pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Forty-one Weeks Pregnant

Yup, still pregnant. I now refer to myself as “excessively pregnant.” And it’s certainly been a week. I spent this week working from home, which was at least nice because I didn’t have to fight crowds on my commute, but it also meant that I didn’t get the benefit of interacting with other people on a regular basis. It did get a little lonely and made me wonder how I’m going to handle being at home with the baby for three months after Dan goes back to work.

I’m also just starting to feel big, ungainly, and tired. The baby is obviously running out of room, and is starting to grow back up into my stomach, causing my reflux to get worse. Friday and Saturday nights were the worst, but I’m hoping that upping my Zantac dosage (doctor’s suggestion) will help that. I’m still not showing any signs that the baby is coming soon. I’ve had some contractions, off and on, but nothing major and nothing that progresses.

So I’m scheduled for an induction this week and that’s when the baby will probably come out. At least I know this is my last full week of pregnancy and have an end in sight, but I do hope my next few days are better than the last couple have been.

Dan and I are now both officially off work. I’m using my paid time off to cover any days between now and the birth, and Dan has two Federal holidays and an undetermined amount of time furloughed before he can get his leave re-approved. Thankfully, our finances are robust enough to weather the shutdown at the same time as I’m heading out on partial paid leave.

So we’ve spent our time being relatively lazy and just resting mostly. I prepped some homemade gelatin to have on hand, since it’s what I’m allowed to eat right before my induction, and I’ll probably make a batch of lactation bars to take with me to the hospital for after the baby comes out, for when I need an easy, hand-held snack. But other than that, we’re mostly as ready as we’ll ever be.

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pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Forty Weeks Pregnant

still-life-with-watermelons-1912.jpgLarge

Well, I’ve officially passed my due date. After a rough end to last week, where I really thought the baby would come before the end of the weekend, I managed to have a relatively quiet weekend. I got plenty of rest, and by Sunday, I had enough energy to start making preparations for the week ahead. I’m realizing more and more that the uncertainty of the end of pregnancy is almost more nerve-wracking than the actual thought of childbirth.

I think my boss was surprised to see me in the office on Monday morning, after I had taken the day completely off on Friday rather than just working from home like I usually do when I’m feeling slightly off. But I had a good and productive day. In addition to taking care of things that came up suddenly, and tying up existing loose ends, I also managed to get in touch with someone to tour yet another daycare. I’m definitely researching child care in fits, spurts, and drips, rather than actually making an effort to get it done all at once, but since I discovered the list of home-based daycares in my area (hint: If you’re in the state of Maryland, this website is invaluable), I’ve felt a little less pressure to find a daycare, like, six months ago, and I’m hoping if I don’t already have something lined up, I’ll be able to contact more people while I’m on maternity leave.

The rest of the week went pretty similarly. I’ve actually been sleeping pretty well this week and after several nights interrupted by varying levels of contractions last week, I’ve had basically nothing this week. I had my weekly checkup with the doctor on Thursday, where everything looked on track, and I could tell she was trying very, very hard not to say “see you next week” because, honestly, there’s not a lot of sign that this is happening anytime soon. They did get me on the schedule for an induction in two weeks, just in case, but hey, a lot can happen in that time.

And then, Friday, I went in to work for my last day in the office. I’ve cleared with my boss to work from home next week until the baby comes, so Friday was my last day of getting up early, showering, packing a lunch, and commuting. As much as I like my coworkers, I’m not going to miss the commute (although that means I’ll have to make myself go for walks during the day instead of having them built in automatically to get to and from work). It was also our holiday party, which was nice to get to, since I wasn’t sure if I’d make it that far, with it being held the day before my due date!

Waking up on Saturday and knowing that 1.) it was my due date and 2.) I wouldn’t be going back to the office until next spring was surreal. We made a nice breakfast and grocery shopped. We’ve definitely been stocking up on supplies and this week I decided to get some extra rice, oats, lentils, and more broth for easy pantry soups. I’ve been reading The First Forty Days, which is about taking care of yourself postpartum and I’ve decided to try out some of the recipes ahead of time. So I made a big pot of kabocha and red lentil soup for dinner and froze the leftovers!

How I’m Feeling:

Well, like I said, I’m sleeping better, getting woken up less, and just generally feeling a bit more energetic. Honestly, I really think the difference is just that I’m not getting woken up by contractions. I’m still feeling bigger and bigger everyday. I can also feel the kid running out room when the move in my belly.

But I’m mostly feeling pretty good. I was proud of myself for making it through my last week in the office and I’m almost a little sad not to finish out my week with walking everyday because of the weather. But I’m feeling healthy, strong, and ready for the next step. Or more waiting…

Current Cravings: Actually, my appetite has gone down this week

Exercise: 3 average miles/day walking, 5 minutes of daily stretching based on the Spinning Babies essentials

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: I’ve reached watermelon status. From here on out, it’s watermelons all the way down.

Other Posts This Week:

An Ode to the Other Half, Part One: Pregnancy Partner

Our Non-Nursery

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pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-nine Weeks Pregnant

I’m closing in on my due date now! This week, I decided to start trying to keep a daily journal, since I’ll want to try to document as much as I can when the baby comes. I’ve struggled at keeping a journal in the past, so we’ll see how this goes. So far, I’ve managed to journal each night before going to bed, so that’s a good start.

One thing I realized this week was just how variable my physical ability level is from day to day. On Sunday, I found myself absolutely physically wiped out after our normal weekly walk to and from the local coffee shop and ended up spending a large portion of the day in bed. Later that night, I woke up to turn over in bed, and had a thought about how, for most of my adult life, I’ve kind of treated my physical status as a kind of n=1 experiment, where I can largely figure out what is or isn’t making me feel a certain way. But in pregnancy, sometimes I just feel crappy and it’s not anything I’ve done or didn’t do. I can eat healthfully and exercise moderately and stretch myself out, but ultimately sometimes I just feel awful and the only reason is, well, I’m pregnant.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the transition to being “a mother.” After re-reading Like a Mother, which I reviewed on Tuesday, I realized that birth is an ordeal that acts like a rite of passage and, while I will bring my past self with me, I will be forever changed by it. So I’ve started to think about becoming A Mother. To that end, I’ve decided to branch off from my main blogging and social media accounts and actually created an Instagram and a Facebook page specific to this blog. I’ll update my “About” page to reflect that contact information. But definitely check out my Instagram. The Facebook page currently just contains reposts of my Instagram posts, so if you’re not on Instagram, you can follow the Facebook page to see more updates on Facebook.

At my Thursday morning prenatal appointment, I found out that I’ve officially gained 40 lbs. this pregnancy, so I’m definitely over the recommended weight gain. It’s interesting because I don’t look like I’m gaining weight excessively, and I’m not swelling or retaining fluid much, so I don’t really know where the weight is going. Honestly, I’m surprised I’m mostly as unconcerned as I am, but the doctor hasn’t commented on it, my blood pressure looks good, and I feel generally healthy. So I’ll definitely be talking about my weight gain and how that carries on into the postpartum period later on.

Speaking of the postpartum period, I picked up a new book called The First Forty Days about self-care (and care from other people) during the postpartum period. It’s really interesting because it stresses the importance of proper nutrition and rest in the postpartum period, which includes resting from feeling obligated to host visitors in your house. Basically, it instructs new mothers not to feel pressured to have visitors that are only there to have baby time and not to support the new parents. That said, even a book on postpartum self-care assumes the partner will be going back to work within two weeks after the birth, so I’m hoping I have an easier time with Dan off for a bit longer.

How I’m Feeling:

As always, I’m just noticing the gradual ramping up of the nagging complaints of pregnancy. My hips are still sore, my back occasionally hurts, my belly tightened with Braxton Hicks contractions sometimes. I’m tired a lot. But since it’s been ramping up gradually, I don’t usually have days that are bad enough to just have to stay home. Sunday was a surprise because usually once I get going, I’m okay for the day. I’m still working, and even though I increasingly don’t want to get out of bed or face my walk from the metro to work, once I’m on my walk, it’s not so bad. Like I said earlier, sometimes I feel crappier than others, but that’s just pregnancy. I’m kind of at the point where there’s not a whole lot I can do besides generally take care of myself.

On Wednesday in the early morning, I had a bout of really uncomfortable Braxton Hicks that kept me up for a couple hours. Honestly, even after I got some more sleep, I woke up still feeling crampy. I was still pretty sure it wasn’t the real thing, but I ended up working from home, just in case. But they eventually settled down (showering helped). Also, I had another prenatal checkup on Thursday that confirmed that they weren’t doing anything; I’m still not showing any signs that the baby is coming soon.

Of course, then on Thursday night/Friday morning, I was up for hours with even more contractions. These were more intense and rhythmic than I’d had before, and were accompanied by some additional symptoms that made me wonder if I was going to be one of those “I wasn’t dilated at all at my checkup and went into labor the next day” people. But they eventually tapered off and just left me feeling crappy for the rest of the day. I’m starting to worry that I’m going to have to deal with every-other-night contractions for the next two weeks.

Current Cravings: beet kraut from Sweet Farm, cereal with milk

Exercise: 2.1 average miles/day walking

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Pumpkin

Other Posts This Week:

Book Review: Like a Mother

Exercise and Pregnancy: The Final Months

pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-eight Weeks Pregnant

Yup, still pregnant. Due date is in two weeks, so I imagine I’ll have more people asking if I’ve had the baby yet around then, but at this point, I’m kind of at the point where I could have the baby today or I could have to wait nearly another month. This week we spent a fair amount of time just refining our prepping. We had the quick and dirty bare minimum done (we have a car seat, bassinet, some clothes, some diapers, and feeding supplies ready), but this week we kept working on making things a little more ready. We washed everything we’d gotten from our shower (within reason; we didn’t wash the books, obviously), and we made sure the car seat carrier was clicked into the base in Dan’s car. We also worked more on packing out hospital bags. I still need to clean out the back of my car so we can install our second car seat base. Oh, and I’m also playing with setting up a separate Instagram account for this blog (with the handle @cecinestpasunmommyblog), so feel free to follow me over there if you’re on Instagram.

Dan packed his hospital bag, but after our meeting with the doula, we realized that we should organize things into a bag for before I give birth and for after I move into recovery, rather than a his and hers bag. So we repacked all the stuff we need for the actual birth in my bag and put the things I was going to bring for after giving birth into Dan’s bag. We also got snacks for Dan and packed everything edible up into a separate bag so we don’t need to worry about food leaking onto important things. At this point, I feel like we’re about as ready as we’ll ever be for the actual birth, plus we live close enough to the hospital, that we can probably run home for things if we need them.

Thursday I had my first weekly appointment with my OB. I go every week now, which is actually kind of nice, since I like my OB’s office and they’re pretty good about fitting me in for the earliest appointment possible so I can go and still be back at a reasonable hour to start teleworking without taking time off. I got to the office before 8 a.m. this week and it was kind of neat being the only patient there. I definitely feel like I’m starting to recognize the nurses and get to know people. It’s kind of funny, though, because other than measuring my vitals and fundal height, checking heartbeat, and asking if I have any questions (and checking my cervix, starting this week), there’s not really a lot to do during an appointment. I’m usually out in less than half an hour. I’m having a very boring pregnancy. I think I’ve been asked if I’ve chosen a pediatrician three times, simply because they’re looking for something to ask, kind of like when you go to an interview and you feel like you need to have something to ask when the interviewer asks if you have any questions. But hey, boring pregnancies are good, right?

I’ve also been working on freezer meals. The doula also had the brilliant suggestion (I really need to do a post of “brilliant suggestions my doula has made that seem so simple but I didn’t think of them”) that instead of carving out some time to make a bunch of “freezer meals” and free them, we should just make extra dinner when we’re already cooking for the night and freeze half of it. So I’ve made a point to make double-batches of some of our go-to dinners and we now have four dinners in our freezer, ready to go once the baby is here and things are crazy. We’ve also stocked up on some Trader Joe’s staples (their char siu bao are my favorite), and we’ll get some bags of frozen veggies to augment some of the Instant Pot curries I’ve frozen sans veggies.

How I’m Feeling:

I had the distinct feeling that the baby might have dropped this week. Starting about Monday evening, I definitely noticed more pressure in my pelvis. It’s odd because I don’t actually feel like I’m having pressure on my bladder. It’s like my bladder has found some sort of pocket dimension to hang out in so that I’m not the stereotypical always-peeing pregnant lady. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining that I don’t have to get up more than once at night to pee, but it’s just weird because it’s the one consistent complaint I’ve heard from people. I also think my acid reflux might be getting slightly better because I missed my morning Zantac the other day and didn’t even notice for an hour and a half, when usually I’m starting to feel it an hour or so before I’m due for another dose. When I had my first cervical check at the doctor, she mentioned the baby was at -1 station, which isn’t super low, but said it probably explained the increased pressure I’m feeling. Oh, for anyone following along at home, my cervix is still closed and posterior. Cervical status isn’t a crystal ball, but that suggests baby will be hanging out where they are for a bit.

Other than that, the nagging pregnancy complaints just kind of keep ramping up. My hips are getting sore more easily, particularly in the inner hip creases where I bet my ligaments are loosening. I find that making time to do some labor-prep stretching every day really helps. On days when I don’t do the full Spinning Babies routine or some yoga, I’ll do my top four favorite exercises from the Spinning Babies routine (three of which are also recommended in my Hypnobabies course). I think I’ll post a bit more about exercise in some detail later this week because I haven’t really posted about it since the second trimester when I was still going to barre 2-3 times a week.

Current Cravings: pecan pie (no one in my family but me likes it so I didn’t make one this year)

Exercise: 2.8 average miles/day walking, yoga twice, Spinning Babies Daily exercises once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Winter melon

Other Posts This Week:

Pregnancy Cravings: Date Nut Bread

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Maintenance Check-In #1

pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-four Weeks Pregnant

2009/365/111 Fresh Stuff

More milestones this week! This week, we actually made our first purchase for the baby. We bought our travel system (car seat and stroller) and an extra car seat base. Technically, since we have a bassinet and a lot of clothes from friends, this was the only thing that it was absolutely crucial for us to buy before the baby came (they don’t let you take the baby home without a proper car seat). We also made a trip to Ikea to get a little furniture for the baby. We’re not doing a full nursery right away because the baby will be sleeping in our room for the first several months, at least, but we do need something to serve as both storage and a changing surface, and I wanted to get a chair to use for nursing upstairs.

We opted for a nice padded wing chair with an ottoman in a rather loud floral design because it felt nicer to sit on than the sleeker, less expensive chair we initially had thought we’d buy. Luckily, the wing chair is not much larger than the sleeker chair, and it already fits nicely into the corner of our room. Interestingly enough, Ikea even had a staged bedroom with a crib next to a queen-sized bed, so that was a nice way to see how our room might look later on. Even more fortunately, we were able to find a friend to help us move the boxes in from the car, as I realized I couldn’t help Dan get things inside and upstairs.

Thirty-four weeks is making things start to seem a lot more real. I’m finishing up my Hypnobabies self-study course this week and entering “maintenance mode.” We have basically everything we need for the first few weeks of baby. Over the next week, I’m going to order what I want to get for my hospital bag and pack that next weekend. I don’t feel frantic or like “we’re not ready,” at least logistically. But it’s a little intimidating to think about how much our life is going to change in not too long. Technically, the baby could come in three weeks and not be considered that early.

How I Feel:

I’m mostly just getting bigger and dealing with all the repercussions of that. I’m having a little more back pain, and noticing that I need to support myself more consistently when I sleep. I’m definitely sleeping worse again, and part of that is just because it’s getting harder to get and stay comfortable while I sleep. My belly definitively gets in the way now when I’m trying to put on leggings, tights, or shoes. And I’m finding it harder and harder to bend over to reach things on the floor. Even the cat has learned that she needs to come up on the stairs or on a table if she wants pets from me.

This week was also my last week of barre classes. I’m actually still enjoying the classes themselves, but getting out of the house that early to make it to a 7am class has gotten harder. Things just take me longer. And sleeping poorly means that 5:30am feels a bit more difficult every time I need to get up. So I decided to cancel my gym membership for November instead of trying to go through November. But I still want to keep up my fitness as much as I can, so I’ve looked up some prenatal Pilates and barre workouts on YouTube to see if I can do a little something on the days I would normally go to barre. And, of course, I want to get back into the habit of doing my yoga.

Finally, I’ve managed to do something awful to my left shoulder. After suffering from a migraine with aura earlier this week (the doctor was unconcerned and it faded in about 24 hours), I was on high alert for potentially worrying symptoms, so at least I managed to injure my left shoulder, rather than the right, which could be mistaken for a serious issue. I believe it was a delayed soreness from carrying my gym back on Wednesday, so hopefully that will not be a problem again. After one sleepless night unable to get comfortable with my aching shoulder, I hope it’s as on the mend as it seems to be.

Current Cravings: Korean food, chocolate pudding

Exercise: 3.1 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Butternut squash

 

This Week’s Posts:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Five Recap

Pregnancy Cravings: Tea and Cake

 

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pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-three Weeks Pregnant

Celery: Septoria apii (late blight)

Still going, moving through the home stretch. The baby shower is done and we’re moving into the final months of the pregnancy. This week was my second-to-last week of barre classes, as I’ve decided to cancel my gym membership starting in November. I’m still enjoying classes, but I’m finding it harder to get out of the house early enough and the extra 10-15 minutes of walking with a heavy gym bag is getting to be a bit much.

This week was also Dan’s birthday. We had a pretty low-key evening, but I didn’t want the day to go completely unrecognized (especially since right around this time last year wasn’t so great for us). So I made tacos (his favorite dinner) and got him a coffee siphon that he’d been eyeing. He’s excited to try it out, but we had a bit of an eventful weekend and didn’t have time to go out and get fuel for it.

His parents and family friend visited this week because they weren’t able to make it to the shower last weekend. We had a lovely lunch with them at a local restaurant, and then came back to our house for tea and cake. I actually made a delicious Harvest Cake, based on a recipe from Nourished Kitchen, along with decaf Earl Grey and a home-blended spice tea. I’ll probably share my recipes for the spice tea and cake later this week, so stay tuned.

How I Feel:

I’m definitely starting to feel “big.” I’m starting to feel the baby interfering with various organs, particularly my lungs. When I called my mother earlier, she was surprised to hear me huffing and puffing a bit on a relatively easy walk to work. And I had a talk with the doctor at my appointment this week about my asthma, since pregnancy can make that worse. So far, I haven’t even needed to use my regular inhaler, but I’ve definitely started keeping it with me.

My sleeping patterns haven’t really improved, though I’ve tried to be better about getting into bed earlier at least. I still wake up either with hip pain from sleeping on my side, or just from dry sinuses or general hormones. I usually wake up around 4 or 5, which makes it difficult to get back to sleep in time to actually get more sleep before my alarm goes off around 5:30 or 6.

Finally, I’ve continued to be remiss in my yoga practice, mostly because I tend to prioritize my self-hypnosis practice over yoga when I have down time. But I need to get back into the habit of working out on my own for when I stop going to barre next month.

Current Cravings: Chocolate pudding, pizza

Exercise: 2.8 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Celery

Posts This Week:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Four Recap

Baby Shower Recap!

[Image source]

pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-one Weeks Pregnant

Random observation this week: The most unexpected people smile at me when I’m on the street now. Not like a creepy, hitting-on-you smile, but a “seeing you made me feel happy” kind of smile. It’s kind of strange, but oddly nice. I don’t get a lot of smiles from strangers, probably because I have a fairly serious resting face, and it’s nice to notice a side effect of pregnancy on my interactions with strangers that isn’t about them disrespecting boundaries.

Well, I started out this week by getting another bad cold. Sunday was a very not-fun day and I was particularly glad I’d gotten the shopping done the day before. Monday, I stayed home, even though I didn’t have a holiday like my husband. Tuesday, I had to go back to normal life. Tuesday, Dan also came down with the same cold, so it feels like we spent most of the week collectively recovering from the cold. And then Thursday, I had my 30-week growth ultrasound. I was a little nervous because this is often the first point at which doctors want to point out that your baby is trending big.

Baby is pretty much right on track, measuring about average in estimated weight, though with a rather large head. And baby has hair! It was the first thing the ultrasound tech said when she started the scan. Also, 3D ultrasound is kind of cool. Oh, and since they’re estimating the weight of the baby, I’ve started thinking about the baby’s size in terms of fractions of our cat’s weight. Baby is currently about 40% of our cat’s weight.

Finally, the big news of the week is that we finally got some autumn weather! After complaining about the persistence of summer on Tea Leaves and Tweed and having a truly dismal day on Thursday, the weather cooled off considerably on Friday and Saturday it was cool enough for a lovely walk around the lake in the gorgeous weather. I’m hoping this makes it easier to do my walking as I move away from going to the gym as much (or at all).

How I’m Feeling:

Well, I was sick Sunday and Monday, and recovering Tuesday. So I didn’t feel great. But other than having a cold, I’ve been feeling okay. My belly continues to grow and I’m noticing still more indigestion/heartburn. I actually had to take a Tums in the middle of the day the other day!

I’m also noticing that my belly is putting stress on my back more when I walk. I bought a support belt and wore it once to walk to work, but I think I’m going to have to make that a more regular occurrence if I’m going to keep walking.

I’ve also had more trouble sleeping this week for some reason. Part of it is that I’m noticing more stress on my hip bones while sleeping on my side, which wakes me up in the middle of the night, but I’m also just finding myself waking up between 4 and 4:30 in the morning and being unable to fall back asleep… until about 6 when I need to get up for work anyway. I actually averaged a whole hour less of sleep per night this week than the night before. Consequently, I’ve developed a subtle twitch in one of my eyes, so I’m striving to mend my sleep habits before I notice too many more adverse effects.

Current Cravings: a bagel with cream cheese (seriously, I stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts and got a bagel with cream cheese on my way home the other day because I just could not stop thinking about it)

Exercise: 2.1 average miles/day walking, barre once, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: a bunch of asparagus (or nearly half a cat)

Other Posts This Week:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Two Recap

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month