The Connolly Family

The Adventures of Matt, Shannon, Liam & Paige

Month: August 2010 (page 1 of 3)


You know what’s full of the awesome?

Being 37 weeks, 2 days pregnant and waking up at 6am in a pool of your own sweat to find out that a tree has fallen in the night and taken with it the power lines for the block (and subsequently the air-conditioning and fan that are necessary for your survival).  Also:  going to the initial parents’ meeting at your son’s preschool and finding out that not only are you the first family to provide snacks on the rotating schedule, but that this means that you are on the hook for the day before and the day after your due date.  Also:  finding out that one child has a peanut allergy (and not knowing how severe because this parent wasn’t able to be at the meeting) and another has both dairy and egg allergies (yes, even baked into things).

Being 37 weeks, 3 days pregnant and waking up at 5:15am because your husband has to drive to Davidson, NC for a 10am meeting.  Also: spending the entire day crossing your legs and pretending that those contractions aren’t really painful while trying to have a cheery disposition for your son’s introduction to preschool.

Being 37 weeks, 4 days pregnant and waking up at (what I assume will be) 6:45am because your husband has jury duty and needs to leave by 7:15 in order to get there on time.  Also: again spending the entire day with your legs (and fingers) crossed all the while knowing that the government doesn’t give two hoots about your husband missing the birth of your child and hoping against hope that he doesn’t get chosen to serve on a jury.

But you know what’s the most full of the awesome?

Being Matt while all this is going on.

Connolly Calculus

Matt trying desperately to finish the final bits of the last home improvement project before we extract Baby Girl


Shannon trying desperately to breathe through painful (though irregular) contractions without alarming Liam


Liam eating Goldfish for dinner in our bed while watching HGTV

Week 37

Today I’m medically considered full-term.  Full being the operative word.

I’m just plain full.  I fill up any seat upon which I put my behind.  I fill up the bed at night.  I fill up any walkway in which I might be standing to the point that it becomes impassable to others.  My bladder appears full to the breaking point at all times, regardless of my hydration status.  I am completely and utterly filled to the brim with being finished with this whole thing.  On with the pictures.

Week 37 in my pregnancy with Liam:





Bonus shot of us with the Williams Family Bassinet:


Week 37 in this pregnancy with Baby Girl:



Bonus shot:


Fully finished.


Since my 32 week appointment I’ve been asking the midwife about the baby’s position (knowing that that early it wasn’t any kind of a guarantee).  Also since my 32 week appointment, I’ve been told that she’s head down.

Despite all this reassurance (at least at this point the chance of her flipping to a breech position is relatively low) I have had a hard time believing that she is actually head-down.  Part of that has hinged on the amount of movement I feel in ALL areas of my abdomen.  I’ve also been assured that the 20 week ultrasound would have shown if she had more than two arms and two legs, but it feels like I’ve got an overactive octopus in there a lot of the time.

The other reason that I have a hard time believing that she’s actually head down is that when she gets the hiccups (as she does several times a day for what seems like extended periods of time) I don’t feel most of the movement in the lower region of my uterus.  I feel the strongest motions from these hiccups on my side (I also feel movement down low and up high at the same time).

Last night I figured it out.  It makes total sense that I, the woman who was once asked to leave an undergrad English class because my hiccups were so loud that they were completely disrupting the class discussion, would have a child whose hiccups would shake her entire body and that I would feel the most movement where I assume her back is currently resting.  I still won’t be completely convinced until we have the ultrasound in a week and a half, but it’s definitely helped to ease my mind a bit.

It’s amazing the things with which I find my mind completely occupied these days.


Now to take a break from our regularly-scheduled kvetching to bring you the reason why I find myself knocked up again.

Scene:  Liam is getting his Sesame Street fix.  Elmo’s topic of discussion this morning is “families.”

Liam:  [Comes running over to give me a hug.]  “Mama, you’re my family.  I love you, Mama.”


And that my friends, is the reason it’s all worth it.

Nice Job, Nature.

Major flaw in nature’s procreation plan:  late-pregnancy exhaustion due to hormones, inability to sleep due to sheer size and the loosening of joints that leads to hip-aches of unbelievable magnitude, and the seemingly never-ending energy required to bring a baby into the world followed by at least three months of serious sleep deprivation.

I’m pretty sure the whole system needs an overhaul.


You know what’s total and utter bunk?  Ridiculousness at a whole new level?  Full-on nonsense?

Doing what feels like the equivalent of 8 straight hours of ab workouts (daily) and still gaining 2 (sometimes 3 or 4) pounds per week.

Bunk.  Ridiculousness.  Nonsense.



There are plenty of odd pregnancy side-effects that you don’t learn about until you’re in the thick of things.  My latest strange symptom is a numbness of the skin on my belly.  It’s in a circular pattern radiating out from where my belly button used to be.  It’s there not all, but most of the time and is invariably worse in the evenings after I’ve spent the afternoon contracting.

The strangest part?  The strangest part is that apparently the skin on my belly had become quite dry and consequently very itchy, but I couldn’t tell what was happening because my skin was numb.  When I would try to scratch the itch, I could only feel the scratching motion from the inside, if that makes sense.  It’s kind of like when you have an itch in your ear canal that you can’t reach to scratch, but if you jiggle the side of your face you can sort of feel it on the inside.  That probably makes no sense, but then that is no different from about 80% of my thoughts these days…

Anyways, the unscratchable itch has been making me nuts for days until last night when I was sitting on the bed resting and it occurred to me that my skin might actually be dry.  Three cheers for body butter!  If only all pregnancy symptoms were this easy to handle…


I had my first internal check this morning.  After my pregnancy with Liam, where I remained “high, tight, and closed” through my 40 week appointment and was only a 1/2 centimeter (if that — the nurse said she was being generous) dilated even after my water broke, today’s numbers were encouraging.  I know that there are lucky people who walk around dilated to 5 centimeters for weeks at a time, but for me, this was a real coup.


Dilation: 1 centimeter

Effacement: 50%

Position:  Head down and -3 station

Fingers crossed that my body figures out how to do this on its own this time!

Week 36

I’m told I’m in the home stretch.  I’m battling the feeling that almost every pregnant woman battles: the idea that this may never end and I might just be pregnant for the rest of my life.  The fact that I’ve experienced this before and it resulted in a real, live baby doesn’t do anything to shake the feeling.  What do I know, really?  The fact that my midwives have assured me that I will not be allowed to go overdue this time doesn’t do anything to shake the feeling.  What do they know, really?  It’s just par for the course.

The other overwhelming issue over the past week is the sharp increase in frequency, duration, and discomfort of my Braxton Hicks contractions.  I’m trying to tell myself that this is my body preparing itself for labor, but based on previous experiences, I can’t be sure that it’s not just my body putting me through hell for absolutely no reason.  I’m still not convinced that my body actually knows how to go into labor on its own.  For that matter, I’m not convinced that my body knows that milk production is important to the survival of the species.  It’s abundantly clear that my body never got the memo that a pregnant woman doesn’t need to match the weight of your average linebacker in order to create a baby.  My body knows nothing.

In addition to feeling like I’ll be pregnant forever and the almost constant contractions for no good reason, exhaustion is my only other major issue.  I can’t be sure if that’s related to carrying around all this extra weight, doing so while caring for a toddler, traveling far too many miles in far too short a time span, waking up 25 times per night to turn over, or if it’s hormonally based.  I guess it doesn’t matter, it just is.

Alright, enough with the kvetching, here are the pictures:

Week 36 in my pregnancy with Liam (These were taken after an unexpected trip to L&D after my blood pressure wasn’t where my doctor wanted it to be, so I’m going to refrain from making negative comments about the state of my being except to say:  Wow.  That was getting really impressive.)



This last shot was taken to commemorate the beginning of my doctor-ordered bedrest.  Ugh.


Week 36 in this pregnancy with Baby Girl (This is what it looks like when I’ve reached the point that drying my hair is too exhausting an endeavor to undertake.  One day I’ll stop being amazed by what a difference it makes to take those 5 minutes to blow it dry.  For now I’m just too hot and too tired to care.  I’m also still in awe of the comparison between my belly last time, when I thought there was no way for it to ever be any bigger, and this time.  There’s a reason that my skin goes numb from being stretched to its absolute limit.  At least this time I know I’ll never be this big again.  Because after this is over?  No.  More.  Children.)



That’s all she wrote (literally).

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