Tuesday, September 30, 2008

37w3d...Paging Baby!

Well...we made it to 37 weeks! I find it hard to believe that almost two weeks ago, the doctor said that we were at any day now and that all we were missing was contractions. And yet...nada!

Here's an update on how we're doing!

Early last week, I began having weird little dizzy spells. Dots would start swimming in front of my eyes and I'd get dizzy and weak and nauseous. I visited my endocrinologist for a check up and she said that it was likely due to momentary drops in blood pressure. I actually laughed. Me? The one with the tendency to high blood pressure? I'm now having the opposite problem? Lord.

I had a handful of those spells, and each lasted between a half hour and an hour. They went away if I simply sat quietly and drank some water. Since FD was out of town with the state police contingent in Galveston, one of my friends spent the night to baby sit me, because we realized that if I ever passed out, no one would even know. I don't think my dogs and cats are up to dialing 911!

A little later last week, I lost my mucous plug in two large clumps. Icky, but yay! That means progress, right? Haha. Not. I think that was on Wednesday. FD got permission to come home Thursday evening because of my little spells so he could take care of me. And after that...haven't had a single one.

We think I might have had some very light but sporadic contractions both on Sunday and yesterday...but they never got stronger or closer together. The only reason I'd even suspect they were contractions were because they were twinges like none of the others I've felt all along. And now there are none at all. We went on a long and very brisk walk last night, and while that succeeded in relaxing baby (my belly is softer for the first time in weeks...she'd been spending ALL of her time tensed up) it did not succeed in getting any action.

Oh, and for added extra fun, I tweaked my neck Friday night, somehow sleeping funky. So now I have almost no range of motion and a constant bad headache. Argh. FD has been trying to rub it for me, but I end up howling in pain.

So here we are. I've outgrown my maternity clothes. You know...those clothes that cost a ton and are supposed to grow with you? Well, late last week, they stopped growing with me. My stomach is hanging so low that it is actually getting harder and harder to walk. If the doctor hadn't felt that we were "imminent" almost two weeks ago, we would have discussed an extraction plan by now since the plan was originally for 38 weeks to avoid any late pregnancy high blood pressure issues due to my thyroid.

We have another checkup tomorrow morning. We're planning a longer and more vigorous walk tonight. I'm continuing to go to work but have finished transitioning my projects and duties to coworkers, so I'm just doing ad hoc work now. I'm ready. FD is ready. The house is ready. My car has been packed with all of our hospital stuff for almost two weeks now. Bunny, won't you come out to play?


Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Worried...

...that when I actually go into labor, I won't know it unless my water breaks or until it's fairly advanced.

That sounds paranoid, doesn't it? I know that a lot of people would tell me that you can't not know that you're in labor...but I also know that there are some women who genuinely don't pick up on the symptoms of early labor. One of my friends went on about her business, working all day, life as normal, when BOOM, she was hit with a severe cramp, got to the hospital, and delivered within 30 minutes. First baby.

I have two reasons for thinking that I might have a hard time distinguishing labor from, well, life as usual.
  1. I have a high pain threshold and do not pick up on "twinges."
    After a decade's worth of back, neck and joint pain that has gone largely untreated and unmedicated, I simply have stopped noticing anything but total, full-on pain. My husband brags about my pain threshold to his friends. In fact, he's convince that I won't use any meds during birth. (My birth plan indicates that I will only accept pain meds if I request it.) In any case, if the early contractions are minor, I don't think I'll notice them! And that concerns me, since the doctor wants to know if I have any contractions before next Saturday. What if I can't tell?
  2. Baby stays contorted 90% of the time.
    I joke that Bunny hates me. Quite literally, my stomach is hard as a rock 90% of the time. At first, we thought that I was just having really long B-H contractions. Nope. The doctor tells me that the baby is simply positioning herself to cause that. To me, the fact that my stomach is so hard so much of the time feels like a really long (painless, yet uncomfortable) contraction. We think that I've had some B-H contractions on top of baby's contortions, but (see above), since they're pretty much only twinges that I can barely feel, we just can't tell for sure.
In terms of other labor symptoms like nausea and such...well...I feel nauseous at least part of every day. So that won't help.

So I guess I'm just going to be paranoid. I have full days scheduled tomorrow and Wednesday and then lighter days Thursday and Friday. FD gets to come home next Monday. Let's hope the baby plays nice and doesn't race her daddy to the hospital!



Friday, September 19, 2008

36 Week Update

Well...here we are, with 36 weeks staring us in the face tomorrow. Or, as my doctor reminded me yesterday, 35 weeks using the original due date. Pray tell, why did we change the due date based on growth if we're even going to still consider the original one even at all? In any case...

It was an eventful 36 week checkup for Bunny and I, yesterday afternoon.

We started out with the U/S tech, as always. Her comment, during the once over she does before zoning in on particular parts and organs, was "My goodness. She's outgrown her condo." Sure has! Seems I'm not stretching very well and so baby is taking up every inch of space possible. Everything looked great on the ultrasound. Computer modeling adjusted baby's age to be 36w2d...versus an age of 35w5d. The scan showed that she was about 6 pounds, 1 ounce, and the computer model indicated that she's growing at a pace of over an ounce a day. She is head down and engaged, using my ribs to prop her little feet up.

The perinatologist then came in to go over the scan with me and talk for a bit. His greatest concern was her size versus my size depending on how long we let her go before executing the plan to get her out. Otherwise, he felt that both she and I were doing well, and so he'd wait to hear from my obstetrician on how her half of the exam would go since it was time for an internal. (The peri couldn't see much of what was going on with me...baby was blocking any possible views.)

So down a floor in the medical building to the OB. Boy, was she in for a surprise! She had me lay back after the third listening of baby's heart rate that day and prepared to go prospecting...and her first reaction was "Oh my God, she's right there."

Turns out that I'm at 3cm, 75% effaced, and the doc had no problem touching baby. Baby did not enjoy that and stiffened up and stayed stiff until this afternoon, when she finally relaxed. All that we're missing right now is contractions!

We went into the appointment intending to start a plan for the second week of October or so to get Bunny out...and came out, instead, with a target date to keep Bunny in until. What a change of events! So our target date is September 27th - 37 weeks by the new date, 36 by the old.

In the meantime, the OB has decreed me on restricted movements. No prolonged standing, walking, lifting, nothing to raise my heart rate, period. If I start contracting sporadically, I'll switch over to bed rest. If I start contracting regularly, which she defined as 4 or more times per hour, she'll stick me in the hospital and try to slow things down. Anytime after the 27th, we'll just let things take their own course. So Bunny is on her way! :-)

There is just one more complication, however. And it's this: Future Daddy was deployed as part of a state police contingent to provide enforcement support to the local police in Galveston, Texas. He left yesterday morning. It's a 10-day deployment, not counting travel days. That puts him back home the afternoon of the 29th. So...things could get interesting!

I'll be back with more updates soon...on Lamaze and such. Hugs to everyone!


Thursday, September 11, 2008


Here's a question to BTDT mama's...

How do you know if you're dropping/have dropped?

Over the past three days, my belly seems to sit noticeably lower than before. I actually have more room now to bend over and my boobs aren't quite mashed into my stomach any longer.

I've Googled this, of course, but the info I've found is, as always, contradictory or confusing.

So what are your thoughts? Am I imagining things, or at pretty close to 35 weeks, is Bunny just wiggling her way into position?

Our next ultrasound as well as OB and Peri appointments are next Thursday, so finding out her position and size is still a week away. In between now and then, I have to get through two speech competitions, where I'll be on my feet, and two days of training, where I'm the one delivering training.

Bunny, stay put. PLEASE. I love you and very much want to meet you, but Mama still has a few things to accomplish before you get here!


Ok, here's a weird one for you, dear readers.

I have a new and intriguing problem. Totally don't know if it could be related to pregnancy...but here goes.

The past few mornings, I've woken up with a bloody mouth.

My teeth and gums and lips are caked in gummy half-dried blood. Apparently, I've rolled over a few times and have now stained my pillowcases with the same.

There is no source that I can find for this blood. My lips aren't dried or cracked, I have no sores in my mouth, my gums have no cuts or contusions, my tongue doesn't feel like it's been bitten, I haven't had a bloody nose...you get the picture.

Oh, and the husband and the pets show no signs that I've become a vampire.

So where the heck is this blood coming from? It's not a huge amount, but it's enough to disturb me.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lamaze, Part 1

Hi, ya'll!

We started Lamaze today...the first of two six-hour sessions. It was, uh, well, interesting. Not bad, mind you, although I was in tears at one point. But not fabulous. Turns out that I don't like doing anything for six hours straight, so I got bored a bunch. And it also turns out that FD and I are more yuppie than hippie and so the touchie-feelie New Age aura that was going on was a bit...uh...out of our league.

The Good
  • The book that goes along with the class is super informative and answered a bunch of the questions we had. Great stuff - good resource.
  • The teacher as well as our classmates were exceedingly nice.
The Funny
  • In the elevator going down to class, another mama-to-be openly looked at my tummy and then commented to her husband "Oh, thank God. We're not the only ones who waited until the last minute to take Lamaze." When we got into class, one of the pieces of information we all shared about ourselves was due dates. The chick who commented on my size is due in two weeks...my "actual" due date is not for six! I take her comment to mean that I am now officially large enough to have attained my own gravitational pull.
  • We had a simulated contractions exercise where the teacher clipped a clothespin on a tender part of our ears and had us practice relaxation techniques. I chanted the Air Force song in my head instead of focusing on the music, which is an old technique from when I was in ROTC in college and had to take PFTs after blowing out one of my legs and so needed to redirect pain somehow. Apparently, I need to work harder at not moving my lips, though. Ha, ha!
The Bad
  • I went to class feeling pretty good about the birthing process. I came out of class a bit freaked out, mostly by thinking about the side affects to Bunny and I from all of the drugs that I was (previously?) interested in getting at the hospital, as well as a bit (!!) upset about the thought of not being able to eat a thing once we're checked in and until baby emerges. And with induction looking like the plan, that could be a very long time. Without food. I become hell on wheels if I'm deprived of food. Is it unethical to sneak snacks behind the nurse's back?
The Ugly
  • I don't cry easily. I just don't. I think my most masculine trait is that I hate for anyone else to ever see me "weak." But I was in tears during class at one point. Here's why:
  • The teacher had us practice hip lunges of differing varieties to show us how to open the birth canal in order to prepare to deliver. I can't do them. Period. I have an uncorrected curve in my spine and it has lead to well over a decade of hip issues, including near constant pain that I entirely manage through sucking it up instead of meds. Every other lady in class could do it. I was, arguably, one of the more fit ladies in terms of being toned, but I couldn't handle a simple exercise. I also couldn't handle sitting cross-legged on the floor, stretching forward...and every other lady could. My hip issues cause my knees to have issues because of stress, and so sitting like that was just hell. The teacher came to help us out and tried to manipulate my hips for me...and couldn't. She's a trained massage therapist (in addition to an L&D nurse and a bunch of other credentials) and so tried some sort of massage technique to loosen up my hips. It failed. Completely. And she commented on that. And it made me feel bad. And so I almost cried.
Please tell me that I'm not the only one out there with apparently really awful hips who wants to have a natural birth. I absolutely, positively do not want a C-section. I just don't. But if I can't even do simple hip manipulations, am I screwed? From the nurse's comment, I kind of feel like I am. I haven't discussed this with my doctors, yet. My hips never came up as a factor at appointments and the problems they cause me have existed for so long that I usually don't even give them thought so I never even would have brought it up before. I've heard of women having C-sections because their hips were too narrow...what about when they're a decent width but just have no elasticity and are cockeyed because of a spinal curve? Any encouragement you could offer would be appreciated...I am very upset over this.

So that was our first session in a nutshell. Next weekend, we'll do the LDR tour, write out a birth plan, and do some other stuff that I've already forgotten.

What was ya'lls experience with classes?



Saturday, September 6, 2008


Well, after posting on Monday that I felt like we still had a million things to accomplish, now we're actually making progress.

First, thanks to Anon. for posting the link to the hospital bag web site. Very informative. I've printed out that one and a few others. My main "lacking" point right now is needing a new nursing bra. I bought one early on and don't have a chance or a prayer of it fitting now that I'm like two band sizes and a cup size larger. Besides, I hated it. I just can't do underwire. I do have two nursing nighties (one with a matching onesie) and a few nursing shirts. I'm seriously considering foregoing an actual nursing bra - any other mamas have thoughts on this? Are there varieties available without underwire? If so, why can't I find them? Can I just make do without? I think I can.

Next, I've found a pediatrician to interview. We have a fundamental problem, however, and it is one of distance. The hospital I am delivering at is 30 miles from my home. There are about a million hospitals between here and there, but that's where the OB/GYN is located that I've been going to for 5+ years and that's where I've had surgery in the past, and so I won't even consider going anywhere else to deliver. But...we don't want to pick a doctor all the way in Dallas for Bunny to go to. For FD and I, it's one thing that most of our doctors are located in Dallas...we don't either of us ever go to the doctor unless we're practically on our deathbeds. But for baby...I want someone closer. So the one I found is associated with the same hospital system (Texas Health Resources), but a different (and closer) hospital within the system. I have no problem with using this hospital for any problems that may arise in the future...I've had friends deliver there and I have visited the ER there when I was terribly ill. But...I'm going to guess this means that if we choose her, she won't come check out baby in the hospital since it's 30 miles away. I know there's staff peds at the hospital and I'm ok with them checking baby out, but do you think it'd be terribly imposing of me to ask this particular doc to come see us when the time comes? Also, are you supposed to pay for the interview visit with a pediatrician? I'm going to call to make an appointment on Monday.

We start Lamaze tomorrow morning, and I am more than ready. I love that Bunny is doing well and growing well and strong and all that...but I am ready to be done being pregnant. I think I've kept my whining to a minimum, but I'm pretty miserable right now. Between my short torso that is just compressed to hell and gone and just general feeling icky complaints, I'm ready for Bunny to be here. It hurts to breathe, I'm now back to feeling ill every single time I eat no matter what I eat, Bunny is kicking the crap out of me to the point that I double over in pain regularly, my legs get weak - not just tired - when I walk even the shortest distance, my back hurts if I sit, stand, or lay down so that doesn't leave any other options...etc. I can't believe some women go through this a half dozen or more times! I think I'm up for once more and then done. And while I've always wanted children who are extremely close together in age (I'm fascinated with the thought of Irish twins), I now realize that I'm going to need a good long time before I do this again. Ok, ending whining now. You can keep the cheese. (It'd make me sick anyways.)

Our Lamaze class is in two six-hour sessions...I scheduled this instead of the more drawn out but shorter sessions because of our work schedules but now am wondering if I'm actually going to want to be there for six hours straight. And I'm really hoping that this doesn't turn into a babies for dummies class. Or a crunchy touchie feelie class. Because I'm really up for neither. I want to learn about pain management, I want to learn more about the facilities, and I want to go home. :-)

I guess that's about it on the update end. We had another checkup this week but it was just a heartrate check for the most part. Still strong. My BP is holding it's own...I think it was 120/85 this time. I did get a bit of a lecture for not going to L&D the one night when I had a lot of trouble breathing, but my rationale is that it just blew over on its own. Doc is getting a bit more concerned about my numbness...hands and feet going numb consistently now, without any correlation to what I'm doing at the time. If it keeps up, I'll get a referral apparently. We'll see! Personally, from similar experiences in the past, I think it's more along the lines of a pinched nerve than anything pregnancy related. FD wants me to go to the chiropractor, but I'm so dang busy right now that I'd never fit in more appointments. I have three appointments between the 16th and 17th...the endo for a checkup and bloodwork, the OB for an exam, and the peri for what will likely be our last sono...and I have to reschedule all three. My pregnancy brain forgot to remind me that I have all day training which I am conducting those two days. Doh! Positive side of that is that I got a new Franklin Covey planner to help me stay on track...I can't keep anything straight these days!

So that's my world - how are you all doing? I owe a bunch of you visits/comments...I promise to come around soon!



Enough Diapers To...

...er, cover a baby! :-)

I got the rest of my cloth diapers ordered! Yay! Theoretically, following the "advice" lists I've seen as well as chatting with BTDT mommies on a local mom's board, I have enough to last until Bunny hits 15 pounds...and then it'll be time to order the next size up in prefolds and covers.

Here's a look at what I either received as gifts from my registry or what I purchased for myself:
  • 36 DSQ Chinese Prefolds - Infant Size (3+ day supply)
  • 5 Bum Genius 3.0 One-Size Cloth Diaper (For nighttime...apparently these are the best and last the longest. We got a variety of colors.)
  • 2 Bummis Original Cloth Diaper Cover - Size Small (White)
  • 2 Bummis Super Whisper Snap Covers - Size Small (White)
  • 2 Wahmies Pail Liner Washable Bags (To go in the kick ass pail my coworkers gave at my last shower. I'm really excited about these bags...they go right in the laundry with your cloth diapers and cloth wipes.)
  • 24 Cotton Babies Flannel Wipes (We got a dozen each of blue and pink.)
  • 24 Kissaluvs Awesome Knit Terry Wipes (White)
  • 1 Happy Tushies Wet Bag (To go in the diaper bag to hold dirties while out and about...holds up to a half dozen diapers and wipes.)
  • 3 Thirsties Cloth Diapers Covers - Size X-Small (Assorted colors. Apparently, these covers kick major butt.)
  • 4 Snappi Fasteners (So kiddo only needs one at a time, and technically could get away without any since we're doing covers as well, but these things are nifty!)
  • 3 Rolls Bio Soft Liners (Biodegradable liners that go inside the diaper to catch "solids" to eliminate the need to prewash diapers. A 1-month supply is about $15. To me, $15 is worth the time I'd save in prewashing, especially since these are flushable.)
  • 1 Container Fluff Dust Pail Deoderizer (So, as FD pointed out, we could have use the same Arm & Hammer spray we use on our kitty litter boxes, but this was on sale and is lavendar scented so I couldn't not buy!)
  • 1 Bottle Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion Concentrate (You mix a little of this stuff with distilled water to wet your cloth wipes before putting in the wipes warmer.)
For all of the above, we spent (as in me and the other person who bought from my registry) a total of $350, including tax. These supplies will last a minimum of 6 months, or until she's 15 pounds and needs the next size. The one-size diapers last until potty training or around 40 pounds! And the wipes, wet bag and pail liners will last forever. But for the sake of argument, let's take out all of the extras and just look at the diaper + cover cost: $228. Total for 4 dozen wipes: $48.

Disposables alone for a six month period would cost $325 plus tax. And that doesn't include anything but the diaper itself - no peripheral items. Enough disposable wipes for that time? Only about $1/day, using 1 to 2 wipes per change. Which adds up to $180 for six months. Egads!

We'll run 3 extra loads of laundry per week. My washer doesn't cost much to run - when my mother-in-law was here over the winter, we experienced a 30% increase in washer usages. My power bill didn't budge and my water bill went up like $5/month.

So for the first six months of cloth diapers, we'll save $200. YAHOO! Plus...the next six months will be a bit cheaper, without the need to buy more wipes or other peripherals. But the cost of disposables wouldn't change. Cha-ching!

And let's not even discuss how much we'll save in not using formula or "baby water" or pre-made baby food. Being cheap is fun!

I'm excited. Can ya tell?



Friday, September 5, 2008

My (Food) Luck Ends

Nope, not a typo. I meant "food", not "good."

I've been really, really lucky so far with the food I've eaten. Other than a few aversions early on that I think were entirely mental, and then my little bout with morning sickness at the start of the 2T, I really haven't had any food problems.

In fact, I've bragged that heartburn has never been my issue.

And ya know what they say about braggers...

Ugh. For the past few days, I can't seem to pick the right foods to not upset Bunny. And I'm too stubborn to go to an all-bland diet because, really, I like sauce. On everything. And salsa.

I've also had a few coworkers advise me that while breastfeeding, I'll have to eat bland, too, so I don't upset Bunny's tummy. So calling all mama's out there - what's your take on this? How bland are we talking? Because the plan is to exclusively breastfeed until Bunny is well established on "solid" foods. (And the good news with that is that my thyroid is staying in line nicely for once so I shouldn't have to re-up my meds back to where I wouldn't be able to BF.)

What, exactly, does bland entail? And keep in mind...I'm probably the pickiest eater you'll ever encounter...and no, I'm not kidding.

Heap your advice on me...this is my latest concern!!!

Love to you all!


Monday, September 1, 2008

33-ish Weeks Update!

Hey, everyone!

How are all of my new mamas and TTC sistahs and presently preggo pals doing this fine Labor Day morning?

Life's been crazy in Future Mommy's world...but I'm sure the same is true for all of you, as well!

It's really and truly hard to believe that we're in the homestretch now. Only one more month to get through until Future Baby gets here.

I had my girlfriends over for a girls night (pizza, movies) last night and when they were leaving, they rubbed the tummy good bye. I made the remark that the next time they see Bunny, she might not be in there anymore. WILD!!!

Still have a few things to tick off the baby preparedness checklist. They are:
  • Take prenatal classes - these start for us next weekend.
  • Find a pediatrician - yeah, haven't done yet. That's bad.
  • Finish curtains for Bunny's room. Haven't touched the sewing machine for WEEKS!
  • Finish crocheted blanket. It's not like she needs it. She has about 763 others. But I started it and by God, I'm gonna finish it. It's like 80% done.
  • Pack hospital bag! I keep saying I'm going to get this done early...and yet haven't yet.
  • Write baby shower Thank You notes. Between my work and friends/family showers, I have a bunch of Thank Yous to write...and just need to get it done, dang it!
  • Finish stash of cloth diapers. With one of the writing contracts I just wrapped up, I earned the rest of the amount needed to buy the rest of the supplies on my must have list. As soon as the PayPal hits my bank account - hopefully tomorrow - this will be ordered. Luckily, the online store I registered with ships quickly!
  • Go to Target and use several gift cards to finish buying breastfeeding supplies - the storage bags and trays and dethawing thingie and stuff. Believe it or not, the rest of my registry stuff is pretty much all fulfilled between my several showers and a whole bunch of stuff some very generous people have given us second hand. I keep wandering through Target and BRU and looking to make sure I haven't forgotten anything big or vital but it looks like we're actually well set up. Among the second hand stuff were things I hadn't even thought about...but now seem like essentials. Crazy!
How's everyone else doing?