Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 weeks

Only about 10 weeks left now! The fatigue that I was afraid would come back with third trimester hasn't come to pass (yet) - I'm just mildly more tired, but I can also blame that on the difficulties sleeping still. I'm starting to learn how easy it is to overdo things now, since I'm getting some low back pain whenever I do. So I need to keep backing off or rearranging when I do household chores and gardening so that I stop doing everything on the weekends, since then my back usually ends up hurting for a couple of days afterwards. It started getting warmer this week - which makes me happy since I love summer - but with the heat came more swelling. The edema is mainly still in my feet (although I think my rings won't be making it until July), and I've had a couple of days now that by time I got home from work, it felt like I was walking on water balloons since my feet felt so much larger and squishier :\ And while I am noticing that I'm overheating much easier outside now, pregnancy has apparently gotten my body temperature to just the right level for my office :) Normally the A/C is a bit much there so that I still end up wearing sweaters in the summer, but now I'm at the perfect temperature and it's lovely.

The baby's new trick this week was to develop what I'm calling the "pokey bits" - I don't know if it's elbows, knees, feet, whatever, but the baby has been sticking out various appendages in a way that has led me to hold my hand on the side of my belly to "hold the baby in". I realize the baby won't actually escape by kicking through my belly, but it definitely feels like it's trying sometimes. And it's quite visible from the outside! Before, we were able to see some movement from the outside but it was more subtle, while now sometimes the movement is enough to catch my attention when I'm not even staring at my belly (as I still like to do). Also, I realized this week that I can no longer see my feet without leaning forward... I knew this would happen eventually, but I think it still snuck up on me a bit.

I went back to the midwives this morning for the first of my biweekly appointments. They confirmed that I passed the glucose test with "flying colors", which is awesome, and we talked a bit more about the Group B Strep situation. So it looks like instead of retesting me at 36 weeks as the nurse originally told me, they actually wouldn't bother since I already tested positive twice now and so they would want me on the IV antibiotics during labor regardless. But they did confirm that they would like to have one dose of the antibiotics in four hours before delivery (rather than at least two doses four hours apart, like I thought they would push for), and that even delivering one hour after the first dose has shown to do some good. Since my levels were just below where they would start to get concerned that the bacteria could start traveling to different systems and cause a kidney infection or other issues, I did agree to start the antibiotics now, although chances are the bacteria is just going to come back before labor. I'm hoping if the antibiotics get rid of it for a little while, though, and then if I go on probiotics and some other natural remedies that that would help keep the bacteria from coming back until after delivery, which would be my preference as more of a safeguard for the baby regardless of the IV antibiotics dosage. Besides that, everything looked great with the baby - I'm measuring about 31 weeks, the heartbeat was 155 bpm, and the baby is still head-down (and will hopefully stay that way!).

29-30 week comparison

Monday, April 18, 2011

29 weeks

This week I was supposed to start doing kick counts every day. The intent is to count how long it takes for the baby to move ten times, and if I'm unable to feel ten kicks within two hours, then I'm supposed to contact the midwives' office. I made it about three days of duly counting kicks before I realized writing down each kick didn't make much sense - especially the one day that I counted ten kicks within about three minutes :) So now I'm thinking the intent is less to actually write down every movement felt and more about just paying attention for a set period of time each day, just to tune in to what the baby is doing and make sure I feel consistent movement each day. So I'm doing that now, mainly in the mornings since that seems to be when the baby is most active the longest, and so far so good.

I received the results back from my appointment with the midwives last week, and while I passed the glucose test (yay!), it turns out I tested positive for Group B Strep. This generally isn't that big of a deal in the sense that the percent chance of it infecting the baby is pretty minuscule (<1%), but since the risk is present (and the potential impact to the baby can be serious), I'll likely be going on antibiotics now (pending the results of my retest) and then getting retested at 36 weeks. If I'm positive then too, then I'll need to be on IV antibiotics during labor, which will lead to some changes in how we had hoped to labor (e.g., we'll have to go to the hospital earlier than planned and I'll need to be hooked up to an IV for about 15 minutes every four hours), but our childbirth instructor and doula have both assured us that the birth we're hoping for is definitely still possible, it just will have a few minor obstacles now that we know up-front we'll have to deal with.

In other fun news, I'm now waking up 1-2 times a night to go to the bathroom. I guess it was only a matter of time before that symptom caught up with me :) I also decided to switch to organic lotions a few weeks ago, and in trying out different types, I had ordered some cocoa butter. I have no interest in its supposed ability to counteract stretch marks (since I've heard that's all determined by genetics anyway and the cocoa butter won't affect that), but I thought I'd try it since it seems to go hand-in-hand with pregnancy anyway. Little did I know it's a hard, colorless, solid mass that I have to scrape out of the container with my fingernail - and also, little did I know just how amazingly delicious this stuff smells :) Since the smell of chocolate used to turn my stomach, that was another surprise for me - I have to remind myself it's basically just chocolatey-smelling Crisco just about every night to try to convince myself not to eat some (although that hasn't stopped me from trying to peer pressure Ryan into eating it instead).

28-29 week comparison

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

28w4d Ultrasound

This week I went in for my monthly appointment with the midwives and the high risk doctor. This was the last of the monthly appointments with the midwives though, as I'll be going to appointments every two weeks starting now until week 36, at which point I'll begin going in weekly until delivery. I'll stay on the monthly schedule with the high risk doctor, so if all continues to go well, I'll only be seeing them two more times.

I had to do a 2-hour glucose screening test with the midwives on Monday to see if I'm at risk for developing gestational diabetes. Although the glucola drink itself was fine (it was almost a pleasant orange flavor vs. the coke flavor I was expecting), the fasting combined with lots of sugar in the glucola, three blood draws and then generally feeling not so great the rest of the day wasn't my favorite. We'll go over the results at my next appointment unless there are any issues, so no news is good news in this case. My belly measured 28 weeks, and I had a good conversation with the midwife about various birth plan and labor stuff, which we'll be talking about with our doula in the next couple of weeks too to try to nail down our preferences.

Then on Tuesday I went to the high risk doctor, and the baby got scanned and measured again. It apparently gained just over a pound in the last month so it's now at 3lbs (and possibly some change, but I can't remember), is still measuring just over a week ahead at 30 weeks and is in the 65th percentile for weight. I had a different ultrasound tech than usual, so she showed me a few different body parts from the usual in more detail, like fingers and the different leg bones. The baby also does have at least a little bit of hair now - I was surprised that we could see that level of detail on the sonogram!

Here's a picture of one of the feet - the baby was hanging out with its legs crossed, so I'm guessing she didn't print out a picture with both feet since it would've looked like our baby had its feet on backwards :)

And here's a straight shot of the face - these pictures kind of freak Ryan and me out a bit since it's so ghostly and this one cut off the end of the nose (from what I understand, ultrasounds are basically showing cross-sections of the baby, so the nose got cut off because the tech was trying to get on the other side of the arm the baby had in front of its face), but I thought I'd still share it since it's a different view of the face from the usual profile shots.

Monday, April 11, 2011

28 weeks

I'm now in the third trimester! Second trimester didn't drag along like I thought it would, so I feel even more like third trimester is going to just fly by. We only have a handful of childbirth classes left now, and I just started my second session of yoga classes that I'm hoping to be able to finish before I go into labor. There was someone at my last class who was 3 days past her due date, so we'll see if I have the same level of dedication if I get that far :) I had front-loaded the task list I wrote up at the beginning of second trimester, so now we just have a couple of big decisions left like researching and picking a childcare provider and pediatrician, and then most of the remaining tasks I had allocated for third trimester involve maternity leave paperwork deadlines, finalizing our birth plan... and maybe picking a name (or two) and setting up the nursery eventually :)

I'm continuing to feel more movement throughout the day, and I'm also able to consistently feel some kicking now when it's not just on the right side (where I envision the placenta isn't covering since I've been able to feel movement most there), so I think the baby's getting stronger. I've had a couple of days too when it's not just kicking, but more of a thumping, belly-shaking action, which feels pretty weird and makes me wonder exactly what the baby is doing in there. I've also started to have some edema in my feet, which is making my shoes feel much more constrictive already. It started out that my feet would be swollen by the end of the day, but now I'm waking up in the morning with my feet already swollen and it's also moved into my legs. I'm still able to get the swelling down by elevating my legs, but that's a bit difficult to do at work and I suspect it won't be long before I'm stuck with the swelling regardless of what I do. The midwives have told me that the level of swelling I have is still nothing to be concerned about, as long as I don't have bad headaches, liver pain, or swelling in my face or hands too (which can all be signs of pre-eclampsia).

Here's this week's comparison picture - I think the baby may have had a growth spurt last week :)
27-28 week comparison

And just for the fun of it, I did a comparison from the first belly pic I took to the beginning of second trimester to the beginning of third trimester... at least, I thought it would be fun, but apparently not much changed between 5 weeks and 14 weeks :)
5-14-28 week comparison

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

27 weeks

I missed a milestone in my last weekly update - as of 3/23, I'm now down to double-digits for the estimated number of days left :) Besides that, the big milestone for the week was that I finally retired my non-maternity work pants. I had been in maternity jeans for a while now, but for some reason the hairband trick was still working perfectly well on my work pants until this past week, when it suddenly was no longer comfortable. So now I'm only wearing maternity clothes except for my beloved purple pants, a couple of shirts, and a couple of other lounge pants/shorts.

The heartburn is continuing, which is not fun but understandable given that my other organs are starting to get more rearranged and squished now. The baby is gaining some strength in its kicking now - I can mainly only feel it on my right side (movement is more dampened on the middle and left side, so I suspect that's where the placenta is lying), but it kicked hard enough to move my arm last week. I'm starting to think the baby doesn't like me to rest my arm on my belly, since it seems to focus its kicks there when I do it :)

We are now over halfway through our childbirth classes, and we've been talking about the different stages of labor and possible complications, etc., which is making it seem more real now. Every once in a while it will hit me that I'll actually be going through labor myself in a few short months instead of just reading about it. It's also hard to get my mind around thinking about Ryan and I having a child of our own too - it's easy to think about it in theory, but it will be so strange/amazing to actually come home from the hospital with our own baby.

As a side-benefit to the childbirth classes, our instructor also let us know about some prenatal massages that were being offered for free - so I got to have a free prenatal massage last Wednesday before we headed off on our last vacation before the baby comes :) We just spent a long weekend in St. Croix, which was about as low-key and warm as could be hoped for. I'll try to have some pictures ready to post in the next update, but since I'm notoriously slow with editing/culling them, they'll likely just be posted to my Flickr page eventually instead (link is to the right).

And here's the comparison picture for this week - I think I look noticeably bigger this time (especially when comparing the lower angle of my belly) when that can't just be blamed on me being closer to the camera... especially in this case, when I was closer to the camera on the older picture.
26-27 week comparison