26 Weeks: A Little Optimism

5 years ago (almost to the week!) Matt and I were getting ready to get married. Pretty much every person we met had some kind of marriage advice for us. The overwhelming majority (mostly those of older generations) said: “YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE! YOUR RELATIONSHIP WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!”

Since Matt and I had never gotten married before, we didn’t really know what to expect, but in private we both agreed that we couldn’t imagine anything being different. We already lived together and we’d been together for 5 years. We didn’t think the labels of husband and wife would really change us much.

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And you know what? We were right. Nothing changed. We were exactly the same pair! We had new commitments and new challenges, but there was nothing inherent about marriage that changed either of us. If anything, things got way better.

I can’t help but feel like my life is on replay. As we share with others that we are expecting, people loooove to say “YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE” in an ominous, warning tone. (Again, older generations seem to love this phrase! Surprisingly, younger parents are actually the ones who offer the most encouragement and excitement.)

Allow me to be a bit flippant here, but I KNOW! Luckily we chose this path and have both always wanted to be parents. The change that is coming is one we welcome with open arms. We know there will be sleepless nights (and I’m sure they’ll be even worse than I imagine) and tough days and times when we miss our old lives, but we still know this is coming.

I’m sure the folks with the ominous tones have good intentions. Perhaps they just wish they had been more mentally prepared when they were having their first child. But the tendency to dwell on the negative rather than the positive when it comes to having kids makes me sad. I am thankful for those who have said things like “It’s the most wonderful thing in the world.” As an optimist, I like to hope for the best and deal with the struggles when I get to them in my own journey.

Sarah recently wrote a post about people saying “Just you wait!” to her.

But I absolutely love the “just you waits!” shared by Katie in this post.

I loved Callie’s message to “Let Her Dream”

Please DO let us dream – and if you’d like to say “I told you so” when I’m complaining about all the messes, the stress, the sleeplessness a year from now, let that be your moment : ) **

**I’d like to say though that in my BERF comments you guys are all so supportive and I’m preaching to the choir : ) **

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26 Weeks: Birth Wish List

We all know that birth plans are ideal scenarios that rarely go as hoped for.

Thus, this is my birth wish list. Some of these things are complete unknowns (because I don’t really know what my labor will be like), and I’m writing down for for the sake of putting them on paper for my doula and Matt and sorting my thoughts. When I met with Jen this past weekend, we talked over a lot of these things so we would be on the same page. But I’m also writing them out because it was helpful for me to read birth plan options earlier so I knew what questions to ask at the childbirth class about our hospital and helped me think through an ideal atmosphere and approach to labor.

Please note that I recognize that with all births, the health of the baby (and mom) always comes first! This wish list applies to a normal labor.

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Labor

I’d like to stay at home with my doula, Jen, there with me for as long as we feel comfortable

I’d like to keep myself hydrated and fueled with light snacks, coconut water and water throughout labor

I would like to be encouraged to move into as many positions as possible for optimal pelvis opening and baby movement

I’d like for my coaches to read encouragement from Ina May’s book regarding the mind-body connection

I’d like lots of photos taken to remember the day even if they are just for Matt and me : )

I’d like some jokes made to lighten the mood and help me relax

I’d like to listen to soothing music (MJH has wifi for Pandora!)

At The Hospital

I consent to the blood typing upon admission, will likely leave IV in my arm (you all convinced me of the seriousness of this, but if it really bothers me I might have it taken out)

I prefer not to be offered pain medication or an epidural

I want to be free to move or walk around

I’d like to wear my own clothes

I’d like to get in the tub!

I would like to avoid an episiotomy as much as possible

I do not want my water broken unless absolutely required

If my labor goes beyond a day and/or Jen and I feel I would benefit from a rest, epidural discussion begins

Delivery + Postpartum

I would like to touch the baby’s head during crowning

I would like to use a mirror so I can see the delivery

I would like skin-to-skin contact upon birth on my chest and plenty of time thereafter

I’d like to try nursing right after birth

In the event of a C-section, I’d like Matt to be with the baby as soon as possible and have the baby be skin-to-skin-fur

I would like to allow time for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is cut so the baby gets all remaining cord blood. And I would like to donate the cord blood if there is any left to do so.

I would like Matt to cut the umbilical cord

I want to keep my placenta!!!

I’d like to have the baby’s first bath in the room and participate if possible

I’d like to postpone the eye drop antibiotics for several hours

Vitamin K shot is a yes

I do not want my baby circumcised

I’d like to spend as much time with my baby as possible during my hospital stay

And if in the mood, I’d like to drink a homebrew :mgreen:

 

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26 Weeks: Bump At The Beach

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26 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wheeee!! Every Friday feels like a birthday. It’s my turnover day and when I woke up this past week and thought “my baby is 26 weeks!” it was the same exciting feeling as 10.26 is every year.

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As I start the 27th week, a few of my apps have put me in the third trimester already. But I think mentally I’m going to count it at 27 weeks – just a few days to go. I really feel like actually having the baby is not too far away…!

I’m feelin’ pretty huge this week – I think I went through a growth spurt!

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It’s been weird showing my big stomach at the beach, but also it’s pretty liberating. A totally different bikini experience than I’m used to. My stomach may be big, but it’s firm and set in its place, and I feel like people can pretty much tell I’m pregnant. (At least I hope!)

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The baby is moving all of the time and all over the place! Remember how I said he did feel a little bit like an alien? That has all changed and now he feels like a baby in there! I feel like I have company with me at all times – in the best way : ) I feel like he’s always trying to communicate with me when he moves and let me know he’s in there.

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I’ve started to really be able to notice a difference in the movements – some are obviously little limbs poking out and others are bigger backsides. I have even felt him step on my hand a few times! I feel the movements most clearly on my sides – especially if I lie on my side too. He’s definitely getting stronger in there!

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I’m feelin’ really good overall this week. No nausea, energy is good, and my back is better!!! No idea how or why.

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My biggest complaint is now HIP muscle pain. I think this might have to do with sleeping with my knee on a pillow – almost like my hip/glute is flexed all night and exhausted in the morning? Last night I slept mostly on my right side and my left hip was really sore all morning. If I switch sides, it’s the other side.

Luckily our doula gave us a fabulous stretch that feels amazing on the hips and glutes. It’s called the side release and Spinning Babies says it’s more for the pelvic floor than the hips, but it gives me amazing instant pain-free hips. We did the stretch around noon today and all of my hip/muscle pain disappeared.

My doula also told me that I should relax my abs more. I don’t spend too much energy holding my core in when I stand, but apparently I hold my abs pretty tight. She encouraged me to “just let it all out” more often and make more space for the baby to move around and things to fall into place. It’s called “making your stomach a hammock for the baby” and it’s also recommended to do this on all fours for the ultimate hammock (esp. just before labor!) It’s kind of strange doing it, but I do think it makes sense to vary my stomach positions throughout the day.

Normal vs. pushing it all out

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Another new symptom: tingly feet! It’s like a very brief pins and needles and only lasts a split second, often when I stand up, sit down or hit my feet against something. I don’t think it’s anything blood-related like the vena cava compression – just something funky going on with nerves in my feet, likely from changing structures. Not too bad of a symptom though.

I’ve also noticed I don’t want to eat nearly as much as I used to. I’m rarely interested in seconds and sometimes can’t even finish my dinner. Not because I’m too stuffed, surprisingly, but because I just don’t want to keep eating the same flavor and my mouth gets tired of it. It’s a very odd sensation!

Rolling over at night is also pretty hard, but I’ve discovered if I go under (swing the bump under me in a plank) rather than over it’s a bit easier on my stretching abs. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to go under though!

It was fun having Matt around while I took my photos this week!! He’s usually at work. So I hear…the baby can hear us now!

Listen

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26 Weeks: Goodie Goodie Gumdrops!

I’ve been all food and household on OpenSky for the past two years, but pregnancy opens up a whole new door of products to score in deals. To kick off the addition of baby products to my shop (in the coming weeks….) OpenSky is sponsoring this giveaway of three popular baby registry items:

Aden + Anais Swaddle 4-packs

There are everywhere and so beautiful and simple! [Winner chooses girl, boy, neutral]

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Designer Diaper Bags by Jonathan Adler – Changing Pouch

Matching my nursery theme! This pouch is a diaper changer that converts any style of bag into a diaper bag. Or it’s a punch of color for those who went with neutral colors on their diaper bags!

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Lawn Countertop Drying Rack by Boon

Do you know I almost bought this for my kitchen to dry little spoons and bowls? If it weren’t so popular in the baby world I probably would have. I love wheat grass as décor, so this is one kitchen “appliance” that will be allowed on my countertop someday : )

 

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There will be TWO winners!

To Enter

1) Those new to OpenSky, enter by signing up here

2) Those already following me, leave a comment on this post to let OpenSky know you’d like to be entered

Giveaway is sponsored by OpenSky and ends at midnight, tomorrow night, 5/30. Winner will be announced at the bottom of this post in the following days.

This contest is now closed – and the winners (randomly picked by OpenSky) are:

#83 Kathryn Summer

#162 Rachel

Congrats!

 

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26 Weeks: Goodie Goodie Gumdrops!

Double posted this by accident!!! These comments will be counted, but please leave new comments on more recent post! Thanks!!! -mgmt

 

I’ve been all food and household on OpenSky for the past two years, but pregnancy opens up a whole new door of products to score in deals. To kick off the addition of baby products to my shop (in the coming weeks….) OpenSky is sponsoring this giveaway of three popular baby registry items:

Aden + Anais Swaddle 4-packs

There are everywhere and so beautiful and simple! [Winner chooses girl, boy, neutral]

image

Designer Diaper Bags by Jonathan Adler – Changing Pouch

Matching my nursery theme! This pouch is a diaper changer that converts any style of bag into a diaper bag. Or it’s a punch of color for those who went with neutral colors on their diaper bags!

image

Lawn Countertop Drying Rack by Boon

Do you know I almost bought this for my kitchen to dry little spoons and bowls? If it weren’t so popular in the baby world I probably would have. I love wheat grass as décor, so this is one kitchen “appliance” that will be allowed on my countertop someday : )

 

image

There will be TWO winners!

To Enter

1) Those new to OpenSky, enter by signing up here

2) Those already following me, leave a comment on this post to let OpenSky know you’d like to be entered

Giveaway is sponsored by OpenSky and ends at midnight, tomorrow night, 5/30. Winner will be announced at the bottom of this post in the following days.

PREVIOUS 26 WEEK POSTS

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Car Seat Safety

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26 Weeks: Car Seat Safety

From the moment I became pregnant, I started listening to Pregtastic podcasts. When I was out walking, while taking a shower, while making a meal, on car trips – everywhere. I. Learned. So. Much.

I was very sad when I reached the end of the 250ish episodes, but I discovered the continuation of Pregtastic: New Moms, New Babies. Unfortunately it seems both shows are on a hiatus right now, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t great. NMNB has been great to hear from new moms and how things are going, and the topics covered are really educational.

If you only listen to one mommy podcast in your life, this one should be it: Child Seat Safety, Proper Installation and Seat Recommendations.

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I really know absolutely nothing about car seats, yet their job is of utmost importance. I know the baby has to be buckled in and I know that it’s wise to go to the fire/police station to have them verify that the car seat is installed properly. But in this podcast, there was much that I didn’t know that might end up saving my baby’s life someday. (A tough phrase to say/type).

The podcast is led by Robyn Siminoff, a Child Passenger Safety Instructor, and she shocks even the moms in the studio with some facts about carseat dos and don’ts. Some of the rules seem a bit extreme, but when you think about the role the car seat is playing in your child’s safety, this is serious information.

Here were a few pointers that I took away and packed into my brain:

-Never put your car seat insert in the washing machine (SHOCKER! All the moms had done this!) Anything other than wiping/hand washing will ruin the fibers of the straps so that in a crash they would not spring back as they are suppose to and the baby can fly out if the straps break.

-Even if you are in a fender bender and your car is not damaged, the impact from just you slamming on your breaks is enough to “wear out” the single-use straps. You need a new seat, or at the very least, new straps. (Soooo annoying, but remember we’re talking life or death here. If you were in a much more severe crash a few weeks later and those straps didn’t work…you’d probably wish you had addressed them after the first bump).

-Straps need to be secure and tight at ALL TIMES. Whenever the baby is in the seat. This includes when grocery shopping or in strollers. (Note car seats should never go in the top part of a grocery cart – they can tip out no matter how heavy it feels!) A lot of car seat accidents happen when the baby isn’t even in the car but because mom doesn’t put on the straps for a quick carry.

-Robyn does not recommend a mirror to see your baby’s face. This distracts mom and makes a car crash more likely a la texting while driving. If your baby is upset, you will hear him cry and whether you can see him or not you will likely take the same action (pull over to nurse/adjust or ride it out till you’re home). The mirrors can also fly around in the car in a serious crash.

-Speaking of flying debris, if you would not want to hit your baby in the face with an item yourself, don’t have it loose in the car. Stuffed animal = probably OK. Stroller, cooler, heavy purse = not OK. She suggested strapping your purse in with a seatbelt.

-The angles of the car seat are very important. The baby’s head should not fall forward and the base should be totally even. Don’t add any layers to your baby that would allow him to slip out like a big snow suit – the suit would stay in the car seat and the baby would fly out of the suit. Instead put your baby in in no more than 2 layers and then put all the warmth over him and the straps.

-Always have your car seat checked out if you put it in a different car for the first time. Tight isn’t always right.

Safe baby transport to all!

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26 Weeks: Saturday Snapshots

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I’ve had this paper star floating around the nursery – and our house – for a long time. I’m just not sure what to do with it!

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Should I hang it over the crib? I wonder if it would feel a bit sparse just the single star in the center?

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Does the black and white go? I’ve heard that babies like black and white.

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Thoughts?

Also, forgot to include this book in our collection! Amelia gave it to me last fall – before I was pregnant!! So very appropriate!

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