Friday, March 30, 2012

{29 weeks}

29 weeks
Size of baby: butternut squash (approx. 15" and 2.5 lbs. - although we were told he was almost 3.5 lbs. yesterday!)

Total Weight Gain: +24 lbs
Continuing symptoms: slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long, acid reflux, aches, pains, and discomforts (especially while sleeping), infrequent but increasing Braxton hicks
New symptoms this week: None
Maternity Clothes: Love wearing the pregnancy full panel jeans to ensure that my bare skinned belly doesn't pop out of any shirt. I've been folding the panel down most of the pregnancy but have just started to enjoy wearing it up.

Sleep: After 5 nights in a row on insomnia last week and the beginning of this week, it seems to have disappeared! Isn't that weird? I am so thankful to be pregnant that I don't want to complain, but by the fourth and fifth night I was feeling exhausted and pretty terrible operating on only 4-5 hours of sleep per night....and got freaked out about how to handle that with a newborn! That's going to be pretty challenging, huh? :)
What I'm Eating: Feeling pretty hungry, which is actually not that fun. A couple hours after dinner I sometimes get really hungry, but the idea of getting up from my comfy chair, making, and eating a snack doesn't appeal to me...but neither does feeling like I'm starving.
Cravings: Greek yogurt with strawberries and granola
Movement: Lots of movements that are feeling more like rolls and wiggles than direct punches and kicks (although I feel those, too). I've started doing kick counts at night, but I start them when I notice he's moving and get to ten movements really quickly.

Special pregnancy moments: Seeing our boy TWICE via ultrasound this week. :) Continuing to hear that all is looking good with him and my pregnancy. Babysitting a friend's little one and kind of pretending to be a mom...and realizing I won't be pretending very soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Growth scan ultrasound!

28 weeks 6 days

I got to see our boy twice in one week, how lucky am I?! :)

All looked well today. The only point of tiny concern is that I do have a fibroid, but all along I was told it is not in a bad spot and is rather small. The ultrasound tech said it is far from an issue, and the doctor didn't even comment on it when he came in to review the ultrasound.

Some really fun facts I learned today:

*Our boy is measuring at 3lbs. 6ozs. at 28 weeks 6 days! Which is amazing considering I was already born by this time and weighed 2lbs. 5ozs...

*He is in the 73rd percentile for size - a bigger boy but not particularly huge, I think :)

*This ultrasound tech said he had long arms and legs, too! I wonder if this will correlate to him being tall like his dad?

*He was head down today (but was transverse on Monday)! I know he will probably still flip around, but I just like knowing where he is in there.

*He has hair! I think I have always imagined having a bald baby since my husband and I are both blond (although when we were born, my brother and I had brown hair and my husband had reddish...). Anyway, she commented that she saw more hair than she normally does at this point in the pregnancy...I wonder how much he will have when he is born?!

So thankful that all looked well! I was shocked when they told me to come back in another 4 weeks for another scan. I asked if it was routine, and she said it is kind of routine but also because of the fibroid?! I LOVE getting to see our boy and have the ultrasounds, but I am also wondering if it's really necessary to drive the 45 minutes, wait almost an hour in the waiting room, and pay the copay when nothing really seems to be of concern. So I'm going to ask my OB what she thinks about me going back in 4 weeks. Other than that, I am one happy mama who is thanking God today! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

OB appointment!

28 weeks 3 days - baby baby boy's face!

I had another wonderfully uneventful OB appointment today! It's so strange after years of infertility and getting bad news at appointments to now be the person who keeps hearing that everything is perfect and right on track. I am so incredibly thankful! Baby's heart beat was 139 bpm, and fluid, cervix, blood pressure, weight (+23 lbs by their measurements...), and fundal height (measuring at 29 weeks) all looked good.

Our boy was laying transverse (horizontal), which I had been so curious about. Who knows if he is flipping around all over the place, but I really haven't been able to guess what his position is so this satisfied my curiosity. I am not worried since he has a lot of time to get head down, and even if he were right now he could easily change positions again so it wouldn't matter anyway!

I was thrilled to get another ultrasound (just happened to land in the ultrasound exam room again...) and see our boy! He was playing with his feet which was so cute! The doctor printed out this picture of his face which isn't very clear, but I feel like his mouth and one cheek are more visible than I have seen before and look adorable to this mama. :) The doctor also commented that his legs looked long, which was fun to hear since my husband is 6'4"!

Later this week I go in for my gestational diabetes test and have a more advanced ultrasound (yay!) that they said is a routine "growth check." Next week we start our 6 week "prepared childbirth series" class, and I am now going in to the OB every two weeks. I have a feeling time is going to really start flying by!

Friday, March 23, 2012

{28 weeks}

28 weeks
Size of baby: chinese cabbage (approx. 14.8" and 2.25 lbs.)

Total Weight Gain: +21.5 lbs
Continuing symptoms: slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long, acid reflux, aches, pains, and discomforts (especially while sleeping)
New symptoms this week: Braxton hicks - I thought I had one at 18 weeks, but haven't had any since then so I'm not sure. But this week I definitely had a couple. Insomnia...
Maternity Clothes: A few of the more "form fitting" shirts feel like they could get too short pretty soon here!

Sleep: While I generally feel more comfortable while sleeping thanks to my body pillow (not completely ache free, but better), I've started to need to get up once a night to pee. And after I pee....I can't fall back asleep. I've been up for at least two hours per night with insomnia for the past few nights. Any tips on how to help this?!
What I'm Eating: I was quite hungry this week. Hence the weight gain?!
Cravings: Greek yogurt
Movement: Lots of sweet movement. I also noticed hiccups for the first time last night!! My friend who is also pregnant said she has been noticing hiccups for awhile, but I hadn't. I wasn't sure if I just didn't notice or know what to look for, but last night I just knew it was hiccups. :) (And based on where the hiccups were, I think he is breech right now).

Special pregnancy moments: Had our first pediatrician "interview" and it felt like such a milestone and reminder that we are going to be parents, and have a child who will need to visit a pediatrician.

Saw lots of family last weekend and my mom, dad, brother, and grandma got to feel baby boy move :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

{27 weeks}

27 weeks
Size of baby: cauliflower (approx. 14.5" and 2 lbs.)

Total Weight Gain: +18
Continuing symptoms: slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long, acid reflux.
New symptoms this week: General aches, pains, and discomfort...especially when I sleep, exert myself, or stand too long.
Maternity Clothes: Ready for some warmer weather to wear my warm weather clothes!

Sleep: Sleeping was much more difficult this week. I felt like I couldn't fall asleep because I was uncomfortable, and then woke up every hour with my hips aching and needing to roll over. I tried pillows and this pregnancy wedge that my husband got me but nothing was helping. (The wedge gets really good reviews and we liked that it was small since we share a double bed (and yes, you read that right...I've never wished we had a bigger bed until recently, haha!), but it just didn't seem to work for me). BUT I am happy to report that last night I got a pretty large body pillow and slept the best I have slept all week last night! It is coming with me when we go to our parents' houses this weekend, and anywhere else I go while pregnant!
What I'm Eating: I was quite hungry this week. Sometimes hunger comes on rather suddenly and I feel ravenous!
Cravings: Beef. My friend mentioned that she was craving beef, and it made me want a big juicy burger. It tasted so good! My husband and I thought we might share the burger and fries, but I decided I wanted my own and would take home any leftovers...but I ended up clearing the plate.
Movement: We went to the movies and saw Act of Valor last weekend. My husband was excited to see it, and although I try to avoid watching war movies because they make me too emotional and I can't handle the suspense, I decided we should go see it. I made it through by closing my eyes through much of the actions scenes, but overall it was pretty fun. Anyway, baby boy was very active during the movie, and we thought he started new rounds of kicking during intense gunfire scenes! My husband actually felt a little bad and said we may be scarring the poor boy, haha!

Special pregnancy moments: Third trimester!! Seriously, can you believe it?!? I know some professionals start the third trimester at 28 weeks, but others say 27 and I figure it makes sense because it's roughly 13 weeks in each trimester. I can't believe we are getting that much closer to meeting our boy!

A college friend of mine is pregnant and due 3.5 weeks before me, and she and her husband came up for the weekend. We had a lot of fun talking pregnancy and baby talk as couples. I also hosted a shower for her while she was here, and it felt so different to be pregnant at a shower rather than trying to just make it through without an emotional meltdown. I was thankful for a fun and special weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On birth plans

Another part of the "pregnancy club" is talking about birth. I really have always enjoyed hearing or reading birth stories, and even when I was up to my eyeballs in infertility grief I could barely resist. For some reason birth is simply fascinating to me. Clearly, it is fascinating to a lot of other women, too, because everybody wants to share their stories and advice.

I live in an area where it is very common to create a birth plan and seek to have an unmedicated birth. A birthing center just opened here in the fall and I already know one friend planning to deliver there. Another friend who lives a couple hours away has been filling me on things she has learned in her Bra.dley classes, and I have enjoyed hearing about it. She has a birth plan in place that involves a lot of specific things she wants and does not want.

But despite all of that, I am not going to have a birth plan in the sense that most people talk about it. I DO have a plan, and that is to have an epidural and a healthy baby, Lord willing.

I have had many great conversations with others about their birth plans and shared my own expectations, but I have also had some that made me feel judged. One person told me that I was uneducated about the benefits of natural birth. I saw somebody on a message board call people like me "passive" about giving birth rather being proactive about what I want.

But the thing is, these are proactive choices that I am making...that others simply might not agree with. I have grown up hearing about my own premature birth due to my mom's incompetent cervix as well as my brother's birth defect when he was born that required immediate surgery, and I think those things have highlighted for me the very real risks associated with childbirth. Similarly, my mother in law had three children - two preemies (also an incompetent cervix), one of whom was born breech which resulted in complications, and one full term baby but her placenta separated from the uterus and caused severe hemorrhaging. So out of five children between my husband's and my families, not one normal birth...and you can't say any of those are due to unnecessary medical interventions, epidurals, or C-sections.

Those experiences, as well as my husband's and my belief in the scientific process and research that the medical community uses to determine their practices for labor and delivery, have made us pro-actively decide to have a hospital birth in which we will do things per the doctor's/ hospital's standard methods. I know this is not error proof, as many practices have evolved and changed over the last thirty years, but we believe it will best ensure the safety of our son and myself.

That said, I have full respect for those who choose otherwise. I do believe the vast majority of births are complication-free and the end result would be the same for those who choose, say, a homebirth. Personally, I NEED the assurance that if there was a complication, I am in the best place and already have the expectation that anything necessary will be done to deliver our boy safely. My kind of "birth plan" brings me the most peace and least anxiety about birth, but I can definitely understand that that is not the case for everyone.

I don't have any special reasons for the epidural, and I see that as simple personal preference. I don't think I have a particularly low pain tolerance, but I take Tylenol when I have a headache (and am not pregnant). I just think it would be nice to not be in severe pain, and am thankful for things like epidurals during birth that are options in modern medicine.

At this point in my pregnancy I am kind of excited about giving birth. I am a little nervous about potential complications and the pain I will experience (before the epidural or if I am unable to get one), but I am very thankful to have this experience and love knowing that the end result will be holding my boy in my arms. And then I will have my own birth story to tell. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

{26 weeks}

26 weeks
Size of baby: cucumber (approx. 14" and 1.75 lbs.)

Total Weight Gain: +17.5
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long, hard belly in morning
New symptoms this week: I was just telling a friend how great I feel with very few symptoms, aches, or pains! However, the very night I said that, I experienced some acid reflux (not painful...just nasty) and could NOT get comfortable in bed. And as I rolled over I felt like it was more difficult and my belly felt heavier. Maybe it was just a fluke or the start of the soon-to-come third trimester discomforts?
Maternity Clothes: Still feeling cute-pregnant :)

Sleep: I slept really, really well except for the last night of this week mentioned above.
What I'm Eating: Appetite has been pretty normal this week.
Cravings: None, felt like a normal week!
Movement: He is continuing to be an active boy in there and I can't help but tell him I love him when he starts to to move. I am continuing to feel kicks and punches, but I have also felt more rolling movements that are fun.

Special pregnancy moments: A number of friends have gotten to feel our boy move! My entire small group of high school girls took turns feeling him when we were at camp, and my friend K felt him move at homegroup. Also both of my in-laws have felt a kick! It's so fun to share the experience with others and see their faces light up when they feel him kick. :)

Also, we (mostly) finished the nursery this week and I love it!! It's definitely my favorite room in the house and I go in there all the time just because I love it. The only thing we have to do is hang the ceiling fan. Pictures to come soon, although I might wait until the ceiling fan is up so they are the "real" complete nursery pictures.

Less than 100 days until  my due date!

Friday, March 2, 2012

{25 weeks}

25 weeks
Size of baby: squash (approx. 13.5" and 1.5 lbs.)

Total Weight Gain: +16.5 lbs. However, at the doctor's 4 days ago I weighed in at maybe my scale is a little more forgiving. But I also know I weigh myself around the same time on the same day of the week wearing the same clothes (the outfit pictured each week), so I am choosing to go with my number. :)
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, slight nose congestion, back ache if I stand too long
New symptoms this week: A couple mornings this week I woke up and my belly was really hard. I thought I had had a Braxton Hick contraction at 18 weeks, and that time I felt it hardening (now I wonder if I really did because I haven't noticed anything since and it was the middle of the night....maybe I was dreaming!). Anyway, these mornings I never felt it tightening or anything, it was just rock hard when I got out of bed.
Maternity Clothes: I wore two of my favorite shirts this week - I will have to take pictures for you soon! :)

Sleep: This was a great week sleep-wise! I even slept on a hard bed with a plastic mattress of the weekend as a counselor for our high school youth group's winter camp without too much discomfort - just one major hip pain upon waking that quickly went away. It's strange that I felt more uncomfortable a few weeks ago than I do now!
What I'm Eating: Continuing to feel hungrier but trying not to over do the eating. Some days my appetite feels normal and other days I feel ravenous.
Cravings: Peanut Butter Puffins cereal. I wake up excited to eat this.
Movement: Last week I felt like his movements had lessened a little, but this week they were back in full force and even stronger. I wonder if he moved less last week because I was a little sick? But anyway, there have a been a couple times this week that he kicked so hard it made me flinch as though I were startled - especially laying in bed falling asleep. He moves all day long with breaks in between, but he moves the most and the strongest when I am laying in bed at night (or, at least that is when I can feel him the most and the strongest).

Special pregnancy moments: One night this week I was laying on my side and my husband and his arm draped over me with his hand on my belly. Our boy was especially active and ending up kicking the hardest we have ever felt and we were both quite amazed! It felt like "family time" to lay there like that feeling our boy move.

Having a great appointment this week and seeing my boy via ultrasound! Somebody commented that I get a lot of ultrasounds, and I definitely feel like I do! My OB has a machine in one of the exam rooms, and I think if you end up in that room you just get an ultrasound because it's really not anything more than using the doppler, and she knows it makes her patients happy. It certainly made my day!

I am loving the experience of being pregnant, and part of me wants it to slow down so I can enjoy it for that much longer. This very well could be my only pregnancy and I want to cherish it. But at the same time, I feel like I am in the "middle" where I have been pregnant for awhile but I still feel like June 16 is too far away. I am getting excited to meet my son and time seems to be going a little too slow for that! :) That said, I know my due date will suddenly be very close and I will wonder how this pregnancy flew by.... I wish I could have both - having him in my belly AND in my arms at the same time. :)