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!
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.
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!
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 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!