if you’ve been around the last coupleyears, you’ll remember that Mister Man and i celebrate our anniversary with the traditional gift rules. year three is leather.
in the past year of being married to this man, i learned that in addition to picking a great husband, i picked a real good baby daddy. (i also learned that when you have a baby, you don’t have very many pictures of the two of you without said baby in them.) i couldn’t have imagined a better partner to raise children with than my Mister Man.
i don’t have a lot of words to say this year. mostly because i’m very, very tired. but not as tired as i would be if Mister Man didn’t help me as much he does. he pulls more than his weight around the house, he gets up with amelia all the time so i can at least stay in bed some nights, and he still manages to take care of the two of us with a smile on his face.
i don’t know what i did to get so lucky as to have him by my side for the rest of my life. i really don’t deserve it. i’m just happy that God sees fit to bless even the most undeserving of us with wonderful people in our lives.
Mister Man, you are my reason for getting up with a smile on my face in the morning and you will always be my favorite person to go to sleep next to. i don’t know how the next 50 years could possible beat the last three, but the best part is, i know they will. every day is an adventure with you.
there are a lot of posts out there about how to travel with your baby, and with good reason – when you get on a plane or take road trip with a baby, you need all the tips you can get. but there are parents who travel, whether for work or for fun, without their baby. this post is for you.
Mister Man and i recently took a trip to st. john in the virgin islands, all by our little lonesome selves (if you follow me on instagram, you can see those tidbits that i haven’t posted about yet). we have a special place in our hearts for st. john, it’s where we took our honeymoon, and we plan on going back as often as we can. this trip was planned before we even got pregnant with amelia, and the timing just worked out that she would be old enough to leave with our parents. you see, for us, it’s not really a vacation if you bring a baby along. for one, they can’t remember anything about the trip, so them being there doesn’t do a whole lot for them. and two, when you bring a baby on vacation (at least for us), you just move the normal routine to a different location with less amenities than you have at home. that just isn’t relaxing for us (and we have brought her with us on a family vacation already so i’m not just saying this as an assumption).
so we went on a vacation without our little joy. and it was wonderful.
i missed her, of course i missed her. i couldn’t wait to get home to her at the end of that week. but i didn’t cry because i couldn’t stand to be away from her. i didn’t call our parents every hour, or even every day. i didn’t really even worry about her. instead, i soaked in the alone time with my husband. i enjoyed being on my own schedule for six whole days. i gave thanks for our parents, who i trust my daughter with absolutely.
for Mister Man and me, time together makes us better parents. our marriage comes before our parenting, because if we aren’t good at being husband and wife, then we won’t be good at being mom and dad. this vacation couldn’t have come at a better time. we came back feeling refreshed and ready to be even better parents to amelia than when we left, because we felt stronger as a couple.
all that being said, here are the things that helped us on our first vacation without our baby:
1) pumping on a schedule: if you’re still breastfeeding your baby, and you want to continue when you get back/not be incredibly uncomfortable on vacation, bring your pump. and make it a point to stay on as much of a schedule as possible. once you’re at your destination, it’s usually not too hard. you can pump during breaks from the beach, or in the car en route to your next tourist spot. the hardest part is finding places to pump when in transit. some airports have fabulous pumping rooms (MSP has a lactation room fit for beyonce), while some…don’t (MIA needs to do some work on their family restrooms). find a family restroom or an empty gate or terminal in a pinch.
2) bring the right accessories: when you pump, you’re going to have milk. and hopefully you can bring that milk back with you. you’re going to need plastic bags, a cooler bag, and some ice. if you have plastic bags, you can carry empty ones with you and ask for ice from restaurants or the flight attendants when you’re away from your hotel or in transit. a cooler bag comes in handy as a carry-on when you’re bringing the milk back with you. just put the milk in with bags of ice, extra bags and your pump parts, and you’re set for the trip home. i had no issue getting my milk through security, and no one should, at least if you’re flying through the u.s.
3) write out baby’s schedule: this is for your own peace of mind. i know that my parents and my in-laws know amelia’s schedule. and to be honest, if they fudged it a bit, i wouldn’t mind at all. but knowing that i had shared all the necessary information made me feel so much better. so write it all down. the nap quirks, food suggestions, all of it. it will help.
4) leave a medical directive: leave a note stating that you give permission to whoever your baby’s caretakers are to make necessary medical decisions for your baby on your behalf. include your baby’s insurance information in the note, but leave the insurance card as well. include the information for your pediatrician and their office too. this way, if your caretaker has to take the little one to the doctor, or call the nurse line, or God forbid bring them to the hospital, they can make any calls they need to make on your behalf before getting a hold of you/you arrive home.
5) sleep in: this is probably the most important tip i have. if you go on vacation without your baby, SLEEP IN. for lots of people, i’m sure this is a given, but if you’re anything life us, you need a little push. we are the type of couple who enjoy getting up and enjoying coffee on the terrace on vacation, and getting an early-ish start on the day. we forced ourselves to take it slow and easy this time, and i’m so happy we did. getting full nights of sleep has never felt so amazing, because i could still get up at my own pace. and that my friends, is what heaven is.
i highly recommend some substantial time away as a couple when you’re newish parents. whether that’s within the first year or the first 18 months, do it sooner than later. your baby won’t hate you for leaving, and your marriage will thank you. date night can only get you so far, so get away for some quality time and some quality sleep. as always, i’m happy to answer any questions anyone has on traveling without your babe (or anything else!), so email me at hooleywithaz at gmail dot com.
before you ask, there is no baby yet! but we made it to 40 weeks.
it’s a strange feeling i have right now. i feel like i should be going about my daily life, but then again, how can i possibly do that? shouldn’t i be sitting at home, waiting for this baby to get here? but that could be a week from now! or it could be today! my brain is starting to reject me and any logical thoughts i have been able to muster.
i am so excited and so ready to meet our little one, i can hardly stand it. i’ve been reading more about the birth process the past couple of weeks (the latest is ina may’s guide to childbirth). it’s been so encouraging for me to continue to better understand what my body will be going through, as well as how to view unmedicated birth as a positive experience. you might think i’m a little wacky for saying that, but it’s how i feel! we will see how everything turns out, because we know the plan is not in our hands, but His.
how far along: 40 weeks. the baby is due today!
how i’m feeling: i feel better than any 40 week pregnant woman should be allowed to feel! i mean, it’s not like i’m frolicking through the meadows with butterflies following me around, but my goodness this is not what i expected to feel like. there is some discomfort, but nothing i can’t handle. thinking i’ll be going from zero to 60 once this baby is ready to come.
total weight gain: still at a flat 27 pounds total gain. turns out baby is still growing, but i’m shrinking a bit. weird, right? gonna need to do some serious weight-lifting work when i’m not pregnant anymore to get some of my muscle mass back!
baby z.’s size: this week, we have a small pumpkin baby (how’s that for a terrifying visual when getting ready to give birth?). that means that baby could be around 7.5 pounds, and be about 20 inches long. only time will tell if this is accurate.
this week: i am doing a whole lot of nothing. at some point i might get motivated enough to finish the final organizing touches on the nursery, but mostly i have been loving making dinner with Mister Man, taking walks most nights and then snuggling up with a netflix show. it’s the simplest things giving me energy right now.
maternity clothes: basically, i’m trying to wear pants as little as possible these days. the end.
sleep: oh, it’s not so good lately. but i’m getting enough-ish sleep every night, albeit interrupted sleep. if i didn’t have my snoogle, i don’t know what i would do.
best moment this week: actually it has nothing to do with the baby. i took Mister Man out for a surprise 30th birthday dinner on monday, and seeing the smile on his face when he found out the plan has lit me up for the whole week. not to mention it was so nice to dress up and go out for a nice dinner just the two of us. it was so special.
movement: little one is just as active as always, which is impressive considering how crowded it is in there!
food cravings: i can’t eat a lot of food at once, but if i could eat all day long, i would. must be that baby sucking all the energy out of me!
food aversions: nope.
belly button in or out: you know.
looking forward to: meeting baby boy or girl z.!
this may be my last post for a while, until after we have the baby and get a bit settled into our new life. i want to thank you all for your love and support and shared joy throughout this whole pregnancy. it has made the process so much fun and has touched me in a way that i cannot begin to articulate. baby z. is lucky to have so many people who are so excited to meet him/her!
what else can i say about this man on his thirtieth birthday that i haven’t already said?
he is the love of my life. he is my partner in crime. he is the father of my child. he makes me laugh every day. he is a provider and a caretaker, a nurturer and a protector. how i ended up sharing my life with this one never ceases to amaze me and inspire my prayers of gratitude.
and today he turns thirty.
cheers to you on this special birthday, and to many more. i love you Mister Man.
p.s. i didn’t know he could do a one-armed pushup until last night. BUT HE CAN. the man is incredible.
you know what’s weird? i’m now at the point where i can honestly say that the baby could be born tomorrow (two weeks before my due date) or a month from now (two weeks after my due date). it’s such a strange game to be playing, this waiting game. people ask you if you’re ready, and yes, of course i’m ready to meet this little person playing bongos on my bladder. but then, how can a person ever really be ready to have a baby? i don’t think it’s possible. i think it needs to just happen to you, and then you’re ready because it’s happening to you.
i’ve been trying to just “be” the last couple of weeks. i’m not necessarily nesting a whole lot, or doing a lot of writing, or even seeing people. it just feels important right now to be with Mister Man and myself, not really doing anything special, because the routine just feels so good. i think a part of me realizes that the routine isn’t going to be there much longer, so i’m soaking it up while i still can. and that’s that. and soon the little one will be here.
how far along: 38 weeks.
how i’m feeling: the chiropractor seems to have worked wonders on this old lady hip of mine! i was ready to buy a pimp cane (you know, the kind with a jeweled skull on top?) until the end of last week, and then all of a sudden, the limping wasn’t as bad. and this week, i even went on a walk. twice! so i’m back to feeling all warrior mother again, and i needed that.
total weight gain: i’m now going to weekly appointments until the baby is born, and as of this week’s appointment my total gain was up to 27 pounds. i am now changing my prediction of total weight gain from 32-33 pounds to 30 pounds. i was on such a roll up until the end!
baby z.’s size: baby z. is a leek baby this week! (weird?) meaning that it is about as long as a leek(around 19.5 inches) and weighs almost 7 pounds. i don’t know how much more it can grow, there can’t be much room left!
this week: i’m finishing up the last of the baby laundry, and ordering the last (very few) things we need off our registries so the nursery can be organized once and for all (we were so blessed by our family and friends that we don’t really NEED a whole lot else for baby z. and i can never say how thankful i am for that). oh also, i have a three-day work week because my little sister is getting hitched in a week!
maternity clothes: my darling friend kali (who had a baby four days prior by the way) took pity on me and gave me a whole bag of her maternity clothes to use during the last month of this pregnancy. it sounds silly, but it has made such a huge difference in how i feel when i get dressed every morning. just having more options has made me feel refreshed! thank you kali!
sleep: i’m getting up at about 2am every night, and so my maximum amount of uninterrupted sleep is about four hours a night. some nights it’s less than that. i’m doing surprisingly well, lack of sleep considered. hopefully i can keep it together until the baby comes.
best moment this week: my friends had a baby shower for me this past sunday, and it was so much fun! not many of my friends have had babies of their own (yet), but you wouldn’t know it with how good they are with this pregnant lady. they are so supportive and wonderful and this baby is very lucky to be coming into this world surrounded by the friends and family that we have.
movement: the baby is doing full body rolls in my abdomen as i write this. is that enough of a picture for you?
food cravings: you guys, i can’t stop with the ice cream. but in my defense, Mister Man is totally an instigator. he totally suggests at least half our visits to the ice cream shop down the road.
food aversions: nope.
belly button in or out: you know.
looking forward to: my sister’s WEDDING in a week!! i am so freaking excited, i can’t even tell you. the bridesmaid dress is fitted and ready (it zips!), and i have thursday and friday off of work for some fun and pampering and wedding festivities. it’s going to be the best weekend, and i couldn’t be more excited for her and her wonderful fiance.
so here’s the deal: i might be back with a post next week, or i might have a baby. i might be able to do a 40-week pregnancy update, or i might have a baby. it’s all a toss-up at this point. so stay tuned to the social medias (links below) and this blog for more posts or an announcement in the next few weeks! i may go crazy with the uncertainty of it all, but that could be fun for you guys to watch too, right? have a fabulous weekend full of sun and love and fun!