Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Birth Story

Okay.  I have Reese in the Moby, so I am hoping I can get this out before she wakes up to eat next.  Bear with me if I only get through half!

4/11/12 - J's parents came down from Mesa (about 2 hours away from us) Wednesday night.  We went to dinner with my parents and J's parents to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, knowing that I probably couldn't eat very much the next day.  It was kind of a pre-birth celebration!  My parents went home and J's parents came home with us.  They would be caring for the house in our absence at the hospital.

4/12/12 - We had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am, so I opted for bed about 9, although I truly don't think I got to sleep until maybe 11 pm (but I got up at 11:30 pm to drink a bottle of water, because after that I couldn't eat or drink), and then I was awake at 3:45 am, even before my alarm went off at 4 am.  I got up, showered and washed and dried my hair, knowing I probably wouldn't for another couple days.  J was up almost right behind me and we were out the door at 5 am, right on schedule.  Of course, no traffic at 5 am on a Thursday, so we got to the hospital about 10 minutes early, parked and up to the Labor and Delivery floor at University Medical Center.  They knew we were coming, so handed over our paperwork and away we were taken to a cubical to start monitoring me and her.  A little blood work, a little IV, a little change, and then just lots of monitoring.  I had one monitor on my belly for Reese's heart beat and one for contractions (which there were none, except when she chose to hit the monitor with some part of her body, which was kind of funny).  Mom and Dad came in quickly to say hi and they loved us.  It was very late in the game that they did an ultrasound to make sure she was still breech, and my fear was they would say "nope, she turned" and send us home.  But in fact, she was still breech.  From that point we went from very little happening, to all of the sudden there was a lot happening.  I swear, 5 docs and nurses walked in all at once and we were in a flurry of activity!  Explaining procedures, signing forms and prepping me.  J was handed his scrubs and away he went to change.  I opted for the bathroom at that point before we went to surgery, and when I walked out both sets of parents were in the hallway.  So there are a few pictures to share of that.

 Jason in his scrubs that could have fit 3 of him in them.

My 2nd to last walk as a preggo.

Dr. OB came in to say hi, and then it was time to go.  Here's our walk to the operating last walk as a pregnant lady. And look at the team behind me.  Lots of people!

We went into the operating room, and J stayed outside while they got me prepped and put in my spinal.  That was probably the worst part.  You have to sit perfectly still while they put a needle in between vertebrae in your back.  They told me if I had tingling in my legs to let them know which side because that would tell them where was the right place to be.  And it seemed to take forever and hurt.  I finally started to tear up because it was frustrating me and hurting.  Finally, got it in the right place and almost immediately my feet started to tingle and go numb.  Now was time to lay down, and get blood pressure cuff hooked up.  J came back in and pretty soon the screen went up and there was cutting.  Didn't feel a thing, except pressure sometimes.  

Previously, Dr. OB had told us it would only take about 5 minutes for them to get Reese out, but it took them a lot longer.  She was lodged in by my ribs and was hangin' on for dear life.  J told me after that he could see them tugging on her to get her out because my whole body was moving with their tugs.  I didn't have any pain though.  J kept telling me I was doing great and the anesthesiologist was right by my side monitoring if I felt nauseous at all, which I did a few times, so that was fixed. Finally, she was out and Dr. OB said, "she's a big girl!!"  That immediately made me think of J when he was born because he weighed 10 lbs and I just hoped she wasn't that big.  We finally heard a little itty bitty cry and both looked at her.  J teared up, and I did too in that split second and we were all of a sudden parents at 8:15 am on April 12, 2012.

The docs called him over to see her and she was weighed and measured while he watched.  Here is the first official picture of her. 
She weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz and was unofficially 20 inches long, later to be determined 19.75 inches long.  And very healthy.  To me that isn't big, but they all said it was.  J stayed with her for a very long period of time, and I finally got to meet her.  At this point, I was really tired and ready to be done.  But the docs still had to stitch me back together.  J said that as they measured her, they were holding down her arms and she reached up with her foot and stuck her big toe in her mouth.  Well, she was breech in the belly and probably did that a lot.  J held her and a nurse held her, and then it was time to roll out as I was stitched up and ready to go.  

We went to recovery and I got really tired then.  We breast fed for about an hour, all said and done, and then we realized that she'd been sucking on not the nipple, so I had a hickie on my right breast, which proved to be very painful the rest of the week when she would try to nurse.  More on that later.  Intermittently, they would come get her to take her to check her vitals, etc, and then bring her back.  My Mom and Dad snuck in to say hi and try to see her, then were quickly out because only 1 person was allowed in recovery with me.  J finally changed out of his scrubs, and then it was time to go to our room on the Maternity floor, one floor down from Labor and Delivery.  We passed the parents again, with a short stop to see the baby that was trailing behind us, and then we were in our room.  Number 29.

Finally the parents were allowed in to see us and the baby.  And here's a few pics of that.  

J (Daddy) and Reese.

I think I was simply in awe of her.  No, I know I was and still am simply in awe of her!  And then the rest of that day is a blur to me.  I don't know that I slept much, but I know I was surely tired.  At some point, J and his dad went down to get our luggage out of the car so we could get settled in a bit.  I was allowed to finally have some clear liquids for dinner, which were great.  And I couldn't stop looking at her.  We got some sleep that night, but it wasn't easy.  The bassinet was at just a height that I couldn't get her out of it, so J had to get up to give her to me to nurse.  He slept in this awful chair that turned into a bed, but not a very comfy one.  

4/13/12 - Our first day as a family.  We got some sleep, but not enough.  Fed some and was in pain with that, so the Lactation Consultant came in - however they always seemed to come in at the wrong time - while I was eating, after she'd just eaten, etc.  My nipples were starting to get raw and the first minute of feeding was pretty agonizing.  Finally remembered someone (thank you whoever you were) had told me to bring Lanolin to the hospital, because they wouldn't provide it.  So that helped a bit.  Was able to eat a bit more.  And we had this photo taken.  
I do love this photo.  

At some point that day, I think the professional photographer for the hospital came in to take photos, and we had a mini-photo shoot in our room.  I'll post some of those after I order the disc.  But here's one we took while the photographer had her all set up.

There was also one with J holding her head, which is way cute! Will post when we get those.

We had few visitors, which I became thankful for as I wanted to take naps during the day.  As you can imagine, moving was rough and I think it was Friday (4/13/12) that they took out my IV and catheter.  I was thankful, but also not for the catheter because it meant I would have to get up to pee!  But also meant I could take a shower, which I very much longed to do.  That was an experience.  The shower was TINY so bending over wasn't really an option, and I couldn't have if I wanted to.  J had to come and dry my legs off because I couldn't bend over that far to reach them.

Sleeping was always hard at the hospital because just about the time I would get to sleep, someone would come in to check my vitals, give me meds, check the baby, or ask questions about how I was feeling.  About 5:30 every morning, the doctor parade began.  Some of the surgeons that had been in my surgery would come in and ask how I was doing and check my incision, usually a young guy first, then what I deemed to be his resident, then my nurse, then my patient care technician, then the housekeeper, etc.  It was quite the show.  

Breast feeding wasn't being an issue, except she seemed a little fussy at times, but most of the time she was pretty mellow.  We were supposed to go home on Sunday, and while I was hesitant, I was getting ready.  However, when they had taken Reese for vitals Saturday night, they noticed that her weight was down 12.8%, which was more than the allowed 10%.  So we started supplementing with formula and this crazy annoying device.  Essentially, one part of it was an upside down bottle, with the other part being this tiny hose that went from the bottle and to the baby's mouth, along with my breast.  So she still thought she was breastfeeding and probably was, but also was getting formula.  It was a very aggravating process, and that was where I lost my modesty.  So many people had handled my breasts by then, that I didn't care who was around when I fed.  They got to see it all.  Even my Dad and Father-In-Law.  Sorry guys!  But working with the S and S (that's what they called the crazy device), and the breast and the baby, the cover was just too much.  So away it went!

Saturday, we were both monitored more and told that if her weight was up Monday morning, we could go home.  It was only down 9.6% Monday morning, so we were allowed to go home, if we continued with the S and S and formula.  We got our final shots, and supplies and were checked out about noon on Monday, which was our 8th anniversary.  I had already made the initial pediatrician appointment for Monday, so that got moved to Tuesday. 

And I'll leave you with our going home picture before I go take my nap.

More to come, soon...I hope.

Friday, April 20, 2012

At long last...

Hi Bleeps!  I know you have been waiting forever for this post...I'm so sorry  that it has taken me so long, but as you can imagine, we've been a little busy.  I'll follow with the birth story later, but I wanted to post a few pictures so you all knew how she looked.

To say we are in love is an understatement!

Officially, Reese was born on April 12, 2012 at 8:15 am.  She weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz and was 19.75 inches long.  She's my little princess.  And everyone at the hospital said she could be the next Gerber baby.  Here you go friends, here's our baby girl.

 The first official picture.

 Daddy and Reese once we got settled in our room at the hospital.

 Mommy and Reese having some skin-on-skin.  This is one of my favorite photos.

Coming home from the hospital on our anniversary.  I think she is saying she is ready for her manicure!

I know I have an unbelievable amount of stuff to tell you and don't worry, I will.  But for now, hope this holds you over!

Will blog again soon.  Thanks for the love, prayers and support.  Back soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Last blog before B-day (or C-day) as the case may be

Well Bleeps, you have stuck with me through all of our trials and now here we are at the final moment, almost.  I'll do a quick wrap-up of the past couple days and then my last comments before tomorrow.

Monday.  J and I went to my last appointment with Dr. OB.  I'm still not dilated at all, in fact my cervix is locked up tight.  Reese is still breech in my belly, although as I felt around my belly on the way to the doc, I kinda thought she had turned and I was kinda scared to be right.  I've gotten so used to the idea of C-section, that the thought of having to wait a bit longer to meet her and possibly endure hours upon hours of labor scared me.  Dr. OB still thinks she is breech, but did warn us that if we get to the hospital on Thursday and she has turned, they may send us home.  However, we would then only be waiting a few more days and they would try to induce me, but with my cervix being locked up tight, a c-section might be in the future anyway.  So...end point, she is 90% sure we'll do a c-section tomorrow and meet baby Reese.  I was up a little bit in weight, but blood pressure is still down, so we're all good there.  I had made cookies for Dr. OB and her staff and of course, forgot to take them.  Proceeded to a very easy day at the office, the grocery store, and then home. 

Tuesday.  Worked from home, but very little to do since the day before was so easy.  Took the cookies to Dr. OB's office and they were very excited.  Then to lunch with Ms. T and to get a final mani-pedi before Thursday.  What do you think?  

Yes, my hand is resting on my belly and that is J's old wedding band that he grew out of just in time for me to wear.  Mom measured my belly sure that it was much bigger than when I was measured at my shower in February, only to be dismayed that it was only 1 inch larger - 47".  I took a little nap at Mom and Dad's house, then back to the hospital for our last baby-related class...breastfeeding class.  I learned a lot and was so glad J was with me, but also that he was asking questions and participating.  Home to bed, but I was up again at 4 am and couldn't fall back asleep as I kept thinking what tomorrow will hold at 4 am!

Today - Wednesday.  First official day of maternity leave.  After finally falling back to sleep around 6 am, J left about 8 for work, which woke me up and then again, couldn't go back to sleep.  Lounged around for a while, ate breakfast in bed and finally decided I better start what I was needing to do for the day.  Washed clothes, some of which will go to the hospital with us, then washed our towels and sheets, so we'll have nice clean things to come home to.  Pretty much finished packing.  Put the baby car seat and stroller in the car, did some paper work, wrote up notes about the house for the in-laws who will be here and taking care of all the animals while we're at the hospital.  Still need to get the sheets out of the dryer and put them on the bed with MIL's help, finish the "Pregnancy Scrapbook" and vacuum.  Then tonight we're having dinner with both sets of parents (soon-to-be grandparents) as a sort of pre-celebration and last supper without a baby.  Hopefully home earlier than later so J can pack for the hospital and we can get to bed early because tomorrow will be an early day!

So here's how tomorrow should work...We need to leave the house by 5 am to get to the hospital by 5:30 am.  That means that I will be getting up about 4 am (or earlier if I just can't sleep) to shower, dress and get ready to go.  When we get to the hospital, there's a bunch of paperwork to fill out, of course.  We have a final sonogram to determine Reese's position for sure, and then meet with the resident who will be assisting Dr. OB and the anesthesiologist.  About 7:15 am, we'll walk back to the operating room and get me settled.  J will go put on scrubs while I get my spinal (kinda like an epidural, but quicker onset and offset).  Once we're sure it's working, J comes back in and we begin.  Dr. OB said the baby should be out in about 5-10 minutes, and the rest of the hour will be spent sewing me back together.  We'll head out of there to recovery, me, J and baby Reese after she's been cleaned up and hopefully breastfeed.  Haven't determined if the family will come in at that point yet, because there's only one person allowed in there with me and the baby and we'll be wanting to breastfeed asap.  About an hour and a half in recovery, then we'll go to our room on the floor below, and get settled in.  THEN, maybe we'll have visitors or take a nap.  From that point on, I have no idea what happens!

Sounds like a pretty intense day right?  I'm sure it will be.  I can't promise that the blog will be updated with photos, but you can bet if we have your cell number or you are our friend on facebook, you'll get pics ASAP. 

I still am in awe that we made it to this day.  I truly am.  We're here and we're having a baby.

I know I have said it before, but it bears saying again.  I am so grateful for all the support I have received from people who read this blog, whether I know your face or not.  I couldn't have made it through this huge process without any of you!  I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  I know our "road" isn't over by a long shot, but we're at the off-ramp to a completely different highway system and I can't wait. 

We'll catch you on the flip side friends, family and loved ones!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

39 week update

Hello Bleeps!  We're into our final countdown now!  I can't promise that there will be more posts after this, but I do know the laptop is going to the hospital, so we'll try.  Even if I am just logging someone else in to write.

4 days.  This baby is coming in 4 days.  OR possibly less.  I love the reaction I get now when someone asks when my due date is and I say, "Thursday!"  Their eyes get all big like I'm going to burst right there in front of them.  Occasionally, I'll get the person who says, "well, this is your first, she'll probably be late." And at that point I can tell them about the C-section and her position, so then their response goes back to "okay, Thursday!"  It's quite funny actually.  Happened twice at Easter Mass this morning.

So here's the 39 week update.  As usual, my notes are in red.

Week 39 of Pregnancy
Your baby's brain development is still in high gear, even as you may start to experience some definite signs of labor.

Your Baby in Week 39 of Pregnancy
Coming down to the wire, your baby weighs around seven to eight pounds and measures 19 to 21 inches. Those measurements won't change much from now on, but her brain is still growing at an astonishing rate, a pace that will continue for the first three years of life. Her pink skin has now turned whitish (even babies who'll eventually have darker skin appear whitish now — they haven't yet developed pigment). Her head may have dropped into your pelvis by now, which makes your breathing easier but walking harder. "May" being the operative word, and no it hasn't.  She still has her head near my heart and continues to push up (or at least that is what it feels like), and I continue to tell her she can't come out that way!

Your Body in Week 39 of Pregnancy
The end (and a whole new beginning!) is in sight, so watch for the signs that your body is ready to get the show on the road. These include Braxton Hicks contractions; the rupture of the membranes (water breaking) that contain your amniotic fluid; the loss of the mucous plug (the “cork” of mucus that seals the opening of the uterus); and the bloody show (your capillaries rupture from the dilation and effacement of your cervix, causing any discharge to appear pink or red-tinged). Labor could be close (but no cigar — yet!). None of these yet.

Week 39 Pregnancy Tip: Preparing for a Cesarean
Many hospitals and birthing centers are increasingly sensitive to an expectant mother's desire to be awake, comfortable, and with the people she loves both during and after delivery — even if that delivery is via a C-section. These days, most will try to accommodate your requests in a non-emergency situation, so ask for what you want. (Sorry, but pizza is probably a no-go.) Here are some requests to consider: to use a mirror or have the screen dropped so you can see the baby emerge; to listen to music during delivery; to have your hands free to touch your baby immediately after birth; to have your partner cut the cord; and to breastfeed in the recovery room. This is one time when it pays to be demanding. Making surgical delivery as pleasant as possible helps reduce the possibility of postpartum depression and allows you to bond more quickly with your baby.We've talked about some of these things between J and I, and with the doc.  J has no desire to cut the cord he says, and I have no desire to see what the inside of my body looks like.  I would like to have skin-to-skin contact and breastfeed as soon as possible though.

 I think I may have entered a little bit of "nesting" - which is described as an unstoppable urge to clean and prepare for the baby.  Obviously, a lot of that happens because it just needs to.  But things like cleaning carpets on your hands and knees (story from a BFF in San Fran's Mom) and thing of that sort can be nesting as well.  The nursery is pretty much prepped and there's more baby clothes in the laundry as we speak.  Plus I came home from Easter dinner with my folks and just had to clean out the freezers!  So now they are practically empty and ready to be filled by whomever wants to cook for us...hint, hint!

That's about all for today folks.  Have a wonderful Easter evening and I will try to keep you posted on this week's progress.  Have a doc appointment tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I think we're ready - officially

A quick medical update - I did have a doc appointment on Wednesday, but unfortunately Dr. OB had a family emergency out of town and had to skedaddle, so she wasn't there.  Nurse Shari weighed me and took my blood pressure to make sure it wasn't going up, which it wasn't - nor was my weight.  And declared me done.  Will see Dr. OB once more on Monday, and if we're all the same, then C-section is good to go on Thursday.  If by some miracle (and it could happen with all the people prayin' for us out there) she turns by Monday, we'll go natural.  But she's a stubborn one, and I think she gets most of it from J's Grandma, for who her middle name comes from (the middle name also comes from my Grandpa's middle name, but he wasn't stubborn!).   So I'm banking on Thursday.  Okay, now to the real meat of this post.

You folks surely feel blessed this week because you have had a post almost every-freakin'-day!  Don't get used to it.  Remember, next week I'm having a baby.

"I'm having a baby." 

Wow.  I can honestly tell you there were days where I never thought I would be able to say that.  Weeks and months even where I was sure I was not meant to be pregnant or birth a child.  (And there go the waterworks again!)  I remember a lot of low times in the past 5 years where I felt so broken.  And here I am now, 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, anticipating a c-section next Thursday where I will get to meet our daughter.  I wake up each and every day amazed that we have actually made it through this process.

I have knitted baby blankets for many of my friends - 37 to be exact - yes I kept track (one of those was actually for my mom and one was for J, but the rest were all for babies!).  I started in 2006, even before we were really "trying" but with the knowledge of if I started then, by the time our baby came along, I'd be a pro.   Only at that time, I didn't know how much of a pro!  Well today folks, I finished baby Reese's blanket.  And as I held it and said out loud, "this is for my daughter" I couldn't help but tear up. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

We have waited so very long for this day and I can't believe in less than a week, we will be parents.  I just can't fathom it even though I know it is rapidly approaching.  I mean I can, but I can't.  Because for so long it felt like it would never happen, and it finally did.  We are on the precipice and we made it.  Who knew?!

But I think we are officially ready.  The nursery is done - save for the picture that came in yesterday's mail that needs to be hung of J kissing my belly (part of our maternity photo shoot).  Everything is washed and ready.  My last official day AT the office is Monday, and my last official day WORKING is Tuesday.  Wednesday will be spent washing sheets and towels so we'll have nice clean stuff when we come home.  And then Thursday, we go to the hospital uber-early and we have a baby. 

There it is again...we have a baby.  Oy.  I still can't believe it.  

I still need to link up the baby monitor to the cameras, finish packing, make cookies for my doc's office and the hospital maternity nurses and docs and J needs to put the bases in the cars for the car seat.  But other than that, we are ready.  Reese may not be - at the moment she is hanging (literally) from my ribs with her head close to my heart it seems.  But this little game of hide-and-seek is due to end Thursday, at the latest.

And from Thursday on, we will be a trio, instead of a couple.  I know our lives will change dramatically, but it will be such an adventure. 

Here's to our last weekend as two married week, we'll be a family.

Happy weekend and Happy Easter folks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Will the belly button pop? and the Baby Owner's Manual

Hello lovelies.  I'm gonna drop right into it. 

Our pool has been drained and refilled, and amazingly enough, it's blue water and not green!  YAY!  Our a/c blower has been fixed and we have air again!  Feels like we're finally on the road to being a calm household again.  Whew!

Now, about the belly button.  I've always had a very deep belly button.  Now, it is almost flat, maybe even has a little bump to it.  So Belly Button Watch 2012 is on!  We keep waiting for it to pop.  I've heard when it pops, that means baby is ready to make her debut!

Here's the photo of when we took out the belly button ring months ago!

And here's the photo I took this morning of my belly button. 

Do you think it will pop? Anyone want to place a bet?

I've heard of many new parents wanting a manual for how to raise baby and of course there are probably a slew of books out there but I think I actually found the Owner's Manual that should have been out there years ago.  There's even one for Mom and one for Dad.

Now it has a lot of the really important stuff in it like...
 ...changing a diaper.  The best part is that it is all in pictures with words. 

And there's fun stuff too, like.... for Dad to be good to Mom and how to give Mom a break!

They are books that I actually think we'll get some use out of.  So, there is a manual for how to raise a baby! YAY, and just in time for me!!!

Alright, time to go lay down.  Have a great day folks.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Hello Bleeps...are you feeling lucky this week?  Look, you've had 2 posts already and here's number 3!  I'm trying to stock up because there might be a blackout period after Reese is born! 

I was raised Traditional Catholic.  We went to church every Sunday.  I was baptized, had my first communion and was confirmed.  However, when college rolled around I kind of backed away from the every Sunday ritual.  Mostly, because going on Saturday night and getting home after 2 am, didn't allow me to get up for church on Sunday, plus go to work too!  I've never backed away from God though.  I would still attend Mass with my parents on Christmas, etc.

J and I were not married in the Catholic church, and while he was brought up to believe in God, he wasn't really taught about God and the bible. So he wasn't baptized, etc. 

When we started to try to get pregnant, oh 6 years ago, I knew in my heart that our babes would need to be baptized.   But deep down I was a little worried.  I didn't want to force J to do anything he wasn't entirely comfortable with, but I also didn't want to sacrifice my dreams because he didn't have them too.

Well, we started the conversation probably in the middle of IVF, because I remember crying...not because of what he was saying, but because of all the crazy meds I was on.  I was investigating churches that were less traditional than the one I was raised in.  I found some that I liked, but I wasn't sure J would like them.  Then...we moved clear across town, so all the churches I liked were WAY out of the way.  And things got busy and my search stopped.

Finally, my Mom, knowing my wants happened upon a church that was 10 minutes from our new house and very relaxed.  For instance, the priest has a pony tail and a handlebar mustache.  I think he looks like an actor, but I can't place who.  So I attempted it one evening.  And I asked people that I knew.  Lo and behold, not only did some friends and acquaintances already attend there, but they had for years and years.  So I continued to go.

I finally got to speak to the head priest one evening quickly after church.  It'd been very hot in the church that evening, and I had to pull out the fan that MBM's sister gave me after I got preggo.  I shook the priest's hand after mass and he said (with a heavy Irish accent), "you're just a furnace, aren't ya?"  Mind you, this was about a month ago, so I was very pregnant.  I laughed and nodded.  Then I said, "who do I need to talk to about baptism?"  He laughed, patted my belly, and said, "we usually do that AFTER the baby is born lass!" then laughed again.  I laughed.  And finally he said, "just call the office.  We'll get it done."

Well, I was still nervous.  I mean, what would I do if they said we needed to be remarried in the Catholic church and all kinds of other hoops?  I would be devastated.  So I put it off and put it off.  Finally, I knew I had to do it.  So I called and left a message for the right person, so I was told.  She called back at a time when I couldn't talk and we agreed I'd call her back Thursday.

When I called back, she was an angel.  She asked my name, when I was due, J's name, etc.  I told her I had been raised Catholic but J had not been.  Her response floored me...."So?"  I told her we hadn't been married in the Catholic church.  Again, she said, "And that matters to the baby why?"  We talked about how they do it and if we had chosen Godparents yet.  It's tentatively set for June.  I got off the phone and literally had a huge sigh of relief.  This will be okay.  Reese will be baptized and all will be well with the world.

J and I talked about it that evening, and he was very happy to hear what I had heard too.  We discussed Godparents and came up with the names of who we think would do well.  I even asked one on Friday, and she was, well, how do you say, excited a lot?!  Anyway, my heart is now calm.  And this too shall work.  YAY!

Problem solved.  Whew!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Changes....and to miss?

Hello Bleeps!

So obviously many things have changed over the last 9 months, but here's a couple that made me giggle.

Before I was pregnant, I usually wore low-rise jeans.  Now that' I'm pregnant, the higher the waistband of my jeans is, the happier I am!

Even though I am 38 weeks pregnant, whenever someone comes at me with a camera, I still try to suck in my belly.  However, now it's not going anywhere anymore!

Things I thought I was settled on are now not so settled...for instance, daycare!

I used to fantasize about wonderful shoes to I just fantasize about shoes that fit and finding daycare we can afford and that isn't across town.  And that my feet will go back their original size after this baby is born, so I don't have to part with my shoe collection!

I have either developed a hole in my lip with this pregnancy or I've always dropped a lot of things out of my mouth, but they've always hit the counter in the past, whereas now I'm catching them with my belly!  I'm talking food and toothpaste!

What I will miss....what I won't miss 
I will miss....
1. The attention.  After Reese is born, I have a feeling she'll be the center of attention and that's great.  But it has been nice to get random smiles in the grocery store (one lady actually complimented me on "matching" so well at this stage of the game the other day - so random) and people falling over themselves to help me whether I need it or not.

2. The baby movement in my belly.  I know J thinks it is creepy, but it really is very cool and only will happen when there is one in there!  Even when she kicks my kidneys and makes me run for the bathroom!  It's just such a special thing!

3. Having a reason to indulge my cravings.  While I've been eating pretty healthy during this pregnancy, there definitely have been moments (or weeks!) of weakness where vegetables just didn't sound good.  After Reese comes out, we'll be trying to get this baby weight off.  I even asked Dr. OB if she could do some liposuction while she was in there.  And surprisingly enough, I wasn't the first preggo to have asked her that she said!

I will not miss....
1. Going to the bathroom and 5 minutes later going again!

2. Thrusting myself out of bed because I just can't sit up.  (Turning over these days feels like a three-point turn sometimes!!)

3. My cankles - and swollen feet - hurting when I finally get out of bed.  How come when I am home, I don't get so swollen, but the minute I go to work (on the 7th floor), I swell up like a balloon?

4. Trying to get comfortable - in bed, at my desk, wherever.  I'm fine for a few minutes, but then I need to move.  Thus, sleep sometimes eludes me while I find my optimal position.

5. My Carpal tunnel!  Will not miss this in the least bit!

6. Getting tired really easily.  I know that this will continue once she's born but for a very different reason.  I can get 10 hours of sleep now, and I still wake up tired because it was a restless night of changing positions and my body working hard to make sure Reese is healthy.

7.  Burping every 20 minutes!  I am a burping machine right now!

I thought there would be more, but I'm at a loss for other things.  So this will have to do. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

38 weeks

Here we are Bleeps.  38 weeks.  2 weeks to go...well, actually about 11 days!  Who could have guessed this last April?  Not me for one!  But here we are.  And here's the 38 week update!  My notes are in red.

Week 38 of Pregnancy
Your baby is producing surfactant, which will help him take those first breaths while you're producing colostrum, the precursor to breast milk.  I asked Dr. OB if having the C-section before week 40 would affect my milk and she said no.  Once the placenta is out, that is kind of the sign to the body to start production.

Your Baby in Week 38 of Pregnancy
Hey, your little one isn't so little anymore, weighing close to seven pounds and measuring 20 inches long. Fetal development is nearly complete as your baby tends to a few last-minute details like shedding the skin-protecting vernix and lanugo. He's also producing more surfactant, a substance that prevents the air sacs in his lungs from sticking to one another once he starts to breathe. Most of the changes this week are small but important: He’s continuing to add fat (so he can take advantage of all those photo ops by sporting a round, cute baby look!) and fine-tuning his brain and nervous system (so he can deal with all the stimulation that awaits him once he makes his entrance into the world).

Your Body in Week 38 of Pregnancy
Just as your baby is preparing for life outside the womb, your body is tending to its own final touches before the big day, one of which is getting that milk machine up and running. Part of the process is producing colostrums, a thin yellowish liquid that's the precursor to breast milk. Colostrum is full of antibodies that protect your newborn, and it has more protein and less fat and milk sugar (the better to digest it) than the breast milk that arrives later. Chances are you're leaking colostrum so you might want to break out those nursing pads now. If you're not leaking but you are curious about this miracle substance, you can gently squeeze your areola to express a few drops.  None here yet.

Week 38 Pregnancy Tip: Stocking Your Freezer
Have visions of yourself, newly delivered domestic goddess, whipping up gourmet meals in those postpartum weeks? Dream on. Cooking will be the last thing on your mind or your to-do list during those first few weeks (make that months) after delivery. Trust me, fitting in a three-minute shower will trump it for sure, as will using the bathroom when the urge strikes. To avoid serving Cheerios for dinner on a nightly basis (realistically, there will be nights when you will), plan ahead. Do some cooking and stock your freezer now with individually packaged, simple heat-and-serve options that you (or he!) can get on the table in a flash. Label carefully, so you won't be left with UFOs (unidentified frozen objects). Good candidates for the freezer include hearty soups, stews, and casseroles, as well as mini–meat loaves. Have the baking itch? Satisfy it, and stash away several trays of bran muffins (don't ask, you'll need them). Another plan-ahead tip? If you don't already have your favorite takeouts on speed dial, now's a good time to enter them.  I have not done this, nor do I have the energy to do this.  I know later it will be even worse, but we'll manage.  I'm also hoping when my MIL is here, she might stock us up a bit.  That'd be great.  However, if anyone wants to drop dinner off, I'll be happy to eat it!

And while we're at it, I'll add another article I found that was interesting.
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.

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.

Interesting, huh?  Lots of stuff that we learned in our classes. 

To add more stress to our lives, J was told he has to drain the pool today because the water is too old.  He's been battling with it for awhile now, and while it's clean, it's also green.  No algae, all the levels are right.  But it looks like someone dumped lime jello into our pool.  Well, at least it will be done before Reese gets here so after she does, we're good to go.  This baby is gonna be in the pool as soon as the doc gives her the okay!

Have a wonderful weekend folks!