Wednesday, August 31, 2011

35 Week Survey

How far along? 35 weeks and 4 days
How big is baby? According to The Bump, 17.2 - 18.7 in. and 4.2-5.8 lbs; roughly the size of a honeydew melon.
Total weight gain/loss: Up 27 lbs.
Sleep: Same as last week: "Still having the RLS, but its hitting me more during the day now. I get so stiff in the middle of the night, that it causes serious pain and takes major effort to change positions. We camped this past weekend, and slept on an air mattress that kept losing air. I had the HARDEST time rolling around on it! I've given up on sleeping in, as I get tired of lying in bed being uncomfortable."
Best moment this week: Having a HUGE baby shower with so many friends and family.  Also, Josh spent some time "hanging out" with the belly a few nights ago, and little man was being very active for him.  He talked to the kiddo, and gave him good night kisses.  Totally melted my heart.
Movement: He's constantly moving.  Sometimes when he pushes out against me, I push back with me hand, and he moves away.  As soon as I move my hand, he does it again.  Its our little bonding time.
Symptoms: Oh you know, just all the regular stuff.  With the addition of major cankles, swollen feet, and headaches.
Symptoms I DON'T have: Carpal tunnel syndrome (or any of the symptoms) and heartburn.
Food cravings: Just food
Food aversions: Nothing that I've found.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: None, except for increasing Braxton Hicks contractions.
Belly Button in or out? Still flush with the rest of my belly, with the exception of one small area right above the "pucker" of skin that is the belly button.  That part sticks out.  Its like the protrusion and the skin don't match up!
What I miss: Being able to move like a normal person, and my regular clothes.
What I am looking forward to: Being one week closer to delivery!
Milestones: Installing the carseat and putting his diaper bag and the Boppy pillow in the car.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pediatrician Meet & Greet

Today was our pediatrician meet & greet appointment. Josh saw Dr. S at this clinic from the time he was born until he was 22 years old. So when we discovered we were expecting, there was no question that Dr. S would be this little babe's pediatrician.

Until Dr. S decided to retire this month.

Which meant we had to find a new pediatrician. Luckily, there are multiple doctors in this clinic. Dr. S helped pick his replacement, Dr. H, and spoke very highly of her, as did his nurse. This nurse has been with Dr. S forever and is very familiar with Josh and his whole family.

So, we set up our appointment, and went in not knowing what to expect.

We instantly liked her.  She is young and perky, and very friendly.  She is not pushy of her opinions in the slightest.  She told us we would find a multitude of opinions between doctors, books, hospitals, etc., and that there really isn't any right answer on many topics.  We need to take all of the information we encounter, and use that to make the decisions that are right for our family.  This really struck a cord with me, and I appreciated the lack of a "my way or the highway" attitude. 

We talked about our plans thus far, such as breastfeeding, vaccinations, circumcision, etc., and she explained the schedule for her coming to see him in the hospital and our subsequent checkups in their office.

She answered all of our questions, and made us consider some things we hadn't previously.

Overall, it was a great visit, and I really look forward to working with Dr. H in the coming years.  Now we just have to wait for little man to decide he's ready to arrive!

Breasteeding Class

As a part of our childbirth class, a "Breastfeeding Your Baby" class was offered.  Since I do, in fact, plan on breastfeeding, I decided to sign up for this class in hopes of gathering some useful information.

The class was last night, and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  The teacher is a Labor & Delivery nurse, and has breastfed all three of her children for a year plus.  She was funny, open, patient, and generally put everyone at ease, even the dads that came to the class!  She even gave us her cell phone number, and encouraged us to call any time of day or night to ask questions or run any concerns we have by her.  She said she routinely gets calls in the middle of the night from new moms, with a wide variety of questions.  How's THAT for service?!  I seriously want this woman to come live with me for a few weeks after the kiddo is born.

We went over the benefits of breastfeeding and myths regarding breastfeeding.  We also talked about feeding breastmilk from a bottle, the use of pacifiers, breastmilk storage, and pumping.

Then came the hands-on part of the class.  Everyone was given a balloon, which we blew up to resemble breasts.  We then got a baby doll, and practiced latch techniques and different positions to hold the baby in.  It was nice to actually be able to physically practice this, rather than just watching.  Obviously it will be different with a real baby and a real breast, but some practice is better than none!!

I left the class feeling much more confident in my ability to breastfeed, and with all of my questions answered.  I'm so glad the hospital offered this class, and now I just have to wait for little man to arrive!

Monday, August 22, 2011

34 Week Survey

How far along? 34 weeks and 2 days
How big is baby? According to The Bump, 17.2 - 18.7 in. and 4.2-5.8 lbs; roughly the size of a honeydew melon. 
Total weight gain/loss: Up 25 lbs.
Sleep: Still having the RLS, but its hitting me more during the day now.  I get so stiff in the middle of the night, that it causes serious pain and takes major effort to change positions.  We camped this past weekend, and slept on an air mattress that kept losing air.  I had the HARDEST time rolling around on it!  I've given up on sleeping in, as I get tired of lying in bed being uncomfortable.
Best moment this week:  Realizing in just under 3 weeks, this little boy will be considered full-term!
Movement: I can feel him making total-body movements now instead of just kicks/punches.  He will occasionally stick a foot out, but mostly its him balling himself up, pushing his back or butt out.
Symptoms:  Just about everything imaginable.
Symptoms I DON'T have: Carpal tunnel syndrome (or any of the symptoms) and heartburn.
Food cravings:  Just food in general :)
Food aversions: Nothing that I've found.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: None, except for increasing Braxton Hicks contractions.
Belly Button in or out? Now totally flush with the rest of my belly.
What I miss: Being able to move like a normal person, and my regular clothes.
What I am looking forward to:  Our second baby shower this coming weekend, and then going shopping for last minute items!
Milestones: Knowing our little guy would most likely do just fine if he were born today!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

32 Week Survey

How far along? 32 weeks and 5 days
How big is baby? According to The Bump, 15.2-16.7 in. and 2.5-3.8 lbs; roughly the size of a squash. We are now getting to the point where his length growth is slowing down, but he's gaining approximately a half a pound a week!
Total weight gain/loss: Up 22 lbs.
Sleep: Always sleepy, but having some mild insomnia in the middle of the night.  This is due in large part I'm sure to my Restless Leg Syndrome.
Best moment this week: Our childbirth class.  It was a neat experience to have with Josh, and really put us in "baby mode"!
Movement: Still as strong as ever, but slowing down some.  I can tell he's getting cramped for space!
Symptoms: Not even worth answering...
Symptoms I DON'T have: One of the only ones I can think of is heartburn.  I've always suffered from heartburn, and I'm actually really surprised I haven't had it with this pregnancy.  I do, however, have acid reflux, but I think I'd rather have that anyday!
Food cravings: Anything.  Although my appetite has slowed down, due to lack of room.
Food aversions:  Nada!
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: None, and let's keep it that way for 4+ more weeks!
Belly Button in or out?  Mostly flush with the rest of my stomach, although there is one area that is starting to poke out.
What I miss: My ribs not hurting, being able to get comfortable, not wincing every time I get up to walk. What I am looking forward to: Our first baby shower this coming weekend, followed by our last vacation without the kiddo starting next Wednesday.
Milestones: Realizing our baby will be here so SOON!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School

Waaaaay back in March, I started looking into childbirth classes.  I knew that one organization associated with the hospital offered them, and decided to go ahead and register for the class.  That class happened this past Saturday.

Josh moaned and groaned about having to give up an entire Saturday to sit in a class learning about all the beautiful (and gory/disgusting/gross) things that go along with labor and the birth process and subsequent recovery.  But, he knew there was no fighting me on it.

So, Saturday morning, we showed up at the hospital with our two pillows we were instructed to bring, unsure of what to expect. 

The instructor of the class was a very sweet, soft-spoken woman, who had previously been a labor and delivery nurse. You could tell right away she loves her job and all things related to birth and babies.  There were 8 other couples in the class, and it was a very relaxed atmosphere.  We started off the class with all of the dads introducing themselves and their partner, telling the group the due date and sex (if known), and what the highlights have been of the pregnancy so far.  Then, the moms were to state what the highlights have been for them, and what one of the not-so-great parts has been. 

We then moved into hormones, the labor process, how the baby moves into birth position, how he/she rotates through the pelvis to fit out, and what to expect to happen right after the baby is born.  She had models of everything, including a placenta, amniotic sac, uterus, umbilical cord, and pelvis.  Although I'm fairly familiar with how everything happens, it was neat to see how it happens "in person" (although it was much less gooey and gross than a real birth!).  It was also good for Josh to see, and to help him understand it better.  After all, you can only get so much from a book. 

We talked about contractions (both true and Braxton Hicks), how to time them, and when to head to the hospital.  Next came breathing techniques to help with the pain, and massage techniques.  We did the "He, He, Ho" and "He, He, He, Ho" you commonly see/hear about it.  The instructor then brought out cups of ice chips, and we were told we were going to do a little experiment.  We each grabbed a handful of ice, and held it for 50 seconds.  Oh.My.Gosh.  It hurt.  Fifty seconds is a LONG time to hold ice in your hand.  We then switched hands, and practiced the two breathing techniques while holding the ice.  Holy Moly!  It helped!  The ice was definitely still cold, but those 50 seconds weren't nearly as uncomfortable as the first.  One neat thing was the labor coaches were put on the spot to actually coach.  The moms were told to have a mini-freakout about halfway through the "contraction", and the dads had to help us get focused again and continue our breathing.  At first, most of us were laughing.  But then, we really started to get into it!  Josh was great at knowing what I needed, and brought me back down to a calm level where I could get back into my breathing rhythm.  [And no, I'm not stupid enough to think that holding those ice chips equates to the pain of a contraction.  Obviously everything in labor will be intensified by about a million, but this was a nice little practice step.]  The massage techniques were by far my favorite part- the instructor dimmed the lights, had us moms get comfortable, and gave the dads racquet balls, "nukkles', and other tools to try out.  So basically, we got a ten minute massage in the middle of class :)  After the massages we tried out different positions to try while laboring, including kneeling over something, the "slow dance" position, being on all fours, etc. 

Next came pushing.  We were propped up against our "labor partners", and told to bend our knees and put our hands on our knees.  The instructor would time a 60-second "contraction", and we would practice breathing in, holding it, and "pushing", while our partners counted to ten.  We would do three "pushes" per contraction.  [Obviously, we weren't actually pushing; just practicing the positioning and timing.]  I could hear Josh counting to ten behind me, and at first, I could tell he was just kind of halfway going along with it.  But then, he leaned in close, and started counting in my ear, tapping my leg or arm in time with the counting, and really put in maximal effort.  I think this was the exact moment we both had our "Holy Crap" feelings.  We had a bathroom break right after this part, and while walking the halls, we both were kind of freaked out- but in a good way.  It hit us- we're actually going to be going through this in just a few weeks.  All of this practicing is because IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  A BABY is going to be coming OUT and SOON! 

The rest of the class time was spent talking about what happens after the baby is born- the suctioning of his nose/mouth, cleaning him up, bonding time, etc.  We also discussed pain options during labor, and she demonstrated how an epidural is done.  Next came postpartum care (all of the guys' FAVORITE part, I'm sure).  Then, we headed down to the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital for our tour.  We were able to see the delivery rooms (which are HUGE), how the beds break down, the birthing tubs, and then the postpartum rooms.  Josh and I have both seen the postpartum rooms several times lately, due to all of the babies born to friends and family in the last few months.

We were supposed to watch a video, but the equipment wasn't working, so we're all getting a copy sent to us in the mail. 

After the class was done, Josh decided the class was a good idea, and that it wasn't nearly as bad as he expected.  We were given handouts on the material from class, including a hospital packing list.  Which Josh has decided we need to do NOW.  Just in case. 

Doing all of this practicing makes me feel more relaxed for the actual impending birth, and also made me fall in love all over again with Josh.  He is going to be a fantastic labor coach/birth partner, and an even more incredible dad.  He has always been my strength and my rock, and proves this again and again.

Next up is my breastfeeding class at the end of August, and then we hurry up and wait for the little man to arrive.  We are 32w2d, and (hopefully) have less than 8 weeks to go!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Big To-Do

List, that is.

I figure if I post my master to-do list here, I can't misplace it!  Here is the list:

Baby Room:
  • Hang ceiling fan
  • Fix closet doors
  • Wash bedding
  • Buy/install blind for window
  • Install heater
  • Hang/make/buy decor
  • Major grocery shopping trip in mid-September
  • Major Costco shopping trip
  • Buy anything left on registry after baby showers
  • Buy mini toiletries for hospital bag
  • Buy snacks for hospital bag
  • Buy nursing bras and nursing tanks
  • Get breast pump and supplies
To Plan/Organize:
  • Figure out where/with whom Molly will be going while we are in the hospital
  • Find insurance papers to add the kiddo to Josh's insurance
  • Update phone address book with numbers and groups so mass texts can be sent out
  • Plan/make freezer meals for after kiddo comes home
This is all my puny brain can think of currently, but I'm sure I'll be adding to it over the next few weeks.  Can't believe that in 6-9 weeks our little man will finally be here!