BUMP UPDATES

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

40 WEEKS – Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

 

I really didn’t think I was going to get to write this update or get to use this photo I took just in case.

My initial feelings were that I’ll go past my due date. Then they changed and I felt I’ll go into labor at 38 weeks. When 38 weeks came and went, I honestly had no clue when or where it’d hit me. That was a good state of mind to be in. Then the contractions came in, close together and at regular intervals and I was confident real labor would follow within 1-2 days. That was Monday night. It’s Thursday and we’re still waiting. I have gone through regular contractions, passed my plug, “cleaned out my intestines”, had a crazy nesting urge ( all one after another)- and here I am again- no clue when it’ll happen lol
What I tried to avoid by not getting my dilation checked, I couldn’t avoid by being able to recognize the pre-labor signs: getting impatient. The funny part is I am in no way impatient to “get Alexis out”. I do want to meet her NOW but I’d be perfectly fine waiting till she is ready. The fact that I’m feeling better than I have ever felt during this pregnancy, despite a full term baby inside of me is contributing to this ( and astounds me at the same time). So my impatience is coming solely from that Monday when I felt the first contractions really close together for hours and was sure that was it. When IT didn’t happen within 4 days, I suddenly wanted it to happen so bad. Funny how mind works.
So after this doctor’s appointment I am officially done watching for signs and concentrating on doing all the safe things that help the labor move along as well as enjoy last week of pregnancy.

STATS:

Her size: WATERMELON

How far along: 40 WEEKS!!!! I am officially due today!

Total weight gain: 176lbs (1 lb this week). I have gained a round 40 lbs. It’s funny because during all the updates throughout pregnancy I have considered not sharing my weight gain or my thoughts and feelings on it. It’s a touchy subject for many women, and oh my, how much speculation it has brought. So I’ve considered doing what most other preggo bloggers do and just skip the weight section. But every time I think that, I also realize that it would defeat the whole purpose of trying to keep a record of this pregnancy and more importantly share it with other women who might be pregnant now or in the future. I’ve always tried to be as honest and upfront about this experience as possible, including my thoughts and feelings, my expectations and my realities, regardless of what kind of reactions they might bring on. And you know what? In the end, I know  what I will appreciate is reading back about every detail of the pregnancy as well as share it with other girls going through the same stages. My favorite pregnant bloggers really tell it how it is, not just 1 word answers and numbers on a questionnaire. They lament, they worry, they talk about their fears and joys. I also know that these efforts to stay honest regardless of how ulgy or uncomfortable it is are appreciated by many readers who are pregnant or trying to conceive. I get so many emails daily thanking me for the information or asking questions and I am sorry I can’t promptly answer them ( though I always do after some time), but do know that I appreciate them all. You emails and your comments make me want to keep this up even when I am insanely busy.
So I want to continue that into post partum weight loss. Pounds, nutrition, pictures, updates. First maybe weekly, then occasionally. I don’t know if I’ll have time for it AND Alexis’s updates, but if I can pull it off, I’d like to do it.

Sleep: My body is sore, I pee about 6 times a night, I wake up early and am restless- but it’s still good sleep for being 40 weeks pregnant.

Maternity Clothes: I can’t comfortably fit my belly into most of my maternity pants at this point, so it’s all about dresses for me.

Food cravings: Anything fresh!

Food aversions: Beans

Symptoms I HAVE:
Heartburn – still there, still strong! Can’t wait to be done with it.

I am really amazed at how good I feel. I always thought that by 40 weeks I’d be soooo miserable I’d want the baby out! I do want Alexis out because I’m anxious to meet her and start that chapter of our lives, but not because I AM DYING to be done. I feel really good! I can go on long walks, I have decent energy, it’s better than I ever expected. I am ready to be done with pregnancy in general but only because it’s been just too freaking long!

Stretchmarks: None so far, but the longer Lexi decides to stay inside, the more likely I am to get some.

Doctor’s Appointment: As I was going on this apointment, I knew I was going to get hit with “the induction talk”. Obviously, anyone would like to avoid an induction, but it’s the kind of thing that just hangs over you once you hit your due date without a baby in your arms. On one hand, I’ve read/heard too many stories about babies dying at 40 weeks 3 days and so on and so forth and I know it’s a dangerous time for babies in the womb due to their cramped quarters, but on the other hand, induction isn’t something you want to do unless absolutely necessary. So you walk this fine balance between risk on one side and risk on the other.

That being said, I love my OB and I trust him to have my interests in mind, he is really great. However, I do know he has a certain bias toward the way things are done, so I make sure I research and read myself, but then also listen to what he says and his experience and knowledge. He wants to induce at 41 weeks, he feels more comfortable that way. I get it. He’d rather deliver a baby with any means possible than lose one. I’m there with him too. And that’s why I am listening.

When I told him about my concerns when it comes to inductions (the usual ones: increased risk c section, fetal distress, likelihood of need for epidural, stronger than normal contractions), he assured me that when Pitocin is administered correctly, in the right dosage individually for every woman and adjusted correctly, it should not differ from what your natural labor should be like. The issue arises when OBs don’t do it carefully and patiently. The way it’s SUPPOSED TO work is if you are supposed to have a 6 hour labor naturally, you’d labor for 6 hours from the start of pitocin as well (once it has a chance to kick in), if you were meant to labor 16 hours, you would do the same on Pitocin. What he says makes sense to me and I have to trust him as a medical professional that I chose for a reason ( I had interviewed quite a few OBs in the area, before finding him).

There’s no other reasons for induction for me, like medical problems or baby weight ( she measured 7lb 8 oz last week). We also know exactly when we conceived, so her gestational age is spot on, she wouldn’t be born too soon. From everything I’ve read (and my OB said the same thing), when you’re that close to labor, sometimes just some Cervadil would kick-start it.

So that being said, my husband and I do tend to agree with our OB. I’ll probably want to wait just a day after 41 weeks, but right now we’re discussing dates, since we need to “schedule” it by tomorrow. In the meantime, we’re doing anything and everything safe and sane to help Alexis come out before then. I feel that she will come out before 41 weeks and if not, a proper induction isn’t the worst thing that can happen. More than anything we want her here safe and healthy.

Also, as you all know, I’ve been declining cervical checks at my appointments ( for a few reasons), but this time he got us to do it :) Basically, after I told him about my sister’s labor (4 hours to get to 4 cm with painless contractions, 30 minutes of very painful contractions that took her from 4cm to 10 cm, and then 4 pushes to get the baby out), coupled with my mom’s 7 hour first labor AND simple curiosity plus looming induction, he thought checking dilation might give us a heads up on when I should come to the hospital. If I am dilated to 3 cm right now, it’d be wise to get to the hospital almost right away since there’s a chance I’ll fly through active labor and transition, like my sis. If my weak contractions on Monday didn’t dilate me at all, then I mostly likely have time to labor at home before going to L&D. Thinking back at that, I don’t know that either one of those cases would have really told us that, but we were curious if the Monday contractions dilated me and how much. The answer was as disappointing as I would expect it to be- right down the middle- 1 cm dilated and 40% effaced- so it basically told us NOTHING. However, I did get to practice my hypnosis technique for the first time on a more real thing (cervical check) and it was….well interesting….

So the bottomline, I hope Alexis comes on her own before the induction. If an induction does happen, I’m not going to broken up about it. I will attempt to still use hypnosis with it (though I feel I am less likely to succeed, which is the attitude I have to work on in the coming week) and not go with an epidural. If I do end up with an epidural, I’m fine with that too. I will try a few techniques to help the labor get going. And I will take this time to relax and enjoy the few days that I have left with actual free time on my hands.

Movement: She’s been as active as before, which is a really great reassurance that she’s doing good.

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week:

  • The evening I realized I was having close time-able contractions- the thought that it might be labor is just so amazing.
  • Yesterday when I got my package from Boob Design with adorable nursing clothes and a dress that I am hoping to wear as a going home dress ( however, based on your guys’ advice on Facebook, I will definitely take 2 back up outfits: 1 for that chance that going home photos are the last thing I want to do, and 1 in case I do want photos but the dress is not something I am comfortable wearing).
  • We also resolved a few matters that have been hanging over us and received
    one of our strollers, so it was a GREAT day overall.

What I’m looking forward to:

L-A-B-O-R!

What I miss:

Smoked salmon
Liking all food again

Again: In case I go into labor, I will try to have Andrew do a quick post to tell you all that it’s show time. I will most definitely post something on my Facebook page and that’s also probably how I am going to be updating you all in the first day or so. So if I disappear with no posts, it’s most likely NOT due to labor.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 40 WEEKS – Bump Update

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

39 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

Before I go into the 39 week update, I’d like to tell you about this dress. It’s a convertible dress from 2chix Maternity that I just received and decided to wear to my OB appointment. I KID YOU NOT, every single person that crossed our path that day commented on it. Seriously! I had people look into our exam room while we were waiting asking me where I got the dress. And that’s considering I look like a whale at this point in my 39 weeks (I’m a tall girl + pregnancy weight = makes me look pretty big in general).
Personally I wore the dress because it’s insanely comfortable- the fabric is very soft, light and  very flowy. I am in love with the color!  But I didn’t expect it too cause such a reaction from passerbys and the office staff at the doctor’s office. And it’s a convertible dress, meaning you can wear it many different ways (as a halter, criss cross, off the shoulder, one shoulder, tube dress, one shoulder, cap sleeve, etc) - I wore it criss-cross and then later in the day created a little off the shoulder look like in the picture. I don’t think it’s specifically a maternity dress but it definitely fits well in maternity even at my 39 weeks. You can buy it here in coral, blue and black and it can even be worn as a skirt. I know I’ll be digging it post-partum when I get my body back, so you’ll be seeing me in this dress much more.

STATS:

Her size: WATERMELON

How far along: 39 WEEKS!!!! It just doesn’t get old. I never thought I’d be that far along- it’s pretty cool.

Total weight gain: I’m at 175 lb. (+1 lbs this week, total at 39 lbs). It looks like I’ll hit the round 40 lbs of weight gain,which still blows my mind. I am curious and excited to see how it comes off though.

Sleep: Sleep is good, it’s just hard to get up 3-4 times a night, surrounded by massive pillows and dragging your huge belly over the edge of the bed. Luckily I can still do it without outside help :)

Maternity Clothes: Dresses, yoga pants and fitted tshirts is what I’m most comfy in.

Food cravings: SWEETS :))))))

Food aversions: Anything that I have been eating for a long time. I like change.

Symptoms I HAVE:
Heartburn that goes from mild to strong depending on what I eat
Low pelvic shocks from Alexis’s head once in a while
Occasional unreasonable irritability (twice so far the whole pregnancy, both this week)
And a new one these past two days: Bruised upper inner thighs ( from her head, I assume)

But otherwise, I am really comfortable and feel great!

Stretchmarks: I completely forgot about this  question, until reader “Lola” reminded me about it. I guess because there hasn’t been any change for so many weeks, I stopped updating it. So…. I still have no stretchmarks. The area around my belly button looks VERY stretched and very thin and I can see capillaries, but no actual stretchmarks yet. Almost every evening I keep finding a reddish spot and pointing it to hubby who assures me it doesn’t look like a stretchmark and he is always right, because the spot goes away the next day.  And I continue to be very diligent about moisturizing my belly with Mama Mio Tummy Oil and drinking lots of water . I have one week left and while it doesn’t look like I’m going to get any stretchies, anything is possible before and after birth.

Doctor’s Appointment: Everything looked great as usual. This time the doc couldn’t really feel her head, so he wanted to make sure she’s still head down. We got sent to an ultrasound. I was hoping to see her face one more time but she was just too low. She is head down and is measuring 7lbs 8 oz at the moment, though I know these measurements are usually pretty inaccurate. My AFI (amniotic fluid index) is perfect at 11.8, which is something I was concerned about knowing that it diminishes towards the end of pregnancy. And we finally got to verify that she is in fact a SHE! Andrew received a print out of her head and I got her circled labia lol

Movement: She has her active times during 7-10pm hours and morning hours. She sleeps really well at night. I wonder if that’s going to transfer into real world at all. I did read that there are some theories about that.

Belly Button: Outie

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week:
Just being this far along and knowing Alexis is going to be here soon.
It was pretty nice to finish the nursery ( almost finish… I don’t think it’ll ever be 100% finished, since I am planning on continuously adding things)
Hanging out with my girls sans babies during a movie night that was more of a “let’s talk about penises and sex” night rather  than the actual “watching a movie” night.

What I’m looking forward to:

I am EXTREMELY curious to see how my labor starts! Am I going to be in early labor for many hours or will it hit me like a truck? And of course the question is WHEN WHEN WHEN!
I am not impatient to get Alexis out, aside from wanting to meet her and keep her safe, but I am very interested to see how the labor goes for me.

What I miss:

It’s 39 weeks, so that means I got the go-ahead from hubby to finally walk and be active and work as hard as I want ( he wanted me to take it easy before then). I’m enjoying this newfound sense of independence :) I can finally see a glimpse of my normal life on the horizon and cannot wait for Alexis to come and change its definition. I can’t miss anything right now, because it’s not too long until I get to do it all again.

So another week of possible start of labor. Everyone is taking guesses and I am the only one who doesn’t have a clue!

I am planning a few posts for the next week, unless I go into labor. Here’s what I have in the works:

  • Hospital Bags (what we packed)
  •  Organic Baby clothes and where to buy them
  • Our Birth Plan
  • A random happenings/picture post

Again: In case I go into labor, I will try to have Andrew do a quick post to tell you all that it’s show time. I will most definitely post something on my Facebook page and that’s also probably how I am going to be updating you all in the first day or so. So if I disappear with no posts, it’s most likely NOT due to labor.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 39 Weeks Bump Update

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

38 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

STATS:

Her size: BIG GIRL READY TO COME OUT

How far along: 38 WEEKS!!!! Wow 38 weeks just seems so much more substantial than 37 weeks for some reason!

Total weight gain: I’m at 174 lb. (+3 lbs this week, total at 38 lbs).  Seriously? I mean what the hell! I don’t understand my weight gain whatsoever. The only thing that saves me from being pissed at it is that I don’t look like I’m gaining that much weight..and the fact that I am almost done…and the fact that weight loss has always been easy for me, since I know exactly what my body needs. But still seeing these numbers on the scale and not having a clue where it’s coming from, considering I eat really really healthy (+ a few small treats a day) is a little confusing.

Sleep: My sides really hurt, but otherwise it’s pretty solid sleep even with bathroom break interruptions.

Maternity Clothes: Dresses, yoga pants and fitted tshirts is what I’m most comfy in.

Food cravings: None really at this point.

Food aversions: cooked tomatoes- they give me wicked heartburn

Symptoms I HAVE: This morning I woke up and for the first time during pregnancy looked down to see somewhat swollen feet. Whoa! They weren’t majorly swollen (when you press on them there’s no indentation), but it sort of concerned me. I measured my BP and it was fine, called the nurse to just run it past her since it’s a pretty sudden symptom and she said that as long as my BP is good, it’s nothing to worry about, most women get swelling early in their third trimester.

Heartburn- YUCK! This sucker picked up this week! A few times, I even had to take half a Tums and drink by-carb ( I only take it when it’s really really bad).

Otherwise, I feel great! No back pain, no pains in general- really expected to be more miserable towards the end.

Doctor’s Appointment: Everything was fine as usual. I brought my birth plan (which I will post soon) and had my OB look it over  and sign it. He said that the only two things that he foresees us having a problem withwhen it comes to the L&D nurses was the “no IV” and “no continuous monitoring”.  Again, he reiterated calling his cell if there’s a problem and also telling the nurses to call him in when I’m dilated to 10 cm rather than wait till she’s crowned, which is when they usually call him in  (because of my family history of fast labors and pushing and because of my body build).

Also I could see a marked changed in his attitude towards me going for un-medicated birth and using hypnosis for relaxation. He started our relationship with the “why take the pain if you can have an epidural” attitude, which is where I was at that point as well. When I first told him about my plan for hypnobabies, he smiled and I felt like he was letting me do what I wanted but was pretty skeptical of whether it would work or if I’d pull through. This appointment, hubby and I both got an impression that he was actually routing for me to go without an epidural. A few times he said: “You can definitely do it!”  and “You won’t need an epidural” and seemed genuinely excited! I’m really glad for his support!

Movement: This girl loves to move! It’s especially fun when her  head presses on my nerve in my crotch! lol

Belly Button: Outie

Gender: GIRL! Though…… we never got it confirmed. We had our 20 week anatomy scan when we were told a girl, and the only other u/s we had, she kept her legs tightly closed. So we hope we’re not going to be “surprised” in the delivery room!

Best moment of the week: I have two this week! My mom has finally arrived and it’s so awesome! I feel all is now well in the world and Alexis can come whenever she’d like. My mom is amazing help, but also a huge distraction because all I want to do now and hang out with her :) She’s so funny with Alexis and my stomach, so gentle and curious and cute! I guess they never thought of the baby as a real baby back then, they didn’t know anything about what’s going on inside. So this whole “it’s a real baby inside you” thing is new to her. She sees her a her granddaughter even though she’s not here yet.

Another awesome moment this week was a surprise mini-shower from my friends, Michelle and Christine. I totally didn’t expect it, and was completely oblivious to the clues (read my attitude towards traditional baby showers post)!  They did such a  good job, though- I had no suspicions and was completely caught of guard and we had such a nice time ( and no cheesy shower games haha). I was coming over Michelle’s to hang out with her while my hubby was flying to NYC, in case I’d get in labor and I literally almost put sweats and a tee on to go over there and at the last second she insisted we take “last bump” photos together, so I was forced to at least put on a dress. hahaha I still laugh at how oblivious I was of all the clues that were out there.

I love you, girls! I’m so lucky I have you here close by!

That really makes me want to do a baby party when Alexis comes! Hope I can pull it off!

What I’m looking forward to:

I am really excited about experiencing childbirth and seeing Alexis for the first time and just understanding  what this whole “being a parent” thing is all about.

What I miss:

Not being helpless. My husband is even more protective of me and Alexis now that she’s almost here, so he won’t let me do anything. He wants her to cook till 39 weeks, because the doc said that’s where most of the time they’re truly done developing, so I am not even “allowed” to go for a walk or clean or move around much in case it’ll kick start labor. I’m personally fine with her coming this week, but I do understand what he’s saying so I just smile and do what he says, realizing that in 1 week things will change and it’ll be mostly me having sleepless nights and breastfeeding on cue with as much help from him as possible.

 

So I almost feel like it’s possible this is my last update! :)

In case I go into labor, I will try to have Andrew do a quick post to tell you all that it’s show time. I will most definitely post something on my Facebook page and that’s also probably how I am going to be updating you all in the first day or so. So if I disappear with no posts, it’s most likely NOT due to labor.

 

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 38 Weeks Bump Update

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

37 WEEK BUMP UPDATE – FULL TERM

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

STATS:

Her size: THE HIGHLYANTICIPATED WATERMELON.

How far along: 37 WEEKS!!!! FULL TERM!

Total weight gain: I’m at 171 lb. (+2 lbs this week, total at 35 lbs). My husband laughs at me, because at some point he was 178 lbs which is not far from my weight now! I laugh WITH him, because I know how much easier it is for me to lose weight than him :P So he might tease me (good-heartedly) now when he tries to help me get up, but I know I’ll be taunting him when the pounds just come off without much effort and he’s still trying to lose “the pregnancy weight” he gained.

Sleep: Oh my sides just hurt! I don’t like the idea of sleeping on my right side because vena cava is located more to the right and if I accidentally flip half way on my back in the middle of the night, the weight of the baby might block the blood flow. I read in a few places that pregnant women who sleep more on the right have a statistically double the chance of stillbirth. The link is weak, but it’s enough to make me flip over to my left every time I find myself sleeping on the right side. But man, I have to say, a few times a night I just HAVE to do it, because the left side feels bruised.

Maternity Clothes: Just the same old stuff I’ve blogged about before. I am obsessed with Boob Design and am patiently waiting for their US website launch this month, as well as the release of their spring collection. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway- 3 more days left!

Food cravings: Chocolate cake (considering I’m not a fan of anything chocolate)

Food aversions: I have finally conquered my aversion for beans, left over from the 1st trimester nausea. And I’m glad I did, because as of last week I stopped eating diary products to clear myself of milk proteins for breastfeeding and I need to get my protein somewhere. (Diary is the biggest allergen and can make the baby colicky, gassy, aside from many other things that I won’t get into. If you’re interested, I’d pick up a book called The Baby Bond: The New Science Behind What’s Really Important When Caring for Your Baby. The book does like to go on about things, but if you can sit through that, there is a TON of information, all backed up by studies, that is not to be missed: from breastfeeding to allergic reactions, to baby wearing and so on.)

Symptoms I HAVE: Nada! I mean, yeah, there are a few minor ones I’ve learned to live with: minor heartburn, minor fatigue, minor pelvic pain when Alexis decides to play. But overall, I am feeling better than I ever thought I would at this point. That fact makes hubby think that Alexis will come AFTER her due date. “You don’t look or feel like you’re about to pop!”- he says. I tend to agree, but of course anything out of the ordinary sends me into “Is this it? Why am I feeling so nauseous?” haha
My BH aren’t very frequent at this point, my boobs stopped leaking- so I might be far far away from actual labor :)

Doctor’s Appointment: I have my doc’s appointments every Thursday on my weekly anniversary. It was all good as usual. My OB seems very supportive of my Hypnobirth plan. We discussed the fact that my mom AND my sister both had fast labors (6 hours and 4 hours respectively with only 15 min pushing), so it’s possible I’ll go the same way. He also gave me his cell phone number to call in case there’s anyone who is giving us any hassle about following the birth plan in a non-emergency situation. I did opt out of cervical checks – he didn’t say a thing. So I’m very happy with my OB and super excited about birth.

Oh and Alexis disengaged! Boo! She’s about at -3 station (considering she was engaged my last appointment). It’s good because there’s noone to headbutt my cervix for the time being but bad because I’d like to know she’s getting closer to labor.

Movement: Evenings are her time! I love the movement! Even when she is hurting me, I still love feeling her move. It definitely beats worrying about why she isn’t moving. Now that Andrew can hear her heartbeat from the outside, I often ask him to listen when there is a stretch of a few hours without much movement. It’s so nice to have that reassurance. I hated the time before movements were felt. The only thing that saved us was the Doppler (which was the best purchase ever).

Belly Button: Total outie! I think it’s kinda cute!

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: I couldn’t remember so I asked hubby and his answer was “Hanging out with my baby!” :) Aw!

What I’m looking forward to:

Only 5 short days till my mom’s arrival. I’m already dreaming of all the awesome meals she’ll cook!!!!

What I miss:

SMOKED SALMON and normal people clothes! I have recently allowed myself to look through catalogues and websites for clothes because I feel I am close enough to wearing normal non-maternity stuff. I’m going to dance like a crazy girl when I fit into my NYC size skinny jeans (those are really really small), but before I do, I want to get some colorful skinny jeans in coral and yellow to wear in the meantime. YUM!

So I am officially full term and it feels good. I’ll slowly start natural labor induction after 38th week when my mom is here and everything is ready to go. What I mean by that is simply walking. I’ve been having strong BHs when I walk so I’ve stayed away from it. Once I’m done with week 38, I can resume walking again and not worry about contractions.
We are sort of ready for her to come. The seat has been installed, we took our car for service to make sure it’s in tip-top shape, birth plan is made and printed, hospital bag list is ready, hubby is trained, a few more things this weekend and Alexis officially has the go-ahead from us. The room is not fully finished yet, but she’ll be sleeping in a co-sleeper for the first 6 months anyways, so I’m not worried. This weekend we’ll do as much as possible, including pack the hospital bags, clean the room, wash her clothes and diapers, and organize everything. But mentally I am ready and excited! I cannot wait for this new chapter of our life to start- I’m definitely ready to be done with the last one!

HAPPY FULL TERM, ALEXIS!


This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 37 WEEK BUMP UPDATE – FULL TERM

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

36 WEEK BUMP UPDATE

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

 

It was so cold this morning that I jumped out of bed and quickly put clothes on without realizing that my bra is inside out until I took these pictures- haha!
Oh and I was taking these shots when hubby brought me an ice-cream cone- I couldn’t let it melt while I took pictures :)

STATS:

Her size: Still cantaloupe, almost watermelon.

How far along: 36 WEEKS!!!! OH YEAH!!!!! 1 more week to full term.

Total weight gain: 169 lb.  (+1 lbs this week, total at 33 lbs). According to my OB, I haven’t gained anything this week, but weighing yourself in the middle of the day with clothes and shoes on isn’t as accurate, so I’m going by my morning weigh ins.

Sleep: Still good. I am pretty much used to getting up many times a night to pee which is a good sign for the upcoming middle of the night baby-thon. I also started waking up “concerned” with whether Alexis is moving or not. She doesn’t move at night, so I wake up to go pee, all worried that she’s not moving. As soon as I get back into bed, I put my hands around my belly and wait for her to stir. She does move almost immediately and I go back to sleep only to wake up a few hours later and repeat it all again.

Maternity Clothes: Just the same old stuff I’ve blogged about before

Food cravings: Cucumbers, cakes

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Occasional major pelvic pains. When Alexis is moving, sometimes her head presses on SOMETHING in my pelvic bone (nerve? bone?) and it really hurts- like a jolt of shock. Sometimes it lasts for hours of her squirming around. The other day I was helping hubby take this super difficult 3 hour test and she wouldn’t stop moving. I couldn’t even use my relaxation techniques, because I had to be concentrating on the questions. I guess it’s a good sign meaning she’s deeper in my pelvis and possibly settling even more down.

I had 2 leg cramps this week for the first time this pregnancy, so I probably need to up my calcium intake a bit more.

And finally, I am almost always tired, but feel really great otherwise!

Doctor’s Appointment: Yesterday. I got all negative on Strep B and cultures, which was good news. BP was excellent, no swelling, good heartbeat and measurements. Based on the external exam, Alexis appears to be at about 0 station (which is why I was feeling pain). So everything is fine, now we just have to wait till she decides to arrive. Next appointment is in a week and I am sure they’re going to want to check my cervix for progress, which I totally don’t see the medical need for, since it doesn’t predict how close you are to labor. I’ll go into labor when I do, so why check it.

Movement: She’s very active. I guess they’re supposed to slow down due to cramped space, but it seems like she’s only starting and I like it that way. The more movement, the more brain development happens in these last weeks, since synapses are created by experiences. So I don’t care if she has to punch me multiple times a day- You go girl! Oh and she’s insanely strong now and her feet are big :) lol

Belly Button: Outie. That area of my belly is stretching the most and the skin looks almost translucent and reddish. If I am going to get stretchmarks, something tells me that’s where they will first appear.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: WOW I can’t remember what I did yesterday, let alone this whole week. Oh, there was Christmas (lol), that was really nice. But mostly I am just buried under a load of last minute baby preparations and work.

What I’m looking forward to:

Being full term next week- that’s just soooo exciting! And then the week after that my mom arrives. Let’s just hope I don’t go into labor before then!

And I am almost giddy about my labor starting- seriously I can’t wait!

What I miss:

Not watching every little thing that goes into my mouth or on my body.

What else?

  • The realization of Alexis being pretty much ready to go hit me hard. I still don’t have a lot of basic items like diaper pails and baby care items (I have a 49 point list on my Wunderlist). We still haven’t read the newborn books, since we’ve been trying to get through other attachment parenting books, as well as breastfeeding books and baby brain books. So most likely I am going to have to stop any work projects going on that aren’t urgent and get all that ordered and if she doesn’t show up early, attempt to get the work stuff accomplished before she arrives. So today I am knee deep in ordering baby essentials.
  • It’s probably every pregnant woman’s feeling but I think she’ll come before 40 weeks ( which would be my preference, since I don’t want to drive myself crazy with “OMG are we gonna have to induce?”)
And finally a closer belly shot. Because of the direct light, I don’t think you can even make out my belly in the bump update shots (the front ones), so it looks more like a belly here. With that uneven side where Lexi rests her feet lol.

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 36 WEEK BUMP UPDATE

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

35 WEEK BUMP UPDATE {35/35}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

STATS:

Her size: We’re a large cantaloupe this week! Getting closer and closer to a watermelon.

How far along: 35 WEEKS. Yesterday was the famous 35/35 – 35 weeks along with 35 days to go.

Total weight gain: 168 lb.  (+2 lbs this week, total at 32 lbs).  I guess I gotta get used to this 2 lbs a week thing. I can tell Alexis is gaining a lot, she’s getting bigger and stronger with each day. Starting from about 28 weeks, I’ve been trying to make sure my protein intake is adequate, which isn’t exactly easy for a person who doesn’t eat meat, so all I have to rely on is diary products, cheese and occasional well cooked shrimp or sardines (low in mercury and dioxins). I’ve had sort of an aversion to beans this whole pregnancy, so I can’t even eat them without grimacing. I’m pretty sure that’s where the extra weight gain is coming from, which makes me feel good because I know protein is something that is crucial for her development and her brain.

Sleep: The bathroom trips are out of control. Seriously, it feels like I get up 10 times a night (it’s really about 4-5 times). I can’t cut down on my evening water intake though, because I get so thirsty at night. Getting up 5 times a night doesn’t really bother me as much as I’d imagine it would, so I’m still pretty content with my sleep (minus the occasional nightmares)

Maternity Clothes: Just the same old stuff I’ve blogged about before

Food cravings: Anything sweet and fruit.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Lots of little Lexi punches, occasional heartburn, occasional pelvic pressure. But otherwise I feel great! No stretchmarks so far either, so I have my fingers crossed (and tummy lubed up). BTW, I don’t think I ever mentioned but my skin cleared up. I had broken out pretty badly in the first trimester and it lasted throughout the 2nd trimester, but now it seems everything is settled in. I still don’t have the skin I had before pregnancy, but I attribute it to the fact that I am not using the same products, since they aren’t 100% “pregnancy approved”.

Doctor’s Appointment:  Yesterday for strep B test. Now I am switched over visiting the doctor’s office once a week.

Movement: The strong punches have started. I feel she’s trying to poke out of me with her butt! She is REALLY strong. It doesn’t necessarily hurt, but it’s not exactly pleasant. I do love her movements no matter how uncomfortable it gets. She seems to love my hipbone, because it gets kicked all the time.  I keep meaning to videotape her moving in my belly but miss her every time.

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: I love feeling good. It’s surprising to me that I’m that far along and don’t have much to complain about in terms of aches. I do have occasional pains, but they don’t seem to bother me much. So I’m enjoying this part of the pregnancy.

What I’m looking forward to:

I should be looking forward to the holidays, but this year it’s going to be low key. We are having a nice Christmas dinner at our friends’ house, which is making me feel a little better about skipping most of the festivities ( we didn’t even decorate, because then we’d have to take all the decor down right as Lexi is supposed to arrive.

Another friend of ours is hosting an amazing New Year’s party this year at his mansion that we decided not to go to :(  But I swear that’s the last party we’ll have to miss (bummer :( ). We went back and forth considering going, but it’s just too close to our due date, too many people (flu season), and too much smoke.  Just to give you an idea of the scale of parties he throws: there’s gonna be valet parking at his house as well as a bus he rented that will take anyone home who doesn’t want to worry about not drinking and driving. There’s also going to be a separate area of the house set up for kids/teenagers with their own food and DJ, which I thought was a neat idea.

What I miss:

BEING ABLE TO BEND WITHOUT GROANING :) HA!

What else?

  •  I recently read something I’d like to share with you guys. If you aren’t subscribed to my Facebook page, you might have missed this. It was an article about pain fighting foods and one of those foods are cherries (or pretty much any berries), which was nice to know. But specifically, they found out that 2 tablespoons of cherry extract (cherry juice concentrate) is 10 times more effective at fighting inflammation than aspirin. If you read anything about inflammation in our bodies, you know that it has a lot of negative effects on our health and we all have it (from foods we eat and medications we take and just from living life), so it’s nice to know that something so natural and easy can be done to counteract that.  Any junk foods we eat add to that silent inflammation inside of us, and a lot of healthy foods are inflammatory as well. So I ordered a bottle of cherry concentrate  and read some reviews on it too. It seems to really work, as amazing as it sounds (lots of people treat pain due to arthritis  with cherry concentrate). This is the one I got: Tart Is Smart Tart Cherry Concentrate, 32-Ounce Bottle, in case you’re interested. NOTE: I am not taking it during pregnancy, just in case, so I bought it for my husband. I would research about the effect of cherry extract/juice/concentrate in pregnancy before taking it.
  • Another thing I’d like to mention is Isabella Oliver is having a 50% off sale. I wish I had more than a month left in my pregnancy because I’d love to get a few more of those dresses and skirts. But for those of you out there pregnant and looking for a super classy and elegant maternity brand, check it out: 50% off Isabella Oliver
  • A fellow “recently preggo, now with a baby” blogger Megan is holding her first child related giveaway. And she’d love for those interested to enter check it out!
I think that’s it for today! If I am not back before Christmas,  I wish you all the best time ever, whether it’s quite or crazy!
Love,
E


 

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 35 WEEK BUMP UPDATE {35/35}

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

34 Weeks: Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

Check out the left side of my belly- Alexis keeps resting her feet there- it looks funky and uneven.

 

STATS:

Her size: We’re a honeydew this week! Never thought that’d happen :)

How far along: 34 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 166 lb.  (+2 lbs this week, total at 30 lbs). This week I feel like I’ve exploded (or maybe it’s Alexis). She feels so much heavier just comparing to the last week and I look so much more pregnant (and not only in my belly). I know to other people it’s not as apparent, but I’ve never had such big arms and legs and even my face is totally rounding out. Gotta stop eating sweets :)

Sleep: With Alexis being really heavy now, sleep is starting to become uncomfortable. I have to wake up numerous times a night to just change positions or go to the bathroom and my body is starting to hurt after a fidgety night of sleep. But all in all, while I have good days and bad days, it’s still pretty bearable.

Maternity Clothes: I’ve reached the point where I don’t care much what I wear as long as it’s loose and/or comfortable with a few exceptions.

Food cravings: Get me off the sweet treat train!!! Please? I’ve gone into a cycle of wanting cookies, cakes, chocolate, ice cream and I need to turn that train around heading to fruitville instead.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE:  This week Alexis must have gained quite a bit of weight and possibly moved lower into my pelvis, because it feels like my belly is going to fall to the ground and certain days it feels like she’s sitting right on my pelvic bone. It’s quite an uncomfortable feeling, I gotta tell you. Some days she doesn’t press so much, so it’s hit or miss with how comfortable or sucky I feel

Aside from that, almost no symptoms- feeling decent.

Doctor’s Appointment:  Next Thursday + strep B test

Movement: Oh the shapes my stomach takes nowadays! She loves to stick out her butt, kick me with her legs, tickle me with her hands and sometimes bump her head on my butthole :) lol

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: I guess that would be the hospital tour! It was  nice to see the very place where we’ll bring Alexis into this world ( that is if I don’t wait too long and give birth in a car lol). Hearing other babies cry made me soooo happy- it’s what Alexis is going to sound like when we first hear her- such an amazing feeling. I wasn’t too thrilled about the labor and delivery rooms- they seemed small and depressing. The postpartum rooms were much better and we’re definitely bringing an air mattress so that Andrew could rest better. I looked into another hospital in the area that has better rooms, but my OB doesn’t have privileges there so he wouldn’t be able to deliver our baby, which is out of the question. I guess, when I’m in labor, it won’t really matter how big or small the room is, as long as I am left alone to practice my relaxation and can move around if I want to.

What I’m looking forward to:

My mom coming to US on Jan 11th. That’ll be so much fun!

What I miss:

Back to sushi this week. It’s getting harder and harder to be ok with not eating things I want to eat. I miss being able to put whatever I want into my body without any concern of harm to my unborn baby.

What else?

  • We finally finished our search for pediatricians. We interviewed 3 different ones ( almost 4 but at the last second realized they didn’t fit our health plan) over the last few weeks and pretty much made a decision already. It’s a smaller practice which is what we liked with a very sweet doctor.
  • I received the Body Oil and Body Buff from Mama Mio and I’m loving it. It’s the first time during pregnancy when I got to exfoliate myself and moisturize my whole body (because most products contain ingredients I’d rather not use during pregnancy), and it just felt amazing to have smooth skin again. Highly recommend both the products.


 

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 34 Weeks: Bump Update

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

33 Weeks: Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

I think I am starting to get that chubby look most pregnant women get in their last month or two :)

By the way, if you were ever curious about what I look like without make up vs. with make up on, you can compare today’s photos {correction: I do have blush on} to last week’s bump photos. I’m sure I’ll do a side by side headshot comparison once I am no longer pregnant, just for fun, because I think the difference is significant. I am a big believer in make up for girls. (P.S. Most of my bump updates are done without make up, since it’s usually first thing in the morning or on days where I don’t have to go anywhere)

 

STATS:

Her size: “This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds  and has passed the 17-inch mark. She’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. ”

How far along: 33 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 164 lb. I am at 28 lb total weight gain right now. Not sure how much I gained this week in particular, because last week the scale was screwing up and this week we have a new scale that is showing all new (higher) numbers. I’m starting to get into the poundage that makes me NOT want to disclose my weight (hahaha), but I am trying to ignore the nagging feeling of  ” 160s? WHAT? I can’t tell anyone I weigh in the 160s” .
I am pregnant and I am supposed to gain weight! I was never afraid of gaining weight during pregnancy and I better not start getting squirmy about it now!

Sleep: Good solid sleep with 4-5 trips to the bathroom throughout the night. Nowadays, whenever I get up to pee, I try to imagine that soon I’ll have to get up just as often, but instead of flopping back into bed and falling asleep, I’d have to change a diaper, feed and possibly cuddle with my baby girl to get her to go back to sleep.

Maternity Clothes: Dresses and yoga pants mostly.

Food cravings: Right this moment I am craving Alden’s All Natural Vanilla Ice cream with caramel on top. Speaking of Alden’s ice cream, it is THE BEST tasting ice cream out there. We get it at Whole Foods and it’s just the perfect blend of cream and sugar (not too sweet) and of course all natural.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Still feeling really good. There are days when I am really really tired and I figure that that’s when Alexis is growing the most. It’s starting to get hard to go up  and down stairs and we have a huge staircase (picture on the left) with bedrooms upstairs and living areas downstairs, so if I want anything done, I have to go up and down multiple times an hour. It’s also starting to get difficult to pick things up off the floor. I usually ask my husband to do it for me and you’d be amazed HOW MANY THINGS we have that end up on the floor and need to be picked up! Ugh!

Otherwise, I still don’t have consistent back pain ( only occasional if I sleep in a wrong position), or leg cramps, or any other pains. Heartburn is still there but definitely more manageable, so is light indigestion. Speaking of heartburn, I think I might have discovered a “new cure” for it, at least for me. You know the Metromint water that’s sold at Whole Foods? Well, I am a big fan and the other day I picked it up from the store and drank from it in the middle of pretty bad heartburn, the coolness instantly soothed my throat and my heartburn disappeared! I was shocked.. Then I remembered reading somewhere that peppermint is good for nausea and/or heartburn. So now that I am finishing my last bottle of Metromint, I’m trying to figure out how to make my own. All it has is water, mint and cocoa essence. If I make my own pitcher it’ll kill two birds with one stone: heartburn and will help me drink more water! Now  does anyone know if I can buy mint and cocoa essence in a liquid form?

Doctor’s Appointment: Yesterday was my doctor’s appointment. Everything looked good: blood pressure is great, heartbeat is great, measuring a few weeks behind like before, but since the ultrasound showed everything is fine, that’s not really a concern, and probably simply due to my long waist. And the biggest news for us was that Alexis is NOW HEAD DOWN AND ENGAGED! Wow! First of all, I had no idea babies could get engaged this early on, but I guess they do.

Doc said not to get my hopes up though, cuz she still has lots of room to move and flip, but it still makes me happy that she’s in the perfect position. He showed me where her butt and her feet were, which now makes total sense. I keep getting kicked in my right side while she juts out her butt on the left side when she stretches. She’s on my left  with her head in my pelvis and her legs on the right, facing sideways and slightly towards my back, kind of like in the picture. According to spinningbabies.com, LOA (left occupit anterior) is the easiest position for the start of labor. So I hope she stays that way until she’s ready to come out.


Movement: 
She’s still pretty active, especially with her butt. I’d be sitting minding my own business and then all of sudden my stomach would move sideways- it’d be her stretching her legs and pushing her butt out. Kind of fun actually. And for those who are wondering, no it doesn’t hurt, but it’s not exactly comfortable. We also pat her on the butt quite often, which she really likes. If she’s awake and we’re talking to her and touching her, and then suddenly stop, she instantly pushes her butt out as in “Where did you go? Pet me!”

Belly Button: Outie.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Finding out Alexis is head down now. I wasn’t TOO concerned about her being transverse ( I figured if she doesn’t turn and I have to do a c-section, it’s not the worst thing in the world as long as she is safe) but I can’t say it wasn’t on my mind A LOT. So this was a really good piece of news for us.

What I’m looking forward to:

This weekend. If we both concentrate, we can get a lot done on the nursery this weekend. I hope to do a big nursery update afterwards which is WAY overdue.

Also, I booked tickets for my mom to visit from Russia. She’ll be flying here Jan 11th and staying till May 23rd. She’s never stayed more than a month, because of her work, but now that she’s retired I am looking forward to having her here helping us for 4 months. YAY!

What I miss:

I guess not much at this moment! I always have pangs of jealousy when we pass the smoked salmon isle at Whole Foods, but otherwise I just want to feel like an old me.


 

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 33 Weeks: Bump Update

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved

32 WEEK UPDATE

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, PREGNANCY

Pay attention to the picture on the right. If you look carefully you’ll be able to see Alexis’s foot. It’s on MY right, above the hip bone. She keeps resting her feet in that corner of my belly, which makes it look kinda freak-ey!

STATS:

Her size: “By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds  and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You’re gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she’ll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.”

How far along: 32 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160.8 lb (+0 lb gain. Not sure if this number is correct. Our scale broke this week and was showing funky numbers, so I haven’t been able to properly weigh myself. I wish I could say I broke it, because that would be funny, but it was hubby. So you can’t blame the heavy preggo woman for crushing the scale.)

Sleep: It’s been bearable. My sides hurt, I have to switch positions often and it doesn’t help that Alexis is transverse. When I lie on my side, I obviously press on her a bit and she kicks me in that side all night. Aaaahhh I cannot wait for the day that I’ll be able to sleep on my back and my stomach again :)

Maternity Clothes: All the time now. Dresses and maternity jeans and shirts- my favorite things to wear.

Food cravings: None really. Sometimes I crave a cake, simple yellow cake.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: This week has been relatively wonderful. I am still amazed at how well I feel right now. I hope it lasts for a long time. I never expected to feel this much better during the third trimester, considering how I spent the whole pregnancy feeling sick and tired. Staying relatively active (going for walks) has been helping me feel good. I’ve had almost no back pain, which I attribute to walks and exercising.

The only thing that’s a bugger is heartburn, of course. I almost don’t count it as a symptom anymore, because it is always present.

Doctor’s Appointment: December 8th

Movement: Alexis is still transverse as far as I can tell. I did inversions for a few days and she flipped, but then back to transverse the next day. I figured it’s not a good idea to continue “forcing” her to flip head down, since it seems like laying across my belly is more comfortable for her. I am worried that if she does too many twists, she might wrap her cord around her neck and I would much rather have a C-section for a transverse baby, than risk her suffocating during birth or worse, still in utero.

Belly Button: A total outie at this point. I still don’t have stretchmarks. The skin around my belly button is reddish and stretched, but it’s been that way for weeks. I diligently apply daily oils and drink as much water as I remember to.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Black Friday! I’d been waiting to buy most of the baby stuff still Black Friday and we spent THE WHOLE DAY on our computers ordering things and researching prices NON-STOP. I prefer shopping online rather than have to drive to retail stores and be subjected to their limited in-stock options and have to try things on and waste hours and hours that I could be spending doing something productive or fun. Luckily, I am one of those people who doesn’t need to see or touch, I do pretty good imagining from the product photo and description. I think years of experience ordering online helped. I would still go to stores just for fun when I have nothing to do ( which is rare), or with girlfriends, but I definitely prefer not wasting my time like that. Needless to say that I wasn’t going to go out to retail stores on Black Friday, into the madness that it can be. Other years, we’d go with friends and make a whole fun experience out of it, with dinner and a movie ( give me an excuse to stay up all night and I’m there). Or just figure out what specific items we need, go and grab those. Black Friday can be fun if you do it right or do it from the luxury of your chair :) So we’ve spent the whole week getting package after package from UPS, Fedex and USPS, so both our living room, hallway and family room now resembles a very messy packing facility. I will be writing about the purchases, of course. What did you guys buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

What I’m looking forward to:

Working on the nursery. It’s starting to look so cute. We hung the mobile and the shelves, the dresser is ready, we found the perfect recliner/glider. I just need to take pictures to share with you guys.

What I miss:

Being thin.

It’s funny how our mind gets used to things if we are given a chance. When I look at my photos from when I first got pregnant like the photo on the left ( I was about 5-6 weeks pregnant, so don’t mind the angry looking face, since I was sick as a dog), to me I look almost anorexic, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  I was healthy and very fit, with a good body fat percentage ( mostly in my legs).

Right now, the new normal for me is the picture on the right. It seems almost unreal that I was ever anything but the picture on the right. I don’t REMEMBER not having a belly, not having big boobs, not having big thick legs, or cellulite (lol). My old self looks too skinny now. I have no doubt that I will be back there again and very shortly, but I wonder if I’ll look at it the same way…. Maybe after some time, once I’ve had a chance to forget that I ever looked differently.


 

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: 32 WEEK UPDATE

The Art of Making a Baby © 2014 - All Rights Reserved