Mommy Monday: 36 weeks pregnant with number two - cerclage removal!

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Ok, I've come to a conclusion: GETTING A CERCLAGE REMOVED SUCKS. haha I had hopes that this time around would be a more pleasant experience than last time, but - it wasn't really. Which leads me to believe that cerclage removals just suck in general. And that's that. haha And that's fine. It is what it is.

Bottom line is, MY CERCLAGE IS OUT, hooray!! And this time around, the doctor was able to get the entire stitch out, versus last time part of it was still left in because my doctor couldn't get it all. So I am very thankful that the entire stitch was able to be removed this time! My doctor showed me the stitch after it was taken out and it was much different looking than I was expecting! It was HUGE and thick and black...I was expecting something daintier and less horrifying looking haha.

Anyways, the removal was painful and unpleasant, but it's done and I am so happy to have the stitch out and to be completely "normal" and ready for this baby to come! :)

After removing the cerclage, the doctor checked my cervix and said I am 2 cm dilated and about 60% effaced - about exactly what I was after I got my cerclage removed with my first pregnancy.

Oh, before I forget: last week I had an ultrasound to check the baby's growth and position. Everything looked great! Baby boy is head down (woohoo!) and was estimated to be about 6lbs 6oz. James was a big baby at 8lbs 11oz when he was born, and the doctor said she thinks this baby will be not *quite* as big, but still over 8lbs. His belly was also measuring big, but the doctor said "not in a concerning way...in a CUTE way!" haha Which I think is adorable. I can't wait to kiss that big belly!

I've been really stressing out about going into labor and about getting to the hospital on time and about being able to get an epidural in time - and MOSTLY about having to leave James when I'm in the hospital. I've never spent a night away from James, and I know he'll be fine with my parents (they're coming to stay with him at our house). But I'm still stressing about it and so sad to have to be away from him!! I was "induced" in that my water was broken with James, so I never experienced going into labor on my own, unexpectedly. I'm pretty nervous for that! I hate when things aren't planned out and I just hope it happens at a convenient time and that I realize what's happening in time to get to the hospital!! I'm stressing big time, guys!! Prayers please! I'm really trying to just trust God and put it all in His hands and NOT WORRY. It will all be fine, I know. :)

Also, I know I express a lot of fears and worries and discomforts here in this blog, but I want you all to know how genuinely grateful I am for this pregnancy and for how smoothly it has gone and for my healthy baby boy. I thank God every day that we made it this far without any complications or scares! I am so thankful to have been able to experience a more "normal" and worry free pregnancy! I'm praying the duration of this pregnancy and the labor/delivery/postpartum recovery go just as scare and worry free!

Ok, on to this week's survey:

How far along: 36 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up around 40lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Living in my maternity leggings and big t-shirts!

Stretch marks? So many above and below and around my belly button!

Sleep: Insomnia, frequent peeing, stress...it's been rough! But it's all part of the journey!

Best moment this week: Having my cerclage be OUT!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: SO MUCH! He's a very active little boy, and he particularly loves punching and head butting my cervix and pelvis area while simultaneously kicking my ribs. haha

Food cravings: Doughnuts, pizza, fruit...

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Back pain, period-like cramps, Braxton Hicks

Belly Button in or out? It's pretty much flat now.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! But definitely moody and cranky and emotional as well.

Symptoms: Upper back pain on the right side - super horrible, pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

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Tracking Contractions With Bloomlife

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This post is sponsored by Bloomlife. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Hi friends!

This post is for all my expecting mamas out there. I have partnered up with a really cool company called Bloomlife, and I'm so excited to share it with you!

Bloomlife is a women's health company whose focus is on improving the health of moms and babies. Through the use of their clinically validated tracker, expecting moms can now automatically track and count their contractions - it is seriously so handy!

Here's how it works:

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You rent a tracker from Bloomlife (use the code AMC10 for 10% off your weekly rental!) and they send you everything you need to start monitoring your contractions.

Included in your box are the following: a Bloomlife sensor, patches, a sensor charging cord, and a quick guide that walks you through how to use your sensor. It's everything you need to get started and let me tell you, it is super simple. I was a bit nervous that the setup and everything would be complicated and tricky, but it was so easy to use. I was very pleasantly surprised.

To get started, you just download the app in the app store, and it will easily walk you through setting up your device.

Once you have the app and have gone over how to use the device, you can begin tracking and counting your contractions. All you have to do is apply the device to your belly (again, very easy to do and the directions on how to properly position the device are very straight forward.) Then, you get comfy, and start tracking! It's a great idea to get into the routine of wearing your Bloomlife for an hour or two every evening. You need to be sitting down, so I love to curl up with a good book while I'm tracking.

Most moms like to use Bloomlife for the last 6-8 weeks of their pregnancy to monitor contractions. But you can really start whenever you'd like, as Bloomlife allows you to match your rental period to your specific pregnancy needs.

Hellooooo stretchmarks and creepy belly button! haha

Hellooooo stretchmarks and creepy belly button! haha

Something I really love about Bloomlife is how easy it makes it to track and count contractions. With my last pregnancy, I tried out several different contraction counting apps, and all of them were so hard for me to use. I had to push a button when each contraction started, and then push it again when it ended, and often times I wasn't even entirely sure when exactly they were starting or fully stopped. And then sometimes I would forget to use the app at all... it was just really inconvenient! Bloomlife makes it SO easy because if I'm feeling contractions, I can just sit down with my device on and it will automatically count and track all of my contractions for me. I literally don't have to do a thing but sit there, haha. It just makes it so easy!

Bloomlife gave me a code for you guys to use, if you'd like to try out a device! You can go to the Bloomlife website by clicking HERE, and then use the code AMC10 for 10% off your weekly rental!

I'm so excited to be able to share this company with you all because it is one I genuinely love and believe in. I've been trying out and using the monitor personally and I can honestly say that it is a product that I believe you will love if you are an expecting mama.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about Bloomlife and how it works and I will be happy to answer them!

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Mommy Monday: 38 Weeks!

I'll miss my shelf!!

Well, here I am! Still pregnant! haha Who would have EVER thought?! I seriously can't believe that, after assuming he'd be here early for so long, he is actually still in there! What a blessing! But also, let's be done now. haha Just kidding. He can, of course stay in as long as he needs to and I'm SO thankful that we've made it to full term!! What a relief! BUT. I'm freaking uncomfortable. haha My feet and legs are GINORMOUS - like...beyond swollen and tight and they HURT like heck!! I don't fit in any of my shoes! I'm having so many cramps and contractions. I officially full-on waddle now. I pee every five minutes. Oh boy...hahaha The last few weeks of pregnancy are no joke!

But, I'm still loving it. And I'm going to miss it so much once I'm not pregnant any more. It's just such a beautiful, exciting, special experience! I have been getting in some squats, stretching, and resistance band workouts, and I've been trying to walk more. It feels nice to be able to do little workouts again!! But I'm so swollen and big and lumbering that I honestly can't do much, haha.

On Friday we had a doctor's appointment. He checked my cervix, and as he was checking it he said, "Oh! I'm not going to be seeing you next week." When I asked why, he said he doesn't think I'll make it to the next appointment (this coming Friday). I was 2-3cm dilated and pretty much fully effaced. Now, we'll see, because I've read of people being more dilated than that and lasting several more weeks. SO. We'll see if he's right!

He also said that he was going to offer to sweep my membranes that day, but that he had called labor and delivery and they were pretty busy so he decided not to. But if I make to the next appointment he will do the sweep at that time! So, this coming Friday, if I'm still preggers, he'll do a sweep! For those of you who don't know, a membrane sweep is when the doctor inserts a finger into the cervix and gently separates the bag of water from the uterus. It's a natural way of trying to get things going. It only works to start labor if your body is already ready for it, so there is no risk. Can you believe that I'm at the point where the doctor is actually going to be doing something to try to help START LABOR?! What!? So exciting!! I can't wait!

In other exciting and TMI news, I lost my mucous plug. I'm not going to explain what this is, you can google it if you want. haha But let's just say that it is a sign that labor is coming! It really is just a matter of time now!

I've had bouts of really bad, painful contractions that come every 3-5 minutes or so, but they don't last for more than an hour and then they stop completely. So, not the real deal yet. But things are happening and little boy is going to be making his appearance very very soon!! Ben and I are just BEYOND excited for him to be born!! I've been walking a lot, eating spicy food, eating pineapple, etc... trying lots of tricks to naturally get labor going. Obviously I don't want to rush things so I haven't been going crazy. But I'm just so excited to finally get to hold him in my arms! It still feels surreal that at the end of this entire experience we are going to have a BABY.

It's Ben's birthday today!! And it was our 8 year wedding anniversary yesterday - read our love story here! I was kind of hoping that our son would be born on Saturday because then it would have been his birthday, our anniversary, and Ben's birthday all in a row. Plus, I thought it would be cool if Ben and I were both the same age when the baby was born. But, oh well! Ben will be 28 and I'll be 27! That's just fine! :)

How far along: 38 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 45lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Next pregnancy, I will be investing in more maternity pieces up front!! There's no point in buying more now, but I have NOTHING TO WEAR!!

Stretch marks? POSSIBLY a few little ones by my belly button...it's hard to tell! I'm hoping not though!!

Sleep: Not awful! Still getting up a lot to pee.

Best moment this week: Celebrating our 8 year wedding anniversary! <3

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Lots! :)

Food cravings: Ice cream, doughnuts, pineapple

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm SO LARGE.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Contractions, cramps, intense pressure, sore inner thighs, lost my mucous plug!

Belly Button in or out? Flat and sort of in a bit more than it has been in awhile!

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy this week interspersed with moments of emotional craziness. haha

Symptoms: Pelvic pressure, very swollen feet and legs (and hands and arms and face and everything), sore all over, thirsty, shortness of breath, contractions, cramping, peeing all the time.

Thanks for reading!! The countdown is ON! 8 days left until his due date! What do you think? What's your guess for when he'll be born?? Comment below and let me know!!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 37 Weeks Pregnant!

Happy Monday!

I have a good feeling about this week! It's going to be a great one! :)

Week 37 of my pregnancy was great! I did my first "workout" type video since being put on bedrest. It was a pregnancy stretching video and it felt so nice! I took it easy, of course, but it was wonderful!

We had a pretty uneventful doctor's appointment at which he checked the baby's heartrate and it was good. I think the doctor was a bit surprised to see me still pregnant after removing my cerclage at the last appointment! haha He had only given me a 50/50 chance of making it to the next appointment - and now here I am, 38 weeks tomorrow! The doctor also had me sign all of the delivery consent forms which made it all seem SO real!!

The past few days I've been having A LOT more period-like cramps, intense pressure, and contractions. Friday night they kept waking me up they got so bad. On Saturday evening I ended up calling Labor & Delivery. The nurse that I spoke with was so nice and asked me so many questions to get an idea of what I was experiencing. She told me to take a shower, lie down, and drink a lot of water and rest, and that she would call me back in a couple of hours to see how I was doing.

Things ended up calming down. But Ben and I definitely had gotten our hopes up that maybe this was it! Crazy that we are at the point where it's ok to be excited about contractions and labor! Who would have ever thought that we'd be here!

I've also experienced a significant amount more swelling in my feet and legs over the past day or so. It's very uncomfortable and gross looking, haha. I have a feeling that this baby will be born in the next few days...we'll see if I'm right! Who knows, this might be my last pregnancy blog post! Maybe my next update will be that our little guy has arrived! How exciting!

How far along: 37 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 40lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Nothing fits or looks cute any more. Yuck. haha

Stretch marks? Still none...!

Sleep: Ok, other than being woken up by cramping/contractions the past two nights!

Best moment this week: Precious moments with Ben, knowing they are some of our last before our son arrives!! :)

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A ton! He's an active little one! :)

Food cravings: Watermelon, breakfast bowls, pineapple, french fries!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Every part of me is swollen and ginormous. I'm gross. haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Contractions, cramps, intense pressure, sore inner thighs.

Belly Button in or out? Flat!

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy this week! I feel like my psychotic emotions and mood swings have leveled out a bit!

Symptoms: Pelvic pressure, swollen feet and legs (and hands and arms and face and everything), sore all over, thirsty, shortness of breath, contractions, peeing all the time.

Thanks for reading! We are nearing the end of this incredible journey and I am SO glad that I've gotten to share it with you all - the good AND the bad! :) I just feel incredibly blessed to have been able to experience pregnancy and everything that that has entailed for me. Words can't describe how excited I am to meet my little boy face to face. He's been my special, silent little companion through all of this and I already feel like we have been through so much together. I can only imagine that when our eyes finally meet, I'll think, "oh, there you are, it's you at last!" My very own little buddy who I will finally have to share with the world. For now, I will enjoy these last few days (or weeks) of having him all to myself and being the one who gets to feel his kicks and wiggles and who knows his patterns and behaviors. I'm already so in love. :)

Until next time!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 36 Weeks, Cerclage Removed - It's Getting Serious!!

First of all, happy 4th of July!!

We made it to 36 weeks...and then some!! Can you believe it?? I can't! And even more incredible, I'll be 37 weeks TOMORROW. Wow. Thank GOD! :) 37 weeks is officially considered "term" so he wont be considered premature any more, no matter when he is born! Full term is technically not until 39 weeks now, but 37 is considered term and not premature, so I'll take it! Baby boy will no longer be considered a preemie if he comes now! Yay!! I am so relieved!

36 weeks, woohoo!

The night before my cerclage removal, Ben and I went for a little walk at a beach near our house and let Gunner swim. It was so nice! We weren't sure if that was going to be our last night before our son arrived or not, so it was special. :)

On Friday morning, I had my cerclage removed. I had it put in urgently at 20 weeks due to a shortened cervix that was discovered via ultrasound at our Anatomy Scan.

EXPECTING MAMAS: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET YOUR CERVIX CHECKED EARLY ON IN YOUR PREGNANCY! AND HAVE IT CHECKED AGAIN AT SOME POINT TOO...WE HONESTLY COULD HAVE LOST OUR BABY BOY IF THEY HADN'T CAUGHT MY SHORTENED CERVIX WHEN THEY DID!! PLEASE INSIST THAT YOU GET CHECKED!!

I am so thankful that the cerclage did it's job for these past 16 weeks and kept my cervix closed and kept our baby boy safe inside, so that he could grow strong and healthy!

I was really really nervous to get my cerclage removed. It's just done in the doctor's office, no pain meds or anesthesia or anything. The doctor just inserts a speculum, like a pelvic exam, and goes in and snips out the stitches. I was told it would be uncomfortable, but probably not painful, and that it would take just a minute or two. But I was still scared, just because...I don't know, I guess you can imagine why. It just sounded unpleasant.

I was so excited to be done with the cerclage though. The whole time it was in was a bit nerve-racking just because if I happened to go into labor while it was in, it was time-sensitive and pressing that I got to the hospital or doctor ASAP because the stitches could hurt me (I wont go into more detail, but I'm sure you understand!) So to be getting them out so that I wouldn't have to worry about that was SUCH a relief!!

Ben and I went into the appointment ready for anything! We had our hospital bags in the truck, the car seat installed, and we were mentally prepared for me to go into labor that day.

To make a long story short, my cerclage removal didn't go very smoothly. The doctor had trouble getting my stitches out and it took a long time and it was very painful and unpleasant and just kind awful. But. They are out now, bottom line. So, YAY! And I am off of all of my medicine now so I am officially NORMAL! A normal pregnant person, yippee!

Once the cerclage was FINALLY out, the doctor told me that I was dilated to 2cm and pretty thinned out already. He said, "You could have the baby tonight." I think my jaw dropped. I had known that it was a possibility to go into labor right when the stitches came out, but to hear that said out loud was still so shocking, haha. My doctor said there was a 50/50 chance that I'll make it to next Friday...so we'll see!! The point is...this baby could likely be showing up any time now! Which is so exciting!! Ben and I just can't wait! I mean, obviously we want our boy to stay in as long as possible so that he's as healthy and strong as can be...but at the same time we are SO anxious and excited for him to be here! :)

I'm still continuing to take it easy to try to keep him in as long as possible, but now that we're so far along, it's really fine if he comes now! Which is SUCH a great feeling! :)

There is a little sneak peak at the nursery! We got a lot done this past weekend! I'll do a whole post about it once it's completely finished! :) A BIG thanks to my parents for helping us get all the furniture moved and for helping to set things up and get everything organized!! <3

We're ready for you, baby boy!

How far along: 36 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 37lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, but NOTHING is comfortable any more! haha

Stretch marks? None!!

Sleep: Slightly better now that I don't have alarms going off to remind me to take medicine!

Best moment this week: Setting up the nursery!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A lot! :)

Food cravings: Ice cream, doughnuts, fruit, fries!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I can't imagine getting any larger...help.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks, period-like cramps.

Belly Button in or out? Flatish.

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! Emotional, cranky, happy, sad, mad, excited, giddy, scared, enraged, frustrated, sweet, mean, laid back, psycho... you know...

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, VERY swollen feet and ankles, achey, fatigued, lightening crotch, shortness of breath, cramps.

Thanks so much for following along on this crazy journey! We are coming down the home stretch and I am SO thankful that we've made it this far and that we have so many people cheering us on! :) Thank you thank you! Until next week!!

xo, Anna

Pregnancy Q&A: Ask Away!

I get SO many messages, e-mails, and comments asking questions about pregnancy, preparing for a new baby, high-risk pregnancy, bed rest, how I plan on incorporating a baby into my adventurous lifestyle, etc... I've decided it might be fun to do a Q&A so that I can answer all of your questions in one blog post! I could even do a Snapchat Q&A if you guys think that would be fun. Let me know what format you'd like: blog post, Snapchat, or both!

Anyways, if you have any questions for me regarding pregnancy or becoming a first time mom or planning a babymoon or preparing for a new baby or anything, feel free to ask! Send your question(s) to me through the Contact form under the About tab in the menu. You can also Snap me your questions, or leave them in a comment below! Heck, you can even IG message me! Whatever floats your boat! Just send your questions over and let me know what format you'd like the Q&A to be in and I will get to work answering all of your questions!

I'd like to do a Q&A about blogging/writing/freelance work sometime soon as well. I get a TON of questions about these topics as well so I think it would be fun to dig deeper and answer your questions in a blog post or Snapchat or YouTube video. Let me know what you think!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 35 Weeks!

Finally getting all moved into our new place!

This week has been a crazy one! We finally got to move into our new house! We've been staying with my parents since we moved back to WA, and while it was so nice being with them, it's VERY nice to have all our stuff around us in our own place. :) It's so nice to be able to sleep in our own bed again! We're still in the process of getting unpacked and settled, but I am just SO glad to be able to start nesting and setting up our little one's nursery ... and to have a home to bring him home to! haha My parents have been such a huge help with finding our house, getting movers for us, and helping us set things up/move in. I am basically useless, being on modified bedrest, so it is really really nice for Ben to have the help unpacking! We are so thankful for them!

My not so little boy! &lt;3

My not so little boy! <3

We had a doctor's appointment on Friday and all is well - our little boy's heart rate was perfect. Just over the past week my feet and ankles have BLOWN UP. They are constantly puffed up and you can't even see my ankle bones any more. It's disgusting. haha I asked my doctor about it and he checked them out, asked me about other symptoms, and basically said, "yeah, it's uncomfortable, huh?" haha Bottom line, it's a totally normal pregnancy symptom and I just have to keep my feet up, drink lots of water, and suck it up! haha

I've also had a LOT of lightening crotch this past week. The baby has dropped really low and I can feel him grinding his skull against my pubic bone. IT HURTS! It feels like lightening and dull pain...hence the joy that is "lightening crotch". Another common pregnancy symptom (with a fun name to boot!)

I've also basically not been sleeping at all this past week. I have such bad insomnia, have to pee so much, have to get up for my medicine, and am just so uncomfortable that sleep is pretty much not an option. haha

This coming Friday is a BIG day: I get my cerclage taken out!! I am SO nervous and excited! This is the point that we have been working towards for the past sixteen weeks since I had the emergency cerclage put in. I can't believe that we made it!! I don't think the doctors can either. I'm pretty sure we're beating the odds. My doctor told me that when I first met with him when we moved up here from CA, he was anxious about me, but that I have done great and he's SO pleased that we have made it to this point!!

He also told Ben and I to prepare for our son to possibly be born this coming weekend after the cerclage removal! I'll also be going off all of my medicine (Progesterone and Nifedipine) on Friday as well. He said that I could potentially still go to 40 weeks, but just to prepare in case removing the cerclage results in the start of labor. So we got our carseat installed, we're bringing our hospital bags, I'm getting my nails done, curling my hair, putting on some sunless tanner, and we are going to be ready for whatever happens Friday/this weekend! So exciting!

Now that we're getting down to it, I am really getting SO nervous for the whole labor and delivery process and what it's going to do to my body. I plan on getting an epidural (and any other drugs or pain meds they can give me, haha), but I'm still scared for the pain and just everything. I'm excited though!! Ben and I are SO thrilled that we may get to meet our baby in just a few days!!

Ben and I had a fun date night last week! We went out to dinner, got ice cream, and found this beautiful beach on the sound near where we live. It was so much fun! It's crazy to think that that could potentially be one of our last date nights before our son gets here!!

How far along: 35 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 35lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Getting so hard to find something comfortable to wear!! haha Even my maternity clothes are starting to be tight!

Stretch marks? Still none...oh my goodness, if I get some at this point I'll be so annoyed!! haha I've made it so far with none!! Fingers crossed!!!!

Sleep: HA

Best moment this week: Date night with Ben! And getting moved into our new house!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Lots and lots!

Food cravings: Fruit, milk, salad, burgers, pasta, fries, ice cream...haha EVERYTHING.

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: So. Ginormous.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Flat.

Wedding rings on or off? Off, but wearing a place holder ring!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both!

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, VERY swollen feet and ankles, achey, fatigued, lightening crotch, shortness of breath. Eek!

Thanks for reading!! If you think of it, send a prayer or good thought or positive vibe or anything my way on Friday! :)

xoxo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 34 Weeks and My Baby Shower!!

34 weeks!

Week 34 is in the books! Woohoo! Who would have thought that we'd make it this far?? I am SO happy that my little boy has been able to stay in for so long. Hopefully he'll stay in a few weeks longer! Let's keep going!!

This weekend was my baby shower!! It was SO amazing and fun and beautiful! I didn't think I was going to be able to have a baby shower since I was put on bed rest at 20 weeks. But I'm so stable now and I'm being treated like a normal pregnant lady at this point. While I still have to take it easy and keep off my feet as much as possible, I am able to do a lot more things, so my mom threw together a baby shower!! She did SUCH an incredible job with the decorations, food, drinks... everything about it was JUST like I had pictured and even more. It was gorgeous and so special.

My amazing mom who put together this special day!!

I am just SO blessed by the people who showed up and made the time to come celebrate our little boy! There were close to 30 people at the shower! Seeing so many friends and family members from all different walks of life - some of whom I haven't seen in so long - was amazing! We received so many incredible gifts for our little guy and we were blown away by people's generosity and thoughtfulness. Seriously, THANK you to everyone who made time to be there!! We love you all! 

We are so thankful to everyone who showered us and our little boy with love at the baby shower!

My girlfriends and our moms! I've known them all since grade school! So amazing to have them there!!!

The best girlfriends &lt;3 So touched that they came to share this special day with me!

The best girlfriends <3 So touched that they came to share this special day with me!

These girls are such amazing friends! 

How far along: 34 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 33lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Some of my maternity clothes are even starting to feel a bit tight over my belly! haha

Stretch marks? No!!

Sleep: Not getting much of it!

Best moment this week: My baby shower!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! :)

Food cravings: Milk, burger, fries, turkey avocado sandwich, salmon

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I'm a whale. 

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Out on the top and flat on the bottom. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :( But wearing a place-holder ring!!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! Emotional, cranky, gleeful, angry, sad, ecstatic, you name it, I've experienced it this past week! haha

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, swollen feet, achey, sore upper back, tired, shortness of breath... the fun continues! ;)

Thanks for reading!! And a HUGE thank you to the friends and family who made it to my baby shower! It meant the world to me to be able to celebrate with you all!! <3

xo, Anna

What's In My Hospital Bag

I'm in week 34 of pregnancy, which means that there are less than six weeks until baby boy's due date!! How exciting! I've had my hospital bag packed since about twenty-four weeks or so (maybe even before that) due to being high risk. I wanted to be ready for anything, because we really didn't know when this little guy was going to be making his appearance! When I ended up in the hospital for contractions at 28 weeks, it was SO nice having this bag packed with all of my toiletries and other things in it. It made me so thankful that I had it ready early!

ADVICE TO PREGGOS: PACK YOUR HOSPITAL BAG EARLIER RATHER THAN LATER!! You never know what's going to happen and you'll be glad to have it ready to go!

Most moms-to-be start getting their hospital bag ready around this time though: thirty-four weeks. I've gotten a lot of questions about what I'm packing in my bag, so I have been meaning to put together a blog post sharing what I have packed! This is just covering my hospital bag full of what I will be using in the hospital. I have a separate bag packed for my baby. I'll do a different post on that bag and what I packed for him if you guys are interested in it! Just let me know in the comments below. 

So, here we go! What's in my hospital bag:

My stylin' hospital bag. ;)

1. Hospital Gown, Pillow Case, and Non-Slip Labor Socks.

Yes, call me ridiculous, but I want to look cute while giving birth. And gross hospital issued gowns just aren't doing' it for me. Thankfully, BabyBeMineMaternity.com has CUTE labor and delivery gowns and matching pillow cases! They come in all different colors and patterns. Here's the set that I have.  They also have these cute non-slip socks to wear during labor. (They also have them in blue.) They say "Ready, Set, Push!" and I think they are hilarious and adorable. Hopefully they'll give the nurses and doctor a chuckle. 

2. Nursing Nightgown and Cute Robe.

I am bringing this comfy nursing nightgown from Ingrid and Isabel, and this beautiful robe from Plum Pretty Sugar for after the big event is over and once I'm able to shower and get cleaned up.

3. Slippers and Flip Flops. 

I'm bringing a comfy pair of slippers to wear around while I'm in the hospital, as well as a pair of flip flops to wear in the shower. 

4. Toiletries.

Travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, bar of soap, shaving cream, razor, lip balm, lotion, floss, toothpaste, toothbrush, contact solution and case, glasses, hair brush, hair ties, mirror, mints, face wipes, and my makeup (not packed yet, I'll have to grab this on the way out the door because obviously I'm still using my makeup daily!). I want to look put together and pretty for our first pictures as a family of three! (Sorry Gunner, but you're not allowed in the hospital!)

5. Going Home Outfit. 

They say that right after you give birth, you'll still look like you're about six months pregnant. So I'm packing this fitted, comfy maternity dress from Ingrid & Isabel to wear home. I'll wear it with some flat gladiator sandals. Comfy and easy! 

6. Belly Bandit, Nursing Bra, Underwear, and Pads. 

I'm packing a couple of pairs of granny panties to wear after birth/on the way home, some pads, and nursing pads. Most hospitals provide disposable underwear and pads and all of that, but I'm bringing a few of my own just to be on the safe side. I'm also bringing a nursing bra (mine is from Target). 

Another thing I'm bringing is a Belly Bandit. I plan on starting to wear this ASAP after giving birth to help my tummy go back to normal! 

There you have it! Of course, I'm new to all of this, being a first time mom. If you have any recommendations for what else to bring along with me in my hospital bag, I'd LOVE to hear! Share any suggestions or tips in the comments below! 

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 33 Weeks!

Not much new to report over here! This past week has been great - no major changes. I have been experiencing some sciatica and new aches and pains, and my feet are swollen and get red if I stand for too long! haha (SO FUN!!) But other than that, nothing new to report! Other than I feel HUGE and a bit like this cat:

 I got together with two of my best girlfriends and it was SO fun catching up with them! I also got to see my grandparents for dinner one night which was so nice!!

This week was the first week that I didn't have a doctor's appointment since I got put on bed rest at 20 weeks! It was so nice not having to go into the doctor and to just feel normal! haha Little boy has been kicking up a storm and wiggling all over the place. It's SO fun to feel him move and to WATCH him move - it's crazy to see little body parts move under my skin. I love feeling his kicks and movements so much! He is getting so big and strong!! 

So fun to see how big baby boy's hand is right now!!

So fun to see how big baby boy's hand is right now!!

Tomorrow I'll be 34 weeks pregnant - another milestone! Yippee! The baby is now about the length that he will be at birth - crazy! Now he is just continuing to put on weight and fill out a bit more, putting on about 1/2 lb per week!! Grow baby boy grow! :)

How far along: 33 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: I haven't weighed myself since last time since I didn't have a doctor's appointment at all this past week. But I feel GINORMOUS!! haha

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? Still barely hangin' in there...hold on tummy!!! 

Sleep: Same same. Not great! Basically wake up every hour to pee and every four hours for my medicine. Meh. haha

Best moment this week: Getting lunch at this new restaurant with Ben! It was so fun and yummy!! And seeing my girlfriends and grandparents!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! :)

Food cravings: Garlic fries, ice cream... Mexican food, Thai food.... all the food!!!!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I'm so big. 

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? In on the bottom, out on the top. Super cute.

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :( But wearing a place-holder ring!!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Moody. Happy. I'm an emotional wreck. haha

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, Sciatica, feeling like I pulled a muscle in my crotch...hahaha, achey, out of breath, swollen feet... fun stuff! ;)

Thanks for reading!! And thank you for all of the sweet messages, prayers, positive thoughts, well-wishes, etc... Baby boy is SO blessed to have so many people who care about him! And now we're basically in the clear - as in, if he is born now, he'll be just fine! But obviously, the longer he stays in the better, so hang in there little guy! :) Hopefully my body will behave and not go into preterm labor! Only three more weeks until this baby is full term! Yippee!!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: Milestone!! 32 weeks!

Tum in the sun!

Hello friends! It's a beautiful day here in the PNW! Last Tuesday we hit the next major milestone in this pregnancy: 32 weeks! This is a big one, guys, and we are SO thankful to have made it this far!! If baby boy comes now he has a 95% chance of survival and he will most likely need a little NICU time, but not much! Yippee!

We had an appointment with my OB on Friday. He said all looked good and the baby's heart rate was perfect (about 150)! He said that I didn't have to come in to see him next week...do you know what that means?!?!?! It means that this week I DON'T HAVE A DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT...not with an OB or a perinatologist...meaning that this is the FIRST week in about three and half months that I won't have an appointment (or two)!! So exciting!! I'm officially just being treated like any other normal pregnant person. No high risk treatment (other than that I still have my cerclage in and I'm still taking Nifedipine every four hours and progesterone suppositories every night)! All is well!! Yay! Such an amazing relief!! Ben and I are just so happy and thankful and relieved and EXCITED to have a week off from doctors! 

Enjoying the sunshine!

Tomorrow we hit 33 weeks, which means just three more weeks until the magical 36 week milestone! At 36 weeks I get my cerclage taken out, and I get to stop taking all of the medications! The doctor said that if the baby comes at 36 weeks that is totally fine! So, potentially, only three weeks until our son arrives!! That blows my mind!! Only seven weeks until his actual due date, which is also not far away...crazy! Within seven weeks we will have a baby! AAAHH! So exciting! 

Bikini: Maaji

Bikini: Maaji

The weather has been so nice here in Washington. I've had several opportunities to throw on a bikini and spend some time outside. It cracks me up to see myself in a bikini. I think I look like a creature from Star Wars or something with my giant belly, haha. 

Also, just wanted to take another chance to rave about my sweet Ben. I follow all of these pregnancy message boards and girls are constantly posting about how their husbands don't treat them very nicely while they are pregnant. Like, their husband's will tease them and yell at them for resting or napping during the day. One girl even posted that she is on bedrest and her husband gets mad at her for "lying around" and not cooking or cleaning. Anyways, this just made me so sad and it also made me realize even more how LUCKY I am to have the sweet, understanding, caring, loving partner that I do. My husband has been the most amazing person throughout this entire pregnancy and has taken such good care of me and always makes me feel so beautiful. I am SO happy for our son, because he is going to have such an incredible and loving dad. :)

How far along: 32 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 30 lbs...yes...according to the scales at the doctor, I had a significant weight gain this past week. Um. Talk about horrifying haha. My doctor is pleased with this weight gain and isn't concerned at all. I was technically considered underweight when I got pregnant (although I wasn't really because I've always been in the low percentile for weight, ever since I was born...just naturally thin). I was 105lbs at 5'4" when I got pregnant. Now I weight about 134lbs. HAHA I can't even begin to explain how WEIRD it is for me to weigh this much!! I know it's normal, healthy, and natural, as well as important for a healthy baby. BUT just as someone who has never weighed much more than about 105lbs, seeing the scale read 134lbs is SO WEIRD AND HILARIOUS! 

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? Still none yet!!! 

Sleep: Meh...not great, but that's ok!

Best moment this week: Hearing that we don't have a doctor's appointment this week!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes, all day every day! :) He's getting so strong it makes the inside of my belly sore, haha. 

Food cravings: Mexican food, doughnuts, fruit, chicken, vegetables...ok so maybe not cravings...I think I'm just hungry all the time. haha BUT I can't eat much at all because I get full SO fast now that baby boy is taking up so much room! My stomach and lungs don't have room any more! haha

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: I'm enormous. Help.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Flat-ish!

Wedding rings on or off? It is official...the wedding rings had to come off. :( My fingers have gotten a bit puffy and I was horrified to realize that my rings were STUCK on my finger. So, I finally got them off after much effort. I'm now wearing a place holder ring in their stead. 

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: Getting full so quickly when eating, Braxton Hicks, congestion, achey.

Thanks for following along on this crazy, amazing journey! Check back next week for the next update!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 31 Weeks!

Dress: Target // Shoes: Target // Sweater: Nordstrom

**This post was written yesterday but I'm just getting around to posting it today! :)** Happy Monday! It’s been a great week! On Wednesday, Ben and I met with our new perinatologist that we were referred to by our doctor down in CA. My cervix was still stable and the baby looked perfect, as usual! The new doctor was super nice and so encouraging! He said that now I am practically a normal pregnant lady! I don’t even have to go back to see him again! Woohoo! No more checking my cervix, because he said that at this point, my cervix would be shortening anyways in preparation for birth, so there isn’t a need to monitor it! Now I just need to look out for signs of preterm labor just like any other pregnant lady would! I still need to take it easy and keep off my feet as much as possible. But I don’t have to be as strict as before! He said just not to go wild. haha I’ve still been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, but again, normal. I am just supposed to go into Labor and Delivery to be monitored if I have more than 4-6 in an hour for a few hours in a row. Same as any other preggo at my stage in pregnancy! :)

It’s been so nice seeing friends and family now that we are back in WA! I love seeing everyone and getting to catch up with loved ones! I still can’t believe that we are back in Washington. Everything happened so suddenly and it’s just like a whirlwind!

Here's a fun transformation picture! I can't believe how much little boy has grown! 


How far along: 31 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 25 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No!

Sleep: Not so great!

Best moment this week: Hearing that I’m almost a normal pregnant lady! :p

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Lots!

Food cravings: Nothing in particular!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Flat!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and emotional! :p

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, congestion, achey.

Thanks for reading! And thank you so much for the continued prayers and kind messages!!

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 30 weeks and Moving Back To Washington!

Happy Monday! Last week was a crazy one! Tuesday we had our weekly ultrasound with our perinatologist. All is well and stable and the doctor cleared me for flying up to Washington! We are so thankful for that doctor - she literally saved our son's life and we will forever be grateful for her and her medical team! 

Wednesday, I flew up to Washington with my mom! Ben stayed behind to finish out the week at work and to finish packing up our place in California. My perinatologist had asked me to get a wheelchair to ride in through the airport so that I wasn't walking too much. It was a hilarious experience - so embarrassing and funny haha. The guy pushing my wheelchair in the Oakland airport asked me if I was having twins, HAHA. Then he proceeded to yell out "WHEELCHAIR, MOVE ASIDE! WHEELCHAIR...MOVE ASIDE, COMING THROUGH!" and it was just so embarrassing  haha No sliding under the radar there, all eyes were on me. haha 

Dying laughing the whole way through the airport. haha

I was SO nervous for the flight, even though my doctor didn't seem worried at all. I still was nervous! But it went so smoothly and we landed safe and sound in Seattle! My dad picked me and my mom up and took us back to my parents' house. Ben and I are still waiting for our house to be ready to move into, and in the mean time we are staying with my parents. Which is ok with us because the views aren't bad! ;)

So good to be back in the PNW!

On Thursday and Friday I had doctor's appointments to get set up with my new OB. The office and hospital that I'm going to be going to were referred to us by our perinatologist in California. My new OB is so great! I have never had a male doctor before, so I was a bit nervous, but he is SO nice and professional and sweet! He was so encouraging and basically told me that since my cervix has been stable since I got my cerclage, my history is weird because other than the short cervix I have nothing else making me high risk. He also said that maybe I just have a naturally short cervix and MAYBE everything would have been fine if nothing had been done, who knows. But that it's good that it wasn't left to chance and that we took preventative measures to keep our little boy safe. 

I also found out that they won't be checking my cervical length after 32 weeks because it doesn't matter if it starts shortening since the cervix starts shortening towards the end of pregnancy anyways. My cerclage will be removed at 36 weeks, and he said that if the baby is born right when its taken out, that's fine! Yay! Such a relief! But, if he stays in longer after the cerclage is taken out, even better! :)

This week I meet with my new perinatologist and get my weekly ultrasound. I'm excited to get that all set up! 31 weeks tomorrow!!! Yay!! 

30 weeks 4 days! Baby boy is getting big! 

OH, by the way, here is the BEAUTIFUL gift that Ben got me for my first Mother's Day!! Isn't it so precious and sweet? I love it and was so surprised when he gave it to me! He is so amazing and thoughtful and I am just so blessed to have him as my husband! <3

My first Mother's Day present from Ben! It's called "Our Gift". :)

How far along: 30 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 23 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No! I'm holding out so much hope that I won't get them!! 

Sleep: It's been a bit better, actually! :)

Best moment this week: Hearing how stable everything is!!! And making the move up to WA!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: Yes, little boy is SO strong and it seriously feels like he hardly ever sleeps because he is CONSTANTLY moving, kicking, wiggling, and rolling! haha It's so cute to watch! 

Food cravings: Crab macaroni and cheese! I have been wanting it forever and finally got some the other day when I went to lunch with my parents' after one of my appointments!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? It's kind of flat now!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: Some Braxton Hicks, congestion.

Thanks for reading! We're coming down the home stretch! Please keep the prayers, well-wishes, and positive vibes coming our way! :)

xo, Anna

 

Mommy Monday: 29 Weeks!

Dress: Mura Boutique // Bag: Kate Spade // Sunglasses: Kate Spade // Sweater: Target

Happy Monday! This past week was pretty uneventful (thankfully!!). We had our weekly doctor’s appointment with the perinatologist last Tuesday and my cervix is stable and all is well!! Then on Thursday I had a doctor’s appointment with my OB, and I was measuring exactly 29 weeks! Then on Friday I went back in and got a Rhogam shot (because I have a negative blood type) and my Tdap vaccine. It was a big week! haha Oh, by the way for those who have been asking, I do NOT have gestational diabetes! Woohoo! I passed the three hour test! I failed only one of the four draws, and you have to fail two to be diagnosed with GD so I am officially in the clear! My doctor even flat out told me I could have a donut, just not too many. haha Music to my ears! Donuts are my BIGGEST weakness. 

My mom has been staying with us to help me while Ben was at work this past week. Since I was in the hospital we just didn’t want me to be home alone. She has been such a huge help!! She even painted my toe nails for me since I can’t reach them any more and I can’t go get a pedicure because, well, bedrest. So sweet of her! 

She has also been helping us pack because WE ARE MOVING BACK TO WASHINGTON! Yep, Ben got a transfer with work and we are heading back to WA! My doctor gave me the go ahead to fly and said to GO NOW while I’m so stable! So, I’m flying up with my mom on Wednesday!! Day after tomorrow, oh my goodness! Ben has to finish out the week at work and then he is driving up! It’s all happening so fast, but we are so excited to be moving! It will be so nice to have our little boy be born near family and friends! 

Anyways, all is well! Prayers and good vibes for a safe move, please!! :) 30 weeks tomorrow...YAY!

How far along: 29 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 22 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No!

Sleep: Oh, you know…haha What sleep?? But, as someone pointed out - great practice for when the little guy gets here! :)

Best moment this week: Hearing that my cervix is still stable!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: So much! It’s so fun and crazy to watch and feel little body parts bulging across my stomach!

Food cravings: Nothing in particular!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Just the Braxton Hicks type contractions!

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out…a tiny bit of the bottom of it is still in, haha

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Emotional but happy!

Symptoms: Some Braxton Hicks type contractions, frequent trips to the restroom, crying at everything, haha.

Thanks for reading! And a HUGE thank you to everyone for all of the sweet messages, comments, prayers, well-wishes...everything! Thank you!! All of the kindness we've received from loved ones AND from strangers around the world has been just so amazing and it means so much to us! 

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 28 Weeks and another big update!

Wow, so much has happened since my last Mommy Monday update! Last Monday I was just feeling off, and I didn’t get around to doing my 27 week update. That whole weekend I was having a TON more Braxton Hicks contractions than normal. Monday night I woke up with period-like cramps that lasted about an hour and a half or so. I had my weekly ultrasound and appointment with our perinatologist scheduled for Tuesday morning, so I decided that I would definitely mention those cramps and the increased Braxton Hicks when I saw the doctor. 

 

At the appointment, they checked my cervix as usual and it was still stable. They checked the baby as well and he was perfect as usual and weighing in at 2 lbs 13 oz - right on track! :) I also got another round of the steroid injections to help the baby’s lungs develop quickly. 

 

When I mentioned the increased Braxton Hicks and the cramps, the doctor hooked me up to a monitor for about an hour or so. Low and behold I was having contractions, and a lot of them. The weird thing was that I couldn’t feel most of them. Only the big ones, and even then they didn’t hurt, they just felt like my abdomen getting tight for a bit, which is why I assumed they were just Braxton Hicks. The doctor sent me straight to labor and delivery at the hospital down the street and told me that I could expect to stay there at least until the weekend. Ben and I were SO worried, scared, and shocked.

 

We headed over to the hospital and they hooked me up to an IV (my least favorite thing EVER!!!!) with a magnesium drip to help stop contractions. I had to be on a fluid restriction while I was on the magnesium because magnesium can make your body retain fluid, specifically in your lungs which can cause pneumonia. So I could only drink little sips of water and only have a very limited amount each day. I was SO THIRSTY. 

 

I was on the magnesium from Tuesday through Thursday afternoon. They unhooked me from the IV, but left the IV needle in my arm with a saline lock in case they needed to use it again in an emergency. They started me on Nifedipine, an oral medication that stops contractions. I’ll be on that medication until l am 36 weeks. I have to take that every four hours, even at night! Which is a bit of a pain in the butt, but TOTALLY worth it! 

I got so many beautiful flowers while I was in the hospital! Thank you!!

 

I FINALLY got to go home on Sunday! The doctor checked my cervix and it hadn’t opened at all, so that was good. I am SO HAPPY TO BE HOME!! 5 nights in the hospital was really really hard and miserable, but obviously so worth it to make sure everything was ok and to keep the baby safe.

 

My sweet Ben spent every single night in the hospital with me. He slept on this awful, saggy cot next to my hospital bed. He only went home for a couple of hours each day to shower and walk Gunner, and then he was right back with me. I was seriously SO blown away by him - I couldn’t believe how sweet and caring he was and how he hardly ever left my side the entire time… I fell even more in love with him during that hospital stay. I never ever think it’s possible to love or appreciate him more, but somehow it just keeps happening. I’m such a lucky girl. I could go on and on and on, but I just thank God every day for giving me such an incredible life partner. 

 

My parents also flew down and came to visit me in the hospital every day, which was so sweet of them. They stayed at our house and took care of Gunner for us, cleaned, and prepared a bunch of frozen meals for us. They are the best!

 

Anyways, long story short, that’s the gist of it. We’re home now and I’m on even stricter bed rest and on this new medication, but all is going well! Tomorrow I’m 29 weeks pregnant! Woohoo! And tomorrow we go in for our weekly appointment and ultrasound with our perinatologist, so it will be nice to have her check my cervix and check the baby again after having been out of the hospital for a whole day and a half. It will be so nice to make sure everything is still stable and hangin’ in there! I am SO thankful that our baby boy is doing so well and that we are HOME. And I am really thankful that I didn’t have to stay in the hospital until I deliver, which is what a lot of girls in my situation have to do. Hospitals are NO FUN. 

 

All of your continued prayers, well-wishes, positive thoughts, and good vibes are SO SO SO appreciated! Please pray that I don’t have to go back to the hospital and that we have smooth sailing from here on out and that our little one stays in until at least 35 weeks (which is only 6 weeks away … crazy!! And exciting!!!). 

This is my 27 week picture - I didn't take a 28 week one because, well, i was busy. haha

 

How far along: 28 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 20 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No!

Sleep: Not great, between the constant trips to the restroom and having to wake up every four hours for my medicine! haha

Best moment this week: Getting to come home from the hospital!!!!!!!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: A lot! He’s getting SO strong!!

Food cravings: Fruit, salads, protein

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Ooohh yes!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Contractions. 

Belly Button in or out? Part in, part out still. haha

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: So so emotional, but happy!

Symptoms: Contractions, peeing all the time.

Thank you for reading!! 

xo, Anna

Giveaway! Copper Pearl

Attention mamas and expecting mamas! I've teamed up with Copper Pearl to give away a $50 credit to their website! They have the CUTEST bandana bibs in all different colors and prints, and the softest, cutest milt-use covers! They sent recently sent me one of their covers and I already LOVE it! 

Head to my Instagram ( @tiugirlanna ) for details and to enter to win! Good luck!!

xo, Anna

Shop these cute bandana bibs at www.copperpearl.com

Mommy Monday: 26 Weeks!

Dress: Ingrid & Isabel // Necklace: Maurices

At our 26 week doctor’s visit last Tuesday we got the good news that my cervix is still hangin’ in there and stable! Yay! Always such a relief to get that news! And baby boy is still doing great and growing big and strong! Ben and I are so thankful!

Feeling SO happy and thankful after our doctor's appointment last tuesday!! stable cervix, woohoo!

I've been having so much fun with maternity style and dressing the bump! Check out my previous post here to see some of my outfits - all put together using NON-maternity pieces! 

My mom came into town for a quick stay to help us out last week. It was so incredibly nice having her here. She was such a huge help cleaning, cooking, and helping to prepare crockpot meals for us for this week while Ben is at work! 

Friday morning, my dad’s cousin Kris and her husband Ross brought over a gift for us and for the baby: a beautiful wooden rocking chair! We love it so much and it was SO sweet of them to get that for us!! Now we just need to get a nursery set up to put it in! They also brought us an amazing filet mignon dinner!! So NICE!!

On Thursday I went in and had the one hour glucose screening test done. This is a test that every pregnant woman has done sometime between about 26 and 28 weeks to test for gestational diabetes. I had to drink this gross sugary orange drink and then sit in the office for an hour, and then have my blood drawn. Well, unfortunately I failed the test by TWO POINTS. Ugh. This does not mean that I have gestational diabetes, but it does mean that I have to go in this coming Friday for the big three hour test. The three hour test will determine for sure if I have gestational diabetes or not. Just a little info. for those of you who aren’t familiar with gestational diabetes, it is not caused by diet or anything that the mother does during pregnancy…it’s just something that can happen when you’re pregnant where your body stops processing sugar like it is supposed to. It goes away after the mother gives birth to the baby. 

I’m pretty stressed about the test on Friday. When I first got the call that I failed the one hour test, I sobbed for a good long time. I started slipping into the “poor me” mind set, like…wow, ANOTHER thing to worry about this pregnancy?? But, then I realized that,  A. God never gives us more than we can handle!! :) and, B. I don’t KNOW that I have gestational diabetes yet, so…why worry or stress about something that is SO outside of my control. I’m choosing to just stay positive, and whatever the test on Friday reveals, I will trust in God and stay positive and just get through it! Like bed rest, gestational diabetes is temporary, and ALL that matters is keeping my baby boy safe. So, I can handle anything…I’ll follow a strict diet, I’ll give myself injections, I’ll sit myself on the couch all day, and I’ll pray…whatever it takes. Just gotta keep this little baby blessing safe and sound. :) Ben has been so sweet. He held me and was just so amazing while I cried and when I was feeling so overwhelmed. I am SO blessed to have him by my side through all of this! 

Again, prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibes are SO appreciated!! Thank you all for your love and support through this wild ride! :)

How far along: 26 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 18 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No!! Still none…fingers crossed!

Sleep: Off and on…not amazing, but not awful!

Best moment this week: Getting our rocking chair for baby boy’s nursery!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: Yes! So much…it’s the best!

Food cravings: Fruit, salads, water!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!

Have you started to show yet: Yep, I’m getting huge!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out? About 3/4 of the way out… yuck!! haha

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! So happy and so emotional! :) Mostly happy though!

Symptoms: Peeing all the time, thirsty, but other than that not many symptoms this week! I get tired easily!

Pregnancy Style: Non-Maternity Pieces

I love finding cute pieces that are not maternity, but that work well with a baby bump! They are great because they can be worn after pregnancy, but are still comfortable and stylish to wear while expecting. So versatile! Maternity clothing doesn’t need to be frumpy or shapeless. It is definitely possible to look put-together and chic while preggers, and wearing cute and flattering clothes will help you to feel beautiful and confident!

I’ve also been LOVING cute, statement shoes, especially booties and flats. They really amp up the style and bring your outfit to a whole new level. Cute shoes do not have to be uncomfortable! Find some fun flats or some booties with a low heel and good support. Shoes can make an outfit, and pregnancy is no exception!

Some key things to look for in non-maternity pieces in order to make them work for pregnancy include:

Stretchy fabric, flowy tops, long skirts, and empire waistlines. Also, if you plan on wearing pre-pregnancy jeans during your pregnancy, I highly suggest getting a Bellaband! They are amazing! 

Here are a couple of looks I’ve worn recently at six months pregnant:

Top: LC Lauren Conrad (Similar Here) // Jeans: 7 For All Mankind // Shoes: Halogen // Bellaband: Ingrid & Isabel

Cardigan: Target // Dress: Target // Shoes: Nordstrom // Sunglasses: Kate Spade

Crop Top: Mura // Skirt: My own // Bag: Kate Spade 

Dress: Victoria's Secret // Kimono: My own

Dress: Volcom // Hat: Ale By Alessandra

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 25 Weeks

Dress: PinkBlush Maternity // Robe: Victoria' s Secret (Last Season)

Week 25 has been a good one! At our doctor’s appointment, my cervix was still stable and my doctor gave me a bunch of “exercises” that are approved for me to do while on bedrest! Woohoo! They are basically just minor stretches and stuff that I can do while lying down, like flexing and pointing my feet, dragging my heel up until it’s level with the knee of the other leg, etc… and I can do gentle arm exercises with a resistance band while sitting down! It feels so nice to be able to move my muscles a bit and “work out”! 

This week was pretty uneventful. It's been really warm here so one day I put on a bikini and sat out on the deck and read! It was so nice! Still on bedrest and taking it easy! I’m feeling great, and baby boy is doing well! Tomorrow is the 26 week mark and our next doctor’s appointment. Slowly approaching the next milestone: 28 weeks! 

How far along: 25 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 16 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No!!

Sleep: Not so great! I’ve been getting really hot at night and restless.

Best moment this week: Hearing Ben say “my son” when referring to James! Melted my heart! <3

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: A lot! He’s so wiggly! :)

Food cravings: Veggies, avocados, meat, donuts

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out. Eeeewwww!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Both! :)

Symptoms: Trouble sleeping, shortness of breath

Thanks for reading! Check back next Monday for my next pregnancy update! 

xo, Anna

The Bright Side Of Bed Rest

I’ve been on bed rest for over five weeks now, and believe me - I’ve had plenty of time to just think. There is no way around it: bed rest is HARD. It’s hard for a number of reasons. First of all, I am constantly worried about my baby. I’m constantly scared that something is going to go wrong and that he’ll come out early. I’m scared of what that would mean - weeks in the NICU, complications, risks, and pain and discomfort for my little boy. I’m uncomfortable all of the time because sitting and laying down ALL day and not being able to move around other than going to the restroom and getting water and food leads to an achey back, a sore and tight neck, and a SORE BUTT. I miss working out and the endorphins that it gives me and the way my body looks and feels when I work out daily. I miss taking my dog, Gunner for our thrice daily walks. I miss being outside. I miss hiking and backpacking and fishing and going on adventures with my husband. I miss being able to cook and clean and do things for my husband. It’s hard to see how much he is juggling now that I can’t do anything. I don’t like feeling helpless and dependent on others for EVERYTHING. I get bored. I am disappointed that I am missing out on my baby shower and on having a “normal” pregnancy. There are SO many thingsthat make bed rest very very hard.

BUT, over the past five plus weeks, I have also realized something so incredibly wonderful: there is a bright side to bed rest! 

Every week - no, make that every DAY that passes and that my baby boy is still safe inside of me is a reason to rejoice, praise God, and do a (seated) happy dance! Every day we get closer and closer to his due date and to him being full-term, and that makes me SO happy! Every day feels like an accomplishment, and every week feels like a HUGE leap forward and I breathe a sigh of relief. 

As far as not being able to move around, or take Gunner for walks, or workout, I realized how freaking LUCKY I am that I am not on hospital bed rest! I get to enjoy the comfort of being in my own home with my own things and with little Gunner lying at my feet. I’m lucky that I’m ABLE to get up to go to the bathroom and to get food and water, rather than having to use a bed pan and be served my meals in a hospital bed as so many women on bed rest do. 

While Ben and I may not be able to go hiking, backpacking, and fishing together right now, I keep reminding myself that this whole experience is SO temporary and that we will be going on amazing adventures soon - with our son! And me being on bed rest has brought Ben and I closer together and it has made my love, appreciation of, and respect for him grow immeasurably. I see him in a whole new light and I just feel so much gratitude towards him. He takes such great care of me, of Gunner, and of our home - all while working 60+ hours each week. He is a saint. In our wedding vows, we promised to stick together in sickness and in health and in hard times and good times. He is upholding his end of that promise now in caring for me and our son during this hard time. He sits with me for hours on the weekend, just being with me, and waits on me hand and foot and I just can’t even say how much I love him and how blessed I feel to have him as my partner through this. 

And on that note, let me mention how appreciative I am of the friends and family who have shown their love and support during this time! You really see who truly cares in times like these! One girlfriend sent me a coloring book, pencils, and book marks and a sweet little note, and has been checking in frequently. My grandparents sent me a stack of books to read and have been so sweet checking in and offering encouragement. My dad’s cousin, Kris, and her husband, Ross, have brought us food, books, and constantly e-mail with me to see how me and the little guy are doing. The Tone It Up Community has been SO supportive, encouraging, and loving, even though I haven’t even met MOST of those women in person. They blow me away with their kindness. And last but not least, my parents have been so incredible, coming to visit to help clean, cook, walk Gunner, and keep me company while Ben is at work. They’ve bought us groceries, they’ve run errands, they’ve driven me to doctor’s appointments…they are already such great grandparents. Being on bed rest has made me appreciate the people in my life so much more. Every little note, prayer, well-wish, act of kindness means the WORLD to me and I am so grateful. 

This time is allowing me such a unique experience to bond with my little boy. Sometimes, when he’s kicking, I sit for a half hour or so just feeling his little movements and talking to him. It’s such a special time, and I am already so in love with him.

As my dad’s cousin, Kris (who was also on bed rest), said to me, this time is essentially forced leisure. That was such a refreshing perspective, and as soon as she said it, I began to look at my situation in a different way. Once our son comes, I wont have nearly as much free time for reading, meditating, writing, coloring, fly tying, studying, etc… This is a wonderful opportunity to do all of the things that I’ve been meaning to do and to enjoy being able to sleep, rest, and relax! I’ve been writing so much more and just flying through my reading list. It’s been so nice getting to focus on my passions.

Speaking of studying, I also signed up for a Graduate Certificate Program in Wilderness Management from the University of Montana. I had applied to Grad schools before I found out I was pregnant, and since our little one is due in July, I decided the timing was just not right to start working on my Master’s Degree this coming September with a newborn. But now, with this time that I have, I decided to keep my mind stimulated and get back to learning. I’ve been loving the courses so far! 

I’ve been able to spend so much time meditating and praying. I have really grown to love meditation, and I spend most of my time meditating in prayer. I haven’t talked to God so much in a very long time. This experience has made me rely on him and put everything in His hands. I have SO little control over this situation. I have learned to trust that God is watching out for my son, and that He will continue to care for us, no matter what happens. I just have to trust Him and stay positive and faithful. 

Though my pregnancy is now anything but “normal”, I’m grateful for this experience. I am so grateful that my shortened cervix was caught before it was too late and we lost our baby boy. I am so grateful for the doctor and medical team that helped to save our son. I am SO grateful that I am PREGNANT and that I got pregnant on our FIRST TRY - so many women don’t get to experience pregnancy, or struggle with getting pregnant in the first place, and I feel so so blessed to be able to carry this child and to be able to experience the changes in my body and in my mind as I become a mother. As far as my baby shower goes, I’ve realized how silly that is to be too upset about not getting to have one. Yes, a baby shower would be so fun to be able to celebrate the coming of our little boy with friends and loved ones. But, I can have one once he is born, and that way he will be able to meet all of the beautiful women who care about him! 

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Bed rest is NOT easy and it’s NOT ideal. BUT, there are so many things about it that are beautiful and that I am so grateful for! Above all, I am grateful for bed rest because it is keeping my baby boy safe and allowing him to grow as he should. I keep reminding myself that this is all for him, and that I am SO lucky to be on bed rest, because that means that the problem was caught and that I didn’t lose my son, and that he is being taken care of. I thank God every day for watching over this baby - first with the Zika virus and our almost trip to Cabo, and then with the catching of my shortened cervix JUST in the nick of time! This little boy is SO loved and so cared for already. My parents got us a muslin swaddle blanket for him that says “God holds you in the palm of his hand.” It is my FAVORITE thing, because it is SO true. God is holding him in the palm of his hand. And that is such a HUGE comfort to me. 

13 weeks 4 days until baby boy’s due date! Woohoo! We’re gettin’ there! 

xo, Anna