Saturday, November 27, 2010


James Jackson is already 1 month old.

And I have not updated my blog since I was 37 weeks pregant.


It's time for me to document Jack's birth story:

I was put on bedrest because I had some elevated blood pressure towards the end of my pregnancy. It was never pre-eclampsia because I never had proteine in my urine, but the doctors were concerned nonetheless. During these last few weeks, I watched TV, read A LOT of blogs (pioneer woman kept me occupied for numerous hours), checked my blood pressure, took naps, cuddled the dog and assured her that we would always love her, checked my blood pressure, watched some more TV, and checked my blood pressure. I was very paranoid about the blood pressure thing, probably because I like google too much. My sister did come for about 2 weeks to stay with me, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.

My due date was 10/23. I prayed that baby Jack would come early, but by my 39 week appointment, I was only 1 centimeter dilated. 10/23, a Saturday, came and went with nothing. I was having some cramping, which I hoped was early signs of labor, but really wasn't much of anything as I would later find out. My doctor went ahead and scheduled an induction for 10/25 because of my high blood pressure. She wanted to do it earlier, but I REALLY wanted my baby to come out on his own, and so she let me wait until 10/25.
The weekend passed and Monday, the day of my induction, arrived. All day long I hoped and prayed that I would go into labor without any interventions. I begged God to let it happen naturally. I had read too many horror stories of women who were induced only to have to have a c-section, and in some cases emergency c-sections. I did not want that to happen to me...and so I prayed and prayed, but God had other plans.
We were told to wait until we got a call that would inform us that we were to get ourselves to the hospital. The weirdest thing about this was that the call could come between the hours of 5-10pm. By 5PM I had everything ready to go, my bag, Jim's bag, baby's bag, pillows, carseat, snacks, everything. I ate somme chick fila, aware of the fact that I would not be eating for a very long time. Well, time went by VERY slowly during these hours. We watched Friends, the office, and stared at our cell phones. I even ate some more. We thought for sure the call would come at any second, but as they say, "a watched pot never boils." Finally, at 9:30, irritated and anxious, we decided to call the hospital to check on the status. They apologized that we hadn't been called, but apparently many little babies decided they wanted to be born that night. The nurse said she would call back, and she did about 5 minutes later with news that it was time for us to get on our way.
I can't really put into words what that drive to the hospital was like. I was so full of emotions. I had pictured this drive very differenly. I pictured pain, screaming, and me just yelling at Jim to get me there. This drive was eerily serene. Jim and I were both nervous, but also experienced a peace that I so desperately needed about the induction. We drove, mostly in silence, but I know we were thinking the same things...our lives were about to change in the most drastic way every imaginable...little did we know just how drastic it was going to be.
When we got to the hospital, I was given a gown, and eventually was given cervidil, and we were told to get some sleep...HA HA HA. Yeah. right. Sleeping in a hospital bed when you are a normal size doesn't appeal to me, being over 9 months pregnant with HORRIBLE- cramps, hooked up to machines, having your blood pressure checked automatically every 15 minutes to the point where you feel your arm my just be cut in two...complete torture (well that may be a tad over dramatic, but really, I didn't sleep).
The next morning they started me on pitocin. I started having contractions, and I remember thinking to myself. This isn't so bad. I can handle this. This lasted for about an hour. Then they became HORRENDOUS. I had read that the pitocin makes the contractions come on strong and hard. This was very true for me. and let me just say, I tried to do it naturally. I had even hired a doula, a sweet southern lady whose very presence was calming. We tried all of the different positions that we could do with me hooked up to an IV and all the other things that prevented me being able to walk. I sat on ball, I rocked from side to side with Jim, I even got on all fours....until I started feeling nausiated. At one point, I was in the bathroom, having a contraction, and throwing up. I HATE throwing up. and that was when I started crying. I don't know if it was the pain, the hormones, the vomit, or what, but I wanted that epidural. The weird thing was, I didn't want the doula to not have anything to do. I think I suffered through another hour or so of contractions simply because I didn't want to disappoint the doula. However, I did end up getting the epidural. I was tired. I do remember saying to Jim and the doula, "does this make me a wimp?" and now, in hindsight, anyone who has EVER experienced childbirth IS NOT A WIMP.
One I was administered that epidural, I fely absolutely blissful.
Well, maybe not blissful, but it was amazing what a world of difference the epidural made. I mean I even watched Oprah (that woman really is involved in everything).
Finally, at about 715PM, it was time to push. All I really remember was that the nurse told me that many first time mothers have to push for about 3 hours. Hearing this, I was determined for that NOT to be me.
James Jackson Ranieri entered the world at 8:20 PM with head full of jet black hair. He weighed 8lb 12oz and was 21 inches long and beautiful. The first time I saw him, I thought my baby is perfect. and he his. every inch of him. he has the cutest button nose and the most striking eyes. I love his little pouty lips that remind me of his daddy. I love holding his tiny feet in the palm of my hand. I love it when he grabs ahold of my finger.

I can't believe that baby Jack is finally here. God is so good. He has ALWAYS taken care of me and has given me the most beautiful baby boy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An update

There has been a lot going on since the last time I I am currently 38 weeks 6 days pregnant!! ahhh!! I really cannot believe I am so close to the end. So, here's what has been going on:

Last Thursday I had my regular weekly checkup. As usual, the nurse took my blood pressure and it was a little on the high side. I have NEVER had high blood pressure. It's amazing what pregnancy can do to a woman's body. They had my lay on my left side, and then they took it was completely normal! However, they started asking all these questions. I had had a headache for 2 days that wouldn't go away, and I was having rib pain. Apparently, that was concerning. I didn't really know why...but I did realize later. The doctor decided to send us over to the hospital for tests! I held it together pretty well until I realized what exactly they wanted to test for: HELLP syndrome. The headache, high BP, and rib pain are all symptoms. What was REALLY concerning to me was that a co worker of mine developed HELLP syndrome and lost her baby. So, of course, I was brought to tears with worry as I lay in an uncomfortable hospital bed, hooked up to all sorts of monitors, in a gown, filling out all kinds of paperwork, feeling like I was going to have to have my baby right then and there. HOWEVER, all the tests came back negative, my BP was in the normal range the ENTIRE 4 hours we were there, and baby jack's heart rate was perfect! What good news! Jim and I were VERY relieved! The only thing: BEDREST for the rest of my pregnancy.

The news of bedrest was EXTREMELY shocking. It meant no more work, no more nesting, nothing. It was the most surreal news. I hadn't tied up any of the loose ends I was going to tie up at work, I hadn't said goodbye to my co-workers or my students...NOTHING. I wanted to be able to clean my house, organize, and make some dinners to freeze for after the baby comes. God had other plans. I think He knew that teaching was just beginning to be a little too much for a 9 month pregnant woman. and so, we went home, relieved and thanking God that everything was ok.

Oh, I had the most amazing nurse while I was there. She was straight up from Ireland, complete with the thickest Irish accent, and said things like, "Can I get you anything else Lassie?" Seriously, amazing. Who knew Irish accents could be so comforting? Maybe she will be there when I actually do give birth....I really liked her...

Today, we went back to the doctor. The same thing happened. My BP was high at first, and then when they took it again, it was completely normal. The doctor said that as long as it is going down, that was a good thing, but they aren't going to let me go past my due date! I haven't dilated AT ALL, which is somewhat disappointing, but I know God has a plan. As of today, we have an induction scheduled for Monday, October 25!!!! I am praying that little Jack decides to come on his own before that, but either way...this is happening!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Today I am 37 weeks pregnant!!! I can't believe I only have 3 weeks (maybe more, maybe less) to go! I am starting to get so uncomfortable that I would like for Jack to go ahead and make his appearance, although I am thinking that's pretty unlikely. I believe I have started to "nest." Yesterday, I did all the baby laundry and cleaned the bathroom. Cleaning the bathroom is my least favorite chore, but yesterday I was on my hands and knees cleaning every inch of our bathroom. From the baseboards to the tiles in the shower, every inch was getting covered with a clorox wipe and windex. Unfortunately, our adorable black lab leaves little tiny black hairs everywhere, and I was determined to get every single hair off that floor, which was a task in itself. Cleaning the bathroom took a lot out of me, but at least it looks clean now. I just hope it stays that way.....

Fall is here!! I am so excited. I love the crisp autumn air, the pumpkins on the porch, the leaves starting to change...I love it. I also love the clothes... normally. Yesterday, I also made a trip to Old Navy. I wanted to see if they had any maternity clothes that I could use for the remainder of this pregnancy considering the temperature is starting drop, (I'm not complaining!) and most of my maternity clothes are too summery. I waddled my way to the back of the store and was completely disappointed. There were maybe 1 or 2 racks of clothes. 1 of which was the sale rack with all summer clothes. It was just sad. Especially when I looked around the rest of the store. Everything from cute cardigans to dresses to adorable chunky sweaters...all of which will not fit me right now, but oh did I want to buy everything there, and usually I don't even like Old Navy all that much. I guess I am just so ready to shop for normal clothes again. I left the store empty handed and somewhat depressed. Now I know all of this will be totally worth it. I know that I should try to enjoy these last weeks. I know that this is an amazing experience. But is it too much to ask to be able to buy some cute fall clothes while pregnant??

Well, fall is definitely in the air, so we opened our windows, and I discovered that the windows MUST BE CLEANED. I guess that nesting thing is still around. Stay tuned baby Jack should be making his appearance in the very near future!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Oh pregnancy hormones how i love thee

Today wasn't the best day. I am currently 35 weeks 3 days pregnant and feeling EVERY bit of it. As mentioned before, I am still teaching full time, and well, I have decided that teaching and being this pregnant thing really don't mix. My precious little boy has decided that he likes to spend an enumerable amount of time in my ribs which creates some pretty intense pain, not only in my ribs but in my back as well. Most days I can tolerate it, but today, it was pretty unbearable. I try not to take medicine, but I did break down and take 1 extra strength tylenol today, but let's face it, tylenol just isn't the best drug.

So, my back hurts, I don't sleep well at night, and because I teach high school which starts at the ungodly hour of 7:25 am, I try to wake up by 5:30am. This doesn't bode well when you don't sleep, and all you want to do is crawl back into the warm comfort of your bed. Needless to say, I just wasn't feeling this Monday morning.

Throughout the day about 5 or 6 people commented to me, "wow! you got bigger!" At first I just smiled and nodded, but when it came to the 3rd or 4th person, I was getting somewhat annoyed. I mean seriously, what do they think happens when you are getting ready to give birth in a month?? I know that not one of these people meant that comment to hurt my feelings, but what I heard was, "wow you fat cow, are you going to get any bigger!" and by then end of the day, I just couldn't take that comment anymore. So, when a very close friend of mine decided to say, "I think you got even bigger over the weekend," I snapped at her and said, "well I do have a baby in there who is gonna be coming out very soon!" and pretty much walked away from her. As I was walking away, I felt so bad. I had to call her and apologize. Luckily, she is an amazing friend and completely understood the hormonal breakdown I was experiencing. However, word to the wise: a pregnant woman doesn't want to hear how big she is getting. We know. We look in the mirror at ourselves daily. When we can't see our feet anymore, we already know that we are getting bigger. We have doctor's appointments where we get told just how much weight we are gaining. We have to buy pants with elastic waste bands, and we can't wait to wear normal clothes again. We know. You don't need to tell us. and while I am ranting, if you want to know how I am doing and I say, "Well, I haven't been sleeping." Please don't say, "well just wait until the baby comes." I realize that I won't be sleeping once Jack comes. I am not a moron. But, right now, I am still tired, and right now, when you ask how I am, I am incredibly tired.

With all this said, I am SOOOOOO incredibly excited for the birth of this little guy! I can't wait to hold him in my arms. Everything that I complain about, everything that seems tough right now is completely worth it! I wouldn't trade the weight gain, the tiredness, the aches and pains for anything. I can't wait to meet my son.

Monday, September 13, 2010

5 weeks and 4 days until my due date

I haven't posted in QUITE a long time. To be honest, it's complete laziness. My computer is downstairs and my laptop isn't working. I can use my blackberry for most of my internet needs, (i.e facebook) so I don't usually use our home computer.

I can't believe how fast time is flying by. My son, James Jackson Ranieri, is due is 5 weeks and 4 days!! I am sooo excited! I am nervous, but lately, God has blessed me with a sense of peace about the whole labor thing (hopefully that will continue:)) We have decided to hire a doula, a wonderful lady who conducted our birthing class at Rex Hospital. She is so incredibly nurturing that I felt I just had to have her with me in the delivery room. We met with her last week to discuss my "birth plan." I don't really have a birth plan. I really feel like you just can't "plan" for something like labor and delivery. I wish you could. I would love to say I want to do this all naturally, but I know my pain tolerance, and it isn't high...

Jack's room is getting close to ready. We have painted, re-done the closet, set up the crib and changing table. Everything is coming together nicely, I just need to hang stuff on the walls, get some curtains, our glider, and a few other odds and ends. I hope to actually post pictures at some point (with my BEAUTIFUl new camera my wonderful husband got me for my birthday). I am also waiting for my sisters to help me finish up more of the decorating since they have more of an eye for that than I do.

I have returned back to work...and it's really tough being pregnant while teaching. I can usually make it until about 1:30, and then my back hurts tremendously, my feel start to swell, and I feel like I want to stretch out on my desk with a pillow, although I'm sure that would not get a very good reaction from anyone, students or administrators. So, right now, I take each day at a time. I tell myself that I am doing this for my precious son, my little Jack, my first-born.

Jack, your daddy and I can't wait to meet you!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a BOY!!!

That's right...Jim and I are going to be proud parents of a son! I really can't believe it. I thought for SURE that I was going to have a girl. Of course, my husband had it right all along...which I don't get to say much:) We went to the doctor last Thursday. I couldn't wait. Neither of us could sleep the night before. We woke up bright and early and headed over to Duke Perinatal. Luckily, we were the first appointment. As soon as they called us back, I was suddenly nervous...the "what if" game started ringing in my ears. What if something is wrong? What if...what if...what if...
As soon as the ultrasound tech began the ultrasound, I saw my baby. I could not believe it. There really is a baby in there. My eyes filled with tears. That's my child!!!
As the ultrasound tech pointed out everything...heart, brain, legs etc, all I was thinking was IS EVERYTHING OK?? She said the doctor had to go over all that with us. The second thought running through my mind it a girl or a boy? Finally that moment arrived, and sure as day it was a boy. He was not shy:) Again, I became misty eyed (imagine that). I don't think I have ever experienced that much joy in one moment. Me, a mother. Me, a mother to a son.
Finally the doctor came in and told us that he was developing perfectly:):) What beautiful music to my ears. I think I could have stared at the ultrasound screen forever. I couldn't take my eyes off that wiggly worm inside of me. I even told Jim that I wished we could have one of those in our house. When we left, we wanted to tell EVERYONE!
I feel so incredibly blessed to be this little one's mom. I feel so overjoyed that I have a life growing inside of me. This is what I have always wanted. I have always wanted to be a mother; I believe it's God's plan for my life. I am so thrilled to be starting my family with the man God created for me as well. I have the best husband anyone could ask for, and I KNOW he will make the best father to this little boy. Only 20 more weeks until we get to meet this little guy!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Decision to Start a Blog

I like to read other people's blogs. In fact, I think sometimes it's a little obsessive. Most of the blogs that I read are by my friends who have babies. Which brings me to my reason for starting a blog. I'm pregnant! I guess the reason I want to start a blog is because, currently, I am so full of different emotions that I just need somewhere to write them down, and maybe I will have some followers...but that's really not the reason I am giving into the trend of bogging. I want to remember these 9 months. I want my child to be able to look back and know just how much this beautiful gift means to me.'s the journey so far....

I found out I was pregnant on February 16. Work had been extremely difficult for me at the time....and that's about al I will say about that. Anyway, I was desperately praying that God would work everything out for me. And to be completely honest, I was having a VERY trying time trusting that God really did know what he was doing. And so, one day, I came home from work, Jim was making dinner, and i took a pregnancy test. I didn't really have any suspicion that I was pregnant, the test was just under the bathroom sink. I could not believe it when those 2 lines appeared on that stick. I just remember saying, "JIM!!" and him replying, "I'm busy making dinner, " to which I replied, "IT'S IMPORTANT!!!" We both looked at each other and smiled. I'll never forget that moment because it was the moment when everything changed for me. Life was put into perspective immediately. We went to the doctor the next day, and the pregnancy was confirmed. We were absolutely elated. I wanted to tell everyone! There is a little life inside of me who has completely changed my life already. No longer do the worries I used to hold so dear amount to anything anymore. I am going to be a mom. I am starting my family. God has the perfect plan. It sounds so cliche, but it is so incredibly true, and I am so incredibly grateful. I think about this little life constantly. I am pretty sure that I have never felt this way about anything. I have this new found joy. and then, the other day a thought came to me....the deepest love, overwhelming joy, and nervous excitement I have for this baby is exactly how God, my father, feels for me!

No, the past 17 weeks haven't been all bliss. I have been sick, tired, worried, and stressed. But God gave me this gift, and I have never been more thankful for anything in all of my life.

Plus...we find out if baby Ranieri is a little lady or a little man TOMORROW! We are so excited! Stay tuned.