38 Weeks Pregnant: Selfie Photoshoot, Stuck Rings, and Staycation

March 9 – March 15: 38 Weeks 0 Days – 38 Weeks 6 Days.

Selfie Maternity Photoshoot

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I couldn’t justify a professional maternity photoshoot to myself (even though I not-so-secretly would love to indulge in one). With an experienced photographer, maternity shoots cost a few hundred dollars, and I’m not sure what I’d do with the photos beyond posting them on Facebook. I’d rather spend money on a baby photoshoot, as I would use those photos to adorn everything from our walls, to my wallet, to the holiday cards we send to friends and family. (That said, if you choose to get professional maternity photos I 100% support you and would love for you to share them so I can live vicariously through you!)

Still, I wanted some sweeter photos to remember this time of transformation than the weekly side-profile shots I’ve been posting. Monday morning, Richard and I put a camera on a tripod and did a selfie maternity photoshoot. Rather than a lace gown, studio lighting, and windblown hair, it features clothes I actually wore throughout pregnancy, the patio I’ve been slowly beautifying all this time, and my bangs unceremoniously falling in my eyes. Maybe it’s imperfect and gritty, but I’m okay with taking the authentic over the idyllic.


Body and Baby Update

The baby moved around a ton this week, and when she’s in an energetic mood, she’ll even play patty cake with Richard—he’ll tickle, poke, push against my belly and she’ll kick back. My pelvis and lower belly are achier than ever before, which has been slowing me down. When I make sharp turns in the car, I feel the my uterus’ seatbelts (i.e. my ligaments) strenuously working. Nevertheless, I’ve been determined to stay active and continue adding to and checking off items from my to-do list. On Tuesday night, I was vacuuming the area rugs at 11:30pm, and Richard was certain my nesting urge—a sign of pending labor—had kicked in (usually I ask him to do the vacuuming, so this was particularly uncharacteristic for me).

With This Ring I Thee Ensnare

It’s nothing new that my hands and fingers are a little puffy, but on Wednesday I woke up with the knuckles of my left ring finger aching. The cause seemed to be that my wedding and engagement rings were so snug that they were cinching in the base of the finger. When I saw my midwife that morning, so she told me my fingers would probably get more swollen during labor, so it would be a good idea to take the rings off. I joked that they were stuck, and I didn’t realize how true that was until I went home and unsuccessfully tried all the standard techniques to remove them.

By the next morning, things had gotten elaborate. I soaked my whole forearm and hand in ice water for twenty minutes to reduce inflammation, then cut the ring off a condom so I could slide it over my finger work it under my rings to provide a sheath of protection (previous attempts at the following step had been painful, as this YouTuber shows). Then I wound dental floss over my knuckle and down through my rings (I learned from experience to wind from distal to proximal, as the video below shows, to push the inflammation down into the hand instead of painfully up into the fingertip). Then I slowly unwound the floss to work the ring off. I was so sure it was going to work, but I guess it was too elaborate to be effective. My finger ended up sore and red, and the rings still didn’t make it past my knuckle.

When I was a fitness instructor at my university, my supervisor was constantly chastising us for leaving the gym door ajar. It was an easy mistake to make—I had to put my whole body weight into slamming that door closed. One of my colleagues was a middle-aged, Eastern European woman who taught fitness on her lunch break from her job in academia. One day, I marveled at how she easily and effortlessly closed the cantankerous door. I couldn’t help but blurt out, “How did you do that??” She replied, “You must treat the door as you treat your wife,” and showed me that if you closed it with exaggerated love and gentleness the door was unexpectedly cooperative.

Well, it turns out that you must treat your stubborn rings as you treat your wife (Although, there’s a thriving BDSM community in San Francisco, so maybe the metaphor doesn’t hold up as well here). A couple hours after the Flossy Condom Caper, I started absent-mindedly working just one of the rings off (instead of both at the same time), and actually made some progress. I’d tried coconut oil the previous day, so this time I pulled out the big guns and slathered on some personal lubricant. After several minutes of slowly, gently, patiently working the ring from side to side and up and down I was able to get it past my knuckle! The other ring must be a little bigger, because it practically fell off after that. I never thought I’d be so happy to remove my wedding ring!

Candid prenatal photoshoot pic

A candid shot from our DIY photoshoot where Foxy can’t resist licking Richard in the teeth.

What would I be doing if I Were on Vacation?

If an animal’s safety is compromised while she is in labor, her labor will stop until she can find a safer place to birth her babies. It’s the same with humans: when women’s stress hormones are running high, labor stalls. Needless to say, being in a stressed out, go-go-go state isn’t conducive to initiating labor. On Wednesday, I ran into Melitta, my postpartum doula, at a baby store I was visiting in between my prenatal appointment and grocery shopping. Also on the to-do list for the afternoon were replacing burnt out light bulbs, washing the car, and shipping my niece’s birthday present. Melitta asked me if I’d been taking a nap or two a day to practice for breastfeeding. I thought back, and realized I hadn’t taken a nap all week.

Richard also gave me a reality check on Wednesday evening when I was frustrated about my stuck ring situation. He suggested that even though I wasn’t in labor per se, I should treat these last weeks (or days, or hours—who knows) of pregnancy as the beginning of my labor. We’re ready enough (and for the things we don’t have there are Amazon Prime and the hospital’s ring cutters). Now is the time to relax, accept, and surrender. He suggested that I spend the next morning with a pot of tea sitting out in the sun on the patio vizualizing myself nursing the baby in my “special safe place” (a Hypnobabies birth technique), which in my imagination features a warm courtyard, the sound of flowing water, lush rainforest plants, comfy wicker lounge furniture, chirping birds, colorful butterflies, and (inexplicably) a lazy sloth. The fact that Richard was able to describe my special safe place to me makes me more confident than ever that he’ll be an amazing birth partner. I followed his suggestion with some red raspberry leaf tea (a natural labor inducer) Sunday morning, and it set the tone for a relaxed day.

My new mantra is, “What would I do if I was on vacation?” I’d definitely be drinking more blended drinks. After a yummy prenatal yoga class on Thursday morning I treated myself to a tropical mango, pineapple (another natural labor inducer), and spinach smoothie. In the afternoon I watched a movie and took a nap. And, in the evening, Richard and I went out for dinner and ice cream. On Saturday, I went for a leisurely swim at the pool. Richard and I regularly walk on the beach, but this weekend, we brought a blanket and lounged on the beach with lunch from our favorite cafe (well, I lounged. Richard made sure the dog got a good workout). Sunday afternoon I did only the fun part of gardening (potting and pruning plants), and left the weeding for another day. I’m on the call-me-if-any-one-cancels list for a prenatal massage with labor-inducing acupressure next week, and maybe I’ll get a pedicure too. I still want to mop the floors, scrub down the bathroom, and digitize the stack of documents on my desk, but if those things don’t get done before the baby is born, it’s not the end of the world.

Quote by Ina May Gaskin

My sister has mailed me some inspiring birth quotes to set the tone for labor. Here’s a wonderful one by Ina May Gaskin—although she could’ve chosen a more flattering list of animals to compare us pregnant women to.

36 Weeks Pregnant: Thoughts About Labor

February 23 – March 1: 36 Weeks 0 Days – 36 Weeks 6 Days.

The third trimester is supposed to be slow, or at least the last month of it. For me, time is passing faster than ever. Upon writing this, I can’t believe I’m already in my creeping up on my 38th week! (Or that I’m so behind of writing this blog post)

As work has wound down, I’ve begun to do more exercise and yoga for myself, which has been fantastic. I’ve been doing prenatal pilates once or twice a week since the beginning of my second trimester, and when I started seeing the chiropractor I began a daily gentle exercise routine that I do as part of my bedtime wind down. Now I’ve added on a prenatal yoga class (or two) a week, and an early-morning swim on the weekend. When I’m in my bikini (I didn’t bother to buy a pricey one-piece maternity swimsuit), it’s obvious that I’m pregnant; my navel is partially inverted and my belly’s skin is taut and shiny like one those rubber balls Walmart sells. It’s inevitable that I end up having a half-clothed conversation in the women’s locker room about pregnancy or birth, which is welcome and sweet—except for the woman who exclaimed, “It’s going to be twins!”


Even though my legs and arms are getting a little scrawny, I feel more aligned and fitter than I have at any other point in my pregnancy. Fit doesn’t mean what it used to though. I may feel especially healthy because I’ve come into acceptance of my limitations. For every minute of exercise I do, I need an equally long nap (or longer). And household chores count as exercise—I can only handle about one big chore a day, especially ones that involve bending over and lifting. The baby shifts up and down, but sometimes her head feels like it’s right against my cervix, which make my lower belly feel incredibly heavy and my pelvic joints ache. When walking, I have to take small slow steps or I get a shooting spasm down my inner thigh. This happens sometimes when the baby moves, too, so she’s probably compressing a nerve.

Now that I’m working less and less, I have time to accommodate for these discomforts, so it’s not so bad. And, what’s going on doesn’t feel unhealthy: it’s amazing that the baby is exploring her exit route, and I’ve been trying to avoid sending her negative signals. In her yoga classes, Britt Fohrman sometimes has us exhale with a joyful, sensuous “Mmmm…” sound, as if we’ve just had a delectable bite of our favorite sumptuous dessert (a birth technique). When the baby causes me discomfort, I try to respond with this technique instead of tensing up and groaning. However, with the shooting inner thigh spasm, it usually comes out as, “ArrrgmmMmmm…”

I’m hoping that staying active and practicing birth techniques when I get aches and pains now will set me up for a smooth labor. I used to visualize myself having a quick labor. I know I’m going to regret saying this, but with all the prep Richard and I have done now, it would be a little disappointing to have a superfast labor with no time to use the techniques we’ve learned. Also, I’ve heard a few birth stories from women who have had fast, intense labors, and apparently it’s mind-boggling to have earlylabor-activelabor-pushing-baby in a matter of hours—there’s no time to come into full acceptance of what’s happening. Now I visualize myself having a smooth, average-length labor, in which there’s time to experience each phase.

Contrary to most of the crisis-situation portrayals of labor in TV and movies, things usually start slowly with mild surges (contractions) that gradually get closer together, longer, and more intense (although there are always exceptions!). Most women don’t have to rush to the hospital upon their first contraction. I plan to labor at home for as long as possible (which is also the hospital’s preference. They’ll send me home if I show up too early).

All sources that I’ve read or heard tell women to sleep as much as possible early on while labor surges are still mild and spaced out. There are different opinions on what to do if I can’t sleep. My doulas and childbirth prep class teacher (both hypnobirthing-focused) say I should start practicing my birth techniques early. Natural Hospital Birth, a book I read several months ago, says that using coping strategies too early may burn me out on them, and by the time I really need them, they wont be effective any more. The author recommends coming up with a list of early labor activities to distract myself while the surges aren’t dominating my attention. I think it would be nice to do something in between: choose some gentle activities to do in between surges, and pause to practice my breathing and relaxation techniques during surges. I tried to come up with activities focus more on connecting me to my experience than distracting myself from it, and on getting me out of my analytic mind and into my intuition. Here are some of my favorite ideas on my Early Labor Activities list:

  • Art therapy. A couple months ago I tried a wonderful art therapy technique. I drew an outline of my body, took some time to breath and meditate on the sensations I was experiencing (which I could do during a surge), then paint the sensations over the outline with watercolor paints. If I have any desire to sit upright, I think this would be lovely during early labor and leave me with a nice memento.
  • Bake and decorate “welcome” cupcakes for the baby. Throughout pregnancy, I’ve made cakes and cupcakes for several big events (including the baby shower), and so it feels like a rite of celebration for me. I’m not convinced that I’ll actually have the energy to be on my feet baking (maybe Richard can help me out with that part), but I know decorating cupcakes with phrases like, “welcome” and “we love you” would help shift my perspective from pregnancy to motherhood. If I actually finish them, they would be a great treat to bring to the nurses’ station at the hospital too.
  • Yummy exercises. I can see myself stretching my shoulders, rolling out my thighs and back on my foam roller, and easing jaw and neck tension with some pinky balls. This will feel good in the moment and get me limber and loose for labor.
  • Have Richard read some pre-selected passages to me. Even though I’m not supposed to use the word “pain” with regard to my surges, I would love for Richard to read me a couple anecdotes about pain that I use when teaching yoga and meditation to patients with incurable chronic pain (some of whom feel the intensity of labor on a daily basis). I love the mantra, “Pain, the door of my heart is open to you,” as a reminder to soften to sensation rather than harden to it. However for the sake of positive language, I may adapt it to, “Intensity, the door of my heart is open to you.”
  • Sing. Not sure if I should bother making a sing-along playlist now, or if whatever I choose in advance will just annoy me because I’ll be in such a different state.

Eventually I’ll end up the hospital, and this week I finally sat down with a Birth Preferences template my doulas provided, and modified it match my wishes. Since it includes so much from their template, I won’t post the full plan here, but here are some of the things that are important to me:

  • If everything is going well, I want to be internally-focused and following my intuition without interruption and intervention. To support this, on my birth preferences I requested keeping hospital staff entering to a minimum, having them direct communication to Richard or my doulas if possible, using electronic fetal monitoring only as much as is necessary, and reserving cervical exams for when they inform medical decisions (rather than getting routine hourly exams just to see how dilated I am).
  • I am well-educated about my options, and I’ve chosen my preferences based on what I think will yield the best outcomes for both the baby and me. Sticking to my preferences may not be easy, and I want my birth team to be supportive. One of my preferences is that my providers not offer me pain medication. If I want something, I’ll ask for it.
  • Unless medically necessary (e.g. I get an epidural and can’t feel anything), I don’t want to be coached to push. Although coached pushing is typical in hospitals, there is evidence that it can cause the baby to come out violently (causing tears and other problems in the mother) rather than smoothly. Also, the uterus can push the baby a big chunk of the way out on its own once the cervix is fully dilated, so starting active pushing as soon as the woman is fully dilated can be needlessly fatiguing. (There’s a nice article about all this on BabyCenter if you want to know more). I trust that when it’s time to push my body will let me know. Update: A doula friend informed me that some women never get the urge to push. If I have a long, exhausting labor, I’ll keep an open mind around coached pushing.
  • Saint Luke’s does delayed cord clamping by default (there’s evidence that this helps establish the baby’s iron stores), but there are different ideas about what “delayed” means. On my birth preferences I specifically ask for five minutes to ensure the cord has time to finish pulsating.
  • I want the baby to experience the world as a safe, secure place she can trust, so I’ve requested that all newborn procedures be delayed until an hour and a half after birth. Hopefully we’ll get some quality skin-on-skin time and try out breastfeeding before the baby needs to be poked, prodded, and weighed.

I’ve had a few people tell me birth preferences aren’t worth writing down because you can’t predict what’s going to happen during labor. For me, I don’t see the harm. Worst case scenario: my labor is rife with medical emergency after medical emergency and no part of my ideal birth is achieved. Many of the points on my birth preferences are qualified with the equivalent “unless doing otherwise is medically necessary,” so even this would not really violate my birth preferences. Average case scenario: Some of my birth preferences can’t be met, or I change my mind about some of my birth preferences in the moment. My birth preferences are not a covenant with God. Nobody is going to tell me I can’t do something because it violates a list I wrote ahead of time. Best case scenario: My baby and I have an amazing, wonderful birth experience with care above and beyond what the hospital would normally offer (or more tailored to my personal ideal, anyway). I’m not willing to give up the possibility for the best case scenario for fear of feeling disappointment in the other scenarios.

All in all, I’m feeling confident and at ease about going into labor, with a hint of something that could be either nervousness or excitement. You can come whenever you’re ready, little one!

31 Weeks Pregnant: Healing an Eroded Body Image

January 19 – January 25: 31 Weeks 0 Days – 31 Weeks 6 Days.

It’s funny that how our bodies feel can so profoundly affect our mental state. Last week I got some good chiropractic adjustments and was feeling like a pregnancy goddess. This week, I had a not-so-great adjustment (from a different chiropractor) and everything about my pregnancy seemed less glorious.

Last week I was gazing into the mirror admiring the best complexion I’ve had since before I hit puberty (with hormones drop-offs, no more cyclical acne!). This week, I was standing on a stool in my panties in front of the bathroom mirror to get a good look at my varicose veins so I could spend some quality time obsessing over them (I’ve gone weeks without thinking twice about them). Last week I celebrated the achievement of learning to ask for help at the grocery store. This week I felt helpless and frustrated—like I couldn’t do anything on my own. I had the energy to buy potted herbs, soil, and a planter, but I didn’t have the energy to actually do anything with them. On top of all that, the furnace was out of commission for three days, leaving Richard and me shivering.

It’s not that there weren’t great, fun, amazing things happening this week: Richard and I have been consciously spending more time talking and interacting instead of checking out and watching TV; I found out I could cook a whole chicken in just 30 minutes in my pressure cooker (then use the slow cooker function overnight to make broth); and, I won a gangster-themed board game at a friend’s birthday party, probably partly because other players had an unconscious aversion to pointing a foam gun at a pregnant lady. I was just latching onto the negative stuff because I was achy and cold: my shoulder and upper back were tense, the baby was pushing up against and kicking my stomach, and I was starting to feel like a big fat sumo wrestler.

In the middle of my second trimester, a recently-pregnant acquaintance told me, “You look great! I just wanted to make sure I told you that, because I know I felt like a fat cow during pregnancy.” I tend to have a positive body-image and at that time I couldn’t fathom thinking of myself as a “fat cow.” Now that my belly is twice the size it was then and many of my movements are punctuated with groans and grunts, I’m beginning to understand where she was coming from. Between my change in appearance and physical limitations, it’s harder to maintain a positive body image!

Bump Progress

Bump progress report: 12 Weeks to 30 Weeks. My pregnancy fashion tip: Tight pants and a top that’s fitted above and below the bump are the cutest. The looser the pants the bigger I feel.

31 Weeks Pregnant

This week: 31 weeks pregnant, wearing mom shoes. (To continue the point above: imagine how much cuter this would be if I was wearing tights).

Here’s what I’m doing to maintain a positive perception of my body:

1. I allow myself to feel my feelings. Sometimes I get down about not being able to be as physical as I used to or not looking the way I want to, and that’s okay. There’s no good or bad or right or wrong with emotions; they are what they are. Just because someone else has it harder than me or millions of women have been through this before doesn’t mean I am not allowed to feel a certain way. I’m entitled to my experience. Instead of trying to bottle up these feelings, allowing them to fester in my subconscious for weeks or months, I acknowledge them, allowing me to process them, talk them out if needed, and ultimately move through them. The moving through part is important—I try to avoid the addictive behavior of wallowing in negativity.

2. I shift focus to what I can do, rather than dwelling on what I can’t. There are holes in my day where my old activities used to be, and it’s been helpful to fill those voids with new activities, rather than sitting around feeling bored and incapable. I can do prenatal Pilates, I can swim, I can paint, I can play piano, I can write, I can plant my herb garden (just maybe not all in one day). And, the ultimate ability: I can build a fully functioning human being using nothing but some DNA from my husband, food, and my internal organs. That’s kind of amazing. Outside my body, this would probably take a team of scientists, millions of dollars in grants, and years of concerted lobbying effort to get the project past an ethics board. Here I am doing it with only nine months of mild to moderate discomfort. Part of me is eagerly looking forward to childbirth as the ultimate expression of this all the work I’ve been doing over the last nine months.

3. I talk to real women about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. Although I have a science degree, reading statistics about how the average pregnancy “should” go is only marginally helpful. Nobody has the average pregnancy. When I was nauseated through my first trimester I talked to many women who had not been nauseous at all (validating my feelings that I had it rough), and I also talked to several women who were hospitalized throughout pregnancy because their unrelenting nausea was so bad they couldn’t gain weight (giving me the perspective to feel gratitude that I didn’t have it that rough). Doing prenatal Pilates and doing my prenatal appointments in a group setting has given me the opportunity to see real women at various stages of pregnancy, and see how different it shows up from body-to-body. My take-away: the media sets unrealistic standards even for pregnant women’s bodies.

4. I reframe “me” into “we.” I fall solidly within the millenial generation, which is illustrious for narcissism and self-centeredness. Although I consider myself compassionate and empathetic, I do sometimes catch myself falling into these millenial stereotypes. During the holidays, I visited a doctor I’d never seen before to make sure I didn’t have an ear infection (it was fine, probably just adjusting to my abnormally firm body pillow). At the beginning of my appointment she asked, “How’s your pregnancy going?
My response: “It’s been okay. I mean I’ve had some aches and painsdifficulty sleeping, and my digestive system feels squished, but I guess that’s all pretty normal.”
She looked at me for a couple seconds, and then asked, “…And how’s the baby?
“Oh!” I replied, a little embarrassed that I hadn’t even thought to talk about the baby, “She’s great! Everything is on track. Her heart beat is strong every time they measure it and she’s growing at a good rate. She’s moving around a lot now, too.”

Looking back, my energy talking about myself during pregnancy was drab and grey, but when I talked about the baby I was vibrant and animated. My baby is already a huge source of joy, love, and pride to draw from. This week, when my husband asked me how I was doing I processed my challenges and insecurities with him (as per my first point); however, when acquaintances and strangers asked about how my pregnancy was going I told them the baby was doing amazing and kicking all the time! It was uplifting to remind myself of the big picture that includes more than just me.

Shifting awareness from “me” to “we” is of course also important prep for being a mother, and I do feel my mentality shifting in that direction. I cried the first time I watched this video about what’s really important in motherhood, and I cried even harder when I watched it with my husband a second time (it’s not even that emotional, and at the end of the day it’s a formula ad).

The pregnancy hormones may be a contributing factor too. I was crying during this video about the secret meaning of “Closing Time” by Semisonic well before he even started singing:

In any case, I take the tears, emotional turbulence, self-judgment, and even physical discomfort to be telltale signs that I’m going through an amazing, radical transformation. Every day I step closer to fully embracing this wonderful change.

18 Weeks Pregnant: Pregnancy Firsts

October 20 – October 26: 18 Weeks 0 Days – 18 Weeks 6 Days.

My eighteenth week of pregnancy was a week of firsts:

First Round Ligament Pain

Unknowingly at the time, Jane Austin‘s Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training was one of the best things I did to prepare for pregnancy. I took it years ago, but it permanently shifted my perception of pregnancy and birth from unknown and scary to natural and empowering. We read books like Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and watched videos of real labors and births (which can be completely different from what we see on TV and in movies). We also came to understand the changes that occur in a pregnant woman’s body so we could form sequences of yoga poses that could help alleviate discomfort and prepare women for labor and birth. A piece of this training came back to me in the middle of the night this week.

I woke up uncomfortable (which is getting to be a usual occurrence), and as I rolled over and yelped as I felt a sharp, stabbing pain in my right lower abdomen. My first thought was, Oh my God, I have a hernia. My intestines definitely just burst through my abdominal wall. I worriedly palpated my abdomen, but didn’t feel any odd bulges. My second thought was, Wait, didn’t Jane Austin say something about pain in the ligaments that support the uterus? That’s one of the reasons pregnant women aren’t suppose to sit straight up… I reached for my phone, Googled “uterus ligament pain pregnancy,” and was displayed a list of websites about round ligament pain naming the exact symptoms I’d just experienced. Unless the pain persists, it’s relatively harmless.

I’m so grateful that tidbit of information from Jane’s training stuck, or I’d have been up all night worrying (and probably Googling much scarier things).

First Baby Kick!

While I was teaching yoga, I demoed supta baddha konasana (reclined butterfly pose). As my knees opened and my lower abdomen broadened, I felt a little pop below my belly button. It wasn’t painful, it felt like a little tiny fist without much strength behind it had socked me from the inside. It was pretty neat, and made the baby immediately seem more real. When I went to my appointment later in the week, the midwife heard a kick on the fetal heart rate monitor, so I’m pretty sure that what I felt while teaching yoga was indeed the baby. I haven’t felt much else since, but chances are the baby’s movements are such an unfamiliar sensations that I don’t recognize them yet.

First Group Prenatal Session

Saint Luke’s, the hospital I plan to give birth at, has the option of doing prenatal sessions individually or in a group of women with similar due dates. This week was my first group prenatal session, and I loved it! At the begin, we recorded our own weight and blood pressure, which I enjoyed as a subtle way to take ownership or my own health and body. Then, we each got a couple minutes of one-on-one time with a midwife off to the side to listen to our baby’s heartbeat and ask personal questions. The rest of the session was in a group setting, wherein we discussed the discomforts of pregnancy (we focus on a different topic every time). It was great to get the midwife’s professional opinions on information from articles and books I’d read and to discuss solutions with other women experiencing the similar changes. I’m looking forward to my next sessions!

First Week Fending for Myself

Richard has been reading The Birth Partner, and has been taking its advice to heart. Already, he’s been trying to support me in any way I need, which usually means making me snacks. That made it especially lonely when he was away on business the whole week. It wasn’t that hard to be alone, but it accented what a wonderful luxury it is to have a supportive partner who will cut up mangoes for me, rub cocoa butter on my belly, and voluntarily carry my purse and all the shopping bags for me when I’m tired. Needless to say, I glad to have him back and I’m trying not to use up all his goodwill before I really need it.

18 Weeks

Eighteen weeks pregnant. I’m wearing a maternity shirt, but I still don’t have much of a bump to fill it out.

(I love the shirt I’m wearing above because it’s got a peek-a-boob feature so it can double as a nursing top when the baby arrives. I’m much more willing to spend money on something that I can wear for more than just a few months! Here’s the link to the Etsy store I bought it from, if anyone is interested).