L1: Week 31.5 update

One day you’re wearing Old Navy & Gap tall sizes just fine, feeling all cute and pregnant.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.30.31 PMAbove: Week 25

And then one day you can’t button any of your winter coats, you’re buying Tums for the first time in your life ever, you’re waking up multiple times a week with muscle cramps in your legs and feet and seriously child, would you please MOVE off my bladder.

I have to pee ALL the time.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.30.21 PMAbove: Week 28

Trimester the Third, we are not really friends.

I can still tie my own shoes, but just barely. Bending over and reaching the floor is an issue, but actually getting up is the bigger problem.

My belly button, once a loyal member of Team Innie, is barely hanging on to its insider status.  I’ll spare you a photo, but it looks totally different than it used to, and the skin is all soft and squishy and tender to the touch. It’s like all the little wrinkles are unfolding and that skin has never seen the light of day before.  So weird.

I have to pee ALL THE TIME.

Despite regular visits to the chiropractor and a OB-prescribed back brace, my SI joint pain has not improved, and it has been 20 weeks since I have been able to comfortably roll over in bed. The simple act of getting out of bed or up from a couch is often tear-inducing and requires help.  Honestly? It’s really tough emotionally.  I cry a lot.  My back issues have definitely been the worst part of being pregnant. I would NOT be a good candidate for long-term chronic pain.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.29.49 PMAbove: Week 29

The baby is about 17 inches long and weighs 3.5 pounds.  I’ve gained 23.5 so far, so despite occasionally feeling like a whale, we’re both right on track.

Most people think of in-utero babies being in the fetal position. I’m convinced mine spends much of its day doing jumping jacks, making snow angels, kickboxing my internal organs, practicing tae bo and doing other calisthenics and cardio. At least that makes one of us.

My uterus is now larger than a soccer ball, in case you aren’t terrified of pregnancy yet.  Good lands.  Bodies are insane and amazing and whoa.  However, my blood pressure is AWESOME, and I have not developed gestational diabetes, for which I am very thankful.

I have to pee ALL the time.

The baby gets hiccups several times a day.  I can feel the rhythmic “hic, hic, hic” clear as day.

And I’m tired.  Not really sleepy, but I feel like I just worked out most of the day, except all I did was carry a laundry basket up the stairs.  The struggle is real, kids.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 9.30.08 PMAbove: Week 31

“What’s my birth plan?” you ask.  Make it out alive, all 3 of us.  Really.  That’s the whole thing.  We haven’t taken our birthing class yet, obviously.

Also, we don’t yet have a car seat that fits my car, any diapers, or a name.  But, we do have amazing friends throwing showers for us, an almost-mama who is in full-on nesting mode, an almost-daddy who likes to sing silly love songs about the baby and the belly, and we’ve still got 8-10 weeks before the baby’s due date.  We can do this.

You might need to remind me of that at least twice a day between now and then.

We’re going to be a three-family, and I have to pee ALL the time.

Quick Lit / January 2015

A quick look at books I’ve been reading recently.  (And here’s what I read last month.)  What’s on your bookshelf these days?

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever / Barbara Robinson
This is a Must Read for me every holiday season.  I just love the narrator, her perceptions of her mother, all the Christmas, and the whole Herdman gang.  “Hey!  Unto you a child is born!”  I also read a whole host of children’s books over Christmas – Mom dug out all our old favorites while I was at home for the holiday.  Such good memories.

chasing mona lisaChasing Mona Lisa / Tricia Goyer
A unique look at WWII and the art world.  Young love, famous art, and bad guys escaping in old cars…what more does a mystery need?  Definitely an entertaining story, but not amazing writing.

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I’m linking up with Anne Bogel for her Quick Lit series (formerly Twitterature). Hop on over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more.

One Word 365: Help

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Actually, I can’t host Christmas this year.

I can barely get up off the floor by myself.

And I don’t actually know what in the world to do with a newborn, really.

Yes, staying in therapy is the best thing for me.

2015 will be another year of change and uncertainty. We’ll need our community to show up in strong and tangible ways.

What do I have to give?

I believe, help my unbelief.

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Learn more at One Word 365.

Dear Mary,

We’re driving a lot of miles this Christmas, and you’ve been on my mind today.

Mary, did you know? 

Did anyone tell you? Did you know about the peeing when you sneeze?  Or laugh? Or hit a bump on the road too hard? No one told me.

God, that donkey ride must have been uncomfortable.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people. 

Did you know that soon you wouldn’t recognize your body anymore? That your skin would be stretched tight under your used-to-be-flowing robes? That your very patience would be stretched thin? That your joints would loosen as hormones and tears flowed?

How high was your blood pressure? Was your anxiety skyrocketing? You had to raise the very SON OF GOD. No big deal.  Behind the blue headdress and sweet flannel graph smile we’ve pasted on you, were you freaking out?  How the old biddies must have loved to give you advice. Glory.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace among all men.

What did you think when you heard his name? Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Jesus. Had you always wanted to name your son Peter or Matthew?  

And Mary, can we talk about the hunger and the cravings? Did you wake in the night, your body needing something that you didn’t possibly have on your store shelves? You didn’t even know about Jello and Joseph wasn’t there with you – bless Elizabeth for tending to your pregnant self.  Is that why you wrote that line in your song?

He has filled the hungry with good things.

How did you do it? I’m freaking out about giving birth in a hospital filled with white sheets and technology and nurses and maybe a blessed epidural. No one can mommy-shame you for not having a natural birth. Take that, internet. But how did you do it? The little porcelain nativity set on our mantle is so clean. No hay, no mud, no blood and life pouring from you.

I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind.

And you lost a son, too, didn’t you?  My heart grieves this Christmas for mamas whose arms are empty, whose arms are missing one of their own. Did you know it would come to that for you? Could you even have imagined how the prophecies would play out?

Who were you when you weren’t preparing to be mama to the prince of peace? Some call you virgin, some call you holy mother. Some call you queen of heaven and saint.

This Christmas, dear Mary, I call you friend.

Quick Lit / December 2014

A quick look at books I’ve been reading recently.  (I read zero books last month because evidently my pregnant brain needed a break.)  What’s on your bookshelf these days?

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette / Maria Semple
This was a popular book club pick over the past couple of years, and I can see why.  I found the story to be lightly enjoyable and totally quirky.  A fast, funny read about prep-school moms, Microsoft corporate culture and the city of Seattle.

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The Peach Keeper / Sarah Addison Allen
A lyrical tale of southern friendships and coming home again, woven in with a bit of mystery.  I found some of the characters to be less believable than preferred, but overall, a nice little read. From reviews, it seems like other novels from Allen might be a better pick.

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Inescapable / Nancy Mehl
A predictable but sweet “bonnet book.” Nothing overly original here, but a decent read. The “does my father love me?” question is woven with themes of grace and redemption.  Note: I listened to this on audio book and found the voice of the daughter to be highly grating.  Would recommend reading the actual book instead.

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Seating Arrangements / Maggie Shipstead
Charming enough, but overly WASPY. “The whitest book I read all year,” wrote one reviewer, and I can’t disagree.  I like Shipstead’s writing style and character development, I think, but the story just didn’t do anything for me.

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Clapham Lights / Tom Canty
Many novels that I read feature female protagonists, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story of male friendship and misadventures.  I found the writing to be funny and sharp, and loved the depictions of life in young professional middle class Britain.

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I’m linking up with Anne Bogel for her Quick Lit series (formerly Twitterature). Hop on over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more.

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What I’m Into / November 2014

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There is no better way to kick off the holidays than with a Red Cup on November 1.

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Despite my pregnancy-induced caffeine restrictions (not total elimination, hallelujah!), I got to cross off a Dad-Daughter Bucket List item in experiencing pour-over coffee together.  We’re so fancy, I know.  It was darn good coffee.

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My beloved autumn colors stuck around for a few days before cold fell hard and unwelcome.  Omaha had a few weeks of January weather in November and trust, I am NOT into that.

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Team Wastell celebrated our 3rd anniversary on November 4 – voting day.  Or, our votaversary, as we celebrated this year.  I claimed words of gratitude, community and grace for our lives.  (Anniversary #2 and Anniversary #1)

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I found a picture of my sister at 22 weeks, and was so excited to wear a nearly-matching tank top when I hit 22 weeks so I could take matchy-matchy sister belly pictures.  So fun!!

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My mom graciously agreed to make a baby quilt for L1, so we picked out gender-neutral colors for the blanket.  The back will be light grey with dark grey polka dots.  Soft things are my favorite.

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We celebrated Thanksgiving in Kansas with my parents, in what was a much needed few days of relaxation and someone-else-cooking.  Bless.  We’re excited to see some of Chad’s family later this week and even more later in the month.

What I’m reading & what I’m watching
I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy brain or just being busy, but I went from my past average of reading 4-5 books a month to finishing none in November.  Zero! I don’t remember the last time I read zero books.  I even hosted book club (and chose the book) and didn’t manage to finish the darn thing.  I’m still caught up with Grey’s and Nashville, and we’re waiting for a quiet evening to catch up on Scandal. We saw Interstellar in the theater after good reviews from several Facebook friends, and were terribly disappointed.  I generally feel pretty easy to please when it comes to movies, but I didn’t really enjoy Interstellar at all.  Can I have my $12 back?

Little things I’m loving
Sans photos: Mandarins, every scarf ever, Christmas music played too early, friends showing up, caramel brulee lattes, new lip gloss, board games, and the end of November.  It was a long month.  The beginning of Advent is upon us – rend the heavens and come down.

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I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

 

L1: Week 21.5 update

Week 17Pictured above: weeks 16-18ish

10 things about being 21.5 weeks pregnant.
Some more fun & games than others; in no particular order.

1.  Stretchy pants forever, baby!  I’m notably judgy of Leggings as Pants, and for the general population, I maintain my case.  But you guys, maternity jeans are just the worst.  Those high-top waistbands make my belly itch and what are jeans even without pockets?!  I’ve been living in Kohl’s non-maternity Vera Wang Legging Pants and some really awesome discontinued Target maternity leggings that a generous friend let me borrow.

2.  Pregnancy hormones are no joke.  I got take-out pancakes from IHOP for lunch one day and they forgot my butter.  I cried in the office lunch room for a good 10 minutes.  Just could not get a grip.  That seems to be leveled out a bit, but wow, I felt unbalanced and off my rocker there for a while.  In other news, I really love my therapist.

3.  Snacks. No shame.  Baby Wastell looooves the baked goods.  I’ve never baked this much in my life.  I’ve got muffins in my oven for days.  I don’t have any other specific cravings that have stuck, but the day that Chad took the GMAT I could not get enough to eat, and since then, my appetite has definitely been increased.  I’ve gained about 13 pounds so far – right on track.  Found out this morning that 15 oz of that is the baby’s weight.  The rest is snacks.

20 weeks bump
Pictured above: week 20

4.  Back pain.  Since almost the day my nausea went away at week 10, I’ve had pretty bad pelvic/sacrum pain.  I’ve bounced around to a few different chiropractors and finally found one that I like and who is also in network. After not being able to comfortably roll over in bed for weeks on end, hope is on the horizon. Hallelujah.

5.  I get to pre-board on all our Southwest flights, thanks to my “temporary disability.”  And, I get to bring my Companion husband along with me.  I’m not sure how I feel about this in light of people with actual non-temporary disabilities, but the rule is the rule, and I’ll take it.

6.  Insurance & medical billing. Oh my goodness, YUCK.  We have high deductible insurance, so we thought we might try to pay cash for this thing, and wow was that process ever a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma stuck in a web of swear words.  So, using our insurance in the traditional manner, it is.

7.  Peeing when sneezing is a real thing.  It is terribly unglamorous and made me laugh and cry all at the same time.  What else are you people not telling me?!

8.  Ultrasounds are amazing.  The still 3D photos are really creepy IMO, but the technology is so amazing. I love seeing L1 move around.  This morning, baby was yawning and stretching (I hear you, kiddo), and we saw its pinky finger wrapped around its big toe.  So cute.  I feel it move occasionally, but not nearly as much as the ultrasounds revealed. Active little thing.  Here’s its profile this morning, and its foot and forehead last week.  So flexible!

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So much of baby-expecting feels overwhelming, but I LOVE imaging what it might look like.
This morning we saw a 3D rendering of baby’s lips that look an awful lot like mine.  :)  :)  :)
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9.  Being pregnant is just totally weird.  My body is growing this whole other life inside of me.  That is just so weird and so…beyond words.  As a woman, my body was created to do this, and it happened to me on accident, and yet there’s so many women who would give their right arm to be pregnant, and there’s nothing they can do to make it happen.  I feel a deep, joyful connection to the global tribe of women over history who have borne children, and a simultaneous deep hurt for my friends struggling with infertility or other circumstances that keep them from being pregnant.

10.  My husband is incredible.  Seriously.  Chad is so patient with my hormone-induced tear fests, assures me that I’m beautiful, enthusiastically eats the things I bake, is gracious when I ask him to carry things for me, stops for decaf Starbucks without complaint, lets me sleep (almost) as much as I want to, keeps me laughing, and reminds me that he loves me daily.  In the game of marriage where we don’t keep score, he wins all the points every day.