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Alison Starling pregnancy: Alison Starling in her third trimester

Leon Harris, left, and Alison Starling at Jill's House on Saturday. (Photo: I Do Photography)
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One of the greatest privileges of my job is being able to participate in fantastic charitable events in D.C. On Saturday night, Leon Harris and I had the honor of hosting a fundraiser for Jill's House. It was one of the most moving and inspirational events we've attended.

Jill's House provides respite for children with intellectual disabilities and their families in the D.C area. This gives the children a safe haven and the parents and caregivers get a real break. The parents as well as the staff at Jill's House are true heroes.

Those parents will continue to provide me with inspiration as I prepare to start my own family. We have made it to our third and final trimester, and now there's only about 10 or 11 weeks left until our bundle of joy arrives! It's starting to feel very real and so exciting!

The past few weeks have gone so quickly, the only negative was the blood glucose testing experience. I've talked to a lot of new moms with similar experiences, but I failed the first one and I had to take the longer, three hour glucose test. After fasting, they tested me, then had me drink a super sweet glucose drink, and then tested me three more times in three hours. When it was over, I felt like a pin cushion! But, I passed the test, and I don't have to strictly monitor my carb and sugar intake for the rest of my pregnancy. As my friend said "chocolate sundaes for everyone!" However, gestational diabetes is a serious issue, and it has made me hyper aware of sugar intake, and I have to say I feel much better when I limit my visits to the office candy dish :)

The fun and helpful emails continue, like Justine who says :
"My advice... back pain- do cat/cow (yoga poses) in the am and throughout day as needed to strengthen back. Prenatal yoga is the best! Saved me and lost weight easily plus nursing takes off the calories.

If you think you are emotional now, just wait til the baby comes, hothouse of hormones, watch out Peter! Sleep deprived and hormones, bad combo or at least for me. But tiny baby is also so precious and fast. My baby is turning twelve tomorrow!!!"

Stephanie writes:
Alison, Congratulations on your baby! I am 17 weeks pregnant and shopping for maternity clothes. You have the best wardrobe! Do you mind sharing wear you get your clothes?"

Stephanie - Congratulations! I hope you're feeling well! I LOVE Apple Seed in Old Town Alexandria. Super cute. But I have to say, almost all of my casual clothes and most comfortable have been hand-me-downs from friends. I hope you have some friends wanting to unload their maternity wardrobe! Also, have you watched Rosie Pope's show "Pregnant in Heels?" It's great, and my husband may not admit it right away, but he enjoys it too!

Now, the produce update...baby is roughly 2 pounds 6 ounces (like a butternut squash!) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain. I'm told I need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron. And because her bones are soaking up lots of calcium, I have to drink milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in the baby's hardening skeleton each day.

I'm thinking of getting those belly buds so we can play music for the baby. Thoughts?

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