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I was making a Walmart run the other day for some essentials and when I threw on my t-shirt, I noticed something. It didn’t come all the way to the bottom of my stomach. It was a strange sensation. I mean, I was never one for belly shirts, so my lower abdomen has pretty much never gone out to meet the world unless I was in a bathing suit. I was going to change, but figured it was just Walmart and I’ve seen a lot worse at Walmart than a little belly skin.

A little slice of belly. (Oh heeeey, 80s workout headband? How YOU doin’?)

When I got home, I figured it was time for a little experiment. The experiment of the Black T-Shirt.

When I became pregnant, a friend loaned me a bag of maternity clothes. It was all cute and I was excited to try on every piece, even though a lot of it didn’t fit me yet. Especially, the Black T-Shirt. When I pulled out that shirt, I literally laughed out loud. It was huge. Square. Ridiculous. It was never going to fit. I called her up and demanded an explanation. There’s no way this fit you, I laughed at her.

WRONG. She said. Just you wait.

I psshaw’d her and returned to trying on the cute little tops.

So here we are months and months later, and I was faced with an issue. This is the maternity t-shirt I wore to Walmart:

Yes.

Here is the Black T-Shirt.

To give you an idea of its size, here it is with a non-maternity t-shirt I wore for at least half of my pregnancy.

As you can see, I had to give that up.

Back in February, Old Navy had a big maternity sale so I ordered a bunch of stuff. Most of it fit, or had a little room to grow, but there were two shirts that when tried on, I figured I’d just send back. They were tent-like and massive and nope, no need to keep these. But then my friend’s voice entered my head and I thought, ok, fine. I’ll just keep in them in the back of the closet, just in case.

I bet you can guess what I’m going to say next.

Yup, they fit. In all their tent-like glory.

And what about the Black T-Shirt? The shirt I avoided putting on for weeks and weeks?

Damn, I hate when my friends are right.

I don’t watch a ton of TV, but there’s definitely shows I never miss. Of course, most of them are wrapping up for the summer and with middle of the night feedings right around the corner, I feel like I’m going to need some stuff to watch.

Here’s what I never miss:

Glee (p.s. – Kurt’s dad! How much are you loving Kurt’s dad right now?!), How I Met Your Mother, Parenthood, The Good Wife, CSI NY (only the New York one), Real Housewives of NYC and NJ, The Office…

I’m sure there’s some other things here and there that I watch, but those are the main ones. I have no idea what shows are coming back this summer that I need to be watching so I’m asking for help. What do you watch? What gems are out there that I’m totally oblivious to?

Also, there’s a new show coming out on CBS called “Mike and Molly“, which clearly I will have to watch at least once!

Ok…go! Suggest! Thank you!

Saturday my wonderful friends held a baby shower here in Rhode Island. We had such a nice time and all the little details were really special. And, um, there was some super delicious grilled pizza that I may have eaten a lot of. Mmmm. Since it’s BEAUTIFUL here and I’d like to get a walk in before it gets super hot, I’m just going to photo-bomb you today. Enjoy!

Gift tags were all hand stamped and embossed by my friend Jess. She’s is crazy wonderful.

Diaper cake.

Don’t worry, they’re veggie!

The pizza. Mmmm.

With the fabulous hostessess:

More little shoes!

I’m pretty sure as long as he fits in it, we’ve found his going home outfit.

34 weeks and counting!

I feel very blessed to have so many people in my life who love us and are excited for this baby, that I was gifted with two showers. My family and friends are just the best!

You guys are funny with the photo requests. Belly at 33 weeks looked pretty much like it does today and 34 weeks and 1 day. (Although, at my appointment yesterday they said I was 34 weeks and 3 days. So who really knows. I’m sure those extra three days make a HUGE difference, right? Ha.)

Look out, it might eat you:

Belly button evacuation: Complete.

I’m probably jinxing myself now, but as of this moment, I still don’t have the linea nigra — the line that runs down your belly. I keep wondering if it’s going to show up and make Michael look underneath the belly button (where I cannot see for the life of me anymore) to see if  it’s starting.

This week I’m also smiling, because little boy has begun to amass his shoe collection. What a proud mama I am!

From my friend MB, wee little boat shoes for a New England baby:

 

From friend Johanna, creator of Kaya’s Kloset (run…RUN…and buy some of her handmade soft-soled baby shoes. SO CUTE.):

 

And most recently, from Clink, baby Chuck Taylors:

 

Sure, they all might be impractical for a while, but you can’t beat the cuteness!

Happy weekend!

We’ve hit some big milestones over here this week. Michael turned 30, and I’ve gained an even 30 pounds. We celebrated with birthday cake, and I’ll be making some double peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies today because, well, I want to.

Weight. Thirty pounds. In the beginning of the pregnancy the idea of gaining that much weight so quickly scared the crap out of me. I knew it was necessary, of course, for the health of the baby to put on weight, but 30 just seemed like a scary number. Now that I’ve reached it, it’s really not a big deal.

I’ve received some really nice body compliments during the pregnancy, which always makes you feel better, and for the most part, I am carrying mostly everything in my belly. (And, well,  yeah. My face. And my arms. But mostly belly!) It’s just sort of a fact of the matter now, you know? Every week I get on the scale there WILL be an increase of a pound or so. It’s just the way things work. Yes, some days I do feel like a whale, especially when yet another maternity shirt no longer covers my stomach all the way to the bottom. But then This Little Baby shoves his butt in the air and I can cup it, literally!, with my hand and all is well.

Emotions. I’ve reached the point where I’m almost ready for this pregnancy to be over. I have truly enjoyed being pregnant, but I just want to meet him already. The doctors have told me that at 38 weeks, they’re basically cooked and their lungs are functioning properly, so if he were to come two weeks early, hurrah!

Except, what if he’s like his mama and wants to evacuate THREE weeks early? As in, THREE WEEKS FROM NOW. It’s true that most first pregnancies tend to go full term, if not a little late, but that didn’t stop me from breaking my mom’s water many, many days before my expected arrival.

There’s something about seeing the words “three weeks” in front of me that kind of puts me on edge. Of course, six weeks isn’t really that much longer, but it is longer than three weeks. Double, even! (Your math lesson for the day. Don’t you feel smarter? I know I do.)

If he were to come early, it would be fine. We would be over the moon. But at the same time, I’m hoping he’s more like his father — 10 minutes late for everything — so that we can enjoy this last chunk of time just the two of us, preparing his nursery, washing his tiny clothes and looking forward to his birth.

Nursery progress. Michael started painting, but he’s been doing it around work so it’s little by little. The plan is to have everything said and done by the first weekend in June, when my mom will be arriving with baby’s dresser and I can finally put all those tiny onesies away. The beginning of June will also include the installation of the car seat, and the packing of my hospital bag. Early, yes, but after countless tales from friends warning me they weren’t ready, I figure it can’t hurt to pack the essentials.

When the room is done I’ll post pictures!

Symptoms. Things have been overall pretty normal as far as pregnancy goes, but one weird new one popped up early this week. The body makes a hormone called Relaxin which allows your joints and ligaments to loosen and stretch, opening your hip bones and making room for your growing baby.

Relaxin also causes you to stand up from sitting on the couch, only to find your leg is not in your socket, and therefore making you crumple to the floor in front of your perplexed husband. It didn’t hurt and I didn’t have the sensation of needed to pop the leg back in the socket, but it was WEIRD. My friend told me that happened during her pregnancy too, so I knew what it was, but still. SUCH an odd feeling. I make sure everything is where it should be now when I stand up!

Yesterday I was leaving the grocery store and as I approached my car I thought to myself, “Huh! I don’t remember pulling through into that spot. How smart am I? I love pull through spots. Good work, Molly.” I get a weird sense of pride when I find a pull through parking spot, what can I say. It’s like a minor accomplishment in the day, worthy of a fist pump, even. Maybe.

Anyway.

I took out my key, inserted it into the lock…and stopped. I was standing next to my car, staring into the window and looking at a ton of stuff inside. Stuff that wasn’t mine.

I continued to stand there, key in the lock, staring. My brain would just. not. register. My car. Key in lock. Not my stuff.

I stood there longer than appropriate, probably looking deranged, especially since I was talking OUT LOUD TO MYSELF in the parking lot. “Wait, I don’t…this isn’t my…but I don’t under…”

Guys. It wasn’t my car.

It was an identical car to mine in make, model and color, but, um, not mine. Not even a little.

Even after I realized this, (after an embarrassingly long time) I continued to stand there with the key in the lock just…being. And still talking to myself! Why was I talking to myself? Out loud? In the parking lot? I have no idea. This time it was more along the lines of “but if this isn’t my car, where IS my car?”

My car was two rows over. Right where I parked it. In a non-pull through spot. Retracting that fist pump.

I was suddenly very aware of the situation and the mortification that could potentially go along with it, so I yanked the key out of the lock (for the record, I never turned it, so I don’t know for sure if my key would have opened someone else’s car. Let’s hope not.) and started to hustle back to my own. “Hustle” is a relative term here, as my hustle is more of a waddle at this point.

I happened to look back over my shoulder just as I scooted into the next row, and noticed the owner of the car quickly approaching. Oh no! Did he see me? Did he think some giant round woman was trying to hijack his car?

I didn’t want to find out. I turned back around and booked it back to my car, two rows over, not filled with someone else’s stuff and sadly, not in a pull through space.

Then I sat there and laughed at myself until Michael happened to call me and I retold the whole story.

He thought I was nuts.

In the These Little Moments household, we’ve pretty much taken on the traditional male and female gender roles.

Aside from the occasional freelance work I do, Michael is the sole financial provider. After a year and half of job searching to no avail, my unemployment insurance is no longer and I will be stating  a new job in about six weeks — that of a Stay at Home Mom. We’ve figured out a way to make it work. A little less frivolous spending, a little more coupon clipping. Nothing that wouldn’t have been smart to do anyway. And the truth is, even if I had been working outside the home all this time, we most likely would have tried to make it work for me to stay at home with This Little Baby anyway, because it was important to both of us.

The time I’ve spent at home definitely has solidified our roles, though. I do all the cooking, the shopping, the cleaning, the laundry. (Except for scrubbing the shower, which I’ve made Michael’s chore, because I think he’s better at it. That and because breathing in those fumes lately didn’t seem like the best idea, unless we wanted baby to have an extra toe or something.) Michael takes care of paying the bills (side note: yes, I am involved in our finances, very much so. He just actually takes the time to sit down and pay the bills.), all yard work, anything involving our vehicles, and fixing things around the house.

Yes, at first I resented it. It would annoy me each time I took out the vacuum or soaped up the sponge. But as time went on, I began to think of it as my job. Because here’s the thing…he leaves the house for 40 hours a week (more, when he works overtime) to make a living to support our family. It’s one piece of our life puzzle. The fact of the matter is, we need money, and he can provide that.

In turn, I do the things that need to be done here at home. We need food. And I am kind of fond of clean underwear and a dog hair-free living environment. And I have the time to make those things a reality. Not to mention that soon, I’ll be doing those things while taking care of a new life. It should also be said that if I really needed help with something, Michael would help me. Except for cooking. The boy cannot cook to save his life. Something about the inability to multi-task in the kitchen. But, he does always thank me for each meal I make him, so that helps.

I’ve had friends make comments about our arrangement. Thinking it’s archaic that a man in 2010 doesn’t pick up a dinner shift or push the vacuum around once in awhile. Truth be told, two years ago I might have said the same thing. But now, at this point in our lives, it really works for us and most importantly, we’re happy. I don’t resent him for working, but not cleaning, and he doesn’t resent me for not traditionally working. (Although, I think he’s jealous that I can nap in the middle of the day.) Marriage is a partnership, and I think we’re each doing our part. Plus, I’ve reached a point where I’m actually happy doing what I do. Except for the vacuuming, because, blah.

What are the roles like in your home? Are you the “typical” woman? (Or man, although I think I only have like two male readers, but hey, if you’re out there boys, speak up!) If so, do you resent having to take on that role, or are you happy doing it?

Yesterday I woke up with some cramping that just felt…off. I waited a little bit to see if it would go away, but it was persistent and enough that I thought it would be wise to call my doctor, just to be sure.

I spoke to a nurse who didn’t appear overly concerned, but thought I should come in for peace of mind. I liked that. When I hung up I called Michael, but got his voicemail, where I left an emotional message that I knew would probably scare the crap out of him. I didn’t mean to cry…I was just scared.

I had some time to kill before the appointment, so of course, I Googled. And for once, it was actually reassuring. Many women on the cusp of 33 weeks seemed to experience similar pain with no problem, and I didn’t really come across any cases where they experienced pre-term labor.

I stayed on the couch and drank a lot of water, and by the time I had to leave for my appointment, the pain was gone.

Of course.

My doctor is wonderful, and she made me feel better the minute she walked in the room and took my hand. I explained what had happened and how I was feeling at the moment (better), and she listened with concern and compassion. It really pays to surround yourself with professionals that you trust and make you feel comfortable during this time.

I had an external and internal exam, and all is well. Blood pressure and baby’s heartbeat are beautiful (he kicked the doppler wand again. I don’t think he likes the cold gel!), my cervix is closed and I’m not experiencing any contractions.

As it turns out, I was dehydrated.

Dehydrated?! I was shocked. With all the water I drink during the day, how was that possible?

Well, it’s possible. The uterus is the biggest muscle in the body and it’s working overtime right now, so even the slightest drop in water intake can cause discomfort. Which I do NOT want to experience again! I’ve already had twice as much water this morning as I usually do, and I’ll be toting around an extra large bottle with me all day.

Those few hours of unknown really scared me. I wanted nothing more to protect this little boy — this little life inside of me —  and I would do anything to make that happen. I’m so lucky that all it will take is some H2O (well, a LOT of H2O) and a few more pee breaks.

I feel great today and This Little Baby is currently moving around so I’m no longer worried.

Now…off to drink more water!

- We went to Walmart yesterday to pick up a few items and of course my first stop had to be the bathroom. I walked in and stopped dead in my tracks when I noticed what was going on in the stall in front of me. (You think it’s going to be dirty now, don’t you? Well, it is. But not that kind of dirty!)

Whoever was in the stall…was in the stall BAREFOOT. In the WALMART BATHROOM. Ew, ew, ew, ew, EW.

- Why can’t American Idol end on time? Don’t they know I want to watch Glee  at exactly 9 p.m., not 9:02. Especially since Parenthood starts at 10 and if Glee goes over, well, we have a problem now don’t we? (For the record, we don’t have DVR. I know this would potentially solve the problem.) And aren’t there only three or four contestants left on Idol anyway? What can they possibly be doing for an hour that makes it impossible for them to end right on time?

And p.s. – what happened to Crystal Bowersox’s dreds? Where did they go?

- I officially have to pee ever 13 minutes or so. We’ve had some near misses where I swear to you, I thought I was going to pee my pants. So far, so good, but guys, it’s like potty training all over again.

- We have a meeting with the woman who will most likely be our pediatrician tonight. I’d like to come prepared with some questions, but I’m not really sure what to ask about other than her opinions on vaccination schedules (I’d like to stretch his out a little). Any suggestions on what I should bring to the table?

 

32 Weeks

Guys, I’m officially uncomfortable. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of room left in there and with 8 weeks to go, I think it’s only going to get tighter. Little boy continues to beat up my ribs, and with less room in there, his movements are becoming a lot more calculated. Instead of flips and cartwheels, it’s more like deliberate jabs. Despite the ouchiness, it is pretty cool to watch.

My meals have become a lot smaller, yet more frequent, as now that my stomach is compressed I can’t eat a lot at one time. For some reason, all I want lately is cereal. I can’t get enough cereal. Yesterday I bought Cocoa Krispies, a cereal I have never purchased, and apparently I didn’t know what I was missing. I eat it mostly as a snack or dessert, but man, it’s good.

We had our last childbirth class last night and we went in knowing that it was going to be the night we saw the movie. You know what I mean. THE  movie. As much as I’m looking forward to having this baby, I wasn’t really looking forward to a front-row visual of someone else giving birth. I’ve seen it before on various programs, but I was expecting the worst. Something out of the 70s with close ups of some ungroomed areas.

When the instructor wheeled out the TV with the VHS player, I held my breath and waited. And was totally wrong.

The movie wasn’t exactly current — something out of the 90s with lots of bright leggings and big sweatshirts — but it wasn’t that bad. It was, however, amusing. Especially when they started talking about visualization. I actually think the method can be quite helpful if you’re imagining riding your contractions like a wave or something, but this was a little…different.

My personal favorite, was when the support person was encouraged to discuss the woman’s cervix. “Imagine your cervix opening like a blooming rosebud. Feel your cervix softening like melting butter.”

Michael and I could barely look at each other without losing it. When we got in the car afterwards, he asked if I’d like to be reminded of that butter imagery come labor time. Only if he wanted a foot to the face, I told him.

Our night ended with a tour of the women’s wing at the hospital where I will deliver. They wanted to show us a device they dub the “baby lojack” – a teeny electronic monitor that attaches to the umbilical stump. If anyone attempted to take the baby off the floor, the monitor would trigger a lock down on the  unit and set off alarms. I’m not worried about anyone trying to steal our baby, but I guess it’s nice to know it’s there.

In order to show it to us, they asked a couple who had delivered their baby boy the night before if we could see him. They graciously agreed and oh. my. goodness. Michael and I practically melted into a puddle of goo when they wheeled out that precious little boy in his tiny blue cap — all small limbs and sleepy face.

In 8 weeks we get to take one of those home. One we made! It’s officially starting to hit me that I’m going to be a mommy soon and that? Is the best feeling in the world.

Happy weekend!

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