Week 37 – Full Term

Celebrating a fully cooked baby at 37 weeks! Anything more is bonus cooking time. Full term!

Celebrating a fully cooked baby at 37 weeks! Anything more is bonus cooking time. Full term!

I was on vacation for Christmas last week and it was absolutely wonderful. I have very little to show for the time off. I did almost nothing, but it was great timing. I’m completely exhausted and being on vacation allowed me to take two naps per day. I had my morning nap at about 10 a.m., followed by my afternoon nap at about 3 p.m. I was also able to sleep late. I feel so much better!

Typically, I wake up at 4:30 to go to the gym, work a full day, and come home to make dinner, clean up, and crash out by 8:30-9 p.m. On my week off, I enjoyed a leisurely pace and took all the time to rest that I needed. It was so nice. I was not happy to go back to work Monday!

The Tater Tot: At my doctor appointment last Friday, she estimated Baby Harry is in the 6-pound range. She thinks he’ll be about 7 pounds when he comes down the chute in a couple weeks. Yep, a couple weeks. In spite of being a bit dilated and feeling like the baby is resting painfully in my crotch, the doctor thinks he’s going to hang in for a while longer.

Of course, I can’t complain about a healthy 7-pounder. Ben came into the world close to 11 pounds and that had me in a panic. I don’t want to pass an 11-pound anything! Seven pounds is nice and average. Women survive that all the time. I can do that.

Fun Fact: Baby Harry’s head right now is as big around as his waist and shoulders. He’s all head! He’s also running out of space and moving around a bit less. His kicks are less powerful and he seems to stay curled in one area most of the time. He’s lounging on my right side, head down at my pubic bone with his butt resting underneath my right ribs. My belly is lopsided from the weight and I can see him moving almost exclusively on that side now. He must not like the left much. I hope that doesn’t mean he’ll come out a Republican. Agh!

My Weight: So far, I’ve only gained 7 pounds. I feel pretty proud of that, even if I do spend an inordinate amount of time daydreaming about Taco Bell, Dairy Queen, and french fries. I really can’t wait to be a mostly independent eater again. Of course, I have to be careful with breast feeding, but this gestational diabetes business is horrible. I miss fruit and snacks, and all things deliciously carby. Low carb eating is not for me. And, frankly, it doesn’t seem healthy. I’d feel much better about the baby’s health if I were pounding down veggies and fruits instead of meat and cheese. But, such is the situation we find ourselves in. My sugars are good and I’ve avoided insulin shots so far. Just a couple more weeks.

What’s Next: Planning for maternity leave and trying not to panic. I’ll be taking six weeks off. For now, I’m re-reading all my materials from birthing class and trying to remember what we need to do. I’m practicing my breathing and prepping for the big day. It could be any day now and I don’t want to be studying the packet in the car on the way to hospital. There’s so much to remember! This feels like the driving test all over again…and I failed that the first time. Agh!

Week 36

Feeling bigger than big at 36 weeks!

Feeling bigger than big at 36 weeks!

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 6 pounds and 20 inches long. His weight gain should slow down from here out. He’s full-term at 37 weeks, so we’re in the final stretch. Thank goodness, too. I’m ready!

Fun Fact: Okay, this isn’t fun, but it’s super gross and that’s what this blog is for, right? At the doctor this week, the nurse asked me about vaginal discharge. Lovely, eh? Well, apparently, the cervix’s job at this stage of the game is to become a kind of slime eel, producing tons and tons of mucus in preparation for the birth. Is that not the grossest thing ever? Did anyone else see the episode of Dirty Jobs with the slime eels? Of course, the nurse didn’t mention slime eels, That’s my interpretation of what she said. As if nearly peeing my pants every 20 minutes isn’t humiliating enough. Now I’ve got a slime eel!

The Other Gross Thing: As I mentioned last week, I had the singular joy of a rectal swab at my last appointment. It’s a test for strep B, which can pass from mom to baby during birth and make the baby very sick. The test is a rectal and vaginal swab. No biggie, but I actually debated the etiquette of whether I needed to tell the doctor in advance about my new hemorroid or if it was something she could discover on her own without my input. I opted for silence. She didn’t mention the ‘roid and my test came back negative. Wahoo!

The Waddle: I’m in full penguin mode these days. I waddle exclusively…and very slowly. My hips, back, and pelvis ache constantly and I’m absolutely exhausted. I google constantly, trying to predict when Baby Harry will come. The doctor said I’m dilated to 2 cm, but that could still mean I’m a few weeks out. In the meantime, every pain or new symptom prompts googling. I need to know when it’s happening!

What’s Next: Christmas and a week of vacation! I hope I don’t waste it on naps. Well, I want to waste some of it on naps. I’m so darn tired!

Week 35

Thirty-five weeks and counting! No wonder I look tired. That's a lot of belly!

Thirty-five weeks and counting! No wonder I look tired. That’s a lot of belly!

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 5 ½ pounds and 20 inches long. He’s still gaining about a half-pound a week. These numbers are just averages, though. I really have no idea how big he is. He feels like a giant squid.

Fun Fact: Baby Harry’s body is up to about 15 percent fat right now. By the time he’s born, he’ll be closer to 30 percent fat. It’s no wonder, though. This is the holidays! We’re all packing it on.

The Big News: I think Harry dropped over the weekend. I woke up Sunday feeling like my insides might fall out. My belly was so heavy and there was an intense downward pressure inside my belly. It was so uncomfortable and I had to pee so badly! But, I went about my day thinking I’d just exercised too much the day before. Maybe I strained something.

In the afternoon, I took the dogs for a walk and that only exacerbated the problem. About 30 minutes into the walk, I was convinced my water broke (it was just a pee leak! Agh!) and I tried to hustle back home. There was so much pressure in my lower abdomen, but I was waddling as quickly as I could.

When I got home and confirmed it was just pee, I felt relieved, but vowed to table all dog walking activities until after Harry is born. Clearly, I’d strained my pelvis/tummy muscles and everything was going south on me at an alarming rate.

It wasn’t until Tuesday when a coworker exclaimed, “Your baby has dropped!” that I googled what that meant and realized she was right. I hadn’t strained my baby-cooker. Harry had just dropped into my pelvis. I feel silly not knowing that, but it’s not something that comes up in normal conversation.

Of course, since he’s dropped that means we’re close. I panic-cried about it in the car and alerted Aunties Linda and Amy to elevate the baby alert to yellow. This baby could come in 2-4 weeks. Or sooner.

The Waddler: Now that there’s an imaginary bowling ball anchored to my insides, life is a lot tougher. I don’t sleep more than a couple hours and my workouts are exceptionally hard. I’m still muddling through, but I totally understand the desire to be done. I’m ready to reclaim ownership of my torso. Let’s boat this bass.

What’s Next: A rectal swab! I wish I was joking. Pregnant ladies at this stage need to get tested for a specific kind of strep bacteria that can live in the butt and vagina and be transported to the baby during delivery. This is just the start of many horrors to come. A damn rectal swab. Lovely.

Week 34

Getting big now!

Getting big now! Otis watches my feet now that I can’t see them myself.

I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I had an amazing baby shower last weekend thanks to my friends Amy and Linda. I can’t believe how much work they did. I’m still emotional about how nice it was, and how much fun it was to be around such great women for an afternoon. I need to make more time to hang out with cool gals.

All of my friends have been so generous. I’m not used to the attention or the presents, so it’s thrown me off guard in a good way. I feel incredibly loved.

Not only did I have a real shower, my Twitter family threw me a Twitter shower, which was a blast. It’s hard to explain on online party experience, but it was such a fun afternoon. I’m so grateful. I feel like there’s an army of people all over the world who already love our baby, and that’s really powerful.

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 5 pounds and 20 inches long. He’s still gaining about a half-pound a week. We have only a few weeks left to go.

Fun Fact: Baby Harry’s testicles dropped this week. Is that grounds for a woohoo? It’s kind of an odd thing to celebrate, right?

The Prep Work: We have so much to do! The stroller and car seat should be delivered today and Ben is charged with putting them together. Our hospital bag is mostly packed, but I’m having the hardest time choosing a “coming home” outfit for Baby Harry. Everyone has sent us so many cute clothes! I also need to finish putting together the nursery. It feels like a lot, but staying busy is how I keep from panicking.

The Belly: As you can tell by the photo, the belly is growing very quickly. I’m shocked when I catch glimpses of myself from the side. I don’t feel that big. Sure, I waddle and wheeze, and I can’t reach my feet. But, I’m not that big, am I? Yikes! The bigger the belly gets, the more worried I get about how this baby is actually going to come out. It seems impossible for something that big to come out. He’s 5 pounds!!

The Diet: The diet went AWOL for the shower, but I’m back on track now. I don’t want my doctor to yell at me too much. Overall, I’m doing okay. I think knowing there are only a few weeks left is helping me power through all the protein-laden meals.

What’s Next: Finishing the nursery. I’ll post pictures as soon as things look presentable in there.

Week 33

Belly selfie! This is technically 34 weeks, but who’s counting. I’m huge!

I’m the most annoying person in the world right now. All I talk about are my ailments and I’m constantly hungry and exhausted. I don’t even want to be around me anymore. I feel bad for my poor husband, who’s had to contend with emergency diarrhea, paint-peeling farts, whines about my assorted aches and pains, unexplained crying jags, and a constant need to pee. I feel bad for the poor man.

The Tater Tot: Baby is about 4 ½ pounds and 19 inches long. He’s still gaining about a half-pound a week, preparing to make his big debut in only a few short weeks.

And, the view from the top. I might be Jupiter. Ask me about my gases! Okay, don’t.

Fun Fact: The circumference of his head (which is already pretty big, if his two parents are any indication) will jump about a half-inch this week alone. His brain is making big strides right now and he’s starting to look and act more like a baby.

The Prep Work: I bought diapers for the first time in my life. It felt more uncomfortable than I imagined it would. I’ve never bought diapers before and, staring at two aisles full of sizes, brands, and varieties, I felt pretty overwhelmed. Buying Barley’s doggie diapers was never so complicated.

Sunday, I picked away at the stuff we need for our hospital bag. Diapers, wipes, outfits, blankets, toiletries…all kinds of little stuff for me, baby, and Ben. It feels very real buying all of this stuff. It’s sinking in and I’m so scared.

The Belly: I needed assistance putting on my socks this morning. I’m not proud of it, but my feet seem very far away these days. Getting up, bending over, rolling over in bed – they all require a complicated coordination of muscles and it rarely goes smoothly. Just getting up from the couch some days takes a few tries. My weight balance is messed up and I feel like a turtle on its back most of the time. Plus, everyday things like exercising and walking the dogs are getting very uncomfortable. My tummy muscles aches and my pelvic bones burn. It’s not for sissies!

The Diet: So far, no insulin, but the diet is getting really old. I’m so tired of meat, cheese, and eggs. It may be hormones, but I’ve been getting more and more emotional about food. I just want to eat something I like, something that doesn’t include meat, cheese, or eggs. I’m at my protein capacity and there are still weeks to go. I have dreams about chocolate, Pop Tarts, and mashed potatoes. I need carbs, damnit!

The Plans: To help get over the panic of Harry’s arrival, I’ve been trying to focus on all the things I want to do once I’m an independent person again. Here’s what I have so far:

• Drink orange juice

• Eat chocolate

• Exercise

• Sleep on my back

• Lay on my belly

• Cut my toenails

• Visually reconnect with everything below my belly button

This is the first week I’ve ever really been excited to be done. For the most part, it’s been fun being pregnant. I love medical stuff, so all the changes have been interesting. Plus, it’s nice feeling special. I don’t usually feel like that in my regular life. Now that I’m in the final slog, though, I totally get why people groan so loudly. I’m okay with this being the home stretch, even if I am a bit sad to let Harry go. I’ve gotten so used to having him around!