Monthly Archives: December 2012

34 Weeks: Passing Tests with Flying Colors



Starting to feel like a house.

Baby is the size of: A cantaloupe

How far along are you: 34 weeks, 2 days

What’s happening with baby: From Babycenter, “Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is almost 18 inches long. Fat layers — which will help regulate your baby’s body temperature after birth — are filling your baby out, making him rounder. Your baby’s skin is also smoother than ever. The central nervous system is maturing, and your baby’s lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born betweem 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but i the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Due date: February 3rd

Sleep: Still not bad. Despite the very occasional bout of random insomnia, I’m falling asleep just fine and staying asleep — well, minus the 18 trips to the bathroom and to turn over to the other side, or turn off my back. But even with the constant wakeups, I’m falling back asleep fine. I’m exhausted all the time, though, so I’m wondering if the bathroom and turnover wakeups are making it so I get zero actual quality sleep.

Best moment this week: We had our first biophysical profile last Wednesday and got to see the baby again — and the radiologist surprised us by taking a few 4D peeks! That was so incredibly special, since we had decided not to pay for an elective 4D and I’m getting to the point where a 4D wouldn’t get very good images. Aside from that, all is perfect with Bean. He’s measuring right on track, his head and chest are measuring perfect, the fluid surrounding him is at a perfect level, and he passed his wellness exam with flying colors (they check stuff like blood flow, lung development, etc. because the gestational diabetes can cause delays in development). The doctor is still really happy about my blood sugars, so all seems to be going well for the time being. Then today, we had our first non-stress test. They strap a belt onto the top of your bump to measure any contractions (I had none) and one where the baby’s heartbeat is, then give you a buzzer to click every time you feel a movement so the machine knows it’s a movement and not a contraction. He moved something like 22 times in 15 minutes, so yay Bean! His heart rate responded appropriately — they look for little peaks because their heartbeats should accelerate whenever they move. It was nuts, and he sounded like he head-butted the heartbeat monitor a few times. Mister Mister was very impressed!



Bean, up close and personal, sucking on his limbs.

Worst moment this week: Honestly, I’ve been feeling kind of down for no apparent reason. It’s not exactly depression (I’ve had plenty of experience there) but I could not get myself at all excited for Christmas despite it being one of my very favorite times of year. I just kept dreading how anticlimactic it would be — and it was, even though I did end up getting a bit into the spirit of things at the end. Four-day weekends are always great so I don’t know why all I keep thinking is, “Yeah just xx more days and it’s back to work.” Even though work isn’t all that bad because it’s so (purposely) slow and my pre-leave work is all pretty much done. I don’t know if I’m getting too nervous and anxious about impending parenthood (and honestly, the “yeah, it doesn’t get much better once the baby is here” input I’ve been getting isn’t at ALL helpful) or what, but I’m ready for the funk to be over. Hey, bright spot — another 4-day weekend is coming up in just a few days.

What are you looking forward to: Bean’s arrival — just 39 more days!

Food cravings: Craving sweets and bad food like nobody’s business.

What do you miss: A carefree state of being.

Symptoms: Heartburn/reflux, back pain, mood swings, some blues, hemorrhoids, constipation, constant peeing, swollen feet, irritability, gas and grumbly stomach, total exhaustion, anxiety and worry about impending parenthood.

Gender: Boy

Belly button: Out.

Ring: Off.

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33-Week Update: Emotional Meltdowns


Baby is the size of: A pineapple (finally, a fruit I can visualize!)

How far along are you: 33 weeks, 1 day

What’s happening with baby: From Babycenter, “This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark. He is rapidly loosing that wrinkled, alien look. Your baby’s skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap. This makes it easier for your baby to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as your child’s brain and other tissues expand during infancy and childhood.”

Due date: February 3rd

Sleep: Saturday night, I went to bed at 8:30 in the morning and woke up at 1… and proceeded to basically lay there until 5:30. Since Sunday was my shower, I was a total wreck, but I’ve managed to sleep OK the past few nights, so hopefully it was a fluke.

Best moment this week: My shower! Many lovely ladies came out to shower Bean and I with thoughtful gifts. It was so fun getting together with my girlfriends and being the general center of attention.

Worst moment this week: More emotional meltdowns over my blood sugar, which is rising a bit due to progesterone peaking. I’ve been told they’ll stabilize from here on out, so let’s hope that’s the case. More emotional meltdowns in general. I’m just getting tired of pretty much everything.

What are you looking forward to: Bean’s arrival — just 48 more days!

Food cravings: Not much. I’m hungry a lot, but can’t eat much in one sitting. I’ve been craving a lot of calcium, and sweets, of course. I would love a Big Mac.

What do you miss: Not being physically exhausted all the time, a good week without a nervous breakdown (or two, or 18).

Symptoms: Heartburn/reflux, back pain, mood swings, hemorrhoids, constant peeing, swollen feet, irritability turned up to 11, gas, some insomnia, exhaustion.

Gender: Boy

Belly button: Out.

Ring: Off.

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32 Week Update: My Bellybutton is My Butthole


Baby is the size of: A large jicama (not just a regular-sized one, but a LARGE one)

How far along are you: 32 weeks, 1 day

What’s happening with baby: From Babycenter, “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, your little one will gain a third to half of his or her birth weight during the next seven weeks as he fattens up for survival outside the womb. Your baby now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). The skin on your baby’s body is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.”

Due date: February 3rd

Sleep: Quantity is fine; quality sucks. I’m exhausted all the time now after having a few good weeks of energy.

Best moment this week: Definitely getting the good news from our doctor that my blood sugar numbers are looking good. We also installed the car seat, which took us about 30 minutes as opposed to the 4-6 hours our childbirth instructor had warned us it should take (still no clue why it would ever take that long). Just need to get it inspected now!

Worst moment this week: Honestly, not a lot of bad moments this week!

What are you looking forward to: My shower on Sunday!

Food cravings: Carbs. Cake. Pie. All stuff I can’t eat (natch).

What do you miss: Being able to get comfortable without nonstop wrenching back pain accompanied by a rippling tummy (not that I’m complaining about baby movements!).

Symptoms: Heartburn/reflux, back pain, mood swings, hemorrhoids, belly numbness, belly itching, constant peeing, swollen feet, absolutely and total steroid-level irritability.

Gender: Boy

Belly button: I’m calling it out. It looks like a butthole, which is totally gross.

Ring: Off.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Picks for the Brand-New or Soon-to-Be Mama In Your Life

Now, I’m no mom yet, but when my husband asked me to make a wish list of Christmas gifts for him to go off of, you could certainly tell what was foremost on my mind. Being due in February, my main concerns are upcoming comfort and style, along with personal items like jewelry and beauty products — with a mom-ly twist.

Based off my own wish list, then — and with the caveat that a lot of my reasoning is based on “I’ve heard” and “I think” — here is a gift guide for the brand-new or soon-to-be mama.

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1. Your Name Here Silk Necklace ($400 14K gold, $80 gold fill or sterling silver, COATT). I still think this is the most ingenious and stylish piece of “my kid’s name” jewelry — way better than any birthstone or silhouette concept. I’m too superstitious to ask for this before I even have the baby, but I would love to own it at some point — in fact, a certain somebody has a birthday coming up in August (*hint*hint*wink*wink*).

2. Vintage Kaleidoscope Locket ($65, Etsy). I love lockets. I don’t even put anything in them, but I love the idea of a piece of jewelry you put sentimental stuff in, and a locket necklace is especially sweet, with a visual memento close to your heart. This is a really stylin’ locket that would make any new mama look totally hip, even when she pops it open to show you a picture of the dreaded drooling babe. Bonus: a shiny toy to distract babe when upset/fussy/etc.

3. Kate Spade New York “Idiom” Ultra Thin Bangle ($32, Nordstrom). This is a really sweet way to get the new or to-be mama in your life a one-of-a-kind piece engraved with her child’s name or a simple phrase to remind her of all she means to you. It’s especially sweet that whatever you choose to engrave it hidden against her wrist, known only to you and her — and whomever she chooses to show.

4. Timex Weekender Strap watch ($53, Timex). I never wear watches, but I’ve been on a watches kick lately. I’ve been pinning awesome watches left and right — perhaps because the mama-to-be in me knows that there will soon enough be plenty of appointments and more reason to keep time than “I need to meet a friend at Starbucks in 15”? My hands won’t always be so free as to reach for my iPhone when needing to check a clock.

5. Enamel Locket ($90, Alder & Co.). Another amazing locket piece that is so simple and so chic.

2 beauty and fashion

6. Bobbi Brown Beach Body Oil ($30, Bloomingdale’s). All I want to do is pamper myself, and after giving birth to another human being, I’ll totally deserve it. All I hear about is the postpartum period where all of a sudden you smell like blood and pee (yours and another person’s) and milk and spit up and your body odor changes and you barely have time to shower. Wouldn’t this be wonderful to slather all over after a quickie shower to make her feel totally special and pretty?

7. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($42, I am one of those chicks who can’t leave the house without makeup. It’s not that I’m vain (OK, I guess it is that I am), but I have had bad acne since I was 13, and so I’m a little sensitive about my breakouts and red marks. While my routine isn’t exactly in-depth — just some mineral foundation and powder, blush, mascara, and lipstick — I have the feeling there will be even less time for it soon. A beauty balm like this would be amazing and cut things into fractions.

8. Motherlove Sitz Bath ($14.25, I love the idea of a postpartum kit for new mamas, a little basket of items they can use to make themselves feel so much better. Made from organic ingredients like sea salt, witch hazel herb, and yarrow, this is formulated to soothe the perineum, slow bleeding, reduce swelling, and ease hemorrhoids. Plus, it has a zero rating on EWG’s skin deep database. Isn’t that so much nicer than Epsom salts?

9. Clinique “All About Eyes Serum” De-Puffing Eye Massage ($28, Nordstrom). OK, so you might not want to give this as a gift if it’s not specifically asked for (it’s sort of like saying, “You look like shit, here, take care of that… please.”) but it is such a thoughtful addition to the new mama’s beauty repertoire. Because as much as I have no plans to leave the house for some time after birth and think I really won’t care all that much about my appearance, we’ll have enough visitors that I wouldn’t kick a product like this out of my cosmetic bag.

10. Drawstring Jersey Pants ($34.95, GAP). Yeah, I want to live in pajamas for at least six weeks after giving birth… but lounge pants are at least classy enough that you’re not welcoming close friends and family in your ratty jammies. Plus, I’m awfully sick of the same two pajama bottoms that have fit me for the past six months.

11. New Mama Bottom Spray ($14.95, Earth Mama Angel Baby). I live by the Earth Mama Bottom Balm for certain prenatal… um… *conditions*, so it stands to reason that this blend of water, witch hazel, cucumber, kosher vegetable glycerin, and lavender and peppermint oil will be just the thing a new mama needs to soothe herself without feeling like she smells like a pharmacy.

12. Maddox Zip Clutch ($75, Fossil). This isn’t really baby-related, true, but I really need a new wallet and I love the pop of color and mod design of this one. OK, maybe I can make it baby related — I need a bigger wallet to show off all those pictures of Bean when he comes. (Do people even carry pictures in their wallet anymore? Oh, well — I’m going with it).

13. Medela Sleep Bra (from $14, I’m planning on breastfeeding, and if the experience of others is any indication, I’m going to be quite large and sore in just a short handful of weeks. These sleep bras come highly rated and would be the perfect little piece of soft sleepwear for that soon-to-be mommy.

3 misc

14. Handpainted Still Life Monogram ($48, Anthropologie). I’m always on the lookout for fun design pieces for the home, and I love how versatile these are. You could buy just the new baby’s initial, or spell out their name, or spell words like “Love” or “Home” — anything that might strike the new mama’s heart.

15. Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Standard AutoFocus Lens ($104.99, Known as the “nifty fifty,” this is a great, cheap little lens for taking indoor shots — like, oh, of a newborn baby? Since I just bought a Canon T2i a few months ago, I would love something like this to add to my camera bag — especially since we opted not to purchase a newborn photo session.

16. Felix Weekender Duffle ($137, Deux Luxe). How amazing would the mama-to-be in your life feel waltzing into the hospital with a bag like this to hold all her daily essentials? Birth is gonna be a big ol’ deal, and I would love to add a little sparkle to my stay.

17. The Graphic Canon, Vol. 3: From Heart of Darkness to Hemingway to Infinite Jest ($21.47, Along with a plethora of movies and television shows, I myself would love something to read — but who will have time with a new baby? Something like this that’s more visual and easy to digest might be just the thing that the literary mama in your life needs to distract her from the trials of early childhood.

18. Nursing Shawl (42, Seraphine). Most nursing coverups, to me, scream “I’m nursing under here.” And while it’s really not that big of a deal, I love something a little more sophisticated and soft like this bamboo/viscose blend. It can be used six ways — as a nursing shawl, a poncho, a scarf, a cape, a wrap, or a swaddling blanket — which makes it a huge bang for your buck.


19. One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book ($11.53, I love journals, especially as gifts, and something like this is just perfect for the new mama with no time to jot down all of her thoughts. I adore the idea of taking down just one line a day and then being able to look back five whole years at how things have changed.

20. San Ysidro Hobo diaper bag ($299, Danzo). Diaper bags are either really crappy looking, or super expensive. I’ve found maybe one affordable one that I would be able to stand carrying around (I’m a snob, I know). This one totally would break my bank, but it’s so incredibly gorgeous. All of Danzo’s bags are amazing, but I love the lines and color of this one in particular. And since I don’t plan on carrying a purse in addition to a diaper bag, I need all my style in one.

21. World Map art print ($56, Famille Summerbelle). As different decor items catch my eye lately, I find myself thinking about how they tie in with a new little human. This beautiful print is great for adults and children, looking so modern but imparting plenty of education. It would look great in a living room and playroom alike.

22. Pendleton Eco-Wise Wool Washable Plaid Blanket ($118, Amazon). The baby’s already got plenty of blankets — swaddling blankets, receiving blankets, handmade blankets, hand-me-down blankets. What about mama? As I cozy up on the couch with Bean or cat nap while he naps (hopefully), a cozy Pendleton blanket is just the thing I’ll need to make me feel safe and warm — even if only for 5 minutes at a time.


23. Luxury Plus Slippers ($32, Restoration Hardware). I love slippers, and I have none. We have two pets and I never get around to cleaning more frequently than once a week, so I always get dust and dirt on the bottom of my feet when walking around, which makes me feel gross (our house isn’t that dirty, but come on, we don’t have a maid or anything). I caught word that these are the most wonderful slippers around, and am now totally lusting after a pair to take me throw those postpartum days.

24. Kimono Style Robe ($65, Plum Pretty Sugar). Who doesn’t appreciate a pretty robe to lift the spirits? Again, since I’ll likely be living in pajamas and loungewear for an indeterminate amount of time come February, a beautiful robe from Plum Pretty Sugar totally fits the bill for helping me feel comfy but put together enough for company.

25. Tieks ($165, Tieks). The next best thing to slippers, these super-comfy flats are great for all occasions, from lounging around the house to grabbing the mail to taking a walk around the park with the new little one. They’re even great for those late third trimester days when nothing but flip flops fit (seriously, I had to buy a new pair of pumps for my baby shower just because none of my shoes fit, so I’m hoping this new size my feet have arrived at is a permanent deal, because even though the pumps were a $30 Target deal, I’d hate to have spent that money just for a few swollen weeks here at the end).

26. Lace-Waist Hiphugger Panty ($10.50, Victoria’s Secret). OK, here’s the deal: None of my underwear truly fits. I can make most of it work, but it’s just basically covering the barest of essentials. These are so pretty, don’t slip, and in cotton, are basic enough to comfily hug even the sorest of lady bits. Once the new mama in your life can transition from granny panties, a bagful of these would be much appreciated.

27. Netflix subscription (from $4.99/month, OK, this wasn’t on my wish list because I already have Netflix, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ve saved pretty much every TV show known to man, from Cheers to Felicity to LOST, for viewing pleasure during those initial weeks of nonstop nursing and sleeplessness.

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Friday Five: Dot Dot Dash and Girlie Nurseries

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a Friday Five, but I’m not going to get all stereotypical and apologize. Instead, let’s just get right to it, shall we?

1. This pink-and-gray little girl’s nursery

pink and gray nursery

I k now we’re having a boy, and we’re THRILLED, but rooms like this really make me wish I could girl it up in that little baby’s room. Maybe we’ll have a chance someday, and I’m definitely keeping this on file for that eventuality. From the vintage touches and color combos to THAT PINK CHANDELIER, this room is so amazing and cozy. In fact, their whole house is awesome, and you can catch a tour of it over on Houzz.

Image by Sarah Greenman via La Maison Boheme

2. This living room from Lonny magazine



Lonny magazine made over this Brooklyn apartment with pieces from Restoration Hardware’s Big Style Small Spaces collection. I just love this room and this shot — the way the deer’s head looms over it all, the black pendant light, the abrupt modern leather chaise lounge set in front of the cozier, more cottage-y pieces. Just gorgeous.

Image by Patrick Cline, art direction and interior design by Michelle Adams

3. This entryway


This is another meticulously styled interior shot by Douglas Friedman Photography. I love the gallery wall, the black doors, the details in the bookcase and then that amazing spray of pink flowers.

Image by Douglas Friedman Photography via SF Girl by Bay

4. These DIY surprise balls



I can just imagine being a kid and tearing into these to gradually reveal an assortment of cool little toys and candy pieces. By winding the crepe paper around and around while tucking the toys and candy into the strands as you go, you create this awesome little gift bomb that would delight any child — OK, or adult. I’m totally keeping this on file for when Bean is big enough to enjoy something like this.

Image via Honestly…WTF

5. This amazing morse code name necklace

morse code necklace

OK, really. If this wasn’t $400 (only $80 for gold fill or sterling silver) I would totally have asked for it numero uno without a doubt for Christmas this year. It uses a series of long and round beads to spell out the name or text of your choice, all strung on a silk cord in the color of your choosing. This is such a cool and understated version of the name necklace, I can’t even stand it.

Image via COATT




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Gestational Diabetes Update: A Gold Star from the Doc

My Type A personality’s wet dream is being told I’m doing a great job at ANYTHING, so you can imagine my elation and relief when my OB commended me for all my blood sugar readings over the past two weeks. He also answered some of my most pressing questions about what GD means for my labor and delivery.

Ever since I got my diagnosis right before Thanksgiving, my head has been spinning with possibilities and risks and worries and concerns. I’ve been trembling with anxiety. I’ve been a total mess. This has been compounded by the fact that I really had no idea what to ask at my last visit, and didn’t know what the doctor expected my numbers to be — I only had the “ideal” range given to me by the home health company, and I know every doctor has different maximums, as well.

Here’s what we found out at Tuesday’s 31-week prenatal visit:

  • First off, baby is doing great. He’s hopping and bopping around in there, growing right on target as evidenced by my 31-week-at-31-weeks-tummy, and has a good, strong heartbeat.
  • I also lost two pounds. Possibly more, because my last weigh-in was at 9:45 in the morning and this one was at 4:30 in the afternoon. Losing weight shouldn’t really be high on any pregnant woman’s goals list, and it wasn’t on mine by any means, but considering that my doctor had commented that I’d already gained 29 pounds by 29 weeks, and the gestational diabetes has found me cutting out any extraneous junk food, cookies, cakes, chips, and the like, the slight weight loss is neither surprising nor unwarranted. Baby is obviously still growing and getting everything he needs.
  • Our doctor allows fasting blood sugars to be as high as 100 (home health company told me 90) and one hour post-meal sugars to be as high as 140 (home health told me 129). Most of my numbers are well under these limits, but that means that I don’t have to fret as much about the occasional fasting in the 90s and post-meal in the 130s. They seem to be one-offs anyway, and not of major concern.
  • All my numbers are great, the doctor was really pleased, and commented that he sees people who aren’t on the meal plan, aren’t testing at all, etc. So that made me feel good, because all this time, I’ve had the irrational thought that I’m going to hurt my baby because my body isn’t working right. He put me at ease that I’m doing everything I can and it’s working great to control my blood sugar.
  • There are no plans to induce or c-section me just because I have GD. As long as everything continues smoothly, labor and delivery will be allowed to happen spontaneously and as I wish. They’ll check my blood sugar every six hours during labor and obviously check the baby for any signs of hypoglycemia, etc. — just as a precaution — but I don’t have to worry about all these automatic interventions that I’ve read others have had to endure just from having diet-controlled GD.
  • We’ll start having increased monitoring at 34 weeks (actually 33, since that’s my next appointment). Which also made me feel good because GD patients under poor control need monitoring as early as 28 weeks. So at my 33-week checkup, we’ll have an ultrasound with a biophysical profile to check the baby’s estimated size, development, etc. At 34, 35, and 36 weeks, I’ll go in for a non-stress test where they monitor the baby’s heartrate for 20-30 minutes. At 37 weeks, another ultrasound with biophysical profile, and then non-stress tests each subsequent week until I deliver. It actually makes me feel good that they’re going to be monitoring things more closely, because with my anxiety level, I really need to know everything is going well.

Mister Mister and I were totally bursting with happiness when we left this appointment — a stark contrast to the gloom and doom we suffered after our last checkup. Yay, healthy baby, happy parents!

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31 Weeks: Cheerio Tummies and Magical Tea


Baby is the size of: Four navel oranges (mmmkay…)

How far along are you: 31 weeks, 1 day

What’s happening with baby: From Babycenter, “This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He or she weighs about 3.5 pounds and is heading into a growth spurt. Your baby can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath the skin. Your little one’s kicks and somersaults may be keeping you up at night. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.”

Due date: February 3rd

Sleep: Sometimes a bit harder to fall asleep as my belly has begun to itch nonstop and baby is starting to kick HARD. Not really able to make it through an entire night any longer without having to get up to pee at least once, no matter how much I restrict my liquids before bedtime.

Best moment this week: We’ve started getting some gifts off our registry — we set up the Rock ‘n Play in our room and my dad and step-mom brought over the crib mattress. And baby is still moving a TON, and pushing his limbs out all over the place. I also discovered this Third Trimester Tea that Earth Mama Angel Baby makes, and it’s a really nice cup to have before bed. It has all sorts of stuff in it to “prepare your body for labor” but it seems to have had the effect of helping to lower my fasting blood sugars. I mean, I’m not ready to jump to conclusions here and call it a scientific study, but I started drinking  it Thursday night and for the past four mornings, my levels have been between 70 and 85, whereas before they were consistently in the mid-90s. Hopefully I’m not jinxing anything here…

Worst moment this week: My belly has started itching like crazy, like a prickly stinging tingling itch that won’t go away. No stretch marks yet, but this may be a sign of things to come.

What are you looking forward to: My shower’s in just under two weeks, Christmas is in three weeks, and baby is here in about nine weeks. Holy cow!

Food cravings: Craving a lot of stuff I can’t have, like McDonald’s, Publix chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, a big ass bowl of pasta, an entire friggin’ pizza. I went to a friend’s shower this weekend and there were cake pops, cake, homemade cookies… I had salad and a few pieces of cheese.

What do you miss: Sweets. Junk food. A non-itchy belly. My pre-pregnancy clothes (I’m so sick of my maternity wardrobe and buying anything new at this point seems silly!). Fitting into my existing shoes.

Symptoms: Heartburn/reflux, back pain, mood swings, hemorrhoids, belly numbness, belly itching, constant peeing, some anxiety.

Gender: Boy

Belly button: OK, I really wish that this thing would go full out. Right now, it looks like a Cheerio — the outer edges are all pushed out and the inside is basically out, but it’s just not popping. It’s very frustrating and kinda looks like a sore (without, you know, the scabs and blood and stuff).

Ring: Off.

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