Thursday, June 27, 2013

37 Weeks-Full Term!

Baby Size: 
20.5" long  
7 lbs



Monkey, she does not stop moving 

Baby Changes: 

  • She's practicing inhaling and exhaling
  • She's also working on gripping and blinking
  • She is building up meconium, her first poop
  • All her crucial organs are considered full term
  • She is still head down and very active

Weight Gain: 
-1 lb this week, total gain of  36lbs

  • Popcorn, kettlecorn
  • Ice cream


Still aren't experiencing any. However I'll be avoiding tomatoes which are giving me serious heartburn again.



Body Changes: 
Things are becoming more difficult, that's for sure. My lower back is continuously hurting. I've kept up going to the chiro which has definitely helped. This morning I was able to get out of bed with minimal pain, so that was good. My hips have been getting the stretching sensation more often, and I keep having mild cramping/stretching in my pelvis. Heartburn is definitely triggered by tomatoes, so those are a no go at night. Cervix is still closed, but softening still. Being a planner, this whole not knowing when labor will happen is really starting to get at me. Trying to take one day at a time, and focus on my list of things to get done.

Worst Moment this Week: 

Realizing I have stretch marks low on my belly. Also I apparently have Gestational Hypertension. My blood pressure keeps elevating, so I am now having non stress tests twice a week. Really hoping that it stays at bay.

Best Moment this Week: 
I have a new nephew!

Looking Forward To: 
Hopefully meeting my new nephew this weekend. And you know, maybe go into labor soon....

Completed this week: 
  • Done working
  • Picked up paint for the glider
  • Almost done Reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Natural Childbirth
  • Stretching using the birthing ball for back and hips
  • Things to complete: 
    • sign up for infant CPR class
    • prime & paint the changing table (for downstairs bath)
    • prime & paint the dresser 
    • paint glider
    • hang up her mobile
    • get a frame for the family tree art
    • order the glider cushions
  • Stretch marks on my lower belly
  • Diagnosed with Gestational Hypertension
  • Sensation of my hips stretching
  • Officially up twice a night to pee
  • More frequent BMs, (which can be a sign of labor coming)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

36 Weeks

Baby Size: 
20" long  
6.5 lbs



Monkey, she does not stop moving 

Baby Changes: 

  • She has dropped further into my pelvis
  • She's closer to being able to breath on her own
  • Her skin is getting smooth and soft
  • Her liver and kidneys are in working order
  • Cirulatory & Immune Systems are in working order
  • She is definitely head down, confirmed by doctor!

Weight Gain: 
1 lb this week, total gain of  37lbs

  • Peanut butter sandwiches
  • Sweet drinks (sticking to raspberry leaf tea with stevia)




I'm hard to miss these days.

Body Changes: 
The last couple of days, I've noticed that she's dropped lower into my pelvis. Started getting "lightening" pains and discomfort walking. This was confirmed at Tuesday's appointment, with our first internal exam. Cervix is closed, but thinning and softening. Her head is apparently already way down there, and apparently pressing on my bladder. Amazingly enough, I've been able to sleep through the night without getting up to pee. Even if I do, it's usually only once. I'm definitely more tired each day. My legs and ankles are permanently swollen now along with my arms and face, and nothing seems to get them to go down. Still only wearing my Birkenstocks. Clothing is more limited now that my belly is so big. I've been sticking to dresses and long flowing shirts.  One more week until she's full term!

Worst Moment this Week: 

My back has been really sore. Getting up from sitting down is not fun.

Best Moment this Week: 
Had 2 women stop me, and comment on how beautiful I look while out and about. One happened to be a doula. Definitely made my day. 

Looking Forward To: 
Our friends wedding this coming weekend! Can't wait to see a lot of our college friends! (And some other preggers too.)

Completed this week: 
  • Packed the hospital bag
  • Put both hospital and diaper bag in the car (just in case)
  • Currently Reading Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Natural Childbirth
  • All her clothes are washed
  • Purchased a birthing ball
  • Things to complete: 
    • sign up for infant CPR class
    • prime & paint the changing table (for downstairs bath)
    • prime & paint the dresser 
    • paint glider
    • hang up her mobile
    • get a frame for the family tree art
    • order the glider cushions
  • Lightening pains
  • Internal exam, cervix is closed, but thinning and softening
  • Baby girl's head is already in position
  • Bought a maternity bathing suit

Monday, June 17, 2013

Is This Really Happening?

Every once in awhile I have this surreal moment where my daughter will kick, or move inside me, and I realize "Holy Shit! There's really a person in there!" Which probably sounds really odd coming from an 9 month pregnant woman. But honestly, pregnancy is one of those things that you can easily go through your day and forget you're carrying around another human being inside of you.

It's not something you can explain easily, nor will most of you understand what I'm trying to say. (At least I guess you won't understand. Am I wrong? Please tell me I'm wrong.) Yes, I walk with a waddle. Yes, my back is constantly reminding me of all the extra weight. And yes, I feel our little girl on the move all the time. But there's moments when I look down at my belly and am in disbelief that she's really in there. Is this because it took so long for it to happen? Is this because I took so long to allow myself to feel the joy of our little miracle child? Or is this completely normal?

I'm afraid I'm going to deliver this little being and wake up one day totally forgetting that I have a kid. I've had nightmares for years about this. That I go through my normal day, then all of a sudden remember I have a kid, whom I haven't fed all day. But there she sits, perfectly calm, just staring back at me. As if nothing is wrong. And I have to somehow pretend I didn't forget about her. What if this really happens?

I can't even keep a plant alive. Which my husband keeps reminding me of. (However I did water both our plants while he was away. It was once, but at least they got some water, right?) How am I going to keep another helpless human being alive?!

On the opposite end of those thoughts, I keep seeing myself being extremely calm with her. Her screaming her little head off because she's hungry, and me calmly talking to her while I get ready to breast feed. Or her fussing from gas, and me slowly adjusting her to help her work it out.

Anyone else feel completely torn between stressing about all the things you might do wrong, and then seeing yourself being an almost perfect parent? (Please tell me I'm not alone.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Maternity Photo Shoot Sneak Peek

This past Sunday, we met Deirdre from Deirdre Rakus Photography in Worcester at Elm Park for our maternity photo shoot. Deirdre and I went to college together, and she is amazingly talented! We were so happy she was able to accommodate us for our maternity photos. (She'll also be doing our newborn photo shoot when our little girl arrives!)

She made us both so comfortable throughout the shoot. Both Chris and I hate having our pictures taken, but we knew we wanted to have some professional photos done to remember this pregnancy. I am so glad we had them done, and done by Deirdre! She truly was a blessing to work with, always making sure we were positioned correctly, and making us both feel at ease.

This one is definitely our favorite so far! It was a spur of the moment shot Deirdre thought of as we were walking by this gorgeous weeping willow tree towards the end of the shoot. Although in the moment we felt silly just staring at each other, she definitely captured our pure happiness we feel with our growing family. And yes, I'm that much shorter than hubby.

So glad we have some of just the belly! I was a little nervous having shots of my mid section, but it came out pretty darn cute. The stripes definitely helped "accentuate" things. 

Love that the park had some little ponds throughout. It made for a great background. (Oh, and thank you Deirdre for putting your logo over my puffy ankle!) We all had on our Sperrys for the shoot.

And our baby girls came along too. How adorable are those mini sparkly Sperrys?! This girl's shoe closet is about to trump mine! Pretty sure she has at least a dozen pairs of shoes already, and she's still in utero! (And no, I haven't bought any shoes for her, they have all been gifts from friends and family.)

This was one of the first shots of the evening. We were still getting into the groove of things. Can you tell we're both a little nervous? I have that look like "I'm not so sure about this". Thankfully we got more comfortable as time went on.

Thanks again to Deirdre for getting these to us so quickly! 
Can't wait to see the rest in the coming weeks!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Things That Are...

No Longer Comfortable

1. Putting on shoes. (Bending. Enough said)
2. Shoes of any kind. (Except my Birkenstocks)
3. Sitting at a desk all day. (Holy tailbone pain)
4. Rolling over in my sleep. (I might just pull a back muscle one night)
5. A full bladder. (Try walking to the bathroom with a kids head pressing on it)
6. Being kicked in the bladder. (That was really never comfortable, more so now)
7. Sitting up straight. (Baby girl kicks like crazy)
8. Getting in and out of the car. (Swinging legs is the only way)
9. Pants with the demi elastic band. (It just digs into baby girl's head, which she hates)
10. Clasp front bras. (Damn clasp just digs into my belly)
11. Standing for long periods of time. (I now find myself rocking back and forth.)
12. Sitting for long periods of time. (Fluid builds up in legs and feet)
13. Walking for long periods of time. (Back starts to hurt like hell)

Giving Me Anxiety

1. I'm full term in 2 weeks.
2. The idea that she could be late.
3. There's a carseat in my minvan.
4. I'm almost done with work, 5 more days.
5. I've started prepping for birth with some natural inducers.
6. Our doctor's appointments are only 1 week apart now.
7. The next time I see our little girl will be in my arms.
8. I've started perineal massage.
9. I haven't practiced my relaxation techniques in a couple weeks.
10. Knowing she can hear my every word.
11. Late sleepless nights in our future.
12. A screaming baby, and not knowing what she needs.
13. The possibility of losing my mind.
14. She gets hiccups every time I eat.

Making Me Happy

1. Seeing her room 90% complete.
2. Feeling her move during her awake periods.
3. Knowing it's only a few more weeks until we meet her.
4. Wondering what she'll look like.
5. Watching my husband interact with her.
6. Feeling her move when she hears him speak.
7. Ice cream.
8. Imagining her and I going for walks every day together.
9. Knowing I can go back to Bikram yoga when she arrives.
10. Watching my belly move non stop, sometimes for an hour.
11. How excited our family and friends are to meet her.
12. I'm going to have parts of the summer and fall off.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

35 Weeks

Baby Size: 
20" long  
6 lbs



Monkey, she does not stop moving 

Baby Changes: 

  • She won't get much longer from here on out
  • She's still plumping up though
  • She'll put on about another pound or more before birth
  • She's dropped further down
  • She wakes up around 3-4am every night
  • She is far more active during the day now
  • Her hearing is fully developed

Weight Gain: 
8 lbs in 2 weeks, WTF?! Officially up 36 lbs total. (This better be mostly water weight)

  • Ice cream
  • Sweet drinks (sticking to raspberry leaf tea with stevia)


Nothing notable, but still have days when nothing sounds appealing


It's uncomfortable to lean forwards.

Body Changes: 

Still peeing every hour, and consistently getting up at least once a night. Legs are so swollen with fluid that sometimes bending my knees are uncomfortable. I'm permanently in my Birkenstocks from here on out, I think. Fingers are slightly swollen still, enough my wedding bands are too tight for comfort. Sitting up straight is not an option, I'm always leaning back to give her a little more room. I feel like she's dropped even further down into my pelvis. Her strong punches and kicks have gotten pretty painful sometimes. I've also been having some minor cramping for the last few days. Counted about 3 times yesterday. 

Worst Moment this Week: 

Seeing my weight on the scale, then getting my blood pressure checked. Pretty sure they should do that in reverse order. Blood pressure of course was elevated after that. Doctor sent me to the hospital for an hour of evaluation yesterday, at which time it came back down to normal range. We have a follow up appt next week to be sure it's not elevated again. If it is, no more worky for me.

Not a very flattering photo.

Best Moment this Week: 

Had our maternity photo shoot with Deirdre Rakus Photography on Sunday! So excited to see how they came out!

Looking Forward To: 
Seeing friends on Saturday. Trying to suck up as much time with them before baby girl arrives.

Completed this week: 
  • Packed the diaper bag
  • Started gathering items for hospital bag
  • Started perineal massage
  • Bought the Bob Revolution SE stroller
  • Installed the car seat
  • Been practicing breathing techniques
  • Visited the birthing center (at our monitoring appt)
  • Met with my boss about maternity leave
  • Cleaned our house (not doing that again, planning to hire someone)
  • Things to complete: 
    • order glider cushions
    • sign up for infant CPR class
    • prime & paint the changing table (for downstairs bath)
    • prime & paint the dresser 
    • paint glider
    • hang her mobile
    • finish washing the rest of her clothes
    • put diaper bag & hospital bag in car
  • Cramps, happening a few times a day
  • Injury from the stroller, took my toe nail off, oops
  • Drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • Taking Evening Primrose Oil, 500mg daily
  • Insomnia is setting in, waking up every 2-3 hours

Monday, June 10, 2013

Deal of a Lifetime

So Saturday morning hubby and I got up at 9am and slowly got out of bed. Had some breakfast, and started deciding what to do with our completely free day. (Something we haven't had in a while.) I had gotten the flyer for BabiesRUs during the week, and noticed the Bob Revolution SE was on sale in stores for $369.99 vs. the usual $449. But it was only the orange model. However, all the accessories were 20% off as well. So we decided to take a little trip up to Nashua (tax free) to see, yet again for the third time, the stroller we've been wanting to purchase for the last 3 months.

At the store, we must have looked like some lost expectant parents because not one but 2 sales people asked if we needed help. The second, Thom, just happened to walk by when we were exploring the Orange Bob. Well we apparently peeked his interest, and he immediately spouted out "That exact stroller is on clearance. It's discontinued, and I'm looking to get rid of it."

Well isn't that convenient....

I pulled out my handy flyer and said the sale price says $369.99. At which time he pulled out his handy scanner, and said "I can let it go for....$299." We were sold at this point, but then I mentioned that we got a coupon for 10% off to finish our registry.

"Oh, well since BuyBuy Baby is right down the road, I can give you 15% off instead of the 10%." (Are you kidding me?!) Hubby and I were jumping up and down internally, but not saying anything, but "Great, we'll take it."

He even pumped up the tires to be sure they held air, found the Chicco adapter for the carseat. Oh and did I mention the cup holder was displayed on the floor model, so he included that as well?! And at checkout, they let me use 2 $5 off coupons I had gotten in the mail! Score!

So instead of spending:

Stroller: $449
Cup Holders: $25
Chicco Adapter: $45
Total: $519

We spent:
Stroller: $299-15%-$5= $249.15
Cup Holder: $0
Chicco Adapter: $45-20%-$5=$30.98
Total: $280!!!!!
WE SAVED $239!

And to make things even better, we had $240 in gift cards (from our very generous family and friends) from our shower, so we only spent $40! Deal of a Lifetime, I tell you!

Welcome to the family Bob!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

9 Natural Labor Inducers

Okay, let's preface by saying I am no expert, and this is our first baby. However, these are all suggestions I've heard from my family (who procreate like rabbits), my doctor and Hypnobirthing. If it worked for them, why can't it work for us, right?!

Start at 32 Weeks

1. Perineal Massage

This isn't really an inducer, it's more for birth preparation. I'm seriously afraid of tearing, and I'm sure most of you are as well. Perineal massage should be done daily, and you should use some sort of oil. Olive oil will do or even coconut oil. This should be done for 5 mins nightly. Need a how to? Click here.

2. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Known to help tone uterine muscles, it also can start contractions. I've heard two different stories, where one woman drank the tea throughout pregnancy, and the other drank it around 38 weeks, and went into labor. Give it a shot, early, and see what happens. If you start getting contractions, hold off until about 38 weeks. Better safe than sorry. Want to purchase? Click here.

3. Evening Primrose Oil

You can find this here, or at a local health food store. Start taking 500mg orally around 32 weeks. This helps to boost your prostaglandin levels, essential for birthing. Want more info on the benefits? Click here.

Start at 37 Weeks

4. Evening Primrose Oil for Perineal Massage

Instead of taking orally, now break open the cap and use the content for perineal massage. Work the oil into the lining of your vagina. Get your spouse to help, it's way more fun.

Start at 38 Weeks

5. Eggplant Parmasean

My aunt swears by this! She usually does eggplant pizza though, but as long as you're downing some fried eggplant with sauce and cheese, it should work. It's also suggested in our Hypnobirthing book. Apparently there's a restaurant down in Georgia that women have been going to for years, that guarantees you'll go into labor within 48 hours. I kid you not. Also met another couple at one of our classes that said it worked for their second child.

6. Nipple Stimulation

Why not have a little fun trying to induce, right? Sexual acts, especially nipple stimulation have been known to start contractions. The build up of oxytocin, crucial for delivery, makes this act ideal. Don't do it early though, definitely wait until you're 38 weeks. This is also great if your labor slows down. If you're birthing in a hospital, ask for some privacy with your spouse for an hour, and have some fun. 

7. Sex

Yes, sex. This only works if your man ejaculates directly into your vagina. Semen contains prostoglandins that helps stimulate and soften the cervix. So if you're one of the lucky ones who can still handle some play time,  go to it.

8. Long Walk

Maybe wear more supportive shoes than Jenna did.
Walking is a fabulous way to get things moving. The more you walk, the more gravity will take a hold. Plus you're probably itching to get this kid moving, so why not waste an hour or two each day walking?

Start at 40 Weeks

9. Castor Oil

I know, gross. But it works. I've heard that the best way to down it is to take 1tsp of castor oil and mix it into ice cream, kind of like a milkshake. Sip it over an hour. Supposedly it will begin contractions.

Again, these are suggestions, and are not guarantees. Best of luck Mamas!

Any other suggestions you can think of?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

3rd Trimester Food Struggles

Most expectant moms find eating in the first and possible second trimester the most challenging. I on the other hand had no problems eating during my 1st & 2nd. My appetite wasn't bad at all, and I could handle eating all my regular foods, minus fish tacos. That was really the only thing that made me gag.

So all in all, I've been extremely lucky. And I'm not saying that my luck has run out, but it's definitely changed. I've been craving mainly fruits and vegetables over the last 8.5 months. Which works well for me seeing as I'm vegetarian. I have been wanting a lot of chocolate throughout, but that could also be because I've surrendered to the need, and now probably addicted to sugar again.

It really wasn't until the 8 month that my appetite has morphed into some bad habits. I've been wanting ice cream pretty much every night. It didn't help that we tried Orange Leaf recently for the first time, and that's now all I want. At least it's yogurt, right? But still, too much ice cream has made me one puffy mama to be. So much so that this picture from our weekend away has me totally freaked out.

That's one round, jolly looking face. (And my breasts are absolutely enormous.)

Back to food.... So what's really changed this month? I'm not quite sure. But I do know that each day has been different. Some days the thought of food makes me a little queesy. My appetite is so small on those days, and when I do eat, nothing tastes exceptionally well. Other days I'm starving, and can't seem to get enough calories or nutrients. And on those days, I could pretty much eat a whole box of these little things

Not ideal, but at least they are a healthier alternative to Cheez Its. I do stick to my morning smoothie every week day to start the day off right. And my morning snack is usually a piece of fruit, or organic fruit leather. On occasion I'll have a handful of trail mix. Lunch is whatever sounds tempting that day. Last week it was watermelon, hummus & crackers. Most days it's a wrap or sandwich though. Afternoon snack, I try to have an apple since my energy is sucked dry at about 2pm. Apples apparently have the same amount of energy building components as a cup of caffeinated tea. (Or am I just telling myself that to help me wake up?) Dinner, well that depends on the day. I've been trying to cook most nights, but there's been nights I get home and just curl on the sofa. If I do cook, it's always a protein, 1 or 2 veggies and possibly some grains. 

My goal for this week is to make some big batches of grains (quinoa and brown rice) and freezing individual servings so that I have them on hand. I also want to start prepping some ready made meals for after baby girl arrives. I'll probably spend the week gathering some recipes and start cooking in a couple of weeks. All vegetarian suggestions are welcome. I am going to try to cut out as much dairy as possible as well. (I know, that means no more cheddar crackers.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

34 Weeks

Baby Size: 
Butternut Squash
19.5" long  
5.5 lbs



Monkey, she does not stop moving 

Baby Changes: 

  • She can recognize simple songs, lullabys
  • She's urinating about a pint a day
  • She may drop lower into the birth canal, prep for birth
  • She's putting more pressure on my bladder
  • She's very active during the day
  • She does not like when I sit up straight, or forward. 

Weight Gain: 
No clue, but got a lot of walking in over the weekend, and some swimming

  • Fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Crab rangoon


Nothing, but I've definitely had days where nothing sounds appetizing, nor tastes good.


This is just kind of a joke now.

Body Changes: 

I pee every hour, on the hour, sometimes more. I've been drinking a lot of water too, and always feel dehydrated. (Could be the excessive heat this weekend.) Her movements are much more noticeable now as her space is getting more cramped. I can only eat in small increments, so I basically snack all day long. Still rocking the club foot. Still getting winded very easily. Falling asleep between 9-10. I wake up every 4 hours pretty much, but fall right back to sleep. I'm a lot warmer than I used to be, especially when I sleep. My fingers are now swollen enough that I can't get my rings on. My legs are retaining so much water that they are super tight. My face is apparently swollen as well. Yay.

Worst Moment this Week: 

I have about a dozen bug bites from this weekend. Apparently all the extra blood is attracting the damn mosquitoes. 

Best Moment this Week: 

Taking a mini baby moon this past weekend. Lots of relaxation and sun. Oh, and water/swimming. So nice to feel weightless in the water, and stretch out my back!

Looking Forward To: 
Our maternity photo shoot with Deirdre Rakus Photography this weekend! (Hoping the weather cooperates.)

Completed this week: 
  • Finished writing all of our Thank Yous from the shower
  • Things to complete: 
    • order glider cushions
    • sign up for infant CPR class
    • prime & paint the changing table (for downstairs bath)
    • prime & paint the dresser 
    • paint glider
    • hang her mobile
    • pack hospital bag
    • install the car seat/get inspected
    • finish washing the rest of her clothes
    • practice breathing techniques
    • practice hypno techniques
    • start perineal massage
  • Frustrations with being pregnant, mostly the swelling
  • Trip to camp (aka- my grandmother's lake house)
  • Time wearing a bathing suit pregnant, yikes!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mini Babymoon

Hubby and I love our weekends away. We try to squeeze them in as much as possible, but they're always done last minute, and usually includes an amazing deal. This weekend was no different. I had happened to Like Mountain View Grand Resort's Facebook page a few months ago, knowing I wanted to stay there at some point. Thursday as I was cruising through my newsfeed, and saw that they posted a 50% Flash sale for the weekend. I immediately called them and booked us a room for Saturday night. Bonus: the room was even more marked down, more like 65% off! Score!

We leisurely packed and got ready Saturday morning (hubby still seems a little jet lagged from last weekend), popped into Starbucks for breakfast and headed North.

We arrived at the hotel around 1pm to blue skies and 90 degrees of heat. Thankfully our room was ready, and we checked in early, changed, and headed to the pool. We were starving at this point so we sat inside at their clubhouse first. Mostly because I was feeling the heat and wanted some AC before swimming.

The food was amazing, and I really wish I had gotten a shot of their Crab Cake sandwich that we both enjoyed. It was a masterpiece. After lunch we lounged by their outdoor pool for a few hours, that thankfully had opened the day before. The sun was blazing and the water was the perfect temp. 

Later we headed back to our room, freshened up and changed for dinner. We sat on the front porch of a bit taking in the scenery. 

The view is absolutely breathtaking, and the entire hotel sits perched on a hill looking over parts of the Presidential Range. 

We opted to eat dinner at their Tavern, and not their main dining room. Less expensive and sits overlooking the mountains. Dinner was excellent, as expected. After, we did another quick wardrobe change, and went for a long walk through their property. They have an active farm on the property, so we visited the animals for bit. 

At this point, I was ready for dessert. So we headed back to the Tavern and each enjoyed a homemade creation. Hubby had the Chocolate Decadence, and I the Maple Creme Brulee!

We headed home fairly early Sunday, and stopped in Woodstock, NH at the Woodstock Inn for breakfast. (Maybe even the candy shoppe down town for some sweets.) We enjoyed the rest of the day lake side at my grandmother's camp with my nephews. 

All in all, an extremely relaxing weekend that was very much needed. Quality time alone will be hard to come by very soon.