Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scenes From A Week: January 25

It was another great week in the Special household.  We made a TON of progress on my Pre-Baby To Do list (it's a real thing) - we took our Baptism class, decided on a daycare, and I had a (blessedly uneventful) 30 week OB check.  I'm now on the "every two weeks" schedule for the next month and a half, and then I'll be down to weekly.  It's almost Baby time and I couldn't be more excited.

My FitBit battery died with only 14 steps to go
to my goal.  WAH!  :(

saw this image on FB (Bill Maher posted it)
 and really liked it. 
We brunched with Matt and Kelly today in Edison Park and it was glorious
(I only felt a little sorry for myself for missing out on one of those amazing
Bloody Mary's... Baby is totally worth it, but I am excited to have one this
Baby Belly in my favorite PJ pants (thanks to my mother-in-law
who gave them to me for Christmas last year!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baby Special: 30 Weeks

Weeks:  30 weeks!  (I have had today circled on the calendar for a while now – starting the 30s seems significant!)

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is almost 3 pounds and almost 16 inches.  Our sweet little cabbage! :)

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: I sound like a broken record, but no cravings to speak of.  I've been noticeably more hungry this week – trying really hard to eat 6 smaller meals to avoid the inevitable hunger pains in-between meals.  The other night I ate a full dinner with Scott around 7, and by the time I crawled into bed at 10:30, my stomach was growling loud enough for Scott to hear.   What can I say – baby’s hungry! :)

How I'm Feeling: Still feeling fabulous.  I have had some uncomfortable moments creep in over the past 10 days or so – sitting in one position for too long is uncomfy, some strong heartburn, and some back/hip pain.  Nothing unmanageable yet, and I’m proud to say that I have taken absolutely ZERO medication – except doctor approved Tums – since I found out I was pregnant.  I've started to deliberately manage my "pain" (which is too strong of a word at this point) by taking hot showers, going for walks around the block, and drink more water than I ever thought possible.  And Scott has been a doting and supportive husband – rubbing my back, bringing me water or books in bed, putting a blanket on me if I fall asleep on the couch, booking me a prenatal massage.  And he hasn't teased me too much about all of the new noises I make while I sleep (snoring, mumbling, etc).  :)  That's true love!  Overall, I've had a few minutes here-and-there of feeling uncomfortable, but it's so significantly outweighed by my gratitude at being pregnant and healthy.  

Movement: Lots and lots!  Baby responds especially well to protein shakes and lots of water, so I try to give baby a lot of what he/she wants! :)  

My thoughts:  We're having a big week this week for progress cutting down on the "baby to do lists".  I've finished the last two baby books I wanted to read (Bringing up Bebe and The Big Book of Birth).  I had my 30 week OB check (complete with the Pertussis vaccine).  We toured my top 4 daycare facilities and - I think! - made a decision on which we're going to go with.  And tonight we take a Baptism class in advance of getting our infant baptized this summer!  In fact, it's been so bananas that I created a "Pre-Baby Checklist" this week to organize some of my thoughts - otherwise it's hard to turn off my brain, knowing that there is so much yet to be done.  Two and a half more months until we meet this little one.  What an awesome thought.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Baby Special: 29 Weeks

Weeks:  29 weeks – time is still flying. I'm writing this post a few days after hitting 29 weeks, but there are 75 days left until my due date!  Even understanding that most first time moms give birth a few days late, that still means that there isn't much time left until we meet our little love.  I have so much I still hope to do, but also feel very ready at the same time.  I've wanted to be a mom for 20 years.  I can't wait to meet our child!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is about 2.5 pounds, and a tad over 15 inches from head to heel.  Muslces and lungs continue to mature, and head is growing to make room for the developing brain.  My little butternut squash :)

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: Still absolutely nothing to report in this arena.  Scott and I got a Vitamix a few weeks ago, and that has helped boost our fruit/veggie intake pretty dramatically.  We don’t make one every day, but try for at least 3-4 per week.   Kale, spinach, cucumbers, oh my.  I recently ordered a new flavor of protein powder (Vanilla!) and that's been a really fun addition to the smoothies.  Makes 'em light and fluffy!  

How I'm Feeling: Still feeling dang good – I have recently gotten re-committed to my Fitbit (thanks for the nudges, Mom & Megan)  and that’s been a fun adventure for this part of my pregnancy.  I get 10K steps easily with my commute, and stay active on the weekends as well through scheduled walks (and walk-n-talks while I chat on the phone to my mom, girlfriends, or cousinfriends.).  I’m guessing that it’ll get harder and harder to be so physically active in the late weeks, so I’ll stay as active as I can while I can and postpone the feeling of being tied to home for a few more weeks at least!

Movement: Baby is moving and shaking!  I thoroughly enjoy feeling him/her moving throughout the day.  It’s fun – and a bit daunting – to know that I’m never truly alone.  It makes me question every bite of food I put in my mouth, every step I take, and everything I breathe in to my lungs.  Baby is so completely loved, and I don’t want to do anything to harm him or her! 

My thoughts: While I have thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy thus far, I will admit that I had a few tougher days over the past week.  I have felt so dang good, that even a few hours of feeling not-so-good really stand out.  I've had two painful symptoms this week: heartburn and hip/back pain.  It's been very manageable, fortunately, but baby is making his or her presence known!  So many people ask "how are you feeling?!", and my automatic response is that I'm feeling great... and I really am.  The gratitude and joy I feel over being pregnant completely and totally outweighs the uncomfortable aspects that are starting to creep in. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Scenes From A Week: January 11

What a spectacular "first" week of 2015!  Last Sunday started with my parents in town finishing a stint working on our house - they were true machines and got so incredibly much done.  My head is still spinning thinking about how much got accomplished.

The rest of the week was spent in a semi-bundled state, trying to stay warm despite the below 0 temperatures outside.  I used our snowblower for the first time (at 7 months pregnant, I might add), and drank a lot of pregnancy-approved drinks - LaCroix, O'Doul's, and the like.  I also finished my baby registry, completed my hospital intake form, finished my birth plans (one for the medical staff, and one for our families), started my daycare search, and started my hospital bag.  (Holla!)  I am 28 weeks pregnant, and while I hope that baby stays where s/he is for the next three months, I also know they are going to fly by.  As I've mentioned before, I am a person that thrives on organization, and it felt good to get my house in order - literally and figuratively.

I rounded out the weekend watching football and continuing the baby name search... while listening to Les Mis on repeat.  (Jean Valjean Special?  Dez Bryant Special?)

don't let the beauty fool you - it was -18 (literally) and my train was 25
minutes late.  #metrafail

kale, cucumber, strawberry, pineapple smoothies

commuter chic

coconut is the bees knees

football + "beer" 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Baby Special: 28 Weeks

Weeks:  28 weeks – only three months til we meet the littlest Maloney/Special!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is the size of a large eggplant – 2.25 pounds and 14.8 inches from top of the head to the heels. 

Trimester: THIRD!

Cravings: Still no cravings at all.  It’s funny, because this is one of the questions I am asked most often… and I don’t really have anything to report!  Maybe these will come in the later months of pregnancy.  I’ll keep you posted J

How I'm Feeling: Still feeling dang good.  I am focused on staying fit and active as long as possible, and I think it’s a bit cyclical – staying active helps me to be ABLE to stay active.  Eating healthily makes me want to eat healthily, etc. 

Movement: Baby is moving and shaking!  I thoroughly enjoy feeling him/her moving throughout the day.  It’s fun – and a bit daunting – to know that I’m never truly alone.  On a larger scale, it makes me question every bite of food I put in my mouth, every step I take, and everything I breathe in to my lungs.  Baby is truly loved, and I refuse  to knowingly do anything to harm him or her! 

My thoughts:  My family was here for much of the past two weeks, and it was just a wonderful time.  Long, laborious days (mostly for my parents and Scott – I did a lot of chatting) but also lot of laughs and bonding and just… needed.  Being pregnant and away from them has been so difficult (much as I expect parenting away from them will be)… and I’m grateful for the holidays to allow us to spend extra time together.   This time has made me wish – more than ever! - that we lived closer to each other!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Baby Special: 27 Weeks

Weeks:  27!  Over 2/3 done with this pregnancy – only three short months until we meet our son or daughter.   Wow!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is the size of a cauliflower (come again?).  That seems really random, so instead let’s go with the measurements this week:  Baby Special is about 2 pounds and is about 14.5 inches long from the top of his/her head to the bottom of the feet.  Grow baby, grow!

Trimester: THIRD!!  What a wonderful milestone!!!

Cravings: No cravings to speak of!  This is one part of pregnancy that I have yet to encounter, or perhaps, to embrace.  I have not had any of the stereotypical cravings (pickles, ice cream).   I’ve tried to focus on eating healthfully (70 grams of protein, 128 ounces of water) and not succumbing to the flavors of the season. :)

How I'm Feeling: Feeling wonderful.  I thank God (truly) for every day of feeling good.  I know that the last few weeks could be a much different story, but for now, I’m savoring the days of feeling so wonderfully.  I am consistently feeling healthy, strong, comfortable and joyous.  Joy to the world, indeed (or at least to my world).  

Movement: Baby is moving and shaking.   Scott, my mom and Kelly have all been able to feel the baby, and I think that will only grow more easy in the weeks to come.  (For the record, I HAVE started to get unsolicited belly rubs this holiday season, and I am NOT loving them.  Asking first is MUCH preferred!)

My thoughts:  My pregnancy has been blessedly smooth and I feel so grateful for that.  I had a bit of sickness in the beginning, but that mostly disappeared after 12 weeks (and have only had a handful of episodes in the last eight weeks).  I have had a bit of heartburn, which I never experienced pre-pregnancy, but taking a Tums or two has fixed that right up.  I have noticed that I’m moving a little slower in general – my office-to-train walk typically takes 22 minutes door-to-door, and I've started allowing 25 because I’m just not walking as quickly as usual (and when I try, I get a stabbing and painful side ache that goes away as soon as I slow down).  
This time of year has been a bit quieter, which has allowed me to really focus on my pre-baby to-do list:
Education:  It’s recommended that you complete all parenting/childbirth classes as soon as possible after 25 weeks, so I've registered for the classes that we think will be most important and useful, and Scott and I will be taking those in the coming weeks (my goal is to be 100% complete by Valentine’s Day).  I have invited my labor “coaches” to be with me in the hospital room (Scott and my mom).  I've done a trial-run at the hospital with my mom (so we know exactly where to park, where to report, etc).  I've begun and/or completed a huge number of books about parenting, childbirth, infants, etc (Baby Whisperer, Happiest Baby on the Block, Babywise, Bradley Method, Big Book of Birth, The Birth Partner).  I have read dozens (hundreds?) of articles on the signs of labor, the three phases of labor, low-intervention pain management, the early days of baby's life, early infant development, etc.  I am a "knowledge is power" type of person, and I have never taken that to heart more than during pregnancy.  
Birth plan:  I've finalized my birth plan - with help from three very trusted recent moms and my doctor.  I've gone over it with my labor "coaches" and feel confident in the preferences that I'm requesting.  I've also finalized my non-labor expectations for my childbirth experience and early days at home.

Nursery: Our nursery is shaping up as well!  I feel incredibly (!) fortunate to have a dedicated room for our child, and that's possible in large part due to the hard work of my parents and husband, who are downstairs AS I TYPE working on the new guest rooms, which will allow the upstairs guest room to be transitioned to a nursery.  I have purchased and/or refinished all of the furniture for the nursery - with a major hat-tip to my mom who provided countless hours of free labor, shopping, and guidance.  I now have a crib, a changing table, a dresser, and a glider.  I also have a "tummy time" rug for the nursery, along with a variety of accessories to match our theme :)  It's been fun putting together a classy, classic gender neutral nursery.  (I have a number of gender-specific Etsy purchases "queued up" which will finalize the room once the baby is born).  
Home:  Our home is coming together beautifully as well.  My parents have graciously given us 9 days (!!) of their time and labor this holiday season to make some big headway on the next phase of our home as we prepare for Baby Special.  The days have been grueling and long (16 hours+ on more than one occasion) but the product is just outstanding.  We feel incredibly fortunate!   Also on the home-front, I've spent a lot of time over the past weeks organizing.  Nearly every drawer and cupboard is reorganized - along with closets, dressers, etc.  I'm not sure if it's nesting, per se, but I'm a person who thrives on organization and this will undoubtedly make the coming months easier.  I've also begun pre-baby meal plans.  I have a list of recipes I plan to make - and freeze -  in January/February, so that we have healthy and easily accessible meals at our fingertips for the late days of pregnancy and early days of parenting.  I know it's impossible to be COMPLETELY ready, but darn if I'm not gonna try.  Can't hurt, right? :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Baby Special: 24 Weeks

Weeks:  24!  This is a milestone week, as it’s largely regarded as the “point of viability”-  the point where the baby’s chances of life outside of the womb are tipped slightly in favor of survival.  If our baby was born today, his or her chances of survival would be about 50% - with it increasing by 2-3% every day for the next few weeks.  I pray that our child stays in utero for many more weeks – a full 16 more!  - but truly every day matters.

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is 12 inches long, and weighs about one and a third pounds.  He or she is the size of an ear of corn!! 

Trimester: Second!  My pregnancy is well over half done - three months from now I'll be "full term".  While I feel like there is still a lot to do, I also feel like we've DONE a lot!

Cravings: Absolutely none.  I've been very thirsty this week, but no cravings to speak of (this week or yet).

How I'm Feeling: Wonderful.  Healthy, strong, and comfortable.  I love being pregnant.

Movement: Some really wonderful movement.  A few times it's been strong enough that I've called Scott over to try to feel it, but we haven't been successful yet.  It's a pretty spectacular feeling.

My thoughts: I can't wait to meet this baby!  I'm also sooo curious if it's a boy or a girl, and I'm glad to have no further scheduled ultrasounds (temptations!) between now and when the baby is born.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Baby Special: 23 Weeks

Weeks:  23!  The tide has flipped where there are fewer weeks left as have passed!  It’s all downhill from here… right? J

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is 11 inches long, and weighs over a pound.  He or she is the size of a mango!  (Is that a coincidence?!  Because I LOVE mangoes, and I LOVE this baby!)

Trimester: Second!  Rings are still firmly ON, belly button is still firmly IN.  I’m up about 4 pounds from my lowest pregnancy weight at week 12.  (I’ve seen other “bumpdates” include those details so thought I’d throw ‘em in here, although discussing my weight will not become a regular occurrence.  Ha!)

Cravings: None – but between my OB appointment and Thanksgiving last week, I’ve been incredibly motivated to eat healthily.  Not just “less” as is normal after Thanksgiving, but more in a lot of ways: more fruits and veggies, more water, more protein, more vitamin C.

How I'm Feeling: I sound like a (blessedly) broken record, but I feel great.   I have such gratitude for these weeks of feeling so well.   My reading has prepared me for the fact that the latter weeks can be rather uncomfortable – and even down right BAD – so I’m savoring these middle weeks.  I feel almost like a “normal” non-pregnant person, except that I’ll admit that I’m a little slower to bend down to tie my shoes, or get stuff off the ground and even a little shorter of breath.  I’ve also had a bit of heartburn lately, which isn’t super fun… but it’s also so minimal that I’ll take it gladly.  (Hat tip to my cousin Megan who gave me Berry Tums about 24 hours before I really needed them.  Great minds, Megan!)

Movement: YES!  I found out that I have an “Anterior Placenta” (meaning that the placenta is on the front of my belly, with the baby positioned behind it) so that explains why the movement has been slower to come then other pregnant moms – my doctor explained that it’s like the baby moving through a pillow!  I have felt a LOT more movement in the past few days, though, and it’s been a joy each time.  It was so strong on Friday night that I called Scott in to see if he could feel it through my belly, but I don't think baby is quite big enough.  (Patience, Kate!) 

My thoughts:  Still sickeningly happy… Grateful to be pregnant, to be on the parenting journey with Scott, and to be so healthy.   I’m not sure how labor and delivery may change my mind, but I’d do this a dozen times if I could.  (Maybe not a dozen… but several more).  I LOVE being pregnant.  I feel like I was always meant to be pregnant - I've never felt happier, healthier, stronger, more joyful.  I feel incredibly grateful and lucky and I'm trying to really dwell in that gratitude right now.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Scenes From A Week: November 30

It was another busy - and awesome - week.  The week started strong with a big Monday.  Our blinds were installed (no more wax paper!) and I really love them.  More importantly, we had a successful 20 week ultrasound!  The appointment was about 10 days late, but the results were more than we could have hoped for: everything looks perfect for Baby Special and we're still on track for an April 3 due date.  We got to see ultrasound images of the baby's spine, all four quadrants of the heart, the spleen, the kidneys, etc.  It's truly a miracle, and one that we're not taking for granted.

The rest of the week was a wonderful whirlwind.  It started with a visit from Christine, Jen, Malcolm & Derek on Wednesday, followed by a trip home to CR for Thanksgiving.  Our first stop was at my aunt and uncle's house for "Black Wednesday" as is our tradition.  My mom hosts Thanksgiving every year, and it's one of my favorite days - capped off with our traditional game of Catch Phrase late in to the evening.

After coming back to Chicagoland, we got a visit from my Grandparents (!!) and Aunt and Uncle (along with my parents) and then went to my cousin's 30th birthday.  Today was spent being productive - Scott spent about 4 hours outside prepping our house and lawn for winter, and I spent a similar amount of time working inside.  It was a solid long weekend and I'm feeling ready for the week ahead!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Scenes From A Week: November 16

What a solid week and, especially, the weekend.  On Saturday we spent time working around the house and yard - Scott spent three hours outside on our roof and in the yard, winterizing.  I spent some time inside cleaning and organizing.  We ended the day at a movie theater, checking out the new Matthew McConaughy (Intersteller) which I liked a ton.  (Way less Sci-Fi than I expected).

On Sunday we got up early, and did some holiday shopping before the Bears WIN (thank you Cutler).  We ended the afternoon with our first trip to our town's library and came home with two books each - my commute will be much easier this week because of it :)

This week promises to be a busy one in preparation for a busy weekend.. the holidays are upon us!

new obsession.

not pleased, mother nature.

they were filming the new superman movie in my building!

king of his castle

our bedroom decor is nearly complete

this song was in heavy rotation this week
(shout out to matt for the recco)