Wednesday, June 24, 2009

38 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Your baby has really plumped up. He weighs about 6.8 pounds and he's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). He has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold his hand for the first time! His organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If he's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If he's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time he's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after he's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

For many women, the next couple of weeks are a waiting game. Use this time to prepare your baby's nursery or to take care of necessary tasks you may not get around to for a while after your baby's born. Take naps, catch up on your reading, and spend uninterrupted time with your partner while you can.

Some swelling in your feet and ankles is normal during these last weeks, but call your practitioner without delay if you notice excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, any swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, or have a sudden weight gain. Also let her know immediately if have severe or persistent headaches; visual changes (such as double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, light sensitivity, or a temporary loss of vision), intense upper abdominal pain or tenderness, or nausea and vomiting. These are symptoms of a serious condition called preeclampsia.

Note from Jen:

Well, we are two weeks out from seeing our little guy. Our c-section is scheduled for 07-08-09, hopefully at 10:11 :) The doctor said that since I am not dilated at all at this point, we should make it to the due date no problem. We are just hoping that Van decides to stay in until then and not give us any surprises.

This week was our 9th anniversary and we celebrated by going to the Del Mar Fair, riding an elephant and getting a prenatal massage! (Yes, I said riding an elephant... I am sure Kenny will write a post about that later this week!) Last night I had my first massage ever and it was very relaxing. I still am having upper back pain and swollen/ painful feet, but at least the massage felt great for a while. I wish I could go every day!

I am enjoying my time off here at home and we pretty much have Van's room all ready and our bags packed for the hospital. I still feel like there is a ton to do, but am trying to take it easy so I don't accidentally go into labor!

38 weeks.. only 2 more to go!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Smartest dog ever

I woke up this morning and Pilot was sitting at my feet reading Tolstoy's "War and Peace". I asked if he wanted to go for a walk. His answer: well, I think his look says it all.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Judge Me

I had a trip today for a friend of mine in his Bonanza. The passengers were some of his employees checking out a job site. I have flown them several times now and we have gone to Thermal Airport in Palm Springs every time. On my first visit I was directed to a small Indian Casino as the nearest "decent" restaraunt around.

I took the crew car and followed the directions to a small single story building that looked more like an light commercial/industrial building than a casino. I thought twice about it and decided to go ahead and try it out. Turns out that they have an extraordinarily tasty turkey club sandwich (which comes with avocado - yum!) and a reasonable batch of iced tea. And budget priced as well.

Unfortunately, you have to fight your way through a smoke-filled casino to find this hidden treasure of tasty turkey. I have managed my way through every time sans any temptation whatsoever. To put it plainly, I hate gambling. I enjoy the numbers and odds and cards and all, but not when it comes to giving them my hard earned money.

Thrice have I cruised through the den of inquity without nary a tinge of temptation to drop a few coins into a slot machine or plunk down a buck or two on the black jack table.

Today ended that streak.

How in the world did it happen you ask? I know not.

I had finished my tasty-as-ever club sandwich and was on my way out, when Satan's temptor reached out from a penny slot machine and grabbed me. I felt instantly ashamed and remorseful as the machine cooly wisked my ten dollar bill into its ever starving mouth.

I thought, "Just push the cash-out button and walk over to the desk and leave" but something about those blinking frogs would not let me go. I punched in my bet and gave the handle a pull. Another wave of guilt and remorse washed over me. A bigger one hit when I did not win "the big one."

Suffice it say, I played it for several more minutes, basically losing more than I won. Fortunately it was only penny slots so winning and losing was really a matter of nickles and dimes.

Then it happened. Jeremiah the Bull Frog came over the speakers. I thought to myself, "This is it, I am gonna hit it big now." Just in case you missed it above, I was playing some machine that featured "kiss the magic frog" and win! Why did I choose that one? Only Satan's temptor knows.

I punched in my bet and pulled the handle. Flashing lights, loud noises and ding... nothing!

I punched in my bet and pulled the handle. Flashing lights, loud noises and ding... nothing!

I punched in my bet and pulled the handle. Flashing lights, loud noises and ding... nothing!

I punched in my bet and pulled the handle. Flashing lights, loud noises and ding... winner winner chicken dinner!

I hit the big one with Jeremiah the Bull Frog and Mr. Magical Frog. Whoohoooo!

I was up $13.88. And I ran. Take the money and run, I always say.

All in all, I hated the entire experience. Even the winning moment was fleeting as I took my sad little paper ticket to the pit, got my cash and walked my way back out the smoke house.

Probably the last time for me for a while. Sorry Las Vegas, no high stakes roller here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

37 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Congratulations — your baby is full term!
This means that if your baby arrives now, his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though your due date is still three weeks away.

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable.

It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough to sleep well at night. If you can, take it easy through the day — this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while. Keep monitoring your baby's movements, too, and let your caregiver know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though his quarters are getting cozy, he should still be as active as before.

While you're sleeping, you're likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy.

Note from Jen:

Wow! I can't believe that I am full term and that he could really come at any time!

On Monday I had my doctor's appointment and we waited in the room for over 2 hours before we found out that she was at the hospital doing an emergency c-section and wouldn't make it. They tried to tell us just to come back next week, but I reminded them that we needed to find out if Van was still breech and they rescheduled us for later that day at 2:00 pm.

Despite our best efforts to turn the little guy, which even included going to a Chinese herbal shop last week and picking up Moxi Sticks (dried & rolled mugwort plant), he is still head up and the doctor said he is so far up it doesn't look like he will turn.

We are still doing the acupressure treatment of moxibustion (burning the moxi sticks by my toes for 20 minutes each night... they STINK! I have pictures I'll post later... moxibustion is too funny!) as well as other exercises, but it looks like we need to pick a birthday for our little guy. The doctor suggested 7-10 days before the due date. We are torn between scheduling the c-section before the due date or waiting it out until 07-08-09 and seeing if he decides to turn at the last moment. The only problem with waiting is that I could go into labor and then risk more of an emergency c-section than if we have it planned earlier. We need to figure this out soon!

Anyway, on Sunday we went to La Jolla and Sheree took pregnancy pictures of us. They turned out great and I am so glad that we have some good pictures of the pregnncy and not just our every two week photos.

Monday was my last day of work and because of the doctor fiasco, I ended up only working about 3 hours that day! I am now off on maternity leave/ disability. It is nice to be able to get things done at home during the day and not have to try to fit it all in after work. We are pretty ready for Van to arrive... we have the car seat and stroller, his room is pretty much all set up and all his clothes are washed, folded and organized. Now all we need to do is pick a date for our little guy to arrive :)

Here are a few pictures from our photo shoot on Sunday... I still need to edit them, but hopefully I will get the rest posted soon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

36 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. He's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.

Most likely he's in a head-down position. But if he isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating him from the outside of your belly.

Now that your baby is taking up so much room, you may have trouble eating a normal-size meal. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point.

On the other hand, you may have less heartburn and have an easier time breathing when your baby starts to "drop" down into your pelvis. This process — called lightening — often happens a few weeks before labor if this is your first baby. If your baby drops, you may also feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, which may make walking increasingly uncomfortable.

You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now. Be sure to review the signs of labor with your practitioner and find out when she wants to hear from you. As a general rule, if you're full-term, your pregnancy is uncomplicated, and your water hasn't broken, she'll probably have you wait to come in until you've been having contractions that last for about a minute each, coming every five minutes for an hour. Of course, you'll want to call right away if you notice a decrease in your baby's activity or think you're leaking amniotic fluid, or if you have any bleeding, fever, a severe or persistent headache, constant abdominal pain, or vision changes.

Even if you're enjoying an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's best to avoid flying (or any travel far from home) during your final month because you can go into labor at any time. In fact, some airlines won't let women on board who are due to deliver within 30 days of the flight.

Note from Jen:

Feeling pretty good this week other than some back pain. I am pretty sure that is mostly being caused by sitting at my desk all day, so hopefully by next week it will go away since Monday is my last day of work!!!

I went into the doctor on Monday to have her fill out my disability paperwork and asked her to check to see if Van was still breech so I could know if I need to continue to do my exercises (you are supposed to stop if he has turned or risk flipping him back to breech). She felt around and said she was pretty sure that his head was down low since it seemed a bit harder down there and since she could hear his heartbeat better down lower. Needless to say I was so relieved and excited.

During the appointment I received a call from the lady who did our 4D ultrasound saying that we could come in on Tuesday and she would do a quick ultrasound to see what positions he was in... for FREE! We had called her up over the weekend to see if she could do a 5 minute ultrasound for us to see if he was breech and totally planned on paying for it. She is so nice and didn't want to charge us anything... she wouldn't even take the Starbucks gift cards we offered!

Anyway, yesterday afternoon Kenny and I went down to the ultrasound office and within a few seconds found out that Van was still snuggled into the exact same position he has been in for weeks... head still up with his feet in front of his face! All our hopes that we had built up the day before were dashed. He is still breech.

The good thing is that now I know for sure that I have a few days to get this kid to turn, so I will be doing anything I can. The other good news is that our 4D ultrasound lady said that if we do schedule a c-section, to come in to see her a few days before it is scheduled and she would do another quick peek for us just to make sure they aren't operating on me unnecessarily. She is so nice!

Other than the whole breech craziness this week, not too much other baby stuff has happened. We managed to go to Babies R Us last night without killing anyone, so that is a positive :) Only a few more things left to stock up on and then I think we are just about ready for Van to show up... well... as ready as we will ever be :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Baby Alert System

We have set up a Baby Alert System. We found a site that has an amazing feature that lets you send call blasts to members, so we figured we can set up different groups to alert friends and family abut any baby popping out news.

If you would like to be added to the Baby Alert System, leave a comment with your name, alert level desired and phone number or just email me and I'll add you.

We are thinking of having 5 Alert Levels:

Red- Call with any and all baby news. This means you will get a call when we are on our way to the hospital (whether it ends up being false labor or not). Please remember that this call could come at any time... day or night. Don't say we didn't warn you!

Orange- Call when we are admitted to the hospital. No false labor here, but still could be any time, day or night.

Yellow- Call when we are in the hospital, but at a reasonable time. We won't call you before 8:00AM or after 9:00PM. If we get admitted during the nighttime hours, we'll just schedule the call to be sent to your phone at 8:00AM.

Blue- Call once Van is born with all the normal baby details... weight, height, apgar, if he is a crazy hairy monster or not... Could be any time, day or night.

Green- Call once Van is born with all the normal baby details, but at a reasonable time. We won't call you before 8:00AM or after 9:00PM. If he is born during the nighttime hours, we'll just schedule the call to be sent to your phone at 8:00AM.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

35 Weeks

From Baby Center:

Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you're not grappling with these annoyances, you're one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you'll start seeing your practitioner every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she'll do a culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own — that's why you weren't screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you're a GBS carrier, you'll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby's risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who'll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won't follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Note from Jen:

Well, 5 more weeks to go! Overall I feel great although my feet are getting pretty swollen by the end of the day and I am starting to waddle a bit :) Mylanta and Rolaids seem to be doing the trick at managing all the heartburn.

I went to my doctor's appointment yesterday and although it was really rushed, I did find out that I do not have Group B strep... so no antibiotics needed for me at delivery. Yeah! I also found out that my doctor will be here when I deliver and is going on vacation a few weeks after my due date, so we are good. She is going to Peru and is going to hike the Inca Trail, so most of the appointment ended up being us talking about the trip and giving her advice about the hike.

Van is still breech and I was given a few more exercises to do to encourage him to turn. If he decides to stay upright until my next appointment at 27 weeks, we have to schedule that c-section. He must like things planned as much as we do! Still hoping he turns, but whatever happens, happens. I am just thankful that we live in a time where c-sections aren't as big of a deal and it is not a risk to either of our lives that he is breech.

Anyway, our trip to Yosemite last week was a blast! I even made the hike up the Mist Trail all the way to Vernal Falls. Yep, I rock :) I'll post pictures and a rundown of our trip later this week or next.

As for baby stuff, this week I plan on packing up my hospital bag and finish up on my birthing plan. I am also getting together all the disability paperwork and finishing up everything here at work. The plan right now is to work until June 15th which just so happens to be my next doctor's appointment.