Liam: Newborn Photos

So, this post is obviously 3+ months late, but hey, I've been busy. Now that I'm back to work (more on that later) and I'm actually sitting at a computer all day, I've got more time (like when I'm pumping and during lunch) where I can spend a few minutes on the blog each day, so I'm playing catch up.

Liam was supposed to get his newborn photos taken a few days after he was born, but since we had complications, we had to push the session back. I was really bummed, because I so wanted some professional photos to capture his complete "newness" at just a few days after birth. Thankfully, most hospitals have a professional photo service, Bella Baby, and they will take photos for you in your hospital room! It's so easy, convenient and relatively cost-effective to just get the digital images (what we opted for).

Liam was never a super sleepy newborn, so he is wide awake in most of these photos, but I love that, because while we didn't know it then, that's just who is - alert and interested in the world around him! I've said a million times that his hands have always been front and center since day one - love that that is captured in these photos, too.

While we did get other professional newborn photos done at three weeks old, it's crazy how different he is in these "brand new" photos compared to just three weeks. Babies change literally every single day and I'm thankful we have these beautiful photos to capture those first days with our babe, even if they were in the NICU. 

I'll post his three-week photos soon, too!
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39 Weeks || Bumpdate

There is a very real chance that this is my last bumpdate! Completely crazy to think about and actually makes me kind of sad...but not that sad. Hopefully you don't find me back here next week eating my words.
We are just 3 days away from our due date today. I'm officially working from home until the action starts, which is so nice of my employer. I work about 45 minutes away from downtown Chicago, where I'm delivering, so we thought it was best I stay close to the homefront these last few days.

Today is also the day the psychic told me Baby Farrell would arrive. I suppose there is still time for that to happen, but I'm not holding my breath. I can tell you that I have made progress since my appointment last week. Considering my OB told me my cervix was "Fort Knox," any progress makes me completely excited and seriously improves my state of mind.

For some reason, I just kind of have a "feeling" that labor is in my near future and I am so excited and terrified. In any's where we are at these final days!

Baby's size: A WATERMELON! you know the line from Dirty Dancing?  can relate! My OB says baby is a little more than 7lbs. It's tough to tell how long he is, but the apps tell me he's probably 20-21 inches. Eek!

Baby's progress: He is basically good to go! At this point, he is just comfy inside my belly, continuing to gain a little weight and getting ready to make his big entrance. They say he's stretching his limbs and his little brain continues to develop.

Weight gain: It has really been fluctuating these past few weeks. I'm eating less because there is not much room anymore, but I'm also retaining more fluid. I think a safe guesstimate would be a total 45 lb weight gain.

Sleep: Not great. I'm in a lot of pain these days, especially when I get up from being in the same position for a long time. I still get up frequently to go to the bathroom and lately I wake up at all hours of the morning and can't fall back asleep for hours.

Movement: He is still SUPER active in there, but quieting down a bit as he gets ready to arrive, which is normal! I can feel his little feet at the top of my belly and I like to give them a little tickle from time to time.

Best moment this week: Bryan and I had our last official "date night" over the weekend. On Saturday, I pampered myself by getting my hair done and then I got a 90-minute massage. It was FANTASTIC! 

Bryan met me afterwards and we went to the Chriskindl Market downtown, where we lasted a very short while due to the MASS of people there. 

And then we just went to a nice dinner and it was so lovely! We ate leisurely and talked about how excited we are for this next chapter. It's just really nice to soak up these last moments where it's just us two. Oh yeah, and my husband is crazy and booked a trip to South America for next September, so that's fun! 

Looking forward to: Obviously, meeting the baby and introducing him to the world! Also, Christmas is coming up, and we've got family coming to visit us for the next few weeks. I'm also looking forward to maternity leave! It will be so nice to have 12 weeks with the babe getting to know each other.

Symptoms: Still pain; there's a lot more pressure in my lower abdomen and pelvis. My hips hurt. I'm having lots of contractions that I can tell aren't BH because they hurt, but they are really far apart and inconsistent. There are some other unpleasantries by way of symptoms but I'll spare you the details.

Workouts: Walking pretty much covers it. Does it count when I walk around Target for 2 hours?

What I miss: Sleep, feeling my fingers, not being in pain, eating without feeling nauseous...

Things that suck: This waiting game is seriously the pits. Am I labor, aren't I in labor? Was that a contraction, wasn't it? All of these unknowns are driving me insane! Oh yeah, and my OB had a baby over the weekend, which means I don't know who is delivering my own child! 

Things that don't suck: Knowing I'll meet our little dude in a few days! I'll also say, I've been pleasantly surprised by my size these last few days. I imagined myself LARGE with the most swollen feet and ankles and face you could imagine. Needless to say, I don't think I look good, but I think I could look worse. and that doesn't suck!

Keep you posted....

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The End of Pregnancy

Anyone who says that the first trimester of nausea and extreme exhaustion is worse than the last few weeks of pregnancy is lying. 

The end of pregnancy is, in a word, brutal. 

Mostly because I find myself in a weird place, physically, mentally and emotionally.

On the one hand, I am miserable. I am uncomfortable, huge, swollen and in pain most days. I am tired at all times. I can't really eat any more. I live in the bathroom. The prospect of being pregnant another two full weeks (the earliest my OB will induce) is terrifying and makes me want to cry. At the same, being pregnant another week or so doesn't seem like it will kill me.

So there's the feeling of just wanting the baby to exit my body for the sake of my own sanity and comfort.

On the other hand, I have no idea what's waiting for me on the other side of this. And that is terrifying. Yes, we will have a beautiful, healthy baby boy (God willing), whom we are BEYOND excited to meet. I know that the moment I hold him in my arms all of these thoughts will seem like a distant memory. 

But until then, we are dealing with so many unknowns. When will it happen? Where will I be when it happens? How much will it hurt? Will my epidural work? How long will labor last? Will I need a C-section? Will he really be healthy? What will his temperament be? Will he latch? Will he sleep? What will happen to our marriage? Will we be good parents? WHAT ARE WE DOING? 

Life as we know it is about to change. These last days are a mix of wanting to do nothing but sleep and relax due to the discomforts and all that I referenced above. But also wanting to take advantage of the few childless days we have left by continuing to see friends, going on date nights, seeing movies -- all of the things that in a matter of days, we aren't going to be able to do anymore on a whim. I've had many friends tell me, "You want nothing more than for them to come out, but once they are here, you wish they'd go back in for a bit longer!"

So, I say the last days of pregnancy are brutal because emotionally, physically and mentally, I am all over the place. My husband is cool as a cucumber, like he always is. I appreciate that he always remains calm and has the attitude of "We'll figure out like we do everything else." It provides me with some stability when I feel like a crazy person for feeling all of the things. He also makes a good point that people way less capable than us have raised children for years, and sadly, he's right. So there's that for comfort. :)

I know I'm not the first person to feel/experience any of this, and I know I won't be the last. I know that everything I feel right now is normal. I also know there is a village of people waiting to love our baby and support us however we need through this most amazing journey we're about to take. 

So as I enter my 39th week of pregnancy, I'm trying to stay positive. I'm doing my best to take advantage of "me time" while I can. As much as is physically possible in these semi-dark days, I am trying to relish the last days of pregnancy. I'm eating cookies and pizza because what's 1-2 more pounds at this point? I'm staying in bed on Sundays, only getting up to eat and pee, because there will never be another time in my life for me to do so without interruption.

I'm thankful for the pregnancy I've had, and that these last few weeks have been the worst of it. I already know I will miss the baby hiccups and the kicks and living with life inside me. I will miss this baby bump. I will want to do this again someday.

I know it will all be worth it.
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To The: Pregnant Edition

It's been SO LONG since I've done a "To The" post, I almost forgot that this was even a "thing" around here for a while.

I hate to have everything I blog lately be baby-/pregnancy-related, but can you blame me? This is the life I've been living for the past 38 weeks and 5 days. Not that I'm counting. Maybe I'm turning into a mommy blogger...

In that time, I have read, heard and seen things that you would not believe. Some of them you would, because if you've been pregnant, it's probably happened to you, or you know someone it happened to. Or maybe you are one of the offenders. Oh and #sorryimnotsorry for the swearing.

To the bitches who only gain 20 lbs or less, don't swell or have trouble sleeping, pain, carpal tunnel, backaches, headaches, etc. Fuck you. I say that with love and jealousy in my heart.

To the carpal tunnel and arthritis that have taken over my hands, fingers and wrists: you are the devil. May someone somewhere find a cure for you in the near future.

To the people who said WOW! back when September when I told them I'm not due until December. Is that, "wow! You look great!" ? Or "wow, you're really big and still have a while to go!" ? I'll go with the latter since people are assholes.

To the people who tell me, "You look great!" without even really looking at me, but just know that's what you say to a very pregnant woman: I love you.

To my previously big, but now porn-star-sized boobs: Before we were pregnant, you were DD's. Your current size is one I won't reveal. I shudder to think what you will look like when "engorged" after my milk comes in. If you don't do what you're supposed to and feed the kid,  my threats of downsizing you will come true sooner than we all thought.

To my legs that look like they belong to a 500 lb woman. I have approximately 10 pairs of cute boots made for the fall/winter,  yet I can only zip ONE of you around my swollen legs. This makes it difficult to fulfill my fantasies of being an adorable preggo who lives in leggings, cardigans, scarves and boots.

To my squished internal organs: You're making it difficult to eat, breathe and poop on a regular basis. Yet somehow I need to do all of these things to survive and keep the baby inside me kicking. Let's look alive, and try to get back to our normal positions soon, yes?

To the people who judge me for drinking caffeine or a glass of wine, and for eating soft cheeses or deli meat that I haven't heated up: Ask me if I give a shit what you think. 

To the stranger who not once, but twice, but BOTH hands on my belly and exclaimed, "I love babies!" I made it so far into my pregnancy without this happening and now you've ruined my perfect record. Take those grabby hands and go touch someone else's stomach.

To the people who ask me when I'm due and I respond with, "I'm not pregnant." I'm sorry. I'm just so sick of all the questions, it's become more fun to fuck with you. But since you asked, I'm due next week.

To my cervix, which my doctor told me today was like "Fort Knox." Please, I beg of you. Respond to the primrose oil, raspberry leaf tea, walking, massages, pedicures and sex and OPEN THE FUCK UP. This kid needs a way out, like yesterday.
To the women at work, who every morning exclaim, "You're still here!" in shock and awe. Yep. Still here. Still pregnant. Still feeling miserable. Thanks for reminding me.

To the kid who will come out as a result of all this: I have faith you'll be worth it.
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Baby Farrell's Nursery Reveal!

It's Monday. I'm still pregnant. It's raining. 

To brighten everyone's day (mostly mine) I thought I'd finally publish the post that everyone has been waiting for! (Just kidding, I'm confident no one has been waiting for this post.) OUR NURSERY REVEAL!

Creating our baby's nursery was so much fun and we are both so happy with the way it turned out. It was definitely a labor of love between my husband and I, and he put up with my multiple demands of put this here, move that there, hang that here, like a champ.

From the beginning, we knew we didn't want a "themed" nursery. For one, we don't how long we'll be in our current home and for the other, baby can't appreciate any type of theme right now or in the near future. So for us, we wanted a room that WE liked being in, given that there are bound to be some late nights and early mornings spent here.

We also didn't want anything too "boy." We -- or if I'm honest, I -- wanted a calming, beautiful room that was masculine and cute, but still "pretty" in a non-girly way. My hubby didn't protest. We went with a color palette of gray, white, navy and teal, and played with textures/patterns more than anything.

As we looked for finishing touches, we also decided to incorporate our love of travel with some details like prints on the wall, pillows and shelf decor. 

The end result is a space that I'm obsessed with, to say the least. My husband finds me sitting in the glider on a daily basis, reading, journaling, blogging or re-arranging the closet and drawers for the millionth time. 

The one detail not shown here are teal galvanized letters that hang above baby's crib and spell his name. Since we aren't revealing our name until he gets here, you'll just have to wait! Also not pictured is the closet, but that's just your typical way-too-many baby clothes (organized by age) along with some storage solutions.



Crib & Dresser // Franklin & Ben Providence Collection, purchased at Twinkle Twinkle Little One
Glider // Little Castle, Treasure model
Bookshelves // Ikea spice racks, painted
Distressed shelves // Hobby Lobby
Curtains // Pottery Barn Kids
Rug // Land of Nod
Night stand // Gordman's
Frames // Etsy Shop: The Speckled Egg
Prints // Etsy Shops: The Kismet Print Press, Crayon Box Studios, Riss Design, PinkeeArt, CheekyAlibi
Elephant toy chest // Land of Nod
Vintage wall decor // Hobby Lobby (not found online)
Navy blue lamp // Target (similar)
Aqua glass lamp // TJ Maxx (similar, but more expensive)
Bonjour Pillow // Land of Nod
Navy Chevron Pillow // Hobby Lobby
Navy Throw Blanket // Target
Chevron Throw Blanket // Buy Buy Baby
Changing pad cover // Land of Nod
Pouf // Land of Nod
Elephant Changing Table Storage // Pottery Barn Kids
Eiffel Tower nightlight // Pottery Barn Kids (not found online)
Crib bedding and bed skirt // Carousel Designs & American Baby Company

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Week 37 || Bumpdate

Oh man. What a week. I am actually 38 weeks today, but have been so sick all week, I haven't had the energy to post this or take a stupid picture. So this is what you get after 48 in bed, 4 hours in the hospital and not many hours of sleep when you are on your last day of 37 weeks:

I am feeling better today, but let me tell you, having a stomach bug while 9 months pregnant is the worst. THE WORST.

Baby's size: A wintermelon! Can you believe that? That puts him at between 19-21 inches and between 6.2-9.2 lbs. At 37 weeks, we are considered full term, and he will gain about half an ounce each day until he's born!

Baby's progress: He's still practicing skills like inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking. He's also getting ready to produce his first sticky poop, called meconium, which will greet us in his first diaper!

Weight gain: 43 lbs.

Sleep: Not great. It's really hard to get and stay comfortable, what with all of the tossing and turning (which is more like heaving and hoeing), going to the bathroom and waking up from pain in my hands.

Movement: He is still SUPER active in there, but I don't know how with how cramped it must be.

Best moment this week: Spending Thanksgiving with our families! I love the holidays and with everything going on right now with us, it's hard not to be thankful for all we have and all that's coming. We also got our home decorated for the holidays last weekend. I couldn't bear the thought of bringing our boy home to a Christmas-less house! I also got to meet my best friend's baby, Stetson, and it was so wonderful. Seeing her as a mom makes me so excited to join the club! Her babe has set the bar high for temperament and cuteness!

Me and Stets!

Looking forward to: Meeting my boy! We are less than three weeks away from my due date and that means he could be here any time. My doctor said she wouldn't have me go past 41 weeks, so that means we will have our baby before the end of the month!

Symptoms: Pain, pain and more pain. My pinky on my left hand and my middle finger on my right hand are both completely numb. Literally can't feel a thing. The rest of my hands and wrists hurt to clench, too. My belly hurts from stretching, and my hips and thighs are killing because things are...stretching. My belly is also numb, which is a TOTALLY weird feeling. And I'm having SO many Braxton Hicks contractions. They don't hurt but they are intense and my belly gets SUPER hard.

Workouts: I think my workout days are behind me. I'm pretty uncomfortable and having LOTS of pain in LOTS of places, so I'm probably going to stick with walking and stretching from here on out.

What I miss: Too many things to list.

What a difference 10 weeks makes.

Things that suck: By far the toughest part of my pregnancy has been these last few weeks. The fear and anxiety of the unknown are starting to take their toll on me and I've been so emotional as I think about how life is about to change. I just wish I knew when he'll be here, what labor will be like, what his temperament will be like, etc. And also this horrific sickness: Fever, abdominal pain, nausea, and other unpleasantness. What also sucks? I'm showing NO SIGNS OF PROGRESS in the labor department. My cervix is still closed. My next appointment is Tuesday. FINGERS CROSSED FOR SOMETHING TO HAVE PROGRESSED.

Things that don't suck: Knowing how close I am to the end...light at the end of the tunnel, even if the tunnel is 2+ weeks long...

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To-Do List Update

We have been busy around the Farrell house! A few weeks ago, I shared a to-do list before baby joins us ...any day now! It feels crazy to type that. We had quite a few things to accomplish and I'm happy to report the following update:
  1. Paint guest bedroom. My hubby completed this one for me and once, when I was bored, I even went ahead and painted the master bedroom, too!
  2. Clean out guest bedroom closet. Another task I completed during a long weekend while going insane wondering if my husband was alive on Mt. Rainier.
  3. Move bed, dresser and crap out of guest bedroom and into a storage unitWe got ourselves a storage unit, and moved our guest bedroom furniture into it, along with a few other items that were taking up unnecessary space. It's nice to have to store some things that baby will soon grow out of, as well as grow into.
  4. Rent storage unit. See above. 
  5. Design and organize nursery. To say I'm obsessed with our nursery is an understatement! I had a definite vision when we started this project and it completely came to fruition and then some. I can't wait to share some photos with you this week!
  6. Choose and order glider. Better yet, it arrived last week, and was the last piece to our nursery to complete the room. 
  7. Call insurance company to get breast pumpI received my breast pump and accessories last week! Now just need to figure out how to use the damn thing...
  8. Purchase remaining items from registryWe are pretty much set for baby! We have some very small items to purchase (First Aid stuff, stroller and diaper bag accessories, etc.) but other than that, baby is SET! And as predicted, I did go nuts on baby clothes, thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales...(sorry hubby.)
  9. Choose and book a newborn photographer. We are going with AG Gallery. I can't wait!
  10. Sign up for childbirth and childcare classes. We completed our classes in early November. It made me feel both better and worse about what's in store for labor and delivery...
  11. Figure out childcare for post-maternity leave. We know we're joining a nanny share, but unfortunately can't find a nanny until I'm actually on leave, since many women are looking for a job now, not in March. 
  12. Plan babymoon! We even went on our babymoon! Read all about it.
  13. Choose name for baby. Chosen. And here's the post I promised how hard it is to pick a name.
  14. Tour Labor & Delivery unit at hospitalDone during our childbirth classes!
  15. Pack hospital bags. Baby's bag is packed, and my stuff is in a pile laid out. Much of the stuff I need I will use up to the day, but I'm mostly ready to go!
  16. Pick a birth announcement. I have picked a few of my favorite templates. All that's left is filling in his birth details and photos!
  17. Choose a pediatrician. We chose our pediatrician based on our OB's recommendation. He is someone in our practice and is highly recommended. He's even the author of a well-known baby book! 
  18. Get car seat installation checkedPeople have made fun of me for this, but yes, I got the seat checked after it was installed. Can't put a price on peace of mind!
  19. Purchase a baby book. Done! I got one from The Sweet Rhino and it's perfect.
  20. Purchase additional life insuranceWe actually opted not to do this based on the extra cost. It was more than we anticipated.
  21. Contact insurance company to determine out-of-pocket costs. Still need to do this, but there are some other factors at play now, which I can't quite get into...
  22. Register car seat and strollerAll major products have been registered in case of emergency or recall.
  23. Get 3D/4D UltraoundWe did this a few weeks ago and it was amazing! It was SO crazy to see our little boy in 3D. He is adorable and I can't wait to see him in "real life."
  24. Finalize maternity-leave plan. In progress...this is my biggest source of stress right now.
  25. Save moneyWe had a goal and we met that goal. Now we just have to keep saving!
  26. Cook and freeze meals. Yeah, not much progress here. That's what mom will be here for, right?
  27. Create "baby's here!" contact list (phone and mail)I've updated my address list so as to know who to mail birth announcements to, and I have a list of who to text and call when the big day gets here.
  28. Find/create storage solutions for baby, mom and dad. I got some super cute storage stuff for baby and husband and I were able to clear out a lot of crap in the process of moving stuff into storage. Hallelujah!
  29. Buy winter coat for pre- and post-babyGot one from Old Navy that just barely zips over my big belly, but it will have to do.
  30. Figure out how to take care of newborn baby. Pretty sure this won't get checked off, but at least we know the basics!
So there we have it. All of the major stuff is done, except for the whole child care, maternity leave and insurance deals. Other than that, I think we are physically ready for baby. Now if I can just get a handle on my mental game, we'd be good to go...

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
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What's in a Name?

I think every woman who plans to have kids some day, and even those who don't, have baby names that they like. Before we got pregnant, I kept a draft in my Gmail that I updated with boy and girl names. Some of them I came up with on my own, my husband mentioned some of them, and others we discussed together.

So when it came time to actually start choosing a name for the baby, I thought it would be a simple task.


As it turns out, naming another human is actually a lot of pressure.

You want to find a name that means something to you. You want a name that is strong. You want a name that won't get the kid made fun of his whole life. You want a name that is cute, but will also carry him or her into adulthood. You want a name that doesn't have the possibility of terrible nicknames from other little assholes. Maybe you want a family name. You want a name that is unique, but not too unique. And also one that is not too popular.

Three prime examples of terrible names.

Before we knew we were having a boy, we had two boy names we agreed that we would choose between. But as we considered girl names, we found it VERY hard to agree. Near the end, we finally agreed on one name that I'm pretty sure would have been our girl's name (and probably will be if we ever have one), but we basically decided to stop playing the name game until we knew if Baby Farrell was a boy or girl. (I recommend this - it will prevent a lot of fights.)

I call my husband "The Name Nazi." Every name I threw out there, he would ponder and come up with how said name could be used against the child. He'd come up with possible nicknames and if the possibility of a terrible nickname presented itself, the name was axed. We had to cross off A LOT of names for this reason. For example, I LOVE the name Greyson. "Grey" is such a cute little nickname. But when my husband pointed out that kids could (and probably would) call him "Gay" or "Gayson," it totally ruined it for me.

We also had the debate of "Let's name him this and call him this." For example, let's name him Bennett, but call him Ben. Which then begged the question, why, if you want to call him Ben, would you name him Bennett? You may have your own reasons and opinions on this. Ultimately, we never let this affect our name choice. Except with one name that had the possibility of a nickname/shortened version we did not want people calling him. So it got the axe.

As I said, we had two boys names that we both loved, but agreed that the one we are going with was "the one" for this baby. Hard to say why. When considering middle names, we wanted to use a family name, so we asked around on male names that ran in the family (aside from ones we knew). We've decided that, too, and are also keeping that a surprise.

Speaking of, no, we are not sharing our name prior to his being born. WITH ANYONE. My sisters try to get it out of me every time we talk. I must say, it's a fun way to torture people. (Muah hahahaha.) Our reasons for not sharing are pretty simple: We don't want your opinion.

Too many times, with family and with friends, I have heard them share their names and get a negative reaction from someone. "You're naming him what?" "I know someone named ___ and she is a bitch!" or "Ugh, that name is so snobby."

I give kudos to those parents who don't care what other people think and who share their name with everyone proudly, no matter what the opinion. For us, it's just not the route we are going with.

I can't wait to finally share with you all, and the world, what our little man is named. I'll give you a hint - JUST KIDDING. The name we chose is meaningful to us and to our family. It is strong. It is cute at the same time. It is perfect.

How did you choose your baby name?
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Week 35 || Bumpdate


Baby's size: A coconut. All of the apps have him at different sizes, but he's likely somewhere between 17-20 inches long and around 5.5 lbs. 

Baby's progress: All of his major systems are a go! At this point, his brain continues to develop, but his hearing is good, his liver is producing waste and his lungs are prepping to breathe on their own. From here on out, he'll basically just keep packing on the pounds with his mama!

Weight gain: 40 lbs 

Sleep: Comes and goes. Still taking Unisom pretty regularly. Waking much more frequently for bathroom breaks and having difficulty getting comfortable.

Movement: He is still very active in there, even though he's supposed to be slowing down in there since he's running out of room. Doesn't seem to stop him!
This week's chalkboard picture doesn't show how truly BIG my belly is.

Best moment this week: Finishing our nursery (pretty much)! We are hanging some DIY bookshelves this weekend, a new ceiling fan, and our glider is due to arrive any day. But last weekend we organized the dresser and closet and we hung things on the walls. Can't wait for the reveal...if anyone cares :) We also had our FINAL baby celebration, which was brunch with my friends and ex-co-workers. Loved seeing them and catching up!

Looking forward to: Our glider getting here. And another weekend at home where we can cross more things off the to-do list! I'm also looking forward to going to the doctor next week, if you can believe it. I want to see if I've started making any progress down there! Oh, and Thanksgiving is next week. 

Symptoms: My hands are starting to really cause me a lot of pain. It hurts to type at work every day, or even make a fist. Going to see if the doctor can prescribe some anti-inflammatory or something.

Workouts: Still working to get at least 30 minutes of activity every day, either through walking or going to the gym.Sometimes baby has other ideas and when that happens, I listen and just relax. 

What I miss: Going #2 regularly. How's that for real talk? Lots of things happen inside when you're preggo, One of which is your internal organs get smushed - for example, the lungs and intestines. So, going to the bathroom becomes infrequent, which can be very uncomfortable at times. So there's that. You're welcome, and I'm sorry (but not really?).

34 weeks

Things that suck: Achey joints are still not cool. The cold weather seems to make them worse.  

Things that don't suck: Knowing that in 30 days (+/- a few), we will get to meet our sweet boy, kiss his face and snuggle his little body. And knowing that all of these aches and pains and discomfort will have been worth it!
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11 Things I Love About Being Pregnant

Pregnancy can be a double-edged sword. When you're not pregnant, you're looking for "real talk" on what it's like - the ups, the downs and everything in between. I have asked friends and family to give it to me straight - don't sugarcoat that shit, I need to know how much it sucks to be pregnant.

But then when you actually are pregnant, you realize it's not that bad. (I say that as someone who has had a normal, healthy, relatively easy pregnancy. I'm sure the women who suffer from hyperemesis and other complications might not agree with me.)

To my surprise more than anyone else's, I have enjoyed being pregnant. I might even - GASP - miss it when our baby arrives (just a little though. And probably not that much since I hope to be pregnant again someday).

I've spent a lot of time on this blog trying to keep it real about some things that really aren't awesome about pregnant - the swelling, the peeing, the fluids leaking, the soberiety. But there are some genuinely amazing things about carrying your baby that don't get enough credit.

What I love about being pregnant:

1. Maternity clothes. I started wearing maternity clothes WAY sooner than I needed to. Like, way sooner. Like, I'm embarrassed to say that I wore maternity jeans at 8 weeks. 8 weeks! Do you know what I looked like at 8 weeks pregnant? Not much different than I looked at 9 weeks.

I did not look pregnant, that's for sure, and there was definitely no need to be wearing anything other than my "normal" clothes. BUT, maternity clothes are SO comfy. Think about it - these are articles of clothing that were made to be stretchy. Don't bitch and moan when you have to make the transition. Embrace the maxis, the stretchy band on the jeans and the leggings. And embrace the bump!

2. Kindness and smiles. Most of the time, people are way nice to preggos. They offer you their seat, they let you cut in the bathroom line, they help you with something you're carrying. People congratulate me at Target or when I'm walking down the street. Or sometimes, they just look at your belly and give you a knowing smile. I find this most from other mothers. It doesn't happen all the time, but for the most part, kindness is the unspoken language of pregnancy.

3. Naps and relaxing. Even before I was pregnant, I was always tired. Ask my husband. My daily woes included "I'm tired" and "I'm hungry." As a preggo, sleeping is encouraged. Who cares if you go to bed at 8pm, wake up at 10am and then take a nap at noon? NO ONE. And if you can't sleep, just having an excuse to relax is nice. Not that I needed one before, but no one argues when you say you can't do anything because the baby needs you to relax. (I need to actually relax more. Right now I'm currently in "Holy shit there is so much to do, there's no time to put my feet up!" mode.)

4. Organization. So, I'm generally a pretty organized person. Type A, for sure. I live and die by my to-do lists. Pregnancy does affect that in a negative way, which is that now, I'm VERY forgetful. The other night I started crying because I couldn't find a gift card we received (still haven't found it). BUT, on the other hand, nesting is a very real thing. As such, we have done some house projects that have been on the list forever, and the house is always clean and I'm always finding something else to "do" around the house.

5. The belly. Huge and stretched as it is, I love my baby bump. It's instinctual to always rub it, or lay with my hands on it. I love feeling the baby kick and move in there, and sometimes, when I put my hand right where I felt a kick, he stops. I like to think it's because I'm calming him and letting him know I'm there. Not to mention, the belly makes a great shelf for anything - drinks, snacks, books, someone's head...

6. Eating. See number 3. I have always loved to eat. When you're pregnant, it's all you have. Be careful though. You really shouldn't be "eating for two" as they say, but if you want to indulge in things you were strict about before, do it. Now is the time.

7. Feeling special. Not everyone likes being center of attention. I usually don't, either. But I have enjoyed the general feeling of being celebrated. Between the baby showers and the gifts from friends we haven't heard from in forever, to being taken care of by my husband, it's nice to feel pampered and loved!

8. Body awareness. Not only has being pregnant given me a new appreciation for my pre-pregnancy body, I am WAY more attuned to my body than ever before. When you're pregnant, every ache, pain, tingle and itch comes with, "What was that? Why did that happen?" And if you're like me, you want find out. Some women call the doctor, some women Google. (Side note: I haven't called my doctor once in my entire that weird?!) You learn so much about what exactly is happening inside your body. They don't say babies are miracles for nothing. It truly is so incredible what the woman's body can do and how it changes to accommodate the life inside you.

9. Anticipation. In general, for 9 months, you have something to look forward to and be excited about. Of course there are MANY things to look forward to along the way - milestones like first kicks, starting to show and baby showers. And of course, at the end of everything, you have a baby to meet! Nothing is more exciting than that.

10. Secrets. It's up to you what you want to keep secret, if anything, during your pregnancy. We chose to find out the sex of the baby and share that with people. But we kept it a secret for about a week until we told our families, and I loved sharing that tidbit of knowledge with only my hubby. Same thing with the name. We've had his name chosen for a while and are keeping it secret until he gets here. Why? Mainly because we don't want the opinions of others to color the name we love for our babe. Again though, it is fun to have something that is just between us two, since so many other details of my pregnancy have been put out there.

11. There's a baby inside me. My husband and I created a human. How cool is that?! Words can't describe how amazing it is to see and feel another life inside you. It can be creepy, I admit, and I know a lot of people get weirded out by it. But ultimately, as you learn exactly what's happening inside of you and each time you hear that little heart beat -- it's a feeling unlike any other.
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Currently I'm...

Happy Monday, friends! Instead of boring you with a weekend update, I thought I'd switch things up today. I did have a great weekend though. Very low-key and productive with SO much work done in the nursery. I can't wait to show you pictures when it's finished!

So here's what's happening with me this Monday afternoon.

Currently I'm...

Wearing: A super cozy black, hooded poncho sweater I got in my most recent Stitch Fix. I fear it makes me look a little like a house, but let's be honest, these days I am not the smallest. Comfort is key.

Reading: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. Jodi is one of my favorite authors. This book is about a 13-year old searching for her mother, an elephant researcher, who disappeared 10 years earlier.

Loving: The cool weather and first snow of the season!

Not loving: My hands are in so much pain these days. It hurts to make a fist or stretch my fingers. No relief in sight, either.

Watching: All the usual suspects (trashy reality television, Scandal, Good Wife, Grey's, Parenthood, Homeland). Some new shows I've tried that I enjoy: How to Get Away With Murder, Stalker and Marry Me.

Looking forward to: SO many things. We get our glider this week, and then our nursery will be pretty much complete. Thanksgiving is next week, and I'm all about Thanksgiving. We're putting up Christmas decorations this weekend. One of my posts will be featured on Scary Mommy this week. And we are 32 days out from our due date...I am so excited to meet my boy.

Drinking: Water. So much water, all the damn time.

Daydreaming about: Meeting my babe. Going on a vacation. Having hands that don't hurt.

Feeling: My baby roll and tumble inside my belly. He does not have much room, I can tell you that much, but with how active he is, you'd think there was a lot of space in there!

Craving: A Peppermint Mocha. Those are MY JAM during the cold months.

Thinking about: What am I not thinking about is the better question? My mind is constantly in motion these days, thinking about what we have to do for baby, etc. I'm thinking right now about the errands I have to do after work (get spray paint for a nursery DIY project and stop at Trader Joe's), the fact that I don't want to go to the gym after my errands, where I'm going to hang remaining nursery prints after I get home from the gym, and of course - what's for dinner?

Mingle 240
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A Word About Pregnancy Weight Gain

Dear Doctor,

I'm frustrated. No, that's too nice. I'm pissed off. 

At my 34-week appointment yesterday, I was told for, not for the first or second time, that you are "concerned" with my weight gain. That I am not "allowed" to gain any more weight, and that if I don't maintain until baby comes, I'm "in trouble."

A. What the fuck? What exactly will you do to me if I do, in fact, gain a dreaded pound or two?
B. I have gained 40 lbs.

They say, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, a 25-35 lb gain is "healthy." So I guess I don't understand why alarms are going off that I've gained 5 lbs more than the recommended amount.

4 weeks pregnant

Let's look at Hayden Panettiere. Same height as me, same weight gain. Granted, I did not weigh 106 lbs pre-pregnancy (and I kinda doubt she did either). Is anyone jumping down her throat?

I have friends who have gained 60+ pounds during pregnancy. I even know women who have gained 90+ pounds. Did their doctors say a word? NOPE.

Obviously, the goal when pregnant is not to gain a ton of weight, but it's part of the process. Let's look at where some of the pounds go:
In an average pregnancy, weight gain is distributed as follows:
Baby -- 6-8 lbs.
Placenta -- 1-2 lbs.
Increased fluid volume -- 2-3 lbs.
Increased blood volume -- 3-4 lbs.
Amniotic fluid -- 2 lbs.
Enlarged uterus -- 2 lbs.
Enlarged breasts -- 1-2 lbs.
(I am confident my enlarged breasts are at least 5 lbs, and I'm not even kidding.)
Stored fat and protein (important for lactation) -- 6-8 lbs.
For shits and giggles, let's say I am on the high end of all of those numbers. That comes to 31 pounds. Which means I have 9 extra pounds floating around my body somewhere.

Am I crazy to think that's normal?!

10 weeks pregnant

Here's the other thing, doctor. I will be the first to admit that I have not been "perfect" in eating in my pregnancy. There have been days when I went over the 300 extra calories you're supposed to eat. There have been days (more than a few) when I gave in to my pizza or burger craving. I have eaten fast food, but I'm confident I can count on one hand the number of times that has happened in the past 34 weeks.


A typical day of eating for me looks like this:

Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese or English muffin with peanut butter; fruit, orange juice. Coffee some days.
Lunch: Soup or salad, maybe a little of each. 
Sometimes a sandwich from Subway or Jimmy Johns, with chips.
Snacks: Fruits, veggies or yogurt
Dinner: Typical meals are tacos, pulled pork/chicken, or chicken stir-fry. Perhaps a chicken breast with a starch and vegetable.
Dessert: I am guilty of having a handful of candy in the evenings. Sometimes ice cream.

This menu? NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM WHAT I ATE BEFORE I WAS PREGNANT. The major difference is that I eat more carbs that I did pre-pregnancy. For example, at dinner, if we have tacos, in the past I would just have a taco salad, whereas now, I go for the shells. If I have a burger, I eat the bun. Etc.
33 weeks, 6 days

I am also active. Up until about 30 weeks, I was at the gym about 4-5 times a week. Now, I only make 2-3, but on the days I don't, I make sure to at least walk for 30 minutes. I know for a fact this is more than MANY people can say, pregnant or not.

PLUS, dearest, doctor, you more than anyone should know that when you weigh yourself, any time you do so inconsistently, you're going to fluctuate. For example, most of my appointments with you are in the late afternoon, when I've had 2 liters of water, and at least two meals in the day. What I'm wearing is also a factor. It's fucking cold, and I'm wearing a bulky sweater and boots. How much I weigh is probably going to be different than if you weigh me first thing in the morning, naked. If you'd let me strip down, we probably wouldn't have this conversation. Case in point: The scale this morning before I stepped in the shower was a solid 5 lbs less than it was before I went to bed last night.

Bare belly at 34 weeks, 5 days. (My mirror is dirty).

Doc, I'm just frustrated because the last fucking thing I want to worry about at this point of my pregnancy is not gaining weight. I want to focus on the excitement of finishing our nursery. On the fact that we get to meet our sweet boy in 5-6 short weeks. I don't want to think about cutting out carbs and sweets. I will worry about that shit when I am trying to lose the baby weight, not grow a healthy human being.

In conclusion, doctor, while I appreciate your care and concern, what I'd really like to say is Fuck you and your opinion of my weight.

This PSA brought to you by pregnant women, everywhere.
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