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

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
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
12
33 Weeks
3456789
Lamaze ClassBaby Shower34 Weeks
10111213141516
OBGYNLamaze Class35 Weeks
17181920212223
NST monitoringLamaze ClassHospital TourNST monitoring36 Weeks
24252627282930
Babies R UsNST monitoringLamaze ClassNST monitoringOBGYN37 Weeks
31

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lamaze: Week 4

We are officially over half way done with our 7 course Lamaze series, and this was the first one without Man Friend. He was scheduled to work nights, so it was just my mom and I to fend for ourselves. As per usual, I was the first one there so I could get my spot in the corner. It is quite a load to get a yoga ball, yoga mat, blanket, 4 pillows, my binder and notepad, purse and water in one trip, but we did it! You'll read about it in the weekly post, but the first thing we did since it was just mom, our teacher and I, was discuss the major contractions I had over the weekend. Soon, though, the remaining couples arrived and we were on the floor starting class.  

The first thing we did was hear more about the first baby born to one of us. Hearing the details of the delivery was very interesting, but I won't elaborate here. Some of it was like my own birth so I imagine my mom and I were extra attentive to the particular situation this couple had faced.

Next up we hit the mats for our relaxation and breathing exercises. I fully admit it happened ... I had a major attack of the giggles. Then feeling my belly shake around made me laugh anymore. The couple next to me had their own fit of the giggles, so that made me laugh anymore. Here's what happened... I was in my comfy position with my eyes shut and preparing for the exercises. I felt something close to me and opened my left eye. Hovering over me was my mom. It looked like Bela Lugosi as Dracula very close ready to suck my blood.  Apparently she couldn't see my breathing - but the "contraction" hadn't begun yet, so I was still just in my normal breathing, not anything deep. Anyway, seeing her hover so close was enough to start the giggles!  New this week we traded positions. My mom had to pretend to be pregnant and I had to be the Lamaze partner. Yeah, well this time I couldn't hear her breathing so I rotated to be at her front. I was still having a hard time, so our teacher told me to watch her side and see it rise and fall to know when she is exhaling. That helped, but then I realized I sucked so much because I was concentrating so hard on her breathing that I then had no idea what verbal cues to use. I actually said I was glad I was the one in labor because that felt easier than being the coach!

We advanced ourselves on breathing that we will use during the more intense contractions. Some people were getting light headed or not feeling they could get enough air. I started to wonder if maybe my running has paid off with regard to this. I haven't had any issues with the breathing yet. When I began running it was the breathing that was the hard part that I had to work at. So perhaps all that hard work I put in and practiced so much at is paying off for the biggest marathon of my life!

For the discussion portion we learned about contractions, which led to my sharing of my Sunday experience that you'll read about in the next post. It was so reassuring to hear that all of us keep having feelings like we are about to get our periods. I wake up every morning with that dull achy feeling down low like I'd normally have the day my period arrives. Obviously I'm not getting that, so I wondered if these feelings were normal - and it turns out it is and all of us ladies are having that happen.  Phew!

Most of the talk was about the Transition phase of labor - the shortest, but most intense part. Discussing it felt helpful. While we can't predict exactly how things will go for each of us, I enjoy learning about things that are likely to happen and how to cope with them. It freaks me out that I keep feeling so calm about all of this. But that's good. I mean even 1 month ago I was terrified of it and now that I have increasing knowledge and more and more skills, I'm of course nervous, but not scared. I'm feeling ready .... which is a damn good thing since even during class I kept having growing, albeit non-painful, contractions and was watching my belly move all around and she kept shifting. Heck just getting to bed after class was a chore when it felt like she was again continuing her downward push toward her exit.

Seriously, February 20th.... if she's not here before then I'll be surprised. I need her to be here before Oscar Sunday, however. I want to teach this girl about the Red Carpet and my most favorite awards night ever!

Next week I think she said we will learn about pushing and watch some videos. Man Friend will be back with Mom and I, and I am in charge of snacks. Time to brainstorm on something brilliant!


***This is NOT Lamaze or baby related, but I just bought tickets to Steve Martin and Martin Short in July and I am ridiculously excited. Ooh, maybe I should watch Father of the Bride part 2 - a perfect combo of these hilarious men AND it involves babies! Fabulous idea!



Sunday, January 24, 2016

36 Weeks: So Much Going On

If I ever felt time was going by quickly and I was busy, I was so wrong. NOW it is busy and crazy fast!


Sunday we spent our day doing a lot of things downstairs to prepare the nursery. Now that we've had the baby shower I had a lot of things to move in and organize. Our guests were so generous, which meant I had motivation to empty my toy box so we could store diapers in it out of sight. We made a visit to Home Depot and Lowe's to find things to help organize the closet and add shelves to her walls. Such a spoiled little girl already! Her bed is done, as is her diaper changing table. Diaper bags are stocked and her bag is almost fully ready for the hospital!


Monday was more of the same, except this time I had to take a break to go to the doctor for the first of many twice a week appointments for a Fetal Non-Stress Test. I had to wait quite a while before I was finally taken into the room where I had my last ultrasound. We got the table to a more comfy position and then attached two monitors to my tummy via the lovely straps you can see in the photo to the right!

I had a little clicker in my hand, and my job was to click any time I felt the baby move. Meanwhile I just put my head back, closed my eyes, and listened to her little heart rapidly beating. She sounded like a galloping horse underwater! I was concerned she wouldn't move much since she had been very active earlier and already had her first round of hiccups for the day. Well she did not disappoint! It almost felt like she made it a game to try to kick the sensors on my tummy. Not only could I really feel it, we could hear her kicking at the sensors as well! Naturally I found this to be adorable since I am her mom and it's my job to love everything she does. About 20 minutes later and we were done... for this day. I will do this every Monday and Thursday until that little girl is born and in my arms!

Also on Monday was a classic moment for us ... when we went to Walmart to look at baby things and as I stepped in the store it felt like she was pushing her way out. I buckled forward and had to grab on for support. It was at this moment Man Friend says, "We are NOT having a Walmart baby!! I will move you out of this store if I have to!" Well have no fear, we did NOT have a Walmart baby!

Tuesday was our 3rd Lamaze class which you can read all about by clicking the link. 

Wednesday she continued what feels like more and more of a downward descent toward her exit path. It keeps causing my mom concern that she's going to arrive at any minute. I described it as early seismic activity before a volcano blows. Nothing to worry about, just some mild tremble before she blows! Also on this day I was joined by my mom, Man Friend and my brother in law for a tour through the Family Birth Place where our girl will be born. It felt calming to actually go in a delivery room and see how it is very large, private, equipped with a private bathroom that has a tub and shower, and a TV with a DVD player. I'll be adding Titanic to the hospital bag!

Thursday was a very interesting day! I had my second Non-stress test, this time with my mom coming along to watch and listen. This time I was able to see the monitor and print out of the results. It was quite interesting! The screen has two numbers, one much higher than the other. The higher number is our baby's heart rate while the lower is a number measuring my contractions. As the paper prints out we can see the fluctuations (her heart rate on the left, my contractions on the right). I was completely stunned to learn that these strange sensations I've been having for the last month have been contractions! I can't even describe them, but I can say they don't hurt. I've had 3 instances of contractions that were undeniable and required my Lamaze breathing, but as it turns out that odd feeling that's increasing each day are contractions after all! Over the course of this round of monitoring I was able to watch that little girl completely shift to her favorite spot - my left side - and make my belly all lopsided again... she does this quite often. Oh, and my mom nailed it perfectly when she said that when I use the clicker it is like I am playing Jeopardy. Absolutely, but at least I know my answers are always right at this game! If you notice the thick arrows on the baby's chart, those are all the times I felt her move and clicked the Jeopardy button.

Man Friend and I got dressed up for the Chamber of Commerce banquet that evening, and had a really lovely time. What was new was the fact that during the social hour while walking around socializing I had multiple times where I had to stop walking and felt like I better seal my legs shut so she wouldn't fall out. Things like this make me think that by the time her due date is here she will have already been here for a little bit! And that same odd feeling of her pushing down hard on me continued through Friday, as did the non-stop bathroom trips. Oh my gosh. I should get stock in toilet paper. Seriously.

Friday feels uneventful looking back. Nothing is jumping out at me other than being completely exhausted from my insomnia. And now that I know those strange feelings are small cramps, I did notice a lot of them.

Saturday my mom and I went to Portland and I got to watch my feet swell over the course of walking through downtown and watching The Book of Mormon. The little girl did wake up during the show and it felt like she enjoyed it. Good girl, teaching her some culture.... although given the language and humor I'll just hope she didn't fully absorb all of that musical! Our night was finished off at a lovely dinner with my cousin, his darling wife and their adorable new baby. We got to pick their brains a little bit on baby things, and it got me one step closer to being ready!

I need a nap!


JANUARY 2016
SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
12
33 Weeks
3456789
Lamaze ClassBaby Shower34 Weeks
10111213141516
OBGYNLamaze Class35 Weeks
17181920212223
NST monitoringLamaze ClassHospital TourNST monitoring36 Weeks
24252627282930
Babies R UsNST monitoringLamaze ClassNST monitoringOBGYN37 Weeks
31