Guess what!? You aren't going to be the only new arrival in 2018. You have two other cousins on the Mayans side who are also on their way, and we are sooo excited for all of you to enter our growing family. From one Christmas to the next, my mom will go from being Grammy to one granddaughter to being Grammy for 4 grandbabies!
Grace will join the family in May.
My brother, Ben, and his wife, Vi, are expecting a little boy at the beginning of August.
And my other little brother, Jacob, and his wife, Danika, just announced that they, too, are expecting a boy in October.
So many babies!!! So much love!!!
Alright, Gracie-girl. You and I were spoiled with so much love this weekend at another baby shower. My friend, Rachel, really went above and beyond as she planned this baby celebration.
First of all, check out those invitations! Wow! I had multiple awestruck friends text me and tell me that these were the most intense and beautiful invitations they had ever seen. I totally agree. Plus, they were tasty ;)
Then the actual party was so fun! Friends from college, old and new wards, work, and roommates came together. We ate some brunch and played a game to guess what you might look like. (My face was mixed with Andrew's face and then with various celebrities. We had to guess which one was the Maichael-Andrew mix. It was so entertaining, but there are definitely some celebrities that I would not mix well with!...Luckily, it looks like Andrew and I would make a cute baby, so let's hope that prediction is correct.)
You daddy and I were able to see you this week! Mind you, it was just through an ultrasound, but still! I find it amazing that technology can tell us so much. According to our doctor, you have already turned into the birthing position and you are sitting nice and low. Great news! (Although it does mean you seem to be pressing constantly on my pelvic bones and causing me to run the restroom every chance I get). Because of your positioning, we weren't able to get a great look at your face, but we could see your already chubby cheeks and full Macey lips. Don't get too chubby; we do need to get you out of me at some point, and I'd appreciate it if you don't make that even more difficult by weighing 10 lbs. ;)
We had our final baby shower this week. The Macey side of the family showered us with all their love by sharing their favorite mom tips, tricks, clothes, and products to help you and me better transition into this new life.
I am so lucky to have such great family on both sides. I loved spending time with them and predicting when you might arrive. Most of them guessed you will make your debut some time between May 17 and May 24. (Psss, I'd be ok if you wanted to surprise us and come a bit before those dates. I am so anxious to hold you in my arms.)
I was pleasantly surprised by our doctor appointment this morning. My body is definitely getting ready for baby girl to arrive. I'm about 80% effaced, dilated to almost a 3, and my doctor stripped my membrane (so we will now see if that starts anything). It is crazy to think that Andrew and I will hold our baby in our arms in no time.
(This next paragraph is written 4 days later)....IT HAS BEEN THE LONGEST 4 DAYS OF MY LIFE! Those dang numbers I mentioned in the last paragraph are just a tease. Every day, I think, "Today is a great day to have a baby!" and I know that I have a pretty good chance of going into labor. And yet, after walking all day and teaching and feeling the tightening of Braxton Hicks contractions, nothing happens and I end the day exhasted and feeling like I've been hit by a truck, yet no baby. :( So frustrating!!!!
(insert Jeopardy waiting music here)
We had another doctor's appointment this week, and Dr. Black said, "With how your body is progressing, I would be really surprised if you didn't have this baby before your due date."
Don't get my hopes up, Doc! That is just cruel!
The video "Just a Mom" really touched me, especially since I wont be returning to teach middle school next year. Often, the world hyper-focuses on job success, yet it forgets to see the importance of the tireless work in each individual home. I think it is so important to never downplay the essential role mothers have in raising the future generation. I am a part of that as I raise Gracie, and I don't want to forget it!
We are soooo excited to meet you! Every week it gets more and more real (and I also get more and more nervous!). To calm my nerves a bit, Andrew and I decided to take a class through the hospital. It covered so many good topics, including stages of labor, breathing and relaxation techniques, possible medical interventions, breastfeeding, and so much more. Since it was a one-day class, we were pretty exhasted by the end.
We did, however, get to tour the hospital at the end of the class. I feel like having physically walked through the hospital and seen where I will be at certain stages of labor and delivery really helped me feel more prepared. So I left the class very satisfied with all I had learned.
Andrew, unfortunately, came away from the class a little....traumatized. haha. The instructor showed us some videos, and Andrew was shocked to see not one but THREE births. He had been so happy in his blissful ignorance before this class, but now that pleasant little bubble has burst. Even so, I think he too came away from the class with important knowledge of how he can best help me through labor and in the first few weeks after. It was good for both of us.
Wow, I feel like my belly is SO BIG, yet I know that you are going to be growing exponentially in these last months. We had a doctor's appointment this week, and everything is looking good. I really haven't gained any weight (I am definitely not complaining about that), but I have wondered if you would see any negative effects. The doctor quelled any fears for me. She said that as long as I am eating enough, my stomach is measuring how it should, and I can feel you move regularly, everything is fine.
Well, baby girl, let the growing continue!
This week we finished your bedroom! I am in love with it! I love the color pop from the flower-elephant painting, the girly spunkiness of the turquoise polkadot drapes, the inviting comfort of the rocking chair, and the little blankets folded around the room that cannot wait to snuggle you up.
All the room needs now is a little baby to brighten up the space. For now, I sit in the rocking chair daily (usually to read my scriptures and then engage in a little mother-daughter, one-sided conversation). I take the time to talk to you and feel you squirm. I speculate about our future together, and I cherish these quiet moments to focus on the fact that I am a mom already!
Tis the season for baby showers!
First, some friends and faculty at Sunset Ridge Middle School surprised me with a baby shower on Wednesday. They even invited Andrew, which was a fun surprise. We celebrated with some cake, pink decorations, and presents. I really love the people I work with, and it will be tough to leave them after this school year.
Then, I was able to go to California for Spring Break and celebrate with friends and family there. My mom and sisters hosted a baby shower for me. It was the picture of perfection, complete with beautiful decorations, delicious food, great conversations, and (surprisingly) really fun games! I am usually not a "games at shower" person, but I have to admit that my mom did a great job at keeping the party fun yet flowing smoothly. Some of the activities included:
Gracey, all I can say is: We are both VERY loved. Everyone is so excited for our little family to grow. They keep telling me how your arrival will just transform our lives, and I am so excited for that day to arrive. Already, I feel like I am a different woman than I was before, and I hope to be a good mom to you.
I keep accidentally claiming that I am at week 37. Yikes! I must be excited to meet you. But let's not rush things. You stay cooking right where you are, and I'll continue to nest and prepare for your arrival. I love you!
Your Mama Bear
Dear Baby Bear,
Congratulations to us! We are now 1/3 the way done with this pregnancy. The months seems to be creeping by, but the weeks actually fly by. I love looking on my baby apps to find out how big you are getting and what new tricks you have learned. For example, this week they say that you can suck your thumb! Soooo cute!!!
This week we heard your heartbeat for the first time. It took a little while for the nurse to find it. I can't lie, it made me a little nervous. But after lots of ultrasound gel on my stomach and patient waiting, we finally found it! It was so neat to hear!
You are about the size of an avocado this week. And, my little avocado, you are still my go-to excuse for not wanting to grade anything. Haha. I leave work with the best of intentions, but I am still feeling so exhausted after a long day. Andrew teases me a little because I can often be found on the couch at 6:30 in the afternoon, fast asleep. Then he will wake me up around 9ish and help shuffle me to our bedroom. He gives me my nausea medicine, tucks me in, and I fall fast asleep again. So grading will have to wait another day.
The next day, we had some friends and family over at our house to celebrate my birthday, during the evening, we did a gender reveal. You are a .....GIRL!!!!
Not going to lie, I definitely thought you were going to be a boy. But my little mama heart burst and I started crying when I found out you were a girl. I was soooo thrilled.
Your daddy made me cry (good tears) when he bought you an adorable onesie that says "Mommy is my bestie." The glitter bow just pushed me over the edge as I started to imagine our little friendship and how I will love dressing you up in girly attire.
The nausea comes and goes now. Some days I think, "Finally! I am done feeling so sick!" and then other days I find myself practically living near a trashcan or toilet.
Actually, more than the nausea, my lower back has been the new center of negative attention. I've found that if I sit too much, my back starts screaming at me. Time to start going to a chiropractor.
Merry Christmas, Baby Bear! We spent Christmas with my family in California this year.
I think my favorite gifts I received had to do with you: a pink bear binky, a snugly warm bear outfit, a beautiful swaddle, a necklace that says "baby bear" on it, some cute booties and a few frilly bows.
And this week I have officially accepted the fact that I am definitely growing a belly. Bring on the pregnancy pants!
We drove back to Utah after our Christmas vacation, and I have to say, it was the worst day of pregnancy by far! On our road trip, I threw up 5 times (plus once right before we left California, and another time when we were back home in Utah). A total of 7 times in one day! Not only that, but throwing up usually causes me to pee my pants (probably TMI, but I just have to be real about it).
So a 10-hour road trip + pregnancy + 5x throwing up + 3x changing of clothes + crying uncontrollably because I felt so embarrassed and ugly = 1 very unhappy pregnant woman who was ever so grateful for a patient and very loving husband who insisted that he still thought she was beautiful. Yeah...Gracey and I are very blessed to have Andrew around.
Despite all that, we celebrated the New Year with Andrew's family this week. We are so excited for all the new adventures that await us in 2018.
Aloha! We went on a babymoon to the beautiful island of Kauai. It started out rough (I wont go into details here about our terrible flight on Alaska Airlines), but once we arrived the rest of the week was pure paradise. I loved spending some relaxing time with Andrew as we explored the island (by car and by helicopter), soaked up the sun, and snorkeled. We even went to Oahu for a day and explored Peal Harbor, the North Shore, the Laie LDS Temple, the Polynesian Culture Center, and Waikiki. (It was one jam-packed day). The week was pure bliss, and both Andrew and I felt rejuvenated.
Your Daddy was able to feel you move this week! It was so exciting! For the past 2 weeks or so, I have been able to feel you wiggle around in my belly. Usually you get really squirmy when I am eating. While we were in Hawaii, I tried to get Andrew to feel you move, but I guess your kicks weren't strong enough yet. This week however, you wiggled around as I lay in bed. Andrew put his hand on my belly, and his eyes lit up when you moved.
"Was that her?!" he asked with wide eyes. Yes, it was. And since then he has felt you quite a bit. While I personally have felt a unique connection to you for a long time, I think this interaction between you and your Daddy made it feel more real for him. I am so happy to share this pregnancy with Andrew. He is already such a great "Papa Bear", and he loves to talk to you through my belly and tell you how excited he his to meet you.
We started working on your nursery. The furniture came this weekend, and since then we have played around with paint colors (who knew that grey could be such a difficult color to work with!) and possible wall decor.
Right now, the room is still a mess, but we are excited to start "nesting" in the next few months before you arrive.
This month's doctor's visit included the gestational diabetes test. Lucky me, I got poked more times than I like since they couldn't seem to find my veins, but its all worth it as long as you keep growing healthy. I passed the diabetes test, and looks like you are growing just as you should be.
Today Andrew said something about meeting you in 3 months, and all of a sudden it hit me....I AM 6 MONTHS PREGNANT!? WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BABY IN OUR HOME IN ONLY 3 MONTHS!? In some ways, the time goes by so fast. Now I am discussing baby showers with my mom and nursery wall ideas with Andrew. I used to think, "Oh, we have so much time for all that." But now I realize that you will join our lives a lot quicker than I was expecting. It fills me with excitement and nerves all at the same time.
People have been asking me how I feel, and as I have thought about my response, I have definitely noticed that I feel less sick and more energized. Even Andrew said yesterday, "I am glad you are past the nausea stage." Yes! Me too!...and then suddenly, only a few hours after his comment, I got sick on our way home from Park City, and I threw up (literally) all over myself and Andrew's car. It came on so suddenly, I didn't have a baggie, and we were stuck in traffic so Andrew had a hard time pulling over to the side of the road. It was another low, low, low point for me! Needless to say, I was mortified. I came home, dumped my clothes in the wash, took a shower, and then looked up "How to clean up throw up from a car" on the internet. Well, I guess Andrew and I are getting ready for parenthood one nasty situation at a time.
Ok, I can't end the Second Trimester Baby Bear diaries on a low, nasty note. So let's end with my first baby-bump picture EVER! (I know, it's a little pathetic that I haven't been documenting the growing bump, but I figure the third trimester is where it is going to grow the most).
Speaking of that, WE ARE STARTING THE THIRD TRIMESTER!!!! Oh my gosh, this pregnancy seems to have flown by (although, many people warn me that the third trimester sometimes seems to move at a snail's pace while I wait for my Gracey Bear to arrive).
This pregnancy, with all its ups and downs, really has been a beautiful adventure. I love how animated Andrew gets as he feels Grace move inside my belly, and I love the personal connection I feel with her when I am able just to sit down and focus on the way she squirms and pokes inside me. I love the tender moments when Andrew puts his face close to my stomach to talk to Grace and tell her how excited he is to meet her. I love the support and excitement of my friends, family, and coworkers who light up as they see my baby belly. And I love how close Andrew and I have gotten as we have discussed the upcoming changes and how parenthood will completely change our lives. We are definitely eagerly anticipating Grace's arrival and cant believe it is only 3 short months away!
I encouraged my creative writing class to write about a magical moment today. It seems like the joy of the holidays, the new snow, and the hope for a bright new year inspire many magical moments.
But I had a particularly magical moment yesterday, as I lay on the nurses table and watched my little baby greet me from the ultrasound screen.
It was amazing. Our ultrasound 2 months ago showed us Baby Bear's heartbeat, but honestly, Baby looked pretty much like an alien blob at that point. This time, however, Baby looked human! He/She has cute little profile, miraculously tiny fingers and toes, an adorable pitter-patter heartbeat, and a vicious kick. Baby Bear squirmed around as the ultrasound continued and it was pretty much a perfect magical moment for me.
When we found out that she was a girl, the technician asked us if we have a name. When we said what the name was, it was almost as if Baby Bear high fived the ultrasound screen, giving her quiet approval of the name :)
So, my magical moment is definitely centered on little miss Grace Michelle Macey.
(A week-by-week message to the little miracle growing inside me)
By now we have already announced that we are expecting an exciting addition to our family. Baby Bear Macey should be arriving at the end of May, and we are over-the-moon thrilled!
I can't believe I am pregnant! Andrew and I have been trying to start a family for over a year now. When we decided we were ready to start having kids, my body decided that it wanted to do its own thing and randomly stopped ovulating. I went to doctors, tried different medicines, cried longingly into my pillow, heard the news of friends and family who were getting pregnant, and prayed fervently for the day when I might be blessed with a baby of my own.
So, yes, you were definitely a surprise! I came home from work and remembered that I needed to refill my prescriptions. Before calling the pharmacy, I always take a pregnancy test. I took one quickly, not expecting anything from it (since they always clearly announce "Not Pregnant") ......But not this time. I was shocked when I saw the 2 little lines. So shocked, in fact, that the next morning I took another pregnancy test just to make sure it had the same result. (Yes, it did!).
I am already so grateful for you, my little miracle baby.
I told your daddy about you this week! Oh my goodness, I can't believe I was able to hold in such an incredible secret for so long! The day I found out that I was pregnant, I jumped online and bought these cute Papa Bear and Mama Bear t-shirts (hence why you are known as "Baby Bear").
This week we have also moved into our new home in Herriman, Utah. On one of our first nights as home owners, I handed Andrew a little gift baggie and a note. The note said, "We need t-shirts to announce this big step in our lives!" (hoping that he would think I was just talking about owning a home). He opened up the gift and found the "Papa Bear" t-shirt and a picture of the positive pregnancy test. I think it shocked him a little :)
At this point, it still seems surreal. No morning sickness or other weird pregnancy symptoms yet.
Is it really happening? I still can't quite believe it. I called and made an appointment with a new OBGYN at a hospital literally down the street from where we are now living. I've read some great reviews about this new doctor and I am excited for our appointment with her at week 9. Maybe once I have that first ultrasound it will feel more real.
I also have been downloading all the baby apps I can find onto my phone. There is this awesome one that tells me how big you are every week and gives me daily insights into what is going on with your development. (This week, you are the size of a ladybug or a small chocolate chip).
Alright, this week you have been a little tough on my body. I have started feeling more sick (and not just because I also have bronchitis). I feel "blah" basically all day. I don't often feel nauseous, but brushing my teeth has forced me to the toilet a few times now.
Also, I still haven't told many people about you (including my own family!). I am holding out because my parents will be coming to visit us next weekend and I want to tell them in person. I am sure they are going to be shocked and so ecstatic about the news!
The few people I have told (a few close friends and coworkers) have been so supportive and excited for me. It has been reassuring to tell them some of my pregnancy symptoms and hear their similar experiences from past pregnancies. It helps it all feel more real.
Your family is soooo excited to meet you! We told my parents last week over Sunday Facetime (I wanted to wait until they were here in person, but in the end, I couldn't hold in the news any longer). My mom cried....like, a lot. :) I know that our families have prayed and fasted in our behalf many times over the past year, so we are all very grateful Heavenly Father sent you to us. The following Sunday, we had family dinner with the Macey side, and Andrew and I showed up in our Papa Bear and Mama Bear t-shirts. You can imagine everyone's surprise and excitement. You are already very loved.
This week was really special for another reason. I had my first "real" moment with you. It happened because my sister-in-law, Olivia, dropped off a basket with a few pregnancy and parenting handbooks, books of baby names, and snacks. Included in the gift basket was a little animal sounds book for little kids, and she wrote a little note saying, "To help you get excited for raising Baby Bear." I burst into tears as I flipped through the cardboard pages and imagined holding you and teaching you how to make animal sounds. All of a sudden, it became much more real for me. This moment makes all the sudden trips to the toilet or trash can definitely feel more worth it (which have unfortunately been much more often this week).
Andrew and I were able to see you in the ultrasound! Honestly, you kinda look like an alien blob. But I was enthralled when the nurse showed us your little pulsing heart beat. It was pretty amazing. According to your measurements, you are due to meet us on about May 25th.
We met our doctor this week, Dr. Black. She seems really cool. Our first appointment was so easy and she answered all of my questions and set me up with some anti-nausea medicine.
I got my result from my blood test the next day. I have O positive blood, and apparently that can be a bad thing if you, my little baby, end up having O negative blood. Basically if our blood mixes, my body could see you as an infection or intruder and try to kick you out. Because of that, they will give me a shot at 28 weeks that will ensure this doesn't happen. Hm, I had never heard of this being done before.
Oh, little one, you really beat up on your mama this week. This week the nausea was unbearable. Then the heartburn started plaguing me and made restful sleep impossible. I have been moody and uncomfortable, and although Andrew has been super patient with me, I'm sure my volatile mood swings have not been super enjoyable for him either.
But, this week was great in another way: we announced your arrival to the world! Yay!!! We love playing games in our house, so we decided to advertise it through one of our favorites: BananaGrams. We wrote out announcement in a Scrabble-like manner and posted it on Instagram and Facebook. Of course, everyone freaked out :) We are so excited to meet you in about 7 months! (And I am super excited to hopefully get past my all-day nausea in the next few weeks.)
I also told my students about you :) For Halloween, I wore my Mama Bear T-shirt and pulled up my hair into two top buns (kinda like bear ears....if you can stretch your imagination that much). As my students settled down for the start of the class, I declared, "So, my outfit is more of an announcement rather than an actual costume." Then I just waited for them to realize the implication. Some caught on almost immediately, while others just stared around the classroom and tried to pretend they knew what was going on. Haha :) They are all very excited for me.
This first trimester has not been easy, but I wouldn't say it was crazy difficult either. Mostly, I have an aversion to almost all foods and can't cook or choose what to eat. I nibble on Saltines or Corn Pops cereal for most of the day and sip on some Gatorade. I do eat more normal, balanced-ish foods at actual meal-times (usually just for lunch), but eating really has been a chore in these last few weeks. I used to cook all the time for Andrew, but now any strong, lingering smells from the kitchen cause me to gag and open all the windows to air out the house.
Yes, there have been some sleepless nights, some moody moments, some major bloating, some nausea-induced bathroom trips, soar muscles, and quite a few tears on this journey.
I am also so, so, so excited for you to join our little family. I imagine holding you close, and reading to you, and singing to you (I apologize already about my lack of singing ability, but you're going to have to endure it until you can form words to tell me to stop singing). I picture what your room might look like if you are a boy, or what I might dress you up in if you are a girl. I can only imagine how you will turn our lives completely upside-down. My world will revolve around you and your eating schedule (yes, I already know it's true). We will grow and learn so much together. It's scary, but it is also so exciting.
Please be patient with me. I love you already.
Mom (include ugly crying emoji here....oh, and lots and lots of hearts)
Andrew and Maichael
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