The Fourth Trimester

Wow. I can’t believe it! Harvey is 12 weeks old, as of yesterday, and our 4th trimester is over! What a doozy. I wish I had the time and energy to write about every single moment… but time and energy are sparse these days (I’ll tell you why at the end of this post).

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Some of the highlights:

Harvey is a smiley dude. I knew that when my nugget started smiling (and occasionally laughing) it would bring me joy… but nobody told me it would MELT MY HEART over and over again. I can’t get enough of it! I’ve found myself doing all kinds of ridiculous things to see that toothless grin of his. Every time it happens, I feel as if I am enjoying a special moment in time that forever bonds us together.

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Harvey loves his jumperoo. I decided to put it together a few weeks ago, when I realized that his head control was really good, and he has had so much fun figuring that thing out. The other reason I put it together is because he loves pushing down with his legs (as if he is ready to stand up) and I thought it would be a great way to practice that. I did find… however… that his favorite time to poop is while he’s in the jungle jumperoo… so Nick and I have spent a little time cleaning not 1, not 2… but 3 “blowouts” up from that thing. Also, I realize, that it might not be the jumperoo that he likes, as much as the pooping part… haha!

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Harvey loves to travel. We went to Philadelphia a few weeks ago to visit some friends, and Harvey flew like a champ. He literally didn’t make a peep the entire time, and it really gave us some confidence before we embark on a much longer flight to Seattle later this summer. We also head to the beach with my family on Saturday and I cannot WAIT to put his little feet in the ocean for the first time! Hopefully, he will like it better than he liked his feet in the Eno River.

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Some of the lowlights:

Alright, I am going to simplify this story as much as possible… but I want you to understand that when it happened, I was f***ing devastated. I have been pumping once a day, since Harvey was born, to help keep a good supply of milk, and to start storing some away for when I have to go back to work in August. Well… a few days ago, our freezer (which is brand new) decided to die (we will NEVER buy Samsung products EVER again) and I therefor lost over 100oz of frozen breastmilk in the process. Holy s***. I had no idea that I would feel the pain and anger and frustration and sorrow that I felt if that were to ever happen to me. Pumping is not easy. It’s annoying, time consuming, and flat-out lame… but you do it for you baby, especially if you’re a working mom. When I lost all of that hard work, I sobbed as I had to pour it down the drain. What a waste. I also read lots of stories from women who had similar experiences… sometimes losing things like 500oz or 1,000oz when their power went out, etc. In reading those stories, and doing more research on my own, I found out that the actual chemical, hormonal, and emotional bond I have with my breastmilk is a legitimate cause for such suffering when a loss like that occurs. Mamas, my advice to you: spread your supply out if you can. Store some at work, some at home, some at daycare, and some at your in-laws’ house. Don’t let something like this happen to you! Lesson learned… the hard way.

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Harvey is going through a phase (we hope). This phase is called, “I am only happy when somebody is holding me.” Unless there is a very small part of the day where he is exceptionally happy… like the jumperoo time… he pretty much screams the second somebody puts him down. Wooweeeee… my back is starting to hurt!!!! Luckily, I have the Ergobaby carrier, and he enjoys going around in that… but somedays, bedtime can’t come soon enough! Thank goodness he (usually) sleeps through the night. I also want to add here that when I say sleeps through the night, I mean something very different from what most people mean. I am going to write a separate post about it someday, but for now I’ll say this: the three of us co-sleep. And by co-sleep, I mean bed-share. Harvey sleeps between the two of us every night, and it has been the most effective way that we’ve found to combat sleep-deprivation, nighttime feeding stress, and overall evening chaos. I never thought I would commit to it… but again, I will write about it more some other time! 🙂

In other news:

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Monday! Woohoo! Nick has been, and is still, my very best friend. I love him more today than I did the first time I told him so, over 8 years ago. They say that the first year is the hardest… and the two of us were like, “yeah right, we should go to Italy and have a baby and get this whole family thing started!” ……. HAHAHA!!!!! As if our year had not been crazy enough… Nick and I decided to buy a new house! YES! We are officially crazy (the whole energy and time thing). I can’t wait to write a big post about it in the future, but for now, I’ll say this: it is our dream home. We can’t wait to raise our babies in it… and it has more than one bathroom.

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Overall:

Life continues to be an adventure… one that I’m grateful to experience. We have amazing friends, an incredible family, and more support in this life than we could’ve ever hoped for. I keep counting my lucky stars because I know that it could all change in an instant. I’ve never felt that more than I do in these most recent days, after national tragedy strikes. I get to go to sleep tonight, with my loving husband, and my sweet baby, and that is more than most people can say.

Love to you all. ❤

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Harvey’s Birth Story

I’ve been trying to figure out how I wanted to start this story for a few days now. It is such an important story. In fact, it is the most significant thing that has happened to me in my life to date. I’ll try and limit the amount of times I use some silly cliché to describe having a child, but truly, nothing could ever possibly prepare you for the feelings that you will experience when your baby is being born.

The events leading up to Harvey’s birth and immediately after are actually the most perfect metaphors I can think of to relay the first, and probably most imperative, lessons I will learn about parenting in my entire life.

  1. Things are not always going to go according to plan… and that is ok. It just is. It has to be.
  2. You have to ask for help. You will need it. Receiving it doesn’t make you a bad parent. It makes you a better one.
  3. The most crucial part of being a parent is knowing that you are a team. Your partner is going to be the best advocate/resource/support you could ask for, and is the ONLY other person in the world who understands the love you have for YOUR baby. You all made the baby together, you will raise it together, and you will grow as people, together, when you set out on the journey known as parenthood.

Now, most of you know from Nick’s most recent post that I had planned on a natural birth at the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, NC. I wanted to eat and drink while I labored, use the birthing tub as I pleased, have scented oils, music playing, candles burning, etc. etc. etc… I am not going to go too much into this, because, my intention is to try and make this happen someday. I love my original birth plan, and fully believe in the power of natural birth and my ability as a woman to bring a child into this world without any medical interventions. However, my birth plan was thrown out of the window around 11:30 AM on 3/28/16.

Preeclampsia. It’s a scary word. It’s even scarier when it is happening to you. For those of you who watched Downton Abbey, yes… Lady Sybil died during childbirth because of the condition Eclampsia. When Preeclampsia is not treated, or becomes too severe, it can lead to Eclampsia (seizures), which is currently the cause behind approximately 12% of maternal deaths around the world. This is the crash course in medicine that Nick and I received between 11:30 and 11:45 AM on March 28th.

Looking back on the whole thing, we were obviously in shock. We knew that at the time, too. We knew how serious things were when, within 15 minutes of arriving, my midwife, two nurses, two resident doctors, and one attending physician came into our triage room to explain that we were going to be admitted, I was going to be induced, and that I would be transferring care immediately from the Birth Center to UNC. What I did not know, is that the doctors, nurses, and midwife were hovering so closely over me for the next hour because they were afraid that I might have a seizure at any moment. That’s how high my blood pressure was. The moment that I started to cry and freak out was when the doctors explained the possibility of me going under general anesthesia and having an emergency caesarian. This was the “worst case” scenario. My goal, from that point on, was to try and remain as calm as possible, for me and for my baby. I had to have a moment with myself and with Nick where I looked around the room, took a deep breath, and say, “this is what’s happening, end of story.” Hence, my first lesson in parenting.

Once I was able to accept this new reality, my fears really set in. At the end of the day, I realized that I was not so much upset about my birth plan going out the window as I was about my baby. After all, it was “too soon.” He was a month early. I was only 36 weeks 1 day pregnant, and I was fearful for all of the possible complications that could cause him. Although the doctors assured me several times that they were MUCH more concerned with my health than with nugget’s, when you’re a mom, you don’t hear that. You don’t care. All that matters is that your baby is healthy and safe. What I had trouble swallowing is this: the way for my baby to be safe and healthy was for me to calm the f*** down. I was having trouble doing it. I needed help. I needed my mommy. I need prayer warriors. I needed all of the love and positive energy I could possibly get. Hence, my second lesson in parenting. So, Nick got on the phone, called our moms, texted our friends, and filled people in on the situation. After all of this, a magnesium drip in my arm, a few tears, a shot of steroids for Nug’s lungs, and a few doses of Labetalol to control my blood pressure, we were ready for the next step: Pitocin.

This is where my third lesson in parenting comes in. Being induced is no joke. The Foley Catheter that the doctor inserted into my cervix to begin dilation was really, really painful. I screamed. Nick let me squeeze his hand the entire time. Then, for the next 12 hours, I was on Pitocin without an epidural, which they turned up every 30 minutes to bring on contractions. Once my contractions really kicked in, I needed that partner support. Nick was incredible. He never left my side. Neither did my mom. I never once felt “alone” or like I was “in it by myself.” Nick and I made every decision together, and he was 100% supportive of my feelings, desires, questions, concerns, etc. When, at 3am, I was only about 4-5cm dilated, the discussion of an epidural took place. This discussion took place because I was basically having one big long continuous contraction. That s*** hurt. I felt no relief. I wasn’t getting “breaks” in between them. That’s what Pitocin does. I was hesitant. I’ve read that epidurals can slow the process down, and the doctors confirmed this. However, they also confirmed that the epidural would help to keep my blood pressure down. The more you can manage your pain, hopefully, the lower your BP is. I couldn’t manage my pain on my own at all. I was strapped to a bed. Literally. I had a catheter in to drain my bladder, and so that the doctors could keep an eye on my kidney functions while I was on the magnesium. I had an IV in my hand that was giving me magnesium, fluids, and Pitocin, I had a monitor on my finger, a blood pressure cuff on my arm, and two large straps across my belly that were monitoring the baby’s heart rate and my contractions. I couldn’t move. So, when the contractions came, and came, and came… all I could do was lay there. I breathed through them as best I could, but the Pitocin made it unbearable. Finally, my mom stepped in and suggested that I get the epidural. In a way, it is what I needed. It was almost as if I needed somebody’s permission to do it. I had wanted a natural birth so badly, and I was still clinging to that hope. Nick was able to help me reason through it. He helped me understand that nothing about what was happening to me was “natural” and that I couldn’t possibly expect to cope with my circumstances in the ways I had practiced (moving, eating, breathing, bathing, etc.) and that along with everything else, we had to make a new plan as we went. So… I got the epidural.

In the end, I wasn’t sad about it. I had the perfect combination of pain meds in mine. I had built up some fear in my head about the epidural completely numbing me out, but it didn’t. I could feel my toes. I could bend my knees. I could roll from side to side. What it ultimately allowed me to do was sleep for a bit, which I ended up needing, because less than 8 hours later, the doctors came in and told me I was fully dilated and that I could start pushing. What an awesome feeling!! It was finally time to meet my baby. I had the best team I could possibly have with me. So, with the help of my mom, Nick’s mom, and Nick, I began to bear down.

Pushing was amazing. I loved every second of it. In fact, I asked for music to be played. I wanted to hear some powerful women singing, so naturally, I asked for things like Florence and the Machine and Beyoncé, haha! Because my epidural was the perfect amount of incredible and amazing, I was able to try lots of different positions while pushing. The moms held my knees, I held my knees, I got on my hands and knees, and I even got on my side at one point. Approximately 90 minutes later, I could see my baby’s head in the mirror. I didn’t know if nug was a boy or a girl yet, but I could see so much hair! The next few minutes to an hour are undoubtedly the best moments of my life. The only other thing that comes close is the day that I married Nick. And, although this is probably the most important part to describe, words just won’t do it justice. Seriously… they just won’t. Elation. That’s all I can remember. The feelings and emotions and hormones that flooded my body and mind in the minutes after Nick said, “It’s Harvey!!” are impossible to describe. He came out pink and grunting, and when they laid him on my chest, all I could do is cry. I cried because he was alive and beautiful. I cried because it was over. I cried because I knew this would be the defining moment in my life to date. I cried because my life, from that moment on, was going to be forever changed, and I would have gone through that scary 24 hours leading up to his birth one million more times if it meant that I got to have my sweet Harvey in the end.

He is perfect. That’s all I can say. In the days following his birth, my preeclampsia got a little worse before it got better, and I am still on blood pressure medication. I had lost 30 lbs. in water weight by the time we got home on April 2nd (yes, 30 pounds in 5 days) and my ankles and feet and face have returned. Harvey is two weeks old and eating like a champ. He was born at 5lbs14oz, got down to 5lbs6oz, and as of yesterday he is now 6lbs4.5oz. He is the light of our lives. The story of the day he was born is one I will never forget for as long as I live. I love him with my entire being, and cannot wait to see what this new adventure will bring.

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An Attitude of Gratitude :)

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I am 35 weeks and 1 day in to my pregnancy journey, and today, I have nothing but gratitude for my life, my love, my family, and my friends. How could I not? I had two amazing showers this weekend and got to see some of my favorite people! And, Nugget is stocked. The next few weeks are going to be over in a flash, and I am going to use my week off over spring break to install the car seat, pack a bag, and wash the baby clothes.

Soccer season is officially underway, and my JV ladies are a fantastic group thus far! We had our team pictures made on Monday, and nugget has now officially been in two team photos this school year. 🙂

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I also wanted to recount a funny story from Tuesday of this week, wherein I had to ask some gentlemen at a volunteer fire station to help me remove my wedding ring, which had basically gotten stuck on my finger, trapping my swollen knuckle and cutting off my circulation. After a few days of contemplation, and trying “not to think about it”, I finally called Nick on my way home from soccer and said, “I HAVE TO GET THIS THING OFF RIGHT NOW!!” Nick, being the cool, calm, and collected problem-solver that he is, called a jeweler on Leesville Road. They told him cutting off rings was not a problem, but that their ring cutter was broken. They also told him that I should go to the fire station on Pinecrest to receive some immediate assistance. So… I drove over there, walked my pregnant belly into the station, and told the firefighters I needed help. They, of course, immediately jumped up out of their chairs, probably because they assumed I was in labor (looking back, I should have been more clear about that from the get-go, haha) but they were so kind and sweet when I explained what I needed, and even comforted me when I got a bit teary-eyed over the whole situation. However, at the end of the day, I am so grateful to have had the help, and really do appreciate the tools/technology we have available to us in this modern world.

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Then, on Friday, our weekend began with a visit from a dear old friend, Catherine. She lives in Oregon, and we do not get to see her but a few times a year, so having her over to our house that evening was a real treat. Having friends near and far makes it so much more special when they come to visit after months of not seeing one another, and it is a really great feeling to know that your support network literally spans from coast to coast!

On Saturday, my best friend Jenn threw the most incredible baby shower for us. This woman really does have a career in party planning if she wants it! She is a fabulous cook, incredible decorator/crafter, and an excellent hostess. My dear friend Amanda came down from Baltimore for the occasion, as well as my grandparents who live in Virginia and my parents who live in Charlotte. Nick’s family who lives in Greensboro, including his Grammy, made the trip as well. You wouldn’t believe how many gifts, surprises, and treats that our sweet baby nugget was showered with. The two of us were stunned. Having all of this love is so much more than we could have ever hoped for, and so much more than we feel like we deserve at times. It makes looking forward to this time in our lives so much more joyous than we could have imagined, and we are truly blessed.

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And then, as if my week couldn’t have been any more wonderful, the girls JV and Varsity soccer teams threw me a baby shower that included… drum roll… CAKE POPS!! Delicious!!! We had so much fun getting together off the soccer field, and the girls even wore blue and pink to show which gender they thought Nugget would be. Some of nug’s gifts included a soccer ball onesie, an infant-sized warm-up suit, baby crocs (because the girls are obsessed with wearing them on game days), and nug’s first soccer ball!

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I am still trying to find a way to express how happy I am, and how grateful we are to have such a wonderful life. I simply can’t do it justice. I know there are so many people who have to “do this” on their own, or with much less help than we have, and someday, before this is all said and done, I am going to try my best to bottle up this feeling, label it, and share it with others.

A Much Needed Weekend in Atlanta

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Yesterday, I had a long car ride home from a weekend in Atlanta to think about and reflect upon the past few days. It was nice to have this opportunity to gather my thoughts and to have my moments of gratitude because, quite frankly, time is starting to move at a break-neck pace, and the closer I get to meeting my nugget, the more I wish time would speed up.

Before I get into my weekend and why I “needed” it so much, I want to say thank you to Nick, who has been (even in his recent sickness) unconditionally and entirely supportive and loving towards me throughout the past 8 months. I am 34 weeks and 1 day pregnant, and with each new day, starting to feel bigger and bigger. My ankles and knuckles have disappeared (my wedding ring is permanently stuck), and although I know they are not going to come back until after the baby comes out, Nick still sits next to me on the couch every night and tries to rub the fluid out of them. He showers me with compliments, even though he knows I don’t “hear” them, and offers to let me go shopping for things like new shoes because my feet don’t fit into my old ones anymore. He sees me struggling with my self-esteem and with feeling too needy at times, and still greets me with a smile and hug at the beginning of each day and at the end of each night. He thanks me for carrying and growing our baby, and tells me that he can never repay me. I know that it is not always easy to love somebody that doesn’t love themselves all the time. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without him, truly. I love you, Daddy Nick… thank you for everything.

So, now on to me. Things are starting to change pretty quickly as far as my body goes. Physically, I feel fine. And I continue to say and think that I am grateful for this because I know that a lot of women do not. I’m not going to lie… at the end of the day, I am a bit sore, and my swelling feels slightly “tight”, but it’s not painful. It’s just… different. More than anything, it’s hard to feel like my old self. My self-esteem is starting to take a little hit. Its hard to wake up in the morning and feel “pretty” when my feet and ankles and now, calves, are twice the size they were last week. The skin on my finger is bulging out around my wedding ring and my face is swollen and puffy. I haven’t been able to color my hair… so the two-tone black/orange look is starting to annoy me, and the big purple stretch marks that are covering my entire stomach are enough to make any woman a bit sad. Also, I know you all who read this are aware that I struggle with an eating disorder and my body image… so being pregnant and gaining a lot of weight is constantly on my mind too. And by “a lot of weight” I mean it… a lot. I’m way over the “goal” I had set for myself and the one that women are “supposed” to gain for my height, age, and pre-pregnancy weight. So it’s hard to escape the mindset of “you did this to yourself” or… “you wouldn’t be so swollen if you hadn’t gotten so fat” or “your blood pressure is high because you’ve gained too much weight too quickly.” I have to constantly remind myself to stay as present as possible, and to appreciate this opportunity I’ve been given to grow a child inside me. Mindfulness practices after mindfulness practices help… but also, talking about it does too. I want to chronicle this. Just because I feel like I have no room to complain because my pregnancy journey has been relatively easy compared to some, doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t real and that the “physical” effects of pregnancy have to be greater than the “emotional” ones. Also, none of this means that I am not enjoying my pregnancy, or that I am not cherishing this time in my life. I am absolutely enjoying being an expectant mom… I am maybe just starting to look forward to having my baby in my arms and not worrying about what feels like “petty stuff.” Although I am fully aware of the fact that my concerns will shift and change with each new phase of expectancy, infancy, motherhood, and beyond.

And then… just in time… as if the universe knew that I needed a boost… I was surrounded with some of my favorite people in the whole world over the weekend. Lots of strong, empowering, amazing, independent women who have been role models to me throughout my entire life, came to my aunt’s house and reminded me that I can do this, and that I have a support network who is ready for me whenever I need them. They shared such beautiful words of wisdom, showered nugget with gifts and love, and were so attentive in asking me how I was doing, how I was feeling, and how things have been going. They listened to me, loved on me, comforted me, and reminded me that I am doing the best I can, which is more than anybody can ask for. Their genuine care and curiosity was so refreshing for me, and was the extra little “something” I needed to get me through this week.

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I was nervous that Saturday wasn’t going to “go my way” from the beginning when I got out of the shower, started to get dressed, and the two different pairs of boots that I had packed to wear with my dress did not fit on my feet. Like, they actually wouldn’t zip (I am still mourning this fact and the fact that we have to purchase new shoes for me to wear for the next few weeks) but my aunt Molly immediately ran upstairs and found two pairs of shoes to offer me for the day, and even suggested that we go shopping if need be. Every now and then, you need those little reminders… where people would literally give you the shirt off their back if you needed them too. It also helps that my family is amazing. My mothers, grandmothers, sisters-in-law, aunt, cousins, etc… all of them, love me AND my baby, and are right there with me, every step of the way.

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The universe was at it again on the way home… we drove right past the biggest and brightest rainbow I have ever seen 🙂

 

Nugget’s First Baby Shower

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Alright folks, I think we are on the inside of the last two months!! I’m 32 weeks and measuring right on target for growth (my uterus is 32 cm from top to bottom). Nugget is currently in a head-down position – and we really hope it stays that way until he/she is ready to come out! Nick and I have our last birthing class this evening, and have signed up for a breastfeeding course in a few weeks, so hopefully all of the things we could possibly do to prepare ourselves for the big day and for life with Nug are done.

Now… what can we do to help prepare Nugget for the big day and for life with Mommy and Daddy? Shower him/her of course!!

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On Saturday, my dearest coworkers and friends were so sweet to me, and threw Nugget a baby shower. I am lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met, who are not only fantastic teachers, but incredible mothers themselves, and I couldn’t have left the party feeling more grateful for the opportunity to have them in my life.

We had some delicious food, played a hilarious “famous TV mothers game”, and then opened gifts. Nugget is going to be set, y’all. He/she has the best of the best coming his/her way, and I tell you what… I seriously cannot WAIT to open the clothes/toys/supplies in the coming months. The best part about all of this – I am fortunate enough to have more amazing friends and family who’ve organized other similar events for Nug in the next few weeks!!

Someday, when my child is old enough to understand, I am going to do my best to make him/her realize that we, as a family, have so many things to be thankful for. I am still coming to grips with the fact that this baby is not only loved immensely by Nick and me, but by our friends, families, and coworkers too. I can’t possibly express my gratitude enough. I know that not every parent feels as supported as I do in this journey, and for that reason, I do not take one moment of this support for granted.

31 down, 9 to go!

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Well… it’s official… I am starting to feel “big” and like it’s a little bit harder to maneuver my body around than it was a few months ago. And, I want you to know that I say that because I am absorbing, cherishing, and relishing every single moment of this feeling… I am not complaining about it in the least. The funniest thing is when I go to get up off the couch… I have to perform a sort of “roly poly” move, which makes me laugh out loud each time. And, Nick has tied my shoes for me a few times this week – not because I physically can’t, but because it takes him less time to do it for me than it takes for me to do myself, ha!

New things this week: stretchmarks, some restless sleep, and Braxton Hicks contractions. None of which are super concerning, just interesting new developments that you can’t quite describe or explain until they happen to you. My belly button is slowly disappearing as well. I am not sure if it will actually “pop out” or just “flatten out” so I’ll have to keep you all updated on that front. I have gone through two entire tubs of body butter/cocoa butter, which helps with the itchiness that accompanies stretchmarks, and that is a fun nighttime activity for Nick to watch/participate in as well. He is kind enough to put some on my feet and legs for me – again, since it’s getting tough to reach 🙂

At our 31 week check up yesterday, the midwife taught Nick how to feel the baby’s head, which is down and hopefully staying that way! Nugget’s back is on my left side, and his/her hands and feet are on my right side, which is why I feel most of the kicks and tickles over there. They are definitely getting stronger because Nug is too. He/she weighs as much as a coconut and is over 16 inches long now!

I am getting so anxious and excited to meet him/her. I know that soccer is going to help these next few weeks fly by, and that April will be here before we know it. I have my first baby shower this weekend, hosted by my wonderful coworkers, so I will have some fun updates next week about that!

I have 2 Valentines

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February 14, 2016

Dearest Nugget,

My darling child, how can I possibly write the proper words with which to express my love and admiration for you?  In just a few short weeks, your father and I will get to meet you, in person, for the very first time.  Although I cannot possibly predict the future, I already know in the depths of my heart, that day will be the most magical one of my life thus far.

I chose to write you this letter on Valentine’s Day because I have hit a big milestone in my pregnancy with you. Today, I have officially been carrying you for 30 whole weeks! We are 75% done with this journey together, and although I am anxiously awaiting your arrival, I am going to cherish the next 10 weeks or so, because they are so vital to your growth, nourishment, and protection.

What do you look like, little one? Do you have blonde hair and blue eyes like your daddy? Or do you have my brown hair and brown eyes? Will you be taller than us? Are you going to be funny like you dad, or will you be musical like me? Is math your favorite subject? I have so many questions for you, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life getting to know the answers to them, just as I get to know you.

Although I have lots of questions for you, there are a few things I already know are true. You like to read books! Your daddy has been reading you books ever since your Aunt Lisa gave us your very first one… Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  Every single time you hear his voice, and the story he is sharing with you, you perk up. You squirm around in my tummy, as if you are trying to get closer to the source. It’s incredible to witness. I hope your love for knowledge stays with you all the days of your life.

Guess what else you like? Yoga! I have been going to pre-natal yoga classes most Friday afternoons with you, and believe it or not, as I move into new and challenging positions to prepare myself for your birth, you move into fun positions too. I smile a lot during these yoga sessions because I have a feeling that you are going to work with me, as much as you can, to make your entrance into this world a peaceful and empowering one.

You are not going to be a picky eater. I know this because I have not had any aversions to food since you’ve been growing inside me. In fact, I eat pretty much anything I want, when I want. Even sushi!!! And guess what? YOU LOVE IT! When I finish eating, particularly dinner, I can feel you rolling from side to side, before settling in for a nap after being fed. You, like your mommy, enjoy your sweet treats after dinner, and love to show me so with your movements.

Although your interests might change as they develop throughout the years, there is a certain fact right now: you are a fan of soccer. In fact, since you’ve existed, you’ve attended approximately 50 boys’ soccer games and just as many practices. Before your arrival in the next few months, you will attend approximately 40ish girls’ soccer games and practices as well. That fact, is not one to which many babies can attest! If you grow up to love the game as I do, you will have quite an impressive resume, being that you loved the sport before you were born.

The most important thing I already know about you, is that you are loved beyond words. Your father and I dreamed of what it would be like to have you, long before you were a little nugget in my belly.  The year before your birth, daddy and I had many amazing adventures, including our wedding at the farmer’s market, and our incredible trip to Italy.  All the while, we discussed how much fun we would have bringing you along with us, on our hikes, camping, to the beach, and to work in our yard and garden. We knew, all the while, that the greatest adventure of all would be our transformation into your parents.

As we await your arrival, sweet baby nugget, I hope that you can feel our love. You give us more strength than you might realize, tiny as you are. We are already proud to be your mommy and daddy, and hope that we make you feel as such every day of your life.

All my love,

Mama