Wednesday, January 28, 2009

welcome to the hotel hospital

I've had the hit Eagles song stuck in my head since last night, when we went on our hospital tour as part of our final childbirth class. I think I mentioned before that this new part to our hospital was just opened in August, so we knew everything would be shiny and new. But I had no idea HOW shiny and new. I kid you not when I say that it's probably nicer than any hotel I've ever stayed at, including our honeymoon resort in Jamaica. They didn't skip a detail and I honestly would LOVE to check in now and just hang out there for the next month.

From the time you step off the elevator (into the "hotel lobby"), through the labor and delivery rooms (which have every detail included to make laboring easier), and into the postpartum rooms we were just blown away. The postpartum rooms are huge and have a nice pull out couch for Joey, a fridge (though it's not quite a mini-bar, we asked :o), every detail is included. The coolest part - the food! They don't bring you hospital food around at certain times, you have to order room service, which you can do from 7-7. But if you're hungry at 2am, you have a magic card that lets you into the "hosp.itality room" where there's a ton of food, for free! Joey can even grab some snacks if he's hungry in the middle of the night.

If I had any reservations left about childbirth going into last night, they were immediately squashed once we completed the tour. I would just like to go now, really.

Class itself was ok. We talked about postpartum care the entire time. Our hospital has been designated a "Ba.by-Friend.ly" hospital, which is apparently a big deal (there's only 75 hospitals across the US with this distinction). It means the entire hospital - doctors, nurses, pediatricians, janitors (ok kidding on the last one), etc. are all highly trained and very much promote breastfeeding. That's not to say if you make a personal choice not to that they're going to kick you out of your room - but they will absolutely go out of their way to help you make it work. I've always been on board with trying it out, and hoping it works, but I feel hugely reassured knowing that these people are pretty much not going to let us fail at nursing as long as we keep trying.

And as icing on my already tasty cake, I won a Mo.by Wr.ap in our class! I love free stuff! :)

::

Check out the baby pool link over on the left column! We want your votes! And please note those that guess after my due date (2/28) are no longer my friends. ;o) It'll stay open until a few weeks before delivery and then it'll lock until B's arrival!

Monday, January 26, 2009

35weeks, 2 days

We had a fantastic, fast, overwhelming weekend... it was B's second shower on Saturday! I have the most amazing husband in the history of the world and could not have gotten the house ready to host 25+ people at our house without him. It was a great day, a great weekend, and we are still counting our blessings.

I'm not even sure how many people showed up... but there were a lot. A lot more than our not-so-big house was ever meant to handle comfortably. But thankfully there was some serious love for B, and everyone braved the close quarters for a few hours!

My friend Jill and her family came from Chicago on Friday and stayed until after the shower on Saturday. It was great having them here, and we got a taste of how life with a charming 4-year-old will be in a few years (because I already know I will have a charming child, wow do I sound conceited?! :) thanks to Jill's son Tanner. He accomplished his goal of talking our ears off, but we were sad to see them go.



I spent most of yesterday putting stuff away, and then re-putting it away. Nesting much? :) Baby laundry is fun I've decided, just because everything is so wee. I KNOW this will not be the case 2 months from now, but I might as well live it up while I like it, right?

We hit 35 weeks on Saturday. Still feeling good, just achier now it seems. Only one person told me I was "small" on Saturday... I consider that a success!! :) Not much else going on this week - our last childbirth class is tomorrow. We're almost totally set for B's arrival, just a few things left to pick up, but nothing that we can't live without if he decides to come sooner than later. Have a great week! A few development notes: Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

appointment update

Technically, I’m 34w4d today, but it was my 34 week appointment this afternoon.

short story: he’s fine, all is normal

longer story: I’ve gained like 22 lbs or something, whatever, it’s fine. My blood pressure was also fine, 120/68 I think. That top number is still higher than it typically was pre-pregnancy, but it’s fine still apparently.

The only question I had was about the is-he-or-isn’t-he heads down issue and when he really needs to get that way. She said he needs to settle down there in the next 2 weeks because at the 36 week appt (Feb 4th) they’ll figure out his position. If they think he’s not head’s down, they’ll do an ultrasound to double check and then we’ll go over our options - either schedule a “version” to attempt to flip him, or schedule a c-section. She said after 36 weeks, the chances of him flipping to the right position go WAY down - it’s not a 0% chance that he won’t flip, but it’s really low simply because he doesn’t have much room to do it if he hasn’t by that point.

Right before leaving for my appointment, he was hiccuping under my right ribs and POUNDING my left side with his feet. Totally transverse.

BUT

At the appointment, the stinker had flipped and was now heads down and had his feet up high up near my left ribs. Such a brat. ;)

I measured 33 cm, so still “small”. I think he’s fine size-wise - he was measuring 34 weeks (well except for his head…) 2 weeks ago, at the 34w appt, so I don’t think he shrunk.

So we hang in there for 2 more weeks.

Monday, January 19, 2009

34 (!!) weeks, 2 days

Sometimes (ok, most of the time) when I check out our floating baby thing on the sidebar, I'm astonished at how few days we have to go until we meet Cletus. For some reason 40 days feels like the beginning of the end - in a good way! And knowing that it could be as few as 26 days (or as many as 45) is really crazy!

I think we're ready for him, whenever he decides to make it his birthday. Though I'm personally hoping he bakes for a few more weeks at least. I've nested all that I can in his room for now (pictures are promised when it's completely finished) and it looks great - my favorite room of the house now by far. We still need to do a car seat test run to make sure we know how to get the bases in the vehicles. We've been waiting for nice weather, so hopefully it will cooperate in the next few weeks. My best friends Moriah and Molly graciously offered to host a shower for me and B this coming weekend, and we are looking forward to see everyone!

Joey is in California for work - but he'll be back tomorrow, thank goodness. I'm running out of energy quickly these days and the dogs don't seem to understand that. (Plus they spend the first 3 hours he's gone wandering aimlessly around the house waiting for him to come back, it's kind of sad and pathetic. :o)

We're finishing the tasks on our pre-baby to do lists, and hopefully we'll get everything checked off before he comes. It's nothing to major, but it would be nice to have some things checked off. And now we're at the point of making lists of lists. If we weren't quite so anal retentive... ;) I've started figuring out some things at work for my maternity leave. It's hard when I'm really not sure my end date. I did decide that my last working day, if he's on time or late is February 27th, so I know I won't be working into March even if he's not here yet. Of course that will be earlier if he's earlier. I thankfully will have 12 weeks off from work, and Joey should have about 2.

As far as Cletus and me - we're both still doing well I believe. Sleeping is getting more difficult by the night, unfortunately. Thankfully B seems to be asleep most of the night, so I'm not being woken up by his soccer practice (now we'll see if that continues after birth...). I think he must have inherited his parents' love of sleep! :) He's still moving around quite a bit - more than I thought he would be at this point. I think he's still heads up, based on his latest hiccuping, but we'll find out soon enough. I'm still getting comments every few days that I'm "really not that big and don't look like I'm having a baby 6 weeks". I swear there's a 34 week baby in there, and I'm perfectly happy that I'm not any bigger!!

This was a lot of rambling nonsense, so kudos to you if you're still reading at this point. :) We have an appointment on Wednesday and I'll update after that!

A few development notes:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

33 weeks, 4 days

Just over 6 weeks to go! We're still shocked at how fast time is flying. B is definitely letting me know that he's running out of room in there, and we can't wait until he's kicking us from the outside (we say that now! :).

Nothing much has happened since the last post. Cletus is still flipping around all the time and not maintaining his "heads down" position for more than a few hours at a time. Currently he has a head under my ribs on my right side, where he's been bouncing around all day. He was being good last night and made himself heads down, but had flipped by this morning. Send some turning thoughts and prayers to us if you have extras. :)

I celebrated my half birthday on Monday! Well celebrate is a stretch - I coaxed Joey into telling me happy half birthday, but that was as far as it went. :) Now I'm 26 1/2 and halfway to another birthday.

All is well with Joey. He and I trade off in our nesting routine. He's been great at helping with the house though - especially when all I want to do is be lazy!

We had childbirth class #2 last night - another very informative one! We got the ins and outs of epidurals and I feel MUCH better about the whole process now. I was a little freaked out by everyone telling me how big the needle was, but in truth it's pretty tiny. I think I can hold off and manage the pain for a little bit, but I'll be asking for some sweet relief at some point I think!

Our next appointment is next Wednesday, I'll update after that.

Have a great week!

Development notes:
This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a big head

Two things to update on today: our first childbirth class was last night and our 32 week OB appt was today. I'm going to start with the OB appt, because it segues into stuff we talked about in class last night.

OB appointment...short version: all is fine, Cletus has a gigantic head.

long version:
My blood pressure was 124/64, which still seemed at bit high for me, but the nurse said it's right where I want to be.

She said I can sleep on my back as much as I want to, as long as I'm in a bed (and not on a hard floor) and as long as it doesn't make me dizzy. Hallelujer. She'd prefer my left side for blood flow, but she said if I'm only sleeping on my back then do what I need to get some zzzz's. Oh stomach how I miss being able to sleep on you. Soon enough.

I had new doctor #4 today. My OB is still on maternity leave, so this was the last one of her colleagues I have to rotate through before she comes back, I think. She's the "mother" of the practice - she's founded it and has been an OB for like 30 years or something. So this obviously isn't her first rodeo. BUT when she measured my belly, she proclaimed that I was only measuring at 28 weeks (I'm 32w4d today). I thought this sounded fishy because a) this OB measured me differently (and shorter) than the others have - I could tell it would be short just based on how she held the tape and b) I've measured right on for every other appointment - I was 30 cm at 30 weeks, so how would I have shrunk in the last 2 weeks?

She said that she's sure he's fine, but wants an ultrasound just to make sure since he's measuring on the short side of normal for his gestational age. Not ones to turn down a photo shoot with our son, we happily agreed. The u/s was good - she found his head right away, and it's HUGE. She didn't immediately say how huge, just that it's big. We had her check to make sure he's still a boy, and yes he definitely is. :) His belly is perfect and round and his thigh bone is also right on track. Basically, here's the scoop: I'm 32w4d today, his head is measuring 36 weeks (almost an entire month ahead of "average") and his belly/thigh show his body is measuring at 32 weeks even, so a tiny tiny big small for "average". That means that Cletus as a whole is measuring a whole week ahead - 33w4d. Most importantly, he's perfect and healthy and everything looks fine as far as that goes, he just has a really gigantic melon. Joey was a bit more concerned and wanted to triple check that all was well, but I reminded him that he too has a seriously large head (he has trouble finding hats that fit) and my side of the family is always talking about how they have to wear their hats on the last snap. Barrett even has a big head, though it's all evening out already and he never looked silly with his head. So basically, big heads run in our family. The dr checked over the u/s results and also confirmed that everything is fine. And now we can laugh about it, and hope his head doesn't grow exponentially before delivery! :o)

I totally spaced off asking her how he was positioned or if he's still breech. I think he MAY be moving toward something more head-down lately. It actually feels like he's laying like this: / across my belly. We'll be back in two weeks though to get the scoop and find out about how things are looking toward delivery.

Oh! And I got a few more snapshots of B in action. He had his arm in front of his face, so we didn't get a great face shot, but they're pretty good. He totally has Joey's nose (thank God). :)


Which brings us to Childbirth Class...

It was actually ok. 2 1/2 hours long, but the nurse was super awesome and made it as fun as possible. The hospital we're delivering at just finished this whole birth "tower" in August so we'll be delivering in a fancy brand-new area. I'm excited for that. :) There are 7 couples in the class, and we're all due between Feb 27th and Mar 13, so it's nice that everyone is kind of close - we're all experiencing similar things.

We were able to get a few questions answered... like how long does it take for the anesthesiologist to get to the room if I want an epidural (max 20 minutes, usually much less, longer if they're helping with general surgery and have a heart patient - but L&D has their own anesthesiologist, hooray!) and Joey wanted to know if there was music playing in the room (we had to listen to relaxing music last night - no, none playing, but there is an ipod docking station, yay!). I think there were other more important questions answered, but those were the biggies that I remember. :)

She spent quite a bit of time talking about preterm labor. 36 weeks and under is considered premature/early normal and means the kiddo will automatically get 24 hours in the NICU to be checked. 38-40 weeks is considered full term. 37 weeks to 37w6d is considered gray area and the babies are monitored on a case-by-case basis. On the other side of the spectrum, she said that the chances of any of us going to 42 weeks before being induced are probably zero. This wasn't always the case, obviously, but she said in the last year or 18 months, they've learned tons about what's considered full term and what happens in those last few days and sometimes even hours. At 40 weeks the placenta quality starts to degrade rapidly, and she said most doctors are getting twitchy to get the baby out, for sure by 41 weeks. Especially if there's any chance the due date might be off. Along with that, both hospitals in Lincoln (they work together for a lot of policy stuff, which is kind of odd because they're completely separate entities, but it's also nice that they're considering the health of the citizens as a whole) decided a year ago that they would no longer do elective inductions before 39 weeks. Which was nice to hear. So when I get really uncomfortable in 4 weeks, I won't be able to cry uncle and ask to get the kid out. :o) But seriously, it's great that they're making sure those babies get every minute of growth and development that they deserve in utero. (I'm completely and totally fine with inductions before 39 weeks for mothers and babies who are high-risk or medically need to deliver early - I just don't get the ones who have swollen ankles and a sore back and want the kid out for vanity or because they're "done".)

Ok, so what does all this mean? It means that I will have Cletus sometime on or before March 7th. It means that if he doesn't flip and I have to have a c-section it could be as early as February 14th (which is 5 (!) weeks away). It means that if we have to induce because his head is going to be too big if we wait, it could also be Feb 14th ish. And it means if for some unknown reason I ask for an elective induction, I can't do that until February 21st.

*deep breath*

It's January, which means February is next month. Which means we don't have much time left to prepare. Yikes.

And a few development notes:
This week your baby is dangerously close to the 4 pounds, 17 inches mark, so it pretty much makes sense that you feel massive. They've also developed sensitivity to temperature and have little toe nails and finger nails now!

Friday, January 2, 2009

31 weeks, 6 days!

We're just about to hit 32 weeks which means 8 weeks to go until the due date. Though I doubt he'll be early (just my gut instinct), theoretically he could be here in 6 weeks!

All is still going relatively well, no real complaints. I forgot to mention after our last appt, but Baby B is breech (which means he's not head-down in a position conducive to delivery) - he's almost always laying horizontally across my belly. They don't seem too concerned about this, and won't be until 36 weeks or so they said, but I hope he gets himself settled down there sooner than later! One less thing to worry about (we'd probably have to have a c-section if he stays this way).

Our Christmas and New Year's were great! It was nice to see friends and family. Making the last trip to Sidney pre-baby was a bit surreal as we know next time we'll have a kiddo in the backseat to contend with. I even made it past midnight on New Year's Eve... in fact I think my head finally hit the pillow at 3am. Tooooo late for me!

Renee and Mindy were sweet enough to throw me a baby shower while we were home for Christmas. Cletus was very, very spoiled! Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us! We can't wait to meet Cletus and share all these sweet treats with him!

Next appointment is Wednesday, I'll update after that!

31 week development notes:
This week your not-so-little miracle is getting closer to the four pound mark and is now nearly 17 inches in length. The fat's still rolling in quite steadily and will continue to do so for the next weeks. And you're probably getting your first taste of Braxton-Hicks contractions now and then, but don't worry, they're false contractions.

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt.He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.