Archive for the ‘belly’ Category

Still not King

Belly at 40 weeks 4 days Well, my estimated due date came and went and I’m still pregnant. I’m so tired of being pregnant and I want to meet Stree so badly.

I’m tired a lot and I get up to pee at least twice to three times a night (could explain why I’m so tired). I’m very thankful to have a job that lets me work from home so I can be a little more flexible with my hours. For the past few days I’ve had burning feelings in my pelvis when I move around, that I can only attribute to the baby being very low. Yesterday I think I lost part of my mucus plug.

Today I had a prenatal appointment. I have now met every midwife that I could possibly have. The one today kind of reminded me of my step-mother, but I think that was just her accent. I don’t have a favorite, but I do have a least favorite. I could see how the personality of each midwife could affect things. Today’s midwife said my uterus measured at 39 weeks. She also gave me pretty much the exact same stats as last week. However, she did say that she tends to be conservative when it comes to measurement. She reminded me that first time moms actually average more like 41 weeks 1 day. She also said that based on the signs I was telling her things are looking really positive and are moving in the right direction, so I’m trying to take heart from that. Also, Stree seems to have moved his back from my right side to my left side, which the midwife said is really good because babies with their back to the left tend to have a higher chance of facing posterior (which is good).

If I don’t go into labor by Friday, I have an appointment for a nonstress test, just to check on everything. The Birthing Center will let you go to 42 weeks without discussing induction or anything like that, so we still have a week and a half to go before I have to worry about that kind of thing.

In other news, I’ve had an urge to make cake pops for a week or two now and I finally made them. I brought some into the Birthing Center and they were a big hit.

2 classes

Saturday was a day of classes.

Week 39 Day 2 In the morning Darius and I went to the cloth diapering class held by The Diaper Squad. Learned some good tricks, including those for diapering newborns and also for diapering boys. Learned about all the different kinds of cloth diapers there are out there. The guy teaching the class was fun, but we could tell he was kind of nervous about teaching, as the person who usually does it is apparently out on maternity leave. Still I’m glad we went.

Then in the afternoon I went to the Birthing Center for a breastfeeding class. Learned a bunch of good techniques for breastfeeding a newborn and for hand expression. I’m feeling more and more confident about this whole breastfeeding thing as I know I have lots of support and good resources. Also, today I was able to hand express a little bit of colostrum. I think that it’s the coolest thing ever, but I think that it freaks out Darius just a little bit.

My belly looks smaller to me this week than it did last week. I’m taking that as a sign that the baby has really dropped. I hope so. Can’t wait to meet him!

38 weeks and Mother’s Day

Belly at 38 weeks and 2 days I passed the 38 weeks mark last Friday. I feel like I’m almost at the hurry-up-and-wait stage of things.

Last week I taught my last class and had my last full day in the office. Starting yesterday I’m mostly working from home, unless I need to go in. This is really helpful for me and I’m super thankful that my job is flexible enough to let me do this.

Physically things are going okay. I’m still in a lot of pelvis pain, especially when I move wrong. There’s also this spot in my right shoulder blade that likes to hurt after a little while. I thought it was just being at work all day, but it did it yesterday too when I spent the day on the couch. I’ll just have to figure out the right position to be in or switch it around a bunch. I’m tired a lot these days too. And last week my right foot decided that it would be fun to swell up randomly. Yet another reason I’m glad to be working at home with my feet up.

Mentally I’m doing well most of the time. I’m still nervous about the whole birth/labor experience because it’s so outside of the realm of anything I’ve ever experienced before. But I think that I’m pretty ready to be a mommy, which is something that I had trouble saying just the other week.

Stree is doing well. He has periods where he squiggles and wiggles around a whole lot and periods where he just likes to stretch his foot or his butt into my ribs (so much fun, let me tell you). He really liked last week’s episode of Glee.

At my prenatal appointment on Friday, I was measuring 37 weeks instead of 38 but I’m not really concerned because I think all of those things are estimates anyway. The really exciting thing was that she did a quick ultrasound to double check the baby’s position. It was the first time I’d “seen” him since the ultrasound at 18 weeks (right before Christmas). He is 100% head down (hurray!) and has hair. You could see the little spikes coming off the back of his head. So amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures and we couldn’t get a clear profile shot of his face because he was being shy and covering part of his face with his hand.

Monkey Bouncer The to-do-before-the-baby-is-born list is coming along nicely. Over the weekend we rearranged the baby’s room. I got the last of the stuff that needed to be washed and put away washed and put away. I even put together the awesome Monkey Bouncer all by myself (with only one easily fixable mistake). The nursing pillows and baby carriers are mostly ready. The last of the things the baby needs are in the bag to go to the Birthing Center and the list for the last minute stuff is on top of the bag. And I installed the car seat base into my car all by myself yesterday. The only thing I really don’t know where it should go yet is the “Whale of a Tub”.

There are tons more pictures of baby things on the Pictures page. For some reason I’m obsessed with taking pictures of everything.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to celebrate Mother’s Day this year since I’m not-quite-but-almost a mother. But we did. Darius surprised me with a PajamaGram. It’s a pair of superhero style pajamas that say “Super Mom” and have a CAPE! Then he made me eggs for breakfast. We also went out to dinner to our favorite hibachi place with B and the place gave me a rose because I count as a mom. All of it made me really happy.

First of May

Last year for Beltane, Darius and I jumped a fire and I kissed a May Pole. This year we’re 3 weeks away from my due date. :)

Belly at 37 weeks and 2 daysBelly at 37 weeks and 2 days Belly at 37 weeks and 2 days

Last week I did my first full load of baby laundry. Then I left it in the dryer for a few days by accident, came back and found out that it was still damp two days later. So back in the washer it all went. ~sigh~ Tonight is round two of baby stuff in the laundry, mostly sheets and blankets but also some clothing and things that Darius and I bought today when we went shopping for yet more baby things. Oh that’s right, we got more clothing for the baby, because apparently I didn’t read the list from the Birthing Center of what to bring closely enough and so we had to get some sleepers and some receiving blankets and some hats. We also picked up the baby tub that was really highly rated. And a cute pillow that Darius couldn’t resist.

Yesterday was our last Centering class at the Birthing Center. We talked about all the different ways that labor can start and some of the complications that can happen and what the midwives do about them. We also got to meet the first baby born to our group (last month, she came a little early, but still at full term) and plan for our reunion. We realized that next time we all see each other, we’ll all have little ones which is just crazy to realize.

Had a check-up on Thursday. Brought Darius with me because I thought I was going to have an ultrasound, but it turns out that it wasn’t written on my chart to have one and the midwife said that everything felt and seemed healthy so there was no reason to have one. Guess we’ll see what he looks like when we meet him.

Symptom wise I’m still having a lot of pubic pain. My chiro says it’s because my left hip is forward and slightly rotated. The support belt helps, but UGH and ouch. Also, I have to pee pretty much every time I stand up. I also feel HUGE.

One last week of teaching classes at work and then it’s all project work while mostly working from home for me until the baby shows up, which could be anytime from now until 4 weeks or so from now. And then I’ll be a mommy. I’m still in some disbelief about that.

Darius did something amazing work last night on conquering one of his major fears so that he wouldn’t pass it on to his son. I’m so proud of him. I’d say more, but that’s not my story to tell.

Belly henna

Tonight my doula came over. We started off talking about labor positions, coaching, breathing, and stuff. It’s all good stuff to talk about. I feel so comfortable with her. She has this amazing upbeat positive energy that I’m really excited to have at my birth.

After our meeting, she hennaed my belly. It looks amazing! I’m so happy with it. I can’t wait to show it off to everyone.
Belly henna Belly henna Belly henna

The woods, the belly, and the moon

From Thursday night through this morning Darius and I were at a retreat at a local state park. As it has been every year we’ve gone, it was a mostly wonderful experience. I was smart this year and insisted that we sleep in the cabin close to the bathroom and also that we get a eggshell mattress topper for the bed that we were going to be constructing out of two mattresses on the floor. The latter helped me sleep and the former was great for when I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Most of the nights I actually slept through the night with almost no getting up. Last night was the exception. I went to bed “early” (around 11pm). Half woke up when Darius came into bed. Then around 1am I shot straight upright into a sitting position. I had a lot of gas in my chest and needed to burp like crazy. After getting a few burps out, I realized that of course I had to go to the bathroom. I pulled on my pj bottoms and my wrap sweater and went out into the night. After going to the bathroom I realized that I wasn’t ready to go back to bed yet. I still had the “I have to burp” feeling and so I hoped that walking around would help with that. Ambled a bit around the camp site and talked to a few people who were still up and about.

I ended up on the beginning of the ramp leading up to the cabin door, looking up at the one-night-away-from-full moon. I opened up my sweater at the bottoms so that the moonlight was hitting my belly (but it was hard to tell because of all the other light). Then I just started talking, first to the moon and then to my baby, all the while stroking or holding my belly. I asked him if he would wait until another cycle of the moon. I asked him if when the times comes for him to enter the world, if we could work together. I told him I loved him. I told him a great deal of other things, many of which I can’t remember now.

Before last night I was physically getting tired of being pregnant, as I am pretty sure I have Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction, however I was not mentally ready to have the baby. After last night, I know that I am ready (as ready as one can ever be) to have a child.

Unfortunately for the rest of the night I was somewhat restless and woke up in the morning in a great deal of pubic pain. :(

Before we left the state park, I got a friend of mine to take some pictures of me.
Belly at 35 weeks and 2 days Belly at 35 weeks and 2 days

The other thing I really valued this weekend was the sense of community, not just from my friends who were there but from other parents who were there with their children. The parents, even those I’d never met before, let me sit and talk with them and answered my questions and just generally made me feel welcome.

Decisions and reality

About a month ago, Darius and I met with R from Nurture My Child. She talked with us about different child care options and what we were looking for in terms of daycare. She then went out and did research, identified places that fit within our style and our budget and gave me a packet with information and pictures and things. I’m so fortunate that my work subsidizes this service because R has been great and it has been really been a load off of our mind to have someone look into things and ask questions that Darius and I would have no idea how to ask.

R identified 3 places for us to look at: an in-home, a Montessori, and a general play-based Day Care Center. Over the past week we looked at all of them.

We visited the in-home after all the children had left. It was nice and the director was nice and easy for us to get along with. I think both Darius and I wanted to like the place more than we did. It was also hard to really get a feel for it as there were no children there. I think I’d like to drop by unannounced sometime to see how the director and her assistant are with the children.

The Montessori school was amazing. It was clean and beautiful. The teachers were nice. We both really liked the lead teacher for the infants, whom we spent about 30 minutes talking to. It’s a 3-to-10 ratio teacher-to-student ratio for the infants.They split the infants into two different rooms by developmental age so the older more active ones aren’t in with the little ones. We were there early in the morning, so there was only one infant in the little baby room, but the slightly older baby room looked calm and everyone looked like they were having fun playing. Our only problems are that they don’t do sign language with the babies (but they’re thinking of implementing that based on parent request) and that all the children are in uniforms once they move into the two year old classroom or so. Neither one are total deal breakers and I think Darius and I like the place much more than we wanted to.

The generic Day Care Center was okay. It’s super close to our house, which is a plus. The ratio of teachers-to-students is higher than the Montessori (2-to-10). We visited in the afternoon and there were quite a few children crying…well, really there was one and that one was upsetting the others. The teachers already had their hands full with two other babies, so it was kind of stressful. The other infant classroom was quieter and we got a better vibe from it. Basically this place seems like a place we could leave our child, but it’s not our first choice. It seems like it’s a better place for older children.

All of that being said, we’ve decided to put in applications at all three places. That way if something happens and we can’t get into our top choice (the Montessori school), we still have two acceptable backups.

Yesterday we also interviewed two pediatricians that were recommended to us. The first one had a very neat waiting room with no visible toys for children to play with, which threw us as first, but we really really clicked with her. The second had a bright shiny office with tons of toys and exciting rooms, but we didn’t click with her at all. We have a few more recommendations, but we think that we’re just going to go with the doctor that we clicked so well with. If we end up not liking her, we can always switch to someone else later.

Yesterday evening we (finally) unpacked the travel system my father bought us a few months ago and the matching Pack and Play we got the other week. The Pack and Play took a little figuring out in terms of putting it all together, but we eventually got it. Then we took out the stroller & car seat. I was sitting on the floor fiddling with the car seat when I looked over at the stroller that Darius was setting up. The seat was up and ready for a child. All of a sudden I pictured a child sitting in the stroller and it hit me. We’re really having a baby. One day there’s going to be a child sitting in that seat and we’re going to be responsible for him. It was such an overwhelming moment, one that I really can’t describe. In just six weeks (give or take a few weeks on either side) we’re going to have a baby in our lives and he’s going to grow up to be a child. It’s insane and amazing and overwhelming and scary and so many other emotions I can’t put names to.

Lastly here are two pictures from the Renaissance Faire that Darius and I went to the other week:
Belly at 32 weeks 2 days Belly at 32 weeks 2 days

Centering Shower

Belly at 31 weeks 2 days This weekend was our now twice monthly Centering appointment at the Birthing Center. Other than the “You almost but don’t have gestational diabetes” talk, the private appointment part went well. My blood pressure is good and my uterus is measuring at 31 weeks, which is exactly on target. But the best news of all is that the midwife was pretty sure that Stree is currently head down. This would make a lot of sense as I’ve been feeling more kicking in my ribs and middle abdomen and more gurgling/hiccuping lower down just above my pelvis. It would also help to explain why I’m having some sciatic nerve pressure lately that I can feel on the sides of my hips.

The class part was good. We talked, were shown, and practiced some different positions for labor and talked about what makes good “support people.” We were going to get into pain management techniques, but as often happens with this group we ran out of time.

Teddy Bear CakeAfter class was over, it was time for our Centering Shower. We went over to one of the couple’s houses that was close by the Birthing Center and had food and chatted for a while. Then we had the cake that I had made the night before and decorated that morning. After that it was time for the White Elephant Baby Gift Exchange. Mostly everyone was very polite and there was almost no stealing that happened. We got an owl rattle and an orange pig that makes noise when you shake him. Thinking back on it, pretty much everyone got a gift that suited them well. Then we had a small clothing exchange, where I got a nice top and two cute skirts. Everything that didn’t get taken will be given to a local womens shelter. We left soon after that, came home, and I fell asleep while we were watching Arthur on Netflix.

Not quite what expected

On Saturday Darius and I took the “Yoga for Birth and Delivery” class at Yoga Yoga. We were on the waitlist, so we were very excited to get the call on Saturday morning letting us know that we had gotten into the class.

The class was not was we expected. From the description we expected to be going over a lot of yoga positions and techniques for birth, relaxation, pain management, etc. While there was some of that and there was some breathing and guided meditation, there was a lot that just felt like stuff we’re getting in our Centering birthing classes as well. If I’d known it was more of a birthing class, I’m not sure we’d have gone. Also it seemed to be a little more focused on reassuring the partners and reminding them to be good birth coaches than on reassuring the mothers.

That being said, I did actually get some good things out of it.

We started off with a guided meditation about going into labor and giving birth. I discovered I was/am actually frightened about the start of labor. It was really hard for me to imagine it. Not sure if that is because I’ve never experienced it before or because it’s the start of this big scary out-of-my-hands thing. However, once the meditation moved into more of the active labor and birth I was okay because then I was at the Birthing Center with Darius and my doula and the midwives. Also interesting was that I wasn’t really interested in going into the tub, but was much more interested in a low birthing stool/the side of the bed. When the teacher got to the part about having our baby placed on our chest, I totally teared up (and I don’t think I was the only one).

It was also nice for the teacher to talk about how there are four different things that they measure in terms of your body and the baby’s position during labor: baby position, cervix softening, effacement, and dilation. She reminded us that even if we’re at 4cm for two hours, to ask the health practitioner if there have been any other changes, because those other changes are also signs of progress and so one should be encouraged by them even if one is not any more dilated than before.

She also talked about how child birth is a right of passage that has different gates. The hardest gate to get through is the Gate of Doubt and that is when the mother needs the most encouragement. She also let us know that sometimes you return to some of the gates several times throughout the labor.

We did do some movement stuff. When doing back to back breathing with Darius, I kept feeling like he was pushing me over too much, but really that was because he was sitting on more of the blanket that I wanted to be sitting on, so I kept trying to get my butt closer to his. We did some other trust stuff and she also had us do some good supportive positions for labor.

Lastly we did a pain management exercise. This involved squatting for a minute at a time and trying different coping techniques, with the breath being the main focus. I discovered that non-focused awareness and focusing and analyzing the pain are both techniques that can work well for me, although too much “extra” noise is annoying.

Am I glad I took the class? Yes. Do I wish it had been more about the yoga and breathing and positions? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Yes, if you aren’t taking other birthing classes and reading a lot about birthing on your own.

And now, 30 week belly pics:

Belly at 30 weeks 2 days Belly at 30 weeks 2 days Belly at 30 weeks 2 days

Lopsided belly

Had my most recent Centering appointment over the weekend. During the appointment I did my 1-hour glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes. I didn’t have any of my normal ZOMG sugar issues problems when I did the test, so I was hopefully optimistic. I guess I shouldn’t have been because I got the call today that I failed it. So now I have to go and make an appointment to take the 3-hour glucose test. Ugh. If I fail that one too then I have to see a doctor about everything and go on a strict diet and all of that. At least I can still deliver at the Birthing Center, so I don’t have that worry.

Baby wise, everything looks to be progressing well. As I mentioned in my last post, Stree has started to become much more active; either that or he’s bigger and stronger so I feel him more. When we were at the Centering appointment, the midwife did some feeling around and told us that it’s pretty likely that Stree’s butt is (or was at the time) hanging out near my lower left side. If you look at my belly you can actually tell that it’s shifted a bit to my left, a little lopsided. Not sure if this is because he’s hanging out on my left side or because of the scoliosis.

Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days Belly at 29 weeks 2 days

Talking about the scoliosis, the chiropractor has been an awesome idea. I have no idea why I didn’t go to one years and years ago. I just know that I’d be in such worse shape if it wasn’t for him.

In preparation news, we’ve really started working on some of the things that need to get done before Stree shows up. Darius and I have made some really good progress on the Random-Stuff-In-the-Study-Closetâ„¢ clean up and we’re almost ready to move the bookshelves into the study to make room in what will be the baby’s room for baby things.

We’ve also started buying some baby things. We got Stree his very own stuffed dragon that roars when you press his throat, a Halloween costume, the most adorable probably coming home outfit ever (in two sizes, just in case), a hat with ears, and a geeky onesie that we really wanted that keeps going out of stock. I’ll post pictures of some of this stuff soon in case the links ever stop working. I also noticed that now that that the invite to my baby shower has gone out, some of the items on our baby registries are being purchased. It’s kind of like Christmas with presents showing up all the time. I also got myself a maternity pillow because a regular pillow isn’t cutting it and the regular body pillow just isn’t comfortable; I woke up this morning with hip pain after using the body pillow all night.

How old is Damien?
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