Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy blog’

Easter Girls Photoshoot

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Life as a Toddler, PHOTO, TODDLER

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I am pretty sure this is the last photo post I have that I needed to catch up on. Whew! Feels good!

For Easter, aside from the doing the whole egg hunt/Easter bunny thing, we invited our friends over and attempted to take some Easter themed photos with our two bunnies, Lexi twins.

We pulled together two white dresses: one that I bought before Lexi was born and I had a clue about clothing sizes. It was size 24 months, yet she was too almost big for it at 13 months. So this photoshoot was the justification for ever having bought the dress. I love it and now I have photos of Alexis wearing the dress. I guess that’s the most I can ask from a piece of special occasion wear that I bought over a year ago.

For the main sitting photo, it took all four of us to keep their attention (Lexi from running off and Alexa from crying, which are the two issues each of them has when it comes to taking pictures together), but eventually with a lot of readjusting and Andrew’s rendition of the Itsy Bitsy Spider and If you’re happy and you know it, we got it.

Also,of course, I couldn’t get Lexi still enough to take a good close up picture of her, but at least I got gorgeous Alexa to pose for me, so I was happy.

Little girl in red…

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, Fashion and Outfits

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The other day I decided that we needed to get out more on the weekends, rather than try to cram as much housework as we can, along with blog work, along with family time. I said “Pfftt! Housework! Who needs a clean and organized house anyways!?” (that’s my philosophy lol) “Let’s go to the lamest freaking bbq show in the worst part of town!”

Ok, I didn’t know it was going to be lame! Or that it’s in THAT part of town. Or that the “petting zoo for kids” meant a lizard and a tired panther in a cage.

Halloween 2012: Baby’s First Halloween

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

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A quick post about how our Halloween went. We have a love hate relationship with the holiday based on whether we are able to come up with an interesting costume idea or not :)
Those years that we hadn’t or had been too busy, we acted like it wasn’t even Halloween. On other years, we had more fun than one should be allowed to have. You can see our previous years’ costumes in this post.

This year we were invited to a friend’s Halloween party. After some searching I found the perfect family outfit :) I had to search the net for a green mushroom hat and a onesie with the mushroom graphic on it, but our two costumes were super easy.

Mario, Princess Peach and Lexi as our little Power Up Mushroom

First swim in the ocean: Photo Post

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BABY, FUN TIMES, LIFE, PHOTO

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As I mentioned in the post about our birthdays, the morning after my birthday fun, we woke up and hurried off to the beach before the sun got too high and too hot.

This was officially Lexi’s first dip in the ocean and I was super excited to see how she’d react. She absolutely loved the water. There were smiles and giggles and lots of splashing.

There’ s really not much more to say, it’s all captured in the photos below.

BUMP UPDATES

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

Birth Plan

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

PLEASE READ: I can’t believe I have to make this disclosure but after a lot of initial unsolicited and close-minded (and some helpful and nice) input on the hospital bag post, I’d like to say this:

This is MY birth plan. I am NOT interested in what YOU think my birth is going to be like. Nor what YOU think my hospital will or will not allow, nor what YOU think I can or cannot do.
I did run this whole thing past my OB who delivers exclusively at the hospital I’ll be in and got an approval and signature on everything with a few maybes, with his cell phone number to call in case something isn’t working out.

That being said, you’re welcome to share your experience of YOUR birth and birth plans, as well as give advice based on FACTS pertaining to MY birth specifically, as long as you have read previous posts and know exactly where I stand (in other words, you aren’t a first time visitor who seems to think that they know anything about what I want or need).
I’m very interested in any hypnobabies/hypnobirth birth plans and how things worked out.
Before commenting, please read Childbirth training post, if you haven’t before. Thank you!

I am quite open to many things if need be, however this is my best case scenario of how I’d like things to go in case of a normal uncomplicated and not drawn out labor.
My awesome OB agreed pretty much with everything and as he was going through the points, he kept going “That’s how it normally is” to almost every point.

Obviously, this plan is going to have to be modified, if Alexis doesn’t show up by Thursday and I have to go in for an induction. A few things on here will go straight out the door in an induction situation.
{And obviously, this isn’t the format I used for the actual birth plan. This is just a breakdown. }

BIRTH PLAN

Note: since I’ll be doing hypnosis for relaxation, my husband will be the one communicating with the nurses most of the time.

  • Minimum personnel in the room. No interns or students in the delivery room.
    I’ll be doing hypnosis so I want it as quiet as possible. They can teach kids on someone else. {people relax, it is said as a joke. My own good friend and MIL are both nurses, recently out of training. I just won’t be able to concentrate on hypnosis with people in and out of the room}
  • No regular cervical checks. I don’t want to be informed of progress, either.
    I’m really digging the emotional stages of labor and see them over and over again in birth stories I read, so I would rather go by that since it’s more accurate than dilation. Funny story: my sister who gave birth in Russia 18 years ago told me about her experience. She basically had painless contractions that started at 8pm. At 12am (4 hours later), they suddenly picked up and she was screaming in pain. They checked her- 4cm. No way she can labor for hours like that she thought (there were no epidurals available). 30 minutes later- she was 10 cm and ready to push. My nephew came out with 4 pushes. Another great example of how emotional stages of labor are way more indicative of progress than dilation ( if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read it in Bradley Book)
  • No IV unless necessary (hep lock is fine).
    Truth be told I really don’t even want a hep lock. I don’t know how comfortable or uncomfortable I will be and I’d really like to avoid have a needle attached to my arm. Or being pumped full of fluids. But I realize I might not be able to not have either. I am, however, open to an IV, if for some reason, I am unable to hydrate properly and/or my labor is taking a long time. Fluids have its use- that’s for sure- just not as a routine thing in every labor. This was the first item that doc said we might have an issue with the nurses over.
  • No drugs whatsoever (including induction drugs, unless we agreed to them prior to ).
    I don’t want any painkillers, no Demerol or anything of that kind. I’d go for an epidural if I can’t handle the intensity of childbirth before going for other drugs.
  • No Cytotec if induction is necessary
    OB said they don’t ever use it anyways.
  • No amniotomy.
    Really needs no explanation. My doc agrees.
  • I’d like to be able to drink liquids, eat easily digested foods (fruit) during labor, if needed.
    Doc insists that I will not WANT to eat once I’m in active labor. Im not disagreeing but I’d like to decide for myself. I’m not planning on eating anything but easily digested foods, like fruit or juices, or maybe those bars I packed in early labor.
  • No continuous fetal monitoring. 20 minutes on , 20 minutes off is fine.
    This according to the doc is going to be a hard one. The funny part is I totally understand why they want to monitor, however I don’t want to be tethered down. I might be perfectly comfortable in bed and then sure bring it on. But based on everything I’ve read that’s usually not the case. So we are going to allow 20 on and off initially because I totally get why they want it and sort of play it by ear otherwise. If I am comfortable using hypnosis in bed or where the monitor can reach, I am not opposed to constant monitoring, but if it’s going to limit the type of relaxation techniques I can use, then it’s going to have to go. OB wasn’t happy about it, because he gets to track all his laboring patients on his iPhone ( how cool is that?), but he’s too sweet and caring to say no.
  • No epidural unless we specifically ask for it ourselves.
    This is sort of a no-brainer, but I just don’t want to be asked if I want an epidural until I request it myself.
  • No loud noises or push coaching.
    That only refers to initial pushing. Once the head is crowning, my OB will be directing my pushing to prevent tears. I don’t tend to need a lot of loud cheering on and we don’t want the atmosphere to be crazy loud, so none of that “PUSH! PUSH PUSH!” for me. On the other hand maybe I’ll be surprised and that’s exactly what will get me going.
  • I would prefer not to spend any time lying flat on my back, including during pushing stage.
    This one is non-negotiable! Half the hospital births I’ve seen they have women lying on their backs. 45 degree angle is fine, on my back- no!
  • I’d like to push in a sitting squat or whatever position I find comfortable.
    This one I’m really curious about what position I will find best to push it. No way to know until you get there :)
  • No episiotomy.
    Luckily doc agrees.
  • During the pushing stage, I would appreciate warm moist compresses and perineal massage to reduce risk of tearing.
    It’d be really cool if doc remembers to do that. Otherwise hopefully hubby will be in a gathered enough state to remind him.
  • No pulling on baby’s head. I would like to push her out myself.
  • Please delay cord clamping for at least 1-2 minutes. The cord clamping thing was initially “until it’s done pulsating”. After discussing it with the doctor he said that the longer you keep the cord unclamped and the more blood gets in (plus he brought up something to do with the baby being above mothers chest or something like that), the more bilirubin needs to be broken down. So it’s a fine balance between “yes you want the baby to take as much blood as possible to prevent anemia but at the same time you might run the risk of severe jaundice that’s a lot more dangerous”. To be honest I haven’t had time (or more like desire) to look up and see if what he’s saying is correct. He is a really caring doctor so I doubt he’d be saying something that it’s partially true. So we decided to let the cord pulsate for a few minutes and then clamp it. That way we get some extra blood into Alexis, but don’t run a big risk of jaundice.

BABY PLAN

  • We will provide blankets and will dry the baby ourselves {Actually, Andrew will as I’ll be “busy” with other things)
  • Please allow us time to get to know our baby and breastfeed (1-2 hours) before any newborn procedures.
  • All newborn procedures to be done in the room
  • Please no baths
  • Please keep low voices and be gentle
  • Please no eye ointment and no Hep B vaccine.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO formula, sugar water, water.
  • NO artificial nipples (pacifiers or bottles)
Hope this helps some of you who are in the process of writing a birth plan. I will have to change it if induction is necessary by Thursday. I don’t think I’ll post the updated plan since there’ll be far more important things to do. What I will do, however, is write a post on how it worked out for us. I assume, things won’t go exactly as we want, so concessions will have to be made, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all works out.

Childbirth “Training”

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

In one of the posts I mentioned the hours I have to spend a day preparing for childbirth. I’ve often heard the intensity and strength of childbirth is compared to a marathon and the preparations needed being just as important.

So I’d like to break it down for you:

Kegels: 3 times a day

This one is easy. It’s best to start as soon as possible even before you’re pregnant to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to prevent issues with urinary leakage during pregnancy and after birth, as well as get them strong enough to push effectively. I have to say my PC muscles weren’t very strong when I started, some time after my 1st trimester nausea subsided. I use a iPhone app called Kegel Camp to train 3 times a day. The difference in my PC muscle strength now is amazing. It is a pain in the butt to remember to do them three times a day ( I have to put it on my daily to-do list), but it’s definitely worth it not having to pee your pants anytime you laugh or sneeze.

Strengthening exercises: 30 min

These were taken from the the Bradley Book and combined with a few pregnancy exercises. I mainly concentrated on my abs and my upper thighs , since those are the main things that will need endurance and strength when time comes to push the baby out. I have to admit that with the introduction of additional hypnobabies training (see below), I just haven’t been finding the time to do these lately . I feel really bummy about it, but I have to learn to accept that sometimes I can’t do it all. I just simply can’t fit it into my day anymore. I TRY to do them every day but I fail more often than I succeed.

Perineal massage: 10 min a day

Oh, this one is my favorite! NOT!

Guys, I gotta tell you – I was looking forward to doing it and preparing in that way and was waiting to turn 32 weeks to start. The massage has been shown useful in preventing muscle and skin tears during delivery and is to be done once a day 6-8 weeks before due date.

What I didn’t anticipate was how awful the first try was going to be. {If you don’t know how it’s done, look it up, so that you knew what I am talking about} I attempted to do it myself, but my big belly just didn’t let me get into a position where I could do it. So I did what most women do –  ask my husband. We got all set up, prepared the oil, and he tried it with 1 (!!!) finger. OH MY FREAKING GOD! I literally jumped back, looking at him like “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” It was really painful and the feeling wasn’t like anything I’ve felt before. After a few more attempts, I said “Screw it! We are waiting till next week to try again!”

The next week we resumed and now that I knew what to expect and used my relaxation techniques things went a lot smoother, but it’s definitely not a fun thing to do, I’ll tell ya! So 4 weeks later, there’s a HUGE improvement in elasticity, but you know what I think is the most valuable thing in doing the massage? It’s the familiarity with the feeling of what the baby’s head will feel like pressing on all the same parts while crowning. I can now imagine where “ring of fire” term came from. lol I am now actually prepared for that feeling and feel I can take a lot more than what  we’re doing, i.e. baby’s head.

Inversions: 3 times a day

I only had to do this for a few days. Back when Alexis was transverse, I did inversions (spinningbabies.com) 3 times a day to encourage her to flip. I don’t know whether that helped or she flipped on her own, but she was good and engaged a week later.

Walking: 40 min a day

(to encourage baby to flip head down when she was transverse)

I stopped doing it, because I started getting very strong Braxton Hicks a bit too often for my peace of mind. I’ll be resuming the walks after 38th week.

Finger drop 5 times a day

This is a relaxation technique to be done as a part of Hypnobabies course. You basically let your whole body go limp for about 5 minutes total, while doing the techniques they teach you in the Hypnobabies course 5 times a day is challenging but it’s also good  to force yourself to take a 5 minute break to relax.

Hypnosis track: 40 min a day

Again, this is a part of Hypnobabies program. Every day you’re supposed to listen to 1 Hypnosis track, preferably during the day, though I do delegate it to right before bed most of the time. It is THE BEST remedy against insomnia. It knocks me out in a matter of minutes and my husband loves it so much that he downloaded it on his iPhone as well and turns it on in the morning when he has trouble going back to sleep. (Speaking of sleep, since he started drinking that cherry extract he’s had no problems sleeping (cherry juice contains melatonin that helps regulate your sleep cycle)

Affirmations: 35 min a day

A non-hypnosis track that helps you set a positive tone in your mind about childbirth. It can be listened any time and I usually turn it on while writing a blog post or doing some work. It’s a great tool to ease worries and concerns about pregnancy and childbirth. It’s definitely helped me have a more positive outlook on things.

Partner script: 10 minutes every other day

This is something we do together. My birth partner (my husband) reads out a hypnosis script to me every other night while I practice my relaxation. It’s very helpful and I gotta say, having him read that script is much more powerful than the hypnosis tape.

 

I have to admit- it’s a lot! And it gets overwhelming sometimes. I try to make it my priority but it’s hard to do, since there’re always more pressing things to accomplish rather than prepare for this hypothetical, some-time-in-the-future event. It’s always extremely hard to do something that you can’t see the results for right away (or even know if it would work). But I guess all important things in life are like that: eating well and exercising for your health, going to school to advance in a career, parenting, saving money for the future- it all requires lots of patience and determination and in the end it’s always worth it.

36 WEEK BUMP UPDATE

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

36 WEEKS

 

It was so cold this morning that I jumped out of bed and quickly put clothes on without realizing that my bra is inside out until I took these pictures- haha!
Oh and I was taking these shots when hubby brought me an ice-cream cone- I couldn’t let it melt while I took pictures :)

STATS:

Her size: Still cantaloupe, almost watermelon.

How far along: 36 WEEKS!!!! OH YEAH!!!!! 1 more week to full term.

Total weight gain: 169 lb.  (+1 lbs this week, total at 33 lbs). According to my OB, I haven’t gained anything this week, but weighing yourself in the middle of the day with clothes and shoes on isn’t as accurate, so I’m going by my morning weigh ins.

Sleep: Still good. I am pretty much used to getting up many times a night to pee which is a good sign for the upcoming middle of the night baby-thon. I also started waking up “concerned” with whether Alexis is moving or not. She doesn’t move at night, so I wake up to go pee, all worried that she’s not moving. As soon as I get back into bed, I put my hands around my belly and wait for her to stir. She does move almost immediately and I go back to sleep only to wake up a few hours later and repeat it all again.

Maternity Clothes: Just the same old stuff I’ve blogged about before

Food cravings: Cucumbers, cakes

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Occasional major pelvic pains. When Alexis is moving, sometimes her head presses on SOMETHING in my pelvic bone (nerve? bone?) and it really hurts- like a jolt of shock. Sometimes it lasts for hours of her squirming around. The other day I was helping hubby take this super difficult 3 hour test and she wouldn’t stop moving. I couldn’t even use my relaxation techniques, because I had to be concentrating on the questions. I guess it’s a good sign meaning she’s deeper in my pelvis and possibly settling even more down.

I had 2 leg cramps this week for the first time this pregnancy, so I probably need to up my calcium intake a bit more.

And finally, I am almost always tired, but feel really great otherwise!

Doctor’s Appointment: Yesterday. I got all negative on Strep B and cultures, which was good news. BP was excellent, no swelling, good heartbeat and measurements. Based on the external exam, Alexis appears to be at about 0 station (which is why I was feeling pain). So everything is fine, now we just have to wait till she decides to arrive. Next appointment is in a week and I am sure they’re going to want to check my cervix for progress, which I totally don’t see the medical need for, since it doesn’t predict how close you are to labor. I’ll go into labor when I do, so why check it.

Movement: She’s very active. I guess they’re supposed to slow down due to cramped space, but it seems like she’s only starting and I like it that way. The more movement, the more brain development happens in these last weeks, since synapses are created by experiences. So I don’t care if she has to punch me multiple times a day- You go girl! Oh and she’s insanely strong now and her feet are big :) lol

Belly Button: Outie. That area of my belly is stretching the most and the skin looks almost translucent and reddish. If I am going to get stretchmarks, something tells me that’s where they will first appear.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: WOW I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone this whole week. Oh, there was Christmas (lol), that was really nice. But mostly I am just buried under a load of last minute baby preparations and work.

What I’m looking forward to:

Being full term next week- that’s just soooo exciting! And then the week after that my mom arrives. Let’s just hope I don’t go into labor before then!

And I am almost giddy about my labor starting- seriously I can’t wait!

What I miss:

Not watching every little thing that goes into my mouth or on my body.

What else?

  • The realization of Alexis being pretty much ready to go hit me hard. I still don’t have a lot of basic items like diaper pails and baby care items (I have a 49 point list on my Wunderlist). We still haven’t read the newborn books, since we’ve been trying to get through other attachment parenting books, as well as breastfeeding books and baby brain books. So most likely I am going to have to stop any work projects going on that aren’t urgent and get all that ordered and if she doesn’t show up early, attempt to get the work stuff accomplished before she arrives. So today I am knee deep in ordering baby essentials.
  • It’s probably every pregnant woman’s feeling but I think she’ll come before 40 weeks ( which would be my preference, since I don’t want to drive myself crazy with “OMG are we gonna have to induce?”)
And finally a closer belly shot. Because of the direct light, I don’t think you can even make out my belly in the bump update shots (the front ones), so it looks more like a belly here. With that uneven side where Lexi rests her feet lol.

35 WEEK BUMP UPDATE {35/35}

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

STATS:

Her size: We’re a large cantaloupe this week! Getting closer and closer to a watermelon.

How far along: 35 WEEKS. Yesterday was the famous 35/35 – 35 weeks along with 35 days to go.

Total weight gain: 168 lb.  (+2 lbs this week, total at 32 lbs).  I guess I gotta get used to this 2 lbs a week thing. I can tell Alexis is gaining a lot, she’s getting bigger and stronger with each day. Starting from about 28 weeks, I’ve been trying to make sure my protein intake is adequate, which isn’t exactly easy for a person who doesn’t eat meat, so all I have to rely on is diary products, cheese and occasional well cooked shrimp or sardines (low in mercury and dioxins). I’ve had sort of an aversion to beans this whole pregnancy, so I can’t even eat them without grimacing. I’m pretty sure that’s where the extra weight gain is coming from, which makes me feel good because I know protein is something that is crucial for her development and her brain.

Sleep: The bathroom trips are out of control. Seriously, it feels like I get up 10 times a night (it’s really about 4-5 times). I can’t cut down on my evening water intake though, because I get so thirsty at night. Getting up 5 times a night doesn’t really bother me as much as I’d imagine it would, so I’m still pretty content with my sleep (minus the occasional nightmares)

Maternity Clothes: Just the same old stuff I’ve blogged about before

Food cravings: Anything sweet and fruit.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Lots of little Lexi punches, occasional heartburn, occasional pelvic pressure. But otherwise I feel great! No stretchmarks so far either, so I have my fingers crossed (and tummy lubed up). BTW, I don’t think I ever mentioned but my skin cleared up. I had broken out pretty badly in the first trimester and it lasted throughout the 2nd trimester, but now it seems everything is settled in. I still don’t have the skin I had before pregnancy, but I attribute it to the fact that I am not using the same products, since they aren’t 100% “pregnancy approved”.

Doctor’s Appointment:  Yesterday for strep B test. Now I am switched over visiting the doctor’s office once a week.

Movement: The strong punches have started. I feel she’s trying to poke out of me with her butt! She is REALLY strong. It doesn’t necessarily hurt, but it’s not exactly pleasant. I do love her movements no matter how uncomfortable it gets. She seems to love my hipbone, because it gets kicked all the time.  I keep meaning to videotape her moving in my belly but miss her every time.

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: I love feeling good. It’s surprising to me that I’m that far along and don’t have much to complain about in terms of aches. I do have occasional pains, but they don’t seem to bother me much. So I’m enjoying this part of the pregnancy.

What I’m looking forward to:

I should be looking forward to the holidays, but this year it’s going to be low key. We are having a nice Christmas dinner at our friends’ house, which is making me feel a little better about skipping most of the festivities ( we didn’t even decorate, because then we’d have to take all the decor down right as Lexi is supposed to arrive.

Another friend of ours is hosting an amazing New Year’s party this year at his mansion that we decided not to go to :(  But I swear that’s the last party we’ll have to miss (bummer :( ). We went back and forth considering going, but it’s just too close to our due date, too many people (flu season), and too much smoke.  Just to give you an idea of the scale of parties he throws: there’s gonna be valet parking at his house as well as a bus he rented that will take anyone home who doesn’t want to worry about not drinking and driving. There’s also going to be a separate area of the house set up for kids/teenagers with their own food and DJ, which I thought was a neat idea.

What I miss:

BEING ABLE TO BEND WITHOUT GROANING :) HA!

What else?

  •  I recently read something I’d like to share with you guys. If you aren’t subscribed to my Facebook page, you might have missed this. It was an article about pain fighting foods and one of those foods are cherries (or pretty much any berries), which was nice to know. But specifically, they found out that 2 tablespoons of cherry extract (cherry juice concentrate) is 10 times more effective at fighting inflammation than aspirin. If you read anything about inflammation in our bodies, you know that it has a lot of negative effects on our health and we all have it (from foods we eat and medications we take and just from living life), so it’s nice to know that something so natural and easy can be done to counteract that.  Any junk foods we eat add to that silent inflammation inside of us, and a lot of healthy foods are inflammatory as well. So I ordered a bottle of cherry concentrate  and read some reviews on it too. It seems to really work, as amazing as it sounds (lots of people treat pain due to arthritis  with cherry concentrate). This is the one I got: Tart Is Smart Tart Cherry Concentrate, 32-Ounce Bottle, in case you’re interested. NOTE: I am not taking it during pregnancy, just in case, so I bought it for my husband. I would research about the effect of cherry extract/juice/concentrate in pregnancy before taking it.
  • Another thing I’d like to mention is Isabella Oliver is having a 50% off sale. I wish I had more than a month left in my pregnancy because I’d love to get a few more of those dresses and skirts. But for those of you out there pregnant and looking for a super classy and elegant maternity brand, check it out: 50% off Isabella Oliver
  • A fellow “recently preggo, now with a baby” blogger Megan is holding her first child related giveaway. And she’d love for those interested to enter check it out!
I think that’s it for today! If I am not back before Christmas,  I wish you all the best time ever, whether it’s quite or crazy!
Love,
E


 

32 WEEK UPDATE

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!

STATS:

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.