37 Weeks – Full Term!!

Week 37 (January 18 – 25) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. AND my first real contraction!

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvis, and my baby belly has dropped 

Cravings: Peanut butter and chocolate, for a change

High Point:  I had a really lovely surprise baby shower at work this past week. It was put on by some great co-workers who brought in cake and other tasty refreshments. I received some really sweet gifts for the baby and was especially pleased to get lots of clothes in the 6-12 month range, because I’m really lacking in that department! I felt so welcome and loved, especially since this is my first year working at this school.

Low Point: I had another appointment with my OB this week, and while everything was great, she “checked” me again and nothing had changed, even after having a real contraction. I know that the state of my cervix really has nothing to do with the ability to predict when I’ll go into labor, but I was hoping for some sort of change, especially since so little happened when I was in labor with E. I’ll admit, I was bumming pretty hard.

What I did to prepare this week: More cleaning and organizing. It’s a challenge to keep on top of everything lately because I’m super tired and I have a husband and kid. It’s not to say they aren’t wonderful and big helps in their own way, because they most certainly are, but they’re not the cleanest bunch 🙂

Paranoid Moment: I’m very much at the same point I was with E. when I was pregnant with her, where everything could be a possible indicator of something wrong. I’m not harping as badly as I was when I was pregnant with E. (mostly because I’m working this time around and have things to occupy my mind), but I still worry more than I characteristically would. 

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say:

“Your baby is now considered “full term,” even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you’re planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier.)

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.”

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Experimentation

Back in December I talked about a few of my New Year’s goals. One of them was to start changing our diet at home to something more wholesome and grounded in real and whole foods. Well, as if the bloggy internet gods had heard my prayers, this series cropped up on Keeper of the Home, one of the homemaking blogs that I follow. One of the first posts was about what you can start changing and eliminating in your diet to go down the real foods road. Keeping that in mind, when I went to make breakfast this morning, I came up with this recipe. 

First of all, it’s loosely based on my standby pancake recipe from Martha Stewart. Secondly, this is a sort of cobbled together, vaguely “real” food recipe. After I list what I used I will sum it all up with how I will change it next time around to make it a real “real” food recipe. 

Here goes: 

2 cups whole wheat flour

5 tbs. raw honey

2 tps. baking soda 

2 cups of water

6 tbs. canola oil

2 large eggs

2 apples, chopped

To cook, I threw all the ingredients together in a bowl, mixed everything together until well blended, then over medium heat in a well-greased skillet, poured a 1/4 cup of batter in for each pancake. It made about 12 pancakes. 

How did they taste? Really good, especially with some syrup and butter. However, the texture is a bit different because of the wheat flour, and that also alters the taste a bit. It definitely had a more wheat-y flavor. 

What would I change the second time around? Well, for one, I would replace the canola oil with either coconut oil or butter (preferably raw and/or organic). Also, instead of water, I would consider using either low fat, organic milk or full fat, raw milk (“raw”, by the way, means unpasteurized). Reasoning behind this? One, there are lots of nutrients in whole, raw milk. Like, a lot. And most of those nutrients are lost during the pasteurization process. Two, I think butter and milk are a lot more yummy than oil and water. That said, the water, I’m sure, cuts a whole lot of calories from the pancakes.

So, this is my first venture into the real food world, modified as it is. One of my short term goals that I just set for myself recently was to try to cook at least one real food meal a week, so I suppose this is kind of my first for the week (which works, considering I don’t really have the ingredients I want at home right now and won’t be grocery shopping until the end of the week).

Next on my list of things to do in this area? I’m going to do some pricing tomorrow at a couple of local shops (a farm stand and a co-op) as well as our local grocery store.  

The Official List (Hospital Bag Edition)

Last month I wrote a bit about my experience staying at the hospital after E. was born and some of the stuff I really, really wished I had with me. After much thought and some actual packing (and having to dig out my HUGE suitcase that has

been living at my parents for the last six or so years), I’ve got the list. 

Now, keep in mind, I am the ultimate over packer. I really dislike being without, and, if for whatever reason, I’m stuck at the hospital for more than a couple of days, I’m going to be very grumpy if I don’t have everything I think I’ll need. That said, should I not use even half of what I pack, that’s totally okay with me. 

So, here’s the list: 

Wallet

Cell/Charger

Blackberry/Charger

Nook/Charger

Deodorant (buy travel size)

Toothbrush (buy spare)

Toothpaste  (buy travel size)

Brush

Makeup

Lip balm

Hair elastics

Hair clip

Shampoo/conditioner (buy travel size)

Ratty t-shirt for labor

Bathing suit top for labor in tub/shower

Bathrobe

Jammies

  • Night gown
  • Pants and top
  • More pants and top

Pair of socks

Nursing bra

Roomy underwear

Snacks

Pillow with pillowcase

Notepad (buy)

Pen/Pencil

Going home outfit

  • Black sweats or yoga pants
  • Comfortable top

Shampoo/body wash for Mike

Jammies for Mike

Swim trunks for Mike

Changes of clothes for Mike

  • Two pairs of pants
  • Three shirts
  • Three pairs of underwear
  • Socks

Sleep sacks for baby x3

Going home outfit for baby

Receiving blanket

Boppy pillow

Nursing cover

Cloth diapers

Nipple cream

Doula gift(s) (gift card/certificates to Beth’s Kitchen and something else…)

(I apologize for the weirdo formatting – this is what happens when you copy and past from Word, apparently.) So that’s all of it. The clothes take up the most space, but I wanted to have something clean to change into each day, especially if I end up having another c-section. I also wanted the hubs to have access to come clean and comfy clothes, too, since he’ll be hanging around the hospital with me and sleeping there as well. 

And, despite the apparent simplicity of it, I did put a lot of thought into that going home outfit for me. I wanted something basic, but also not totally schleppy looking. I’m obviously not going to try to look like a movie star, but I want to feel put together as well as comfortable. 

I found when putting this list together that there were a lot of little things and a lot of stuff I didn’t just have on hand, particularly the travel size stuff. As I’ve packed my bag I’ve added things slowly over the last couple of weeks. I just bought, for example, the travel size shampoo/conditioner and deodorant during our last trip to Target. I had to set aside just the right kind of undies each time I did laundry. And I haven’t even come close to packing the electronics, and those likely won’t go into the hospital bag until we’re ready to go. It’s definitely not a trip you can pack for all at one time! 

And, a note on snacks. I’ll be honest, I haven’t even asked my OB or the hospital when we did our tour last week about their policy regarding eating during labor. I plan on feigning (sort of) ignorance. Because, I will eat. And what did I choose for snacks? So far, I grabbed three different of granola bars and a box of pineapple popsicles when I went grocery shopping last week. I may add to my small collection when I grocery shopping next Friday, but I’m actually pretty happy with what I have for now. The granola bars, I think, will be good early on in labor, when I will want something more substantial and the popsicles will be nice when labor is more intense and I might want something more filling than water, but still light. 

What’s going (or has gone) in your hospital bag? 

Week 36

Week 36 (January 11 – 18) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. Also, breast tenderness has resurfaced.

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvis, and my baby belly has dropped 

Cravings: Peanut butter and chocolate, for a change

High Point:  We got the co-sleeper this weekend! I was so, so, so excited! We have it all set up next to the bed and E. has had great fun putting her baby doll to bed inside of it. I can’t wait until it’s filled with our real baby and not dolls, books, and electronics. 

Low Point: Some of my pregnancy paranoia has sufficiently subsided this week, so I’ve been feeling emotionally all right. Physically, however, I’m starting to really feel worn down. The baby is so low in my pelvis I can feel a lot of pressure from his big ol’ noggin. I felt really lousy on Tuesday (lots of headaches and heavy headedness along with crampy, though fairly mild contractions). I ended up going in to see my OB and having a non-stress test and exam. While everything looked good baby-wise, my OB said I was definitely having consistent contractions, but they weren’t strong enough to make anything happen (which is fine, because it’s not quite time yet for the babe to make his appearance). And when I had my exam I was not quite a centimeter dilated and my cervix was becoming soft and stretchy. All good stuff (and sorry if this is a bit TMI). My OB said she was leaning towards thinking I’d likely go on my own and quite possibly have the come out the “old fashioned way”. So, so good to hear. 

What I did to prepare this week: Got that co-sleeper! I pestered and pestered and pestered the hubs to go to the big city with me to hit up Babies ‘R’ Us, and he finally agreed to go, even though he was feeling completely miserable. This is the one we got. We also picked up a the starter set of these bottles at Target. I’d like to get one more package (I have a set of 5 oz. bottles and I’d like another set of the 9 oz.), but that can go on the back burner until after the babe shows up.

Paranoid Moment: Feeling much better this week. 

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say:

“Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she’s in a head-down position. But if she isn’t, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying she’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.”

 

 

Week 35

Week 35 (January 4 – 11) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. Also, breast tenderness has resurfaced.

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvic joints

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs…and chocolate!

High Point:  Two very fun things this week: First, I went out and bought some really fun fabric for a couple of nursing covers and a baby quilt for the little guy. I love, love, love fabric shopping, so that alone was great. But it was also nice to go out by myself and take my time looking for just the right stuff. It’s something that’s rare now as it is and is bound to only become more so. I’ll try to post pictures as I finish everything (I’ve already done one cover and have started on the quilt). 

Secondly, I finally got to meet officially with my doulas (yes, plural)! I’ve been meeting with these ladies on a monthly basis anyhow, because they’re the student midwives I see for prenatal check-ups at the Birth House. I was so excited to finally get to sit down with them and talk about what I wanted this baby’s birth to be. Early on in the meeting we decided it would be beneficial for women to attend to birth for a variety of reasons. For me, the biggest was I liked the idea of having two different styles of care and experience and the guarantee that at least one of them would always be there. Plus, I would have had a really, really hard time choosing between the two. I feel incredibly lucky to have happened upon this service, because in the typical doula situation, I would likely be paying quite a bit more (I’m only paying $50), would only have access to one talented lady, and wouldn’t have had as much opportunity to get to know and speak to a doula (they have been with me from the beginning, including pre-concpetion!). They’ve made me feel so much better about my birth. I know it will be great!

Low Point: The pregnancy fears have started to settle in, though this time around, they aren’t necessarily specific to pregnancy. More below. 

What I did to prepare this week: More cleaning and organizing. Also, meeting with my doulas and getting some baby related sewing done. 

Paranoid Moment: Well, I had a bad dream and it all sort of devolved from there. I had a rough couple of days worrying about things that were out of my control. I had also developed a bit of an irrational fear about losing E. I remember at this point in my pregnancy with her I worried about some pretty random things, mostly related to possible birth defects or SIDS. This time around I’m feeling very confident in our little guy’s health, but I’m more focused on my fear of losing my relationship with E. once the new baby comes. While I know I won’t love her any less (how could I?), I do fear that I won’t be able to give her what I have for the last four years. In fact, I pretty much know I won’t, because, let’s face it, baby’s take up a whole heck of a lot of energy. I think a lot of the fear I’ve had about “losing” E. stem from the very real fear about the upcoming change in dynamic in my family. 

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.”

Week 34

Week 34 (December 28 – January 4) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. Also, breast tenderness has resurfaced.

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvic joints

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  The hubs brought home a box of baby clothes from a friend at his work. It was so nice to add some cute little outfits to our collection. I think we’ve got everything we need now, at least for the first few months. I also got a ton of cleaning and organizing done New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It felt amazing to get everything straightened out just the way I wanted it.

Low Point: I went back to work on the 2nd, and while that was nice, I felt like my entire body had been beaten with a bat when I got home. Not a good feeling. Thankfully subsequent work days haven’t been as bad.

What I did to prepare this week: Tons and tons and tons of cleaning and organizing. My mom came over and helped me get my kitchen in order (and did an amazing job cleaning out my rather disgusting fridge). That was Monday. On Tuesday, I put away baby clothes, organized cloth diapers, got my bedroom set up to accomadate the co-sleeper, whenever we go out to buy that, started packing my hospital bag, organized E.’s toys and cleaned up her room, cleaned my bathrooms, scrubbed the living daylights out of my stove, and pretty much did up the whole house. I’d love to get some dusting done this coming weekend…

Paranoid Moment: I’m doing okay here.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help 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.”

Week 33

Week 33 (December 21 – December 28) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: I’ve been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks. Also, breast tenderness has resurfaced.

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvic joints

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  Christmas came and went, and it was lovely. I couldn’t help but think (and hear from lots of people) that this time next year we’d have another little one to shower with love and junk amazing gifts. It has been hard to believe that this was our last holiday season as a family of three.

Low Point: It’s been smooth sailing here.

What I did to prepare this week: I got a really super awesome gift of a TON of cloth diapers (this brand, specifically) from my mom and dad. I also got to officially open my gifts from the hub’s grandparents, my Boppy pillow and some bottles. It was exciting to finally take home a substantial amount of baby gear!

Paranoid Moment: Paranoia manifested itself very differently this pregnancy versus my last. With E., I was constantly afraid something horrible was wrong with her. It got ridiculous, actually, and I blame a lot of that on my watching waaaaay too much Law and Order: SVU. This time around, I’m confident that the baby will be very healthy and totally fine, but I’m having a hard time doing things like driving places and not worrying about possible risks to myself, my daughter, and husband. I go through spouts where I’m afraid something terrible will happen to one of us and it’s almost immobilizing. It’s only been recently that I’ve realized this is probably my late pregnancy paranoia setting in and will clear within a few weeks to a month or so after the baby is born (just like it did with E.). For now I just have to ignore that nagging voice in my head.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “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. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.”

Week 32

Week 32 (December 14 – December 21) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: The babe is starting to do those twisty movements where I feel like my entire belly is shifting position. I’ve also been getting really crampy, as well as have more Braxton Hicks.

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvic joints

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  We had many lovely festivities at school and then Christmas break began! And I had a lovely appointment with my midwives in Bridgton. As always, it went well.

Low Point: Things have been cruising along nicely, and other than starting to feel a wee bit crampy (like, menstrual cramps), things have been good. I have been worrying that the cramps could be an indicator of early labor, but so far so good.

What I did to prepare this week: While I am very much aware of my pregnancy, Christmas has overshadowed a lot.

Paranoid Moment: None that I can think of.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “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. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.”