30 Week Bumpdate

30 weeks pregnant

 

How far along? 30 weeks!

What is Baby G up to? Baby G is the size of a zucchini and weighing in around 3 pounds. Baby is moving so much, but still not as much as Finn did! I’m hoping this means a calm baby?! Baby is already in the head down position and kicking mama in the ribs pretty much every day. The heartbeat came in around 147 at my appointment last week.

How am I feeling? I’m feeling more like myself lately. The last month or so was rough, emotionally. My hormones were taking over and I either felt incredibly high or incredibly low. I’m feeling much more balanced as of today. My anxiety is still poking through a bit – mainly anxious about real life things like switching Finn’s daycare, labor and delivery, and introducing another member to our family. Oh, and the whole newborn, no sleep thing. Physically, my body is getting tired, but I’m hanging in. I really have enjoyed the physical growth part of pregnancy this time around. I haven’t been as hard on myself with the weight gain knowing that a year from now, I will have my body back as long as I put the work in!

What am I wearing? It’s starting to cool down slightly here, so I’m rotating some sweaters into my wardrobe. However, dresses are really all that fit me right now!

What am I craving/eating? Nothing too specific. I think I’m actually at that point where food just causes heartburn, so I’m not really interested in anything at all.

What’s on my mind lately? As I mentioned above, we are switching Finn’s daycare. He has been at the same place since I went back to work two years ago, but since moving, the drive is adding almost 2 hours to my day. We found a place closer to home, which will be nice for everyone, but I’m really stressed about how Finn will transition to a new school.

What am I looking forward to? Not quite looking forward to it, but Hurricane Florence is supposed to impact our area this weekend, so I’m anxious to just get through the worst of it. I know we will not get nearly the impact the coast will see, so I’m trying to stay positive.

Best moment of the week? My employer recently announced a change in the parental leave policy – 8 weeks, 100% pay. I’m ecstatic, but a little nervous how it will impact me since the change starts while I’m actually out on leave and not beforehand. Regardless, this is a necessary step!

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28 Weeks!

28 weeks pregnant

 

How far along? 28 weeks! That means officially third trimester. This pregnancy is flying by!

What is Baby G up to? Baby G is as big as an eggplant and weighs almost two pounds. Some time in the past week Baby G shifted into a different position. They say in the third trimester is when your uterus fully pops out of your pelvis. Welp, I think I felt the very moment that happened and have been achey ever since.

How am I feeling? I feel hormonal. Irritable, moody, sleepy, weepy – and then feel super guilty for feeling this way. I’ve been much more hormonal this time around then I did with Finn. I’m also feeling achey earlier than I remember with Finn. That being said, in those moments that I have when I have time to reflect, I feel super grateful for experiencing pregnancy again. It’s hard, and any woman who says it isn’t is lying. But it’s also so cool!

What am I wearing? Still hot. Still living in dresses.

What am I craving/eating? I recently discovered Raisin Bran Crunch again and am living for it.

What’s on my mind lately? I’m trying really hard not to think too much. I have a tendency to overthink everything and get stuck in those thoughts instead of actually being proactive about anything. I’ve spent too much time reflecting on the past and stressing about the future. I am really ready to just be present. I realize that I only have about 12 more weeks with just Finn as my baby, and as excited as I am to see him become a big brother, I want to soak up every memory I can with him.

What am I looking forward to? Fall! We got a tease of chilly weather this past week and it was glorious. But I saw the first pumpkin spice flavors peeking out on the shelves this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.

Best moment of the week? David and I took Finn and Juneau to the river on Sunday evening to let Juneau swim a bit. Finn saw his brother in the water and stripped himself down to naked, squinted his cute eyes at David and asked “Dada go into the water with Finn?” David couldn’t say no. It was so adorable.

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25 Weeks!

25 weeks

How far along? 25 weeks! Yikes!

What is Baby G up to? Baby G is the size of a head of cauliflower and mama is feeling it. Baby G likes to sit very far forward, so much so it feels like I could topple over my own belly. This also cause my back to arch, so by the end of the day, I’m begging David for a back rub. Baby flutters quite a bit, which I love. I will miss those feelings come November.

How am I feeling? Besides the normal aches and pains, I’m feeling good. I definitely think the bump has grown dramatically in the last two weeks, but as we approach the third trimester, I’m just holding onto as much comfort as I can.

What am I wearing? Still hot. Still living in dresses.

What am I craving/eating? Eh, no real cravings at this point. I’m grateful to have been able to keep drinking coffee this pregnancy. I’m really trying to not worry about my weight and simply enjoy the perks of being pregnant. That doesn’t mean overdoing it, but simply not limiting myself. No need to stress over weight gain. I know come January 1st I’ll be back at my normal diet and workout routine.

What’s on my mind lately? I had an annoying summer cold that hit me hard over the weekend. David took Finn out with him so I could get some rest, which I was very grateful for. I realize our time with just the three of us is slowly coming to an end. I don’t let myself think about it too much given how emotional I was thinking about losing time with Juneau when I was pregnant with Finn. It’s definitely emotional, and I’m nervous about how to juggle it all, but truly I’m much more excited to welcome this baby than I was the first time around. At the very least, I know what to expect!

What am I looking forward to? A finished house! We are getting closer every week and I’m loving how it’s all coming together. Next project is the basement, where we hope to be spending most of our family time this winter. I also have fun ideas for the kids’ rooms, but those are less projects and more just finding the right decor.

Best moment of the week? Finn skipped his nap on Saturday, which was totally my fault. He did fine, and we even made it through dinner without a meltdown! But as soon as we got home, he could barely keep his eyes open. He wanted to lay with Mom and Dad in our bed, so we put on Kung Fu Panda and laid down together. Within ten minutes, Finn was snoring, but I couldn’t quite get myself to move him, so we kept watching the movie. It was wonderful 🙂

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My Struggle As A Full Time Working Mom

 

I have a vivid memory from when I was a teenager – I was watching Oprah! with my sisters and my mom in our living room at home. Oprah was moderating a debate between working moms and full-time moms. I don’t remember much of what was said, but I do remember passion coming from both sides. I also remember feeling strongly connected to the working mom side. I was probably 15 at the time, but for some reason I had the uneducated opinion that being a working mother was much more challenging than being a stay at home mom, and that since I always liked to challenge myself, I would also be a working mom, and I would kick butt at it.

Perhaps my brain filed the memory of this particular Oprah! show in my mind so that when I actually became a working mother, I could laugh at the naivety of my teenage self. Erica, you have no idea what you’re talking about! For the past two years, I have been a full-time working mother, and not only is it challenging, it’s nearly impossible for me. On the other hand, I’ve never stayed at home full-time with Finn, so my viewpoint on that side of things remains uneducated. I will say that those days I do have Finn all day long, I’m much more exhausted than any day I spend at work.

I’ve been a mother for just over two years. In that time, my feelings on working have changed dramatically. If I had written this post when Finn was an infant, you would be reading about how grateful I was to have a place away from motherhood. About how work was my sanctuary, my comfort, my sense of normalcy. Being at home with a newborn was terrifying, and I was grateful for the professionals that would willingly spend the day with the unpredictable baby.

In the past year, my feelings on this topic have done a drastic 180 degree flip – and I never, ever expected that. You see, not only did 15 year old Erica think she could totally kick butt at being a working mom, but she also thought that was what would fulfill her. She always thought that being a career woman would fuel her and give her purpose, that having something just for her would bring joy to her life. She spent tens of thousands of dollars on a college education, after all. She would be successful.

Regardless of these feelings, I still never felt fulfilled the way that I thought having a career would. Even when I succeeded or was praised for a job well done at work, the pride I took in it was fleeting. I still lacked the motivation behind it all – the purpose was missing.

The real struggle came when that feeling didn’t initially come with motherhood either. So I’m not feeling fulfilled at work, and I’m not fulfilled as a mom, will I ever feel it? So, I thought maybe it was because I needed more of a challenge. I asked for more responsibility at work. Maybe I just needed to feel pushed and then succeed at that. Maybe if my colleagues saw me kick butt, then I would feel it.

The feeling never ended up coming from work. It came from the crazy, messy, unpredictable life of a toddler. It came when I started hearing words come out of Finn’s mouth. It came when I saw him running around playing with Juneau. It comes when I watch him overcome his fears, or try a new food, or sing a song along with the radio. So, 15 year old Erica had it all wrong – my joy in life would not come from taking on the challenge of being a working mom, it would come in being a mom.

These experiences, and this story, is just a roundabout way of explaining how difficult it has been spending 40 hours of every week away from my joy, and feeling incredibly lonely in that feeling. I’m surrounded by other working mothers who, like all the women on that Oprah! show, make it look so easy. I, on the other hand, struggle with it on a daily basis. Perhaps that’s just my personality, I lack the ability to compartmentalize my work and personal life. Perhaps it’s a symptom of an unsupportive culture. Perhaps, it’s absolutely normal and there are thousands of other women out there feeling the exact same way.

So, what am I doing about all of this? Ahh, the million dollar question. I think the most important thing to recognize here is that I’m still trying to feel comfortable with these feelings. After a literal lifetime of thinking that I wanted an office job and a family, the acceptance of switching those priorities is taking some time. In the process, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, shed too many tears in inappropriate places and even let some depression set in. However, my next step is and always has been very clear to me – it’s the path of getting there that’s unclear, but I have started taking the steps I need to. 

I think the biggest thing I’ve realized from all of this is that women, especially mothers, feel the need to put on a face in order to succeed in life. I’ve felt ashamed because I’ve cried at work over having to spend so much time away from Finn. I’ve apologized for doing so. And in hindsight, I wonder what I’m apologizing for. I don’t need to pretend to feel any way other than the way I actually feel. The response does not need to be to apologize, but to take action. It’s also important to redefine how we view success. For the first 28 years of my life, I thought success came in the form of dollar signs. Two years ago, I started measuring success on how happy Finn was – was he experiencing new things? Was he healthy? Was he spending enough time with me?

The purpose of writing this is to let other working moms who are feeling lonely in these feelings realize they are not alone. I have had countless conversations over the past week or so with people who have not only validated my feelings, but have looked at me and told me that they totally understand. I’ve also had conversations with people who would rather pretend that I’m crazy and that’s okay too. I have to realize that just because it’s normal for me to feel this way, it’s also not everyone’s reality.

In closing, these powerful words: being a working mom is hard. Do yourself a favor today – let yourself feel whatever it is you feel – pride, guilt, exhaustion, etc. – you deserve to give yourself a little grace!

 

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24 Weeks!

24 weeks pregnant

How far along? 24 weeks! Officially six months pregnant.

What is Baby G up to? Baby G is the size of a cantaloupe, and this cantaloupe is pushing wayyyy out as far as my belly will stretch. I feel so front heavy, which is totally the opposite of how I felt with Finn. He was pushing up on my ribs for the latter half of pregnancy, while this babe seems to want to climb out of my belly button! Baby G is moving a lot, too, but mostly at nighttime when I’m laying in bed.

How am I feeling? I’m feeling good. As my doctor put it, I’m in the cruise control part of pregnancy. Still not big enough to be that uncomfortable, but I’m enjoying my bump and definitely looking pregnant. My back has been a bit of an issue recently, but it’s not the worst. Other than that, I’m just enjoying this pregnancy.

What am I wearing? I’m living in dresses and flat shoes, and that’s totally okay with me. It’s just too easy! I’m feeling a little anxious about the last few weeks of pregnancy when dresses will be a little too cold for my liking!

What am I craving/eating? I’m not craving anything specific, but I’ve been eating a lot of BLT sandwiches for some reason! It’s just an easy, satisfying meal LOL.

What’s on my mind lately? Oh boy. How much time do you have? I’ve been thinking about a lot going on in my life, but the biggest is the anxiety I’m feeling around introducing Finn to a new baby. I’ve seen him interact with babies, and he is so sweet. But how will it be when there is a baby here to stay?

I keep having this calming thought that having the second baby will not as big of a shock to the system as having the first. For the most part, we know what to expect this time. Going from total freedom to ‘holy crap we have a kid’ was quite the adjustment. We already have a pretty set schedule around Finn, so we expect more of the same. However, the idea of having another newborn is not always easy. Those first few months were extremely tough for me with Finn, and I’m hoping that my expectations will help ease a lot of the stress this time around.

What am I looking forward to? I’m excited to close out the summer with my boys! We’ve had such a great summer traveling, swimming, decorating our house, and just enjoying being together. I am looking forward to another month of us!

Best moment of the week? Finn has started saying his name and it’s literally the sweetest sound I think I’ve ever heard. The first time I heard it, it brought a tear to my eye. I love that little boy!

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