So more amazing products and companies to share with you guys. This company, Mommylicious Maternity, is a maternity line that carries stylish and affordable pieces, perfect for preggo gals. I ordered the Southwest Hooded Maternity Top in a medium, and absolutely love it. It is super comfy and ultra soft, which is key during pregnancy, and also fits my 39-week pregnancy belly perfectly. You can see more photos below! Check out their site for more adorable pregnancy outfits, including dresses, tops, pants, lingerie and more!
We are getting closer to meeting our little one, now at 38 weeks, with less than two weeks to go. Next Wednesday, I reach full-term at 39 weeks (or is 37 weeks full-term? who knows!). I'm happy to report that I am feeling really, really good. I am continuing my workouts (still!) and have been super active with Lincoln, taking him to story times and tot times; trying to savor every moment with my little man before we add another member to our tribe. Not only have I been active, but I have been eating really healthy. My diet has cleaned up a ton, and any cravings I have for sweets has gone away (even healthier than when I'm not pregnant). To my dismay, the scales are counting to go up despite my efforts, which makes me think that my body is gearing up for a happy healthy labor and delivery. As such, I have made the decision to stop worrying about the number on the scale - more on this later. In addition, our home is coming together beautifully. Almost all of our furniture has arrived; it's the perfect time to welcome family into our home for baby's big arrival. Today, we are happily waiting for Cate and her crew to arrive in a few short hours. I am blessed to have my best friend by my side as I enter into the last days of my pregnancy. Our mamas were pregnant together and we were born two weeks apart. Thus, this visit is a HUGE deal to us. We can't wait to post on the visit soon. Anyways, here are some of my stats...
P.S. I can't believe I only have (potentially) two more of these posts before I kick into full-on newborn mode!
Weight Gain: Ok ya'll so I went to the doc on Wednesday and I promised that I would have an update on my weight gain. Here is the thing - I went to the appointment that day knowing that we had a furniture delivery from Anthropologie coming between 10am and 2pm (why do they always give you the longest windows of time???). The delivery crew assured me that they would give at least an hour heads up. Of course, I arrive at my appointment about fifteen minutes early, hoping that I'll get in and get out. Linc and I are waiting and waiting, then about thirty minutes later, they finally call my name. Just when I'm walking back to get weighed, the furniture delivery guy calls. Perfect timing, I thought.. they should be there in about an hour. No. The guy tells me they are around the corner and will not wait. My blood pressure sky rocketed!! I had been waiting for these chairs for months; they are special delivery and I really wanted them for when Cate and all of our family come in for baby's arrival; they seriously complete our family room... HOW COULD THEY! I t thought. At the same time, I really needed to attend this doc's appointment - it was way too much of a hassle and also rude, to leave to go meet the guy. Angry and literally steaming from the head, I pull the "I'm pregnant card." I say, "Listen. I am pregnant, due with my baby in a matter of days. I am at the doctor now and really need those chairs. Is there anything you can do? Can you come back at a later time?" He responds, "No ma'am. You knew the window of time and we need to head back to North Carolina." WTHHHHHHH I thought. Super pissed I ask him to please wait 20 minutes and I'll be home! (LIE). "Okay." he says. I get off of the phone and the nurse is totally empathetic to my situation. She tells me that she will have me in and out in no time. As she is talking, I am stripping down to get onto the scale. Like a pregnant woman would, I am gabbing about how stressed these furniture delivery guys make me, etc. etc. She literally pushed the weight over to tick it up (you know how they do) and before I could look at the number, she slid the bar back to its original place. I have a theory that she didn't want me to see the number, which is why she slides the weights back so quickly. And to be honest, I am glad that she did. It is no surprise to our readers that I struggle with my pregnancy weight. I believe that most women do; in fact, the majority do and there are probably few women who don't. I know I said that I would report on the numbers because I wanted readers to be able to relate to my experience. Not only that, but selfishly I had hoped that it would keep me accountable to stay within a nice range (was hoping for under 30 pounds). The reality is that during my last appointment, I hit a 29 pound weight gain. Ya'll, I have been eating very healthy and working out - I swear. There have been no late-night donut runs; I don't drink soda pop; I don't sit on my butt all day. I am very active for a pregnant lady and eat super healthy. Despite this, the scales are doing what they are doing. Does it make it any easier to face the numbers? The fact that I am eating healthy and working out should make it easier, but let me tell you that it doesn't. Because all in all, it's not keeping my weight in check. At this point, and after my appointment, I have come to realize that I am (obviously) obsessing about this too much. As much as I wanted my story to be heard and to be a comfort for other women, at this point I've decided to stop looking at the numbers on the scale and to stop reporting on them. I'm going to be one of those women that tells friends I gained around 30 pounds and call it a day! If that makes anyone feel bad about gaining more, I will remind you that I gained nearly 60 POUNDS with Lincoln - so please - DO NOT FEEL BAD. What I am here to say is that I need to prioritize mine and baby's health at this point. I don't want my obsession with staying under a certain weight range to impact my diet negatively so that I am calorie counting in my final days of pregnancy. I also want to encourage other women to do the same. There is such a huge obsession with pregnancy weight gain; all moms talk about it; all moms get jealous of the girl who gained only 20 pounds and love hearing the story about the mom that gained 60 pounds and lost it. There are so many emotions about pregnancy weight gain that I just hope to put a little bit of an end to it. I hope to encourage other mamas out there that the number on the scale doesn't matter - especially when you have taken healthy measures into your own hands and have actively been working out and eating healthy. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do about your pregnancy weight gain. So please, don't fret. Know that I am with you. And know that you can ALWAYS lose the weight. Even if you don't, you have a beautiful baby and an amazing family. THAT is what is important; not the number on the scale. Thus, I will stick to my story that I gained 30 pounds this pregnancy, and will give myself a pat on the back and go about loving on myself and my baby.
Diet: This is the perfect segway into diet! Now that I am nearing the end of my pregnancy, I am noticing that all of my cravings have diminished. Usually, at night, I look for something sweet to snack on. As of late, I eat dinner and am seriously not wanting anything sweet. The thought of eating something sweet just doesn't sound appetizing for whatever reason. I have also noticed that I am eating somewhat less or at least comparable to how I eat when I am not pregnant. This means that I'm not snacking as much throughout the day. On the flip side, I have noticed that I am a lot more thirsty these days. Normally, I crave things like juice or at least I did during my pregnancy with Lincoln - where I noticed that I was thirsty ALL OF THE TIME. These last few days of pregnancy, I have noticed that same level of thirst, but instead of craving juice, I am craving water. All in all, diet is normal. If you want to learn more about what I eat on a daily basis here it goes (sorry to be so repetitive if you've already read this a zillion times):
Breakfast: Warm lemon water first thing in the morning. Then a green smoothie with (generally) spinach, 1/2 or full banana depending on hunger, berries or cherries, almond milk and sometimes organic cottage cheese.
Lunch: This ranges but here are some of my go-ti's... tuna salad with mayo, relish and avocado or tomato. I either eat this alone or with one piece of bread. Open-faced sandwiches are a huge go-to. Other options includes cheese or avocado and hummus and chicken salad with raisins and walnuts. Sometimes I have big salads but lately that requires too much effort. I also have been eating Trader Joe's soups lately.
Dinner: This is where I either eat healthy or not so much. I make a generally satisfying dinner, mainly for Ryan's sake. This ranges from salmon, potatoes and veggies to ground beef tacos, to homemade lasagna to a big chicken salad. We try to balance it out. If we had lasagna the night before, we will likely have a big chicken salad the next night.
Dessert: Like I said, haven't really been eating dessert but if I do it's a few bites of soy ice cream or non-dairy Ben and Jerry's ice cream to a few bites of almond butter with either jam or raw honey. If I'm really getting after it like last week when I made Ryan cookies for Valentine's day, I'll have a cookie with soy ice cream. Again, I try to balance this out. If I am full after dinner, I don't eat a big dessert. If I ate a relatively healthy dinner, then I treat myself.
Caffeine: I generally make myself a caffeinated iced latte, as of late. I have this midday because I don't need to caffeine first thing in the morning. I drink it around lunch which is when I need my second wine. This includes 1 nespresso pod, maple syrup and almond milk.
Exercise: Yes, I am still exercising --- go me! If you aren't exercising, you still rock! I happen to think it helps A LOT, but that is me personally. In my first pregnancy, I was almost worried to exercise. The feeling of running or bouncing felt weird to me, and the thought of exercising really hard just didn't seem right. I mean, I was pregnant, right? If I did anything, it would be walking on the treadmill, but even then, I rarely did that. With my second pregnancy and knowing all of my weight gain from the first pregnancy, not to mention that I had JUST gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight when I found out that I was pregnant with baby #2. Thus, I was determined to stay active and fit this time around. In the beginning of my pregnancy I ran three miles about 3 to 5 days a week. My pace was super slow - generally around a 9 to 10 minute mile. The key for me was getting these runs in. When I hit about 6 months, the sensation of running gave me major round ligament pain. Thus, I tried a couple of different workouts including spin, hot yoga and barre. At this point in my pregnancy, my favorite of the three was barre. It is easy on your ligaments and a good enough workout for a pregnant lady. I did this until about 8 months. At this point, we moved to Nashville. As soon as we got here, my husband joined the YMCA which has a plethora of classes. I tried spinning but didn't really like the sensation of my crotch (sorry) sitting on a little seat with all of the extra weight I was carrying. Thus, I resorted to step class (that I am obsessed with) and a silver sneakers type workout lol - yes I workout with seniors and love it! At this point, I rotate between the step class (T/Th) and silver sneakers class (M,W,F). I don't workout everyday, but I generally get some sort of physical activity in whether that is a class or walking!
Energy: My energy levels are doing okay. In the morning, I am good. At my workout classes I am good. I hit a wall around 2pm which is when I try to caffeinate, although caffeine hasn't really been helping me. I thought I was going to give it up, but to be honest, I love sipping on a latte whether it gives me energy or not. I thought about giving it up for baby's sake too, but again, I have drank espresso (only one pod or shot) every day, so at this point, what is the difference?
Doctor's Visits: Saw the doctor on Wednesday and it was a whirlwind. Generally, I go in there eager to find out more about my progression (dilation and effacement), and also with any questions of weird symptoms I'm having (usually hoping she'll tell me I'm in labor lol, but I never am obviously). This time, I was so concerned and heated about those damn drivers that I didn't have time to even think about what she was doing. I was waiting for her in the room, while talking on the phone to the Anthro delivery companies - I was trying to call Ryan and our neighbor to see if anyone could be there for delivery. At the same time, Lincoln was crying because he wanted to watch Elmo ( I allow him to watch this during doctor's visits so I can actually hold a conversation with the doctor). She popped her head in while I was on the phone and knew I was off; the quickly grabbed Lincoln, who was crying hysterically and told me she would have the ladies at the front watch him. I felt HORRIBLE... like such a bad mom. I quickly got off the phone after squaring things away, stripped down with the blanket around my bottom half and peaked my head out of the room to see where they had gone. She told me that the scheduling ladies would watch Lincoln and she'd have me in and out in no time. I seriously was so thankful but also felt like such a failure and a head case. I vented to her the entire visit about the stupid delivery guys (who actually ended up being really sweet). She checked me quick, told me I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced and sent me on my way. She is seriously the best. All in all, I didn't get to ask her anything, I didn't get my weight (which now I'm thinking God did on purpose), and so ya, here we are! Now that I am 2 cm dilated I'm hoping that means I'm closer to labor. Well, I know it means I'm closer but I also know that it doesn't indicate I'll go into labor any sooner. So, we wait.
Labor and Delivery: So I did a post on things that I need to do before baby comes - if you haven't read it, you can read it here. This was basically me venting about things I need to do before baby comes, including things like scheduling when our families will arrive, designating Ryan as the bad cop from here on out and trying to come up with key things I want on my "birth plan." Suffice it to say, I haven't done half of it. What I have done is talk to Ryan about family and friends coming in after baby's arrival. Again, I won't go into specifics, but this topic tends to stress me out!! Not because our family is demanding about seeing the baby, but just because I know myself and I know how hard it was on me to recover. I remember welcoming friends to come over after the baby came, and even wanted people to come by to show off our sweet angel. What I didn't realize about myself is that I can't help but entertain, and when you are in a level 9 of pain "down there", it's probably unwise to have people over if you can't sit still. The first thing I offered friends was a glass of water, and of course, most would say 'sure!' In that moment, the mere thought of getting off of the couch made me want to cry. I hobbled up, in severe pain, and would get the glass of water. But lo and behold, I found myself doing it time and time again! What I needed to do was realize my limitations or communicate to Ryan that I needed him to play host 100%. However, there is a part of me that feels like I can't even do that because I'm such a pleaser. Also, in the first days being home from the hospital, you'll not only be in a ton of pain that your guests may be unaware of, but you will also be super groggy, out of it and may be going through bouts of postpartum depression. Again, generally I love having people over and talking about their experiences, but I also know that after a baby, there is something about having guests come into your home when you are literally OUT OF IT and gabbing on about their life that will make you want to go batshit crazy - maybe not every time, but definitely if you're having an "off" day. I remember wanting to scream and also reminded myself to be wary about having guests come so close after baby's birth. I know that second children are different but I also know that birth is the same. It is the same trauma on the female body and it is the same with a newborn, not getting sleep in. Mentally, I was exhausted, had bouts of postpartum depression and simply did not feel like myself. Thus, it strikes a chord with me when people ask to visit us right away. Every part of me wants to say YES. Please come! Please come see our beautiful baby and enjoy in this moment. But then there are parts of me that reminds myself of the moments I simply felt like death after giving birth, where I was bleeding like crazy, not sleeping and seriously felt like a mental case.. (PS they torture people by keeping them awake). So this time around I am trying my hardest to stick to my guns and hold off having too many visitors for the first few weeks. In my opinion, the best time to have people out *especially if they are staying in your home* is probably when baby starts sleeping through the night right?! So maybe around 8 weeks postpartum. Ugh, I don't know. This topic is tough. Again, I totally want everyone to come see baby - not only that but to visit us in Nashville and to see our new home, I just fear that I'll be a crazy mental person and want to be in hibernation mode. Let me know thoughts on this mamas!
Final Thoughts: All in all, we are super happy and the thoughts above are so minor - but are things we have to consider! Above all, we are so in love with our little baby and are so in love with our little Lincoln and all that is about to transpire. We cannot wait to share more!
So Cate & I are starting to get some amazing collaboration opportunities and we are so so thankful. That said, some companies we love and others can be so-so. Today I am talking about a company that I really do love. The company is called Bundle Organics. Bundle Organics offers an amazing line of juices and teas crafted specifically for pregnant and nursing mamas. I tried the juices, while Cate tried the teas, and let me tell you, I loved them - and for several reasons.
Because I am a second-time mom, I am always on the run with my toddler, which can make it difficult to consume those important nutrients that both baby and I need. Bundle Organics is the perfect fix for a mom-on-the-run, like myself, who needs something to satisfy my hunger while also providing prenatal nutrients. Check out more factoids below...
Why are these juices so special?
Again, I love these drinks so much. They are low in calories but also have enough substance to fill you up if you head out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The juices are 75% juice and 25% water, which leaves no room for fillers and other crap that we want to rid our bodies of in the first place. Not only that, but these juices satisfy my huge craving for juice. During my first (especially) and second pregnancies, I was thirsty all of the time, and not only was I thirsty, but I wanted something other than water. As such, I restarted to sugary juice. Now that I am aware of Bundle Organics, I can grab one of these babies and not feel the guilt I felt when consuming juice. Additionally, they will help you maintain your weight without the extra sugar and being relatively low in calories. I don't recommend these as a meal replacement obviously; just something to supplement your daily routine and to fill in the gaps!
Highly recommended, mamas! Happy juicing :)
It's no surprise that I'm in the final weeks of my pregnancy. I wanted to recap a few items that are on my checklist of "things to do" before baby gets here. This isn't super structured - just a list of things I'm considering, whether it's products or making sure we are registered with the hospital. Ready, here we go...
1. Pre-register for hospital: If ya'll haven't pre-registered with the hospital, make sure you do so! Since we recently moved to the area and I'm new to this hospital (haven't been there ever), we need to make sure we are all signed up and ready to go - meaning the hospital has our information and our insurance information on file prior to delivery. The last thing you want is to show up at the hospital and have to sit there and give the hospital your information while having contractions. It is super easy to pre-register; nowadays most hospitals and birthing centers allow you to do it online.
2. Make a list of birth plan or special needs: So I'm not the biggest proponents of detailed birth plans because who can predict how they will deliver a baby? What I am a proponent of is sitting down and discussing with your partner how you hope and intend for the birth to go. It's important to make sure that you are both on the same page with respect to certain items you hope to happen, for instance, when you think you'll want the epidural, how your spouse can support you, what tricks you'd like him to do to help distract from the pain, etc. I still need to sit down with Ryan to discuss this. Last time, he helped me so much by setting up the music player and playing pump up songs. He was light-hearted and really encouraging all throughout. I think it's also important to communicate to your spouse ahead of time that you might turn into a crazy person because of the pain. I remember I was in so much pain that it really turned me into a different person; for some people, they might get really sweet; for others, they might get really nasty. I was a combination of the two. Aside from this, I think it's important for your partner to know the in's and the out's of what is "important" to you on your birth plan. For instance, I want to get the epidural around 5cm (I think). If Ryan knows this, he can be on my team and remind me during labor that I wanted the epidural around 5cm. Another example is delaying the chord cutting (this is something that is also important to me). After you give birth, the last thing on your mind is going to be yelling at the doctor to wait to cut the chord. However, your partner/husband can play "mean cop" and demand certain things in your favor. Take advantage of this and make sure that your hub really understands how you want things to go down before you get to the hospital. After all, you are laboring and delivery, the least your hub can do is know that key items on your birth plan and be your number one fan to report on those items to doctors and nurses. Another important thing is to outline those important things on a hard copy word document. This includes items that are important to you during delivery, like when to get an epidural and delayed chord cutting, but it also might include certain parameters of your pregnancy that may be important for the hospital staff to be aware of. For instance, last pregnancy I was Group B Strep, so I noted this on my birth plan. I was also A- blood which meant I had a rhogam shot and something important needed to be done after birth. This pregnancy my baby needs antibiotics right after birth because of the kidney dilation. It was my pediatrician that pointed out how important it is not to "assume" that the hospital will have all of the details on file. Thus, I suggest you put them on a hard copy word doc that you have handy to show the hospital staff should they have any questions. Reminder to keep this document BRIEF. You will be laboring and the doctors/nurses don't have all day to read your life story of how you got pregnant and all of your preferences. Simply include your name, a few items that are important to you during labor and delivery and any information that is relevant to yours and baby's health.
3. Talk to your partner and family members about visitors before birth, during and after; make a plan for delivery: Ok, so this is a huge one. It is really important to have candid conversations first with your partner/hub about guests/visitors before labor and delivery, during and after. Which family members will come out for birth of baby? When will they come? Where will they stay? Who will watch your toddler while your at the hospital? When will they leave? Will they stay at your house after you get home from the hospital? At first, I thought I would just roll with it and hope for the best; that all of our family members would come and go as they please, but the closer I got to delivery and after talking with my mom - the sweetest and most genuine person - I realized that I really do need to put my needs ahead of everyone else's. I know myself the best and remember vividly how difficult labor and delivery was the first time, and having people around that may not fully understand the depth of pain I am in or may be someone I can't cry in front of due to the pain and sleepless nights, I've got to really think hard if I want that person around to see me at my worst. Labor and delivery are not easy feats. Like I said, my first delivery traumatized me both mentally and physically; my world was also turned upside down with how demanding a newborn baby can be. Who will you feel comfortable having around when you are at your worst? This was the question I needed to ask myself. Ryan and I did sit down and had a heartfelt conversation about the plan for our family's arrival. All I can say mamas, is that I encourage you to be honest! Know yourself - and if you are the type who likes the "entertain" when guests are in town or likes the house a certain way, having guests who aren't your immediate family likely will stress you the heck out. It's OKAY and encouraged if the only person you want to have around after delivery is your husband! Or maybe it's not your husband - and you'd rather he go back to work and that your mother-in-law or mother help you out in those first days of recovery. Either way, just know what YOU will feel the best about and who will provide YOU with the most help. Ryan and I decided on the best route for us and stuck to it when guests asked to visit us right away. We were strict about it for multiple reasons, including the aforementioned but also because of the importance we felt it was to have "just us" family time. It may be a tough transition with our little Lincoln, and we want to make sure we are attending to his needs rather than hosting family after the fact. Regardless of your decision, I encourage you to talk talk talk it out and be honest about your needs!
4. Find out how many guests can be at the hospital/make sure someone can watch your other kiddos: Some hospitals have certain rules for the number of guests that can be on the floor during delivery. Check this out (likely on their website) and come up with a plan as to who will be at the hospital during birth. You also want to designate someone to watch your kiddos. Immediate options are relatives in the area, a neighbor or even hiring a sitter and paying them nicely to sleep over at your house. Just make sure you have a plan so that if labor comes on early, you aren't forcing your toddler to sleep in the restroom of the delivery room while you grunt through your pushes and pain.
5. Designate your spouse to be "bad cop" before, during and after delivery: Okay, so I know that I already said this, but I think this one is super important leading up to delivery, during and after delivery. As pregnant women, nearing the end of your pregnancies, you can likely feel vulnerable, emotional and all kinds of things. It's a big time in your life and you've got a lot on your mind, mama! This is the one time in your life (this and when you are a bride in my opinion) where you can call the shots. This means that this is your big day and it's going to be stressful; what you need is people in your corner. Your number one fan in all of this is your husband, so make sure you take advantage of that!! In my experience, leading up to birth I have found myself getting stressed from little things that normally wouldn't stress me out. This means dealing with contractors for things around the house or dealing with family members wanting to come visit the baby. Normally, I'd love to chat it up and talk about these things, but for some reason, the closer I get to birth, the more stressed I get about the most random things. This is when I ask my husband to step in and to be the "bad guy" if you will (I say this metaphorically of course). Ryan is the sweetest, most positive person I know and there is no way that anyone would ever take the meanest thing that would come out of his mouth personally, because that is just the way he is. But when push comes to shove, it is important to let your man know that you need him to step in for you during these last weeks of pregnancy, during birth and after delivery. You need him to be your superhero and to rescue you when you start to get that look of "panic" on your face. This period of time will be over before you know it, but right now, is your time to be a little selfish and to ask your man to protect you. Another instance, like I referred to before, is at the hospital. There is going to be A LOT going on at labor and delivery, and you need your guy to step in for your and to make some tough decisions (potentially). You also need him to be a voice of reason and a calming/soothing presence. TELL HIM. Do not assume that he will be serene and tranquil - this is where it's important that you TELL him what you need. Say, babe, I need you to be super calm and my advocate; my hero and helper whenever you see I looked panic; just make me know that it's going to be ok. No sort of calamity or stress should enter your zone during delivery, and make him aware of that. If it does, tell him you won't need to hear about it and you trust he will handle it -- aka make him the bad cop. If the doctor or anesthesiologist (God forbid) is being an A hole, have your hubby handle it behind your back. This is why it's important for you guy to be aware of your needs/desires for birthing.
6. Newborn Carseat: Enough about emotions!! Make sure you install your newborn carseat - ah! We need to do this one still.
7. Know where to park at hospital/how to get inside: So during my first labor/delivery with baby #1, we lived just blocks from the hospital. In fact, Georgetown University Hospital was adjacent to the business school, where I went every day for classes that past year - and also where I had all of my prenatal appointments. Not only that, but Ryan and I did the whole "tour the hospital" thing and knew and were familiar with where labor and delivery were. However, on the night (midnight) that I went into labor, he dropped me off yes, at midnight, in front of some doors and drove off to park. Lo and behold, after he drove off I realized these doors were locked and panicked. I found another option to get into the building, but I say this because my contractions had already started and it would have been really really bad if the second option door didn't open either, and I was really stuck or had to walk around the entire building. It would have added way way way more stress to what is already a crazy stressful situation. Therefore, I encourage you all to (at the very least) call or look on the hospital website to see where labor and delivery is, where the best parking spot is and if there are any special entrances during off hours. Send it to your husband and any family members so that they too are aware. The smart thing to do is to actually drive the route to the hospital and practice parking and getting into labor and delivery, but for us lazy people and second time moms, looking online and/or calling the labor/delivery unit should suffice. Just make sure you understand the specifics!!
8. Buy Baby A Cute Outfit: Okay, so even on your second, third, fourth and (maybe) fifth child (jk), you should buy your baby a coming home outfit!! I mean, you obviously don't have to and what the hospital gives you should suffice. But I will say there is so much fun and satisfaction in dressing your newborn babe in a new little outfit that is all his or hers :)
9. Pack your hospital bag: Okay, shoot, so I haven't done this either. Again, I blame the case of the "second-time mom." But the more I think about this, it is really important to at the very least THINK about what you need to pack. Once you start thinking about what you need to pack, you will likely realize that there is more stuff that you'll need than you originally thought. This leads me to my second point... start packing your bag!! I seriously need to get on this. The other night, I started thinking about all of the things that I need at the hospital and the list was crazy long. After I thought about it, there was a lot more on there and I realized that if I waited there was a high likelihood I would forget something. No, it's not the end of the world. Do you really need your favorite pillow while laboring? No, but it sure as heck will make the experience A LOT nicer. This is why you (I) need to pack your bag pronto!!! If you haven't already, check out my hospital bag checklist here.
10. Buy Siblings A Gift from Baby: This is really important for Ryan and I, and is also something that I keep putting off because I keep thinking that delivery is so far away. In reality, we are two weeks out and it could literally happen at any moment. This is why Ryan and I need to buy Lincoln a gift from baby brother/sister NOW.
11. Talk About Names: Again, second-time mom syndrome of waiting until the last minute. Ryan and I have an ongoing list of names that we love, but as of late, we haven't really agreed on one or even two for that matter. Yes, we agree that we love some names, but don't really know exactly what those are. There is a part of us that wants to wait until after baby comes to decide on the name, and yes, that is pretty much what we will do, but it is important for us to narrow down the list. If you haven't already (which I'm sure you have) start thinking about those names and really hashing them out! You won't want to pick something you might regret later :)
12. Prepare a List of Things to Do for Dad and Son After Baby Gets Here: This one is something that I've also put off but think is really important for that special time that dad gets with the older sibling(s) after baby's birth when you get home and are attending to your newborn. It's no surprise that you'll be recovering and attending to your baby, which will mean that dad is on full-time babysitting duty. Since I stay at home with Lincoln, I know and am well-familiar with all of the fun things we get to do during the day. Make this time special for daddy and kids, and outline some things that you like to do. Us moms know how hard it is to find the coolest story time and the best hours to attend, or what parks are secret treasures, or how much your little one loves to play with the neighbor and at what times they are home. Make a list for your hub generally detailing some of the important factoids. This will take the burden off of his back that you have spent months and months specializing in.
Okay mamas, I'm sure there is A LOT more for me to do but these were the things that came to mind on important items to share. I hope you all are hanging in there, as I am, during these last final weeks/days and really savoring your current situation :)
Cate + I had a very fun opportunity to collaborate with a company called Mama Bird Box. The company was founded by two sisters who were inspired by sharing the gift of "sisterhood" during pregnancy. This entails the basis of their company - Mama Bird Box - which is a monthly subscription box for expecting mamas. The boxes come each month during pregnancy (and one postpartum) and they are filled with goodies relevant to your stage of pregnancy. Not only that, but there is also a heartfelt note, a list of supplies and their purpose for the stage your in.
At first I was a little apprehensive about this so-called "box" concept. I've seen it going on, and in fact, I did a startup project in business school on a "box" concept. With all of the competition in the space, our team realized the opportunity wasn't really there. However, after receiving my first Mama Bird Box, my feelings about these subscription boxes has seriously changed! Sure - these boxes aren't "necessary" during pregnancy, but what they do provide is a spark of joy for the expectant mother; they are a perfect gift for a pregnant mamas or pick-me-up during your pregnancy journey to add some zest and fun to those long nine months.
We all know that pregnancy can take a toll on one's physical and emotional being, and the Mama Bird Box really helped me to feel connected to other women. I felt cherished for my pregnancy state and that other women were with me - knowing what I needed to hear and needed to have. In addition, the items in the box were uber helpful and are definitely things I either didn't think about AND needed (like the raspberry tea) ... or were things I thought about and forgot to get - like the nipple butter (which needs to be applied about a month before delivery).
Shown below is the letter included in the box. This letter includes an uplifting quote about motherhood/pregnancy and also a personalized note for your respective stage of pregnancy. Both messages struck a chord and made me quite emotional, but also enabled me to feel encouraged by other women. Also included (and below) is a list of the items included in the box and the reasons they were included, which is relevant to pregnancy in general and also to the mamas who started the company and what they faced at that stage. Not only that, but I found why the items were included in the box to be extremely thoughtful, relevant and creative - definitely a bonus in my final month of pregnancy.
Anyways, mamas. Be sure to check them out and we definitely recommend this sweet product for mamas-to-be!
I hit 37 weeks tomorrow, but figured I'd recap my 36 week stats and updates. At 36 weeks, it does feel that I've hit the point in which I'm ready to have this little boy or little girl. It's been a little more challenging to run after Lincoln with this big ole belly and the aches and strains of doing so are starting to set in. This includes some back pain and a pretty tweaked back ache that caused me to not be able to move my head for a day. Ultimately, this put some strain on my back and my body seems to be falling apart right before my eyes (a little dramatic, yes). Overall, I'm thankful that I've been so active and healthy up until this point. I've been somewhat consistent with working out still (not everyday), and commend myself for doing so. People approach me in the gym now asking when the baby will be here. I've also gotten comments from friends that I definitely look bigger than the last time they saw me. I'll say that baby definitely feels bigger, and the weight I'm carrying feels a lot heavier. My clothes are tighter and I've noticed tightness in my skin that I'll attribute to some swelling. When I look in the mirror I kind of get sad because I am starting to look big and puffy. I convince myself that I should be happy with my weight gain at this point, but at the same time, I'm also being real that it's still a struggle to look in the mirror and feel a little insecure. I'll admit that up until this point, I've been very confident with my body and the way I've carried the baby this pregnancy. Right now (or maybe it's just the day), I'm feeling huge and puffy and straight-up fat. I have had days like this in my pregnancy journey and they ultimately go away and I feel like my normal self again, but unfortunately for our readers, today is an off day. Altogether, I am ready to have this baby. It's funny because up until this point I've felt like I could be pregnant for forever because of how easy this pregnancy has been. Again, maybe it's an off day, but today, I am welcoming this baby to come STAT, pronto, ASAP. No, not really ASAP because I want baby to cook to be full-term.. but you know what I mean. Anyways, mamas.. thanks for letting me vent. Check out more of my final month's updates below.
Weight Gain: So I'm up to a 29 pound weight gain, ladies. I say this feeling super vulnerable, which is crazy because last pregnancy, around this same time, I was up to around a 55 pound weight gain. As such, I need to hush up and be thankful for the incremental weight gain that I've been able to maintain this pregnancy. At the same time, I feel a little exposed to be sharing the information, especially since the scales have gone up rather rapidly since I've been in the third trimester. I had hoped to stay around a 25 pound to 30 pound weight gain this time, but in reality, my body may be wanting something different. Really, I have been eating my same diet per usual and therefore I'm not going to stress about the numbers. If we weren't writing a blog and trying to help empower and relate to other women, I would probably stop looking at the scale when going to the doctor at this point. I would cut my losses and tell friends that I gained around 30 pounds in my second pregnancy (even if that weren't the case; I would be otherwise oblivious). However, Cate and I want to be real and honest with our readers. I struggled big time with my weight last pregnancy and found it helpful to relate to other women. Thus, I feel a need to be honest and share my weight gain story with our readers. Please continue to check back on my weekly posts if you are curious about how much I gain up until the last appointment. I wouldn't be surprised if my body needed and wanted to put on another 5 to 10 pounds. And again, as much as I wanted to stay under a 30 pound weight gain, I need to trust that my body is doing what it needs to do to keep baby and I healthy throughout the rest of my pregnancy and delivery. Fighting my body to stay at a 25 to 30 pound weight gain would be the utmost insane thing to do at this point. So anyways, check back and I commit to being honest and real about my weight gain til the end!
Nutrition: Again, per usual. I've been sticking with my normal diet - eating healthy but also enjoying sweets and such in moderation. I feel confident about my diet. I recognize that I could tighten it up in some areas, but also commend myself for literally drinking a green smoothie almost every morning as a pregnant lady - I mean, seriously, that is pretty good. I notice that I tend to snack more throughout the day - whether that is on Lincoln's food or while making dinner. This is something I could probably watch more, if I need to watch anything.
Exercise: Last week was a bit hectic and I wasn't able to get to the gym as frequently as I wanted to. I think I made it to the gym on Friday and that's about it. This week, I have gone Monday and Tuesday and plan to go the rest of the week, if my body and my schedule permits. I do feel better mentally after getting in a workout. Even if it's not keeping the scales at bay, it gives me energy and a peace of mind knowing that I put in the time to give my body some extra movement. Being stagnant wouldn't probably do me any good, therefore, I'm trying to stay up, around and moving. Not sure about you all, but I am at the point in which I'm craving walking like crazy. I had the same craving to walk when pregnant with Lincoln. It's so weird, but it's like the feeling of walking a long distance, as hard as it is at this point, makes me feel like I'm bettering my body for labor or that I'm almost walking myself into labor (if that makes sense). On my walks, I begin to feel some tightening in my stomach, which I believe are Braxton Hicks. I get excited about these because I, a) know they aren't real contractions, and b) know that they are helping my body prepare for labor.
Nursery: Okay so I posted a picture awhile back about my nursery space plan originally, which you can check out here. In the last paragraph I also mentioned that I would likely rearrange the entire space plan and come up with something different. Lo and behold, this is kind of what happened. That said, the nursery is DONE! AND.... I am super excited with the way it turned out. I took a risk and added color >> I chose the pantone color of the year (duh) .. green! I found some adorable removable wallpaper on etsy and decided to go for it. At first, I wanted a watercolor cactus print to go along with the bohemian theme. But since I already purchased a piece of art to hang above the crib which is a gold/metallic outline of a zebra, I realized (after my mom pointed out) that cactus and zebra do not habituate together lol. I seriously didn't even think about this, but once she pointed it out it was hard to avoid the huge disaster that would have been.. not to mention it bugged me that metaphorically and literally cactus and zebra do not go together. So, I went back to the drawing boards and searched the heck out of etsy only to come across the cutest watercolor palm leaf wallpaper print. This was also removable, which I didn't have any experience with but liked the idea of because a) it is cheaper than wallpapering a wall b) it seems less permanent than wallpaper if we decided we hated it, and c) it doesn't damage your walls. I thought it was a win/win all around. I hired a handyman to hang the wallpaper since Ryan and I aren't the type to partake in projects like this (as much as we think we are those people; we aren't). All in all, the nursery came together wonderfully! The wallpaper makes a huge statement and brings so much life to the room. The tones of gold, black and prints of bohemian/African textiles really give it a fun vibe too. Here is a picture - I will do a more in depth post on the details coming soon. This room really was on a budget (sorry baby #2), but we had to draw the line somewhere :)
Boy or girl, I believe this nursery will work either way. If we have a little girl, I can easily add some pink/red floral accents. If we have a boy, I can really keep it as-is or if I really wanted to, I can add some more masculine jungle animals like lions and what not. Overall, really happy with the way it turned out!
Pregnancy Symptoms: My belly is getting huge, but I am still moving rather well. My workout classes are getting harder because of the extra weight and coordination it takes being out of balance - because of this, I am starting to feel more tired throughout the day. I am also having a little bit harder time sleeping, which just started happening since the baby dropped and my bladder is likely the size of a pea. I have to go to the bathroom constantly and feel like my mind is in a constant state of worrying when I will have to lift my big ol preggo body out of bed to go to the bathroom again. It literally feels like I go to the bathroom, lay back down in bed exhausted and then feel like I have to pee again as soon as I start to fall asleep. My mind drifts off to sleep, but in the back of my head, I'm thinking that I have to pee. Thus, my sleeps have been a little disruptive and I don't feel as well-rested throughout the day. In addition to sleeping, I still have bouts of neediness. I like Ryan to be around all.of.the.time. No joke - I just want him with Lincoln and I as much as possible. He told me that a guy asked him to lunch on Saturday and since we are new in the area, I know that he wants to make new connections and new friends, but because I'm so needy I asked if he could stay with Lincoln and I instead because I just felt like I needed him around. Not only that, but we have precious moments ahead as a family of three - three weekends to be exact if all goes as planned - and I really want to maximize that time as much as possible until we become a family of four. As soon as I told him to stay, I instantly regretted it, but I think he knows that I'm at that point in pregnancy and is automatically more sensitive to my needs. Aside from emotions, I have some back pain - I think this is due to picking up Lincoln still without having much ab strength. I tweaked my neck yesterday and couldn't even turn my head which put a ton of pressure on my upper back. Last pregnancy, I had major lower back issues; this time it seems to be upper back. Also, still have tingling in my upper left shoulder on occasion. I told the doctor about this, and she told me that I probably needed to stop picking Lincoln up as much as I have been, if I could avoid it. I've also noticed a little bit more swelling; my wedding ring gets tighter at certain points throughout the day. Lastly and probably most poignantly, has been menstrual cramps. I totally thought these were contractions on Friday, as they felt very similar and came every ten minutes or so and lasted for like a minute. I thought about calling my doctor but resisted. They ended up going away, then on Friday night they returned but i was able to sleep through them. Since, they haven't returned. I talked to my OB about these and she said not to worry. She told me that the stomach tightening is more of the thing to worry about, not the menstrual cramps.
Doctor's Visits: We saw the pediatric urologist last Friday. He is the go-to guy in the area and is the only one that deals with kidney dilation apparently. He is at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, so I know he is really good at what he does. He informed us that both kidneys were dilated but that the dilation was mild (praise God!). He said that we do need to put baby on antibiotics right after birth and this will be noted in my chart, so everyone at hospital is aware. I was bummed about this because I am all about good bacteria when baby is born and hate the thought of killing good (and bad) bacteria with an antibiotic. The doctor agreed, but told me that in this instance, the benefits outweigh the risks of not putting baby on antibiotics. If we let the kidney thing go without antibiotics, baby could get really sick and it would be a bad thing. I totally agree with his prognosis and we will be following doctor's orders on this one. I have faith that our little guy/gal will recover smoothly from the low dose of antibiotics and won't have to undergo surgery. Nonetheless, if he/she does have to have surgery, I've been informed that it's a very easy and effective surgery that would take place around 3 to 4 months of age. Aside from the kidney stuff, baby is healthy healthy health - and so is mama! I'm dilated 1 cm and 50% effaced. This means that baby has made his/her way down halfway and that my cervix is 1/10th of the way open for baby to come through.
How Lincoln is Doing: This little guy I seriously couldn't love any more than I do today. The thought of him not being my baby pulls me in two directions. In one direction, I am moved to tears thinking that he won't be my only one anymore. I've had such an amazing time being his mommy and I couldn't ask for a better son. He is such a standup guy - while not perfect, he is mine and I love every ounce of his wild heart. On the other hand, I feel super confident in his ability to become a big brother and my ability to look at him now as my baby ... but now the older baby of the two. So again, on one hand, I'm a nervous wreck about welcoming baby #2, and on the other hand, I'm cool as a cat about the changes about to transpire. This seesaw of emotions pretty much sums up my pregnancy :) Overall, Lincoln has been a champ when he talks about the baby. He loves pointing out my belly and always knows that that is where baby is. He consistently tells us he thinks it's a sister and also has a favorite name (I think). He is very sweet and sincere when he talks about the baby and I have no doubt that he will be a rockstar big brother. The one thing I'm worried about is me ;)
Thoughts On Family: I feel really fortunate for my situation right now, including our living situation and the fact that we are able to welcome this baby into a HOME rather than a little condo :) Even though we loved our little condo and had the best family memories there, it is awesome to have a big house with space at this point in our lives. I am also super thankful for my family of three. I love the dynamic of having one toddler and am so excited to relive the experience with a cute new personality with baby #2. I also cannot WAIT to see Lincoln become a big brother. He is totally ready and welcoming of the baby and it is seriously going to blow my mind seeing him interact with the new baby. I know it won't be perfect, but I also think that the sweetness of their interactions will TOTALLY outweigh the jealousy or any animosity. I say prayers for this all of the time and know that God is good and have brought these two kiddos together for a reason. Additionally, I can't wait to see Ryan be a father to a new child. It is pure bliss to watch Ryan be a father to Lincoln. There is nothing that makes me happier than my family and I can't wait for that love to be compounded by the newest addition.
Thoughts on Delivery: Doctor told me that baby is face down (woo hoo) and is ready to go! I had been hoping for this and also hoping that my constant exercising would help this - not sure if it did, but hey. Baby is ready to go, and we too are getting ready. Yesterday, Lincoln and I went to Target and picked up Size 1 diaper. Let me tell you, these little diapers were so cute and precious looking I about wanted to cry. Lincoln also knows that these little diapers are for "baby." I think this little one will come close to my due date, around March 8th ish. I feel like my body is SUPER healthy this time around and that my labor will be very similar to the last.
Lincoln's Birth Story: Below is a synopsis of Lincoln's birth story if you're interested... Essentially, that night before my water broke, we were at dinner and I noticed that I was losing my mucous plug, I also had sensations of contractions and tons of Braxtons Hicks but nothing super painful. Mentally, I was ready for it all to go down. We went to sleep that night and I was awoken to my water breaking at midnight - on the dot. I got up as if I was super well-rested, and was READY TO GO. I always thought that I would do my makeup and hair before going to the hospital because that is kind of the way that I am, but no, not after my water broke. I was so ready and excited to get to the hospital, we were out of bed (I made the bed because I am anal lol and didn't want to come home to an unmade bed), and we were off to the hospital. Walking to the case, my water broke even more and water came gushing out. The hospital was a few minutes away and with no traffic, we got there peacefully and quickly. Ryan dropped me off in front of some doors that looked like an entrance and went to park the car. Of course, after he drove off, the doors didn't open!! I realized that that entrance was closed and started to panic, as I was left by myself and was starting to have mild contractions at this point. No turning back, I thought. Luckily, I found another door that was open that wasn't too far away and made my way up to labor and delivery. We checked in and they hooked me up to the machine to confirm that I was having contractions - and yes, I was. They got me a room and got my hooked up and monitored right away. Everything was a blur from that point on, but I do remember the contractions coming on regularly. They started pretty mild and actually felt like something I could manage. Then, they started coming on stronger... then stronger and faster. I had Ryan turn on the music at points and we had a dance party in the hospital room to distract me from pain --- anything to distract me at that point. It helped to go to the restroom and just sit in there on the toilet, since the sensation of contractions is kind of the same as... you know. TMI, but mamas, you know what I mean. I literally sat in the bathroom alone laboring until it started to get unbearable. I came out and sat on the hospital bed and decided that didn't work, I went back into the bathroom and thought I'd try that again until I realized that the pain was just to unbearable. Earlier, the anesthesiologist had come by asking if I wanted the epidural and I told her that I was fine. She told me that I didn't have to be a hero and could get it now and it wouldn't slow down labor. I told her I was fine. But now, at this point of pain, after laboring from midnight until about 4am and at 4 to 5 cm dilated, my body was starting to convulse from the pain. I remember hanging onto Ryan's shoulders, almost hugging him, and looking him in the eye through my pain telling him I needed the epidural now. I was lucky and immediately the anesthesiologist came into the room. She explained that I needed to sit on the hospital bed as still as possible and she was going to put it into my back. I did as she told me, and sat on the bed but the pain of the contractions were so painful that I was convulsing, shaking and shivering all at once. Somehow she managed to get the medicine in me ... and I felt immediate relief. Seriously heaven. Looking back, I feel as if I got the epidural at the perfect point. I know and am well familiar with the excruciating pain of contractions - and I feel that I labored naturally until I couldn't take it anymore; this is what I wanted. At the perfect time, the medicine saved me and I felt no pain. While the pain was taken away, I still had major anxiety. I am generally a little bit of a nervous person and birthing a baby heightened my anxiety tenfold. I worried about baby's health and anything going wrong. There was only one scare in which baby's heartbeat started to slow down. The nurses called the doctor in and all they did was have me change positions, which immediately helped the situation. For the remaining 3 hours, I guess I labored through contractions, dozed in and out of sleep. They also had me "labor down" for like an hour, which I don't even know what that means or if it's really necessary (or if they were just busy with other patients). Around 9 am, after having been in labor for about 9 hours total since my water breaking, the nurses came in and told me that I was ready to push. I pushed for maybe 30 minutes or so - but it felt like 10 minutes, and out came our sweet little angel. Disclaimer, I did give myself another dose of the epidural medicine right before I started to push because I was starting to feel some pain which freaked me out at that point. I asked advice from the nurse if I should dose myself again; she said no. Then the doctor came in and so I asked him; he said yes - " make yourself comfortable." SO glad that I did, especially considering the trauma of post-delivery recovery. My delivery was overall an amazing experience and what I'd like to think was a very very good delivery. Ryan was the best support system ever. Because he is uber competitive and a former pro athlete, his instinct for me to have a rapid and easy delivery kicked in. He was coaching me during pushing and was very involved in making anything and everything better. While delivery was pretty textbook and good, the recovery, however, was a little harder. That is what most people don't really prepare you for. I ended up recovering (obviously) but it did take me longer, I think, than the average mom. Phew - so that is what went down with Lincoln's birth story. I can't wait to see what will happen with baby #2.
Until next time!
Are you currently pregnant and wondering what you should be feeling or eating to fuel your baby and your body? I have a couple suggestions for you that have worked for me. Especially as a new soon-to-be mommy, sometimes it's difficult to know which sources to trust and how to get the proper nutrition and supplements.
We were in Tahoe the week before last, so I’ve included some photos from our trip. Duke and I snowboarded 3 days and Mama Cate (my wonderful and adventurous mom) skied. I’m so so happy I decided to board and grateful I felt well enough! Kai also busted out his moves in ski school for 3 days. He skied 3 days last year in Snowmass at age 3 1/2 and loved it. We were so proud of him for doing so well and getting on the chair lift several times this trip. Go Kai! The weather was entirely EPIC with blue skies, no crowds, and waist deep powder for our amazing tree runs! We even lost power for about 12 hours or so and our hotel spoiled all the guests with a beautiful meal on the house. I guess too much snow is a problem!
SECOND TRIMESTER: OVER "THE HUMP"
Now at 15 weeks I’m feeling good -praise the Lord! I feel like almost the entire month of January (or since New Year’s Eve) my immune system was the weakest it’s been during this pregnancy. I had a little cold the end of December to early January and then Duke, Kai, and I got hit hard with a stomach bug- it was pretty awful and hilarious at the same time. First Kai, then about two days later I got it, and then Duke one day later. It was basically a 24-hour flu but for about a week, or even a little more, my body had a hard time recuperating. I had weird headaches, which I’ve never had in my life, I was exhausted and altogether felt blah.
My 12 week ultrasound appointment took place just before this. I was feeling pretty good but tired and not working out consistently like I thought I hoped to. The appointment went well. Duke had a shoot and was unable to come so I brought Kai, my mom, and my mother-in-law. It was special for all of us but especially for them. And Nancy, my mother-in-law, had never seen an ultrasound before!
We got to hear the baby’s heart beat and he was measured and such. Everything was all good and all my genetic testing came back negative (always a relief). The nurse did say that Baby B was measuring a tiny bit big, but it’s not a concern. Isn’t it funny how they can gauge that? I know it’s not 100% accurate, so I keep that in mind and really could care less. Well… I’d like to have another 6 pound 6 ounce baby (with a small head) since I will have a natural birth again. And yes, the thought of having a bigger baby than that makes me cringe a little bit. Haha! I’ll get thru it. : )
DIAGNOSED WITH ANEMIA:
On the other hand, my blood test showed I’m slightly anemic and my vitamin d levels are a little lower than where they’d like them. The nurse practitioner had no real advice for me, but I knew I was going to call my naturopath and nutritionist to get the down low on what I should do. I was surprised to hear I had a bit of anemia, especially so early on in the pregnancy.
Calf Liver WHAT?!
A couple days later I made an appointment with my naturopath, Dr. Koren Barrett, and had copies of my blood work printed out so she would have something very specific to go off of. She gave me a list of iron rich foods and told me to eat chicken or calf liver once a week and printed out a recipe for me. Um…. Seriously? I don’t know about you, but anything “liver” is NOT on my food list. In fact, I’ve never had the desire to even try it. However, to my surprise it has 10 grams plus of iron, so needless to say, I will be eating liver once a month. If anyone has any brilliant recipes, please send comment below! Just the look of it creeps me out! : )
I am now taking a Vitamin D supplement and an iron supplement along with my other prenatal vitamins. I’m drinking way more water now and add a “no crap” ingredient filled electrolyte mix which gives me a boost and actually helps me drink more.
ADDITIONAL "PRENATAL" SUPPLEMENTS I'M TAKING:
As I mentioned, I am feeling good now. I do have moments of feeling very tired here and there, which is most likely due to my anemia, but I’m very conscious of my protein intake and the foods I’m feeding my body and Baby B. I don’t have a noticeable “bump”, but I my uterus is definitely large and in charge. I’m slightly in the awkward can’t-tell-if-she’s-pregnant-or-not phase. When I eat or drink anything, I feel about 6 or 7 months pregnant. My boobs are still tender and HUGE. After nursing Kai for two years, I must say I’m loving the fullness of my girls. Holler! My face still breaks out (am I a teenager?) but has it’s clear days. When they say each pregnancy is very different from the other, I definitely have to attest to that. My face was incredibly clear when I was pregnant with Kai, AND I slept wonderfully and through the night (until right up to about 8 months or so. I think I’ve not woken up to pee only 2 or 3 times since I was 5 weeks preggers! It definitely affects my tiredness level and my overall mental and physical state. With all that being said, I am still loving being pregnant!
It is well with my soul! We’re having a baby and things are going smoothly. What more could I ask? I think the two things that are most often on my mind are ideas for the nursery and wondering what Baby B is going to look like! I also think about when he will actually arrive. Before or after Kai’s birthday? Or maybe even ON Kai’s 5th birthday. Wouldn’t that be a trip!?
I’m at peace with all things and am so incredibly grateful for my husband and for Kai man. We continue to pray for Baby B and the birth and all that is to come.
FOOD: FUELING MY BODY THE RIGHT WAY
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do my best to have at least 70-80 grams of protein a day. I also make a point if having eggs often. I don’t have them everyday but am working on it. I only buy organic pasture raised eggs. I still love my protein smoothies and am eating more greens, especially spinach, since it is high in iron.
FITNESS: KICKING IT INTO GEAR
This past week I went to cardio boxing and cardio kickboxing class 3 different days. My goal is do that class Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and hopefully make it to a class Saturday morning. I am really excited about feeling strong again after not having a consistent workout routine the last few months. I can box, kickbox, squat, do push-ups, kettle bell swings, burpies, plank, and burn a crazy sweat! I only modify a couple things but primarily do lower body and core exercises and avoid crunches, oblique work, etc. If you are struggling to find the motivation to work out, get a workout buddy or go to a class where someone can instruct you and push you to get your sweat on. You will most likely have an easier birth and your baby will love you for it! Get your heart rate up and do what you can. Obviously, you must know your limits so don’t overdo it. ; )
Well, that’s about it for now ya’ll! Phew! I’m excited to watch this baby and belly grow and am savoring each moment. If any of you have questions about anything please do not hesitate to reach out!
All My Love,
Hey all! So I've hit the 35 week mark. This means that I have one more bi-monthly doctor's visit and after that, my appointments will move to weekly. At my next visit, my OB will start checking me for dilation. I know I said I wasn't sure about doing this, but it seems so common practice that I've decided to go with it. I can't believe I'm a month away from meeting our new little girl or guy. Curious to hear what you all think I'm having based on my posts and photos. The consensus is split between boy and girl right now; I'm thinking boy and Ryan is thinking girl; friends and family are also split. We do have some names picked out but really nothing is set in stone. When Lincoln was born, we decided his name after he was delivered, after seeing him. The doctors and nurses also weighed in, which was really fun. This time around, we are prepared to do the same thing. It's fun to have your list but then to see the baby and to know that he/she is TOTALLY suited for the name you decide on. I think this goes with not knowing the gender of the baby. If I knew boy or girl, maybe it would be easier to pick a name. Other than all of the above, we are getting really excited! Our home is getting closer and closer to being put together; we still have a long way to go, but it definitely feels like home and is very comfortable for us at this point. Anyways, check out my stats below:
Weight Gain: So I'm up about 23 to 25 pounds at 35 weeks pregnant. There was a part of me that was a little disappointed when I stepped on the scale at the doctor to find that I had gained about 4 pounds between my last two appointments -- but then I thought, what am i, crazy!??? I should be thanking my lucky stars that I have only gained this amount of weight at this point, and even more, I reminded myself that we are SUPPOSED TO GAIN WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY. This crazy weight obsession nowadays with pregnancy is getting out of control. I'd love to think that I have risen above it - but I haven't - I have succumbed to the pressures of society and to womanhood in general, and have been really hard on myself this pregnancy making sure that the scale stays at a steady rate of increase. It's really a Catch 22 with how I feel about this subject. I have preached constantly about eating healthy and maintaining my weight this pregnancy, which I think was and is important due to the fact that I gained nearly 60 pounds last time and how hard that was on me mentally and physically... but there is also a part of me that feels like we as a society put so much pressure on women/girls to be "cute" and "skinny" pregnant women. WTH? Seriously. I can't believe I could fall into the category of being that shallow. But, at the same time, don't we all have at least a tiny feeling inside of us that we will be that pregnant mom who you can't tell is pregnant from the back? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tad bit envious of those women. All in all, it's really a battle and I salute all moms for going through whatever side it is that you're on - the too-much-weight-gained side or the skinny-pregnant side. In no way is pregnancy weight gain ever an easy thing to live with and much less talk about. I just hope, again, that you can love on yourself no matter where you're at and see the bigger picture of the beautiful baby you have growing inside of you. I need a taste of my own medicine on this one.
Diet: I've been eating really healthy throughout the day. I honestly eat what I'd eat if I weren't pregnant - no more, no less. I admit, I have dessert at night. This serves as a reward for my "good eating" efforts I put in during the day. Having something sweet at night helps keep me in check during the day, allows me to feel like I'm living in moderation, and also puts me at ease at night. The other day I caught myself thinking that I should give up my sweets at night, but honestly, it keeps me sane. Other than that, it's still (usually) warm lemon water first thing in the morning, snacking on fruit or whatever Linc is having for breakfast, then when I finally get hungry, I make a big green smoothie. Lately, I've added organic cottage cheese to it, just to give myself more substance and protein. I generally eat another mid-morning snack like a hard-boiled egg, apple or handful of trail mix. Then it's on to lunch - I'll do an open-faced sandwich, huge salad with berries, chicken, avocado and cheese, or a can of tuna with relish and mayo with avocado mixed it. My lunch is overall very healthy, then at dinner, I usually snack on stuff while making dinner (guilty) - this includes snacks like chips or crackers and hummus or a few pieces of cheese.. or snacking on the meal I am actually preparing. Then I eat a full dinner and definitely don't hold back, but do stop when I'm full or close to full. Then I have dessert - lately it's been non-dairy ice cream or soy vanilla ice cream from Trader Joe's with cookie butter mixed in. If you haven't eaten cookie butter, you haven't lived.
Exercise: I was a little off this week because we had some appointments at the house with painters and such, but did get two good workouts in on Thursday and Friday. I did my step class on Thursday and my group cardio class on Friday. In the beginning of the week, I was also pretty active, walking to the park with Lincoln and making sure we got out of the house. Working out is starting to get a little harder at 35 weeks because my belly has grown so large. Now I notice that doing things like jumping jacks makes my stomach tighten (braxton hicks like tightening). I'm just more aware of the pressure on my body at this point, but still hope to continue with my workouts.
Pregnancy Symptoms: I'm beginning to feel more of the third trimester aches and pains. I'm also a little more tired than normal and caffeine really isn't helping much, thus I have considered giving it up at this point. My body is a little stiff when I get out of bed to use the restroom - I notice myself hobbling out of bed, taking slow steps at first to loosen up my ligaments before I go into a full walk. These aches and pains tend to lessen as the day carries on. It's also become a chore to get up off of the ground. If Lincoln is playing and I want to get down with him floor-level, I usually stay down on the floor, crawling to wherever he is, rather than getting myself up and moving. In addition to being a little sluggish and the aches and the pains, I have a little bit of a tingling sensation in my feet when I get out of bed in the morning. This subsides quickly. I also still have tingling in my left shoulder blade at random times throughout the day. Okay wait, and I forgot to mention that I've been HYPER-emotional. Usually, I don't get upset at things; I am a hugely sensitive person but I also have a horrible short-term memory, so if someone slights me, I literally get hurt and then forget about it a few hours later and can't remember why I was so upset. Lately, I have been quite sensitive and have taken things to heart more than I normally do. On two separate occasions, I brought myself to tears. Seriously? Yes, seriously. It has gotten better since last week, but I am definitely hormonal. I vividly remember this happening with Lincoln, and it happened even earlier with him than it did this time around. I just remember feeling super needy like I needed Ryan at every point of the day to attend to my emotions and needs. I also wanted my family close by. I'm starting to get those feelings again.
Thoughts on Boy or Girl: The odds are in favor of us having a little boy. The urologist told me at Friday's appointment that the kidney dilation happens in boys in a 10 to 1 ratio as compared to in girls. She did say, however, that she does see it happen in girls - it's just not as common. I told her that we really didn't want to know the gender and she agreed that we didn't have to, even with the kidney dilation. In regards to the way that I'm carrying and the weight I've gained this pregnancy as compared to last, all of these signs point to the idea that we are having a little girl. I also found out that baby is measuring at 6 pounds which is very average at this point, another sign that points to this baby being a little girl. I guess we will see in early March.
Doctor's Visits: I saw my OB on Monday, then saw the specialist on Friday to confirm the kidney dilation. My OB did a general checkup, getting my weight, blood pressure and checking baby's heartbeat. I then saw the specialist on Friday to get more information on the kidney dilation at this point, although I'm not sure why I went to this doctor because all they did was confirm the kidney dilation and refer me to the pediatric urologist. I wish my OB had just sent me directly to the pediatric urologist. I'm sure there was a reason, I just can't seem to find one. Anyways, the specialist took another ultrasound. This was fun because I got to see a prominent baby foot, the baby's spine, some fingers and a few other shots of our little one. The specialist did confirm that the kidney dilation was at .11 which means that we will need to have our little one see the pediatric urologist after birth to clear up any kidney problems. I have been assured by multiple doctors that this is completely treatable after birth and nothing to worry about unless you let it go without treatment.
Delivery: So my OB suggested that I could deliver the baby a week early if I wanted to be induced at that time. She said that if I was dilated and if my body seemed ready to go, she had no problem inducing labor a week early. She said she does it generally for second time moms so that they can organize childcare for their other kids and what not. I don't know how I felt about this, honestly. I'm sure it is completely safe and medically proven to be fine, but there was something about the thought of inducing my body early and forcing myself into labor that didn't sit right with me. First off, I'm not one for taking medicine if I don't need to; I'm a bit of a hippy you could say. Second off, I had such a great natural start to my labor with Lincoln that I would never want to add an element of forcing something too soon. I've heard that the pain of the contractions from petocin, the medicine they give you to start contractions, makes your contractions come on faster and stronger. In fact, my OB confirmed this when I started asking her questions about the risks or concerns about inducing early. She assured me that if I was getting an epidural anyways, that this didn't really matter, and that I would likely just ask for my epidural earlier than I would with a normal delivery. This made me feel weird though, why put your body in more of a state of trauma, I thought. Thirdly, I also think the fun of giving birth sometimes comes from the unknown of when you will actually go into labor. I remember with my first birth, we were waiting with so much excitement and anticipation for it to happen and when my water broke at midnight, a day after my due date had passed, it was so exciting and fun! I really don't want to miss out on the 'unknown' and excitement of anticipating when I will go into labor this pregnancy, and thus will not opt to induce early. Not to mention, what if the doctor got my dates wrong for some reason and baby still needed to cook inside of me for an additional week?? Anyways, there are a ton of reasons why I feel like inducing early isn't a great option for me, personally. I understand that some mamas have to, but if I don't have to for health reasons, then I'd rather go the natural route. I'm curious to hear if any of your OB's have offered this to you.
Nursery: Baby's nursery is coming together! I went to Target with Lincoln the other day not expecting to buy stuff for the nursery and ended up spending $700 on home furnishings - most of that money for the nursery .... whhaaaat? Yeah. There was an aisle that had home decor in a bohemian theme with literally anything you could want, and I impulsively grabbed things and put them in my cart. Nesting much? This included a cute wooden and gold bar cart that I will use for a changing table, some bohemian/jungley artwork, an animal head made out of rattan, candles, fake succulents, etc. etc. I went a little crazy but the nursery is finally decked out and ready to go. Not only that, but the removable wallpaper I had purchased for the nursery arrived. I think Ryan and I will try and put it up this weekend because I am too excited to wait to have it installed. If we don't, I may hire a handyman to put it up since we need to have tons of things hung and what not. We also got our glider/rocker for the nursery last week from Pottery Barn Kids and it is adorable!! My mother-in-law bought this for us and it was the sweetest gift. I wasn't going to get one, but now that we have it in the nursery, I can't imagine having a newborn, much less a toddler without it.
That's all for now!