Week 37: Full Term!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We made it! We are officially full term! Henry's lungs should be fully developed and all that he will do now until he makes his arrival is pack on the pounds. I've heard these can be the longest weeks of the pregnancy because it is now just a waiting game for up to the next 4 weeks...as Henry could arrive at any time. The next appointment is Thursday, so we'll see if any further progress has been made.

Also, I don't usually wear highlighter yellow t-shirts--but this is one of our camp shirts this year. The official name is "safety yellow"...I've also pretty much outgrown this size already after 2.5 weeks of camp. I could certainly go up to the next size, but it unfortunately looks like a mu-mu on me, and I'm not willing to look like that...so we're squeezing into the current one for as long as possible.

In honor of Henry reaching full term, I've decided to write him a letter to honor this momentous occasion.

Dear Henry,
I have really enjoyed our time together during this pregnancy, but I think I am ready for it to be over and to have you here with daddy and me. Please consider this your first official eviction notice. As much as I have loved the morning sickness, constant heartburn, major swelling in my feet and ankles (cankles), wearing pants with giant elastic bands that come up to my chest, not being able to breathe, constant tiredness but mostly sleepless nights, the kicks and stretches into my rib cage, and the overall uncomfortableness that comes with this giant belly, I would really like for you to be here. It's been a pleasure carrying you around for 9 months, but I'm pretty sure daddy would like a turn to hold and carry you too. Your nursery is finally ready and we have a plentiful supply of diapers and clothes for you. That's pretty much all you will need for a little while. So don't be shy Henry, we are ready, and you don't have to be late like mommy usually is. Please arrive soon. Everyone is VERY excited to meet you.

Love, Mommy

Someone once told me...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

...that eating pineapple and walking help to induce labor. So, Mocha and I tried it today. I figured that if you do both at the same time, it must help even more, right? Notice how crazy Mocha must think I am as I chomp on the whole pineapple, as she's looking at me in each of the pictures. Although, I'm not so much worried about Mocha thinking I'm crazy as our neighbor thinking so. He just so happened to be standing in his garage as I chomped on the pineapple at the end of the driveway....awesome. Even though we live in the middle of nowhere with 3 other houses, he had to be out there at that exact moment. I told Ryan he needed to go explain ourselves to him.

*FYI* No, I didn't actually do this. It was all for the humor and photos. Give me a few more days though, and I likely will.

We also finished cutting up the pineapple so that I could indeed eat some of it...while in my chair of course. Moments later, Henry went crazy kicking non-stop...I think he likes pineapple.

Also, I did manage to get my ring off with much prying and a lot of Bath and Body Works lotion. Note to self? Do not put the rings back on.


So I stopped wearing my wedding rings last weekend. Despite how much I didn't want to reach that point, I did, and decided it would be best to not have them get stuck on my finger.

Well, I met with a new photography client yesterday, and for some reason felt compelled to at least wear my wedding ring. I don't know why, but I feel as if some people will look at you funny with a giant belly and no wedding ring--which is ridiculous because people have children all the time without being married, and there's nothing wrong with that.

My oops? I can't get it off. It won't even budge. Lesson learned.

36 Week Appointment

Saturday, June 27, 2009
We have made some progress, so that is great! The doctor said I was about 1.5 cm dilated now, 25% effaced (thinned out) and the baby is somewhere between -2 and -1 station. Station means where the baby's position is right now. See the photo below:

I can definitely tell that he is "dropping", as I've been feeling more pressure lower, and it's been getting more uncomfortable to walk.

Of course, though these numbers all mean progress, they all can mean nothing as well, and really can't speak to when I will actually go into labor. Our doctor told us that I would probably go pretty close to my due date. As far as inductions go, as long as the cervix is "favorable" (meaning there has been something going on and you have begun to dilate and thin out) that they typically induce at 41 weeks. If the cervix is closed up and no progress has been made, they make you wait it out longer because it would take hours and hours to even get the labor going and they don't like to put moms through that.

So, here's to hoping I continue to make changes, even if it is just a little at a time, because I'm pretty sure the one thing I don't want is to go more than a week late. The longer Henry stays inside, the less time I have with him on the outside...which I guess sounds a bit selfish, but my maternity leave just isn't long enough as it is already, and I'd be very sad if it became even shorter.

I've been having tons of cramping lately, Henry has been SUPER active the last 3-4 days, and I've been having a ton of Braxton Hicks contractions (practice contractions) that I can actually feel and tell what they are now.

There are a number of old wives' tales regarding inducing labor on your own...none of which likely have any merit to them, but who knows. A few I'm planning on trying : eating pineapple and walking. Maybe I'll go for a long walk today around the neighborhood while eating pineapple :) I'm ready for Henry to be here...Tuesday is 37 weeks--which is considered full term!

Do-it-Yourself Maternity Photos

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
All photos courtesy of Ryan and my mom....edited by me. See more at:


Week 36--only 4 weeks to go!?!

It's been pretty busy since I last updated the blog, so I'll try to remember all the things I've been thinking about writing.

First off, we're at 36 weeks. That's exactly 4 weeks until the due date. My belly is really heavy and trying to sleep is just plain ridiculous. Laying on the left side is supposed to be better as far as oxygen and blood flow goes, but lately, I've been even more uncomfortable laying on my left side than on my right...I'm not sure what that's about.

I also started my annual summer job last week, much to the surprise of many. I've been working at the same summer camp since I was 19 years old. I've worked in the office for the last three, and plan on working until July 17, unless Henry decides to show up sooner. Most people can't understand why I chose to start working since I've been done with school since June 5th. Well, I didn't exactly want to sit on my butt (even though it's great) for 7-8 weeks, and the more I work before Henry gets here, the better off financially we will be after Henry gets here when I'm not working. It's really simple, yet I have been, and continue getting comments from many about my desire/need to work.

Probably one of the sweetest things that happened was one of my favorite campers of all time making me a home-made congratulations card. It was very sweet of her. What's even crazier is how camp makes me realize how fast kids grow up. My first year at camp this particular camper was 8...now she's a teenager...it's crazy.

As far as other campers go (both those I know from previous years and those I don't) pretty much just stare at my belly without saying anything. I had one group of 13 walk by me as they were leaving today, and I'm pretty sure each and everyone of them stared at me the entire time they walked by me, rather than looking forward...it was a bit awkward.

Other campers who apparently aren't afraid to say something have offered up the following comments:

"Are you pregnant?!" This question has come from many kids, and even young kids. Most of my kids at school focused on the word belly...they didn't know the word "pregnant" and it's weird for me to have kids younger than 10 asking me if I'm pregnant...I feel like most shouldn't know that word, but rather should be asking in terms of "is there a baby in your belly?", etc.

"That's a baby in your belly, isn't it?" haha...no...I just like to carry a beach ball around under my shirt.

"So, whatcha got in there...a boy or a girl?"

"I think that there's a baby in your belly. It's big." Thank you...I hadn't noticed.

And of course, many parents have been inquiring about my pregnant state...some that I've known for years, and others whom I've never met until this week. One parent...whom I had never met before (after I greeted him and said "Good morning, how are you?) replied with "Good. How are you?" I replied fine, and then he repeated "No, how are you?" as he stared at my belly. Apparently, it was a surprise to him that I said I was fine despite being nearly 9 months pregnant.

And aside from camp, as I get larger and larger and more obviously approaching my due date, I've been getting more random stranger comments including the random Target cashiers to the Subway man today who after taking my order followed up with "So how much longer do you have sweetheart?" I'm standing here 9 months pregnant, and you think it's ok to call me sweetheart? Kind of sweet, but awkward and leaning on inappropriate.

Speaking of inappropriate, I bought a case of Michelob Golden Light this past weekend (Ryan, my dad, and brother's beer of choice). Why was a nearly 9 month pregnant woman forced to go to the liquor store and buy a case of beer? You tell me. The men needed beer, and they apparently couldn't stop for it on their own. I have easily avoided the liquor store this entire time, as I felt it was awkward to be in there, and it most certainly was. I felt like I was walking through a forbidden place and that everyone was staring at me and giving me a side eye.

I also got a VERY overdue pedicure this weekend with my mom. My feet were absolutely embarrassing, since I obviously can not reach them, much less see them. We found a great hole in the wall here in Chaska that only charged $22 for a pedicure. It definitely wasn't the best pedicure I've gotten, and there was a reason they were so cheap, but it was terrific none the less...especially the foot and calf massage. My toes looked pretty, but there's something about my giant, swollen feet that made the pedicure look a little less magical than I had hoped for...I may get one more before the big day. My mom seems to think I need pretty feet for pushing. If you saw what my feet looked like before, you'd probably agree. The woman who did my mom's pedicure also thought that we were friends...then she thought that we were sisters. My mom then decided to tell her that she was in fact going to be a grandma next month....next month. Wow.

I have a cramp in my butt that won't go away that has officially caused me to waddle whenever I walk. Sometimes it really hurts, and other times it doesn't. It's getting close to being that time to increase the walking to help induce labor (at least that's what I've heard) so I hope I can be comfortable enough to start walking a bit again. Poor Mocha has not been getting walks like she should.

My nesting instinct also began to set in last week (the apparent "instinct" pregnant women get to obsessively clean, organize and all around plan for the baby's arrival at home as they approach the end of the pregnancy). What did I do? I washed all of Henry's clothes. Normal right? After washing and drying them, I proceeded to iron....everything...from hats to onesies to receiving blankets. There was something about the idea of everything looking fresh and new in the drawers that intrigued me and prompted me to do this, I think. After Henry is here, I'm doubting very much that I will continue to iron his onesies.

Our next doctor's appointment is on Friday. I'm ready to hear about some further progress, so we will see. I've been getting more pelvic pain the last two days, and Ryan swears that my belly is lower, so Henry has possibly begun to "drop", though it really means nothing as far as when I will go into labor, however.

Ryan was a little disappointed that so many people think he will pass out. I really don't think he will. Since we completed our class last night, I think he has a pretty good handle on what will happen and is prepared for it. I also think he is so beyond excited about Henry's arrival that the last thing on his mind will be his queasiness even if it is there.

We had our hospital tour last night of the brand new birthing center (it literally opens up to the first patients on July 1st). It's honestly like a luxury hotel. I'm beyond excited to be delivering in such an awesome looking place.

I also have a strong addiction to ice cream. I'm pretty sure I keep Kemps and Blue Bunny in business...that is all.

Dr. Appt.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
So we saw a new doctor today--who we will actually see I think 2-3 more times depending on when Henry decides to make his arrival. He was a fast talker, but much more thorough then our own doctor.

He could barely tell I was at 1cm, so he said he's not concerned about that at all. I've also started to soften up, which is a good thing.

My belly measured right at 35cm (you're supposed to measure your weeks in cm +/- 2 cm), and his words were "Probably a good sized baby in there". Awesome.

Henry is also officially head down...hopefully he stays that way.

I was also really swollen again (this always seems to happen at these end of the day appointments). He recommended laying on my left side as much as possible.

That's it! Next appointment is next Friday, June 26th. Let's hope for some more progress now!

Week 35 and 35 Days to Go!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week 35 is another made up pregnancy "milestone". I'm 35 weeks today, which, because there are 5 weeks left then, means that there are also 35 days left until I reach my due date.

Henry weighs on average abotu 5.5 pounds, and is around 20 inches long....crazy!

We had our 3rd childbirth class yesterday which was really informative. We learned about all the different positions for labor and pushing and actually practiced them. Our hospital has jacuzzi's in the room to labor in, as well as birthing balls, both of which I hope work for me. The ball has been really comfortable in class. Our teacher said you can try and plan and prepare for everything you want to use and try during labor, but you won't know what will work or what you will like until you are actually in labor. Next week we get to tour the brand new birthing center. I am so excited to see it! It's open for patients beginning July 1st, one day after I'm full term, so Henry, feel free to make your entrance into the world beginning any day after June 30th.

We have another doctor's appointment--with a different doctor. This one is a guy, and even though I'm sure he's a great doctor, I've never in my life seen a male OBGYN so it'll be a new experience. I'll be sure to update on any progress tomorrow. We're getting very close to the point where we will WANT to see progress (and also to the point where they would not stop labor), so I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

My heartburn has gone away--the magical preventitive pills she gave me are great. I've been INCREASINGLY more uncomfortable, with everything...especially sleeping. I just can't seem to sleep, stay comfortable, or stop my legs, arms, etc from falling asleep. I think I'm also nearing th end of being able to wear my wedding and engagement rings. It's always a bit of a struggle to get them off, and today I could barely get them on. As much as I hate to have to stop wearing them, I also don't want to have them cut off of me.

Ryan and I are going to take our own maternity pictures sometime this week/weekend when the weather is nice, so be on the lookout for those soon.

Still at 1cm, thankfully!

Thursday, June 11, 2009
I am still only dilated to 1 cm, thank goodness. I also have not begun to efface (thin out) at all yet, so my doctor was less concerned. She said to just continue to take it easy and limit my walking/standing for long periods of time for the time being. I'll have an extra appointment next week to continue to monitor my progress, and she said we'd go from there regarding any further activity level. She said that if I continue to dilate, they would do what they could to get me to at least 36 weeks. I would be ready for Henry to come after 37 weeks (full term), but not in less than 2 weeks! Just keep baking in there Henry!

34 Weeks and a Labor and Delivery Visit

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
First, I am fine, and Henry is fine. I mainly rested today on my second day off, but while I was sitting watching tv, I had a bit of liquidy discharge that didn't feel normal. It happened again a little while later, so I called my clinic. Thinking that it could possibly be amniotic fluid (my water) they told me to go to labor and delivery to have them monitor me.

They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and Henry's heartbeat was perfect the entire time. My blood pressure was great (went down from yesterday even) and then had me lay with my legs elevated to try and pool the liquid for 20 minutes.

The tests came back negative for amniotic fluid, so that is good. It was just a bit of a different discharge is all.

However, the entire time I was being monitored, I was having some contractions. At first the nurse thought they were just Braxton Hicks contractions that are harmless and thought of as "practice contractions". I couldn't even feel them. As time went on, there were more of them, still varying widely, and nothing that I could feel, but she was concerned enough to check my cervix. It turns out I'm 1 cm dilated, though it's still thick and high up. My next appointment wasn't until the 26th, which concerned her a bit, so she told me to see my doctor either Thursday or Friday this week to continue to monitor my cervix. I've read that people can be dilated for weeks without any sign of labor, so hopefully it means nothing more than that I'm getting an early start on dilation. She told me to take it easy, see the doctor on Thursday, and to go from there.

While we were there, we got to hear a baby being born. While waiting in the hall, we heard lots of moaning from a room down the hall, followed by a minute of silence, followed by a baby crying...it was pretty cool. The doctor didn't even make it in time! He came running down the hall 5 minutes later.

So, that was my labor and delivery experience. I will continue to update, especially after my next appointment later this week.

Here's the bump! It's getting big!

In other pregnancy news, we had our second class last night which went well. We did some more relaxation techniques and learned about all the stages of labor--which was really helpful for Ryan, as he admitted knowing none of it. He also wore the "Empathy Belly", which we do have pictures of, but I took them on his cell phone. I'll try and put those up later.

I did have an appointment yesterday, where everything was fine. My weight stayed the same, blood pressure was down, and baby's heartbeat was good. My heartburn was not phased by the Tums, so she prescribed me some prescription stuff that I will take two times a day to prevent it.

Henry likely weighs in at about 4.5 pounds this week, and that is all the updates I have for now!

Baby Henry Shower #2

Monday, June 8, 2009

My mom and grandma hosted a wonderful shower for me in my hometown of Winona, MN for my family in Winona this past weekend. We were fortunate to get a variety of things for Henry: everything from picture frames, clothes, and toiletries to our bouncer and pack and play. My mom spent a lot of time planning some fun games and gave away great prizes. Thanks mom!

Here's a link to some more photos.

Dollar Dogs

Thursday, June 4, 2009
Ryan and I went to the Twins game last night. Unfortunately, it was dollar dog night. Though I did finally get my bag of delicious kettle corn that I have been craving each and every time I walk into work, who sat next to me, and in addition to the beer he drank, proceeded to eat multiple dollar dogs in front of me?? My wonderful husband. He tried to make me feel better by saying they tasted really bad, and even if they did, it's kinda like the forbidden fruit. I can't have a hot dog, so I want one now more than I ever could have possibly wanted a disgusting dollar dog pre-pregnancy...and I had to watch Ryan eat more than one. (I won't embarrass him by telling you how many he had.) At this point, I honestly can't even remember why my What to Expect When You're Expecting book told me I couldn't eat hot dogs...I just want to eat one.

Week 33

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A day late, but here's the 33 week post. My coworkers planned a wonderful shower for me yesterday. It was very thoughtful of them and they made some great food! Henry received many excellent children's books from everyone, so he now has a great start to his library.

I continue to get heartburn daily. I'm using Tums right now to help with that, which always seems to make the heartburn go away, but most of the time it comes back very soon. My doctor said that if I seem to be munching on more than 10 Tums a day, that she could write me a prescription for preventative heartburn medication. I've never had heartburn problems in my life, so this stinks!

I've also been getting really hot lately...which worries me for the July heat because it hasn't been hot at all around here lately...just me. My office is usually pretty cool, but I was even breaking a sweat in there yesterday!

As I get bigger, I continue to get more unwelcomed comments. Mr. Security Guard (made famous in a previous April post) continues to say "You're still with us." each and every time he sees me working a game. Yes, in April and May, and now in June, I am still with you. I'm not due until July 21st buddy. I do have only 4 scheduled games left to work, so at least I can give him a countdown now, so maybe he'll shut up. That comment last night was shortly followed up by someone else with "Wait, aren't you like due any day?". Yeah...7 weeks left to grow, and you're telling me I look like I'm due any day. Thanks.

That's pretty much all I have for now. We have our last shower this weekend in Winona. I'm very excited for that, but also excited to buy the rest of the registry out afterwards so that I feel a bit more prepared for Henry.

Child Birth Class Number 1

Monday, June 1, 2009
We had our first of 4 child birth classes this evening. I really like our instructor, and think it'll be a good experience for us. I'm hoping it'll decrease some of my fears and nervousness of labor and delivery and help Ryan understand a bit more of what I will go through to bring our child into this world.

Tonight we watched a video on general pregnancy stages, did some ice breakers, and practiced a few relaxation and breathing techniques.

The next two weeks she said we will focus more on the stages of labor and more relaxation techniques. The last session will include a tour of the brand new birthing center , which looks phenomenal--they have a few pictures up on the website now if you are interested.

Next week the dads will also get a chance to try on an "empathy" belly. The instructor said it was optional, however I told Ryan it wasn't. It sounds about as realistic as a fake belly can get as it simulates the amount of weight, the restriction on your breathing, kicks to the ribs, pressure on the bladder, and is even filled with warm water to simulate the amniotic fluid. She said we could bring cameras. Hopefully you'll see some pictures of that next week if Ryan allows. :)
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