Thursday, January 28, 2010

35 weeks 5 days

Yesterday was one month from our due date! Yay!!  Lil' Snoke will be arriving soon!

Being pregnant for this last month has been quite interesting.  I experience "prelabor" (as of a week from now, will be considered "labor") signs nearly daily.  At this point I pretty much just ignore them (although I might try to alleviate them) and assume they're going to go away.  Because they always do.  And if I called the doctor every time I felt them, I'd be calling twice a day.  I think that'd be a bit much.

For an example of what these "prelabor" signs look like, on Tuesday morning as I was getting out of the shower, I suddenly felt "menstrual" cramps and then my lower back tensed up and started hurting.  I proceeded to have wave after wave of back pain.  I thought to myself, Hmmm...this is definitely not normal.  However, when is my body normal?  I'd read and heard enough to know that it could develop into back labor, so I laid down on the couch on my left side with a heating pad against my back and then emailed my work office to let them know I'd be working from home.  Sure enough, within about an hour the majority of the pain had subsided.  (I ended up staying home all day just to be safe and also due to Maggie ingesting a gallon of what appeared to be cooking oil from the neighbors' garage, but that's a whole other story.)  So once again, just chilling out and dealing with the "prelabor" sign on my own appeared to be most beneficial and efficient.

At any rate, lil Besido is still growing like crazy (I now measure 42 1/2 inches at my belly button but seem to be staying steady at about 30 lbs of weight gain) and has developed quite his own personality.  One thing that is very obvious is that he likes having his personal space.  He does not like things pressing against my abdomen.  This would include my desk, my arm, or my coffee cup.  Today in our staff meeting, I sat with my cup of tea on the top of my belly and giggled as I watched it go up and down, up and down, up and down.  He was pushing really hard with his foot directly into the bottom of the cup, so it continuously raised and lowered, raised and lowered.  About an hour prior to that, he had kicked the edge of the desk I was leaning against so hard that it made me burst out with an "ouch!".  He really is good with his feet.  Maybe he's following in his daddy's soccer footsteps. :)

Another cute characteristic we've noticed is that Krewson seems to love Dave's voice.  It used to be somewhat disappointing, because Krew would be moving around and I'd tell Dave, so Dave would get down near my belly to talk to him and feel him move.  But as soon as Dave started speaking, Krewson would stop moving.  Almost every time.  And of course this was sad for Dave, because he wanted to feel his son wriggling around.  Over time, however, it's become a blessing, because we discovered that we could use it to our advantage.  Now, whenever Krew is kicking too much and I'm having trouble getting comfortable or falling asleep, Dave gets close to my belly and talks to him.  And within 30 seconds the movement usually stops and Krew settles down.  It's pretty amazing, and so sweet.  If that would just continue after Krew is born, our lives would be set!  Easy parenting, here we come. ;)

Alright, here's the weekly pic:

35 1/2 weeks

And check out this great use I found for my belly!! It's a shelf to hold my water bottle directly at the level of my mouth, so I can sip as I desire while I work.  Quite ingenious, if you ask me. :)

And here is the weekly update from all the pregnancy emails and sites I subscribe to:

Your baby should weigh between 5 to 6.75 lbs and be 17.5 to 20.5 inches long. 
(Based on last week's ultrasound, I'm assuming he's over 6 lbs now.)

Your baby is continuing to put on about an ounce a day in weight. 

His gums are firm with ridges that look somewhat like teeth, though his actual pearly whites won't start breaking through until he's between three months and a year old.

Your baby's skull isn't the only soft structure in his or her little body. Most of your baby's bones and cartilage are quite soft as well (they'll harden over the first few years of life) — allowing for an easier journey as your baby squeezes through the birth canal at delivery.

Most of his systems (from circulatory to musculoskeletal) are ready for prime time.

There should be a sufficient amount of surfactant in your little one's lungs for them to work well on their own now.

By the time the baby is born, the fully developed placenta covers 15–30 percent of the space inside the uterus and will weigh 5½ pounds! The placental tissue itself weighs a mere pound and a half, but it takes 4 pounds of blood to keep it functional.

Your baby needs to eat even when you’d rather not. Several small meals a day are still best at this point for most women.

You're doing the full-term pregnancy waddle, the result of hormone-triggered loosening and softening of your connective tissue. This is your body's way of getting ready to squeeze a big baby out of a small space. Unfortunately, those loose joints can lead to some pretty serious hip and pelvic pain — but hang in there!

You’ll notice more fluctuations in your energy level this month. Fatigue is experienced by most pregnant women, but this month, you may find that fatigue alternates with periods of extra energy. Use your energy bursts wisely doing things you absolutely need to do and preparing for the birth and time after birth. Don’t overdo it, though! You might need to conserve some of that energy for later.

One last thing to mention: I had another great baby shower this past weekend. I will share pics from it soon. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

34 weeks 5 days

Ahhh, the days are passing quickly! :)

Here's your weekly picture update:

34 1/2 weeks

And for what's going on this week:

Estimates for the baby's size are from 16.8 to 20.25 inches and 4.75 to 6 lbs.

(Krewson is estimated to weigh 5 lb 10 oz, which is supposed to be about the 54th percentile.  I think this matches up pretty well with these numbers.)

Most of your baby's growth over the next month or so before you meet will be in weight (with a gain of anywhere from one pound to several), not height (baby's pretty much reached the in utero limit in that department).

If you were to have your premature baby now, you'd be happy to know that there is a 99 percent chance of the baby surviving.

Lungs are almost fully developed, but if born now the baby would probably be put in an incubator. It still doesn't have enough fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm outside your womb.

Your baby is drinking about a pint of amniotic fluid a day now and urinating the same amount.

Thanks to antibodies crossing the placenta the baby is developing immunities to mild infections.

As the mother's abdomen stretches thinner, light is visible inside the womb, helping baby to develop sleep cycles, reactions, and responses to her surrounding environment.

For me:

Braxton Hicks contractions may be getting more numerous and stronger, and discomfort and sleeping problems are common around this time.

Your blood pressure will probably be slightly higher than what is normal for you when not pregnant.

Before all this pregnancy stuff, your uterus was a small ball the size of your fist and was tucked neatly away behind your pelvis. Today your uterus is the size of a small watermelon and reaches all the way up to your ribs.

At this point in your pregnancy all the blood has gone to your belly ... literally. Nearly 1/6 of your body's total blood volume is chugging around in the vessels in your uterus.

In the United States, just 12 percent of companies offer paid maternity leave, and only seven percent have paid paternity leave, according to a report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.
(I get a partially-paid maternity leave - I am very blessed!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

34 weeks 2 days Ultrasound and Doc Appt

We had our ultrasound this morning!!  It really wasn't that exciting, because Krew was so big that you could only see sections of his body on the screen.  No cute profile picture like last time.  The ultrasound tech did print out a couple shots of his face for us to have, which was much appreciated.  But, as you can see below, even they don't show much.

A side shot of his head.

His face, looking straight on.

She confirmed that he is indeed a boy, which I was very very glad to hear. :)  He's definitely head down, which is good news.  And, although I'm still measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule, Krewson appears to be right about on target.  His estimated weight was 5 lbs 10 oz, which is in the 54th percentile.  The doc later told me that it may just be the way he's laying inside of me that is causing my uterus measurements to be larger than normal.

I asked for a copy of the ultrasound results as we were walking out, then I looked everything up online to see what it meant.  Here are his stats:

BPD (diameter between two sides of head): 85.0 mm, 44th percentile
OFD (diameter between front and back of head): 113.6 mm, 64th percentile
HC (head circumference): 320.7 mm, 59th percentile
FL (femur length, longest bone in body): 67.0 mm, 42nd percentile
AC (abdominal circumference): 310.9 mm, 70th percentile
EFW (estimated fetal weight): 5lbs 10 oz
Estimated gestational age based on ultrasound: 35 weeks
Fetal heart rate: 170 bpm

Put all this information together and you can deduce that Krewson is short and fat with a squished head.  Spectacular!!! :)  (Don't worry Krew, we'll love you no matter your body proportions.)

I asked the doc if I could start working out again after what happened with the contractions two weeks ago.  He told me to wait two more weeks.  He said something along the lines of, "We'd really like him to stay in there a couple more weeks.  Give it two more weeks, and then you can work out.  Your weight is right on target, you don't NEED to work out.  I know you WANT to work out, but you don't NEED to.  So just wait two more weeks, then go ahead."  In other words, they want me to get to about full term, and then if I work out and Krew pops out, all is good and well.  Which I guess makes sense.  Doesn't thrill me, but makes sense.

Alright, that's about all for now.  Don't forget to check out our nursery pics, which I posted this morning.  Dave did an excellent job. :)

34 weeks 2 days Nursery Pics

Dave finished up his design on the nursery wall last night!! I think it looks great. :)  The nursery is now about 99% complete...we just need to put the handles back on the dresser (after we decide if we're going to paint them or not).  You can check out the pics below. :)  It's a little hard to see the green on the wall in the picture, but you get the idea.

Also, I have my ultrasound in about an hour, which I'm pretty excited about.  I will share pics as soon as I get a chance.

Friday, January 15, 2010

33 weeks 6 days

Here are some pics from my baby shower in Charlotte last weekend! It was a good time with lots of great women. Dave's mom did a great job hosting the event. The theme was "A Baby is Bloomin'" and then there were all kinds of adorable flower decorations. So cute. There was also yummy food, fun games, and of course it was exciting to get gifts. Thanks so much to everyone who came!!

Three of Krewson's many many great grandmothers.
(Like seriously, it's hard for me to keep count, haha.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

33 weeks 4 days

Just 6 1/2 weeks to go! Yay!

Little Besido is still growing like crazy. I have gained about 11 inches at my belly button and about 30 pounds overall (eek!).  Looking at me, it seems like the inches should be more and the weight should be less, but I guess looks can be deceiving.  The baby appears to be head-down at this point, but he switches his position quite a lot from side to side, so sometimes his back is on my right and sometimes it's on my left.  And sometimes I can't feel it at all, so I would assume at those times that his back is along my spine?

And alas, I have developed a stretch mark.  Or should I call it a stretch spot.  I have what looks like a purple smudge between my belly button and the remains of my belly button piercing hole.  (I guess that's what I get for being a rebel, hehe.)  I know it's a stretch mark-spot, because when the light hits it a certain way it glistens.  It's quite interesting, and I find myself staring at it quite frequently when I get out of the shower.  I have yet to see any stretch marks elsewhere though (yay!).  We'll see how long that lasts. :)

Here are some pics of this week:

I decided that generic smiles are overrated and wanted to provide you with a more entertaining look.

Let's play a game:  Where are Kara's intestines?

A few pregnancy updates from my weekly sources:

The estimates for his length are 16 to 20 inches.
The estimates for his weight are 4 to 5 1/2 lbs.
(Since my baby appears to be on the giant-er side, I would guess he is in the upper range of these numbers.  Monday's ultrasound should help somewhat confirm. [Although ultrasounds can be way off.])

During this week, the baby will grow 1⁄2 inch longer.

Over the past week, his head circumference has increased by about another 3⁄8 inch due to his rapid brain development. The critical period for the development of the baby’s brain occurs in these last months of pregnancy.

His arms and legs are continuing to fill out from fat accumulation.  He's dimpling at his elbows and knees and forming creases around his wrists and neck.

The percentage of fat on his body is about 8%, compared with only 1% of his body weight at 20 weeks.  At birth, his body fat will be about 15%, helping him to keep warm.

Your baby’s eyes will open during the alert times of its daily cycle, and close when he sleeps.

Regardless of the eye color your baby will end up with, right now his eyes are blue. The pigmentation process in his iris won't be complete until his eyes have been exposed to light for several weeks after birth. His final eye color may not be evident for years.

Your baby is moving around less frequently, mostly because of the cramped quarters. Of course, it may not seem as if he's settled down—now that he's so big, you can feel even the slightest movement. In fact, since your baby is right up against the wall of the uterus, you're probably getting good at guessing which body part (foot? elbow? arm?) is protruding.

Since the amniotic fluid volume has reached its maximum, you can now think of your baby as resting on the walls of your uterus rather than actually floating in a fluid-filled space. He is still bathed in amniotic fluid, of course, and that fluid is replaced continuously by your efficient system.

The top of your uterus can now be felt approximately 5 ½ inches above your belly button.

Seventy-five percent of women in their third trimester have trouble sleeping.

If your cheeks are looking as round as your belly these days, you're in good company — most expectant women start sporting that gathering-nuts-for-the-winter look in their third trimester.

Dave and I have our second childbirth/childcare class tonight, and then our ultrasound is on Monday.  I will be sure to provide updates of both. :) Also, Dave's mom threw a baby shower for me in Charlotte this past Saturday...I have pics which I will be sharing soon. :)

God bless!

Monday, January 11, 2010

33 weeks 2 days

Ah, today is one of those days when I'm just tired of the pain and in the mood to whine.

I have pelvic pain that radiates not only through my pelvis and hips but also down through my inner thighs halfway to my knees.  Supposedly this is a result of my pelvic bones preparing for birth.  Not every woman gets this pain, but I am a lucky one.  Essentially, it makes it so that any movement in which my legs are not glued together hurts horribly.  This includes shifting in bed, getting out of bed, putting on pants, washing my legs in the shower, walking, going up or down stairs, getting in and out of my car, shifting my position in a chair, etc.  You can read about it here: Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy.  When I am experiencing it, this pain tends to get worse when I work out too hard and then it gets better when I rest.  However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I am on a prescription for no exercise right now.  Which means there isn't really anything more I can do to alleviate the pain.  I will definitely have to mention it to the doc at my appointment next Monday.

I have not had any more all-day contraction sprees, but I do get random bouts of them, especially in the evenings.  They are now getting stronger, so that some of them cause me to catch my breath, and I have to pause what I am doing for a moment to let the contraction pass.  I am glad we learned a couple breathing techniques in our childbirth class last Wednesday (I will share more about the classes later), because I'm getting a chance to practice them and get them ingrained in my head before the real deal comes.  The contractions tend to always occur after or during doing anything physical (and sometimes in between)...this includes vacuuming, picking things up off the floor, carrying an item, going up the stairs, etc.  It concerns me that I'm going to be on a prescription for no exercise for the rest of my pregnancy.  Which would be bad for several reasons.  A) I don't sleep well when I don't exercise.  B) I get restless legs syndrome when I don't exercise.  C) I am more likely to get anxious when I don't exercise.  D) I can't eat as much when I don't exercise.  E) I have much less energy during the day when I don't exercise.  These reasons A-E are what keep me motivated to climb on the elliptical 4 to 5 times a week and are also the reasons I do NOT like being restricted from working out.  (And are all reasons I encourage anyone who doesn't work out to get started!)

Add to this the horrible leg cramp in my calf that occurred at 6:45am this past Saturday morning.  Both Dave and I awoke to me yelling, "Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!..." as I squirmed and did all I could to calm the cramp down.  Dave grappled to massage my leg as I tried to flex it as I'd read I should.  I don't know how long the cramp lasted, but it worked my calf muscle enough that I have been sore and somewhat limping the two days since then.  It feels like the after-effects of hopping a mile on my right leg.  Pretty crazy.  Leg cramps are actually quite common during pregnancy, and I get several light ones almost every night.  This, however, was by far the worst one I've experienced.  The others are calmed with a quick flex of my leg.  This one required a whole lot of flexing and a whole lot of massaging.  My friend Casey said when she was pregnant she used to wake up and just start punching her leg because she'd get them so bad.  Poor girl.  I now feel your pain.

Then there's other weird abdominal pains I get that I have no idea what they are.  And the sciatic nerve pain that feels like a constant bubble sitting in my back above my right butt cheek, that causes shooting pain and for my right leg to collapse if I step on it wrong.  And the rib pain that now occurs almost every afternoon and has me stretching my body back as far as possible while still being able to reach the computer keyboard.  And the swelling that leaves my left foot (yes, just my left, not my right) so bloated that my skin stings from the pressure.  And the inability to breathe.  And the fluctuating body temperatures.  And the insomnia.  Everything is building up.  To the point where I want to burst at times.  (In fact, this morning, I did.  I had about a 30 second cry fest all by myself as I was trying to get out of bed, exhausted from insomnia with my body aching and aching.  And then I felt better (emotionally).  Although, clearly not enough better to prevent me from writing this twenty-page rant about my pregnancy pain, hehe.)

And yes, yes, yes.  It's all worth it.  I would do it all again.  Or for much longer if necessary.  Any of it for my child.  But it doesn't take away the fact that I am experiencing it daily and that it makes life a bit difficult at times.  God is teaching me patience and endurance, this I know.  I know He is using this to help mold me into the mother and person He wants me to be.  But oh how I wish the molding would be over soon!!  Six and a half weeks.  Keep your eye on the prize.  It will be over in just a month and a half and then I'll have a bundle of joy in my arms.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

32 weeks 4 days

My marathon of Braxton Hicks contractions finally ended mid-afternoon on Monday.  I averaged about 10 contractions per hour all day up until that point.  Suddenly they began to wane and I went back to having the occasional contraction once every hour or two, if that.

I went to the doctor yesterday for my 32 week checkup and talked with her about what had happened.  She asked if I had called while the contractions were occurring and I said yes, but that the phone nurse had suggested I wait to come in until my scheduled appointment.  She checked my cervix and I was not dilated at all and my amniotic sac did not appear to be ruptured, so that was all good news.  The baby's heartbeat sounded great.  She put me on a prescription for no strenuous activity "until this issue is resolved", for at least a week.  She said she doesn't even want me running up the stairs.  I'm not allowed to do my elliptical machine, either.  (Which means I'm going to need to be more careful of what I eat.  Boooooooo.)  She told me that if the contractions start to occur again, she wants me to drink a bunch of water and lay down on my left side for an hour.  If they continue after that, I'm supposed to call again.

Ironically, after being home from the appointment for just a couple hours, another contraction marathon began.  They lasted all through Bible study, and then after the Bible study girls left I laid down and they seemed to decrease a bit (to about every 10 minutes).  I went to bed after that, with plans to call today if they continued.  When I woke up this morning, I had several in a row, and then suddenly they stopped again.  I've only had a couple since then.

So we'll see what happens.  It would be nice to have a reason for all this, but it may just be one of the body's many mysteries.  I must admit that I'm a little worried that if I call again they'll do something crazy like put me on bed rest.  I definitely do not want that.  I was whining and complaining last night for the 30 minutes I was laying down due to the contractions before bed.  There were just so many other things I wanted to be doing. Don't get me wrong.  I love reading, playing on the computer, and watching movies with my hubby.  But I had a to-do list that was calling my name and there was nothing I could do to check off a single item.  So frustrating.

Anyways, on another note, my uterus was again measuring large yesterday, so the doc requested that I get an ultrasound at my next appointment to see how big the baby is.  Yay!  I can't wait to get another view of Krew. :)  The appointment is on Jan 18th, so I'll have some pics to share after that point.  Dave and I are also excited for one more confirmation that Krewson is indeed a little man and not a little woman.  :)

Alright here's your weekly picture.

32 1/2 weeks.  I didn't have a half-finger, but you get the idea. ;)

Thanks so much to everyone who has showed concern over the last couple of days!  I really appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

32 weeks 2 days

I'm not sure what's going on, but I am having an abnormal number of Braxton Hicks contractions. :( I've had these quite often since the middle of my pregnancy, but suddenly this morning they became much more frequent than usual.  I had 5 or 6 while I was in the shower and they were making me so uncomfortable that I laid down in bed for another hour before heading into work.  They continued while I was laying down and while I finished getting ready, so I called the doctor's office on the way to work and left a message.  The phone nurse called back and talked to me a bit about them, and when I told her how often they were she said that yes they should probably see me.  However, my 32-week checkup is tomorrow, so she said that it should probably be ok to wait until then unless I am very worried.  She said that they will be more concerned if I notice a pattern to the contractions or if I show any signs of bleeding.  Neither of these things are taking place, so I seem to be fine for now.  She said to take it easy, drink lots of fluids, and call back if I feel like I need to come in at any time.

I've started recording the time of each contraction once I got into work.  I've had 31 since 9:49am this morning and it is now 1:27.  So 31 contractions in around 3 1/2 hours.  That's quite a lot.  They generally say to call the doc if you experience more than 4 in an hour.  I'd say I'm a bit beyond that.  The good sign, however, is that the contractions are typically very short.  Longer contractions are more worrisome.  I really feel like everything is probably fine, but I can't help but be a little concerned.  If you'd keep me in your prayers it'd be appreciated. :)

I'll provide an update whenever I get one!

God bless,