i just got home from my 35 week midwife appointment, where i had my first internal exam. it turns out that i am 1 centimeter dilated, 80% effaced, and sylvie's head is engaged at zero station.
yeah. i was a little surprised. in light of this news, my sister-in-law is flying up from texas to be with me in travis' absence. the midwife was unconcerned about my progress, but still very adamant that someone be with me just in case. the way i figure it is, nothing will happen if i have a good plan B in place. if i don't arrange for other plans, sylvie will probably waltz on out. if the forecast predicts rain and i carry an umbrella, nothing ever happens. in either case i'll stay dry.
my dear, sweet husband's grandmother passed away today. words cannot properly express how deeply this loss is felt in our home. she was a wonderfully kind and generous woman who was beloved and respected by her husband of 60 years, 5 children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. i have never seen a person so revered by those who were blessed enough to know her. she will be greatly missed.
the funeral will be sometime this weekend in texas. we're buying travis a ticket as soon as we know the details of the arrangements. i wish so badly that i could travel with him. it kills me that i can't be there for him during this very difficult time. luckily, he is much braver than i and i know he will be okay. if our positions were switched i don't know what i would do without him next to me. i'm terrified for him to even leave me now, still 5 weeks from my due date. please stay in there, sylvie. i don't know if i can do it alone, without your daddy.
if you are so inclined, please send your thoughts and prayers out to travis and his family. losing a family matriarch is an extremely difficult thing. i've witnessed it twice in my own family when my great great aunt verna died and shortly thereafter when my nana (sylvie's namesake) passed. a family is never quite the same afterwards, but travis' family (immediate and extended) are some of the strongest, most loving people i've ever had the privilege to know. they will get through this, and i'm so glad he can be there with them this weekend. i love my husband and seeing him in this kind of pain is difficult, to say the least. i take great comfort in the fact that he will soon be surrounded by a close group of people who feel exactly as he does. i know they will take exceptional care of him in my absence.
to the douthit clan, please know that i am thinking about each and every one of you during this trying time.
what do you do while your baby naps? if i'm just being honest, when that day comes i will probably nap with her. adele of mila's daydreams takes that time to imagine what her slumbering daughter is dreaming, create the dream scene from household items, and photograph it. the results are both whimsical and beautifully serene.
do yourself a favor and pay a visit to mila's daydreams. you'll be glad you did.
with all of my illustration commissions complete, i spent my evening working on some of the decorative aspects of sylvie's nursery. i made some substantial progress on her crocheted blanket and finished painting a world map for the wall above her crib. stay tuned for pictures of both tomorrow.
speaking of tomorrow, travis and i are taking the day to have our last out-of-town date before sylvie's arrival. our plan is to drive the hour to indianapolis, eat lunch at a small french restaurant, and spend the afternoon walking along the canal. i am 35 weeks today and don't plan on venturing too far from home after this week. travis and i are so excited to welcome our daughter into the world, but we're happily enjoying our last few weeks as a couple.
this coming fall promises to be a busy one, with little time left over for leisurely strolls around our for-the-moment hometown. sylvie will be a well-seasoned traveler by the time january rolls around. we are planning her first airplane ride for sometime around 6-8 weeks. our plan is to fly to pennsylvania so she can meet her aunt rachel (my big sista), uncle rich, and her cousins, sophie and zack. she will also meet my best friend, her aunt cara, on this trip. next in line is the four hour drive to columbus ohio to visit grammy and poppy for thanksgiving. after that we're going to bundle her up for a december trip to chicago for my cousin's wedding. last, but certainly not least, is a trip down to texas for the holidays. on this trip she will meet her daddy's family including his grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. she will also meet her uncle mike (my big brother), aunt melissa and cousins tessa and sam.
i firmly believe in bundling her up and taking her along for the ride. i'm sure that traveling with an infant will be challenging, but these experiences as a family are too precious to miss out on. as a kid, i was always taken along wherever my parents went. i quickly got used to being the youngest person in any given room. as a result i learned early on how to mind my manners, relate to adults, and adapt to many situations. these are all skills which have served me well in life. we don't want to leave our daughter out of so-called "adult" activities. we want to share everything we can with her, as a family. i just can't wait for her to get here. my arms are aching to hold her and rock her softly. i cannot believe how much and how unconditionally i love her already.
here is a list of the gear we've gotten for sylvie and why we chose it.
AP industries lollipop crib in white
why? we loved the clean, classic lines of this crib. it is also extremely sturdy and simple, exactly our style.
south shore changing table in pure white
why? this piece is equal parts changing table and dresser, making it very practical for our small space. the available wall for this piece is only 41 inches wide, and this table fits perfectly. we got it in white to match the crib.
ikea expedit series 8 cubby and 4 cubby in white
why? they hold a lot for their size, are affordably priced, and we just really loved the way they look.
safety first aerolite fx in "pegasus"
why? we knew we wanted a travel system to keep things as compact and uncomplicated as possible. this one is well reviewed, reasonably priced (compared to brands like chicco), folds down to a small size with one hand, and is gender neutral in color scheme. it is also much more padded than any of the other systems in the same price range. the stroller goes up to 50 pounds and the car seat to 22.
secondary car seat:
why? this seat came VERY highly recommended from a few different people. it has a weight range of 4-65 pounds and can face both rear and front. she will be able to use this seat after she out grows the travel system and up until it's time to put her in a booster. it is very highly rated in safety and well reviewed.
moby wrap and baby bjorn
why? my husband and i are really into the idea of baby wearing, but we both wanted different things out of a carrier. i chose the moby wrap for me because of its versatility and the fact that i could use it from birth. it came very highly recommended to me from various sources. i have also been told that it puts little strain on the back and shoulders. he chose the baby bjorn for its ease of use and more masculine appearance. he also liked that you can wear it in the front or backpack style.
pack 'n play:
graco pack 'n play in townsend
why? we are planning to use the pack 'n play both for travel and as a bedside bassinet for a couple of months after her birth. i love that it has a built-in changer, wipe dispenser and plenty of storage for extra diapers. it also has a canopy, which makes napping easier in almost any location. we also like the gender neutral color scheme, as we will use it with future children.
first years kickin' coaster
why? it is both a stationary vibrating infant seat and a baby exerciser. i liked that she would have something to do and get some exercise as opposed to just sitting there in a regular seat or swing. it helps promote coordination and leg strength and teach cause and effect.
blue bumbo with play tray
why? we don't have the room in this apartment for a full size highchair. in addition, we will be moving when she is around 10 months old, only 4 months into purees. she will be able to use this for various activities outside of feeding time. plus, how cute do chubby baby thighs look sticking out of one of these?!
medela pump in style
why? i knew i wanted a pump that will do both sides at once. unfortunately, i will probably have to introduce bottle feeding at a young age. i have to get my gallbladder out soon after sylvie's birth, which will require an overnight stay in the hospital and a couple of days of painkillers. i want to have a store of pumped milk handy before this happens. beyond just that, travis really wants to help with the feedings. i plan to feed her directly as much as i can, but life doesn't always respect your plans. i wanted a good, fast pump so that i can be prepared for those times when breast feeding will not be possible. i have also been told that this pump will last through multiple children.
nursing support pillow:
why? this pillow can be used so many different ways. sylvie can use it while nursing, for tummy time, and (eventually) as a little seat. it seems to be a purchase that will really grow with her.
why? these bottles are BPA free and are specially designed to lessen nipple confusion and make the transition between breast and bottle (and back) easier. the nipple is wider and more rounded so babies can latch onto these much like they would onto a breast.
i think that about covers the basic stuff we have for sylvie! i didn't include her cloth diapering supplies in this list. we have bought a few different brands and i would like to make an expanded post on that after her birth. i want to figure out which brands/kinds work for her and us before i post on it! i just wanted to put in my two cents on all the other stuff. what gear do you swear by?
we had our 4D ultrasound this morning. sylvie did NOT want to cooperate. she had half of her face snuggled into the placenta the whole time. we never did get a shot of her entire face, but we got enough partial face pictures to piece it all together. we saw enough to know that she has super chubby cheeks, really long fingers, and a full head of hair! i suspected our girl would have some hair. travis was born with a full head of thick, black hair. i am also happy to report that she has my lips, travis' nose, and an adorable little chin.
in this first picture you can see the bottom of her face and both of her hands. when this was taken she was playing with the umbilical cord and waving it around!
here is a decent shot of her face. just look at those full, little lips!
we also verified that she is DEFINITELY a girl. phew! all-in-all, even though she was uncooperative, i'm still extremely glad that we did it. it was amazing to see her moving around in there, playing, and stretching. we got to see some of her personality for the first time, which was incredible. i would highly recommend doing an elective 4D scan if your health care providers don't have the option. i'm also glad we waited until 34 weeks to do it. she had an adorable amount of baby fat to look at!
we're about to head out to dinner with my parents. i hope everyone enjoys their weekend!
sylvia finally dropped and it's way better than i thought it would be. yes, there is now some insane weight in my pelvis, but the pain in my ribs has substantially decreased. it still burns like crazy when i get into bed for the night, but it is much better throughout the day. i'll take it, waddle and all!
my parents are coming into town tomorrow for a weekend visit. we're going to do some last minute shopping before sylvie arrives. at the very top of my list is a good breast pump. do the mamas out there have any recommendations? other than that i need a set of comfortable pajamas and a nightgown for the big day. one thing i love about our hospital is that they let you wear your own clothes all throughout labor and birth. i want to hit up target to get a long, super soft nightgown for that. i was so relieved to learn this! the hospital gown they gave me when i went in for my gallbladder was horrible. it tied in the back in big knots and still managed to expose my tuchus to the world.
other than shopping we're planning on a nice dinner at travis' restaurant and lots of quality family time. it's been a super fun week with all the visitors coming and going. i can't believe that the next time i see everyone will be after sylvie's birth. i feel like there's still so much to do, but i know it will all get done. travis and i are shifting a few pieces of furniture around tonight to make more open space in the living room. i think eliminating all that clutter and opening up the room will make me feel a lot better. it will also make me feel better to finish up this last illustration commission today so i can focus on more baby-related projects. her crocheted afghan has been awfully neglected the last few weeks.
the original purpose of this post was to show off some 34 week bump pictures. travis took these earlier this afternoon.
sylvie, i can tell that you're getting cramped in there! just stick it out for 3 more short weeks. then you can come anytime you like! your papa and i can't wait to meet you. it's all we talk about these days, and we're about to bubble over with excitement. stay healthy and strong and keep on growing! we can wait until you're ready. i love you, baby girl.
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i woke up around 3 o'clock this morning thinking i was in the middle of an earthquake. i was tired, disoriented, and my whole body was vibrating and shaking. it turns out it was just sylvie doing a very spastic dance in my belly! it was bizarre to say the least.
i have a prenatal message booked for tomorrow afternoon. i am beyond excited. travis has been telling me to get one for a while, but i wanted to wait until i got really pregnant. well guess what, folks? i am really pregnant! i'll be 34 weeks tomorrow, which means only 3 more weeks until sylvie is full term and 6 more until her due date.
speaking of that due date, i'm fairly convinced she will make her debut a little early. it may just be wishful thinking, but i have had a few dreams that she will be born on august 24th. the nurse who taught our childbirth class said she sees a spike in births during a full moon. travis' grandfather, an OB-GYN, said the same thing. i just found out that august's full moon is on the 24th. coincidence? maybe. then again, maybe not. only time will tell. as long as she's healthy i could care less whether she comes early, on time or late. however, i would prefer if she didn't hang out in there long enough to be induced. my midwife and i will try every natural method of induction first (herbs, essential oils, walking, etc.), but she won't wait longer than two weeks past due to start medical interventions. i was over two weeks late and travis was 6 days early. baby girl, this would be a good time to start taking after your daddy! in fact, just go ahead and take after your daddy. he's patient, kind, and can sleep anywhere and through anything. i, on the other hand, am irritable and an extremely light sleeper. eh, who am i kidding? you will be perfect no matter what.
we had a wonderful visit with travis' parents. they were kind enough to get us sylvie's pack-n-play (which will also be her bassinet), a boppy pillow, and some other adorable baby items. we had a great time with them and i can't wait to see them again after the birth.
later on this week my parents are coming in for a visit, too! my mom got us an elective 4D ultrasound for a a first mother and father's day present. travis and i are beyond excited to see our little girl again on thursday! my practice doesn't perform a third trimester ultrasound unless complications arise. this means that we have only seen sylvie twice, the last time being 15 weeks ago. i hope we get a good look at her chubby little face! the ultrasound tech told me that 34 weeks is the perfect time for facial picture. she won't be super duper squished yet, but she'll have a fair amount of baby fat on those cheeks. i really can't wait!
now i think it's time for a couple of hipstamatic nursery pictures!
i have a lot of work to get done (illustration commissions and cleaning) before our next batch of visitors. i had better hop to it!
travis' parents are in town today and tomorrow. it's been wonderful to spend some time with them before sylvie's birth! we ate dinner on the lake tonight and had a great time.
it's family time now so i'm going to cut this short. enjoy what's left of your weekend!