36 Weeks

Just a few more days until I am considered “full term”, although it will be early term, but whatever.  I had a really good week so far.  The holidays were really nice and pretty relaxed.  I was not allowed (doctor’s rules) to travel more than an hour away from the hospital, so we stayed around here and celebrated with my family.  We basically went from event to event for a little over 36 hours, so I was pretty glad to have a break last night.  We will be hosting M’s mom and dad and their spouses tomorrow, so that should be interesting.  After that, we are basically free until Arlie gets here.  I will be grateful for some more downtime this week. 

We had an appointment on Monday.  I got the strep B test done, no results yet and I also got checked.  The NP said that I was a fingertip dilated and 50% thinned out.  She said her head is way down, so I will probably progress from where I was on Monday.  I go back in on Monday, so we will see if I have made any progress.  I’ve definitely been getting some contractions lately.  They are not consistent, but they definitely are different than the braxton hicks I have had in the past.  I can also feel a huge difference in my lady parts.  It is really pretty uncomfortable lately, but I know I am in the home stretch now so I can handle the pain.  Just 24 days left!

 

How far along? 36 weeks 4 days
Total weight gain: 41 lbs.  Not ideal…  I honestly don’t really care at this point, but I am a little concerned for later on when I am trying to lose the weight.  I hope I can do this.
Maternity clothes? I am living in pj pants and huge t-shirts while I am off work.  I’m really not sure what the hell I am going to do when I have to go back to work next week.  I guess wear the same pair of jeans every day.
Stretch marks? None on my stomach still but my legs and butt are pretty covered.  I am hoping that these will fade.
Best moment this week:  Hearing the heartbeat again and seeing my whole family for Christmas. 
Miss Anything? Sleep.  It is a constant battle to fall asleep for longer than a few hours.  I feel exhausted constantly.  M told me that it was getting kind of frustrating to go out of the house with me because I am normally very decisive and on a mission, but lately I am all scattered and weird.  I think this is directly related to how little sleep I am getting. 
Movement: She definitely is running out of room.  Sometimes I feel like she is trying to stretch out and she has no where to go so her limbs are all over the place sticking out of my bump.  Her movements are big rolls and stretches now.
Food cravings: Candy, chocolate, sweets in general.  I don’t really think these are cravings so much as really poor decision making
Anything making you queasy or sick:  Chicken.  And some smells, but nothing specific.
Have you started to show yet? Yes.
Gender:  GIRL!
Labor Signs: Definitely having contractions now. They aren’t consistent and they are not very strong, but they are happening.  I swear I can also feel my cervix either thinning or opening.
Symptoms:  Swollen everything.  Stuffy nose.  Exhausted.  Heartburn and acid reflux.
Belly Button in or out? It is flat on one half and sticking out on the other half.  It looks ridiculous.
Wedding rings on or off?  OFF 😦
Happy or Moody most of the time:  I’m pretty happy.  Feeling rather content with life right now.  I am really quite impatient at this point and I am hoping that she makes her debut sooner rather than later.
Looking forward to:  Another appointment on Monday, and a few more days off from work.  Really though I am just looking forward to her being here.  It is so close now.

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Arlie’s Room

I’ve finally gotten around to posting some photos of Arlie’s room.  It has been done for about a month, but I am lazy and hadn’t climbed up the stairs to take some pictures…

I was pretty adamant about not changing the color in the room because the light blue that was already in there was really nice.  Plus, I am not a girly girl at all, so having to re-paint and/or have a pink room was not an option.  Not to mention that the amount of pink clothing and blankets we have is kind of ridiculous.  Anywho…  We tried to make the room look like a girl’s room without going crazy. 

Shot from the door:
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The crib:
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Other side of the room:
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Her closet, shoes and stuffed animal collection:
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A few extra shots:
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And my favorite part…  Her cloth diaper collection:
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I have to credit M for building the shelves and installing them, and my best friend, K, for painting the letters for Arlie’s name.  The rest of the room slowly came together and I am really happy with it.

35 Weeks

Tomorrow I am officially at the 30-day-left mark.  And that is both exhilarating and terrifying.  I feel like I am so very ready, but there are some times right now when I am laying in bed and getting an extra 15 minutes of sleep and I think to myself, this will not be happening in a few weeks to a month.  Arlie’s needs are going to come first and while I am perfectly happy with this revelation, it is still quite scary.  I am pretty scared of not being able to sleep and not being able to get a break if I need it.  I will have M and my mother is close by, but I don’t really want to rely on other people.  I want to be able to do this and I want to eventually be really good at it.  Arlie deserves for me to put my 100% effort into being her parent and while that is going to be an enormous challenge, it will also be something amazing.  With the exception of M, there isn’t anyone else that can take on this challenge and this is motivating in ways that I never thought possible.  I just can’t wait.  I want to see her face and her little fingers.  And her baby feet.  I can’t get over the ultrasound pictures of her little feet.  There is something about those fat little wedges of cute that I can barely handle.

Last night was our last child birth class, thank goodness.  That was such a epic waste of Thursday nights for the last 6 weeks.  We finally talked about actual birth last night and I was so excited to finally get to this point of the class.  Turns out, I should have expected more of the same crap because we only talked about it for about 10 minutes, then watched the most outdated and pointless video (it showed three women laboring and giving birth, but it was about 5 minutes long and the women when from labor to birth in about 2 seconds, and the actual births were not shown.  They just all of a sudden had babies in their arms.  Pointless).  Then we spent another 15 minutes or so talking about good positions for labor and actually practicing them.  I have already been reading a lot about positions, so I was all over this.  Basically, I spent two and a half hours last night wishing that it had snowed again so we could have missed this class.  Oh well, I’ve learned my lesson.  Never again.

How far along? 35 weeks 4 days.  31 days to go!
Total weight gain: I’m guessing right around 40 now.  I’ll find out for sure on Monday.
Maternity clothes? Yes.  I am sincerely concerned about what I am going to wear to go back to work after the first of the year.  Everything is uncomfortable now, so I am a little concerned about additional growth and trying to fit into my maternity clothes. 
Stretch marks? Yes.  Fortunately, not on my stomach.  But my butt and upper thighs are ruined.  My calves are kind of marked too right at the top, but my lower legs are also extremely swollen, so I think it has to do with that as well.
Best moment this week:  We installed the car seats (one in my car, one in M’s car) and we are finally ready to go.  I also had a one week break from doctor’s appointments this week, which was nice.
Miss Anything? I sincerely miss sleeping.  I know I keep saying this, but it is absolutely true.  I also miss being able to get up off the couch, out of my car, out of bed and down stairs with ease.  My body is in moderate pain pretty much all the time now and moving in general is becoming difficult.  My little body is not used to this much extra weight or to the new center of gravity.
Movement: She has some very strange patterns.  There are days when she is all over the place and stretching and rolling and going crazy nearly all day, and then she has other days where she moves a little bit, rests, moves some more, rests, etc.  I think sometimes she gets in a comfy position and doesn’t really want to move.  She also does the cutest thing ever and sticks her little bum out of the top right of my bump.  I love it when she does this.
Food cravings: I’m really not craving anything.  Except for maybe coffee.  I haven’t wanted it for a long time and now all of a sudden I just want a nice cup of coffee.  I think it is because of the weather being so cold and I just want to curl up with a warm cup of delicious coffee.  Sometimes hot chocolate just doesn’t do it for me.  Also, I have been eating a crap ton of yams.  I can’t get enough of them.  I cut up two small ones and bake them in the oven.  It satisfies my sweet tooth, and they are actually good for me.
Anything making you queasy or sick: So my hatred of chicken continues, but I must confess that M roasted a whole chicken this week and I ate that right up.  I think actually having to prepare the chicken is part of the problem.  I still don’t really want it though.
Have you started to show yet? Yes.  NO denying that I am pregnant.
Gender:  Baby girl!
Labor Signs: I have been having a lot of discomfort in my pelvic region.  I have also been getting some pretty uncomfortable period like cramps, which I assume are contractions.  They don’t last very long and they aren’t frequent or regular, but it is definitely that feeling of your period is about to start.
Symptoms: My poor stuffy and sad nose.  I am really hoping that this goes away after she comes out.  I am also swollen every night now when I get home.  My hands aren’t too bad, but my lower legs and feet are awful.  My poor toes are all smashed together and my ankles have disappeared completely.  I look ridiculous.
Belly Button in or out? Ok, so it is completely flat, but this morning I noticed that the top little portion is starting to poke out.  I’m not sure if this is because Arlie is laying across my belly button today, or if this is actually happening.  I’m kind of hoping that it doesn’t happen.
Wedding rings on or off?  Off sadly. 
Happy or Moody most of the time:  I’m pretty happy.  I feel pretty good about being 9 months on Monday, and getting to these little milestones is always exciting.  I just feel content now.
Looking forward to:  All of my family will be here next week.  It so rarely happens that my sisters and I are all in the same place at the same time.  I’m super excited for Christmas too.  It will be nice to have a few days off where I can relax and sleep and be lazy.  I also have an appointment on Monday and I will be checked to see if I am dilating at all.  I’m trying not to get my hopes up on that one, but I can’t help it.  I would love to go in and have them tell me I am dilated and she is engaging.  I don’t necessarily want her to come earlier than term, but I would like to know that we are at least making some progress.

34 Weeks

The weather this week has completely wreaked havoc on my schedule and on this town.  I live in a relatively small town, and we rarely get weather like this.  It does snow every year, but the amount is usually minimal and is gone by a day or two afterwards.  But we ended up with 8-9 inches of snow, followed by seriously low temperatures for a week.  This resulted in nearly every street being covered by a few inches of ice and snow on top of the ice.  I was told not to drive by my doctors (apparently an accident at the juncture in pregnancy is a direct ticket to L&d) so I have been having to get rides from people and basically be carted around to various places.  My parents saved us over the weekend by bringing some groceries to our house because they have a truck with 4-wheel drive and chains and M and I have cars that are clearly not built for driving in the elements.  I am very lucky to have so many people around me that were willing to be my saviors…

The weather also meant that I missed a couple of appointments so this afternoon I have two lined up and one next week.  The hospital is actually located on the top of a pretty steel hill, so it would have been nearly impossible to reach it this week with all the ice.  I told M that if I were to go into labor, he would have to call a two truck or an ambulance to haul me to the top of that hill.

How far along? 34 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain: 36 lbs.  Ugh.  I still have a ways to go, but my weight gain has seemed to slow down a little….
Maternity clothes? Only maternity.  I can’t fit in anything else.
Stretch marks? Thighs, lower legs, butt.  Its a mess below my waist.
Best moment this week:  Hearing Arlie’s heartbeat again.  And purchasing our final items we still needed for her.  I love making lists and then checking things off of them.
Miss Anything? Sleeping is pretty much the hardest thing I do now.  And my body just plain hurts.  I’m not used to not being able to move.
Movement: Arlie moves quite a bit for three or four days and then takes a day or day and a half off.  I wish she would just move all the time, but I know she needs time to sleep and time to grow.  I can’t wait for her to be here!
Food cravings: I’ve not really been craving anything lately.  Mostly I am just too tired and my stomach is too squished for me to eat too much.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still chicken.
Have you started to show yet? Yes!
Gender:  GIRL!!
Labor Signs: Braxton hicks are happening more often.  She is also putting a lot of pressure on my pelvic area.  Its rather uncomfortable.
Symptoms: Swollen hands and feet.  Stuffy nose/ bloody nose.
Belly Button in or out? Completely flat now.  And stretched like crazy.  IT actually looks kind of bruised.
Wedding rings on or off?  Sadly, completely off now.  My fingers are so swollen.  Its kind of gross.
Happy or Moody most of the time:  Pretty happy.  I love this time of year and I am happy that I will get to see all of my family in a week, including one of my sisters that I haven’t seen since April.  I am also getting super excite to have some time off and take a mini break before Arlie gets here.  I am so exhausted and I need a break.
Looking forward to: Seeing my family.  I’m also kind of weird and I am super excited for my next appointment.  Its kind of going to suck a little because I have to do the strep B test, which I am not looking forward to, BUT I also am going to be checked at this appointment, which is super exciting.  I really want to know if I am dilating at all.  I have this very strange feeling that Arlie will be here early (I actually have a specific day and time, but I’ll keep that to myself for now…) and I am excited to see if I am going to be right.

Where did this come from?

I’ve literally spent the last 30ish weeks worrying that Arlie won’t make it here.  And now that we got incredibly good news, I have been thoroughly freaking out about ACTUALLY HAVING A CHILD.  Good lord, somehow I skipped over the terror of becoming a parent and now it is hitting full force.  Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited.  Probably more excited about this than I have ever been about anything before in my life.  But holy crap, this kid is going to require all of my attention for years.  That is stinking terrifying.  And on top of that, I have no idea what to do with a newborn.  I have never been particularly good with other people’s children, (mostly I am scared I will break them or swear in front of them or various other scenarios where I make a complete ass of myself) and it scares me that I will be fully responsible for a baby in a few weeks.  M has been in this boat for months, silently freaking out about actually having to be a parent and I poo-pooed him until this weekend.  He’s totally right.  This is scary shit.

I guess I will now have to calm myself down for two reasons.  One is that I am still worried about her health and getting here safely.  That will probably not ever go away and I will be worried right up until I am holding her in my arms.  But now I am worried about my ability to actually be a parent.  I mean, we have our two dogs and we treat them like little humans, but it just isn’t the same.  I won’t be able to just leave Arlie home during the day like I can with the dogs.  Unless I want to go to prison.

You know, I’ve spent the last two years of my life waiting for this to actually happen and now that it is I am a solid mixture of scared shitless and crazy town excited.  I just can’t wait to meet her, but I know that meeting her also means the reality that I have a baby and it is my job to take care of her.  Bring it on, world.  I’m ready for this little lady to be here.

33 Weeks

I have been home today because it has snowed 8 inches.  I took full advantage of this and spent most of my day doing a puzzle.  It has been really nice to just sit and relax and not worry about going anywhere.  I plan on doing some cleaning and cooking tonight and some more rearranging in Arlie’s room.  I am not a huge fan of the snow, but  sure do like a day off.

Yesterday was our follow up appointment with the maternal fetal specialist.  I was incredibly nervous all this week.  Even though everything has been going great and she has been measuring on track at the other ultrasounds I was still worried that something would show up.  Turns out I was worrying for nothing.  Arlie looked perfect.  Her cord looked good, the insertion is very high on the amniotic sac and she is measuring in the 50th percentile.  The doctor said she weighs 5 pounds now and I should expect her to be between 7-8 pounds at delivery.  The entire appointment was such a relief.  The specialist is so reassuring and calm and I could not appreciate that any more than I already do.  He answered my questions without judgment, he made me laugh and he acted like my worries were perfectly normal.  Basically, both of the experiences I’ve had with this office are the absolute polar opposite of the doctor’s office here.  To be perfectly honest I just wanted to hug him yesterday.  We are officially cleared to give birth at the hospital here and that is great news.  He also confirmed that she is head down and getting ready to go.

I also had my baby shower this last weekend.  It was pretty fun.  I seriously hate being the center of attention.  There is a reason I am an event planner…  I prefer being behind the scenes and not up front where everyone is staring at me.  It got really awkward when I had to open presents in front of people.  The room was completely silent and I kind of started to hyperventilate.  Everyone was staring at me and I was sweating and having trouble catching my breath.  I am essentially a huge pussy, but I don’t think I could handle something like that again.  We did score some cool stuff and I am glad I agreed to have the shower, mostly because I don’t want to miss out on any of the experiences associated with having a baby.  But no lies, I will probably never do that again.  I do not want to sound ungrateful, because I am very grateful and I loved seeing my friends and family, but the awkwardness is just too much for me.  I will gladly let Arlie take the attention from now on. 🙂

How far along? 33 weeks 4 days
Total weight gain: I am officially at 34 lbs gained.  And I am only a few away from 200 lbs.  I would really prefer not to get too that point, but I’m not sure I care anymore.  She will be here in a few weeks and then I can start to re-focus on getting fit again.
Maternity clothes? I have a seriously limited wardrobe these days.  I have two pairs of maternity jeans that fit and two dresses, plus a handful of tops.  I am piecing together outfits everyday and I am seriously looking forward to being able to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes.
Stretch marks? Yes, butt, thighs and lower legs.  They are not attractive at all and I am hoping that they fade at least a little after Arlie is born.
Best moment this week: Seeing my sister and my nephew this last week.  I miss them so much and my nephew is such a joy to be around.  My sister is the best example I have of a good parent right now and I loved watching she and my brother in law with my nephew.  The other best moment was seeing Arlie again and getting the reassurance that she is doing really well.  Such an enormous relief.
Miss Anything? I sincerely miss sleeping in every single way.  I wish every night to sleep through the night, but my sleep is broken up by trips to the bathroom, trying to get into a comfortable position, trying to find a way to lay that I can breathe and sweating profusely.  I know that once Arlie is here, sleep will be even more elusive but I have accepted that as my choice and my reality.
Movement: She moves quite a bit now.  And even though it isn’t big kicks, it reassures me daily.  She does a lot of rolling and jamming her extremities out of the bump.  Yesterday the ultrasound confirmed that the part I keep feeling on the top of my bump is her hip.  She doesn’t really seem to have any set pattern at this point, but I can tell there are foods she likes more than others and she seems to be a pretty big fan of Queen.
Food cravings: Milk and red meat.  I also love cereal.  I’m not sure if I would really classify any of these as actual cravings, but they are what I like to eat right now.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Chicken is still the enemy, and a lot of other foods are causing heartburn and acid reflux now.  Its really a guessing game.
Have you started to show yet? Yes, I am showing in every possible way.  There are times that I walk past a mirror and I am genuinely alarmed at how big I look.
Gender:  Baby girl!!
Labor Signs: A few braxton hicks here and there, and she is head down now.  Otherwise, not much else.
Symptoms:  Stuffy nose, swollen hands and feet.  My pelvis is sore all the time.
Belly Button in or out? Out.  It has never looked stranger.
Wedding rings on or off?  Unfortunately, off for good now.  I tried earlier this week to wear my ring and it got stuck.  Two hours later I finally got it off and it has been sitting on my night stand since then.  I miss it.
Happy or Moody most of the time:  Happy for the most part.  I am so excited to have her here and I am looking forward to Christmas now.  I only really get moody when I feel like people are being annoying or judgy.  I’m actually kind of over people other than M and my friends right now.  I just want to hide some days.
Looking forward to: Christmas!  And getting ready for the festivities.  Arlie’s room is done and I am really excited about it.  I can’t wait to have her home and in the room with me.

Holidays

Here we are finally in December, which is so exciting because I am a bit of a Christmas freak.  For me it’s not really about the gifts and money and all that jazz, but way more about the spirit and the atmosphere and the decorating.  And the cookies!  My family has had a tradition since before I was born to make a series of cookies that are passed down from generation to generation.  I am Swiss/German on my dad’s side and most of the traditions that we follow now are from that side of the family. To be honest, I’m not even sure if my mom’s family really had any traditions.  Anywho, Christmas for me is about making my house cozy and festive and doing a hell of a lot of baking.  Because this year I may go into labor at any time, I am trying to get as much of the baking done now as I can.  I’m also making a bunch of freezer meals for me and M for now and after Arlie is born.  I am kind of scared to have the responsibility of cooking after she is born, at least for the first few weeks, so freezer meals that M can throw into the oven seemed like the best plan.  So far my list looks like this:

Quiche (3)
Pizza Casserole (2)
Bread Pudding (2)
Stuffed Manicotti with sauce (2)
Mexican Lasagna (2)
Eggs Benedict Casserole (2)
Cheeseburger soup (2)
Mashed Potatoes/ Mashed Sweet Potatoes (2)
Cream cheese cookies
Bourbon Balls
Matrimonial Bars
Bratzellis
Graham Cracker Dream Bars

The quantities are all estimates at this point.  Last night my intention was to make 4 quiches, but I ended up with 5.  Which is actually a good thing because I didn’t have to make any extra food for myself or M for the next two days.  I feel like nesting has totally kicked in because I have an overwhelming desire to get everything taken care of and ready to go, even though we are a little ways out.

We go to the specialist on Thursday morning.  I am both excited and so nervous.  Even though Arlie has been doing fine and all of the other ultrasounds showed that she is growing on track, I am still very nervous that we will go there on Thursday and get bad news.  I don’t have any reason to actually think that, but the possibility alone is enough to throw me off a bit.  I’m not scared at all about possibly having to deliver early or have a c-section, but I am scared of finding out that something else is wrong or that they missed something on a previous ultrasound.  I have to believe that everything is ok and hopefully it will be.  I also have a semi hilarious list of questions I want to ask the doctor (mostly about procedural things) and I made M promise to ask the really embarrassing ones.  At the last appointment, I was kind of overwhelmed at everything, so this will be a good opportunity for me to ask all my weird questions.  We are also going to pre-register and take a quick tour of this hospital as well if there is any indication that we would have to deliver there.  The best case scenario is that the doctor tells us that everything is good and that we should be prepared to deliver at our normal hospital.  I am also bringing a bag for us, just in case.  I figure if I don’t take a bag, we will have to stay there for some reason and if I over prepare and take a bag, we will be sent back home to wait to deliver.

Gah, a lot pours out if I let it…  Looking forward to Thursday and getting the answers we’ve been waiting for. 🙂