Monday, October 16, 2017

37 weeks


How far along are you?: 37 weeks - ready when you are, baby! 

Baby is: somewhere around 6 pounds and somewhere around 19 inches

Movement: baby's movements seem to be happening less, which leads me to worry sometimes, but just as I start to notice and think about it and sit down to count kicks, he/she picks right back up! Definitely head down, this little one's bum and back are always showing themselves across the middle of my stomach and I can feel feet up near my ribs while there are hands punching on my bladder! Constantly getting the hiccups and constantly moving when I lay down at night. Can't wait to watch these little kicks from the outside! 

Weight gain: At my appointment last week I was very surprised to see I hadn't gained any weight since the appointment before at 34 weeks, in which I hadn't gained any weight since the appointment before that either, at 32 weeks! So I'm still clocking in at 146, having gained an overall 24 pounds. I have no idea how I managed to hit a plateau in weight gaining since the baby is still growing and my nap time chocolate snack hasn't gone anywhere, but I'll take it! Happy to see I'll be ending this pregnancy around the same weight as I did with the others. 

Stretch marks?: I think I've been able to avoid too many new ones thus far, which would make sense considering I'm about as big now as I was when Ezra arrived, so my stomach hasn't had to stretch much more than before, but it's been itching like crazy for the last week so I'm assuming there are some new ones forming, though really, you'll probably never be able to tell amongst the crazy that already existed! Constantly putting on lotion and praying they stay away ;) 

Maternity clothes?: AND Stephen's shirts! Several of my maternity shirts only conceal my belly if I keep my arms down, but my kiddos rarely let me stay too still ;) so this big belly is constantly poking out the bottom. 

Currently craving: sweets! Chocolate (in any form!), ice cream and sugary cereal like Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Also, bread! Good, soft, white bread! Thai food still really hits the spot, too! But really, all of these things are things I eat and crave regularly so not much has changed ;) 

Aversions?: I was able to make pizza without gagging at the smell of the sauce! So that's an improvement! The smell of salsa still gets to me and I'm not a fan of cleaning out the leftovers but I don't think those are exclusive to pregnancy ;)

Sleep: sleep has been really come and go the last few weeks. I've been in a lot of pain recently and it's been preventing me from falling asleep at night - there's just no getting comfortable or easing it. Or I'll be able to get comfortable enough to fall asleep ok, but then I wake up several times and struggle to fall back and stay asleep. Still making at least one bathroom break a night doesn't help with that. Regardless, I still wake up tired and not quite ready to start my day, though I can make it to bedtime without napping so I'm calling it a win! 

Feeling: so very ready! And that's easy to say, I know that when the time finally comes I will be feeling all sorts of unprepared, but for now, I'm feeling ready ;) Not just physically - anxiously awaiting the day I can stand up, walk and sleep without feeling pain! - but emotionally. I feel like I have been thinking about and planning on this babe being here and apart of our lives for so long that it feels almost odd that it hasn't happened yet! He/she should be here already! 

Working on: those final to-do list items! I got a huge nesting urge around 34 weeks (I remember getting one at the exact same time with Ezra, too!) but it's been a few weeks since and all that cleaning could stand to be done again ;) I was able to sneak quite a few "missions" in while my mother-in-law was visiting last week (hair cut, Target run, dentist appointment...) and I have a few things left to get done that I plan on recruiting my parents' help with over the next couple weeks (thanks for coming so early mom and dad!) 

Thinking about & anticipating: we are still going back and forth on middle names and while I would love to pair it down before this baby is born, it might just have to be a wait and see sort of thing! We are also in the midst of ranking our fellowship programs, which isn't exclusively baby related, but trying to decide were to go for the next 3-5 years while dealing with pregnancy hormones is no easy task! Our rank list is due shortly after baby's due date and we will match in the first week of December, so yeah, you could say we're thinking about and anticipating that...! Also thinking about this babe's birth date! My doctor gave us the option of getting induced somewhere in my 39th week. I know a lot of people are against this but after being induced with Uriah and set to be induced with Ezra, I'm honestly all for it! Ha! Baby is getting bigger, I'm not, it's running out of room... so long as the baby is healthy, I'm not against getting him/her here sooner rather than later! My 39th week, though, hits right at Halloween and I do not want a Halloween baby! So we're discussing dates and ideas and still hoping he/she decides to show up before that ;) 

Recent baby purchase: burp cloths. Exciting right?! Though there are still several things I'm convinced this babe "needs", I think we're all set to bring him/her home! There are also several things on my "purchase before baby arrives" list I'm wanting to get for myself... But that wasn't the question ;) 

What are you most looking forward to?: finding out the gender of this baby!! How has that not been my response every single update?! The closer we are to finding out the more I change my mind! And the more anxious I get! It's honestly been really hard and not a lot of fun to not know and as of right now, if we have a fourth, I'd say we won't be waiting again! But maybe that delivery room surprise will be well worth the wait and I'll be glad we did this! I guess we'll see! 

Favorite moment this week?: I could tell you my least favorite moment since my last update! We went into my 36 week appointment sort of expecting to discover I was dilated a little. We had to do the strep B test and my doctor had said at 34 weeks that he'd like to check my progress. I was dilated to a 2 with both Uriah and Ezra this far along and I have been having so many (and painful!) contractions and cramping, I just assumed it would have been doing even a little bit of work! ...nothing. Not a thing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Closed and tight and no sign of baby coming anytime soon. Which is good! I know! And totally normally and ok. I just assumed...! And would have loved to know that all of this unpleasantness was doing something to get us in the right direction. Sigh. I realize I could go from a 0 to 10 in a matter of hours, especially with this being my third, so not being dilated at 36 weeks doesn't mean this baby is hanging out until it's due date, but it was defeating to hear nonetheless. Stephen, however, was thrilled because he was leaving the following day for his final away interview and neither of us wanted anything to happen while he was away (or before 37 weeks!) but still...! My real favorite moment this week happened just a couple of minutes ago when my parents walked through my door (with a bag of groceries no less!) So happy to have them in town! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

September

 ^^ September is very much still "summer" here in Palo Alto, this September especially! And even though this pregnant momma is anxiously awaiting the end to this heat wave, I couldn't pass up a hot day at the beach for my kiddos. We were far from the only ones who had the same idea, but crowded beach and all, the kids enjoyed their afternoon in the sun and I felt a bit like supermom - pregnant on the beach with two kiddos, solo parenting with a crap ton of stuff... Go me! ^^
 ^^ Making lunch at Miss Nicki's our usual Wednesday, post bible study activity! Love these sweet boys! ^^
 ^^ A few days late on the classic "first day of school" picture but we snuck these in before our first week was over ;) Uriah at 4 1/2 starting his second year of home pre-school (maybe someday I'll get around to putting together a post on what we've tried and liked!) This year, Uriah's favorite color is (still) purple, his favorite animal is a snow leopard, his favorite thing to learn about is animals, his favorite thing to do is "fight on the bed with dad" and when he grows up he wants to be "a doctor or maybe a construction man" Love this kid! ^^
 ^^ Helping mom dinner prep while sister sleeps. Quality time is by far Uriah's main love language so even though the mess was driving me crazy and I was questioning the cleanliness of peeling potatoes on our floor... I loved getting to do this with him and loved his pride and excitement over the last he'd been given! ^^
 ^^ Our first three weeks of school were spent studying the importance of attentiveness and how that relates to frontiersmen (specifically Lewis and Clark), trackers and predators vs prey. To wrap up our first week we armed ourselves with cardboard knives and set out with friends to explore the woods, collecting different plant life to study at home (as Lewis and Clark collected along their journey to bring back to Thomas Jefferson). Thankful for weather that lets us get outside and friends who join us on our adventures! ^^
 ^^ Date night! In which I have no picture of my date... But a selfie in the bathroom mirror of the old Stanford theater in downtown Palo Alto. Stephen took me to get a Thai dinner (a pregnancy craving), watch an old Humphrey Bogart film and eat my favorite Scoop ice cream (a pregnancy must have) near the fountain. It was our first date since he got back from Africa (and his Texas interview) and the first time we'd had even a moment alone since getting off a two week block of nights. Necessary is an understatement! ^^
 ^^ Ezra's first trip to the dentist + all 40 teeth are cavity free! ^^
 ^^ Sometimes "school" looks like this... ^^
 ^^ Getting out and prepping the baby things! Can't believe she used to fit in one of those! ^^
 ^^ Finishing up our frontiersmen unit with a bear study! How appropriate that we have our very own bear rug...! ^^
 ^^ Two cuties celebrating Abe's second birthday at the splash pad with pizza and cupcakes! ^^
 ^^ BB the crocodile just casually eating pizza... Typical Friday night in the Wall house! ^^
 ^^ So grateful that our decision to homeschool lets us get outside in the mornings, running our wiggles out, and play together all afternoon on the porch. I can't imagine separating these two for mornings at school - I love that they're growing to be each other's best friends! ^^
 ^^ Hooligans after bible study! They keep my on my toes, make me cry just as much as they make me laugh and are without a doubt the greatest decisions we ever made. Gosh I love them! And I promise Uriah owns other shirts... Also, that is Ezra's "pretty smile" ^^
 ^^ Learning all about predators vs prey and animals tracks with a mountain lion study. His perfectionism is frustrating, for the both of us, but his determination is definitely admirable. Love watching this boy try, fail, try again, succeed and learn! ^^
 ^^ Always together. Always reading. ^^
 ^^ Friday at the zoo with friends! It was definitely worth getting a membership this summer, as it has already paid for itself. The kids never tire of seeing the animals (for Ezra is was the hippo and Uriah the tarantulas) and I never tire of the cooler San Fransisco weather and watching them explore and learn ^^
 ^^ Evening at the sand pit! We spent a lot of our 2016 summer evenings here as Stephen always seemed to be on call and I needed something to get us out of the house (and get those wiggles out before I attempted a solo bedtime!) It was fun to sneak out again just the three of us to dig in the sand, run the perimeter and catch bugs in the grass. ^^
 ^^ The kids got to wake up to Stephen home from another interview and they were certainly happy about it! It seems we only got Stephen for 24-48 hour stints the month of September and we are all feeling very grateful that only one more interview remains! ^^
 ^^ Morning at the soccer field with friends and random stick creations! This guy has really been in to creating things lately, his "projects" - drawing, coloring, cutting, taping, gluing, building... While I don't always care for the random assortment of projects laying around our house, I have loved watching him design and create and love seeing what he comes up with! He's truly inventive! ^^
^^ Ended the month tailgating with friends in the arboretum before the Stanford football game ^^

Monday, September 11, 2017

32 weeks


How far along are you?: 32 weeks

Baby is: according to my app, the size of a Florida Pomelo. But! I have no idea what that is ;) Roughly 18 inches and 4+ pounds, baby is measuring just a day or two over 32 weeks - right on track! 

Movement: If this baby isn't moving around, its hiccups are causing (let's be honest, annoying!) rhythms in my belly. I do feel like this baby is rarely still, and when it's moving you can both feel it and see it! My skin has been stretched so thin there's not much between this world and our babe. 

Weight gain: Currently clocking in at a whopping 146, having gained 24 pounds! I have already surpassed my total weight gain with Uriah (by 1 pound) and still have 8 weeks to go! Yikes! I did a little blog back tracking and discovered I'd gained 24 pounds with Ezra at 34 weeks, gaining I think 28 total, so assuming I can stay away from extra doughnuts at church, I shouldn't be too far off from my "goal". 

Stretch marks?: Oh they're still there, don't you worry ;) Trying to keep my skin exfoliated and moisturized to prevent new ones but I'm sure I'm in for some more damage before this pregnancy is over! 

Maternity clothes?: Give me all the side rouched tops and dresses and stretchy waistbands! I have a feeling I'll be out growing even some of my maternity items soon!  

Currently craving: Still nothing too specific - my appetite has really gone down hill the last few weeks. Honey Nut Cheerios always sound good though ;) 

Aversions?: The smell of pizza sauce (only while making the pizza, not while eating it!) and the smell of store bought salsa. 

Sleep: I'm back to making a "midnight" bathroom run, and I still wake up feeling tired, but I'm getting good sleep at night. I've been cat napping or getting some intentional rest in during Uriah and Ezra's nap time which has been pretty necessary these last few weeks - every aspect of this pregnancy has been draining and I am exhausted

Feeling: Everything. Really! Contractions, cramping, pain and pressure, back aches, leg cramps, every emotion on the spectrum (I'm so sorry, Stephen!), tired, swollen and puffy, impatient... you name it! This has hands down been my hardest pregnancy - physically, mentally, emotionally - and at 32 weeks it is really starting to weigh me down. Sadly, it has made us question whether or not we could do this again - it has been hard on us all. To say I still have (roughly) 8 more weeks of this makes me cringe and want to cry, I don't think I can handle this for another 8 weeks! We are just praying the time passes swiftly (and with minimal meltdowns!)

Working on: Stephen is currently in the kids' room working on putting their new dresser together! This has been a purchase I've been wanting to make since we found out I was pregnant! We needed something bigger to put all three kids' clothes in (oh my gosh, we're going to have THREE kids!) so he is hard at work getting it set up so I can start nesting - finally! We're also still working on names! Picking one of each is hard! So is not knowing if this babe will be our last - will we get another chance to use the names we love?!

Thinking about & anticipating: The arrival of this babe. I have a ways to go, guys, I know. And I want this babe to be healthy, so I'm not actually wanting this baby to show up before 37 weeks, but oh! my! gosh! Feeling like this pregnancy has really been dragged out and I just keep going back and forth on when and how this baby will make its debut... Will I have to be induced? (I was with Uriah and set to be with Ezra) Will my water break again? Will my parents be in town? Will Stephen be in town?! Will I be able to walk myself down to the hospital? Will he/she come fast and furious? Though exciting, the unpredictability of birth has always drove me a little nuts. I spend far too much of my day thinking about just how and when things will "go down". 

Recent baby purchase: The above mentioned dresser, along with some pacifiers and pacifier clips. I have long lists of things we still need - for baby and for mom - and probably an even longer list of things I just want ;) I have been eager to start getting things and the house ready for this babe but have made myself hold out because I felt like it was too early. Slowly making a dent in those lists, though! 

What are you most looking forward to?: Watching Uriah meet this baby! Ezra too of course, but Uriah is so much more aware this time around than he was last time and he is genuinely excited about it! I just know he will be the best helper with baby and the sweetest big brother to such a little one. Watching him love on our friend's babies makes me so eager for him to meet his baby! 

Favorite moment this week?: Our ultrasound today! We have (not so) patiently been waiting until I hit 32 weeks to do our growth ultrasound. With a two vessel umbilical cord, the main concern is growth, or a lack thereof. We are very happy to report, though, that baby is measuring right on track! The doctor finally moved his due date up to the one I have been using ;) and the baby is still measuring 1-4 days big depending on body part, so right on schedule! It was fun to take a peak at this little one (still no gender peaks!) and very reassuring to know that we have nothing to worry about. It's heart looked great and the kidneys are of no concern anymore, either. What a sigh of relief! Baby has dropped and is head down and looking to be around 7.5 pounds at full term.