Olympic Trials Tracker

The Olympic Trials is coming to Atlanta next week! I’ve been excited to watch this race for over a year, and I can’t believe it’s almost here. Atlanta Track Club has done a fantastic job putting together the race and communicating spectator information, and tonight I started working on spectating plan, so I made a tracker!

Since the course has an 8-mile loop the runners will complete 3 times, I wanted to see roughly where the leaders would be at what time. I made a simple Sheet where you can update the expected finish time (and the start time if the races don’t start as scheduled) to see where your runner will be at what mile mark.

It’s not perfect since it assumes even splits, but if you’re planning to MARTA around to different spots on the course, it should be close enough that you don’t miss your runner if you give yourself some cushion time!

If you want to use it for yourself, you can access it here. Remember to make a copy for your own Google Drive first! Since this is a public link, multiple people could change the sheet at the same time, which could create some confusion on race day. πŸ˜‰

Baby Registry Essentials

I am in the stage of life where many of my friends have babies or are pregnant, and I’m the type of person who compulsively reads reviews before making a purchase, so I put together a list of items I’ve enjoyed using with my little one so far. I hope this helps anyone who is putting together a baby registry!

Nursery

VAVA Night Light

This night light rocks. You can tap it on and off or hold the top of it to brighten or dim the light. Anything you can operate with one hand is especially useful when you are carrying around a baby!

Laundry Hamper

This is a nice, lightweight hamper, and I love anything heather grey. With how often we do baby laundry, we haven’t come close to filling it up yet.

Laundry Bags

I have yet to lose a tiny baby sock thanks to using a laundry bag! We just drape it on the side of the hamper to keep it easily accessible.

Changing Pad

We end up changing the baby all over the house, but it is nice to have a dedicated changing station in his nursery. This pad is the same width as the top of his dresser, so it works well as a changing table, too.

Changing Pad Cover

This changing pad cover being waterproof is clutch for the many “surprise shower” diaper changes we’ve had with a baby boy. I recommend having a stash of 3-4 covers unless you want to do laundry every day.

Diaper Caddy Basket

This basket fits the exact dimensions of the top of the dresser that aren’t already filled by the changing pad. It fits diapers, wipes, diaper cream, lotion, etc to make them easily accessible.

Diaper Genie

There are a ton of diaper pail options out there, and so far we have no complaints about the Diaper Genie. It’s easy to use, change the bag, and keeps the smells at bay!

Diaper Genie Refills

No need to buy Diaper Genie branded refill bags! These Amazon brand ones work just as well for a lower price.

Humidifier

Dehumidifiers are especially important during the winter where the heat dries out the air. Plus – germs travel slower through moist air!

Baby Monitor

We opted for a sound monitor instead of a video one or anything with wireless capabilities, and it’s worked out just fine. You can adjust the sensitivity for what all it picks up or keep it on vibrate if you only want to be alerted that there’s noise rather than know what the specific noise is.

Only downside is that the parent unit only works when plugged in, so you’re out of luck if the power goes out.

Bath Time

Bath Tub

Bamboo Washcloths

These washcloths are super soft and are great for scrubbing while being gentle enough for little cheeks.

Hooded Bath Towels

Is there anything cuter than a baby in a hooded towel? No, there is not.

These are nice and soft and a great size for wrapping up your baby after a bath.

Wash & Shampoo

This shampoo has been effective on Caleb’s cradle cap and is gentle enough to use all over.

Cradle Cap Brush

We thought scrubbing Caleb’s head with our fingers was effective until we got a cradle cap brush. If your baby has cradle cap, a silicone brush will help a lot! It only took a few baths with the brush to make a major improvement. If your baby has long/thick hair, you’ll want to get a fine-tooth comb as well to comb out the flakes after you scrub.

Baby Lotion

Bath time will dry out your baby’s skin, so it’s important to rehydrate it! Our pediatrician recommended any lotion that is super thick and not runny, and so far this has worked well enough for us.

First Aid

Bulb Syringe

You’ll likely get one of these from the hospital, but I recommend you have one for your diaper bag, and a spare around the house as well.

Nose Snotsucker

This is for when your baby is really congested, and the bulb syringe isn’t cutting it. The first time Caleb was congested, the snotsucker was a game changer for clearing him out in the mornings.

I asked a nurse practitioner if you could get sick from using it, and she said the filter protects you as long as you change it after each use.

Saline Drops

Another item to help fight congestion! If your baby is extra stuffy, using some saline drops in their nose can help thin the mucus so it will clear easier.

Beware: Babies don’t like saline drops going in their nose, though.

Boogie Wipes

Last item on the congestion list! These wipes have saline in them to help clear up a runny nose.

Gas Drops

If you have a baby who loves overeating (cough, Caleb, cough) or just gets gassy, gas drops can help. There was a night where he ate almost continuously for 90 minutes and wouldn’t settle until we tried the gas drops.

Fever Reducer

We had to use this for the first time after Caleb had a fever reaction from his 4-month vaccinations. Your pediatrician will advise when it’s appropriate to use and dosing instructions.

Hydrocortisone Cream

If your baby has eczema, hydrocortisone cream can help it clear up. I wasn’t sure it was ok to use on babies, but our pediatrician said it’s so light, you could put it on toast.

Emory Boards

Tiny baby nails are so sharp! I have yet to use nail clippers on his hands and have opted to just file them instead.

Feeding

Boppy Pillow

Especially in the early days of a floppy baby, the boppy can really help with breastfeeding or long periods of holding your little one. Once they are less floppy, it’s also a great propping pillow when you want to keep them upright, like after a feeding.

Freemie Cups

Milk Storage Bags

If you’re pumping, the last thing you want is to use a storage bag that leaks or bursts in the freezer! None of the Medela bags I’ve used have done this to me while about 30% of the Target Up&Up branded ones did. The Medela ones are worth the extra money!

Dr. Brown’s Bottles

There are soooo many pieces to these bottles, but they are marketing as anti-colic and anti-gas bottles, so we’ll take whatever we can get with our voracious eater.

Comotomo Bottles

These bottles are much easier to clean since there are fewer pieces, and it’s nice that the smaller versions go up to 5 ounces instead of just 4. They also make 8-ounce versions.

Note: When filled past 4 ounces and in the bottle warmer, these tend to bubble over.

Burp Cloths

There are nicer and thicker burp cloths out there, too, but these are a great all-purpose item to have around. Need to clean up a massive spit-up? Need something to shield a surprise pee during a diaper change? Grab one!

Drying Rack Lawn

Drying Rack Tree

While the lawn works well for the smaller pump and bottle parts, the tree is best for the bottles and larger pump parts.

Clothes & Accessories

Velcro Swaddles

I thought I would learn how to swaddle well enough with a regular blanket that I wouldn’t need a velcro swaddle. HA! Caleb was busting out of my blanket swaddle while he was still in the hospital.

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit

This has been a great swaddle transition solution for us. Caleb can still move enough to get his hands in his mouth, but the suit muffles his movements enough that he isn’t smacking himself in the face.

Zip Sleep Sacks

We used the sleep sacks for afternoon naps. The zipper makes it easy to add the sleep sack to an already-sleeping baby compared to an over-the-head version.

NUK Pacifiers

Caleb is a huge fan of these pacifiers and hasn’t shown much of a liking for the more cylinder-like ones. My favorite part about the NUK ones is that the ring glows in the dark if it’s been charged by sun!

Pacifier Clips

A pacifier clip will save you from picking up and rinsing off the pacifier that you baby spits out twenty times a day. The plastic clips are gentle on clothes, too.

Colorful Socks

If you are in cold enough weather to need socks, these are a fun way to add some color to your baby’s wardrobe! They say 0-6 months but only fit Caleb until about 3 months.

Toys & Furniture

Play Mat

This is probably Caleb’s favorite toy. With hanging toys at the 4 corners, it’s practically like having 4 playmats when you can just reorient him to a new toy. The mirror is great for tummy time as well.

We haven’t had a need to travel with it yet, but it does fold up nicely.

Maracas

These are nice and light for a baby to grip, and the soft side cushions the blow to the face for when your baby enthusiastically tries to shove it in his mouth.

Teether Rattle

This is probably Caleb’s favorite toy. The rattle is light, and the tubes are thin enough for easy-grasping as well as chomping on when teeth start coming in.

Pizza Teether

When your baby starts mouthing everything, this is a hilarious item to give them to chew on.

Swing

I can’t underestimate how nice it is to have somewhere safe to put the baby. You can’t carry them around 24/7! And it’s incredibly cute to watch them stare once they are able to notice the stars above the swing.

Bouncer

Again, having somewhere safe to put the baby is important. We keep this chair in the kitchen, and Caleb sometimes hangs out there when I’m prepping dinner.

Bumbo Floor Seat

Transportation

Car Seat

I’m not sure anything caused me more stress than researching car seats. Why do some of them cost $60 and others cost $600?

Once I finally picked this car seat, it felt like a weight off my shoulders. The base was relatively easy for Josh to install, and the carrier simply clicks into the base. It’s also been easy to adjust the straps as Caleb grows.

We got a spare base for Josh’s car off Facebook Marketplace for $20 and so far have only used it a couple of times. The couple I bought it from said the same thing – that they probably used it twice.

BOB Stroller

I knew I wanted a BOB for running, and you can check out all of the difference options on their website. I got mine from Facebook Marketplace, a.nd you can typically find a ton of used ones online

Compact Travel Stroller

I knew I wanted a compact, lightweight stroller and really like the option of something that folded down to overhead compartment size…but not the price associated with it. I got this one as an “Open Box – Like New” option from Amazon for more than half off!

Moby Wrap

The Moby wrap is the only reason I get to make dinner some nights. It works great for taking a newborn out to the store as well as wearing an older baby around the house when he isn’t content unless he’s being held.

Convertible Carrier

We haven’t used this carrier as much as the Moby yet, but I like that it has a lot of wearing options for when he gets older and has more head stability.

For Mom

32oz Water Bottle w/ Straw

My hospital gave me a giant water bottle with a straw, but if you don’t have one and are planning to breastfeed, I suggest you get one! You will drink an insane amount of water, and it still won’t feel like enough. The high capacity will lessen the amount of times you have to refill it, and the straw makes it easy for one-handed hydration.

Support Belly Band

I wore one of these during pregnancy when I would exercise, and I also wore it my first few days home from the hospital. Your core muscles are still stretched out and weak, and the support belt helped with tasks like getting out of bed.

Nursing Tanks

Moms on Call Basic Baby Care

I appreciated this book as a first-time mom for the soothing techniques and the scheduling.

It is important to remember that babies are all unique, though! I asked our pediatrician a lot of questions when Caleb wasn’t matching up with how often he “should be” napping or how much he “should be” eating. They also recommend the cry it out method for getting your baby to sleep through the night, and we let Caleb get there on his own instead.

Go Ahead, Stop and Pee

This is a great resource for exercises during pregnancy and postpartum whether you’re a runner or not!

Caleb’s Birth Story

39 Weeks

I never had a 39-week blog post since he was born on that day, so a quick recap of what happened in that week:

I was not feeling great. I was stressed about my blood pressure (really didn’t want to be induced), uncomfortable, my nausea returned, and I was generally irritable a lot of the time.

I had a doctor’s appointment on October 1st where my blood pressure was the lowest it had been since I started checking it! This was a big relief. I had another cervical check and was 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. The annoying thing about these measurements is that it doesn’t actually give you an idea of when you’ll go into labor. You can hang out at 2-4 cm for a couple of weeks, or you can be not dilated at all and go into labor that day. The only thing that check meant was that I had made progress from 2 weeks ago when I was last checked (and was 0 cm dilated).

I had been ravenous all day and even though I was meeting my friend Anna for dinner, I ate an afternoon piece of pizza in addition to my snacks. I had some baby contractions and back cramps the rest of the afternoon, but I didn’t think anything of it since I read it was typical to have some contractions after a cervical check.

Water Breaking

I met my friend Anna at Chipotle for dinner, and we had a great time catching up! I can’t remember if I stopped mid-sentence or if she was talking, and I made a face, but my water broke. In a Chipotle booth. Around 7:40pm. I was embarrassed and excited all at the same time. Anna got me some napkins and a towel from her car since I was mortified at the thought of walking about of the restaurant looking like I peed myself. She took great care of me by also telling the workers to come clean up the booth (I was also mortified at that thought) and walking me to my car. I was going to have a baby!

While still in Chipotle, I called Josh and told him my water broke, I would be coming home to shower and that we would need to go to the hospital after that.

Josh’s perspective
Josh had
just walked in the door from playing golf after work (I told him to go since I had dinner plans, and we were trying to overlap plans to avoid me being alone since it was so close to my due date). He had decided against staying later at the range to chip some balls (thank goodness) and had just pulled out some leftover pizza and a beer from the fridge. After talking to me, he put the beer back.

Once I got in the car, my next phone call was Becka. While my water breaking first was inconvenient for a number of reasons, the nice part is that it essentially puts a countdown timer on when you’ll have the baby. I told her I assumed he would come in the next 24 hours, and she was able to book a flight for early the next morning to be in Atlanta by 3:30pm the next afternoon!

Then I called Josh again and tried to start telling him all of the things he needed to pack, and he told me he was already packing and for me to just focus on driving home!

But I had way too much nervous energy for that (and it’s only a 15-minute drive home), so then I called my best friend Jenn. I ranted a bit like a crazy person. Only 15% of women have their water break before they go into labor, so I thought that wouldn’t happen to me! It’s also much more likely to have a late baby with your first. And our bathroom wasn’t finished! And it was evening, so I’d have to labor through the night! And I didn’t take a nap today! Jenn helped me focus on the positive – Caleb was coming! And said a quick prayer for me as I pulled into the house.

Josh met me at the door and got me a new towel so I could make my way up to the shower. I called the after-hours number and told the operator that my water broke. She asked if I was having contractions, and that was the first time I even thought about that question. I wasn’t, or they were so light I hadn’t even noticed with all of the excitement.

Luckily, my doctor was on call that night, so she was the one to call me back. She knew my birth plan (goal was to go unmedicated) and said since I wasn’t having contractions to hang at home for 2 hours before coming to the hospital unless I started contracting more regularly before then.

It’s great that she said that because even with being 50-75% packed ahead of time, it took forever to finish packing my bags. I was just so scattered! Once we were mostly packed up, I alternated between walking and bouncing on the yoga ball while we watched a couple of episodes of Young Sheldon.

I started semi-tracking my contractions with an app around 9pm. I would just breathe through them and walk around. They weren’t too bad, and I was trying to keep myself distracted. Another inconvenient thing about your water breaking before you go into labor is that every contraction brings about more of your fluids, so there were a couple of outfit changes before we went to the hospital.

Then it was finally time to leave for the hospital. Contractions in the car weren’t too bad, and I drank my apple juice box to make sure Caleb would be alert for monitoring once we got there.

We arrived around 11-11:15pm and didn’t do the drop off area and instead went straight to the deck, so we could walk in together. We had one stop for a contraction on the way in and then made our way to the check in desk. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before someone escorted us to our delivery room.

In the Delivery Room

I bought a swimsuit coverup that I thought would be a perfect birthing robe, but I didn’t even take it out of my bag. Once the nurse told me to put on the hospital gown, I just did it. That ended up working out well because I went through a couple of gowns before Caleb arrived anyway.

Even with completing the pre-registration online a few weeks ahead of time, there was a decent amount of paperwork to fill out – including confirming that you want to keep your baby! There was already a copy of my birth plan in my file, so that was a nice relief even though we brought multiple printed copies with us. The nurse confirmed my water broke (not that I had any doubt) and also confirmed there was no meconium in it, which was all good. I had to stay monitored for a while – one unit measuring my contractions and one unit measuring the baby’s heart – so we brought my yoga ball over to the side of the bed with the computer and bounced for a while.

Josh took that time to set up our room. We brought Enviroscent lavender/chamomile scent sticks and a bluetooth speaker and turned the TV on as well. After some monitoring, the nurse checked me and said I was 3-4 cm dilated and 70% effaced, meaning I had made some progress since my appointment that afternoon.

I spent the next 5 hours laboring with Josh’s help before I was checked again (and even then I had to ask for it). I dealt with contractions by adopting some of the positions we learned in our childbirth class and focusing on breathing. I would lean over the bed and have Josh criss-cross rub my back, or I would stand next to him and sway back and forth, or I would bounce on my yoga ball.

They brought me a wireless monitoring unit and said I could be monitored intermittently – 15 minutes on, 45 minutes free every hour. This is a lie; it was on far more than that. I also was Group B Strep positive, so I had to have a penicillin IV every 4 hours. After I was free of the monitor and the IV at the same time, I took a 45-minute shower, and it was the best. It was also the only break Josh got all night!

I thought I would walk a lot more in labor, but my legs were incredibly shaky. I kept saying I was so disappointed in my legs. They are supposed to be strong from all the running! The shaking improved a bit once we adjusted the thermostat up a few degrees, but my quads felt crampy-tired, making bouncing on the ball harder, too.

Overall I found the contractions to not be too terrible, but the various waves of nausea were tough. I’ve only thrown up a few times in my life, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to throw up during labor, so that was a not-fun surprise.

While the contractions individually weren’t bad, being unmedicated meant there was no break and no ability to take a nap. My legs were so tired, but sitting on the bed made the contractions unbearable, so the accumulation is really what gets to you. Since I had been up since 6:30am Tuesday morning, I was getting close to being awake for 24 hours straight. When a nurse came in to check on us, I asked her if there were any non-epidural options because I really just wanted a 30-minute nap. She said they could give me fentanyl to take the edge off the pain, but I would still feel my contractions. She was very encouraging and told me I was in control and was surprisingly quiet. I honestly was surprised with how quiet I had been, too – keeping a lot of it internally. I declined the fentanyl and carried on.

Then she brought me a chair to fit the yoga ball into, and that was almost as good as a nap since I could lean back against the back of the chair in between contractions instead of having to balance myself. I was falling asleep between contractions, making Josh think I was going to fall off the yoga ball with all of the head-flopping I was doing.

Eventually the feeling of pressure made sitting on the call no longer an option, so it was back to standing. Just rubbing my back wasn’t doing it anymore, so Josh started doing counterpressure, and I started audibly working through the contractions with O and M sounds.

Josh had Animal Planet on the TV and would try to distract me into watching whenever there were kittens on the screen. All I remember was one of the kittens was named Nancy and thinking that the guy who narrates the animals on these shows has a really weird job.

My doctor showed up to say hello a little before 7am. She said I seemed to be in transition (the worst and shortest part of labor) and to let her know when the pressure became stronger and didn’t go away in between contractions since that would mean time to push.

I continued laboring with the stronger contractions and sent a text to my parents and best friends asking them to pray for strength for me because “this is difficult.” At some point I typed “how long does transition last?” into Google and I held onto the answer of “30 minutes – 2 hours” really hard.

My doctor came back about 90 minutes later, and I complained that my legs just couldn’t hold me up anymore. She suggested I sit in a warm bath, so I laid in the bed while they got it ready for me. I labored in the tub for about 15-20 minutes, but I found the hard porcelain to be uncomfortable even though the warm water was soothing. I wanted more time with the warm water, though, so I ended up standing in the shower while holding onto the rail while Josh held the showerhead with hot water on my lower back.

Then it was back to standing. I would just throw myself on Josh in slow dance position during contractions since bending over the bed and counterpressure were no longer helping. I started involuntarily pushing during the worst contractions – my legs would give out, and I would dry heave. It was terrible and made me feel out of control, so I moved to the bed. Sitting in the bed made the pressure feel a lot worse, but I wasn’t pushing or wretching, so the tradeoff was worth it.

Then it started happening in the bed as well. Around 9:15am we called the nurse, and I pretty much demanded to start pushing. My body was doing it anyway, and I wanted the control back. She checked me and said I was pretty much at 10cm (with a bit of a cervical lip that she thought I could push past), but Caleb still hadn’t dropped and was at -1 station. I wanted to push anyway, so we got started. I thought I would have a baby by noon!

Pushing

Pushing is nothing like the movies or TV. All of that screaming and yelling is actually unproductive because you’re supposed to hold your breath while pushing. Holding my breath took some getting used to since I had been breathing through my contractions, and switching to taking a big breath to then hold it while pushing was an adjustment.

Pushing is also 1 step forward, 0.9 steps back. Caleb moved from -1 station to 0 station pretty quickly, but everything slowed down from there. After a few pushes I asked if I could try another position to use gravity to help, so my nurse set up the squat bar on the bed for me. Using the squat bar was definitely more work – going from my knees into a sumo squat to push and then back to my knees for every contraction was a lot more movement than just laying in the bed. But it felt more productive, and it was a nice change! I can remember thinking, “This is so much better than labor.”

My only other note from squat-bar-pushing is that a random lady came into my room during this part. :/

I eventually got tired and went back to laying in the bed. It was nice to get some rest between contractions. My nurse kept saying, “Just a few more pushes, and I’ll call Dr. H,” and it felt like I heard that 8 times before she actually paged her. The funny thing is that I heard her running down the hall before she entered my room (but there was no rush as I know in hindsight).

I pushed for..forever. I kept feeling like nothing was happening and would ask if I was doing ok. My doctor, the nurse, and Josh were all very encouraging despite my skepticism. At one point, I looked at my doctor and asked, “Is everything really going ok?” She seemed to think that was funny and assured me that all was well. Part of me was nervous that if I pushed for too long, they would force me into a C-section, but that was never even mentioned.

Then I just got irritated. I kept calling Caleb a “little punk” to the point that Josh reminded me how much I would love him. And I do! It was just that my expectations of having a baby by noon were not even close to being met.

After 3-3.5 hours of pushing, I told my doctor I was exhausted. I felt cross-eyed I was so tired. She agreed and said she could tell that I wasn’t pushing as long or as hard (aka, not being as productive as I had been). So I asked, “What do you think about me eating an energy gel?”

I had packed some vanilla Gu in my hospital bag since everyone likes to talk about how giving birth is like running a marathon. (Side note: it is NOT! You can drop out of a marathon. There are no breaks with birthing a baby.) You aren’t allowed to eat anything during labor, but Josh brought a Gu over for my doctor to inspect, and she gave it the ok.

The Gu was a great second wind since I hadn’t had any food in about 15 hours and had thrown up everything in my stomach anyway. I felt better within minutes and started renewing my mantras of “I like pushing” and “He has to come out eventually.”

I started making enough progress for the nursery staff to come in, my nurse to put on her gown, and my doctor to have her tray of tools brought over to her. Any change was another point of encouragement for me to know that things were happening.

They put me on oxygen between contractions (I think because his levels were dropping), and Josh was rubbing my quads between contractions and force feeding me Gatorade and water. My next (and last) second wind was when I actually started feeling him coming. I knew the end was near! Having that hope really helps with the fact that there’s no break from the pressure or burning between contractions anymore. The nurse even took my contraction monitor off 1-2 pushes early because she thought he would be out on that push.

I gave my all on what I thought was my last push, but he wasn’t quite out yet. I asked if I could just finish pushing him out, but my doctor said to wait for the next contraction to prevent tearing. This was extremely uncomfortable. And then I just stopped having contractions. I made it a couple of minutes before I essentially hyperventilated and pushed him out.

He’s here!

Caleb was born at 1:25pm on October 2nd, weighing in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

The first thing I said was, “Oh my gosh! He’s so big!” They put his giant, pink body on me, and I rubbed his back as he cried and cried. Josh got to cut the umbilical cord after a couple of minutes, and then we had a full hour+ with him just hanging out on my chest before the nursery staff did all of their measurements and bath. They only took him from me for a few minutes when his cries sounded a bit guttural (to make sure he didn’t have fluid in his lungs), but other than that we had a wonderful golden hour together as a family.

I looked up at Josh with my squinty, tired eyes (my face was so swollen from the IV and from 4 hours of pushing) and told him how much I loved him. I definitely couldn’t have made it through the labor without him. He was the best coach and support partner I could have asked for.

After the golden hour the nursery staff did all of their measuring and weighing, and then Josh got to enjoy some baby snuggles, too.

My parents showed up with Chick-fil-A (I highly recommend a milkshake as an efficient way to get calories back in your body), and Becka was able to make her way from Seattle to Atlanta within a couple of hours of his birth thanks to my long labor!

Overall, it was a good experience, and I’m thankful for Josh, my doctor, and the staff at Northside for being so great. Everyone was supportive and encouraging of my birth plan, and we had pleasant interactions with every staff member throughout our hospital stay.

3 Years at Praxis

Today is my third work anniversary at Praxis! Old me would have started this blog post at least a week ago and been ready to post it first thing in the morning. Current me as a 6-week old and didn’t remember my anniversary until a Facebook memory reminded me this morning. *shrug emoji*

Here are a few notable things from the last 12 months:

Christmas Party

I went full ham for the Christmas party last year to the point that I was literally jumping up and down the minutes before it was scheduled to begin. It’s always fun to visit with the team, but when I get the reigns to be the official head of the self-appointed party planning committee, I get extra excited. I made my own Christmas trivia and culminated the games with a Nailed It inspired gingerbread house decorating contest. Then we finished the evening with a book swap with White Elephant/Dirty Santa rules.

Team Split

It’s old news now, but half of the team as of 1 year ago focuses on Crash, a separate product from Praxis, so TK and I were running Praxis for most of 2019. I learned a lot about running a business and especially a lot about financial statements and the difference between accrual profit/loss reporting and cash flow statements. The number of times I’ve been confused about something because I confused revenue with cash flow is…a lot. Thankfully our bookkeeper is incredibly patient with me, and I’m also married to a CPA who is also patient with me. Now I have the ability to judge our revenue and cash flow strength and make more accurate projections on both.

FEEcon

We had nearly 50 Praxis participants, alumni, and staff at FEEcon this year, and it was a blast to see everyone! I got to be on a panel with TK and Hannah and put a lot of faces to names when meeting our participants in person for the first time.

Interview Prep

Before having Caleb I was doing interview prep sessions with our participants to help them prepare for their interviews with business partners. I’ve always interviewed candidates for the program, and since the team split I started doing a segment of Opening Seminar, but I don’t have a ton of interaction with them once they are in the bootcamp. It was fun to reconnect with participants and see how they had grown since starting the program. Those sessions also prompted this blog post which I think is pretty good if I do say so myself. πŸ™‚

That’s all for this year! I’m excited for year 4 and beyond.

38 Weeks

Baby Size

Caleb is the size of a mini-watermelon at about 19.5 inches long and about 6.8 pounds.

Pros

We are officially in the 4-week timeframe of when Caleb will arrive! Likely 3-week timeframe since I’m not entirely sure my doctor would let me go to 42 weeks. It’s nice to have the end in sight. I can remember being SO READY about a month ago, and I’m still ready now, just more of a tired and worn down ready.

I’ve felt quite good over the last week and haven’t had any bad days like I did last week. I went to my last home match for Atlanta United on Saturday, and it was refreshing to feel up for all of the walking that entails. And I shouldn’t get that much bigger either, which is a relief.

While our bathroom remodel is still underway (yes, we know we’re cutting it close), the toilet and new faucets were installed at the end of last week, so I no longer have to plod all the way down the hall for my 2am bathroom trips. That makes a big difference in being able to get back to sleep after! I’ve had a lot better nights of sleep lately, too. I am making an effort to start getting ready for bed earlier to do what I can to get more sleep.

Nesting continues, mainly in the form of cleaning for me. On weekends I tend to operate on the schedule of a puppy: having periods of hyperactivity where I’m extremely productive followed by needing to lay down or take a nap. And I usually repeat that cycle a few times during the day.

Cons

My BP was a little high at my doctor’s visit yesterday, so it’s something I am keeping an eye on over the week before my next appointment. My doctor said she’d hate for me to have the baby before I’m ready, and I told her we were in the middle of the bathroom remodel. The look she gave me was pretty great. Stay in a while longer, please!

37 Weeks

Baby Size

Caleb is the size of a canary melon at about 19″ long and around 6.2 pounds. 37 weeks is considered early term, so really from here on out, he’s the size of a baby.

Highs

We checked a few more items off the to do list this weekend! Josh installed the car seat bases into both cars (I watched so I would know what to do), and I added the infant adaptor to the stroller, so we’ll be all ready to go on walks!

I also started packing my bags for the hospital. I’ve been keeping a list on my phone (using the Cozi app that Josh and I use for groceries and chore lists) and finally started actually getting items into bags. One of the things I like about Cozi is that it will strikethrough your item once you check it off instead of deleting it, so I can still see everything on my list. I think that will be helpful when I’m rooting around my bags trying to figure out what I brought.

I’ve started going to the doctor every week now and had a good visit yesterday. Caleb had a strong heartbeat, and they were happy to hear he’s extremely active. I described his feet as “sharp” and got a good laugh as well. I shared my birth plan with the doctor and she gave it a thumbs up, and she also was very impressed when I told her I was still run-walking (even if it’s only once or twice a week). When I spend my time feeling really inadequate athletically, I’ll take any sort of praise I can get!

Nesting (or crazy pregnant lady energy) is in full swing, and the bathroom renovation with its dust just makes me more crazy. My rationale is that it’ll be easier to clean the dust every few days rather than wait until they’re done and have a lot of mess to clean. That makes sense, right?

Lows

Now that I’m more visibly pregnant, I’ve gotten a few more comments from strangers about it. It’s mainly people saying congrats or expressing their excitement for me, but one of the SAFE members at the Atlanta United game this weekend tried to tell me that I couldn’t go through the metal detector because it was a health concern and needed to have a pat down instead. I told him that I could go through a metal detector and that I’d rather do that than have someone touch me, and it took a little more back and forth than I would prefer before another worker came over and told him that it was ok. Got me good and riled up prior to the game!

Sleeping at night seems to be either really good or really bad. Sometimes I can sleep through the night, but I’ve had to get up to pee TWICE the last two nights which makes it much harder to get a good amount of sleep. Fingers crossed for a good night of sleep soon!

Other than that, there are just days that I feel pretty bad – yesterday being one of them. The cervical check at the doctor was less than pleasant, and then I had a terrible headache for the rest of the day. I just feel swollen and puffy and still so hot!

I saw a post on reddit about how being pregnant is like being a toddler because you just want snack and naps all the time and can’t control your emotions. Sounds about right.

36 Weeks

Baby Size

Caleb is about the size of a papaya at 18.75 inches long and 5.8-6 pounds.

Highs

I had another doctor’s appointment at the end of last week and got to meet another doctor in the practice who I liked as well. She did a quick ultrasound and Caleb was head down and face down, and she said that might be why his movements were more painful lately – since his back and his butt are what’s pushing out against me.

Saturday was my last baby shower! It was great to see so many of my friends from Berry and catch up with them. They spoiled me with great food and cute presents, and I really enjoyed the onesies they designed as well as the playdough babies.

More of a fun fact, but sometimes when Caleb is moving around, I’ll hear a click or a pop like when you crack your knuckles. I Googled it, and apparently it’s a thing! Pregnancy is so weird.

Another fun fact, shared with me by my friend Jacque, is that eating 6 dates per day in the last 4 weeks prior to delivery is proven to help shorten labor in a majority of women. 6 dates is a LOT in one day, and I’m still working up to that many, but I’m thinking that eating some dates is better than none! Although that story continues below…

Lows

Oye. In an attempt to get more dates into my diet, I bought a pack of Cashew Cookie Larabars. My friend Keri introduced me to them, and they only have 2 ingredients – dates and cashews! Since they have 2-3 dates per bar, it was a more tasty way to eat dates.

I noticed on Thursday that my lips were stinging, and then I woke up on Friday morning with tiny blisters on my lips. I am very thankful that they weren’t terribly noticeable, but it was both physically and emotionally disconcerting. Google was no help because if you search anything about blisters on your lips, everything says herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) which is not what I had.

The blisters persisted through the weekend, and Sunday night I was back on the internet trying to find an answer. The only thing I found that looked anything like what I had was a lady who wrote about getting blisters and a rash from eating mango because mago is in the same family as poison ivy, and the skin can have urushiol oil on it.

I’ve had poison ivy enough times that I realized that is what it looks like what was on my lips, so I typed “poison ivy on lips” into Google and found that not only are mangoes related to poison ivy but so are CASHEWS. And that the more reactions you’ve had to poison ivy, the more susceptible you could be to a negative reaction to cashews or mangoes.

Further searching let me know that others have had reactions to Larabars specifically, so needless to say, I won’t be eating them anymore. I’m not sure if it’s a pregnancy-related allergy or just the type of cashews in those bars, but I will likely avoid cashews all together now just to be sure.

I did a couple of baking soda paste applications on my lips to dry the blisters out, and now I’m just waiting on everything to fully heal up.

Other than that saga, it’s just the normal ups and downs of late pregnancy. Everything is big and heavy and swollen, and I’m tired a lot. But now I know it could be worse!

35 Weeks

Baby Size

Caleb is the size of a honeydew melon at about 18.2 inches long and about 5.25 pounds (though see the growth scan estimate below).

Highs

I’ve had a couple of weeks of feeling really good! It is amazing to me that I can feel better at 8 months pregnant than I did at 6 months or other earlier times. But that’s just how pregnancy is! Always full of surprises, so it’s best not to plan ahead too far and to enjoy the good times while they last.

I had a growth scan on Friday, and it was nice for Josh to be able to be there this time! No good pictures unfortunately since they said his face was too squished, but it was nice to see him for a bit. He’s also head down which I suspected from his movements, but it was good to confirm. They estimated his weight as 5 pounds, 11 ounces, which was almost directly in the middle of the growth charts. It’s just an estimate since they take the diameter of the head, the diameter of the belly, and the length of the femur and plug it into a formula, but it was good to hear that he’s estimated to be average.

Josh and I enjoyed a lazy 3-day weekend which was just what we needed. I turned my nesting energy on the HRV and full cleaned it out. It was full of grass and incredibly dusty, and now it makes me happy to see how clean it is every time I get in. All ready to install the car seat now!

Monday was a great mix of lazy and productive as well. I went to the river for the first time in months and did a nice 3.5 mile run-walk. I’ve definitely missed being out there, but I struggle to get up early enough to dedicate to the commute to and from the river for not being out there that long. Then I cleaned out the bathroom because our renovation started Tuesday! Because why would you start a major project at any time other than when you’re 8 months pregnant?

Lows

Fake fall is over, and we are back to humid and mid-70 mornings and mid-ninety afternoons. It’s just so dang hot.

My left foot has been achy/having some plantar pain, so it takes me a bit to get moving after I sit for a while. Still trying to get out there in terms of walking or run-walking 5 times a week, though! Surprisingly, that helps with the swelling in my feet.

I was lucky enough to make it through the majority of the pregnancy without having to need a bathroom break during the night, but now I get up between 2 and 4 am probably 5 nights a week. Luckily I’ve been able to fall back asleep most of the time!

34 Weeks

Baby Size

Caleb is the size of a spaghetti squash at about 17.75 inches long and 4.75 pounds.

Highs

I put some shelves up above the changing table and despite the struggle to get them on the wall. Did you know that increased clumsiness is also part of the third trimester? Fun times.

We spent the weekend in Greenville with Josh’s family and had a lovely baby shower! Grandma Morrison could have a side hustle as a party planner, and the decorations were just so cute!

It was great to spend time with family and get some advice as well. We also did a Mad Libs fairy tale game that was hilarious. They will be fun to read to Caleb as he grows up!

We had a few days of “false fall” that felt nice to not be a constant pool of sweat! And my back has been behaving nicely to the point that I’ve done a few 3-mile run/walks which is the most I’ve done since Peachtree. It’s just funny how things can change on a week by week basis! I’m trying to enjoy the times when I can get out there and don’t feel like I’m limp/waddling.

I have a growth ultrasound at the end of the week, and I’m so excited to see him again! I imagine he will look a lot like a baby this time which will be fun. πŸ™‚

Lows

The special thing about 34 weeks is that the timeframe of his arrival feels ridiculous. I’m 6 weeks away from my due date, but babies typically come between 38-42 weeks, meaning he could come in the next 4 to 8 weeks. 8 weeks is literally twice as long as 4 weeks, hence the feeling of ridiculousness.

I’m getting more uncomfortable, some days worse than others. I’m very thankful that I work from home since I can sit or stand or lay on the couch or my personal favorite of putting my laptop on the couch and hunching over it from kneeling on the floor. Just doing what I can!

33 Weeks

Baby Size

Caleb is the size of a pineapple at about 17 inches long and about 4.2 pounds.

Highs

We had a great anniversary weekend with the biggest present to ourselves being a cleaning service. I was so excited to not have to clean the house this weekend and to have someone do all of the extra stuff like wipe the light switches and clean the microwave. She also told me that I’m her 4th pregnant client recently!

We went on our hospital tour on Sunday. Similar to the childbirth class, it made me feel ready to go! Northside also seems very nice, and the rooms are spacious, and we feel better knowing the lay of the land now that we’ve visited.

We got our glider as well! I didn’t account for the extra space it needed (you know, for the gliding part) in my floorplan, so we did some rearranging, and I feel like all of the major pieces are all set now! There’s still plenty of organizing to do and a few things to put on the wall, but functionally it’s done. The glider is super comfortable as well! I’ve spent some time just sitting in there thinking and planning in the evenings.

I’ve had a lot of improvement in my back and was even able to run-walk earlier this week! It’s not something I can do every day, but I’m thankful for the times I can.

Lows

Summer in the south is no joke, and I’m ready to not sweat to death 24/7. The little generator I’m carrying makes that difficult, though.

The middle joint of my fingers are pretty much constantly swollen now, and my fingers/hands have started to hurt. I’ve heard of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, and some people have to wear wrist braces, so at least it isn’t that bad!

There’s something about checking nearly all the things off the list (hopital tour, childbirth class, etc) that makes me so (impatiently) ready for him to be here. 7ish weeks isn’t that long but it’s certainly not close either.