Friday, February 21, 2014

31 Weeks

("You just look so cute! Pregnancy looks good on you" - a very sweet comment from a coworker today. Why can't more people have comments like that? It's the perfect thing to say to a very pregnant woman)

Thankfulness: I am thankful that I made the excellent decision to go to bed last night at 7:30! I feel so much better than normal today, had time to do some yoga in the morning, and am looking forward to a great Friday. 

How Far Along? 31 Weeks. In the single digit countdown - 9 weeks left!

Size of the Baby? Pineapple. He should be around 3 1/2 lbs and around 16-17 inches. 

Sleep? I'm now waking up so much I can no longer keep track of how many times it happens. Usually it's every 1-2 hours now. On the plus side, I think getting up so much helps with the intense hip pain I get when I sleep. I'm also sure this is great practice for things to come :). 

Eating? While there was definitely plenty of room for improvement, I have been doing much better this week. Fruits and vegetables are once again making regular rotations, and dinners have been protein heavy and yummy. We had a super delicious Valentine's Dinner (on Monday - life has been busy) that was fantastic, and had some wonderful meals out while we were in Tucson. 

Filet Mignon with gorgonzola butter, smashed potatoes, and arugula salad. Yum!

Exercise: I've definitely transitioned myself to yoga and easy walks making up my workouts. I'm pretty okay with that, especially now that some hip and pelvic pain has made too much walking pretty challenging. Yoga has been lovely though, and I've been trying to do at least a little every morning. 

Best Moment? Spending time with family in Tucson. 

We had the great fortune that both Tom and Irma and my parents were spending a weekend in Tucson, so we were able to meet up with them. We spent most of the day with my parents, going to Sabino Canyon and taking in resort living at the place they were staying. We had lunch with Tom and Irma, too! Crazy that the next time we see everyone, we will hopefully have a baby :). 

Other amazing moments were receiving two very special gifts!

Ed brought back this amazing diaper bag made my my Aunt Mo. It's so special and I can't wait to use it. 

Yesterday in the mail, we got another super exciting package from my wonderful friend, Christine. How cute are these outfits!?! Especially the CAL onsie, which I'm sure was a bit hard to buy, Christine being a Stanford alum and all :). After we opened these, Ed commented that we may not be able to allow Evan to grow up, since little baby clothes are just so amazingly cute. 

Milestones: I'm pretty thrilled that I haven't had any contraction scares since Sunday (coming home from Tucson they were fairly intense, but thankfully calmed down after stopping for some gatorade and getting some rest). But, nothing crazy during the work week! Also, my principal officially announced that I'll be taking a year off to the leadership team, which makes it more real. I've been making good progress on getting all of my paperwork completed and am making headway on getting a long-term sub, though the pickings are slim, which is concerning. 

Mommy Update:  I've been very focused on taking it easy and listening to my body, which definitely seems like the right call. After work, my main focus is resting. Poor Ed has had to pick up some of the slack, but has been fantastic. It's still such a balancing act to figure out what I can safely do without overdoing it. 

Baby Update:  All of Evan's 5 senses are now fully functioning! He's continuing to put on about 1/2 a pound a week. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

30 Weeks

("You are so big! Your baby will be huge!" - Coworkers and strangers are no longer so polite. I can only imagine what people will start saying over the next 10 weeks)

Thankfulness: I am thankful for an understanding job that has really been great dealing with this suddenly more eventful pregnancy. Long story short, I had to leave work an hour in because of contractions. Everyone has been very caring, which is so nice.

How Far Along? 30 weeks! We're 75% there.

Size of the Baby? Cucumber. He should be around 3 lbs and around 16 inches. 

Sleep? A couple nights where I only woke up twice, which was lovely! Also a couple where I woke up every hour and then permanently woke up at 5. So, very much hit and miss. 

Eating? Can we skip this? Between all the contractions and Ed being out of town, I ate horribly. So badly, I didn't even journal. Ed was very sweet and cooked lots of yummy treats while I wasn't feeling well, but they weren't always the healthiest choices (french toast...mmm). This week will be better. Hopefully. 

Exercise: As you saw if you read my last post, this was a super tough one for me. I did yoga on Saturday and what apparently was actually a 4 mile hike (I thought it was only 2 - no wonder I just about died). I spent the rest of the week recovering from the hike and trying to keep the contractions away, so did practically nothing. A few yoga moves, but even those were sometimes problematic. This is going to be a real test to rethink this category for these last 10 weeks. 

Best Moment? Hearing the baby's heartbeat is always so special, and I got to hear it twice on Wednesday! In addition, I found out I passed the glucose test and that Evan is now head down - so lots of good news. I also really enjoyed learning more about breastfeeding from the lactation consultant that came to our family circle. 

Milestones: Experiencing 5 minute apart contractions for a whole day? I keep telling myself this is helping me prepare for labor, but it sort of sucks. Reaching 30 weeks is pretty exciting though. Our midwife classes have also switched to twice a month, which is exciting. 

Mommy Update:  No longer at all confident about the contractions. Even when I feel like I've had a normal day, I still will sometimes get 10 minute apart contractions. It's definitely frustrating. I feel like I just need to sit and do nothing in order to keep them in the "safety zone" (20-45 minutes apart makes me feel like I don't need to worry). That said, all the extra sitting around has helped me appreciate and experiencing Evan's movement more. I've also really been enjoying that he's big enough that I can feel him push against my stomach from the inside as he moves around, which is really special. Other fun 3rd trimester symptoms have begun, like heartburn and stretchmarks, but no swelling, which I'm very thankful for. 

Baby Update:  Evan is really noticing light and dark more, and is starting to get a more defined schedule. I've noticed that he tends to move around a good amount around 5am (when I'm up then, I feel like he's keeping me company). His skin is getting smoother, his brain is getting more wrinkled, and he's strong enough to grasp a finger! Keep growing, little boy :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Changing Identity

Ever since I started thinking about having kids and being pregnant, in that concrete, sometime in the future way (rather than the "I'm 13 and love babies" way), I had a vision for what I'd be like as  a pregnant woman. And, especially once I became a runner in college, that vision always included me being very active. 

Ideally, I'd still be putting in lots of miles and getting to be one of those women who stayed super strong throughout pregnancy. 

Then, reality hit. First trimester was sort of a wash with feeling sick all the time. But, at 12 weeks, I was really to recapture that vision. I set a goal of 5 days a week of activity and was hitting it most of the time. I was even running again! Plus, I started doing more hiking than I had ever done in our time in Arizona. Life was wonderful and it felt like I could be that person I'd imagined. 

Then I hit 24 weeks, and things started changing. Running became really uncomfortable, so I had to switch to just walking (and was totally fine with that). But then the contractions started. 

And suddenly this whole idea that I could just push myself to keep doing fun, active things got a very heavy dose of reality. The past 5 weeks have been a struggle, trying to figure out what I can still do - what is safe for me and the baby - and Tuesday and yesterday I hit a wall.  

Apparently, going on a challenging hike Sunday was way too much for this pregnant body, and Tuesday afternoon, the contractions that I'd been getting since 24 weeks suddenly became more frequent. As in every 5 minutes frequent. For a frame of reference, it's considered concerning if you get them every 10 minutes, so double that is pretty bad. 

Having already called and gone in for frequent contractions before (but never this frequent), I knew the strategies to try, and spent the rest of the night trying to get things under control, with some success. But, when I woke up, they were back and in that 5 minute range again. Again, I did my strategies and got them mildly under control, so I headed to work. But it became clear an hour in that they weren't going to do what I needed them to do. After a talk with the school nurse (who is wonderful), a call to the midwives, and a tearful conversation with the school secretary, I was sent home to rest and visit the midwives as soon as possible. 

The wonderful news is that it doesn't seem like there's a correlation right now between all these contractions and labor. They checked me and did a test that can predict with 99% accuracy whether your body will go into labor in the next two weeks, and it was negative, so that is very good news. I still had lots of contractions all day, but after a good night of rest, they do seem a bit better. 

This was definitely scary enough, though, that I really do need to rethink how the rest of these 10 weeks of pregnancy will look. My midwife has asked me to get my FMLA paperwork in order so that I can take days off of work here and there when I get a bunch of contractions like I had yesterday, which hit home for me that being as active as I was hoping to still be is out at this point. If I can't even always go to work, I certainly can't go out for big hikes on the weekend, or maybe even go to the gym. Thankfully, yoga should continue to be a good choice :). 

Obviously, I will do anything in the world to keep this little boy of ours safe, but it is mentally very hard to have to know that no matter how "strong" I want to be, I cannot control my body or how it handles this pregnancy. I'm sure there's a good lesson for being a parent wrapped up in there, but for now, I'm just adjusting to this new normal. Hopefully, if I can actually listen to my body and take it much easier, this will be the last big scare of this pregnancy. After all, as my midwife said, it won't be too, too much longer until contractions become a good thing and we'll be ready to welcome our little boy into the world. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

29 Weeks

("Your little boy has certainly been growing a lot lately!" - Well phrased comment from a coworker)

Thankfulness: I am thankful for beautiful Saturdays. Ed has been doing professional development the last 3 Saturdays, which has allowed me to indulge in full days of yoga, napping, and reading. And, I'm so thankful for the lovely winter we've had, and the arrival of spring - definitely the best Arizona season. 

How Far Along? 29 weeks - one more until that wonderful 30! Can't believe it's been over 2 months since we found out Evan was a boy - 20 weeks was such a huge milestone and we're so much past that now. 

Size of the Baby? An acorn squash. He should be over 2.5 lbs and around 15 inches. 

Sleep? Eh. Couple of nights of insomnia, coupled with a couple nights where I was waking up every 1-2 hours means I am a lot more tired. Hope we can just go back to 3 times a night :). 

Eating? Food journaling has actually been helping. I've been eating a lot more protein and have set a "goal" of one dessert food a day. Maybe that's still unhealthy, but it's helpful. We have some yummy ice cream treats at work, so that's been my choice, usually, but it's helped me pass up donuts in the workroom and just stick with some berries for an evening dessert. 

Exercise:  I finally faced my fears and headed back to the gym. Had to drink a ton of water while I was there, but I successfully did 40 minutes of walking plus weights. Got to yoga twice, and went on a few walks with Ed. Sciatica has started reappearing, but I'm hopeful that the yoga will keep it manageable. 

Best Moment? Probably officially telling work that I will likely be taking next year off on leave. I'd talked to human resources about it a few weeks ago, but I finally let my principal know, which is a huge weight off. It also lets me start feeling excited that in a little over two months, I will be done! Work is definitely getting harder, so I am really thankful that, so long as little boy doesn't arrive early, I'll have a couple of weeks to get lots of naps and rest.

Milestones: Starting our Bradley classes! We had our first class Monday and really enjoyed it. There are 3 other couples, though only 2 were able to come to the class. It was a lot of introductions, both to one another and to the program. We talked about how we currently handle pain, the goals of the program, and got to practice the key exercises we'll be doing daily, as well as learn about the food journaling. It is a bit of a drive to get out there (about 30 minutes) so it makes for a long and late Monday (we got home about 9:45), but I am feeling very happy that we chose to do this. If nothing else, it will help me to have a healthier last trimester of pregnancy and feel more prepared going into labor. It's also nice to meet other couples due right around where we are. 

Mommy Update:  I've discovered I can't get too confident with this whole pregnancy thing. I got bit by that, both with sleep and with the contractions. I'm still able to be relaxed about them, but did have a period one night where they were coming every 6 minutes for a while. I just need to accept that things will be happening that I can't control, but I should trust that it's very unlikely something will actually start going wrong. 

In general, I am so very happy to be this far in the pregnancy. Despite the emergence of some less than fun symptoms that make me much more uncomfortable, I absolutely love being in the 3rd trimester, feeling Evan moving around so much, and the peace of mind that even though we want him to stay in there for a long time yet, he could be born now without too many long term health issues. I feel like I can start getting excited about his arrival and believe that we'll really be having a baby in a few months :). 

Baby Update:  Evan should be getting closer to his final length, and will start focusing on just putting on weight. He movements have become a little more quiet, but still there plenty. When I'm awake in the middle of the night, he is usually moving around, which makes me feel like I have company. His lungs should be fully developed and the fat deposits he's developing are giving him extra energy. I've been trying to figure out his position from his movements, but I am just confused. He was transverse at our last appointment, but I'm hoping he's maybe moved into head down. We should find out at our appointment this week. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

28 Weeks

("When are you due?!?" - Almost every stranger I interacted with this week)

Thankfulness: I am thankful that I am feeling more relaxed this week about the contractions. I have *sort of* figured out what to do, which more or less means lots of water, but haven't had any freak outs this week, which I'm super happy about. On the downside, I was sick all week, but I am also thankful that it was a mild cold and I'm feeling much better. 

How Far Along? 28 weeks - in the final 12 week push :). 

Size of the Baby? An eggplant. Baby is around 2 1/2 lbs and around 14 inches long!

Sleep? New normal is waking up around 3 times a night. I also had two early wake-up days. That said, Ed and I have been a bit lazy and sleeping in until 7am most mornings this week, which has been so nice. Technically, I can still make this work since I don't have to be at work until 8:30. 

Eating? I haven't been nearly as health focused as I should be. Ah, well, I know that with our Bradley class starting this week, I'll be starting to keep a food journal, and hopefully that'll keep me making better food choices. 

Exercise: With being sick, I took it pretty easy this week. I did go to yoga twice and we walked the riparian preserve twice. Nothing intense, which could also be why I didn't have any nights of crazy contractions. I'd like to phase back in some low key gym time this coming week - I'm hoping that as long as I'm better about hydration, that'll work. I want to keep up my strength!

Best Moment? I'm not sure that I can pinpoint a specific moment, but I think just feeling baby body's increased movement, and getting to share that with Ed is pretty amazing.

We also made another "big" baby purchase - our glider!

I've been scouring Craigslist for months, hoping to stumble upon a good deal. I couldn't bear to spend upwards of $200 of a new glider and even considered doing without. However, after rocking our nephew on our Christmas visit to Visalia, I decided that I really did want one. Originally, I was hoping to get one for around $60-75, but all of the ones that I thought about definitely looked a bit worse for wear, and the ones at $100 didn't necessarily look that much better. However, on Wednesday, I spotted this one. It looked like really good quality and, while $125 was more than I wanted to spend, it seemed like a good investment. 

Now that it's home, I am super happy with our choice. It looks like it sells new for around $500, and it looks practically brand new after having been used through nursing two babies, which makes me feel confident that it will stay nice through *hopefully*  two more. It has a reclining feature with different settings, which is fun. It looks very nice in our bedroom and I've already enjoyed sitting in it, imagining rocking our little one in it in a few months. 

Milestones: This week has been the start of apparently being undeniably pregnant. Suddenly, acquaintances and strangers have all been asking me when I'm due and all the other typical questions. It's pretty fun, and so far everyone has been really nice. I even got a little special treatment on a school visit - the principal made sure I had a place to sit in the different classrooms we visited. While I felt "lazy" I actually really appreciated it, as we were visiting for 2 1/2 hours, and it started to feel like a lot of time on my feet. I am trying to be super proactive about not overdoing it.  

Mommy Update:  As I mentioned, I had the misfortune to get sick this week. I was incredibly lucky, though, that it was just a mild cold, without even a fever! I felt pretty bad all weekend, but really have been in recovery mode since Monday afternoon. Contractions have gotten longer and more intense, but have overall stayed nice and irregular. 

Baby Update:  Evan continues to be moving around a lot. Once night it felt like he kept doing flips. Ed went close to my belly and asked him what on earth he was doing in there :). He's now opening and closing his eyes for the first time in 4 months and is also probably dreaming while he's sleeping. Only 3 months until we get to meet!