Great Expectations: 24 & 25 Weeks

How Far Along: 24 to 25 weeks
(If you're wondering why I'm so far behind with my weekly updates, it's because I've been in Virginia for a long visit and I've been keeping pretty busy here.)

Fruit Size Comparison: Cantelope to Cauliflower

Weight/ Clothes: I've gained 20 lbs at this point, which is still within the window for what I should gain but remains towards the high side of that window. I asked my midwife if I should be concerned and she didn't think so but encouraged me to stay active and be a bit watchful with the holidays approaching since that can be a tough time for anyone let alone a pregnant person.

On the clothing front, mom and I took the maternity coat I inherited from my friend Laura to be altered, so it fits in the shoulders and sleeves and I am so excited to get it back all finished and well fitted. I also got my bridesmaid dress altered, so now I can breath and it looks pretty too.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty cute in my maternity wardrobe. I'm loving my jean options, my maternity leggings which I may invest in one more pair, and a good number of tops between actual maternity tops and regular tops that were loose enough to still accomodate the bump, which is GROWING GROWING GROWING these days.

I haven't had a chance to take my weekly black dress bump shots though there have been other fun photo ops, which you see I can't wait to get back to Boston and take the next set in my black dress and compare the difference in bump size. I have a feeling it will be pretty obvious how much Baby Herndon and my bump have grown in just a couple weeks. Fun times!

Speaking of bump size, for the most part people think I'm pretty small and carrying right out in front, but it was a sweet moment when Adam's mom saw me for the first time since July when we moved up to Boston. She cried when she saw me and how much I had changed since we were last together.

Cravings: I'm removing this category until I have a craving or aversion.

Gender: IT'S A BOY!!!

We finally had our Gender Reveal up at Cabin Weekend and there will have to be an entire separate post devoted to the BIG REVEAL MOMENT!

Movement: was fun at the cabin when my sister got to feel Baby Herndon move for the first time. She thought it was pretty WEIRD when I pointed out there was a hard spot that was probably the baby's butt and then she got kicked. I LOVED her reaction...too funny.

The grandparents also got to feel Baby Herndon moving around which was very fun for all involved.

Overall, Baby Herndon is pretty quiet when I'm my busy self, but HE is pretty active whenever I'm relaxing and sitting still.

Symptoms: Just my new friend HEARTBURN on a regular basis. doesn't matter if I eat or what I eat...I just have heartburn if I don't take my other new friend Zantac. Gotta love that relaxin loosening everything up including the valves that keep acid where it belongs as well as my squished stomach.

On a positive note, my skin is the clearest it's been in years! Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself. I don't know if it's the new facewash I've been using since the summer and/or my pregnancy hormones have a kind effect in that area of my life, but I'm SUPER excited about this new development.

Mental State: I'm excited to finally know we're having a boy. My inckling leaned towards the baby being a boy and we all know Adam had his theories on why it MUST be a boy, but it is nice to know now that indeed HE IS! It's fun to call the baby "he" instead of "he/she". Adam and I were also able to firm up a name now that we know...but sorry folks...we're not telling. That detail is going to remain our little secret until Baby Boy Herndon is born. We were about 100% on our girls name (which we're still not really sharing because we may wish to use it next time if we ever have a girl) and between a couple boy names, but pretty soon after finding out the baby was indeed boy Adam said to me he thought he was now 95% sure on the boy's name he was leaning towards and I hoped it was the same one I was leaning more towards as well. We didn't have much alone time at the cabin, but there was one moment when we walked from the apple festival back to the cabin so I could tinkle and upon making sure no one was spying on our conversation we firmed up our boy name.

The grandparents tried all different tactics to find out the name such as Robin promising she'd take the name to her grave, which we assured her she wouldn't have to, haha and my mom and friends tried the monogram angle to no avail. The funniest moment was when my mom asked about the name for the upteenth time and Adam mouthed it to me from right behind her...oh he's sneaky that husband of mine. We love you all and can't wait to surprise you with the name, but in the meantime we're going to enjoy keeping it to ourselves and also avoid too many opinions and stories of "I  knew someone with that name once...".

Appointment Updates: I visited my midwife just before leaving for Virginia since I would be missing my October centering appointment due to my travel plans (right at the end of week 23) and everything is looking good. Adam was able to come to the appointment with me this time and hear the baby's heartbeat, which is always so exciting.

Highlights from the appointment: I had Adam write down my blood pressure (which has stayed in a good range since that one fluke appointment where I must have been anxious unknowingly, thank goodness) and I told Adam another number to which he responds, "What number is that?!" My answer, "My weight." His answer out of guenuine surprise, "That's your weight?!?"  I've gained 20 pounds, which is still right within the window of what I should have gained, but he was SHOCKED and his reaction was actually pretty funny and in no way mean and didn't feel insensitive because he was seriously so surprised. It actually made me chuckle. The midwife also asked him if he had any questions and he didn't. He said he was just, "taking it all in." That's so my husband. When we left the appointment he did have one question for me though...he could not figure out what type of medical personel we had just met with because her name tag wasn't one of a Doc's nor was it a nurse. I clarified that we had just met with the midwife and then it all made sense.

I also got my flu shot at this appointment. Make sure you get yours and the vaccine for Whooping Cough too please (readers out there), if you plan to see Baby Herndon or another infant in your life.

When I get back from Virginia, I get to go in for ROUND 2 of my sugar test the week of Halloween (how appropriate, right?!), which is at the normal point that most people have theirs in pregnancy. I'm hopeful that this one will go well just like the last one and I plan to bring a straw along this time to help with the drinking process.

Is this normal? Strange occurrences: Nothing to report this go round.

Best Moment of the Weeks: Finding out that Baby Herndon is a BOY at the reveal!

Thanks Lindsey and Darren for traveling all that way to be with us and for making the reveal happen so beautifully! Those will be memories and pictures that stay with us the rest of our lives!

One other highlight that deserves an honorable mention from this week was attending the Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet back in Virginia Beach. Here I am with my school's principal Dr. Spivey. The bump is hiding behind my new plaque, but Peanut and my mom were there with me non the less. It was a wonderful evening and I felt extremely honored!!!

Great Expectations: 23 weeks

How Far Along: 23 weeks

Fruit Size Comparison: Grape Fruit 

Weight/ Clothes: I joined a gym right down the street a couple weeks ago, but things have been so busy I hadn't gone yet. Sad I know...but the good news is I actually went this week, so that felt good! Hopefully it will have good effects as I continue to make it part of my routine. I am feeling a little heavy this week, especially so towards the start of the week. 

In terms of clothes...I realized I have a bunch of dressy occasions coming up when I'm in Virginia the next couple weeks (The Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet, my first Baby Shower, Blah's bridal tea and rehearsal dinner and then Blah's wedding), so I'm trying to go through what I already have to wear from regular dresses, inherited dresses and a couple newly purchased/ gifted dresses. 

On the Bridesmaid attire front...I followed the stores directives and ordered two sizes up hoping I would then have to have the dress taken in to fit nicely around the baby bump and sadly the dress is fitting small on both me and the other pregnant bridesmaid, so we both get to have the dresses taken out! It just fits me at the moment and the wedding is still two weeks away, so I figure this is the best bet so that it looks nice and I don't feel like I'm suffocating. 

Cravings: I feel very boring in this category because I really haven't craved anything in a while. Oh well.

Gender: WE FIND OUT A WEEK FROM TODAY!! AHHHH...SOOO EXCITED!! Lindsey tells me she's tested her idea for the gender reveal and it was successful (She said she had to be vague...I love the vagueness since it's all going to be such a fun surprise, even how we find out!) YAY! 

Movement: Adam felt the baby kick for the first time this week. He asked if it was just me flexing my abdominal muscles and I assured him I had nothing to do with the little pops he was feeling. 

The baby is moving, moving, fact today I felt like the baby did a summersault in there. For the most part I'm enjoying the movement as long as it's in the upper areas of my belly...but a few times the baby has kicked downward toward my bladder and that actually hurts a bit. No one has ever mentioned this feeling to me, so it's this week's "Is this normal? Strange occurrences." 

Symptoms: HEARTBURN! Yikes! Though Zantac truly does help thank goodness and round ligament pain very occasionally.

Mental State: I read a great book, Unbuttoned, this week that my roomie Thais sent me for my birthday. It was a good read because it's not a how-to on breast feeding but rather a compilation of different women's experiences with breastfeeding both successful and not so much so. I'm not stressed about breastfeeding, but I do hope our baby takes to it and I'm praying I won't experience all the rough symptoms though I will do my best to persevere as long as Baby Herndon is getting the calories he or she needs. Any experiences you'd like to share?

I've been pretty reflective on my/ our future hopeful parenting styles as well this week. It's probably because I nannyed a couple more days with my friend's kids and the two year old was definitely testing limits with me. I would tell her not to do something and she would go right ahead and do it smiling at me all the while. Then a timeout would follow since I didn't feel comfortable spanking someone else's child even though that's the method of discipline the parents have found effective. The kiddos are swearthearts, but I was left thinking, "If I don't absolutely love babysitting all day does this mean I will find being a stay at home mom a challenge too?" I think/ hope it will be very different easing into things with our own child/ children, and I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to stay home and raise our kids, but at the same time I do get a little nervous at times about what the whole experience will be like. 

Will I feel lonely? I hope not since I'm already aware of a mom's group I can join on Tuesday mornings and I have Women's Bible Study on Thursday mornings and Adam just works a floor away, so he often comes home for lunch. 

I also want our children to learn to play independently as well. I don't want to be our kid's sole playmate and while I will definitely play with him or her at times, I also want our kids to use their imaginations and be able to entertain themselves for periods of time. As a kid, I played independently all the time with my Barbies, books, and all sorts of other toys and of course I loved playing with other kids, so I hope I can encourage this is our kids while also making truly special hands-on memories with them as well. 

I've had numerous friends who have opted to take time out of their careers to be stay at home moms and they have all been pretty honest with me over the past couple years about the experience, so I feel pretty realistic heading into the experience. However with that realism comes some questions of how I'll like the experience and will I miss teaching and working full time. I am excited to have my photography as a creative, adult outlet as well as wedding planning and partnering actively in ministry with Adam, so I feel excited about the whole thing for the most part even though questions and fears can sometimes creep in. I just continue to pray about the whole thing and that God would prepare me and our child and continue to give me contentment and confidence in the decision we've made. I truly believe this is ALL part of God's will for our family since Adam's new job and this move to Boston was so clearly orchestrated by the Lord and this too was apart of the appeal for this new ministry opportunity and such an answer to prayer that we would have the option to choose whether I would stay home or not. 

Appointment Updates: I have my monthly appointment this coming Tuesday before heading to Virginia for two weeks. I won't get to do my centering appointment this month because it conflicts with my trip, so I rescheduled myself to just see my midwife. I'm hoping I'm still within limits on the weight gain spectrum. I'll also be getting the flu shot, so I'm hoping it doesn't make me too tired or possibly sick. Pray for me! I need to be healthy for all the fun things that will be happening at home while I'm visiting!

Is this normal? Strange occurrences: Twinges of pain when the baby kicks at my bladder. YIKES!

Best Moment of the Week: Adam feeling the baby kick!

Great Expectations: Birthdays and Pregnancy

I celebrated my 29th birthday this week with Adam, my mom who was up from Virginia, Peanut and Samson. It really felt like birthday WEEK because my aunts and cousins were so thoughtful over the weekend surprising me with birthday cakes (ice cream at Aunt Cheryl's Rosh Hashanah dinner followed by Napoleon at Joann's birthday bash for Taylor and Jo) and my mom was around ALL week to celebrate!
At my Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Jay's...first to celebrate.
At my cousin Joann and John's...I was one of THREE birthdays!
On my birthday, my mom and I did some shopping around town for some odds and ends I needed for the house like curtain rods and then some maternity items like skinny jeans, a couple dresses and a few light sweaters. I can't wait to wear everything as the fall weather settles upon Boston.
Peanut and I in my new dress ready for a fabulous dinner!
That night we had reservations at a VERY fancy restaurant right up the street, No. 9 Park. We all got dressed, snapped a few photos and headed to dinner. Even Samson wanted in on the picture taking!! He sat down all on his own without even a call. 
What an experience we were in store for upon deciding to experience the 10 course tasting menu (photos to follow)! 
At No. 9 Park
Adam got me tickets to the ballet for my birthday and tasty birthday cupcakes, which we ate the next night since we were stuffed from dinner. 
It's the birthday that just keeps on giving!

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