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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An optimistic view...

After a weekend full of all things birth and parenting I can officially say I have a positive attitude about the delivery of Carson! James and I completed our birth/parenting class this past weekend! We were actually looking forward to the class because we both felt like we had a lot to learn, and learn a lot we did! On Saturday we learned ALL about the process of delivery, which was very “interesting” to say the least. I was a little anxious about labor and delivery but I can honestly say that after learning all about it I’m really not too worried. I understand that it will hurt, and that it will take a while, but every other mom out there has made it through just fine and I know I can too. We learned a lot about breathing and relaxation that was pretty amazing. I never really understood the importance of the whole “breathing” emphasis people put on labor but after a really cool experiment not only do I get it, but I believe it in. Our instructor gave everyone a piece of ice to squeeze tight in our hand for 30 seconds, without anything to distract us from the coldness. It was FREEZING, almost to the point where it hurt…the 30 seconds felt like two minutes. Then, she had us use a new breathing technique (breathing in, 1-2-3-4; breathing out 1-2-3-4) while squeezing the same piece of ice in our hand for 30 seconds again. The results were amazing. The ice didn’t seem as cold, and the time seemed much shorter. When I was able to focus on the counting and rhythm of my breathing the length of amount of pain was reduced. Now, if I can just carry that over into labor I think I can make it! Haha I am just going to keep asking myself these four questions: Will it hurt? Yes. Will it last forever? No. Will I be tired? Yes. Will it bring us the most amazing little boy ever? Yes.

I am a little confused as to why I feel so prepared for the labor/delivery process. I am usually one to get really worked up and worried about things like this. Maybe it’s because I am just THAT excited to meet Carson! I think James also has a big part to do with how I feel about the whole thing. He has such a laid back, no stress personality that I feel confident he will help me stay calm and positive through the whole thing. This brings me SO much relief that I don’t have to worry about how he will handle the whole process. Will he be stressed and nervous? Yes of course, but will he dump it on me? No, he’ll somehow manage to deal with his stress and mine. Yes, the guy is amazing!

We of course also got to see the much anticipated video of childbirth. We were warned that most of the time you see a natural childbirth video at these classes so not to get too stressed by how much pain the woman is in….. Well, luckily our teacher showed us, not one, not two, but three videos of actual childbirth! Two were delivered naturally and one of the women used a narcotic and then had an epidural. The difference in the two deliveries was incredible. Needless to say I’m not one for unnecessary pain so I will be choosing the “give me whatever you can to make this hurt less” method of delivery. The videos were graphic of course but not as bad as I had anticipated… James wasn’t a big fan of course and the videos confirmed his decision to stay up close to my head during delivery. He wants to see what I can see, nothing more. I can’t say I blame him! Haha

My least favorite thing about the class was one of the couples in it... They were a little older than us, and looked a bit like a couple from somewhere in Kentucky the national news would choose to interview (you know the type right? Rough, crazy teeth, big rolled bangs, crazy make-up....). Well, every time our instructor gave us a break, which was quite often considering the room was full of pregnant ladies, they BOTH went outside for a smoke break. Surely you're thinking that Dad was smoking and Mom was just keeping him company. Oh no...Mom was smoking too. Every hour or so she was outside burning a cigarette. Makes me sick.

My favorite thing about the class was that the instructor referred to us as Mom and Dad all weekend!! James and I sometimes will call each other Mommy and Daddy when we are talking to Carson, or even Chloe but to hear someone else refer to me as “Mom” all weekend was just plain cool!

So Carson, it's official we're ready when you are!

Friday, March 26, 2010

All things baby...

What is it about cute baby stuff that just makes your heart melt? Even the smell of the lotion makes me smile! After a weekend full of showers Carson's room is getting closer to being stocked with all of the things he'll need. I just love to go in there and "play" with all of his stuff... His little wash clothes, clothes, shoes, and I even love his shampoo and lotion! I never thought I would be so excited to receive or buy things like diaper rash cream, wipes, pacifiers, and diapers. We have one shower left, Easter weekend in Benton, and I just can't wait! More cute baby things!!! I told James the other day when we were taking Chloe for a walk that I just couldn't wait until I got to start washing all of Carson's laundry!! All of his clothes are so tiny I swear I think they could fit into one load! It seems like every afternoon I find myself wandering into Carson's room just looking for something to do, put away, or organize. I just love being in there! I guess I enjoy organizing, and reorganizing all of his things because it allows me to imagine for a minute what it will REALLY be like when it comes time to use all of these things! Sometimes I feel like I have somewhat of an idea of how my day will go like when he's actually here and it's actually my responsibility to change diapers, nurse, bathe, clothe, and play with the little guy... but it's actually a hard thing to imagine! One of the things I think I am most looking forward to, other than just holding our sweet boy, is seeing James as a Daddy! He is going to be the best daddy a little boy could ask for!

Yesterday I had my 30 week check-up :) The doctor described my pregnancy thus far as picture perfect! Yay! He said my weight, blood pressure, and measurements were all right on track, and that our little man's heart rate was 143bpm and that he was doing great! Good job bud....keep on growing! He did tell me too that Carson will start growing very quickly from this point on. I should be expecting ligament pain and stretching to be making a comeback shortly, lovely. I have still been feeling really well. My heartburn has gotten worse and more frequent but if I could just figure out what's causing it I might be able to get a bit of a handle on it. I discovered today that chocolate is definitely giving it to me :( This makes me very sad...I love chocolate. The good thing is that ice cream is like an instant fix....or maybe that's a bad thing? Eh, I'm pregnant...I'm supposed to eat ice cream right?

We go back to the doctor on April 8th for a 32 week check-up and then again two weeks later at 34 weeks. After that we'll have our 36 week appointment which will consist of the much anticipated vaginal exam...Fun, fun! Then they'll be checking to make sure Carson is head first and ready for departure! Woo Hoo.... I see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Double the fun!

Last Sunday I had my second baby shower of the weekend! It was actually a double baby shower :) My cousin Lauren is expecting her first baby, Miles Thomas, on June 4th so my aunt Susie and cousin Jenny put together a lovely little party to help us celebrate! We played games (My favorite being the baby drawing, everyone had to draw a picture of a baby on a paper plate that was sitting on their head. Then Lauren and I had to decide which one we wanted our baby to look most like... hilarious!), ate cake, and of course opened gifts! It was actually very ironic that Lauren and I registered a lot of the same things so we in turn got almost all of the same gifts! Carson and Miles recieved SO many great things, both practical and fun! They are definitely getting a warm welcome into the Fiorella family :)

Prego cousins! And no, we didn't plan the matching outfits! haha

Our adorbale cakes!

Let the money saving begin...

Jonny Jump-Up's all around!

Matching strollers & the cutest burp clothes ever!!

Diaper cakes from the hostesses! They were FULL of goodies :)

Mommies-to-be and Mommy-of-three!

Me, Granny & Pops!

The fam. minus Parker & James!

My first stroller! I just love this one, and I can't wait until Carson's big enough to cruise around in it :)

Carson's loot from the weekend of showers! You think he'll be spoiled?

Thanks again to everyone for such wonderful gifts! I can't wait for Carson to meet his HUGE family! He has NO idea what's in store...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photo shoot with the girls

I just had to share some more of the great pictures Stacey and Holli took at the shower :)

Carson needs an umbrella...

Carson and I spent the past weekend literally being showered with friends, family, and lots of gifts!! We really are SO lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives that care so much :) It's reassuring to know that everyone is there to help and support our new little addition! I was able to spend about 3 1/2 days in Kentucky, which of course is never long enough, and I had a blast! Friday I got to have lunch with my mom, aunt, and grandmother then I got to spend the afternoon playing with little Parker. I am happy to say that he is no longer talking about "putting Carson in the trash can" like I previously reported. haha He was actually very excited to give me
and baby Carson and big squeeze. I never could get Parker to sit still long enough to actually feel Carson moving around in my belly but he did enjoy trying to hear him... Cutest thing ever! Saturday morning when we all woke up after his usual, "Good Morning Ashley!" and "Did you have a good sleep?" he asked, "How is baby Carson this morning?" Ah, he makes my heart melt :)
Saturday was my first big baby shower for the weekend! Hosted by my aunt Larkin, grandmother Ree, and my cousin Brooke. The shower had a rubber ducky theme which made for the cutest decorations ever... I could try to give it justice by telling you about it or I could just show you. I have to give credit to my photographers for the day, Stacey and Holli. Your pictures were amazing girls and I can't wait for you to photograph the little man :)

The cutest diaper cake ever from Granny & Pops!

Our little duck family :)

Mom and I with the hostesses :)

Me and Mimi :)

Me and my brother's girlfriend, Liz! She's such a sweetheart!

Ok I could go on, and on with pictures of the decorations... It looked like a baby shower that would be featured in Southern Living or something! I would have expected nothing less from Ree and Larkin though :) They are the best! Of course with a shower comes gifts... Carson got ALL kinds of neat things! I won't bore you with pictures of me opening EVERY gift so I'll just hit the highlights :)

Carson received so many neat things from everyone! I had a BLAST playing show and tell with James last night :) He loved all of the stuff just as much as I did! He did say however I might have to show him what most of it is used for... haha We both feel so lucky to have such great family and friends! We love them all very much!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blame it on the belly....

This afternoon Carson and I caused a little commotion at the Target Cafe.... After doing a little shopping I decided I needed some popcorn and a coke. I ordered my stuff then headed over to the fountain drink machine to get my peppy diet coke (There really isn't anything much better). I've got an overflowing bag of popcorn in one hand and I'm trying to do the whole coke thing with the other. There is a lady standing in front of the straw dispenser taking her sweet time so I decide to lean forward to reach around her to grab my straw....About the time I grabbed the straw I realized that something was tipping my coke over. What you ask? That would be my belly. The whole coke spilled ALL over the counter...I'm talking every last drop. I felt SO dumb! I then had to go tell the lady working there that I had just accidentally spilled an entire coke all over her nice clean counter. Sorry! I tried to clean a little of it up but realized I was only making the mess worse when the coke managed to spread under the coffee/cappuccino machine, the coke machine, and the slushy machine. Whoops! So to the poor lady working at Target that had to clean up my monster mess I apologize, I promise from now on I will be more aware of the amount of space this growing belly takes up!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's finally time!

I am SOOOO excited about my upcoming trip to Kentucky that I've been ready to start packing for about a week now. But of course it was too early! I am happy to say that since I'm leaving on Thursday afternoon it's officially time to get started! Woo Hoo :) I always hate the week leading up to a trip because I get so excited that it's almost here, which seems to make the time just creeeeeeep by. Usually I make "packing" the biggest production (just ask James)....I try on lots of outfit, shoes, jewelry, purse combinations until I get it just right. This process can take a while I have to admit, but it's so fun :) Being pregnant throws a little kink in that whole process. First of all my selection of clothes is much smaller, although I am beginning to feel like I have quite the array of maternity wear. Second, what I pack is extremely important because I can't just borrow something of Mom's if I need to, nothing would fit! And of course we all know that Owensboro doesn't have the selection of maternity wear that I have up here in the big city. If I were to realize I forgot something, or needed a different kind of top I would be out of luck. So, tonight while James is finishing up his final for one of his Masters classes I will be turning my closet upside down and inside out getting packed for Kentucky! I can't wait :)

I have SO many plans while I'm in town I can't even say what I'm most excited about! It all starts with a BIG hug from Mom and Dad at the airport Thursday night, a much needed hair cut on Friday, lunch with Mom and Ree, a bowling charity event with the fam., getting to meet my brother's new girlfriend, getting that "reallllllllly tight hug" Parker's been telling me and Carson about, UK basketball, TWO baby showers, and of course getting to see all of my family and friends :) I only wish I could bring James and Chloe with me. I always feel sooo guilty when I get to go home to visit and he doesn't. He has to stay in Minnesota and work....blah :( At least we get to go home together in a couple weeks to see his family and friends for ANOTHER shower! Yay!

I hoping all of this traveling doesn't make me too awfully uncomfortable. This belly is starting to become quite "large and in charge". It's to the point where it's making everything a little more difficult. I do see lots of trips to the airplane bathroom in my near future.... When we go home Easter weekend we are driving, so that will be an entire blog post in itself I'm sure. Good thing James is patient.

On a totally random side note: All of the snow in our front yard is gone! Now that is something to be excited about! The last two days our temps have been in the upper 50's which have allowed me to open up the windows and get some fresh air! I just LOVE it.... Can't wait for spring :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can't Stop 'Till You Get Enough...

So I totally can NOT stop looking at Carson's little chubby face! I feel like I look at his new picture a million times a day. He's already SO cute and I'm just dying to meet him! After our families have gotten a chance to check out Carson's picture several people seem to think he already looks like me. Granny says it's because of the chubby cheeks, and Mimi says James was a pretty small baby. I don't have a copy of one of James' baby pictures to show you but I will be sure to get one when we go home in April so we can compare. I do however have a 2 month old picture of myself for now. I need to find our first pictures from the hospital and see what we think. I'll work on this in the coming weeks. In the meantime....

So what do you think... Any resemblance? I see the cheek thing but that's about it!

Since Carson is a little bigger than the average 28 week old, and I'm really close to that 7th month mark, I figured I'd go ahead and tell you about what's going on with our little man during next few weeks :)
According to Carson is approximately the size of a squash...whatever that means. That's like saying he's the size of a pumpkin... Every pumpkin is a different size. I like this comparison better: At 29 weeks Carson is about the length of a loaf of bread. Wow! Crazy... That's actually something I can imagine holding in my arms and carrying around. Oh, I just can't wait! says that the average baby at 29 weeks weighs 2.5-3.8 lbs and we already know Carson is 3.2 lbs... So he's definitely on the larger end of that scale :) And, I've also read that during the 7th month of pregnancy Mommy can expect increased heartburn, which of course has already started like clockwork everyday around 3:00pm, along with rapid weight gain. Yay for me! I don't feel like I have began to "rapidly" gain weight just yet. I think so far I have gained about 15 lbs so I'm a little nervous to see whats going to happen to this number in the coming weeks. Carson on the other hand is growing in all good ways of course! He's now able to suck on his own... watch out boobs! haha His little brain is also controlling his breathing and body temperature. His energy is surging as well, which I can feel for sure. I've noticed a major increase in movement in just the last few days. He's settling into a sleep and waking cycles, which right now see to be normal. I don't ever feel him at night so maybe that means he's already sleeping through the night? haha Don't worry... I'm not actually believing what I'm saying, just trying to make myself think maybe he'll be a good sleeper. haha A mommy can only wish.... All five of Carson's senses are working now too and I've read that 9 out of 10 babies that are born at this age can survive, which is comforting to know :)

Carson is also to the stage where he might be hiccuping! It's described as feeling like butterflies in your stomach. They say this is caused by him practicing his breathing. I guess he's been slacking because I haven't felt this yet! Carson, your first lesson from Mommy: Practice makes perfect! I just read a LOVELY bit of information that I probably could have done without... haha Carson has starting peeing in his amniotic sac. Gross to think about, even more gross to know that he actually is swallowing some of it with the amniotic fluid (don't worry, apparently it's sterile). Oh little Carson, Daddy has a lot to teach you about your bathroom habits. haha
I also want to take a quick minute to say that everyone should keep Holli and Brad in your thoughts over the next few days :) They will find out their big news on Friday so we are all keeping our fingers crossed and Carson and I are sending all of our baby thoughts their way :) Good luck you too! We love you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Our Chubby Little Boy

What an exciting morning! James and I had our 28 week appointment today! At our last check-up (18 weeks) they said my placenta wasn't quite low enough so they wanted to schedule another ultrasound at 28 weeks to make sure it dropped down, or something like that. Well, after today's ultrasound all is well for my placenta :) That however, is not the exciting part.... Seeing Carson of course was what we really excited about! In case you have forgotten Carson was labeled as "hard headed" after our 18 week ultrasound because he just didn't want to cooperate. He was covering his face while the tech tried to get a 3D picture.
Well...Here we are 10 weeks later and our little man hasn't changed a bit. Still wouldn't cooperate! His head was laying directly on top of my placenta so the tech ended up having to do an internal ultrasound to even be able to see the placenta. And, to top it all off he had his little hands all over his face again! haha I guess I shouldn't have expected much else from someone with Fiorella blood :) I told dad I think he got it from his side of the family and he says laughing, "No, he gets that from the Harper's I'm sure..." Which of course proves the point even more that we are so hard headed we can't admit we are hard headed. haha

Carson at 28 weeks 2 days

Is he adorable or what?!?! We are so in love with his little face! The ultrasound tech told us he was a little bigger than most babies his age. He is a little over 3 lbs and in the 70th percentile. I don't totally understand the whole percentile thing but she also explained it by saying that if he were 29 weeks gestation, instead of 28 he'd be average size. So he's measuring about a week larger right now. Does that mean that I will go into labor a week early? No, just that he might be a little chubby! Yay :) Who doesn't love a chubby baby!

A funny story about the ultrasound... During the 3D/4D ultrasound we are getting to see "live footage" of what's going on inside the womb, crazy right? Well, while we are watching we of course see right away that he's got that one hand covering up half of his little chubby face. He then proceeds to move the other hand closer to his face, spread out his little fingers, open his mouth, and then cover his entire face. It was literally like he had both hands spread open as big as he could, and then put them on his face. It was hilarious! He then moved his left hand back down but was still only willing to show us half of his face. What a stinker!

Another exciting piece of information we learned during the ultrasound was that Carson has some hair! We were able to see a bright white little dusting of hair on his head during the regular black/white ultrasound! James is still hoping it's nice and thick like mine...Maybe it's a good sign that he's already got some! haha

From now on we will have check-ups every two weeks so we go back again March 24, then again April 8th :) What a busy month we have coming up!! We shouldn't be getting any more ultrasounds though :( Unless they think something might be wrong, or if Carson really starts to get big they'll do another one to check his measurements. Both of which I'm hoping don't happen so if all goes well the next time we see our little man will be actually in person... not on a screen! Ohmygosh I just can't wait :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

It's amazing how the choices and decisions you make change when you start thinking as a "family" instead of an individual, or a couple. From little decisions to big decisions they all impact your whole family's life...not just yours. I guess this is one of the first lessons you learn as the parents-to-be. It seems like every decision we make will impact Carson's little life. This is a scary thought for sure! I don't think we ever gave our parents enough credit for making all of our choices for us for SO many years. So, Mom, Dad, Gary, and Pam... We thank you! Anytime you're missing making those tough decisions feel free to make some for us!! haha I'm sure in the coming months you will be getting many phone calls that sound something like, "Help! We don't know what to do!" We are SO lucky to have such a wonderful support system all around us to help... Can't imagine what we'd do without you all :)
I feel so very lucky to have James in my life as well. What an amazing dad he is going to be. He always stays so calm and cool about everything...I honestly don't understand how he does it. I envy that about him. I'm counting on him to keep me from going crazy...haha With all of the choices and decisions that come with parenting at least their is one thing I never have to question...our relationship. It couldn't be any stronger. What more can you ask for as you are about to jump into a totally new life? The funny thing about the choices you make in life is that you can never really know if it was the right one. You can always say, "What if..." One thing I do know for certain is that marrying James was the best decision I ever made.

When you look at your life, the greatest happiness's are family happiness's.

-Joyce Brothers

Monday, March 1, 2010

Go away already...

Where is spring you ask? I can tell you that it's NOT in Minnesota... Although, if you lived here you just might THINK (for a minute) it was spring when you saw the weather forecast. I'll admit, we've had a warm up, and yes, it has been nice. We might even get up to 40 today (We haven't hit the 40 mark since Dec 1st). But I am quickly reminded that it is NOT spring, and that winter is NOT over when I look out my window and still see a 3-4 foot pile of snow in my front yard. GO AWAY ALREADY! It's trying to at least... We've been "thawing", as they call it here, for several days in a row now but when you begin with a solid 4-5 feet of snow everywhere it takes a while.

Chloe is also ready for the snow to be gone... No snow means more walks for her! This weekend we were able to take her both days. Her paws are now a slight grey color from trudging through all of the muck that snow leaves behind... When we got back from our walk on Sunday we were standing in the driveway trying to break up ice chunks (there should be a special tool for this) when James says, "Well, I guess this is good enough...unless you want to have a snow ball fight." Um... No thanks James. When I look over at him he's already got a snow ball in his hands and he proceeds to throw it... Not at Carson! haha Don't was a loose snowball and he didn't throw it hard. James starts laughing and says, "There, Carson just got hit with his first snowball!" Carson and I are both hoping that's the last snow ball he sees for a while...Maybe next winter we'll be living somewhere too warm for March snowballs?