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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lily Ann Makes Her Debut

Lily Ann was born at 5:12 a.m. Jan. 22, 2010. She weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces; and measured 18.5 inches. Details to come...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

40-Week Update

As my 40th week of pregnancy winds down, reality and excited anticipation are ramping up. I've been having strong contractions since last night in what seems to be proof that Skipolini's Prego Pizza really does what it promises to do. We'll see how the rest of the day goes.

Speaking of rest, that's tops on my agenda for today. They say it's important to reserve energy as much as possible during the first stage of labor to ensure you have the stamina to make it through to the end. I alternate cat naps with birthing exercises on my yoga ball. I've even managed to do a load of laundry here and there. Both Brian and I are eager to meet our little one and I have to admit that I'm eager to experience childbirth.

Though both Brian and I are techno-savvy folks, we are not planning Twitter or FB play-by-plays in the delivery room. Once we get there, we're on a mission and plan to focus on the serious work ahead of us. But until then, it's fun to text friends back and forth with our progress thus far.

I can't wait to hold our little bundle of joy in my arms!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Final Countdown

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity in our home as we make final preparations for Baby Kubo’s welcome into the world. We’ve washed loads and loads of diapers, blankets and other baby-related laundry, taking special care not to go overboard in case we have a closet full of clothes that the baby will never have a chance to wear.

I have completed my newborn diaper stash with a selection of fitteds, diaper wraps, some homemade soakers from a local woman and a variety of cloth diaper wipes. We also have some prefolds and all-in-ones for future use. I’m still waiting on some custom-made pail deodorizer and wipe solution/bum cleaner to arrive in the mail. My rapid research and foray into the world of cloth diapering is worthy of its own post one day, but today isn’t that day.

We have the co-sleeper set up in our room, and the crib was picked up and assembled today. Brian is a great expectant dad, knowing exactly what to do and when. He even made sure the car seat was properly installed today, which is not nearly as easy as it sounds. Luckily, our brother-in-law is a firefighter and father, and therefore, well educated and experienced in that sort of thing.

There’s a misconception among some couples that it’s better to be the parents of the first grandchild, but I have to say that we have benefitted greatly from the fact that Brian’s sister was the first on his side to have children. We’ve been so blessed to learn from them and their experiences over the past few months. We’ve not had to reinvent the wheel, and that’s made for a stress-free pregnancy in so many ways.

I’ve enjoyed practicing swaddle and babywearing techniques on the stuffed animals I’ve kept since childhood. Brian says I’m getting pretty good at it. Of course, we’re both aware that it’s easy to be good on inanimate objects. But at least I’m getting the basics mastered. Next step: Add squirmy newborn.

I’m just beginning my 40th week of pregnancy and am eagerly anticipating signs of labor. As I’ve said before, I’m in no rush to end the experience but I am ready to meet the baby now. We’ve waited a long time to get to this point and it’s exciting to see the end in sight, even if that end is merely the beginning to a whole new experience.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

38-Week Update

It’s official, I am almost 10 months pregnant. It’s not until you’re pregnant that you realize it’s not a nine-month experience. I’m surprised more people don’t do the math and realize that 40 weeks equals 10 months. Then again, it’s not uncommon to deliver a baby between 36 weeks and 41 weeks so everyone’s journey really is relative.

For me, it’s been a fast few months. Even planning our wedding didn’t go this quickly in my mind.

It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, I was at risk of pre-term labor and had to make some major adjustments in that arena. Now it appears, it’s all smooth sailing. My belly has grown. The baby has grown. And I have learned the art of taking it easy, which I would have previously told you was impossible.

As of our latest ultrasound, the baby is over 6 lbs and appears to be in position to make his/her debut. We have gotten some fun photos, thanks to a very patient ultrasound technician. Baby Kubo has never felt photogenic and has made most techs go insane as they attempt in vain to capture cutesy keepsake photos. My favorite photo from our last appointment is that of the baby's foot, which at 3 inches long, looks a lot like Brian's.

I’m not in a rush to end my pregnancy. I really enjoy being pregnant and having this little person moving and growing inside of me. At the same time, I look forward to meeting him or her, learning the baby’s personality and seeing how Brian’s and my genes have meshed. We hope the baby gets the best of both of us instead of the worst, but I imagine he/she will have a little of both. I'm also interested to see how accurate the ultrasounds have been. Does the baby have as much hair as it seems? Are the size estimates true or is that "plus/minus 1 pound" margin of error more true to form?

As I look over the photos I’ve been posting, I’m glad we took the time to document the past few months. It’s hard for me right now to remember life before I had a rotund belly. It’s hard to picture my pre-pregnancy life at all. It feels as if I’ve always been carrying around this little being who has required me to alter my eating and lifestyle habits. I’m going to miss this feeling when it’s gone.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

2010 is officially in full swing, and I am in awe of what's ahead of me this year. I know 2009 was a downer for many. The economy affected many I know through the loss of jobs, loss of homes, loss of credit and loss of loved ones.

A good friend of mine who had a pretty rotten 2009 admitted that she had a rough time when writing out her Christmas cards last year, because the only thing that went well for her family that year was in the area of finances.

"Given what's happened to everyone else in 2009, that's just not the sort of thing you can brag about," she said. So her Christmas cards were general and basic with hopes for 2010 to be better all around.

Brian and I were discussing 2009 over the weekend. We know it was a tough year for the nation in general. But even though we faced our own challenges over the year, it's hard for us to deny the incredible blessings we experienced throughout the year:
  • We were married in a fairytale ceremony in the company of our dearest friends and relatives.
  • I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of coordinating media when First Lady Michelle Obama visited UC Merced.
  • We discovered I was pregnant, despite being told such a feat was impossible without medical intervention.
  • Brian was cast as Cogsworth in Playhouse Merced's production of "Beauty and the Beast," one of the best shows he's been in.
The year was far from perfect, but we really can't complain. We survived it relatively unscathed. And now we're looking ahead to 2010. This is going to be an equally big year for us, with a baby coming, increased involvement in our church and our first wedding anniversary all in the next few months.

I'm not doing resolutions this year but I do have goals. My primary goal is to enjoy life and my family. I love leading a busy life, but priorities are the key to harmony. When everything is urgent, nothing is important. I want to make sure I spend this year putting first things first. Everything else will fall into place after that.