My LAST Day of Work!

Last Day of Work

Every May, I look forward to the last day of my spring session here in the studio. I absolutely love my job and feel blessed to do what I do for a living, but a little vacation is good for the mind, body, and soul.

I’ve always taken a two-week break in between the end of the spring session and the beginning of the summer session, but this year is different. For the first time in my adult life, I will not be working for almost 3 full months.

I went back and forth over how much time to take off for my maternity leave, since there are so many factors involved: I’m self-employed (meaning there’s no such thing as “paid time off”), I don’t have anyone to fill in for me while I’m off, and I work from home (making it just a little easier to balance motherhood and career).

But after careful consideration and lots of welcome advice from my family, friends, and even the families I serve, I decided that taking the entire summer off is best in the long run. Those first few months of my baby’s life are precious and fleeting, and I know that if I cut my time with him short, I will regret it down the road.

I am so incredibly thankful that all of my clients have been supportive of this decision. Of course, many of my kiddos are sad that they won’t see me all summer, but timing-wise, it couldn’t have worked out better. Summer is such a crazy time for everyone, and between vacations, summer camps, and other activities, I usually end up with more cancellations than actual sessions and lessons.

I plan to keep in touch with my families throughout the summer, and have offered to be available for consulting and general communication via phone and email in July and August. I may even schedule some make-up sessions and lessons in those months depending on how I’m feeling and how the baby is doing. I have a feeling that by the first week of September, I’ll be ready to open those studio doors back up and resume the hectic schedule I love so much!

So today, my last day of work, is a little bittersweet, but I’m happy and excited for what is to come.

Week 37

I have officially made it to “full term” point in my pregnancy! I never imagined that at 37 weeks along, I’d still be doing everything I’m currently doing — working out daily at 5:30 am, keeping the house insanely cleaned and organized (hello, nesting), working full time, and somehow managing to stay calm despite the fact that in just a few weeks, we will have a newborn living with us.

As much as I’m ready to meet him and not be pregnant anymore, the truth is that a small part of me is actually going to miss this. I love feeling the kicks and rolls throughout the day, and even the attention I get for this big ol’ belly is kind of fun (sometimes). But I know that it won’t compare to actually having my little guy in my arms!

We’ve been seeing the doctor for weekly visits, and at this point, she says it could be any day now. The great news is that he is head-down, and in the past week, I’ve started to feel some contractions here and there…signs that my body is preparing for labor.

I’m hoping that he stays put for at least one more week, though; the longer baby bakes, the more prepared he will be to enter the world (not to mention that my doula is on vacation until June 7!).

Faking It

Surprise! We had a baby! Or…I got dressed up in a hospital gown, grabbed a doll, and pretended that we did :) Baby Rambach is still safe and sound in my belly, but we sure had fun going through a “dress rehearsal” of labor and delivery at the hospital last week.

I jumped at the chance to be models for a photo shoot at St. Johns Hospital — not only will the photos be used in future trainings, but it gave us the opportunity to have a dry run of what our hospital stay might really be like (wardrobe and all).

First came my admittance, by wheelchair of course. Not sure if I’ll actually be smiling this big when the real deal happens…

Here I am just after getting hooked up to the monitors. It was fun getting to hear the baby’s heartbeat, and now I have an idea about what I’ll be wearing as far as “accessories” during the labor process.

Fastest labor, delivery, and discharge ever! Just a couple hours later, here I am getting ready to take baby home! (That’s our wonderful doula, Janet, who also served as a model in the photos). People passing me in the hallway actually thought I was holding a real newborn, which I found hilarious since the doll was HUGE. I guess I just had that “new mom” glow!

Week 36

I officially have nine months of pregnancy under my belt, with only one to go. Four short weeks left of carrying around this 6-pound “watermelon” — after that, he’ll be in my arms!

We kicked off Week 36 by spending our entire Saturday at Lullaby University, where we learned all about newborn care and breastfeeding. I learned a LOT, but probably not as much as Zach did…I think he is beginning to realize what a HUGE job a baby is. Rewarding, for sure, but much more time-consuming than he originally thought. The class also made us even more excited about our little guy’s arrival.

On Sunday, I got a little taste of what it’s like to be very pregnant in the summertime, thanks to spending a couple hours walking around the art fair in the 85-degree heat. That experience made me really appreciate the fact that I’m due June 14 rather than August 14!

The rest of the week has been pretty uneventful, just busy with wrapping up work (only one more week to go!) and getting as much sleep as I can. Coming up: another doctor’s appointment on Friday, followed by a long holiday weekend :)

The Most Annoying Symptom of Pregnancy


After 9 long months of pregnancy, I’ve discovered the most annoying symptom — and it’s not one of the usual suspects. Morning sickness, leg cramps, heartburn, interrupted sleep, and exhaustion have been no fun at all, but my least favorite of all is my hoarse voice.

For almost 3 weeks now, my voice has sounded like I just finished screaming and singing along at a Taylor Swift concert (and yes, I would totally do both of those things at a Taylor Swift concert). It’s been raspy, a little mannish, and any hope of hitting high notes is out the window. At first I thought maybe I was getting sick, but I had no sore throat, cough, or sneezing. Then I suspected allergies, but I’m not really one to suffer from those. And I hadn’t been using my voice any more than I usually do, so it wasn’t due to overuse.

It all started to make sense after I explained my condition to one of my client’s moms before a music therapy session. She told me that she thought a hoarse voice was a symptom of pregnancy, and after some quick Googling on her iPhone, we found that she was right.

At my doctor’s appointment the following week, the OB confirmed that pregnancy can cause the vocal cords to swell just like the rest of the body, so my hoarse voice is normal at this point. The downside is that it’s probably here to stay until I have the baby, so I can look forward to a little over 3 more weeks of raspiness.

By now I’ve adapted to my new voice, though it sure makes my job interesting! Luckily, there are only 9 more working days left before I’m officially on maternity leave for the summer. I have quite a few new songs I’d like to record, but they just might have to wait until after baby’s arrival if I actually want people to listen to them.

So far, no cankles in sight…just a man voice and a few other manageable symptoms. I suppose if that’s the worst it gets at 36 weeks, I don’t have much room to complain :)

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