My Baby Shower

I haven’t had the chance to blog about our baby shower yet! My mother-in-law and mom threw me a shower in October and it was perfectly “me.”

I had practically nothing to do with this shower. I met with the moms twice, then bowed out. They put together a woodland/literature theme with all my favorite fall foods & yummy drinks. (Our nursery is woodland themed- pictures coming someday.) Imagine a crisp fall day in the forest & you’re camped out under a tree with a good book and a mug of warm coco. That was my shower.

My childhood bunny & K’s childhood bear

Baby’s Great-Grandmas

We had chili, a baked potato bar, a hot coco bar, delicious desserts, and so much more. The tables were decorated with elements from nature and children’s books and woodland animals. The facility was a winery that had a waterfall and back patio. We received so many generous gifts, too. It was overwhelming and brought me to tears.

The moms delegated help to family and friends, too. My friends put together the decadent charcuterie board & organized the games. Family members helped with food and desserts and decorations. Having such a strong, creative, generous community is such a blessing- I feel very blessed to bring our little girl into this circle of incredible women (and men- my brother, dad, father-in-law, and husband helped, too!).

How You Know It’s Time

First and foremost, this is all in good fun.

After talking with K (who happens to be my boss & husband), we decided that it’d be safe and good for me to start maternity leave the week of Thanksgiving- with or without baby being here. We’re not sure how long I can be gone from work*, so starting leave a little early is a gift to myself. We both work more than 40 hours per week and while the house is mostly ready for a baby, I’m happy to have the extra days to clean, prep some meals, and hopefully bank some sleep and dog cuddles before baby arrives.

I am well aware that this is a luxury. I’m grateful that I have a job and a husband and coworkers that allow me this little reprieve before active motherhood.

And now, without further ado, here’s how I know it’s time to go ahead kick start maternity leave:

When you can no longer control the volume at which you huff breathe.

When you truly consider bringing your desk work into the bathroom with you because you’re in there multiple times an hour and it’s just more efficient.

When you groan as you stand, bend over, walk, sit, breathe, think….

When co-workers walk by and stop to ask if you’re ok because you’re either a) doubled over or b) trying to get baby to retract her foot from your kidney.

When the snack pile on your desk is taller and more plentiful than any paperwork pile.

When you find yourself laying on the ground with your legs up the wall (stretching) by 10 am.

When you’re answering phone calls from family and friends to talk about effacement and dilation with an open door so all your male coworkers now know about the intimate details of your cervix.

When your back aches and your only relief is having your boss apply pressure. (This is best if your boss is your husband.)

When your coworkers’ wives and girlfriends are asking why the hell you’re still putting yourself through it at work.

When you consider bringing in a towel for your desk chair, just in case your water breaks and you have to clean it up because, again, you work with all dudes and can’t imagine one of them dealing with the situation.

Don’t get me wrong… I was doing some of these things long before I was pregnant, too.

So this week I’m off completely. And while I’m uncomfortable (no baby yet as I write this), I am grateful to be uncomfortable in my own home.

*Legally I know there are maternity leave rules. Since K owns and runs the business, our situation is different. I will have to work from home off and on throughout my m/l because a) it’s a small company and only I can do some of my jobs and b) I love my husband and I don’t want to pile all my jobs on him- I want him to have some leave, too. 

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! No thanksgiving day post from me but if baby decides to make her arrival you can find it first on IG (once we announce it) 😉 Have a safe week/weekend!

Almost There Bumpdate

Hello. It’s just pregnant ol’ me coming at ya- 38 weeks and 4 days into this adventure.

I figure now is the safest time to make an update. As in… I’m still pregnant and my brain still kind of works. Kind of.

I’m going to fashion this post like my 23 week update.

Feeling.
K will tell you that around 30-ish weeks I woke up and was suddenly pregnant. I was groaning and stiff and ouchie and super extra emotional.

These last few weeks I have felt so round and my sleep has been terrible. I blamed it on the dogs but Friday I stayed in a hotel and still slept like crap so it’s not their fault. K actually has recordings of me groaning in my sleep. Flattering.

I also caught a cold a week ago. I went to the doctor on Monday and got an antibiotic so hopefully that’s on its way out. My heartburn and indigestion are still in full force. Yay.

I make K put my shoes on whenever he’s available. I also use the bathroom roughly 4 times per hour. Woo.

Cravings/Aversions/Weight.
I’m still always in the mood for waffles. I also love cereal (sorry, Rebecca Jo) but the milk tends to give me heartburn. Also, cookies and cream ice cream is my one true love. Most of my aversions have gone away. I preferred room temp water before I was pregnant- now my water HAS to have ice in it.

The month we lost Lylee I lost weight & didn’t gain for nearly 4 weeks. My doctors weren’t worried since a) there was a reason (grief) and b) I still measured the right size. Since then everything has been normal. I’m up about 30 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.

Emotions/Mental Health.
The biggest moment here was grieving through Lylee’s loss. It was sudden and awful and traumatic for all of us. It made me completely forget about pregnancy. I wasn’t excited. I couldn’t fathom loving anyone beyond K and Enzo. I felt like an awful mother-to-be and I told K that I was struggling with identifying grief vs. depression. It was both, but fortunately I/we worked through everything.

I’ve been weepy over work stuff, too. There are some things that are up in the air. There are some exciting things on the horizon. K is juggling lots of stress… It’s just tough for me to want to step back and take maternity leave. I DO want to do that, but I like my career and it’s just been a balance issue.

Baby.
I wish she was a little less content in there, lol. We’re ready to meet her. (I didn’t think I’d feel this way but I do.) She moves around in the mornings while I’m at work and in the evenings when I’m lounging on the couch. K has felt her a few times, but she freezes up when I try to let other family members feel. Lol. Typical.

We’ve been asked a million times if she has a name. She does. We use it at home but we’re keeping it a secret until she arrives. Enzo said he told his close friends at doggie daycare but fortunately he can’t speak English.

Dad.
K is so dang ready for her to be here. Hahaha. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but his paternal instinct is much, much stronger than my maternal one. I’m not even sure he’s nervous. I know he’s excited about the forced-break from work. He finally packed his hospital bag on Tuesday and all the furniture is built so his pre-baby duties are done. (Except for putting my shoes on me…)

Other things to note.
My belly button is still in.

I’ve had so many people tell me I don’t look or act 38 weeks pregnant. I appreciate that and believe them, but I think it’s because I don’t like to show vulnerability/weakness so I put on a smile & participate in as much as I can. (I know that’s dumb.) When I’m at home? I look like this:

Hahahahahahaha.

Now that I’ve shared the unedited pregnant version of me, here are some maternity pictures!

 

Our photographer was Jackie Beachy and holy WOW, Batman. She is amazing. She’ll be doing Baby’s newborn pictures too 😍 I struggled with putting Bristol in these pictures. It felt like a betrayal to Lylee at first. I’m glad we did, though. Pictures capture where you’re at right now in life and we were a family of four with Miss Bristol by then.

And there’s the last baby update until she actually makes her arrival. (Did I freak anyone out by not posting on Tuesday? Lol. This was supposed to go live then. Oops.)

Send us your prayers, spells, wishes, & good vibes for labor and delivery. And fingers crossed it happens soon. I don’t want to waddle through Thanksgiving- lol.

Halfway There Bumpdate

I kind of hate the word “bumpdate” but I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel and we all know what that made-up word means so I’m using it. Lol

If we ever have a second kid I’d like to know how my pregnancies compare so I decided I’d do a little halfway post. Maybe I’ll do an end of the road post too (around 39 weeks or so), but no guaranteeing I’ll have the energy or brain or time to do that. We’ll see.

We’re at 23 weeks and 2 days. This is going to be a long one. Sorry.

Feeling.
I had a little nausea during the first trimester, but I never threw up. I’ve had reflux and gas bubbles the entire time, but I had that before I was pregnant. It’s baaad if I forget to take my pill, though. The gas bubbles are quite painful.

I was SO tired in the first trimester and, honestly, that hasn’t gone away. I did not get a burst of energy after 12 weeks, lol. I’m either slightly less tired or just used to it now. Ha.

Nothing is too sore yet. Sometimes my lower back starts to hurt by the afternoon but I just put my feet up or change positions. I can tell that stretching and growing is happening in my pelvis, but it hasn’t been super painful. Just little ouchies now and then.

Craving/Aversions/Weight.
I haven’t had cravings, but it seems like I’m always down for pb&j sandwiches, chicken nuggets, corndogs, ice cream, avocados, Eggo waffles, and pasta. I wasn’t a huge pasta eater prior to pregnancy so that’s the oddball. (I did have a week of pickles- I ate a whole jar in two days.) My reflux sometimes makes everything unappealing so eating has been a hit or miss.

I can’t even look at/smell anything smothered in bbq sauce, most forms of unbreaded chicken, or eggs. Salads also don’t appeal to me which is sad because I love salad.

On the flip side, I want to eat Caesar salad SO BADLY. And I really want a cold cut turkey sandwich (but I’m supposed to avoid lunchmeat). Sigh. Soon… soon…

At 23 weeks I’m up about 13 lbs. The doctors haven’t said a thing about my weight so I figure that’s a good place to be. I asked K to be honest and tell me if he thinks I’ve gained weight anywhere outside of my stomach. He said no, but I think my legs/thighs have fluffed up a bit. Lol

Emotions.
I’ve been level headed-ish with a few major outbursts. I cried at the NASCAR race over disappointment. I spent a whole night crying when my bff said she was moving to FL. I sobbed through the trailer for The Art of Racing in the Rain (not cried, SOBBED). I also sobbed through a mother/son dance at a wedding but it was an emotional moment for a lot of people, I think. I really lost my temper one night with Lylee. Obviously I didn’t hurt her, but I was mad and K was like, “Dude. You’re scaring ME. Chill out.”
I cry easily at commercials, etc. but I’ve always been a crier- now it’s just a little more intense.

Mental Health.
I’ve mentioned my anxiety/depression here before so I wanted to include that in my update. The first trimester was kind of rough. I had strong feelings of inadequacy and I struggle to bond with the little lady because I was (I am) terrified to lose my own identity in motherhood. I know that seems… wrong? but I am not a naturally maternal person so it was a struggle to accept all those feelings- even though I wanted a baby.

I’ve sorted it out much better now. Prenatal yoga was a turning point as far as bonding goes. Also, finding out her sex helped me connect, too. (If she was a he I still would’ve felt connected- it was just another piece of the puzzle to baby’s personality for me.) I still struggle. I wonder if I’ll be a good mom. I wonder if she’ll like me. I wonder if postpartum depression is going to hit me as hard as I think it will. But it’s something I openly talk about with K and it’s a topic that I won’t shy away from with medical professionals. I found pregnancy very, very isolating at first and, especially as an introvert, it scared me how much that bothered me.

Baby.
According to my app she’s the size of a chinchilla. Or a Barbie Doll. But I’m going to say she’s more like me and fluffy like a chinchilla. She moves around a bunch- mostly in the afternoons and evenings. K hasn’t been able to feel her yet but I think we’re close.

I think she’s stubborn. Obviously that’s me projecting a personality on her, but she’ll quit moving the moment K gets up to feel her and I think she intentionally gives the ultrasound techs a tough time- especially after they jab at her and piss her off, lol. K and I are ridiculously stubborn so there’s a great chance I’m right.

Sleep.
Things aren’t great. To be fair, our mattress isn’t super comfortable and I contort around the dogs on our bed. (Lately I’ve been moving them but they snuggle in again after I doze off, lol.) I currently use four pillows- one normal, one king size, one body pillow, and a thigh pillow. Plus I kind of steal K’s cooling pillow that he keeps between us (#pillowwall). To be fair, that pillow used to be mine. He stole it years ago.

I HATE sleeping on my side. I want to be on my stomach 😦 And I wake up with an ear ache 50% of the time. Ugh.

I get up once around 2 or 4am to use the bathroom. Usually it coincides with a doggie potty break.

Dad.
K has been the best ever. He comforts me when I’m upset over silly things, he makes me laugh off the tears, he let’s me vent my frustrations and air my insecurities without judging me. He’s been patient and understanding and so supportive. And he’s so dang excited to be a dad- especially to this little girl.

He’s also been to every appointment except one- because he was on a business trip. He hasn’t complained about the cloth diapering classes or birthing classes that we signed up for. I know that he’s just as much a part of this parenting journey as me, but it just feels nice to have such an active and supportive partner.

Other things to note.
My belly button is still firmly in place which is good because I’m not ready for that.

Also, I can still touch my toes no problem. By the end of the day it’s a chore to bend over but I can do it.

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but both ultrasound technicians have commented on this girl’s long freaking legs and her squirminess. So I’m just assuming that she will absolutely make my organs pay dearly in the next 16+ weeks.

I’m awful that keeping up the baby book. Haha.

My app told me that Braxton-Hicks contractions can start any time (although they’re more frequent in the third trimester). Umm, NO THANK YOU.

So there we have it. That’s about all I have to record thus far. Despite some of my whining, I’m very grateful for where we’re at in this pregnancy. I know the journey looks different for all moms and I’ve had good fortune with baby’s development & health.

I know that was long, but I wanted to write all those things somewhere and I’m terrible about actually journaling, so if you made it this far, thanks ♥

The Gender Reveal Party

Some of y’all were super interested in the gender reveal so here it is!

On Sunday we had our family and close friends over for a BBQ.

I’m a lover of themes and we tossed around quite a few, but K wanted to keep it simple. Plus, it was a last minute party & I didn’t have enough time for a true Harry Potter theme (my first choice) 😆 Also, I hate the color pink so I didn’t want a bunch of blue and pink things (although I gave in a little).

We decided on a colorful party with fox accents. I love foxes and we have a bunch of fox stuff- why reinvent the wheel?

We invited about 54 people. (I know that’s a lot but our immediate family is local and that was still leaving off quite a few people. Our wedding guest list was 300+ people… small town probs.) Approximately 32 people were able to come.

The weather started off great. Then we had a down pour. *sigh* We moved almost everything inside and crammed all our guests into the kitchen, dining area, and living room to eat. It was tight but our guests were great & didn’t complain.

Fortunately, when it was time to reveal the baby’s sex, we were able to move outside and take advantage of the sunshine halftime show. (Of course it was hot & humid AF but at least we could all move a little, lol.)

I wish I’d have snapped a picture of everyone on the porch watching us. So many phones out and smiles and excited loved ones.

Our back porched is elevated and about 3/4 the length of our house so they were on the stage while we stood down below.

We did a pour paint reveal (you can see the video on my IG since I can’t figure it out here). My plan is to do something artsy with the pink canvas- despite my dislike of pink. Lol

I’m very grateful for the our family and friends putting up with the rainy plan B. And for all the loaned chairs & serving dishes that we gathered up last week. And my wonderful husband for putting together so many major elements of the party. And my dad, brother, and bff Kayla coming over early to help us out ♥ Love you guys.

We’re in a family of rule breakers so a few people still brought gifts to spoil this little lady. I’m not sure how we got so lucky with these fantastic people, but this little girl is already surrounded by the most loving, generous community. Thanks, everyone!