Date: July 22, 2014 (photos taken July 21)
Photo thoughts: Thanks to Julia giving birth, I now have a few new things to get me through these final weeks! Wore this cute striped dress to work yesterday but it didn’t work too well for weekly pics since I couldn’t hike it up to show the belly! So we did the official pics once I was changed and all scrubby. Forgive the dirty mirror in the last one. This was just before bed the other night – I just love this belly, man.
Size of baby: Nearly 5 pounds and 18 inches long – just read this week’s page that says “if you’ve been worried about pre-term labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34-37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the NICU and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.” Definitely comforting to read! Obviously do NOT want this baby to come any sooner than three or four more weeks, but of course pre-term labor is always a scary thought and some reassurance that things would likely be ok at this point is nice!
What I’m loving: This belly, as always. I can’t get enough of touching it and pressing on it and being able to feel a real baby right there. Also, summer. Never loved it more.
What I’m anticipating: My sprinkle on Saturday! Though as I said to several friends today, it’s not really a sprinkle. It’s a shower. It’s a torrential downpour even. It’s at a fancy place, it’s with many of my favorite people, I registered, there will be nice gifts, it is a rain storm. And I feel ridiculously spoiled and lucky to be having it and I can’t wait!
I’m also starting to anticipate winding things down at work. I’ve given myself the next three weeks to get a lot of big planning and projects DONE so that I can coast a bit my final weeks, and so that I’m in a good place should I go out on leave early.
And we’re anticipating the purchase of our new (used) minivan. We’ve been looking online, reading reviews, comparing models… I think we’ll go for the Honda Odyssey or the Toyota Sienna, and while we don’t want to spend a huge amount, I think it’s probably inevitable since leather interior, automatic sliding doors and an automatic hatch on the back are all pretty much non-negotiables. Still hoping we can get a decent deal!
What I’m stressing about/worries: See above. Between the increased cost of childcare and an increased car payment – with no increase in our pay coming anytime soon – we’re going to be in a money crunch as soon as this baby gets here. It worries me, but I also remind myself that it’s temporary, we’ll do our best and we’ll figure it out.
We’ve never leased a car before and I’ve always said it seems dumb, but we might now be considering it for our van. We’ll explore our options, but we feel a little stuck right now … we want something nice and new/newer, and yet we can’t afford a $450-$550/month payment when we’re already increasing our childcare costs so much at the same time. Doing a three-year lease at $300/month would save us a significant amount of cash every month, plus allow us to drive a new car and not have to worry about any maintenance or repairs. And yes, we’ll then have to buy a van anyway in three years, but I anticipate our financial situation being different then, too, with two kids in school full-time and potentially/hopefully higher paying jobs. I hate the idea of throwing our money away, and yet cars aren’t a great investment anyway, and we rented for years before we could afford a house, too. It’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s similar. I just don’t know – I go back and forth constantly. I just know that a huge payment on a newer van will totally stress me out, too. Ugh.
Miss anything? I miss sleeping on my back. I find myself on my back in bed often and have to force myself to roll over since I know it’s not good for me or the baby, and since it obviously becomes uncomfortable pretty quickly.
Cravings: No major cravings, but this right here is my ideal, perfect, most delicious snack on a night when I’m extra hungry before bed. We don’t often keep sausage in the house, but Dave surprised me with some when he grocery shopped last week, and mmmm, is it good! Cheese and sausage and crackers, raspberries and a little bit of chocolate. Heaven!
Weight gain: About 32-33 pounds now. (Ha, funny how that question comes right after I talk about eating sausage and chocolate. Eh! It’s temporary!)
Differences between pregnancies: We bought my Honda Accord when I was 34 weeks pregnant with Henry. I also wrote him a letter this week in which I say right away that he may be here in three weeks, and that he will “almost definitely” be here in less than six weeks. Not so much – I had six weeks and four days to go! I also talked about how well I had taken care of myself during the pregnancy (I’ve maybe been a little more lax this time…) and how Dave couldn’t keep his hands off my belly. (That part’s a bit different this time, too. He touches it, but I almost always have to ask him to!) We had had two of our three baby showers and I was feeling very blessed and excited.
At 34 weeks with Ben, I was a part of Julia’s fun gender reveal with Cece and I said how if we had a third kid, I definitely wanted to do a fun gender reveal of my own. (So glad I did!) I kind of can’t believe I was speaking in terms of “if,” since I never, ever considered Ben’s pregnancy my last! That same weekend I turned 30 and we had a party at our house that day. I also started musing about birth and noted how I had very few concrete memories of my birth with Henry and his first days and weeks of life. I vowed to document that time with Ben better and to remember it all more – and I think I definitely did/do!
How I’m feeling: I feel the need to knock on wood when I write this, but I am feeling really good still. By the end of the day, I’m tired, and my back is a little sore, but overall, I still feel pretty great. I’m very, very thankful for this and enjoying it while I can.
Also getting tons of Braxton Hicks contractions now. At least a dozen a day, maybe more. Sometimes they happen when I’ve done something strenuous, and other times they just come out of nowhere when I’m sitting at my desk or at the computer or on the couch at home.
(Also, I’m now finishing this up in the evening and I am exhausted. Some days, I swear, she must be growing a lot and she zaps all the life right out of me. I have heartburn and my back’s a bit sore and I’m very much looking forward to crawling into my bed in a couple of hours!)
Sleep: Mostly good. Some nights Ben wakes up (like the horrible night two nights ago) and some nights like last night I wake up and have a hard time falling back to sleep for awhile, but mostly I fall asleep fast and can sleep well all night, aside from my multiple trips to the bathroom to pee.
Exercise: Not much.
Movement: Tons and tons and I love it so much. Seriously can’t get over how big and real she feels in there. Body parts poking out everywhere. LOVE!!
Boy or girl: Girl! Sure can’t wait to lay my eyes on her.
Milestones: Hmmm, none that I can really think of this week. I did take another step toward preparing for baby – went up in the attic over the weekend and pulled down our bouncy seat, the car seat, my two breast pumps and some bottles and blankets, which are now strewn around her room til I find the motivation to go through it all and get organized. I want to wash the car seat cover, sheets, blankets and all of her newborn and 3-month clothes in the next week or two.
Due date predictions: I told Julia today I’m trying really hard not to make predictions as to when I think baby E will get here, or to wish for a certain day or week … but of course, I can’t help it. I KNOW she’ll get here in her own good time, and as long as she’s healthy and safe, I truly don’t care when she comes! But as I’ve said, Henry’s first day of school is on my due date, and oh, how I want to be home for that.
I also found out today that the open house for his school will be Wednesday, August 27, during which time the kids can come in and see their classroom, drop off their supplies and meet their teacher. I SO want to be around for this, maybe even more than for the first day of school! I really want to see his little classroom and meet his teacher, and be there with him when he experiences all that for the first time, too. Honestly, I get a little choked up just thinking about it, and I will be really, really sad if I have to miss out on that big milestone. So now I have to wish for her to come even earlier if she’s going to come early, so that I’m back at home by the 27th!
If baby girl came when Ben came (38 weeks, 3 days) she’d arrive on Friday, August 22. That’d be pretty perfect, as I’d be back home with a few days to spare! I told J I think 39 weeks sounds about right – later than Ben but earlier than Henry – but then of course, that’d be August 26, and I’d for sure be in the hospital for the open house. But 39 weeks, 2 days, the day after the open house, would be ideal, too.
So I’m pulling for August 22-24 or August 28-30. Then I get to be home for both big events for Henry, AND I won’t be overdue. A girl can hope, right?! So fun to think about how we have no idea … and yet in just a few weeks we will!
Superficial/random: Today I met a new guy at my office – he was here from L.A. interviewing for a chef position with our company. Very handsome. I shook his hand and he looked at my belly and congratulated me. I thanked him and he asked “is that a boy?” and I said why no, I have two boys but this one’s a girl. And he said something about how I didn’t even look that pregnant. And I said well thanks, I have about six weeks to go! And he said “oh, I didn’t mean your belly, I meant the rest of you.” Ha. So my belly is large and in charge, but the rest of me doesn’t look huge – so that was nice. Thanks handsome. ;)
Two random updates – our credit card had a fraudulent purchase on it last night and Chase got in touch with us right away, so now we have to get new cards. Annoying, but good that they caught it so fast.
Also, Dave and I are now watching House of Cards on Netflix and we’re loving it. We’re about six episodes in. It feels like SOOOO long ago that we watched all of Breaking Bad, and we still miss it. I was pregnant for all of that, too – makes me realize how looooong pregnancy is! Then we started Friday Night Lights and got about halfway through season 2 before I stopped to watch season two of Orange is the New Black. Once I was done with that, neither of us really wanted to pick back up with FNL. So many of my friends just loved it, but we couldn’t get that into it. House of Cards is pretty awesome, though.
Highlights of the week: We’ve been keeping busy this summer, as evidenced by this category week after week! But this past weekend took the cake as far as being totally packed, and I was seriously exhausted by Sunday night and really looked forward to going to work yesterday just so I could sit down!
Dave works later on Fridays, and my mom had mentioned meeting at the hot air balloon festival taking place in Waterford. I thought it sounded fun, so we planned for that. Of course, when I got home Friday, fed the boys and loaded them in the car to meet mom and Dale by 6:30, I started to wonder what I had been thinking. I’m so drained by Friday each week, and here I was taking the boys by myself to an outdoor festival. We got there and parked in a field about a half a mile from where the festival was taking place. I’d brought the umbrella stroller for Ben, forgetting that it was broken and no longer opened all the way, so I realized he’d have to walk all that way. I was attempting to keep the boys near me while cars parked all around us, and I remember thinking oh my gosh, shoot me now, why did I think this was a good idea?
And yet, the evening turned out to be AWESOME. So much better than what I expected, and thankfully so much easier than what I had anticipated in those first moments. The weather was perfection, the boys were fairly well-behaved and the hot air balloons were beautiful. We saw some take off, and then later at dusk they did the ‘evening glow’ where they’d count down and all the balloons would light their fires at the same time and light up. It was really neat! (Here’s a little video of it.)
We ate some cheese curds and cookies, and Dale surprised the boys with hot air balloon balloons, which of course they spent much of the time throwing around and whacking each other with. We stayed til probably 9 p.m., so after the drive home and getting the boys into their pjs, they weren’t in bed til nearly 10 p.m. I thought Henry would sleep on the way home and Ben would stay awake, but it was the opposite – Henry stayed awake and chatted with me the whole way home while Ben slept. And he was so out of it when we got home, he stayed asleep the entire time as I brought him upstairs, laid him on the floor to change his diaper and clothes and put him into his bed.
Thankfully, both boys slept til nearly 7:30 Saturday morning. That morning we hung out at home while Dave went to his parents’ house to shoot his new gun with his bro. We did some cleaning and played outside and took a walk and then got the baby stuff down from the attic. Dave got home around lunchtime, and after Ben went down from his nap, Dave took Henry out to run some errands so I had some time to myself to lay on the couch and read a magazine. That was my one little bit of relaxation for the weekend!
Saturday night we met Julia and Nate and fam at the pool for a members-only luau, which we attended with them last year, too, with their guest passes. Very nice of them! The place was packed, and the little kids wanted to spend most of the time in the sand rather than the pool anyway. That was fine by me, since I got to chat with the adults, and since I unfortunately wasn’t going to swim anyway, as much as I love to swim! I don’t have a maternity suit, and this body is beyond the bikini-rocking stage now. The boobs cannot be contained in my normal top, and the love handles and thighs are just kind of scary, so alas, I kept my skirt and tank top on over my suit.
It was fun to see little Porter man again! Boy is he cute. I held him and just couldn’t get over how teeny he is! It’s also crazy to see Julia and Nate with three kids now. Even months later, when I see Dizzy and fam, either in person or in pictures, I still want to shout “holy crap, three kids!” I mean, I came from a family of three kids and have always wanted three of my own, and I don’t think it’s a crazy number. And yet, to see it, it just seems like so much more than two kids!
They left to go get frozen yogurt, but we stayed at the pool til the very end, Henry having a blast in the water and Benny even finally going in with me in the shallow end. They had a guy singing and playing his ukelele, and Benny and I held hands and swayed to the music in the knee-deep water. It was a gorgeous summer night and a really special moment with my little guy!
The luau ended at 9 p.m., and then the boys were hungry when they got home, so for the second night in a row, they didn’t get to bed til 10 p.m.! Benny woke up by 6:45 the next morning, too, which was certainly not late enough.
Sunday I did a big Target run and then baked brownies and a double batch of cookies for a cookout at my dad’s later that day. (A double batch so that we could keep a bunch for ourselves, of course!) By the time it was time to leave for the cookout around 3 pm, all the shopping, baking and showering and getting ready had worn me out. I wasn’t overly looking forward to spending the next however many hours at a family get-together when all I wanted to do was put my feet up and close my eyes!
But once again, the day turned out to be so much more fun than what I was anticipating. First of all, I got to see Alex and Kristen, who I obviously knew were in town for the weekend for a wedding, but I did not know they’d be at dad’s! It was a nice surprise. I got to see my cousin Sarah and her fam, and visit with all of my aunts and uncles. Dad and Barb’s yard is beautiful and yet again, the day was magnificent, and it was nice to sit outside and just enjoy the weather and the company. Barb had two pools set up for the kids as well as plenty of water guns on hand, and they all had a blast.
That night the boys were finally able to get to bed at their normal time, and both slept in yesterday morning, pooped from our action-packed weekend. Henry actually refused to get up, finally getting out of bed at 7:15, 20 minutes before we had to leave the house. So I barely saw him before work! Last night we got them to bed earlier than normal, and now I think everyone’s finally rested up and feeling good again. But whew! What a weekend.
Summary: I’m tired / feeling good / happy / semi-stressed / large / loving being pregnant. I want time to slow down and speed up at the same time. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a birth date for baby girl that works around Henry’s big moments. I love her so much and am getting very anxious to lay my eyes and arms on her. I’m in the home stretch and just a few weeks away from the it-could-be-any-day mind games. Fun stuff ahead, folks.