Tuesday, May 26, 2009

34 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers — which will help regulate his body temperature once he's born — are filling him out, making him rounder.

His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you're under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.

Note from Jen:

Feeling pretty worn out this week, but we have been busy moving out of the hangar, packing for Yosemite and making sure we have all the baby stuff pretty much ready.

My feet and legs are starting to swell every day... my right more than my left. If I ask really nice, Kenny will rub them for me after a long day :) A little bit of sciatic nerve pain is back once again as well as the heartburn/ reflux. Overall, though I still feel pretty good considering that I only have a few weeks left.

I don't think Van has turned yet, but hopefully the time at Yosemite will help me relax and all the walking will get him into position. Not too worried yet.

Here is my 34 week picture (taken a few days early). We'll also be sure to take lots of photos at Yosemite :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I couldn't resist hijacking Kenny and Jen's post to put up this slide show of Mommy and Van!
I will add a new photo every 2 weeks until we are holding our little Grandson in our arms!
Nana Jolene

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

33 Weeks

From Baby Center:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in — let alone sleep — is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.

You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist. Nerves that run through this "tunnel" may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping your arm up with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks — which should be frequently.

Note from Jen:

Whew! I am tired. Probably because I thought this would be my last week of work, but I ended up telling them I'd work a bit more after we got back from our trip to Yosemite next week.

By the end of the day at work I am pretty tired... swollen feel, achy back, normal pregnancy stuff. Overall, it isn't that bad though. I have been very lucky.

On Friday I went in to see the midwife and found out that if Van doesn't decide to turn soon out of this breech position, my only option is a C-section. I looked up a bunch of ways to try to turn him and have been trying pretty much every single one... laying on an ironing board (hips and feet above my head), flashlight on the tummy, ice pack on the top of the tummy, and acupressure points that included putting clips on my pinky toes! LOL! I go in to see the doctor the Monday we get back into town. If she doesn't have good news for me, I'm off to see a chiropractor, acupuncturist or even a witch doctor to get him to turn :)

I also found out that my doctor is probably going to be on vacation when I am due, so hopefully I will be able to find out who might be delivering this little guy so I can get to know her a bit before the big event.

Last week we also went on a hospital tour. It went really well and the rooms are amazing. They seem to be as comfortable as you can get for a hospital room and it will be nice to have all that space and not have to share a room. Here is the online tour of the birthing suite if you want to check it out- http://www.sharp.com/virtual-tours/grossmont-birthing-suite.cfm

For the last week or so I have been having Braxton Hicks contractions on and off. For me they seem to be basically sharp stabbing pains that squeeze by stomach and last a few seconds. Thursday night I had an upset stomach, cramping and contractions all night and ended up calling in sick on Friday. After my doctor's appointment that afternoon, I felt much better and drove up to surprise Mom for her 50th birthday! We ended up having a great weekend and it was good to relax and spend time with Mom, Dad, Jamie & Jeffrey (David and Kenny both worked all weekend).

They all got in on the action of trying to help Van decide to turn. This picture isn't the most flattering, but it makes me laugh. Here is Jeffrey trying to help his cousin...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Advice for the Parents-to-be

Thanks to all of you who already wrote down a bit of advice for us at the Big Baby Bash.

For those of you who weren't there, feel free to leave us a bit of advice in the comments that you think might help us as we embark on this new adventure! I'll add it to Van's baby book so we can look back on it later on :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

32 Weeks

From Baby Center:

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, he'll gain a third to half of his birth weight during the next 7 weeks as he fattens up for survival outside the womb. He now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.

To accommodate you and your baby's growing needs, your blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since you got pregnant. With your uterus pushing up near your diaphragm and crowding your stomach, the consequences may be shortness of breath and heartburn. To help relieve your discomfort, try sleeping propped up with pillows and eating smaller meals more often.

You may have lower-back pain as your pregnancy advances. If you do, let your caregiver know right away, particularly if you haven't had back pain before, since it can be a sign of preterm labor.

Assuming it's not preterm labor that's ailing you, you can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting a strain on your back. Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things.

Note from Jen:

First of all, what is a jicama? Honestly, I have never heard of it.

Anyway, this week was super busy and super fun. We had Van's 4D Ultrasound, the Big Baby Bash and my work baby shower. Van also got his room painted by his Auntie Sheree. It is amazing! I'll post pictures of the Big Baby Bash and the room painting soon.

Earlier this week I was having a really hard time with heartburn and acid reflux, so much so that it would wake me up throughout the night. No fun :( I called the doctor and she recommended that I try Maylox before we try a prescription. Except for a few annoying side affects, it is working wonders. No heartburn for me!

I am starting to get Braxton Hicks contractions every now and then. They mostly happen when we are out walking Pilot and vary between a sharp pain and just a tightening feeling. Even though some of them hurt, it is still good to know that my body is just getting ready for the birth. Hopefully our little guy will start thinking about turning into position soon. He still has plenty of time I guess, but it would be nice to know that he is ready to go.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let's Play a Game

Baby Van is on his way, will you be the one to guess the day?

We set up a game so everyone can join in the excitement and anticipation of Van's arrival.

If you entered in a guess at the Big Baby Bash, we have already entered it in for you, but feel free to change it if you suddenly feel differently :)

Click on the banner above or go to http://www.expectnet.com/games/VanWilliam and participate by entering your guess!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Van's Photo Shoot

The entire family came down on Friday for our little guy's 4D Ultrasound. We had a full house with me & Kenny, my parents, Kenny's parents, Uncle Eric & Auntie Sheree, Uncle David, Auntie Jamie & Cousin Jeffrey and my grandparents- Mema & Grandpa Earl.

Although I drank 3 glasses of coke before the ultrasound, Van was dead asleep and wouldn't wake up for anything. He was still in the breech position and his little feet and hands were up covering his face. After a bottle of water and some stretching on the floor (with the entire family watching!) I laid back down to try again, but he is a stubborn little fella and still refused to move! The ultrasound tech pushed and prodded on my belly and tried to grab his feet to move them out of the way. It was pretty uncomfortable, but we did manage to get some shots of his little face!

Once she finally got a clear view of him, she kept commenting on how much hair he already has and how well defined his lips were and how long he seems to be. She had to have said that 5+ times! She was never clear about if all that hair was just on his head or if we are going to end up with a baby Sasquatch!

Looking at his pictures, he seems to look like Kenny from the lips down and me from the nose up. And of course, will have tons of hair like both of us!

I can't wait to see him in person. Only 2 months to go!

Check out all of his pictures from the ultrasound at our Shutterfly account.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

New Design: The Young Mommy Life

Tara is a 20-something momma who blogs about The Young Mommy Life. She contacted me a few weeks ago and wanted to update her blog to Wordpress.org as well as freshen up her look.

She was great to work with and I’ll most likely be frequenting her blog quite often as my very own mommy life is about to start in a few weeks!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

31 Weeks

From Baby Center:

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt.

He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. Often lasting about 30 seconds, they're irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless. Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don't hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor.

You don't need to pack your bag yet, but start making a list of items to bring to the hospital.

Note from Jen:

Wow. 9 weeks left... down to the single digits. How crazy is that?!?

This week I have been having heartburn and acid reflux again. It doesn't matter what I eat, it just hits at random times throughout the day and hits in the middle of the night. Needless to say, I am not getting much sleep :(

My feet are also starting to swell by the end of the day. I am trying to make a point of wearing comfy shoes to work, but they pretty much swell no matter what so I still sneak in the occasional cute shoe anyway :)

Even with the heartburn and swelling, I am still feeling pretty good overall. On Friday I went in for my doctor's appointment and everything looked good. I was measuring at 29 weeks and she said that all there is to do now is just wait since everything is right on track.

No Braxton Hicks contractions yet... at least none that I can feel. Our little guy is moving around all the time throughout the day, but at least he is pretty calm during the night. Maybe he'll be a good sleeper?!? I can dream, can't I?!? :)

This Friday we are getting the 4D ultrasound done. I am so excited to see our little guy! I'll be sure to post pictures next week sometime.

Friday, May 01, 2009

New Design: OutDoor Afro

Rue over at OutDoor Afro has one goal in mind… to get more African American families out of the house and into the Great Outdoors!

She is obviously an outdoor enthusiast and an adventurous spirit and I tried to capture that in her new design. I had a great time working with her and the design was so much fun to work on.

From Rue:

First off, WOW — it was so thrilling to see how you materialized the concept in such a fun and accurate way to my description. You simply did a terrific job and I can see that working with you was the right choice. I really like the foxiness of the woman, the outdoor iconic accents, and how you changed Outdoor to OutDoor — Well done!

Oh and did I mention I just LOVE the site? :)