May 11, 2013

34 Weeks - Appreciative

The hospital bag is packed, the birth plan is filled out, the freezer is full of ready to heat homemade dinners, and our birthing class comes to an end next week. We are feeling ready. Everyone keeps telling me the belly has dropped, even our lovely milk lady Wendy mentioned it, and I can feel it. I don't believe I have experienced "lightening" (when the baby moves down to prepare for birth)  because I still have a slight tightness of breath, but he has definitely shifted downward. I know this because my bladder has told me so. It is crazy that I feel as though I could use the restroom 24/7, I literally walk out and think, I have to go again! Can't wait for that to end :)

I look like I am going to pop and everyone is telling me so. Still getting the looks of pity when I tell people I have a month to go and 5 people asked me at Farmer's Market on Thursday if I am having twins, one was a Doula (a birthing assistant).  It has to be my body to belly ratio, I bet if I was 5'10 people would not be saying this to me. Anyhow I am basting the belly daily to keep my skin moist and comfy and trying to put my feet up as often as possible. Still walking but not everyday, though I really should be. I find myself still gardening (check out Robert's snap shot below) which feels great on the body. However after a day of weeding I can no longer jump into a crafty project like crochet, I made this mistake only to wake to fingers that slightly resembled the homemade sausage I made the other day. I imagine this is what it feels like to have carpel tunnel. It took my hands two days to reduce to their normal size and my joints still feel stiff.

Robert's co-workers always have interesting stories and advice for him to bring home to me. The latest is that the last month is when their wives ballooned up. He of course shared this with me one morning, and then proceeded to tell me not to worry because it is normal and I needed to make sure that I was still feeding the baby properly. Don't you love innocent husbands. Of course it slightly freaked me out, that and running into pregnant ladies who had ballooned and new moms who had also experienced this late expansion. I can't stop thinking of this and the number on the scale. I have been a super healthy eater through this whole pregnancy and I am not stopping now. My appetite has increased, so I am eating smaller more frequent meals. I have even turned into a mid-night muncher. I am lucky that I have not been craving anything terrible for me, making the weight/diet/ballooning very manageable for now. I do love sweets, but my sweet tooth is often cured with a bowl full of organic strawberries or organic cherries, we've been going through a half flat of strawberries a week over here :) I try to stick to mostly veggies as snacks and I keep a jar of raw almonds next to the bed for my 3 am snack attack. I am not trying to "diet" or starve myself by any means but gaining a lot of weight in the last month increases my risk of terrible things like preclampsia and other labor complications which I want to avoid at all costs. I am being smart. Plus Baby Gerrans loves a lot of the healthy snacks I eat, radishes with lemon and salt got him all riled up today and strawberries have got to be one of the favs, but honestly who doesn't love a good strawberry? I read in one of my books about feeding kids, that many of the foods that mom eats in the last trimester are often foods that the baby grows up to enjoy. My Mom ate a lot of sushi, fried eggs, steak, and sandwiches with me, all of these foods are ones that I have always enjoyed. Baby Gerrans may enjoy strawberries, cucumbers, cornichons, sushi, cottage cheese, caprese salads, and really dark (85%) chocolate. We'll see :)

I am still content pregnant and not ready for this adventure to be over quite yet. Because of this I would like to end with some things that I have really grown to appreciate more as a pregnant woman than I ever have before.

The Female Body - We are machines. The fact that my body can create and house a human being is still so mind blowing. I eat, sleep, and go on my merry little way, meanwhile my insides are working tirelessly to fabricate a person. A miracle is going on inside me, there is no greater accomplishment.

One-size-Fits-All -  Okay this may sound really silly especially after the first one, but this has been a savior especially in the under garments department. I was always against this one for all idea as it seemed like laziness on the manufacturers side, however the fact that I never have to worry about at least one item in my closet fitting has been so nice. Now the real test will be if they fit after the belly is gone or if they will be stretched to oblivion.

My Husband - Yes I appreciated him before, but I have found a new form of appreciation for him these days. Maybe I am especially googly eyed because he helped me weed the rest of the backyard which I had been working on since February (and would have never finished before baby arrived without him). That does help but that is not the only reason. I am super independent, but pregnancy has made me dependent and vulnerable in ways I never thought I could be. From opening a jar of pickles to holding my hand through injections, walking me around the block to following me around the grocery store when he should be sleeping before his next shift, he is taking on much more and I haven't heard him complain. He did chuckle the other day, as he did a huge load of dishes from my dinner freezing frenzy,  how he has become the bread-winner and the homemaker and it is so true. Dishes have become so hard for me to do. I can't reach into the sink very easily with this large belly, so I am forced to turn my body to the side to get close enough. This is fine for a little while but eventually my back begins to ache. I can hardly push our mobile dishwasher to plug it in and I gave up scrubbing bathrooms long ago. He is picking up where I am slacking all the while trying to be emotionally available and uber supportive. I know women do this alone all the time, but I cannot imagine going through all of this without him. I know I would not be as content and positive as I am without his support.

Living in California especially the Bay Area- We are so spoiled. We have great food in every corner. I have had organic strawberries since March, just had my first organic peach yesterday, and the tomatoes are coming soon. There is really not much that isn't grown here. The weather is gorgeous (even if I am boiling in the odd heat).  I can drive up to Sonoma for the best fried chicken and waffles you ever tasted and the next day be in San Francisco eating a humanely raised beef burger topped with truffle french fries. There is a reason they call this little corner of the US the gastronomical capital and I am so happy to have so much tasty and conscientious food at my finger tips.

The Kindness of Strangers - Even though I get lots of omg reactions to my pregnant self I get way more people telling me how beautiful I am, how much I glow, sending best wishes, giving congratulations, and telling me how wonderful my life will be with my little one. From the man who carried the big bag of dog food to my car to the women at the sushi restaurant who send blessings to me and Baby Gerrans I have been flooded with so much kindness. I feel good about this world even if the news makes me want to cry. Turning it off and spending time with real people makes me sure that there is a good world that I am bringing Baby Gerrans into.

Family & Friends -  One of my favorite quotes from my pregnancy readings is "We are often misinformed for navigating pregnancy, labor, and new parenthood in that we are often taught that we need the right stuff rather than the right people and support. The high-priced stroller isn't going to make dinner on day three postpartum and all the new baby clothes that are rapidly pooped on won't wash themselves. We need support in order to cope and make good decisions. We don't need matching satin crib bumpers and bed skirts; we need our mothers and fathers, we need our extended families and friends, we need our good friends, we need experienced midwives and doctors and pediatricians and educators and doulas and nurses." Robert and I both feel so blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive network of family and friends who are already checking in on us, offering their help, advice when asked, and volunteering to assist us in whatever tasks we may need when Baby Gerrans arrives. Baby Gerrans has no idea how lucky he is that he will be brought into a family that already loves him unconditionally.
Thank you.

Lastly I would like to add some quotes from the blog to the baby book, if you have any favorites please share as I am having a hard time picking.


Not a very flattering picture but one that Robert captured of me cooling my feet in the tub on one of those scorching hot days. Why did I ever leave my foggy Aptos??

At the coffee shop, helping Robert indulge in his new addiction - blended coffee drinks. Belly is a little lumpy due to all my layers.

Outside another coffee shop, I think Daddy-to-be has a problem and he is torturing mom-to-be in the process :) I miss coffee!

Here I am on my hands and knees in the garden. Robert told me he couldn't believe that I was 8 1/2 months pregnant and still gardening then quickly ran in the house to grab the camera. I have always been happiest outside in the garden and pregnancy is no different.
Robert took me into the city to buy me something nice at either Gump's or Williams Sonoma for Mother's Day. I found this stove :) He decided that when little William signs his NFL contract then I can have a stove like this, looks like Dad has got big plans for you Baby Gerrans. I think I'll hold Robert to it, the stove that is ;)

The nursery valance came this week. I usually make them myself but after failing miserably at getting the step-frets to look half way decent I opted to pay someone else to do it. They did a great job and I am so happy with it. Valances really complete window treatments. I wish I would have had the same company make the shade, but I was being too cheap - lesson learned.

I finished the baby book this week. I decided to make my own since I couldn't find one that wasn't too cutesy and generic. The pages are in plastic covers for now to protect them from the journey to the hospital etc. I will likely grommet the pages later as the plastic seems a bit office-y. I used scraps left over from the baby shower flags to adorn the pages.
The cover is made with wool felt and I trimmed it with ric-rac that matches the nursery walls. I embroidered a circle  on the cover and when we find out if we are having a Marilyn or a William I will embroider their initial in the circle. The whole idea is not my own its a spin off of Martha of course, however it did remind me of how much I love to embroider  It has been a long time, but I used to do it frequently and I really like it!

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