Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekly Updates: Weeks 37-39

We're getting close to the finish line, folks! My due date is only one week away. Deep breaths. These last 10 days or so have dragged by so slowly. That's mostly my fault-I should do a better job of keeping busy. It's just so hard to focus on school right now when my entire life is about to change. I'm still working on school stuff every day, just not full-time. The nursery is almost finished (it's freaking adorable, by the way), the house is clean, the dogs are bathed, all the baby laundry is done and organized, pacifiers are sterilized, extra dog and bird food is purchased, contraction app is downloaded, and I'm working on my freezer meals. I would probably still like to wait until 40w for this baby to arrive so I can finish up more school stuff, but if it decides to come now, that would be fine too; I think we're ready.

That's the weirdest part about this stage of pregnancy: you could go into labor at any minute...or you could be induced well past your due date. It's all so up in the air. I have found myself scrutinizing every little pain or twinge in my uterus. Is this it? Is this the start? I have been having so many Braxton-Hicks contractions and some have gotten to be rather uncomfortable. I thought that maybe I was having real contractions on Saturday night, but it turned out to be nothing.

I have had two OB appointments since my last update. I met the third doctor in the practice at my 36 week appointment and she had to test for Group B Strep, a test performed on all pregnant women in the last weeks of pregnancy. While she was down there, I agreed to an internal exam. This cervix was completely closed for business one day short of 37w. No problem.

My other appointment was this past Friday with my regular OB. When she opened my chart, I saw the gigantic neon green GBS+ sticker on there, which means I tested positive for strep. This is not uncommon and it's not too big of a deal. Basically, it means I need to get to the hospital lickety split if my water breaks. The infection can be very dangerous to a newborn, so they want to get you on IV antibiotics four hours prior to delivery. They also don't break your water as early as they might if you test negative and they won't do as many internal exams because they don't want to push the bacteria up to where the baby is. Fun times. I plan on getting an epidural, but I want to labor without one until 5cm if I can, so it's kind of a bummer that I will be hooked up to an IV the entire time. Hopefully I will still be able to move around and try different positions or walk with it if I can.

I got another internal at my Friday appointment and there is no change from last time-no dilation or effacement whatsoever. Technically, progress doesn't mean anything because you can walk around for a month dilated 3cm, or you can have no progress and go into labor the next day. However, the baby's head is righthereattheexitsign, which would explain the massive amount of pressure I feel on my cervix and bladder. I should start counting the number of times I pee per day. It's nonstop. My doctor also ordered another ultrasound for my appointment on Thursday since I'm still measuring on the small side. She isn't worried, she just wants to check growth and make sure everything is okay in there.

I had another nice little physical surprise this week. Not one cold sore, but TWO and one really gross one under my nose. Seriously, I could not be more hideous. I broke down and asked for a Valtrex prescription because it was quite painful and you just never now how far those suckers are going to spread. My doctor offered me a once-a-day prescription so that I don't get any more before I deliver and I took it. I know some people are totally anti-anything while you are pregnant, but she assured me it's safe to take. I would like to be able to kiss my baby without having to don a SARS mask, so if I can prevent another outbreak in the next few weeks, I will. I am very grateful that I have not had a lot of outbreaks this pregnancy because that was something I was concerned about between the crazy hormones and compromised immune system. Speaking of which, I also got my flu shot so that I can start passing on those antibodies to the baby now since it cannot get a flu shot until it is six months old.

And since I'm keeping it real by telling you about all of my lovely infections, I'll be honest and say that my physical comfort has been in decline since the end of week 37. Sleeping is rough. I get up to pee at least 2-3 times, usually more, per night. And in spite of accumulating every pillow in the house to ease my back and hip pain, I still sleep like shit. I wake up every 60-90 minutes for one reason or another. Rolling over is so hard and it hurts. I have also been experiencing insomnia. I have trouble falling asleep and then going back to sleep. The 4-6am hours are particularly difficult, and I usually get up and go do stuff like organize the closet or work in the nursery. I know I will be completely sleep deprived soon enough, so it would be nice to get in some sleep while I can.

I am still being somewhat active, which helps keep my loose, I think. I wanted to keep going to the gym until the end, but I don't think my cervix can handle any bouncing, even on the elliptical. If I jog a few steps with the dog, it literally feels like the baby will straight up fall out. Besides, the weather has been too nice to be cooped up in the gym. I want to spend these last few weeks bonding with Jason and the dogs as much as I can. We go on our long walk every afternoon, which can either be great if the dogs are cooperating or frustrating if they are being jerks. The fresh air is still nice. I'm also going to my yoga stretch class, which feels really good.

I'm definitely feeling scared about becoming responsible for another human being any day now. You just can't prepare yourself for how much your life is going to change. I am nervous about delivery, about recovery, about breastfeeding, about not getting any sleep, about giving my animals enough love and attention, and about being a good mom. Does that cover it? All I can do is take things one day at a time. No one is perfect and I won't be either. I am lucky to have a wonderful support system in my family and friends. I can ask these people the most personal of questions without feeling stupid. I know Jason will be incredibly supportive and he will be a phenomenal dad.

I'm also feeling a little sad that this pregnancy is coming to a close. You are only pregnant with your first baby once and it has been such a special time. Everything is new and while the unknown is often scary, going on this journey with Jason has been wonderful. I'll never forget telling him I was pregnant or when he felt the baby move for the first time or when we had tears in our eyes the first time we saw our baby on the ultrasound. I'm starting to cry just thinking about these moments. I'm lucky to have such a fantastic life partner.

Alright, enough sappy reflection. Let's take a look at this gigantic 39w belly. Hard to believe it's measuring small, huh?

39 Weeks

39 Weeks

How far along are you?: 39w

How big is baby?: watermelon. I knew this fruit was coming, but it doesn't make the comparison any easier to swallow. Or have to push out of a bodily orifice.

Weight gain/loss?: Up 26lb

Stretch marks?: I know they may still be coming, but none yet.

Maternity clothes?: Um, have you seen this belly? Yes.

Sleep?: Getting worse by the day.

Best moment this week?: Having the nursery almost completed.

Food cravings?: You guessed it! Sugar and ice cream.

Gender?: It's a surprise, but I have a strong intuition that it is a boy.

Movement?: It is still moving a ton even though I expected movement to slow down at this point. I was worried it had flipped one night because of how strong the movements were.

Belly button?: I think it's an outie by now.

Symptoms?: Braxton-Hicks contractions, pressure on my cervix and bladder, back pain, hip pain, trouble sleeping, constant peeing.

What do I miss?: Wine and beer are starting to look better and better every day now that I know I can have a glass very soon. I also cannot wait to start running once I'm cleared. This is the best running weather and it's killing me to go on my slow walks.

What I'm looking forward to this week? Hitting 40 weeks. My ultrasound on Thursday. Finally doing a nursery post!

Milestones?: Finally being ready to have this baby!


Natalie said...

I'm hoping the next time you post it's with baby pics :) So excited for you! Good luck!

Lynsey T said...

I am so excited for your family and to see this nursery post! I love all your updates :) And the watermelon commented cracked me up!

Two Pitties in the City said...

Good luck! I can't believe it's so soon! I am terrified of being responsible for another human life, so I'm interested to see how you do it.

Julia said...

can't see your pics---seems like they are set to private?

this post brings back a lot of thoughts I had right before T was born and it's such a tender time in your life, preparing for the first child. I want to give you a big hug! Hang in there, lady, and soak it all up---even the yucky parts.

Also I was GBS positive and they did not get the 4 bags of antibiotics in me fast enough, so they were super worried T would have an infection, but thank god he did not. I tell you this because I think you can still labor naturally as long as you like and if you are down with pulling your IV pole around the halls with you it's fine to strut your stuff out of bed, too.

The Homeless Parrot said...

With absolutely no judgment implied but out of sense of true curiosity - what is making you plan on having an epidural? You are so extremely fit and healthy, I would think that you would do great in labor.

Mary said...

I have never really considered having a med-free birth even though I know many people who have chosen to do so and I think that's great! One of my biggest concerns is the fear of the unknown and this being my first baby, having a very long labor. If my labor is very long, I want to be able to sleep and rest so that when it comes time to push, I have the energy to do so. If I had a crystal ball and knew how things would go, I would consider going med-free, but I think for my own comfort (physically, mentally, emotionally), the epi is the right choice for me this go around.

N. said...

I am so extremely excited for you! This post makes me think back to being 39 weeks and going through all the anxiety of "when? when?" I can't believe it could be any day now... I am so looking forward to finding out the sex and seeing your beautiful baby!

Katie said...

You are so adorable! It sounds like you have really soaked up every moment of this pregnancy, which is great! Can't wait to see baby pics, nursery pics and hear the news! :)

Amy said...

Eeek! So close! It's all so emotional but Brady was born at 38 weeks so I never got this far :) but it still so exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time! oh,and You look great!

Anonymous said...

Try a chiropractor to help with your hip pain so you can sleep better. I had never been before, and I tried it. SO AMAZING. I'd sleep great on the days I had an appt!

The Homeless Parrot said...

Mary, I was terrified of the unknown. The unknown in life is one of the things that contributes to a very high level of personal anxiety - as you probably know from reading my blog. When I was in early/active labor, I was still at home, sitting in the tub. I kept telling my husband that I was scared. What if I couldn't do it? What if it overwhelmed me? What was going to happen??

Giving into labor and accepting the pain helped so much - and everything progressed beautifully. You are so healthy and take such good care of your body, I have no doubt that you would do fantastic at natural labor. I'm not in shape AT ALL. My diet was good in pregnancy - but that's mostly the GD that lead to that.

I think you're going to be surprised at what you can handle. I was exhausted after 16 hours(ish) of labor by the time I had to push - and I was still able to push her out. It took me an hour, but I was actually able to sleep/rest between pushing contractions (they were very different from labor contractions). It also didn't hurt like transition did. Pushing was a big relief.

I'm not trying to give you a hard time about the epidural or anything - it's just that having experienced natural birth so recently, it was really an amazing experience. Feeling her come into the world was incredible, and as hokey as it sounds, I want all women to experience it.

Sure, it was painful and long and difficult, but afterwards, I forgot it within 24 hours. I am already raring to start working on our 2nd child, and it's only been 2 weeks.

Ok, that was my natural birth soapbox. I'm excited for you and can't wait to see pictures and find out what you have!

Angie said...

I can't believe your babeh is almost here! It seriously flies by so quick. Reading this post took me back to my pregnancy with Nick. You're right, it was a special time and I did enjoy pregnancy with him. Until the last month and he was on my sciatic nerve and like you I got no sleep whatsoever. But I remember those emotions, being scared of the delivery, recovery, all the life changing events. It seems so long ago. You will love being a momma, just take lots of pics and vids cause it flies by so fast! NIck is gonna be 2 before you know it and I just can't even get over that.