BABYMOON PART II... + BABY SHOWER #1!

For months, I've had two back-to-back things on the calendar: Babymoon, and Baby Shower #1 in North Carolina. I clearly remember putting down both and thinking, "Wow, it will be nearly baby time by the time both of these events are done." And now here we are at 33, nearly 34 weeks, and I'm only three-and-a-half weeks from full-term. 

They say that no pregnant lady says this, but I'm saying it: this pregnancy has gone by really fast. I still don't think we're that close, but it's nice to know that Baby Girl will be coming so soon. Maybe sooner than we think?! If 37 weeks is full-term, then WHOA. My due date is exactly a week after Thanksgiving, and I keep thinking it would be nice to have a Thanksgiving baby. We shall see. 

Dave and I have been talking a lot about labor and birth, trying to mentally prepare ourselves for it. The closest approximation I can make (at least on this side, having never experienced such a thing before) is that it could be a fraction like some of the more intense Crossfit WODs or runs that I've done. And for Dave, he's compared it a lot to the 50k he ran last year. The point being, you create these mental milestones to help you persevere when you think you can't continue anymore. And also, you ALWAYS tell yourself you're further behind than you think you are, so that you're pleasantly surprised to find out you're actually closer to finishing than you thought. 

So, translating that thought process for birth, it could be like telling myself that I'm probably at 3cm when I may actually be at 5 or more. Focusing on one contraction at a time, not imagining how many hours could possibly be left. But also preparing for 48 hours of labor, because I've had several friends who have approached that with their own births lately, and I don't want to go into this one thinking I'll be done in 12 hours. 

Expect the worst, hope for the best, right? I feel like that may yield the best outcome. But we'll talk about how that turns out a few weeks from now. :)

Anyhow, here are the rest of our baby moon photos, and also some photos from my time in North Carolina. For the baby moon, we went rogue and brought our "real" camera, which we hardly ever do anymore. But I'm so glad we did! 

 Leaving on the Anacortes ferry for Shaw Island. 

Leaving on the Anacortes ferry for Shaw Island. 

 The guest house and one of the barns. 

The guest house and one of the barns. 

 One of our jobs was to give some love to the new bull calf, because he's being weaned and gets lonely in the field all by himself. So we spent 20 minutes or so brushing his fur and giving him some feed. Suuuuuch a baby!!

One of our jobs was to give some love to the new bull calf, because he's being weaned and gets lonely in the field all by himself. So we spent 20 minutes or so brushing his fur and giving him some feed. Suuuuuch a baby!!

 Guest house breakfast. See that milk on the table? That came from the cows out back. RAW MILK. AMAZING. 

Guest house breakfast. See that milk on the table? That came from the cows out back. RAW MILK. AMAZING. 

 We spent a lot of time at the table nook, reading and writing and thinking. This was a really quiet, thoughtful weekend, which we both needed. 

We spent a lot of time at the table nook, reading and writing and thinking. This was a really quiet, thoughtful weekend, which we both needed. 

 The hay loft was so beautiful and smelled so good. 

The hay loft was so beautiful and smelled so good. 

 Dave and I have a funny way of finding the most unromantic bedding situations on our trips together. Ricky and Lucy style this time — winning.

Dave and I have a funny way of finding the most unromantic bedding situations on our trips together. Ricky and Lucy style this time — winning.

 But we did have some good naps here. 

But we did have some good naps here. 

 At the UW nature preserve on the island. Apparently, someone on the island used to raise minks, and now they're all wild and feral and spend a lot of time at the beach, probably hunting for gull eggs. 

At the UW nature preserve on the island. Apparently, someone on the island used to raise minks, and now they're all wild and feral and spend a lot of time at the beach, probably hunting for gull eggs. 

 31 weeks

31 weeks

 This guy. Scary. Glad there were a few fences between us. 

This guy. Scary. Glad there were a few fences between us. 

 Outside the guest house on our last morning. 31 weeks pregnant!

Outside the guest house on our last morning. 31 weeks pregnant!

 On our way back to the ferry, we helped the farm interns pick apples at a neighbor's house. 

On our way back to the ferry, we helped the farm interns pick apples at a neighbor's house. 

 They had rented some cider presses for the day, and the cider they were making was SO GOOD. 

They had rented some cider presses for the day, and the cider they were making was SO GOOD. 

After our time on Shaw Island with the nuns, which I wrote about in my last post, we headed to San Juan Island for the last day of our trip. Every island in the San Juans is beautiful in its own way, and I can never pick a favorite. But San Juan Island holds a special place in our hearts, because it's where Dave asked me to marry him in 2011. Every time we're back there, we go to Cattle Point and go to the exact spot on the cliffs were he proposed. This time we brought our binoculars and looked for orcas, since they often hang out just off the coast here. No luck this time, but the views are always lovely. 

 Lemon ricotta panna cotta (which was just the first course) in the morning at Wildwood Manor in Roche Harbor. 

Lemon ricotta panna cotta (which was just the first course) in the morning at Wildwood Manor in Roche Harbor. 

 Course two: chicken apple sausage and pumpkin pancakes. 

Course two: chicken apple sausage and pumpkin pancakes. 

 We spent the night before this walking around and gaping at the multi-million dollar yachts at Roche Harbor. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if Kim and Kanye had one docked here — they were that baller. 

We spent the night before this walking around and gaping at the multi-million dollar yachts at Roche Harbor. Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if Kim and Kanye had one docked here — they were that baller. 

 Dave has been reading a lot about timber framing, so he stops to admire it whenever he sees it. 

Dave has been reading a lot about timber framing, so he stops to admire it whenever he sees it. 

 Walking around Washington Park in Anacortes before heading home. 

Walking around Washington Park in Anacortes before heading home. 

Just a few days later, I took a red-eye back to North Carolina for my first baby shower, thrown by my wonderful mama and sister. Although it wasn't super comfortable to fly overnight at 32 weeks pregnant, the time spent at home was so worth it. It's really fun to seriously start welcoming this little girl into the world — she's already so loved by so many people, and it was such a blessing to be covered in that love this weekend. 

I think my favorite part of the shower was actually talking with other moms and hearing their birth stories. Becca Jacbobsen has 10 kids of her own, so she's got PLENTY of birth wisdom to share. And my dear friend Lindsay from growing up is on baby #4 (home births! yay!) and also had some great wisdom. We're also due only 6 days apart!

 My awed face over my mom's beautiful creation (see photo below)

My awed face over my mom's beautiful creation (see photo below)

 Gifts from Grandma Stalsbroten, who is a native New Englander, so Make Way for Ducklings and a matching Boston Public Gardens onesie were fitting. 

Gifts from Grandma Stalsbroten, who is a native New Englander, so Make Way for Ducklings and a matching Boston Public Gardens onesie were fitting. 

Besides throwing a beautiful, celebratory, delicious shower, my mom gave me (well, the baby) the most amazing gifts. This is a christening/dedication dress that she made with fabric and lace from my wedding dress, her wedding dress, and my mother-in-law's wedding dress. It is so beautiful, and so sentimental. I can't wait to see Baby Stals wearing it in a few months!

 I will never get tired of SnapChats from Jessie Metty, who had to save the day in the middle of a deflated balloon crisis. 

I will never get tired of SnapChats from Jessie Metty, who had to save the day in the middle of a deflated balloon crisis. 

 Also, she can chill HARD. This is how I found her on her first morning of fall break at home, and my last day in NC. She kills me. 

Also, she can chill HARD. This is how I found her on her first morning of fall break at home, and my last day in NC. She kills me. 

 My mom made this diptych — that's me in utero with Grandma, and now Baby Stals in utero with HER grandma!

My mom made this diptych — that's me in utero with Grandma, and now Baby Stals in utero with HER grandma!

 My mom's skills don't stop... She made these adorable tiny shoes. SQUEEEE! She could run an Etsy shop, no? 

My mom's skills don't stop... She made these adorable tiny shoes. SQUEEEE! She could run an Etsy shop, no? 

 Found this while going through some old stuff from childhood. These were my life goals at age 10. I love how the only thing with a check mark is learning to change the oil, which I definitely don't remember how to do. 

Found this while going through some old stuff from childhood. These were my life goals at age 10. I love how the only thing with a check mark is learning to change the oil, which I definitely don't remember how to do. 

 Mom spoiled me and baby with tons of shopping, to accommodate a growing belly, and baby that will be on the outside so soon!

Mom spoiled me and baby with tons of shopping, to accommodate a growing belly, and baby that will be on the outside so soon!

 These boots... they KILL ME. 

These boots... they KILL ME. 

 I came home with this and Dave said, "Where did you get a Hasidic Jewish hat?" Whatever.

I came home with this and Dave said, "Where did you get a Hasidic Jewish hat?" Whatever.

 Nate and Mary had me and Mom over for dinner, and then I had my Goodberry fix afterwards. 

Nate and Mary had me and Mom over for dinner, and then I had my Goodberry fix afterwards. 

I finally made it home after a hellacious time with planes and airports (long story — people in Philadelphia are mean) to be reunited with Dave and Butter. Butter had to get spayed last week, which is somewhat of a relief, as we were nervous about her getting pregnant. To all of you who have said to me, "Oh but imagine what cuuuuuute puppies she would have!" ... To you I say, "Oh imagine how sweet it would be if our messy yellow lab had a big, bloody, messy labor in our one bedroom urban apartment while we have a newborn!" Sounds super cute to me. 

Anyway, she was so sad and drugged up when I got her from the clinic on Thursday. Because my flights were so crazy getting home, I didn't get to see her before she went into surgery, so I was extra emotional to see her like that. All she wanted was to be snuggled for the rest of the day, and I happily obliged. She's totally back to herself now, except that we can't let her run or play with other dogs for another couple of days. At least the danger of more puppies is now past!

 Theme verse for me and Dave right now. Trying to keep this one front of mind. 

Theme verse for me and Dave right now. Trying to keep this one front of mind.