Welcome, final month of pregnancy!
As I have Mozart tickling my ears and there's a light dusting of powdery snow on the ground outside, with precious baby clothes gifted to us by a small group member strewn all over our couch, I am taking in every moment. I'm taking in this moment - our mini Christmas tree still twinkling , new plants greeting me here and there, the quiet lull of a winter's day. Pregnancy has taught me to take it slow, to show myself grace, to embrace rest, to embrace this season, to brush off comments and to hold onto what's true. The current challenge is to balance holding fast to the present while embracing the impending future, to prepare dutifully for what's to come while remaining in an attitude of gratitude of what's here now.
At 9 months~
Baby's size: A head of romaine lettuce!
Pros: Meeting baby soon!
Cons: Feeling heavy and super emotional!
Craving: Blueberry muffin smoothie! (Recipe found here) Been making myself one every morning
Outlook on the coming of baby: After a very informative Lamaze class, I am channeling what was previously nerves and anxiety about labor & delivery into anticipation and excitement to meet baby!
Feelings about husband: I most appreciate his verbal affirmations and encouragements lately. He randomly leans in and tells me, "I'm so proud of you!" "You're a trooper!" (I am also very grateful for his foot and leg massages.)
Week 36 was spent soaking up quality time with my parents, soon-to-be grandma and grandpa! I eased into each day, woken up by the scent of my dad's morning coffee lingering in the air. And together, we crossed off our mutual "Family Christmas to-do" list: a Handel Messiah concert, a trip to Gwangjang Market for warm and toasty Korean comfort food, the LED flower show at DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza), a Renoir exhibit and a walk through Changdeok Palace where royalty roamed and played and even an impromptu mosey around Yangjae Flower Market.
Dad's first time at 광장시장 Gwangjang Market. We feasted on 떡볶기 (ddukbokki), 순대 (soondae), 마약김밥 (kimbap), and 녹두빈대떡 (fried soy pancakes) and I requested a 호떡 (ho-dduk) and what pregnant woman requests, pregnant woman shall receive. I washed it down with a fresh strawberry/pineapple/banana juice. (The lady was sweet and threw in a kiwi in my juice, saying kiwis are good during pregnancy.)
Beautiful LED flowers at DDP
We crossed off my dad's Christmas wish: to walk around the "Secret Garden" at 창덕궁 Changdeok Palace when it snows. It was a Christmas miracle and snowed on that day!
Y & I even managed to fit in a breastfeeding class on Christmas Eve. It was hilarious - let's just say it involved the teacher donning a "breast vest" for demonstration purposes. The class taught me a lot and gave me a lot of food for thought to munch on - mainly to communicate with baby, to focus on loving and comforting him, and that baby needs and wants mom most. There was something truly reassuring about these realizations. I hadn't realized I had been focused on the logistics and details of pregnancy/motherhood/breastfeeding but the class helped me take a HUGE~ step back and to look at the big picture.
We wrapped up Christmas weekend with the most exquisite Ugly Sweater Potluck Party at Le Garden hosted by the loveliest. There were homemade dishes, desserts, photo shoots, a friendly yet competitive round of White Elephant and a mix of the goofy, the serious and sincere. All in all, the best kind of night with beautiful people.
Christmas evening was spent napping on the couch to recharge to end the night with the first friends Y & I made here in Seoul - a special group of people indeed. Over chicken and beer (water for me) we laughed until our stomachs hurt, making the most of our time together. We parted saying our goodbyes and good lucks as it would be the last time this said group would be altogether for a while. Much will have changed in a few months' time when we're reunited.