Contractions, expensive day, and some more home decor & organization pictures

I officially started trying to kick start labor yesterday. I saw my acupuncturist, who targeted some stimulating points, and it was crazy, but I could actually feel baby girl dropping lower during and after the session. I followed that up with a 30-minute steep neighborhood walk with the dogs in the evening. Afterwards, I started experiencing some longer, more frequent contractions, but they still didn’t feel like anything more than just tightening and never became regular. I went to bed relatively early, and they went away. It was great to sleep almost 8 hours, even if it was interrupted.

The repairman came out this morning to look at our dryer, which has been burning and melting our stuff off and on over the last few weeks. Unfortunately it needs the drum completely replaced, and on a 30+ year old dryer, that is impossible to find. So we ended up going online to research, and found a reasonably priced, well-rated LG washer/dryer combo – thank goodness for Memorial Day sales! Technically our washer still works, but it doesn’t wash very well, and the new one is a high-efficiency top-loader, so it’ll use less water and detergent, definitely a big plus with the drought nowadays.

Oh yes! Here is our reorganized linen closet, pantry, and kitchen closet. I also attached hooks to the inside of the pantry door to hang my pump accessories and bottle cooler that will be traveling to work with me. It makes me so happy to be able to see where everything is so easily now. If I get a chance, I’ll be adding labels too.

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I decided to use my HomeGoods gift card today to finish up decorating parts of the house. We’ve lived here almost 3 years, but it finally feels more homey, and ready to welcome home our baby girl! ❤

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Lactation cookies and master bedroom setup

We had to say goodbye to baby girl’s godmother this morning, but she’ll hopefully have a chance to come back next month to visit after she’s born!

I’d been hunting on Pinterest for good lactation cookie recipes, after seeing ones by Milkboosters selling for over $2 a cookie!! I made two different lactation cookie recipes this morning:

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The top ones are flourless peanut butter honey oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and the bottom ones are chocolate almond no-bake cookies. Both contain milk-boosting ingredients of brewers yeast, oatmeal, almonds, and flaxseed. I like both, the first ones are definitely more of a traditional chewy cookie. The bottom ones are really tasty straight from the freezer, and are almost more like a nougat. In any case, I made plenty and hopefully they do help!

After a thorough dusting and deep cleaning, I set everything up in our bedroom that we’ll need for baby girl’s first couple months. Looks like we’re finally ready for her! Now if only our dryer wasn’t acting up and burning some of our stuff…

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39-week update

How far along: 39 weeks – now truly full-term!

Meds: all taken daily – prenatal vitamins, vitamin D, DHA, probiotic, Levothyroxine 100 mcg

Gestational diabetes: Blood sugars seem to be back in range. Everybody seems surprised that I managed to stay off insulin, though I will admit sticking to the diet has been tougher lately. I am really missing my carbs 😦

Baby is the size of: a mini watermelon

Belly pictures: She’s definitely dropping some more, though I still don’t feel much pelvic pressure, just a more frequent need to pee.

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Total weight gain: Totally don’t understand my body – down a pound from last week, so just over 14 pounds up from pre-fertility treatment. Granted, my pre-fertility weight was about 5 pounds more than my previous steady weight when I exercised quite a bit, but I still feel a little weird looking at that number. Again, baby girl seems to be growing just fine, so I try not to stress about it.

Stretch marks: Nada!

Sleep: I’m able to get back to sleep after the 5am bathroom trip, but it’s fitful and I keep waking up every hour after that. Hoping for better sleep now that I feel like the house is pretty much ready. Hubby and I are also switching our usual sides for the first time tonight, to accommodate the location of the pack & play. Hopefully I settle easily with this!

Symptoms/Feeling: Still with constipation, I went ahead and took a Docusate tonight. And today was the first day where my back and hips bothered me all day without any break. I was extremely productive this week with my continuing education, renewing my professional license, and cleaning around the house, so I’m finally feeling like I’m ready for her to come, whenever she decides that will be! Also noticed some foot swelling today, my usually comfy soft flats were squishing my feet at dinner today. Guess I’m sticking to flip flops from here on out!

Our friends that were due 2 days before us delivered 2 days ago, so I’m now officially the last one standing out of 4 of us that were due this month (the other 2 delivered in April). I really do feel like a ticking bomb now, and have to remember to carry my phone with me even if I’m just walking the dogs near home.

Best moment of this week: Finishing the nursery, for sure! Closely followed by having baby girl’s godmother stay with us – we completed all the big to-do’s I had on my list, and it was so good to see her again. Now if baby girl will arrive in 2 days on her godmother’s birthday, that would thrill all of us!

Miss anything: Good sleep. And still a big hunk of French bread, raw tuna, and I think I finally settled on what I want to eat post-delivery – a generous slice of chocolate dobash cake from a local bakery!

Movement: Lots of stretching and hiccups, she’s definitely out of room!

Food cravings: See above. It’s been hard eating full meals lately, I get full way too quickly!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week!

Labor signs: Just the more frequent Braxton-Hicks, though they definitely correlate more with when I’m physically active with the cleaning and nesting. Otherwise, nothing different so far.

Belly button in or out: Currently flat with a bit of indentation, other times it pops out more.

Wedding rings on or off: They’re on and still pretty loose.

Happy or moody most of the time: Mostly happy, though the moodiness creeps in when I’m due to eat or my back is really bothering me.

Purchases/preparations for baby: I can’t believe people are still sending clothes for her – agggghhhh! Going to be making some returns tomorrow again. Otherwise, it looks like we are finally all set, after I rearranged our bedroom to get the pack & play situated next to me. Pump parts are sterilized or cleaned and ready for use, and I may test it out this weekend to see if I can stimulate labor if I don’t start on my own by then. The house is also de-cluttered and organized for the first time since we moved in almost 3 years ago, with the last bit of craziness restricted to essentially a giant walk-in closet now. We’ll see if I feel like dealing with that tomorrow, in between baking myself lactation cookies. Hubby did finally pack his hospital bag over the weekend as well, so now we just wait…

Looking forward to: MEETING BABY GIRL!!! 😀

Productive day, or why our baby’s godmother is awesome

We started off the day at the OB’s. I had thought I would be getting a cervical check, but after discussion with my OB about lack of any labor signs, and risks of infection with frequent cervical checks, we both agreed to hold off today. Baby girl continues to look great, though definitely running out of room. He estimated she’s at 7 lbs today, so right on track, though again who really knows.

I’m scheduled to see him again next Wednesday, which is the day before baby girl is due. He did give me a heads up that if I hadn’t delivered by then, at the end of that visit we would be scheduling my induction by 41 weeks. Given the gestational diabetes, I’m totally on board with this. I know the risks of going past that especially if she puts on a lot more weight, and would much rather try to encourage her arrival soon after 40 weeks. I forgot to mention that I’ve been seeing my acupuncturist again starting at 37 weeks, and she will definitely start more aggressive treatments at 39 weeks to encourage the process along, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! I am still sticking to my gut prediction of delivering this coming weekend – we shall see.

After the visit, I drove to the airport to pick up baby girl’s godmother, who generously offered to stay with us this week to help me take care of any loose ends and errands. She accompanied me as I made a return at a store that’s 45 minutes away – where I wouldn’t be willing to drive on my own at this point. We enjoyed a delicious lunch, then made our way home. And all in one afternoon, she helped me with 5 big to-do’s around the house, which freed me up to focus on folding laundry, which I was able to do while also completing some online continuing education.

There’s still quite a few items on my to-do list to tackle, but she definitely gives me hope that we can complete most, if not all of them! Not to mention it’s nice to have the company, and it keeps me more on task as well. Having her here as opposed to my parents is just so much less stressful right now as we wait for baby girl to make her appearance!

Nursery reveal

Stayed up until 2am, yet still woke up at 7am today. Took care of errands, set up the monitor, and cleaned as best as I could. Finally, here is baby girl’s room!

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This doesn’t look terribly different from before, other than the addition of the pennant and position of the picture. My parents will be staying with us for a month after baby girl is born, so keeping the bed was a must. Not to mention it’ll probably be handy for sleep training later.

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The diaper changing area and crib turned out just how I was envisioning them! The hardest part was placement of all the art, and I’m still a bit nervous about having one hang over the crib, but I’ve double-secured it with a screw and Command picture hangers.

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We kept the bookcase from before. I was able to use some of the baby shower decor above the closet and on the memo board. The dog tail hooks from Ikea below the memo board were a huge pain to install securely, so I’m happy I figured out a good solution. Yes, it involved a power drill and drywall anchors.

So that’s it for now! I’m thinking after my afternoon snack, I’m indulging in a nap before I tackle our giant piles of laundry. Let’s hope my nesting energy holds over for the rest of the house, because we really need it!

Crib and diaper changing area DONE!

Posting these progress pictures now because I don’t think we’ll be quite done until tomorrow, partly because I want to switch out a tray for a couple more boxes on the diaper changing station instead. Still need to hang all the decor and set up the rug.

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I debated pegboard for this, but went with the elfa utility board from Container Store in the end since I was nervous about the more DIY aspect of pegboard. It was so nice to have a couple of hubby’s teammates visit this afternoon – they totally wanted to pitch in, and this was one of the items they completed! The dresser is a vintage find we’ve had for a couple years, and the changing pad is by Keekaroo – I like being able to just wipe and clean a solid surface, rather than deal with washing changing pad covers.

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After a lot of cursing at the provided crappy tools, hubby set up the crib today – hurray!! My parents bought this for us, and it’s surprisingly affordable at <$200, especially since it includes the toddler rail for future toddler bed conversion. Hubby wasn’t a huge fan of the 2-tone, but I feel like it really ties in the rest of the room, rather than being all white or all wood tone. I found the crib skirt on clearance when Naartjie had their closing sale, and the crib sheet is from Zulily, though on a regular basis we’ll probably stick with plain-colored QuickZip sheets for the ease of quick changes.

Other extra items we took care of today – completely set up the high chair with its baby seat, cushion, and tray, and assembled the snap & go. Yes, with all the drama with Target, they finally sent it out yesterday and it arrived today! I attached and detached the car seat on it, and it was much easier to deal with than on the regular stroller, so I think worth it in the end.

Nursery progress!

After a week of late nights and tons of laundry, the nursery is finally coming together! The closet and drawers are stocked, and I was surprised to see we have a good amount of storage left, which is great since I know more stuff will accumulate over time.

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I also set up the diaper cart that’s staying in our bedroom initially. I ended up not lining the tray bottoms because with all the diapers on there, it’s enough to dampen any vibration/sound. The top tray has a wipes dispenser, hand sanitizer, diaper balm, burp cloths, and loose diapers. There’s still room for my water bottle and some snacks (protein bars and granola – whatever I can easily eat with one hand), since it will also be sitting near the glider for feeding sessions. Also filled a tote to use as a diaper caddy downstairs.

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So I think we may finish the nursery tomorrow! Both of us are home all day, and here’s what’s left on the to-do list:

  • hang the new smoke/carbon monoxide detector
  • assemble the crib and make the mattress ready to use, even though it probably won’t be for a couple months other than daytime naps
  • hang the diaper organization unit on the wall over the changer and stock it with essentials
  • set up the baby monitor
  • organize toys and books on the bookshelf
  • hang all the wall art, decor, and a couple hooks

It’s quite a list, but I think we can do it! Looking forward to completing it, so that I can move onto our neglected laundry and scary closets. I love having the time to get organized! I haven’t had any significant time off at home since we moved here almost 3 years ago, and it shows in how haphazard our storage areas look. I certainly won’t have this kind of free time again 🙂

38-week update

How far along: 38 weeks – can’t believe it!

Meds: all taken daily – prenatal vitamins, vitamin D, DHA, probiotic, Levothyroxine 100 mcg

Gestational diabetes: Blood sugars were all great this week, except just now I had a super high one after dinner – think I didn’t space out my snack and meal very well. Should hopefully be better the next few nights. In any case, too late for insulin now!

Baby is the size of: a celery bunch

Belly pictures: I think she’s dropped a bit! My ribs and chest don’t ache quite as much.

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Total weight gain: I’m ready to throw out my scale, except my weight at the doctor’s also showed that I’m down 2.8 lbs from last week?? So up just over 15 lbs from pre-fertility weight. I really don’t get it…

Stretch marks: Nothing at all, even my OB commented on this! Looks like I’m taking after my mom.

Sleep: I need to force myself to go to bed earlier, because the 5am bathroom trip followed by not being able to fall back asleep pattern is holding steady. I suppose it could be worse and I could be getting up multiple times, but I think that’s only because I go to bed much too late 😛

Symptoms/Feeling: Constipation, back and hip pain – my prenatal massage today was very much needed! And I’m torn – on one hand, I want to meet baby girl ASAP, on the other, I feel like I need at least another week to get everything squared away at home, not to mention try and get some continuing education hours under my belt so I can renew my professional license next month. Eeks!

Best moment of this week: Always good to get a peek at baby girl on ultrasound, even though she just looks very smushed now. We also enjoyed ourselves at the family Mother’s Day celebration over the weekend.

Miss anything: A good piece of French bread with lots of butter. Raw tuna. Sleeping in until 7am (which will not happen again for YEARS).

Movement: She’s still stretching and pushing herself around in there, and thankfully still in optimal birthing position. I recorded some video the other night of her antics to show hubby, was pretty crazy how obvious her movements and body parts are now!

Food cravings: See above… not too long now until I can indulge in my carbs again!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week!

Labor signs: I had some more frequent Braxton-Hicks yesterday, but today was better probably because I pushed myself to really drink water. I get so caught up with nesting at home that time flies by and I realize I haven’t eaten my requisite every-3-hour meal/snack or had enough water. OB still hasn’t checked me internally but the plan is to do so at my next appointment Monday, so we’ll see. Right now, I’m predicting Memorial Day weekend for D-day!

Belly button in or out: Still changes throughout the day, so I don’t think it will ever fully pop out.

Wedding rings on or off: They’re on and loose!

Happy or moody most of the time: Still generally happy, though little things do tend to irritate me more than I’d expect.

Purchases/preparations for baby: My hospital bag is packed, hubby is on his own though I did make sure to include some snacks for him in my bag. I’ve posted some of the other small projects I worked on in the last week earlier, and hoping to be done with what I can do in the nursery tomorrow. Today I focused on getting the kitchen organized since we need to make room for bottles and other baby feeding supplies. By the time I was done, I’d collected 3 grocery bags full of expired meds and old batteries, so looks like I’ll be taking them in to the hazardous waste center this weekend. But now it’s much easier to find and reach everything in our deep cupboards, will just need to break out the label maker later!

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I also attended a babywearing workshop tonight, which was really helpful because I was completely confused by the Baby K’tan carrier we received and reading the instructions wasn’t helpful with pregnancy brain. With the facilitator’s help, I was able to successfully place the baby doll in and take it out – my terror at dropping baby girl the first time has now abated! Also learned about all the various carrier types, which is good since the K’tan will only last us the first couple months really. We also have a soft-structured carrier (Beco Gemini), but it’s not so great for newborn use, and we’ll see how I like it in a few months. I may be on the hunt for a ring sling just for its simplicity.

Looking forward to: Finishing up the nursery soon, and baby girl’s godmother coming to visit next week, to help me finish cleaning and organizing the rest of the house! We are so fortunate to have such good friends – she completely volunteered to do this. What will be really interesting is to see if baby girl decides to come out on her godmother’s birthday in 9 days – she would be over the moon if that happened 🙂

Setting up my breast milk storage system

Two posts in one day! That could only mean one thing – I was too physically tired to do as much as I needed to in the nursery today, with more Braxton-Hicks happening. So I stuck to easier things, like sterilizing a couple bottles, nipples, and pacifiers, and running the dishwasher for future cups, bowls, and spoons. I’m hoping to stick to glass bottles, since I do feel like there is enough plastic exposure these days (and BPA-free may not be all that safe either), but that will be up to baby girl to decide if she likes any of the brands we have. Currently we have 4 brands of glass bottles, 2 silicone bottles, and 2 traditional BPA-free plastic bottles that were samples/gifts. I only opened 2 of the glass so far, and hopefully I can return, resell, or gift the remainder once she settles on one! Tomorrow I need to work on sterilizing all my breast pump parts, and figuring out how it works.

I learned of Milkies Milk Trays last year while researching for our registry, and thought this sounded like a great way to avoid wasting milk. It also allows for much quicker thawing since the portions are just 1-ounce sticks. If you live near a Buy Buy Baby, see if they have any on clearance under their old company name (Sensible Lines) – I found some for half off! After freezing in the trays, I’d pop the sticks out and store in regular freezer bags, which are cheaper than the usual breast milk storage bags.

I hung onto all the gift bags from all the baby’s gifts for future re-use, and picked one out especially to create my breast milk storage system. I can’t remember where I read about this, but I think it was a mom group on Facebook. No need to buy special racks and trays, just need a gift bag and a little time to modify it. It’s a super easy way to make sure you always grab the oldest frozen milk first.

Love-hate relationship with Target

In the last few weeks I’ve developed quite the love-hate relationship with Target. I received several gift cards there, so ended up completing most of our registry items with them online. After setting up the car seat adapter on our regular stroller, I decided to go ahead and order the snap & go since it’ll be much lighter and more convenient to use in the first few months. It arrived just a few days after I placed the order… except it didn’t. They sent a stroller by the same manufacturer of the snap & go instead. WTF. Spent 15 minutes on the phone with them explaining what happened, and they said to go ahead and ship it back, and once they received it, they’d ship out the correct item. That was last week. They emailed me yesterday saying my new order was delayed until they received the stroller. I double-checked the return tracking # and saw they received it last Friday! So I tried to email back to them, but it was a dead address, so went online and used their contact form. Heard nothing for 24 hours, so finally called them just now and spent another 15 minutes explaining. They couldn’t figure out why despite having received the stroller 5 days ago, they hadn’t released the new order, but they’re now shipping the snap & go. But couldn’t tell me when to expect it. ARGH!!

Not only that, I had ordered a decorative tray for our living room that was inexpensive and cute. However, it arrived completely gouged on the side, so I had to go to the store today to exchange it. Thankfully they had trays there that were in pristine condition. AND, as I was looking for my replacement tray, I happened upon this memo board on clearance, in the nursery colors!

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Target may redeem themselves if the snap & go arrives before I deliver, but this find took a bit of the sting off.