Great Expectations: 33 weeks

How Far Along: 33 weeks

Fruit Size Comparison: Darien Fruit

Weight/ Clothes: I'm doing much better on the weight front...I gained less than a pound again this week. I walk a lot around here, so I think that and my normal eating habits at home help a lot. We'll see how things go over the Christmas holiday in Virginia. I'm not too, too worried though.

Nothing new on the clothing front...though things are beginning to fit pretty differently. I've been told NUMEROUS times that I look small or I'm not THAT big...but I'm definitely BIGGER than I was and I can see it in the mirror and in how things fit, but that's to be expected and it's good because Baby Boy is GROWING! He's probably between 4 and 5 pounds crazy is that!

Cravings: Sadly none...BORING!

Movement: I think the baby has had hick-ups occasionally. I can't see my whole belly hick-up, but I do sometimes feel a bout of rhythmical I'm guessing that's what that is.

Symptoms: I'm not a fan of Braxton Hicks! I have them pretty regularly now...though not regularly enough to be confused with true contractions, but they take my breath away and I don't like the tight feeling that ensues. At least it's not a painful thing. I can't believe these will go on now for the next 8 weeks or so. Oh well, I guess the practice can't hurt, right! Maybe it will help my labor in the end...then it and my crazy menstrual cramps from years past will have all been worthwhile!

I also HATE HEARTBURN! More like LOATHE IT! I just hate how it makes me gag and cough on acid if I don't take my medicine right on schedule. Thank goodness for the quick relief of Tums when I have it handy.

The pain around my ribs comes and goes now...things must be stretching and maybe the baby is dropping down a little at times, though I'm still carrying very high at this point. Tylenol is my friend when the pain really kicks in and it still does from time to time. Someone at my birthing class mentioned having similar pain, so I guess I'm not alone.

Mental State: I had an emotional meltdown at the beginning of this week over what even I felt like was the silliest thing...gotta love hormones. What was it, you're wondering? I was feeling uncomfortable and tired one evening after working during the day and I wanted to move our big ottoman over to the chair, which required rolling it across the living room. This wouldn't have been such a task if it weren't for the carpet, which made rolling it seem nearly impossible. I tried to move it myself a few times and crumpled on the floor in tears feeling helpless. These weren't light tears was a full out cry fest! Adam looked at me and said, "You poor pregnancy woman" and he proceeded to move the ottoman for me. It took me a few minutes to calm down too...the tears wouldn't just stop and the whole time I felt like I was having this out of body experience watching myself melt down while also thinking, "this really isn't THAT big a deal." But it certainly felt like it according to my emotions.

This episode was interesting because while I was extra emotional and apt to cry in the first trimester, I have not cried really at all during the second trimester, even at times I would have expected myself to usually cry like when we found out we were having a boy. I was elated, but not a tear fell, which I found sort of odd for me. I guess the tears are back now that it's third trimester since I'm guessing there's another hormone shift and more fatigue in general, which tends to cause me to cry more easily.

On another mental state front...I've had a few moments here and there lately where I sort of forget I'm pregnant until I see myself in the mirror and then think, "Oh my, is that me?!" This happened most recently at the movie theater. We had gone to see Argo and after the movie I made my usual restroom pitstop and as I went to wash my hands, I glanced up at the mirror and startled myself because I had forgotten for a second that I had a BIG, PREGNANT belly. It made me laugh to myself!

Adam and I also started taking our birthing class this past week and we found out we can make up next week's class this Saturday so we won't miss any important information. Our instructor trains doulas, so we are considering hiring a student doula because they have the training but need practicum hours to complete their training and this results in being able to hire one for a fraction of the cost and we get that person's expertise, they get the's a win win! Adam liked the idea of having someone there to coach him in coaching me, so we'll see where we get with that new prospect.  I'm feeling more and more informed and excited for Baby Herndon to make his appearance!

Also on another mental note...we have been so blessed by how excited everyone is about Baby Herndon and his soon arrival. I have been blown away by the showers and I have been so excited to write Thank You notes to everyone because we are so grateful!

Appointment Updates: Adam came to my centering appointment this week because the topic was labor and delivery. All the dads were there I think, so it was quite a full group. We had some good discussion about what we were looking forward to and afraid of which was much of the same amongst everyone in the group...fear of the pain, looking forward to holding the baby, ect.

During belly checks, I found out my blood pressure was the LOWEST in the group! That's more like it...or more like usual for me. I was measuring right at 32 weeks and Peanut's heart rate was 145, which has been his usual. My weight gain was again under control, yay!

Then to round out the appointment, we watched our first BIRTH VIDEO. What an experience that was! Not only was the video from the late 80s, early 90s, but the couple was pretty awkward to watch for the most part. Overall, however, the video was informative of course. It was eye opening as to how long the labor and delivery process can take, since they showed the couple literally walking the halls of the hospital, laboring in a warm shower and continually trying out new positions to move the labor along. This was something that was reiterated in our birthing class...the importance of changing positions and how much it can help move things along as well as utilizing gravity to help the process. Then came time to push in the video and that's when things got really interesting or a little too detailed for Adam. Even I had to glance away a few times. It's just all so overwhelming. I did get teary in the end once the baby had been born and placed on the mother's chest. The video was over and boy was the room SILENT! I think everyone was thinking, "WOW that's about to be me. No going back at this point." We'll discuss the video a little further next class and I want to watch The Business of Being Born. It's come highly recommended and I also started reading Ina May's Birthing Book, which is FASCINATING!! Did you know a baby can actually be born within it's water in the water doesn't break and the baby could still be born...of course this is not likely in a hospital birth and more possible in a home birth situation. A home birth is not for me by the way, but the whole thing sounded pretty crazy!

Best Moment of the Week: My roomie, Thais, came to visit this weekend and she too is expecting (due in April), so we got some cute photos of the two of us preggos together and she was here for the SURPRISE baby shower the youth volunteers threw for me, which I was completely SURPRISED by!

We also had maternity photos taken this week and they turned out BEAUTIFULLY!! An entire posting will be coming soon for those!

Great Expectations: 32 weeks

How Far Along: 32 weeks

Fruit Size Comparison: Squash

Weight/ Clothes: I only gained a pound since my last appointment, which is good news since Thanksgiving fell in there. I've been doing my best to eat healthy during the week and then I've allowed myself to splurge a little on the weekend when we have had friends in town, which is the case this weekend and next.

On the clothing front this week my maternity pictures are on my mind since they are coming up in a week. I want to find the perfect maternity sweater to wear with leggings and boots, so I look wintery but the bump still needs emphasis of course. I started the search for the perfect sweater and struck out two days in a row. One mall we went to didn't have a maternity store and then the next day I got lost trying to go to Old Navy and Target and neither had anything photo worthy. I was pretty discouraged heading into week 32, but I refuse to give up. I have one more mall to check out and I'm hopeful that I'll find the perfect one there. Really I should have just tried this next mall from the start.

It also snowed this weekend, but I stayed nice and warm in my maternity coat. Boy am I thankful for that coat!

Cravings: Sadly nothing to report on the cravings front...I really wonder if I'll have any sort of strange craving before Peanut arrives. Guess we'll see.

Movement: Peanut is very active, especially at night kicking up a storm.

Symptoms: Definitely experiencing Braxton Hicks and it is the strangest feeling! Nothing has changed on the heartburn front nor on the stomach/ sternum pain front either. I think I'm kind of getting used to it, so it doesn't seem quite as bad. I have also tried taking some regular strength tylenol and it seems to help at night, so I haven't been waking up as often. I have definitely slept a little better this week thank goodness.

Mental State: I finally signed us up for our birthing class this week. It will be four Wednesday nights for 3 hours each class. Sadly we will miss one class due to our trip home to Virginia for the holidays, which begins a little sooner than we originally thought because Adam is going to do three of his Airforce Reserve days prior to Christmas. I figure the instructors can give us some materials on what we miss and three classes will be more helpful than nothing. Adam was funny...his response to this time commitment was, "What do we need to know that will take four 3 hour classes?!" I assured him there was plenty to learn and be prepared for since we'd never had this experience before. I am beginning to think about labor and delivery more and more. Adam is supposed to also attend my centering appointment next week because the topic is labor and delivery. The BIG moment is lurking right around the corner!!! Ahhh!!!

Appointment Updates: I had a centering appointment this week and its topic was all things breastfeeding. We learned the importance of a baby's latch and what a difference this can make in your breast health and comfort.

It was a very informative appointment on a couple levels because I found out as long as all goes well during labor and delivery the midwives are advocates for immediate skin to skin contact and breast feeding as well as delayed cord clamping.

I ate healthy and my midwife was happy that my weight gain was once again under control. We did my first test for proteins/ preclampsia and all was well this week. My blood pressure is also great! The midwife also examined my sternum, pressing along my ribcage and she was happy to report that it I wasn't feeling pain where my liver is currently sitting and most likely the pain is being caused by how loose cartilage and such become during pregnancy and things shift around. She said that it is perfectly okay for me to take some Tylenol to help relieve the pain.

Best Moment of the Week: Having the Stanley's in town for their anniversary trip. We got to hang out and show them around Boston all weekend long. I kept up pretty well all weekend walking around town and I had a baby shower to attend Saturday afternoon for Laura, who is due just a couple weeks before me, so that was a nice rest from all the walking. Climbing stairs is still the hardest activity for me. I get SO winded! We were all over the city from the North End to Cambridge and we all had a lot of fun!

Our New Place

I've been meaning to post a tour of our new digs since we finished getting settled in (which has been quite a few months now thanks to my parents and the Herndon's help), but life has been busy and I'm just now finally getting around to blogging about it and posting photos. 
I figured this was a good time to post a tour as well because the house is decorated for Christmas and my mom has asked to see pictures, so why not give the tour now. 

Here we go...welcome to our new home in Boston.
When you walk in the front door, you enter into our dining room and living room which have an open concept.
When we moved from Chesapeake, we knew we wouldn't have space for my nana's dining room set, which I so enjoyed while we lived there, so it went into storage at Brad's store and we picked up some new furniture at Ikea soon after arriving in Boston and completing the painting of the apartment. Speaking of paint, we went shade darker in our new place than our last with a color I describe as almost a Belgian hot chocolate whereas our Chesapeake color was more of a milky cappuccino color. With all the windows and light, the darker hue is really lovely and warmed up the whole space while making it really feel like home. I am so thankful we were able to paint!
We sold a few of our oversized living room pieces from our previous decor and then scouted out what we wanted in our new place. With our new furniture additions in the dining and living room, we went with a much darker brown wood that also has a bit more of a contemporary feel rather than the cherry finishes we've been drawn to in the past. The new dining table is also dark brown under my holiday table cloth. I'm loving the new pieces because they still store and display everything beautifully while be more suitable to the space.

The dining room is open to the living room and thankfully our red couches made it into the apartment. This was quite a saga because our couch is oversized and didn't fit on the elevator and almost didn't make it up the stairs. I was SO thankful it scraped by (literally...there were red lines left on the hall wall where it just squeaked by!)
Hi Samson...he likes our new place too! He's still adjusting to walking across the street three times a day to Boston Common, which is our new front yard, but he LOVES being in the apartment.
You may have noticed our bare living room wall...this is because I plan to print and hang some large photos of our new city once I capture a few that I love, but this project is still a work in progress.

The kitchen is behind you when you walk into the apartment and continues the whole open concept, looking our into the dining and living rooms. 
Thanks to Brad's Appliance Enterprise hook up, we were also able to bring up some new kitchen appliances to update the ones that had been in the apartment since it was built about 15 years ago.
The kitchen is a nice size with plenty of cabinet space and a great view of Boston Common. 
(All the windows in this part of the house look out on the Common actually. The view is AMAZING!)
Down the front hall are our two bedrooms, the bathroom, Samson's area and the back door which leads out to our laundry room.  
 Samson's area
 The bathroom 
(excuse the lighting...there isn't much natural light in the bathroom or hall of the house.)
The commercial toilet is pretty laughable but understandable since the apartment is part of the church.
 Last on the tour is the two bedrooms.
Our bedroom has a really spacious closet that Adam and his dad spiffed up with GREAT closet organization! (The closet served as a bedroom to the youngest child of the two families that have lived here prior to us...both families had three kids, which I could see being a bit tight in a two bedroom.)
I also LOVE the tray ceilings in our bedroom and the rooms a little bigger than our last bedroom, so our bedroom set is a much better fit.
The nursery is almost complete and will have its own post once it's all finished, but here's a sneak peak of my favorite corner in the meantime. It's turning out REALLY cute if I do say so.
We've been asked how we like living in the church, and I will say it's been WONDERFUL!
We are SO centrally located right in Beacon Hill on Boston Common. We could not live in a more picturesque part of town. Adam's commute is awesome...he just walks to his office which is one floor below our place (and his office is where our home office furniture found a home...I'll have to take and add a few of those photos too.) He says work feels pretty separate from home. We have some storage space for Christmas decorations, suitcases and such in the basement, which is nice too. Most people don't even realize there are residences in the building, so we don't get many unknown knocks on our door and I love having Adam so close by. I'm sure this will be really nice when the baby arrives too.
We feel so blessed to be in this new home and are excited about all the memories that will be made here!

Great Expectations: 31 weeks

How Far Along: 31 weeks

Fruit Size Comparison: Pineapple 

Weight/ Clothes: The bump continues to grow of course and I'm looking and feeling VERY pregnant for the most part lately. My face continues to get rounder, but what else can you expect with weight gain. It's all for a good cause when you're growing a baby (at least that's what I'm telling myself, so humor me)!

It is so funny to see the difference an outfit can make in terms of how large the bump appears to be! I wore a black maternity top and jeans on Thanksgiving and from the front in pictures you can't tell I'm expecting, but then I wore a purple maternity dress to the shower the next day and I looked SO pregnant from any angle. It was definitely the clothes not what I ate on Thanksgiving because the difference was so drastic!

Cravings: My favorite Thanksgiving dishes...broccoli casserole and sweet potato souffle. Mom brought the ingredients for these two staples with her from Virginia to New York and I REALLY enjoyed my share of both dishes.

Gender: Baby Herndon got a clothes line of BOY clothes from my sister at the outfit complete with socks and shoes for EACH month. 

Movement: I may have had my first Braxton Hicks this week. I thought the baby was just laid out horizontally across the bump making the bump pretty solid all the way across, but then I thought perhaps this is actually a practice contraction. My mom has asked me a few times if I experienced any yet, so it's been on my mind. I'm not positive that's what was going on...but I have a feeling it is.

Symptoms: The pain in my ribcage is waking me up at night. I am having a terrible time getting a good nights sleep this week, which is frustrating because I'm subbing a couple days meaning I have to get up early and without a good nights rest I'm left exhausted in the afternoon/evening. I'm going to ask my midwife about it when I head to my centering appointment this Thursday. I've been trying to eat blander foods that won't irritate my stomach as much. It's an on going and this heartburn! I am definitely looking forward to it going away after giving birth (at least that's what I'm hoping.)

Mental State: I'm feeling more forgetful lately. This could have something to do with my extra fatigue or just one of those normal pregnancy side effects. 

Appointment Updates: I have a centering appointment this Thursday right as I begin week 31. I have to begin the dip tests for preclampsia this week too just to be safe because my midwife wants to be sure my ribcage pain isn't connected. She doesn't think it is truly, but she wants to be sure to keep an eye on things, so like I said...better safe than sorry.

Best Moment of the Week: My sister threw a baby shower for Peanut with all my New York family. She planned such a wonderful shower with dinosaur shaped tea sandwiches, chocolate egg creams, fun games including a baby pool and THE cutest cake! I felt so lucky to be able to celebrate Baby Herndon with my Grandma, cousins, and aunts!

Great Expectations: THE GENDER REVEAL

There was a time before getting pregnant that part of me thought I would consider being "Team Green" and wait until the birth to find out the gender of our first child, but my mind slowly changed through the waiting for Baby Herndon's conception. 

I still wanted to enjoy the surprise with Adam and make it special for the both of us as well as our family and friends, so a gender reveal party cabin weekend in Virginia seemed like the way to go and I have a wonderful friend, Lindsey, who volunteered to keep the gender secret until the party and plan how we would find out the news. My only hope was that whatever it was she planned, it would be fun in pictures.

The ultrasound tech put the gender results in the envelope pictured below and I mailed it directly to Lindsey. She called me once she received it and even opened it on the phone, but she made sure not to give any hints that could give the results away and she went to work planning the big reveal.

What did she decide to do for the gender reveal?
Build a rattle pinata in our nursery colors...that's right, she MADE this pinata from scratch for the reveal! She is one crafty friend!
She hung it from the trees and there were enough strings attached for everyone present to pull and reveal the pink or blue goodies that waited to fall inside.
Saturday afternoon we were all ready and excited for the reveal!!! 
(especially our parents, Peanut's grandparents!)

Adam and I were the first in place...
...followed by the rest of the crowd!
 On cue, we were all told to pull...
and pull we did...
 pretty hard...we were extremely excited to see the color of the contents inside...
you would pull hard
 BUT we continued to pull...and within seconds we saw IT...
 Something BLUE!!!
Adam had been right all along...

Baby Herndon is a BOY!

Adam's theory was that the baby must be a boy because all the first sons in his family had had boys and therefore he would have a boy as well.
  There were many hugs, smiles and cheers...
...followed by much excitement as we all celebrated together!
Even the kiddos got in on the fun checking out all the balloons, ribbons and fuzzy puffs of blue.
The reveal was so exciting and was everything I could have hoped. 
I am so thankful we had so many friends and family with us for the big moment.
Thanks Lindsey for making the reveal a reality and Darren for capturing the moment on film.
We are so glad you ALL were able to come to cabin weekend and share in such a special time with us.
It was TOTALLY worth the wait!

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