Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

Christmas Photos

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

This was our first year sending out Christmas cards. It was somehow not important before we had a kid on the way. Now that Alexis is in the picture, we both suddenly felt the need to reach out to friends and family on Christmas. Getting around to taking Christmas photos wasn’t as easy as deciding that we needed to send cards. Finally, when we couldn’t wait any longer, we quickly got dressed, put make up on for the first time in weeks (me) and as the sun was setting and we were loosing most of our light took off to the one place we were almost sure would be decorated at this point.

Both crabby, without any desire to pose, with business calls coming in constantly, we somehow pulled it off.

Note: All the shots were taken and edited by me, using a tripod, a remote, 50mm and Lightroom (even though I tend to be pretty good at hiding the remote, you might be able to spot it in my hand in some of these)

At this point everyone, even my oversees friends, has already received the cards, so I feel I’m not spoiling the surprise for anyone by posting these. {Patti, yes, you know who you are, I have sent you TWO cards and each time they keep coming back with “wrong address” stamp on it. I now give up! But please know that we did send it and we think of you and Bernie often}

Red dress is from Isabella Oliver Maternity Collection

and what is a shoot without some outtakes.

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 ( 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.


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



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 :)


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.


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


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:


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!


Conception Misconceptions

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

I find it funny sometimes how TV shows and movies misrepresent certain things to help fit them into the storyline or their timeline. Sometimes, though, I feel like those things have the potential of harming/hurting the less educated/knowledgable viewers or younger audience.

You all heard about the fuss over Glee and the adoption storyline they were going to run. From what I remember, they were going to have Quinn give her baby up for adoption and then later change her mind and take the baby back or something along those lines.  The adoption activists got a wind of it and rightfully made it a big deal asking the studio to change their storyline. Whatever the real story was there, it is not right to give people an impression that couldn’t be further from the truth ( like that you can give your baby up for adoption and then months/years later change your mind and take it back). Because while most people tend to research their options, others ( especially young and inexperienced) can be too overwhelmed by the prospect of what they are about to do and simply rely on misconceptions they’ve picked up on TV.

So the other day I was watching last season’s episode of Parenthood where Julia and her hubby were trying to conceive and there was a conversation between her and Sarah about “how long it has taken them to conceive and that surely there was a problem with one of them, since it has been a WHOLE 4 months and nothing”.

I mean, seriously? A WHOLE 4 MONTHS????

Any book or doctor will tell you that it takes an average healthy couple 4-6 months to conceive, with some taking 1 year BEFORE there’s a need to worry about infertility. Anyone who doesn’t know that going into TTC is either not ready to have a baby, because obviously they didn’t  prepare properly, OR is most likely going to be in a world of hurt if it takes them a few months longer than expected.

Now, I know you might say that it took us 1 month to conceive, so I have no right to say anything(which would be rude, btw),  BUT we did spend a whole year preparing for that first month of TTC (reading books, changing eating habits, exercising, not smoking, not drinking, doing tests, taking care of health problems, doing dental work, taking prenatals etc), doing more than most people do while TTCing, so who knows how long it would have taken us to conceive, had we started the second the decision was made? And aside from that, I was going into it fully expecting it to take 4-6 months or more.

So while the show’s screw up was a minor one, I think it’s slightly unfair to those who have been trying for a few months or longer and creates misconceptions for those who aren’t having kids yet.

The other thing that made me chuckle on the show is how Julia was holding off her horny husband for 48 hours so that he’s “save up his sperm” until the day of ovulation. There are multiple studies which show that waiting to have sex to increase sperm count actually lowers your chances of conception in a man with normal sperm counts, because that means you have less sex ( for men with low sperm counts it has shown to work if you time it right). And then finally, waiting until she ovulates? Really? If you have sex ON the day of ovulation, your chances of conception are actually much lower (5% i think- don’t quote me on that one), than having sex a day or two PRIOR to ovulation (12-15% chance of conception, again I’m just remembering from the top of my head). So it’s all about depositing “the goods” in a timely and continuous manner until you hear “The eagle has landed!”

I just find it funny, because I remember before we decided to have a baby, I was one of those people who thought that it’s better to wait a few days before having sex because he’ll have more swimmers. I bet I got it from some TV show :) haha

Guest Post: Top pregnancy Precautions to Take

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

{This is a guest post from The Pregnancy Zone}

Top Pregnancy Precautions to Take

It used to be that women were urged to take care, and refrain from a great many activities when pregnant; however we now know that it is possible for women to live full and active lives all throughout pregnancy. In fact we now know that the more active a woman is during pregnancy, the better it is for her and her unborn child.

However what we also do know is that pregnancy is recognized as a period of compromised immunity and that women need to take certain precautions to avoid getting sick during this time for the sake of their own health as well as their baby’s proper growth.


It is prudent to take the following common Pregnancy Precautions –

  • Fish is good to eat during pregnancy and otherwise, however certain kinds of fish are bad for pregnant women due to their possible mercury content. Avoid tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel or shark and eat no more than 12 ounces of fish in a week. Here is a complete list of safe and unsafe fish to refer to.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have illnesses or communicable infections because pregnant women have reduced immunity and may catch something more readily during this time.
  • Avoid Listeria by making sure that no unpasteurized dairy products or uncooked or partly cooked meats are consumed. Soft cheeses such as feta, goat, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses are best not eaten. Listeriosis is able to cross the placenta over to the fetus and as such is a serious illness if contracted during pregnancy and even otherwise.
  • Other food-borne infections such as toxoplasmosis and salmonella are also very dangerous during pregnancy and should be guarded against by avoiding handling or eating raw or partly cooked meat, pate, meat spread, deli meat, raw eggs or sauces/foods containing raw eggs. Be careful if you have to handle cat litter (have someone else do it for a while), and also be careful when working in the garden or handling soil (use gloves).
  • Food borne illnesses could also transmit through raw veggies or cut and peeled fruit so be sure to eat only fresh produce that is cooked or at least has been washed thoroughly and properly cleaned and cut with clean cutlery. Remember bacteria can also flourish on your cutting or chopping boards so make sure these are properly cleaned as well.
  • Be careful about any and all medication that you take – even a pain killer for a headache, an allergy pill and so called natural or herbal medications, should all be cleared with a doctor before being consumed during pregnancy.
  • Avoid saunas and hot tubs during pregnancy since they can raise the body temperature to dangerously high levels. Such overheating can cause problems for the baby and may negatively impact development.
  • If possible avoid contact with chemicals such as harsh cleaning agents and so on. Also if possible avoid salon procedures such as hair coloring, tinting, straightening or perming, since the possible impact of such chemicals and the possibility of their leaching into the mother’s system is not yet fully understood.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by The blog offers complete week by week Pregnancy information and topics relating to Preparing for the Pregnancy, Pregnancy Stages, Labor & Delivery, Pregnancy Issues, Health Issues, Parental care etc.


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.


Baby Showers? No! Baby Parties? Hell yeah!

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


I’ve had a few people ask me about my baby shower, so I thought I’d tell you my stance on them.

I am not crazy about baby showers. I think they can be boring and lame. And yes, you get gifts and stuff, but honestly, all the people who care about us and Alexis, know we’re registered on Amazon and would get/have gotten us a gift anyways. And I’m not concerned about missing out on a few cheap onesies. What I am concerned about, however, is having a good time with my friends and family while celebrating this new life. It seems silly to gather up all the girls BEFORE you have the baby to celebrate said baby. And what about the boys, too? I have guyfriends who I would love to share this celebration with. So pretty much from the very beginning, I was determined NOT to have a baby shower, but to have a baby party, instead. One that would be co-ed, that would be fun, and not about opening gifts and playing silly games. And more importantly one that would happen AFTER Alexis arrives, because the celebration is in HER honor. That way all my friends and extended family can meet her, rather than fly down just to sit there and look at my big belly with a big smile.

That being said, if you still live in the same place you grew up in, with your whole family and all  your friends right by your side, sure – have a girls- only baby shower, if that’s what you want. But when half of your friends and family have to fly down to attend that baby shower, I feel it’s more appropriate to have them make that trip to see something other than my cute belly.

{photo from our last All White New Year’s party}

Oh and let’s not forget the selfish aspect of it all, I WANT TO ENJOY IT TOO. And I will only be able to fully enjoy the food and the company, if I am feeling well and fit and beautiful, rather than heartburny, tired and big.  So there you have it. No baby shower while pregnant, but YES to a big baby party once Alexis is here.

Question for you : When would be the safest time for Alexis ( from the germ exposure and immune system standpoint) to have that baby party? I don’t want to wait till she’s 6 months old, but I am not sure if it’s safe for her to have that many visitors before? Thoughts?


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 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.}