Birth Plan…or Lack Thereof?

Now that I’m well into the third trimester (still feels so very surreal to type), I’ve had quite a few people ask me about my birthing plan and if I’m going for a “natural” birth or not. Let me first say that I’m not judging what anyone does. I applaud the ladies that choose not to be medicated, but quite frankly, I really don’t care and I don’t find that a natural birth automatically means good mother. I do, however, find labor and delivery stories interesting, but everyone is different! And most of the women that I’ve talked to and that have gone through a natural birth haven’t had any complications, any moments when the baby or mother’s health was at risk, or weren’t in labor for like 30 hours. With that being said, this is my birth plan:

I’m just gonna go with the flow.

Yep, that’s it. I’m not typing out a long ass plan or my utmost desires, although I will obviously let my doctor know my thoughts. And here’s my reasoning for it.

This is something that is not going to be in my control. I have no idea if I’ll go into preterm labor, or have to be induced, or if my water will break on it’s own, etc. This will obviously be my first labor and delivery, so I have NO idea what to expect. I’m sure I’ll feel a bit more confident once I take the labor classes and read that section in my books, but it’ll probably all go flying out the window once the time actually comes 😉

I’ve had two LEEP procedures done- one when I was only 19 and another when I was 22 or so. The gyno that performed them told me that it may cause some issues during labor, but I had to get them done and honestly wasn’t sure if I even wanted kids back then so I didn’t think twice about it (yes, there was a long period in my life when I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a mom. I was going through my own shit and despite making lots of dumbass decisions, I knew I wasn’t fit to be the mother I’d want to be at that point).

My OB at Fort Bliss and my new OB here also verified what I was told years ago and went into a bit more detail about it. Scar tissue builds up in the cervix (where the LEEP is performed to laser out the precancerous cells) which can hinder the labor process. A woman that has had a LEEP may not show any progress in dilation for a long time, then all of the sudden the scar tissue breaks apart. So, she could be stuck at 2-3cm for hours, then the scar tissue snaps and she can be almost fully dilated. Or, there could be so much that she never fully dilates on her own. Fun, huh? Haha. Yeahhh, that sounds like it may hurt just a wee bit, so if I happen to be one of those woman, a natural birth probably won’t be in the cards for me, haha. This doesn’t happen to every woman that has had LEEPS before, but it does happen. I was also recently told that they let women that have had LEEPS labor a bit longer than normal women because of this.

Now, I obviously want to do everything possibly to avoid a C-section, but I cannot control what the baby is going to do. If the baby’s health or mine own is ever at risk and a C-section is needed, I’m completely fine with it- safety is my priority. Same with my husband. He’s on board with whatever I want and doesn’t care if I want an epidural or not. I asked if he thought I’d be less of a woman if I decide I want meds, and he looked at me like I had three heads, haha (and asked why I wouldn’t want anything, haha).

I want to be as present as possibly, and it would be awesome if everything went smoothly and I were able to work through the pain on my own if there are no complications. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it. All we want is our baby girl, healthy and safe in our arms, no matter what route we take for her to get here 🙂

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Haha…we shall see what happens when the time comes 😉

There are also a few other things that I’ll mention to the doctors/nurses as well:

*I’m hoping I don’t have to stay in bed the whole time I’m in labor and I can walk around a bit, but who knows, I may want to lay in ass in bed. I know after an epidural you’re bed ridden though so we shall see.

*Tyler will be the only person present in the room. My mom will be coming down a couple of weeks after she’s born (I’m hoping when he goes back to work to help me out!), and it would’ve been nice to have her down here for that, but it is what it is. Plus, I’m pretty adamant on just having Tyler in the room and he agrees- just us.

That’s about it!

Did you have a natural or medicated birth?

 

What did your birthing plan consist of?

Is there anything else I should take into consideration? I read some birthing plans online and nothing else really seemed applicable, but I’m sure I didn’t think of something! I’ll be starting a six week course where I’ll learn more about what the hell I’m doing 🙂

Who was in the room when you were delivering?

 

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Second Trimester Pregnancy Eats

Although I’m a few weeks into my third trimester, I’m wondering if my food aversions and cravings (or lack thereof) will change as they did in the middle of the second trimester, especially since the nausea has come back every once in a while. Because I experienced morning sickness longer than some, I only ate really bland foods the first five months. However, the past two and a half months have been pretty great and though there are still things that I normally like that sound freaking gross or I’ll get sick every once in a while, it’s SO nice to have more options again. I’m all about giving into cravings and splurging every now and then, but the baby gets what I eat and that’s important to me. I don’t want her hating fruits and veggies like her daddy 😉 That will not be tolerated in this household, haha.

I’m sharing what meals and snacks have been appealing to me since all day sickness subsided as I know how much everyone cares 😉 No, but really, I find it so intriguing how pregnancy messes with your taste buds, and I want to remember all of this shit in case it doesn’t happen again!

Breakfast is typically:

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Greek yogurt, granola, banana, and vanilla flavored almonds

A bowl of cereal (Honey Bunches of Oats or a Multigrain Cheerios or Special K variety) with sliced banana

An egg scramble with spinach, tomato, and green pepper, sprinkled with black pepper and oregano and Asiago cheese and a slice of buttered whole wheat toast

Plain scrambled eggs with cheddar and black pepper (Tyler makes the best!) and buttered toast

Whole wheat toast or an English muffin with crunchy peanut butter and sliced banana sprinkled with cinnamon

An Asiago bagel (I stocked up before we left El Paso- our Super Target sold fresh Einstein bagels and I raided the this kind for a week before we left and froze them, haha. SO good!) with plain cream cheese.

I’ve done overnight oats which I normally love a few times, but it just doesn’t sound appealing, nor does oatmeal.

Lunch is sometimes hard for me. I get super tired if I have a big meal in the middle of the day and I simply can’t eat huge ass portions anymore without feeling sick as I get full fast with my growing belly. Because of this, I often times have snack plates instead throughout the day that consist of:

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A fruit- a sliced honey crisp or pink lady apple, pear, grapes, or a couple of cuties

Veggies- raw carrots, cherry (or are they grape?) tomatoes, sliced cucumber

A dip- Greek yogurt ranch or hummus

Sliced cheese (cheddar, Asiago, Colby, or pepperjack)

Crackers or pita chips

1% milkfat cottage cheese

Sliced hard boiled egg

Mixed nuts

It’s not all of that- I pick what sounds good that day and make the plate, but I make sure there’s always a carb, protein, and fat.

I make homemade egg salad (hardboiled eggs, avocado, plain Greek yogurt, with black pepper, dill, and paprika- I think that’s all I put in it, haha) and have that with a sourdough English muffin.

Homemade chicken salad with shredded chicken, avocado, plain Greek yogurt, sliced grapes, celery, chia seeds (weird, it works), lemon juice, black pepper and some other spices. I’ll eat with an English muffin or crackers.

Regular salads. Since I have a hard time with chicken, I usually just use a hardboiled egg as the protein source

Smoothies are awesome for me for an afternoon snack as well!

Like I’ve said, I’ve never been a huge lunch person. Even when I was working, during my breaks I’d still often times pack stuff like this and nibble throughout the day 🙂

Dinners are normal. The first trimester I’d eat whatever sounded like I wouldn’t get sick from, but as I’ve noted in my updates, I don’t really have any aversions- what sounds gross at the time is pretty inconsistent. We’ve been grilling out a lot, making homemade pizzas, tilapia (just once a week) with veggies, pasta, etc. Tyler makes awesome chicken and while sometimes the thought gags me, I can usually do chicken in a wrap or crepe (I LOVE savory crepes!).

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Mocktails have been refreshing as well!

So that’s it! Nothing exciting, but if we are ever blessed with another baby I thought it would be interesting to see if I’m able to eat the same things during the second trimester 🙂

What foods did you love/hate during your pregnancy?

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy Update (Weeks 27-29)

The past couple of weeks have been busy and I honestly just kept putting off this update, so I’m highlighting three weeks instead of two! Tyler and I flew home during weeks 27-28 and since returning back to Arizona, I’ve been like a crazy person washing, organizing, and setting up things that we received from our baby shower and delivered to our house. My mom threw us the most amazing baby shower, and it was awesome to see so many people! We don’t see extended family and friends often since we live across the country so those that took time out of their day or even traveled for it meant a lot to us. I hate being the center or attention (my anxiety goes through the roof!), but I felt so different that day as we were celebrating our daughter. It was absolutely perfect, although I wish there had been more time since there were so many people that came and I wanted to talk with relatives and friends a bit more. I feel like after I opened gifts, everyone was cleaning up and that was it! Anyways, we’re truly grateful for all of the love and gifts we’ve received 🙂 I will be sharing photos in another post within the next couple of weeks. I’ll be 30 weeks tomorrow- Woo!!!

Maternity clothes? Yes! I can still wear normal workout and pajama shorts below my belly and bigger shirts, but for the most part, it’s maternity.

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28 weeks.

Stretch marks? Nope! Seriously, do genetics have something to do with this?

Sleep: Pretty good. I missed my snoogle while we were away, haha. Still waking up 1-2 times a night to pee, but I sleep SO soundly. However, my dreams are still often times crazy as ever.

Best moment: Our baby shower!! Spending the week with family. Getting clothes and other baby items washed and organized in her drawers and closet. Her room is coming together well- it’s almost done! We’re waiting on one more dresser to be delivered, and then I’ll be able to finish the last of it. We figured it’d be best in the long run to have a complete bedroom set for her (minus the nights stand for now). I’ve also been crafting and giving some decorations a face lift to match her bedroom. I know, I’m lame- but I love it! AND it’s a bit more meaningful and saves some money 😉

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After a day of baby shower prep…then on our way to the celebration! haha

Miss anything? Family- it was so hard to say goodbye and come back to Arizona. I’m missing my dippy eggs on toast with avocado and cheddar cheese and sushi every once in a while, too 😉

Movement: Yes, although during week 29 (this past week), I hadn’t felt anything in 2.5 days. Like at all. Tyler told me to give the nurses line a call on Wednesday (his birthday!), and they told me to go straight to labor and delivery (we checked her heartbeat on our fetal doppler at home, but she still didn’t budge and she usually goes crazy!). Once I was hooked up, the nurse noticed I was having contractions and asked if I had been having them at home. I have been- sometimes A LOT during the day, but they didn’t hurt and I didn’t think anything of it.

Well, they ended up doing a fetal non-stress test to see if I was having more than 6 in an hour…and I was. So they performed a fetal fibronectin test and thankfully, it came back negative (if it’s positive, that’s usually a good indicator that you’ll go into labor within the next 14 days). I was prepared for this test to be God awful after the nurse told me it can be really uncomfortable (they stick a speculum in you without ANY lube, then take a swab of your cervix)…but it actually wasn’t that bad! She also checked my cervix and I’m 1cm dilated, but I was told not to worry unless it starts progressing- so I’m not 😉 The nurse said to take breaks often when I’m on my feet and I have to monitor the contractions. They gave me 10mg of Procardia, but it didn’t completely stop the contractions- I’ve had a few each day since, but no more than 6 in an hour. I have an OB appointment next Thursday, so we shall see!

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29 weeks.

Food cravings: I got my fix of Panera Bread, lemon rice soup, and Gelsosomo’s Pizza (my favorite!) when we were home! I’ve been loving fruit (plain or in a yogurt bowl) and homemade breakfast sandwiches as well. Brownies sound good and I had some when I was home, but I haven’t made any for us yet. Still…nothing that I must have now!

Anything making you feel queasy or sick: Not really….certain things just don’t sound good still (Mexican food, marinara, certain desserts).

Workouts: Just light weights at home.

Showing? Yep.

Gender: Girl 🙂

Symptoms:  See above in the Movement section. I’m also much more fatigued than I was the second trimester. I could probably take a nap most again, but I haven’t yet. Also, I haven’t talked about pregnancy weight gain, but I really don’t think it should be a private matter if you’re comfortable with it, and at my last appointment (week 28), I was up 15 pounds (they obviously weigh you fully clothed). My doctor was great with this as I’m measuring normal and was actually happy to hear that I’ve been eating a healthy diet for myself and the baby. Not that you shouldn’t indulge (believe me, I AM getting some ice cream tonight!), but she said it makes a world of a difference when you eat good throughout pregnancy, not just in weight, but in how the woman feels. Anyways, she said I was right on track, and if I gain a pound a week throughout the remainder of the pregnancy, that will put me at around 25 pounds total which is within healthy range. I don’t really care, but I want to look back at remember these little things 🙂

Belly button in or out? It’s starting to stick out! This happened over the past week (week 29). Will it go back to normal after the baby?!

Wedding ring on or off? On

Emotions: Really happy most of the time (unless I’m hungry or tired, haha)…but I do have moments when I feel really sad that my family isn’t closer during all of this. I know my mom will come down a few weeks after the baby is born (I want the families to come down in rotations- not all at once. I think Tyler’s parents will be the first, then my mom, and hopefully then my brother and sister, and my dad and his girlfriend in late July or August. My brother and sister will be staying with us (we don’t have an extra bedroom at this place, but they’re fine on the couch or blow up mattress, haha), but everyone else will be staying at a hotel which is great because there are so many only minutes away! Plus, I think that will help without me being too overwhelmed with everything 😉

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Me and my sis getting ready to shop!

Looking forward to: Hitting 30 weeks tomorrow!!! We’re going to Phoenix for a Cubs spring training game for the day and I’m excited to spend the day with my man going out to eat, hitting up Ikea, and seeing the game. I’m also taking a four hour beginners photography class on post next Saturday. I’m anxious about it (I get weird when I’m out of my comfort zone, haha), but we bought a Nikon 3300 last year and I NEED to learn how to use it! I have a book, but I still don’t really know what the hell I’m doing and I want to take our own pictures of the baby (that shit is expensive).

What’s Going on with Baby: Baby weighs about 2.5 pounds and is about 15 inches long. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and she is now very active. She’ll double or even triple in weight from now until birth!

Pregnancy and Body Image

As with most expecting first-time moms, I’ve read a lot of books or articles online focused on pregnancy, child birth, and becoming a parent. I get daily and weekly updates delivered to my email about what’s going on with baby and mother during this time, and these notifications are often times filled with tips to help make this time in your life a bit easier (I actually didn’t sign up for that stuff until I was 20 weeks due to my fear of loss). A few weeks ago, there was a segment on body image during pregnancy and how it can often times be a difficult time for women. This surprised me and got me thinking about my own current body image.

Now, before I talk about how I feel, I want it known that I completely understand why it could be a hard time for females. Our bodies are completely changing and weird things are happening, the scale is going up, we’re tired, don’t feel like ourselves, and can’t work out like we used to. However, I absolutely love my pregnant body. Seeing growth each week makes me happy beyond words. Yes, I’m one of those annoying women.

Despite living in constant fear, battling all day sickness until 5.5 months, and dealing with the cervical length scare, I think I’ve had an uncomplicated pregnancy which probably contributes to how I feel about my body. I’m no dummy though. Some women may be thinking that it’s easy for me to feel this way because of the way my body looked pre-pregnancy. That may contribute to it as I was not carrying around extra weight, but what most people probably don’t know is that I’ve struggled with body image issues for years, and most of the time is was subconsciously. I didn’t realize my disordered eating and over exercising were issues because it was never about the number on the scale- it was about having control over a piece of my life. Therapy will teach you quite a few valuable things along the way 😉

Now, I’m not going to get into my history because this is about how I feel now, but when I think about the past fifteen years of my life, I’ve come a long way the past year and a half. After we lost our first and we started having trouble conceiving, I knew I needed to stop exercising as much and put on some weight. I’ve discussed this in previous blog posts which can be found under the miscarriage/infertility tab on my homepage. To summarize- it was mentally challenging to slow down on the exercise, and at first I wouldn’t accept that this could be a culprit because many women conceive while going about their normal fitness routine or even in the midst of training for marathons. But one day it hit me that I’m not most women- my body was in stress mode and I needed to gain about ten pounds (my lowest body weight ever was scary, and I had no idea until I had to step on the scale at the doctor’s appointment). Despite gaining the ten pounds and refraining from all intense interval training and long runs, I still wasn’t ovulating on my own which was super discouraging and I’d sometimes wonder what the fucking point was. I was upset with my body for not doing what it’s supposed to do. I truly think that all of the shit that happened pre-pregnancy has helped given me a great body image and self confidence during this pregnancy.

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25 weeks.

Don’t get me wrong- I have moments when I look at my arms or thighs and see that they’re not as defined, or my legs or feet or face swell and it’s not pretty, or wonder if my husband really does still think I’m sexy. However, I have a baby inside of me. A fucking baby. The baby I hoped and prayed for and dreamed of for two years, every single day. And although I ate whatever I could tolerate the first 22 weeks or so, now that I don’t have as many bouts of nausea (ironically, as I’m writing this post, I feel super sick), I want to nourish our baby with healthy, wholesome foods. Yes, I ate a small blizzard last night, but I even it out with nutritious meals and snacks as I know she eats what I eat. I’ll be sharing a blog post soon about foods that were great for me the past couple of months!

Also, I’m way out of shape, but going on walks and bike rides and just getting outside can make a huge difference. I’ve mentioned in my pregnancy updates that I do light weights and certain exercises (I don’t know the names of them but my doctor showed me and there are YouTube videos for exercise during pregnancy) to help my core which will hopefully help during birth. I know I’ll get back into shape (but not get to such an unhealthy body weight again!) after she’s born when I’m given the go ahead to start working out again, and I’m embracing my new body.

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26 weeks pregnant. Au natural, haha. I don’t think I’ve posted myself in a bathing suit on social media in years :/

Though I’m still worried, am praying for the rest of the pregnancy and labor and delivery to go well, and just want a healthy baby in my arms, I’m so incredibly content right now. Feeling her kick and play inside of me literally still stops me in my in tracks, and I place my hand on my belly and smile. THAT makes it all worth it- the weight gain, brittle hair and nails, dry skin, bleeding gums, monstrous leaky boobs, fatigue, food aversions- everything.

I’m so glad that I started documenting my belly growth, although I wish I would’ve started around 10 weeks instead of 12. I got the idea from a blog, Simply Summer Ann, but her photos are way better, haha. Nonetheless, it’s a cute way to track the pregnancy and see the changes in a sexy, yet classy way rather than just regular bump pictures in normal clothes.

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Pregnancy is a miraculous thing and I’m not ashamed to embrace it. I may be one of those annoying women that blasts pics on Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve shared our struggles and bad times, so I simply just want to share the good. I will NOT be posting pics of the baby all the time though, and I’m really not sure if I’ll continue on with the blog. We shall see. I’m wanting to start a second Instagram account strictly for baby bump and baby pics, but for some reason I can’t add an account on my iPhone6 which is super annoying. I want the accounts linked to to the same email to make switching over easier, so if anyone knows why the iPhone isn’t able to utilize this feature yet, please let me know! I about whipped my phone across the room last night 😉 Just kidding!

How do you feel about body image and pregnancy?

Did you have a different experience than me?

 

 

Pregnancy Update (Weeks 25 & 26)


I never post these on time- I always switch weeks on Saturdays so I’m actually 27w4d. Oops 😉 I’ve said it before, but the second trimester is going by SO much faster than the first! We had a lot going on during this time- I started the second tri Thanksgiving weekend so the holidays made time go by quickly, but preparing for the move and leaving Texas/getting settled in Arizona seriously made time flash before my eyes. I was scared every single day the first trimester. The fear of another loss consumed me to the point that I didn’t really even want to talk about the pregnancy, and although that apprehension never quite goes away, it has eased up as time has passed. I don’t think I really let my guard down until I was 18/19 weeks, but it’s very common to feel that way after a missed miscarriage (my body was still holding on to the baby when I went in for the D&C at 16 weeks and I still had no signs such as cramping or blood loss). I don’t want to get into the emotional aspect of it too much in this post, so here’s my next biweekly update!

Maternity clothes? Yes to pants, but I can still wear some normal shirts if they’re longer and weren’t skin tight on me normally, haha. Luckily, the weather is getting nice here in Arizona so I can wear maxi skirts and loose dresses as well. It’s been gorgeous out and I’ve even put a swim suit and sat outside with a book a couple of times! I can fit normally into those, except some of the tops are too small.

Stretch marks? Nope!

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Sleep: Sleep has been good! I get up 1-2 times a night to pee but haven’t had issues falling back asleep for the most part. I drink lots of water as it is, but have been trying to chill out before bedtime so I only have to get up once though 😉 I had one or two nights when I couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me. Baby things were running through my head- the upcoming trip home and hoping for no dumb drama, the nursery, buying everything we need, hoping everything is okay, etc. Once I DID fall asleep, it was pretty shitty, but oh well 😉

Best moment: I had my glucose test done and I’m happy to report that I passed! I also got news that my pap back in January came back normal which is always a relief when you have a history of precancerous cells (luckily, it’s been five years since an abnormal pap). During week 26, we had our initial appointment with my new OB here, and we both really like him! We also preregistered at the hospital, got a tour of the labor and delivery wing (the hospital is only 14 months old and super nice!), and signed up for classes. They are every Monday from April 4-May 9 and consist of a series of six courses (2 hours each)- each week a different topic is covered. I’m actually really excited!

Miss anything? Not that I can think of…family, but I’m always missing them 🙂

Movement: Yes! I got a little worried during week 24 (the week we were moving/unpacking) because I felt like I didn’t feel her as much. However, the doctor said that babies are just like us- we all have our more active days and lazier days. I’m on my feet a lot (it’s hard for me to sit still unless I’m in super lazy mode or really tired), but I noticed when I take a break or lay down, that’s when she starts kicking around. She’s also more active in the afternoon and at night than earlier in the day. Starting in a week, I just need to ensure that I feel ten movements every 2 hours when she is most active.

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Food cravings: Still nothing crazy. And to be honest, (I’m sure this may get some eye rolls, haha) I “crave” healthy foods. As I’ve mentioned before, my normal sweet tooth pretty much dissipated when morning sickness kicked in and hasn’t made a mad return. I couldn’t even finish my cheesecake that we brought home from the Cheesecake Factory in Tuscon in a few sittings! I do enjoy homemade smoothies (and homemade chocolate banana or chocolate banana peanut butter once in a while) and the occasional treat though.

Anything making you feel queasy or sick: Still kind of the same- it’s hit or miss with certain foods that I’ve mentioned before. Mexican food still sounds gross. Light, smaller meals work best, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always been more of a grazer. I HATE the feeling of feeling overly stuffed, especially during the day as it makes me lethargic. With my belly continue to grow, I can’t eat big meals or I feel sick.

Workouts: Walking and biking- leisurely though. Tyler and I are really enjoying Arizona and going on bike rides (he usually goes again after we get done as it’s not enough of a work out for him, haha). I need to get some scenery pics from out here- the mountains look beautiful.

Showing? Yep.

Gender: Girl 🙂

Symptoms: I keep forgetting to mention this, but for the past couple of months, I’ve had a bloody nose every morning. Well, it’s not really a bloody nose- when I blow it, there’s some blood, but I’ve never had a full out nose bleed. Gross, I know. It’s a pregnancy symptom and it doesn’t help that we live in a really dry climate. We need to get a humidifier, but are waiting as we’re getting one for the baby anyways. I’m also starting to get tired more easily. Although I experienced morning sickness longer than many women, I regained a lot of energy starting around 15 weeks. I could really use a nap most days again, but I try to refrain from that so I can sleep well at night. I’m experiencing Braxton Hicks, but I didn’t realize what it was for a while. My stomach will get super tight and I’d think she was flipping over or something, but now I know better 🙂

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Belly button in or out? Flat

Wedding ring on or off? On

Emotions: Happy for the most part! I always get anxious before the doctor appointments, so that’s nothing new. I’m just so incredibly thankful right now. I can have moments of being really sensitive, too.

Looking forward to: Going back home and seeing family and friends!!!! And Tuscon does nonstop flights to Chicago Midway (El Paso didn’t when flying Southwest), so I don’t have to get all butt hurt about connecting flights and layovers 🙂 I’m looking forward to our baby shower out there as well….and the start of the third trimester! Also, we got her bedding in and I started getting wall decor and other stuff for her nursery. Tyler goes back to work soon, and I’m excited to continue working on her nursery and doing little projects!

What’s Going on with Baby: Baby’s ears are more developed and sensitive at 26 weeks, so she can now hear us better. She is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid which is essential for lung development. She continues to put on fat and measures around 14 inches.