Two Weeks With Ava Lu

*Note: I wrote this on Monday, April 7th, but am just publishing it now on the 9th. 

Today at 4:01pm Ava will officially have lived two whole weeks of life outside the womb! It has been an amazing two weeks and I am loving every minute of being this girl’s mom. Thinking back, I find it hard to remember what life was like before she was born, even though it has only been 14 days. It’s hard to remember what it was like to really do something “spur of the moment” with Daniel, like randomly head out the door for a bite to eat, or head down to Leah and Andrew’s for games at the drop of a hat. The most colossal change of my life probably happened between the second Ava was in, and the second she was out. Life will definitely never be the same as it was for us, it is and will be better (not saying that it hasn’t been hard!).

The first week of Ava’s life I spent almost entirely with her at the condo. Daniel pretty much immediately went into go-go-go mode, which was great, because I could hardly walk. He cooked gourmet meals, kept the house clean, did the laundry, changed Ava’s diapers, changed the sheets, kept snacks and water stocked for me, took Ava on a few walks, and generally kept things in order. We also had a steady stream of visitors, family and friends, who got to meet Ava for the first time.

I spend a huge portion of my waking (and sleeping) hours feeding Ava. There is no denying she is a hungry girl and is plumping up quite well on her breast milk diet. She was born at 8 lbs 7oz, was down to 7lbs 14oz at 3 days old, and then had gained back to her birth weight and surpassed it (8 lbs 8.5 oz) at one week. Jamie, our midwife said this was great, and that most babies don’t gain back and surpass their birth weight until week 2. (So proud! :) )

As I heal we are able to do a few more things out and about, and I am definitely looking forward to the day I can go on long walks or jobs with her in the stroller (which probably won’t be for several more weeks, at least). We took her on her first beach trip last weekend. We went to Mo’s for dinner on Friday, where she got her first (out of utero) glimpse of Haystack Rock. On Saturday Daniel took her (and let me get a few more hours of sleep) on a walk to the coffee shop, The Little Apple and the beach. I stayed in bed and luxuriated at an uninterrupted extra two hours of sleep.

It has been an amazing two weeks! I know this newborn time is so special, and probably also fleeting, so I am trying to savor every last drop of this delicious time with Ava Lu.

 

Ava Lucille’s Birth Story

1966901_666929047162_1019635143_nMarch 24th, 2014, was the best, happiest, most intense and emotional day of my life – it was the day Daniel and I welcomed our baby daughter Ava Lucille into this beautiful world.

Ava’s due date was March 16th, over a week before she arrived. I know, and so does almost everyone, that many first time moms are 7-10 days late, but as the days came and went after March 16th I felt more and more nervous and anxious that she would not come naturally. I had decided around 20 weeks to switch to out-of-hospital prenatal care, through Alma Midwifery Center. From 20-40 weeks I felt I had tremendous, thoughtful care from my midwife team. But, they could not legally treat me if I went past 43 weeks pregnant, and they also warned that research shows that babies have many more problems and risks associated with birth between 42 and 43 weeks. With each passing day I became more and more convinced that I’d have to transfer back to hospital care and be induced. I was convinced that I wanted to do a natural childbirth, and I realized early on that I thought the midwifery model, and out-of-hospital care would give me the best chance at achieving this. We had planned all along to birth at the Alma Midwifery birthing center in SE Portland, but around 37 weeks we had some major insurance issues that made us reassess where to give birth, based on financial realities. Our conclusion was to have a home birth instead of birth at the birthing center. We spent the few weeks after 37 prepping for this – gathering supplies we would need, like a garden hose, basic medical supplies and postnatal remedies for mom and baby. By 39 weeks we were totally prepped and I felt ready to give birth.

The days dragged by – especially after I took work off starting March 10th. A week went by. Another week went by. I had a few spells of what felt like despair and depression that I had made the wrong decision to have a home birth, since I felt destined to have to transfer back to hospital care. Daniel helped me sort out my feelings. On March 22nd I spent the afternoon and evening with friends, at Alicia’s baby shower for Sophia (who was born on February 15th). Seeing her beautiful baby made me so excited, but feel that I was never actually going to get my own. It felt good to be around other people during this emotional time. On Sunday the 23rd I felt a bit fed up with everyone on the planet asking me, “When is your baby due?!?” Me: “Last weekend…” or “Is the baby here yet?” Me: “No… still not here.” We considered driving down to the beach to spend the night at Manzanita. We ended up staying around home and spent Sunday afternoon playing Settlers of Catan, Seafarers edition, with Andrew and Leah on the 5th floor patio of the condo.

Sunday night was normal – dinner, then reading, then bed. Another day gone by with no sign of baby, I thought as I settled off to sleep around 11:00pm. An hour later, around midnight I woke up with a new feeling in my pelvis. It didn’t feel like Braxton Hicks contractions, which I found had almost no feeling at all. It felt slightly uncomfortable, and I wondered, “Is this it?!”, but quickly quelled my excitement, because I felt I had come to terms with the fact that she would be another week or more. I laid in bed trying to attune myself to these new feelings, which were sort of crampy. An hour later, they were still coming, in fairly rhythmic patterns and I definitely could not sleep. I decided to wake Daniel up. He thought I might be in labor, but I still thought maybe I just had a stomachache. I decided to sit in a warm bath, which helped the moderate pains. Daniel came and read me a story about the Annapurna Basecamp trek in Nepal, until the pains started getting more intense and I couldn’t concentrate on the story anymore. At this point, Daniel was certain and I was fairly certain that I was in labor. We called my mom about 3:30am to tell her what was happening, as we were planning to have her at the birth, too. We said we’d check in a little later.

Things started getting more and more intense by the hour. To be honest, things start to get a bit hazy for me around 6am, when my mom arrived. I think about the 24th and it is hard for me to put together a reasonable timeline for how things happened, or when people came and went. The three of us hung around the condo, both mom and Daniel taking care of me – helping me stay hydrated and eating enough. Contractions were fairly regular, ever 4 minutes, lasting about 1 minute each, for several hours. Once the sun came up, contractions took on a more uncoordinated pattern. Some every 4 minutes, some every 6 minutes. I felt disappointed because I thought labor might be stalling. I continued to move around the condo freely – doing whatever movements felt best, and making whatever noises helped me get through the contractions. Being able to move about freely was crucial, I felt. Whether I wanted to be on all fours on the bed, standing, pushing against the wall, lying on the floor, squatting on the floor, holding one leg up, pacing the hall. I did all of these things and everything helped with the pain. I realized how essential movement is to laboring naturally and I realized how if I were confined to a space, like a bed, or if I were confined with a monitor, I don’t think the pain would have been manageable and could see myself wanting pain medications quickly.

One of the midwives on my three-person midwife team, Courtney, came over at our request around 10am to check how I was doing. At this point, she said I was 3cm dilated, which was still in the early stages of labor. Due to the fact that I hadn’t slept at all she recommended that I take a Benedryl to help me sleep. I was at first apprehensive about this, as I was still having regular, incredibly painful contractions, and I didn’t think a sleep aid would actually put me to sleep. They said that even if I could just lie down and close my eyes between contractions, this would help, because I could easily labor all day and night, and into the next day. The thought of being in labor for an entire 24 hours more sounded so daunting. I took one Benedryl, although I am not sure it altered my state at all. I didn’t get much extra rest from this.

Sometime around noon (maybe before? Maybe after?) I was again laboring in our bathtub. This was starting to get difficult because I felt I wanted to be in the water, but I needed the freedom to move around, which I didn’t’ have in the bathtub. My mom was in the bathroom with me helping me through contractions when I threw up the entire contents of my stomach, including the Benadryl, into my bath. I suspect this was my body’s way of cleaning everything out before the real difficult stage began.

Thinking back to this point in the day, I have very hazy memories of how things exactly went. When I describe it to people, I say that I felt high on some sort of drug. I suppose I was high on hormones. At this point, I also think I went into total animalistic mode. Obviously, I am a human, an animal, but I felt like I was a wildebeest or something, simply because I felt that I had no conscious control of anything I was doing. I felt that my body, my nature, was behind the drivers seat and my consciousness was simply along for the ride. All pretenses went out the window. All modesty went out the window. Any noise that I wanted to make, I made. Any position I wanted to be in, I got in. I remember screaming and moaning incredibly loud during contractions, but I couldn’t help it. When the contraction was over, I’d tell myself that maybe I should try being quieter, or else the cops would come, given hat we have many neighbors in close proximity. Then another wave of contractions would come and I’d scream even louder. I felt this was actually quite liberating, thinking about it now, to be in total 100% connection with my body. I have never felt that before. I was in awe of myself.

During this whole time Daniel and my mom, who were like my doulas, were totally essential to me, attending to my every need. I hardly felt conscious of what was happening, but when I felt thirsty, there was a glass of water and a straw in my mouth. If I felt low energy, there was a sip of homemade electrolyte beverage there for me. If I needed to lean on someone, Daniel was there to sway with me, or encourage me. For several hours I felt like I didn’t’ even open my eyes, but moved about, grabbing out for the first outstretched hand when a contraction came.

At some point in the early afternoon, I knew I needed the birth pool. I remember insisting and saying over and over, “When are the midwives getting here with the pool? When are they getting here with the pool!?” There was nothing in the world I wanted more than to be in the warm water. Courtney came back to the condo with the pool, I think, around 1pm (?). Contractions were so intense at this point, I was in an entire different universe. During each contraction I screamed at the top of my lungs, which helped me get through it. Earlier in the morning when things started getting intense, I kept screaming during contractions, “This hurts so bad! THIS HURTS SO FUCKING BAD!” My mom suggested I say something positive to myself, so my mantra become, “I can do this.” I’d repeat it over and over as the waves came. I do think this helped, to encourage myself and to try to think about something other than the pain.

Around 2pm (?) the other two midwives arrived – Tara and Kori. Kori was not actually on our birth team, but Jamie was gone for a few days, so Kori was the on call Nurse Midwife of the group. The birth tub was finally blown up and ready in our living room. Right before I got in I was riding out a huge contraction, kneeling on the couch, screaming into the pillows, when my water broke right then and there. I was shocked, and excited as this meant things were progressing. I quickly got in the tub after this and got some pain relief from the water.

The next 2 hours were a complete blur. The contractions were the most intense physical feeling I’ve ever felt. Sometimes between contractions I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want to waste the energy. The pain was different that being injured, though. I knew the pain was leading somewhere, and that it would end. The birth tub was large enough that I could move around, stand up, kneel, or change positions whenever. When my contraction would end, I would beg the midwives to tell me when this would end. They told me they didn’t know, but things were moving along. I felt like I didn’t know how much longer I could do this. I never said it out loud, but I wondered if I had overestimated my strength. I was thinking of what it would be like to go to the hospital at this time. But, soon enough I started feeling a new feeling – an incredible, almost crushing pressure low down in my pelvis, which was her head. The contractions shifted, yet again, in intensity, to the ultra highest yet. I couldn’t believe that things just kept escalating. The feeling is very difficult to describe in words. It hurt so much, but it also felt euphoric at the same time.

I think around 3:30pm (?) I started feeling like I wanted to push, and I could feel her head very low in my pelvis. I thought the midwives would tell me when to push, but they let it be totally directed by me. I never actually thought, “1… 2… 3… push!” But with each contraction, as things changed, I would scream and the scream helped my pelvic floor muscles push. Again, it was my body taking over.

Nearing the end of the hour, after a strong contraction and a kind of burning sensation, that actually felt good, out came her head. The midwives monitored her progress in the water, at first with an underwater mirror and flash light, and as she came out, with their hands. One or two more contractions later and she was out! It was the greatest feeling and the greatest relief of my life. She was immediately placed on my chest, with her cord still attached, which they let pulse for several minutes. I was in total shock. Almost immediately, I forgot pretty much everything, all the painful sensations, that I had just been through over the previous 16 hours. I could not believe she was out. I kept looking at her and saying, “Is this real?” “I can’t believe this is happening.” “Is she really mine?”

Ava came out wide eyed and alert, looking all around the room at us and the scene at 4:01pm. Holding her that moment was the best moment of my life until then. Just absolutely nothing compared to it. She laid on my chest and we cuddled, as the midwives checked to make sure things were ok. She was healthy – the greatest gift I could have asked for.

After some time in the tub, the midwives encouraged me to get out and go lay down in the bed, as the water was getting colder and Ava was still partially wet, though wrapped in a blanket. My mom cut her cord and then Daniel took her and got some skin to skin time with her as the midwives helped me out of the tub. They encouraged me to squat down (there was a tarp on our floor) and give a quick push. I did and the placenta came out. From here, they walked me to our bed and I lay down and took Ava again on my chest. I was overwhelmed by joy and euphoria, to have this beautiful baby in my arms. I felt proud of myself and in awe of my body that I had just gone through those previous 16 hours without an intervention. I have never felt so strong. It is funny – in the weeks leading up to the birth, I told myself during labor I would visualize the most difficult physical things I’d ever done to help me get through it. I told myself I’d think about running a marathon and climbing to Everest Base Camp. Around 3am, after 3 hours of labor, I knew this strategy was out the window – even early on labor harder physically and emotionally than any of those things, by ten-fold.

Daniel, Ava and I rested on the bed as the midwives filled out my charts and prepped for Ava’s newborn exam. After we had got lots of cuddles in, they did a full body exam on her. She was 8 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches long, with a nice large 14-inch head. She also got a quick Vitamin K shot, which she didn’t like much. We were all impressed with how calm she was from the very moment she came out. She hardly cried at all, and was very alert from the beginning. After Ava’s exam, the midwives checked up on me, feeling my uterus and checking for tears. I had a small tear, and they offered me one stitch, but they said it wasn’t necessary if I spent the next week resting and laying, so I opted to not get the stitch.

The rest of the evening was spent snuggling Ava and learning to nurse, all done in the comfort of my own bed, which I really appreciated. After another hour or so, when the midwives had cleaned everything and put everything away (and even started a load of laundry!), they headed home.

It was certainly a monumental day – the best day of my life, by far. Ava immediately became the love of our lives. I felt exhausted, elated, euphoric, and powerful. I could hardly grasp what had just happened, and several days later, it is still difficult to grasp.

All-in-all, I am extremely satisfied with my first birth experience. As I had earlier predicted, the midwife-care model is certainly a great fit for me and my philosophies. They helped me along the way, but they certainly didn’t deliver my daughter – I delivered my daughter. I am so grateful that I was able to have birth in the comfort of my own home, around my people, in my own environment. I would highly recommend it.

It has been a whirlwind – but the adventure is just beginning! I still can’t believe this beautiful baby is my own daughter, and I get to raise her, and she will be mine, and I will be hers for life. It is absolutely the best thing EVER.

IMG_2826 About an hour after the birth.IMG_2828 My mom holding Ava. IMG_2836 New born exam – in the scale, weighing in at 8lbs 7oz. IMG_2839 IMG_2847 IMG_2874 First family photo! IMG_2875The morning after – can’t stop staring at this babe. :)

40 Weeks

Well, 40 weeks came and went without much pomp and circumstance. I had a feeling this would happen, but, of course, I was hoping it wouldn’t, just to appease the crazy anticipation I have been feeling.

Not a whole lot has been changing from week to week lately. Some days I have tremendous energy and spend time walking around the waterfront loop, around 3.5 miles, and other days I just want to sleep all day.

On the actual due date, March 16th, Daniel and I went to a Portland Timbers game with his parents, which was a lot of fun. Now, it seems like every day takes an eternity to pass, waiting for some sign that I’m going into labor. I still walk every day and don’t notice much change in my physical state, and I often feel like I am never going to have this baby! Fingers crossed she comes someday. :) We are feeling very ready and very excited.

4490163cad5511e388b30e6b27d154d8_8 40 weeks! 10011169_735532743157205_148634673_nI swear I am not realllllly this big. I think it’s just the angle. ;) View from our seats at the Timbers game.

38/39 Weeks

A bit delayed – but below are some photos from crossing the 38/39 week mile mark! 38 weeks was celebrated with two baby showers – one at Daniel’s Aunt Heather’s home, and one the next day at my mom’s. Both were wonderful events, it was fabulous to be surrounded by wonderful, strong, loving women, many of whom have had children themselves, before the birth of our daughter.

I finished my last day of work during week 39 (now I’m wondering if this was a good idea, because now (40+ weeks) I feel like I don’t have a lot to do). We spent the week getting the final things together for our little nest in The Gregory – changing table, dresser for baby clothes, etc… Finally, everything came together!

93a82722a1a811e3a8d212b56696dd6d_8

Aunt Maggie and I at Shower #1.

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My Aunt Sandy got me this nursing rocker and ottoman and I am just obsessed with it. We took out my desk, which was previously in this corner of our condo, and put the rocker in instead. Also sitting with the blanket that I made (nesting mode!), which was my first knitting project.

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Looking like I am stashing a basketball under my shirt.

 

36 Weeks

36+ weeks and 4 more to go! We spent last weekend in Manzanita, which will most likely be the last weekend we’ll be spending time at the beach without our +1 in tow.

Personally, I’ve been feeling great, especially since I discovered the joys of pregnant lap swimming. I can’t believe I only just started doing this now! My midwives recommended I lay off the non-prenatal yoga because of all the inversions. This inspired me to fit in another form of exercise, because I still like getting a workout in and sometimes just walking doesn’t do it. Swimming is wonderful and it feels great to be “weightless” for even 30 minutes.

Just for fun, I am going to answer these pregnancy Q’s found on this blog:

How far along are you? 36 weeks

Total weight gain: 22 pounds, give or take

Stretch marks: No – and I will keep eating my homemade Great Lakes gelatin gummies to keep it that way

Sleep: Sucks, but could be worse I guess – mostly because I find it hard to find a comfortable position, or I have to get up multiple times in the night to go to the bathroom, or all of the above.

Best moment of this week: Spending the weekend at the beach with Daniel, and learning that a friend birthed her healthy baby girl on February 15th! :)

Miss anything? Sleeping through the night, rigorous exercise that works up a sweat, not waddling, my regular wardrobe

Movement: Yes, lots of huge movements, almost startlingly huge limb sweeps across my belly. She mostly starts really partying when I’m about to go to sleep, or in the middle of the night.

Food cravings: Milk. I have been consuming so much milk, it is almost absurd, but it is the only thing I can consume that helps with acid reflux, and it feels so good going down. I’ve been consuming 1.5 gallons of milk per week – all raw, full-fat milk from grass-fed cows (from Champoeg Creamery). I think I would not be surviving the last part of this third trimester without it.

Anything making you queasy or sick? No.

Have you started to show yet? I don’t know… Can you tell? ;)

Looking forward to? One of my BFF’s, Liza, coming into town this weekend for her bachelorette party and bridal shower!

Ok, I am abandoning these questions now. They are getting too corny.

8f4c0d20968511e384840eade134b7df_8 Photo from beach trip – Daniel worn out by a difficult sudoku. 746a431a96ac11e3b574122de6ce78ca_8 Manzanita was super stormy all day Saturday! Feeling a little cabin fever, I made us take a short beach walk. We got soaked within 2 minutes, but it was good to get a little fresh air. c1ca662296a611e3963312bb693d77b1_8 Teaching baby how to be a true Oregonian – rain won’t stop us! photoPhoto from today. Whoa, I am huge.

“These 11 Charts Show Everything That’s Wrong With The Modern Diet”

Finally! This information is getting into the popular mass media. Too bad my nutrition textbook is still lagging wayyyy too far behind on this information, recommending things like reducing butter intake, reducing meat intake and increasing consumption of vegetable oils. Really?!?

Interesting data collection. Most notably, look how much sugar and vegetable oil consumption has increased. These 11 Charts Show Everything That’s Wrong With The Modern Diet
Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 11.00.04 AMOh, hmm, look at the trends showing number of deaths due to cardiovascular disease since 1900, skyrocketing around the time people starting consuming copious amounts of vegetable oil, limiting consumption of butter, and reducing consumption of eggs. 

Other good related links:

Prevent Heart Disease – Eat More Cholesterol 

Cholesterol Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease – yes, even according to the Framingham Study!

Sugary Foods Increase Heart Risks

34/35 Weeks

This photo is from one week ago (so now I am 35 weeks plus). Life sure seems to have changed a lot lately, mostly it has gone from moving at top speed to moving as a slugs pace. In some ways it is nice to slow down, in fact, my body is forcing me. In other ways, I miss the hustle and bustle of being busy and getting lots of things done. I’ve gotten to spend a lot more time with family and friends, doing side projects, reading and making new mom-to-be friends.

Recently, instead of going on international trips, I’ve stayed home. Instead of going on mountain adventures, I’ve stayed home. Since the FACES surgical trip ended, my work seems to have drastically scaled back. I’m taking one class this term that is so absurdly easy, I’m a bit flabbergasted that it is even considered a college-level class. I can no longer do/enjoy power yoga (I said goodbye to core strength about 4 weeks ago), which I used to do 4-5 times per week. Intense workouts have been traded for prenatal yoga and gentle stretching, which usually makes me want to fall asleep by the end of it, not feel invigorated and energized like my previous exercise regime. I often feel like I have inordinate amounts of time on my hands. I’m trying to enjoy it, though, as much as possible because these quiet moments may disappear forever in about a month and I’ll probably long for these long spurts of time. Although things have become quite mellow and sometimes I miss the go-go-go of life, even 6 months ago, there is nothing more satisfying that watching the baby grow and feeling her kick and squirm around all day. I know that my body is slowing me down for a reason, and it’s not forever, so at this point I am just trying to take life one day at a time and enjoy these last fleeting moments of this pregnancy.

34 weeks

Change in Plans

Daniel is off to Norway and Portugal right now and I am… not. I made the decision at the very last minute (last night) not to go on this 2 week trip. It’s a disappointing one, for sure, but I decided to listen to my body, which was telling that it wasn’t the best idea. I have been feeling fine, but within the last week have been hit by a whole gamut of pesky pregnancy symptoms, including increased difficulty finding a comfortable position (sitting or lying down), heartburn, pains while walking, etc… My midwives didn’t think it would be a problem to go, as long as I took it super, super easy on the activity. I felt like going all the way to Norway and then to Portugal just to take it super, super easy didn’t make a lot of sense. So, I stayed home. My wanderlust self really wanted to go on this trip, but my newly found maternal self didn’t think it was a good idea for me or baby, especially getting this close to the birth. You know what that means… 2 weeks of having a bachelorette pad! When Daniel had a bachelor pad for the week he said he would “blast John Mellencamp and drink as much coffee as I want.” I will be listening to endless nutrition podcasts and will teach myself how to knit.

32 Weeks

Time is flying! It is so exciting, but a little scary too to think that in about 2 months I will be in labor and/or we will have a baby human to take care of and think about – forever! I have been feeling pretty good still – but I now see what people mean when they said that the second trimester is the “golden trimester.” That golden-ness, full of energy, is definitely fading a little, but I still feel pretty great.

I am still gaining weight at a fairly slow but steady pace and have gained a total of about 17 pounds. I’m still very active and have been doing a lot of walking and yoga (still Power Vinyasa – I have yet to go to an actual prenatal yoga class). Yoga still feels great, but my flexibility and range of movement seem to be more and more limited by the week. Obviously, movements that involve laying on the belly have been long out, but I’ve also noticed that movements that involve a lot of core strength are pretty much out the window now, too. I feel like my ab muscles are long gone. I’ve had to modify planks and side planks with my knees down.

I’ve been getting Braxton Hicks contractions all the time. I’d say I notice them at least several times per hour, if not more. I thought they would hurt, but my belly just feels really hard when they hit, like I am flexing my six pack (haha!). I’ve also been feeling really pronounced movements. I think I started feeling movements around 22 or 23 weeks, but now they are huge, belly-shaking kicks and jumps and twists. Sometimes I’ll just sit and watch my belly move – it is as if Baby Daughter is having a private rave in there. For the last few weeks I’ve had some major pains in a certain spot in my right rib cage. I brought this up with my midwives, and after feeling the baby’s position, they felt that her knee or foot is lodged in there, which explains it. I’ve also noticed a dramatic increase in the smallish, rhythmic movements, sort of “jumps”, from within. I asked the midwife about this and she said that they are hiccups and help strengthen the baby’s diaphragm for breathing.

My general feeling of comfort is slowly deteriorating, although I’m fine most of the time. I’ve had a harder time finding a comfortable position to sleep, and my back sometimes aches during the day, especially if I don’t do any exercise.

Our next and last big adventure before baby comes is a trip to Norway and Portugal. We leave on Thursday and are headed to Oslo and Trysil with Daniel’s Humanmade team. After Norway we’ll head to Portugal for a few days to warm up and enjoy a few quiet moments together before we head back to Portland. February will be dedicated to resting and preparing for baby. I’m a little nervous for the long airplane rides and travel. I visited my friend Jane last week and the airplane ride back from Virginia was a bit excruciating, so I’ll have to make a major effort to stay comfortable, hydrated and moving around on the flights. Despite that, very excited to get in one more trip before our lives change forever!

photo 2

 

Trip to Virginia

Spent Tuesday through Sunday last week visiting my BFF, Jane, in Charlottesville, Virginia. She moved there in summer 2013 to begin a PhD program in social psychology. We had an awesome time, and I’m so glad I got to squeeze in this visit before bebe comes! It just so happened that my 27th birthday happened on this trip, as well. We spent the first few days around Charlottesville. We did a bunch of yoga, spent some time in the local coffee and tea shops and toured the UVA campus. We spent Thursday (my birthday) evening dining with a bunch of her friends at the most bizarre restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life, Bamboo House. Just read the Yelp reviews and you will see what I mean.

We spent Friday and Saturday with a bunch of people from Jane’s cohort at a lake house right on Lake Louisa. It was great meeting all of Jane’s cohort, who I’ve heard all about, and finally got to meet in the flesh. I didn’t take that many pictures, but below are a few.

photo 1Me and Jane at Bamboo House (a Korean restaurant, not a museum). It is very odd to eat Korean food while a stuffed squirrel is staring at you. photo 2 Sunset view over Lake Louisa. photo 3A few people from Jane’s PhD cohort. Let’s see if I can remember everyone… from left: Jamie, Charlie, Rachel, Piper (dog), Claire, Ben (not in cohort), Katie, Kelly (whose lake house it was), Matthew, Megan, Jane. Woo!