Welcome to the World, Charlotte Frances!!

Brian and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Charlotte Frances King, into the world on Friday, January 6 at 6:31 p.m. We are head over heels in love with this precious miracle, and have spent the last twelve days wading through the waters of being brand new parents while being in absolute awe at this little life that we created. 

Charlotte Frances King
7 pounds, 9 ounces
19 1/2 inches long

I never, ever could have fathomed how much love I would feel for my sweet baby girl - it's the most overwhelming, beautiful, all-consuming love, and I wouldn't trade it for a single thing in all of the world. Aside from battling a good dose of the baby blues, I'm recovering really well, and Brian is even more of an amazing dad than I could have pictured him being. We're so in love and feel so blessed to have this sweet baby as our daughter.

Week 38 Bumpdate

How Far Along? 38 weeks, 4 days

Musings on the Weekly Photo: The thought of "Is this my last bump picture?!" is now constantly running through my head!

Sex: A sweet baby girl, our CFK!

Maternity Clothes: I placed an order over the weekend for a few maternity pieces that look comfortable and transition into nursing-friendly tops, so I think that will be good for now. I want to hold off and see how I look/feel post-delivery before buying too many post-baby clothes. But someone will have to pry my beloved maternity yoga pants from my death grip... probably around the time I go back to work in April. 

Baby's the size of...: A winter melon (?)/Pomeranian/a half baking sheet of meringues! At my appointment last Thursday (12/29), my doctor estimated she is measuring around 7 pounds and may be close to 8 by delivery day, which is exciting!

Nursery: Finally, totally, completely FINISHED! I snapped photos this morning but it was still dark outside and the pictures weren't so great. I'll take more tonight and will plan to share them tomorrow! I'm just in love - it's our favorite room in the whole house and is exactly what we pictured for our girl.

Movement: Still constant. I don't know if she's getting stronger and bigger or I'm running out of room (or both!) but I am feeling EVERYTHING and am trying to soak up the last days of watching and feeling her move throughout the day.

Symptoms: Congestion - I'm over my cold but have definitely been fighting the dreaded pregnancy nasal congestion. Carpal tunnel (didn't even know this was a symptom until I told my doctor that my right fingertips were going numb and my hands were falling asleep really easily). Still struggling with the RLP, still only on my right side. Bending over is nearly acrobatic - there's lots of side-leans going on. Tired because I'm not sleeping all that well. Starting to feel light cramps on occasion, but nothing consistent/regular.

Brian: Is so excited for our baby to be here. He tells me constantly how excited he is to be a dad and that makes me fall for him all over again. He's starting to study for a big exam but has still found time to help me with all of the little last minute things that I had on my list - he's been amazing throughout this entire pregnancy.

Sleep: Bad. Real bad. My blood pressure was a little high last Thursday, so the doctor told me to try sleeping on my left side but when I do, it strains the ligaments on my right hip area. So then I rotate (literally like a roasting chicken - I have to pull my butt over by the pajama pants because it hurts too badly to just shift my hips) to my right side, and then I'm laying directly ON my sore hip. It's never-ending and so uncomfortable, to the point where I have started to dread bedtime. Even when I'm beyond exhausted, I struggle to fall and stay asleep. And that's WITHOUT the bathroom trips 2-3 times a night.

Workouts: One walk with Molly and Brian and lots of stretching/squats.

Cravings: Orange juice. Chips Ahoy cookies. Guacamole. Queso. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Egg rolls. 

Aversions/Dislikes: Raw vegetables. We had taco salads on Monday night and I had to force the lettuce and tomato down.

Annoyances: Weird mild weather - I'm ready for it to be cold and stay cold (maybe because I am ALWAYS hot).

What I Miss: Being comfortable.

Best Moment This Week: My doctor's appointment last Thursday! As of then, I was dilated 1cm and 70% effaced, at -1 station. I totally had to Google most of that when I left the office, but it was encouraging to hear that I'm making progress. And as my doctor (who is amazing, the chief of the department, and has been doing this for years) started to leave, she dropped "I'm going to guess that you go at 39 weeks - I don't see you making it to a full 40." So that was very much a "Cue the panic/excitement/how the heck do I plan for my parents to rearrange their flight and get here?!" moment.

Looking Forward To: My next appointment tomorrow! I'm really hoping that I've made more progress. Once I have my parents here, I feel like I'll be much more in an "Okay, it's go time" frame of mind. Because right now that hesitation is definitely there - wanting things to hold off as much as possible so they have plenty of time. My last date night with Brian. And my "me time" that I've scheduled - a haircut and root touch-up, wax, mani/pedi... I figure it will be a little while before I have endless pampering time, so I might  as well make the most of it now!

Week 37 Bumpdate

(I'm actually 38+ weeks at this point, but forgot to post my 37 week update last week - can't fall off the wagon this late in the game!) 

How Far Along? 37 weeks on Christmas Eve!

Musings on the Weekly Photo: I really just can't believe that this time next year, I'll be holding our baby girl in front of the Christmas tree! Makes all of the aches, pains and complaints so beyond worth it.

Sex: Girl

Maternity Clothes: All day, every day. I'm loving the shirt I'm wearing in the photo - my mom sent it to me as part of my birthday gift, and it's been in constant rotation. I figure if I can't drink champagne at the holidays, I might as well wear a shirt that looks like it has champagne bubbles on it.

Baby's the size of...: A striped skunk, a head of romaine lettuce... basically, large and in charge. She's measuring in around 6 pounds, 19 inches.

Nursery: We have a couple of things to hang on the wall and find a closet organization solution and then we're actually finally TOTALLY finished.

Movement: All the time. CFK has been super active throughout my entire pregnancy, but I'm really feeling the movement a lot more. Maybe because she's running out of space?

Symptoms: I've had the worst cold and let me tell you - coughing fits while 9 months pregnant are NOT fun. Luckily, my doctor told me that I'm welcome to take cold meds (which I had been avoiding because I didn't think they were allowed), so that's offering some relief. I'm just glad that the cold is falling over these long holiday weekends, and not the middle of the work week. Aside from that, still struggling with RLP, heartburn has gotten worse, I'm definitely waddling around... to say I'm over the symptoms would be an understatement! 

Brian: Is handling me well. I think he's starting to realize how miserable I'm feeling (maybe it's the middle of the night tears that did that?) and offers to do whatever he can to help. Unfortunately at this stage in the game, there's not a whole heck of a lot that either of us can do, but it's comforting just to have him there. He's also too cute about being so excited for baby to be here - it makes me look forward to seeing him and our daughter together that much more!

Sleep: Getting worse every night. It's hard to get comfortable and once I do get comfortable, I have to pee, so it's a whole routine start-over of trying to get out of bed, to the bathroom, back into bed, repositioned... I'm definitely winded by the time I do finally settle down. I'm telling you - I've never felt more attractive.

Workouts: Just my squats and lots of stretching. It seems to help the RLP and makes me feel like I'm doing a little bit of something, which... is better than nothing?

Cravings: Buffalo chicken pizza. Cheesecake. Everything bagels with cream cheese. I can't really taste much of anything right now, so there aren't many things that sound good.

Aversions/Dislikes: Can't deal with raw meat, and raw vegetables are not tolerated right now.

Annoyances: This cold and whoever gave it to me.

What I Miss: My waist? All of my shoes. My cheekbones. Wine.

Best Moment This Week: My doctor's appointment! I was a 1/2 cm dilated, which I know isn't much but was still progress! 

Looking Forward To: My check-up next week. Taking Christmas down and getting the house in final prep mode for baby. My parents getting into town. Having one last "We're not parents yet!" date with Brian.

Week 36 Bumpdate

How Far Along? 36 weeks, 5 days (after this week, it's a shocker that I even made it to writing an update...)

Musings on the Weekly Photo: I was holding out for a nicer picture, but I honestly feel like the way I look in this pic totally captures how I'm feeling. I could not possibly feel less attractive and LARGE at this point. Everything feels puffy and swollen, I'm wearing the same outfits on repeat, and I slept all of 4 hours last night... are we there yet? 

Sex: Girl

Maternity Clothes: I've really hit that point where I hate all of my maternity clothes. I also don't care what kind of colors/accessories/variety I can mix in. Give me my yoga pants and a stretchy, comfy top and whatever shoes will fit me, and I'm all set. We have a Christmas party tonight, then family get-togethers all weekend, and I think I'm just going to be rotating the same couple of outfits because... I can.

Baby's the size of...: A papaya or a Cabbage Patch doll. Interesting. As of my last appointment (last week) she's weighing in around 6lbs and feels like she's stretched across my entire stomach for length. Technically, she's around 19 inches.

Nursery: Done! I'm picking up a couple of photos that I had printed so Brian can hang those frames, and then we are officially all set with the sweet nursery. And I love it so, so much.

Movement: Still lots of movement, which is good. It's definitely tight quarters in there - we can see pretty much every little bump and tuck that she's doing, which is equally weird and amazing.

Symptoms: Swollen feet. Occasional heartburn. If I type too long during the day at work, my fingers get really tight and sore. Hard to catch a good breath (she's sitting high, right under my ribs), and I'm winded SO easy (I make myself take the stairs when I'm out and obviously have the stairs at home, but by the time I'm at the top I'm wheezing and gasping like I've been a chain-smoker for 30 years). Getting full really quickly at meals, and feeling nauseous if we eat too heavy/too late. Super irritable. Headaches. Nasal congestion. 

Round ligament pain deserves a post all on its own. It's nagged me here and there for the last several months, but mainly during or right after I'm super active. The last few days it has been EXCRUCIATINGLY painful. I was awake last night from 1-4am crying and trying to get comfortable and there's just no position that helps. It's insane - my doctor confirmed it's definitely RLP and said I can take Tylenol and use a heating pad on low, so I've been doing that but it's just... not helping. I was on Amazon Prime at 2am this morning ordering a belly support band at my doctor's suggestion, so fingers crossed that that helps to alleviate some of this pain.

I'm so grateful for this pregnancy, and feel SO lucky that I had such an easy first and second trimester... but this third trimester reality is something I wasn't expecting!

Brian: Love him for how hard he's trying to keep the peace. There have definitely been ragey moments where I lose my mind because the kitchen sink is dripping or Christmas tree needles are on the floor and my poor sweet husband will just say "Tell me what you need me to do to make the crazy stop." and I can't help but laugh... and then tell him what to do. With all of the pain I've been in the last few days, I've really needed him to help me (I'm talking even lifting my right leg up to get into bed - that's how painful the RLP is for me) and he's been there ready and willing to do whatever. I'm lucky to have him and know he'll be amazing by my side on delivery day.

Sleep: Awful, terrible, let's move on.

Workouts: I've been hurting too much to do anything and am stopping walking Molly alone with the roads and sidewalks periodically getting icy - she's too reactive on the leash for me to manage her. I was Googling what can help with this pain though and found several suggestions for stretches and yoga poses, as well as trying to walk as much as possible. So that's my new personal assignment, as painful as it may be. In my mind, staying totally still almost just makes it worse.

Cravings: Sausage balls (which I'm making for one of our get togethers this weekend). Breakfast casserole (merry Christmas morning to me!). Can't get enough Apricot LaCroix and icy lemon water. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Mac & cheese.

Aversions/Dislikes: Dealing with raw chicken. Lingering smells after we cook - I feel like I can smell them across the entire house.

Annoyances: Oh, basically everything these days. Truly.

What I Miss: A good night's sleep. A glass of wine. All of my cute winter clothes. Not breaking a sweat putting on my pants and shoes.

Best Moment This Week: A good report at the doctor yesterday. Things are looking good, heartbeat was strong, and my doctor said everything looks right on schedule!

Looking Forward To: Spending our last Christmas with Brian and Molly as our little family of three and seeing Brian's extended family for the holidays this weekend. I can't wait for my parents to get here next month, and obviously we can't wait to meet our girl!

Week 35 Bumpdate

How Far Along? 35 weeks

Musings on the Weekly Photo: My main thought is frequently "How can I possibly continue to get bigger over the next month?"

Sex: Girl!

Maternity Clothes: All day, every day. I have no idea how I'm going to re-enter the world of waistbands, buttons and zippers after swimming in the world of full panel stretchy goodness for the last several months.

Baby's the size of...: A bunch of carrots, a kid's backpack (?!), and a pineapple. Girlfriend is estimated to be around 18 inches long, and after our ultrasound on Thursday, my doctor is saying she weighs around 6 pounds. If she gains a 1/2 pound per week and I make it to my due date, I could birth an 8 pound baby. My head isn't ready to go there yet!

Nursery: We're hanging a few things on the wall this weekend and then we are DONE! I'm so excited and can't wait to share pictures! It's become my favorite room in the house, by far. I usually go in and rock for a few minutes in the mornings, just to take it all in. Brian has asked a few times "Can you believe a tiny person is going to be in this room soon?" Um, nope husband, no I cannot. 

Movement: Still my little wiggle worm! While the ultrasound tech was moving the wand around my stomach at our appointment, CFK would give super firm, swift kicks in response. I can't wait to see if her personality matches this feisty little life that I've been feeling all this time.

Symptoms: Swollen feet. Headaches. Super achey in my pelvic area - the doctor says it's still round ligament pain which is just about the most painful thing I've ever felt, like it hurts to put one foot in front of the other, and rolling over in bed is... a sight to be seen. By the time 5pm rolls around I am D-O-N-E and can't wait to get home and relax. Also definitely feeling a combination of crazy excited, slightly terrified, and anxious as the due date gets closer.

Brian: Is as cool as a cucumber, which I'm grateful for. When I freak out and have my panicky moments, he reminds me that we're not the first people to have babies, that we'll have lots of people helping us through the entire process, that it will happen when it happens and there's no reason to stress or worry otherwise because that's literally the main thing we have zero control over, and that we'll figure it out together. He's definitely aware that I've been in more pain recently, because he's quick to tell me to sit down and put my feet up, and when I mention that I'm hurting or feel something strange, he immediately asks a ton of questions about where the pain is, what kind of pain, have I felt it before. I love that man.

Sleep: Laughable. I've been waking up at least twice a night to pee, and am awake for a solid hour every morning between 3:30 and 4:30am. It's times like these when Etsy is my best friend/worst enemy and I pray that Brian's not home when my middle of the night purchases show up on our porch. I'm exhausted and fall asleep quickly and easily, but I'm so uncomfortable and it hurts to toss and turn, so I kind of just... roll back and forth and pray for morning.

Workouts: Good ol' Molly walks, and trying to keep up stretching. Also starting to up my squats when I can.

Cravings: Mango smoothies. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Clementines. Chex Mix with M&Ms. Buffalo chicken pizza. 

Aversions/Dislikes: Anything too terribly sweet.

Annoyances: Everything is on my nerves right now. Christmas tree needles on the floor. The freezing wind whipping my hair around. The fact that my hands are so, so dry despite constantly putting on hand cream. A messy house.

What I Miss: Being able to move around easily and without... winding up. A good night's sleep (I know, laughable). Putting on my socks and shoes without working up a sweat.

Best Moment This Week: Celebrating my birthday on Saturday with my sweet husband, and seeing our girl at the ultrasound on Thursday! She's come a looong way since the last ultrasound at 18 weeks in August.

Looking Forward To: Enjoying this next week as we get ready for our last Christmas as our little family of two (plus Molly). And meeting our baby girl!

Week 34 Bumpdate

How Far Along? My impulse-reply to this was "752" but the actual answer is 34 weeks, 5 days.

Musings on the Weekly Photo: 

Thank God for maternity tanks. I'm feeling quite large this week.

Sex: Judging by the insane amount of hairbands and bows that have accumulated in her nursery, Baby King is a GIRL!

Maternity Clothes: Despising them all, but it's all I'm wearing. They were all grand and exciting and COMFORTABLE when I first started wearing them, but the novelty has worn off and I'm over them. The sweater above isn't maternity but the pants and tank are. I'm rotating the same handful of outfits at work but still get irritated getting dressed in the mornings when I see all of my cute winter things that I can't wear.

Baby's the size of...: A baguette batard (ooh la la), a savoy cabbage, a basketball hoop (another one Brian couldn't wrap his head around), or a butternut squash. Girlfriend's estimated stats are 18 inches long, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 pounds. And let's be honest - Mama is feeling it!

Nursery: I am so happy to say that we're thisclose to being done! I went on a major nesting spree last week/weekend and washed, folded and put away everything that she'll wear or use in the first few months. Best (and cutest) loads of laundry I've ever seen! I tend to stress out over little details in general, and pregnancy has basically made me completely indecisive, so I've been debating for weeks over things like a mirror, a hamper, what should be hung over her crib... silly things. I bought a mirror and hamper today, ordered prints and a special something from Etsy and Minted, and decided on a little table to go next to the rocker. We're in the home stretch! The next final project is swapping the clothing rod in the closet - it's too wide to fit baby hangers, so Brian's going to replace it this weekend. I can't wait to share pictures of this sweet room, by far my favorite in the house :)

Movement: I think it's safe to say that my girl is running out of space in there because I feel EVERYTHING, all day long.

Symptoms: Lots of restless legs in the evenings, swelling in my feet and occasionally my hands (wedding rings are officially off), stuffiness/congestion really bad first thing in the morning and continuing throughout the day, pain around my ribs, headaches, pressure in my pelvis when I walk, shortness of breath... basically, the 3rd trimester is a real treat these days.

Brian: Has been great at keeping me calm when I have my anxious freak outs about All That Is To Come.

Sleep: Eh. It depends on the day. My hips are sore, so it hurts laying on my side, but obviously stomach or back positions aren't an option. It also absolutely KILLS to roll from side to side without supporting my stomach, so I basically have to hold myself, rotate to my side, and rock a bit to stand up. Witnessing this scene is very special, believe me.

Workouts: Ha, aside from a few walks with Molly, none. I'm still doing my squats and stretching my hips, but aside from that, it honestly hurts to be too active, which is depressing.

Cravings: Pomegranates - cannot get enough. Lemonade. Freshly baked cookies. Jalapeno-stuffed olives from Trader Joe's. Cheddar and Triscuits. Frozen lemonade.

Aversions/Dislikes: Raw chicken, Goldfish (had to have them a couple weeks ago, can't look at them now).

Annoyances: People with bad attitudes - they immediately make me feel ragey.  

What I Miss: Wine. It's been 33ish loooong weeks since I had a glass, and as off and moody as I've been feeling, I'd love nothing more than to relax with a glass by my Christmas tree while watching a movie.

Best Moment This Week: Getting everything decorated for Christmas and a good report at the doctor.

Looking Forward To: Celebrating my last birthday weekend with Brian, just the two of us!

Five on Friday!

Joining up for Five on Friday today - I'm really trying to motivate myself to start blogging again before baby girl arrives, so I'm in the swing of things and can use the blog as a way to track our daily life once she's here! So, with that, I present a December/Christmas-themed Five for you!

1. Deck Them Halls 
I wanted to wait until we were at least in early December before we started decorating for Christmas - Thanksgiving wore me out, prepping the nursery and baby laundry has been on my mind, and I admittedly wanted it to feel more like Christmas outside (it was warm-ish and rainy a few days this week!). Now that I've had Christmas music playing as my soundtrack all week and am sipping a hot chocolate at my desk, I am officially READY to decorate! We're going to get our tree tomorrow morning, and we'll work on decorating everything throughout the day. There's something about this being our last Christmas just the two of us (three, counting Molly) that makes me really want to just enjoy every second of the month of December that I possibly can. Goodness knows this time next year things will be different with an 11 month old baby girl!

2. Baby Girl Clothes
It has taken everything in me to not buy all of the sweet holiday outfits for CFK to wear next Christmas! Our bank account is going to be in serious trouble if Baby Gap and Janie and Jack are anything like this year (and let's face it, they always nail the holiday apparel for littles!). Not to mention holiday jammies - what's cuter than a little one in Santa jams? Nothing, I tell you! 

Full disclosure, this last one might have made its way into my shopping cart. I mean, it's perfect for Valentine's Day, yes?

3. Me Want Cookies.
Call it Christmas, call it cravings... whatever you call it, this gal is wanting COOKIES. I have a million Pins saved of various holiday cookies and (much to Brian's excitement) have decided I'm going to bake a batch this weekend. My plan is to bake a few, freeze a few (for when cravings hit - thanks Mal for that idea!), and to bring a few in to work on Monday. Lord knows if they're in my house, CFK will surely be able to tell and urge her mother to indulge... and indulge again. I'm determined to sample all of these before 12/26!

4. Yankee Swap
We were invited to a Yankee Swap party with a bunch of Brian's friends and their wives/girlfriends. It's been FOREVER since I've participated in a swap that wasn't either with family or girlfriends, and I'm at a loss as to what gift I should take! The limit is $20, and I know zero guidelines on whether or not it's a joke swap or "stuff you can actually use" swap - I tend to prefer to buy for the stuff I can use swap, personally. Any ideas? I'm so bad at this stuff!

5. Kindness at Christmas
Maybe it's being a grown-up at Christmas, or maybe it's the fact that we have a baby on the way, but I've felt more and more of a pull this year to be purposeful with acts of kindness towards others. I know that we want to raise our daughter to know kindness and how good it feels to help others, especially at this time of year when so many people and families struggle. Brian and I put together a huge donation pick-up for Big Brother, Big Sister, and I'm searching for  somewhere to volunteer for a day around my birthday. I'm making an effort to do little things that I likely forget about too often - letting someone go ahead of me in traffic, holding the door for a hurried shopper when we're out and about, paying for the person behind me when I get coffee in the mornings, making myself smile when I feel like I'm getting stressed and worked up about silly things, like waiting in line or someone cutting me off in a parking lot. 

They may seem small, but it's the little things that build up to make my heart feel really full, particularly at Christmas time when I realize how blessed I am to have a roof over my head, a loving husband, a wonderful family and extended family, our sweet Molly girl, and this sweet little baby on the way.