Operation Keep the Baby In Until This Video is DONE

Remember how I was all "Operation Walk the Baby OUT" and I was going to walk everyday? Yea. Not so much. I am solidly (at least for another few weeks) on Team KEEP THE BABY IN. As mentioned, we've had several nights of relatively strong contractions and blah blah blah. Walking makes me have EVEN MORE contractions so I try to do as little of it as possible. (Well, as far as exercise walking goes anyway.) I feel a little dramatic about the whole thing but I would really like some more TIME (and I realize Newbaby could stay in there for plenty more time with or without me walking but I'm avoiding for the moment, k?).

I had my assessment with my OB (2 cm, 30% effaced for those concerned about the state of my CERVIX!) and we also had our home visit with our midwives this past week. I (finally) started to get really excited about the birth and the baby at the end! (ABOUT TIME, RIGHT?) With Nate, we had a baby pool going to guess his arrival date and the nursery was all done up and I basically had NO IDEA what was REALLY going to happen when that baby popped out. This time, I
feel like I have a slightly better idea of how labor is going to feel and how Karl and I are going to feel when Newbaby arrives. ( Ish.) Regardless, I want to do something special to show how much love and care we've ALL put into him or her before the official OUTSIDE arrival!

As previously stated, Karl and I are of the "closed door" policy during labor and delivery and early newborn stage, but we still want to know that you all are supporting us. We talked a little in our birth class (warning: hippy-like earthmama statements ahead!) about ways to create support in your labor environment - some people had necklaces that friends had gifted beads to, some people wrote positive affirmations and posted them on their walls, some had labor music that helped, some people had nothing other than a GET THIS FUCKING THING OUT OF ME attitude.

I've been mulling over this idea of creating a video and I did some googling to see what was out there (don't do it; unless that works for you, in which case, google all the cheesy naked women and flowers and sunsets set to instramental music that your little heart desires!) Nope. Found nothing that would suit me. Because what I want is something positive but something funny. And I think you can help me with that. (You will, right?)
I feel like I'm pretty realistic about the possibility of things changing (and changing quickly) during labor but, at this point, I am planning for a happy, healthy best case scenario and I feel like this is something that will make me feel both happy and healthy so go with it, okay?!)

Like I want the first photo in the video to be this (taken today):

(Apparently Nate and his golf club understand labor is SERIOUS business.)

And the next to be something like so:

I mean, really, that's what is happening, right? One way or another!

And somewhere in there I want a photo of Nate like so (just to remind me that there will be additional challenges of birthing a baby and parenting a three year old):
I even thought it would be funny to have a couple of gender photos like this to remind me to get excited to FINALLY find out: A bit cheeseball but fun, right?

So here's what I want from you (if you are up for it):

A photo (or two or three) that SOMEHOW indicates support in SOME FORM. (Specific, right?)

It could be a funny picture or a picture of you and your baby or child (or all your babies or your most recent baby w/ siblings) on the VERY FIRST DAY WITH YOU or their VERY FIRST HOUR ON EARTH. It could be a picture of you in labor or in the OR. It could be a picture of you with your sweet baby kitty or puppy.

Example: Nate: day 1, 2008

Or of you celebrating your niece or nephew or first cousin twice removed (what does that even MEAN?!) or just some random newborn baby off the street that you happened to be holding. Or perhaps a picture of you strapped up to a breast pump at 2 in the morning or an image of you removing your screaming, tantruming child from an event to remind me of the REAL FUN STUFF. (Dear childless friends intending to have childs, NONE OF THAT HAPPENS. Ever. I swear.)


Or it could be a fancy Instagram filtered image with words of encouragement like so:

Or, really, whatever you want it to be.

This is how easy it is.

Step 1: Take out your iPhone or Crackberry or (gasp) a REGULAR camera.

Step 2: Take a photo of something FUNNY AND SUPPORTIVE. (Or rustle one up out of your photo archives as suggested above.)

Step 3: Email it to me.

Well, actually, I don't want to see any of them until I'm actually trying to get that baby out of me. So, if you would, email them to newbabyhills@gmail.com (Yes, my unborn child has its own email address - are you really that surprised!?) and Karl (surprise honey!) will put them into video form and we will attempt to watch between contractions or during them, or, perhaps, depending on labor not at all until the baby is actually on the outside! Either way, knowing I have them available is going to be amazing.

Additionally, as I'm officially 37 weeks on Wednesday and the doctor at my assessment said he would most likely NOT be seeing me again (he would see me at 40 weeks if I haven't had a baby), I'm going to try and make the video next Wednesday (September 7). (YOU HAVE A LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND TO WORK ON THIS VERY INTENSE PROJECT!!!) That would put me at 38 weeks and, who knows, maybe I'll want to resume Operation Walk the Baby Out at that point?!?

Edited to add: In case you missed it, I'm submitting this GEM

Weekend Update w/ Kat Hills

Settle on in (Please and thank you.) because I'm about to give you an update AND, perhaps, ask for a pregnancy favor (Possibly in this post; possibly in another of it's own as I feel a plethora of words about to pour out of my fingertips).

Last week was perhaps one of the more difficult weeks of this pregnancy. Everything is fine and good and wonderful... Here's the skinny:

Karl update:

We had some illness floating around our house (and by 'some' I mean I think that this is the sickest I have EVER seen Karl; I even made him go to the doctor). I won't say a lot about it other than we are ALL still recovering and the combination of a massively pregnant woman, a semi-sick toddler and a very sick husband is not the best. We really
tried to feel sympathy for one another. I think.

Household Appliance Update:

Our fridge completely and totally broke (it's such a piece; we've paid more in repairs than we paid for the fridge and it's only like 6 or 7 years old), so we bit the bullet and ordered a new one. (We lived out of coolers and on take out for a week or so... I think our final cooler had a gallon of milk, two sticks of butter and a bottle of probiotics floating around in some milky ice water... it was disgusting.) But HOORAY new and clean fridge (that did not, in fact, come with all its parts - ha!)!

Pregnancy Update:

I am still pregnant. It's been a harrowing couple of weeks. I've called my midwife SEVERAL times b/c of the massive number of contractions I've been having at night. (Same bat time, same bat channel. EVERY NIGHT.) There was one night in particular (that was before the homebirth okayed-36 week mark) that even Karl (who rarely freaks) was packing a bag for the hospital. The night was so EERILY similar to Nate's birth that we both sort of freaked. Mostly, I have anxiety about HOW LONG this labor will take. So, every night around 10 or 11 when the contractions start up, I dutifully do a hippy dippy scent and relaxation ritual that sort of works. They usually stop around 1 or 2 in the morning and are gone most of the day (well, sort of gone. They are just less painful and less frequent during the day. Overall, they are not CRAZY strong or painful but sometimes I get paranoid about my ability to judge.). I went into labor w/ Nate around 11 p.m. and had him around 2 a.m. - a little eerie, right?? Apparently, that's when my body feels best laboring. (And, oddly, as a night owl, often the time I am most 'awake' anyway.)

(ON A SIDE NOTE, for all of those jealous of our apparent quick labor luck - this build up stage BLOWS.)

Magical bath oils, massage oil and rescue remedy:

Anniversary Update:

Uh.... insert mushy gushy lovey dovey 6 year anniversary post here. We celebrated 6 years of marriage on Saturday. We intended to go out of town on the actual day but, the closer it got, the more paranoid I have been about being even an hour away from home! Instead, I worked (coordinating a TV spot for Little Rock Restaurant Month that included prepping and dressing Polly the Purple Cow for a Saturday morning show!) (Seriously, mascot dressing is a SKILL that I am adding to my resume.) and we went to a birthday party for some friends. FUTURE CELEBRATION plan is in place. Err... loosely anyway. (We had low expectations this year given the timing!)

Look at the these babies and their OFFICIAL piece of paper:

Labor Update:

I have this totally cheesy idea. That I'm sort of obsessed with at the moment. I sort of love it. I might think it's ridiculous in retrospect but if you make fun of me for having it at 37 weeks pregnant, I will punch you in the face. I want to create something like a video of encouraging words or images. Since Karl and I have been adamant about closed door laboring and closed door newborn time, we (I) want to make some sort of video to watch during labor with (you guessed it) ALL OF YOU (that want to participate) involved. I am writing another post entitled 'KEEP THE BABY IN' and will tell you how you can (hopefully you will want to) help! (It will be up tonight.)


awkward gray tank top photo #4,552

Taken just a few hours ago.

(Adjectives: Awkward, Pointy, Stickey Outey)

Proof that I have other clothing:

But, apparently, no other shoes.

And, uh, no face.

36 weeks.

I see the OB tomorrow and have my midwife home visit on Friday.

Watch out now.


i'm back to drinking and driving

So, I have YET ANOTHER confession to make: so much of my second baby worries revolve around my first baby.

I honestly feel like (at this point) I'm MORE worried about Nate's adjustment to the new baby than I am about, oh you know, my own or, Karl's or, let's say, THE NEW BABY (who will only be coming from a 98.6 degree deliciously dark, warm CAVE of COMFORT out into the bright, scary world).

One of my bigger concerns about birthing at home has been what to do with Nate while I'm in labor (particularly if the baby comes in the middle of the night). For the actual birth of Newbaby, many have offered to come get him and neither Karl nor myself want Nate to stick around - not because we think it will traumatize him or that he won't understand what is happening but because both of us want to be able to fully concentrate on the situation at hand. Plus I didn't want ANYTHING touching me last time so I can't imagine if Nate wanted me to hold him or distracted me in any way. Mama needs to FOCUS. Basically, I want him to magically disappear when I start laboring because I also don't want anyone else coming into the house to distract me while he leaves. (We're thinking just open the door at 2 a.m. and let him hang out on the front lawn until his ride gets there? No?) I'm sure I'm over thinking it but I feel like it is an important detail in the whole bubble-up plan. (Maybe I will laugh at it later but I'm sort of adamant about intentionally shutting everyone out for awhile!)

I'm sure it's mostly because I know how Nate acts and reacts and thinks and feels and eats and sleeps (and a host of other mundane details like which sippy cup he prefers and how to properly fulfill his ridiculous requests for JUST RIGHT waffle cuts to syrup ratios) (I know. I even rolled my own eyes.). We spend a lot of time talking about the baby and what he's going to help teach the baby (top answer: RUN. Of course. Something I want him to get started on as soon as possible). We've even picked up some hilarious literature:

But I'm pretty sure nothing is going to really prepare him (or any of us) for the shift until it happens. So, in the meantime, we are just enjoying the time we have left as a family of three (and the damn, currently shedding dogs!) and trying to remember all the wonderfully quirky and odd things about age 3. (Have I mention I freaking love age 3?! Cause I really, really do.)

Three means business. This kid wants to choose his clothes and put them on. He wants to walk beside the cart and/or a stroller (because GOD FORBID he enjoy being pushed around - I so wish he could push me... at least for the next few weeks!) He wants to do a lot of things himself, which, really is both adorable and amazing. And, only a little annoying when you're in even the slightest hurry.) The only thing he hates doing alone? SLEEPING. (Yea. I know. Newbaby will be up a lot. I'm a little panicked about it too.)

A few weeks ago, he requested Light Up Sketchers - specifically the brand Sketchers. Of the light up variety. We have no idea where he got either the brand or the request for light ups? (school?). Either way, they do exist! Since he's a little strange about clothing and footwear, I decided to indulge his request. We hit up Kohl's (Have I mentioned they have quite a bit of boys play clothing on the cheap at Kohl's - particularly of the plaid and khaki shorts variety; I think I've mentioned I'm anti-jean and cargo shorts for boys young and old!). We purchased the Light Up Sketchers and, for several days, he was OBSESSED with telling anyone and everyone who would listen about them.

He is also obsessed with country music. I KNOW. It's awful. For a while we listed to this CD he got from school (think Jesus, 'This Little Light of Mine' music), which was fine (though made me a little twitchy after the 3,000 time of I'M GONNA LET IT SHINE.). Until he heard a particular country song that he now requests basically every time we are in the car. He calls it "The Bottle Song" and the first line is "I'm back on the bottle..." which is about alcoholism and surely appropriate for a 3 year old. Here is a link. I PROMISE you only need to listen to the first 10 seconds. And you might hate me for even that!

Usually, after it's over, he asks me "You don't like that song, Mommy?" and I have to say I don't. Judge me as you will but there are no curse words and, really, other than the bleeding ears, I'm okay with it. Eh. It will phase out.

What else do you want to know? He starts school next week and goes to his new classroom - he and I are both beyond excited! He wants to be reunited with his friends and I look forward to taking some time to myself before the baby comes!

What else do you want to know?



Here's (some of) this week:

I showed up for my midwife's appointment on Wednesday. It was on Thursday. (Thankfully, they were able to see me.)

I washed a $5,000 check (yep) in the laundry. (Thankfully, they reissued it the next day.)

My boss emailed me a document and asked me to edit it at home. I did. And then sent her back her EXACT original and somehow deleted the TWO HOURS of modifications I had done. Highly unlike me. (Thankfully, we were able to recreate it. In a timely-ish manner.)

Nate's out of school until August 24th and the sitter situation is NOT going well. (Thankfully, my friend Erin is available to help us out next week and we can, um, not have this sitter come back. Ever. Again.)

Today I was furiously taking notes in a meeting and my friend (and co-worker) Meredith leaned over and highlighted a sentence I had scribbled:

(For the record STDs = save the dates and the Angels were actually referencing little girls dressed as angels as part of a promotion for a specific event.)

In other work related news, I do plan on returning to work after The Unnamed Child comes out. My boss wants me back; I want to come back. Working part time has provided me with a balance I need. Nate's school is solidly taken care of but we're not entirely sure of newbaby care, so, the how and the when and the details I am still working out.


ok guys it's a little tense around here

Remember how last post I was all: I love late pregnancy (puppies and rainbows and unicorns oh my)?


That was then.

Before this morning when I sobbed hysterically for thirty minutes because of (wait for it) LAUNDRY. And not like laundry because I had to do it. Oh no. (Wait for it). Like laundry that Karl (trying to be helpful) was doing. (IN MY DEFENSE, in the same load he was attempting to wash our clothing with 10th grade boy basketball jerseys that had been sitting in his car SINCE JANUARY and some old towels. WHO DOES THAT?) Also I wasn't QUITE awake (because Karl was trying to be EVEN NICER and let me sleep in) as all this was happening - can I use sleepiness in defense of my insanity? I won't go into all the inane details, but, needless to say, it was completely irrational and I felt a little like a (very apologetic) Crazy Person after it was over. (And after I had rewashed our clothing, the jerseys and towels seperately. HA.)


I guess the late pregnancy hormone crazy is hitting me a little harder than anticipated. Maybe the heat is amplifying it?

I think mostly I'm having this problem: I don't really want to go anywhere. I want to be home. In my house. Getting it ready for the baby. CUE NESTING INSTINCT! The problem: DOING THINGS for more than five minutes is sort of exhausting for me at the moment. PLUS, well, being in your house all the time means you get it dirty with the everyday and that's driving me insane. (And I fully admit that I live with two OCD boys who put things back in their place; it is ME who leaves sunglasses in the fridge and books in the couch cushions and water cups on the nightstands.)

Plus, I've still been contracting like crazy (actually it's better this weekend but this week with The Heat and The Busy were BAD.). They are relatively mild but a few have been waking me up at night. I've had several discussions with (all of my) pregnancy caregivers. None of us are WORRIED ABOUT IT (Karl and myself included) but we all are keeping an eye on it. (Homebirths are not allowed until after 36 weeks and a risk assessment from the OB.)

My midwife did recommend timing them if they start wrapping (like around my back) and becoming patterned so I did download the Contraction Master app for my iPhone. We used the website when I was in labor with Nate in an attempt to time contractions - Karl sat on the bed with the laptop open and slammed down the space bar every time I said "start" or "stop" (which was frequently since my pattern was never regular and my labor so fast; man I still wish I had that data!). Now they have a schmancy iPhone app and I can press that little pink button all on my own if I want.

(And, on this note, I would like to say that none of this means we expect the baby to come early and/or as quickly). I still feel like I'm going to make it to my due date and/or beyond.)

The belly grows; the infamous gray tank top stretches:
32 weeks, 4 days

Pregnancy is not the ONLY thing going on right now (FOR REAL) but every time I sit down to write it consumes my brain and the words fly out through my fingers.

Here are some upcoming post goodness I intend to write (or am currently working on) for this week (ish):

Girls Trip to Branson
Update on Work
Nater Tater Tot-isms post