Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Baby Stuff: Our Birth Story

Can I first say that it is super surreal to be writing a birth story?  I have read so many and dreamed of the day I would write my own.  And now I am beyond thrilled to be doing so!  

Aelah Grace was born on Sunday, October 19th at 11:27 a.m.  She was 7 lbs 13 oz and 22.5 inches long.  

Saturday, the morning of the 18th, I started the day as usual with the addition of eating a half of a fresh pineapple with my breakfast (apparently it contains an enzyme called bromelain that softens the cervix and causes muscles to contract...since we were trying to avoid induction, it sounded like a good idea.  Plus, it worked for a friend of ours so it was worth a shot).  The other half of the pineapple, I began to snack on throughout the day.  Just a note - eating a whole pineapple in one day makes for a very sore mouth.  haha.  But by 5:30 that evening my contractions were consistently 10 minutes apart.   By 11 that night they were only 5 minutes apart.  I told hubby I was going to jump in the shower to see if things would continue.  After I got out contractions slowed to almost 15 minutes apart.  I was a little disheartened.  I thought for sure we were about to have a baby.

But then....I woke around 2 a.m. to intense contractions that were only two and a half minutes apart.  Before we rushed off to the hospital I decided to walk around, rock in the rocking chair, etc. - just to be sure.  By 3 contractions were still consistently 2-3 minutes apart and getting stronger.  We grabbed our stuff and out the door we went.

After my initial exam, I was only 2 cm dilated.  And they were charting contractions at 2-4 minutes apart.  The on call doctor suggested walking for an hour and then returning for another exam.  So off to Walmart we went at about 4:30 in the morning....

This worked out well because I was able to eat a small snack!  I had intended to grab something when we left the house but in the excitement (and nervousness) I completely forgot.  And Hubby was able to get in a good breakfast.  We got a few odd looks as we walked  around Walmart, especially when I would stop, slump against Hubby for the worst of the contraction and then bend in half so he could rub my back.  I'm sure we were quite the sight!  As we headed back to the hospital I was sure they would send us home.  Contractions were back to 5 minutes apart.  Maybe this wasn't it after all....

But I had dilated another centimeter!  Yay!  Officially admitted around 6 a.m.  I was a bit worried that we weren't further along since I had wanted to labor at home for as long as possible to avoid intervention.  All I could see was 12 hours of laboring at the hospital and them wanting to induce just because things weren't progressing "fast enough." But we were here.  And it was happening.  

And then they took us to one of the "nice" rooms.  We would labor, deliver, recover, AND stay in one room!  I had been hoping and praying for one of only two of these rooms since we had taken the hospital tour.  It may have been a little thing - but I was SUPER excited about this!  Especially because it helped me relax and find comfort when I would have been a bit disappointed otherwise.

Labor was relatively smooth.  I did have a lot of back labor but Hubby was right there to rub whenever I asked.  The Bradley methods we had studied were extremely helpful.  When I remembered to breath the right way and to completely relax I really noticed a difference.  And I mean really.  I noticed at one point that I kept clenching my butt muscles and my upper thighs because of my back pain.  When I could consciously avoid that it hurt much less.  But it was extremely difficult to focus on not tensing.

By 9 there hadn't been any more change.  Because of this, when the doctor came just a little while later, he first respectfully recognized the fact that I wanted an intervention free delivery.  Since he was the only doctor at the hospital that doesn't work at the practice I go to, it was refreshing to hear him respect my wishes.  At this point, because of no progress, he mentioned that we could add pitocin but also gave me the option of going back home.  

I was a little broken.  I couldn't fathom the idea of going home.  My contractions weren't super close together but they were very strong.  I was losing heart.  The idea of getting in a car was unbearable, I could barely get through the pain as it was.  And the drive to the hospital when my contractions were probably half as bad was pretty miserable.  As my brain went 1 million directions I was able to stay calm enough to reiterate my desire to avoid drugs and asked if they could, instead, break my water.

Apparently my cervix was a bit posterior which would make the procedure extremely difficult if not impossible.  But the doctor agreed to check and see before we made any final decisions.  Thankfully, he did, because my cervix, though not dilated any further, was now in line with where it needed to be.  So he broke my water.    

That was an experience that was nothing like I imagined.  Talk about a gush!  And I felt like it was never going to stop.  But things were happening!

By the time the doctor was done 'doing his thing' down there...which was only a matter of minutes, we had gone from 3 cm to 7 cm!  Things were going fast now!  I was also shaking unbearably and couldn't control it.  Apparently I had entered the transition phase of labor - which was also a good sign!

Since my contractions were mostly in my back, they assumed Baby Girl was lying posterior - sunny side up.  ;)  Because of this they suggested laboring on my hands and knees.  This wasn't in our original plan - but, it helped take the pressure off of my back AND it helped me focus on my breathing.  Which progressively got worse....I was having such a hard time focusing on everything at once.  So, unfortunately, my breathing was struggling.

My mom and Hubby both swear that according to the monitors my contractions weren't as strong after they broke my water.  But for me they felt worse.  I think it was because they were coming much closer together and I didn't have enough time to refocus between.  The few things that kept me going:

1. The knowledge that it was too late for meds.  ;)

2. My awesome coaches (Hubby and Mom) - they never let me down and were always there to help me through whatever I needed.

3. My mom kept praying.  And I kept chanting Philippians 4:13 in my head - "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Before long, I knew I had to push.  I had thought so previously but when the nurse checked I wasn't quite there.  So it took her awhile to come check the second time.  But she did.  And she told us we were ready to have a baby!!

The next 20 minutes were the hardest part of the whole process.  My body was telling me PUSH!  And everyone else kept telling me to wait for the doctor.  It...was...agonizing.  Probably the worst pain I have ever experienced.  Contractions are bad enough but when you are literally fighting everything your body is trying to do, it magnifies that pain...apparently times 1000.  This entire time, Hubby and Mom kept having to remind me to breath properly - slowly - in through my nose, out through my mouth.  I was taking quick, shallow breaths instead.

After what felt like eternity, the doctor and his "sterile field" were finally ready.  At 11 a.m. on Sunday the 19th, it was time to push.  I had lost a lot of energy and the first couple of pushing contractions were not very productive.  It was also during this time that I agreed to an episiotomy.  This is the one thing I truly regret...but we'll get to that later.  Two more pushing contractions and the episiotomy was complete.  Somewhere along the way they had to give me oxygen.  I couldn't get my breathing under control and apparently started hyperventilating.  The only thing I was aware of was that I couldn't feel my hands.  Yikes!  The oxygen definitely helped...almost immediately and I was able to focus a lot better.  

It was then I realized the nurse telling me to push through the burn.  I had no idea what she was talking about.  There was no burn!  But then it clicked - "Oh my word, she must be crowning!  The nurse is talking about the infamous 'ring of fire.'"  So, with my next push I gave it everything I had.  I was ready to see my Baby Girl.  And apparently, she was ready to see me because she came all at once - head, shoulders, knees, and toes!  I was done!  27 minutes from the time I started pushing, she was here!!  Not too bad for a first time mom! ;)  

As I took her in my arms I could hardly believe it.  I was reveling in the skin-to-skin I had so desperately wanted.  She was beautiful.  I was trying to get her to nurse but she was so slippy and so not just wasn't going to happen.  hehe.  I eventually let the nurses take her to clean her off and weigh, measure, etc.  Her little cries broke my heart...

It was then I was able to take everything else in - apparently because of her abrupt appearance, I ended up with a 3rd degree tear.  Ouch!  It took almost a half an hour for the doc to stitch me up - the whole time Hubby still had to remind me to keep breathing the right way.  I remembered at this point why I hadn't wanted an episiotomy - it could mean a worse tear then if I tore naturally.  In fact, it is really rare for 3rd or 4th degree tears to happen without episitomies.  However, it could have been much worse and I am so very thankful it wasn't.  But the 'what if' bothers me.  What if I hadn't gotten the episiotomy?  Would it have been as bad?  In reality, this is a small 'what if.'  I will heal.  And I will forget the pain of those stitches.  No big deal.

Over all, I am beyond happy with our birth experience.  True, it wasn't exactly what I had envisioned.  I would have preferred to remember to breath, to not have back labor, and to not have any interventions whatsoever.  But it was an experience that is uniquely ours.  And the most important part, the safety and health of our Baby Girl, was successful!!  

I will always treasure the memories of my Hubby as my coach.  He rocked it!  Even when I wanted to punch him in the face for saying "in through the nose, out through the mouth" for the hundredth time.  He was calm and collected and never left my side for a minute.  

And the moment I saw Aelah's precious little face and heard her tiny little cry will forever and always be one of my very favorite moments.  In an instant, all of the pain was forgotten.  I can still hardly believe she is here.  It is still so very unreal.  :) 

So precious

Look at those chunky little cheeks...they have already shrunk a little.  :(

This may be my favorite picture - she is just so snuggly!

Snuggling with Daddy!

Our trip home.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baby Stuff: Gender Reveal Party (FREE Printables)

So our gender reveal was about 5 months ago.  I've been meaning to write this post since that week but life is just full of surprises - especially when preparing for a baby.  ;)

I have this thing about pink - not a big fan.  So when we started planning our party I knew I didn't want the typical blue & pink.  So to Pinterest I went.  Don't you just love the ease of finding a million ideas in one place?  It's like stepping into a meeting where everyone is trying to talk at once and you can't take any one thing in completely.  But I was determined.  And after some searching, instead of blue & pink, I settled on mustaches and lips!

After looking at wording for probably close to 100 different gender reveal invites, I blended a few together and created my own.  This is the finished product (personal info covered):

I am a perfectionist so putting this all together took a bit longer than it probably should have.  ;)

We had the party outside and we were on a very tight budget so I kept our decor to a minimum and included things we already had around the house.

I had the "Love" piece hanging in our apartment before we moved - glad I remembered it for the party!  It was perfect!
Basically, everything decor wise was set up at or around this table.  I found the printable for the mustache and lip photo props here (thank you Pinterest).  I only had popsicle sticks so that's what we used, but you could definitely do something different....

At the table, there was a place for everyone to vote on what they thought Baby Sherman was going to be:

Please excuse my horrible handwriting.  I have tried for years to change it but to no avail.  :P

And then we had a place for everyone to write name suggestions.  We pretty much had it narrowed down to two girls names and two boys names at this point.  But everyone loved putting their two cents in - and some people really had fun with it!  ;)

The chalkboard clips were leftover from my parents anniversary party and I had the red, black, and white notepad.  And of course, I only picked out our red and black pens.  ;)

Then we hung some of the old wives tales as well as our ultrasound pics on the tree above the table.  It was really amusing how many people consulted the wives tales before casting their vote!  ;)

Yes, I did break down and spend a little to buy some chalkboard paper at Micheals.  BUT, I did have a 50% off coupon!  ;)

We have SO many more pics now.  Even got one of her sticking out her tongue!  ;)

The cake was a surprise - but we only got a small one.  So I made cupcakes and DIY'ed some cupcake toppers with PicMonkey.  For this FREE PRINTABLE just right click the second image below and save as.  You should be able to print as an 8x10 from there.

You can do the toppers front and back but I chose to do one-sided because of time issues.  ;)

Right Click and Save As - Enjoy!

And here is the cake reveal.  For those that don't know how this works.  We got a sealed envelope from our ultrasound tech with a picture that revealed the gender.  I took that envelope (unopened to our baker.  If you are local we got it from Cake Shotts.  I simply gave her the invitation as well as the ultrasound pic and this is what she came up with.  We absolutely LOVED it!  She dyed the inside pink or blue depending on what the ultrasound picture revealed.  :)  That way, when we cut the cake everyone would find out at the same time if we were having a boy or girl.

Just darling isn't it??

Let me tell you....we set the time for the reveal 45 minutes after the start of the party.  And it came FAST.  If I could do it again, I would probably make it an hour.  I felt like everyone had just arrived and I was rushing inside to grab the cake.  That extra 15 minutes would have been really nice.

Here we come with the cake!!  It is so funny to me that I thought I looked pregnant that day.....

Cutting the cake was so exciting!  I was SO nervous.  Would it be pink?  Would it be blue?  I knew we wouldn't be disappointed either way - we are so tremendously happy just to be having a baby!  I just had these crazy butterflies.  It was fun!  Hubby and I decided to cut it together:

I peeked inside and said quite loudly.....

"It's Pink!!"  hehe.  Baby Girl was officially announced!  My mom's reaction might be my favorite:  

And I love the expression on Hubby's face....
 While I was overjoyed in that instant, I think it took a little bit for it to all sink in....Hubby had to cut a whole piece out before I really responded:

And there it is.... We're having a little girl!!

We are SO thrilled to be bringing a precious little lady into this world.  And we cannot wait to meet her!  I hope you enjoyed perusing our day.  

I am always anxious to hear from my  Did you have a gender reveal party?  Did you already know and keep it a secret?  Or were your surprised as well?  How did you reveal?  Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bump Update: 40 Weeks

Unreal.  I never ever thought I'd be writing this bump update.  Thought for sure our Little Sprout would come before now.  But she is being so stubborn.  Just like her Daddy.  ;)  

We haven't made any more progress since a little over two weeks ago - still 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  The PA was a little shocked I was there this week, apparently he was pretty sure I would have this baby over the weekend.  But I didn't....  We kind of started talking about induction since we've reached my due date.  But as long as she and I are doing okay, we will try to postpone it as long as we can..  Especially since we got pregnant, when we weren't trying, the first cycle after our miscarriage.  I'm highly irregular anyways and I know I don't ovulate in the typical window that most women do.  So there is a very good likelihood that my due date is inaccurate.  We shall see.  Just so long as she is safe and healthy, we are happy!  :)

Picture time!

Not sure if it is the clothes or the way my hands were sitting but I feel like my belly looks so small in this pic...

But then again....maybe not.  lol.

Bigger???  I didn't measure any bigger at my doc appointment this week....but I think I can see a difference....

Amazing the difference 10 weeks makes!!  Seriously.  Whoa!

This week, baby is as big as: A small pumpkin!  Pretty appropriate for the time of year.  But not very comforting to a Momma preparing for labor.  ;)

Next appointment: I have a Bio-Physical Profile and a Nonstress Test tomorrow and Monday morning. And then an appointment Monday afternoon.  

Total Weight Gain/Loss: At my appointment on Tuesday I had gained 2 lbs since Thursday.  Guess I need to lay off those EL Fudge cookies.  ;)

Exercise: Really should be better about this.  I've really slacked off with not having a "schedule."  And maybe if I get some more walking time in this little lady will decide to join us!  

Maternity Clothes: I've managed to get away with sweats and a t-shirt at home - though my belly does stick out a little.  It's just much more comfortable than an elastic band somewhere mid-belly.  :P 

Sleep: Pretty good for the most part.  I've been letting myself wake up on my own time (instead of an alarm) lately since I know I need to rest and it has been about an hour or so after my usual wake up time.  Which drives me crazy.  haha.  But I know rest is best at this point.

Food Cravings/Aversions: Nothing.   

Movement: She'll have days where she is pretty calm and then there are the days she is super active.  Some days it is fun for me and other days just a little painful.  I think her daddy got to feel her more than ever the past few days.  Sunday he was playing with her foot (or knee) on my side and kept laughing.  And then Monday night he was laying his hand on my belly and she just kept moving everywhere.  He loves it!  And I absolutely love those moments.     

What I Miss: Thinking this little lady was going to come early.  Ha!

What I'm Loving: As noted just a moment ago - Hubby being able to bond with Baby Girl a bit more.  He is so ready for her to be here.  He keeps telling her it's time to come out so he can see her.  Super sweet.
What I'm Looking Forward To: Getting to see her soon!  And the Bio Physical Profile should be at least a little interesting tomorrow since it is basically a really long ultrasound. Not looking forward to the Non Stress Test though....  

Best Moment This Week: .Hubby getting to feel Baby Girl so much.

Milestones: Everything is good to go!  She is just busy gaining more pudge to keep her warm.  ;)

Goals:  Finished my thank you cards!  Just have a few addresses to get so I can send the last few out.  And I think we might actually get to hang pics in Baby Girl's room sometime over the next few days.  Since it is rainy Hubby doesn't have much to do around the house so hoping we can get that accomplished.  Outside of that my goal is to have this baby!!  ;)

Monday, October 13, 2014

WAHM Review: Naturekins Nursing Pads

I received the product to review for free in exchange for an honest review.  There was no monetary exchange.

Barbara from Naturekins was a pleasure to work with, as have been most of the Mommas in this series.  However, Barbara is very unique in that she is a work at home mom from Canada!  She is a mom to three little girls and truly enjoys creating eco-friendly products!

She sent me a set of contoured nursing pads to review.  And I love them!  

Nice packaging is always a plus!

And I love how she includes this card with each set to show exactly what you are getting - she sent me a set for heavy leaking.

She has a ton of options as far as material go, here is a close up of what mine are:

Bamboo is super absorbent and, of course, I love that it is organic!

Barbara's nursing pads are unique because they are contoured and sized in order to prevent them showing through your bra and shirt.  Since I am currently a C-cup (thanks to being pregnant), she sent me the C-D size since I'll probably gain another cup size once my milk comes in.  They fit nicely now and I imagine will do well later on.  Here are a couple of pictures so that you can see the contour

Outer side

Inner side

5 Stars - I love that Barbara has worked so hard to prevent her pads from being seeing through your clothing as I hear that is a common problem.

I think the quality of these nursing pads is fabulous!  You can tell that they are handmade but you can also see the quality.  I have no doubt these will last me the next year as I breastfeed!  

Look at that stitching!  Pretty snazzy for a WAHM.  ;)

5 Stars

Barbara's customer service is great!  She was super willing to work with me and explained everything super thoroughly.  If you had any issues, I'm sure she would handle it professionally and graciously.

5 Stars

She was even kind enough to include some breastfeeding tips for new moms!  Which I personally loved!  I've made a mental note of more than one of these:

1. Avoid a terrible night experience by wearing nursing pads for the first 4 days at night even if you don't know if you will leak.  Waking up with wet sheets is no fun when sleep is a rare treat in those first few days.

2. Buy athletic tops with a build in bra to use as a night shirt so you have a way to keep your nursing pads in place without having to wear an uncomfortable bra at night.

3. Pack a pair of nursing pads in your purse and in your diaper bag...permanently.  So that way you are never without a pair.

4. If you get cracked nipples, turn the nursing pads so the wool side is out or buy all wool pads that keep the moisture away from the nipple.  This is also great when fighting thrush!

5. Make your own nursing tops by simply using your regular tops and putting a tank top underneath that you have cut the breast area out of.  This method prevents the exposed belly feeling when nursing that makes many new moms feel embarrassed.  I (Bri) also stumbled across this DIY Nursing Tank tutorial that I plan to try!  Found a ton of cami's at a yard sale for ten cents each - hoping for that to be my next project!

6. An inflatable nursing pillow is a low cost and great item for travel and home use.  Nursing pillows help prevent back strain and make a good latch easier.  Plus, the inflatable ones take up a lot less room!

I definitely would recommend Naturekins.  And I can't wait to give you all an update once I am able to actually use these!  I'm thinking these might be my favorite reusable nursing pads.  Barbara also makes a ton of adorably cute hats!  A lot of which are upcycled - which is super neat!

5 Stars

Head on over to Naturekins Etsy shop and do some shopping!  Let her know that Learning to Be 31 sent you!  BONUS: Right now the nursing pads are Buy One Get One Free!  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Object of Trust

People put their trust in a lot of things.  In our society, I think two of the most common objects of trust are power and wealth.  

"If I can reach [insert rank, promotion, status, etc. here] I'll have it made."  

"If only my salary were [insert number here] then I wouldn't have to worry."  

Over and over again, we see that these things don't satisfy in the end.  For instance, Robin Williams seemed to have it all.  He had fame and he had wealth - that much is undeniable.  But it wasn't enough to keep his desire for life alive.  He lost hope.  Probably because his object of trust wasn't in the proper place.  We, as a people, see this kind of story fairly regularly...yet, it doesn't seem to teach us anything.  We still strive to make just that much more or become that much more reputable.  

And I think this has been a trend throughout all of history.  It is most likely the reason that David penned these words in Psalm 62:
Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie;
In the balances they go up;
They are together lighter than breath.
10 Do not trust in oppression
And do not vainly hope in robbery;
If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

Here David points out three different things that we should not put our trust in.  When I first read this I didn't think it applied to me.  I want nothing to do with oppression or robbery.  But that is where in depth study comes in.  This does apply to me, as it does to you and every single person who reads it.

So what three things are we to not put our trust in?

1. Men

David points out that men of low degree as well as men of rank are no more than a breath.  Adam Clarke puts it this way, "Common man can give no is folly to trust in them, for although they may be willing, yet they have no ability to help you. 'Rich men are a lie.'  They promise much, but perform nothing; they cause you to hope, but mock your expectation."  It is so easy to become very cynical when it comes to man.  So I feel the need to clarify that not all men are bad.  There are good people out there.  I promise.  The point that David is trying to make here, I believe, is that men should not be the object of our trust, whether they are common folk or the extraordinarily rich or famous.  God should be our object of trust.  Not man.

2. Power

David mentions oppression.  Which puts an image in my mind of a slave owner, whip in hand, hollering out orders to men & women stooped over, barely able to stand on their own two feet anymore.  But oppression is more than that.  Google defines oppression as "the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control" or "mental pressure or distress."  Does this sound familiar?  I'm sure we've all experienced this type of oppression at one point in time or another.  It can be seen in almost any work place.  Big people stepping on the little people to get to where they want to be.  Heads of companies treating those who work for them as ants because that's all they see - workers to get them ahead.  

Humanity is a little bit power hungry, especially Americans.  More and more we are taught from a very young age that it is all about "Me."  I'm special, I'm a winner, etc.  So when we're thrown into the real world, we do whatever it takes to make those words ring true.  We step on friends and family to rise to the top and we never look back.  Power becomes a source of trust.  The more power gained, the better we matter what the cost.  Again, God should be our object of trust.  Not power.

3. Wealth

David notes, If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.  That advice is very hard to follow in today's world.  Money brings comfort (or so we think).  Some of us work two or three jobs just to get by.  Others work two or three jobs so that they can afford to buy what they think they need.  We put our trust in money.  I think this is one of the easiest traps for Americans to fall into.  Seriously.  Our priorities need to be straightened out.  Sometimes you have to ask the tough questions - would God want me taking this job so that we can make more?  Or would He rather me use my time to strengthen our family and serve where He wants us?  Is this job change something that I want?  Or is it something God is leading me toward?  We make a lot of hasty decisions when it comes to jobs and money because our trust is askew.  Prayer should be the first thing we turn to when making financial or career decisions because our trust should be in God.  After all, He has promised to take care of us.

Matthew 6:25-24:

25 For this reason I say to you, [a]do not be worried about your [b]life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the [c]air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single[d]hour to his [e]life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much moreclothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But [f]seek first [g]His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [h]added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God.  Not man, not power, not wealth.  God should be our object of trust.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bump Update: 39 Weeks

I have to be honest.  On Sunday I was sure I wouldn't be writing this bump update.  So many different things were changing in my body.  I just felt off.  At church I leaned against Hubby and said "I think we're going to have a baby by the end of the week."  He agreed.  But here we are...Friday morning and still no baby.  However, we are officially 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  but that isn't much change from a week ago.  So who knows when Baby Girl will decide to make her appearance.  She is her own person after all.  ;)

It all feels so very unreal.  Life is just moving forward as usual (for the most part).  But literally, at any moment, this precious little miracle could decide to come.  And then life as usual won't be life as usual anymore.  We will be thrown into a new normal all at once.  And I am SO excited and SO nervous all at the same time.  It is impossible to prepare for something like that, isn't it??

Well, here are this weeks pics:

Can you tell I'm exhausted?  haha.

Whoa belly!

And another up close and personal belly shot because Mom has to have one.  haha.

Definite changes I think.  She dropped all at once on Saturday...I could feel it and it wasn't pleasant.  And she is definitely still growing.  According to the ultrasound (which can be off by like 3 lbs) she is 7 lbs 12 oz.  Pretty average for now.

This week, baby is as big as: Both apps still say Watermelon today.  But the one clarified that it is a smaller watermelon.  I suppose that's a good thing....right??

Next appointment: Tuesday.  Super close!  Can't believe that our Little Sprout (who isn't much of a little sprout anymore) will be here any day!!  

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I've had 2 appointments since my last update (one last Friday and one today) and between the two I have gained about 3-4 lbs.  Not sure exactly.  But that puts me at 17 pounds over pre-pregnancy and a total of 27 pounds gained throughout the pregnancy since I lost 10 to begin with.  Which is right on target!

Exercise: Ha.  Yeah....  I cleaned the bathrooms yesterday and the floors today.  Does that count?

Maternity Clothes: Every single day.  Very glad I ordered those other two pairs of pants.  It has been too chilly for shorts...even with my own personal space heater in my belly.  ;)

Sleep: Not too bad with the exception of bathroom breaks.  I've been able to get back to sleep pretty quickly which doesn't always happen.  And I've learned to just give into the need for a nap.  Everyone keeps telling me to get my rest and my body just can't go like it used naps it is!  :)

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Nothing this week. 

Movement:  All the time.  She is still so active.  And she still really loves my rib cage even though she has dropped significantly.  I think this girl is destined to be long like her mommy & daddy...just sayin.  

What I Miss: Definitely my energy.  I feel so unproductive with having to take more breaks.  And I miss being able to concentrate and focus - my brain just isn't working any more (no comments please).  haha.  And I do miss sushi.

What I'm Loving: How ready and not ready Hubby is.  I think when it actually comes down to it he will be very stoic and put together (most likely because I'll be a little panicky) but he is too funny when he has his momentary "freak out" moments when I'm in pain or what not.  However, he has really been taking care of me and checking in so often.  I love how much he cares.   
What I'm Looking Forward To: I know it sounds crazy but I'm looking forward to actually having consistent contractions.  I think I'm ready for the real deal.  ;) 

Best Moment This Week: .We had another ultrasound because she is still consistently measuring behind.  I love being able to see our Little Sprout!  All is well.  And the tech even commented on how chubby her cheeks are.  I love chunky baby cheeks so I can't wait to see them in person!


Goals:  Started thank you cards!!  I think I'm about half way done.  I may actually get them finished before Baby Girl comes!!  :D  

I also made it to the State Police department to have the car seat inspected and the trooper I dealt with was awesome.  We couldn't get the recline position right and she got it all fixed up.  My brother put her swing together and he is currently attaching our diaper sprayer so that's two more things checked off of Hubby's list!  He's pretty happy about that.

Still need to get pics hung in the babies room.  But really not anything that has to be done before she comes.  Which is nice.