Monday, June 29, 2015

Getting Closer

I can't believe that we're just three and a half weeks from my due date. These past few days, I've had tons of pelvic pressure, spontaneous contractions, and fatigue. Last Thursday, I was 80% convinced I was going into labor, but the contractions finally let up after a few hours.

It's nearly impossible for me to get comfortable, in any position. Baby boy is low in my hips. If I sit on my birthing ball for more than 10 or 15 minutes, I swear he's going to fall out. Not really, but it certainly feels like it. Getting sleep at night is getting harder and harder. I've been waking up 10-15 times per night, trying to get comfortable.

I'm getting anxious about delivery. The biggest part of me really wants to just go into labor already and bring this sweet boy into the world. I know it's still a bit early (36 weeks 5 days today), but I'm so anxious. With the discomfort I've had this past week, I'll be very surprised if I make it to my due date. Honestly, at this point I'm hoping not to. I will go crazy with this hip pain for three more weeks.

Small parts of me are still wanting him to hang out for a while. At this point, my husband and I have decided that we'll likely be done having more kids after this baby. After a high risk pregnancy with Miss A, and all of the additional testing this pregnancy to ensure that nothing is wrong, it's incredibly stressful. Ignorance is definitely bliss when it comes to pregnancy. While I'm so grateful for the extra care we've received this go around, it has made it hard to sit back and enjoy this pregnancy. There are so many "what if's" that swirl around my head thanks to the doctors' constant "high end of normal" comments. I know that he's safe in my belly, and I'm content keeping him there. Then my hips start hurting again and I'm ready to give him his eviction notice ;)

It is a surreal feeling that he could come at any time in the next month. July is a busy month for our family, between our anniversary on the 1st, and family birthdays every week until August, I know it's likely he'll share his day with someone.

I'm feeling relatively confident about delivering this time. Since I was induced with Miss A, I don't really know what to expect as far as going into labor, what natural contractions will be like, and how long delivery will take. I keep psyching myself out, every time I have a braxton hicks contraction (which is still several times per day), I get all excited. Maybe this is labor?! But it's not, yet.

I'm still wanting a natural birth. No IV meds, no epidural, nothing like that. I want to labor in a tub if the hospital has them ready in time, if not then I'll likely hang out in the shower as much as I can. I plan on moving as much as possible too. Birthing ball, walking, stretching... anything to keep my mind occupied through contractions. I want to do this on my own terms this time.

For the next few weeks, I'll be doing lots of walking and hanging out on the birthing ball. My next appointment isn't for almost two weeks, so we'll see how much progress I make between now and then.

God Bless ♥︎ V

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

36 Week Bumpdate

How Far Along: 36 Weeks

Size of Baby: About 6 pounds

Gender: It’s a Boy! 

Nicknames for Baby: “Baby James” and “Kade" (which is Gaelic for Fourth)

Total weight gain/loss: 28 pounds gained. 

Symptoms: Restless legs and fatigue for sure. Braxton hicks have continued (as usual), but nothing serious enough to send me into labor. 

Cravings: Cookie dough flurries, peanut butter, and cheese. Randomness at its finest ;)

Maternity Clothes: Pretty much all I wear these days. I love maxi skirts and dresses since they don't put pressure on my lower belly like some of my shorts do.

Stretch Marks: Still growing with all their glory. The past few weeks, I've felt more at peace with them. My first pregnancy, they didn't appear until about 36 weeks. This time, they started growing around 22 weeks. I'm definitely a little anxious to see what the next four weeks does to them, since he's really growing and stretching the limits now, but I'm not stressed about them. This isn't to say that I won't be putting gobs of lotion and stretch mark cream on my belly after delivery... but if they don't fade, I'm okay with it. This is what motherhood looks like.

Sleep: I pee four times every night, sometimes more. What sleep?
Best Moment This Week: Getting more prepping done. Diapers are prepped, laundry is done, bedding has been washed. Some of the random odds and ends we still needed were purchased this week too. 

What I Miss: Feeling in control of my body. When I sneeze, I pee. I get out of breath quickly and frequently. I don't feel sexy, I feel like a beached whale... I'm ready to get my body back.

Movement: From my pelvic bone to my ribs, he kicks, punches, rolls, and does some form of ancient martial arts. My belly gets a little lopsided sometimes, it's quite entertaining. 

Nausea Triggers: Tea, of all things. I am not a tea drinker, by any definition of the phrase. I have heard great things about Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, and found some Third Trimester Tea that is supposed to help prep your body for laboring. I've heard that it helps condition your uterus and can make labor faster and less painful. I figured I'd try it out, see what they hype is about... but I am not a tea drinker. I've found that if I dilute one cup of the tea in another cup of water, and add some Mio or lemonade flavoring, I can get it down, but I still feel a little nauseous. Stay tuned to find out whether or not I think it helped with delivery! 

Belly Size: Big and round. My fundal height is actually a week ahead from where I'm supposed to be, but I'm not surprised. Big baby, here we come... 

Nursery: Not much progress made in the past week, but it's still coming together. I did get hooks to hang all my baby wearing gear up. I will be trying a Moby Wrap, Sakura Bloom Ring Sling, Tula, and Ergo with this baby. We'll see what I like best!

Workouts: Walking, and I have an exercise ball coming today to allow me to do hip rolls and bounce (gently) to keep my pelvic area loose for labor.

Labor Signs: Braxton hicks and nausea, but nothing too serious. He is definitely hanging out low in my hips though.

Belly Button: What belly button?

Wedding Rings: They're still on, but I think the day is coming... I'm hoping to make it to next Wednesday (our fourth wedding anniversary, can you believe it?) before taking them off.

Mood: Anxious! I'm so ready for this baby to come. I've been pretty irritable still, especially with the crazy heat wave that has come through the past week and a half. I miss the 70 degree weather.

I'm still in shock that we have less than a month until my due date! I've been having all kinds of dreams about labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and Miss A meeting her brother. I can't wait for this day to come.

God Bless ♥︎ V

Monday, June 22, 2015

One Month with Fitbit

I've had my Fitbit Flex and I'm still loving it. Now that the initial excitement has worn off and I have a more accurate picture of my daily activity level, I'm starting to see the benefits of having an activity tracker.

My favorite feature is the step counter. Fitbit's default "goal" is 10,000 steps per day, per recommendation from the American Heart Association. I lowered my personal goal to 7,500 steps since it seemed a little more attainable, especially while pregnant. While I still don't hit that goal most days, it's a good striving point.

I really like using the Fitbit over the pedometer on my phone, especially because I rarely care my phone with me while I'm at home (which is most of the time). I usually leave my phone on the couch or the counter most of the day. My phone says around 500 steps, when my Fitbit says 5,000.

I've found that my daily average is a little over 5,000 steps. Even though I always strive to reach that 7,500 step mark every day, I really push to get above my daily average even if it's only by a few steps. Here's what the past month looks like for me:

The last 30 days' daily average was 5,239. The highest day (just over 10,000 steps) was when we went to the zoo while visiting in Michigan. The lowest day was the day after we got back from Michigan and travel had completely wiped me out. It's interesting to see how different things affect my activity levels. 

Another favorite feature is the sleep tracker. To say the least, it's been eye opening. I am usually in bed for about 9 hours, but only get 7-8 hours of sleep. Here is my monthly sleep trend: 

My daily average for the past month was 7.3 hours per night. The past week or so I've been averaging closer to 8, but while we were in Michigan I was closer to six. That super low night was our trip up to Michigan. That's what sleep in a car looks like ;)

I usually wake up 3-4 times per night to pee, and another 10 times or so due to restlessness. According to these reports, I spend about an hour every night "awake," even though I may just be tossing and turning.

I'm excited to see what the next month looks like for me, both for steps and sleep. Today marks one month until my due date, so sleep is getting harder and harder to achieve. This southern heat has been brutal these past few weeks, so I really don't want to get out and be active, but I'm trying to push myself as much as I can so I stay in at least a half decent physical state for labor.

I'll also be using the Fitbit to keep track of my postpartum fitness. I will definitely keep you all posted!

God Bless ♥︎ Victoria

Thursday, June 11, 2015

34 Week Bumpdate

How Far Along: 34 Weeks 1 Day

Size of Baby: Estimated 5 lbs 1 oz

Gender: It’s a Boy! 

Nicknames for Baby: “Baby James” and “Kade" (which is Gaelic for Fourth)

Total weight gain/loss: About 26 pounds gained. 

Symptoms: Still lots of braxton hicks contractions. New in the last week or so, I've had a decent amount of swelling in my ankles and feet. My hands occasionally swell as well. I never experienced this with Miss A, so it definitely caught me off guard. Heartburn is still raging, and nausea has actually made an appearance again.

Cravings: Nothing really, I've actually had a bit of food aversion these last few days.

Maternity Clothes: Shorts, shirts, dresses, and a swimsuit. Loving them all.

Stretch Marks: Yep, and they're growing. 

Sleep: What is sleep? Really though, after the last two weeks of vacation, I am so thankful to be home in my own bed. I am completely and utterly exhausted. I was averaging about 6 hours of sleep per night according to my Fitbit, which is not nearly enough for my pregnant self.
Best Moment This Week: Seeing baby boy on the ultrasound today. If I go to 40 weeks, we're looking at another 8 pounder.

What I Miss: Feeling like myself. I'm so tired all the time, and don't feel in control of my body. I'm to the uncomfortable phase of pregnancy now, and I'm ready to be done.

Movement: He's incredibly active. Kicks, rolls, stretches... He's all over the place.

Nausea Triggers: Tomatoey foods give me really bad heartburn which causes nausea

Belly Size: Feeling big! Everyone says I look smaller than I did with Miss A, but I feel twice as big. 

Nursery: The crib is up, changing table is up, some decor is up. Bedding arrived this week, along with the mattress (which had to be returned for damage, thanks UPS), hamper, monitor, and a few other things. It's slowly coming together!

Workouts: Walking lots thanks to my Fitbit, but nothing much other than that.

Labor Signs: Tons of braxton hicks, and some cramping... But I've been told this is normal, especially with the amount of traveling we've done in the last few weeks.

Belly Button: Flat as a pancake

Wedding Rings: On! When my hands swell, they get very tight. I will likely remove them in the coming weeks, but I will put that off as long as I can.

Mood: Exhausted and stressed out. 

Those of you who have been following this pregnancy know that I was sent to a high risk specialist due to Miss A's complications. While they weren't concerned about this baby's growth or development, they were taking a "better safe than sorry" approach with him, and monitoring everything just to double check since an abnormality was present in my last pregnancy. 

In the beginning of this pregnancy, I was a bit irritated with the doctors I'd seen because they did a lot of "Well, this is in a normal range, but it's towards the higher end... We're going to keep an eye on it." I kept thinking, why tell me this if it's normal? Don't stress me out! At every appointment, they'd find something to monitor again. I couldn't help but think that they were just fishing. If I wasn't high risk with Miss A, we wouldn't be getting all this extra attention.

Today, that changed. It was kind of a slap in the face for me, a major wake up call. I feel almost like I've been in denial for the last 16 weeks. At our ultrasound four weeks ago, they mentioned that there were some measurements that were (again) "at the high end of normal" and that they'd want to keep an eye on them. Irritated, I just nodded and didn't think anything about it. I wasn't going to complain because it meant we'd get to see baby boy again. At today's ultrasound, those two measurements crossed the line of "normal" and entered the zone of "mildly concerning."

I'm feeling seventeen kinds of emotional. How could this normal, textbook pregnancy, suddenly turn to high risk? How did we go from "everything looks great" to "Can we stick a needle in your belly and get a fluid sample for testing?" (I said no, by the way. First, because I'm fairly certain that the anxiety alone would send me into labor. Needles are a no go in my book... And second, because the results of a test now would not change anything we'd do, aside from knowing  more about what we're dealing with a few weeks earlier.)

I go in for another ultrasound four weeks from now, at 38 weeks, to take measurements again. The doctor has also referred us to get ultrasounds done on Baby J once he's born to get more accurate measurements and a diagnosis if needed. To say that I've been praying since 9:30 this morning would be an understatement. I'm incredibly anxious to see what the next ultrasound will hold. I'm still hoping for a natural delivery, but induction was mentioned if the measurements aren't back in the "normal" range at 38 weeks. Prayers and happy thoughts are appreciated. 

God Bless ♥︎ Victoria