Howdy Little Monster in My Tummy!

BEHOLD! You live in my "FrankenBelly." It's bulbous, riddled with stretch marks and has a little creature inside of it that wriggles and writhes all darn day and night...YOU!

We're 17 days away from our official due date. Each day feels like an eternity. Sure, I'm ginormous, uncomfortable and I really miss having ankles. But mostly your dad and I are just so freakin' anxious to meet you. Trust me kid, you're pending arrival has got folks from coast to coast giddy with anticipation.

Pregnancy. What a long, strange trip it's been. I've never experienced such intense heartburn, mood swings, constipation, or love, love, LOVE. I can already tell that I'll miss being pregnant with you. I've loved feeling you grow inside me these past nine months.

But don't get me wrong. You DO need to come out. I know it's comfy in there with the good food and perfect temperature. But isn't it getting a wee bit cramped? You haven't dropped yet and I'm starting to wonder if you might be a procrastinator like your father. The truth is that you can't stay in my uterus forever. Sorry.

So start getting ready to pack up and move out. You'll dig it here. I promise. Plus you've got a bunch of cool toys, cool clothes and cool people waiting for you.

Hope to see you soon.



For My MOMS!!!!!!!!

This is a picture of my mom, Annemarie Charbonneau, in 1977. She just gave birth to me and she looks GORGEOUS! She's an extraordinary mother. Really, she's the best. As I count down the days to becoming a mother myself, I realize more and more how incredible she is.

This is a picture of my mother-in-law, JoLynn Bonin, in 1981. She's at her sister Jayne's wedding with a wee tiny version of what will eventually grow up to become my husband, Jakob. (Ain't he a CUTIE?!!!) I've heard people speak of their mother-in-laws with dread. I feel sorry for them. I lucked out BIG TIME! JoLynn is a generous friend, kind listener, and second mom to me.

Here's what I've learned from my moms...

You is who you is and trying to be something else is bunk! My mom always said, "Just be the best 'Nikki' you can be." Happiness is accepting and loving yourself. Neither of these ladies let other people define them. They stand up for themselves and they thrive.

Sometimes, life can hand you a big bowl o' shite for you to swallow. Money woes. People get sick. Televisions fall on your head. There's a time to cry, but there's a time to laugh, too. I'm in awe of how both my moms have been able to get through all the tough stuff and still be crackin' jokes. And both moms have the most beautiful sounding laughter. Big, bold and intoxicating.

I have a tendency to want to give up and quit when things get hectic. But both moms continue to encourage me. Even when I think I can't, they are my cheerleaders jumping up and down and yelling, "We have faith in you!" And all of a sudden I think, "Well heck, maybe I can." And I do. And low and behold, I AM stronger than I originally imagined. When they believe in me, I believe in me. I'm a superhero!!!!!!!

Both of my moms have remarkable spouses. I learned that marriage is playing on the same team together. He's not your boss. He's your equal. Your lucky to have him AND he's lucky to have you. I knew Jakob was the guy for me because everything I gave I got back.

There's so much "stuff" in the world. Cars and houses and furniture and computers and ya dee ya dee ya. It's all just stuff. Money is just money. It can seem like the whole universe, but it isn't. Love endures all. And when you have love in your life, you are rich. And in that respect, I'm a very wealthy woman indeed.

Thank you, Moms! I hope my kid looks up to me the way I look up to you.

Happy Mother's Day.

Sit Yer Preggo Butt Down. That's an Order.

Friday scared the bejesus outta me.

Karen Stein (college roommate, 'Shop Til You Drop' cohort & dear friend) graciously brought me to my doctor's appointment at 12pm. They sent me to the hospital immediately.

My blood pressure was too high. There was a slight presence of protein in my urine. Preeclampsia. My doctor was planning to induce my labor. I burst into tears at the word, "induce." I'm currently 35 weeks pregnant and still over a month away from my due date. I started thinking about premature babies in NIC units with weak lungs.

I was buggin' out.

As they wheeled me up to Labor & Delivery, Karen asked the hospital volunteer if he's ever allowed to "pop a wheelie" with the wheelchair. She kept me laughing. She kept me calm. Thank goodness. (Oh, and his answer was, "No. Poppin' a wheelie would get me in big trouble.")

For several hours, I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and my blood pressure was closely watched. The nurses were amazing. They reassured me that if the baby were born that day, it would be fine. It was a healthy baby and nearly 7 freakin' pounds! (Good baby!)

I breathed. I meditated. My blood pressure went down. My body returned to normal.

They decided to discharge me with two conditions:

#1. I had to collect my pee for the next 24 hours and bring it back to the hospital for lab tests. FUN! If you've never done a pee collection, it's terribly GOOFY! You sit on a plastic seat thingy that rests on your toilet and then carefully pour your liquid gold into what looks like an orange juice jug.

#2. Bed rest. I have to stay in bed with my feet up. I'm not supposed to do anything. This. Is. Tough. You all know me! I'm a GO GETTER! I need to be nesting, organizing, cleaning, walking, ANYTHING. But I HAVE to stay in bed. For my health. For my baby.

That's where we're at. I'm in bed. Resting. Watching Oprah.

Give me a call if you've got some time. For once, you know I'm home.