Greetings faithful blog readers,
When we last left off with a pregnancy update, baby girl and I had just entered the third trimester, we'd been showered with love by our family and friends, I'd filled up pregnancy journal #1, and I was battling cold #2 of the season. A lot changes in a month during pregnancy, and this month was no exception!
Baby Size: An Acorn Squash
What a week! I'm still battling a cold, and our plans to take baby care and infant CPR class and visit with our friends over the weekend all fall by the wayside when our class instructor and our friends' daughter both contract the flu. I become paranoid about sanitizing everything that I touch at work. We buy a crib mattress with the rest of our generous gift from Brendan's parents and pick up baby girl's dresser we ordered from Babies R' Us (a generous gift from my mom). On Monday, our breastfeeding class is canceled because the instructor is still sick, but she's better in time for our second childbirth class and hospital tour on Tuesday. Touring the hospital definitely makes things start to feel more real. We're able to see both a labor and delivery and recovery room and learn more about the labor process and my options for pain management. There's lots of kicking from baby, and I end the work days feeling very tired. My heartburn at this point is bad nearly every day (and this symptom continues all month with OTC medicine becoming a must!) I have an OB visit where baby girl's heartbeat is 155 bpm, my blood pressure is good, and I'm up 14 pounds total for the pregnancy. I talk to the doctor about filling out our leave paperwork for human resources.
Baby Size: A "large" cabbage
We're 3/4 of the way there, and I've captured the belly movements on video. By estimates, baby girl is nearly 16 inches long and 3 pounds. My parents come from Austin to help us with the nursery. On Friday night, Dad and Brendan assemble the crib, but when they unbox the dresser, they discover it's damaged. I'm super bummed by the interruption to my nesting plans, but my mom and I make progress washing all the hand me downs and putting them in the empty guest room dresser for the time being. On Saturday, we return the damaged dresser to Babies R' Us and order a new one. Brendan and Dad hang the rug from Annie and figure out the perfect way to display the wooden letters that everyone painted at the shower; they also get the curtain rod hung. The next day, Brendan hangs the banners that Katie designed and the clouds and raindrops Amanda and Matt made for our shower. The nursery is definitely coming together! Our friend Jenni is the first to see it when she stops by with a beautiful hand knitted blanket for baby girl (pics coming in the nursery tour). Our friends and family put so much love into making beautiful things for our daughter, and it truly fills our hearts with joy to think of how much she's already cared for. On Monday, I preregister at the hospital and pick up our HR paperwork from my doctor's office. Tuesday brings our final childbirth class where we practice breathing techniques and laboring positions. It's surprisingly kind of fun and an intimate experience. I think we're both glad that we took the class despite our initial skepticism about how much we could learn from it. It was also reassuring to be with other couples with the same fears, concerns, and questions. On Wednesday, the curtains we ordered for the nursery arrive, and I'm so excited that I hang them immediately after work before collapsing on the couch for three hours. Front loading my semester with eight week classes means I am grading all the time, but I know it will be worth it when I finish half my load by spring break.
Baby Size: A Coconut
We start off the week figuring out our leave situation with HR, and we're both feeling better. Shoutout to my friend Laura, a lawyer, who helps me track down answers to some confusing questions. It turns out being married and working for the same employer creates some weird FMLA issues, but we get it resolved, thankfully. On Friday, the new baby dresser arrives, and our friend Dagan comes to the house to help Brendan move it from my car to the baby room (this time, we had Babies R' Us unbox it at the store before loading it into my car to ensure it wasn't damaged). On Saturday, we do a lot of work in the baby room: moving clothes from the guest room dresser to the new one, taking tags off new clothes, opening up toys, cleaning off the desk, setting up night lights, hanging pictures, and ordering shelving. On Sunday, I do hours of school work before we head to Dagan and Steph's for the Superbowl. Their daughter Violet (age 3) is intrigued by the concept of the baby and looks for the baby even though we try to explain the baby is inside of my tummy and show her some pictures. It's pretty cute. Steph gets to feel the baby kicking. I get through more thank you notes this week and also have a doctor's appointment (my 28 week appointment was late, and my 32 week appointment is early, but we should be getting back on track now). Brendan is unable to come with me because of needing to do classroom observations, but luckily, it is just a routine appointment. Baby's heartbeat is 154 bpm, my blood pressure is good, and I'm up 16 pounds total for the pregnancy. I start to talk to my doctor about delivery, and I can't believe we're to that point. I end the week with a two hour nap on the couch following work on Wednesday. I miss yoga but fatigue and pretty severe heartburn aren't leaving me with much motivation to namaste!
Baby Size: a "large" Jicama
By now, baby girl should be nearing 4 pounds and over 16 1/2 inches in length. I start meetings with my replacements who will be filling in for me while I'm gone. So far, I'm keeping a good perspective about stepping away from work for a bit (not to say I'm not nervous about other aspects of motherhood!). I end the work week feeling extremely worn down, but I have just enough energy to "help" Brendan hang floating bookcases in the nursery. The room is really coming together, and we absolutely love it and enjoy just sitting in there. A cold front hits Midland, and I'm so over dressing for colder temperatures while pregnant. Please please please, bring on the dress weather! Because there's so much to do during the week, we have to use our weekends productively: laundry, washing all the new baby clothes, grading, grocery run, errands, and hours of food prep pretty much consume the weekend, but at least we're staying caught up and healthy (knock on wood). Another thing I'm trying desperately to keep up with? Thank you notes. I've managed to finish the ones to co-workers (40 something so far!), but I just started notes from our friends and family shower (Brendan will help, but I harbor a love of letter writing, and I am hesitate to give over any of them!). During the work week, the weather starts warming up, and I recruit Brendan as an after work walking partner. It's not that I feel particularly excited about walking, but I know it's good for me, and it does seem to improve my mood (and I love the warmer weather!) Baby girl is moving and kicking strong and all the time now, and I have some pretty amazing videos of her punches and rolls. I do have some lower back pain at the end of the day, and I want to look into a support band (any suggestions?). We end week 32 with a lovely Valentine's Day. While Brendan teaches his night class, I make us a delicious dinner (salad with homemade dressing and fettuccine with goat cheese and scallions, plus chocolate/cream cheese cupcakes for dessert). We make each other cards and exchange gifts (I gift Brendan matching big dipper/little dipper t-shirts, so he can match with baby girl, and he gives me beautiful emerald stud earrings). We enjoy our quiet evenings together, reminding ourselves that we may soon reminisce about them, but we're both so eager to meet our daughter. It's a bit strange to be in such a stage of anticipation all the time.
After week 32, my doctor's appointments will increase to every two weeks and so will my pregnancy recap blog posts. I look forward to checking in in two weeks with a week 33-34 recap. I predict that the next few weeks are going to be tough for me: these eight week classes are really challenging me right now and squeezing in all the events we usually orchestrate in four months into two months has meant staying late often in the past couple of weeks. Not to mention, I'm entering the discomfort phase of pregnancy. I'm so thankful for my job and for our baby, but I'd be withholding here if I didn't mention that I'm nervous about surviving the next three weeks before spring break.
Please keep us in your thoughts, faithful blog readers.
Happy ALMOST weekend to everyone. I hope you all have some major rest and relaxation planned!