Sunday, May 1, 2016

24 Week Bumpdate plus THE CRIB!

Hello dolls, so much to share! 

First, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge National Infertility Awareness Week, which ends this weekend. Bringing awareness to this incredibly common and devastating problem is critical to eliminating the stigma and letting the millions of couples suffering know that they aren't alone. Ross and I are SO thankful every moment of this pregnancy to have made it to this point, which was something that we were beginning to think was impossible, but so many others are still struggling, most of them silently. If you are struggling and need someone to talk to, I would love to be that person. 

Turning to 24 week bumpdates, we're so excited that we hit the viability mark of 23/24 weeks that we've been so longing for! This means that in the event of an emergency if the baby had to be delivered now, he would have a good chance of surviving.  What a miracle! Baby C is now about 13 inches long, 1.5 pounds and the size of an eggplant, bunch of grapes, cantaloupe or cabbage, depending on which app you ask. Baby C is kicking, flipping, swimming and dancing around the clock, which I've decided makes him just like his busy body daddy.  He used to mostly be active in the early mornings and in the hours between dinner and bed, but recently there's rarely a time when I'm awake that he's not up to something acrobatic. I'll put hubby in charge of keeping up with him when he gets mobile, because I'm thinking he's the only one who could match his energy levels. 

In further exciting Baby C news, his crib came in!! We can't thank my parents enough for buying it for us and even more for tolerating my indecisiveness as we hunted for it. As I posted about in the last bumpdate, deciding on a crib was way harder than it should have been. I was so picky that I really couldn't find anything I liked, so we ended up ordering it from a baby boutique in Los Angeles and spending way too much to ship it here (high maintenance mama to be moment - I wouldn't let my parents cover the shipping because I knew how ridiculous I was being).  In all of its fanfare, it came in on a pallet on an 18-wheeler. My neighbors must have been wondering if we'd ordered an elephant. I love that it's 100% real wood, painted in a beautiful taupe paint and upholstered in a linen fabric. I also really like that it could be used for the next baby, regardless of gender, and that it converts into a toddler bed and a day bed so it can grow with Baby C. We didn't want to do gray because the walls are already gray, so finding the perfect taupe upholstered crib really sealed the deal. It is the focal point of the room and we couldn't be more in love with it.  We still need to get the crib mattress and crib bedding, but we're happy to have the big crib decision made! We ordered Baby C's dresser this week and are waiting for it to come in. When it arrives we can purge his closet of all of the pants, shorts, bibs, sleepers, etc that have it looking so overstuffed and organize them better in the dresser.

Baby also got his first pair of cowboy boots with the Texas flag on them, a nod to his Texan DNA and the perfect accessory for his future Texas trips to see his grandparents, uncles, aunts and many cousins. Other recent shopping highlights include: a cute hooded vest, more bibdanas (some Texas themed to go with his boots - thanks mom!), more 0-3 month clothes (after I noticed most of what I had was 3-6 months), two new diaper covers that will be monogrammed when we decide on a name, some hands free bottles that I saw on Zulily that were highly reviewed but may or may not work, the cutest ever pineapple tank/shorts onesie (I think they call those crawlers? still learning the mom jargon), mommy and me matching black and white tribal leggings for the two of us, a baby tee that says "rolling with the homies" a la the best movie ever (Clueless), another Nike onesie for football season, a pug life onesie with a pug dressed like Tupac, socks with cacti on them (I don't know why, they were just cute), a light coral oxford with blue bowtie for Easter next year (because that's a pressing need, right?), cute faded looking Gap joggers, a seersucker pantsuit from a consignment shop (baby consignment is my new fav thing), a SwaddleMe (highly recommended by several moms for getting baby to sleep) and the cutest thin sheer white V-neck hoodie to go with swim trunks next summer. 

Things are getting out of control on the clothes and shoes side! I think he officially has more clothes than his daddy now. 

More exciting than anything, we were so excited to welcome Baby C's beautiful future spouse Olivia on April 15th!  My best friend did an amazing job pushing out the most darling little girl I've ever seen overnight and into the morning on the 14th and 15th.  Her bravery and labor story inspire me and give me hope that I'll be able to get the job done and I'm loving hearing about her first days of kicking butt at motherhood and breastfeeding. I'll resist the urge to post pictures of this little beauty queen because her mama is a more private person than we are, but trust me when I say she's precious.

The less exciting news is that just before the 23 week mark, I suddenly started feeling really pregnant.  For the first time sleep became difficult and very uncomfortable (despite a lot of help from my amazing Snoogle pregnancy pillow that my best friend bought me), heartburn (which I've never had in my life) set in hardcore (causing GERD induced laryngitis - I was pretty hoarse for our baby shower), difficulty breathing, my lower back and hips are hurting and the bump suddenly popped.  When two professional acquaintances asked if I was pregnant during the 23rd week I was so surprised that they could tell... then I looked down.  The bump had gone from a "could just be period bloating" hill on my torso to what was clearly a 5.5 month fetus's igloo.  I was excited to welcome a "real" bump though and have found it funny to watch strangers stare at it. Who knew a pregnant woman was such a sight to see?  The heartburn and sleeping issues are less than ideal and came on suddenly after 22 weeks of a pretty asymptomatic pregnancy (aside from my really bad case of nausea until about 16 weeks) but at the end of the day I'm just so thankful to be pregnant.  As long as baby is comfy and healthy (and now viable - yay!), I'll gladly take it. I've also had very vivid dreams and nightmares and a sore booty when I sit for long.  I'm starting to become more worried about foot growth and becoming clingy with my beloved shoe collection, because it is caused by Relaxin, the same hormone that causes the pregnancy heartburn and back and hip pain I already have.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that somehow my circulatory system doesn't pump it south of my knees. That can happen, right? I'm also taking every precaution I've read about online but I'm not sure how much credence to give them. 

My feet have also started to hurt and swell pretty badly, but I think that's just bad timing with my busy/on my feet season of work starting last week as the NC General Assembly opened its 2016 session (at the same time the Relaxin cranked up). It's hard being on your feet while pregnant in heels walking around the Legislature for 10 hours straight, but I just remind myself of all the working mothers with even worse jobs for pregnancy (at least I get to sit on and off throughout a typical day of lobbying whereas so many pregnant women do way more physical jobs) and of how lucky I am just to have these 'problems.' If I didn't respect working pregnant women before, I certainly do now. You go girls.

A handful of my pantsuits and skirt suits still fit and zip, but the majority don't at this point. I'm relying more on maternity dresses and maternity pants paired with my existing blazer inventory to make it through the work day. The Bella Band has also been wonderful for pantsuits that don't zip anymore. My under suit camis have mostly become crop tops (which is kinda hilarious) so I'm relying on a few longer camis, some maternity tops and flowy blouses to round out my suits. 

I'm still very thankful to NOT have the following symptoms (knock on wood): cravings, nausea (pretty much gone for a month or more now, I even got brave enough to go off my nausea meds last week and haven't been sick - yay!), aversions (also gone), foot growth, bloating, face swelling, nose swelling (my mom recently told me she thought my nose was getting smaller?), mood swings, fatigue, wobbling, crankiness, protein in my urine (although it's worth noting that I'm peeing more than any human should) or excessive weight gain. I'm right at 11.5 pounds gained so far which the doctors keep complimenting me on and I'm very proud of.  My doctor even high fived me at my last appointment and said that I was in the minority 30% of American pregnant women who gain at an appropriate rate. Holla! I credit my before and after work walks daily and not changing my pre-pregnancy diet. A lot of days working out gets my only spare time - it feels like all I did was work, commute and work out - but I think you just have to make it a priority. I also take a lot of issue with the advice that you should increase your calorie intake by 300-500/day during the second and third trimesters, mostly because if I had been doing that I know I'd have gained way too much by now, but that's another post for another day. If I continue at my second trimester weight gain rate my total weight gain should be between 23-26 pounds (I have a spreadsheet, which is psycho, I know), but is way less intimidating to lose than some of the nightmare scenarios I used to picture for myself, especially since a lot of moms lose 15-20 pounds before they even leave the hospital. This pregnancy thing isn't so bad (famous last words though, right?!).

We were also very blessed to have a baby shower thrown for us by our Texas friends and family last weekend.  We got the most amazing, thoughtful and useful gifts and it was so wonderful to see everyone.  Everything was so perfect, but the food especially blew me away. My beautiful hostesses know how much I love sweets so they had an entire table of just desserts - so thoughtful & so yum! They had chocolate covered strawberries, gourmet cake pops, Texas Sheet Cake (not cake at all & my new fav thing), a beautiful lemon cake covered in rosettes, red velvet cupcakes, mini ├ęclairs, cream puffs... it was mind blowing. The pictures I have below are kind of dark, but when we get the shower pics back from the photographer I'll try to remember to post a better picture so you can drool with me all over again. I also got a lot of great tips from the many experienced mamas on that side of our family, which was such a nice added bonus. We were overwhelmed with how amazing and love filled the day was.  

The Texas grandparents to be!

Comparing bumps with my husband's brothers. 

Baby also enjoyed his first and presumably only time serving as a bridesmaid last weekend.  My best friend from law school married the love of her life in the most beautiful, over the top wedding I've ever seen. It was in a Texas castle, the cake had a train made of feathers, her centerpieces were at least 6 feet tall and the bridesmaids wore sequins... what's not to love? In addition to the wedding and South African themed rehearsal dinner being so amazing, I was also amazed that my sequined bridesmaid gown fit without needing alterations since I ordered it before I was pregnant. Widening a sequined dress wouldn't have been easy or cheap, so I was so glad Baby C was just the right size for me to get in. Another miracle was that the venue did not suffer any major damage from Houston's record setting 500 year flood just 5 days before the wedding. Entire cars and homes were under water, but Gabby's beautiful castle (Chateau Cocomar) made out like a champ, suffering only some minor damage to the elevators. Baby C loved serving as a bridesmaid just this once & even gave me my first Braxton Hicks contraction at the Rehearsal Dinner!

Thanks for reading, dolls! Hopefully we'll have 28 week 3D/4D ultrasound pics for you in the next post!

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