Big Belly Bliss

As I come into the home stretch of pregnancy, I think I can finally say I'm starting to enjoy it. At almost 30 weeks, I've grown accustomed to the kicks, rolls, hiccups, and jabs that this little one has been throwing out for several months. The heartburn isn't that bad (yet) and having to pee every 10 minutes gives me the chance to stretch my legs and walk a little. It makes me a little sad that it took me so long to finally come to terms with the sudden transition from low risk pregnancy to a high risk pregnancy.

One of my favorite parts of pregnancy is the change my body goes through. The hips widening, the curve at the small of my back becoming more defined, the basketball I seem to be smuggling under my shirt, even the new stretch marks appearing because Baby enjoys hanging out on my left side. Yes, I am that weirdo lady that doesn't mind stretch marks. Pregnancy is a time when I feel womanly and truly beautiful, especially when I'm in full bloom during the third trimester.

My most recent IG belly shot
My stomach has always been where I carried my extra weight. The spare tire, the muffin top, the pooch... I have them all when not pregnant. I don't like drawing attention to it when my uterus is unoccupied. When pregnant, the opposite is true: I no longer feel the need to suck it in, I own many striped pregnancy shirts, and prefer a belly hugging top to an empire cut. I want to get my bump painted, henna'd, and photographed. I take the pregnant woman pose: hands on the back of my hips, stomach out in all its glory.

My iPhone camera and Instagram feed is filled with bathroom selfies. When I was pregnant with E, I went into labor the night before my maternity pics were to be taken. I don't have any professionally shot maternity pics, but my husband took weekly bump pics for me (every Monday, after prenatal yoga). He hasn't been taking weekly bump pics this time around and I'm not sure if the restrictions will be lifted long enough for me to have professional photos taken, so the phone bathroom selfies may just be it. Unless I can talk Dave into helping me with a belly cast in a few weeks...

Time may change me

I was thinking about how pregnancy has changed me. Not the "I never thought I could love anything this much" or "my body will never be the same" kind of change, but smaller changes - the kind that have now become second nature, but I couldn't have imagined doing a few years ago.
  • Big spender to thrifty mama. I am a shopper. I love to shop, whether for me or someone else. I pride myself on getting a good bargain. Just today, I scored two pairs of jeans at Old Navy for $15. Now that I've had E, I have a hard time spending any money on myself. I'll gladly spend on E and D, but not as much on myself.
  • Cry baby. While pregnant, I cried at anything and everything. Those SPCA commercials with abused animals and Sarah MacLachlan songs are the worst. I still cry at the silliest things, the worst being Blue Cross/Blue Shield commercials that play Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' "Home" and those Disney World ads where little kids are told that they're going to Disney. I ugly cried while watching Kim Kardashian's wedding. I'm a little embarrassed at admitting that one.
  • Anything for a laugh. After E started smiling at things he found funny, I began to do anything and everything in my power to make him smile or laugh. Months later, that hasn't changed. Last night, I was putting robot pajamas on him after his bath and he was fussing. What did I do to calm him down? Sang Mr. Roboto (okay, just the chorus) and did the robot. Of course my husband busted me mid-robot, but I was getting giggles out of E. That's the important thing, right?
  • Reality tv. Since having E, I get really mad when I'm watching a sitcom *cough*Up All Night*cough* and I see something like a car seat up sitting in the basket part of a shopping cart. That's incredibly dangerous. I also get irritated with most depictions of natural birth, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or baby wearing on TV. Sadly they're mostly negative. I could easily go off on a tangent about how most TV shows seem to do more harm than good for such things, but that's another blog post ;-)
How has pregnancy changed you?

The End?

E and I celebrated nine months of nursing yesterday. He hasn't been exclusively breastfed since about six months. It's pretty incredible to know that I have been his source of food for the past 18 months and I was his only source of food for 15 of those 18 months. We had a very rocky start filled with weight issues (his) and supply issues (mine).  We have moved on and thankfully haven't had any major issues like that since. I hated nursing him when we started, but now it is my favorite thing to do with him.

Maybe it's the pessimist in me, but one thought has been plaguing me all weekend: are we in the twilight of our nursing relationship?

I can feel my supply dwindling. It hasn't been a huge drop. I was able to pump between 15-18 ounces a day at work and now I'm pumping 8-12. I've noticed the drop in the past few weeks. I even had to dip into my freezer stash for the first time in months last week. Of course, I've been guilty of slacking from my usual pumping schedule at work and at home. Weirdly enough, despite being engorged my breasts don't leak. I don't let down like randomly like I did a few months ago.

Things have been kind of hectic at home and at work for the past few weeks. Between traveling, my cycle, deadlines, and late nights, my pumping has taken a backseat to everything else.  Starting tomorrow I will go back to pumping at least twice a day at work and once at night before bed, no matter what.

I've been drinking a lot of Mothers Milk tea and taking fenugreek multiple times a day, hopefully that along with will help bring my supply up. I'm not ready for us to wean and I don't think E is either. He's only nine months old. My original goal was to nurse him for six months exclusively. When we had made it that far, a year didn't look so far off. Now that we're 3/4 of the way to a year, I feel like we will get there by the skin of our teeth. I'm more than happy to make it past a year, I'm willing to nurse E for as long as he wants me to.

Oh and if you see me in the next week or two and suddenly crave pancakes, it's me. Thanks to all the fenugreek I've been taking, I give off the distinctive maple syrup smell.

New format

My favorite pair of Christian Louboutins

Hi friends. I've made a few changes to the blog, most noticeably the URL and blog title. The format won't change much. I'll still be posting things I'm doing to stay who I was before having a baby, but I will also be posting more about something I'm quite passionate about: breast feeding. It has been an incredible journey from our first days trying to figure out what the heck we were doing to where we are now.

Don't worry, I still intend to keep things on the lighter side. There will be posts about makeup and shoes and girly things (oh my!), but with stories and links to articles on nursing and pumping. I have three beloved pairs of Louboutins. I'm sure you'll read about those too.

I'm interested to hear your feedback!