The beginning of the wait update

So here we are day 5,929 of our great baby wait. At least that is how it feels sometimes. Throughout this pregnancy our medical team has pumped me up with hopes of an early delivery: we will have to induce you for the baby’s size, we will have to monitor you for your thyroid, we will have to induce you for fears of shoulder dystocia, we will have to monitor your sugar levels. All these little “red flags” that were tacked onto my appointments gave me the hope that perhaps this time, my baby would come early instead of weeks late. But, this little dude is quite comfortable and each concern sheds away with each passing day. From “let’s just get you to 35 weeks,” we are now hearing, “you can go all the way to 42 weeks!” And, yes I am delighted. I am thankful that we are healthy and that our complication risks are minimizing. I am thrilled that throughout the long months of gestation this little guy and my body got stronger and more adaptable.

BUT, I am SO ready to meet him. Henry and David talk about the little one all the time, and play in his room, and read books about the baby arriving. We have EVERYTHING ready to go from crib to carseat to clothes to burp cloths, to that dreaded double stroller. And now we wait. My new feeling is that instead of an April baby, this little dude is holding out for May, haha. So what am I doing to avoid the painful staring at my belly?

The potty training chronicles are on-going and have been an oddly welcomed distraction!  Henry is doing really well with it too. Almost all of his activities make it to the bathroom and he is getting better and better at telling us. It is really sweet to put him in “big boy undies” and see him playing downstairs and having so much fun. I no longer see him as a “ticking time bomb” waiting to ruin my couch! This weekend to keep our minds busy we are planning to head downtown for a little visit to the North End and some touristy sight-seeing because WHO KNOWS when we will be able to do that again once the new member joins us and on Sunday I am going to my first fitness conference with my fellow coach Nikki. It feels like this mix of teaching, mothering, and coaching is just what I need in life these days. I am busy, and motivated, and feeling strong and healthy (although definitely achy by night fall, I cannot lie that this belly is a burden by the end of the day!). David always has hobbies to keep him busy and to keep him from spinning his wheels. When I was pregnant with Henry it was the summer and I felt very lonely just waiting for Henry to arrive and eventually  I felt crazed. But this time, while the wait isn’t fun (because come on little guy don’t you want to meet earth-side already!?!?!) it is much much more manageable with everything that fills my life and day and I am so thankful to feel like I have real ownership over my day.

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36 weeks & counting

How is it that every month has roughly 30 days and then the last month of pregnancy has 5,435 days! I am not a patient person and this wait killed when it was Henry’s turn and it is just as hard the second time. You would think I would have learned?

And it’s Spring Break which is such a blessing and curse for this mama. Clearly the timing is amazing because I should be relaxing and taking some time off my feet because before I know it this house is going to be VERY different. But I really struggle with empty space. I am notorious for filling up my calendar with a dozen errands and chores and trips and visits. The first day of spring break alone I plowed through most of my two week long to-do list by tackling the basement clean-up, Henry’s closet organization, baby room set-up, and hospital bag packing. I guess the bright side of this is that now there is very little to do and I am forced to confront my free time as it stands…free time. Seriously, this is not a problem because it is such a glorious gift but I need to really practice some mediation to help calm my frantic energy that wants to go go go. I am going to dedicate this time off then to centering and spending quality time with Henry without racing him from one thing to the next. These may be our final weeks as a mama, papa, kiddo triumvirate so I better savor it now before it totally passes me by!

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Here is a little glimpse at the room all set up and ready to greet our newest member!

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Is he really going to be this tiny? It feels so good having the hospital bag packed just in case, although NO ONE thinks I am going to go early except for me (and maybe my OB). That is what happens when baby 1 is so delayed, everyone around you just keeps reminding you of it.

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I probably can’t afford a daily Lush bubble bath until baby, but I can squeeze in a few  between now and baby. It was a glorious reminder that when I can shut down my brain there is beauty in the silence.

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But, I am so excited to start the next few days home with my littlest man! It is going to be great to just snuggle this peanut and maybe even sneak him off to lunch with Daddy downtown (yup, there I go again planning out our days!).

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And then this little one joins the party and it is SO crazy to see him because I feel like I know him and yet he is our greatest mystery.

 

I feel pregnant

This week, I FEEL like I am pregnant.

Up until week 31, I have felt pretty good. Yes, there are aches and pains, and yes, I am noticing some significant bumping-out in my midsection but I have enjoyed the second and third trimesters immensely. Working out, eating well, and being with loved ones has kept me happy and energized.

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The bump is big, but not too big that I can’t sleep at night or move with ease.

And then week 31 hit! I feel like overnight my little bump popped out like WHOA. I now get caught as I move around our dinner table or bump it trying to fit through a doorway. Getting dressed leaves me winded no matter how many SoulCycle classes I attend, and I have to eat slower because my stomach gets full fast and heartburn is a new development too. Having never suffered from heartburn, I described what I was feeling to David in a crisis tone of voice only to have him slow turn toward me and say, “Melissa, that is heart burn.”

Then I slipped and fell in the snow because my balance is good but not great on ice or with a big belly sticking out in front. It just feels like I woke up (or was up from my preggo insomnia) on Tuesday morning and got slapped with the pregnancy stick.

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So yes…I will admit I am pregnant. It has taken this long for me to realize just how pregnant I am, but I am. Having been here before with Henry, this bump is just going to get bigger and somethings will just get harder from this point out. Oh, and David has a bunch of business trips between now and the due date so a lot of these “discomforts” will be on my own. But, I got this! Right? It’s my last pregnancy so even though I am feeling it, I want to feel it. I want to feel these body changes, savor them, honor them, enjoy them, laugh about them, and be as comfortable (or uncomfortable) in my expanding skin as I can be.

 

third trimester

No one told me that the second pregnancy is SO much faster than the first. When we were waiting for Henry, it felt like we were waiting and waiting and waiting. Like an elephant, I must have been pregnant for 22+ months. There were nights when David and I would just sit and stare at the bump waiting for something to happen. And then with Henry coming after his due date, the waiting gaming was brutal. We were so excited and also we were alone: just me and just David and just the dogs. Our nights were easy and filled with a whole lot of nothing much. Maybe some reading, some television watching, some knitting, some chatting, and some pj wearing occupied our nights which meant we had a lot of time to think about this baby joining us.

The second time around is so different! In some ways, I feel guilty for not being able to better savor this little bump and to better quietly connect with the little guy. Instead, our days are filled with workplace commitments and our nights are filled with the family time scramble. I get home at 4:20PM, rush into the house, snuggle Henry, engage with & feed the dogs, scramble to get into comfy cloths (because who wants to wear jeans, really?), heat up dinner, feed and entertain Henry during “dinner,” and race back out to get David from the train by 5:20PM. Once David is home, we eat dinner number 2 (which is usually a snack/dessert for the little man), play in the living room, bring Henry up for a bath, get him ready for bed, do stories, and just about collapse with him in his crib at 6:30/7:00PM. By 7:00PM, I am ready for bed, but trying to avoid the “lame” category, we stay up to cook dinner for the next night, have some time as a couple, and maybe sneak in a little Bachelor on Monday nights.

Just as I settle into bed, the littlest member of the family gives me a kick. It’s like he is saying, “Hey there busy lady, remember me?” And that is why I cannot believe we are in the third trimester already, and also why I totally understand how we are! Seeing that reminder pop up in my e-mail this morning was really needed today. I needed a reminder to slow down and savor this bump, to slow down and build in some time to connect with my little guy because before I know it he will be earth-side!

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27 weeks and growing

I woke up this morning disappointed. Last night, I had a dream that I had my little baby. One hour of labor and one push and voila the baby arrived! He was so tiny and so snuggly. He had a crop of dark brown hair and brown eyes and he was just perfect. When I woke up, I knew it was just a vivid dream, the little one had not arrived yet and we are still 90 days away for the due date.  It is so hard because I want to speed up time to meet him, but slow down time to savor these few weeks with Henry as our one and only. The dilemma!

27 weeks is one week away from the BIG glucose test. Since Henry was so big weighing in at 9lbs 12 oz, my OB struggled to understand how such a goliath baby could come from a mom who claims she is 5’3” on a good day. My medical chart was then assigned an asterisk that said something to the extent of “risk of possible gestational diabetes.”  I didn’t have GD with Henry according to my blood work, but maybe, just maybe, I was on a borderline and my giant baby was then proof of this. Or, the other possibility is that I just grow giant babies! Thinking about this test has become a second job in some respects. When I walk into the faculty room at school and see a plate piled high with double chocolate chip cookies, I pause as my extended hand hovers over the plate, “Should I eat this, will this impact my chances of GD.”  Reluctantly, I walk out sans cookies. And that, that moment right there, was when I decided I needed to flip my perspective. Instead of seeing it as deprivation, “I am not allowed to eat cookies,” I needed to see it as a choice. If having a smaller more reasonably sized baby is the goal and if avoiding the daily blood draws that come with GD is a goal, then I need to start making choices to get there. It has helped a lot and I do feel much more at ease within my skin and more importantly in that faculty room!

27 weeks also marks the big shift to recognizing that there are some things I cannot do anymore. Putting on my boots and taking them off is one of those things. Of course, this pregnancy falls right in boot season too. David has been a super hubs though and helps me get into my shoes and out of them at night so that I am not stuck sleeping in my shoes for the next three months. The beginning of the many indignities to come, hahaha. Carrying Henry up and down to the car is yet another cannot. I can if I have to, and I definitely still do, but my body much prefers someone else carrying him down to the car. My knees ache just enough to make being Henry’s personal sherpa uncomfortable. But when he calls out “mama hold me,” I say screw the knees and grab that little man because this is all too temporary. With 90 days to go, our family will grow before I can blink, so sometimes you just got to pause time and carry your toddler boy down the stairs and give your hubs that extra kiss.

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fitness & baby growing

Almost a month ago I decided it was time to revisit my previously held fitness and nutrition goals.

WHY?

Because I have this major responsibility right now to grow a human! And I was frustrated with myself. Growing said human comes with a number of illusions. Like the joy of motherhood will outweigh the aches and pains of body expansion.

In college, I spent my summers and holiday vacations working for Destination Maternity. An odd job choice I know. But working for anyone else would have led to the inevitable: spending all my money at Anthropologie  or JCrew instead of actually saving it for college.  So Destination Maternity was “perfect.” The clothes wouldn’t exactly appeal me to, unless having a baggy, saggy front was in style and I would spend my days helping happy and delighted mommies get comfy in their new wardrobe! Only the first was true. I saved a lot of money.  The second however was the furthest from the truth. While yes these mommies were excited about their little addition on the way, they were by no means excited about their changing bodies. Most of my time on the floor was spent helping them into and out of their shoes, buttoning their pants, and assuring them that they looked beautiful (which they did!).

I thought to myself, I won’t be like them when it is my turn to grow a human, I will definitely be more comfortable in my skin and excited to shop for maternity clothes!

Unfortunately, I feel exactly like them. It is REALLY hard to watch your body, something you know so intimately, change. It is REALLy hard to not feel guilty about feeling unsettled, sad, nervous, upset about this change. Yes, there are joyous moments when you revel in the bump, but there are also some dark moments when you stand in front of the mirror and feel uncertain about how you feel in this new form (coupled with all the uncertainties of becoming a parent and, at least for me, anxiety settled in).

What I can’t do is stop these changes (and I really don’t want to because they are awesome and beautiful) or know what it will be like to have two little ones under two (although I really really wish I could). What I can do is be vulnerable, share, and challenge myself to feel positive, to feel strong, and to feel beautiful.

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Doing a little workout each day after school is not easy. I would much prefer to curl up on my couch and watch the Bachelor with a BIG bag of goldfish or Twix, but making that commitment to 30 minutes every day has been powerful. I truly feel stronger, I truly feel happier, and I truly feel like I am doing my best to take care of me and this little dude on his way. I have to modify a lot (like planks and I are not best buds these days), but rolling out the mat each day is a challenge I am eager to accept and as someone obsessed with checking off to-dos, it feels really good marking that as “done” each night!

cravings

It’s funny but one of the most prevalent questions I get when preggo is: What cravings are you having?

It makes sense though. If you had been pregnant than this is common ground for bonding over weird cravings that command your mind and demand to be consumed. If you have not been pregnant than it is an odd human behavior that begs a little bit of voyeurism. And, the cravings are real, often, and ridiculous so whichever category of questioner you are, you won’t be disappointed!

Just like with baby 1, this time around I am super hungry for anything spicy and sour. Perhaps it has little to do with the baby (there are all these old wives tales that suggest certain types of cravings mean something) but rather just what my body is interested in during this odd hormonal growing period. I could cover my food in Sriracha sauce and eat my weight in all things pickled! Driving passed Whole Foods each day on my way home from school is the greatest challenge. How can I possibly drive by their smorgasbord pickled antipasto bar? Most days, I can’t and dip into their parking lot for a quick little nibble of pickled deliciousness. The more sour the better!

The new craving with baby two though is: Cucumbers. By 10AM everyday, I start to think about the cucumbers waiting for me in the school cafeteria. How many can I get today? Will I put dressing on them? Eat them in a salad or just plain by themselves? The cucumber possibilities are endless and each day I am filled with excited expectation! Haha, yes these are the crazy-food-driven-thoughts of this pregnant lady!

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