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.”

Advertisements

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.”

New Year Goals

Okay, I make resolutions every year. I make a big fuss over it. I get super excited about it, make a plan, charts, lists, and blog about it. Usually it falls pretty flat (though I will pat myself on the back with following through with my weight loss goals from last year). I am definitely one of those people who loves to plan, plan, plan, but has horrible execution, most likely because my expectations are waaaaaay to high. 

But I still keep doing it. 

I’m not entirely sure what’s wrong with me, because here I am, ready to jump in again, ready to fill my plate up with hopes and dreams, even when I have a pretty huge event looming ahead at the beginning of this upcoming year. 

I always feel like it will be different this time, but maybe, with a little bit more hindsight, it will be different. 

Here are my goals (let’s not even call them resolutions) for the upcoming year: 

Start the switch to whole/real foods (emphasis on the word “start”). I need to pick one area to start eliminating or changing what we’re eating and just do it. Once I feel confident in that area, then maybe move on to something else. We’ll see where I am a year from now. 

Eliminate one hour of screen time for E. and myself (the hubs, too, if he’ll get on board). I feel like we don’t watch a ton of T.V. in our house, but I can feel it starting to take over. I’m going to give myself a break in the first few months that the baby is here, but once summer vacation hits, I’m hoping to subtly remove some screen time for E. and myself (this means laptop/tablet time for me). 

Read one longer “chapter book” to E. I want to start looking up good books that will be more or less on her level. She’s a smart cookie and we did read Charlotte’s Web this year. I’d like to find something else she’d really enjoy, too. 

Read at least two books that are just fun for me. Minuscule goal, I know, but I have such a hard time reading for pleasure now. Hopefully the two books will turn into twenty, but considering I have a new baby on the way, I’m not holding my breath. I might have to try to reach this goal in the next few weeks!

Write more. It’s my perennial goal. Maybe this will be the year. Ordinarily I’d need a way to measure how much “more” would be, but at this point, writing anything on a regular basis besides blog posts would be more. 

Play more. I’m crappy at playing. Really. I need to spend more time with E. just having fun, unstructured time. I have found in the past that I can take a half hour, at least, out of our evenings at home and play a game, play with dolls, coloring, or reading extra books. I hope as I make more time for play, the easier it will become. 

Reintroduce exercise to my lifestyle. I’ve been really crappy about working out through this pregnancy. Granted, I move around a lot when I’m at home and at work, but I had hoped to keep up with walking and working out like I had prior to getting pregnant. I want bring it back into my life at least to the point it was before I got pregnant, if not more so. 

Maintain a cleaning schedule. I suppose if I’m going to maintain a cleaning schedule I need to create one. And I kind of had and was keeping up with it up until the onset of Thanksgiving and whatnot. I might have to throw it up on my calendar again and get it going once more. 

So, there you have it. I think it might seem like a lot, and maybe it is, but I also feel like the goals are vague enough that I can feel good about them even if minimal amounts of work actually gets done. We’ll see what happens…

Baby Prepping

 

So, at some point I might post pictures from our Christmas, but my brain moves fast lately and as soon as dear old St. Nick laid his head down to rest after the big night on Monday into Tuesday, the gears started turning towards the next big event in our life. 

E.’s fifth birthday. (Trust me, it’s already crossed my mind, a mere five months ahead of time.) 

The arrival of the baby. 

So, post Christmas, here’s what’s left on my Must Have/Would Really, Really Like to Have List: 

An Arms Reach Co-Sleeper

I’ve officially decided that we’re going to get, somehow, someway, the Convertible Mini, because it’s smaller and less expensive. Apparently the weight limit is 30 lbs., but considering E. just hit 40 lbs. at 4.5 years old, then that weight limit is more than enough. 

I also have a few smaller things that need to be purchased, like bottles (we only have three), baby shampoo, and, yep, I’m gonna say it, nipple cream. But really, they aren’t huge things, and it’s stuff, other than the bottles, maybe, that I can add to my grocery list and pick up a little bit every couple of weeks. 

I’m not worried. 

The next big project I have for the next few weeks is my hospital bag. Well, actually, hospital suitcase. Because I don’t know for sure how long I’ll be at the hospital and because home isn’t as conveniently located as it was with my daughter (45 minutes vs. 5 minutes), I need to think really carefully about how and what I’m going to pack. 

The biggest help in this process? Pinterest (link is to my “In My Hospital Bag” board). I love that site, because I can be an equally verbal and visual communicator. I like pictures and then the captions underneath are like the icing on top. 

Anywho, off the top of my head, these are the things I know I MUST have in my bag, because I didn’t have them last time and it suuuuuucked

  • A couple of pairs of my own jammies

  • Hair clips (purchased some today) and hair elastics

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Razor

  • Make-up

  • Snacks, for both labor and during the hospital stay

     

     

 

I do have other things on the list, particularly baby pertinent items (you know, like clothes and stuff) and items for labor, but these were the most important for me to remember, because, like I said, I didn’t have them last time, and, honestly, I probably wouldn’t think of packing these things without thinking about it ahead of time. 

But why do I have all these little beauty product items? Because, after you push a multi-pound baby out of your va-jay-jay or are gutted like a farm animal up for slaughter, you kind of feel and look like…crap. Or I did, at least. When I got to the hospital to have my daughter I already felt crappy (and you would too, at ten days over due) and gross – forget how I felt after a c-section and four day hospital stay. I was stuck using hospital shampoo and conditioner, a cheap-o razor, and a piddly travel brush to get myself back to human status post-birth. And then I put on the clothes I came to the hospital in. 

I’m not doing that again, no thank you! 

So, while I will be haggard and exhausted after this little guy comes around, I know I will feel better for having my own shampoo and conditioner, a decent razor, and some make-up (I should add to my list above a cute buy comfy going home outfit for me). 

As for the jammies, snacks, and hair stuff – 1.) You want your own clothes. Johnnies are not cute, not comfy, and way too revealing no matter what the situation. I’m packing a ratty t-shirt for labor and delivery (because that’s going to be a throw-away afterwards), and then a couple comfy pairs of my favorite jammies. 2.) I plan on eating as I please during labor, though of course, I’m going to try to pick items that will help boost my energy, more than anything else. I pinned some ideas on my Pinterest board. 3.) Believe it or not, I did not bring hair elastics with me to the hospital. My hair was a mess the whole time, got in my face, drove me nuts. And it was a totally gross rats’ nest after delivery, too, and stayed that way until I went home. Not happening this time. In fact, I’m thinking of asking one my best friends to come in and French braid my hair for me after the baby comes, so it’s out of my way, but looks nice (and I can get away with sleeping in it for a couple of days). 

And, speaking of hair, in addition to buying some hair clips and elastics today, I also got my hair done, because it needed it and I’ve vowed to not go into the hospital looking like a total slob. 

Whatcha think?

Image

It so, so needed to be done and feels so, so much better! I’m totally ready to have another baby, right? 

Week 31

Week 31 (December 7 – December 14) 

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

Body Changes: Achey hips and pelvic joints

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  An extra long weekend due to a snow storm on Monday and a personal day on Tuesday. Purpose of the personal day? I had an ultrasound in the Big City – the last one, presumably – before the boy gets here. Everything went well and looked good, except for one minor thing (see below)…

Also, I got to go out to dinner with my daddy afterward. Always a plus 🙂

Low Point: It’s really not that big of a deal, but that silly baby boy wouldn’t turn around! We didn’t get any good views of his face or profile because he was back-to the whole time. Luckily we got great views of him during the last ultrasound, so there aren’t any worries, it was just a bummer. I also didn’t get any pictures of him! I’d take pics of his little fetus behind over nothing at all!

What I did to prepare this week:  Christmas prep has totally taken over!!

Paranoid Moment: None that I can think of.

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

Week 30!

Week 30 (November 30 – December 7) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Braxton-Hicks and lots and lots of movement!

Body Changes: Growing a belly and more milk production

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  E. attended her sibling class. It was a neat class and totally appropriate for a four year old, especially since it involved E. getting to play with her very own baby doll. They talked about how carefully hold baby brother or sister, discussed how babies demand a lot of attention from mommy and daddy, and that big brothers and sisters can be great helpers and that their parents still love them every bit as they always have. E. really liked it and I think it helped her have a slightly better idea of what it to expect when her brother finally arrives. 

Low Point: Overall, this was a pretty great week.

What I did to prepare this week:  The sibling class was pretty much it.

Paranoid Moment: None that I can think of.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Your baby’s about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it’s not very keen; even after she’s born, she’ll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she’ll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)”

Week 29

*Note: I’m about six weeks behind at this point…which is crazy to think about, because I’ve only got about six weeks left!

Week 29 (November 23 – November 30) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Braxton-Hicks and lots and lots of movement!

Body Changes: Growing a belly and more milk production

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  My mom got to come with me to one of my birth classes this week! The hubs had to work and since my mom is my fill in birth partner until the hubs is able to show up, should he be at work when the whole show starts, I thought it would be cool for her to go (rather than be alone). My mom has such a great sense of humor about stuff and is really supportive, so having her there was really nice. I think my birth classmates enjoyed having her there, as well.

Oh, and update – I passed my glucose test 🙂

Low Point: Overall, this was a pretty great week.

What I did to prepare this week:  Some organization, making of lists…the usual.

Paranoid Moment: None that I can think of.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you’ll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby’s hardening skeleton each day.”

Elves, Tinself, Paper Chains, and BOOKS!

20121204-185516.jpg

20121204-185531.jpg

Well, let’s start here. Emma, as you can see, decided she would break into the M&Ms I had left over from cookies this past weekend, and then, flushed with embarrassment, went and hid in one of cupboards. You might notice the little orange speck near her on the shelf – apparently she decided to take some of the M&Ms with her. I can’t say I’m entirely unhappy with her eating up some of our treats, because I know I’ve been eating way too much junk!

The cool part about this latest elf trick? The hubs and I both had a hand in it and even  was surprised this morning!

20121204-185549.jpg

A jingle bell version of the angel Gabriel.

20121204-185607.jpg

Zechariah, John the Baptist’s dad.

20121204-185622.jpg

A crown for Jesus.

So, since I last updated E. and I have completed three more crafts for Truth in the Tinsel. I’m still really into it and E. is enjoying it, too, particularly the crafts (which has led to a lot of non-Christmas related crafting in our house, which I’m totally down with). It’s been a great experience so far and I like how much I’m relearning about the story of Jesus’ birth and how much E. is learning as we go along.

20121204-185633.jpg

The beginnings of our paper chain Christmas tree.

20121204-185642.jpg

A very shoddy picture of our wrapped Christmas books.

Now for our last two Christmas…things…(I’m not sure what to call them. They aren’t really traditions because this is our first year doing them.)

As a kid, we always had an Advent calendar. It was usually one of those paper ones where you popped open the doors. Sometimes there might even be pieces of sort of stale tasting cheap chocolate! I remember loving my next-door-neighbors’ calendar, which was a pretty wooden one with little doors where there might be candy or little slips of paper with clues for finding early Christmas gifts.

While I do (I promise) have really fond memories of our paper Advent calendars, I have always dreamt of having the lovely wooden Advent calendar I coveted for so long. But that didn’t happen for this year and I devised a different (and free) version of an Advent calendar for this year.

I saw in Pinterest a Christmas tree made from construction paper rings that you took apart over the course of Christmas season. I liked the idea, but wanted to put my own twist on it. First of all, I’d had to make something only to slowly take it apart. So, I decided we would construct a paper chain tree rather than take one apart. In addition to that, I felt like I should add a little something to the paper strips to make this Advent “calendar” a bit more interactive. So, on each strip I wrote either a question, fact, or activity for E. and I to do (or E. and the hubs, depending on who’s home and available). Some examples: Did you know that polar bears live at the North Pole, too. (I play a little fast and loose with my facts.) What do you think baby Jesus would like for his birthday? Let’s call up Grandma and Grandpa and sing Jingle Bells!

It wasn’t a hit right away, because I made the fatal mistake of forgetting (twice!!) to let E. help make the chain and just reading her what was on the strips of paper. But after letting her do the taping and whatnot, it was a hit.

The very last thing I have, though it’s the first thing we do each morning, are the books. Twenty-four wrapped Christmas books. Holy crap. It took me a few nights to get to all of them, and poor E. was barely able to contain herself when she saw this pile of wrapped packages growing on our highest shelf (by the way, Emma the Elf got ALL the credit from E. for wrapping the presents – totally not fair as it didn’t even cross her mind that I could have done it!). I hate to say it, but I think she’s been a tiny bit sad each morning to open a package and have it be a book she already has. I explained to her that all the packages were likely books, and ones that she had at that, because I had noticed that a whole bunch of our Christmas books were missing (yes, I actually own MORE than twenty-four Christmas books). This was actually the first morning where she was really happy with the book she opened. I think it’s slowly growing on her.

Hey, at least I’m excited!