Monday, July 11, 2016

34 Week Bumpdate, including shower pictures!

Hello dolls and happy Independence Day!

We are now just shy of 34 weeks pregnant and more ready than ever to meet our handsome little boy!  Time is suddenly passing sooo slooowly, maybe because I can't get comfortable, maybe because we've now been waiting about 2.5 years to be parents, maybe all of the above. We've had a lot of excitement lately to help pass the time with our amazing NC baby shower thrown by our friends, picking out baby's name (finally!) and in unrelated news, monogramming literally everything.

Our NC baby shower: Our friends and family threw us a BEAUTIFUL shower at 31 weeks.  It had an adorable vintage French floral theme with an emphasis on macaroons, what was not to love?! Most of our NC family was able to attend along with our amazing neighbors and friends here. It was a perfect day and we are so thankful for such a beautiful event to celebrate baby! A few of my favorite pictures from the day are below, but there were too many good ones to post. Thank you so much to our amazing hostesses and to everyone who joined us!

How I'm feeling: Long story short: big and uncomfortable. I think this is par for the course at this point.  My primary discomfort lies in my hips.  Sitting on my couch, sleeping, laying on any surface in any position and sitting in my car all trigger unbearable hip pain.  The only places I'm usually safe are standing, walking and sitting at my desk chair, but even those aren't guarantees. I can't wait to just lay down on my couch again after delivery without pain.  It feels like daggers going into the sides of my butt and hips... it is so miserable.  The doctors say that our very big baby boy's very big baby head is sitting directly on my right sciatic nerve, which explains why my right hip hurts way worse and my right leg frequently goes completely numb.  Yay for large, healthy babies that aren't breech! Boo for off-center babies who drop early and drop squarely on one of the two biggest nerves in your body.  I'm not taking anything for it because a few studies about Tylenol (the only "safe" pregnancy pain reliever) have spooked me, so my only real relief is Bengay cream, which I use liberally, causing me to smell like Christmas 24/7 (which I'm not mad at).  I also do pregnancy sciatica yoga every day (yes that's a thing - designed to help pull the baby's head off the nerve), which I thought was silly at first but I think really helps. Aside from the hip pain, all other pregnancy discomforts are relatively minimal.  Sometimes I struggle to breathe (usually after eating), I'm having a little heartburn still (although not as bad), I have Braxton hicks and irritable uterus but those have slowed down recently, I pee SO OFTEN, comfort is hard to find and I'm generally kind of achy, but all of that is small potatoes compared to the hips. Bending over is pretty much impossible at this point and sitting with my legs together is difficult.  If I drop something and no one nice is around it basically has to stay there.

How Ross is feeling: Hungry and eager.  Ross eats more than I've ever seen him eat in a decade of time together. Yesterday I calculated that he'd had 3 milkshakes in 24 hours. Tonight for dinner he had four pieces of lasagna.  I don't know who this man is and what he's done with my picky eater husband.  I think the extra weight looks great on him and I'm glad at least one of us is getting to pig out.  Like me, he's also very, very eager to meet our little man.  Time is inching by!

How baby is feeling: Hyper and big.  Baby is still measuring significantly ahead in length and has no shortage of energy for kicking, dancing, rolling, practicing martial arts, swimming and whatever else he does in my torso pretty much 24/7.  The doctor recently gave me a piece of paper to ensure he kicks at least 7 times in one two hour period once per day and I just laughed.  He had kicked at least 7 times in the 2 minutes it took him to explain it to me.  The constant reassurance that he's doing well is amazing, but I really am starting to wonder what kind of wild thing he's going to be when he joins us on the outside.  He's also started to do this thing lately that I refer to as "hammerheading" where he pushes out on both sides of the bump at the same time, literally making me look like a hammerhead shark is in my torso. You can also imagine how fabulous that feels.  Baby also gets hiccups about twice per day, which are simultaneously cute, annoying and awkward depending on where they're located.

Weight gain: 18 pounds as of this morning, which I'm very proud of and have worked hard for!  Right now according to my spreadsheet and rate of weight gain I should end up at around 23 pounds total gained.  Some friends report gaining no weight the last two weeks while others report gaining a ton of water weight during that time.  My 23 estimate assumes my rate of weight gain remains constant, which is a big assumption, so it could end up higher or lower, but my weight gain rate has been incredibly constant so far.  We're keeping up with our twice a day walks along with the pregnancy yoga (which I do solo... Ross will only go so far). I still haven't increased my calorie intake over pre-pregnancy which I think is the biggest contributor. I'm also pleased to report that I have no stretch marks yet, although there's still plenty of time for them to come around. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Moods: First and foremost, blessed.  So incredibly blessed.  I've recently been reminded by a friend's tragedy just how incredibly lucky we are to have made it to the other side of infertility and this far into our pregnancy. Others are not as lucky and that's easy to lose sight of when all of your wishes come true and you're living in a state of euphoria. I've also felt a little extra needy lately I think.  Last, I've really, REALLY been craving a Caribbean cruise lately, because we always are planning one/about to leave on one this time of year but because of stupid Zika and the cruise lines banning pregnant women past 24 weeks, we're stuck at home. I'm also fairly forgetful, but I keep lists of EVERYTHING to keep myself on track.

Milestones: Baby has a name!  It took us FOREVER to decide but we finally decided on Walker.  <3  It came down to Walker and Tate and we're both so indecisive that we just sat on those two for about a week, when Ross finally pulled the trigger on Walker on a Sunday night when we had promised ourselves we would decide by the end of the week. lol.  We also decided on a daycare for after my maternity leave, which we really love.  We toured several, finding some good, some bad and some ugly, but really loved the one we went with.

Rings on or off: On! Yay!  I'm starting to think (hopefully not naively) that I might be able to wear them until the very end. I've been very, very lucky to have no swelling, especially since I'm pregnant during the summer.  Surprisingly the summer thing hasn't really bothered me at all and I even think I've benefitted from it, since I regularly go to the pool and just stand in the 5 feet to take weight off my right hip, which has been amazing. I might change my tune, but so far this summer pregnancy thing isn't as bad as folks told me it would be. We do our walks before work early in the morning and then again around 9pm, so we manage to avoid being outdoors during the heat most days.  In related miracle news, my feet still haven't grown at all! Aside from one of us dying during child birth, foot growth was my second biggest fear and *knock on wood* so far I've avoided it! All of the techniques I googled online to prevent it including my beloved arch supports aka foot binders must either be helping or either I'm just lucky so far.

Cravings: Still none for me as far as I can tell. Still eating lots of cereal and salad, but definitely haven't had to have anything in particular yet.  Ross on the other hand has FIERCE milkshake cravings almost daily.  I avoid ordering them with him (although I do think I'm going to get one on the way from the hospital as a gift to myself for surviving pregnancy) but I do usually take a few sips, so at least the baby is getting a little something of the good stuff.

Bump watch: Around Memorial Day weekend, the bump absolutely took off.  My weight has barely changed but my circumference quickly skyrocketed.  I keep running into my island, I have to push my desk chair back at work and my seat back in my car... the bump is all in everybody's business.  The good news to this is that I'm breathing better, so I think my torso finally gave up trying to compress this giant baby and my organs in a tight space, which is kinda nice. Everything feels like it has more room to stretch out for the last month or so, which is nice. 

Recent projects: The playroom is still a work in progress (pics soon, I promise!) and the nursery is essentially done. We recently added a ceiling fan my MIL gave us to his nursery as well as curtains to both rooms. We also got a rug for the nursery because I thought it needed a little extra jazz and ordered then DIY'd his obligatory monogram for above his crib.

Next projects: My mom is sewing him a stroller blanket with the extra fabric I loved from our playroom curtains as well as some matching burp cloths. We also still need to work on his playroom ceiling mural that we have ordered all the decals for, just haven't put in place. I also just learned that my Cricut can monogram baby clothes... LIFE CHANGING... so we'll be doing a lot of that.  Ross is also working on the baby's large toy chest for the playroom - all of his goodies have to go somewhere! Other than that, I think we're pretty much done with the baby projects with a few weeks to spare. We also have two more baby classes and two more books to finish before he gets here.

Recent purchases: SO. MANY. MONOGRAMMED. THINGS.  Within minutes (yes, literally) of deciding on baby's name I was ordering monogrammed outfits for him for literally every season/holiday aside from President's Day.  I have issues.  After the seasonal monogram novelty wore off I started ordering other monogrammed things, including his Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair and the cutest monogrammed rolly luggage and backpack.  I also got a ring and a necklace with his name on it.  Next my monogram loving MIL came into town for a visit and she monogrammed a ton of other things for him, which all came out gorgeous.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

33 Week Bumpdate: Our Maternity Shoot Photos!

Hello dolls!

I am so excited to share the photographs from our maternity shoot with the amazingly talented Katie Garcia!  This was our first time working with her and we couldn't possibly be more pleased with the results.  Somehow she turned a rainy evening, a hot, sweaty pregnant woman and a husband who doesn't like taking pictures into something beautiful. We are so thankful! If you love her work as much as we do, check out her website here.

This one is one of my favorites because it accidentally shows one of the sweetest parts of our pregnancy: Ross's sympathy pregnancy. Several of you know that Ross has had a lot of very serious cravings (compared to my none), an appetite unprecedented in my ten years by his side and other sympathetic pregnancy symptoms.  I've read a bit about it and one of the biggest things that triggers sympathetic pregnancy symptoms in the spouse is a previous struggle with infertility, which you all know we went through before our miracle came along.  I didn't notice at first, but Katie did, that many of the times she was instructing me on how or where to hold the bump for the pictures, Ross would inadvertently put his hand in the same place.  She would politely remind him that we were accentuating my bump, not his.  She snapped this one and kept it and it absolutely melts my heart.

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