen will be making a trip down soon! πŸ™‚ All the bags are packed for the hospital and ready to go! See what I mean about nesting?!?!?! *haha*
This is my last week at work before starting my maternity leave…and it’s a short week at that! πŸ™‚ I’ll be glad to have some time home before she arrives to finish up things and to just relax. Hopefully I will have a few days before she decides to make her entrance into the world!
So at the doctor’s appointment on Friday Carlos and I were told that I am now 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced. This does not mean that labor is imminent by any means but it’s progress! πŸ™‚ Carlos was so excited…he had a huge smile on his face for the remainder of the day. Since then any time I make a comment about aches or make sounds of discomfort he asks if it’s labor. *haha* πŸ™‚ He’s so cute my little husband. She said that my status might change or that I could be like this for weeks. So it’s just a waiting game now. I’m still hoping that she will not arrive before this weekend. And to be even more selfish (I know…it’s bad) I’m hoping not before Tuesday the 8th because I just scheduled a day at the spa with the gift certificates I received at Christmas. *haha*
Speaking of, Carlos and I are wondering what everyone’s predictions are about when Eliana will make her grand entrance. What is your guess?!?! πŸ™‚ Please comment! Carlos is betting on the 6th while I say the 10th. We would love to know what others think!
New Years Eve was a pretty laid back evening. I have been so achy and such that we decided to stay in and lay low. We watched some of the coverage of the festivities and toasted with 7up at midnight. It was very eventful! πŸ˜‰ Hope everyone else had a wonderful night and a great kick off to the new year. 2012 has been filled with many amazing memories and moments. It was a pretty awesome year for the Juarez family. I am so excited for 2013 and the wonderful moments and memories that are sure to come.
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How far along? 37 and 4 days
Total weight gain: I’ve actually lost a little bit of weight recently…I am now about 24 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight
Maternity clothes: Trying to stay as comfortable as possible these days so I’m mostly wearing leggings, yoga pants, some jeans, and comfy tops…:)
Stretch marks? No new ones!
Sleep: Oh sleep…how you elude me! I am waking pretty often in the night due to aching and needing to reposition often…and still have lots of weird dreams! I’m also feeling pretty restless lately…
Best moment this week: Ringing in the New Year with my honey!
Miss Anything? I am still missing lots of things but as I am nearing the end I’m also thinking about how I’m going to miss being pregnant. 😦
Movement: Still pretty active!
Food cravings: Sweets…mostly baked goods like cupcakes and cheesecakes…YUM!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing in particular but I did have a nasty bout with nausea the other night…it was pretty awful! It was a major flashback to the first trimester…no fun!
Sex:Β Girl
Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks are continuing as usual but at times seem to be more painful or achy or accompanied by pressure…the doctor also said I am 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced…so I am progressing! πŸ™‚
Symptoms: Achiness all over, difficulty sleeping, slight swelling of my feet and sometimes hands, tired, some pain/pressure in my pelvic area at times, and just generally pretty uncomfortable…
Belly Button in or out? Still pretty much flat…
Wedding rings on or off? It depends on the day…today they are off!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy…pretty restless though
Looking forward to: Doctor’s appointment today and this is my last week at work before starting my Maternity Leave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚
***Update since the doctor’s appointment: So it turns out after seeing the doctor today that I have progressed a little bit further afterall! πŸ™‚ I am now 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced. The doctor also made a comment about how low Eliana’s head is at this point. She seemed surprised that I haven’t been noticing contractions…apparently I’m having them and I’m not as aware as I should be. *haha* I figured they would be pretty bad and what I’ve been experiencing has been uncomfortable and somewhat painful but nothing unbearable. So it could be any day now!!!!! πŸ™‚ The doctor was obviously not able to tell me how much longer but it seemed she was indicating that it would be soon and that the due date is probably out of the question now.
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