Ten Years Old!

I should have written this post a long time ago. I have a new 10 year old. This young lady is beautiful, smart, and funny. She loves to create new outfits (like every day and sometimes twice a day). She really does have great style. She is also so athletic. Loves science and sports and music and has a competitive spirit. I can tell that once we get her some music lessons she is going to take off with that. Like her Papa she can pick out a tune on the piano very easily. Her birthday was simple but lots of fun. We went to the movies to see Annie and then back to 

Nana's house for pizza and cake. She chose cupcakes. The lighting was poor and I was tired so I got very few photos. I wish I would have taken more. She is so beautiful and I am so proud of her! Among her birthday presents was a Kindle Fire and a fish tank! She has been having a lot of fun learning to take care of her fish and I can hardly get her off her tablet.      

32 Weeks Pregnancy Update

Today I am 32 weeks and 5 days. This picture is a little cheesy but I am getting excited! The final stretch is getting shorter and shorter. It seems like an eternity until I look at my very long to-do list.   

We had a bout of illness in the house. I had some uncomfortable things going on like a lot of braxton hicks contractions and round-ligament pain that would not let up. So we spent several weeks just recovering and I spent a lot of time in bed. It was not the best for my plan to stay active, and my diet consisted of more convenience foods than I wanted. But I am back at the gym now and my meals are healthier. I have modified workouts to avoid overtaxing my body. I feel so good when I lift weights that I cannot give that up yet. Picking up laundry and toys is another story. Funny how physical exertion in the gym feels good but the daily grind is sometimes excruciating. Endorphins?  

I have never had a baby before week  40 42  .  BUT in just 4 short weeks I will be 37 weeks (full-term) and that is at least when it would be possible to have him! I know I need to remain patient and give this baby all the time he needs. I have really preferred the labors where the baby is larger (9 lbs.) anyway and there is a better chance of that if I go into labor after 40 weeks. If he comes before 40 weeks I wont complain though!! I am really secretly (now not so secretly) hoping for a birthday in February. I am collecting months. Right now I have children with the birthdays in the following months: October (1), November (2), December (1), January (1), and March (1). February would complete the sequence.  

This part of pregnancy is not only physically taxing but psychologically taxing. It is hard to wait. The most important thing though is to prepare mentally for labor by relaxing through braxton hicks contractions and thinking positively. As new-agey as it may sound, visualizing a positive birth experience and telling yourself you can do it really helps labor go better. Also watching peaceful hypnobirths on yYouTube helps. I do not practice hypnobirthing but I definitely tend to remain calm and quiet and try to be as relaxed as possible through labor. When you fight the contractions and fear the pain the pain is exaggerated. By relaxing as thoroughly as possible through contractions your body is able to do more work and you feel much less pain. 
It is also important to prepare mentally for postpartum recovery when things get tricky taking care of yourself and baby and siblings and husband. While the husband will be taking care of you mostly, there is still a relationship that has to be nurtured.  I find it absolutely crucial to envision life after birth  rather than only focusing on labor day. Once the baby is here life continues on with the same necessities as before but there is one more person to consider. So it helps me to set goals for the future and to spend time thinking about how they will be accomplished and how wonderful it will be accomplishing them with my family a little bit bigger.  

Overall I cannot complain much. I am feeling huge and uncomfortable and getting out of bed is a big ordeal.  But I have good health (except the flu and the cold that I have battled since before Christmas), the baby is doing well, and I am nearing the end of pregnancy. I have a supportive husband and a beautiful family. All in all things are great!  I will say that one seemingly silly thing that is really affecting me is that I have definitely reached the point where I desperately crave sleeping on my stomach. Does that happen to other moms? I daydream about it and sometimes almost get in a panic I want it so badly. That is one of my favorite things after birth--getting to roll over and rest on my stomach and give my hips and knees a break or (even though I am not a back sleeper) that first time I get to just lie down fully reclined flat on my back wtihout feeling like I am going to pass out. I will still spend much of my nights on my side after baby is born because of nursing in bed but even that is different because I will be a good 20 pounds lighter!