Archive for February, 2012

26 Weeks

This week was a pretty big week, for multiple reasons.

My grandpa had his angiogram, discovered he has one artery that’s completely blocked, and his kidneys aren’t functioning at optimum levels. His heart is weak and may not withstand the surgery to replace his pacemaker battery, but he has surgery scheduled for next week anyway so we’re all just saying prayers and hoping all goes well.

The day before his angiogram was my 26 week OB appointment and glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. For anyone that hasn’t had this test, it typically involves drinking a sugary orange drink, waiting an hour, and getting your blood drawn at the end of the hour. You can’t eat or drink anything but water for an hour before you drink the drink, and no eating or drinking after you drink it until your blood is drawn. Not super difficult rules to follow. Of course, getting my blood drawn is always a surprise because most of the time, the nurses have a hard time finding my veins and end up stabbing me in both arms and rooting around a bit until they hit one. I still have a dark bruise the size of my thumb on my right arm.

After the glucose test, we had another ultrasound to take photos of the baby’s heart chambers and bottom of the spine. Last time, he was laying transverse so the nurse couldn’t get good photos of those two areas. This time, he was butt down (or breech) so not an ideal position, but he did some flips and they were able to get the shots they needed.

The hubs went all stealthy to snap this shot of me getting my u/s.

Fun facts: Baby now weighs 2lbs 3 oz, heartbeat was 143 bpm and he’s still a he. :)

Oh and the best surprise – my due date has been moved up four days to May 26. Considering my birthday is May 27 and our anniversary is May 22, it’s looking likely that this baby could be delivered on one of those two days. And I have no problem at all sharing special dates with my baby.

And maybe it was just the way the image was captured, but it already looks like this baby is going to have really big feet. At one point, his leg was extended and it looked like he was trying to touch his toes to his head – and his foot was HUGE! Almost as big as his head! Future basketball player perhaps?

After our appointment, we stopped by Sonic for a snack. I was having a huge craving for jalapeno poppers but sadly, Sonic doesn’t carry them anymore. So I settled for a root beer float instead – you know, just in case they deem me diabetic and I can’t have that stuff anymore. That’s the exact same reasoning I used to justify my Cabury creme egg purchase the other night as well.

As we left Sonic, on our way to my grandparents’ house, we got a text message from my SIL saying that my MIL was in the hospital after suffering a few seizures. You can probably imagine how upset my husband was, especially after we decided not to make the 8.5 hour drive to their house last weekend for her birthday due to threats of snow. (Which, BTW, never happened. The storm went south, making us feel even worse about not going.)

So yeah, two loved ones in the hospital fighting for their lives does not make for an easy week around these parts. We’re still in a bit of a holding pattern since my MIL is still in the hospital, but appears stable and recovering. And my grandpa survived his angiogram but the biggest test of all is still ahead.

Then late yesterday, my doc’s office called with my glucose test results. The normal range is less than 140, and mine was 149. Not terrible, but bad enough that I now have to go back on Monday for the 3 hour test. Which means no eating after midnight, sitting in a doctor’s office for three hours, and getting my blood drawn three times. Not exactly how I had hoped to spend my Monday morning, but thems the breaks.

And somewhere during all of this, I developed a rash. It’s mostly just on my chest, but I have a few red bumps below my belly on the front of my hips as well. I asked the nurse at my appointment about it and she said it doesn’t look like PUPPs so just to rub some hydro-cortisone cream on it. Not super helpful, but I guess pregnant women get weird rashes.


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Information Overload

Preparing for a baby is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I try to liken it to planning a wedding because that was the last major, overwhelming change I had to go through, but even that can’t compare to this. I didn’t research safety and consumer satisfaction ratings on every little thing I purchased or registered for. I didn’t read countless books and articles on how to prepare. I mostly just looked at pretty pictures, coordinated logistics, and watched my budget. I didn’t care about anyone else’s opinion and I didn’t stress about being unprepared. I just wanted everyone to have a good time.

Having a baby is SO different. I feel like there are tips and tricks to all this stuff – “mommy secrets” if you will – and I need to become an expert on babies and childbirth in just a few short months. There’s so much pressure to just KNOW everything. I read, and read, and read and I still don’t feel like I really know what to expect.

I had my first freak-out a few weeks ago after talking to a sales guy about cord blood banking. I polled friends on Facebook and message boards and some people were adamantly for it and others said they just donated without even really thinking about it. Finally, we decided we would just ask my OB. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE my OB? I would probably eat raw onions every single day if she told me it was the best thing to do for my baby. And I hate onions.) Without even blinking she said, “Just donate.” She said the cord blood bank was so full that if we needed it for any reason, we’d have no trouble at all, and that the people who should really consider private banking are those that have an immediate family history of strange blood diseases or conditions. In three seconds we had made a decision about something I had agonized over for days. But now I’m completely at ease and confident in our decision to donate.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I guess my main concern is that I just don’t want to fumble my way through parenthood, but I also don’t want to over prepare for things, build up expectations, and not be flexible if something doesn’t go as planned. I’ve been reading a lot about the childbirth experience so I know what to expect, but I don’t want to read so much that I won’t be able to handle it if things don’t go as I expect. Same goes with breastfeeding. I know I want to have a regular, vaginal delivery (with epidural please) and that I want to breastfeed, but I also know that these two things are not entirely in my control and I want to maintain an open mind about resorting to a Plan B.

I should also probably come up with a Plan B. And Plan C. And plans D-Z.

But what about the things that ARE in my control? Do I take the 18-hour, six-week course on childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care or do I just do a 6-hour newborn care class, brush up on my CPR skills, and read about everything else? At first, I had planned on taking the six-week, 18-hour, everything-you-could-possibly-know course. But then I started to think more about it. This baby is going to come out one way or the other and I don’t think there’s anything that happens in those classes that I can’t read about. And honestly, I’m going to rely on my amazing doctors to tell me what to do. I don’t care how many classes I take or how much reading I do, I will never presume that I know better than my OB. (Not necessarily the case with me and ALL doctors, just the ones I have enormous amounts of respect for, like my OB.) The same could probably said for newborn care – that I don’t really need to take a class on it – but I’ve spent so much time reading about childbirth that I just don’t think I’ll get around to reading about newborn care until, well, I have a newborn to care for. So I’ll likely take the class.

What I really need is a consolidated, 1 hour childbirth class for soon-to-be dads. Somethings that breaks it down into easy-to-understand information for them so that my husband understands exactly what I’ll be going through. I try to explain things that I’ve read, but after about 2 minutes his eyes have that glazed-over look that tells me he’s either thinking about food or sports. Possibly both. And I really don’t want to have an argument over something stupid when I’m in labor, like having him tell me I can’t possibly be in labor since my water didn’t break.  Or something equally as infuriating, because I’m sure the last thing a woman in labor wants to do is argue with her husband over whether or not she is indeed in labor. If that happens, there might be more than one of us laid up in a hospital bed for a few days.


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The Best Laid Plans

Saturday was my MIL’s birthday. Since my in-laws live a good 8.5 hours away, never in the history of our togetherness have we ever been there on her actual birthday. Around Christmas, we realized her b-day would fall on a Saturday so we made plans – weather permitting – to make the trek to their house for a surprise birthday party.

We didn’t help much with any planning, other than brainstorming a few ideas on how to surprise her with our arrival. Do we Skype her and then walk in? Do we let our dog run through the house? Do we show up at the family’s favorite pizza place in the middle of dinner? But as the day approached, the plans seemed to all fall through. One of the kids had a basketball tournament that day, so part of the family wanted to go to that. Then suddenly the entire day’s activities were planned around a 6 year old’s basketball games. “If they win this game, then they’ll play again in two hours, and if they win that game, they’ll play again at 5:30, so if that happens we need to….”

So yeah. The plan was that there really wasn’t a plan. And we spent a couple of days debating where we should go, what time we should arrive, etc. Friday after work, we threw some things together, loaded the dog in the car and left. We intended to spent the night at my parents’  house in Kentucky, then get up early and finish the drive to Ohio Saturday morning. About an hour and a half into our drive, my FIL mentions in passing that they’re supposed to get a foot of snow on Sunday.

Wait, what? Snow? Sunday? As in, the day we have to leave and drive 8.5 hours back? I quickly did a weather check and sure enough, Saturday night into Sunday their area was supposed to get hit with a big blast of snow extending from south of Louisville all the way to the coast. Meaning we would be driving for about 4 hours in snow. Things were not looking good and we scrambled to come up with a Plan B. Maybe we could go for the day, turn around and head back to my parents’ house late Saturday night and outrun the snow? My parents are still about 4 hours away from my in-laws but it was an option. Well, until it wasn’t. I called my parents to see if they’d heard anything about the weather and they too were supposed to get few inches. Oh and by the way, they wouldn’t be there Saturday night because they were coming to St. Louis since my grandpa isn’t doing well. The battery in his pacemaker needs to be changed (they only last 6 years) and the doctors are worried he won’t be strong enough to handle the surgery to replace it. So he has to go in for a painful angiogram first, and wait to see what they say. So of course, the family is freaking out and super worried. All of this news came in Friday afternoon, and that conversation with my mom was the first I’d heard of it.

It suddenly seemed as if we just weren’t meant to go this weekend, and although it wasn’t an easy decision, we turned around and came home, feeling awful about both disappointing the in-laws and missing my MIL’s birthday and also, worried sick over my grandpa. To rub a little salt in the wound, the snow storm changed course and completely missed my in-laws. So the snow storm we were freaking out about turned out to be a big, fat nothing.

My grandpa’s angiogram is on Wednesday, so we’ll find out then what the next steps are in his battery replacement. In the meantime, if you’re of the praying kind, please send a few words that all works out okay. Right now my biggest fear is that my grandpa won’t get to meet our son and the thought of that just breaks my heart.



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Nursery Update

It’s becoming really obvious that my mom is excited for this baby. It will be her first grandchild and she’s definitely spent a ton of money on this kid already. For Christmas, she got us the glider I wanted for the nursery.

Then just last week, she decided she wanted to get us either a crib or a dresser. The hubs and I picked out the set that we wanted and rather than just buy one piece, she bought both and said she’d just ask my grandma and aunt to go in on it with her. She placed the order last week and by Friday, both pieces arrived on our doorstep.

I couldn’t wait to get everything set up so on Sunday, the hubs and I spent a few hours putting it all together until we had two perfectly lovely pieces of baby furniture.

The crib was super easy to put together, but the dresser was a bit of a challenge. Still, I’m really pleased with how they turned out, which was something I was initially worried about since they are, after all, from Wal-Mart. And I hadn’t seen them in person before.

We still have a long way to go as far as decoration and what not, but those are all just details at this point. We have a crib (w/mattress), a dresser/changing table, and a glider. MAJOR progress in my book, especially since I spent HOURS going through reviews and websites trying to decide which furniture to purchase. And for the price, I’m really happy we went with all Wal-Mart pieces.

Here’s our source list:

Crib & Dresser w/mattress set


Oh and if you order furniture from Wal-Mart, spend the extra $20 or $30 to have it shipped directly to your house. My mom had the glider shipped to the store and we almost took it back because the box was so damaged. Not to mention it was HUGE and a pain in the butt to get home. For the crib/dresser, my mom had it delivered directly to our house and the boxes were in almost pristine condition, with no loading/unloading in an SUV. Worth it.

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Pregnancy Observations

I’ve been trying to keep a running list of pregnancy observations since, oh, November. Here’s my bulleted list so far. (Yay bullets!)

  • When I see a cute baby (not just any baby, but a CUTE baby, yes, there’s a difference) it’s like my uterus recognizes what I see and wants to leap up and down like “Hey! Friend! Let’s play! In like, 6 months.”
  • Or, more accurately, my body is saying “I’m growing one of those! And I hope it looks as cute as that one! Because I really want to snuggle it.”
  • Hemorrhoids are a way of life. Get used to it.
  • So is constipation. Take Colace.
  • Palmer’s Body Butter for stretch marks may work wonders, but it smells like ass.
  • People have very strong opinions on what you can and cannot eat while pregnant. In the case of my husband, it’s so I can spend five minutes looking up whether or not I can have shrimp cocktail while he spends those five minutes eating most of it. I’m now convinced that anyone who tells me I can’t have something is only hogging it for themselves.
  • Maternity jeans are quite possibly the best invention ever, but everything else? Is either ridiculously expensive, cheaply made, or just plain ugly.
  • I lost sight of my lady bits around the 6 month mark. So far, this has been one of the most frustrating parts of pregnancy.
  • I don’t have many aches or pains yet, but in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning, the joints in my knuckles feel sore. And I waddle to the bathroom because my feet and toes are sore too. This goes away by the time I’ve finished showering, but I feel like an old woman with severe arthritis.
  • Pregnancy has completely changed the look of my legs and feet. I’m the only one that notices, but to me they look very swollen and I swear the cellulite multiplies by the day.
  • Sleep pattern? What sleep pattern? Some nights I’m ready to crash at 9pm, and other nights I’m content staying up until almost midnight. Some mornings I’m up and at ’em well before my alarm is set to go off, and sometimes when I get up at 4 am to pee, I lie awake for 20 minutes before I finally fall back asleep. It’s never consistent, but I guess I can’t complain because overall, I’m feeling pretty well-rested at the moment.

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V-Day Surprise

As much as I love all the pretty Valentine’s Day decor – pink and red hearts, chocolate, roses, etc. – I just don’t get into the day itself very often. It’s totally cliché, but right now in our lives, we’re pretty good at taking time out and being romantic. Not only that, but our definition of romance might be different from others. I’m sure having time for each other will change once the baby arrives, and we may need that yearly reminder to take time out and be romantic, but right now it’s not an issue. Still, I don’t want to be a big Scrooge about it and ignore the celebrations entirely, so a friend of mine and I came up with a plan. And it went something like this…

About a month ago, said friend and I went to go get a mani/pedi for her birthday (my treat) and we were discussing how much we think our husbands would probably really enjoy a pedicure, if they could both get over how girly it is. (My husband loves nothing more than a good foot massage.) A couple weeks later, my friend emailed me to say that she was seriously considering getting her husband a gift card to the spa for a pedicure for Valentine’s Day. But I know how guys are and I told her that he probably wouldn’t use it and she’d end up using it a few months from now instead. I knew the only way I would be able to get my own husband to do it is if I tricked him into it. And having another male ally there might actually make it more of a “I’ll do it if you’ll do it” situation. But just going out to get pedis isn’t enough fun. We needed to make a day of it. A big Valentine’s Day double date. And in our minds, making the guys do a bunch of girly things was just hysterical to us. First, we planned for pedicures, followed by a trip to the bakery for some delicious cupcakes. Then, off to the movies to see The Vow, followed by dinner at a new tapas restaurant.

Those were our plans. But as the day neared, we started to feel a little guilty making the guys go with us to all of these things. Almost like they just lost a bet or something. So instead, we kept our pedicure appointments, but left the afternoon open for manly activities, like shooting pool and drinking beer while the girls watched Breaking Dawn. Oh but not before we got a few cupcakes…

Sadly, the guys wouldn’t let us take photographic evidence of the pedis so you’ll just have to envision two 30-year-old men with their pants legs rolled up and their feet being pampered by little Asian women. Worth every penny.

By the time we headed out to the tapas place for dinner, the guys had a pretty good buzz going. (Side note: it was there that I checked Facebook and heard the news of Whitney Houston’s passing. We were all pretty shocked, but kind of not given her history. Still sad.) And by the time our third course came, my dear, sweet husband was eating his risotto off of a butter knife, despite the fact that there were two perfectly clean, unused forks on the table. You can take the man out of the cave, but you can’t take the cave out of the man…

Considering how much fun we had though, I’m considering planning my own V-day celebrations from here on out. Pedicures, cupcakes, chick flicks, delicious dinner and a happy husband at the end of the day? Now that’s winning.

Oh and to make the day even more wonderful, it all began with a much-needed prenatal massage at my favorite salon. Such a good day.

Hope your celebrations are just as sweet.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Some days I feel like I’ve got it all under control. I can juggle the meetings and the calls, respond quickly to all the emails, take a few minutes to socialize with co-workers, and even make it out to a friendly happy hour, all with a smile on my face and a positive attitude in my mind.

What pregnancy brain? What mood swings? What irritability? Hey, I got this. Things are smoooooth sailing right now. In fact, I think I’ll have a cupcake. And give you one too.

But then there’s the project delay (that’s out of my control). The three additional meetings piled onto tomorrow’s already back-to-back meeting schedule. The 6 urgent requests that are sent approximately 5 minutes before I need to walk out the door (and need to be tended to before 9am tomorrow morning). And my own idiotic move of mistaking a co-worker for a different co-worker, congratulating her on a presentation she didn’t even give.

Pregnancy brain? Check.

Going from cheerful to murderous in 2.5 seconds? Check.

Getting winded just from standing around and talking? Check. (Even though that has nothing to do with anything. But seriously? I get winded just from TALKING now? Not cool.)

Just when I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I might be sorta okay with this whole pregnancy thing, handling everything in stride, feeling all in control…I’m forced to think again. And go to bed at 8:30 p.m.

Dear Thursday: UNCLE!

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24 Weeks or 6 Months

Total weight gain: (gulp) 20 lbs.  I really don’t want to gain more than another 10 lbs so I’ll be hitting up the grocery store to stock up on healthier snacks, now that the mere mention of a salad or vegetable doesn’t repulse me like it did.

How big is baby?: He’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn) and weighs just over a pound! One email says the size of a grapefruit and another says a papaya. I’m going with papaya because I’m pretty sure I read grapefruit a few weeks ago.

Maternity clothes:  Yes.  I can still wear some of my flowy dresses and most of my shirts, if they’re long. But I’m fully into maternity pants and jeans. No more belly band. :(

Stretch marks?: Not yet. I’ve been starting to freak out about it though, so I’ve been using Palmer’s cocoa butter at least once a day, sometimes twice, and applying it to my belly, hips, butt and boobs. I hate the smell of it, but as long as it works, I really don’t care.

Sleep: Not great, but not terrible. I get up on average about twice a night to go to the bathroom, and my hands fall asleep quite a bit from laying on my side, so I do a lot of flipping throughout the night. If I sleep on one side too long, my hip will start to hurt too, but I can usually flip over and stretch it out without much pain. Oh, and I keep waking up on my back, which I know is bad, so I’m thinking about putting another pillow behind me to keep myself from rolling over.

Best moment this week: Realizing the baby is not a morning person. Also, making progress on our nursery. Over the weekend, we organized the basement (for the most part), wrapped the spare bed in plastic and stored it in the basement, moved the dresser to the downstairs spare bedroom, moved the glider to the nursery, organized the bathroom cabinet and closet (not related, but I was on a roll), and successfully moved the dog to the downstairs bedroom. I also took some time to update my registry now that I have two showers coming up next month.

Movement: In the mornings, after hearing the alarm, he’s pretty aggressive. Then usually around 10am and 3pm I feel him doing somersaults or practicing his backstroke or whatever it is he’s doing in there.

Food cravings: Milk. Cereal. Poptarts. Cheese. After my feet started swelling last week, I’ve tried to minimize my BBQ chip consumption, assuming the sodium had something to do with it. And honestly? I haven’t missed them as much as I thought I would. My body is definitely craving more calcium lately though. In our house, a half gallon of milk would go bad. Now? I’m going through at least a gallon a week.

Food aversions: Tomato sauce pastas and anything super acidic. All Asian foods make me sick. Pizza is even a little iffy. I’ll eat it if that’s what the hubs wants, but I don’t love it like I used to. Peanut butter gives me a stomach ache, which is weird to me. And almost all grilled meats – grilled chicken, pork, fish, etc. Even burgers are a turn-off most of the time.

Labor signs: Oh good Lord I hope not! No!

Belly button in or out: Definitely in. No real changes there.

What I miss: Beer and wine. Sometimes a cold cut sandwich, and once or twice, I’ve missed sushi. I haven’t missed any of those things until recently though. The warm weather spell we’ve been having and longer days of sunlight have somehow tricked my body into thinking it’s spring. And one of my favorite things to do when it’s warm outside is relax with a big frosty mug of beer. Or sit on a patio with a glass of red wine.

What I’m looking forward to: My first baby shower, which will be in about 6 weeks. Our baby-moon to Florida after that. And our next prenatal appointment. Even though I’ll be taking the infamous glucose test (please no gestational diabetes! NO DIABITUS!), I’ll also have another ultrasound since the baby was laying transverse last time and they couldn’t get good pics of his heart chambers. I just love those ultrasounds!

Milestone: Making progress with the nursery and deciding on nursery colors – Navy blue and green. Also deciding to have a second baby shower at my in-laws’ house. They couldn’t make the 8.5 hour drive to STL for my other shower, so I’ll be traveling there for them to spoil me (and the baby) rotten. I think I can handle that.

Other random thoughts: When I think about the baby, I feel like my thoughts are half about having an actual baby, but the other half are about losing weight, wearing normal clothes, and just generally feeling attractive again. It’s always been really important to me to not “let myself go” after the baby. Women in my family have a bad habit of doing that, so I’ve got this weird stigma in my mind that being a mom = being frumpy. I’ve battled the frump my entire adult life anyway, but I don’t want having a baby to be the nail in the coffin. I want to be healthy. I want to be active. I want to look good. I know it’s vain, and I was never anything below a size 10 to begin with, but that’s just where my mind has been lately.

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Not a Morning Baby

Happy February!

One of my favorite things about a new month is the feeling I get when I rip off the previous month’s calendar sheet, or flip to a new month on my wall calendar. I really, really love calendars and usually have a few. These days, it’s another timely reminder of how close we are until the baby arrives. As of right now, I’m exactly 23 weeks along, so just a week shy of 6 months. And considering my due date is May 30, I’m estimating that I have almost 4 months exactly until baby boy makes his arrival. Saying I’m 6 months along sounds a whole lot better than saying I have 4 months left, but until I got pregnant, I didn’t realize that at the time most women give birth, they are technically starting their 10 month of pregnancy. We’ve always been told that it takes 9 months to grow a baby. 40 weeks = 9 months. But what that means is that once you hit that ninth month, you still have another whole month to wait. Unless you have the baby early, of course. Maybe this is all common knowledge to you, but I had to stop and think about it a little.

So anyway. 23 weeks. Baby is about the size of a large mango. He can also hear things now, which I’m realizing to be true because the last two mornings, as soon as the alarm goes off, he starts kicking and punching up a storm.

The hubs and I often like to guess at what our little boy is going to look like when he’s born. Whose physical traits he’ll get, but also whose behavioral traits. The hubs is pretty athletic, so he likes to think his boy will be a sports superstar. I can’t even ride a bike, so I try to remind him that if this kid takes after me, he’s going to need a lot more practice on the field than your average boy. He’s still hopeful though, because I do have great eye-hand coordination and my cardio is pretty good. Good blood pressure, good endurance – for a non-athlete anyway.  So if he gets the best of both sides, he may end up athletic after all.

I already think this kid takes after the hubs though. For example, my husband is definitely NOT a morning person. It can take him an hour to fall asleep in bed at night, but only 2.3 seconds to fall back asleep after the alarm goes off in the morning. He will push getting out of bed to the very last minute. And heaven forbid I utter the words “Time to get up!” because it reminds him of his mom, yelling every morning at him to get up or he’d be late for school. Even as a child, he would sleep well past Saturday morning cartoons. In high school, he missed first period more often than not. Even as someone who grew up in the country, he’s never been hunting simply because he didn’t want to get up that early. See? Not a morning person.

As for the baby, it’s been obvious from the very first movements that he is also not a morning baby. For the last few weeks, the earliest I have felt him move (until aforementioned alarm) is 10am, but he’s been most active in the afternoon or at night. He really gets going around 3pm, and later, around 10pm. The alarm reaction is totally new though. I noticed it for the first time the other day, and now I’ve been paying closer attention to it. As soon as the alarm goes off, he starts moving with more force than usual. And not just a kick here or a punch there. Oh no. It’s kicking and punching all over the place for about two minutes. Then all is quiet. Until the alarm goes off again and the kicking and punching are back in full force. Baby has made it pretty clear: DO NOT LIKE ALARMS. Or mornings.

I got up and did my shower routine, but I was excited to share this latest baby development news with the hubs, so when I returned to the bedroom, he was sound asleep on my pillow when I said, “So I think this baby clearly takes after you. He does not like the alarm and has been kicking and punching me when it goes off. He is clearly not a morning baby.”

My husband’s response?

“Your pillow is so comfortable.” zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

My point exactly.

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