Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a nice long weekend! It's always special to see everyone's fun photos: weddings, pool parties, weekends away, staycations, and more. A few of my friends were under the weather, so I wanted to send well wishes to them! I've had an absolutely amazing past couple of days and am feeling really great and want to thank everyone for their support!

Celebrations started on Thursday evening at my graduation from USF. It was so heartwarming to see friends in the program whom I haven't seen since the fall semester because of our opposite class schedules. With everyone from the School of Education graduating there were a couple of hundred people, so I obviously positioned myself towards the front of the line, about 20th, so I didn't have to wait too long. They called my name (I wrote my name on the card as "Caroline Curran Jesse Pedersen" as a surprise to Jesse since we pretty much got through this three year program together), I received my diploma, shook the President's hand, crossed the stage and walked out to the back of the church. My family and I left and picked up burritos and headed home to catch the second half of the Warriors game and their one point victory. What can I say, I have priorities!

On Friday morning we had our doctors appointment and everything is looked good! Then I went to the school where I am the counselor and they had the loveliest baby shower for me and the MOST delicious cake ever! It was a raspberry butter cream from Noe Valley Bakery!! It was one of the few times when a cake tasted as good as it looked!! I am very appreciative of my colleague's thoughtfulness and generosity. It was the perfect send-off to maternity leave!

Here is a funny story that you are probably very curious about. On Sunday afternoon Jesse and I paid a little visit to the hospital because we wanted to make sure that my water didn't break. We were at Off the Grid in the Presidio for my brother-in-law's birthday having an absolute blast, despite the fog. (On a side-note: My sister ordered a SportBrella, which I highly recommend if you have children or are an avid picnic-er. I'm definitely going to order one for when we take Baby Coco out.)

There I was, having a great time stuffing my face with Del Popolo pizza  when Caitlin asked Jesse to get the Pack-and-Play out of her car for Clementine to take a nap. I hopped up to go with him since the car was a few blocks away and I wanted to stretch my legs. We were navigating through the old Presidio buildings, crossing streets, avoiding getting hit by eager picnic-goers when I sort of stumbled on some uneven grass. I even said to Jesse that there are so many gopher holes in the ground. A few steps later, Jesse goes down with a sprained ankle (not a bad one, he just walked it off and said, "luckily I do this every week at basketball"). We finally get to the car, retrieve the Pack-and-Play and start heading back. On our walk back we pass a man and a few seconds later we hear a scream and he goes DOWN!!!! He had tripped on a gopher hole! Without hesitation I scream, "SIR! ARE YOU OKAY?!" He popped up and tried to walk off the bad fall. I tried to stop the fourth grade child inside of me from laughing and suppressed it for about thirty seconds until Jesse pretended to fall and sprawled out all over the lawn and dramatically dropped the Pack-and-Play. I couldn't help it and started laughing and then all of a sudden I felt a huge gush of water -I tried to stop it and couldn't!! My pants were absolutely soaked.

We walked to the car laughing and a little bit confused. Did my water just break? Did I just pee my pants for the first time since 5th grade?! I stripped down and got in the car. Luckily, my three sisters were at the picnic and I called them over to the car and told them the situation and that we had to leave immediately. Jesse and I were pretty 99% sure it was urine and not my water breaking, but when we called into the hospital they said it wasn't an emergency but to come in to check just to make sure. It's that 1% doubt that can make your anxiety grow exponentially. I'm not a worry wort, but when it comes to your first pregnancy precaution is always a good thing. 

We went home, I rinsed off and threw on some sweats. Figuring we'd be in and out, we didn't bring anything with us- not even a hospital bag. We got to the hospital and had a lovely experience (I bet at this point you've figured out it was urine since I'm at home writing this). To be honest, I had a range of emotions at the hospital: disbelief, nervousness, excitement, confusion, hesitation, determination, and finally relief. I was hooked up to machines to monitor baby's heart rate and my contractions. I was SO surprised- I was having contractions!! They were irregular- about five minutes apart, four minutes apart, eight minutes apart, three minutes apart. I had a little flash of worry when I heard that they were five minutes apart because that is when you're instructed to get to the hospital (5-1-1: contractions that are five minutes apart, lasting one minute for an hour) and was like, "holy cow, am I going to have a baby today?". I had absolutely no pain with these contractions and I'm hoping that's the way it will be during labor- fingers crossed!

They did a few tests and confirmed that it was urine and we were sent home. Some people would have been embarrassed, but you know me- the eternal optimist, I thought this has been the most wonderful dress rehearsal! I've always been in great health, haven't had any surgeries, and have only visited people in the hospital. I was definitely a little teary eyed in the beginning when I felt scared. Jesse was great at calming me down and I know he will be the best coach during labor ever. Now when we go back for delivery, I will know what to expect and be calm and confident.

After we left the hospital I went and got two scoops of ice cream, watched Game of Thrones, and went to bed. I had the best night's sleep ever! So for all of you pregnant ladies out there, I highly recommend you check out your hospital! One thing that the experience reminded us is that we still have a lot to do: pack our hospital bag, finalize our birthing plan, and get a few things ready around the house. Luckily I still have this week to do those things!!

Baby is as big as: A watermelon! 

Weight Gain: 22 lbs. I'm surprised it's not more because I am eating so much!! I wake up starving and have a huge breakfast and then eat throughout the day. When you check in to the hospital they don't let you eat any food incase you need to have surgery so I keep treating each meal like it's my last meal before delivery-- I'm only eating delicious food!!

Common Symptoms

False Labor: I have not thought I was in labor before. Actually, the opposite. I realized at the hospital that I've been having contractions, just a tightening of the uterine muscles, when they hooked me up to the monitor, but I never would have known since I don't feel any pain.

Water Breaking: In my case, just peeing my pants! Still laughing about it the situation with everyone tripping. I hope I was able to convey just how hysterical it was. I really haven't laughed that hard in a while! That story is definitely one for the books!

Heartburn: I haven't been having this and luckily my acid reflux has really decreased and very rarely happens, but I still carry my Tums with me. My favorite flavors are the Tums Berry Fushions!

Pain: Not so much pain, just discomfort sometimes when I stand up and when I am turning in bed. My knees haven't been as bad this week and I've been stretching and taking some Tylenol.

Urge to Nest: I always thought that nesting was getting the home ready for baby by buying stuff or decorating. Instead, I feel a bigger need to purge! I want to get rid of a lot of stuff that we don't need or use. It seems like every other day I am filling up a bag for goodwill. Also, who wants some maternity clothes in a couple of weeks?

Maternity Leave to-do list: Pack hospital bag (I've been saying that for weeks), move Halo Bassinet into our bedroom, finalize birth plan.

Advice I received from doctor about water breaking: Wear a pad and if it soaks through two pads it's probably amniotic fluid. There should be some color to it (it was hard for me to tell because I was wearing black pants). It will continue to leak, not just one gush. Hope that helps other pregnant ladies!! Also, I decided to keep an extra set of clothes with me at all times, just in case!