Monday, June 30, 2008

As I'm sure you've all guessed by now, there is still no sign of Baby Tabler's emergence from my little belly. After a weekend full of no sleep and hundreds of contractions, my exhausted husband and myself were sure that by now we'd be tired for completely different reasons (that we'd have a child in hand). But our little guy apparently likes to play already. I mean, I am all for fun and games, but when we're talking about pushing something out of my body for 12 or more hours, it's not so much a fun game we're dealing with anymore. It's more like HE's the only one laughing and I am some game piece in this cruel idea of fun. 

Anyway, short story long is that on Friday we went to the doctor to have my weekly non-stress test and checkup. Nothing much had changed since the previous week, but I did start to bleed fairly significantly, so to be on the safe side, the Dr. sent me to hospital to be directly admitted for monitoring. That was around 9:30 am. She promised to be by in a few hours to check on me and let me go home. Well, a few hours turned to several, and we didn't leave the hospital until 6:30 that night. What a waste of a day. I did, however, manage to have consistent contractions the entire day, which is why they kept me in the first the event I went into active labor. No such luck and home (or to dinner) we went. I hadn't been allowed to eat all day and so my daily intake consisted of a nectarine for breakfast and a popsicle around 2 pm. You can imagine I was hungry when we left.  We ventured to J. Alexander's for what we thought might be my last meal for a couple days as I continued to have contractions, but ended the night calmly and with no significant events. 

Saturday was much of the same. Contractions all day. Some hours they were consistent, other hours they were quite sporadic. It was beginning to get very old to say the least. Finally at dinner (around 8 pm) they began to get (and stay) consistent at around 8 minutes apart.  My activity level changed, I made sure I was well-hydrated, and still they continued. Over the course of the next six hours they drifted from 8 minutes apart to 4 minutes apart (around 2 am I was wakened by these pains). So I waited to see if they would hang around and finally an hour later I called my doctor and asked what I should do. Off to the hospital we were. Certain this was it. Our big "middle of the night, pouring rain on the way to the hospital, so tired we can't keep our eyes open labor story."  They took me to triage to check my dilation...and nothing. Not one thing had changed since Friday so all those annoying contractions had been in vain. My little man had to be laughing...actually, I'm sure that he was because as I was on the monitor in triage, he got the hiccups, and we all know how to get the hiccups! Seriously.  And not only that, but to make matters worse, the nurse made me feel like a complete idiot for coming in that night...telling me that next time I should wait an hour before calling my doctor. I was like, "HELLO! I waited SIX, thank you very much!" She didn't make my 3 am wake up call any more exciting.

We trudged home at 5 am and headed back to the bed for any amount of sleep we could hope to muster. As darkness turned to light, we fell asleep and stayed there for a good 6 hours. Sunday, the contractions all but disappeared. I maybe had five the whole day. I was pretty frustrated with this whole "not knowing what the heck is going on with my body" thing. After spending a frustrating day at the pool, I finally realized I just have to let it go and  let God do His thing with both my body and the little one inside. He has the perfect time all planned out and ready for him to make his grand debut, and I just have to be patient. And I am. But when you spend two full days hanging out in this "he's coming, no he's not" phase, it's just a little easier said than done. After I was able to kind of get a hold of my emotional hormone cocktail and relax a bit on Sunday, I felt much better.  Sunday moved to Monday, and much more of the action, Jackson. 

We'll find out more tomorrow at the Dr., but my guess is no changes...still waiting. But if he hasn't grown much, or I am still losing fluid, we'll have to do something to help him out sooner rather than later. I'm due in 8 days, our lovely 3-year anniversary.  I just hope we don't end up hanging out in the hospital to celebrate. Not that it would be a bad way to celebrate, but you know, it's just one of those things. Again, another way of seeing our little boy's sense of humor already. It's such an odd time to be due, with Fourth of July looming over us in just a few days and our anniversary right around the corner, it appears we'll be spending at least one of the two in the hospital either pushing or recovering. Well, not so much WE as in ME. In the meantime, we'll just keep waiting. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

So, today I am torn between writing about this amazing book I just started and finished this week (The Shack) or this amazing cake I just finished devouring (Heavenly Cake, so aptly named). Unfortunately, I can't find a link to a picture of this oh so Heavenly Cake, but even if I could, I don't know that a picture would do it justice.  Even as I start to type, my decision between writing of the book, which seriously has changed my view of God and I will write about later, and this cake, has been made. Mostly because I finished the book before I finished the piece of cake...and that's about as far back as my memory goes these days. 

There's a restaurant in downtown Franklin called the Franklin Mercantile (and Deli). They have always been known for their great breakfast items and huge lunch menu. I actually used to go there a lot when I worked in downtown a few years ago, and always had great experiences (like frequently running into Faith and Tim as they walked their dogs). Anyway, the cute little shop just started offering a dinner/tapas menu a few weeks ago. It's a short list of items (about 4 - 8 in each category) but with any of them, you can't go wrong. Nathan took me there a few weeks ago for our date night dinner and we enjoyed a great meal, live music, and then a HUGE piece of Heavenly Cake (all thanks to our great server that night who hooked it up for the pregnant girl needing chocolate!). I had intentions of writing about it then, but it was not until our second trip back that I was truly struck by the sheer perfection this dessert is. 

In brief, the cake is simple. But simple is all it needs to be. It's a very very light and airy chocolate cake, topped with a layer of chocolate fudge/pudding, and topped with a layer of real whipped cream...about a half inch layer. And on the whipped cream is a light fudge sauce, strategically placed on top of the whip...perfection. I wish I had a picture. There was an article in the paper a few weeks back about the restaurant's new venture, but I didn't pay much attention. Well, now I am paying attention.

Now I am on a quest, not only to find a recipe for this Heavenly Cake, but to find one that is even better than the original. I may just have to try and work something up on my own, as thus far I have had no luck.  I'll let you know, and when I do, I'll post picture after picture of the glorious masterpiece. Until then, just pretend you can taste the chocolatey-ness and the cold whipped topping with a hint of fudge sauce and pretend it melts in your mouth like nothing else you've ever tasted. I might just have to start practicing little boy is going to need to know the joy that is this dessert.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This past weekend, Nathan decided to take a chance and leave his 37 almost 38-week pregnant wife and go hang out with two of his favorite male friends in Atlanta. Despite a series of somewhat concerning circumstances in the preceding weeks (i.e., low fluids, decreased growth, effacement and dilation beginning, etc.), we both felt it was going to be safe for him to go, and knowing he was only four hours away at most did help alleviate some of the fear and anxiety that went along with him leaving. It was something that he tried to do a few weeks prior, but it seemed the only weekend that worked for the three amigos was this past off he went on Friday afternoon, set to return on Sunday evening. I'll admit, I was a little scared by the fact that I'd be alone all weekend, but I also am really in tune with my body and what's going on, so I felt confident I would know pretty quickly if I was going into labor and we had all the appropriate contingency plans in place for the event. My bags have been packed for weeks, so that was not a was more or less getting to the hospital...

But here I am, Monday, beating the odds predicted by pretty much everyone that his departure would bring on labor. Not this week. What, you might be wondering, did you do with yourself while he was out of town? After all, I knew he would be completely occupied over time and space with his male counterparts and the time would fly for him, but with not so much going on in my world at the time (other than playing this fabulous game called The Waiting Game) I'm sure it would give rise to such a question. Amazingly enough I did find plenty of things to keep me busy, and other than a few short minutes here and there, I enjoyed the quiet time to be alone. I know, after all, that I won't have much of that in the coming months, so I did my very best to enjoy every last minute of it, soaking it up with each passing second.

Friday afternoon I ran a few errands I have had on my list for several days (some of which has passed the two weeks mark!) and felt really good for having taken care of those things. I wondered what I would do with myself for dinner, and at the end of a lot of places being thrown at me in and around the mall, I opted for leftovers at the house. Simple, free, and I could enjoy my movie while I dined. I had ordered The Waitress from our Netflix que so I'd have a girlie move to watch in his absence and enjoyed seeing someone else go through pregnancy and their completely different take on life. Very interesting life.

Anyway, the movie had all this pie in it and so at some interval I got a hankering for dessert and whipped up a sour cream white cake and cream cheese frosting. Since it wasn't ready in time for my dessert hankering, I pulled out my new favorite treat, Alden's Ice Cream. Now, if you don't know, I am somewhat freakish about the types of things I eat (amongst other things) and prefer, if at all possible to eat everything organic. It has been increasingly difficult to find organic ice cream in a half gallon size rather than in pints, which just simply aren't enough for a pregnant woman who loves ice cream just as much pregnant as she does not pregnant. I came across some Blue Bell that was All Natural, and since I am a Texas girl at heart, this suited my fancy just fine. I love Blue Bell and always will, though now almost every flavor (except All Natural Vanilla) has high fructose corn syrup, which as you will come to learn is the bain of our healthy existence. It destroys all things good. Anyway, my dear friend Taylor, was coming to our house one evening to partake in some cigars with my hubby, and I told him that if he came, he had to bring Blue Bell All Natural Vanilla. Well, he couldn't find any, and so I would have to do without. BUT, much to my surprise and happiness, he found Alden's, and knowing my affinity for all things organic, hoped it would make the pregnant girl happy. Well, happy indeed. I have found a new love in Alden's Ice Cream. So, long story, but I enjoyed a nice bowl of that with fresh strawberries and a bit of Hershey's syrup before making my way to bed.

Saturday was more of the same. I got up early for the daily neighborhood walk, though I will say it wasn't nearly as exciting or enjoyable without my man by my side. Regardless, I stuck it out and did my hour before getting cleaned up and heading to Green Hills and other areas to finish up the errands. I got home and rested before deciding I would treat myself to a pedicure. Just in case I did go into labor, I wanted to have nice looking toes in the stirrups. A precautionary, yet necessary measure for all pregnant girls. The evening ended much the same as the night before though I didn't feel too hot that night and hoped I wouldn't wake up in a pool of fluid in the middle of the night.

Sunday came and went quickly. I spent most of the day at the pool, enjoying the awesome weather and reading my way half-way into The Shack. And seriously, if you do not have a copy of this book, please go out and get it now. Read it now. Soak it up. It will entrance you and change your life. If you let it. Please let it. It's amazing. You can buy it directly from the site above or you can get it from any other retailer...I personally select Amazon for most of my book orders, but that's a matter of personal preference. Whatever you do, get it.

That was pretty much the weekend. A few things I realized in Nathan's absence, that I thought would be interesting to note:

  1. Days are so much better when he is in them.
  2. Pottery Barn is not as much fun to dabble around in for hours without having a counterpart there to bounce ideas off of and play pretend with.
  3. Alone time is really valuable and important, and I enjoyed the solitude of the past 48+ hours.
  4. I had so much time to listen to God, talk to God, sing to my baby boy, wash clothes, and do things I don't do for myself very often and I think doing things for ourselves is often something we put off in the push for doing something for others. There is and should be a balance there. I enjoyed finding it.
  5. I don't like waking up in the middle of the night in a King-sized bed and realizing my husband is not by my side.
  6. I realized how much fuller my days and months are because of the man God put in my life
  7. I enjoyed remembering days past and thinking of Nathan while he was away, it made my heart grow fonder for him.
  8. Though I really enjoyed being alone for a time this weekend, I realized, too, what a gift I have been given in Nathan, in marriage, and with each day that passes, I am able to see more and more why God created us for one another. Not just he and I, but woman for man. It is truly a miracle in and of itself.
  9. I cannot wait to have this baby.

There's more, but I think that's enough for today...take time for you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

To Knoxville we go...for a day-trip that is. Mom and Dad had been so kind as to offer to meet us half way in Knoxville to bring us the rest of the baby gear so we wouldn't have to a) pay to ship it, b) drive to Charlotte and back in a weekend, or c) have to live at the hospital since we wouldn't have a car seat for BT and therefore would be unable to be discharged. So it was totally nice of them (and the Britts' for letting them borrow their Toyota Sequoia) to drive the four hours to Knoxville and meet us. We, of course, had to meet at a customary Down (and now Tabler) pitstop, Cracker Barrel. We simply love that place when we're traveling. I can recount a time in almost every trip, except maybe this very last one in April, between Charlotte and Nashville that we stopped at a Cracker Barrel to grab a bite to eat and take a seat for a while in the afterglow of true Southern hospitality and all things cheesy.

Regardless, we got our goodies and we excited to go home and unpack, set up, and organize. With me doing most of the organizing...the curse that comes from the third trimester nesting phase. And I have felt that full force to say the least. I mean, I, as most of you know, am a perpetual nester. Nathan likes to say I'm "feathering and nesting" whenever I get it in my mind to do something and won't sleep until it's complete. I guess I am. But I also see how this has become heightened in the past few weeks, to an almost bionic level. I will even take it so far as to say I feel bionic at times with my ability and patience to organize the minutia that is our life. See, I was talking so peacefully about our trip to Knoxville, and now I find myself wanting to go print some more labels with my newly purchased label-maker. Yes, I bought a label-maker. It was, I have to say, one of those things I never thought I would buy, but when I thought about all the uses I could get for it and the time it would save me from printing them off from the computer, I had to have it. There were no buts about it.

So I have successfully labeled all the containers that I have organized my kitchen pantry with. Yes, nearly everything is in a container, with the exception of chips and some boxed items which tend to look neat and organized in their own right. I did that a few months ago, but have not gotten around to giving each of the beautifully clear and well-organized container it's own label. Now they are happy containers. I also managed to label the inside of BT's dresser drawers with the items that belong in that drawer and section. I thought it would be one of those things that would be useful in the event we hire a nanny to help around the house while I'm working since I'll be at home. As much as I love doing laundry, I know it's one of the things I would delegate to a nanny to do to save me time and effort. So I am simply planning ahead for when she (or he, there are some quite talented mannies out there) is putting away his clothes and needs to know where to put them. Or a babysitter for that matter. I mean, chances are, the little dude will be sleeping most of the time a sitter would be here, so if there's things to be done and we are at that point in our relationship, well, she can put away laundry! What better way to help ensure his things stay where they need to than to label them.

Some of you might consider this slightly, if not completely, freakish in nature. But I, however, see the ultimate practicality in it well as the efficiency that I hope to create in this little place of space that is my world.

And back to Knoxville. It was great to see Mom and Dad, both potentially for the last time until I have the baby. That in and of itself is somewhat scary, but also very exciting! :) I will be 37 weeks this week, so I'm full term and he can safely exit his home any time he pleases and still be safe. The drive home was fun and's a beautiful trip and Tennessee has some of the most beautiful landscapes you've ever seen, so it makes for a nice and rather quick 2 1/2 hour jaunt. Maybe we'll be able do that more often in the coming months as a nice half-way point between here and Charlotte. I know the ladies at Cracker Barrel want us back.

Here's some pics from our trip.

Our prom-ish pose.

Little one in the oven.

Hugging my dad on almost Father's Day...another treat of the weekend trip.

Mom seriously loves to pat the BT Buddha belly!

I'm not sure what pose we were trying to pull off here, I think Nathan was just trying to get his peace sign into any picture he could.

Looking at this picture makes me realize several things: 1) I am so loved, 2) My parents are awesome, and 3) I am SOOOOO their daughter. I mean, there is no way I could convince someone I was adopted when you look at this picture. It's amazing that soon we'll have our own little miracle Nate/Kara combo popping out any minute now. I can't WAIT to see this little guy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

So little man Tabler is almost at term! It's getting down to the wire and we are getting excited...and still scared! :) But more just excitement and a preparedness to meet this little guy. I can't wait. We have been moved to twice weekly doctor's visits as of last week, so they can monitor his growth, which has slowed down a bit more than they would prefer. He isn't really gaining much weight and neither am I, so he's dropped from the 35th percentile to the 10th and that gave them a bit of a cause for concern enough to see me more often. So now we go on Tuesday's for an ultrasound and on Friday's for a non-stress test and "down there" check. :) 

This week's visits went well, but not as well as we would hope, I guess. He is still rather small, and my little belly is only at 29 weeks (whereas he is at 36) so you can imagine it's fairly tight quarters in there. My fluids have still been on the low side of normal, but have remained stable, nonetheless, which is good. What's so funny is that every week before my ultrasound, I try and have caffeine, chocolate, or some kind of juice that will perk up the little guy so he'll give us some good pictures, breathing, and movement, but I haven't had much luck. It seems he knows we're watching him and just kind of hangs out in his happy place during the U/S. He must have that camera-shy quality from his dad since we all KNOW that I don't have it anywhere in me! 

I would post the pictures we got this week, but they weren't very clear and unless you're really skilled at reading ultrasounds and the crazy pictures they print off, it wouldn't do many of you much good. But maybe I'll change my mind later. After this week, I have decided I'm pretty ready to have this baby, so anytime he wants to come is just fine with me. Just so long as it isn't next weekend, when Nathan is out of town. We're still on watch to track his growth, so if all goes up and up next week, Nate will still go and we'll still be waiting. 

One thing we did do was settle on a name. Yes, this was a huge challenge for us, but being the perfectionists we both are, we had to think long and hard about this. The most difficult thing was choosing something we liked, but also that he would like...not that he has much choice in the matter, but you know, some kids just hate their names. We came back from the beach with a name all picked out, we even bought the letters to put on the wall, but when it came down to it, we just didn't feel it was the right name for him. So we went on another search for the perfect name and we do feel that we picked a good with meaning, strength, and flow-ability, which you know is the most important. All in all a good 36 weeks. 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Baby showers are so fun. It's like getting married again and having gifts and food just thrown at you. And instead of people saying, "Wow, that is so awesome!" they say, "Awww, isn't that so cute?!?" There are lots of coos and giggles and lots of passing around of little tiny boy things that we try our best to envision some little new born wearing or playing with, but it's definitely a lot harder than when they're actually wearing it. 

This past weekend I attended another shower in Charlotte, this one thrown by my mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law in conjunction with their aunt. A lot of family (from out of town) was able to attend this shower and it was great to be able to share in the moments with them as we don't get to see much of them now that we live in Nashville. Some girls from my small group attended as well, and it was great seeing the faces that were praying for this baby even before he existed. Such a neat thing to share in with them and the rest of the family. Nathan stayed at home for the weekend, so he didn't get to enjoy in the festivities, but it would have been a bit much for him anyway...

I flew to Charlotte on Friday morning (which, by the way, a forty minute flight  is WAY better than the 6+ hour drive it is from Nashville) and headed to my girl Lindsay at Modern. I love her! And, she just got married in May, so I got to hear about the wedding and honeymoon, a two-week trip to South Africa, complete with a safari! It was great. Headed for pedicures with Mom, then back to run some other errands - finding hospital pajamas, at home pajamas, and some nursing bras...what fun to recount. After several hours, some screaming at Target, and spending way too much money on hair and maternity items, we headed for Mexican to take the edge off!  It was a long day, and we were wiped out, but it was great. 

The shower was Saturday, so we got up early, went to Panera, then headed up to the lake area to pick up the awesome cake. We ordered it from our favorite little shop - they made our wedding cake and it was such a hit that I knew that's the cake I wanted for the shower. It turned out cute - Cecelia really wanted rocking horses on the cake, so that's what we ended up with and it was cute. A little more "baby" than we would have preferred, but hey, that's why we're here anyway, right?  Here's a picture of the cute cake: 

The off to the shower. It was a whirlwind, but a great time. As I mentioned, lots of family was able to be there and we got lots of great gifts, some that we REALLY needed before we bring the little one home - like a stroller and car seat! Here's the spread of food...which was great.

All in all the shower was a success, and after a very long day, we went by Papitre to pick out some baby announcements and thank-you cards for after BT gets here. I didn't feel very well (and hadn't since that morning), so we headed home for some rest before taking care of a few other last minute things and packing up my stuff for the trip home. While a fast trip, it was great and a lot of fun. I felt so blessed and so loved...and only hope the little man growing inside me could sense all the love around him this weekend. 

A few more pictures...
My mom and I posing before the shower got started.

Nathan's mom, who will be "CeCe" to little BT.

This is Janna Nimmo, my friend who works at Bank of America. We met she and her husband Travis through another church in Charlotte...they moved here from Atlanta and we miss them lots...she came at the last minute and it was great to catch up.

One of my favorite gifts - an awesome blanket from my Grandma Poage - she did an incredible job and I can't wait to use this!! 

Posing with Nathan's sisters - Anna Jane and Karen, who came in from Atlanta for the event. Jessica's trip home from Indonesia was delayed by a week, so she wasn't able to be there. And another picture with all the hostesses....Nathan's Aunt Julia, Anna Jan, Me, CeCe, and Karen.
And last but not least...the loot. There was so much stuff! All I could get in my suitcase was the clothes. The rest we'll have to meet up with Mom and Dad to pick up at a later time...crazy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

After a nice "free" Memorial Day weekend, we got to spend this weekend holed up in a classroom for two days. Everyone yell, Yippee! As much as we were not looking forward to restriction from the pool and sitting in uncomfortable chairs all day, it was better than option 2, which was six consecutive weeks of classes at 3 hours each. Yikes! With as much reading as I've been doing, I felt pretty confident we'd know what to expect and have all our questions answered with the long weekend class. So, give it up, we did...all for the sake of BT. We are also scheduled to attend a Comfort in Labor Class, but since we all know that is an oxymoron in and of itself, we opted not to attend that class. Heck, it's going to be painful, so why try and fool myself into thinking it won't be. 

I will say that going into the class, I had spent a few days with random and infrequent "panic attacks" about becoming a mom, the labor process, freaking out about whether or not I (we) can do this, etc...basically the process in and of itself, so I wasn't so much looking forward to diving into those freak-outs full force.  Day one was pretty basic information, but all in all very helpful. We learned all about the process from beginning to end, what happens with your body during and after pregnancy, what kind of things to expect during the three stages of labor, how your partner can be supportive, medication options available, how to nurse, how to bottle feed, how to hold a baby, what to pack for the hospital, what NOT to pack for the hospital, etc. I could go on. But the instructor was great and a former labor nurse with lots of good info and very practical advice. And unlike our breastfeeding instructor, she did not say "pacific" when in fact she meant specific. Day 2 was started off with a discussion about C-sections and I will say this part kind of freaked me out. After watching three ladies go through labor from beginning to end on the previous day, watching and learning about this process did not leave me in a good place. I certainly don't want a C-section. Though I know I will do it if it's the only way the little guy will come out, I really deep down feel as though I will be one of those women who feel like a failure if they have to give birth via this method. I'm not sure why that is. I mean, after all, I am a small person, and I am growing a large baby (large being relative in my case since we all know he is a pint sized thing). And though it really shouldn't matter how he enters into the world, after seeing this, it is not my first choice to have it be this way. Okay, enough on that. 

We were able to have a very relaxing next hour by taking a tour of the hospital. Well, not the whole hospital, but the labor units and the units that would be most important to us as birthing couples. We saw a standard L&D room (nice and fairly roomy), followed by the little nursery (where there were only three new babies - but how small and cute they were!), and of course the recovery room where we'll be after the labor portion. We ended with learning how to swaddle Baby, and practicing breathing and relaxation techniques. Though this seemed awfully silly, I know it will be helpful when we try to recall what the heck to do in a few weeks when I'm screaming my head off in agony. Maybe then I'll reconsider my "no drugs" policy, but until I get there, I'm sticking with it. No drugs. I'm putting it in writing...there. Done.  No drugs. I think most of the people in my life know I can do this, but there are those few that have their doubts and have placed bets about how long it will go before I finally give in to the drugs. What I have said to that is: "Unless it is medically necessary and little BT will not come out unless I have to have some form of drug applied, I will not do, take, or have anything applied or inserted that contains any drug." And that's that. 

All in all a very informative, yet very long weekend. We didn't have much of a weekend and spent Monday feeling jipped from not having a weekend, but we finally got over it. After watching all of the labor and the labor process and hearing all of the information (I love information - I'm like a stinking sponge!) I feel a lot more prepared and a lot more confident. I left saying, "Hey, I can totally do this!" And with Nathan, who is such a great partner and supportive person at my side, I know I can do it. It's just like running a marathon, only it hurts just a little bit more.  I mean, I won't really want to run for a while afterwards, but it's a good analogy to have in my head. Just a long and painful race with an AMAZING outcome. Now I'm just ready (and hoping he doesn't come the weekend Nathan is out of town...that could be bad).