The calm (and the crazy) before baby

Pregnancy has been a beautiful experience. As I approach week 39, I’m simultaneously wishing for time to both speed up and slow down.

On one of our many walks around Cathedral Hill as of late.

On the one hand, I’ve somewhat reached that point where I’m physically ready to be not pregnant. I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy with very little aches and pains (and I’m grateful!), but I am looking forward to…not…being…pregnant :). I also just want to meet this baby! He’s been moving, shaking, and kicking all this time and I’m just so excited to see what he looks like, to hold him, to get to know him!

Before the rain, wind, & snow washed away [most of] the pretty fall colors.
Then there’s the other part of me that is soaking up all this time with just me and Kevin. Our marriage always comes first and while we’ve longingly waited for this child, we’ve also been immensely blessed with 3 1/2 years of just us. We’ve had some legitimate struggles during that time, and we’ve learned to cope (and THRIVE) through it all. God has lead us to a place of such joy in our marriage, and while I know there is greater joy ahead, there is a twinge of sadness in these last days of Katie & Kevin.

Ultimately, though, we are [as] ready for parenthood [as we’ll ever be]. Enough talking about this mystery child and time to meet him!

During the last several months, we’ve had loooong to-do lists that only seem to grow. There’s something about having your first child that makes you realize “oh we need to do X before he comes.” There will always be all the things, but as of a few weeks ago we finally feel like we’ve done the absolutely necessary tasks. Now we are just relaxing (as much as we ever really relax) and awaiting his arrival.

What have we been doing in these final days? Oh ya know, going on all the dates we can at our my favorite places – taking advantage of being able to eat a few more things (which basically means some dairy)  before I go back to a stricter paleo diet. We also may have gone through Stranger Things Season 2 a little bit too quickly/immoderately. #noregrets #sortof #mvpsteveharrington

And before it got too cold (I don’t have a winter coat that fits over my belly), lots of walks – the hallmark activity of our family. We’ve dabbled with going outside this past week, but don’t make it super long since 30 degree weather and all.

Finally, just a little praise for my husband. He’s been a total rockstar throughout this pregnancy. Infertility was a struggle for both of us, but adding a new person to our family comes with it’s own [exciting] challenges. During this time, we’ve made a lot of decisions that will have a large impact on our family, not the least of which being to pursue Kevin’s business around both his sacred art and education. We’re not quite sure how long it will take to see some fruits of this venture, but we’re confident that this is what God is asking of us. So while Kevin has been working hard on laying this foundation (which is not a 9-5 thing), he’s also been doing like a million other things to make my life easier and to prepare our little Nazareth for the coming of this baby. Love you, Kevin!

Pregnancy Progress: 34 Weeks

I haven’t documented this pregnancy much – not sure why! Maybe because in the beginning I was hesitant to get too attached given our loss a couple years ago. Then I was in that awkward weight gain period for a while where i just looked super bloated – definitely not the “cute pregnancy” look. But here we are – I’ve made it substantially through the third trimester and life is pretty wonderful! So I’m just here to make sure some details of this joyous time are put into words.

Early Pregnancy

  • We found out we were pregnant on March 7th – feast of Sts. Perpetua & Felicity. It was a Tuesday morning, and I took the test before Kevin woke up – I like to surprise him like that. Surprised he was.
  • I continued to take pregnancy tests for five days in a row until I actually believed I was pregnant. They stayed lined up in the bathroom so I could confirm they were getting darker.
  • That cycle was the first in a long while that I thought there might be a possibility of conceiving. Many thanks to a combination of a fantastic surgeon (now my OB), a wonderful naturopathic doctor, a miraculous Arvigo massage therapist, a perfectly supportive husband who helped me to persevere, many prayers from friends & family, and, of course, our great & merciful God.
  • We had an early ultrasound given my history, and the doc found a subchorianic bleed, which made me all nervous (he didn’t seem concerned). It ended up resolving itself by the next ultrasound two weeks later. (For those who may encounter this and it turns out to be a real issue – my clinic administers progesterone to help!)
  • From the time our doctor confirmed the pregnancy (same doc that performed my surgery – he’s the best), I was put on progesterone injections as a precaution (again, given my history). True love is your husband giving you a shot twice a week in your lower behind.

Getting in my pregnancy groove

  • First trimester was not always the most fun, despite being so grateful for this little life. Looooots of nausea, crazy exhaustion, awful bloating. The hardest part was adhering to my strict diet when most of the foods I ate on a daily basis made me sick (ie: meat & veggies). So my NP suggested I introduce a few things back in during pregnancy, since the immune system lets up a bit during this time (I don’t have a harsh autoimmune disease, so temporary adjustments shouldn’t cause major problems postpartum). I began eating cheese, occasional goat milk yogurt, eggs, nuts, and some gluten free items (since we knew that I tolerate rice & corn okay). It was trial & error at first as I realized there were still some things that really didn’t agree with me, but for the most part it’s been alright.
  • I gained most of my pregnancy weight (or so I think – I see to have plateaued a bit in these past few weeks) in the first 20 weeks. In the first trimester alone, I gained 15 pounds! I attributed it to the addition of dairy into my diet, but looking back it may just be the way my body needed to adjust. In the third trimester, I’ve maybe gained 3 pounds so far? But back at 15 weeks, I was seriously concerned at what was going on haha.
  • Progesterone shots continued up to 20 weeks, at which point my levels were too high to justify continuing. So yay! It was a wonderful feeling to dispose of all those needles in the Whole Foods bathroom (they have a proper disposal there, I didn’t just choose a random place to trash my materials.)
  • We went into the 20 week ultrasound CONVINCED we were having a girl. Even when the ultrasound tech pointed at his male parts, I stubbornly said “GIRL.” Kevin gave me a look, and the tech corrected me. We could not believe it. But it made our name choice far easier because girl names are just too much fun.
  • Little boy began kicking – like, truly kicking – at 17 weeks. Kevin could even feel it. We spent a few weeks just laying in bed each night with Kevin reading The Hobbit to our baby and waiting for the kicks to start. It was perfect.
  • About halfway through pregnancy, my skin – which had been giving me problems for the past 3-4 years – completely cleared up. When I met with my NP, we were able to finally conclude that YES a lot of my health issues have been primarily hormonal, which is helpful knowledge as we prepare to navigate postpartum life.

Third Trimester

  • The week I entered the third trimester, sleep became my battle zone. I mean, I’d been used to waking up throughout the night to pee the entire pregnancy, but now I started getting sore legs! I’ve been able to alleviate the issue with additional magnesium via a nightly spray, but it’s still the one major discomfort of pregnancy. And even that, though, I can live with. I’m tremendously grateful for a fairly easy pregnancy, particularly at this point.
  • We invested in a birthing ball, which I’ve been sitting on at work at least 50% of the time. But boy, it’s hard work! My shoulders are not used to that kind of workout. Clearly my posture needs improvement.
  • I’ve been indulging in grain-free pizza a bit more than I probably ought. I’m somewhat taking advantage of this time of life with dairy. Because once baby is born, it’s back to the old ways! I’ve been slowly filling up our freezer with compliant meals/snacks for postpartum, which I’m actually quite excited for. It’ll be nice to go back to having set rules, as much as I’ll miss ma cheese.
  • We’ve taken a few classes: natural childbirth (Amma), newborns 101 & breastfeeding (Amma), abdominals after birth (Blooma – just me). We’ve also read a few books between the both of us, and been practicing and preparing extensively for the big event (which, in the end, is somewhat out of our control). We are very well-versed on pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding…but like, life with a newborn and what we do besides feed him…we have no clue. We shall take it as it comes!

I’m still a bit overwhelmed at all of the “to-do’s,” BUT I’m also joyfully awaiting the big day. What NEEDS to get done will be done, and everything else we will just have to take in stride. It’s hard to believe he could literally be here in like four weeks. We are so thrilled and so grateful and so humbled that God has given us this great gift, in His perfect time. I could write a book about the providence of God’s timing, but I will spare you. Know that it is good.