Today I’m sharing my pregnancy journey over at Glam-o-Mamas!

Glam-O-Mamas was founded by model, TV host, entrepreneur and mom Amanda Griffin-Jacob together with Nicole Jacinto in 2011. Now run by Glam-O-Mamas CEO Amanda Griffin-Jacob, the site is a go-to reference for like-minded, modern and eco-conscious women who want to strike a healthy balance between the various roles that mothers take on today.

Martine de Luna, who blogs at Dainty Mom and handles editorial duties for Glam-O-Mamas, got in touch with me a few months ago about contributing to the site. It took me a while to get into the right head space (read: somewhere between doing a million things or snoozing for hours on end) to think about the last nine months as a whole, but I finally did… and the article is live on the Glam-O-Mamas site today.

Check it out here!

Well, I’m officially on a mommy site. Now all I need is a baby!

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Waiting game

Hello, I’m still alive. And still pregnant… very pregnant. I don’t know how much more pregnant I can get. Is there such a thing as too pregnant? Because I think I’m just about there.

Baby belly week 13 vs week 39

Marlon and I took photos of my baby bump yesterday to mark Week 39. (See above, in comparison to Week 14. Can’t believe I thought I already looked pregnant then!) You can’t imagine how fervently I’m hoping this will be the last belly photo. At this point, I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever.

“Just think,” Marlon said happily, “by this time next week, we could be parents!”

I stared at him. “By this time next week, if we’re not parents, I will be climbing the walls!”

How I feel about being pregnant has dramatically changed. Two weeks ago, I would get weepy in yoga class at the thought of my pregnancy coming to an end. I’d feel teary-eyed on the tram when I realized how much I would miss having my daughter inside my body, where protecting her and caring for her was something my body just naturally did.

I ran around like a maniac trying to get things done because I really believed Little Mango would come early. I lovingly caressed my bump with a beatific smile while telling everyone who would listen, “I think she’ll be early. I just have this feeling.” Well, so much for my motherly intuition. Just goes to show how well mothers think they know their daughters.

Now most of my to-do list is done. And waiting is all that’s left.

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Test driving the birth pool

When you’re pregnant, about to pop, and planning a water birth at home, there’s one thing you absolutely must do: take your birth pool for a test drive. And that’s just what Marlon and I did last weekend.

I had the option to buy or rent a birth pool. Buying an inflatable pool (“birth pool in a box“) would’ve been cheaper, especially if I rented it out or resold it, but we just don’t have the storage space. Instead, I chose to rent one from De Oerbron, which offers a selection of pools for rent or sale, for a period of five weeks: three weeks before my due date and two weeks after.

Marlon and I went through the entire kit from De Oerbron bright and early last Saturday. Being mostly useless in the heavy lifting department, I played the role of translator, running four pages of Dutch instructions and tips through Google Translate while Marlon grunted and puffed away. “In two weeks, I’ll be really, really, really useful,” I promised, as a sort of apology.

Birth pool assembly

So, how does one assemble and fill a birth pool? Here’s how we did it.

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Baby room basics

In a blogger’s ideal world, by this time I would be posting pictures of my beautifully styled, meticulously arranged nursery. It would have everything my baby could possibly need, plus a few (dozen) things that she actually doesn’t. It would be perfectly color-coordinated with a carefully curated selection of quirky little touches and charming little toys.

Well, this is reality. And in reality, there is no nursery… yet. That’s because Little Mango isn’t the first occupant of this space… Grandma is! My mom arrived this week and will stay until Easter, so our second bedroom first needs to be a guest room before it can become a nursery.

That hasn’t stopped us from laying the basic foundations for our future nursery. The first step: tearing down the huge built-in closets that took up nearly half the room.

Baby room-before

Marlon and I agonized for weeks over whether or not to keep these closets. It just seems funny to me now! And when I remember how these closets became the subject of a hormonal meltdown (“That room is practically a closet! I don’t want our baby to grow up in a closet! Sob sob sob”), it’s even funnier.

Baby room-before2

In the end, we chose space for our daughter over storage for our things. Because our daughter is our daughter, and things are just, well, things. So out went half these closets, as well as the recycled train tracks that the previous owners used as shelves.

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Exploring the Jordaan

Full term and 37 weeks today! At this point I’m in serious nesting mode, reluctant to leave home unless absolutely necessary—kind of like how mama cats hole up in a dark corner before giving birth. With Little Mango heavy in my belly (2.6 kilos, or 5.7 pounds!), walking is becoming uncomfortable and tires me out easily.

This is why it’s been hard to find the energy to explore our new surroundings. It’s a bit of a shame, because I was so excited to move here! Not only is our new ‘hood Westerpark diverse and interesting in itself, it’s also just off the Jordaan, one of Amsterdam’s most picturesque, charming neighborhoods.

I practically have to force myself to get out of the house for short weekend strolls. I don’t always succeed! But when I do, I end up wide-eyed and delighted. I become a tourist all over again… or maybe I never stopped being one.

Jordaan red shutters

For example, just minutes from our doorstep lies what I think is one of Amsterdam’s prettiest canals: Brouwersgracht.

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