Thursday, March 12, 2015

Baby Special: 37 Weeks

Weeks:  37 weeks!  Today I am considered “full term” by many practitioners – the time when if the baby was to start coming now, the doctors wouldn't try to prevent him/her from being born.  There is an old wives tale that first time moms often go late, but scientifically speaking that isn't entirely true.  Regardless, baby seems pretty comfortable where he/she is, and I have a feeling it’ll be a bit longer until the great debut. 

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is over 6 pounds and longer than 19 inches.  It’s now… baby size.  (Eeeee!)

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: No cravings!

How I'm Feeling: Feeling great.  I've been told that the last few weeks can get long and uncomfortable, but I'm still feeling very good - I'll hold on to that as long as I can and do everything possible to extend it - comfortable shoes, 10K steps every day, lots of water, naps, etc.  

Movement: Oh yes!  Baby is active (and is keeping his/her mama up at night moving around). :)  My mom got to feel a bunch of undeniable kicks this weekend, and it was a joy to share that with her.  The baby is a-movin'! 

My thoughts:  It was a wonderful week.  My parents came this weekend for one final work weekend before the baby – and my dad, mom and Scott accomplished so incredibly much in our basement.  The goal was to get this set up so that there were a variety of quieter projects to work on after the baby is born, and that is what was achieved.  My mom and I ran all of my pre-baby errands on Saturday  (including buying more newborn diapers to have on hand, pictured above!).   We also finished nearly every remaining item on our 100-item pre-baby checklist (I’m so not even kidding about the number of things on the list, haha).  I've washed the baby’s clothes and blankets in Dreft.  Our crib and Bassinet are put together.  I've placed a final Target order for the remaining items that I “need”.  My hospital bag is packed and in easy arm’s reach.  I’m all about letting Baby come when he or she is ready – but I’m ready whenever that may be.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Oh Baby Special

My "Maloney" baby shower was hosted last weekend - the last weekend in February.  It was hosted by my sister-in-law, Kelly (my brother Matt's wife) at her beautiful home in the city.  We invited my aunts and girl cousins, as well as a few of my closest girlfriends and some dear family friends.

Kelly's house looked absolutely amazing, and she thought of every detail possible:

note the baby clothesline (top) and the onesie guessing game (lower); white
balloons and letters spelling out BABY, fresh flowers.
spectacular bubbly bar (including a bottle of "baby proof bubbly" :)
#ohbabyspecial <3
The food spread was spectacular - and was as delicious as it was beautiful.  Delicate sandwiches, fruit, bite size snacks and an insanely good cake: 

My sweet sister-in-law really went all out for me - it was a really special day.  It was made even more special by the many people that came so far to celebrate - Megan from Des Moines, my mom, Joni, Patty and Liz from CR/IC, Laurie from Minneapolis, Barb from Dubuque.  It really means so much.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Special Baby Shower

My “Special” baby shower was held at the beginning of February and hosted by Scott’s mom and sister (the baby’s paternal Grandmother and aunt).  A fun tidbit: it was held at Chambers Restaurant, which is the same place where Scott’s parents hosted an engagement party for us years several years ago – it’s come full circle! 

overflowing gift table, including a onesie-line featuring a variety of adorable
onesies ("future engineer", "scott and kate first edition", etc)

decorated table for the meal and celebrations
sweet dessert table
The shower was adorable!  It had a Rubber Ducky theme, which was carried through from the invite, to decorations, to the incredible dessert table, name pins (for Mom-to-Be and both Grandmas-to-be!), to the table settings and the favors.  I thought that was a sweet theme, especially for a couple that wasn't finding out their baby’s gender (like us).  It was a beautiful meal and great company. 

with baby's aunties
with baby's grandmas
33 weeks pregnant
When I walked in, it was so overwhelming – an overflowing gift table, a beautiful room decorated so thoughtfully (fresh spring daffodils on every table!), and excited people ready to celebrate my child.  It was wonderful.  Scott and my dad joined us toward the end of the shower so that Scott could participate in the gift opening.  Baby Special was truly spoiled (and so were we)! 

future dad and mom <3

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Scenes From A Week: March 8

It was another wonderful week in Chicagoland.  The week started quietly, but ramped up quickly.  My wonderful colleagues threw me a surprise baby shower on Wednesday, which was truly the icing on the cake of a special week.  I felt incredibly special (no pun intended) and fortunate to work with such a great group of people who have truly become friends.

The rest of the week was spent working on whittling down our pre-baby to-do list.  The stroller and car seat are put together, the Bassinet is assembled and waiting in our room, and I took two naps today alone.  (No joke!  I slept 9 hours last night, and then took two one-hour naps.  I think baby is going through a growth spurt and it's making me incredibly tired - but happy :)

It's kind of a strange window of life, right now.  So much on the horizon, but so little in the immediate - or so we think.  This could be my last week at work, or I could have four more.  The baby could come tonight, or we could still be waiting a month from now.  It's strange for someone so Type A to not be able to plan this - so instead I'm focusing on the little moments of each day.  My husband doting on me so sweetly, my parents calling me to check on how I'm feeling, strangers smiling at me on the bus or in elevators, and sweet reminders (kicks) from my unborn child that he or she is still growing inside of me.  I feel full of life and love and it's just... joyful.  I am so incredibly lucky, and it's a feeling I won't soon forget.

white nails are back for the season - signs of spring :)
a hilarious onesie from my boss

a book from my colleagues

a delicious "mocktail" at Pops downtown

a delicious grape/ginger drink at Tanta 

my sweet hubby put a flower in our master bath - a
leftover flower from my baby shower last weekend

temporary wall decor in our nursery (holding off on the rest of the wall decor
until we have the baby's name!)

i received this orchid as a gift from a sweet friend on my
30th birthday - almost 7 months ago - and it's starting to
re-bloom.  signs of spring! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baby Special: 36 Weeks

Weeks:  36 weeks!  If the baby was born today, it would likely not need too many extra medical interventions due to prematurity.  (Knock on wood).  I am so grateful for every smooth day of my pregnancy.

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is around 6 pounds and 18.5 inches – the size of a head of romaine lettuce!    

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: NADA!  I can say with almost certainty – cravings have not been a symptom of my pregnancy.  (I’m glad for that, actually).  

How I'm Feeling: Still feeling damn good.  I am so incredibly grateful for this.  It’s about this time in pregnancy that women usually start to get uncomfortable, and while I have felt some moments of discomfort, I still feel pretty great.  I've had some heartburn, and a bit of back pain, but nothing that Tums and some strategic positioning don’t fix.  I have a feeling these next 4-5 weeks will feel long – so I’m savoring these days of feeling healthy and good.  I have no idea if I’ll ever be pregnant again, so I’m trying to savor these waning days of pregnancy. 

Movement: Oh yes!  Baby is active. 

My thoughts:  It was a spectacular week – I had a beautiful baby shower hosted by my amazing sis in law, Kelly, at her home.  The details were just incredible.  I felt so loved and spoiled and just… special.  The shower deserves its own post but it was incredibly special, thoughtful and celebratory.  
This was also the week that I was "upgraded" to weekly doctor appointments (nothing unusual – that is routine for women at this stage of pregnancy).  This may be TMI to some, but for the sake of posterity I want to include – at my most recent appointment, I found out that I am not yet dilated, but am starting to efface (the two medical necessities for traditional childbirth).  The baby is moving in to position, and I am grateful that my body has started preparing for the Main Event.
This week we also finished our Labor/Child education.  I really liked all four classes we took (Labor, Birth Postpartum // Low Intervention // Infant Care // Breastfeeding) and I feel way more prepared for Baby to arrive because of them.  It may be because of these classes, but I don’t have any nerves (yet?) and am just so excited. 
I don’t know how the time flew by this quickly, but I’m at a milestone that I've been eagerly anticipating.  Our nursery is finished, my bags are packed, our diaper bag is packed, we have “going home” outfits selected for the baby.  There are still a few things on my pre-baby checklist, but the vast majority are finished.  We still need to: wash all of the baby’s gear, install the car seat and get it checked, set up the stroller, set up the Bassinet.   Most of these things will likely be done this weekend :) I am considered full term next Thursday (37 weeks) and have cousins and friends that have delivered that early.  Statistics say that I’ll go another 4 weeks before the baby makes his/her appearance... But I want to be prepared. 
I am starting to get incredibly curious about who this little one is – and I am so, so excited to meet him or her! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Baby Special: 35 Weeks

Weeks:  35 weeks!  I’m almost 90% done with this pregnancy (a fact that continues to blow my mind).

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is 5 1/2 pounds and over 18 inches – the size of a honeydew melon.  

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: Zilch!  

How I'm Feeling: Strong, happy, pregnant. J  I barely felt pregnant until the past few weeks, but recently I have started to slow down pretty dramatically.  As my belly has grown larger, my center of gravity has shifted and it’s caused a bit of back pain.  Nothing severe, but enough to be pretty uncomfortable by mid-afternoon.  To combat it, I've been focused on taking long walks, laying down when I get home, and listening to my body.  I have been warned that the last month can be incredibly long and uncomfortable, and I’m going in to it with a clear mind and excited mentality – each day (however uncomfortable) is one day closer to meeting our child.  I have no idea what the future will bring, so I am savoring these waning days of pregnancy – I can’t wait to meet our baby, but I also love being pregnant with him or her.  It’s a really special place to be in (and strange too - never knowing the moment that your entire life is going to change).

Movement: Yes!  Kicks and movements are getting more prominent, and it brings me so much comfort to be able to feel this sweet baby moving.  Being pregnant is a privilege.  

My thoughts:  As I mentioned above, I’m trying to focus on the positives – this pregnancy has been the best eight months of my life so far.  I feel closer than ever to my husband and parents, and so hopeful for the future.  As it gets closer, my anxiety about childbirth has decreased pretty dramatically – I feel ready, and strong and like I was born to do this.  (Truly).  I feel so connected to the mothers that I admire, and to the generations of women that came before me.   I am confident, and excited, and hopeful.  I cannot wait to meet this baby.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Baby Special: 34 Weeks

Weeks:  34 weeks!     We have a dairy product in our fridge that expire after our due date… seriously.  (Soy milk!) 

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is 4 ¾ pounds and almost 18 inches – my cute cantaloupe!  :)

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: None!  I’m beginning to think that they aren't going to happen in this pregnancy – which is fine by me!  This week I've had a surprising amount of nausea (first trimester symptoms can come back toward the end of pregnancy) and as a result I've had more carbs than usual - but have tried to balance them with veggie/fruit smoothies, kale salads, and lots of water.  

How I'm Feeling: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I feel wonderful!  Strong, healthy, joyful.  I'm a bit more uncomfortable when sitting in certain positions (at my desk at work, in the car, etc) but I counteract that by walking around every 30 minutes or so, and shifting how vertical I am in the car.  It's just uncomfortable - not painful, and I certainly wouldn't trade it for the world.  

Movement: Yes!  I can tell Baby is getting bigger - his or her movements are more pronounced... especially as I'm trying to go to sleep at night.  I think Baby Special is a night owl like his/her daddy :)

My thoughts:  We had a wonderful – and slightly slower – week.  We took two three-hour baby classes (Labor, Birth & Post Partum Part 2/3, and Infant Care Part 1/2).  As part of the class we took a tour of the hospital which was a joy.  It was reassuring to see the rooms that I'll be laboring in, to learn the protocol for after the baby is born, etc.  I'm a planner by nature - it's one way that I counteract chaos, nerves and anxiety - all things that are so frequently associated with childbirth.  Seeing the facilities, and having so many of my questions answered really helped me get in to an even more positive frame of mind - I feel so pleased with the hospital we've chosen!  I would be lying if I said that I didn't have any nerves about our baby's birth.... but truly, the excitement and eagerness I feel to meet my child outweighs any nerves tenfold.  I am so grateful for an easy and uneventful pregnancy (so far-  knock on wood) and I have no reason to think that it won't continue.  
This week we also made a decision on the purchase of a new car (!), finalized the baby's nursery, and Scott sweetly found me some labor pain management accessories that were suggested in our Low Intervention class last week (Eucalyptus smelling salts, relaxation visualizations).    I also had a successful 34 week doctors appointment.  I go back in 10 days from now, and then it's weekly appointments from then on.  The end (beginning!) is near, and we can't wait.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Baby Special: 33 Weeks

Weeks:  33 weeks!   Hallelujah!!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is four pounds and 17 inches – my precious little pineapple! 

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: Still non existent!

How I'm Feeling: Feeling great, but more pregnant by the day.  Scott tied my shoe for the first time on Monday night because bending over isn't the most pleasant experience right now.  I’m still walking 4-5 miles per day, drinking gallons of water each day, and wearing heels (when I’m not in slippers J).  I feel really fabulous.  I've said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I truly believe that much of my feeling good is a self fulfilling prophecy – the more I focus on how good I feel, the more effort I put in to behavior that will keep me feeling good and staying healthy, which means the better I feel and healthier I stay!  Not super scientific, but it makes sense to me.

Movement: Yes!  I can detect clear waking and sleeping cycles now which is also fun.

My thoughts:  Another great week is in the history books.  I had my first baby shower, hosted by my in-laws.  A separate post to come (hopefully!), but it was a really great afternoon spent celebrating the baby that Scott and I are about to bring in to the world.  I was gifted so generously, and it made it seem so real.  Another exciting thing happened this week – my nursery is now set up!  My parents and Scott knew how excited I was to get it set up, so while Scott and I were at work on Friday, my parents rushed to finalize the first bedroom on the lower level (painting, etc)  – and when Scott got home, the three of them moved the guest furniture downstairs, and set up the crib, glider and new carpet in the nursery!  It was the best surprise.  As a design/fashion enthusiast, I have a very clear vision of how I want the nursery to shape up – I have a pretty carpet, white furniture (crib, dresser, changing table), a beautiful grey glider thanks to my parents, and I have selected items for the walls.  It’s going to be classy and simple, mostly grays and whites.  A room that is perfect for a little one, but also fits with the rest of our house. 

In related news, we also took two interesting baby classes this week – Labor, Birth & Postpartum Part 1 (of 3) and Low Intervention Support.  They were three-hours each!!  The classes were very interesting - and with our due date only 7 weeks away, they were timely :)  Scott put together the changing table on Tuesday night.  I have a few things I want to do this weekend: packing my diaper bag, further nursery organization, hanging the nursery shelves, etc.  I’m feeling dang good about the progress that we've made over the past few weeks especially, and so excited to the fun ahead.    We are so excited for you baby, and we love you so much!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Baby Special: 32 Weeks

Weeks:  32 weeks!  Hallelujah!!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is three and ¾ pounds and 16 ¾  inches.  The size of a jicama apparently! 

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: Still none!  It’s kind of funny – I expected to have the “I MUST HAVE THIS RIGHT NOW” type cravings that I've read about or seen in movies, and I really haven’t had any.  Maybe they will come towards the end, but as of yet – still nothin’!  I have had a taste for smoothies recently – Scott has made a ton of them for me in our Vitamix (Kale, Spinach, Protein powder, apples, berries, Greek yogurt or soymilk).

How I'm Feeling: I’m feeling good!  I’m starting to feel more pregnant (which is a good thing!) and it’s slowing me down a bit, but nothing too dramatic.  Just moving a little slower than I like to move.  :)  I had some pretty severe back pain this week – it really knocked me out.  I’m not certain if it was pregnancy related or snow storm related – but it was horribly painful and I have a new found respect for my normally healthy back.  I've really taken it easy this week – lots of R&R and ice packs – and it’s helped quite a bit.  I hope to be back to my normal self soon (knock on wood). 

Movement: Lots!  Baby is moving and shaking.  Scott has been able to feel him or her more frequently, and I am counting on my mom getting a good kick out of the babe this weekend.  It feels so real!  

My thoughts:  Another wonderful week is in the books.  This past week brought a lot of really wonderful progress on my infamous “to-do” list – we paid the deposit and locked in our paperwork for our first choice daycare facility (and, gulp, renewed our savings plan with the reality of how much A+ care costs!).   Scott and my parents got their TDAP shots.   I ordered a new robe/pajama set for the hospital.  I packed my hospital bag and completed the hospital intake documents for me and baby.   I asked my physician for Pediatric referrals, and researched the three practices that he recommended.  We selected our child’s primary pediatrician and worked on the new patient pre-registration.  While this to-do list is the longest I've ever worked on, it's also the most fun one, because although there is a LOT to do (and a lot we have done!)  it’s such joyous work.  Each thing tackled is one step closer to meeting our new love. 
I also had a (blessedly uneventful) 32 week OB check.  Now that I’m going every two weeks it seems like I’m at the doctor’s office a lot (and a month from now I’ll upgrade to once weekly!).  Baby is “perfect” (I’ll go ahead and toot my own horn here: while luck can get some of the credit, I deserve a lot of it too.  I've worked really hard to make Baby Friendly choices.  While the sacrifices have of course been worth it, it’s wonderful to know that my healthy choices are paying off).  I’m eternally grateful for these 32 weeks of health for both mom and baby.   While I sure hope baby stays put for a bit longer, I am eagerly awaiting the day that we’ll meet him/her!  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Baby Special: 31 Weeks

(excuse the random picture - i never thought to take one
while i was dressed nicely this week, and for posterity i
like to include a photo!)

Weeks:  31 weeks!     Six short weeks until full term!  Each week feels like a milestone, but there are some really significant dates coming up.  The next date circled on my calendar (in both blue and pink, naturally)  is February 19th – less than three weeks from now – when I cross 34 weeks.  Each day that my baby stays put is a blessing… and a step towards an easier start in life, and I am not taking that for granted!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is three and a third pounds and over 16 inches.  He or she is the size of a coconut!  (My favorite!) 

Trimester: THIRD! Rock & roll!

Cravings: Still no cravings to speak of.  It was a busier week than normal, and as a result I’ve really taken to eating protein bars here-and-there (my cousin gave me a pack of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Clif Builder Bars and those are especially delish – I ended up having one for dinner on Monday night while I was running late for a meeting). 

How I'm Feeling: Damn good.  After a slower week last week in terms of physical activity, I went in to this week with a goal number of steps in mind (100K for the week – Monday through Sunday).  Suffice it to say that I’m staying active. :)  Last Friday night I wasn't feeling super well, so I laid on our bed and watched two episodes of Prison Break and that seemed to do the trick ;)  I am really trying to hit a good combo of activity and rest (which is probably a good recipe for anyone, pregnant or not!)  Lots of water, lots of protein, lots of naps.  :)

Movement: Lots this week!  Baby remains active (especially at night) and it’s been a joy.

My thoughts:  It was a good week for crossing items off of the (ever growing!) pre-baby checklist.  I took a breastfeeding class on Monday night.  Scott (with help from his dad and Ryan) got a basement bedroom primed in anticipation of moving guest bedroom furniture OUT of the nursery and IN to that room (less than two more weeks – yeah!) .  We took our Baptism class, set the date for the Baptism, and planned the celebration afterwards.  I did some prep-work on Baby Announcements and distribution/address list, worked on my hospital bag packing list, and finalized (and printed!) my birth plan.  We set up the distribution list for our “It’s a Boy/Girl” family email.  We selected a daycare for when I go back to work post-baby.  I began researching our pediatrician.  I scheduled a pre-natal massage for March.  While the list is long – and growing! – the preparations made now will undoubtedly help us down the road.   I really hope to have most everything left on my list (finish our birth classes!  Set up the nursery!  Grandparents to get the TDAP shot!  Pick out our “going home” outfits!)  completed within the next month, so that the last month of my pregnancy can be leisurely, spent enjoying lots of quality time with Scott before our world really gets rocked.