Update

Baby girl is 2 months!

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Two months have passed and a lot has happened since the last update!

The unresponsive reserved baby is gone! Every day she rewards our sleepless nights and sore arms with long curious looks and smiles. It is day and night compared to how she was a month ago. The other day I was trying to keep busy with my work on the laptop at the same time as I was breastfeeding. While I was typing I noticed that she had stopped sucking and I braced myself and waited for the crying to begin. When I looked down however I was caught by two huge blue eyes and a big smile. And she started cooing. I put down the laptop and we spent the next ten minutes chatting away. It just melts my heart every time I see those small signs of appreciation – not that they’re necessary, but they’re absolutely magical!

She becomes still more alert every day, and it seems that she also gets more different moods and emotions every day than the two she had when she was born.

Also (to her parents’ great appreciation) she actually enjoys lying on her tummy now. She’ll lie on a blanket and do her little push-ups and look around until she falls asleep for an hour or two. – which means her mom gets the opportunity to blog a tiny bit!

Her favorite things to do are: eating, sleeping and having her butt blow-dried after a diaper change or bath.

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Catching up on us

I really need to get better at not disappearing from off the face of the Earth for weeks at a time like this…

So here is a quick post to catch you up on what is going on over here.

Baby is doing great! – Speaking of Baby, here are some pictures!

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That’s the first real of Baby’s smiles we finally caught on camera! Melt your heart!

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She’s seven weeks today and has already changed so much! She finally seems to be acknowledging our presence and efforts to make her happy. She has thrown us a good amount of smiles and even allows herself to be entertained once in a while. She can lie awake for longer periods of time, looking around and even smiling at us if we speak in exact right “fairytalie” high-pitched voice. This seems to really float her boat. And her smile is beautiful enough that we don’t care about sounding stupid. Sneaky baby…

These last few weeks have been full of larger social gatherings. Marcus’ entire family came to Denmark to see our little girl and we’ve had a few dinners with my side as well. So her social skills have really been challenged. But the way that she saw fit to best handle the situation was to mentally leave the room and fall asleep. All day.

So there has been a lot of sleeping – which has made Mom and Dad’s lives easier, but also a bit boring. Funny how you can spend hours trying to calm her down, feeding, changing, singing, walking, feeding again, and when she finally falls asleep you miss her so much you wake her back up just so you can hang out again. – But when we’re at home just the three of us she is becoming quite talkative. My favorite thing is lying in bed having our first baby-conversations. It’s seriously the best thing ever!

Well… as for me, now just seven weeks after giving birth I received my first ever “Are you pregnant again?”. A very unexpected slap in the face – though I’m sure it wasn’t meant that way. But it sure motivated me to work even harder this coming week to get back into shape.

In all honesty I wanted to respond: “No I’m not. Actually I’m feeling better than I have for almost a year!” Cause I am! Working out (slowly as it may be) is getting me back on my feet faster than I expected! I don’t feel weak or tired and I’m enjoying being able to be physically agile in ways that I haven’t been since before I got pregnant. So thank you very much but I am working as hard as I can at the moment to suck this belly back in!

Can I just take another moment to praise Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide one more time? I really love this workout program. It is so flexible and absolutely perfect for me to be able to do on my own time! I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to lose some weight, tone up or just feel a lot better! I was never the working out type of person – but I cannot emphasize enough how much better it makes me feel.

For the first time in my life I can honestly say I am happy with my eating habits. Over four weeks I have gone from wanting sweets once a day to once a week. By now I actually look forward to eating and planning to make healthy food because I know it will make me feel better. It feels good now, but I know I won’t fully appreciate having reached this milestone before I see the results it will eventually bring.

And i dropped school for now and I’m instead doing a translation job from home that I can easily balance and time around Baby. Hallelujah!

Right now we’re looking forward to Baby turning 2 months (I love scanning Pinterest for baby development articles and infographics as often as possible!), Thanksgiving (best meal of the year!), seeing some snow (that’s just me – Hawaii didn’t really deliver last year) and of course CHRISTMAS! Can’t. Wait.

More pictures! – some of these are pictures I have posted on my Instagram account. If you would like more regular picture updates of baby or my working out you can follow me at @rebecca.celeste.

IMG_4842 IMG_4747Here is Baby joining me for a morning workout. We both need to practice our push-ups!

First three weeks of life and motherhood

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Like I said, the last three weeks have been quite memorable and extremely educational. Definitely for us but probably – definitely – also for Baby. I can’t believe she’s three weeks already! At the same time I can’t believe we finally made it this far…

People often ask me if parenting is as hard as I thought it would be. It’s definitely as hard but I’m surprised how little it bothers you to get up for the fourth time in the middle of the night, change an explosion of a diaper or just not having your hands free … ever. Because it’s your baby and you love her. And also I guess because it’s natural and instinctive, I realize.

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The hardest part for me has for sure been breastfeeding. Those cozy cuddly bonding moments in a big armchair, mother and child gazing into each other’s eyes… Yeah, they haven’t happened yet. I knew breastfeeding was going to be hard in the beginning but I didn’t know it was gonna be so bad it felt like labor wasn’t quite over. All baby and I could do was keep trying and trust people who said that it would get easier with time. And fortunately, it has and we’re almost to the point where it was totally worth the pain.

The recovery in general was also a bit more than I expected. A lot of bleeding and a lot of feeling really weak and a big flappy blob for a belly. Though this all felt like a huge pain in the butt the first week, now it’s pretty much in the same box as pregnancy and labor: sucked, but it’s a long time ago now.

That’s honestly how I feel about everything I went through now. I’m no where near the point of wanting to get pregnant all over again, but I am however already naive enough to think that ‘it wasn’t really THAT bad’. Silly me… but I enjoy the fantasy. I’ll worry about that next time the stick comes back positive.

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Just like when she was in the womb, Baby is still developing pretty darn fast. When she was new she was just a beautiful little cute ball of swollen fatness that could hardly squint through her heavy eyelids. She didn’t say too much and didn’t bother to interact much. But since then she has grown more alert every day. Now, we enjoy several hours every day with her lying awake, looking around and making the cutest ever cooing sounds.

The absolute best thing for both me and Marcus, I think, has been learning that she truly feels comforted by us and that most of the time when she’s upset it’s because she wants to be close to us. I had a nice experience Sunday before last. We had taken Baby to church for the first time and had spent the rest of the day at my parents’. That evening when we got in the car to go home Baby screamed like she had never done before all the way home. When we were finally parked outside our building I unbuckled and pulled Baby out of her car seat and put her on my shoulder. She immediately fell silent. For the next hour I kept her there, just enjoying the confirmation that she actually knows me and that I can calm her because I am her mom.

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I love her so much and though we’ve never had a conversation and though she hardly even ever looks at me properly, I feel like I know her – and in some ways like I always have.

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40 weeks pregnant

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We’re here! The week we’ve all been waiting for! Everything’s ready and everyone’s waiting.

But still no baby.

Rude? I think so. She’s gonna be a little drama queen that waits for all the guests to arrive before making her grand entrance.

Just please don’t wait too long, Baby!

I can’t really think of much we’ve done this week. It seems like it’s all been sitting on the couch staring at the clock. Pulling out an occasional school assignment to pass time. We’ve actually almost finished reading a book together. It’s called Heaven is for Real – you may have seen the movie. Good read! It’s about a little boy’s near death experience and his trip to heaven. Also, our apartment is tidier than it’s ever been. And hey, I finished my changing table project. If Baby takes much longer to come out I might start a project making some canvas pictures from our wedding photos. Tonight we’re gonna get our weekly shopping trip done in all hopes that we’ll have our hands full on Monday.

There aren’t really any symptoms to report this week. Other than the fact that Baby is definitely still growing. I pretty much can’t breathe when I lie on my back and often I need to change positions because Baby is pushing against my hips and ribs at the same time. I’ve pretty much lost feeling in the skin stretched tightly across my abdomen. And my feet are constantly sore – especially when I get out of bed in the morning and put my full 75+ kg on them they scream.

On the happy side I feel more energized than ever and I haven’t needed a nap the last many days. If it wasn’t so hard to move around I probably would be on my feet all day. I wonder if that’s a sign it’s soon… or the opposite.

Okay… next week folks.. there’ll be a baby picture on here!

39 weeks pregnant

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Folks. We’re down to the wire. Anytime now I’m gonna be Instagramming a cute little baby face. And no, there’s no way you’re anywhere as excited as I am. Every time I have the smallest contraction I wonder if it’s time to time it and hoping against hope that another will follow within the next half hour.

A few days ago I had a real false alarm. We were out walking and apparently my body felt like it needed to tell me immediately that I needed to quit it. It felt like my uterus was going into pretty bad cramps and we had to call my mom to come take us home. Nevertheless, no baby yet.

In the meantime we have had more time to prep for Baby’s arrival. I have now finished packing a perfect hospital bag complete with a brand new fresh pair of PJ bottoms for Mommy – figured I may as well start a tradition while we’re at it, and what in the world is better than new clean PJs?

My next waiting-for-baby-project will be to turn a desk into a changing station. Initially we had decided, in our determination to not spend a lot of money, not to get a changing table and just be monkeys and do her changing on the floor, but the last few weeks have proved that we never use that desk anyway, and I need a baby related project. I’m excited to see what I’ll manage to pull off.

This week has also been my first back to school. Don’t ask how we plan to juggle that with a baby – we’re still optimistically working on it. I’m really really happy to be back though. Not that I regret our last year, but it’s just fantastic to be back working on my education.

Dare I hope that that was the last weekly update??

 

38 weeks pregnant

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What a great week! As horrible and as hard as last week was this week was a stroll in the park compared.

So I was sent to the hospital to do a blood test for my itchiness. At the time I was still experiencing sleepless nights due to my vigorous scratching and general going-insane’ness. But it seems that as soon as the doctors had gotten what they needed, my body seemed to decide it was all a great joke and went back to being normal. Since that day I’ve actually slept peacefully all night (except for frequent bathroom breaks of course) and I’ve stopped using the two liters of lotion every day. I feel amazing! I expect post-pregnancy is gonna feel somewhat like this to some degree – being a little more comfortable in your own body again.

Now I’m only hoping this isn’t a silence before the storm or if this is my body laying off because I’m gonna go two weeks overdue or something.

At the hospital they also monitored Baby’s heartbeat and movements and my contractions for half an hour. Afterwards they did  a quick ultrasound to measure her size, and everything seemed picture perfect! – still can’t get enough of doctors telling me that!

Poor Marcus was all excited about seeing her on the ultrasound, since he wasn’t there for the last one. But since Baby is so big and lying so scrunched up now, to us it seemed as if we may as well have put the ice cold goo on Marcus belly instead.

But who cares. We get to see her face to face in just two weeks!!

– You hear that Baby? Two weeks!

— OH! Also, I’m still in the continued process of tossing things in my hospital bag. I am wide open for tips and good ideas for what to bring. Anything you found handy, comforting or just practical to have with you? Much appreciated!

37 weeks pregnant

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Sorry, but there’s no better way to say it. This week I feel borderline handicapped. Thank goodness for husbands, or I don’t know that I’d get anything done that couldn’t be carried out seated. (I have a bad feeling I’m gonna read this post in a couple of years when I’m pregnant again with a toddler on the side thinking I was a bit of a whiner back in 2014)

For the past few weeks I haven’t worked out properly. My workouts these days consist of walks. Walks that I wouldn’t call “walks” if this had been any other period of my life, but to 37 weeks pregnant me it certainly feels like good and proper walks. Yesterday I walked to the store twice with Marcus – I think it added up to maybe a full kilometer and a half! However, though short, I spent at least 45 minutes doing it. Oh, and not to mention the stairs. Did I tell you? We just moved into our new apartment. …. On the 5th floor. That’s a lot of steps! Especially when you’re carrying around an extra 40% of your body weight. Needless to say, each walk up is closely followed by a ‘lay-on-the-couch’ session.

This week I reached the point where I feel exactly like anyone who sees a very pregnant woman’s belly assumes that it must feel like. Stretching beyond capacity and the feeling of being about to pop any second. Especially on our glorious walks does my body seem to say “wow! slow down!”. Marcus captured this phenomenon in the picture below. It was taken yesterday walking back from the store. I think he found it funny because I was torn between being so pleased with having my first sip of Danish chocolate milk (yes, it’s different) since coming home and uncomfortably rubbing my aching belly while I walked as fast as I could (a pace any old lady would take pride in keeping up with).

I’m still itchy as ever! As a matter of fact, I got out of bed at 4.30am to write this blog post, hoping that it would make me tired enough to fall back asleep. Suspecting it may have to do with trouble with my liver my midwife said she would send me for a blood test at the hospital. Little naive Becca thought to herself, ‘Hah! Sure, send me to the hospital, but I’d bet this baby is gonna be out before we can solve anymore problems like that!’

– who am I kidding.

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36 weeks pregnant

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What a frustrating pregnancy week!

Last week I talked about feeling a bit restless when I went to bed. I wish that was still my biggest problem.

When last week bedtime meant me finally getting some energy and feeling ready to get to work, this week bedtime means my body warming up and getting tingly and finally insanely itchy. Like literally .. insanely. And not just the bump but also especially my hands, feet, arms, legs and hips. I can lie awake for hours just focusing all my attention on not scratching and lying still. Seriously, it’s to the point that all I can think of doing is crying it out. I wonder if this is another way for my body to prepare me to be patient and long-suffering. If so, I hope it’s working.

Over the weekend I mainly treated it with oils. I figured that would be best. This morning though I was so bad and awake crying at 5am that Marcus sent me to take a shower. Being back in my parents house for the night I tried a lotion my mom got at Matas here in Denmark. It helped better than anything, so I went and got my own today. Excited to see how I’ll sleep tonight.

Contractions are coming several times a day now and they can last up to 30 minutes. Though they’re slightly more powerful now, I can’t help but get a little excited every time. Is it time yet??

I don’t know if I have become “nesting-disfunctional”. Lately I’m just tired. All the time. I can sleep in, be tired by noon, take a nap.. and feel ready to go to bed again before dinner. These days we’re moving into our next apartment here in Aalborg and normally I’d love getting settled, unpacking and doing IKEA runs and all that, but now I just feel tired thinking about it. Tonight I was brave enough to go to IKEA with Marcus though we had already spent a great deal of the day shopping. I think it must have been the shortest visit there we’ve ever done. Less than an hour!! High-five!

As unnatural as it may be I think I may feel less like getting all the work done before the baby comes and more like I just need to get this baby out so I can finally concentrate on getting some work done. I realize that is probably pretty stupid.

35 weeks pregnant

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Baby good… Mama good… Daddy good…

Could it just be time already??

This week my body hit another wall.. I’ve had a few tough days where I really just feel exhausted and any task just seems a little too hard to overcome. We’re staying with Marcus’ parents in Stockholm for a few weeks and (thank goodness!!) they have a pool!! Anyway, the other day Marcus asked if I wanted to run down and take a dip. We didn’t have a lot of time, so as wonderful as it would have been, I just couldn’t stand the thought of changing, getting in the pool, showering and getting ready all over again just for 10 minutes of pleasure. Again, I was just brought to tears instead. – my crying attacks sort of went away when Marcus was gone, but it seems to have returned stronger than ever now that he’s back .. guess I just needed that shoulder.

So I have to share the one memorable pregnancy related thing that happened this week – since, as you’ve probably noticed, these last few months are quite uneventful. So… I’ve of course been expecting milk coming out some time in the last trimester. Well, it happened this week. I had gone to bed and we were just falling asleep when I noticed that I was all wet down the front. Since then it’s happened a few times – less dramatic – and I can’t quite crack what triggers it. – Sorry for the details, but hey this is another sign that baby can come out now!

Also, nesting is for sure setting in. I lie awake for hours at night because I feel restless and stressed that I’m not doing anything. Annoyingly, this seems to only be a problem after lights-out.

Baby Girl is growing steadily. I said last week that I didn’t feel like I’d grown. I take it back. I’m definitely growing and I can even feel it. My belly hasn’t been this itchy yet, so it must be stretching like crazy. If I get more stretch marks the bump will be solid purple by the time I give birth.

She’s kicking less and less. Or probably as frequently but not for as long as usual. Almost as if she starts moving but stops when she gets tired of trying to stretch out in that small of a space. It seems like she’s rolling over a ton though. Often I wake up and I can feel her back on the opposite side of the belly from where she was the day before. It’s a good thing she won’t remember anything in a few years, otherwise I can imagine we’d have a horrible case of traumatic claustrophobia on our hands.

Come out, baby!

34 weeks pregnant

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I guess I’m starting to realize I won’t be pregnant for much longer and that I should start enjoying the last weeks to their fullest. Having thought that, the last few days it seems that being pregnant just got a tiny bit harder.

So I don’t know if it’s just me.. but I feel like I haven’t grown very much the last weeks. Been looking through the last pictures and it looks pretty much the same to me. However, I can definitely tell I’m getting heavier, which is no surprise as Baby Girl is doing nothing but putting on weight all day. Fatten up that child, I say! Anyway… pregnancy is a good motivation to not get overweight in the future.

I’ve been having small contractions a few times a day the last weeks. But a few days ago we were in bed about to fall asleep and I seriously had one that lasted at least an hour. I had to get out of bed and walk around a bit to clear my head. We got a tiny bit worried, and I managed to get all excited thinking it was almost time, until pulled up Google and found out it was pretty normal. Darn..

She’s not kicking as hard as she has, due to the little space left in there for her. I mainly just feel her moving – and I try really heard not to get sad cause I’d just hate my life if I had that little space! Also, in some ways she seems more and more like a real baby. I can even tell when she wakes up when I have one of my 3+ daily servings of ice chips or like tonight when we went to a soccer game with the family she seemed to jerk awake when the commentator started talking and the loud fans started singing. It took a while, but she did finally settle down and seemed to fall back asleep. Hope that’s a sign she’ll be able to shut out noise outside of the womb as well. (please please please!)

Apart from that I’m feeling pretty good, though still very ready to wear this baby on the outside instead. It’s pretty amazing how it’s natural to feel that way. I haven’t given birth yet, but because of that feeling of “being done” I actually feel excited out of my wits to give birth! How about that! I’ve never heard of a woman who wished to just keep the baby inside rather than just pushing it out and getting it over with. Pretty nifty! Feel pretty proud of being a woman.