Archive for August, 2012
Depending on how you judge it (some people say 37 weeks, some say 38), I’m now one day shy of full term pregnant.
And this is what that looks like:
I’m no longer panicked. I feel like some sort of calming hormone has been released, and even though I can get ragey about all kinds of other stuff, I am not afraid of labor, or being a mom anymore. Maybe I should be?
I know we’re as ready for this as we can get. I know Tim is going to be a totally amazing father, and we are going to be lucky enough to have family and friends to help us find our way.
Anyway, remember how I said I wouldn’t write a birth plan? Well, I’m still not, but we decided it would be a wise idea to have a cheat sheet regarding purely medical decisions, just in case. I refuse to say things like "I will want music" or "I will require vanilla-scented candles, green Gatorade, and three pillows" because I still have no idea what my preferences will be. But medical decisions probably won’t change in the moment. So, without further ado, my birth “cheat sheet” or whatever:
- I would prefer to have a flexible birth environment above all else and want to know my options before any decisions are made.
- I would like to go without pain medication for as long as I can tolerate, but I am open to pain relief and will ask for it if needed. In the event that I request pain relief, I would prefer an epidural to analgesics.
- I would prefer to tear naturally over an episiotomy.
- After the birth, we would like the cord clamping and cutting delayed until it stops pulsing. We would prefer to delay any non-emergent procedures such as a bath until after breastfeeding has been established.
- In the event the baby and I must be separated, Tim is to stay with the baby at all times.
- We are undecided on circumcision and would like to speak with our pediatrician before it is done.
Anyway, that’s the best I could come up with, and I think it’s pretty clear. I really hope I don’t get the eyeroll for being the chick with the birth plan, but I think this one’s fairly flexible, which is what we were going for. (BTW, skin-to-skin immediately post-birth is the default at my hospital, which is why I didn’t write it in there.) I may or may not even give it to my doctor. I don’t know. It was helpful to write it out, anyway.
- Another doctor’s appointment. Everything is normal. I saw the OB this week who did my D&C back in November, and it was bittersweet. Seeing him reminded me of my losses, of course, but I’m glad to be seeing him in this state this time around. He was very impressed that I have not had any swelling at all, my blood pressure was in the 120/70 range, baby’s heartbeat was 152 and my fundal height is right on track.
- Serious craving for fountain pop. I want a huge Diet Coke with lots of ice, and the canned variety will not do.
- At least 2-3 bathroom trips overnight. Laying on my side all night makes my hip ache ON that side, so I tend to sleep to the left, get up to pee, switch to the right, get up to pee, repeat.
- Generally large, tired, easily annoyed, and my back and hips ache, but…you know. That’s normal, I guess. I feel surprisingly good given the circumstances, so long as I take it relatively easy and don’t try to do too much.
And now…we wait.
So, one thing people have told me to do is to really take these last few weeks and DO things.
I think it’s solid advice. Most of my nesting is done, I’m too big and clumsy to do any serious cleaning, I have no desire to cook freezer meals, and I will drive myself batty coming up with more ways to organize the baby’s socks in his drawer if I sit at home.
I certainly don’t think our lives will END after we have this baby, but they will undoubtedly change and I’m soaking in the DINK lifestyle for all I can right now.
So. In the last few weeks, I have:
- gone to a Chiefs game–my first NFL game, ever. It was in a suite and was pretty swanky, and now I never want to sit in regular seats again.
- gone to a Royals game–work-mandated, but still fun.
- taken more hot baths than I care to count. Epsom salts plus tub jets is like pregnancy catnip.
- gotten pedicures and manicures. Several. If I can’t reach my feet, it’s worth the $22.
- napped on weekends and after work. When the urge hits me now, I don’t fight it!
- hosted a BBQ for friends (which they then, sweetly, turned into a baby shower of sorts for us) and stayed up later than usual, chatting and eating cake and watching them drink beer
- gone out to dinner, just the two of us
- walked around Target solo, taking as much time as I wanted
- gotten caught up on dentist visits, ordered prescriptions that needed refilling, and put bills on monthly auto-pay
This weekend, I’m planning a haircut/dye/eyebrow wax on Friday, brunch with girlfriends on Sunday, and next weekend, we’ll probably do one last casino trip with Tim’s uncle!
What other things should I do before the baby comes?
Every pregnant lady does one. Why should I be any different?
Anyway, this is my shot-in-the-dark attempt to pack for the hospital. I’m 36 weeks now, so, you know, go time is in the horrifyingly imminent future.
I cobbled this all together from recommendations from friends, the hospital’s suggestions, and various blog lists.
First things first—we are not really duffel bag people. This is a medium size wheely suitcase, with one half dedicated to Tim/food, and one half dedicated to me. We are also bringing the diaper bag with baby stuff in it.
Top to bottom, we have:
- Comfy man shorts
- Extra t-shirts
- Swim trunks (in case I want him to get in the giant birthing room shower with me, and/or need him to rescue me out of it)
- Ziploc bag filled with snacks. Our hospital doesn’t really permit food beyond clear liquid during labor, but Tim might get hungry and I’ll be there two days. Plus, we walked by the cafeteria and it smelled awful, so I’m going to guess I might get hungry at some point. Snacks include:
- Peanut butter crackers
- Mini-bags of cookies (I am pretty sure I will deserve a damn cookie after birth)
- Fruit leather
- Clif Shot Blocks (kind of like clear liquid, right? Might get snuck in if I get starving during labor)
- Packets of almond butter (ditto)
- Trail mix
- Camera charger
My side of the bag:
Again, roughly top to bottom:
- “Sleep wrap” from Target—super comfy, was on clearance, figure it will be nice to throw on over a nursing tank if I decide to ditch the hospital gown later on
- Hair dryer—they don’t have them at the hospital and my hair is not air-dry friendly
- Pajama pants
- T-shirt for going home (it fit me until about 23w pregnant, so I’m hoping it will work)
- Nursing tank
- Toiletry bag, including:
- Body wash
- Contacts (I wear daily disposables)
- Hair ties
- Headbands (a Sweaty Band and a Bondi Band)
- Nursing pads
- Crappy giant underpants
- Boppy (the one thing the hospital lactation consultant said to bring)
- Baby book—for footprints/handprints
- Aden and Anais swaddle blanket
- Two sleepers
- One newborn sized
- One 0-3 month sized (sidenote: we got this sleeper as a gift and I’m obsessed—it’s super soft and adorable and has fold-over mittens on it)
- Two onesies
- One newborn sized
- One 0-3 month sized (also, in case baby is born on a Mizzou gameday)
- Going home outfit
Things we will need to pack last minute:
- Camera and cord
- Phone chargers
- My glasses
- This nursing-friendly sports bra I just ordered that I might want to labor in
- My purse, which will have ID/lip balm/etc in it
And that’s that.
Anything glaringly obvious that I’m forgetting?
Repeat photo, because I’m giiiinormous and if I don’t laugh, I might cry.
- 100 squats challenge has been so-so this week. It’s been a very very busy week at work (think 13 hour days mostly on my feet) and I’ve been very very sore from it. I did squats every day except Thursday and Friday and I’m going to start again today.
- General food aversion seems to be flaring up again. Nothing really sounds or tastes good (except for sweets), so I’ve been doing bare-bones cooking only. I could happily exist on plain noodles for dinner, but for Tim’s sake I’m trying to at least do a few half decent dinners a week.
- Our front living room has become a dumping ground for assembled baby gear. We’re not really sure where we’ll want to keep various baby containment devices yet, so we plan to deploy them to different areas of the house as needed. I am assuming, for now, that the baby will sleep in the Rock n’ Play sleeper (not pictured) in our bedroom at night. The Pack n’ Play has a changing station and newborn nap thingy, so that will probably live in our other living room downstairs. The bouncer and swing will float to wherever they’re most useful at the time, and the carseat and snap n’ go frame will, of course, be for traveling.
- I’m pre-registered at the hospital! I had an appointment on Monday where I spent about an hour with a labor and delivery nurse, asking and answering questions. I also got a tour of the birthing center, which I think is a perfect balance of crunch and modern medicine for my liking. It’s a floor of a freestanding building attached to a real hospital but not as clinical-y feeling—it feels very much like a spa when you walk in! So, you have the full benefit of a hospital at your fingertips, but still a decent amount of peace and quiet.
- I am starting to miss my non-pregnant body. I miss having a more varied wardrobe. I miss moisturizing my own feet. I miss being able to wipe my own butt without dislocating my shoulder. I miss abmat sit-ups. I miss not feeling like a spectacle wherever I go.
- This kid is obviously getting cramped. I don’t so much feel kicks and punches anymore, I feel odd displays of body parts. Like, periodically, he’ll be like, “hey, mom, wanna feel my knee (or butt, or elbow, or whatever)? Here it is,” and stick it out for awhile.
- Zero real contractions. Possible occasional Braxton-Hicks.
Four weeks to go. Less than a month!
(If it’s worth anything, I’m still saying he’ll be here in the September 20-22nd range, but Tim says September 4th. We shall see.)
Someone asked me this the other day, and…I kind of blinked at them.
I don’t really know how to answer. It’s kind of like saying, do you enjoy existing?
One of the things about pregnancy that has surprised me the most is how natural it all is. I feel like I never really noticed any major changes, and it was just like, “yup, this happens. Okay then.”
35 weeks. Kinda big. (But the weird thing is, I don’t FEEL all that huge. Big and awkward, certainly, but seeing pictures…I feel like I should be way more uncomfortable than I am.)
So anyway. In list form, here are the things I like and dislike about being pregnant. Please note that I know I’ve been extremely lucky to have a fairly uneventful, very healthy pregnancy.
- First trimester nausea and food aversions.
- First trimester constipation.
- First trimester constant worry.
- First trimester, pretty much all of it.
- Third trimester exhaustion.
- Having to slow down and eventually stop CrossFitting.
- Sciatic pain.
- Having a limited wardrobe.
- Having a body that is apparently up for constant public comment.
- Having to rely on others to help me more in third trimester, and saying “no” to things
- Peeing in cups all the time
- Second trimester. All of it.
- Feeling, after two miscarriages, like my body is finally “working.”
- Learning to take it easy on myself and not beating myself up for relaxing a little more.
- Seeing Tim and our families so excited to have a new baby on the way.
- Nursery decorating.
- Feeling the baby move (although, this can also feel very creepy and took some getting used to).
- Ultrasounds and Doppler heartbeats
- My baby shower
- Speculating about what our kid will be like, look like, etc.
- Being able to maintain a reasonable level of fitness for most of pregnancy and feeling like a total badass
- Having an excuse to get pedicures
- The giant belly, most of the time.
All in all, I’d say it’s pretty evenly split. I think that overall, I can say I didn’t mind pregnancy too much. I’m at a point where I’m looking forward to being smaller, and less tired again, but I’ve had it pretty good and can’t complain too much.
So what were YOUR favorite and least favorite parts of pregnancy?
Another week, another doctor’s appointment. Extremely uneventful, everything is normal (which is good!) Lumpy avoided the Doppler for about ten minutes again–we’d get a snippet of heartbeat and then he’d roll away. Next week I do hospital pre-registration, and then the week after that is the GBS test (butt q-tip!). So, basically, since my doctor’s office is AT the hospital, I’ll be there every week until the bitter end.
We went to a breastfeeding class at the hospital. It seemed moderately helpful. I think the most useful part of it was meeting the hospital’s board-certified lactation consultant and confirming that she does, in fact, seem to know what she’s talking about. The power went out at the end because of storms, so we missed having a Q&A session. For what it’s worth, she recommends bringing a Boppy or Brest Friend pillow to the hospital with you, but says the hospital will have everything else (nipple shields, lanolin, pumps) in case troubleshooting is necessary.
(We have a Boppy. It was a hand-me-down so I didn’t have much say in the matter, which is fine by me because hey, free stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to purchase a Brest Friend pillow because of the stupid name. Sorry.)
- I want sweets, all the time. In the beginning of pregnancy, I craved salt. Now all I want is sugar! Specifically, cake (half chocolate, half yellow, with my mom’s buttercream frosting), cupcakes (peanut butter stuffed chocolate), pastries (cherry cheese Danishes), and milkshakes (that strawberry milkshake on the Sonic billboard on my way to and from work). I’m trying to not indulge TOO much, but man, I want to.
- The nursery will be DONE today. I will post the full photo tour this week! I adore it and I go in every night before bed and sit in the glider and, you know, discuss things with the baby and all.
- Things to buy before birth: video monitor, breast pump, freezer foods, giant pads, copious amount of snack food, pedicure/haircut/eyebrow wax, something to wear in newborn pictures (for me AND him), burp cloths, coffee
- Started the 100 squats a day challenge. Success! I do four sets of 25 with a short break in between.
- I am exhausted. Way more than I was in the first trimester. I yawn all day long and have taken a few post-work naps, although I try to avoid them because then I don’t sleep as well at night when I do. I think the difference is that in first tri, you’re exhausted, but you can go to sleep and wake up feeling reasonably refreshed. In third tri, comfortable sleep is hard to come by, what with the sciatic pain and the inability to roll over easily and the having to pee at least twice thing, so I never REALLY feel refreshed.
- This baby is really starting to feel imminent. Like, not abstract anymore—we are going to have an real live baby in our house in the next 3-7 weeks (assuming I deliver between 38-42 weeks at full term). Because of that, I’m kind of indulging in some things I won’t be able to do as much after the baby is here—going out with friends, napping when the urge strikes me, going for pedicures, long hot baths, etc. It’s nice.
- Braxton-Hicks contractions are becoming more noticeable. I mostly notice them in the middle of the night or in the morning, when I’m dehydrated, so I’m trying to drink plenty of water.
35 weeks tomorrow…35 days until my due date! Eep!
I started the 100 squats challenge a day on Tuesday.
And I’ve kept up with it for three days!
My legs were a little sore the first day, and I felt a little stiff, but all in all, I feel good that I’m doing SOMETHING. I generally split them into sets of 25 with a short break in between. It’s just a few minutes out of each day, which is about all I can commit to right now.
How are YOU doing?
So my wonderful CrossFit box has a Facebook discussion page for support, challenges, stuff like that. Even though I’ve officially put my membership on hold, I’m still lurking in the shadows like a creeper, hoping to keep up some sort of fitness mindset while I still can.
A few days ago, one of the coaches proposed a 100 Burpee a Day challenge to the group. I know that at this point, there’s no way burpees are going to work for me, what with the back pain and foot cramping I’ve been dealing with. So I read it, said “yeah right,” and moved on.
BUT, I’ve thought about it and I want to do SOMETHING while I’m twiddling my thumbs here. So, I’ve modified the challenge, and have challenged myself to 100 air squats a day until I give birth. Squats are one of my favorite exercises ever (fact: I love them weighted, unweighted, front, back, thrusters, jumping) because I have freakishly strong quads, and they haven’t really bothered me this pregnancy at all. Also, squatting is allegedly a great position for birth, so why not?
So, anyone want to join me? No rules, just…do 100 squats every day. Do them weighted, unweighted, for time, at a leisurely pace, jumping, whatever. The challenge is supposed to run 100 days, but I’ll be tapping out when I birth this kid which will, hopefully, be in roughly 40-50 days. But you can do 100 days if you’d like.
This…I can handle.
So on Monday, I had a MOMENT.
You may all have guessed that I am not the most sentimental of people. Pregnancy has been, if nothing else, very abstract for me. I can’t comprehend that there is a baby inside me. Sure, it got a little MORE real once we found out “it” was a “he,” but I just can’t wrap my brain around it. I’m not the type to do prenatal yoga and bliss out thinking about the wild connection I have with my baby. Just…not my style.
So anyway. Monday of this week was Nesting Day. I got home from my baby shower and proceeded to Put Things Away and Do Baby Laundry and Pay The Sweaty Man to Assemble the Glider and Spend The Gift Cards and other necessary things. It was over 100 degrees and I worked up a good sweat and was disgusting.
Around dinnertime, I finally took a shower. Since I felt clean for the first time all day, I went into the nursery, and sat in our brand new squishy glider, and picked up one of the books we’d gotten at the shower: I Love You Through and Through.
I sobbed, hysterically, by page three.
I sat in that damn glider and cried, and rocked, and cried, with snot bubbles and everything, for at least half an hour. I could not stop. Was it hormones? Probably. But they are NO JOKE.
And THAT was when I realized that I really, really love this baby, and that despite all the worries I have every single day about becoming a parent, I think we’re going to be okay after all. I don’t really understand what is happening to me, but it’s serious stuff.
Ahem. Other notable goings-on this week:
- Actually last week, but I forgot to blog about it–Tim and I took a Baby Care Basics class. I am pretty sure we one of the few sets of parents there that were not either under 18 or appearing based on a court mandate, so it was not entirely helpful. There was a good amount of emphasis on not shaking your baby. Tim learned about nipple confusion and decided that would be a great name for a band. The end.
- MY KNEES ARE SO SWEATY. It actually made me cry at one point. I don’t know why this happens, but the backs of my knees are inexplicably sweat factories, and I hate the sensation of water running down the backs of my legs.
- Cravings: hot sauce, peach shortcake, my mom’s buttercream frosting
- I ache all over. Sitting in a chair at a desk job all day is not pregnancy-friendly. I brought a squishy throw pillow to use as lumbar support and I dare anyone to say anything to me about it.
Cannot even comprehend that I’m now 34 weeks pregnant. What the hell.