32-Week Update and Baby Shower!

On Saturday I reached the 32-week mark in my pregnancy, and I had an all-around wonderful weekend with Nick and his extended family. Nick’s family lives in the Chicago area, about a two-hour drive from our home, and we do not get to see them nearly enough. They invited me and Nick (and my parents) down and gave us a beautiful baby shower. We had a wonderful meal of Mediterranean-style chicken and lamb (Nick was especially excited about the lamb), Russian-style eggplant caviar (yum! – I got the recipe), spicy guacamole dips, a favorite dessert recipe from (soon-to-be-great) Grandpa, and even a baby-carriage-shaped watermelon overflowing with fresh fruit! Lunch was a perfect showcase of Nick’s family’s international background, culinary talent, and caring. I am so thankful that our baby is going to have such a loving extended family!

We also played a few baby shower games. I got to see the baby pictures of all the relatives – that family produces some adorable children, so now I am even more excited to see what ours is going to look like! I also learned that it takes 10 sheets of toilet paper to wrap around my 42-inch waist. We also received some beautiful gifts for the baby- lots of books, blankets, a diaper bag, and some organic cloth diapers! (I am so very excited about my growing collection of cloth diapers.) Nick and I were also excited to get a farm-themed activity gym for the baby as well – he is going to start learning about the animals and farming life right from birth!

The baby shower was by far the highlight of our week, but our 32-week visit with the midwives was pretty darn positive, too. They are now calling me a ‘professional pregnant woman.’ Woohoo! All of my vitals and the baby’s were spot-on, the midwives were still expressing amazement about my wonderfully low post-prandial blood sugar levels, and my blood pressure was at 90/58, right in my normal range, which I guess is really exceptional for a woman in her third trimester. I also found out that I am now measuring two to three weeks ahead according to my fundal height. This despite the fact that I have only gained 15 pounds thus far. I wonder if my due date should actually be at the beginning of October, or if I am just carrying a very large baby. Time will tell. And Nick might win our little pool, because he predicted (all the way back in April) that I would give birth early.

Since I am a ‘professional,’ I had no aches or pains or problems to discuss with my midwives. I am staying active and feeling good, so we just chatted about a few issues surrounding birth and post-partum. I now have the names of several area women who do placenta encapsulation, whom I will be contacting in the near future. I also am working on finding an area pediatrician or family practice doctor who is friendly toward homebirth, natural parenting, natural-term breastfeeding, and all of the other issues that are important to us. I also have the task of pre-registering with the local hospital, just in case a transfer should become necessary. I have lots of homework for these next two weeks! That and cleaning, organizing baby things, and starting to think about baby-proofing, and preserving all of the vegetables from the garden (I will love it this winter when I am busy with the new baby.) and I am keeping myself very busy. Good thing that summer term ended this month!

I do not have a close-up belly picture for this week, just pictures from the shower. That is Nick with his back to the camera, in the CrossFit shirt, and the book that is mostly covering my 42-inch belly came all the way from Hawaii, from Nick’s mom, who was so sweet to think of us, even though she was not able to get a flight all the way to Chicago. My own very supportive mother is in the background, and my father is behind the camera.

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