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.  

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? :)