Pregnancy Update: Weeks 26 – 34

Weeks 26 - 34
I decided the monthly(ish) updates worked for me … maybe I’ll get a little more frequent as we hit the last 4-6 weeks!

How far along? Today is Monday, May 18, and I’m actually 34 weeks and a few days. It is crazy how time is flying.

IMG_5911.JPGTotal weight gain/loss: BabyCenter tells me this is when the baby gains about half a pound a week, and I can certainly feel it! I’ve gained about 23 pounds total since the beginning of the pregnancy now. Yes, that is about 10 pounds since my last update! I’ve still been watching what I eat but the baby growth has been insane. The fluid retention too … ugh. Welcome to the third trimester, the start of summer, and Houston. Yay.

Maternity clothes? I did pull off the wedding outfit I had planned at my sister’s wedding at the end of April … with help from maternity Spanx and a Stitch Fix maternity camisole that essentially was a body stocking. It was so long that it covered me to mid-thigh, and it was much appreciated! Otherwise, I’m starting to move up to the fantastic third trimester sizes … one size bigger than I’ve been wearing all along. My pajamas don’t fit, my clothes are too tight, I’m hot, and I hate getting dressed in general. Yep, right on schedule.

Photo Apr 25, 3 10 45 PM

Family photo from the wedding, beautifully captured by Magnolia Photography. Were special.

Stretch marks? My legs will never be the same. Let’s just leave it at that.

Sleep: Has become a horribly uncomfortable experience. Even with the pillows propping me up, I get breathless on my right side, sore on my left side, and all-around cranky. I also now have a regularly timed (it seems) pee break in the middle of the night. C’est la vie, ce sont les dures semaines.

Best moment this week(s): We went for an elective 3D/4D ultrasound at the end of April so the kids could see the baby. I’d never had one before, and I’d heard they can either be great or a little spooky. We lucked out and got a GREAT view of our Baby Mouse!

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Movement: ALL THE TIME. Mouse still has occasional quiet days, but is definitely at the size where I can feel most movement. S/he really likes to plant feet into my right ribs, and also likes to roll from side to side. Not quite the gymnast that Nora was, but definitely a mover!

Food cravings: Warm cookies. The lack of warm cookies almost had me in tears one night, and I knew was being totally irrational and still couldn’t help it. I just don’t understand why people can’t drop everything and find warm, fresh-baked cookies. Oh, and a Coke! Ice-cold Coke sounds WONDERFUL.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Lots of smells, including cigarette smoke in any form or fashion. I’m grateful for a current allergy attack because I can’t smell things.

Gender prediction: Still thinking it’s a girl, but a little less sure after that ultrasound! There are some distinctly Seth characteristics in that sweet face … but also Nora, and also Jude! We’re having a hard time coming up with boy names, but now I feel more urgency to get one lined up!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out! This may be my first pregnancy with an outie.

Wedding rings on or off? It depends on how hot it is and whether I’ve been traveling. After my trips to DC and North Carolina I definitely had to take the rings off. They’re back on now, but not as loose as they were.

Feeling all the Feels or Just Some of the Feels? More and more emotional. I’m over it, but I know it’ll just get “enhanced” as the fatigue sets in from not sleeping well and carting around the extra weight!

Weekly Wisdom: It’s really hitting me that this is my last pregnancy. The constant baby gymnastics can be exhausting, but I know for sure this is the last time I’ll experience them. With Jude we were on the fence about whether we’d have another, so I tried to enjoy as much as possible. Now I know this is our last baby, so I am trying to savor the special things about pregnancy that I won’t experience again.

Milestones:  40 days until my due date. WOW.

Pregnancy Fitness:  I’d love to say that I’m still keeping with the yoga, but honestly … walking in general is a fitness exercise for me right now. The last month has been crazy with travel and family commitments, so I’m hoping to get at least some pieces of yoga practice in again before baby arrives. If nothing else, I’m at least doing my Hypnobabies tracks for MENTAL fitness!

Photo Apr 24, 6 54 41 PM

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 21 – 25 … Oops.

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Can you tell this is our fourth child. Poor little baby … I barely have Jude’s baby book filled out. Maybe I should do that before Baby Mouse arrives.

How far along? 26 weeks when I started this post … now almost 27!

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Picture by Seth, my 6 YO. :)

 

Total weight gain/loss: I’ve gained about 13 pounds total since getting pregnant. Since I was above my target weight anyway, I’m fine with that!

Maternity clothes? I discovered by reading Old Navy reviews that the weirdness I talked about in the last update (tight legs, loose hips) is common for those pants. DRAT. I do NOT want to buy more maternity pants. I also got another Stitch Fix (my affiliate referral link) in the meantime. Meh. I need to do a post on the ups and downs I have with them. My last fix with no guidance was great. This fix, with very specific guidance and feedback, was awful. I’m fed up enough that I’ve stopped the automatic shipments for a while.

Stretch marks? The marks I already had on my legs are turning purple again. Yay. At least I know they’ll fade. Meanwhile I’m moisturizing the heck out of my skin after every shower. I’ve also braved the Rodan + Fields Foaming Sunless Tanner (I’m an independent consultant, so yes that’s my link). The added color helps disguise the marks a bit. Sigh. I will be sort of sad to be done having babies, but NOT being done with these stretch marks.

My Preggo Pale legs with Rodan + Fields sunless tanner

My Preggo Pale legs with Rodan + Fields sunless tanner … a little better!

Sleep: I love my pillows. My husband loves my pillows … I keep having to push him off! I told him that I keep punching him when I turn over because he’s on my pillow, and it’s a total accident … for now.

Best moment this week(s): We had another ultrasound around 24 weeks, and we have another stubborn family member. Baby Mouse was holding onto his/her feet most of the time, lying transverse across my belly, and generally making life difficult for the ultrasound tech. It was pretty funny, actually.

Movement: Mouse has very quiet days then super active days, which I’m guessing are a cycle of growth spurts and busy baby time. S/he is definitely still able to turn some flips in there, though. Some of the movements I feel seem like little tiny waves and pokes, which seem to be more than I remember with the other three.

Food cravings: SALSA. Waking up in the middle of the night, needing fresh salsa. Which is sad since I’ve been told to lay off the carbs … not because of weight, but because my amniotic fluid levels are borderline high.  Apparently carbs make the baby pee more, which leads to more fluid. Who knew?

Anything making you queasy or sick: Meat still isn’t my favorite. Now that I’ve been watching my simple carbs (sugars, white grains, etc.) for a few weeks, having anything higher in those makes me sick. Handful of M&Ms = tons of nausea and regret. Boo.

Gender prediction: Still think it’s a girl! And I want to know so I know which of these adorable Orla Kiely baby blanket sets to buy. I want them ALL.

Orla Kiely Baby at Target. I DIE.

Orla Kiely Baby at Target. I DIE.

Belly Button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On and loose, but the warmer temperatures have made my hands swell a little. In about a month I will have heating pad hands.

Feeling all the Feels or Just Some of the Feels? I’ll be honest – March has been a hard month. My grandfather passed away unexpectedly at the beginning of the month, which has been very, very hard. Our sweet nanny has had her own family sadness this month, and she’s needed to be out for a bit. We saw that our old house (sold when I was pregnant with Jude) was on the market as a rental. I (stupidly) looked at the listing pictures and … they didn’t change anything. My colors, my CURTAINS in most rooms, and my nursery that we created when I was pregnant with Seth. I was desperately sad about not having that, either, especially because I didn’t get to create a nursery space in our new house while pregnant with Jude … we were in a rental when he was born and moved to our new house when he was 8 weeks old and my maternity leave was almost over. All of these things, the stress and emotions, plus a heavy workload are making me feel very drained and emotional now at the end of the month.

Weekly Wisdom: Don’t look at listing pictures of your old house when a) you loved your old house, b) you haven’t been out of it long, and c) you don’t feel fully at home in your new house. Just don’t.

Milestones: We are swiftly headed to the less-risky third trimester! If Baby Mouse was born after this point but before 37 weeks there would still be lots of challenges but larger chances of survival. I try not to stress about these things, but reaching the 27/28 week milestone makes me feel significantly better.

Pregnancy Fitness: YOGA! I signed up last summer/fall for I Run 4 Michael, a program that matches runners with buddies who have special needs. We run in honor of our buddies, sharing the victories, the highs/lows together. I got my match last week and I’m so excited to have her to consider in my intentions in yoga practice and my accountability buddy as I start running after the baby is born.

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Yoga belly in my For Two Fitness yoga tank.

 

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Jude likes to help me “do the yoga” when he’s up in the mornings.

 

Diapers, diapers, diapers!

Now that’s a charming title, right?

Diapers are a reality of living with babies. Well, I suppose unless you’re a proponent of Elimination Communication. (It’s a thing. Go look it up.) I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make that system work for me or our baby’s caregivers, so we’re sticking with diapers. For all of our kids, we’ve done a hybrid of cloth and disposable diapers. I get a lot of questions about why and how and what and what does this mean, so here’s my cloth diaper brain dump!

Cloth Diaper Brain Dump

Cloth diapers save us money in the monthly expenses of diapers, particularly since we live in a warm and sunny climate that doesn’t require additional dryer time. More on that later. Cloth also saves some landfill fodder, which is always good! Our use of cloth has slightly diminished with each child, partly due to time constraints. The biggest constraint, though, is who’s taking care of the baby. No, this isn’t a Daddy vs. Mommy thing … this is just the reality of Will’s business picking up and our younger kids being in preschool/Parents’ Day Out earlier than the older two were. I still love cloth diapers and plan to use them as much as possible with our new baby, too.

Jude @ Tiny

Newish Jude in a newborn Fuzzi Bunz

There are a LOT of different types of cloth diapers. I primarily use pocket diapers with snaps. They’re my favorites because you can wash them and dry them within a day, usually. All in one diapers are like pockets but don’t come apart, which means they take longer to dry. Some people get icked out by removing the insert from pocket diapers, but I see so much gross stuff as a mom anyway that this really isn’t that different! Some people use internal liners to make waste removal into the toilet (once they start eating solids) easier … I just felt like that was more $$ and trash in the landfill. (Even if it’s biodegradable.) I like snaps over velcro (also called aplix on diaper sites) because velcro wears out and kids can undo velcro! They also make diaper sprayers that connect to your toilet’s water line so you can spray solid waste directly into the toilet. THAT is tempting.

I used Fuzzi Bunz perfect size with Seth and Nora. Over the 4.5 years since I bought them (and used for 3 years!), the elastic wore out and needed to be replaced. I didn’t have time or patience to do that, so I switched to a few Rumparooz (which I love!) and BumGenius 4.0. There’s a a local boutique that I use for a lot of the more crunch-mama type things (non-lanolin nipple ointment, healing sprays and ointments for after birth, nursing bras, baby wraps/carriers, diapers) called Nurtured Family. It’s “local” to us … it’s northwest Houston, so still a good 45 – 60 minutes away from me. They are awesome. (Side note: They’ll also do nursing bra fittings for you, free classes on cloth diapering and baby wearing, and they’re great about swapping stuff out.) I got my Fuzzi Bunz there but to be very honest, I got my BG 4.0 at Buy Buy Baby, one at a time, with my periodic 20% off coupon. Then Nurtured Family had a big sale on the bulk order of diapers – Buy 5, get 1 free – and that was how I finished out my stash.

I think we have about 14-15 diapers, and that’ll usually get us through a day and a half while we do laundry. That’s during the early baby stages of lots of peeing and pooping, of course. Once they start on solid food and their systems shift to pooping less frequently (again, the Glamour of Parenting), you don’t have nearly as many. You could let them sit for a while in the wet pail while you build up a bigger load of laundry, but the stink always drives us to wash earlier than I’d like. That’s also because by the older age my kids are at preschool the majority of the time.

Jude napping in BumGenius

Jude napping in BumGenius

I’ve sent my kids to preschool in cloth diapers, and our caregivers were very accommodating. Even the best of intentions can sometimes lead to mistakes – parental or caregiver – like using diaper creams with the cloth diapers. Most creams will harm the absorbency of the diaper, so most of the time I default to disposable for during the day at preschool. I also tend to use disposable diapers once baby is sleeping longer at night, too. My kids all seem to be heavy wetters at night, and even double inserts can’t contain them sometimes.

The biggest “hardships” about cloth diapers are that most of the time you use a special detergent that won’t cause build-up. It lasts forever, though, because you’re only using it on diapers! I use the Rockin Green detergent. Never ever use fabric softener with your diapers! If you use liquid fabric softener on your other loads of laundry, you may want to think about switching to dryer sheets (or white vinegar) or doing a few loads without before you do your diapers. We found that the liquid fabric softener tended to leave a residue in the washer that would build up on our diapers. **Note: I’ve seen some sites start to recommend various Free & Clear detergents. Always check your diaper manufacturer’s recommendations. Those do NOT work well for my water hardness and diaper type.

We only line-dry our diapers (to save electricity and avoid softener build-up in the dryer), which is easy here in Houston. We put them on a sturdy drying rack or clothesline outside. They dry fairly quickly, and we have the advantage of the sun bleaching out the unattractive stains. :) (It’s magic … try it on other stained clothing. Get it wet, dry it in the sun, and a lot of the stains will disappear.)

Prepping Fuzzi Bunz for Baby

Prepping Fuzzi Bunz for Baby

Another challenge of cloth diapers is the bulk of carrying them around. It’s not really that bad, though. I’ve also found that the Skip Hop Duo diaper bag has been great at carrying cloth diapers and all my other baby stuff around. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag, but it’s not enormously bulky! You also need some sort of bag to put wet diapers in. I’ve attached one of those dog poop baggie dispensers to put any sort of soiled diaper or clothing in. We also keep a gallon-sized ziploc in the diaper bag for soiled diapers.

So … there’s my brain dump! :) Here’s a good link for learning some of the terminology. There’s a whole wide world of obsession out there …

Did you or will you cloth diaper? Which disposables are your favorites? I’m a Pampers Swaddlers fan, myself.