Baby #2 Bumpdate // 36 Weeks

21950677_10104263991373979_7151673406000623098_oAt my prenatal appointment today, my midwife walked into the room and said “Well you’re two weeks overdue!” And that is exactly how I feel! I am so so grateful to have made it this far and I’ll be even more relieved when I make it to early term at 37 weeks (on Sunday). BUT I’m going a little crazy. Every little twinge or ache I feel makes me think I’m in early labor. And I’m obsessed with having everything prepared because I never know when labor will start. Will it be this week? Next week? 41 weeks? Pregnancy after preterm birth is tough y’all! You’re always on high alert, especially at the end. I’ve been trying really hard to stop focusing on labor and just enjoy these last few weeks with Sam and Harper. Easier said than done sometimes, but I’m working on it.

How far along are you? 36 weeks and 3 days.

How big is baby? The size of a papaya or a large cantaloupe. When my midwife measured my belly today, I was measuring exactly on track for 36 weeks. But she also took the time to remind me about my last ultrasound (at 34 weeks) and how baby girl is measuring a little big. I’ve never been more curious to see someone’s weight in my entire life! Curious and nervous!

Total Weight Gain? 15 pounds as of today.

How are you feeling? Better and worse at the same time. My heartburn is pretty much under control. I still take Pepcid Complete twice a day and I drink a vanilla shake if I need to when I’m out without any heartburn meds (it really works!). I still feel a little nauseous here and there, but eating carbs usually helps. My main complaints now are body aches. My hips and pelvis ache so bad at night that I’m not sleeping well at all. And I recently started getting back aches, but I find that a warm shower helps. And, of course, my enormous and very low hanging belly is getting extremely difficult to lug around. To be honest, I’ve spent a ton of time in the house lately because I’m nervous about walking around too much, especially when I have Harper with me. Too much walking causes me to get really bad round ligament pain. Add to that a clingy toddler who begs to be held every single time I take her into a store and it’s typically best to just stay home until Sam is available to go out with me.

Any food cravings or aversions? My current favorite snack is mozzarella wrapped in pepperoni. I’ve had a huge appetite lately and that snack fills me up every time. I’ve also been craving fruit, but I try not to eat too much of it because my favorite types of fruits (citrus fruits) give me heartburn. I also cannot get enough water. Thankfully, I haven’t had any aversions lately.

Have you noticed any (new) stretch marks? It’s getting difficult to see because the front of my belly hangs so low, but I have noticed a lot of redness around my belly button. I assume that means I’ll see a few new stretch marks when it’s all said and done, but I don’t really care about that kind of thing. I have been using more belly oil lately just to keep itchiness at bay.

Best moment this week? Finishing the majority of my to-do list over the weekend. I added Sam’s clothes to the hospital bag, put the carseat back together after washing it, and Sam deep cleaned the apartment for me. I also cleared one of the drawers in my dresser and filled it with nighttime essentials for her since she’ll be in our room at first. If she was born tonight, I would be completely ready and that gives me a ton of peace of mind.

What are you looking forward to? Labor! I know that sounds crazy, but the unknown is driving me crazy. I’ve been driving myself insane thinking about it (when it will start, what it will feel like this time, etc.) so now I’m just ready to get into it.

 

 
 

Baby #2 Bumpdate // 34 Weeks

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Today is a huge milestone! On this day during my last pregnancy, I was in the hospital delivering Harper. The day isn’t over yet, but I’m 99% sure I won’t be going into labor today so that is a huge relief! In other exciting news, my mom gave me a baby shower last weekend. I know it’s excessive to have a baby shower for your second daughter (within 2 years!), but we’re all about celebrating and throwing parties in our family so we went for it. It was a beautiful shower and I had the best time. And now I feel sufficiently prepared for baby girl to arrive. Here’s a quick bumpdate before I fall asleep on the couch watching Zootopia with Harper…

How far along are you? 34 weeks and 2 days.

How big is baby? So yesterday at my prenatal appointment, my midwife told me that she suspected that baby girl was about 5.5 to 6 pounds. I walked out of the office convinced that she was way off. Today, I had an ultrasound at the Maternal Fetal Specialist’s office and, according to their measurements, she’s 6 pounds, 1 ounce. Whaaaat?! Harper was born, at this exact gestational age, at 4lbs 14.9oz so this news completely blows my mind. And also terrifies me. I had an epidural the first time and it only took 20 minutes of pushing to get Harper out. This time, I’m planning for a natural birth and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid to push out a big baby. But most importantly, I am ecstatic to know she is bigger than her sister.

Total weight gain? About 12 pounds from my starting weight. 15 pounds from my weight at my first prenatal appointment.

How are you feeling? So tired. One outing a day completely wears me out and I have the stamina of a person who hasn’t worked out in 8 months (oops). My heartburn and indigestion are still terrible, but Pepcid Complete twice a day is helping with that. The baby’s head is so low that walking is pretty uncomfortable (I’m waddling in a major way) and I have to pee as soon as I stand up. I’m sure people who see me walking around think that I’m due any day.

Best moment this week? Besides my baby shower, my best moment was meeting with our doula team yesterday. As I mentioned above, I’m planning for a natural birth so I knew that hiring a doula would be crucial. We found our doula team months ago, but we finally met in person yesterday and I love them. It was definitely an investment to hire them, but I know that it’s going to be worth it. I feel much more prepared for labor and deliver after our meeting and I have no doubt that I’ll be able to do it now.

What are you looking forward to? As much as I love feeling the baby move and kick, I am really looking forward to the feeling of relief when the baby is out and my belly is empty. I’m also super excited to see how Harper reacts to her baby sister.

 
 

Baby #2 Bumpdate // 32 Weeks

32 weeksI cannot believe there are only 8 weeks left in this pregnancy (give or take a week or two). In fact, I’ve been trying to write this bumpdate for the last two weeks and kept either falling asleep in the middle of typing or getting sidetracked. Time is flying away from me! I’m not complaining though, because I am very ready to get to the end of this journey. Of course, I want the baby to be full term, but my body is ready to be done. I’ve been distracting myself by nesting and getting everything ready for her arrival. I have what I call “Post Preemie Stress Disorder” which means I’m a crazy person when it comes to being prepared for birth this time. In fact, all of Harper’s old newborn and 3 month clothes are washed, my hospital bag is packed and I’ve been checking things off of my “before baby” to-do list left and right. Between that and living life with Harper, I’m keeping myself pretty distracted. So let’s talk about what’s happening with my pregnancy this week…

How far along are you? 32 weeks and 1 day.

How big is baby? I had an ultrasound at 30 weeks and baby was measuring 3lbs 12oz which puts her in the 69th percentile for size. That makes me very happy after giving birth to a 4lb 14.9oz baby last time. Her head is in the 99th percentile which is slightly terrifying (for labor and delivery purposes and also because it could indicate fluid in her brain or something like that), but the Maternal Fetal Specialist assured me that that just means that her head is very round. She definitely got that from her daddy! :) They say that the baby gains half a pound per week from here on out so I know that she’ll be much bigger than her big sister and I’m very happy about that. A little nervous about pushing her out, but happy nonetheless.

Total weight gain? 11 pounds based on my actual starting weight. 14 pounds based on my weight at 8 weeks at my first prenatal appointment. That means I’ve officially surpassed my weight gain with Harper (10 pounds total).

How are you feeling? Sleepy and sore. We finally managed to get Harper back on a good sleep schedule, but I’m still not sleeping well. I have to get up to use the bathroom at least twice a night. And when I get up, I find myself hobbling like an old lady because my hips and back are so sore. I also made the mistake of taking Harper to the zoo last Friday when my sister-in-law and nieces were in town. We had a great time, but I forgot how hilly the National Zoo is! My shins and ankles are still killing me! Aside from that, I’m still dealing with heartburn and indigestion, as always. My newest symptom is a mild cold that I caught from Harper. Annoying, but not too bad so far.

What are you wearing a lot of lately? I’m in maternity clothes limbo right now. I’ve outgrown most of my Summer maternity wardrobe, but it’s still too hot for my Fall maternity wardrobe. I don’t want to spend any more money on maternity clothing so I’m praying the weather cools down soon.

Food cravings and/or aversions? I can’t stop eating Japanese food, cereal and fruit rollups. So weird! I’m also addicted to the vanilla shake at Chik Fil A. It actually cures my heartburn and indigestion completely so I’m using that as an excuse to have a small one whenever I get a craving. At least I know I’m giving the baby plenty of calcium! I’m still avoiding fish, but I can eat shrimp from time to time.

What are you looking forward to? We’re heading to Orlando this weekend for one last vacation with my side of the family before baby girl’s arrival. I’m super excited to relax and get my mind off of baby prep for a few days. It’ll also be fantastic to have lots of help with Harper. She loves spending time with her cousins so she’ll be in heaven the entire time.      I can’t wait!

 
 

Musings on Motherhood // Third Trimester Blues

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I’m struggling today. I have been for the past week. It’s raining. My child isn’t sleeping well so none of us are sleeping well. And I still have 11(ish) weeks until the end of this pregnancy. 11 weeks feels like 11 months to me right now.

I’ve given myself the pep talk. I know my body was made for this. I know that I want my baby to stay in my belly until she’s full term. I know the pain and stress of the NICU. I know that millions of women have done this millions of times. I know that I haven’t even reached the hardest part of the third trimester yet. But I can’t pull myself out of this funk.

My last pregnancy was rough. I was sick for the majority of it. I spent my days on the couch watching old episodes of Law & Order SVU and begging my husband to handle dinner. This time, I spend my days literally chasing my child around my apartment to stop her from sticking her hands in the toilet, climbing onto the kitchen island and choking on one of the random objects she insists on putting into her mouth. When I’m not doing that, I’m vacuuming goldfish crumbs off of the floors (only to find another pile as soon as I put the vacuum away) and trying to figure out why the urge to nest hits when your belly is so large, and your body is so uncomfortable, that most household tasks (ex: cleaning the bathtub) feel like a CrossFit session. Thankfully, my sickness subsided much earlier this time so I no longer have to worry about vomiting while parenting, but this is still hard. It’s really hard. And sometimes it feels like a sin to admit that.

I feel so blessed to be pregnant. I’m so honored to be a mom and I love both of my girls more than I could ever explain. I’m cherishing these last few months with Harper before she has to share me with her sister. That’s why I give in every time she wakes up crying and pointing to mommy and daddy’s room. I’m honored to be married to a man who loves his family so much that he gets up before the sun to support us. My goal is to match his work ethic inside our home. That’s why I stay up until I can barely keep my eyes open making sure the house is clean before I go to bed.

I love taking care of my family and none of my pregnancy complaints are directed at them (except maybe the sleep thing: please Harper, sleep through the night again!). But I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep all of this up for the next 11 weeks. I’m afraid my body is just going to give out on me. How in the world is my belly going to expand enough to fit a full-term baby? How in the world am I going to get the house ready for the baby with a toddler tornado running after me destroying everything? How am I going to keep cooking for my husband (not to mention make all of those Pinterest-recommended postpartum freezer meals) when standing up for too long gives me Braxton-Hicks contractions and makes me feel like I just ran a 10k? How am I going to keep rocking my first baby to sleep when my second baby’s position gives me the world’s worst heartburn and the strongest urge to pee as soon as we snuggle up in the rocking chair?

I know I will find a way. I know that my body was made for this. I know that this last trimester is going to fly by. I know that every ache, every pain and every unpleasant pregnancy symptom will be worth it when my beautiful baby girl is in my arms.

But today, I’m going to stay in my pajamas, bribe my child with snacks to get her to sit still on the couch, and allow myself to be tired.

 
 

13 in 31 // A Birthday Bucket List

I turned thirty-one last Friday and as a gift to myself, I created a Birthday Bucket List. As a mom, I spend 99% of my time focusing on Harper and not enough time focusing on myself. I haven’t finished a book in months. I only get my hair and nails done when I’m looking so rough that I can’t even stand it anymore. And I can’t even talk about the lack of writing I’ve done lately. I have a list of things I want to write, and blog posts I want to share, but I can never find the time (or the brain power) to actually sit down and do it. So, my overall goal this year, especially with a new baby on the way, is to get back to doing things that I enjoy. Not that I don’t enjoy raising Harper or being Sam’s wife. Those are my two most important roles and I love them so much. But I deserve, and need, a little time for myself too.

When creating my bucket list, I decided to flip my birthday number around and choose 13 things I wanted to do this year.  Some of them are specific things I can check off the list and others are goals that I want to work on throughout the year. Some are things for me to do by myself and others are things for us to do as a family. I know my list is specific to me, but I wanted to share it anyway because it may inspire some of you to create your own Birthday Bucket Lists. So here it is! (I’ve included a description or reason behind each one if you’re interested as well.)

1 // Read my Bible every day. – I have always been terrible at making this a daily habit. Sam ordered me a new Bible for my birthday and my #1 goal is to dive into it every.single.day.

2 // Blog more and launch a coordinating YouTube channel. – I love this blog so much and I hate that it has taken such a backseat in the last couple of years. I’ve also been wanting to start a YouTube channel for a while now, but I’ve been so nervous about it! I’m a major YouTube junkie though and I know that I would have so much fun with it so I’m just going to jump into it and see what happens. (More on that soon!)

3 // Visit the Kennedy Museum in Boston. – I’ve had a fascination with the Kennedy family ever since I was a kid and discovered that Jackie Kennedy and I share a birthday. I’ve been wanting to visit this museum for years and I’m definitely going to do it this year.

4 // Bring scrapbooking back! – I am so guilty of never printing pictures. Nearly all of the photos I’ve taken of Harper are on my iPhone or computer. I know that everything is digital now and that’s great, but I still love going through old pictures at my parents’ house and I want that for my kids. My plan is to go all the way back to the beginning of our marriage and start scrapbooking our little family. I think it’ll be a great creative outlet for me.

5 // Get “ready” everyday. – This should be a no-brainer, but it’s very easy as a stay-at-home mom to stay in your pajamas or sweats all day long. I’ve actually been pretty good about this lately, but I know it’s going to be tough again once the baby is born so I’m adding it to the list.

6 // Meal plan and cook at least 5 nights per week. – I’m trying to be more budget-conscious when it comes to feeding our family so I’ve started meal planning and cooking at home most nights. It’s already going really well and I want to challenge myself to keep it up all year.

7 // Treat writing like it’s my job (even if no one ever reads it). – I love to write and I’ve always dreamed of making a career out of it. I’ve spent a lot of time letting fear and self-doubt stop me. This year, I want to change that by “faking it til I make it.” I have no idea if I’ll ever be published outside of this blog, but it definitely won’t happen if I never actually write anything!

8 // Launch a foundation benefitting NICU families. – After Harper was born, I had this idea to start a foundation that creates care packages for NICU families. When Harper was in the NICU, we were given so many items (Halo SleepSacks, a quilt, etc.) that made that time so much easier and I want to do the same for other families. I have no idea how to start a foundation, but I’m going to figure it out and make it happen this year.

9 // Exercise regularly. – This isn’t about weight loss or fixing my body. Losing a little weight would definitely be a bonus, but it’s not my priority right now. I just want to be healthier and have more energy. My goal is to walk daily with my girls, start doing yoga again, and get back into spinning.

10 // Read at least one new book every month. – I love love love to read and I miss it so much. Reading is such a simple thing that I can do for myself that will simultaneously relax me and keep my brain from turning into mush.

11 // Make some new mom friends. – There is only one thing that I miss about living in the small town of Harrisonburg, Virginia: my mom friends. We went on walks, we did park playdates, and they’re all still there raising their babies without me. I have my sister-in-law and cousins here, and they are all invaluable to me, but I really need to get outside of my comfort zone and meet some new moms.

12 // Pick a weekly date night (and stick to it!) – I can count the number of dates Sam and I have been on since Harper was born and that is just not right. It’s not even because we’re afraid of leaving her with someone. We’re just guilty of not making the time. It doesn’t have to be a fancy restaurant, and we technically don’t even have to leave the house, but we need to make time, at least once a week, to remember that we are husband and wife first, parents second.

13 // Visit every museum in DC. – Sam is still new to the DC area and I love watching (forcing) him fall in love with my hometown. Showing him around also reintroduces me to all of the wonderful places I grew up visiting. I thought it would be fun to challenge ourselves as a family to visit every single museum in DC as a way to spend quality (and educational!) time together as a family.

And that’s my bucket list! I know it’s long, but these are all things that are important to me and I’m excited to take on this challenge. Someone remind me to check in with myself on my next birthday to see how many I accomplished. I hope it’s all 13! 

What would you put on your Birthday Bucket List?

 
 

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