Tag Archives: baby

A One-Month Update, Two Weeks Late

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Little man, you’re one month old today! When you were just a few days old, I held you on the couch and sobbed happy tears, telling your dad that my whole life, I’d been rushing from one thing to the next — marriage to house to pregnancy to labor — but that now, I was done rushing. I didn’t want you to grow up too quickly, or for me to have wasted your childhood anticipating the next thing. Yet I find myself oddly rushing your growth for a strange reason — you have so few newborn clothes and so many 3-month outfits that I’m dying to see you in!

Still under 10 pounds, you seem like such a shrimp to me. Your 3-month onesies fit, but the pants are still big. But then I took your 1-month photos and sat them aside shots from 1 week, and wow! How you’ve grown. I may have cried… just a bit. You’re taller, rounder, more unfurled than you were at birth. It’s amazing and scary. It makes me proud to know that in a sense, I did that. Breastfeeding was rough for both of us at the start, but keeping with it and feeding you with what nature gave me has helped you grow so big and strong. I love knowing that I’m doing that for you. It’s a gift only I can give you.

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One week

You’re holding your head up for several seconds during tummy time and when we hold you upright. You’ve also become so much more alert and aware when awake, looking around in wonder with those big blue-gray eyes (what color will they eventually become? Daddy thinks brown, like his; I bank on hazel, like mine). You’ve also started to fix your gaze on certain things, locking eyes with us here and there. You stare and bat and kick at the toys in your activity gym and appear delighted when you manage to whack one and make its bell ring. You grab at the toy bar in your swing. You open your arms and raise them toward us when we approach you in your playpen, and when I hold you upright and walk you around when you’re cranky and overtired, you nuzzle your head against my shoulder, the top of your scalp against my cheek, and fling your arm around mine. You don’t know what you’re doing, but you seem to know comfort and are leaning how to find it. It makes my heart burst that it’s in our arms.

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You also treated us to your first social smile the weekend you turned 1 month. You smile more at sounds than anything, and your laughs are still small and random (but so delightful — a gloriously hearty one while you were falling asleep one night warmed my heart and gave me butterflies — a sneak peek!) but you’re showing what you like more and more and becoming so responsive.

As for what it’s like to have an infant — overwhelming, wonderful, stressful, unpredictable, humbling, unexpected, life-changing, mind-scrambling, and more. If I could go back to that first week, I’d have some words for the new mommy who marveled at how much you slept (or maybe I’d just let her remain blissful naive). After that first week, we added “severe sleep deprivation” to the challenges parenthood presented us with. But now, just four weeks later, we’re all settling into a routine — as much as it changes.

At your 4-week checkup, you were 9 pounds, 7 ounces — a huge jump from the 7 pounds, 12 ounces just two weeks prior! It makes us so proud to see you fill out and grow.

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I’ve found that small things have begun affecting me in new ways. Having a child is like getting a new pair of glasses — the world doesn’t change, but your role in it does. While the idea of harm brought to children certainly bothers you as a human before you have children, it affects you as a parent afterwards. Children in pain, sick, dying — they make you grab onto what’s in front of you, sob for the other parent and child but silently thank God it’s not you. It makes you realize the confluence of miracles that must occur for you to stay with us day after day. Not only were we blessed with a relatively quick and painless conception when so many other couples struggle to get pregnant, we didn’t have to suffer the silent pain of a miscarriage. We didn’t have frightening ultrasounds or dramatic complications during pregnancy. You were never in distress. Your labor and delivery were practically uneventful. You passed all your tests, all your screenings, put on weight appropriately, and continue to develop well. The things we hear and read, the indignities and devastation that others must endure, and the fact that we didn’t have to — it changes the way you look at life. And while I’m sure you’ll get sick, hurt yourself, be hurt and live through disappointments, worry and fear, doubt and fret, panic and skulk, today, you are happy and healthy and snoring sweetly in your bassinet next to our bed. And for that, for just that one moment of you near me, I would trade a million yesterdays and tomorrows.

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I love you, little man.

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A Room Fit for a Prince: The Finished Nursery

I met my main goal of having the nursery pretty much complete by 30 weeks — the furniture was put together, the artwork was hung, and most of the decorative items were in place. But it took me until just this weekend — 35 weeks — to get the sheets and changing pad covers washed, enough books purchased (secondhand) to satisfy my own book-worminess and innate need to decorate with books, and the finishing touches made.

It’s my very favorite room in the house. I’ve spent the most time and effort on it, and I’m so proud. And while I know that Bean won’t know a darn thing that’s going on, but it makes me feel so good that we’ve created a safe and personal space for him to spend his earliest years.

My goals were to create a baseball-themed nursery that was youthful and boyish without being babyish, or without looking like something my superfan husband was using as a storage space for his memorabilia. I think I accomplished that — do you?

IMG_3057 copyIn the end, I think we ended up with a nice vintage feel between the woods and finishes used and the sophisticated color scheme. The gray walls represent the Yankees’ away uniforms while the blue and white are their team colors.

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The crib sheet pattern? “Sports Stars”

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A dear friend made this for us and gifted it to us at the baby shower. She also gave me a personalized coffee mug — she’s so crafty! I’m hoarding it for when I can drink coffee again.

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We had to have some Yankees decor touches, so we opted for subtle ones like these instead of full-sized Derek Jeter posters (like we would have if my husband had decorated the nursery…). I loved how the stained glass carried the vintage feel forward.

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With our baby monitor needing 3 or fewer feet between it and the baby, and me needing a place to set water glasses, my laptop, etc. while nursing in the glider, I randomly picked up that antique refinished nightstand at a local shop last week.

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Everybody needs a great wall decal.

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This glider is just about the most comfortable thing in the universe.

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And this little vintage-y pillow made by Etsy seller Mon Mell Designs (see end of post for link to their shop) brought in some red for a patriotic accent to a blue-and-white room, as a nod to the Americana of baseball.

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This is the piece, from ABC MVPs that started the baseball nursery craze. They have tons of teams (see end of post for link to their shop).

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I think the bookcase is my favorite part of the whole room.

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Mister Mister picked out the Yankees bobbleheads; we went with the more kid-ish ones, with a couple of retro pieces for the vintage touch. I love bobbleheads in a kid’s room!

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This mini baseball bat was a gift from a friend. The baseballs are from Mister Mister’s collection — the one on the right signed by his favorite player, Paul O’Neill, and the one on the left caught at a game. I love that there’s a piece of Mister Mister in Bean’s room.

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More prints from Etsy… seriously obsessed. I loved how graphic these are. We have another one — “Glove” in blue — that didn’t fit, hiding out in the closet, that we’ll swap out from time to time.

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The canvas crates from Land of Nod hold toys, blankets, burp cloths, breastfeeding supplies, and other odds and ends. Those bears in the second cubby from the right were both gifts from Mister Mister as part of floral arrangements he’s had delivered to me over the years. I love having a piece of us in here!

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We picked up this cute piggy bank at Buy Buy Baby when we bought our glider — it plays “Take Me out to the Ballgame” when you drop a coin in it! All our books were purchased secondhand at Goodwill or through Better World Books online.

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I couldn’t resist this vintage tin top from Etsy. Yes, I was trying to avoid baseball-playing bears as a rule, but old-timey toys are the tops (pun intended).

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That wall decal looks so cool in person — it’s so detailed and wasn’t at all difficult to put up despite all the little pieces.

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A total splurge from Pottery Barn Kids, but well worth it. 

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I DIY’ed the baseball mobile — about the only thing I had the time, energy and creativity to DIY — and love how it turned out! That shark bag in the background is a gift from one of my best friends, for Bean’s first trick-or-treating session. And behind that is our diaper bag 🙂

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I love how soft and playful these muslin swaddle blankets from Aden + Anais are.

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We’re kind of obsessed with books around here. That “Andy Warhol’s Colors” book in the bottom right was the first thing we bought for Bean, while I was in my first trimester, during a visit to the local fine arts museum. The book to the left of it — “All the Ways I Love You” — was a birthday present from Mister Mister.

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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.

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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, Beauty.com). 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, Amazon.com). 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, Amazon.com). 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.

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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, Amazon.com). 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,  Amazon.com). 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.

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19. One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book ($11.53, Amazon.com). 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.

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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, Netflix.com). 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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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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The First Two Trimesters: A Review in Photos

 

Week colors change at week 16 because that’s when we found out we are having a boy.

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28 Weeks: A More Official Third Trimester and Baby Tries to Tear His Way Out

Baby is the size of: A Chinese cabbage (seriously, they are running out of veggies)

How far along are you: 28 weeks, 1 day

What’s happening with baby: From Babycenter, “by this week, your baby weighs 2 1/4 pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of the head to the heels. Your baby can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With increasingly developed eyesight, your baby may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. Your baby’s also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.” How cool is it that his eyes are open now?

Due date: February 3rd

Sleep: Definitely waking up more throughout the night, partially because the bladder hold-age has become less competent, and partly because I’m just so uncomfortable on one side or another that I have to keep switching to keep my back from spasming. I seem to be doing an OK job still with falling asleep, both initially and after waking up periodically, and napping is no issue either. It’s less consistent, but still doable.

Best moment this week: We took our hospital tour on Saturday! It was so awesome. We knew that it was a great hospital from everything that we had heard. It’s the facility of choice around here, and had been totally revamped into a hospital-within-a-hospital about a year and a half ago. It used to be part of the main hospital, and now is located directly in the children’s hospital, so you have the peace of mind of knowing there are specialists and a NICU (god forbid) right upstairs. The rooms are huge, and it’s designed to as much like home as a hospital can, by putting equipment away in closets and up in the ceiling, to be pulled out once pushing starts. They also practice kangaroo care by default and give you an automatic hours’ time to hold the baby skin-to-skin before allowing visitors or taking the baby for weighing. Even when you have a c-section, you can give kangaroo care for 10-15 minutes and then dad can do it in the nursery while the mom is in recovery. And they encourage the baby to stay in the room with the mother, which sounds kind of scary, but also kind of nice. So it was great to see all the places we’ll  be in less than 3 months (except of course the OR and the mother-baby suites since, well, sterile environment and full house — though we did see the antepartum rooms, which are similar to mother-baby suites) and to get an idea of what to expect. Oh, my other favorite part? The mother-baby wing has several nourishment rooms stocked with sodas, gatorade, chocolate milk, and frozen meals so that if I want something after delivering, I just have to send Mister Mister to grab it for me.

Worst moment this week: Not really a terrible moment, but I had my glucose tolerance test yesterday. I think the worst part about it was getting up at 6 a.m. — since it’s an hourlong test, I didn’t want to be late to work so booked a lab appointment at 7 a.m. They have the presence of mind to keep the glucose drinks in a fridge, so it was actually cold and basically tasted like a slightly more bitter Hi-C orange drink like what they have at McDonald’s. The other bad part about it is it made me very jittery after a while — oh, and having blood drawn. I’ll find out next Tuesday whether I passed, and if I didn’t, I have to go for a three-hour test that involves getting blood drawn 4 TIMES.

What are you looking forward to: Our prepared childbirth class is on Saturday! It’s an 8-hour class, oh my lord, but we couldn’t do the four two-hour classes because we couldn’t guarantee Mister Mister would have all four of those nights off. I’m sure it’ll be boring in parts and way too long, but I love stuff like this and feeling prepared, even though yes, I know I could probably just read a book and get as much information. Still, it’s yet another milestone and a chance to do more baby stuff with Mister Mister, which I always love to do 🙂

Food cravings: Still: Nothing in particular right now, just lots of everything.

What do you miss: Sleeping on my back, putting on socks with minimal effort. I shaved my legs for the first time in a long time and realized that soon enough, Mister Mister will have to complete that task for me.

Symptoms: Heartburn, hip and back pain, mood swings, exhaustion, some swelling,  some mild nausea, hot flashes. Baby kicks — it sounds insane to call that a symptom, but he’s started kicking HARD and sometimes he kicks or punches (I have no clue how he’s oriented, I’m so bad at that) way down low and it makes me want to vomit. Though it is kinda cool to watch and feel most of the time, and last night Mister Mister finally got to see my belly bulge out while little bean was making himself comfortable. And though it totally looked like an alien was trying to tear me apart, he exclaimed, “Jesus Christ!” and immediately put his hand on my stomach and felt all the movement, and then kissed my tummy. It was very sweet.

Gender: Boy

Belly button: It’s really cratering up around the edges now. It’s practically out, but seems to still be hanging in there (no pun intended).

Ring: Off.

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26 Weeks: Nursery Progress and Big Feet

Baby is the size of: An English hothouse cucumber (mmmkay…)

How far along are you: 26 weeks, 1 day

What’s happening with baby: From Babycenter, “The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. Your baby is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid. These so-called breathing movements are essential for the development of the lungs. These are also good practice for when your baby is born and takes that first gulp of air. Your baby is continuing to put on fat. He now weighs about 1 2/3 pounds and measures 14 inches from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.” <— Son, you’ll thank me someday for telling the world this fact about you.

Due date: February 3rd

Sleep: A bit better this week. Not waking up as much in the middle of the night to go pee, probably because I caught a hint and stopped downing a quart of water right before I went to bed. Napped last night from 6 to 8 p.m. after a party at our house. Then stayed up till midnight. winning!

Best moment this week: Starting to put together our nursery. We’re really making progress and all that’s left is putting together a bookcase, hanging a few frames, putting up one more decal and making the mobile. We also have the light switch cover and some baseball bobbleheads to order for decoration. That sounds like a lot, but when you consider we have the crib, glider/ottoman, and dresser set up; book ledges hung with some thrifted books adorning them; one decal — his name — above the crib (which made me cry when we got it up); one piece of art hung; hooks hung; lamps set up; room painted; window treatments hung… you realize we’ve actually made a good chunk of progress for being just 26 weeks. I make myself proud.

Worst moment this week: Being so sore and out of joint on Thursday that I had to call in sick to work because I couldn’t move. On the bright side, I started seeing a chiropractor my boss used when she was pregnant, who determined my left hip joint and some lower vertebrae are out of joint. We started doing some gentle adjustments are are working our way up to stretching and massage. The pain is still there but it’s already significantly better, and I don’t even care that she costs $30 twice a week.

What are you looking forward to: Putting together the remaining bookcase so I can decorate the remainder of the walls (we can’t really hang anything else until I see how tall and deep the bookcase is). And our first wedding anniversary is next Monday! My, how time flies. We also have our hospital tour and birthing class coming up in November, and two friends’ baby showers to attend, both of whom are right there with me at 26 weeks.

Food cravings: Barbecue. Particularly barbecue ribs. We went to Chili’s this weekend and I didn’t get them and I’m still kicking myself. Though the queso was divine.

What do you miss: Being able to put on socks and shoes without having a grunt-fest. It’s actually in the 60s in Florida today, so I wore my boots for the first time in a long time. It took me a good 5 minutes to get them on, and then I realized my feet have already grown and they barely fit. I brought flip flops as backups. Oh, yeah… they didn’t tell you that your feet can grow in pregnancy? Mm-hmmm, welcome to the miracle of life.

Symptoms: The usual offenders: heartburn, hip and back pain, some sciatica, mood swings, exhaustion, some swelling. Now add big feet to the list.

Gender: Boy

Belly button: Still in but almost had an outtie the other day. It seems to fluctuate with how baby boy lies — if his back faces my front, it pushes more against the button and makes it crater out.

Ring: Still on but I took it off before sleeping last night because I could only get it off by covering my whole finger in spit, and it made me nervous that it’s so tight. But back on today, because I’m stubborn. Off as of this morning. I took it off again last night and then this morning it wouldn’t go back on. Ugh.

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