Update (finally)!

De-stress testApparently I haven’t posted a full update on Henry and baby since NOVEMBER (sorry), so here goes… I’m currently 36 weeks pregnant with baby girl, and Henry is a strong-willed two year old. This pregnancy hasn’t been as easy on me as the last, and I’m happy that we are nearing the end and little lady will be here soon! Specifically, she will be here in three weeks and two days, which is March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day baby!). We recently made the decision to be induced because my doctor is going to be on vacation the week of my actual due date, and the induction will only be five days before I’m due (the same number of days early that Henry arrived). I’m a little nervous about the induction since we didn’t do one with Henry’s birth and I don’t fully know what to expect, but having a specific end date is like breathing a sigh of relief. Continue reading

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Week 37: Full Term!

It is realllllly crazy to me that we are technically at full term and that baby could come any time now! Although I’ve been having some more Braxton Hicks contractions and the baby is sitting a little lower it doesn’t really feel like that much has changed since my last update though.

Last week my co-workers surprised me with a lunchtime baby shower, which was so adorable! I wish I had taken some photos, but I was so surprised I totally forgot about it. They had decorated our little conference room with balloons, confetti and cake, and gave me some wonderful gifts. It is going to be so weird not to see them everyday for three months while I’m on maternity leave.

We also had a baby shower for Geoff’s side of the family last weekend, and it was so much fun to see everyone. There was so much delicious food and the decorations were really cute (it was a blue theme for our little boy). We got some more much needed baby items, and I’m definitely feeling prepared for baby now.

One of the gifts we received was a Safety 1st convertible car seat, which reminded me to schedule our car seat safety checks at the hospital. Luckily there was one spot still open between now and our due date, so I booked it right away. We now have one week to attempt to install our two car seats before we head over to have them tell us if we did it right or not. Apparently 90% of car seats are installed incorrectly, so it is really nice to have someone be able to double check them for us!

We had a doctor appointment yesterday and I had another blood draw done to see how my platelet levels are doing. The range for a normal platelet count is 140-450, and mine was originally 133, which is what prompted them to start monitoring me. I did another blood draw a month later, and my levels went up to 137. Higher, but still not in the normal range. Four weeks after that I was at 141, barely squeaking into the low end of the range.

As for my latest, my stupid platelets dropped all the way to 131, the lowest yet. I still think I’m in the clear for an epidural (if I decide I want one) since my levels are still higher than 100, but it still makes me a little worried. I guess I’ll just have to keep doing blood draws and hoping my levels get higher as we get closer to my due date. Cross your fingers for me!

This week according to What to Expect:

Your doctor may check for labor signs, while your baby prepares for birth by sucking, turning, and breathing in the womb.

Your Baby in Week 37 of Pregnancy

Congratulations! You’ve got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn’t mean he’s finished growing — in fact, he’s still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). That makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so he’s probably not kicking as much, though he’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling (all of which you’ll be able to feel!). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for his big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking his thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side.

Your Body in Week 37 of Pregnancy

Your body is going through its own preparations for childbirth as your practitioner starts looking for signs of labor. On the checklist: the baby’s position in relation to your pelvis (engagement) and whether effacement (thinning of the cervix) and dilation (opening of the cervix) have begun. Your practitioner may also determine whether your cervix has begun to soften, another indication that labor is getting closer. Keep in mind that these processes can occur gradually (over a period of weeks or even a month or more in some women) or overnight. So while they’re clues that you’re indeed progressing, they’re far from sure bets when it comes to pinpointing the actual start of labor.

Week 35: Infant CPR, fancy strollers and an adorable baby shower

I don’t understand these baby/fruit size references… isn’t a butternut squash (34 weeks) bigger than a coconut? At one point it said the baby was the size of a banana so I looked it up and it said the fruit sizes were a reference to how long the baby is.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a 20-inch-long coconut!

How creepy are these CPR babies?

How creepy are these CPR babies?

Geoff and I took Infant CPR class last week, so we will be prepared in case of emergency. I think the class was great, and now if (God forbid) anything ever happens, I don’t think I would panic as much as I would have if I hadn’t taken the class. Let’s be real, I would still be freaking out, but at least we are prepared now!

As I mentioned last week, my sister threw me a baby shower over the weekend, and it was so much fun! Not only was it amazing to have all my wonderful girlfriends in the same room at the same time, but the girls did such a good job with the decorations and the food!! Below are a few photos from the shower so you can see what I’m talking about.

We had cupcakes, pumpkin pie trifles, and yummy snacks, and the room was decorated with garlands made of ties and little circles. There were even tissue paper pom poms hanging from the ceiling throughout the house. They REALLY did a good job. I mean, it was like Pinterest exploded and all the cuteness landed at the shower. Plus I got to take the “oh boy!” sign home with me and I’m going to be hanging it in the nursery – so cute!!

Little man ended up getting a lot of good (and much needed) items from the shower, so I feel a lot more prepared now than I did before. We have one more shower coming up for Geoff’s side of the family, so I’m really looking forward to that now too!

Yes, we practiced with Bear

Yes, we practiced with Bear

Since we were still in need of a carseat (and it is one of the more important baby items), Geoff and I went out shopping and came across the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger Travel System Stroller. I did some research and it seemed like it is a good one (plus Geoff wanted a jogger), so we ended up bringing it home and setting it up. It seems very easy to fold the stroller, and especially easy to pop the car seat in and out, so that is great, but it is a bit bulky/heavy. We’ll see how it goes I guess! Does anyone else have this particular system or brand? Do you love/hate anything about it?

Only a couple more weeks to go until we get to meet our little guy (two more until I’m technically considered full-term – GAH!). Can you believe it? I’m getting so excited!!

This week according to What to Expect:

A rapidly growing brain makes your baby’s head weigh more and that means more pressure on Mommy’s bladder.

Your Baby in Week 35 of Pregnancy

Your baby is standing tall (so to speak) this week at about 20 inches and continues her steady weight gain (she’s about 5.5 pounds). While she won’t get much longer, she will continue to pack on the pounds — including large amounts of baby fat — right up ’til delivery day. Something else that’s moving at a mind-boggling pace these day: fetal brain development! There’s a lot going on inside that tiny head, which is, by the way, still soft to allow an easier exit through the birth canal.

Your Body in Week 35 of Pregnancy

Now that your baby is head-down in preparation for delivery, chances are your bladder is feeling the squeeze, causing you to leak a little every time you sneeze (or cough or laugh) or making you feel like you have an urgent need to pee all the time. Whatever you do, don’t cut back on fluids! One way to improve your body’s holding power instead: Do lots and lots of those pelvic-floor exercises called Kegels. They can help strengthen your pelvic muscles (important now and postpartum).

Week 25: Baby classes and birth videos

Little man is kicking away as I write this. He is most active during the day while I’m at work, then settles down a bit in the evenings, kicks me all night, and is very quiet in the mornings when I wake up. I love feeling his movements, and they are becoming stronger, but I’d really like other people to be able to feel them, too. I almost feel guilty when I tell someone he is kicking and they sit with their hand on my stomach for five minutes feeling nothing at all.

Luckily my family got to feel him while they were in town, even if they were just light little kicks, like tapping. Geoff has been lucky enough to feel the really big kicks that move my whole stomach (I love those ones).

In other news we had our first baby class on Monday night: Labor, Birth & Delivery. I’m not really sure what to say about it. I was excited/nervous before we left, and then I found the class to be a little boring. Don’t get me wrong, there were some interesting parts (touring the rooms, nursery and NICU, for example), but the rest was pretty standard.

They did show us two birth videos, which weren’t as scary as I thought they would be. Just kind of gross. We also watched a couple videos explaining the different stages of labor, which was interesting, but then we read through a Powerpoint of the exact same information we just watched in the video as a review. Overall, I think it was worthwhile, but I hope the second part of the class (next Monday) gets a little better.

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 25 of Pregnancy

Your baby is growing by leaps and bounds, reaching nine inches in length and passing the pound and a half mark. Under his skin, capillaries are forming and filling with blood and by week’s end, air sacs (also lined with capillaries) will develop in his lungs, getting them ready for that first breath. Mind you, those lungs aren’t ready for prime time just yet — but they are developing surfactant, a substance that will help them expand after birth. And speaking of breathing, your baby’s tiny nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open, and his vocal chords are getting ready to roar.

Week 17: Feeling Baby Move, Baby Bachelor and Gourmet Grilled Cheese

To celebrate hitting the 17-week mark, I signed Geoff and I up for some classes at the hospital where we are planning to have the baby. We signed up for “Labor, Birth and Beyond,” “Bringing Baby Home,” “Breastfeeding Your Baby – The Basics” and “Breastfeeding Your Baby – Beyond the Basics.” The only one I wanted to take but couldn’t get into was the Infant CPR and Safety class (it was full). Hopefully they will add more dates soon. The classes are spread out in August, September and October, so I’ll post about each one as we go.

I forgot to mention in my last post that when we listened to the heartbeat at the doctor’s office it was in the upper 150s, which (if you believe in these things) means that the baby might be a girl! Four weeks until we can find out for sure, so don’t forget to let us know which one you think it will be using the poll in the sidebar!

I am also very excited to announce that I definitely felt the baby move (and yes, that was it moving around last time)! We went to a choir concert and I was so tired out that I basically sank into the chair and let my entire body relax to the music… and all of a sudden I realized I could feel the baby. It moved around quite a bit for the first half of the concert, but after I got up and walked around during intermission I didn’t feel it again. I think the key for me to feel him/her is to be completely and totally relaxed. It is also very light/faint right now, but I’m assuming that will get stronger as the baby grows.

For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that one of my guilty pleasures is watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Every week my sister and I will make dinner and watch the show together and we have so much fun together. I’m calling it right now – Brooks is totally going be the last man standing.

Apparently this has been around for awhile, but I had to share it since it is so adorable and awesome: Baby Bachelor. You can’t help but smile watching it! What do you think – will Wesley choose Jessi or Gabrielle?

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby is practicing sucking and swallowing as she gets ready for the real thing: a breast or bottle! As for Mom, you may be warding off some unwanted belly touching.

Your Baby in Week 17 of Pregnancy

My how your baby has grown! She’s about the size of your palm, weighs about five ounces, and is developing some body fat (join the club, baby!). Her heart is now regulated by her brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours! What else is up? She’s practicing the survival skills she’ll need at birth — like sucking and swallowing.

Your Body in Week 17 of Pregnancy

Now that you’re starting to show, chances are that friends, coworkers, and even strangers may feel the urge to reach out and touch your belly. If you don’t mind, that’s fine. But if you do, speak up kindly but firmly. More new developments with your body: a greater sensitivity to allergens these days and the appetite of a truck driver now that the queasy feeling is (probably) gone.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Grilled Ham and Havarti Sandwiches

Courtesy of Weight Watchers Online

This is a super easy grilled cheese sandwich that tastes gourmet! So delicious, but we have made a few variations since the first time we made these: I don’t care for mustard, so I leave that off, but Geoff loves it on his. We also swap the rye bread for whatever looks the best at the bakery (usually some sort of french or focaccia bread). The onion really adds to the overall flavor of the sandwich, but if you do one or two thin slices it helps to not overpower it.

Ingredients
4 tsp stone ground mustard
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 slices reduced-calorie rye bread
8 oz cooked lean ham, sliced
2 oz Havarti cheese (4 slices)
4 slices fresh tomatoes, 1/2 inch thick
4 thick slices uncooked red onion
Cooking spray

Instructions
Step 1: Combine stone-ground and Dijon mustards. Spread mustard mixture evenly onto each of 4 bread slices. Top each evenly with ham, cheese, tomato and red onion. Cover with remaining 4 bread slices.
Step 2: Place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich).