thoughts on childbirth

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In 4 months, give or take a few weeks, I will be giving birth to a little baby girl. (Hopefully!)

The thought of that – of childbirth, of labor – absolutely terrifies me. It has terrified me from way before I got pregnant, and it continues to terrify me as I draw closer to the day. It’s like walking into a torture chamber knowing what they’re going to do to you. I know in my head the cliche “it will be worth it”, but I don’t feel right now that it makes it better. Perhaps because I don’t feel a crazy love already for the little person inside me?

I’ve been thinking now about the old question of, do I accept pain relief when I’m in labor? I know I need to make the decision now before I let the wave of pain make that decision (cuz you know what choice THAT will be!). I feel pressure from both sides: from the side of me that wants to take relief, to the outside pressures I get from friends who think natural childbirth is the only way to go.

My mother had me naturally, and she said “never again!” She had a really bad experience, and much preferred the births of my siblings where she was able to cuddle with the newborn instead of being so tired and in pain that she didn’t want anything to do with the baby. My mom, who knows me inside and out, suggests that getting an epidural might be the best option for me, knowing my extremely low tolerance for pain.

No matter what decision I make, I want it to be an informed decision. I want to have done my research, and have come to a conclusion that I feel comfortable with. I do not want to refuse medication just because someone else is pressuring me. I know that it probably is ideal for the baby to have no medications, but let’s face it – I’ve gone through an entire bottle of Tylenol plus half a bottle of Phenergan so far this pregnancy, it’s already too late for that. ;-)

I plan to take a childbirth class… And that, combined with my own personal research on birthing methods, will hopefully bring me to a conclusion about what to do, which I may or may not share with you before the birth. And I might ask those of you who have given birth, why you chose the method you chose, but if I don’t ask then that’s okay. :-)

If you look at me and my two siblings today, you could not tell which one of us was birthed with the help of an epidural, which one of us used disposable diapers, and which one of us was fed (*gasp*) FORMULA. We’ve all grown healthy and strong, happy little babies to successful adults. So I know that as long as I do my research then I’ll make the best decision for my baby AND me. And I’m praying that no matter what I decide, that God will give me peace four months from now! Because I am still terrified.

five years

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cupcake5yrToday is a special day. Five years ago, I wrote my first entry on my blog! I have blogged pretty regularly since then. I can’t believe it’s been five years already… I started when I was just a young’n ;-), a junior in college. At the time, I was thinking it would be cool if people read my blog! I wrote short posts, without using capital letters. I’ve really enjoyed blogging and home to get back in the habit of posting more frequently.

On my blog’s 3rd birthday, I posted an overview of my blog, including links to significant posts. :-) I should update that, since a lot has happened in the past two years!

For now, you might be wondering what kind of person I was. It’s kinda fun to go back and read the archives. Here is my favorite post from those early days. It will tell you exactly what kind of college student I was. :-)

done! (Posted May 12th, 2004)
It is now 5:40 am, but I am very happy because I am finally done with my paper! Okay, so I still have to write a conclusion, and I need to reread it because I know as I’m falling asleep that some stuff doesn’t make sense (which is why I stopped). But the main part is done… and so tomorrow (today?) I can focus on my portfolio for CAD 2…
Thank you Paul for staying up with me. :-) Thank you Theresa for lending me your laptop! And now I must go to bed, so I can get at least two hours of sleep… oh oh that’s depressing :-(

Ah, the good ole days. :-) A few updated blog stats: This is post #1,062. I almost have 3,500 comments! (I need just two more! :-))

house-hunting adventures

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Recently, Paul and I have been looking into housing options, to have more room for our growing family. We have so many possibilities: rent a house, rent an apartment, stay where we are, buy a house, etc. With the market the way it is, we have been excited to find some houses for sale well within our budget, making it a more attractive option than renting.

We contacted a real estate agent and have been working with him. By the way, I *highly* recommend him if you’re in the Atlanta area and need an agent! He’s great – respects our budget, doesn’t push us, and has always been open to our thoughts and opinions. I would happily recommend him. :-)

We found a house about a month ago that we liked; a foreclosure that needed a lot of cosmetic work (about $7,000, the biggest expenses being that it needed all 3 kitchen appliances and a new air conditioner). We put in an offer, but the bank who owned the house was being picky and the house fell through. (You’d think they’d want to get rid of the house!)

We adjusted our search to another area of town and have found several properties there. We saw one on Monday that we instantly liked. It’s not perfect, of course, but definitely a contender. And it’s move-in ready! We wouldn’t have to do *anything*. Then today we looked at three more houses that were in the same general neighborhood. I have to tell you about them.

First, we saw a split-level. It was the only house we’ve seen that still has the owners living inside, which was an interesting experience. Let me tell you, for being a competitive market they certainly weren’t interested in selling their house! All my hours watching HGTV have taught me everything I need to know about getting a house ready for sale, and these people broke all the rules! :-)

They were home when we got there, and their 7 or 8 year old son followed us the entire time, offering his comments (like “this sofa becomes a bed!”). The house was dirty – messy, stuff everywhere, hadn’t had a thorough cleaning, smelled of curry, more furniture than the rooms could hold. Someone was taking a nap in one of the bedrooms and though she woke up and stared at us, she didn’t seem interested in getting up, so we didn’t get to see that bedroom at all. It was hard for me to look beyond the mess. Paul liked the house a lot, so it’s on our short list.

The other two houses did NOT make that list. :-) Oh my! The first one was priced $20k above all the others. First, the brick on the side of the house was painted a deep plum color, which was a little weird. The house had a lot of potential, but was in really bad shape. The kitchen walls were all pine paneling, with cabinets of the same color. It had a built-in double oven that was probably original to the house (built in the 60s)! Obviously, they didn’t use it so they cut a chunk out of the counter and cabinets to make room for a stove/oven. There was a full bathroom off the hallway, and then three bedrooms – the smallest bedroom had a half bath. (We couldn’t figure out which was the master.) There was a living room/den that they cut in half, and turned one part into an unknown room with linoleum floor. I wasn’t sure what that was used for. Then, on the side of the house, they added an in-law suite. It had kitchen cabinets and a kitchen sink, a half-bath, a living area, and two decent bedrooms. Not a bad suite, if you didn’t mind sharing the shower in the other part of the house. The house had a lot of potential, but it was WAY overpriced. It was originally listed $50k above the price it was now – and it needs all new appliances, a new roof, and some cosmetic work with paint and buffing the floors and such. As the listing said, it had a bad case of the 60s.

The next house was worse. It didn’t have a lock-box (it also was empty), so we explored around it. We walked around the back. Immediately behind the house was a drop off and the yard extended beyond that. No stairs or anything would assist someone in getting down or up. There was poison oak all over the backyard. It looked like they had built on an addition to the back of the house, too. We noticed washer/dryer hookups. A bunch of stuff in an outdoor closet. The door was open down there so we went in. A little apartment – a few rooms, a bathroom, and a full kitchen – with a stove that was old and absolutely filthy. The whole apartment was trashed – no furniture, just trash.

We walked back to the front and tried the side door that was next to the garage. It opened, and we wandered in. As we had suspected, the garage had also been converted to an apartment. There was trash and stuff all over. The sliding glass door that went from the garage to the main house was open so we peeked inside and saw a mattress. It was pretty obvious that someone was living there. At that point I got kinda creeped out, half expecting a bum to jump out at me waving a whiskey bottle. We walked back to the driveway, and our realtor asked me if that kind of property appealed to me. “Noooo!” I told him. The whole house felt chopped up – it would be wasted space for us, since we had no use for an apartment separate from the house. We’d prefer parking our car in the garage over extra living space. And it’s always a bad sign when you’re too creeped out to even walk through the house during daylight hours with two men with you. :-)

So we have two options now, which we either need to decide between or neither. We’ll keep our eyes open though and see if anything else comes along. Or maybe we’ll end up renting for now. Who knows. I’m just hoping for a bit more space than we have now!!

this and that

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I keep opening up a “new post” intending to write, and then am completely blank as to what to write about. So I decided a bullet list of what’s on my mind recently would be better than no post at all. :-)

* I’m so very sleepy right now! I could NOT get out of bed this morning. I finally was able to force myself to get up at 10:50! Now I am trying to figure out what needs to be done before I pick up Paul from work and we head off to the Garrisons for dinner (yay!). Blogging, apparently, is on my to-do list. ;-)

* We downgraded our internet package to a cheaper rate. At first, the slow speed was driving me crazy. I was saying “this is worse than DSL!” and Paul was telling me that I have just been spoiled. I actually think part of the speed issues were my computer, because it wasn’t as bad after I turned off my computer for a bit. I also have gotten used to the slower speed. I can still watch streaming videos, so yay!

* Thanks to the encouragement of friends, we’ve been watching Nathan Fillion‘s new show on ABC called Castle. We like it! Check it out; you can catch up on full episodes on ABC’s website.

* We have been going back and forth about where to live. We’d love to get someplace bigger before the baby comes, but we don’t know where and we don’t know if we should rent or buy. We basically just don’t really know what we want, and what is the best option for us right now. Sigh.

* We registered for baby stuff this week. Mostly we walked through the store with the scan gun, scanning anything that looked cute to us. Hehe I decided afterwards that I need some sort of direction, so I emailed some friends who’ve had babies in the past year (or more) and asked their opinion. I got a lot of great advice! I also thought it was funny how one person told me that getting this one item was a waste of money, and another person told me she couldn’t live without it. :-) So I guess this means I need to go back through my registry and actually make it practical as well as cute.

* Tonight there’s an alumni dinner for my high school at a Peruvian restaurant here in Atlanta. We had other plans and can’t go, but I think it’s interesting that there’s enough of us in the area to warrant having a dinner! Perhaps Bob Barr will be there?

* I was planning on deliberating on names for Sparkleberry for the next 4 months, but it seems like we may have decided already. I’m not tellin’ what it is though! :-) That’s a secret. You’ll have to wait until August. Or September.

* I should get going to the store and buy some fruit for tonight! And something to eat for lunch. That would be good. The heartburn is killing me, as it often does when I’m hungry. (By the way, does anyone else find the taste of Tums nasty???)

road trippin', 6 months pregnant

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So I’m trying to fit all these things I want “to do before baby” into my summer. :-) I want to take all these trips and see people, but I think I’m going to have to pick and choose so I don’t wear myself out. We have gone camping once, and I am itching to go again before sleeping on a sleeping bag in a tent is no longer an option. :-) I hope to go a couple of times, but we’ll see.

We were able to go up to Asheville for Easter where my sister is and see her! She’s going to be doing a summer internship in a part of North Carolina that’s farther away from us, so we won’t really get to see her at all during the summer. I’m glad we were able to spend Easter with her. She wanted to take us to all these places, but unfortunately all the places she likes to go require hiking to get to. :-) I felt bad, but with no energy and needing to stay close to a bathroom and places to sit, hiking seemed out of the question. I think Amy forgave me, and we got to walk around a nearby creek and then we took her to Walmart because what else do college students without cars want to do when family comes to visit? :-)

Another upcoming trip is the Gerig reunion, in June! I’m excited about that. Then recently I decided I wanted to go up to New England to see Nichole, Becky, and Susan (and their respective babies). And my mother-in-law wants to throw me a baby shower. :-) But, I have to travel towards the beginning of June, and I’d rather do the Gerig reunion (the more stressful trip, namely because of the 10 hour drive) first.

So here is the option we’re playing around with right now. Us driving up to Indiana for the Gerig reunion. Then me flying from Indianapolis to New England, where I would spend several days with friends and go to Becky’s birthday party and to my baby shower, and then fly from New England back to Atlanta. Meanwhile, Paul will drive by himself after the Gerig reunion back to Atlanta and go to work, like a good husband. ;-)

Atlanta’s an expensive airport to fly in and out of. It’s actually cheaper for me to do it like that, than round trip from Atlanta. Also, it would save me from having to do the 10 hour Atlanta/Indiana drive twice! That appeals to me.

So. :-) Now is where YOU come in.

If I was to hang around Indy for a day or two, are there people who would like to entertain me? (Not that Indiana isn’t the most FUN place to be…!)

And, if I was to go to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut for a week, would there be people there who would like to entertain me? :-)

And, if I was to go all the way up to New England, I might as well hop down to New York City and catch Lauren Graham in “Guys and Dolls”. Anyone want to come with me for that? ;-)