How far along: 36 weeks on Thursday! Baby is the size of a papaya [approximately 18.7 inches and 5.8 pounds].

Due date: November 7th—but we're crossing our fingers for a Halloween baby.

Size: The last time we checked via ultrasound (at 33.5 weeks), he was already 5 pounds! This little guy might be a chunker.

Weight gain: About 13 pounds now. I haven't gained as much weight as I was expecting to, but my tummy feels absolutely huge. Scott reacts with wide eyes every time he sees me shirtless.

Name: It's still a toss up between three names—but one of them has changed since our last bumpdate, so who knows. As soon as he's in our arms, I think it'll just come to us.

How I'm feeling: Pretty sprightly, actually! October is finally here (ahh, fall!), and life is good. Every once in a while, a low-grade level of anxiety starts to creep in, but it's usually short-lived. I just have to remind myself to take everything one step at a time.

Cravings: BAGELS. Scott and I had a hankering for Einstein Bros. this past weekend, and we brought home a dozen to share these last few weeks of pregnancy. I'm trying to keep refined carbs to a minimum these days just so I don't end up with a 10-pound newborn (LOL), but nothing beats a cinnamon raisin bagel loaded with cream cheese.

Also, all the dairy—which I talked about in detail here.

Aversions: We made our first pot of crawfish étouffée in a really long time, and I could barely eat half of my bowl. 😭 Étouffée is usually my all-time favorite comfort food, but for some reason, bébé was not having it. Weirdly for me, even with this fall weather, soups and stews have not sounded too appetizing lately.

Symptoms: Low back pain, some rib tenderness, mild fatigue, extreme hunger, having to pee constantly—you know, the usual. Nothing too concerning.

Physical changes: My baby bump is enormous! Definitely feeling extra pregnant and not sure how I can get much bigger. No swelling or stretch marks so far, though, so I can't complain.

Movement: Baby's constantly kicking and stretching out (which is a good sign!). Doctor also confirmed he's head down, which was a huge relief.

As for my movement, I've been managing to continue my daily walks—even though he's low on my bladder and the pressure down there is already kind of intense—and I can usually fit in a 20-minute low impact workout a few times a week.

Belly button: An outie. It popped a long time ago though.

Most excited about: Spending the holidays as a family of three. Nothing makes me giddier than the thought of putting up Christmas decorations, listening to Bing Crosby, sipping hot cocoa, and cozying up next to the fire with my two favorite guys by my side. I might cry just thinking about it.

Least excited about: I'd say labor is pretty high up there. Scott and I recently attended a 9-hour childbirth class, which made everything a lot more REAL. (I think Scott left more terrified than I did. 😂) But since I've never been through it before and have no idea what to expect, I'm not as worried as I figured I would be by now. Just kind of hoping and praying everything goes well! Also, it's only one day of my life—so even if it's not the best birth experience ever, the getting a son part is sure to make up for it.

Pregnancy products: Oooh, there's so many! Here are a few I've used constantly:
+ PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow
+ Motherlove Pregnant Belly Salve
+ Pink Stork Morning Sickness Bundle (especially love the magnesium spray!)
+ Traditional Medicinals Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea
Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth by Genevieve Howland
+ Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols, RDN

I also started using Beautycounter's Countertime collection about a third of the way through my pregnancy, which is when my dry, crocodile skin became a thousand times more soft and supple. Now it's smoother than it has been for years! (Not sure if it's pregnancy hormones, or my new skincare regimen, but DAMN. Either way, I'm here for it.)

Birth plan: As I said in my last post, I don't have a very detailed birth plan, because I'm pretty sure any plans I make are going to go out the window anyway. However, with all of the classes we've been taking on childbirth and the encouragement we've been getting from our nurses to come prepared to call the shots (seriously, our hospital is amazing), I feel like I'm much better equipped to make certain decisions now surrounding pre- and post-birth interventions.

For example, I'd ideally like to be up and mobile for as long as possible while laboring, so I'll probably opt for a saline lock (instead of continuous IV fluids), intermittent fetal monitoring, and a walking epidural if I need it. Our hospital thankfully already prioritizes 1-2 hours of immediate skin-to-skin time once baby is born, but I'll also be requesting delayed cord clamping, exclusive breastfeeding (no formula, bottles, or pacifiers), and a pass on the newborn Hep B vaccine—all of which has been approved by my OB/GYN and/or pediatrician. Other than those small preferences, I'm pretty much go with the flow!

It's kind of crazy to say, but the next time you guys hear from me, it might be after baby's birthday (unless I can put together a nursery post in time). Eeek, wish me luck!