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 34: Platelet levels, baby showers and pregnancy insomnia

Whoops – I’m a day behind on this one! I have been so busy I haven’t had time to sit down and write this week’s post until just now.

I have great news – my platelet levels have gone up! I’m officially at 141 (the “normal” range is from 140-450). I just squeaked into that range, but hopefully everything will stay there until baby comes so I don’t have to worry anymore. I think I’ll still have to do monthly blood draws to monitor my levels, but better to be safe than sorry.

I’m also really excited because my sister is throwing me a baby shower this weekend with all my girlfriends in Milwaukee! It should be really fun. Plus my mom and Geoff’s mom will be there, and they will get to meet everyone. I’ll try to take lots of photos to share in my next weekly update.

In other (not so great) news, the baby has been keeping me up all night. Well, not all night – just for 15-30 minutes every 2-3 hours. And once I’m awake it is impossible to fall back asleep! I’m sure baby is preparing me for nightly feedings, but can’t I just deal with being sleep deprived after he is born? I didn’t think I’d lose all that sleep until I actually had the baby. UGH.

I have also been getting really uncomfortable lately, due to little man growing so much. Our couch is usually a super comfy place to relax, but lately I can’t seem to find a comfortable position and it is not fun. Last night I figured out that I could use the head pillow part of my Boppy body pillow and stuff it behind my back and it helps A LOT.

I’m also hoping I can get in for a prenatal massage this weekend, but I still have to call and schedule the appointment for that. Have any of you had a prenatal massage? Did it help with back pain during pregnancy?

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 34 of Pregnancy

What’s new this week? Your baby is clocking in at five pounds and could be as tall as 20 inches by now, and the vernix (the white coating protecting your baby’s skin) is getting thicker. This week, a boy’s testicles start making their way down from his abdomen to their final destination: his scrotum (look out below!). While about three to four percent of boys are born with undescended testicles, it’s nothing to worry about — they usually head downtown before junior turns a year old. In other baby-related developments, those tiny fingernails have probably reached the tips of his fingers by now — and getting ready for that first postpartum manicure.

Your Body in Week 34 of Pregnancy

You’re not seeing things — at least not as well as usual. That’s because your eyes are yet another part of your body that falls prey to those pesky pregnancy hormones. Not only can your vision seem less sharp these days, but also a decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Plus, an increase in fluid behind your eyes’ lenses can temporarily change their shape, making some women more nearsighted or farsighted than usual. Happily, these vision changes during pregnancy are all temporary. Things should clear up as your eyes return to normal after delivery (so there’s no need to change your prescription just yet).

Week 32: A thousand miles later…

Yay! A little squash just in time for fall 🙂

Geoff and I drove a LOT this past weekend. And by a lot I mean 1000 miles in three days. It was worth it though, since we got to see my family, Geoff’s high school friends at his buddy’s wedding, and some of my high school friends at my very first baby shower.

We started the weekend by driving to my parent’s house in Minnesota. We didn’t get in until late, but we were able to chat a little over a yummy breakfast the following morning. The we headed out for our two hour drive to our friends’ wedding.

The wedding was beautiful. It was at a rustic/elegant B&B type place (I think it is actually a conference center), that had stables, rolling hills, colorful fall trees and a big white tent setup with lots of twinkle lights and tulle. We had such a fun time catching up with everyone and dancing the night away. I wish I had more photos, but since we were staying at the same place where the wedding was I was able to leave my purse in our room for the night. I did manage to get one from Geoff’s phone though.

Sunday we got up early and drove back to my parent’s house, quickly changed, and then mom and I headed off to my baby shower, which was being held a restaurant down the road called Acqua. It is actually located on the lake, so it was such a fun location. There were only a few people who could make it, but had a great time! We had a delicious brunch, chatted away and opened some gifts, then everyone went on their way.

For those of you who I missed at the shower, hopefully we can get together after the baby comes, as I don’t think I’ll be heading to Minnesota anytime before that. But I’d love to see you – it has been way too long, and babies are a good reason to reconnect!

We snuck in some family photos at my parents’ before Geoff and I had to leave, and then we completed our weekend trip by driving back to Milwaukee, where we collapsed on the couch with Eva.

Below are a few pictures from the weekend – I loved every minute of it, but now I need a break!

In other news, we had another doctor appointment this week, and it was the same old boring thing. Nothing new. I did get a flu shot (those suckers hurt!), but that was about it. I have to wait until my next appointment to get my blood drawn to check my platelet count. Hopefully my levels will go up and I can stop worrying about it!

Baby is kicking away as usual and is becoming more and more alien-like in his movements. I am just waiting for the day when I can see which body part is pushing on me – like a little foot moving across my belly. It hasn’t happened yet, though. Stay tuned.

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby is practicing survival skills like sucking and breathing, while your uterus is practicing some Braxton Hicks contractions.

Your Baby in Week 32 of Pregnancy

What’s up with your baby? She’s starting to get ready for her big debut, tipping the scales at almost four pounds and topping out at just about 19 inches. In these past few weeks, it’s all about practice, practice, practice as she hones the skills she’ll need to thrive outside the womb — from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. And speaking of sucking, your little one has been able to suck her thumb for a while now. Something else to note: As more and more fat accumulates under your baby’s skin, she’s becoming less transparent and more opaque.

Your Body in Week 32 of Pregnancy

This week, your body may start prepping for delivery day by flexing its muscles — literally. If you feel your uterus bunching or hardening periodically, those are practice contractions, otherwise known as Braxton Hicks. These rehearsals (typically experienced earlier and with more intensity in women who’ve been pregnant before) feel like a tightening sensation that begins at the top of your uterus and then spreads downward, lasting from 15 to 30 seconds (though they can sometimes last two minutes or more). How do you know these contractions aren’t the real thing? They’ll stop if you change position (try getting up if you’re lying down or walking if you’ve been sitting).

Week 31: My Little Pineapple

I couldn’t decide between pineapple photos, so here’s a bonus one for this week.

Happy 8 months to me! Now I can officially say that I’m in my 8th month of pregnancy. I can’t believe there are only two more months to go.

The nursery is really coming together now, and I’m dying to show you what it looks like but I think I’m going to wait until we have it all put together before I post photos. We’ll see how long I can hold out.

I was sitting in there last night while Geoff assembled the changing table, imagining how it will be when little man is here – how I’ll rock him, change him, feed him and love the crap out of him in that nursery. It is such a weird feeling to know that he will be here soon.

We had a great time last weekend at our very first block party and we got to talk to a lot of the neighbors we hadn’t met yet. There are WAY more kids on the block than I originally thought, so that will be good for our little man when he arrives. After the block party we headed off to another first – a LEGO party! It was so much fun. Nick, our friend who hosted the party, sorted thousands of LEGOs into boxes by color, then let us dig in. We built houses, cars, airplanes, boats, and even a pirate ship. I had originally built Mr. and Mrs. Fancypants, which quickly turned into Geoff and I with the addition of a baby bump (courtesy of our friend Laura). I’m so happy Nick got this photo – I mean, seriously. It’s pretty awesome.

30 WeeksContinuing with our weekend fun, we have a wedding to go to this weekend (congrats Spencer and Betty!) as well as my first baby shower! It was supposed to be just my girlfriends from my hometown since I haven’t seen them in so long and they all have/are having kids (congrats Nikki and Kenny!) that I am dying to meet, but unfortunately most of them are unable to make it.

So instead of the whole high school group of girls my friend Cara is throwing me a mini shower with my mom, a few of the girls and maybe some of their moms. I’m getting so excited!

P.S. There’s a new bump photo on my See the Bump page! I took two different ones, so here’s a bonus one for you (like my new dress?).

This week according to What to Expect:

As your baby’s senses increase, his mommy’s breathing room decreases.

Your Baby in Week 31 of Pregnancy

Weighing in at three-plus pounds and measuring 18 inches long, your baby is quickly approaching his birth length — though he’s got to pack on another three to five pounds before D-day. Also developing at an impressive clip: your baby’s brain connections (he’s got to make trillions of them!). He’s now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses. He’s also putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you’re probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest (when he’s pretty still).

Your Body in Week 31 of Pregnancy

Chances are your diaphragm is feeling a little cramped these days. Okay, a lot cramped. That’s because your uterus is pushing up against it (and all the other organs in there), crowding your lungs and making it more difficult for them to expand fully. The result: Your body is spare on air and will be until your baby drops near the end of pregnancy in preparation for birth. But don’t worry: Your baby is as happy as a clam because he’s getting his oxygen from the placenta.