24 June 2016

the final weeks
{this post includes a discount code for urban massage!!}


i seriously can't believe that there is an essentially full-size baby inside of me. in the past, when i've looked at pictures of newborns, or held/observed a brand new baby, they've all looked so, so tiny. but now, as i near the end of pregnancy, to me they all look really huge!

i just can't get over how crazy cool and miraculous and beautiful this whole process is, and i am deeply grateful to be experiencing it - and that both baby and i are so healthy. we had a bit of a scare this week that has required a couple of hospital visits. this experience has helped us prepare to be flexible and take the unexpected or non-ideal in stride, and has stretched our faith (in god's care, in each other, in the process) a bit wider.

i officially began maternity leave from work today (yay!), so i'm now in full-time baby prep mode :) since i want to remember so many aspects of this exciting journey, i've decided to spend some time today documenting our pregnancy experience in my personal journal, the special book we are keeping for our son, and here on the blog! it's wild to think that i first shared some "bits and bobs" from this adventure nearly five months ago - so much has happened since then! to bring it full-circle from the beginning, here's some bits and bobs from the end.

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i would be remiss to not first mention, since i'm writing this post on a politically historic day, that the impending birth of our son is happening in a certainly interesting spot in time and space. i am saddened on several levels that the majority of uk voters have elected for britain to leave the eu, and this news (along with other recent happenings around the globe) makes me feel quite uneasy about the state of the our world. our baby boy is entering an uncertain and sometimes very tumultuous world, but we believe there is still so much beauty, wonder, goodness and human love welcoming him as well.

there are still quite a few things on my list that i'd like to do and/or get done before baby boy arrives earth-side. i have especially been anxious about deep cleaning our flat, and now that i'm done with work i'm excited to scrub, scrub, scrub! i've also been gathering some last bits and pieces for the baby's drawers and the hospital bag, and hope to have time to prepare some freezer meals (share your favourite recipe in the comments!). it's just crazy that any day all these months (and years, really) of anticipation and preparation could so soon come to a head (figuratively and quite literally at crowning - haha!).

i am regularly amused by my baby bump. we have a very active little guy in there, and the shape of my belly is constantly changing. sometimes within a couple of hours i feel like my size has either doubled or halved, and more often than not i think the bump looks totally lopsided - haha! the good news is that baby has settled right into a solid head-down position. i think i will really, really miss feeling him move inside of me (even though last night all the movement kept waking me up!). i know i keep saying this over and over, but i am so amazed by the way my body has created a baby - a real, live, complete little human.

a few weeks ago, my back started really aching, and getting a good night's rest started to be pretty difficult. i decided it was time to indulge in a prenatal massage, which i had heard works wonders! i discovered urban massage and loved the idea of a "mobile massage" -  a "massage delivered to you"! it was insanely easy to book an appointment online, and the very next day a really lovely massage therapist showed up on my doorstep! she brought along a massage table and all her supplies, which she quickly set up in my living room. we lowered the blinds, she turned on some music, i laid on my side, and pretty quick i was melting into heaven. my therapist was really skilled, and trained specifically in prenatal massage, and her demeanor was so kind and calming. i can't tell you how much better my back has felt and how much better i have slept since that day! seriously amazing.
i can't recommend urban massage enough, and i've included a discount code at the bottom of this post for any uk readers! use it - pregnant and achey or not!!

we are pretty confident we have a name for our son, but we definitely feel we need to see him first before deciding for sure. we have a couple of back up names as well -- but i sometimes wonder what we will do if it feels like none of them fit!

i seem to have lost my appetite again, which is so, so weird to me. i am such a food lover, and am finding it a little frustrating - and sad! - that i often can't decide on anything that really sounds good to eat. i experienced a similar sensation in the first trimester, but i thought that was over when i started feeling ravenous in the second :) before pregnancy, i was literally flabbergasted by people who claimed any lack of appetite, because i pretty much always want to eat. now i get it! - and i actually have to make myself eat. so bizarre!

overall, i am feeling pretty spry for being nearly nine months pregnant, and i am so glad i've been able to stay active. but i'm also feeling pretty glad we live in temperate england whilst being pregnant during the summer. even though the hottest it has gotten so far has been the high seventies, i feel uncomfortably hot so often! most days i have bouts of seriously extreme exhaustion, and i just feel like my brain and body are so consumed with making this baby and not much capacity is left over. i'm experiencing new sensations every day as my body makes final preparations for childbirth, and i am doing my best to embrace and appreciate them.

all this talk of physical things - but i also want to remember that pregnancy has been such a remarkable spiritual and emotional journey for me. i have felt closer to god, and to ian, and to womankind in truly amazing ways, and i've learned a lot about myself.

as we prepare not only for childbirth but also for postpartum life/life with a baby and as parents, we are grateful for the support of our families, as well as good friends, our doula, our prenatal course instructor, and the wonderful staff at our hospital. we may be far away from many that we love and usually lean on, but we feel really well informed, encouraged and fortified thanks to the wonderful people in our lives and especially thanks to god.

my pregnancy app says seventeen days to go!! and i just can't wrap my head around the fact that we are that close. i am confident, curious, excited, anxious, amazed, restless, calm, giddy and grateful - all at once!

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to get £10 off a treatment from urban massage, use the discount code UMPASSION
the code expires on 30 november 2016. enjoy!!!

15 comments :

  1. Leaving the EU is long overdue...we are a sovereign nation and its time we started behaving as such again. Never a good thing to be governed by an outside entity, self government is never a bad thing.

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    1. Leaving the EU is a devastating blow to the nation. "No man is an island. No country by itself." And although some sovereignty will follow, it won't be anything to the extent of what the "leave" voters envisioned. Especially when we have to make trade deals to enter the single market, from which we need to follow many laws, including free movement of people. This referendum has brought a disappointing view of humanity and one which I wish I could wake up from the results.

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    2. Today has been the saddest of days. My country is not what I'd thought.

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    3. @Karen: then do you support the independence of Scotland from the UK? “Self-government” cuts both ways...

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. One of my very favorites is throwing stew meat (beef) into the crockpot and simply season with bay leaves and Montreal Steak Seasoning. Cook on low most of the day and when it shreds up with a fork as you stir it, you know it is done. We serve in wheat pitas with spinach leaves and salsa. This may be the easiest and yummiest meal I make. You can buy the pitas and the meat and just store in the freezer until ready to use.

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  4. Do you think it was hard to find a name? You have so many family members who might have already used your favorites. Your husband's family also seemed large.

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    1. I've always thought that choosing a name that another family member had used was a lovely gesture at recognizing a beautiful name. There is no ownership on names. There are a few duplicates in my family and it is fun to share names :)

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  5. This is fun to read, and I'm excited about all of it for you. You're getting so close!

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  6. Sorry about Brexit, especially when you are feeling so gung-ho about London. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan has announced he will move jobs out of London and into Frankfurt and Paris. Given the investment banks all act similarly and Ian is at Goldman are you guys worried about a potential move? Obviously early days and local management always appeases people but I am an ex-I-banker and expat and know what has always happened when stuff hits the fan. You guys shld prepare....

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  7. I had a dream you called your baby Sammy last night!

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    1. Samuel is a beautiful name! And "Sam" is an awesome nn. To my mind it's right up there with Benjamin/Ben but not quite as common (at least not in my circles)

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  8. The best way I have found to do freezer meals is to just double whatever I am making for dinner and then freeze half. This works well with almost any crockpot meal, casserol or meat dish and doesn't take any extra time really.

    Good luck in the coming weeks! I'm so excited for you!

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