39-weeks: A reflection

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I’m 39-weeks this week. The last time, hopefully, if we are blessed, I’ll ever say that statement. Overall it’s been a good week. I’m surprisingly not as exhausted as I remember being with Sydney at this point but I’m probably a bit more nervous since I know what’s coming. I’m not so uncomfortable that I can’t “wait to be done” yet I’m not so comfortable that I would like to go another week either…

Pregnancy is weird. It is life changing, body changing, mind changing. It is a long, yet fleeting 9 months…40 weeks. It starts with such excitement combined with a little unease, and for me this time around sickness.  In the middle things slow down and energy picks up. And by the end you just wait as your big belly starts to get uncomfortable, exhausting, painful.

And then there is birth.

All that is left now for me, is birth.

Sydney’s birth was fast, frantic…terrifying honestly. This time I can only hope I’ve prepared. I’ve read a bit more on natural child-birth, I’ve religiously paid attention in yoga, I’ve spent a little time each night for the past month or so mentally going through labor in my mind, and this time I’ve got a doula. I know my body is capable of doing what it needs to do without pain medications, as I did it before and lived to tell the tale (as have so many other women). I hope to do the same again.

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I was 4 cm this AM at the doctor’s office, and according to him I could really go ‘any time now’. So… I’m home now, resting, reflecting.

These next few days (hours?) will be the last time I’ll have a baby inside me; feeling it move, kick, hiccup. It is so strange to think how very few things in life are infinite. I’ll cherish the finite moments before the next chapter begins.

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I knew it

After my last cold I had in February I knew it was too much to ask to remain illness-free for the remainder of my pregnancy.

This week it is an asthma flare. Because not being able to breathe and peeing on yourself when you have a coughing fit is just about awesome right about now.  I didn’t think sleeping could get worse…until it did.  And work this week has been epic-shitty.  And Royce is working evenings again.

I also can’t help but think that if I was working for the company with whom I did my fellowship…tomorrow would be my last day at work since Monday is 4-weeks from my due date and they consider the last month of pregnancy part of maternity leave.

And I would get paid leave for 6+ months without exhausting my vacation or sick days.

And I probably wouldn’t have had to go to work sick yesterday and today (and tomorrow unless I miraculously pull through this tonight) since I could actually use my sick days for being sick…not hording them for having a baby.

Ah well. Life isn’t fair.  I get that.  Other people and friends around me have it far worse.  I’m thankful for the misery I have to whine about cause in the entire scheme of things it is misery-lite.

Still doesn’t mean it isn’t therapeutic to vent every once in a while.

However, 90% of what I’m frustrated with right now in life isn’t blog-able so I guess I’ll go write the old-fashioned way instead.

Easter weekend

We had a very lazy ‘Easter’ weekend where in our true fashion we did nothing to recognize the religious but did plenty to celebrate the non-religious.

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Syd woke up that AM to a mess of jelly beans left by the ‘messy bunny’ as she liked to refer to him, and a basket full of treats and trinkets courtesy of us, Grandma Bullock and Auntie-M.

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She had fun going through it all but focused straight on the candy and the paper grass in the basket which she promptly scattered all over the living room and kitchen.

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It was a lazy day followed by an early Easter dinner and egg hunt hosted by my friend Ashley.  This year Syd ‘got’ the egg hunting thing and had a good time looking for eggs and then going through her loot.

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I made the blouse you see her wearing for the egg hunt.  I didn’t have enough of the main fabric (October Afternoon, Fly a Kite in Teal by Riley Blake) so I did a blouse from the Ice Cream Dress pattern instead of the dress.  It turned out OK, but I prefer the look of the dress I made her from this pattern over the blouse.  It went together easily enough though, didn’t take me any time at all to whip up.

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I was able to get quite a bit of sewing done this weekend even though Royce worked the afternoon shifts so I almost feel ‘ready’ for baby.  Actually outside of a couple of softies for baby’s crib I’m completely done with the girls’ room sewing…including the glider cover which was much easier to sew than I had imagined.  Next up is getting some pictures on the wall!

I have about 5-weeks left and it’s starting to feel like it too.  I’m more tired thanks to multiple night waking to pee and pain in my hips from lying on my side.  Although I’m still smaller and weigh less than I did at this point with Sydney I’m still feeling just as uncomfortable.  You can tell my physical limitations by the perspective of the recently posted photos!  Mama can’t get down to Syd’s level easily anymore so sadly everything was shot from my standing viewpoint.  I’m also having quite a bit of Braxton Hicks contractions which I don’t remember having with Sydney…maybe I just didn’t know what to expect though given that was my first pregnancy.  They don’t stop with rest or sitting but they did ease last night with a glass of wine…go figure.

To-do

With only 7-weeks left I’ve got a lot on my to-do list.  Most of it is sewing, some of it is boring (taxes).  None of this *has* (well except the taxes) to be done before baby arrives but lets just say life would be easier if finishing touches were done-diddly-done and my spare time could be spent outside in my rocking chair with my new babe, and not in front of my Bernina or at Home Depot picking out a carpet remnant.

Of course with the new room came a few new projects.  I don’t like the yellow I picked for the walls (too bright, doesn’t complement the fabrics/furniture) so I’m having Royce re-paint these two walls gray so the entire room will be one color.  And the sun shines nice and bright through the windows at nap time (unlike her old room) so I need to make drapes to help block out some of that light.  Also the book shelf doesn’t fit on the wall we want it to fit, and nothing else does either, so instead of buying new shelves I’ve decided we are just are going to trim down the shelves of the current book shelf (god love the simplicity of Ikea styling).  These are all on Royce’s to-do list since they involve toxins and power tools (not that I don’t enjoy power tools they are just a little hard for me to yield with my belly).

Since Royce got the baby’s crib up yesterday I can finally get to sewing the crib skirt. The two window valances are sewn, I just need Royce to make something for me to staple them onto and then mount them to the walls.  I’m waiting for more fabric to arrive so I can sew the dresser runner and maybe some basket liners.  I still need to sew the bumper pads into the bumper, which is painstakingly done by hand so I’ve been dragging my feet — last time around I was spoiled and my Mom sewed up Syd’s when she was visiting for my baby shower.  The glider also could use a new facelift so I’m thinking about making a slip cover from a tutorial I found online. And then there are the walls which are still naked.  I have the Benton prints in hand I just need to frame them and I also plan to frame the butterfly prints from my charm pack for one wall I just need to go buy some square frames!

In addition to all this room sewing I’ve got a list of stuff I want to make for Sydney as well.  For her big sister gifts I’m making her a doll carrier so she can carry her doll just like I carry my baby and then I’m also going to whip up a little swaddle sack for her baby as well from a tutorial I found online.  I would also like to make her another ice-cream dress for an Easter lunch and egg hunt we are going to with neighborhood friends.  And there are some circle skirts I need to put together from some half-yards I ordered so that she has some new things to wear now that the weather is getting warmer.

I could go on…my sewing list is really endless, it’s time that isn’t.

Royce leaves on his annual mountain biking trip on Friday and will be gone for 5-days so I’ll have plenty of time to fiddle with much of this.  Assuming I have energy after working all day and chasing Syd all night while 8+ months pregnant.  I’ve noticed my naps are getting longer and my mornings getting slower.  Since prepping/cutting is my rate limiting step to most projects I do have many of the above all ready cut out so they are just waiting for ‘action’. I’m hoping that will motivate even the most tired of Mama’s.

For those of you who have read this far you get a belly shot for your viewing pleasure!  The other day the sun was streaming just so into our bedroom and my profile was a bit astonishing.

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32-weeks

A needed reminder

As with my last pregnancy I’ve switched from Pilates to prenatal yoga at 30-weeks.  It was getting harder to heave my legs over my head for Pilates and there is something very balancing about yoga that I find comforting at this stage of pregnancy.  The teachers at the studio I go to are also amazing (many are doula’s) so the yoga classes are filled with helpful topics, birthing tips (which came in handy for Syd’s delivery) and more each week.

This week our topic focused on postpartum depression; something which I didn’t admit to having, but looking back probably had with Syd (or at least had a case of the ‘baby blues’ which is also common).  She reminded us that after birth our first priority is ourselves and our baby.  We need to sleep and feed; and leave everything else to everyone else.

I’m the first to admit I didn’t do this well with Syd.  In between our horrible feeding sessions I was doing laundry, washing dishes, changing diapers, washing pump parts getting ready for the next feed.  I felt bad asking Royce and others for help with things so that I could go rest.  I felt like a nag telling people to do things that I could see needed to be done and I could just do myself.  Eventually it all just started to build up and then after 3 weeks; I hit rock bottom and it was hard to dig myself out.

Needless to say I learned from that.  This time around we are hiring a mothers helper to mainly help out with Syd, but to also help with other things around the house.  And thanks to last nights class I’m mentally creating a list to make for the helper (and for people who visit).  This list will be posted so that they can remind themselves (so I don’t have to) of what they can do to help…or if they see me doing these things on the list to tell me to stop and go lay down. It won’t be a glamorous list, but it is a needed list, since last time I found telling people what to do mentally exhausting.

As my teacher said last night the last thing you need help with is holding the baby (which is what most people want to help with).  She reminded us that Mama’s should be holding the baby; it helps release oxytocin which helps prevent PPD and the only times you shouldn’t be holding baby are when you are showering or sleeping.

Got it, noted!  I’m thankful for the much-needed reminder.  I hope to be better about this, I hope I can get past my hesitation to ask people to help doing the mindless tasks I could do, but shouldn’t be doing, in order to hopefully avoid what I (and Royce who had to deal with me) went through the first time around.

31 weeks

I’m starting to feel (and look) larger in many ways…belly but most of all boobs. I know TMI…but they are clown-sized at this point they don’t fit into many shirts.  For some baffling reason most maternity top styling contains an empire waist; even when it doesn’t have to be (like for a fitted knit shirt).  With my clown-sized ‘rack’  the empire line typically sits mid nipple for me; not flattering.  So either my boobs are oddly placed (really if they got any higher on my torso I wouldn’t be able to breathe) or all maternity clothes are drafted for women blessed with small boobies.  It’s depressing really…it’s hard enough to find clothing when pregnant but to be limited based on a stupid styling motif is even more frustrating.

Other than wardrobe dilemma’s I’m still feeling OK…getting more tired; and definitely have to pee more often, but that’s to be expected.  I’ve been having some problems lately with pain in my pubic symphysis, but I’m working on some things thanks to my yoga teacher.  I hope it gets resolved since feeling like you may split in two down there at any moment when standing is not all that comfortable.

At 30-weeks we had a sonogram and baby has turned so is finally head down (yay!) and since she was measuring ‘small’ at that ultrasound I had a follow-up with Maternal Fetal today for another.  Nothing like seeing babe once a week!  Love technology.  She measured fine at this sono and is still resting nicely head down atop my cervix (may be contributing to the pain down there?) so there is nothing to worry about.  Not that a small baby is something that concerns me considering what is going to happen in about 9 weeks or so…

This Sunday we will be moving Sydney into her new ‘big girl room’ and will also be converting her crib into a toddler bed.  Wish us luck!

 

29 weeks (and panicking)

One thing that is noticeably different about a second pregnancy is that you don’t pay attention to much. Unlike my first pregnancy where I dutifully read each months chapter in “What to Expect When You are Expecting” I haven’t even opened the book this time around. I did set up the weekly emails from babycenter.com but outside of seeing what food object Baby #2 is for size comparisons I really don’t read the rest of the email.

This week my email reminded me I’m at 29 weeks, baby is the size of a butternut squash* and there are 11 weeks to go.

11 weeks to go!  Aaaaahhh!  That means next week there are 10 weeks, and then we are in single digits.  Did I say Aaaahhh???

I have a lot to do in 11 weeks. Most notably get Syd into her new room.  But to do that it needs to get painted, and in order to do that I need to get all the crap that’s in that room out of that room.  And then we need to move all her stuff into the new room.  Did I mention I still haven’t finished sewing the bedding?  I do have 5 crib sheets made, washed, and folded. And I’ll finish up her crib skirt this weekend.  So I’m not too terribly behind on this project but there is still lots to do (like little sisters bumpers, crib skirt and 2 window valances).

The good news is that next week we are getting new windows put into the new room (and Syds current room for that matter) which makes our window replacement project 99.9% done (yay!).  The painter will start next week too.  In addition to painting the girls’ room we are having him re-paint our living room and we are also having crown molding put up in the living room.

Did I mention our back yard is a disaster too?

11-weeks.  Aaaaahhh!

My wise friend Ashley told me to think of it as “almost 3 months” as that makes it sound like I have more time.  I think that’s a grand idea.

Panic averted.

* if baby is the size of a butternut squash why the hell have I gained 10+ lbs? Butternut squashes don’t weigh 10 lbs…well maybe state-fair worthy squashes. But still…in addition to telling us the current weight of baby (2.5 lbs) they should really calculate the rest of the crap we are carrying around to make us feel better about the weight discrepancies no?

A perfect vacation

Royce and I left for Sarasota on Sunday for a few days away. He had CME money to spend so is at a conference in the mornings and in the afternoons we have been free to do what interests us. I’ve had the luxury of spending my mornings lazing about drinking coffee, listening to NPR and reading the newspaper. I’ve spent a lot of time checking out little cafes in downtown Sarasota during my mornings as well which has qualified me the luxury of a daily morning pastry.

Yesterday I went to the Ringling Musem of Art which was created from the private collections of John and Mable Ringling of circus fame. It was quite a museum that displayed their love for Italian art (not my favorite if I must admit) but the museum itself and the grounds were amazing.

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28-week belly self portrait thanks to 18th century mirror at Ringling Museum of Art

In addition to the art museum there is a circus museum, multiple gardens including a rose garden, and the Ringling mansion you can tour.

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Even David looks happier surrounded by palm trees

Monday afternoon we played some golf and yesterday we spent some time at Siesta Key beach. Today I leave but Royce will stay til Friday. I don’t have enough accrued leave to cover my maternity leave as it is but these few days I’ve taken have been worth it! I only wish I could stay for longer! A huge thanks to Royce’s mother and sister who have come out to help with Sydney to make this vacation possible!

Week 27

It’s been a rough week, no doubt about it.  This baby went from soccer star to lounging lazy overnight and has maintained a serious level of stillness despite me pumping myself (and her) with orange juice and sweet tarts.  I noticed on Tuesday that she had been eerily quiet.  So I did as most OB’s will tell you to do; drink some juice, find a quiet spot and lay still; to see if I could encourage any movement.  There was some, but it was sporadic and fleeting and definitely not as definitive as what I was feeling the week prior (repeated jabs, flips, pokes).  So then I started jabbing and poking her and didn’t get much in return.

I lost sleep, I couldn’t focus at work.  The one friend I confided in told me to just go to the OB to get some peace of mind, but since I had an appointment today (Friday) I figured I could just wait; a cowardly tactic to delay since my ability to deal with a ‘certain scenario’ was minimal.

The 28-week doctors appointment today went well.  I mentioned all of the above to the OB and I don’t think I’ve ever been more relived to hear a heartbeat before with that little exam room heart-rate thingy.  She also wanted me to get a sonogram to make sure fluid levels were OK, so after my blood work for the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test we went in to see the sonographer.  As I had suspected, the placenta is anterior (between my belly and the baby) which is muffling my ability to feel many kicks or jabs like I did with Sydney.  But this baby was also extremely docile.  Even after chugging that gulcola beverage she was languid lazy with only two subtle movements over a 20-min sonogram where we poked her and turned me.  It was nice to get visual and audio confirmation that everything is OK but I would still prefer to be able to feel more, but I may not get that with the anterior placenta.  A friend who had an anterior placenta with her first pregnancy said she never felt much more than what she described as thumps and gas bubbles and that her husband was never able to feel anything.  This is quite the antitheses of my pregnancy with Syd were not only could I feel her stretch and poke…people sitting across the table could sometimes see it.

I’ll have another sonogram to check growth at 30-weeks which I’m sure I’ll be actively anticipating if activity levels don’t pick up soon.  I also hope that she goes from this cozy lateral position and finds her way head down.

To add to this stress I am also getting over pregnancy cold #3 which manifested its peak symptoms in me on Sunday.  Sydney was at her worst on Saturday I think.  I don’t plan on ever having to go through another pregnancy, but if I do I’m renting a toddler-free, ER doctor-free condo to live in for 9 months.  With 12 or so weeks left, I’m certain there is still time for my little germ carriers to bring something else home to afflict me.

After this week of baby stress and a cranky sick Syd, I’m really looking forward to our little mini get-away this Sunday.  We leave for Sarasota so Royce can attend a CME conference and I can sit and do nothing.  We will get a little beach time in, and some golf and a few nice dinners out.  This will probably be our last vacation for a while so I’ll be sure to enjoy every moment.

What’s going on in there?

Baby Girl has been a squirmy goose this week. Unlike my last pregnancy were I got ultrasounds every other week for what seemed like the entire pregnancy…I haven’t seen her since week 20. Now that I’m at week 26 each time I feel her move I’m curious what she is doing in there; which way she is facing?, what’s poking me?. I sometimes wish my belly was transparent so I could lift up my shirt and see. Yesterday we had a fun poking game going on while I was listening to an Advisory Committee online. She would poke me, I would poke her, she would poke back… Was it a hand? elbow? foot? Who knows! I don’t even know if she is head down. At 20 weeks she was lateral. I hope since then she has found the right direction. I have an unreasonable assumption she is breech which will require me to have a c-section and I would prefer to just birth this one the same way I birthed Syd (yes even if that means no drugs) to avoid screwing up my abdomen as well as what’s already been damaged from birth #1. My next sonogram is at 30 weeks, so I’ll find out my fate soon enough.

I haven’t had many cravings this pregnancy which is strange. I remember with Syd I couldn’t get enough milk, but this time around nothing in particular has been driving my eating. Honestly I haven’t been that hungry and coming up with our weekly dinners for our menu has been a constant struggle this time around. Many of the nights when Royce is working Syd and I just eat a bowl of cereal cause it’s all I can think of and she miraculously loves to eat cereal (I think the novelty of it is fun for her). However, I’ll rarely turn down these few items: milkshakes, Oreos, dried fruit, orange juice and grapefruit. I almost always start my day with a small glass of orange juice and eat a grapefruit at some point during my day. The milkshakes are an occasional weekly treat (Potbelly’s are my favorite) and Oreo’s are a frequent nightly treat but some nights that is substituted with a glass of wine.

Hopefully one of these nights I can remember to pull out my camera for some belly shots to document this one before my time is up!

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