28 July 2011

Weeks 32, 33, and 34.

Wow, so... Week 32, I had an ultrasound at my OBGYN's office. My weight gain is starting to "mellow out," so to speak, which is not a bad thing since I am up 20-25 pounds (not sure how much since I didn't really weigh myself pre-pregnancy). We discussed some of my birth preferences, and it seemed like he was pretty much on board with a natural birth (even if it will be in the hospital)... As for symptoms, I'm still dealing with major reflux, insomnia, and as of week 32, we noticed "leaky teats" as Kevin so cutely calls it. Haha.

Week 33 was a total whirlwind. First of all, after many cancellations and mishaps, I finally got to have a childbirth education class with my doula! It was great because she came to our house, where we could talk and laugh and relax in the privacy of our own home. Also, our baby shower was planned for 33 weeks, 4 days, and boy, was the planning sheer insanity. My mom was so awesome and had several people cleaning and fixing up her house for the party, and even put up water misters since the weather station had predicted triple-digit heat! My baby shower hostess (Stephanie) did so much too: buying decorations, getting favours, ordering chairs/tables, and of course, all the food. A couple days before, I started getting worried, because I found out that we were going to have to pay a large chunk (350$ + 100$ from invitations)- and after a lot of self-analysing, I realised that it wasn't even about the money, after all. But even that worked out, because my mom was so generous that she paid for all the catering. (o_o) Can I just say AMAZING?!

At any rate, I could go on forever about the details, but in the end... the baby shower was utterly amazing. Yes, there was lots of drama and no, it didn’t go perfectly (100-degree heat was pretty bad). But it was such a blessing to be in the company of such amazing friends and family, and we were literally “showered” with gifts. Seriously- it was shocking! :) Thank God for all the love. Now I must take on the daunting task of figuring out where everything is going to go, as well as purchase a lot of our essentials (car seat, dresser, organisers, etc) for Lucas’ room. I was walking around in my heels so much that I honestly felt like a cripple for the next couple days. Haha.

Anyway...Can I just say: I love that Lucas has the hiccups so often. Poor little guy. But Momma thinks it’s so cute. By the way, my belly measurements are up by 1.5 inches from just a few weeks ago- we found out after playing the "guess Momma's belly measurements" game. He is definitely getting bigger! But evidently, my friend who had only seen me in photos thinks that I “look bigger on Facebook than in person”! Haha, that’s not something you hear everyday!

Also, here are some of the amazing photos that one of our lovely friends took at the shower: Kevin and Lily's Shower. Her photography throughout the day was like a gift of its own, since we hadn’t met her until then (she is my husband’s former coworker’s wife)! She got some really cute unplanned “maternity” photos for Kevin and me. :) Here are some of my (less impressive) photos that I got: Our Baby Shower.

After walking around in kitten heels for 5-6 hours while heavily pregnant and mingling with guests (I kept forgetting to sit down, relax, drink water, eat, everything- haha), my sciatic nerve was so shot that I slept maybe a grand total of 2 hours for the next few days after the shower because I was so uncomfortable. I could hardly walk! My right foot went into a “charlie horse” cramp, and my second toe curled up all funky. It was quite odd… and quite uncomfortable!!! It’s amazing how much the body (and mind) changes while pregnant.

Speaking of “the mind” changing, that reminds me of something cute and funny that happened at the shower. Kevin’s cousin Misty has a ~9-month-old little girl who is sooo precious and (in my opinion) looks like one of those adorable troll dolls from the 90’s (a compliment, I promise you). Well, I guess Misty was telling me something, but I was totalllllly zoned-out on her daughter (tickling her little arm, waving bye-bye, talking to her) and hadn’t even heard what Misty said. When the baby girl reached out to me so I could hold her, it was heart-melting, because Misty said she never lets “new people” hold her. Kevin and Misty just laughed and said: “Yep, the ‘Mom Bomb’ has gone off!”

Now that I am in my 34th week, labour is becoming more and more real- I really need to put together a “birth plan” soon, if I am going to. Had my last ultrasound to check if there was enough amniotic fluid to last until birth, and the doctor said everything was good! Baby Boy is still measuring small (33 weeks, 3 days instead of 34+), so the doc doesn’t think he’ll be more than 7.5 pounds at max! But… ya never know.

I have only gained 2 pounds in the last 5 weeks, thankfully; it seemed like my first and second trimester I was just gaining and gaining non-stop. I know he is bigger, though, because my waist measurement went from 37 inches to 38.5 inches in the last month or so! I only know that, though, because I measured myself randomly out of curiosity at around 30 weeks, and then we played the “how big is the momma’s belly?” game at our baby shower. Haha.

We discussed my preferences for birth, and I’ll be honest… I am rather apprehensive. I do like my doctor, and I think he is more open than some providers. However, he seemed pretty set on doing an episiotomy at any slight sign that I may tear. And I still haven’t even talked to him about my other wishes (delayed cord clamping, delayed weighing/measuring/vaccination, continuous monitoring, etc). I guess this is where I am glad that I have a doula, as well as a husband who is on my side when it comes to my preferences. I know I cannot plan out Lucas' birth perfectly, but I want to make it the least traumatic as I can. For those moms who have given birth naturally in the hospital (no pain medication, induction, or augmentation), what are some good ways to positively express my wishes to my doctor? To the hospital staff?

Welp, tonight I am probably doing maternity photos with my hubby. My sister's lovely friend offered to take them for me, as she is down in Bakersfield to visit. Hopefully I'll be able to edit this blog post to post a few of her photos later! :) I will end this blog with an amazing quote I read by childbirth "expert" Ina May Gaskin:
"Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth as well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body."

11 July 2011

Weeks 30 and 31.

These last couple weeks have been busy, busy, busy. During week 30, I spent my 4th of July weekend with my in-laws and a couple of their friends. We headed to Lake Nacimiento in the RV, toting the boat behind us. I was eager to get a little sun and try out my new maternity swimsuit. Despite not being able to do any waterskiing or wakeboarding (I don't really like doing either, typically, anyway), I did enjoy going out on the boat. I think Lucas didn't know WHAT to think, as we bounced over the water. However, it was great to get out and swim around a bunch- "they" say water is good for a pregnant woman, and I think they're right. ;) I thought it was really special when my sister-in-law got to feel Baby Boy having the hiccups. By the end of the weekend, ultimately, I was exhausted, though. My back was really acting up on the trip home, and I was glad to be back in the air-conditioning (even if it was 107 degrees outside at home)!

Oh, and did I mention that we went for a 3D ultrasound? It was a bummer that we didn't really get a clear picture of his face, since he had his hands and arms in front of it! However, we did get to see him blink, yawn, and munch on his hand, not to mention him showing off his little boy parts! And now, the horrible reflux I've been having makes a little more sense- the ultrasound technician immediately noted lots of hair on his head. No wonder I've been downing Tums like it's going out of style! :P Here's the video my husband caught using his iPhone:

The weekend of week 31, I spent time at the coast with my mom's side of the family (my grandma, aunt, sister, male cousin, uncle, and my female cousin + her two precious kids). My cousin Lindsey and her kids Bailey (age almost 3) and Oliver (age 1) live in Australia, where her husband is from, so I rarely get to see them (the last time was August 2009). In fact, this was the first time I got to meet little Oliver! It's always pretty hectic when it comes to my family (no, seriously, NO ONE ever ends up agreeing on what we're doing), so by the time Sunday rolled around, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. My family and I spent a lot of time walking around at farmers markets in Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo... and every night, I totally conked out back at the hotel with my hubby. I think I experienced my first noticeable Braxton Hicks contraction after a particularly crazy day of bouncing a baby (Oliver) and trying to help my cousin manage a sassy 3-year-old (Bailey). ;) Also, I noticed lots of belly cramping and my sciatic nerve was just going crazy. :( I'm almost "beached whale" status with this belly! Haha.

Yep, so... that's all I can think of for now! I know, I know, not very detailed, but I'm too tired to think clearly today. Bye for now!

Yes, that is our baby boy's hand during the ultrasound at 30 weeks, 2 days!