Week 30: Ten weeks to go, and what the heck is gestational thrombocytopenia?

Omigosh only ten weeks left!! This pregnancy has flown by, and I can’t believe I’m in the home stretch. I haven’t started to get nervous yet, but I’m sure that will happen soon!

This week has been a blur, and I don’t think our little man as stopped kicking the entire time. Some of Geoff’s family members are visiting from England, so we had them over on Sunday for a (rainy) BBQ, and while we were eating baby was kicking so hard that they could see him moving from across the table! You can’t tell which of his body parts is moving across my belly yet, but you can definitely see the path of where he moves.

We also started our bi-weekly doctor appointments on Monday, and beforehand I got a call asking me to come in for another blood draw. Since I just recently did a complete blood workup when I had my gestational diabetes screening, I was surprised. Turns out I had a low platelet count, and my doctor wanted to make sure my levels weren’t dropping.

When I went into my appointment, I asked the doctor what exactly low platelets means for me and baby, as I had been concerned that my prenatals didn’t have any iron in them a few weeks ago and I wasn’t sure if that was related. She said my iron levels (and everything else) were in the normal range, it is just my platelet count that is low (normal range starts at 140, mine was at 133).  If you care and can pronounce it, it’s called gestational thrombocytopenia when you have low platelet levels. Apparently it is not that uncommon for pregnant women, does not effect baby and it will go away once I deliver, but if my platelet levels get too low (under 100) it means I cannot have an epidural during labor, and I would need general anesthesia in the case of a c-section.

Since I did another blood draw at the appointment, I was able to get my results yesterday, and *hooray!* they went up a little bit! I was at 133 and am now at 137. Still low, but at least it didn’t drop lower! I still have to do another blood draw in four weeks to double check, but for now it looks like I’m in the clear.

Even though it seems like it’s not something I have to worry about yet, I think I’m really going to consider natural childbirth. That way if something does happen I won’t be caught off guard, especially because I only have 10 weeks to go! My original plan was go only get the epidural if I really needed it, but I was sort of counting on having it there, like a safety net. Maybe I’ll check out Lamaze… any other suggestions? The whole “focus on a calming picture” thing they mentioned at our labor and delivery class really isn’t going to cut it for me.

Any suggestions would be great!

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby’s brain is getting smarter by the minute, but for Mom, the only thing that smarts right now may be heartburn pain.

Your Baby in Week 30 of Pregnancy

Your belly’s increasing size is a definite clue that your baby is getting bigger every day, weighing in at over three pounds now (he’ll be packing on the weight at a rate of half a pound per week for the next seven weeks). Also growing daily is his brain, which is actually starting to look like the real thing with those characteristic grooves and wrinkles. And now that your little genius can regulate his own body temperature and turn up the heat, he’ll start shedding lanugo, the downy body hair that’s been keeping him warm up until now.

Your Body in Week 30 of Pregnancy

These days you may feel as if you’ve got a flamethrower in your chest. Heartburn is one of the most common (and annoying) pregnancy ailments and here’s why: The same pregnancy hormones that cause your body’s pelvic muscles to relax so you can deliver your baby also relax the ring of muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The upshot? Food and digestive juices can head upstream from your tummy into your chest and throat — hence, the infernal inferno. Your expanding uterus, now exerting pressure on your stomach, only fuels the fire.

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 22: Belly buttons, camping and mid-pregnancy weight gain

My little papaya is a squirmy one! He is definitely moving around in there, especially when I sit down to relax after work or lay in bed before I go to sleep. I love watching my belly move as he kicks, and it has been really fun to have Geoff feel the baby move more often. The baby even kicked for my mom while she was in town for the weekend, so it was nice to be able to share that with her.

While my feet are still normal-size (knock on wood), my belly button looks like it is about to pop. I’ve been in denial about this happening, but I think I’ve finally come to terms with the inevitable. I removed my belly button ring a few weeks ago, and I’m pretty sure that helped speed the process along. UGH. Stupid belly button.

Other than that I’m just trying to catch up on sleep from camping all weekend. I slept pretty well since we planned ahead and I didn’t have to sleep on the ground. We had cots topped with ground pads, plus sleeping bags and liners, comfy pillows, a nice new tent and a tent fan in case it was too hot. Luckily, our 95+ degree days melted away into some beautiful weather, and we spent all day Saturday at the beach, then snuggled up around the fire at night as the temperature dipped closer to 60. We had such a great time – I wish all camping trips were as smooth, comfy and fun as that one!

We had another doctor appointment on Monday, which was the same as all the others, but when I stepped on the scale I realized I was over the “normal weight gain” by a few pounds. I should point out that the range I’m referring to is according to the books and websites I have read, and that my doctor just said, “good” when she saw my weight. Maybe I’m just worrying for nothing, but as long as I’m gaining enough to keep baby healthy I’d like to keep it on the minimal end so I don’t have to work as hard to lose it after he is born. I’m hoping that this particular surge in weight gain was just due to all the junk we ate while we were camping (hello, Goober and jumbo marshmallow pudgie pies). I’ve actually lost a few pounds since the appointment, though not on purpose, and I’m now back in the normal range, so yay! I just have to watch what I’m eating a little better from here on out so when junk food weekends happen it won’t throw me completely off track.

This week according to What to Expect:

These days, the only things growing more rapidly than your baby’s senses may be her mommy’s feet!

Your Baby in Week 22 of Pregnancy

This week, your baby weighs in at a whopping pound and measures nearly eight inches, about the size of a small doll. But your little doll (who now has eyebrows, eyelashes, and maybe even some hair on that little head) is a living one who can now perceive light and dark. She can also hear your voice, your heartbeat, your gurgling stomach, and the whoosh-whoosh of blood circulating through your body. And as her brain and nerve endings develop, she may reach for her face (or whatever she can reach) just to experiment with her newfound sense of touch.

Your Body in Week 22 of Pregnancy

As if an ever-expanding belly wasn’t enough — now your feet are getting in on the act! That’s because the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens your pelvic ligaments when you’re expecting, loosens every other ligament too — including the ones in your tootsies. In turn, the bones beneath those ligaments spread slightly, which results, for many women, in a half or whole shoe-size increase. So if you haven’t already stashed away your stilettos, now’s the time to bid them farewell — at least for a while. Besides, you need sensible shoes to help you balance that big belly and your changing center of gravity.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Oriental Cole Slaw

This one comes from my mom, and is one of my favorite summertime salads. It’s sweet with a bit of saltiness, is great as leftovers and is super easy to make. The amounts listed below could feed a small army, so if you’re just cooking for two or three I recommend halving the recipe.

Dressing
3/4 c. vegetable/canola oil
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
2 pkgs seasoning from Chicken Ramen Noodles

Salad
2 pkgs Broccoli Slaw
2 bunches green onions with greens
2 pkgs uncooked Chicken Ramen Noodles, broken up
1 c. chopped celery (I leave this out)
1 c. toasted almonds
1 c. salted sunflower seeds

Directions
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss salad ingredients together in a salad bowl. Top salad with dressing just before serving.

Week 21: Baby is getting bigger and kicking up a storm!

Week 21: Carrot

I decided to post this ahead of our mid-pregnancy ultrasound so that I can save that big piece of exciting news for a separate post (which will probably have to wait until after we tell our friends this weekend). That means you have a few more days to vote in our poll if you think we’re having a boy or a girl! As of this posting, the results are 13 for girl, 12 for boy.

The baby has really “kicked” up the acrobatics – it feels like it is doing somersaults in there! Sometimes it actually kicks so hard that I can feel it with my hand on the outside of my belly. Geoff has felt it kick a few times now, and I’m hoping that sometime soon I can share that with the rest of my family and friends.

I’m doing my best to ward off the stretch marks that I know are coming. I have armed myself with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and Bio-Oil, and have been trying to put it on every night before I go to sleep. I don’t love the feeling of having either of them on so I’ve avoided putting them on in the morning, but I probably should. I think the reason why I don’t have any yet is because right before I got pregnant I lost 30 pounds. Maybe my body was stretched from all that fat and now I have some room to grow!

After a week on vacation and then a week back at work I was feeling so drained I could barely move by the time I got home at night. I was working through lunch and staying an hour or more after the office closed every day. By the time Friday rolled around I was SO READY for the weekend.

Luckily, I got some much needed sleep and had a blast at my sister-in-law’s bridal shower and bachelorette this weekend. The nice thing (for me) is that the bachelorette was not centered around drinking, but instead consisted of fun activities. We started out with a belly dancing class and learned some moves for the wedding, then headed to Milwaukee’s Third Ward to Splash Bar, where we painted some super awesome artwork in Brittany’s wedding colors. Hopefully they turned out okay and she can use them as decorations on some of the tables at the wedding.

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 21 of Pregnancy

How big is your baby? About the size of a large banana [note: my “How Big is Baby?” images are based on the timeline from The Bump, so they are slightly different] — and speaking of bananas, if you eat one this week, there’s a good chance your baby will get a taste, too. That’s because he swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day (for nutrition, hydration, and to practice digesting), so he eats whatever’s on your menu — and gets to put those developing taste buds to good use. So go ahead and nosh on those nachos (or crunch those crudités): Your baby may develop a taste for them when he’s older.

Your Body in Week 21 of Pregnancy

You may start to notice some stretch marks as your body expands and your belly and breasts just keep on growing. These pink, red, or purple streaks appear when the supporting tissue under your skin gets torn as skin stretches (and stretches and stretches) during pregnancy. Not every woman gets them, though you’re a likely candidate if your mom had stretch marks during her pregnancy or if you’ve gained weight rapidly. So go ahead and slather the cocoa butter — at least it’ll keep your skin from drying out, even if it won’t keep those marks at bay.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Paninis

Another yummy recipe from Weight Watchers that my sister made for me on our weekly get together to watch The Bachelorette (I still think Brooks is going to be the last man standing). These yummy grilled cheese sandwiches have a great flavor from the “dressing” you make and brush onto the bread. The cheese gets all gooey and melty and the tomato just tops it off. SO GOOD.

From WW: We give these sandwiches extra flavor by rubbing the bread with a cut garlic clove. Swap basil for the arugula if it’s too peppery for your taste.

Ingredients
1½ tsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp olive oil
¼ tsp dried oregano
⅛ tsp table salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
4 oz Italian bread
2 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese
1 cup(s) arugula
1 medium plum tomato(es)
4 spray(s) olive oil cooking spray
1 clove(s) garlic clove(s)

Instructions
Step 1: Preheat outdoor grill (or grill pan or skillet – we used a George Foreman).
Step 2: In a small cup, stir together vinegar, oil, oregano, salt and pepper until blended. Brush mixture onto 1 side of each slice of bread.
Step 3: To make each sandwich, layer 1/4 of cheese over brushed side of bread and then top with 2 tomato slices and 1/4 cup of arugula. Top with another slice of bread, brushed side down and then coat sandwiches with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Step 4: Grill, lightly pressing with a spatula from time to time, until bread is toasted and cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes per side; rub grilled bread with garlic clove.

PointsPlus® Value: 7
Servings: 2

Week 20: Halfway there!

Halfway!! Most of the sites say that baby is the size of a banana this week, which is totally weird. No one wants a banana-shaped baby! (I realize that the measurement is based on length, but still.) And no, the baby did not grow several inches in one week. Apparently the baby is measured from head to rump until week 20, when the measurements switch to head to toe. This is because the baby’s legs are curled up during those first 20 weeks and are hard to measure.

Baby Bump (Week 19)I cannot believe I’m already halfway through this pregnancy. It still doesn’t seem real sometimes, but then the little one will give me a nice kick to show me that yes, it is most definitely real. The baby bump is also a good reality check. Here’s a photo of me from the 4th of July barbecue our friends hosted. I am clearly not on top of things with these bump photos, sorry.

Only one more week until we find out the gender! I’m debating about doing a mini gender reveal with our friends just for fun (nothing crazy). We’re going on a camping trip soon so I might tie something into that. Any ideas would be appreciated!

How did you reveal your little one’s gender/are you planning on doing anything fun? Or did you wait to find out until they arrived?

This week according to What to Expect:

Boy or girl? You can find out this week through a routine ultrasound!

Your Baby in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Curious about whether that melon-sized belly contains a boy or a girl? Now’s your chance to take a peek! Your second trimester ultrasound, scheduled for anytime between 18 and 22 weeks, gives your practitioner a chance to see how things are going in there. And, wow, are they going! If you’re having a girl, her uterus is now fully formed and her ovaries are holding about seven million primitive eggs. If you’re having a boy, his testicles have begun their descent from the abdomen to their ultimate destination — the scrotum. And while your baby is definitely getting bigger (weighing in at about ten ounces and measuring six and a half inches), there’s still plenty of growing room in there, which allows him to twist and turn (and allows you to feel his acrobatics!).

Your Body in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Now that you’re at the midpoint of your pregnancy (20 weeks down, 20 more to go!), that little cantaloupe (aka baby) you have in your belly is becoming more of a reality as you feel his movements and draw smiles from passersby who see your baby bump. You might also be noticing that your nails are stronger (though they could also turn dry and brittle) and your hair is thicker and fuller than usual — all thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased circulation, which furnish extra nutrients to hair and nail cells.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Summer Tomatoes, Corn, Crab and Avocado Salad

Courtesy of Gina at SkinnyTaste.com

This is a fresh, easy “salad” that doesn’t require much prep. I used imitation crab meat and only one jalapeño, but I could’ve definitely added the second one in and it would have been fine. We also just bought a bag of frozen corn and “roasted” it in a dry pan – definitely makes a big difference (if you don’t want to do it yourself, Gina says Trader Joe’s sells roasted corn). It says the recipe serves 7, but between me, Geoff and my sister we polished off the whole batch. Other ideas from Gina: Serve over mixed greens or tostadas as a main dish or you can put this in martini glasses as a fancy appetizer.

Ingredients
12 oz lump crab meat
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 hass avocado, diced
2 hot peppers such as serrano or jalapeños, diced fine (seeds removed for mild)
1 1/2 cups roasted corn kernels
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 limes, juice of (or more to taste)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Instructions
Step 1: In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine chopped crab meat, avocado, tomatoes, hot pepper and corn.
Step 3: Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 1 cup
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3 pts
Calories: 130.8 • Fat: 6.1 g • Protein: 8.8 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 4.0 g • Sugar: 2.6