Monday, September 27, 2010

33 weeks - an old friend returns

7 weeks to go, where did all this time go? Honestly, every week seems to crawl by on 2 bloody knees draggins it's broken legs behind it but then Monday hits and I can't remember how the last 7 days could go by so fast.

Heartburn is back, not as bad as in the 2nd trimester but still as unpredictable. My Tums are my friends.

According to the I Am Pregnant website,

Your baby weighs about 4.4 pounds at this point. The crown-to-rump length of your baby is approximately 12 inches and the total length is around 19.4 inches. With the exception of crying, your baby is capable of doing everything that a newborn baby will do.

Oh, so that's something they'll hoard up to do after they are born. Yippee.

Your baby will probably have settled into the birth position by now and your caregiver can most likely tell which way your baby is presenting.

Nope, this stubborn child o' mine is still a head up, butt down, breech baby.

Mmmm, food, according to BabyCenter, he's like a pineapple right now. Yummay!
I got nothing more folks. We had a busy and lazy weekend. No belly photos, a lot of eating. Some football, though the games weren't that exciting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

32 weeks: belly, cloth diapers and Billy Idol

Holy Cow, it seems to have popped even compared to 2 weeks ago!



So, I have reached 32 weeks, in 5 weeks, I'll be full term according to a lot of doctors. I forget to ask my doctor what she considers full term. I don't really care, she'll tell me I guess when she wants this baby out if the baby himself doesn't let us know :-)

According to Baby Center, Oliver looks like a jicama now:

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, he'll gain a third to half of his birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. He now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.

That's about right, I am gaining between 1-1.5 lbs a week.

Oh my God, how did I not find this site before? Here's a week 32 cartoon from Pregnancy.Baby-Gaga:

Make sure to read Week 2.

According to the What to Expect site:

You're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now. Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in preparation for birth. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth.

So, guess whose baby is among the 5% still preferring to be butt down? If you said me and Jeff, you win. My doctor will wait till week 36-37, then try to move him by manipulating my belly form the outside. If he still doesn't move, then we'll schedule a C-section. I am not worried; either way, we'll have Oliver hale and hearty sometime late October/early November.

Cloth Diapers:

We took a free informational class at Greenberries on Sunday about cloth diapers. Most people, including Jeff (before yesterday), think that cloth diapering means the old style cloth and pins. In reality, that's a very small percentage of cloth diapering today. It was the first option they showed us. Cheapest, yet not the easiest. And, you have to have a cover. They showed us 3 more types of cloth diapers, and I can only remember 2 - Fuzzi Bunz and Gdiapers. We liked the Fuzzi Bunz and bought 1 to bring home. They illustrated the abrorbency by pouring 4 ounces of water into the diaper. Then, they passed it around for us to touch and the lining was dry. They also appealed to us because the one size ones fit babies form 10 to 45 lbs. So, no buying different sets as the baby grows.

We came home and calculated savings over the next 2-3 years. I even used numbers for disposables that were really low because I got 30% off on Amazon.com last week on newborn diapers. And, with that low low price, we'd still save $3000 over 2-3 years. So, imagine if we were paying full price on diapers. So,w e bought 3 more online that were old designs and were almost 25% off. We'll build our stash up over the next few months, so we can buy them cheaper than $20 each. Our plan is to start trying them with the newborn but use mostly disposables at the beginning. Then, slowly, we'll transition to the cloth ones completely.

We liked the place and the people at the store, so we are going back next Sunday for their Babywearing class. Yes folks, go ahead, call us Prius driving, cloth diapering, babywearing hippies. But, I promise. We shower every other day.

Last, but definitely not the least: Billy Idol:

We were at the HFStival at the Merriweather Post Pavillion on Saturday and saw Naughty by Nature, Everclear, Billy Idol and Third Eye Blind. By far, Billy Idol stole the show, even though he wasn't the headliner. His voice is still so good after so many years. Third Eye Blind had no chance of coming in behind him and topping his performance. Baby Oliver seemed to think so. There were some Riverdance type moves in my belly through Billy Idol's performance.

Well, folks, we had a busy weekend but it was fun and it was productive.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shoes, leave and other things

Shoes: Left pair I wore yesterday, right pair I am wearing today.




Do you think I am a masochist? Do you think I'd walk around in these for my 8-9 hr workday if I physically couldn't or if I was in pain? Let me answer those questions for you, the answer is NO. I wear what I am comfortable in, even if it doesn't look that way to you. So, stop commenting on my shoes or the fact that I still dress nice for work. I am not "strutting" in my dress, I just prefer to look professional even while pregnant.

Leave:

I am planning on taking 8 weeks off and yes, that's all. There were 3 things to consider in our (my husband and I, in case you wondered who might be involved)decision:
  1. How long I think I want to take off? Answer: 8 weeks right now and I know that I might change my mind when Oliver comes around. But, the next question really overrules any change of mind I might have in November/December/January.
  2. How long can I afford to take off and still be able to afford Jeff taking a couple weeks off? 8 weeks
  3. When will my work daycare take Oliver? 8 weeks
  4. Where is the work daycare? 5 minutes from my desk

So, based on all the answers above, I'll be taking 8 weeks off and that's it. If anybody would like to argue with me about my choice of leave, feel free to ask me how much $$$ I need to be able to take each additional week of leave and send me a check. Also feel free to give me extra money for future leave since during leave without pay, I don't earn any sick or annual leave. Thanks in advance for your kindness.

Other things:

Along the same lines, if you ask me my preference on breast feeding, diapering, epidurals and don't like my answer, just try to remember who's going to be birthing the baby in a couple months. Sharing your experience is awesome, I love hearing the different stories because it just goes to prove that no 2 people's experiences with their babies will ever be exactly the same. But, if you start evangelizing one way or another and get on a soapbox, that's a very sure way to ensure I'll zone out, not listen to a word you say and avoid you in the future.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Post 2 of 2: AFI and Epidurals

Over Labor Day weekend, when we were visiting my sister and parents, we went to Womb's Window and got a 3D ultrasound. At that appointment, the technician mentioned that my amniotic fluid looked really low and to mention it to my OB.

Over this past weekend, during the childbirth classes, we learned so much new information that I had a whole list of questions for my doctor. Before taking these classes, I was of the mind that why would anybody put up with pain if you didn't have to. Which meant that our plan was to yell for an epidural as soon as we get into the delivery room.

Over the 2 day classes we just took, I learned that as soon as I get that epidural:
  • I am confined to my bed. No moving around, no walking the halls, no changing positions to move the baby into a better position, nothing.
  • I cannot eat or drink anything anymore, not even jello and popsicles etc.
  • Since I won't be able to feel part of my body, the nurses will have to help me move legs etc. and the urge to push will feel different.
So, I went in with my list of questions today for the doc and came away with the following:
  • I can ask for that epidural up till the very end. She said I could be 10 cm and if I can sit still for it, I can get it.
  • I can also ask for other IV narcotics to relax and rest for a while, as long as I am 5 cm or less. That way, if labor goes too long, they can give me something so I can rest before starting again.
So, now, our plan is to go in and start labor and keep laboring without an epi unless it gets too bad. But, I'd rather keep my freedom for as long as possible.

She also sent me to the Women's Health Center at St. Agnes for an ultrasound to measure my AFI (Amniotic Fluid Index). They measured me and told me it looked perfectly fine. Oliver is measuring at 3 lbs 10 oz which they said was good.

1 of 2 today: Week 31

9 weeks left out of the so called 9 months they give us to bake a baby :-)



Baby Center tells me the baby is equivalent to 4 navel oranges:



This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

Oh yeah, this is one active baby. I can feel him moving a lot more throughout the day. Still don't feel his kicks as much in my abdomen because he's breech and tends to kick downwards and I have an anterior placenta so I just feel things a lot less. But, he moves quite a bit and has hiccups a lot too.

According to I am Pregnant,

This week marks an incredible milestone in your baby's lung development. Before now, the air sacs and branches in your baby's lungs were present but not functional. The lungs were not able to inflate properly. However, now there is surfactant being produced in your baby's lungs. Surfactant prevents your baby's lungs from collapsing outside of the uterus and the baby is able to take in air and breathe properly. The fetal ear is almost completely developed both inside and out. Your baby can hear your voice and other familiar sounds that she will recognize after birth. Your baby is putting on white fat under the skin and the skin's color is pink instead of red at this point. Your baby's fingernails have grown to the end of her fingers and she may scratch herself while she is in the womb.

Jeff and I should really start controlling our, ummm vocabulary, so to say. The baby can hear us.

This weekend, we took our Childbirth Education class at St. Agnes. Next post to coem will be about what we learned and how that changed some of the thoughts and plans I already had, biggets one being about the epidural. So, with that, I leave you hanging :-P

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Bump Checklist

On The Bump, they provide you with a checklist of things you should be doing depending on where you are in your pregnancy. Mine looks like this somewhat:


Now, the cry baby face means I am overdue in doing those tasks. So, here's my friends and family plan. I am going to copy the categories form their website and fill in my ideas/thoughts.
  1. Who should I invite to the delivery room? Obviously darling husband will be in there. My sister will be in there as well if she makes it up here in time. My hospital St. Agnes has a 2 person limit for the delivery room.
  2. Head of the bed, foot of the bed, or the waiting room: Depending on whether my sister gets there in time or not, this will change. If she's there, I'd prefer Jeff to stay with me and her to watch the birth, considering she's the doctor. If she doesn't make it there in time, Jeff can move back and forth. I have no compunctions about him watching the birthing. I'd rather he be able to see exactly what's going on. I mean, come on, I'd rather be able to watch. At 8 or 9 years old, I watched them sew up a 3 inch gash in my knee even after the doctor warned me to lie down. I have a bigger fear of the unknown so as long as I can see what's happening, I am A-OK. And, my parents will be in the waiting room.
  3. & 4. go together: Timing is Everything & Recovery Rules: I am very good at handling large parties and hosting multiple sleeping over people. But, I am pretty sure I don't want to do that with a newborn in the hosue and with our 2 sets of parents. So, the plan is my sister and parents will drive up as soon as I go into labor. My sister only has a week of leave :( but my parents will stay for 3-4 weeks depending on when the baby is born, because then Jeff's parents will visit for a couple weeks. I need to find out if they'd like to avoid the holiday season or if that works for them.

This was what The Bump listed but it doesn't list friends dropping by and things like that. The hospital doesn't have a visitor rule or timings. They stated that since you sleep when you can, just ask friends to call before showing up. Which works. I am sure during waking times, I'll want to see people, so call Jeff and stop on by. After I go home, same thing. Call us and make sure I am not sleeping (or passed out from binge drinking ... just kidding).

So, there's my friends and family plan. Guess I can check that off and remove a crying baby from my checklist.

And, I'll ask my OB what to expect during the delivery when I see her on Monday. But, I am expecting a lot of "we'll plan for this but we'll see what happens there" answers.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

30 weeks, 3D scans & stubborn babies

Oliver is going to either be a very shy boy or a very stubborn one. We were in Wilmington, NC, visiting my family and we decided to get a 3D/4D ultrasound done since I was at 30 weeks. Well, the first day, the very nice lady at Womb's Window tried every possible thing. We had a Coke, candy, we prodded and pushed my belly, but Oli would not face forwards. She said she would reschedule us and when I told her we were leaving for MD on Monday, she called another coworker and asked her to come in and open up on Sunday. I tell ya, true Southern hospitality. So, we went back Sunday. Good news! Oliver was facing forwards, BUT he had an arm and a leg and the cord in front of his face. We got some good photos but not as many or as clear as we could have if he'd just lowered a foot or a hand.



I am at 30 weeks, 10 more to go. My God, I am 3/4ths of my way through this pregnancy. Wasn't it just yesterday that I took that Clear Blue test into the ladies' room at Paradise Indian Cuisine?

At 30 weeks, the good people at Baby Center tell me, Oliver's like a yummy head of cabbage:



Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and he weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as he gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day.

Hmm, I really think he should be weighing around 8-10 lbs already; I mean that is what my weight gain is, right? All baby?

According to the site I am pregnant,

Because you are getting larger, you are probably becoming slower and clumsier. You should try to be careful to avoid dangerous falls. Good posture when sitting and standing can help you feel better during your pregnancy. You also should be rolling over on your side to get up after lying down because your muscles have stretched to accommodate your growing uterus.

Uhh yeah, if I sit down on the ground or lie down on my back for a few seconds, somebody's got to pull me up or I look like a tortoise who got flipped onto his back.

Your baby now does `practice breathing` to get ready for life outside of your womb. If you have an ultrasound at this time, you will be able to see this. If your baby swallows amniotic fluid down the wrong passage, he will still get hiccups that are noticeable by you.

We could actually see this in the ultrasound today. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, we saw his tongue at one point. And, he gets hiccups a lot, so he really needs to practice his breathing.