38 weeks + what’s in the (diaper) bag

I had an appointment and ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday but a “snowstorm” (a 1/2 inch of snow and a tiny bit of ice) closed my OB’s office. After an hour and a half of getting a busy signal on Thursday, I was finally able to reschedule for this Tuesday. I was really disappointed that the original visit was cancelled because all week I had been looking forward to seeing Roman. But it just gives me something to look forward to this week and it puts my appointments back on track.

Additionally, missing an appointment made the pregnancy seem longer as the weekly visits break up the time nicely. Now that I’m two weeks out, all I can think about is delivery. It is so close yet seems so far away. I know that it is close because my body is preparing itself. I have many of the TMI symptoms that are commonly associated with pre-labor. As much as I know that Roman’s entrance could still be a month away, I am grasping at any symptom that could mean he will be here soon. I’m sure most moms-to-be feel this way?

There was a little bit of action this week. This past Saturday, I woke up and headed into work with braxton hicks. I’ve had them for months but usually I can get them to go away. These were different. I had back pain with them, they were anywhere from 3-5 min apart and they were non stop all day. I continued to work through them while guzzling water. On my breaks, I laid on my left side and when I was working, I tried to move around because it hurt to sit. My coworkers said I was scaring them. I didn’t think I was going into labor, I just couldn’t figure out how to ease the contractions.

I finished work and headed home for a bit where I took a warm bath. It hit me that this could be it. I could have a baby at any point. I just started crying. I don’t know what it is, but it’s frightening. After the bath, we decided to go meet up with coworkers for dinner. While I should have been resting, my rationale was that if I end up in the hospital tonight, I want to do so having eaten well.

The outing was a welcome distraction from the constant tightening. I was able to laugh and not think about the pain (I will be laboring at home for as long as possible!) but it didn’t ease the symptoms. When we returned home, they were still there. More water, juice, rest, and a second warm bath didn’t ease or slow the contractions. And what was more concerning to me was that I couldn’t feel Roman move in between. Concerned, I called my OB who sent me to L&D to see if my cervix was dilating more.

I was the 7th woman to come in that night with contractions. It’s my guess that the other 6 were in real labor because I didn’t see my doctor (or any doctor) that night despite her being on call. Instead, I was assigned an awkward nurse (she always seemed like she wanted to say something). After asking me personal questions while Edwin was in the waiting room (Do you have a history of herpes? Do you feel safe at home? Do you drink or do drugs?), she checked my cervix. I was still a 1 but she later told me that I am 75% effaced and that his head is “very, very low.” I told her that while I knew he was head down, I didn’t know how low and that last week when my OB examined me, I was 0% effaced. The rapid effacement blew me away.

The nurse hooked me to the monitor: oxygen levels, blood pressure, contractions, and baby’s heart rate. The contractions were registering several minutes apart and got as high as about 75 on the monitor (I’ve heard the ‘scale’ goes over 100 though) and Roman’s heart rate was 147ish. The nurse brought me some ice chips and I tried to rest and breathe through the pain.

After about 20-30 minutes, I could really feel Roman. He was bearing down, squirming, and kicking at the bands around my stomach, a common activity for him as he behaved in that manner the previous two times I had been monitored. It’s my theory that he can feel the pressure from the bands and doesn’t like it. The nurse, however, was concerned. Roman’s heart rate had jumped to the 170s and 180s. She began telling me that if it doesn’t go down, she is going to hate giving me an IV. I felt like she was threatening me… As if I could make it go down in some magical way. We positioned me on my left side, I discontinued the ice chips, and I eventually was given oxygen. It seemed to help some but once the mask was off, Edwin said the heart rate rose again.

I knew that the only option if we couldn’t get it to stay down was quick delivery and I really did not want to go that route. I knew it would be a c-section because I hadn’t made enough progress to deliver vaginally. I tried to stay calm and I prayed for his safety. Something must of worked because I was sent home an hour later. I was so thankful. I didn’t think that labor was imminent going in. I just wanted the peace of mind that my baby was okay and that my contractions weren’t serious.

Other than that minor scare, I’ve just been organizing and reorganizing Roman’s hospital bag. I’ve utilized several “what to pack” lists from different blogs around the internet and here is what I have so far:

Everything packed away neatly inside my awesome diaper bag. :)

Everything packed away neatly inside my awesome diaper bag. 🙂

inthebag

1. snowsuit/winter gear to come home in.
2. a hooded outfit, because it’s cute (he probably won’t wear it)
3. 2 sleepers
4. 2 hats, 3 pairs of mittens, 2 pairs of socks
5. 2 different size onesies and pairs of pants
6. a swaddler
7. 2 receiving blankets (bottom) and 2 blankets (the yellow/white one and the blue anchor one that everything is sitting on)
8. baby nail files/clippers (because everyone says the hospital won’t take care of his nails), an aspirator (even though they will give me one), and a brush and comb (in case he has a head full of hair)

the boppy pillow for breastfeeding.

the boppy pillow for breastfeeding.

After I took this photo, I went to Target and purchased a pack of four nautical receiving blankets, a two pack of swaddlers, a pair of newborn jeans and an outfit that he might have his hospital photo in. Of course, it will be added to the bag because I’m insane and won’t be able to decide what I want my son to wear for his photos… so it’s safe to say I’ll reorganize the bag about 5 more times before I go in labor.

We now have 4 swaddlers - 2 newborn sized (5-10 lbs) and 2 stage 2 sized (7-14 lbs). My prenatal instructor recommended these because they are so much easier than the actual blankets. I'm also terrible at folding those things so the  velcro and zippers are very helpful. :)

We now have 4 swaddlers – two newborn sized (5-10 lbs) and two stage 2 sized (7-14 lbs). My prenatal instructor recommended these because they are so much easier than the actual blankets. I’m also terrible at folding those things so the velcro and zippers are super appreciated. 🙂

I fell in love. These blankets are absolutely perfect. And by perfect I mean they have whales and anchors on them.

I fell in love. These blankets are absolutely perfect. And by perfect I mean they have whales and anchors on them.

This is little man's possible outfit for his nursery photo. In addition to my obsession with everything nautical (see the next photo), I can't stop buying him dinosaur stuff.

This is little man’s possible outfit for his nursery photo. In addition to my obsession with everything nautical (see the next photo), I can’t stop buying him dinosaur stuff.

See what I mean? Whales and anchors. As soon as I saw these in Target, I didn't hesitate to throw them in the cart. Size 6 months.

See what I mean? Whales and anchors. As soon as I saw these in Target, I didn’t hesitate to throw them in the cart. Size 6 months.

NB jeans. He has so many pairs of sweats and stretchy pants that I had to purchase him a pair of jeans. ;)

NB jeans. He has so many pairs of sweats and stretchy pants that I had to purchase him a pair of jeans. 😉

As for our hospital bag, I haven’t completely finished packing it, but here’s a tentative list of what will be in it:

  • comfortable bottoms (gaucho style)
  • nursing bra
  • nursing tank
  • going home outfit
  • underwear (just in case I hate the mesh ones they hand out)
  • socks
  • house shoes
  • flip flops
  • travel shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash
  • nursing pads
  • ipads for the lulls (if there are some)
  • chargers for ipads/phones
  • a rolling pin for my back
  • change of clothes for Edwin
  • snacks for Edwin
  • gum
  • chapstick

I’m sure there is more but that is a working list. I’ve been debating bringing the breast pump to the hospital. Our pediatrician said that the nurses and lactation specialists prefer to work with the hospital grade ones rather than personal ones and I already put ours together and figured out how to work it. I feel like it might be overkill with everything else we will have. But of course, we could leave it in the truck, just in case. I’m also writing down all the names and numbers for my husband to call with the news, including the base child care center. He was laughing earlier because I told him that I want them to be called upon the first business hour following Roman’s birth. I don’t care if it has to happen before I get Jimmy John’s, that needs to be taken care of. We have been on a wait list since July and the typical wait is anywhere from 6 mo – 1 year. By the time I go back to work, we will have been on the list for 8-9 months. 😦 We cannot afford any other child care center so it’s important that we get in as soon as possible.

call

Check the time stamps on those… I woke up at 12:30 full of energy and began organizing Roman’s things and making lists on my phones in preparation for when we go into labor. The birth plan is already packed in one of the hospital bags.

Survey:

How Far Along? 38 weeks according to the ultrasound, 37 weeks, 4 days according to LMP.

Roman’s weight: anywhere from 6.5 – 7 lbs. I’m pretty sure he’s reached his birth length by now.

Symptoms: vomiting (about once every 3-4 days for the past 3 weeks), Braxton Hicks and possible non-BH contractions (I have had some intermittent contractions with slight back pain but they didn’t last), carpal tunnel syndrome, irritability, general annoyance with people and my pregnancy.

Sleep: It’s been hit or (mostly) miss lately. There have been 1-2 nights where I woke up only once or twice. Mostly I’m just incredibly uncomfortable. In addition to waking up at 1, 3, 5, and 7 to pee and get up for work, I’m tossing and turning because I get so uncomfortable on my left side. I switch to my right and then have to switch back. It’s a process, too, because I have to lift myself to turn over (gone are the days of rolling/flailing). And then some nights my inner thighs and pelvis are so heavy and sore (remember the baseball bat beating feeling of last week’s entry) that it’s extremely painful. Add the numb hands (despite the splint) from the carpal tunnel syndrome, the back pain despite having pillows behind me, between my legs, and under my belly, and Roman’s constant movement after 11 pm.

Food Cravings: I made Edwin run to the store for oreos the other night. And then I had a wild craving for Mexican and Thai food.

Best Moment This Week: having a three day weekend because of MLK day

Worst Moment This Week: the minor snow and ice that canceled my ultrasound.

Movement: This guy… oh Lord, he’s reached max capacity in there and I am feeling it. His stretching has now begun to hurt as his feet push long and hard against my ribs, sides and belly.

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks, the other contractions I have mentioned, nesting. There is also the vomiting and other TMI symptoms that I have reading are indicators that labor is near. No actual labor symptoms, though.

Belly Button In Or Out? Out! Check this wonderful photo of my huge belly (my favorite part is that it’s still free of new stretch marks! I have some old faded ones but nothing new!)

round belly

What I Miss: a good night’s sleep… I swear if ONE MORE PERSON tells me I should get over it, I won’t sleep again, I will scream. I hate obvious freaking statements. I’m not completely clueless about parenthood. I know that children cause parents to be sleep deprived. So please do me a favor and don’t put your two cents in. 🙂

What I Am Looking Forward To: My ultrasound.

Milestones: I’ve reached full term (by some standards) and have two weeks until my due date!

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