Wednesday, September 26, 2012

37 weeks


Week: 37
Baby length:
19.25 inches
Baby weight:
6.3 lbs. - the weight of a mini-watermelon
Bump size:
42.5 inches (down half an inch from last week)
Weight: +34 pounds (+.5 lbs. from last week)
Cravings:
Pumpkin spice cookies - yum!

I'm glad this isn't a full length picture so you can pretend that I didn't wear high water pants and flip flops to work on the day this picture was taken.

But the truth is, I did. Oh, and my hair looked exactly like that, too. Obviously, I have completely stopped caring about my appearance.

Maternity Lessons

Something you should never tell an emotional pregnant woman is that they are emotional. Completely disregard the fact that it may be true, no hormonal pregnant woman wants to hear you say this.

Instead, please let me pretend that even though I have no control over anything happening to my body anymore, I at least have control over my emotions (even though we both know that I don't).

I'm not one of those pregnant women that you look at wrong and I will start to cry. I don't get upset about things that normally wouldn't upset me. What is happening is that things that would normally upset me and make me cry are sending me into a state of sobbing so hard I can hardly catch my breath (this happened twice this week).

So maybe I'm a bit emotional - but you're not allowed to say it to my face.

Let's revisit maternity clothes. In the beginning, I thought I was sticking it to the maternity clothes "man" by making it through my entire pregnancy without purchasing a pair of maternity dress pants or maternity jeans.

But now that I'm almost 9 1/2 months pregnant, and accepting the reality that I will still be wearing maternity clothes after the baby is born, I'm realizing that I may have totally screwed myself.

I also continued to buy small shirts and I felt really good about myself that I could still fit in them. But again, now that I'm 9 1/2 months pregnant and all my small shirts are too short, I'm realizing that I should have bought all mediums.

So my advice to all of you future mammas-to-be, don't skimp on the maternity clothes. Comfort is key. Buy a pair of maternity jeans and maternity dress pants, even if you can still fit into some of your old ones. And even though you can still fit into your regular size shirts, buy a size up so you are still comfortable in them even at the very end of your pregnancy. You will thank me someday.

Baby Movements

It's starting to get uncomfortable in my belly. Where I used to only feel stretching and tightening when I was experiencing a Braxton Hicks contraction, I now feel it most of the time. It feels like my stomach is constantly being stretched and sometimes based on its position, the baby actually pushes out on my belly enough to cause discomfort. Not pain, just an uncomfortable feeling.

The baby is still getting hiccups most days and sometimes a few times a day.

Symptoms

The surge of energy I was hoping to get this weekend did happen. Sort of. But we spent most of our free day on Sunday finishing the nursery (click here if you haven't seen it yet) and I got all of my fall/Halloween decorations out. Not quite the cleaning I had hoped to accomplish, but important tasks nonetheless.

My energy is still not quite what it used to be but I'm getting by.

I am still sleeping pretty well through the night until about 4:30 a.m. when I am suddenly wide awake and can't turn my brain off. By the time I fall back asleep, my alarm clock goes off. Not fun. But considering a lot of women don't even sleep for six hours straight, I will not complain about this.

I only had one night this week where my heartburn was bad enough to wake me up at night and I didn't really have any bad back days. Yay!

All in all, I would say I am MUCH less miserable than I was at this time last week. The thought of going to my due date or even a few days late, doesn't make me want to cry (today at least). But the thought of dropping something and having to bend over to pick it up, still does.

Weight Gain

I made it through the week with only a half pound of weight gain. This gives me one more pound until I've reached the doctor's recommended 35 pounds. Something tells me I'm not going to make it, but at least I should be close.

That being said, I've completely stopped caring about what I eat. If I want an ice cream sunday, I will make one (like I did tonight - and it was delicious). 

Gender Prediction

Have you made your gender prediction yet? Click here to enter the pool and pick when you think the baby will be born, how much it will weigh and whether it will be a boy or a girl. You just might be running out of time (I hope!) or you may have at least two weeks left. Time will tell....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baby R's Nursery

I'm so excited to finally be able to say that we are 100% finished with Baby R's nursery. It's been a long time coming but the beauty of starting these projects early is that then it's not stressful. And I can honestly say, this was a pretty stress-free project.

Of course, no project which requires a husband and wife to assemble furniture, hang artwork and paint together is without it's stressful moments, and we did have a few. Broken glass, chipped furniture, etc. But we made it through.

So here is how the room all started...
http://images.myperfectcolor.com/repositories/images/colors/MPC00027564-1.jpg

A bright yellow guest bedroom, painted in Sherwin William's Daffodil yellow. I selected this color over four years ago when we first bought our house.

As soon as it was up on the walls, I knew it was much brighter than I had planned and I wanted to change it. But Pat, who had just spent hours painting the room, wouldn't let me.

Four years later when we decided the guest bedroom would become the baby's nursery, I knew the yellow room would finally serve it's purpose.

So I needed to find bedding and a "theme" that would match this yellow...


And I did! I found it on clearance at Target for $24. What a deal! I absolutely fell in love with all of the bright colors like aqua blue (my favorite color, which was also my wedding color), lime green, avocado green, yellow and even some orange.

I also love all the little pond animals - frogs, snails, turtles and ducks, oh my!

And, it's gender neutral.

So once I found my inspiration, the fun started. I had such a great time finding all of the little details that would make this nursery come together. At times, I wasn't sure if it would ever look "cohesive" or if it would look like I just threw a bunch of random things together and tried to make it a room (which is essentially exactly what I did). Now that it's done, I absolutely love it!


Some of the details:

The dresser and the bookshelf were both originally oak and we painted them white.

The bookshelf we already had and the dresser was a Craig's List find for only $100. What a steal! After we painted the dresser, we added the knobs and it looks brand new!

I love the fact that it has the cabinet in the middle for storage.



The hanging shelf was mine when I was a kid and was a gift from my Uncle Mike. I believe he made one for all of his nieces and nephews for Christmas one year when we were little.  A fresh coat of white paint and it's as good as new!

The cow piggy bank you see on the shelf was a gift from my Aunt Kathy (my step-dad Mark's sister) and actually belonged to their mom so it's really old and really neat and I'm so honored that she gave it to me!

The duck and baby carriage salt and pepper shakers on the shelf were my great grandma's and my sister and Aunt Marlene set them aside for me to use in the nursery.


The hanging lanterns were actually decorations at our wedding reception that much to Pat's dismay, I haven't been able to part with for the last three and a half years. And now, they have a new purpose!

The changing pad cover was an etsy purchase from Sweetheart -n- Sunshine. They don't cost much more than you would pay at Babies R Us and you get to pick the colors to match your nursery perfectly. I highly recommend them.

The mirror was made by my sister using little wooden figures I found at JoAnn Fabric for less than $1 each. We hope the mirror will provide Baby R with some entertainment while he/she is getting changed. We also hope that Baby R doesn't try to pull the mirror off the wall while he/she is getting changed.


The chevron striped baskets were a target find and so was the frame next to them (a clearance find, no less). I put the quote "Follow your dreams" in the frame to go with the "dream" theme we have going on in there.

The dry erase board hanging on the wall was made by my sister. The lamp was from pottery barn kids (I had a gift card leftover from our wedding - yes, it took me three and a half years to find something I could afford from Pottery Barn) so it was FREE to us.

The dream coat rack was another JoAnn Fabric clearance find and cost me less than $5.


The piece of artwork above the bookshelf is a hand painted original illustration that my mom has had for over 30 years. She stumbled upon it after I chose my nursery theme and realized how perfect it would look in there. And she was right. She painted the frame and bought the glass and I absolutely love it!


The "Welcome Baby R" banner was made by my Aunt Marlene for my baby shower and I saved it to put in the nursery. I found the aqua blue chevron curtain fabric online and my sister made the curtains for us. I love how they turned out!

The quilt on the chair was also made by my sister (she's a talented lady!) and uses fabric that I had, she had and some of my great grandma's fabric, making it extra special. The entire backing of the quilt was my great grandma's, too. 

So there you have it. Baby R's completed nursery. Hope you love it as much as we do!

Now all we need is the baby!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

36 weeks


Week: 36
Baby length:
18.75 inches
Baby weight:
5.75 lbs. - the weight of a gallon of apple cider (or a crenshaw melon, depending on who you ask)
Bump size:
43 inches (up almost 3 inches from last week!)
Weight: +33.5 pounds (+3 lbs. from last week)
Cravings:
Chips and cake (not at the same time - chips for dinner and cake for dessert)

So yes, week 36 is technically supposed to be a crenshaw melon. I had never heard of such a melon but after a little research, discovered it is a cross between a cassaba melon and a cantaloupe.

Supposed to be very tasty, too. So I was excited to have an excuse to buy (and eat) one. But as it turns out, I don't think such a melon actually exists - not at my grocery store, anyway.

After a brief panic attack and a near meltdown in the fruit department at Giant Eagle (and a threat of giving up on the weekly fruit pictures all together), I spotted the gallon of apple cider and thought it looked mighty tasty (and it is) so I decided it was going to be my "fruit" of the week.

Truth be told, a gallon of apple cider actually weighs much more than 5.75 pounds (yes, I actually weighed it) but sometimes when life throws you lemons instead of crenshaw melons, you have to get creative. I'm sure you understand.

Maternity Lessons

We already know that I'm absolutely terrified of the life changes that are coming my way with this baby so no need to belabor (no pun intended) that issue. But there were a few things that happened this week that actually made me feel much better than I was feeling at this time last week.

First of all, my best friend since ninth grade in high school became a mom! And right after last week's post where I spilled my guts about my motherly fears, I get a text message from her saying, "Emily, being a mom is awesome!!"

Sweet baby girl Karter
Not only did her text give me goosebumps because I'm so extremely happy for her, but it also made me feel more calm about going through the process myself. She also said the labor pain is totally worth it. I didn't mind hearing that either.

On Saturday I got to spend the entire day with her and her new baby girl Karter and I learned SO much just by observing and talking to her which calmed a lot of my fears too.

Then on Tuesday, the ladies I work with surprised me with a shower! It was so cute and so nice of them. They all left me wishes on a card and I felt like so many of them were saying the same thing, "Life will never be the same - it will be better." This is exactly what I needed to hear and it was so comforting. 
I work with the sweetest ladies ever! Such a nice surprise work shower!
We had our last birthing class on Tuesday. Hard to believe we made it through five weeks of classes already. I don't know where the time went. In this last class we focused on taking care of the newborn. The 2 1/2 hours flew by and I didn't want the class to end. I had so many more questions I could have asked!

We practiced giving the baby (doll) a sponge bath, swaddling it, picking it up, changing its diaper, etc. We went over basics about choosing the right bottles, tummy time, trimming the baby's fingernails and lots and lots of other really useful information. Now let's just hope I remember it...

I had my weekly appointment and the doctor said everything is looking good. The baby's head is still down and is measuring about a week ahead which he said isn't too bad but he suggested that I have the baby soon so it doesn't keep getting bigger. Then he laughed. If only it were that easy!

Next Friday he will begin to check me for "progress." So now it's just a sit and wait game. I will be considered full term on Thursday, September 20, so he said hopefully I will go into labor soon. Now I just walk around like some sort of ticking time bomb and wait for something to happen! Such a weird feeling.

We still don't have our hospital bag packed so we should probably get that taken care of soon, just to be on the safe side.

Baby Movements

Still feeling lots of movement and when the baby gets hiccups now, it actually moves my entire belly.

I got some great advice from one of the weekly email updates I receive. It was a reminder about how easy it is to wish the remaining weeks of the pregnancy away because of the aches and pains but instead, it is important to try to enjoy what time I have left of this special time feeling my baby move inside of me. So that is what I'm trying to do.

Symptoms

Still having some cramping on and off and I would say they are a little stronger than they were last year but definitely not unbearable and they don't "hurt like hell" which is when my doctor said I will know I'm getting real contractions. But hopefully my body is doing lots of practicing and getting ready for the big day.

One day this week I had the worst heartburn to date. And once again, my lips flared up too - swollen and felt like they were on fire. Someone told me that the lips could be a side effect of the heartburn. Who knew?

My feet are pretty swollen and I am officially wearing flip flops to work - except for today because it was too cold. Fall isn't really great flip flop weather but desperate times call for desperate measures and other than tennis shoes, I really have no other options.

I still don't have much energy. I want to scrub our house from top to bottom but I have no energy after work to even start. I have the most energy on the weekends but haven't had a free day on the weekend in a few weeks.

I'm hoping this Sunday (my only free day this weekend) will be my cleaning day. We'll see how that goes.

Weight Gain

Yikes. Baby only gained half a pound this week and I gained three. But considering my bump grew almost three inches in the last week, maybe the baby and I are both gaining more than we should be. But guess what? I stopped caring.

If I want to eat my baby shower cake, I'm going to eat it. If I want a pumpkin spice cookie, I'm going to eat it. If I want a zucchini brownie, I'm going to eat it. You get the idea. And if I want to eat all three instead of dinner, I just might.

Gender Prediction

Everyone has their opinions about what we are having and now you can make your guesses official on our baby website. Click here to enter the pool and pick when you think the baby will be born, how much it will weigh and whether it will be a boy or a girl. You can also suggest names for us. We are getting some good ones like Shelby Whippet Robinson.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

35 weeks


Week: 35
Baby length:
18 inches
Baby weight:
5.25 lbs. - the weight of a honeydew melon
Bump size:
40.75 inches
Weight: +30.5 pounds (+.5 lbs. from last week)
Cravings:
Salt & Sweets

Have you ever held a honeydew melon long enough to have your picture taken with it? The thing is not light. I can't believe I'm carrying that weight around in my stomach.

I had a doctor appointment this week and all is well with me and the baby. Although I will start to see him weekly now, the doctor will not start checking me for "progress" in two weeks.

Since everyone around me seems to think I will be having this baby early, it will be really interesting to see if anything is happening down there in the way of getting my body ready for delivery.

Speaking of having this baby early, I would not be opposed to that whatsoever (as long as baby is healthy). I have to be honest with you - I am about done with being pregnant.

Don't get me wrong, I realize how lucky I am to even be pregnant. This is what I wanted and I know I have had a great, easy pregnancy. Which is why I feel selfish for feeling this way. But it is what it is.

I'm tired all of the time. It is all I can do to get through the work day. I can barely keep my eyes open on my way TO work so you can imagine how tired I am by the end of the day on my drive home.

And then whatever lofty goals I had for that evening like cooking dinner, cleaning, putting away laundry, etc (yes, those now seem like "lofty" goals to me) - forget about it. All I'm capable of at that point is a nap on the couch. By Wednesday I feel like I've already worked a 50+ hour week (and believe me, I've worked many of them so I know what that feels like) even though I've only worked 24 hours.

I'm over the heartburn - I officially finished my first bottle of tums this week. I'm sick of my back hurting. I'm tired of dropping things and then feeling like I would rather pay someone $100 to pick it up for me than go through the exertion of bending over and picking it up myself. And I'm dropping things quite often.

I want to be able to easily tie my shoes again without having to prop my leg up on some high object just to be able to reach them (see example on left).

I want the swelling in my feet to go away so that cute shoes will fit me again. I want to be able to wear shoes that actually match my outfits.

Instead, I have to wear the same blue sanuks every day - regardless of whether or not I'm wearing black or brown work pants and/or anything that even remotely matches the blue in the shoes (see example on right).

But at the same time, I'm not sure which terrifies me more - being pregnant for four more weeks (or even worse, the thought of being late) or having this baby (literally - the labor and delivery process) and then taking care of it.

As much as I'm complaining about being pregnant, I'm no dummy. I know that incubating this baby is way easier than taking care of it will be. I complain about how tired I feel now and yet, I'm still sleeping through the night. I can't even imagine how tired I'm going to be when I haven't had a full night's sleep in weeks (or months... or years - shudder).

So that's where I am. Stuck somewhere in between I can't wait to be done being pregnant and I'm terrified to be done being pregnant. I've always been someone that warms up to change slowly. And you would think having nine months to prepare would be considered "slow" enough.

But yet, I'm still terrified. I know I keep using this word but it's the most accurate word I have to describe what I'm feeling. Pure terror about getting this baby out of me, taking good care of it once it's here and adjusting to the astronomical life change that is coming our way.

How's that for honest?

Maternity Lessons

Someone told me this week that my butt is getting big. :( That one stung a little bit. She tried to lessen the blow by adding, "It's okay. You're pregnant." But it didn't help.

The truth is, it's not the first time I've been told I have a big butt - this baby has always had back (insert Sir Mix A-Lot song here). But the fact that it might be getting bigger (and let's face it, I already knew it was weeks ago when I had to buy bigger underwear) is not something I particularly enjoy hearing.

The same guy who started laughing at me last week and told me I keep getting bigger and bigger, asked me quite seriously this week if I was sure I'm not having twins. Since he has twins of his own, I told him "you would know what twins looks like." He responded with, "I know, that's why I'm asking."

My response to people who tell me they think I'm having twins (and I get it a lot) is that if I do, they are raising one of them. It seems to shut them up in a hurry. :)

We took our tour of the hospital this week during our birthing class. I did not enjoy it. It's impossible to pretend that you don't have to deliver the baby when they take you to the place where you will be delivering it. This is one circumstance where I choose denial and ignorance over education. Sorry.

Then we had to watch a video about what to expect AFTER the delivery. As if learning about the delivery part isn't bad enough, now you're going to tell me that I will be bleeding for 6 to 8 weeks AFTER the baby and show me elephant-sized pads I'm going to need to wear?

I'm not kidding - this is the kind of stuff they need to be showing these high school girls to prevent teen pregnancy. If that isn't enough to send them running in the other direction from boys, I don't know what is. It almost sent me running right out of the hospital conference room where we were watching it.

Baby Movements

The baby has been getting the hiccups a lot more often lately. Sometimes four or five times a day. I think it's whole body jerks with each hiccup, poor thing.

I can definitely tell the baby is getting lower because I'm now feeling movements and pressure in places I haven't before.

Symptoms

There were definitely a few days this week when I was waddling again. Even more than before. Some days my tailbone is really sore and the only way I can walk was if I waddled. And of course people pointed this out to me when they saw me walking funny because people point out everything to pregnant people.

I got menstrual like cramps almost every day this last week. Sometimes they were accompanied by Braxton Hicks, sometimes they weren't. Doctor said it's normal.

Heartburn seems to be getting worse (see rant above). Maybe our baby won't be bald after all?

My feet seem to be more swollen this week (see rant above). I'm down to only one pair of shoes that actually fit without cutting off my circulation. Unfortunately, I may have to start disobeying our work dress code and start wearing flip-flops. Believe me, it will be a last resort. I like my feet much better when they are out of sight. The last thing I want is to draw more attention to my swollen feet. But it may come to that.

I'm definitely more tired than I was last week (see rant above) and I have no motivation to do anything. Unfortunately for me, I have tons to do at both work and home so I better get an energy boost STAT.

And my favorite new symptom is skin tags. Yes, that's right. Skin tags. They just keep popping up. My book said it's normal but what I want to know is WHEN if EVER will they go away? Luckily, they are pretty small and not very noticeable but I still think it's weird and gross that skin tags are a symptom of pregnancy.

Weight Gain

Not sure how I only gained a half a pound this week but I will take it. That gives me 4.5 more pounds of wiggle room for the next five weeks...

Gender Prediction

Pat's aunt called me and told me she went out on a limb and bought a boy outfit for the baby. I think it's safe to say she thinks we're having a boy.

My friend suggested that we buy two coming home outfits for the baby - one boy outfit and one girl outfit. I thought this was a good and fun idea since we haven't picked out any gender specific clothes yet. So I found a cute and comfortable baby girl outfit and bought it. Now the hunt continues for the boy coming home outfit.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

34 weeks


Week: 34
Baby length:
17.75 inches
Baby weight:
4.75 lbs. - the weight of a cantaloupe
Bump size:
40.75 inches
Weight: +30 pounds (+1.5 lbs. from last week)
Cravings:
Powdered donuts

I've been doing such a good job of not buying "crap" that I should be eating. Until this week...

I had a moment of weakness when I passed the bag of the mini powdered donuts at the grocery store.

I happened to be on the phone with my BFF who is 39 weeks pregnant and asked her advice. I've been craving them, should I give in and get them?

Yes, she said. And since I always do what she says (including dying my hair extremely dark brown/almost black my senior year of college), I did.

And I've been enjoying them ever since. I'm happy to say they aren't gone yet and that whenever I eat them, I do stick to the serving size. Does that count for anything?

Baby Movements

The baby is putting pressure on some sort of nerve down by my bladder. Sometimes when I'm walking or bending over, I get a really sharp, shooting pain. It's not really that fun.

The days of feeling around my stomach to find where the baby is are over. It's pretty much everywhere and obviously running out of room in there.

It's becoming a little less active lately, though, which sometimes makes me nervous so if I haven't felt it move in a while, I push on it (very gently, of course) until I feel it move. It might be mean but it makes me feel better. :)

Maternity Lessons

My favorite pregnancy comment of the week happened when I walked into the faculty lounge at work and a coworker burst into laughter, clearing laughing at me.

When I asked him what was so funny he replied, "you just keep getting bigger and bigger. We're going to have to tie you down to make sure you don't float away."

He then added, "it's cute" as an attempt to make me feel better I'm guessing. 

But to be honest, I really don't let these comments bug me. I know people aren't coming from a mean place when they say them and I find it more funny and interesting than anything. 

It is crazy to me, though, the things people say to pregnant women. Clearly they underestimate the power of these crazy pregnancy hormones. 

I also got a lot of, "are you sure you didn't swallow a basketball?" comments. 

We had our third birthing class. I was there alone for the first two hours (Pat was home tending to a water leak problem in our basement - more on that later). 

We watched a video of a Cesarian birth, got to see all the tools they may or may not have to use during labor and delivery (including forceps - yikes!) and then practiced our breathing techniques at the end. Pat made it to class in time for this. 

Although I did better this week than last week, I did laugh once while practicing the breathing. There is honestly nothing funny about it except that the room is quiet and I know I shouldn't be laughing so therefore I do.

I couldn't help but laugh when the instructor was going over the scrubs that dads have to wear during c-sections. The colors vary, she explained, and sometimes men get stuck with white scrubs which are very see-through. 

It definitely wouldn't be the first time Pat has worn white, see-through pants. Remember this story?

Symptoms

The strangest symptom this week is the weird thing going on with my lips. Some days they get really chapped and burn really bad.

On Saturday I just assumed maybe they got sunburned (even though no other part of my body did). When I woke up on Sunday morning and saw myself in the mirror, my lips were HUGE and swollen. It seriously looked like a lip job gone bad or like I had received a shot of Novocaine in each lip.

The swelling went down and by the next day, they were back to normal. Today they are really chapped and sore again. It's so weird.

I'm definitely starting to waddle. I always assumed the waddle would happen because you get so big that it's hard to walk. But I now know it has nothing to do with your size and everything to do with your joints relaxing and your tailbone hurting. So yeah, I waddle when I walk now.

Speaking of walking, although I still try to go for a walk with Grady when I can, I am definitely slowing down. If my tailbone isn't hurting then I'm getting that sharp, shooting pain down by the bladder that I mentioned or I'm feeling like I'm going to pee my pants. All of these things cause me to walk with a little less pep in my step.

I'm definitely experiencing more of the Braxton Hicks or fake contractions this week. Some of them were accompanied by cramping which got me wondering - how will I know the difference between cramping and contractions.

Here is the answer I got: cramps are more uncomfortable and contractions are more painful. I thought this was helpful information.

Another good back week! I can only think of one or two days when it was really bugging me. I'll take it! 

Weight Gain

I've hit the 30 pound mark. Not proud of it but somehow the blow was easier than the 20 pound mark was. Go figure. Now I need to keep it to only five pounds more gained and then the doctor will be happy because that was his goal and I will be happy because he is happy.

Powdered donuts and zucchini bread are not going to help the cause.

 Nursery

I spent a lot of time in the nursery this weekend organizing all of our shower goodies and making it look like a room again instead of a storage space. Mission accomplished!

I also got all of the baby's clothes and blankets washed and put away and even started packing the diaper bag for the hospital. Just like I over pack for myself, it seems like I'm already over packing for the baby, too. Probably need to take a few items out of there but I'm new at this!

I am convinced that Pat is nesting too. He was super motivated this weekend to get things put together for the baby. And I am not complaining about it.

We put together the high chair, pack 'n play, swing, bouncer and rock 'n play (traveling bassinet).

All we need to do now is get things up on the wall and the nursery will be done-zo. So exciting!

I don't want to post pictures until the room is completely done and that might be a few more weeks because my mom and my sister are both providing most of the wall art. Pictures coming soon, I promise!

Monday, September 03, 2012

33 weeks


Week: 33
Baby length:
17 inches
Baby weight:
4.25 lbs. - the weight of a butternut squash
Bump size:
40.75 inches
Weight: +28.5 pounds (+1.5 lbs. from last week)
Cravings:
Chips and salt

Another exciting and busy week! Let's start with my doctor's appointment.

It was my first time seeing the doctor in 5 weeks so I was eager to hear what he had to say. Unfortunately, he was running really late and kept me waiting for an hour.

I was up against a tight deadline at work so by the time he did come to see me, I was in a rush to get out of there and get to work so I didn't ask a lot of questions that I should have.

He did a lot of poking and prodding to my belly and determined that the baby is in the head down position and he acted surprised and happy with how low the baby's head already was. Here is where I should have asked a question - what exactly if anything does that mean that the baby's head is so low already?

He took my measurements and didn't say anything about them. I assume this means I'm measuring on schedule but again, I should have asked.

He then asked me if I was having any signs of preterm labor. I told him no. He said good but then explained that I really only have one week left of the "preterm labor" fear and that if I called his office next week telling him I think I'm in labor, he wouldn't do anything to try to stop it and wouldn't have any reason to be worried.

This was comforting to hear but confusing too since everything I've read says it's considered preterm labor before 37 weeks and he's saying he would let me go at 35 weeks. Another question I would have asked him if I hadn't been so focused on getting out of there.

I did ask him how he decides if and when to induce someone if they go past their due date. He explained his methods but then finished with, "but the fact that the baby's head is already so low is looking good for you." Once again - wish I would have asked him what he meant by that.

Oh well. I see him again in two weeks when I'm almost 36 weeks. I will ask him more questions then.

After that appointment, he wants to see me again every week and will start to check for "progress" at my 38 week appointment. It's getting really close! Ahhh!!!!

On Saturday my SIL's and MIL threw me an absolutely wonderful shower. It was such a special and fun day! It's so overwhelming in a wonderful way to be surrounded by so many people who love you and already love your unborn baby. I left the shower feeling completely and totally blessed (and tired!).
The decorations were amazing, the cake was absolutely delicious and look at all those awesome gifts!!!
My friend Julie got the rest of our maternity pictures to us and she did such an amazing job. Anyone who can make an 8 1/2 month pregnant person who spends most of her days feeling fat and ugly, feel pretty in maternity pictures deserves some sort of award.

If you have any ideas for such an award, let me know and I will be sure to give it to her. Here is a collage she put together of the pictures.

Maternity pictures by Julie D Photography.
In an attempt to explore my export options with iPhoto's slideshow, I put together a little video of some of my favorite maternity images. If you're interested, you can watch it here. And by the way, the song is one that I plan to sing to the baby when it comes.

And in case you were wondering, it was SUPER easy to make this slideshow so expect to see more of these videos. :)

Baby Movements

As my books predicted, movements are starting to feel less like jabs and kicks and more like "rolling" movements in my belly.

They are also very hard to miss if you're looking at my belly while they're happening. Every now and then some of the movements must push on an organ or something in there and it feels very strange.

Maternity Lessons

We had our second birthing class. We had to watch three videos of real births. I'm pretty sure one video would have been more than sufficient but three videos was absolutely horrific. One birth was a natural birth, one birth was with an epidural and the third birth was with an analgesic (med through an IV).

None of the births happened quickly. Pat and I were both doing the math in our head each time they showed the clocks and trying to figure out exactly how many hours these women had been in labor. Neither of us should have been surprised since we both sat at the hospital during my sister's and his sister's labors. Neither of those were quick either.

My favorite parts of the videos were during the parts of the actual heavy pushing part of the labor. While the women were screaming in pain, they tried to do a "voice over" and narrate as an attempt to drown out the screaming and moaning of the laboring women.

Those clever attempts did not work on me. I still saw and heard the women screaming in agony and wasn't at all distracted by the narrator's voice. Those screams are still haunting me...

On a positive note, at least I don't have to watch my own labor and delivery from the "south end." There will be no mirrors for me and I have no desire to see what is going on down there.

Pat agrees.

Also during the class, we had to practice breathing techniques. They had us sit facing each other and we both had to practice the breathing.

And even though they told us not to look at each other, I couldn't help but see Pat out of the corner of my eye and I started laughing hysterically. I was the only person in the class not taking it seriously.

It was like second grade all over again when you know you aren't supposed to be laughing and that makes it even harder to stop. I'm sure the instructor is now worried about what kind of mother I'm going to be if I'm not even mature enough to practice breathing techniques without laughing.

She's also probably snickering to herself that my payback will come to me when I'm in horrific pain during labor and delivery and am kicking myself for not taking the breathing practice more seriously.

Here's hoping I grow up before next week's class.

Symptoms

My feet and ankles are still big and swollen and unrecognizable by me. I'm getting heartburn a little more frequently but it's not bad at all. I simply eat two tums and it goes away. Pat was absolutely appalled when I ate the tums in front of him and didn't wash it down with water.

Considering I am almost finished with the bottle, I am eating them like candy at this point. And they actually taste somewhat like candy to me now too. Candy with extra calcium - bonus!

It was actually a really good week for back pain. I seem to be having more good days than bad days now and that is a wonderful thing. I'm not sure what has changed - I feel like I am doing everything the same but I won't ask questions. I will just enjoy feeling good!

I'm starting to get the braxton hicks or "fake contractions" where my entire uterus gets really hard and tight. It doesn't hurt at all but it definitely feels uncomfortable and like the skin on my stomach is going to pop. 

Because it's been a really hot summer, I just always assumed that when I am burning up, everyone else around me is too. I guess that hasn't been the case. People walk into my air conditioned office (which I am SUPER grateful for, by the way) and comment about how cold it is.

Yet, I am sitting in there still burning up. I'm told this will continue after the baby comes, too, while I'm breastfeeding.

So this is what hot flashes and menopause is going to feel like, huh? Can't wait to experience it again in twenty'sh years from now.

I am definitely noticing a decrease in energy. Starting to feel like the first trimester again but not quite as bad - yet. It just takes me longer to recover from long days/weekends. After my shower weekend and then working at an event all day outside on Sunday, it took me days to get my energy back. 

Weight Gain

At my doctor's appointment this week, he told me he thinks I'm doing well with my weight gain. Was not expecting to hear that! He thinks I should be able to stay around the 35 pound weight gain which was his goal for me.

He also told me again that I'm all belly/baby and that should help me after the baby comes when I try to lose the extra weight. Here's hoping he's right!

Gender Prediction

One of my absolute favorite parts of my baby shower was this game we played where I went around to every table and each group picked from the photo props based on whether they think we are having a boy or a girl.

It was so much fun!

Of the people pictured, 12 said girl and 29 said boy! It was really interesting to hear everyone's logic and reasoning behind their selections, too.

Time will tell who was right and wrong!

Some of the gender predictions at the shower.