Happy Birthday, Buttercup!

It was Buttercup’s first birthday this weekend! We had a Hello Kitty themed party for family and friends to commemorate the occasion. And it true “bad blogger” form, I was too preoccupied getting everything set up to take pictures, so if you have some good ones from the day, please feel free to send them to me!

  

  
She grew up way too stinking fast. And since this is the last first birthday party I’ll ever have to throw, I wanted to do a REAL party. With, like, decorations and planning and stuff.

Prepping the night before:  
Hello Kitty totally threw up all over our living room.

  

  
  
 

  
Even Olive got all festive.

  
I still can’t figure out how to take a good picture of a black dog. She’s all shadow.

 

Anyway, the kids put on their party hats and were ready for a good time!  
  
Squish was ALL ABOUT the hats. Buttercup, not so much. But how cute is this “Birthday Hat” my sister crochet for her?!?

  

She clearly did not appreciate it as much as we did.

But she did appreciate the cake. She started with dainty little finger-dips in the frosting before digging in with both hands.

  
It was a great party!

  
Happy birthday to our little miss Princess Strawberry Mochi Cream Puff Buttercup! 

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The Baby Story Post

I can’t believe our little miss is almost two months old already! These last few weeks have been such a blur of holiday festivities, showing off baby to family and friends, and lots of night feedings. Oh, the night feedings.

Anyway, before my baby brain forgets all of the details, I figure I’d better get the baby story out of the way.

On my last doctor’s appointment, I was three days overdue. My doctor was concerned that since this baby was larger, she didn’t want me to go much past one week overdue. And I was very, very done with being pregnant (if you haven’t been able to tell from my lack of positive posting as of late) so an induction sounded fantastic. I was a little nervous about it because I would have preferred to go into labor naturally, but since it was my second baby and things have been going well, I was relatively low-risk for complications. So I planned on heading to the hospital Saturday for an induction.

I was a bit of a train wreck come Saturday morning. First of all, I was super “frexcited” (frightened + excited) so I had a difficult time sleeping on my last baby-free night of sleep. Then my doctor gave me some specific instructions on how to go about arriving at the hospital for the induction. Because mothers in active labor are given precedence over inductions for beds, I was told that if Saturday morning ended up to be a busy morning and if I didn’t get a bed by 7:00 am to not bother coming in at all, but wait until Monday. I was to call the hospital at 5:00 a.m. to confirm bed availability and show up by 6:00 so I can get in right away. Well, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on my last baby-free night of sleep so I could down a hearty breakfast and call the hospital. They told me to come in at 8:00. In my anxious, tired, sleep-deprived state I couldn’t figure out what exactly that meant compared to my doctor’s instructions. Does it mean they have beds available but want me to come in later, even though my doctor told me to be there at 6:00? Or does that mean if I go in I won’t get a bed by 7:00 and I should just wait until Monday? I was so confused and totally overly emotional (which bodes well for the sleep-deprived near future where I have a small human dependent on my sanity). So Hulk had to step in and make an executive decision to just go in at 6:00 as planned and see what the deal is.

I also slept horribly because I was unusually achy all night. Normally I would go to bed achy, but after a couple hours of sleep I would feel normal again. Not this night; my back and hips were just as achy in the morning as when I went to bed. And on the way to the hospital, I was noticing some slight cramping. So I have a feeling that if I wasn’t on my way to an induction that I may have gone into labor sometime that weekend anyway.

We got to the hospital, and it turns out that it was a slow night on the labor and delivery floor and I was the only planned induction there, so I was shown to a bed right away. Score, and all my anxiety and panic was, as usual, unnecessary.

Waiting room selfie!

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I was in a room by 6:30, and strapped to an I.V. by 7:00. At 7:15, they broke my waters and started the Pitocin. And good times were had by all.

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I told the nurse that I wanted a pain med free labor. Yup, I was going to rock this au naturale like I did with Squish. Because I’m nuts. The nurse was great and brought in a rocking chair, and a birthing ball and helped arrange the fetal monitor and IV so I could move a bit more freely about the room. At first the contractions were pretty manageable and I just chilled out in the bed and breathed through them while Hulk made a Starbucks run.

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The nurse brought me some chicken broth, crackers, and juice to snack on but after a few bites I quickly realized things were getting very real very fast and I was worried about keeping everything down. Around 9:30 I was in full-blown labor. Hulk was a champ at keeping me moving as much as possible. I started out in the rocking chair, and every other contraction or so would stand and sway through the contraction as Hulk supported me, or leaned on the bed. That worked pretty well for a while and when they checked me I was at 4 cm. My contractions were starting to come too close together, so they reduced my Pitocin.

By 10:15 I was really starting to cave. The pain was getting really intense and my mind kept screaming at me through every contraction, “Ask for drugs, you idiot! We don’t have to do it this way!” Holy hell was that tough. I ended up on my hands and knees on the floor for the contractions, then back in the rocking chair to recover for the next one, sweating like crazy. But in the end I didn’t request drugs because I was worried about it being too late for drugs, and didn’t want to ask only to be turned down. That would suck. So I kept on plowing through, focusing on each contraction as it came, talking positive talk out loud about how productive and good this contraction is, and trying not to think about how much longer this was gonna be.

At some point the nurse suggested I labor in bed on my side, since that may help put the baby in the right position. Laying down sounded awesome at the time because I was exhausted, so I climbed in bed and tried it. This was around 10:30, I think, and I was starting the transition phase, which is the toughest phase of labor. It was so, so hard. I was on my side for a couple of transactions and then would flip on my hands and knees and moan into a pillow. The intensity was unreal, I was doing everything I could to keep calm and relaxed. The nurse kept asking if I felt “pushy,” and soon I felt the urge to push. She checked me and I was at 9 cm, so, so close. All I could think about is what I could do to make each contraction more effective, which really translates to me as what can make them suck more. So I alternated between laying on my side (sucked) to hands and knees (still sucked) to laying on my back so the nurse could check me (sucky suck). The whole time I was trying to be calm and work with the the contractions and not thrash around, and Hulk was still by my side like a rock star, squeezing my hand and rubbing my shoulders.

Here’s a super TMI part, so feel free to skip ahead if you’re already squeamish and another dose of childbirth crazy will send you over the edge. Let’s just catalogue this next experience as “things you would never, ever be comfortable with unless you’re in the final stages of labor.” Yes, this is the Poop Story part. Anyway, I hadn’t pooped yet that morning, and I guess I was, um, full. So the nurse told me to try and poop, since it would make more space for baby to come out and be easier. So here I am, sitting on a toilet moaning loudly through contractions with the bathroom door wide open to a room full of nurses and hospital staff prepping for the delivery. Besides the complete and total lack of privacy, do you have any idea how hard it is to poop when you’re 9 cm dialated and are already feeling urges to push? You have to figure out really quick what’s a baby push and what is a poop push. I really didn’t want the experience of delivering a baby in a toilet. Anyway, I successfully figured it out and she wasn’t delivered in a toilet.

Then it was time to push for real! I was so ready for this to be over and to finally have my baby, I was in full-on “warrior mode.” As I felt the contractions come, I started pushing with everything I had left. Then the doctor said, “stop pushing” right in the middle of a big one. Then everyone started telling me, “Stop pushing, stop pushing!” Let me tell you, to not push when everything in your body is telling you otherwise is slightly less than impossible. Apparently the cord was wrapped tight around the baby’s neck, and the doctor needed some slack so she could cut it off. Once I figured out what was happening I completely put the breaks on as much as I could, I was so worried I would screw this up. Quickly the cord was slipped from her neck. I gave one last push and suddenly, I had a baby in my arms.

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Other than her face being a little purple and mottled from the cord, she was absolutely perfect. The doctor delivered the placenta, checked me out, and declared I didn’t have any tearing whatsoever! That was very unexpected and fantastic news. Yay, less pain!

This was such a great birth experience. It was just over four hours from when they induced me to when she was born, and I still can’t believe how perfectly everything went down. Mercedes is my “magic baby,” with the perfect combination of being a great eater, sleeper, and cuddler. I couldn’t have imagined anything better than this.

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And I have no idea why I wore makeup. I must have forgot I was having a baby and not going to work or something.

Welcome to the world, baby girl!

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Meet Mercedes!

“What did you do this weekend, Emily?”

“Oh, not much. Sat around, watched some TV, had a baby.”

WOO-HOO! She’s finally here! Baby v2.0 made her appearance Saturday morning, meet little Mercedes Catherine:

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I’ll post more pictures when I get them off of Hulk’s phone. He was our main social media coordinator/photographer throughout the event.

Anyway, Sadie was born at 11:18 A.M. on Saturday, November 22. She clocked in at 20 inches and 6 lbs, 15 oz of pure squashy baby fury.

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Proud papa!

Labor and postpartum at the hospital were everything and nothing like I remembered it with Squish. I’ll post the birth story later, but in a nutshell it really couldn’t have gone any better and I feel fantastic (considering I just squeezed out a baby I now have to breast feed around the clock, of course)!

Go make it a wonderful day! I know mine will be, we are bringing our little burrito baby home today 🙂

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The Induction

On Thursday I met with my doctor, and we decided that I should go in for an induction today. So I am now sitting in the OB reception lobby waiting for a nurse to fetch me and get this show started. As my paperwork is being passed around the nurses, they were saying, “the Induction is here.” So now Hulk is referring to me as The Induction.

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I’m not really sure what to expect yet. I was having crampy-like contractions on and off all night, so who knows? Maybe I’ll go into natural labor while waiting for the Induction Show to get started. Either way, we’re having a baby today.

All right, we need a palate cleanser after all this baby talk. Check out my Ghiradelli sundae from the other night:

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We went out for Indian. Spicy food doesn’t seem to work on me as far as inducing labor goes, but it’s delicious anyway. And afterwords we decided to stop at Ghiradelli for one last no-baby sundae.

And that’s it for me. The next post should be full of exciting baby news! Woot!

35 Weeks

I still haven’t wrapped my head around how much volume I take up now. I used to be able to squeeze in between the crowds in airports and busy SF streets without issue (benefits of being 5’0″ tall), but now I seem to have acquired all of this circumferential mass that I have yet figured out how to wield. Even at home, if Hulk doesn’t have is desk chair pulled all the way in, I get stuck trying to pass behind him on the way to my desk.

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Elevator selfies are the best.

She’s still sitting breach from what I can tell. At my next appointment next week I may be sent in for an ultrasound and fetal stress test to see if she can handle being turned. I forgot to ask my doctor what happens if she can’t be turned. Well, I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Baby Size She’s about 20in long and weighs around 5 lb now. The doctor said she’s very similar in size if not a little bigger to what Squish was at this stage, and he was born at 6lb 8oz which was nice. Yay for small babies!

Symptoms Lots of puffy ankles, an achy belly from dragging all that weight around, and raging, furious heartburn. Other than that I’ve been feeling pretty normal.

Cravings I eat everything.

Weight Gain My weight gain has leveled off. I think I’ve gained around 30 lbs. My doctor said my weight gain has been right on par with what I gained with Squish, with some weeks the numbers matching exactly. And I dropped the baby weight like a bad habit when I was nursing, so I’m pretty confident I’ll be down to my “fighting weight” after a few months postpartum. I’m am really, really eager to start running again!

Other Thoughts I’ve been in a bit of a sour mood lately, and I think it’s been a combination of life stress, my crap-tastic diet, and hormones. I read somewhere that depression is pretty common during pregnancy (not to forget postpartum depression, which is pretty serious), and I am having a difficult time getting out of my own head and quelling the negative thoughts I tend to brood on. Hulk has been rock star awesome at being very understanding and helping me out where he can. Mostly I’m dealing with my own frustrations at no longer being able to do what I’ve always done but can’t now, and fear about how much life will change with 2 needy, small humans instead of just 1 that other people take care of for me. I’m not a very “maternal” person, and I always feel like a bad mom when I can’t figure out what Squish wants, or after four hours alone with him I’m totally done with him. I don’t know how Hulk and other stay-at-home parents do it. I keep thinking that it’ll be different with this baby, since I’ve been through it before and I know the mistakes I want to correct and it’ll totally be better. But I know that’s not the case. I may have already raised a baby, but I haven’t raised this baby. Who knows what fun surprises she has in store!

Baby Update: Week 31

We are now firmly careening down into the third trimester! It’s getting real, yo. It’s like as soon as week 28 came, a freight truck filled with new symptoms hit me. So long to the energetic, “easy” second trimester. Mmm, that was nice. It’s nothing but weight gain and swollen feet from here on out!

Symptoms:

Headaches I’ve noticed more unexplained headaches lately. I’ve had my coffee, I’ve drank a gallon of water, so it’s not withdrawl or dehydration. Just annoying.

Baby Kicks: Yay! Such fun. She loves to move it at all hours of the day. I like poking my belly back and tormenting her. At my last appointment I found she’s sitting head-up. My doctor said she wasn’t worried about it yet since there’s plenty of time for her to flip down (and back up again, if she’s a punk like her momma) so I’m having fun poking at the hard spot under my ribs that’s her head and going, “knock knock!” I do the same to Squish, so she’s better get used to it now.

Back/Belly Aches: The pain from straining my back a couple weeks ago seems to have receded but I’ve still had a continuous ache in my lower back. It’s more of a twinge than a full-on pain, so it’s just enough to keep me worried and annoyed. The prenatal yoga seems to help, along with doing some light stretching at night and making sure to use pillows or my snuggle to prop everything up when I sleep on my side. My belly is getting really achy too. Not only is she running out of room pretty quick, but all of the ligament pain and stretching of everything makes it achy too. Plus, every now and then she decides to ram a foot or elbow right out the side of my belly like she’s trying to bust out the wrong way. It happened on the plane the other day, and I thought I was going to bruise it was so painful. If physical discomfort to mom is indicative of the child’s personality in life, she is going to be a handful.

Edema: My feet swell like crazy, especially after sitting at work all day. I try to remember to get up and walk frequently, but some days my schedule just doesn’t allow for that. Coming home on the plane last week, I had legit cankles with creases, my feet were swollen so badly. It wasn’t until later the next day they went back down to normal size.

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Workouts

I’m not running. I’ve given up intense stuff for good ol’ walking, mostly over my lunch break at work or to the train station in my evening commute if I’m feeling up for it. I lift light weights maybe once a week, but mostly focus on bodyweight stuff like squats and push-ups. And I’ve been going to prenatal yoga, which is heavenly! But for the most part, physical activity just completely wipes me out. After a walk or even a shopping trip, I need to lay down for a while. So I’ve been trying to put my workouts in the evenings when I’m tired anyway so it doesn’t matter.

Other Randoms

Cravings: Lately I’m still on this ALL THE VEGGIES kick. Meat’s okay, but I’m just not that into it. When I’m home my favorite snack is starting to become a big bowl of frozen mixed veggies, microwaved with butter and salt. Quick and easy.

Life Stuff: We’re still house hunting, so the move date is still up in the air. We’ve expanded our search to the west side of the city, out in the Avenues or Sunset. I still have freeway access to get to work there, and there are a lot more options for what we’re looking for. I’m still holding out for the perfect fixer-upper in Bernal Heights, though.

In the next few weeks I’ll start looking on Craigslist for the baby essentials we need, which all I can think of right now is a carseat and a bassinet. Since we don’t have much room and I don’t know when we’ll move, I’m keeping to a minimalist philosophy. Besides, since Squish arrived early and we had NOTHING for baby (I had to call my sister from the hospital and ask her to pick up some diapers and stuff on her way to visit), I want to be a little more prepared this time, but knowing that whatever we don’t have we’ll figure out when the time comes.

I’m planning on getting a super-duper econo-grade breast pump since I will most likely still be traveling when I go back to work. I still have my Medela Freestyle from when Squish was little which did great (especially in the early days when I was too chicken to breastfeed and just pumped exclusively for about 3 months), but I think that a legit hospital-grade one will be a better workhorse for all the pump-heavy travel weeks. Athena from Fit Life Balance wrote a guest post on Carrots ‘n’ Cake about pumping while traveling, and I about cried tears of happiness to read about her tips and, most importantly, that it can and has been done before. So that little worry is off my shoulders.

My only big “irrational” worry left is the same one I had before with Squish, and is most likely a common point of anxiety among working moms – what if I go into labor at work? I really don’t want to go into labor at work. I lucked out with Squish as he decided to come in the middle of the night, with my water breaking at midnight hours before contractions started. But it came as a total surprise and I had meetings an stuff planned for the next day. I had to email my boss from the hospital saying, “Um, so, my leave starts now. Here are the files I’m working on. See you in a couple months!” If I was at work when my water broke it would have been even more dramatic since my commute to home was an hour. This time around, my commute is slightly shorter, but I’m dependent on the train schedule. So I’ve had nightmares of my water breaking at work and having to ride a local train for an hour into the city during contractions. I’ve talked to my boss about it and my company is being super nice and flexible in the days leading up to my leave. They’ve offered me a week of working from home and some extra vacation time in the last days coming up to my due date. But I don’t want to run out of vacation and have to go on leave early just to twiddle my thumbs for days waiting for the big show. Nor do I want to underestimate how soon she’ll arrive and be at work when it happens. Why can’t I have one of those turkey timer things, where the little red button pops up when she’s done? That would make things easier.

That’s all for the baby stuff now. Time to eat and sleep. The third trimester is rather the Garfield the Cat of all the trimesters, I believe.

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The Big Reveal

Good morning! It’s Friday, woot!

Wow, I totally flaked on posting yesterday. For whatever reason, I was up at 4:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I decided to just head to work in the wee hours of the morning and get some stuff done. It’s a good thing I did; my day was pretty much non-stop prepping for my travel next week, and when I got home I simply crashed.

Which meant it was quite the Starbucks day.

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And I even left you all hanging with the baby announcement, too …

Ugh, I can’t keep secrets.

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I’ve got a ton more work to do, sorry this is a quickie post. We’ll have a nice chat over the weekend and get caught back up.

Make it a most wonderful day!

Week 8

I’m just going to throw it out there, I am super excited for Easter! My whole family is in town, and we have big plans for brunch, maybe parade, and lots of egg hunting!

But in the meantime, a baby update! I’m at the point where the pregnancy is starting to kick my ass. Lots of fatigue, and lots of pukey pukeyness. I went to my first prenatal appointment last Saturday, and everything checks out great. She scheduled me for an ultrasound on Monday to look at some things, and we got to see the little peanut close-up! I hadn’t had an ultrasound that early before, it was cool to see the little heart beating and the little arms and legs twitching. Hulk joined me for it, and it was so cute to see him get excited as the technician pointed things out.

Belly Pics

My pants are getting snug, but I’m not sure if it’s because of baby or just too much food. One of these days I’ll add a belly pic, as soon as I can either find a full-length mirror or sucker Hulk into taking one for me.

Cravings

My cravings have not been too crazy. It feels like normal. Once in a while I’ll want something out-of-the-ordinary, like bean and cheese burritos. But I’m still liking lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I had some jicama the other day and thought I’d died and gone to fresh veggie heaven it was so good.

Aversions:

There are definitely things that don’t sound great right now, but I can still eat them. Chicken breast, avocado, and sometimes eggs don’t sound good, but I still put them down okay.

Energy:

Ugh. Is it nap time yet? Usually I can make it to about 7 pm, then I’m done. Last night, despite my whole family being over and visiting, I just couldn’t keep up anymore and went to bed just before 8:00. Slept like a baby, though!

Morning Sickness:

Holy puke pukerson, Batman! Nausea spiked from a 4 to, like, an 11 this week. (“Our amps go to 11”? Anyone?) eating helps for sure, so I need to throw food down every few hours. If I get dehydrated or my stomach gets too empty, it’s a trip to the bathroom for me, that’s for sure.

Other Symptoms:

Bathroom breaks: still happening frequently, especially with all the water I’m trying to put down.

Sore boobs: still achy

Light cramping: this is happening less now, so I guess that’s good.

Heartburn/Indigestion: I just bought a Costco-sized box of Tums, so I should be good for a week or two.

 

Weight gain: still not sure, but my pants don’t fit, which is a sure sign.

Other Stuff:

Best moment: getting the ultrasound and seeing the little peanut thrive and well!

Worst moment: soooo tired! I feel like I have so much to do, and nothing gets done because I need to crawl in bed. Squish has officially outlasted me in staying up late, I’m not sure exactly who put him to bed last night.

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Oh, that’s right.

I’m also a little preoccupied with all of the uncertainty. How much longer will I be able to ride my bike to work? I’m not out of my first trimester yet, so miscarriage risk is still high; what if something happens? Where will we move to when baby comes? Will it be early like Squish, on time, or late? Pretty much all of my concerns are about the what and when, which is nothing out of the ordinary for this control freak, I suppose.

Make it a great weekend, and get a chocolate bunny in!

Week 7: All the Symptoms, All the Tears

It probably was a little early to announce our baby news, but since it’s baby #2 I feel really more relaxed about the whole thing. It’s not my first rodeo, and I’m ready to roll with whatever happens.

So how have the first 7 weeks been treating me?

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Belly Pics

I don’t have a baby bump yet. Just a bloat bump. I’ve been so bloat-y! It doesn’t really matter what I eat, it’s just what’s happening right now.

Cravings

Dairy: lately I have been really craving dairy.  I just plowed down a coconut Chobani that I impulse-purchased at Target. Normally I don’t really do dairy because I don’t think I digest it well and it makes me itchy, which I think is a histamine reaction. But itchiness be damned, I am plowing through all kinds of yogurt, milk-based smoothies, and cheese when I can get it.

Fruit: I craved fresh fruit with Squish, too. No complaints here, especially since Spring is around the corner and berry season is almost upon us!

Aversions:

Beer. It would break my heart if I was allowed to have any. But since I became pregnant I really haven’t been in the mood for beer. My body was even telling me before I knew that it was time to cut back, I guess. Same goes for wine and other alcohol. Which is great, if I don’t want it I won’t miss it!

Energy:

My energy sort of comes and goes, but I definitely am much more tired than before. And it’s a different kind of tired, I’ll be doing something, and my body just sort of revolts and I need to go lay down RIGHT NOW. Which is annoying when I’m in the middle of cooking or playing with Squish or something, but Hulk has been amazing at stepping in to finish up what I was working on so I can go lay down.

Morning Sickness:

I just started getting it here and there. Mostly if I go too long without eating. I find that if I eat something substantial first thing in the morning (last week it was 2 hb eggs and a ton of water) then I’m good for a while.

Other Symptoms:

Bathroom breaks: pit stops are definitely more frequent.

Sore boobs: Ow. Not fun, and ’nuff said. You’re telling me they’re going to get BIGGER?!?

Light cramping: I’ve been getting a light achyness I feel now and then, especially when I’ve been sitting still for a really long time (hello, trans-continental flights!) It totally freaked me out at first until Dr. Google assured me it was a common symptom of everything growing and getting arranged down in there. I just don’t remember getting achy with Squish. Oh boy, something new!

Heartburn/Indigestion: Yup. It’s nuts. I’m popping Tums like I have stock in them.

 

Weight gain: I keep forgetting to weigh myself. Maybe 2 lbs?

Other Stuff:

Best moment: breaking the news to family and friends. We didn’t wait this time. I hate keeping secrets.

Worst moment: All the emotions! Bah! I’m a total nutcase right now. Yesterday I was bawling because I spaced out and slept through my first physical therapy appointment. I’ve also cried when Squish dumped a cup of milk on the rug (yes, literally crying over spilled milk), crying when I was late to brunch with some friends, and crying because someone sent me an email and I thought their tone was mean. I went from being a person who rarely cries to one you would think just watched that Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial every 20 minutes. Oh, those poor puppies. I’m tearing up again …

I’m also having to practice great restraint to not go out and start buying all sorts of baby stuff and maternity clothes. I’m just so excited, and now that I’ve been through it once already I’m, like, totally focused on what I need and how to get it. I just want to nest! Patience, grasshopper, patience!