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35 Weeks: Thoughts from a Wandering Brain

You know you’re really large and round when sitting close enough to the table to not drip all over your belly results in indentation lines from the edge of the table in your skin.

White Bean and Basil hummus from Trader Joe’s is flippin’ amazing. I may or may not have gone through the whole tub in two sittings.

Was I really this much in pain during my last third trimester or is it a result of trying to keep up with a toddler?

The dishes aren’t washed, there are toys everywhere, both bathrooms need to be cleaned, the baby’s room isn’t done, the kitchen floor should be washed, we need to buy a new fridge because this one keeps freezing produce and dripping condensation everywhere, I still haven’t invited friends over to see the new house but I’m too tired to clean and host. This is just a season and it will be over soon

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35 weeks

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35 weeks seems like a lot and it kind of is. I know that this is the beginning of the end. I’m no longer traveling far from home, I don’t have any overnight trips planned between now and when I show up at the hospital, B and I stay in much closer contact.

Baby is supposedly over 5 lbs and 18 inches long. Friends of mine have had nearly full-term babies that have been smaller than what New Baby is now, which is a little mind blowing. He wiggles up a storm, especially when I go to bed, and seems to react to sweet treats by having hiccups. All the hiccups originate in the lower curve of my belly, just above my pelvis. I think New Baby has dropped a little but I still find myself short of breath so there is room for improvement.

If I don’t keep my feet up throughout the day, I have swollen feet by night although they look nothing like how bad they were with Ben. Nothing I could do at that point made a difference and they were so swollen they hurt. I can still see tendons and ankle bones this time so I’m feeling pretty good about that. My blood pressure and baby’s heart rate were good at my appointment this morning. New Baby is still head down and since he’s really run out of room, we’re not anticipating any more flips. Considering how early I dilated with Ben and how quickly my labor progressed last time, starting next week I’ll be monitored closely to make sure that labor doesn’t catch us too off guard. I go back again a week from this Friday (almost 2 weeks but I get to see my favorite doc who is not on call!)

We are slowly crossing things off our pre-baby list. B and I drove to the nearest Ikea on Friday to pick up a chair for the baby’s room (the Jennylund chair in cream and gray check) plus a small table and chair set for Ben and our contribution to his play kitchen birthday present. I have diapers out of storage and organized. I got all the itty bitty clothes out and picked a coming home outfit for the hospital bag. Once B packs underwear and shirts for himself and I figure out where my spare bobby pins are hiding, our hospital bag is basically done. I need to switch out the buckle portion of our infant car seat (thanks to a Graco recall) and that’s ready to go in the car. It seems a little unreal that we’re to this part of preparation already!

B and I had the most productive “let’s name the baby” in the car on the way home from Ikea on Friday. We both agreed on a middle name immediately but the first name is tricky. There are two names: one I like best and one B likes. My name has a more awesome nickname but is a little less traditional. B’s name has nearly as many nicknames as Benjamin but none of them have the same pizazz as my name. As much as I like my name, I think B’s favored name would be less awkward for the kid as he grows up so that’s tentatively what we’re planning on. It is nice to know that we’ve made that much progress before baby makes his appearance!

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Does He Get It?

One of the questions I’ve asked most often during this pregnancy, besides “when are you due” and “is it a boy or a girl,” is some variation of “does Ben understand what’s going on?” My answer used to be that he has no clue but for the last month, different things we’ve been doing have started to click.

We have been reading Ben’s big brother book¬†for several months already and that has opened the door to talks about how babies are different than big boys. Babies can’t play toys, eat snacks, or brush their teeth. Babies like to take lots of naps, be wrapped in blankets, and snuggled. We practice being gentle with Ben’s baby doll and giving kisses and soft butt-pats when baby fake cries. Ben loves to get in on the swaddling action by being wrapped up too. He thinks it’s hilarious and giggles constantly (did you know that the Aden and Anais swaddle blankets are big enough for a toddler?) and requests I carry him to daddy to snuggle like when he was a baby.

Now that we’re more settled in the new house, we’ve been working on creating a physical space for baby brother. While the master bedroom was being cleaned, stripped of wallpaper, and repainted, we talked about how our painter was working in Mommy and Daddy’s room, and how Ben has his own room with his bed and toys, and now baby brother will have a room with little baby things in it. Ben’s changing table and large toy/diaper organizing shelf are in the baby’s room now so we go to “Baby Brover’s” room for diaper changes. Ben likes to try to sit in the infant car seat but laughs when he discovers that he is too big to fit! We talk about how Baby Brother has little diapers and little clothes and show Ben how little they are compared to his clothes and diapers. Ben helps “fold” the tiny laundry and put the clothes away.

In more practical ways, we’re trying to encourage Ben to be as independent as his age allows. He is usually quite willing to help put his dishes in the sink, drop his clothes down the clothes shoot in the hall, pick up books or toys, help start laundry, climb into a chair to get his shoes on, or get into the car and be clipped into his car seat. There is always a decent chance that I’ll have to have a c-section and won’t be able to lift anything heavier than New Baby and it won’t be as much of a shock for Ben if he’s used to doing some things on his own already.

We are also trying to help Benny adjust to sleeping in a twin bed. We knew a long time ago that we didn’t want to buy a second crib nor did we want Ben to feel like New Baby has taken something as important as his bed from him. Right now, we’re working with a mattress on the floor with an extra long rail on the side. Ben slept amazingly in his crib and we figured we’d be taking a quick reduction in quality and hours as soon as we switched but I think we underestimated it. We went from Ben NEVER trying to climb out of his crib to almost constant attempts to escape from the big bed and run around the room. For the last few days, we have taken turns sitting in the room and only acknowledging his presence when he steps out of bed. The only behavior we are working on right now is staying in bed; what he does while he is in there is and always has been his own business. It takes him anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes to fall asleep for nap and bed time plus he is waking up earlier in the morning. I’m hoping that by his birthday in September, I’ll be able to report a huge improvement.

(For future reference for me: this was the month of the sudden and intense obsession with Toy Story 2 aka Woody-Buzz. He’d rather wear his Woody shirts than anything else. The movie MUST be watched at least once a day. There are worse things he could have this kind of love for but I’m getting a wee bit tired of it!)

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Ben had a quick bout of Hand Foot Mouth disease this month. I totally didn’t know it existed until the week prior. Apparently the annual resurgence of HFMD has come early to our area. We got off lightly: 24 hours of fever with lots of snuggles and Advil, a very light rash, and only a few mouth blisters. It could have been worse!

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Breakfast at the toddler table (we’re totally buying a new table from Ikea this week that is easier to keep clean!)

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Feeding himself

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“Cheese, Mommy! Cheese!”

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We took Ben to an awesome zoo about an hour away from our house and had a wonderful time. The weather was cool enough that I wasn’t miserable, the crowds were light, and Ben had a blast!

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Ben asked to be wrapped and brought to Daddy to snuggle

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I can’t quite capture what word he uses for sunglasses but he loves to wear his around the house (for 30 seconds at a time) and get his picture taken

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I bought him a calculator from the dollar store because he’s developed a love for pushing buttons (both literal and figurative). It only lasted about a day before it was completely destroyed but the look of joy on his face when I handed it to him was worth the $1.06

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After many months of puzzling, I still can’t figure out how he got so big!

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We discovered that Ben is to the point where he can focus on playing in the yard if there is something to focus on. We now have a stash of yard toys on the breezeway and have discovered that a bucket of water, dish soap, and a scrub brush can keep him entertained longer than anything else.

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Family photo with 2/3 of the family looking at the camera. Not bad!

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See the intense joy? Comes from the “butties” on B’s spare keyboard

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Ben loves to climb behind me on the couch and play with my hair

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Making the bed with a cat and toddler is nearly impossible

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“Mommy, ou’! Mommy, ou’!” At least he tells me when he’s done napping instead of crying?

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This boy loves his ice cream (like his mama!)

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34 weeks

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A cantaloupe seems really, really big.

34 weeks is another off week from doctor appointments because if I scheduled for 35 weeks, if be able to get the group b strep test done so I don’t go again until exactly 35 weeks next Monday.

I feel bigger, heavier, more awkward, exhausted, but only slightly swollen. I keep opening doors into my belly which only goes to prove that I really am large. Baby is around 4.75 lbs, 18″, and really enjoys poking me in the side with his tiny feet. I’m still feeling a lot of movement and I don’t think he’s dropped too much because his hiccups are still far above my pelvis. I’m still having a ton of BH contractions and I’m starting to feel like some of them are being productive. I’m curious if the OB is going to offer a cervical check next week since I’ll be in a gown for the strep test anyway. I may ask simply for my peace of mind.

B hosted his annual local WordPress conference over the weekend and I got a chance to go to volunteer. Unfortunately, even though I was super careful, I’m still exhausted. We’re working on switching Ben to his twin bed too and (more updates to come tomorrow in his monthly post), it might be the hardest thing we’ve had to implement so far as parents.

We’ve slowly gotten baby stuff out of storage over the last week. I’ve washed the car seat with newborn inserts, the rock n play I wanted to try with this kid, the new clothes I’ve gathered since Ben was a newborn, and have taken out and organized the newborn and 0/3 clothes in the baby’s dresser. All of the diapers and changing table are in New Baby’s room now so Ben knows that we need to go to “Baby Brover’s” room for changes. It isn’t as convenient as having everything at hand in his room but we love being able to let him roam without worrying about getting into the wipes or diaper pail.

B promised to install the new HVAC vent covers today (after I found Ben trying to treat one like the clothes shoot yesterday!) and possibly install the blinds and replace the doorknob (the current one looks like it may fall apart at any time). Friends of ours had their first baby last week and are conveniently located closer to Ikea than we are so we’re planning a child-free road trip on Friday to buy a few birthday presents for Ben and a new chair for the nursery. The hospital bag contents are mostly gathered in one place (but not actually packed yet) and we don’t have an overwhelming amount of tasks left to do for the nursery save organizing and hanging decorations on the walls and ceiling. I can tell you that I’m much more relaxed about getting the room ready this time around. As long as I can find diapers and clothes, the rest will be done eventually.

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33 weeks

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33 weeks and still trucking along. NW Baby is around 4 lbs, 17 inches, and looks less and less like an alien baby every day. I’m 7 weeks from d-day and 6 weeks from when Ben was born. I had my 32 week OB appointment last Friday and discovered I’ve finally slowed down on the weight gain (2.5 lbs in 2 weeks instead of 6.5 lbs in 2 weeks), my blood pressure was better than it has been in months, baby’s heart rate was great, AND he finally flipped head down. I figured he had because I’m feeling more activity around and above my belly button than I used to plus all his tiny hiccups are between my belly button and pubic bone. He still seems to have lots of room to move because he shifts from side to side often but I haven’t felt him flip again.

People were asking me at church yesterday if I’m ready yet and I could definitely tell them no. We just moved into our newly painted master bedroom yesterday (but no rug because the carpet binding company messed up my order and didn’t cut the length to size!) and are anticipating the baby’s rug being re delivered this afternoon. If that fits in the nursery (this time), I’ll be able to start pulling furniture from Ben’s room and clothes, diapers, and gear out of storage in the basement. I have a ton of stuff to wash before baby comes. I also need to strip and recover Ben’s twin headboard so he can adjust to a big boy bed before we get to the point where baby “steals” his crib.

Not only are we not ready for a newborn’s physical presence in the house but I’m not mentally ready for labor yet. My mom and I have joked that the third trimester is as miserable as it is to give a woman the extra motivation she needs to just get the baby out, no matter what it takes. I’m not completely miserable yet so delivery and contractions can wait. Yes, I don’t sleep much anymore, I ache all over, I’m ready for bed by noon every day, my joints are swollen, and I’m nesting like mad but I know it will get much, much worse before the end.

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32 weeks

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I am not too familiar with jicama but I’m assuming they’re heavy and wiggle around a lot?

New Baby and I are at the brink of another growth spurt and will be gaining a ton of weight over the next 8 weeks, around 1/3 to 1/2 of little man’s birth weight actually. I am already fairly uncomfortable and have gained more than 30 lbs so it will be interesting to see where we end up. My appetite has slowed down a bunch and I’m starting to feel some of the less awesome third trimester issues like back pain, indigestion, difficulty breathing, and about 0 energy.

B quit his job back at the beginning of July and the last several weeks have been glorious! He’s basically back to freelance work and while that always throws me through a loop, budget-wise (getting paid only once a month?!), he has so much more flexibility to play with Ben or do house projects like stripping the wallpaper in our master bedroom. This paper almost literally peeled itself off the walls and while it was a multi-day, multi-hour time investment, we couldn’t have wished for a better outcome! He finished late last night so this coming week we will sand the remaining adhesive off the walls, patch cracks and holes, and generally get ready for our painter to come on Thursday and Friday. Hooray for progress and possibly being able to move into our own room before baby comes!

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It is still early but because I haven’t been able to nest like I would otherwise hope, I decided to make a thorough list and start gathering things for our hospital bag and Ben’s overnight bag. Whenever I think about it and whenever it is convenient, I grab an item off the list and toss it in an empty dresser drawer in our bedroom. This casual style of packing has worked well because I’ve gotten nearly everything off my list in one place.