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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