Week 38 – A Different Direction and Unexpected Plans

Smile to keep from Crying or Stressing, etc….
So my Week 38 appointment had a bit more unexpected things that we were not prepared for. I guess we got a bit spoiled with the easy pregnancy and was just so happy that she was head down that we didn’t think that anything this far in the game could happen… well not so much. 
We went to our appointment yesterday and had to wait for a while because everyone was trying to get into the office before Thanksgiving. 
Basically, this momma has elevated blood pressure (Gestational Hypertension). It has been creeping up – last week it was borderline and yesterday it was the highest that its ever been. Not sure why, but of course pregnancy induced hypertension is nothing to sneeze at. They took my blood pressure four times during my hour long appointment and each time it was higher and higher. My doctor made me lie down in the dark, not talk and on my left side in order to see how long it would take to come down before she would let me leave. If it didn’t come down within a certain frame, she was going to send me to the hospital. What’s interesting was that I grabbed my hospital bag when we left the house and my husband was like, “what are you bringing that for? I said at this point, you never know what she might say” and we were this close to having to go yesterday. 
So needless to say, I am on Maternity Leave officially. I am a bit sad about it because I really don’t want to use leave before she gets here but thats ok, because I am thinking this furlough that we just went through just prepared us for what it may be like at the end of this maternity leave if I don’t have enough to take. 
The other thing pertaining to different directions and unexpected plans – Baby Grace decided she wants be sunny side up (what the doctor called as Occiput Posterior position). Babies are supposed to be faced down for easier delivery. When she was checked for head down position she was laying on her side, but that wasn’t a big deal because she could rotate to her stomach with no problem. 
This visit, Grace has her knees up in my stomach and is laying on her back. Not ideal at all. I could see the wheels turning in my doctor’s head as she said she has to come up with a plan because if in fact she may have to induce me because of my blood pressure, it may mean long labor, back labor and her having to physically turn her if she can actually get her head past the bone which at this point she doesn’t think its possible. Meaning, she may have to come via c-section. 
As much as it is a lot to process within an hour, we leave it in God’s hands. However, she comes is how she is supposed to come. Now I am sitting here, on Maternity Leave but not on bed rest, trying my best to be patient while nesting (despite my watermelon sized ankles), waiting for my baby girl to come. 
Also, my parents arrived in town!!! WOO HOO! So I do have relief because my mom is here and she has had complicated deliveries and it helps that she can give me some peace about whats going on. 
They came with the rest of the gifts and cards from the Texas Baby Shower that was held in our honor. We were so surprised at the generosity of people whom we have never met. They sent so much to us that we are definitely set for whatever need she may have for the next two years! (not exaggerating) I tried so hard to not let all the gift cards burn a hole in my pocket. 
We are just so thankful and have already planned our summer trip to Texas. I can’t wait! I love Tex-Mex food so I am looking forward to that the most. 
Now to plan some recipes out for Thanksgiving. 
Hope you are having a wonderful holiday week!

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Week 37 & More Baby Shower Fun

Week 37 Check-Up: 
Welp… Baby is Head Down! Thank You Jesus.
I really wanted to see her be head down because at this point if she was not head down, we would automatically have to discuss a C-section date, which is something I really just didn’t want to have to go through. 
So far, there is absolutely no progress labor wise. 
She is in there tight and solid! 
My husband swears I will have to be induced. 
Talk about a MAJOR sad face if I she doesn’t at least come by her Due Date and that I have to be induced. Sadly, its a myth that there is anything that I can do in order to make her come. All of those things to make babies come faster only work because the baby is already ready to come out. 
So I will try my best to sit on my hands and patiently wait for her while checking her progress weekly.. so expect at least weekly updates in that regard from now on – 3 weeks and counting!
We also had our Hospital Tour yesterday. 
Talk about hilarious fun!
Clearly my husband and I felt differently about the tour – he went in with panic as in this feels way too real too soon, and I felt like I was a high schooler going on a College Tour feeling all grown up and stuff. 
We were doing great until they told my husband that the practice of the hospital is to let the dad’s cut the umbilical cord and that he would have to ask NOT to cut the cord if he did not want to. Amos turns to me and says “why didn’t you tell me?!” 
I said to him “Sir, I didn’t know either! this is my first baby too ya’ know?”
I think for the rest of the night he debated if in fact he would be able to handle cutting the cord. 
I think at this point he wants to – we shall see. 
The other surprising thing that we found out was that the hospital that we chose does not have a nursery. I guess its an old school thing to have a “well baby” nursery. The baby is literally with you the whole time from when you push her out. They wash her and band her in your room and then when you are moved, she is moved with you. I guess this is great- however, I wanted to at least be able to recover before having to tend to a newborn… not so much I guess. 
And not to mention – my hospital is open to all of the new age requests like taking the placenta home with you and delayed cord clamping, skin to skin care and some other things that she mentioned. The only thing that I have seriously been considering is the delayed cord clamping but I have not yet made my mind up about that yet. 
So in my waiting period – while my husband installs the carseat like he promised.. I will do my research. 
You can enjoy more photos from our awesome Baby Shower. 
We absolutely had so many laughs with the guys and the girls – I don’t think I would’ve done it any differently. 

This goes to show that clearly I am the talker in our relationship.. LOL. I can’t help it. 

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What’s in a Name?

I mentioned before that I was on the fence about taking Maternity Photos – 
Reason being (and no judgement to anyone else) but I can’t stand the Maternity Photos where my belly would be out and I would be wrapped in some strange fabric. All I kept thinking to myself was “who in the world would I show my stomach to?” and “where would I even hang that in my house?”
Not to mention, my stomach is the least bit flattering.
I went for a long time without stretch marks – not so much anymore. 
Thankfully, pre-baby I never wore bikinis because I would be devastated right about now.
I wanted however, to take pictures that felt more like “us”. 
We have always done things a tad different from the norm. 
We had a photographer friend of ours, Gary Williams (@masterwilliams on IG),  come to our Baby Shower to capture a lot of fun moments : additional moments that I will share with you for nostalgia in a separate post. 
But during the shower, while everyone was eating, we went outside really fast near this soccer field and playground and said, “can you snap some quick photos for us?”
It was perfect!
The joy and love you see was exactly how we felt on the day where we were being showered with love by our family and friends. Most importantly, because it wasn’t planned there was no over thinking it. It took 10 minutes and most of the shots were literally just us being us versus him saying “now do this” and “pose like this”
This may seem quite cheesy, but I have heard so many stories of pregnancies and children “trying” marriages. I can honestly say that this pregnancy at best has tried his patience with me since my constant getting up and uncomfortable sleep has kept him up but my husband, thankfully, has taken it all in stride. We shall see how our parenting changes our marriage. However, we have prayed that our being able to start a family was God’s way of confirming that we were ready and up for the challenge.
This man really makes me feel like he loves me as much as he says he does. 
Sometimes his affection is overwhelming. Literally. I have to push him and all that gooeyness away. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so glad that he never listens to me in that regard. 
I truly believe that he will take care of his girls as best as he can.

And now for her name… 
Our families are quite traditional. Both my husband and I are named after our parents. Our families have names that have been passed down for generations. 
Therefore, when it came to naming our first born, her name came extremely easy. Literally the morning or so after we found out that we were expecting, we had breakfast at Panera Bread. Before they even called our number we said “If its a girl…” and “If its a Boy…” and had names picked out without much discussion or debate.
So without further adieu, our first born daughter’s name is: 
Vashti (pronounced Vash-TIE) means Beautiful. It comes from the Bible, as Vashti was a Queen in the book of Esther. In my family the name Vashti has been handed down since my Great-Grandmother. My full first name is Vashti-Jasmine. My daughter will be the 6th Vashti in our family as I have a cousin in my generation that also has the name. 
Gracia (pronounced Gra-CEE-uh) means Grace and Favor. It has a spanish origin. My husband’s mother was Dominican, as she was born in the Dominican Republic. Her name was Altagracia (she passed away in 1999). So to honor her we will name her Gracia. 
We think it is so fitting that our first born has a name that means Beautiful Favor. It is exactly what we truly believe that God has granted us with entrusting her life to us.
We call her Gracie…
She will be our wonderful Haitian Dominican African American Princess!
and here’s a sneak peak of the little bundle of joy that we are patiently awaiting

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Baby Shower Surprises

To be honest, having a Baby and “planning” for a Baby Shower is like planning your Wedding- at least it feels that way when you are having your first. 
You never know what to expect or who to expect and can never properly plan for it while making several attempts to not offend or forget anyone and yet, somehow it still happens. 
It especially happens when you are pregnant because you forget things by the hour let alone who you were supposed to send an invitation to. 
I wasn’t really allowed to have a say in my Baby Shower what so ever. 
It was a project that my little sister decided to take on and she did a great job!
First, our Co-Ed Baby Shower for family and friends and a few co-workers thanks to my shower being cancelled at work during the Government Shutdown. 
Theme: Royal Princess
Colors: Pink and Baby Blue
Menu: Crab Dip, Lamb Skewers, Crab Cakes, Asparagus, Sun Dried Tomato Penne Pasta with Cream Sauce and Chicken, Salad with Walnuts and Cranberries, Spanakopita, Hot Wings… needless to say I was FULL! Cupcakes and Cake Pops provided by Keda Kakes and a Candy Bar. 
I was adamant about not having a bunch of games at the shower only because of the male population and I personally can’t take a whole bunch of games. 
The front two in this pic are my husbands nephews – his teenage twins. 
My sister picked the best ones for our audience – they had to make a nursery rhyme for our daughter and perform it. Perfect for an audience where most of the males are musicians. 
We cried laughing so hard at some of the performances — I only wish that I taped some of them. 
This was the team that won – remixing Beyonce’s Love on Top. 
And of course, I had to get a picture with my Sorors that were there since my daughter is a Legacy and will have absolutely no choice in which Sorority she will be allowed to pledge. LOL. 
We train her up from the womb. 
I had some awesome hostesses who have shared their talents for the sake of my Baby Shower, whether it was putting together decor, funding and even hand making gifts for game winners and party favors. We were so thankful to each of them. 
We also had friends come from as far as Dallas, Texas just to come up for our Shower. 
Talk about lifetime friendships!
Then earlier this week, we had a Surprise Baby Shower thrown at my husband’s church, hosted by his Music Ministry. 

We knew that they were planning something but I seriously did not expect ALL that they did for us and all the gifts that they had for us. It was absolutely amazing to have people care so much about my husband and his ministry and think well enough for me that they are excited as we are for our Little Girl’s arrival. We left with so many things that we needed. 
It has been overwhelming to say the least! 
I sent my mom a text that night to tell her how surprised we were. She surprised me with return texts saying that they threw us a Baby Shower in Dallas, Texas.  In case you don’t know, my mom is a Bishop and was closing her District Planning Meeting and they literally surprised my parents with a shower for their first grand child. 
It was gorgeous!

And of course fit for a Princess!

They are shipping to us the gifts that they have for our daughter. 
My mother is too funny – she said my child isn’t even here yet and she is already interrupting her meetings.. YUP! 
So until she gets here, my husband is getting more and more anxious. 
Every little twitch I have, he swears its me saying she is on the way. 
I am impatiently waiting but calm because I know she is bound to come when she is ready. 
Until then… I am reflecting and trying to capture and take advantage of every bit of these last few days where its just us two. 

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Officially 9 months!

Well hello there… Sorry that I have been a little M.I.A.It’s just that with all the aches and pains that I had in my hands, I could not bear to type for fun after spending entire work days on the computer. 
But Today, I have so much to share with you!and I am so excited to – so let me get started… this update will have to be in multiple posts because I have so many pics, it would just be way too much to put in one.  Since my last update, we had barely began the baby preparation process. I have since discovered my very first GRAY HAIR! What the devil?! I mean, my little sister apparently has had them, but I thought I wouldn’t find one in my head until much later.. sigh. I panicked and pulled it out. LOL. Maybe I was stressed out at first by adjusting to how much pink is invading my life – my least favorite color… However, I am actually kind of getting used to it and seriously can’t help but to think its really cute for baby girl stuff. 

Just to give you some idea as to how much pink… Here is a sneak peak of her Nursery that we are still finishing.I absolutely love the monogram that I ordered from Etsy from Elegance Letters. This is the 26″ unfinished vine connected monogram letters. It took me about three days to paint these letters just because of being indecisive and changing colors throughout the process. It’s not yet hung because we are now indecisive as to which wall it should go on. 

When my feet started to swell, it definitely took me by surprise. 
 I had only had some cramping and swelling in my fingers and my feet and ankles were still doing great. Not the case anymore. To give you an idea, my feet only fit in UGGs because of the width.
This was my last day in business shoes.. and they were already a size and a half up from where my actual shoe size is… do you know how I would cry if they do not go back to my regular size just because of my shoe collection?

So if mommy has UGGs, I had to get Baby Girl a pair right?! 
It seemed only right. 
And of course, they are pink.. depending on this winter season, she may just end up with the camouflage colored ones as well.

Mornings in our home are still never a dull moment… 
My husband is excited about Baby Girl to say the least and has been absolutely great at “serving” me during my pregnancy. He definitely keeps my spirits up as I adjust mentally with all these body changes and what not. And definitely makes sure that I am “taking care of” his baby. 
One morning, I come downstairs to say good bye to our visiting family and he is down at the foot of the stairs, playing guitar – he tried his hardest (mind you, he plays Piano), but I thought it was as sweet as it was hilarious!

Another thing to pass the time, reading.. 
Awesome Blogger Heather Alexander of The Mommyhood Blog sent me her great book – I am just about finished and want to give an appropriate review at a later time but thought I would mention how else I am spending my days. 

When I am not reading, shopping or sitting at work with my feet up…
Every chance I get!
This Baby is literally a dancing machine. She has surpassed those cute little kicks to let mommy know she is awake. She has moved on to full body flips, elbows, booty dances and straight up painful kicks and punches. She even gets hiccups, which as cute as it sounds is also so annoying at times. Imagine trying to eat while your stomach is jumping to a rhythm. Its frustrating enough to just say forget trying to eat right now. 
And of course.. 
Doctor’s Appointments. 
Can’t you just feel his excitement? LOL
We are now in the Doctor’s office on a weekly basis. Somehow the wait is not as crazy as it used to be. I must’ve initially gotten pregnant during a baby boom, but now its like the last few left and the wait is reasonable. 
We will start checking her progress beginning Monday to see if she is in position and if I have started dilating yet – biting my nails.. I am so nervous.. 
Also, we made sure to interview pediatricians in advance versus go with a pediatrician recommendation from our hospital. Presently, I am being seen by OB/GYN’s who are all Black Women. The practice encompasses 4 different women each with a different bedside manner but pay particular attention to things that affect Black Women at a higher rate. 
I wanted the same out of a Pediatrician and now have a Black Female Pediatrician for Baby Girl, not so much because she was Black but most importantly because she had a reasonable answer for every single question and concern that I had, made us feel comfortable and was recommended by women from all avenues of my life. Not to mention, as we waited in the waiting room, each kid that she called to come back, even for vaccinations were all so excited to go in the back. None seemed to be traumatized one bit, which let me know she has great relationship with the kids and the parents. 
We were seen in the Pixie Princess room. Amos said it was “too girly” LOL. He has no idea how outnumbered he is about to be.
This month, I cracked the whip! Amos got his friends together – Baby Girl’s “uncles” came over to help put her room together. Nursery furniture was assembled, furniture was rearranged, all while I sat and gave directions. I love that already her uncles are making sure that she has what she needs. 
Sadly, other “people” are not as happy that Baby Girl will soon be here. 
Our part-time pet Arista, a curious Daschund decided that she would get into the trash which caused a digestive infection where she had to have surgery. 
She wouldn’t let her stitches heal properly so the doctor gave her this huge cone! 
I died laughing when my sister sent me this picture of her. 

I think she did it for sympathy. LOL
We also had Baby Showers — which will be a separate post all together just because of the pictures alone, but of course you know afterwards it was all about completing the registry, which was my favorite thing to do. 
Of course I have to wait for my chauffeur to get off the phone before we can pull off.. stay waiting on him to finish checking or posting to Instagram. LOL

Lastly, for now.. 
I know the last time I posted, I was talking about a few issues with work- 
The major stress of the POINTLESS Federal Government shutdown. 
Like it or not, I support the Affordable Healthcare Act – just because of my own experience and believe that if people educate themselves enough they can find a plan that works best for them. Because of it, I got an email that my Breast Pump is being shipped after zero cost to me (not even shipping) once I ordered it and placed my insurance information in the payment screen and my husbands prescriptions went down from $70 for 30 days down to $10 for 90 days… 
BUT – 
Thats neither here nor there.. 
I got transferred!
From the office in S.E. Washington, DC where I was close to the Navy Yard to an office in N.W. Washington, D.C.

I spent a few days packing my boxes and now I am on a team where my Field Partner and Neighbor is..  We work as hard as we have fun. Yup, I am STILL working and plan to up until Dec. 2nd or when she arrives, whichever comes first.

The one thing that I will miss this year… 
That I probably won’t be able to go to Christmas Celebration especially since its a lot of live animals and my due date is smack dab in the middle of the production dates. 
I usually do make up for the show which means whole days on my feet doing make up.
So I HAD to go visit the cast and make-up team during rehearsal just once while pregnant to say hi. I’ll miss them this production but I hope to be back by Easter Production. 

Whew you made it to the end. 
36 weeks – Officially 9 months Pregnant.. 
and still just as thankful as the first day!

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