Saturday, February 22, 2014

40 Weeks

Happy due date to me! Despite thinking I would have this baby before my due date, it is clearly hanging in there. Ryan is usually more accurate with his guesses, and he thinks this baby will come at 41 weeks 1 day. We'll see. Regardless, March 8th is the cutoff before I'll need to be induced, so it will definitely happen sometime in the next two weeks. I even had a "labor prep" massage last weekend, which supposedly helps kickstart labor for about half the women who get it. Guess which half I was in...

After feeling a bit blah and ponderous last week, I was back to feeling pretty good this week, despite being exhausted in the evenings again, drinking lots more water than normal, and being so warm now that I've gone back to short-sleeved/sleeveless shirts at work and I'm not even using any covers for the most part at night. I'm not even sure if I'm still sick - probably? Just some congestion throughout the day and a sore throat overnight and in the mornings. I somehow was even the healthiest one in the household this week, as both Ryan and Josie came down with some sort of stomach bug. The swelling in my legs got pretty bad this week (and is no longer entirely going down overnight), so compression socks are my best friend at the moment.

My midwife appointment this week wasn't as great as last week's. My belly is measuring 2cm smaller than last week, so it's possibly only grown 1cm in a month. I also haven't gained any weight in 3 weeks, which seems odd since I thought I was supposed to be gaining 1-3 pounds a week at this point. The baby also was not very active that day, and its heartbeat was just a little slower than normal. All of this combined made me quite a bit worried about how the baby is doing, although everything is still within normal limits. The midwives have also assured me that some women plateau the last few weeks with the weight gain and belly growth. New baby still reacted well when I poked at it while we were listening to its heartbeat, and it still hasn't had any problems getting to 10 kicks in an hour (even when I prodded new baby to wake up in the morning to do it). It's still far more active in the evenings, but unfortunately that's a long time to wait for reassurance when I'm worried about it.

So Thursday (when my appointment was), I was feeling a bit down again.... and then Friday new baby was super active nearly the whole day, to the point that my belly actually felt sore and a bit bruised by evening. So that helped me feel a lot better - that, and all the people at work who commented on how much bigger my belly seemed that day. This is normally not a wise thing to say to anyone, but I was completely fine with it, given the circumstances :)

I'm also in the strange position of not really having work to do now. I worked a few hours today to get caught up on a few things, managed to accidentally delete several files that I kind of needed and wasn't able to get my email archives working from home to be able to resave the files, so I guess I'm done working this weekend. I have a to-do list for Monday, but really, I'm about 95% ready to go out at this point. There is one item left on my to-do list for home (clean the cars), so I'll hopefully be taking care of that this weekend too, and then we'll officially be as ready as we can be for this baby :)
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

39 Weeks

Last week was a bit tense. After several days of feeling a bit off, crampy, achy, and that things were starting to gear up for labor, we got hit with a big snowstorm on Thursday. Like, it took Ryan hours (over the course of two days) to be able to clear off the driveway with the tractor and plow, and as far as we can tell, our neighborhood didn't get plowed until two days after the snow started.... and that was after Ryan called VDOT to ask for them to come plow, given that I'm 39 weeks pregnant and all. Obviously, the plan is to have the baby at home anyway, but not unassisted, and not without the ability to get to the hospital if needed.

So we're mostly dug out now, I was able to pick up some antibiotics this morning to start taking those for my GBS, I had a sweet baby shower at work, and now I'm attempting to finish up the last few things for work so that I'll be completely done with new stuff by Monday. The two snow days were also nice in a way - I still was scrambling to be able to work and get my hours in (especially important right now, since the first 5 days of my leave will be PTO before short-term disability kicks in, and I don't have enough PTO to cover all my leave anyway), but I got to spend some fun time with Ryan and Josie that we probably wouldn't have otherwise had before our family gains another member. So all in all, we're pretty much ready... I'd like just a few more days to be on antibiotics before the baby comes, so hopefully it's listening ;)

My appointment with the midwives went really well this week. My belly was measuring 39cm (up from the 36cm it seemed to have stalled at the last couple weeks), although new baby was also pretty stretched out, so it may still be a bit smaller than that. But still - 2cm on either side of the number of weeks I am is within the normal range. The baby is apparently in a great position, and very, very low now. After just a bit of puffiness in my legs the last few weeks, they suddenly started swelling up pretty badly at night over the past week, so I was a bit concerned about that. But my blood pressure was awesome, and with no other symptoms of pre-eclampsia, it looks like I'm still doing well on that count too.

New baby is still moving around a lot, but in rather odd ways. If I remember correctly, Josie was all over the place with lots of appendages moving around. This baby just likes to stick its knees (or feet, can't really tell which) against my belly and puuuuush. Turns out that's quite uncomfortable.

I've slowed down a lot now, I get weird muscle pulls (even when I'm just standing still), my hips are starting to hurt, and Ryan has confirmed that my belly is definitely hanging out of the bottom of most of my maternity shirts, but I do so enjoy being pregnant, and I will miss this. I'm not quite as enthusiastic this time about feeling like I could be pregnant forever without any complaints (as I remember being with Josie towards the end), and while I'm still not in too much of a rush for this to end, I am starting to get just a little bit antsy. Although that is something I was a bit surprised about this time - I really thought I would be overly sentimental about every aspect of this pregnancy, given that this is (in all likelihood) the last time I will ever be pregnant, but instead I'm far more excited about the baby to come. With Josie, while I was excited to have a baby, I think I was more focused on the pregnancy since I could grasp that better as I was actually experiencing it at the time, not really knowing exactly what it would be like to have a baby at the end of it all. With this baby, the pregnancy is a cool means to an end, but I am just so excited to finally get to meet this little person, my constant companion of the last 9 months :)
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014


We kicked off January by having Christmas with the local side of my family. Josie really seemed to get this whole present thing by our third iteration of Christmas this year, and helped to unwrap everyone else's presents too... including some for the new baby, which she promptly declared as "mines".
[Stringing beads with Aunt Emily]
[Wearing her new hat and owl puppet]

So, a note about Josie's outfit in the previous pictures - she started picking her own clothes out a few weeks back, and she definitely likes to dress all in one color... too bad head-to-toe not-quite-matching colors looks a bit ridiculous, so we've been trying to steer her away from all orange or all purple outfits (her favorites) when possible, with varying success. We also made the mistake of calling her a grape during one of her all-purple days, and she swiftly corrected us, stating "I not a grape! I a big sister!" Duly noted.

Speaking of being a big sister, we finally got Josie's "big girl room" done in advance of her little sibling's arrival. Most of it we'd already gotten in place over the last few months, so it was really just finishing the wall where her dresser is. So some of her pictures moved to the baby's room, and then we put up her new owl print and mirror (that is at just the right height for her to sing and dance to her reflection), and did wall decals for the tree (with pictures of family and friends) and butterflies.
Josie had her 2.5-year doctor's appointment last month, and she is now all done with her vaccinations for at least the next year and a half. She didn't even cry with the two shots she got, although she almost did later since I asked her about them and she got quite worked up that her "sticker" (band-aid) had been thrown away. She's in the 90th percentile for height and weight, so while she's ever so slowly edging down from being off the charts, she's also still one of the biggest kids in her class of 2.5-3 year olds. Her 2-year molars are also finally coming through, with the first one starting to cut through a few weeks ago.

Josie has started bringing some of her school routines home with her. For a few days, her favorite game in the evenings was to put Ryan and me to bed, which involved her gathering pillows and blankets for us, directing us where to lay down (luckily, she took pity on me and demanded I lay on the couch rather than on the floor with Ryan), and then reading us books and patting us on the shoulder. For whatever reason, the books she chose for this activity were not exactly picture books: Huck Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson. So she'd basically tell us the title, and then go through the stories, which sounded suspiciously like "Pat-a-cake" and various other rhymes ;)
[Reading a book to us]

She is also experimenting with modifying the lyrics to songs now ("Jump, horsie, jump a little higher," "The daddy on the bus wash the spoon"), and is learning how to ask for things more nicely. We've been working on "please" and "thank you" and asking for things in a normal tone of voice rather than overly melodramatic whining (as it turns out, this drives me crazy), so that's actually going pretty well so far. Strangely enough, one of the things Josie asks for pretty frequently is hot sauce, which she appears to like for the most part (she does have her limits), although it definitely leads to an increase in her milk consumption too. She also likes to request that we put music on so she can dance to it, although that usually just means running in a circle :)
[Beatles dance party]
Miscellaneous stuff:
[You can't see it, but she had her arm around my neck, which would have been more sweet if she had let me move my head at all]
[We were quite impressed with Josie's rainbow that she drew to accompany Ryan's tree]
[Josie's rather orderly application of her stickers - evidence that the apple didn't fall far from the tree ;)]
[My belly is now large enough to catch shirts on its own]
[Josie organizing her coins]

Saturday, February 8, 2014

38 Weeks

This week I kind of felt like I hit a wall, with feeling like I'm slowing down and that things are starting to get more achy that weren't before. This is, of course, after yoga on Tuesday where at the beginning of the class, our instructor asked us what we were proud of ourselves for. I chose that I haven't really slowed down yet, and that I'm still able to play pretty actively with Josie (which always seems to involve running and jumping), except that it's just been harder to get up off the ground lately. And then I could barely do some of the standard poses in the class, since my muscles just felt  too weak and achy... although I did still fall asleep during final relaxation, as usual ;)

I cashed in on the massage Ryan got me for Christmas last weekend, which was awesome. I also got some good tips from the massage therapist since she pointed out that my posture is pretty bad right now. I basically stick my belly out and get a sway back, which is most likely leading to the lower back pain I seem to get whenever I do housework. So now I'm trying to round my back a bit more and suck the belly in, which does seem to help (and gets me moving a bit quicker again with less waddling). It also makes my belly look more like my weekly comparison pictures, since I otherwise look quite a bit bigger... more like this:
I had another midwife appointment this week, and my belly measured about the same as it did last week. My midwife was not concerned, since she said that some women plateau about this far along as the baby drops down (since they're measuring the length of the uterus, essentially), so she's not concerned at all. I am a little, so we'll see how things go next week, since if I'm still measuring ~36cm then I'll probably get an ultrasound just to check how things are going in there. I also found out that I'm positive for Group B strep again, which is very disappointing, given that I was negative when tested earlier and had been doing some preventive stuff anyway. I'll be doing another test next week to get more information on how colonized I am, since that can increase the risk to the baby. I'm also doing a bunch of research now to see if this changes our birth plans, and other treatment options since we can't do the standard IV antibiotics at home.

Besides all that, things are going fine. The crib is now set up in our room, the bases for the infant car seat are installed in our cars, and I've got my leave stuff started at work. Speaking of which, my management agreed that I should be transitioned off everything by yesterday, so I am happily redirecting all new actions to other people now, and just trying to finish my review of one last agreement this weekend. Hopefully I'll still get enough time at work to do some cleanup, and then I'll feel much better about being out for the next 3 months.

Ryan and I went on what will probably be our last date night for a while last night. Taking advantage of Josie's school's Parents' Night Out, we went out to dinner at a Korean/Cajun fusion restaurant (with amaaazing food) and then watched a movie before we went to pick up Josie again. We also got the sun room pretty much ready to go now (just need to pull the shades and block out the windows in the doors when the time comes), so this was now my view when I was working from home this week:
[Getting so close!]

The fatigue is back in full force in the evenings, and while I'm sleeping fairly well now (all things considered), I'm somehow flipping over from my left side to right overnight without waking up. This seems odd to me, given how much of a production it is to flip over even when I'm awake and coherent. This also led to a confusing morning for me when I felt strangely unbalanced, until I realized it was just because the baby had moved to the right side (from its usual left side) too. I've also been even warmer the last week than I had been, and now - despite it being February - I'm wearing sleeveless shirts at work and that almost keeps me to a normal temperature. Oh, and I'm still sick.
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Saturday, February 1, 2014

37 Weeks

Up until October, this week would have marked a big milestone: full term!! But since ACOG redefined full term to 39 weeks in October, now I just get to mark being early term, which doesn't seem quite as exciting. I'm ignoring that bit at work though, since I'm trying to keep the pressure on to transition my workload over, so I may have mentioned a few times this past week that I would be full term on Saturday!! The baby could come anytime!!! So while I've transitioned some of my work, I still am behind on so much more that I'm just not in a good place right now. I'll probably put in some hours this weekend to try to write up some instructions and chip away at some of the stuff I'm really behind on, and if I can do that, that should make me feel a little bit better at least.

The real milestone this week is that I now don't have to go directly to the hospital if I'm in labor! My midwives won't do out of hospital births before 37 weeks, so I was a little on edge the last couple of weeks to see if I would make it, especially since I started having some contractions this week. I also got a few comments that the baby dropped. I don't see any difference, but I have been feeling the baby moving around lower than normal, so maybe that is true.

We had our home visit appointment with one of the two midwives who will most likely be at the birth. We basically just ran through some logistics, confirmed that I had gathered all the supplies needed, and set up some stuff in the sun room. New baby is still laying on my left side with feet to the right, but apparently is now anterior rather than posterior, which is a very good position for the baby to be in.

I picked up the birth tub yesterday, so we should be setting that up this weekend and then we'll pretty much be ready (at least, as far as home preparations) for this baby to come. I'm still a bit nervous about catching the start of labor, especially since my midwife warned me things could happen very quickly so to call them as soon as we detected any pattern/consistency in contractions, regardless of how far apart they are. Since I didn't even feel contractions at first with Josie, and I'm pretty sure I'm not that good at recognizing them this time, I am a little worried about that.

I thought the end might be in sight for this 6-week long illness, since I no longer had a sore throat in the mornings and my congestion had gotten much better... and then this morning, we are all congested again. This is just ridiculous.

My stress/grumpiness may be showing through on this post, but in case it seems like my black cloud is overwhelming what should be a very exciting time for us, it's not. I just haven't really let myself focus on the baby too much since I've been so busy. And when I did start thinking about just how I excited I am to meet this little person in a few short weeks, I ended up getting all teary-eyed (while driving, so not super safe), so I'm back to trying not to think about it too much... although I have noticed an increase in the amount of time I've been rubbing my belly/the baby's protruding feet lately :)
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