If you’d like to start at week 4 of my pregnancy, click here!
26 weeks! LAST WEEK of my second trimester. Also, MY BEST FRIENDS COME TO TOWN THIS WEEK!!!!!
At 26 weeks, Baby is the size of a…
Head of lettuce
Stalk of kale
According to my The Bump pregnancy app, Baby Girl is anywhere from 13.6-14.8 inches this week, and she weighs between 1.5-2.5 pounds. Since we know Baby Girl is on the larger side, we’ll place her at the higher ends of those estimates.
Here’s Baby’s hand size at 26 weeks:
And her foot:
And here’s the size of me!
I am up 22 pounds at the start of week 26, which is fine by me. As long as I stay around/under the pound-a-week gain overall, I’m happy. Like I said in an earlier post, I’d be happy with a maximum 40-pound gain this pregnancy.
Here’s a comparison of me at 12 weeks versus 26 weeks:
Look at that booty! Pregnancy isn’t just for belly growth. The first thing that popped on me was my backside, but thankfully it has stopped growing as of late.
My belly is now the most substantial part of my body. I’ll take it.
No, I love it. I love my baby bump. It’s unquestionably pregnant and, also, there is a mysterious bambino in there, so I flaunt this thing like the glorious fashion statement it is.
Also, check out my sweet tiger stripes. Rawr.
This week, Baby is finally opening her eyes (they’ve been fused shut for months). This means she will respond to light more readily now. I’ve already noticed her responding to my own movements (getting up to pee in the middle of the night comes with the risk of having a dancing uterus for an hour), so I’m sure this eyelid opening will only make her more active!
26 weeks pregnant = Brooke’s best friends come to visit her in Alabama and we all embark on road trips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First up: New Orleans.
Well, first up, girls arrive to my house and I freak out when I see them.
We then eat pizza and they drink wine and tequila and we all laugh our heads off and chatter like birds in trees until bedtime. Bedtime came sooner rather than later (for me) on account of our early wake-up call the following morning (we wanted to head to N’awlins ASAP).
New Orleans = 5 hours away from Fort Rucker.
Those poor girls just got out of a 15-hour car ride and there I was, shoving them into mine the next day.
‘Twas all for the sake of receiving some much-needed Louisiana culture, though.
And Louisiana fun. Mostly Louisiana fun.
Here we are, all ready for our five-hour trip to New Orleans:
The car ride flew by, and before we knew it, we were checked into our New Orleans hotel, which was conveniently located far enough away from Bourbon Street to avoid the nighttime noise but close enough to walk EVERYWHERE.
Because we were starving, we immediately headed to Peche for dinner. We ordered some amazing seafood at this restaurant (among other things).
At nearly every restaurant we visited, we tried something local (like gumbo) and shared entrees. No one went hungry and everyone felt immersed in the Louisiana culture.
After dinner, we went back to Bourbon Street because, when you are in New Orleans, it is IMPERATIVE that you have your palm read at Marie Laveau’s Voodoo Shop.
Here are a few pictures of a different voodoo shop that’s affiliated with Marie Laveau’s, so you have an idea of what Marie Laveau’s looked like. You’re actually not allowed to take pictures of the interiors of these shops:
Once we arrived to Marie Laveau’s shop, we all changed our minds about palm readings and decided that, instead of palms, we wanted to have Tarot card readings.
All four of us left that dark little room totally mind blown.
We all heard crazy stuff about our pasts and futures, but I’ll just tell you the best part of my reading:
I will have three pregnancies.
I am definitely having (at least one set of) twins. He literally said “at least one set.”
BUT – six children will call me “mother” in my lifetime.
Isn’t that crazy?
What does that mean?
I think it means I will have a house similar to Husband’s childhood home.
You see, Husband’s mom and dad made an effort to include Husband’s friends (and Husband’s siblings’ friends) in all of their familial excursions/events at all times. Their house was always crawling with kids. Everybody hung out there. So, when my Tarot card reader told me I’d have three pregnancies but six kids would call me mom, I envisioned a future in which I was just like my mother-in-law: I’d be gathering all the little chickies around me and stuffing them into my house.
Very curious to see if everything from my reading comes true.
When I heard him say three pregnancies, I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.
I would LOVE to only have three pregnancies.
Not that this pregnancy has been hard by any means, but, hey, if I’m having twins, I’m all for just two other pregnancies.
I think that my next baby will be a boy. I also think my next pregnancy will be twins.
Seriously! I felt that way well before my Tarot card reader confirmed it.
I just have a feeling.
Anyway, I forgot to tell you that, before our readings, we went and sat on a balcony and soaked in the Bourbon Street atmosphere while drinking water (me) and alcohol (them).
Here’s sister, holding still for the seventeenth picture she made me take of her in this exact pose. This one was the winner (I think).
AFTER our Tarot card readings, we walked back down Bourbon Street….
…and settled our butts (and my VERY swollen ankles) into a little cafe so we could listen to some live music while the girls enjoyed some more drinks. We’re on the left.
The next day, we went BACK to that cafe because we loved it so much and we really wanted to try some beignets!!!!!
Beignets = DELICIOUS. They are denser than I thought they’d be, and they definitely aren’t as sweet as you’d think. So you really need that extra powdered sugar dusting the bottom of the paper tray for dipping. YUM.
After breakfast, we walked allllllllllllll the way down to Jackson Square.
We took in the scenery along the way, too.
Want to know what else we did?
THE HUMIDITY IN LOUISIANA IS JUST AS TERRIBLE AS IT IS IN ALABAMA, IF NOT WORSE.
We were all dying. Me, especially.
Finally, though, we made it to Jackson Square, where we promptly ordered some cafe au laits (iced coffees) from Cafe Du Monde.
Then, we toured the Square and asked some friendly passerbys to capture the four of us in some pictures.
Aren’t I just massive?
Aren’t we just so cute?
After the photos, we went shopping ALLLLLLLLLL up and down Decatur Street.
We shopped all day long. In and out of every shop you can imagine, including the booths and stands in the French Market (which is like an American outdoor market similar to those you find in touristy areas in other countries).
Everyone found amazing purchases, and everyone had a BLAST shopping. My ankles were three times the size they usually are, and I still didn’t want to stop.
The only reason we did stop is because we had pretty much visited every store, but mostly because it was about to rain.
Big, thundering, cloudy skies closed in on us, and we sort of ran for the hotel.
Which means I was SIGNIFICANTLY more drenched than they were, despite the fact that all of us encountered the same amount of rain in the same distance from the shops to the hotel.
There’s probably some explanation involving my surface area being greater than theirs or something, but it was really a spectacle just HOW SOAKED I was compared to them.
After we returned to the hotel, we dried off and got all gussied up for our SUPER fancy dinner reservation at Commander’s Palace.
EVERYONE recommended we eat at Commander’s Palace. Which is why we adorned ourselves with cute apparel and took this mirror pic before heading that way:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: all my friends are babes.
Here we are in front of Commander’s Palace:
OH MY GOSH.
Not only was the food incredible – the wait staff were impeccable.
We breezed through the front doors and walked through a sea of waiters who greeted us individually before we were escorted to our table where ONE of our THREE servers placed our napkins on our laps for us.
When our entrees arrived, they actually took away our (always full) water glasses and replaced them with FRESH WATERS.
I ordered the quail dish because when else am I going to eat quail?
Honestly, the best part of my meal was the dessert.
My dessert is the CHUNK OF FUDGE WALLOWING IN A BATH OF SALTED CARAMEL:
I can’t even describe the way my brain dissolved in my head while I ate this dessert.
Commander’s Palace was exquisite. Highly recommend!
After dinner, we went to Frenchmen Street, which is known for its live jazz music and tamer atmosphere (compared to Bourbon Street).
We made our way into a little bar which was OVERFLOWING with great drinks (think ginger-infused vodka) and the most amazing music ever.
Old school, old timey voices. Like music out The Notebook.
So cool, and so New Orleans. You just won’t find that kind of serenading in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You just won’t.
After that, we went back to our hotel and passed out. I mean it. I don’t even remember closing my eyes.
The next day was Leave New Orleans Day, so before we left, we stopped and got some more beignets. Obviously.
Per usual, I was the only one who spilled all over myself.
After that, we zoomed back to Fort Rucker where we relaxed for the rest of the night, because the following day, we were scheduled to jet off again – this time, to Panama City Beach.
The Panama City Beach segment of our vacation fell into week 27 of my pregnancy journey, though, so you’ll have to wait a few more days for that post.
Stay tuned. 😉