Four Weeks to Go

When I found out that I was pregnant last December, August seemed like a lifetime away. I was still wrapped up in the holiday season — buying presents, baking cookies, and hiding my exhaustion and sickness the best that I could, trying not to give away the big news.

So, it’s hard for me to believe that we are well into the summer season and four weeks away from my due date. The kids in my town go back to school this week, our air conditioning is running full blast, and I’m preparing to pack my hospital bags. Just in case.

As I enter the ninth month of pregnancy, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I’m ready to be done. Physically, pregnancy has taken its toll on me. I miss sleeping on my stomach, going for long walks, and sitting at my desk without feeling like my ribs are going to break. On the other hand, I’m not ready for it to be over. Knowing how quickly I forgot about the miserable parts of the first trimester, I know that I’ll forget the uncomfortable parts of the third trimester too. Overall, I’m surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed being pregnant — painful parts and all.

With less than a month to go, it still feels surreal that this is happening. I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember, and that dream is actually coming true. I have to admit, I have some insecurities — will I like it, will I be good at it, will Jordan and I be able to adjust to a very new routine? At the same time, I look forward to beginning life as a family of three — going for long stroller walks, rocking the baby to sleep, starting new traditions around the holidays.

I pray that, when it’s “go time,” I feel calm and ready. As uncomfortable as I’m getting now, I have a feeling I will hit a point when I’m ready for it to happen (or this is what people tell me).

In four weeks — more or less — we will have a baby. Crazy.

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Summer Lovin’

If I had to pick a favorite month, I think I’d pick July. Between birthday celebrations, my wedding anniversary, the Fourth of July, and ideal summer weather (well, usually), there are so many fun things going on.

Last Saturday, Jordan and I kicked off a busy couple of weeks with a belated dinner for our three-year wedding anniversary. We went to dinner at a new-to-us restaurant,  Iaria’s (which, unfortunately, really wasn’t that good), and then made up for it with ice cream from Dairy Queen.

On Wednesday, I celebrated my 27th birthday. I don’t know if it’s because it fell on a work day or because I’ve been so distracted this summer, but I don’t feel like I turned a year older. I have a feeling I’ll be correcting myself for a while, when it comes to telling my age! I’ll admit, I was a little bit sad to go into the office when I saw how nice the weather was that day (after what felt like weeks of rain!), but my sister ended up surprising me and meeting me downtown for lunch — it was such a nice surprise and I was able to get away from the office for a little bit.

If you’re local, I highly recommend Pizzology. The chopped salad is my favorite.

That night, Jordan and I kept the celebration simple. He grilled steak for us, I made some easy side dishes, he surprised me with an ice cream cake, and we ended the night with a walk around the block. We’re both usually exhausted by dinner time during the week, so it was the perfect way to spend the night.

Last night, we continued our busy week with a night at the symphony. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra was performing downtown, and Jordan’s cousin invited us and some other family members to attend. It was hot, but the sky was beautiful and and it was a fun way to spend a summer evening!

I’m not going to lie, I was proud of myself for making plans directly after work and sitting outside in the sun for a couple of hours without feeling bad. The things that make you feel accomplished when very pregnant ;) .

This weekend will be spent going to dinner with friends from work, having dinner at my parents’ house for a belated birthday celebration, and putting some finishing touches on the nursery. I’m also hoping that the nice weather lasts a few more days so I can enjoy it as much as possible!

What’s your favorite month?

Do you have any fun plans for this weekend?

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Why I’m Glad We Took the Classes

When I started thinking about preparing for labor, towards the beginning/middle of my pregnancy, I thought that ignorance was bliss. I figured I’d done enough research online and read enough birth stories to know what happens. I didn’t want to take the classes.

And then, in April, my friend had a baby. On our way to see her — just a few hours old — Jordan turned towards my friend’s house rather than the hospital, and I realized that when it comes to labor and delivery (and how long they keep you in the hospital), he had no clue. And why should he? Guys don’t typically research common labor practices or read birth stories. It was then that I realized — we need to take some childbirth classes.

After doing a little bit of research, we decided to sign up for Lamaze classes at the hospital where we’ll be delivering. The series of classes lasted four weeks, and each class was around 2 1/2 – 3 hours long.

I’m not going to lie, at first I’d imagined Lamaze would be somewhat like a childbirth class you’d see on a 90s sitcom — a “Full House” episode came to mind — but it was nothing like that. This is the foundation of Lamaze, according to the Lamaze website:

“The Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices are the foundation of Lamaze. These Birth Practices are designed to help simplify your birth process with a natural approach that helps alleviate your fears and manage pain. Regardless of your baby’s size, your labor’s length and complexity, or your confidence level, these care practices will help keep labor and your baby’s birth as safe and healthy as possible.”

And here’s why I’m glad we took the classes…

1. The bonding experience. Even if we took nothing away from the class (this wasn’t true for us), we came away from it feeling closer to each other. This is a brand new experience for both of us, and learning about the process together, as a team, made me feel a lot less alone in pregnancy and it made Jordan feel much more involved. I was even a little bit sad on our last night, because I know this was a one-time thing, as we most likely won’t go through the class again when we have more kids in the future.

2. We know what to expect, both the good and the bad. The thing that I like about Lamaze is that it covers all of your options. While the main focus/goal is a non-medicated birth, we also learned about epidurals, c-sections, inducements, and other things that aren’t always ideal, but may happen. We also learned all of the common childbirth language and what each term means — effacement, dilation, lightening, etc. — and I like that Jordan is aware of those terms just as much as I am.

3. It’s good practice. While part of each class was spent in a lecture format, the majority of the class was hands on. We practiced labor positions, we learned how to push and breathe effectively, Jordan learned a handful of massage techniques that should help me while I’m in labor, and we learned how to visualize and meditate. Every week, we practiced all of these things, and have been encouraged to keep practicing at home, as well. 

4. It familiarized me with the hospital. Our classes were located in the hospital where I’ll be delivering, so I got to learn all about their common practices and ask as many questions as I wanted to. For someone who doesn’t like surprises, this was comforting to me. It reassured me that we made the right choice when deciding where to deliver.

5. It gave me a goal. When I said I didn’t want to take classes, I realized I was sort of in denial about the whole process. After taking them, I now have a birth plan and a goal for myself. While I realize that things don’t always go as planned, our instructor told us that, leading up to the due date, the best thing we can do is visualize ourselves in labor and picture it how we’d like it to go. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned,  I won’t feel as scared, and I’ll know that I did everything I could.

I know that childbirth classes might not be for everyone, and you have to do what’s right for you and your family, but I couldn’t recommend these enough. I’m still a little bit nervous (I think that’s normal when anticipating a new experience)… but the countdown to my due date begins (5 weeks away!).

If you’re pregnant/have kids, did you/do you plan to take childbirth classes?

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Pregnancy Update: July

34 Weeks

Baby’s size: Pineapple

How I’m feeling: Humbled. Around 30 weeks, I started getting a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, and it’s encouraging me to slow down. Other than that, I’m feeling ready to start getting things ready! But… I’m also feeling tired. So for now, the baby’s room contains piles of stuff that I need to wash and organize. It’ll get done eventually!

Maternity clothes: Still wearing regular workout clothes and pajamas, but everything else is maternity. My belly is starting to stick out a lot more now, so my shirts are getting shorter!

Sleep: It depends on the night. I’ve slept terribly this week, but it’s most likely due to loud thunderstorms, rather than the baby. Last week I slept a lot (including a couple of after-work naps) — I think the baby was going through a growth spurt!

Cravings: Water, sparkling water, ice cream, pizza (this one is so weird — I’m not usually a big pizza person)

Aversions: This varies from day to day. Vegetables are hit or miss right now, as are certain spices.

Movement: Tons! Her movements are getting pretty uncomfortable now, because they cause me to contract. I didn’t even know this was a thing, until my doctor reassured me that it is — her kicks are basically irritating my uterus and causing me to cramp/contract. The good news is, all of these contractions don’t seem to be bothering the baby — her heartbeat was nice and strong at my doctor’s appointment on Monday.

What I’m loving: People are really nice to me at this stage in pregnancy. Strangers ask me what I’m having/when I’m due, and everyone asks how I’m feeling. I know this won’t last forever, so I’m enjoying it now!

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions. Some lower abdominal pain/stretching. Fatigue. 

Exercise: Per my doctor’s suggestion, I’m cutting back a little bit. Walking, strangely enough, causes me to contract the most, so I’m avoiding long walks for now. I can still do barre workouts, pilates, the elliptical, and shorter walks. For now, my doctor’s not concerned that exercise will induce my labor, but she did tell me to listen to my body and not overdo it.

What I’m looking forward to: Celebrating my anniversary with Jordan this weekend. My birthday. Finishing the baby’s room. Her upcoming due date!

Best moments of the month: Celebrating Jordan’s birthday. My baby showers. The Fourth of July. Our 3rd wedding anniversary.

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Three Years

Three years ago today, Jordan and I got married on the one rainy day of the hottest, driest summer we’d had in years. This year could not feel more opposite — and not just in terms of the weather — but it still feels like it was only yesterday.

The third year of marriage flew by in the blink of an eye, and I think it was my favorite one yet.

Preparing for our first baby has helped us bond in ways I never expected, and I can’t wait to see what our fourth year of marriage has in store for us as a family of three.

As Jordan always says, “We make a good team.”

I love you more than words can describe. Happy 3rd anniversary, Jordan.

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