Yes, it’s sorta weird.

Hello, from the other side of a whirlwind of July social-showers! This month, I’ve hosted/attended a handful of fun, milestone events for friends. Earlier this month we celebrated a good friend’s impending September baby at a gorgeous shower, and today, I’m still recuperating from wonderful weekend away with the ladies to celebrate a close friends’ up-coming wedding… in other words: A BACHELORETTE PARTY!

This was not my first pregnant bachelorette party, but it was certainly my most pregnant. As such, I tried to create a nice weekend that was a  perfect combination of shenanigans and relaxation — not just for my own benefit but because I was in good company! 3 out of 10 girls on the trip were pregnant (26, 29, and 32 weeks respectively). Despite some of us needing more down-time than others, I think everyone enjoyed a pretty solid weekend of hot springs, beach time, fancy dinner, and yep, a little clubbin’!

here we are before our "big night out" @ 29 weeks

So here’s where the title of this post comes into play. After our “fancy dinner” out on the town, the two other pregnant gals decided to retreat back to our rental house for some more R&R while the rest of us carried on to the a dance club to keep the festivities going. Yes, I totally trooped it out. I mean, what was the big deal? I can have a fun time sober! I like to dance! And I loved the other ladies I was with and wanted to keep spending time with them. But I must admit…

…it was sorta weird too.

Here’s the deal. I LOOK pretty dang pregnant these days. And the dance floor was packed with sweaty twenty-somethings who I was pretty sure could tell I was “bumpin” so to speak. Did they think I was a bad mother, hanging out in a bar? Could they tell I was only drinking water? I hope so! Were they grossed out by me? Was it like being at a club with your mom? I was sort of self conscious to put it mildly. Despite this, I was able to to bust some serious moves and had a GREAT time dancing and laughing at my friends who were getting a lot of attention from an adjacent bachelor party. I was happy to watch from a safe distance and egg people on, until one of these party-goers decided he wanted to dance with me.

ME?! Was he twisted?

He started dancing close to me, innocently enough. Probably sensing my hesitation he asked, “HEY! CAN WE DANCE?!” To which I shouted back… “Eh… I’m married. And pregnant. And sober…” which in my mind was the ultimate trifecta of NO YOU DON’T WANT THIS, MOVE ALONG! But instead he replied, “AWESOME!” and put his hands on my waist. The look on my face was pure panic.

In less than 2 seconds, my girlfriends came rushing to my side, barricading this 25 year old frat boy from me (and MM) with brute force. Once we were all “safe” the guy came back to apologize to me in earnest. “I’m sorry,” he said. And with a genuinely inquisitive look on his face he asked, “it is weird to dance with pregnant people?”

Huh…!

Was it? Struck by the question, I wasn’t even sure what to say. After a moment I replied, “Yeah. I guess it is sorta weird.”

And not for the reason I originally thought. It wasn’t because I’m huge, and unsexy, and awkward. It is because I am currently my unborn son. Strange as that may sound, we are physically one body. I am his shell, I am his mother, I am his protector. And some stranger was near him. I could care less about some guy wanting to dance with me. But no stranger  dare come near my child.

The story played out later among my girlfriends that even at 7 months pregnant, I still “had it” for which I should feel proud. But in my quieter moments, I congratulated myself for another reason: that I had somewhere along the lines turned into a mother. That that little twinge of excitement around garning attention from men had been completely replaced by the motherly instincts. This doesn’t feel right. My son is here, and we’re leaving. 

From then on, I laughed from the side-lines and then we found a more mellow creekside dance floor, where it was just my group of girlfriends on the dance floor. We danced in a big circle like it was 1999, unabashedly enjoying each other’s company and relishing in our friendship. I felt truly grateful to be with them and even happier that I “stayed up late” for the big night. We made great memories, and one day I hope these friends-turned-aunties to my son will tell him what a cool mom he has. :)

all of the girls at the beach, earlier in the day. best friends ever.

Firsts: The Nursing Bra

illu-nursing-bra

A couple of weeks ago I decided to suck it up and order some new bras… but not just any old bras! The bargain shopper I am, I wanted to buy the sort of bras that would last me through 6 months postpartum as well. You guessed it, nursing bras. The clip-down kind. I’ll let you google that on your own.

Anyhow, I wore my first nursing bra today and felt exactly the way I felt in elementary school, wearing a training bra for the first time. Could people tell? Did I look different? Hey this is actually sort of comfortable! Dang, I feel like a woman! It was my own secret and even forgot myself that I had it on until I returned home and had a good laugh at myself in the mirror.

Boy, times sure are changing.

28 Week Update – The Third Trimester!


This trimester stuff is confusing. At 24 weeks I was pretty sure I was in the last trimester of my pregnancy. I mean 6 out of 9 months is 2/3 right? Wrong. What I neglected to recall was that pregnancy is TEN months! And counting backwards from a whopping 40 weeks, we’ve only just begun that 90 day countdown.

So here we are. We’ve arrived gracefully (for the most part!) and healthily into our final stage of my first pregnancy. I can hardly believe it.

I hesitate to make any over-arching statements around my pregnancy at this stage lest I jinx myself, but at the same time if things go downhill from here I’d like the following thoughts on the record.

My pregnancy has been wonderful. These past 7 months, whether I knew it at the time or not have been some of the most insightful, exciting, and introspective of my life. Nothing, nothing compares to the warm feeling of knowing there is a life inside you. On top of that warmth is knowing that this life was created by you along with the love-of-your-life. And that special-miracle person you made will be yours forever— or at least until they move away and marry… and go through the “life” process on their own, the cycle of life continuing… but again, all thanks to you.

Sure, there is sacrifice involved. I hate to use the phrase “giving up your body” but sometimes I do feel that way. My body is not in my control to the extent that I prefer and that has been the most challenging part of this journey so far, as chronicled many times in the previous 92 blog posts. But I am comforted in knowing that I’m still okay… that I can allow myself to “let go” of that control and be just fine, perfectly healthy and happy and loved. My body is a baby-making machine— and so long as I am able to return to a somewhat recognizable shape within the next year, I’d be happy to sacrifice my mid-section to house a few more tiny people in the future.

Alright. Onto the nitty-gritty.

Mini Melbs
Is 2.5 lbs this week and around 18 inches long. His lungs are developed such that he could likely breathe on his own if he were born today. He can suck on his toes, and boy can I feel him! None of my prenatal apps include this tidbit, but I am fairly certain MM can also scale Mount Everest at this stage. Often, I awake in the middle of the night with what feels like a rodent climbing the insides of my uterus: click click click click… all the way across my abdomen. Serious creepy, yet oddly comforting too.

Symptoms
This week I played the part of student moreso than office worker, sitting in management training for long hours, sandwiched in between even more tedious commutes. Come Friday morning, I couldn’t fathom sitting down. My tailbone ached, my bladder ached, my eyeballs hurt. My eyesight is legitimately worse than usual these days, I’m not making this up! But worst of all, my attention span has regressed to that of an 8 year old. Call it baby-brain or whatever, but dear mother of god, there is no way I can pay attention to anything for more than 10 minutes at a time.  And often times, MM is just moving that frequently which is very distracting. I can see my belly rolling in my peripheral vision and wonder if anyone else is noticing too.

Eating
Gosh, I’ve been eating like shit this week and there are no baby-cravings to blame it on. Just standard, busy working American life. I haven’t had time to grocery shop for “real food” this week and we’ve been eating whatever is convenient— take-out or frozen things for dinner. And not being at my usual office (due to training) has hampered my standard green-lunches. One of my favorite healthy-eating mantras is eat for how you want to feel. And boy do I feel shitty right now. Bloated, fluffy, lethargic… a mirror into last week’s menu.

Exercise
On a more positive note, I’ve worked out 5 days this week which is good. I’ve finally found some excellent work-out routines on YouTube that don’t make me feel like a senior citizen doing calisthenics. My work-outs happen whenever I can fit them in: before or after work, or mid-day if I’m at home. As long as I break a sweat, I’m happy. I alternate between a 20 minute cardio routine, and some 10 minute strength training videos. I am actually feeling quite strong these days. Just a shame I can’t “see” it!

 Body Stuff
Still no major swelling. My wedding ring is still on and slides off easily unless I’m in the heat. My ankles remain intact which I remind people to look at constantly (I know, I’m a moose. But would you look at these skinny ankles?!) No stretch marks on my belly, and still the faintest linea nigra on my lower belly. Sometimes I can’t tell if its an indent from the seam of my pants or what, but pretty sure its linea nigra.

Purchases
I think my “Baby Gear” post the other day was pretty thorough! But one more thing arrived! This really adorable giraffe decal.

popitay store on etsy

popitay store on etsy

Best Moment This Week
Getting ready in my own bedroom. During my pregnant fury, I completely migrated my bedroom-closet out of the nursery and into my own shared bedroom. It meant giving up a lot of stuff, and packing away almost all of my normal clothes and shoes but it felt so good to get dressed and do my make-up in the same room my husband was drinking coffee in. Who knew I’d been missing out on quality time in the morning with him??

Looking Forward To
My friends’ baby shower tomorrow! I have a good friend who is 3 weeks further along into her pregnancy than I am (also with her first!) and tomorrow is her shower. It’s been so wonderful having someone to compare notes with, and how is just slightly ahead of me at every stage to see what I have to look forward to (or not!). She and her husband have opted to keep their baby’s gender a surprise, which if you recall I’m totally into so it’s also neat to sort of experience what that’s like, second hand through her.

Also, today is my “little” brother’s birthday and we’re celebrating by going to a baseball game— but shh don’t tell him. It’s a surprise ;)
I am realizing more and more each day how grateful I am to have a brother. More specifically, to have grown up with a brother so close in age. It’s because of him, and what an awesome little guy he was was to grow up with that I am SO EXCITED and feel prepared to raise a boy of my own. He has always been so full of life and adventure, so curious about the world, and gosh darn it, such a mamas-boy! that I can easily picture loving life with a little man around to dote upon.

Wish me well into my third and final trimester! And pray for my placenta, which serious has some moving to do these next few weeks. Thanks!

Baby Gear Update

This was a big weekend for crossing off baby-related purchases. We’ve almost completed our “big ticket” baby gear list and I couldn’t feel more relieved. Yes, I know there is still plenty of time and that baby won’t need any of this stuff for a while… but whatever makes mommy happy right?

The Stroller – Uppababy Vista
Stroller review on YouTube <– this really sealed the deal for me. We went with the tangerine color for each piece because it’s unisex and we’ll be using it for baby #2 (and maybe 3?!) someday. And if you know me, you know I love bold colors. This set was a splurge and took me a couple of months of hemming and hawing, but I’m confident we made the right decision here. Plus, we got 20% off the carseat and 15% off the stroller set thanks to a tip from another pregnant friend who purchased the same stroller the day before (score!!).

Uppababy Vista Stoller with bassinet and Mesa Carseat

Uppababy Vista Stoller with bassinet and Mesa Carseat

The Glider – Little Castle Swivel Glider & Ottoman
This was a gift from Melbs’ parents. We are so thankful for their generosity and love that this set will be in our family for many years to come. After I’m done nursing and rocking our babies, we can bring it out from the nursery and into our living room for all to enjoy. Again, more orange! In the nursery, this will definitely be a “statement” piece against the grays and blues.

Little Castle Glider & Ottoman

Little Castle Glider & Ottoman

We came home to a giant box on our porch last night and I had grand visions of doing an un-boxing video for the in-laws but wouldn’t ya know it… I stepped out for a dinner date with some other moms-to-be and came home to Melbs already unhinging the door to the nursery and setting up this sweet duo inside. The best I could do was snap a picture of the “after”. We’ll move the crib to the other side of the room to make room for more gliding but you get the idea.

Super comfy

Super comfy

Rocking Horse – Vintage Lion
Okay, so this isn’t really a need-to-have, but who could resist? I always dreamed of having a solid wood rocking horse for the nursery and we set out to see if we could find one. We did one better, finding a wooden LION instead! Aside from the bold colors in the nursery, I’m going for a loosely-themed safari animal motif (giraffes etc) and this lion is just perfect! Melbs lugged this prized treasure around for over an hour and I hope Mini Melbs laughs at this photo of his super-dorky dad one day.

Handmade "Rocking Lion"

Handmade “Rocking Lion”

Clearly, we’re having a great time with all of this!

All that’s left in terms of “big ticket” items is a dresser/changing table which will match the crib. We have a second carseat, compliments of a friend who gave us her gently used, top-safety rated Chicco, and I’ve decided to wait on buying a jogger until the baby is closer to 6 months old.

So basically, we have everything we need but the baby! 13 more weeks…!

Off to an OB appointment now. If anything exciting happens, I’ll let you know. ;)

Pregnant Fury

I can’t describe this fury, but it’s the very best possible type. Today I got it bad— a bolt of energy that possessed me to take on incredible tasks: room swapping, basement organization, and total backyard weed-a-thon. A few trips to the Goodwill for donation were had, a jaunt to the baseball field with Nala was enjoyed, and the only reason I’m blogging yet again today is because I’ve been ordered by my husband to stop moving for the rest of the day.

But even in my stationary position I’ve accomplished a great number of things: price-shopped the stroller for best local store and loyalty programs, paid all of the utility bills for the month, blogged (twice), and took a much needed bath— all the while talking to MM who has been along for the ride all day and has not exactly been sleeping himself.

I’m far from done with my projects. And am going to the antique faire tomorrow morning for the first time in almost two years (!!) to hopefully find some of the finishing touches I need for both home, garden, and nursery. Our rooms are still in disarray but I’m determined to complete everything ahead of the work week.

I’d also like to take this manic minute to point out that Melbs has been extraordinary this week. Maybe he’s finally realized I’m pregnant and is going the extra mile to make me comfortable?  I have never been more in love with my husband than I am today. And yes, I’ve told him as much. <3 He’s outside grilling us some tri tip and mushrooms as we speak… save him popping in once to ensure I was still sitting down with my legs elevated. …hmmm, did someone slip him some books I wonder??

I hope this wonderful energy isn’t just a honeymoon period to say goodbye to the second trimester. Adios smiley times, and hello cankles, right? Enjoying everything while I can just in case! ;)

 

Solar Flares and Braxton Hicks

I just got off the phone with my dad, who if you don’t know, is quite the naturalist (read: hippie). He is also an expert landscaper which is why I called this morning, seeking advice on what to do about the lovely sod we laid 6 weeks ago. Most of it has rooted into the earth and is thriving (already mowed twice!) but other patches remain dry, dead, and curling at the edges, never having rooted properly. Our conversation digressed, as they always do with him, to one about the danger of solar flares. Coupled with the disintegrating ozone layer, solar flares will eventually kill us all, he says. But not to worry. There will be something else, something much greater than a world where I need worry about dried up sod squares. Well, thank god.

Despite having already envisioning my own mortality this morning, I am feeling rather energized today. In fact, I’ve been embracing the power of positive visualization lately (mainly to relieve back pain— and more on that later) and I can’t help but see that there is a solar flare coming from within my body today that’s compelling me to get up and CREATE!

Yesterday was the 4th of July and we spent the day with friends in San Francisco, right next to the glorious Golden Gate Bridge. It was a wonderful and low-key afternoon that left me feeling calm and content with the little life that Melbs and I have created for ourselves here. We have the best friends in the world. We live in the most beautiful part of the world (I think!) and we have all the modern and natural comforts anyone could dream of here. Just as I was settling into my own private thoughts about how happy I was in the moment, I started to feel a truly physical pain in my belly.

It was a sharp, shooting pain right in the center of my belly, under my flattened belly button. I couldn’t move— it was paralyzing. I sat down and tried to forget about it. And after a minute it did go away. But then it came back! I breathed through it again, and started googling “cramps while pregnant” “sharp pain, 27 weeks pregnant” and so forth and everything pointed to braxton hicks or “false labor” contractions. Apparently, these contractions have been happening for months but they’ve been so slight that I couldn’t feel them… and now I guess I can? Some women think they’re actually going into labor when it happens, mistaking them for real contractions. Hmm. I did enough reading to know that real contractions continue indefinitely and increase in both rate and strength. These were pretty random, only lasted a minute a piece and didn’t return so I think I’m good and won’t freak out if it happens again. I’ll ask my OB about it next week either way, so don’t worry.

Screen Shot 2014-07-05 at 10.09.05 AM

Melbs and I decided to call it a day anyway and forgo watching fireworks with friends in favor of relaxing at home. We got quite the show anyway from inside our house watching Nala and Bear run around seeking cover under the furniture with each loud boom from outside. At one point, Nala tried squeezing herself under the couch which is only 3 inches from the ground… :-/ I will never understand the appeal of fireworks. Until I have a little boy, that is. ;)

Anyhow I’m rambling on. And on a day I promised myself I wouldn’t open my laptop no less. I have big plans for the day: gardening, gardening, and more gardening. Our tomatoes now total in the dozens, and there is a lot of weeding to do. I am SO excited to have an entire day at home, enjoying the nice weather. Now to go put on some preggo pants and hit up Home Depot! Early bird always catches the worm, or at least beat the solar flares.