Friday, May 31, 2013

Memorial Weekend Babymoon

When I was in the first trimester, going on a babymoon seemed like a really dumb thing to do.  Why would I want to be away from the comforts of home while I was pregnant?  I was afraid that my nauseousness and constantly feeling bad would last for the whole time I was pregnant.

Then I hit second tri and I felt like myself again!  A trip sounded like an awesome idea but Art had not asked for any time off because of my previous adamant feelings not to go anywhere.  So we couldn't pull anything together until this past weekend, and we weren't even sure if that would happen.  It was all very last minute.

Our babymoon was just two days, one night but it was very luxurious - Art booked us a room at one of the nicest hotels in town!  It was a stay-cation since we didn't have much time.  We arrived in the afternoon with plans to enjoy the pool and amenities and go to dinner.  We had a dinner reservation at 8:30pm, the only time we could get on such short notice.  Once we arrived we found out why - they were having fireworks at 9pm.  We briefly considered changing our dinner plans but decided that having a nice romantic dinner trumped watching fireworks. 

We got settled into our room, which was beautiful, with a balcony and a nice view of a lake.  Then we made our way down to the pool and ordered some drinks (virgin mojito for me, pina colada for Art) and relaxed.  The weather was great and the pool felt so nice.  We stuck around there for a few hours before making our way back to our room to get ready for dinner.  I thought that 8:30pm would be too late to eat but it ended up working out pretty well because we had plenty of pool time and didn't have to rush getting ready.

For dinner, we ate at Norman's, their nicest restaurant on property.  Art and I love eating at nice places when we can get away with it, especially somewhere that we have never been before.  The dinner was so delicious, we were served this amazing bread (yeah, it's just bread but I swear it was sooo good, we both couldn't stop eating it).  Next course was a salad, followed by an empanadas appetizer.  Our main courses of course were so yummy.  I got the yellow tail snapper, which was very fresh and cooked perfectly.  Art got a pork dish that he loved.  For dessert, I chose one that had a chocolate truffle, chocolate cake and ice cream.  Yummm!!!

Here is us from after dinner:

The next day we went back to the pool and relaxed again for a few hours before it was time to leave.  Even though it was a very short babymoon it was much needed for both of us.  We came home feeling happy and reconnected again.  It's hard to believe that it was probably our last trip as just the two of us!  Reality is starting to sink in that our little girl will be here soon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hump Day Bump Day x3!

Since I've been slacking on my bump pictures lately, I decided to get all caught up and share them all with you today!  Here we go...this is me at 31 weeks, back on May 12th (I think this was an after church picture):

Next up, my favorite, a hot mama picture!  My friend loaned me this sexy little black dress, you can really see my belly in it!  This was from a night out to dinner at our favorite Italian place at 32 weeks:

And finally, the most recent "Oh-crap-we-forgot-to-take-my-picture" picture, from Monday night.  Please don't judge me for the lack of makeup and messy hair.  I guess this one is capturing that tired third tri look, lol:

So there you go!  Happy Hump Day Bump Day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

34 Weeks

Wow, another week down!  Sorry I never put up an official 33 week update, and for slacking on the picture posting.  There has been a lot of stuff going on lately and I haven't been on my computer at home that much.

So, backing up to last week, I had a really good prenatal appointment with my doula, Cynthia.  She showed me some exercises to do that will help open up my hips and get the baby into a good position, and also encouraged me to keep doing my Kegels (I've been so bad about remembering to do them!).  She also wants me to go for a walk every day and make sure that I'm eating right.  I told her about my little sugar habit addiction and she challenged me to cut out sugar from now until the baby comes.  I told her about how it's kind of my last indulgence now that I can't have caffeine or alcohol and she reminded me that I only have 6 weeks left and that the more sugar I eat, the bigger baby will get, and that means a bigger baby to have to deliver! GULP.  Okay, I can do this.  So starting today, I'm going to try.

She also talked to me about the importance of good posture and not reclining right now, because it can encourage the baby into a sunny-side up position, which makes delivery harder.  So I've been trying hard to work on all of these things we talked about.  I also got an exercise ball, which Art blew up for me yesterday.  I have to figure out how to use it, so that's on the agenda for this week. 

I will update more tomorrow on our holiday weekend and all that fun stuff :)  For now, here's the 34 week rundown:

How far along?: 34 Weeks, only 42 days to go!
How big is baby?: Your baby now weighs about 5 1/2 lbs. and is 18 1/2 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well.   Three more weeks and she will be considered full term!  Babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.
Any appointments or updates this week?: I had a quick 34 week check up today, and everything looked great.  I go back in two weeks.
Body changes?: Definitely lots of swelling in my hands and feet, especially with being outdoors so much over the weekend.  
Maternity clothes?:  Yep, my maternity swim suit has been getting used even more than I thought it would!
Best moment last week?:  Getting maternity pictures taken, celebrating my mom's birthday and going on a mini babymoon with Art over the weekend
Food cravings?:  Sweets, sweets, sweets!  I am going to try hard to satisfy those with fruit though, instead of my usual candy and ice cream.
Symptoms?:  Having to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes!
Exercise?: I went for two really good walks, I pushed myself as hard as I could.  I also went swimming a few times.
What I miss?:  My old body (being 100% honest/selfish here).  I've been getting more and more uncomfortable lately.
What I'm looking forward to?: Getting to hold my baby in my arms, I just can't wait. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Another day, another breakdown (or, why hormones suck)

I want to apologize in advance, because this is going to be more of a vent-y post than usual.

I'm on day two of having a mini-meltdown as soon as my husband gets home from work.  After yesterday's occurance I swore that today would be better.  After all, yesterday was a really crazy day.  I had to get to work extra early for a customer event that started at 7am.  Then we had a big important meeting from 4-6pm with a bunch of people that I had to try to make small talk with (ie. I was a little intimidated and very worn out at the end of it).  Then I went straight from there to a class at the hospital on epidurals.  I didn't get home until around 8:30, after having to stop to get gas for my car and realizing that our Costco membership was expired. (Costco has great gas prices!  Too bad I had to go renew my membership first).

So anyway, I chalked yesterday's cry fest up to the fact that I was exhausted in more ways than one.  Oh, did I mention that I didn't sleep well the night before either?  Well, I didn't.

Today seemed to be going better for most of the day!  I had to get up even earlier for another customer event, since this one was farther away, but I went to bed earlier.  Plus after the event I just went to the office, no meetings.  After getting home I did meet with our awesome new doula (I will update about that soon, I promise!) but that was fun and actually stress-relieving.

Then a couple of things set me off, and as soon as Art got home I was bawling like a baby.  I just can't seem to pull myself together these days.  It's so upsetting because I am normally great at just sucking it up and swallowing my feelings.  Maybe it's better to let it all out, but it sure doesn't feel like I am being the strong person that I want to be.  Not to mention that I hate burdening him with this.  I hope that I can come to terms with my feelings/hormones soon...and that tomorrow night hopefully I won't be having another breakdown.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Only 50 days to go!

Wow, the countdown is really on.  I can't believe there are only 50 days to go until my due date!

We had a meeting with a doula this morning.  You are probably wondering why is she meeting with a doula at almost 33 weeks?  Well, a few different things have happened recently that have made me question my previous birth plan, which was to not have a plan and basically try to avoid thinking about the labor and delivery experience.

1. My family was talking about birth (because my aunt is also pregnant right now) and one my aunts said she did it naturally.  This is the aunt who is very wonderful and artistic but not a huge athlete or anything.  So when she said that, I started thinking, if she can do it naturally why can't I?

2. Art took a Daddy Boot Camp class where they talked to the guys about avoiding pitocin, how helpful doulas are, etc.  Art came home and told me all this and I asked if he thought we should get a doula and he said yes!  I was very surprised.

3. We watched The Business of Being Born.  I learned more about the potential negative effects of some of the medical interventions and thought more about how this natural thing might not be so bad.  Why try to avoid or numb yourself to something that is a natural part of life? 

Now, I'm not saying that I am 100% sure I won't have an epidural or any pain medicine...I am keeping my options open.  I am going into it with a very open mind but I just decided that I should educate myself more and try to see what my body is capable of on it's own without automatically jumping to the epidural.  After all, I am educating myself on pregnancy, baby care, breastfeeding, why am I being so purposefully ignorant about the birth experience?

For me, having a doula will be very helpful in helping my confidence and empowering me to get through the experience, especially since this is my first time.  I'm actually getting excited for the birth instead of being afraid of the pain.  I am hopeful that it can be a great experience and a personal accomplishment that I can always look back on with pride.  I'm sure that no matter what, it will be the best day of my life.  I just want to be able to remember every moment and hopefully not be drugged up.  Plus, I want the best thing for my baby and I agree with the women who wonder why we can't have anything stronger than Tylenol all throughout pregnancy but then at labor and delivery we are offered so many strong drugs. 

Hopefully this post didn't come across as judgmental or rude.  I don't want to sound like I have all the answers or that one way is the best way.  I'm just finding out that what I thought was the best way for me is changing and it's a very eye opening experience that I wanted to share.  I definitely respect the fact that everyone has different feelings and situations and that there isn't one "right" or "wrong" way to do this. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

32 Weeks!

Sorry to keep you all waiting for my weekly bump picture, but apparently my husband has decided to hide the camera SD card from me!

This weekend was really special and memorable.  For Mother's Day on Sunday Art, his dad and my dad all got together and made brunch for me, my mom and my mother-in-law at my house.  It was my dad's idea and it was so cute to watch the guys in the kitchen!  They did a great job, they made us pancakes, waffles, omelettes, bacon and sausage, fruit and sparkling grape juice.  It was so much fun and really sweet of them.

Art also got me a card and a photo album and some chocolate.  I was wondering if I would get anything this year, since our daughter isn't born yet, and so I was really touched that he did that.  I got my mom the Willow Tree Grandmother figurine and a card and she loved it.  After eating and socializing my Mom, Dad and I went to visit my grandparents for a little while.  They were really happy to see us and I'm glad I got to visit my Grandma on Mother's Day.

Weekly Update:

How far along?: 32 Weeks, only 56 days to go!
How big is baby?:  Baby is 4.5 lbs. and about 19 inches long.  In these past few weeks, it's all about practice, practice, practice as she hones the skills she'll need to thrive outside the womb — from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. And speaking of sucking, your little one has been able to suck her thumb for a while now. Something else to note: As more and more fat accumulates under your baby's skin, she's becoming less transparent and more opaque.
Any appointments or updates this week?: I feel like I have been living at doctors offices over the past week!  I had a prenatal check up on Monday (everything looks great) and two pediatrician get-to-know-you sessions.  The first pediatrician I wasn't 100% sure of, didn't like everything about him, but the second practice seems like a perfect fit.  It's really close to Art's office (literally across the street) so he can come hold my hand when our baby gets her shots and the doctors seem wonderful.  It was sparkling clean and the rest of the staff seem great too. 
Body changes?: Getting bigger by the day!  My hands and feet have started swelling, I stopped wearing my rings this week for fear of them getting stuck.  
Maternity clothes?:  Yep! 
Best moment last week?:  Mother's Day
Food cravings?:  Nothing specific, mainly just indulging my sweet tooth!  I have been enjoying pizza and calzones lately too. 
Symptoms?:  Swelling, back aches, cramping...I can't tell if it's Braxton Hicks though. 
Exercise?: Eh, I didn't do much over the past week. 
What I miss?:  I will be honest: coffee.  Like, when we are all at the house, and someone makes a pot of coffee, and I can't have a cup.  Grr!  Maybe it's time to invest in a Keurig? (if I keep up the no caffeine thing while breastfeeding)
What I'm looking forward to?: Getting our maternity photos taken on Thursday!  I really hope that they come out well. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

For all of my friends who are still waiting...

This weekend is Mother's Day, and I know that it will be a really hard day for all of us loss moms, most especially those who are still waiting to conceive their rainbow babies  (rainbow baby = a baby born after you have had a loss).  I want you all to know that I'm thinking of you this weekend and holding you close in my prayers.  Special hugs as well to the ladies who are going through infertility...this is for all of you...keep fighting and know that you are all in my heart.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hump Day Bump Day!

Here's me at 30 weeks, on the day of my baby shower:

I really felt fabulous.  I loved my dress and it was actually very comfortable!  

And since I didn't get a chance yesterday, here's my update for the week:

How far along?: 31 Weeks, 62 days to go!
How big is baby?:  Your baby's about 17 inches long now, and she weighs 4 pounds, (the size of a small watermelon!) and she is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn his head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin.  She's now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses.  She's also putting in longer stretches of sleep, with more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest (when she’s pretty still).
Any appointments or updates this week?:My next doctor's appointment is coming up on Monday, and I have a prenatal get-to-know-you session with a pediatrician this afternoon.
Body changes?: My belly is definitely getting bigger!  I notice that my face looks a little rounder too.
Maternity clothes?:  I've hit the stage where full-panel maternity pants are finally the most comfortable choice.  Up until now I was a demi-panel girl all the way, but the last time I wore them my big belly was totally uncomfy!
Best moment last week?:  My baby shower and having my best friend Nichole come to visit
Food cravings?:  Ice cream
Symptoms?:  Not sleeping very well, back aches and oddly enough my knees started hurting when I was walking yesterday.
Exercise?: I went for two walks this week.  Gotta keep it up!
What I miss?:  Nothing.
What I'm looking forward to?: Maternity photo shoot next Thursday, getting the nursery finished and getting more to do's done!

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Baby Shower!

My baby shower was on Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful.  My sister Liz and my friend Rose put it all together, with my mom and mother-in-law.  My best friend Nichole and her daughter Brynn even flew in from Ohio to be a part of the celebration.  I felt so blessed and showered with love from all of my family and friends!  I know that my baby girl already has so many people who love and care about her. 

Now on to the pictures!

Nichole, Brynn and me at the house before the shower
Adorable party favors

Banner made by my sister

Diaper cake made by my sister-in-law Amanda 

My mom and my sister Liz

Friends Erica, Kenia, me, Lucy and Nichole

Grandma, Aunt Christy and Mom

Guess the baby food game
Opening gifts, this one was baby's first workout outfit.  So cute and appropriate because it came from my
fitness instructor/dancer friend! 
One of my favorites, a beautiful quilted blanket handmade by Nichole.   She also made the blocks on my lap. 

Another favorite and I had to laugh that Nichole made my daughter a bib complete with a pearl necklace!
The girl is going to be so stylish :) 
The beautiful cake, it was raspberry swirl with cream cheese icing inside

Family picture!  My sister, aunts, grandma, mom and cousins
(by the way this isn't even all of us!)

Sister-in-law Amanda, Mother-in-law Carrie, me, Mom, and Amanda's mom

Group friends picture, almost all my church friends plus Rose on the far right
Simply the most lovely shower, I am truly so blessed to have such amazing family and friends to help me celebrate our little miracle baby!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

So excited!!!

Today is the day, today is the day!  My best friend and her daughter are coming to visit!  I am so excited that it's GIF-worthy:

Right after work I'm driving to the airport to pick them up and we are headed straight for the beach!  The only minor thing getting me down is that the weather right now is not cooperating.  It's gray and rainy and supposed to rain again tomorrow.  I really hope that it lets up tomorrow so that we can make the most of our beach day and make it a great experience for her daughter (it's her first trip to the beach).  

In preparation for my shower and all of the visitors we will be having at our house (my in laws, my sister, and my friend and her daughter) I decided that I really needed to clean our house.  Unfortunately I procrastinated until yesterday to do it!  I was cleaning non stop from the time I got home from work until almost midnight.  The house looks amazing now, I wish I could always keep it this way, and I am proud of myself that I was able to do so much.  I think I'm doing pretty great for a 30-week pregnant lady!  My feet, legs, hips and back were all extremely sore afterwards but I'm feeling just fine today besides being a little tired.  

In other news, I've been making more progress on my to-do list!

Home Stuff
-Finish organizing my closet Done!
-Clean up the formal living/dining room area (currently being used as a storage/furniture building area) Done!
-Finish organizing the baby's bathroom Done!
-Finish unpacking/decorating the bedroom Mostly done, just need to hang up the mirror and curtains and some other accessories for the room.
-Unpack/organize/decorate the guest room  The room is clean and organized, the decorating may have to wait for later!
 -Install IKEA shelves in the office and unpack the rest of the office stuff We still have more shelving units to install but Art has to wait until someone can help him with them.  Everything is pretty much organized and unpacked though.
-Organize the craft room We made this into a second guest room, but it still needs to be organized as we have boxes and junk to clean out of it.
-Install a utility sink in the laundry room and possibly a counter and shelves

Preparing for the Baby
-Create our baby registry Done!
-Order the crib and dresser Done!
-Order glider Done!
-Get the nursery painted and decorated, with everything set up and organized - This is still in progress, but I'm hoping to get it finished in the next week or two.  I can't wait to share pictures!
-Sew crib bedding and window treatment  Window treatment and crib skirt are done, I just need to sew the crib sheet.
-Read 1-2 baby care books (Baby 411 and What to Expect: The First Year) - Almost done with Baby 411, I might just skim the What to Expect book, it's really thick! 
-Read 1-2 breastfeeding books
-Do 1-2 freezer cooking sessions so that we will have a month's worth of meals on hand and already prepared 
-Call pediatricians I'm going to a group open house next week for a pedi who was recommended to me
-Hire maternity/newborn photographer We have a planning session with our photographer next Monday, yay!
-Call insurance re: cost of breast pump, delivery, etc.
-Decide on pediatrician
-Schedule hospital tour
-Pre-register at the hospital
-Make will, designate guardians
-Research cord blood banking companies

As you can see, my to do list has gotten longer and we still have a lot of things in progress.  But, I think overall I'm happy with where things stand.  10 weeks is still a good chunk of time and I don't want to do everything and then get bored, right? ;)  Little inside joke for those who know me because that would NEVER happen!  I am always finding something else to plan ahead or do it seems.

I can't wait to update after my wonderful weekend and baby shower!  Have a great weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For Liam

As I have gone through my trying to conceive journey, there is a special online community that I have been blessed to be a part of.  The members have all unfortunately known the pain of loss and support each other through good times and bad, through the happiest moments of a mom bringing her new baby into the world to the worst moments of a mother losing her child.

Over the weekend one of our dear members lost her son, Liam.  He was diagnosed with Trisomy 13, which means that his little body was severely deformed and incompatible with life.  This mom is so strong...words can't express how much I admire her for her strength through this struggle she is enduring.  This candle is for Liam and for his family.  Please say a prayer for them.