maternity

Guest blog: Emily from The Waiting

All Hail Emily, Queen of the Muffin Top: Originally posted Sept. 14, 2011 It was bound to happen eventually. I am nearing the end of my first trimester, after all. I have known that at some point I would have to part with my normal, cute wardrobe. And I dreaded it, not out of a fear of pregnant corpulence but because I like my clothes.

But it’s started: I have a giant muffin top. It’s only going to morph into a cake and then a watermelon. We’ve reached the point of no return, folks.

Let’s get this straight; I have always carried my junk in the front. I have by no means a small waist and that’s OK by me, as long as I can get jeans that make me look like I give a damn, which I have always been able to do. The rest of me is not skinny but healthy, and that’s all that matters, really.

Yesterday my #1 Jeans (you know them, that one pair of jeans that always makes you look great no matter what you pair them with, that have the uncanny ability to turn a borderline bad day into a somewhat pleasant day) were in the laundry, so I had to resort to #2 Jeans in my arsenal of awesomeness. The instant I put them on I had a craving for coffee to go with the giant muffin I was rocking.

Granted, I should have seen it coming since I really haven’t worn these jeans in several weeks and they do tend to be a little snug on bloaty days, but after zipping and buttoning them, I felt like an impostor.

“Silly girl,” the jeans said, “you’re pregnant now. You can’t wear me unless you want to pair me with that orange tunic your mother gave you two years ago and we all know you hate.”

“But jeans, I love you! You’re supposed to have stretch! See, right there in your label you say STRETCH really big. And you’ve always been so understanding in the  past!”

“There’s only so much I can do for you. Sorry.”

“But think about the good times! Please recall how I bought you in Korea, the lonely size 8 in the store. You would’ve had to stay among the 0′s and 2′s indefinitely had I not come around. Remember when your belt loop broke but I still loved you and sewed you up? What about the time in Paris when you were my trusty companion. You’ve seen the world, and now you say there’s nothing you can do?!”

“I don’t do muffins, and I don’t do babies.”

I realize now that it’s not going to be long until #1 Jeans falls prey to the MT and will have to be retired for maternity wear, but I am going to savor them until that day arrives, even if that means that they won’t be washed for weeks on end. Love makes you do strange things.

I now have a craving for muffins. Off I go!

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:

Emily smirks about pregnancy and life over at The Waiting. She now has way  more than a muffin top and her pre-preggo jeans have been traded in for maternity pants. We tried to contact her former jeans to comment on what Emily said about them, but they did not return our calls.  Emily said, “Good riddance. My new maternity pants rule beyond belief.”

Bebe is expected to arrive in April, 2012.

Until next time...

Hump Day Bump Day - 39 weeks and READY TO POP

I'm actually a little surprised that I'm writing this post at all {was REALLY hoping she would be here by now} but I guess it's better than being 2 weeks late. Sweet lord PLEASE don't let me be 2 weeks late! The doctor's apt on Monday went really well and the midwife keeps saying how excited she is to deliver Keelin. She also said, just by feeling, that Keelin was sunny side up {facing up with the back of her head toward my spine... still safe for natural delivery but tends to cause a lot of back labor and more pain} so she gave me a 'shifting position' to try and lay in to get her to roll over. It's not the most comfortable position, especially the first time trying it out, but basically entails getting as far over ON my stomach as possible. She said that it basically squashes her face into the bed {or whatever I'm laying on} so she'll want to roll over and be more comfortable. The first few times I did it I was extremely uncomfortable but it was actually a nice and relaxing way to lay last night so I'm hoping that means she's shifted. Like I said, I can still deliver her naturally without any problem but it's not the "ideal" position for her to be in.

I'm getting SO MANY tips on how to induce labor and have tried basically all of them. Castor Oil is not an option. YUCK! SO... here's hoping that I don't have a 40 week update for you NEXT Wednesday!

Here we go...

*How far along? 39 weeks 2 days today!

*Total weight gain/loss: Still healthy!

*How big is baby? 19 to 22 inches, 7ish lbs .

*Maternity clothes? Once I went on maternity leave I started living in my leggins and baggy sweaters :)

*Stretch Marks? None :)

*Best moment this week? MY MOM ARRIVED! It's been great having her around the house to help with baby prep while Z is at work. ALSO, finishing the SIDEWAYS dance show was kind of the final thing I needed to "do" before Keelin could come. Now that it's checked off the list I'm anxiously awaiting those first signs of labor. COME ON LITTLE GIRL!

*Movement? Still plenty from her, much less from me. Although, I'm thinking about renting a mini trampoline to try to BOUNCE her out... while eating spicy food of course!

*Food Cravings? Orange Juice!

*What I miss: Nothing in particular. I'm much more focused on what's about to happen than what USED to happen.

*What I am looking forward to: KEELIN GETTING HER SWEET BUTT HERE!!!

*Nausea/Vomiting? Nope!

*Labor signs? Some really strong BH contractions

*Gender? Sweet baby girl

*Belly Button in or out? 1/2 and 1/2

*Wedding rings on or off? Still on :)

*Sleep? Pretty shifty and up at least twice for a bathroom run but other than that feeling fairly rested when I wake up

*Weekly Wisdom: This isn't wisdom... more a plea to my sweet girl: My bags are packed, the house is prepped, you're whole family is anxiously awaiting, all that's missing is YOU! Come on out and say "HELLO WORLD!"

Until next time...

Any more guesses on when she'll be here??? Any SUPER STRANGE tips on how to get her here??? For all you mommies out there, did you do anything unique to induce labor that actually worked???

Hospital Bag 101

With only 2 weeks left, Z and I are really in full swing on the baby prep front. We taken care of most of our shopping trips to get some final necessities and get rid of some of the repeat gifts we received and things we don’t really need {HELLO STORE CREDIT}! We’ve been neck-deep in extra organizing around the house to better manage OUR stuff and make room for HER stuff. We successfully installed the car seat so they’ll actually let us LEAVE the hospital and we’re even getting some last minute training for the pups to hopefully help them adjust to life with baby a little easier {that, and give them more obedience so Z doesn’t punt them out the back door}. But there’s one thing in particular that having ready brings me great peace! We’ve gotten our hospital bag(s) packed and ready to go right out the door! Our midwife reminded us at our 36-week appointment that we should go ahead and get our delivery bag ready… something I had accidentally put off with all the excitement of maternity photos, Thanksgiving cooking, tree buying and Christmas decorating. Although it took us about a week to finally get it done, it’s officially checked off the list and what a great relief it is knowing that, when the time comes, we are all set to walk right out the door.

The Internet is filled with more lists than you can possibly imagine that are made to assist expectant parents in packing their hospital bag. But I thought I would share a few additional items that you may not think to bring {compliments of our midwife who is so super smart and helpful}.

  1. Tiny bottles of mouthwash – pregnant women, and especially women in labor, tend to be overly sensitive to smells. So when Nurse Nancy comes to see how you are doing, after recently chowing down on an onion bagel, you may find yourself in an epic battle against your gag reflexes. There’s nothing wrong with asking your nurse to take a quick swig and spit, so you can avoid upchucking mid-contraction. Obviously you would want to be as KIND as possible and remind them that you’re sure their breath doesn’t really smell bad, it’s just your heightened sensitivity.
  2. 3 bags of candy and thank you cards – I’ve heard this from so many people… one of the best ways to up your chances of having a successful labor {especially if you are very particular in your birth plan} and delivery are to be NICE to the nurses. No matter what your birth plan is, if you go into the hospital with anything remotely resembling a “mightier than thou” mentality, your nurses will NOT want to be accommodating to your crazy requests. Think about it… would you want to bend over backwards for someone being a total biotch? That goes for daddy-to-be as well. Being kind, respectful, and consistently thankful to your nurses for all the hard work they are doing is a sure-fire way to make your labor experience that much better. Bring bags of candy to help “sweeten” up even the biggest sourpuss nurse. And be sure to write a thank you note to all the nurses that assist you from start to finish, to show how much you appreciate them. Who knows, you may play a part in ensuring the next laboring mother they deal with has a more pleasant experience.
  3. Soft hair ties – Hair ties are one of those items that I always THINK I have on me, but most consistently am forgetting. Long or short hair, you’re going to want it out of your face and you’re going to want to be able to lay your head back without getting stabbed in the cranium by a huge plastic clip. Keep it simple, keep it soft, and keep it as comfortable as possible.
  4. Chapstick- Between breathing through the pain of contractions and trying to stay hydrated, your lips WILL get chapped. Especially if you find yourself in your 24th hour of labor, you’re going to want that tiny bit of comfort.
  5. Cheap lotion – Our birthing method is all about relaxation do you can bet that massages from the hubby will be on the menu during labor. Constant rubbing on dry skin will quickly start to not feel good so bring some cheap lotion for mid-contraction back rubs!
  6. Drinks and snacks – At one point or another you’re going to have spouts of hunger and extreme thirst. Staying hydrated and keeping your tummy happy are more important than you might think. Plus if hubby is there supporting you through 24 hours of labor, chances are he's going to get a bit famished as well. Even if it is his fault that your pushing a watermelon out of your crotch, he deserves some aid too.

SO... for those of you who plan on doing HARD TIME at a hospital in the near future... consider bringing some of these things along with you when you go!

Until next time...

Can you think of any other "not so obvious" hospital bag items? Or, for you mommies out there who have done it before, was there anything you found to be exceptionally helpful or totally unnecessary? How about something you wish you'd thought to bring? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT!

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!!!

Feeling LARGE, and not so in charge + my pregnancy Christmas carol!

It probably sounds totally nuts that, not only am I just now feeling the real “trials” of pregnancy {at 37 weeks} but also that I’m finally feeling my pregnancy come to an end. I guess it’s about time, what with only 2 weeks and change left until my due date and the realization that she could decide to come at ANY TIME.  SQUEEE! I always hear stories of pregnant women wishing they could just pop their little invaders out at around 6 months because their bodies have been so drastically affected and they are THAT eager to regain the feeling of being “in control” of everything again. The truth is, I’ve only JUST started watching the clock and feeling like it’s really time for Keelin to be here. I’m still totally in love with being pregnant and I’m actually wondering what it’s going to be like without my little mover groovin’ inside my big belly {as if she’s always been there}.  My mother assures me that I’ll be so infatuated with Keelin that I won’t even notice my lack of belly dance parties... which I’m sure is completely true. But I’ve felt so blessed throughout this entire process {even while hugging the toilet bowl in my first trimester} that it is a little bittersweet to know it could all be over tomorrow. WOW, that sounds so incredibly terrible when remembering that “the end” of a pregnancy means “the beginning” of motherhood, which I’m truly SO excited about. But I think you {especially other mommies and mommies-to-be} get what I mean.

All that being said, and due to the fact that my earbuds are feeding me Christmas music ALL DAY AT WORK, I thought it would be “fun” to bring a little Christmas flare to the trials of pregnancy. You love it already, right?

I present to you… my own personal 12 Pains of Pregnancy.  {Disclaimer: I realize when you try to SING these pains, they really don’t fit with the rhythm or rhyme of the traditional Christmas song… but you get the picture! ALSO, none of these “pains” are detrimental enough to make me not love every minute of experiencing them but I thought I’ve been positive enough thus far, time for a little self-satisfying whining… just sayin’.}

The 1st thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is the baby showing your full bladder whose boss.

The 2nd thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is randomly losing any and all sense of balance.

The 3rd thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is the tummy-growing-belly-itch that makes you feel like you’re toting around a hairy beer gut rather than an adorable baby bump every time you scratch it.

The 4th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is literally feeling your hips open and loosen up for GO TIME… OOWIEE!

The 5th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is having to rely 100% on rear view mirrors because twisting for “over the shoulder” traffic checks is quite impossible.

The 6th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is an uncontrollable urge to cry… for no reason at all… except that it’s the only thing that seems “right” in the world.

The 7th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is the additional 5 seconds it takes you to get in or out of ANY seat.

The 8th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is the feeling of complete frustration and utter despair any time you drop something on the floor {and the struggle you face when contemplating whether or not you’re just going to leave it there and save yourself the trouble}.

The 9th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is the punch, kick or jab that somehow finds THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE spot right under your ribcage.

The 10th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is attempting to shave your legs… don’t make me laugh.

The 11th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is realizing that your belly picked up sink splatter when you look in the bathroom mirror and see a huge, hateful wet spot, put there only to mock you and your largeness.

The 12th thing about pregnancy that’s such a pain to me is putting tights on, in a public restroom, with nowhere to sit… yeah.

That’s enough whining for me… now back to my annoyingly joyous attitude!

Until next time…

Now it’s your turn. If you’re pregnant, share some of your own pains. If you’re not pregnant… take some time to complain about whatever is bugging you MOST right now. The floor is open!

*I do not own these pictures, links provided*