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)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Baby Special: 20 Weeks



Weeks:  20.  Yesterday marked the official halfway point in my pregnancy, and I feel such relief at reaching it.  Maybe it’s because my insides don’t really match my outsides (I feel pregnant but don’t really look it yet) that being 20 weeks feels like a real marker.  I’m so happy to be half way.. and especially because that means there is less than half way left until we meet our son or daughter!

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is the length of a banana, and weighs about 10.5 ounces!  This also marks the point in pregnancy where they start measuring head-to-toe (instead of “crown to rump”) which feels like such a milestone in this pregnancy.  This week, baby is practicing swallowing in utero (everything sounds so “mad scientist” but is so incredible really.  Our bodies are works of art).  

Trimester: Second! 



Cravings: None!  My carb-y tendencies are winding down – thankfully.  In the first twenty weeks of pregnancy, it was a real struggle to get 70 grams of protein every day, and drink 150+ ounces of water.  It’s gotten easier and easier over the past few weeks, as my nausea has almost completely disappeared.  I gave up caffeine nearly completely (an occasional glass of tea).  I’m trying to feed my baby as conscientiously as possible, and importantly – try to stay ahead of being hungry.  I think that may be helping my cravings (although ask me again in a few weeks and I may say something completely different :).

How I'm Feeling: I feel wonderful.  My baby is growing (which means that my belly is too) and I’m feeling strong and capable.  I am more emotional than ever (and that’s coming from a girl who routinely cries during.. everything).  But overall I’m feeling very, very good, and there isn’t a day that I don’t say a prayer of silent gratitude.  I have friends who’s pregnancy experiences were much harder than mine has been, and I feel fortunate to have had it so easy.

Movement: None yet.  On Wednesday night (19w 6d) I pulled out my Fetal Doppler Monitor (purchased on Amazon a few months ago).  I had never been able to make it work very well, and had tucked it away for fear of freaking myself out.  Last night I was organizing (nesting, what?!) and came across it.  I decided to give it another try and… BAM.  Found the heartbeat in nothing flat.  Maybe it’s because the baby is bigger and taking up more real estate now?  It was a joyful sound.  Scott came in to listen to it, and then I called my mom on speaker so she could hear it too.  Baby is so cherished already – it’s wonderful.

My thoughts:  I continue to feel excited, joyful and just… in awe.  I feel so lucky that my body has been able to do this –has been able to handle pregnancy so beautifully so far (knock on wood).  I was certainly sick in the beginning – quite sick, I admit – but it wasn’t debilitating and didn’t require any medication.  The past two months or so have been really wonderful.  As baby is growing,  I’m slowly transitioning to maternity clothes (probably 10% maternity, 90% regular at this point) and while I’m still able to wear many of my regular clothes, my body is changing.  I got my first unsolicited belly rub this week (from a dear friend) and it was great… although I suspect I’d be less receptive if it had been someone else:)  I cannot believe that I’m at the pregnancy half way point!  It feels like a milestone that I’ve been climbing towards.
That’s really it.  I’ve just been happy.  Little things seem to matter less, big things matter more. I’ve really been savoring this season in my pregnancy.  The first 20 weeks were very good to me, and I can’t wait to see what the next 20 have in store. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scenes From A Week: November 9

Another late post, but I'm playing catch up because I really don't want to fall behind.  Again.  Ha!

It was another great week, filled with projects around the house, a Friday off work, and a Saturday baby shower that I hosted for a good college friend.  Looking forward to a quieter weekend coming up, but the busy ones are fun too.

my painter expert mom helped us transform the TV cabinet
from wood to white

homemade kale chips #chefspecial

progress on our nursery (this dresser was mine!)

part of the baby shower spread i put together last saturday

jill, the mama-to-be

"it's a girl" cupcakes

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Scenes From A Week: November 2

A delayed post, but better late then never, right? :)

The week was a good one -my parents were in town for one final "hurrah" on the house before the holidays (holidaze).  Per Scott and my request, my mom painted two really key pieces of furniture for us - our TV cabinet/entertainment system and my old highboy dresser.  It was a dresser that I have used for thirty years (!!) which we were now hoping to re-purpose for our baby.  We painted both a bright white, using gel paint rather than traditional paint, which led to some beautiful results.  They are super glossy and look luxurious and more expensive then they really were :)

Although nearly a week late on this post, I hope you had a wonderful week!

18 weeks and feeling damn good.

new bar stools in our kitchen
the mamaroo is in the nursery!  i'm borrowing this one
from a dear cousin and having it in the nursery is so wonderful
(this week after feeling a bit sick, i went and laid on the bed in the
nursery and smiled as i looked at the mamaroo and the highboy
already in the proper room.  it was a sweet, sweet reminder
through the sickness).  
scott working on our mudroom

my dad and scott, working on our master bathroom

it's official, i'm a grown-up.  (my homemade banana bread).

my mom painted nearly our ENTIRE house.  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Baby Special: 19 Weeks



Weeks: 19!  Time is flying.

Official Due Date: 4/3/15 – which is less than five months away!  

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is six inches long and weighs a half pound (cutest half pound ever).   It’s the size of a large mango! 

Trimester: Second! 

Gender Guesses: Still thinking blue… This weekend, I worked on the list of products I plan to purchase (or register for) for the baby.  I've selected Target (only) because I only want to do one spot, and they have the most comprehensive list of things I would like - and are easily accessible both in stores and online. If there are things I want from other stores (the crib, for example) then I'll hunt those down and buy them! :)  Anyway, all this to say - my choices are definitely skewing to the boy side.  Some of it might be because I tend to prefer blue/grey versus pink/white in my home, but it was kind of funny to see.  Many of the items that I have earmarked are technically "baby boy" (although they would certainly work if Baby Special was a girl).  
Cravings: None!  
How I'm Feeling: Feeling great and hoping that sticks around.  Probably hungrier than usual (half pound baby?!) but nothing too noticeable.  I did get sick once this week, but it was short lived and I felt fine quickly thereafter.  

Movement: None yet but eagerly awaiting!  My friend Sam didn't feel her son until she was 23 weeks, so I'm trying to be patient ;)  I think so much depends on the location of the placenta, 

My thoughts:  We had a big “push” on the house last weekend with my parents.  Scott, my dad and my mom were just… INSANE.  I cannot wrap my head around how much was completed (with very little help from me).  My parents have given us so many of their weekends (and weeks!) over the summer and fall, and our house has taken such a beautiful shape.  As I told Scott on Sunday night – I just love living there.   This week has been a fun one, with Scott completing little projects here-and-there nearly every night.  I’ve heard that many pregnant women go through “nesting”… well, this is like nesting on crack :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Baby Special: 18 Weeks



Weeks: 18 yesterday!  Wahoo!

Official Due Date: Unchanged - April 3, 2015 

Baby's Size:  Baby Special is 5.5 inches long (from head to bottom) and weighs seven ounces now – about as much as a bell pepper (and gained ½ inch and 2 ounces in the past week)!  

Trimester: Solidly in the second trimester!  

Gender Guesses: Back to thinking blue… I think?  How am I going to wait another 5 months to find out? :)


Names:  Lately I’ve felt pretty drawn to one specific girls name (that Scott likes too) so we’ll see if that sticks.  Who knows!


Cravings: None to speak of.  We were cooking-machines this weekend –between Scott and me we made about 8 different dishes (homemade chili for the win).  I have a few others in mind to make this weekend (a crock-pot dish while my parents are here helping us work, banana bread, a feta-popover appetizer).  I am really getting in to this “cooking” thing :)  (Only took to age 30…)
How I'm Feeling: This week was a little strange, to be honest.  I was sick both days last weekend, and before that I hadn’t been for several weeks.  I’m hoping I just went too long before eating?  I’ve made an effort this week to eat breakfast quickly upon waking up, and that has been working so far.  Hoping the good feelings continue as we power-through another big work-weekend on the house!     My energy levels remain up, which makes me feel SO much better.  I’d gotten in to a habit of an evening, post-work nap, and I’m trying to shake that.  (Better to go to bed earlier, I think). 

Movement: None yet – c’mon baby!  I thought I felt something on Tuesday night, but it’s so hard to know if I’m feeling baby… or feeling my dinner digest.  (Sorry, but true). 

My thoughts:  It’s been a big few weeks for progress on the house – closet doors are painted and hung.  The remainder of the baseboard has been installed.  We ordered, and received, and LOVE our new bar stools for our granite peninsula.   My next focus is on a new kitchen table – the one we have has been great for me for the past 5+ years.  I ordered it when I first moved in to my own apartment downtown, and it really fit the bill.  It’s a black wood “pub-table” (so it’s taller than the standard height for normal tables).  It’s square and seats 4.   I bought it when I was 24 – and I thought it was so grown-up and stylish… still do, actually.  It’s gotten a lot of use through two (now three) different residences, and it’s just a little beat up.  Now that we’re moving in to a new phase of life, we’re looking for something a little more in tune with our new life – regular height, seats 6-8, and probably glass/metal so it better matches the rest of our home.    The pub table will most likely go in our basement somewhere, so it’ll still have a home ;) 

This week has also brought a little bit more obvious baby belly – which I’m loving.  I had my hair cut last week and the lady was like “wait, you are pregnant? Huh!”  I’m eager to become a little more obviously pregnant.   I’ve started using some fancy Burt’s Bees belly cream (“Mama Bee”) that my sweet sis-in-law Kelly gave me a few weeks ago – and I’m loving it.     That’s really it!  I’m rounding the corner on the half way point, and I’m pleased to have had such a healthy, happy pregnancy thus far (knock on wood).  :)   I feel healthy and lucky and so excited for the next 22 weeks… and beyond.  Baby, you are LOVED.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Baby Special: 17 Weeks

Weeks: 17 (and 4 days.  I'm going to start posting these recaps on Thursday to correspond with the new week)!    Weeks 4-10 crawled sooo slowwwllly.  I was bursting with excitement over the baby news, but was so careful to keep a lid on it.  The past month or two have really flown by though, and I’m so thrilled to be rapidly approaching the half way point.

Official Due Date: April 3, 2015 



Baby's Size:  Baby Special is 5 inches long (from head to bottom) and weighs five ounces now – about as much as a turnip!  

Trimester: Second  (Which I’ve heard affectionately referred to as “The Honeymoon Period”.  I can definitely relate, as the past five weeks have been some of the best in my entire life.  I feel wonderful physically – not (very) sick, not uncomfortable, just strong and healthy!  Emotionally, I feel… it’s kind of indescribable.  I feel so lucky that my body is able to do this – to be pregnant.  I am so unbelievably grateful, and acutely aware of the women out there who wish for this).

Gender Guesses: I thought it was a boy for the first 12-14 weeks of the pregnancy – I was so sick!  Sweet averse!  - but lately I’m leaning toward girl.  We COULD find out in a few weeks, but we’re still holding strong to wait until the baby is born for that magical moment.  (I’m sure it’s magical no matter when you find out!) 

Names:  We’re pretty set on our boys name, but if it’s a girl we’re really undecided.  I gravitate toward fairly traditional names, and I’m really in to family names or names with meaning.  In other words, we have nothin'.  

Cravings: I have yet to experience a real craving (I think?!)  Throughout my pregnancy I’ve definitely gravitated toward salty (as opposed to sweet) and have required carbs to start my day – English Muffins, toast, bagels… I don’t discriminate. :)  I have not experienced any “OMG I MUST HAVE THIS RIGHT NOW” though (yet?) and that’s alright with me.  In fact, I'd prefer to avoid them :)

How I'm Feeling: I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m feeling awesome!  I was very sick in the beginning – throwing up almost every day!  - but I turned a corner around week 12, and I've felt pretty great since then.  I've certainly had a few moments of not feeling super great (and a few nausea episodes) but those have been few and far between for the past month.  We had an appointment a week ago for a check-up, and Scott got to hear the heartbeat for the first time… that was very special for me.  Baby’s heartbeat is powerful in more ways than one.

Movement: None yet, although at my OB appointment on Monday night the doctor said that in a few weeks, the feeling would be undeniable, and that I’d probably think to myself “oh, yes!  I've been feeling this for weeks and didn't know what it was!”  I’m incredibly excited for feeling the baby.  It’s pretty awe-inspiring to have a baby growing inside of you – and I’m looking forward to having my outside match my inside.  (I’m really not showing yet much at all – Scott and my mom can both see a Baby Bump, but no one else can really notice it yet.  I suspect that will change soon, but for now it’s a little strange!)

My thoughts:  I cannot wait to be a mom… and find out if we have a son or daughter!   Scott is going to be the most wonderful father and I cannot wait to see him with our child. We just moved a few months ago, and our lives (and my parents lives!) have been consumed with working on our house.  Finding out that I was pregnant was the icing on the cake, and added a new burst of energy to our efforts.  From the first walk-through of our house, we knew which room would (hopefully!) be a nursery, and we've taken to calling it “the Baby Room”.  It’s currently acting as our guest room, but we've started making plans for transitioning it to our nursery.  We likely won’t start that until after the new year, but it’s been fun to dream and plan.  Scott and I have a pretty clear vision about what we’d like to do with the space, and it’s been fun to slowly do research and start selecting items.  (My parents have been hugely helpful in this as well – they found several key pieces for the room so far!)