Monday, May 30, 2011

35 weeks

The crib saga continued this week. We were able to return the second crib and then ordered crib #3, which seemed promising at first, since it was made out of "real" wood and we had high hopes that the quality would be much better than the softwood cribs we had been trying before. Except Ryan got stuck at step one, since the screws wouldn't go in on this crib either. So now we're waiting to hear back from the crib manufacturer to see if they'll send us replacement parts/a new crib.

At least one thing that went well was the car seat installation. We put the base in my car this weekend, and it took about 5 minutes. It was very anti-climactic. And today was the last day our county is offering the car seat inspection program, so I brought my car over to the fire station this afternoon to get it checked out. They basically laughed and asked me what I wanted them to do, because Ryan had installed it nearly perfectly. Apparently Ryan standing on the base and wrenching the buckles as tight as they would go did the trick :) We still have to install a base in Ryan's car too, which may be a little trickier since his car doesn't have the same latching system as mine, but I got some tips from the fire department and I suspect we'll do just fine.

We've now been to the hospital twice in the last couple of weeks - once for the hospital tour and once for a newborn care class. The hospital tour was more perfunctory than I was expecting - instead of a Q&A session, it was more just looking at a Labor & Delivery room, Post-partum room, and the NICU. It still worked out well, though, since we feel more comfortable about where we'll be going and what to expect (for example, I thought it was going to be much bigger and more impersonal than it is, so it made me feel better to see how much cozier it actually was), and I was able to get most of my "hospital" questions answered by the midwives instead. Then we had a marathon 3-hour+ newborn care class after work on Tuesday, which I was a little nervous would be a little too much "common sense" type stuff and we wouldn't get much out of it. Turns out it probably was "common sense" information for someone who's had children before or been around newborns a lot, but we both picked up a lot of good information and so we were happy that we went.

In other news, the mid-afternoon fatigue has definitely settled back in now. The edema has been a lot better the last few days since I've been able to keep my feet up more, but I'm sure that will end tomorrow once I go back to work. I think I've finally been able to definitively pick out a baby body part too. A few times this week my abdomen got very tight so that I thought I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions, only to realize it was really only one section that had gotten uncomfortably tight: the top of my belly, where a lump was sticking out that seemed suspiciously like a baby butt. The baby still has enough room in there where I can gently reposition it, so I was able to push the butt back down and restore my belly to a more normal shape, much like I do when there's feet/legs sticking out of my side too :)

34-35 week comparison

Monday, May 23, 2011

34 weeks

After making it through the whole winter without getting sick (despite being around plenty of germs at home and at work), I managed to come down with something last week. I'm still not sure if it was allergies, but the sore throat, itchy eyes, slight fever, and stuffy nose makes me think it may have been a cold. Since cold/allergy medicines don't look like they're recommended during pregnancy (besides that I'm trying to avoid taking any unneeded medications anyway), I did lots of saltwater gargling and made use of my new neti pot instead. It seemed to work, since I just have a little bit of a stuffy nose still lingering, so hopefully that will be completely behind me soon enough and I can go back to being healthier than I normally am when I'm not pregnant :)

This week I definitely started noticing that I'm slowing down more - although not when Ryan and I are out on our daily walks. For some reason, that's the only time that I feel like I'm walking relatively normally now, maybe because we have a set purpose and it's a long enough walk that I have enough time to get into a good rhythm. The edema in my feet has definitely gotten worse, and I can barely see my ankles under all the puffiness, and now it's spreading further up my legs too. My blood pressure is still fine, so as of this morning, the midwives are still just recommending that I keep my feet elevated whenever possible and drink lots of water. I've also - very sadly - retired my heels. As of today, I think. They just don't look that cute when my poor puffy feet have expanded and now overflow my shoes. So now I'm down to one pair of sneakers and a new pair of (wide-width) sandals to hopefully last me through the next 6ish weeks.

Besides all of my signs of advancing pregnancy, things are still going well and I'm still very happy with being pregnant. The baby is still quite active (and is in fact trying to kick its way out to freedom right now), and managed to get the hiccups three times in one day last week. The midwives said that the heartbeat still sounds great, and also confirmed that the baby is still head-down, with its body in a C-shape on the left side of my belly with feet on the right - which makes sense, because it's basically a small window of space on the right side of my belly where we feel 95% of the movement.

After having some pretty visible growth the last few weeks, I think I look about the same in this week's comparison picture... maybe the baby's working on another growth spurt for next week :)
33-34 week comparison

Monday, May 16, 2011

33 weeks

It looks like "pregnancy brain" returned this week, along with the continuing increased fatigue and appetite. One of the first symptoms I had (besides a stuffy nose, which is still around too) was that I started having troubles talking, with not being able to find the right words or getting distracted and not being able to finish sentences. Luckily that went away pretty quickly, but just in the last week, it seems my memory has taken a hit. I forgot my work phone number several times (leading to odd voicemails where I tried to leave my number and then ended with "...yeah. Just call me back."), forgot what store I always park at at the mall (and I always park at the same one so I don't forget where I left my car - that could have been disastrous), etc.

The baby has also had the hiccups a couple of more times, and for longer than the first time. Ryan was able to feel it for one of the episodes too, which was cool. The baby is continuing to kick and punch and do whatever it is exactly that it's doing in there. Every day I hope I feel a lot of movement, and every day the baby doesn't disappoint :) Ryan has also gotten more chances to "commune" with the baby (as I like to call it), which basically means he pokes at my belly and the baby pushes back, or he is able to move a protruding limb (which feels so weird to me, but I suspect that's part of the fun of it...).

We also met with our pediatrician on Monday, which went well. The meeting was more of a formality on our part, since I had seen this practice recommended a few different places and it's close to our house, so we just wanted to make sure the gut feeling was good and that at least the doctor we met with seemed reasonable. Both of those things checked out just fine, so we were able to cross "select a pediatrician" off the list :)

I also went to a La Leche League meeting, as our childbirth instructor strongly recommended we do before we actually give birth (the thought being that we'd be more likely to ask for help when we're overwhelmed with a newborn if we knew where the meeting was, who would be there, etc.). I was a nervous wreck, but everyone was very nice and welcoming and I ended up staying for nearly three hours - Ryan was impressed that there was enough breastfeeding stuff to talk about for that long, but we covered a lot of other ground too (sleeping, babywearing, etc.). Good stuff, and I'm looking forward to attending the meetings regularly once the baby gets here.

32-33 week comparison

Thursday, May 12, 2011

32w4d Ultrasound

I had appointments with the high risk doctor and midwives this week. This should be the second-to-last ultrasound I have with the high risk doctor, with one more appointment scheduled for mid-June. Their main concern is if the baby is being restricted in its growth at all, and that appears not to be the case. At all. The baby had been measuring about a week ahead, and now it's about two weeks ahead :) That's of course if we were to trust the ultrasound measurement, which can be a pound or two off, but either way, at least the baby isn't measuring small. So it was in the 88th percentile overall, about 5lbs11oz, and should gain about half a pound a week until delivery. There appeared to be more hair this time, but the tech wasn't able to get very good pictures during the ultrasound since the baby was facing away. She did give me a couple of pictures but I didn't even bother scanning them yet, since if any of the previous pictures were difficult to tell what they were of, I suspect these pictures of the baby's foot and ear may prove even more troublesome :)

So the high risk doctor was on Tuesday, and then the midwives were on Wednesday. Everything checked out great there too - my blood pressure is still very good and consistent across the appointments, so even though my feet and legs are getting quite swollen, it's still not of concern since my blood pressure is good and I don't have any other symptoms of pre-eclampsia. The baby is still head-down, and I'm pretty sure it kicked at the midwife when she went to listen to the heartbeat - I think the baby is very protective of its personal space, since it definitely likes to kick my arm too whenever I dare rest it on my belly :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

32 weeks

And the crib saga continues this week. The new crib came in, so we tried to put it together over the weekend... everything went together fine, except one screw was stripped (which Ryan was able to fix) and one wouldn't screw in all the way (which he wasn't able to fix). So now we have to figure out if we can live with the one screw either sticking out a bit, or taking it out and just not having the screw in there at all, or if we're going to try to return it and go for crib #3.

This week also marked our twelfth and final childbirth class - it's going to feel weird not to see our instructor and the other couples every week anymore. And now we have about two months left on our own, so hopefully we'll finally finish the last few pages in the workbook that we never got around to before and we'll keep up on the exercises and relaxation practice. I also borrowed a whole bunch of books from our doula, so maybe I can try to get through all of those in the next couple of months too :)

I spoke too soon the other week when I was patting myself on the back for not getting too tired now that I'm in third trimester... it was just biding its time and ended up coming back full force this week. So the extreme fatigue is back and afternoons are especially painful at work now to try to stay awake. And there's no point in napping - I've found that no matter what time in the day I take a nap (let alone at 6pm when I get home from work), I have a lot of problems falling asleep at night. Then that's just compounded on top of the issues I have staying asleep, so it doesn't really seem worth it to try to nap too. And the increased appetite is also back again, so it looks like I may need to add another snack into my eating schedule since my stomach starts growling within an hour or two after nearly every meal now.

31-32 week comparison

Monday, May 2, 2011

31 weeks

This week we made some good progress on the nursery. We had started to move my office stuff out of the nursery and into either Ryan's office or into the basement a couple of weeks ago, and then this week we started putting together furniture. So far we have the dresser/changing table and bookshelf together, but when we opened the box to start putting together the crib, we realized that Penney's had given us the wrong color... and possibly the wrong piece of furniture, since the pieces didn't even look crib-like. So of course they no longer sell the crib we wanted, but I was able to order a similar enough crib from elsewhere that will hopefully be here in a couple of weeks. It was pretty easy to find a replacement, but it's more just the pain of having to try to wrap up the non-crib again and get it back to Penney's (which had been more painful than it should have been anyway to even pick it up from there in the first place), and then wait for the new crib and hope that that one's ok... oh well. At least we still have enough time to get all of this straightened out, and at least we figured this out a week before the return period ended :)

This week was also notable since I noticed the baby having hiccups for the first time! I had a very confusing morning on Friday, where I managed to smash my head on the headboard getting back into bed after a bathroom break. As I was trying to recover from that, I realized the baby was being pretty active so I decided to see if I could take care of the kick counts for the day then. After counting about three movements, the movements suddenly started to get very consistent and rhythmic... and I realized the baby must have had the hiccups :) Luckily I found it more cute than completely annoying like when I have the hiccups - especially since I was able to sleep through the baby's hiccups more easily than I can sleep through my own.

Here's the comparison picture for this week - it's probably stating the obvious, but I think I've grown... I suspect that will continue to happen for the next couple of months ;)
30-31 week comparison

And here's some pictures from St. Croix - it only took me a month to get these up on Flickr :) The full set is at the "Pictures" link to the upper right.

Here's the view flying in to St. Croix. This was a momentous trip for me since it was the first time I had flown without taking any motion sickness drugs in over a decade :) Even though the midwives told me Bonine was fine, I just didn't feel comfortable taking it while pregnant, so I put on my trusty Sea-Bands and hoped for the best. Except for a few sketchy patches of turbulence, I did really well - although it made me very nervous and I will be going right back to the Bonine once the baby's out.

This was the sunset from our first night there, at the seaplane base down the boardwalk from our hotel.

Ryan at Point Udall, considered the most easternmost part of the U.S.

Sunset driving back from Point Udall, with Buck Island off in the distance to the right... that's supposedly where the best snorkeling is, but we didn't want to push our luck with the motion sickness situation by taking an hour+ ferry ride each way.

This is where we spent our first and last day on St. Croix - the beach at Hotel on the Cay.