Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Playlist for Grayson's Birth Day


Something people have been asking me about is my playlist for labor and delivery.
Do I have one? Do I want one? What kind of songs will I include?

At first I just answered with, "I have no idea!"
I know that sometimes when tensions are high, any kind of noise at all, including music, can become annoying. And not knowing how I would react to labor, I wasn't sure if this would be the case for me or not.
Of course, I still don't know for sure.
But as I get closer to my due date (10 more weeks!!!), 
I'm starting to feel more in touch with how I think I will react to things.
And I think I will want music. 
(Even if I don't, there's no harm in making a playlist and then not using it!)

And really, it just makes sense.
Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.
When I was little, I always carried around a battery-powered boom box
and played tapes of kid songs.
I played it at my great-grandma's house,
at my neighborhood playground,
at friends' houses,
all the time.

I loved hearing my dad play guitar and sing.
I danced to Paula Abdul and Madonna with my mom.
And music playing in the car was essential.

Growing up, I always had music on in my room,
and was always plugged into a walkman or discman on family trips.
My friends and I would stay up all night playing our CDs.
Any spare money I had would be spent on music.
I used to even sleep with the radio on.

Even today, I always turn the radio or Pandora on when we're cooking
or just hanging out and drinking wine (pre-pregnancy, of course!).
And I love to make playlists for each vacation we take.

So, it seems only fitting that I have a playlist for labor and delivery.
Of course. Why wouldn't I?
It would seem I don't like to function without music,
so I think it'll help to have it playing during everything.
We'll see.
Worst case, I turn it off or switch to another playlist.

But now--I need some suggestions!
I already have 59 songs on my list,
but I want it to be as long as possible.
Who knows how long I'll be in labor or
how long I'll want to listen to music?
But the last thing I want is to get sick of the songs being on repeat the whole time.

I'm going for mellow, happy, relaxing, and/or uplifting.
Not so much the energizing work-out type songs,
although I am tempted to add "Push It." :)

Some artists I already have include:

Kristian Stanfill
Chris Tomlin
Butch Walker
Jason Mraz
Matt White
Ben Rector
James Morrison
Casting Crowns
Tim McGraw
Meredith Andrews
and many more!

Suggestions, anyone?
Did you or do you plan to use a labor playlist?
What kind of music did you include?

Thanks for the ideas! :)


Friday, July 26, 2013

29 Weeks

+ Yes, I chopped my hair off! :)  It was a much needed change!
+ Feeling less achy this week than last. Maybe it's because we didn't have SOAR sessions this week so I wasn't on my feet as much at work. 
+ Sometimes my belly feels SO heavy! I feel like someone strapped a bowling ball to me!
+ Less hot flashes this week, but still some random shortness of breath. I'm usually a very deep, slow breather, so any change in that feels strange to me. 
+ Digestion sucks. Period. 
+ Still wearing many of my pre-pregnancy clothes. Nothing in that picture above is maternity. Neither is what I'm wearing right now (other than my belly band that lets me wear the cute yellow capris I'm currently rocking!)
+ I'm so thankful that I lost 20 pounds a couple years ago. Now I'm right around that same weight again. If I hadn't lost that weight, I would have weighed an unhealthy amount during pregnancy and I'm sure everything would be more challenging, including losing the weight afterwards. (though the ease of that remains to be determined!! ha!) 
+ Grayson has been moving around quite a bit lately, but less kicking and more squirming and shifting. I'm guessing he's starting to run out of room to move around too much. Still haven't felt any baby hiccups or anything. 
+ I've been reading a really good book on breastfeeding that my doula recommended, and I would recommend to all of you pregnant or nursing mommies as well. It's called Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Breastfeeding Mothers. Scott and I also attended a breastfeeding class at the hospital this week. I want to be as prepared as possible!! :)
+ Sleeping through the night other than waking up several times to pee. I've felt much more rested this week! 
+ I'm tired at night like I was in the first trimester. I went to bed at 7 PM on Monday! It was glorious!
+ No new cravings to report.
+ For the most part, everything is still going great! With each passing week I'm more and more eager to meet this little boy...and to no longer be pregnant! ha! Not that I'm not enjoying it, but there are definitely things I being able to sit up in bed without having to slowly roll over the edge and prop myself up with my arms! 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

28 Weeks

I am officially in my 3rd trimester, by everyone's standards! Woohoo!

Baby Grayson-
+ we had our 3D ultrasound yesterday and I got to see my sweet baby! 
+ He weighs a whopping 3 pounds, almost 2 whole weeks ahead of "schedule." This puts him in the 76th percentile for size and weight. The u/s tech said to expect him to be around 8 pounds at birth. We shall see! Scott was 10 pounds so I'm hoping he does get THAT big!
+ He has nice, long legs. Perfect for stretching out and kicking mommy! 
+ I not only feel him moving throughout the day, but I can SEE his movements. So crazy!
+ Scott felt him kick for the first time a few weeks ago, but he is still surprised whenever he happens to catch a really strong kick! Grayson is still stubborn and doesn't like to move on command. :)
+ He already has hair on his head, and may have a head-full by the time he's born.
+ during the u/s, he started opening and closing his cute little mouth...likely tasting the sugary stuff I had to drink for the glucose test. It was the cutest thing! 

+ I won't know anything about the glucose test for a while. But no news is good news as they're only going to call if the test is abnormal.
+ The Dr said my weight gain is perfect and I am right on track
+ the u/s tech commented that my belly looked a little small for 28 weeks, but that it's probably because I have a long torso. She also said baby size has nothing to do with belly size. Big babies come from small bellies all the time, and vice versa. 
+ Still experiencing quite a bit of back pain. Stretching and exercise seems to help, but it's still pretty unpleasant.
+ Sleeping is more challenging due to achy muscles, crazy Charlie Horse type calf cramps, having to pee, and weird, stressful dreams. I still manage to get a full night's sleep, but I don't always feel very rested.
+ It's harder to make it through the work week without feeling exhausted. I really rely on the weekends to catch up on sleep and rest.
+ I've started experiencing some pretty bad hot flashes from time to time, and shortness of breath. The doctor assured me all this is normal. He said in about a month the baby will drop and I'll be able to breathe regularly again. Of course then walking will be more challenging! ha!
+ no new cravings other than sweets and sweet tea. Sometimes I really want fast food, but it's something we eat so rarely, I don't even really consider it an option. So the temptation doesn't last long.

I think that's about it for my preggo updates! 
I'll be continuing my pregnancy must-haves series soon! I've got them all planned out; just have to actually write them!


Monday, July 15, 2013

My Pregnancy Must-Haves: Clothes

If you're just joining me, I'm doing a series on my personal pregnancy must-haves. Last time, I talked about resources (books, videos, websites, etc). Today, let's talk about something a little more fun, shall we? Clothes!!

Oh, clothes during pregnancy. Always an adventure.

As I moved toward the end of my first trimester, my clothes didn't fit the same anymore. My midsection was thicker. I felt huge. I experienced a lot of bloating during this time, so not only was my midsection thicker, but it was uncomfortable. My pants didn't want to button comfortably anymore, and I basically always worried that people were going to think I was just getting fat. I was not obviously pregnant yet, not really what people call "showing," but my body was certainly changing.

I thought I would try buying some maternity clothes, but that didn't help. Nothing fit! I was still too small for everything I tried. These were my must-haves for my first trimester and (for some of them) beyond:

Yoga Pants
C9 by Champion® Womens Extended-Sizes Bootcut Athletic Pants - Assorted Colors
buy them at Target
These were comfortable, stretchy, and MUCH more flattering than sweats or baggy PJ bottoms.
I wore these around the house, to bed, to workout, and just as regular pants. 
As my belly grew, I just folded down the waistband. 
I haven't worn them in a couple months, mostly because it's so hot here, but I'm betting they would be a little snug now. Not sure. But I HIGHLY recommend them for early pregnancy. 

Maxi skirts
Mossimo® Women's Knit Maxi Skirt - Assorted Colors
Buy it at Target
They have stretchy waistbands that can grow with you, and then you can wear them under your belly as you get bigger. These were a lifesaver during that I don't look pregnant, just fat stage. 
Now that I'm full-on preggo belly, I still enjoy wearing my maxi skirts. 

The belly band
Buy it on Amazon
This is my personal favorite. Saved my life. Seriously. You need one, too!
It was perfect from the moment it felt better to leave my pants unbuttoned
all the way until where I am currently...pants unbuttoned, unzipped, and not even close to coming together!
This bad boy has allowed me to continue wearing all my pre-pregnancy pants.
Maternity clothes are not cheap. Especially not pants.
And since I work in an office setting, it would be expensive to buy all new work slacks.
So far I have only had to purchase one pair of maternity slacks. 
Thank you, belly band! 

About halfway through my 2nd trimester, I started wearing actual maternity clothes. Just a few pieces here and there. Mostly because I wanted some better fitting shirts, and larges were too big up top. Maternity tops are built to be bigger in the belly and still small in the arms and chest (if you are a small pre-pregnant size). I only bought a couple shirts at first. Towards the end of my 2nd trimester, I bought more pieces which I now wear frequently. My recommendations for maternity shopping are:


These are the places I have used for maternity clothes and have been quite successful. 

And now here are the other clothing/accessory items that have been essential during my pregnancy thus far:

Skinny Jeans 
I know this seems contradictory,
but I've found that my skinny jeans are the only ones that still fit.
I don't even need the belly band on one pair! 
(Granted they were from before I lost my weight, so they had some room to begin with)
They are a stretchy material and they sit below my belly.
So I still wear them! And they look great! 

Long camisoles
My 27 week picture. Notice the white camisole .

These allow me to wear my pre-pregnancy shirts without fear of them riding up and showing
the bottom of my belly.
I don't wear any shirts that come way up on my belly,
but some do sit right at the bottom and if I 
move around a lot I would probably be showing skin. 
The camis help with this.

Dresses (especially wrap or A-line style)

17 Weeks vs. 26 weeks...same dress.

These leave plenty of flowy room for my bump to grow.

And that's about it! I've just entered my 3rd trimester so there may be more clothing items I've yet to need or discover. We shall see!!

Happy shopping, mommies! :)


Friday, July 12, 2013

My Pregnancy Must-Haves: Resources

I decided I would compile a list of my personal pregnancy must-haves, in case any of you other pregnant mommies out there are interested. I'm going to break this up into a series so that it isn't so massive and overwhelming. I know there are plenty of pregnancy blogs, websites, and forums out there, but these are just some things that have worked well for me. 

Today I'm going to share some of the resources I've used for information and preparation during pregnancy.

I'm the type of person who wants to be as informed and prepared as possible. Some women prefer to just "wing it" and take everything as it comes. Not this mama! I've been all about reading, researching, and watching videos to prepare. Here are some of my favorites:

Buy it on Amazon!
There is a newer edition out, but this is the one I read, thanks to my awesome friend Stephanie who loaned me a bunch of her pregnancy books. I felt this one was the most comprehensive and easy to follow. There is information on everything in this sucker!

Buy it on Amazon!
I admit when Stephanie gave me this book, I was skeptical. It sounds really weird, right? Well, it's not. I mean, there are some parts that I was like...come on! I don't see myself doing that during labor. But for the most part, it was very informative about what happens to your body during labor, why certain things we do may make the pain worse (i.e.: tensing up or feeling afraid), and why most medical interventions are simply not necessary. And of course it's full of awesome techniques to actually help you through labor and delivery (some I think I will use, some I know I will not.).

Buy it on Amazon!
We all know about this one, right? Your moms and their moms and probably their moms read this book! My doctor gives it to all his newly pregnant patients, which is awesome. I like that this book breaks down what to expect by months and weeks, and it includes FAQ's for each. There isn't much beyond the simple, straight-forward symptoms and expectations. I don't find it to be particularly helpful in preparing for anything, but it has been reassuring to read that all the fun (and not so fun) things happening to my body are normal! What I hate about this book is all the kitschy comments throughout, intended to be funny or cute I guess. They are unnecessary and usually make me roll my eyes and quickly move on. 

Buy it on Amazon!
 This documentary is super informative and empowering. Be prepared to see a lot of women give birth, though. It definitely has the agenda of enlightening you on the process of birth and how interventions are unnecessary, so if you 100% know you don't want to go natural, maybe this isn't the best video for you. But I honestly think you should give it a shot either way! It's still worth understanding the process. And seeing all the women give birth helped me feel more prepared and helped me believe that if they can do it, so can I! You can watch this on Netflix instant streaming for free. There is also a sequel called More Business of Being Born which I also recommend. I didn't watch all three parts, but I did enjoy the part where they interviewed celebrities about their birth stories. And if you didn't already think Alanis Morrisette is crazy, you will after watching that! ha!

Expert Advice Home 
I have loved being on Babycenter! You can find articles to answer just about any question you may have about pregnancy, there are videos for each stage of pregnancy as well as labor and delivery, and there are birth clubs that you can join so you can connect with other pregnant mamas who are due when you are. At first I liked this feature but I quickly realized that many of the women posting on this forum stay at home and are clearly bored because they all just seem to want to cause drama or complain. There are also a LOT of uneducated women posting on there, so definitely don't take anything read in a birth club to be fact! But my very favorite aspect of babycenter is the weekly emails. You can sign up to receive an email every week that outlines what's happening with your baby and you. It compares the size of your baby to some sort of produce, which is always fun, and has other great resources embedded in the email, like articles to read and coupons and special offers. I get excited every Wednesday to get my next email. :)

My doula!! 
But I intend to dedicate a full post to doulas in the future.

I think that's about it for resources! There are other things I have read or watched, but these are the ones I've found most helpful. Enjoy!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

27 Weeks

27 weeks! Whoop! Next week I'll have my glucose test to scan for Gestational Diabetes and I'll also have my 3D ultrasound! At least that gives me one thing to look forward to out of the appointment. This is going to be closest I will come to "seeing" Grayson before he is born. I'm very excited but also a little nervous! Don't ask me why. I guess I'm just worried that the quality won't be as good as I'm expecting and I'll be disappointed. Or maybe that he'll still look kind of skeleton-like and I'll worry that he's not growing enough. But hopefully I'll just be in awe and more in love with him than I already am! :)

I keep telling myself that one of these days we'll take the time to find a better picture location and stop taking them in a rush as we're walking out the door for work. just never happens! ha!

+ I don't know if I would call this a craving, but I've been loving sweet tea during this pregnancy. I started drinking it instead of Diet Coke when I just wanted something other than water or juice and needed a little caffeine kick, and now I find myself wanting it randomly throughout the day. I also want just about any kind of sweets at any given moment, but I'm pretty good about only indulging once a day. In my mind, dessert is always allowed! :)
+ Walking around just isn't the same! I wouldn't say it's hard to walk, it's just noticeably more effort. I tend to get cramps (like the kind you get in your side from running) more easily and I'm out of breath more easily. It's nothing alarming. I'm just not used to having this extra weight in front of me!
+ Sitting for long periods of time really kills my back! Yesterday I thought I would never make it through the work day. I had to take several breaks to walk around and do some squats and lunges to loosen up!
+ People are definitely comfortable commenting on my pregnancy now that it's pretty darn obvious. We have weekly watermelon cuttings on campus during July every year and yesterday while I was eating my slice, a random man came up and asked if my baby liked watermelon. ha! 
+ Surprisingly not that many people have touched my stomach. Most who do usually ask first. I always say yes. It doesn't bother me at all. Though it probably would if a random stranger did it.
+ I don't think I have much else to report since a few days ago when I last posted bump pictures! Just getting more and more excited about meeting Baby Grayson. I've been reading natural birth stories online and have started really visualizing what the day might look like. People ask me if I'm scared and I'm honestly not. Not yet anyway! I'm mostly just excited and curious. 

Hope you're all having a fabulous week!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baby Grayson's Room

We (Scott) spent last weekend working on the nursery. I'm so relieved because it's surprisingly not something I've been looking forward to. I just never felt like working on it. I also felt like if we ever worked on it, it wouldn't live up the vision I had in my head, and I would be disappointed. It was far easier to just imagine it and tell people what we were planning, rather than putting forth the effort to make it a reality.

But, alas, Scott is such a go-getter. And he was excited. So, he went to work and knocked that sucker out pretty much in one day! It's not completely finished, but it's as finished as it can be with what we currently have. Eventually we'll get more decorations and of course more supplies and toys and things will be purchased and received, I'm sure. But I think we're well on our way to a finished nursery! :) I think Grayson will like it.

Gus approves :)
This picture is terrible quality...taken with my iPad. But this is the chest of drawers we bought for him  on Saturday.
We also began redoing the guest bathroom. We still have a lot of work to do in that room, but so far we've torn down the horrible monkey wallpaper that was there when we purchased the house, we've painted, and we've put up a new towel bar/shelf, now decorated with duckies. :) We still need new fixtures, shower curtain, rugs, etc.

Peace out, Monkeys!

Hello, duckies! :)
Now I'm even more excited about Grayson's quickly approaching birthday! We are steadily creating the perfect environment to bring him home to. :)


Monday, July 8, 2013

26 (almost 27) Weeks!

Hello, and welcome to my third trimester! (According to some. Others say it doesn't actually start until 28 weeks. Whatever--I'm claiming it!)

25 Weeks.
That's the shirt I have to wear for orientation sessions at work...
not the best fit because I had to get a large to fit the belly.
And those are pre-preggo pants, with the belly band.

26 weeks
+ Still no cravings (everyone usually wants to know about this!)
+ the bump is growing exponentially, but thankfully no stretch marks yet!
+ Grayson is on the move! I can actually see my belly bounce and shake sometimes when he kicks. He moves the most at night when I'm laying on the couch and especially when I get in bed. But he also moves throughout the day, periodically, especially around mealtimes. He always kicks me a lot during church. It's probably because the worship music wakes him up and then he's all riled up by the time we sit down for the sermon. Or he's just being moved by the Holy Spirit. :)
+ I'm starting to get a little achy, particularly in my lower back and tailbone. I don't usually realize just how bad it is until Scott starts massaging and then I realize I'm very, very sore!
+ Haven't bought anymore maternity clothes. I seem to have enough, combined with regular clothes that still work, to get by. We'll see how much bigger I get and if I need to make another run to Motherhood.
+ My favorite is still dresses and skirts, especially in the heat of the summer.
+Speaking of heat, I'm definitely feeling those pregnancy hot flashes now! Every now and then I just feel overheated. I sleep with two fans on at night and I still rarely use the covers. Sometimes I wake up damp with sweat. Ick!
+ Sleeping has become slightly more challenging because of the heat and the aches, but I feel like I still get a full night's sleep pretty easily.
+ This is TMI, but any sense of bathroom regularity is out the window! Which has led to some other unpleasant and downright painful symptoms that pretty much ruined my weekend and 4th of July! And that's all I'll say about that...
+ Still working out, though admittedly not as often. This is mostly because of a hectic work schedule with lots of orientation sessions and days on my feet. But it's also partly because I'm lazy. ;)
+ No swelling yet. My fingers and feet seem normal size to me!
+ I have my glucose scan coming up to test for gestational diabetes. Wish me luck!
+ We finally worked on the nursery! We've painted and set up every thing we have so far, and we bought him a chest of drawers. We even worked on redoing the guest bathroom and tore down the hideous monkey wallpaper that was there when we bought the house. It was a project-filled weekend! (pictures to come!)

That's about it for preggo updates! Hope you all are having a great Monday!
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