Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birthing Class: Night Six

It's a wrap! We graduated from Child Birth Preparation last night and have gained our Tuesday nights back! It really was a great series and I'm very happy we took it, but it is nice to have one less thing to do.

This class we talked about the benefits of skin to skin contact with baby both right after he is born and for first few months of life. We also talked about nursing and shared baby names and our favorite baby item (so far).

The great thing about skin to skin contact is it's less shocking for the baby. They're used to your heartbeat and your smell (which apparently is amniotic fluid!) and it also allows you to bond with this new little person that you feel like you know but really know nothing about yet. Studies show your baby will cry less later on if they stay with mama right away. Mary Birch (where we'll be delivering) is one of the few hospitals that strictly promotes this for one whole hour after birth and I'm so excited for it. I can't imagine what giving birth is like but I have a feeling that nothing else will matter (not his weight, height, etc.). All we'll want to do is look at him face to face and let him know we've been waiting a long time to meet him!

THis is obviously continued through nursing (that's about as skin to skin as you can get!). We also went into the many other health benefits of nursing for mom, baby, and daddy.

When we were talking about favorite baby items, our instructor showed us the Moby Wrap and how great it is for infants. It holds the baby very close you, it's soft, and comfy for a itty bitty newborn. They're pretty cool! I think we might get one...


Here are a few pictures from Christmas this year. It was so great to see some of the people I love!!!

I'm hoping I can steal some pictures from my mom's camera - she took way more!

Monday, December 27, 2010

34 Weeks! (6 Weeks to go!)

I'm officially huge.

Look how much he has dropped! We must be getting close...

The closer we get to the end, the more people tell me how early their baby was. Some people we know even had their babies before 34 weeks and they have had no medical problems what so ever. It definitely makes me feel like, "PHEW!" Not that I'm worried about pre-term labor too much but it is satisfying to know that if it does happen, there's a great chance he will be just fine!

As for the update for this week, I'm getting about 3-5 Braxton Hicks contractions each day, my belly bumps everyone when I hug them, I have to pee all the time, and I'm just so tired. But for the most part, I'm still keeping up with everyone (with some assistance from my awesome husband and parents). We had a very busy holiday weekend (pictures to come) with my parents, Riley, aunt, and cousins in town. I was still able to make dinner for 12 people, go to church, go shopping, walk around Coronado and La Jolla, and go out to numerous dinners. It was busy but it's always great spending time with people you love. I cried and cried when it was time to say goodbye to my family - next time I see them, I'm going to be a mom!

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers – which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born – are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Birthing Class: Night 5

Night 5 out of 6 was pretty awesome. Almost the whole class was on breathing while in labor and at the very end we did pushing. And by "we" I mean all the dad's! It was too funny! Since all of us are about 8 months pregnant we aren't supposed to push because our water might break so our instructor had the boys practice.

Imagine 20 grown men laying on the ground spread eagle, pretending to push, while their very pregnant wives hold their feet. We couldn't stop laughing!

Next week is the last class - I can't believe we're almost done! That means it's almost time to have a baby!

33 Week, 1 Day Check Up

Yesterday was our 33 week check up. Everything is still "perfect." I'm measuring right on schedule and those few pounds I didn't gain at the last appointment were made up for in the last few weeks. That's right, I gained 4.5 pounds in two weeks!! OINK OINK!!! I asked Casey if I should be worried and she said no because my overall weight gain is only 24.5 pounds and I still averaged about 1 pound every week for the last month.

I told her about the sharp pains I've been feeling down low in my pelvis. Nothing unbearable but very different from contractions. She said it's just nerve endings reacting to the pressure from Isaiah's head pushing on my vagina. I then asked her about his positioning and I was pretty right on (I must know my baby!). He's not traverse, he's actually very head down and his back and bottom are on my left side and all his limbs are on my right side, which is why he kicks so much over there. It also means I have a bottom in my left side of my rib cage and feet in my right side of my rib cage - it's very uncomfortable but also kind of sweet. It's a constant reminder that he's in there!

I told Casey that he hasn't moved from this position in a couple of weeks. In fact, if I lay on my right side he kicks the mattress until I move over to my left side. While I'm on that side he's still as can be! She said this could be a sign that he's going to be a mellow baby because he's comfortable and content in that position. Nice! Let's just hope he's not too content and still comes out to meet us!

Our next appointment is in 2 weeks - we'll get to see if I've dilated at all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

33 Weeks :) The Pregnancy Hangover

33 weeks and we have a foot in the rib! It's official. There's no mistaking the foot prefers my rib cage and Isaiah likes to kick all down my right side. I think he might be traverse (sideways) because he never kicks on my left side. I do usually feel his shoulder or back on the front of my belly so he might just be head down but facing to the right. Either way he is having no issue stretching out and making breathing a little more difficult for me.

Other than being squished and having some back pain, I've been feeling pretty good. Mostly just sooooo tired. I'm starting to feel like I have a hang over most mornings - you know when you wake up after a night of too much drinking and your fingers and eyes are swollen, your super thirsty, slightly nauesous, and have a head ache? That's how I feel. It's not awful but I sure don't feel 100%!

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birthing Class: Night 4

Tuesday night we had our fourth birthing class that included the hospital tour and information on c-sections. I really enjoyed the tour because it makes me feel much more prepared knowing what the inside of those delivery rooms look like. I can better visualize how everything will be.

After the tour we returned to the classroom to watch a video on c-sections. It was interesting to watch but it's something I hope I don't have to have. While I'm very thankful for modern medicine and the ability for doctors to quickly and safely perform the surgery, I would prefer not having to recover from it. You have to stay in the hospital longer after delivery, you can't walk too much, no driving for 2 weeks, and no lifting. I figure, I'm going to be worn out enough after the "marathon of labor" and delivering vaginally that I don't want to worry about recovering from surgery also.

We finished up the class with back stretches and massages. :) Hooray for husbands with great massage skills!

Monday, December 13, 2010

32 Weeks...feeling ready!

At this point I'm feeling like 40 weeks is a long time. I'm ready to have this baby!

Date day at Coronado. :)

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We're Ready for Christmas!

31 Weeks, 2 Days Check Up - Auto Pilot

Today we met Dr. Meshkat. She was great, not very chatty though. It was very "Hi, nice to meet you. How do you feel? How are your ankles? Any swelling? Bleeding? Let's measure you and feel that heartbeat." I literally think the appointment was that fast. I didn't really mind though - it gave me more time to spend with Darren before I had to go to work.

Everything is still going great. He's very active, has a strong heartbeat, and is measuring right on schedule. Dr. Meshkat said I'm at that point where I'm kind of on auto-pilot for the pregnancy. I knew exactly what she meant. During our first and second trimester I came in with a written list of questions. Now I don't have hardly any. Nothing too "weird" is happening; I'm just kind of going with it. I've also reached the over-it stage. I'm tired and huge and would like for Isaiah to just get here! I also would love to go for a run, have a glass of wine, and sleep on my belly. In time...

Shockingly, I didn't gain any wait over the last two and a half weeks - even though we had Thanksgiving, leftovers, a plate of cookies, eggnog, and a junk food weekend with my father-in-law in town. I hopped on the scale and said, "Are you sure?" The doctor said it's fine as long as my belly is still growing, which it is! I've gained a total of 12 inches around my waste and 20 pounds to date.

Birthing Class: Night Three

We had birthing class again on Tuesday night - we're halfway done with the series! WHEW! This class was about the different medications and intervention methods (except c-section) that can be used during labor and delivery.

Our class leader talked about epidurals, analgesics, episiotomies, forceps, vacuums, etc. I have to say I didn't do very much research on analgesics (mostly because I didn't realize how common they were) and it was interesting to hear all about them. That is one thing I do not want during labor unless entirely neccessary. I guess I just don't like the idea of taking "happy meds" while bringing my baby in the world, especially because they do get to the baby.

TRUE LIFE STORY: Darren's mama had them during labor and Darren was actually born limp. They had to give him a different kind of medication to wake him up. Even though there were no adverse affects on Darren and he didn't have any issues after getting the medication, I don't like the idea of Isaiah being rushed away right after he pops out because he isn't fully awake.

Epidurals, while there are risks involved, are much safer. We learned that the later you get one in labor, the faster pushing can be. Why? Mostly because of gravity. If you walk around and squat while in active labor, the baby will descend on his own. If you get the epidural too early, you have to stay in bed and the baby has to make his way down on his own. I hope to wait as long as possible before I get one for this reason.

Our class leader told us to not think of our wants as things we have-to-have because no matter how much we plan, labor is a natural process and things can change very quickly. Bottom line - know your preferences, know the risks, ask a lot of questions, and be flexible!

On a side note, Darren was as bad as a 3 year old during this class. He was so bored! He was interested in the type of medications, etc. but could not for the life of him understand why we had to discuss it for two and a half hours! The man could not sit still or stop talking. It was cracking me up - I can't even get mad at him (no matter how grouchy I am), I love him too much!

31 Weeks! Would you like to play with my basketball?

Would you like to play with my basketball?

And just think, two people in the past couple of weeks have guessed I was around 4 months pregnant...really? REALLY?!

Look at the dents at the top of my belly - I'm really poking out now!

31 weeks already! Only 9 weeks to go - but I sure am feeling it. I'm totally squished, completely exhausted and my back aches. BUT, Isaiah is moving around more than ever and I can't help but laugh, smile, and cry! I love him so much. I'm constantly thinking about him and dreaming of the day we get to finally meet him face to face. He already feels like a huge part of our family and I don't even know what color his hair is! Becoming a parent is truly an incredible process. :)

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Birthing Class: Night Two

Last Tuesday was our second birthing class. It was good - I felt more uncomfortable than usual but it was still interesting. Everyone looked a little bigger and rounder...could be the turkey from last week, could be the baby. This class we talked about signs of labor, when to go to the hospital, and watched a few videos of women giving birth.

Giving birth does not scare me or gross me out at all but it is weird watching some random lady do it. After all, the videos are very graphic and the process of giving birth (while amazing and beautiful) is kind of strange.

Most of the women in class cried when the babies popped out and a few of the men gasped or ewwed or "ugghed" when the baby was crowning. You just have to laugh! The videos are educational and I think it's great for mom's and dad's to see them so they have an idea of what to expect, but watching a strange woman's lady part push out a baby is just kind of...strange? That's the only word I can think of...

All the women in the videos delivered naturally so naturally they were miserable. This prompted one of the women in the class to ask, "At what point can I get my epidural?" We all about died laughing! Only one out of the 15 couples in the class are planning on delivering naturally. I think it's just fine and dandy if you want to do it naturally but I have a very wise mother that delivered 5 healthy babies - 4 naturally and 1 with an epidural. If she says it's the way to go, I'll have no problem taking that advice!