Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bumpdate~ Weeks 26, 27, & 28

Sorry for slacking on the updates recently!! I was so busy during National Infertility Awareness Week that I was tired of the computer in the week after, when I would have posted Weeks 26 & 27... and now we are in the middle of Week 29 so I'm just making this a triple-week post! I'll try to keep them short and to the point, or mostly add pics...

Week 26: (April 20-26)

Me this week-
Week 26 already feels like a long time ago, and in a sense I guess it was!! During week 26, NIAW kicked off and I was kept busy with lots of extra posts to help raise awareness for infertility. After all, that is the sole reason this blog exists and why our journey has turned into such an epic adventure. Infertility is a crappy disease but oddly one I am somewhat thankful for in a weird way that you might only understand if you've walked in our shoes. So some of this week's pics are NIAW related, but Week 26 was also a big shower weekend for some of my friends. 2 friends are getting married this summer and another is having a baby soon, so my weekends have been kept busy with wedding & baby shower fun, amongst all the packing here in the house.

Just a few NIAW pics...

*Us, in a nutshell. Best friends; Husband/Wife; Mama/Dada... :)


 Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. We are 1 in 8... but we are also MORE than 1 in 8. This pic was from last year's NIAW.


 The NIAW theme this year (from www.resolve.org) was #StartAsking. We took part in a few projects that week and one was to post a Q that the outside world might want to ask those dealing with infertility.


And now some bump shots! :) 


I took a mental health day one day in week 26. Work is starting to get stressful in a few ways and I needed a day to just be me and not have my name called 500x a day, be on my feet nonstop, and just relax. It was also in the 70s and I knew my non air-conditioned classroom would be super gross and hot. Sitting on the porch with a chicken sandwich from a local deli was the PERFECT remedy for the day. I just may have to take another day soon. Working with Kindergarten is hard enough sometimes, but being 6 months pregnant and dealing with spring fever behaviors, having multiple adults in and out of the room all day, being on your feet too much, etc gets to you every so often and I needed to put Bee/myself first.

Dressed & ready for my friend Kortney's baby shower! Her baby girl, Addie, is due June 5th. We are about 7 weeks apart and have loved going through this experience together! :) 


 Block decorating activity... I LOVED this!! I totally want to do this at our shower.


 Beautiful mama-to-be at her baby shower.


 Our signature bump-to-bump shot!



Week 26 collage...


One of THE BEST things is when Scott puts his hand on my belly, talks to Bee, or feels him move. My whole world is in this pic. <3 


A coworker got this adorable onesie set for Bee. I used to love these books as a kid!!! Little Ms. Sunshine was always one of my favs so I love that I can dress Bee in these some day soon!
Mr. Strong~ Mr. Perfect~ Mr. Happy~ 


Growing belly. :)



Still one of my fav things, is just to relax and feel Bee moving or talk to him. Love this little dude SOOOO much!!

Symptoms this week...
-Still feeling great!!
-Occasional aches & night but I've switched to completely/exclusively sleeping with the body pillow and always having a pillow between my knees to keep my hips in line. It's helped tremendously! I also stretch my calves every night before getting in bed to hopefully help ward off leg cramps.
- My feet still swell on occasion, but nothing too crazy yet. It tends to be the end of the week after being on them Mon-Fri.
-Drinking lots of water & therefore peeing OFTEN!


Bee this week-
This week, our little BeeBee is the size of a head of lettuce!

Fun facts for week 26:
Eyes are forming & will soon start to open!
Eyelashes are now grown.
Bee's immune system is getting ready & he's soaking up my antibodies.
Practicing breathing by taking breaths of amniotic fluid.

Bee is in the 13.6-14.8 inch range, and the 1.5-2.5 pound range.

His senses are developing!








Week 27: (April 27- May 3)

Me this week-
27 weeks on the 27th... How fun!!! :)



It was still NIAW for a few days into week 27 (my changeover day each week is a Wednesday), so we still had lots of posts on the blog about different aspects of our story. Then I came across this pic and it was too funny not to share! Sorry Bee, you can't go to college because we spent all our money just to get pregnant with you! haha, jk... but this does definitely has a lot of realistic humor in it!


Among our many posts for NIAW, Scott was so brave to share HIS SIDE of our story. He guest blogs occasionally and it was a big step for him to do this. I hope we help other couples silently struggling to know that they're not alone... Especially if dealing with male factor, as many more men are silent about their struggle than women. 


Some belly shots! :)



Soft serve ice cream is one of my fav treats and is usually more seasonal up here. Rita's opened up for the season so I'm always stoked to take advantage of a quick stop! :) Bee sure didn't mind! I got a gelati (Italian ice layers with custard layers) with pineapple ice and vanilla custard... yum!!


We didn't use all of our snow days at school this year (total rarity!!) so we have 3 days we get back as freebies in the spring. I had one of these days recently and got to meet up with Alli for breakfast and shopping. Besides being my BFF, Alli is a mom of 2 and therefore my go-to expert & model on all things baby. We had a nice quiet breakfast at Panera and then shopped at a local mama/baby store for baby carriers. Alli wanted to buy us one and wanted to make sure it was one that's ergonomically safe for baby's hip positioning. Plus, I am completely clueless when it comes to the differences in baby gear so it was great to have her there to help ask Qs and give feedback. 



Trying out baby carriers with the fake model baby... which felt very much like a real baby! I found myself rubbing its foot as if he were mine... Ha! We ended up going with the Boba 4G carrier (pictured) but in a different pattern. The cool thing about this carrier is it works for short people like me AND tall daddies like Scott! Not all of them adjust to bigger heights/builds, but it was a bonus that ours did, so we can both take turns baby wearing and carrying Bee around with us in situations we wouldn't want the stroller or just want to keep him close. 


 Recognize Alli's shirt below?? She let me borrow all her maternity clothes and said if I wear nothing else, to at least wear this shirt because it was her fav... it's definitely been one of my favs too and I purposely wore it that day when I knew I'd see her. Thennnn I came across this pic of us last year (gearing up for my last IUI cycle, so it was probably the end of March and Alli would have been 7 months pregnant). Haha :) What a difference a year makes! :)



A friend was recently in Disney and saw a girl with a cute Mickey-themed pregnancy announcement shirt. This is not the same one but it's the same idea, with the Mickey accessories on the belly. I wouldn't spend this much on one but totally would try to make one if I can find the patches! How cute is this?!


A sweet friend I made on Instagram, and another fellow IVF mama (currently also pregnant) sent us a sweet care package of baby goodies and this adorable sign was in it. I can't wait to decorate the nursery and find a great spot for it!! :) Thank you, Christina!! XOXO


Growing, growing, growing... :) 


One thing pregnancy has taught me is to NOT beat myself up when I get back to pre-pregnancy weight (or even in the meantime). I've always been critical of myself and always wish I was more tone or didn't have as much flab on certain spots of my body. Scott is always telling me that I look great and to stop beating myself up. Now looking at old pics of my pre-pregnancy body, I realize I really didn't look that bad and that Scott is always right!! ha! So I vow to be more comfortable and confident in the future and not always pick apart every little thing or compare myself so much to everyone else. 

This was last May, while in Florida for my younger nephew's communion. 


Teacher Appreciation Week just passed as well... so this is just a quote for all the fellow teachers out there! :)

It's a rarity that I go to a salon and/or get my nails done. If anything, it's in the summer months, and even that is far and few between visits. I recently went after school one day and decided why not! Pregnancy hormones have made my nails the nicest they've ever been, so I went for it. :) The chair massage during the pedicure was an added bonus too for my back, which has started to tense up a bit.


Kortney & I are delivering at different hospitals but hers offers a free breastfeeding class and we decided to go together. We made it a mamas night out (with baby bellies, of course) and grabbed dinner at SmashBurger (I've only been twice, we don't really have a local one, but YUMMO!!), then went to the class. It was jam-packed with helpful tips and info and I'm pretty psyched about everything. Of course I'm overwhelmed and still totally naive and in the dark but breastfeeding is something I at least plan to try. I know not everyone is capable of it for different reasons but I want to try and see where it takes us. 

Kortney (at 35 weeks) and me (27 weeks)!! :) Ahh!! :) 


Some belly pics...



Symptoms
- Having to pee often (DUH!)
- Feet still swelling on occasion, but again mostly at the end of the week from being on them long. It has been totally manageable so far!
- Sleeping has been really good lately! :)
- Occasional heartburn
- Able to grow my nails & not pick them off!
- Back aches & tightness
- Starting to get more easily tired & exhausted again as we enter the 3rd trimester


Bee this week-
At 27 weeks, our sweet little Bee is...

- Practicing inhaling & exhaling with his rapidly developing lungs! (FUN!) :) :)
- Showing brain activity!
- Getting bigger & smarter
- Moving around more and more! Instead of just kicks & jabs here and there, I'm now noticing big movements that make my belly move in waves. One morning (3AM... haha!), Bee was having a dance party (or practicing Karate and ninja moves, perhaps!?) and Scott and I each felt his movements in different spots of my belly. He's getting big! :)









Week 28: (May 4- 10)

Me this week-
Hello 3rd trimester!!!! It's seemingly 50/50 in different things I've read as to whether week 27 or 28 is the 3rd trimester, but either way we are definitely here now! :) Wahoo!! This is a HUGE milestone and so so exciting!! There is still SO much to do before Bee arrives and I pray he doesn't make a super early entrance because we haven't even moved yet (anxiously waiting to hear on a closing date for both houses soon).

My biggest fear/want/dream this week is that Bee will come early and we won't be in the new house yet. I feel somewhat deprived of the chance to set up the baby's room because all our stuff is in boxes in Scott's parents' garage. We don't own the new house yet and all I have are mental images and a few pics I snapped when we were there last there 2 months ago in March. If we had already moved, I would have had it all entirely set up by now and just sit in there every chance I got. I know I would. I know I still can, but I feel like we have about 10 weeks left and it's starting to make me antsy and stress a bit. Why must the real estate process in NY be soooooooo slow. I know people in other states who have been through the whole process in no time already, while we have been going at it since we got our buyers in February, just waiting. The original plan was to move into the new house at the end of May and we could still do so, but I am a natural worrier by nature and just want it all to happen ASAP before I lose all energy and before Bee decides to make his grand appearance.

One wonderful thing about week 28 is that it was Mother's Day... Yup, I said "wonderful" and "Mother's Day" in the same sentence. Crazy, I know. The past 4 years of Mother's Day (& Father's Day) have been totally dreaded and depressing. For the first time ever, there was light again!! I FINALLY got to celebrate!! And even though Bee isn't born yet, it sure as heck still counts if you're pregnant on Mother's Day. I am a mom because of my growing belly; he's kicking and moving daily; he's a living person, and therefore I do absolutely get to celebrate. And celebrate I did. :)

When I walked into my classroom on Friday morning before Mother's Day, there were flowers on my table from our Superintendent. Our school is a one-building district, so our Principal and Superintendent are both in the building with us. All the moms got one of these... how sweet?!! <3


My mom had also sent me a package with a card and some baby books for Bee. Sorry, I didn't snap a pic before packing them away, but it was a sweet surprise and much appreciated! 

When I woke up on Mother's Day morning, I saw that Scott had posted this collage on Instagram for me. He took 1 pic from the last few years (2012- now) and then posted "It may have taken 4 years to get us to this day but those four years have brought us together even closer!!! Happy FIRST MOTHER'S DAY!! Bee and I love you very much!!" :) What a guy! He also got me a card and roses too. I love you, Scott!


I went to Zumba class that morning (I swear it's what keeps me going, even if I'm slow moving at it now!) and then we went out for brunch with Scott's parents. Afterwards, we stopped at the closer Waddle n Swaddle (where I shopped with Alli last week, but a different location) so I could A) stop for a pee break and B) to see if Scott would try on the baby carrier Alli got us. He was such a good sport to try it on and it fits so well!! It's also easy to get on/off so I think it will come in handy for both of us in different ways. :)

I also got a card/baby memory book from Scott's parents too. AND cards in the mail from Alli/Logan (my godson) & also from Scott's brother (aka Uncle Brian). :)
 It was a beautiful day after raining virtually ALL week and it was a great way to spend my very first Mother's Day. Feeling extremely blessed. 



 28-week bump pics... :)





We had our 28-week checkup this week and starting now, we go every 2 weeks!! It was every 4 up until this point and now it'll be biweekly. Woa! :) I wasn't feeling well Monday (the day of the appt) and think I caught another stomach bug or something, so I wasn't able to do the glucose tolerance test or get a vaccine that day. The Dr. did the usual vitals and found Bee's heartbeat in an instant, and measured my belly. Everything is growing right on track and all is well so far! I had to reschedule the glucose test for a few days after (that'll be in the 29-week update) and I have to get my Tdap shot at the 30-week appointment. Tdap is essentially 3 vaccinations in one (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whopping Cough)... T, D, and P, hence the name"Tdap". The Dr. wants me to have it so that I protect the baby, not that there's anything wrong with him. She also suggested it for Scott and the grandparents. We since read that really anyone in close contact with babies should get one (aunts/uncles/anyone near Bee a lot that could potentially pass it along) because a lot of babies have gotten very sick from especially whooping cough. We all know I despite/fear/hate needles but I will totally get any shot necessary to keep my little man safe & sound. We've come this far, I'm not taking chances and trust our OB's opinion 100000000%.


Mark & Stacie sent us a baby gift package a few months ago that had belly stickers in it. My intent was to use all of them and somehow the time all passed and this is the 1st I'm getting to. :( BUT it's better than nothing and I noticed they now have every 2 weeks so maybe I'll be better at it now. Since we've packed up most the house, they're on my dresser as a reminder, which also helps.

This is one of my fav pics this week. :)


Rachel Platten's song "Better Place" has quickly become my newest fav song. "Home" by Phillip Phillips has been one of my fav songs in the last few years that I always relate the lyrics to housing a baby in the womb, but now this one has a new meaning for the current way I feel. I have only heard it a handful of times and once I listened to the lyrics I instantly burst into tears because I was relating it to exactly how I feel about Bee after our long struggle. It's not even about this situation but it totally relates and is a beautiful/fun/happy song anyway, so I love it. It makes me smile just like placing my hand on my belly does. 

After posting the pic below, my friend Marisol (also my Zumba instructor) saw it and looked up the song. She fell in love with it too, and to my surprise she chose it as her cool-down song for the Mother's Day Zumba class. I recognized it instantly, automatically knew she must have read my post, and burst into happy tears. There I was crying during the cool- down song and singing; others were probably wondering what the heck my problem was. HA! It was such a sweet sweet action and totally made my day! As tradition, Marisol also brought roses to class that day to give to everyone, mama or not, because even in our hearts we are all moms. It's nice to have great friends. <3 


If you haven't heard the song, look it up (or I'll see if I can embed it below). Here are the lyrics, and I'll put below why I love it so much. 


(continued below... but they overlap a bit, sorry)


In MY mind, I relate it to the fact that our world is a better place since Bee came along because we were in such a dark place for so many years of trying and getting nowhere. It started to chip at me and break me and now I'm myself again. Now that he's here, I'm happier and not sad. Now that he's here, I'm my positive, bubbly, giddy self again. Everything is bright again, I don't feel alone and left out anymore, I have a new appreciation for things after our struggle to get him, he's our favorite thing, and everything is right within our little world again. It's a better place since he came along.




Bee this week-
Baby Bee is now the size of an eggplant!! He's getting so long and I swear every so often I feel a foot or hand because his movements are so spaced apart now. It's so fun to imagine where he might be and how he might be positioned! Every once in a while, I feel something hard in my belly and I know it's some sort of body part but I'm not able to tell what just yet.

At 28 weeks, he's starting to build more fat.

His lungs are mature enough that, if born now, he would likely survive! AHh!! *(But that doesn't mean come out yet, silly... keep cooking so you get stronger and stronger each week!) <3

He's sucking more of my energy & I'm definitely feeling it! I get EASILY tired walking from my car to classroom each day, or up ANY flight of stairs. It's exhausting. Ha! :) Everything in my body is getting squished together as he gets bigger and so it's all par for the course and so interesting and miraculous to me!





Sorry for the triple update this week!! I keep trying to get back on track but it's hard to find the time sometimes. Even though I'm essentially sitting around more often, it's hard to also mentally be in the game. Our house is 85-90% packed up and we are now just kind of waiting for the green light at this point. The sooner we can get out, the better, since my energy is slowing down by the week! I'm SO glad I did the majority of the packing at the end of March/beginning of April when I still had tons of energy! :) 

Prayers that our sweet little baby doesn't come anytime soon! We want him cooking as long as he can to optimize success out of the womb and have a short hospital stay. Ideally I also want to get to our family shower and be somewhat settled in the new house before he arrives. 

As always, thanks for reading!! 

XOXO,

Stace & Baby Bee
#TeamRicci



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