Thursday, July 28, 2011

36.5 week check-up

Here's my woefully unflattering 35/36 week photo. Although if I do say so myself, Roxanne looks adorable. This photo was taken on Saturday, and I hit 36 weeks on Monday. Just to give you an idea... :)
Here's a sequence of photos I took of Roxanne in the "atrium" at Northside while we were waiting for our "family tour" on Sunday. We got to visit different areas of the labor and delivery/recovery/nursery parts of the hospital. It was very very educational. Northside is definitely very different from Piedmont. Even if just in terms of sheer size. There are so many floors dedicated to babies and mommies! It also made it all much much more real. It won't be long before we are in that hospital with a new baby. Some big differences between here and Piedmont. They don't put any cap on how many people are in your room during labor. No children other than siblings are allowed to visit once you move to a recovery room. Which is sad, since we have lots of beautiful cousins and friends we'd like for the baby to meet right away. Sigh. They encourage rooming in as much as possible, and keep your baby with you much more than Piedmont did. So good things! The guide also mentioned in passing that if we have an emergency where we have to get to the hospital in the middle of the night and bring Roxanne, they will help keep that under control. It's not their preference, but they assured us they are a "family hospital."
As you can see, Roxanne has a bandage on her right hand. She burned her finger/knuckle on the grill the other night. We didn't take her to the hospital (maybe we should have?) but we've been keeping it clean and Neosporin-ed up, and it's healing beautifully. But she loves talking about it. Her favorite part? Telling people that it was an accident, but that Daddy wasn't paying attention. Oops.

She likes her shirt that I made. The top itself is a super cute hand-me-down from my sister, and I got these flocked iron-on letters from Michael's. I've been looking for cool "big sister" shirts for a while, but no luck. This one will do. :)

So, today I had my check-up with the midwife. I'm about 36.5 weeks. I'm measuring 37.5 weeks, but I've been measuring about a week ahead for a while now, so no big news there. Heart rate sounds good, and measured at 141 beats per minute. I'm convinced this baby is a girl... I also asked the midwife to check me, and she reported that I'm currently 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. I'm very much hoping that it's an indicator that I'll go into labor in the next week or two, and maybe avoid an induction on or around 8/15. I'm having a few other symptoms of early labor, so fingers crossed it will be sooner rather than later. Of course, I'm probably jinxing myself... Either way, I've got one more week of work, and my next midwife appointment will be early next Friday. But to be on the safe side, I think I should probably go ahead and pack the hospital bag. I can't believe it's time to do that! It's crazy how things move so fast even when they feel like they are crawling... I'm also done with my summer semester, which is really a big relief. Unfortunately, I don't have much energy to do all the cleaning, etc. I need to be doing. On the upside, we've been getting in some extra pool time after work, and it's wonderful for all of us. De-stressing and de-swelling. Perfect!

I apologize if that entire thing was incoherent. I'm really sleepy. All the time... It's like I have mono. Or a giant baby in my belly...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

34/35 weeks

I had my midwife appointment last Friday. It was short, and not much news, but the nice part was that the midwife let Roxanne "help" a lot. It was very cute. She got to stand up on a stool and help with the doppler and help measure my belly. So cute! I'm still measuring large, but at the same proportion as last time, so the ultrasound results should still stand, putting the baby in the 62nd percentile for size. She didn't mention anything about another ultrasound, just that "we'll have to make an executive decision at some point" about the c-section versus not. I go back in two weeks.
I'm feeling OK. Just trying to wrap up about a billion things while also keeping my feet up as much as possible. The swelling in my feet and hands is starting to be obtrusive, in part because of the heat I think. I need to be drinking more water, but it's rough! Having to run to the bathroom every five seconds is trying enough, but when you add extra water, I might as well just stay within five feet of a restroom at ALL times. The baby's room is coming along well. I'm going to post photos on the house blog, but here's a few shots of the room, just for fun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Some Roxanne photos...

OK, so I still can't find my camera charger, but my bosses have the same one, so I charged the battery at work. I asked Justin to take a few pictures of Roxanne in her dress up clothes while I was in class last night, since she almost always puts on one princess dress or another once she gets home. These were on the camera once I checked it after class.Here's a portrait of Justin by Roxanne. She loves taking pictures these days. I find this one particularly awesome.
Here she is in her Belle dress, with the addition of fairy wings. How can one make a princess even better? Add wings.
Yeah, she really really really likes pretending to be a princess these days. Can you tell?
She's also become a big fan of making weird hand gestures in photos. She's like a frat boy making some kind of secret hand gesture every time we get the camera pointed at her. Except hers have no relation to the Greek alphabet.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of (rainy) July!

I hope you all have had a nicer fourth than we did. Well, that's not true. Ours was nice, but not what we planned, thanks to all the storming. We went to our neighborhood pool party, which was surprisingly fun. It was a pot luck, and I brought some baked squash and zucchini, which I promise didn't taste like a wintery dish. They are both in season right now, so the Farmer's Market had a lovely selection of them. Anyways, we had a nice time at the pool, but after we finished eating, it started thundering and the lifeguards made everyone get out. It seemed like things were only getting worse storm-wise, so we ducked out and went home. Roxanne and I napped while Justin mowed the lawn... We ventured back out later and had dinner at the new Big Tex Cantina in Decatur (yum) and tried to gauge whether or not the fireworks would be cancelled. By 9:30, it was still raining with intermittent lightning and thunder so we gave up and headed home. Roxanne got a consolation "dirt and worms" sundae at Bruster's on the way home. Late bedtime for Roxanne means tomorrow is going to be rough, but oh well. That's what holidays are about, right?

This weekend has been nice, but it went by way too fast! We wanted to get as much done on the baby's room as possible, since we are closing in on delivery day. But more on that later... We got out the baby clothes we had saved from Roxanne, and rewashed all of the 0-12 month stuff and are in the process of putting the roughly ONE BILLION outfits into the dressers in the baby's room. The good news is that we have plenty of gender neutral stuff in 0-6 month sizes. After that it's more girl-specific and summery, which won't work too well based on the fact that this baby will be 6 months old in winter-time, and the fact that it could be a boy. Although that is highly doubtful... We also sorted baby gear, and washed carseat covers and put things in easy reach for when the baby is actually born. We are so lucky to have more room this time around, and also so lucky to have such wonderful family to share equipment with. The only thing we need to purchase for the baby is the crib, but since my aunt and uncle gave us a pack and play with a bassinet attachment, we aren't in a huge rush to get it. We've settled on the Gulliver crib from IKEA, which with a decent mattress (also IKEA) will cost under $200. It was not an easy decision to not use Roxanne's beautiful crib, but after hours and hours of research on the new crib safety standards, we decided that spending the money would be worth the peace of mind. It's never a good sign that we would actually be breaking the law if we tried to resell Roxanne's crib. Seriously. It is now illegal to try and resell any drop-side cribs. Even thrift stores, etc., are no longer allowed to. If we knew this baby wasn't going to be a climber, or would only be in the crib for a short time, we'd definitely have just used it. But considering this is at least a 3 year deal (including the time that it will be used as a toddler bed) the extra investment just seems worth it. Can you tell I still feel a little guilty? On the upside, IKEA's cribs are rated very well, and they conform to European safety standards, which are more stringent than the American ones. Phew. It's amazing how much has changed since we had Roxanne...

As for the nursery, we got some art on the walls, and really only have three or four things left to do. I finished knitting the pouf stool I've been working on, so now I just need to find time to stitch it up and stuff it. Soon! I'm also planning to make a mobile. I've been looking around online and I think I have some good plans, but we'll see. A big "to do" is to replace the light fixture in there. There is currently a rather rickety ceiling fan that is ugly and makes me nervous when the fan is running. I think we have a fixture we could use in basement (bought when we moved in but never installed). I'm just not sure how I'll get my 8 month pregnant self hoisted up and able to balance things well enough to switch the fixture. Justin could probably do it if I walked him through it, but I know he doesn't like dealing with the electrical stuff. Maybe we'll just call in some friends to help... :) I did finally finish the curtains this weekend though. I'd take photos, but even though I finally got our camera to work again, I now can't find the battery charger. Sigh. Trust me, the room is coming along, and looking cute. But if anyone has any leads on where to find CHEAP but large storage bins for toys, please let me know. That's one thing I haven't been able to find.

For the baby update: I had my ultrasound last Friday. Justin came, but it was a little anticlimactic, since we didn't really get to see much of baby bumblebee. We saw the top of the head and the heartbeat, but no face, no little feet, etc. And we certainly didn't get any fun pictures to take home! Oh well. I guess getting an ultrasound to determine the baby's size is probably not the time that they do all the fun stuff. As far as that goes, they estimate the baby to be around 5 pounds 5 ounces, which puts the baby in about the 65th percentile, which is great! After that I had a good visit with Judy, the most senior midwife at my practice, who I *really hope* will deliver the baby. She is very straightforward and doesn't sugar coat things, which can be hurtful sometimes, but she definitely knows what she's talking about. She said that I've done very well with my weight gain so far (I'm up about ten pounds since I got pregnant) and that might be helping with the baby being more "average" for weight. The downside is shoulder dystocia is apparently VERY hard to predict and can happen even in second or third deliveries, and even with smaller babies. So, for now, her proposed course of action for delivery is to schedule an induction for 39 weeks if I don't go into labor on my own before then, and go ahead and have a doctor on call in case I end up needing a C-section. If they schedule the induction, she said they will watch very closely for ANY kind of slow downs at any point in the labor. If any slow downs occur, they will proceed with a C-section, under the assumption that the slow down could be related to shoulder dystocia. I trust her judgement on things, in part because she is currently researching shoulder dystocia extensively because she's helping to defend a midwife who was involved in a "bad case of shoulder dystocia." I found out after Roxanne's birth that shoulder dystocia is apparently a big source of liability lawsuits for midwives and OBGYNs. It does surprise me a little, since shoulder dystocia only happens in about 1% of births.

Here's me at 33 weeks:
On an unrelated note, Roxanne has been telling me often that she is "so excited about the new baby." She has been playing pretend babies very very often the last month or so, too. Poor kid, I hope she feels that way in two months when she isn't getting as much attention anymore... She loves putting baby dolls or stuffed animals (also called babies) under her dress and then having them "come out" even though she tells me she doesn't know how they got in there. She tells me she has lots of babies in her belly and they kick her all the time. And she reminds Justin often: "You don't have a baby in your belly, Daddy, you just ate a lot of food." Poor Justin. He really doesn't have a belly though. Honest. He's as trim as ever. She basically talks non-stop these days (what's new?) and has started really showing her social inclinations. She wants to talk to everyone. She waves at strangers on the sidewalks and if they wave back, she tells me she made a new friend that she's never seen before. We've been gently trying to introduce the whole "stranger danger" concept, but I think it's not sticking at all. She wants to talk to anyone and everyone. I think she's going to really like starting pre-school in September. And let's hope that having a sibling around will help a little, too!