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!