Monday, March 29, 2010

and the beat goes on

Today is one week exactly from our due date. My predicted date of March 27 has come and gone and then some, but Travis's April 1 guess on Thursday is still up for grabs. Grandma Kershaw is done with all her crazy travels, Grandma Adams isn't out of town for meetings anymore, and I am done with school for a couple of months, so I am officially giving her the green light to come greet the world. Which of course means nothing has happened :).

I have experienced some Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing that convinced me that I was in actual labor. Last night was the first time they actually hurt and weren't just breath-stoppingly uncomfortable, but still nothing that fits the description of actual labor pains.

We visited Dr. Maurus this morning for our 39 week check up. According to him, the majority of his patients deliver in the 39th week and "the rest" usually go the week after, so here's hoping we are in group A (or even group B, as long as we aren't in group C, the week after that!) The best part of the whole visit was when Barb was listening for the baby's heartbeat. The last couple of times they have put the little device up to my belly, she has shown some protest, but today she started kicking that little machine hard enough for the whole room to see, giving all of us a good laugh. Her heart rate went up a little when she did that, and Barb said that was a very good sign of health. I had also gained one of the three pounds I lost last week back, bringing my total to 19 pounds so far.

So now with work done for the next 8 weeks or so, it really is a matter of sitting and waiting. Here's to hoping my patience holds up :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the waiting game begins

I finally remembered to ask Travis to take a belly picture just before I got into bed last night. So, this is us at 38 weeks, 4 days along!

I definitely feel like I'm playing the waiting game these last few days. Tuesday night I had some mild Braxton-Hicks contractions that lasted about a minute and a half and stayed about 10 minutes apart for a couple of hours, and then they tapered off. Earlier that night I was feeling the best I had in weeks, so I took advantage of the situation by freezing some meals and getting some house chores done. Yesterday and today have just felt like time is draaaaaaaging on so very slowly. I am SO glad tomorrow is my last day at school because I can't keep up the energy much longer.

Then tonight when I got home from school I sat down and just got an overwhelming premonition that things were going to set into motion very soon. I immediately began to organize and make a couple phone calls. Since then the feeling has slightly subsided, but I still wouldn't be surprised if I ended up at the hospital in the next 24 hours. I hope for Gramma Kershaw's sake that's not the case, but I also know that if she's made up her mind there isn't a thing we can do to stop her!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

38 week check up

We saw Dr. Maurus tonight for hopefully one of our last weekly check ups. We found out I have lost 3 pounds since last week, which is listed in several things I have read as a sign that labor may be coming soon. My BP was good, the baby's heart rate was a strong 150 bpm (and she was kicking away at that monitor, making me laugh. she really is a fiery little one).

This time when he measured me he said she was "the perfect size" -- although he didn't tell us what that perfect size was -- and still head down in the correct position. He also informed us, as I suspected might be the case, he doesn't routinely check to see if his patients are dilated because, as he put it, "It doesn't really change anything, and it's quite uncomfortable for most women." So, we shall wait until contractions start or she's overdue to find out if we are dilated at all yet :). It's probably for the best anyway, knowing me!

Only 3 more days of school!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ding goes the oven

Today the baby is officially full-term, and to celebrate she has been extra-difficult all day. I have been trying to keep myself busy running errands and doing some last minute things so I don't spend my time sitting and waiting, but I have been forced to slow down the last couple of days because she has been pressing against some of my nerves and making it very difficult to walk, get dressed, lean in any direction, etc. Needless to say it made the school day extra long today, and I am now just hoping to get through the next four days relatively pain-free.

Things seem pretty ready around here. Our hospital suitcase is packed, the car seat is in the car, diapers are stocked up, a nice amount of clothes are washed and ready to go, I'm going to make and freeze a couple more meals tonight, and we've even started putting things together we may not need for a while like the stroller, bouncy seat, and the exersaucer because we have the time now and why not?

Saturday Travis and I took advantage of one of our last free days together to see Avatar in 3D and go out to dinner. We also got a few more things for the nesting mother in me (I thought we needed just one more pack of size 1 diapers, just in case the baby turns out to be massive) and we found the perfect onesie for visiting Uncle Tony when the time comes. But it was fun to get out of the house together, even if it was in the snow, and the baby very much enjoyed the movie (or maybe the movie theatre popcorn? haha) because she was kicking through the whole thing.

I'm very anxious to go see the doctor tomorrow. As unpleasant as I know it is, I really hope he decides to check to see if I'm dilated at all, although since it's our first one he may wait another week to check.

Travis just got word today that his schedule is changing back to Monday-Friday from 2-11 next week, so Gramma Kershaw: I am officially cool with her coming on Sunday now :). We shall wait and see! I'll update again after we see Dr. Maurus tomorrow and let you all know what he says!

Monday, March 15, 2010

"Well, she won't be a SMALL baby..."

That's how he phrased it this afternoon at the appointment. He did make me feel slightly better by saying he didn't think she would be a 10 pound baby, but said she would most likely be larger than average and "certainly not small." My optimistic viewpoint? That just means it's a much higher likelihood that she will be a healthy, happy baby. She is still locked and loaded, as I like to call it, head down in the right position. My Strep B test can back negative, so no worries there. Blood pressure was good, fetal heartbeat was good, and my weight hadn't changed since last week.

Yesterday was my family and friend's shower for the baby. We got lots of cute things -- outfits, bottles, booties, blankets, baby swings, car accessories (backseat mirror, window shade, etc.), health and grooming kits, and lots more that I know I am forgetting! We have just about everything we need now, but mom and I are going to go pick up some of the registry items we don't have yet that we need tomorrow night before Travis and I head off to our final class: breastfeeding.

As far as baby development goes, a week from today she will be considered full term. Everything is for the most part set to go. It's now just a waiting game. However, if she were average weight at this point (which is still possible, right?) she would be about 6.5 pounds, the weight of our smaller cat Gizmo.

I can't complain too much about how I've been feeling. I have been getting tired more easily lately, so I've just been taking it pretty easy. However, I have been getting a bit of that nesting itch, as I have been cleaning closets and cupboards without really having even noticed I've started it, and Saturday I convinced Travis to help me tackle the garage, which hadn't been cleaned since we moved in.

I only have 9 more days of work until it's baby time -- and only 8 days of lesson plans, as Friday is a Teacher Institute Day. Time sure is flying by!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh and one more thing...

... I forgot to mention. The last two appointments in a row now have shown that the baby is measuring "slightly above average." They assure us it's just a slightly higher fundal height, but judging by the look on Barb's face when she read the tape measure I think they MAY be using a bit of that medical etiquette there. So, we may be having a ten pounder. We shall see :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Infant care class and 36 week check up

Last night was our infant care class. It was nice, first of all, because Travis got to switch for a day shift to go so we got to spend the night together. The class was pretty informative and I'm glad we went, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting it to be. It was more about the hospital's procedures during labor and during your two day stay there than it was about taking care of the baby once you leave, but I suppose that's okay because as everyone keeps reminding us, you can't really teach someone how to be a parent. Next week is the breastfeeding class, so I'm really looking forward to that because I know next to nothing about the entire process.

Then today after school we went in for our 36 week meeting and strep B test with Barb. She went over more information for how to know when we were really in labor, what to do, etc. Most of it was stuff we learned in the birthing class, but since that ended a month or two ago it was nice to kind of get a refresher. My weight gain is now at about 21 pounds.

Monday night was my first night of bad sleep, aside from the two nights where I've been up sick all night. I had a mixture of terrible heartburn, indigestion, muscle soreness, and perhaps a few Braxton Hicks contractions. So Tuesday was officially a "coffee-worthy" day at school and let me tell ya, one cup and I was a totally new person. I can't wait until it's back into my life on a regular basis :)

Other than that, we're just trucking right along and playing the countdown game!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Week 36

This week is week 36 -- the first week of the 9th month and the last week before she will be considered full term! This week she weighs around 6 pounds and is around 18 1/2 inches long (obviously the weights and lengths are pretty variable from here on out. Let's hope she remains on the dainty side of things, for mommy's sake:) ) Her little cheeks are now pudgy with fat and she has shed most of her lanugo and vernix (the fur and the waxy stuff that coated her skin). She is much more alert to sounds, movement, and light and will respond to all of these things. She is more than likely in the position now that she will stay in, although there is a chance she will still do some flips and turns. I'm hoping she'll just chill right like she is because, if things haven't changed from last week, she's in the correct position now!

I feel like the next few weeks are going to really drag on, but I also know they are (luckily) packed with a few things to break up the monotony. Tomorrow Travis gets to work a day shift so that we can go to infant care class together at the hospital. I don't know what to expect -- if it'll be a bunch of basic stuff that we already knew or if it will be very helpful, but I'm think it'll be closer to the latter because how much do we REALLY know anyway? :). Then Wednesday we have our weekly appointment, this time with Barb, to discuss some final details. Sunday will be our last shower with mommy's side of the family and friends (AND daylight saving time begins. I hate to lose the sleep but LOVE all the extra sunshine!!). The following week we have a doctor's appointment on Monday, class about breastfeeding on Tuesday night at the hospital, and then Friday we have no students at school for my last school institute of the year :). Then that next week will be my last until the baby comes. Hopefully.

And yet I know any of these plans could be altered at any given point of any given day. I have made an effort to really pay attention to my body and my aches and pains, but I don't think I'm doing the best job at identifying exactly what is happening. As far as I know, I haven't really had any Braxton-Hicks contractions, although I have definitely had some momentary pains and cramping. But every time that happens, I feel my belly and it feels like my regular ol' belly -- hard with baby, but not any tighter than usual. And yet I know some people that never experienced them and others that did but weren't even aware of them. Ah well, I suppose everything in life has its learning curves.

Lastly, this I have to share. I was straightening things up a bit last night and I came across my journal that I started senior year of college. I have only written in it a handful of times, but each entry is at an interesting crossroads of my life. My last entry was dated July 13, 2009. In it I wrote about a few various things, but the main focus was on the weekend I had just spent with Molly and Alex while the boys were away at Trevor's bachelor party. I wrote about how wonderful it was to just snuggle up with Alex and doze off together, how much that time spent with him confirmed for me how much I wanted to have a baby of my own one day, and how I also knew God would grant us a child whenever we were meant to have one. I read the entry, thought to myself "It couldn't have been" and then checked a calendar to confirm my suspicion: the entry was written the exact day we got pregnant. I had no idea that God was already placing this little life inside me while my pen stroked those words. He really has been here for every, single step of the way. That realization has given me a new found strength for this final leg -- He has been with me unceasingly up until this point and He will see us through to the end, to those moments when we finally see our little baby girl for the first time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baby shower!!

Yesterday was the Kershaw baby shower, and it was so great! There was an overwhelming amount of gifts from an overwhelming amount of people. Our baby got so many cute outfits (and a nice range of sizes too!), toys, blankets, lots of bathtime supplies, diapering supplies, and feeding supplies along with some of the big things we needed like the car seat, diaper bag, diaper bin, changing pad (with an awesome red cover the matches the bedding perfectly!), bouncy seat, jumper, and exersaucer. Aunt Jodie (so I guess Great Aunt Jodie now?) even embroidered a boppy slipcover and some burp cloths with Muppets characters to match the baby's room. Aunt Angie made the cutest little table decorations and found these huge, adorable paper flowers for decorations -- spring was definitely in the air :). We had yummy sandwiches for lunch and I got to catch up with some people I haven't seen since Trevor and Ashley's wedding. All in all, very great day! Travis and I had a blast going through everything again once we got all the gifts in the baby's room. I feel so much more prepared and at ease now having so much of these things in the room, washed, and ready to go. Next weekend is our last shower with mommy's side of the family and friends -- can't wait to see everyone there as well!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baby bedding arrived!!

I was soooo excited to come home to a giant box with the baby's bedding in it! After patiently waiting for it to finish washing and drying, I got the crib all situated :). I also added a shot that showed the flowers I got to match the colors, as per Aunt Angie's request, and the new closet organization system that Travis installed last weekend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

so far, so good

I had my follow up check up today after school with Dr. Maurus. I have now gained about 17 pounds, my blood pressure was good and the baby's heartbeat was going strong at 145 bpm (it's finally starting to slow down!). He said based on my description of my right side pain yesterday it was most likely a round ligament getting pulled or stretched, and all the pressure and discomfort is really now being caused by the baby's ever-growing size. I asked him about whether or not he thought the baby had dropped, and he said he could see a difference but the best indication of whether or not she has dropped is my own perception: if I have noticed my walking changing, if I'm feeling pressure, if I notice I can breath easier, have to pee more, etc. All of these symptoms are true, so I think it's safe to say our little munchkin is making her way down in the right direction!

He said it's his hope and goal to get to 38 weeks before the baby comes and wouldn't be surprised if that is when she comes, but also mentioned the possibility that she could come at any point. If she does start to come on her own, she's far enough alon gthat he wouldn't do anything to stop it at this point. We talked for a while about contractions and what I need to pay attention to and then he sent me on my merry way.

I'm relieved that he said he doesn't think, at this point, we have much of a reason to believe she's going to come within the next one or two weeks. Saturday is going to be a long day in the car, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing everyone one last time before she comes so I'm glad I didn't get placed on any serious restrictions. 3 weeks from now is the week of March 22, and I am totally cool with her coming after that. Of course after all this speculating and guessing, we will probably have a largely overdue April baby and looking back we will all laugh at our foolishness. But my instinct is telling me we will have our baby before the month is over, so I guess we shall see how keen my instincts really are!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh, back to labor and delivery...

Today marks week 35, just 35 days until the due date. I woke up with some lower back pain, so I was having a little bit of an issue walking as I was making my copies and getting things ready before school. Luckily, I was doing a lot of things on LCD projector so I got to sit through most of the morning. By the time lunch was over, 3 people on different occasions made the comment that it seemed like the baby was dropping even further down and that they thought I would be heading in soon. I laughed and told them to give me at least a couple more weeks to prepare.
By the time my lunch period was over, the baby was pressing further and further down, giving me aches in the thighs and belly muscles all the way up to the rib cage. Then,I start getting a sharp pain in my right side. That's the side she likes to cram herself over into on a regular basis, so I figured she was just doing that except lower so it was feeling new. Everyone assured me it sounded like the aches associated with the baby dropping and told me to ask my doctor after school what he thought I should do to make it a bit more comfortable.
So I called and explained the situation, and despite my assurance that it was not a coming and going pain like a contraction would be the doctor recommended that I go to Labor and Delivery and get my blood pressure, urine, etc. checked. I wasn't excited about the idea of sitting at the hospital for hours again, but I went, of course.
They took my tests and hooked me up to the monitors and such and found that everything still seemed good. I was a little paranoid watching the monitors as the contraction line was not a simple, steady line like it was last time, but one with thin little mountain tops coming every few minutes.I immediately began thinking about all the things I still needed to do before the baby arrived. But, whatever those mountain tops were they must not have been concerning because after about an hour I was dismissed with no restrictions. However, Dr. Maurus requested to see me tomorrow, so it's back to the doctor's office tomorrow after school. We'll see what he has to say then!

On a more light-hearted note, some of this week's highlights in the womb: One of my sources says this week is all about putting the "finishing touches" on her development and from here on out she'll be focusing on packing on the pounds. She weighs about 5 1/2 pounds and is about the length of a sheet cake.