Week 38 Bump Update

As I sit here and write this blog post to update for my 38th week of pregnancy, there is Christmas music playing in the background (too early? not for me!) and it just hit me - this will be the very first Christmas Jake and I will have a little one at home with us.  Last year at this time if you had asked me whether we'd have a child for Christmas 2014 I would have answered with a big ole' NO!  I might've seen us expecting a little one - but I definitely wouldn't have thought we'd have already had our first son or daughter. 

What a difference a year makes!  I couldn't be more excited to meet him or her; we're getting so close to my due date!  I have no idea what to expect but I can't wait to learn - time's getting short now!

This past week was great!  It was relaxing, not incredibly busy and I feel so much more comfortable with the state of affairs at our house that baby could come at any time and I think we're as prepared as we need to be!  The week before was awesome, but with two concerts and everything else going on it was pretty darn exhausting, too.  To have a week that didn't require nearly as much driving was great!

The nursery is, for the most part, complete.  The decorations we have for the walls haven't been put up yet, but besides that (which really isn't at all important in the short-run) it's ready for baby to move in.  Whenever I walk by that room I just can't help but smile - I can't wait until there's a little one living in there.  

Physically I have been doing well, though I can tell my body is starting to get a bit worn out.  It's been more uncomfortable to sleep (I daydream about sleeping on my back and stomach.  Seriously.) and my waddle has definitely become more pronounced!  I have luckily avoided any of the kicks to the ribs that so many women complain about, but I do have one pain that I'm ready to be rid of.  Let's just put it this way - when baby is head down and changes positions, this often changes the amount of pressure down where the head is - and it hurts like the dickens!  (In case you're curious, dickens is a euphemism for the devil.  I had no idea where this expression came from so I just got done googling it - there's my one thing I learned today!)

At my last appointment my doctor checked me and I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced; within the week I got to 3 cm and 90% effaced.  Now I know that I could really walk around for another 4 weeks at this point, but it is nice to know that my body is starting to get ready for the baby to arrive!  When will that be?  Only time will tell!

For now, I can tell you this: these baby bump pictures won't be happening for too many more weeks.  Pretty soon I'll be taking baby pictures - and those sound MUCH cuter than baby bump pictures!  Until the baby comes, though, I'm stuck with the bump updates - here I am as of 38 weeks!

I must admit - I am a bit surprised that my wedding ring still fits me at this point in the pregnancy; I assumed I'd be so swollen that they'd be sitting on my bedroom shelf instead of on my finger.  I'm glad that didn't happen!


Week 37 Bump Update

Week 37!!!  Each week when I write these, I wonder how many more times I will have a bump update - pretty soon there will be a baby to post about (and I absolutely cannot wait for that day!)  But for now I must be content with seeing the weeks go by as baby continues to grow!

This past week has been, in one word, awesome!  For the past couple months whenever people have asked when I think the baby will be arriving, I've said "as long as he or she stays put until November 7th, I'm happy!"  Of course if he or she made an early, healthy arrival I still would've been happy, but selfishly I was hoping for November 6th or later.  Why?  I'll get there in a second :)

On Saturday night Jake and I hosted his mom, niece and nephew and sister for dinner.  It was a semi-last-minute type of thing but it was a lot of fun!  Jake grilled burgers (from a steer born & raised on his farm - proud wife right here!) and we had some other fixings to go along with it.  Nothing earth-shattering or exciting, but tasty all the same.

Sunday I met up with my parents in St Paul and we had a parent/Ashley date - dinner at a hotel followed by seeing James Taylor in concert.  My dad has been a fan of James Taylor for longer than I can even remember but had never seen him in concert; when I saw he was coming I made my dad set the evening aside so I could bring him as an early Christmas present.  The three of us stayed at the hotel that night so I didn't have to drive the hour home in the dark and I got up in the morning and went in to work.  It was so much fun and a really relaxing evening out!  The baby did get a bit of a workout, though.  I could feel him or her jumping around the whole time!

Monday afternoon was supposed to be my first weekly OB appointment, but my doctor had to deliver a baby so I re-scheduled for Tuesday.  That was perfectly fine by me because I know if my baby is coming in the middle of his work day he'll be there for me, too!  On Tuesday I told the doctor that Jake and I have a feeling we will have a December baby (with a due date of November 29th it's not too crazy to think I'll go two days over).  After he checked me, though, he let us know that he wouldn't put his money on a December delivery.  At 2cm dilated and 80% effaced my body is already getting prepped for this baby to come!  Now of course nothing is for sure and I could stay like this and still end up going two weeks over, but he is guessing that probably won't happen.  Time will tell!!

Then Thursday happened.  Thursday was November 6th (the one I mentioned earlier in the post).  The Thursday I was waiting for and hoping baby would stay in for.  On Thursday I got to see one of my all-time favorite artists in concert - Garth Brooks!!!  For as long as I can remember my sister an I have talked about wanting to see Garth; a couple months ago he announced he'd be playing in Minneapolis (this quickly turned into ELEVEN shows!!!).  We (along with my cousin & grandma) got tickets to the opening show and it was absolutely everything I thought it might be - high-energy and just all-around incredible.  I spent most of the concert on my feet screaming and singing my lungs out.  I'm so grateful I got to go!  

The rest of the week was a bit more low-key and I was perfectly okay with that.  After all that excitement I think baby and I both needed a bit of a break.  People have been asking if I've been feeling any contractions yet and I can honestly say that I have no idea.  I haven't felt any timeable or consistent things that I would say are contractions, but it's entirely possible that some of the twinges and semi-painful moments I have are actually contractions and I just don't know what they feel like.  Hopefully when the time comes I'll know it and won't have to second-guess myself!  Who knows...maybe that time will be this week?  I'm still placing my bets on a December baby, though it's much more tentative than it used to be.  Time will tell!

For now, here I am as of 37 weeks!

When I took this picture and looked at it, I couldn't help but think that my belly looks different than it did last week.  Of course it's a bit bigger but the whole shape and position is different!  I've posted a comparison shot below.  What do you think?  Is this what they mean when they talk about 'dropping'?


Week 36 Bump Update

Oops!  Once again, I failed to make a weekly post - so this 36 week update is what I should have posted last week, and tomorrow I'll be doing my week 36 bump update!  (I have to say, doing it like this makes the weeks seem to FLY by!)

Last week I officially hit my 36th week of this pregnancy and I'm having a bit of difficulty believing it.  To think that there are only 4 weeks left until my due date (though I am completely aware of the fact that my due date really, in the long run, doesn't mean a whole lot about when this baby will actually arrive).  Still, it's fun to think about how close we're getting to meeting Baby K!

I had a pretty good week - some good things, some not so great but all-in-all it ended up being a pretty darn decent week.

Saturday I made a fairly large purchase - a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera.  I feel like 95% of the pictures I take are on my iPhone (the only exception being my weekly bump pictures which are taken on the camera I borrowed from my mom a looooong time ago and haven't yet returned).  Once little one arrives, though, I want to have high-quality pictures that he or she can have forever; not pictures that I snapped on my phone and emailed to myself.  Now the only thing left to do is to figure out how to work it ;)  I'm pretty sure this is what they mean when they say there is a steep learning curve - I am a total newbie!  I borrowed a couple books from the library and I've been trying to experiment with it in my free time - wish me luck that I can figure it out!

On Saturday I also went to a painting class with my sister, friend, mom and grandma - it was a blast!  It was one of those events where they teach you to paint a specific paining, but ultimately you can design it any way you'd like and just run with it.  We were painting a tree-type of thing with colorful swirls and dots surrounding it.  Mine turned out a bit Seuss-esque, but it will go perfectly in the nursery!  

I headed home Sunday morning and started in on doing more laundry than I have ever done in my life.  I hadn't washed any of Baby K's clothing/blankets/burp cloths/etc, so I tackled that project and got them done!  I'd be lying if I said I felt great at the end of the day - I was absolutely exhausted and my feet were killing me after walking up and down the stairs so many times, but it felt SO great to have them washed, dried, folded and put away!

I'm pretty sure I over-did it a bit, though - when I woke up on Monday I was once again greeted by my old friend morning sickness.  I think I might have pushed myself a bit too much over the weekend and I definitely paid the price for it!  I had to call in late for work so I could get back to feeling like myself, but once I did I felt great for the rest of the week!

Fast forward to one of my favorite days at work every year - Halloween!  It's not necessarily my favorite because of the holiday; it's my favorite because I can normally think of a costume that lets me get away with wearing jeans ;)  I thought about not getting dressed up at all this year but I quickly changed my mind once I realized that I might never have a noticeable baby bump on Halloween again - I wanted to take advantage of it!  So here I am - Ashley the snowlady!  I got up early on Halloween, cut out some felt circles & a cloth nose, hot glued them to a shirt I normally wear to workout, tied a scarf around me and called it good - my belly was definitely on full display that day at work but I thought it was pretty cute!

Here I am in my 'official' 36 week baby bump photo - definitely not as cute as Ashley the snowman!

Normally I'd sign off for a week - this time I'm just signing off until tomorrow when I'll update with week 37!


Dear Little One

Dear Little One,

I'd call you by your name, but right now I don't know what that is, so Little One will have to do.  (I might have written Dear Baby, but your uncle Anthony hates it when people say 'baby' instead of 'the baby', so Little One it is.  Just a random fact that you might be interested in learning someday!)

Exactly one month from today is your due date; I don't know when exactly we will get to meet you, but I wanted to mark this moment with a letter to you, so you can someday get a little glimpse of your mom (and dad) before you were here.

I've known you were coming since March, but it blows me away to think of all the things I don't know about you.  I don't know your name, your birthday, your gender or who you look like.  I will know these things soon enough, but for now you are a mystery.  The very best type of mystery, but a mystery all the same.
Your dad and I do have some guesses about these things.

Even though you are due on November 29th, we have a feeling you might end up a December baby (though your grandpa Dale is really hoping you two share a birthday).

We both think you are a boy, but we're putting off knowing for sure until we meet you.  No matter what you end up being, in our eyes you will be perfect.  (In case you're wondering, your great-grandma Ronsberg is convinced you're a girl and the rest of my side agrees with her.  Your dad's side mostly thinks you're a boy!  Nicholas isn't sure either way, but according to him your name will be Cousin Yo-Yo.  Nolan sides with great-grandma on you being a girl and he loves you to the end of the earth and back again - whenever I see him he runs up, gives you kisses, rubs and says "there's a baby in there!"  Nicholas loves you just as much, and keeps asking when I'll let you out so you all can play.  I can't wait for the days when all of you get to play together; if I snap a million pictures, please just know it's because you're all precious to me and I want to remember every moment I get with you.)

Another thing your dad and I know?  We know that no matter when you're born, what your name is or who you look most like, you are the most incredible blessing in our lives.  Along with knowing that, there are several things we wish for you.

- We wish for you you a happy life.  A life that has more happiness than sadness and more joy than sorrow.  We hope you learn to find the good things that can come from every bad, and we hope you are able to keep joy with you even when it is difficult to do so.  We hope you can laugh at yourself and love yourself, find amusement in small things and never be too 'mature' to find humor in everyday life.

- We wish for you a life of passion.  Your dad and I each love different things, but it's not so much what you love that is important as why and how you love those things.  Your dad is passionate about farming, John Deere, Pepsi and working hard.  I am passionate about travel, reading, health & fitness and crafting.  Maybe you'll share some of these passions, and maybe you won't.  We hope you find healthy, fulfilling and energizing passions.  When you do (as I'm sure you will), your dad and I intend to be your biggest cheerleaders.

- We wish for you a sense of adventure, a good work ethic and a whole lot of determination.  There is always something new to be learned, explored or created.  We hope you have a lifetime of learning ahead of you and that you don't take for granted the opportunities you have in front of you.  If you want to do something, I have faith that you can accomplish it.  But, as an early warning, know that it might take a leap of faith, a lot of hard work and a bit of stubbornness.  Your grandpa Arv always told us kids that he'd go a mile to help us reach our goals if we're willing to go an inch.  We had to go that inch before he'd go the mile, though.  To this I say: ditto.

- We wish for you a heart of faith and a love for God.  You are a blessing to us and so many others; we hope you will know how blessed you are to be a child of such a loving and incredible God.  When you have problems, joys, anger or peace, share them with Him - He is your absolute best friend and won't let you down (we also wish you patience, as He might not deliver in a way you want or expect.)

I could go on for a year and a half about all the things we wish for you, but seeing as how you're due in just a month, I don't really have that much time to spare).  Your dad and I absolutely cannot wait to meet you and spend a lifetime getting to know you, help you and love you.

Forever and always,

We love you!


Week 35 Bump Update

Here we are at week 35 in this pregnancy - it's starting to get down to the wire!  At only 5 weeks left until my due date, I look around at all the work we have left to do and I wonder how it will ever get done.  Then I remind myself that all the work will never be done - there will always be more I'd like to do and that's life!  For now, I can rest easy knowing that if this little one decided to make an early entrance, he or she would have a house to come home to, the love of their family, clothing, diapers and two parents who will be there to take care of him or her.  And really, what else does a little one need?

Week 35 Baby Bump

This past week has been so much fun and also very busy!  On Saturday I woke up at my parents', met a friend for coffee (though if I'm being honest, neither of us actually had coffee.  I had hot apple cider, he had tea.  But saying coffee is much easier than explaining it.  Which I guess I just did anyway.  Oh well!)  When I got back to my parents' it was time for my second baby shower!

The weekend before was a shower for Jake's side of the family; this shower was thrown by my sister and friend for our side of the family and elaborate circle of friends-turned-family.  It was great to be able to see people I haven't seen for several months (and, in some cases, even longer!).  The shower was fall-themed and it was adorable!  There were pumpkins, scarecrows, comfort foods of fall and even a hay bale :)  This baby, Jake and I were incredibly spoiled with all the gifts and love we were given and it was just an awesome day.  I got to round out the day by hanging out with the family for the rest of the evening, and on Sunday I made my way back home!

Monday afternoon was my next check-up at the ob and everything seems to be in order so that was great!  My blood pressure has been consistently low (not too low, though) throughout this pregnancy, but before each appointment I always get a bit of nervousness - will today be the day it shoots up??  So far I have been in the clear, though, so that's great!  I have one more appointment scheduled for two weeks after that appointment and then we move on to weekly appointments (crazy!!!)

The rest of the week was pretty low-key, but I was perfectly fine with that!  Jake and I did sneak out on Tuesday evening for a movie date to see The Equalizer with Denzel Washington.  It was a great movie - high suspense, action and a good storyline as well!  We ended up in a bit of a mini-debate over who we'd rather have backing us in a scary situation: Liam Neeson or Denzel.  I'm a HUGE fan of Liam Neeson's, so of course I went with him.  Jake chose Denzel - so between the two of them we should be covered in case anything crazy happens!

Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington

I'll be completely honest here and say that Wednesday and Thursday night saw me in bed by 8:45.  This is much earlier than I'm used to, but for whatever reason I was just so much more exhausted than I have been.  In a couple weeks my nights will be determined by an infant rather than myself, so I let myself enjoy the luxury of going to bed whenever I felt like it - and it was great!  I'm beyond excited to meet this little one, but I'm going to enjoy these last couple weeks I have without having an infant to take care of - because pretty soon that will be my number one focus!

I almost forgot to include my emotional meltdown of the week (yep, I'm a crier.  I have no shame in admitting it).  Before Jake left for work one day, he was watching the documentary Blackfish on Netflix.  Blackfish is about a whale named Tilikum who has killed 2 (or possibly 3) of its trainers.  The latest fatality was at Sea World, where Tilikum still performs.  The documentary explored the world of whales in captivity and the impact it has.  I only caught the tail end of the show, but Jake explained an earlier part of it to me: a man told a story about years ago, when people were first tracking and collecting whales to be put in captivity.  They came upon a pod of whales and got the smallest one separated from the rest of the group - this is the one they would be capturing.  While the smallest was being taken, the rest of the pod was stationed around, watching as one of their own were stolen (if there were a whale version of Liam Neeson, he'd be on the case - and the thieves would have some explaining to do!)  The thought of a whale family wanting to save their young and not being able to do so put me completely over the edge - one more time I found myself bawling over an animal!  First cows, then a mouse and now a whale - what'll be next?!

Here I am as of 35 weeks: I wonder if my belly profile will change much over the next month??

35 week baby bump

Until next time,