So let's see... After a year and a half of courtship, Eric and I were married in May 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Immediately following our wedding, we went on a week long honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico. Then 2 days after we got home from our Honeymoon, Eric left me for 15 months to complete his clinical rotation requirements to earn his Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) degree. He had to go to 5 different cities for 3 months each. He went to:
2.) Akron, Ohio
3.) Cleveland, Ohio
4.) Nogales, Arizona
5.) McAllen, Texas
Obviously I missed him while he was gone. But luckily I was able to at least visit him in each city he lived in - so I got to somewhat share in the experience too. 15 months apart as newlyweds was a challenging way to start our marriage but, if nothing else, I know it made us stronger in our relationship. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder! Also, due to a layoff at my job of 7 years, I was able to take a few months to spend the 2012 holidays and Eric's entire Cleveland clinical rotation with him. That was quite the adventure. I am an Arizona native, and spending December - February in a freezing cold city like Cleveland really taught me how grateful I am for things like sunshine and 50 degree "winters". Did I mention that because I didn't have my own car, I had to WALK in the snow if I wanted to go anywhere while Eric was working? Yeah... It was an experience, for sure. But I survived it! And to be totally honest, it was a lot of fun. Something I will never forget and am truly grateful for. Lots of fun memories to look back on.
Eric graduated in August, 2013 and I have enjoyed having him home ever since. The first year and a half after his return we spent a lot of time traveling and finally enjoying newlywed life together.
Last year in particular was an exciting year for us. We went snowboarding in Telluride, Colorado to celebrate Eric's 30th Birthday. We went on lots of camping and hiking trips throughout Arizona. We bought mountain bikes and are officially addicted beginners. We also became certified scuba divers, which is a BIG check mark off my bucket list as I have always wanted to do that in order to conquer my fear of the ocean. Right after we got certified, we went on an AMAZING trip to Hawaii that I will never forget where we went on 4 different dives, one of which we went 90 feet deep and swam with sharks! And can you believe that dive was my favorite? Absolutely incredible... I can't wait to go diving again. Anyway, at the end of the year we bought our first house together in Gilbert. And last, but definitely not least, right before we left to visit Eric's family in Ohio for Thanksgiving, we discovered we were expecting our first baby! We had literally just gotten off of birth control the month prior, so while it was somewhat planned, we were both pretty surprised it happened so quickly! Our due date is July 27th.
So far, 2015 has been all about getting our house put together and preparing for our baby's arrival. At our 18 week ultrasound in the beginning of March, we learned our little bundle of joy was a Boy. We honestly couldn't be more excited about that (especially me!). Not long after that, I left my job at the beginning of my 3rd trimester and that's when things really hit high gear in preparing for the baby's arrival. First, we went on a quick trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to explore Temple Square and celebrate our 3 year anniversary. Immediately following that trip, we went on a failed camping trip up at the Mogollon Rim, Arizona. Why "failed" you ask? Let's just say that tent camping in the snow while 6 months pregnant really isn't nearly as fun as it sounds. We were supposed to stay up there for 2 nights, but after my only being able to get 3 hours or sleep the first night and being utterly useless (and uncomfortable) around the campsite, we decided to pack things up early and head home. Hey, at least we tried, right?
Since I stopped working, I have had more free time to rest and actually focus on getting ready for the baby. After many hours of online research and Pinterest overdoses, we finished the nursery, picked out a crib, stroller and car seat, etc., registered at BuyBuyBaby and Target, bought furniture and other household necessities, had a beautiful baby shower hosted by my mother, and narrowed down our baby name list to only two names (that we are still "fighting" over). Who knew naming a baby was so difficult? I'm just glad we finally have it narrowed down now. We will officially decide once we meet him.
And now here we are, just 4 days away from our due date. I've read several books, taken many naps, and checked many things off my nesting to-do list. Having been a home-birth baby myself, I decided I want to try and have a natural/unmedicated labor, so I have been doing my research on that, reading books, praying, etc. We will see how that goes... As I get closer and closer to my due date, I get more and more terrified of what I am about to go through. Guys are so lucky they don't have to go through labor! But as scared as I am, I am also extremely excited. This is something I have been preparing for and dreaming of my entire life. If anyone else out there is thinking about having a natural labor, I highly recommend reading Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth. It was an incredible read and was very empowering. I also highly recommend watching "The Business of Being Born" which was also very eye opening and encouraging. Women were literally designed and created with the ability to give birth to babies! Assuming you're healthy and are having a low risk pregnancy, it's very possible for you to deliver your baby the way you want without the need for medical intervention. I know it's not for everyone but, like I said, I was an at-home/natural birth myself, so to me the idea of having an unmedicated natural labor isn't quite as foreign as it can be to a lot of people. My mom had 6 children, 5 of them were born without pain medication, and 4 of them were born at home. To be completely honest though, if you would have asked me 2 years ago about what kind of labor I wanted to have, I would have told you to put me to sleep and wake me up when the baby gets here! What has changed? I'm not quite sure... I guess once I found out I was pregnant and was truly faced with the reality of having a baby, I started really doing my research and thinking for real about what I wanted, and a natural birth is the conclusion I came to. Maybe I am totally crazy, but what can I say? I just think allowing the natural course of things to take place is what is best and what I want for me and my baby. Big shout out to a few of my girlfriends who have had natural births lately (and my mother of course). You have all inspired me greatly. I hope I am able to follow in your footsteps!
However, regardless of what I want and what I've prepared for, I am fully aware of the fact that so many things are out of my control when it comes to labor and so many unknown factors could change the course of my "plan". So as much as I would like a natural birth for my child, my ultimate goal is to approach this labor with as open of a mind as I possibly can and get my baby here safely. Because that is the most important thing, of course. Either way, whatever happens, I will be thrilled to bring our son into this world and to get started on the motherhood journey. As soon as that is accomplished, I will be more than thrilled. Family is everything!