Weekly Findings

mom

As I write this post, I am about 4 days past my due date.  I can’t even begin to express the frustration that is building up inside of me but let’s just say it feels like a baby girl that is getting bigger by the week and I need her to come out of me right now.  Not to be too much TMI but I’ve been feeling a lot of cramping and I’m hoping our baby girl will join us on the outside soon especially because tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  I’m super bummed to be skipping out on this day because our daughter isn’t here yet!  Oh well.  To all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!

1. The Most Popular Baby Names of 2015:  The social security administration just released the list for the top baby names of 2015 with Emma at number one for the ladies and Noah at number one for the gentlemen.  We’re still keeping ours a secret but it definitely wasn’t in the Top 10!

2. Morning Routines for Busy Women:  I came across this list this very morning and I found it inspiring.  Though at the moment, my morning routine consists of absolutely nothing, just a lot of waiting, I’ve always been the kind of person that craves routine because it makes me feel more organized and less stressed.  I can definitely say that I’m a morning person and I can’t wait to get back into something semi-consistent.

3. This SMOOTHIE: So I guess this list is mostly about mom stuff but I was so excited to stumble upon this recipe for a post-partum peanut butter and jelly smoothie.  It’s funny how over prepared you can be for pregnancy and birth but forget about the “after” part.  This cookbook from Heng Ou is brilliant on ways to nourish a new mother.  Don’t forget about YOU.

4. 8 Fun Ideas For A Girl’s Night In:  Kate Spade is definitely my vice when it comes to anything “fashion”.  Everything just always looks so put together and bright and happy.  They’re making pajamas now and released this super cute list of ideas for a girl’s night in.  Not to be cheesy but this is the kind of thing I sometimes can’t wait to share with our baby girl.

5. Mother’s Day Brunch:  I didn’t ask for anything this mother’s day because I’m still very much pregnant and also because I just hate asking for things.  Can’t people just read my mind and know what I want already?  Here’s a hint: it’s brunch.  I love breakfast, like a good full-on breakfast with all the fixings, and maybe a mimosa or sangria. And I love this little menu of a good mother’s day breakfast.  Everything looks fresh, healthy and delicious!  But also, like, french toast works too.

 

*Picture source.

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Third Trimester

39 WEEKS!

So here we go guys: the home stretch.  I wish at this point I could have been an expert at this whole pregnancy thing but, one of the most important things I’ve learned throughout my ENTIRE pregnancy is, every pregnancy is different.  Even now at 39 weeks (40 weeks TOMORROW) I’m still trying to figure out which feelings are normal and which aren’t.  I can tell you what I experienced this trimester.

First of all, let’s talk about my moods.  For some reason, I assumed my moody  phase was over after the second trimester ended but as it turns out, it definitely wasn’t.  While I contribute a lot of these feelings to anxiety and wanting to give birth and have it over and done with, I have definitely been crankier lately as frustration sets in over my large belly.  I have also realized that I have little patience with people that don’t understand what a burden it is to be this pregnant.  The people staring at my giant stomach on a train, the man in the coffee shop shoving me because he thought there was a giant gap between me and the person in front of me, all of those things are just a little too much to bear at this point when all I want to do is just live, an inconspicuous girl just trying to figure things out.

Speaking of moods, I can say that once I hit the 36th week, fear immediately set it.  Like can I do this?  Can I birth an actual human out of my lady garden? How much is it going to hurt?  What if I have to have a C-Section? I’m only 5 feet tall and I don’t have childbearing hips! The thoughts so overwhelming that during the middle of a conversation with Lukasz about hospital preparation, I started to cry. Well, I don’t know about everyone else but I can say now that at almost 40 weeks, I kind of just want it to happen to get it over and done with.  It’s all inevitable so if I could just go into labor right now, I would really love it so I can move on.

Otherwise, here’s my advice for the third trimester.  Your hips are going to hurt so bad.  So far, I have figured that I can’t lay on my stomach because the baby is there.  I can’t lay on my back because it cuts off oxygen to both, me and the baby, and now I can’t lay on my sides because my hips will hurt on either side from all the pressure.  I also begin to pinch some nerves from laying on my side so my whole leg goes cold and then numb.  You know, just basic fun pregnancy stuff. I do find, however, that it helps to stick a giant pillow between your legs.  Just use all the pillows to prop yourself up.  Like all of them.  I even have throw pillows sticking out from under me.

Also, as far as what to wear goes, I do have to say I have been so lucky.  I haven’t had any swelling, except the occasional light hand stuff if I eat too much salt of spend too much sedentary time outdoors on a hot day but feet-wise, I’ve been good and still fitting into my size 5.5 shoes which I’m forever thankful for.  My maternity pants have begun to get a little too snug but I’m still making it work but basically what I’m trying to say is that being at the end of the third trimester during the middle of spring has really been a blessing in disguise.  I have squeezed myself into some dresses so I don’t even have to worry about pants and leggings have been everything to me. (I still recommend the ones from Old Navy).  As you can see from the picture above, I’m literally a basketball with arms and legs.

Finally, for my last piece of advice/complaint:  Have your hospital bag packed or else your partner will remind you every second he gets.  This was kind of fun, I mean it’s almost like you’re going away on a trip except you’re going to a hospital to push out a human being. For my hospital bag, I’m using the baby bag that I received as a gift from my parents: the Skip Hop Duo Signature Diaper Bag in the Hearts pattern.  I’m in love with it and eager to start using it right away because everything about it is adorable.  You can look up a few lists online of what to bring to the hospital but most of them are overwhelming.  I’m trying my best to keep it simple and stick to the necessities.  I also checked my hospital’s website which was nice, simple and it also gave me a list of what they will provide for me so I didn’t have to pack unnecessary goodies.  My mains are a going-home outfit for me and baby, an iPad, chapstick and lotion because hospitals are dry and breathing during labor gets intense, toiletries and socks or sandals to walk in while at the hospital. I’m open to any other necessary suggestions.  I’m a newbie so advice is always welcome.

Tomorrow, guys. 40 WEEKS TOMORROW.

xo,

Karen

A New York Shower

  
When I started my pregnancy to-do list, I knew I would have to have a baby shower on each coast.  West Coast with my actual family and a few friends and East Coast with the people I like to refer to as my “extended family”.  It’s no secret that they’re the people I spend a majority of my time with and they have definitely become a support system of sorts here in New York City where I have no actual family.   
I had been joking to my mother for a while that I would probably have my NY shower in a bar (ok, half joking) but, alas, I didn’t.  Instead, my best friend Tatiana planned the most adorable shower on her rooftop in Bushwick.   We had plenty of mimosas and beers to keep the guests happy and ordered doughnuts from Dough.  Our friend, Henry, also brought warm pork buns that were soooo amazing!

 
The big stars of the party were the pups! We brought along Pierrot and Tatiana had her French bulldog Lincoln at the party and everyone was in love! It was also interesting to see the difference in their personalities.  Our dog, Pierrot, is 2 years old and has a calm demeanor with a stoic serious face while Lincoln, 5 MONTHS old, is cute and tiny and a little ball of energy!   
Our main concern was, of course, the weather.  When you think April in New York, you can either get crazy showers OR beautiful blue skies with blossoms everywhere.  Luckily, we had the latter, with the bright sun shining on that rooftop until the last guest went home. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.  
I was super grateful for everyone that showed up.  Having been home on maternity leave day after day, it was really nice to have these interactions with the people I’ve grown to know and love over the last year and a half.  It’s so nice to be able to have these memories.

Xo,

Karen

  
I’ve been meaning to do a Baby Registry post since I finished building our registry in January.  I put so much thought into it and I am definitely not a pro.  After all, I’ve never been a mother before (except to the many dogs I’ve owned) so this is all based on hours I’ve spent pouring over reviews and blogs posts of other women I’ve loved or admired who seemed like they knew what they were doing.  Living in New York, one of the most important things that Łukasz and I had to take into consideration was definitely space.  We couldn’t just waste money or time putting things on our registry that we didn’t really need so we were pretty meticulous about what we chose.

New York City is, of course a commuting city so the first big item we had to have was definitely a stroller.  We had to figure out a way to get from point A to point B without taking a very expensive cab everywhere.  While the subway isn’t always the most fun way to travel, at least we can rest assured the baby will be comfortable in the adorable Bugaboo Bee.  The Bugaboo Bee, from my research, is geared for kids ages newborn and up and it folds super compact.  To me, that all screams versatility which was exactly what I needed from a stroller. 

Up next was definitely a crib.  I will have to say that Łukasz wasn’t readily on board with this crib when I brought up the idea but I, on the other hand, needed no convincing.  The Babyletto Origami crib is absolutely perfect for a New York apartment.  It is compact, has wheels in case you need to move it, and is a great replacement if you don’t have room for a crib AND a bassinet.  After finally setting the crib up on our apartment, Łukasz was also convinced we had made the right choice.  According to most reviews, the Babyletto Origami is perfect until kids reach around two, when we plan to move our baby girl to a toddler bed.  Couldn’t be more perfect.

One of the things I love most about our apartment is our spacious kitchen where I know baby girl and I will spend a lot of time together.  The Ikea high chair came at the recommendation of Lukasz’s sister who said it was easy to clean and, for me, the simple design didn’t hurt either.  Easy to clean, simple and at the price tag of $20? It doesn’t take much to convince me.

The last three things are small but absolutely necessary. Onesies, books, and diapers.  The one constant thing I’ve been told is that 1) babies poop a lot and 2) they get all the clothes dirty and while my ultimate wish is to someday live in a place with a washer and dryer, for now, I’ll just stock up on all of the onesies and diapers that I can.  Is is a baby registry must-have? To me it definitely is.  And of course books.  Because, yeah, we’re those parents who say that baby will never pick up an iPad until she is at least around 4 or so years old.  Maybe someday we’ll give in but for now, I’m staying strong! I’ve added plenty of awesome children’s books to my registry to keep baby happy and entertained.

Of course, I am not a pro and I am just trying my best to figure this all out so if you have any ideas for items to swap or items to add, I’m so sooooo open to suggestions!

Xo,

Karen

Questions and Concerns

32 Weeks

With baby’s due date vastly approaching,  I think I take back what I said about the first trimester being the most difficult.  This third trimester has completely kicked my ass and I still have about 2 months left.  For the most part I’ve tried to remain positive but I can’t help write about the things on my mind these past few weeks.

  1.  I just can’t breathe anymore:  One morning I woke up and I realized that no matter which position I lay in, I just wouldn’t be able to breathe anymore.  I don’t know about you guys but breathing is usually one of my top priorities.  No matter how I lay, or even how I sit, the baby can move and suddenly I’m gasping for air.  I probably sound really naive saying this but I just never knew this was a thing in pregnancy.  I’d rather have the baby crack my rib than take up so much space that my lungs can’t expand anymore.  Or maybe not, I don’t know.  I’m not being logical, I’m pregnant.
  2. I guess I waddle??:  So many of my of my acquaintances have said I have this seemingly “adorable” pregnancy waddle.  Yes, I’ve basically turned into a penguin and everyone does remind me at any chance they get.  Cheers.
  3. Fear mixed with Excitement:  So the closer it gets, the more I wonder what this birthing experience is going to be like.  I’ve read books, I’ve watched videos and I’ve questioned every mother that has ever had a baby slip out of her lady parts.  It’s fascinating to me how this experience is so different and unique to every woman with each of their children.  I’ve had women tell me that it was horrifying (ripping, tearing, episiotomy, basically a horror movie) and I’ve had women tell me that the epidural was so wonderful, they slept up until it was time to push.  This is all such new and unexplored territory to me and I just don’t even like surprises!  I wish I knew what was going to happen.  It’s driving me crazy!
  4. That Nesting Phase Though:  I once woke up with this feeling that our apartment needed to be clean right this minute.  It was so overwhelming that I cried about it for a little while and then I called out of work and I cleaned.  And everything felt better again.  I know people think it’s cute that women go through this when they’re pregnant but for me, it’s more like rip-my-hair-out anxiety.
  5. This BELLY:  I’m basically a woman that needs to be rolled off the couch now.  But I would like to shout out Lukasz who consistently makes me feel pretty, day in and day out, and who does so much to quell my fears about all of the above.  That’s all I can say before I start crying (freakin’ HORMONES).

xo,

Karen

Second Trimester

  

About a month ago,  I officially finished my second trimester and I’d have to agree with everyone out there when I say it was probably the easiest part of pregnancy.  There were times in the beginning where I was still not convinced there was anything in my stomach and during my second trimester, it all became so real as I watched my stomach grow and I started to feel our daughters first kicks in my belly.  It felt like little butterflies that have now turned into full on punches to all of my organs.

All in all though, the second trimester is the easiest because I felt like there wasn’t much happening most of the time.  I slowed down my coffee intake because I found that, with all the hormones, it definitely made me more anxious and emotional than I normally am.  I also took the time to finish my baby registry on babylistregistry.com.  It seems fun to start a registry but it’s also extremely stressful, especially when there a million baby products out there and you don’t know where to begin.  I’m definitely going to write a future blog post about my registry must haves. 

It was also interesting to see Łukasz feel the baby’s kicks for the first time as well.  I can imagine that it was pretty cool to actually be able to feel this little alien growing in my stomach, instead of seeing the negatives of how it was affecting me in the first trimester.  At the end, the coolest thing is seeing how real this is all becoming.  We have set up the baby crib and space in our apartment and its overflowing with so many cute things from our trip to California.   

As far as eating habits go (probably the most common question aside from how I’m feeling) I haven’t had any particularly strange requests or food combinations.  I never craved pickles and ice cream together.  I have been eating more sweets lately and when those sweet cravings hit, I try to reach for fruit instead of candy but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy more often than not some starbursts or a bag of skittles.  I’ve never been picky about food though, I love food and I’m always down to try anything once. My eating habits have remained pretty much the same and people say I look like I’ve remained the same, I just look like I have a basketball hidden in my shirt now!  I haven’t even experienced any swelling which is AMAZING.  I’m hoping that will be very good news when the time comes to lose the baby weight. The baby appears to be gaining weight really quickly and the doctor has advised me to do some mild cardio, lest I want a 9 lb baby coming out of me.  I wish I could go running but even a few minutes of it leaves me winded.  I’m also worried that I’m shaking the baby? Is that a thing?  Are there any runners out there that ran well into their third trimester?

As I enter my third trimester,  I can definitely feel sleepiness come over me more quickly.  I hear this last part can be difficult and I’m hoping I can power through! Fingers crossed. 

Xoxo,

Karen

Tell me again how to be pregnant.

Photo taken by Lukasz
Photo taken by Lukasz

I can say with complete honesty and certainty that being pregnant is one of the most interesting experiences I’ve ever had.  Not only does my body go through so many changes but it has definitely changed the way I interact with people and the way that people interact with me.  I’m not talking hormones, I’m talking about pregnancy etiquette and the correct way that people should interact with a pregnant woman.

Belly Rubs: When I first found out I was pregnant,  the first thing I was surprised to encounter was the people lunging forward, no bars held, to touch and rub my stomach.  I, personally, never understood this disregard for personal space and now, not only is it my personal space, but also my baby. I don’t think I’m rude but I just prefer that people don’t rub my stomach unless I know you really well, and even then, I can count on one hand the amount of people that have that privilege..  Please don’t pet me.

Inappropriate Questions:  When we first announced our pregnancy, I was floored by how many people immediately asked if our baby was planned and if we were going to get married soon.  (Someone once even said “Congratulations… if it was planned.”) When did this become appropriate to ask?  These questions and the answers to them are nobody’s business but mine and my boyfriends. Period.

Inappropriate Remarks:  When the news was slowly spreading about my pregnancy, I had a coworker that was shocked and said he had no idea.  My other coworker then replied with “Yes, did you just think she was getting fat?”  And maybe every time I have a bite of food, it would be nice if people didn’t say things like “Eating for two huh?”.

Unsolicited advice:  My personal favorite.  I once wore red lipstick and a male friend of mine asked me if it was paraben-free for the baby’s sake.  Another acquaintance (read: I barely knew him) saw me eating a bag of kettle chips and suggested I snack with fruits and veggies next time.  A customer of mine reminded me to take my prenatal vitamins, folic acid and protein every day.  I want to thank everyone for the advice but, seeing as how I’m the one carrying a child in my uterus, I think I can take it from here.  And if I want chips, I’m eating the damn chips.

I knew to expect it but I didn’t realize how heavy it would all be.  I wondered for a while if maybe I’m just being cranky pants about it, but I’ve read too many articles now to understand that all women that are or have been pregnant go through this and it all just boils down to basic manners.  It’s not rude to ask if I’m excited or when my baby is due or how my pregnancy has been so far.  I truly appreciate your interest and your concern of my well-being.  In the end, I just want to have a positive environment with good energy and dialogue heading my way.  There is nothing rude about sending positive vibes.

xoxo,

Karen

What’s she going to look like?

I think one of the main things that adds to the anxiety of being pregnant is not knowing what our baby is going to look like.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe that she’s going to be part me and part Lukasz.  I find it hard to believe that we made a little human! Will she have my eyes? Or Lukasz’ eyes? Or neither??  

My parents recently sent me some baby pictures of me and it’s been fun playing the guessing game.  

    
   
That full head of hair! And of course a picture of my adorable boyfriend for good measure!   

Will she have super light blonde hair like he did as a baby? So cute! I can’t wait to meet our little girl. 🎀

First Trimester

 Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I wanted to write about this experience.  I’m definitely new to this baby world and I really didn’t know what to expect.  I managed to take a pregnancy test the earliest that I possibly could.  I had been tracking my period on an app on my phone (technology!) called Clue, which I absolutely love.  So when my period was supposed to arrive, I was already purchasing a pregnancy test.  That’s right, I got to experience every magical moment from the very beginning.

At that point, everything I knew was taught to me by characters in TV and movies and everyone seemed so happy so I figured the morning sickness wouldn’t be that bad.  Oh, but it was for me.  Now, after reading so many different articles, books, and of course, talking to my doctor, I know that I’m not the first to say that I was absolutely miserable in the first trimester.

Having morning sickness, to me, was like being hungover all the time.  I had a headache, everything gave me nausea and when it was the most crucial to eat healthy and nutritious foods, I just wanted to sit there on an empty stomach, which of course made the nausea worse.  I could definitely tell my hormones were changing because I was moody all the time.  I had to go to the bathroom every half hour which interrupted my sleep cycle and that didn’t help the grumpiness.

There were a few things that made me feel better, especially towards the end:

  1. Vitamin Water Especially the dragonfruit flavor.  I think I needed all the sugar and was pretty hydrated after being sick so much. 
  2. “Bringing Up Bébé” A book I picked up after seeing it on Mother Mag, probably my favorite motherhood site.  I highly recommend.
  3. Warheads Why does sour candy curve nausea? I don’t know, but I figured if I had to go sour, I would go all the way. I also loved eating cucumbers in lime juice. 
  4. Ginger Chews Ginger is definitely supposed to help and these were awesome.  I grabbed a handful and threw them in my purse (which basically became a snack bag).
  5. Sleep Lastly, duh, just sleep.  It’s the only thing that made me feel better.  Plus I would also fall asleep at random times.  I think most of my days off were spent sleeping. 

I found so much solace in reading blog posts of women experiencing the same thing.  There were days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, let alone go to work or clean the apartment.  Another thought that brought me comfort was thinking how it would all be worth it.  Of course, like all things, the first trimester came to an end and so did all the negative that came with it.  So far, my pregnancy has been pretty textbook.  At exactly the end of three months, I felt like myself again.