Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pregnancy: 34 Weeks

Woah baby! I have gone from 0–10 on the I'm-ready-to-meet-this-baby-NOW scale practically overnight. I'm sure it has something to do with meeting my sweet little niece, but man am I crazy excited and so, so ready to meet her whenever she's ready to come out. In the meantime, I'm trying to bask in the quiet, alone moments and one-on-one time with Papa K.

Highlight of the week: I had my first "real" practice contraction! I wasn't sure what was happening at first, and thought it might just be LBs leg or foot pushing out, but quickly realized my entire uterus was tight and it was definitely a Braxton Hicks. My entire face lit up, I'm sure, as a surge of excitement raced through my body. It's so surreal that my body is actually preparing for labor. The contraction didn't hurt at all, and was basically just a tightening sensation at the top of my uterus that lasted about 30 seconds or so. I've had loads of cramping during this entire process, but this was totally different.

This really set me off into a frenzy of I-need-to-get-everything-packed-and-done-NOW. Not in a bad way, but in an excited way. The reality of how close we are to my "due time"—beginning at 37 weeks—is wild. I totally zoned out for the rest of the day writing up our "who to call list" and reading blog posts about what to pack for the hospital and when I should start drinking red raspberry leaf tea and taking in evening primrose oil. I even made it a point to pick up a frozen bag of the alleged magical pineapple at Trader Joe's this weekend. I definitely have a good list of questions going for this week's centering class.

Believe it or not, our once poppyseed is nearly five pounds and almost at her birth length. I can definitely tell now that there is a five pound lump of baby laying on my belly when I recline. For so long I couldn't understand why there was such fuss about pregnant ladies laying on their back—after all, I could do it for hours and not feel a thing—but now I get it. She really does put too much pressure on my vena cava if I lay on my back for more than a minute or so. She would most likely be fine if born from here on out, but I think she should probably stay in there for a bit longer. Mama's still got a few more things to accomplish ;)

Speaking of my five pound resident, I'm also beginning to feel the weight of her when I am upright and moving. We walked a lot during our babymoon in Portland this last weekend—at least a few miles each day—and by evening I was getting my waddle on pretty intensely. I've realized the waddle is much less about having a big belly than it is about having achy and loose hip joints. It's out of necessity and I'm very aware of when I'm doing it. During the longer walks, I would also feel a ton of pressure on my round ligament. It took me longer than you would think to realize that I was feeling crappy because LB is actually getting pretty big.

Overall this was quite and exciting week. In addition to feeling my first contraction and getting super pumped for Baby's arrival, I also had two baby showers over the weekend. Saturday started out with sleeping in and then making some freezer burritos to split between our freezer and my bro and sis-in-laws. They turned out excellent and are the perfect high fiber, high protein pick-me-up for a new mama (or papa). I can't wait to make another batch.

Soon it was time to get ready for my first shower of the weekend, hosted by the sweet ladies from my community group at church. They took me to La Romanza just down the street. I had no idea we had such a fantastic tea room in West Seattle. I couldn't have dreamed up a better location for a shower.

When I (we!) got there the table was already laden with adorable mis-matched china and colorful packages with bright ribbons. The ladies had clearly put a lot of time into planning this afternoon, and what a blessing that was to me!

We ordered tea service and enjoyed our house and lemon chiffon teas with cream and sugar. I thought we were just going for tea, but we ended up having the most delicious brunch together as well. I had a porcini crepe with truffle cream sauce that was impeccable. There was also eggs benedict, frittatas and more crepes at the table. Everyone raved about their dish. Two of the girls are pregnant as well, so we all agreed that we must go back to celebrate those babies in a few months. We ended brunch with some pistachio gelato and a lemon tart to share among the table. I left so stuffed!

In between all the eating, we played a couple fun baby games and opened gifts. They had come up with a theme of each getting us a board book, which was perfect since we didn't have many baby-friendly books—until now! The ladies also went in on getting us a pack n' play. We are planning to have LB sleep with us in our room in the pack n' play for the first while, so this might have been the most practical gift we've received yet. Of course, the minute I got home Arthur wanted to set it up and plop Mia in it. Surprisingly she loved it! Mid yawn...

I left feeling so blessed by the community God has given us. I can't wait to celebrate more babies soon!

After the shower, we made our way to my parents house for the annual sausage party (Sausage Fest '12—joke as you will).

Even though I don't get near the stuff, I still always enjoy this special occasion. Arthur was even allowed to get hands on this year! Grind, mix, stuff, and twist into links. Grandpa Vey and I share a love for good food and cooking. He's always teaching me something new.

The master at work. When I walked in the door to greet him, he exclaimed that I look like I ate a watermelon. I feel like I ate a whole watermelon.

The next day we woke up to crisp fall weather! On our walk to church, there was golden leaves scattering the sidewalks and freshness in the air. After church I came home and got ready for my big event.

This shower was for the ladies from all of our families. My mom, stepmom and mother-in-law all did such a great job planning and hosting. The house was decorated with pink pom-poms, pink white chocolate popcorn, pink flowers, pink beverages and even the main event was quite pink, Menchie's frozen yogurt!

Arthur and I have a slight addiction to Menchie's frozen yogurt, so my mom organized for the Menchie's to come to us. She picked out my favorite flavors—cake batter and cookies and cream—and had all my favorite toppings, plus a million more. We ate out of Menchie's cups with silver spoons. It doesn't get much better than that. I was sad Arthur couldn't be there, but luckily there are tons of leftovers and we have a mid-week Menchie's date set up back at their house. Mmmm.

We played baby games like guessing baby food flavors. It was so much harder than you would think. There was also a station with fabric markers and puffy paint for guests to write a message to Baby K on a square of fabric that will be made into a quilt for her. Do you see my baby pictures on the TV? It was so fun watching the slideshow and wondering what our little girl is going to look like. I have to say that I was a pretty cute baby ;)

After mingling, eating, and games, we opened gifts. I was blown away by how many gift there were. This baby is already so loved. We asked that everyone bring a book—new or used—to add to LB's book collection, and boy did they. I left with probably 30 books! We hope to set aside a night soon to read them all. We got some classics, but many of them were new to us.

I left with some delicious natural baby washes, a changing pad, a diaper bag, some cloth diapers and wipes, and so much more. The most hilarious gift of the night though was the Mamaroo! My mom and Aunt Mary have been raving about this thing ever since I got pregnant. I kept telling them that it was too expensive and I could just get a hand-me-down swing, but look what showed up! They went in on it together (after they both already got us fancy gifts), and now seeing it in person I am totally convinced it will be worth it. Just six more weeks until we can try it out!

Next up is packing the hospital bag. I already have the bags out and list made of everything I want to bring. I've decided to go with the over-packing philosophy, but more on that to come...

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