BUMP REPORT – 40 Weeks

ImagePREGNANCY WEEK 40

Here we are at 40 weeks.  I honestly did not think there would STILL be a baby in my belly at this time.  With the way I have been feeling for the past few weeks, I was dead-on sure that our baby was fully cooked and ready to make her appearance before her due date.  With the amount of super frequent/strong Braxton Hicks contractions and other “labor signs” I have been experiencing, I was just SURE this baby was coming a few times within the past week.  Guess I was wrong.  Now technically the “official” due date is Tuesday (when calculating it originally, some charts put me to Oct 7th and some put me to Oct 8th).  I have always been in the habit of writing weekly blog updates on Mondays…so I guess there is still a chance she could be born on time.  At around 37 and 38 weeks I was freaking out because I didn’t feel mentally “ready” for baby girl’s birth yet.  Then there was a 180.  When I hit 39 weeks, I all the sudden was “READY!”  This past week has been an emotional battle of ups and downs as I kept thinking that “this is it” or “tomorrow is definitely the day!”  Talk about feeling frustrated.  I know she will be here any day, but I am mentally SO OVER IT!  I just want her here.  So does Daddy.  If there is a 41 week blog update — I will be beyond annoyed, HAHA!  Please pray that this baby comes.

Here is a month-by-month recap of Baby Lute’s bump progress….

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…And a look at some of my pictures that include the size-comparisons…

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….and here are all of the pregnancy weeks below!  Started with a plum and ended with a pumpkin!

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My age: 27

How far along: 40 weeks

How big is baby: the size of gallon of milk.  She is approximately 19-22 inches long and weighs 7.5-8 pounds.

What have you been up to: This week had much less on the calendar than the previous week, which was MUCH NEEDED.  It allowed me down time to relax and take it a bit easier.  I had a chance to get together with three different girlfriends all on separate days.  I also had the opportunity to re-read labor & delivery chapters in several of my pregnancy books.  Eric and I went on our weekly date this weekend, we tried a new restaurant called the Hurricane Grill.  It is a beachy/surfer theme place — so much fun.  It was delicious food too!  I got grilled chicken sliders with a HOT sauce called “the boss” (and no, the spicy food didn’t induce labor).  Also this week we made a belly cast (I’ll talk more about that in a minute).

At my O.B. appointment last Wednesday, the doctor was pleasantly surprised that things really seem to be progressing nicely.  When she did my cervical exam, she estimated I was 70% effaced and a good 2 cm dilated already!  She really seemed to think that labor could coming be any day….so that started getting my hopes up.  Ever since Wednesday I have been on this emotional rollercoaster thinking that the baby is finally coming!  On Thursday, I was just SURE it was the day.  And then Friday, same thing.  And NO–she hasn’t come yet.  I have been experiencing non-stop Braxton Hicks (some are very regular and even painful), but then they always end up stopping and never resulting in real labor.  And I am so exhausted of well-intentioned friends/people texting me asking for updates or to see if I am in labor yet.  Those text messages make me feel frustrated, because there is literally zero I can do to control this situation.  Yes, I want to be in labor, but no, I am not.  Stop asking.  I know people care and are excited, but it makes me feel defeated.  I finally started responding with “there is currently nothing to update on, and I will keep you posted when that changes.”  So if you happen to be someone who I have told that to, please take no offense, I am just really emotional and frustrated with my body.

Now, with all that emotional negativity out there, let’s focus on some fun!  Let’s talk about making a belly cast!  Over the weekend, instead of focusing my energy on the fact that I STILL wasn’t in labor yet, we decided to make a memento of this pregnant belly.

BELLY CAST.  I’ve seen people make molds of their pregnant bellies before and thought it was kind of a neat keepsake to have.  I was not sure I would end up doing something like that or not.  Well, I decided to do it — on the cheap was the only way!  I did not feel it necessary to buy one of those expensive kits, so if I could find an easy and cheap way to do it, I was all in.  And I did!  All I needed was a product I found at Michaels.  It is a “plaster wrap” or it can also be called “rigid wrap”…. it’s basically gauze that you dip in water and it hardens.  I spent less than $10 on this project and it turned out great.  Here is the tutorial I found to make mine: http://entergentlyblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/make-your-own-pregnant-belly-cast.html

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STEP 1: Cut a lot of strips of the gauze and lay them out.  I used 2 rolls.  Get out a shallow pan with warm water in it to dip the strips.

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STEP 2: Protect your skin with olive oil.  It felt really yucky to wipe cooking oil all over my skin, but it was worth it to protect my skin.  I also put plastic wrap over my pants since it was a messy project.  It also didn’t hurt to cover the table and floor too.

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STEP 3: Work quickly because these set up fast.  Have your husband/helper dip the strips of gauze in warm water and place them all over your belly.  Make sure you smooth out any air pockets.

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STEP 4: After putting 2 layers all over, allow it to set up and dry.  It will literally come away from your skin–don’t pull it off until it comes off on it’s own.

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STEP 5: After it comes off your skin, let it dry for a while — as in a few days.  It’s going to be really neat to have this keepsake in the future when I forget how big my belly was!

Exercise/Activity Level: I feel very proud that I’m still working out (and running) 6 days per week at 40 weeks pregnant!!  3 runs and 3 gym days.  I think that’s a real accomplishment.  It has been NO FUN working out this week as my body is kind of feeling “over it” at this point.  Somehow God gives you what you need to keep on going though.  At all 3 of my gym workouts this week (45 minutes cardio & 20 minutes weight lifting), each day there was at least one individual who approached me and gave me very nice compliments.  One day a lady walked up to me (while with 15 lb dumbbells over my head doing shoulder presses) and told me what a beautiful photo I’d make (a photo of a woman lifting weights while pregnant).  Another day a lady told me “you are so smart to be exercising during your pregnancy, girl.”  And another day, one of the young male personal trainers told me “You are doing such a great job.  I was watching you workout and you are doing so great — you will have no problem getting your body back after the baby is born.”  God used all 3 of those people this week because I really needed to hear some positive feedback with the way I was feeling.  I know all of this exercise is important and will pay off — I’m just READY to be done with pregnancy at this point.  My body just hurts.  Running somehow feels better than walking though, I still find that amazing.  (I think it may have something to do with my gait—I strive to be a toe/midfoot runner instead of a heel-striker.  I think that walking, a heel-striking gait, hurts my achy body worse than my midfoot/toe running gait.)

Maternity clothes:  Somehow my belly has gotten so huge that some of my shirts are having a hard time covering it up!

Stretch marks: Still none.

Belly Button: Outie.

Sleep: Sleeping really solid.  Thankfully.  At least I have that.  I’m taking advantage of the cliché “sleep as much as you can before the baby comes!”

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is fully cooked.  Now just come on out, little girl!

Best Moment of the Week: At my doctor appointment after the nurse weighed me, she said “Wow, you haven’t gained any weight since July!”  I know this seems like a weird thing for me to be excited about, but I really feel proud that I have been able to keep my weight gain within a healthy amount (23 pounds).  It makes me so happy that after the baby comes out, I won’t have 50 extra pounds clinging to my entire body — hopefully just 13 pounds (I’ve heard 10 pounds is usually the amount lost during birth).  When I was 30 weeks pregnant, I was on a road to high-weight-gain with my habits at that time….it has taken a lot of work to remain firm in my decision to eat healthy.

Worst Moment of the Week: Getting into a miscommunication with my husband.  I hate those.  Thankfully we love each other.  A lot.

Food cravings: Apples with peanut butter.

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: Strong and regular Braxton Hicks.  Baby feels very low in my pelvis.  I’ve been getting a lot of “menstrual pains” in my belly.  My sciatic nerve is KILLING me (left side of my low back that shoots pain down my left leg).  Feeling UNCOMFORTABLE and sometimes I can barely walk.

Movement: She is totally out of room.  But yet she still moves all over.  It’s uncomfortable at this point because she is so low in my pelvis that it sometimes feels like she could “fall out!”

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: Meeting baby girl!  Holding her in my arms for the first time.  I also can’t wait to see the look in Eric’s eyes when he finally gets to see her for the first time.  I have been experiencing this baby inside my body for 9 months, and once she is born he will FINALLY get to start experiencing her too.  I know he is so ready for that.  I just can’t wait to watch him as he finally gets to have that magic happen.  He is going to be the best dad EVER!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a safe delivery for baby.  I hope things go smoothly and that a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery happens.

What I miss: Feeling like a normal human being.  I just want to be un-pregnant:)  I know, soon!

Next appointment: Tuesday, October 8th @ 3:45 P.M.

To-do list before baby’s arrival:  It’s an awfully short list this week:

-HAVE THE BABY!

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BUMP REPORT – 39 Weeks

39weekspumpkinPREGNANCY WEEK 39

**Don’t forget!  If you haven’t had a chance to submit your guess on our baby pool, there is still time!  Click here (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/baby-pool-make-your-predictions/) for directions on how to play!**

My age: 27

How far along: 39 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a small pumpkin.  She is approximately 19-21 inches long and weighs 7.2 pounds.

Check out this photo I found online of what baby/body look like at 39 weeks!  I think it’s really cool:39-week-pregnancy

Now, be aware….Eric took several photos of me proudly showing off my 39 week bare belly.  If you don’t need to see a whole bunch of baby belly shots, just skip right past this part!  Can you tell how proud I am of this baby belly?!?  I will definitely miss it once it’s gone.  I’m cherishing every last second of carrying this baby girl inside of me.

Here come a few 39 week bare belly shots:

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See, that wasn’t so bad!  I know some people just hate seeing bare belly photos.  Not me.  I just LOVE this belly!

What have you been up to: This past week had so many commitments on the calendar.  I honestly felt overwhelmed by all of the appointments and other commitments.  Thankfully this week’s calendar has barely ANYTHING on it, yay!  Between several get together’s with friends, a birthday party, O.B. appointment, several pediatrician appointments, dentist appointments, MOPS group, church, weekly Bible study….it was just A LOT for this 9-months-pregnant gal.  But as I mentioned, this week is looking much more low-key, so I’m grateful for that.

After meeting several pediatricians, we did settle on one we liked the most.  I’m really excited about his practice because he runs his entire business on solid healthy principles that also line up with our values.  He is a Christian doctor who has done mission work in the past!!  How cool.  My family has always been a missions family (I even lived in Nicaragua and Costa Rica as a missionary kid growing up).  Not only do his faith values line up, his philosophy in practice is great: trying to focus on wellness-care instead of waiting for sick-care to kick in.  He is highly encouraging of parents to lead healthy lifestyles (via exercise and healthy foods) and instill these practices in their growing kids.

Eric and I are cherishing every last moment as a childless couple.  Ever since returning home to Colorado, we have made it a weekly practice to go on dates.  I absolutely love spending time together, just the two of us.  That is something that we somewhat neglected before due to our overly social lifestyles.  I am really enjoying all of our one-on-one quality time that we have been spending together.  I know our relationship dynamic is about to change as we add a baby into the mix.  Our family will go from two to three, and will the focus heavily on the third party for a while.  We both want to be adamant to remain strong in our relationship, but we also aren’t naïve enough to believe that a baby isn’t going to change many things.  So we are taking advantage of these last opportunities to do things together alone, baby-less.

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This week’s date we went out and painted pottery!  It was a lot of fun.

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Eric painted a teddy bear & I painted a tea-light candle holder.  After these are fired in the kiln, I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

This week I got a pedicure.  Many friends have recommended that I get a pedicure before giving birth, as it gives you something pretty to look at during labor.  I figured it was close enough to time now, so my friend and I met up and had a pedicure lunch date late last week.  I’m somewhat of a cheapskate, so I never indulge myself on things like manicures or pedicures, so this was a treat for me!  I even got blinged out with flowers on my toes!

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Eric and I dropped by Once Upon a Child the other day and practically stole from them!  They had a sale where you could get 10 onesies for $10.  Though we have a lot of baby clothes that we have received as gifts, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to have 10 cute onesies in newborn size since she will probably go through multiple outfits per day.  Here is what we walked out of the store with for only $10:

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10 cute onesies…my favorite is the navy polka-dot one with the pink flowers on it.

Every year as September turns into October, we try to take a drive up to the high country to see the leaves changing.  Down here in Denver we are just starting to see glimpses of the trees turning into fall colors, but it happens sooner in the mountains.  Over the weekend we took a drive up to see the pretty colors.  Here are a few pictures we got from the drive:

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Exercise/Activity Level: Still consistently working out 6 days this past week.  3 runs and 3 gym days.  On Sunday morning’s run, I told Eric that this might be his last run with my during pregnancy.  He is not a runner and doesn’t really enjoy it, but throughout the pregnancy, anytime I’ve asked him to join me, he has gladly come along.  He is SO SWEET that he runs with me, despite hating running!  Usually because of his work, the only times I ask him to join me are on the weekends….so that is why it could be his last run with me while pregnant!  There is a chance by next weekend the baby MIGHT BE HERE!

Maternity clothes:  I am still loving my maternity clothes, but starting to get excited to bring back some of my normal clothes in the next few weeks/months.  Over the weekend I decided to just “see” if I could still fit my most favorite pair of red skinny jeans….and guess what?!?  They actually fit (no, they didn’t zip or button though)!  So I proudly threw a belly band to disguise the un-zipped/unbuttoned waistband and wore them out!

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Stretch marks: Still none.

Belly Button: Outie.  Although some people don’t think I technically have an outie….  To me, it’s an outie because a portion of my belly button has been sticking out further than the rest of my belly for a good 10 weeks.

Sleep: I’ve really been sleeping great.  My drink-10-waters-a-day rule works best when I cut off my last fluid intake by 9pm.  I usually only am up 1-2 times per night for the bathroom.  Some nights I go the entire stretch without once getting up!  I’m trying to soak in all the sleep I can get right now….I know once baby is here, that is going to be a real change.

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is gaining more weight inside the womb.  It will be interesting to see what her birth weight is once she makes her debut.  My guess is somewhere between 7-7.5 pounds at birth weight.  Her brain continues to grow and develop.  Baby is dropping further into the pelvis and getting engaged for birth.  Will we make it to a 40 week BUMP REPORT?!?  I guess time will tell.

Best Moment of the Week: Finding out that my sister Maggie and my 3-month-old nephew Silas booked a trip to come see Baby Lute at the end of October!  I also forgot to mention that one of my other sisters, Melody booked a trip out here too!!!  I am so excited because I wasn’t expecting them to visit.  I have yet to meet my nephew Silas, so I’m way excited to finally meet him too:)  So now from my side of the family, I’m so excited to welcome these visitors: my mom and dad, my sisters Melody and Maggie & baby Silas!  I am SO THRILLED and honored that they are flying out to come see the baby.  Now I’m also very excited for the Lute-side to visit as well!  Of course Eric and I are really excited to see his mom and dad.  They are about to become first-time grandparents…and they just can’t wait to meet this little one.

Worst Moment of the Week: Same story as last week: my worst moments have been my emotional breakdowns.  Some days I am great, and other days I cannot hold it together.  I meltdown over the silliest things.

Food cravings: Still apples with peanut butter.

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: My Braxton hicks contractions are getting WAY more regular/frequent and stronger.  The other day I was about to start timing them!!  I also feel like the baby is dropping further into my pelvis because my belly looks lower to me and feels lower.  I have more pressure on my bladder and feel like I need to pee every 10 minutes.  I’ve begun getting cramping in my uterus (almost like menstrual cramps).  I think this baby and this body are getting ready for birth!  I’m not sure if we will make it to 40 weeks….we will see soon.  I could be totally wrong.

Movement: She is just as active as ever.  Sometimes I think her randomly stronger kicks are out of frustration that she just wants to get OUT!  I’ve also noticed her “playing on my hip bones” in the past week.  I think this is because she is dropping lower, so I feel more movements on my hips.

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: Looking forward to meeting our baby in person!  Eric and I are feeling more and more ready every day to finally get this baby here in the world with us!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a safe delivery for baby.  My nerves are strangely calming down about with whole labor & delivery process.  Somehow I’m feeling more at peace and know that I’m strong enough to do this.  Bring it on!

What I miss: Sleeping on my back and stomach.  That will be so nice to be able to do that again!  I hate side sleeping.

Next appointment: Wednesday, October 2nd @ 11AM.  Will be interesting to see if there is anymore cervical change.

To-do list before baby’s arrival:  THINGS I WANT TO GET DONE THIS WEEK:

-Still need to get out all the parts to the breast pump & sterilize them (didn’t get to that yet)

-Go on a major shopping trip to stock up on things like: toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc

-Have the baby 🙂  (I guess I can’t control this one–but I’d be happy if it happened this week)

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Well….happy 39 weeks.  Baby, you can come anytime if you like!  For all of my friends/readers/followers: perhaps a 40 week BUMP REPORT will be in order, but who knows?  Please send up some prayers for us this week:)

Pregnant Running — Run all the way until delivery?

Pregnancy Running – Run Until Delivery

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Running while pregnant.  I never thought I’d be the lady who is strong enough to be a pregnant runner.  Or a runner into my 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  Let alone potentially running all the way up until delivery!  At almost 39 weeks pregnant, it’s truly AMAZING that this body is still going.  I am starting to believe that I am indeed a strong lady — heck, I have continued to run regularly for my entire pregnancy!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself.

I have been a runner for years.  Just in 2012, I ran a number of races, including four half marathons, a 10-mile trail race and a number of 5K races.  When I became pregnant in January 2013, my goal was to have a healthy pregnancy.  The way I intended to maintain above-average health was by continuing to exercise and eat a nutritious diet.  Going into the pregnancy I had no complications or reasons that I shouldn’t be exercising, so I continued running as normally as I could on a regular basis.  Later, I will break down the three trimesters and what my exercise/running looked like during each of those phases.

Running while pregnant is NOT easy.  It’s only for those who are strong and determined.  Only for the extremely motivated.  Had I not been motivated and determined, I would have taken it easy a long time ago and settled for just walking.

To me, as long as there is no medical reason that prevents exercise during pregnancy, it’s a no brainer: EXERCISE!  It’s going to make a healthier baby and a healthier momma….  I understand that there are special circumstances or medical situations that do not allow an expectant mother to exercise; that is different.  Only exercise while pregnant with the medical clearance of an O.B. doctor.

First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

1. Healthier baby & healthier momma.

2. Easier time getting through labor & delivery.  (Possibly even a shorter time laboring!)

3. Keeps pregnancy weight gain under control (healthy range for an average size woman is 25-35 pounds).

4. Gives more energy to expectant momma.

5. Keeps stress level under control.

6. Helps momma to “bounce back” and regain her previous shape after birth.

Here are the reasons I {THINK} have been able to run up until delivery:

-I listen to my body. This has been my #1 rule when it comes to running during my pregnancy.  If I were to push myself past the point of what my body is capable of doing, it would have benefited no one.  Listening to my body means this: if I can do it, then go for it…if I can’t do it, then slow down or stop.  At all stages of this pregnancy I have allowed myself the freedom to stop and take walking breaks during runs as necessary.  Do I like taking walking breaks??  My pride doesn’t, but sometimes my body needs them.  Listening to your body is KEY.

-I don’t run every single day. Years ago, I went through a phase where I ran six days per week.  I did that until I became injured.  I have found that running on alternating days is the best thing for my body.  This averages out to 3-4 days per week.  I do workout 6 days per week, but only half of those days are running workouts.  The other days are spent in the gym.

-I crosstrain.  At the gym I typically perform 40-45 minutes of cardio exercise (elliptical, arc trainer, rowing machine, bike, etc) and spend 20 minutes doing a variety of free weights/cable pulleys/weight machine exercises.  My weight training is usually performed in 3 sets of 12 repetitions at a heavy weight (no sissy stuff!)  By lifting weights on a regular basis, my overall body strength is much higher than if I were to only have performed cardio exercise.

-I kept my weight gain under control.  Most of my weight was gained in the 2nd trimester.  In the 3rd trimester I have gained almost nothing.  I guess everyone’s bodies are different.  At almost 39 weeks, I have gained 23 pounds, so I doubt I’ll top out at more than 25 (if that).  I think that keeping my weight gain under control, it has allowed my body to keep going because I’m not as heavy as, say, someone who gains 50 pounds during their pregnancy.  50 pounds gained + trying to run = won’t work.

-I wear a maternity support belt.  Mid-pregnancy (around 25 weeks), I began researching maternity support belts.  Several blogger friends were using the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt for running, so I decided to give it a whirl.  At 27 weeks, my amazon purchase arrived in the mail and I was excited to try it out.  Talk about a major difference!  The belt is designed to support a growing belly and displace the impact to other areas.  Without my support belt, there would be NO WAY I could still be running.  It truly is amazing how well it helps keep my body feeling better and puts my mind at easy that the baby is safer.

-I don’t run far distances.  I’ve heard of these extreme runners who run full marathons at term….no way, this gal isn’t that big of a champion!  I have consistently ran a distance of 3-5 miles.  Never any more than that.  I’m sure some people could, but I never cared to push myself any further distance than that.  Now that I’m full term, some days I only run 2 or 2.5 miles…but I think that is to be expected.

-I accept that my running now barely resembles my pre-pregnancy running.  Before I got pregnant, my typical running pace averaged between 9-10 minute miles.  Usually I ran around 9:30/min/miles, but the better shape I was in, the more like 9:00/min/miles, and if I was in worse shape, I usually was never quite as slow as 10:00/min/miles pace.  This changed pretty drastically once I became pregnant.  I had to stop using my Nike Pro app on my phone.  Seeing just how much SLOWER I was running was killing my mojo, so I decided to just run based on feel.  This was smart, because I’m way too much of a perfectionist, so I didn’t need to hear my slower pace recited in my headphones.  In my 1st trimester I was still probably averaging 10:00/min/miles, 2nd trimester I slowed to (I’m guessing) 10:30-10:45min/miles and NOW at the end of my 3rd trimester I am running 11:45/min/miles.  WAY SLOW!  But—no matter how slow I am, I am just proud that I am still going.  Doesn’t matter that I’m slow:)

-I never stopped running.  I have maintained my 3 times per week running routine throughout the entire duration of the pregnancy.  I never took a week off.  Had I stopped and given myself a break, I might not have ever resumed.  It allowed my body the ability to adapt as my body and the baby grew.

-I have had the support of my doctor.  My doctor has been 100% supportive of my active lifestyle.  She spent time talking to me about all of the benefits for both me and the baby.  She also recommended that I “listen to my body” and take my level down if it became necessary.  At my appointments she asks if I’m still running and I see her excitement when I tell her I still am:)

What my running has looked like during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy:

1st Trimester.  I suffered from morning sickness throughout my first trimester.  Yuck!  I did not throw up a lot, but I did have constant nausea 100% of the time.  I felt extreme fatigue and overall awful.  It was hard to maintain a high level of fitness during that phase because I felt so awful.  But I did push myself to keep on going, even if it wasn’t pretty.  During the first trimester, I averaged 4-5 days per week of exercise, with at least two of those days being running days.  Because it was still winter, I did majority of those runs on the treadmill.

2nd Trimester.  During my second trimester is when I started to get my energy back, but as my weight increased, I felt heavier as I hit the pavement.  I ran a 5K race with some friends at 17 weeks and felt great.  Once I hit week 20 or so, I was really beginning to FEEL my weight gain.  I felt slower, but I continued to push on and listen to my body.  Somewhere around weeks 16-18 is when I started battling calf tightness.  That calf tightness has stuck around ever since, boo!  I think it has to do with my center of gravity affecting my running gait or from the added weight on my body.  Not sure.  Throughout this trimester, I maintained 6 days per week of exercise, with 3 of those days being running days.  Most of my running in this trimester was outdoors.

3rd Trimester.  When I got to the third trimester, I had a renewed sense of excitement for running since I had just started wearing my Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt.  I also felt really proud of myself that I was still continuing to run.  We moved to Florida for 6 weeks when I was 29 weeks pregnant, and my running actually improved between weeks 29-35!  I think it had something to do with being at sea-level instead of mile-high-altitude.  Because of the extreme heat & humidity of Florida, I did majority of the runs during weeks 29-35 indoors on the treadmill.  During those weeks I actually STOPPED taking walking breaks!!  I could consistently run 3.1 miles (5K distance) without ever stopping to walk.  I felt amazing and so EMPOWERED!!

Ever since returning home to Colorado, I have transitioned back to outdoor running, with the occasional indoor treadmill run.  As I am getting close to delivery, my runs are getting much harder day by day, but I just listen to what my body is telling me.  I am no longer able to run 3.1 miles without stopping for a walking break.  Sad, but it’s the truth.  Typically I make myself run the entire first mile without a walking break and then I allow myself to run in intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking until I have reached my final distance.  I usually try to run at LEAST 2-3 miles.  I’ve started staying close to home on my runs (JUST IN CASE!)  In the past two weeks I have been running laps around my neighborhood (boring, but then I’m not far from home in case I go into labor).  I calculated that 5 laps is 2 miles, so I try to run at least 5 laps (or add in more laps if I need to add walking breaks).  My calves continue to be extremely tight.   I just grin and bear it.  Here is to running all the way until delivery!

Getting to the end—delivery is near….

Summary.  With my due date looming in the near future, I have no intentions of ceasing running unless (God forbid) something happens.  My doctor has really been an encouragement to me.  At my appointment earlier this week she asked for an update to see if I was still running.  She was really excited to hear that I was.  Even though I can honestly say it’s not all that FUN to be running anymore, I want to keep going as long as I can — even if it’s just to “say that I did.”

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Disclaimer: These are just my own personal thoughts, opinions and personal experience.  I am not a doctor.  You should only exercise under the care of a doctor.  I am aware that there are situations where it is unsafe to exercise during pregnancy.  I also understand that when someone becomes pregnant, it is NOT the time to start up a brand new, intense routine.  The only way I was able to continue running is because I was ALREADY a runner before pregnancy.  I would never encourage someone to become a runner if they were not already doing so before their pregnancy. 

BUMP REPORT – 38 Weeks

ImagePREGNANCY WEEK 38

My age: 27

How far along: 38 weeks

How big is baby: the size of a jackfruit.  She is approximately 19-20 inches long and weighs 6.8 pounds.

What have you been up to: I have been trying to tackle more things on our to-do-before-baby list.  We installed the car seat bases in both vehicles (so the car seat only needs to be clicked in to be all set to go).  We have appointments set up with pediatrician offices to narrow down a baby doctor choice.  Other things I checked off the to-do list: bought a baby book, made a phone list for announcing baby’s arrival, finished the baby announcement mailing list, and I even packed a hospital bag.  I was seriously dragging my feet on packing a bag because in my opinion, as soon as I am “too ready” that means the baby is just going to sense the readiness and arrive early.  Well, I decided I would rather pack a bag in a calm-relaxed state rather than a hasty in-labor stressed state!  So my bag is packed.  I even selected Baby Lute’s going home outfit…it’s an adorable lady bug outfit.

As I mentioned, one of my goals is to get a pediatrician lined up before the baby arrives.  I have meet and greet appointments set up for two different offices within the next few days.  Each of the offices have multiple doctors, so it will be great to meet several and make a selection.  One of the offices is in the same building as my O.B. doctor.  I walked in their office and it seemed like the most fun doctors office I’d ever been to!  It was decorated to the nines to look like a tiki hut or a luau!  How fun!  More importantly than decorations, I will be interested to meet some pediatricians so that way Eric and I can choose the one we feel would be the best to care for our daughter.

I have been all across the board with my moods this week.  I officially had two meltdowns….  One meltdown was because I was panicking that I don’t feel 100% ready for the baby to be born yet.  The uncertainties about me being a good mom as well how drastically life is about to permanently change were overwhelming me.  My second meltdown was after I spent some time shopping at the grocery store and I came home beyond uncomfortable & exhausted — I had a meltdown because at that moment I felt like I just couldn’t handle being hugely pregnant for one day longer!  My poor husband is so amazing in dealing with these mood swings:)  I know that the baby will come at just the RIGHT time.  Plus, God only gives you as much as you can handle, so I know that His timing is perfect.

Now for the random thoughts & things we have been doing….  Forewarning: I am about to post a bunch of random assorted pictures from the past week or so…they may not necessarily piece together that well, but this is my blog.  So sorry if there is lack of cohesion!

BABY CLOTHES.

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Because we have received so many adorable clothes as gifts from our friends and family, we have bought almost NOTHING clothes-wise for the baby.  Well, I broke down and have purchased a few cute things lately.  The two bikinis were on sale at Target & I just couldn’t resist.  I also got some summery outfits (size 9-month) for next summer.

36 WEEK ULTRASOUND.

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I realized I never posted baby girl’s most recent ultrasound photo from 36 weeks.  Here she is!  Even with a regular 2D sonography, you could still see her face and her eyes opening and closing.  We were so pleased that she was measuring a healthy size!

BABY POOL.

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We have a baby pool set up for friends and family to guess our baby’s birth stats and name.  I did a post last week (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/baby-pool-make-your-predictions/) about our baby pool we have going on.  It has been so much fun to have friends, family and fellow bloggers guess our baby’s birth stats and name.  So far some guesses for baby Lute’s name include: Aralyn, Jessica, Avery, Lily, Stephanie, Aspen, Katelyn, Erica, Piper, Audry, Autumn, Lillian, Violet, Lucy, Becky, Adelyn, Genevieve, Hollie, Elizabeth, Kendall, Chloe, Hallie, Ava, Carol and Sequoia.  I LOVE HEARING EVERYONE’S GUESSES!!!  This is just so much fun.  It’s not too late to participate.  Just click on the link to the post and it will give you all the directions to play.

BABY BUMP.

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Another bump shot from this week.  I am always just amazed at how this belly keeps on growing!  I take a lot of pictures because I don’t want to forget this time.

SKIING: OUR FAVORITE THING.

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For anyone that knows us as a couple, our FAVORITE thing to do in the entire universe together is skiing.  We are ski addicts.  Ski-aholics.  Ski junkies.  Ski bums.  Call it whatever you like–but we are CRAZY OBSESSED with skiing.  It’s almost what defines us as a couple.  We typically purchase season passes and ski an average of 30-35 days per year.  No kidding.  Our obsessive ski lifestyle is about to drastically change with a newborn coming.  We decided that this year we would attempt to ski a mere FOUR DAYS.  So we bought 4-packs to Winter Park/Mary Jane ski resort this week.  I’m excited because I have never skied Winter Park or Mary Jane because it hasn’t been a part of the season pass we typically buy.  When we were buying our 4-packs, the guy at the counter told me he was amazed that I was full-term pregnant because of how well I was getting around.  I told him I’m a runner still—and then he was even more amazed.  Oh, the Colorado lifestyle!

THE NURSERY.

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If you missed last week’s BUMP REPORT (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/bump-report-37-weeks-full-term/), I did a full picture display of our finished nursery.  It feels SO GREAT to have the nursery complete and ready for baby.  Seriously–all that is left is a baby to sleep in there!  We are proud of how the nursery turned out.  Thank you SO MUCH for all of your sweet comments last week!  We felt so loved by all of the nice things people said.

MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY.

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We had our maternity photoshoot two weeks ago.  The photographer sent us just a short preview to the shoot.  I cannot WAIT to get the full collection and post photos.  If you would like to access the short preview, here is the link: http://dueckphotography.blogspot.com/2013/09/katy-colorado-maternity-photographer.html?m=1

BARE BELLY SHOTS – IT SURE IS GROWING.

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Sorry for the bare-belly shots…but this belly is just HUGE!  I take so many pictures of this belly, it’s probably illegal to take so many.  When I get out of bed in the mornings, my belly is usually very lopsided and sticks out to one side.  In the third picture above I was trying to capture this, but you can’t really tell from the photo.

LUKE BRYAN/FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE CONCERT.

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On Saturday night we went to the Florida Georgia Line/Thompson Square/Luke Bryan concert.  It was the final concert of the 4-pack summer series we had bought.  We love FGL and Luke Bryan.  We had a fun night enjoying the music and hanging out with friends.  Unfortunately there was a chick right next to us to continued to light up and smoke weed joint after joint.  It tried to stay away from her–this baby does NOT need a contact high!  Finally the security guards came over and wrote her a violation because of multiple complaints.  The marijuana smoking ceased from that point on, thankfully.

NOW SURVEY TIME.

Exercise/Activity Level: I got my 6 workouts in like usual this week.  And yes, for anyone wondering, yes I am STILL running.  Not beautifully-so, but I am running.  It is getting so much harder day by day.  Some days I feel awesome, and other days I have to take it super easy and scale things back in order to listen to my body.  My pace is uber-slow, but I just feel so grateful that my body is still even letting me run that I don’t care HOW SLOW I am!  I just feel happy to be going still.  My breakdown for the week: 3 runs (2 outdoor, one indoor-treadmill run) and 3 cardio/weight sessions at the gym.

At my doctor’s appointment last week, the O.B. and I had a heart-to-heart about all of this exercise I’m doing.  I wanted to give her an update on my current level of activity and get her honest-to-goodness medical opinion on it.  She is thrilled to hear that I’m still able to run and workout at the level I am going.  She highly encouraged me to keep up the hard work, but simultaneously to listen to what my body is telling me to do.  She said if I need to slow down, then slow down.  Her opinion is that exercise (including running) has tremendous benefits for both me as well as my baby.  She said it will help with my labor & delivery (an overall quicker and easier birth), the baby will be healthier, it keeps pregnancy weight gain under control and it will help me to have a quicker/easier post-natal recovery.  It felt good to hear such positive feedback (and even encouragement) from my doctor.  I know that some people get a little nervous with the amount of exercise I do, but just so everyone is clear, I am medically cleared to do so!

Maternity clothes:  Here is an example of how my maternity clothes are fitting my bump just a tadddddd differently (the same shirt at 28 weeks when I thought I was huge already, and then now at 38 weeks):

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I actually thought my belly was enormous in the 28 week photo…now it looks tiny next to my current belly!

Stretch marks: None.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I actually make it through un-streaked!  I’m so CLOSE to delivery now!

Belly Button: Outie.

Sleep: Sleep is hit or miss.  I have to get up most nights at least twice.  Sometimes it’s for bladder relief, other times it’s because of extreme hunger pains.

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is fully developed and is simply getting bigger in the womb.  She will make her grand appearance on the day and the hour that God has picked for her!

Best Moment of the Week: Getting people’s guesses for our baby pool all week.  It’s so much fun having people actively participating in our baby’s birth.  I love hearing all of the name guesses.  If you haven’t yet voted, I’d love to hear from you!

Worst Moment of the Week: My two meltdowns that I mentioned above.

Food cravings: My diet is still healthy and going great.  My 10 Pregnancy Health Goals (https://babylute2013.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/10-pregnancy-health-goals/) have still been going very well and I have stuck to my guns.  I have been staying very true to those goals!  I truly believe the reason I have had basically ZERO HEARTBURN in the past 7 weeks is due to the fact that I eat clean.  Eating healthy makes such a big difference!

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, growing belly, trouble bending over, trouble tying my shoes, calf tightness while running, feeling heavy, etc.

Movement: Lots of baby movement.  As always!  She continues to favor my right side.  I am wondering if I will notice when she starts to “drop”…I don’t think she has quite yet.

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to meeting some pediatricians this week and making a selection for our baby.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a healthy baby that continues to grow all the way up until her birth.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling nervous jitters about labor/delivery/birth.  I am trying to focus on positives, but frankly, birth is a bit SCARY!  I just want everything to go smoothly….and I don’t want to end up in a C-section.  I know it’s all in God’s hands, and I am trying to let God give me peace that whatever happens is His will.

What I miss: My stable go-with-the-flow-positive mentality.  I don’t like being on an emotional roller coaster.  I am normally so easy going and sane….I hate breakdowns and irrational crying!  I know that even post-natal this won’t go away for a bit, but I am just looking forward to managing my emotions better.

Next appointment: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 @ 11am.  I had my first official pelvic exam at my 37 week appointment last week and discovered that a week ago I was already 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated.  I will be curious to see if there has been any cervical change at this week’s 38 week appointment.

To-do list before baby’s arrival:  THINGS I WANT TO GET DONE THIS WEEK:

-Get out all the parts to the breast pump (sterilize them as well as read all the instructions so I know what I’m doing)

-Make an appointment to get the dog’s hair cut (I need him freshly shaved before the baby arrives)

-Clean the whole house (even though it’s already clean—I just need it CLEAN!!)

-Make final choice about pediatrician

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BUMP REPORT – 37 Weeks (FULL TERM!)

37weekswintermelonPREGNANCY WEEK 37

It’s hard to believe that the time has come: we are now FULL TERM!  Pregnancy has felt like a very LONG time, yet so quick at the same time.  At the end of January when I first got a positive pregnancy test, I never knew how exciting, exhausting, taxing, yet so fulfilling this pregnancy was going to be over the next 9 months.  There are so many types of pregnant women I know: some absolutely LOVE pregnancy and would do it a million times, others HATED their pregnancies with a passion and yet others have fallen somewhere in the middle.  I tend fall somewhere in the middle but leaning on the side of loving pregnancy.  I really have enjoyed my part in creating, growing and carrying this little girl.  I will feel somewhat sad when pregnancy is over, yet will be so exhilarated and excited to finally meet my baby in person.  But, it would also be a lie if I said I wasn’t looking forward to taking back control of my body again!  No matter the case, it is truly a blessing from our Heavenly Father to be weeks away from holding our precious daughter in our arms.  Lord willing, she could make her grand appearance any day now.

Here is just a glimpse at what 17 weeks, 27 weeks and 37 weeks looked like for my pregnancy:

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And now for a  CLOSE UP shot of that belly!  It’s so amazing what the human body is capable of!

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My age: 27

How far along: 37 weeks….full term baby!

How big is baby: the size of a winter melon.  She is approximately 19-20 inches long and weighs 6.3 pounds.

What have you been up to: We have been going non-stop this past week.  What a change from the slow-moving lifestyle of Florida!  This past week was filled with doctors appointments, maternity photography photo shoot, a scheduled class/hospital tour of the labor & delivery wing at our hospital, getting together with friends, buying all the remaining items off our baby registry and finishing the nursery.  Yes, I did say we finished the nursery!!  In fact, as you keep reading this blog post, you will see the full nursery reveal.  I am so excited to finally share it!  But be patient:)

Last week I mentioned that I had to go in for an ultrasound to check baby’s size because of a lack of fundal height growth and lack of my weight gain.  The ultrasound on Wednesday went great!  Baby is growing just fine!!  She had grow a full pound since the previous ultrasound we had less than 3 weeks prior.  She measured just slightly small, but she has always measured slightly small every time we had ever had an ultrasound, so no concerns.  The doctors were very pleased with her growth!  So this is great news!

Our hospital class/tour was a really great experience.  There were quite a few other couples who will also be delivering soon and it was fun to talk with them.  It was also really cool to walk around the hospital, looking at the rooms and letting myself envision the birth of my child in just a few short weeks.  The labor and delivery rooms are just gorgeous!  They are all recently renovated.  Some of the rooms have tubs, others do not.  The nurse said to request a room with a tub upon admittance to the hospital when I am in labor, and hopefully they will have some available.  I have heard that laboring in a tub is a wonderful experience, though I do not plan to actually GIVE BIRTH in the tub.

A really cool/random thing that happened during our hospital tour was a celebrity sighting!!  I am a diehard fan of the ABC show Extreme Weight Loss.  A trainer, Chris Powell, works one-on-one with morbidly obese clients for an entire year, and they usually end up losing 200+ pounds with his help.  It’s an incredibly inspiring TV show, and I have religiously never missed a single episode in the 3 seasons it has aired so far.  Well, I knew from following Chris Powell (and also his expectant wife, Heidi Powell) on Instagram that they were currently working with a client in Denver.  I always thought it’d be pretty neat if one day I bumped into him.  Little did I know, that it would ACTUALLY HAPPEN!  I got to meet both Chris and Heidi in the maternity wing at the hospital!  Apparently someone on the season they are filming was in labor (maybe his client’s wife), and they were at the hospital awaiting the birth.  Both Chris and Heidi were as NICE as they are on TV.  Heidi even asked me about my baby and when I was due.  I was way too shy to ask for a photo with them (plus, I was on a hospital tour and the group was leaving me!)….so that is my biggest regret, no photo.  After I got home, I did comment on Heidi’s Instagram, and she commented back.  Here is a photo of Chris Powell and his wife Heidi:

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Celebrity trainer Chris Powell and his wife Heidi. I met them last week!

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After meeting them, I commented on Heidi’s instagram, and she messaged me back!!  How cool!

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IT’S NURSERY REVEAL TIME!!! 

Remember my pinspiration here:

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Baby Lute’s Nursery.  Remember my Pinterest inspiration (featured above) for the nursery????  Well, I think my nursery is even better:)  The nursery is finally complete!  It turned out even more beautiful than I originally envisioned.  My dream nursery was a purple & gray room with white furniture and pops of teal.  I didn’t want the room to be equal parts purple and teal, but simply a purple room with occasional “pops” of teal accessories.  I think it is just PERFECT!  This project has been such a long process because most every single piece in the room is custom, repurposed, home made or call it what you like it.  The crib was purchased second hand and my husband went through the work of sanding it down, stripping it, priming it, repainting it, sealing it, and putting it together.  The two dressers were old wooden dressers that Eric had in his room growing up, so he went through the same process to re-do those as the crib.  The curtains are sewed by me (and my best friend who helped me with any/all of my sewing projects!).  The crib skirt was also made by me.  One of my fellow bloggers (A Curious Katie) posted a link to the tutorial she used to make this “no sew crib skirt” (link to Katie’s skirt and the tutorial she linked found here: http://acuriouskatie.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/baby-holl-37-weeks/) and I figured I could try to attempt to make one myself!  It turned out lovely!  I also sewed decorative pillows for the room with left over fabric from the crib skirt.  With leftover fabric, I also framed the fabric and used it as art.  Are you ready to see???

Here is what Baby Lute’s nursery looks like:

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And here is a close up of the “No Sew Crib Skirt” that I made!  It was so easy and it looks fab!

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Now for a few more….

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The canopy over the crib gives the room a princess feel.  I love the mobile we found at Babies R Us.

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The crib and dressers were 100% re-done by my amazing husband!  He worked SO HARD on these, and I think the end result looks flawless!

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I bought these teal & white frames and used scrap fabric as art.  I love how it turned out!

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The white and purple globes are from Hobby Lobby.  I love the fun they add to the space.  And I LOVE this little teal lamp!

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This shelf holds so many odds and ends.  It’s perfect for the space.

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We purchased this glider & ottoman from Babies R Us.  The white fabric makes me a bit nervous (note the plastic cover is STILL on the ottoman, haha!), but I can’t wait to rock baby girl here!

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The curtains were sewed by me (I have no sewing machine, so my best friend helped me with these).  We also sewed matching decorative pillows & I made a no-sew crib skirt.

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The space has plenty of natural light coming in, but only one window.  I bought this window-looking mirror and think it fits well — almost giving the appearance of a second window.

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This accessory is probably one of my favorite pieces in the room.  My best friend made this headband holder!  She filled it with about 10 or more headbands that she made for my baby girl.  It’s a lovely way to display a few of the headbands too.

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Even the light switch is an accessory!

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Sewing pillows was an after thought.  I had left over fabric from making the crib skirt, and figured making pillows wouldn’t be too difficult.  My best friend also had some other fabric that was perfect for making more decorative pillows, so we went nuts!  (Because of SIDS risk, the pillows will NOT BE IN THE CRIB WITH MY BABY!)

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Here is the long pillow roll I made.  It almost looks like I purchased a matching set — but it’s all custom made (BY ME!!)

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Changing table.

Exercise/Activity Level: Exercising is still going great!  This week in my 6 workouts, I ran 3 days and did 3 gym cardio/weight workouts.  The weather has been a monsoon here in Denver (you may have seen the extreme flooding all across Denver metro on the national news), so I got to run in the rain all week.  Two of my runs were in the rain, and by my third run of the week, I opted for a indoor/dry treadmill run at the gym.  I tell ya, the looks I get when I am running on the treadmill in the gym are hysterical!  I swear they think I’m a lunatic!  I am just so thrilled to still be running at FULL TERM!

Maternity clothes:  It’s fun wearing my maternity clothes!  With the cooler/rainy weather I even wore some leggings with boots…embracing the fall look!

Stretch marks: None.  Still.  Hoping I make it through!

Belly Button: Outie.

Sleep: My sleep is hit or miss.  Gone are the days of wonderful sleep.  Some nights I sleep through the night, and other nights I am up multiple times.  A few nights this week I woke up at 2am like clockwork – starving!  So downstairs I went to get a snack!

Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is now full term!  If I were to go into labor from this point forward, the doctors would do little to prevent me from giving birth.  Baby is all ready to go.  From here on out, she will just continue to grow and put on more fat.

Best Moment of the Week:   Two best moments: 1. finding out at the ultrasound that there is NOTHING to worry about since baby girl is growing like a weed, and 2. meeting Chris Powell – I’m a huge fan!

Worst Moment of the Week: The rain.  It’s devastating to see all of the people in our area who have lost homes (and even a few lives have been lost) because of flooding.  Some parts of Colorado have gotten more rain in one WEEK than the regular average rainfall for one YEAR.

Food cravings: Lots of healthy foods.  Bring on the apples with peanut butter like usual.  I’ve started getting really full now before I even finish a meal…I think the baby is taking up too much room for me to comfortably eat.

Food aversions: Nothing currently.

Symptoms: More of the same: Braxton hicks, feeling like my belly is huge, trouble getting up, etc.

Movement: Lots of rolling and twisting.  She still favors the right side.  Sometimes I feel her kick her foot/knee/elbow SO HARD into my right side that it hurts!

Gender: Girl

What I’m looking forward to: I’m looking forward to meeting our baby soon.  I just cannot believe how close it’s getting now.  I have been doing a lot of day dreaming lately.  I am so ready, yet so not at the same time!

What I’m nervous about/praying for: We are always praying for our daughter.  Now we are starting to focus those prayers on momma and baby experiencing a safe delivery soon.

What I miss: I’m super content right now and can’t think of a single thing I want to change.

Next appointment: Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 9:30 a.m.

To-do list before baby’s arrival: THINGS I WANT TO GET DONE THIS WEEK:

-Find a pediatrician & meet several of them before choosing

-Pack hospital bag

-Make a phone-tree for announcing baby’s arrival

-Install the car seat

-Buy a baby book

-Figure out plans for pet-care while in the hospital

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