Week 38: Baby brain, Pinterest projects and decorating the nursery

We missed Halloween by a few weeks, but our little man is now the size of a pumpkin!

We had our weekly doctor appointment on Monday and found out that I’m 50% effaced and almost 2 cm dilated, so at least some sort of progress is happening even if it is minor. I like the idea that the Braxton Hicks contractions are actually taking care of part of the labor for me. Too bad the entire labor and delivery can’t be this easy!

My doc also said that although my platelet levels are low again that she is not concerned at this point. She is having me do one more blood draw on Monday just to monitor the levels, but she said that since my count has been consistently above 100 I should be fine to get an epidural if I want one.

I’ve been super uncomfortable lately since the baby has dropped (doc says he is head down, so that’s good). I haven’t been able to sleep much at night, and the baby brain has kicked in at full force. I think I actually said, “Wow, look at those pretty trees on that tree,” to Geoff the other day. Words are hard when you are sleep deprived, uncomfortable and 38 weeks pregnant, okay you guys?

We are going to the hospital tonight to do our car seat safety inspection, which will be extremely helpful. I have had the car seat sitting sideways in my car for a few weeks now, which is obviously not the best way to install it. It will be really good to have the professionals show us how it is done and give us the peace of mind that the car seat is installed correctly.

We’ve also been adding some final touches to the nursery, including some of the cute decorations from my shower as well as my first Pinterest project! I bought a bunch of cheap black frames and some cute fabric swatches and just taped the fabric into the frames. The entire project cost less than $100 and I think it turned out pretty good – what do you think?

Eva (our cat) is obsessed with the bird mobile. She thinks it is a toy. She was fixated on the thing for about three hours when we first put it up, then started climbing the crib to try and get it! We had to lock her out of the room but that just caused her to sit outside the door crying and scratching at the door. To get her to stop we had to put some balloons in front of the nursery door to scare her away (because balloons are really scary!). I just hope that the baby loves the mobile as much as the cat! 

That’s about all for now… There are two weeks until my due date, so I’m taking bets on what day our little guy will arrive – let me know what you think in the comments!

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 38 of Pregnancy

Hey, your little one isn’t so little anymore, weighing close to seven pounds and measuring 20 inches long. Fetal development is nearly complete as your baby tends to a few last-minute details like shedding the skin-protecting vernix and lanugo. He’s also producing more surfactant, a substance that prevents the air sacs in his lungs from sticking to one another once he starts to breathe. Most of the changes this week are small but important: He’s continuing to add fat (so he can take advantage of all those photo ops by sporting a round, cute baby look!) and fine-tuning his brain and nervous system (so he can deal with all the stimulation that awaits him once he makes his entrance into the world).

Week 38 Pregnancy Tip: Stocking Your Freezer

Have visions of yourself, newly delivered domestic goddess, whipping up gourmet meals in those postpartum weeks? Dream on. Cooking will be the last thing on your mind or your to-do list during those first few weeks (make that months) after delivery. Trust me, fitting in a three-minute shower will trump it for sure, as will using the bathroom when the urge strikes. To avoid serving Cheerios for dinner on a nightly basis (realistically, there will be nights when you will), plan ahead. Do some cooking and stock your freezer now with individually packaged, simple heat-and-serve options that you (or he!) can get on the table in a flash. Label carefully, so you won’t be left with UFOs (unidentified frozen objects). Good candidates for the freezer include hearty soups, stews, and casseroles, as well as mini–meat loaves. Have the baking itch? Satisfy it, and stash away several trays of bran muffins (don’t ask, you’ll need them). Another plan-ahead tip? If you don’t already have your favorite takeouts on speed dial, now’s a good time to enter them.

Week 31: My Little Pineapple

I couldn’t decide between pineapple photos, so here’s a bonus one for this week.

Happy 8 months to me! Now I can officially say that I’m in my 8th month of pregnancy. I can’t believe there are only two more months to go.

The nursery is really coming together now, and I’m dying to show you what it looks like but I think I’m going to wait until we have it all put together before I post photos. We’ll see how long I can hold out.

I was sitting in there last night while Geoff assembled the changing table, imagining how it will be when little man is here – how I’ll rock him, change him, feed him and love the crap out of him in that nursery. It is such a weird feeling to know that he will be here soon.

We had a great time last weekend at our very first block party and we got to talk to a lot of the neighbors we hadn’t met yet. There are WAY more kids on the block than I originally thought, so that will be good for our little man when he arrives. After the block party we headed off to another first – a LEGO party! It was so much fun. Nick, our friend who hosted the party, sorted thousands of LEGOs into boxes by color, then let us dig in. We built houses, cars, airplanes, boats, and even a pirate ship. I had originally built Mr. and Mrs. Fancypants, which quickly turned into Geoff and I with the addition of a baby bump (courtesy of our friend Laura). I’m so happy Nick got this photo – I mean, seriously. It’s pretty awesome.

30 WeeksContinuing with our weekend fun, we have a wedding to go to this weekend (congrats Spencer and Betty!) as well as my first baby shower! It was supposed to be just my girlfriends from my hometown since I haven’t seen them in so long and they all have/are having kids (congrats Nikki and Kenny!) that I am dying to meet, but unfortunately most of them are unable to make it.

So instead of the whole high school group of girls my friend Cara is throwing me a mini shower with my mom, a few of the girls and maybe some of their moms. I’m getting so excited!

P.S. There’s a new bump photo on my See the Bump page! I took two different ones, so here’s a bonus one for you (like my new dress?).

This week according to What to Expect:

As your baby’s senses increase, his mommy’s breathing room decreases.

Your Baby in Week 31 of Pregnancy

Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring 18 inches long, your baby is quickly approaching his birth length — though he’s got to pack on another three to five pounds before D-day. Also developing at an impressive clip: your baby’s brain connections (he’s got to make trillions of them!). He’s now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses. He’s also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you’re probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest (when he’s pretty still).

Your Body in Week 31 of Pregnancy

Chances are your diaphragm is feeling a little cramped these days. Okay, a lot cramped. That’s because your uterus is pushing up against it (and all the other organs in there), crowding your lungs and making it more difficult for them to expand fully. The result: Your body is spare on air and will be until your baby drops near the end of pregnancy in preparation for birth. But don’t worry: Your baby is as happy as a clam because he’s getting his oxygen from the placenta.

Week 28: Snoogles, Boppies and chihuahuas… OH MY!

Thanks to Pregnant Chicken for the chihuahua reference – I’m getting sick of comparing my baby to fruit! I love her weekly emails, too. They are way more entertaining than the ones from What to Expect. For those of you who do like my weekly fruit images, I’ve posted an eggplant one on my How Big is Baby? page.

Geoff and I have made a little progress in the nursery by setting up our glider/rocker and moving out a lot of the boxes that we had kept in there. It is starting to look like a real nursery now (minus a few key items like a crib mattress, changing table/pad, etc. which are on their way to me as I write this).

As you can tell from the photo, I’ve *expertly* swaddled the pillow that came with the chair. I know it will be different when swaddling an actual infant, but in the meantime the pillow is the perfect size to practice with. And it makes my pillow look pretty.

Speaking of pillows, I am really getting fed up with the body pillow I have been sleeping with. It is just a standard one from Target or something, and it is starting to get pretty flat. Someone mentioned that they make body pillows specifically for pregnancy, so I popped online to do some research.

The two best-reviewed pregnancy body pillows I could find are called the Snoogle Total Body Pillow and the Boppy Custom Fit Total Body Pillow (stupid names).

I decided I would try out the Snoogle to see if it worked since it was cheaper (though they are both pretty pricey). Basically what I discovered is that the pillow is built for someone that is a specific height, which is not my height. And it is extremely overstuffed, while I prefer a fluffy down pillow. I returned it.

Since the Snoogle was a bust, I decided to try the Boppy. Target carries these in store, which was really nice, as I had to order the Snoogle online and wait for it to arrive. My thoughts on the Boppy: slightly better than the Snoogle. It isn’t filled as much, so I can handle sleeping on it, plus it is customizable (comes in three pieces that connect), so I can even use my regular pillow if I want. I like the middle piece that supports your belly, though it took me a couple tries to figure out how it was supposed to be situated (it is more of a pad than a pillow). My favorite part is the piece that goes in between your knees. It actually is long enough for me that it supports the entire length of my leg, including my ankles and feet, which feels amazing for swollen tootsies.

The one downside to the Boppy is that if you are using the entire pillow (all three pieces), it is literally impossible to roll over. I know you’re not supposed to sleep on your back while pregnant, but you can at least switch from side to side during the night. With this pillow it takes what feels like 10 minutes to rollover and readjust the pillow to get comfortable.

I still haven’t gotten the pillow completely the way I want it, but I think I’ll hang onto it. I’ll still keep my old, flat body pillow, but just for those nights when I want to roll over and just end up chucking the Boppy across the room after one or two attempts.

As far as baby goes this week, he basically hasn’t stopped kicking. He is going bananas in there! Of course, he does rest occasionally, which usually happens when someone wants to feel him moving around. Other than that, though, if you just sit and watch my belly you will see it jumping and shifting as our little man stretches and kicks.

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 28 of Pregnancy

Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward (toward your body’s nearest exit!). Your little work in progress is now about 2.5 pounds and almost 16 inches long. He’s busy adding new skills such as blinking to an already impressive repertoire of tricks like coughing, sucking, hiccuping, and taking practice breaths. Your baby’s sleep now includes the REM (rapid eye movement) phase — and that means he could be dreaming already (what do you suppose he’s dreaming about?).

Your Body in Week 28 of Pregnancy

While it’s good news that your baby is settling into the right position for childbirth (since you’re now entering the third trimester), the potentially painful news is his head — plus the weight of your uterus — may now be sitting on your sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower part of your back, buttocks, and legs. This common condition (called sciatica) can cause sharp, shooting pain and/or tingling or numbness, starting in your rear end and radiating down the backs of your legs. The best thing to do for sciatica (and the rest of your week 28 aches and woes)? Take it easy — and hope your baby changes position sooner rather than later.

Nursery In-Progress

Another jam-packed weekend has come and gone, and I feel like so much got done that I can’t remember everything we did!

I’ll start from the beginning. My parents came into town on Friday, and started clearing out the stuff from our office/guest room so that we can start to turn it into a nursery. Most of the stuff is going to my little brother, who is moving back to college next weekend, so the timing was perfect. We cleared out the room and got the first coat of paint on the walls on Friday night, which got me really excited.

My hibiscus tree is blooming!

My hibiscus tree is blooming!

On Saturday everyone got up early and got right to work. Geoff and his dad put a new window in the bathroom (we are so close to being done remodeling that room that I can taste it!) and the finished product looks beautiful. Meanwhile, my dad put another coat of paint on the nursery walls and brought in a dresser and the crib they bought for us, which I love! While all of that was going on, I ran to the grocery store to pick up some lunch to feed everyone and Ace Hardware to get some yard bags. When I got back, my mom and I (but mostly just my mom) went through all my gardens and took out all the weeds, trimmed plants that needed trimming, and even helped re-plant a few rhododendrons that had to be potted when we built the deck.

Geoff and I had to leave early in the afternoon to head out to a pedal tavern with our friends, and I literally could not stop my mom from working on projects around the yard, so we left her to it and went to meet our friends. Luckily, being preggo, I did not have to pedal on the pedal tavern, so I just got to hang out on the bench in the back. Everyone got a little tipsy wipsy, and even though I wasn’t drinking it was such a good time.

After we pedaled back to the bar where we started Geoff and I left to go over to his parents’ house to celebrate their anniversary with a cookout. While we were there, his grandma gave us a baby present – an Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers onesie jersey! I have no idea how she found it, because I cannot even find a picture of what it looks like online. It is made of jersey material and is actually from the NFL Pro line – so cute!

Sunday we took the day off (HAHAHA just kidding). Actually, we got up and had a quick breakfast, said goodbye (and THANK YOU) to my parents, then set up the crib. It looks SO GOOD. We obviously will need a mattress and sheets and stuff, but we have plenty of time for all that. I snapped a pic so you can see the crib and wall color. What do you think?

Crib

Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Crib in Simply White, paint color is Sherwin Williams Crystal Clear

It was the last day of the State Fair, so Geoff and I headed over for a few hours. I didn’t eat anything weird (we opted for the baked potatoes and corn on the cob over the deep fried cookie dough and chocolate covered bacon on a stick), but everything was delicious. I was feeling pretty worn out after that, so I plopped on the couch for some reality TV while Geoff headed down to the beach for volleyball, which brought an end to our crazy weekend.

Even though it was a lot of work in such a small period of time, my garden looks beautiful, the nursery is coming together, and I can’t thank my parents enough for everything they did this weekend!