Sunday, December 30, 2012

Prego Journal: Week 33

How far along: 33 Weeks

How big is baby: Honeydew melon. The amount of baby in my belly is now greater than the amount of amniotic fluid; meaning his jabs and nudges are more strongly felt. Baby is able to better differentiate between light and dark. His own immune system is rapidly developing.  
Total weight gain:  +13lbs
Maternity clothes:  I wore sweatpants a lot this week thanks to Christmas break.  But, on the days I did go outside of the house I managed to get into my skinny jeans (unbuttoned of course) 
Best moment(s) of the week: Christmas!  On Sunday we had Christmas with my dad's family.  I love that group of people.  I have the most fun aunts and uncles ever.  On Monday, husband and I went to midnight Mass and got to hear the orchestra play at our church.  I have to say I was pretty tired by the end of the service.  On Tuesday I woke up early to make a salad and then we headed to my mom's for Christmas.  And what a beautiful Christmas it was!  My little neice was all dressed up in the cutest little coat, hat, and mittens.  To top it all off it snowed!  Hurray white Christmas!  Ever since my Memaw passed away I always associated snow with her saying "hi" to us (it snowed strongly the day of her funeral).  This year it snowed both on my birthday and on Christmas, it's been nice to have little reminders of her this holiday season.  

Food cravings: I did eat Pho twice this week.  I think in general I've been wanting soup due to the cooler weather, and pho is just so tasty. 
Food aversions: ...
Symptoms: Back pain is still pretty persistent.  I've also had some changes with my eyes...I haven't been able to comfortably wear contacts for a few weeks now.  I'm not sure if this is pregnancy related, but I'm hoping it stops after baby arrives. 
Movement Still having lots of good movement.  Sometimes he gets into these almost rhythmic kicks or punches where he'll just kick one spot of my belly repeatedly for about 2 minutes.   
What I’m looking forward to:  I'm going back to Austin Street to do some final sessions and closing out cases.  I've missed being around the clients.             
What I miss: I definitely can't wait to have sushi again
Next appt: January 3rd
Workout/Fitness: Some short walks.  I did some arm work twice this week with light weights.  I also bought an exercise/birthing ball and did some exercises with that the past couple of days.   

The Sisterhood of Mothers: After my post last week about our birth preparation I was reminded how awesome it is to hear from women who have been through this whole process before.  Jason and I did end up getting to sit down and talk for a bit with the couple I had mentioned.  They were so helpful and comforting.  She had a 36 hour labor, but ultimately said she can hardly remember the pain and is glad she went through all of it naturally.  I really enjoyed hearing from her husband's perspective as well.  Plus, it was great to see them with their sweet little son.  I also got a very nice message from someone I knew in high school who also did a natural birth.  She gave me another book recommendation as well as some encouraging words.  I can't begin to say how much I appreciate the generosity of all these awesome moms. 

Bonus Pictures: Our good friend who took maternity pictures for Jason and I sent me three of the edited images and I am so in love with them!  I can't wait to see the rest!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Prego Journal: 32 Weeks

How far along:  32 weeks

How big is baby: He weighs as much as a large jicama and 19 inches long.  He is (hopefully) starting the transition into the head down position to prepare for birth.  His digestive system is set and ready to start processing milk. Baby's skin is becoming opaque.   
Total weight gain:  Not sure, I didn't have a scale this week because we're in Houston 
Maternity clothes:  Well, I think I officially hit my "fashion low point" of pregnancy thus far on Thursday night.  I wore a matching sweatsuit, my glasses, no makeup, flats, and socks to the movie theater.  To be fair, we were going to see The Hobbit and I needed to be as comfortable as humanly possible.  Nevertheless, let's hope this outfit is never seen outside of my house again. 
Is this really happening?
Best moment(s) of the week: 
We had a great time in Houston!  On Monday night we celebrated Christmas with Nina and had a delicious dinner at Flemings in Houston.  On Saturday we got to spend time with Jason's dad and went to the movies with him.  In addition to this, we had lots of time to relax and gear up for the coming months. 
We also got started on birth preparation (more on that below)!
Food cravings: Nuthin.  Eggs are still my favorite breakfast
Food aversions: The usual 
Symptoms: Mostly back pain and wanting to go to bed super early.  Jason gave me an excellent back rub while I was falling asleep on the couch one night and it was awesome. I still get cramping or quick pains in my legs sometimes
Movement He is such a jumping bean and loves to kick my bladder.  A couple of times this week I think he was two stepping in my stomach as my whole stomach came alive with movement rather than just one area.  I'm definitely going to miss feeling all those movements when he's here.  
What I’m looking forward to:  Christmas is this week!  WOOHOO!!!             
What I miss: Having 0 food restrictions and enjoying cereal
Next appt: January 3rd
Workout/Fitness: Jason and I went on a couple of walks this week.  I also started doing some birth focused exercises and stretches as recommended by my new book. 
Birth Prep:  After much stalling (we might be a little behind on this one), we finally got started on really getting serious about preparing for birth.  I looked at the classes offered by the hospital, but they only offered lamaze focused classes, which I have very little interest in taking.  So I started to do some research about alternate methods and decided to focus primarily on the Bradley method.  Rather than taking a Bradley class (which typically lasts 12 weeks...yeah we're too late for that...oops), we purchased a few books.  This way we'll be able to not only pull from the Bradley method, but other natural birthing methods as well.  I don't want to completely restrict myself to any one thing.  
I read through "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way" in less than two days.  I found it very informative (although at times outdated) and it made me really excited for labor and delivery.  I also got a recommendation for a second book, "Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth" which I will be reading soon.  This same friend offered to sit down and chat with Jason and I about giving birth naturally.  I am so grateful for this.  Most people I tell I plan on going through birth naturally give me the "yeah right" face or are in utter shock that I'm even considering it.  I'm really excited to hear from someone who has already been through it successfully and is happy with her decision to do so.  
So why am I choosing a natural birth?  Well, I guess I should first clarify we will be at the hospital...which is one of my biggest concerns because I know a lot of hospital staff might push a number of interventions.  Thus, the importance of going in knowledgeable about each procedure and step as well as with confidence in my ability to do this.  My initial reason for wanting to look into a natural birth is my personal like for being in control and really experiencing the wide range of human emotions and feelings in their truest form.  This is similar to the reason I don't like to drink excessively or why I've never had even the slightest interest in trying mind altering drugs.  And if ever there is an experience I don't want to dull or alter, it is the experience of bringing our child into the world.  
After starting my research, I found there are a number of additional benefits to a natural birth both for the mom and baby.  Top among these would be how it can affect the ease of breast feeding.  There are additional benefits, but I won't go into each of them.
Finally, I decided I liked the Bradley method as a base method to build on because of the way it involves the husband.  I want Jason to feel just as involved and be an active participant in our son's birth.  Rather than this be an experience I share with the doctor and nurses, I'd prefer for Jason and my interaction to be the most prevalent and the others just an added safety measure. I think it's so beautiful to think about us working together during labor and delivery.
I also want to say I fully recognize that this is not the method for everyone and I respect every woman who has brought a child into the world through any method.  I think each couple should choose how they feel they will best be able to enjoy the experience.
I can't believe we are down to only two months!!  It's all so very exciting! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prego Journal: Week 31

I really struggled to write my blog this week.  It has been such a mixture of emotions, and I knew I couldn't just write an update as if the week had been any other typical week.  This week our nation witnessed and experienced one of the greatest tragedies in my lifetime.  I have to be honest, I have been avoiding pretty much all media coverage of this shooting.  I read a few stories on Friday afternoon, read the President's address to the nation, and listened to his speech at the memorial service.  Outside of this, I haven't watched the interviews of teachers, children, and parents; nor dissected the psychological state of the shooter with CNN.  I simply couldn't bring myself to do it.  Every time someone even mentions Newtown I become emotional, I cry, I hold my belly tight.  What fear it stirs up in me to no longer have Aidan safe inside of me in only two short months.  One of my friends who is also pregnant posted this: "As a soon to be mother, it breaks my heart to be so fearful to bring a child into this scary world and makes me feel extra protective of this life growing inside me."  What sadness it brings to my heart to think about the parents of those sweet children.  My initial reaction to learning the full extent of the shootings was to book a flight to Connecticut and be there to offer counseling, support, anything to these families.  Knowing full well this wasn't an option, rather than watch the media coverage of this particular incident, I've chosen to pray.  That's all I can even think to do at this point.  I can't hold myself together to watch someone recount the events of the day.  So instead I go to my Father in heaven and ask Him to send some kind of strength and comfort to our nation; some kind of passion to make the necessary changes so that these events stop happening so frequently. I pray for the families of all the victims and all the children who will live with this memory.  I will end with something taken from another friend's post on Friday: "Rest in peace, dear children of God. May the angels lead you into paradise; may the martyrs come to welcome you and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem."    
How far along:  31 weeks

How big is baby:  Head of lettuce.  Baby's brain continues to develop and he is now able to perceive information from all five senses.     
Total weight gain: +12  
Maternity clothes:  I like to throw on a non-maternity pair of jeans here and there just to reassure myself I can still fit into them (even if the button and zipper are undone).      
Sleep: No big changes here.  Lots of waking to go to the bathroom, but that's about it.    
Best moment(s) of the week: 
Despite the emotions of the week; it truly has been filled with lots of wonderful things
1) We got to see baby Aidan on a sonogram on Thursday at Nancy's vet clinic.  It has almost been 10 weeks since we've seen him.  He's so big!  There's nothing that puts a mother-to-be's mind at ease like seeing her little baby
2) I graduated on Friday with my Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling!  It is such a relief to be done with school.  Although, also a little terrifying knowing that I am now officially unemployed. 
3) We participated in the wedding of two of our dearest friends this weekend.  I have been looking forward to this wedding for maybe 4 years.  This couple is the most amazing couple.  They have their eyes so focused on God it is truly beautiful to witness, they compliment each other so well, and they both have the biggest hearts for their friends and family.  In choosing people to do the readings in their wedding they decided to ask married couples as a way to highlight the importance of marriage.  Jason and I were asked to read the Prayers of the Faithful.  These took place directly following the wedding vows.  Oh man, I was so teary during their vows!  I don't know if it was the joy I was feeling to watch two of my closest friends become united or the way in which the bride was absolutely glowing, but I got emotional.  I had to pull myself together in a hurry to make it onto the alter without tears still flowing.  It was such a beautiful wedding and I can't wait to see what God has in store for them!
Food cravings: nada.  I feel like I should probably eat more veggies, but I don't know that it's necessarily a craving.
Food aversions: still sweets...but I might have an explanation for this aversion now...see below.  
Symptoms: Back pain is definitely getting more intense.  I also think my hips are starting to widen (and I thought they were already plenty wide).  I can feel my ligaments getting looser as certain movements catch me off guard as my body gives out for a second as if to say "nope, can't move like that anymore without falling" 
Movement:  He's still getting in the required number of kicks.  I've become a little more obsessed with counting after my last appointment...again, see below.  He was a little quiet on Saturday, but Sunday I don't think he stopped moving for more than 30 minutes throughout the day.  
What I’m looking forward to:  Jason and I are in Houston this week!  It's our week off :)  We're getting to have Christmas with his mom and dad and just take some time to relax.               
What I miss: Running anf good workouts.  
Next appt: January 3rd.  
Update from Dec. 11 appointment:  I have to say this wasn't my favorite appointment to date.  I'm used to going in and being told "okay everything looks great, see you in a couple weeks."  I like these appointments.  This week, however, it just seemed like nothing was exactly perfect.  I should start by saying nothing is drastically wrong either.  Things simple aren't perfect, and I like perfection.  
So first I was told that the results of my 1 hour glucose test came back significantly elevated and was asked to do a 3 hour test on Friday. (Jumping ahead to Friday: the three hour test consists of drinking an even more concentrated sugary orange drink, sitting in a lab, and getting drawn once every hour for three hours).
Next, I took my weight and realized that not only was I not gaining weight but I had also lost weight.  I know I track my weight at home, and this wasn't a huge surprise, but I was hoping maybe it was just my scale. Losing weight typically isn't recommended during the third trimester of pregnancy, so I wasn't exactly excited.
Then Dr. Behan took my pelvic bone to top of uterus measurement.  This is the measurement which has been one week ahead of schedule my past two appointments (so last appointment I measured at 29 weeks when I was in my 28th week).  This time around I was measuring a week small...essentially I was still measuring at 29 weeks, my uterus hadn't grown.  When I was measuring large Dr. B was completely unphased by this.  But this time he was a little surprised and suggested we get an ultrasound at our next appointment.  Okay, he also stated more than once that he's not really concerned, it's just precautionary, and it's not like he immidiately rushed me into the ultrasound room to check on the baby.  But from a mother's point of view all I can think about is how he told me a few appointments ago that we wouldn't get another ultrasound until 36 weeks unless there was something to be worried about.  So naturally, I worry.  I'm sure everything is okay, but it wasn't the appointment I was hoping for.  
Workout/Fitness: I've been fairly lax on working out.  I'd like to start walking more again since my ligaments are being kind of weird when I do squats or leg lifts. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prego Journal: Week 30

How far along:  30 weeks
Teepy time with Booter and Baby 
How big is baby:  Butternut Squash.  About 18 inches long.  Brain development is progressing and the amount of brain tissue is increasing. Baby's bone marrow is producing his red blood cells, further increasing his ability to thrive outside the womb.    
Total weight gain: +12  
Maternity clothes:  Not much new here.  Enjoying mixing maternity and non maternity wear    
Sleep: Going alright.  Just wish I was able to sleep a little later on my mornings off.   
Best moment(s) of the week: 
1) The Rehab Counseling Holiday Party went great.  It also motivated Jason and I to get our house all Christmas-y.  Jason also made a delicious fried turkey (two actually)!
2)  We took some maternity pictures with a good friend of ours this Sunday!  It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to see the results  :) 
Food cravings: still nothing
Food aversions: same ole sweets 
Symptoms: Back pain is still the biggest symptom and I think my sciatic nerve started acting up on Saturday.  Jason gave me a two day early birthday present: a prenatal massage!!  I am so excited to do this.  It will be the perfect way to relax after graduation :)  I also think I'm going through the "nesting" phase, except instead of making me ultra focused on getting the nursery ready it motivated me to go on a Christmas decorating spree.  Eventually, I really am going to have to get started on that nursery.  
Movement I'm so proud of my active boy.  The number of kicks seems to have reduced a little and I feel more rolls and stretches.  The stretching is my favorite.  My stomach will poke out real far to the front and then all of a sudden both my left and right sides will expand out like he's doing a double leg stretch (pilates move)
What I’m looking forward to:  My birthday is on Monday; woohoo!  But mostly I'm excited about graduation!!  I'm done!!               
What I miss: Hot chocolate.  I sure would like to enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa, but I know I won't enjoy it if I try to drink one  
Next appt: Dec 11th...we'll be registering at the hospital that day too.  It's getting so close!
Workout/Fitness: I did some prenatal pilates this week and other leg focused workouts.  Also all the preparation for the party on Saturday made me so sore that night and Sunday. 
Pregnant moment of the week:  We went to my grandparents' new senior living community on Sunday for brunch. *sidenote: this was one fancy living community.  I mean top notch, I was pretty impressed*  Anyways, after brunch we were walking out and my Granny saw one of her friends and was telling her that I'm her granddaughter and I'm carrying her little great grand-baby.  Well, this very kind woman looks at me and says "Oh I'm so proud of you."  Apparently pregnancy has turned me into a bit  (more) of a smart-a and instead of a simple "Thank you," knowing full well she was simply saying congratulations, I said "yup, just building babies"   
Pregnancy Reflection: This week was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  The Gospel reading at Mass came from Luke 1:26-38.  In this passage Mary gives her fiat to God exclaiming "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."  During communion I was looking at the crucifix and contemplating the journey of Mary from the time she was visited by the Angel to the time of Christ's birth and his eventual death on the cross.  In Christopher West's "Woman: God's Masterpiece" talk, he speaks about how Mary's fiat did not end after the birth of Jesus.  It lasted all the way through watching her own son scourged and crucified. At any point during all of this she could of changed this yes to "No God, this hurts too much."  What powerful faith and trust she must have had in God to watch her son put to death.  This thought impacted me deeply as I am experiencing pregnancy for myself now.  I already love my little son so much and can't even begin to imagine the pain and heartache Mary must of experienced.  She watched and stood faithfully by as the sweet little boy she wrapped so lovingly in her arms on Christmas fulfilled God's ultimate plan for salvation. As we approach Christmas and prepare the way for our Lord, I pray I can keep in mind what His coming to earth means; and remain thankful to Mary for her "yes".  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Prego Journal: Week 29

How far along:  29 weeks 
How big is baby:  Small cabbage.  About 17 inches long (how is this comparable to a small cabbage?).  Fat deposits are increasing and helping to smooth out the baby's skin.  Strength of kicks and jabs is increasing as bones are beginning to harden.    
Total weight gain: +13   
Maternity clothes:  Enjoyed wearing my new duds this week.  Also bought my first no-underwire, nursing bra.  Also, (tmi? nah, it's no secret that I'm small chested) this was my first B cup's a big deal.     
Sleep: Ooooo it's ok.  My back pain makes falling asleep a little difficult and I woke up with some leg cramps fairly often this week.   
Best moment(s) of the week: 
1) My husband.  He had some pretty hilarious moments this week and I laughed harder than I have in a long time.  I love my husband so much.  For example, after hanging up our honeymoon Christmas Ornament he took my hands and started to sing the Hoo song from The Grinch and dance in a circle.
2) Hearing Iggy's heartbeat.  Here's a video of the sound only (we didn't have a picture).  Around 21 seconds is probably the clearest. 

    3) Boots had an equally funny week.  On Friday morning as I was getting ready I turned around to find him all tangled in one of my tank tops, struggling to walk.  That evening after hanging up a shower curtain I came into the hallway to find him with a pair of my underwear on his head.  Apparently he likes laundry day because he gets to play in our pile of clothes.
4) I registered on Saturday!  I'm so grateful to my sister and sister-in-law for coming with me.  I would have been very overwhelmed without them there.  Baby registering might be more exhausting than wedding registering.  We got there around 2:30 and didn't leave until about 6:45 or so.  We are now registered at Babies R Us and  Some of the items repeat on the registries, but I wanted to give people the option of where they wanted to purchase some of the bigger items.  In the end, if we get something duplicate we can exchange one at Babies R Us.  I have a feeling we'll be going there a lot in the future.
Food cravings: nothing really
Food aversions: still the same 
Symptoms: Back pain and leg cramps are the major ones right now.  I'm still shocked by the size of my belly and how it gets in my way as I try to maneuver about.  Very emotional week.  I had two complete break downs this week and I also cried in my coworkers office on Thursday. 
Movement We've started counting his kicks once day.  He usually reaches the needed 10 kicks in less than 20 minutes (you typically want 10 kicks within one to two hours).  So he's definitely very active. 
What I’m looking forward to:  We are hosting a Christmas/Thanksgiving party for my Rehab Counseling classmates on Saturday!  I'm hoping it will be lots of fun.              
What I miss: Not having back pain.  
Next appt: Dec 11th...also a quick story from my appointment on the 26th.  I was scheduled to do my diabetes test on Tuesday morning.  I woke up and drank the nasty orange syrup they give you so that when I arrived at the office it would be time to get my blood drawn.  When I arrived I let the receptionist know when I had drank my sugar concoction. At this point I was informed that this was a 1 hour diabetes test and I had drank my drink as if it was a 3 hour test.  Therefore it was too late to get my blood drawn.  I was given another bottle and will have to go back to have the test run sometime this week.  Later, after I had given my urine sample, Dr. Behan was going over my labs and said "whoa, you're sugar is very high.  Did we make you wait too long so you went and got a cookie?"  Then I explained to him the situation.  He seemed relieved to know that my sugar is not typically that high.
Workout/Fitness: I was so bad this week.  I don't think I did a single thing outside of walking around Babies R Us for a few hours.  I'm going to have to do much better this week.