How far along: 34!

Total weight gain: I think it’s about 22lbs, which obviously makes me want to crawl into a hole and die. I know, I know… It could be much worse, but all I can think about is how terrible it’s going to be losing the weight. To all of you who have assured me that it will come off easy, thank you for the encouragement, but everyone’s body is different. When I realized that I needed to lose weight at the end of grad school, I had to work SO hard for it. I tracked every calorie (rarely went over 1200 a day), took 4 spin and 3 pilates classes a week, and did additional cardio almost everyday. Over about 5 months time, I was able to lose about 30lbs, which was awesome. I just know I won’t have that kind of time to dedicate to working out once Archer makes his appearance, so I really hope that breastfeeding is as great at burning calories as everyone claims! For the sake of complete transparency, I feel like I should admit that I don’t care enough about my weight to stop eating from this plate of chocolate chip cookies right now.

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This comparison is for all you people who have said I’m not getting bigger. Haha!
Left: 32 weeks, Right: 33 weeks and 2 days. Yeah. The kid is growing.

Baby’s size: This week, baby is the size of a cantaloupe! (Almost 5lbs and about 18 inches long)

Maternity clothes: Yep. Almost always. Aaron’s shirts are fitting really nicely these days too.

Stretch marks: None yet, but I have a feeling that they’re going to sneak attack me in the last weeks.

Sleep: I’m sleeping well, actually! Still having to get up to use the bathroom way too often, but the Benadryl helps me fall back asleep quickly.

Best moment of this week: Is it bad the my first thought when reading this prompt was “NOTHING!!!!”?? January and February are my least favorite months of the year, by far. They always seem to last foreverrrr because of how cold and dreary they tend to be, and this is especially true when feeling so large and in charge. This week has been full of nasty winter weather… Snow, sleet, freezing rain, crazy wind, etc. So if I’m being honest, I haven’t had any great moments this week. Debbie Downer over here.

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This is us attempting to look happy in the snow. We’re great actors.

Miss anything: My old clothes. It’s shallow, but I’m getting so tired of wearing the same things over and over because it’s all I have that fits.

Movement: He’s still moving constantly, which I love, but MAN! It is starting to hurt. I can tell he’s gotten a lot longer and chunkier in the last couple of weeks because his movements aren’t quick little kicks anymore. He’s basically stuck making slow stretches that either jam into my ribs or my lady parts (just saying it like it is!). I thought that having him sit so low was uncomfortable, but after a few experiences where he’s pushed up into my lungs, I’m thankful I’m not carrying high! That is the worst.

Food cravings: Smoothies. I’ve wanted a lot of smoothies, but I haven’t actually indulged in my craving. Maybe a good idea considering that it’s flippin’ igloo outside. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: I’ve had heartburn a few times this week but haven’t figured out what’s triggering it. It’s not my favorite but could be worse.

Labor signs: What labor signs haven’t I had? Ha! But seriously. The last 5 days have been a little interesting… Lots of cramping, back pain, Braxton Hicks contractions, and painful (regular?) contractions. I went to the doctor on Monday morning but had to see someone else in the practice because mine has the flu… Go figure. He didn’t do anything but measure my belly (almost 34 cm) and baby’s heart rate (142 bpm) and assure me that everything I was experiencing was normal. It was a little strange to hear that because my regular doctor has instructed me to go to the ER if I have more than 3 BH contractions in an hour. The inconsistency in the practice is a little confusing, but I’m glad they weren’t concerned about anything. I go back on the 17th to be “checked” for the first time, and I’m eager to see if I’m at all dilated or effaced. I know that I don’t really know anything, but I’ve had this feeling that I’m not going to make it to 40 weeks for a while now. Wishful thinking? Ha! Watch the doctor tell me that my body is showing ZERO signs of progress at my next appointment.

Belly button in or out: Out most of the time.

Wedding rings on or off: Still on!

Happy or moody most of the time: Probably a little on the moody side. Sorry babe! Again, I blame it on the gloomy weather and not having anything to do.

Looking forward to: My parents and brothers are visiting us this weekend! Yes, when I’m 8 months pregnant. They bought their plane tickets about a week and a half before we found out I was pregnant… Isn’t that always how it goes? I’m really thankful they’re coming this weekend because I know it’ll be fun and make the time go by a little faster! I’m also looking forward to finishing the nursery in the next few weeks. Archer’s bedding and mobile are currently a work in progress, and I can’t wait to have those finishing touches!

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How much do I love this pillow from Chrissie Grace Designs?
So much. Maybe my favorite gift yet.

I had such great intentions of blogging over this pregnancy. Great intentions that went a whole lot of nowhere. I wish I had done a better job posting my sessions and weddings from the end of the summer and into the winter, and of course, I wish I had been more diligent at documenting my pregnancy. The big moments are highlighted, but seeing my friend Megan document her pregnancy every week makes me feel a little bit like a slacker. Ha! With a little less than 7 weeks to my due date and not much left to do (I’m going stir-crazy over here!!!), I’ll hopefully be catching up on some of the blogging in the next few weeks.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve loved reading other women’s recommendations on what they loved while pregnant, so I thought I’d share my favorites today!

Pregnancy Must-Haves

1. African Black Soap – Before pregnancy, I always had very oily skin. One morning, at the beginning of the second trimester, I woke up to find my skin dry… What in the world?! I had never experienced this before! For a few weeks, I continued using my regular face wash before realizing that it just wasn’t working anymore. Not only was I breaking out like a 12 year old boy (sorry if you are one), but I started getting dark spots all over my face. Just awesome. I’ve never been one to spend a lot on skincare… If it’s not available at Walmart or Target, I probably won’t buy it. I tried to force myself to take the plunge on a big-name product at Ulta, but I could not stomach spending $37 on face wash. Just couldn’t do it. Shortly after, I remembered hearing about African Black Soap from numerous bloggers that I follow. I looked it up on Amazon and found a bar for less than $6 and free shipping with my Prime account, so I decided to try it. A lot of women have reviewed this product claiming that they had “miracle” results with it. While my skin isn’t flawless, it has definitely helped with my crazy, hormone-induced breakouts, and the long-term effects are supposed to be awesome! I’ve been using it for about 4 months now, and I would highly recommend it… Especially considering the price. Nubian Heritage is the only brand I’ve tried, but I hear there are other great brands that carry it as well.

2. Halos/Cuties/Clementines – On the days where I feel “blah”, having something light and citrusy to snack on has been so refreshing!

3. Aquaphor – Back to the dry skin thing… Between my dry skin and this crazy winter that we’ve had here in Arkansas, I’ve needed more than the Eucerin lotion that I normally use. I can only use Aquaphor at night because it has such a greasy, Vaseline-y feel, but it’s made a big difference on my hands, knees, elbows, and especially on my cuticles!

4. Full-Panel Old Navy Leggings – When I ordered these at the beginning of my pregnancy, I remember getting them in the mail and thinking, “These jokers are MASSIVE! This belly panel will never fit!” Welp. They fit. And they actually fit in the second trimester. Oh, how quickly the body can change. Insert sobbing emoji here. Because I’ve been carrying Archer so low this entire pregnancy, nothing under-the-belly fits me the right way. I’m very jealous of all you mommas who can rock this style, but it always hits me awkwardly mid-belly. These full-panel leggings from Old Navy have been a God-send this winter!

5. Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer – I love this product SO much and not just when pregnant! A few years ago, I learned that there are a few makeup items that are smart to splurge on. This little guy is $20, but I’ve had it for over a year so far. The coverage is incredible, it blends well, and lasts all day! Perfect for a preggo who is having crazy breakouts as a result of her sweet baby.

6. Body Pillow – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “must-have” pregnancy list that DIDN’T list some sort of body pillow. Mine is a cheapo from Target, and it has helped me sleep much better than I was sleeping in the first few months of pregnancy.

7. Spring Valley Prenatal Gummies – I tried, and I mean REALLY tried, to take regular prenatal vitamins at the beginning of my pregnancy, but the giant, weird tasting, horse pills made me gag every time. My doctor okayed these prenatal gummies, and I actually look forward to taking them every morning!

8. Old Navy Long Cardigan – (This actually isn’t the exact cardigan I have, but it’s very similar.) I’ve said SO many times that I am so thankful to not be pregnant in the middle of the summer, BUT I hate having to get all bundled up every time I go outside. I tend to be a little hot-natured, and this has only become more true the last few months. Because of that, I don’t like wearing my heavy winter coats because I tend to get overheated… Not great for someone who has a tendency to pass-out. Maybe I should also note that all of my coats are running a little small these days, and watching me try to button them is just laughable. When I found this cardigan at Old Navy, I knew it would be perfect for me to layer with. It’s heavy enough that I don’t freeze but not so hot that I feel like I’m going to suffocate. It’s also very long and goes past my butt! I don’t know why I ever take it off. :)

What am I missing out on? I’d love to hear your pregnancy favorites… Especially for the last 6 weeks! :)

It is absolutely crazy to me that I will be 30 weeks tomorrow, yet I cannot imagine having to wait another 10 weeks to meet our sweet Archer. It doesn’t help that the last few weeks have been freakishly cold, and, in true Florida-girl form, I’ve been hiding out inside. Cabin fever to the max.

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How far along: 30 weeks tomorrow.

Total weight gain: It’s been almost 3 weeks since my last appointment, so I really have no idea. I’m strategically writing this post before my doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon.

Baby’s size: This week, baby is the size of a large cabbage! (Almost 3lbs and 15.7 inches long)

Maternity clothes: Almost exclusively. All of my pre-pregnancy tops are too short, so much so that I’ve found myself borrowing tshirts from Aaron every once and a while.

Stretch marks: None yet. Hoping they don’t sneak attack me at the end!

Sleep: I’m still taking a Benadryl every night before I go to bed. That usually helps me fall asleep quickly after my 3-4 bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

Best moment of this week: Florida State won the BSC Championship on Monday night! Totally unrelated to Archer, but it was definitely the best moment of the week (or month or year, if we weren’t having a kid). Other good moments: We’ve made some progress on the nursery, which is really exciting! When my mom was here, we got the room painted (no more drowning in beige). The glider, lamp, bookshelf, and sign for his wall are all in place. There’s still a lot to do, but every bit of progress is so exciting! I also got his coming home outfit in the mail yesterday, and it is just about the most adorable thing ever. Nothing fancy… Just a onesie, comfy pants, and a sweet little cardigan, but it made it so much more real! I’m having a baby. And they’re going to let me take him home with me. And he’s going to live with us forever! (Okay, hopefully not forever.)

Miss anything: My leg cramps have gotten a lot better, so I’m very thankful for that! I think I’m in the perpetually uncomfortable stage. Poor Aaron has to deal with me readjusting myself every 2 minutes whether we’re watching TV or trying to sleep. While I wouldn’t choose the discomfort, I know it could be much, much worse. I can sleep at night, I haven’t had much heartburn, nausea only comes once in a blue moon, so I guess I can deal with a little bit of discomfort for another 10 weeks.

Movement: Constant movement, and I love it! He’s definitely running out of room in there because my lungs feel squished more often than not. If you see me sitting on a couch (my favorite hobby these days) and completely out of breath, that’s why.

Food cravings: Clementines… I usually eat 5-6 a day. Also, Krispy Kreme donuts. The creme filled ones. Whoopsies. 

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still dealing with motion sickness when I go places… I’ve started taking Bonine, which helps it a lot, and it makes me a lot less drowsy than Dramamine.

Gender: Surprise! It’s a boy. But seriously, I don’t know why I’m still answering this question.

Labor signs: I think I had a few contractions on Monday night after FSU won the game. There was a lot of jumping and anxiety. Strangely, they didn’t hurt, but my stomach did get really, really hard a couple of times.

Belly button in or out: Still half and half. And still weird.

Wedding rings on or off: On! I haven’t noticed any swelling yet (I think it helps that I’m not pregnant in the middle of the summer!), so I’m hoping it stays that way. I don’t know what I’ll do if I get to the point where I can’t fit into my boots. God only knows I don’t need another reason to stay inside for the next 10 weeks.

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, a touch of snarky (sorry babe), and exhausted. I could sleep for 12 hours pretty much anytime of the day/night.

Looking forward to: Some sweet friends are throwing me a baby shower on the 18th! Opening presents in front of people gives me a little bit of anxiety, but it will be fun to have everyone together for brunch! It’s just another thing that makes all of this so real!

One last thing I have to share for this update is some of the maternity pictures that Aaron and I took using our handy-dandy tripod and remote. It was FREEZING and crazy windy, so we were only able to bear it for about 15 minutes. (Someone was being a big baby, but I won’t say any names.) I just wanted a few simple portraits to remember these last few days with just the two of us… Even though I feel quite like a whale. And no, I’m not fishing for compliments… I’ve had so much encouragement from sweet friends over the last few months, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have to muster every ounce of strength to roll in and out of bed each night & morning. Here are a couple of my favorites!