Cookie · family · grateful · joy · Liv

Cookie: 38 weeks

How we’re growing?:  Tomorrow, we’ll be 38 weeks pregnant!  Baby’s probably 19+ inches long and 6-7 pounds — the size of a honeydew melon, spaghetti squash… or a newborn baby!  I get a mix of comments every day, ranging from: “You’re so tiny!” to “Wow, you’ve really popped!”  Whatever your opinion, my midwife’s happy with our growth and vitals, and to me, this belly is big!  And awesome!

How I’m feeling?:  I’m battling all the same challenges from previous posts: sciatic pain (down both legs now), middle-of-the-night leg cramps, bouts of dizziness and nausea, so many Braxton Hicks contractions, fatigue and insomnia.  However, I’m officially — and gratefully — on leave from work, so I can focus on resting, stretching, and not stressing!

Speaking of not stressing, I’m feeling the anticipation!  It’s a bit like being told I have to run the marathon of a lifetime, but I won’t know when until the Start Line suddenly appears… Maybe tonight?  Maybe in 4 weeks?  As a planner and queen of checklists, the unknowns get overwhelming for me, so I’m continually reminding myself to relax and surrender.  “I’m ready when you are, baby…”

Jared and Liv do the most amazing job of helping me stay in the moment.

Running with Cookie:  After Jared and Liv, running’s the third thing that’s keeping me going, as those slow treks are often the best I feel all day!  I’m mostly using the treadmills at the gym, where I walk at 4.0 mph, jogging for 1/4- mile intervals at a whopping 5.0 mph (with sporadic sprints to the bathroom, ha)!

I wear my visor and watch Food Network and HGTV with my earplugs in, hoping to fend off the comments from strangers, who still manage to make them anyhow: “Are you sure you should be doing that?” “Does the baby like that you’re running?” and “I never dared go to the gym when I was pregnant…”  I get plenty of positive comments, too, but all that matters is I’m gratefully doing the best I can!

What I’m eating?:  I’m still eating “whatever’s easiest,” though I’ll admit I’m craving more comfort food (soup, noodles, chips, ice cream…), but that’s not about baby as much as it’s my anxiety and nerves.

At my midwife’s recommendation, I’m drinking red raspberry leaf tea, which isn’t my favorite (um, hi, I love coffee…), but there are plenty of studies that show it’s beneficial for uterine health and immune support.  She also recommended eating dates every day to encourage dilation and spontaneous labor.

Birth plan:  Speaking of labor, I’ve had several people ask about our birth plan.  Plain and simple, we loved our natural birth experience with Liv.  I labored at home from 7AM until 3PM.  I paced around the house, bounced on a yoga ball, showered, labored in bed, and by the time we arrived at the hospital birth center (15 minutes away), it was time to push.  Liv was born 12 hours after my first contraction, at 7:03 PM, without drugs or intervention, and Jared and I still describe it as the best day of our lives!

We’re prepared for another natural birth; however, this time around, we live 45 minutes away from the birth center (without traffic).  Also, I’m GBS positive, so ideally, I’ll get an IV of antibiotics for several hours prior to giving birth.  So, we won’t be lingering at home!  Liv’s ready to be passed off to her caregivers and we’ll head to the birth center much earlier, which is totally cool with us, because it’s a beautiful, brand new facility, that feels less like a hospital and more like a resort hotel, with queen-sized beds, giant tubs, and Netflix!  Like I said, “We’re ready when you are, baby!”

What we’re up to?:  It’s crunch time, so we’re chiseling away at the to-dos!  We’re rearranging furniture, cleaning and consolidating, sorting through Liv’s old baby clothes and toys, doing endless laundry, installing car seats, and organizing every little nook and cranny in the whole entire house… Nesting is a real thing, folks!

We’ve been busy, but I’ve had to slow down a lot, so I’m especially grateful Jared’s happily fulfilling my odd nesting requests (rearranging kitchen cabinets, Liv’s closet, the garage… All important before welcoming a new baby, right?!  Haha…).  Meanwhile, Liv’s been busy playing with her neighborhood crew every afternoon.

We even took a weekend “off” to enjoy a special visit from Jared’s Aunt Sheila, who demanded that we play endless games from sunup til sundown — with a memorable drive along the coast before brunch in Solana Beach.

In between all those odd jobs, we’ve been savoring every special moment with Liv.  It’s an incredibly surreal place that we’re in… Anxious to meet our little one, but hanging onto these final days with Liv, as our “only child,” and watching her grow into the most loving and devoted big sister…

When she woke up declaring it was her pretend “Birthday Day,” I went with it.  We spent the day in party outfits, eating pretend cake.  I even treated her to a rainbow mani/pedi!

On Tuesday, we were racking our brains for something extra special to do as a family of three(ish).  Temps hit 90 in San Marcos, so it was too hot for mini-golf, and we almost scrapped venturing out at all.  But we decided to wing it.  We headed to Blaze for $3.14 “Pi Day” pizzas.  Since there was a line out the door and the place was packed, we took our pies and headed to the beach, using towels I’d thrown in the trunk for a birth emergency.  Ha!  (I would much rather use those towels for a spontaneous beach picnic than a spontaneous birth!)

Liv scarfed down a couple pieces of pizza before she dove into the sand (literally).  She was jumping for joy, making “snow angels” in the sand, exclaiming: “This is the best day EVER!” and “Thank you for doing special things for me!”  Needless to say, our hearts were all overflowing!

Weeks 37 & 38 in Review:

  • Workouts:  10 runs, 4 walks, 4 prenatal yoga classes
  • Miles with Cookie:  796.7 miles
  • Weight gained:  +20 lbs.
  • Favorite foods:  Larabars, peanut butter, and black cherry chocolate chip ice cream
  • Cravings:  Whatever anyone’s posting on Instagram… beef stew, egg drop soup, donuts, black cherry chocolate chip ice cream… And an avocado bacon cheeseburger from Bistro West… (Hubs!  We have to make this happen ASAP!)
  • Next appointment:  38 week appointment on Friday!
  • Highlight:  Our “pi day” picnic on the beach was one of those accidentally perfect days — a reminder that joy comes in the most ordinary moments and we risk missing out by trying to chase down the extraordinary.

“For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”

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