Bumpdate: She’s here!

I’ve been a little busy and haven’t had time to update, but my little peanut arrived on August 3rd at 3:54pm! She was 6 lbs 10 oz and 19.5 inches long and, well, perfect. Hubby and I are very private so we won’t be sharing any personal details or photos, but I am happy to discuss pregnancy/labor/delivery/newborn stuff once I can find some time to sit down and write.

Bumpdate: 39 weeks!

IMG_7202We made it! Nine weeks ago the little munchkin was all ready to make an appearance and now, not so much. I’m still having sporadic contractions every day (Braxton Hicks, as well as some more painful ones), as well as some other really gross labor symptoms I’ll spare you the details of, and s/he is SUPER low and in position, but still nothing.

I had another growth ultrasound last week and we are still measuring about 2 weeks behind, but everything looks good despite that. My doctor estimated a 7 pound 6 ounce baby – I was only 6 pounds 10 ounces when I was born, so she may be right on target. Baby is still swimming around and beating me up, mostly at night when I am not sleeping due to not being able to get comfortable/it being “too hot” no matter what the temperature is/the ever-present heartburn and acid reflux. I swear, if I never take another Tums, it will be too soon.

The past couple of weeks I was feeling like baby was definitely going to come before the end of the month, and then things kind of settled down and now I have no idea. My due date is August 5th and the doctor I saw yesterday said she thinks I will make it there or just after. As much as I am SO over all the pain and discomfort, I’m also bracing myself that I possibly have another two and a half weeks of this, since they won’t induce until 42 weeks. And that’s fine – I know baby will come when s/he is good and ready.

Well-meaning friends and family keep telling me to walk and move around to get things going faster, but they don’t understand just how painful it is to even get up from a sitting position. It literally requires mental preparation and a lot of old lady-like grunts and sighs. I managed to slowly limp around the grocery store with my husband today, and then I had to lie down on the couch for a few hours to recover. I wish I was being overly dramatic, but unfortunately I’m not. And I’m really good with pain! I’ve had three kidney stones and have battled through them like a champ, one time even staying at work and sitting in meetings all day even though everyone kept telling me to go to the ER. For what? All they were going to do was give me pain meds and wait for it to pass on its own.

I’m hoping for an all-natural birth, but I am not opposed to pain medication if it is necessary. If the baby or I are in distress and it would benefit either of us, then I’m all for it. If I can avoid having a giant needle thrust in my spinal area, that’s even better. Obviously I have no idea what I’m in for, and every birth experience is different, so we’ll sort of see how it goes. I have lots of support for going all-natural, although there have been a couple of friends tell me I’m nuts for even considering it. I keep reminding myself that my body was designed to do this, pain is temporary, and the pain has a purpose – unlike those blasted kidney stones that exist simply to torture and make you curl into the fetal position and cry.

Bumpdate: 35 Weeks

Whenever anyone warns you about pregnancy, they seem to only focus on the first trimester aches and pains. No one ever really mentions the “fun” stuff that happens at the end: the feeling like you’re carrying around a bowling ball in your pants, the sensation that your pelvis is going to crack in half if you dare to roll over in bed in the middle of the night, the getting up to pee 42 times every night, the popping hip joints, the acid reflux that appears for NO reason whatsoever, and the difficulty going to the bathroom (Let’s just say I had to ask hubby to make a special trip to the store for prunes — and I don’t even like prunes, but boy do they work. Something else that works to get things moving, if you’re suffering like I am, is drinking a cup of hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. Thank you, Google.).

Other than that, baby and I are doing well. I had a check-up today and I am 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced, but my doctor is not concerned and feels that I still might make it to 40 weeks. I have to keep taking the medicine and resting for the next week and a half, and then she said I can resume normal activities. At this point we are out of the woods and she said if I go into labor, they won’t do anything to stop it. Exciting and horrifying all at the same time! Baby is still measuring small, but the doctors seem to think it’s because I’m tall (???) and some people just make small babies. S/he is still having a dance party in there every night, my ultrasounds look good, and his/her heartbeat is normal.

Hubby is in the process of painting the nursery. We went against everyone’s advice to choose a gender-neutral color and we chose blue instead. The room has a white chair rail, so I chose a light blue for the top half and he chose a darker shade for the bottom. With the white furniture we’re going to order, it is definitely going to be a little heavy on the Frozen side of things, but at least my youngest niece will approve. She has told us numerous times that we should name the baby, boy or girl, Elsa.

I’m not sure if we have everything we need, but I think we have all the essentials for now. We have a car seat to get the baby home from the hospital, we have onesies and socks and hats and little mittens, we have towels and washcloths, and we have a small supply of diapers and wipes. We have a Rock ‘n’ Play, a Pack ‘n’ Play, an activity mat thingy, a bathtub, nail clippers, a thermometer, a nasal aspirator, and I have all kinds of breastfeeding gadgets. I want to order the stroller tonight, along with a few more receiving blankets and whatever else is on sale at Babies R Us that I think we might need. The major item we’re missing is a bassinet – my friend had promised me hers once her son is done using it, which should be any day now. If that doesn’t pan out, then I figure we’ll just go grab our own from the store.

We met with pediatricians yesterday. The first office we went to came highly recommended by my sister-in-law and two family friends. I had high expectations going in, and honestly, I just wasn’t wowed. Neither was hubby. Everyone seemed nice enough, but the building and office were kind of run down and in need of work, none of the doctors took the time to talk to us (we met with a nurse instead), and even getting in there to have the consultation took days of effort because no one ever answered the phone or returned my calls. It took my sister-in-law calling on our behalf for someone to finally get back to us.

The other office we went to was just one that I found online that got good reviews. What a difference! Everything was clean and in good condition, TWO doctors took time from their lunch breaks to sit with us and answer all of our questions, and the rest of the staff we met were friendly and nice as well. It’s a bit of a further drive — 20ish minutes versus literally driving down to the street to the first place — but we think it’s worth it.

I’ve been trying to read more and have breezed through the following:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children — This was excellent, and not at all what I was expecting. I thought it would be sort of a thriller, and I suppose it is in a way, but it’s also just a really fun story.

Prey — My husband loves Michael Crichton books and he recently started this one and was telling me how good it is. He encouraged me to try reading the first chapter, which I did one night while I was making dinner. I finished the book in two days, that’s how much I liked it. It really surprised me. The science-y stuff went a little over my head, but the rest of the story was fantastic.

In Her Shoes — This was a fluffy, easy read. I wanted something mindless, and this book was exactly that. It was fun and cute, and I enjoyed reading about the sisters’ relationship, but I also found myself skimming lots of parts just to get through it.

Jemima J — I’ve always wanted to read a Jane Green book because the company I used to work for designed her website and I remember that she had a HUGE fan base. I picked this up at a used book sale and while it was ok, I felt like it was just another version of Bridget Jones’ Diary. I felt like it dragged on for a bit and could have easily been edited down.

The Descendants — This is what I’m currently reading. I did not see the movie, at my dad’s advice, but I saw the book lying around on a table at the same used book sale, so I grabbed it. I’m far enough removed now from my mother’s death that I can (somewhat) better handle similar stories. I’m doing ok reading it, but I can see how watching the movie would have probably been difficult for me. The story is pretty good so far, but the characters are driving me CRAZY. The dad comes across as such a pushover, and the daughters are just rotten little brats with no discipline or manners whatsoever. I kind of just want to smack them most of the time. I’m about three-quarters through, so I’m definitely committed to finishing it at this point.

Bumpdate: 32 weeks!

IMG_7179Woohoo! We made it to 32 weeks! I’m actually 32 weeks 2 days now, but I wanted to wait and do this update after my doctor’s appointment last night. I couldn’t find my usual “bumpdate shirt” and I had to take the photo with the self-timer because hubby was stuck late at work.

Basically, she said that my test and exam results from the hospital are “too concerning” at this point in my pregnancy to allow me to go back to work. She said unless I could guarantee that I would be sitting down the entire time, except for bathroom breaks, it’s a no-go. I can’t guarantee that, so she told me she recommends that I just take it easy at home and rest. She did agree to let me work a couple of hours each day from home, on the condition that I take it day-by-day and I stop at the first sign of a problem. I emailed my boss to see if that is a possibility – it would be nice to have something to do to break up my days, and I wouldn’t mind even a partial paycheck. It would definitely help with all of the baby stuff we’ve been ordering to try and prepare ourselves for the munchkin’s arrival!

She did mention that I am measuring a little small – 30 weeks instead of 32 – but that my most recent ultrasound shows that baby is right on track. They’ll check again next week, but she thinks it’s just how baby is positioned or my body type. I wanted to tell her I feel humongous and maybe she should double-check her measurements, LOL!

I’ve been passing the time by watching countless home improvement shows on HGTV and the DIY network, which has done nothing but made me antsy to get working on our own house and yard! Unfortunately most of that is going to have to wait until the spring when I’m able to actually get off the couch and do stuff. Other than that, I’ve been online shopping, texting my mommy friends in a panic about labor and delivery, reading natural birth stories and freaking myself out, napping, and drinking approximately 87 glasses of water a day because everyone wants me to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (this results in constant trips to the bathroom).

I feel pretty good overall – the reflux is still an issue, and I still have that full feeling most of the time, but I know I’m in the home stretch and all of that is going to be a distant memory soon. I did wake up at 1am on Monday night choking on my own stomach bile. The acid was all the way up into my ears and I thought they were seriously going to burn right off. I took a bunch of Tums, which did nothing, so I broke down and drank a glass of milk (so gross), but that was also useless. I tried eating some yogurt, walking around, sitting up, standing up, drinking water, etc. Nothing helped. I consulted Dr. Google on the verge of tears and discovered that a lot of pregnant women swear by pickle juice. This seemed so counterintuitive to me since pickle juice is acidic and vinegar-y, but I figured it couldn’t get much worse at that point. Luckily, I had picked up a jar of pickles over the weekend – I never have them in the house, but I had a craving. I ate one, and by the time I was done with it, the fire had receded from my ears and throat. I could still feel it in my chest, so I drank a spoonful of the juice (ew) and that did the trick. I probably should have had one more to really squash it, but I was scared I was going to overdo it. So if you’re pregnant and suffering from horrific acid reflux, try some pickles! I ate some on Tuesday and Wednesday and felt fine. I didn’t have any yesterday and the reflux was back, so I’m convinced they really work!

Bumpdate: 31 Weeks!

IMG_7171Life on “limited bed rest” is, well, pretty boring. I spend most of the day on the couch watching trashy TV and old reruns, reading, playing Candy Crush, and drinking what feels like gallons of water (then peeing approximately 4582 times). Monday was spent ordering large amounts of baby supplies in an OMG-we’re-not-prepared-at-all-panic. Tuesday and Wednesday I spent researching cars, and today I’m supposed to be calling pediatricians to set up some kind of meetings so we can ask them questions and decide who we want to be our baby’s doctor. Note to self: Google a list of questions for pediatricians.

I had my first weekly follow-up appointment with the doctor yesterday and she seemed confident that everything is fine so far. Although I am still having sporadic contractions, she assured me that they are not “real” and I will definitely know when they are. She wants me to keep taking it easy until the end of next week and try to keep my stress level down. Apparently the medicine I am taking (Procardia) has no proven effect on preterm labor – if the baby wants out early, it’s going to happen regardless of the medication. She told me that it is mostly used for a patient’s peace of mind – it relaxes the cardiac muscles as well as other muscles, therefore reducing the number of contractions felt, and finally making the patient calmer because she is not experiencing as many contractions. So it’s a head game, mostly. What with my history of anxiety, she thinks it is in my benefit to continue taking it, so that’s what I’m doing.

Aside from the contractions, I’m also experiencing bouts of hot flashes and really glamorous night sweats. While I think these are related to the medicine, the doctor says it’s not possible (Dr. Google says differently…) and it’s typical of the third trimester. All I know is I usually wake up drenched and have to take multiple showers per day. Maybe this is the “pregnant lady glow” everyone refers to? Also, I’m finding that eating even the smallest amount of food makes me feel absolutely stuffed for hours. I ate a yogurt for breakfast yesterday morning and you would think I ate an entire Thanksgiving dinner single-handedly.

Baby is kicking up a storm – and not those cute and gentle little flutters like before. These are purposeful, it’s-getting-crowded-in-here punches and shoves as s/he tries to shove my organs out of the way to get more comfortable.

Book wise, I’ve been reading lots of Sarah Dessen books. I would love to review them here, because I’ve loved all but one of them, but honestly… they’re all pretty much the same. She follows the same formula for every single book, it seems: teenage girl with a chip on her shoulder meets a quirky boy with an unusual name. Girl falls for boy against her better judgment. Girls does something on purpose to ruin the relationship because she can’t stand to feel happiness. Girl apologizes, boy forgives her, and everyone lives happily ever after. Despite this, I keep devouring each and every novel of hers I can get my hands on. Maybe it’s the predictability that I’m enjoying right now. I know going into it that I’m going to have a good reading experience, and sometimes I need that rather thank risking time on a book that ends up being disappointing.

I’m currently reading Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You and plan to get back to reviews once I finish it. I’m only 50 pages in, but I like it already and am excited to see where it goes.

When in Doubt, Call Your OB

This past Wednesday, I turned 30 weeks. I meant to do a Bumpdate post, but well, I was tired and lazy and figured I would just do it on Thursday instead. Thursday morning I woke up with a runny nose and sore throat that just got worse and worse throughout the day. I came home and tried to nap, but it was 84 degrees in the house and the air conditioning wasn’t working.

Around 7:00 pm that evening, I started to have some pain in my lower left abdomen. I figured I probably stretched the wrong way, or it was just ligament pain or something else harmless. I drank a bunch of water, sat down, and waited for it to subside. Except it didn’t. It started to feel more like kidney stone pain or bladder infection pain – it was getting sharper and it hurt to stand up straight or bend over. I’m stubborn, so I kept waiting to see if it would lessen. At about midnight I realized that wasn’t going to happen and there was definitely something suspect going on. I called the after hours number and a very sleepy OB called me back and told me to head over to Labor and Delivery to get checked out. She said it was probably nothing, but she couldn’t rule out contractions over the phone.

Hubby and I got dressed and headed out. The only thing I brought with me was our phone charger, thinking that we may be there for a few hours and Candy Crush would help pass the time, haha. They set me up in a room, had me change into a gown, asked me close to a million questions, and hooked me up to a fetal monitor. Sure enough, I was having contractions but I hadn’t felt them at all up to that point. The resident OB came in to do some exams and discovered that I was about 1-2 cm dilated, which at 30 weeks 2 days, is entirely too much. I was starting to feel the contractions at that point and they were coming pretty regularly.

They continued monitoring me all night and hooked me up to an IV for fluids, thinking that maybe I was a little dehydrated and that’s what was causing the problems (added bonus to that was that all the extra fluids helped knock out my cold!). Let me tell you, it is quite comical to watch a very pregnant lady in only a hospital gown try to get back and forth to the bathroom every hour while connected to IVs and monitors. Hubby had to help me unplug from everything, shuffle to the bathroom, shuffle back to bed, plug me back in, and then I had to try to reposition myself some way that didn’t cause more pain. Every. Single. Hour.

In the morning, my midwife stopped by and told me that I would probably be going home soon and that they would follow up with me during the week. She just wanted to do a quick cervical check first. The resident did one the night before and it wasn’t pleasant, but it was tolerable. The midwife? My goodness. I felt like she had her entire arm inside my body and was trying to rearrange my organs one-handed. If giving birth is anything CLOSE to that, bring on the epidural. Speaking of giving birth, they should really soundproof the delivery rooms. Listening to a woman scream bloody murder at 2:00 am while a nurse is trying to start an IV on me and I’ve just been briefed about preterm labor/the NICU was NOT good times. The nurse told me not to get scared – that lady was also early, but they couldn’t stop her labor and she waited too long to get an epidural. She said that it is entirely different when you come in knowing you are going all-natural (or at least that you’re going to try). It’s an completely different ball game when you plan to feel no pain and that doesn’t happen.

Anyway. The midwife changed her tune once she herself discovered how dilated and effaced I was. She immediately started me on a medication called Procardia, which is actually for blood pressure and cardiac issues, to stop the contractions. It began working almost immediately. Then they broke the news that I would be staying until at the least the following morning AND that I had to get the steroid shots to help baby’s lungs develop just in case s/he insisted on making a grand entrance earlier than we’d like. I got the shot and they moved me to a new room. Hubby and I began texting everyone to update them and then we shut the lights off and tried to get some sleep.

I had a a couple ultrasounds and got to see the baby, so that was exciting! I think the old wives’ tale about the amount of heartburn/acid reflux and a hairy baby must be true because our little munchkin has a full head of fuzz already! S/he was dancing all around and is doing great. The high risk doctor came to talk to us after that and explained about preemies and survival rates and other scary stuff, but he seemed confident about getting me past 32 weeks, when the survival rate goes up to almost 99%. Luckily I have lots of friends who have been there, done that, and they have all been super supportive and encouraging the past couple of days.

I then got shifted over to the postpartum unit once it became clear that I wasn’t going to deliver within the next couple of days, and they removed all of my tubes and wires – yay! My dad and his fiancé stopped by with Wendy’s, Tums, and cough drops (all the essentials, LOL) and I filled them in on everything. They left and went to our place to feed/take care of the cat, who I’m sure was not very happy about missing her morning meal. Apparently she let them have it and told them exactly what she thought about it when they got there!

I had a few more contractions last night, but they think it was just during the in-between time after one dose tapered off and the next dose hadn’t started working yet. I was actually able to sleep, as was hubby since the nice PCT brought him a cot and a bunch of blankets. One of my OBs stopped by this morning and was MUCH more positive and optimistic than anyone else had been this far – and everyone had been REALLY great, she just made me feel much better about everything. She wrote me a prescription, told me I’m on “limited bed rest” for the next two weeks, and to follow up with the office this week to see how things are going. I got my second steroid shot and then we were freeeee! It took stopping at/calling around a dozen pharmacies to get my medication, but we finally found somewhere that had it so I am good to go.

I feel a million times better just being home in my own clothes, showered, and surrounded by my things. We’ve both been napping and taking it easy, trying to decompress from the past 48 hours or so. It could have been a lot worse. I’m incredibly glad I gave in and called the doctor because who knows where we’d be right now if I hadn’t. If you are pregnant and reading this, please call the doctor whenever you think something is not right. It may turn out to be nothing, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And on the bright side, we got an in-depth, VIP tour of the maternity center, LOL! We still have a tour arranged for next month, but it’s comforting to already know some names and how things work.

Bumpdate: 28 Weeks!

IMG_7167There is nothing quite like having to sleep sitting up on the couch because every time you lie down, you burp and vomit up your dinner. The icing on the cake is peeing all over yourself as you’re vomiting at one o’clock in the morning. I nearly choked on my own puke twice last night as I was trying to heave myself out of a bed during a burping/coughing fit, so I’ve notified my best friends that they are in charge of rewriting my obituary to sound heroic instead of pathetic and disgusting. Just in case.

I ended up in the ER last Thursday because I had had a cramp in my calf for over two days and I could hardly walk without sobbing. I expected my OB to tell me it was nothing, but instead she said that she “couldn’t comfortably” tell me that it wasn’t a blood clot. We ended up missing seeing the new Avengers movie at the dine-in theater, but the bright side is that when your OB calls ahead to the ER, you get the royal treatment. I was brought back to a room in a wheelchair and got to fill out my paperwork there, I didn’t have to wait more than maybe 10 minutes for someone to come scan my legs, and the doctor brought me a snack tray because I am “eating for two” even though I told her I had already eaten dinner and wasn’t hungry. The good news is it was just a run-of-the-mill pregnancy cramp and not a blood clot, AND we were out of there in under two hours. That’s got to be some kind of record.

We received our first gifts the other day. One of my high school friends bought us some blankets and a cute duck outfit that I had on my registry. I have nowhere to put them since the baby’s room still hasn’t been emptied of all the nonsense we have stored in there, so for now they are sitting on the kitchen table and I get excited every time I see them.

It is getting MUCH harder to move around and do things now. I need to get up from my desk during the day to lower my risk of blood clots and swelling in my feet, BUT every time I move I get this really fun pelvic pain. I’ve become “that person” who has called the doctor’s office just about every day this past week because some new ache or pain is constantly showing up. So far they tell me everything is normal.

I passed my glucose test! Buuuut, I’m slightly anemic, so I have to add an iron supplement along with my prenatal vitamin. I’m not surprised – I don’t eat much red meat at all, and I’ve been anemic before, pre-pregnancy. As long as I don’t have gestational diabetes or have to take another glucose test, I’m happy!

My First Mother’s Day

Today is my fifth Mother’s Day without my mom, but instead of feeling sad and alone like I have in the past, it has been a joyful day because it’s the very first time I’ve been celebrated as a mother! Our little one isn’t here yet, but I’ve still received lots of well wishes and gifts and congratulations.

We had dinner last night with my dad and his girlfriend – it was meant to be a “Farewell BBQ” at his house since he’s in the process of selling it, but they gave me a lovely card and a gift card to Babies R Us. I’m sure that will come in very handy in the near future as we start to buy the things we’ll need for the baby’s arrival.

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This morning hubby surprised me with a card and a gift – a baby book! It’s funny because I was just looking at them online on Friday and had picked out the exact one he ended up buying me.

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We then went to Mass and they always give out small pots of flowers to all of the mothers. The priests are generous and have always given me one in the past, but today was the first time I actually deserved one! After church, we went to his parents’ house and had a nice breakfast with the whole family, took some pictures, and we came back home so I could nap. We’re going to get chicken parm sandwiches from my favorite place for dinner, and then maybe head out for ice cream sundaes if I’m still awake, LOL.

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Eating for Two

If the movies and TV have taught us anything, it’s that pregnant women are constantly crying, angry, and eating. Although I’ve experienced some of the hormonal rage, the crying and eating haven’t happened for me.

When you start telling people you’re pregnant, well-meaning friends and family will often say that you need to start eating more – and they’ll encourage you to eat everything. However, when you’re dealing with a hyperactive sense of smell that makes formerly yummy things smell like rotting garbage, 24/7 nausea, and heartburn/reflux that feels like your chest is seconds away from exploding into fire, eating is hard work. Add to that the Weight Watchers mentality of unconsciously tracking the points value of every single you put in your mouth, and shifting to “eating for two” is not as easy as it sounds.

It seems like no matter what you do during pregnancy, someone will always have a comment. Gain too much? People will warn you how hard it will be to lose the weight. Gain too little (or at least what they think is too little)? People will push you to eat more and constantly question why you’re not stuffing your face. Once your bump becomes visible, it’s like everything about you and your baby is up for public discussion.

I eat when I’m hungry, and I eat whatever sounds good. If that means cereal for dinner or handfuls of Oreos as an after-work snack, so be it. When even plain water gives you acid reflux, you learn to go with the flow and follow the few cravings you do have. My menu consists mostly of carbs, but as long as my doctor doesn’t see a problem, I’m going with it. I’ve felt guilty for not eating lots of salads and grilled chicken, but I’m doing the best I can and as long as baby and I are healthy, I’m not going to stress about it.

In “bumpdate” news, I am 27 weeks today and baby has been kicking up a storm! S/he decided a 1am dance party was in order last night, so between that and the hot flashes, I didn’t get much sleep. I go for my glucose test tomorrow, and I am irrationally paranoid that I’m going to fail it. I realize there is nothing I can do to ensure that I pass, but I still know I’m going to be disappointed and full of guilt if that sucker comes back positive for GD. I’m also really not looking forward to chugging the horrific flat orange drink I’ve heard so much about, but it is what it is. Slainte!

Five on Friday

I feel like I do a lot of whining and complaining about being pregnant, and while it’s no picnic, I am incredibly grateful that it finally happened. I do know how blessed I am. I try to post as honestly as possible about what I’m feeling because those are the posts that I always appreciate reading – I don’t want some rainbows and sunshine smokescreen, I want to know the ugly truth about what something’s like! 

How about we do a Friday Five about what I’m looking forward to and excited about? 

1. Continuing family traditions and starting new ones. My parents, especially my mom, always went above and beyond to make holidays and birthdays special. The house was decked out from top to bottom, all kinds of goodies and treats were baked and/or bought, and presents were numerous, even if they were small or simple. I can’t wait to do this for my child. I want to give my son/daughter the same happy, loving memories that I have from my own childhood. 

2. Snuggling. I’ve never really been around babies, aside from my nieces and nephew, but I’ve seen and heard other parents with their snuggly, warm, sweet-smelling babies curled up together. There is a picture of me and my dad from when I was a few months old. I was asleep on his chest and he had his head back, passed out, in the chair he was sitting in. I want that. And I want a picture like that of my husband and the baby together.

3. Teaching him/her new things and watching him/her experience things for the first time. There is something so amazing about seeing a child understand a new concept for the very first time. I especially can’t wait to read books together.

4. Going on family vacations. I really, really can’t wait to take the baby to Disney as a family. Ideally, I would love to do this next summer, but I don’t know how that will play out. Even if we don’t get there, I’m super excited for family road trips and local adventures! My family went camping every weekend between May and September when I was growing up, and although it wasn’t anything fancy, those weekends are some of my best memories. 

5. Going for walks around the neighborhood. I have this vision in my head of bundling baby up and strapping him/her in the stroller for a walk. The crisp fall air, the crunchy leaves underfoot… I can’t wait!