Monday, June 27, 2011

39 weeks

We accomplished two big things this week: the nursery is done, and the hospital bag packed (or, as packed as it's going to get until I'm actually in labor). Here's a couple of pictures of the nursery, and then the infamous crib (that's missing from the nursery) can be seen in the background of this week's comparison picture:


I'm still feeling pretty good this week, and continuing to stay active with walking, swimming, and yoga, although I'm starting to feel like I'm dragging a little bit now. I've been more tired the last week (despite my attempts to sleep in or nap, neither of which worked), and I've also noticed that I'm markedly more hungry and thirsty than normal. The baby has been moving around mostly at night lately and also switched sides again (leading to my briefly having a triangular belly, so weird), so hopefully it will settle into the optimal position of its back to my stomach soon enough.

I met with the same midwife this week as I did last week, and she said it sounded like "a very good plan" when I confirmed with her that Ryan and I decided we would like to waive the recommendation that I not be allowed to go past 40 weeks, and instead will just wait to see when the baby decides it will come on its own. They will want to induce me if I haven't gone into labor by 41 weeks 4 days, but at least that gives us another week and a half for the baby to make its appearance on its own time. So although my estimated due date is July 1st, the actual cutoff is July 12th, so really, we have potentially up to two more weeks before the baby comes. We'll see :)

38-39 week comparison

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

38 weeks

I missed noting a milestone last week - as of last Friday, I am full-term! So the baby should be ready and developed enough to come at any time now, and that's the last milestone before next Friday, when it will be my (estimated) due date :)

This week we made some good progress on the nursery. The crib has since been disassembled in the nursery and reassembled in our bedroom, since we changed our mind about using a Pack N Play (with bassinet) in our bedroom the first few weeks and instead the crib is in our room now and the Pack N Play (in like-new condition off craigslist for less than half the cost new!) will be downstairs in the living room. All the baby clothes and most of the bedding and other baby stuff has been washed and put away (at least for now), as well as all of the diapers. I still haven't finished packing the hospital bag, but at least I made a handy checklist so that we don't have to scramble to figure out what we planned to pack if I go into labor before it's done :)

I had been feeling unprepared because of the nursery and hospital bag, but having made some progress on those, I'm feeling slightly better about it now. I was also feeling completely unprepared to leave work, but the person who will be filling in for me while I'm on leave started last Monday, and when I went in last Saturday for the last weekend work I volunteered for, I was able to get a lot of filters and delegations of authority set up in our various systems so I'm not quite as worried about having to leave the office quickly and having all of my stuff sit there, stuck, for three months. Still have a lot of other prep to do, but I definitely feel more comfortable about leaving now, so that weight off my shoulders was welcome.

I also had my weekly appointment with the midwives, and while they said everything continues to look fine, they did drop a bomb on me that the high risk doctor had apparently recommended that I deliver between 39 and 40 weeks since they're concerned that the baby will be too large. Given how often ultrasounds are off at estimating weight (and I've since heard that they apparently tell just about all of their patients that they shouldn't be permitted to go past 40 weeks), it's not acceptable to Ryan and I that we would be pushed to induce prior to my due date. So I discussed the risks with the midwives (some of which I agree are actual - albeit small - risks, others I don't buy as anything more than covering themselves from a liability perspective), and let them know that we would like to waive that recommendation. The midwives agreed that we didn't need to induce by 40 weeks based on that waiver, but did mention that they would be more open to inducing before their usual cutoff of 41 weeks 4 days, and wouldn't be as prone to "heroics" in helping me push the baby out naturally. I'm still not happy about those changes in their thinking, but who knows, maybe the baby will come early, won't be nearly as big as it was estimated, and this won't be a problem anyway.

On a happier note, the baby's heartbeat was still good, it's still moving around and doing position shifts as it should be at this point since it's still facing off to the side instead of towards my back. The midwives also recommended swimming to help with the swelling in my feet, ankles, and now legs. Ryan and I were a bit skeptical, but wow. It ended up making a significant difference. So now after walking to the pool, water walking/swimming for ~45 minutes, and walking home (about a mile round-trip) nearly every day for a week, my feet will almost get back to normal in the evenings. My ankles and legs are still pretty puffy, but I like to think that it's a good thing to at least get the fluid that had been sitting in my feet moving around and circulating elsewhere. Pictures are below the regular comparison picture, in case you want to avoid pictures of my puffy feet :)

I've been told by a few different people now that the baby has dropped, but I'm still not seeing it...
37-38 week comparison

Before/after swimming and walking (it's slightly more impressive in real life)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

37 weeks

This week I had my final appointment with the high risk doctor - and final ultrasound - and an appointment with the midwives. The ultrasound was fine, and again the doctor didn't even come in to review the results, which is a good thing when the main concern they're checking for is if the baby's growth is restricted. Which it's still not :) The baby was still measuring over a week ahead, and looked to be around 7lbs 15oz.

The appointment with the midwives also went fine - my belly was measuring about a week and a half ahead as well, the baby's heartbeat was good, and they confirmed that my last test for Group B Strep was negative. I guess the antibiotics worked then, and I've been taking some heavy duty probiotics too to try to keep the bad bacteria away, although I'm still going to be treated as GBS positive at the hospital and will have to have the IV antibiotics regardless during labor. We only got a couple of profile ultrasound pictures of the baby this time, since it's so squished in there now that the ultrasound tech was having troubles getting the baby into the right position to be measured. But we did get the image below of the baby sticking its tongue out:

We also had our second and final prenatal appointment with our doula this past weekend. We went through some remaining questions about labor and delivery, discussed some possible relaxation techniques and positions, and some hospital prep (like, maybe I should pack my hospital bag). It was a little unnerving/exhilarating to realize that the next time we see Jen will be when I'm in labor, sometime within the next 5 weeks!

36-37 week comparison

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

36 weeks

The crib saga appears to be over. The manufacturer sent a new leg to replace the one that the screw wouldn't go in on all the way, but then the screw still didn't work properly, and then the wood dowels turned out to be too small so they weren't exactly holding anything together either. Ryan got the crib put together with some washers and wood glue, though, and we should still be able to convert the crib into a toddler and full size bed, so we're calling it good. This was not a good experience though (and apparently is pretty typical with cribs in general, according to online reviews and the good people at Lowes), and really solidified our decision to buy most of our furniture from Ikea - the furniture from there may not last forever, but at least we've never had problems like this putting any of it together (and we've had plenty of practice at it!).

It's now June, and it's definitely gotten warmer out (upper 90s a few times over the past week or two). I'm still coping fine, although we're having to take our walks a little bit later in the evenings since I don't do so well walking a couple miles when it's over 90 degrees out, apparently :) I've also noticed that my hands and feet are sore when I get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, to where it feels like I'm walking on pins and needles, and last week I had that during the day a couple of times too, which wasn't great. My feet have also expanded more, since my shoes aren't fitting lengthwise now either, but hopefully they'll last for a few more weeks.

This week also marked the first time that the baby pushed against both sides of my belly at once, which was a different experience than usual. Normally I just feel movement on the right side of my belly, and the movements have definitely gotten more subtle recently (more repositioning and slow movements now rather than abrupt movements and kicks), but this week the baby was pushing against the left side too and was continuously active for maybe half an hour - this was after Ryan complained about not feeling the baby enough, which the baby apparently took as a challenge :)

I also had a dream this weekend that I had a girl and Ryan named her Clara Lee S. (which isn't even a name we had considered) - there were many other weird parts to the dream (involving having amnesia for all of labor and delivery, and then following up delivering in the morning with a swimming competition in the afternoon), but the part that stuck with me the most was how sad I was after delivery that I could no longer feel the baby moving around in my belly. I think I've been doing very well with enjoying this pregnancy and not taking it for granted (once I got through the mental torture of first trimester), but that helped to point out that I may have gotten too used to feeling the baby move, since I'm almost treating it like normal now instead of something that I'm not going to be experiencing anymore in about 4 more weeks. So now that it's becoming more real that the countdown to delivery really is on, I need to focus on wringing out every bit of enjoyment I can from the last few weeks of this pregnancy - it really has been an amazing, magical time and I'm so glad I got to experience it, especially since it wasn't that long ago that I wasn't sure I ever would.

35-36 week comparison