Pregnancy update: 39 weeks…and 4 days

Yes, I’m still pregnant…BUT I’m only 3 days away from my due date!! This pregnancy has been great and I’ve really loved (almost) every minute of it. That being said, I’m also really, REALLY hoping this pregnancy update will be my last one before little miss Paisley gets here! I am beyond excited to meet this sweet baby and to be her mommy!!

What’s new the past couple of weeks:
– Last week some ladies from my church had a beautiful brunch for me and I had the opportunity to meet and talk to several other mommas from our church. It was so sweet and we had such a great time!
– My mom and my sister are here! It’s been wonderful having them in South Carolina with me instead of all the way in Florida! I’m so thankful they can be here during this time.
– A lot of my anxiety about labor and delivery has subsided. I’ve been talking to a lot of great friends and different people about it and at this point I feel like my excitement for finally meeting Paisley outweighs the fear or anxiety I could possibly have regarding the delivery itself.
– This week has been pretty rough. Let me just tell you right now – back labor is TERRIBLE. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Thankfully, I’m back to feeling myself again and the past 2 days I’ve felt GREAT!
– I’ve been able to get lots of rest the past couple of days/nights so I’m hoping that when baby girl does decide to arrive I will be well-rested and ready to go!
– Walking, walking, walking. That’s another thing we’ve been doing a lot of the past couple of days!
– Gus’ leave starts August 3rd and he will be home with us until August 20th!! I am very excited and beyond grateful.
– I’ve eaten about 4 pineapples. FOUR WHOLE PINEAPPLES. I no longer believe that they naturally induce labor.

We are SO excited to meet our little girl very, very soon.

Baby belly at 37 weeks

Baby at 37 weeks

Baby at 38 weeks!

Baby at 38 weeks!

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I’m so excited for Gus to be a daddy!

Our lives are about to change & we could not be more excited.

We can’t wait to finally hold you in our arms, Paisley!!! Now just get here, little one!

Pregnancy Milestones to Remember

As my due date gets closer and closer, I’ve been reminiscing on my pregnancy and I’ve realized – there’s A LOT I don’t remember. I don’t mean little things like “Oh, I can’t remember some symptoms” or “I can’t remember how bad morning sickness actually was.” Even though some of those little things may be true, I’m talking about big things like not being able to remember how far along I was when we found out, when we told our family, when we announced it to our friends, everyone’s reactions…the list goes on and on. I wish I could just blame it on pregnancy brain, but it’s not that simple. Until this point in my pregnancy I’ve really just been going, going, going (thanks to nursing school and working all the time) & I haven’t had time to just sit back and fully enjoy being pregnant.

Tonight I decided to go back and look at old pictures, look through all of my ultrasound images, go backwards in my pregnancy app on my phone, compare dates, and sit down and finally figure out little details of my pregnancy I either 1) didn’t know 2) couldn’t remember or 3) somehow convinced myself had happened another way. I decided to share this and the story of how we found out on the blog because even though a lot of these things are personal (yes, personal – consider this your warning) they are precious things I want to be able to remember and look back on. I also want to encourage other expecting mommas out there to remember these details. I know it seems obvious and some people are probably thinking “How can she not remember that?” I’ve even thought that myself. Truth be told, I don’t really know. I think everything just came as such a shock to me from the start that I just kept busy and didn’t give myself time to wrap my mind around it until I was already about halfway through it!

So, here goes an attempt to remember and share some of these precious details of such an incredible time in our lives:

December 9th, 2013: I went to my 10:00 Sociology class just like I did every other Monday. I sat next to my friend Heidi (who has been an incredible friend ever since freshman year and now we’re finally going to be GRADUATING this year with our nursing degrees! Sorry… side note. It’s kind of a big deal for us). I felt really weird all throughout the class and I just remember that I couldn’t focus or anything. I can’t explain the feeling. I didn’t really feel sick, I just felt kind of weak and like something was a little off. When we left class that day, I told Heidi I was going to skip chapel and go home because I wasn’t feeling so hot. I’m pretty sure I even told her I was going to take a pregnancy test just to make sure I wasn’t pregnant. (Obviously, I can’t remember – maybe Heidi knows!) On my way home I stopped at CVS and grabbed a 2-pack pregnancy test. I knew Gus was home sleeping because he had to work a 12-hour shift the night before. I didn’t wake him up, I just came home and took the test. Honestly, I was fully expecting for it to be negative. I also felt funny the day before after Gus and I finished a run outside and it took me quite awhile to recover. I just knew something was off and I figured I should use the process of elimination to narrow it down figure out exactly what was wrong with me. I was on birth control consistently, so I didn’t think for a second that I was actually pregnant! I hadn’t had any morning sickness or missed my cycle, so let’s just say I was SHOCKED when two little lines appeared on that stick. Shocked, scared, terrified. The flood of emotions I felt literally cannot even be expressed. I still didn’t want to wake up Gus so I went in the living room and just texted my mom asking her to call me. In typical mom fashion, she responded “Is everything okay?” “Yes, mom, I just need you to call me.” Her next question: “Is Kassidy okay?” “Yes, Kassidy is fine.” “ARE YOU PREGNANT?” When I didn’t respond for a couple of minutes, the phone rang and when I answered it I was just crying hysterically. I remember repeating the words “I don’t know, I don’t know!” And she told me to send her a picture of the test. IMG_8216She was instantly excited. Meanwhile, I was scared and terrified, yet somehow she was just excited & happy from the start. I told her I thought that maybe the first test was wrong, so I hung up and took the second test in the pack. Of course, the second test was also positive and when I called my mom to tell her she reminded me that I should probably tell my husband! I still didn’t believe two little sticks I bought at the drugstore, so I decided to call the Piedmont Women’s Center, which is a great Christian organization in our area who I knew would do another pregnancy test. I made an appointment for that day at 2:00. This was all happening so fast and I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it. After I called and set up the appointment, I decided it was time to tell Gus. I nervously walked into the bedroom. I sat on the edge of the bed holding one of the pregnancy tests and said “Gus, I’m pregnant. This isn’t a joke.” He woke up, saw the tears in my eyes, looked at the pregnancy test and excitedly said, “We’re going to have a baby!” And he gave me the biggest hug. He was excited from the second he found out. I was relieved that he felt that way, but it wasn’t long after that I broke down and just cried and started freaking out. “I’m still in school! We just got married! We can’t be parents! How are we going to do this?! We weren’t planning on having kids this soon!” Never once did any of those things seem to concern Gus. If you know Gus at all, then you understand why. He’s not the kind to worry – about anything. Him and my mom are a lot alike in that way. That’s just one of the many things I admire about both of them and I totally wish I could be more like them in that area. I left the room for a little while to just go out in the living room and think – and, of course, let him sleep. A few minutes later, I walked back in the bedroom to wake him up and I had a whole new outlook, “You’re right, Gus, we can do this. I can finish school. We will be great parents. God knew we were going to have kids this soon. We have great families who will be so supportive.” And within a short time the emotions I initially felt came flooding back in and it was just a rollercoaster of a morning.

Somehow in the midst of all of this I remembered that I had a nursing test that afternoon! My test was at 1:00 and let’s just say there was NO WAY I was going to be ready to take a nursing test that day. I had way too much on my mind. I e-mailed one of my teachers to let her know I wouldn’t be able to take my test that afternoon. It was almost 1:00 and she hadn’t e-mailed me back, so I decided to just go to school and let her know I would have to take the test another day. I had no intention on telling her that I was pregnant, but after frantically running up to her office with tears streaming down my face, those were some of the first words out of my mouth. She was so sweet and understanding! She congratulated me and, of course, told me that I could make up the test another day.

I didn’t want to go to my appointment alone, but I really didn’t want Gus to have to come with me since I knew he was so tired from working the night before. I texted my sister to see if she wanted to come somewhere with me, and I’m pretty sure she had to skip a class to come with me but I told her it was important. I put the pregnancy tests in a little ziplock baggy and I wrote a cute little note that said “Aunt Kassidy, look under here.” I set the note on top of the bag on the center console of the car and when I picked up Kassidy from campus I was so excited to tell her. She got in the car, saw the note, looked at the pregnancy tests and just screamed. She was so excited. We went to the appointment together and there they did another pregnancy test.
It seemed like it took them forever to come back to the room and tell me the results of the test. The lady at the Piedmont Women’s Center was so sweet and caring. She could tell that I was scared and she did a great job calming my fears and helping me to trust God even in this unexpected blessing. When she came back into the room with my results, she shut the door behind her and as soon as she turned around she had the biggest smile on her face. “You’re going to be a little momma!” She gave me a big hug and we sat and talked for awhile. I finally came to the point where I, too, was excited to be a mom instead of scared of the unknown and unexpected. We obviously didn’t know at this point how far along I was (we later found out that I was 6 weeks pregnant at this point), but they set up an ultrasound for me the following week.

December 16th: Gus, Kassidy, and I went to my first ultrasound. It was another service provided by the Piedmont Women’s Center. As you can tell, I’m a huge fan of that ministry and everything they do! We found out based on the baby’s measurements that day that I was about 7 weeks pregnant. We got to see the little heartbeat flicker on the screen and just watched in amazement as the sonographer explained to us exactly what we were looking at. It was a really great experience and at this point I was beginning to get really excited about our surprise little miracle.

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First ultrasound: baby at about 7-8 weeks

December 20th: When I was 8 weeks pregnant, we told my dad and Gus’ parents. Yes, my mom actually kept it a secret from my dad from the time I told her on December 9th! Pretty impressive, I know. We told my dad via Skype, and my mom was able to record the whole thing without my dad knowing!

We called Gus’ parents afterwards and put them on speakerphone to tell them together. They were very excited!!

I honestly can’t remember when we told the rest of our family (grandparents, his brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc) and close friends but it was sometime after December 20th and before January 30th. Gus thinks we told them after January 1st. I really can’t remember. I know, I’m terrible for not remembering when we told them. I want to say it was sometime around Christmas. I won’t bore you with all of the details but we definitely had some great reactions from the people we love!!

I do remember that when I went back to school after Christmas break at the beginning of January, one of my teachers (Miss Hannah, the same teacher whose office I ran into frantically crying the day I found out I was pregnant) e-mailed me before class to let me know that she was going to give everyone in our class an opportunity to share any exciting news that may have happened over Christmas break. She knew I hadn’t yet shared our news with my classmates (who, in reality, are more like a second family) and she also knew I eventually needed to find a fitting time to do so. Some other really exciting announcements were made and afterwards, I raised my hand and told my nursing class about my news. Let’s just say I think that most of them were about as shocked as I was when I first found out!

January 31st, 2014: We announced our little bundle of joy to the rest of our friends on Facebook when I was 15 weeks and 3 days pregnant. [A simple post, you can find it here] It was pretty difficult to wait this long to announce it to everyone, but we knew we wanted to wait until I was at least 14 weeks pregnant and out of the first trimester to let everyone know. Gus wanted to tell everyone right away, but I really wanted to wait. I had an ultrasound the day before, and we thought it would be a good idea to announce the pregnancy the day after that ultrasound.

Baby at 15 weeks & 2 days

Baby at 15 weeks & 2 days

March 20th: We found out that we were expecting a sweet baby GIRL. I was 20 weeks & 4 days pregnant at this point. Gus, Kassidy, and I were able to go to the ultrasound together. We each had our guess as to whether Baby Vanaman was a girl or a boy! Kassidy and I dressed in pink, and Gus wore blue. We made it a lot of fun and it was an experience I’ll never forget. At this appointment, we also found out that our little girl possibly had clubfeet. On April 1st, we met with the specialist and they confirmed our little baby’s clubfeet. If you want to, you can read all about that experience here.

Well, there you go. I guess I remembered a lot more than I originally thought I did. I’m thankful I finally took the time to sit down and write it all out. I’m telling you right now – if I had waited to try to blog about these pregnancy milestones AFTER Paisley got here I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to remember anywhere near as much.
To other expecting mommy’s – really cherish this sweet time in your lives. Take time to remember the little details. It really is such a beautiful experience for you and the people you love.

As I’m wrapping up this post, I’m rocking away in my rocking chair. Not in an “old lady sitting on her front porch crocheting” kind of way, but in a “new mommy who is excited as can possibly be” kind of way. Soon I’ll be holding our sweet Paisley Grace and rocking her to sleep in this chair. I’ll spend countless nights and hours feeding her and singing to her and just cuddling with her in this chair. I cannot wait to be her mommy. Thinking back on all of the special memories of this pregnancy and all it has entailed makes me even more excited to be at the point we’re at now.

It’s definitely been an unexpected journey – but it’s one I would never want to change a single part of. 10414421_10203953725147765_3921106650031762840_n Only 17 days until your due date, baby girl. We’ll meet you so soon.

Pregnancy update: 37 weeks

It’s exactly 3 weeks until my due date! THREE WEEKS.

I can’t fully wrap my mind around the fact that in about 3 weeks our lives will change completely & we will have a little baby joining our family. We are beyond excited.

Everyone keeps asking me “So are you ready?”
My answer: Yes and no.
That’s a pretty loaded question, honestly…
No, because: 
– I’m beginning to get very anxious about labor and delivery. I feel like anyone who says they’re not at least a little nervous about it is either crazy or lying. It’s slightly terrifying. I LOVE it from a student nurse’s perspective, but now that I’m the delivering patient it’s a completely different feeling.
– Even though I may have my birth plan, I’m fully aware that deliveries don’t always go as planned and this makes me nervous.
– I’m actually going to miss being pregnant. I’ve loved it. I love every little kick I feel. I love feeling her hiccup. I love people touching my belly and getting excited when they see that I’m expecting & I love the conversations that typically follow. I haven’t been uncomfortable (with the exception of the first trimester and probably 1 or 2 days since) and being pregnant in the summer hasn’t even been bad at all! I feel like it’s probably because I’m so used to Florida summers that this summer in Greenville has been a piece of cake.
– I don’t think anyone can be fully prepared for parenthood. In fact, I know that you really can’t be. It is going to be the biggest responsibility I can possibly think of. I just want to be the best mommy I possibly can be to this sweet baby God has entrusted us with and a part of me is scared that I won’t do a good job. I just know it’s going to be hard.
– It’s all so new for us. Obviously, we’ve never been parents. We don’t exactly know what we’re doing and we have a lot to learn as we go through this journey together.

Yes, because:
– Her nursery is done! It’s everything I could’ve hoped for. I’ll share pictures on the blog eventually – I absolutely love it!
– The diaper bag is packed and ready to go. (Of course, adorable newborn outfits and accessories included!!)
– Our hospital bag is pretty much packed!
– We had a beautiful baby shower in Florida with our family and friends a couple of weeks ago and we received everything we could possibly need for our baby girl. (Thank you again to everyone who came and made it so special – and thanks mom, Becky, and Crystal for putting it all together!!)
– The carseat is installed and the base is already in the car. (We also already put up the window shade and little mirror – can you tell we’re a little excited?)
– We took a childbirth class together. That was a blast. It was pretty long (from 9-4 on a Saturday) but it was very informative and we really enjoyed it.
– We toured the labor and delivery unit at the hospital! It is such a beautiful facility and the nurses and doctors are phenomenal. I’m really excited about our hospital choice.
– All of her little outfits and clothes are sorted, organized, and put away. This little girl is spoiled already. Believe it or not, she owns more outfits and accessories than her mommy does!!!
– Her bassinet is set up in our bedroom. (Thanks again to my amazing nursing class – such a sweet gift from some of my favorite people!)
– I am ready for her arrival to make Gus a daddy, Kassidy an Aunt, my mom a Grandma, and my dad a grandpa. She’ll also make Gus’ parents grandparents for the 22nd time! It’s just a really exciting time for a lot of the people I love.

Overall, even though there are little things I’m nervous about and I may not feel completely prepared for, I am just so excited to be a mommy to this little baby girl I’ve bonded with over the past 9 months. I can’t wait until we can finally hold her in our arms and love on her.

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Baby belly at 37 weeks

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We love you, Paisley Grace! Mommy and Daddy are SO excited to meet you.

Maternity photos

My awesome next-door neighbor (who also happens to be one of my best friends) is an INCREDIBLE photographer. She snapped a few shots of Gus & I (when I was 32 weeks pregnant) and I wanted to share a few of them on the blog! If you’re in the Greenville area and you’re looking for a photographer – check out her photography page! https://www.facebook.com/landf.photography

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