fully baked

August 12, 2010 at 7:27 pm (Pregnancy at Work, Pregnant body, Third Trimester) (, , , )

We’re at 37 weeks now! Baby is now considered full term.

I can’t believe we’re here… Every day I am amazed at how big and strong baby feels inside me. My belly is absolutely HUGE – it sticks straight out and is so perfectly round that it looks like I’ve stuffed a beach ball under my shirt. Both M and I sometimes can’t help ourselves and let out a breathless “woah” when we notice how big it is.

I’m lucky that the weather has been mostly co-operative this summer. There have definitely been days when it’s awfully hot, but for the most part I’ve been able to cope quite well. My office is air conditioned and we have plenty of fans in our house. We also bought this amazing stacker tower fan, which is two fans stacked on top of each other. It’s been a life save. We keep it at the foot of the bed and just point it right at me to keep me cool on the hotter nights. I don’t think I would have made it without it! It’s getting hotter again now, though, just as I’m going to be biggest and heaviest.

I only have a week left at work before I go on mat leave. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I’ve been awfully tired lately. I don’t sleep well at night because I’m too uncomfortable, even with my trusty Snoogle. Baby seems to kick a lot just as I first lay down, so it’s tough to fall asleep. Then, I usually wake up 3-4 times through the night because I have to pee. I’ve noticed in the past week or so that I’ll be woken up by some pretty serious Braxton Hicks contractions. They’re strong enough to pull me out of my sleep, and the way I’ve gotten them to go away is to get out of bed and do a bathroom run.¬†Because this always happens at night, I sort of get the feeling that I’ll go into labour at night. I know it’s really not a good indicator at all, but that’s just the feeling that I get.

At my now-weekly exam, the doctor told me today that the baby has started to drop. Very exciting stuff! It’s still not fully dropped into my pelvis, but apparently baby is lower than it was last week. So – things are starting to happen. I think I really freaked M out a couple of days ago because he came downstairs and found me sort of hunched over holding up my belly. It was just so heavy and I could feel a lot of pressure from the baby pushing down. I’m guessing that that’s when baby started it’s descent lower into my pelvis. M said that there seemed to be a lot of grunting and other noises coming out of me that night!

Next week, we’ll do a pelvic exam and check my dilation and effacement. I am really starting to wonder when the baby is going to come!

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final countdown

August 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Third Trimester, Thoughts) (, , , )

I can barely believe it… Only ONE MONTH to go until I’m due!!! Looking back at everything we’ve been through since we first conceived in September and lost the baby in October… dealing with the miscarriage through November… getting our lives sort of back on track when I got my period again…. then that wonderful Christmas Day when we found out I was pregnant again…sitting on pins and needles through the first trimester… continued anxiety through my second trimester as I couldn’t shake that nagging worry…. dealing with sleepless nights due to this watermelon where my stomach used to be…. and now – at nearly 36 weeks!

September 2nd is oh-so-close!! I can’t wait to meet you, baby!

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leaving on a jet plane

June 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm (Third Trimester) (, , )

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

We leave for Hawaii this weekend! We are so excited now that it’s so close to our trip. I think baby is excited, too, because it has been kicking like CRAZY for the past few days. It amazes me how big and strong our little one is getting. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my desk and I’ll get a big huge kick! It surprises me, because I’m not expecting it, and I’ll let out a little “Oh!” I am really enjoying this time because I know that in a couple more weeks, you don’t get to feel as many kicks anymore, and its more just poking and rolling around.

A co-worker of mine also went to Hawaii when she was pregnant with her little girl. I think she was 25 weeks pregnant at the time. She said that baby loved it when she went swimming, or was in the water at all. Whenever she would be wading around or swimming, baby would become very active. How cool! I wonder if our little one will react the same way.

The flight is not too bad – about 5.5 hours. Before booking our flight, we had to check with my doc to make sure I was given the OK to travel. Because I am travelling by plane while pregnant, some airlines require a special note confirming my due date and that I am allowed to fly. Usually, after 37 weeks, airlines won’t allow you to fly just in case you go into labour on the plane! I am 28 weeks today (hooray!) and will be 29 weeks when we come home. Since everything is going along fine with the pregnancy this time, with no complications, I was given a note saying that I’ve been approved to travel by plane.

They did give me some pointers, though: Get up and walk up and down the aisle regularly to get my circulation going. Drink lots of water during the flight, and bring my own healthy snacks. I plan on making myself a tasty little bag of custom trail mix – almonds, dried apricots and apples, and a few M&Ms ūüôā

This will be my first sun vacation ever that will not include late nights, margaritas on the beach and glasses of wine with dinner. It will be a little strange, I suppose, but there’s still lots of things that we can do. We just want to do plenty of relaxation and enjoy this last little getaway with just the two of us. It’s going to be the last time we can get away as a couple for quite some time! There’s going to be some shopping and sightseeing, but a lot of hanging out on the beach and eating great food. I’ve already packed up my extra-SPF sunscreen because apparently your skin is much more sensitive to the sun when you are pregnant. The last thing I need is a sunburn on my big, round belly! I also borrowed a nice big beach hat to give some extra coverage.

I am really looking forward to getting away and enjoying our trip. Baby is going to be a little jet setter even before it’s born…

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you have your daddy’s chin

May 4, 2010 at 6:42 pm (Second Trimester, Thoughts) (, , )

Technology is a wonderful thing. Back in my grandmother’s day, they didn’t even do ultrasounds. At around the 5 month mark, you could start to hear baby with a regular stethoscope, so you would get a listen then, but otherwise you didn’t get a peek at baby until the big day. So, she was blown away when my uncle showed her a recording of our 3D ultrasound.

I had heard of 3D ultrasounds before, and a couple of people I know had gotten them done during their pregnancies, but the images were always a bit fuzzy, and it was a little creepy to be honest. However, during one of my many routine blood tests (not fun for someone who is scared of needles), the lab tech told me how she and a friend had bought a 3D ultrasound for someone’s shower gift. The mother-to-be absolutely loved it. So, it got me thinking about them again and we decided that we would go ahead and book one. We were especially looking forward to the “heartbeat bear” that we would get as a keepsake. The clinic would take a recording of baby’s heartbeat and then put it into a teddy bear, so we could squeeze the bear and hear baby’s heart whenever we wanted! It has quickly become my most favorite sound in the world! We could also have a few people in the room with us, so we could all see baby on the big screen TV. They include a free web broadcast as well, so that my out of town family could log in and watch the ultrasound live with us.

Since we don’t want to know the sex of the baby, it was recommended that we book the ultrasound for somewhere between 20-25 weeks. We booked ours for the weekend after our regular ultrasound which was scheduled at 21 weeks. Part of me still had that bit of fear, which I believe will never go away until I am holding my precious baby in my arms, that we would go to that diagnostic ultrasound and find out that something was wrong. It didn’t matter that I could feel baby moving and kicking most days, and usually on quite a set schedule, I still had those terrible thoughts that once again they might not find a heartbeat. Having the 3D ultrasound done AFTER that was important to me because if something had gone wrong, at least then it would have been possible to cancel. I couldn’t bear the thought of having our entire family on hand to discover the tragedy.

As it was, though, it turned out to be a wonderful experience. Our parents and M’s siblings were on hand, and we all settled into the very comfortable room to do the ultrasound. It was a bit odd to lie down and lift up my shirt so that everyone could see my belly, but I got over it pretty quickly. Baby definitely put on a show for us! I was thrilled to see how active baby was, moving it’s arms around and opening and closing it’s mouth. We all giggled when it looked like baby was flexing it’s muscles, giving us a gun show and kissing it’s bicep. Already, everyone is in love!

Baby was very flexible and was being a bit stubborn, though – it’s legs were folded up in front of it’s face the whole time, making it a bit harder for the tech to get a clear image of the face. We did get some fantastic photos, though (more than 150 of them!) and in some of them baby’s face is amazingly detailed. I can tell baby has daddy’s chin, and it looks like it’s got my nose. I love looking at the pictures because it makes it so much more real! Every time baby kicks, I can vividly see that little body in there, that little face and precious hands and feet.

It’s really happening this time.

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my, how you’ve grown!

April 23, 2010 at 8:59 pm (Second Trimester, Thoughts) (, , , )

We had our ultrasound yesterday. It has been 12 weeks since our last one and it was in one word: incredible!

At our 9 week ultrasound, baby was 1 inch long and looked just like a gummy bear, complete with the little arm and leg buds. But now! We could see baby’s head in profile, with it’s little nose and mouth! We got a lovely picture of the bottom of baby’s foot, so it looks just like a little footprint. And we also got a picture of baby’s spine, with each and every vertebrae clearly in view. It was so wonderful to see how much baby has grown these past several weeks. The technician also measured baby’s heartbeat at 148, very nice and healthy, to my relief.

I must say, though, there are a couple of things about ultrasounds that I don’t like. One, that M is not allowed to come in the room with me at first. He has to wait outside for about 10 minutes while the tech checks things out, then they let me know that I can get up and tell him to come in. Why is that? I should have asked, I know, but it must be torture for him to sit out there wondering if everything is OK. With every minute that he has to wait longer, I think he must worry that something is wrong and that’s why he hasn’t been summoned in yet. Two, I hate the way the techs look at the screen for so long before they say anything to you. I was laying there for several minutes before she said a word. For the first while, I just looked up at the ceiling, but after awhile I stole¬†a look over at her and watched her changing expressions: frowning, satisfied, curious, frustrated, inquisitive…. I was torturing myself wondering if that meant she saw something she didn’t like or if she just needed a new pair of glasses or a better angle to see what she was looking for. After just a few moments, I decided I shouldn’t drive myself crazy with the guessing and just go back to looking at the ceiling. It was definitely the more sane choice, and I’m glad I forced myself to do it.

She said that baby looked a little bit smaller than expected, which wasn’t a huge surprise to me as that’s what they told us at the first ultrasound. I let her know that my cycles are a bit long, more like 31-33 days instead of 28, so she said that likely explained it and that if the due date is off by up to as much as 6 days, they usually didn’t bother to change it. I may be called back for another ultrasound in 4 weeks if they decide to check on the growth rate, just to make sure that it’s the date that’s off and not that baby isn’t growing fast enough. However, she said that everything looked good and that there were no concerns. Baby was also a bit uncooperative at first, deciding to stay in a curled up position. After I emptied my bladder and came back, I guess baby woke up or maybe had more room in there, and agreed to stretch out a bit for some of the other checks and measurements.

The only other thing is that apparently my placenta is on the front wall of my uterus. This is also called an anterior placenta. It’s not a big deal, even though most of the time, the placenta will be at the top of the uterus. Basically, it just means that baby’s movements may not feel as distinct as they would have if the placenta was not in the way. Think of it as if baby was kicking me through a pillow instead of directly in the gut, which i think is probably a good thing! Luckily, the placenta is pretty tough and won’t be damaged at all, even if baby is using it as a bit of a punching bag or dance floor. I also read that an anterior placenta can sometimes make it a bit more difficult for the doc to hear the baby’s heartbeat with the doppler, but we had no problem at all. As soon as the doctor placed it on my belly, there was the heartbeat, loud and strong, even bigger than last time. We also heard a few swishing sounds, which was baby moving around in there!

I think things are starting to feel more real for me now, as well as more safe. Every time I get to see baby or hear it’s heartbeat, it reassures me. We’re one step closer to meeting in September.

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halfway there

April 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Second Trimester) (, , )

Today is the 20 week mark. I am halfway through my pregnancy, so I find myself thinking back to when my story began, and how my life is different today compared to November 2009.

I went back to my first post, and the first line reads: I would have been 11 weeks today. I remember the turmoil I was going through at that time and how sad and empty I felt. Sometimes I felt like a zombie, barely making through each hour, and other times the grief was sharp and painful, tearing at my insides. It feels so long ago when I took my first pregnancy test back in September and we first thought we were going to have¬†a baby. How different that pregnancy started off compared to this one! It was all joy and excitement, with a blissful naivete. This time, even well past the first trimester mark, and an obviously growing belly, I still find myself wondering now and then if everything is really going to happen for us. The first time, it just never occured to me that anything coud possibly go wrong, and now I can’t help but wonder if it’s possible that everything will be ok. It’s strange how our experiences can completely¬†reverse our outlook on things.

Sometimes I think about what could have been. If things had worked out the first time, I would have been halfway through my third trimester! My original due date was June 3rd…. only a month and a half away. I wonder what that day will feel like for me now. I think it will still be sad, but I hope that my baby gives me an extra hard kick that day to remind me that it’s different this time.

I think with every passing day, and especially every passing week, I feel more confident. The outward signs are becoming more obvious, and I’ve definitely started feeling flutters in my belly that I’m sure are my baby turning cartwheels. They always seem to be between 3-8PM, and I can expect to feel them daily. It’s so comforting for me to imagine him or her in there, doing little karate moves or having a dance party. Sometimes I’ll be sitting there and – ooh! There it goes again!

We’ve also made a couple of purchases, as gifts from our parents. We’ve picked up our stroller, bought the dresser and ordered the crib. It’s a nice feeling to actually have a couple of things in the baby’s room. There’s still plenty left to do, but it’s wonderful to go into that room and start to imagine what our lives will be like when baby’s sweet scent fills the nursery.

It’s strange to think that as of today, we are closer to the end of the tunnel than we are to the beginning. When our ordeal began, I could not even imagine this day, even as much as I wished for it. It’s nice to be here.

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hello, baby? it’s me, worrywart

April 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm (Emotions, Second Trimester) (, )

I am18 weeks now.

It’s incredible for me to think that I am almost halfway through my pregnancy. Every time I touch my growing belly, it astounds me at how round it’s getting. Everything has been going really well. My appetite has definitely kicked up a gear and I think I need to eat every couple of hours. I can never eat a whole lot, but I need to eat a little something all the time. But as well as I feel, I still can’t help but worry. I guess that’s what pregnancy after miscarriage is all about, though. I thought it would get better after my first trimester, when the chance of miscarriage goes down drastically, and it did a bit, but the worry is still there.

I suppose what really surprised me was when M and I went to that second doctor’s visit a couple of weeks ago. After I had asked all of my questions, the nurse asked if there was anything else she could answer for us. Unexpectedly, M asked if there was anything she could tell me to help me feel not as scared, based at how far along I was now. As soon as he asked that, I burst into tears. I guess it just caught me off guard – I had no idea he was going to do that. I was also a bit surprised at her answer. I can’t remember the exact words, but she said that this is a new baby now, and that I have to say goodbye to my first pregnancy, that it wasn’t meant to be and that I can’t worry about it. I was very surprised at her response. I thought she would have said something more like: this time is different, you’re in the 2nd trimester now and everything should be fine, your baby is doing well.

I still count down every day and every week. Often, people will ask me how my pregnancy is going and if I’m excited. Of course, we’re very excited. But I could never say that my pregnancy has been joyful. I hear some women say that they loved their pregnancy, and I wonder if I’ll ever be able to say that about any part of mine. I can’t honestly say that I love being pregnant because there is always that seed of fear and doubt in me. When people tell me how fast my pregnancy will go, I can’t help but think that it can’t go fast enough. Whenever I hear of late miscarriages, or even worse, stillbirths, it makes me shudder, making me think that I won’t ever feel safe. I just want to give birth so I can hold my baby in my arms, alive and well and breathing.

At around this time, it’s possible that I will finally get to feel baby moving. I’ve read that quickening can happen anywhere between 16-20 weeks, and possibly even as late as 22 weeks. It happens sooner if it’s your second child or if you’re slim, or later if it’s your first time or are overweight. I’m quite small, so I’ve been hoping to feel it as soon as I hit that 16 week mark. Supposedly, it’s also harder to tell in your first pregnancy because you don’t really know what to feel for, and it could seem like gas bubbles! It can also feel like a fluttering or popcorn popping. Sometimes, I lay on my back and try to concentrate on my lower abdomen to try to feel for something, anything going on down there.

Today, M and I went to a movie and while I was sitting there, I had this weird sensation. It wasn’t really a tummy rumble, like I often get when I’m hungry, even before I was pregnant. I suppose it could be described as a fluttering. I felt it again later tonight, the same sort of sensation that I can’t quite describe.

Is that you, baby?

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