2012: The Year of Relaxation and Reflection (and not the dragon)

Well, hello, dear DTT readers! This reflection marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next for Deep Thought Thursdays, as we sit just a mere two days  and two hours from 2012. But before we get into this week’s thoughts, I’m sure you’re interested in some pregnancy-related news. :0) I am quickly approaching the end of my 28th week. Just eight weeks from tomorrow, our new daughter will be born. As we move into 2012 and encroach upon my c-section date, I’m sure my roller-coaster of an emotional state will keep this blog freshly pressed. :0)

Today, was a pretty busy day appointment-wise. It all began with another Level II ultrasound and

Profile shot -- that is actually her knee that she is placing up against her mouth.

ended with a shot of Rho-Gam (a necessary medicine for any mother with a negative blood-type who conceives a baby with a father who has a positive blood type). I went to the ultrasound sans Clara, as Taylor is on vacation this week and graciously offered to watch her while I ran around Providence from appointment to appointment. I thought it was sweet how everyone at the Prenatal Diagnosis Center (PDC) and my OB’s office were asking for her. I guess we have been to each office our fair share of times since getting pregnant in June. I got a chance to see baby girl and she is progressing fabulously! She was a little quiet at first, despite my having dined on gingerbread and apple cider this morning, but definitely perked up by the end of the scan. At one point, she was happily using my uterus as a punching bag — something I could simultaneously see and feel. Below are some 4D shots of her little face. I think she looks a lot like her big sister and am now more excited than ever to meet her. As of today, she is estimated to weigh 2 pounds, 10 ounces and already has quite a bit of hair — another cool detail that the ultrasound machine revealed this morning. The doctor reassured me via a detailed scan of her brain that there was no evidence of any bleeding. Whew. Thank you, IVIG. As I left the PDC, I felt like I was walking on air. After all that we’ve been through with this pregnancy over the last six months, it’s so comforting to know that my therapy is working. And, as I sit here reflecting on the events of today, another bag of IVIG is sitting in my pantry warming itself to room temperature for tomorrow’s infusion.

 

Another 4D shot. After seeing this shot, my heart just melted and the reality of her upcoming birth truly hit me.

On a side note, I seem to have found a solution to the irritating itchy patches of skin that have popped out on my upper chest and back since I started IVIG at the end of October. For Christmas, Taylor’s cousin Loren gifted us with a small bag that contained a nip of Goldschlager and a bar of soap made with Frankincense and Myrrh (Get it? He bestowed us with the gifts of the three wise men!). Well, I decided to give the soap a try, as I thought it had a pleasant scent and figured that it may help with my itchy skin issue. I started using the soap on Monday and have thankfully found some relief! If you’re a NAIT mom or IVIG recipient and are experiencing red, itchy patches on your skin as a result of the medication, I highly recommend getting yourself some raw shea butter soap with soy milk, frankincense and myrrh. It is made by Nubian Heritage and can be purchased at your nearest Whole Foods Market.

Ok, enough with the gory details regarding my poor skin and onto more important matters. :0) I can’t believe that another Christmas season, as well as, another year has come and gone. This year really got out from under me. Between Brianne and Bernie’s wedding, my sister’s wedding, teaching, Taylor’s crazy business trips, chasing after the cutest toddler ever, managing this pregnancy and starting my IVIG treatments, 2011 hurdled right past me. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s Resolution and what I am going to attempt to change about myself this year. Last year, my resolution actually came to fruition mid-year when I decided to make a more conscientious effort to reduce my carbon footprint by using reusable shopping bags. It was just disgusting me how many plastic bags I brought home after each shopping trip, so I decided to buy the reusable ones. Although I haven’t used them 100% of the time, I really try to make an effort to grab a stack of bags from my trunk before venturing into the grocery store, Target, etc.

After much thought, I have decided that this year’s resolution is going to focus on better free-time management. I think after chasing 2011 out the door with my over-booked schedule, I am going to really make a concerted effort to use my free-time to do the things that I feel are most important to me:

1. Spending quality play time with Clara and the new baby

2. Putting aside time each day to check in with my wonderfully supportive husband

3. Filling my calendar with playdates (for us and the kids) instead of appointments and meetings

4. Concentrating on my writing by working on this blog and getting a book off the ground

5. Getting back into tip-top running shape so that I can complete my first half-marathon in 2013

6. Beading and baking, as they provide me with lots of relaxation

7. Downloading some e-books and getting as much use as possbible out of my new Kindle Fire (thanks, Mom and Dad!)

So, after glancing back over my list, it looks like I have a tall order to fill. However, eliminating IVIG treatments, doctor’s appoinments and work (yes, I am going to retire from teaching for an undetermined amount of time), will definitely free up the time I need to really enjoy all of the wonderful things in my life. Since experiencing some of the most challenging moments in my 33 years on this earth over the past eight years — being diagnosed with melanoma, losing our son, and facing NAIT head-on — my attitude towards life and the “rat race” that I used to fall victim to has changed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a Type A all the way. But, I do try to stop and smell the roses as much as I can. I find a lot of comfort in observing the simpler things in life and have learned to take my time and live more in the moment. This new take on life inspired me to start this blog. And after the baby is born, I want my reflections to be more focused on these observations and how I perceive the world around me. If anything, I hope to inspire my readers to take a more organic approach to their view of the world.

As this week’s reflection comes to a close, I want to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012. Although my plans for New Year’s Eve are a bit more conservative than they have been in years passed (fondue, films and fun at home with just Taylor and Clara this year), I am looking forward to closing the 2011 chapter of my life and beginning Chapter 2012. I’m not too sure what the next year holds, but I know that it will  provide me with the inspiration and motivation to move beyond this year’s challenges and embrace those yet to come…

Happy New Year!

Next Week: Stay tuned for an update on my TV interview (schedule for January 3rd — not sure of the air date yet, though) and a 29 week belly shot!

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