pregnancy week by week

Lettuce Have a Baby

Six months have passed with our little surprise and that means we are in the FINAL trimester of the FINAL M pregnancy.  It’s no doubt this has been my quickest pregnancy yet (based on feelings), and though one would think with your fourth pregnancy, especially one of the same gender, one would know what exactly what to expect.  Unfortunately, this hasn’t exactly rung true.  But for now, let’s take a look back on this month.

I am 27 weeks and baby is the size of a head of lettuce (or something like that).  I do know that three weeks ago, she measured a pound and a half (average, so they said), as I had a followup ultrasound to check on the PAC I mentioned last time.

It was my first and only time at an MFM (maternal fetal medicine) and for that I am so grateful.  Those places are a little bleak, with rarely good news coming from them, and I was reminded of an author, one in particular that I have closely followed her story, who received dire news about her baby at that very building a few years ago.  Thankfully, my visit was mostly precautionary, though there was always the chance they could discover something unexpected as they looked at things a little more in depth than my initial anatomy ultrasound.

The tech spent about thirty minutes on me, measuring the normal things again, studying baby’s heartbeat, and then the majority of her time was spent thoroughly looking at her heart.  And I mean THOROUGHLY.   She looked at it from every angle, having me position myself in different ways at times, zooming in on certain spots, and sometimes displaying colors on the screen to show blood flow.  The tone of the exam was a positive one, though she warned me she could not tell me results directly, it seemed to be going well.

Afterward, I met with the doctor on staff (i.e. not my normal OBGYN) who explained that everything came back healthy, from the look and function of her heart to her heartbeat.  There was nothing abnormal discovered in her heartbeat this time!  He said that it’s not uncommon for that to happen either. So I was merrily dismissed and breathed a sigh of relief that we could check this box off on the list of pregnancy anxieties.

The next big surprise this month came in the form of a little clear, 10oz drink.  On the morning of November 17, just a week or so before Thanksgiving,  I went in to take my glucose tolerance test.  Once again, this being my fourth time, I knew the drill.  I protein loaded in the morning and swallowed my drink quickly, met with my doctor in the interim time it took for the hour blood test to be drawn.  I felt fine, all things considered, as I have most of the pregnancy (well especially so in comparison to my previous ones).  I felt a little ill that afternoon (hours after the test), but chalked that up to the combination of the sugary drink and a high carb lunch.  It resolved when I ate a healthy dinner.

So it came as a big surprise when the nurse called me on Monday morning to tell me that I had FAILED!  I wasn’t sure if I should take it as a greater loss that I had failed by 3 points (so close!), or a sign of encouragement (I was so close to the line that I’ll more than likely pass the next test?).

Nevertheless, I was dazed for a few hours from the news.  The three hour test scares me a little (12 hours of fasting, drinking the glucose, then three more hours of blood draws and fasting).  The diagnosis of gestational diabetes scares me even more (greater risks for so many things, including a induction, which I have been DESPERATELY hoping and praying against).  That test comes this week, and since I’ve had some time to process the news, I’ve been able to come to more of a peace about it.  A few personal friends and acquaintances have had GD and while it is a serious diagnosis, thankfully can be mostly managed by a clean diet (and that has a few more benefits to oneself as well).  In the mean time, I have cut way back on carbs and sugar, hoping that baby can remain happy no matter what, and am resolved to my fate, whatever that may be.

I’ve also been preoccupied this month with baby’s position.  The ultrasound revealed she was breech, and though this isn’t anything serious yet as she is still small enough to change frequently, it made me consider what I can do to get and hold her in a good position until birth.  In the past, birth positioning has been a struggle with all three of mine.  For some reason, my body likes to hold them high, fluid level also high, so they do not drop down and become engaged, signaling for labor to begin.  Bea was the only one that I went into labor on my own, and that was with my water breaking first, so who knows if she even intended to come at that point.

Even so, I had my easiest labor with her as she came out correctly and with no back pain on my end.  With the other two, I was induced (by water breaking), and had horrible back pain, specifically in my sacrum (a bone or two above the tailbone, from my understanding).  All three have wanted to come out sunny side up, but only MG succeeded.

Anyway, this had me researching spinning babies (i.e. everyday exercises you can do to help position your baby more ideally for birth) and the Webster technique (i.e. a technique done by a certified chiropractor that aligns your sacrum).  I found a chiropractor who specializes in it and I went to see her today.  It was a good experience, not too unlike my other prenatal chiropractor experiences, but I’m seeing her a bit more preemptively this time.  I’m hoping she can help me avoid this dreadful pain again, and the price will be worth it, if not for peace of mine alone.

One thing she asked me to work on is not crossing my legs.  I am a habitual offender of this (I’m struggling right now as I type not to cross at the knee.  My legs always feel so much happier elevated).  Every time I cross my legs, my hips go out of alignment a bit and with my already loose ligaments, they don’t naturally go back in place right away.  This creates a less than ideal opening for baby to comfortably sink into, and instead could be a reason why my babies stay high, avoiding sharp bones poking them as they attempt descent.  So add this to the list of ways a pregnant woman must make herself uncomfortable, including not sleeping back nor belly, trying to stay on left side as much as possible, never reclining (to keep baby from going spine to spine), and now no crossed legs.  It feels like a lot, but I am determined to do everything, in my power at least, to make this my best labor and delivery yet.

Finally, we were able to tour the hospital where we will (Lord willing), be delivering this baby in roughly 3 months.  The facilities are nice and very accommodating for the natural birth I hope to have again this time.  This being a new hospital for us (4 babies, 3 different hospitals!), there are some things I miss about my last experiences, but also some things this hospital has to offer that my previous ones didn’t.  It’s hard for me to let go of past experiences sometimes, and not let them shape how I think the future will be.  But that’s what I’m working through right now and I love this verse that came up in my Bible app this morning, “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.'” (Isaiah 41:13)

Between all of that, Thanksgiving, MG’s birthday, deal shopping, company, and the like, this has been an eventful month.  I anticipate next month to be similar, if not even more busy. That’s part of what makes the time pass so quickly, but also so thankful for so many good things to celebrate.

As I order another embroidered PBK stocking and sign our names to another annual Christmas card, I think about what Christmas will look like this time next year.  Four girls (!) to trim the tree, curl up and read Christmas books together, open the Advent calendar, circle every last thing in the Target toy catalogue, cut and decorate sugar cookies, and talk about Jesus’s birth.  There is something about the feeling of our family’s circle coming to a close.  It makes the traditions feel more alive and the memories more noteworthy. No more waiting for things to change and no more years of progress with anticipation of regression.  This is the time of our lives.

-smk

Grapefruit-ful month

Five months (today) or 23 weeks (tomorrow) and baby girl is now the size of a grapefruit!

Crazy. This month has brought a lot of exciting milestones: the anatomy ultrasound, the halfway point, & the point of viability.  Plus, she’s getting very big with her movements and predictable in the timing of them (like always when I’m lying down)

I shared this on IG (@030318babysurprise), but our anatomy ultrasound  at 20 weeks turned up a slightly abnormal heartbeat called a PAC.  My doctor didn’t seem too concerned about it, but I will have to have an echocardiogram done in about 10 days (basically a high level ultrasound), to determine if there is anything more concerning about it.  The structure of the heart, itself, looked good, and she reassured me that many babies outgrow it (some even before birth), as well as a few adult friends of mine saying they have it to this day and it doesn’t slow them down.  Out of all the things to turn up on an ultrasound, it feels probably the least alarming, but I still hate the fact that there is something there at all.

The halfway point of this pregnancy technically came at 20 weeks, but I think it should be more like 22 weeks, seeing as how we didn’t find out for the first 4 and that would leave us with 18 & 18 on either side of 22.  Either way, now we are beyond both of those, which means we have less time left in this pregnancy (Lord willing) than we started with.  Unbelievable!

I certainly wouldn’t mind an earlier babe this time (somewhere between 39 weeks and 41 weeks sounds ideal).  And one of my biggest prayers this time around is that I will not have to do another induction.  While the planner in me loves the thought of being in control of the date and having everything lined up in order for it, I know my mental state going into those too well and struggle with that aspect of it.

When people ask me how I’m feeling, I usually say one of two things: 1) about as good as it gets for me during pregnancy (we are about to tip the scale to the bad side again…). Or 2) I’m doing fine physically but not mentally.  This pregnancy, more than the others as I can recall, I have struggled with fear (but only for labor and delivery), excitement (well lack thereof), and another missing piece of the joy of nesting (a combo of life being so full right now and also the lack of control I had over this one)

One thing that has been very present from the start of this pregnancy was a strong fear about labor and delivery.  I realize that encompasses about 6 hours, give or take, of a given pregnancy, but I could not stop thinking about.

Prior to getting pregnant, every time I heard a traumatic birth story or was reminded of the pain, I rationalized it away, thinking I’ll never have to do that again.  I even remember saying aloud, directly after Sibby’s birth, “I’ll never do that again!”, although by the idyllic hospital day two, I was already recanting my words.

This time it felt forced upon me, and I think that was part of the fear. I did not choose this, this time.  I did not want to do this again.

Things came to a head about 2 weeks ago when I clicked over to YouTube to watch (someone I admire’s) birth story, which turned into an unexpected traumatic epilogue and showed a lot of live footage of labor (contractions and hospital stuff). The fear came up from the subconscious right into the foreground and gripped me so hard, I did not know if it would leave or not.  I realized then that I needed to turn the fear over and release it so that I could move forward with excitement and love for this baby.

I read a book intentionally dealing with fear and pregnancy (though I would not recommend it), and have spent a lot of time in prayer about it.  Ever since that night, I’ve not had the gripping fear again, it has been replaced by peace.

The nesting and excitement piece I mentioned makes me a little sad, because usually that is my go-to pregnancy emotion and the thing I look forward to during the darker moments.  I believe part of this is me over-thinking everything (I’ll go into more detail on this in a later post).

Anyway, despite these lagging emotions, I have been able to accumulate a few necessities for this baby.  I found good deals on a new carseat and stroller (still keeping our double BOB, just needed something less cumbersome for dr appointments and errands with 2 under 2–yikes–still scary to say that).  I’ve been thinking of the “little girls’ room” (vs. the big girls’ room) and how to decorate it.  And just this week I’ve started sewing a few little things for a new baby layette.

This month I have de-graduated my running back to walking.  My initial goal was 24 weeks but 22 weeks was my stopping point.  Physically, it just became too much but I’m thankful that this weather has stayed so pleasant and I’ve been able to stay very active still.  So far, I don’t notice any difference with this pregnancy that involved running versus my other ones that involved only walking, so I’m not sure it made much of a difference.  Hopefully, it will be easier to graduate back into it though, postpartum, since I didn’t take so much time off from it.

Another, rather unpleasant, side effect from this month was a bad stomach virus that gripped me for about 48 hours.  Just to prove how pregnancy doesn’t well suit me, even in the second trimester, I didn’t even realize I had anything until the side effects starting coming from all corners of the earth. I just thought the cramps I was feeling were normal pregnancy pains for me (because they are, especially in the evening).  Anyway, I get one or two of these things every pregnancy, AS WELL AS, morning sickness, which makes me think God is just trying to cure me of my fear of puke.  Well, it’s working.

Aside from that unpleasantness, I’ve been enjoying cooking this month and haven’t been too bothered by food.  Occasionally, I’ll get a bit of heartburn, but nothing to write home about yet. As fall enters, I’ve been spending some free time on Pinterest, planning soups and slow cooker meals, and dreaming of the holidays.  Although I’m not 100% myself, I’m thankful that I’m feeling pretty good for a pregnancy and I’m excited about all of the festivities to come with very excitable little ones.  It’s nice that while we have our go-to traditions, they are still young enough, and transitions have come often enough, that we haven’t been locked into too many things yet.  Each year feels like a fresh start to try and see what sticks best for our family.

Four months and counting, and thankful for every one I get with my last “homegrown” babe.

-smk

Hearts of Palm

It’s October 3, and we’ve now bridge the four month mark. According to thebump.com, baby is the size of an artichoke!

I am 18 weeks now and, though still not to the halfway mark, in a weird state.  I have fully embraced this pregnancy, as I have had due knowledge of it for the past 14 weeks, (longer than a trimester). I have crossed finally past the threshold of sickness and dodgy energy levels, only to be met by my growing stomach as the new reminder there is life inside.  I am still able to do everything I want, but having to be mindful of limits due to the size of the one growing in me.

For now, it has still remained hidden from strangers, those who offer up the polite and kind remarks about how they “had no idea I was pregnant”, but it is coming.  Depending on how I fit my shirts, I either appear to be slightly over my normal weight, or growing something artichokey in size at the center of my body. Not a win either way.

I am down to the last few pairs of regular jeans that fit me and know it’s only a matter of time and discomfort before I pull out the elastic bands.  Once I see those, it is a long journey of learning to love them, but there is an undercurrent of a rallying cry with this “one last time”.

By all accounts it’s still summer here, and could be for a while.  But I have a hatred of all but one pair of shorts and few flattering tanks left.  It’s probably time to spring for some maternity clothes but we have such few days left in this season, it seems futile to purchase those of the warm weather variety.  With this baby coming in, so they tell me, early March, I hopefully will be back into “normal” clothes by the time I’m in need of them next summer. So I move through it, ill-fitting clothes bearing witness to my discomfort.

I think we have settled on a name. This is big for us.  A moment of time that I relish, but feel hesitant to embrace this time.  I think because this is my last baby I will name, I feel decelerated by the concept of finality.  Right now, this name is being put through every test I can think of.  Does it fit our mold?  Do I love the meaning?  Will I still like it on a teenager?  Is it edgy enough for us?  Is this good enough for a grand finale?  Do I like it as much as the other girls’ names?

Still I catch myself scanning for birth announcements and ruminating on new names, trying them out in my daydreams for a bit, and on my tongue if they are lucky.  Everything around me has become a potential naming source, a network for helping me cross that final bridge.

I think it’s a good sign that I keep coming back to the one after all of these.  So I will hold onto that thought, close for now.

What I do like about the potential name is that it has multi-layered significant meaning. But that is all I will say for now.  I suppose we will do a name game again at 30 weeks, though it’s going to be tough to think of clues I haven’t already used 3x over!

Sleep has become a contemptuous master and one that I will fight with for the remainder.  I am evermore thankful for a king size bed when I am pregnant.  Each night, I carefully set up my throne with two pillows for my head and a pillow to cushion each side.  That way if I accidentally roll to my stomach or back, I have something soft to protect me from going fully prone.

All of these items must be weightily moved in the middle of the night for my, no less than, four trips to the bathroom.  Getting less than nine hours of sleep also makes for an unwelcome afternoon slump and a day of mentally fighting against laziness.  I have become not only a guardian of my children’s rest, but my own.

I am careful in sitting up now, not wanting to, for lack of better words, blow my abs out on this baby.  It feels silly to use your arms and elbows so much to reach a sitting position, but I hope my protection will pay off in the reward of no diastasis recti.

Every time I am still and restful (which, with three little ones, equals about an hour a day before bed), I feel her little limbs tapping around in my belly.  It still brings a rush of excitement and hope that a tiny, unknown being is alive in there, growing to join our family in about 5 months.

After a stressful or exhausting day, feeling her move gives me a little edge of hope and I’d like to think of this is a small allowance from God to remember his kindness towards us and His control over our lives.  I am still amazed at He how is piecing this storyline together and still waiting with expectation to see how He finishes it.

But for now, this feels a good place to be.

-smk

Just peachy

As much to your shock as mine, we have ended the first trimester and moved on to trimester two with our little surprise!

On Saturday I turned 14 weeks, and baby is now the size of a peach.  A peach!  I truly can’t believe sometimes how fast this is going or really that I have another thing inside of me that’s growing so exponentially every week.

She is, however, starting to make her presence known as I am starting to feel the earliest flutters and kicks that remind me of her wakeful status.  It seems early to detect movement, but my placenta is not in the front this time (as it was for Sib and MG), so I am able to feel a little more freely in the front.  Plus, being a mom four times over means you just know when you start to feel them. It’s the same ingrained feeling as when you feel that first wave of morning sickness and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you are pregnant.

I said in my last few posts that a few things about this pregnancy have been different, but many things similar.  My nausea is starting to fade, other than resurfacing in the evening, usually around bedtime.  My energy still greatly wanes in the afternoon, and sometimes a nap is required to get through the day, but still, greatly better than the days of just wanting to stay in bed all day long.  My appetite is still largely present and probably will remain so until the very end.  If I don’t get lunch right on time, the queasiness resurfaces and my whole body lets me know it.

My cravings this time around have been very consistent with the past: cheese, carbs, sour candy, water (my thirst has been off the charts).  Aversions include: some meat, vegetables, and some sweets. Often, I crave slushies or sour candy and water in an effort to slay what feels like an impossible thirst to quench.  Cheese always sounds good to me, and many lunches were made out of grilled cheese and some kind of smooth soup throughout the first trimester.

One major difference in this pregnancy has been that I have kept up with my running.  In the past, running made me feel very out of breath and light headed, but this time it has been different.  Now don’t get me wrong, I went from running 100% of my runs, to about 75%, and now down to 50% (stopping to walk when I feel overheated or heartbeat too high), but it still feels like a great accomplishment and I hope to keep going for as long as I can.

Another thing that has felt different is the way the doctors and nursing staff treats you when it’s your fourth baby.  The approach seems to be more hands-off and respectful of my past. This is something I craved with the first pregnancies, but only just now earned.  Hopefully, this pregnancy will be as smooth and uneventful as my last ones.

This first trimester has brought a lot of decisions too.  We had to find a new doctor down here, and decide where to deliver.  My main criteria with the hospital was somewhere close (i.e. not an hour away this time), and one that had laboring tubs.  That narrowed the list down to two.  Of these two, I was able to choose based on the doctor I wanted and a few other minor things.  Overall, this decision felt rushed and forced, not the excited anticipation I felt the past few times.

I haven’t lost sleep over this decision, though.  As sleep has come easily to me.  Really,  I want to crawl into bed as soon as the girls are safely tucked in and read for an hour before my eyelids become impossibly heavy.  I am thankful, though, to skip afternoon naps and to sleep the entire night through with just a few 2 minute wake-ups.

I’ve also been making a list of items to buy.  We did give away a lot of our baby & maternity items in a moving purge, and as Sib outgrew them.  Thankfully, my sister is willing to lend me some things as her baby outgrows them.  Still, we will probably need to make a few more purchases as well as decide when to move Sib into her own room (or in with the other two?).

We found out this month that we are expecting a girl, as I said previously.  We took the NIPT again, though used a different brand (the one preferred by my new dr).  We received the results in 6 days this time and once again, it was a good experience.  I love knowing this early what gender to expect, especially now that my energy is returning.  I have been window shopping for fabric and dreaming up some outfits to sew.

Last night I spent a considerable amount of time on baby name blogs and googling potential keepers.  There was one name I keep coming back to (i.e. the safe choice), one that I really like but N isn’t thrilled about, and one I wish I could use but it feels too wrapped up in slight, but potential controversy.  I keep praying that God will send some clarity to me.  But once again, it’s not keeping me up at night.

It struck me last night that this will be the last time I will name a baby.  There’s a lot of other lasts with this one too: last birth story, last pregnancy, last birth announcement, last time to sew tiny clothes for my own.  It’s nice to know for certain when it’s the last time, so you can savor it, but it also adds a small taste of bitter to the sweet.

So many things to think about, feeling  that much more weighty because we didn’t choose them. But, I still get butterflies when I think about the moment of meeting this special child, the one God chose to add to our family.

-smk

Pumpkin Pie

This week, at 38 weeks, Mayby is the size of a pumpkin.

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Yikes.

She is almost out of room in there and I can’t believe we still have possibly-up-to-but-no-longer-than four weeks to go?!

At 38 weeks, I’m feeling uncomfortable.  Falling asleep is a nightly work in progress.  I first attempt to find a comfortable position…which is next to impossible when you share the bed with a full-grown man, a stretchy cat, and a plethora of body pillows.

As soon as I get settled in, Mayby decides that for the first time all day, she has my undivided attention.  She begins her nightly limbering movements, which have changed significantly since she has grown larger.  Imagine a sharp elbow s-l-o-w-l-y drawing it’s away across the inside of your stomach  while a tiny foot kicks you repeatedly in the ribs and a pointed head turns this way and that into your insides.  Miraculous, creepy, and painful all at the same time.

Randomly pick one of the following and add it to the mix: calf/thigh/foot cramps, strained muscles from turning over, acid reflux, a tingling sensation in your stomach that feels like it is falling asleep because she is laying on a nerve, swollen feet.

About the time she begins to settle in, it is time to use the bathroom, with urgency.

And thus the process begins again….and repeats every two hours.

But I suppose I am getting more sleep now than I will in a matter of time so I should be savoring it, right?

While on the topic of sleep, I think it’s funny that I’ve been having running dreams lately.  In my dreams, I’ve completed at least two full marathons while 38 weeks pregnant.  Not sure if this is a matter of wishful thinking, my limbs trying to tell me “they’ve still got it”, or my body prepping for labor to come.  Either way, as ugly as it will be, I’m already excited for that first postpartum spring run :).

These last few weeks have put me into a fury of feathering.  When I’m not doing a project, I’m making up new ones to do tomorrow.  Somehow there is still always that one more thing that needs to be done before she comes.  I’m ready, but I’m not ready.

My doc and I are on friendly terms as I see her once a week these days.  I’m making some progress, getting adjusted, downing Evening Primrose Oil & Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, walking like mad, and attempting to do all the things necessary to ensure a timely arrival. I have a good feeling this time.  Personally, I’m predicting we’ll land somewhere within a week of the big DD.

As sure as I am, I kind of feel like a first time mom again.  I’m not really sure what going into labor looks like for me. Seeing as how I haven’t had any contractions again this time around, I guess as soon as I have one I will be prepared enough to know that this is probably it.

My emotions are all over the place these days.  One minute I am butterfly-nervous-excited to meet her, the next minute I am looking into sweet MG’s eyes thinking, “please don’t let this change you.”

But I think I am finally and truly ready.  After all of this furying and feathering, I’m ready for life to just slow down for a little.  I’m excited to spend–although not the most quality–quantity time with our family.  I’m looking forward to drinking in the new baby smell in the late nights and the early mornings, to drawing on my been-there-done-that new mama confidence, to taking a few weeks off from cooking/cleaning and accessing the freezer/take-out,  to dressing my little in the new AND old and dear clothing in her closet, to seeing what little personality and being that God has decided to bless us with next, to watching my husband and eldest adjust with me into this newfound change.  It’s about to get crazy.  But in a good way.

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Sweet little pumpkin, we are so anxious to meet you!  See you soon,

Pineapple Passion

This week, Mayby is the size of a Pineapple!

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That means she’s already about the length  she will be at birth and now just packing on the pounds to be nice and cute when it’s time to come!

I, on the other hand, am ready to start de-packing some pounds.  I’ve hit that “large and cumbersome stage” where it’s a pain to sit, a pain to lay down, a pain to bend over, a pain to walk, and well, you get the idea.  Comfortable is a thing of the past.  If it were up to me, I would say the perfect gestational period would be about 8 months.  Anything beyond that just seems like unusual punishment.

On the other hand, I do know what’s coming, so I’m trying not to wish it away and enjoy all of the time I have now to do my hair, to take a nap when MG’s napping, and to stay warm in bed all night long (save for the 2-5 trips to the bathroom).  Maybe that is what the last month is for: to savor the “me time” until it gets to the point where all you want to do is meet your baby.  Even then, you still have about 2 weeks left…so by the time they arrive, you are more than ready.

My nesting energy is at an all-time low.  Thankfully, my list has been mostly checked off (update to come soon, I hope) and my new mantra is “nope, don’t feel like it, don’t care.”

As in, maybe I should do something other than sleep during MG’s nap.  “Nope, don’t feel like it.”

Maybe I should get down on my hands and knees and wipe down the baseboards and scrub the floors. “Nope, don’t care.”

Maybe I should eat something other than jelly beans and almonds for a snack.  “Nope.”

I’m surprised to say this, but I’m getting  great sleep too.  Often I will nap during the day and still get about 8 hours at night.  Insomnia hasn’t kicked in and I can’t say that I’m disappointed.  I don’t, however, remember going into MG’s birth very well rested, so I’m trying to take advantage as I’m guessing that’s going to change soon.

The crazy dreams have calmed a bit and last night I had the most wonderful dream that she arrived.  Four weeks early, weighing 8 lbs, 1 ounce, and an easy labor to boot.  The only thing not perfect about her was that she was a boy.  Which was fine, but most of the dream was spent debating over what to name her/him.  I’m going to take that as a sign that I’ve conquered my fears that she will be late with a bad labor.  Now I guess I need to deal with this subconscious fear that she’s a boy 🙂  (or maybe that I won’t be prepared??).

Speaking of preparation, in recent weeks, we’ve taken a tour of our hospital (delivering at a different one this time), taken MG on an only-child-moon (lots of pictures coming your way soon), wrapped up a few loose ends, and really just focused on spending some quality time as a family.  It has been wonderful.

Mayby is already being preceded by her reputation.  She is lazy and quiet by morning and active and feisty by night.  I’m thinking she’s going to be another night owl like Big Sis.  Often, I find myself just wondering about her.  Will she be similar in size?  Will she have dark hair when she is born that later turns blonde?  Will she look exactly like baby MG?  It’s hard to picture anything else, but just thinking about her puts a smile on my face.

See you in 4-8 weeks (but hopefully more like six), little Pineapple,

 

My Butternut Squash

This week Mayby is the size of a Butternut squash.

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(My sweet and amazingly talented photographer friend, Kimmy, took these photos when we were eating dinner at her house one night.  My favorite thing about them is that they were taken in her backyard and truly capture the beauty of where we live in the last throes of winter.)

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Well I am 30 weeks and that means a few things: bi-weekly doctor appointments; a terrible, uncontrollable urge to nest; waning energy; a growing and rather cumbersome belly; a bladder that will never be quiet; and that the countdown has officially begun!  10, 9, 8….each week that passes brings us closer and closer to meeting her.

It also means that starting next week, I will begin revealing some clues to her top-secret name!  But more on that later…

For all of you who so kindly ask me on a regular basis, I am proud to report that as far as nausea goes, I am feeling GREAT!  I have been for about the last 4 weeks.  Maybe my body has finally adjusted to this whole pregnancy thing? *update: so I wrote this PRIOR to last night when I came down with a case of full-blown first trimester nausea which I still haven’t kicked.  Verdict’s out to whether it is a fluke or will be sticking around till the end.  Wah Wah.*

It does, however, like to remind me of how large I am getting by giving me roaring joint pain at the end of the day, especially in my hips and lower back.  I guess they are stretching out and easing into preparation for what’s to come.

Sleep has still been good to me.  Other than catching myself trying to sleep on my back (bad) and stomach (worse), I am only waking a few times a night and then able to go right back to sleep.  As far as dreams?  I could write a book on their inspiration alone.  Most likely it would be a dystopian novel with a hastily concocted, cliffhanger ending.  No idea what’s fueling them.

There’s a song by Marc Broussard called “Lonely Night in Georgia.”  The lyrics speak of a man coming home to his wife after a long  journey and there’s a line that says, “Now my senses are heightened by the last hundred miles.”  I feel that.  My senses have been heightened.  My emotions are quick.  My heart is holding onto things ever tightly.  My feelings are sensitive.  My eyes and ears and hands are noticing the smallest of details.

It’s as if it is saying: “Your life is about to transform.  Notice this, remember this moment, savor this time.  It won’t ever be like this again.  Soon you will be changed.”

It makes me laugh and it makes me cry.  Both sometimes together.  Tis the life of the pregnant mama!

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Oh we are waiting on you, Baby Girl. Two more months until you are ours!

The Coolest Cucumber

This week Mayby is the size of a cucumber….

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But with a belly like that, who’s to really say?

I’m 26 weeks now and it’s official: I’m pregnant!  I’ve started to get stranger comments so if there was any doubt before, I think we can now safely put it to rest.

Twenty-six weeks also means that I’m one week away from…gulp…the third trimester.  I know, crazy right?  We can’t believe it either.  I was enjoying the second trimester so much that I’m kinda sad  to say goodbye.  I remember the days being pregnant with MG just c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g by and I’m kinda wishing this one would slow down a bit too.

But God has a way of preparing you for the next stage and I’m already starting to feel some of the groanings of the third trimester: more fatigue, a bit of sciatia, the tight-as-a-tick belly after eating (no matter the size of the meal),  the slightest touch of heartburn at night (just enough to get me excited that maybe she’s growing some hair in there!!), ribaches and backaches at the end of the day, an underestimate of the size of my belly (we’re getting to the stage where it’s not uncommon to look down and find a splotch of pasta sauce or chocolate ice cream on a not too discreet spot on my protruding belly) and a belabored dread of bending over.

Oh and feeling much better too.  Other than getting “sympathy belly” every time someone mentions the (shudder, shudder) nasty stomach bug that is going around right now.  Every once in a while the nausea will return at night and then it becomes a game of pregnancy or Norovirus?  Kind of like the gunshot or fireworks? game on the fourth of July, but much less exciting.

It’s just the beginning, but it’s the beginning of the end (sniff, sniff).  Bittersweet because I don’t know if I’ll ever do this again (Lord willing, maybe?), but sweet because I also get more excited everyday about meeting her.

MG is too!  Just in the past month or so, she has become very curious about my big belly and about all of this sister talk.  She asks questions about her all the time.  “Mama help me?  Change Mayby’s diaper?” translation: Mama will I be able to help you change Mayby’s diaper?  (oh yes, child, as often as your little heart desires)

Oh, and one final note to all pregnant women: don’t watch the Business of Being Born Pt 2 at 26 weeks into your second pregnancy.  It will send you straight into full-blown Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder.  And Lord have mercy, there’s no going back now…

See you in (eek) 3 months, Mayby!

Love ya, Papaya

This week Mayby is the size of a papaya…

 Or so they say.
Twenty-two weeks feels like a big accomplishment.  We are almost to the stage of (Heaven forbid) viability outside of the womb and each week that ticks by is a little sigh of relief.
So how are you feeling??
Well, I can’t say I’m not enjoying this pregnancy “sweet spot”.  The time right before I’m large and uncomfortable, but right after the yuckiness of the first trimester.  I am glad to land here for a while.  It is so nice to know a little about our Mayby and to start making  preparations for her arrival.  And I love feeling the regular kicks that I know I can count on when sitting or lying down or while enjoying a good meal :).  It was only at this point last time that I began to feel MG’s first kicks, due to the way the placenta was positioned.  So this is a welcome change.
I thought I was out of the woods with the sickness as I had about 2-3 days of absolutely no nausea whatsoever.  But lo and behold it reared its ugly head the past two nights starting around 10pm and lasting throughout my sleep.  That is all I have to complain about though so I feel very blessed.
Very blessed indeed as I have had some friends go through some trying things like infant loss and premature births in recent weeks.  It is so hard to understand why?  and why not me?  If I have taken anything away from their stories it is not to take this little wiggling life inside of me for granted.  I am so attached to her now, I feel it would destroy me if something happened to her.  In the beginning, it was different.  I gave her my heart but held a tiny piece of it back for the what ifs and the just in case.  And I always checked for blood and let myself be indifferent at the doctor’s office and had horrible miscarriage dreams where the only conclusion was, “well I knew this was going to happen.”  But we’ve since crossed the line. She is one of mine now.   Every night, I rub my hand across my ever-expanding belly, letting her know that I am there,  praying for the health and safety of my girls.  After all, there’s not much else I can do.
If there is anything I have learned from this pregnancy it is that she doesn’t belong to me.  She is a gift.  A beautiful and treasured gift that I will fight to appreciate every day that I have with her.
We love ya, Papaya.  See you in 4 months!

 

P.S.  Starting next week, I’ll be sharing the story of our Mayby, so stay tuned!

The Sweetest Potato

This week, Mayby is the size of a sweet potato.

But let’s be real, sweet potatoes come in all different shapes and sizes: some wimpy and tubular, others warped and overgrown.  So that doesn’t really give me much to go off of.
We have crossed into 18 weeks and surprisingly the nausea has still.not.left.  Granted, it is not nearly, NEARLY what it used to be.  But it still catches me off guard every single night has I reach for a snack, without fail, two hours after dinner.  It then resurfaces two hours after snack.  At least it is remedied by carbs.
No crazy cravings anymore, just normal ones (I get food cravings in regular life, not just pregnancy life).  Every day I’ve had some kind of soup and a grilled cheese for lunch.  Oh and those clementine cuties too.  I’ve never been fond of citrus other than grapefruits…but right now I can’t get enough.
Eighteen weeks also means that the BIG ultrasound is a little over a week away.  Still lots of thoughts to share about that (all to come next week).  But I’ve been having some crazy dreams about it lately.  The first one was pretty normal.  First they told me it was a boy, but then after careful examination said, “nope, it’s a girl.”  The second two both came on the same night and both involved somehow missing the ultrasound.  Which was crazy stressful because apparently we were driving from over two hours away and made it with only an hour to spare until closing.  The tech refused to see us but said that we were definitely having a boy.  That was fine, but I was sure that I needed proof.  I begged her to examine me, but she refused.  Ahh, the beautiful stage of crazy pregnancy dreams.  I’m ready for them just to put me out of my misery and tell me one way or the other.

Other than that, sleep has been pretty mercifully easy.  I still catch myself sleeping on my belly, but I know the time for that is drawing to a close.  About time to break out the body pillow!

N was able to feel our little potato kicking around for the first time last night.  It is crazy how much we’ve both forgotten since last time.  It makes this one feel new and fresh and I love that.
It has also made this pregnancy fly by.  We are nearing the half-way mark which is just ludicrous.  The mothering instinct is kicking in hardcore as I try to figure out how to make room for another little person in my nest.
Only 5 more months!  Let the feathering begin!

 

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