Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 38

How far along: 38 weeks, 0 days. Who would have thought?

How big is baby: According to Baby Center, approximately 19 1/2 inches long (like a very long leek) and roughly 7 pounds. Based on last week's growth ultrasound I would guess baby is probably closer to 7 1/2 pounds depending on how accurate that scan was.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing has changed here. In the pizza search saga, I settled for a Lean Cuisine "Deep" dish pizza this week. It was decent, but definitely not what I'm looking for. No surprise there.

Belly Button: Um ... I think I've lost it.

Movement: Plenty of movement, bumping around, shifting around, kicking ... lots going on in there.

Leg cramps/restlessness: Haven't had any leg cramps in quite a while now! Yay!! The restlessness in my legs continues, may even be getting worse.

Sleep: Believe it or not, I think I'm sleeping in somewhat longer stretches and not getting up as much. However, I'm still very uncomfortable and wish I had more flexibility in how I can sleep.

Weight gain: I keep forgetting to weigh myself on my home scale. Or am I conveniently forgetting??

NST: Had one last Thursday, baby was very active. Had another on Monday and again baby was fairly active. I was only in there about 20 minutes on Monday. Next one is Friday morning since Thursday is Thanksgiving. I was kind of hoping that I'd get to miss the second one of this week. Oh well.

Appointment: Monday was my last appointment with Dr. M. I really didn't have any questions, so we chatted some, she measured me (measuring just a tad ahead), commented on the swelling in my ankles and legs (not terrible, fairly normal for this time of pregnancy, but did recommend putting my feet up when I could), and that was about it. Monday night I realized that I forgot to ask about the Group B Strep test. Called Tuesday morning and found out I am negative. Yay!! No antibiotics means I can avoid an IV, though I'm still required to have the heplock in place. Oh, how I'd love to avoid an IV all together. Anyway, we finished up the appointment, wished each other luck, and said that maybe we'd see each other on the maternity floor. Haha! Next appointment is next Monday with Dr. H.

The Big Brothers: When I picked up the boys at daycare on Tuesday their teacher was telling me about how cute they had been all day. There is a little step stool by the window and they spent part of the day standing on the top step of it together watching the cars on the road, looking at the Christmas lights next door, and watching the rain. She said they were there forever and looked so cute together. Then they spent a large portion of the afternoon holding hands the whole time. So sweet!! They each came home that afternoon with a little book they had made called Peter's [Ethan's] Book of Blessings. I love them!!

Names: Hubby seems to have given up trying to come up with a different boys name. We might be settled!!

To-Do List:
In progress/finished:

  • Pediatrician: Met with another pediatrician last Friday and I really liked her a lot. I believe we have found our new doctor. She mentioned one thing that might be a concern, but it really had nothing to do with her specifically, more a policy under discussion for the clinic as a whole. For now, I'm not going to worry about it.
  • I mentioned in my last to-do list that we completed the labor class. Well, as a result of that class, we also started discussing the possibility of hiring a doula. We decided to go ahead and do that and I've now hired someone and will be meeting with her soon, hopefully this weekend.
  • Plans for the boys: coming together.
  • Sort of still reading through the various birthing books I have. I've been a little lazy about that lately.
  • Baptism scheduled, etc. Details still to be worked out.
  • At work I have completed all my staff performance evaluation forms (not an easy task this year since the university implemented a new form and isn't releasing it to everyone until mid-December; I had to do a lot of asking around to get them early); I also completed all my travel paperwork for a conference in February and got registered for the conference, and I submitted a proposal for supplies for a project that will be on the top of my to-do list when I return in March. I'm very close to having all loose ends at work tied up.
  • Annual Christmas letter is written, just need to print and do the Christmas cards.
Still to do:
  • Stroller
  • Go through all our newborn clothes
  • Rearrange baby's room (disassemble one crib)
  • Move car seats around
  • Pack a bag for the hospital
  • Christmas cards!
  • Wrap Christmas gifts!
  • Finish Christmas shopping
Looking ahead: Oh my goodness, we're going to have a baby soon!! And it could be anytime. Will I be writing a 39 week update? Only time will tell. (Honestly, I feel like I will be, but who knows.) Starting next week, Hubby and I are switching cars so that he'll have the van (and the car seats) with him. Which means he gets to be on the day care run each day. But it also means that I won't have to worry about the boys if I go into labor at work (and I'm only down the street from the hospital too). I've put together my list of important info and I've started making more definite plans for the boys. I've also started a list for Hubby of important phone numbers and such. We're definitely coming down to the wire.

Prayers: Prayers are appreciated not just for me but for many others I know who are all having babies soon. It's actually quite a few. I'm praying specifically for my prayer buddy A, who really needs a miracle right now. Please add her to your prayers as well if you could. Thanks!!

Hope to be back for a 39 week update!! Have a happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 37

This is a first. I've never done a 37 week pregnancy update. So glad to have made it this far!

How far along: 37 weeks, 0 days today!! Woohoo!

How big is baby: According to Baby Center the baby is approximately 6 and 1/3 pounds and a bit over 19 inches (about the size of a bunch of Swiss chard). However, we had a growth ultrasound on Monday and well, keep reading for more info on the size of baby.

Cravings/Aversions: I still haven't found really great pizza yet. We had plans to have lunch on Monday at a restaurant half a block from my doctor's office, but we quickly learned that they are closed on Mondays. Very sad. So we drove down the road to another local pizza place, but in looking to see where they had parking, Hubby drove past the restaurant. That wouldn't be too big a deal except that it is a one-way street. Hard to turn around and go back, even harder in that area to drive around the block. So we ended up at a burger place instead. Otherwise, no real cravings or anything. I can pretty much eat anything you put in front of me at this point.

Belly Button: Still just an odd looking knot on the front of my belly.

Movement: Still moving around in there.

Leg cramps/restlessness: I seem to have the cramps under control. The restlessness isn't really much better.

Sleep: Sleep is not very good these days. Yes, I was exhausted last week because I was up too late too many nights in a row. I felt much better Saturday morning after a long sleep. However, it wasn't a great sleep. I just can't be comfortable for very long, I get up several times, blah, blah, blah. All women who have been pregnant know the routine. I laugh at the old adage that you should get plenty of sleep now because you won't when the baby arrives. Um, no. Don't ever tell a pregnant woman that. Never. I may get less sleep once there is a baby around that needs to be fed every couple hours or so, but at least it'll be a better sleep. I'll gladly trade 8 hours of restless sleep for 3 hours of a good, sound sleep.

Weight gain: Probably up a pound or so since last week. Forgot to weigh myself on Monday and I don't know what the scale at the doctor's office is in relation to my home scale.

Appointment: Went well this week. Had the Group B strep test done (probably get results next week), got the FMLA paperwork squared away, and just general talk about birth and what the next few weeks will look like. Next appointment is Monday the 25th and will likely be my last appointment with Dr. M. Will start seeing Dr. H the following week.

NST: Monday was also my first Non-Stress Test of this pregnancy. As the nurse was hooking up the monitors I said something about how much easier the monitor hook up was this time than it was with twins. She must have misunderstood me and she thought I said that I had twins. Oops! I quickly told her, no, I had twins the last time, this time was just one. I didn't need another monitor hooked up. Haha!! It went well and was over in about 20-30 minutes.

Ultrasound: Prior to the NST I had the growth ultrasound. Fluid looked good all around, baby was moving well, and heartbeat was 139. We even saw hair on the baby's head! In the end, the tech calculated the baby's weight at 7 pounds, 2 oz. That seems rather on the large size to me, but I realize that these calculations aren't exact anyway. Still, I was a bit surprised. This puts the baby in the 63rd percentile at 37 weeks. So just a bit over average.

The Big Brothers: I had hoped to post some videos we took of the boys recently, but we still haven't downloaded them from the camera. Sorry. Otherwise, the boys are as cute as ever, talking a lot, and exploring everything around them. Typical 2 and a half year olds.

Names: Still at a stand still.

To-Do list:
In Progress/Finished:

  • Pediatrician: I have an appointment with a new physician on Friday. She's actually not an MD, but a DO instead, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. I'm looking forward to meeting her and hoping she'll be a good fit for our family.
  • We took the Labor Class on Tuesday evening and it was very good. For me, it was a review of a lot of the things I have been reading about. For Hubby, he got to practice the exercises with me and learn the various techniques for keeping me focused and relaxed. And he got to do it without me hounding him about reading a book. I'm hoping he got a lot out of the class.
  • Plans for the boys: I'm working on a short document to share with a few friends. Just some basic things like important phone numbers, the boys' routine, allergies, and that sort of thing. I have 4 to 5 people who I need to send it to.
  • Still reading through some various natural childbirth books.
  • Baptism is scheduled, both Godparents are on board and have been informed of the date. I also sent out a message to family with the date so they had a heads up.
  • We bought a dresser for the boys room and I've put all their clothes in it. Still changing diapers in the baby room, but that is still the easiest place to do it. Plus, they are still under 30 pounds, which is the weight limit on the changing table. I prefer using the changing table as long as possible.
  • Submitted all my FMLA paperwork on Tuesday.
Still to do:
  • Still need a stroller (shared the one I like with my mom as an item, the only item, on my Christmas list)
  • Disassemble one crib and rearrange baby room
  • Go through all the newborn clothes
  • Move the car seats and install the infant seat
  • Must do Christmas cards! Soon!!

Looking back: On Monday I was 36 weeks and 5 days. The same point in pregnancy where I was when the boys were born. We have now officially made it past that point. 37 weeks is amazing. I remember how big I felt, how "so done" I was with everything to do with being pregnant with two babies, how I just wanted to be able to sleep again, and how I was willing to have anything done to have those babies out (epidural, letting them break my water, whatever). I am hoping for a very different experience this time around. Very different.

Prayers: Continuing to pray for all pregnant moms, for prayer buddy, A, and for a good birth experience for baby and I.

Next week: Week 38!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 36

How far along: 36 weeks, 2 days and I have three progesterone pills left. It's weird to think that the boys came at 36 weeks, 5 days.

How big is baby: The estimate is a little under 6 pounds (about the size of a crenshaw melon) and approximately 18 and a half inches long. I have a growth ultrasound on Monday, so it'll be interesting to see how the baby measures against the estimates. Of course, even the ultrasound isn't totally accurate.

Cravings/Aversion: I don't think there is anything specific, instead I just feel like eating a lot more than I have at any other point during this pregnancy. Although, I had a hankering for pizza several days ago and was not happy with the pizza I ended up getting. So I got pizza again a few days later and it still wasn't that great. Now I'm looking for really good pizza in town. Hubby and I are going out to lunch together on Monday before my series of appointments so we're going to go try some pizza at a nearby place.

Belly Button: Hubby called it a "belly knot" the other day.

Movement: Still plenty of moving around in there.

Leg cramps/restlessness: The leg cramps haven't made an appearance lately. At least, not the really bad ones. I still occasionally get woken up by a minor pain that I'm able to stretch out easily and go back to bed. I've been working really hard on drinking LOTS of water, some vitamin water, and eating bananas more often. I've also added in some protein shakes. All of that is also supposed to help with the restlessness, but it doesn't seem to be helping in that area. Luckily the restlessness is mainly during the day, not in bed at night. I'd never sleep if that was the case, so I'm counting that as a blessing.

Sleep: I've been sleeping fairly well. My main issue is my inability to move much and then waking up to some stiffness from being in basically one position all night long. I've also been staying up a little too late lately. So I sleep well, but don't get a long stretch of sleep. I need to sleep more this weekend.

Weight gain: I was surprised on Monday to see my weight the same as the week before. So I'm still at that 20 pound mark. Yay!

Appointment: Met with my doctor for a routine visit on Monday. My blood pressure was up a bit when the nurse took it, but Dr. M took is again after I had been sitting in the room for a while and it was perfect. They really shouldn't be taking the blood pressure of an 8 month pregnant woman after making her walk down the hall, get weighed, and walk some more. Let me catch my breath first, please! Anyway, nothing too exciting to report from this visit, except that this time I was measuring right on target. Next appointment is Monday the 18th.

Ultrasound: Having a growth ultrasound on Monday the 18th.

Non-Stress Test: First NST of this pregnancy is Monday the 18th.

Can you tell that I'm going to be busy on Monday the 18th?

The Big Brothers: Their language is really starting to explode!! I have a couple videos on our camera of Hubby reading a book to them. It's very cute to watch their reactions to the book and see them repeat phrases after Hubby. I hope to download those soon and get a post up for everyone to see. I also need to get a video of Ethan (maybe also Peter) singing the "Mahnah Mahnah" song. It cracks me up every time!

Names: No change here.

To-do List:
In progress/Finished

  • Pediatrician: Darn! I totally forgot about this. Need to make a phone call tomorrow.
  • Labor class is Tuesday. And I finally got a babysitter lined up too.
  • Postpartum class through CCL: We attended the class on Sunday and I'm glad we took it. It was a lot of review, but it was good to have that and it was good to see some examples of charts as fertility starts to return. Well worth it.
  • Plans for the boys: still coming together.
  • Still reading through several books on natural childbirth.
  • Baptism is scheduled and I've sent the date out to family. Very happy to have that on the calendar.
  • I attended the Babywearing Support Group in town this week and ended up "checking out" a wrap from their library. I'm a little shocked that I kind of liked the wrap, although it will take some practice. I also got to try out a few of the structured carriers, specifically the Boba and the Beco. I think it was the Beco that I liked the best, but I need to look them over again to remember.
Still to do:
  • Need a stroller still.
  • Disassemble one crib and rearrange baby room.
  • Go through all the newborn clothes and rearrange the boys clothes
  • Get a new dresser for the boys room so the baby's clothes can actually go into the baby's room
  • Move the car seats around and add the infant seat into the van
  • Get my Family Medical Leave paperwork submitted
Looking back: I read through my 36 week update from last time and I had forgotten a few things from that week. Specifically I had forgotten that it was at my appointment that Monday (I would have been 35 weeks and 5 days) that the doctor tried to remove the cerclage and was unable to, then discovered that I was already 5 cm dilated. I had forgotten that I went a whole week at 5 cm instead of just a weekend. It does make me wonder if I'm already dilated any now. It's funny to read what I wrote then and see how doubtful I was that I was going to make it to that Friday when in fact I made it to the following Monday.

Prayers: I still continue to pray for all pregnant moms, especially those struggling with difficult and/or high risk pregnancies. Prayers also for my prayer buddy, A; she especially needs them right now. And as always, I ask for continued prayers for me and this pregnancy, just that it continue to go well and we have a good birth.

I should be back for next week! Looking forward to making it to 37 weeks for the first time ever!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Pregnancy Update: Week 35

How far along: 35 weeks, 1 day. Still taking the progesterone, have about 11 days left.

How big is baby: Approximately 5 and a quarter pounds (similar to a good size honeydew melon) and about 18 inches long.

Cravings/Aversions: Still doing good here.

Belly Button: So flat! It's going to disappear! LOL!!

Movement: Lots of rolling around going on in there.

Leg cramps: Yep. Plus the restlessness is constantly bothering me ... at home, at work, at night. It's very frustrating.

Sleep: Starting to have a harder time sleeping. I can't move much at all, so find that I have to completely sit up in order to change positions. That means pretty much waking up completely in order to do that. But I get up several times during the night to use the bathroom, so I try to remember to change sleeping positions then.

Weight gain: I think I hit the 20 pound mark. I had thought I still had at least a couple more weeks before that happened. I'm going to blame Halloween on this one.

Appointment: Had an appointment on Monday. This was the first of my weekly appointments from here on out. Blood pressure was good (the second time she took it) and baby's heartbeat was good. I was measuring about 2 weeks ahead, so we're doing a growth ultrasound in a couple weeks just to make sure the baby isn't too big. I'd be surprised if the baby was particularly big, but we'll see. Another opportunity to see baby. Otherwise, we talked about a lot of different things to do with birth, hospital procedures, and the other possible doctors who might be in charge of my delivery once Dr. M goes on leave herself. Next appointment is Nov. 11.

Ultrasound: Have a growth ultrasound scheduled now for my birthday (in addition to an NST and an appointment). Happy Birthday to me!

The Big Brothers: Last week I mentioned that the boys had been in their new beds for about four nights and no one had fallen out yet. Well, Peter then rolled out of bed that very night. I think it scared him more than anything, but luckily he readily went back to bed after a few hugs and kisses. This past Sunday night I was downstairs and heard some whining or small bit of crying. I wasn't even sure what it was at first. But I headed upstairs and just as I did I saw Hubby head down the hall to the boys room. I walked in and he had Ethan in his arms. Apparently, he was standing on the floor and laying his top half on the bed. He must have rolled out, not known what to do, and just laid his head down on the bed. We got him situated again and the rest of the night was uneventful.

One other thing about their new beds, whether they are really ready for it or not, I think naps are now gone for the days we are home. Thank goodness they get naps at daycare. But at home, it's just too easy for them to start wrestling on the floor together, playing, giggling, and so much more. This past Saturday was a big nap time fail. I did try the tactic of letting them each take a book to bed to look at and it was somewhat quiet for a little while after that, but it was obvious that no sleeping was going to happen. Our evenings are pretty rough when there is no nap time. They really do still need it, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm open to suggestions.

And I have to mention the sudden explosion in speech. Oh my!!! Yes, there is more talking and more repeating of words we say. We try two word phrases with them and they'll repeat them back to us more and more. We got a big surprise on the way home from Mass on Sunday morning. We were driving along and Ethan sneezed. From behind me I heard Peter say, "Bless you, Dede." I was shocked. Hubby didn't hear it, but I repeated what I heard and he got excited as well. First of all, "dede" is what Peter calls Ethan. No idea where that came from, but at least we know what it means. Second, we had no idea that Peter even knew to say "Bless you" when someone sneezed. And third, we were shocked to hear a complete thought for the first time. It's so amazing to listen to their language usage grow!

Sunday afternoon we went to a birthday party at Gymboree. We had never been to a Gymboree before. The boys found some balls almost as soon as we got there and that's pretty much all they were interested in from that point forward. My children are such cautious little things. While my friends' 1 year olds were climbing on things and willing to try new things, my two year olds had no interest at all. They did find the slide and enjoyed that, but we couldn't really get them to try anything else. I think they did eventually warm up to the parachute after a while and overall they did have a good time.

Names: Hubby told me this week that he has no time to think about names. He wants to wait until we see the baby and if it's a boy maybe he'll get a feeling of what will suit the child. Whatever.

To do list: I guess it's been a while since I actually went over my list, so time to review:

  • Pediatrician: I've met with one, I need to call and meet with one other. Need to do that this week.
  • Childbirth class through the hospital has been completed, although I need to go back into it (it was online) and print out a couple of helpful pages. The Labor Class we signed up for was cancelled and rescheduled for Nov. 19. I need to find a babysitter for that one.
  • Boys room: pretty much done, though we still need a dresser so we can have all their clothes actually in their room.
  • Postpartum class through CCL is coming up on Sunday. We have the book now too, but I haven't looked at it yet.
  • Have the Godmother covered. Still haven't had a chance to ask our potential Godfather.
  • Plans for the boys: Have some friends lined up who will be around during Thanksgiving weekend. Also have some friends in the neighborhood who are willing to take the boys any other time except Thanksgiving when they will be out of town. One thing I need to do is write up a basic list of important phone numbers, allergies, basic routine, and any other info that is important for someone to know who is watching the boys.
  • I've read through one book on natural childbirth. Have a second one I'm just getting into and a third I haven't had a chance to start yet.
  • Both breastfeeding classes are complete. I learned a lot!
Still to do:
  • Stroller (may end up on my Christmas list)
  • Baby carrier (same)
  • Baptism arrangements: actually saw our priest at a pro-life fundraising event we went to on Saturday evening and told him I was going to be emailing him about this. So I should do that this week. Hoping for a Saturday in January.
  • Disassemble one crib (Hubby's job actually) and rearrange baby room.
  • Go through all the newborn and 3 month clothes we have and start getting things ready (most of that stuff is gender neutral)
  • Move the boys' car seats to back bench of the van and install the infant base.
  • And probably five thousand other things I haven't thought of yet.
Prayers: At Mass this past Sunday I offered up prayers especially for every mom who is going through a difficult pregnancy. In general, also continuing to pray for my prayer buddy, A, and many other friends. I ask also for prayers for me and baby, that all continues to go well, we get the birth we want, and we are able to get off to a successful breastfeeding relationship. Thank you!