Friday, March 30, 2012

It's all downhill from here

Hi folks.  I'm not quite sure where to begin with this one.  There's lots floating around in my brain the C-section will after the C-section will go...what Reese will look like...what I will look like (!)...etc, etc.  I guess I'll start with the doc from today and then move on to my other wandering thoughts. 

Doc appointment today was the most on-time it's ever been.  Walked in at 9:48 am for my 9:50 am appointment, peed in the cup, and as I was heading back to the waiting room, Nurse Shari called me back to be weighed and measured.  Up a couple lbs, making up for last week where I was at a stand-still.  Blood pressure (top number) up a little bit, but not the bottom.  I had warned her it might be because I've had a stressful morning (more on that later).  She wasn't worried about the top number going up, because the bottom has been a consistent 72(!) the whole pregnancy.  Yes world, I have low blood pressure.  Into the room for Dr. OB and away we go. 

I don't think I reported this but at my last appointment, Dr. OB and I wandered into some foreign territory and kind of got into it a bit over something not even really related to my pregnancy at all, but more about how doctor's operate.  She got upset with me it seemed, and I felt bad because while it had nothing to do with my pregnancy, I certainly didn't mean to upset her nor did we really need to be discussing what we were.  So last Friday, I had written a very nice thank you note to her apologizing for upsetting her and telling her how happy I was that she was my doc.  Well, the first thing she said when she walked in was thank you for the thank you.  I really wanted to make sure she wasn't pissed as she was delivering my baby, and our appointment this morning was muy enjoyable...not even a mention of my sodium level or swollen-ness.  YAY! 

Baby Reese is still being a stubborn one and is breech, with her her head jammed up in my ribs.  Dr. OB could feel her butt through my closed cervix, but apparently she's very happy where she my belly!  Heartbeat is still good and we're all set.  C-section is officially scheduled for April 12th at 7:30 am, meaning we need to be at the hospital by 5:30 am!  J will not be happy about that.  We went through the procedure and how that day will work.  We get checked in, checked out by resident, talk to anesthesiologist, and finally about 7:30 am, walk back to the OR.  J gets in his scrubs while I get a spinal for the pain and once that is in and working fine, J comes in and we begin.  Dr. OB said it only takes about 5-10 minutes to get the baby out, it's the stitching up that takes about 30-45 minutes.  Meanwhile, they are cleaning up the baby and giving her to me or J to hold.  (I'm getting teary eyed just thinking about it all.)  Then the three of us go to recovery and we're there for about an hour.  Then we go to our new room until about Sunday, when we can come home.  At some point, the grandparents will meet her, hopefully after I've come off the anesthesia and can experience their joy.  It will be an eventful morning for sure.  Made my last 2 appointments with Dr. OB and out the door we went.  Quickest appointment ever. 

I did ask about after care for me and she said 1) no baths or hot tub for 2 weeks after surgery, showers are okay, 2) I'll see Dr. OB after 2 weeks of recovering, then another 4 weeks, 3) not supposed to drive for the first 2 weeks either, and really 4) take it as easy as possible, letting people take care of me and the house, so I can take care of the baby.

So the other little stressers in our life keep popping up.  First it was Sierra and her bump on her gum.  Then, the other day, I heard the dogs wrestling more aggressively than usual in the back yard, and here comes Sierra with a cut on her lower eyelid.  We determined it will probably heal itself and we've been cleaning it, but it wasn't pretty to begin with and gave me quite a start. 

Then, last night, J kept hearing the a/c come on but not feeling any airflow, so he checked the blower and it wasn't coming on.  That meant a call to the warranty company this morning for a service call.  (This is where my higher blood pressure came from this morning.) I called the first place they told me to call, and the lady was so very rude to me.  She said they could come out between 10 and 2 today.  I replied that I had a doc appointment and couldn't guarantee I would be home earlier than 11:30 am, but if they called me when they were on their way, I could tell them how soon it would be until I was there.  I was then told, it was a waste of their time to sit and wait for me, but apparently not a waste of mine.  It got uglier from there and we both decided we didn't want to work with each other, so we requested a different company.  That company can't come out until Tuesday (technically Monday, but I have this little thing called "work" on Monday), so that's where we stand.  Thankfully, almost every room in our house has fans.  I just couldn't believe how rude the lady was with me!  She even answered the phone with an attitude.  So all of this needs to be remedied before our little Reese joins our crazy house!

Okay, so here's what was going through my mind the other day.  Our battle (if you will) to get pregnant, surely felt like climbing to the top of the hugest mountain out there.  It took forever, took it's toll on our emotions and our wallet, and just wasn't the funnest ride ever.  Once we got pregnant, I felt like I had reached the "goal" so to speak and was at a loss for what to do next.  I'd spent so much time trying to achieve pregnancy and had so many failures, that once we got there, I had no idea what now!  Of course, we muddled our way through the first couple months of the pregnancy and did just fine.  Now that we're nearing the end of the pregnancy, and at what feels like a truly rapid rate, I feel like I'm on a huge slide from the top of that mountain peak.  Things are coming at me faster than I can deal with and even imagine.  I feel like I have a basic knowledge of babies and I'm hoping the mothering instinct will kick in here after she's born.  I'm a bit worried about J, but he's a quick study and I know he'll catch on fast from me, from the nurses, and from all the grandparents wandering around.  But I know it will be a whirlwind. 

I've always been a planner.  That's my job.  That's how I was raised.  And it has served me well.  I always had a lot going on, so everything had to be planned so it got done.  In college, my friends were often amazed at my ability to come home from class, start my homework immediately, and usually be done before dinner when I could then go out and have fun, while they were often times up through the night finishing projects they had waited to do after their fun.  I've done the same in my adult life.  Work first, then play.  But I planned it out so both could be present.  I can't plan this.  I can't plan how Reese will sleep.  I can't plan how often she'll want to eat.  I can't plan my recovery.  We're lucky that at this point (unless Reese turns and flips the switch to come out), we can plan when we'll have her.  But for the most part, the next steps of our lives are so up in the air right now that it scares me.  I can't plan how the money will work out.  I can't plan which daycare works for us.  It's not driving me nuts, but it is definitely in the back of my mind.

So when I get up in the night to pee (we're at 2-3 times a night now), I have to shut my brain off, because if I start thinking about all these things, I'll never get back to sleep.  And I know, that after April 12th, sleep will be something I can't plan on either.

Whew....we're in for the ride of our lives folks.  Hope you will continue to join us!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interesting article to share....

A Tour of Your Baby's Developing Body

Have you ever wondered how well a newborn baby can hear or see? Take this tour of the baby body and find out how a little one develops.

All parents want their newborn baby to be healthy and perfect. So it’s not surprising that new parents have a lot of questions when it comes to their baby’s developing body.
Know your baby's body
While it’s true to some degree that a baby is like a miniature version of mom and dad, newborns may experience the world quite differently than an adult does. A lot of the senses and body functions aren’t fully formed when a baby is born, and it takes time for these abilities to develop.
The easiest way to make sense of what a newborn experiences is with a tour of the developing body, starting with the head. We recruited two top pediatricians to serve as tour guides to baby development.
The Newborn Baby’s Head
Looking at your baby’s head, you’ll probably want to make sure those little ears and eyes are working right. Johnnie P. Frazier, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, says that babies can actually hear fairly well when they’re born. “Hearing tests are done at birth to assure this function,” Dr. Frazier says.
A baby’s eyes, however, take a little time to adjust to their new surroundings. “Newborns can only focus 8 to 10 inches in front of them,” Frazier says. “They like to focus on the human face, and prefer simple black and white images to more complex images. Primary colors become more stimulating about two months later.”
You’ll also notice when looking at your newborn baby that the skull isn’t fully formed. “The fontanel, which is the soft spot on the top of a newborn's head, is present until a baby is 9 months to 2 years of age,” says Hannah Chow-Johnson, MD, assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. “There’s a smaller soft spot on the back of the head that closes by age 6 months.”
New parents may also wonder when their baby will start getting teeth. While babies are born without visible teeth, the development of baby teeth begins in the womb. The basic structure of the teeth and the hard tissue around each tooth is formed by 3 or 4 months of fetal development. A baby’s first tooth (bottom front incisor) will likely make an appearance through the gums at around 7 or 8 months of age. The top front incisors should follow about a month or two later.
The Newborn Baby’s Body
Many of the bones in a baby’s body are primarily made up of cartilage at birth. This makes them flexible yet very strong. But don’t be surprised if your baby looks curled up. “Infants look like little frogs when they’re born, keeping their arms, legs, and hips flexed,” Dr. Chow-Johnson says. “As they mature neurologically, they’ll start relaxing their arms and legs, which become more extended.”
Another common question parents have is about a baby’s skin. “Parents may be concerned with their newborn’s skin peeling or feeling dry,” Frazier says. “Physicians reassure parents that this is normal and no additional oil is necessary.” A small amount of water-based lotion, such as Lubriderm or Eucerin, is fine, she adds.
You may notice a spot in the middle of baby’s chest called the xiphoid process. “This looks like a small bump in the middle of the chest and is an extension of the sternum,” Chow-Johnson says. “This is normal, but it looks more prominent in infants.”
The Newborn Baby’s Immune System
Most newborn babies are born with a functional immune system, however it’s not fully developed. “The immune system is partially protected by the transfer of maternal immunoglobulins into a newborn’s circulation until approximately 6 months of age,” Frazier says. But a baby’s immunity system has yet to build up antibodies from a lifetime of exposure to germs, so great care must be taken to prevent your newborn from becoming sick. “Parents, other caregivers, family, and friends will need to be careful to wash their hands before handling a newborn and should avoid contact if sick,” says Frazier. “Newborns don’t localize infection as well as older infants, so taking precautions to protect them from possible infections is important.”
Baby Development Signs to Look For
A newborn baby’s body moves and reacts differently than that of older children, and newborns have some reflexes that older children don’t have. Chow-Johnson shares some reflexes you may see in your newborn baby:
  • Startle reflex. The arms and legs extend completely, usually in response to sudden movement or sound.
  • Asymmetrical tonic neck. This is also called the fencer's reflex. If you move a baby’s head to one side, the arm it’s facing will extend while the other arm flexes, so the baby will look like it’s fencing.
  • Babinski reflex. This happens when you tickle an infant’s foot in an upward motion, causing the toes to fan out.

“All of these reflexes normally disappear by age 4 to 6 months,” Chow-Johnson says.
Other early signs of baby development to look for include smiling, making speech sounds, and starting to lift up the head. These all happen at about 1 month. By 2 months, a baby will make more extended sounds and begin to get better at tracking you with its eyes. By 4 months, look for rolling, cooing, and laughing.
As a new parent, you’ll watch your baby’s body move and change with delight. If you have any questions or concerns about baby development, be sure to talk with your baby’s doctor.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here I am, as promised

Hi Bleeps, told you I would be back.  It's definitely been a couple of crazy days, but will try to sum up without writing a novel. 

Let's start with Friday.  Appointment with Dr. OB - we are weekly now.  I think I see her and her staff more than my own friends at this point!  Anyway, no weight gain.  No pep talk about sodium - thank goodness!  Essentially, she said that this baby girl isn't going to turn and we need to prep for C-section.  She asked me what days worked the week of April 9th.  I said, "Thursday or Friday."  So that's when she told her nurse to try and schedule.  Upon getting to the window to check out, I realized that Friday is Friday, the 13th, and there is no way I am letting someone cut me open that day.  So I asked if we could really shoot for Thursday, the 12th, instead.  They like to have patients be the first surgery of the day, so we're looking at 7 am.  Nurse Shari hadn't read doc's notes yet, so wasn't on the same page as me when I told her the 12th.  Receptionist Annie heard me, but I reverified after speaking with all the parents this weekend that the 12th is better than the 13th in any case.  So sounds like we'll be having a baby on the 12th of April, unless some real fancy footwork happens by this little girl in my belly.

Not much else after that on Friday, that kinda gave me a lot to consider that day.  Will still see Dr. OB earlier in the week (9th or 10th) just to verify this little girl hasn't flipped.  But if you can't find me on the 12th, now you know why!

Saturday, we had an appointment for our oldest dog (Sierra is 8 - we got her when we got married) for her annual exam at the vet.  They were super busy with emergencies, so took a little longer than we expected.  Got her in and the first thing the doc says is, "she's not technically due until May" to which I looked down at my belly and said, "true, but I'm due in 3 weeks!"  She smiled and completely understood.  Then doc found a bump on Sierra's gum that we hadn't noticed.  It's about as big as the tip of my pinky finger.  Could be a cyst or a tumor or simply cactus that got infected.  But need to now have it removed and tested for cancer.  Lovely timing right?  They gave us an estimate ($700-$1,000!) for this whole process.  Could have to remove her canine and even bone depending on what the cyst has attached itself too!  Haven't set a date for that, but we're discussing how this will all work.  Sierra acts like she is fine, so she's not in pain.  So after that bombshell, we headed home.  J started working on the yard, and I promptly left again.

I headed to lunch with Trainer's wife for some good food and lots of honesty about what's in our future, as far as baby having!  She's always good for that.  As usual, learned a lot and enjoyed good times with her.  Then it was off to the mall for a little shopping - as little as I could handle.  I was told to get nursing bras, underwear for after the birth, and nursing tops, among some other little things I needed.  I think I was there about 2 hours and that was all I could handle.  Dropped things off at home (J was out running errands) and then off to church.  Am really enjoying this new church - except for the fact that they don't like to have the A/C on and I'm always hot these days.  Thankfully, MBM's sister gave me a fan months and months ago that I keep in my purse, so I'm good.  I had a craving for Baskin Robbins after mass so stopped and got mint chocolate chip ice cream that I can't remember when I had last and headed home where J and I had dinner and watched a movie.

Sunday was another day of errands.  Costco and Target and then lunch at Zin Burger (yummy!).  Then home to unload and pay bills and clean my office.  I've been a bit lazy for a while with almost any paperwork that wasn't absolutely necessary concerning baby - i.e. magazines, coupons, etc.  So I finally went through the piles that had formed in my office and got rid so much.  Now I don't cringe when I walk in here. 

I guess that about covers our weekend.  We've started a count down on the white board in the laundry room of days until we meet Ms. Reese and it's at 16!  How hard is that to believe!!!  We're really close now folks! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Full term

Hi Bloggettes!  I'll bet if I told you that I write posts in my brain all week long, you would never believe me at this point because I am not posting them!  Well, in fact, I do.  I just can not find the time to post them.  I will!  I will.  But for now, please let suffice the post about our 37th week, which started today, which also means I am full term - however pregnancy is 40 weeks?  And don't get me started on the 9 month time-line. 

So here's our weekly update, and I will try my hardest to post soon this week, especially about my visit with Dr. OB on Friday...very interesting.

Week 37 of Pregnancy
Your doctor may check for labor signs, while your baby prepares for birth by sucking, turning, and breathing in the womb.

Your Baby in Week 37 of Pregnancy
Congratulations! You've got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn't mean he's finished growing — in fact, he's still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). That makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so he’s probably not kicking as much, though he’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling (all of which you’ll be able to feel!). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for his big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking his thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side.

Your Body in Week 37 of Pregnancy
Your body is going through its own preparations for childbirth as your practitioner starts looking for signs of labor. On the checklist: the baby's position in relation to your pelvis (engagement) and whether effacement (thinning of the cervix) and dilation (opening of the cervix) have begun. Your practitioner may also determine whether your cervix has begun to soften and move to the front of the vagina, another indication that labor is getting closer. Keep in mind that these processes can occur gradually (over a period of weeks or even a month or more in some women) or overnight. So while they're clues that you're indeed progressing, they're far from sure bets when it comes to pinpointing the actual start of labor.

Alright folks, talk to you soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

36 week update

Hello Bleeps!  One month, we officially have 1 month left!  It's so hard to believe.  But that is where we stand. 

We had our last Childbirth class on Tuesday of last week.  We did an extensive tour of the delivery ward and the maternity ward of the hospital, then had a "rehearsal labor."  Definitely made me feel better about it all.  Of course, we may not have the opportunity to deal with labor if we do a scheduled C-section if this little girl doesn't turn on her own!  Silly thing is, I'm not scared of the labor or the C-section.  I'm actually more scared of what happens when we come home.  I'm sure we'll figure it all out, but it's unknown how things will work with Reese's schedule, money, daycare, etc. 

We also had a Baby Basics class on Friday night.  It was information about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), Shaken Baby Syndrome, diapering, problems that she could have when she is born that aren't really problems (cradle cap, etc.), washing. and swaddling.  Very interesting class. J has NEVER changed a diaper, whereas I have changed many.  But neither of us has ever given a newborn a bath.  We both learned a lot.

After talking with our pediatrician, we have decided not to do private Cord Blood Banking.  She is a proponent of public Cord Blood Banking (where the parents donate the cord blood), but not private.  Private is at least $1,200 to start and then a maintenance fee every year until you decide to stop of about $300-$500 I think.  It's kind of like insurance.  But if our cord blood is publicly banked, we could access it (if it hasn't been used) if we need to or other cord blood that matches.  So that solves that problem.

I have officially stopped going to the gym, as of the beginning of March.  First off, I am so tired Monday mornings (my usual schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) that I was missing a lot.  And I figured that since that is what my body is saying, I better listen.  Talked to Trainer and he agreed that it was a good plan and "ok."  That's really what I was looking for from him...approval.  And I got it.  Am still trying to walk a bit, but no more weights or things like that. 

Back to child care.  I think I mention that we are looking for childcare options to everyone I know.  Everyone says, "ask your friends."  Well, unfortunately, my friends don't live near us so many of their options are way out of the way.  I keep saying that it has to be a place where both J and I can get to easily, because we both have to be able to pick her up.  If it is by J's work (which is about 40 minutes in the wrong direction from my work), that doesn't work and same deal if it is by my work.  So we keep asking.  I asked my Dad to email his neighborhood and ask them for suggestions and I got a lot of response, however the best options I got were to get a subscription (which I did) and a Mom's group that I intend to join after Reese joins us.  So it was good.

Now on to the 36 week update...

Week 36 of Pregnancy 
Your baby's bones may be ready to rock and roll, but yours may be aching something awful right now.

Your Baby in Week 36 of Pregnancy
Forget your aching back (and everything else!) by trying to focus on your baby, who is now about six pounds and 20 inches long, with soft bones and cartilage to allow a safer journey through the exit door. Most of her systems (from circulatory to musculoskeletal) are ready for prime time, though her digestion system — which has done only practice runs so far — will kick into gear as she takes her first suckle at the breast or bottle.

Your Body in Week 36 of Pregnancy
It's a good thing your baby's almost done cooking, since your body may feel pretty "done" by now as well. For one thing, you're doing the full-term pregnancy waddle, the result of the hormone-triggered loosening and softening of your connective tissue. This is your body's way of getting ready to squeeze a big baby out of a small space. Unfortunately, those loose joints can lead to some pretty serious hip and pelvic pain — but hang in there!

Week 36 Pregnancy Tip: Infant and Child CPR Classes
Chances are you'll never have to use this skill, but knowing how to perform CPR on a newborn or a toddler is just plain smart. There are plenty of classes out there, including low- or no-cost options at your YMCA, hospital, community center, or local chapters of the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. (Your childbirth-education class might even include baby CPR in its curriculum.) Another option — and a potentially fun one at that: Throw a CPR party at home, which allows you to share child-care resources (and appetizers) with other new parents. Whichever setting you choose, make sure you find a certified instructor (ask your practitioner for a referral) who will come equipped with "bogus babies" to practice on. (Good luck getting down on all fours to practice those first-aid breaths with your belly in the way!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Maternity Photos

So a few weeks back we had maternity photos taken by a friend I went to school with since elementary, and he is now a photojournalist and photographer for events.  I'm very pleased with the results.  He took a bunch, but here are some of my favorites!

I love this one!

 I see you!

 Listen to me!

 Also love how this one came out.

 And this is my favorite one of all!

So what'd you think?  Believe it or not, I had to be told to stick out my belly for these...I kept trying to suck it in!  Doesn't go far, but still!  Camera means suck in the gut!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Home I am told

Hello lovely Bleeps!  Here we are, 5 weeks to go.  The nursery is done.  The taxes are done.  But apparently I am not done!

Today I had my last bi-weekly visit with Dr. OB.  By that I mean that I saw her two weeks ago and I saw her today, but from now on, I'll see her every week.  Today's appointment was a bit different.  Usually, they check my weight, blood pressure, size of my belly, baby's heartbeat, and answer my questions.  This morning they did all of that, but also checked my cervix!  Holy cow, that means we are really close.  No fear, I'm not dilated at all - which she didn't expect me to be apparently.  But she has to check.  And Reese is still breech.  We talked about what the future could hold.
   a) If Baby Girl is still breech a week before my due date, they will schedule a c-section.  
   b) Dr. OB doesn't turn babies in the belly (called an External Version) because she figures if baby is like that, there is a reason (could be baby knows my pelvis isn't big enough, or a variety of other things).  And if the placenta tears we've escalated into an emergency situation.
   c) If Baby Reese turns herself (that's what I am hoping for), and still hasn't shown up by a week past our due date, they will induce me. 

So, we continue to talk to her.  And I read the other day to put an ice pack or bag of peas on the top of my belly (or where I want her to move from) and because she wants to be nice and cozy, she'll move away from the coldness.  Have been doing that all morning and I can 1) tell she doesn't like it and 2) tell that she has moved from having her head under my ribs to further down.  So we'll continue with the ice pack and hope she gets the picture.  I know there is nothing wrong with a C-section and I'm not averse to it.  It's just not OUR ideal way.  But we'll do whatever it takes to get this baby out!

Dr. OB also got on me about sodium again.  I'm getting a little annoyed with this.  I keep hearing her say that I'm retaining water and that's bad.  But then I hear from all my mommy friends that EVERYONE did that when they were pregnant.  So I don't know why I am so my blood pressure is fantastic they always tell me at the doc's.  I'm doing what I can to not eat salt, but it's not easy!  Everything has salt in it - except fruit and veggies.  But then I am told I need protein and milk.  So...ugh!  What to do?  I'm doing my best!  Oy!

Okay, enough rant. 

We have our last childbirth class tonight...which one of J's friends told him was only for, guess he and the wife never went huh?  And these are the same people that sleep in the living room with their 3 year old because he won't sleep in his bed.  At three!  Don't think we'll take advice from them!  Sorry, that was kind of a rant too. 

I'm really in a good mood today...seriously!  I am!

I guess that's really it.  Talk soon folks!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Nursery

Hello Bleeps...what a weekend!  Yesterday I was kinda lazy as J was at his last camping trip before we have our newest addition, but today I've been a busy girl. 

I did venture out yesterday to find some last pieces of the nursery...shelves to hang on the walls, a clock, and some things I hadn't anticipated.  Anyway, after a bit of a late start this morning, I needed to be finished.  So here's pics of the finished nursery...I'm pretty impressed with myself.  J helped with putting the furniture together months ago, but the decor is all me.  Whew...I'm tired.

The room has incredibly high ceilings and was already a pale blue, so we opted to just leave it and have a theme of the sky.  I kinda see the clock as the sun.

 The crib and decals on the wall of her name.

 Window sham, frames to be filled up once she joins us, a bookshelf my grandfather made when I was a kid, a child's table and chairs my grandfather made years ago, and of course a rocking recliner.
 Changing table and another dresser (both are full by the way) and blocks from my shower with her name.

 This is what it looks like from the doorway.

Piggy bank - complete with cash in it - and my favorite onesie that says "Miss April" from my cousin.

The crib - with lots of fun stuff in it, that will be taken out before she goes in it!

Yes, I'm tired!  So before I get late again, here's the 35 week post...can you believe that?  We have 5 weeks left?!  Holy geez!

Week 35 of Pregnancy 
A rapidly growing brain makes your baby's head weigh more and that means more pressure on Mommy's bladder.

Your Baby in Week 35 of Pregnancy
Your baby is standing tall (so to speak) this week at about 20 inches and continues her steady weight gain (she’s about 5.5 pounds). While she won't get much longer, she will continue to pack on the pounds — including large amounts of baby fat — right up 'til delivery day. Something else that's moving at a mind-boggling pace these day: fetal brain development! There’s a lot going on inside that tiny head, which is, by the way, still soft to allow an easier exit through the birth canal.

Your Body in Week 35 of Pregnancy
Now that your baby is head-down (Reese isn't quite yet) in preparation for delivery, chances are your bladder is feeling the squeeze, causing you to leak a little every time you sneeze (or cough or laugh) or making you feel like you have an urgent need to pee all the time. Whatever you do, don’t cut back on fluids! One way to improve your body's holding power instead: Do lots and lots of those pelvic-floor exercises called Kegels. They can help strengthen your pelvic muscles (important now and postpartum).

Week 35 Pregnancy Tip: Finding a Doula
What's a doula? The literal translation is "woman's servant" (and that's just what you need — isn't it? Along with a chef…and a massage therapist…and a chauffeur…). But back to reality — and to your pregnancy — a doula can do double duty when you need her the most. First, there's the birth doula, a companion who's professionally trained to provide support — and a hand to hold — during labor. The other is a postpartum one. (Go to week 42 to read more about postpartum doulas.) A birth doula knows all about breathing and relaxation techniques for labor, as well as the best positions to bring relief for all that pain. Some laboring women actually find they need less pain medication — or none at all — when a doula is present (though a good birth doula will explore all pain-relief options with you and help you choose what's right for your situation). But her most-important role may be the emotional comfort she provides during a potentially frightening time, and that might be just what the doctor — or midwife — ordered. To find a doula, consult an agency, check the Resource Directory, or ask other moms for recommendations.

I've gone back and forth about having a doula.  The lady who does our childbirth classes is a prenatal doula and we've already discussed our meeting with our postnatal doulas.  I may still change my mind.  But for now, I'm counting on J and MBM to get me through labor, with some visitations by my Mom and J's Mom.  Once the pushing starts, I'm thinking just J and maybe MBM.  We'll see how it all goes.

I've gotta go chill for a bit...I'm really tired all of the sudden.  Have a great week Bleeps!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


About 3 hours after all my doc appointments on the 28th, Mom and I headed to Phoenix (about 2 hours away) to see 9 clients over 3 days.  Talk about crazy days!  Of course, everyone happily accepted the pregnant lady into their arms.  Got to see J's parents (they are clients too) and BFF in Phx and her Mom for a nice lunch (my how I love these ladies!).  All in all, a great trip but very tiring...and by day 3 my feet were again tired of the shoes I had which were closed in and not very giving, even though they were flats.  I begged on the third day if we could stop and look for some sandal type shoes in a gap between appointments.  Mom obliged and we were lucky to find a Famous Footwear that actually had some sale shoes that didn't look awful.  Even got some for $5 that I love...however, they are 1.5 sizes bigger than I usually wear!  Say what?!  Oh well, again, whatever it takes right?!  Let's just say I don't see any hikes in my near future.  I was so grateful for the new footwear though.

Had a lovely manicure and pedicure the day after returning home from Phoenix (we're talking about March 3rd now), again with cankles.  But at least now one part of my feet is toes!

The next day, I was determined to get through our taxes knowing that IVF was giving us some pretty hefty medical deductions and wanting to get them done before Ms. Reese made her debut.  Got those done with just enough time to get ready for our maternity photos!  

I'd taken extra time with my hair that morning, so about 3 pm, J and I started getting ready for these photos which we had to leave for about 4 pm.  We didn't want to match clothes, but we wanted to compliment each other.  I was in a white shirt and he in a black with somewhat of a pattern on it.  A guy that I went to elementary school through college with had agreed to take the photos, he's a photojournalist now and great photographer. As our last few photo sessions have been in parks, we opted for something different and ended up in Downtown Tucson, warehouses and stuff.  No pics to share just yet, but I can't wait to see them.  He did a lot with natural light and back-lighting.  And yes, of course we'll share when they come in.

The following day, I had deemed "Nursery Decorating Day."  So while J was out scouting for camp sites for his annual camping trip with a bunch of his friends (his last for a while), I put more things away in the nursery and put the decals up.  Still not quite done, need a shelf for the letters that spell out her name, and then to finish up the decals, but getting closer for sure.  I really liked how it came out, but it sure did take a lot out of me!

I have wonderful friends and they keep giving me stuff, which is now bursting out of the nursery.  I know a lot of it won't be in there, like the swing, stroller, etc. after Reese joins us, so for now it has residence in the garage in the boxes.  J's job after his camping trip is to put all that stuff together.  We've still got to get the carseats in the cars, the stroller unpacked, and 3 or 4 other things put together.  Plus find a baby monitor!  That is my next challenge.

We had our 2nd to last Lamaze class on Tuesday, and our homework is to work on our birth plan, if we want one, which we do.  I mentioned it to my doc and she was quick to say, "some of these things you can't plan out," which I completely understand.  However, I think it's good to give her our wishes so she has an idea of what we want.  Our last class is next week.  We also did a baby CPR class with my parents this week, and that was great.  Now I feel comfortable that all of us know how to do CPR and the heimlich maneuver if necessary.  I learned these things years ago when I was babysitting a lot, but boy have they changed.  Also saw the heimlich maneuver have to be used on a patron at MY TABLE who was choking on his steak (when I was a waitress).  I would have done it but he was a huge man and I couldn't get my arms around him.  My boss did it and saved his life!  So, very good to know!

Whew, I think I am finally caught up...well, at least until Sunday when I'll be 35 weeks and due for another update.  And with any luck the nursery will be done by then...although, don't hold me to that!  Anyway, have a wonderful weekend folks and I'll try not to be so late anymore...but don't hold me to that either!

Much love....

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date

Tap, tap, this thing on?  Is there anyone left out there?  I'm so sorry I've been so absent, but things have just been so crazy.  I will try to catch you up on everything, without leaving out too many details...this may be a couple parted post...

So, you know I'm at 34 weeks...and as of Sunday, I'll be 35 weeks!  I can't believe we have little less than 6 weeks to go!  Everyone says it goes fast, but I had no idea it actually did!

On Friday, February 24th (yes, I am really that late!) we went to visit the lady who will be our pediatrician.  I've known her for years because when I was swimming regularly (I haven't probably since before IVF), she swam there too and we got to know each other through our team and the little parties our team liked to have.  Plus, every time I talk about her to my friends, someone pipes up and says, "that's our pediatrician and we love her!".  So I think we're good.  She's very honest, but not brutal and her office is ideal.  J doesn't know her very well and I've only been to her office with Ms. T once, so she recommended we come in and meet the staff and take a tour and just chat.

Their office is very inviting and fun.  There's a placard above check-in that says, "Children left unattended will be given an espresso and a puppy" if that tells you anything.  The nurse came and got us and showed us some of the rooms, explained that there are 3 docs in the office so you can see whoever if baby is sick, but you'll definitely see your doc when it's time for regular check-ups, and that both nurses are lactation consultants (SCORE!).  Again, very helpful and inviting.  Sat down with Dr. Kids and chatted about various things: 1) the schedule Reese would be seen on, vaccines, cord blood banking, childcare options, etc.  Very informative and good.  We left feeling like that is definitely the right place to take Reese.

From there, we left town...literally.  We had planned our "baby-moon" or "last vacation just as a couple for a while" and it started that day which is why seeing Dr. Kids worked out so well before we left.  I had found a Groupon a few months back for a two night stay in a hotel in Bisbee, AZ, a ghost tour and dinner at a brewery.

Bisbee, AZ is about 2 hours from our city and is an old mining town.  It has a lot of history and at it's peak was thought to be the next Manhattan, if you can believe that.  It was built for walking and not driving.  However, after the mines cleared up, the town kind of died and now is just a historic place with lots of fun hotels, restaurants, and artists.  It's very quaint, but I surely wouldn't want to live there.  There's also a lot of talk of ghosts that wander Bisbee, so J was very excited to go.  It's also very hilly!  We stopped to have lunch in Tombstone (another historic place in AZ) on our way to our destination.  We took some pictures but none of us...oops!

Bisbee is a nice town but you could never convince me to live there!  After a day and a half we were ready to leave.  We took a trolley ride around the city and listened to the driver tell all kinds of historical facts and stories, which was nice.  Our hotel was, of course, at the top of a hill and our room was, of course, at the top of the stairs, so my lungs got a pretty good workout the whole weekend.  We ate some pretty good food, and picked our way through the museum about all the mining era and the first baseball park to be built in AZ where Babe Ruth played a couple times.  I'm telling you, they thought Bisbee was gonna be H-U-G-E...boy were they wrong!  We also got massages, which was fantastic, from a lady who also worked at the hospital...ahem, delivering she knew all kinds of tricks and things.  She even gave J some advice on how to get me through labor.  I want to bribe her to come be in the room with me ... she was great!  The one thing I came home from Bisbee with that I wasn't too pleased about was ... cankles!  For those of you who don't know, that is when your ankles swell up it looks like there is no change between your calf and your ankles.  And boy did the elevation surely have an effect on mine...yuck!  Uncomfortable and not pretty to look at.  They went away after we came home, but they weren't fun.

We got home on the 26th of February and on the 28th, we had another ultrasound to monitor Reese's cyst in the brain (the one they didn't measure last time - remember!).  We ended up having the very same tech who had initially found the cyst and she was fan-tab-u-lous!  She searched and searched and the verdict came back...NO CYST!  YAY!  However, now our little baby girl has decided to be breech.  If it's not one thing, it's another.  I have a feeling this will continue once she is born too!  We were told that we have time for her to move and she has space to do so.  She's currently 5 lbs and has hair!

Here's one of the many pictures the tech sent us home's amazing what they can see inside the belly.  This one is in 3-D!  Look at her little smushed face! 

Anyway, we were way relieved to hear that the cyst is no more, and that she can still move into the position she needs to be in to get out without a C-section.  J had to go to work, so he left for work and I went across the street to see Dr. OB for my bi-weekly check-up, however I was about 30 minutes late because of the ultrasound being late to start and running over, so Dr. OB's appointment was way late too.  Dr. OB's office had scheduled both appointments, so they had to know it would happen.  Dr. OB too was excited the cyst was gone and when I told her Reese was breech, she said, "we'll still get her out!"  

To be honest, the thought of a C-section had never even crossed my mind.  I just thought it would all go seamlessly.  I'm not against it, if we need it, but it had never entered my brain.  Maybe this was just God's way of getting me ready to think about having to do it.  Dr. OB said that if this were my 2nd child, she could still come naturally because (get this) my pelvis would be experienced.  Apparently, I have a virgin pelvis so pushing out a breech baby just will not happen...fine with me!  Anyway, one more thing to think about.  Other than that, doc visit was fine. Of course we talked about my weight which was up about 2 lbs from the last time.  I can only do so much people!   And I've been having tingling in my right hand fingers.  The verdict is carpal tunnel brought on by this little girl in my belly.  So now I have a brace that I wear when it gets really bad, and usually some at night.  Whatever it takes right?!

Okay, I will stop here and let you rest.  You'll hear the rest tomorrow!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry

Hi Bleeps...please forgive...I know I am way late.  Everything is fine, we've just been super busy.  Two out of town business trips, our baby-moon (will post about it at a later date) and a slew of other things.  Hopefully this little post will hold you over until I have a moment to write out the rest.  Here is the 33 week update and the 34 week update!  Have a good week and I PROMISE I'll post soon!

Week 33 of Pregnancy
Your baby's immune system gets a boost, while her sleepless mommy could use a boost of energy.

Your Baby in Week 33 of Pregnancy
Your baby is still gaining weight (about half a pound a week), and she could grow up to another full inch this week. With that much baby inside your uterus, your amniotic-fluid level has maxed out, which explains why some of her pokes and kicks feel pretty sharp these days. (There's less fluid to cushion the blows.) Antibodies are being passed from you to your little one as she continues to develop her own fetal immune system, which will come in handy once she's outside the womb and fending off all sorts of germs.

Your Body in Week 33 of Pregnancy
With midnight bathroom runs, leg cramps, heartburn, and your basketball-sized belly, it's no wonder sleep is elusive. Third-trimester insomnia strikes about three-quarters of pregnant women (who may also be coping with a mind that races all night long thinking about your to-do-before-the-baby-comes list). But your body needs rest, so do your best to get comfy — before bed and when you get in it. Grab a pile of pillows, wedge them where you need to, and look on the bright side: Pregnancy insomnia is great training for those sleepless nights to come!

Week 34 of Pregnancy
A boy baby's testicles descend this week (whoopee!), but Mom should also look out below — and above — as her vision becomes less sharp.

Your Baby in Week 34 of Pregnancy
What's new this week? Your baby is clocking in at five pounds and could be as tall as 20 inches by now, and the vernix (the white coating protecting your baby’s skin) is getting thicker. This week, a boy's testicles start making their way down from his abdomen to their final destination: his scrotum (look out below!). While about three to four percent of boys are born with undescended testicles, it's nothing to worry about — they usually head downtown before junior turns a year old. In other baby-related developments, those tiny fingernails have probably reached the tips of his fingers by now — and getting ready for that first postpartum manicure.

Your Body in Week 34 of Pregnancy
You're not seeing things — at least not as well as usual. That's because your eyes are yet another part of your body that falls prey to those pesky pregnancy hormones. Not only can your vision seem less sharp these days, but also a decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Plus, an increase in fluid behind your eyes’ lenses can temporarily change their shape, making some women more nearsighted or farsighted than usual. Happily, these vision changes during pregnancy are all temporary. Things should clear up as your eyes return to normal after delivery (so there's no need to change your prescription just yet).

Week 34 Pregnancy Tip: Recording Memories for Your Baby
You've got so many hopes and dreams about your baby, and each one is worth remembering and sharing. Record them (before you forget) by writing a letter — or a series of letters — to your baby. Feel a little funny writing to the boarder of your belly — whom you've never met? Don't — just speak from the heart. Start by visualizing your baby, and writing down what you see in your mind's eye. (Gorgeous? Of course! Brilliant? No doubt!) Talk about what this pregnancy means to you and how it's changing your body and your world. Recount the foods you craved (the cheese, grape jelly, and pickle sandwiches) and the lengths you went to satisfy those cravings (driving six miles out of the way to the one deli that would make it). Relay how you chose your baby's name (you have chosen it by now, haven't you?) or the colors for the nursery. Share your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant; when you felt those first kicks; when you found out your baby's sex (if you have). Imagine what your future will be like together (do you see yourself pushing a swing in the park, tossing a football on the front lawn, baking muffins in the kitchen?) and what your baby's future might be like. (A movie star? A scientist? The president — dream big!) Open up your heart, put the contents on paper — and seal it with a kiss. Your letter to your baby is certain to become one of your most-treasured possessions — and eventually, your child's.

Alright folks, hope that tides you over for a while and don't worry there are more coming with all the details of our last few weeks.  Just need to catch my breath....literally!  :)