36 weeks

by Grace Ko in ,

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. 

Bebe's second time at 예술의전당 Seoul Art Center - this time for Handel's Messiah with grandma and grandpa! He was having a dance party in my belly throughout the performance! 

Bebe's second time at 예술의전당 Seoul Art Center - this time for Handel's Messiah with grandma and grandpa! He was having a dance party in my belly throughout the performance! 

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.)

A walk along 청계천 Chunggyecheon

A walk along 청계천 Chunggyecheon

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. 

With Asian Santa! Just a side note: My husband takes the "ugly" part of the ugly sweater party very seriously, my faux fur vest (not shown) made it into his OOTN. 

With Asian Santa! Just a side note: My husband takes the "ugly" part of the ugly sweater party very seriously, my faux fur vest (not shown) made it into his OOTN. 

So much happiness in one picture 

So much happiness in one picture 

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. 

35 weeks

by Grace Ko in

Week 35 has been quite eventful:

  • lunch dates/coffee dates with girlfriends
  • a prenatal massage (albeit shorter than I had expected, still glorious)
  • a date with me, myself & I fully embracing my season, including a new planner and stickers for 2017, browsing a used bookstore and finding books for baby
  • pizza date with the husband
  • live Jazz at a Jazz bar
  • a buffet dinner with special basketball crew (first friends we made here in Korea)
  • a hilarious Lamaze class
  • another doctors appointment (from here on out, I go weekly!) 

As we were scheduling our next appointment, the nurse told me the baby could come out anytime from now on and he would be A-okay! How crazy? Here I was thinking that even if he were early, he would be a 2017 baby but there's quite a possibility that he is born in 2016 if he decides to make an early appearance! 

So you know how I've been griping about my weight gain? I was slightly reprimanded by the nurse at the hospital. She said I had gained quite a bit of weight in this past month and that I should just be careful this final month. (Even as I look back at my weekly photos, I see that in this past month, I have "popped"!) I went on to meet with my doctor and shared this with him. And you know what he said? He said, "이미 떠나간 기차입니다". Translation? "That ship has sailed!" And it made me laugh and actually relieved a lot of stress for me. He told me I shouldn't try to go out of my way to gain additional weight but that there's nothing I can really do about it now and that I'll lose the weight after giving birth. 

I'm learning to take command over things I can control and let go of things I cannot control. 

Fulfillment of God's Promises

by Grace Ko in ,

At the beginning of this year (side note: how is it October already?) Y and I were challenged to pray through different topics, one being a personal theme for the year of 2016. I felt like "Fulfillment" was a word impressed on my heart. And truth be told, I was hoping it would look like "Fulfillment of God's promises of a child". 

In May, two days before Mother's Day, Y and I found out.. I'm pregnant! There I said it. Even though I'm two weeks short of my third trimester, it still boggles my mind that there's a baby growing in my belly. 

I'm learning that pregnancy, like any season, is one to be embraced. And to embrace is an active, proactive, intentional thing. And that's not always so easy. Despite our journey here, I will be the first to admit that there have been times of grumbling, fear and uncertainty. Let's just say, first trimester was no walk in the park. (I equate my experience with morning sickness as motion sickness + indigestion + food poisoning, all wrapped up in a messy package and thrown at your, around the clock.)

Second trimester could not be more different. Though I've had the occasional pangs of anxiety or worry, thankfully, they have been mostly fleeting and I have been filled with a sense of awe and wonder - how my body has been changing, how this baby is growing - of the miracle of life. 

The planner in me is always eager to make endless lists: what to research, what to buy, what to ask the doctor at my next visit, what to get ready. There's a lot of processing going on inside this brain of my mine, wondering what the baby will look like, what I will be like as a mom. Sometimes, I feel tossed back and forth in the wind by this piece of advice, that suggestion. But I'm learning to slow down, to roll with the punches. And ultimately, I am always in need of reminders that this is a fulfillment of God's promises.