October 2011

For the billionth consecutive post about Allie (or so it seems)…

She’s 37 weeks today, which means she’s reached full term! Yay! I had a short and sweet OB visit this morning before work. I’m at 154 lbs, which I found rather disturbing, but the OB of all people wasn’t concerned. Almost as a pre-emptive excuse, when the doctor walked in and asked how the baby and I are, I told him she seems to be growing by leaps and bounds to the point where it’s noticeable every few days (not a lie). He said cavalierly, “Well, they’ll do that to ya at this point.” He measured my bump (such an understatement) and said it’s right on par with where it’s supposed to be (within 3 cm of the # of weeks gestation). He did an ultrasound and noted she’s head-down on her side, which is how she was orientated last check-up, and that her bladder’s full and “right about to pee.” I asked when I can expect her to do the last quarter-turn to be face-down, how the birthing class said is the position we want the baby to be born in. He explained, “We want her on her side right now. She’ll make that last turn herself to get out while you’re in labor.” Oh! She’s not a procrastinator. She’s been in that position for about a month now. He said what I had experienced last week mid-walk was likely a contraction, and that the rock-hard tightening of my stomach that I’ve felt (with my fingers) fairly often lately, which comes without any pain or much sensation, is the Braxton Hicks. As for the bumps and pokes I’ve felt on top near my diaphram, those are “booty-bumps” and she’s also got her right foot up there. I asked if he could tell how big she was at this point, and he said if they have a concern about the baby’s size at this point, they’d refer the patient to radiology for a proper measurement, but since everything measures within normal ranges, he expects her to be in the high 6 lbs, low 7 lbs at her due date. “Just where you wanted her to be,” I remembered.
As he helped me sit up, he said, “You’re at about 30 pounds right now?”
“I’m right about at 30, yes.”
“That’s good. I think you’re doing a good job in keep your weight where it should be, and she’s at the right size. Just keep up with the walks, keep your weight pretty much where it is, and you’re fine.” He shook my hand and smiled at me. Whoa, did he tell me 30 is okay? Is this Halloween today or April Fool’s Day? I thanked him went on my way to work.

According to the due date calculator today:

Your Pregnancy Calendar

Today is Tuesday October 25th 2011.
You conceived on Monday February 28th 2011
and your due date is Monday November 21st 2011.

239 days have passed since the conception,
and you are 27 days before your due date.

You are 36 weeks into your pregnancy,
and you have 4 weeks to go.

You are in the 3rd trimester.

90% of your pregnancy has passed, there is 10% left to go.

Current complaints I have for physical discomfort: I wake up with pain now. On the side that I’m sleeping on, that side of the middle back and the area just under that breast would be so severely, painfully sore. Turning over and switching sides only helps temporarily before that new side starts hurting on the same respective areas. Pillow placement seems irrelevant. Well, I’ve been sleeping on my side(s) for 9 months, so I guess my body’s getting a little tired of it. Also, I wake up with my fingers stiff and in pain, especially in my left hand. Sometimes the pain is also in my left wrists and elbows. Finger movements aren’t smooth, but rather jerky. Thankfully, this stuff goes away within minutes of my being awake and moving around. I’m gonna blame the pregnancy hormones.

Allie doesn’t like me sitting while leaning back, cuz that gives her less room. She’ll struggle and move around until I sit up very straight, giving her an extra inch or two in the fundus. This makes car rides challenging. She’s also now started hitting the shoulder belt since my stomach protrudes beyond my chest and the shoulder belt pulls into my stomach a little. She’s always bopped stuff infringing on my belly space like when I read a magazine on my belly or rest an arm against it, but I guess she’s more crowded now that she pushes away even seat belts. I have to sit in the car stiffly as straight as I can, right hand pulling down on the shoulder belt to give it slack, left hand pulling the lap belt away from my lower abdomen. I frequently wonder what I oughta do if Mr. W in his impatient driving style rear-ends anyone. I figure I’d brace myself by putting my feet against the lower frame of the footroom, rather than releasing the seatbelts and letting them strangle Allie.

Allie goes very quiet when I’m playing piano, but bops around when Stepkidlet sings and plays her guitar. I guess she finds one soothing and the other stimulating. That kinda makes sense; I usually don’t play “exciting” stuff.

Rebecca was at the coffee shop yesterday, so I asked her for a “date update.”
She said, “Did I tell you before about the 7th?”
I replied, “You’d initially said 13th, 14th, but then later on you said as early as the 7th to as late as the 23rd.”
Later on, as we walked with her to her car/office, she checked again and said, “I’m still seeing 13th, 14th.”

I guess Allie’s gonna be early. Yay! It also explains the oddities I experienced yesterday. Mr. W and I walked to a few nearby stores to run some errands in the morning. While inside one of them, I started getting a little bit of the sick feeling I’d get when my blood pressure drops and my vision is about to black out. I looked around for some place to sit, but of course there was none. I started taking deep deliberate breaths. Mr. W asked me what was going on and I told him I feel sick and need to sit. My lower back had been sore for maybe 15 minutes at that point, too. He grasped my arm and walked me to the front of the store, and by then the sensations faded so I was fine. We left the store, walked toward the next one (in the direction of home) and as I stood waiting for the pedestrian walk sign to turn at the intersection, I suddenly felt like I couldn’t catch my breath. I stood there, panting, as odd uncomfortable cramp-like sensations hit the top of my stomach, just under the ribs. “I don’t think this is her doing it,” I said, pushing at the hardness, as cold sweats started coming and I started getting light-headed again. That faded in less than half a minute, and we went into the next store. While in there, looking for wallpaper glue for the border in Allie’s room, I got light-headed again and leaned against the side of a shelf and tried to breathe slowly to not hyperventillate, holding my breath between inhales. That soon faded, too, and we went home. I drank a glass of water, laid down, and fell asleep. I hadn’t felt that tired since I was pregnant. So, I’m thinking it was Braxton Hicks.

We’d better pack our bag!

3 sessions of birthing classes down, 3 more to go. I thought I’d be totally freaked out and traumatized by the birthing videos, but I wasn’t. Instead, watching that stuff totally inspires me and gives me a sense of empowerment about the imminent labor process. (We’ll see how I react after we see videos on Caesarian births this Friday. ha.) I like having the road map so I know what to expect. Right now, I’m still set on making everything as natural as possible, no drugs or surgery unless absolutely medically necessary. (At my OB appointment yesterday morning, the ultrasound revealed that Allie is already in the head-down position, and it’s unlikely for her to flip over to breach position between now and labor, so that’s a big part of the battle already won. She was laying on her left side, which means she’s facing my right hip. We just need her to make a quarter-turn clockwise between now and whenever she decides to debut in the next 5 or so weeks and we’re golden.) Comforting thoughts:
* this pain is SO temporary compared to the rest of my and Allie’s lifetime, I can suck it up for a day
* my body does everything naturally; there really isn’t anything for me to do except bear the waves of contractions as they come until I can push; the medical team and nature will take care of the rest. This isn’t like an exam I have to study for and perform on.
* there is a finite number of contractions to bear, and a finite number of hours of labor to get through; each contraction/hour brings me closer to finishing and holding Allie (even tho I don’t know what the actual number is, it doesn’t matter)
* I’m expecting the absolute worst mind-boggling pain beyond anything I’d ever imagined; if it’s better than that, great. if it’s exactly that, I’m mentally prepared and ready for it, like training for a race day. One little step ahead of the last, always moving forward, just concentrate on the next step.
* this pain is different from a pain in which you know that something’s wrong (like when you’re injured); this is what the body is designed to do and it will produce all the right hormones to counteract or create what it needs to have this happen, and I’m curious and excited to experience it.

Kaiser recommends that we interview pediatricians in anticipation of picking one after arrival of the baby. It seemed unnecessary to me; I figure these doctors are busy enough seeing patients all day long that they don’t need paranoid parents asking them a bunch of interview questions when they’re doing their jobs like all the other doctors. Besides, if it turns out you don’t like a doctor, you just switch to another one, like with adults, so I don’t know what the big deal is. How different could these doctors be? It’s not like I’m deciding between Western, Eastern, holistic and alternative medicine. Nevertheless, Kaiser specially has half-hour appointments designed for this process of interviewing, so I looked at a list of pediatricians in the two medical offices closest to the house, my intuition locked onto one of them, I read his biography, liked him, he happens to be taking patients right now, and we had our appointment yesterday after work. He was running almost an hour late, so I started getting nervous that he would be in a rush or a crabby mood, having to deal with a stupid parent interview when he should be getting caught up on his patients. Nope! He came in, thanked us for waiting, was as pleasant as can be, open, friendly and jovial. He talked faster than I do! He was also very knowledgable. The first thing he said after the introductions and greetings was that he would never tell an anxious parent that their time is up in an appointment; he always takes the amount of time that the parents require to be comfortable, even if it means staying later in the day before he can go home. After the interview, Mr. W said, “I like him! I’m very comfortable with him.” So am I. We found another benefit to doing the parent interview: dibs on the doctor we want. If he fills up for patient intake between now and Allie’s birth, we’re “in” no matter what because we’d done the interview with him. Also, even if he’s full, he’ll always take siblings of existing patients, he told us. Not saying that Allie is gonna be a big sister anytime, but it’s good to know the options. =P

Mr. W and I spent the weekend testing out and installing the carseats in his car. I turned around yesterday and noticed that he’d kept the base of the infant carseat latched in his car. Michelle and Eddie got us the Britax B-Safe infant carseat, which we like because we also bought the coordinating Britax B-Agile stroller for the complete infant “travel system.” We just lift a latch to remove the cradle of the infant carseat from the base in the car, then click the cradle into the stroller (which, btw, folds up flat with one step to go into the trunk easily), and we’re ready to go without having to move Allie out of one thing and into the other. Cuz I hear people regret waking sleeping babies. =P At my cousin Jennifer and her hubby Brad’s advice (they have a newborn for whom they’d paid a carseat consultant for advice and carseat installation), we bought the next-size-up carseat, the Britax Boulevard, as a secondary carseat. This 2nd carseat can be installed backward-facing (infants) and forward facing (older infants & toddlers), and with a $15 special foam padding, the Boulevard is converted into an infant carseat for smaller babies. Mr. W installed the foam on the inside of the Boulevard this weekend, too, and we practiced installing and using all 3 Britax items. What great products. We’ll probably put the Boulevard in my car or in my parents’ car, depending on who does the 2nd most traveling with Allie.

We’re getting there! No last-minute panic, yet. 🙂

I’m babysitting a Mandatory Settlement Conference at work when the phone rang. Turned out it’s hubby, who told me to check the IP nanny cam in Allie’s bedroom. I took a photo of the computer screen at work with that image:

That’s the first time we’ve spotted him just hanging out in the house. Normally we don’t see him unless we happen to be watching as he walks to get food/water. It’s like he knows where the cameras are and avoids them unless he has to walk thru them to get to his food. He probably thought he’d be hidden or camouflaged in this position, too. 🙂