The end.

Oscar was born almost three weeks ago, and in between the endless feedings, diaper changes, and sweet sweet little baby cuddles, I’ve been thinking a lot about the end of my pregnancy. Before he was born, I thought I might feel sad. I thought I might mourn the amazing belly I’d grown and all of the wondrous things my body was doing to create and sustain life. But that has not been the case.

Oscar spent over 41 weeks growing inside of me, and though our labor did not start naturally (more on this later), I feel like I was pregnant for the perfect amount of time. I can truly say that even though some aspects of it were challenging- diminished lung capacity, diminished energy, diminished wardrobe- I loved being pregnant. I felt healthy, special, and beautiful, and before I begin writing about Matt’s and my incredible transformation into parents, I just want to give a little space to my third trimester- and to the end of a very cool time in my life.

I celebrated the start of my third trimester by getting a henna tattoo on my belly. I absolutely loved it and showed it off whenever I could.
 
I spent time with family and friends. It was rare that my pregnancy prevented me from doing what I wanted to do, and being surrounded by the many wonderful people we have in our lives was- is- such a gift.
The Nelson women. I only have two Nelson cousins, and all three of us were expecting in this picture! Ann had perfect little Abe in September, and Alice will have her baby in November.
Ann and I are not naturally gifted golfers.
 
A trip to the MN State Fair, three weeks from our guess date.
At the wedding of our dear friend, Trisha (also known on this blog as T$).
We visited a pizza farm in Wisconsin with my cousin Andy and his girlfriend, Mary. There were goats! And sheep! And big friendly herding dogs.
My cousin Emily and I had our babies one day apart, at the same hospital. It was so special going through pregnancy with her, and I love that we are new moms together. This was taken at our joint baby shower, which was a lovely time we got to spend with the Hogans.
Our amazing friends threw us a shower at The Shire (Boom Island). A perfect afternoon with people we love.
Both of my classes had surprise baby showers for me, too! I was so, so touched. I have been so privileged to teach my students, and though I am soaking up every minute of my maternity leave, I do miss them.
 


And speaking of work. I stayed busy with new projects and ideas that I thought would benefit my students and that kept me energized, even as I was slowing down a bit.

We took our first ever field trip to the Columbia Heights Police Station.
 


Matt and I spent time together. We have always prioritized our relationship, and experiencing pregnancy as a couple deepened our connection in so many ways. I can’t wait to write about how much I love watching him become a father.

 
 

I documented changes. I didn’t take pictures every day, but I took enough to remember my lovely round shape during this time. I also sent them to my parents and sisters, who all live out of state.

 
 
My belly at 37 weeks.
And speaking of changes. I spent a lot of time in Oscar’s room before he was born, sitting in the chair where I couldn’t wait to read to him, organizing the diapers that he’d get plenty of use out of, and staring into the crib where he’d sleep- waiting for the biggest change of all.

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