26 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss? 176.  This week I really felt like the belly POPPED.  At one point I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it looked as though my belly was just sticking straight out like two feet in front of me.  Cue the “it’s a wonder you don’t fall over!” jokes that are bound to start. 🙂
Maternity clothes? Yes, and I’m finally start to grow out of my regular tops.  Nobody likes to see midriff belly, but I find it especially awkward when you’re preggo. So I’m definitely open to more pregnancy outfits ideas!
Stretch marks? Not really, I think that one I spotted awhile ago has either disappeared or hidden out of fear from me.

Sleep? Pretty good this week, Orlando’s been home still so it’s nice to have some help, and he even took Cora on a weekend trip to Houston to watch some basketball while I have work events, so I REALLY don’t know what I’m going to do with all this time to sleep over the next few days!
Best moment this week: Randomly, at some point this week, Cora and I were talking about our friends.  She’s really gotten into declaring who is a boy and who is a girl, or determining other characteristics about her favorite people.  At one point I asked, “Cora, who’s your best friend?” Without hesitation, she said her baby sister’s name, which we’re not sharing publicly yet but Cora likes to announce in front of just about anybody.  So if you REALLY want to know, bribe Cora with some candy or something.  Anyways, for her to declare her sister is her best friend before she’s even out of the womb made this mom very proud.  And weepy.  Extremely weepy.
Movement? It’s getting easier and easier to see from the outside now, and the kicks are becoming more forceful.  I actually had a dream this week that the baby was pushing so hard on my belly it stretched to the point where you could see her hand, and then her little face.  Kinda creepy, kinda cute.  I’ll let you decide.
Food cravings? None in particular, but I’ve almost made it through Cora’s Halloween candy stash.  I should’ve hidden it from myself as well as her, apparently.
Gender?  GIRL! :)
Labor Signs? Nooooo.
Belly Button in or out? Innie, although I think I noticed a bit of protrusion this past week. Just a smidge though, so I’m not worried.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
What I miss? Being able to lay on my back while I sleep without getting uncomfortable AND being able to sit up without feeling like an elephant.  The whole rolling to the side, propping myself up, heaving into the upright position just feels like insult to injury.  BUT the “injury” is a healthy, growing baby so I can’t help but laugh about it in the end.
What I am looking forward to? When it comes to juggling a newborn and a toddler, I am vacillating between feeling terrified and bursting with excitement.  On the one hand, it feels like things have just gotten easier with Cora, and we’re about to take a 3-year step backwards.  On the other hand, I see little newborns cuddled up in their mamas arms and just want to breathe in that perfect newness all over again.  And thank GOD human babies aren’t born being able to walk.  I never really appreciated the months before Cora learned to walk, but now I know I’ll be soaking up the sheer ease of it.
Weekly Wisdom? We received the horrific news this week that family members of ours lost their baby twins in utero this week, and it was a painful reminder that pregnancy is a fragile thing.  I couldn’t help but think of our own loss back in January, and how this current pregnancy seemed to be a distant wisp of hope back then.  I’m praying that our family will be stronger after this time of sorrow, but I know that there is nothing that can take the devastation of the moment away.  I wouldn’t wish a pregnancy or infant loss on my worst enemy, but I do know it made me send up a little prayer of thanks for a God who loves us enough to stand with us through the valleys and bless us in the future when it is His will.
Milestones? Cora began talking to the baby for the first time this week, laying her little head on my belly and telling her sister her name, that she loves her, basically whatever I was telling her to say. 🙂 It was a sweet moment nonetheless, and made me feel for the thousandth time that even though the journey of parenthood isn’t easy, it is completely, 100% worth it.