Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This & That

80 degrees in PA on October 10th - not a usual occurrence and while I'll welcome fall with open arms we took advantage of the weather with one of my last mocktail happy hours, time on the deck and Mexican night just the three of us...

39 weeks... Some final weekly bump pictures and daily pregnancy app readings.  As much as I wanted baby to come I was trying to soak in the final pregnant days until next time.  I thought it was funny that his size was a pumpkin seeing as we're so close to Halloween.

How cute is Lovie!  I saw this pillow and while the baby hadn't arrived and it's not nearly the holiday season, I couldn't pass it up! She is the ultimate Santa and has always made the season so much fun for us - excited that it's my turn now... along with her.

Everyone was in the office so it called for a walk to lunch together.. anytime I see anyone I find myself wondering - is this our last family meal, just the five of us?

I think this is genuinely my new favorite photo, ever.  I love how happy Stella looks - we get so lazy once it starts getting dark out earlier - this night we scrapped dinner plans and played with Stella instead.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pregnancy: 39 Weeks & The Final Update

I can't believe this pregnancy has come to an end and the real excitement is just beginning.  In some ways it feels like I've literally been pregnant for a year (our first positive was a year ago) but the time really has flown since the beginning of February when we found out.  I am so thrilled and blessed to say I genuinely liked being pregnant but for now I am looking forward to getting back to normal workouts, normal clothes, cocktails... and loving on our sweet new baby boy!

38 weeks - date night ready!

39 Weeks: 
39 Weeks & an 80 degree October day

I've been pregnant since the very end of January - Right at 39 weeks it hit me that so soon I can have a glass of wine, a hoagie, tuna, etc.  And I cannot wait - having my baby and getting to enjoy those things - just like having your cake and eating it too. 

I ordered a few tops from the Loft sale recently for post pregnancy and I forgot how much fun regular clothes are - I'm so excited! Edit: When the bag of tops came in I was even more excited and have a little pile waiting in the closet.  Also excited for shoes that fit again - so sick of flip flops. 

We've had friends checking in daily this week - one morning all the texts seemed to come through at once and it just set me up for the best day! Finally fall hit in that same day and it was amazing - I wasn't a sweaty mess, my wedding bands fit and I could finally wear one of the fall maternity tops I thought I needed after the cold start in September.  I upped my now weekly pedicure from a regular to a spa pedicure this week and it was the best hour.  Another 80 degree day is predicted this weekend then I think we're hopefully in the clear for fall.

 I find myself fully nesting and tidying up the house every day, running the dishwasher way more than I usually do and doing extra loads of laundry so we come home to every thing neat - plus our house cleaner will be one of our first calls :)  I'm a mix between "doing all the things, all the time" and enjoying couch time - staying busy and "doing" is more me though.  We also took our Stella girl for a haircut so she's all pretty and fluffy for family photos later this month. 

At my appointment right at the start of 39 weeks I was 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced - she said the baby could be here any day so we've been on baby watch all week.  If not, on Monday at my last appointment we'll make a plan.

Symptoms all pretty much the same - a few contractions and cramps and such - up anywhere between 3-5 times a night for the bathroom - tired - sore feet - wedding rings mostly off - pelvic pain and pressure which makes me move pretty slow.  I'm still getting around pretty well though and living normal days - we do walks, go out to eat, etc.

The Final Update:

Best Moment: Definitely finding out the gender! The positive pregnancy test was exciting but we'd been there before so it wasn't maybe as exciting as could be.  The gender we were lucky enough to find out by 12 weeks and I'll never forget knowing that the results were in.  We weren't living in the new house yet and opened the envelope together over here, told my mom just a day later, a couple family members and friends and then had the big reveal about a month later.

Least Favorite Moment: The glucose test - I worried myself sick for really no reason.  I was so nervous to take this test, I don't know why! (I get nervous about the dumbest things).  Little things like the overnight bathroom breaks, pelvic pain and other soreness - but nothing major to complain about.

Best/Worst Part of Each Trimester:
1st - best: that having a baby was becoming a reality, the positive test, the gender / worst: sleep
2nd - best: energy being back, living normal life/summer / worst - some stress and negativity that was brought in
3rd - best: the excitement, being in the moment of getting everything left finished / worst: running out of clothes, being sore, waking up multiple times a night.

Name: We knew the name since almost the start of the second trimester.  Once we knew the gender I was determined to figure out what he would be called - we agreed on the first name really quickly as well as the middle initial.  About 25 weeks or so we settled on a middle name and were good to go. We only shared the name with a small amount of family/friends and the initials with a few too so did a surprisingly good job at keeping quiet.

The Pregnancy Usuals - Swelling, Rings On/Off, Belly Button In/Out: I lucked out on most of these - I didn't have a day of swelling until my third trimester and it wasn't consistent.  A couple times a week by the end of the day my feet would swell - but not always.  If I didn't drink enough water that was usually the cause.  There were a few hot days towards the end where I just didn't put my wedding rings on but other than that I was able to wear them the whole time.  My belly button pretty much remained in until the end (I was so glad!) - some days it would look a little flat and weird but...

Cravings/Aversions: From about 5 weeks pregnant until 38 weeks I couldn't stand the thought of a steak - I think because we went to one of our favorite steakhouses shortly after I found out I was pregnant when I just wasn't hungry at all and I over ate - glad it went away right at the end.  

In the beginning I wasn't sick but couldn't tolerate anything other than simple meals.  My main cravings were donuts and cheese burgers.  I'd hear something and want it asap though.  A couple other weird cravings once or twice - miso soup, guacamole, chocolate chip cookies.

Missed the Most: Happy Hour! After a few weeks it was routine but I definitely missed my wine and cocktails.  I missed my clothes, regular sleep and normal things like that too.

Symptoms/Sleep/Feelings/Exercises: For the most part I felt pretty good and embraced/loved being pregnant.  The first trimester I was just exhausted, didn't really do much and wasn't interested in much food - other than if I didn't eat in the morning, I certainly felt sick quick.  

The second trimester I almost forgot I was pregnant - other than when we spent about a month packing to move - I just got into a slump.

Pelvic pain and back pain were hit or miss sometimes during the pregnancy - definitely noticeable at the end.

The third trimester I'd heard you loose your energy but I didn't really loose mine until about 37 weeks and I was so thankful! The last few weeks my feet ached if on them too long and also swelled.  On a few occasions my hands swelled too. 

Other than a little trouble in the beginning, I slept pretty well until that final month or so with all the bathroom breaks and trying to roll over in my sleep took lots of effort.  After enough time on my feet I just wanted to sit, Some come/go pelvic pain and a little bit of swelling at the end.

Being 8/9 months pregnant in the heat is no joke - we had a few fall heat waves and I hid out inside.  I walked Stella just about once a day for most of the pregnancy until the final weeks - the weather was hot, I was tired and just slacked.  The last week or so I made sure to get back into it because I heard it made things easier.

Weight Gain: 35 pounds... I was aiming for around 30 but 35 in 40 weeks, I'll take it.  Pretty standard by what you were suppose to gain each week.  I barely gained any in the first trimester because I wasn't really hungry.  It was the pretty standard pound or so per week in the second trimester.  In the third trimester I definitely gained it quicker and the final weeks it leveled out or I lost a few.

Medicine: Only a handful of times I needed to take something of the approved list from my doctor.  Tylenol or Tylenol PM rarely right in the beginning and then with just a few weeks left was when I really needed it with a cold - some approved cough syrup and Tylenol Cold/Flu... I didn't take for long (and was left with a lingering cough...)

Favorite Mocktails: I was big into the Fre Wines in the beginning but those quickly got too sweet and I got over it.  I loved the La Croix drinks which I'd never had before and also making myself some peach lemonades. I think an ice cold coke was my favorite treat but also on vacations I loved virgin strawberry margaritas.

General Thoughts: I was more calm than I thought, didn't worry as much as I thought and we were all around just go with the flow.  I was blessed with an easy pregnancy and I can only hope the same for our future babies - until literally the last week or so (not long!) when I was just sore and over it, I genuinely liked being pregnant.  The bump didn't appear as quick as I thought - I had a few maternity dresses I had to grow into - and while the heat at the end of the pregnancy was so annoying (I felt like a sweaty mess every day!), being able to wear dresses most of the time was the best.

Famous Preggos: I loved following along with LC and Whitney from The Hills, Heidi was due like a day after me but he came fairy early.  Mine/Derek's favorite from Southern Charm, Cameran, I think is due about two weeks after me and I've loved her honesty and especially when she just told people off about breast feeding..  I've also been keeping up with Jade from the Bachelor - so many reality stars, ha! And now right at the end, half of the Kardashians.

Pregnancy Item Favorites: Most of my pregnancy favorites weren't even pregnancy items.  A little pillow from our guest room was my favorite to sleep with.  Also a Lumbar pillow, Ice packs for feet, back and pelvis, bath sheets - much better than a little bath towel when you have a growing belly!, Gap night gowns - so comfortable and my regular size fit the whole time.

Pregnancy Item Least Favorites: I never touched the stretch cream I got nor did I get the full body pillow that everyone raves about - I flip around too much in my sleep so I just thought it wouldn't work.

Tips: Do what works for you - don't compare yourself to others, everyone is different! Don't let other people's opinions or pressures get to you - Am I going to breast feed, pump, formula? I don't know - if it works, it works, if it doesn't, it doesn't - whatever makes Derek, the baby and I happiest and healthiest and fed! Everyone has an opinion.  Know when to say no - people understand! Remove any stress from your life.

Don't over buy pregnancy clothes, especially too early.  Buy baby clothes early on - I did this right when we found out it was a boy and before things got busy and rushed and it was such fun.  Of course closer to the end I stocked up too on anything we needed more of but it's never too early to get a few things.  I did wait until a month before for any newborn things once I knew he was a "normal" size.

Know your limits and when to take a break on the couch, lay propped up, indulge in massages/pedicures whenever you can - at the end I was going once a week I think!  Walking really can help you feel better and making sure you get enough water is huge - I could always tell a difference if I didn't have enough.  Enjoy as many date nights as you can!

Things I will never say to a pregnant girl: 
  • First baby's are usually late (you have no idea when the baby will come and a first time mom that just wants the baby to come, does not want to hear that!)
  • Anything forceful on breastfeeding
  • Your dog will be neglected 
  • Just wait and see... 
  • Enjoy ____ now, because when the baby comes... 
Things I will say... you look great, and mean it - it can make a day!

Pregnancy Posts:

Babymoon in Bermuda: Part One & Part Two

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday's Five: First Month Goals

Really my only goal for the baby's first month is: to survive... and enjoy!

I have no goals as far as the baby other than for us to just enjoy this time, adjust to our new life, get sleep while we can, and have lots of cuddles with our little guy!  We're going into things with an open mind and not many expectations or plans - the only plan is to do what's best for us.  These are just a few ways for us to keep life somewhat normal for ourselves.  

Are all of my goals realistic?  Who knows - personally, for us, I do think they are.  
Am I expecting them all to be achieved (and especially during that first week)?  No.  
But, if I write something down, I'm much more likely to hold myself accountable to try so... 

1. Date nights - and by date night, I mean sitting down to dinner together - takeout on the deck, a freezer meal in the dining room, venturing out to one of our favorite spots with the baby for dinner/lunch.   I know we'll definitely make it out for at least one (if not more) because Derek's birthday is coming up so leaving the little guy with my parents briefly is already on our minds.

2. Stella - I want to make sure to make sure she feels loved and included.  I am self admittedly SO obsessed with her.  Knowing her personality, I know she will love the baby once she realizes he's one of her family - she already lays on the rug in his room and we joke that she'll want to sleep in there with them.  

Whether she gets a five minute walk instead of a half hour walk or rides in the car for an errand instead of a full day wondering at the office I want to make an effort to keep her routine somewhat normal and spend some time cuddling just her.  We've been bad about making an effort to get her to daycare recently so I think with the baby at first letting her go once a week to have fun playing will be great!

If I had to hear one more time "just wait Stella, you'll be forgotten about"... No, Stella will not be forgotten about - she's a full family member as we are proudly crazy dog people. 

3. Quiet Time - Not only me with maternity leave, but Derek also is able to have a lot of time off as well and I'm so thankful for our flexible schedules - I think having both of us around more will help us transition into this new life much better.  Running an errand alone, having a little bit of time to sit on the couch and scroll on Pinterest, Sunday football (all  of us will be together for Saturday football and Penn State viewing, of course!), a half hour nap, a quick pedicure - Once a week or so I think it's healthy to make sure each of us does something little just for us - separate from the other - to just relax and breathe.

4. Getting Out - I know myself and if I get into the habit of just sitting at home right away, I'll probably be stuck in that slump all winter long! Getting out or getting others in too - simple things like going to my parents for dinner, having a neighbor over to the house for a drink, going out for an easy lunch or dinner, a short walk, venturing to Target the three of us (because if I'm being honest, I'm definitely too scared to try that on my own, ha)!

While schedules are flexible, it won't be a full maternity leave and we'll still have to get into the office periodically but even just getting out to go there will do some good.

5. Don't Worry About Pressures: I don't feel the need to do something a certain way just because someone else did.  I feel the need to do whatever makes Derek, the baby and I happiest and healthiest.  I never realized how many opinions people had... on everything, ha! Any comments and such I'm hoping I can just ignore and not let get to me.  

How to feed the baby, where a baby should sleep, loosing baby weight, keeping our house a certain way, going out with the baby - every person's views are different! 

Oh my, I hit a point during my pregnancy where I'd been asked about breastfeeding so much - I was happy to see and hear when people spoke up about formula feeding.  I don't feel the need to breastfeed, pump, formula feed just because that's what everyone says to do - If something works, it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. Whatever is healthiest and best for us is what we'll do - I won't let it make us all miserable.  When we got Stella she refused to eat for three weeks so for four meals a day - she was hand fed, I think we'll make it!

Happy & healthy mom, baby and dad are key in my mind.

Any mamas have tips for surviving the first week/month?!  Please share!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

This & That

It might have been dusk into dark but we finally made it out to the pumpkin patch to grab a few pumpkins for the porch.  I didn't mind the quick/dark stop though because we plan to head back right near Halloween with the baby.

The farm is right by my parents house so we went over for dinner afterwards - I've been wanting to do dinner on their deck forever and even though we were all running behind and lost the light, we came back to find my mom making it work with a cute fall setup - table cloth, candles, lanterns and I got my dinner on the deck!

Once we got the pumpkins we finished up our porch display for now - next year I'm going to have to switch a little bit from just fall to Halloween too.

I've been flipping where fall decorations are throughout the house and I think we're finally good to go. I was trying to incorporate anything that made the move with us so it didn't go to waste.  In other housework, the baby's closet is sitting, waiting and ready to go - I know most people say to utilize the dresser for clothes because it's easier and you won't want to be hanging laundry but we are so much more "closet" people - in our own room too.  I like to see what the options are.

It's finally down into the upper 60's/lower 70's and I was able to throw in a few fall like outfits recently - mostly it's just a rotation of about five dresses and flip flops, ha!  Also, we went out for one last nice dinner recently and I was so thankful to have bought one long sleeve maternity dress - even though I haven't gotten much use out of it - at least I had something to wear that night!

My new favorite obsession - avocado toast!  I had it at my girlfriend's house and it's so easy/fun to make at home - it might possibly have been our first time using our toaster.  Seasoned and mashed avocado along with two of my other favorites... red onion and feta.