28 Weeks

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

 28 weeks! Just kidding. That's not me. That's my photographer.

28 weeks! This really is me.

How far along? 28 weeks. Baby girl is the size of an honeydew. 13.6 to 14.8 inches and up to 2.2 pounds. Her lungs are strong enough that she'd have a good chance at survival! Crazy to think she's come that far, but lets keep praying for a full-term baby. Her wrinkly skin is starting to smooth out as she starts adding larger quantities of baby fat and muscle.
Gender? It's a she-bean!
Movement? It is amazing how active she is. Thomas and I are blown away by her crazy punches and kicks. It's fun for us to play little games with her: last night Thomas was tapping on my stomach, and every time he stopped, she kicked- over and and over she did this! My crazy little Mexican jumping bean keeps me up at night. Like, "Oh, Mama? Did you just lay down? Did you just think it was time for sleep? Think again." She's strong enough where shaking me shakes the bed.
Food cravings? Baby carrots, red meat, chicken snack wrap from McDs, Chipotle- this girl proves that old wives tale wrong repeatedly! I'd much rather have savory meat than sweets. Pizza, too!
Have you started to show? Cute little belly. I'm wearing about half maternity clothes and half the more generous cuts from pre-pregnancy clothing.
Symptoms? Cramping in my feet and legs, back pain, shortness of breath.

Belly Button in or out? Still in and shallow.
Midwife? Definitely wasn't looking forward to my glucose screening this morning- apparently for good reason. I tested positive. Eeek! I'm trying not to freak out because there's a huge range of false positives in testing for gestational diabetes. I have a big panel that will give me a definite answer that I'll hopefully be able to schedule this week. Please say a prayer that I don't have that- for my own sanity, but mostly for the well-being of my little girl. I've worked so hard on my nutrition, but it's not something you can perfectly prepare for. My iron is also looking low, so I've been instructed to kick that into high gear as well. I was glad to talk to my midwife today. We talked some more about my Bipolar Disorder and some postpartum things, breastfeeding, classes... and I'm officially moving my appointments to every two weeks. She says I'm doing an awesome job, so yay! :)
Total weight gain? 16 pounds.
Best moment this week? Thomas had Memorial Day weekend off! A government employee getting a government holiday? Whoever heard of such a thing? Haha, we always laugh (gratefully) because this so rarely happens (perhaps his third non-working holiday in 3.5 years). So we had a cookout with my sister and the neighbors and just hung out. It's been a great, lazy weekend.

Note to the Jellybean: I keep whispering to your dad, "I'm so excited!!" I've never been so in love with someone I've never met. Some days it just feels like I'm bursting at the seams with exuberance. Your dad can seem very stoic (something I always said about my own dad), but every single day he says some variation of "You're just going to find the two of us on the couch. I'll be on my back, she'll be asleep on my chest and the dogs will be curled around my feet." Girl, you've got him. He is over the moon for you. Our whole family is beyond excited that you're coming. Your aunts are beside themselves. Your uncle was so happy to hear our news. All four of your grandparents can't wait to meet you. Our friends are downright thrilled. I've said this from the beginning and I know it to be true: Little One, you are loved.

"Be of good cheer." -Helen Keller

Friday, May 24, 2013

What have I been doing? Eating Nilla wafers and trying not to give them to Otto so he doesn't develop some horrible habit of begging but he's so friggin' cute that I want to pet his soft and giant ears and give him Nilla wafers. Don't worry, I gave him some peanut butter in his Kong instead. So here's what I've been up to, and a few pictures of where the nursery is now.

What I have been up to:
1. I made some super cute fabric covered letters for the nursery.
2. I hastily started a business that's proving to be rather popular. After making the aforementioned letters, I posted a picture of them in a local Facebook group- and soon received several orders! I have finished many orders and some pre-made letters. It's called Good Cheer Studios (see post title). 
3. I'm having a little difficulty with the communication-side of the business, but a Facebook page is up and running (Good Cheer Studios) to ease that burden and I made a Gmail account for it. Saying all kinds of prayers, and crossing my fingers, legs, and toes. If you want to go "like" my Facebook page... that'd be nice of you. Very nice.
4. Thomas and I talked it over and I'm going to open an Etsy shop (hopefully of the same name) at the end of June so I can market to a wider audience, cover shipping, and a few other things. I'm really nervous, but it's exciting to do something that I love.
5. With a baby registry at Target, Amazon, and Babies R Us- I'm officially calling that item checked off my to-do-before-the-Jellybean-gets-here list.
6. I have signed up for a breastfeeding class, a newborn class, an infant CPR class, and a hospital tour. By I, I mean "Thomas and I." Boy am I going to love watching him sit though that breastfeeding class with me. I'm going to love it all, but I think that one will be particularly delightful.

Here's the nursery! It's actually starting to look like a little girl could live here! Well, you know, when we get a mattress and stuff. This is pretty accurate as far as wall color goes- Still Tidewater by Olympic in their No-VOC eggshell finish. It's so pretty!!

I put together most of this mammoth dresser by myself- so proud! The drawers also have a fun little surprise I worked on, but I'll have to show you that later, as I forgot to take a picture of it.

It's funny how gender neutral this nursery is looking! One of my best friends, Sarah, suggested mint as a color when I first found out I was pregnant and blue is Thomas's favorite color. Yellow turned into the accent color after I found the lamp (pictured next to the chair) on clearance at Target. Of course there is more coming! I took these pictures a few days ago and there are already more things going on. There will be a few pops of pink, some bookshelves, hanging shelves, a mirror, wall art, and lots of fun little things are to come.

*Speaking of things to come, this is the first of 3 non-weekly update blog posts. Stay with me! I promise my life isn't all pregnancy (just 96%)- those weekly updates are just so darn easy to do.

27 Weeks

Thursday, May 23, 2013

 27 weeks along. One of those weeks where I didn't like any of the pictures. :(
Why can't I smile like a normal person?

How far along? 27 weeks. I'm officially in the 3rd trimester!!! According to the little growth chart, she should be the size of a rutabega, but they were looking very small, so we went with last week's produce: a head of lettuce. About 14 inches and a pound and a half to two pounds- somewhere in that same range from last week. Her lungs are developing quickly and she's inhaling and exhaling more of that delicious amniotic fluid. She's also showing lots of brain activity- that will only get stronger in the weeks to come.
Gender? It's a girl!
Movement? The week is the first week I've been able to notice her movement just by looking! I see my stomach jump and move and wiggle all the time. It's crazy and fun. Thomas gets to feel her move most days and is continually blown away by how active she is. Ate a few cookies last night and felt the effects of a sugar rush on her! I'm in awe.
Food cravings? More apples! Pesto, gnocchi, this great recipe for cookies.
Pregnancy Manners: Baby names. We are deftly avoiding scrutiny by not sharing our baby names. For Thomas and I, it's fun to have something we're keeping to ourselves- especially since I have a blog and share every other detail! It also allows us to dodge comments that are "Oh my Aunt had that name and she hated it." or "That's so common/old fashioned/unique/interesting." What I've learned is that it's really hard for the parents to agree on a name - one that has no connotations from old girlfriends/boyfriends/bullies in elementary school. Once we picked out something we both liked, we didn't want anyone else inserting their (however kindly intended) opinions. Some people are far braver than we are and gleefully insert other people into the naming process. Whatever works best for you, I say. Here's to hoping no one says awkward things after her name is attached to her surely cute little face. *fingers crossed*

Silly me.

Have you started to show? Third trimester and people still don't believe I'm pregnant.
Symptoms? No more Braxton Hicks contractions, but plenty of Charlie horses, circulation issues, back pain, occasional swelling, fast growing hair and nails, and dehydration if I'm not careful (this has led to a huge tumbler of water pretty much attached to my hip... also leads to many more trips to the bathroom).
Belly Button in or out? It was almost flat last night. I'm guessing 3 weeks until it is flat all the time and 2 weeks after that to pop out. We'll see if I'm right.
What are you looking forward to? Thomas, the dogs, and I are taking one last trip together as a couple the first week in June, before the baby comes. We are just going to relax in the NC mountains, enjoy the summer, and have fun.
Total weight gain? 15 pounds.
Best moment this week? My parents painted the nursery and Thomas and I assembled the crib and dresser. It's actually looking like a nursery! My nesting urges are being satisfied.
Note to the Jellybean: Can it be? Are you really in the last trimester? I about fell off my chair when I realized it was 3 months until your due date last week! This experience is flying by and we are so excited to meet you. I love feeling/watching you jump around in my stomach. You kick me when I haven't fed you, when I've recently fed you, whenever you hear your daddy's voice, and any other time you feel like it. I can't believe that I'm lucky enough to be your mom come August. There's a little part of me that's nervous/terrified, but I think between you, your dad, and me, we can figure it out and hopefully not scar you for life. Grow strong, baby girl. Love, love, love.

26 Weeks

Friday, May 17, 2013

26 weeks! If the Jellybean stretched out, she'd be a little longer than this loaf of bread.

How far along? 26 weeks. The Jellybean is the size of a head of lettuce, or if, like us, you don't have a head of lettuce handy- a loaf of bread. About 14 inches and a pound and a half to two pounds. Her eyes are forming and her eyelashes are already in! She's practicing for our world, taking big breaths of amniotic fluid. She also gets hiccups! I've felt them a few times already.
Gender? It's a girl! We speculate daily as to what she will be like.
Movement? Yes! She moves much more during the day now, and Thomas is fascinated by her movements and how active our little girl is. A sure way of getting her to wake up is by having her daddy talk to her- within 10 minutes she's moving around. She's getting stronger, too. It's definitely not painful yet, but I'm finding out how big she is getting by where her kicks are! It is by far one of the most awesome parts of pregnancy.
Food cravings? Apples, white cheddar Cheez-its, yogurt, garlic bread, hamburgers.
Pregnancy Manners: I'll just paste this from my Facebook page: At 26 weeks pregnant, I'd really like for people to stop looking at me like I'm lying, asking "seriously?!?!?!?!", or straight up saying "I don't believe you" when they find out I'm pregnant. Given 2 ultrasounds, incessant kicking and stretching, indigestion, not being able to fit into my pants anymore, and a host of other symptoms too inappropriate to list here, I can assure you that I am carrying a little girl in my stomach, despite my small size. And because I have heard this from multiple people, I'll share this one: Exclaiming "You're about to POP!!!" to a pregnant woman is never a good idea. You have no idea how far along she is- she may have another 4 months of being pregnant. Even if she only has another 4 days, you exclaiming how huge she is probably isn't making her feel any better. 

 Love this picture!!

Have you started to show? Given how many times I have heard that I don't look pregnant, I guess it probably depends on who you are and how pregnant someone has to look before you believe it.
Sleep? Like I mentioned last week, I've cut my Benadryl down to one per night- and it's been awesome. I've had a stuffy nose (pregnant or not, never helpful when trying to sleep) for the last few days, but other than that, I am sleeping well.
Symptoms? It got real today. I had my first Braxton Hicks contractions. Not fun. I had two on the drive back from Florida today (Thomas had eye surgery). Of course, they were during a stretch where I couldn't really get out and move around to ease my discomfort. I'm guessing (or hoping) they won't be so uncomfortable when I'm not stuck in the same position for hours!
Belly Button in or out? Still in, very shallow.
What are you looking forward to? My parents have generously offered to paint the nursery for us on Sunday, so we are very much looking forward to that! Then we'll be able to put together the crib and dresser and finally start to see her room come together!
Total weight gain? 14 pounds.
Best moment this week? While driving to and from Jacksonville isn't really my cup of tea, I do have to say that it was really nice spending Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with Thomas. It's not a vacation to get PRK eye surgery, but after his first night shift after 2.5 months of day staff, I remember just how precious it is to spend time with my husband. I am thankful for that.

 A freshly baked bun in the oven.

Note to the Jellybean: Little girl, part of me wants to speed forward to August because I just can't wait to meet you. The other part of me wants you to spend as long as you need in my uterus! Every week I read these crazy new developments you're making- swallowing, breathing, growing your digestive tract, experiencing light. So I know this time in there is so important to give you your best shot at making it in this big world. Considering how much we have left to do, I think it's also good if you give us these last few months! I can't believe how much you've nuzzled into my heart and into your father's. I'm crazy attached to you- from the first time I saw you, a little grey blob with a heartbeat to a little fetus with a face and limbs who sucked her thumb in front of us. I can't even imagine what it will be like when I see your face in my world and get to hold you for the first time. Well, perhaps a little part of me knows, because my eyes are filled with tears right now and I'm laughing too. We passed the 100 days until your due date mark too! See you in 3 months, Jellybean!

25 Weeks

Sunday, May 12, 2013

 Happy 25 weeks! I forgo the cauliflower for a much more attractive prop. :)
We had a nice picture before this goofy one... but I had my eyes closed.

How far along? 25 weeks. The Jellybean is the size of a cauliflower. 13.5 inches and a pound and a half. As we are approaching the final trimester (eek!), she's starting to work on getting bigger- getting that cute baby fat. She also has hair color, and I'm definitely hoping for a little redhead!
Gender? It's a she-bean! Girls are fun to shop for.
Total weight gain? Almost 14 pounds.
Movement? All of the time! She's now in the few weeks where she's most active- there's tons of room for her to do full flips and wiggle all over. She can definitely be felt from the outside now. Sometimes it will be a little burst of movement- just one or two kicks, other times she'll go bananas for half an hour. She moves when she's hungry, moves right after she's been fed, and has started moving more during the day (which means I can try and have more friends and family members feel her). It gives me hope that she won't be nocturnal forever.
Miss anything? A margarita. I am positive this Jellybean is worth every second of not drinking, but it will be super to have those again.
Food cravings? More fruit, tea, yogurt, cheese, Tostitos hint of lime tortilla chips, burritos, cucumbers, baby carrots and salad dressing. Lots of Mexican food.

Pregnancy Manners: A new topic for this week! Here, I'll list some things that most pregnant women wish everyone else knew/respected (are pregnant/have been? Leave me a comment and I'll tack it on in the weeks to come!). I'll start with a nice, big, obvious one- unless you were invited, keep your hands off my stomach. Asking is fine, but respect my wishes. Definitely don't come at me with your hands out. Usually I'm happy to let you feel the weird, giant, firm, sphere that is my stomach, but ask please!
Have you started to show? I have a 24/7 baby bump.
Sleep/Bipolar Disorder? Sleeping pretty well, other than when an upset stomach wakes me. I am thrilled to let you know that the Benadryl I take nightly to help me go to sleep is down from two capsules to one! I started taking it as a fetus-safe way to fall asleep. After years of Bipolar meds that forced drowsiness, my body had forgotten how to sleep on its own. So cutting my Benadryl in half is an excellent sign that my body is remembering more of what it used to do all of those years ago. Medication is helpful, but it's really awesome when you don't need to take it (or take as much)!
Symptoms? Oh my aching back! You and your little habitat are putting a lot of pressure on my back. Thankfully Thomas is very generous with back rubs and I've found a creative way to pop the pressure that builds up at the base of my spine (if you need that trick, let me know). Also indigestion has taken a rapid turn for the worse. I'll leave it at that.
Belly Button in or out? More of a kiddie pool, definitely not the deep end anymore.

What are you looking forward to? The big thing this week is meeting with my former pediatrician who will hopefully become the Jellybean's pediatrician. We have a little meet up on Monday to talk some things over. As the days I have left until the arrival dwindle, every minute counts!
Best moment this week? A little unrelated to the topic of pregnancy, but very much related to you- your Aunt Hannah graduated Saturday (see above)! I was tearing up as she started walking across the stage (mostly your fault, as these hormones make me cry at every blessed thing), but pulled myself together. You were kicking like mad this morning all through her ceremony! I don't blame you, that's one cool aunt you have and I'd be pretty excited to meet her too.
Note to the Jellybean: I promise I'm not as weird as these limited pictures make me seem. I just get a little awkward when the camera is turned on me. Let's just say that modeling was not a career choice for me and there's a reason why, before this little project, I could go about 4 months between photos of me. Despite my marginal embarrassment that I post this on the internet weekly, I'm glad I am doing this and I hope that I get to share this with you in a few years... and turn the camera on you in a few short months! Love you, baby girl.

24 Weeks

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Yes, way overdue, but I did write it- I just never got a picture. Until now!

How far along? 24 weeks- just 16 short weeks left to go! The Jellybean is the size of a cantaloupe- which is excellent, because cantaloupe is coming into season and I am craving it. Also learned that my uterus is the size of a soccer ball. Must be why it's harder to breathe. Little girl is almost a foot long! From last week: So you know, there is a little bit of a discrepancy in the size of the fruits.  Unlike the first trimester where embryos develop at around the same pace, the fetus in the second trimester after week 19 or so develops differently. Some gain weight faster, some slower. It's normal, and why babies are born at different weights. I'll keep trying to give you measurements, but they are only guesses (unless I have another ultrasound).
Gender? It's a she-bean!
Total weight gain? Still 13 pounds. My midwife said last Monday that this is great. Weight needed varies from woman to woman- as long as I'm not underweight, I'm getting the right nutrition for the day, the baby is still measuring well, and I'm not eating for two, then I'm golden. I definitely don't skip meals and I eat frequent, small snacks. Lots of walks every day (another reason having dogs is great) keep me active, but not straining anything.
Maternity clothes? I'm itching for some warmer weather to go for a swim! I found a maternity swim suit and I'm ready to break it in.
Movement? Three every lucky people have felt her move- my mom and sister felt her go nuts Saturday, and Baby Byrd kicked for her daddy on Sunday. She must be tired from all that because I've only felt a few small kicks tonight, and normally she's up.
Miss anything? I drooled over some sushi at Fresh Market on Sunday and I will be happy when the thought of Chinese food no longer makes me gastrointestinally disturbed.
Food cravings? Smoothies, tomato soup, chocolate chip cookies, cheese, and white cheddar cheez-its. Chipotle too. Who doesn't love Chipotle?

Really? Cantaloupe? I guess I believe that.

Have you started to show? We were in the midwife's waiting room last Monday and a noticeably pregnant woman walked out of the office. My mom leaned over to me and whispered "You'll get that big!" I whispered back, "I don't believe you!" After talking with my midwife (see above in the weight section), I'm fine with where I am. The little girl in me is doing great and my body is taking on what it needs to take on.
Sleep? Sleeping well and sleeping a lot! As my mom reminded me, as lovely as this little girl may be- she's a huge drain on my energy... and she provides none in return. So I'm trying to let myself sleep longer and not feel guilty about it.
Belly Button in or out? Wide, shallow, and still an innie.
Symptoms? Pregnancy brain. I am so tired of forgetting. I keep a calendar in my kitchen, planner in my purse, and iCal on my phone- but if I forget to write something in there... oh dear. Usually any mishaps are easily fixed and forgiven, but I do feel really bad when it starts to interfere with other people and is no longer just about pot holders in the freezer. Other than that? Backaches, dry skin, fast hair growth, fast nail growth, some circulation issues.
What are you looking forward to? I've signed up for a breastfeeding class, infant CPR, and a newborn class already and getting those on the calendar has made me feel a little more at rest. We'll be choosing a pediatrician soon, painting in May, and slowly checking things off our to-do list.
Best moment this week? Definitely seeing how happy my mom, sister, and Thomas were at feeling the Jellybean kick. I've been enjoying this movement for a month now, so it's awesome to be able to share that that joy. My mom came to my midwife appointment today (Thomas had work and I like to have someone there to listen) and she got to hear the heartbeat (holding strong at 140 bpm). It's fun getting to share these things.
Note to the Jellybean: Hey there Jellybean! How are you, little girl? You must be doing a lot of growing in there right now because my energy is sapped. But you take what you need and I'll keep filling us full of good food (and a little ice cream) and sneaking in a few naps. I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy is going by! I remember the Saturday morning I found out you were in me like yesterday. Lots of hyperventilating. There was definitely a happy dance around my room. I had to sit quietly on the bed for 20 minutes until I calmed down enough to tell your dad (and one of only two times I've ever seen him cry).