24 Weeks

How far along: 24 weeks completed 6.19.2012

Weight gain: ?? I’ll finally have an answer for you (and for myself) next week! My final guess: 6 new pounds, for a total 10 overall. What do you think–am I shooting too low or too high?

Clothes: I got some fabulous advice from Annie, who left a comment on my 23 weeks post (in response to my frustration at the clothing limitations descending on me). She said: pack up the stuff you can’t fit anymore! Out of sight, out of mind! (I paraphrase)

I realized this was exactly what I needed to do. Why remind myself constantly of all the stuff I can’t wear?

So over the weekend I said my final goodbyes to my skinny jeans and filled a big garbage bag with most of my pants and many skirts, which I stashed away until the fall. As I discover more things that don’t fit, I have a second garbage bag ready and waiting that I will fill gradually.

Purchases: My first baby registry gift arrived from Target–a jeep stroller. I had no idea who could have purchased this, and was totally surprised when it showed up at the door. I tore open the packing slip, and lo and behold the generous gifter was none other than Suzie Shaw! Thank you so much Suzie. I’m still in awe that this first gift came from a blogging friend whom I’ve never met in real life. It’s just another testament to the generosity of the women who inhabit this crazy blogging world that I belong to.

I also hit up a yard sale a couple buildings down from us. It was a big sale that a bunch of families were participating in, and there was a table full–I’m telling you FULL–of baby girl and little girl clothes. It was amazing. All the little outfits were divided into Ziplocs with the age/size and price marked on the outside. The ladies assured me everything had been washed before the sale, and that in fact most of the outfits had never been worn. This sounded too good to be true–but as I inspected the clothes, that was exactly the case! Some still had the original tags on them. Wowza. At $2.50 for three-piece outfits (matching leggings, dress, onesie), I went . . . a little wild. I spent $60, but guys–I came away with at least 30 little outfits (and I’m estimating low–I think it may be more). Incredible. If I were a good blogger I would have taken pictures–but as it is, just envision little sleepers . . . a little jean dress . . . polka dot leggings . . . a tiny cream colored kit cardigan . . . in sizes ranging from 3 months all the way up to 2 years. I can’t even describe how much fun this shopping experience was, with the yard sale ladies all hovering around me, helping me pick through the awesome selections, and giving me all kinds of advice about what Alice might need or not need.

It was another thrill to go through all the purchases first with my husband, then with my mother-in-law, reveling in the cuteness of it all.

Body: The belly is getting bigger and bigger . . .

. . . though I can still do the disappearing belly act!

(I wonder how long that can last? I guess we’ll find out together. It kind of scares me that I’m able to do this. What does it all mean????)

(and by the way, the dress I’m wearing here is another fabulous Rummage find that I picked up for a couple bucks–thought I’d put that out there)

Sleep: Denyse, our Bradley Method instructor, recommended sleeping on your side, bottom leg fully extended, top leg bent, rolled onto a stack of pillows. This takes the pressure off of the lower hip, which receives the brunt of your weight if you bend both legs around the pillows. Who knew!

And sleep is still my BFF–I’m almost invariably out like a light as soon as I hit the body pillow.

Best moment(s) of the week: Having alone time with my husband Saturday afternoon–it was divine. Sorely needed. Revitalizing. Encouraging. Etc.

Movement: The first part of the week, all the time! Wow, you guys. I don’t know what she was doing in there, but she was obviously having a party at least every couple hours. This week she moved around especially during church and Bible study, which I find interesting since both times I prayed that God would be teaching her as he teaches me. I wonder if God woke her up and her flips were in response to whatever he was speaking into her heart? Really. I wonder.

The second half of the week, when it started getting really hot, she started moving less–I wonder if the heat makes her sleepier?

I find it mind-boggling that her senses are so developed already. Her taste buds are fully formed (!?), she can hear noises outside the womb and will wake up if they’re especially loud, she can sense her position inside me (her inner ear is developed, giving her spatial awareness). She can feel my movements, if I’m walking or dancing or whatnot. She can sense light, and will react to it if I shine light on my belly (I have yet to test this at home, hee hee). And soon, her eyes will start to open just a little when she’s awake.

Food cravings/aversions: Still craving that sushi. Spicy Salmon Rolls . . . Spider Rolls . . . anything with shrimp tempura and avocado . . .

Symptoms: Same old–peeing a lot. And pelvic pressure as little Alice descends to her favorite spot and digs in. It’s quite uncomfortable for me, so when I feel her go down there and press, I try and jiggle her about so that she moves off my pelvic floor. This usually works, and she floats on up to where it’s a little more comfortable for moi.

Emotions: It’s been interesting thinking more about the actual birth experience. My husband and I really enjoyed our first Bradley Class with Denyse, and it gave us a platform to start talking about the delivery process, and what we want. We’ve been doing the relaxation exercise she assigned to all of the couples: the pregnant mama tenses and relaxes all her muscles in turn, starting at the feet and moving up to the face. Her partner observes what she looks and feels like when she’s tense, and what she looks and feels like when she’s relaxed, verbally encouraging her to relax.

The idea is that a lot of the birthing pain (and inefficiency in labor, which lengthens the process) is caused when the woman tenses. So one of her partner’s big jobs is to identify when (and where in her body) that tension is happening, and help her to relax.

Hopes and dreams: I’ve started praying about my birth experience. I know the birth is a small part of this journey, and what counts the most is the baby you hold in your arms when it’s all over. But all the same–I want supernatural power to relax! To not be afraid! And I have a God who can give me exactly that–so why not start calling on him now?

What I miss: Nothing!

What I’m looking forward to: I’ve started thinking about my pre-birth culinary plans. Once we get settled in our new place and everthing is in its spot, I want to cook and freeze meals for use during those first few weeks of sleeplessness, when I’m told I will become Zombie Jenna. I’m planning on making a huge batch of Chili-Cheese Etouffée. Frijoles Charros, Split Pea Soup, Black Bean Soup, Lentils and Sweet Potatoes. Tomato Sauce. Indian Curry with Chickpeas. Tikka Masala. All the old favorites! This new kitchen won’t know what hit it.

I will stack everything in flattened ziploc bags. I will make the most beautiful stacks of food you have ever seen. And then I will sit in a chair with a cup of tea and just gaze at the stacks in quiet delight.

Ever since reading Little House in the Big Woods, the idea of gathering food and preparing for winter has fascinated me–so this is my chance.

Husband update: We celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday–his first one!

It was really meaningful to take the time to recognize my husband as a father, and to remind him throughout the day of how much I love him and how much I trust that he’s going to be a great dad to little Alice (and already is, by being so good to her mama!).

Love you guys! Thanks again for all your kind words and encouraging comments, and have yourselves a fabulous weekend!

21 thoughts on “24 Weeks

  1. Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst

    Can’t wait to see you in just over a week! Craziness! 🙂 Just a quick tip for your post-baby cooking prep, you may want to avoid anything really rich in dairy or overly spicy – sometimes that can irritate a tiny babe’s tummy. Javi had a dairy sensitivity for about the first two months, so I had to cut out a lot of dairy, but he’s great now. obviously this only applies if you’re breastfeeding. Just a thought!

  2. TheKitchenWitch

    That really is the best way to sleep when you’re preggers. Funny thing is, once I started sleeping like that, I couldn’t stop–even post baby! I still sleep that way.

    My guess is 8 pounds total. You look awesome!

  3. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    i love that dress on you! it’s so adorable. on another subject…no kids here so no birth experience BUT i saw this link on facebook not too long ago (http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/08/scriptural-encouragement-for-preparing-giving-birth.html) and i looked through it… it’s sounds really encouraging. before reading it, it never dawned on me that having a baby didn’t have to be scary because of Christ! and that you can prepare in advance for it and ask God to be with you…crazy! so true but for some reason it never occurred to me. just thought you might like to see it! 🙂

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks for the link Sarah! The whole Christ conquering fear thing has really been on the mind the past week, and it hadn’t really hit me before either.

  4. Becky

    I remember going to a peaceful but powerful evening worship service the week after Levi was due (he was a stubborn one arriving 10 days over) and feeling such a relief knowing that what lay ahead was in my creator’s powerful grip. It was just the right thing to prepare me for what lay ahead. Praying for you that all goes smoothly these last months!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks Becky–that’s so encouraging. I definitely want to stay rooted in prayer and worship through this whole thing (well, and my whole life, but particularly these big changes).

  5. Jesse

    That dress is awesome, and so is your baby belly! That disappearing act is something though, goodness! With God, your Bradley classes, and the fact that your yoga practice helps to make you aware of tensions in your body, I think you’re in for a wonderful end of your pregnancy journey. I’ll be praying for you all the same!

  6. Kimby

    Jenna, that is one cute dress and you look terrific in it! So glad to hear things are progressing healthily. (Is that a word?) 🙂

  7. Suzie

    My guess is 4 pounds gained, for a total of 8 🙂 That yard sale with the baby clothes sounds absolutely fantastic and such great deals! I would have went a bit crazy too. The dress you have on is super cute and the shades make for some awesome pictures of you. Pre-cooking meals is going to be a life-saver, you will love it. I did that and I can’t say how happy I was that I did. Take out was loved too 😉 Glad you and Adam enjoyed Father’s Day.

  8. Veronica

    As soon as you said you got a Jeep stroller, I thought “Suzie!” She is so generous and a great friend, right? I’m so happy you got something from your list already. <3 Also very cool you got so many outfits for such a good price. Can you imagine how much that would have cost brand new? Yikes! Alice will be decked in style. 🙂 Love seeing your bump growing, thanks for sharing these updates every week.

  9. Twinky

    That tummy of your looks SO pattable!! As for making it disappear, that might have something to do with posture….. Being as long in the torso as you are, your back muscles can always use strengthening exercises so that the “baby belly” isn-t just the result of a swaying back. Definitely good advice on the foods you eat when you are first nursing. Also, I heard a GREAT interview on “Fresh Air” with Terri Gross who talked to a lady who knew all about breast milk. Well worth checking your NPR station on-line for archived programs to see if you can listen to it again. It aired several weeks ago. Congrats on your great yard sale finds!!
    FYI, we have packing materails for you…. =)

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks for the interview recommendation! And for those packing materials . . . we will be SO grateful not to have to box-hunt as much as we have in years past!

  10. joanne

    That belly of yours is the CUTEST. You might just be the most attract pregnant lady I’ve ever seen. For realz.

    And I love how spiritual you are about this. It makes me feel like you’re really in tune with the baby, which can only make for an awesome pregnancy.

  11. Kate

    You look amazing! The cooking is a good idea. In some cultures, the mother stays home with the baby in bed for 40 days which makes a lot of sense and takes the pressure off to go out and do things. My experience in childbirth included the tendency, when we feel pain, to tense up to fight it, like go into a fetal position and stay there when in fact the best thing to do is open your body physically, mentally, spiritually. It’s counter-intuitive but I even put my arms and legs out like in a jazz dance and things sped along much more quickly. So yes, relaxing and OPENING is the key. You’re going to be great!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks Kate–great advice on the opening. My impulse is to tense up too, so doing these relaxation exercises with Adam (even though I’m not currently in pain =) will I’m sure be really helpful.

  12. Julie M.

    That is an adorable dress Jenna! You definitely have the knack for finding the steals. 🙂 Your post birth meal menu sounds better than my every day menu as well. You got my lips smackin’ girl. I need to get cooking!

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