Pregnancy: 34 Weeks

We officially entered spring this week, which means I’ve now been pregnant during all four seasons! Here’s a fun comparison of fall (16 weeks) vs. spring:

That tree has changed quite a bit, but perhaps I’ve changed more! Those clothes are certainly working a lot harder these days. In fact, I busted open the butt seam of those jeans this week! That should come as no surprise since I’d been wearing them nearly every day for months, and they look pretty stretched to capacity in this week’s photo. 

I really didn’t want to buy a new pair of jeans with just a handful of weeks left to go, but I found this pair on sale for $20 and they are much more comfortable — plenty big and stretchy to last me until the end, and nice and roomy through the legs for when mine swell.

My pregnancy app says the baby is about 18 inches long and 5-ish pounds this week. She’s become really active lately, although her movements are now more like subtle shifts and pushes than kicks since she’s running out of room. I hope she’s still head-down, but I think she may have shifted because I’m feeling consistent movements in different parts of my belly than I’m used to. Maybe it’s just because she’s bigger? We have our next doctor appointment this Friday, so hopefully our doctor will be able to determine her position!

I’m still feeling really good, and I think I owe it to being extremely lazy. I didn’t work out at all this week, but thanks to enjoying lots of R&R, I avoided the back pain and leg swelling I’d been experiencing during previous weeks after too much activity. I know light exercise would still do me good… but at this point, I kind of don’t care anymore.

My sleep quality is still amazing, although I have gotten a few more leg cramps in the middle of the night. They go away as soon as I can get on my feet, but that’s getting harder and harder! It’s quite the scene as I flail around in bed, whispering expletives in an attempt not to wake up Aaron.

I’m feeling thankful that my hands haven’t swollen up (yet) and I can still wear my wedding rings. I’m terrified about them getting stuck! And I continue to be far too pleased about my incredibly clear skin. I’m probably in for a rude awakening when my hormones go nuts after giving birth, so I’ll just make sure to appreciate it while it lasts.

I didn’t pack my hospital bag this past week — I will this week, I promise!! — but I did get quite a few things squared away:

TAXES: They are done — hooray!

PASSPORT RENEWAL: I’ve filled out the paperwork, written the check and printed a new photo; I just need to pick up the print from Target and then mail everything in. I initially made the mistake of paying $10 for a horrible passport photo at a drugstore, but then realized all the guidelines for taking your own photo are available online, and the Department of State provides a handy photo-cropping tool that helps you proportion it correctly and even saves it to the proper 2″ x 2″ size for you. I had Aaron take a photo of me in front of a white wall at home, used the tool to crop and save it, and then printed two copies of it on one 4″ x 6″ print at Target for a whopping $0.19. 

So easy and so cheap! And now I don’t have to live with a horrible passport photo for the next 10 years.

MATERNITY LEAVE: I completed all the paperwork and confirmed with my boss and HR the amount of time I’m taking off; I just need to give some paperwork to my doctor for her to fill out. I’ll be taking 12 weeks off, including six weeks (for a vaginal birth) or eight weeks (for a C-section) of partially paid disability leave, and then however many additional weeks of unpaid leave to bring me to 12 total.

Aaron will use vacation time to spend the first week or so at home with the baby and me, and then he’ll take his six weeks of fully paid paternity leave after I go back to work. Oh yes, you read that correctly: I’m the one popping this kid out, and Aaron’s the one who has a better deal on parental leave. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thrilled that his company recently began offering paternity leave, since that is a rarity, and I’m grateful that I’ll be able to spend three months with our daughter, but WTF! The U.S. just sucks big time when it comes to parental leave.

MOMS’ GROUP: I’m anxious to make friends with fellow new moms out here in the suburbs. While I have a few friends who are moms, I’d love to be able to connect with women who live nearby, are also going through all the same big changes for the first time, and have babies around the same age who can play with our kid. 

So, I attended an info session for a local program that I’ve heard great things about. There’s a weekly group for moms of newborns starting in May that I could attend during maternity leave, so I was hoping to scope out the other women in my area who were interested in joining and see if there were any I could potentially become friends with. Tragically, I was the only one at the info session!

For real. I still chatted with the session leader for an hour, asking all kinds of questions to get an idea of what the group experience is like. I think it would be good for me to join and at least get out of the house/be social once a week. The session leader told me there is currently no one else signed up for the particular group I would join, but there’s still plenty of time before it starts, so I’ll probably just sign up and see what happens. The group will be cancelled if it doesn’t reach the minimum of eight women, so cross your fingers for some mom friends for me!!!

To wrap up, I’ll mention a super-fun day I had with the friends I do have. 🙂 My longtime friend Carly had her bachelorette party this past weekend, and I attended the daytime/early evening portion before things got rowdy! 

Carly wanted to kick off the celebration with spa treatments, and I was more than happy to get a heavenly pedicure and then hang out in the “relaxation room” wearing a comfy robe while other girls drifted in and out for their manicures, pedicures or massages.

There’s the bachelorette in the middle! I took this pic, but then I spent plenty of time lounging in a fourth chair off to the right of this scene. We nibbled on fresh fruit and nuts, and the drinking ladies enjoyed mimosas. Not terrible at all.

The whole spa group. I got way too hot in the robe (thanks, prego sweats) and changed back into my dress early.

Later, we grabbed snacks and drinks at Dragonfish while a few members of the bridal party decorated a hotel room with the most amaaaaazing Harry Potter theme! Carly is a huge Harry Potter fan, obviously. There were HP glasses and wands for all.

You may recognize these girls as the bridesmaids at my wedding! We go way back to junior high. There were a total of 17 girls packed into this room, so don’t let let this photo or the spa photo fool you — Carly has no shortage of friends! It was so fun to watch her open (unmentionable) gifts and play (even more unmentionable) games. I sipped on sparkling apple cider that the maid of honor had gotten especially for me and another pregnant girl — so nice of her! — and then left around 6:30, as the girls weren’t having dinner until 8:30 and that is mighty close to my bedtime. 🙂

I’m so happy I was able to help celebrate with Carly, and I’m even more excited for her wedding in less than two weeks!! It’s one of many events Aaron and I are looking forward to as we count down to baby time. 

Our schedule is pretty packed every weekend with family/friend time, as everyone seems to want to get together before she arrives. It’s good to stay busy, I think — we’re already about as prepared as we can be, and it’ll make this last little bit of waiting fly by!

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