The Oregon Tale » Our Adventure Journal

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With the fullest heart, I’m happy to share that we’ve welcomed our sweet baby girl into the world … I still have some maternity photos to share, as well as her birth story. For now, I wanted to share this letter I wrote to her about 6 days before she was born. My special, special girl: I am so happy you’re here. The most perfect human to complete our family.

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Dear Maple,

I’m sitting here this morning with a dull ache in my abdomen and my hand on my belly. I’m not sure if you’re coming earthside today … tomorrow … this week? But, I know you’re nearly ready. Things are changing, and I’m getting so eager … still patient enough, but just know that we are so ready to meet you.

We’ve had a wild ride, you and I. Almost from the beginning, you made your presence known. All of the hormones that were sustaining your life went into overdrive, and I was so, so sick. And while it was hard and exhausting, part of me was grateful for the feeling that it meant you were doing ok. And, about 1/2 way through our pregnancy journey together, I started feeling you move. The best part: you never stop moving. It doesn’t matter the time of day … if I need a little reassurance that you’re ok in my belly, I just give you a little poke. You always give me a little movement as if to say you’re still doing just fine. Of course, I’ve Googled, “Can a baby move too much?” about 30 times because you almost seem more active than your sister. Is this even possible?

Even with all of this huge movement (I am convinced you’ve bruised my insides), I have a feeling you are going to be a peaceful baby. Over the last week or so, I’ve been daydreaming about you a ton. I can’t wait to see your face … your hair (for some reason, I feel like it’ll be dark). I can’t wait to see if you are chubby like your sister was, or if you look anything like her (I think you’ll look more like me). I’m so excited to hear you cry for the first time … to see your dad hold you … to introduce you to your biggest fan (your sister). She assures me she’s going to take very good care of you.

I can’t wait to share you with the world, and at the same time, I’m looking forward to our intimate little home over the next few weeks (just our little family). I’m excited to tell people your name. Your dad picked it, and I think it’s going to be so perfect … just like with Alba, I definitely feel like I know you already (like maybe I’ve known you for a really long time). A few months ago, when we were still thinking about names, I found a Robert Frost poem that struck me right in the gut – it was about a little girl named Maple. A name with so much strength … do we choose our baby’s name or does it just find a way to us? I can tell you, when I stood in the kitchen this morning (slow dancing to the Lumineers), I looked out our window to see the sun shining through the maple tree in the front yard … it reminded me of you, and it made my heart so happy. I am fairly certain that you (and your name) found your way to us just as it was all meant to.

With not much time until we meet you, I wanted to sit to reflect on my feelings. To take a little time to slow down and put all of my focus on you. Baby girl, you are already so loved. I am beyond thankful, grateful and humbled that I have had the chance to carry life within my body. You are the exclamation point, the bookend, the last piece of our family. I will always remember our journey together as one of the most magical times of my life. We can’t wait to meet you!

Love,

Mama

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Happy July!! It’s been a bit since I popped in to update, but we’ve been taking photos and I have a lot to share. Currently sitting right at “full term”, meaning baby could safely come at anytime. This pregnancy has seriously flown by … how is this real life?!

Mama:

  • After a particularly hard first 22-ish weeks, I’ve had a really lovely remainder of my pregnancy. I thought about splitting this post though, because there’s definitely a difference that’s shifted right at my 37th week. More on that in a minute!! Up until the last week, I was feeling really, really good.
  • Baby is still moving … all. of. the. time. I seriously don’t go more than 2-5 minutes without feeling major movements. And, kicks have been replaced with those crazy alien-like movements. Baby is a bruiser. That said, it’s really reassuring to feel movements all day!! 
  • Food and eating is weird. Something I didn’t experience with Alba was feeling super full (and miserable) even after a small meal. Digestion is slower during pregnancy anyway, and I’m rocking 1 less organ this time (gallbladder was removed after Al was born). I think this combination just makes for a pretty awful experience with food. I’ll be so happy to have the room to eat again.
  • I’m starting to feel super pregnant. I feel mostly great during the day. Maybe a bit tired … then the miserable stomach fullness, but relatively great. At night, it all changes. My hips kill me … I toss and turn all night, and feel like I’m made of stone when I wake up in the morning. Taking cal-mag before bed helps a bit. My heartburn has gotten worse since the last time I updated, but it’s still nowhere near as bad as it was when I was pregnant with Alba. Thank goodness!!
  • I’m having real contractions now. It usually happens in the evening, and it’s usually only 1-2, and they are over 10-15 minutes apart. It’s a bit “scary”, as every time I have one, I don’t know if it’ll be the start of the real thing.
  • Aside from the physical side of things, week 37 brought major hormonal changes which have manifested as some big emotions. I am suddenly feeling a bit sad and anxious. I think it’s my body’s way of getting me to slow down and not make plans. Also, I have a bit of a to-do list to finish for work (working so hard to get this done), so it’s just a combination of so many things. Really focusing on small, simple moments that bring me joy. Trying to savor these last weeks of my pregnancy. It’s the last time I’ll go through this. 
  • We are feeling pretty ready to meet this little human. Our home to-do list is pretty much done. Just a few more things to gather for the home birth. There is palpable excitement in our house these days. Lots of laughter about the weird quirks of being a giant pregnant person + all of Alba’s interpretation of this experience. Our home visit went really well (always fun to welcome the midwives into our home before labor starts).
  • Alba seems really excited to meet her sibling. We just went through a REALLY rough patch with Al … major sleep disruption and behavioral issues. After about 3 weeks of pure chaos at home, things seem to be leveling back out. I’m not sure what the cause was, but I’m guessing a growth spurt plus some general anxieties about all of the changes around here. It was really stressful, and we were feeling sad that our last weeks before Baby were so disrupted. Thankfully, she’s seeming normal again. She talks about helping with Baby … I cannot wait to see how she bonds with them.
  • Things are different the 2nd time around. There’s definitely less fanfare surrounding baby number two. Maybe people just assume we’ve been through it before and we’ll just end up on the other side again? Honestly, not receiving, “Is the baby here yet?” texts is nice – that part was annoying last time. There’s less unsolicited advice, and I think people trust that we have put energy, intention, and lots of thought into our choices. I assume more celebration will come when Baby arrives (versus people really being too interested during my pregnancy), so I’m really excited for the birth … I can’t wait to celebrate this little human!!
  • We’ve picked a name! We’re sure of Baby’s first name, and I couldn’t be more excited! The middle name is proving to be a little harder, but I know it’ll come to us when the time is right. Oh yeah, we know the sex of the baby. We are just waiting until “labor day” to announce. It’s been really cool to know this time around (just as it was equally awesome to not know last time). 
  • Overall, we’re ready, but I’d REALLY like two more weeks of pregnancy to get more work done. I’d love to have a work-free maternity leave!! I predict I’ll go into labor right after the 3rd episode of Game of Thrones (so, two weeks from last night). I’m sure I’ll be WAY off, but it’s fun to play this game.

Baby:

  • At this point, baby is ready to make their appearance!! We have a fully-cooked baby … now, it’s just a matter of baby “fattening” up. The baby sites say baby is about 6.5 lbs right now.
  • During our home visit, the midwives confirmed that baby is a little nugget. Likely to be under 7.5 lbs at birth. Alba was 7.7 … my intuition says 8 lb 2 oz, but we shall see. Their guess is about 7 lb 2 oz. if I make it to 39 weeks and some change.
  • I think this baby is going to look more like me … Alba totally looks like Jimmy, so it’ll be really, really cool to see how this turns out!
  • Baby gets hiccups every day.
  • Just like with Alba, Jimmy can put his ear on my stomach and hear the heartbeat. Such a magical little thing he gets to experience.

Okay, now to bombard you with belly photos. I’ve really hit a growth spurt lately!!

Week 28

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Week 30

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Week 31

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Week 32 (from our maternity session with Murray Photography)

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Week 33

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Week 35

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Week 37

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Dear Baby,

I was sitting here working, and I just had a few thoughts I wanted to share.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fact that this journey we’re on together is the last time I’ll ever carry a baby in my body. You are the bookmark to our family …

The first half of this pregnancy was rough – so rough, and I didn’t really take the time to really think about how important all of the first moments were.

When we went to our first ultrasound in December, I was so anxious to see you … within a few seconds, I saw your little peanut shaped body, and your tiny heart flickering. In that moment, we felt such relief (and it felt so much more real than before). Of course, now it seems like that was a lifetime ago …

In January, we saw you again. This time, you looked more like a human. We got reassurance that everything looked to be developing just as it should. It was around this time that we started talking about names … trust me, I had some really cool ones for you, but your dad vetoed them all! Dads!

Over the next few months, our life had some major turns that we weren’t expecting. The biggest: we learned we’d be moving. I always imagined we’d have both of our babies in our previous home (where I had your sister), but due to the nature of our city, the house wasn’t a sustainable option for our future. At first, it seemed scary, but now that we’ve settled into our new place, things are feeling just like they should. I’ve been finding myself imagining your birth, and organizing spaces just for you.

In March, we saw you one more time (likely, the last ultrasound we’ll have), and I could tell a few things … mainly, that your profile looks different from your sister’s. I’ve always had this idea that our kids would all look the same (since your dad’s genes are so strong), but now I realize you might take after my family! After all of the name vetoing, your dad went and did something pretty cool: he found the name! I think you’ll love it. Oh yeah, we found out your sex. With your sister, we didn’t know until she was born. This time, it was a way to connect with you (especially for your sister – she’s pretty excited and talks about you all of the time). For me, it was a much-needed bright spot in the 5 months of extreme morning sickness I had been experiencing. We’re waiting until your birthday to tell everyone … afterall, for now, you are just our baby – no expectations beyond just being your wonderful self. With that said, your sister tells everyone about you, so it’s really only a matter of time before everyone knows. I promise we’ll wait to share your name – you’ll get to do your own bit of surprising on your birthday.

Since March, life has been a blur … we’ve hosted your Gigi and your YaYa … we’ve moved … we’ve been doing a ton of house and garden work … we’ve been chasing your sister around (she’s a wild one). Now it’s June, and we’re so close to meeting you. We fly to Indiana this week, and then once we’re home, we get to settle in to wait for you.

I hope that I get a little better at writing down these moments that mean so much, but really, I’m just so grateful for the experience of carrying you with me. Even though I might not have as much time to write down my thoughts, I do think of you all of the time. I’m so excited to hold you … to meet you … to learn all about you! You keep doing your baby thing – you seem pretty good at it so far. Only 8ish more weeks, baby. We can do this!

Love,

Mama

PS, we still can’t think of a middle name. Maybe you could send us a sign. That would be awesome. 

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Welp, I officially SUCK at updating this blog. I’d try to use the excuse of moving (with a 3 year old, and working full time), but we moved during my pregnancy last time, and I still managed to update the blog regularly. We’ve been good at taking photos though, which should count for something, right?

Mama:

  • When we last left off, I was feeling pretty good … my morning sickness was mostly gone. It’s continued to get better, and I’m totally in that sweet spot of not really feeling too many symptoms. I did puke during week 26 after an unfortunate prenatal on an empty stomach incident. It was a flashback to the previous 5 months, and I was so upset. Thankfully it hasn’t happened since.
  • Baby is moving ALL OF THE TIME. Like, I’ve Googled if a baby can move too much. Currently, baby is breech (well actually, I think they are transverse at this point), so the movements feel so odd (very different from Alba, who was head-down as long as the midwives were able to tell position). I’m slightly worried about baby being breech, but no one else is since this is a 2nd pregnancy. 
  • We moved!! It’s official – we’re in our new home. We moved just 10 blocks away, and now that we’ve been here for about a month, things are feeling pretty comfy. There are still too many boxes to count (don’t look in the basement), but the upstairs is coming together nicely. We downsized, so this has been a little lessen in small/minimal living. I’ll try to share a post about the house soon. 
  • Back to baby!! I have minimal heartburn (I’m guessing this will ramp up once baby is head down and their feet are smashing up into my ribs), and I haven’t had many body aches this time around.
  • We’ve reached viability. The chances of survival when born after 24 weeks is pretty good. Obviously, we want baby to stay in there until about 39-40 weeks, but passing that milestone feels really nice.
  • Sleep is a little off. I can fall asleep easily (I’m always tired), but I usually wake around 4:00 am to pee, and have a bit of a hard time getting back to sleep. Par for the course … it’s a reminder that I need to get better at taking my cal-mag before bed.
  • Food is so weird … I can eat everything again, but I’m always feeling full and starving at the same time. It’s so uncomfortable. Digestion has been weird this entire pregnancy, so I’ll be relived to have that back to normal in about 12 weeks!
  • Things are going so fast. When I say “12 weeks”, it seems really soon. When I think “3 months”, that helps me feel a little more calm about things. Still, it’s just so very fast!! I cannot believe I’m in the 3rd trimester already. I call UNFAIR that I was so sick for 22 weeks – it really “stole” 1/2 of the pregnancy.
  • Alba is still entertaining the idea of being a big sister. She likes to feel my belly, and we’ve even started watching birth videos together. We aren’t sure about the logistics of the birth yet. We’re planning a home birth, but we are unsure if she’ll be here for it or not. Ideally, yes – but also ideally, she’d be sleeping. :) 
  • I haven’t gained much weight (at least according to my last midwife visit in April), but I feel huge. I’d really like to get some major physical activity back into my routine. Now that the weather is changing, it should be easier to make it happen.
  • I’m feeling really happy and relaxed. Life has been crazy, but I’m trying to stay focused on what matters (my family).

Baby:

  • Baby has likely doubled in size since my last update. They are now the size of a large eggplant, and likely weigh over 2.5 pounds. Just a few more inches and a handful of pounds to grow before we meet!!
  • I’ve started noticing fetal hiccups in the last week.
  • Like I mentioned, this baby moves ALL OF THE TIME!!!
  • Apparently baby is now able to blink their eyes (showing off their lashes).

Okay, now time for some photos (PS, I was so much better at looking cute during my pregnancy with Alba … we are really putting these typical 2nd child theories to the test!)

Week 22

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Week 23

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Week 24

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*I missed week 25 … womp womp

Week 26

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Week 27

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Well apparently I forgot to blog?! I swear I got these posts done, but pregnancy brain is such a real thing right now.

This post spans 3 weeks, and I only have photos for 2 weeks (photos are for weeks 19 (blue dress) & 20 (black shirt)). Sorry, baby. Mama is trying to keep up.

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Mama:

  • These weeks started off super rough, but ended pretty sweet. At 20 weeks, I was still puking. By 21 weeks, nearly all of my gagging and food aversions are gone. I feel almost normal, and I think we’re in smooth waters now.
  • Around week 21, I was having big problems with overeating … it’s not that I was actually eating too much, if it’s like if I ate 1 bite too much, my stomach would hurt for hours.
  • We had our anatomy scan … baby is a … HUMAN. We got to see their little features and verified things are progressing just as they should. The only slight issue was that the tech couldn’t get a good shot of baby’s hands and feet. The doctor decided to mention their fingers could be webbed, but she wasn’t concerned at all. Then why mention it, Doc? So weird.
  • I feel kicks alllll of the time. Jimmy is finally able to feel them. Alba says she can feel them, but since she leaves her hand on my stomach for microseconds at a time, I think she’s just having fun with it.
  • Oh yeah, WE’RE MOVING!!! This happened last time I was pregnant. In late April, we’ll be moving 10 blocks away from our current (beloved) home. The new place is a great fit for our family, and I’ll be sure to share more about it when we’re getting settled. It’s going to be quite the adventure.
  • Let’s see … what else? The 2nd trimester is pretty awesome right now. No physical issues (minus digestive stuff, but who the hell knows – I’m trying not to complain) yet, and I’m finally looking pregnant vs. gluten belly.

Baby:

  • Baby has gone through a ton of changes since I last posted!
  • They are now the size of a large carrot, and weighs almost a pound.
  • Their eyebrows are starting to grow in … and they are practicing facial expressions.
  • Baby is learning to swallow, by practicing with amniotic fluid throughout the day.
  • Baby is moving a lot, but also sleeping as much as a typical newborn (this baby likes to move a lot in the morning and again right when I’m going to bed).
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