Today we had our 37 week check-up.  Now that I am full term, I can actually say "Any day now!!"

First we had an ultrasound to check on Shepherd's growth.  At 32 weeks he was measuring 10 days ahead of schedule and they were concerned he might be too big for me. Before the ultrasound my guess was 7 lbs 9 oz, and Joey's was 7 lbs 4 oz.  
He weighs 7 lbs 6 oz, so we were both close!  The doctor told me that in order for her to want a c-section he would need to get up to 9 lbs, which hopefully he won't because I don't want a c-section!
After the ultrasound we had an appointment.
Since I had my first exam last week and knew what to expect, I wasn't quite so nervous.  Although that did not stop me from yelling  politely telling my husband that dancing and singing and telling jokes while we wait for the doctor doesn't calm my nerves.  I'm going to have to get him under control before I go into labor ;)
My worst symptom lately has been itching!  Its normal for your stomach to itch because the skin is so stretched.  But my entire body is itching, my legs and arms especially.  Some nights I can't sleep because I  am so itchy.  Joey loves those nights.  
So I told my doctor about this and she is concerned I may have something called Cholestasis.  This is a liver disease that only happens in pregnancy, and only in about 1 out of every 1,000 women.  There is not a lot of risk to me, but if I have this it could be dangerous for Shepherd.  Because of that, women who have cholestasis are usually induced early. 
After hearing this, I had to go get blood work done and that will show if I have it or not.  
We should find out on Monday.  If I do, Dr. James is inducing me next week.

Of course I hope and pray I do not have this!!  My biggest concern in life is Shepherd's health.  
I don't want to be induced at all.  I want Shep to come when he is ready and with God's timing.  But, if his health is at risk, and we have to do an induction, I know this is God's timing and He is taking care of us.  Maybe he will come on his own this weekend?  Wouldn't that be nice!

other things to add about 37 weeks.

I told Joey he has to ask me everyday how am I feeling emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Usually if one is off, they are all off!! ;)

Joey asks me multiple times throughout the day if he is moving around in there.

My feet and legs and hands are sooo swollen.  I'll spare showing you a picture.

Our families are so excited.  
Caitlyn is convinced I'll go into labor while Joey is at work and she will have to rush to take me to the hospital.  She has warned everyone she may have to take off at a moments notice.  She is so sweet.  Love you Caity!!
Joey's mom is convinced I'll go into labor tomorrow.  I hope so!!
My sister insists on new pictures of my belly all the time.  
My family is coming down this weekend to spend one last weekend with us before we have a baby and help us get any last minute things finished.  I emailed my mom and said I had a to-do list for her and she said she would be happy to fulfill her duties.  Something about moms just make you get stuff done.  At least my mom!

I am finally at a point where I think I've read all I can read, researched all I can research, I've crossed off pretty much everything on my to-do list.  Now I just need a baby!!
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me and jessica simpson.

Check out the link to an article about Jessica Simpson, saying she wants to give birth in a leopard caftan.
I knew caftans were hot!!

Haha!!  I love my caftans and J.S!

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two pictures.

Here is a normal picture of me at 36 weeks + 2 days.  About to go to dinner to celebrate my friend Kari's birthday last Friday night.
 And remember my caftan obsession?  Well, Saturday Joey and I were out shopping and saw this beauty.  Of course I had to add it to my collection!! Bahahaha

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packing my hospital bag.

I've been in serious nesting mode this past week, and all of my thoughts and energy have gone mainly to the darn hospital bag!  Yes, I realize we live 3 minutes away and if I forget something its not a big deal.  But that is a rational thought and I don't feel very rational.  
Instead it makes sense to lay awake at night thinking about "if a cold front comes through, THEN what will Shepherd wear home?"
(Rational thought would be: Its a 3 minute drive, wrap a blanket around him.
My thoughts...must.get.out.of.bed.and.online.shop)
My husband's facebook status the other day said:
"Love this weather, relaxing on the deck while Jess is inside making a list of the lists she needs to make to get ready for Shepherd."
That about sums it up!
Here is a picture of my hospital bag lists:

They include:
Shopping List
What to pack at the last minute list
Snack List
A rough draft of my master packing list
List of what has actually been placed in the bag
Master Packing List

So without further ado, here is my Master Packing List for the hospital:
Several copies of my Birth Plan
Back massager
Exercise ball
Toiletries  (I bought travel size so I don't have to pack last minute)
(Shampoo/Conditioner, Body Wash, Loofah, Deodorant, Face Wash, Cold Cream, Qtips, Cotton Balls)
Hairbrush, Hair Dryer, Comb
Maxi pads
2 nursing bras (one black, one nude)
Makeup bag
A few pairs of big, comfortable black underwear (in case of c-section do not want to hurt incision and black for bleeding!)
Nursing pajamas
(I packed button down black pajamas and a nursing nightgown)
Nursing pads
Boppy nursing pillow
Phone Charger
Lanolin cream
Notepad/Folder (to write down any important information/save any important documents)
Shepherd's baby book (for footprints)
Bobby pins
My going home outfit: Black yoga pants, black nursing tank, sweater
Shep's going home outfit **still up in the air** but as of now: 
personalized "L" onesie, hat, socks, mittens

Well, thats it! Did I forget anything??
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36 Week Update

Today I am 36 weeks + 1 day.  This is a big one.  At the end of this week, which will be Wednesday, April 25th (so confusing!) I will be 37 weeks.  That is considered full term, which means Shepherd can come whenever he wants!  This week I guess he is finishing up all of the most important growing and developing he needs.  Ahh!!!

A couple of things.

I've started "nesting."  I wish I could say that for me this means I'm cleaning the house like crazy and it is spotless.  But no, unfortunately for our bank account, it means I've been shopping every single day because I keep thinking of new things we have.to.have.right.now.
The other night I woke up at 3:30am and couldn't sleep because I was thinking about everything I needed to do.  So, rather than toss and turn because I couldn't shut my mind off, I went in the nursery and made tons of lists and just prayed and talked to Shepherd.

Last week my friend Lindsay gave birth to her son, Eli.  I'm thankful Lindsay and I got to go through our pregnancies together.  It is hard to believe that now that her little boy is here!  We went to see her at the hospital and it was surreal holding Eli.  He was not even a day old yet.  He was born a little over 6 lbs, and I was holding him thinking, "This is the size of Shepherd right now!  This is what he looks like!"  I can't wait :)

I go to the doctor tomorrow for my first internal exam.  I'm terrified!  Ugh I hate exams.  But, I'm also excited to see how I'm progressing and hear her thoughts on c-section vs. vaginal delivery for Shepherd.

Sometimes I fixate on small details that really won't matter in the long run.  Right now that is Shepherd's outfit he is wearing home from the hospital.  I realize probably no one but our families will see it, but I need it to be special.   I originally wanted a white onesie with a cursive L on it and a hat that says Shep.  But then I started thinking that a onesie really is not an outfit.  Joey disagrees.  Maybe it is an "outfit" but it doesn't seem special enough for coming home from the hospital in.  I want something each of our children can wear home.  I actually had a dream that I put him in a onesie to take him home and all the nurses acted like I was a terrible mother and said, "you've had 9 months to prepare, you couldn't finish dressing him?" 

Joey and I are extreme over-sharers.  Neither of us ever get embarrassed.  Being the first of our group of friends to get pregnant, I'm pretty sure we've traumatized some of them.  Between one friend who couldn't handle me talking about "placenta" to Joey traumatizing his little sister's boyfriend talking about nursing bras, and much more intimate details in between, I'm surprised people still hang out with us.  I can see us embarrassing our children in the future.

Its kind of nice only having about 10 articles of clothing that fit me.  No more trying on outfits or taking too long to decide what to wear.   However after I lose this baby weight I'm rewarding myself with a big shopping spree!

Tonight on my to do list includes packing the hospital bag!  After my latest trip to Target (3rd this week...) I think I've got everything I need.  After I finish packing I'll share my list for any other mamas to be.

This weekend's to do list includes finishing the nursery.  I think there are just 2 more things we need to do.  We want some shelves to put the monitor on, and I'm not happy with the crib sheets we have right now.  I wish you could just snap and have exactly what you want.  We don't have anything in the crib at all.  No bumper or anything.  I do not understand 1. Why people spend $60+ on those crib kits or whatever they are called 2. Why places are still selling them.  You know how you can go to Babies R Us and buy the crib set that includes sheets, bumper, blanket?  We didn't do that because it is recommended to not have anything in the crib at all!  Bumpers are a safety hazard.  I don't understand why they sell them?  I asked a pediatrician and she said not even breathable bumpers are ok.  So, we just have the crib sheet but it is hard to find cute crib sheets sold on their own.  I'm on the lookout!

Everything for boys has either and animal, truck or sport theme on it.  None of which are ok with me.  Some animals I like, but I hate monkeys on anything.   Animals I can stand include alligators, elephants and of course sheep for my little Shepherd! ;)

Joey says every night at 8:30 I get really cranky and mean.  He thinks its because I'm tired but I know I won't be able to sleep so I just get rude!  I told him until our youngest child graduates high school I'm allowed to do whatever I want since pregnancy is such hard work ;)

I'll admit, I have been a little cranky on occasion, but I have a new attitude.  At church on Sunday, they mentioned the verse about: 
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made"
I've thought about that verse a lot while pregnant, but on Sunday it just hit me.  I am literally carrying out God's word right now.  God knows every day of Shepherd's life.  Right now God is using my body to form his sweet little body, his heart and soul.  
So, when I want to be cranky, when I want to complain about the fact that I can't bend over or sit up, when I want to tell my husband that I am going to schedule his vasectomy because I can't imagine doing this again (don't worry I took that back), when I want to cry because I don't think we have a suitable hat for him to come home from the hospital in....
Well, I may still do all of those things, but I'll quickly remind myself that this is all part of God's perfect plan, and God chose me to be his mother, and I am the only person who can do that.
And that is pretty special!!
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quotes for Shepherd.

I'm not sure why, but our friend Catherine asked us if we had any favorite quotes, lyrics or hymns for Shepherd. 
Here is the list Joey and I put together for her:

"Love is the Heart of the World" lyrics:
I leave him sleeping as I rise early
Always up before the dawn
The house is dark, but I see clearly
Kettle sings a morning song
The bacons frying, baby's crying
I soak up the sights and sounds
Minutes turn to days, and I wish I could slow it down

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my soul to keep
And if I do before I wake, I pray to the Lord my soul to take

"One of Us" lyrics:
Your mother well, she's strong and steady, 
southern drawl and good Lord she's pretty
She's better than anything I'd dreamed
And as for me, I'm scared to death
I'll breathe at last at your first breath
Everything you need I'll try to be
And all we are, we are
And all we'll be, we'll be
Love and hurt, doubt and trust
Welcome to being one of us

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
-Roald Dahl

*(This is from a hymn my mom used to sing to my sister and I to get us to go to sleep):
We are standing on holy ground
And I know that there are angels all around
Let us praise Jesus now
For we are standing in His presence, on holy ground

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit:
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

 Cat is so creative and thoughtful so I can't wait to see what she has planned =)

Also, can I say that my hormones have been out of control the further along I get in pregnancy.  I have cried just about every day, for not reason other than just wanting to.
On Easter, almost as soon as we got seated at church I just started tearing up.  I couldn't stop crying and Joey's sister had to leave to get me tissues.  
Yesterday at work I started reading a chain email from my mom and had to stop because I had tears streaming down my face.
From our list, the poem about "Babies Don't Keep" makes me lose it.
And don't get me started on the lyrics from "Love is the Heart of the world."

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The only card I've ever saved:

I am not a super sentimental person, and I am definitely not a card person.  I rarely get anyone a card, no matter what the occasion is.  Never waste money getting me a card, I appreciate it, but I never save them.  However...
may I present to you the only card I have ever saved, from my Dad:
 I love that he wrote, "I love every day of your life."  That is so nice.  I think my Dad gave me this card when I graduated high school.
Some people have a hard time sharing their emotions, and I don't.  I don't have any pride against telling someone I love them, if I'm sad, or hurt, anything good or bad.  And I'm sure part of that is because my Dad has always been so good at communicating love to our family.  He is very positive and encouraging.  Not too long ago I was talking to him on the phone about something, my life and where I want it to go, and my Dad was encouraging me and listed off about 25 qualities of why he thinks I'm wonderful.  I know he is biased ;) but I think everyone needs at least someone, hopefully more than one, person like that in their life.
Thanks for being the best, Dad!
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my husband as a baby

Excuse the fact that I took a picture of a picture, using my iphone.  Just thinking about what baby Shep will look like.  I'm sure it will be a lot like my husband as a baby.  Those genes are strong!
Look how much Joey looks like his mom here:
(He was pouting because he didn't get the bike he wanted.  Poor thing ;)

More pictures of my husband:
Serious baby:
Chubby baby:
Curly haired baby:
I love that little face!

Maybe I'll be surprised and Shep will be a little blue eyed blonde baby, but I'm ok if he is a sweet little tan curly haired brunette!
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game day in the bluegrass

Can you all tell basketball is literally the only thing going on in this crazy city??  I feel like I keep posting about it.  UK made it to the championship and we play tonight!  My mother and sister-in-law are down in New Orleans.  We are so jealous!  I wish I could go back to college just for this weekend ;)
Ready for our Championship game today!!
All CATS everything!!

Oh my gosh, it is APRIL.  Shepherd is due in MAY!  So, I could very easily have him early and have an April baby!  This could possibly be his birth month!  I'm having a moment of panic and need to get everything ready!  I need to read more books, finish the nursery (getting close, can't wait to share!), buy a few more things we will need, pack my hospital bag...ahhhh!!  I can't decide if pregnancy has gone by slowly or quickly.  I'm sure the more pregnant and uncomfortable I get I will think sloooowly.  Sometimes it feels like I've been pregnant forever, other times it feels like its snuck up on me and just yesterday I was sitting in the bathroom staring at that little test.  
Sunday Joey and I had a very lazy day since we know there aren't many left.  We lay in bed forever just staring at my belly and feeling Shepherd kick and move.  He is definitely utilizing all of his space.  We could feel him on my lower left side and upper right side.  Sweet thing.

Shepherd, we can't WAIT to meet you! 
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Wanted to share the rest of our pictures that my cousin took awhile back.  These were taken a little after Thanksgiving.  I think I was around 16 weeks here.

Happy Sunday!
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