Baby #3: 39 weeks – Getting impatient, feeling pretty good, babies everywhere

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Date: August 26, 2014
(First photo taken this morning; weekly photos taken last night, 8/25)

Photo thoughts: Starting with the cuter one from this morning so that’s what shows up in people’s feeds! … Because last night? I may be smiling in the pics but I was not a happy camper. I’d slept very little the night before and was feeling just crummy. My hair and shirt were dirty … ugh. I’d left work by like 3 and come home to take a nap, so I wasn’t in my work clothes anymore. I also wonder – will THESE photos be our last, or will we be taking them again next week on my due date???

Size of baby: Hmm … I’ll guess that if she comes in the next few days, she’ll be … 7 lbs, 15 oz. That’s what I weighed when I was born, and I just like the idea of her being under 8 pounds. ;) We’ll see!!

What I’m loving: That no matter what, the waiting game is almost over. And that even if I do go all the way to my due date, or beyond, I am DONE with work for 10 weeks after this week. Friday is my last day until I go back November 10, and we have the whole long holiday weekend ahead of us with no plans. Of course, I sure do hope we have a baby by then, but if not, we’ll get some nice family time in! And I do still adore this belly. Definitely my best belly yet – round and compact and cute. (in my humble opinion anyway, ha.)

What I’m anticipating: Ha. What a question right now.

What I’m stressing about/worries: The worry level is high as one gets to these final days. Just get here safely, baby girl.

Miss anything? Everything now about being not pregnant!

Weight gain: A whole month without any real weight gain. Wild! I started at 145 lbs, about 5 lbs over my happy weight of 140 since it was December and holiday time. I’ve been waiting and waiting to see that scary 180 mark on the scale but it hasn’t come. (Well, I’ve seen it at the doc – 181 last week, but that’s always in the middle of the day, after lunch, with clothes on! Doesn’t count.) It was verrrrry close yesterday morning, 179.8! But I’m right around 35 pounds of total gain, which is exactly what I gained with each of my boys, too. I’ll take it.

Differences between pregnancies: At 39-40 weeks with Henry, I was excited that October had arrived and I was finally getting a few Braxton Hicks contractions. Wasn’t sleeping well and was pretty miserable at work. At 39 weeks, 3 days, I decided to be done working no matter what. It was a Monday, and he came eight days later on a Tuesday. At 39 weeks, 6 days, I was three days into maternity leave and was just relaxing, which sounds pretty heavenly right now. I’d also had my final doc appointment and was 2 cm dilated; the doc estimated the baby to be on the big side at 7 1/2-8 pounds (he was 8 lbs, 11 oz when he came out!); and we scheduled my induction for the 15th (he came on his own the 13th.) On my due date, I had the whole day stretched out before me and I wasn’t sure what I’d do with myself! (Pretty sure I haven’t had that problem since that day, ha!) I made a collage of all my belly pics. I posted a pic of me and Henry on our due date - which was rare since the blog was only for me at the time and I didn’t post many pics. At 40 weeks, 2 days, I had hemmies and they were excruciating. I remember calling the doctor’s office and kind of freaking out, like what do I do about this?! Birth will be so awful because of this! The doc was kind of like yeah, um, lots of pregnant women get them and there’s not much you can do! I also wrote my final post that day before he came, just a short one about the waiting game and how weird it felt to have nothing going on!

At 39 weeks with Benny, he was already here and four days old!! Lucky me of 2012. :) Although recovery with him was pretty rough. Hoping to have an easier time of it this last time around!!

How I’m feeling: Aside from the emotional highs and lows, I’m feeling pretty darn good. The best I’ve felt at this point in any of my pregnancies, for sure. Very little back pain, no hemmies (knock on wood!!), a belly that, while cumbersome for sure, doesn’t feel overly enormous or totally taxing.

Camera Roll-5Mentally though, I’m feeling nervous about birth and a little annoyed at the whole not knowing when it’ll happen part. Annoyed, too, that I thought she may be here by now, because Ben was. SOOOO over work and am not being very productive AT ALL anymore. Just ready to get this show on the road. But also hoping it’s not for a few days now, since I really, really want to be at Henry’s school open house tomorrow night.

This pic was taken earlier this week, at 38 weeks, 2 days.

Sleep: Pretty crappy most nights now. I wake up in the middle of the night and then can’t fall back to sleep for an hour or two some nights. I’m up about a million times to pee. Two nights ago was a freakin fiasco, with insomnia at first, and then Henry peed his bed, which rarely happens, and he woke everyone up, and then Ben wouldn’t go back to sleep, so I was up with him, first in our bed then downstairs to have a snack, and I finally slept 2-5:30. 3 1/2 hours was it, which was why I felt so exhausted and crappy yesterday. Last night, though, I finally got some rest. I went to bed at 8:45, fell asleep around 9:15 and then was in my bed til after 6 a.m. I still woke up every couple of hours to pee or look at the clock, but I was able to fall back to sleep fast every time, thankfully. I woke up feeling a lot better mentally today and pretty refreshed.

Exercise: Life. Everything I do feels like exercise with these extra pounds!

Movement: Has quieted down quite a bit this past week, but last night was VERY strong again, and different. She was very active all evening, and then when I laid down to go to sleep, her movement was pretty much nonstop and felt very wavy in there, and VERY low and kind of painful. It had me thinking that it may be the night, so I’d showered and shaved and washed and straightened my hair before bed, just in case. But alas, it was not the night! Her movements send me into contractions more often than not right now … I’m experiencing that as I type this.

Boy or girl: My baby girl, who we’ve been calling Ellie or baby E more often than Eleanor now. Don’t know what we’ll call her once she’s here, but I think most of our loved ones will probably call her Ellie. I love it. I’m simply dying from anticipation to lay eyes on her.

Appointment update: A week since my last appointment would have been yesterday, but my next appointment isn’t until tomorrow (Wednesday), at 1:45 p.m. I’m going to ask her to sweep my membranes again and hopefully this time it’ll get things going. Just get me through that open house tomorrow night and then let’s have this baby!!

Birth date predictions: Thursday or Friday, August 28 or 29. Let’s do it, pleeeeease. But again, if we have a three-day holiday weekend as a family, a final ‘calm before the storm,’ as long as I’m not too miserable, that’ll be just fine by me. But then I’ll also have to start worrying again about missing Henry’s first day of school on the 2nd.

Superficial: I didn’t get any stretch marks with Henry, and I got one big one and maybe two teeny ones with Benny. This time? I have them pretty bad along both sides of my belly. My mom said she didn’t get her stretch marks until her third baby, either, and she still has them to this day. I’m really hoping some stretch mark cream will help, and/or that time passing will make them fade. I displayed them for Dave last night as he was taking my weekly pics.

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Milestones: Made it to my last week of work. And also – babies, babies, babies!!

Andrea was due three days after me and had her baby BOY yesterday!! She texted us in the morning to say her water broke! Just rolled over in bed and felt a pop. Samuel Michael was born yesterday afternoon.

And now literally five minutes ago, my work friend Jessica’s water just broke and she is on her way to give birth to her baby girl!!! She is not even 38 weeks yet and I am JEALOUS! It’s actually quite comical … Yesterday we walked laps around the office – snapped the pic below with our popsicles before we walked. (The last pic was taken this morning!) And then today, she and I had lunch together, and then we went to TJ Maxx downtown. She drove, and we parked in the parking structure and it was a looooong walk to TJ Maxx. I am feeling SO much pressure and pain down below today that it was not fun to walk that far, and I was slow moving and worried that if I did go into labor, we were really far from the car. She was walking ahead of me and kept saying things like “oh, you’re fine” and “suck it up!” and “I feel great!!”

We got back to the office and she came out of the bathroom and said she had some blood happening. Then not two minutes later, she whizzed past my office holding herself and saying “my water just broke! gotta go!!” Of course, all the women in the office got up and were following her to the front door, squealing and wondering amongst us should she drive herself? Should someone follow her? Is there a mess to clean up somewhere? Ha!!

So there you have it. First one due, last one standing over here. Boo to that, I say. But I am excited for my friends!!!!

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Highlights of the week: On Friday last week, my office threw me and Jess a “pink party” over lunch to celebrate our baby girls. We had lunch catered in and we each got a $100 Target gift card. Dave also texted me that morning to say “I got a pink party today, too.” His office had brought in dessert and given him a little onesie and a $130 Target gift card. Score!

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Friday night the boys and I picked up Papa Murphy’s for dinner. (And tonight I think we’re going to get Culver’s, since daddy works later and this girl ain’t cookin! We are officially in the anything-goes stage.)

Saturday we saw my brother and baby Jett, since Dan was in town running his first half marathon. He wanted to beat 2 hours and he did it in 1:54, even with the hot, muggy, icky weather. I was proud of him! We went to Dad’s for a cookout and stayed for probably 3 1/2 hours or so. I sure love that little Jett man!!

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Sunday Dave’s parents came over for a visit, and we had lunch and chatted and had a nice time with them. The rest of the day was spent relaxing … I took a 2-hour nap and then we went to the park and ate dinner and played outside some more before bedtime. I also gave myself a facial and painted my fingers and toes pink and took a long bubble bath on Sunday evening before bed. It was a good weekend.

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Summary: I can’t complain too much, as much as I kind of want to. I just want this baby here, darn it. And yet, I know that if she came today or tomorrow, I’d be super sad to miss Henry’s thing tomorrow. So I need to just chill and know she’ll come when she’s ready! Enjoy these last few days of being pregnant, of being a family of four, of being in a normal routine before life gets turned upside down again for awhile.

I suuuure hope I’m not doing one of these posts in a week, though, I’ll tell ya that. The way I’ve been feeling, she just CAN’T be a week away still. She can’t!!

The end of an era / beginning of a new chapter

Camera Roll-54This week is the boys’ last week at daycare. I dropped them off at Kelly’s this morning and let them know that after today, they’ll have only two days left there, tomorrow and Friday.

Henry has mixed feelings about this, one moment being excited and another being near tears because he’ll miss it and his little friends there. I know he’s mostly excited about the transition to going to school, and I’m finally coming to terms with what a BIG change is happening in our lives right now.

Henry will start school a week from tomorrow, and for those 2 1/2 hours a day, he will be in the care of someone who’s a stranger to me, who I did not personally have any control over choosing to have care for and protect my child. He will make new friends and be surrounded by peers his age who will influence him and teach him things and treat him a certain way – a kind, friendly way, I hope.

He’s embarking on this big new adventure and I pray so hard that he will love it. I think he will.

But beyond the starting of school, we are officially closing the book – indefinitely, and maybe forever – on our daycare years.

We have a nanny now, a nanny who has been such an incredible blessing in our lives for the past five months that I still kind of can’t believe we were lucky enough to have found her. It was always my goal to have a nanny once we had three kids, and it’s surreal to be here, to have achieved that goal.

Nearly five years ago, we started this parenthood journey, and we found a daycare provider who we felt good about and who we trusted with our baby. Henry thrived at Lori’s house, and then Ben came along and his first year spent at Lori’s was a good one, too. Lori played such a big role in our boys’ first years of life – doing exercises with each of them for their torticollis, getting them to drink “enough” pumped milk each day, doing tummy time, starting them on solid foods, helping them learn to crawl and talk and walk, and getting excited with us as each reached a new milestone.

Then I got a new job and we switched daycare providers, and we’ve now been with Kelly for the last 18 months. It’s been a different experience than the one we had at Lori’s, for many reasons – she’s a different person, she offers different things at her house, she lives closer, etc. – but it’s been another good experience. We are very fortunate to have found great caregivers for our kids over these past five years.

Now we get to transition to our kids being able to be home, and it’s a big change from daycare. Baby E’s experience as a baby will be so different than her big brothers’ experiences were. Yes, I will go back to work and leave her during the day just like I did with my boys, but instead of having to be packed up and transported somewhere else each day, she’ll just get to stay cozy in her house, and her caregiver will come to her. She’ll be surrounded by her own things, get to nap in her own crib, and mom and dad will come home to her each day, without her having to have a car ride home before she can spend time with us.

Benny will get all that now, too. He’s the kid who will have experienced both sides of the coin – 2 1/2 years of daycare, and then two years (we hope anyway!) of being able to stay home before he officially starts school. I do wonder how he’ll do, when he’s used to being surrounded by kids to play with. I think he’ll be fine, though, and I know Shelly will still take them out and about once E is a bit older, so he can interact with other kids and get out of the house.

Daycare has been really good for my kids, and I have no doubt they’d continue to thrive in that environment, just as they’ll likely thrive being at home. But closing the chapter on daycare will be good for ME for so many reasons. I’m a worrier, and I certainly worry less when my kids are at home instead of in someone else’s home. This past winter, having to get two kids bundled up and out the door each morning in the snow and frigid temps was ba-ru-tal, and to think that I won’t have to do that this winter is such cause for celebration for me.

And Shelly, as I’ve said, is just one of the best things to have happened to us in a long time. She’s just a genuinely NICE person, who’s happy and nurturing and real and who I can tell really cares about me and my kids. The boys love her and I imagine baby E will, too. To say she has made life easier on us is the understatement of the year, and it’ll only get better once she’s in our home four days a week (and then maybe five after the first of the year, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there) instead of two.

She does a load of laundry or two each day that she’s there. She folds laundry like I’ve never seen – it’s actually kind of comical. She runs and empties the dishwasher. She keeps the house straightened up, and to come home to a tidy house is just the best feeling. She takes the boys to the park and to lunch and to her house so they get a change of scenery and really enjoy the summer.

And now that she’s been with us awhile, I’ve slowly felt comfortable actually asking her to do a few things. One example was the day we went to State Fair – the boys hadn’t had a bath in a couple of days and I knew they wouldn’t get one that evening, either, since we’d be at the fair. I asked if she’d give them baths that afternoon, and we came home to two squeaky clean boys ready for the fair! Then last week I had a watermelon and a cantaloupe on the counter that I hadn’t had the chance to cut since we’d been busy, and I didn’t want them to go bad. I asked if she’d mind cutting up the fruit, and I came home to beautifully chopped fruit in the fridge. These little things go a looooong way toward making life as a working mom of almost three kids a lot easier. It’s amazing.

So it’s a big week over here.

The end of daycare. Henry’s last week before he officially starts school. And we may very well have a baby this week. It’s a lot to take in!! Such an exciting time.

I’m 38 weeks, 6 days pregnant

New babies: A walk down memory lane

Seeing as how I really can’t focus much on work these final days (though I AM still getting things done!) … this morning I popped into Shutterfly and looked through photos of our time in the hospital with Henry and with Ben. Oh, the emotions! The memories! I could burst thinking about doing it all one more time – and soon!

I saved a few favorites and made some comparisons. :)

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A few observations …

I adore that first photo of me with my Henry, right as he’d just come out. But looking at it now, all I can think is “how could I have not had my hair pulled back while going through labor?!”

I think the differences between Henry and Benny are astounding. We thought Henry was the most beautiful thing we’d ever seen, and yet, let’s be real. He was not a cute new baby! He was overbaked and puffy and had all that crazy hair and a cone-shaped head. Poor little dude took awhile to come out and it showed!

And yet Benny was gorgeous right from the start. Came early and came out fast, so his face looked good, his head was round and he was just so beautiful! I remember thinking so right away in the hospital, too. Of course, Henry’s turned into one of the most gorgeous children I’ve ever seen – so it goes to show that weird-looking babies don’t necessarily turn into weird-looking kids. ;)

I also made this comparison today, of my belly at 38 weeks with Ben, and at 38 weeks with baby E:

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Look at the difference in that belly size! I’ve gained the same amount of weight, but wow am I carrying differently still. All this time I’ve assumed that she’ll be another big baby – but maybe she really will be my first one under eight pounds! More stretch marks this time, unfortunately. Going to start using my It Works Stretch Mark cream right after I give birth!! ;)

Ben came three days after this first photo was taken. The most recent one was taken two days ago, and who knows how long it’ll be before baby girl makes her appearance! As I said on Instagram this morning, I think my attitude has shifted. I’m feeling really good still – definitely better than I did at this point with either of my boys – and I really do think you have to hit that WALL before birth is imminent. So I just need to tell myself that me and Baby E are in this for the long haul, and that we’ll likely finally meet somewhere right around my due date. If she does come sooner, then it’ll be a very pleasant surprise!

But wow, looking at these photos has me positively giddy about what’s to come. To give birth to and lay eyes on and hold and nurse a newborn again, to stay in the hospital and have everyone meet her, to bring her home to live with us and start to get to know her, and to start our lives as a family of five … I just can’t wait.

I’m 38 weeks, 2 days pregnant

The final countdown (Just rambling.)

I’m there, folks. I am ready to have this baby.

Really, I’m feeling good. I’m doing ok. I have not hit the wall. I can make it another week or two, really I can.

I’m just starting to get really impatient.

Women who wish for their babies to come sooner than their due date have always kind of annoyed me. And women who start wishing for their babies to come at like 36 weeks REALLY annoy me, still. But I feel like having had a baby at 38 weeks, 3 days who was 8+ pounds and totally healthy and baked has made me spoiled and given me expectations that, well, of course this baby should come by then, too!

It was such a pleasant surprise when Ben came early because, after having gone late with Henry, I just expected to go the full 40 weeks again. But now? Now I’m spoiled. And I feel like every day I go past 38 weeks, 3 days, I’m just going to be frustrated that she isn’t here yet!

I keep reminding myself of how lucky I am to be at this point. At this annoying, uncomfortable, anxiety-filled point. The point when my life is about to change in this enormous way and I have no idea when it’ll happen. Could be today, could be in two weeks. Every pregnant woman faces this time. The anticipation, the worry, the excitement, the feeling of just being DONE. We all get through it, and then it’s but a distant memory once that baby is here.

Being here means I was able to get pregnant again, and to carry another baby to full-term. I don’t take that for granted. I will also not have a baby who’s premature, which is such a blessing, too. I know how lucky I am. I know that this time is precious, and that I shouldn’t wish it away. That I should be patient. That she will come when she’s ready.

But man – I’m SO ready to meet her. I’m so ready to be done with work. I’m so ready to not feel so large. I’m just READY.

Baby E, I know you’ll be so worth the wait, even if you take your sweet time and make me wait until 40 weeks or even longer. But maybe, just maybe, you’re ready now? In the next few days? Please? :)

I love you, baby girl. No matter what, we’re going to meet SOON!

I’m 38 weeks, 1 day pregnant

Baby #3: 38 weeks – Appt update, relaxing weekend, ready to meet this girl!

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Date: August 18, 2014 (Officially 38 weeks tomorrow – Aug. 19!)

Photo thoughts: I have a cute pregnant belly still, even at the end! I love it. I feel like it’s somehow rounder and more compact and not as enormous as my belly was with my boys at the end. I like this shirt a lot – it’s Julia’s. I told the boys to smile nice (ha) since it may be our last one of these!

Bonus belly pics this week:

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A.M. / P.M. comparison one day last week

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Bare belly in bed yesterday (Sunday) morning

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Baby’s lower? Maybe?

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And in the nursery that’s ready for our girl!

Size of baby: Who knows. I can’t wait to find out. Will she be my first sub-eight-pounder? Or will she be eight plus? How tall will she be? Henry was 21 3/4 inches; Ben was 21 inches. She feels big in there, I know that!

What I’m loving: The anticipation. Knowing we’re close. Winding down at work. Other people being on baby watch and being excited for us.

What I’m anticipating: Finally laying eyes and arms on this girl. Knowing how the birth goes down. Nursing a newborn again. The hospital stay, bringing a new family member home. Being done with work for awhile. Being a family of five. My gosh, I’m so excited about it all.

What I’m stressing about/worries: So many worries right now. Will she get here safely? Will she be totally healthy? Will the birth be a good experience or my worst / most painful / scariest yet? How will the recovery be this time around? What if I go into labor in the middle of the night? What if my water breaks at work and labor starts fast? What if I go overdue? What if I miss Henry’s open house or first day of school? What if I get my first colicky baby and maternity leave is miserable? How will the boys do with their new baby sister? (particularly Ben) So much to worry over.

Miss anything? Yes. I’m ready to be not pregnant anymore. I’ve loved it, I’ve savored it, but I now miss pretty much everything about being not pregnant. I want to sleep on my back, and do yoga, and have a cocktail.

Weight gain: Fourth week in a row with none! It’s wild! STILL up 33 pounds, when I was so sure I was well on my way to 40+. It drastically slows down (or stops) at the end. Baby girl must be drawing from the fat stores I’ve built up over the last eight months – I’ll take it!

Differences between pregnancies: At 37.5-38 weeks with Henry, I was feeling all the emotions!! First I was crying over the end being near, then I was so totally done because of back pain and not wanting to work anymore. Finally, I wrote Henry the sweetest letter at 38 weeks, which I just loved reading over tonight. We also had his nursery totally done. Loved that tree decal in his room in our old apartment.

Oh, how life was about to change. I had no idea yet what I was on the cusp of … and what an amazing almost five years it has been!! Little did I know I still had nearly three weeks to go before his arrival. Fingers majorly crossed that will not be the case with baby girl.

At 37 weeks, 6 days with Ben, I declared “Stick a fork in me, please.” I had hit the wall and I was d-o-n-e. It sure didn’t help matters that it was the middle of February – what a crap month. There was no sunshine or warm air or fun plans to see me through. Just cold and gray and blah as I awaited the arrival of my boy! I had my 38-week appointment the next day, and he came three days after that, at 38 weeks, 3 days. So I didn’t have too much longer to go!!

How I’m feeling: I’m happy to report that unlike last time at this point, I have not hit the wall yet with this pregnancy. Some moments I feel close, but overall, I still feel pretty good. Physically anyway. I have not had the back pain I had with both my boys. Another testament to how differently I am carrying this one. It was there in the middle of this pregnancy, and I was icing most nights, but it got BAD at the end with my boys, and I’m not having that now, thank God. The hemmie issue has resolved itself, too, and to say I’m thankful for that is a HUGE understatement!! I fully anticipate the problem to be back with a vengeance after I give birth, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Mentally, I’m more ‘done.’ I’m certainly getting quite uncomfortable with this big old belly, and I’m SO over working and wondering and waiting. I’m just so eager to meet this little person. But really, I’m doing ok.

Sleep: The past two nights it’s been great. Saturday night was probably the best night of sleep I’ve gotten in five years, and that’s not an exaggeration! Last night was good, too. Mid-week last week it was pretty crappy – I had some pregnancy insomnia a few nights and was up like ten times a night to pee, I swear. So it’s hit or miss in the sleep department.

(Tues a.m. update – third night in a row of really good sleep! Stayed up too late writing this and taking a bath, but slept 10:45-5:45, with one wake-up to pee around 3:30 during some crazy thunderstorms! Boys slept through it all, thankfully.)

Exercise: Again, can’t believe I’ve left this in all these weeks. Can’t wait to actually exercise again.

Movement: Still pretty awesome, though she may be slowing down a bit these last few days. She’s certainly dropped a bit, as I can feel the pressure of her head way low now, and her feet are hitting me slightly lower on my belly than they were a few days ago. (Tues a.m. update – very active again this morning!)

Boy or girl: Pink room, pink clothes, pink pink pink!

Appointment update: Had my 38-week appointment today. I told the doc how I knew she had a policy against not sweeping membranes until 39 weeks, but that I’d asked her to ‘be a little rough’ with my internal with Ben at 38 weeks – and she was and he came three days later. So today she did the same – and boy, was it rougher than I ever remember it being!! She was in there probably 45 seconds and it huuuuurt. But hey, if it’ll get things moving this week, I’ll take it! She said baby definitely felt lower than last time, but that I was only dilated probably a centimeter. She said she may see me again in a week … I made my appointment for nine days from now, Wednesday, Aug. 27. (same day as Henry’s open house / picture night at school for those keeping track!) and boy do I hope I won’t be keeping that appointment!! But if I am, so be it, I guess. That would mean I’m still pregnant and able to go to Henry’s open house! Sure would rather go with a baby strapped to my chest, though, instead of in my belly. ;)

Birth date predictions: Still shooting for this week, obviously. My brother Dan is running a half-marathon here in Milwaukee this weekend and bringing Jett along, so I’m excited to see them. Either baby will be here and Dan can meet her right away, or we’ll be in the hospital, or I’ll still be pregnant, and if that’s the case, we’re planning to go to my dad’s Saturday after the race to have a cookout and visit. So last week I said Sat or Sun, Aug. 23 or 24 … but now I’d like to please change that to tomorrow or Thursday, Aug. 19 or 21. :) I like odd numbered birthdays, and I’m ready! Benny is the only one in our family with an even-numbered birthday- though I like his birthday a lot – 2-12-12! Really, I have no idea nor much of a preference. She’ll come when she’s ready. I’m just saying that I am certainly ready!

(Tues a.m. update – seriously doubting she’ll come today. Have had nothing going on – though felt AWFUL last night after work for a couple of hours. No contractions, but just nauseous and crampy and so tired. Eating dinner helped, though!)

Superficial: I’ve gotten several compliments on my pregnancy hair lately. And I’d agree – my hair has been pretty good these last few months! And I’ve even been washing it only every OTHER day some days, which is a big deal for me – and I barely even notice on those days. Though I said to Julia the other day – now I’m worried that I’ll go into labor on a non-wash day, so by the time I have the baby, I may very well have THIRD day hair, and that’s just not ok! So I may just go back to washing every day in preparation for d-day. ;)

(Tues a.m. update – Yeah, didn’t wash my hair this morning. Spent the time instead snuggling Benny in bed and then helping Henry write a thank you note to grandma and grandpa for this past weekend. If I happen to have third-day hair for baby’s arrival, I guess it wouldn’t be the end of the world. ;) )

Milestones: 38 weeks is big! The point where I feel 100% good about this baby making her appearance any time now.

Camera Roll-211Highlights of the week: Pretty quiet week over here, for us anyway! We’ve packed this summer full, which I’ve loved, but it feels good to be laying a bit low now, too. Thursday evening we had a final frozen yogurt date with Julia and fam before baby comes. We made the walk from their house to the place and it felt good to walk and get some exercise. The night was beautiful and the fro-yo was delicious. Porter’s the cutest, and changing so fast! I did have one moment, watching Julia with Porter on her chest and trying to comfort Cece at the same time, as Truman sat beside her – as I just enjoyed my fro-yo – where I thought yeah, I can’t wait for my baby to get here, but I’ll enjoy this time of having “only” two kids while I can! Julia is rocking the mom-of-three thing, though, and I told her she’s giving me high hopes that I’ll be able to rock it, too! (Saw we did another fro-yo date and belly pic together when she was 38 weeks!)

Took the boys to see Amanda after work on Friday, since Amanda was leaving Saturday morning for a week-long trip to Shanghai (!) and I wanted to give her a hug good-bye! We got a super cute pic of us and all our boys, so between that and the hug good-bye, the trip was worth it. ;) Otherwise, though, I was just feeling TIRED that night, and my allergies were kicking in, and it was hot and I was wearing jeans, and I made the dumb mistake of taking the boys to a new park on the way home, and I just had zero patience for any of it. A low few moments that night, for sure.

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Then Saturday afternoon til Sunday (yesterday) afternoon, the boys were with my mom and Dale for a sleepover and Day Out With Thomas. Despite my several-hour false alarm on Saturday night, the kid-free time we had was so nice and so needed. We watched some House of Cards, ate in peace, had our coffee in peace, slept in peace – and slept SO GOOD!! – and then after sufficient relaxing, we spent awhile yesterday doing some nesting. I did a bunch of random cleaning – top of the fridge, a cupboard, dusted the whole house, cleaned most of the windows and windowsills in the house. It felt good.

Then we picked them up yesterday afternoon and were very happy to see them and hear about Thomas! They had a blast.

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We spent a couple hours at mom’s, visiting and having dinner and watching the boys play outside. Then we headed home in our minivan, and I had just 10 minutes earlier said to Dave how easy it was to speed in a new vehicle – it just rides so smoothly. And then sure enough, Henry was telling me a story and I wasn’t paying attention and I got pulled over! I haven’t been pulled over in years (though in my teenage years and early 20s, I can’t even count how many times I got pulled over… a little ridiculous, really – and I think I only got one ticket in there! #perksofbeingagirl)

(Actually, come to think of it, I got pulled over a few months ago on the way to Kelly’s to get the boys for having a headlight out. And five years ago, just before Henry arrived, for not having my lights on at night in the city – my Accord was new to me and I didn’t realize I had to manually turn them on! Just a warning both times.)

So yeah – I got pulled over, I was going 71 in a 55, I was very polite to the handsome young cop, and I of course acknowledged that I knew I had been speeding! He came back a few minutes later and said I could go with a warning. WHEW! I was so relieved. Will pay more attention to my speed from now on – it IS so easy to speed in that new van!

Camera Roll-245Oh, and we hit up a neighborhood rummage sale Saturday morning after a neighbor told us they were selling baby girl clothes for 25 cents each. I got a bunch of cute stuff for three dollars total! That was fun. The lady whose house it was told me how easy boys were and how much harder girls are. Thanks, lady! I’m ready!

Summary: I’m hanging in pretty well over here, but I’m ready to meet Baby E!

Life is quieting down as we prepare to welcome our new little family member. I’m quite nervous about a lot of things, but the excitement still outweighs the worry. I hope this is my last weekly post (!!!!) But if not, so be it! So nuts to have no idea!! Pregnancy is crazy, and the end is particularly so. I feel like I’ve been pregnant for SO long, and yet it’s pretty wild to be nearing the end of this journey. Bittersweet, too, since it’s the official closing of this incredible chapter of life, of birthing my babies and creating our family. I’m so excited (and scared!) to go through the wild ride that is birth one more time!!

Any time, baby Eleanor – we’re ready for you!!!

First false alarm / Some kid-free time

I’m writing this in a quiet house (well, except for the sound of Dave’s video games in the background) with my cup of coffee after having gotten like 10 hours of sleep last night, and spending 11 hours in my bed. Totally glorious.

I’m still pregnant … though if you’d asked me at 6:30 p.m. last night if I’d still be pregnant right now, I think the answer would have been no! I had my first major false alarm last night and it was completely crazy and scary and has made me feel both more excited and more anxious for when this all really does go down!

We’ve had it planned for weeks that my mom would take the boys for an overnight this weekend. She picked them up yesterday late afternoon and they’re headed to Day Out With Thomas later today, which I think will just be so much fun for them. I can’t wait to see pics! We’re heading out around 3 or 3:30 this afternoon to have dinner at mom’s and bring them back home. But we plan to enjoy our quiet house and lazy Sunday until then!

So yesterday when mom came to pick them up, I had just a really crappy hour or so. I was mean to Dave about something, and then I kind of overreacted and got very emotional with my mom over something, too. Then we went outside to say good-bye to the boys. We just bought Henry his first booster seat last weekend, which we’re going to install in the back of the van this week. We figured it’d be easier to put that in mom’s car than a car seat, so that’s what Dave had done. Except my baby looked so vulnerable in there, like the seat belt just wasn’t hitting him right still, and it totally freaked me out. I started crying and said we need to put the car seat in instead. Amazingly, Henry was fine with this – I think my crying made him realize he probably shouldn’t throw a fit over it. He just said “I don’t care, Mom, a car seat is fine.”

I always get anxiety about my kids being away from us, about someone else driving them, but that anxiety has been amped up during this pregnancy. It’s not that I don’t trust my mom or the other grandparents or Shelly because I absolutely 100% do. It just makes me feel anxious when their safety isn’t in my control. (Even though I of course realize that something bad could happen when they’re with me, too.)

So I gave them tons of kisses and waved good-bye as they drove away, and I went into the house in tears. I realized I needed to just calm down, so I got a glass of water and sat on the couch. I started having contractions, but I tried to ignore them. I had said to mom and Dave earlier that these crying jags reminded me of how I cried over an egg sandwich on the morning of the day I had Ben!

Camera Roll-264Our plan was to get food – Kopp’s for Dave, sushi for me – so I placed my order online and he set out to get a new video game, get his Kopp’s and pick up my sushi. (I haven’t had sushi in nine months, and the tradition is usually to go out for sushi as our first date after baby comes – but I didn’t want to wait anymore! I got all veggie or tempura – nothing raw!) I was going to hit up the liquor store (which would be a sight, I know) to get beer for Dave and some wine for me. I decided I would have a glass of wine with my sushi – and that I’m finally at the point where if I open a bottle at home, I may just be able to drink it, having a small glass every few nights!

But I never made it to the store. I was having nearly nonstop contractions, some of them kind of painful, and now I was in the bathroom every few minutes – which had been a sure sign of labor with both my boys. I texted Dave to say I couldn’t go, and he decided he wasn’t going, either, saying he wasn’t going to have beers if he was going to have to drive me to the hospital later!

So he came home with the food, and I had been so excited for my sushi, but I couldn’t eat at first. I was too nervous and still having contractions, so I went upstairs and packed up my makeup, toothbrush, deodorant, etc., grabbed the Boppy and diaper bag, and put everything by the front door. I laid a towel on the couch under me for just in case my water broke.

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I had a few bites of sushi then, and ohhh, it tasted so good. So then I just kept eating it, along with my edamame, and soon it was nearly gone. I thought ohhh, I might really regret this. But I think eating helped slow everything down. We watched some House of Cards, and my contractions got farther and farther apart until they stopped all together. I finished my sushi, had some ice cream and some computer time, and then headed up to bath and bed early since I was just exhausted from the crying and the (what I thought was) early labor. I was in bed by 9:45 p.m., which is early for me any night, but especially on a night when I had big plans to chill-ax to the max (as I said to Dave and he made fun of me for. ;) )

I slept SO well last night. Like, better than I have in a loooong time. I think I only woke up once, when Dave came to bed around midnight, and I didn’t even get up to pee until like 5:30 a.m. I was awake by 7:45 or so, but laid in bed and played on my phone and snuggled Dave and enjoyed baby girl’s movements in my belly til like 8:45 a.m. Eleven hours in my bed!!! So, so nice, especially since I know I’m about to be NOT in my bed nearly enough for the foreseeable future with a newborn!

Mom texted a pic of the boys eating pancakes this morning, and she said they slept well for her, which makes me glad!

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I feel great this morning – a good night of sleep does wonders, doesn’t it? No more contractions, and baby E is moving like crazy. I do feel as though maybe she’s dropped a bit since yesterday, like I have more room up near my rib cage and the belly looks lower. But maybe I’m just imagining things. (First pic was in the morning earlier this week, second was this morning.)

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If nothing else, my body sure is preparing itself! I remember last night feeling really scared a few times, like holy crap, I’m not sure if I’m ready for this. I was scared of the pain, scared of not knowing how fast it’d all happen, nervous about actually going through it!! Of course, the timing would have been pretty perfect, with us not having to worry about who would come watch the boys, and if whoever will watch them would get here in time. Today would be great, too, as long as we’re not already on the way to mom’s, since she lives 45-50 minutes away.

Who knows. Such a crazy mind game at the end. I do hope last night means she’ll come sooner rather than later. Anytime between now and a week from now would be perfect for me!! Any later and I’m running into Henry’s open house and I’ll just be grumpy to be back at work for another week after this upcoming one. Tomorrow I have my 38-week appointment, and I’m going to ask her if she’ll be a little rough with my internal (ew) just like I asked her at Ben’s 38-week appt … that was on a Thursday, and he came three days later on that Sunday!

When will your birthday be, baby girl? We sure are excited to meet you!!

I’m 37 weeks, 5 days pregnant

Baby #3: 37 Weeks – “Full” term, It Works! Minivan! Big week, folks.

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Date: August 12, 2014

Photo thoughts: Oh, these boys of mine. Sitting on their baby sister. So adorable. And ohhhh, Benny. Freaks out anytime Henry snuggles me – “that’s MY mom!” or “pick ME up!” A little concerned about how he’s going to do with a baby around who needs and deserves a lot of my attention! Also, belly has grown a lot these past couple of weeks. It’s feeling very tight and stretched to its limit!

Size of baby: Hmmm – a real baby, probably a pound or less shy and an inch or less shy of what she’ll come out as – we shall see!

What I’m loving: This sweet time of anticipation and knowing we are going to meet this girl soon! Being “full” term – and I use quotes because I fully realize she may not be fully baked. I know her brain and lungs can benefit from more time in there, so I will not wish for her to come just yet. But it’s also amazing to have gotten to this point and know that she can come anytime and not be “preterm” anymore!

Also loving how extra snuggly Ben has been lately, as if he knows his days as my baby are numbered. And both boys are just so into my belly and the pregnancy and are so excited to meet their sister. I can’t wait to see them as big bros to a baby girl!

What I’m anticipating: BIRTH! OMG I’m going to give birth soon. It’s surreal and I feel sort of mentally unprepared, but I’m just going to take it as it comes and hold on tight for the wild ride! After doing this twice I just realize you simply can’t anticipate anything about how it’ll go down. I do of course find myself wondering a lot about how and when it’ll happen – will I be at work? At home? Will it be morning or night? Will it go fast or build slowly? Where will the boys be? Where will Dave be? So much unknown! Just praying every day it all goes smoothly!!!! I’ve never been at work while labor started … for Henry I was already on leave because I was overdue, and Ben came on a Sunday. Would definitely rather not be at work when things start going down!

Also anticipating the upcoming weekend – mom and Dale are taking the boys overnight Saturday and to Day out with Thomas on Sunday, so Dave and I will have some time to just relax at home together. Will be so nice and needed!

What I’m stressing about/worries: See above. All of that! Just all the unknowns. I want nothing more than to just have my baby here safely in my arms, whenever the time comes for her to arrive!

Miss anything? Nope. I mean, I miss pretty much everything about being NOT pregnant, but the end is near! And I am still savoring pregnancy, since I know this is my last. Not really savoring the heartburn or discomfort or insomnia or fatigue or back pain or any of THAT, but I am still loving this belly and her movement in there.

Cravings: None really. I’m finding it harder and harder to eat a full meal at this point!

Weight gain: Third week in a row with zero weight gain! Totally crazy, since baby girl is certainly getting bigger, as is this belly! But the scale has stayed the same for three weeks in a row, so I’m still up 33 pounds. Pretty awesome considering I was sure I was well on my way to 40 or more with how fast I was gaining this whole time!

Differences between pregnancies: At 37 weeks with Henry, I posted about being full-term, and about having a “feeling” that he’d come early, since he just felt ready! (ha.) I finished out our registry and spent nearly $500, even though we got tons of stuff at our three showers. Babies need a lot of stuff, man! I also said something about feeling torn, like I wanted to meet him so badly but I also didn’t want pregnancy to end! I *really* loved being pregnant that first time around. ;) Also got a cute little wall hanging of his name from Etsy, which still hangs in his room now.

At 37 weeks with Ben, I was happy to see February arrive and was still feeling quite good. I declined the internal exam at my 37-week check-up since the one at 36 weeks threw me into such false labor all the next day. I was “spilling ketones” in my urine, and the nurse said something about not eating often enough. I also posted about frustrating the “ticking time bomb” stage was. I was feeling off and totally over work. I also said how February 13 or 15 would be a nice birthday – and he ended up coming the 12th! Toward the end of this week, I had a day in which I experienced 10 hours of false labor, and I was getting sick of all the crap, man.

Camera Roll-39How I’m feeling: Still good. The key is balancing out the activity and the sitting around. All-day activity like that I experience on the weekends is EXHAUSTING at this point. I did so much this weekend, especially Sunday, and by the end of the day, I was just DONE. I was so cranky, and totally impatient with my kids, and just d-o-n-e. But then sitting all day at work is brutal, too. If I sit for like an hour at a time and then get up, the lower back pain and the pressure in my lower belly when I stand up is super painful. I waddle to the bathroom or to wherever I’m going, until I feel semi-normal again. So then last night and tonight, being up and moving around actually felt great since I’d been sitting at work all day!

The hemorrhoid issue has gotten better and better, thank GOD. I don’t know if she shifted and the pressure down there is in a different place now, or if the tea tree oil I put on every night helped to make it go away, but for right now I’m good in that department and so thankful!! And I did fill the prescription finally from the doc from when I called when it was so bad (And holy expensive! It was $38 with insurance, and when I kind of made a face at that, the lady behind the pharmacy said “insurance saved you $170.” Wow!) – and I’m really glad to have it on hand for after the birth, or God forbid, if the problem happens again before then. I was SO miserable for the week after Ben’s birth because of this, and so at least this time I have at least something that will hopefully help a bit.

Actually, I did have one crappy evening this week – Thursday, which was my only night without plans all week – during which I had nonstop contractions and felt really off and basically just had to lay on the couch and ignore my family. It sucked! Haven’t had another night like that since, though. Oh, and I guess I had a rough day Tuesday, too, now that I’m recounting my “highlights” of the week. How soon we forget! Tons of contractions and just feeling icky and tired on Tuesday, too.

And I’m exhausted tonight. Two nights in a row of mad insomnia has me just wiped.

So yeah – good days and bad days right now!

Sleep: Great or total crap, depending on the night! Sunday night I could not sleep for two hours after I went to bed. Not sure if it was my mind racing or pregnancy insomnia, or maybe both. Last night was more of the same. Just couldn’t sleep at first, then up a few times to pee, too.

Saturday night I slept for eight hours, which was amazing. I got up twice to pee, of course, but that was it. I went to be before 11, and the boys slept in til 7:15 – amazing! I still don’t get too worked up at this point if I don’t sleep well … been there, done that for nearly five years now, and I know I have a lot worse in store soon! Thank goodness for coffee and sunshine and the promise of a new baby soon.

Exercise: Ha.

Movement: Still awesome and frequent and pretty crazy. The movement is so different this time around. So many body parts all the time.

Boy or girl: Have known for four months now it’s a girl. Still can’t quite believe it sometimes.

Appointment update: Had my 36-week check-up on Friday. Had the Group B strep test (haven’t heard anything) and my first internal. I told her to be gentle because of what had happened after my first internal with Ben! She said the baby’s head was there and that I was a fingertip dilated. My belly was actually measuring big for the first time – 38cm instead of the 36.5 or so it should have been. She said baby was likely big but that she’d probably “stay put another week or two.” Fine by me – but I hope it’s actually a week or two and not three or more!! She wasn’t in this coming Friday, so we pushed my next appointment to the following Monday, when I’ll be almost 38 weeks.

Birth date predictions: I’m officially hoping for Saturday or Sunday of next weekend, Aug. 23 or 24! Come on, baby girl! Work with mama!! Amanda’s in China Aug. 15-22, and Dad and Barb are in San Fran those very same dates. Those are three very important people who would all miss her birth if she came this weekend or next week! I’m not *quite* ready for her to come any sooner than that, and any later than that and I’ll likely miss Henry’s open house at school on Aug. 27 or his first day of school on Sep. 2. And work is throwing me and my friend, Jess, who’s due a week after me, a little baby party that Friday, the 22nd, so I’d like to still be around for that. Fingers crossed for good timing on this little lady’s part!

Superficial: Last night my neighbor said “that baby has to be coming VERY soon!” and then a few minutes later he said “that’s going to be a big baby!” I said why yes, I do make big babies! We will see, though. Still getting more compliments than ‘whoa-you’re-so-big’ comments – we’ll see how long that lasts.

Milestones: We got our minivan, baby! We’d been gearing up for this day for so long, and now we’re here and we have it and it’s pretty darn exciting. We had a budget we had to stay within for our monthly payment at this time in our lives, with our childcare cost increasing at the same time. ($400/month) At that payment, we’d either have to get a used minivan with probably 30-50,000 miles on it and then risk having to make repairs on it while paying for it the next four years, or we could lease for the first time ever. We went that route and I’m so glad we did!! We got a brand new Honda Odyssey for $399/month for three years, and then we probably plan to buy it at that point anyway. Or heck, just lease or purchase another new one – who knows where we’ll be in our financial lives, but I like the flexibility this gives us. And we got a NEW vehicle!! Seriously never thought I’d have a brand spankin new car. It’s FANCY and I LOVE it. I can’t get over the technology and the space and the new car smell and the CONVENIENCE of having everything open/close at the touch of a button. Amazing.

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Then we actually didn’t have to trade in Dave’s Saab since it was a no money down lease, so we’re selling it ourselves and it looks like we’ll get about $2,200 for it. Total bonus!

Camera Roll-145Another milestone – we’re officially ready for baby! We did final preparations this weekend and we are officially ready, for real. Got the minivan, got a new (used) car seat from a Facebook friend (since our infant seat expires next month – boo), installed the base in the van, assembled the bouncy seat and rock n play sleeper, washed all the bottles and pump parts, and washed the boys’ new “Big Brother” t-shirts to wear to the hospital to meet her. Booyah.

Highlights of the week: So many highlights again! It was a busy, great week. Tuesday I had a rough day at work, as I said above – lots of contractions. Dave worked late that night and I just couldn’t bear the thought of cooking, plus the weather was gorgeous and I wanted to get outside. So the boys and I got Culver’s for dinner and headed down to the lakefront in Bay View. We ate in the grass and the boys played on the playground, and then Dave met us down there. He stayed and played while I headed to my appointment at my salon nearby – got my bangs trimmed and brows waxed so I’d be fresh for baby E’s arrival! ;)

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Wednesday night we hit up the State Fair! I was really worried about how I’d make it after a whole day of work and with all that walking, but again, it actually felt better to be up and moving around rather than sitting all day. We had a lot of fun! Saw the animals, ate some food (including my dinner of a foot-long corn dog that TOTALLY hit the spot), and the boys rode a couple rides and played a few games. Love the fair.

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Friday night I took Amanda to dinner at Ristorante Bartolotta as a thank you for throwing me my lovely sprinkle a few weeks ago. We had delicious food and great conversation and it was a really nice evening with my BFF!

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Saturday was minivan day, and even though we knew exactly what we wanted and only drove that one, it still took four plus hours at the dealership – ugh. But sure was fun to take home our new ride!

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And then Sunday we got a lot done around home, and took a little trip to our old ‘hood in Shorewood, where we got lunch food at the grocery store, drove past our old duplex, and went to the beach at Atwater Park, which is right down the street from where we used to live. Love that beach, and that view, and we all had a good time. Though climbing the HUGE number of stairs to get back up from the beach when we were done about killed me! Most exercise I’ve had in a long time, that’s for sure.

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And one other big highlight of the week was jumping in with two feet with It Works! In just a little over a week, I feel like I’ve learned SO much and I’m so very excited about the possibilities with this company.

Summary: So glad to be at the 37-week milestone. Not quite ready for her to get here, but getting very, very close to feeling done. I am just so eager to meet her I can barely stand it. Lots of highlights in life still – this summer has been the best. My boys are the cutest and totally excited for the arrival of their baby sister. We’re officially in the whoa-baby stage, where this girl could really come any time, and it’s totally thrilling and scary and surreal! Can’t believe I’m going to be the mom of three soon – and of a daughter!!

Wonder how many of these weekly posts I have left?!