40 Weeks & 3 Days, OB Check & Continued Bouncing

I’m sure some of you have been wondering if my recent disappearance is because I’m deep in those first few days of new mommyhood (again). Let me clarify… I am not. Instead, I am taking walks, having induction massages (talk about a dousy), eating dates, drinking red raspberry leaf tea, and bouncing incessantly on my birthing ball.

Photos taken on 5/20/16

How far along: 40 Weeks, 3 Days – Once again, it’s super weird to have this pretty arbitrary (at least in my case) date that you’re counting down to and then have it arrive and pass just like that. I’m not totally sure how it makes me feel. This morning as I was taking a nice long walk, I thought, this is it! I’m here. We did it. But then at moments, I get a little negative or at minimum, skeptical, and start thinking… uh oh… is this happening again?

Meaning, is this baby going to refuse to come on his own like his stubborn big sis?

Honestly, I don’t feel like that’s the case. This pregnancy feels different. But, only time will tell… and until then, I’ll be on my birthing ball bouncing away the days.

Total weight gain: I gained about 1.3 lbs this past week, taking my total weight gain to 33.4 lbs. Woot, woot! Go me! Also, my swelling is almost non existent. It’s crazy. Last pregnancy, I was in a puffy, swollen suit. This time, I still have arches AND bone structure in my feet.

Maternity clothes: IMaybe it was a bit premature, but I’ve started pulling some of my maternity clothes out of my drawers. I’m over it. Ready to wear real clothes again… and by real clothes, I mean yoga pants (that don’t tuck into my bra) and nursing tanks.

Stretch marks: I had SUCH a scare last Thursday. I’m not sure what I bumped into, but I had a nice thick line of broken blood vessels across my belly. I stared in the mirror for about 5 minutes before asking the hubs what the f*** I was looking at. There was no way that my body managed a 43-week pregnancy and 40 weeks of a second without a single stretch mark and than BAM… one right across the center of my belly.

Thankfully, it’s fading. I must have run into something and broke some blood vessels.

Sleep: Sleep still isn’t amazing. It’s not terrible, but not amazing. However, I’ve gotten REALLY good at napping. The past 4-5 days, I’ve taken a solid 2-3 hour nap every day. How great is that?

Although, the toddler was CRAZY last night. Oy. She woke up at 1 or so and was whimpering, then crying… Mark went in, then she was bawling. I talked to her over the monitor, then more tears. I went in… even more sobs.

Finally, we just let her whine it out, but she literally kept waking up randomly with the loudest shrieks. Oy. As a result, she’s got her spice on today.

Best moment of this week: I had such a great weekend with the family. The weather was beautiful, we didn’t have much we had to do… it was just nice. And Charlotte was a little doll.

Miss anything: I’m not really in “missing mode”… although, I’d be really happy if little man would arrive. This momma is ready to meet her man.

Movement: Yes! He’s still poking around in there. And hopefully making his way down the rabbit hole.

Food cravings: I don’t know… I’m getting pretty full pretty quickly these days.

Anything making you queasy or sick: My toddler and husband? Sorry to throw you two under the bus, but I’m over this cold! Thankfully, the worst seems to be behind me (knock on wood). I’m still VERY congested, but the exhaustion and sinus pressure/pain isn’t even a tiny fraction of what it was. I’ll call that a win.

Have you started to show yet: I’m at the point where everyone gives me a weird smile. I haven’t quite defined it, but I think it’s a cross between, “please don’t break them waters in my presence” and “aww, look at the wobbling weeble.”

Gender: Mister man.

Labor signs: I don’t know. I mean… baby’s still in there, so no?

Belly button in or out: I’ve gotta hand it to my belly button… it’s really doing some crazy things these days. Who knew it could manage such shapes and SUCH pressure. Do your thing, belly button.

Wedding rings on or off: So, I am still wearing my wedding band, but have taken off my engagement ring. It just became too much at night.

Happy or moody most of the time: I think I’ve been happy! Maybe a little crabby and “woes me” during the height of my cold, but generally happy. Shit… I’m about to have another baby! That’s happy stuff. Plus, I really can’t complain about my physical comfort. I’m really feeling good. My weekly chiropractor visits are paying off!

Looking forward to: I wanna meet my baby!!!!


Weight Gain: 1.3 lbs from last visit, 33.4 total

Heart Rate: 96 bpm

BP: 106/64

Baby’s Heart Rate: Ranged between 138 (where it sat most of the time) to 154 when he got excited

Baby Bump: About 39-40 cm

Other: I had a nonstress test on Friday, too. After nearly 2 hours, baby is not stressed. I’m sure you can imagine how excited I am to do ANOTHER one tomorrow… oh yay.

That Whole Birthing Thing Looks Hard…

Last night we had our first birthing class. As I mentioned yesterday, the class was part one of a two-part class with our hospital, and we also have a two-part, 8-hour class with our Doula.

So, what did we learn? Oy. Well, the gist is that it’s potentially a VERY long process that is going to be a TOTAL mind/body challenge. I’m trying to stay very positive about the whole experience. From what I’ve read, going in with a positive outlook can really change your experience.  But, I’m not going to lie… I teared up three times during the 18-minute video of one couple’s natural birth / labor story. It’s just so intense. I feel like I just need to keep reminding myself of these key points…

  1. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world powering through the same experience at any given time.
  2. It will end and it will end with the birth of our sweet girl. It’s not a pain or ailment that will last forever. Hopefully I’ll be able to hold onto this perspective.
  3. Throughout the entire labor, I will be working WITH my baby and with my body to deliver our girl.
  4. I can do this. Women’s bodies are made for this. It’s the most natural thing in the world. So much so that once your baby is born and placed on you skin-to-skin, a mother’s body will change temperature to help regulate the baby’s temp. For example, if the baby’s temperature is too cold, the momma’s will warm up to warm the baby. That’s how natural the process is.
  5. Like all the other women who have powered through this same experience, I am a superhero.


I’m feeling a touch sleep-deprived and my back is quite achy. Other than those two things, I’m feeling pretty good! I have it in my mind that we’re so close to the finish line, and am hoping that this mindset doesn’t turn the final 9.5 weeks into what feels like 20. As of right now, I’m thankful for the time we have to finish all the little things that still need to get done… BUT, if she were to come early, I’m also quite confident that we’d be okay!

Have I mentioned that I’m SO excited to meet our girl?



To Doula, Or Not to Doula

Tonight Mark and I are going to a “Doula Meet & Greet” at our delivery hospital. I don’t know much about the doula program being offered tonight, but my general understanding is that it’s a Doula Co-op, meaning that you won’t necessarily work with one doula prior to, during and after labor, but that it will work much like the typical doctor situation (ie: you get whichever doula happens to be working/on-call when you begin laboring).

Mark and I have talked about hiring a doula to help with our laboring process, but have not made a decision quite yet. For those of you who don’t know, here’s some background on doulas…

What is a doula? A birth doula is a trained labor coach who assists you during labor and delivery. She provides you with continuous emotional support, as well as assistance with other non-medical aspects of your care.

At this point, you might be thinking, “isn’t that what your husband is for?” BUT, the biggest difference is that this individual is trained in labor coaching and can answer your questions during labor, suggest positions during labor, help you with breathing techniques, etc. In fact, studies show that deliveries with doulas tend to use pain medication less often, have slightly shorter labors, and are less likely to have a c-section or a forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery.

According to DONA International, a doula is a professional who is trained in childbirth and provides continuous support to a mother before, during, and just after birth (postpartum doulas are not covered in this article). Doula comes from a Greek word that means “a woman who serves” or “handmaiden.”

According to this website, delivery outcomes with doulas had significant benefits:

  • 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin
  • 28% decrease in the risk of C-section
  • 12% increase in the likelihood of a spontaneous vaginal birth
  • 9% decrease in the use of any medications for pain relief
  • 14% decrease in the risk of newborns being admitted to a special care nursery
  • 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with the birth experience

Here are stats from another website:

  • 50% fewer caesarean sections
  • Reduction in the use of forceps vacuum by 40%
  • 60% fewer requests for epidurals
  • 40% reduction in the use of synthetic oxytocin for inductions or augmentations
  • 30% reduction in use of pain medication
  • 25% reduction in labor length
  • Increased rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks post-partum (51% vs 29%)
  • Higher self-esteem (74% vs 59%), less anxiety (28% vs 40%) and less depression (10% vs 23%) at 6 weeks post-partum

Regardless of which is more accurate, it’s enough to intrigue me. I anticipate that labor is going to be the most physically and mentally challenging thing I’ve ever done and I want to be as prepared and well-equipped as possible. So, tonight, we meet doulas! I’ll let you know how it goes.


Ugh, I just feel very blah today. Tired, sluggish, and swollen. I know that it’s so natural and healthy to be gaining weight during this time, but I can’t help but look in the mirror and think, “Ughh, I look fat.” I love my tummy and the little baby inside, but I guess this is just the product of a person who’s spent their entire life concerned with image. I mean, I’ve always gained weight very easily and have had to work very hard to be thin. In fact, it’s only in the last 2 or so years that I’ve really gotten back to a comfortable, healthy place. And now, to watch my body change again feels wearing and kind of difficult. I can’t help but notice that my face is so dang puffy and I’m sure my tush is growing.

I’m sure people will read this and judge or say, “you look great. It’s just baby weight,” etc. etc., but I can’t help it. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop eating or giving my body what it needs to take care of our little babe. It just means that it’s hard to watch my body change. I think that’s fair.

First Doctor’s Visit in One Week… and Counting

One week from tomorrow, November 6th, is my first doctor’s appointment. I can honestly say that I have never been more ready, anxious and excited to go to the doctor… EVER. Everyone tells you to relax and to not over think things, but really, it’s not 100% possible. For the most part, I go through my days happily and without worry; however, without fail, my mind seems to wander to that scary place at least once a day.

This morning it started pretty early… 5:45 am to be exact. I was straightening my hair and found myself googling, “would I know if my baby’s heart stopped beating – first trimester,” on my phone. Like I’ve mentioned, this week I’ve felt pretty darn good. I’ve had little bouts of symptoms – nausea, headache, heartburn, emotion overflow, exhaustion – but nothing that really changes my step. As much as I’m grateful for feeling great, I’m also longing for some gut-wrenching vomiting. No, I do not enjoy vomitting, but I did read that momma-to-be’s who throw up are way less likely to miscarry. I’d for sure take some barfing to ensure our little baby is going to stay with us.

So, back to my googling and what I learned… Pretty much nothing. As with most pregnancy-related things, it’s different for all women. Some people will experience the same symptoms of a miscarriage if their baby’s heart stops beating… however, this could take days for some women and months for others. Some people don’t. So I guess I just have to wait for my appointment to make sure everything is going well. 

Which actually has me thinking… I hope they’ll do an ultrasound at this visit. All I know is that it’s 1.5 hours and I’m not seeing the doctor.

Does anyone know what this appointment consists of?




Sheesh… can you tell I’ve been in “a mood” this week? For some reason, I’ve been super gloomy the past few days. I’ve been pretty happy when I’m home, but not so much when I’m at work. I feel very tired and worn out and could use a little break. Maybe this weekend I’ll be able to get a little R&R. That might help.

On the positive, I did in fact work out last night! And actually, despite the fact that I felt so tired on my way over, I had a great workout. I go to a place called 9rounds, and absolutely love it. It’s a 30-minute, kickboxing circuit workout. I let them know that I’m in the early stage of pregnancy and they were able to adjust my workout, which was great. And, even better, I’ve got sore arms to show for it. As much as muscle-soreness is a pain (literally), I kind of love it. It’s nice proof that you did in fact work your bod. I’m going to try and make it again tonight.

I was supposed to head to a friend’s for dinner after work, but she cancelled this am. Now, the night is mine! And, since I was the one who was making / bringing dinner, the hubs and I will be ready to go when I get home from the gym.

Baby on Board

Today marks 7 months of marriage with my amazing husband and the day we officially found out I am pregnant. I stress the word officially, because literally since September 27th (just one or two days after ovulation), I have had an inkling that I was pregnant. So much so, that today’s positive HPT (mommy-to-be code for Home Pregnancy Test) was the tenth test I’ve taken in the past three weeks. And actually, I was conveniently at the doctor yesterday for my flu shot, begging her to take a pregnancy blood test so I could stop obsessing. She denied my request.

So, this morning – my 7th day sans period – I decided to take another test and this time, confirmation!! Being that this was our first month of “not trying not to get pregnant” (or whatever we called it), I don’t know if I’m really that in-tune with my body or if I was searching for signs. Either way, today I can say with confidence that I’m pregnant!

Telling the Husband…

Breaking the news to the daddy-to-be!

Breaking the news to the daddy-to-be!

This morning began the way many of my mornings had recently… I got up early, ran to the bathroom to pee on that magical stick and waited. Of course, this meant pretending I was patient, putting the stick on the other side of the counter while I brushed my teeth… sneaking a peek every 15 of so seconds. THEN… it happened. What I had been waiting to happen for the last 9 tests. The second line appeared. Lightly, but it was there! I can’t even explain how I felt… relieved, excited, and whatever the emotion is that’s paired with the, “Holy shit” reaction. I was definitely feeling that.

Now was the fun part: surprising my husband! So, as I had planned over the past three weeks, I took our little framed, “I Love You Because…” sign and finished the sentence with… “you’re going to be an amazing dad.” Then, I propped the pee stick up against the frame and put it by my husband’s sink and waited patiently for him to drag his butt out of bed.

Finally, 45 minutes or so later, he emerged. I hid my smile and continued getting ready as my husband came into the bathroom. He immediately went to the toilet and, mid-pee, noticed my reveal. With the stream still flowing, he grinned and said, “REALLY?? Come in for a hug!!” So, almost as magically and even more “actual real life” than I had planned, my husband and I hugged and celebrated the little baby we were brewing to the bitter smell of his morning pee.

The Symptoms

The first few days after ovulation, I was absolutely brain-dead. I have a tendency to be a little ditzy, but I was operating at a level of pure ridiculousness. From forgetting to set a timer while cooking (3 times in one cooking session), to getting on the highway going the wrong direction on my daily drive to work, to literally pouring my bowl of soup all down the front of my shirt, I just wasn’t “feeling myself.”

Thankfully, the utter brain-dead feeling only lasted 3 or so days… although I’m still waiting to regain my motivation at work. The next big thing I noticed was my bionic sense of smell. I was on the other side of the basement from the litter box and still had to speed steam my shirt while holding my breath before RUNNING upstairs for fresh air.

The other big (and fun) ones were the headaches and serious bloating. I tend to get headaches quite often, so at least I’m used to that. But the bloating… Yikes. By the end of every day, my stomach is rivaling Buddah’s.

But honestly, nothing is unmanageable. And actually, now that I have that blessed positive test, it all feels great. I cannot even begin to explain how frustrating it is to have a gut feeling about something, signs that support your gut feeling, a period that’s 7 days late, and a test that says it’s all in your head.

So now that I can put that behind me, I’ve found my incapable-of-chilling-the-f-out brain obsessing over my next hurdle… will I be able to carry this little sesame seed through the first trimester?