Sloan Zone // 6 Year Anniversary

We’re two weeks in to the Sloan Zone.  This little girl is an angel baby.  I may be jinxing myself, but we don’t deserve this child.  She is a great sleeper and a champion eater.  These first two weeks have been so much better than I expected.

We’ve had so many sweet friends and family members come and visit.  I wish I was more diligent at taking photos with all of her friends that came.  Zach went back to work the following Monday and Sloan and I have been doing our thing all day erry day.  We’re getting pretty good at this mother/daughter thing.

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We had her first check-up the day after we got home from the hospital and all was well.

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Zach is seriously crazy about her.  You know how they say you will love your spouse even more when you see them love your child?  It’s true.  He comes home every day for lunch and spends some time with her.

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Sloan Week 1

I’ve started up working again here and there.  Not even a fraction of the hours I was putting in before, but it’s a start!  I cram in as much as I can while she is sleeping so I can hang with her right when she’s up and ready to eat.

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10 days in we had our first adventure out alone, just the two of us.  She didn’t make a peep the entire trip.  Poor thing doesn’t know that this is her first of many excessive trips to Target over her life time.


Later in the week Zach won his roller hockey league championship.  He was so thrilled.  He couldn’t wait to come home and show Sloan.


Friday was Zach and I’s 6 year anniversary.  We both agreed we wouldn’t get each other gifts this year.  With that said, Zach still managed to sneak in all my favorite treats first thing in the morning before he left for work…


We had no plans this year, considering my due date was three days before our actual anniversary.  Since she came a week early, I planned the weekend for the two of us.  Zach was very reluctant to go on a stay cation with a 11-day-old baby, but I knew we could do it.  I refused to stay cooped up in our house all weekend.  Sloan was a sweetheart and slept all the way up to Park City.  We decided to stay at the Montage up in Deer Valley.  I had stayed there a few times previously with Zach’s family for Swiss Days and convinced Zach it was worth it, considering he had never been.  It was our first weekend away as a family of three.  Even typing that trips me out…



We ordered room service for dinner and lounged around all night switching back and forth from movies to football games.

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The next morning we had breakfast in bed.  Mornings are my favorite with Sloan.  Like I said, she loves her sleep, but 10:00 am is her “golden hour”.  After I fed her we feasted on muffins, pancakes, fruit, and our go-to beverages.  She just lounged right beside us, staring out the window.

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We couldn’t miss the Utah football game, obviously.  Zach got us two pizzas to go from one of the restaurants in the hotel and we had a pizza party in our room while we watched the Utes get destroyed.  At least the pizzas were on point…

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Every member of the staff we came across was gaga over Sloan.  The lady at guest services was asking us all about parenthood and couldn’t believe we would take a baby on a weekend trip with us that was so fresh outta the womb.  Our second night she sent us the sweetest card and the cutest stuffed squirrel for Sloan.  She told us it was so wonderful to see two people so excited to be parents.  Sloan thought the squirrel was pretty amazing…

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That night we ventured down to one of the hotel’s restaurants for dinner.  Sloan slept between us the entire time.


The third member of our dinner party was totally pooped…

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We left Sunday morning and made the drive back home.  It sounds corny, but we had the best weekend.  Great food, great service, an amazing bed, and spending 24 hours in a bath robe was pretty sick.

We made it in time to go to Sunday dinner at my Grandma’s house.  She had a pre-Thanksgiving dinner prepared for us.  While we did dishes and cleaned up after the feast, she cuddled with Sloan next to the Christmas tree.  The boys watched the 49ers game.


Now that we’ve got two weeks under our parental belts, we feel like we are kind of getting into a routine.  There a few things that I never want to forget about these first couple of weeks.  Like how from the moment we brought her home, our house smelt like a baby.  I never want that smell to go away.  Even though our house looked like a hospital room for a few days, we finally have it organized so we can smoothly move around the house with her in tow.  I never want to forget how she looks up at me when I nurse her.  Or how she recognizes her dad’s voice when he comes home from work and says hello to her.

Being a parent is so much better than I expected.  Sure, we’re sleepy.  That’s my own fault, I guess, because I choose to work and do laundry while she sleeps instead of napping along with her.  But we’ll get there.  Everyone told us our lives would be different and they couldn’t be more right.  The part that nobody tells you about being a new mom or dad is that you never can imagine how tired but happy you can be at the same time.

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Our Hospital Stay

The three of us stayed in the hospital a little under 48 hours after Sloan was born.  Our nights were long and sleepy, but our days were filled with visitors.  We loved seeing so many family members and friends!

I can’t even express how grateful I am to the staff of the Maternal Newborn Recovery.  Yeah, the U is a little strict about some things, but the care and attention you get is beyond incredible.  Since I found out I was pregnant a very important goal of mine was to be able to nurse Sloan.  So many of my family members and friends have struggled with this, and I assumed it would be difficult for me as well.  Day two was when everything started to click.  My angel of a nurse, Kara, taught me a few of her tips and tricks and Sloan and I got into a serious groove.  It’s all been downhill since then!  My girl is just like her mother – LOVES to eat and is a breast feeding champ!  Don’t get me wrong, it is still really hard, but I have discovered Sloan’s little triggers so I can trick her into feeding.  It’s hilarious to me that the four books that I read and the breastfeeding class that Zach and I took were not even close to as helpful as the sweet little spunky nurse on call that second day.

Sloan passed all her requirements so we could go home a little early.  Our favorite was watching her get her first bath!  Zach has been looking forward to bath time with Sloan for the last nine months!  Zach takes his bathing very serious [Hendersons are big “tubbers”] and we’re hoping she enjoys it as much as her father does.

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All of the outfits I brought to take her home in completely drowned her.  Even the tiniest of them all made her look like she had on grandpa pants.  Side Note:  I totally over-packed for the hospital.  Poor Zach had to get a giant cart to drag all of our stuff outta there.  Not to mention that I cleaned the place out!  I literally shoved every supply possible in some re-usable shopping bags and made Zach take them all down to our car.  After Zach and I got cleaned up we were all ready to go home!

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Then we took our first family photo together.  Yes, this is the best one we could get of Sloan.  She was only interested one eye’s worth for this photo op.

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It’s pretty wild to think about.  One minute you have a tiny human inside of you and the next your strapping her teeny tiny self into a car seat to drive home.  She looked like a doll in that giant seat.  I can’t rave enough about how appreciative I am of all of those nurses and other staff members at the University Hospital.  We loved our time in recovery, but were elated to come home and sleep in our own bed.

Sloan Henderson

Monday morning I was scheduled to be induced at 8:30 am.  Labor and Delivery wanted me to call an hour before then to check and see if there was availability for us.  I called at 7:30 and the nurse asked if I could wait and come in at 10:00.  We took our time during the extra hour or so doing some last minute things.  We packed up the car and before we left I had Zach give me a priesthood blessing.  I have received a million blessings over my lifetime and never had I felt this calm afterwards.  It was like everything changed right then and there.  All my anxiety, all my doubts about this scheduled induction, and everything else that was whirling around in my over-stimulated brain went away.

Zach took these last few photos – my 39 week picture – before we hopped in the car.

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On our way to the hospital I made Zach stop and get himself breakfast.  I wanted him to have something to eat beforehand so he wouldn’t be starving by the time we were officially admitted.  So McDonald’s it was, for a bacon egg and cheese biscuit.

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When we arrived at Labor and Delivery they were all ready for us.  We went straight to our room and unloaded our stuff.  We met our nurse, Colleen [who we later learned lives near Zach’s sister Lori and knows their family really well] who was an absolute dream.  She turned the AC way up in our room because I was sweating to death almost immediately.  I had a very sweaty pregnancy, to be honest, so a sweaty labor was imminent.  After I got all hooked up to the monitors they started up my IV.  This was one of the worst parts of my whole birth experience, to be honest.  It took four times to get a good vein [apparently I have crazy veins that move all over the place] which meant I had bruises all over my arms and hands before I even had anything to show for it.  Once we did get it all squared away though, I could relax.  I had Zach run and get me a Diet Coke from a nearby vending machine and they gave me a pill to place under my tongue to start the whole process.

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As soon as it dissolved I felt the contractions starting to get more intense.  They kept checking me but I wasn’t progressing any further.  I stayed at a 1 and was effaced 70 percent for the first four hours of the process.  I kept texting my family members telling them I was having no progress and told them to stay home until I got a little closer.  Around the fifth hour my contractions got really intense.  I am always a chatty Kathy but when one of the contractions would start rolling up I would go completely silent until it subsided.  It surprised Zach to see me so motionless and quiet for such a long period of time.  It was then that I decided to get an epidural.  The contractions were coming and they were coming on stronger and stronger.  Our nurse paged anesthesia but they were administering to another patient.  It took 45 minutes for them to make it over to us, which is when I started progressing rapidly.  A resident administered my epidural and wasn’t successful the first time, so the big daddy anesthesiologist had to re-do it a second time.  During my epidural my doctor came in to check on me.  She told me that because I was progressing so slowly that she would just come check on me in the morning.  I said goodbye to  her and we finished the whole epidural business.  Zach had a hard time watching that giant needle two times in a row and had to grab a seat in front of me as he started to get woozy.  He admits this was the only time during the whole delivery that he felt this way.  As soon as the epidural kicked in, with that popping sensation, I felt my water break.  My nurse turned me back over on my back and checked me to see how I had progressed.  I was at a 4!  The nurse left the room and Zach and I were left alone.  I texted my parents telling them they could head on over to the hospital.  Then, about twenty minutes later I felt a ton of pressure.  I called the nurse to come and check me and we were all shocked I was at an 8!  In less than 45 minutes I had gone from a 4 to an 8 and 100 percent effaced.  Zach updated my parents, who were stopping at McDonald’s as well to get some dinner on their way up to the hospital.  Then it hit me.  This enormous amount of pressure – even more intense than before.  I kept telling the nurse I had the use the restroom immediately and couldn’t stop shaking in fear that I would not make it to the bathroom in time.  She checked me and told me that it wasn’t the restroom I needed, it was to push!  Apparently the doctor on call had called my doctor to let her know I was ready to go.  My doctor was only 10 minutes away, but they knew she wouldn’t make it.  Nobody tells you that when it’s time “to push” they mean “everything is going to get super chaotic”.  Instantly there were 12 people in the room gloving up and pushing carts around.  Zach and I looked at each other and both of us had “is this normal?” looks on our faces.  The on-call doctor showed up and quickly introduced himself.  They got me into position and I started to push.  As soon as I got a break from my first couple of pushes the baby’s heart rate started to drop.  I did a couple more pushes and it dropped again.  The doctor told me that the baby needed to come out immediately.  He said it was either a c-section or I would have to have an assisted birth with a significant tear.  I decided to go for the latter.  The next two pushes were it and baby girl was out!  It was the most incredible feeling.  Like a burning and bursting feeling all at once.  Because her heart rate had been so low they didn’t instantly put her on my chest, like I had requested.  The umbilical cord had been wrapped around her shoulder, causing the drop in her heart rate.  Zach cut the cord and she was rushed away to be checked out.  I heard her cry for the first time and I couldn’t help but sob.

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Zach was close by, watching them monitor her and clean her off.  Sloan Henderson was 6 pounds, 6 ounces and 19.5 inches long.  Perfectly healthy and happy.  She only cried the one time, immediately after she came out.  Zach observed her getting measured and checked out and she was as peaceful as could be.

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A few moments later my baby girl, along with Zach, were back with me.  They put her on my chest, skin to skin.  Everything you hear about giving birth before you experience it for yourself seems so heightened and dramatized.  That moment was everything.  That moment when I saw my baby girl for the first time was the most spiritual and sacred experience I have ever had.  She looked up at me with her giant eyes and reached her tiny hand right up on my face.  I remember the first thing I said to her was, “I missed you!”  Because that’s what it felt like.  Seeing someone after being apart from them for so long.  I already knew her.

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There were other things that happened after that, but it all seems so trivial now.  I delivered the afterbirth, they stitched me up, and then they were gone.  Zach and I had a few moments alone with her before we let my family come in and see her.

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My parents and brother came in the room and got to meet her and moments later Zach’s parents arrived.  Having our families there right after was so special.  My mom and I cried together while my dad and brother passed her around and took 600 pictures.  I remember the first thing Jeanene said when she came into our room, “My baby had a baby.”  We were all crying.  It was one of the happiest moments for us – our families both with us when we became our own little family.  Not long after they took us to the recovery room and our crew followed.  They stayed for a while, passing the baby around and visiting, and then they left.

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Zach and I looked at each other, both feeling completely exhausted but overcome with happiness.

This little girl has been in a hurry to get here since day one.  From conception to delivery – she has been in fast forward.  Even though hospitals totally creep me out, I never want to forget that feeling I had in our delivery room.  Even with all the people, beeping monitors, and scary metal instruments – I have never felt closer to heaven in my life.

38 // The Final Countdown

Both Monday and Tuesday night brought my first real contractions.  Both nights they came, they stayed for a while, then they left.  The second night I thought, “this is it, as soon as they start getting closer together – I am going to wake Zach up”.  Almost as soon as the thought was completed, the contractions started to taper off.  Baby girl is a jokester!

Wednesday night when Zach got home from work he took me out.  We dined at Brio at Fashion Place and did some Christmas shopping.  Also, there was Coldstone…photo 2

Thursday night brought more contractions, but they didn’t progress past 5:00 am.  I remember saying a prayer.  I prayed that whatever was supposed to happen was supposed to happen.  That if I am meant to have contractions every night until I’m 41+ weeks, then let it be.  If she was supposed to come sooner, then let her come sooner.  I didn’t have to wait very much longer for my answer.

Friday morning I had my weekly OB appointment.  We did another non-stress test and baby girl passed again with good marks.  I even had a couple of contractions in the middle of my test.  After discussion and a lot of questions, my doctor told me she wanted to induce me on Monday, the 10th.  I think she was surprised at my reaction.  I was extremely reluctant.  The plan [my plan] was to go into labor on my own, naturally, obviously.  But after a discussion with “the boss”, she informed me I would most likely have to be induced at 41 weeks anyway because I am not thinning or dilating on my own.  My lady parts are basically on lock down.  She figured there was no real reason to keep this babe inside beyond 39 weeks.  She told me basically to get over my bad self and feel excited that I get to meet my baby maybe on Monday, but most likely on Tuesday.  It just goes to show that my whole birth plan isn’t even worth the paper it was neatly [and aesthetically laid out] printed on.  Even though I still have concerns, I realize it’s not up to me.  It never was.  And I am ok with that.  Because I get to meet my baby girl on Tuesday at the latest.

So what would you do if you found out you had one more weekend – just you and your spouse alone?  We dated – hard core.  We went to lunch, we ran errands, we slept in, we took naps IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, we ate out for almost every meal.  Some of our highlights were the pollo tacos from Alamexo and lunch at Eva’s.

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Saturday morning I woke up early to have my last run at the gym before my delivery.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but running made my pregnancy.  It helped me focus, it relieved my stress, and kept me healthy.  If you would have asked me three years ago if I thought I could ever run multi-mile runs up until 39 weeks I would have died laughing.

Saturday night Zach went to the Oregon vs. Utah football game – he took his dad in my place because I decided not to go.

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I ended up going out to dinner with my parents and then watching the game at their house.  We looked through my baby book while my mom was finishing up a blanket she was making for her.  My version of the game was much more relaxing…

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Since everything was done on my list that I had to complete before the baby came, I basically relaxed all weekend and got my work stuff all squared away so I could not think about anything for a couple weeks after she came.

Sunday we went to sacrament and then drove to Ogden to have dinner at the Hendersons.  Our last meal together, just the two of us.  Sunday night was spent spot cleaning, packing last minute items in our hospital bags, and making sure everything was good to go.  I realize my newborn child will never know if our house was clean or not when she arrived home – but it was more for me than anything.  I didn’t want to come home to a hectic house.

38 weeks

38 weeks

And because I only did one of these questionarres my entire pregnancy, I thought I would do a last one to round up to my 39th week.


How far along: 39 weeks

Total weight gain: Gained 20 lbs. total

Maternity clothes: All day, erry day.  Leggings are my jam.

Stretch marks: No new stretch marks.  I already had some on my thighs and such from my adventures in college with the freshman 15, but no stretch marks on my belly.

Sleep: By my 39th week I was getting up about two times a night to go to the restroom, but still was sleeping well.  I never ended up purchasing a pregnancy pillow.  I just slept on my side curled up in a tight ball.

Best moment of this week: Finding out that we were being induced, obviously!  We had an official date to meet our baby.

Miss anything: Sleeping on my stomach.  It was my favorite sleeping position pre-pregnancy.

Movement: Baby girl has always been a mover and a shaker.  This last week was no different.

Food cravings: Mexican food, but that’s been going on for months prior to this week.  It was my go-to cuisine of choice!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.  I can honestly say I made it all the way through this pregnancy without ever losing my lunch or feeling nauseous.

Gender: Still a girl, hopefully there are no surprises!

Labor signs: Contractions on and off – but they come and go as they please and are never consistent.

Belly button in or out: It is now officially flat.  It’s not poking out at all, just looks like it doesn’t exist any longer.

Wedding rings on or off: On.  I haven’t had problems with swelling.  I attribute that to making sure I consumed as much potassium and water as I could handle.  I know it helped.

Happy or moody most of the time: Totally and completely happy.

Looking forward to: Seeing her face for the first time.  I never had any crazy pregnancy dreams, but this last week I have been dreaming of a little blonde hair, blue eyed little girl running around our house.


The last full week as just a couple.  So exciting and terrifying at the same time.  We can’t wait to meet you, Sloan!

The Week of Halloween

I have been bamboozled.

Unfortunately, not all things pumpkin are delicious.  I made Zach one of his favorite dinners of chicken and rice on Monday and decided to treat myself to some pumpkin brownies.  Literally it is the same exact thing as those 3 ingredient pumpkin spice cookies, just with brownies.  All you do is add a can of pumpkin to a brownie mix.  I was so anxious to try them, but it took 15 extra minutes to bake them because my trusty toothpicks weren’t coming out clean.  After 40 minutes of cook time we busted out these bad boys.

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They look fudgy and perfect – am I right?  They were TER-RI-BLE.  Zach thought I was playing a practical joke on him.  Trust me – the joke was on me.  I spent 40 minutes of my life waiting on these that I can never EVER get back.

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Speaking of brownies…I’m back to brown.  Back to ma roots, actually.  My natural hair color!  I must admit that before this I wasn’t quite sure what my natural hair color looked like, but I am glad I found it.  I plan on staying here a while…

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Tuesday morning was my second growth scan.  Zach came with me for this one considering it will be the last ultrasound [I hope?] before we get to meet her.  Everything went well for the most part.  Baby girl is perfectly healthy – with the exception of her abdomen and femur are measuring a bit small.  The femur didn’t come to a surprise to anyone considering both of her parents are 5’3″ and she has no chance of being above average in height.  Other than those two things, everything is perfectly normal.

Wednesday morning I went on a little trail run with my sister-in-law Gina.  We met at the Centerville movie theater and went up and down the Legacy Parkway Trail.  It was nice to switch up running on the treadmill with running outside.  I only ran 2 miles [those hills are harder than I remember] but Gina kicked my trash and ran 4 while I walked the opposite direction to catch up to her.  We spent the last hour walking a few miles along the trail.  The leaves were falling and the temperature was perfect.  It felt amazing and it was so refreshing to have someone to jabber with to pass the time.  Everyone on the trail couldn’t help but stare at my giant belly.  Just three girls, hittin’ up the Legacy Trail.

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My doc let me know in the middle of the week that she wanted me to start doing stress tests each visit to monitor the babe.  The only thing that was stressed, however, was me.  Even though these tests are pretty common, I was so worried that something was wrong.  I didn’t sleep very well for a couple of days and was constantly thinking that I had already jacked my baby up.  She is not even here and I am a sucky, suckity suck suck parent.  Zach was not worried at all and cheered me up by making me a treasure hunt around the house with all my favorite things.  He basically rules my world and I don’t deserve him…

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As for work updates, I took on a really large project a couple of weeks ago and have been right in the thick of it this week.  I have been hired to design a 40,000 sq. foot corporate building for a company down south.  It has been so much fun and creating furniture and design concepts has been something I have missed.  Not that I don’t love graphic design, just that it has been so much fun to switch it up!  This week was mostly concepts for their new spaces.  I have seven spaces done.  Only ten more to go!

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Friday was my weekly OB visit.  No new updates other than I did this so-called stress test and all is well!  And it wasn’t that stressful at all.  It was actually quite reassuring.  My doctor warned me that if the test didn’t give good results that I would most likely have to deliver early.  That part stressed me out the most.  Good thing baby girl did her usual routine of bouncing off the walls of my insides and passed her test with flying colors!  So in she will stay for at least two more weeks.

That night we left a giant bucket of candy on the front porch for the trick-or-treaters and we drove up north for a costume party at a friend of Zach’s.  We didn’t dress up, because we are incredibly lame.  Actually, I did have a pretty good costume idea:  being pregnant was the perfect opportunity for me to be a giant blueberry so I was going to dress up as Violet Beauregarde and make Zach dress up as Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Zach wasn’t feeling it.  So we went to said party in our usual attire.  Afterwards we decided to catch a late movie at the AMC in Layton – Dracula.  Festive, right?  We’ve both been completely spoiled by the recliners at that theater.  No other movie theater compares in my opinion.

Saturday was perfect.  We slept in way too late, I went for a nice walk on the treadmill at our clubhouse, and we had a little lunch date down town.  Later in the afternoon we had a couples massage at my sister-in-law’s spa in Layton.  I called ahead and asked if we could do a couples massage – but requested that mine be a maternity version.  We literally went to the spa dressed in our pajamas [who wants to get oil all up in your nice clothes anyway?] looking homeless.


It was amazing.  How have I waited this long to experience a maternity massage?!  Especially because Zach’s sister OWNS a spa.  I have had no excuse.  They had this special pillow with a hole cut out of it so I could lay on my stomach.  I haven’t laid on my stomach for over nine months, so the feeling was blissful.  Unfortunately, my child hated it.  She immediately went bonkers and wouldn’t quit, so I switched over to my side.

I made myself a promise that if the wee one isn’t here and by the time I am 40 weeks, I am getting another one of those bad boys.  Best 50 minutes of my pregnant life…

We ended our night with the Utah football game.  Even though we weren’t victorious, we both slept like babies that night.

I just had one request about when this baby would come – that she wouldn’t be born on Halloween.  So now that we have passed that milestone, she can come whenever she pleases!  I didn’t even put up my extensive Halloween decoration collection.  Not that I was being lazy or didn’t have the energy – but because I was terrified I would go into labor and then have to take a newborn home to a haunted house.  See that little white pumpkin on our porch?  That was the extent of our Halloween decorating this year.  We took my 37 week picture a little later than usual – on the actual evening of Halloween.

37 weeks

Since I haven’t progressed over the last two weeks [even after my little scary/gross discovery last Tuesday] I feel more than ever like I might go 40 + weeks.  I’ve had a feeling since day one of being pregnant that I would most likely go over my due date, and to be honest, I am totally ok with that.  This pregnancy has been so easy.  I will be grateful and lucky to have her bake as long as possible at this point.  Now if I can just get my hands on one of those special pregnancy massage pillows…