Week 39: BabyWatch 2013 Begins…

Seven days until D-Day and I’m still pregnant. I’ve reached the point where if I call someone the first thing out of their mouth is, “Is this baby coming?!” The good part about this is that people answer my calls no matter when/where they are, but are quickly disappointed when I am just calling to say hello or to have them send me a recipe or something.

At least I’m not alone. This week’s email from Pregnant Chicken says, “It’s right around this time that there’s a slooow shift from you being perceived as a glowing woman that is creating life, into a fat husk that’s hoarding that adorable baby they all want to see.” (By the way, if you’re pregnant, definitely subscribe to the weekly emails she sends out – they are awesome and hilarious.)

Remember when I had ankles?

Remember when I had ankles?

Not much is new this week. I’m still uncomfortable and not sleeping very well. My feet look like sausages half the time and my fingers are so swollen I can’t wear my wedding rings. Geoff put a pillow under our mattress so my feet are elevated while I sleep, and that has really been helping a lot.

We had our weekly doctor appointment on Monday, and we did another blood draw to check on my low platelet count. I’m at 135 now, so they have gone up slightly since last time, but the important thing is that they are staying steady in the 130s and not dropping near the 100 mark (which is when you have to see a hematologist to determine whether or not you can get an epidural). I think that was my last blood draw until baby comes, so yay for no more needles!

According to the doctor, I’m now 2 centimeters dilated and still 50% effaced, which is not really a change from last week’s appointment. I’m weirdly disappointed that I’m not further along, since I started dilating three weeks ago. I have two more Monday appointments scheduled, so cross your fingers that I’ll either have the baby before I have to go to both of them or that I’ll be further along at the next one so I don’t feel like I’m just waiting for something to happen.

People have started asking me if I’m nervous for labor, and the truthful answer is that I’m really not. Maybe it is because I know I’m in good hands, or because I’m very prepared as to what to expect, or because I can always get an epidural if I can’t handle the pain, or maybe I’m just excited to get this show on the road, but I’m not afraid. I keep expecting a wave of panic to set in, but it never comes. I mean, there’s no point in being afraid anyway, since I can’t really get out of it now!

We’ve had lots of guesses for the date of baby’s arrival. If you’d like to join in you can comment below or send me a message and I’ll add you to the calendar I’ve started.

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby’s weight and height have probably increased only a little from last week (and your overstretched skin at 39 weeks pregnant is probably grateful for that). But his or her brain is still developing rapidly (a pace that continues during the first three years of life), with changes you’ll be able to recognize firsthand as your baby’s skill-packed bag of tricks expands almost daily. 

Heard that babies cry a lot?  There’s definitely truth to that rumor — as you’ll find out soon enough (and usually during the middle of the night).  But what you may not have heard is that tiny babies don’t produce tiny tears when they cry, since their tear ducts aren’t open for business yet.  While you’ll be consoling your crying baby right from the get-go, it won’t be until sometime after the first month that you’ll be wiping tears off those chubby cheeks.

Your baby’s skin has now finally changed from pink to white (no matter how dark-skinned he or she will be eventually; pigmentation will occur soon following birth). That’s because a thicker fat layer has been deposited over the blood vessels (making your baby’s cheeks —  both kinds — pinchably and kissably round).

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Week 38: Baby brain, Pinterest projects and decorating the nursery

We missed Halloween by a few weeks, but our little man is now the size of a pumpkin!

We had our weekly doctor appointment on Monday and found out that I’m 50% effaced and almost 2 cm dilated, so at least some sort of progress is happening even if it is minor. I like the idea that the Braxton Hicks contractions are actually taking care of part of the labor for me. Too bad the entire labor and delivery can’t be this easy!

My doc also said that although my platelet levels are low again that she is not concerned at this point. She is having me do one more blood draw on Monday just to monitor the levels, but she said that since my count has been consistently above 100 I should be fine to get an epidural if I want one.

I’ve been super uncomfortable lately since the baby has dropped (doc says he is head down, so that’s good). I haven’t been able to sleep much at night, and the baby brain has kicked in at full force. I think I actually said, “Wow, look at those pretty trees on that tree,” to Geoff the other day. Words are hard when you are sleep deprived, uncomfortable and 38 weeks pregnant, okay you guys?

We are going to the hospital tonight to do our car seat safety inspection, which will be extremely helpful. I have had the car seat sitting sideways in my car for a few weeks now, which is obviously not the best way to install it. It will be really good to have the professionals show us how it is done and give us the peace of mind that the car seat is installed correctly.

We’ve also been adding some final touches to the nursery, including some of the cute decorations from my shower as well as my first Pinterest project! I bought a bunch of cheap black frames and some cute fabric swatches and just taped the fabric into the frames. The entire project cost less than $100 and I think it turned out pretty good – what do you think?

Eva (our cat) is obsessed with the bird mobile. She thinks it is a toy. She was fixated on the thing for about three hours when we first put it up, then started climbing the crib to try and get it! We had to lock her out of the room but that just caused her to sit outside the door crying and scratching at the door. To get her to stop we had to put some balloons in front of the nursery door to scare her away (because balloons are really scary!). I just hope that the baby loves the mobile as much as the cat! 

That’s about all for now… There are two weeks until my due date, so I’m taking bets on what day our little guy will arrive – let me know what you think in the comments!

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 38 of Pregnancy

Hey, your little one isn’t so little anymore, weighing close to seven pounds and measuring 20 inches long. Fetal development is nearly complete as your baby tends to a few last-minute details like shedding the skin-protecting vernix and lanugo. He’s also producing more surfactant, a substance that prevents the air sacs in his lungs from sticking to one another once he starts to breathe. Most of the changes this week are small but important: He’s continuing to add fat (so he can take advantage of all those photo ops by sporting a round, cute baby look!) and fine-tuning his brain and nervous system (so he can deal with all the stimulation that awaits him once he makes his entrance into the world).

Week 38 Pregnancy Tip: Stocking Your Freezer

Have visions of yourself, newly delivered domestic goddess, whipping up gourmet meals in those postpartum weeks? Dream on. Cooking will be the last thing on your mind or your to-do list during those first few weeks (make that months) after delivery. Trust me, fitting in a three-minute shower will trump it for sure, as will using the bathroom when the urge strikes. To avoid serving Cheerios for dinner on a nightly basis (realistically, there will be nights when you will), plan ahead. Do some cooking and stock your freezer now with individually packaged, simple heat-and-serve options that you (or he!) can get on the table in a flash. Label carefully, so you won’t be left with UFOs (unidentified frozen objects). Good candidates for the freezer include hearty soups, stews, and casseroles, as well as mini–meat loaves. Have the baking itch? Satisfy it, and stash away several trays of bran muffins (don’t ask, you’ll need them). Another plan-ahead tip? If you don’t already have your favorite takeouts on speed dial, now’s a good time to enter them.

Week 36: Happy Halloween!

It’s official – I can no longer put on socks by myself or take my own pants off without significant time and effort. Geoff has been a huge help, picking up anything I happen to drop on the floor so I don’t have to bend over, grabbing me a water bottle on his way past the fridge so I don’t have to get up to get it myself, etc.

He was also very sweet to do a couples costume with me for a Halloween party last weekend. We dressed up as Juno and Bleeker, which was pretty much the easiest/most comfy outfit ever for someone who is as preggo pants as me. It was sort of hard for me to sit back and take it easy this year costume-wise. Usually I like to go all out and handmake something (same with most of our friends). Here are a few examples of costumes from year’s past, along with a photo from this year (though I must say my Effie costume was my favorite).

We had a doctor appointment this morning (and we’ll have one every week from now on). I have been having a couple Braxton Hicks contractions, so my doctor decided to check to see if they were “doing” anything. Turns out I’m already a centimeter dilated! I know that doesn’t really mean anything and I could walk around that way for weeks without anything happening, but hey! That’s one more centimeter I don’t have to suffer through in the hospital when I’m in labor! Yay!

I guess I better start packing a hospital bag so I’m prepared when the time does come. I found a few different lists of items to bring with you, so I’ll probably follow those pretty closely. What was in your hospital bag and what do you wish you had brought with you?

Baby at 36 weeks (from the Hello Baby! iPhone app)

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby’s bones may be ready to rock and roll, but yours may be aching something awful right now.

Your Baby in Week 36 of Pregnancy

Forget your aching back (and everything else!) by trying to focus on your baby, who is now about six pounds and 20 inches long, with soft bones and cartilage to allow a safer journey through the exit door. Most of her systems (from circulatory to musculoskeletal) are ready for prime time, though her digestion system — which has done only practice runs so far — will kick into gear as she takes her first suckle at the breast or bottle.

Your Body in Week 36 of Pregnancy

It’s a good thing your baby’s almost done cooking, since your body may feel pretty “done” by now as well. For one thing, you’re doing the full-term pregnancy waddle, the result of the hormone-triggered loosening and softening of your connective tissue. This is your body’s way of getting ready to squeeze a big baby out of a small space. Unfortunately, those loose joints can lead to some pretty serious hip and pelvic pain — but hang in there!