The (bumpy) end of the road

Dear Emma,

Here we are at 38 weeks… if all goes according to plan, your birthday is in less than 2 weeks! I am still very much glad that this is my last pregnancy– the struggle is REAL and I’m more or less a beached whale these days. LOL. Obviously this is not my usual bump photo– I had Dad take it specifically to send to a friend who wanted to see how big I was. :-X And mind you, this was a couple weeks ago. The next bump photo I purposefully take will be right before we go to the hospital for your birth.

Truth be told though, lately I’m feeling more impatient not because of being uncomfortably huge… but because I am getting SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED to meet you face to face. 🙂 It’s so close I can taste it! I think Dad feels the same way too. He’s starting to talk more about what he thinks it will be like to parent a daughter– obviously it’s going to be a whole new ball game for us both, but I think he feels more anxiety over it than I do. But I also sense excitement from him. He’s not type to be super exuberant about it, but I know him well enough to see the signs. 😉 Tonight he was talking about dealing with boyfriends and being a “Papa Bear.” LOL. I, for one, can’t wait to see your & Dad’s relationship develop. The father-daughter bond is such a special, indescribable thing. I’ve been trying to explain this to Dad, but don’t think I’ve been doing it justice.

Dad & I are not the only ones who are excited to meet you! Our family recently threw a baby “sprinkle” (mini-shower) in your honor and there was a lot of cuteness to be had…

We made bows! It’s hard not to go overboard with all the girly-ness after having two boys. 😉 Here’s a nice photo of you & I from the sprinkle as well:

And an awesome ultrasound photo of your sweet face! I went to the specialist at the hospital right around 35 weeks for one last check to be on the safe side (given my history of pre-eclampsia), and you looked perfect. 🙂

Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling so perfect… and in a shocking development of events, I ended up right back in the hospital a few days later with the flu and pneumonia. Seriously, no one was more surprised by this than me. That Saturday morning I ran over to the Minute Clinic because I’d been feeling crappy all week and had come down with a fever the night before… I expected to get some antibiotics and be back home within the hour. I didn’t even put socks on! Just slipped on my shoes and ran out the door.

When the doctor at the Minute Clinic saw me, she confirmed that I had the flu and asked whether I was having trouble breathing. To this I responded “Well I’m 35 weeks pregnant, of course I’m having trouble breathing!” She laughed and told me I should go to the nearest ER and get my lungs looked at, just to be safe. While I was sitting there waiting for her to finish typing her notes/wrap up the paperwork, I started feeling light-headed and had to lay down for the last few minutes I was there. Before I went to the hospital I called the OB to see whether they wanted me to go straight to them at the main hospital or if I could just go to the local ER. I’m glad I did, because they suggested going straight to them since the outpatient ERs would likely send me there anyway. Off I went….

When I got there they were expecting me and took me right back. I went in for a chest x-ray, which revealed the pneumonia. I was admitted to the hospital shortly after that. Thankfully Grandma and Papa were able to come up and help take care of your brothers so that Dad could come be with me. They kept a close eye on you at the hospital, and at first your heart rate wasn’t quite what they were hoping to see. The OB came in and basically said “We’re going to do an ultrasound to see what’s going on, and if I don’t like what I see we’re going to do the c-section today.” This was on Sunday morning… and going from running out the door to the Minute Clinic without socks on the day before to possibly having my baby over a month early had me feeling a bit floored, to say the least. Thankfully the ultrasound looked good and your heart rate was doing much better by the second night. Dad and I watched the Super Bowl at the hospital, and I was discharged/ officially on the mend Monday morning. Phew!

Since then we’ve been laying low, trying to avoid germs and failing miserably. This time of year is the pits. Thankfully I have not gotten sick anymore since the hospital stay, and as it stands you & I appear to be as healthy and normal for this point as we possibly can be. 🙂 I should know better than to worry about you… with brothers like these climbing all over you all the time, you’re already one tough cookie!

They are both very much aware of your presence (how could they not be with a belly this big?!?!) and Alex is SUPER excited to meet you face to face as well. I doubt Charlie will really “get it” until we bring you home. He has been extra clingy lately though, so I suspect he senses/understands more than I’m giving him credit for. Alex is also more interested in babies, with more of a nurturing soul, than Charlie is… nothing wrong with that, but I don’t expect Charlie to take much interest in you until you can play with him. On the other hand, he LOVES to “help,” and actually a key to the successful big brother transition with Alex was involving him with all things baby from Day 1 (diapers, bottles, you name it). So I plan to do the same with Charlie and hope he gets a kick out of helping take care of you. Time will tell!

Speaking of time, it’s 10:30pm on the start of my & Dad’s last kid-free weekend before you’re born. The bed is calling my name! 😉 This will most likely be my last letter to you before you’re born… see you on the outside, Miss Emma! :-* We really can’t wait to meet you and adore you SO MUCH already!

All my love,

TGIMLP (Thank Goodness It’s My Last Pregnancy)

Dear Emma,

You are just over 33 weeks along now– the size of a pineapple! And boy, are you making sure I know it. In my last letter I said that I’m rapidly approaching the point where I’m going to be uncomfortable and exhausted regardless…. yeah. We’re definitely there now. LOL. I keep telling Dad “I swear I don’t remember being this uncomfortable with with the other pregnancies,” to which he responds “Well you said that last time too.” 😉 I’m not sleeping well as it’s hard to be comfortable in any position, everywhere hurts, you move a lot and no area is safe from your jabs/kicks (which are getting MUCH stronger), and I am having a LOT more practice contractions than I remember having with either of your brothers. I suppose being pregnant while chasing around 2 toddlers has something to do with it!

That was taken right at 27 weeks, when 3rd trimester officially began. As I mentioned in your last letter, Alex is still incredibly excited to meet you. Charlie still doesn’t get it, but I’m getting so big now that he’s starting to sense something is going on. He keeps pointing to my stomach and saying “Ball!” (balls are his favorite toys, heaven forbid I might be hiding one under my shirt… hahaha). I’ve been correcting him, but I doubt he’ll understand until you’re here. Anywho, we had a lovely Christmas and everyone was spoiled rotten… including you!

Yes, your closet is already FULL OF CLOTHES and I think you’re pretty much set through size 12 months, at least. Having a girl is definitely bad for my (and Grandma + Nana’s) wallet, as there is just soooooo much cute girly stuff out there. You also have accumulated a few girly baby toys (plus of course we have lots of baby toys already to be passed down from your brothers), various other girly baby accessories (the bows! the shoes! the pink pacifiers & bottles!), and naturally we’re stocking up on diapers as well. I know better than to stock up on much formula since we won’t know what kind you tolerate best until you’re here drinking it. 😉 Nana & Grump got your car seat for Christmas as well. So, at this point we’re as ready for you as we’ll ever be. But it’s still a bit early, so even though I’m incredibly uncomfortable, I hope you stay put for awhile longer! We have your c-section officially scheduled for the morning of March 9, so if all goes well that will be your birthday. Woohoo!

Speaking of being ready for you…. as promised, here are some pictures of your finished nursery:

SO. MUCH. PINK. I might be a little excited about having a girl, eh? 😉 I know, I know… it’s 2017 and all, but pink is my favorite color so I just couldn’t resist. The room is kind of ballet-themed as you can see, and most of the quotes on the collage wall are dance-related.

Now it’s just a matter of trying to relax as much as possible these next 7 weeks. And trying not to fall, which unfortunately I did manage to do not long after my last letter. :-\ Tripped over an umbrella on the front porch and although I felt fine (landed on my side), the OB sent me to the hospital to be monitored as a precaution. All looked fine, but you were measuring a bit small so I followed up with the maternal fetal specialist a couple weeks later to confirm that you are growing properly. Which you are, of course:

I mean, how the heck could I be getting SO EFFING BIG if you were not growing like a weed in there? 😉 But it’s better to be safe than sorry, and I’m glad we got to go to the specialist because they have much nicer ultrasound machines there. I got to see you in much more detail, and they basically did another full anatomy scan. It’s still hard to say who you look like, as those definitely look like my chipmunk cheeks! Because of my history of preeclampsia, the specialist wants me to come back for one more look in early February. I’m glad I’ll get to see you one more time before we meet face to face.

It’s hard to believe we’ll officially be a family of 5 in just a few weeks! Although I occasionally feel a little nervous about the logistics and finances of handling three young children, overall I’m just so incredibly excited. And VERY ready to be done with pregnancies for good. 😉

Although of course I’m very thankful to have been blessed with three healthy pregnancies/babies. I say to Dad all the time– “How did we get so lucky?!” 😀 Well, I suppose that’s all for now… I may write once more before your birth, but you can see by now how that goes. Until next time, sweet Emma Jean!

All my love,

Waiting on Charlie!

Dear Charlie,

We’re getting down to the wire! You’re just over 37 weeks along & about the size of a “winter melon,” which honestly I have no clue what that is (LOL)… but translates to about 20 inches and 7 pounds. I am huuuuuuuuuuge and uncomfortable almost all the time, but still able to get around and do most of my usual household chores, at least.37 weeks

After taking this picture last night, I realized that it will be my last before the “heading to the hospital” picture– wow! The hardest part about being this big is sleeping. No position really works well for me at this point, at least not for more than an hour or so, which is fine I guess because usually at that point I have to get up & pee anyway. LOL. You are also most active at night, and because you’re so big/running out of room your movements can be downright painful. Specifically you enjoy punching my hips, kicking my ribs, and doing some sort of snake-like “dance” that makes my whole belly move around. A lot of strangers tell me I look “tired” — gee, thanks people! 😉 I don’t even know how to respond to things like that.

But it’s okay, because all of that means you’re just about done cooking in there! The c-section is scheduled for 2 weeks from this Friday, so we’ve been working extra hard over the last couple weeks to make sure everything is ready for you here on “the outside” — we brought all the baby stuff down from the attic, sterilized bottles & pacifiers, unpacked baby clothes & swaddle blankets, and packed the hospital bag. Alex enjoyed messing with the baby swing & such, and is starting to understand that someone else is coming onto the scene soon because of the extra car seat installed in our car. I told him that was your seat and now whenever he gets in the car he points over to it & says “Charlie!” I keep assuring him that you’ll be here very soon.

Anyway, all that’s left on my “to-do” list is some self-pampering– I have a prenatal massage scheduled for this weekend, and am going to have my hair & nails done sometime next week. Other than that we’re all just relaxing and trying to soak up this last bit of time as a family of three as much as possible. I have to admit that although I’m SO excited to finally meet you (and to have my body back, haha), I’m also feeling pretty emotional about the end of my time with just Alex. I know having two children is going to turn everyone’s world upside down and I feel some guilt about how it’s going to effect Alex, knowing that I won’t ever be able to give him the same amount of time & attention that I do now. However, in the long run I know he’s going to love having you here. He LOVES babies & I think he’ll be tickled pink when he gets to meet you.

I had another checkup today & all was well (although it did take the OB a long time to find your heartbeat, but she didn’t seem concerned so I guess I’ll try not to be). My blood pressure & urine tests are still good, and I don’t have any major swelling which is a BIG difference compared to my first pregnancy. All of this indicates that preeclampsia will most likely not be an issue this time around, although of course that can change on the drop of a hat. Should something like that come up, or if I should go into labor early, we’ll head straight to the hospital & have the c-section early… but hopefully you’ll have these last two weeks to grow a bit more & I’ll have these last two weeks to relax a bit more! 😉 The next time I write will be sometime after your big debut– until then, know that Dad & I love you so very much. We can’t wait to see you on the “other side!” 🙂

All my love,

It’s a date!

Dear Charlie,

Oh my goodness time has flown by! We have been super busy with the holiday season, and now you are right at 35 weeks along. You’re the size of a coconut now, although to me it feels like a watermelon. LOL. Third trimester is all about growth & putting meat on your bones, and I think you’ve been doing just that. This was taken at 32 weeks…



And this was taken  a few days ago, just shy of 35 weeks:

34 weeks

A pretty big difference! Although I’m measuring right on schedule (just had my last biweekly checkup yesterday actually– all was well!), I still feel like I’m much bigger then I was with Alex. Well, let’s put that to the test:



At both maternity photo sessions, which were taken around the same point in the pregnancies, I had the photographers take a shot of this belly angle. I think Dad is probably right… you two look about the same size. Maybe I’m just more tired and uncomfortable this time around because I’m chasing after a toddler all the time on top of being pregnant! 😉

Anyway, the big news now is that we’ve scheduled your c-section! Assuming all goes well between now & then, you’ll be making your big debut on Friday January 23 at 11:30am. That’s exactly one month from yesterday– and boy, we can’t wait!! There are a few things left to do to prepare for your arrival, but not much. Dad & I are SO excited to meet you! Alex still doesn’t really get it, but I think once you’re here and he gets to meet you, he’ll enjoy being a big brother– he LOVES babies. We’ll see! Haha

As promised, I did sit down and have a chat with Dad about this pregnancy and your impending arrival. Here’s your first Dad interview!

How has this pregnancy been from your perspective? 
Dad said that honestly, it’s been almost exactly the same as the first pregnancy. The only difference is that since we’re so busy these days with Alex, it’s been easy to forget that I’m even pregnant! (My thought was sure, that’s easy for you to say! LOL)

Are you worried about having a newborn AND a toddler?
Apparently Dad is not worried at all… he feels that we’re “baby experts” now so the newborn thing will be a breeze. To this I said “even if he has colic too?” (which is my biggest fear, I wouldn’t wish a colicky baby on my worst enemy), and Dad said that even if you have colic, at least this time we know what we’re dealing with and it will be easier for us to remember that it DOES end eventually. As for having two little ones under one roof, Dad wasn’t too worried about that either… “at least we’re not outnumbered!” Haha. I guess it’s pretty evident who is the worrier in this relationship. 😉

Do you think Alex will be a good big brother? 
Dad thinks it will be a rough transition for Alex since he can be so clingy (especially with me), but in the long run he’ll like being a big brother. I definitely agree with this assessment. We discussed (and have discussed this many times) how important it will be for Dad to try to fill the void as much as possible when I’m too busy/exhausted in the throes of newborn care. He’s up for the challenge.

Anything you want to say to Charlie before we wrap this up?
Keep growing! (Again, my thought was “easy for you to say”… haha). Dad also said, which I mentioned earlier, that he can’t wait to meet you. 🙂

And with that, I think that’s enough for one letter! I will try to write one more time before the “main event” next month. Until then, my little coconut!

All my love,

Large and in charge

Dear Charlie,

Over 30 weeks along now, and you are the size of a large head of cabbage (about 3 lbs). The realization that there’s less than 10 weeks left until your due date (coupled with the likelihood that you’ll be here at least a bit sooner than that as I’m planning to have another c-section) has given me the kick in the pants I needed to start preparing for you in earnest. Your nursery is pretty much done, and I love how it’s turned out. I wanted it to look totally different from Alex’s nursery despite using the same furniture, and I think we’ve accomplished that:


Nana took on the joyous task of painting the nursery walls for me again this time around (THANK YOU NANA!), and I didn’t want to do blue again so I went with green this time. Love the bright colors of this “woodland creatures” nursery set!


Got wise this time (actually got wise well before that, sometime around Alex’s first birthday) and invested in a more comfortable rocking chair. As much time as you spend in that thing the first year, it’s crucial!


The branch is the one thing that I kept fairly similar to Alex’s nursery. I guess that can be our “thing,” and I’ll do it again if we have a third baby someday (don’t hold your breath grandparents, that’s still a BIG “if” at this point in time!).


You have lots of fun things to look up at all over the room– the mobile above the changing table, the puffs above the rocking chair, and of course the letters above your crib. 🙂


Speaking of the mobile, how cute is this thing? My friend Ashley made it for you as a shower gift. She is so talented!


I will probably get the side-eye from some people for having a TV in the nursery… but honestly, it was already there from when this was a guest room, and it just didn’t make sense to move it & patch the wall when we’d eventually be putting it right back in here anyway. Besides, it will come in handy to have all those times you’re asleep or eating in my arms while I sit in the recliner. (Annie wanted to make a cameo in this pic apparently, LOL)


Nana’s working on a piece of art to go on that wall near the light switch– I’ll show you a picture of it when she’s finished!



I didn’t have one of these diaper stacker things last time around, but the nursery set I bought this time came with one. Super cute!

Anywho, I’ve also got all your newborn clothes put away, a large pack of newborn diapers ready to go, and am working on packing a hospital bag. Somewhere on Dad’s rather lengthy list of honey-do’s (bless his heart, there are a lot of things we.. or I… want done around the house before we’re all caught up in the craziness of life with a newborn + toddler. He’s been hard at work on that stuff the last few weekends) is to go up in the attic and bring down stuff like bottles, infant car seat, swing, etc. I meticulously hoarded kept every single baby item, piece of clothing, toy, etc. we’ve had for Alex so that we’d have it all when the time came for you to grace us with your presence. 😉 Now it’s just a matter of dragging it all out of storage & making sure it’s ready for you! I recently learned to my dismay that bottle nipples & pacifiers can’t be reused because the plastic in them breaks down over time, so at some point I’ll have to go buy replacements for them as well. Yesterday I started sorting through all the toys & books to filter out the infant-appropriate stuff to put in your toy box, things Alex hasn’t touched in MONTHS, but of course seeing me remove them from his room sparked a whole new interest in them. Haha. Luckily toddlers have the attention span of a gnat. 😉

Other than all that, I think we’re as ready for you as we’ll ever be! I’m often waffling back & forth on whether I wish this pregnancy would be over already, and beginning to lament/fear the end of my time with only one child. As the title of this letter suggests, the size of my belly has gotten to ridiculous proportions & I’m getting pretty darn uncomfortable…

30 weeks

The downside of being a younger sibling is that your big brother has no idea that this large protruding belly might be at all delicate. I try to keep him off of it, but he is forgetful. Hopefully he’s not causing too much damage… I’m sorry dear. Consider it the beginning of what probably be many instances of fun-filled sibling roughhousing. And I swear, I don’t remember having to pee THIS much during the last pregnancy! Like, I’ll come back from peeing and have to pee again less than 5 minutes later… it’s ridiculous. Bending over and even just sitting upright are pretty awkward & uncomfortable. Thank goodness I’m able to telework the rest of the pregnancy! Being at home in a cozy bed or recliner is a huge help… and especially with my history of pre-eclampsia, I’d rather be conservative and take things as easy as possible.

Speaking of that, of course my doctors are keeping a close eye on my blood pressure as well as other symptoms of pre-e (and I still have my at-home monitor here as well, which I’ve put to good use), and so far everything seems normal. All my appointments, tests, etc. have gone really well up to this point, thank goodness! I recently started going in for bi-weekly rather than monthly checkups, another sign that we’re getting close to the end… woo hoo!

And with that I think I’ll wrap things up for now, since this letter is getting pretty long. Next time I write I’ll have a long-overdue interview with Dad! 😀 Until then, keep growing little one (but for God’s sake, get off my bladder! haha).

All my love,

P.S. — I alluded to this earlier, but wanted to mention specifically that a few weeks ago some of my friends threw a lovely shower in your honor! It was so much fun celebrating your upcoming arrival with some of my favorite people. 🙂


Down to the wire…

Dear Charlie,

27 weeks– two trimesters down, one to go! I’m truly blown away by how quickly this pregnancy is going by. I know I say that almost every time I write, but it’s true! And it’s by far the biggest difference between this pregnancy and my first pregnancy. Almost every morning, after I get out of bed I look down at my belly think “What the heck?!” because I swear it seems to have ballooned up overnight, LOL. At about 14 inches and 2lb now (the size of a rutabaga, apparently)… you make your presence well-known  almost constantly, to everyone around you but especially to me. You move & squirm around a LOT, and you like to stretch out and put pressure on my spine + other key body parts way more than I remember Alex doing. Maybe it’s just that us moms quickly forget those parts of pregnancy. 😉 Luckily I haven’t quite reached the stage of constant discomfort… yet. But I’m pretty close. I’m really glad that my job will allow me to work from home for the majority of this last trimester, as it’s much more comfortable for me. On the flip side, you give me way less heartburn than Alex did… so thanks for that!

Yesterday I had my monthly checkup, and all was well with you– heartbeat & blood pressure were great, your measurements were on track, and I only gained 1lb this month which balances out the whopping 5lb I’d gained the prior month. I talked to the doctor quite a bit about how certain types of exercise are getting difficult for me, which is tough because exercise is one of my biggest contributors to keeping weight gain in check. Although I miss jogging, I’ve recently gotten into swimming & water jogging/aerobics. It’s much lower impact while still a fantastic total body workout. I probably look pretty silly flopping around the pool with my big preggo belly while the hulked-out body builder wearing a speedo in the next lane does butterfly strokes up & down the pool at the speed of light… oh well. 😉

Other than that, not much else is going on. I haven’t really done much more with the nursery these last couple weeks as things have been pretty busy at work, as well as all the fall/Halloween festivities going on every weekend. On top of all that Dad & I are going to begin to tackle another bathroom remodel starting this weekend… who are we kidding, really it’ll just be Dad tackling it. LOL. But I will help as much as I can! So the nursery is on the back burner a bit for now, but my goal is to have it done before Thanksgiving. That way I can relax & enjoy the holiday season without a bunch of baby-related to-do’s hanging over my head. Also coming up this weekend is a baby shower in your honor! I’m looking forward to celebrating your upcoming arrival with some of my favorite people. 🙂

I think that’s about it for now… but before I go, here’s your latest bump picture:

10714251_10100495984689577_1232258876404257171_oCan you tell how exhausted I am? Haha. I haven’t been sleeping as well lately, although I think it has more to do with anxiety/stress than physical discomfort. Well scratch that, if it weren’t for having to pee ALL. THE. TIME. maybe I wouldn’t wake up so much in the middle of the night… but once I get up it’s the mental side of things that keeps me from getting back to sleep. Even though Alex is almost 2 years old, I never stopped following the mantra “sleep when the baby sleeps.” What can I say, those afternoon naps help keep me going!

Speaking of Alex, I still don’t think he really “gets it” at all as far as the pregnancy & your impending arrival goes. Right now he thinks there’s a baby in my belly as well as Dad’s belly. LOL. He does sometimes point to my stomach (or pull up my shirt, which is an issue when we’re in public!) when I ask “Where’s Baby Charlie?” and will occasionally give you kisses too. 🙂 I worry a lot about how the transition to being a big brother is going to go for him, but really it’s just of those things we’ll have to deal with when the time comes. Even as an adult nothing can truly prepare you for a baby’s arrival, so I imagine that is even more so the case with young toddlers.

And with that I think I’ll wrap this up. I’m so excited to be in the home stretch of this pregnancy… Dad & I can’t wait to meet you, little guy!

All my love,

One last chat with Dad

Dear Alex,

I can’t believe how close we are to the end of the pregnancy… you are over 38 weeks along now, the size of a pumpkin, with 12 days to go until your due date! As I said last week, at this point you really could come any time. We are more than ready, and of course with each day that passes I find myself more & more often questioning various pains/twinges I feel– “Could this be an early sign of labor?” “Is today the day?” 😉 And I have started feeling more and more of those sorts of pains that indicate my body is getting ready for labor… most recently menstrual-like cramps that, according to my midwife, indicate that the cervix is lengthening & softening. But honestly I have a feeling that you will not be early… babies in our families tend to come late, and statistically most first-time moms give birth at 41 weeks, so I think you’re most likely going to be at least a little bit late. And that is okay, since more time in-utero generally makes for a healthier baby…. and certainly a bigger baby:

Belly Pic 38 Weeks 1-14-13

I am large and in-charge these days! Haha. And I will say that I’m glad I took those bare belly pictures when I did… stretch marks are definitely a bit of an issue these days, despite all the cocoa butter. But I’m okay with it, since I know they will fade with time.

Dad is starting to get a little anxious too, I think (although I doubt he’d admit to it!). Whenever I do anything out of the ordinary, from “getting weird looks on my face” to being out of bed for too long during the night, he has started going “Are you okay?!” Poor guy. Haha. Anyway, I thought that now might be a good time for another quick interview with Dad to cap off this last trimester. Here goes!

1. What has third trimester been like from your perspective?

Dad says from his perspective it hasn’t really been that different… just a lot of waiting! However, he said that it’s been very hard to watch me become increasingly uncomfortable and not really be able to do anything about it. I’ll add here, though, that Dad has been great about catering to my every need– rubbing my back for me at night, helping me get around, etc.

2. What was the most interesting thing you learned in the infant care & child birth classes?

From the infant care class, Dad says he enjoyed doing all the practice exercises & is proud to say that he is a “natural pro swaddler.” LOL. This is very true– I was absolutely terrible at swaddling, but Dad picked it up right away! In the child birth class, Dad was surprised to learn about the effects an epidural can have on mom & baby, and how limiting it can be to the labor process.

3. Do you think Alex will be early, on time, or late? Any guesses on what he’ll look like?

Dad thinks you will be right on time because “we are punctual people!” Hahaha. I should add that Nana has an interesting theory to support this guess also– apparently the next full moon is right on your due date, and babies are supposedly more likely to be born on full moons. 😉 As for what you’ll look like, Dad said “he’ll be handsome, just like me.” I think Dad is right on that one!

4. How do you feel about the pregnancy coming to an end– are you getting nervous about labor/birth, etc.?

As usual, Dad claims to be Joe Cool and says that he is not at all anxious or nervous about the labor & birth process. He says that he’s really excited to move past pregnancy and into our new lives as parents. And he added (jokingly of course), that he’s tired of hearing my complaints. Haha, I’d love for him to be this pregnant for a few days and see what his tune is then! 😛

5. If you could say anything to Alex right now, what would it be?

“Hurry up!” 😀 (Agreed!)

All my love,
Mom (& Dad!)

WOA! (Waiting On Alex!)

Dear Alex,

You are a little over 37 weeks along now– officially “full term,” meaning that although your due date is still 19 days away, you could make your grand arrival at any time now. My sources say you are the size of a “winter melon” … no clue what that is though! Someone posted that acronym– WOA– on my Facebook page, and that is pretty much what we’re up to these days… just waiting on Alex! 🙂 Dad & I also made it a point to get out and go on a little date night this weekend, since we probably won’t get a chance to do that sort of thing for awhile after you’re born. It was fun and I’m proud to say that I made it through an entire 3 hour movie (The Hobbit) without having to run to the restroom! Haha.

Physically I’m feeling as good as can be expected, I suppose. For the most part I am always pretty tired and sleep as much as I can, but do get random spurts of energy from time to time. Regardless, I’ve been making it a point to get in as much exercise as I can but am keeping it low key with things like prenatal yoga, pilates, and walking. I think you have dropped lower into my pelvis over the past week or so, because I feel a LOT more pressure in my hips & lower abdomen these days. “Dropping” is a sign that labor is coming up soon, although it could mean a matter of weeks or days. On the other hand, I still feel you wedge yourself under my ribs sometimes, so maybe it’s just that you’re getting big & running out of room! You be the judge:

Belly Pic 37 weeks 1-7-13

I’ve been doing a bunch of things my midwife suggested to supposedly help my body prepare for labor. Who knows if any of this stuff will actually help, but I figure it’s worth a shot since it won’t do any harm either–

  • Drinking raspberry leaf tea: this is supposed to strengthen the uterus and, when the time comes, make contractions more productive
  • Taking evening primrose oil supplements: this is supposed to help soften the cervix
  • Perineal massage: this is supposed to stretch the vaginal/perineal areas to help avoid tearing and/or an episiotomy. Honestly I tried this a couple times & gave up on it… not sure how other pregnant women are able to do this around the big bellies! As someone in my birth month group said– “I can barely wipe my own ass, how am I supposed to be able to do perineal massage?” So true. LMAO!
  • Kegel exercises: also supposed to tone the perineal area in the hopes of avoiding tearing/episiotomy. Much easier to do, and actually I’ve been doing those throughout the entire pregnancy.

Today I had my weekly check-up with the mid-wife… it was sort of a mixed bag. The good news:  I actually lost a pound this week (woohoo!), your heartbeat was fine, Group B Strep test I took last week came back negative, and my fundal height (uterus/belly size) is measuring right on schedule. The bad news: my blood pressure was slightly elevated, and when I told the midwife I’d started getting headaches rather frequently over the last week & hadn’t felt you moving as often the last couple days, she asked me to go in as soon as possible for an ultrasound. She assured me that everything was probably fine, but she wanted to just double-check to be on the safe side & ensure all is well with you. So Dad & I went this afternoon for that, and thankfully you are doing just fine! They checked heartbeat, cord blood flow, fluid levels, movement, etc. and the doctor said everything looked great.  The ultrasound indicated that you are currently about 7 lbs 11 oz… since the average baby gains about 1/2 lb. per week at this point, that puts you on track to be about 9 lbs. when you’re born! Such a big boy already. 🙂 Unfortunately this creepy/blurry profile shot was all we got to bring home with us, but we’ll be seeing your face in person soon enough!

Ultrasound 37wks 1-7-13

Anyway, last week I also went to visit my friend Shannon… you might remember that she was also pregnant with her first child (I posted a picture awhile back of us together at her baby shower). She had her little girl, Autumn, a few weeks ago! I stopped by to take her some food and meet the little one. It was a lot of fun spending time with them, as well as educational to hear Shannon’s take on new motherhood. But it definitely made me that much more excited/impatient to meet you! Haha. I know it will be here soon enough… in the mean time, Dad & I are anxiously in WOA mode. 😉

All my love,

Nesting for New Year’s

Dear Alex,

Happy New Year! More importantly for you- happy BIRTH YEAR… birth month actually! It’s hard to believe that we’re finally at that point; you are due this month and the doctor says you could arrive at any moment now really. Or maybe you’ll be late and end up being a February baby. We’ll soon find out! 😀 You are over 36 weeks along, with just 25 days to go until your due date. Still growing like a weed in there:

Belly pic 36 weeks 12-31-12

I had a check-up with the doctor yesterday, and all went really well. The only things different about this appointment were that I had to get tested for something called “Group B Strep” which, if I have it, just means that I’ll need to take some penicillin during labor to ensure that you don’t get it. I also had to fill out and sign several consent forms for the birth since, as I mentioned earlier, the doctor says labor could begin at any time now. They like to have all of that on file ahead of time so that we don’t have to deal with it at the hospital. Anyway, from here on out I have to go in for check-ups on a weekly basis.

I’m a bit late writing this week because we had some friends over for New Year’s Eve last night, so after work I was busy getting ready for that. It was a lot of fun though, very low-key which is perfect for me at this point. It was pretty hard staying up until midnight though! Haha, what a lame old lady I am. 😉

New Year’s was my personal deadline for having everything ready for you, and I’m proud to say Dad & I met that goal! This past weekend I went into an even higher gear of “super baby prep mode” (as I’ve been calling it… others call it “nesting” = an instinct moms-to-be get shortly before their babies are born to clean/organize/prepare for baby), and between Dad & I we got so much done– installed the car seat, finished packing the hospital bags (which are also in the car), put together the pack & play and stroller, pre-washed and put away all your clothes/towels/blankets, and started organizing your closet. We even cleaned out the garage, which had gotten so bad that you couldn’t walk into it… ended up getting rid of a lot of junk that had accumulated, and now it’s back to being a normal functioning room. This will be helpful after you’re born and we start getting visitors again.

So after all that hard work, Dad & I plan to enjoy our New Year’s Day by taking a lazy day just for us… we’re going to stay in bed & watch movies all day. I suppose it’s good to enjoy things like this now, while we still can. 😉 And with that– back to bed!

All my love,

The last Christmas as we know it ;-)

Dear Alex,

Merry Christmas Eve! I am writing you from Grandma and Papa’s house this week. You are a little over 35 weeks along now (bigger than a coconut!), and we are here visiting the family for the holiday. Everyone is excited to see how big you’re getting:

Bump Pic 35 weeks 12-24-12

Your cousins are especially thrilled, and some of them have even gotten the chance to feel you moving around in there. It’s interesting how your movements feel so different these days compared to when I first started to feel you move… before I felt short, sharp “pokes,” and only sporadically. Now that you’re so much bigger & running out of room, I feel bigger “pushes” and “squirms” going on pretty much all day & much of the night. Also, more recently I’ve noticed what are sure to be hiccups: small, rhythmic motions that last for several minutes at a time. I read that you start to get hiccups more often at this stage of the pregnancy because you are practicing your breathing for outside the womb. Keep it up, champ! 🙂

Other than that, not much has been going on this week. Dad & I finally got a new mattress, and BOY am I glad we did! I still have to get up every 2 hours or so to pee, but it’s a lot easier to fall back asleep and sleep more soundly. Working from home has helped me get a little more sleep too. I’m trying to rest as much as I can now… while I still (sort of) can, haha. Honestly pretty much everything tires me out these days– with an extra 20+ lbs. of weight to carry, much of which is pushing up on my lungs, this is not surprising at all. 😉 But at least it’s not for much longer…

We are officially counting down the DAYS until your due date (33!) rather than the weeks. It’s hard to believe that you’ll be here so soon, but Dad & I are as ready as we’ll ever be and can’t wait for your big arrival. 😀 That’s about all for now… until next week, MERRY CHRISTMAS little guy! As much as we’re looking forward to sharing the holiday with our extended family tonight & tomorrow… we are even more excited for all the holidays we have ahead with you!

All my love,