To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Week 38: I Am Still Pregnant. And Tired.

Once upon a time, back in June, I had to suffer through the Two-Week Wait, aka the time we women spend waiting to either find out we are pregnant or get our period. Well here I am, in January (now February), and feeling like I am in the two week wait yet again... this time, however, waiting for that baby to get here!

Knowing I'm at least 2 centimeters dilated and less than 3 weeks away, I feel so anxious. Anxious, excited, nervous, antsy, eager, all the emotions!

During the two-week wait, from what I've read, I'm not the only one that spent a lot of time googling and reading forums where other people are all in the same boat. That's happening again! If something feels off, or different, or new then I have to google. The crazy thing is that no matter how strange that I google might be, as it turns out tons of other women have googled and posted about it, too! Sudden random breakouts? They're talking about it. Nausea? That's there. Insomnia? I'm not alone. Looking for any clues as to when the baby will arrive? Everybody wants to know!

And that's the hard part I guess. It's like maternity leave.... I know I'm going to be missing work, but WHEN? It's like having a vacation on the books except you won't know when the vacation starts until it's already happening. I've found myself nesting at work, trying to get everything up to date, clean, organized and easy for anyone else to be able to pick up where I left off. But yet NO CLUE when this will all happen.

Man Friend pointed out it does NOT say
IMPATIENT PARKING
This is what is frustrating. Physically I am fine. Any changes aren't bothering me, but the mental part is making me tired. One day I'd feel like labor must be coming up this week. Then the next it feels like I'll be pregnant for 3 more months. I had two uneventful doctor's appointments. She slept through them all, and I did register some non-painful contractions. Lamaze happened, which I wrote about here. Basically this week has been all about mental stress and insomnia. Sleep and I don't mingle anymore. Some nights I was up wandering around, sometimes drinking water, showering, testing different places to sleep, listening to music. You name it, I probably did it.

The week has ended with some awkward pains, contraction timing, walking with Man Friend and doing Lamaze breathing while just trying to relax.... still wondering ... is this the build up??  So now I'm feeling very anti-social. I just want to be left alone to be quiet, not harassed, I don't to hear continual comments about my body and people's opinions of it. I want to be a hermit and wait for this little girl to come out!

**Basically I wrote a bunch of this early in the week. Then went to finish it today and am just blah. I get a free pass I think. Now back to my contractions.....

FEBRUARY 2016
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NST monitoringLamaze ClassNST monitoringDue Date!!!
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lamaze: Week 5

It was the hardest workout I've had since I was allowed to run!

Seeing as I was up since 3am, it was probably best we didn't do our normal relaxation and breathing exercises in the dark this time. I'd have really risked falling asleep! For this class our active focus was on pushing and ways to be comfortable during pushing. I was very happy to learn all of this since my mom gave birth to me before her pushing class when she took Lamaze. With the rate this girl keeps pushing on me I was starting to get concerned that she would make her appearance before Lamaze graduation and I wanted to be sure to learn as much as I can while I still can!

We did a lot of things using pillows, birth balls, chairs, walking around and essentially doing some junior high school slow dancing. All of these I could see being very helpful once it is time and contractions are happening. I can definitely say I understand the benefits of walking during labor. Before class we went for a walk through our neighborhood, which triggered gravity and a round of real contractions. So if that will help with labor while in the hospital I am all for it! 

Many people say how Lamaze sounds so different now, or it worked for them the old way so why change it. Well, let's look at telephones in the 70s as a comparison. Yes, that rotary phone worked for you, but now you probably have a cell phone that you can tap one spot on and have it automatically call someone. The old way worked, but the new way might be easier. Things evolve and that's what has happened with childbirth. Yes, your old way worked.... but I'm going to stick with the "newer" methods if that means I can help cope with childbirth easier and have things go well for her and I.

And this leads me to the other evolution and the video. VHS. 1984 perhaps? Fashion and personal appearance/maintenance has changed, ok?? Here I am watching 3 different birth stories - 3 couples, 3 different birthing situations. What I took away from it that was helpful to me was seeing that not one of them was yelling, crying and dramatic like you see in movies and on television. They were focusing on their breathing, walking around, changing positions, relaxing in the shower ... they were getting through the birthing process in a calm manner. I find that reassuring considering EVERYBODY talks to me about how negative labor is. Seriously, nobody shares ANYTHING positive. I've chosen to nod my head and smile and continue with what I'm learning and keeping myself educated and mentally strong, knowing I have my mom and Man Friend at my side to help me out. Seeing people pull off what I hope to have happen was encouraging. But there was also the evolution thing.... Oh. My. Gosh.  The first birth the couple was not attractive. Not everyone is a model, but they were far from it. That's fine, whatever .... but it really sealed the deal on them being hard to look at when we cut to labor and I thought at first I was seeing a hairy baby head coming out. Then I realized NO... The nasty mass of red forest growing down her leg was NOT a human coming out, but instead her out of control mess. Really?? Did you not know you would be showing your business to the world? Could you have possibly considered removing massive amounts of hair from your inner thighs? Oh 80's.... maybe it's best you and your bush are in the past.

We also covered birth plans and things to think about before we are in the hospital. Man Friend and I have spent a lot of time discussing our desires and our ideal plan if all goes well. Soon, maybe even tonight, we will have to discuss back up options just in case there are possible complications or other things to consider.

Again it was another great class. I always leave feeling satisfied and happy. Knowledge is power and I love all of the knowledge I go home with. If this girl arrives before our next class I can at least say that I feel prepared, ready and not scared!


FEBRUARY 2016
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NST monitoringLamaze ClassNST monitoring38 Weeks
OBGYN
78910111213
NST monitoringLamaze ClassBreastfeeding ClassNST monitoring39 Weeks
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NST monitoringLamaze ClassNST monitoringDue Date!!!
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Saturday, January 30, 2016

37 Weeks: Will I Hit 38 Weeks? I'm Not So Sure!

"I carried a watermelon."
Well this week sure started out with a bang!! First off, I went to bed feeling tired, and woke up Sunday morning around 2:45 am. I never really got much sleep after that. A little dozing here and there, but mostly up to potty and toss and turn in a hotel bed. It sucked!!! The baby-related highlight of the day was going to Babies 'R' Us with my mom to finish off last minute purchases before the little girl is here. We may have gotten carried away ... and 3 hours later left the store. We had to do some creative organization in the car to get everything to fit! Part of our day was spent in Portland with my aunt, so on the way home we stopped to have dinner with my uncle. Well, we had to delay our arrival.... so I could demand we pull over and let me change clothes. Why? Yeah, I was so uncomfortable in the car in what I was wearing (which wasn't constricting at all) because I was having legit contractions. I was doing my Lamaze breathing in the car when I looked up to see my favorite stopping point. I waddled to the bathroom to change pants and potty. It was so hard and took me so long because I could barely stand upright. Thank goodness for the classes I've had and my determination to just relax and breathe through it all. I have to admit I was actually concerned. I did NOT want to have a truck stop baby!!!!

Monday was another round of fetal non-stress test monitoring. This time she was pretty active at the start but then fell asleep and was very quiet. What wasn't quiet was my uterus. It was interesting to feel tightness and be able to watch my contractions on the monitor. They were much higher than the last monitoring session, but NOTHING compared to the day before!!

Tuesday sent me back to the hospital for our 4th Lamaze class, which you can read about by clicking this link right here!

Wednesday at work I was again leaning back with my eyes closed doing my 4 count breathing that we practice at Lamaze class .... as I was having another real, intense set of contractions. I am so happy that the breathing and focusing is happening automatically.  That practice during class and at home is paying off. I hope I still do it on the big day!

Symptom wise, my sneezing isn't as often, but getting stronger with each sneeze. Heartburn has pretty much vanished, hallelujah. The bathroom and I are best friends. Thank you, Costco, for bulk toilet paper! My feet and calves are having more swelling starting earlier in the day than before, which keeps me happy in my recliner trying to elevate them. I bought a new pillow during Macy's going out of business sale and since using it I have been getting better sleep! Apparently this is what happens with $100 pillows --- I did NOT pay that much!!! No even close to that!!!!!! I've tried to incorporate orange and apple juice again, but it is still not agreeing with me. Darn it! And basically I just feel like a manatee and can no longer do a single thing in any sort of fast manner! And insomnia. Ugh, story of my life. Sleep? Do you exist? **Things changed a lot since earlier in this paragraph when I said I was sleeping better!

Thursday I was having my next monitoring session, where I took a photo from my point of view, as you can see to the left. Pretty darn exciting, right? Well, this round was mildly boring ... until the end.  Our girl was pretty sleepy and didn't move much, but her activity and heart rate made the nurse happy at least. What wasn't boring was MY line. Non-stop contractions for me, but none of them painful. Just the regular strange twinging feeling. Apparently the intensity and frequency of them, however, did raise an eye brow for the nurse. She suggested that if that continues I might want to start timing them and added I'm basically at the point where she could come out at any time. WHAT?!?! Time to get that bag packed!

Friday I was back for my last doctor appointment of the week, this time with my actual OBGYN. I had my Group B Strep swab. I'll just say that you get swabbed in TWO places and let you decide was two orifices that would be. Since she was already "down there" I asked if she could check to see if I am dilated at all. Before she went in for the feel she was able to feel the baby through my tummy and find her head sitting way down low. Going in for the cervix check was NOT comfortable. I mean things are supposed to be going OUT and here is a human hand going IN. But I was willing to do it ... to find out that I am already 2 centimeters dilated! AND the doctor was able to feel her head. Eek!! So yeah, my girl is down there and she's lined up and getting ready to come see me!!

And Saturday - this has topped off the week, having it end like it started. REAL contractions, not the normal non-painful ones. Two of them happened so close together that I actually went to find the contraction timing feature on an app on my phone. Before I could find it I had to look at Man Friend and immediately say "I have to go to the bathroom NOW!" I thought my water broke, and had to high tail it to the potty. I was relieved to see that it did NOT happen, but basically after today let's just say "who needs a mucus plug anyway?!?" Ya, one step closer to the big day I guess!

Oh, and the hospital bags for myself and my daughter ARE officially packed and sitting by the bassinet waiting for the official departure to the hospital!

What a week!!! And my feet hardly fit in my shoes anymore, but my doctor assured me they are a lot smaller than most pregnant women. Win for me?!?

JANUARY 2016
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Lamaze ClassBaby Shower34 Weeks
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