11.08.2016

Pregnancy Update: Ending of Second Trimester


Time for another update on our little boy!

It's been really exciting to process knowing his gender and talking about names for him. My mom is in the middle of making him a quilt and we've been getting a lot more serious about research and shopping for what we'll need. It's all coming together!


We feel pretty lucky to have so many friends going through similar situations right now. Two of Greg's best friends welcomed the first babies this past month and it's been so fun to visit them see their little bundles. A good friend of mine from high school had a baby in September and I got to visit her and hear how everything went. My best friend gave birth to her second baby this weekend. My co-worker gives birth in a few weeks. It's been really nice to learn from everyone and compare plans, strategies, and resources.


Classes

We planned out our schedule so that we could have our classes completed by the holidays so we could focus on fun things like shopping and hot chocolate instead of viewing the scary tools they might need to use to get our son here safely. We went to our first baby preparation class this Saturday. We were worried about getting through all of it because it was scheduled from 9 am to 5:30 pm and we had to drive about 40 minutes to the class. There were more available near us but this date worked for us. It ended up being so worth it! We learned so many new things that I had never heard about and our teacher was just awesome. She made the whole class super engaging and we learned a lot. As we were driving away, I said, "We're lucky there wasn't some person in the class that tried to compete with the teacher, because that would have made the whole day really long." Then I realized, I was probably that person. I think I asked her a question every 10 minutes of the day. They were all related to the topic but just random questions I had in my head. Hopefully the class doesn't mind that I was the one who slowed us down, but hey, I felt so much more ready for delivery when we left. So I guess that's the point of taking the class.

We also did our hospital tour a few weeks ago. I wanted to do that before the delivery class so I could visualize what sort of space we would be in and what our situation would look like. I'm pumped that the hospital has jacuzzis in each delivery room and that they have flavored ice chips!

We have another class this week about breast feeding, and then one more called "What to Expect as a New Parent" which goes over diapers, CPR, bathing, sleeping, calming the baby down, etc. I know a lot of people aren't into the classes but we feel like they've already been a great source of anxiety relief for us to have a better understanding of how we can prepare physically and emotionally. And I think it's nice to do the classes together and be able to get the same information at the same time.

Diet & Exercise

Eating is still tricky for me. There are a lot of things I'm trying to avoid in the "not recommended during pregnancy" category. But then there's also just a lot of things that don't sound good to me. I've consistently enjoyed my bran cereals in the morning, apple sauce and cottage cheese for snacks, and then usually vegetarian meals for lunch and dinner– especially things that involve bread, cheese, tomatoes of some sort. I think I've been doing better with vegetables this trimester. I haven't been as picky and I've been making a lot of vegetables pureed soups so I can try to get more veggies in my diet. I try to order a salad anytime I go out to eat because usually a salad at a restaurant is pretty tasty with lots of ingredients and good dressings. I'm learning why the recommendation is to not eat large meals when pregnant. I saw a diagram of the intestines of a pregnant woman this weekend. It's pretty much just smushed and the space is taken over by the baby. I experience heartburn for the first time a few weeks ago after a big meal, and I kept trying to figure out what it was because it was so weird! After a few big meals, I've learned my lesson and I'm trying to not overdo it, even when the meal is really good!

I've been pretty proud of myself on the exercise front. I typically have a hard time getting out of bed and making exercise a priority, but having this little guy kicking and motivating me has really helped. He makes me want to be in good shape to take care of him. I should clarify when I say exercise- I don't go a real intense cycle, but I try to do something a little active everyday. Some mornings I take a walk around our neighborhood for about 25 minutes. Other mornings I do a prenatal yoga video for 10 minutes (found a cute gal on YouTube from the UK who leads 10 min segments and I really like her) and then I'll do some of my own stretching afterwards. And some mornings, Greg leads me in a few repetitions of squats. I try to do them on my own but I always do them wrong because they're pretty easy. But when he guides me and shows me how to do them properly, they are always much harder!

Energy & Sleep

The best part of the second trimester has been all the extra energy and feeling like myself again. It's been really nice to cook and get some other fun projects done. As we get closer to the third trimester though, I'm starting to lose some of that energy which is sad. I've been falling asleep earlier and earlier at night. Usually I'll fall asleep on the couch and then sweet Greg gets the bed turned down and turns on the heater in our room and then walks me to bed because I'm so drowsy. Daylights savings has been a REAL BUMMER. I always struggle with it, but these past few days have been pretty rough. I've been falling asleep at 8 pm and then trying to wake up or stay awake a little longer.

Game changer for my sleep has been a pregnancy pillow. Greg's co-worker gave it to us and it's really helped me sleep at night. It's a horseshoe sized body pillow and takes up more than my fair share of our bed. But it's really been nice to have the bump supported and have things be a little more comfortable for side sleeping. 

Random Symptoms

My rhinitis has pretty much gone away, which I'm very grateful about. My mood swings are all over the place, but in general, I think I've been pretty emotional and sad more often than I'm in a great mood. The mood swings are really wearing me down and Greg too. Yesterday as I was going to bed, I said, "Wow! I don't think I cried today! Wohoo!" 

Bending down is also getting more difficult. I find myself less willing to turn on the heater under my desk at work and just suffer through the cold so I don't have to bend down. Although, it's not so much the bending down that is so bad. It's the getting up that is difficult! I've started embracing the slip-on shoes! 

The bump is growing and it makes my maternity clothes easier to wear. I'm really grateful for all the clothes from my sister. We didn't realize that she's a bit taller than me, so I've been altering the clothes to be a better fit for me and it's really helped with my moods in the mornings to have something fitted for me. 

On Perfection

I'm not sure if it's motherhood or my personality or what, but I've been feeling a little frantic about making sure I do everything right: no processed meats, no unpasteurized cheeses, planning to go organic with everything, not having too much sugar, cloth diapering, Montessori toys, lots of baby books, analyzing delivery options, avoiding medicine, etc. There's a lot to be careful of during pregnancy.

I'm glad that I've learned so much. But as I learned in art school, it's important to learn the fundamentals and the building blocks. But it's just as important to know when and how to break them. I've started reading some baby books and the overwhelming message that's repeated over and over is how important it to trust your instinct. I'm trying to focus on that and allow myself some space that I'll learn what I need to learn and then pick and choose the best thing for our baby when the time is right. But I don't think it's helping to obsess over the details when I know I can trust Greg and myself to be good parents.

11.01.2016

Babymoon: Boston

Our next day of England fun was spent driving through Connecticut and Massachusetts. It was Columbus Day so there were many festivities happening. We first stopped at the Red Apple Farm in northern Massachusetts. I had been there with Emily, so I knew all the good stuff to show Greg. We got a meal cooked on their barbecue outside (pulled pork sandwich, cast iron skillet corn bread with apple butter, and really good french fries). We explored the orchards and the little shop, got a few different apple varieties, admired the petting zoo, sampled maple cotton candy (amazing!), and got apple cider doughnuts. It was a picturesque fall day! We even ran into a few of Emily's friends that I got to know in Boston, so that was a fun perk too. 



Greg guiding me on how to do a serious maternity pose. Ha! 



 

Greg was too distracted to smile in this picture because he really wanted our half doughnuts to match up to make a full circle. Ha! 


After a couple more hours of driving, we went to Emily's favorite ice cream spot, Kimball Farm. We were lucky to be there because it was the last day they were open this year. We didn't realize how large the ice cream scoops would be and couldn't end up finishing them, which was the saddest. But it was delicious and fun to be there! 

 

We made it to Boston that day, returned our rental car, and checked into our favorite rental of the trip. We had a king bed! Our own bathroom! A nice kitchen! Close to a grocery store! It was a really nice place. Greg reminded me that we don't need to overdo it or try to do too many touristy things and that it's ok to just take time to relax. So that night we stayed in and it was great! I should listen to him more often. At this point of the trip, I was getting pretty tired walking around and my feet were really hurting. So I appreciated the recommendation to take it easy and I tried to calm down a lot more. 

The next day we spent on the Freedom Trail. Greg loves learning about the revolutionary war history, so this was fun to do together. We also went to the naval yard, which was fun for me because I had never been there. I showed him some of my favorite places to eat around town and he managed the subway system, like always. :) We walked around Beacon Hill and Boston Common too. 

For dinner we went to Giacomo's in Little Italy. I had heard about this place before but knew it was a crazy wait. We got there right when they opened and still had to wait 45 minutes but it was one of the best meals I've had. I had butternut squash ravioli in a savory mascarpone cheese sauce with asparagus. Greg had chicken parmesan and the tomato sauce was fab. There was bottomless bread and we got to sit at the bar so I could watch the chefs and it was awesome! The owner kept going back to the kitchen and taste testing the sauces with a chunk of bread. It was so fun! I kept talking about it for days! 



 

I was really happy to have another lobster roll. MY FAVORITE! 




 


 

Our last day in Boston was a bit short because we had to catch our flight, but we made sure to make time for a few extra stops. I showed Greg around Harvard and we went to Emily's old office at Harvard Business School to say hi to her co-workers. We walked around Harvard Square and I filled up on some of my favorite tools from Bob Slate Stationer. 

We went to MIT and saw some of the mechanical engineering exhibits and got to catch up with Ellen Patton, the sweetest lady in Massachusetts. She gave us a great recommendation to check out a fabric store and taco shop that we ended up loving! I found some wool felt there and I think I loved it even more than Purl Soho in New York. 





So many solids! I love it!



 

We took an Uber to the airport with the windows down on a really nice afternoon. We had such a good time on our trip. I especially loved the food and being able to put aside baby and real life stresses for awhile. The New England fall is so charming and I'm glad we got to experience it together! 

Babymoon: Connecticut

We rented a car in New York and headed north to Connecticut! It rained a fair amount, but the views were beautiful. Greg loves incorporating a road tip into any vacation we take, so this was a nice break to get out of the city and just enjoy sitting. :)

Greg hadn't been to New England since he was younger, so it was fun for him to drive around on all of the small two-lane roads of this area. And I only had to make him slow down a few times on the curves. We drove around a few state parks and took breaks to have meals and take pictures. Our AirBnB was in the middle of nowhere on several acres in Kent, CT. We learned the hard way that everything closes on Sunday nights so we ended up having to drive about 30 minutes away to find a meal. But we ended up at a lovely restaurant in Washington, CT. Emily and I came here a few years ago on a Gilmore Girls pilgrimage, so I actually knew right where we were at! 

Here's a few pictures of the fall leaves and covered bridges we found! 


 

  

  
  
  
  

We made it to Kent Falls State Park, which I read online was a MUST SEE of fall in New England. This is one of the pictures I saw to promote the park: 


And this is what it actually looked like! Ha! Not quite as amazing as we had anticipated.