Maternity Monday: This body isn’t holding up like it used to

We’re getting ready for a work trip. A seven-day long work trip. I’m thankful that Bryan is coming along with, but we’re going to miss Maximus a lot. This weekend we tried to cram a lot of family fun into the short time. Then life got in the way. My neighbor had a garage sale and we decided to take our piles over. Five hours of standing and re-arranging is a lot for me at this point. I was fine during, but as soon as I sat down for lunch I realized that I was beat. I could barely keep my eyes open. {More so from Maximus waking up at 6:30 I’m sure.} My feet were sore, even though I had tennis shoes on. By the time we got done with lunch, Maximus and I were looking at a 30-minute nap before we needed to be at a birthday party.

A 30-minute nap is never adequate for a toddler, especially when he didn’t get enough sleep the previous night. In predictable toddler fashion, he played in his bed very loudly during the 30-minutes. I peaked in on him and he had a bunch of golf clubs and egg shakers in his bed and he was sitting up. He was very quiet about pulling all the items into his bed, but was not quiet about playing with them. Eventually he was singing at the top of his lungs and shaking the eggs as hard as he could. I put my feet up and listened to the endless noise while Bryan got ready. It was enough of a rest to realize that I was exhausted and had no energy to get up. I did anyway and then prayed that Maximus wouldn’t fall asleep 5 minutes before we needed to get him up. Feeling so exhausted made me a little nervous about my trip. It’s a physical event, lots of walking, standing, and not much down time. It’s basically go-go-go for seven days. I wasn’t worried about it until this weekend when I realized I need to rest a little bit. Here’s to hoping that I’ll be able to rest a little and wake up each day feeling refreshed.

It won’t surprise anyone that after a three-hour party, Maximus crashed as soon as we got in the car. Before we got off their street, I turned around to see eye lids falling and drool coming out of his mouth. He wanted nothing to do with me trying to keep him awake and basically opened his eyes to glare at me. Watch out son, mama’s only going to get more annoying!

 

Falling asleep at 5:30 is by no means ideal for a toddler who would probably wake up at 4:30 the next morning, so Bryan tried putting him in the living room. Thankfully, he was sitting up on the floor when I came in the house. The next two hours were less than perfect. He was crabby and not a very good listener. We made it through and he went to bed at 7:45. Only to wake up at 6:30 again on Sunday. What I wouldn’t give for a weekend of sleeping in until 8. His new wake-up time snuck up on us. I can’t pinpoint when he stopped getting up at 8, but I sure do miss it!

On Sunday, we both got in a nap. Maximus held out a little longer than I did, but we both looked refreshed afterwards. Now, if only it was acceptable for me to go to bed at 8 too. Anyone else read bedtime stories through yawns as the toddler asks for more books?

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Thirty-seven weeks

July 21

After reaching the 9 month mark, thirty-seven weeks is considered full term. If I start having contractions between now and week 40, they won’t stop me from going into labor. That’s a huge milestone!

Stats from this doctor appointment:

  • 36 1/2″ inches
  • Lost 2 pounds
  • Heart rate of 135

During this week’s appointment, my doctor asked if I was having any contractions. It’s hard to explain the emotions behind that response. I felt like I was giving the wrong answer when I said no. I felt like I should have been experiencing them. I felt like saying no meant I was definitately going to go over my due date. For the first time I felt anxious because I didn’t have anything to report. Even though I was three weeks from my due date, I still felt like it was expected that I would be. I understand why they ask. If you say yes, then they’ll check you to see how soon this baby will arrive. If you say no, then life continues on. But, when the doctor asks you that question you feel like you need to tell her yes. Just like when she asks if you’re still taking your prenatal vitamins. You quickly respond with the right answer – YES!

I could only think of one thing to report to my OB. I told her that I had started getting a side ache the day before. As I was laying down, she was figuring out how LBL was positioned. (Still head down and in the same spot he’s been the whole pregnancy.) I asked if the side ache was really a body part that hadn’t been pushing on something before. As she was feeling around my uterus, she asked if I could tell it had tightened up. I hadn’t noticed but I could tell the side ache had increased a little and I could feel it on both sides. I felt mildly uncomfortable, but assumed it had something to do with laying down. (At 37 weeks pregnant, laying down on the table is extremely uncomfortable! Shooting pain across your back…) She told me I was having a mild contraction! That made me feel a little better after her previous question about contractions.

It made me a little anxious the rest of the afternoon and I analyzed every pain. Finally I convinced myself that the mild pains didn’t matter. When the time came for the “real” ones, I’d know without a doubt. There’s no point in being anxious about mild pains. Or what they call your body preparing for real contractions and labor. After all, why not let my body do some pre-work so the real thing can go faster and smoother.

Something new:
After months of trying to tackle the waves and curls of my hair, I’ve finally taken a new stance. Curly to straight product! At times I’ve given in to the curl and put in curl product. I’ve reached the point where regardless of how much I straightening my hair, it’s still wavy. So, I’ve inlisted the help of some curl to straight product. I’m anxious to see if this goes away after LBL’s arrival. Over the years my hair has moved away from it’s natural straight, but I’m not ready to spend this much time getting the style I want!

Thirty-six weeks!

We’ve made it to the nine month mark! Only four short weeks to go!

Stats from our latest doctor appointment:

  • 36″ inches from top to bottom of belly
  • 30 lbs gained
  • LBL has dropped some from two weeks ago and is still head down
  • No sign of contractions
  • Major pelvis pain
  • Lots of back pain (not to be confused with back LABOR)
  • Heartbeat range from 140-145 (up a little from two weeks ago, maybe due to the fact that he was doing exercise moves right before monitoring him)
  • Semi-swollen feet due to the high humidity

Things I’ve learned this week:

  • This doctor appointment marks the beginning of weekly appointments (Ok, I didn’t just learn this, but you might not know that).
  • Waddling has become a form of transportation for me. A really tender pelvis, large uterus, and growing baby will create that scenario. I’m afraid this form of transportation is around for the remaining weeks.
  • Getting out of bed (or changing positions) is way more painful than it was before. To give you an idea of what it feels like — basically I wonder if my pelvis will shatter while I’m trying to move. Yes, it feels that amazing.
  • Getting out of bed between 2 am and 4 am is a nightly occurence. If I’m lucky I’ll sleep up until that point.
  • Dogs don’t care that you’ve got a massive belly, they still try to snuggle next to your head. Sometimes that means they headbutt your belly on the way up. Some may say they don’t have any depth perception. I call it denial. He’s seen that nursery, he’s just pretending life hasn’t already changed.
  • When you reach this many weeks and this size, your husband offers an arm upon instinct. It must be easier than listening to the groaning of a woman trying to manuever her way off of something.
  • I wonder if my husband will always fill up my water bottle and stick it on the bathroom counter while I’m showering. It’s become such a major part of his morning routine. Or, will he continue to put my morning snack into Tupperware before he leaves in the morning?
  • You get funny looks if you go to a bar when you’re 9 months pregnant. Your husband gets even better looks when he tells someone in the men’s bathroom that he’s at the bar with his 9 month pregnant wife. Imagine all of the men in there who don’t know how long a pregnancy really lasts…
  • Some days pregnancy feels like a night of too much fun and too many drinks. Other days it just feels like you worked out after many years of laying on the couch. (Much like my first week back to softball during my childhood. The aches and pains of steps and basically moving.)
  • Some of my maternity pants are getting a little snug.
  • Some of my tops are getting a little short.
  • LBLs name has been decided! It was actually decided a few months ago, but we’re confident that we don’t like anything else. But, it’s a secret!
Thirty-six weeks – July 14

 
 

 

 

Preparing – mentally and physically

I’m supposed to be taking you on this journey with me, right? I’m not sure how well I’ve expressed the feelings associated with pregnancy. I’ve done a lot of explaining about what’s happening to my body, but have I covered the mind? I’ll see what I can do to change that.

I’m a planner. I’ve told you before that I like to procrastinate just to feel like I have some form of control. But, even with the best procrastination methods, I’m still a planner. Imagine waiting for something that is completely out of your control. Imagine trying to plan a vacation around a day you think might be the right day. Imagine trying to prepare your career and personal life around a tentative date. And these plans aren’t just one or two days away. It’s TWELVE weeks away from your job. It’s preparing for anything and everything that could happen during those twelve weeks. It’s digging deep into the abyss of your semi-sharp pregnancy brain to summon the list of everything you’ve done in the past year that could come up while your gone. I’ve spent the majority of my time lately writing down processes. Given my educational and professional background, instructions shouldn’t be too hard. After all, my goal in life is to make things clear and concise. But, imagine that you are waiting for a life-changing event to happen. On top of that anxiousness, you need to tell someone how you do every aspect of your job. Like I said, I’m a planner. I hope that when my time comes to walk out this door, my office will reflect ease and organization. I’m no where near either of these things right now. In fact, I’m the exact opposite. I’ve got notes all over my desk for things I need to make sure I do before I leave. Before when? Exactly! Sometime before I leave. I’ve got files scattered around my office. Things that need to be filed. Things that have needed to be filed for MONTHS. I’ve got projects I need to finish up. I’ve got a lot left to do before this random date appears. This date that could be August 12 or this date that could be sometime in July. I can say with confidence that my communications are ready. All this planning has helped me draft about 15 emails that need to be sent out when I leave. It’s too early to send them out now (assuming I’m still here in August), but I’m eliminating any pain and forgetfulness when I do go on leave. Pushing the send button is a lot less work than drafting emails when I’m not in the right mindset.

I can say with ease and confidence that my home is ready. There wasn’t much to it. (Ha! That’s a blatant lie.) The office was cleared out, the walls painted, and the nursery furniture put in. Baby clothes, baby blankets, and baby bedding was washed and put away. The room was organized and decorations began to take shape. (No, there are no holes in the walls yet.) The pack ‘n play (also known as a play yard) has been sitting in my living room since the middle of June. The stroller system has been parked in the spare bedroom since the end of June. Sure, there are some things that I still need to get but I’m anxiously waiting for Babies ‘R Us to send me the coupon that I’m told you get four weeks before your due date. Well, the coupon department must not be very good at math, because we’re at three weeks! I’d really like that 20% coupon before I buy a baby monitor, swing, and breast pump. So, while the nursery sits unused and mentally we don’t really know what we’re getting into, we’re ready to bring LBL home. We’ve all got a lot to learn, but we’re all new at this so we’ll figure it out along the way.

I keep saying that I’m a procrastinator. With “three” weeks to go, I haven’t packed my hospital bag. You’d think a planner would have packed that thing months ago. Well, what am I going to put in it? The toiletries that I use every day? The clothes that I’m currently wearing because that’s all that fits? The books that I might read before I go to the hospital (because I don’t know when I’m going!)? The iPod that is probably sitting on the counter dead? (So why not use my husband’s, which is always charged and has many more songs. But he uses his every day.) The suitcase is sitting in my closet, ready to be packed at a moments notice. The planner in me decided if I wasn’t going to pack, I could have the list made so anyone could pack for me. Well, the list hasn’t been made either. Making that list requires energy. More importantly, it requires my body to be somewhere other than the couch. So, I leave it for another day.

Is the car seat in the car? Nope! If we put the car seat in, that means we should really be ready. Why fool ourselves in that sense? The diaper bag is packed. But, now that I say that I can think of a couple of items I need to clean before putting in there. Both items aren’t essential. I don’t plan on using a pacifier or bottle while I’m in the hospital, but I’m planning for the unknown. I’m planning for things that are outside of my control and may not follow the intended plan. So, I suppose I better get those cleaned so I can say with certainty that the diaper bag is packed (and sitting in the crib).  

Each night that goes by, I breathe a little easier knowing that I didn’t have to rush around and pack things up. I find comfort in one more day to get things done. I know I’m only fooling myself. Last I heard, babies don’t work off a 9-5 schedule. LBL could decide he wants to show up in the middle of the night so he can be here to see a sunrise. One of these days I’ll step out of my comfortable denial stage and start bringing my computer home so I can be prepared for the day he decides to show up. And maybe I’ll pack my bag, because who wants to drive 45 mins to a doctor appointment only to have the doctor tell you to check into the hospital? This girl doesn’t! But, until LBL starts showing me that he’s thinking about coming out, I have a hard time thinking I have anything less than three weeks.

Nursery Update!

The nursery is 99% complete! It would be more complete if the rocking chair we purchased wasn’t broke. Yep, it isn’t straight and it doesn’t rock completely because there’s a piece of wood that extends too far in the back. It’s quite the bummer because it’s soft and overstuffed. We haven’t decided if we’ll try another one to see if this was just made of really poor quality. We’ll make that decision when we return this one.

Baby Leger's nursery

 

The walls have been painted. One wall is brown and three walls are blue. To put my husband to the real test, I requested stripes. I left the choice up to him and at the last minute he decided to do it. I know how much he wasn’t looking forward to it so it means a lot to me that he went through with it! I know it wasn’t easy to do and he’s a perfectionist when it comes to painting so he’s not 100% satisfied with it yet. But, to me, it’s perfect!

Baby Leger's crib

 

The nursery furniture is also put together! The following pictures aren’t the layout of the room, but rather where they were placed during the assembly process. Bryan had to unload them by himself so not only did he bring them into the house, but he got them into the nursery and then I helped him put them together. We’ve basically flip-flopped the layout from the assembly positions. It was a fun process for us to sit in the room and put together the furniture for our little boy. It was a good bonding experience and a good connection to the baby. Bryan had spent more time in the nursery since he painted the room, but it made it more real for both of us to spend a couple of hours sitting on the floor of the nursery.

You’ve seen Baby Leger’s bedding already, but now we get to display it! It matches the furniture perfectly and looks great with the colors!

Baby Leger's changing table

 

The four-drawer changing table. The changing pad has a baby blue cover on it. I love this because it will be perfect for baby and boy. The two-drawers that you can see swivel out so they are triangle-shaped. The changing table is already full of diapers and wipes and receiving blankets and bath towels and wash clothes. Everything on or in this table has been washed and folded in anticipation of Baby Leger’s arrival.

Baby Leger's bookcase

 

Baby Leger’s bookcase! Look at all those books from my great family and friends! The great thing about this bookcase is that you can take off the bottom and put it on the changing table to make it into a hutch. This will be great when the room needs to be a little more spacious.

Thirty-four weeks

Do you feel like I’m posting these weekly updates every day? I sure do! I feel like what should be weeks are passing in a matter of days. And not in the seven days to a week fashion. More like one or two days and then it’s a new week again.

My body is slowly taking on a new form. It doesn’t look any different to the outsider, but I can tell.

  • For instance, driving leaves me feeling a little short of breath. On the flip side of that, it makes me so thankful that this little boy sits so low. I’d hate to have him taking over my lung space ALL of the time! I’ve been trying to find a position for my seat so I don’t feel this way, but I can’t quite find it. I always forget about it until I’m driving across town. Luckily I don’t feel the same way when I’m sitting in the passenger seat. I would quickly dread the 45 minute drive to the doctor appts. or the hour drive to Des Moines that we seem to be making all of the time.
  • Hiccups have become a much bigger deal. I do mean this in the literal sense. No more, touch my belly to feel the hiccups. We’re at the point where you can stand across the room and watch the hiccups happen. Yep, that’s my baby vibrating my whole stomach. And yes, he likes (he probably doesn’t actually like them) to get the hiccups while I’m eating. It’s a little distracting to be belly up to a counter, taking deep breaths before taking a bite of food, and trying to ignore the vibrating going on in your stomach. So, I sit back in my chair and wait for them to pass or get less violent. Just the other day I said, “wait until you see him do this on the outside. It’s going to be crazy!”
  • Since I’ve already brought up eating, let’s continue with that theme. Here are the things that can cause me to stop eating even if I’m really hungry. 1. Moving baby. 2. Hiccuping baby. 3. Baby who’s taken over my stomach. A moving baby is ok while you’re eating, but a baby who is trying to see if he can move his butt so far that it stretches out of your stomach, not so awesome while eating. While doing this move, he can take away your capacity to breathe or your stomach space. Both of which make it difficult to eat or bend forward to eat. My solution, rub his little body until he moves and patiently wait him out. When he takes over my stomach, I don’t always feel or see him taking up the space. If I can’t see him taking up the space, I can’t get him to move. So, I sit back and wait for the feeling to pass. He’s front and center the majority of the time, so a slight move here or there can mean it’s a little more difficult to breath or eat.
  • Without explaining too much, I can say with confidence that “certain” body parts now rest on top of others. There’s not questioning that my belly bump has grown higher. I know she’s telling me that each week, but there reaches a point where it’s quite obvious.
  • T-shirts are becoming harder to wear. Sure, they can stretch in the middle, but can they cover the surface area? Sounds like an easy solution – head to the boy side of the closet. Except the boy side has shirts that have sleeves that look HUGE. So, I try on a lot of t-shirts before I stick to one that is acceptable in public.
  • Tired? Nah, it’s not so bad. I’ve slowly pushed my bedtime back to 9:30-10 because it’s so hard to go to bed when it’s light out. That means I don’t want to get up in the morning, but it’s not as bad as the first trimester. There have been a couple of nights that I’ve taken a nap after work. The nap has been well worth it, but I don’t feel like I need it every day.
  • Sleeping well? Eh, not like I was the last few weeks (or months). I officially wake up each night to go to the bathroom. I’m thankful that this hasn’t affected me the whole pregnancy, but the pain you can wake up in! Whew! Boy sitting low, full bladder, and sleeping do not equal a pleasant experience. Hoisting myself out of bed and hobbling to the bathroom are pretty painful, but coming back to bed is much easier. It’s amazing how much pressure a tiny baby can put on your pelvic bone! It’s amazing how much pain you can have just turning from one side to the other. I think that pain is something I’ll remember. It wouldn’t prevent me from having other children (because seriously, I plan on having him naturally, I don’t think it will compare!), but it’s a memorable pain. Only once or twice have I gasped out in pain. Mostly I try to be really quiet when I get up or move around. We don’t all have to wake up, right?

My thirty-four week appointment was just as uneventful as all have been the last few months. Please read that to be uneventful in a positive way. Another pound and another inch and a half gained in the last two weeks. The heart rate continues to gradually slow down, as it the norm. He’s working on a 135-138 heart rate right now. He was pretty consistent in the 145s for many appointments and has been slowly easing down. He continues to be head down as he’s been the whole pregnancy. If you sit back and think about it in a nerdy way, it’s odd that he doesn’t feel gravity or notice that he’s upside down. That fluid is just so awesome that he’s literally floating the months away in a comfortable and cozy bubble.   

Note: no picture this week. I thought about pulling out the iPhone for some shots, but that would involve walking into a bathroom. I spend enough time walking back and forth to a bathroom, I don’t want to consciously take my phone in there also.

You are who you are

Recent conversations:

Friend #1:  Kyley, you will be roughly 90 weeks pregnant at this point, however, you have always been a trooper so I’m leaving that decision up to you.  I’m not expecting you to make it until 3am, but I’m not worried about you being a party-pooper either.
Me: Thank you for calling attention to the fact that I’m always a trooper. At [recent event] I got a comment about how it was sad that people were going home at 10:30 and the pregnant girl was still out. The pregnant girl closed down the bars, but the girl underneath the belly would have done the same thing. 🙂 
Husband: Just make sure you have a bowl of water and some towels on hand for the 4 week early delivery. That seems to always work in the movies.
Friend #1: I think it has to be warm water if I remember correctly. I’ll have both on hand just in case.

Husband: Well according to [friend], you should be on bed rest and I should have a beeper…
Me: Does he realize I’m just having a baby, not suffering from a disease?