Tuesday, April 16, 2013


that is how i feel lately.
yesterday marked 37 weeks.
full term. this means i have a fully developed human baby sitting in my body, also waiting.
for what, i'm not sure.
i wonder if he is the one who gets to choose when to come.

everyone told me the last month would be the hardest. that i would be uncomfortable, huge, impatient, and desperate for him to come out.

yeah, i'm actually doing okay in that department. this is the most comfortable i have been during this whole pregnancy.
even with seven trips to the bathroom every night.
even though every time i stand up, i feel like my arms will rip off from supporting the enormous belly weight.
even with the sharp pelvic pain of him burrowing deeper into my crotch.
i can do this for three more weeks, easy.

the house becomes cleaner and more organized each day. yesterday my mom and i started getting the nursery ready, arranging adorable white furniture, soft blankets, and miniature clothes. later today i'm going to start on the mobile and tomorrow my grandma is helping us sew a bunting to match the crib bedding.

the rest of the house is also getting the full treatment. i have several chandeliers, a shelf, and some pictures to hang in the dining room. if remy takes three more weeks to get here, my house is finally going to be decorated.

waiting, waiting.

as this whole ordeal comes to an end, i have been looking back and reflecting on the beginning. not the beginning of pregnancy, but before that, the reasons travis and i decided it was time to add a third member to our little family.

you may remember how reluctant i was to get pregnant. i didn't even know for sure if i ever would. part of me thinks i had a small premonition of how difficult it would be, and that i kind of knew i needed to be finished with school and other things first. travis and i both agreed that it's a good thing we didn't know how awful this would all be, or else we wouldn't have been brave enough to do it.

as i have said before, just before getting married and then afterwards, i felt a great deal of pressure to get pregnant. it seemed every time we went to a family dinner at travis's parents or grandparents', all i heard was, "so when are you guys going to get started on that baby?" one family member even told me i was being selfish with my body by not getting pregnant right away. i was so confused. why didn't my goals to finish my degree seem as important as getting knocked up? what was the rush and why was it everyone's business? from then on, even harmless teasing left me angry and defensive.

any time travis held a baby, i felt terrified and angry. and jealous. i started feeling that if we did have a baby, i would always come second with travis. you may remember that our first year of marriage was kind of a train wreck, that we were both insecure and anxious. this pressure i felt to get pregnant only added to the strain. it wasn't that travis was pressuring me; we both knew we weren't in a place to start adding kids to the mix, but travis was worried about all my claims to never want to have a baby, and i was terrified that he would love that baby more than me. thank goodness for counseling and learning that my insecurity stemmed from PTSD and could be managed.

another thing, a big thing, that started changing the way i felt about having a baby was the infancy class i took for my psych degree. and here's the huge nerd coming out in me. it was funny, because i was signed up for an adult lifespan class, a class i was looking forward to, but then the enrollment was too low, so the class was cancelled at the last minute and i had to scramble to find another class. the only class left, was, you guessed it, an infancy development class. i was devastated. imagine my shock to find that it was one of my favorite classes. turned out learning about babies' brains was fascinating. i started paying more attention to the babies travis's little sister nannied, watching for the things i was learning in my class. i started thinking, it might be cool to have one of those little things around all the time to observe and learn from. i could even do some of the experiments i was learning about in class! yeah, my desire to have a baby all began with the excitement of having a subject on whom to observe and test theories. what can i say, i love to learn.

when i started feeling this way, i decided maybe travis should know. i will never forget that day. we were doing yard work together on a hot august afternoon. i was spreading mulch around our flowerbeds and travis was in the back of his truck shoveling the earthy smelling mixture out to me.

"so travis." i started. "i have been thinking."
"okay." he said, nervously, because usually conversations starting this way lead to me asking him to do some awful chore.
"yeah, i think we should have a baby."
he put the shovel down, mouth gaping open. i laughed uncontrollably, which i'm sure only added to travis's shock and suspicion that his wife had been switched out by body snatchers.
"well, not right now. not until i graduate and work for a bit. so probably in a year from now."
travis was still not speaking. it took another half hour to convince him i was serious.

so that was the tentative plan. we spoke of it on and off, mostly off, but i kind of always had this internal countdown ticking in my head.

then in april following that august, we attended a temple marriage for one of my cousins.
i know that the marriage was all about the eternal union of two people, having nothing really to do with travis and me, but the only message i really heard in that room was that someone was waiting to join our family. that feeling was one of the strongest and most direct i've ever felt.
the rest of the day, travis and i pointedly avoided talking about it. we went to the mall to kill time before my cousin's reception, and finally i asked.
"so travis. nice ceremony in the temple today, huh?"
he looked at me out of the corner of his eye. "yeah, very nice."
"lots of emotion in that room." i said. "you feel anything in particular?"
"what? no. nothing really." he said, smiling.
"yeah, me neither." i agreed.

and we both knew we were still on for august.

then i graduated from college and started that job as an adolescent substance abuse counselor. one of the hardest jobs i've ever worked. i started to feel that if i could wrangle 16 kids with serious addictions, emotional issues, and family problems, having just one of my own, who i was in charge of teaching how to be a good person, wouldn't be so difficult after all.

oh and there was also a conversation i had with my parents, where i cried to them about how i didn't want to have a baby, that it was too scary and unknown, and did i even have to? my dad told me that there's nothing quite like watching his daughter play the guitar and sing for him. my mom told me she thought i would be a wonderful, mother with my own ways of doing things. their confidence in me really made all the difference. people have always told me that travis will make such a great father, and they are right, but i kind of always felt i was too much of a mess to be a mother to anyone.

so last august rolled around and i found myself making an appointment to have my IUD removed.
a week later i was pregnant.
and the rest was misery, oh i mean history.
just a little joke for you there.

this journey has already taught me all kinds of things i didn't know i didn't know, and it's only the beginning.
i doubt i'm ready for any of it.

but at least the house is clean, we have a car seat, the nursery is getting there, and travis and i are more solid than ever before.
how much more ready can you be, right?

also, my thighs are getting pretty huge.

three more weeks of waiting.
who knows, maybe less?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

36: contractions, cute fireman, and coming to terms with pushing a baby through a vagina.

want to know what's a little mind blowing? 
being 36 weeks pregnant. 

it's like, um is this really my life? is it possible to be larger than i am right now? will i ever be able to walk up a flight of stairs without running out of breath again?  there really is a baby, like a human baby, in there, huh? has this seriously been going on for THIRTY SIX WEEKS OF MY LIFE? 

weird stuff, i'm telling ya. 

so far week 36 has been pretty fantastic. 

yesterday, as usual, i was at my parents' house around dinnertime. my dad whipped up this delicious chicken stir fry with carrots and green beans and ginger, YUMMO, and not only was i able to eat all of it, two helpings, i stayed in the kitchen while he cooked it, instead of running waddling for cover in the basement to get away from the nausea making smells. still taking the zofran and pepcid before breakfast and dinner, but every week i am less and less nauseous. you kind of forget what life is like without that constant companion. let me tell you, NAUSEA-FREE LIFE IS GRAND. 

went two whole weeks without getting hydration. (!) 

had several beautiful baby showers, pictures to come someday, and had a good time organizing remy's room. can't wait to get his nursery all set up and beautiful. 

geez remy, spoiled much? 

my friend lilian had her baby, a gorgeous baby boy with tons of dark hair.

i thought travis was going to steal him when we visited lilian and derrick at the hospital. man, that guy looks cute holding a baby.

speaking of travis, check out the sexy business of him in turnout gear. (he's on the left.) firemen are some strange creatures. before i knew travis, i figured fire fighters were all about fire prevention. (which, officially, they are, of course.) but the real truth is that for a fire fighter, nothing could be more like shooting heroin than running into a burning building, smashing down windows and walls, and hosing out flames that are hot enough to melt your gloves, which is what happened to travis in this fire.

i have lost track of how many times i've heard this.
"yeah we got paged out on a fire, but the freakin' home owner had already put it out by the time we got there!" like, these guys are genuinely upset that the fire didn't spread and damage anything.
i love fire fighters.

travis was pretty proud of the amount of soot and ash accumulated from the fire.

so all around, so far it's been a great week. but the best part for me, was a pretty neat discovery.

i am no longer afraid of giving birth.
this is huge for me.

let me explain how this happened.

for one thing, i have been educating myself. for me, this has always been the best cure for fear, education. you may remember how much i love being a student? so i had a good talk with myself and decided i was going to approach labor as if i were studying for a test, probably the most important test i've ever taken. so how did i prepare myself for any other test? get that info into my brain!

i read meghan's book, mind over labor, which started helping me to think about birth in a different way, that i could be in control of the experience, that i have options. i'm still struggling with the notion that my body is perfectly designed to grow and deliver a baby, because the growing part was such a battle. obviously, my body didn't like being pregnant. but the idea that my uterus, cervix, and vagina will work in harmony to expel a baby (seriously!?) is less and less freaky and more and more believable.

after that book, i read liana's copy of hynobirthing, the mongan method. this book had a very interesting history of birth and why we think about birth the way we do. and then the part i thought sounded crazy until i read the book: how to train yourself to go into self hypnosis and deep relaxation to control pain and allow your body to work correctly during labor. go {here} for a more in depth explanation. pretty fascinating stuff.

the book came with several CDs to help you practice breathing and relaxation exercises. i was skeptical, but they work. so well that sometimes i fall asleep while i practice them, such a deep sleep i don't realize i'm asleep until i wake up three hours later. i don't know how the relaxation will go when i'm in extreme pain, but i'm excited to try it out.

travis and i also watched the documentary, the business of being born. be prepared to see loads of boobs if you watch this. travis was a little traumatized, i think. i was delighted to discover that watching women give birth didn't send me into fits of tears, though. the difference was that these women were in different positions than the ones i had previously seen. i have a lot of negative feelings about spreading my legs, feet in the stirrups, and having doctors poking around down there, completely out of my control. watching women giving birth sitting up or in a tub, not with their parts totally exposed, wasn't scary at all.

and then i have also been looking into epidurals, how they work, what the risks are, etc. getting my birth plan all set. it's really hard to know what you will want in a situation you have never been in, with a pain level you have only heard explained to you. i don't want to commit to going unmedicated, because maybe in those moments, i'll want the medication. i do want to arm myself with preparation and knowledge so that if i feel able to go without the meds, i'll be ready.

most importantly, i no longer want an elective c-section. (!)

okay, that was long. now for the experience this week that led to the cool discovery of not being afraid of giving birth.

a few days ago travis and i were at ikea, buying a changing table and i started having contractions. i've been having the painless, practice braxton hicks contractions for the past few weeks. these contractions were not those. obviously, the pain level was far from what labor will be like, but these ones hurt. enough that i had to stop walking, bend over, and hold onto whatever was in closest grabbing reach. we started timing them. three to four minutes apart, lasting a minute and a half. i ended up finding a chair, because i couldn't keep up with travis. he found the changing table, bought it, and we left. the contractions lasted two hours, and then slowed down.

then later that night, my mom and i were out shopping at walmart and they started coming again, this time with even more intensity. three to four minutes apart, lasting a minute and a half. painful enough that walking was hard work. this lasted another hour, and then they slowed down again, but during the night, they were painful enough i woke up a few times. by morning, they were mostly gone.

the thing that was so surprising, was how exciting it was! i didn't feel any fear, just pure excitement that maybe this was it! maybe remington was making his appearance and we were going to meet him! i welcomed the pain, (again, i know this pain is nothing compared to what will come.) because the pain meant these contractions might be the real thing. i loved seeing the looks on travis and my mom's faces, looks of such excitement. i am so ready to give birth! seriously, who the H am i? never thought i would say that.

well that's pretty much it.
now to get back to the ridiculous amount of obsessive cleaning and organizing going on. all i want to do is clean everything in sight. think i'll go tackle the hall closet next.

worrying about things is way scarier than dealing with them.
so ready to face and conquer this lifetime worry of mine, giving birth.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

date night.

what it looks like when you try to take a cute picture of a rare date night with a camera phone and low lighting when you are 35 weeks pregnant and hating the way you look and your husband thinks it's funny that you are so picky plus you have been severely constipated for seven months and while taking these pictures feel like you are about to explode and you wish you just would.

travis did shave his mustache though.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

talking to strangers.

last night i was finally able to do something i have been waiting to do this whole pregnancy.

since most of this experience has been spent laying on the couch, i haven't had many of those funny and/or awkward experiences with strangers many pregos report having. it took until i was in the third trimester for a stranger to even notice i was pregnant, or at least pregnant enough to say something to my face about. dangerous waters, asking a woman if she is expecting.

so last night, my brother and his cute girlfriend and i are standing in line at kohl's. the cashier looks at me and says, "hey, congratulations!"
i focus on keeping every muscle in my face still. "on what?"
looking down at my obvious belly, he seems confused, but keeps wading in deeper. "on... on the baby?"
"baby? what are you talking about?" i ask in an offended voice.
then he apologizes up and down and appears mortified until the three of us burst into laughter and reassure him that yes, i'm very much pregnant and that i have been dying to embarrass someone like this.

so then the cashier starts doing that thing everyone does when they talk to a pregnant woman, talking all about their own experiences with pregnancy. unfortunately, this man makes a big mistake and says this. "i totally get it, my wife and i have five kids of our own."
eyebrows raising. "well, no, actually you don't get it. your wife gets it, but sorry pal, you don't get to say that to me."
a woman standing in line behind me starts nodding her head in agreement.
the cashier doesn't know how to stop himself though.
"well us men have to go through quite a bit ourselves you know, putting up with-"
i cut him off mid sentence. "no. you do not get to say that. whatever you went through is not what your wife went through, sorry."
several other women have joined the conversation at this point, all agreeing. "she's right! men don't get it!"
poor cashier bit off too much. he admits defeat.

then he says the other thing everyone tends to say to pregnant women.
"you better get as much sleep as you can, because when that baby comes, you will never sleep again." he looks at reed, points his finger and says, "you too buddy, say goodbye to your sleep." (probably the 3rd time my younger brother has been mistaken for the father of my child.)
reed smiles at him while taking his receipt and says, "why would i lose sleep? i'm her brother."
the cashier quickly looks back to me and i tell him, "yeah, we have no idea who the father is."

and the three of us howl with laughter and walk outside.

33-35: cribs, cake, and caterpillar lips.

what's up world!?
we made it to april!
grass is turning green, tulips and daffodils are popping up, and fuzzy little buds are sprouting on tree branches!
how excited are we???

pretty excited at my house anyway.

check out what went down over here last week:

proud father.
travis is the cutest.
when we were picking out the crib, he was so into it. i had another one all picked out and he was like, wait, did we see this one? i like the shape of it better. and then he was like, ohhhh look at this cute jungle themed bedding! it's so fun!
 wasn't expecting him to be so into the details. LOVE IT.

i kind of hate most crib bedding, but finally stumbled onto some i love. we are ordering this today! finally found a compromise between trav's jungle animals and my quest for vintage christopher robin-esque ideas.
aaaaand i have become that person who posts pictures of crib bedding going AHH AHH OH OH SO ADORABLE! mmmmkay.

also, i was quite shocked to discover how much some people will pay for crib bedding. go {here} if you want to be shocked.
yeah, we haven't spent that much on all our home furnishings combined.
props to you if you are spending that kind of dinero on your baby though.

getting bigger and bigger in the belly region. the past few weeks are kind of a blur, mostly because i have cotton balls where my brain used to be.

don't believe me? check out this conversation travis and i had the other day.

travis: if remy comes out with red hair, i'm going to be suspicious.
collette: well my grandma has red hair, and my aunt, and one cousin, so it could happen.
travis: yeah, or you are having ______ (a redheaded guy he works with who he thinks i think is smokin' hot, which i totally don't.) _____'s baby!
collette: well no, maybe you cheated on me with a redheaded woman!
travis: ... uh collette?

yeah, cottonballs for brains.
(and travis was just kidding, he doesn't accuse me of actually cheating on him with redheads. or anyone else.)
okay, here's the latest succession of belly shots.

it seems the bigger the belly gets, the better i feel. less nausea, more ability to eat normally. even my super smeller nose is becoming less sensitive. like, usually before bed, i have to change into different garments because the ones i wore all day smell like whatever food i ate and make me sick. i smelled my garment top the other night, and it smelled how clean clothes are supposed to smell, like laundry, even though i had been around the smell of food cooking at my parents. cool moment. 

(also, these garments i'm talking about have to do with my LDS-ness and if you have questions about that, email me.) 

but yeah, i haven't even gone in for infusion for over a week! the last month of pregnancy might shape up to be pretty fantastic.

don't get me wrong, i'm loving all the new symptoms: being so front-heavy you can't get up without groaning, peeing 7 or 8 times a night, (that might have something to do with the entire bottle of water i drink throughout the night though. so thirsty these days!)  tons of contractions, mostly painless, and that infamous  3rd trimester waddle. oh and my crotch being on fire. crazy sharp pain all up in the crotch area, supposedly from remy moving down, down, down. i tell you, half the time i walk anywhere anymore, i'm bent over, legs skeee-wampas crossed, moaning, "ohhhh the pain! ohhh!"
but seriously, i'll take it, gladly. just overwhelmingly thankful to not be feeling sick all the time.

another cool thing, it has finally sunk in that we are having a baby, not that i'm dying of some terrible illness.
and we are all kinds of excited about that.
amazing that you can get to know this little life inside you, without even seeing his face.

and because this post hasn't been scattered enough, here are some pictures from easter, which was fantastic. spent time with both our families, and then while travis worked a night shift at tosh, my family and friend roxanne spent the evening playing music and eating strawberry shortcake. good day.

love seeing my three brothers all together again. it never gets old.
headed out for a post-easter feast walk. 

aaaand some from yesterday. waddling down the stairs at my parents' house with a plate full of cake (that i was taking to the fire department, haven't completely given up on life yet.) felt like a huge stereotype and had to document.

visiting my handsome baby daddy.

you may have noticed a new growth on trav's face.
he decided to participate in mustache march this year. if you know me well, you know that i view mustaches as abominations from the fiery pits of deepest hell. travis has never grown his out before, mostly because of my strict, no relations policy. but this year, the whole pelvic rest thing took the power out of my policy, so there is a fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip. i also kind of think it was travis's way of taking control over just one thing that has happened in the past eight months. so go ahead pal, grow that lip hair!

i did tell him that remington will not be meeting a father who looks like an out of work adult film star, so he best clear that lip off in the next few weeks.

oh life. lovin' it.


Blog Archive