Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The last month

Yep, it’s been quite a long time since my last post. I blame it on two things. One, no one needs to hear my complaints that often. Two, the last few weeks have flown by! I don’t know exactly what I have been doing, but am happy that they have gone so quickly.

I am going to start this post with a list of all the positives right now. I am trying to focus on the happy things and really enjoy this pregnancy as it comes to an end. It’s not easy for me to do right now. This list will be a form of therapy for me!

  • I LOVE feeling baby girl move! It brings a smile to my face every time.
  • I love thinking about the day we will meet her! I cry every time I think of her tiny fingers, toes, nose and lips!
  • I had an absolutely AMAZING baby shower from some unbelievable friends here in Riyadh. It really brings tears to my eyes when I think of the people we meet living abroad. It’s impossible to explain how you get so close so quickly unless you have experienced it. I have lived here and known these women for only 9 months and it feels like I have known them forever. I never expected so many gorgeous friends to come to my shower. It was truly overwhelming.
  • The five ladies that organized, planned and executed the shower mean SO much to me! Krystle, Tracy, Marcelle, Allison and Liz are true friends/family that I could not appreciate and love more!!!
  • I have been wanting a comfortable glider since I learned I was pregnant. I really didn’t know if this would ever happen. Thanks to the shower planners and Lisa, a teacher friend that will be taking over my class during my maternity leave, I am getting the one I wanted straight from the US of A!!! I can’t explain how happy that makes me. It will be at my house tomorrow.
  • We have a crib! Baby girl won’t sleep in it until the fall, but we have it. For now she will sleep in a rock and sleeper next to our bed.
  • Thanks to the shower and our friend Jonalee, who gave us tons of clothes from her daughter, baby girl has quite the start to a beautiful wardrobe.
  • The amazing Taylor Krugler saved the day by retaking maternity photos for us! We had some done by a professional photographer and I cried when we got them back. They were just not what I wanted or expected. I immediately emailed Taylor, another teacher friend, and asked if she could take some for us. She was super excited to do it and the results are just perfect!!!
  • I went to the doctor Saturday and learned I am 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. I know that doesn’t mean much and labor is still probably weeks away, but it was nice to hear that my body is preparing for the arrival of this miracle.
  • The moms will be here sooooo soon!!!!
  • The deck is coming along. Travis and Ian are working really hard on it and it looks great!
  • Tracy and I held book club last week and it went really well.
  •  This past weekend was a four day weekend and was AMAZING!!!

So there you go, quite a lengthy list of positives. I should read that daily!

Here are my pictures from these weeks:

Here are some pictures from the shower:

 The shower planners: Liz, Marcelle, Allison, Tracy, Krystle and Allison’s daughter Laila

This game made guests guess how big my belly was with string.

Here are a few maternity pictures that Taylor took for us:

Mama, Daddy and Baby:
  • Mama’s latest craving is a bagel with cream cheese. She even stole bagels from Liz!
  • Mama has the pregnancy walk down! I weeble wobble all over our school campus.
  • Mama had a little scare when baby didn’t move much for two days. We went to the ER and they found the heartbeat immediately. Monitored it and told us it was excellent. I am so glad we went. It made me feel much better!
  •  Mama feels a lot pressure at the bottom of her belly and gets a pain that feels like a shock down there.
  • Mama’s back gets sore from sitting for too long, laying down for too long or walking too much. She has to change positions often. 
  • Daddy loves to feel baby girl move and rub mama’s belly.
  • Daddy is still working very hard in the backyard.
  • Daddy is saint right now! He deals well with mama crying, freaking out and getting irritated.
  • Baby is about 20 inches, the size of a melon.
  • Baby is probably between 5 and 6 pounds now.
  • Baby could (and hopefully will) come any time now! Wishful thinking...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Rock Stars

I am just going to start by saying that pregnancy is NOT easy. Anyone who has been pregnant is a rock star in my eyes. I had absolutely no clue how much your body and mind would go through while pregnant. For me it’s been a roller coaster ride since before I even conceived. I wanted to get pregnant so badly and it was so hard to see so many others sharing their exciting news. I would be so happy and excited for them, yet so discouraged that I wasn’t pregnant, even before we started trying!

The day we found out I was pregnant was the most exciting day I can honestly remember. I can picture everything like it was yesterday. The first couple weeks were great. I was growing a baby, yet felt like normal Christy. Then week 6 hit. I was sick every minute of everyday. Nothing made me feel better. That continued for about 6 more weeks. Next, you get to the second trimester and you feel like you conquered a dragon! You feel great, your bump is starting to grow, food tastes better, you’ve told the world, everyone is nice to you, life is good. This lasts for quite some time. When the third trimester comes, you almost forget about how awful the first one was. Then it hits you. Your bump is getting extremely large, your ankles are swollen, your breasts are the size of Mount Everest and even your maternity clothes aren’t fitting so well anymore. The best part, you still have almost 2 months left of this joy! You want to walk to stay fit, but it’s so hard just to pick up your feet.

Then there is your mind. Before I conceived, I was so worried that I would never be able to have a baby. There was no reason behind my thoughts, except that I know so many amazing women that struggled for years or simply can’t get pregnant. It didn’t happen right away for us, and this only made me worry more. I did acupuncture, I drank special teas, ate certain foods, drank less alcohol, you name it, I did it. Nothing helped. It finally happened when I calmed down a bit. Shocking, I know.

Once you are pregnant, you can’t say anything. You worry that something will go wrong. You worry that you are not actually pregnant that it is all in your mind, well at least until you get morning sickness and start falling asleep as you are walking. The first trimester is so scary and you are holding it all in. Again, all is well during the second trimester. As the third trimester hits the worry comes back. Is she moving enough? Is she in the right position? Will she come too early? So many questions pop back into your mind and make you worry about the growing baby inside of you. It’s not easy I tell you, and I had NO idea! That is why I think anyone who has had a baby or is currently pregnant is a true rock star in my eyes! So when you see a pregnant lady walking around, even if you don’t know them, tell them how awesome they are and how strong they are.

And I haven’t even given birth yet…that’s when women are REALLY heroines!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

31 and 32 Weeks

I’ll start with the good, and see where I end up this week. My favorite things right now are feeling baby girl move and watching baby girl move. It’s still hard to believe that I am having a baby in less than 8 weeks. I can’t believe how much my bump has grown, especially over the last couple of weeks. Just the other day I was back from walking the indoor track and was wearing bike shorts and a tank top. Travis walked in the door and the first words he said to me were, “Wow, you look a little pregnant!” I look more than a little pregnant! My belly is definitely out there and can’t be missed. He likes feeling the baby move just as much as I do. Lots of nights and mornings we just lay in bed and he puts his hand on the right side of my upper belly. She kicks me there quite often. We both laugh at how much she moves and just marvel at how amazing it all is! While in Istanbul she was moving like crazy and kicking really hard. He had his hand on her so he could feel. His exact words were, “holy shit!” They were some hard kicks and he understood a little more about how I feel sometimes when it hurts. I also find myself just staring at my belly. It is really a crazy feeling to see her moving and know that my baby is in there doing that and that soon she will be out and in my arms!

On the other hand, sometimes she kicks a little too hard and it hurts. She also punches me in the lower left side. I read that she probably sleeps around 18 hours a day right now. I would like to know when she could possibly get those 18 hours in! She rarely stops moving. I find myself talking to her and asking her to just lay still. I think I am seeing into my future…Music soothes her and so does my hand when I rub where she is kicking or punching.

My symptoms lately are peeing every 15 seconds, rolling out of bed like a bug stuck on its back, walking like a snail in mud, breathing like I just ran a marathon and eating every 30 minutes while gulping water as if I have never had it before. It hurts to sit too long, to stand too long, to lay too long and to walk for too long. It’s a joyous time in this pregnancy. I really never knew how hard pregnancy would be. I know it’s different for everyone, so some of you probably think I am a wimp while others think I am crazy. I think I am both right now. Oh, I also find that I start to tear up for no reason. Good times. Good times.

I am trying to walk as much as possible to keep up my stamina, but boy it is rough. I am trying to do yoga, but since our internet is so slow, I can’t download much. I think I have finally convinced Travis to upgrade so it will work properly. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Other than that, I have 35 teaching days left until my due date, but who’s counting? This year has truly flown by and I cannot wait for the summer!

Here are my pictures from these weeks:

Mama, Daddy and Baby this week:
  • Mama still loves to eat her ice cream!
  • Mama walks very slowly now.
  • Mama talks to baby girl a lot more lately.
  •  Mama feels a lot pressure at the bottom of her belly.
  • Mama has a very sore back and varicose veins.
  • Daddy loves to feel baby girl move.
  • Daddy is working very hard in the backyard this week and is also planning on putting together the dresser for baby girl.
  • Baby is about 19 inches, the size of a head of lettuce.
  • Baby is getting close to 4 pounds.
  • Baby is probably sucking her thumb.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dear Baby Girl...

Dear Baby Girl,

It's me, your mama. I'm writing you again. Right now I am sitting in Istanbul in my hotel room. It is silent and I am alone. I can do anything I want to do right now. I am choosing to do nothing. I know that when I get back to Riyadh things are going to get crazy. In just a little over 8 weeks daddy and I get to meet you and then things will get really crazy. Because of that, I have decided it is totally ok to sit on the computer in a bed while on vacation.

Speaking of vacation, I have to apologize to you for yesterday. Overall, this trip has been great so far. Daddy and I have been doing just a little bit each day so that I don't get too tired. Aunt Krystle, Uncle Zach and Tristan are here and we've been spending lots of time with them too. It has been a great last vacation before we welcome you into our lives.

Yesterday was rough on me though, and I it felt like it was not very easy for you either. Daddy and I ventured out a little farther west to see a few more mosques and to try and make it to Chora Church. Daddy warned me that it was a lot of walking and much of it would be going uphill. He was right. Poor guy had to pull me around for most of the morning. After a few hours and almost 10,000 steps before lunch I was done. It felt like you were trying to get out and my back was screaming at me. I never did make it to the church, but did see some gorgeous mosques and cool parts of the city.

We then headed back to our hotel area. We took the tram for part of it and it was so packed I felt like I was going to pass out. I was squished in there and so you were too. Sorry about that! After a delicious Turkish lunch I went back to the hotel to rest for a bit. I am certain you were really happy that I was finally laying down.

It didn't last long and soon we were off again. This time we walked around the Topkapi Palace. It was huge. You tried to get out again and punched and kicked me a few times. I took the hint. Daddy and I went to sit for a bit before we went to the Asian side of Istanbul. It was a short rest though.

We took the tram to the ferry station and then headed across the river to see the Asian side and eat. It was quick, but there were no restaurants near the port. We walked some more. I'm sorry. I really am. Daddy was pulling me once again. Luckily, the Winters were with us and kept us occupied. We finally found a restaurant and loved the view walking to it. Unfortunately, the restaurant had no beer and the food didn't look too good. After a short sit, we walked again. This time we took the metro under the river. It was quicker. I think you were pretty mad at me though. You decided to push on my bladder and made me pee three times in a matter of about 45 minutes. We made it back to our hotel area and had a delicious dinner. Then finally I went to bed. I don't plan on making you walk that much again. 20,000 steps was just too much! Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed the city of Istanbul. In your short little life inside me you have already been to Jordan, Michigan, Bahrain, Lebanon and now Turkey. When we return to Riyadh, your flight count will be up to 12.

We can't wait to take you around the world, although we know our vacations will be significantly different and much more work. We have your first trip planned to Michigan for the summer and then your second trip will be to Prague in September. I hope you are a good traveler and like to be out and about like your Daddy. He is currently exploring the city without me and is perfectly fine doing that. I have a feeling you are going to be adventurous, just like him.

Love you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Less than 10 weeks to go...

It’s all going downhill now…I have read and heard a million times that the second trimester is the best and you feel the best you will throughout your pregnancy. Wow, is that true! I feel like I woke up one day and my body said, “Hey, you are in the third trimester now. You are going to feel like crap from now until the baby gets here…and maybe a little after that as well!” It’s like I went to bed one day feeling on top of the world and then woke up the next as if I was hit by a truck.

Let me tell you about my current complaints:

  • My back- OH.MY.GOSH. It is so painful. It hurts when I walk too long. It hurts when I sit too long and it hurts when I stand too long. Oh, and it hurts if I am laying in the wrong position for too long.
  • My stomach- this one has two issues. First, I feel a bit nauseated at times, not like the first trimester, but it’s not too fun. Second, it gets in the way. It’s getting hard to lean over, to bend down to pick stuff up and to put clothes on.
  • My head- I now get headaches a few times a week. Luckily, they are not too bad.
  • My lungs- Yep, my lungs bother me. It seems that baby girl is pushing on them every now and then. Because of this, I have a hard time breathing every now and then.
  • I’m sleepy- I know it’s a difficult time in the year (we just finished report cards, are about to go on spring break and grade 2 had their assembly this week), but I feel like I could sleep at any time of day if I just closed my eyes.

So when people ask me how I am doing and I respond with, “Good!” I am either lying or they happen to catch me at a good time. I can’t believe I still have more than 9 weeks to go…

On a happy note, baby girl is moving like crazy still! She loves to move to fast music. The movements always increase when I am listening to music and a faster song comes on. I am not really sure when she sleeps because she moves so much. Travis has felt her move a lot now and we laugh at how crazy some of the movements are. We had a trip to the doctors last week and he said she is already head down, which makes this mama really happy! I now know when I am being kicked or punched because I know where her body parts are located.

Not too much else has been happening around here lately. Tomorrow we go to Istanbul and we are really looking forward to it. I will be going to the NESA conference for a few days and then both of us will have some time to do sightseeing. I think this is our first spring break when we haven’t gone to a beach. I am missing the beach a lot and am really looking forward to our summer on the lake. This trip will also be our last trip before baby comes!

Here are my 29 and 30 week photos.

Mama, Daddy and Baby this week:
  • Mama is feeling tired and can feel baby girl a lot!
  • Mama has swollen ankles and a very sore back.
  • Mama eats too much junk food!
  • Daddy loves to lay with mama and keep his hand on her belly to feel all the crazy movements!
  • Baby is close to 3 pounds.
  • Baby is the size of cantaloupe.
  • Baby is about 17 inches!
  • Baby may be able to recognize mama’s voice.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

I wonder...

Dear Baby Girl,

I was just watching a short clip on Facebook from Swan Lake. It was a beautiful piece with some unbelievable dancing. As I was watching, you were moving around in my belly as you usually do. It made me think about you and what you will be like, or more specifically, who you will be like.

I wonder if you will be a dancer like your mommy. I loved dance and most of my favorite memories growing up comes from dance class, dance friends, dance competitions and just dancing for fun. Will you be a soccer player like your daddy? He loved to play soccer and is much more of a sports person than I am! Will you enjoy drawing and painting like mommy? I am not very good, but always loved to pick up a paint brush. Will you love to swim like both mommy and daddy? I absolutely love being in the water to play around. Daddy was a swim teacher and knows much more than I do about real swimming. Will you play the piano or another musical instrument? Daddy and I are always amazed with anyone who can play the piano. We love piano music and could listen to it live for hours! Will you be a singer? Your Aunt Jan and Aunt Jennifer have beautiful voices. Mommy loves to sing for fun or to entertain her friends, but she should really keep her mouth closed! You probably know that by now. Sorry that you are trapped inside of me and have to listen to my voice all the time.

Then I wonder about your personality. I am pretty sure you will be a lot like you daddy. You have not stopped moving much in the last 10 weeks! Your daddy doesn't sit still either. Mommy loves to have some down time. On rainy days, I could sit and watch TV or read a book for hours without a problem. Daddy would go nuts. He needs to get out and move a lot. It seems you will be taking after him on that note. Will you be a neat freak like mommy? I try really hard to keep things neat and organized. I am sure that will change in the next few months. Your daddy is becoming more organized, but if you could have seen his desk last year at work, you would understand that he doesn't need everything organized to know where it all is. Will you be brave like daddy? He is not afraid of much. I, on the other hand, can be frightened of my shadow at times. Will you love to travel like mommy and daddy? I hope so. It looks as if you will have many plane rides and many exciting adventures all over the world!

Who will you look like? Will you have your daddy's gorgeous eyes? I sure hope so! When I first met him, I could not stop staring at those sparklers. Sometimes they are green and sometimes they are blue. They are always beautiful! Will you someday have the crazy curves your mother has? They aren't so bad after all. Will you have long legs like both mommy and daddy? What color hair will you have?

As it gets closer and closer to the day we meet you, I grow more and more anxious. We are so excited and so nervous at the same time. No matter who or what you are like, we will love you like crazy!

Mommy and Daddy
March 8, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Weeks 27 and 28

Weeks 27 and 28

It’s officially the third trimester now! I am feeling more tired lately and simple tasks are getting to be a bit more difficult. I can still put my own shoes on, but not in the same way. Getting up from a couch or chair is a little more difficult too now that I don’t have stomach muscles. I am finding that I am walking a bit slower and it’s not as comfortable. I have had a pain in lower left back and it is slowly creeping down to my butt and hamstrings. My walk has a slight limp to it! However, thanks to our AIS-R Get Fit Challenge, I am still getting around 10,000 steps a day. Some days I can get it without going for a walk after work, other days require a 30 minute walk around the compound. I haven’t done yoga since I learned I was pregnant and I am really missing it (and needing it). Today I decided to start it up again. I logged onto and signed up. They offer all kids of yoga classes. I am eager to get at it again!

Baby girl is moving a lot! I can feel bigger movements now and Travis was able to feel her again. I find that she likes to move the most when I lay down to sleep. She also wakes me up in my sleep sometimes. I really like feeling her, but it is still such a strange sensation!

Here are my 27 and 28 week photos.

The last two weeks have been quite a blur. We had Week Without Walls at school, which really tired me out. Everyday we do different activities. It’s a break from the curriculum for the students, but is much more physically demanding. It was a great week!

Then this past weekend we went to Byblos, Lebanon. We planned this trip back in October and have been looking forward to it ever since. I really can’t describe what a great city it is, so I will let the pictures do all the talking. I will tell you that we walked a lot, ate a lot and really enjoyed the city and people.

Port Byblos

 All the buildings were gorgeous! The city was built in the 12th century.
 There were churches all over the town. They were beautiful!
 Loved this view each day! It was right across the street from our hotel.
 Lunch at Feniqia, loved, loved, loved this food!
 Tracy and I smiling after eating our delicious fish sandwich.
 Byblos Castle
 Byblos Castle surroundings
 Krystle and I enjoying the view of the Mediterranean Sea from the castle grounds.
 The amazing view from the top of the castle
 Port Byblos
This sunset was amazing!

Mama, Daddy and Baby this week:
  • Mama is feeling tired and can feel baby girl a lot!
  • Mama has swollen ankles and a sore back.
  • Mama craves ice cream and all kinds of sweets right now.
  • Daddy felt baby girl move again.
  • Daddy does just about everything to help out mama.
  • Baby is close to 2.5 pounds.
  • Baby is the size of cauliflower.
  • Baby is about 16 inches!
  • Baby’s sleep now includes REM phases.