Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Honeydew Me Just One Favor... (Week 36)

So here we are! Only 4 short weeks from our estimated due date! How did this happen?!?!?

This is our last week as a honeydew melon and next week we get our very last fruit. So what's she up to in there this week?

"Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

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 she's in a head-down position. But if she 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 her from the outside of your belly."

Thankfully, Lily is definitely head down, although that means I have a little baby butt in my ribcage most of the day, but it's ok. I know I'll miss the feeling when she's on the outside. Her movement continues to change as she gets bigger. She has very little room in there but I can feel her wiggling around and switching from one side to the other on a daily basis. Jay and I are now able to figure out which way she is laying most of the time. The other night we knew she was laying with her spine to my right side because my bump was totally lopsided. It looked like a skateboard ramp! As freaky-weird as it feels, I'm really getting used to her movement. (I know... just in time for her to come out, right!)

So, how's Mama doing?

I'm pretty good. Starting to get adjusted to being on the Zoloft. I've noticed in the last few days feeling kind of emotionally... flat. I'm neither overly excited about Lily being born, nor am I overly anxious. This isn't horribly uncommon for me though. It's the same way I felt the last few weeks before Jay came home from his deployment and we moved in together. It's the same way I felt in the weeks leading up to the wedding. And it's the same way I felt when we bought our house. I think it's my brain's way of protecting itself (and me) from potentially overwhelmingly emotional situations. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't want her or wish I weren't pregnant or anything, it's just that everything could be so overwhelming right now if I let it, so my brain/emotions kind of shut down on me.

This week I had my first appointment back with my first midwife. I'd taken some time to make an appointment with each of the 5 in the practice since any of them could be on call for my delivery. It was nice to meet them all and get a feel for each of them, but I was really happy to be back with my midwife. It really feels like we're on the home stretch now since we are going once a week. I especially like the nurses that work at the Steel Creek office too, and I usually get a lower blood pressure reading at this office than any of the others which I think shows how much more comfortable I am at this office. Tina (my midwife) said everything was looking good. Heart rate was great, weight is fine, Iron's a little low but nothing too bad, and my belly is measuring right on target. Yay!

She did the Group B Strep test which was no big deal but when we talked about internal exams (or cervix checks) I asked if we could do as few of them as possible. She smiled and said that we didn't even have to do one that day either! That was awesome! She said they don't tell us anything anyway, and just give people either false hope or unnecessary disappointment which is why I wanted to keep them to a minimum anyway. If I start having any signs of labor, or if we go to 40+ weeks then I'll ask for one.

Thursday of last week we had our carseat safety class. I was really looking forward to this class since we had decided to go straight into a convertible carseat instead of going for an infant seat and I had some questions about it. We were asked to bring our carseat into the class, and yep, we were the only ones there that didn't have an infant seat. Now here's the thinking behind why we went straight to a convertible seat. First of all, you're going to have to have a convertible seat at some point. The infant seats only go up to 30 lbs and a lot of children grow out of them length wise before they hit the weight limit. New guidelines are also coming out that recommend keeping a child rear facing until at least 40 lbs or 2 years old. So, we'd need a rear facing seat to fill the gap between the infant seat and the forward facing seat. Secondly, I'm not a huge fan of the infant bucket seats. I understand they are more convenient, but I'm a big fan of Attachment Parenting ideas and feel that physical contact with my baby is very important even if it isn't convenient to me. So, I have a bunch of different wraps and slings to help carrier her in and we have a nice stroller in the event that we are out for an extended period of time and our backs just can't take carrying her anymore. Third, the convertible seats are a lot more expensive (at least the ones we were looking at) and since we had already earmarked Jay's holiday bonus to buy the seat, we had the money now and I wasn't sure we'd have it in 6-9 months. We could get a cheep (but still safe) infant seat for somewhere between $50-80 but our convertible was close to $300. I decided I'd rather buy the more expensive one now when we had the money and then have to run out and buy a less expensive one if I decided that was what I wanted, then to get months down the road and no longer have the money to afford the expensive one.

So, we lugged our almost-top of the line convertible into class half expecting to be ridiculed. We weren't! See, there is this pervasive opinion on the internet that the convertibles are not as safe for infants because they are "designed" for older children. Thankfully, I was able to ask not only a supervisor for the carseat safety program through the city/county and a certified carseat inspector, but one of the people who was on the development team for our specific carseat. We met Joyce a few weeks ago when we bought her co-sleeper off of Craigslist. When we picked it up we got talking with her and her husband and found out that she is an executive at Britax which is located here in Charlotte. Crazy right! The premier carseat company is located here in Charlotte and I never knew it. Well, she told us that she would be helping teach our class and we were thrilled.

I know the other lady was awesome and totally knew what she was talking about when it came to making a carseat safe and installing it correctly, but to have someone there who knows our specific carseat inside and out was just awesome. And I felt very reassured when she said that our seat was just as safe for an infant 5lbs and up as any of the infant carseats are. She said the only advantage of the infant seats is the convenience of being able to take the bucket thing in and out and leave the base in the car. Whew!

So, after we strapped our baby dolls into the seats and figured out how they worked and talked about how you never put any after-market things in the seat (like head rests, bundle me blanket things, etc.) we had the opportunity to pull our cars up and have them help us install the carseat. Well, technically, they watched while we did it and told us if it was correct or not. And thank goodness Joyce was there because she showed us tricks and tips for our seat that we'd probably never found! How lucky were we to have someone who helped develop our seat right there to help us install it. It was AWESOME! And Joyce was so nice! I always knew I liked Britax seats from the very beginning of our research, but now I'm a life long customer.

Saturday I had my first major pregnancy brain incident! I had made plans to meet up with a friend for coffee. We'd talked about either Saturday or Sunday and I totally had it in my head that we'd decided on Sunday. So, Saturday when she called to see where I was, I couldn't believe it! I quickly looked back through my emails and there it was, plain as day, SATURDAY! Doh! Oh well. It all worked out. Thankfully the place we were meeting was close to my house so I was able to jump in some clothes and still meet her. We had a wonderful time, and she gave us a wonderful baby book that I'm really looking forward to reading!

After coffee we met my brother Luke for lunch and then I did some shopping for the baby before meeting back up with Luke and Jay at our friend Dan's house where we stayed until far too late. So, needless to say I was t.i.r.e.d come Sunday morning. Jay and I were getting ready to head to Cracker Barrel for some breakfast just the two of us. Before we went though, Jay took the puppy outside to go potty. When I walked out on the back deck I started having serious pain in my lower bump, hips, and legs. In fact, I was practically doubled over. I'm still not sure if it was from over doing it Saturday or if I twisted or turned wrong trying to get my socks and shoes on, but Jay decided that breakfast out was a no-go. So, he called in our order to Cracker Barrel, picked it up for us, and we spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch catching up on Netflix. I'm so thankful to have a husband who is looking out for me and will loving nudge me into taking it easy even when I'd rather not.

Speaking of Jay, how's the Daddy to be doing?

He's great! He's getting more and more excited about Lily getting here. He loves to talk to her and rub my belly. He especially loves knowing which way she's positioned in there. He's always talking about how much he loves his girls. :-) He's also really good at taking care of things around the house. He always comes out to bring in the groceries and generally takes care of making our dinner so I can put my feet up since they've started swelling by the end of the day. I am so very thankful for his help!

Well, I think that's about it for this week's update. I can't believe I'm almost a week behind again, but it's ok. This late in the pregnancy I'm giving myself a break. As long as each week's post gets done so that I can archive it and look back at it later, then I'm ok. Hope everyone is having a great week!

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