34 Weeks: Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

Check out the left side of my belly- Alexis keeps resting her feet there- it looks funky and uneven.



Her size: We’re a honeydew this week! Never thought that’d happen :)

How far along: 34 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 166 lb.  (+2 lbs this week, total at 30 lbs). This week I feel like I’ve exploded (or maybe it’s Alexis). She feels so much heavier just comparing to the last week and I look so much more pregnant (and not only in my belly). I know to other people it’s not as apparent, but I’ve never had such big arms and legs and even my face is totally rounding out. Gotta stop eating sweets :)

Sleep: With Alexis being really heavy now, sleep is starting to become uncomfortable. I have to wake up numerous times a night to just change positions or go to the bathroom and my body is starting to hurt after a fidgety night of sleep. But all in all, while I have good days and bad days, it’s still pretty bearable.

Maternity Clothes: I’ve reached the point where I don’t care much what I wear as long as it’s loose and/or comfortable with a few exceptions.

Food cravings: Get me off the sweet treat train!!! Please? I’ve gone into a cycle of wanting cookies, cakes, chocolate, ice cream and I need to turn that train around heading to fruitville instead.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE:  This week Alexis must have gained quite a bit of weight and possibly moved lower into my pelvis, because it feels like my belly is going to fall to the ground and certain days it feels like she’s sitting right on my pelvic bone. It’s quite an uncomfortable feeling, I gotta tell you. Some days she doesn’t press so much, so it’s hit or miss with how comfortable or sucky I feel

Aside from that, almost no symptoms- feeling decent.

Doctor’s Appointment:  Next Thursday + strep B test

Movement: Oh the shapes my stomach takes nowadays! She loves to stick out her butt, kick me with her legs, tickle me with her hands and sometimes bump her head on my butthole :) lol

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: I guess that would be the hospital tour! It was  nice to see the very place where we’ll bring Alexis into this world ( that is if I don’t wait too long and give birth in a car lol). Hearing other babies cry made me soooo happy- it’s what Alexis is going to sound like when we first hear her- such an amazing feeling. I wasn’t too thrilled about the labor and delivery rooms- they seemed small and depressing. The postpartum rooms were much better and we’re definitely bringing an air mattress so that Andrew could rest better. I looked into another hospital in the area that has better rooms, but my OB doesn’t have privileges there so he wouldn’t be able to deliver our baby, which is out of the question. I guess, when I’m in labor, it won’t really matter how big or small the room is, as long as I am left alone to practice my relaxation and can move around if I want to.

What I’m looking forward to:

My mom coming to US on Jan 11th. That’ll be so much fun!

What I miss:

Back to sushi this week. It’s getting harder and harder to be ok with not eating things I want to eat. I miss being able to put whatever I want into my body without any concern of harm to my unborn baby.

What else?

  • We finally finished our search for pediatricians. We interviewed 3 different ones ( almost 4 but at the last second realized they didn’t fit our health plan) over the last few weeks and pretty much made a decision already. It’s a smaller practice which is what we liked with a very sweet doctor.
  • I received the Body Oil and Body Buff from Mama Mio and I’m loving it. It’s the first time during pregnancy when I got to exfoliate myself and moisturize my whole body (because most products contain ingredients I’d rather not use during pregnancy), and it just felt amazing to have smooth skin again. Highly recommend both the products.


33 Weeks: Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

I think I am starting to get that chubby look most pregnant women get in their last month or two :)

By the way, if you were ever curious about what I look like without make up vs. with make up on, you can compare today’s photos {correction: I do have blush on} to last week’s bump photos. I’m sure I’ll do a side by side headshot comparison once I am no longer pregnant, just for fun, because I think the difference is significant. I am a big believer in make up for girls. (P.S. Most of my bump updates are done without make up, since it’s usually first thing in the morning or on days where I don’t have to go anywhere)



Her size: “This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds  and has passed the 17-inch mark. She’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. “

How far along: 33 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 164 lb. I am at 28 lb total weight gain right now. Not sure how much I gained this week in particular, because last week the scale was screwing up and this week we have a new scale that is showing all new (higher) numbers. I’m starting to get into the poundage that makes me NOT want to disclose my weight (hahaha), but I am trying to ignore the nagging feeling of  ” 160s? WHAT? I can’t tell anyone I weigh in the 160s” .
I am pregnant and I am supposed to gain weight! I was never afraid of gaining weight during pregnancy and I better not start getting squirmy about it now!

Sleep: Good solid sleep with 4-5 trips to the bathroom throughout the night. Nowadays, whenever I get up to pee, I try to imagine that soon I’ll have to get up just as often, but instead of flopping back into bed and falling asleep, I’d have to change a diaper, feed and possibly cuddle with my baby girl to get her to go back to sleep.

Maternity Clothes: Dresses and yoga pants mostly.

Food cravings: Right this moment I am craving Alden’s All Natural Vanilla Ice cream with caramel on top. Speaking of Alden’s ice cream, it is THE BEST tasting ice cream out there. We get it at Whole Foods and it’s just the perfect blend of cream and sugar (not too sweet) and of course all natural.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Still feeling really good. There are days when I am really really tired and I figure that that’s when Alexis is growing the most. It’s starting to get hard to go up  and down stairs and we have a huge staircase (picture on the left) with bedrooms upstairs and living areas downstairs, so if I want anything done, I have to go up and down multiple times an hour. It’s also starting to get difficult to pick things up off the floor. I usually ask my husband to do it for me and you’d be amazed HOW MANY THINGS we have that end up on the floor and need to be picked up! Ugh!

Otherwise, I still don’t have consistent back pain ( only occasional if I sleep in a wrong position), or leg cramps, or any other pains. Heartburn is still there but definitely more manageable, so is light indigestion. Speaking of heartburn, I think I might have discovered a “new cure” for it, at least for me. You know the Metromint water that’s sold at Whole Foods? Well, I am a big fan and the other day I picked it up from the store and drank from it in the middle of pretty bad heartburn, the coolness instantly soothed my throat and my heartburn disappeared! I was shocked.. Then I remembered reading somewhere that peppermint is good for nausea and/or heartburn. So now that I am finishing my last bottle of Metromint, I’m trying to figure out how to make my own. All it has is water, mint and cocoa essence. If I make my own pitcher it’ll kill two birds with one stone: heartburn and will help me drink more water! Now  does anyone know if I can buy mint and cocoa essence in a liquid form?

Doctor’s Appointment: Yesterday was my doctor’s appointment. Everything looked good: blood pressure is great, heartbeat is great, measuring a few weeks behind like before, but since the ultrasound showed everything is fine, that’s not really a concern, and probably simply due to my long waist. And the biggest news for us was that Alexis is NOW HEAD DOWN AND ENGAGED! Wow! First of all, I had no idea babies could get engaged this early on, but I guess they do.

Doc said not to get my hopes up though, cuz she still has lots of room to move and flip, but it still makes me happy that she’s in the perfect position. He showed me where her butt and her feet were, which now makes total sense. I keep getting kicked in my right side while she juts out her butt on the left side when she stretches. She’s on my left  with her head in my pelvis and her legs on the right, facing sideways and slightly towards my back, kind of like in the picture. According to spinningbabies.com, LOA (left occupit anterior) is the easiest position for the start of labor. So I hope she stays that way until she’s ready to come out.

She’s still pretty active, especially with her butt. I’d be sitting minding my own business and then all of sudden my stomach would move sideways- it’d be her stretching her legs and pushing her butt out. Kind of fun actually. And for those who are wondering, no it doesn’t hurt, but it’s not exactly comfortable. We also pat her on the butt quite often, which she really likes. If she’s awake and we’re talking to her and touching her, and then suddenly stop, she instantly pushes her butt out as in “Where did you go? Pet me!”

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Finding out Alexis is head down now. I wasn’t TOO concerned about her being transverse ( I figured if she doesn’t turn and I have to do a c-section, it’s not the worst thing in the world as long as she is safe) but I can’t say it wasn’t on my mind A LOT. So this was a really good piece of news for us.

What I’m looking forward to:

This weekend. If we both concentrate, we can get a lot done on the nursery this weekend. I hope to do a big nursery update afterwards which is WAY overdue.

Also, I booked tickets for my mom to visit from Russia. She’ll be flying here Jan 11th and staying till May 23rd. She’s never stayed more than a month, because of her work, but now that she’s retired I am looking forward to having her here helping us for 4 months. YAY!

What I miss:

I guess not much at this moment! I always have pangs of jealousy when we pass the smoked salmon isle at Whole Foods, but otherwise I just want to feel like an old me.



Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

Pay attention to the picture on the right. If you look carefully you’ll be able to see Alexis’s foot. It’s on MY right, above the hip bone. She keeps resting her feet in that corner of my belly, which makes it look kinda freak-ey!


Her size: “By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds  and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You’re gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she’ll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.”

How far along: 32 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160.8 lb (+0 lb gain. Not sure if this number is correct. Our scale broke this week and was showing funky numbers, so I haven’t been able to properly weigh myself. I wish I could say I broke it, because that would be funny, but it was hubby. So you can’t blame the heavy preggo woman for crushing the scale.)

Sleep: It’s been bearable. My sides hurt, I have to switch positions often and it doesn’t help that Alexis is transverse. When I lie on my side, I obviously press on her a bit and she kicks me in that side all night. Aaaahhh I cannot wait for the day that I’ll be able to sleep on my back and my stomach again :)

Maternity Clothes: All the time now. Dresses and maternity jeans and shirts- my favorite things to wear.

Food cravings: None really. Sometimes I crave a cake, simple yellow cake.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: This week has been relatively wonderful. I am still amazed at how well I feel right now. I hope it lasts for a long time. I never expected to feel this much better during the third trimester, considering how I spent the whole pregnancy feeling sick and tired. Staying relatively active (going for walks) has been helping me feel good. I’ve had almost no back pain, which I attribute to walks and exercising.

The only thing that’s a bugger is heartburn, of course. I almost don’t count it as a symptom anymore, because it is always present.

Doctor’s Appointment: December 8th

Movement: Alexis is still transverse as far as I can tell. I did inversions for a few days and she flipped, but then back to transverse the next day. I figured it’s not a good idea to continue “forcing” her to flip head down, since it seems like laying across my belly is more comfortable for her. I am worried that if she does too many twists, she might wrap her cord around her neck and I would much rather have a C-section for a transverse baby, than risk her suffocating during birth or worse, still in utero.

Belly Button: A total outie at this point. I still don’t have stretchmarks. The skin around my belly button is reddish and stretched, but it’s been that way for weeks. I diligently apply daily oils and drink as much water as I remember to.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Black Friday! I’d been waiting to buy most of the baby stuff still Black Friday and we spent THE WHOLE DAY on our computers ordering things and researching prices NON-STOP. I prefer shopping online rather than have to drive to retail stores and be subjected to their limited in-stock options and have to try things on and waste hours and hours that I could be spending doing something productive or fun. Luckily, I am one of those people who doesn’t need to see or touch, I do pretty good imagining from the product photo and description. I think years of experience ordering online helped. I would still go to stores just for fun when I have nothing to do ( which is rare), or with girlfriends, but I definitely prefer not wasting my time like that. Needless to say that I wasn’t going to go out to retail stores on Black Friday, into the madness that it can be. Other years, we’d go with friends and make a whole fun experience out of it, with dinner and a movie ( give me an excuse to stay up all night and I’m there). Or just figure out what specific items we need, go and grab those. Black Friday can be fun if you do it right or do it from the luxury of your chair :) So we’ve spent the whole week getting package after package from UPS, Fedex and USPS, so both our living room, hallway and family room now resembles a very messy packing facility. I will be writing about the purchases, of course. What did you guys buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

What I’m looking forward to:

Working on the nursery. It’s starting to look so cute. We hung the mobile and the shelves, the dresser is ready, we found the perfect recliner/glider. I just need to take pictures to share with you guys.

What I miss:

Being thin.

It’s funny how our mind gets used to things if we are given a chance. When I look at my photos from when I first got pregnant like the photo on the left ( I was about 5-6 weeks pregnant, so don’t mind the angry looking face, since I was sick as a dog), to me I look almost anorexic, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  I was healthy and very fit, with a good body fat percentage ( mostly in my legs).

Right now, the new normal for me is the picture on the right. It seems almost unreal that I was ever anything but the picture on the right. I don’t REMEMBER not having a belly, not having big boobs, not having big thick legs, or cellulite (lol). My old self looks too skinny now. I have no doubt that I will be back there again and very shortly, but I wonder if I’ll look at it the same way…. Maybe after some time, once I’ve had a chance to forget that I ever looked differently.



Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

I was thinking about being pregnant and pregnancy in general and I just don’t think I am a fan of this state. I know some women think of their pregnancy in a romantic, wistful way, they miss it and want to be pregnant again. I thought I’d get that way when Alexis started kicking,  and then when that didn’t happen I thought I’d love being pregnant when I feel better-  but that didn’t happen either. So I am realizing  now that I simply don’t think of pregnancy as this sweet beautiful time. I think of it as the necessary 10 months of being slightly to very uncomfortable that you deal with, 10 months that you do your absolute best to grow a healthy baby, 10 months of changing everything about yourself and things you do to give her the best opportunity to grow and develop- 10 very important and commendable months.

Don’t get me wrong- I love when Alexis moves, I love feeling her and knowing she’s here, I love reading to her and singing songs and interacting with her the only way possible right now. But that’s not enough for me. I don’t want to her to be inside of me – I want her to be here, for real, so that I could actually see her ( I’m a visual person, I guess), and touch her and see her reactions. I have exactly 2 months till her due date and I will wait it out diligently and patiently – I want her to be healthy and full term and come whenever she wants. I don’t want to rush it, I’ll wait. But I’ll make no bones about it- I’d rather have her on the outside than the inside.

I also wonder if that’s going to change once she’s here and I know just how MUCH I love her. I wonder if THAT will make me look at my pregnant time and wish for the closeness we had…
But as of right now, I love her to pieces and I want her in my arms! And let me tell you, 10 months is a very long time- knowing about her from the first day of conception and wanting her here takes a lot of patience {not that any of us have a choice}



Her size: Last week she was 3lb 12 oz, and now headed into a growth spurt! Watch out Elena’s Belly!

How far along: 31 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160.8 lb (that’s 0.8 lb for this week for a total of 24.8 lbs).

Sleep: So uncomfortable and sore. I do have good nights of sleep but generally sleeping on one side is really uncomfortable. I’m having to switch sides all throughout the night. Bathroom trips? Ha! I’m  veteran- they don’t bother me anymore. I’ve been waking up 3-4 times a night to pee since the first trimester.

Maternity Clothes: All the time now. Anything non-maternity just doesn’t cut it anymore- it fits but it’s so uncomfortable.

Food cravings: Asian pears ( the ones that are $2.99 a pop at Whole Foods- expensive cravings, I gotta tell you)

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: I got sciatic pain! {Ha-ha} I feel like it’s an achievement. {lol} Not really-  it hurts! It started with the fact that Alexis flipped head down. I’d been doing inversions from spinningbabies.com to get her to flip and she did (sort of. She was on my right side head down). Then I spent the whole day walking around doing things and had a pretty fast long walk in the morning as well, and by the evening I was limping in my right foot. The pain feels like normal muscular pain in my right buttock. After resting it for a day, I’m back to feeling normal. Plus it seems Alexis flipped into transverse again and took the pressure of the sciatic nerve.

Also I’ve had a few evenings of slight nausea- not sure if it’s pregnancy related or what.

Doctor’s Appointment: Early December

Movement: She’s very active again! It’s starting to get painful especially when she kicks in one of my sides. I do love when she’s active! You might hear an occasional “Ouch!” from me, but I smile on the inside every time she jabs a foot into my side or sticks her butt out so much I think my belly is going to explode.

Belly Button: An outie- it sticks out from clothes too- I think that’s cute!

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Getting things done! I’ve really gotten off my butt this week and concentrated on getting everything done. With so many distractions I have nowadays ( will tell you about that in my birth plan post), it’s hard to get yourself back on track. What I need and what I thrive with is a very detailed to-do list or a few of them ( especially when there are a lot of items on it). I spend the whole day simply going down that to-do list without giving it another thought- and that’s the only way I feel good and productive and like everything or most everything is getting done.

What I’m looking forward to:

Going to the beach.

What I miss:

Beach, pre-pregnancy clothes, pre-pregnancy size, my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, my friends from up north.

{I know I have been a bit scarce on posting and commenting these past weeks, but as I am digging up from under the pile of to-do lists and things I have to get done, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once all the baby stuff is bought this Black Friday/Cyber Monday and I reorganize myself and reshift my priorities (I’ve been mainly concentrating on researching baby purchases up until now), I’ll be back to posting almost every day. I have so many fun posts planned that I cannot wait to get your opinion and feedback on. So it’s going to get a lot more interesting here, but for now all I can find time to do is my weekly update and the Sunday Pregnant with Style feature.}



Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

30 Weeks! Woo-hoo!!!!

Sorry for such a gross picture, but I was completely out of time these few days, running around to OB, ultrasound and pediatrician appointments, among a million other things.


Her size: According to the last ultrasound she is 3 lb 12 oz- a big girl!

How far along: 30 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160 lb (that’s +2 for this week for a total of 24 lbs). I give up on the whole 1 lb a week weight gain thing- my body seems to gain whatever it or the baby wants- zero one week, 2 another week without any change in eating habits, and I am not about to cut the nutrition to my baby just so that I don’t gain much. As long as I eat only whole foods, no processed foods and no junk or empty calories (which is how I’ve been eating this whole pregnancy) – I’m not going to worry about it anymore.

Sleep: It’s been pretty good. I keep having weird dreams on and off.

Maternity Clothes: This week I’ve been wearing my Monster Mania tee from BOBA non stop- it’s one of the few tees that are long enough at this point and feel good on my belly.

Food cravings: As usual anything fresh and cold- like  refrigerated fresh pears.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Braxton Hicks, minor fatigue occasionally- that’s all, feeling pretty good these days.

Doctor’s Appointment: I had my ultrasound appointment, OB appointment and an interview with a pediatrician this past Thursday. The ultrasound showed that we had absolutely no reason to worry about my small measurement from the last appointment because our little girl is measuring perfectly fine.  Based on these measurements, she will be around 8 pounds. I don’t put toomuch stock in ultrasound determination of weight since I’ve read about too many cases where the estimation was wrong. In addition to that, there was an ultrasound student there who was doing the measurements so I don’t know how precise they are. But the most important thing is she’s growing perfectly fine. Another discovery at this ultrasound was that she is lying transverse.  The doctor wasn’t concerned since most transverse babies turn. My husband, though, wants me to do some spinning babies exercises to make sure. I’m more inclined to just wait and see, since I cannot imagine adding another set of obligations to my current routine as it is. I’ll probably add a few easier ones.

Then we had a prenatal interview with a local pediatrician. I think we’ll be looking for another one. While we did like his answers and what he said, he talked way too much, listened way too little and honestly seemed like he was on methamphetamines 😉 He seemed like a good doctor, but we’d like to find someone we’re more comfortable with. So I’ll have to ask around for more referrals.

Movement: I don’t know if it’s because she’s transverse or what but she goes from days with barely any activity to really active days. Mostly she’s been moving less than usual, which I attribute to her position- she can’t possibly have enough room lying across my belly.

Belly Button: It’s officially an outie- you can even see it on the bump photo.

Gender: GIRL! They tried to confirm her sex this time just for fun, but Alexis was keeping her knees tightly closed.

Best moment of the week: Finding out Alexis is growing well.

What I’m looking forward to:

End of pregnancy and birth of Lexi.

What I miss:

still sushi!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a review and giveaway of one of my MOST favorite maternity brands, Isabella Oliver, with a hot red dress that Angelina Jolie wore when she was pregnant- so don’t miss it!


29 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

29 weeks

I cannot believe I am one week from being in the week 30! I remember just starting this journey and thinking that 30 weeks was SO FAR ALONG! Luckily, the start of the third trimester has been wonderful for me. I feel like everything that has been said about 2nd trimester (less discomfort, more energy, no heartburn) is finally here now. Let’s hope that the third trimester pains won’t kick in for a while, because I am digging it right now :)

Someone commented asking where I got all the sleeping bras I’m wearing in the bump photos. I didn’t get to answer and couldn’t find that comment later, so here’s where I buy them: Lamaze Cotton Spandex Sleep Bra for Nursing and Maternity.

Really didn’t want to take the bump picture today- bleh!


Her size: Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds

How far along: 29 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 158lb (that’s +0 for this week for a total of 21 lbs). With last week’s 3 lb gain, I am happy to not have gained anything this week.

Sleep: Weird pregnancy dreams are on and off. Last night I woke up from a different dream each time I had to go pee which was about 5 times. One of them featured Alexis being born with a full set of teeth lol

Alexis has also gotten to torturing me by pushing against the bed in my belly when I lay on my side- really funky feeling I gotta tell you.

Maternity Clothes: Totally loving a few lesser known brands (I talk about them every Sunday). I got my new pjs from Boob Design and refuse to take them off at home. I’ll be doing a giveaway of one of their items soon since they’re coming out with their US store. Also some of my other favorite maternity items this week are cargo pants from Everly Grey (win a pair here), and this pair of jean capri from Boob.

Food cravings : I’m still loving my chickenless chicken whole grain sandwiches.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Almost none. I’ve been having a few obvious Braxton Hicks, but that’s really it. I’m really happy my heartburn hasn’t returned full strength yet, like it’s supposed to in 3rd trimester.

Doctor’s Appointment: November 17th and I am really looking forward to seeing our pumpkin on the ultrasound, possibly one last time before delivery. We also have our pediatrician interview the same day, so that’ll be interesting.

Movement: The girl is STRONG! I totally feel like someone out of a movie whose body was invaded by an alien. My skin moves all the time, I think she flipped 3 times today. At one point I could swear she was laying transverse, because i could feel simultaneous kicks and punches on both sides.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Finishing all the painting of the nursery. Casings, baseboards, closet doors- all done! Now onto the design and I have such exciting things planned- can’t wait to show you guys.

What I’m looking forward to:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because that’s when I am ordering about 80% of the nursery stuff and baby items. I have most of it planned out and just cannot wait.

What I miss:

still sushi!

Look forward to the following posts:

2nd Trimester recap this week
My favorite 2nd trimester items
Nursery Update
Our Birth Plan – I am doing a complete 180 on that one.


28 Weeks Bump Update – 3rd Trimester

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

I am officially in my 3rd (!!!!) trimester!

I’m starting to run out of short shorts and tight pants that fit me well for these photos, but I really don’t want to resort to normal clothes, because that won’t show the change in my body as well, which is the whole point of documenting the bump each week.

The bump update pictures are also going to move a bit. I’m not sure where but I need to change backgrounds – maybe nursery!


Her size:  Two and a quarter pounds – keep growing little girl!

How far along: 28 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 158lb (that’s +3 for this week for a total of 21 lbs). Not sure what’s going on here and why I suddenly gained 3 pounds this week. I did concentrate on eating more protein, however my calorie intake has been the same, so hoping it’s all baby girl weight and not the Elena’s fat ass weight :)

Sleep: Iffy. The key is to go to bed earlier- then I get much better sleep.
I know my body hates me because here’s what happens in my “going to bed routine”: I go pee, then go back to the bedroom to put some belly oil on. By the time we’re done ( hubby helps moisturize me), I have to pee again, so I go and, of course, sit my oily butt down on the toilet seat  :) haha Sometimes I don’t wipe off the oil, because I find it funny when hubby goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night and slides all over the place and swears up and down. Then I finally snuggle in with my sleeping pillows and try to go to bed. The second I get into a comfortable position, I realize that  I kind of want to go pee again. I’m not sure if it’s in my head or if it’s Alexis pressing on my bladder while I’m fidgeting around trying to get comfy, but it works like a charm every time. So I go pee a third time in what must have been no longer than 20 minutes and then finally fall asleep peacefully.

Otherwise I get up 3-4 times a night to pee and drink some water AND I’ve been having the weird vivid pregnancy dreams everyone has been talking about.

So far here’s what my virtual self has been up to in my dreams:

1.) while travelling in Iran, I’ve been taken hostage by Betsy Johnson’s  (I know WTH? note: She’s a famous designer)  swat team that flew in scary looking military planes;
2.) I have been chased by a huge big foot/monster looking creature that comes out exactly at 4 pm in a beautiful mansion where I was hanging out with some of my guyfriends AND Vincent Chase from Entourage
3.) Gave birth to Alexis ( which was absolutely breathtaking) and was taking care of her (but of course always screwing up and forgetting to feed her or leaving her somewhere for hours on end), but she was still my gorgeous happy princess and I was surprised to see that she was able to smile and laugh as a 1 day old and then learned to pull up in her crib as a 3 day old :). This dream left me longing for Alexis to be here NOW!!!

Are these not the weirdest dreams ever or what?

Maternity Clothes: Yeeees. Mostly lots of loungewear. But there’re also a few brands and items I am REALLY digging right now. Finally I am starting to feel beautiful as a preggo, and finding the right maternity brands has contributed greatly to it. Check out my weekly maternity brands feature. I have many more to show you for the next 2 months.

Food cravings : We’ve discovered the MOST AMAZING chickless chicken patties ( lol). They are made out of wheat protein and normally, even though I don’t eat meat,  I am all like “Ew! wheat protein, tofu, soy protein- not me! If you want the taste of meat, eat meat), but these things are tasty as all get out. It’s Dr Praeger’s Brand, one patty has 13g of protein which is awesome, and they truly taste like chicken ( well at least to me considering I am not a fan of chicken or any meat for that matter)

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE:

Heartburn – Mild to strong depending on my diet
Braxton Hicks –  occasional

I’ve been pretty asymptomatic this week- feeling relatively good and just trying to get everything done. That everything is 13 different To-Do lists on my Wunderlist app.

Doctor’s Appointment: November 17th for the final (?) ultrasound to check placenta, baby growth, amniotic fluid and other good stuff. I’m really looking forward to it because I don’t like the idea of my belly measuring 2 weeks behind ( even though,  yeah I understand- I was a small baby myself, I am tall, i.e. lotsa room, my ab muscles are strong, fundal height isn’t a a reliable indication of growth bla bla bla- still I want to make sure she’s growing well).

Speaking of ab muscles, aren’t they supposed to soften or weaken at some point in pregnancy? When’s that point? Mine are still rock hard when I flex them.

Movement: She’s continuing her pattern of crazy movement for 2 days and barely anything another. She loves responding to daddy’s voice and is always super active when I am doing my relaxation exercises.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Uuuummm…wow I don’t even remember what happened this week… I guess my 1st baby dream about Alexis which made me love her a 1000 times more.

What I’m looking forward to:

Getting shit done. It feels like I’m never going to dig out from under the mound of things I have to do and research. At this point I barely even do any work ( actual work), it’s mostly like this:  cook, eat, exercise, cook, eat, answer emails, cook eat, train for birth, cook, eat, get some super important work things done, cook, eat, work on the blog, brush teeth, pass out.

What I miss:


 Look forward to 2nd Trimester recap soon!

27 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

I am getting really tired of these bump pictures. They don’t seem to change at all over the weeks :) lol


Her size:  “This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pound and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. ”

How far along: 27 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 155lb (that’s +1 for this week for a total of 19 lbs).

Sleep: I have adjusted to the new “big belly” sleep with a big body pillow and an additional pregnancy pillow ( more about that later). Today I realized that I haven’t thought about sleeping on my stomach in a very long time, which I would take as a hint that I am comfortable enough in the side sleeping position. The only complaint I have is that it appears I prefer my right side to my left and have to always consciously move myself to the left side, since it’s the side that the baby gets the most blood flow from.

Maternity Clothes: Definitely. Now that I have discovered a few really cool maternity brands, I am enjoying wearing maternity clothes, and even though normal tops still fit, I seem to always reach for maternity tops because they are softer and more comfortable.

Food cravings : Asian pears (these suckers are $3/piece at Whole Foods). It seems all my favorite fruit is out of season ( peaches and pears), which has to be the reason why I am craving sweets now ( and eating them too). Before, any time I’d want something sweet, I’d reach for a peach. Now it’s cupcakes ( damn you, Michelle, who brings them every time she stops by) or ice cream.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE:

Heartburn – Mild to strong depending on my diet
Rash – Mild
Braxton Hicks –  occasional
I’m also happy to tell you that both my boobs recently announced to me that they, in fact, work they way nature intended them to. Kind of exciting :) 

Symptoms I still HAVE NOT  had (hmmmm):

leg cramps
sciatic pain
persistent backache ( I only get backache if I don’t work out or sit in an uncomfortable position, like in bed, but it’s definitely nothing consistent),
persistent round ligament pain (I’ve felt it maybe twice the whole pregnancy),
shortness of breath,
mood swings,
linea negra

Doctor’s Appointment: I had my glucose test yesterday. I was both looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. I wanted to get it out of the way and get a good result but at the same time I was not looking forward to drinking something THAT sweet on empty stomach ( I am not a fan of overly sweet things, that’s why I prefer fruit to sweets, or barely sweet european treats). They only had me drink half the little glucose bottle ( for those who haven’t been pregnant yet: it’s kind of like  super sweet orange soda without the fizz). The first sip was actually tasty. Then the sweetness started BURNING my mouth. I finished it and sat down to make sure I don’t throw up or have a reaction. Hubby prepared a whole wheat sandwich in the meantime for me to take to the appointment and eat afterwards. I was starting to get lightheaded in the car, so I just laid back and chilled out. We got in, gave blood, I devoured my sandwich and then we met the doc to ask him a bunch of questions about labor.

We’ve been trying to figure out what direction we want to go with the whole labor/delivery thing and a lot depended on what the hospital protocols were and how flexible our OB was about certain things. There were some things that we were willing to give up, but then others that haed the potential of making us go the birthing center route instead, even though we are both really set on delivering in a hospital. So I won’t get into details, I need to write another post about our birth expectations and desires, but I couldn’t be happier with his answers.  He is really the best OB I could hope for. He is experienced, flexible, and most importantly very very caring. I can just see that he will do what is best for the baby and the mother. He IS very pro-epidural, but I can’t blame him. In most births he has delivered, it has made his job and the job of laboring mother easier and not caused any issues. However, the most important thing is he FULLY supports me in anything we decide, whether it’s natural childbirth or an epidural. He keeps saying that if anyone can do it, it’s me to a lot of questions I ask.

Also, I love how he’s not a fan of other interventions ( aside from epidural), like breaking the water or cervical checks. His routine care is exactly what we wanted and a few things that we disagreed on, he explained to us in detail and we totally saw the point of doing what he recommends, even though he’d always follow it up with “But we can do whatever you guys decide to do”. How cool is that?

I was so afraid that we’re just going to be forced to do things “their” way, but all the answers were perfect. The only problem he foresees is getting an hour of bonding time before they clean and measure Alexis, because, in his words, “the baby nurses have their routine and they’re just not going to be happy about you breaking it. So make sure you let them know in advance and hope that they accommodate you”. I have read before that the baby bonding time right after birth was the hardest thing about giving birth in the hospital, that the baby nurse WAS NOT happy about the couple wanting to stay with the baby for a while after birth. So let’s just hope that we either get a really sweet nurse or that my husband has the balls to stand up to the hospital personnel and let them know our wishes, because I know I’ll be out of it.  lol

Also, at the appointment, the doc said I am measuring 2 weeks behind ( fundal height). He wasn’t concerned at all and cited that it could be many things such as “strong abdominal muscles”, “small baby” (I was a small baby, only 6 lbs 4 oz, which, for how tall I am, is a bit small) or just temporarily behind. Also my mom said she didn’t really start showing too much with me till 7 months. Of course, it’s natural for me to worry a bit anyways. We’ll have our standard ultrasound in 4 weeks, so we’ll see then.

Movement: WE’VE GOT HICCUPS! I’ve been waiting for those. Wondering if I just can’t recognize them… But today while I was taking a nap, I definite felt our precious girl hiccup right in my cervix ( does that mean she’s head down?) Little tap-tap-taps rhythmically over a span of a minute. Love it! That means her central nervous system is developed enough to get hiccups. YAY!

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Flying ( will write a post with photos about it- our friends took us on their Piper plane around the area and to the ocean) and doc’s appointment and baby girl’s hiccups.

What I’m looking forward to:

Officially hitting the third trimester mark, getting a bit more regular with my exercises, working on the nursery.

What I miss:

The beach


26 Week Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

I apologize for the no-make up, bed-hair picture. I had to quickly take it this morning straight out of bed.

Weeks are definitely dragging but at least I feel well.


Baby size:  Little Alexis  is about 1 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long head-to-heel. “Air sacks are developing in your baby’s lungs, which means it just might be possible for your baby to take a breath at the end of this week.” AWESOME!

How far along: 26 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 154lb (that’s +1 for this week for a total of 18 lbs). If I continue gaining 1 pound a week like I’m supposed to ( or is it 1/2 lb in  the third trimester?), I’ll be at 33 lbs total pregnancy weight gain , which is fine. Doesn’t seem like much to lose.

Sleep: Body aches – oh they are starting. I wake up with sore muscles almost every morning. Luckily the soreness subsides pretty quickly. Going to the bathroom now 4-5 times a night ( I drink a lot of water after those bathroom breaks)

Maternity Clothes: Dresses when I go out, otherwise comfy pants  and sleeping bra at home.  I am finally at the point where I need to buy new underwear in the next size up. What I have is getting awfully uncomfortable.

I just bought “threads for thought” organic pants from Whole Foods ( i know, right?) to wear around the house and they are so comfy. I’ve been buying their tees to wear at home and I am just really digging them. Thought I’d give a heads up to other preggo women. The pants are really stretchy and soft and a perfect loungewear during pregnancy.

Food cravings : Garlic whole grain pasta and flash fried zucchinni, homemade ceasar salad wrap, mashed potatoes.

Food aversions: None


Heartburn – Mild
Rash – Mild
Energy- on and off
Braxton Hicks- I am finally having them. During the last 2 appointments my doctor inquired about BH but I honestly didn’t know what they were supposed to feel like. I told him I was having some cramping on and off and he said that might have been it, but whenever he described the tightening I really couldn’t tell that I had felt that before. So I figured I was having BH but  just wasn’t recognizing them. So  finally about a week and a half ago, the actual Braxton Hicks started- the feeling is unmistakable- your belly tightens completely! I’ve been having them pretty much daily- once or twice a day.  Work, body, work!

Exercise:  It’s truly amazing how much exercise does! I am starting to get back pain on the days that I skip exercise because I am too busy. The days when I do my ab and back routine as well as walk are pain free. So ladies, don’t skimp on it! I am hoping that while I feel good I can get as much back/ab strengthening as I can. It truly makes you feel so much better.

Movement: She’s an active little girl, which I hope continues. She’s also somehow kicking the side of my waist. How earth she’s getting to it – I have no idea.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Accomplishing 3 different HUGE projects that I’ve been working on for at least a year. It’s such a relief and such a weight of my shoulders.

What I’m looking forward to:

Time moving faster! But at the same time, I am trying to remind myself to enjoy these few months left without diapers, lack of sleep, no time for things I like  and with just the two of us. I am not a patient person and while I love change, I hate temporary states. For me pregnancy is a temporary state “to get through”, and I have to keep my mind from racing ahead and dreaming of times when Alexis is here and be more in the present enjoying it.

What I miss:

Smoked salmon and brie cheese! I am starting to strongly desire things I cannot have. I have to tell you: the second that baby is out ( well, after hours of cuddling), I will be requesting a smoked salmon focaccia bread and Fiji sushi roll.

 Things that have been on my mind:

1. My mom ( whos’ in Russia and who I talk to daily via Skype and who will be coming before birth to be with us and help us out and whom my husband adores and who is the most loving and devoted human being I’ve ever encountered in my life….) is incredibly excited about meeting Alexis and my heart melts when she says things like this every time we talk: “Len (my short name), I am totally shocked that I feel like I know Alexis. I mean I had never felt it with you or your sister before you were born or any of the grandchildren. They were always just hypothetical, and I always cared about “the mother” not the child during pregnancy. But with you I just feel like she’s here and I know her and her temperament. Like, she’s already such a “naughty” (meant in a good way) girl! And I already love her SO MUCH, like I know her. I’ve never experienced anything like that”

I love it when she says that! It’s so sweet and it makes me and Alexis feel so special. She calls her “my little brat” ( again the use of that particular word in Russian is meant in a playful manner- “zasranka”).   I know she feels that way partly because of the ultrasounds they didn’t have in her day, partly because I tell her so much about Alexis and her development and I share things we are doing to help that development as if we already have her.

2. Since this post is late due to the fact that my hubby cut his foot and we had to go to an ER to get it stitched up/glued together ( some of you know about it from my Facebook page), the nursery update will be one day late, as well. Hope to post it by Saturday. And then Sunday I’ll be talking about yet another maternity/nursing company as part ofPregnant with Style project. This time it’s all about LINGERIE!!!! 😉


Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy


You can always tell if I am having a good day or not, based on my weekly bump photos lol
How do you like my Dr Seuss socks?


Baby size: A size of a rutabaga (huh?) and growing… In the next few weeks the brain development will explode and in just 3 weeks 90% of babies born at that point survive without any lasting health problems- always a good thing.

How far along: 25 weeks ( Is it me or are these weeks going by SO SLOOOOWLY?)

Total weight gain: Nada. I’m still at 152 lbs, still eating really well and hitting my calorie goal, but I guess considering that Little Alexis has been very active this week, not much growth was happening. Let’s catch up next week, little girl! {update: this morning I got my 1lbs for the week so I am at 153lb now)

Sleep: Good, good good! It’s good all around. I wake up 3 times a night to go pee, but it hasn’t been bothering me in the least. The 5 pillows are difficult to manage and by the time I get back into bed after my bathroom breaks, my husband is always hogging at least 3 of them, which means I have to wrestle them out of his death grip in the middle of the night.  I keep telling him that if he still hears me fidgeting, I am not done arranging the pillows- so back off. But since it takes me a few minutes to get comfortable, by then he’s already on the other side of the bed sleeping. So I have to drag his arms to me, so that we could snuggle. It’s really quite hilarious.

Maternity Clothes: Dresses when I go out, and maternity bras at home. Otherwise, I wear a lot of stretchy pants around the house. I am really looking forward to getting some nice maternity pjs to wear around the house and all my “stretchy pants'” are getting too tight.

Food cravings : Fruit, always fruit.

Food aversions: None


Heartburn – I’ve been lucky to not have any heartburn this whole week until today.
Rash – Less itchy but man, it’s all over my boobs.

I have really felt great this past week. Energy is decent, symptoms are almost non-existent. So far this pregnancy I have not had any back pain, no real round ligament pain to speak of, leg cramps, constipation or any of the other nuisances that usually pop up as your belly grows.

Exercise: Ok, I’ve been bad. Busy and bad. I completely ignored my evening walks and my pregnancy exercises and my kegels this week. It makes me feel super guilty. In my defense, it’s been really busy, but I gotta really learn to manage and fit it all in: work, blogging, photography, nursery set up, online shopping, research, friends, exercise, cooking. Thank God, cleaning is the one thing that’s off our hands now.


Alexis keeps bouncing on my cervix and it freaks me out sometimes ( wrong door, girl!). I don’t want her to even think there’s a way out yet – settle down, girl! Oh and I have not felt hiccups yet, or maybe I can’t recognize them.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

I thought you might like to see the front of my belly when the light is right and shows some definition. In even lighting my belly looks almost non-existent in the front view, but if I position myself right where the light falls from the side, it looks HUGE! I just had to photograph it in this lighting.


Gender: GIRL!

What I’m looking forward to:
Doing a Nursery update. I know I’ve been promising it for a month now, but it’s moving soooo slow. Every weekend we do a little bit, and since I can’t help with painting or refinishing, my hubby has to do it all. Well, he’s taking his time, forgetting to pick up paint, not getting enough of it, blah blah blah. We’ll still have it ready in time, but I wish I could just do it all myself. So hopefully after this weekend, I’ll have something to show you. We assembled the crib, the walls are painted, the closet  and molding should be painted by then. Not much progress to report, but at least you’ll see the direction we’re going in.

What I miss:
Being/feeling productive.
I get a lot done, but I feel like this pregnancy fatigue and all the care I put into food preparation and making sure I take care of myself ( rest, interact with Alexis when she’s awake, read to her, floss and brush after every meal, moisturize twice a day, plus the constant bathroom runs, agh!) derail and distract me so much. These are all important things and I do them because I believe in the benefit, but I’d like to spend more time doing work stuff, and blogging, and catching up on everything I’m behind on. I guess I realize it won’t improve, it will only get busier. The cooking will continue because of breastfeeding ( oh I loved those days when it didn’t matter what I put inside of my body lol), time with Alexis will multiply as she grows ( and I love that idea), but at least I won’t be as tired because I will no longer be growing a human being, and I won’t need to be so diligent in my skin care routine to prevent stretchmarks, or take care of my gums like crazy because I am pregnant and most importantly, I will be able to push myself even when I am tired, which I don’t do now, because that would mean taking the precious energy away from Alexis who needs it to grow her big beautiful brain and develop the rest of her organs (wow, is that a massive sentence or what?).  So whenever I feel tired or overwhelmed, I relax, which is not something I would allow myself to do normally.

I like structure and right now I lack that structure.


Oh and I am not even close to being half way done with the nursery but I am already mapping out in my head the playroom we’re going to create for Alexis. We have this room downstairs that is just a placeholder for furniture ( literally). I cannot wait to create a whole play area out of it, with reading spots and easels and kids tables and chairs for activities and all kinds of stuff. Yeeek!!!