Gobble Gobble

Dear Alex,

31 weeks down, 9 weeks to go til your due date! You are now about the size of a pineapple… I can tell you’re getting really long because you can now push diagonally across my whole torso, from my ribs to my hips. Admittedly it can be pretty uncomfortable, ย but I am glad that you’re getting so big & strong. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week we kicked off the holiday season with two yummy Thanksgiving feasts: one at Papa & Grandma’s and one at Nana & Grump’s. We spent the rest of the weekend just relaxing and spending time with the family. One of my favorite things during this visit was seeing how excited all your cousins are that you’ll be here soon… they all enjoyed hugging the belly and talking to you. It was so cute! We came back home late Saturday night to avoid the end-of-weekend traffic, and spent Sunday putting up our Christmas decorations. This year we have an extra stocking over our hearth: Nana made it for you! She’s made all of our stockings & always does a great job. You might have also noticed that in my belly picture for this week I am holding an ornament…ย Dad & I started a tradition after we got married: each holiday season we buy a new ornament to hang on the tree. The one we got this year celebrates your impending arrival: And I suppose next year the new one we buy will be your “baby’s first Christmas” ornament. ๐Ÿ˜‰ How exciting! Other than that, we haven’t had much going on this week. My next bi-weekly appointment is coming up in a few days, and after all the eating I’ve been doing I’m not really looking forward to weighing in– haha. My colleagues are throwing a baby shower for us at my office in a couple days, which should be a lot of fun! I am looking forward to it.

Also on my to-do list for the upcoming week or so is to start packing a bag for the hospital. I’ve actually started making a packing list, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get it all together. ย Hard to believe we’re at that point already, and with the holidays upon us time is going to fly by even faster for the next month or so!

The holidays are a time to celebrate all the blessings in your life & reflect on all the things you have to be thankful for… so I want to take a minute to tell you, Alex, how incredibly blessed and beyond thankful Dad & I are that you are on your way to us. Even now you bring us so much joy, and we already cannot imagine life without your presence (as subtle as it is at the moment ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I will close with a quote I found when I was looking up ideas for your nursery art– it was too long to put in the picture I made, but words have never rung truer to me & Dad: ย  ย  ย 

Before you were born, I dreamed of you, I imagined you, I prayed for you.
Now that
ย youโ€™re [almost!] here I hope for you, I love you and I thank god for you.

Until next week, Alex– we love you so very much! Keep growing and thriving in there.

All my love,
Mom

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Dem Bones + Kung Fu Baby Part II

Dear Alex,

The countdown is officially on– at over 30 weeks along now, we have less than ten weeks to go until your due date! I have to admit that I’m starting to get a little impatient… it has been so long since we last saw your face on the ultrasounds & we cannot wait to meet you in the flesh. Luckily the holidays are coming up, so that should help the time go by more quickly. Thanksgiving is in just a few days & I’m looking forward to a relaxing day of chowing down with our family. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully Dad & I are feeling better by then– we have both caught a bit of a cold. He had it over the weekend & I’ve started to come down with it over the last day or so. Being sick while pregnant is no fun at all, which is why I look like death warmed over in this week’s bump photo:

But you, little guy, are looking awesome! It’s especially startling to see how big you’ve gotten since my last official bump photo 2 weeks ago. My sources say your “produce size” this week is a cucumber, but I have to assume that they’re just talking about length since you are estimated to be around 3 lbs. at this point! I am so big that even strangers feel comfortable saying things now (although sometimes I want to act like I’m not pregnant & freak them out, I never do)… for example, a few days ago I was in Chipotle ordering chicken tacos, and the lady at the checkout was like “This is it?! You need to order more, you’re eating for two!” I told her that ironically I order the tacos so that I can just have one or two and save the rest for later, which totally blew her mind. LOL

Although I am in a general state of discomfort most of the time & have even started to waddle more than walk (a random person in my office building called me out on it today actually), I still love feeling you kick and squirm around in there. Watching my belly randomly twitch around is pretty entertaining too, for both me & Dad. I actually have a pretty funny story to share about that.. Sunday Dad & I spent a day in bed trying to rest up to get over this cold bug we’ve got. At one point Dad had his head down by the side of my belly & was talking to you, rubbing the belly, etc… and all of a sudden you kicked him right on the cheek! He kept talking to you & was poking back, and after another minute or so you did it again! It was so cute & so funny; we were both cracking up. Dad said that maybe you were trying to say that you didn’t want him messing with you, but I think you were just trying to say hello & show some love. ๐Ÿ™‚

I feel like I’ve written so much already, & I haven’t even told you about some of the bigger things that went on– we had a pretty busy week! On Thursday I had my now bi-weekly checkup with the OB-GYN… for the most part all was well, you are measuring right on schedule, both my weight & blood pressure are right where they should be, and I officially do not have gestational diabetes (phew!)… but, apparently, I do have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. :-\ I’ve noticed over the last few weeks that my knuckles have started hurting first thing in the morning and/or when I wake up in the middle of the night, and it’s been getting worse as time goes on. Although it’s good to know the official cause, and the doctor said it should go away 6-8 weeks after I give birth, there isn’t really much to be done about it. She suggested wearing carpal tunnel braces on my hands at night, and that seems to help a little bit. What a weird pregnancy symptom though!

We also did a “meet and greet” with the pediatric practice we plan to take you to– it seems like a pretty nice place & I feel much better about our choice now. It was nice to meet some other expecting couples that are due around the same time as well. We met even more expecting couples at the infant care/CPR class on Saturday. Poor Dad was in the worst of his cold at that point (and stayed well away from the other people in the class of course), but I was extremely impressed with how well he did– he was attentive, took notes, asked questions, and passed all the practice exercises like a pro. He actually was a lot better than me at swaddling! The practice exercises– feeding, changing clothes & diapers, swaddling, CPR and anti-choking techniques– were all done on these plastic practice babies, and mine looked EXACTLY like Yoda (but without the ears), I kid you not. Hahaha, it was a little creepy!

Anyway, I am looking forward to our lamaze birth class in a couple of weeks. Now that it’s getting down to the wire I am (quite naturally) starting to feel a little nervous about the birth. It’s more of a fear of the unknown honestly, rather than a fear that something might go wrong. I know that my body was made to do this & am confident that we’ll get through it just fine! The hospital we’re planning to give birth at is a very nice facility– we haven’t done the official maternity tour yet, but have been there before for other things. This makes me feel better to know that if anything unusual were to happen, we’d both be well taken care of.

Other than that, these next several weeks we’ll be busy acquiring the rest of the things we need for you, getting everything put away & organized in the nursery (hoping to finish the nursery by Christmas, and will post pictures when we do!), read the last of my breastfeeding & infant care books, and sleep as much as possible (which, still, is hard to do these days). I have less than a month left until I start teleworking full time, and I can’t wait– sitting in an office chair all day is extremely uncomfortable, especially in work clothes! I much prefer my PJ’s & our big squishy recliner. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well Alex, I suppose that’s about it for now (and it was indeed quite a lot, haha)… until next week, keep growing my little tough guy!

All my love,
Mom

Showered with love :-)

Dear Alex,

Over 29 weeks now… time is going by faster & faster, and you’ll be here before we know it! I read that you are the size of an acorn squash now, but since I have no idea what an acorn squash is I’ll just stick with my mental image of the eggplant from last week. I don’t have an “official” bump picture this week because we were kind of busy over the weekend:

Saturday was your baby shower! This is a picture of me & Grandma at the shower, which gives you an idea of what my bump is looking like lately. Grandma & Nana co-hosted the shower, and they did a FANTASTIC job. They are two of the best, most creative party planners I know, and together made a great team! All the food, decorations, games, etc. by far exceeded my expectations. There were about 25 people there, lots of friends & family ย  who are so excited that you’re on your way, and we all had a really great time. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can find more pictures from the shower here (I only have a few at the moment but am hoping to get more from Nana & will post them asap):

Celebrating Alex– Baby Shower 11.10.12

And OH MY GOODNESS there were so many thoughtful gifts! Everyone’s generosity was truly touching– we got all sorts of great things that we’re going to need for you, everything from clothes, bottles, toys & diapers to bigger things like a high chair, playpen & car seat. I feel like we are so much more prepared for your arrival now! Over the next few weeks Dad & I plan to spend our time taking stock of what we have & what we still need, getting everything organized & putting the finishing touches on your nursery. We also have our infant care/childbirth classes & hospital tour coming up… so we will be especially busy this holiday season, but for very good reasons. ๐Ÿ˜€ We couldn’t be more excited!

Physically I am feeling pretty good, all things considered. Still having trouble sleeping & getting comfortable in general, but that’s nothing I can’t handle. One thing I’ve noticed more often lately too– particularly when I over-exert myself– is swelling in my face, hands & feet. But from what I’ve read that’s pretty common, so when it happens I just relax, put my feet up & drink lots of water & it goes away after awhile. Still, I plan to mention it at my check-up this week just in case. The closer I get to the end of the pregnancy, the more likely issues like preeclampsia will come up, so I want to be extra careful & keep a close eye on things. Thus far though, we have been so blessed with an overall healthy pregnancy!

That’s about it for this week– until next time little one… keep growing in there! We love you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

All my love,
Mom

P.S. — Dad happens to be sitting here as I write this tonight… he’s not a man of many words but says HELLO! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Baby, You Light My Fire

Dear Alex,

Well, ย the hurricane that rolled through this week didn’t end up being too bad for us. Dad had us sleep downstairs to be on the safe side, but we never lost power or sustained any damage. It was pretty bad for our family & friends up in the north east though… they are still dealing with the aftermath unfortunately. Anyway, you are a little over 28 weeks (7 months!) along today, the size of an eggplant. I can tell that you’re growing like a weed in there:

As Dad has said a couple times this week, “that belly is getting tight!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ During this last stage of pregnancy, you are running out of room and can’t move quite as freely. Although I still feel quite a few sharp kicks & pokes (actually last night I felt one in the ribs for the first time– ouch!), I also feel a lot more squirmy sorts of movements. You ESPECIALLY love to wiggle around during the night! Quite the night owl you are, but as I think I’ve mentioned before… I haven’t been sleeping that well for some time anyway. I suppose it’s good practice for those first couple months after you’re born. Haha

It’s been getting harder to sleep for a lot of reasons, but one that’s really flared up (pun intended) over the last couple weeks is heartburn. This is caused by you getting bigger and pushing my stomach up towards my esophagus. It seems that no matter what I eat, like clockwork I get hearburn right around 4-5pm every day and it stays overnight. I brought it up to my OB-GYN at my monthly check-up this week, and she recommended taking Zantac. As much as I hate taking meds with you still growing in there, I decided to break down & heed her advice… and honestly I’m really glad I did. The difference is like night & day!

The rest of my OB-GYN appointment went pretty well also. You are measuring right on track, and your heartbeat is nice and strong (hearing it is my favorite part of every appointment!). Unfortuntely I had to take my second gestational diabetes test and get a shot while I was there, so I went through more poking & prodding than usual this time. I haven’t heard anything about the test results, so I’m hoping no news is good news in this case. From here my appointments go from monthly to bi-weekly, then during the last month they’ll be weekly. Hard to believe I’m at this point already! You’ll be here before we know it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, I suppose that’s about it for this week. Until next time, big guy!

All my love,
Mom