My Valentine’s Day wish for you <3

I love you a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

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Dear Oliver.
I hope one day you meet a girl whom you love until it hurts. I hope you find the passion for each other your Daddy and I have. I hope when you fight, instead of getting mad at her, you choose to remember the long road filled with fights your daddy and I walked to make us as strong as we are. I hope she challenges you and sees you for your potential and stands beside you while you strive to reach it to it’s fullness, no matter how long that takes. I hope you stand beside her and choose to be her rock in hard times. I hope you love her when she’s at her lowest and when she’s at her hardest to love. Your daddy did this for me, and it’s because of him I bloomed. He raised me up and helped me become a woman I’m proud to be. Let her love you too. Don’t hide your feelings from her. Be open to her always, to give and to receive. I hope she pours herself into you and I hope you do the same. Give yourself to each other and trust that you will always protect one another. Just love. Love hard. When you think you can’t do it anymore, keep going, because it’s even better on the other side. Never put her above you or put yourself above her. You are partners, always respect one another and treat each other as equals. One day your love will reach it’s peak and along will come a new life and you’ll fall in love all over again, in a completely new way. Love her for what she’ll go through carrying and birthing your children. It’s hard, Oliver, but I promise you, that perfect child is worth it all. Never miss a chance to tell her she’s beautiful and you appreciate her. Don’t just focus on her looks. Remind her of her intelligence, tell her she is strong, show her she is capable. She will do the same for you. That’s my wish for you. I pray you find happiness and a love like your father and I have. ❤

I love you with everything I am. Happy First Valentine’s Day.
Mommy

 

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2 weeks

How has it been 2 whole weeks since I’ve met the love of my life? It’s been the fastest 2 weeks of my life. They say the hours are long but the days are short, and I finally understand what they mean. I feel like I can’t slow down enough, yet it’s all speeding by.
Precious, beautiful Oliver-
Oh son. I wish I could put into words my feelings for you, but baby, I just haven’t figured them out yet. I’m not sure there are words for this deep of a love. You are perfect in every single way. And Oliver, you are an EASY baby. Even on rough days I never expected it to be so pleasant. You sleep a lot, but even when you are awake you are so content. You watch me and follow me with your eyes. I can’t tell you what that does to my heart. You melt me. You have about 3-4 times a day that you just scream bloody murder. There isn’t a middle ground with you. You’re either on or off. You’re currently sleeping about 6 hours most nights. You pig out then you’re out til Daddy gets up for work when you pig out again and sleep about 4 more hours. I know it won’t always be like that, but for right now I’m grateful you’re easing me into motherhood. You poop like a champ too. Seriously. Like twice a feeding. You love music and if I can’t get you to calm down or nurse I put on the Christina Perri Pandora station that I listened to while pregnant and you chill right now. Loud noises don’t bother you at all. You couldn’t care less. The day after we got home the smoke alarm went off and you barely reacted to it. Let me tell you how much that freaked me out. But you do react so I know there is nothing wrong, you’re just very laid back. You get that from your Dad. The banshee screaming is what you got from me. You love your Pappy (pacifier) even thought I fought for you not to have one. It soothes you. You love soft things. You have 2 blankets you are quite fond of because of this. (Soft blue and gray blanket, yes, those are Mommy’s clever names) You like to ride in the car and go places. Mommy wraps you up in the Moby wrap and you’ll sleep through any outing. It’s lovely. We gave you your first bath 4 days ago and after the initial shock, you loved the warm water. I’m ready for your belly button stump to fall off so we can give you a bath in the big tub. I know you’re going to love it!
You are the love of my life, Oliver. How I ever thought I was a whole person before you came along, I don’t know. You are the best thing your Dad and I have ever done. I can’t breathe you in enough. I can’t be close enough to you. Every day you are changing and it’s all going by too fast. Every day you’re more awake, your face is changing, your personality is more developed. I never know who I’m going to wake up to each morning. You are so alert when you are awake. You just watch me and whatever I am doing. I love it. It’s one of my favorite things about you. You enchant me. I love you, Bright Eyes.

Mommy ❤

 

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40 Weeks

40 weeks

How far along: 40 Weeks! Happy Due Date Day!
Gender: Our perfect precious prince of a boy!
Size of baby: A watermelon
Maternity clothes: I only wear yoga pants now. 😉 And flip flops.
Stretch marks: Sooooo many stretch marks! For a while they bothered me, but now I think they are beautiful. Every one a thread of our journey to you. ❤
Belly button in or out: It never popped out! Hooray!
Sleep: When I sleep I sleep really well, it’s just getting into a comfortable position. I get a good 5-6 hours in and I actually wake up with a lot of energy.
Best moment this week: WE MADE IT TO OUR DUE DATE!
Worst moment this week: We ended up at L&D for 3 AFIs and 3 NSTs this week. I thought I’d never leave. The good news is my fluid is staying up even though it’s low so we’re getting closer and closer to him getting to come on his own!
Miss anything: Rolling over. I seriously feel like a turtle trapped on her back.
Movement: You fluctuate and we’re watching it closely, but when you move, you move! If I can’t get you to move I drink pineapple juice. It’s like your magic wake up drink. You dance all over the place when you get it!
Cravings: I want cheese and pasta and yet at the same time I don’t want to eat anything at all. lol
Queasy or sick: I get a little nauseous every once in a blue moon but I’m finally able to eat pretty much whatever I want again!
Looking forward to: Your arrival. Not just me, everyone. Tuesday we thought was the day. Everything seemed to be pointing that way. Here we are on Saturday and you’re still not here. I’m wondering if you’re planning on showing up before Kindergarten. lol No pressure, buddy, but we’re all dying to meet you out here! ❤

On your due date

Today is the day. The day you were officially supposed to be born. (You obviously had other plans as usual.) It’s a day I never thought I’d see. We made it! We did it! 40 weeks and soon we’ll have you! I wanted to do special things today, to make memories and create moments. Really we just relaxed. No stress, no pressure. It was wonderful. I woke up in the best mood with plenty of energy and feeling great. I knew when I got out of bed today was not your day to be born. That’s okay. It really is. I want to hold you and kiss you but I’m trying to cherish every moment that it’s just you and me, while you’re still my little secret to keep and I don’t have to share you with anyone.
Our doula came by this morning to chat and talk to us about your labor and feeding you. After that Daddy and I went and ate lunch at the same place we ate lunch the day we found out you were really on your way. You love Japanese food. We’ve been to Yume more in the last 9 months than I’ve been to any restaurant in years I’m sure. The owner knows what to bring me to drink and to eat without even asking. They’re very excited to meet you.
This afternoon our precious Rebecca came over to photograph us in your room. It meant so much to me to capture these last hours before we bring you home. Our lives and our world as we know it is about to change. I wanted to show what we looked like in these last days, while we’re still Lauryn and Ran. While we’re making the transition into Mom and Dad. We are different people than we were a few short months ago. I am learning to let go and trust the plan rather than trying to control it. It’s a lesson in flexibility and patience. A lesson in not always being afraid all the time. Fear clouds joy and when it comes to you, I’ll always choose joy. Thank you for giving me these last 40 weeks, to learn, to grow, to change. Thank you, my sweet boy, for making me a mother. ❤

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Daddy’s Predictions

Oliver,

Your mother and I have wanted you for so long that I often worry that we’ll put too much pressure on you to be something or someone you’re not. I can assume and predict how you’ll be for the rest of your life, but honestly, all I know is what I want for you. I want you to be happy. I want you to find happiness and beauty in life. I want great opportunities to come your way, and I want to see how you’ll move through them. I predict that you’ll make mistakes. You’ll make of a lot of these because that’s the nature of experience. I want you to see yourself through mistakes in ways where you grow more every time you stumble. I want you to know love. Love others. Don’t forget to love yourself. Know yourself so you never have to rely on the validation of others. I want you to be kind in moments where it’s easy to be cruel. I want you to be thoughtful in moments where it’s easy to be selfish. Whether you’re a plumber or a president, I want you to be the kind of man that makes the world better around you. Most of all, I want you to be yourself. You’ll change every day, but change for yourself instead of others. Be you, and experience every moment.

With love and anticipation,

Dad

Almost the end.

We’re here. 39 weeks have passed and it’s time for you to come. When did this happen??? I just found out a month ago I was pregnant! I haven’t documented the way I wanted to or I thought I would, but I’ve just been trying to soak it all in and there is too much to absorb to stop and write down every moment. I know I’ll regret it, but I’ve lived in every second with open arms. I can’t believe we’re a week away from your due date. You could come at any moment. I was telling Ran today it amazes me that one day I’m going to be pregnant, and the next you’ll be here. That thought is so big I can’t wrap my head around it. There are things I want to write down before I forget, so this is going to be a jumble, one that will probably be edited over and over again as I recall things. That’s okay. That’s kind of how pregnancy is anyway.

In this pregnancy, I haven’t gained much weight at all (6 and a half pounds as of 39 weeks) but I’ve gotten tons of stretch marks and I’ve carried really really wide. I’m extremely spread out at this point. I’m interested in seeing what my body looks like after you’ve been here for a while.
My most notable cravings have been chocolate milk, fried rice, clear soup, pizza, chocolate chip cookies, cereal, and bananas. There have been others but those have been the ones that stuck around the most. I only want my chocolate milk homemade with not so much chocolate. I eat about 3 bananas a day and Alvin calls to make sure I stay stocked. I spent 3 weeks or so going to Mata’s every single day, sometimes twice. We have our own waitress at Yume named Stace and she’s literally been through the entire pregnancy with us. We walked in the other day and the owner brought my drink and food without taking my order. Yes, that’s how often I go. In the last month of pregnancy I’ve finally started eating beef again. We eat at the Cheaha Brewery quite a bit so I can get a burger. They also know my order without taking it. I have 2-3 boxes of cereal on hand at all times. Mostly Lucky Charms, Corn Pops, Honey Combs, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t eat nearly the amount of sweet that I did before pregnancy. Chocolate Chip cookies are a weakness though. You much prefer salty foods. Pizza. PIZZA. That’s all I can say for that. Daddy has gained way more weight that I have. No worries, he’ll lose it as soon as you get here. I’ll be the one hanging on to the ounces as usual.
I’ve been very aggressive this pregnancy. Especially towards the end. I’m thinking it’s the testosorone but man, I can be really mean. I hate it too. My emotions are haywire. I’m told it’s normal. Or so they say. I hope that goes away ASAP. I hate feeling so out of control.
I’m currently up to 9 extra pillows in bed. No, I’m still not comfortable most of the time. I’ve had a lot of back, hip, and pelvic pain since the beginning of this. I’m told that goes away once you’re here too. And I rarely sleep anymore. When I do, it’s pretty dang good sleep. It’s just rare. Preparing for long nights with you?
We’re going for NSTs twice a week at this point. You are SO LAZY! I seriously hope it’s something that lasts your entire childhood and goes away as an adult. 😉 But really, you hate to move. You are just laid back and chill, but you HATE people messing with you. Today you weren’t reacting so they buzzed you. Broke my heart because it obviously scared you so much. My poor baby. If you would come on out, I promise I won’t let that happen again. I have no way to hold and comfort you  now when that stuff happens so I hope you can feel how sad it makes me and how much I wish I could just rock you til it’s better.
I swore I’d never be the one rushing you to come on, but….. seriously, let’s go. At this point, I’d feel way safer if you were out here. And I’m oh so ready to meet you and kiss your sweet face. I’m also ready to have control over my body again and to roll around in bed and lay on my stomach. I miss turning from side to side without help. I’m nice and puffy and swollen now too. My feet look like balloons. It’s quite a sight!
I know you hear me whine, baby, but I really do love you being in my belly. It is your home and it’s all more than worth it. I’m tired and sore but I am more than happy to do it for you. If you want me to go to 42 weeks I will. I will and I’ll do it happily, but if you wanna come on out, I’m waiting for you with open arms. I will kiss you and hug you and comfort you and show you everything the world has to offer. It’s dark in your little world I know, but the light is out here waiting on you. We’re all out here waiting on you. Take your time, but when you’re ready, I’m ready. ❤

Mommy’s Predictions

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I think you are going to look like me mostly. I think you’re going to have my nose and chin and cheeks. I think you have Daddy’s top lip and my bottom lip and I think you have Daddy’s eyes. I know you have my ears. You showed them to us the other day. I think you’ll have dark hair and blue eyes. I hope you have your Gamma’s eyes. Pretty sure you’re almost bald though so it may take us a while to see that hair color.
I think you are going to be very observant and I think you are going to like to people watch more than socialize. I think you’re going to be very laid back and calm, but very picky and persnicky and I think you are going to throw a fit when things aren’t how you think they should be. And I think you have a temper. You don’t like being messed with at all. I think you’ll be nervous and anxious like me, but I think you’ll hold it in like your dad. I think you’re going to be musical like the Johnson side of the family, and I think you’ll love the drums or anything you can keep a beat with. I hope you like to read like me. I wonder if you’ll like attention like I do and want to perform.

Who ever you are, Oliver, and whoever you become, I will love you no matter what. You are my son, my joy, my light. You are my heart and I am already so proud of you. I know you will be GOOD. Truly good. I pray you have a gentle spirit and that you are brave. I pray you’re a leader and that you take every opportunity to learn and to grow. I hope you know how smart you are and that you believe in yourself as much as your dad and I do.  I hope you realized how loved you are, but I hope you stay humble and always put others before yourself. Be compassionate, son. Love others. Put your heart into those around you. It won’t always be easy, and most of the time it will hurt, but it will be worth it, because you will encounter people who will pour their heart into you too. Keep them around you. Work hard and push yourself and know if you set your mind to it, you can accomplish it. Nothing is impossible and Daddy and I will do everything we can to help you get where you want to be in life. More than anything, I want you to be happy. Whatever you choose to do, whoever you grow to be, I hope you are happy most of all. I hope you have joy and peace like you have given me. I love you, sweet boy. ❤

Our Birth Plan

Birth Preferences for Lauryn and Ran Johnson
My doctor is Dr. Joshua Johannson and my EDD is January 10th, 2015

Environment
*during labor I only want my husband, doula, and birth photographer present. No guests unless I specifically ask for them.

Pain management/Monitoring
*I prefer not to have an IV continuously, please obtain labs at the same time as access
*
Only offer pain medication if I specifically ask for it.
*I prefer the baby to monitored with intermittent fetal monitoring

Labor/Birth
*I would like a birth with as low intervention as possible.
* I prefer to labor in the water tub.
*I would like to have the freedom to move about freely as I need and try many positions while in labor.
*Please discuss any and all procedures with me and my husband before they are performed.
*I prefer having very limited vaginal exams.
*I prefer not to have an episiotomy.
*I prefer to push instinctively. I do not want to be told how or when to push.
*I prefer no augmentation. Please allow my membranes to rupture spontaneously.
*Please place the baby against my skin with a blanket over him.
*Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before it is clamped.
*Please do not separate the baby from me unless medically necessary.
*Please delay all routine procedures on baby to facilitate bonding.
*I would like to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible.
*I prefer to wait for spontaneous delivery of the placenta.
*I would prefer to save the placenta to take home.
*Please only give Pitocin postpartum if medically necessary.
*Please use warm water for maternal cleansing.

In case a cesarean becomes necessary
*
I would prefer Ran to be present for the surgery, if possible, our birth photographer as well.
*If it is not an emergency I would like to stay conscious during surgery.
*I would like contact with the baby as soon as possible.
*If everyone is healthy I would like to breastfeed in the recovery room.
*I would like the baby to stay with me at all times if possible.

Newborn Procedures
*Please do not bath our baby.
*Our baby is to be exclusively breastfed.
*Please do not offer artificial nipples without our consent.
*If for any reason breastfeeding is not possible please use donor breast milk rather than formula.
*Please no use of erythromycin, gentian violet, and no hep B vaccination.
*Please allow me to hold or nurse our baby why injections are given or blood is drawn for routine procedures.
*Our son is not to be circumcised.

Oh, we’re half way there

Oh, oh, livin on a prayer! Yeah, I went there. That’s basically how life is these days. Let me say, I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy thus far. I’ve been very very lucky. Bad days still come though. At this point I’m pretty sure the ‘stretching’ everyone talks about is actually your muscles ripping open because that’s exactly what it feels like. Ripping, tearing, awful. My hips and my lower back are also giving me hell. But it’s all worth it. Every ache and pain brings me closer to my sweet sweet baby boy!
I can’t believe we’re at the half way point already. This pregnancy is flying by, truly. I feel like I can’t keep up. There is so much still to do! I’m waiting to feel safe. I don’t know if it’s coming from years of infertility or previous loss or anxiety or just me being me but every day I expect to wake up not pregnant anymore. I know it’s crazy, but I do. Every single time I go to the bathroom I check for blood. I expect it. Every. single. time. Does that ever go away? I’m ready to feel secure that he’s really coming. That’ll he’ll really be here and safe and mine. I can’t put into words how much I love this little boy. He is my own personal miracle and I have no idea what I did to deserve him. I don’t know what I’d ever do without him. He’s magical.

How far along: 20 weeks exactly!
Gender:  Big ol bouncy baby boy!
Size of baby: Ba-nah-na (in my best minon voice!)
Maternity clothes: I wish I had more. lol! But yes, I’m rocking what I do have. This bump ain’t going into any regular jeans anytime soon.
Symptoms:  My mealtimes are still about 1/3 to a half of what I used to eat, but I can eat much much more now thankfully! I still haven’t felt that desperate hunger thing and I actually have to force myself to eat most of the time. I really should get better about that…. I’m having pain and soreness from my ever expanding hips and my lower back and this whole stretching thing feels way way more like tearing, but over all, we’re good!
Sleep: Some nights are better than others, but sleep has pretty much gotten into a normal routine.
Best moment this week: We picked up Oliver’s crib today!!! Ooooh, how emotional that was! I really never thought this day would come! I’m making Ran start on the nursery tomorrow. I’m ready to get this thing knocked out!
Worst moment this week: I didn’t get out of bed on Tuesday at all. Or was it Thursday? Either way, both days were awful. Just pain and soreness. That’s about it. Otherwise this week has been just fine!
Miss anything:Enjoying food. I mean really truly enjoying what I eat.
Cravings: I think my chocolate milk phase might finally be over. And maybe fried rice too. I’ve had my Rally’s Fry run twice this week, but nothing too demanding. This kid is going to come out a potato. If I can’t eat anything else I can put down some fries and potato chips. Oooh, Coke! That’s been my big one the last couple of weeks. I just WANT IT so bad. Not good considering my sugar test is Tuesday. So far the kidney stones have stayed at bay though. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time with how irresponsible I’ve been. 😦
Looking forward to: We go for our anatomy scan on Tuesday and we’ll get to see him from the top of his head to the soles of his sweet feet looking at every single spot. I go for my first sugar test too, but that’s not so much a ‘looking forward to’. I am excited my mom will be there on Tuesday. She hasn’t gotten to see him at all on ultrasound yet so that’ll be fun for her!

Till you’ve been there

Pregnancy is really weird. Weirder than I ever thought possible. You hear a lot from pregnant women, but you really don’t know till you’ve been there. I used to hate hearing that when we were TTC. It hurt my feelings and I resented it. “Till you’ve been there.” Well it must be freaking nice to be there! WISH I WAS! As much as it shames me to say, they were right. Pregnancy isn’t something you can explain. You just have to experience it. And that experience goes one day at a time.
I thought I’d be different. I though because we had to wait so long, because we had a loss I’d be better. I wouldn’t complain. HA! When your body takes over, you have no control. I don’t mean to complain, but GEEZE this is weird! I am so grateful, so unbelievably grateful. I haven’t fully wrapped my mind around the fact this baby is really mine yet, but when you wake up daily feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck and you walk around sick, it’s kinda hard not to whine just a little. You’re worn out. You feel totally different and you don’t know what to do or how to fix it.
Another one of mine was “Who on Earth in their right mind doesn’t take their prenatal?? It’s one pill! Come on!” Um. Hi. I’m Lauryn and I didn’t take my pills more than 5 or 6 times in the first 9 weeks I was pregnant. I couldn’t! They made me SO sick and honestly it wasn’t one more think I wanted to put inside me to make everything worse. Thank GOD for gummy prenatals! Ran was so against them at first. Too much sugar, too much this, too much that. ‘Dag gum it- if you want me to take the vitamins, get me the dang gummies!’ And he did. And they are wonderful. And they don’t make me sick! Hooray! Yay for prenatals fit for a child! 😀
Ooh ooh! Or how about “I’m going to only eat organic healthy food when I get pregnant. No more junk! Only the best for my baby! It does’t have a choice what it eats, it’s up to me to make it good!” Again, HA! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Bwhahahaha! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! The first 2 weeks I after I found out I was pregnant I only ate vegetables and fruit and nuts and yogurt. And then one day Ran packed me some meat, and I almost lost my lunch right there on the table. Then I stopped eating the vegetables. Then the fruit. There was 2 whole days where all I had to eat was rice chips. I was starving but everything sounded awful. Then I ate some Pringles and the sky opened up and the angels sang! Salt! Salt helps the nausea! Now it’s Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles and sweet tea. Do you know what I ate today? Fries on 2 separate occasions (I threw up one order of them in the parking lot not 5 mins after I ate them) and pizza. I fed my kid fries and pizza. Yep. But you know what, I took my dang prenatals!

I guess my point is, there is no sense in the stress of what other people do when they are pregnant. Or when they have kids for that matter. I’m pretty sure we’re all just doing our best to survive it the best we can.  No 2 pregnancies are alike and I’ve been dang lucky with this one. You adapt to what cards you’re dealt. I say a lot about what I’m going to do with this baby once it’s born and what I’ll never do as a parent, but I’m learning, slowly but surely, I won’t know until I’ve been there.