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Now that my daughter is two weeks old I finally feel like I have a minute to write down the beautiful story of how she came into this world. Even now it seems surreal that I grew this little person inside my body and had the strength to birth her, by far the most intense, overwhelming,empowering experience of my entire life.

I went into labor at exactly 41 weeks. Earlier that day I had been feeling so depressed and discouraged that she was never going to come. I spent most of the morning in bed, tired and exhausted by the fact that another night had passed and I had not gone into labor. At my prenatal appointment three days before I was only 1 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and at a +1 station. To make things more gloomy I wasn’t exhibiting any of the traditional signs before labor. Other than a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, I felt like  labor could still be many days away.

We were scheduled the following day for an ultrasound and a non-stress test to make sure that everything was still going well. I was starting to wrap my mind around the possibility that induction might become a necessity if she didn’t make her debut soon. Trying to avoid that I made an appointment with an acupuncturist who assured me that after two treatments I would go into labor on my own. As it turns out I never needed it!

My husband and I went to bed around 10 o’clock that night. I listened to the Hypnobabies  track “Come Out, Baby!” which I’d been listening to almost every day for the last three weeks to no avail, but whether coincidental or not, this time it seemed to work! Around 11:30 PM I woke up with lots of cramping. Knowing how anxious I was to get into labor,  I knew there was a strong possibility that this was just another false start. But after a few minutes the crampy feeling was still there and I decided to go to the bathroom. That was when I saw all the blood, and I knew something was starting for real!

I woke my husband up and told him what I was experiencing, rather nonchalantly mentioning that I thought this could possibly be labor because I didn’t want him to get too excited. Of course that didn’t work! The cramps were getting stronger so I decided that we should start timing them. They were three minutes apart, lasting 45 seconds each time. I was so surprised at how quickly they were coming. I had pictured during labor  we would have hours and hours of early, well-spaced contractions where I would need distractions while we waited for things to progress. But when my labor started it was fast, strong, and consistent.

We called the midwife on call who happened to be one of our favorites. My husband told her my status, and she said it still sounded like it was early labor. She told me to try a hot bath to see if that would slow down the contractions. She also told me to take a sleeping pill to see if I could get a couple of hours of rest since it was early in the morning and we had what we thought was a long road ahead. The hubs ran me a bath. The water felt great but it did nothing to stop my contractions or even slow them down. After getting out of the tub I decided we needed to go ahead and call our doula who after hearing about my close contractions come over immediately. We called the birthing center back, told him that nothing had changed and that my contractions were actually getting closer together.

Our doula came over andI labored upstairs in the bedroom with my husband holding my hand, my doula rubbing my back, and our sweet little dog Lucy licking my arm. At that point the contractions were so strong that I had begun to vocalize a lot. It was absolutely uncontrollable. It didn’t take long for me notice how hoarse my voice felt after only a few hours of strong contractions. My husband did a great job of keeping me hydrated and even got me to nibble a little bit on crackers in between, but the contractions were so fast I hardly had any time to do much except try to let go of the one that had passed.

Around 4:30 in the morning we decided it was time to going to the birth center. At that point my contractions were between two and three minutes apart and getting very strong. The 40 minute car ride was the most excruciating part of the entire experience because there was absolutely no way for me to get comfortable. The road was incredibly foggy; I can’t imagine how stressful that was for my husband as he tried to drive us safely while I was moaning and making all kinds of other noises through the contractions.

We got to the birth center and got settled into our room. The midwife needed to check me but with my contractions so close together, I struggled to find a time in between them for her to do that. After she checked me she asked me, “Do you want to know how far along you are?” Originally in my birth plan I had said that I didn’t want to know how dilated I was, but with the contractions so close together I was more curious. I said that I wanted to know only if it was good news. As it turns out, I was already dilated 7 cm!

I decided to go ahead and get into the bathtub to see if the water could help with the really intense feelings I was having through the contractions. I ended up staying in there for the rest of the time. I labored on my back for a while. When the midwife checked me again an hour or so later, she said I just had about a centimeter to go and urged me to try squatting with my arms draped over the side of the tub. It was so uncomfortable and I reached out for both my husband and doula to hold my hands. But it was very effective! After about three contractions in that position, the midwife checked me again and that was when my water broke. The sensation was so intense that for a moment I lost control and started to panic a bit. I was so scared by the intensity of the experience. My team of support brought me back to a place of calm and I kept telling myself, “You can do this. You can do this.”

At around 7:30 AM I was ready to push. Even though I was exhausted I grateful to finally have something active to do. I immediately felt focused and determined; I was going to get this baby out! The midwife coached me on how to push. Unfortunately she could only stay for about an hour before the midwives changed shifts. I was devastated to learn that the next midwife to come on call was Elke, the one midwife we did not connect with well at all. I was on the verge of tears at the thought of having her there. But then I thought to myself, she isn’t doing any of this. I am the one who is doing this! It didn’t matter who was there, I had the strength and focus to do this.

When 8:30 rolled around, the other midwife came into the room, and I did my best to not look too disgusted. As it turns out she really wasn’t that terrible, just socially inept and awkward. But I did know one thing for certain: she wouldn’t be sugarcoating anything so when she told me that I was pushing effectively, I knew that she was telling the truth. Pushing was so intense but it was the kind of thing that I could manage because it had a very specific pattern. Each time I felt the contraction I would take a deep breath and hold it as I pushed, take another breath, and push again. For each contraction I pushed about four or five times, and it was the same pattern each time. I knew that the first one would be terrible but that the second third and fourth would feel like I was really making progress. Mentally I knew that if I could get through that first push, I would be making good progress.

I had no idea what time it was, but I knew that I’ve been pushing for a very long time. Everyone kept telling me that I was doing great, but I started to feel like I was never going to get her out. In the end I pushed for four hours. I have no idea how I mustered up the energy to do that. At several points I almost leapt from laying on my back into a squatting position in the tub, and everyone was shocked by how agile I was after such a long time of pushing. Let’s just say I was highly motivated.

Finally at 11:28 AM on October 27th I gave it that final push that brought my beautiful, perfect daughter into the world. The midwife caught her and put her on my chest. It was the most exhilarating  feeling I have ever experienced. I thought I would cry but instead I just felt this enormous high as I heard her cry for the first time. She was so beautiful! I couldn’t believe that just moments ago she had been inside of me and now she was here in my arms.

As it turns out, my daughter had been asynclitic and had come down the birth canal a bit cockeyed, which is why it took me so long to get her out. I found out later that many, many women end up with C-sections because the baby can often get stuck. Even though it was exhausting to push for that long, I am so grateful that I got the birth that I envisioned–med-free at the birth center, in the water. I feel fortunate that pain medication and other interventions were not necessary. I completely understand why women want and/or need epidurals and would not have turned one down if advised by my midwife to get one, but I’m just thankful that it didn’t come to that in my case.

We are so blessed to have this little girl join our family. She is bringing us so much joy!

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When I first found out I had gestational diabetes, I spent a remarkable time on the internet trying to figure out what on earth I would now eat. I had this meal plan that included numbers of carbs and protein, but I struggled to try to picture what “breakfast” would look like or what exactly a snack with so-many carbohydrates and a source of protein could be that wouldn’t sound gross right before going to bed. I was really grateful for this post that showed what real food could actually look like! Of course, follow your actual doctor or dietian’s instructions rather than me (aka, some chick on the internet). But thought it might be helpful to pass along what has helped me!

A few things I have learned along the way:

It takes a while to figure out what works: I had to work through three or four different kinds of breakfast before I found one that worked for me on a regular basis. Later on, I realized that some things that worked initially needed to change as my sensitivity increased. It was hard to be patient along the way, but if possible be gentle on yourself.

Technology helps! If it wasn’t for my hour-long timer on my phone, i would never remember to test blood sugar. This is actually true, because those times I say “oh, I’ll test right when I do such-and-such” instead, I invariably forget. It was a real help when I stopped trying to remember times in my head and trust my phone to remind me. I also strongly recommend a food scale to help with measurements. There are some foods that are hard to count for carbs, and the scale makes it much easier! 

Finding the happy balance between “easy to count,” “easy,” and “actual food that has nutrition.” It took me a while to figure out exactly how much work I could put in on a regular basis for food preparation. Originally, I made chicken breast sandwiches for lunch that required thinking and cooking ahead. That lasted about a week. I found that “good lunchmeat that I microwave past the temp limit” was about as much work that I could put in to put a lunch together. I decided I could wash things and count, but was unlikely to have pre-sliced vegetables to go with hummus. I could microwave an egg each morning, which for some reason seemed more possible than anything that involved a pan. You may fall on a different end of the “I can work to make food” scale, and figure out what works.

A whole lot of ways to count to 15 carbohydrates: Life became much easier when I could figure out a whole lot of things to have in the house every week that I could add together to make a snack or get a meal up to a certain number of carbs. Here in August, I would fill up the fridge with many types of fruit–berries for earlier in the week, stone fruits or apples for later on. Carrots or milk have worked well for me as toppers if I need a few more carbohydrates in a meal. Having a variety of healthy carbohydrates in the house helped to piece meals together with a bit more variety.

When you exercise matters: This is one of those things that they told me in my initial interview, but I didn’t appreciate until later on. It makes a huge difference if I walk between eating and testing blood sugars, or even if I spend 10-20 minutes just on my feet. (I guess at this stage of pregnancy, standing counts as exercise.) There are very few things that I can eat that will not leave me with high sugar if am seated for the full hour afterwards. The other realization for me has been that when they say “manage with diet and exercise,” is that exercise at other times of day than that key hour can actually hurt. If I have a big exhausting activity in mid-afternoon, I have to be careful that I won’t be too tired to walk around after dinner or make over-the-top food choices. For me, I’ve also noticed that in extreme heat especially, exercise can actually spike my sugars. They say stress levels can increase blood sugar, but just something to look at if you too are “very pregnant in the middle of summer”

And without further ado, the food!

Breakfast

After MUCH trial and error (sprouted grain toast and peanut butter, oatmeal with fruit, oatmeal with yogurt and fruit, yogurt and fruit and granola all managed to push me over my blood sugar levels), I have ended up with an egg on toasted thin bread. As thin bread has less than the 30 carbs I’m supposed to have for breakfast, I have an awful lot of milk in decaf coffee, which I then call a latte ;-). I microwave the egg in a cup, because I am lazy. 

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Snacks

For my plan, I need to eat 15 grams of carbs plus protein several times a day between meals. Most of the time, have one of those 15 grams of fruit with a mozzarella stick. Or crackers and peanut butter. Or most recently if I’m home, “a strategic amount of full fat vanilla ice cream with almonds.” But I wanted to share especially my two “buy it at the store and throw it in my purse” options. Needing to snack so frequently, I was surprised about how few prepackaged options fit the bill–and after frustratingly checking labels these are the two I have lived on for the last many weeks

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Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix: 14 grams of carbs, lots of nuts, doesn’t melt in your purse–winner!

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Kind bar–Dark Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt: 16 grams of carbs, which is a hair high, but close enough, and really the only bar I found that did. It is tasty, I can pronounce all the ingredients, and although it gets melty in hot weather–shouldn’t something that claims to be chocolate get melty? I eat these a lot. 

Lunch

For lunch, I have discovered a routine– it’s turkey sandwich plus “whatever carb sounds good.” Needing to pack a lunch has limited some options, but having a variety of fruits and veggies around has helped. 

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Dinner

For us in the summer, dinner usually involves “putting something on the grill.” I have pretty much just gotten a variety of proteins that can be grilled over the course of the week, we make one, and then I add on whatever sounds good from my “great carb collection.” For dinner, I need to be especially careful when I try to eat something with a bun: they can surprise me, even when small, by their carb count.  When we go out to dinner, I’ve had luck with quesadillas, nachos where I count the number of chips I eat along the way, sandwiches where I request whole wheat bread and sometimes leave some bread behind, salads–providing I can find enough carbs in the meal, and burgers where I eat part of the bun and request a salad instead of fries. 

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Drinks

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My high recommendations for plain soda water with a slice of lime. Preferably in a fancy glass. I have ordered this in restaurants everywhere we have gone, and mostly judge based on what kind of glass they serve. 

Evening Snack

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I pretty much always eat a cracker and peanut butter and greek yogurt. In the summer, I’ve found it hard to find things to eat before bed that sound appealing, but this has fit the bill between “not too filling” and works with the schedule.

 

So there you have it, everything I have eaten for the last 10 weeks or so. This has both been easier and harder than I have thought it would be–so if you are starting off and feeling overwhelmed, know it will get better. You will figure out what works for you. And I am grateful both to be aware of my long-term risks, and that this short term higher-ristriction time will soon be over!

 

 

She believed she could

I saw this gorgeous picture on the Hypnobabies Facebook page and was pleased to know that it’s a print available on Etsy. All of her images are inspiring, empowering, and women-affirming. Check it out.

For my fellow moms-to-be, we got this!

Now officially 37 weeks! If I went into labor, they wouldn’t stop it! A milestone I celebrated by seriously wondering if “going into labor” was what was happening to me.

Yesterday afternoon, I had driven in the car to meet someone, and when I got out I said “wow, that really kind of hurts.” I had a feeling like period-cramps, painful enough to be distracting, including the fact that they were constant and without breaks that I could time. I still hurt at the end of the meeting, still hurt driving back, still hurt back at the office. At which point I say to myself “I am 36w6, this can’t be labor, and it doesn’t come and go, this isn’t contractions!” but do think it might not be a bad time to try out some of those comfort techniques on the practice pain.

At this point, my lower back is also hurting and I call up my spouse, trying to figure out if I missed some part of our birthing classes where they talked about “moderate pain that doesn’t come and go.” He says he doesn’t know, but call the doctor. I leave a message on the nurses line, because surely this isn’t an emergency, and continue trying to not focus or obsess about my abdomen hurting. It gets close to the end of the day, and I hear back from them. As long as baby is moving, and I haven’t had broken water they aren’t concerned–and say things like “Go home, drink water and put your feet up, and it will either get better or worse.” (aka, you will feel better or go into labor)

If I can have a minor side note, this is when my brain explodes by the idea that labor is a non-alarming possibility. We have now crossed the line into nurses not being concerned when labor is a possibility, while I am still that girl without a hospital bag packed, because it seemed like jumping the gun.

So in any case–continued to have period-cramp and back pains all night, which did fell better in a bath and laying down without moving. Today they have calmed down so that it doesn’t hurt to sit, and standing feels “sore, with occasional twinges” which sounds about right for this late in pregnancy. I’m wondering if this baby was getting lower and expanding things that weren’t used to being expanded.

But now, I guess I need to actually pack that hospital bag? 2 weeks left at work, 3 weeks until due date. Ahhhhh!

I’ve been pondering topics I could write about: exercise (telling y’all all about how I’ve kept up my activity and thus feeling better about myself); babymoon part 2 (having a grand time in Grand Cayman, yay); other nice, sweet sounding things that aren’t particularly emotionally charged. But then I thought, what would be the point of that? Making myself feel better? It would’ve just been filler.

What I really ought to write about is how I broke down in tears. On my birthday. Multiple times. Most notably in the dressing room while trying on maternity clothes.

Context is key here. My birthday was two days after a week in Grand Cayman celebrating my father-in-law turning 70. (Clearly that overshadowed my own birthday as it should have.) When we got home, the hubs and I were feeling pretty exhausted from travel and I just didn’t want to go out to eat anymore because we’d just spent a week doing that. A few weeks earlier the hubs had admitted that he was really struggling to come up with gifts for me, so I suggested that he take me shopping instead. What a fun idea–picking out whatever I want! Oh yeah, except for that pesky little fact that I’m pregnant and my clothing choices have been reduced to a 10’x 10′ section in a department store, hidden all the way in the back like they’re ashamed of it. 

Despite the limited selection, I did manage to find a few cute things I wanted to try on, but all went downhill once I actually started taking off my clothes and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. God, I hardly recognized myself. My legs were less defined than I’d ever seen them (despite the constant working out I’ve done). My breasts looked huge (for me, not a plus). But nothing prepared me for gazing at my full-on pregnant belly that seemed to have swollen overnight. I swear, to my eyes I looked like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka (minus the blue skin). And I started to bawl.

None of this is rational. I get it–I’m pregnant. I’m gestating a human that’s growing everyday. I will gain weight. I will get bigger. I will have a huge belly. Yeah, I GET IT. That does not mean I feel any differently when I see a huge version of myself that I hardly recognize anymore. Is this that hard to understand? It makes perfect sense. I live in a culture that tells me to be thinner, thinner, thinner all the freaking time, and I know as soon as this little girl comes out, it’s going to be the same damn thing again. I can’t just block out those messages that I’ve heard everyday for 31 years as I watch the scale climb up, up, UP each week.

This pregnancy thing is no joke. It’s hard, especially on the heart.

It has been an exhausting week of doctors appointments. Two weeks ago, I took the 1 hour glucose screening and didn’t pass. Last week, I had the 3 hour test which can I say, was a profoundly unpleasant experience–make a pregnant lady eat nothing for 12 hours, and then drink pure sugar to watch her blood sugar spike and fall in a enclosed waiting room, while taking blood every hour? Ugh. I also didn’t get food quite soon enough afterwards and had a bad reaction of vision blurring and cold sweats. 

And after all that, as you might have guessed, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. 

Ugh.

I had my follow up appointment today, complete with my new meal plan for the rest of pregnancy and blood sugar meter lesson. I still have some to learn, because I have yet to successfully stick myself in one go–I have had to try 3-4 times each so far because I wasn’t able to get enough blood. I was feeling so much like a human pincushion that I nearly lost it when I learned I needed a TDap booster at the Ob’s office later. In retrospect, a completely different thing, but when you don’t like needles or blood in the first place, and have been spending a lot of energy honing your “out of body” needle skills, apparently things become hard.

My thoughts about Gestational Diabetes have been vacillating. I’ve been going between this plucky can-do, “It’s ok, you got this! You were already eating healthy and lots of snacks, so this is more of the same! It’s only for 11 more weeks, you will be great!” with occasional bouts of “What do you mean for 15 carbs you can only get half an apple!?! What on earth am I going to eat? My life is difficult despair!” 

I’m also trying to keep in perspective, that in the scheme of pregnancy complications, this isn’t that bad. It looks like they mostly are concerned, not about my health, but the baby’s weight and how that might affect birth and post-birth blood sugar. Which considering the wide range of things that can go wrong, this is ok and we have a plan. I am not in any of the risk categories for GD–which is odd in some ways, but also means that from here on out I can keep an eye on diabetes risk, when I might not have known to otherwise. 

That last paragraph is my rational brain talking. The other parts of my brain also chime in with things like “But why?,” “A summer with no ice cream?” and “How the hell am I going to eat a breakfast with only 30 g of carbs when eggs sound gross in the morning? Why do you take all of my cereal and toast?!?” and other whiny and despairing thoughts. 

I’ll keep you updated, and try to let you know if I actually do figure out what I’m going to eat. 

Being on the edge of the 3rd trimester, I had a moment of anxiety that we had bought nothing for this baby. Literally nothing. We have several baby blankets that folks have given us and an umbrella stroller hand-me-down, but other than that there really was no practical object in our apartment so far for an upcoming baby. I don’t know if it is a combination of “I hate making decisions,” “I am not very fond of shopping,” or some sort of not-being-sure-if-its too early, but we finally decided that being less than three calendar months from a due date was time to start getting serious.

The first purchase was angst-y, but went pretty well. I decided that purchasing a crib would make me feel like we had actually done something. So we ordered a subscription to Consumer Reports to try to learn what I should be looking for in a very-safe-crib. I am a professional woman: when in doubt, research! We didn’t really like any of the ones we had seen in our window shopping at a local baby-store, so we ended up ordering one of the ones CR liked, that conveniently we liked the look of and also got good reviews from short parents. Done! Over-researched purchase #1 complete and here’s hoping that we like it as much in person!

Ok, well what comes after a crib? A carseat. I figure if we have a place for whippersnapper to sleep, and a way to get her home, then we are starting to get real here. Like, in case of emergency, the fella could run out for diapers and some packs of onesies and we wouldn’t be totally negligent parents. Baby-steps.

So after consulting the trusty Consumer Reports, we went out to the baby store to see things in person. We knew exactly the one we wanted to look at, we located it in the store, and then we spent a lot of time feeling like idiots. There were so many buttons! We knew we wanted to remove the carrier to see how heavy the it was without the base, and there the two of us stood, three masters degrees between us, completely baffled by baby equipment. We kept pushing buttons and pulling levers that did something else: this one tilts the car seat, this one moves the handle. There’s straps that move and are tightened. We try looking around to see if someone else has made this work. We try pushing buttons at the same time while lifting. At one point, we start wondering if maybe they have connected the carrier to the base to prevent theft, and put the whole thing on the floor to see what it feels like, while making comments like “how much heavier can the base be than a baby?.” Finally we have returned the whole thing to the display shelf and are trying to look at the different models and covers, when a woman walks up and in a single fluid motion, removes the carrier to test it out on a stroller base. The fella and I exchange knowing glances. This clear baby-expert is here with two other friends, and is demonstrating for them the things they should care about in a stroller (“Because you aren’t going to want to lug something heavy around just to run in for something in Target”). We subtly try to mimic her magic on the adjacent carseat, while simultaneously listening in for any wisdom this guru is sharing. She wheels around the car-seat on the snap-n-go with ease (“I actually think I like the same brand name version better. These weren’t available when I was in the market.”) Lo and behold, we push the button that she had pushed while lifting and like magic the carrier releases. How is this possible? We had tried that several times before to no luck! One of her friends, at that moment, looks to us with pity and says “First baby?”

So this is what I have learned from shopping so far. Despite all attempts to play it cool, we are going to be ridiculous first-time parents. I will read all of the reviews and probably pay too much. I am going to be baffled by simple objects. I am some baby-producers dream because in my bafflement, I have very little way to judge what is necessary and not. And as much as I would like to use my research to cover my inadequacies, a pinch of experience trumps a pound of research any day. Sigh.

I had planned a post reflecting on whether this was our first child or only child. I had always thought we would have more than one and that still may be the case. However the fella grew up as an only child and as we talk there are a lot of reasons that it might make sense to just have one–financially and logistically etc. So originally pondering on this, I wanted to try to put into words that this might be my only experience of pregnancy, and what that meant. At the time, I was feeling really sentimental about experiencing my only chance of pregnancy.

However, no sooner do I have this plan that all I have to say about pregnancy is whiny. Last week, all I did was sleep. I swear to goodness, I thought I was getting sick, because honestly who takes that many naps or sleeps for more than 12 hours in a night who isn’t coming down with something. Turns out the something I was already down with was pregnancy.

Then, I started to have a bit more energy coinciding with the nice weather, so we decide to go on an adventure in a new park with the dog. And I discover just how much my lung capacity sucks these days. It was really pathetic, I was easily overwhelmed by things like “a slight incline” that would leave me panting and looking for my trophy when we reached the top. So yesterday we do a milder walk with the dog and decide to go out to dinner. And although the food is great, the way the chair is made there is just no way for me to get comfortable, so by the time the meal is over my back hurts like nobody’s business. Which, combined with my soreness from the “hike” (cough, leisurely stroll) the day before and the chair of doom, leaves me on the couch for the evening with only one position that doesn’t have my back or hips or butt hurt.

All of this to say, that I didn’t really have a  nostalgic reflection about pregnancy in me. Boy, shoot, my only chance to be a beached-whale-sleeping-whimp…

And to be honest, I am only at 26 weeks. I’m not even 3rd trimester yet! If I am this much of an uncomfortable wimp now, how on earth are the next three months going to look like?

I’m trying to work on being grateful. Can I tell you the one thing that I actually like about being pregnant? Feeling her move around. She’s gotten even more active the last few weeks, and almost anytime I sit still I can feel her move. It’s gotten now to the point that I can actually see on my stomach when she kicks–little things seem to jut out of my abdomen–which is neat in that “wow, there’s something really in there” way. Sometimes, when she kicks (or pushes or sticks out an elbow.. you know), it just stays there and I can put my hand there and push back. And at that moment it kind of feels like I’m holding her hand for the first time. It’s so incredible to me that there is a brand new being in there, who already has a mind of her own and although she’s utterly dependent here in the womb, that she is starting to find her own way. It feels like the beginning of a relationship.

All the body stuff is weird and I’m not much of fan of the social world of being a pregnant lady, but it is pretty amazing to be this close to a miracle. So maybe I am a little sentimental too.

Lots of transforming moments going on in this house! I still haven’t felt any kind of flutters in my belly, probably because I don’t know what to look for, but there have been lots of other signs that we’re actually having a kid in five months.

First ultrasound: My husband works in the healthcare field and has access to ultrasound machines. One of his colleagues who is a sonographer was in town and offered to do a 2D/3D scan for us before our official anatomy scan this week. Since we’ve gone the midwife route, we hadn’t had a peek into what’s happening in utero at all. Part of me still couldn’t believe this little wiggling, hiccuping, kicking thing was inside of me. And of course, when I found out we were having a little girl, I cried. Both my husband and I had a gut feeling that we were having a girl, but you never know until you do. I’m getting used to saying “she” and “her” instead of “it.”

The bump: I think one is finally starting to appear! Most people still don’t notice it at all, but I can, especially when I lay down at night. We’re going to Grand Cayman in about three weeks, and I’m wondering what my bump will look like in a bathing suit. Need to try those on soon…

Nursery transformation: While we were out looking for a glider, we ended up finding a crib and dresser we loved, so we went ahead and ordered all of it. I’m glad we did since some of it will take up to 12 weeks to arrive. That gave us the kick in the butt we needed to finish clearing out the room, which used to be our office, and getting new paint on the wall as well as hanging up a new ceiling fan. Even though the room is empty now, I love walking in there and thinking about our little girl. I know in a lot of ways, prepping the nursery is more about our own transformation as parents. Creating that physical space for a new human is a reminder that  our lives are about to change in a major way. Pics at the bottom!

Childcare: My mom is officially moving to our area to help us with the baby full-time! We’ve agreed to pay her what we would pay for top-notch daycare in our area. Discussing money with family is never easy, but I’m glad that we’ve been transparent and upfront about all of it. And I couldn’t be happier about having my mom here not only to care for our child, but to be part of our daily lives.

So yeah, sh*t is getting real, y’all.

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Ok, a quick “anyone else have this symptom” check.

I’m having trouble telling the difference between hungry, tired, and thirsty. Like I get home from work in the evening, and I am just feeling depleted–worn down, like there is something crucial that I am missing. So I try eating dinner (and maybe ice cream). And then I try taking a wee nap and resting with my eyes closed. And then I try drinking some more water. And after all that…. I’m still feeling pretty depleted and worn down. Which leads me to wonder if this is just how someone feels in the evenings when you are a few weeks from the third trimester.

Hmm, I’ll keep trying things out. Because the baby will keep sapping my life force for important things like “growing,” and I keep thinking that there’s got to be some Supermario mushroom around the corner to fill it up again!