Longest blog drought ever. Life? It has been crazy.

I’ve been telling friends that you know it’s bad when having a newborn sounds like a vacation.

Where should I even begin? I guess with the one who will be giving me a “vacation.”

PREGNANCY

My poor, neglected third baby. Least documented pregnancy ever. I’ve been managing to snap selfies in the bathroom mirror at least every couple of weeks at least, and usually sharing on Instagram. Hopefully I get some credit for that.

I’m 35 weeks now. And while this whole pregnancy has seemingly CRAWLED by for me, the birth of baby #3 suddenly seems really… close. I only have one more doctor’s appointment (at 36 weeks) before I am onto weekly appointments, which just seems nuts. Plus, I get the honor of having a pelvic exam at the appointment next week for the Group B strep test, at which point my doctor also begins checking for “progress.” THAT.IS.INSANE.

My coworkers threw a surprise “sprinkle” for me a couple weeks ago and they totally got me. The lies/setup were good, but more than anything, I just barely have time to think about baby preparation these days so even after I saw the yellow and white balloons and cake and everything set out just so, I still had to ask, “What’s going on?” YOU’RE HAVING A BABY AND PEOPLE ARE CELEBRATING IT, HEATHER. GET WITH THE PROGRAM. It was nice to sit around for an hour or two and take a chill pill for once. Open a few gifts, eat some cookies and cake, sip some lemonade. Talk about the baby and our family. Michael was in on the surprise so he brought the girls in and we got to enjoy all of it together.

I am getting really excited to meet this new little person. The anticipation of the last few weeks of pregnancy—particularly when you are “Team Green” and the baby’s sex is a surprise!—is beginning. At this point, I’m just assuming I’m going to go to at least 39 weeks (Nora born at 39 weeks, Vivienne born at 39 weeks, 3 days), but then I have moments of slight panic like “Every pregnancy is different. YOU NEVER KNOW.” It is nerve wracking to think about a baby coming “earlier than expected,” but of course, even more horrifying to think about going late. LOL.

Names? We don’t really have them. Oops. Time to get serious about that. We have a few we’ve been tossing around casually, nothing that we are truly committed to in any way. Girls’ names are especially difficult at this point since we’ve already named two girls and naming humans is hard, y’all.

Big shocker: I’m measuring small again. I myself have gained about 22-23 lbs. thus far. Despite feeling enormous, I started measuring behind at 30 weeks. Right on schedule, according to my first two pregnancies. My doctor barely blinked about it this time, since clearly this is just how I carry babies. Still, she found at my appointment last week that I am already measuring 2.5 weeks behind (31.5 cm instead of 34 cm) so I got sent for the ol’ growth ultrasound to check on things on Friday. Baby looked great and was estimated over 5 lbs., right on target.

Chief complaints? Bad lower back pain and raging heartburn. I’ve never experienced pregnancy-induced back pain like this before, but this baby has been giving me problems with it since the middle of the second trimester. I can’t really do anything without my back feeling like I’ve “overdone” it. I’m still working out, so that aggravates it sometimes, but mostly it is just the normal act of living my life (and nesting!) that is killing me. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor (who happens to be a friend of mine) every two weeks, which seems to help but I do still get annoying, sometimes somewhat debilitating pain in between. Probably time to start going weekly. Sigh. And the heartburn is insane. It can strike at any time of day, and seemingly after eating pretty much anything. I remember having really bad heartburn with Nora, but with Vivienne, my memory is that it wasn’t that bad. Oddly enough, Nora came out with a good bit of hair and Vivi had hardly any, soooo… if that Old Wives’ Tale is holding true for me, it means this one will once again have hair. Because OUCH, FIRE IN MY CHEST AND THROAT. It is so fun to regularly taste vomit at the back of your throat, obviously. (Not really.) Actually, at my growth ultrasound last week, the tech said “Look, it has hair” and showed us some spiky looking areas coming off the head. We shall see how much hair it actually is when we meet in real life. :)

Speaking of working out… yeah, CrossFit. It almost feels like a joke at this point. These days, I go and then the entire time I’m there, I question why I’m doing this to myself. LOL. Everything is super light or modified. Yet everything is hard. Going to CrossFit and struggling through it all might make me feel even more out of shape than doing nothing. I’m really curious, though, to see how my labor/birth/recovery might differ this time than in the past. Soooo I’ve been sticking it out. I mean, I’ve still been jump-roping, people! And not peeing my pants in the process. That has to count for something. After Friday’s workout, I was really hurting, though. I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to handle it. I may take it day by day through the end of April since my dues are paid up through then, and then just switch over to some good old-fashioned walking until baby decides to make its entrance.

The girls are excited. Well, Nora is. Vivienne doesn’t really understand, though she will point to, hug, and kiss my belly when we talk about it or we prompt her to. But the other night, I asked her if the baby was going to come out and she said “no.” Haha. But then I asked her if she was going to help me with the baby—holding, rocking, feeding, diapers—and she said yes. So who knows. When my niece was born last summer, Vivienne was OBSESSED with her so it will be interesting to see how she reacts when our baby is finally here. Although making fantastic strides, Vivienne is decidedly less verbal (or less understandable, let’s say) than Nora was at this same age/stage of my pregnancy, so it makes it a little more difficult to gather what she understands and what she doesn’t.

After the ultrasound on Friday, I took Nora with me to Carter’s and let her pick out a bunch of baby clothes. She was SO into it. We got going-home outfits (and alternates, since May weather can really be extreme around here!), and a few extras—for both boy and girl. She had so much fun with it. When I praised her for being SUCH a good baby shopper, she told me on the way out of the store, “It’s because I’m an expert on babies. I have experience being a big sister.” Alright then.

Baby #3 doesn’t yet have any semblance of a nursery, but we’re hoping to make some good progress on that over the next month. We’re making our fourth bedroom—the current guest room—into the nursery, so we need to move out the guest room furniture, paint, then move nursery furniture in. That’s really it, since we tend to keep the nurseries pretty “bland” until after the baby is born and we know the sex. Then we get going with the accessories and finishing touches type stuff.

Speaking of the sex again… any feelings? Not really anymore. I had stronger boy feelings the first half of the pregnancy, but now I’ve started swaying back the other way, if I listen to my gut. But then I think that it probably IS a little boy this time, so who knows. I’m unreliable anyway, since I totally thought Vivi was going to be a boy. I feel like I’m totally going to be surprised this time, regardless of which way it turns out. So that’s fun!

I think that’s a pretty good pregnancy update since the last time I updated. Now, onto other things in life that have not allowed me much time to think about the fact that I’M HAVING A BABY IN FIVE(ish) WEEKS.

WORK / PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Work itself has been really busy, just because. I’ve had a lot going on (all of my coworkers have, as well) and it makes for short workdays, feeling like there are not enough hours in the day.

The other thing is that I have been working on my accreditation in public relations (APR). BECAUSE I’M CRAZY. I first set out to do this in January 2015 but procrastination won over and then it wasn’t until November that I was like “Wait, I’m expecting my third child. If this is going to happen, I should probably get it done before I actually HAVE three children.” I knew that the amount of free time in my life is not going to get any bigger once #3 comes along, so that lit a fire under my ass to get this process done, once and for all.

It’s a pretty involved process. I had to answer a really lengthy and thorough questionnaire about my work history, experiences, thoughts/ideas/knowledge about the field, etc. Thankfully, I had a good start on that early last year, but I still needed to spend a good chunk of time buttoning it up. Then I had to prepare a case study of my work + a portfolio and present it before a panel of already accredited PR professionals for them to judge whether I have the experience and knowledge necessary to become accredited. I sat for that in early March, and thankfully found out I passed a few days later. THAT meant that I could schedule my exam.

All along, since I picked this back up in November, I’ve been reading a textbook and creating flashcards for this exam. It’s 132 questions, multiple choice, but very “tricky” in nature and a lot of the questions are scenario based—you have to read a substantial paragraph/situation and then answer a question about it. Some questions require you pick TWO correct answers instead of just one. There aren’t any practice exams for me to take to get a feel for it or gauge my performance so it makes me so nervous. I’m doing what I can with the textbook (do you know how much information is actually in a textbook?? soooo much) and study guide. I was always a good student and a good test-taker but let’s be real: I haven’t taken a test in 12 years, and even when I did, it wasn’t a monster like this one is. There were a lot of smaller tests and quizzes throughout the semester to help you learn before you had to take a final exam. With this? Not so much.

Anyway, my exam is now about nine days away and I am in full-blown study mode. Flash cards every night after the kids are in bed. I have like 300 flash cards, it makes me want to cry. I’ve been breaking them up into smaller chunks and reviewing them until I “know” most of them, then moving onto the next stack. Then once I’ve learned THAT stack, I go back to the previous stack to re-test myself on that. Lots and lots and lots of review. I just really hope I pass. Mostly because it will be super embarrassing if I don’t, but also because I don’t want to continue having this thing hang over my head. I want to be done with it so I can move on and just focus on having a baby. LOL. Thankfully, you find out whether you passed or failed immediately after finishing the test so at least I won’t have to stew over how I did for weeks or anything. WISH ME LUCK, you guys. This process has been very time-consuming and stressful. Valuable and enlightening, too, but it is just a lot to have this on my plate right now. I want to kick this test’s ass. I hope I have it in me.

MOM / HOME LIFE

Obviously, aside from being pregnant and working full-time, I’m also busy at home, doing regular “life” stuff and being mom to these two angels.

Nora is in dance and swimming. And doing really well in kindergarten. As if I don’t already have enough going on in life, I am also “room parent” for her classroom. It’s been an awesome experience and I’m so glad I’m doing it—I would love to always be this involved in my kids’ classrooms. Overall, it hasn’t been THAT much extra work on my plate, but Nora’s teacher is getting married next month (her wedding and my due date are only a few days apart) and I’m currently working on a class gift for her. It’s something very personal and special, a huge project that is very time consuming. I am so happy to do it (it was my idea!) but it’s just one more thing that I am trying to squeeze in right now. Just like with baby #3, I am running out of time and need to get it done!

In preparation for the baby, as I mentioned, we are turning the guest room into the nursery. Well, in order to move the guest room furniture out, we needed to have space in the basement for it. We plan to set up the bed on our finished side so we still have a place for my dad or whomever else to stay. The basement, up until a few weeks ago, was a freaking DISASTER. Honestly, the unfinished side had NEVER been in good shape—it was mostly a dumping ground for stuff, ever since we moved in. The finished side has had its fine moments, but we had really let it go since last fall and that, too, had become a dumping ground. Crap everywhere, no organization of anything. So the first step in “project nursery” was actually to organize the basement. Go figure.

We chipped away at it during weekend nap times for Vivienne the last few weeks, and we finally got it “done” on Sunday. Now we just have to get upstairs and start moving the guest room furniture down.

I did also manage to order big girl furniture for Vivienne last month, and a few weeks ago, it was delivered and we put it all together over Easter weekend. Got the nursery furniture moved out of her room and the big girl furniture in. She did FANTASTIC with the transition, my sweet girl. Her new bed is a daybed and the edge of it wasn’t ideal for using the bed rails we have. We decided to give it a go without the rails and she has “only” fallen out of bed twice since we moved her. Both times, she continued sleeping on the floor until we found her. LOL. So clearly it didn’t phase her much! It happened within the first few days but now we are on a good stretch with it so I’m hopeful she has “adjusted.”

In other “big girl” news, I was home with the girls on April 1 (no daycare) so I decided to give potty training a try with Vivienne. We went cold turkey into underwear—as we had done with Nora—and the first day was kind of disaster. I sat her on the potty every 10-15 minutes all day but she never peed on it. Instead, she peed on the floor three times. Gaaaah. That’s actually similar to how the first day went with Nora, too, so I wasn’t sweating it too much. But on Saturday morning, Vivienne refused to put on underwear, saying she wanted a diaper. Okaaaaay. That was discouraging. But then she kept insisting on continuing to sit on the potty. BUT SHE STILL WOULDN’T PEE. Between that and the diaper and a tantrum she threw, I wanted to give up.

Somehow, she “accidentally” peed on the potty mid-tantrum that morning. After that, she asked to sit like 50 times throughout the day but still wouldn’t go. Or COULDN’T go. That evening, she kept sitting but not peeing, but then the minute she would get up, she would be doing a very clear “pee-pee dance.” And, mind you, she had a diaper on, so it wasn’t like she couldn’t have peed in that if she wanted/needed to! She was holding it but physically/mentally could not release on the potty. Eventually, I had the idea to tickle her while she sat on the potty and lo and behold, out it came. Same exact challenge when she woke up dry on Sunday morning. She WANTED to go, but couldn’t. Got her to go again using the tickling trick. And then? She stayed dry all day and actually TOLD US when she wanted/needed to go. In total, she peed four times on the potty that day. She had a little trouble the following day at daycare, but then by Tuesday, she had that down, too. She has kept her diapers (well, we compromised and are now using Pull-ups) dry ever since. We’re so proud of her! And surprised. Really, really surprised. :)

Poop is a separate issue. Only one success with that so far, and it was yesterday morning. Hence why I haven’t insisted she switch to underwear yet. Because seriously, who wants to clean poop out of underwear? Not I. It’s been tough to even get the opportunity to get Viv on the potty for poop, as she’s been “saving” it for nap time or the 15 minutes we’re getting ourselves ready in the morning, making dinner, or whatever. Always when we aren’t paying attention! Obviously I don’t know for sure, but I feel like once she has a few more successes there, she will pick that up quickly, too. She seems to LOVE the praise—she cheers for herself and wants the whole family to cheer for her every time she goes. She even calls Tessa into the bathroom to “look.” LOL, it’s hilarious and too cute. She has also been very motivated by candy, so we are continuing to try to use that to our advantage, too. Just need to finally catch her in the act and get her on that potty!

Fingers crossed that we actually avoid having two in diapers.

Other than those “highlights,” it’s been mostly normal life on the home front. Time with family, time with friends, birthday parties, errands, chores, etc.

I don’t know if anyone is really still out there reading, but I’m still here, behind the scenes. I just really, really don’t have time to blog. I’m not sure that’s ever going to get easier again, especially after welcoming another person to our family. As I’ve said before, I post way more often on Instagram, so if you have interest in keeping up with me there, I’m @heatherkj.

I would love to make promises that I’ll come back and update in a few days or next week or next month or whatever, but I can’t! I do hope to at least make it back to share Baby #3′s birth story, since Nora’s and Vivienne’s birth stories are two of my favorite blog posts to revisit. In the meantime, thanks for any thoughts you’ve sent my way and may continue to. I appreciate that you care that I’ve been “missing.”

And thanks for checking in.

 

During last year’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad February—seriously, it was the coldest month ever in history—I was DYING to get away. I was really regretting not having a trip planned. It was so, so bad.

Even last summer, we were planning ahead for a winter getaway of some sort. We didn’t have any specific destinations in mind, but we knew it had to be south. Warm. Or at least WARMER. We considered a cruise (we’ve never been on one), we considered the Caribbean. But then I got pregnant and we knew that by the time February rolled around, I would be too pregnant to go on a cruise (did you know they “say no” to pregnant women after 24 weeks??). And then when it came time to book, I looked at flights to a ton of different destinations and some were super expensive. So we ended up right back here in the good ol’ USA. I looked at every major airport in Florida and Ft. Lauderdale had the best prices. Also, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami happened to be the furthest south, with the hopes of the warmest temperatures.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

We booked the flights first, back in October, and we figured we’d find a place to stay as we got closer. I had my eye on a ton of different vacation rental sites but we weren’t find anything that was really great for us. Then, I had a conversation with our neighbor/friends about our plans and one thing led to another… they decided to come with us. So just before Thanksgiving, we were searching frantically not for a condo anymore, but a house for us to share. We found one that we LOVE and hope will be as great as it looks. It’s in Pompano Beach, so a little north of Ft. Lauderdale.

We don’t have many plans. We have a private heated pool, there is a play set in the fenced in yard, we are a short drive to the beach, and walking distance to a park. I don’t know if we’ll actually have “beach weather,” but it’ll likely be warm enough to at least go there and hang out with the kids, if not let them frolic in the water. But fingers crossed for warm temps during our weeklong stay, I will gladly take them.

Although I’m not worried about keeping busy, I do always like to ask for recommendations (as you probably know) so we have options and back-up plans. What’s good? What’s fun? Where to eat? Must-sees or must-dos? Educate us.

I’ve only been to Ft. Lauderdale once, and it was for work a little over a year ago. It wasn’t your typical business trip (I got to see and do stuff!) but it also wasn’t the same as traveling with my family. We’ve also been to Miami before, so not sure if we need to drive down there for any reason? We will have a car, however.

Anyway, the only real research we’ve done so far is to see how far our house is from the beach, Publix, and CrossFit gyms. In other words, I need you. :)

 

First, let me just say that I totally thought I was 24 weeks pregnant today. It wasn’t until I got through writing this whole post and started adding photos in that I realized that I am, in fact, only 23 weeks pregnant. SONOFABITCH. And hahahahaha. What a “third pregnancy” thing to do. Although reading back through my posts recapping my pregnancy with Vivienne, I apparently did the same thing at one point with her, too. Oops. But seriously, what a kick in the ass that is. Ugh. ANYWAY…

After the challenges of the first trimester, I welcomed the second trimester with open arms. For the first part of it, I wouldn’t have even known I was pregnant anymore if it hadn’t been for the fact that my belly popped out so quickly.

Oddly, I didn’t feel distinct movement from the baby until probably around 17 weeks, which was later than I felt both Nora AND Vivienne. My doctor said that perhaps I had an anterior placenta, but I was pretty sure that the ultrasound tech at my NT scan had told me my placenta was at the back. My OB was surprised by this—said it wasn’t in the report, and that they usually don’t check for placenta positioning until the anatomy scan—but I was feeling 95% sure she had said that to me, so I didn’t think that was it (and, for the record, it wasn’t it. It was confirmed at 19 weeks that yes, the placenta is in the back). We also know that the baby is not small or anything, so I don’t know. Calmer baby this time around? Now that I AM feeling it on a regular basis, it certainly doesn’t seem like it. :) Anyway, that made me a little nervous during that stretch, but sure enough, I soon started feeling the regular kicks and pops and I now (at 23 weeks) feel them several times a day. I even feel them while driving or standing sometimes, which I feel never happened with the other two—if I was on the move, I didn’t feel THEM move. So strange that it’s different.

{15 Weeks}

Also different this time around: The baby is measuring a bit ahead of schedule—in both ultrasounds (12 weeks and 19 weeks) AND my first fundal height measurement as well. This is weird for me because my girls were always right on target in the ultrasounds. And I’m curious to see what happens with my fundal height measurement as we go along, because historically, I always start measuring small around 30 weeks and the gap keeps growing from there (for instance, with Vivienne, I was measuring 4 centimeters behind by the time she was born). I had to have extra growth ultrasounds with both girls but it was always determined that I just “hide them well.” This time, I feel like I’m not hiding ANYTHING. For some reason, I just feel enormous. But, looking back at my posts with my two previous pregnancies, I see that I was complaining of the same thing around this same time. Soooo apparently that’s normal. Ugh.

{18 Weeks}

Speaking of feeling enormous, I’ve gained more weight this time, too. Thus far, I think I’m up 14-15 pounds total, which is definitely more than at the same time with both of my previous pregnancies. I can’t really go by the weight gain with Vivienne’s pregnancy, though, since I had the appendicitis and subsequent weight loss due to not being able to eat for 8 days. But in the end, I “caught up” and gained the exact same amount in total as I did with Nora’s pregnancy—26 pounds. Accounting for about a pound a week and the fact that I have 17ish weeks to go, I am on track to gain more weight with this one. I’m blaming my 33-year-old metabolism. And thinking maaaybe these are all signs this baby is a boy. :)

{19 Weeks}

What’s frustrating about the weight gain, though, is that this is also the only pregnancy where I’ve stuck to any exercise beyond walking. I’m still going to CrossFit three days a week, and hope to do so through the end—I’m just modifying different movements and taking more breaks/aiming for less intensity than usual. Anyway, it’s weird. I’m trying not to let it get to my head too much.

Eating wise, I go back and forth from having days/weeks when I am absolutely starving on a constant basis to having days/weeks when I feel full ALL OF THE TIME. I’m currently having one of the latter, it’s weird. Any time I do eat, it feels like my stomach is stretching beyond capacity and I feel so uncomfortable afterward. What gives?

The anatomy scan at 19 weeks was fun. It happened to be scheduled for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so we had the girls home with me on the break. We decided to take them with us to the ultrasound for a peek at their baby brother or sister. Nora was fascinated for maybe five minutes and then was over it. Vivienne was not fascinated at all, except with attempting to turn the lights back on in the room. Oy. Thankfully, Michael was able to rein her in and we had a patient and understanding ultrasound tech.

The baby was moving around a lot and it is always just so cool to see all of the bones, the face, its “mannerisms.” The baby kept its one hand up by its mouth the majority of the time. We had to work to get him/her to move around a little bit so that the tech could get a good look at the lips/nose area to check for cleft palette. In the end, the tech got everything she needed and the report I received from my OB at my next appointment said that everything looked normal. Again, always a relief.

Back to movement for a second, Michael and Nora have both been able to feel the baby kick now. I’m feeling really good pops/kicks throughout the day, but particularly when I’m lying down. Over the weekend, I got up to go to the bathroom around 6:00 a.m. and was then kept awake by the baby repeatedly jabbing my right side.

{20 Weeks}

Sleep: It varies. Some nights I sleep so hard that I wake up uncomfortable because I didn’t change positions the entire night. Some nights I wake up several times to turn over (it’s a production at this stage—I have to bring my body pillow with me to the other side!). If I happen to roll over onto my back to sleep (normally a comfortable position for me), I will soon wake up in discomfort, which I guess is probably a good thing since I’m not supposed to be sleeping on my back anymore anyway. I can’t even really lie on the couch on my back (with my upper body propped up) for any length of time anymore, either. It’s all uncomfortable. Yay pregnancy.

My maternity wardrobe is abysmal right now. It’s like I’m trying to squeak by with as little as possible since I got rid of everything (plus, everything I had was for spring/summer anyway so wouldn’t be useful now). We are going to Florida in a few weeks and I have no freaking idea what I’m going to wear the entire time we’re there. Hopefully it’ll be warm enough for stretchy skirts and sporty elastic shorts paired with t-shirts that barely stretch over my belly. LOL.

{23 Weeks}

Nora and Vivienne know I have a baby in my belly. Nora mentions it occasionally but I think May still seems like a long way off for her so it’s still difficult for her to really wrap her head around at this point. Vivienne will point to my belly and say baby, and the other day she told us it is a “girl” when we asked her. But then tonight she told me it’s a boy. Anyway, I don’t think she has a good handle yet on the difference between boys and girls so she is not to be trusted. :) Nora is firmly in the camp of “it’s another girl”—I don’t know if that is instinct or if she just thinks that it is a girl because she doesn’t know any different than to have a sister. She told me recently, “Mommy, if we have a boy, it’s going to get crazy around here.” HAHAHA. I keep trying to warm her up to the idea of a brother, just in case. I tell her how helpful they are to have around, especially when you have a spider in your bedroom and you can call them in to kill it for you (something I always made my brothers do for me, hehe). For the record, I do think it’s a boy—but I also thought that Vivienne was a boy, so I’m unreliable. The surprise will be fun!

We have started to talk about names but we have not come to any real conclusions yet. Just tossing them around and mulling them over.

Really, though, I’m feeling good. It’s weird to think that at this point with Vivienne, I had just gone through a really horrible and scary experience and was still working on recovering. I never felt like I fully “recovered” from that surgery, like the rest of my pregnancy was just blah after that. So it’s nice not to be feeling that right now, obviously. When people ask me how I’m doing I say I’m in the honeymoon phase of pregnancy and this is just about as good as it’s going to get! Bracing myself for the downward spiral that comes with third trimester, haha.

It’s going by quickly but going by slowly, all at the same time. Seems even longer now that I know I’m 23 weeks instead of 24! It’s weird to think third trimester is just a few weeks away, but full-term and my due date seem so far off. There’s a lot more growing this baby has to do, and a lot more discomfort to be had on my part. I’ll just keep keepin’ on…

 

Boom. Just like that, I’m halfway through this pregnancy already. And I’ve barely written a thing about it so far.

It’s strange, because I definitely think about being pregnant on a daily basis—it’s always there, but it’s like it’s just part of life at the moment. Part of my body, just something that is constantly there, but sort of in the background while we deal with the hustle and bustle of kids (the ones on the outside), work, home, getting everyone where they need to be and when they need to be there.

So, my apologies go out to B3 (baby #3, get it? a little nickname!) in the future, that I haven’t focused as much on documenting his/her pregnancy as I did for the older sisters. With Nora, I diligently wrote every week from 16-39 weeks. With Vivienne, I skipped a few weeks here and there, but still managed to do a decent job, again from 16-39 weeks. Given that we’re now at 20 weeks and this is my first real pregnancy post for B3, I’m thinking my record will not be that stellar. I think it’s more a reflection of my general blogging habits now, though—I don’t often make the time to write about ANYTHING anymore. So, B3—don’t take it personally. :)

Before I try to get all on track by posting about my pregnancy right now, let’s back up a bit and talk about first trimester.

THE PHYSICAL

First trimester sucked. A general feeling of awfulness settled in around 5-6 weeks and stuck around until around 12 weeks, when I started to feel it lifting away. I think I was more nauseous this pregnancy than either of my others, though I remember Vivienne’s being pretty bad, too. But there was a lot of dry heaving going on this time. Never actually threw up, which has consistently been the case with all three pregnancies, but the gagging was fierce. My gag reflex is STILL a little oversensitive at times.

I remember one morning, right around 6 weeks, I was getting ready to head out for an early meeting with a client. I hadn’t eaten anything yet (big mistake) because breakfast was being served at the meeting. As I squatted down to hug Nora goodbye, I suddenly started gagging repeatedly over her shoulder. Actually had to run to the toilet for that one! Thankfully, my stomach was empty—which was causing the problem in the first place—so there was nothing to throw up. I inhaled a few pretzels and was able to go on with my day as usual. So weird.

Another source of nausea was strong smells in the morning. This is still an issue for me now, actually, but it seems to have at least improved. For instance, Nora will bring cheese, pepperoni, and crackers as part of her lunch sometimes. At some point, I found I could no longer stomach the smell of pepperoni when packing her lunch in the mornings. As soon as the bag was opened, one whiff and I was gagging uncontrollably. Same deal with putting dinners into the crockpot in the mornings—black beans, salsa, etc.—I just could not take it.

And to this day, I STILL gag most times when flossing my back teeth. Ugh. So yeah, all of that was not/has not been fun.

Other than that, there was fatigue. That’s still hanging around, actually, but has eased up substantially.

THE ULTRASOUNDS

I had two ultrasounds in the first trimester. One was done right around 6 weeks for dating and to check on a little bit of spotting. My cycles were a bit longer than “normal” when I got pregnant so it was good to have that early ultrasound—it moved my doctor-calculated due date (which they originally based on LMP) back by over a week. If we’re being precise, I actually think they moved it back a few days too far, but WHATEVER. It’s all just an estimate anyway, and I’d rather have it be a few days later than it’s “supposed” to be so no one is trying to induce me earlier than necessary,  if it comes to that. WHICH HOPEFULLY IT WON’T.

I will say, however, that the first ultrasound actually freaked me out more than it helped my mindset at that point because the baby was still basically unrecognizable to me as even a “bean” of an embryo, and although we were able to locate a heartbeat visually, it was too small/weak to get a reading on it. When I had early ultrasounds with the girls, both were done at 7 weeks and it is AMAZING how much those few days can make a difference. When I left the first ultrasound with B3, I was kicking myself for not insisting on waiting a few extra days so that it was all just a little more reassuring.

Alas, I managed to survive the anxiety of the first trimester and it was a huge relief to see B3 again at 12 weeks, for our NT scan ultrasound. Arms and legs and brain and beating heart. And measuring like a week ahead, by the way. Sweet, sweet relief.

KEEPING A SECRET

One thing we did entirely different this pregnancy was to keep it a secret from pretty much everyone until the second trimester. With Nora, the timing worked out (as far as seeing everyone in person) that we told our immediate families at 5 weeks, so really just a few days after getting a positive test. With Vivienne, I was coming off of an early miscarriage so I was a little more gun shy. Plus, we found out right after Thanksgiving, which meant we had just seen both sides of the family and wouldn’t again until Christmas. Naturally, Christmas seemed like a good time to tell everyone, so we held off for that. I was 8 weeks.

This time around, it felt so much more complicated. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to tell anyone—I really, REALLY did—but we had to take Nora into consideration. When I was pregnant with Vivienne, Nora was 2 and fairly oblivious to what was going on so it didn’t matter. This time, she’s 5 and we knew she would understand. And, fearing miscarriage, I did not want to have to try to explain a loss if that were to happen. It felt strange to think about telling our families on the D.L. and trying to keep it from Nora—we wanted her to be a part of it.

So, after some debate, we decided to wait. UNTIL THANKSGIVING. Again, we wanted to do it in person and we wanted to tell both sides of the family within a few days of each other, so Thanksgiving was going to be the first time that would be possible. I was actually already 14 weeks! And, if you have any experience with third pregnancies, you know that they are hard.to.hide. I was constantly wearing looser fitting shirts to hide the growing bump. It was torture not to even be able to tell my own mother! The plan was to tell Michael’s family on Saturday, November 21 (weekend before Thanksgiving), since that was when we were celebrating with them. Then we’d tell my family on the actual holiday.

We saw various members of our family and friends before Thanksgiving, though, so as it turned out, I had to do a lot of fake drinking. If I wasn’t “enjoying” a beer here and there, we knew it would raise questions right away. Our method was for me to take a beer and carry it around, pretending to sip. Michael would drink down half his own beer and then we’d inconspicuously switch bottles. Then we’d eventually switch again when his (well, mine) was empty. We were really clunky at it at first (and I had a hard time controlling my laughter during our switches!) but we got pretty darn good at it by the end. No one blew us in, and no one confessed afterward that they had noticed anything awry. *high five*

Nora seemed to pick up on the fact that something was going on, though. Michael and I were pretty careful about not talking about it around her, but there were a few times when she straight-up said something about a baby being in my belly. It was freaky. One time in particular stopped me in my tracks and nearly rendered me speechless.

One night after dinner, when I was around 12 weeks pregnant, Nora wanted to give me a bear hug in the kitchen. We were both standing, so she was basically hugging my waist and I was hunched over, hugging her from above. After we pulled away, she smiled at me and goes:

N: “Mommy, I just saw into your tummy. There’s a baby in there.”
I started uncontrollably laughing because I was so shocked. “You’re crazy,” I told her. I wasn’t going to lie to her and say no, but also did not want to deviate from the plan and confirm at that point (especially since Michael wasn’t even home). I was just trying to brush it off for now and make it into a silly thing.
N: (giggles a little, but insistent) “No really, I saw a baby in there.”

I started playing along a little and asking questions since she was starting to freak me out.

Me: “When? When did you see a baby in there?”
N: “It’s in there right now.”
Me: “How can you see inside my belly?”
N: (immediately) “Because I have super powers.”

You know that emoji with the big, wide eyes? Yeah. That was me. Kids’ intuition is scary, you guys. After that, I was so convinced that she *knew* somehow that I wondered if she would even be surprised when we did the big reveal.

FINALLY, THE REVEAL

Once we had the second ultrasound, I was bursting at the seams to tell everyone. Especially Nora and Vivienne. We had originally planned to wait until the day before we told Michael’s family, but I cracked the weekend before that. On that Sunday morning, November 15, we were sitting there in the living room and Michael and I managed to have a quick conversation about it even though the girls were right there. He was fine with telling them so we quickly got them set up with snacks (only way to get Vivienne to sit still in front of a camera, don’t you know), and got the camera set up on the tripod to film their reactions.


(If you can’t see the embedded video, click here)

Nora’s reaction was fairly predictable (still adorable), but oh man, Vivienne was hilarious. Obviously she still doesn’t really know what the heck any of this means but the fact that she managed to use the word “cool”—especially considering she’s speech delayed—AND use it appropriately/in context/at just the right timing was awesome. Priceless. I’m so glad we have it on video.

We weren’t quite sure how we were going to tell our families until the last minute. In the week after we told the girls, Nora took to drawing several family pictures of us that included a little stick-figure baby in Mommy’s tummy. I started to think about how that could be fun—have her draw the picture and then present it to the family to see who noticed the little addition. We went out to dinner the night before our Thanksgiving with Michael’s family, so while we waited for our food, we had her draw the picture.

Love it! And it turned out to be a fun, different way to tell the families, too. Michael’s family was surprised but not floored, and happy. My family was not at all surprised. LOL. They’d been ragging on us about whether or not we were having a third for months, so it was a lot of “I KNEW IT!!” and “WE WERE JUST TALKING ABOUT THIS!” and so on. We had called my dad and told him via FaceTime on Thanksgiving morning. I showed him the picture and it took him a minute but he got it. He actually got a little teary which I thought was really cute.

After all of the family members had been notified, we told friends by texting them this photo and/or posting it on social media:

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. Fun day. It was sooo nice to finally have the cat out of the bag.

I think that wraps up a summary of the first trimester with Baby #3! Hopefully I can get a more current post up sooner rather than later. :)

 

I did a couple of Stitch Fix shipments over the summer, my latest one in August (which I posted about). In early September, I found out I’m pregnant with baby #3 so I put Stitch Fix on hold for a while. I was, however, so excited when I discovered that they also do maternity clothing! Maternity clothes shopping is the complete pits—I’m more than happy to let someone else handle it for me every once in a while!

For those of you who may not be familiar with Stitch Fix… You sign up, fill out an extensive style profile (including sizes, price ranges, colors, etc.), and create a Pinterest board with some of your favorite looks (optional). The profile and the Pinterest board are meant to help the Stitch Fix stylists select items that are perfect for you. Each time you opt to get a Fix shipped to you, you are charged a $20 styling fee. You then receive five clothing items in the mail—these can include accessories as well, like jewelry, belts, and purses. You have three days to try on the items and decide what you’re going to keep and what you’re going to send back. If you keep anything—even just one item—your $20 styling fee is applied to the price of that item. If you keep nothing, you are out the $20 styling fee (that’s the only “risk”). There is a prepaid, pre-labeled shipping envelope included in each Fix for you to use for anything you want to return. And bonus, if your stylist really knocks it out of the park and you keep all five items? You get a 25% off discount on everything.

So my first maternity Fix arrived last week, just before the holiday—a welcome surprise, as it wasn’t supposed to arrive until afterward. I was really pleased with everything right out of the box. All nice looking stuff, things that I liked the look of right away, without even trying them on. Here’s what is what was in my Fix:

Pardon the awkward phone selfies in the mirror… I don’t really have a better way to take these pics without doing a whole fancy camera/tripod setup and I don’t have the energy, nor the time. :)

Loveappella Maternity: Davidi Button Detail Maternity Top.

This shirt is really nice and comfortable. I tend to like stripes, so that’s up my alley, and I do like the gray and white.

The button details on the shoulders are cute. This shirt ended up being a lot longer than I expected, though. As you can see from the side, it comes down completely over my butt, and when pulled down completely, it’s even longer.

(This is a pair of maternity jeans I already own, by the way—not Stitch Fix.) The length of this shirt actually makes it more appropriate for leggings, I think, instead of jeans. In any case, although I like this shirt just fine, I ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth the price—I’ve found plenty of nicer cotton maternity t-shirts from different places for less. Plus, I don’t have much need for short sleeves in January-April up here in New York.

Verdict: RETURNING IT.

Liverpool Reagan Maternity Skinny Pant. 

While I was waiting for my Fix to arrive, a friend of mine told me that if they were to send me Liverpool jeans, to KEEP THEM WITHOUT QUESTION. So I was super excited when I found these in my Fix, particularly because they are a fun color.

These.are.adorable. They are also incredibly soft and overall comfortable.

This top is also Stitch Fix—more on it in a minute. Just look at the pants! So burgundy and pretty! I seriously want them. But here’s the problem:

What is with this panel?! It’s not full panel, it’s not a demi panel. It stops awkwardly right in the middle of my stomach… and I’m only 19 weeks pregnant. Can you imagine when I’m bigger? I couldn’t even assess in the mirror and take photos without having to hike these up/fix the panel a hundred times—I can’t imagine actually wearing them. Womp, womp. The panel ruins these for me. I’m so disappointed!

Verdict: RETURNING THEM.

Madigan Dotto Cross Front Maternity Knit Top.

Here’s a better look at the top I was wearing with the skinny pants above. It’s a simple gray cross-front top, but the material is nice and thick, seems dressy—good for work or dinner or any other outing where you want to look nicer.

I know these types of tops are supposed to be flattering, but I always feel like they make my chest look enormous. I mean, let’s be real—my chest IS enormous right now, but I don’t like to really call attention to it by framing each breast in its own little cross-front cocoon. LOL. It really depends on the particular shirt, but I wasn’t loving this one.

This would transition really well into an awesome nursing top, though! So if the cross-front style looks better on you than it does on me, this would take you through the pregnancy AND into the “4th trimester,” so it would be well worth keeping. I also think I may have preferred it in a more exciting/prettier color? I still don’t know that I would’ve kept it because of the style issues as a whole, but who knows.

VERDICT: RETURNING IT.

Gilli Kary Maternity Dress
AND
Rune Porter Maternity Legging

When I pulled black leggings out of my Stitch Fix box, a little part of me was disappointed because 1) black leggings are pretty mainstream/easy to find, and 2) I figured they would be more expensive than any other leggings I’ve ever owned and that I’d be very unlikely to keep them.

The dress, however, I was excited about. Simple top—although it IS a crossover style again, it is black so it minimizes the chest as much as possible. Plus, adding a long necklace helps. And then the bottom pattern is fun. I don’t wear a lot of dresses in the winter months, but I figured I’d pair it with the leggings and see what happened.

You can see I even styled these pieces with a pair of booties. Going all out, haha.

The leggings are AWESOME. They are thick, almost like a compression legging for the gym, yet comfortable and I like the full panel on them. I had a few pairs of maternity leggings from Old Navy for my pregnancy with Vivienne that I HATED WITH A PASSION. They weren’t very high quality (nothing from Old Navy really is), and the panel was funky on them—kind of like the panel on the skinny pants above, it fell in an awkward place and resulted in me tugging on them all day long. And up until now, I’ve been getting by with a non-maternity pair of black Lularoe leggings which have not been ideal for my growing belly, either.

So although I never expected to keep them, I think these leggings will be worth the splurge. I could see myself wearing them at least once a week, if not more.

And I really like the dress with them, so… outfit made. I might have to travel for work in February, so this would be a go-to outfit for that, I think. I’ll just need to pair it with some more reasonable/comfortable shoes for walking/standing a lot—a black ballet flat, or maybe even a black boot.

VERDICT: KEEPING BOTH THE DRESS AND THE LEGGINGS.

In the end, I’m ending up with 2/5 items. So my stylist didn’t completely nail it, but it wasn’t bad, either. I’m happy even if I only end up loving ONE item, so 2/5 ain’t bad. And I’ll be honest, I toyed with keeping all 5 items at first because all had good qualities—but in the end, I’d rather keep only my favorites, spend less money, and get another Fix in a few weeks to see what that might have in store. :) I was really afraid the panel on the burgundy skinny pants would drive me insane, so once I decided to send those back, I decided not to keep the shirts, either.

I’m off to formally “checkout” on the Stitch Fix website and provide feedback on each of the items… which will help make my next Fix even better!

If you’re interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself, please use my referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5558605  And let me know how you do with it!

I’ll report back with the items from my next Fix.