Ready or Not: Full Term!

Hello hello!  Well since I’ve done exactly one pregnancy update this time around, it’s probably time for another one before it’s too late!  I keep waiting and waiting for a nice sunny day where I am showered and looking nice, and Casey is available to take some nice photos with our good camera.  Clearly that day is never coming, so this is what we get instead!

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I took most of these pics around 35/36 weeks, but I will actually be 37 weeks pregnant tomorrow – full term!  How did that happen??  I have spent most of this pregnancy totally distracted by a busy job and life with two kids, and feeling like my impending due date was far, far away.  But in the last few weeks, I definitely felt my nesting and prepping urges kick into gear, and as the big day approaches I’m feeling like we are pretty ready!  Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to…

The biggest development – we got a new car!  I felt all sorts of sadness trading in my Nissan Leaf – my favorite car of all time.  We did this for a number of reasons – first of all, our lease was up!  So baby or no baby, we had to make a decision on the Leaf either way.  The reality is that the Leaf does not effectively carry three kids in safe car seats (for my kids’ current ages and sizes), so we knew we needed to look at something else.

Now that I’ve been driving the Leaf for three years, I feel 100% sold on the electric car lifestyle, so that was the biggest factor for us in choosing something new.  There are so few electric options right now that have three rows and can carry more than 4-5 passengers, so our choices were pretty limited.  I can’t wait to see what new options emerge in the next few years!  For the time being, we settled on the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan, with a plug-in electric port for the first 30 miles.  The electric range is about what I drive on any given day, so so far it seems like a great option for us.  To date I’ve driven it 500 miles and have used 1/4 tank of gas so far – not bad!  And the kids could not be more excited about it!

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While I’m not sure I ever thought I’d be a minivan mom, I’ll be honest that I’ve totally embraced it now after a few weeks of driving.  The kids LOVE having so much space, and it’s a really nice vehicle.  We had grandparents in town last weekend and it was so nice to have such a spacious and convenient vehicle to take everyone around town together.  The push button doors are a game changer, as the kids are able to completely get themselves in and out now with zero assistance.  And the boys are in separate rows, which has totally eliminated all fighting over space, books, etc.  I am a minivan mom and I’m gonna own it!

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The weather in Seattle has been horrific, even by Seattle standards, for the past month or so.  So I’ve done a lot of “nesting” at home too.  The chair we ordered back on my birthday finally arrived, and I am loving it’s addition to the living room.  I see a lot of baby feedings and snuggles in this in the coming months!

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I also finally got the nursery mostly together!  We had painted it and brought the furniture up back in February, during our month long quarantine.  But the drawers had remained empty and all the clothes and things just sitting around in bags for a good while.  I am beyond lucky this time around to have received a TON of hand me downs!  A combo of friends and family all sent me the most precious baby girl stuff – I seriously can’t believe how cute it all is and how lucky I feel.

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I spent a rainy Saturday up in the nursery sorting through it all and organizing by size.  After that I went through my own baby boy stuff, pulled out the favorite things I want to keep and reuse, and then I donated the rest of that to local moms expecting little guys.  Feels good to pay it forward, and to also start paring down all these bins of baby things!  Why is it SO satisfying to get rid of things?  Anyone else?

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I’d say the nursery is 90% finished now.  There are still a few things to add and buy, but it’s more than ready for a tiny babe whenever she chooses to arrive.  I’m so happy we ended up painting the room and making it new – it’s a great combo of reusing all the things we already had (and loved), along with fun new things to make this baby feel special.

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I’ll do a full nursery post at some point after she arrives!  I want to hang a name banner on the wall first, but I’m too superstitious to order it just yet.  Anyone else feel that way?  We have a name and I’m 99% sure we won’t change it, but I don’t feel comfortable using it or buying things with it until she is here!  We have not shared the name with the kids, for fear that they will blab it everywhere.  Cullen really wants to name the baby Joy (how sweet is that?), and Graham likes to suggest things like “arm” and “toilet paper.”  But since we are so close to the finish line, I’ll give you guys a teaser.  Her name starts with letter M!  :)

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For some reason – perhaps because I did receive so many amazing hand me downs – I still haven’t bought any clothes for this baby!  I don’t really know what my hesitation is!  For one, the girl stuff is also totally new and overwhelming to me.  Boy clothes are so simple – tops and bottoms.  Girls seems to have a lot more options, styles, accessories, etc.  I did, however, finally buy a new swaddle set!  Haha, my one and only purchase but I sure think it’s cute.  Can you tell I clearly like floral stuff?

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All of this nesting and organizing definitely got turned up a notch about two weeks ago.  One of my closest friends here was due two days before me, and we’ve had so much fun imagining and planning for our girls (!) to be born so close together (and both third babies!).  Her baby ended up being born (safe and healthy) at 35 weeks, which was a major reality check for me.

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Seeing her sweet face and getting to hold (and feed!) her brought on a lot of emotion for me.  For some reason, as silly as it sounds, I still picture that the baby in my belly is still this giant developing tadpole-like thing.  Of course I know that is not true, but it’s really hard for me to wrap my mind around a fully formed person in there just growing and fattening up at this point.  But holding this sweet girl in my arms who is the exact same gestational age – there is no denying that there is a little one just like her who will join us soon too.  All the tears!

I don’t want to be negative or sappy but I’ll be honest that I’ve struggled a lot this pregnancy with anxiety and emotions.  I’m sure it’s all related to our many losses in between Graham and this little one, but I’m still having a hard time believing there is a real, healthy baby waiting for us on the other side of this very long journey.  I know it will take her birth and feeling her in my arms for all of that to finally melt away.  I’m scared I’m going t have the world’s ugliest cry when she is born!

Physically, I’m doing okay.  Not great, not terrible.  I took this pic the day I turned 36 weeks, on my way out the door to a barre3 class.

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I’ve gained about 28 pounds so far, and up until last week I’ve measured slightly behind at all of my midwife check-ins.  Despite feeling enormous, I know that I’m definitely smaller this time than I was with either of the boys.

For perspective, here’s the 37 week belly shot with the boys – Cullen on the left, Graham on the right.  No wonder Graham turned out to be over 9lbs, right?  Holy cow.

I have exactly two pairs of pants that fit – one pair of maternity yoga pants, and one pair of jeans.  Getting dressed is not fun and I live in giant sweatpants at all hours that I’m in the house.  Sleep has been the hardest thing recently – I’m not doing it, really at all.  I broke down a few weeks ago and bought one of those maternity sleep pillows despite only having a short time left to need it.  It made a HUGE difference and I don’t know why I waited so long.

But I’ve also had this awful chronic stuffy nose that keeps me up at night because I can’t breathe very well.  And I’m also waking up super nauseous every morning because of the gross stuff dripping down my throat all night.  It’s a viscous cycle, and it’s not fun to be back to throwing up in the morning.  I’m back to a first trimester appetite of bagels, cereal, ice cream, toast – all the healthiest options, right?  I think my body is telling me we are ready to be done with this once and for all!

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The kids are REALLY excited about the baby, and I think to them it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever and she will never really be here.  But the giant belly is hard to ignore these days, and they give it hugs and kisses every morning – so sweet.  I’m also at that stage now where when I’m out in public there are a lot of stares and comments.  And when I’m at the kids’ schools a lot of other kids come up and touch my stomach out of curiosity.

I’m feeling mostly okay about the whole labor aspect of things, surprisingly.  I’ve done it twice now, so it feels like scary despite knowing how brutal is it in the moment.  My midwives keep asking if I have a birth plan, and I just keep telling everything the same thing – my plan is to get to the hospital.  My only real fear is having an unplanned home birth.  It might sound silly, but Graham was born in a little over three hours from start to finish, and it only took that long because he was enormous and also turned sideways.  This baby has measured quite a bit smaller, so there is a real fear that she could come alarmingly quickly.  We have a few different friends lined up to be ready to take the boys when that moment comes, but I wish the when and how weren’t such unknowns.  Casey is planning to start working from home starting next week, so that he is (hopefully) close by when labor does finally start!

I’m not expecting this little one to come early, as the boys were both late arrivals.  But you can bet I’ll give an update on Instagram when she does make her debut!  Any guesses on late or early?  I’m convinced she will be a Mother’s Day baby!

Happy Friday, friends!