Friday, June 15

my maternity photoshoot.

At 36 weeks pregnant I asked Mr. Q to take some photos of me because I wanted to remember what I looked like super preggo. I love all the pretty maternity shoots on Pinterest and showed him a few of my favorites for inspiration. The downsides of pregnancy for me were constant heartburn and regular morning sickness beyond the first trimester, but one of the upsides was the clearest skin I've had since elementary school - how could I not want to document that? I was also reaping the benefits of prenatal vitamins with thicker hair and longer fingernails, and found myself Googling whether pregnancy could make freckles more prominent (it can). I felt great about my appearance, and that's not the normal state of affairs for me. I'm so glad that I did get some photos when we did - the next weekend we went on our last date night as a party of two, and the weekend after that I was in labor!


One of the benefits of living close to a college town is a freely available beautiful setting! We started our afternoon on the campus of Ferrum College. My dress is from Pink Blush (same style in new colors) and I got the kimono on sale from Motherhood Maternity (similar). Mr. Q insisted that I wear my glasses in a few photos because "your glasses are you."



From Ferrum, we headed to our friends' beautifully tended Zen garden. This is probably my favorite photo from the day.


Finally, we headed back to town. I was inspired by a friend's maternity shoot which included some shots in front of a vibrant mural. There's an art gallery in our town that has a beautiful Van Gogh inspired mural on the side. It was a great backdrop for a few more photos in the last of the evening light.



Linking Up With:


Saturday, April 28

37 Weeks


How far along? 37 Weeks

Baby is the size of a honeydew melon

This week's prenatal appointment: Pretty standard, except the nurse got a little worried because my left foot is more swollen than my right, so she went to test my sample for high levels of protein (a sign of preeclampsia) right away. Everything was okay, though - my OB/GYN was like, "you're just a sweller!" I had also lost two pounds - I've had very little appetite for dinner this week as I get full after just a few bites. Baby was measuring right on track according to fundal height, though.

Major pregnancy symptoms this week: I've been noticing lately that the freckles on my cheekbones that were barely noticeable before are becoming really prominent - yet another thing I can thank pregnancy hormones for, apparently. I don't mind if they stick around after pregnancy because it's kind of cute. Another positive symptom is that the baby has started "lightening," a.k.a. dropping down lower in my body, so I can breathe a lot more easily! On the downside, the round ligament pain that was part of my first trimester has returned, but now it feels kind of like someone is sitting on my hips.

Movement: Baby's got less and less room to wiggle as time goes by. When I lie on one side to try to sleep I sometimes feel a sensation like a bubble moving up my side that I interpret as him telling me to roll over!

Best moments this week: I had a great time on Saturday shopping with April (despite my increasingly swollen feet) and just hanging out - we realized we've never had a girls' day with just us. We met up with Mr. Q and one of our best guy friends for dinner and Sweet Frog afterward. On Sunday, one of our friends from Bible study who is a youth minister was preaching at her church, so we hauled ourselves to the 8:30 service. I'm so glad we did because her sermon on John 13 included stories from our small group and she even quoted Mr. Q! 

Miss anything? I have to admit that I felt a little sad when the waiter walked by with a margarita flight at Rodeo Grande on Saturday.

"It's getting real" moment of the week: My co-worker's wife had her baby! He set up a group text so he could let us all know at one time, and one of my other team members had a moment where she thought the text was from me - "because you're so organized," she said. They did a water birth at our local birthing center.

How I'm preparing for birth this week: Not really a birth preparation, but I'm finally getting around to writing thank you notes for the gifts Baby Q received at both of my showers - the Southern manners guilt was really starting to get to me. The big birth prep this week was our very last class - breastfeeding! We took this one through our local perinatal education center rather than through the hospital, and I'm glad we did - the woman who runs the center was so real and honest, and told us we can call her any time we need help or bring our babies there if we're worried about how things are going. Such a cool resource I'd almost overlooked and it's basically within walking distance of my house!

Baby/Pregnancy related purchases: I'm obsessed with this Carter's overall outfit I found at Burlington with April - the little bugs in jars and magnifying glasses are one of the most adorable prints I've seen on baby boys' stuff and remind me of summer and being a kid. I also found the home childproofing kit, bottle brush, and heat-safety spoons from my registry there for better prices.

Saturday, April 21

36 Weeks

I found some new questions for this week on Peaches + Glitter.


How far along? 36 Weeks

Baby is the size of a papaya or 2-liter soda


Favorite maternity clothes this week: these ruched pajama/"lounge shorts" from Old Navy - definitely going in my hospital bag!

This week's prenatal appointment was an exciting one, and Mr. Q and my mom joined me for our final sonogram. Unfortunately, our guy was not in the mood to show much of his face and kept his little fist in the way the whole time, but we were able to find out that he weighs about 6 pounds 7 ounces and his head is about 8 centimeters in circumference. As far as I'm concerned he can keep those measurements until his due date! The sonogram technician also commented on how big his feet are, which was kind of strange since neither of us have large feet for our height. Maybe Baby Q will take after my tall maternal grandma and great-uncles. This week's appointment also included the regular sample and blood pressure reading, and my exam by the doctor included the Group B strep test, which is not pleasant but not a big deal (I knew what to expect from the ladies in my Reddit "bumpers" group who are further along in their pregnancies). My doctor asked if I wanted her to do a cervical check but I passed because I have heard they are quite painful and I don't have any signs that labor will come early.

Total weight gain: About 16 pounds.

Major pregnancy symptoms this week: THE SWELLING. Not just my feet but my hands as well now - I've had to start checking my rings during the day to make sure they'll still come off. I've also started to feel more skin tags developing on my neck and chest, which is irritating, and there are even some tiny ones on my eyelids which is a very strange feeling. Hopefully they will go away after pregnancy!

Sleep: Not too bad, still waking up 2-3 times a night, but I've been able to get comfortable and my congestion seemed less severe this week.

Miss anything?

Movement: I'm feeling fewer big kicks/punches from Baby Q as he has less room to move around in there.

Best moments this week: There's a tie, so I'm going to start listing multiple moments in this section so I can remember as much of this special time in my life as possible. On Saturday I spent the day with three of my best friends from middle and high school, one of whom is also expecting and all of whom are mamas. Then on Sunday my bestie who lives in Colorado and was in the area visiting family was able to take a few hours to swing by our house to see the nursery and grab lunch.

"It's getting real" moments of the week: 

  • Had a little colostrum on Sunday which felt VERY real. 
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions during dinner with our Bible Study on Monday night.
  • We also had our "graduation" from Prepared Childbirth class on Wednesday, Newborn Care class on Thursday after my OB/GYN appointment, and we have Infant Safety and CPR on Saturday. I did not mean to schedule all of this for the same week.
  • Mr. Q and I went to check out the new Earth Fare store in the city between the doctor and class on Thursday and sneaked in a little impromptu date night in their sushi bar (I got California rolls, no raw fish!) and it got me thinking about how few of those special little everyday adventures with just the two of us we might have left.

Food cravings/aversions: Ice cream after work is the new pinot grigio after work. This is a stressful season to be a school director between application deadlines, visitors from other areas, our students' last major projects and presentations before we start state standardized testing, and our final in-person coaching visit from the nonprofit we're associated with. I may have eaten my feelings a few afternoons.

How I'm preparing for birth this week: Baby's diaper bag is packed for the hospital with onesies in newborn and 0-3 month sizes, a tiny little side-snap shirt, a going-home outfit, hat, socks, mittens, bib, burp cloth, swaddle, and receiving blanket as well as some baby oil to help with meconium and tiny emery boards for his nails. My bag's getting there - waiting for a few things I ordered from Amazon Prime to hopefully make labor less unpleasant.

Baby/Pregnancy related purchases: My BFF who has a one-year old went with me to Babies 'R' Us last Saturday and helped point out some things I wouldn't have thought to buy, like a pacifier pouch. This week I have another shopping trip lined up with my friend April and we're going to hit up Burlington and some of the other discount stores in town that have baby stuff.

Looking forward to: Maybe carving out time this coming weekend to take some maternity photos with Mr. Q. I decided I'd rather spend any extra money we have right now on baby necessities and medical bills rather than on a photographer, but I still want to make sure to capture how I look now that I am VERY pregnant, but before I start to feel too uncomfortable to move around. Speaking of discomfort, I am looking forward to baby "dropping" since at least one of his feet and/or his butt has constantly been in my ribs this week.

Saturday, April 14

35 Weeks


How far along? 35 Weeks

Baby is the size of a honeydew melon


Favorite maternity clothes this week: Really loving some of my LuLaRoe pieces that work great for pregnancy - my TC leggings still work great and I wore an Amelia yesterday to host a group of visiting teachers and administrators (I also plan to use the backwards-Amelia trick when I'm nursing!)

Major pregnancy symptoms this week: I got hit by ALL THE SYMPTOMS plus feeling very weepy on Tuesday morning and ended up having to take a sick day (only the second I've taken while pregnant, though). I spent some time responding to e-mails and making sure everything was okay at school, then slept from about 9:00 to 1:30! I suppose my body just needed rest because I felt better each day as the week went on. The foot swelling I thought might just be a fluke last week has become a very real thing. Today my flip-flops were seriously cutting into the tops of my feet, and yesterday even my Crocs felt snug - not sure what I'll go if my feet get too big for them!

Best moment this week: This week my co-workers threw a joint shower for me and for our Civics teacher whose wife is pregnant. Both spouses were able to make it, too (Mr. Q showing up was a surprise for me). It was really fun shopping for my co-worker's baby because they are having a little girl and I haven't gotten to look at girl stuff!

"It's getting real" moment of the week: This week in our Prepared Childbirth class we went over what happens if a mama needs a C-section and the various procedures baby will undergo after birth - instead of general information our class is getting very practical as we get closer to our due dates.

Food cravings/aversions: With some nausea returning on Tuesday, all I really felt like eating was a baked potato. Luckily I started to feel better for the rest of the week and enjoyed pizza and cake at my work shower.

How I'm preparing for birth this week: I finally called the doctor's office to make sure the one I want Baby Q to see is accepting new patients, and I'm planning to start packing hospital bags for me and baby tomorrow.

Baby/Pregnancy related purchases: Hitting up Babies 'R' Us today since it's the last weekend they'll be accepting gift cards and there are a few things still on our BRU registry that I can't find anywhere else.


Saturday, April 7

34 Weeks


How far along? 34 Weeks

Baby is the size of a Savoy cabbage

Favorite maternity clothes this week: Dresses - pretty much every morning this week I dealt with a moment of "ugh, I cannot put on pants" while looking into my closet. The one in the photo is an Isabel from Target purchase - I couldn't resist the ruffles on the sleeves. Please excuse my pasty white knees - it was almost 70 degrees yesterday, and it's supposed to snow today because Virginia weather is ridiculous, so I took the opportunity to free my legs before having to go back to leggings with everything.

Major pregnancy symptoms this week: Mainly being more emotional than usual. Nausea made a comeback on Monday morning - luckily it was the last day of Spring Break so I got to rest all day instead of having to get ready for work after being sick. I have a fairly persistent sore throat that I think is probably from congestion making me sleep with my mouth open. I also saw some swelling in my ankles this week - I walked around Target after my OB/GYN appointment on Thursday and afterward my ankles were actually hanging over my shoes and had a noticeable crease when I bent them. I added yet another pillow to my bedtime setup that night - that makes 2 under my head to help with congestion, the bottom two Boppy total body pillow pieces under my tummy and between my legs, and now one under or between my feet.

This week's prenatal appointment was a quick one - weight, BP, fundal height and a sample. I have my final ultrasound in two weeks and can't wait to see how much Baby Q has grown. My doctor is fairly sure he is already head down but it will be very reassuring to see that on an ultrasound.

Total weight gain: About 14 pounds, mainly in this trimester. So happy to finally have an appetite and be able to nourish my little one with lots of protein, fruits, vegetables, and yes, carbs and ice cream.

Best moment this week: Spending time with my BFF, her husband, and their daughter who is almost one and a half at a weekend hockey game was a lot of fun - and another couple we're friends with and their toddler son ended up having tickets right behind us! I missed the epic fight that apparently happened between the two teams because I'd gone to get a snack, and since it was the third period of the game the concession stand was closed, so Mr. Q and I ended up at Sonic at 10 p.m. to get me a corn dog and hot fudge sundae. I have a truly wonderful baby daddy. Today we have some friends coming over, we're headed to a wedding tonight, and Mr. Q's parents are coming to see the nursery and have dinner tomorrow.

"It's getting real" moment of the week: I had to do a mental shift in yoga class - I'd gone into the studio thinking, "let's see how many poses I can't do this week," but tried to pick myself up and focus on all of the things I still can. I tried to put as much effort into my practice as I would have pre-pregnancy, and while my classmates were doing poses I can't get my pregnant body into, I did other poses that I felt like my body needed. 

Food cravings/aversions: Chocolate! Also had the return of the Friday night craving for spaghetti from Hema's - that combo of meat, carbs, cheese, and slightly spicy tomato sauce hits all my pregnancy loves.

How I'm preparing for birth this week: In our prepared childbirth class this week we practiced breathing techniques, went over a list of items to pack for the hospital, and started talking about birth plans - basically what choices we may have to make during birth and what our options are. It was comforting to me to hear that I have the right to ask what alternatives are available, if a situation is an emergency, and whether Mr. Q and I can have time to talk before I have to make some of those decisions. Knowledge is definitely empowering for me - probably why I spend so much time reading pregnancy books and blogs. I need to schedule our hospital tour soon - even though I spent two days basically living there when Brittney was giving birth to her daughter, I want the opportunity to ask the L&D staff some questions.

Baby/Pregnancy related purchases: We used our 15% registry completion code to order some of the large items - our dresser/changing table, shelving unit, and second car seat base. I'm looking forward to having the storage furniture in Baby Q's room so I can stop just shoving things into his closet! I also ordered the quilted sheet for his Pack 'n' Play (I know that babies shouldn't have fluffy bedding, but the bassinet in that thing is SO HARD!) and some things for my hospital bag.