Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Getting Ready For Her Grand Entrance

God I miss dancing. I hope Baby E will love to move. Fingers crossed she will want to make fun little dance routines with me. I had a doctor's appointment today and ended up having to have a nonstress test. They tracked her movements, heart rate, and even contractions (apparently I had contractions!?) This girl certainly moves more when she has food or when I'm trying to sleep ha! 
I recommend doing all that you can to avoid getting sick with the you know what (c word) while prego. They mentioned induction at 39 weeks and that is certainly not part of my birth "preferences." I hesitate to use the word "plan," because I know things happen and I want to be open minded. As long as weekly NSTs look good, I can avoid that. 
I am used to controlling every aspect of my life and career. There are so many unknowns and things that can go wrong with health and pregnancy though. Things beyond our control. That is not exactly great for the type A perfectionist dancer. I have always been so in touch with my body. However, you can do everything right and things can still differ from your plan. 
We went over what my preferences are. It is important to me that I am able to move as much as possible. I don't stop moving in daily life so why would I want to in this? I am not opposed to getting the epidural, but I want to try my best to avoid it. I can't imagine being confined to the bed or not being able to feel my body and be in control. I am aware that everyone thinks I'm insane and I could very well decide I want the drugs, but I would prefer to give it my best effort first. 
It's a crazy thing to be a lifelong dancer and then decide to have a baby. Like I have said a million times, I have no intention of quitting. Things will look a lot different, but I know I will find my way back. The physical changes haven't bothered me much fortunately. I have actually appreciated this break from constantly thinking about how I look or the next audition or performance. A lot of the burnout I felt for so long has dissipated. I think it had a lot to do with constant travel this year, which I was grateful to do, but it does wear you down. When something you have loved so much for so long starts to feel like a chore or just a job, you know it's time for a break. I want to be back in class now. I WANT to dance. Not just for work, but because I LOVE it. I am very much looking forward to gaining my strength, stamina, and technique back slowly and safely.
Max and I will start moving closer to Tampa this week. We have a little overlap between our current lease and the new one fortunately. She will be born in St. Pete and then we will head across the bridge by early February. St. Pete has been amazing and we have so many great memories here, but it is time for a change. I can't wait to decorate her room! I found some inspo on Pinterest and will definitely share on here and Youtube eventually. Realistically, we could have a small human with us in like 2 weeks. 
Very much looking forward to Baby E's debut. Stay tuned. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Sunrise Beach Photoshoot

Carolyn Rowe Photography

A few weeks ago we had our maternity shoot on St. Pete Beach with Carolyn Rowe Photography. We met at sunrise and the lighting was so soft and pretty. Very happy to have these memories. Here is a small peek at some of our pics. Of course we had to do a little dance. There are 20 days left until my due date. I can't even believe it. I don't feel totally prepared, but I am so excited to create little routines and traditions with her. We definitely want to incorporate "musical mornings" like Amanda Kloots and her son Elvis do. There will obviously be tons of dancing too...


Saturday, December 17, 2022

Thoughts On The Future.

Baby's 1st Jazz Hand

As I get ready to have my baby girl (in 3 weeks! Ah!) and reflect on the things that I have done in my life so far, especially during the holiday season, I can't help but be a little nostalgic for my dance career. I am used to performing at this time and still have big dreams involving a certain holiday show. I just feel like I'm not done. I know things will be more difficult and I'm not living in NYC, but that chapter isn't complete. I still think and dream about what I always have and while it's going to be trickier, I do think I need to try again. I need dancing in my life. I need to be onstage. I need to feel that accomplishment and high of coming so close to my dream or even achieving it. I need the challenge. It's my happy place. It makes me better. It's not a hobby, it has been my career. It is my identity which is why this period of slowing down hasn't been the easiest.

I want my daughter to see what you can achieve if you work hard and don't give up. I want to make her proud. I just showed Max some home videos from when I was little. We watched footage of me singing and dancing at such a young age and it made me cry. I hope I have made that little girl proud. All she ever wanted was to perform. I know someday this will all be over and I won't have the ability to even try again, but I certainly pray that time isn't now. I always think about what it would be like to be 80 years old reflecting on life. I really hope I will be proud and content with the way I raised my daughter and helped give her every opportunity to succeed... and how I accomplished or did all that I could to come close to my goals as well. 

I am so looking forward to this next chapter.  We already love this little human we don't even know so so much. It already feels like time is flying and she isn't even here yet. I am going to try my best to enjoy every moment, even the hard ones, and make sure her life and memories are happy. 

I see dance friends having babies and continuing their passions and work in the industry. I know it can be done. I hope I can help instill a love of the arts, theatre, music, dance, etc. in my daughter. I hope we can dance together. I hope she falls in love with New York City too ; ) The nice thing about Tampa Bay is that there is so much dance and art and culture. 

I will basically be starting over in the spring, but I am going to look at it as an opportunity to better my technique and become a stronger person both mentally and physically. I had to stop taking class in August when my pelvis started bothering me. It hurt to walk. I have been seeing a chiropractor 2x per week and taking prenatal yoga classes. This has helped, but not being able to move the way I'm used to has been hard. I have been desperate for a creative outlet lately and have been testing out the YouTube thing, but I find that I am better able to share my thoughts in writing. Max got me an early "push present," a new Nikon camera. I will attempt to use it for YouTube, but I really look forward to using it for pictures and videos of baby girl above all. It will also be good to have to document my return to dancing. I want to keep track of my progress and work on choreography, if only just for me. 

I know there are people in my life who likely think I'm nuts for believing I can still have my dreams with a baby. But why not? I know it is about her now and that she will give us so much happiness and purpose. I feel those things from my dance life as well and giving up everything I've worked for doesn't seem like the healthiest plan for me. I am determined to make it work in some capacity. I think getting back to movement and the challenge of class will be best for my mental health. 

My plan is to take time to be present and not rush back into anything. I can't wait to go for family walks and get my stamina and strength back slowly and safely. Then I will return to class eventually. Max and I will be moving over the next few weeks and then she will be here before we know it! This has been a difficult year in so many ways, but we are very lucky. We can't wait to meet her. We can't wait to share her name. We can't wait to see what she loves and who she becomes. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022