Wednesday, July 30, 2008

38 weeks, 5 days - Nuttin' Honey.

Just wanted to pop in and say things have been pretty quiet on the all-things-labor front since yesterday at about 4 AM, when I had about an hour or so of pretty painful, wavy cramping. Since then I've just had some dull aches and BH contractions (looooooooooong ones), and nothing else.

Bean and I went out and did some light yard work yesterday in the afternoon (watering and weeding). I'm not even sore from that today, which is odd - weeding is hard on the body, usually, when I'm pregnant. All that squatting and stuff.

My cervix is reeeeeeeeeeeeally low now. Like, "OH, HELLO! I wasn't expecting to see YOU here!" low. It's definitely way down from even where it was Monday and more forward facing. I will not go into anymore graphic detail than that, although many very funny ideas as to how I could are floating around in my head. STIFLING THEM.

I so wish I'd arranged a hair appointment for this week. I can't believe my boy is going to have to see me for the first time looking like this. Poor guy. Sigh.

Monday, July 28, 2008

38 weeks, 3 Days - OB Appointment

The whole family traipsed to the doctor's office. I have to admit it worked out to be pretty fun having everyone there together. Dr. Howey seemed to enjoy it as well, as she stuck around and chatted with us for awhile after our appointment had officially ended.

The non-stress test went well this time. I lay on my side and Peanut cooperated. He was still enough that his heartbeat kept tracing but active enough that he showed plenty of reactivity.

She eased back he original weight guess to just now crossing over 7 lbs. I don't know what made her change her mind, but I almost kissed her when she said that.

My cervix is plenty soft and opening, but technically not open enough to label open. It HAS moved down and forward, and Peanut's head is right behind it. (So he's down in the right position now.) She agrees with me that my cervix has made major changes and Peanut's come down well since last Monday. So that's encouraging.

Been having some painless and some very very mildly achey contractions tonight. Not laborish though.

Since B and Al were with me, Dr. Howey put on quite the sonogram show. We saw our lil guys face and hands, his umbilical cord and a foot and a very very close up shot of his boy bits, which she printed and handed to Al. She's a hoot, that Dr. Howey. There's more funny stuff, but not related to the exam, so I'm saving it for FriedOkra in the morning.



Night all.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ignore Me. I'm Just Trying to Keep Everything Documented.

So today was basiclaly one loooooooooooooooooooooooong and unending Braxton Hicks contraction with some periody crampy feelings thrown in, and fatigue, and nausea. (Although that didn't stop me from eating, so HA! on you, nausea.)

Peanut is moving a lot and drilling himself into my cervix. I wish I had a crystal ball just this once so I'd know what was going to happen next. I have always had a weird inkling that 7/28 (tomorrow) would be the day, but that doesn't seem likely right now.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, but not until late afternoon. If nothing major happens between now and then, I'll update after the appointment. Night!

38 Weeks, 2 Days: We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

I hesitate to even post because now I know you're refreshing and expecting big news any minute, and I don't want to disappoint!

But nothing's going on. I had a few brief achey, grindy, stretchy moments last night before bed, then slept all night long (sweet relief!) with no cramping or anything (that I noticed, anyway.) This morning, still nothing, except that I am so SORE all over, like I ran a marathon or did something else very strenuous yesterday. My whole self hurts - even my HANDS ache. Very strange. But no cramping, just near-constant painless Braxton Hicks contractions.

I still think he's low, though.

We packed our bags for the hospital yesterday. Bean packed hers too, with ALL of her underwear and ALL of her pajamas. She thinks she's going with us to the hospital, but really we want a bag for her in case she needs to go stay with our neighbor overnight or something, which would be the case if I have Peanut before Nana gets here. She was so cute, though, talking about what she needed and putting things in for Peanut, like extra blankets and toys, in case he needed them. And then I tried to take a short nap but ended up having a long cry, thinking about dropping her off at Nicki's or Katie's and watching her run off excitedly to play, knowing the next time I saw her, I'd be somebody else's Mama, too, and never again would we just be Mamabean. Crying again now. I wish I didn't have all this weird sadness about it. It doesn't seem right or fair to Peanut to feel this way. I know it's "normal." But it feels wrong. I should be over it by now, shouldn't I?

Wheeeeeeeeee! That's enough of that.

Nothing physical to report. I think we can all "stand down" now. False alarm. Sorry!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

38 Weeks, One Day

Peanut moved down into my pelvis sometime yesterday, I'm about 99% sure of it. I can tell by just looking at myself that he's lower. His feet/legs (or whatever I've been feeling that I can still feel) are still poking out in the same places except about 2-3 inches lower than they were previously. Also, I can FEEL his head in my pelvis. I can feel it from the outside with my hand, and I can feel it on the inside when he moves. The feeling ranges from weird to excruciating, depending on how forcefully he moves and which direction he's pushing when he moves. If he pushes down, or forward, it's agonizing - like a sharp stabbing pain to my cervix. If he pushes to one side or to the back, it's just strange. It feels like he's almost spinning on his little head. Very odd feeling.

I awoke this morning at 4:30 to some cramping, contractions that were mildly painful and were coming and going off and on in cycles. Felt like labor, just very mild. I'd get up and move around and they'd go away, and then I'd lie down and they'd come back. I finally checked my cervix and it's changed in position and softness since yesterday -- it's much lower and I almost can't distinguish it, it's so soft, but still closed (malleable in its closedness, though). I've been up and around all day since 7:30 and haven't felt much at all other than just an aching back since I started the day. I wonder what I'll feel in a few minutes when I go lie down for a nap?

I feel sliiiiiiiiightly nauseous today off and on and very, very sluggish/tired. I felt almost feverish in the early morning but that's passed.

That's it. I don't feel much other than sleepy and slightly, very slightly achey down low at the minute. Ready for that nap and a lazy, restful afternoon. Will update if anything changes.

Friday, July 25, 2008

38 Weeks. Still Pregnant!

He's still in there!

On Monday at the OB, Dr. Howey put her hands on my belly and kinda stood there, holding it and jiggling it and thinking. She was guessing his weight because Al has been asking me every time I've had an appointment "How much does he weigh now?" and I wanted to have an answer for him this time. Dr. Howey says she is RARELY off by more than 4 oz., either way and she guesses Peanut's at about 7 lbs., 7 oz. right now. Or, right then, which was four days ago.

Me? I still weigh 152, which keeps my weight gain steady at 22 lbs. I'm guessing that'll probably be about it for this pregnancy, because it's unlikely I'll gain anymore between now and the birth, since I can't eat much at all without feeling very uncomfortable. That's four pounds less than I gained with Bean, and she didn't even weigh 7 lbs. when she was born.

Oh and also during the internal exam, she said I'm now slightly effaced and slighty softened. I know that's no major sign of pending labor, but it IS something. I think things have changed some since then, too. I have a few little cramps off and on all day most days, but nothing ever organized or more than just slightly uncomfortable. My hips don't do that aching, stretchy thing anymore, but my lower back still gets hurty at night, and I get that stretching and pulling sensation in my lower abdomen, too, just below the bump.

My belly is HUGE. I mean, to me it is. The rest of me is just normal-looking. I am really interested to see and feel what it's like to not be pregnant. The interesting thing about being my age and pregnant is that honestly? I don't remember what it felt like to NOT be pregnant anymore. But I hear it's pretty good stuff!

I just can't wait to have a little energy again and NOT BE SWEATING 24/7. But as I recall the sweating gets worse before it gets better.

I'm also stressing a little bit about labor/delivery AND recovery time, since it looks like Peanut may be bigger than Bean by quite a bit. I know I shouldn't worry. I should be GLAD he'll be bigger as maybe it'll mean he can eat more and sleep better and all that stuff. And my body can accomodate a bigger baby, I'm sure, without, you know, splitting in half. It's all just fear of the unknown and that ongoing concern about the "other shoe dropping" when I had such a great experience delivering Bean. Well, maybe I'll get to have TWO great experiences.

This week was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me. You know, just the whole being huge and pregnant and hot and tired and exaus-trated thing, and being alone all day every day with Bean, who's a great kid, but a kid with a need for entertainment and attention. It's hard to just keep plugging away as a mother and a homemaker and a wife and all that when a large portion of me is so ready to just crawl off and make a nest in a closet somewhere and wait quietly, alone, for "my time." In my life, I've grown accustomed to being "rescued" when things get so I can't bear them anymore, and this is one of those very adult times in my life when a rescue just isn't coming. This is my life. My family. No one else is coming to take them over for me, and that's just how it is. Period.

And it's a strange feeling. Each day Al's alarm clock goes off at 5:00 AM and I feel sooooooooooooo sad he's leaving again, leaving me here to cope, to care for Bean and keep things running. I just feel this sense of "I JUST CAN'T DO IT AGAIN TODAY!" but the sun rises and Bean wakes up and finds me and off we go again. And I make it. The sun sets and Al gets home and we go to bed and that's that. I'm alive and I made it another day. Plug, plug, plug.

And other times it's all fine. I'm fine, I'm in charge, I'm on top of things, I do projects and make meals and I can laugh and enjoy it all as if everything's normal. But I never seem to know which feeling will prevail in a day - which direction my mouth-corners will be pointing.

Bean ran over to greet my friend Kim yesterday when Kim came home from work. I wasn't standing right there at the moment, but Kim shared their exchange with me later.

"Hi Bean. How's your Mom today?"
"Better."
"Better from what?"
"Oh, you know, the BABY... And... she's not SIGHING today."

That sums it up. Some days I sigh All. Day. Long. These long, pathetic, heavy sighs that make Bean say, "Mama, why are you sighing like that?" in a worried tone.

And other days, no sighing. I feel bad Bean has to be burdened with it at all, though.

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I think Peanut is making poo-poo noises in my tummy. Do babies do that? Every so often when I'm just sitting or standing still, I get this short little bubbling sensation accompanied by a little "squiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirt" noise, right in the upper right side of my belly, right where P's bummy usually is. It feels and sounds just like a little underwater poo-poo noise. (Not that I'd know anything about such a thing!)

He doesn't move all that much anymore. I mean, I feel him squirm and adjust position, but I just think he is so crammed in there now that mostly he just has to hang out and be still. I feel bad for him... I hope he can come out soon. I'm ready for him to be close to me on the outside. I want to see his face and his skin and hold him and rock him and smell him. I want him to see us... all of us... and know we belong to him and he to us. It feels like he'd be lonely in there, and wondering, "Is this all there is then? This dark, cramped place, this constant dampness and the muffled sounds of voices but no loving family to go with them?" It's time for him to be one of us now. I miss him. I feel his absence when I read stories to Bean. Even though he's right here.

I wonder every day - what does he look like? We still have two names for him and depending on what he looks like, he'll get one name or the other. It's weird - I just can't settle on one or the other this time. If he has darker skin and eyes his name will be one thing, and if his coloring is more similar to Bean's it'll be another. I guess. But I just don't know for sure, and that's a strange feeling.

I could go on and on. But it'd just be the continued ramblings of a tired, impatient expectant mother, so I think I'll go post new pictures in the belly gallery and seek a little nap for myself while B's asleep. One thing I can do quite well these days, blessed mercy that it is, is SLEEP.

Friday, July 18, 2008

37 weeks. Full term Peanut.

Whooohooooooo! We have arrived, me boy!

Now come on out of there so Mama can reshuffle her internal organs and stop wearing the same thing every day. And get in and out of chairs without creaking and groaning.

So let's see. It's been awhile. I've had a bunch of period-like aches and cramps for the past 10 days to two weeks. Cervix was still closed, fluid levels fine and baby plenty reactive at Monday's OB/GYN appointment which included an ultrasound (saw Peanut's lil face - he looks like Bean, but then again, they both looked like aliens in ultrasounds, so...) and a 20 minute non-stress test. Which was nice because I went alone and got to read a WHOLE MAGAZINE ARTICLE while I was there. I go back this coming Monday at 9 AM for a repeat of same except I'm not 100% sure she'll do another ultrasound.

On the not-so-fun-or-pleasant front, I have a bleeding hemorrhoid that hurts like the Dickens all the time and makes sitting and standing for any amount of time seriously awful. But life goes on, you know. What can you do? I'm trying to keep it from getting any worse by resting lying down when I can and doing the normal things one does for one of these guys. It's embarrassing and worrisome and a nuisance and I worry I won't have it healed up before delivery and then what'll happen? EEEK.

I am thinking once again that Peanut has moved down into my pelvis. The heartburn's eased off once more and the frequent trips to the potty have resumed. Also, if I stand up for awhile, I get that achey grinding/pinching feeling down on my cervix. As far as I can tell though, my cervix is still pretty high, so I doubt we're headed into labor anytime very soon. I'd actually welcome it any day now except for the hem-you-know-what which I'd like to get, you know, back where it belongs first.

I still have the lower back pain and hip pain off and on, and I am SO fretful and cranky and tired lately. Feels like the most hideous PMS EVER. I'm hoping this is just a phase and won't last until labor because UGH I don't like feeling this way!

I packed Peanut's little bag for the hospital last night. Just a soft white cotton thermal blanket, a few tiny diapers and a couple of littlebitty outfits. I packed the preemie stuff since that's what we needed for Bean after she was born, but maybe I should throw in a newborn outfit too? What if he weighs 8 lbs? (Perish the thought!) Oh, and a pacifier. Al's been on me to pack a bag for myself, too, and will have his packed this weekend, and he wants one ready for Bean in case we have to drop her off with a neighbor on our way to the hospital. He's so funny - does he not remember how long it took us to actually get to GO to the hospital from the onset of the contractions last time? Even if it only takes a fraction of that time for Peanut to come, we'll still be hanging around here long enough to throw some things in a bag, particularly knowing how LITTLE of the stuff we took last time actually got used.

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I'm adding this on Monday morning, at 37 weeks, 3 days. It was a good, restful but still productive weekend. Another huge flurry of "nesting" - Al installed a ceiling fan in our bedroom, which has been such a Godsend at night. Even though we've had our air conditioner set down pretty low, I've still been sweaty and hot each night. I sleep pretty well anyway, though - I just have to get up once to go potty, usually and other than that, it's a pretty solid night. When I first lie down in bed it does take awhile to get comfortable. It feels like Peanut is way too high on me at first, but then he seems to adjust to my position over a few hours and then I'm comfy again. Plus, Al usually gives me a nice backrub which helps unfurl my aching muscles AND takes my mind off the front portion of my body!

I'm starting to get the "how much longer?" inquiries every where I go. People who see me weekly know I must be getting close, I think, as I have that distinct look of a very pregnant person - the waddle, the panting, the general look of exhaustion. It's very strange to be able to say probably less than three weeks! And you know what? To anyone else less than three weeks seems a short time, but to me, it has a very foreverish sound to it, most of the time. But then I thought about it yesterday while I was sitting alone for a minute in the kitchen, and I got chills thinking that in 3 weeks or less, everything changes. That after those three weeks are over, we'll have Peanut at home with us, and the atmosphere will never again be quite as it is now. Hard to explain unless you've been there. Which I suppose everyone has in some way, whether they've ever added a new member to a family or not. Life altering events are so... life altering.

I know. I'm so profound.

I have my weekly OB visit this morning. I'm kindof looking forward to it and kindof dreading it. The non-stress test was nice, in that I had 20ish minutes of solitude, but it was very uncomfortable on that hard table on my back. I felt like a beetle, all stuck and wiggly but unable to get onto my side (because of the monitors, etc.) At home, I NEVER lie on my back - it's a horribly awkward and uncomfortable position. But it only lasts 20 minutes, so I'll make it.

Bean's really anticipating the arrival of her brother now. She seems to sense he's coming soon (of course she HEARS us and others saying that, as well) and she's been a little off, behaviorally. I mean, she's mostly fine, but she's a little whinier than I'd like on occasion and she has been testing a few boundaries and just generally getting into more trouble than usual. Part of it, I'm sure, is boredom, because we aren't quite as active as she'd like -- I am trying to keep her entertained as best I can, but some days I'm just tired out and blah and she has many hours to fill on her own, which she's not especially fond of or great at doing. Hopefully though this will ease her transition into have to share me. It'd be harder on her to have to go "cold turkey" from having my completely undivided attention to having me busy taking care of a newborn for huge portions of the day, overnight. I hope I'm making up for the reduced playing and entertainment time by being EXTRA loving and fun with her on the occasions that I can be. I tell her all the time that I love her so much and she's so special and important to me and that will never ever change no matter what.

I hope that sinks in. I'm not really worried about the long term ramifications of all this because she's going to have a sibling now - someone she can hopefully share everything with and who will be such an amazing addition to her life - just about how she'll adjust initially. She seems so excited and happy about it, but really, she has no clue what it's going to be like, no matter WHAT I tell her, you know? I think she's pretty tough and adaptable, though, and I KNOW she's very positive and receptive as long as she has her parents' support. So maybe it will go fine.

UGH. The waiting! It is so hard. Yet I'd be wise not to rush things, even in my own mind.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

35 Weeks, 1 Day - Part II

We decided on the spur of the moment today to make the drive to the hospital where I'll deliver Peanut, because we were both getting nervous I'd go into labor and we'd have to drive somewhere we'd never been before and perhaps get the surprise(s) of our lives once we arrived! Kindof silly we'd waited so long, really.

BUT. The hospital is super nice, the nurses we met were very kind and helpful and full of information, and the place looked so clean and bright and windowy (I made that word up). Very inviting and warm. I am thrilled with it so far. And I'm really, really glad we made the trip today because the directions we got from Yahoo maps and from our GPS system took us on a really weird circuitous route through the countryside and cornfields over bouncy, bumpy roads that would've been AWFUL to be on while in the throes of labor.

Once we were there and figured out where THERE was, we knew exactly how to get home (and thus how to drive there next time) on familiar roads through civilization and that way cut off 12 miles and 15 minutes from our trip. I feel so much better having been there and seen the place and now knowing exactly where it is, too. I didn't realize how anxious I'd been over it until we got home and I could check that trip off my mental to-do list. Looks like depending on the time of day the trip might take us maybe 15-20 minutes. Whew!

Just wanted to get this in here before I forgot. Nice hospital, nice staff, nice husband/Daddy for taking the initiative to go ahead and get that DONE, already!

35 Weeks, 1 Day

So I was officially at 35 weeks yesterday, which was the Fourth of July.

We had a somewhat quiet day, just the three of us, going out to breakfast, playing outside in the backyard, painting fireworks on newspaper on the back porch, grilling hamburgers and watching fireworks from the grade school parking lot.

The Thursday before that, which was day before yesterday, I woke up to LOTS of hip and lower back pain and some crampy feelings low in my abdomen. The previous day had seemed like one LOOOOOOOOOOONG Braxton Hicks contraction - with almost no breaks. I drank water and Gatorade all day long and spent part of that afternoon (Wednesday) lying in bed on my left side, hoping I could make the contraction ease up a bit, but no such luck. So anyway on Thursday morning, the pain lasted maybe 2 or three hours and then gradually dissipated. But for a while there I started to think maybe ... maybe ... but nope. Not so far, anyway. I'm having lots of that grinding cervical pain though, from Peanut's head mooshing down, down, down. I think he HAS moved down, too, because the heartburn is slightly better and the need to go potty allatime is slightly worse. Thursday when I had all the lower back and hip pain, I think I went every 15 minutes or so all day long. The nights haven't been bad so far though - I normally only have to get up once around 1 or 2 AM and then again when Al gets up for work at 5, but I'm normally up for the day then anyway so it's not a big deal.

I've been really, um, irritable? Frustrated? Just needing my SPACE the past few days -- I think due to not getting enough sleep, getting NO time to myself and maybe a little bit of just plain hormones. I really just crave some really deep, still quietness and some space, just for me, with no one to listen to or help. No one moving around, bouncing and bumping. Just PEACE and aloneness, for a few hours. I don't know -- it feels unlike anything I've really felt in my life, this ache to just withdraw into nothingness. It doesn't ever happen though, and it probably really won't happen. I just think Al has so many things on his agenda to do when he's home that except for brief periods of time, even when he's here, I'm still mostly with Bean. It's hard not to resent it when I feel the way I do, but I know he needs space too, and time to do things around here because he's at work so much. And he does do things with her from time to time and I get a little break, but it's somehow never quite enough to satisfy my needs. Blah.

I took pictures yesterday, finally, and they're posted in the belly gallery. I wish I had more to report. Peanut's still very active in there, despite the contractions and how big he is and cramped. He juts out limbs, one on each side, from time to time, and waggles his hands around, which are down low, and I swear he touches my hipbones with them.

And that's about it for now. Maybe more sometime soonish? Oh, yes, soon because I have a doctor's appointment on Monday and she'll be doing an internal exam, so I can at least tell you what she says about that. I do know my cervix is REALLY soft and squishy right now, but that's all I can determine from where I sit.

My Lil Family