Category Archives: Pregnancy

40 weeks and counting

March 31st, our due date!  What a day that was.  Sunny, warm, a lovely seabreeze, not a Mango in sight.  Alas, the 31st came and went, and here we sit, a party of two.

We did manage to sneak in an absolutely beautiful weekend of beach walks, time with the family, a trip to Woodman’s for fried seafood, and a stroll through the woods near our house.  The weather was finally nice enough that we stretched each day to its fullest – we even spent a bit of time on the back porch, soaking up the sunshine.  And despite Mango’s reluctance to join us, we made the most of our days and did our best to enjoy our last remaining days as a family of two.

Fun as it was, we’re really looking forward to our first weekend as a group of three!

39 weeks: impatiently patient

Well, we’re still waiting. We’ve checked all of our tasks off the list for the most part (the hospital bag? Almost packed), and now we just…wait. This weekend felt odd…like there was something big we should be doing, something urgent to be addressed, when in reality there was nothing pressing. We watched basketball, went out to lunch, made a belly cast (really), and puttered about the house. We shared this overarching feeling of urgency when in reality nothing urgent waited to be tackled. Well, nothing aside from labor and delivery and Mango. But that we cannot control – we’re at the mercy of Mango and the mercy of my body deciding that eviction is the best option.

There’s something surreal about these days, these hours. I look at Chris and feel like we should be doing things, making memories, living these final moments when it is just us…and then I realize that we are doing just that. We’re wandering about our neighborhood, both of us lost in the same yet different thoughts, teetering on the brink of a moment in time that will change our world in a way that we cannot yet know. But we do know. Sort of. We know our hopes and our dreams for life after Mango…we know what we want our world to look like, what we want to strive to achieve. Much of that is quite simple. We long for the firsts: the first glimpse, the first snuggle, the first smile, the first laugh. Oh, the first laugh. For two people who spend as much time chuckling as we do, that first laugh is huge.

I now understand how parents have hopes and dreams for their children, but I wonder if they are really hopes and dreams for the children or hopes and dreams for the world in which they want their children to live? I mean, I don’t care one way or another about the details…I just want to create a world in which happiness reigns, fear is rare, and love abounds. A world of wonder that leaves Mango open to embracing the quirkiness of the people of his or her world, and a curiosity that pushes our little creation to seek out new places, new people, new experiences. Must it be on a grand scale? Not at all. But do I hope to impart those values on Mango? Sure. Does it matter if Mango loves to travel, will watch sports with Chris, and enjoys an afternoon walk with me? Not entirely. Of course all of those things would be nice, but ultimately I’m not sure they matter so long as we share the core beliefs of loving the world and treating others with kindness. Being open to differences, and – better yet – finding beauty in differences. Embracing life as an adventure to be experienced rather than a collection of empty days strung together by sleepless nights.

So as we sit here, impatiently patiently awaiting Mango’s arrival, of course our minds are filled with thoughts about what childbirth will be, what life with Mango will be, and just how different our world will look.  But more than anything, we find ourselves drifting into thoughts of the joys we want to share with Mango, the simple life lessons that we hold so dear. So yes, we do have hopes and dreams for Mango, but now more than ever I realize that they are quite basic in nature: to share with our child the world as we see it, full of love and potential for joy. Sprinkled with laughter even on the crappiest of days. Full of adventure in whatever way Mango so chooses.

But in the meantime, we kind of just sit…gazing pensively out the window…impatiently patient.

Oh, and check this out:

Pregnant?
Oh yes, definitely pregnant.

38 weeks of Mango

Well we failed at having a St Patrick’s Day baby, and from the looks of it we’re going to fail at having a baby in the teens of March.  Hurry up, Mango. 

That about sums up the mood – for both me and Chris.  We’re ready.  Of course we have no real idea what we’re getting into, and we’re not really ready because how can you ever be ready, but we’re as ready as we’re going to be.  It’s time to get the show on the road. We just need Mango to hear our pleas and bust a move.  Mango? 

You know what’s worse than wondering when Mango will arrive? Wondering if Mango will be late. We can handle another two weeks even though we would rather not, but the notion of another three to four weeks sounds rather unpleasant.  Alas, we’ll have to wait and see.

Full-term.

Full-term seems like a big deal.  No, full-term IS a big deal.  37 weeks. Mango made it through the weeds and into the home stretch.  We both feel it.  I’m squished, uncomfortable, and gaining excitement day by day; Mango is squished, (un)comfortable(?), and gaining ounces day by day.  We’ve made a good team over the past nine months, and I feel more and more confident as the days creep by that we will continue to make a good team when we finally meet face to face.

It’s crazy to me how close the end/beginning really is. Each day goes by and I’m shocked at how close March 31st feels. I attend meetings at work; we talk about tasks to be completed by next week; I wonder will I be here next week? Or will I be snuggling Mango? Who knows.

Such thoughts require me to focus on the present – require me to be present – and I like it. Of course I am overwhelmed and anxious for what life with Mango will be, but I’m also ready to find out what that life will be. Ready to see Chris and Mango together. Ready to watch my most favorite man fall in love with my most favorite tiny little person. Ready for them to team up against Mom because I know that will become a favorite hobby. Ready.

Along with that readiness comes the unease of course of how it all happens, what that day or days looks like, how we handle it, what ridiculous tasks we come up with to entertain ourselves when we know we can’t go to the hospital just yet. I’m hoping for a walk or two outside, a silly errand, maybe even a game of Scrabble. Please don’t burst my bubble if those are naïve thoughts. I would also find it entirely fitting if we haven’t bought our birthday champagne yet (it WILL be in the hospital bag) and have to go to the package store down the way on one of our walks. I just hope they don’t card me.

How can you card this?

I’ve also been reflecting a lot recently on the past months…finding out about Mango, telling our families, growing out of my pants, feeling Mango kick, watching Chris first feel Mango kick, experiencing what it feels like to have my belly swell from toned to a basketball of baby.  It’s a lot to grasp and a lot to understand, especially because for the longest time it didn’t really feel real or like there would ever be an end. And now here we are, with the end in sight and the constant thoughts of what day will it be, how will it play out, who is Mango? That’s the biggest one: who is Mango? This tiny little being that I know so intimately yet have never met. The fingers that I cannot wait to feel wrapped around my own, the snuggle that I cannot wait to experience.

Who are you, Mango? And how will I ever call you by a name other than Mango?

We shall find out soon.

MARCH.

Well…we’re here. It’s March. And while we can’t be certain that Mango will arrive in March, it’s still…March. The month that we’ve been counting towards since July. The month that has the potential to flip our world upside down (again). The month in which we might perhaps meet the little animal who has been kicking and squirming and kneading away in there for months upon months. The month in which my mother cooks delicious corned beef (that’s the pregnant Irish lass talking).

35 weeks of Mango brought us to this day…and, March, we’re ready for you. Sort of (note the frazzled hairdo).

 

32 years, 34 weeks

Mango and I both celebrated milestones last weekend: I turned 32, and s/he turned 34.  Years, weeks, they’re all the same, no?  We celebrated in style with visitors from out of town, a birthday party at the parents’ house, and even a wee snowstorm to beautify the neighborhood.  All in all a solid birthday weekend.  To be surrounded by friends AND family for my birthday was such a treat – it has been a long time since my birthday celebration involved mom’s homemade dinner and cake…it felt quite nice. Of course there is also the emotion of this being the last birthday that is just mine…and the novelty of Mango celebrating with me already (MORE CAKE! MORE CAKE IN HERE!)…and the inability to rely on the default “Let’s just go to the bar…” celebration (that didn’t stop my fellow celebrators though)…I don’t know, it all felt very nice and very right. 

As for the wee one, Mango’s movements are so strong by now – my belly hops from here to there as the s/he rearranges whatever furniture s/he has decorated the womb with. I find it reassuring, not just for the attention the baby pays to the details of his or her environment (a tiny little organizer, how cute), but for the comfort in knowing that the little guy is getting bigger and stronger. At my midwife appointment this week, my belly measured just where it should (34cm), and the heartbeat has continued to grow stronger. It’s incredible…there is so much less background noise now, and so very much more heartbeat. While I keep reminding Mango that there are still weeks to go, I do feel more and more comfortable with the thought that were he or she to make an early arrival, we would be okay.

As for me, I’m hanging in there. Physically I still feel pretty great – minor aches and pains, some nights of difficulty sleeping, but nothing too terrible…and nothing like I thought I would feel by now. Somehow I had assumed that by this point in the pregnancy I would feel awful and miserable and when oh when will this ever end? But I don’t. Sure, I’m looking forward to a waist, a couple glasses of wine (make that margaritas), and a few hours of sleep on my stomach, but for now I’m doing okay, round as can be.

See?



Round with a belly full of love. And leftover chocolate cake.

Mangoes are tropical fruits

And therefore Mangoes and snow do not get along.  Especially not when those snows come 28 inches at a time, which ours did this weekend. 

We awoke on Saturday morning to find ourselves snowed in.  Quite literally.  The snow crept so high up the doors (all three) that we simply could not leave our house…through a door. 

Being a dutiful wife, I cooked Christopher a hearty snow shoveling breakfast and sent him out the window into a drift of snow that covered him instantly (he went out head first) and left him eating his way frantically out of the snow.  Poor man/my hero. 


Fueled by bacon, eggs, cheese, and Irish coffee, he shoveled and shoveled and shoveled.  And shoveled.  All day.  He came inside for lunch and then disappeared back into the winter wonderland for another few hours.  When all was said and done, he had cleared quite the path.  And he was beat…until Sunday, his birthday, when the rest of the shoveling awaited.   

A bit more pleasant than Saturday, Sunday greeted us with warm sunshine that melted some of the snow.  The cars were left to clear (I could help!) and minor driveway work, but other than that we were in the clear.  We finished the snow work by lunchtime and were free to enjoy an afternoon of peace and quiet before the Celtics/Nuggets game that night. 

Oh, and while Chris was shoveling all day Saturday I busied myself nicely as well.  I finished the touch-up work needed in Mango’s room, made some pretzel rolls, and tackled the mountain of laundry we created throughout the week.  All was not lost in trashy magazines and daytime TV.  Speaking of Mango’s room, here you are – it’s a work in progress still but we’re getting there, and it’s very exciting!

We’re back at work this week, 33 weeks and counting.  The intensity of the kicking has increased as Mango soaks up more and more room in the belly.  The excitement also continues to build as we creep towards March 31st…this weekend is my birthday, followed by two baby showers the next two weekends, and then we’re in March and March means maybe Mango and maybe Mango means holy moley we’re parents and then the world changes in ways we cannot even fathom but somehow know will be fun and exhausting but still fun and did I mention fun?  Because it’s going to be…fun.  A tiny little version of us to pester day and night (and to be pestered by day and night)?  Fun. 

32 weeks of belly

On Sunday we turned 32 weeks old.  I think we also finally developed a waddle.  I can’t be certain, but there is something distinctly waddle-ish about my gait these days, and I figure if I’ve begun to question the waddle, surely it exists.

It’s nothing terrible, just sort of a wide-stance walk that could be attributed to horseback riding if I did that, but I don’t.  Nope.  It’s a waddle.  A slow, teeter-tottery wobble (thanks Mango).

32 weeks took me, Chris, Mango, and the waddle to Vermont for a cozy getaway weekend in Woodstock.  We spent a wonderful weekend wandering through the woods, eating delicious food, and relaxing. We slept in, lazed about, and enjoyed.  Few photos resulted, but we did snap a few, so here you are:

Progress at the home front continues slowly but surely.  We’re expecting a giant snowstorm this weekend, so we plan to spend Saturday indoors preparing Mango’s room.  There’s some painting to be done and some furniture to reorganize, but other than that, we’re in a bit of a holding pattern as we don’t have much stuff yet.  I laughed with Chris the other day about Mango coming early and the poor child spending the first days of his or her life naked on account of ill-prepared parents.  Perhaps we should buy some clothes.  Or maybe just diapers and a blanket.  That would suffice.

Emotionally, it feels as though the end is in sight, which is both incredibly exciting and unbelievably overwhelming.  Chris remains the rock, ever confident that we’ll do great and Mango is lucky to have us.  I fluctuate much more in my emotions – there are some days when I mirror Chris’s calm facade, and there are others where I am certain that we are doomed and poor Mango will deem us failures from the get-go.  Then I have a moment of clarity and realize that we’re probably doing something right if our child looks at us with an eye-roll and thinks s/he couldn’t have faired worse in the luck of the draw.

That said, I’m fairly certain that Mango lucked out and that, if anything, the kid is in for a wild ride.  Even if its mother waddles.

Take that, 2013

Less than a month into the new year, and I’m already knocking things off the 2013 list.  Which goal was tackled, you might wonder?

This one:

I did it; I learned to drive a stick!  Granted it was required if we were ever to retrieve Chris’s car from the dealership again (he left it there to have some work done when he picked up the new car – we worked it into the deal), but still it’s cause for celebration.

Chris picked up the new car on Tuesday night.  He took me for a ride that night, and come Wednesday we were driving in circles in the parking lot down the road.  Half an hour of driving in circles left me feeling like perhaps I could handle it.  Friday night’s lesson (we took Thursday off due to frozen pipes in the kitchen – nothing terrible, they unfroze with no permanent damage thank goodness) offered less comfort as we hit the roads, I freaked out, and then I required about fifteen minutes of sitting on a side street to regroup.  Chris was not happy, and at one point in time uttered the words, “That’s fine, we’ll just have two cars that you can’t drive.”  Whimper, whimper, Kara throws a pity party for herself.

Self-induced pity parties don’t tend to last long though, as the quickest way to get me to insist that I WILL do something is to tell me that I can’t do something (and never will be able to).  So back at it I went, ego wounded, but more determined than ever.  And by the time we got home on Friday night, I had regained a bit of the confidence from Wednesday night’s lesson.

Despite the confidence, an overwhelming sense of impending doom hung over my head as I kept thinking, “Oh God, I have to drive us to Quincy tomorrow…on highways…and busy roads…oh geez, oh geez, oh geez.”  I fell asleep thinking about it; I woke up thinking about it.  I knew it had to happen – and I insisted that it would happen – but I couldn’t help but wish that it wouldn’t.

Anyways, into the car we went, and off to Quincy I drove.  I think I stalled once.  Minimal bucking of the car.  White knuckles.  Deep breaths.  Success?  Success!  Half-way done; we were at Mazda.  Now it was up to me and Mango (and Chris via the bluetooth – thank goodness!) to get ourselves home in one (two?) piece(s).  And we did it!  No stalling this time, even less bucking, and we were there: home!

I don’t think the photos do it justice, but the amount of pride in myself I felt was ridiculous.  So much pride I even had a bit of wine to celebrate my own glory (and to relax my still clenched fists).  I also fell asleep on the couch for a bit – all that worrying is exhausting.

Anyways, here you have it: me and the car, and me and the very best teacher in the world:

2013, we’re already taking you by the reins and knocking stuff off the goals list.  Hurrah!

30 weeks (plus one week) is a lot of weeks

Somehow thirty weeks seems like a big milestone to me.  I mean…after 3-0 comes 4-0 and that means Mango is not too far off.  Hopefully s/he chooses to stick around on the inside for a while longer though, as we’re not ready yet!

The whirlwind that is our world continues these days.  We bought a sweet new car this past weekend, so we are now a two car family once again.  I still need to learn to drive it (gulp), but that was part of the reason we bought it in the first place, so driving school starts tonight.  It’s time to put on the big girl pants.

We also had a 30 week midwife appointment on Tuesday.  It was the first time in a while that Chris has joined me, so it was exciting to have him hear Mango’s heart thumping away in there – it’s so much stronger than before.  The conversations have also shifted at the appointments…they’re less about what’s to come in the far off future, and much more about immediate things to look out for.  The sense that the end is in sight is defintely present.

Oh, other big news: we got furniture for the Mango nest!  The armoire, chair, and changing table were delivered Saturday morning from a neat little furniture refurbisher that we stumbled upon down the street from our home.  We ordered the crib last night, so that should arrive soon too.  We’re still on the fence about the wall color, so the furniture all lives in the middle of Mango’s room right now, but we’ll get there.  One thing at a time?  Right.  We’ve never lived by that motto.

In other news this week, I finally feel like I am pregnant.  By that I mean, I had killer back, or rather, bass pain this weekend.  What’s bass pain?  Well, it’s not in your back and it’s not in your…you get it.  It’s in the middle somewhere and it’s unpleasant.  Fortunately I finally got the message that these aches and pains mean I need to sit down and do less, so sit down and do less I did.  By Tuesday I was back in working order and feeling much more myself…just hungrier.  Yep.  Hungry.  All the time.  For the first time in my entire pregnancy really.  I think part of it is that I have less room to eat a lot right now, so my meals have been smaller and more frequent, but of course the other part is that Mango is busy in there growing up a storm.  I’ve done most of the growing that I need to do…these next weeks it’s up to Mango to pack on some pounds and plump up for arrival.  So yeah…I’m a bottomless pit.

Aside from hungry, we’re also feeling the emotions building of what is to come.  Chris and Mango get to hang out a lot more these days (lots of kicking – it even seems like Mango’s movements will follow our hands around my belly sometimes?), so that only adds to the anticipation of seeing them hang out without the womb barrier.  I already know it’s going to be the most darling thing I have ever seen.  Again, not YET (keep cooking, Mango!), but it feels soon…and that is exciting.

Other than that, we’re still just plugging away, getting our world ready for the next adventure – as requested, here’s what we look like while we’re doing so (one week late – these are 31 week pictures – note that I seem to have red hair(?) but I have also surpassed Chris is the belly department, yeah!):