Happy “Due” Date

Well, we have been talking about March 1st since June 24, the evening I found out I was pregnant. We’ve been prepping and planning for this date. Lately I’ve been working more than 40 hours each week to help prepare my teammates, I have worked to stay ahead on homework assignments, and of course have been organizing and making room for all of the baby stuff in our home. Everyone tells you the likelihood of your first baby being late is high; however, there is so much focus on “when are you due” that it is hard to wrap your head around going past that date.

Luckily I’ve had a pretty decent pregnancy. I don’t think I am overly uncomfortable, just as comfortable as one can be with a full-term baby still cooking away inside. I am still working and walking on the treadmill but have found that with every move, especially if any core engagement is involved, I am a lot more vocal. Sorry to those around me, it is probably annoying to hear me grunt so often.

But overall, I am thankful that my blood pressure thus far has stayed in a normal range, my canckles and overall swelling appear to be of no concern, and the baby still moves around plenty and jams herself into my ribs if she feels the need for a real good stretch. Each uncomfortable movement is a reminder that she is doing well in there.

I don’t want this post to be a woe is me since tomorrow I will officially be “overdue” (although, I know with each date they provide it is simply a guess and a benchmark) so I thought I’d share some of my favorite things that have helped me enjoy the final trimester of my pregnancy.

1. Our Treadmill – Since a Minnesota winter typically involves plenty of cold air and ice-covered walkways, all of my walking has taken place inside. Luckily we have a treadmill so it hasn’t been too hard to still get a walk in 3-5 days per week. Not only has this helped with my energy, but it has also helped me somewhat manage my pregnancy weight gain. Hate treadmills? Plug in a Friends DVD and the time flies!

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2. Tums – Lets be real. If you know me at all you know that you can count of me to have some Tums nearby. However, since going gluten-free I have relied on them less and less each day. That was until I learned about pregnancy heartburn. Pregnancy heartburn is not like normal heartburn. It can sneak up on you without notice or cause and travel all the way up your esophagus in about .5 seconds. It is actually kind of impressive. For me Tums have been enough to manage it. Thank goodness.

3. Friends and Family – We have been showered with a lot of love over the past three months. Lots of gifts, well wishes and support from all of those around us who already love Baby B. We can’t wait to introduce her to everyone.

4. Starbucks – I know, I know. Probably not the best source of nutrients for growing a human but sometimes a girl just needs to start her day with a decaf latte. Especially if it gives her the kick in the rear that is needed to focus through a working day and homework at night. So Starbucks, thank you for existing.

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5. Prenatal Yoga – Justin signed me up for a 5-week prenatal yoga series as part of my Christmas present. Unfortunately it ended two weeks ago but showing up every Sunday was the best thing I could have done for myself during my pregnancy. I only wish I would have started sooner instead of waiting until the final stretch. Ps. Yoga is hard in general. Yoga while pregnant is even harder. Ufdah.

And without being too mushy, I have to mention that without my husband none of this would have been possible. Haha, obviously. But he has been patient and supportive and has even helped me with my compression socks a time or two. And why those aren’t on my top 5 list is beyond me. They are my favorite things ever right now, right behind the husband. 🙂

With all that said, I am going to throw on my compression socks and hit the treadmill. Until my next post, I will leave you with this picture from this morning because I think it is funny.

My feet are still down there.
My feet are still down there.
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Certified to Parent

Yesterday Justin and I spent all day in the classroom. The teacher shared a story with us about her almost eight year old daughter and trying to explain the test you take in order to receive your driver’s license. The little girl was intrigued and then wanted to know what type of test her Mom’s students have to take at the end of her class. Well, her Mom teaches prenatal parenting classes, and crazy enough, there is no test at the end.

We attended an express, all-in-one day, preparing for childbirth class. We took the class through Amma Parenting and had a great registered nurse, Meggin, as our instructor. Amma was recommended by our provider and they also contract with the hospital we plan to deliver at. After looking at their course offerings and realizing we really don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to more classes since I am still in grad school and Justin is wrapping up his thesis we decided to do the all-in-one.

The all-in-one is more high level, touches on a lot of things, but doesn’t go into great detail about everything. I found this to be just fine for what we were looking for, and Justin was happy with it as well. The first half focused on labor and delivery and the second half was about nursing and newborn care. The only thing I question now is whether or not we should look into a labor and delivery class that teaches more coping mechanisms since after watching the labor and deliver video I was like, “Hells no.” And if I am being honest, the video wasn’t even that bad and was only 12 minutes long so I probably need to buck up here pretty quick.

I thought our instructor did a great job keeping things light and exciting as I am sure most couples looked confused and terrified at different times during the class. She also did not push any opinions or objectives on us. She did share personal stories from her births when asked and what she has seen as a long time labor and delivery nurse but always stressed that there is a pattern to labor but not one is the same.

I know Justin said he is feeling a lot more confident especially now that he has some ideas of what he can do to support me through labor and learned more about new-born care. I am not so sure my confidence is any higher yet but I am more informed about what we have gotten ourselves into. Haha. Just kidding. Sort of.

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Proof that we are certified to parent!

I also thought I’d take this opportunity to briefly share some other resources we have taken advantage of throughout the pregnancy as well.

Bump Club and Beyond – Twin Cities
Justin and I have attended two paid Bump Club events together and I have attended one free one by myself. The paid ones can be expensive depending on what type of tickets you buy. For instance, the first one we attended, Gearapalooza, cost $130 total for us both to attend. Our ticket included a Beco Carrier retailing about $130 and a swag bag worth $150. I also won a Baby K’Tan which retails about $50. The second one we attended was for expectant parents that was a dinner and presentation all about sleep! Such an important topic. We paid about $160 total for us both to attend. Our tickets included a Motorola Video Monitor retailing about $200, another swag bag, and I ended up winning a Skip Hop Duo Baby Bag retailing about $60. The information was awesome as well!

The free ones are about an hour-long, held at a Target in Minnetonka and also offer great information. I went to a car seat basics one and learned more about car seat safety…which is always important since I think about 80% of people are using them incorrectly! :/ I didn’t win anything but they do offer 10% off in baby for that night so it is well worth the trip for the education and the discount.

This is almost all Bump Club swag.
This is almost all Bump Club swag.

Everything that is included in the gift bags is legit, useful stuff too. It isn’t just a bag full of samples and brochures. Totally worth it in my opinion!

Sacred Pregnancy Retreat
I also attended a Sacred Pregnancy Retreat in November hosted by Moon River Wellness. I didn’t learn about how to care for a baby or survive childbirth, but it was an awesome opportunity to connect with myself & baby, as well as other pregnant mamas. It was a day retreat with three other woman, and we did multiple activities and rituals to help us connect and understand that being pregnant can and should be a sacred journey. I really enjoyed it and left feeling a little less anxious about the process. I still think about it today now that I am in my final trimester, and when fear starts to creep in I light the candle we made and spray the essential oils we mixed and just reconnect with myself. I would highly recommend you look into this if/when you are pregnant…and it is not just for first time Moms!

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I’d love to hear if you found any resources particularly helpful during your pregnancy. Comment below!

Operation Don’t Ruin The Nursery

I’ve often heard that parents want their children to have the best, and many will do whatever it takes, within reason, to make sure that happens. There were many times this weekend I stopped and thought, “Hmm, that must come after the baby is born, because if I really wanted Baby B to have the best I would have hired someone to do this.” In all seriousness, this weekend was a major nursery weekend. Since Justin was out-of-town deer hunting I decided to enlist the help of my parents and gets some stuff done.

I had originally set a goal to have the spare bedroom, which was to become the nursery, all cleaned out by our 20 week ultrasound. I missed that goal by weeks, but had the motivation to finish it before we had our carpets cleaned last weekend. This is what it looked liked before.

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Catch-all Room

 

I seriously went through about 15 years worth of stuff and donated about 10 bags full of clothes from my late teens and early twenties. Whoa, I wore a ton of halter tops.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest to find ideas for our nursery and came across a project I wanted to attempt that required me painting something on a wall. I am not all that creative or artistic so I went in to this project with the wall paint re-shook just in case it turned out to be a disaster. My parents came over to assist with moving furniture, painting it and hanging up shelving. Selby also tried to help but wasn’t very effective.

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The Happy Helpers.

We decided to use my old bedroom set for the nursery furniture to not only save money, but I have had the set since I was a kid, and it was my Mom’s grandmothers so it has been around a long time and was still in fairly good condition. We sanded it, repainted it white and then I repainted the trim. When I was growing up the trim was pink. Since pink has always been a favorite color of mine, but I figure we will be gifted lots of it, I decided to accent Baby B’s room with purple.

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Before & After
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Before & After.

We painted a tall dresser, a desk and a nightstand. The trim was absolutely dreadful to do and will require some touching up. For now, don’t get too close or you will see I do not have a future in furniture painting. The desk will be turned into a changing table once we get all the needed accessories for it, but we should have plenty of storage for diapers, wipes, and all the other necessary baby changing items.

And now you are probably wondering how my Pinterest project turned out. Well, I have to be honest, I am super excited and happy with how it turned out. And if I am being really honest, I am pretty proud of myself!!! 🙂

Pinterest Photo...Not Mine.
Pinterest Photo…Not Mine.
My Finished Product!
My Finished Product!

The Pinterest one looks way more professional and more like a tree than mine does but that is ok. It is better Baby B learn now that her mother isn’t perfect. 😉 Overall, I’d still say I nailed it.

It has been a labor of love this weekend trying to get the nursery started and I am definitely feeling it today. Getting out of bed required a lot of limping as my lower back feels like it fused together. Oy! Where did my core strength go? So on that note, I am relaxing for the rest of the night with some laundry and plan to do some stretching before bed. This Mama is exhausted!

 

 

 

Favorite Things – Pregnancy Edition

Things have been busy since our 20 week ultrasound! I immediately felt like it was go time since we are over halfway until baby time! If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you already know that we are having a GIRL!

 

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From my previous post, you know Justin thought it was girl, while I was leaning towards boy. I had a name picked out and a nursery theme ready to go for a baby boy so that figures! Although we don’t have a name for our little girl yet or a definite nursery theme, there are some things I am for sure loving during my pregnancy so I thought I’d share. Drum roll please…

1. Green Tea Pomegranate – This baby is not 100% caffeine free. With that said, I’ve always been sensitive to caffeine so I typically have just one cup of this green tea in the morning (unless I am cashing in my once a week treat for a decaf latte). It helps get me going and clear the fog of baby brain, a little. I also think it tastes amazing and sometimes green teas taste like earth.

2. Coconut Oil – Did you know you could use this stuff for just about everything? There are many items on the market for belly balm, body lotion, stretch mark reducers and erasers, etc. This stuff works just as well, is natural and is not nearly as oily as it sounds. I am loving it! I won’t claim it reduces stretch marks either. I am pretty sure that all depends on your genetic makeup, not the type of expensive cream you might be lathering on, but it helps with the itchiness of dry and stretched skin.

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3. Leggings – I actually never wore leggings prior to pregnancy, but I am now obsessed. Maternity pants just don’t always fit right or want to stay up if your belly isn’t quite big enough yet. Leggings, however, seem to do the trick and are cute with a long tunic style shirt or sweater. Not to mention they are totally comfy. IMG_1897

4. Taking Walks – This is obviously an activity versus an item, but it is something that I have really tried to keep up with. Working out was not super appealing the first trimester due to exhaustion, and I think I am overly cautious about my movements now so I don’t accidentally overdo it. Walking has been a great way to get me exercise, get Selby out of the house, and an opportunity to catch up and connect with Justin. Hopefully the weather continues to be somewhat pleasant so we can stay outdoors as long as possible.

5. Cheese – Last, but certainly not least, I am loving cheese. Mini Babybels have been a preferred snack choice of mine, and I don’t see that ending any time soon. I try to limit the total quantity of cheese consumed within a day for various reasons, but I typically have my cheese snack by 9am. I even paired it with a decaf latte the other morning. Kind of strange, but how can two great things together be something bad? Hopefully my current love for cheese is helping Baby Bradshaw build some strong bones.

Do you have any favorites that you want to share that you have experienced or seen others love during pregnancy?

Any guesses?

This is the week Justin and I have our 20 week ultrasound. First, are we for real halfway there? And second, I really hope the kid cooperates and shows us their goods, but of course what I am really hoping for is a child who checks out as healthy as can be! I definitely have some anxiety going in to this appointment instead of all excitement. What else is new though?

With that said, are you leaning one way? Here are some things to help make your guess a little more educated.

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1. Justin thinks it is a girl. I think boy.
2. I have no idea if I am carrying high or low because the belly isn’t that big yet and frankly I don’t entirely know what that means, but I feel like I am carrying a little more out than expanding horizontally (or is that just wishful thinking?). I think that means boy.
3. My skin has not gotten worse, except right now it ain’t so good, so that could mean boy.
4. The baby’s heartbeat has always been 160+ so that means girl.
5. Per the Chinese birth calendar, it is a girl!

 

 

 

Maternity Clothes

In my last post I confessed a slight fear of maternity clothes. More specifically, maternity pants. After posting a link to my blog I had several moms and moms-to-be attempting to reassure me that maternity pants are indeed a wonderful, wonderful thing. I’ve heard this from most everyone who currently is or has been pregnant before. I mean, why prolong the inevitable when you are SUPER uncomfortable?

Luckily for me the maternity pants that I ordered from the GAP arrived earlier than expected which made me feel even happier about paying the lowest shipping rate possible. When I got home last night I immediately ripped open the package and held them up to show my husband. I think I exclaimed, “Look at these weird things, honey!”

This morning I chose to venture out of the house in my first ever pair of maternity pants. And let the record show I still believe maternity pants are freaking weird! When I went to slip them on I immediately looked for a button, a zipper, a snap…a anything! But there was nothing to be found. You literally slip them right on just like the pants you put on your baby, toddler or perhaps your grandparent. I hosted them up, way over my belly and thought, “Are you supposed to wear belts with maternity pants?” Nope, no belt loops either!

I ordered one size up despite the advice received from a fellow pregnant person so they are a bit big. However, I figured I am not done growing, and one of us will more than likely end up shrinking them in the laundry anyway. They are also quite long so I think I see some hemming in my near future.

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GAP Maternity Full Panel Modern Boot, 18 Weeks
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Puppy Photo Bomb.

I also ordered the GAP Maternity, 1969 Full Panel Sexy Boot Jeans. I don’t have a picture of them on yet, but I will add one this weekend when I am out and about feeling sexy and pregnant in them. In all honesty though, they fit well, and I think I will be very happy to have them.

I think I will be ordering one more pair of pants from GAP Maternity for work, and I have a few dresses to wear as well so hopefully I will be set on work clothes. I will also probably order a few more tops but luckily I have a wonderful sister-in-law who gave me a huge box of her maternity clothes. I still need to sort through them to see which ones will work and which ones won’t, but the tops don’t make me nearly as nervous as the full panel craziness.

If you have any must have suggestions for my maternity wardrobe feel free to share! My next quest will be for a better bra since mine are quite small and I currently have an underwire poking me. :/

18 Weeks and Counting!

It is hard to believe we are almost halfway there! In fact, it is kind of scary as well! I feel like there is a lot left to be done, and I just hope we are doing enough now so we aren’t incredibly overwhelmed the last few months of pregnancy. But, instead of dwelling over my lack of productivity, I will fill you in on some things I have found interesting about being pregnant.

Everyone cares way more about your wellbeing than they ever did before.
How are you feeling? This is definitely the most frequent question received to date. Sometimes it throws me off when it is asked and I have for a brief moment forgotten I am pregnant. Sometimes I respond with, “Gooood?” Like it is almost a question back. Why wouldn’t I be feeling good? Then I am reminded that they are inquiring about the pregnancy. People typically seem really genuine when asking which is nice.

Napping is the best thing in the world.
I’ve always been a pro-napper, but seriously, the exhaustion felt during pregnancy, especially the first trimester, is incredible. There were quite a few weeks that I would get home and have to lay down for at least 20-30 minutes if I expected to get anything done that evening.

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I desperately need this shirt.

Simply rolling over could leave you breathless. 
Walking and talking? I am trying to focus on walking and breathing! Justin and I have tried to remain active by taking our dog on a 1.5-2 mile walk each night. Sounds simple right? Well, I have found that I become winded a lot quicker than usual. Today for instance I was hiking up a flight of stairs, carrying food (of course), talking to a coworker and chewing on a mint. No joke, I almost choked. The poor girl, who probably doesn’t know I am pregnant, was probably thinking, “You should probably consider less Thai takeout and more stairs.”

Eat, and eat often! 
I do find myself getting fuller quicker, but when hunger strikes I better be prepared otherwise I might get real hangry. The hunger is intense!

Drink, and drink often!
Unfortunately, I am referring to water here. There is a good chance I will be giving birth to a water baby because I drink water ALL day and still feel thirsty a lot of the time. That reminds me, I am outta water and I have to pee.

Maternity clothes are kind of scary.
When you realize that your pants are so uncomfortable that the only way you will survive your commute home is by unbuttoning them, then you know it is time for maternity clothes. When this happened to me I thought I’d first check out the selection at Target. Looking at the weird waistbands and the full panel of extra fabric had me realizing what was to come and I sort of panicked. So, leggings and tight pants it is for a little longer! I did order some online from the GAP (because online is less scary) and they are expected to arrive this week. I will let you know when they arrive.

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Sexy? I will be the judge of that!

I could continue to go on, but it is after 9pm which means it is past my bedtime. Good night!