37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks (we made it full-term! woohoo!)
Gender: Girl (but I cannot pretend I'm not freaked by the idea of having the doctor declare a shocking "boy!" after delivery).
Weight gain:  30 pounds 
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Belly button in or out: In!
Sleep: Thankfully a little better!  I've learned to cut myself off of anything to drink after dinner... And less itching is also helpful.  (A couple of weeks ago, they retested my bile acids as a precaution.  Still free of cholestasis, thankfully.) 
Worst moment(s) this week: Hands down, it was during my Friday non-stress test.  I became very very uncomfortable on the table I was reclining on, feeling a little nauseous and light headed.  The medical assistant who was watching my results came back in, decided to "buzz" the baby, and I told her I was not feeling well at all.  She sat me up a bit, I tried to shift to my left side.  I felt even more light headed and dizzy and hot and told her I was probably going to pass out.  She turned a fan on and put a cold cloth on my head.  I don't think I actually passed out, just that my hearing completely faded and I sort of went into a daze and slept a bit, maybe?  I have no idea what happened, only that they took my blood pressure again, and then an RN came into the room and insisted they make sure to take my pulse as well.  I started feeling slightly better, but it took an awfully long time to completely recover.  It definitely reminded me of the close call I had when pregnant with C, followed by the time I actually did pass out with him. (And also of how motherflipping uncomfortable I was while waiting for my D&E that one time.) And again, I wondered whether throwing up, feeling like you're going to die before passing out, or actually passing out is worse.  It was a pretty awful experience either way, and made me very ready to get the scarier, more uncomfortable parts of my upcoming c-section done and over with!  (To that end, I've contemplated having an audio book playing, having nothing at all, or having some music on - any of which could easily backfire and make me feel more anxious than relaxed - but I have almost decided on just having some Jack Johnson playing on my iPod...)
Best moment(s) this week: Having my best friend in town (and staying with us) for 3 days and nights!  Seriously so fun!  We hung out, caught up, had fun with the kids, and got girlfriend pedis, which are the best kind. 
Miss anything: Can't think of anything...
Ultrasound count to date:  Friday made it 15.  Fluid level looked good (22cm) and baby is head down again.
Movement: Slowing down a bit as she gets bigger and longer.  Also, she likes to try and stretch out, and I feel her from the top of my belly to the bottom (her head is pretty low!). 
Cravings: Ice.  Chocolate (peeps) (or chocolate anything, really).
Queasy or sick: Aside from that wonky NST and a rough throat that I can't decide is because of threatening cold or the horrible air quality?  No. 
Looking forward to: Making final preparations to get ready for this baby girl.  I'm trying to keep myself busy with some last-minute things I'd like to get done over the next week and a half, hoping it will make the time pass faster.

**Weekly update from perinatolgist's office:  So, after I nearly passed out, they took my blood pressure a couple more times, and it was perfect each time.  They did a more detailed ultrasound (a biophysical profile in addition to a growth ultrasound) and it wasn't until the ultrasound was almost over that I really felt better, albeit very tired with a slight headache. Baby girl, although not very active on the NST, looked great on ultrasound - practicing breathing, moving, etc. - and it looks like she's about 5.5 pounds right now, with lots of hair.  My blood-sugar was a bit high and the midwife said my fainting episode might have been because of a spike in blood sugar after breakfast, followed by a quick drop (and that I need more protein for breakfast!), but it could have been several things, really (that table was really uncomfortable, for instance).



36 Weeks

How far along: 36 weeks
Gender: Girl!
Weight gain:  28 pounds 
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Belly button in or out: In!
Sleep: We moved the boys' bed and A started magically sleeping through the night again (I just jinxed it - watch).  But I'm still up every few hours. 
Worst moment(s) this week: Having the same perinatologist who gave me so much hope last week immediately dash that hope once she saw baby's foot still up by her head (which I knew all along).  I'm completely and totally nervous now that a c-section is the only option and it's for real.  We're scheduled for the 7th.  I mean, we're really officially scheduled!!
Best moment(s) this week: Spring cleaning-slash-nesting.  My house looks sorta awesome (though some areas still have a layer of dirt or two that needs tending to - and the strewn-about kids toys are less, but still prevalent).  Also, I've been sewing more dresses.
Miss anything: Sleep.  For serious.
Ultrasound count to date:  Friday made it 14.  Fluid level looked good (17cm), but baby was transverse, with her poor little face mushed against my belly.  We haven't had a profile shot in something like 6 weeks.
Movement: She's still in there, rolling around like crazy sometimes.
Cravings: Ice water.  Lemonade.  Lemon brownies. 
Queasy or sick: Still feeling worn on the edges from not sleeping well and like a physical collapse might be imminent...
Looking forward to: My best friend coming into town for a few days!  And for 2.5 weeks from now, when we all get to meet this baby girl!  (The next 2.5 weeks almost can't go fast enough!)

**Weekly update from perinatolgist's office: Baby girl is still looking good on her non-stress tests.  She looked good on ultrasound too, aside from being transverse-slash-oblique and being a little squished in that position.  Turns out I probably won't even get to meet the perinatologist who is scheduled to do my c section before I go in... nothing like operating room introductions!  My very favorite part of the visit (aside from the fact that they got me in and out quickly!) was before the visit, when C was saying goodbye as I dropped him off and he told me to "take my shots like a man" that day.  Maybe I complained too much about the Tdap stinging the week before?  I don't know, but that kid cracks me up!



35 Weeks (Better Late Than Never!)

yes.  I really AM this tired...

How far along: 35 weeks
Gender: Girl!
Weight gain:  28 pounds 
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Belly button in or out: Still an innie.
Sleep: I'm up at least 4 times a night all on my own, either peeing or itching, or trying to get comfortable.  Add any kid wakings to this, and the sleeping is nicht so gut.  I try to squeeze naps in whenever I can!
Worst moment(s) this week: Standing inside of Target listening to a newborn baby cry and wanting to cry along with him (instead of going "awwwwww" like normal people do).  I think there's a general feeling in our house that this is really going to happen and that we're probably not as emotionally ready as we might want to be.  A newborn in about FOUR* weeks!  Whoa!
Best moment(s) this week: My shower was so fun! 
Miss anything: Sleeping well.  And non-painful hips.
Ultrasound count to date:  Friday's ultrasound was lucky #13! (Except not so lucky... see update below.)
Movement: I've gotten to where if I can be really still and feel her a couple of times a day, I'm good.  I know her space is running out, and I can't feel her move as well because her limbs don't move - and at this stage that's about the only thing that can usually move...
Cravings: I'm loving cantaloupe popsicles (the current version features a few strawberries thrown in)!  And lemonade.  And ice water.  And I can't decide of Greek or Mexican food sounds better to me at this point. 
Queasy or sick: A little worn on the edges from not sleeping (translation: sore throat is threatening), but doing good otherwise. 
Looking forward to: Finding out what position this baby is in - limbs and all - and making some decisions about how to get her here the safest way possible.**

* Really, it's more like 3.5 weeks.  Double whoa!

** Update on perinatology visit: This week was triple fun!  Baby looked good on the non-stress test, as she always does.  And my fluid levels are good.  I told the tech about the doc wanting to check the limb positioning before we make any decisions about delivery.  She did and went and got the doc, who - because of that piked up right foot near baby's head - was adamant about c-section.  She said that the doctor who will perform the c-section can make the incision a little larger to try and make it easier to get her out, but that regular delivery didn't seem feasible.  She looked at the schedule for May 7, 8, and 9 and told me it was the same doctor those three days.  Of course it's a doctor I've never met.  And of course M had many questions I didn't think of asking (but couldn't be there because of work).

After that, I saw the midwife who wanted to recheck my liver panels because I've been itching again the last few days.  And then did the Group B Strep test.  And checked my cervix (closed!).  And said I needed another Tdap vax.

Long story short, I got the definitive news I'm going to be sectioned AND I got swabbed, poked, poked, and poked.  (Side note: the Tdap stung pretty good for like a half hour and made me really really hope that's not how the Dtap vax feels for my kids.  Man, I hate vaccines.)  Despite all this, it was the first visit where I sort of felt like everyone finally knows me there, and that, despite the strangeness of everything, my care there really is pretty comprehensive rather than piecemeal.  That was kind of nice.



April Showers Bring May Flowers

I can't believe I failed to explicitly mention my baby shower in my last post!  That's ok though, because it really deserves a post of its own!

There are very few pics where I don't look like a dork (even though M said "you look pretty!" - poor guy doesn't get to see me with my hair done or with makeup on very often lately).  Anyway, here goes with the photos. 
Baby's first Nana card!  (Nana cards are always specially hand-colored!)
Could newborn sized clothes BE any cuter?
This blanket was so soft, I wanted to lay on it!

Ladybug butt!  It's even cute blurry!
I'm really having a GIRL!
The handmade-by-grandma blanket!
Hellooooo everybody!
The handiwork of a talented sister
Yup.  Dork.
It was a wonderful time!  I got to see some of my favorite people, eat some seriously good food, catch up with friends, and "ooh" and "ahh" appropriately over all the cute girl things (and all the little baby baby dolls this girl received! so cute!).

Amigurumi doll made by my sister (she learned how just for me!)
My sisters and mom outdid themselves, I was honored by those who were there in person and in spirit.  I'm never really sure how to adequately respond to the generosity of so many people coming together to make me feel special.

I think the way I respond immediately is by eating my weight in everything sweet, like the cinnamon chips and cream cheese nutella dip my mom made.  And cake, mmmmm cake!

White cake with strawberry mousse filling and buttercream, with pink lemonade cake balls on the side!
And then there's this little gem:
They make bottle feeding look good!
A HUGE and extra special thanks to my sister for being the mastermind and hostess with the mostest! 

It rained and poured with the generous thoughts, presents and presence of so many we love; now we're ready for this little May flower of ours to bloom!


34 Weeks

How far along: 34 weeks
Gender: One soon-to-be very well-dressed baby GIRL!
Weight gain:  26 pounds 
Maternity clothes: Not as many as you would think for how big my belly is getting.
Stretch marks:  Nope.
Belly button in or out: In. Wedding ring is long gone...
Sleep: I basically sleep in two-hour stretches.  My bladder and my 22 mo. old are apparently working together to try and prepare me for a newborn.  Thank goodness for the times M steps in and takes over (with the 22 mo. old, not the bladder)!
Worst moment these past two weeks: These have been a BIG few weeks!  And besides the sleeping issues, there haven't been a lot of "worst" moments.  Still, the internal battle over how much to push with the perinatology office has not been fun.
Best moment(s) these past two weeks: Lots of them!  My last day of work, C LOVING wearing underwear and being potty trained, A transitioning to cloth diapers really well, good non-stress tests, starting back with yoga for this poor, pregnant body of mine, and having an actual perinatologist unexpectedly come in to see me and having a decent conversation about options other than cesarean delivery (then having her call an hour later and say she was re-reviewing my chart and wants to do a complete scan to make notes of baby's body and limb positioning before we make any decisions).  All of THIS is what I've been waiting for!  (But especially the perinatologist part!)
Miss anything: A small belly.  Everyone closest to me (M and the boys) have commented on how big it is.  [C said "it's just going to get bigger!" And I said "yes, and then she'll come out and it won't anymore." And he said "Then you'll get skinny!" and I said "yes!! Let's do that!]
Ultrasound count to date We've had a total of 12 ultrasounds!  Whoa!
Movement: Yes, but not as often or as large now that she's settled into one position (still face down, head down).  Still, this girl moves a lot more than you'd expect, and I can feel her back and butt moving across my belly like a metronome, counting down the weeks and days until we get to meet each other.  It's great!
Cravings: Not really.  But I'm getting ready to make some canteloupe popsicles and banana bread, so maybe those subliminally?
Queasy or sick: A little "off" if I eat too much, especially in the mornings. Or if I go too long in the afternoons without eating.  Weird. 
Looking forward to: The detailed ultrasound scan next week and seeing if attempting a normal delivery is going to be an option for us! 

**Update on perinatologist visit: When a doctor I've seen in the background since my first visit at the perinatology office walked into the NST room last Friday, I was VERY happy.  Not only was I finally officially meeting this doctor, but it was my chance to ask the questions that were swirling in my head.  She was of the opinion that vaginal delivery would not only be possible, but preferable.  Surprising to me, but she explained that cesarean is major surgery for me and, since they can only cut me open so much, does not necessarily guarantee best outcomes for the baby.  She said it's preferable to let baby try to find her own positioning on the way out, rather than being pulled or pushed to get her through an incision site.  She consulted with another perinatologist on site, and he agreed.  She said the c-section threshold would still be very low (either doc or me could "say the word" and we'd be there immediately), but I was just thrilled to have that option open back up.  I did express concern about her legs and how that would be done, but their consensus was the same. 

The doc then called back an hour later, and said "I don't know if you remember, but I did your first scan and noted the baby's positioning" and I told her she's sort of been in the background scenes since the beginning.  She said she had been reviewing everything and wants to have the positioning of everything before we make any decisions.  She said we want to "play it smart".  This doctor on that day was definitely a blessing!  I definitely have more questions (and so does M), but the fact that we're having this dialogue is fantastic.

Baby girl continues to look fantastic not only on her non-stress tests, but also on ultrasound.  Moving around and practicing breathing like crazy! 

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury