36/37 weeks!

Well, I’m definitely getting toward the end here! Sorry to miss a week, but my energy is just gone. Plus, I’ve had some so-so nights lately. One early morning I thought I may or may not have had some contractions. They stopped when I got up and were very irregularly spaced (plus no closer than 15 min apart or so), but weren’t painless like Braxton-Hicks. Then I had several nights where I was just fine, minus one headache. And then the past 2 mornings, I woke up with some pain – not intermittent though, it was fairly constant and when I tried to flip over, the baby was balled up like I’ve never seen her. My stomach was practically triangular pointing upward. It was really weird. But again, as soon as I shifted to my left side I felt mostly better and when I got up, I felt just fine.

Today we had a big appointment! I had a biophysical profile ultrasound to check on babet’s weight, position, and activity, as well as the state of my cervix, placenta, and amniotic fluid. Everything looked good and babet got an 8/8 (based on general movement, practice breathing motions, amniotic fluid, and heart rate) very quickly. She’s also measuring at about 6.5 lbs, which was about 33rd percentile, but the doctor said that was just fine and I’m mostly just glad she’s not huge (even if she does feel like she must weigh about 20 lbs).   I was also kinda hoping for a last minute “yup, she’s a girl”, since I still haven’t washed any girl clothes due to my silly fear of a surprise and many trips to stores to beg to exchange things, some of which may be beyond return dates (this is the crux of the fear here – the things we’ve bought and stuff we’ve done to the nursery. I’d be perfectly happy with a son.). Alas, as usual, babet did not want to share, so oh well. She’s definitely still head down, too, which is good. After the ultrasound, we met the final doctor of the practice, Dr. Gorsuch. She seemed fine. A little less personable than the others perhaps, but certainly capable. She checked my cervix and to my slight disappointment, I’m locked up tight. The doctor assured me that it really doesn’t mean much other than I’m not in labor right now and that technically, I could go into labor tonight if babet decides to come, but I guess I just hoped that some of the pain I’ve been feeling in the past week might’ve made some progress. She thinks the “contractions” I had last week were just stronger Braxton-Hicks. That was a bit heartbreaking to hear. They hurt! But she said that hopefully those might help my body make some progress over the next week and we’ll check to see if any progress has been made next Monday. No date has been set for an induction yet though. Basically, my cervix is not favorable for that right now. I guess that means the drugs to induce me wouldn’t really work right now. As for the more recent pain, the doctor seemed to agree with my guess that laying on my right side is just not possible anymore since the baby is laying mostly to my right side, so I guess she’s just putting more pressure there – she suggested I try to sleep on a recliner if I have trouble on my left side, too.

Anyway, in general I’m definitely tired after being up about 8-10 hours and have been kinda achey if I walk much. The support belt helps, but my belly feels so low and heavy and it sometimes feels like her head is trying to fall through me (haha, like it would be so easy for her to just fall out). I’m also up 3-4 times a night to pee, which isn’t fun. Getting out of bed is hard, especially having to get out of the pillow taco I’ve got set up (huge u-shaped pillow, plus an extra head pillow, plus 2 more side pillows for extra back and belly support). Rolling over is also difficult. So, basically, I’m starting to kind of be ready for babet to be born. I’m just so uncomfortable. I did have a bit of a freak out a couple nights ago, realizing it could be any day now, but Chris told me he believes in me and knows we can do it, which made me feel better. I do kind of selfishly wish she’ll wait till at least the 3rd though, so we can see TSO, lol. It’s just so weird not knowing what’s going on and when she’ll want to come. Of course, if I have to be induced at 39-40 weeks, that takes some of the uncertainty out (assuming I don’t go into labor on my own before that day), but that adds a whole new issue of increasing anxiety up to that day, just knowing exactly when it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited. I’m just also very nervous. Nervous about labor, nervous about not knowing what to do when we get home, etc.

My hospital bag is for the most part packed (just have the few unpackable items left like my pillow and phone charger) and I’m preregistered at the hospital. The swing/bouncer/pack n’ play are all assembled and ready. The car seat is installed, though not yet inspected. We’re going to see if the hospital will do it, since apparently our local fire stations (who the childbirth class told us to go to) aren’t allowed to inspect them anymore and the resource the fire stations referred us to has one inspection day per week, a good 40 minutes away in an unfamiliar area. There may be a closer location on another date, but I’d have to wait till another week – for all I know the baby might be here by then. We followed the directions though, and it seems to be snug, so I’m not terribly concerned. The doctor today mentioned that she thinks the hospital does check for us. And finally, I’ve changed my mind on our chosen pediatrician. We didn’t interview or anything – we originally just asked the OB for a recommendation and they gave us a list including both our original choice as well as our new one and I just randomly chose one practice even though their most highly recommended doctor wasn’t actually available for new patients. The one I changed my mind for now we’ve at least met and heard his doctoring style and thoughts on different topics at the parenting class, so that was kinda like an interview and so now I feel better about choosing him over the other place. So, really, all that’s left, I think, are a few last minute items still to pick up from Babies R Us. And I have to start thinking about Christmas.

In other news, we had Chris’s family in town this week, which was really nice. We went out to eat a lot, did a lot of relaxing, walked around the mall, mom-in-law and I had mani/pedis (which was soo nice! I just can’t reach my feet properly anymore and they were in dire need of some TLC), and set up the Christmas tree! For Thanksgiving, everyone suggested we go out so I wouldn’t have to cook, which I appreciate, so we went to a nice restaurant called Upstream and had a really great buffet with carving stations. There were so many food options – we definitely all had plenty of choices (even me!). I was very well behaved with my diet and only had a small amount of carbs – a small spoonful of loaded mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing, 2 small spoonfuls of a really amazing sweet potato casserole (how I wish I could’ve had an entire plate!), and a few bites of a few mini desserts (including pumpkin pie which I’ve so been craving) . And my after dinner reading was actually still good! Yay me! The next morning was a tad higher than the awesome results I’d been getting the past week, but still under the limit (after bf was a point high – I just sat around though. I probably could’ve avoided that with a walk or something). And I seem to be completely back to normal now.

And here’s a belly picture for 9 months (although technically, I took it today at almost 38 weeks):

9.5 months

9 1/2 months!

How Far Along: 37 weeks!
Baby’s Size:
Babet is the size of a stalk of swiss chard and weighs about 6.5 lbs.
Maternity Clothes: Of course.
Best Moment this week:
Having family visit.
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Still going strong.
Food Craving: Sugar. I miss sugar. I’ve been building a list of things to get after babet arrives!
What I miss: Sleeping comfortably.

Sleep:
Bah.
Belly Button: Still technically an innie. It just looks like it’s being pulled downward a bit, so it’s pretty shallow.
What I am looking forward to: TSO on Thursday!!

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35 weeks!

Not a whole lot to report this week. We had another non-stress test at our weekly OB appointment and baby did well again, so that was good and pretty uneventful. I also had the routine group B strep test, to see if I’ll need antibiotics before babet comes so she doesn’t get exposed to it (if I have it) when she’s born. I also got to meet Dr. Sharawy finally and I really liked him. He was definitely very knowledgeable, answering all of my questions and, from what it sounded like, teaching one of the nurses something baby-related out in the hall. He was also really nice. I’m always a bit more iffy about the male doctors, but he’s super nice and I felt totally comfortable with him. After looking at my blood sugar result sheet (which I forgot last time), he commended me on my great results and said I was clearly doing a good job managing it, which made me feel good, especially considering how frustrating the whole thing has been. He also comforted me when I mentioned being a bit on edge this week about Chris being out of town for business. So, I like that he’s a good mix of straightforward smart answers and comforting. I can kind of understand why he’s been so busy – I think it’s because he’s popular and really spends time with his patients. So, I kinda hope he’ll be on call when babet decides to come. Or, if I end up having to schedule an induction, maybe I can request a time he’s on. Of course, there’s quite a few doctors at this practice, but even if someone else is on call, I’ve liked everyone else so far. I think there’s only one doctor we’d be less enthusiastic about – not unhappy, just a little less enthusiastic. So, I’ve got another appointment next week with another non-stress test, but I couldn’t schedule the last doctor I haven’t yet met until the appointment after that, if I make it to then. Hopefully I’ll get to meet her.

As I mentioned, I’ve been a little down about Chris being away this week. I know the doctors have told me it would be pretty unlikely for me to go into labor this week and that Chris would be on his way home right away if I did, but I’m still a bit nervous and a little lonely. I miss him. Monday I felt decent, Tuesday I felt like crap all day (really tired and achey all day, plus I slept weird and my hip/back hurt a bit for the first half of the day, so I just wanted to vegetate all day), and Wednesday and today I’ve felt better again. I actually went to Target yesterday to get a few things I needed and did a little bit of cleaning in preparation for family visiting next week. I still have a few more things to do around the house though over the next few days.  I can’t wait till Chris gets home though.

How Far Along: 35 weeks! (though I suppose you may have noticed I write these posts at the end of my gestational weeks, so technically I’m always a week later than the post says)
Baby’s Size:
Babet is the size of a honeydew and probably weighs about 5.25 lbs. Perhaps just a bit bigger if babet is still 55th percentile. I can’t believe how big that sounds to me, considering how tiny she (and all babies) started out. And how big that feels…
Maternity Clothes: Of course. Been wearing the belly support sling the past few days, too.
Best Moment this week:
Meeting my new favorite doctor! We also bought our TSO tickets. I really hope we get to go.
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Much more of the large rolling movements that I can see from the outside and feel very distinctly, especially on my right side. I even recorded a video of it on my phone! I’m not sure if I’ll post that or not though…I’m not sure people want to see my bare belly, lol. Though it’s from my point of view, so I guess it’s not so bad as straight on.
Food Craving: Sugar. I miss sugar. I’ve been building a list of things to get after babet arrives!
What I miss: Sugar.

Sleep:
Bah. With Chris gone, I’ve commandeered both of his pillows, thus bringing my pillow fort count up to 4 (one of which is body sized and U-shaped), but I’m still pretty uncomfortable. Getting up is hard and once I’m up for the day, I’m still pretty exhausted after only a few hours up.
Belly Button: Still an innie. It seems to definitely keep getting shallower, but it’s putting up a fight! It doesn’t want to go out! It seems to be shaped differently this week, but I can’t tell if it’s just because it’s moving further outward or if babet has dropped. It just looks like it’s being pulled downward a bit.
What I am looking forward to: Chris coming home tomorrow and his family coming to visit next week!

34 weeks!

Well, I’m a tad late on this week’s post, but oh well. I’m pregnant. I’m sure you’ll understand if I’m lazy sometimes.

So, I guess the biggest news this week is that we’ve got most of the nursery done! 😀 I love how it looks! I do still need to put a few things up on the walls and find a few more things to put on the hutch shelves, but it’s definitely ready for babet in terms of functionality. The painter did a great job – you can’t tell at all that most of the border is still under there. It just looks like a lovely light pink room! And the white trim  and new white childproof outlets and light switch all look so nice next to the pink. I don’t know what color the trim was before – some sort of murky off-white. So, big improvement overall! The furniture came on Saturday and the delivery guys put everything together for us, so we didn’t even have to figure it all out. And it’s all solidly put together, so no worries there. Once I walked in the room when they finished up, I was so happy. I couldn’t believe we finally had nursery furniture! I got straight to decorating, putting in the crib bedding, valances on the windows, and a few miscellaneous items around the room. I’m still waiting on babet’s custom painted name letters and I still haven’t put up the wall vinyl, but I figured I may as well show you all what it looks like so far, since it’s mostly done. Of course, any of you who are my Facebook friends (probably most of my, like, 5 readers) have already seen these, but that’s ok.

 

Crib
Crib and rocking chair. (lamp off) A few notes: 1. Yes, the bumper and blanket will be moved once babet arrives. I just wanted to see it all together. I don’t know what I’ll do with the bumper (maybe hang it over the  dresser hutch…), but I’ll be hanging the blanket on the wall between the dresser and window. 2. That space over the crib  won’t always be empty. I still need to put up the big branchy/flowery wall vinyl I have as well as babet’s custom made wood letter name hanging, which I’m still waiting on.  3. That chair cover is horrendous. I love the color of it, but it’s a just a king-size fitted sheet. It looks baggy and ridiculous. Oh well. 4. The space to the left of the crib is space for the closet door to open. 5. The wall color is a bit hard to capture on camera – you’ll see it better in the “lights on” pictures.
window
View towards the window, with the lamp on. I wanted to include a mix of lights on/lights off pictures since it really changes the shade of the room. The lamp puts out a bit of a pinkish glow that’s really warm.
dresser
Dresser and hamper. (also a small pile of trash – just ignore that!) (lamp on) Ths picture really shows the color of the walls the best.
closets
View towards the closet (it’s one closet with 2 doors). (lamp off)

I also put together babet’s swing and bouncer seat. The swing gave me a bit of trouble – one of the screws it came with was kinda melted and misshapen, so I ended up having to exchange the whole thing for a new one, but the new one is now put together and ready to go! For some reason, there was a $0.75 credit after the exchange, too (for the same item!)…which the employee put onto a gift card for me. Oh boy! 75 cents! What ever shall I buy? The bouncer was much more straightforward and quite easy to put together, but geez, the fabric is so tight on these things. I understand you want it to be snug to hold your baby, but it’s practically a slingshot! At least there’s a safety belt. I should probably put together the pack n’ play at some point soon, too. Maybe this weekend.

We also had a doctor’s appointment this week. Babet had her first non-stress test (externally monitors fetal heart rate, contractions, if any, and fetal movements for 15 min or so), which we’ll now be having weekly (we’re finally on to weekly appointments!) and which the doctor said looked good. I also met a new doctor, Dr. Vuong, who I also liked. I’m really glad I’m liking all the doctors. She was very thorough and asked me all about my blood sugar readings and felt my belly and said that it feels like babet’s head is still down, which is good. She also answered all of my questions really well. The biggest news I got was that I won’t be allowed to go past 40 weeks because of the gestational diabetes. I’m not sure how often women go past their due dates, but it’s kinda cool to know for sure that babet will be here by the 15th or so (and a little scary – that’s only like a month away!!). I was a little concerned about spending Christmas in the hospital and having babet’s birthday be on Christmas, which I imagine would kind of suck for her. But, no need to worry – apparently we’ll do an ultrasound around 38-39 weeks to check on her size and check my cervix and decide what to do. If I go into labor on my own before 39 weeks, fine; if not, we’ll schedule an induction for between 39 and 40 weeks (that does scare me a tad. I’ve heard induced labor can hurt more than normal labor thanks to the drugs they give you). A scheduled C-section would only be necessary if she’s measuring large (I think over 9 lbs) at that ultrasound, so hopefully she’ll stay around 50th percentile in size. And finally, I asked the doctor about the TSO concert, fully expecting her to say something like, “Are you nuts? You want to go to a concert at 38 weeks? No!”, but she actually said there was no problem with it as long as I’m not sitting directly next to a speaker (which we won’t be – we’ll be in the semi-nosebleeds, since we didn’t pre-order tickets through the fan club this year. Which I’m totally fine with. I’m happy to go at all.) and thought the baby might like it, lol. That made my day. And made me like her even more! So, the plan now is to go! I’m so excited! I know I can’t predict how I’ll feel that night, and if I don’t feel right, I won’t go, but assuming I feel good, I’m going and I can’t wait! I love their winter show.

So, that’s about it for this week. Next appointment is Monday; another attempt to meet Dr. Sharawy (I will meet him, darnit! We even saw him at the restaurant where Chris and I had lunch before this week’s appointment. It’s like he’s taunting me! (ok, I know not really.)) Unfortunately, I’ll be alone for that appointment since Chris will be away for work, but I did ask my doctor about the likelihood of going into labor next week and she comforted me by saying it would be pretty unlikely. Plus, Chris has said he’ll be on the first plane home if ANYTHING happens, so I’m not too worried.

How Far Along: 34 weeks! (though I suppose you may have noticed I write these posts at the end of my gestational weeks, so technically I’m always a week later than the post says)
Baby’s Size:
Babet is the size of a cantaloupe and probably weighs about 4.75 lbs. Perhaps just a bit bigger if babet is still 55th percentile.
Maternity Clothes: Of course. Been wearing the belly support sling the past few days, too.
Best Moment this week:
Nursery!!
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Still trying to push my belly button out. It’s kind of uncomfortable at times, but I still love feeling her. I think I may have identified the tiny frequent protrusion on my right side as either an elbow or a foot. My guess is elbow. It feels pointy.
Food Craving: Bags of Halloween candy, whole pumpkin pies. I have such healthy cravings. And can’t satisfy any of them. 😡 Ooh, but! My GD nurse that I’ve been meeting with gave me some post-birth instructions and apparently, I go straight back to eating normally after I give birth! No weening off the horrendous diet! I’ll monitor my blood sugar 3x a week (much better than 28!) for 6 weeks and report to my OB at my 6 week postpartum appointment and do one more gross 1 hr. glucose test (I think only 1 hr…she said 50 mg) to make sure I’m not developing Type II diabetes (she said most women don’t. At least not right away. I am at a higher risk for as I get older, though – so I’ll have to be tested once a year, which I’ve been doing for years anyway.). That was such good news though! I’m totally bringing candy to the hospital!
What I miss: Sleeping comfortably.
My back has been awful lately at night. Getting up to pee, I’m like an 95 year old woman, hobbling to the bathroom.
Sleep:
See above.
Belly Button: Still an innie. It seems to definitely keep getting shallower, but it’s putting up a fight! It doesn’t want to go out! As I mentioned above, babet is still trying to push it out. I do not appreciate this, lol.
What I am looking forward to: Meeting Dr. Sharawy, I guess?

33 weeks!

Still plugging along here. Just a mishmash of little things to mention this week.

We saw some friends from Greenville last weekend, which was great! I wish we could’ve hung out longer, but Chris and I had a parenting class to go to, so we had dinner with them, they stayed over, and then we had breakfast together. I really do miss you guys!

dinner with friends

Us at dinner

I also started my glyburide last week and for the most part, it seems to be working pretty well. I had 2 unexpected borderline mornings, so they told me to report back on Friday with my numbers to see if we need to change it up, but it’s been working much better again the past 2 days, so I’m hoping not. I think I just got up too late those 2 mornings.

We’ve also got the painter out this week! He actually came to the same conclusion we did: that border isn’t coming down without destroying the wall. He tried all sorts of things we hadn’t, also, including some sort of acid! So, he decided the best thing to do would be to spackle over the edge of the border to even out the wall, which he did yesterday, and tomorrow he’ll be back to sand any imperfections smooth and paint! He’s confident we’ll never know the border was there, so I’m hoping it’ll look just fine. And then with the furniture coming Saturday, I’ll finally get to add decor and bedding and see it all come together! Yay! 😀

And then Sunday, the holiday decor frenzy begins (I figured I’d wait till the painter and delivery guys were out of here, lest they think I’m nuts)! Or, I suppose I should say the “holiday decor slow puttering” as I really don’t think I’ll get it done terribly quickly because, although I’m certainly in nesting mode, my energy doesn’t keep up with what I want to do (which is why I’m starting so early). I’ve got a good 8 large tupperware boxes full of decor and I intend to put it all up. We got a new fuller, much nicer quality 7.5 foot tree this year (we’ve been making do (making due? making duu! wooster?) with a cheapo, sparse 6 foot from Walmart the past 5 years or so) , so I’m excited to see that! And this being our first Christmas in this house, I’m excited to see how all the decor looks here. <squee!> I love Christmas! I must admit, I’ve actually been listening to Christmas music on Last FM for about a week now…I’m not well, lol. And anytime a Trans-siberian Orchestra song comes on, I get all excited and then all depressed since we don’t plan to see them this year, given that they’ll be in town only about 13 days before I’m due. Although…I have asked Chris if, on Dec. 2, I’m feeling well and not appearing to be about ready to give birth, if it might be possible to go last minute and try to get tickets in the nosebleeds. And I know there are still tickets left now at least; I checked yesterday. I guess the main question would be whether or not our doctor thinks it would be a terrible idea. We saw TSO on their spring tour when I was about 8 weeks, so I’ve been to a concert while pregnant, but 8 weeks is quite different than 38 weeks. For one, the baby can hear now, so I don’t want to damage her ears – is the baby protected in the womb from loudish noises? It’s not a terribly crazy concert energywise – you sit in seats the whole time, so I don’t have to worry about getting squashed in a mosh pit or something. I’m also not sure I’m terribly worried about the concert putting me into labor – is that even possible? Plus, I’d be 38 weeks anyway, which really isn’t too early to be born. Of course I want babet to cook as long as possible, but a lot of doctors consider 37-38 weeks full term and, I think if our baby were growing too fast due to the GD, the doctors could technically want to get her out that early anyway. But anyway. I’d only go if the doctor okayed it (and assuming I hadn’t already had babet or was in the process of doing so, of course). That would make me happy though. I love TSO (even without my Chris Altenhoff <pout>. I’ve heard Dave Z is a suitable replacement in terms of energy. He even looks a little bit like him. A tad too muscley though.). And dammit – I’ve had to give up my sugar, can’t I just have this? LOL.

And finally, we had our last childbirth class plus a parenting class this week, which finishes up the classes I signed us up for. I’m pretty happy we signed up for them. I learned a good amount in each class. I think the 2 best were the breastfeeding class and the childbirth class. Interestingly, I had different reactions to each of the 3 childbirth class sessions. The first childbirth class (natural birth) didn’t freak me out too much, probably because I don’t intend to give birth naturally unless I don’t have a choice, so I don’t think about it too much. Plus all the massage, breathing, and music kind of lulled me into a false sense of “ooh, this is nice,” since I didn’t actually have the pain accompanying it. Similarly, the last class (C-section, after-birth care, and a touch of newborn care) didn’t freak me out too much – I’d already heard the newborn stuff at the parenting class and the after-birth care was a tad surprising and gross at times, but not too overwhelming. I’m not sure why the C-section stuff didn’t freak me out – the topic has come up briefly a few times in my doctor’s appointments and although as of now, everything is right on target for a vaginal birth, you never know. And C-sections are kinda scary since they’re major surgery and all. I was a total wuss when I had my out-patient laproscopic gall bladder surgery – they had to kick me out at closing time after I spent hours not wanting to stand up and leave thanks to pain and nausea (the guy in the bed next to me apparently left like half an hour after he woke up, completely fine), and then the pain meds they gave me (tylenol with codeine, lame) did nothing but make me even more nauseous. So, I’m not sure how I’d handle a big incision! Granted you get to stay in the hospital for 3-4 days, but still. And then having to wait to hold your baby, boo. And not being able to move too much after you go home so you heal! Chris only has 5 vacation days left this year! Though hopefully, my parents will be visiting not too long after babet arrives, so that will be nice. But anyway, the class that made me the most unsure was actually the medicated birth class. Maybe because that’s my planned route and so I had to imagine myself in that position more. I think I’m just psyching myself out too much. The ladies in the videos looked like they were still in quite a bit of pain and good God, the head coming out…how does it fit? My lady bits shouldn’t stretch that much! And what if the medication doesn’t work? Or I can’t have it for some reason! Or what if I panic because I can’t feel my legs? This is why I shouldn’t research things or learn about things, lol. It just makes me a bundle of nerves. And it’s almost here! Ok, Melissa, focus on the babet. She will be worth it.

And finally, just for fun, me in my little Halloween shirt:

Halloween outfit

A little pumpkin over my little pumpkin!

Halloween outfit side

And from the side, for an extra bump picture! Though, oddly, it looks smaller this week than my 32 week pic.

How Far Along: 33 weeks! (though I suppose you may have noticed I write these posts at the end of my gestational weeks, so technically I’m always a week later than the post says)
Baby’s Size:
Babet is the size of a pineapple and weighs just over 4 pounds! Actually, our ultrasound tech said that babet looked to be about 4 lbs 7 oz, though I have heard ultrasounds can be a tad off on weight.
Maternity Clothes:
Of course.
Best Moment this week:
Seeing friends from Greenville!
Gender:
GIRL!
Movement:
Yup. Hiccups have been more frequent this week, too.
Food Craving: Halloween candy. I let myself have one small piece.
What I miss: Sleeping comfortably.

Sleep:
Still hard to get comfy.
Belly Button: Still an innie. It seems to definitely keep getting shallower, but it still has a ways to go to be an outie, so it might not reach that point. Babet likes to try to push it outward though! That feels weird.
What I am looking forward to: Nursery furniture this weekend!!