Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Let the Third Trimester Begin

Tomorrow officially begins the Third Trimester.  This week at work I was entering 90 day approvals into the system and realizing they expire after our due date!

Caitlyn is growing, growing, growing.  My belly just keeps sticking out further and further.  My abs are still hanging in there so it's quite the amusing little sideways camel hump that rides a lot higher than I would have expected.  I keep wondering when things will start to drop or spread out around the middle and I really just can't even begin to imagine where the rest of this baby is going to go.  I already seem so big in my mind. 

My weight gain started off pretty slow but somewhere along the way I developed a sweet tooth and let's just say things have accelerated a tad.  I'm up to about 155 pounds now which means I've gained about 18 pounds since the start of the pregnancy and if I gain another pound a week from here on out I'll end up with a total gain of 30 pounds which is right about what I was aiming for so I'm pretty happy with that.  Caitlyn's growth continues to measure well and on track so she is clearly getting what she needs.  But I've been thinking I want to try to start keeping a food diary for the last trimester to keep better track and make sure I'm getting enough variety of all the nutrients I want to try to cram into her while she's still my little utero-captive.

Caitlyn's activity level has increased quite a bit too with lots of movement.  Hiccups are still regular, as well as distinct movements and jabs.  I also get quite a firm rolling sensation here and there where I imagine she is turning over and trying to get into a more comfortable position.  I can feel solid parts of her pushing up against the surface of my belly but still can't distinguish which parts are which.  I spend a lot of time in the evenings rubbing my belly like a little Buddha so she can get used to my touch and maybe it will be more soothing and familiar when I rub her back when she gets fussy.  She does NOT like it when I lean forward in my desk at work and wiggles around.  The girl likes her space. 

My hormones must be elevating too.  Lately I've been feeling extra affectionate and extra sensitive emotionally, both positively and negatively.

Last weekend I went home for a quick trip to Eugene which included my first Baby Shower with my family and closest childhood family friends.  It is so humbling to be on the receiving end of so much love and joy and support for this wonderful little life.  And it's absolutely remarkable to think that all of these people in my life who have loved me since I was a child, are standing by to invest that same precious love in my daughter.  Yes, Caitlyn is going to be very blessed.

I started to process more recently that I'm actually going to be a mother.  It's easier to grasp that you are going to have a baby than to realize that you are going to be a mother.   It came to me when I opened up one of my baby shower invitations which had a baby bird and a momma bird on it and I realized, 'Wait, I'm the Momma Bird!"  I'm glad I still have 12 more weeks to go though.  This Momma Bird still has some more nesting to do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Progress So Far

13 Weeks

19 Weeks

25 Weeks

Sunday, April 1, 2012

24 Weeks

I think I must be in the honeymoon phase of the pregnancy. I feel Caitlyn's kicks and turns and hiccups a lot lately which I love. Just this week I started noticing my belly actually moving with little jabs here and there. Don got to see it too. I find this so amusing and marvelous! And at the same time, I would like to thank my daughter for being a sweet little angel lately and sleeping through the night with me. Quality sleep is something I have learned to cherish and savor as I know these days are numbered.

I am also love, love, loving deep water aerobics. It took me a while to build the routine of making it to an evening class, but with a little practice, I've managed to make it a priority and am now consistently going about 3 times a week. It feels so good to be in the water and weightless. I get good cardio but without all the stress on my joints and a nice full range of motion. Some of the moves are really out of the ordinary too, like swinging your legs back and forth like a bell (think full conversion from back float to a front float but your head stays in one place), I just can't help but wonder what Caitlyn thinks is going on in there and it makes me smile.

Quality time with Don is also a huge focus for me right now. We've been cooking a lot of good meals together lately. The other night we came home from church and read to Caitlyn for about an hour and half. We've been going through the TV series Justified, and running errands together. Whatever it is, I'm deeply indulging in those moments of being able to be present and attentive to each other without a world of distractions. We have a lot to learn about being parents, but as husband and wife, I couldn't ask for anything more.

Oh, and the NESTING!!!! I was born to nest. Much progress has been made in the Early household. I made the transition to the new office a week or two ago (it's a bit of a blur now). I'm really happy with the new arrangement. It feels more like a real office for one (rather than a nook in my bedroom), so going to work actually feels like "going to work." I have a commute now, if only to the other end of the house.

With the transition to the new office we cleared out the nursery space and that's ready to assemble. We had considered painting but a small disagreement with the landlord took that off the table. Don and I are both OK with this. The finished product would have been cool, but it was starting to sound like a lot of work. As far as the nursery goes, I've already acquired a dresser, changing table, and very nice glider. We recently registered for a crib and mattress also on our Amazon Baby Registry and hoping someone may gift that to us sooner than later so that we can finish setting up the nursery (hint, hint). I'm really happy with being able to use the office nook in our master suite as the nursery area. Location wise it is perfect. However, the way the room is set up with double doors, large windows, an angled wall, and no closet, it will be interesting to see how everything fits in there. Particularly since I have a specific place I want the crib to go where we can see it from our bed.

Additional household projects have come together as well. This weekend we acquired some new shelving for our bathroom and picked up some new towels as our current supply was getting a little ragged. Plus we got some new towel hooks to go on the back of the door -- a muh more convenient location to the shower. I love the new arrangement! I think I already mentioned a few weeks ago that we acquired some new bookshelves also which have gone in the spare bedroom. Other projects I hope to accomplish today are picking up and installing some new mail slot organizers (as part of our never ending quest to keep on top of paperwork and keep the mail from piling up on the kitchen island like it always tends to do), and to finish going through the boxes of office supplies that we have yet to transition to the new office. We may also take a load of books today to the used book store after church to cash those in.

My biggest nesting project lately though has been in the category of meal planning! I finally found the perfect solution for organizing all of my online recipes and simplifying meal planning - Pinterest!!!! It is the best tool for how my mind works. I have been pinning all my favorite recipes in different categories (i.e., soups, salads, chicken recipes, etc). I also have a board for "This Week's Meal Plan." So now I can easily glance through my online recipe collection in a consolidated cookbook fashion and repin the recipes to my weekly meal plan that I want to try that week. Then it's as easy as printing out the recipes, making my grocery list, and done in 15 minutes! People keep telling me I won't have time or energy to cook when the baby comes; but I'm hanging on to the dream (delusional or not) that if I just have a really good plan, I can still make it happen.