On Your Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Been Your Birthday…

Dearest Baby Girl,

What better time to write you a letter than today… your due date? This is a day that your pops and I have been counting down for nearly 300 days. This is the day we had hoped to meet you. But really, knowing that you’re half me and half your father, how could we have ever expected you to be early or even on time? A very known secret about your parents… we’re pretty much always late. It seems as if you might follow in our footsteps.

But don’t worry, while we may get angry at you for your tardiness in the future, today, we are not. We are so grateful for you – whether inside my belly or outside in this world – and we know that when you’re ready to grace this world with your beautiful presence, you will. And when you do, the world and our lives will be better because of it. We love you so much already. You already make us laugh, we already enjoy playing with you (yes, when we’re poking and prodding you through my belly, we consider that playing), and you’ve already changed our world for the better. So as you prepare to enter this world, remember how much we love you and know that it will surely be a celebration when you arrive.

We are lucky, sweet girl. You and I have been able to share a gift that is more special than anything; the gift of life. You lived off of me and I lived for you. And soon, we will work together again to bring you into the world. It might feel weird and it might be a little uncomfortable and mommy might scream some words that you’re never to repeat, but remember, that I’m working for you and that I will keep you safe. Together, we can do anything.

So, happy shoulda, woulda, coulda been your birthday. I love you more than you’ll ever know.

Can’t wait to kiss your sweet toes,

Mommy

xo

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40 Weeks… 10 MONTHS! (June 27, 2014)… THE due date!

40 Weeks... 10 Months! (June 27, 2014)... THE due date! It doesn't feel real AT ALL to think that today marks my 280th day being pregnant. HOLY SHIT. That's what I have to say. Honestly, I guess I would have thought I'd feel disappointed if she didn't arrive on or by today, but really, I woke up really happy. Today is a huge milestone and it's just so exciting. Plus, I feel good! Some mild aches and pains, but I feel really good and more importantly, really happy. By the way, that's a very weirdly shaped and GIANT belly... but, enjoy it! It could be the last of the belly pics... or there could be two more!

40 Weeks… 10 Months! (June 27, 2014)… THE due date! It doesn’t feel real AT ALL to think that today marks my 280th day being pregnant. HOLY SHIT. That’s what I have to say. Honestly, I guess I would have thought I’d feel disappointed if she didn’t arrive on or by today, but really, I woke up really happy. Today is a huge milestone and it’s just so exciting. Plus, I feel good! Some mild aches and pains, but I feel really good and more importantly, really happy. By the way, that’s a very weirdly shaped and GIANT belly… but, enjoy it! It could be the last of the belly pics… or there could be two more!

 

Another Day, Another Cervix Check

Well, today was my last pre-due-date appointment with my OB. After the past two disappointing visits, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one and really had pretty low expectations for progress. I can’t say I was way off, but miraculously, I don’t feel the same devastation as my last visits.

Something about today’s visit made me feel optimistic.

So, my measurements… I’m now officially 1 cm dilated (I could feel the difference, as it didn’t feel like she was poking the back of my eyeballs this time), I’m “more effaced, ” but forgot to ask for the actual number, and she’s still in the -3 position… BUT, my doc can feel that she’s coming down into the canal. After she optimistically said all this, I questioned how this was good even though everything was pretty much the same and this was her response (and just another reason why I really like her):

It always gets a little confusing when I stop lying. But this time, you’re really 1 cm and she is coming down. It feels like there’s more room in there than I had originally thought.

So, I’ll take this as good news. I mean, I can feel that she’s in a different position. She did say that she doesn’t think it’s going to happen until at least next week, but sheesh who the hell knows anymore. I’m just hoping that she comes when she’s ready and that it happens to be within the next two weeks. Also, my doctor is off from tomorrow until next Thursday. And one of my best friends is getting married on July 5th. Oy. So many dates to avoid.

Time to let it all go, right? Whatever will be will be.

Symptoms

Mentally, I feel really good. I don’t know how or why, but I’m not asking questions. Physically, I’ve been a bit uncomfortable today. My back is a bit achy (I NEED to go to the chiropractor) and I’m feeling crampy and pretty tired. BUT, it’s really sunny out and a temperature that is actually enjoyable… aka, I can be outside without insta-sweat. It’s wonderful.

Also, despite the fact that our due date is tomorrow, I just set up a baby pool online. The website is www.babyhunch.com and it’s seriously so fun/silly/entertaining. I’d recommend doing one. It’s free and just a silly thing to do with friends and family.

Other than that, tomorrow is Friday (the due date). Hubs and I are going to go for a nice dinner and then maybe go to this pottery place near us. I’m excited. Should be a fun weekend together. Also, lots of walking.

That’s all for now!

SHE’S GRABBING MY INTESTINES!

Okay, that is probably not true or even possible, as my husband reminded me, but I swear that’s what it felt like last night. My stomach has not been amazing the past 2-3 days… feeling nauseous at moments or uneasy or bloated like I’ve never felt before. A lot of awesomeness. Anyway, last night I decided to try sleeping in more of a sitting position as I had done very successfully the night before, but then all of a sudden I got the weirdest discomfort. I swear to you, it felt like she was using those mini paws to squeeze my innards. I started whining at a somewhat loud and panicky volume to the hubs… he rubbed my belly and ultimately, I found that laying on my side relieved the discomfort.

I’m sure she wasn’t actually grabbing my insides, but yikes, that was not pleasurable.

It’s funny, while I have not been enjoying any of my GI challenges these days, I can’t help but think in the back of my mind, “is this it? Does this mean she’s coming?” I try to put a kabosh on all similar thoughts, becuase they’re just not productive, but it’s impossible. Every new feeling provokes the, “is this it” thought. The positive… one of these times, the answer is going to be yes!

In other news, I really enjoyed my two maternity leave days this week. Yesterday I got my hair done and I even started working on the ruler growth chart I mentioned at the end of this blog post. Maybe I’ll even get to finish and hang it before her arrival.

I put different widths of tape on the board and left some wood exposed. Then used a mini roller to paint on one color (2-3 coats). Next, I'll take another "set" of tape off, cover up the first color with tape and roll again. This will continue until all four colors are applied.

I put different widths of tape on the board and left some wood exposed. Then used a mini roller to paint on one color (2-3 coats). Next, I’ll take another “set” of tape off, cover up the first color with tape and roll again. This will continue until all four colors are applied.

My make shift craft table set up in the living room. This allowed me to not only paint, but also watch "terrible tv" as my husband calls it.

My make shift craft table set up in the living room. This allowed me to not only paint, but also watch “terrible tv” as my husband calls it.

I know it seems like most of my maternity leave time has been go-go-go, but I’m not going to lie, there has been a lot of this…

Lounging...

Lounging…

And snuggling...

And snuggling…

And more lounging...

And more lounging…

And snoozing.

And snoozing.

The Pre-Due Date Weekend

This past weekend was the final pre-due date weekend… A little hard to believe, huh? Okay… A lotta hard to believe. We’ve had quite a few things on the to-do list, so I was anxious to get them done this weekend.

On Friday, we just lazed around the house and did a little laundry.

On Friday, we just lazed around the house and did a little laundry.

Saturday it was time to finally hang up my DIY pics in the nursery.

Saturday it was time to finally hang up my DIY pics in the nursery.

Hubs the handyman.

Hubs the handyman.

And voila! The pics and the AMAZING dream catcher my (very talented) cousin made for the little lady all hung up!

And voila! The pics and the AMAZING dream catcher my (very talented) cousin made for the little lady all hung up!

Admiring his handy work.

Admiring his handy work.

Toby was pumped for movie time and waited patiently for dropped popcorn.

Toby was pumped for movie time and waited patiently for dropped popcorn.

The next morning, I was giving my guy a little love and he grabbed the phone to capture our love. Sweet, beautiful love.

The next morning, I was giving my guy a little love and he grabbed the phone to capture our love. Sweet, beautiful love.

After some errands, it was off to visit Milly and her new pup.

After some errands, it was off to visit Milly and her new pup.

Cute face!

Cute face!

She's so cute.

She’s so cute.

Chin nibbles

Chin nibble

Snuggle puppy

Snuggle puppy

After Milly's, we went downtown to watch the World Cup game with some friends and have dinner. It was a great night out with friends.

After Milly’s, we went downtown to watch the World Cup game with some friends and have dinner. It was a great night out with friends.

Today I decided to whip up some egg mcmuffins to freeze for baby time. I used sandwich thins, baked eggs, turkey bacon, and rainbow chard sautéed with green garlic.

Today I decided to whip up some egg mcmuffins to freeze for baby time. I used sandwich thins, baked eggs, turkey bacon, and rainbow chard sautéed with green garlic.

To bake the eggs, set the oven to 350 degrees, crack eggs in greased muffin tin, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 or so minutes (or until set).

To bake the eggs, set the oven to 350 degrees, crack eggs in greased muffin tin, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 or so minutes (or until set).

Symptoms im actually feeling pretty great lately. Tired for sure, but in good spirits and just happy and excited. I don’t think the little babes has moved a bit,  but that’s okay. She will I’m sure. .. Eventually. And for now, I get to enjoy my sweet husband and animals. Our lovely doula stopped over this weekend to bring us a relaxation cd and the feta scope to help us determine whether the baby is breech or not. Supposedly, if you hear the heartbeat below the belly button, she is head down. If you hear the heartbeat above the belly button, she is head up. Wouldn’t you guess that we could hear her heartbeat RIgHT in line with my belly button. Oh this little girl. She’s toying with us. Regardless, it was fun to hear her…

Listening to my little gal's heart.

Listening to my little gal’s heart.

Dr. Hubs

Dr. Hubs

He's so cute.

He’s so cute.

39 Weeks (June 20, 2014)

39 Weeks (June 20, 2014). Somehow it's already a week before the due date; however, I'm not going to lie, knowing that my doc will let me go another two weeks makes it feel like we've still got some time. I'm starting to think my womb might be like the Ritz... this girl just doesn't want to check out. So she continues to grow - as do I - and now measures (according to my phone app) 20" long and weighs about 7.25 lbs. That's crazy.

39 Weeks (June 20, 2014). Somehow it’s already a week before the due date; however, I’m not going to lie, knowing that my doc will let me go another two weeks makes it feel like we’ve still got some time. I’m starting to think my womb might be like the Ritz… this girl just doesn’t want to check out. So she continues to grow – as do I – and now measures (according to my phone app) 20″ long and weighs about 7.25 lbs. That’s crazy.

 

Symptoms

Well, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I’m feeling a bit emotional/sensitive today. I really am not overly concerned with going late, as long as I go naturally, but somehow, after receiving the news last week and again this week that my body and baby have made no real steps towards labor, I can’t help but feel really sensitive/worried/anxious/insecure/etc.

I did talk with my doula yesterday, which helped a lot. She’s going to bring over another relaxation CD on Saturday and her fetoscope, which she’ll use to confirm baby girl’s position. That makes me pretty happy. The other positive is that we still have three weeks for my body and this baby to get ready to go. That’s a long time.

The selfish part of me definitely has waves of, “Are you f’ing kidding me? 3 more weeks??” I’m getting pretty sick of sweating and just find that I recognize myself less and less in this giant, sweaty body. To help make it through, I did break down yesterday and buy two new pairs of shoes. If I have three more weeks to go, I just couldn’t keep wearing those tennis shoes. I know it’s vain, but the frumpier I feel, the more emotional and blah I feel. SO, you’ll notice in my belly pic above, I purchased a pair of black slip-ons with a small wedge and I also bought a pair of camel colored ballet flats. It definitely helps a little. What wasn’t helpful was how un-fun my shopping experience was. I LOVE shopping. But I did not love it last night. I was hot and uncomfortable and sweating and had to try on about 5,000 pairs of shoes before finding some that fit. Ugh.

I think the timing of my half-time maternity leave and my last day working out kind of made me feel like D-Day was just around the corner and then the appointment yesterday just squashed that. Hopefully with Friday afternoon through Tuesday off, I’ll get my positivity and “peace” back.

AND, even if I do go three more weeks, that’s just more time to rest and relax, right? It’s time to be more positive. Really, no matter what, this is all great. We have a really healthy baby swimming around and we will meet her in less than a month. I’m done complaining… for today!

Progress Check Update

All of my bouncing and squatting and stressing don’t seem to be working. I’m pretty much the same as I was last week… the new stats:

Dilation: 1/2-1 cm (doc “did me the favor” of poking her finger all the way through the cervix, which technically makes me 1 cm, but not really. This is pretty much where I was before, although my doc didn’t poke through last time. She said that sometimes just “getting a finger in there” helps to get things moving. We’ll see. The thing I know for sure is that it wasn’t comfortable.)

Effacement: 70-80% (so, this is a little higher, but doesn’t really get me too jazzed)

Position: -3… AGAIN! (this is what totally makes me growl. I know, I know… the mantra. She’ll come when she’s ready. But can’t she just give me a little peace of mind by coming down a smidge?)

Weight: 1 lb gain. (I’ve stopped stressing about this. At this point, I’m so f’ing giant it’s not even worth the worry. What’s another pound?)

So, the gist of the visit is that I will likely be taking at minimum the full 40 weeks and up to 42 weeks. My doc, who originally said she’d let me go 10 days past my due date, is now saying she’ll let me go to the full 42 weeks, which brings us to July 11th. That seems like an eternity. But really, it’s not that I feel like I need her to come today or even next week, I just want to feel like we’re making progress. But apparently, she’s not ready… so, we’ll wait. Patiently… ish.

Obviously by the tone of my post, you can tell that my mantra didn’t really work. I can’t help but feel disappointed. I was definitely feeling worse right after my appointment than I am right now. I’m still a week out from my due date, so there’s still time. And ultimately, there is nothing I can do but, well, nothing.

The one little predicament is that my doctor is 90% sure she’s head down, but because of the baby’s very high position, she can’t be 100% sure (because she can’t get a good feel of the baby). She’s given us the option of getting an ultrasound because if the baby is breech, I’ll have to have a c-section. Last night, I had a dream that all of a sudden, I felt her head on top and in unison, the few people around me said, “<GASP> You need a c-section!!” This makes me want to get the ultrasound, but really, it doesn’t feel like she’s head up. I swear I feel kicks and knees and butt on top. So, I think we’ll end up skipping it.

Anyway, I guess it’s time to relax and enjoy my quiet time because once she comes, I’m sure it will be a thing of the past.

The Baby Progress Check Mantra

With my internal exam coming up in less than an hour, I’m trying to prep myself with a little pre-check mantra…

 

I will not be disappointed if we (baby and I) haven’t made visible progress.

Our sweet girl will come when she’s ready.

My body is made for this and will progress as it will.

 

Hopefully I can keep this in mind and won’t let any amount of good or bad news make or break me today.

Wish me luck!

And the Nesting is BACK!

I’m not sure if it was the realization that my due date is next week, the fact that I’m starting half-time maternity leave, or my body doing it’s labor-prep thing, but I am back at the nesting game. I feel like the bulk of my pregnancy was spent at a pretty high level of nesting (minus that wicked first trimester) until about a month or so ago… maybe a few weeks? Whenever the swelling started. Once that hit, I was a puffy, sleepy mess with little drive to do much but wimper, ice, or lay. BUT, the past few days have brought me some serious levels of productivity. And not the kind of productivity I had before – where if it wasn’t baby-related, it wasn’t getting done… or at least not quickly – this was full-on, “A-Game” work! At work, at home, at my other work… I’ve been checking things off my lists, getting organized, cleaning up… it’s amazing. I feel really great about it! Last night, I actually unpacked my hospital bag and repacked it in a way that felt more organized. Yep, that’s where I’m at.

So now, it’s 5:10 and I’m working at a totally cleaned up desk with only one thing to finish… this blog! Then, I’m off! I will officially start my half-time maternity leave. Unfortunately, I have to work a full day at my other job tomorrow and a half-day on Friday, but whatever. Regardless, I’m feeling pretty excited. The uncertainty of this job was really starting to bring me down… not to mention the humidity. So once I leave here, I will head to the gym for my last pre-baby workout (they told me I needed to stop after today… I guess they don’t want to deliver my baby on the gym floor) and then go home to organize something. Or maybe fold some laundry? The bedroom could use a bit of organizing.

And despite all the loveliness of my nesting spree, I must mention that yesterday, it did inflict a little damage…

Yup... that is a HUGE chunk of paint that I gouged out of the wall that took us FOREVER to paint. Urgh. That caused my heart to ache a little...

Yup… that is a HUGE chunk of paint that I gouged out of the wall that took us FOREVER to paint. Urgh. That caused my heart to ache a little…

Other than that, hubs and I did a little cloth diaper practice…

This is Mutsy, my childhood stuffed animal. Pretty cute in his little prefold diaper, huh?

This is Mutsy, my childhood stuffed animal. Pretty cute in his little prefold diaper, huh?

Doesn't he look excited to be using cloth diapers?

Doesn’t he look excited to be using cloth diapers?

 

Symptoms
I will be so happy when…

  • The hot flashes stop. Holy smokes… if anyone looks at me too long, or says something weird, or exists, I start sweating. A lot. My thermostat is way outta whack.
  • I can curl up in the fetal position.
  • I can sleep on my back.
  • My hands are no longer numb.
  • My hands no longer resemble sausages.
  • My feet fit in all of my cute shoes. Oh how I miss wearing cute shoes.
  • I can run and jump into my husband’s arms.
  • I can run and jump.
  • I can give my husband a hug without having to be watermelon-distance apart.
  • I can put my shoes on without breaking a sweat.
  • My stomach doesn’t rest on my stomach when I sit.
  • MY BABY IS IN MY ARMS!

So, yesterday I was having very light Braxton Hicks contractions all day. I wasn’t really keeping track of them because they were random and all over the place. Today I’ve had more than I was having previously, but probably not as many as yesterday… at least not that I can remember? I don’t really think it means much except for the obvious, I am coming up on 39 weeks and this baby is coming out soon.

I will say though, I’m getting a little sick of over analyzing every contraction, movement, etc. To the point where I was even considering skipping my internal exam tomorrow. BUT, I’ve decided that I’ll let her check me and if I’ve made no progress, which could totally be the case, then I will skip my 40-week exam. My appointment is tomorrow and I just really hope there has been some progress. I think I feel different. I haven’t had to pee much more than normal (I already pee all the time), but I have had more pressure in my pelvic area and hips. It could just be that this baby is getting HUGE and weighing down on me, but who knows?

I can’t believe this baby is coming soon. I think I’m back to feeling really confident. I spoke to a friend from high school who I had kind of lost touch with and she is just a god-send. She had a natural birth and is just so open and honest about everything. It’s SO nice talking with her. It definitely gave me a boost in confidence. The hubs and I have also been doing the perineum massage, which I think is helping. I don’t know if it will ultimately prevent me from tearing, but it is helping my husband and I in terms of boundary breaking (it was pretty awkward at first), and just in terms of working together. It’s opened up conversation regarding what helps me focus versus what breaks my focus and so on. I know this is a very, VERY mild version of what I’ll actually be feeling, but it at least gets us thinking of ideas.

A Week From Friday

That’s my response now when people ask me when I’m due… how crazy is that?? I’m literally due next week. At this point, it’s all VERY hard to comprehend. I’ve found myself staring at our 3D ultrasound picture a lot today thinking, “Is she really inside me? Coming out… like, really soon?!” I just can’t grasp it. I’m starting to really think she’s going to be late, so at least I’ll have a little time to try and get it all to sink in. But really, will it ever? Until she’s laying there, warm on my belly, will it even be possible to grasp? My mind is blown.

I’m such a mixture of excitement, happiness, anxiety, stress, worry… holy shit. It’s just crazy. Who will she look like? What will she smell like? Will she love to cuddle? Will she be a cranky hot mess of a baby? Will she be sweet as pie? Oh it’s just so exciting.

I think she feels my excitement, because she’s squiggling around like a mad woman right now.

It’s funny, as we get closer, I find myself obsessing over every feeling. Last night after a nice relaxing nap on the hammock and a great workout, I was VERY convinced that she had dropped. Even Mark said I looked lower. I felt lower, too. BUT, when I woke up, it looked like she had crawled her way back up to her post. I even made Mark take a picture of my belly this morning so I could over analyze it. After studying it carefully, I don’t think it looks different. Although, I swear I feel more pressure in my pelvic area. Who knows, right? I need to just let it go. She will drop when she wants to and arrive when she’s ready. I suck at patience.

As for today, it didn’t start perfectly. I’ve been craving Chai Lattes like crazy, so you could imagine my surprise and excitement yesterday at the grocery store when I came across a decaf version of my favorite Chai concentrate. I purchased it immediately and literally talked about it all night and all morning until it was time to make my GIANT glass of iced Chai. I poured the concentrate into my cup and it looked a little funny, so I referenced the container to discover…

IT EXPIRED IN MARCH!!!

IT EXPIRED IN MARCH!!!

I was so upset and convinced that this was how my day was going to go. Not cool. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised at the upswing. I had been chatting with a friend yesterday about wanting to take off for maternity leave starting Friday or Monday. I really think it will help with my moods, energy, etc. So anyway, I approached my boss about it this morning – with low expectations – and he agreed! SO, I officially begin 1/2 time maternity leave THIS FRIDAY (which is also one week from my due date)! Only half time because I’ll still be working for my parents 20 hours a week. But, such excitement… I can’t even describe it.

Anyway, I think that’s all for now.