36 week bumpdate

Found out this week that I am negative for Group B Strep! I was relieved. Mostly because the thought of having to take antibiotics during labor was stressing me out. I’m fascinated with our microbiomes – the bacteria that colonize our bodies. We’re more bug than human – for every 1 human cell in our body, there are 100 bacterial cells. These guys are what allow us to have a healthy immune system, digest food properly and they have a major impact on our overall health. Babies are pretty much in a sterile environment in the womb, but they get their “starter kit” of microbes from mom when they squeeze through the birth canal, including the microbes that help them digest their first meal of breast milk. 

While I’m fairly laid back about this whole pregnancy/birth process, I am pretty adamant about making sure this kiddo gets a good microbial start to life. It’s even in my birth plan that if I have to have a c-section, I want my vaginal secretions rubbed over the baby’s skin immediately after birth. Weird? Gross? I don’t care. Which is why the thought of taking antibiotics during labor and potentially wiping out a lot of the good bacteria was stressing me out.

 Obviously, if I had tested positive for Group B, I would have taken the antibiotics. I’m also not a doctor, so please don’t take this as medical advice of any kind. Just my personal hopes and opinions about my birth experience. We’re all just trying to do what we feel is best for our kids. 

Now onto the Bumpdate!

How far along? 36 weeks, 6 days

Baby is the size of: a papaya

Total weight gain: 22 lbs, as of a week and a half ago. So probably a bit more now. Next appt is on Tuesday.

Symptoms: 

  • More heaviness in my pelvis. Not sure if this means she’s engaged, but she definitely feels a bit lower. Or maybe she’s just grown longer.  When she has the hiccups, which is at least once a day, I can now feel them in my hoo-ha. So, yeah. she’s pretty low.
  • Slightly out of breath all the time. Today I was talking a lot in a meeting and I had to stop to catch my breath! Wha??? It’s hard to take a deep breath. Not sure why my diaphragm feels squished if she seems to be sitting lower. Isn’t that supposed to make it easier to breathe? Unless it’s just all my organs getting pushed up under my diaphragm…
  • Slightly cranky. I found myself snapping at a Lyft driver today. And a work vendor earlier this week. My patience seems to be a tad short these days. Having trouble breathing will do that to you. 

Food cravings: still cereal. But also protein. I could eat a bowl of black beans all day every day and be perfectly happy. 

Things that make me queasy: if I eat too much in one sitting. This week in particular, it just feels like there’s hardly any room for food in there.

Maternity clothes: my maternity leggings can no longer stretch over my bump. They just kind of bunch up a bit under my belly. Maternity jeans still cover it though! Shirts are getting slightly shorter. 

Sleep: still off and on. Although this past Sunday, I woke up and felt so refreshed. I realized I had only woken up once in the night to pee! What a difference that made.

Purchases for baby: none this week

Purchases for mama: I booked a prenatal massage for next Tuesday evening! Can’t wait. 

Best moment this week: not sure. It’s been a pretty great week and a fun weekend. 

Miss anything: being able to stay up later. I’m so ready to crawl into bed by 9pm

Looking forward to: the prenatal massage on Tuesday. Next weekend we go on our Babymoon – just a cute little cabin in the redwoods of Sonoma county. Only an hour and a half drive from home. And close to another Kaiser hospital in case of an emergency. Can’t wait for a weekend of reading, relaxing, and hanging out in a hammock. And yes, we’ll be bringing our hospital bags and the car seat. Just in case. 

The Bump: large and in charge. 



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Turbo Nesting

Definitely feeling the nesting instinct kick in. I work from home on Fridays and I decided this last Friday afternoon that the floor of the entire house needed to be swept and mopped. Then Saturday morning, I went to the grocery store and bought all the fixings for making some freezer meals. We had a fun morning of cooking and rolling breakfast burritos. 

Then we got the big solar system mobile up and over the crib, the bookshelves up on the wall, and the smaller mobile up and over the changing table. 

But did we stop there? Nope. Today S has spent all day sanding and painting a small nightstand we’re putting in the nursery. We had a larger one in there earlier, but it just took up too much real estate in that tiny room. I finally finished reupholstering the cushions on our second-hand rocker. It took me forever though! It’s amazing how tired I became just sitting at a sewing machine. I thought it’d be an easy day of sitting and sewing, but I kept having to stop and go lie down for a few minutes.

Oh yeah, S is also organizing our basement – which is kind of a mess. I still consider that nesting behavior. I understand her need to get it organized before the kiddo arrives, even though it’ll be a very long time before the baby is ever in the basement – it’s unfinished and is just used for laundry and storage right now. But if it doesn’t get done now, it’ll be a long time before we get around to cleaning it up. 

I’ve reached that point where just the thought of running errands exhausts me. Doing stuff around the house? No problem. I am free to stop and relax whenever I need to. But going to stores? Ha! We talked about stocking up on toilet paper and such this week and my new go-to line is “Let’s have it delivered.” We’re lucky to live in an area where we can have pretty much anything we need delivered to us, so why not? 

As we countdown the last month of pregnancy, I can feel myself slowing turning more inward. We had a really fun and social spring, but now I just want to curl up at home and cook or sew or read. Or just snuggle. A part of me feels like we should be cramming in as much time with our friends as we can while it’s just the two of us. But a larger part of me just wants quiet evenings, a slow pace, and plenty of time for introspection. I kinda feel like cocooning us away from the rest of the world whenever we’re not at work.  How did you guys balance this? 

I will eventually take photos of the nursery when it’s complete, but for now I’ll leave you with a photo of the amazing solar system mobile some friends got us. 


All the planets happened to be lined up in this picture, but each layer is slowly and  constantly rotating in different directions. It’s kind of hypnotizing.

35 week bumpdate

Can’t believe tomorrow we’ll be 4 weeks away from our due date! Crazy. Things are still hectic at work with a big event in 3 weeks, but I’m kinda checked out at the moment so I’m not feeling the stress. 

I realized yesterday that since April 20th has passed, when people ask when I’m due, I can just say “the 20th.” So weird. 

How far along: 35weeks, 6 days

Baby is the size of: a honeydew melon

Total weight gain: according to my appt on Tuesday, I’ve gained a total of 22 lbs. seems about right.

Symptoms:

  • Insomnia is still wreaking havoc on my sleep
  • Definitely waddling now
  • Finding it hard to concentrate on projects
  • Her movements have become a bit smaller and more subtle. Unless I’m in a meeting at work and then suddenly she’s moving all over the place and it’s kind of painful. She must hate meetings 🙂

Food cravings: nothing that I can think of. My appetite has cooled a bit this week. Having said that, I just realized in the last week I have gone through a box of fudge pops and half a box of ice cream sandwiches. I stand corrected. 

Things that make me queasy: drinking juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This has happened to me repeatedly, yet I keep doing it! What’s wrong with me??

Maternity clothes: all day, every day. 

Sleep: not much. I’m awake for awhile in the middle of the night every single night. I refuse to look at the clock though, so I have no idea how long I’m awake

Purchases for baby: nothing this week

Purchases for mama: a birthing ball! The couch was becoming really uncomfortable, so it’s nice now to alternate between the ball and the couch when I’m home. It feels so much better on my hips. And getting to rock a bit or move my hips around while sitting helps tremendously.

Best moment this week: S came with me to my OB appt and we had no idea we’d get to see our Gummy Bear in an ultrasound, but we did! It was super fast, my doctor was clearly just checking on a few specific things, but she pointed out certain body parts and we got to hear the heartbeat. Baby is head down and looking good. My amniotic fluid levels look great. Apparently she’s a “squirmer” and was moving around a lot. We saw her head (though the doctor said, “it looks bigger here than it will be in real life, don’t worry!”). Ha! Big heads run in my family, so that comment makes me think this kiddo is just following in our footsteps. We also saw her tiny ribcage and her cute little legs. So sweet, but she definitely looks a bit squished in there now. We hadn’t seen her since the 20 week anatomy scan!

Miss anything? My energy. Getting a full nights sleep. 

Looking forward to: this weekend I’m gonna start making some freezer meals- enchiladas and some baked ziti to start. And maybe some breakfast burritos for easy breakfasts once the little one arrives. I also plan on making padcicles. For those unfamiliar, these are for postpartum recovery. Maxi pads with witch hazel and aloe vera spread on them and then frozen. Is it weird that I’m looking forward to cooking meals and freezing pads this weekend?

The Bump: got to enjoy some gorgeous weather earlier this week and break out some summer clothes. And actually wear sandals! Though today we’re back to the more typical overcast, slightly chilly Bay Area weather.  

34 week bumpdate

You know you’re pretty far along when you have to stop and think about which week you’re on for a few minutes.

How far along? 34 weeks, 6 days

Baby is the size of: a butternut squash

Total weight gain: 19lbs +. I have my next OB appt on Tuesday, so we’ll see where I’m at then.

Symptoms:

  • Lower back pain. I can feel my spine curving in response to all the weight up front now. I try to correct it, but once I stop thinking about it, it just naturally goes back to curving.
  • I’ve had a few lightening bolt type sensations in the hoo-ha region. Does this just mean she’s pressing on a nerve? She still feels pretty high up, so I don’t think she’s engaged in my pelvis yet
  • Insomnia! So tired of waking up numerous times a night. 
  • Lots of exhaustion all afternoon and evening.

Food cravings: Not really craving anything. Still eating the hell out of fruit and cereal though.

Things that make me queasy: lettuce has been a food aversion for most of this pregnancy. I once loved salad! And for a couple months in the middle of this pregnancy, I loved it again. But now, not so much. If I do eat it, it had to be super crisp and cold. If it’s warm or limp, it makes me gag. I keep trying to eat it, but can’t get past a few bites of it. Which makes me sad. I’ve read that you can help  shape your kid’s future eating habits in the third trimester, since they can taste what you’re eating. So I’m trying to eat lots of veggies. I just need to stop trying to make lettuce happen. 

Maternity clothes: all day every day. Didn’t think it was possible to outgrow maternity tops, but that is happening! A few of them just do not cover the stretchy panel on my pants anymore. And my long tank tops are no longer long enough. Might have to bite the bullet and buy some extra long tanks to wear under my shirts these last few weeks. At least I can keep wearing them this summer. 

Sleep: not good. Waking up a few times every night and just lying there wide awake. Makes me cranky in the mornings and super sleepy at work. Also have become a light sleeper, which is odd. 

Purchases for baby: nothing this week

Purchases mama: nothing this week

Best moment this week: I found out this week that our maternity leave policy at work was revised! There are 4 of us in the office who are either pregnant or have had a baby in the last couple months. Previously, our maternity leave was just the federal governments’s FMLA- 12 weeks off but unpaid. California pays parents 55% of your wages for 6 weeks, but we were still looking at 6 weeks of zero pay for me, which would have been hard for us. So two of us preggos approached our COO and asked if the organization could review the maternity leave policy. And they have! It’s not official yet, the board has to do the final vote on it in May, but it looks like we’ll get 100% of our wages for all 12 weeks!!! Huge load off my mind. 

Miss anything? Cocktails

Looking forward to: I just have one more week of commuting to the office 4 days a week (I work from home on Fridays). Starting the week of April 25th, I’ll work from home 2 days a week! Can’t wait for that. 

We’re also trying to plan a very late Babymoon. We’re looking at cute little AirBnB cabins for early May – 2 weeks before the due date. Hopefully this kiddo stays put until after that. We’re sticking close by – looking at places within a two hour drive. We basically just want to curl up in the woods for a weekend and relax and take pretty walks. 

The Bump: I had someone ask me this week, “you’re bump is so big. Are you due any day now?” She was shocked when I told her I still had a little over 5 weeks to go! Do I look tired in this picture? It’s because I am. I really would love a full nights sleep right about now. 

My new Pregnant Pace

The hardest adjustment to being pregnant has probably been altering my pace of life. I’m action-oriented and tend to spend my days moving around a lot, getting shit done. I like to go to bed with the house clean, the dishes done, my to-do list items crossed off. 

Even during the first trimester when I took a nap every evening, I could still keep up the fast pace. Hell, I planned and managed my nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser of the year last fall while secretly throwing up in the office bathroom most mornings. I thought my body was just used to this lifestyle and I wouldn’t have to adjust much as my bump got bigger. 

I was wrong.

It’s only in the last few weeks that it’s really hit me, but damn it, I cannot keep up with my old self anymore. I get tired just walking to the bus station from our office – a 10 min walk. We do not wash the dishes most nights before going to bed. We have small piles of mail that still need to be sorted laying around the house. We caved and have started paying our neighbor (who owns a landscaping company) to maintain our yard. We have lots of gorgeous flowers and rose bushes in our front and backyard and initially thought we’d have fun maintaining it. And I do hope to one day take care of it myself. I love gardening! But we were just letting it go to shit and not finding the time or energy to prune or mow. So now we have someone doing it every other week. Money well spent. 

 S has taken up a lot of the slack around the house, but she works long hours and can only get so much done in the evenings. I cook dinner most nights (while sitting on a stool we keep in the kitchen. I get tired even standing the whole time I’m cooking!) and then I’m spent. I can only lounge on the couch with my feet propped up and watch TV or read a book.

But reality really set in and kicked my ass on Monday. My nonprofit hosted an outdoor event for our volunteers. As the events manager, I handled all the logistics and was onsite from 6:45am for vendor deliveries until 4pm when the last of clean-up was finished. I went into my default Events mode and was running around all day, answering questions, helping move items around, keeping the speaking program on track. I sat down every once in awhile, but usually just for a few minutes. I nibbled on lunch in between working. Tried to remember to drink water. 

Once the event ended, I found my ass had been kicked. At 2pm I realized I hadn’t peed since 6 that morning. Cue the chugging of water. My body was so tired, it was painful. While the last of the crew was cleaning up, I could only sit and watch while stretching my achy muscles.  I stuffed my face with food and tried to feel human again. It wasn’t until I got home, was in my pjs and curled up on the couch with S and the cats, that I felt OK. I spent all evening worried that I had overdone it and pushed myself into premature labor, halfway expecting contractions to start that night. They didn’t. 

But I learned my lesson. Slowing my pace doesn’t make me lazy. My body is actually very hard at work all day just baking this baby and I need to respect that. So now I care less about dishes. Our house is reasonably clean and that’s fine. I’m no longer stubbornly insisting on carrying items myself. I’m asking for help. And I’m slowing down. 

33 week bumpdate

A few days late with this. I have a big event on Monday, so I’ve been working late and passing out early this past week.

How far along? I’m very late with this Bumpdate, so today I’m actually 34weeks, 1 day.

Baby is the size of: Durian fruit. Oddly, I know exactly how big those are. Saw them everywhere when we were in Vietnam last year

Total weight gain: 19+ lbs. I have another week and a half until my next OB appt

Symptoms:

  • I feel huge these days. Not sure if she went through a growth spurt of what, but my belly is taking on an identity of its own
  • Her movements have changed. There’s less jabbing and kicking and more rolling and twisting. She seems to more cramped in there now. Not sure if this is accurate, but her movements feel more interior. I can feel her pushing inward toward my intestines and other organs, rather than kicking out toward my belly button. Does that make sense?
  • Awful cramp calves in the middle of the night
  • Heartburn, of course
  • I think I’ve felt a couple Braxton Hicks? It felt like a cramp, but it wasn’t restricted to one side, like round ligament pain. It was super low and covered the whole bottom of the uterus. And both times, it stopped me in my tracks for a few seconds. Is that what they feel like?
  • Tired every evening. It almost feels like the first trimester. I come home and just want to take a nap

Food cravings: cereal. I’ve had a bowl almost every night around 10:30 or 11. A few times I had already been dozing off but then woke up and immediately needed to eat some. Weird. 

Things that make me queasy: if my heartburn gets too bad, I feel nauseous 

Maternity clothes: oh yes. Nothing but maternity. Even a couple of my maternity tops are barely long enough now. They just barely cover the stretchy panel on my maternity jeans.

Sleep: still waking up a lot at night. Not in pain, but just oddly wide awake a few times a night. I’m assuming this will remain so from here on out

Purchases for baby: a crib. If you read my last post, you know I freaked out about prepping the nursery last weekend. But I’m so glad we went and got a new one. 

Purchases for mama: nothing this week.

Best moment this week: we did a lot of laundry last weekend, washing all the newborn-3 month clothing. And spent a lot of hours oohing and awwing over the cuteness of them. We’re now washing all the older stuff we’ve received and storing them in bins under the guest bed. This kid is set on clothes for awhile. 

Miss anything: my energy. Oh how I miss having energy in the evenings

Looking forward to: completing this event on Monday. Then I only have one more event until my maternity leave. And I’ll be letting my replacement take on more responsibilities for that event in the coming weeks. Oh and I start working from home two days a week starting the week of April 18th. Can’t wait for that!

The Bump: this was taken right after a shower. Hence the dark circles under my eyes (the result of not sleeping well these days) and wet hair

 


Crying over a crib

We put together two cribs on Saturday.

I was determined to get the nursery organized this weekend. At least the big pieces. The nursery/guest room has been a storage closet for the last few months and I knew we needed to sort it out soon before all my energy and motivation left me. 

We woke up Saturday morning and wanted to tackle the crib first. We had been given a white crib that had been used by the babies in S’s family for the past 6 years or so. It has yellowed with age, so we planned to freshen it up with a nice coat of white paint. S was worried about the crib’s age and if it was sturdy enough, so she suggested we put it together, make sure we had all the hardware and it was sturdy and then paint it. It went together easily….until we got to the part that holds the mattress. We realized we were missing some major hardware components. My SIL last had the crib, but her two daughters never slept in it because they did cosleeping for years. And they moved houses twice this past year, so I knew the odds of finding the hardware pieces at her house were very slim. I called customer service for the crib brand, realized this crib had been discontinued and they likely didn’t have replacement parts for it. Soph left the nursery to go get her laptop and look up a certain company that specializes in hardware for discontinued cribs.

Once she left the room, I sort of lost it. I had so been hoping to get the crib completely put together and start organizing the baby’s room this weekend. 

My supervisor reminded me last week that she was put on strict bed rest at 34 weeks. She mentioned this because I’ve been dragging my feet in regards to completing my maternity leave to-do list. I’ve been meeting with those who will carry the load of my work while I’m gone this summer, but haven’t written out the specific plan for each colleague yet. My supervisor was just trying to light a fire under my ass by reminding me that anything can happen at any point from here on out. And it worked. I’ve been stressed about completing my work load ever since.  Not to mention that I have two big events to manage before my due date. Things are hectic at work to say the least. 

A lovely fellow blogger recently had her beautiful baby girl at 35 1/2 weeks, which is just 2 weeks from where I’m at. 

So yeah, on Saturday I was feeling the anxiety of “holy shit, I could have this baby at any point now or be put on bed rest. Shit needs to get organized, stat.”

After fetching her laptop, S walked back into the nursery to find me sitting on the floor next to the crib, crying. In a testament to her incredibly sweet nature, she immediately put down her laptop and said “Let’s go buy a new crib right now.” So we gathered up some Babies R Us gift cards we’ve received and trekked to the store to buy a new crib and some storage cubbies for the nursery closet. 

We put the new crib together (and took apart the hand-me-down crib and stored it in the basement) and did a massive laundry marathon, so now all of the Newborn-3 month clothing is washed, folded and stored away in the dresser. We’ve started organizing the rolling diaper caddy that sits next to the dresser and we have fresh sheets for the crib and bassinet all washed and ready to go. 

What’s left on our Nursery To Do list:

  • Organize all the bigger clothes (6months+) we’ve received into the appropriate storage bins.
  • Cover the cushions for the hand-me-down rocker we received. Right now it has pale pink cushions, not at all part of the color scheme we want, so they’ll all be covered in a blue/ turquoise / green fabric we bought a couple weeks ago. 
  • Hang the two mobiles we have ( a big solar system one for over the crib and a smaller one with wooden fish over the changing table)
  • Hang up two shelves above the guest bed for books. We bought white rain gutters to use for this, so the front of the books face outward.
  • Hang up some artwork on the walls. We have a couple nice pieces, plus some cute wooden letters that spell out our Gummy Bear’s name. 
  • Organize the closet. Right now we have all the muslin swaddle blankets  and receiving blankets washed, folded and stored in the closet cubbies, along with the sheets and changing table covers, but still need to organize the towels, toys and where to place the bins holding the bigger clothes. 

So we still have a lot to do, but the big pieces are in place. And we can slowly peck away at the other items in the coming weeks. 

I felt a tad irrational on Saturday, making such a big deal about the crib. I mean, the kid isn’t even going to sleep in it until she’s like 6 months old. We’ve had the bassinet ready to go for weeks! But something about having all the major pieces of the room in place just eases my mind considerably.