Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 30

When I went in for another ultrasound, the tech surprised me by switching to 3D. I actually didn't want a 3D ultrasound, but as soon as I saw his face I couldn't have cared less that she didn't ask me beforehand. I saw him snuggle up to my body, move around and watched his face grimace because he does not like being poked. He is not a submissive patient, that one. He moves every time someone tries to measure his heartbeat.

The bigger he gets, the more I'm aware of his position. He spends a lot of time nestling his head underneath my ribs. He favors the right side of my belly (possibly because I'm pregnant in my right uterus) and can travel pretty far to the right. No one ever told me babies can hang out on your sides and not just the front. It is not comfortable. He also uses my hip bones to push off and get into a more comfortable position. It startles me every time. He is constantly moving during the day and seems to settle down when I go to sleep. (Let's keep this routine going when you're out of the womb, too, okay baby?) We saw Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby recently, and both movies got him rocking and rollin' (by either my adrenaline or the level of noise). Speaking of which, ever since I could feel his movements, this little guy gets so excited by popcorn. I don't know what it is, but every time I eat popcorn he goes crazy. It's pretty cute.

We've decided on a name but we're keeping it a secret. People are much too opinionated and we don't want to hear it. We also want to make sure we're not sick of it by the time he's born.

30 weeks at The Cloisters

Having stepped into the 30's makes it feel like this baby is coming in no time. But who am I kidding? I still have 10 more weeks to go until I'm full term. This making a baby business takes forever. I mean, really, it takes almost a year. I was pregnant during Christmas of last year! As anxious as we are to have our baby in our arms, we are fine with letting him plump up for a couple more months. Joel and I both have our moments of feeling totally overwhelmed where we look at each other and say, "Are we really ready for this?!" But we also spend a lot of timing staring at my stomach begging him to just come out already. Pregnancy is full of conflicting feelings. That is an understatement.

I'm getting tired again. If I spend half of the day busy and next half napping/resting, I call that a successful day. Because I have a didelphic uterus, I only have half of the ligaments supporting my pregnant uterus. This means more strain on my ligaments and it can get painful. I'm going to buy a belly-support band (any recommendations would be helpful!) and hopefully that will ease the pain. My appetite is starting to change again. I am ravenous one day and completely disinterested the next. I still can't stomach most meat (I can't imagine ever eating chicken or seafood again) but I love spicy sausage and bacon. I eat through entire packages of Costco strawberries and grapes within a few days. Watermelon is my new best friend. Oh, watermelon. I've had taquitos for lunch every single day for months now. I don't understand the obsession but they're just so good. Give me Peruvian, Venezuelan, Brazilian or Mexican food and I am in heaven. There is no question I have a Latin baby inside of me.

As far as prepping for labor goes, I am nervous, anxious and excited. While I'm reading and practicing relaxation and breathing techniques I feel confident and as ready as I can be. I was blessed to grow up surrounded by women who have a very healthy and natural view of pregnancy and labor, but there are still times I feel panicky and unprepared. I have certain hopes for labor, but no expectations. I will do my best, and let my body do its best, and look forward to having a healthy baby (and me) at the end of it all. The human body is divinely created and it's been an incredible thing to witness during this pregnancy. I have a lot of faith in my body and I am so proud of how well it has done growing a baby so far. That sounds strange, but when I found out I have a uterine abnormality I never knew if my body could do what it needs to in order to create and sustain a healthy baby. It can! And it is! And I count every week that passes that I'm still pregnant with a growing baby boy as a miracle.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Upstate New York

For Memorial Day weekend we took a trip upstate to visit my Grammie Liz & Grandpa Ralph and spend a day in Palmyra. The weather was perfect and we were thrilled to see where the restoration of our church began.

Captain Moroni statue

On top of The Hill Cumorah 

A replica of Joseph Smith's bedroom as a boy in the Smith log-house

View of the temple from the entrance of the Sacred Grove
The actual Smith Frame-house

The Sacred Grove
It's not hard to imagine that such a special event happened here. The grove is that stunning New England green and the scattered patches of sunlight add a glorious glow to it. I can't imagine a more serene spot for The First Vision to take place.

The book-binder in me was so giddy in this room

Beside the Sacred Grove, this was my favorite part of our trip. I have seen these two paintings countless times, but never the originals. The details were stunning and the paintings evoked strong emotions. I could've stared at them for hours. 


My grandparents live on a farm in a small town called Fort Plain. Ralph is actually my step-grandpa (they were married 17 years ago) but he is the only grandpa I've ever known so I love him like he is my own. Being a World Ward II vet, he was the perfect person to spend Memorial Day with. We visited downtown Fort Plain to watch the parade and have lunch with the veterans at the VFW and American Legion.

Ralph was the life of the party at the Veteran's lunch. He is the oldest (96 and still going strong!) and the liveliest. It was amazing to see how sprite he is compared to men 10 years younger than him. 

After lunch we visited the gravesides of his family members. He took a seat on top of his brother's headstone and told us stories about his life. 

We look a long scenic drive back to the house and saw several Amish farms and families. Joel and I were both mesmerized by their lifestyle. We love the Amish. We want to go back and people watch at their summer auctions. My grandma said they have great produce and other goods  to sell. 

I took my usual afternoon nap while everyone else talked. Growing a human is tiring. 

This historic church is right across the street from my grandparent's house. Ralph has a headstone next to his first wife in the cemetery in the back. To the right of the church, in the grove of trees, are old Indian and settlers' graves. Years ago, Ralph placed crosses he made at the head of each grave. My grandma painted this church in beautiful pastels and we have that painting hanging next to our bed in our apartment. 

We're grateful for every moment we get to spend with those two. Joel and I love to sit and talk with them (and eat their delicious food). Ralph is one of the most interesting people I know--having been farmed out during The Depression, fought in WWII in Europe and Northern Africa, and full of stories of life on the farm. We also got to meet some of Ralph's family and they are such good people. I want to grow up to be just like my Grammie Liz. I'm hoping that the more time I spend with her the more she will rub off onto me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Washington D.C.

About a month ago, Joel and I took a trip to Washington D.C. We had a vacation overseas planned for this summer, but once we found out I'm pregnant we decided to save it for later. Instead, we'll be exploring the east coast over the summer--much easier on a pregnant lady who's afraid of flying. We take a lot more pit stops than usual road trips, but that is to be expected when you have a baby sitting on your bladder. 

We stayed in Old Town Alexandria and spent 2 1/2 days in D.C. If you're looking for a hotel outside of D.C. stay in Old Town Alexandria! It is so charming, full of shops and restaurants and has a lively dock area next to the river. 

To save you (and myself) from endless commentary, we were able to see the following sites:
Arlington Nation Cemetery
Jefferson Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
MLK Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
WWII Memorial
Washington Monument (hard to miss)
Holocaust Museum
U.S. Capitol
Union Station
Museum of American History
Museum of Natural History
The White House
Ford's Theatre
Library of Congress
Washington D.C. LDS Temple

We ate at Tortilla Cafe (best tamales on the planet) and Good Stuff Eatery (Joel ate the entire Toasted Marshmallow Shake and that's saying a lot because he is not a fan of sweets) in Capitol Hill.

On the way to D.C. we made a quick stop in Baltimore to see my beloved Charm City Cakes. I was so happy to have finally made it there! 

Joel was less than thrilled about Baltimore. The greatest city in America? Please.

Old Town Alexandria

The gun that killed Lincoln
Ford's Theatre - the booth where Lincoln was shot
The White House
We took The Red Bus Tour and I still feel like I walked myself to death. D.C. is a walking city, there's no way around it.

U.S. Capitol

Joel needed some empathy therapy for what it feels like to tour hot & humid D.C. when you're 6 months pregnant. The water bottle simulated the weight of the amniotic fluid. And he's wearing my sunglasses? To be honest, all of the walking really tired me out. My feet were pretty swollen, my tailbone felt broken and I waddled by the end of the day. But I was in good spirits because I had plenty of water and food and Joel helped out as much as he could--carrying our stuff, wheeling me around in a wheelchair during some tours, and hailing trams meant for Senior Citizens. I still enjoyed the weekend but next time we visit I will not be pregnant.

The Library of Congress -- we saw the Gutenberg Bible!

Eating Italian Ice on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial

The Washington Monument
The Lincoln Memorial

Sandstone from the LDS Nauvoo temple in the Museum of American History
Joel's nickname "Caco" is also Kermit's name in Brazil
Julia Child's kitchen!
Museum of Natural History

Rotunda - U.S. Capitol
Brigham Young is in the U.S. Capitol. Hidden in the corner...but there!
Wheelchair bound

Georgetown - I am so in love
Arlington National Cemetery

JFK Eternal Flame

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Washington D.C. Temple
6 months pregnant
View of the temple from the highway

Joel and I both loved Washington D.C. We were amazed at how beautiful and CLEAN it is! We can't wait to go back and see everything that we missed. There is so much to do there and we feel like we barely scratched the surface. Until next time--with our baby in tow! :)