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Babywatch Update

Still no baby and we’re two days overdue, but some progress to report. We went to the midwife on Friday – as of last Tuesday’s (7/3) appointment I was fine with not going in again, but as the days lingered on I felt like I needed to go for my own sanity.

We had to see a different midwife but she was very nice and supportive. Before going in I almost thought I’d get some lecture about how I have to be patient and what not. But there was no judging on her part, which was great!

My uterus measured at 38 cm, right on track (last Tuesday it was 37 cm). Baby2’s heartbeat was in the 130s, also very good. I asked to please be “checked” and she agreed to, although she did make sure to tell me that the results aren’t indicative of anything, really. It won’t tell me when this labor thing is going to go down. Sigh.

I was 2-3 cm dilated, 50 percent effaced and “soft and ready,” she said. She didn’t find any signs of scar tissue from my LEEP (in 2004) which is great because I was nervous about that. Also, my cervix has already moved up and away from my spine, which is great!

She also swept my membranes because I was already a bit dilated. I spotted for several hours afterward, but she said that’s probably just the rest of my mucus plug. I was pretty crampy for the rest of the day, too, but no contractions. Well, that’s a lovely paragraph to read, huh? Might as well add that I’ve finally pooped a couple times too! You’re welcome.

Physically I’m still feeling awesome, but my emotions are touch-and-go. In what seems like a split second I flip from excitement to frustration, from contentment to sorrow. Of course it’s worse when I’m not actively doing something, which makes sleep continue to be difficult. Last night I could nod off around 11:30 but I was up wide awake at 4:30 this morning. I refused to nap yesterday, thinking it would affect my nighttime sleep, but at this point I suppose it’s best to take what I can get!

On a non-baby note, I was fortunate enough to attend the wedding of one of my favorite friends last night. I said the only thing that would stop me from going would be if I was in the hospital, which I obviously wasn’t! Plus I’m still physically feeling great. And I’m so glad I got to go! It was a perfect weather day, a touching ceremony and a lovely reception complete with awesome food. And the bride was a knock-out! How did I not take a single picture?! Damn my absent mind! Anyway… Congrats Trang and Andy! Enjoy your tropical honeymoon and safe travels!!

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Friday Update: Week 36

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppThey say baby is about 18-1/2 inches long this week – the width of the lid on my washing machine!

This week we’ve really been cleaning up on the to-do list and I’m starting to feel ready. I’ve crossed a whole bunch of items off my to-do list (which I’ll post tomorrow). The nursery is all finished, although my mind is still obsessing over ways to improve my giant mobile (I’m sure some things will happen to it with it in the next couple weeks. I can’t let this stuff go!).

We have acquired all the essential baby gear: the car seat and a Moby wrap carrier from my transportation gear post, a breast pump and pillow from my feeding gear post and a crib, dresser, play mat and some blankets from my home gear post.

We’ve taken our waterbirth class, taken a tour of the hospital birth center (enlightening! The recovery rooms are so much bigger than they were nine years ago!), I’ve read seven books about birth and I’ve written down a bunch of birth plan thoughts that Mr. Handsome and I will go over this weekend. We’ve talked about it on and off but it’s time to really get down to business about it!

Despite all this work that has been done and as ready things seem, every time I look at the calendar and realize how close we are I am both excited and freaked out at the same time. I’m pretty sure Mr. Handsome feels the same way. When I remind him how many weeks are left he just kind of repeats the number I quoted and gets quiet. It’s just like, whoa! We’re super close to being a family of four instead of three! Three is all we’ve known for nine whole years!

Still super excited more than freaked out, though. I’ve started to think about upcoming events with this new little one in mind. We’ll have a little bundle in tow everywhere we go! So awesome to think about!

Other awesomeness of the week:

  • Total weight gain: 30 pounds. An unfortunate combination of not meeting my exercise goals (for several weeks in a row), relaxing my diet (damn you Snickers Blizzards!) and Baby2’s own half-pound-per-week gain is wreaking havoc on my pound-a-week goal! The pregnant part of my brain is totally okay with this but the non-pregnant part is a little in shock when the number comes up on the scale.
  • Cravings: A whole bunch of sweet stuff that I’m trying not to pay attention to. I’ve been sticking to my daily salad but ice cream is just so fantasically amazing. It’s not fair that there are so many forms of chocolate in the world.
  • Coolest symptom: She’s moving around super low and I can feel her push against my cervix, especially when I’m walking around. I remember these senstations becoming more and more frequent leading up to the day Kiddo1 was born. Although this “pinching” of my cervix is slightly uncomfortable, it makes me feel like things are starting to happen. I can’t get too ahead of myself though! She hasn’t dropped or anything, though. Her kicks still push up my boobs when I’m sitting!
  • Lamest symptom: A byproduct of the super low movement is that I have to pee all the time. ALL the time. At work, I swear I’m in the bathroom 20 times a day at least. At night I’m up three or four times at least. I am trying to stay extra hydrated lately so I’m sure that doesn’t help but STILL. It’s a lot of bathroom time.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes 180 minutes): I’m dropping the goal down a bit since I suppose I should be taking it easy — no, that’s just a excuse to drop my goal because I haven’t made it the last four or five weeks so might as well right?! This week I did pretty well but mostly because we were out and about around town most of Sunday. I’m going to count 60 minutes of walking for that (even though we did way more, but it was intermittent). Plus 60 minutes of water aerobics and 75 of yoga means I made the goal this week with 195 minutes!

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby is still packing on the pounds – at the rate of about an ounce a day. He or she now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. Your baby is shedding most of the downy hair that covered his or her body, as well as the vernix caseosa – a waxy substance that protects the skin during its nine-month bath in amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows these substances, along with other secretions, and they form a tar-like black substance called meconium which your baby passes in his or her first bowel movements. At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full term. (Full term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are preterm and those born after 42 are post term.) Most likely he or she is in a head-down position. But if not, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version. (This is a fancy way of saying that your caregiver will try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating him or her from the outside of your belly.)

I Love Water Aerobics!

I already love prenatal yoga, but for about three weeks now I’ve also been taking a weekly water aerobics class at the community center down the street. I had some trepidations at first, but this class is actually pretty awesome! Sure, I’m the youngest one there (by far!) and the music they play is atrocious (think The Macarena) but I love it more and more each time I go to a class.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI’m too cheap to buy a maternity swimsuit so I just wear my bikini. Some people look at me kind of funny – are they trying to answer the “fat vs. pregnant” question? I’m not really there to impress people so I’m okay with this.

Some of my favorite things about water aerobics:

  • It’s so low-impact that I don’t feel like I’m doing much. I mean, I push myself, go at my top speed and flex my muscles to make sure I am getting something out of the whole thing, but when I get out of the pool I don’t feel exhausted or sore like I sometimes do when I get off the elliptical. It isn’t until I’m back home on the couch that I start to notice my muscles are a little tired.
  • Water resistance is great – I can “turn up” the resistance by flexing my feet or moving my palms to push the water as I move. Or, I can lessen the resistance my moving my palms to cut straight through the water.
  • It’s great for the core muscles because I have to fight to maintain control of my balance. It’s so easy to let my hips move from center because I can move with the water, but it is such a better workout to fight against the water to keep my core upright.
  • Luckily I’m in the water so I can’t fall over! I can’t really hurt myself either, other than over-straining or something.
  • I’m covered by water up to my neck, so I don’t at all feel self-conscious about my belly hanging out or my big ol’ boobies bouncing around!
  • I like that I can work as hard as I feel like working and no ones knows either way. If I’m feeling pumped (which I have been so far!) I can crank up the intensity without alienating my neighbors. Or, if I’m feeling tired or slow, I can ease into it and once again, no one is the wiser.
  • At first I had some leg cramps but only because I kept pointing my toes. Now I try to flex more at my ankles and I don’t have that problem anymore. But, if I do have a cramp, I can stop for a second and massage it out and no one really notices.
  • Also, I sleep so great after being in the pool for an hour!

Plus, some things I learned about while I was reading about the benefits of water aerobics:

  • Did you know that being in the pool for awhile actually reduces swelling? I heard this from my midwife too. Apparently the water pressure helps to push the excess water out of your body. Yet it somehow hydrates too – I know this because I pee a LOT after water aerobics. Like, once before I change, once after I change and a couple times in the 30 minutes after I return home. I do drink water during the class but not that much water. It’s weird.
  • This NY Times article from 2008 describes a study (though a poorly-executed study, but a study nonetheless) which found that pregnant women who exercise using water aerobics are less likely to take pain medication during labor and delivery – 27% of women who exercise opted for drugs versus 66% in the non-exercising control group.
  • This article from Women Fitness also outlines some great tips and reminders for water exercise.

I’m so glad I’ve finally started to shake up my routine with this class. I highly recommend it!

Friday Update: Week 28

PhotobucketWeek 28! Baby is almost 15 inches long! I struggled to find an object that is just shy of 15 inches this week, but I ultimately settled on the 15-inch Macbook Pro because it kept coming up in the Google search results when I asked dear Google for assistance. I don’t have this laptop to verify whether or not it is just under 15 inches, I’m still rocking a six-year-old 12″ iBook G4 (aw hells yeah). This sleek picture of the Pro makes me want a new laptop though. Must. Resist.

While baby is almost 15 inches long, week 28 is solid third trimester territory. There’s debate about when the third trimester starts, just like there is for the second. I suppose you could say it starts at 26 weeks 4 days, or 27 weeks to make it even, but I wanted to give myself until week 28 for a few reasons. One, to stretch out the “golden time” of the second trimester that much more. Two, to make the third trimester feel like it just flies by. Three, because this way today could be both a trimester milestone AND Mr. Handsome’s and my anniversary (post coming about that tomorrow).

As you may know, the third trimester, when compared to the second, is not all non-alcoholic wine and roses. There are some things the third trimester is notorious for, and I somewhat fear (although fear may be too strong of a word):

  • More indigestion, which coincidentally has been occurring more frequently this week.
  • More farting (I had it BAD in third tri with Kiddo1. Although this time I’ve figured out that chocolate/sugar really triggers my gas, so I’m closer to being able to control it). I am silent but deadly.
  • More exhaustion. I don’t think I was all that tired in the first tri but I do remember taking lunchtime naps with Kiddo1 when I was in the third tri last time – yes I was that tired.
  • More Braxton Hicks, which I don’t remember having very many of at all with Kiddo1 but now I already have them ALL THE TIME.
  • More nighttime potty breaks (why does this have to correlate with the sleepy times of the first and third trimester?!).
  • More biggering. Most people say the last couple months is when their weight gain got out of control. My control has been great so far, if I do say so myself, so hopefully that will continue.

There are good things though, right?

  • Awesome kicks that make it seem like baby is trying to escape. Kiddo1 liked to stick out an elbow or knee sometimes and I would gently push him back. That sort of interaction is pretty cool.
  • Finishing projects! The feeling of everything coming together!
  • Finalizing names. I think we’ve agreed on a middle name already!
  • Everything starting to feel more real. So we’re really having another kid, eh? No turning back now!
  • Viability, just in case someone decides to join us really early (not too early please!).
  • Being that much closer to a precious cold beer baby snuggle. (Who am I kidding, the beer takes a close second sometimes!)

Here are some more pros and cons, but about the past (this week) rather then the future:

  • Total weight gain: The scale has said it’s been a solid 22 pounds for the past couple days. I can’t begin to say how happy I am with the scale. That means I only gained half a pound each week for the last two weeks – baby put on a half pound herself in that same amount of time!
  • Cravings: Honestly, I don’t really have much in the way of cravings. I have something each week that I seem to like a little more than other things, but I don’t particularly crave anything. That seems to be people’s favorite question to ask lately, though, “What weird foods are you eating?!?!?!” Ugh, I don’t eat weird foods. The strangest thing I’ve eaten through this whole pregnancy is a hamburger (I don’t usually eat ground beef). Vent over.
  • Coolest symptom: Overall, I just feel good. Sure there’s indigestion and I’m a bit more tired but growing a person is pretty dang cool. I like being pregnant. Despite what some of my “lame symptom” updates might say! There’s just a special feeling I have when I’m pregnant, I can’t describe it. Like glowing from within or something. I like it. It almost makes me not miss beer!
  • Lamest symptom: How is it possible to feel full and hungry at the same time? I can be completely stuffed but I want to put food in my mouth. What is that all about? And I don’t know if I’ve posted about it before, but sometimes I think I can feel myself getting bigger – my belly expanding, skin stretching. I don’t know if it is in my head or not but the fact is that I AM getting bigger so it wouldn’t be that weird if I could feel it, right?
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): It was a very cardio-filled week! We rode our bikes to one of Kiddo1’s soccer games (yep, still on my bike with a seven-month belly! Kind of weird but awesome!) and I went to water aerobics again and had an extra evening of swimming with Kiddo1 (he and Mr. Handsome couldn’t come with on my usually water aerobics night because he had cavities filled a couple hours before). I did some elliptical and a whole lot of active soccer practice for 235 minutes of total exercise this week! I only fit in 15 minutes of light yoga, which has been a bit more difficult lately. I hope to post a yoga update soon…

Finally, here’s a baby development update, courtesy babycenter.com:

By this week, your baby weighs 2 1/4 pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of the head to the heels. Your baby can blink his or her eyes, which now sport lashes. With increasingly developed eyesight, your baby may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. Your baby’s also developing billions of neurons in his or her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Friday Update: Week 20

Week 20, “the halfway point,” is here! Earlier this week, while talking to a co-worker, I referred to this time as the “golden period” in pregnancy. Think about it: you’re not too big yet but big enough to for others to safely assume you’re pregnant, the baby moves around and you can feel it, lame symptoms have pretty much subsided, energy levels are high, the “worries of birth” are not yet threatening, I mean, it’s a pretty great time.

PhotobucketThis week baby is about 6-1/2 inches long which is the approximate height of a standard birthday hat. Why did I pick a birthday hat this week? Because today is my 31st birthday! Yay! I love birthdays, and the past couple years they’ve been especially great because I’ve discovered all the free stuff you can get around your birthday if you sign up. I get a free entree at Noodles & Co, a local pasta place, Benihana’s, a free drink at Starbucks, goodies at Sephora and a free scoop of ice cream at Baskin Robins (although I’m boycotting them since they discontinued my favorite flavor, Chocolate Fudge. I nearly cried). There’s way more free stuff out there, you just have to search the web for it.

I love all the free birthday stuff, but this week and from now on, really, I’m trying to be a bit more careful about what I’m eating. Super Bowl Sunday fatty foods plus Valentine’s day candy was a bad combination for my weight gain the last couple weeks. I gained five pounds pretty quickly there. This week I’ve been better and my weight reflects that (see below).

I’ve always been a bad vegetable eater. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could will myself into craving super healthy foods during this pregnancy. Well, no such luck. I am capable of eating a vegetable a day (or so) so that is the goal. I tend to lean toward the green leafies (I love spinach) or “green stringies” such as asparagus and green beans. I like carrots, too. Today at work we’re having a pot luck and someone is bringing eggplant parmigiana so I’m excited to finally try eggplant!

I’m also trying really, really hard to limit my chocolate/sweets intake. I’m craving chocolate like no other now, though, so I still allow myself a little bit every day, but only one thing! So if I indulge at work and have some dark chocolate pieces, I can’t have ice cream that night. So far it is working pretty well (it’ll work a lot better once we get these girl scout cookies gone!).

So yeah, happy healthy birthday to me! Today we’re not doing much but tomorrow I have a haircut and I might stop to get a pedicure on the way back home. I might do some shopping around to get a picture framed for the nursery too. Monday we’re going out to dinner at Mr. Handsome’s restaurant which I’m so excited about. They do a prix fixe menu twith a twist and literally bring you every item on the dinner menu (it is a small menu, but all their food is delightful!). I’m getting ready to eat a lot of great (and mostly healthy!) food.

Some statistics for the week:

  • Total weight gain: 15 pounds. Woohoo only one pound gained this week! I’m back on track!
  • Cravings: Lots of chocolate, but also pasta, of course. I’m not really craving anything out of the ordinary this week. I mean, I’ve always wanted chocolate and pasta!
  • Coolest symptom: Woohoo more kicking! Sometimes I even feel it in the day now, when I’m not lying completely still! It’s awesome to feel the baby move and know that things are still going on in there.
  • Lamest symptom: You know, I’m really feeling pretty great this week! Headaches are pretty much gone, stabbing abdomen/round ligament pain has mostly subsided (I’m drinking lots of water!) and my back hasn’t been bothering me TOO much (but still a bit here and there). It really is the “golden period” right now!
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). This week the count is a little odd because I’m sorta counting the class field trip I chaperoned – we did about three hours of walking downtown, seeing the sights. I’m also counting another rigorous vacuuming session. Those two things together are about four hours, but I’m only counting 90 minutes of field trip and 30 minutes of vacuuming because counting more than than just seems unfair for some reason. Yoga and arm exercises rounded out the week for a total of 215! Yay!

Here’s what’s new with baby:

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He or she is around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel – the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby’s legs are curled up against his or her torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken “crown to rump” – from the top of the head to your baby’s bottom. After 20 weeks, your baby’s measured from head to toe.) Your baby is swallowing more these days, which is good practice for the digestive system. He or she is also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in your baby’s bowels, and you’ll see it in that first soiled diaper. (Some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

Friday Update: Week 17

PhotobucketThat’s right: at five inches long, baby is about as big as a roll of toilet paper at week 17. A whole roll of toilet paper can fit in there?! No wonder I have to go to the bathroom all the time…

This week I felt a surge of energy return! I don’t know if it was all the exercising/yoga that I’ve been doing or just the fact that it’s about that time in a typical pregnancy when the first trimester energy drain subsides. Either way, I started to feel really good at the beginning of this week.

Then on Wednesday morning I woke up with a head cold. Boo! I’ve had such a great, sickness-free winter. I was kind of starting to take advantage of it, to be honest. I haven’t been taking my usual sickness precautions such as vitamin C, covering my ears outside (somehow this relates to colds for me), etc. I tried to consume lots of lemon tea (another one of my preventative remedies) on Tuesday to hold off what I already knew was inevitable, but to no avail.

This cold could be a lot worse than it is, though. I only really have a runny nose and the tension headache has been a constant for the last month or so anyway. I can’t complain. Plus, my energy level hasn’t dropped too much which has got to be a benefit of the exercise. Bonus!

Wrap-up time:

  • Total weight gain: 9 pounds.
  • Cravings: donuts and various breakfast pastries. There have been a lot of donuts/bagels in the office this week and I have indulged. It felt good.
  • Coolest symptom: Increased energy! Overall I’m feeling really good, despite the cold and below “lame” symptoms.
  • Lamest symptom: I still have the stabbing abdomen pain, although it is not as strong and is a daily, temporary occurrence. The headaches continue. Some lower back pain has kicked in too. That all sounds worse than it is, I swear.
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). Last week I hit 135 minutes. This week’s total was 215 minutes! I did 35 of the elliptical and would have done more but my lower back was really giving me problems. The yoga made my back feel better so I did 180 minutes of that. I love it!

Let’s check in with baby’s development, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord – your baby’s lifeline to the placenta – is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip) and is around 5 inches long from head to bottom. Your baby can move his or her joints, and sweat glands are starting to develop.