Saturday, June 30, 2018

Final Weeks of Pregnancy and Lila's Birth

"By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before."
(Edwin Elliot)

It's been over 21 months since Lila was born; even longer since my last update. After Ava was born, it took me almost 7 months to write a post ("Final Weeks of Pregnancy and Ava's Birth"), and I thought that was a long time!

Here are my previous updates on this pregnancy:
  1. Half-Baked... and It's Another Girl!
  2. Bye-Bye, 2nd Tri {PinkBlush Giveaway}
  3. Full-Term Update with Baby Girl #2
  4. Plus: Our Maternity/Family Photo Session at Liberty State Park

Now Lila is a walking, talking toddler, and just an all-around adorable daughter and little sister! And a handful -- no luck on the thought that our 2nd would be easier. Being a writer and documenter, I'm glad that I kept notes throughout pregnancy and even during labor and after delivery, otherwise I doubt I would remember much since it's been a blur. I won't even attempt to recap her more than 1.5 years, but without further ado, please see below for weeks 37, 38, and 39 of pregnancy, and Lila's birth on September 22, 2016.

Pregnancy from 8-39 weeks, and holding Lila at 40 weeks
Lila at the hospital, FOB (fresh out the belly)

37 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of romaine lettuce.
  • She is full-term, gaining about 1/2 ounce a day, and getting her first meconium ready; she's also brushing up on skills for the outside world: inhaling, exhaling, sucking, blinking, and gripping.
  • Appointment at 37w0d: Weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken. OB measured me and checked baby's heart rate (138 bpm); said Group B strep test was negative; said I needed to stay for an ultrasound because they wanted to take a growth scan since baby seemed small. I had an ultrasound with many measurements taken (heart rate of 146 bpm during ultrasound). Met with OB again, who said that baby was small at approximately 4 lbs. 15 oz. (under 5th percentile; should be average of 6 lbs. now). He said I need to go for Doppler studies with a high-risk doctor at the hospital within the next 2 days and come back for a non-stress test. If baby seems fine, just small, I'll continue to be tested/monitored twice a week; otherwise they recommend immediate delivery.
  • Appointment at hospital with high-risk doctor (37w1d): Ultrasound; said baby looked fine.
  • Appointment at 37w3d: Weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken. Non-stress test for approximately 30 minutes. OB said I would get a call to schedule induction for 39 weeks.
  • Symptoms: Congestion, insomnia, increased pressure noticeable especially when walking or moving from a still position.
Snacking on rainbow cookies at 37w2d

38 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a winter melon.
  • She is slowly shedding vernix caseosa and lanugo; her head is about the same circumference as her abdomen, and may have an inch or so of hair.
  • Appointment at 38w0d: Ultrasound to check measurements, growth, heart rate (133 bpm), intrauterine environment. Weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken. Met with OB very briefly to reconfirm final non-stress test and induction date.
  • 38w2d: Sam and I got flu shots, and Ava got hers the next day.
  • Appointment at 38w3d: Weight, blood pressure, and urine sample taken. Non-stress test for approximately 30 minutes; said baby looked good. NP checked my cervix, which was not dilated, and said baby's head was really low; gave me paperwork to bring to the hospital for induction -- scheduled to arrive at 8:30 PM, have Cervidil administered around 9:30, and Pitocin at approximately 6:00 AM.
  • 38w4d: My mother-in-law arrived. She had planned to come later but fortunately was able to change her ticket when we found out I would be induced 1 week before my due date.
  • Symptoms: Congestion, insomnia, acid reflux, pressure from baby being so low, on the verge of leg cramps.
  • Cravings: Brownies.
Pack 'n Play temporarily set-up for Lila in Ava's room (which they now share)
Ava kissing my 38w2d belly
Brownie craving fulfilled at 38w3d
Packing for the hospital at 38w6d, the day before being admitted

39 Weeks, Induction Time!
  • Baby is the size of a pumpkin.
  • Her brain is still rapidly developing; her skin has taken on a paler shade thanks to a thicker layer of fat around the blood vessels; she can now flex her limbs; and her nails might extend past her fingertips.
  • Symptoms: Episode of dizziness/light-headedness/difficulty focusing eyes/headache.

Labor and Delivery

I gave birth to Lila Yena Son on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 2:53 AM. She weighed 6 lbs. 1.5 oz. and measured 19 inches long. I had arrived at the hospital on the evening of September 20, so the whole process took a very long time. Still, this experience was like night and day compared to my experience when Ava was born. No drama in the delivery room, no repeated drops in baby's heart rate (last time, it could have been due to the fact that Ava was born with the umbilical cord around her neck), and yes, an epidural! I highly recommend one, now that I know what it's like. I also had problems during my healing after Ava was born, but this time around was much more normal. And breastfeeding -- which I was successful with for over 15 months with Ava, being determined to exclusively breastfeed even though the first few months were very difficult (for common reasons, as well as that Ava was tongue-tied) -- was so much easier. My milk does not fully come in until after 5 days or so, which is longer than most, but I knew not to stress out about it, and I never had even a clogged milk duct over the 15 months I exclusively nursed Lila.

But back to September 20-22. Disclaimer: The birth story below is long and boring. I'm sharing it since I took notes and want to preserve the memories. Read if you're interested in what it might be like to be induced, the 2nd time for me. (Read Ava's if you want more excitement.)

September 20, 2016: We got to the hospital, and waited a while before being admitted and given wrist tags. I undressed, changed into a hospital gown, and was hooked up to a fetal heart rate monitor and contraction monitor (Lila's heart rate ranged from 120s-150s). I was asked multiple questions, and then the nurse took my blood and put in an IV around 10 PM. She came back with the OB at 11:20 to talk about the induction, check for dilation (2 cm), and insert Cervidil.

September 21, 2016: Another nurse came in at 12:50 AM to have me move to the side, off of my back, and take a set of vitals. She asked if I had any cramping, to which I answered no, but afterwards I realized I might. I stayed on my left side with the finger mitt on. She returned with a technician around 12:45 to draw more blood. At 3:15, the machine started beeping and a nurse came, and she checked the machine and changed the paper. I went to the bathroom for the 2nd time after getting the IV. At 4:40, the machine started beeping again, and another nurse came to change my IV bag and check my blood pressure. Around 6:45, I had another blood draw and went to the bathroom. A little after 7:40, another nurse came to take my vitals, and explained the timeline of Cervidil and Pitocin. Sam went home around 8 AM to check-in on Ava and his mom, take a shower, and pick-up some sweets for the L&D nurses. The nurse came back at 9:17 to check if I needed anything. Just after 9:40, the next OB on call came in to let me know they would take the Cervidil out in a few hours and let me shower or wash up, as long as I wasn't too far progressed. Cramping/contractions intensified. Another nurse came in just after 10:20 and said that she would check with the doctor if I can eat or drink anything, and put a "fall risk" wristband on me. She came back at 11 to adjust my fetal heart rate and contraction monitors, and the OB took out the Cervidil, which was a little painful, and checked for dilation (3 cm, also painful). She said I could order food, shower or wash up, eat, and then they would start with doses of oral Cytotec. The nurse returned at noon to remove my monitors, disconnect my IV, and cover it with plastic. I went to the bathroom. After lunch (an egg white omelet with veggies and cheese, berry yogurt parfait, coffee, and water), I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and changed my gown. A little after 1:45 PM, another nurse came to reconnect me to the IV drip and monitors, take my vitals, and change the IV bag. She said she would check the orders for Cytotec. At 2, she gave me 1 dose of Cytotec. She came back at 2:23 and 2:54 to check on me. A nurse came in again to check on me around 3:50, and yet another nurse came at 4 to take my vitals and give me the 2nd dose of Cytotec. I went to the bathroom around 4:15. I talked to Ava on the phone at 4:30. A nurse came in a little after 5:40, saying she would give me another dose of Cytotec at 6. She returned at 6 to give me the 3rd dose, then I went to the bathroom, and the doctor stopped by to check on me. The nurse came back at 6:53 to check on me. My parents visited around 7:15. After the shift change, another nurse came at 7:50 to introduce herself, and returned at 8 to give me the 4th dose of Cytotec. She also gave me graham crackers and cranberry juice as a snack. At 8:40, I called for a nurse because my contractions were getting stronger, closer, and more painful. She came in at 8:53, took my vitals, and I went to the bathroom. She said I could try waiting until 10, when the doctor would be in to check on me. At 10:05, she asked if I wanted the epidural then, and I said yes. The OB came back at 10:15 to check for dilation (4 cm, -2 station). The anesthesiologist -- who was very experienced and skilled, and even showed Sam her techniques -- came to give me the epidural around 10:25. The nurse placed the blood pressure cuff on my right arm, which remained until delivery and went off every 15 minutes. Then she inserted a foley catheter at 10:50, and said that the OB would be in to break my water.

September 22, 2016: The OB came in around 12:05 AM to break my water. At 12:23, the nurse came to shift me from my left side to my right side, wedging a pillow underneath me, because my contractions were dipping (every 4-5 minutes apart). She returned at around 1:30 to reposition me on the left side with a peanut ball between my legs, and took my temperature. She said to call her if I felt any pressure to go to the bathroom. I called for a nurse around 1:55. She came to check and asked if I wanted to start pushing or if I wanted to wait about half an hour until the pressure increased. My contractions were between 2-5 minutes and I was fully dilated, at +1 station, but it would be best if I were at +2 station, so she said she would come back after 2:30 unless the urge to push became too strong before then. She changed my position to more of an upright, seated position (without the peanut ball).

I started pushing around 2:43 AM. I pushed through 3.5 contractions for just over 10 minutes. I saw Lila's head emerging in the mirror. Immediately after she was born, she was placed on me for skin-to-skin contact. The placenta came out at 2:57. Lila had her umbilical cord cut, her weight checked, and her vitals checked. Like Ava, she scored 9/10, 9/10 Apgars.

The nurse had another delivery, and there was a delay in the nursery coming to get Lila to do additional checks on her, so Lila stayed in the L&D room with us for a while, starting to breastfeed, and had her vitals checked again. My epidural was removed at 4:55. I had my vitals checked and uterus massaged. A catheter was inserted at 5 to empty my bladder to make room for my uterus to shift. I changed my ice pack, pads, and mesh underwear. The nursery came to take Lila and Sam at 5:20. I was wheeled to the postpartum recovery room, and had my blood pressure taken by a technician while a nurse checked my uterus and bleeding, and reviewed paperwork and other information. It was 6 AM by the time we were all done and ready to rest, but I ate a fig bar and drank some pineapple juice. And believe it or not, I have many more notes on my hospital stay all the way until I was discharged a couple of days later, but I'll spare those details and wrap this up with some photos.

Spending quality time with my baby kangaroo
Babies always look so bruised up after birth. They go through a lot too!
She cleaned up nicely
Getting ready to go home
Nursing Lila in my hospital room before we left

Going Home

I was discharged from the hospital on Saturday, 2 days after Lila was born. Sam and I drove our new baby girl home, where 22-month-old Ava was waiting with my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law stayed for several weeks, helping us a great deal. We didn't have to worry about meals that entire time, which as a new mom is one of the best gifts you can receive. It allowed me to focus all of my energy and attention on Lila, and also on Ava and my recovery.

Baby's 1st car ride
Welcome home, baby girl!
Daddy, big sister & new baby sister

Having a toddler and a newborn -- who are now 2 very active and demanding little girls -- has been exhausting always, crazy often, and wonderful overall. The nights and days... and weeks and months... feel like an eternity sometimes, but that little baby is now 3 months away from turning 2 years old, and her big sister is less than 5 months away from turning 4!

That's my very lengthy but long-overdue account of the end of my pregnancy with Lila and her birth. So much has happened since then -- and I haven't even touched on any details of her infancy or toddler life or milestones -- but if you follow me on Instagram I post about Lila and Ava there quite often. I'm not sure when it will happen but I have plans to revamp my blog in the future, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, we're moving in a couple of weeks and I am not ready!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Our Maternity/Family Photo Session at Liberty State Park

"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat."
(Laura Ingalls Wilder)

A few weeks ago, we did a maternity/family photo shoot overlooking the NYC skyline at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ with Nelson Lee Photography. It was originally scheduled to take place 2 weeks earlier, but the weather was stormy and hard to predict, and we couldn't be sure that it wasn't going to be a total wash-out so our photographer wanted to reschedule. The day we all met at Liberty State Park, it looked cloudy and ominous in various areas nearby, but the clouds ended up adding dimension to the photos; and even though it was a very hot and sticky August afternoon, it was also very windy since we were right by the water, and that cooled us down a bit (even if it completely messed up my hair).

We each wore 2 outfits. I wore: 1) a short-sleeve black lace PinkBlush Maternity dress with a brown braided leather bow belt, which I believe I purchased at Anthropologie a few years back, and 2) a pale pink striped lace neckline top from PinkBlush Maternity with Jessica Simpson for Motherhood Maternity jeans; along with different shoes and jewelry. Ava wore: 1) a Pale Cloud studded silk tank top with a tutu skirt and headband from Target, and 2) a pale pink crochet-top chiffon dress from Victoria Kids with one of her many headbands; along with nude and pink fringe moccasins from Monkey Feet. To coordinate, Sam wore a dressier outfit and then changed into a more casual one.

I had also brought along the ivory lace maternity gown I wore when I was pregnant with Ava 2 years ago, with a different floral maternity sash, but after our shoot got underway I didn't feel like changing outfits again, plus I wasn't comfortable with so many people around. (For previous pictures, please see "Our Maternity Photo Session at Heritage Park.")

Even though this isn't my 1st pregnancy, I still feel that each pregnancy should be celebrated, and I would definitely recommend having professional photos taken to commemorate such an important and life-changing time. It was so much more challenging having Ava there this time around -- since she's such a spirited little girl that cannot be tamed! -- but the photo session was also a way to capture precious family moments with her before her life officially changes forever.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Full-Term Update with Baby Girl #2

"Don't count the days. Make the days count."
(Muhammad Ali)

I'm already 37 weeks plus a couple days pregnant now, which means that baby girl is full-term and may come at any time now. There have been some recent concerns about her growth, but we're trusting in God's plan and timing. As prepared as we would like to be, whatever needs to happen and when, we'll just have to make it work! (Here is my previous post from this point during my pregnancy with Ava: "Full-Term Update, Plus Great Things About Being Due in November.")

27 Weeks, 3rd Trimester
  • Baby is the size of a head of lettuce.
  • Lungs are going through major developments, which (combined with the opening of previously plugged nostrils) means she's now able to practice inhaling and exhaling.
  • Started drinking raspberry leaf pregnancy tea.
  • Symptoms: Nighttime congestion returned this week; also started feeling sharp pains (like a pulled muscle or bruised rib) when overeating, probably due to less space.
  • Cravings: Not many specific cravings, but felt very hungry all day even though I'm eating a lot.

27w3d baby bump with Starbucks secret purple drink
27w6d with Ava on the 4th of July

28 Weeks
  • Appointment on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 (28w0d): Drank glucola beverage shortly before 9 AM, got to OB office by 9:30 AM, had blood drawn by 10 AM. Weight, blood pressure, urine sample taken. NP measured me and checked baby's heart rate (155 bpm); told me to return in 4 weeks, which will be my last monthly visit.
  • 3D ultrasound on Saturday, July 9, 2016 (28w4d): Based on measurements, baby weighs around 2 lbs. 8 oz.; heart rate of 143 bpm.
  • Received phone call on Monday, July 11, 2016 (28w6d; missed initial call on Thursday) saying that I failed the 1-hour glucose tolerance test and had to take the 3-hour test.
  • Baby is the size of an eggplant.
  • Is breathing and showing brain activity, lungs are maturing, and skin is still pretty wrinkly (from living in amniotic fluid) but will smoothen as fat continues to deposit.
  • Symptoms: Congestion.
  • Cravings: Chocolate (hot cocoa, ice cream, croissants).

1-hour glucose tolerance test at 28w0d
3D ultrasound at 28w4d (looks like her daddy!)

29 Weeks
  • Appointment on Wednesday, July 13, 2016 (29w1d): Went in at 7:45 AM, had 1st blood draw at 7:50 AM; drank glucola beverage around 7:55 AM; 2nd blood draw at 8:55 AM; 3rd blood draw at 9:55 AM; 4th blood draw at 10:55 AM.
  • Received call the next day saying that my results were normal.
  • Started using pregnancy wedge pillow at night.
  • Baby is the size of an acorn squash.
  • Her energy is surging, thanks to white fat depositing beneath the skin, and she's growing fast (weight will triple before birth).

3-hour glucose tolerance test at 29w1d
Squeezing into a non-maternity dress at 29w4d

30 Weeks, 3/4 of the way there
  • Baby is the size of a zucchini.
  • She is moving a lot and plumping up; skin is smoothing out; increased surface area of grooves and indentations in her brain making more room for essential brain tissue; her grip is strong enough to grasp a finger.
  • Symptoms: Nighttime congestion started up again after being almost congestion-free for June and half of July.

Cucumber (or zucchini) baby bump at 30w2d

31 Weeks
  • Video clip of movement at 31w1d.
  • Baby is the size of a bunch of asparagus.
  • Going through major brain and nerve development; eye development, as irises now react to light; and all 5 senses are in working order.
  • Symptoms: Congestion, back aches at night, baby dropping and causing more pressure, feeling stronger movements and kicks on right side.

Polka dots with my mini-me at 31w6d (on my birthday)

32 Weeks
  • Appointment on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 (32w0d): Weight, blood pressure, urine sample taken. OB (male) measured me and checked baby's heart rate (144 bpm); said she was head-down; estimated that she will weigh 6.5-7 lbs. at birth.
  • Baby is the size of a squash.
  • She's getting ready to emerge, and has even less space as she tries to fit in my increasingly cramped womb and prepare for her eventual descent.
  • Symptoms: Congestion, feeling kicks much stronger and closer to surface, on the verge of leg cramps.

Looking large at 32w4d!

33 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a bunch of celery.
  • She may grow up to a full inch this week alone, and is going through more major brain development; soon, she'll be able to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing; her bones are hardening, and she has started to keep her eyes open when awake.
  • Symptoms: Congestion; a lot of baby movement; feeling overheated at night; on the verge of leg cramps; nose bleeds; itchiness of skin around left hip.
  • My sister and a few close girlfriends celebrated with a lovely baby sprinkle at Bosie Tea Parlor in NYC.

Afternoon tea baby sprinkle at 33w4d
(Image: Leslie Y.)
Invitation, favors, and thank you card

34 Weeks
  • Appointment on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 (34w0d): Weight, blood pressure, urine sample taken. OB (male) checked baby's heart rate (155 bpm); said she was head-down; estimated that she will weigh a little more than Ava did at birth. Next appointment in 2 weeks, which will be my last biweekly visit.
  • Maternity photo session at 34w4d in Liberty State Park: I'll do a separate post with more photos.
  • Baby is the size of a butternut squash.
  • She can recognize and react to simple songs, and may find them soothing after birth; also urinates about 1 pint per day.
  • Symptoms: Episode of dizziness/light-headedness/difficulty focusing eyes; increased lower body pressure and discomfort; overheating at night; congestion; acid reflux.
  • Cravings: Fall flavors (like pumpkin), Thai food.

Maternity/family photo shoot outfits for me and Ava

35 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a pineapple.
  • She won't get much longer, but will put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth; her hearing is totally developed, and she responds best to high-pitched noises.
  • Video clip of movement at 35w5d.
  • Symptoms: Congestion; cold/allergy symptoms; insomnia; overheating; on verge of leg cramp (right calf); abdominal tightness; acid reflux.

35w5d before dinner for my niece's 4th birthday
Video of movement at 35w5d

36 Weeks
  • Appointment on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 (36w0d): Weight, blood pressure, urine sample taken. NP measured me and checked baby's heart rate (150 bpm); took Group B strep culture; had blood drawn for hemoglobin.
  • Baby is the size of a papaya.
  • Her skin is getting smooth and soft, gums are rigid, liver and kidneys are in working order, and circulation and immune system are good to go, and she's getting closer to being able to breathe on her own.
  • Symptoms: Congestion, insomnia, acid reflux, leg cramp (left shin area).

Our last pool day of the summer at 36w0d
Ava's smile gets bigger and bigger :D
Trying the new chile mocha drink on Labor Day at 36w6d

I can't believe we're almost at the end of this part of the journey! I need to have the new car seat installed, pack my hospital bag, organize some baby clothes, clean and de-clutter the apartment... The list goes on and on. So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bye-Bye, 2nd Tri {PinkBlush Giveaway}

"Life is short. Wear your party pants!"
(Loretta Laroche)

Or your pretty PinkBlush lace and pleated chiffon maxi dress! Learn more and enter my giveaway of $75 to PinkBlush -- maternity and non-maternity apparel, including plus sizes -- at the end of this post. (You'll also see 2 other PinkBlush maternity pieces, which were part of a purchase I made right after I found out I was pregnant, in other photos below.)

Looking back on "2nd Half of 2nd Trimester in My Build-A-Baby Workshop" from my pregnancy with Ava in 2014, I can see many differences between that pregnancy and this current one. For starters, we're back on the east coast. Life is not quite the same now, with a highly spirited 19-month-old toddler I have to keep alive. There are no prenatal yoga classes or massages happening, I haven't purchased anything for the new baby girl yet, and we aren't planning any type of mini babymoon. But all is good. As of today, I'm starting my 3rd trimester already, and everything is moving along so quickly.

And we're sharing her name! Lila Yena Son. With our firstborn, I chose the first name (Ava) and Sam chose the middle name (Yejin), and with our soon-to-be secondborn, Sam chose the first name (Lila) and I chose the middle name (Yena). If we were having a boy, we planned to name him Joel.

I like the name Lila for similar reasons that I like the name Ava. It's short and sweet, simple yet feminine, and works well for an adorable baby girl as well as a mature woman. Its origins are debated, but according to various sources, can mean "beauty" in Sanskrit, "dark-haired" in Arabic, "night," "playful or amusing," or refer to the lilac flower or the color lilac.

Yena is her Korean name. As in Yejin, ye refers to Jesus and also to "art" or "talent and ability," and na can mean "elegant, graceful, delicate."

21 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of an endive.
  • As digestive system preps for the outside world, baby is manufacturing meconium; baby girl's womb is already stocked up with a lifetime supply of 6 million eggs (will drop to around 1 million by birth).
  • We traveled to Michigan for the weekend to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday and see other relatives. I also felt like I expanded a lot this week, and began to feel more movement.
  • Symptoms: Became more uncomfortable lying down at night; back pain.

In Michigan with Ava and the gorgeous peonies at 21w4d
At church in Michigan at 21w5d {PinkBlush sweater}

22 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a coconut.
  • Is sleeping in cycles, about 12-14 hours a day; has more developed eyes and lips, looking even more like a newborn.
  • I started to feel kicks/punches, and my congestion started to improve greatly after we returned from Michigan.

Photo booth at Sam's residency event at 22w4d 
Outside the American Museum of Natural History at 22w6d {PinkBlush sweater}

23 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a grapefruit.
  • Face is fully formed; forming nipples; listening to our voices, my heartbeat, and loud outside noises.
  • Sam was able to feel kicks externally.
  • Symptoms: Leg cramp (left calf), vivid dreams, aching back when sleeping.

Picking strawberries at 23w4d

24 Weeks, V-Day
  • Appointment on June 7, 2016 (24w0d): Weight, blood pressure, urine sample taken. NP measured me and checked baby's heart rate (163 bpm); gave me bottle of lemon-lime drink to take before next appointment, when blood test will check for glucose, hemoglobin, and HIV.
  • Baby is the size of a cantaloupe.
  • Is almost a foot long; skin is becoming more opaque, and has a new pink glow from the small capillaries that have recently formed.
  • Symptoms: Increased back discomfort at night.
  • This week, I went to see BeyoncĂ© in concert, and also took a day trip to Philadelphia with Sam and Ava.

24w3d at Rutgers Gardens (Ava's hand down my shirt)
Rocky Balboa statue in Philly at 24w6d

25 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a cauliflower.
  • Sense of equilibrium is kicking in, and she knows which way is up and which is down; also growing more fat and more hair.
  • Able to see movement outside of belly.
  • Symptoms: Leg cramp (right calf), much more frequent trips to the bathroom.
  • Cravings: Brownies, honey mustard and onion pretzels, cookie dough.

Hope Hill Lavender Farm at 25w3d (my paleness!)

26 Weeks, 2/3 of the way there
  • Baby is the size of a bunch of kale.
  • Her eyes will soon start to open, and her eyelashes are now grown too; she's getting her immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up my antibodies; and she's taking breaths of amniotic fluid.
  • Photos from the last day of my 2nd trimester are below, followed by information on the PinkBlush giveaway! (Please excuse the fact that I obviously only know 1 pregnant lady pose, which is the requisite hands-on-belly position.)

PinkBlush Giveaway Details and Rules

To celebrate this milestone of reaching the 3rd trimester, I'm giving away a $75 gift card to PinkBlush -- and you don't have to be pregnant to enter, because PinkBlush has affordable maternity and non-maternity women's fashions in all sizes! I discovered PinkBlush on Instagram several months ago, and as mentioned at the beginning of this post, I ordered a whole bunch of tops and dresses from them when I first found out I was pregnant.

2 ways to enter:
  1. Comment on this blog post below -- or --
  2. Visit my Instagram and follow @redpoppypinkpeony -- since changed to @simplysharonson -- like the posted photo, and leave any comment, or tag a friend for an extra entry.

Bonus entry if you enter on both the blog and Instagram. That's all!

The giveaway is open for the next 7 days, until the end of next Tuesday. The winner will be contacted by Wednesday morning. Please note: If you have won a PinkBlush giveaway within the last 3 months, you will not be eligible. Good luck!