Life lately: 8 days til due date

Today’s my last day @ work. I’m finishing a day before I hit 39 weeks. I’ve been working extra hard these days to have my position in good shape for my replacement.

D and I had an appointment with a midwife who will be covering for our midwife if she decides to take a weekend off in April. The appointment was wonderful. She said that baby was “a perfect size”. She was very excited for us. After meeting her we feel at ease if she were to deliver our baby instead of our midwife.

On Tuesday, we went to Chapters and spent 2 hours reading through children’s books. I thought that I wanted a bunch from my childhood but after reading them, I wasn’t as interested in owning most of them! We’ve got a good collection of books for our little one. We hope that they will enjoy reading like we both do.

I’ve been feeling really great in these final weeks of pregnancy. I’m not at all at a place where I just want this baby out. I’ve actually been struggling with not feeling ready for pregnancy to be over while knowing that I have no choice in the matter…it’s about to end! Yesterday, it hit me that what I tell myself while not wanting a vacation to end can apply to pregnancy. I’ve told myself before while on a trip, “Don’t be greedy. Be glad that you got to experience this at all!” I think that the same thinking can apply to this pregnancy. It’s interesting that I went from “I don’t think I can ever do this again” in the first trimester (due to nausea and anxiety) to now, “I don’t want this to end!” πŸ™‚

There’s fears about what lies ahead but it’s more so fears about how I’ll cope with sleep deprivation, hormones and the major life change rather than labour. I’ve been consistently happy for weeks now with increased energy (could be that my TSH has never been lower….at 38 weeks it’s 1.18, pre-pregnancy it was 1.99. Both are considered normal but I’m feeling better with the slight increase to my synthroid in pregnancy). Also, my experience in pregnancy is that I don’t experience the hormonal ups and downs that you get with your female cycle. And no migraines for 9 months! Hallelujah.

We’ve been busy checking things off the list. A baby is sure a good motivator to get things done ahead of time like taxes, renewing our mortgage, etc. I know that a lot of people would like their baby to come before their due date. I’d like some days off work to focus on nesting! We are almost a week to due date. We’ll see πŸ™‚

Both D and I had dreams about our baby last night. D dreamed that you could see facial features through my belly and I dreamed that I saw the outline of two feet (that were huge! ha). The baby was genderless in my dream. Last night baby was a boy in Derek’s dream, the night before he dreamed that we had a girl and named her the exact same name as our niece. Things are getting crazy around here!

Baby: we are days away from meeting you!Β  You’ve already changed our lives for the better. It’s surreal to think of the life change you are going to bring to us. We won’t be perfect (your dad’s pretty great!) but we will try our best to be the parents that you need with God’s help. We love you. XOXO.

38 weeks

What is baby up to at 38 weeks? (baby center):

Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she is over 19 1/2 inches long (about the size of a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she’s born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. If she’s born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she’s 9 months old. That’s because a child’s irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she’s born, but they usually won’t get “lighter” or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

New: Since my last post at 36 weeks, Derek and I had our last overnight as a couple. We ate a 3 course dinner which included filet mignon, yum! I was also spoiled with not one but two work showers. Monday night I celebrated with my team from Kingston and on Tuesday @ lunch the ladies that I share the hallway with in Belleville (but they work for another program) threw me small a baby shower. Feeling so blessed. It’s hard to believe that the showers are over and now the countdown is on!

Speaking of countdown, it was surreal to hear from my midwife that I’m considered term and they wouldn’t do anything differently now if baby were to arrive early. Baby’s head has dropped down since my last appointment 2 weeks ago. That may explain why walking feels different in the last week.

Weight gain: 24 pounds!

Sleep: I wake up often in the night to pee…more than usual in the last week. I’d guess 3-6 times a night.

Movement: Yes, more so seeing a mass of baby move from side to side rather than kicks these days. But I feel hiccups on a daily basis!

Symptoms: Was told yesterday that I definitely have the waddle walk. Carpal tunnel is still there but it’s more so numb and tingly hands in the last week than pain (thankfully!). I had bad reflux for two days last week but that seems to have gone away. Lately, I need to sit to put on my pants rather than doing that from standing position. Overall, considering that I’m 38 weeks, I’m feeling good!

Looking forward to: A week from today is my last day @ work! I’m really looking forward to wrapping things up at work so I can focus on things around the home. It’s not easy to prepare to leave your job knowing that you won’t be back for 1 year (so much to do). We still need to install our car seat and finish up our nursery…eek! Hopefully this weekend. I sound so disorganized when I write that but we’ve got a bunch of other stuff done lately (renewed our mortgage so we don’t have to do that when baby is here, bought a home computer so we can Skype with grandparents, etc). Fingers crossed that I don’t go into labour too early so we can get some more items checked off the list. People ask me if I feel ready…not yet…but slowly getting there. Derek feels ready which helps.

Reflections on pregnancy

As of tomorrow, I’ll be 3 weeks away from my due date. I figure that now is as good of time as ever to reflect over these last 9 months (yes, I’ve already been pregnant for 9 months as on my due date I’ll be 10 months!). Here are my short reflections of pregnancy with our little one.

The first trimester was rough. Yes, I did not enjoy the nausea that hit at 6 weeks and stuck around for many weeks, but it was more than that. I experienced spotting around 6 weeks and again at 12-13 weeks. Both times sent me into a panic that I may miscarry. The last spotting episode was the worst because it lasted for a week and I experienced some bright red spotting one evening.The first trimester was can be described in two words: nausea and anxiety.

Somewhere in the second trimester things changed. Maybe it was after feeling baby move that my anxiety started to dwindle. I bet that had something to do with it. Somewhere in the middle of trimester 2, worry started to fade and enjoyment of pregnancy grew. I began to work out 3x a week at week 23 and I think that helped me to feel less sore and more energetic. It took me a long time for people to start thinking that I was showing (although D and I noticed the bump appear at 16 weeks, it took others well into 20-30 weeks to start commenting).

The third trimester has had some surprises: carpal tunnel (brutal at times!), sickness (cold and food poisoning), and some more fun ones like how I enjoyed our childbirth classes. Premature labour was a worry of mine for some reason. I’ve heard stories of women totally surprised by pre-term labour and felt like they didn’t have a thing ready. I think its helped me to work on to-do lists. We’ve sure done a lot already but there’s more to-do before baby. I’m learning that I won’t be able to get it all done. At this point in pregnancy, I’m grateful to have made it this far. Pre-term labour for what that means for baby doesn’t worry me anymore. Still, I don’t have a desire yet to go early due to what I’d still like to get done at work and around home. Ultimately, I’m enjoying pregnancy and think that I’ll miss it. I like being pregnant. Feeling baby move is a little alien like but a really neat experience. I’m trying to soak up these final days of baby & me before our world totally changes.

Other things I’m grateful for: how we told our family and friends that we are expecting, taking a baby moon road-trip at the start of trimester 2, getting in with the midwives at 20 weeks, not finding out baby’s gender, the baby showers, and all of the experiences that D and I have shared together as we prepare for little ones arrival. I think the one thing I’m most grateful for is to have a true partner in this pregnancy. Someone interested, involved, and positive. From him suggesting we should go out to dinner to celebrate when I got my BFP, involved in the picking out of our stroller, helping get things checked off the to-do list, his excitement to meet baby, etc. I couldn’t be more grateful for the father of my child.

36 weeks

What is baby up to at 36 weeks? (baby center):

Your baby is still packing on the pounds β€” at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18 1/2 inches long (about the size of a head of romaine lettuce). She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

New: Since my last post at 34 weeks, both Derek and I got food poisoning. Yup, this was very recent – we were so sick Sunday night until Monday night. During the day on Monday, I was a bit afraid for baby as he or she wasn’t moving as often. Thankfully, when I was able to start eating some food again on Tuesday, baby has been moving as per usual. I can’t believe that I’ve used four sick days in the last month – two for a cold and now two for food poisoning.

Also, what’s been new since my last post is we finished our childbirth class on Thursday night. I’m so glad we did classes and paid extra for this particular one. We learned lots and it was a fun experience for us as a couple. Before class, we would eat out at the same restaurant. On Thursday night a waiter told our waitress what we would likely order, ha!

Weight gain: I don’t even want to record it as I’ve lost weight in recent days with the food poisoning. I’m up 20 pounds from my BFP weight as of today. Two weeks ago, I was up 21 pounds. I don’t like weighing less at 36 weeks (almost 37 weeks) than I did at 34 weeks. I hear that baby will take everything from me before I get the nutrients that I need. I hope that in recent days baby got everything they needed.

Sleep: Waking up often through out the night to pee. Sometimes, I roll side to side and have a hard time falling back to sleep because I feel unusually restless.

Movement: Yes. I would love to know for certain what I feel at times. Last night was the first time I felt fairly confident that I must be feeling an arm. And baby’s feet seems to be mostly on my right side up by my ribs.

Symptoms: Uncomfortable. The waddle is becoming more of a staple. I over-did it the other night chasing after the dogs (who ran out of the yard) in knee-deep snow and I majorly paid for it afterwards. It hurt terribly to roll side to side in bed and I could barely walk. The lower abdominal/pelvic/crotch pain was unreal but thankfully only lasted for about 24 hours. I still get this a bit if I bend over too much or over-do it during the day. I’m having to learn to take it easy.

Looking forward to: Finishing setting up our nursery. We had a new window installed last week and are now waiting on that to be complete. Then we can set up the crib (we bought a new one a week ago – yay!) and put everything away.

We have an overnight planned for Friday as our last night away as a couple before baby comes. We had to cancel our last attempt because Derek got sick….I’m hoping this time works out and that we have a lovely time.

OLD WIVES TALES: Boy or a Girl?

I can’t believe that my due date is exactly a month away (April 10th). Sometime in the next month our lives will be rocked to the core. And at that same time, we’ll find out if we have a SON or a DAUGHTER. I haven’t written a birth plan yet, but was advised to write it on a index card (short and simple). So far, all I have for mine is: “wants husband to announce baby’s sex at time of birth”. I haven’t waited this long to find out to have some nurse tell me “its a boy” or “its a girl” πŸ™‚ So, while there’s still time left to guess, I thought it may be fun to record some of the old wives tales surrounding gender and how I rank. Add your vote if you’d like! This will be interesting to look back on after our boy or girl is here. The one that’s in bold is what’s been true for me during this pregnancy:

Chinese Calendar: Girl
Bump: High (girl) or Low (boy)
Shape: Watermelon (girl) or Basketball (boy)
Dreams: Not one dream about a baby! I had one nighmare about an older child (girl) but that’s it.
Headaches: Yes (Boy) or No (Girl).Β  Only one at the beginning and none since. Love not having monthly migraines during pregnancy!
Heart-rate: High (girl) or Low (boy). At first 170, lately in the 150’s (should be between 120-160. The wives tale is that anything above 145 is girl).
Dry hands: Yes (boy) or No (girl)
Skin Blemishes: Yes (girl) or No (boy). Terrible eczema flair up that thankfully has died down now in trimester 3.
Food Cravings: Salty (boy) or Sweet (girl)… but this is as per my usual. I’ve also enjoyed ice cream during this pregnancy!
Morning Sickness: Yes (girl) or No (boy). While I didn’t throw up, I had nausea throughout trimester 1.

Other interesting fact that likely means nothing at all is that baby is totally on my right side and not my left.

So far, the majority have thought that we are having a girl but we’ve got some votes for boy. What’s your guess? And were the old wives tales true for you?

34 weeks

What is baby up to at 34 weeks (baby center):

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers β€” which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born β€” are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

New: Since the last post (32 weeks), I’ve had a baby shower @ church. It was lovely! I’ve actually felt sad that my showers are over. Time if flying. And we went to Ottawa and picked out our stroller (finally!). That’s a huge relief. We went with Baby Jogger City Mini GT and did the Britax car seat which works really well with the stroller. We weren’t supposed to tell, but a sweet older lady working at the store threw in the car seat adapter for the stroller for free!

Weight gain: 21 pounds! That’s about 3 pounds gained in the last 2 weeks. I’m feeling bigger these days… my coat which I’ve only been able to use the buttons on (not zipper) for a while now is about to be retired. And I’ve started to waddle more on a regular basis. I’ve had some pretty uncomfortable days this past week. I’ve noticed a decrease in my endurance for walking/standing and have had some days of pinching lower back nerves.

Sleep: Fairly good. I wake up often to pee through out the night but am able to fall back asleep fairly quickly. Poor Derek was sick with a nasty/severe cold this past week. So he moved out to the spare bedroom but I have a feeling that he won’t be moving back in til the baby is born! I need extra room to sleep with my carpal tunnel hands (keeping them outstretched while lying on my side), so we don’t really have room for two in the bed anymore.

Movement: No more flips, some kicks, periods of movement and periods of no movement (baby sleeping). And I think I feel hiccups at times. At my appointment this week, midwife thinks that baby’s head is down (but not very low) and baby is positioned mostly on my right side. The right side thing hasn’t changed in the last month. Baby’s bum and legs are at the top part of my uterus, so up near the ribs.

Symptoms: occasional pinching back ache, occasional pelvic pressure, low endurance for just walking/standing, frequent bathroom trips, sooo thirsty in the mornings (need to buy a humidifier!), and while last week I thought that my carpal tunnel was getting better, it’s unfortunately getting much worse the last couple of days. My right hand is so numb/tingly and unfortunately, my left hand is starting to develop symptoms now as well 😦 Gosh, I’m hoping I’ll be able to work til April! In better news, while my iron level was low a month ago, it came back normal this week! Supplementing and eating more red meat may be helping.

Looking forward to: buying a new crib. Long story short: we bought one back in December but when it arrived there was damage to it. After thinking the company was going to send us a replacement, we finally were instructed to just return it to the store. So now it’s time to buy another one. I’m not too worried as we have a bassinet for our bedroom for the early weeks. I’m also looking forward to checking more “to-do” items off our list. I can’t believe that when I write my next update (2 weeks from now), I’ll be 36 weeks – so close to full term! Wowzers. This is getting real.

Thoughts on pregnancy in the 3rd trimester

I’ve started to waddle. Not all the time, but it has begun. I now get why pregnant women walk this way! I find that I do this most when I first start walking after sitting. And sometimes (when I do too much)Β  my lower back hurts in such a way that my walk has to be a side to side waddle.

Carpal tunnel sucks. And who knew that it’s quite common in pregnancy?! It’s the worst after sleeping at night. I’m glad that I bought a brace that I only use for sleeping. It seems to be helping already. The carpal tunnel was so bad for a couple of days last week that I became very worried. I couldn’t do basic tasks (typing, writing, preparing meals, even brushing my teeth hurt) and was afraid of how I’d cope with carpal tunnel and a newborn. I hear that it sometimes goes away completely after the baby is born. That’s what I’m hoping for!

I’m surprised that I haven’t had any bizarre pregnancy cravings. And that besides the 1st trimester, my appetite has been fairly “normal” . I follow my hunger cues but they haven’t been as strong as I’d imagine in pregnancy. I’m actually really proud of myself re: weight gain in pregnancy. I’m someone who has struggled with weight since my teens. In recent years, with undiagnosed hypothyroid, I gained a lot of weight. Thankfully, I lost a bunch of weight before baby and healthy eating has helped me to learn when I just want something vs. when I’m truly hungry.

While preparing for labour via taking classes has been a positive experience, it’s also scary! I’m only weeks away from experiencing a physical pain like none other. I recently watched the documentary with Ricki Lake re: The Business of Being Born. Wow, that was eye opening! While I don’t know if I’ll end up having an epidural or not, it was fascinating to learn about the Oxytocin high that women experience after baby is born via natural labour.

I’ve been surprised by the lack of understanding of using a Midwife instead of an OB, as well as the benefits of having a doula. I’ve got comments of surprise when I tell people that we are with the Midwife clinic. A common comment is, “you’re not having a homebirth – are you?” We happen to be planning a hospital birth (to which people sigh with relief), but there areΒ  many benefits to a homebirth that the public seems totally unaware of. And quite a few have never even heard of a doula. I feel super hippie that we are planning on using both! And lucky to have the opportunity.

I’m 32 weeks, and knock on wood – so far I haven’t come down with a cold or the flu during this pregnancy. I didn’t get the flu shot which turned out to be a good choice this winter as the flu shot was the wrong strand. Not getting sick at all by 32 weeks is a miracle considering how much sickness is going on this winter. But my luck may be about to run out as Derek’s started to get sick today 😦

One thing I’m afraid of re: welcoming our little one in about 8 weeks is how much my relationship with Derek will change. I’ve heard that we’ll often feel like strangers passing each other in the night. That scares me. I value the deep friendship and companionship that we share. 7 years married without children (almost 8 years) will surely prove to be quite the adjustment.

Third trimester. It’s hard to believe that I’m here. It feels like a dream at times. After I got out of the 1st trimester, this pregnancy has flown by. I think that I may miss pregnancy afterwards. It will be strange to go from me + baby inside me to just me. I’m sure as I get more uncomfortable as time goes by I’ll be eager to be done with pregnancy. But for now, I’m really trying to soak up these last days of pregnancy and this unique and fleeting time of just Derek and I. For before we know it: our lives will never look the same. Exciting and also, kinda scary. I think the 3rd trimester side effects of pregnancy will help to accept and embrace the inevitable change.