Pregnancy Week 35: Maternity Leave

The days of putting up my feet and nesting have finally begun! And not a moment too soon! I don’t think my feet and ankles could have taken any more of chasing two 5 year olds around all day.

This past Friday began the start of my maternity leave. I plan on resting and nesting, of course, while also completing my online board certification of Special Education Advocacy.

The goal is to complete all or most of this course before baby boy gets here. That way I can enjoy my time with him fully, then dive right into starting my consulting business in the fall (when he will hopefully be on a solid sleep schedule).

I am so excited for D and I to be parents and get to care for this new little life of ours.

I am also excited for the swelling in my feet and hands to disappear, and to be able to roll over in bed without getting out of breath! Haha

Look at that squishy face 😍

Highlights:

•baby boys Estimated Fetal Weight scan put him in the 60% percentile for growth and right on track!

•I started my maternity leave this week

•our hospital bags are almost completely packed

Lowlights:

•swollen feet are a daily thing

•carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands thanks to this all of this fluid I’m retaining

Pregnancy Week 34: I miss my ankles

Ahhh the third trimester…a time of nesting, counting down the days until baby arrives, and…swelling.

So. Much. Swelling.

My ankles have officially swelled wider than my feet…not great.

The swelling isn’t limited to my feet and ankles either. It’s in my calves, as well as my fingers. There is a constant ache in my hands and feet from the moment I wake until I roll back into bed at night.

I’ve heard people say that you get uncomfortable towards the end of your pregnancy so that, instead of fearing your due date (and a painful birthing process) you look forward to the relief that will come from no longer being pregnant.

I am starting to think the person who came up with that line of thinking was really into something.

I am so ready for maternity leave to start next week.

The baby’s bassinet is finally set up and his 0-3 month clothes are washed and ready for him to wear.

Our hospital bag is almost fully packed.

I am counting down the weeks, days and hours until we get to meet our little boy!

Highlights:

•people have been continuing to buy us items from the baby shower registry, even though our shower had to be canceled due to the coronavirus. Super sweet and unexpected!

• I went for an Estimated Fetal Weight ultrasound and baby boy is on target for length/weight and in the head down position

•the ultrasound tech printed out a 4D pic for me to share with D, since he couldn’t be at the appointment with us

Lowlights:

•swelling from retaining water!

Week 33: A Mama-to-Be’s Mother’s Day

My “mama-to-be” Mother’s Day started off on a sweet note, with D waking me up with heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes and fresh strawberries.

It got even sweeter when he found a house for us to go look at. The house itself turned out to be a bust. Beautiful on the outside but a ton of work needed to be done on the inside.

After that, we stopped by my parents’ house to eat lunch with my family and spend some time with my mom for Mother’s Day.

We then took our time driving home and made a couple of detours through little towns, checking out the real estate as we went and contacting more local agents.

It was a fun, laidback kind of first Mother’s Day, spent with my honey and doing things that I enjoy doing (we also got some pretty good pizza. Score!).

I know that to some people, my first “real” Mother’s Day will be once the baby is actually born. I can see their point there. But to me, I feel like I already am a momma just by being a mama-in-waiting, and it was nice to celebrate the blessing of being the mama of this little baby growing inside of me.

All in all, a very good day.

Highlights:

•celebrated my first Mother’s Day

•we finally sold our extra fish tank, which made more room for baby’s things

•our house hunting has really picked up

Lowlights

•swelling in my feet and hands has become a daily thing now

•you know that insomnia is no joke still

•a house we really fell in love with turned out to be too much of a fixer upper for our budget

Week 32: Should we buy a house?

Our apartment is small. 750 square feet, to be exact, with 50 of those feet being taken up by our gigantic, 175 gallon fish tank (we started out with a 10 gallon and soon became “crazy fish parents”).

My nephew and our gigantic fish tank

We have been realizing with every baby-related Amazon delivery at our doorstep, that our very small apartment is soon to be crowded and cluttered with our tiny baby’s many baby accessories.

At first, we had thought of finding a two bedroom apartment in the fall when our lease is up. But now, due to a few different factors, we’re leaning heavily in favor of making the very grownup decision of buying our first home.

Some of our reasoning include:

1. We don’t want to throw money away on rent

Considering how much more a 2 bedroom in Stamford would cost us, we feel it just makes sense to put that money into a home that is all ours.

2. We would have a backyard for the baby to play in

Let’s face it: most American apartments do not come with outside space. You are lucky to get a small balcony even in a “luxury” apartment and any outdoor space (pool, tennis courts, club house, etc.) are usually going to be shared with 20+ people in your building. Buying a home with our own backyard is a big plus in my opinion.

3. The COVID crisis has given rise to a lot more homeless people gathering outside of our apartment building

Living in downtown Stamford, there are always a few homeless people panhandling on our street. For the most, they’re pretty harmless and respectful of personal space. But ever since social distancing has been put in place, less people have been out and many of the panhandlers have gotten more aggressive and bold in their gatherings. There are times when D and I have come home to a small group of them hanging out in front of our doorway. With a baby due soon, having drug and alcohol-addicted people hanging out so close to our home doesn’t make me feel very safe.

4. The housing market might soon be in favor of “buyers” and we have the ability to save for a down payment right now

We keep hearing that it will soon be a good time to buy a house. We also have the beginning of a down payment and some serious motivation to reach our goals (hello, baby). So the timing just seems right.

5. Room to grow

Getting a house over another apartment gives us a place of our own to plant some real roots in. I love living downtown, but it will be nice to find and move to an area that we know we’ll be raising our children in.

We still have some time to save up before we are ready to put a down payment on our first home, but having clear intentions on when we would like to do this by is helpful.

This is a big step for us as a couple and as a new family. And it’s a step I’m very excited about!

Highlights

•drove to the Bronx with D to satisfy my pizza craving from Louie and Ernie’s (my childhood pizza spot!)

•a number of people said some really kind and encouraging things about my pregnancy this week

•the Bebé Day By Day book that I ordered came in this week and had proven to be, as promised, chock full of the good parenting tidbits that I loved in its predecessor, Bringing Up Bébé. Both books are written by Pamela Druckerman.

Lowlights

•my achy, achy feet!

•insomnia is still messing my sleep up

•I am starting to feel burnout at work and am counting down the days until my maternity leave begins

One of the many times I was “feet up, bump out” at home this week

Pregnancy Week 31: Making room for baby

With only (about) 9 weeks to go, D and I are working on making room for baby boy in our cozy (aka small) one-bedroom apartment.

So far we’ve successfully gotten rid of a “man cave-esque” book shelf that was made of old wine crates, because it was more decorative than storage-friendly, and a bench press that was mostly being used for holding laundry.

We’ve also added some multipurpose storage items and rearranged furniture to make room for baby’s bassinet and (when we can find one we like) dresser.

Maternity StitchFix Box

This week I also got my first maternity StitchFix box! I wasn’t feeling very excited about the maternity options I was finding in online stores, so decided I would give Stitch mFix a shot.

They sent me 5 clothing items and I ended up liking and keeping 4 of them. They sent me two blue maternity dresses (I requested this color because, at the time of ordering, I was hoping to wear one of them to my baby shower), two maternity tops in fun spring colors, and a pretty pink kimono that I can wear during and after pregnancy.

The dress I kept from StitchFix

I ended up returning a loose-fitting maternity sundress because I felt that it made me look huge (and not the cute, pregnant kind of huge lol). Apparently I am at the point in my pregnancy where form-fitting is the way to go, or else my figure just gets “lost in the sauce” of pregnancy curves!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with my first maternity “Fix” and would definitely recommend it to any pregnant ladies out there wanting to add some cute pieces to their maternity wardrobe!

Bi-Weekly OB Appointment

I also had my OB checkup at the end of this week. Baby boy and I are doing well and he is measuring right on track!

At my next appointment (34 weeks) I’ll be getting an ultrasound to determine his estimated fetal weight and to double check that he is growing at a healthy rate.

I love any chance to see/hear my baby, so I’m looking forward to that!

Highlights:

•OB appointment went great

•got (and loved) my first maternity box from StitchFix

•my maternity leave fund is getting where it needs to be for me to spend time at home with baby boy

Lowlights

•foot pain and backaches are still very much a thing

•my OB says that I will most likely have to be in labor with a face mask because of COVID concerns, which makes me nervous because those things make breathing feel labored on a regular day. I will need to seriously mentally prep myself for that so I don’t freak out and end up hyperventilating from anxiety. Oy. (I know it’s for the safety of everyone, so obviously I will wear it. I just really need to prep my mind for it, so that I’m ready to wear it for possibly hours of labor on the big day).

Pregnancy Week 30: Pregnancy Identity

This past Monday I had my last “monthly” OB appointment! Since the third trimester is here, I’ll be going every two weeks until week 36 and then every week until baby boy’s arrival.

I’m super excited about this because, with 10 weeks left, an increase in doctor check-ins makes baby’s arrival seem very real.

At this appointment I took (and passed) my glucose test. A result that D is convinced I rigged somehow because of the tremendous amount of baked goods I ate this past weekend. What can I say? I guess the baby likes sugar! (Lol)

My neck, my back…”

…my entire body is feeling the aches of a growing baby getting cozy in my belly.

My feet are sore. My tailbone and low back are aching. And my shoulders are starting to feel the wear of become a perpetual side sleeper (because sleeping on my back now makes me lightheaded, so that’s out).

Basically, the +35 pounds of pregnancy weight are finally taking their toll on my 5’2 frame and I’m starting to understand the “get this baby out of me” mantra that third trimester mamas begin to recite, the further along they get!

Pandemic pregnancy, but make it fashion 💃🏻

Pregnancy Identity

Something that’s been interesting to me is that in the past few weeks I’ve been having dreams in which I’m pregnant.

But not a typical “oh I had a dream I was pregnant” kind of thing that lots of people, pregnant or not, also have. These dreams have been about the most random things, but the one constant is that I’m pregnant in all of them.

It’s not the main focus of any of the dreams, just a fact. Like how in every dream my hair always looks like my hair in real life does.

This makes me feel that after months of being pregnant, pregnancy has become a part of my identity. So much so that it’s made it’s way into my unconscious train of thought.

Being that pregnancy is a temporary state of being (after all, you can’t actually be pregnant forever even though it may feel like that some days), I’m interested in seeing when my dream self will go back to its un-pregnant “factory settings.”

Then again, maybe post-pregnancy Paige will be different still from the Paige I was before baby.

I guess only time, and my wacky dreams, will tell!

Highlights

•going on a socially distant Easter walk with my mom and sister

•beginning my 2 week OB appointments

•sharing Easter dinner at home with D

Lowlights

•the aches and pains of a third trimester preggo body

•need sleep, get insomnia instead

Pregnancy Week 28/29: All the Feels!

Another emotional couple of weeks as a preggo in her third trimester, in the middle of a pandemic.

With Easter right around the corner, I am missing my family more than ever. FaceTime and phone calls are helping with the day-to-day, but not spending a major holiday together is tougher.

D has been sweet about the whole thing (Easter isn’t as big of a deal in his family) and has promised to make me an Easter dinner identical to what we would have at my parent’s house. Ham, mashed potatoes, corn (off the cob, of course) and green beans.

If I can’t have my whole family with me that day, at least I can have D, FaceTime, and comfort food.

All the feels

I feel like I have been way more emotional these past couple of weeks than I’ve felt the entire pregnancy. I’m sure it’s partly due to pregnancy hormones and partly due to the stress of a pandemic.

The other day I cried during a scene in Forrest Gump that isn’t even a tearjerker. What made me cry? The realization that, due to his limited understanding, Forrest could never understand the depth of the trauma Jenny had suffered her entire life!! Ugh.

Then I cried for the scene after that. And the scene after that. D was a mix of amused and terrified haha.

Is it maternity leave time yet?

I am getting tired, man. Physically (hello, belly and shortness of breath!) and emotionally.

I feel like I no longer have the energy to be the fun, game-playing nanny and I just want to lay on the couch and rest already.

At the same time, I’m grateful to still be bringing in an income at a time when millions of Americans are being laid-off. I’m grateful for the extra time I have to save up so that I can spend time at home with my son when he’s born.

I’m trying my best to keep that in mind as I crawl my way through the next month and a half!

Self-isolation means plenty of time on the weekends for “nesting” activities. Hello, organized baby closet!

Highlights:

• it’s third trimester time!

• we had our hospital “tour” over there phone and got to ask questions about what our birthing experience might be like

• FaceTimed my mom and sister and showed them my growing bump

Lowlights

• So. Many. EMOTIONS!

• baby shower is officially canceled

• social distancing means little to no in-person time with my family

Pregnancy Week 27: reality setting in

Next week I will be stepping into the third trimester of this pregnancy and the reality of 1) the due date being just around the corner and 2) things in the world being crazy bananas at the moment is sinking in.

As of now, the May baby shower is still a solid “maybe,” but each passing week makes it seem less and less likely to happen. Since I definitely don’t want to do a virtual baby shower (I am way to awkward to have 40+ people watching just me from their cameras at home), this means that the only other option would be to cancel it all together if COVID-19 concerns and/or shut-downs are still going on in the beginning of May.

Being that this is my first pregnancy, it sucks knowing that I am missing out on this first pregnancy moment even though I know that safety comes first. It also means that D and I will most likely being buying more things for the baby than we had originally planned, since there isn’t a non-tacky way to say “hey, the shower is canceled but feel free to hit up our registry!” lol.

This week I Facetimed with my mom and ended up crying to D after I hung up with her. Because of social distancing, and the fact that my sister and Dad are both living with her and working in jobs that could potentially expose them to the virus, I haven’t seen her (or any of my immediate family) in over a month now.

During our call I showed her my belly and she teared up over not being able to see me and watch my belly grow during my first pregnancy. It made me realize that she was missing out on witnessing something she had been wishing for me for years. It made me realize that I miss my mom and the support of my family during this great big moment in my life.

Even though we talk on the phone every day. Even though we’ll be video chatting more often to fill in the gap of physical distance. It still isn’t the same and it makes me sad.

Other pregnancy-related things that have changed during this time: 1) our tour of the birthing center has been turned into a phone call (better than being canceled all together, so I’ll take it) and 2) as of now, only partners are allowed in the delivery room, meaning my sister won’t be able to be there with me and D as a support. I’m way more bummed about this one and hoping circumstances will change for the better before baby’a arrival date.

I had intended for this post to be more of a summary of week 27 of my pregnancy than a COVID-19 rant but…here we are, lol. Ah well.

**I’ve decided to skip the “lowlights” portion of this week because I think my post was chalk-full of that already. Post-venting, I’d now like to focus on the bright side and leave off on a high note for this week.**

Highlights:

•My bored chef (aka D) making us delicious, extravagant home-cooked meals during our weekend home together.

•Ordering myself a maternity box from Stitchfix as a way to cheer myself up and get ready for spring. It should be arriving in the next couple of weeks! Pictured below, one of the many black and white maternity shirts I currently own. I’m ready for some bright colors for spring!

• We did a 4D ultrasound the other weekend! We got in right in time too, because it was the final day before non-essential businesses had to close all in-person services. I’ll share more pics and details in a later post! Check out that cute face of his!!

See you next week, in the third trimester!