Saturday, February 28, 2009

38 Weeks!

I've made it to 38 weeks and now I'm even more sure than ever that this boy will be delivered after my due date. ;-) I woke up with a new symptom today - both my hands are swollen, but my right hand much more so than my left hand. My feet and ankles are still swollen, but not as bad as I would expect given the swelling in my hands. I think I definitely need to go swimming today. Hopefully that will help my body redistribute the fluid that is in my hands.

I was 169.5 pounds on the scale this morning. I can look at that two different ways. I either lost weight from last week, or I didn't gain any weight over the last 2 weeks. Either way, at this point, I'm up 27 pounds total.

Despite the swollen hands, the Braxton-Hicks contractions, the bladder pressure and the inability to roll over in bed without grunting, I feel like I'm playing more of a mental game than a physical one at this point. I'm anxious waiting for labor to start and I wish I knew when it would start. We have done everything we can to get ready for this baby. His room is all set up. His clothes are washed in Dreft. We have the car seat, stroller, bouncy seat, play mat, books and even toys. We just need a baby!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

37 week midwife appointment

I saw the midwife again today for my regularly scheduled weekly exam. She told me that the contractions that I'm having are perfectly normal and that some women just have more of them than others. She said that now that I'm having them, they are not going to go away and I will continue to have them. Lucky me. She just said to pamper myself a bit - come into work late, go home early, put my feet up when I get home, etc. She also said that if this is happening with my first child, it will most likely happen with my second child AND even earlier in the pregnancy. Joy. She also said that the fact that I'm having these contractions does not mean that I will go into labor before my due date. Basically, they mean nothing.

She did an internal exam. My cervix is still long and mostly closed. She said it was medium-soft, which is very typical for a 37 week exam. The baby has not engaged, which explains why my belly still seems pretty high.

And the good news is that I'm Group B Strep Negative, which means I won't have to have automatic antibiotics during labor/delivery.

As of this morning, I was only up 27.5 pounds and it seems like I've lost some weight. She said that was also just fine and that my weight may stabilize at this point. There's only so much food you can get into a stomach when your uterus is so huge! I asked her to guestimate the size of the baby and she said that at this point, he was likely 6.5 pounds. So he'll probably be at least 7.5 pounds - 8.0 pounds at birth. Apparently, the size of the baby doesn't matter as much as positioning. A 9.0 pound baby in a good delivery position will come out easier than a 6-pound baby that isn't in a good delivery position. So that gave me some comfort if I end up going past my due date.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mr. Braxton-Hicks is NOT my Friend.

I stayed home from work again today (although still managed to bill 7.5 hours). I had a horrible night, waking up a lot due to more Braxton-Hicks contractions. I didn't know what was going on this morning and so I didn't want to risk the schlep into Boston. The contractions kept coming all day today. But they aren't painful, they don't seem regular and I can feel the baby moving like crazy. So I didn't bother to call the doctor's office, especially knowing I have a regularly scheduled appointment early tomorrow morning. I will ask the midwife if it is normal to have so many contractions and not be in labor. I might also ask for an ultrasound just to get another peek and for some needed reassurance.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

37 Weeks!

I am 37 weeks today and considered full-term. How exciting! I weighed 171.0 on the scale, which gives me a total weight gain thus far of 28.5 pounds.

Friday, February 20, 2009

False Labor is a Bitch

I had a terrible night trying to sleep this past Wednesday. I must have tossed and turned about 20 times. When I finally got up in the morning, I went to work as usual. I noticed pretty quickly after getting to work that my lower back was aching quite a bit (which is really atypical for me) and I was having very low, menstrual-like cramping. I dismissed these symptoms as being caused by my crappy night, but started getting nervous when I realized that I hadn't felt the baby move in a long time. So I called the doctor's office and after some phone discussions, they wanted to bring me in for some monitoring. Luckily, the doctor is 4 blocks away and it was easy to go and I was happy to have some reassurance that the baby was okay.

So I got on the belly monitor and the baby was perfect. His heart beat was in the 150s and steady and strong. The nurse also commented that she could see that he was moving around just fine, but I still didn't feel it. It also appeared that I was having real contractions every 2-3 minutes! So I was getting quite nervous because (a) I hadn't even reached 37 weeks and wasn't quite "full term" and (b) I hadn't even packed my bag for the hospital. I was also wondering how I could possibly be in real labor given that the baby wasn't even engaged at my Tuesday appointment.

After 20 minutes of monitoring, the midwife gave me an internal exam (which I must say was NOT comfortable) and my cervix was completely closed and long. Nothing going on there. Given that and the fact that I wasn't having real pain with my contractions (they were merely uncomfortable), she thought that the contractions were being caused by dehydration and sent me home with the instructions to drink a lot. So my dear husband picked me up at work and the first thing we did when we got home was to pack the hospital bag! I also took a bath and started drinking. Around 8 pm, the contractions were still going good and strong and so I talked to the midwife on call at Brigham and Women's. She told me that I needed to keep drinking AND get the pressure off my cervix by lying on my side and getting my feet up. Oh. The midwife at my doctor's office didn't tell me that! After 90 minutes of doing that, the contractions started slowing down and I actually had a pretty decent night of sleep last night (except for the tossing and turning that is now typical of my 3rd trimester sleep). I did notice at least 2 contractions in the middle of the night, but since I've been awake this morning, I haven't noticed any. I'm working from home today and will remember to drink lots of water! This baby needs to bake a little bit more!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

36+ Week Doctor's Appointment

I had my 36+ week appointment today and all is well. My blood pressure was 120/76 and the baby's heartbeat sounded nice and strong and was in the 150s. The doctor even said the swelling in my feet and ankles was "minimal," which makes me think (a) I'm a whiner and (b) that swimming 60 laps yesterday really helped redistribute the fluid. The doctor also did the Group B strep test (a vaginal swab) and I'll find out at next week's appointment whether I'm in 20% of the population that tests positive and requires IV antibiotics during labor/delivery. The baby has not yet engaged and is still "floating," which explains why I'm still carrying on the high side. I'm preparing myself mentally for a delivery that goes beyond my March 15 due date (although I think I will make Friday, March 13 my last day of work).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

36 Weeks!

I am now 36 weeks pregnant and weigh 169.5 pounds, which gives me a total weight gain of 27 pounds. I still feel pretty good, but today I woke up wondering who shoved this 27 pound basketball underneath my shirt. My belly is really getting huge. Everyone keeps saying, "You're all belly!" But this belly is really starting to get in the way. I'm constantly amazed at how difficult it is to roll over in bed. I try to use my stomach muscles, but...they just don't seem to be there. And then I worry about straining my back (although I haven't yet).

The baby seems to be doing well because he's very active from about 7 pm to 11 pm. He is really moving around in there and my husband and I can see his feet (and I think heels) moving back and forth in the upper right quadrant of my belly. I keep hoping we'll see the actual body part, but right now, we can only see a lump moving around. It's pretty funny actually.

I'm getting so excited to meet this little man. I can't wait!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Ankle Bones are on Vacation

The swelling in my feet and ankles has definitely hit in the last couple of days. My ankles look worse and worse each day. And I'm starting to not really fit into my shoes at work. Today, I walked around barefoot in my office! I guess this is it - I'm in the final stages. I just hope I can make it through the next 4 weeks or so without too much discomfort. At least my lower back seems to be in good shape as I don't have any pain there. At the moment, I'm most uncomfortable due to muscle knots sitting under my left shoulder blade.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

35 weeks and Fetus Porn

I am 35 weeks as of today. The end is definitely drawing nearer. ;-) I had an appointment with my midwife this past Tuesday and she did an ultrasound (the first one I have had since the 18 week level 2 ultrasound!) to see if the baby was head down. This little baby boy is, indeed, head down. His head was facing my left thigh. I knew all along that he must be head down because I was constantly feeling the hardest kicks in the upper right quadrant of my belly. I'm pretty sure he's been in this position for a long time. The midwife says he's unlikely to flip over now, but I still worry. I don't want to have a C-section due to a breach baby. I had a moment of panic a couple of days ago when I started feeling kicking in my lower left quadrant, but the kicking is now back to the upper right quadrant.

It was so nice to see him "live" on the ultrasound screen. At the level 2 ultrasound at 18 weeks, the sonographer was 95% sure that the baby was a boy. We are now 100% positive that the baby is a boy because his penis and scrotum were clearly obvious on the ultrasound. I brought those pictures home to my husband and we joked about the fetus porn. I should probably get rid of the pictures so as to not embarrass my son later in life, but what fun would that be!

I'm now 167.5 pounds, which gives me a total weight gain of 25 pounds. I seem to have regained appetite and my weight is increasing nicely. My father is visiting from Florida and he hadn't seen me since December. He said I looked great and I was glowing, which made me really happy. He also said that you can't even tell that I'm pregnant from behind. I'm definitely carrying a basketball up front. I can't imagine getting much bigger than I already am, but I have 5 weeks left (and maybe more if I deliver past my due date) and so it's gonna happen. I'm just getting so excited to meet this little one!