Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Week 38

End of baseball season................check
Organization of work projects.....check
Baby Showers............................check
Nursery organization...................check
End of school..............................check
Thank you notes written..............check
Hospital bag packed.. ................check
Registration at Hospital ..............check
Baby..........................................still working on that one! 

Mom and Dad
Yes, we are ready! But apparently the baby is not.  All the books say 'be ready by 37/38 weeks because babies sometimes surprise you and come early.'  Yes, we still have 2 full weeks until our due date - but I was really thinking that my baby would be one of those who was overly eager to join this world...... not yet apparently!!  The good news?  We know it will be less than 28 days from today until we will get to meet the little guy. (The doctor won't let us go longer than 42 weeks).  We are, however, enjoying the 'down time' that we are getting right now - doing some deep cleaning and organization at the house and getting prepared for the tornado that is getting ready to hit us.

I finally had to remove my wedding rings this week - they say swelling affects all pregnant women by 38 weeks - especially as the weather gets warmer. I was a little sad to take them off, but it means I'm that much closer to having a baby! And I just want to take this opportunity to observe how lucky I was to have avoided being pregnant over the summer.  As I heard my sister recently told someone 'unless you plan it perfectly (i.e. getting pregnant in August or September) with 9 month pregnancy you will be pregnant at some point in the summer!'

Kirk and I toured the childbirth suite at our hospital Wednesday which has made it even more real that it's just about time.  As much as I can go on about 'why isn't he here yet?' The truth is that the baby's arrival is eminent.

Baby boy is obviously very content to remain in his current location for sometime - putting on a few more ounces and making it that much more difficult for me to push him out. Each day that I stay pregnant allows the baby's lungs to develop and keeps him from fitting into all those adorable Newborn sized clothing that we have stacked up in his closet.  Growth slows down this week, so it's not as if he'll put on another 2 lbs even if we go 4 more weeks - it will be more like 1 or 1 1/2 lbs (although that doesn't seem much better). Overall, if we take the last measurement we got 6lbs 5oz 3 weeks ago, Baby should weigh between 7 and 8 lbs right now and between 8 and 9 lbs at birth.

(This picture actually makes me look smaller than I think I am, but I'll take it!)

And this is the size of the baby inside!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Week 37

Only 3 weeks until our due date! (and not more than 5 before we know the baby will arrive)

Friends and Family
A big shout out to our Cokesbury Life Group for a fantastic baby party on Sunday night. I think live music, a grill, and beverages should be a part of every baby shower from now on! Seriously, though, we feel very blessed to have all of you in our lives.

Dad has declared himself officially ready to welcome the baby.  Something about finishing the nursery, childbirth classes, and baseball - suddenly his schedule is wide open for baby! (He did request that we wait until after this weekend so that we have time for a final spring cleaning before the bundle's arrival).

Mom is doing pretty well this week considering that the 9th month is really the hardest.  I'm moving a lot slower these days, and I don't just mean walking.  It takes me twice as long to fold laundry, sweep the floor, get off the couch.... you name it! I feel very blessed to have had an un-eventful easy pregnancy and now I'm focused on keeping the delivery along that trend. I've organized all of my projects at work, so other than some final touches to the hospital bag, I'm also ready for the 'any day' arrival of the baby.  Some good news is that I've finally gotten about as big as I can get.  No, seriously! The uterus has grown to it's fullest possible height and literally has no where else to go. Most women put on little to no weight and don't get noticeably bigger after 37 weeks.

It's still baby's job to grow and get fat! But there is a major accomplishment to announce - as of today baby is officially 'full term' and even though it may be another 5 weeks before he shows up (and a probable 2-4 weeks), labor could really start up at any time.  All of the organs are fully formed, the lungs should be finishing up their development, and the immune system is starting to gear up (a solid supply of Mom's breast milk will keep him going until that immune system is fully functioning). Baby should weigh between 7 and 8 lbs but we will have to wait until he's born to see if the estimates have proven correct. I can tell that he's gotten into some cramped quarters as most of the movement I am feeling now are just shifts of weight from left to right and back again.

Counting down the days.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week 36

"Any day now".... That's what I hear when I tell people that I'm in my final month of pregnancy....."Any day now"  - not really! Typical first time moms have on average 41.5 week pregnancies - so really I'm looking at a minimum of 4 and perhaps 6 more weeks!

Dad and Mom
Dad wrapped up baseball season this week.  All in all, the season was a great success in my eyes.  It will be very nice to have Kirk around in these final weeks as I find it more difficult to do everyday activities (like folding laundry and unloading the dishwasher).  I am still busy trying to organize all of my projects at work and designate who is to be in charge while I am gone.  If I don't get this done, I may very well find my boss and sales director at the hospital with a checklist! We wrapped up our childbirth class this week - the final being a video session with live births and breastfeeding.  I'm not sure exactly how the videos affected Kirk, but seeing video of a birth made me realize just how close we really are (even if it doesn't happen 'any day'). The next few weeks will be spent to practice all the techniques we learned in class, pack our bag, and get ready for this baby.  We also have the nursery almost complete and I'll post pictures very soon!

Yet again, the baby's job over the coming weeks is to grow and get stronger.  He should be nearly 7lbs by now but his weight gain will slow between now and delivery to closer to 1/4 to 1/3 lb (down from 1/2 lb) per week.  Our checkup this week went much the same - as I normally report to my family "Still pregnant, not having the baby yet, going back next week." I do think that he's changed position somewhat as I can breath again (thank goodness!) and when he moves around (like he is right this minute) I'm seeing far more knee-shaped objects instead of the typical butt and back that I normally get. I find myself looking for those 'early signs' of labor (this stems from the 'any day now' comments) but I know that he will come when he is good and ready and not a moment before.  Speaking of 'when he will come' there is some very interesting research that suggests several things occur to trigger labor. 1) The brain releases cortisol when it is fully developed which triggers estrogen and progesterone production in the mother and 2) fully developed lungs trigger hormone production and the secretion of prostglandins. Until these two things occur the best place for baby is snug inside Mom. (Even if the kicks are really starting to smart!).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Week 35

We are in the home stretch, the ninth month!! What a journey!

Family and Friends
It was so wonderful to see family and friends this weekend.  I am again overwhelmed by the generosity of those who surround us.  We are truly blessed! I believe we have nearly everything together for the nursery, now to get it all organized before this bundle arrives!

Let's just say that our Daddy-to-be is very excited about his upcoming role.  Nearly every day he asks the baby if he is ready to come out and when I reminded him today that our doctor will allow us to go a full 2 weeks past our due date (read June 23rd!!) before she insists on inducing, he would have none of it. Ah well, the baby will come when he is ready, right?

I have hit the uncomfortable point of pregnancy where I now have to 'roll' off the couch instead of sit up and I think I may be starting to affect the 'pregnancy walk' although I try desperately to maintain a normal gait.  My uterus is solidly laying just beneath my ribs which makes it even easier for the baby to reach his feet into his favorite spot just under my right ribs. Other than that, I'm feeling pretty good.  I am not dilated yet and although I may be having some light Braxton Hicks, they aren't strong enough for me to really notice - both signs that we have plenty of time before the baby arrives (to Dad's dismay).

The baby's job of growing and developing will become much easier over the next few weeks until birth.  The majority of his organs and systems are ready to go and he has most likely reached his full height (length).  Now it really is just about growing and practicing those things he will need in the outside world.  Speaking of those two tasks- at our final ultrasound today it was confirmed that our little heavy weight will likely be born weighing between 8 and 9 lbs.  He's grown the exact amount he was supposed to over the last month putting on almost exaclty 2 lbs to check in at 6lbs 6oz. (That's almost what I weighed at birth!!)  The little guy also showed off his breathing techniques to the ultrasound technician who was definately impressed (at least she acted that way for his benefit).  We were told that it is a great sign that he was so intently breathing - This is usually the final activity they engage in before birth and it means that he is not being stressed in any way and is recieving plenty of oxygen and nutrition.

We got to see a portion of his nose and face (he has a very cute nose!) but otherwise he remained mostly hidden.  And unfortunately, I don't have any good ultrasound photos to post becuase the baby has inherited a streak of stubborness from somewhere. Head down for the majority of the pregnancy, he now has his head and face lodged between my hip and pelvic bone with no immediate indication that he intends to re-locate. Occassionally he will shift his weight so that his head is pressing fully on my bladder, but most of the time he just lays against my right side and uses the placenta as a pillow.... Maybe we need to add laziness to the personality checklist?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Photo Shoot

A few pictures from my weekend photo shoot.  (I'm 35 weeks here)

Thank you to the wonderful budding talent of Fallon Kreye (Fallon Kreye Photography  Blacksburg, VA).  Check out her blog for more info