Tuesday, August 31, 2010

38 weeks!

38 Weeks! Alright, folks-- Warning: TMI Ahead.

I lost my mucus plug yesterday! After feeling disappointed about Monday's appointment, I was so happy to make a little progress-- not that this is any indication of when I will actually begin active labor, but it's still a reassuring sign that things are headed in the right direction.

As I come to realize exactly how close this pregnancy is to being over, I've been thinking a lot about the things I will miss once my little guy is on the outside. I won't miss the heartburn, the leg cramps, the backaches... but I will miss having him all to myself. While so many people have looked at my ultrasound photos or touched my belly, there are some parts of pregnancy that only I have experienced-- private moments. Every move that he's made, I've known it. Every hiccup he's had, I've felt it. There is nothing that he's done that I haven't been there for-- and all of that is about to change. Soon I'll be sharing him with the world & I won't be with him every second. It's mostly exciting, but a little sad, too. We never know what the future holds and I'm really trying to cherish every moment of this pregnancy in case it's the only one I ever have... (That's certainly not the plan!) I know that the milestones we've had over the past 9 1/2 months will be far surpassed by the ones that we will experience over the next year.

This week, baby is the size of a duffel bag (Really?):

And looks like this (hopefully):

Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby's intestines have accumulated a considerable amount of meconium (the code name for black, tar-like baby poop), which is usually eliminated shortly after birth and gives you your first experience with the 100-wipe diaper change.

Here's what else is up:

Your baby might just scratch himself in the womb as the fingernails have grown over the fingertips now. Baby's lungs continue to mature and his brain and nerve function are working better every day. The latter two will continue to mature until Junior is a teenager, at which point he'll know it all (or at least she'll think she does).

Your baby weighs about 6½ pounds and is around 19 or 20 inches long—as long as a duffle bag (in case you needed an excuse to go shopping for a new bag for your labor gear)."

38 Week Belly Pic

It still feels unbelievable that we will be holding Liam in our arms in two weeks (three weeks max)! We talk almost every day about how no matter how many things we've purchased, how many classes we've taken, and how we've tried to plan, nothing will actually prepare us for the moment we meet our son. I see my growing belly and feel him move inside me, but it just seems hard to believe that there's an actual person, a baby, growing there. I can't wait to see his sweet face!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's done, is done.

This past week has been so hectic-- I was so worried that my house would be completely upside down when I went into labor, but with my parents' help yesterday, we are back to a semi-normal existance. Time for the update on the Pre-Delivery To Do List!
  • Floors-- We are thrilled at how they turned out! They match the rest of our house beautifully. We had to move out of the house for a few days and were able to come home and put our furniture back yesterday. We ended up getting a very reasonable quote and we not only got the bedroom done, but our living room floors screened too. Done!
Here's the post carpet, post vinyl before pic:

And the after!

  • Upgrade to King Size Bed-- With the two of us, plus a large cuddly dog, and soon a baby, we just wanted some more room. (We are not co-sleeping, but we still need some space for those late night/early morning nursing sessions.) The mattress we chose could still use a pillow-top mattress pad, we are going to make an upholstered headboard, and we need some new linens, but for now, the mattress is on a frame and the bed is made. We slept in it last night. Done!
  • Laundry-- All blankets, diapers, washcloths, towels, clothes, burp cloths, sheets, mattress covers, changing pad covers, etc are washed, folded and ready to go. Done!
  • Packing-- Hospital bag is packed and in the car. My diaper bag is also stocked. Done!
  • Shopping-- There is nothing left on the list that we have to have-- I'm still picking up things here and there to decorate the nursery, but everything that we need is here. Everything from clothes to gear, meds to blankets, bath stuff to monitors-- it's here. Done!
  • Cooking-- Freezer stash is ready to go with: 6 casseroles, 2 containers of fresh green beans, 10 containers of soup/chili and 3 loaves of banana bread. I'll add to this as I can, but this is certainly enough to get us through our first couple of weeks home. Done!
  • Car Seat-- Installed in my car. Checked for safety. Done!
  • Thank You Notes-- All thank you notes from our two baby showers with friends and family, plus two showers with Rob's co-workers have been written, addressed, and mailed. Done!
  • Birth Announcements-- Addressed. Need to pick up some stamps this week, but for all intents and purposes, Done!
  • The Nursery-- The bedding is done, the furniture is arranged, the changer is stocked, the decals are on the walls and I've done everything I can do. I know I've been such a tease about this, but I swear I'm going to post pics soon. (I've promised these for so long, I know you don't believe me!) I just didn't want to put up any pics until it is totally done-- My dad is going to help me hang some shelves and shutters this week. He and my mom just moved here two weeks ago and things have been so hectic that we haven't had a chance to add the last few finishing touches. So, I count this as Done!

So, what's left?

Tomorrow I will knock out some sewing projects that I need to get done. I have a few orders of baby shoes and burp cloths that I need to get out the door ASAP. That's really the last thing that absolutely MUST get done before baby-time.

When that's done, I really want to fill in the pregnancy section of Liam's baby book. I know that it will be a struggle to go back and do these things after he's here-- I have some things that I've written for it that are typed on the computer, but I haven't written them in the book. I'm determined to get it done.

I'm sure that other things will pop up between now and labor, but for the most part, I feel ready! Feels good.

Doctor's Appointment: Week 38

No real progress today.

Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed. I know that this is no indication of when I will go into labor, but it would be nice to know that the contractions I've been having and the general discomfort I've felt over the past week were actually doing something. Every centimeter I dialate now is one that I don't have to endure during active labor! Here are the stats from Baby Watch 2010:
Week 38:

Weight: +1lb from last week. Finally hit my pre-pregnancy weight.


Still 1 cm dialated & 50% effaced. Cervix is soft (ripened).

Baby's Position:
Still unsure since I didn't dialate more, but she said again today that she thought she could feel his head.

Overall Progress: Still looking good. The lack of progress this week is certainly not a concern-- it just is what it is. The doctor reminded me that I could be induced any time we want starting next week. I'm pretty sure that we're still avoiding this option unless I go past my due date. I think he'll come when he's ready, and if he chooses to snuggle in past 10 months, then we can talk about induction.

That's all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

37 Weeks!

I want to shout from the rooftops today:

I was very happy to hear at my appointment that I'm slowly progressing-- I'd like to think that the fact that I'm only 1 cm so far means that I've got some time. But, I know that this is no indication of when I'll actually go into labor. It could be today or it could be a week after my due date. I feel like a ticking time-bomb and the stress of all of our projects isn't exactly helping settle me.

I got a quote on refinishing our floor yesterday afternoon but it's definitely out of our price range. Someone else came this morning and gave us an estimate that was $400 cheaper, so that's good news. We also have a family member coming in the next few days to see if he might be able to do it. Fingers crossed that one of these will work out because we need these floors done, NOW! We'll be picking a company within the next few days and we need the work done no later than the beginning of next week. Depending on what method they use to strip the floors (chemical or sanding) there's a good chance I may have to move out for a few days. So, any lingering to-do's have to get done by the end of the weekend.

This week, baby is the size of a large mouth bass (Is it just me or are these comparisons becoming more & more bizarre?):
And looks like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Huge news this week: You're carrying a full-term baby! If you were to go into labor today, all systems would be a go. Woohoo! Even though you can't wait for the little bambino to quite literally rear his head, keep in mind that your bun benefits from every day in the oven.

Other ticker-tape-worthy developments:

Baby's growth slows down dramatically this week, which is great news for your birth canal. His bones are still soft and pliable and will solidify after he's born. More great news for your birth canal. So if he's all cooked and ready to go, what the heck is he still doing in there?!

He's busy practicing for "life on the outside," working on his breathing, sucking, sleeping, gazing and peeing abilities. The only thing he can't practice yet is his ability to scream at the top of his lungs when he's hungry—but he'll do plenty of that in a few weeks.

At this point babies vary in size, but the average length is between 19 and 20 inches and most babies weigh approximately 6 pounds. About the size of an average largemouth bass caught in Minnesota by your cousin Earl."

37 Week Belly Pic

I will do a post later this week about the pre-delivery to do list, and where I stand. Once we get the house put back together, we're in good shape! In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that the full moon tonight has no effect on when Liam decides to make his big debut!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Doctor's Appointment: Week 37

A little bit of progress today! Here are the stats from Baby Watch 2010: Week 37:

Weight: +4lbs from last week (ha!). While that startles me a bit, I've fluctuated within a 5lb range for the last 37 weeks-- all under my pre-pregnancy weight. This weight gain brings me back to where I was before my last two weeks of loss. So, who knows what it will be next week?! And honestly, who cares?

BP: Normal

Cervix: 1 cm dialated (yay!) & 50% effaced (and yay!). Cervix is soft (ripened).

Baby's Position:
She said that she thought she could feel his head-- she said that it's difficult to tell for sure until I get to two centimeters because if you can only feel a little bit, a head can feel like a bottom.

Overall Progress:
Doctor said that things are progressing perfectly. My increased contractions and strong pelvic pressure are all good signs that things are moving in the right direction. I asked her about what she would do if I went past my due date-- she said that they would not let me go past 41 weeks. (My birthday is at 40w and 6d!) We also talked about the potential of induction if the cervix is "favorable" at 39 weeks (dialated at least 3 cm and at least 50% effaced) but I'm not really interested in this. I want to go into labor when he's ready to come out, not when the "devil drug" (so I've heard) pitocin forces him to come out. Although, ask me again in another 2 weeks how I feel about this!

I had some cramping/contractions as we walked around the hospital a bit after the appointment, but it doesn't seem to be as bad as last week. I came home and laid down for about an hour, then took a warm bath and I think I'm ok! I won't be running a ton of errands today, but I'm happy that I think I can get some things done around the house today.

So, I'm happy to see that I made some progress from last week, but relieved that it's not too much progress, because we're in the middle of a home improvement crisis right now and baby can't come until mommy has her bedroom back!

Our house was built in 1928, so all of the rooms have hardwood floors-- only our bedroom had carpet covering them. The carpet was old and dirty, so we decided to pull it up this weekend.

Surprise!! Hiding underneath the carpet was some Mad Men style vinyl flooring. Our house was split into a duplex at some point in time, before it was converted back into a single family home. Our bedroom, was evidently a kitchen at some point.

So, we ripped up the vinyl-- only the messy adhesive stayed behind... and now, well, we're kind of stuck. We've tried soaking it in mineral spirits and scraping it off with a putty knife, but it's starting to look like we may need some professional help.

We have very little time (and money) to take care of this, so I'm hopeful we can find a reasonable handyman in the next few days to help us!

Additionally, we're having problems in the bathroom that we just had remodeled a few months ago. All of our tile is popping off the floor. We had the contractors out to take a look and they agreed that it has to be redone. So, the tile has to be ordered, the current floor has to be ripped up, then the new tile has to be laid. At least this time, it comes out of their pockets, not ours.

So, in the meantime, we're sleeping in the guest bedroom and using bath mats to cover the huge holes in the floor in the bathroom. I'm two steps away from a nervous breakdown, worring that the baby will come before we can get this resolved. So, Liam, you stay where you are until mommy can get all of this taken care of, ok? Pleeease?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just for fun...

Ok, so I know I'll regret spending time on things like this when I'm not finished with all my tasks and the baby arrives, but I thought it would be fun to see all of the weekly pics together, to see how the belly has grown. I don't have one for every week, but almost! (You can click on the pics to make them larger.) The difference between Week 15 and Week 36 is amazing!

Ok, back to work!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

36 Weeks!

36 Weeks (+1 day)!

I'm feeling much better today after my appointment left me feeling pretty yucky most of Monday. I'm just thankful to know that everything is looking good and I'm looking forward to next Monday-- no, not for the next internal exam, but hopefully to see what position little Liam is in. I'm such a worrier, so I'd like to know as soon as possible. I have no reason to think that he's not head down, but I don't know for sure. I REALLY do not want to have a c-section, but, of course, I want to deliver a healthy baby. So, if that's how things end up, fine, but give me some time to get used to the idea, if possible!

This week, baby is the size of a breadbox (strange comparison):
And looks like this adorable creature:
Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby continues to put on weight at about ½ pound each week. This layer of fat will help your baby regulate his body temperature after leaving your climate-controlled womb. In fact, your baby will be 15 percent fat at birth (and you ... well that's another story).

Even in the womb, your baby can listen, feel, touch and see. The only thing separating him from living in the outside world is a little thing called the birth canal.

Other highlights this week:

His gums are firm with ridges that look somewhat like teeth, though his actual pearly whites won't start breaking through until he's between three months and a year old.

Your baby has definite patterns of sleep and wakefulness—opening his eyes while awake and closing them while sleeping. Your baby will become alert and turn his head toward light and sound just as a newborn would—except when you put on that Celine Dion CD. Then the baby puts his hands up, turns away and gurgles, "Oh no you didn't!"

Your baby is now around 18½ inches long and nearly 6 pounds—just about as big as a breadbox!"

36 Week Belly Pic

So, as time starts to run out, there are some things on our list that really need to get done no later than the end of next week (preferably sooner!):

Install Carseat
Pack for the hospital
Prepare and freeze a few more meals
Install shelves and shutters in the nursery
Pre-address birth announcements
Fill out the pregnancy section of our Baby Book

And, as if there's not enough going on, Rob and I plan on ripping up the carpet in our bedroom and upgrading to a king size bed-- maybe this weekend. Wish us luck with all our projects!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Doctor's Appointment: Week 36

I had a doctor's appointment this morning-- I'll be going every week from here on out! Here are the stats from Baby Watch 2010: Week 36.

-2lbs from 34 weeks


Starting to thin, not dialating yet

Baby's Position: Doc said he's dropped some, but his position is still unknown! She said my cervix is up very high-- she could barely reach it, so she couldn't feel if his head was there. I was surprised that she didn't offer an ultrasound to check his position, since she had mentioned this before. She said we'd try again next week-- I'd feel better knowing that he's in the correct position!

Strep B Test: Should get the results back in a few days.

I haven't felt very well since I got back from my appointment-- the doc warned me that I'd probably experience some cramping and/or spotting from my first internal exam. I've experienced both, along with a lot of pressure and back pain. Trying to rest a bit today and take it easy-- but for most part, I'm feeling pretty good these days!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


As I read about other women's pregnancies, whenever someone hits 35 weeks, I always think, "Their baby is almost here!" Today, we hit magical 35/35-- 35 weeks pregnant, 35 days to go.

I know that realistically, there's no way of knowing if this baby will be early, on time or late-- but my mom went into labor almost two weeks early with me and my brother, so if I were to follow her labor pattern, we could be bringing home a baby in 3 weeks (and at the latest, 6 weeks).

3 Weeks???!!!

The idea is more exciting than nerve-wracking-- but it's a little of both, of course. The good news is that we're done with the shopping, we're mostly done with the laundry (The washing machine broke last week & we're hoping to have it repaired this week--thank God, Rob and I have plenty of underwear), we have all of the "essentials," the nursery is done (minus the finishing touches, which are slow, but coming along nicely), and the freezer is stocked for several weeks of meals.

So what's left? Pack my hospital bag. Install the car seat. Stock the diaper bags. Cook some more freezable foods. Clean the house. Rest. I'm doing some work for my uncle from home, which is great since I'm not working anymore, and that project should be done next week. I'm not allowed to travel from now until the baby is here, so I (hopefully) have a few weeks to get everything done. And of he comes a little early? Well, we'll be fine--ecstatic actually.

This week, baby is the size of a sheet cake:

And looks like this:
Baking Baby Blakely

"This week the final touches are being added to your mini-masterpiece and most of his development is going to packing on the pounds. While baby's movements may be becoming less jerky, he may do his final somersault in the womb soon—to put himself into the head-down position for birth.

Other fascinating facts:

Your little Karate Kid can't quite pack the punch he used to due to the limited space inside the womb these days. You're likely to feel more wiggles, stretches and rolls than kicks and jabs. The extra layer of fat your baby is adding will create those cute dimples on your baby's elbows and knees.

His liver has begun processing his waste products, so you know which organ to thank when he has his first blowout up the back of his onesie. Baby's nails are growing so long they may curl over the tips of his tiny fingers and toes before he sees a pair of clippers. He'll be in serious need of a mani-pedi once he's born (as will you).

Your baby is now about 5½ pounds and over 18 inches long—about the size of one of those price-club sheet cakes."
(35 week belly picture to come!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Parental Fail

Is this what we have to look forward to one day?

Mortifying? Sure. Hilarious? Definitely.

Think she's scarred for life?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meet Mozart & Friends

In general, I'm not a big fan of stuffed animals for small children. I don't like most of the materials that they are made of and they always seem kind of dirty and gross. The only thing I really wanted Liam to have was a Sock Monkey--they're cute and classic and typically woven cotton instead of yucky polyester.

At my baby shower in SC, my dad had a special gift for Liam-- Meet "Mozart":

I am in love with this little guy! (Well, he's actually kind of big-- he's 22" tall!) Mozart is a 100% cotton hand knitted blabla doll-- he's soft, cuddly, bright and fun. I love that he's a Sock Monkey with a modern twist.

Mozart has been our test monkey for all of Liam's new gear-- here he is trying out the rocker, the swing and the bumbo:

I can't wait to see Liam dragging him around the house by the tail.

When I started thinking about items to put on the shelves in the nursery, I decided that Mozart needed some friends. Meet Lemonade, who is about 10" tall:

I obviously spent too much time roaming around the blabla website-- I stumbled onto the rattle section. These are little 6" dolls with a rattle inside. Oh my goodness. My heart hurts from the cuteness. Lucky for me, Rob agrees that these are the cutest things in the world.

A monkey in a turtleneck! An elephant in shorts! Ahh!! To see Liam's little fingers wrapped around these, smiling when he hears them rattle... now that will be a sweet day. I can't wait for him to meet his new friends.

(At Rob's request, the family portrait!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

34 Weeks!

After a rough Week 33, Week 34 is starting off great!

Last week, my nasty stomach virus really took a lot out of me and it took 3-4 days to recover. While my stomach was hurting, my back was also hurting, I was having some cramping, and the little guy is stuffed so far into my lungs right now I can hardly breathe. I can't wait for him to drop in a few short weeks-- not only will I be able to breathe again, but maybe the acid reflux will let up a bit.

I have to be honest-- I've been blessed with such an easy pregnancy and I've tried to remember that during the times I've been uncomfortable... but when you are sick, exhausted, sore, and emotional it's difficult to keep your perspective. I was feeling particularly bad on Sunday evening and as Rob rubbed my belly, trying to soothe me, I started to cry. "I can't feel like this for another 6 weeks!"

Then, I started crying even harder because I felt so guilty for saying that. When Rob asked why I was getting more upset, I told him that every single day I am so thankful for this pregnancy-- and for how smoothly it has gone. A year ago, when we were struggling to get pregnant, I would have done anything to be in this position, no matter how uncomfortable-- complaining about any pregnancy symptom makes me feel horrible and ungrateful for this miracle that we've been given.

But through a little bit of talking (and a bit more belly rubbing), Rob helped me find that perspective-- and helped me see that a few days of feeling less than my best, doesn't make me ungrateful for my baby. Monday morning, I woke up feeling like a new woman.

Yesterday, at my 34 week checkup, when my doc asked how I had been feeling, I was honest and told her about my rough week. In addition to confirming that she had seen lots of cases of the stomach bug, she said, "Ahhh, you hit the 34 week wall. Even women with perfect pregnancies have to start being uncomfortable at some point, and it's usually right about now."

Enough said.

This week, baby is the size of an (amazingly creepy) American Girl Doll:
And looks like this (*gasp--head down!!*):
Baking Baby Blakely

"Your baby kind of looks like she's coated in a layer of cream cheese these days. The thick, white substance that protects her skin from pruning in the amniotic fluid is called vernix. When she's born you'll probably see some vernix lingering in her "hard-to-reach" places like under her arms, behind her ears and around her va-jay-jay, if she's a she...

Other news from the womb this week:

The soft fur, lanugo, that covered your baby's body for much of her stay in the womb is now almost completely gone.

Your baby begins to develop her own immune system, instead of relying solely on antibodies received through the placenta. This will come in handy when some grubby relative manhandles the baby without washing his hands first.

This week, your baby measures about 17¾ inches, as almost as long as an American Girl Doll (!) and weighs almost 5 pounds, as heavy as a bag of sugar, minus the cup you put in your decaf this morning."

34 Week Belly Pic
Other updates from my 34 week checkup:
  • I lost 2 lbs from my 31 week appt-- doc is not concerned.
  • Baby Belly is measuring right on track.
  • I go back at 36 weeks, then start weekly appointments.
  • Next appointment we'll do the Strep B test and I'll have my first internal exam.
  • Baby's position will be determined then-- if she can't tell when she checks my cervix, she'll do an ultrasound. (I think he's already head down. Fingers crossed!!)
  • TSH levels look good-- almost down to the level my RE considered ideal! I'm convinced that this is what's controlling my weight gain. I must be losing weight as I gain the baby weight. (Currently -3lbs from pre-pregnancy weight, +3lbs from lowest weight.)
  • Started a new prescription acid reflux medicine-- hopefully this one works!!

I checked a lot of things off my To Do list from last week including tons of laundry--one more load and everything is washed. Plenty more to do, but I'm relieved to see that list getting smaller and smaller, as I get bigger and bigger!