Nothing Exciting

I thought for sure last night was THE night. I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes that were lasting 45 seconds to over a minute. I was nauseated and energized. I had lots of pressure, you know, down there.

But no, I’m still waiting for this boy to decide to enter the world.

My view throughout the night as I continued to contract without a lot of sleep:

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Only one of many more nights to come with limited sleep. Bring on the feedings every two hours, though, because I’m ready!

My Appointment

40 weeks and 4 days.

That’s 284 days.

That’s a lot of days.

Today’s ultrasound appointment went pretty well. The ultrasound showed that my placenta looks nice and healthy as does my son. He is guestimated to be 7 lbs. 9 oz. (give or take a pound as the ultrasound tech informed me), which is a pound and 2 oz. heavier than he was last month, but still pretty close to average. There is plenty of amniotic fluid in there still, too, and he is practice breathing pretty well.

The appointment with my obstetrician went, too. She is obviously getting more nervous the more/longer pregnant I am. She told me point blank today that she would be “cutting me off” at 42 weeks. I asked her why she would be imposing a deadline besides the slightly increased rate of stillbirth and placental failure.

She said, “I don’t have another medical reason other than my heart just can’t take it.”

I didn’t answer, I just sat patiently, and she eventually added that in her practice, no one goes past 41 1/2 weeks. She said she has never had a patient with gestational diabetes go all the way to 42 weeks, either. She gave me kudos for maintaining ideal blood glucose levels and keeping my weight so steady and sited these things along with my son’s weight/size (and ideal blood pressure and no swelling) as her reasoning for being willing to work with me and try to allow things to progress naturally.

At this point, I reassured her that I wasn’t having any sight problems, that I have no swelling since I quit wearing flip flops, that I haven’t had any headaches, and that really, I feel great other than some sore pelvic muscles. I reassured her that he doesn’t make any spastic movements but that instead just jabs and rolls frequently throughout the day.

She then asked if we could try for an induction instead of going straight for a c-section at 42 weeks. I told her that I wasn’t willing to have the gel (cervidil–an artificial prostaglandin gel that is supposed to ripen and dilate the cervix) or Pitocin, so that if I’m not dilated quite a bit we were out of options.

She then said she wouldn’t want to use the gel or Pitocin on me either, but that she would like to to try a membrane sweep next week if I am dilated. She also said that if I am dilated enough, she would like to artificially rupture my membranes at the 42 week mark if things don’t happen naturally/with the membrane sweep by then.

I told her that I might be open to induction via an artificial membrane rupture. My husband and I will have to do some thinking and praying on that front. I’m still hopeful that I go into labor all on my own before then! I find it hard to swallow to have an end date imposed on the pregnancy if all is well.

So, my prayer and hope is that I go into labor before 42 weeks so we don’t even have to address the end date.

Thank you, everyone, for all of the well wishes for today’s appointment! It was so good to see that my son is measuring just fine, that there is plenty of amniotic fluid and that the placenta is still looking perfect! Thank you all so much!

Tomorrow Is Important

I have an appointment for an ultrasound with biophysical profile scheduled for tomorrow.  I’m a bit nervous. If everything isn’t ideal, my obstetrician will want to impose a deadline on this pregnancy–a line in the sand that reads natural labor must begin by X date or a cesarean will be happening.

I’m pretty sure nothing has changed with my cervix yet; so I’m still not a good candidate for an induction. I’m also not a good candidate mentally for induction. The mind-body connection being what it is means an induction would probably not be a good choice. I say probably because I’m just not sure of much right now.

I’m am pretty sure, though, that my son is still within normal growth range. But, get this, I’m actually worried now that his growth might have leveled off. I know, I know–I find too many things to worry about. That’s kind of in my job description as mother I believe. I’m worried that his growth leveling off will be interpreted as a sign of a failing placenta. Eva’s growth pattern, though, suggests that my babies just do most of their growing in the second trimester.

So, lots of nerves today. I had been very zen about it all, until today. Now I just need good results tomorrow at the scan so I can return to my zen state.

I’m Still Here

The title says it all! Still no baby.

I must say it is quite fun to go out in public and freak people out, though. Well, not really freak them out, but watch their reactions when I answer their baby-related questions. Almost everyone wants to know when I am due.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a lady at the dentist’s office that went something like this:

Lady: “When are you due?”

Me: “Yesterday.”

Lady: (Wide-eyed) “Oh, are you scheduled to be induced then?”

Me: “Nope.”

Lady: (Looking even more concerned and wide eyed now) “How many babies are you having?”

Me: (Pointing to Eva) “Well, I had her and now I’m having this one.”

Lady: “Looks like you could pop at any moment!”

She then proceeded to ask if it was a boy or a girl and the name and if Eva is excited, etc. All the normal chatter that complete strangers really have no business initiating but can’t seem to resist.

I know, I know, I should graciously accept such things, but I have a hard time with strangers inquiring about my unborn child. If there is more than a passing comment or the typical “how much longer” question, I tend to get protective. If the conversation then gets directed to Eva to ask her all about how she “feels” about having a new baby, I get even more annoyed with the conversation.

Yesterday, I wanted to tell this woman to quit asking questions and mind her own business. I also wanted to tell Eva that it is ok to not be excited, that there are a million other emotions in the world she can be feeling about suddenly having a baby in the house. But I didn’t.

So, I am continuing to wait patiently for this baby of mine to make his appearance. I’m losing patience with people, but not so much with waiting.

Today Is My Due Date

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Well, I’m 40 weeks today. Still no baby, obviously. I’m still waiting patiently (for the most part).

I haven’t participated in a typical pregnancy update post yet, so I thought why not? There is no time quite like the present. Besides, if I’m lucky, I will be in labor any moment! Ha! I can keep on dreaming, I know.

How far along: 40 freaking weeks, baby!

How big is the baby: Well, I don’t know. The last ultrasound, done a month ago, guestimated him to be 6 lbs 7 oz.

Total weight gain: 5 lbs.

Stretch Marks: Well, stretch marks and I have a long history. It’s hard to tell if I have any new stretch marks, but I can’t imagine I don’t.

Sleep: About four hours at a time, minus pee breaks. I need two pillows for my head, one for between my knees, and another to hug if my husband isn’t in bed.

Symptoms/Feeling: 

  • Tired, mostly.
  • I also have a very sore lower belly and mons pubis area. It is all sore muscles. My muscles attached to my round ligaments like to cramp every once in a while as well, too, which isn’t pleasant.
  • My nipples hurt. That isn’t new either.
  • Really irritable when I am having contractions or I have been on my feet too much.

Miss anything: Wine, sleeping on my belly, jogging (it just isn’t possible these days), being able to take Ibuprofen when my back hurts. Nothing too major.

Best moment this week: Riding in the car with my husband laughing because the baby was seemingly grooving to the beat of the song. My husband could see him moving, too.

Food cravings: I am mostly interested in small amounts of food. I just want a little here and there, but I want to eat frequently.

Food aversions: Not really. I wish I suddenly hated all things unhealthy or something crazy great like that, but no. I just stay away from the bad stuff, despite really wanting some chocolate cake when it is in front of me. The gestational diabetes is under control still, thankfully. Still no medication for that.

Gender: A boy.

Movement: He has a schedule in there. There are specific times every day that he is still for about 20 minutes at a time taking a nap (I assume) and other times that he is ALWAYS active and moving. I can almost set my watch by it. Sadly, he is moving the most when I am ready for bed. This is going to be a problem I’m sure.

Labor signs: I haven’t have any contractions (not even Braxton Hicks) in a little over 24 hours now, which is actually a little frustrating. I feel like things should be getting more frequent, not less frequent. Pregnancy constipation is not an issue, if you know what I mean. I don’t know if my cervix has done anything because I am choosing not to get checked. Some extra mucus discharge is happening (gross), but nothing to write home about. I keep having these bouts of swinging from super energized to super tired.

Belly button in or out: In, but very, very shallow. I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago, and the scar from that is completely 100% visible. Kind of creepy looking. My husband likes to say it looks like my belly button is smiling. I don’t see it, personally, but that might be because I literally can’t see my belly button without using a mirror.

What are you looking forward to: I am looking forward to labor and delivery! I am ready to meet my baby boy, and I am ready to rock this labor stuff! I also get an ultrasound this coming Friday. I’m excited to get one more peek at my boy for reassurance before the big day (maybe, unless I go into labor before Friday, which I’m not counting on).

Milestones: I have been pregnant longer than ever before at this point!

Bump: See photographic evidence above that it isn’t a bump, it is a giant mountain. Mole hills be damned! We skipped that stage. I can’t walk up stairs without hitting my belly with my legs. I can’t drive without my belly touching the steering wheel anymore. I know this can’t be safe, but I can’t scoot any further back in my car because I have a manual transmission and I have to be able to depress the clutch completely.

Wedding rings on or off: On. I am glad to say I have no swelling most days. I get a little puffy around the ankles when I wear flip flops instead of tennis shoes, but that is pretty normal during the warmer months even when I am not pregnant.

Happy or moody most of the time: I guess moody, but I feel like this is such a misnomer. Pregnant women have a LOT to think about and prepare for before labor ever happens. There are so many things that need to be thought through and addressed and pondered, and it can be a lot emotionally and intellectually to sift through. I cried to my husband in the car over the weekend that I don’t necessarily trust my body to eject this baby if he needs it suddenly. That is just one example of a realistic fear that results in a “moody” moment. So, yes, I just wrote a book because of one little question. Good thing I haven’t been doing these all pregnancy.

The chain we have been using to count down the days to my due date is all used up. We left one lonely link hanging up for Eva to pull down on the day that her little brother is born. It seems strange to see it on the wall. We started with something like 245 links, and now we are down to one.

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I don’t know how soon or how long it will be before I get to write a post announcing the birth of my son, but I just want to tell everyone now that every kind word of encouragement and congratulations I have received along the way has been so unexpected and so wonderful!

When I began my journey to becoming pregnant, I didn’t expect to have difficulty conceiving. I didn’t expect to find so much wisdom, support and friendship via a blog through my infertility journey. I then didn’t expect to find so much excitement and support and wisdom when I finally became pregnant.

I can’t express to all of you how much I appreciate all of you and every like and comment you all have made! Thank you all for being my friends and cheerleaders and being better than any other source of information. Thank you all!

One last photo before I go. The picture below is a photo I took when I first found out I was expecting.

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39 Weeks 5 Days

Written in the middle of the night:

Well, I should be exhausted. I slept (intermittently, that is) about four hours total Thursday night. I didn’t nap at all Friday, instead spending the day with my mom (which was pretty great) running all over to shop (well, browse really) a little here, there and everywhere.

After picking Eva up from school, she packed some clothes and off we went to meet her grandma and grandpa on her father’s side. She is spending the weekend with them, where she will probably stay up late, eat like a horse (she always eats better for her Nana) and play with her baby. Her baby is a 10 pound (soaking wet, maybe) daschund that showed up as a stray about two years ago. She convinced her grandparents to rescue him, and ever since she has been proudly calling herself his Mama.

We went over what she would like to do if her baby brother decides this is the weekend he will make his appearance. She also has some cousins that will be visiting at her grandfather’s home this weekend as well. So, she wants to come see her brother after his arrival and then return to her grandparents until either we come home or it’s time for school on Monday (at which point my mom will stay with her at our house). She said she wanted to play as much as possible with her cousins. There are contingencies in place in case she changes her mind, though.

But, here I am at 1:41 am Saturday morning, typing…not sleeping. I am energized!

My poor brain is trying to keep up with my body, but my body has most definitely quit making sense. I have been doing some Spinning Babies activities (spinningbabies.org, a must for the pregnant woman wanting an ideally positioned baby, in my opinion), and I have completed two rounds of my usual prenatal yoga routine. I’m still wide awake.

I haven’t had a single contraction all day. I don’t think this burst of energy is the beginning of labor, but I don’t know what it is.

I find my brain to be in limbo. I’m having a hard time firmly grasping reality, unfortunately. I find it hard to believe that I am currently waiting for my son to arrive.

My son. A real baby. My real baby.

I have officially been pregnant longer than I have ever been in my life. I have been pregnant for 278 days (give or take a few). But, still, even after 278 days I forget I’m pregnant. I will stand up to make my way to a different part of the house only to realize suddenly that, oh yeah, I’m pregnant as my giant round bellied shadow looms next to me. Then I take another step and I’m reminded again as it feels like my hips might just decide to run for the hills if it means no longer having to support the wide load that I have become.

As I try to think about the reality of this tiny being locked up in my cozy uterus, I am at a loss. I suppose it isn’t going to be real to me until he is in my arms, or maybe as he’s crowning. Kind of hard to ignore reality as your hooha is being torn apart I would guess.

So, as I wander around my quiet house, I will continue to contemplate my soon-to-be reality of more late nights.

Decisions, Decisions

Today at my obstetrician appointment, my doctor was obviously disheartened to learn that I haven’t made any progress toward ejecting this baby boy of mine. As a matter of fact, she said that it seemed like my cervix was even farther back than it was two weeks ago.

She also confirmed what I suspected this morning–my son isn’t all lined up and ready to go anymore. He has pulled his head out of my pelvis and has it firmly planted in my left hip region (which she said explains the cervix feeling more posterior than it did previously).

Next Monday, I will be 40 weeks. I asked her what, if anything, will be changing about my appointments if I go past the 40 week mark. She said starting next week, she would like to begin seeing me twice a week (did I mention she is about an hour away from where we live?) to complete twice weekly non-stress tests so she can keep an eye out for a failing placenta. She said whether I get cervical checks is completely up to me. She also said that she wants an ultrasound at the 41 week mark to check everything out and check his size.

My favorite part of the appointment was here, after she mentioned his size, she paused and asked me what did I think about his size (big/small/average). I told her that I thought he was still small because I was much more uncomfortable with my daughter at this stage than I am with him. Eva was only 7 lbs 2 oz when she was born at 39 weeks and 3 (or was it 4?) days. I also told her that it had been a long time, though, so my memory is fuzzy, but it definitely didn’t seem like he is abnormally large.

She then asked me how far I wanted to go before any interventions. I told her that I would go as long as I needed to if he isn’t showing any signs of distress. I also told her that because of my philosophy on this, I wouldn’t be consenting to an induction.

If things reach a point that she thinks he needs to come out, then she would need to make sure he really needs to come out very soon as in can’t wait another day. To me, in such a situation, that would mean a c-section is in the best interest of my son. I told her I would need to see that either there is obvious distress or it is obvious that the placenta is failing.

She agreed wholeheartedly with my statement. She said she does not like to use Pitocin on someone with a previous c-section anyway, so if I did want an induction it would be guaranteed to be a long process because she keeps the Pitocin at the lowest level possible. She also told me that right now, my body isn’t favorable to a successful induction (posterior cervix, still only barely dilated). So, she didn’t see a point in trying for an induction, either.

I forgot to ask her what she thinks about stripping membranes, but I’m quite sure I already know her answer. Her stance on pretty much everything touted to be labor-inducing is that if you aren’t already favorable to labor, right there on the edge, then it won’t make any difference.

We covered some differences in policy concerning c-section between the hospital where I previously had my c-section and the hospital at which I plan to deliver this go around. The last time, the hospital insisted on leaving the epidural in place for 12 hours following the procedure. It wasn’t delivering any medication after 8 hours, but it was still in place. At the new hospital, it comes out within a couple of hours, and the medication given is more similar to receiving a spinal block. The urinary catheter stays in for 12 hours, unless I really, really want it out sooner (which I doubt will happen because the first time I got up to pee post c-section was beyond horrible for me, and that was about 16 hours post-op).

I also told her that the anesthesiologist last time gave me some kind of anti-anxiety medication as soon as my daughter was out without asking for my consent. I was not okay with this. She kind of looked shocked by this and then reassured me that this wasn’t something that happens in her OR.

I need to ask her about skin-to-skin in the event of a c-section, I suppose, but I still fully plan on going into labor one of these days soon. I still have time, and my son is still doing just fine. He has responded well to every non-stress test so far and he is still active. We have no reason to think that we won’t be able to do this naturally still.

As we were wrapping things up, she asked me specifically (which I found surprising) to name a week/end date. I told her we would just have to wait and see how things are going at 42 weeks, but that she should keep her fingers crossed that I go into labor before then. She nodded and held up crossed fingers for me. She also said she would check to see how busy things were supposed to be on the 42 week mark in the morning, in case we decide to schedule a c-section. I know she will be really, really hesitant to go any further than 42 weeks because of my gestational diabetes. I will have to be very sure that he is fine to convince her to continue without c-section at that point.

All in all, it was really nice to hear her asking me what I was thinking/feeling and then listening. She seemed doubtful that I would be able to stand the physical discomfort all the way to 42+ weeks, but I reassured her that this isn’t about my level of comfort at all and that I have been through a c-section before and being uncomfortable for a couple of extra weeks still hands-down beats a c-section recovery. No contest there. I still don’t think she believes me. But, I suppose many women need things to happen within a certain timeline for work and maternity leave and the added discomfort on top of that financial stress can result in a woman begging to get that baby out RIGHT NOW! This was definitely my reality when I was 39 weeks with Eva.

So, fingers crossed and prayers up that labor happens sometime in the next couple of weeks so we don’t even have to evaluate the need for a c-section!

Nothing But Blue Skies

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77 degrees (Fahrenheit) in my neck of the woods. It’s warm enough I feel the need to use the lovely air conditioning in my car.

Spring is almost here, which quickly gives way to Summer for us. I am looking forward to wearing flip flops on a daily basis without getting strange looks. I have already embraced the flip flop season since it now requires I hold my breath to tie my shoes. Some people don’t seem to understand why I would wear flip flops when the thermometer clearly says 45 degrees.

I just realized I am a little over a month away from Eva’s 7th birthday. I’m not ready for her to be that old.

But that’s it for my randomness today. I hope everyone can enjoy some sunshine soon!

39 Weeks (Well, a few hours shy, anyway)

The end is in sight…I hope.

This baby boy of mine has been pretty cooperative during our almost 39 weeks of adventure. Tomorrow technically marks 39 weeks.

I can tell this baby is starting to really run out of room, though. His movements are slower (except for the startle reflex moves that happen every once in a while) and more deliberate. He is obviously trying to stretch a little instead of just play.

I’m getting pretty uncomfortable and ready as well. I have made it much further than I did with Eva before hitting the “Get this baby out of me” stage. I’m hoping this sentiment will prompt my body to get everything prepped.

I’m also hoping that my son is producing lots of surfactant in his lungs since that triggers a hormonal cascade to signal readiness for birth.

You know the old saying, “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride?” Well, I think maybe that applies here. I can wish and hope all I would like.

I declined getting my cervix checked at my 38 week appointment. I didn’t want to be disappointed to hear that my cervix is still only dilated to 1 cm. I told my obstetrician when she asked if I would like to be checked, “Nah, let’s live in suspense.”

She made some joke about living on the edge and then told me a story about a patient. She has a great sense of humor, and she loves to share stories that are similar to the situation. Some of which are really helpful and others not so much, but I’m losing focus. Back to my point.

Did you know that the average American woman carries her baby 41 weeks and 3 days if left alone? I’m still hoping this week is my week.

So, what’s going on with me physically you might (I highly doubt) be asking. For those that might be curious, and let’s face it, just because I feel like telling someone (other than my poor husband who has to be tired of hearing my complaints), here is the run down:

  • I over-did it a bit the last couple of days (it was for a very important cause, though!) and the results are my first bit of swelling since my first trimester. My ankles and feet are puffy. Nothing extreme, but I can feel it.
  • My pelvic muscles are really angry at me for my over-activity.
  • I have 4-8 contractions a day, unless I’m tired or sore. It seems like my body thinks it is a bad idea to have contractions if I’m already exhausted or already have sore muscles.
  • I have 2-8 contractions every single night that are strong enough to wake me up.
  • My seasonal allergies have combined with the increased mucus production that is typical of the third trimester to create the perfect mucus storm. I am taking Benadryl at night so I can breathe.
  • My blood glucose levels are still within favorable ranges, but some days I have to eat more carbohydrates. The days that I need more food are also the days that I am contracting about once an hour.
  • Some days I have to pee every 30 minutes. Other days, I only go as often as I used to (I’m attributing this to position changes of my son).

I am still trying to be proactive about getting my ideal birth (VBAC, drug and intervention free). What I’m doing:

  • Walking daily for at least 10 minutes twice a day. I couldn’t be happier that the temperatures have finally gone up. Usually, around dinner time it is around 70 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside. Eva couldn’t be happier to be my walking buddy.
  • Practicing prenatal yoga as needed or at least three times a week. I could barely walk this morning when I woke up. After about 20 minutes of yoga, though, everything had stretched and relaxed enough for me to walk comfortably. It never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference it makes.
  • I am drinking raspberry leaf tea in an effort to make sure my uterus is toned and ready.
  • I am prayerful daily, making an effort to sit quietly and meditate on getting my body to open up and let my baby out.

So, that’s where things stand at the moment. I am seven days away from my due date. I’m still thinking my real due date is the 18th instead of the 23rd, though. Only time will tell when I actually give birth, but the countdown continues.

I feel the need to say that my husband is an amazing man. He has been doing much more than his fair share of the household chores. Today and yesterday he did pretty much everything around the house. My house could certainly use some deep cleaning, but the fact that he is helping so much with the daily tasks has made a huge difference for me.

Hopefully, the next post I post will be a birth announcement! If you are a praying person, send some my way if you would! I greatly appreciate all the prayers and well wishes I have been receiving both in the real world and from my fellow bloggers!

Peaceful New Baby Plan: Nursing

I know I have mentioned laid back breastfeeding to several of you in various posts. Well, here is a bit more about it as well as some very important points about managing labor and delivery pain with medication.

Thank you, Bright Hope Mom! Great post!

Bright Hope Mom

I’ve been thinking about breastfeeding our second child since I started having so much trouble with the kidlet. It certainly was an occasional source of worry: what if it happened all over again? Could I handle it emotionally? How on earth can you manage exclusive pumping, a toddler and a newborn?

When we knew this little guy was on the way, I found myself asking these questions more regularly, and so, of course, the time came for me to do a bit of research. I had already read Breastfeeding, Take Two: Successful Breastfeeding the Second Time Around, and had been encouraged by Stephanie Casemore’s experience in breastfeeding her second child after exclusively pumping for her first. In this book, the author also mentioned biological nurturing (laid back breastfeeding) and I went to the internet to find out more. After reading all of Dr Colson’s publications that were available online…

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