Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Home Stretch Stretch

Skin stretch, that is.  Yes, this week I discovered my very first stretch marks on my lower abdomen.  My mother didn't get stretch marks, and apparently my maternal grandmother (who had six children) didn't get a single stretch mark either.  Considering my good genes, my healthy and steady weight gain, and the fact that I didn't get any stretch marks in the first 34 weeks, I thought I might be home free.  

But no such luck.

There they appeared as if overnight this past Tuesday morning, the reddish pinkish purplish kind, one set right next to my appendectomy scar from 1992 and the other above my piano tattoo -- perfectly symmetrical about three inches below my belly button.

I had a good cry.  Dan talked me through it with much love and reassurance, and some other women offered their empathy via Facebook comments.   Then I went to the store and got me some Bio Oil, which I've heard works wonders to minimize them, and if nothing else it smells really nice and is a good moisturizer.   We'll see how it goes...

My stretching skin means a growing uterus which means a growing baby... which means we are getting closer by the day.   All good things.  Five weeks to go as of today and we are so excited!  I'd say at 35 weeks, this officially is the home stretch!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mini Blogs at Six Weeks to Go

We've been in San Diego all week enjoying some coastal weather and relaxation with my immediate family.  Other than a half day at the Carlsbad Outlets and a full day at Sea World, we’ve pretty much just hung out at the condo we are staying at in Mission Beach.  Doing next-to nothing. Which has been awesome.  Behind “get an extension to take defensive driving school” (don’t ask), one of very few things on my vacation to-do list was to update my blog… I've been a little neglectful and don't want to get too far behind. So here it is: Things I've wanted to blog about in the last month and a half but either haven't taken the time or have forgotten about when I have sat down at my computer.  In attempt to power through the topics I can remember, I’ve decided to organize them into mini blogs.

The BB Update blog:  My belly button has officially metamorphosed and now you can see it through my clothes.  There's simply no getting around it.  My non-pregnant belly button was pretty deep so I thought maybe I would be one of those women whose BB’s didn’t bulge out.  False.  No such thing.  Now it looks like an imprint of a tiny palm tree leaf with a bubble on top.  When I laugh it kind of works like a puppet’s mouth, very awkward.

Never try to reason with a hungry pregnant women:  After a few instances of humorous (after-the-fact) marital dialogues that left me in tears and Dan questioning his own sanity, I thought about elaborating but decided not to for fear of sounding like a complete basketcase.  I’ll just leave it at a friendly reminder to all expectant parents out there: nutrition is important, never postpone feeding time, you must feed the beast often and consistently.

The ‘how I'm feeling’ blog:
Two words pretty much sum it up: achy whale.  Moving on…

The checklist blog:
  • After much much research and only two interviews, we found a pediatrician that we like a lot.  Check!
  • The nursery is completely painted and all furniture is assembled and I’ve started to put things away.
  • Still need to finish packing the “Go” bag, which means shopping for a few things and washing all the baby clothes.
  • We’ve completed our Bradley classes, including several weeks of labor rehearsals.  That means we officially have lots and lots of information about everything that could possibly happen during pregnancy, labor and birth.  So um now I just get to do it.  Yay, and Yikes.
  • “Birth Preferences” document (a.k.a. birth plan) is finalized and approved by my OBGYN).  I’m happy to share it with anyone who is considering a natural birth and wants to see a sample.  Send me a note or leave a comment.
  • Bought the carseat, just need to install it into the car. We went with Britax after a strong recommendation from brother-in-law Brandon, whose input we value very highly on all things safety (among other things!).    

The ‘my husband is the best husband ever’ blog:
Daniel has been so amazing throughout my third trimester.  He has been a painting maniac; working on the nursery, the furniture, and even a giant elephant painting for the baby.  He’s been increasingly attentive and helpful around the house as it is getting increasingly difficult for me to do things like vacuum and carry things up and down the stairs.  He has been so giving with back rubs and foot rubs.  And his unyielding patience towards my pillow fortress in our bed and the variety of ice cream that has taken over the freezer… I’m so grateful.  Oh, and he even indulged me with a red, white and blue photo for Independence Day.

Thinking Outside the Baby:  A few weeks ago, Daniel was pondering life, our lives, as a couple and as individuals, and how life will change when we become parents soon. He brought up to me that while our family life is the most important thing to us above all else, it is also so important that we balance who we are as individuals with who we are as parents.  He suggested that we take the time to make a list – a place to capture things that we want to do in our lives beyond raising our children. A sort of bucket list.  Things we don’t want to lose site of during the wonderfully all-consuming mission of caring for a baby (then a toddler, then a kid, then maybe other babies and toddlers etc.)… so throughout our lives now-and-then, and when we’re empty nesters some day we can look to this list for a reminder of the passions and goals that made/make us who we are.  Things on this list include me teaching piano again at some point, Dan starting or getting involved in a small business, us traveling to Japan (slash pretty much everywhere else cool), me getting more involved in the pro-life movement, Dan getting his masters degree, and a bunch of other things.  I really appreciated this spousal brainstorm and I’m sure it will be great to reference this long list throughout our lives, for perspective or maybe just for a chuckle.

The blog where I share pictures:
When I was about 30 weeks pregnant, we did some ‘Expecting’ Family Photos with Jane Zarzynski (Jane also did our wedding).  She came to our home in Gilbert and shot some intimate portraits in the nursery of me, my body, and Dan with me.  Then we headed over to the Agritopia pool for the opportunity for me to show off my adorable new polka-dot one-piece swimsuit.  Here are a few favorites…

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