The Life of Bon: PREGNANCY: 25 WEEKS IN

Sunday, April 13, 2014

PREGNANCY: 25 WEEKS IN





EVERYTHING YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT MY PREGNANCY:
25 WEEK EDITION

- I think I finally look officially pregnant.  I have had a few strangers comment on my pregnancy in the past few weeks which to me means that it is now safe to assume I am in fact pregnant and not just downing extra cupcakes.  I've popped.

-I am stilling sleeping through the night without having to get up to pee.  Success!

- Things are starting to get slightly uncomfortable in my stomach.  I can't really describe it- it doesn't feel like cramps or a stomach ache or even like gas exactly- but it feels a little bit like all of those things combined.  Like sometimes it's just really crowded and achy in there.  I feel like things are stretching and moving (You think?) and it's just kind of uncomfortable.  It's especially uncomfortable when I sit down for a long time- like everything is just pressing down on my stomach.

-I continue to try to exercise every day.  Mostly it's a 45 minute walk with Maverick, but sometimes it means tennis or a mile run.  My best friend and tennis partner is moving out of state at the end of the month so I am in the market for a new partner.  If you are in the area and like to play tennis please say you'll fill her role.  I'm not joking. I need to play at least once a week.

- Luckily I haven't had any cravings for greasy or fattening food- mostly anything that is even a little heavy sounds awful to me.  I mostly eat sandwiches and smoothies and protein shakes and I'm down to one diet coke a day.  This is honestly probably the most healthy I've ever eaten in my life. (With the exception of weekly pizza- my definite pregnancy craving!)

- I've been reading Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman.  I really like it!  Basically it's about an American woman living in France who observes the much more laid back and chill way of French parenting.  She says that French children seem to be much more patient, better eaters, better sleepers, and just generally calmer children.  The idea is that you give your children very strict parameters and boundaries but that within that, the kids have a lot of freedom.  She talks a lot about treating children as reasonable, logical people- basically that children are just mini adults.  It is very interesting.  I know a lot of people have a lot of ideas about parenting and I have never had a children so I know nothing, but the idea of calm and obedient children is certainly alluring.

- The day after my last day of school, Greg and I are flying to Germany to visit my sister.  My doc and the airline both say I can fly up until 36 weeks, but I have already had many people express their disapproval at this decision.  It is weird to be pregnant and have so many people suddenly telling you what you should or shouldn't do. My mom says I function on pure adrenaline so I should be fine.  I hope she's right.  The idea is that the backaches and extra weight and all other discomforts will be assuaged by the excitement of touring Europe.

- We are going to spend a few days in Amsterdam while in Europe.  Ever since I read The Fault in our Stars I've really wanted to see the city.  I am determined to go on a bike tour while there.  Greg says I'm delusional and that at 7 1/2 months pregnant there ain't no way I'm going to be able to hop on a bike and cruise around. Whaddya think?  (Also if any of you have been to Amsterdam or Bruges send suggestions!)

-It's gotten a little bit uncomfortable to sleep.  My sides and stomach just start to ache after a couple of hours.  Someone told me to sleep with a pillow between my legs, and that is helping a bit.  Any suggestions to make my lower back not hurt so much?  For some reason it aches the most when I'm sleeping.  I'm making Greg do daily massages, but it is still so achy!

-I've had some bad allergies the bast few weeks but haven't dared take anything.  What is safe to take while pregnant?

- I figured I'm just about at the point where I need to start thinking about stretch marks.  Is there anything you can do to avoid getting them?  Any lotions you tried that you really liked?

- Greg and I are an absolute mess when it comes to names.  How do some people know so soon what they are going to name their child?  It feels like such a huge decision, and we can't agree on anything.  We want a name that is a known name and easy to spell and pronounce.  But at the same time, we want to steer away from common or trendy names. If it's on the top 100 baby names for the year it's definitely out.  With a last name like Larsen I feel like we have to give her a name that it is a bit unique to make her stand out just a little bit.

There are a few things that have made the name picking process difficult.  To start with, I teach school for a living, so that means that for every name out there I know at least three students who have forever tarnished the name in my mind.  Another thing that has made it difficult is other people.  Well- wishers always want to know what names we are thinking of and when we throw a few out we invariably get a, "Do NOT name your child that.  I hate that name," "My ex girlfriend has that name," or "That's a total slut name."  I don't know why people do this with baby names.  I never tell people my name is Bonnie and have them respond, "Ugh.  I hate that name!" but they do it all the time when I tell them what names we are considering for our child.  As if they might have some say in it.

Greg's top pick is Ellie, but it's too popular for me so I told him it's out.  I absolutely love Nora, but that's the name of a main character in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and Greg says he absolutely refuses to be a theater guy and have his child named that. (Whatever that's supposed to mean.)  My good friend who is having a baby in August told me last week that she is planning to name her little girl the one name that Greg and I kind of seemed to agree on.  Now he says the name is out because it's obviously too common. (Someone else at our church named their baby that too.)  So we're back to the drawing board.

You guys got some suggestions?  I love the old classics- anything that is sophisticated and feminine. Eleanore is a total favorite of mine as well as Pearl and Grace.  Greg says Eleanore is too old fashioned, Pearl is ugly, and Grace is too common.  I did like Stella a lot until my brother named his dog that.

We're a wreck.  Please send help.

91 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. If you ever had any desire to name your child Jennifer Larsen, I will tell you that maybe that is not a great idea. I have NO idea why my parents thought Jennifer Ann Larson born in 1991 would be SUCH a genius thing. I was one of like ten Jennifers, one of at least two Larson/Larsens, and over half the female class had the middle name of Ann in every class ever. Sheesh.

    Anyway, good luck with the baby names! Coming up with baby names for real, actual humans would probably stress me out. Ellie and Nora are both terribly adorable. I went through a phase in high school where I wanted to name my future children after To Kill a Mockingbird characters..Atticus and Scout went through their rotation, but the name that stuck was Harper. Now everyone is naming their daughters Harper, so I might have to rethink my non-existent children's names.

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  3. Love the name Nora! That's my future (when I get a boyfriend/get married/have kids) childs name :)

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  4. I would be stressed out about the name as well- it's such a huge thing. I had enough trouble naming my blog AND my rat terrier (I've never been good at choosing names).

    For some reason, I feel the name Edie sounds good with Larsen. Or Charlotte? Margaret? Hayley? I can't wait to hear what name you guys end up choosing. :)

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  5. My great grandmother was named Birdie. I've always loved that name. Good luck!

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  6. Figuring out what to name your baby is definitely a hard decision. When I was pregnant with my son I refused to name him after family or anyone that I knew. Which definitely cut the list down a lot. But what we ended up doing is writing all the names that wwe could think of down on a piece of paper and going over them crossing off the ones that were a definite no. It definitely helped as we whittled them all down to what we named him and I actually still have that paper in his baby book.

    And yeah I don't get why people have to say that sort of thing about baby names especially when it's not even their baby. People did it to me when I would tell them what I had decided on and of course got that sort of thing but I still named him what I decided on anyways. I was the one popping the kid out not them so I figured I got to decide what to call him. But best of luck to the two of you on that.

    What I found helped me with my back was get on my hands and knees like a cat and stretch my back up towards the ceiling. It helped to stretch out those muscles and alleviated some of the pain for a little while at least.

    Best of luck

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  7. I love the name Nora that is beautiful, I have had 4 girls names picked out since I was 12. I have a pact with my sisters that we won't use each others baby names when we have children. My partner and I are now getting ready to start trying for a baby, I hope we have girls! I want to have a Poppy, Molly, Dot and Maggie! My husband hates most of those names but I said if we have any boys he could chose their names (within reason!).
    I also loved The Fault in Our Stars and have been begging my husband to take us over there. (Hope they don't ruin the book when they bring out the movie!!)
    Love Gi
    xx

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  8. I feel like Eleanore and calling her Ellie for short is a good compromise!

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    1. I was going to suggest the same thing! You could even get away with calling her Nory/Nora for short too!

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  9. Funnily enough, we just got home from Amsterdam yesterday. It was gorgeous, but we didn't plan it well (we didn't plan it AT ALL) so it wasn't one of my faves :( I wouldn't try riding a bike- it is CUT THROAT. My kids almost got run down by those bikes on the daily. Maybe it won't be so crowded when you're there? Europe and the UK are on the Easter term break, so everyone is traveling right now. ANYWAY. We really liked the Heineken tour, but we're weird like that. I can't handle my kids in museums, but obviously the Anne Frank house is there, plus this new GORGEOUS museum that I can't remember the name of, in front of the I AMSTERDAM sign? My fave thing was going out to Kinderdijk to see all the windmills, and obviously Keukenhof for the tulips, but I'm not sure they'll still be in bloom for you?

    And Brugge... oh that was my absolute FAVORITE vacation so far. It's SO gorgeous, the people are so nice, it's small and cozy and fun and gorgeous and just PERFECT. Loved it. I blogged about it last May if you want to see some pictures of what it's like to travel after you have too many kids ;)
    http://www.teamengelbrecht.com/2013/06/traveling-with-kids-and-more-pics.html
    http://www.teamengelbrecht.com/2013/06/bruges.html

    Have fun!!!

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    1. Also, naming a baby is the WORST.

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  10. Lilia Larsen sounds sweet, yet posh! It's not Lilly and it's not Liliana. Just a thought ;)

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  11. Bon… many names on the top 100 name list are classic names, not just trendy names. Emily always ranks up there, and it is timeless! Come on, Emily Bronte!! Emily Dickinson! Anyway, name picking is hard. I really like the name Paisley. And just because someone else is using it doesn't mean that you can't! Maybe you guys have too many rules. How about Phoebe? And Layla would be beautiful… Layla Larsen. It just rolls off the tongue.
    As far as your trip goes… now that you're starting to get bigger and more uncomfortable, you can see where some of us where coming from about you traveling so far into your pregnancy! And aren't you glad you're not going to Russia! The trip over may be hard on the plane, get up often to get the circulation going and flex your feet often to push the blood back up through your veins.
    So, did you see Monuments MEn or read it? There is a sculpture by Michaelangelo called the Madonna and it is made of marble, it was the only piece of art by Michaelangelo to leave Italy in his lifetime. Anyway, the Nazis stole it from a cathedral in Brugges. They transported to a mine deep in the Bavarian Alps where it was stashed away with a lot of other famous works… it was going to get blown up but the local miners were able to disengage the dynamite and the Monuments MEn were able to save it. It's back in Brugges… so ever since I read about it I want to go there!
    As far as biking in Amsterdam… I biked in April but was due in July. YOu have to kind of just be careful because your equilibrium is a little thrown off and it might not be too comfortable, it feels like you have a basketball on your lap so there's not a lot of leg room to pedal. Anyway, if you do get on a bike BE CAREFUL because biking in Amsterdam is not like a leisurely stroll type of thing. Biking is their mode of transportation so you have to follow the traffic flow and the streets are super packed with bikers and tour buses and other vehicles and sometimes the lanes just disappear. We seriously almost got clipped so many times. But it is fun. If Greg is adamant, a good compromise is this park in Amsterdam… I forget what it's called, but it's the main big beautiful park and there were a ton of bicyclists there, but no vehicles, so obviously a lot more safe.

    And this entry was waayyy too long. Love you!

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  12. PS Love the name Nora. I think you're on to something. If you're having a hard time deciding, Dr. Laura says that you each make a list of the names you want and then go down each other's lists and when you find the first name in common, circle it and that's your name! Or Ben and I have kind of switched off and on. He really wanted Emily, which I didn't, but I let him have that and then I got to pick Carooline, which he didn't want.

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  13. ANd if you don't want people to give an opinion about names you're considering then it's best to just not tell anyone! A lot of people withhold the name until the baby comes because they don't want to hear everyone's two bits on it. And I'm sorry what i said about the name you were considering the other day… it wasn't very nice of me.

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  14. I think it's best to not tell people your baby name ideas unless you have 100% settled on them (and even then you might want to just wait!) Because people will always give you opinions that you don't want. Whereas if they don't know the baby name until it's born, they are more likely to keep their mouths shut, and if they don't, it's too late anyways! You still have lots of time to come to an agreement :)

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  15. Surely if you had Eleanore then Gregg could shorten it to Ellie and therefore you both could be happy?! I like names that can be shortened so that your child can choose the version of the name they like.... for example Elizabeth - can be Lizzie, Beth, Liz, Bet, Libby or Rebecca as it can be Bec, Becky, Becca etc....

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  16. Nora is a gorgeous name! I'm sure whatever you and your husband chooses will be great!

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  17. In Provo, 2 weeks before I had Madeleine, I got yelled at in RS for not giving my baby a Christmas name by this old lady. She told me I should name her "Starr". I had no idea how to respond to her. I love the name Eleanora. Madeleine's sweet little playmate is named that, and I love how original it is. For allergies, you can take Sudafed PE....only the PE. It has a different chemical makeup than just plain sudafed. Call your Dr. though and ask if you're nervous about it. And lastly, I'm planning on reading Bringing up Babe soon! I have a hold on it. I'm glad you like it. I'm really excited to read it.

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  18. I've already told Beau that when we have kids, they will both have family names. We have both a tentative girl's name and a tentative boy's name picked out. Our future daughter will take my first name (it's a family name that can be traced back to Norway, and there's one of "me" in almost every generation), and our future son will most likely take Beau's middle name.

    I'm also campaigning for the name Jadzia as a middle name for a daughter. It's a name from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine... I'm also campaigning for each kid getting two middle names so they can have my last name AND Beau's last name.

    My friend named her daughter Eowyn, which I think is a beautiful name.

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  19. I absolutely love reading your posts - they're so honest.

    A classic name I really like is Evelyn. I did previously have Nora picked out until a girlfriend decided to have a baby first and name hers Nora :)

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  20. This was my favorite site to peruse for names when I was pregnant. http://www.youcantcallitit.com
    Both my husband and I are teachers, so I totally understand the difficulty with many names - you are forever reminded of that one student! I also looked in the Telegraph birth announcements - lots of classic British old-fashioned names! We ended up naming our daughter Philippa Florence - both family names (my nana was British)

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  21. My daughters name is Elena Quinn but we call her Ellie :) we didn't find out the sex until birth, and we didn't agree on a name until the week she was born lol .. All the people who have names picked out as soon as they announce they're pregnant make me nuts. I changed my mind a 100 times over 9 months! I wouldn't want to commit lol

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  22. I think Emily is a wonderful name, just priceless. ;-) haha!

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  23. Ah man you're looking so sweet - pregnancy really does suit you!

    Naming your baby is such a tough decision, I can just imagine what you're going through! Check out these two fun sites that I think might help - nameberry.com and babynamegenie.com
    Nameberry is really great as it has an "if you liked this name you might like this one" feature, so you could type in Nora and Ellie etc etc, while the Baby Name Genie generates names for you based on your gender and it takes into consideration your surname or the second name you have picked out for her etc.

    Hope that helps :) Please do let me know, I would love to hear if they helped you at all!

    xx

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  24. You're the cutest pregnant lady ever.

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  25. For names: I love etymology. Maybe think of what you and Greg want your baby's name to mean, then find names that are that meaning. That is kind of how we got Rhys Michael.

    For stretch marks, I've been using Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks since Christmas and I don't see any marks yet. My mom bought it as an Xmas gift, but here is a link to it...http://www.vitacost.com/palmers-cocoa-butter-formula-tummy-butter-for-stretch-marks-4-4-oz?csrc=GPF-PA-Babies%20%26%20Kids-010181040764&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw=&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=010181040764&gclid=CMOi7O2L4L0CFQ5gMgodYk0AqQ

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  26. Ahhh, your name comment could totally have been written by me! We also want something easy to say/spell but not too trendy or common. It has been SO hard! Oddly enough, I think we have finally (almost) decided on Nora ;) We love it, but it's also the only name we can think of and agree on, so maybe we should stop now. Good luck on your search!

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  27. I love Grace or Gracie. Annaleese, Also Abagail and Kyra.
    i think your'e crazy for wanting to do a bike tour 7 1/2 months pregnant - but if you're up for it - go for it!

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  28. LOVE Eleanore! You could name her that and then just start calling her "Nora" ;)

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  29. What a cute baby bump :)

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  30. Wow...the names I considered for my daughter are three of yours. Charlotte, Nora and Stella. We ended up with Charlotte but we call her Charlie. BTW...don't listen to others. It's yours and Greg's decision.

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  31. On the name thing: My husband and I are like you and Greg. We like unique names, but not ones that are way out there. My daughters are Laylah and Daphne. I love that there isn't 3-4 other girls named the same thing in their grade. Also, just ignore rude people that think they have a say in naming your child. My grandma tells me all the time how she doesn't like my kids names. I don't give a crap.

    Stretch marks: it's all in your genetics. Unavoidable if you're going to get them. I mean, I didn't have one until my 8th month of my first pregnancy and literally from one day to the next they had appeared overnight and I cried. They fade though, it's really not a big deal.

    The bike thing: unless you've been biking regularly for awhile you will want to die the day after your bike tour, especially with that extra weight on your whoo-haw. I'm not kidding either. I'm an avid road biker and I still get sore sometimes after a long ride.

    On getting sore: it will continue to get worse at night. I would start yoga, that helped me immensely. You can find a prenatal DVD or something. Plus it's super relaxing.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel. I'm so happy for you and seriously, your blog is my fave :)

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  32. I agree with those who said don't tell people ahead of time about your name choices. My mom told one of her relatives her name choice for a boy, and the cousin went and had a baby boy and stole the name! Mom didn't hold a grudge, but I learned a lesson from that! Also advise you not to name the baby after a living relative or friend, for reasons you can probably figure out.

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  33. Zyrtec is great and safe during pregnancy. My allergies were worse than normal my whole pregnancy.

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  34. What about Matilda and call her Tilly? I think that's so cute. I am refusing to tell anyone the name of our child until it comes out. Too many opinionated family members. I also love Charlotte and calling her Lottie or Charlie. I had a friend named Tace once, loved that name. And Mila or Elisha.

    I have a list of names on my phone so when we get to having kids hopefully we'll have an idea. but I fear that my husband and I will NEVER agree.

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  35. French book sounds awesome. That's how I raise my kids. They're people too and should be treated like people with their own ideas an opinions.

    Riding a bike is a bit hard with the belly and remember your balance is off when pregnant so be cautious.

    Stretch marks are hit or miss. You can't prevent them. But use lotion anyway. It helps with itching from your skin stretching.

    Both of my sons were names after they were born. This last one the nurse told me he wasn't coming out until I had a name picked. I said "oh yeah? Get down there and catch" he was named the next day. It also helped with not getting everyone's annoying opinion on the name because they didn't know until we sent the pic with the baby. So it was immediate association. If we ever have a daughter she will be Taylor Elizabeth. I love Nora.

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  36. Isn't it crazy how people feel the need to tell you what you can and cannot do? My husband and I are flying to Puerto Rico in June and my friend FLIPPED out on me, saying I couldn't count on the health care there if something happened. (Forgetting that I have family there and I was born there).

    I'm so intrigued by that French book. I almost bought it the other day but held back. Glad it's interesting!

    Name picking is hard! We have our girl name picked and our first boy name but middle names are so hard! Plus the whole teacher thing kills a lot of names for me.

    As for the backache, I bought the Boppy Total Pillow (I think that's the name) It's not a huge body pillow but it curves around you. I have curved it behind me and it helps with my backaches!

    Oh and my doctor said Benadryl was okay to take. Confirm it with your doctor first!

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  37. Don't tell people your name! Just don't do it. After it's official, noone can complain about it and you don't get stuck with unwanted opinions. I think a body pillow was great for backaches- it helped because it went between my knees and I could put it under my belly to support the baby weight. That made a huge difference.

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  38. My daughters name is Skylar Rose and it fits her perfectly. It is amazing how a name makes the person. Find the name you and Greg love and don't listen to everyone else.

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  39. I had a baby boy 2 months ago and went with the name Owen James. If I had a girl it would have been Anabelle Lavone. I didn't have a name until the day we were discharged and I had to fill out the paperwork for the birth certificate, so don't stress too much, try making a list of about 5 names (doesn't have to be first and middle combinations) for each gender (because doctors have been wrong before) and when you see your little one, you'll have a better idea of what fits.

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  40. Allergies: claritin, zyrtec, or Benadryl

    Names: we don't tell anyone the names we pick anymore because we got such harsh criticism with Emmy's full name. Especially from family members. I can't decide on names this time around, but with our other two we knew what we were going to call them as soon as we knew the sex. It was nice to refer to them by name other than "the baby" all the time.

    As soon as you can agree on a name I say stick with it and don't worry about others opinions. If everyone liked the same names all kids would be banned the same thing. Boring!

    Flying: if you have your doctors permission then go with that. I think most people are probably just concerned about you delivering early, but with it being your first kid "they" say it is unlikely. Have fun on your trip!

    Other: you are totally cute! Way to go on being so healthy while pregnant! I'm contemplating making a gift for you/the baby, but I'm not sure if it is something you'll use. If I message you the things I want to make, then it won't be a surprise. Such a dilemma! :-)

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  41. Naming involves keeping everyone else out of it! Seriously its hard enough to get 2 people to agree, much less all of your friends and family. My future childs name will be a secret until birth because I just can't trust people to keep their opinions to themselves. (Especially my mother).

    Name suggestions: Natalie, Lorelei/Lorelai, Audra, Caroline (although getting more popular), Cora/Coraline, Vivian/Vivienne, Reese, Valerie, Delilah/Lilah, Isla (eye-luh),Camille.

    I like all of the names your have listed in your post! Nora/Norah, Ellie used to be my favorite before it got uber popular. There are like 5 names out right now that are supper popular that all use the nickname Ellie.

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  42. This made me laugh because I feel the same exact way when thinking about potential baby names. Yes I'm not pregnant but still do this haha! I love the name Eleanor. I had it in the back of my mind because it is my great grandma's name but then I married Tim and now have a niece named Eleanor so that is out. I feel like about every little girl in Primary is named Ava, Ellie or Ella, or Sophie.

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  43. Our girl name was going to be Cadence. I'm due right around the time you are and we are having a boy. I also am not getting up to pee at night yet, I was getting a little worried about that haha but I've always had a big bladder so I guess its coming in handy. I have just found it easier to tell people we arent telling our boy name, or you could just say you have no idea so you dont have to listen to opinions. Its been fun reading your blog since we are due at the same time!

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  44. When we were deciding my second daughter's name I like Ellie and my husband liked Eleanor (which I thought sounded old fashion too) so we went with Eliana and we call her Ellie as a nickname.

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  45. I love the double L idea. like Lenor Larsen, Lorieli Larsen

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  46. I've always been a sucker for female names ending in E. They sound so pretty and classic. Christine (ahem), Caroline, Cadence, Camille, Janine, Adrienne, Charlotte, Florence, Madeline, Annelise, Elise, Carine, the list goes on and on. Or perhaps a female variant of your father's name?

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  47. My top girl pick has always been Naomi Grace (except for a brief period in high school when I thought Naomi Bliss would sound better...smh). I like the idea of a female variant of your father's name.

    For allergies- local raw honey? I've never been pregnant, so I don't know if honey is on the no-no list, but I've always heard good things about how it helps allergies.

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  48. Dang girl everyone wants to talk baby names! I didn't sort through. Did anyone answer your allergy med question? You can take muscinex, which will only help with the congestion, not so much the sneezing and itching. And I think you can take Robitussin, but maybe only in the third trimester? I was surprised when my dr told me to go home and take some! But I was 37 weeks at the time. I know it changes with each trimester.

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    1. Ooh yes and i second what Amber said about the honey. And you can totally have honey when pregnant.

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  49. I'm with you on the name thing! It's a tough decision! But everyone's already given you advice on that, so..... on to stretch marks! I'm 36 weeks and by some stroke of amazing luck, I don't have any yet! I've got plenty of old ones (so it's definitely not that I don't get stretch marks at all) but nothing new has shown up. I've been using Aveeno lotion like crazy since I was about 20 weeks, and I'm convinced it's helped a ton. It would be worth trying for sure!

    And on the sore back thing, definitely keep using a pillow between your legs! And use a heating pad before bed if you can, that helps a ton too.

    Good luck Bonnie, you look DARLING!

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  50. Something like Judith, Verena, Gabriella, Felicity, Cecily...haha, okay I guess all this doesn't make it any easier. Good luck but I'm sure no matter what decision you make it will suite your little baby girl just fine!

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  51. I have a list of 100 girls names that I am sending you right now and for the record, you look adorable!

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  52. Your bump is so cute!! Name ideas... Eva, Gabriella, Giordana, Stella...

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  53. Hey Bon! Love your updates, it's fun to hear where you are at - since I am RIGHT behind you (like one week less pregnant). A couple things:
    1. I can take Bendaryl for allergies, so I bet you can too - just none of the benadryls that mix with sleep meds or uppers. It's the combo drugs that are no bueno.

    2. No bike riding in Amsterdam ya crazy kook! Can you even imagine falling over on a cobblestone or getting run down by a cabbie and feeling terrible if something random happens to Baby Girl Larsen? If you DO run on adrenaline as your mom suggests, you may actually thrive in that scenario! ;)

    3. If you think of great names PLEASE SHARE! I am having my first baby girl also and we are in the same name-limbo. Can't agree, then find something we "love" and it is quickly snagged by the next friend that has a baby. Funny how that works!

    Keep doing what you're doing, and although I just gave you a ton of unwarranted advice, I have no clue what I am talking about, so take it with a grain of salt - just like everything else folks tell you to do. <3

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  54. We have an 8 year old named Ellie. Her actual name is Elliott-something a little unique and interesting. She likes to use both names depending on her mood. Just something to keep in mind if you like the idea of a boyish name that can be made feminine.

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    1. Ohhhh, I love this! We have an Ella and I'm just now regretting not making her full name "Elliott". So pretty.

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  55. Well I mean, Jordan is always a great name. ;) I am a huge fan of boys names for girls, so I like names like Tyler, or Shane, or something for a girl. Also classics like Emma, Sophie, Belle, and Taylor are pretty good. I've also always liked the idea of naming a girl after some characters I've loved in books...Elizabeth, Corrie, Bridget..

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  56. i flew at about 25 weeks from Ut to new hampshire (so only about 5ish hours). i'll be honest - it was pretty miserable. back hurt, legs hurt, butt hurt. no room!! but i was also bigger than you are, so you'll probably still be smaller than me when you go. either way - i wish you luck. i used burt's mama bee belly butter my whole pregnancy and not one stretch mark to be had. not sure if it was thanks to the belly butter, but it certainly didn't hurt! and my belly itched like a mother, so it helped with that a lot too. and names...names are just hard. my baby girl is now 6 months old (eek!) and we named her Gracie Jane. i love the name nora as well (push for it!). i love emma but it's so popular the last few years. i think Emmie is a good alternative. i just had a friend name her baby girl elliot (calls her ellie, except spell it elle..). i don't know what to tell you. pick something you guys love and don't get too caught up in everyone else that's named it or what others opinions are. pick it cuz YOU love it.

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  57. My coworker named her daughter Eliana and they call her Elli, maybe that would work for you? I think it is really cute and unique.

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  58. If I lived in the area I would totally take the role as your tennis pal! I love it! PS. You've totally popped and it's adorable!

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  59. I like the name Charlotte, Brynn, and Brennan. :)

    I left a comment when you previously mentioned going to Germany, asking if/expressing surprise that you could fly at that point in pregnancy. I just want you to know I wasn't judging or thinking you shouldn't, I was just curious/surprised, as I've never been pregnant.

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  60. Invest in a snoogle pillow! My backpain was horrible earlier in my pregnancy and has improved so much since I bought one.
    As far as names, my husband and I have decided to stop telling people our choices for the sole purpose of avoiding the unwanted opinions. It's your kid!
    You look great :)

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  61. I hated how unique my name was when I was growing up, but now I love it. While I am nervous about changing my last name, there aren't many Merchon's out there so I don't get confused with others. I want to have unique names also, but because Ryan and I taught in the city, nothing unique like we have seen there. My FAVORITE was la-a, and her name is Ladasha. The dash you sounded out. Craziness. We also have a Unique Blackman Jones. We also had a Cairo and Egypt, who were sisters. I could go on forever with fun stories like those.
    I can't wait to hear what you two choose, I am sure it will be perfect.

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  62. I have terrible allergies and I was cleared to take claritin daily. Names are never easy ... I worked at a daycare so I understand names being tainted by other kids :)

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  63. you look fantastic! I m pregnant with my 4th and a I was told I now look pregnant and not just chubby...nice not something you want to say to a pregnant lady...lol!

    I believe one of the few things you can take is sudafed...super helpful ... safe for baby...but check with your doctor :)

    I love talking about names! Everyone, and I mean everyone will tell you why they don't like the name you picked out...so get used to that. All out kids names come from songs...so picking name was hard!

    I LOVE NORA!! :) My oldest name is Elisabeth...we went classic and almost called her Elle for short. My youngest is also name Lyla and it wasn't my favorite at first but I am totally in love with it now!

    oh boy. I could talk about name all day long! Off to read the name suggestions in your comments lol.

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  64. p.s. if your interested in sleep training or sleeping. I read 12 hours sleep by 12 weeks old and used this method with ALL 3 of my kids... and I am not lying when I saw my oldest was slewping 8 pm to 7 am by 12 weeks, my middle who was born 5 weeks early and colicy was sleeping 8pm to 7 am by 10 weeks, and my youngest was sleeping 9pm to 8 am by 11 weeks.

    It is hard work and you will feel like you are sleeping less than ever while "training" but it will work. This is not a cry it out method and worth looking into.

    Sleep training is not for everyone...so no worries if it isnt your thing :)

    ok that is it...my only un-asked for parenting advise! I feel the need to tell every pregnant person I know about that book...so sorry in advance if you tired of info being thrown at you!

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  65. Katrina, Victoria, Sophia, Emilia?

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  66. I love love love Eleanor. It's on our short list. I'm thinking it's a little too long for my taste, but it's so beautiful! I would definitely approve. I don't think you can go wrong with a classic name as long as it has a classic spelling.

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  67. Brunhilda
    Drusilla
    Ethelene
    Beulah
    Benedicta
    Hortense

    Just kidding! I've always loved Rosamunde (Rosa or Rose for short), Victoria (VIctoria for short) and Cora. Seraphina is pretty (Sara for short) and I also love Adele but since your last name starts with an L, that's probably not a great idea. Also Celeste and Vivienne and Evangeline (Lily for short, might be too many Ls in that name). I can't have children unfortunately so don't worry, I won't be using any of these. Good luck with picking a name! If all else fails, you can wait til you see her Or pull a Picabo Street and call her "Baby Girl" until you're forced to pick a name for a passport. :)

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  68. Oh I loooooove baby names!!! My punks are all in college and each have a little different name than the norm.
    Son - Gavin Lee (Lee is my hubby's middle name too)
    Daughter - Allyanne (her given name, Alexandria Paige) We just called her Ally or Allyanne
    Daughter - Gates Morgan (Morgan was a family name)

    I love a few cute girl names that you might already know...

    Jules
    Cessley
    Nola
    Noelle
    Nolan (I dated a guy who's brother named their little girl this because another brother's name was Noel)
    Keller
    Mia
    Sydney & Jordyn are a bit popular but still sort of normal. Trying to avoid Apple or Blue Ivy. hehe
    Blaze
    Brynn
    Greylynn (I have a cousin named this)

    I could go on....but I'll stop! Goodluck!
    Oh and don't listen to all the name haters! They will drive you crazy. It's your baby. Name it what feels best to you!

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    1. And yes, our daughter's name is really GATES! She rocks it too! It fits her to a tee!

      The cool thing about different names.....our kids have always been very popular and known for their names! It's awesome to be a "little" different.

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  69. Try putting a thinner pillow under your belly along your body in addition to between your legs. Eventually I resorted to also having one behind my back so I could lay at angle. My husband hated all the pillows everywhere, but it's hard work growing a human!

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  70. I just got done reading The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (LOVE Sarah Dessen!!) and the main character's name is Emmeline. I thought it was unique and classic at the same time. Good luck!

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  71. A name that is definitely not on the 100's list is my great-grandmothers name, Zelma. It's a name I have considered a few times. Although with a last name like Cabibi, it might be a little hard to spit out. Haha.

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  72. Ellie and Nora are both cute. What if you mixed them...Eleanor...Eleanora? Then she could go by Ellie or Nora as a nickname! Problem solved. ;)

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  73. Prenatal yoga DVDs were awesome for the aches & pains. Palmers cocoa butter for itchiness but I still got a few stretch marks. I never knew they were there until a couple weeks after going birth. Claritin or Benadryl are safe for sure but always tell your doc first.
    Names, oh gosh. Definitely keep to yourself. Our sons name was easy for us but picking a girls name was HARD. I love nicknames so that's always at the forefront for me. Ruby, June, Celia, Tatum, Carolina were some strong contenders for us. Enjoy your trip! I did 3 days of Disneyland with 3 kids under 6 at 8 months and had a great time. Just listen to your body.

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  74. Baby names can be tough! I have a Ruby... it's classic, vintage, spunky and common but not over-used! I could also suggest Lena? lol I always liked my name, and I was usually the only Lena around... Helena is another old-fashioned, pretty name! Good luck!

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  75. Oh pregnancy.
    Here is my two cents:
    - I think I could have totally travelled at 36 weeks with my first pregnancy. This one? HA. I'm 37 right now and I consider it "traveling" to make it to the living room from the bedroom. Just feels totally different this time. Every pregnancy is different. I would say the bike this is probably dreaming a bit, but it's AMSTER-frickin- DAM! I maybe would sign up for a whole bike shindig, but maybe renting one and just doing what you can so you can say you did would be a better option?
    - Names. With our first we knew instantly it would be Blythe. But then about a week away from having her I kind of panicked. Ha. With this one we picked one early, but I've just been more hesitant in general because I loved Blythe so much and want this one to be as perfect. :). We haven't shared names either time, and I have really liked doing it that way even though it's hard. It leaves one more little surprise to share with others after delivery, plus people are much less likely to give you their opinion once they know your kid is stuck with it :).
    -Stretch marks- I've always heard you're gonna get em if you're gonna get em and there isn't much you can really do. I've been fortunate with both of mine [so far], and I don't even use any lotion [I probably should?]. I think it's just how you carry/how quickly the baby grows/ genetics etc etc. I wouldn't worry too much about them.
    -lastly- my doc gave me a list of meds I can take that are safe [for all sorts of different ailments]. I'd just ask for one at your next appointment. :)

    Enjoy pregnancy. As much as you'll be ready for the baby, it was a bittersweet end for me when Blythe came because there is something so intimate about pregnancy. [And I'm trying to tell myself that now as I waddle around with number two scheduled to arrive any day.]

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    1. Oh and the name thing: Your criteria is a bit different than mine [I don't like weird spellings either, or trendy names, or ones on the top one-hundred, but I like more masculine names for girls like Flannery, or Elliot, or Blaire --my husband vetoed all those for us though]. But I have always loved the feminine name NELLIE or even just NELLE [like Nelle Harper Lee!].

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  76. My husband and I are expecting our second and your requirements for names sound pretty similar so I'll share some of the ones on our list. Since I don't know you in real life, I don't mind if you use one!

    Harper
    Annabel
    June
    Piper
    Olivia/Olive
    Lila/Lyla
    Hazel
    Sadie
    Elle
    Finley
    Hadley
    Norah
    Willow/Willa
    Eliza
    Haven
    Ivy
    Everly
    Love (as a middle name)

    As for the back ache, I've found it helps to prop a pillow under your belly it relieves some of the strain on your back.

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  77. Love the name Ellie and Nora is super sweet too! I think when she arrives you'll know exactly what to name her ;)

    guesswhathollie.blogspot.co.uk

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  78. My friend Jocey doesn't reveal the baby name to anyone until the baby is born (even parents/inlaws) that way no one gets to complain about/make fun of/think they have a say in it.

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  79. Naming is the absolute hardest over here!! My husband nixed all names that I threw out for our son, so by default I went with Declan (his top choice) and it took me a long time to come to grips with that and really love it (which I totally do now). So with our daughter we really didn't talk with too many people about it, though I couldn't keep it fully a secret, and we didn't fully decide until she was here. I had a similar criteria list as yours, though I did want it to be much less common but still a name. We went with Mina Sybil, but we call he Sybil or Sybi. Mina (pronounced My-na) is my mom's name and has been in the family for ages. Other names I loved were Hattie, Sloane, Cora (sounds like that one is popular now!), and Tessa. But Sybil just grew on us and then we couldn't imagine anything but and I couldn't be happier. No regrets this time 'round!

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  80. It is ok to travel!!! My last road trip was at 38 weeks. I hadn't dilated any so the doc said it was ok, but not recommended. I and the baby did fine. You know your body, listen to it and trust it.

    Treating your child like an adult and talking to them in a normal voice and not a baby voice has really worked with my children. I did this naturally because it felt right (didn't read a book). My children 10 and 8 are very accelerated in their academics and adults always comment on my children's maturity and manners. But, they still relate to children their age and play very well with their pears. I allow them to be children, but also allow them freedom to make choices and experience consequences (the next step to this type of parenting). Again, do what seams right and natural to you. I just wanted to mention this to you as maybe a conformation.

    You will be a great mother no matter what you choose to do. You have a great heart. The rest will fall into place :)

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  81. I love the names you're tossing around!! Here was our list: Victoria, Penelope, Anna, Caroline, Josephine, Olivia, Alexandra. And probably some more... We ended up with Penelope "Penny" Ann. And she wasn't named until she was 12 hours old... so you got time.

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  82. You always make me laugh! I love your fresh look at pregnancy...it's been 8 years since I was in that boat, and while I don't miss it, I enjoy hearing your stories. :)

    Good luck with the names...I know you'll find the perfect one!

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  83. People say the most ridiculous things to pregnant woman. I'm not sure what it is that makes people feel as though when you are with child you are in need of so much unsolicited advice.

    Naming a baby is SO hard, especially for a teacher, and honestly I think it's a million times harder for a girl. I have a six month old daughter and we were in the hospital choosing her name because we could not decide between two. It came down to Noelle and Caroline and we went with Noelle, which was my husband's choice. I was torn as I had a Noelia and a Carolina in my class at school, go figure.

    I have a friend who named their daughter Cora. I thought it was so pretty and such a different yet still classic feeling name. No matter what you choose, it will be perfect!

    Also, if it helps, we chose not to share our final choices because so many people were telling us what to name the baby so we cut them off! No name for you until she's here! :) I think that's why a lot of people are doing that now.

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  84. My husband and I just got home yesterday from a trip to Europe, and I'm at 30 weeks. People (my MIL) also expressed their disapproval of us going so far away in the third trimester, but everything was totally fine! The only things I will say is that walking around a lot definitely made me more tired than it used to and the airplane ride was AWFUL just because my abs and back aren't comfortable when I sit down. But seriously, you'll have the best time! We had an absolute blast and I'm SOOOO glad I didn't listen to anyone other than my midwife!

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  85. I have a common name just spelled a unique way. Sometimes I complain about it, but overall I like knowing who my real friends are. So maybe consider something like that?

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