34 weeks

by Grace Ko

I began week 34 with a check-up. I always get excited when I get to have an ultrasound because I can see how much baby has grown. And grown he has! And you know what else is fascintating? Seeing his face on the screen! This time around, Y & I talked about how he looks like he has my nose!

I don't mean for my posts to sound complainy or whiny. Pregnancy has truly been the most miraculous thing this said body has done and experienced. But in the past few weeks, the symptoms have just been coming at me at top speed.

And as of late? Rib pain! My rib cage hurts in the front, back, sides.

I had a short bout of it earlier on in the pregnancy but now it's full on. I feel like I've had a good beating in a UFC ring (I hate UFC... Ask the husband.) I've tried massages, stretching, surrounding myself in a cloud of pillows. I'm guessing it's because my body is expanding and baby is the size of a pineapple and it sure feels like it. His movements are no longer flutters or pitter patters; they are full-blown long stretches, jabs, and kicks. I play this guessing game of what he must be doing, what body part he's moving. Sometimes I put my hand against my belly and rub and I swear he reacts. It warms my heart.

My baby app tells me that if baby were to be born anytime now, it would be okay. Babies born between 34 and 37 weeks with no other health issues tend to do fine after a short stay in the NICU so I can breathe a huge sigh of relief. But baby, you can stay in there a few weeks longer and grow healthier and stronger. Mama's not in a hurry to evict you, just yet.

During week 34, Y & I set aside a night to work on our pregnancy scrapbook. We got all our art supplies out on our dining table and got to brainstorming, sketching, drawing, cutting, pasting, writing. Mix in a few tears from feeling so thankful that baby will be here soon, it was a sweet time.


Daddy and I have been intentional about this season we are in. We are both eagerly awaiting your arrival while maxing out on enjoying this time together. Tuesday nights have become "Scrapbooking Night" in this household and it's become a time of reflecting, recording and anticipating, a time of prayer, thanksgiving and praise. We can't wait for you to see this scrapbook one day, full of remnants of this journey, notes and photos, prayers and wishes. 

33 weeks

by Grace Ko

They say starting this week, baby is taking up more space than amniotic fluid! Which means his movements are felt and seen much more. My belly does rolls and waves like it's its job thanks to this dancing baby. 

Baby's dancing away but this mama's been feeling...


I stepped on the scale the other day and nearly fell backwards at the number I saw before me. My mind quickly did the math, and then did it again... because I was astounded at how much weight I had gained. You see, I am at the max weight my doctor told me to gain and with about two months still to go, I was suddenly flooded with fear. "Is this okay?" "Should I be worried?" "Will the weight come off?"

I posted about this on social media and I was overwhelmed by the support from other mamas - how every woman's pregnancy is different, how as long as baby and I are healthy it's okay, and how the weight will eventually come off.

Along with the extra weight, there's also been the sore back, swollen legs and feet, constant heartburn (tums are a constant companion in my life right now). It's nearly impossible to comfortably reach my toes so with that as an excuse, I made an executive decision this week to get a pedicure. A fellow pregnant friend and I have adopted a motto:

Treat. Yo. Self.

But on the flip side, it's nice that there is no second guessing I'm pregnant. This means being offered a seat on public transportation, words of sympathy from total strangers.

Though I have moments when I wonder if my body will ever be the same again... witnessing my body go through such changes throughout this pregnancy got me to thinking about how amazing this body of mine is. How does it know exactly what to do? How is my belly growing to be so large? How do all the rest of my organs continue to function while a baby takes up prime real estate? God is a wonderful creator, a perfect designer.

Even the fact that I've been struggling to stay asleep - this is preparation for when baby comes: sleep deprivation training.

During week 33, Y & I took a birthing class at our hospital and things got real! The nurse giving the presentation had Y along with the other dads "push" as an empathy exercise - legs spread apart and everything - and let's just say there was a lot of giggling, on my part. (He was completely serious.) Afterwards, we made our Friday night a "date" and went to McDonalds. Yes, classy. The trip was initially for their [fried] apple pie but we ended up consuming 2 cheeseburgers, 1 hamburger, 3 [Korean large] fries, and 2 cokes. Throughout our entire indulgence, we kept saying, "I can't believe we just took a birthing class." Actually, we are still stuck on, "I can't believe we're pregnant!"

We're a matter of weeks away from meeting you. Mommy & daddy are prepping away with classes and exercising and stacking and packing. We can't wait to meet you!

32 weeks

by Grace Ko

Hey there, 8 months! Hey!

Week 32 included two Thanksgiving feasts, a baby shower and a lot of celebrations. 

Thanksgiving is maybe one of my favorite holidays and the start of the "best time of the year". It was easier to embrace the holiday spirit this year with baby growing in my belly and even more excuse to stuff my face with delicious eats. We brought American Thanksgiving with us down to Gwangju to my parents' and shared in this tradition of breaking bread with some pastors' families. There was guitar-playing, sing-a-longs and a competitive round of Jenga. The weekend was elevated with a lot of dreaming & sketching of future plans and visions, while Pentatonix Christmas songs played on repeat - my dad's current obsession. [Baby, I hope you love music like your grandpa.]  

At 8 months~

Baby's size: A jicama! (a what?) According to the baby app, he may be around 3 3/4 pounds and 16.7 inches long (although our doctor says he's a bit on the smaller side, which I'm not upset with as long as he's healthy). He has fingernails and toenails!
Pros: Seeing my belly move! 
Cons: Heartburn and staying asleep has become much more difficult
Craving: Fries! 
Outlook on the coming of baby: Nervous about labor and delivery. But baby, reading your aunties and uncles' hopes and wishes for you make me so excited to raise you alongside such a loving and supportive community. 
Feelings about husband: I find myself thinking my husband is so darn cute lately. (I hope baby's cute like him.) I'm not sure how this is possible but I'm pretty sure he's getting funnier by the day and becoming more and more tender. 

31 weeks

by Grace Ko

Baby is the size of a coconut and a new symptom crept up on me this week: migraines. And let me tell you, it wasn't pleasant. I've never suffered from migraines, yet alone headaches so it was shocking to my system on many levels. The pain became unbearably uncomfortable, bordering excruciating so the husband took me to the hospital to get checked up, just in case. Luckily baby is doing dandy. Perhaps migraines may be just another thing that must be endured here and there during this pregnancy.  

On a much more positive note, we had a photo shoot during week 31. It was a maternity shoot through our 조리원 (postpartum care center). I went into the shoot not knowing what to expect and it started off awkward. But at the end, when we were shown a slideshow of photos compiled from the shoot, Y and I couldn't help but be moved to tears. I blame the music pulling on my heartstrings, and hormones but there was a moment when I got choked up, remembering how much we've waited and wanted this baby. 

Here's a little peek - enjoy! 


by Grace Ko

We've always loved to travel. It's been an integral part of our relationship and connection since our days dating. The anticipation before arriving to a new destination, the process of discovering local gems and hidden treasures, the exploration, the intermittent and intentional moments of relaxation. 

Truthfully, we've both been grieving the absence of traveling we will experience once baby arrives so we've sought out any opportunity to travel, out of the city, out of the country. And a babymoon was a perfect excuse to be whisked away for a weekend. Guam may not have been our first choice but it was good nonetheless. 

I still chuckle at the fact that my husband milked every opportunity to pull the "pregnant woman" card. But hey, when else can you freely do that then on a babymoon?

We slept in. We ate to our hearts' content. We took naps. We did late night Kmart and Wendy's runs and pretended we were back home (though at home they would've been Target runs). We lounged poolside and shoreside. Hours were spent in a bikini, mainly because they were the only swimwear I had on hand but also because when else can I flaunt a big belly? We both finished a book each. We worked on our tans. 

The sun, the warmth, the rest. It did my body good and helped me finally get over an ugly cold and sinus infection. 

Though this may be our last trip "just the two of us" we spent much time chatting and scheming about what travels will look like post-baby and we hope/pray/dream to continue the adventures as a family of three.