36 Weeks and Counting!

We have reached 36 weeks in this pregnancy and are slowly trudging our way towards 37!  Catriona has spent the last few weeks stubbornly not growing (she ended up dropping 4 weeks of growth total prior to this weeks doctors appointment).  So this week we did an ultrasound to check on her growth and the amniotic fluid levels.  Thankfully everything came out well.  She is estimated to be around 6 pounds 11 ounces at this point (which is amazing considering how small my bump is compared to when I was pregnant with Liam!) and while my amniotic fluid levels are on the lower end of normal they should be fine for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Her head is down, the contractions are becoming more frequent, and we are playing a waiting game to meet her.

I continue to have (what has become) my normal migraines, tachycardia, and passing out.  For the last week my symptoms have been somewhat relieved, I even had 3 good days in a row where I was able to be up and about without any chest or head pain, but for an added treat these last few days I have been enjoying some third trimester sickness (which is amazingly just like the first trimester was).   I have a cardiology consult tomorrow and am hopeful to find some answers to what can be done for this chronic chest pressure, shoulder pain, and episodes of tachycardia.  That said, I am very aware that any medication that could be given to relieve those symptoms for me has to wait until after Catriona’s arrival, so I am learning to live with it and take it easy when things really start to act up.

On Monday my sister-in-law came over to the house to take some maternity picture for us since we are currently unable to travel to the photographer that we used to do the maternity shoot we did when pregnant with Liam (Linden Photography in Central NH).  I spent some time this morning playing around on Photoshop and touching up the lighting on the pictures.  I am pretty happy with the results, and so thankful to Aunty Moonshine for taking them for us.  Though this has been a difficult pregnancy we are planning on it being my last pregnancy and I want to be able to look back on this time and remember how it has helped us grow as a family later on.  I wish I had enough Photoshop talent to reduce the (well-earned) shadows and bags under my eyes… you would think someone who spends as much time in bed as I have been lately wouldn’t have any but I can’t seem to sleep for more than two hours at a time thanks to our little girls efforts to escape the womb.

We continue to be grateful for everyone’s prayers and well wishes.  The support of our family and friends  has truly have been an amazing help in us pulling through this pregnancy!

Day 37

Day 37 of the selfie challenge: 365 Days of Momma

It’s Sunday! AND! I have the day off!!!!

That’s right, its my weekend off… I firmly believe that having to work every other weekend makes me that much more appreciative of the ones I have off.

This morning Liam took off after breakfast, grabbed a book and his teddy bear, and then proceeded to set himself up on the couch next to me to “study” with me.  That’s right, I used the “s” word.  Someone though it would be a brilliant idea to take a full course load in the summer during the most gorgeous weather of the year because the semester is shorter and it would be nice to just get the work done with.  The same someone is now incredibly worried that maybe, just maybe, she might not be able to keep up.  I don’t know who comes up with these brilliant ideas but they probably should have less of them.

So the adorableness ensued this morning and Liam and I studied together for about 10 minutes before my urge to snap a picture completely overcame me.  Of course as soon as I picked up the camera phone he had to climb into my lap to get it…. The result is this:

Today’s selfie is less of me and more of us, but it is an awesome memory that I want to hold on to…. especially with the puppy photo-bomb in the second shot!


I do promise an update soon on my personal progress towards self acceptance of myself in photographs.  This project has turned into more than I originally planned.  What started out as something that was just for me has also evolved into a mechanism to show Liam my memories from his early childhood.



Day 18

Day 18 of the selfie challenge

Today was another day of IV class for me. Liam got to hang out with his babysitter and play with his water table outside… I am slightly jealous, it was hot out today!
I do love the snuggles and sharing I got from Liam after arriving home after a long day away.

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Day 7, One Week Check In

Day 7 of the selfie project: 365 Days of Momma

The first week is done!  LOL, 51 to go!

This first week has made quite an impact on me.  I started out feeling incredibly overwhelmed on day 1…. Thinking to myself “what have I gotten myself into”. As with everything in life I just jumped in feet first. I have no concrete plans to continue doing weekly check ins, but I will certainly check in at least monthly because one glaringly obvious thing this week has brought to my attention is exactly how insecure I am about myself in pictures. I committed to taking pictures of myself, at least one a day. What I did not commit to was the number of pictures that would make it to the cutting room floor before the ones that are posted go up. I found myself getting into a routine this week of critiquing each picture I took to make sure it was “good enough” to show the world. Far too often the phrases, “I am fat in this one” or “my nose looks huge in this one” (to just pick a few!) were running through my head. This project is about acceptance. “I am me and me is awesome” will be my new mantra.

So I think it is time to set some ground rules. Every 4-5 weeks I will pick a problem area… Something that drives me nuts about the way I look. That problem area is what I will focus my efforts on with acceptance. It will be discussed occasionally and then I will find a way to learn to embrace that piece of myself through positive reinforcement or other methods.

In that spirit we will start this first period with my nose.


The Schnozolla


Noses, oh noses.  They are one of those awful areas on the body that Never. Stops. Growing… Ever.

Mine is constantly clogged up due to chronic allergies and my sense of smell is atrocious (a benefit in the nursing profession). It is also huge (in my mind), and getting larger by the year. I hate the way it looks in pictures, which is especially hilarious since I do not mind it all that much in the mirror. For some reason when I see my face in a picture it is literally the first thing I focus in on. I always blame the camera angle on the size of my schnozzola, but the reality of the situation is that it’s just big… or at least I think it is. You see, what may seem glaringly huge to me might not be something that even registers for you.  I suspect my nose obsession partially has to do with the fact that nose sizes were something that were commonly discussed when I was a child (frequently as, “I hope you don’t get your Grandfather’s nose”… sorry Djodji”).  The other part of my nose obsession really just is all about my inability to effectively breathe through it most of the time.  It is literally always on the back of my mind.  Sometimes I wear my glasses just to make it seem smaller (Thank you Howard Stern for teaching me that trick… I did learn something from your movie).  So for the next few weeks I will be wearing my contacts more as we address my issues with my nose.


Day 2

Day 2 of the selfie project: 365 Days of Momma

This morning Liam wanted nothing to do with snuggles. He was far to busy playing steal the blanket from our oldest dog while madly giggling. So I thought I would take a few minutes by myself on the couch with my morning coffee…


Unfortunately that was quickly interrupted by the youngest dog who has an anxiety problem….


The Selfie Project, An Introduction

Last week I had a long conversation with our family photographer, Laura at Linden Photography, about women and their (generalized) lack of self confidence when it comes to having their photographs taken. It was an awesome conversation, the kind that keeps you thinking for a long time after.  It also really brought into focus the fact that I am almost always the person behind the camera.  18 or 20 years from now when Liam hopefully has some sort of interest in his early childhood and is looking at all of these pictures I have taken he will see a ton of him with his Grammies, Grampies, Da, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins… what he won’t see a ton of are pictures with me.  Part of that is because I am typically the person behind the camera, the one capturing the action.  Another reason is because I am also the person in charge of editing… and I usually hate the way I look in pictures.  That is right I used the H word.

Laura has teamed up with a local makeup artist and has created a day of pampering and empowerment for women that includes a makeover and portrait session.  She is encouraging women to come in groups, bring their mother, sister, best friend, third cousin twice removed that you happen to be very close to, and allow themselves to relax, enjoy the moment, and remember how awesome they are.  Every single woman is beautiful in their own way, but we all have our hang ups.  These hang ups are reinforced by a society obsessed with perfection and unrealistic ideals.  They are then repeated to our children over and over again without us even being aware of it.  I can not even begin to count the number of times this week that I have thought to myself, “I really need to lose some weight, I am so fat!”.  The reality of the situation is that I am actually pretty well balanced with my weight… but I can’t seem to get out of the endless loop of thinking because my thighs touch and my stomach is somewhat rounded I do not look good enough.  The fact of the matter is, I do.

I look like a Mom.  Sometimes I look a little over tired, sometimes my face is shiny, sometimes my gray hair is exceptionally noticeable, and sometimes you can see that roll of extra skin through my shirt.  All of these things are parts that make up the whole, and all in all I am pretty okay with who I am.  If there are bags under my eyes it’s probably because I had just put in a 16 hour day of playing the roll of Mom and the roll of nurse.  If my face is shiny it might be because I just spent an hour helping someone’s loved one in a critical moment, assessing and treating within my scope of practice or holding their hand and helping to comfort them as they embark on their next journey.  If you can see that roll of skin through my shirt its because I just worked 4 ten hour shifts in a row without a break and forgot to hydrate the entire time until my nurse-y partner gently reminds me that coffee is not the only beverage in the world.

I am not perfect, and never will be… but I am me.  So The Selfie Project is this: for the next 365 days I am going to take a selfie a day, most of them will include Liam… but they may occasionally guest star some other people in my life.  This visual road map of the next year will be preserved for Liam when he gets older and will hopefully help me build up more acceptance in the way that I look in pictures (note: I originally typed “on film”… that would be me showing my age).  Liam deserves to have a record of me, good days and bad, to look back on because I am proud of who I am and I hope some day he will be too.

I encourage anyone and everyone to steal this idea for their own blogs, and if someone else had the idea first and I am inadvertently taking it, sorry, my inspiration came from a different place.  I am going to start off with a bang today and post three selfies (shiny pre-shower skin and all), then I am going to email Laura to set up my own day of pampering!