Pregnancy

Week 34: M is For… Michigan?

We had our San Francisco baby shower over the weekend and one of the games our hostesses organized was “Guess the Baby Name”. Those who follow this blog, and who toured our nursery, saw a big hint which is that the name starts with the letter “M”. We had some great guesses but the one that left me laughing hysterically was “Michigan, but Mitch for short” from our friend, Katy. How clever is that?! Go Blue!

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Speaking of Michigan, our football team is starting to shine a little brighter! We recently beat Michigan State which brought us to 7-1 this season and #1 in the Big Ten (BRING IT, OSU!).

I’ve also been singing Michigan’s “Hail to the Victors” fight song at least a couple times a day to Baby B, and Mark and I sing to him at home.

They say that singing to your belly during pregnancy can reduce pain, increase your oxygen levels and give your unborn baby a relaxing ‘sound massage’. I also heard that they can recognize that same music after they’re born! So, basically I’m getting Baby B to be a Michigan fan from Day 1. 🙂

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Showered With Love

Going back to the SF baby shower, I want to send a special shout-out to my thoughtful and amazing girlfriends: Stephanie, Anne, April, Molly and Sarah. They organized the most beautiful and perfect shower for Mark, Baby B and I. They had fun games, a homemade vegan cake, an ice cream bar, a food spread of items I have been craving, chalkboard signs, balloons, party favors, and beautiful flowers in Mason Jars. You girls are the best!! And thank you to all of our friends and family who came to celebrate with us. We had such a great time seeing everyone, and definitely had our fair share of belly laughs. We are so grateful to be surrounded by so much love <3.

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Other than working hard, seeing more movies and celebrating Mark’s birthday, we’ve been very busy taking classes, reading baby books, listening to podcasts, shopping for final items, and getting advice from friends.

For classes, we took Infant CPR, Birthing From Within, Newborn Parenting, and Intro to Breastfeeding which were extremely helpful. I also attend a monthly “Mama Circle” hosted by our doulas.

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Labor 101

The childbirth preparation class, “Birthing from Within”, was particularly eye-opening and helpful for us. It was taught by our doulas for 8 hours on a Saturday, and never for one moment were we bored or tired. They made it so engaging, interactive and fun with tons of stories and analogies. And at the end, I felt so empowered and ready to do this. I was no longer fearful of birth, I was now (dare I say)… excited!?

One of the more memorable moments from the class was grabbing a handful of ice and being told to grasp it hard and not use any coping mechanisms to get through the discomfort. It was hard! And then we did it again, but this time they taught us some techniques that we can use to manage the discomfort (similar to a contraction in labor). We did this several times until we found something that worked for each of us individually. For me, I could’ve held on to that ice all day with Mark rubbing my back, my eyes closed, and paying attention to my breath. I definitely plan to use these techniques (and many more) during labor!

The other key takeaway for me was the fact that every labor is so different and you simply can’t plan it out in specific detail. You can certainly have preferences but it’s important to stay open-minded so that you can roll with it and not fight it. It’s important, also, to identify the “tigers in the jungle”, or the things that make you scared/anxious that may actually stop or slow labor.

“How do you feel?”

This is the most common question I get. And for the last few weeks I’ve been feeling great for the most part. But sitting all day in the office was starting to get uncomfortable and often painful. So, I started scheduling walk breaks in my calendar, I switched office chairs, I reduced my commute by leaving super early in the morning, I prioritized exercise, and discovered the beauty of epsom salt baths. This all helped a lot and I’m much more comfortable now. That said, I can’t wait to go on maternity leave (next Friday is my last day!) so I don’t have to commute so far and sit all day. Staying active is so important.

I also wake up at 3am to use the bathroom most nights and sometimes have a hard time falling back asleep. And I’m finding that it’s harder to eat big meals, otherwise I get indigestion. So, I’ve been trying to graze a little more and focus on smaller meals. Finally, Baby B is moving, dancing and swimming like crazy. He’s definitely an active baby! The movements are beautiful but have been painful at times, especially closer to my ribs. But I wouldn’t want it any other way; I love feeling his movements!

Other Recent Tidbits:

  • I had our car seat installed and inspected by the California Highway Patrol (for free!!). I learned so much about car seat safety and so happy I made an appointment with them.
  • I dressed up as an avocado (or, a “Mama-cado”) for Halloween which was a lot of fun. Mark and I made the costume together using cardboard, paint and string. At our global town hall meeting, our CEO asked everyone who wore a costume to stand, and he said, “the avocado absolutely takes the cake!” Hah!
  • I think I’m done running. At week 32 or so, I ran 4 miles at lunchtime and it felt great in the moment. I loved the endorphin rush and energy boost! But the next day my hips, bump, back were so achy I could barely walk normally. So, from now on I’m sticking to swimming, hiking, elliptical and other gentle cardio.
  • Speaking of running, this is my final week as Run Director for the Golden Gate Triathlon Club. I’m going to miss leading Sunday runs and assisting with our track workouts so much! Thank you, GGTC, for a great year. I’ll be back as a ‘regular’ club member next year and hopefully doing a couple races!
  • Thank you, Sarah, for the “Pregnant AF” T-shirt!! haha

Next up: finalize our pediatrician, put up an Out of Office reply, wash and sort all of the clothing, test all of our products and gadgets, and just enjoy this special time.

 

 

 

 

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