I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about whether I’m doing a maternity photoshoot, and the answer is, most likely, unless anything changes in the next few days: No, I’m not.
I flirted with the idea of one around the time that we were planning my baby shower — I actually reached out to a photographer to see if we could do a maternity shoot and cover the shower on the same day, but, unfortunately, they were out of town that weekend, and after that the idea just kind of fell off my radar.
I’m fine with this decision, and truly don’t think I’ll regret it later. (I mean, let’s face it: it’s not like I’m exactly lacking photos of myself.) On the other hand, I’m glad that I’ve gotten “bump” photos along with my typical outfit photos for the past few months — it’s been so fun to compare how my body has changed week-to-week, and it’s really added to my excitement as the weeks have gone on.
I took these shots a few weeks ago, during a particularly beautiful Texas sunset. It was one of those fleeting moments that I almost missed — it was the end of an extremely busy day, and I was tired and ready to get home, put on pajamas, and do absolutely nothing for several hours before falling asleep.
But I decided to stay in my heels a little longer, and capture this pretty sunset as best I could. The light was gone minutes after I clicked the first shot, but I’m so happy with how they turned out.
So if this is my version of “maternity portraits”? Well, that works for me.
Modcloth dress, Necklaces: Free People (similar), Ann Taylor (similar), Canvas by Land’s End, Taryn Reed bracelet, Marshalls heels (similar here).
It’s no secret that for the past few weeks, I’ve been extremely nervous about our upcoming new addition. Some of it was hormones, some of it was first time mom jitters, and some of it was probably just me being nervous for a huge life change right around the corner.
But, for whatever reason, it seems to have lifted this week! I know this baby is going to be a ton of work, and I know the next few weeks and months are going to be incredibly draining, but now when I think about the baby coming…
I am Just. So. Excited.
There’s still a little bit of time left — I’m behind on these updates, so as I write this 36-week post, I’m actually almost 38 weeks pregnant! Which means the baby could come any day now.
And a week or two ago, that fact would have sent me into a mild panic. But now?
His room is ready. We have diapers, a bassinet, a zillion toys and soft, comfy places for him to nap. Our insurance-covered breast pump is arriving tomorrow (FYI for other soon-to-be moms: the new health care law has mandated that health insurance companies cover breast pumps in most plans, so check your benefits!), and tonight we’re heading to the parenting class offered by our hospital.
I don’t think having a child is something that you’re ever truly ready for.
But I feel about as ready as I’ll ever be.
So bring it on, baby. I’m finally ready for you.
Last but not least, my belly has gotten so much bigger in the past few weeks, I thought it would be fun to compare my photos from six weeks ago to today’s! Here’s a month and a half difference in the third trimester:
How far along? 36 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 24 pounds
Maternity clothes? There’s not much left that fits me anymore! Maternity jeans and leggings and some sweater/tank tops with lots of stretch.
Stretch marks? Still no!
Symptoms: I’ve started getting a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, plus back pain and all my prior symptoms (heartburn, insomnia, etc.). The last few weeks are brutal!
Sleep: Pretty awful, but I know I’ll be grateful for these nights in a few weeks.
Best moment this week: Just generally feeling ready and excited for this baby to arrive.
Worst moment of the week: I got nervous that the baby was moving less, and when I asked my doctor about it, she hooked me up to a fetal monitor to see if the baby was doing ok. Weirdly, I was more nervous while she was checking it out than I had been before I asked! Thankfully, everything was fine.
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Champagne and my clothes. When this baby is an outside baby…
Movement: It feels like less, but he’s still moving a lot.
Food cravings: Starbucks cake pops. Every. Single. Day. I figure I have to make the most of my last few weeks!
Anything making you queasy or sick: I’m definitely getting queasier as the tail end of this pregnancy gets further along. Weird!
Have you started to show yet: Definitely.
Labor Signs: On Friday, the doctor said no progress at all. So probably he’s staying put for a while.
Belly Button in or out? Mostly in, but half of it is sort of sticking out weirdly.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Labor! Ha ha, just kidding… Labor being over!
Remember back in November, when I introduced our new puppy Rambo?
Well, now that he’s been part of our family for four months (!), I figured I owed you guys an update!
It’s no secret that we got Rambo under sad circumstances — after battling a number of health issues for the past year and a half, in October we found out that our eight-year-old dog, Calvin, had congestive heart failure. Fortunately, there are some great medications available to prolong his life, but our vet was candid with us: the medication would work for a year (maybe two), but it wasn’t a cure. Eventually, it would stop working.
Needless to say, I was a mess (Chad and I both were). I’ve had Calvin and Coco since they were babies, and Chad has been part of their lives from day one, when we road-tripped to Ohio to pick them up. They’ve been our babies since long before there was a human baby in the picture, and they’ve changed and improved our lives in too many ways to count. The idea of losing Calvin was devastating.
And it still is — getting Rambo didn’t change that. But we decided that if we were going to get a puppy in the next year or so, it was better to do it before the baby gets here. The idea of a newborn and a new puppy, at the same time? A little overwhelming. Getting a new puppy at five months pregnant wasn’t exactly a breeze, but I’m grateful that Rambo could be my top priority on his own for a little while.
And ultimately, it turned out to be a terrific idea. Calvin and Coco *hated* Rambo at first, but they’ve slowly thawed to him — it was quite a change to bring an insane new puppy into our extremely laid-back household, but it also feels like he’s breathed new life and fun into our day-to-day routines.
From what I read, it was important to let the dogs sort out their own pack hierarchy, so I tried to stay out of it when they had little tiffs early on. It helps that Calvin and Coco are so gentle — I knew they’d never hurt Rambo, no matter how crazy he drove them (which he did, frequently, especially in the early days).
For the most part, his training has gone pretty well. Calvin and Coco sleep in our bed, but Rambo has been sleeping in the laundry room, where he has a crate (we leave the door open), some toys and a puppy pad. (Calvin and Coco have always gone on puppy pads, thanks to our NYC days, so we figured it made sense to train Rambo that way too.)
The best part: from day one, he never cried at night! I was *shocked* — with Calvin and Coco, I remember waking up every two hours all night when we were potty training! I was in law school at the time, and I remember literally falling asleep in an 8 a.m. lecture because I’d been up all night with the two dogs. It was like having a newborn — and one of the main reasons that I was reluctant to get a new puppy right before the baby arrived! But Rambo stays quiet all night, and only starts to whine when he hears that we’re awake in the morning. It’s heavenly!
Really, in almost every way, Rambo has been a million times easier than Calvin and Coco were. (Good life lesson: one puppy is a handful, two puppies are a nervous breakdown waiting to happen.) He started to understand the pads within a few days, although he still has a handful of accidents. His puppy energy has calmed down by now, and he’s incredibly sweet. He’s more chill than either Calvin or Coco, he’s good with strangers and hardly barks at anything (a godsend characteristic in a dog that’s going to spend a lot of time around a newborn).
On the other hand… he eats poop.
So, welcome to the family, Rambo. We’re very glad you joined us.
(And, in other happy news, Calvin is still doing well! He has good days and bad days, but he’s still here, and we’re grateful for that.)