Category Archives: other family and friends

Guest Post: The Trouble With Due Dates

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I asked a bunch of friends and family to write some guest posts for me so I’d have some good stuff to post, even if I was totally tired one day.

Jen G, the pastor’s wife and a really good friend of mine, agreed to help!

Jen has 3 boys, Sam, Levi, and Nate. They are super cute. I posted a picture of Jen in my “I Am Grateful” post, which you can check out here!

In her own words….

The Trouble With Due Dates

I think it’s interesting how the mind of a pregnant woman changes from conception to the 40th week.  When I first saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, I imagined myself becoming the serene, beautiful pregnant woman with the basketball shaped belly, the picture of femininity and good things to come.  But soon a realization came to me that brought with it a twinge of panic: this will inevitably end in labor and delivery.

How would my body do that?  Could I handle pain like that?  Would I lose control, yell at my husband, cry in front of strangers?  Would my body ever be the same?

For me, as the weeks of pregnancy moved along, things changed.  My body changed in ways that baffled me.  By the time I reached 38 weeks, my mind had changed, too.  I had prepared as much as I could, and I was ready to meet that sweet baby who had been squirming around inside of me for so long.  I couldn’t wait till I could hold him on the outside instead of the constant pressure and weight that having him on the inside was causing.

So, when my due date approached, I was ready.  Unfortunately, baby wasn’t.

He was due on July 3rd.  That day came and went with no baby.  So did the next, and the next.  We tried all the tricks:  spicy food, driving over bumpy roads, long walks, swimming.  (I did stop short at castor oil.)  I was hot and swollen.  Despite efforts to stay comfortable and distracted, I cried every day I was overdue.

Finally, one week after my due date, I had a contraction that I knew was real.  It was several hours before it was time to go to the birthing center and several hours after that before we met our son, but the waiting was finally over!

During my second pregnancy, I knew better:  Don’t take the “due date” too seriously.  This time I was due on April 3rd, but I would often warn myself, “more like April 10th”.

And this second sweet baby was also late – but only by 5 days this time!  I handled the lateness so much better with a more flexible mindset.

Only 20 months later I found myself again 9 months pregnant.  Number 3 was our little surprise, so we (and the doctors) weren’t certain of the date of conception and had to guess the due date based on measurements.  The funny thing is, all my babies were in the 9 pound range, so measuring big didn’t necessarily mean I would go into labor anytime sooner.  I prepared for a later-than-estimated due date of December 17th.

My husband, who works at a university, figured things were timed just right since finals would be over just before the baby arrived.  He had meetings scheduled right up to the day.  Why not, since I seemed to be a woman who had a longer than usual gestation period.  Funny thing is, I went into labor 6 days early.  This baby surprised us in more ways than one.

There’s nothing like that last month.  Knowing that an event will take place some time in the next 4-6 weeks that will change your life forever is sobering and thrilling.  Not having control over when it will happen can be maddening.

But the advice my midwife gave me is true:  that baby is gonna come out, some time in the next several days.  You can’t be pregnant forever!  And when my babies finally made their way into the world, all those questions from early in pregnancy were answered.  Yes, I could handle the pain.  Yes, I would lose control, but it would be ok.  No, my body will never be the same, and that’s ok, too.  At the risk of sounding cliche’, my babies were completely worth the wait.

Taken at 41 weeks, I was in early labor (obviously between contractions that were not too painful) at the birth center, about 12 hours before my first son was born.

Taken at 41 weeks, I was in early labor (obviously between contractions that were not too painful) at the birth center, about 12 hours before my first son was born.

Baby Showers

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I had a baby shower a little while back with some friends from my church. Here is the post from that day!

Since then there have been two more baby showers! I can’t believe it. Altogether I’ve had about 70 people bless me through their time and gifts. I’m really grateful for everyone! (See the previous post!)

Work Baby Shower

This was a total surprise. I had a doctor’s appointment the same day, and because of timing, it didn’t make a lot of sense for me to come back to work afterwards. BUT my department chair, Shanna, told me I really needed to come in so that we could talk about the last few weeks of the year and the logistics of it all. I bought it. Hook, line, and sinker. We had our meeting (which was legitimate), after which she offered to drive me home. Walking down the hall, we were just chatting. Then she suddenly said she needed to go into the Spanish teacher’s room to get her stuff. Again, I didn’t suspect a thing.

When she opened the door, there were about 20 coworkers in there who all yelled “SURPRISE!” And my reaction….

*The big surprise

Quick funny story: After 5 minutes, there was an unexpected fire drill, so we all had to evacuate the building….

Back inside! Here are a few shots from this particular shower:

It was a lot of fun!

Louisiana Church Shower

I may have mentioned this before, but my dad is a minister of music at our church in Louisiana. I have not been a regular attender of that church since 2002, when I graduated high school. I would attend during the summers when I was home from college, but in 2006, I moved to NYC and haven’t been back for very long at a time.

Regardless, these folks saw me grow up and love love my family. They offered to throw me a shower, even though I wouldn’t be able to attend!

Here are a few pictures from that shower:

And here are the presents that my mama is going to send me soon, before she comes up for the baby!

*gifts in the trunk

And there you have it. I am blessed. Thank you to everyone who was part of the three showers that I had. I was not expecting such an outpouring, and I just can’t say thanks enough!

 

I Am Grateful

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This has not been a rough pregnancy. I have heard stories about vomit in the shower, not being able to eat your favorite foods, aching lower backs, and more. But overall, it’s been a fairly easy pregnancy; I’m just a whiner. 🙂

Along the way, there have been some people who have really made a difference and made my life more enjoyable.

These are the wonderful people I want to thank before “everything changes”.

1. My husband, Cameron

I’ve complained since September about all the aches and pains and body image issues. But he has been there, supporting, loving, and praising me. Even though I don’t always believe him, he never fails to tell me I’m beautiful every day and that he loves me every day. I can be pretty grumpy and needy, but he hasn’t let it get to him.

We’ve grown SO much closer since I got pregnant. He’s going to be a fantastic dad, and it’s pretty cool to see him get so excited about it.

2. My mom and dad

I talk to my mom every few days, and my dad and I keep in touch via text more than anything. My mom has been really happy and excited this whole time, and when I’m feeling down about something, she’s always been a support. My dad plays the role of silly father, and it cracks me up. If anyone else said I was getting “plump” since I’m pregnant, I’d be offended. But for some reason, coming from him, it’s just hilarious and instead, brightens my mood.

PART B:

There are other family members who’ve been really great!

I’m thankful to my Aunt Deena and Grammy (both on my mom’s side) who bought our crib.
I’m thankful for my brothers.
I’m thankful for my cousin Amy who has been really excited for me this whole time.
I’m thankful for my cousins Gwen, Kim, and Fran (on my dad’s side) who popped up on Facebook and have been showering me with love!
I’m thankful for Cameron’s mom Laura, who has been so sweet online and also sent a delightful care package for the baby!
Cameron’s extended family, Grandma Kay, Nanny Sue, Aunt Kay, cousin Roxie, and Sandra, who’ve been really supportive, either with care packages or just kind words!

3. My personal trainer (and friend), Chris S

I hope he doesn’t mind that I posted THIS particular picture of him. I only have two pictures to choose from!

Chris has been really supportive from the beginning. I was doing Crossfit with Cameron for about 4 months, with Chris and some other coaches. When I got pregnant, I told Chris about it, and immediately, he wanted to work with me. He’d worked with pregnant women before, so I knew he was someone I could trust. I took a brief hiatus because I was exhausted and nauseous a lot. When I came back, we started working out together on a regular basis. He always pushes me to go a little further and lift a little more (without raising my heart rate or getting overheated, of course!). He also recognizes if I’ve had a bad day and either (a) tries to cheer me up or (b) knows to just let me be. He has been the main reason I’ve stayed one of those “only pregnant in the belly” women.

Here’s a post where I talk about doing Crossfit while pregnant! And here’s my most recent workout.

4. Crosswalk Kids (aka Jen G)

That’s a picture of our pastor and his wife, Jen. She is the coordinator of the kids’ ministry at our church. (Technically, our church has 7 locations, so she’s the coordinator at our particular location.) I serve as the “greeter”, which means I welcome all of the kids and parents every Sunday morning, get everyone checked in, pass out name tags, and that sort of thing. Jen does a little bit of everything. On top of that, she’s a great mom to 3 awesome little boys. And she’s become a really good friend of mine over the past year.

Right when I became pregnant, she was one of the first people I told (before I even got it confirmed by the doctor). She has been so helpful and supportive throughout this journey. From a few hand-me-downs from her own children to helping with the baby shower, she has been an invaluable part of my life the past 8 months.

PART B:

There are some other folks involved with CWK that I’d like to mention.

Bethany (aka B3), who has helped me take my mind off being pregnant every Sunday with her silly stories.
All the teachers who have been so sweet with their words: Hannah, Becca, Catherine, Chenoa, Carissa, Kathryn, Rachel, Ian, Kara, and I just know I’m leaving someone out.
All the moms! I don’t even know everyone’s name (I know all the kids’ names because those are on the name tags!). Lori, Diedre, Eun, Karen, and all the other moms (and a few dads 🙂 ) who ask how I’m feeling and tell me I look great every week. I don’t usually believe those comments, but it is nice to hear them on a regular basis!

5. My coworkers

Here’s our Math department (on Pi Day this year)! That’s Yufanyi, Kim, Susan, me, and Shanna (the chair). These ladies have been supportive in a very practical way this year. There’ve been days when I just couldn’t make it. I either needed to stay home or leave early, and they were all there to help out. Someone would make my copies, cover my classes, or just make sure I was okay at home. Either way, I knew that I was covered. It also helps to get rides home when I’m just too tired to walk and don’t feel like waiting for the bus!

It was refreshing to know that my classroom wasn’t going to go haywire because I wasn’t there: I have a great team of support to help out and back me up as needed. That’s great any time but especially when you’re pregnant! It doesn’t hurt that Susan has 5 children of her own, and Shanna has 3, so they are also great resources in that respect!

PART B:

There are some coworkers that aren’t pictured who have been amazing.

Katy, who always tells me stories about her kids and asks how I’m doing every day.
Mr Bennett, who says “How Y’ALL doing?” every day.
Tina, who I think may be more excited than I am about having this baby. She also helped out tremendously with the baby shower (with Jen, above).
Barb, who was one of the first to empathize with my more mellow reaction to being pregnant.
Grace, who came back late this year after having her first child. She’s given me loads of insight and also some sweet pillows. 🙂
To all you guys and everyone else, THANK YOU for your support! It really has meant so much.

6. New mom, Sophia/Best friend

This is Sophia and her husband Ty. She just had her baby in March. She was in my wedding, and before that, we were in grad school together in NYC (and we were roommates there). She’s hilarious, and I was so surprised back around September when she told me she was expecting! I was thrilled because Cameron and I were just about to find out we, too, were expecting. Since she was 3 months ahead of me, it was so great talking to her on the phone from time to time. I had questions, she had answers. It was fun to dish about pregnancy with a close friend. And now that she has a little one (and we’re almost there), I know she’ll be honest with me about the realities of having a newborn.

7. Expecting mom, Mary/Best friend

Another best friend of mine who was also in my wedding, Mary was my college roommate back in Louisiana. For a while, she was living in Georgia with her husband Payton. Then, around October, she told me that she, too, was pregnant! And then, better news, they moved up here to Washington DC in January. While we don’t see each other ALL that often, we’ve hung out several times. And it’s fun to chat about pregnancy stuff, honestly. It’s not always a treat to discuss it with friends who aren’t pregnant (or even married). But when I know that Mary is going through the same sorts of things, it’s kind of fun. And now, I can be her Sophia since I’m a month ahead!

Mary has a calming presence, so whenever we’re together, I feel like everything’s going to be okay.

8. My circles of friends

PART A: Church

Thanks to my smaller small group: Claire, Emma, Rachel, and Brooke. These ladies have been really supportive in the short time I’ve known them. Brooke is also expecting (about 3 months behind me!).
Thanks to Heidi, the leader of the big small group. She is a constant smiling face and is a really great mentor to all the girls in our humongous group.
Helen (and Jesse) helped tremendously with putting together the crib and organizing baby clothes!
The hospitality girls are perfect for brightening my Sundays: Katy, Paige, Jessica, Hope, Jinna, Gia…

PART B: Crossfit

There are other coaches at the gym besides Chris. For example, here’s Stephanie (Chris’ better half) and Sara. These two, along with Tom and Julia, have been great at keeping me motivated and helping me to stay strong.

Additionally, I’ve really come to appreciate Erica, Adrian, Devon, Kelly, Katie, and Lizzie (who’s also expecting). Adrian always smiles and tells me how cute my bump is. Erica is the most encouraging, uplifting person EVER. And everyone else has just been great. I was self-conscious at first about showing up and taking up so much time from Chris, but I’ve really felt supported there.

PART C: Craigslist

My Craigslist friend is Elena. We found each other on Craigslist about two years ago! I posted something about looking for friends in the area, and she had posted something similar. So we started hanging out from time to time. Then she found out she was pregnant, and last February (2012), she had her son Ian. We have kept in touch for a while now, and she’s been another support in my life if I have pregnancy or baby questions.

9. My students

I can’t post any pictures of my students since they’re minors, and I’d probably need written permission from all 130 of their parents!

But I’ll say that my students have been really great. Of course, they don’t always have a lot of tact (“Ooo, she gettin’ big!” or “You look REAL pregnant today!”), but mostly, they ask lots of questions. How much longer? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you have a name (generally followed by, “If it’s a boy/girl, you should name him insert student’s name)? They are often brutally honest, so when someone says “You’re big up front, but you still look gooood”, I believe it. And don’t think I’ve forgotten that having 130 teenagers every year for the past 4 years here in DC has given me a nice collection of  about 500 potential babysitters!

10. The rest of ’em

There are a few folks who I’ll just group together 🙂

Shea, my former eye doctor and current neighbor, is also a new mom. Her baby was born in May (just last week!) of this year. We would bump (hehe) into each other from time to time, and it was fun to see each other grow. We talked about the weird things happening to us and what sort of stroller to get. It was fun knowing that she’s just a few floors down. It’s also great to know that she and her husband are probably going to move out of their larger apartment some time in the next year or two, so Cameron and I can check that out when the time comes!

Facebook friends! I have lots of FB friends, folks from high school and elementary school, some former students, Cameron’s family, and a lot in between. I have been trying NOT to post too much baby stuff on Facebook (I’m not sure what the percentage is, but I think that my posts are about 20% baby or pregnancy-related). The feedback is so kind! There are way too many nice comments and likes for me to really thank everyone individually. I hope that I did a good enough job of thanking you along the way.

The next phase of life is near! And I’m afraid that if I hadn’t written this post beforehand, it never would have happened. It has been a wild ride, but I do hope that I look back with fond memories. There were good times and bad, just like with anything. And soon enough, it’ll all be worth it.

Guest Post: My Mama

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I asked some friends and family members if they’d write a guest post for me! First responder? My mama, Karen.

Little note about me: I’m the only daughter, and I was the first born. That might give you a little bit of perspective (translation: I’m obviously the favorite). 😉

Here is what my mama has to say! I didn’t come up with these questions. They are part of a series going on some blogs this month called May is for Moms:

mothersdaylinkup

[The hosts of this linkup are Amy at Not Your Average Crazy, Samantha at Hooah and Hiccups, Amber at My Three Bittles, and Mandi at All My Happy Endings]

1.  How did I feel the moment I found out I was pregnant with you?

I was so excited.  I didn’t even wait to tell your daddy first.  I drove to the church and told the first person I saw, which was our organist, and then she said not to tell her, to go tell Greg.  So I did.

2.  Were you a wonderful surprise or carefully planned?

Definitely planned.  From our honeymoon I tried to get pregnant, but God had other things in mind.  You didn’t come until 4 1/2 years later and after a lot of trial and error.

3.  What was the most challenging time in your childhood?

Gosh, can’t remember anything in particular.  You were pretty easy. Didn’t sass back much, didn’t get into much trouble.  Just a little mama to your brothers.
me as a kid

4.  Did I worry more about you as a child or now that you’re an adult?

I always prayed for you and knew that God would take care of you.  When you got married, then I started to worry (just a little) about your walk with the Lord, but then He took care of that too.

5.  What was one thing that I thought was deeply important when you were a baby that I now realize did not matter at all?

Not to “baby” you too much, like sleeping with us.  Also keeping schedules.  I say, just throw all that out the window and do what you think is best for you and your baby.  They will only be babies for a short time, and you need to make the most of it. Enjoy them to the fullest.
I love my mama. Short, sweet, to the point.

Friday Recap: Happies and Crappies (with Pictures)

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and 

Here’s what happened this week!

Happies

1. We fixed up the nursery a little more! Here are some pictures I posted earlier this week.

2. I spent several hours putting together certificates for my students. It takes a reeeally long time, but it’s worth it. They appreciate them.
student awards on paper3. We had dinner at two of our favorite places. First is this place where they make everything in house. I mean, they make their own ketchup. It’s awesome. The other place we had dinner (on a different day, of course) is a meat market (Cameron thinks that’s hilarious). It’s a family-run place that sells a bunch of meats and also has an awesome sandwich menu. The sandwiches are HUGE. I got the meatball sub as usual. And Cameron tried the pastrami. Look at the size of that thing:
Cameron with pastrami4. I was able to sleep in one day last weekend, and I slept about 11 hours. I have an alarm set 7 days a week, normally: Monday through Friday is 6:15 for work; Saturday is 8:00 for the gym; and Sunday is 7:15 for church. But I slept in until 10:15, and it was remarkable.

5. We have been getting PeaPod grocery deliveries for a few weeks now (we had a discount, and now we get free delivery). And it’s awesome. You just put together your shopping list online, and someone brings it all right to your door? Amazing.
peapod

6. I started a tiny ad campaign on Facebook to see if it increased my blog followers. Hard to say right now. I DID hit 130 followers on Facebook though! That’s more than tripled in the past week!

7. I decided to try eating salad as a snack (instead of, you know, Oreos)! That’s shredded carrots, not cheese. 🙂

Salad as a snack

Crappies

1. Remember the amazing sandwich from #3 above? Well, right after that picture, he somehow scooted the thing off the table and got it all over the floor.
Cameron picking up pastrami2. Another thing that happened, which isn’t THAT big of a deal is that Starbucks, again, spelled my name wrong!! My name is BETHANY. In the past two weeks, I’ve seen Bethney, Betheny, and now Bethaney:
Bethaney on cup3. I am losing my sanity. I am having a hard time sleeping (despite the #4 happy), and I’m just pooped every day. I’ve been feeling guilty. I’ve been feeling like I’m disappointing people around me. I feel like my colleagues are disappointed because I am not doing my absolute best (though I feel it IS my best for this stage of my life!). I feel like Cameron is disappointed because I don’t do as much around the house. I feel like my trainer is disappointed because I just don’t have the energy to workout (and make excuses….and whine….). And I feel like anyone around me is disappointed when I’m holding a Starbucks cup (even though it’s usually either decaf or half-caff).

4. On a related note, I’ve been stressing (more than I should) about what I’ll look like after the baby’s born. I have been working out because I’m HOPING that I’ll get my shape back quicker. And then I come across this picture of Heidi Klum… 5 weeks after her baby’s born? Sheesh. Way to bring me waaay down, Klum!
Heidi Klum post baby

5. Allergies hit me smack in the face yesterday. I was feeling fine all week and now, my throat is killing me, I can hardly keep my eyes open, I have developed a tiny cough…. I’m hoping the doctor tomorrow will give me an option for some pregnancy-safe allergy meds.

I suppose the best news of all is that I have more Happies than Crappies. Right?

I bet that some other person in the universe could have had the SAME EXACT week and would have more Crappies than Happies. It’s a matter of perspective. And I’m workin’ on mine.

I Love My Mom

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Today I’m linking up with this fun little party, in honor of Mother’s Day:

 

Before I start, here’s a picture of me and my mom Karen. She’s a total babe.

Mom and me temp

 

Here are 3 things I love about my mom:

1. She is an amazing cook. You know those two pies from a while back? Those are definitely her recipes.

2. She is a giver. She’s always serving others, giving back at the church, going out of her way for people. You get the idea. Even if she’s totally pooped, she’s going to do everything she can to make someone else’s day better or life easier.

3. She is a really awesome wife to my dad. And if I ever need advice about something, I call her about it. She is honest with me about everything. And I’ve always felt I can go to her with any concerns.

I love my mom. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to mama and all you other moms out there! I’m thisclose to being a mom, but I don’t think I count just yet!

Friday Recap (with Pictures)

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I’ve decided I want a few blog-related traditions:

1. Friday Recap: Every Friday, I’ll post some pictures I’ve taken during the week.
2. Obligatory Outfit Post: Every Monday, I’ll post an outfit from the past week.
3. Today’s Workout: Every Tuesday, I’ll post my workout of the day (maybe it will include pictures, too!).
4. Weekly Baby Update: Every Thursday, I’ll update you guys on either the pregnancy OR the baby.

Moving right along…

text from camOn Sunday, Cameron wanted to make sure that his outfit was up to par. 🙂

inspiration picThis is my inspiration photo for ONE MONTH AFTER THE BABY! I’m just kidding.
Also, trainer Chris is not happy about this. He says she probably isn’t that strong. And I’m way stronger. And I should be satisfied with my hard work. And blah blah blah.

ink on handsI had a fight with my wet erase markers.

spraypaint girlSaw this pretty piece spray painted onto an electric box on the way home from the gym

old land roverI’m a fan of Land/Range Rovers. Check out this sweet, older model!

misspelled nameI just love it when someone spells my name wrong. 🙂 Bethney is a new one for me.

milk in bowlI was so tired yesterday morning that I poured myself a bowl of milk. I didn’t realize that usually you put cereal in there, too.

text from momMy mama was trying to pep me up! I was exhausted (see previous photo!), and she was encouraging me a little. 🙂

So… how was your week?

 

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