baby bump

Hump Day Bump Day - 38 and feeling great!!!

Only 2 more weeks until Keelin’s due date and I’m definitely hoping she’s here before we hit the 40-week mark. But not TOO far before, because mom will be in town THIS SUNDAY and it would be great if she didn’t have to change her flight. You hear that Keelin? You have a 7-day time frame of acceptable delivery days…let’s make it happen! Monday’s appointment was great as always and we got to hear Keelin’s heartbeat again! SO STRONG and steady… I love it. It was pretty comical because the second I pulled up my shirt Keelin did a karate move, made my belly bounce and my midwife’s eyes lit up. Without even touching me she pointed to the right side of my belly and said, “well, that’s definitely her bum” {did I mention she’s South African so her accent is a-freaking-dorable?} I love that she talks to Keelin every time I go see her and always has something sweet to say to her. Talk about a personal and positive experience!

One of the things I love about my midwife’s office is that she likes to be fairly hands off. If you don’t NEED an exam, you aren’t going to get one just for the sake of getting one. At our 36-week apt I told you that she checked my dilation and found out I was already at 1 cm. In that same apt she told me that she wouldn’t check me again unless I wanted her to.  So, although the nurse asked if I wanted my dilation checked again, I declined. In attempting to be as natural as possible, I figured that should go for entering labor as well. Especially because dilation before labor begins doesn’t really say MUCH about how you’re progressing {unless of course you’re a superfreak and 8 cm dilated without being in labor… which I’m not sure is possible}, I would probably just give myself unwanted anxiety if I knew that I was walking around 2-3cm for the next few weeks. I say just let it happen the way God intended and go with the flow!

Z and I got a lot done around the house this weekend {although there is still plenty more to be done} including getting the car seat installed and getting our hospital bag(s) packed! I have a post coming all about some hospital bag MUST HAVES so stay tuned for that!

On to the weekly stats… which, by the way, If you're wondering what on earth you're going to do with your Wednesdays when I don’t have any more stats to give you... have no fear! I have something planned!  Here’s a hint.

*How far along? 38 weeks 2 days today!

*Total weight gain/loss: healthy healthy healthy! Once Keelin is born I’ll give a FINAL weight gain for any of you who are exceptionally curious. :)

*How big is baby? 19 to 22 inches, 6.5 lbs + .

*Maternity clothes? Nothing but… with the exception of some oversized t-shirts and sweats! Elastic is officially the greatest invention ever made!

*Stretch Marks? Nope… still lathering away even though I’m at the end of my belly balm!

*Best moment this week? The first time I looked behind me while driving to see the car seat installed. Can’t wait to fill it with a little angel!

*Movement? Non-stop! There's so little room left in there any movement is not only REALLY noticeable but feels like she's doing somersaults. I’ve been cheating a little bit with my “what not to eat/drink when you’re pregnant list” and have been treating myself to small amounts of soda every now and then. Every time I do, Keelin gets a case of the hiccups. It’s usually right by my left hip and totally adorable.

*Food Cravings? Nothing really.

*What I miss: Overall not being able to just go go go. I definitely have to tell myself to slow down before I tire myself out too fast.

*What I am looking forward to: The SIDEWAYS holiday show is this weekend and Z and I are both in it! I have a short cameo {don’t worry, not dancing} and Z is an EXCELLENT Grinch! Then, MY MOM WILL BE HERE ON SUNDAY!!!!! I can’t wait to see her!!!

*Nausea/Vomiting? nope!

*Labor signs? Just a ton of BH contractions but I’m definitely on alert for the first signs!

*Gender? Sweet baby girl

*Belly Button in or out? Still hasn’t popped all the way but it’s trying!

*Wedding rings on or off? Still on :)

*Sleep? I’m so thankful that I fall asleep really easily, whether it’s when I lay down for the first time at night or after I’ve gotten up to adjust my position or use the bathroom. I’m waking up tired but not terribly exhausted.

*Weekly Wisdom:  Had my first mini freak-out moment on Saturday when, during our last birthing class, we talked solely about breastfeeding and postpartum/infant care. It’s been so nothing but fun to think about the pregnancy as it develops and even discuss the labor/delivery itself {which I’m still strangely calm about} but this weekend was the first time I really focused extensively on the fact that she will BE HERE. Like here… in this world… as her own person that I’m responsible for. Not just a little manatee I carry around with me and talk to when I'm driving to and from work. It hit me pretty hard and Z could instantly tell that something was stressing me out. He’s such a wonderful husband and was able to calm me down and assure me that while it's true we have no idea how our lives are about to change, we’re all going to be just fine. {He is going to be such a good coach during my labor. I have every faith that he will know exactly what to do to help me remain as calm as possible and have a successful natural birth.} God will provide and we have SO MANY supportive friends and family members who are already here to offer support and help when we need it.  There’s no point in working yourself up when there is no telling how things are going to go. It’s an adventure {to say the least} and we can’t wait for it to start!

Until next time...

WOAH BELLY!!!

Hump Day Bump Day - 34 weeks

34 down, 6 to go! This past week flew by SO QUICKLY... I hardly feel like it even happened!

Saturday we had our weekly birthing class and since Z had to work I was flying solo. It was a great class that focuses on "stage 2" of labor {aka the first urge to push through actually having the baby} and it really got me excited for DDay and getting to hold Keelin for the first time! After class I made a mad dash to Motherhood Maternity to pick up a few more cold-weather items INCLUDING a pair of skinny jeans... VICTORY!... and my first EVER pair of leggings. I know it might sound strange that I've never worn leggings before but I've a) not ever really been a fan of the "idea" of leggings and b) never had the courage to try to  pull them off. Let me tell you ladies and gents... maternity leggings are BY FAR, the most comfortable piece of clothing I've ever put on. My legs and toosh are HAPPY campers when the leggings come out to play!  I also snagged a few sweaters, a pair of patterned tights for the office and an ADORABLE grey, wool, knee-length pencil skirt. :) Shopping success! After shopping I DASHED back to the house and managed to get myself put together in literally 5 minutes before I was back out the door heading to my final baby shower! My boss and good friend Tracy {who introduced me to my boss} threw me the shower and it was a blast. We had a delicious spread, played a baby-bottle drinking game {don't worry, mine was specially marked without booze!} and got oober competitive with the "Can't say 'baby'" game. It was so much fun. I didn't take any pictures but plenty of people had cameras so I'll be sure to do another shower post once I steal them off of their Facbook pages. :)

Monday we had our 34 week check up and unfortunately weren't able to see my midwife because she was running behind in her appointments. We did see the practice's doctor who said everything looked great. Keelin is head down {please stay that way baby girl!}, still measuring a week behind which is no big deal and we heard that beautiful heartbeat again... it was so loud even the doc's eyes got really wide when he heard it! We did get some not-so-fun news that managed to bring a few quick tears of panic into my eyes before I reassured myself that it wasn't THAT big of a deal. The doctor told us that they are no longer delivering at the hospital we had chosen for Keelin's birth. MAJOR BUMMER!!!! I started to freak out a little bit because we'd already gone on the tour {remember that?}, it's a BEAUTIFUL hospital, not very crowded, and it is a cool 10-15 minutes from our house. The other option is about 30 minutes from the house and somewhere we've never visited before. Puh. BUT, I have heard great things about the hospital and it's staff and know that they are really open to a variety of birth plans so I was able to step out of freak out mode and into a super-cool state of calm. After all, now we get to go on another EXCITING hospital tour and *hopefully* meet more blog-post-worthy couples! Hooray!

Okay, onto the weekly mirror pic and stats!

*How far along? 34 weeks 2 days today!

*Total weight gain/loss: healthy healthy healthy!

*How big is baby? 19 to 22 inches, 5.5 lbs – a large cantaloupe!!

*Maternity clothes? Yes indeed... thinking of writing a thank you note to whoever invented maternity leggings!

*Stretch Marks? Nope! Still lathering, lathering, lathering!

*Best moment this week? My final baby shower and hearing Keelin's SUPER LOUD heartbeat! OH, and learning that my mom booked her ticket to come down for the holidays and to help me with baby prep!

*Movement? All the time! She has a new habit of getting really active right as I lay down to go to sleep and while you'd think it would be annoying, it's actually really sweet because Z snuggles up with me and we both get to feel her move and grove as we drift to sleep!

*Food Cravings? Ice Water! Never knew it would be something to CRAVE but my Starbucks cup is in constant re-fill mode!

*What I miss: I don't know if it's something I would say I "miss"  but I'm noticing that the feeling of being able to do anything has quickly disappeared. I'm definitely slowing down with most of my day-to-day tasks but I don't mind at all! Just reminds me that we are that much closer to meeting Keelin! It was interesting to see how she reacted on Saturday when I was going non-stop all day. She'd get really still and was a great little helper reminding me that I needed to take a breather!

*What I am looking forward to: More birthing classes and getting the guest blogger posts in from so many generous friends!

*Nausea/Vomiting? nope! The random sick morning from last week was THANKFULLY a one-time event.

*Labor signs? Nope, just Braxton Hicks contractions!

*Gender? Sweet girl!

*Belly Button in or out? More-so in than out but DEFINITELY making itself known! If it doesn't pop in the next 6 weeks I'll be surprised!

*Wedding rings on or off? Still on!

*Sleep? Still shifting a lot. It's still pretty easy to fall back to sleep once I get myself situated but I'm definitely more tired overall throughout the day.

*Weekly Wisdom: Listen to your body and to your baby. Sometimes they'll be the ones to tell you to slow down when you don't realize you're working  on overdrive!
Until next time...
A HUGE thanks to everyone who has contacted me about being a guest blogger! I'm absolutely thrilled by the response I've gotten so far. I could still use some more help so keep em' coming and if you're not sure what I'm talking about but are interested in sharing a little of your own 'this and that' here on Life in these times... check out Monday's post for more info!

Hump Day Bump Day - 33 Weeks - HOLY BHC’s BATMAN!

Happy Hump Day Bump Day everyone!It’s been a very active week in the land most commonly known as my uterus. Keelin has been ON THE MOVE and I’ve been experiencing quite a few Braxton Hicks contractions each day. I wasn’t sure at first, because I was expecting more “pain” and “discomfort” but after confirming with my birthing coach that the odd sensation of my stomach getting ROCK SOLID is in fact a BH contraction, I decided there couldn’t be any other explanation. For those of you who don’t know, Braxton Hicks contractions are basically ‘practice’ contractions that help to get your uterus prepped for labor. [personal mini freak-out moment] HOLY CRAP MY UTERUS IS PRACTICING TO DELIVER A BABY! [/personal mini freak-out moment].

I've been fighting off the onset of a cold for about a week and it had me totally drained this weekend. I've got a bit of a cough now but am feeling fine... just generally more tired. Fingers crossed that this little cough is the extent of cold season for Keelin and I.

Things are really starting to become “real” for me and it’s INCREDIBLY exciting! It sounds so odd to say things are only just now getting “real” when I’ve been in preggo land for 33 weeks, but as my countdown gets smaller and smaller my excitement and anxiety get bigger and bigger! First of all, I only have 7 weeks {47 days} left until my due date... that's SO INSANELY NUTS! Secondly, I've mentioned before that I have a ton of girlfriends who are currently expecting or brand new members of the mommy club. Since before we knew we'd be adding to our family I've been following the progression of a dozen or so beautiful women and I've loved watching their bellies grow, learning about their personal pregnancy adventures and seeing their newborn babes all wrapped up in cuteness. During this past weekend's facebook stalking check up session, I realized something... I'm next. SQUEEEE! I can hardly believe it!

I've got another post in the works talking all about my fears and excitement with DDAY getting closer and closer, but I'll stop while I'm ahead for today and get to the weekly stats!

*How far along? 33 weeks 2 days today!
*Total weight gain/loss: Doing just fine, she's a growin!
*How big is baby? 19 to 22 inches, 4.9 lbs – a Pineapple!!
*Maternity clothes? Absolutely. Still getting some ware out of a handful of pre-preggo tops but bottoms are all maternity, all the time. Wishing I could wear my sweatpants everywhere I go.
*Stretch Marks? Nope! Still lathering, lathering, lathering!
*Best moment this week? Getting an extra hour of sleep on Sunday. :)
*Movement? Absolutely. She's one groovy girl!
*Food Cravings? Nothing specific this week.
*What I miss: Sleeping soundly through the night.
*What I am looking forward to: Another birthing class as usual and Keelin's last BABY SHOWER!
*Nausea/Vomiting? Strangely yes. Got sick out of nowhere on Saturday. I think I just waited too long before eating. Shame on me. Other than that, I've been more prone to getting car sick lately. No fun, but manageable!
*Labor signs? Nope, just Braxton Hicks contractions!
*Gender? Girly girl!
*Belly Button in or out? still in! Wondering if it will ever pop!
*Wedding rings on or off? Still on!
*Sleep? Shifting a lot more at night and usually up for a bathroom run at least once. This week was the first week that Keelin actually WOKE ME UP kicking. If it weren't so incredibly touching and adorable I'd probably be frustrated but there's still NOTHING like feeling her little body parts move and groove so I let it slide... even at 3:00 am.
*Weekly Wisdom: When things really seem like they are WHIZZING past you, be sure you take time for yourself and take CARE of yourself. Don't overdo it and accept that sometimes napping is the best answer. :)

Until next time...
Not sure why my pictures didn't show up originally, but hopefully they'll stay put this time!

I'm a FEATURED Mama to be!

Happy Monday friends! Today is a HAPPY day indeed, because I am being featured!

Jen over at A Girl in Pearls and a Boy with Toys {you may remember me mentioning her a few times before, here and here} hosts a weekly Monday Mama's-To-Be post and she was kind of enough to ask ME to participate! {How terribly exciting!!!}

So, in lieu of having a post for you here, I'm going to send you there! Enjoy!

Until next time...

Hump Day Bump Day - 29 weeks!!! - weekend update and PLENTY of pictures!

WHAT AN EXCITING WEEK IT'S BEEN!
I told you yesterday that I would have a full update and here it is... brace yourself, it was jam-packed!
The week itself was pretty mellow, especially after my exciting day-o-glucose but the real fun came on Thursday night after work when Z  and I packed up the car {complete with two very flatulent pups} and headed up to my parents' house in Virginia! Oddly enough the trip was about an hour longer than it NORMALLY is because of some random traffic at 2:00 am. Totally lame. Once we finally got to the house {around 5:00 am} we immediately crashed in an attempt to brace ourselves for the weekend ahead.
Friday Z and I woke up and got ready for some maternity pictures with my MOH, Layna and her lovely mama. Her mother is in the process of getting her photography business kick started and asked if I wouldn't mind sitting for some maternity shots to help out her portfolio... UMMM... ABSOLUTELY! The weather was perfect, we had a great time, and hopefully snagged some frame-worthy shots! Layna came prepared with a ton of fun props and ideas...here's a little sneak peak of our photo-adventure!

The rest of the day was spent relaxing {aka passed out on the window seat in my parent's kitchen} at the house and gearing up for the DAY 2!
Saturday started with a very successful shopping trip, where I snagged this lovely number:

to wear to that evening's big event... A WEDDING!

My dear, dear, DEAR friends Amy and Eric tied the knot in a stunning ceremony on Saturday evening. They are QUITE the special couple and perfectly matched!

Both Amy and Eric are twins, both come from families of 4 children {with an older sibling and a younger sibling on either side of the twins}, and both have been truly amazing friends for years and years. We all grew up in the same neighborhood and amidst swim team practice and late-night flash light tag, everyone used to joke as kids that they would end up married. We actually used to say that BOTH twins would end up getting married  to one another {we always matched Amy's sister Allison with Eric's brother Alex, but they each found non-twins to marry!} but at least we got one coupling right!

The service was beautiful and the reception was a blast... complete with two of the BEST wedding speeches I have ever heard, given by each of their twin siblings {matron of honor and best man}. I guess when you've shared practically every second of the bride and groom's lives it becomes really easy to talk about them... They made everyone smile with fun facts and harmless jabs and, being that I have listened to my fair share of crappy wedding speeches, I was QUITE impressed!

So a HUGE congrats to Eric and Amy... you are truly the perfect, crazy, cooky couple! Even if you will forever live in a house divided {HE went to Virginia Tech, SHE went to UVA}, may your marriage be filled with endless amounts of love and laughter!

We ALL hit the sack after the wedding and my excitement really started to build for the FINAL event of the weekend... DAY 3's baby shower for Keelin, hosted by my mother and best friend Lindsie!

We had a great turn out and it was so wonderful to see have many friends and family turn up to celebrate Keelin. I've said it before and I'll never STOP saying it... she is truly loved! See...

We played the close pin game throughout the shower {each guest starts with two close pins and if someone else hears you say "baby" they can take one of your pins away... the person at the end of the shower with the most pins WINS!} and baby shower bingo {guests make their own bingo card with items they think the mommy-to-be will get as gifts. The first person to get BINGO wins!} which were both tons of fun! Keelin got so many fantastic gifts and everyone was so incredibly wonderful in their generosity and love! Here are a few snapshots from the perfect afternoon!

It was such an amazing day, and I couldn't be MORE thankful to everyone who turned up to celebrate our little manatee!
The rest of Sunday was pure veg-city while Monday consisted of a quick visit to Z's grandparents and the 8 hour drive back home.
Needless to say we were all pooped and are already looking forward to another weekend of PURE REST! But it was all worth it!
*And for those of you who saw yesterday's post... Buster is doing much better. The vet couldn't give us a "cause" for the breakout on his belly but said Bostons are prone to allergies and it might have been something as simple as rolling around in different grass than he's used to. What a wuss, huh!? They gave him a steroid shot and an antihistamine so he's still kind of red and splotchy but home and much better than before. YAY for the pups feeling better and BOO for outlandish vet bills!
HOLY LONG BLOG POST BATMAN... thanks for sticking through that! Here's what you were probably expecting from today... BELLY PICS AND STATS!

*How far along? 29 weeks 2 days today
*Total weight gain/loss: totally healthy :)
*How big is baby? “butternut squash”  - these produce references are kind of 'out there' but still cute! 17 in – 3.1 lbs
*Maternity clothes? Yes indeed! Still able to use regular jeans and my Bella Band if I absolutely need to {aka it's laundry day} but I definitely prefer the maternity pants!
*Stretch Marks? nope... still lathering, lathering, lathering on the lotion!
*Best moment this week? The fun-filled weekend, seeing so many friends and family, and all the love for Keelin!
*Movement? Plenty! LOVE LOVE LOVE all her dance parties and love being able to time them throughout the day!
*Food Cravings? Yesterday I HAD TO HAVE a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup... but I think I blame the rainy weather more than the hormones!
*What I miss: REALLY dancing. Caught a glimpse of this last season of SYTYCD as Z and I were clearing out our U-verse recordings and it made me really miss being able to dance full out.
*What I am looking forward to: Next week's check up!  We're up to every-other-week visits!
*Nausea/Vomiting? nope!
*Labor signs? no way!
*Gender? Little girl!
*Belly Button in or out? in... still stretching though.
*Wedding rings on or off? On <3
*Sleep? fairly well. I shift a lot but it's easy to fall back to sleep. I'm actually quite shocked that I haven't had to deal with endless potty breaks throughout the night.. usually only one about 2 hours before my alarm goes off. I think limiting my fluid intake before bed has definitely helped but I'm sure even that won't matter soon!
*Weekly Wisdom: It's okay to miss your mommy... even if you're about to become one yourself! It's been a long time since I've gotten choked up leaving my parents but Monday morning I produced an impressive display of big ol' fat tears for about an hour into the drive. I love really love Georgia, I just wish it were next to Virginia!! Can we make that happen somehow, please?
Thanks again for sitting through my weekend update! You're a trooper!
Until next time...