Therese’s Baby on Board: The beginning of the end

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Therese & Brian’s “little pumpkin” got to trick-or-treat with his cousins on Halloween.

The end is near. It’s the kind of “near” you have to wait three months to get to, but nonetheless, near.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the beginning of the end since we started, despite everyone’s warnings that things would only get more difficult at this point. And boy, were they right.

Now that we’re just a few days away from the official start of the third trimester, I couldn’t be more excited to mark this milestone and open the final chapter of my pregnancy. Most close family and friends still tell me they “can’t believe how quickly it’s gone!” But for me, I’m sure like many other moms-to-be, the last six months feel like they’ve taken an eternity to pass.

Luckily, my husband and I have been keeping busy, especially within the last two weeks. This baby has already become quite the traveler (and at least for now, he’s pretty easy to transport). Our precious cargo has come along with us to New Jersey and Texas in just the past couple of weeks, visiting my family up north, and taking a celebratory trip with my husband’s family to San Antonio. Our well-traveled little man has gotten to meet most of my extended family, taste some of our favorite authentic, homemade Italian dishes, walk along the Riverwalk, and travel to the top of the Tower of the Americas…all from the inside-out. Our “little pumpkin” (see photo) even got to experience his “first” Halloween, trick-or-treating with family, including his two cousins.

All the while, Baby Boy has been squirming about non-stop. We reached a point a few weeks ago where my doctor advised that I should feel some kind of movement at least ten times every two hours. Most days, I can’t keep track. And most hours, it seems he well surpasses ten movements.

As much as I’m still getting used to the feeling of him wiggling and kicking, it’s one of the best and most comforting things I’ve ever experienced; to know that a healthy little boy is growing and getting ready for his big debut, and to share such an intimate, one-on-one experience with my baby. If you’re a mom or mom-to-be like myself, I’m sure you can relate to those feelings. But for me, nothing was more exciting than to finally be able to share the feeling of Baby kicking with my husband. After all, he’s the other half that helped me create our little miracle. I’ll never forget the day I could finally feel the baby kick from outside my belly, and was finally able to share it with Brian. Now that it’s been several weeks, I’m sure he’s tired of me telling him to reach over and feel the kicks. But I know neither of us will ever grow tired of those movements to indicate that baby is here, happy and healthy.

His movements also remind me that he’s growing quickly at this point, almost doubling in weight within the past month. Thankfully, mom isn’t doubling in size… as much as it may feel like it, and as much as I’m constantly reminded by friends, family, acquaintances, and random passers-by that I’m “expanding!” It’s been quite the experience watching my “bump” continue to bump up in size. Vanity aside, I know it means good things for my little man. My growth means he’s growing, too – and that’s all that matters.

In fact, my “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” app tells me that this week alone, Baby will grow an entire inch…a growth spurt he apparently won’t experience again until he’s a tween. He’s now measuring at about 14.5 inches, which is longer than the Publix sub I craved, and later ate last night (don’t worry… no deli meat, just cheese and veggies…despite how much I wanted some.)

I’m also told he can now recognize our voices, which he has to be tired of hearing by the end of a long news day! The experts say now is a good time to sing to baby, but I’ll spare his growing little ears. Instead, we recently opted to read him a bedtime story — one of our childhood favorites, and a book my cousin gave us as an early present — ever the classic, “Goodnight Moon.” They say hearing our voices at this stage is a comforting way for him to get to know mom and dad before our first true embrace, which I can’t believe is now less than three months away.

Now that we’re in the home stretch, I’m trying to soak up these moments – despite getting too big to squeeze into most of my work dresses and finding it more difficult to get up or bend down day by day. The countdown is on, as we get ready to turn the page from the third trimester to the beginning of the most exciting chapter yet to come!

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