Monday, June 27, 2016

Bump Update: 33 Weeks

33 Weeks

Baby Size: Between 17.2 and 18.7 inches and between 4.2 - 5.8 lbs - as big as a stalk of celery! I truly can't believe every week how much he is growing, it is incredible! 

Feeling: Great! During the day I feel amazing, I've been able to continue workouts and sneak in more walks this week now that the humidity has died down (thank the Lord) which really helps keep my energy up. I did have a couple of nights of restlessness where I truly could not get comfortable. My belly feels like it needs support when I lie on my side but a pillow is a little too big for the job. It is hilarious how much carrying around a big old basketball at your waist line can switch up sleeping patterns. :)

For the sake of transparency, I should say that I also had some major feelings of frustration this week. Up until this point we were thankful to have received only positive and uplifting comments on our pregnancy, postpartum plans, etc. I truly thought we were lucky enough to escape all of the unsolicited advice, judgement and critiquing I so often hear about, but there was some of that and it was sad. Thankfully it has been completely outweighed by people who choose to support and love on us and I am so incredibly thankful for those people in our lives! I would also encourage anybody who is close to parents having a newborn to be respectful of their wishes - whatever they may be. Trust fellow mamas out there to do their research and listen to their instincts to make the best decision for their family and baby in their circumstances. Unless you are the father of the baby or were asked for your advice, it may be best to not share it. I know that I have SO much to learn and I have a handful of mommas I love and respect who I have sought out advice for on everything from baby gear to postpartum recovery. It has been incredibly helpful to have their thoughts and encouragement when I am questioning things - much more so than the middle aged man who I'm quite certain has never been pregnant and insists on forcing his child birth opinions on me. :) 

Food Cravings/ Aversions: No food aversions, but definitely trying to get in more protein and iron. My iron levels were the tiniest bit low at my GD appointment so I've been incorporating more red meat into my diet since then, but am focused on protein now as we get closer to L&D time! My midwives have said they see a really strong correlation in women who eat higher protein diets and less tearing/ easier recovery so that was enough motivation for me. I think Preston has been enjoying eating more steak as well. ;) 

Symptoms: Some crazy movement! Now that he is stretched across my entire abdomen, some of his full body twists and turns are not quite comfortable. I got woken up the other night because he was doing a full body twist and it didn't feel great - all I could think was, "Please, please, please don't turn yourself breech!" At our 34 week appointment I believe they will do a scan to confirm he is head down, which I certainly hope he is! 

I forgot to mention last week that I had a MAJOR case of pregnancy brain (or at least that is what I am blaming it on) last week. I left the house at lunch to go to a workout, which I do several times a week, except for this time... I LEFT THE OVEN ON WITH SWEET POTATOES IN IT. I didn't even think about it until I was driving home an hour later and had a "Ohhhhhh noooooo!!!!" moment. Fortunately, everything was fine and they were actually really delicious sweet potatoes. It did remind me to slow down and think about things instead of rushing from place to place! 

The last funny symptom has been a major case of lovey dovey feelings for lack of a better way to put it. There have been a few things Preston has done lately that I thought were really sweet (like seeing him at church on Father's Day and the first thing he told me was that he had installed Samuel's car seat base in his car). Well, when I think about those things later on I get SO sappy over them and have started crying a few times over the thoughtfulness - clearly there is a ton of oxytocin flowing in this body of mine! I should add that Preston laughed so hard when this happened that I thought he might cry himself. ;) 

Weight Gain: Didn't weigh myself 

Projects: Organized my dresser! Started testing some freezer meals (pesto quiche is the best so far)! Finished getting quite a few things that we still needed to purchase like our diaper pail, breast feeding pillow, car seat and bases, bassinet, postpartum supplies, etc. I also started stocking up on household things like toilet paper and paper towels (though I am sure I will do one final Costco trip right before he arrives). Preston put together our bassinet in our room and I love seeing it there every time I walk in! It makes it so real that in a few short weeks we will have Samuel sleeping next to us every night. 

Dear Samuel: The countdown is on, precious little man! Your dad and I have spent a lot of time talking this week about how excited we are to show you the world. We officially booked what I think will be your first plane flight - get ready to head to Seattle in November! We pray that you get our love of travel and exploring. You may hear a lot of scary things on the news and in conversation about this world that you are coming into but know that for every bad thing there are 1,000 good ones and always remember that most people are good and loving and helpful, and getting to go to new cities and meet new people is one of the best parts of life! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bump Update: 32 Weeks

32 Weeks

Baby Size: 16.7 inches (so crazy he is only going to grow another 2-3 inches in the next 8 weeks) and around 3 and 3/4 lbs, about the size of a large squash. 

Feeling: This week started off with my baby shower which was so fun and such a welcome distraction from thinking about Sebastian. Molly, my Aunt Sandy, cousin Angela and her beautiful girls and Preston's family traveled to be here for the celebration which was so special. My sister, mom, and Lisa put so much thought into the shower and Samuel and I felt truly so loved the entire day. 

We also had our 32 week appointment this week. I had been praying and hoping that Samuel would be head down (even though he really has until 36 weeks to get in position) and thankfully HE WAS. Everything was measuring right on track and his heart tones were great, I am so thankful for a healthy baby and a healthy pregnancy.

Food Cravings/ Aversions: I fully indulged all weekend long! So many of my favorite foods were at the shower - delicious cheese, Round Rock Donuts, mini quiches, fresh fruit and then Molly and I had to of course fit in P. Terrys and Amy's ice cream while she was here. It was maybe my favorite food week ever, though my workouts this week are going to be much needed. :)   

Symptoms: Feeling great! I've mentioned my yoga ball before, but it is worth saying again that it really is awesome (and bonus - it helps keep your core engaged which is really important for pregnancy!).  I forget how helpful it is until I'm in situations where I sit in a chair for more than a few minutes and quickly remember why I love the ball so much. I also got a belly band a few weeks ago for some added support and I try to wear it for a couple hours a day. I was having some upper ab discomfort when I would go to bed at night a few weeks ago and wearing this seems to really help! My other one last little bit that has really helped me whenever there are things that are uncomfortable is to remind myself that it means my body is working and preparing to deliver this sweet boy into the world. Saying this in my mind has been so helpful and really puts things in perspective for me.

Weight Gain: Up 20 lbs exactly at my 32 week appointment! Truthfully I did have to repeat that sentence above to myself "Weight gain is part of a healthy pregnancy. My body is doing exactly what it should to prepare for this baby and make sure he is well nourished."

Projects: Enjoying and savoring time with family and friends?! That was definitely our biggest project this week. :) I did get to wash all of our baby clothes we were generously gifted at the shower and get them all folded and hung. Preston and I also did a big shopping haul for our car seat, bassinet, pack and play and miscellaneous baby items using our registry completion discount (you get a one time coupon between 10-20% off at the store you register at, I highly recommend loading up your cart and buying every thing at once to get the most savings even though you may cry RIP tears for your bank account). Everything should be delivered this week which is great news for the planner in me. I also picked up some post-partum supplies so I can start to get everything in place. 

I also got my t-dap shot this week, which while it may not be a project it was definitely something on my 32 week check list so I am happy it is taken care of! 

We have taken two our of four part child birth prep class and it is going well so far! Every week that we go I am reminded how lucky I am to get to go through all of this with Preston.

Dear Samuel: We are pretty much all ready for you, Samuel Jacob! But please stay in there cooking for at least seven more weeks (really feel free to as long as you want, I love carrying you with me everywhere I go). Your dad and I have had such an incredible four years of marriage getting to know each other, figuring out our communication style, traveling, laughing, crying, disagreeing, embarrassing each other, playing games with each other (you should know that I win most of the time), exploring - but we are SO ready and excited to have you join our party. I hope you always know just how wanted you are. I pray for you everyday and can't wait to see you face to face in two short months my little love!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Baby Shower

Samuel was gifted TWO absolutely beautiful, homemade quilts. They are so special to us and something we will treasure forever.

I wanted to share a few photos of my baby shower from this past weekend. It was so special to be able to celebrate with my favorite women in the entire world, and the day was made even more special with Molly, Aunt Sandy, Angela, Lisa and several others traveling from outside of Austin to be here with Preston, Samuel and me.

I am so thankful to Hannah, my mom and Lisa for putting so much thought and love into this day! It is a memory I will treasure forever and was such an incredible reminder of just how loved Samuel already is my so many people.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bump Update 30-31 Weeks

30 Weeks

Baby Size: 15.7 inches long and 2.89 lbs - as big as a large zucchini! I can't believe we are here at 30 weeks, sweet Samuel is getting bigger and bigger and the weeks are flying by!

Feeling: Honestly, a bit emotional this week. There was really only one other week my whole pregnancy that I felt like this (I want to say week 22 or something like that) so it took me a little bit off guard. I think it was a mix of post vacation blues, Sebastian's declining health and not getting very good sleep at night (plus pregnancy hormones of course). 

Food Cravings/ Aversions: Food is easy, nothing to speak of really. I've been slacking a bit lately on my green smoothies to try to get all of veggies in so I need to get back on that. I also recently had to start taking an iron pill per my midwive's request so I've been trying to do that and get more iron into my diet when possible.

Symptoms: Like I mentioned above, I've had a harder time sleeping this week and have found it a bit harder to get comfortable. My pregnancy pillow is sooo helpful but there is only so much you can do when you have a big basketball belly you are trying to navigate around. :) I've had a bit more lower back discomfort this week as well, but it really is only when I am sitting down in a chair. I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but I got a yoga ball that I sit on for work (and for meals) which is the most comfortable thing in the world! I also notice that I feel much better on days that I get a lot of activity in so I'm trying to make sure to either get a work out or walk in most days.

Weight Gain: +17 lbs per gym scale at the beginning of the week

Projects: This week was BUSY! I did a lot of inside organizing in the playroom and nursery, pulled weeds out in the yard on the days that it was not raining and Preston and I were able to finish painting the shed! It is a project that has been on my list for months and I am so incredibly happy it is checked off. Preston also did a ton of cleanup of bricks and rocks around the yard (in sticky, humid heat) which I am so thankful for. 

We also took an AMAZING postpartum class this weekend at our birthing center - both Preston and I learned so much and feel much more prepared now. We start our child birth prep class next week as well which I'm sure will be full of many more things for us to learn. :) 

Dear Samuel: I truly cannot believe we are at the 10 week countdown until you are due to arrive. I continue to think about how big my responsibility is as your mother to raise you into a strong, respectful, loving, God-fearing man. There has been a horrific news story about a Stanford swimmer brutally attacking a women that is getting a lot of attention lately and my mind keeps going back to how important it is for me, as the mother of a boy who will grow into a man, to raise you to be a man of good character. Your father and I talk often about how we will discipline you, enforce boundaries and have tough conversations with you. While you are at home, it is more important for us to be your parents than your friends - but I hope you remember it is all because we absolutely love you more than anything in this world.

31 Weeks

(With everything going on the past couple of weeks I haven't been very good about getting belly photos, so while these don't show how much I've grown they will have to do for now!)

Baby Size: 16.1 inches and 3.31 pounds - as big as asparagus! 

Feeling: Really, really sad. We had to put Sebastian down at the beginning of this week and it feels like a huge part of our family is missing. For our entire engaged and married life, Sebastian has been with us. He has made every move to every state, come on every road trip, and has been there for all of our live's biggest moments. We are truly missing him so much, but are thankful that he is out of pain and able to run and eat easily again. For the past six years, we have dreamed of the day that we could put a snuggly newborn on his soft fur and it is heartbreaking to know we won't get the chance to do that with Samuel. I am so incredibly thankful that I've been able to work from home the past seven months and spend my days with the most loving, loyal side kick I will ever have.

Food Cravings/ Aversions: Nothing really to speak of as far as aversions, but I have found myself wanting sugar more than usual this week. I mentioned that to Preston and he couldn't have driven the car any faster to take us on an ice cream date. ;) I am going to have to be careful mentioning my sweet tooth to him again because he is all too willing to indulge me! 

Symptoms: Aside from being emotional about Sebastian, symptoms have all but disappeared this week. Pregnancy is funny where the few times that I think the ongoing discomfort that I hear so much may be setting in, I will wake up the next morning feeling great. I wake up several times in the night to go to the bathroom but that is just part of the territory and am able to fall back asleep really quickly. I also occasionally have shooting sciatic pain when we are on walks, but my the time I register it and make a quick 'Oohh' noise it is completely gone so I really cannot complain at all. Overall, this pregnancy continues to be such a joy and I have said many thankful prayers for that.

Weight Gain: Didn't weigh myself

Projects: SO many projects. For the last several weeks I have had horrible guilt whenever I've left the house because I want to spend as much time as possible with Sebastian. This week that was amplified, and the benefit to that is that we were able to accomplish so much. y family came over and helped pull weeds, trim trees, hedge our front bushes, cut wood for the shed and lay new mulch. I can't say how thankful I am to my mom, dad and sister for being so willing to drop everything and come help - we LOVE you guys so much! We also had our fence stained, which after weeks of delaying it due to rain felt amazing to get it finished!

Dear Samuel: Sweet boy, I hope that from the day you enter this world you know how absolutely loved you are. We are having your baby shower next week and with each detail that gets planned and package that arrives I am reminded again and again of how cherished you are - not just by us but by so many family and friends. Your dad and I are total parenting newbies, as you know, but thankfully we have the support, advice and encouragement from so many people who are going to be involved in your life. We can't wait to meet you in 9 weeks and show you the world and introduce you to all of the wonderful people in it (and tell you SO many stories about your amazing, furry older brother Sebastian). 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bump Update 28-29 Weeks

28 Weeks

Baby Size: An eggplant! Around 14.8 inches and 2.2 lbs - getting SO big! This felt like the first week where I had a lot of strangers comment on my pregnancy which I loved! It seems like the third trimester is when people are 100% sure you are pregnant vs just ate a really big cheeseburger.

Feeling: Wonderful! We left the middle of Week 28 for our babymoon which we had been looking forward to for months. It was so fun to know that our next trip (at least besides quick weekend ones) we would be taking our precious baby boy with us. Emotionally, I feel like this season in our life is so incredibly joyful as we anticipate the arrival of Samuel, but also really hard as our precious Sebastian's health continues to decline. He has pretty much stopped eating, but still has his sweet-as-pie personality which makes it so hard for us to imagine life without him. We are so thankful to my parents who were able to stay at our house and keep him completely comfortable while we went on our babymoon - were it not for them there is no way would have gone. My mom slept on our couch every night that we were gone to be close to him, cooked multiple types of food to attempt to hand feed Sebastian (this has been our norm the last few weeks) and absolutely spoiled him with love in our absence. We are so, so thankful. 

Food Cravings/ Aversions: No cravings or aversions but definitely indulged in some of my favorite treats on our babymoon!! The Simon family rule that Preston and I put in place very early on in our marriage is that we eat ice cream or gelato daily on vacation. Let's just say I was VERY happy about this rule. :) If you ever go to Nashville, make sure to go to Jeni's ice cream - it was SO GOOD. 

Symptoms: Continued belly growth and some more general discomfort that comes with carrying a bowling ball around your mid section every day. :) Really, it is not too bad at all - especially when I am up and moving about. I have a yoga ball that I sit on at home when I have to sit down and work because I've noticed just sitting in a regular chair tends to bring the most discomfort. 

Weight Gain: +17 at my 28 week appointment, but they factor in the few lbs I lost in the first trimester. From my normal pre-pregnancy weight I am going with around +15 lbs. :) 

Projects: Oh boy. SO many fun (to me) projects going on. Preston has said on multiple occasions that he is excited for our babymoon so he can get a break from my nesting and how many projects I'm asking for help with :) The nursery is 90% done (only one wall that needs to be decorated), kitchen has been reorganized, backyard has been cleaned up, shed has been pressure washed to prep for paint, weeds have been pulled and drawers have been organized. I also washed and organized a huge box of precious baby clothes a co-worker sent me which made me feel way more prepared! 

Dear Baby: Samuel Jacob, you are such a treasure! I can't believe you will be here in less than three months. While we are over-the-moon excited for you to arrive, please make sure to stay put and continue growing for at least another 10 weeks - ok, sweet boy? 

29 Weeks

Baby Size: An acorn squash - 15.2 inches and 2.54 lbs. His main goals from here on out are putting on weight and brain development! I am a part of a few birth groups and to see people posting their birth stories for premies born at this time is absolutely crazy. I am so thankful that because of modern medicine those precious babes are able to live outside of the womb this early, but please stay in there and keep growing strong Samuel! 

Feeling: Amazing because we were on our babymoon for most of this week! It was so refreshing to take a step back from normal life and soak up time with Preston. For most of our marriage we have been very frequent travelers, but due to a combination of things (sick Sebastian, me traveling less for work, saving for a baby) we haven't been on very many trips this year so this was quite the treat! We loved our time together and came back feeling very rejuvenated - and so excited to love on our Sebastian! 

Food Cravings/ Aversions: No true cravings or aversions but from here on out I'm tempted to refer to ice cream as a craving because WHY THE HECK NOT?! :) Preston remains disappointed that I have not craved Taco Bell as that has been his hope for the pregnancy from the beginning. Sorry to be a disappointment, bud!

Symptoms: This belly keeps on growing! I've told Preston multiple times that I know without a doubt I will miss it when it is gone. It is so comforting to feel Samuel kick and know that my body is growing and sustaining him. 

Other symptoms would be that it is getting a bit harder to get comfortable at night. When I am up and moving around I feel great, but when I sit/ lay down I can't quite seem to get completely settled in. It is not too bad though and I am trying to think of the nights I don't get very much sleep as great practice for when Samuel arrives. :)

I should also mention that occasionally (maybe 1x a day) I get a shooting sciatic type pain in my lower back and one of my legs. It is kind of hilarious because it is really sharp and catches me off guard and I will make a 'WHOA' or 'HOLY COW' noise really fast and then be completely fine. It honestly only lasts half a second so by the time I register it it's gone which I would much prefer over constant, dull pain!  

Weight Gain: Didn't weigh myself 

Projects: The first part of the week was spent baby mooning, so my only project was beating Preston in cards and hiking beautiful Tennessee and North Carolina. :) Upon returning, I hit the ground running. I had been wanting to work on the yard primarily, but because of nonstop rain I had to focus my efforts inside. I got some things hung up in the playroom, hung up book ledges in the nursery (thanks mom!) and in one of our biggest moves - we got a new SUV! Preston had mentioned during our babymoon that the timing made sense due to trade in value of our current SUV and wanting something as safe as possible as well as a bit roomier for when Samuel arrives. He was definitely right about timing and we are enjoying our new car - though I am having to get used to parking something so much bigger in the garage (terrifying). 

Dear Baby: 11 short more weeks and you will be getting ready to make your arrival! I've said the entire pregnancy that I am certain you will be fashionably late to the party, but all of the Braxton Hicks I have sometimes make me wonder if I will be eating my words. :) Know that you are cherished beyond belief and that you have so many people counting down the days until your arrival!