Baby boy is nearly seven and a half months already! Time really flies by when you are a parent. I don’t remember where I left off the last time I posted but here is an update on Roman.

Allergy: Still has his milk protein allergy. A few weeks ago we gave him a few bites of baked apples that had butter in them and there was a small GI reaction. Additionally, he is allergic to soy. Recent research indicates that he could have it until kindergarten. I plan to speak to an allergist in Texas to see if there is a test we can do to see if he is likely to outgrow it. It is already difficult to make food for him that is absent of milk and soy, I cannot imagine how hard it will be one he is completely weaned from his bottle.

Food: we are starting finger foods. We have successfully explored the world of pureed solids and now Roman is very interested in what we eat but we can’t just give him what we eat (see above).

Movement: Roman began crawling at five months! One day he just figured it out and he hasn’t stopped yet! He seems so much older now that he’s mobile. He is also a pro at pulling up and cruising along furniture. And just the other day, as I picked him up from day care, he was standing and pushing chairs around the kitchen. Walking is right around the corner.

Teeth: we had a terrible time around five months where Roman was tugging his ear and screaming. I thought it was an ear infection but the doctor said his ears were perfect and that it was a bad case of teething. This lasted a week or two but nothing popped up. Fast forward to this past Thursday and we suddenly have a small white bump! No irritability or lack of appetite, which is strange.

Our little man is just getting so big. He is now in 9 month clothing and can fit in some 12 month items. At his six month appointment he was in the 55th percentile for weight, 75th for height, and 85th for head size. At the time, he weighed just under 19 pounds so I’m sure he’s at 20 now. Either way, I could no longer carry him in the infant car seat and the straps were too tight on him so we have moved him to a convertible car seat.

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Update

A lot has happened in the past 5 weeks.

1st, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I thought I had the baby blues but they weren’t getting lighter. Instead, my feelings were heavier. I cried in the shower, walking through Target, visiting my OB… I was crying all the time. Sometimes I could explain – like the sadness with being unable to deliver vaginally and my decision to not breastfeed. Other times I couldn’t figure it out. I had everything I had ever wanted but I wasn’t happy. Anyway, I saw a therapist and then a PCM put me on Celexa. I see an actual psych next week. The celexa has worked wonders – I have few low moments and I can enjoy parenting now- but I want to visit with the doctor to talk about the outlook. Is this what I need to stay on? Will this dosage work? When can I discontinue the meds?

Roman has had a tough time, too. On day 4, he had the frenulectomy and now he can actually stick his tongue out of his mouth.

He has been fussy since week 2, which I’ve read is on par for his age, but then he developed thrush at week 3. His doc said it can make him fussy and gave is nystatin. Tomorrow is the end of his medicine but he still seems to have it so if it isn’t better in a few days I’m going to call back.

And then a few days after beginning the medicine, I found blood in his stool. At first it was a speck of bloody mucous with diarrhea. I thought he might have caught the stomach bug his father and I had a few days prior but then it continued for 2 days and more blood was produced with each BM (they were coming once an hour). I took him to the doctor twice. On the first visit she said it could be the stomach bug or an allergy to milk protein. She gave me Nutramigen (for those who don’t know, it’s an expensive hypoallergenic formula where the milk protein is broken down so that baby’s tummy doesn’t have to work so hard. It also smells and tastes TERRIBLE.) Roman had the hardest time getting used to it. He cried and fussed and refused it.

I didn’t think it was a protein allergy and when he produced a BM that was 75% blood, I took him back to the doctor. This doctor thought he might have meckels diverticulum, where the stomach lining exists inside the intestines and produces painless bleeding, and sent him for a meckels scan. Roman had to be put under and a gamma camera photographed his intestines. The procedure to correct it required surgery so I was thankful when his test came back negative.

After more research and two full days on Nutramigen with 0 bloody BMs (all of which were normal & solid), I determined it must be the milk protein allergy after all. Looking back, Roman met all the criteria for it: extra fussy, esp after eating, frequent loose BMs, bloody stools… He had it all. And after two days on the new formula, he seemed like a changed baby. Now he is only fussy when hungry or really sleepy. It’s just funny that this allergy is only in 2-3% of babies and mine falls in there.

It stinks that he’s on this expensive formula but I have a healthy baby and that’s all that matters. Most children outgrow the allergy by 1 year of age, thankfully. And on the bright side, it’s only 1 year of formula, so the cost is only temporary.

The last weigh in had Roman at 9 lbs 10 oz that was a week ago, so I’m thinking that he’s probably at 10 lbs now. His length and weight were in the 50th percentile and his head was in the 25th percentile.

He’s a cuddly baby who struggles to fall asleep on his back. He definitely prefers our arms or chest but his swing is growing on him. He sleeps (this week anyway) in 3-4 hour intervals at night and 1-2 hour intervals during the day. In the morning and evenings, he takes 3-4 oz of formula and during the day it can range from 1-2 oz. He eats every 2-3 hours, sometimes every 4 hours if he’s sleeping well. 🙂

Overall, he prefers being held, which can be taxing. I’m trying to transition him into sitting his chair or swing longer or even laying on his play mat.

I return to work next week and he starts daycare so hopefully that will help with his independence. I’ll be sad though. 😦

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Oh hey, I’m not pregnant anymore. :)

*note, I have been working on this post for a while but it’s been emotional so I have taken many breaks.*  

I started a 40 week entry a few days before my due date but didn’t get to finish it because my little man came on time! Let’s rewind.

Sunday night (February 9), my husband and I got through the mid season premiere of The Walking Dead without any baby interruptions. We also spent some time walking around and had dinner at CiCi’s around 6:00 pm. He’s not a fan but every now and then I crave it and the spicy Olé pizza. I joked “It might be my last meal…” I didn’t know how true that statement would become.

While we were out, we bought brand new bedding – sheets, pillows, and pillow cases. I made another joke as we were making up the bed that night: new sheets? Watch my water break.

I woke up to pee twice Sunday night/Monday morning. And then when I awoke for good, I thought, “I actually don’t mind going into work today.” I had worked the weekend and my body didn’t want to go at all but Monday was different. For the first time, I was content despite it being my due date. And then I rolled over.

At 7:00 am, I had a strong cramp in my stomach and then a small amount of liquid ran down my butt and legs. I said, “I hope that wasn’t my water breaking.” (why? Why would I say that? That is EXACTLY what I wanted. I hurried up and ran to the bathroom where I emptied my bladder. I looked in the toilet: yellow. Okay, pee. My legs were wet, though. And it didn’t feel like pee. Like any prego woman would do, I smelled the liquid on my leg. It didn’t smell like urine – it didn’t have a smell. I wasn’t sure. So I wiped and headed back into the bedroom where I told my husband, “You may want to keep your phone…” and then more liquid poured out. There was a stream running down my leg. My husband took one look and was suddenly in baby mode. He convinced me that it was definitely my water that was breaking. I was 100% sure when as I walked around grabbing things I needed the waters kept leaking… They continued through the car ride and for several hours after once I was at the hospital.

It was incredibly exciting – experiencing my water breaking, getting ready to go, and then heading to the hospital. I couldn’t believe it was happening for real.

I stopped at registration and was told to go ahead to the L&D desk. I was immediately taken to a room with my husband and then he was sent to the waiting room while they checked me and asked all the questions. The nurse then confirmed that my water was indeed breaking. I was also 2 cm and 80% effaced.

They started me on an IV and then moved me from triage to a labor and delivery room where they eventually started me on pitocin. It worked really well; the contractions picked up quickly and by the time I was at 4 cm, I asked for an epidural. The funny thing is, I don’t even remember how painful the contractions were at that point because when I reached 9 cm at 6:30 pm, my epidural had begun to wear off and they had to up it because those contractions were excruciating. 2 and a half hours later, I was still at 9 cm, 100% effaced and at -1. Some repositioning failed to assist Roman in descending further down the birth canal and his heart rate increased to the 170s and 180s.

I was instructed to push to see if we could get Roman to come down lower. I tried and tried but the little guy wouldn’t budge. He moved up, especially when they checked me.

My nurse, who I couldn’t stand, was slow as a sloth and really bad at answering questions. “What happens if putting my on my right side doesn’t work?” I asked. “I’m trying to keep the doctor out of here,” she replied. “But what happens if it doesn’t work?” I pressed some more. Silence. I knew the answer (c-section) but I wanted her to say it. My husband asked, “Can you give her more pitocin?” It had been working but when I reached 9 cm, my doctor requested it be shut off and from that point my labor slowed. “I’ll go see,” the nurse finally responded.

Fifteen minutes later, she returned with the doctor. My OB checked me. I held my breath… I knew it was coming… 9 cm. -1 station. And then she said what I had been dreading. “We are going to do a c-section.” As she explained the reasons (fetal heart rate, risk of infection due to my water breaking over 12 hours earlier) I began sobbing. I had done so much hard work. My water broke on it’s own! My contractions started before the pitocin was administered! I knew that the safest thing was a c-section but I didn’t want it! I wanted to PUSH my baby out. My mom had me via c-section and I wanted to be the first to deliver naturally – I had always been told I had child bearing hips after all.

They left the room to begin preparing and I just sobbed (I would continue to struggle once I was discharged – I felt like I failed as a woman). My husband tried to support me but I was devastated. I cried so hard that I threw up every last bit of bile in my stomach. An hour later, after the anesthesiologist drugged me up with some heavy general anesthesia, I was wheeled into the OR alone.

It was my first surgery and I was scared out of my mind. I immediately thought, what if I don’t make it? My husband would be devastated and he’d be taking care of Roman all by himself. Or what if something happened to my baby? I had to shut my brain off. I started drifting from the heavy dosage of anesthesia. They asked if I was okay. I said I was cold – very cold. They told me it was the medicine and then draped my arms with several hot blankets. The sheet went up, they asked if I could feel any sharp pains on my abdomen. No, only a sensation of being touched. I couldn’t really speak though. It was like my vocal cords were paralyzed. I thought, oh I won’t be able to talk to my husband. But then he came in and sat beside me and my first words were I love you. And he kissed me. And then we waited.

It seemed like an eternity but roughly 15 minutes after being wheeled back, my baby was born. 11:03 pm on Monday February 10, 2014. They confirmed Roman was indeed Roman. I smiled. I had my boy. I heard his cry and said, is that him? It didn’t sound like a cry. My husband said later that he cried on his own; he didn’t have to have a spanking to get him going. 🙂 The pediatrician came around and told me he was healthy. I waited and waited to see Roman. My husband at some point left to be with him – I don’t remember this. And then they brought him around.

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He was beautiful. I asked to kiss him and once I did, they whisked him to the nursery where they did some testing and bathing him. Meanwhile in OR: I was being fixed up. They removed my placenta and membranes and stitched me up. This was the painful part. It wasn’t sharp, just heavy, tight tugging. Not enjoyable at all. I winced and groaned and cried out. They injected me with more pain relief. And finally they were done.

45 minutes after Roman’s birth, I was wheeled to a recovery room. It was 11:45ish and I was told that I would remain in recovery for 45 minutes and then I would be taken to my room… 45 minutes turned to 2 hours. Edwin came down and sat with me while the sloth of a nurse pressed on my uterus every 15 minutes and took her sweet time doing whatever needed to be done. Roman was not brought to me during this time because he was getting his bath. 😦 I missed that initial window of opportunity to breastfeed.

At 2 am, I was finally taken to my room where I was left with an aggressive nurse. She wasn’t pleasant at all. I can’t remember exact details, but I didn’t like her one bit. Roman was FINALLY brought to me and we began breastfeeding immediately. He seemed to be latching pretty well but there was minor pain.

The next few days are a blur at this point – I had a multitude of nurses – some I liked, others I did not. I continued breastfeeding – all the nurse said he was latching on just fine and the first lactation consultant agreed. I didn’t get any sleep during my stay as someone came in my room roughly every 30 minutes – hour.

Roman’s weight began dropping in the hospital. By the time we had left he had lost 8% … he went from 7 lb 15 oz to 7 lb 4 oz.

The day before we were discharged, Roman was circumcised. Immediately following the procedure, a second lactation consultant came in and repositioned my son, who had been nursing fine. She must have thought I was doing it wrong as she kept repositioning him aggressively all while saying “he’s really tired from his surgery.” He became agitated quickly and was crying constantly. My heart was breaking. It was clear that my son was upset and did not want to be moved around so much, especially after his surgery. I was fighting back tears but eventually they gave way and I started sobbing uncontrollably but yet she persistently readjusted him until giving up and heading out. I hated her. I didn’t want her coming near me or my son. He had been doing fine and then she came in and made me feel like I was failing. I couldn’t follow her instructions and began doubting myself. And from that point, breastfeeding was an issue.

We went home on Thursday, our 1 year wedding anniversary. That night was awful. I was in so much pain while nursing and he seemed to want to nurse constantly. He wouldn’t stop crying and I was in tears from the pain and frustration. My husband called our pediatrician’s office, with whom we had an appointment the next day, to ask what we should do and if we could supplement with formula. The nurse said that the doctor would return our call. Several hours later we still had not spoken with him. I continued breastfeeding through the pain with hopes that Roman was getting enough.

On Friday, at 10 am, we met with Roman’s doctor (not the doctor that was on call the previous night). He had gained some weight – he was at 7 lb 5.5 oz which was reassuring. I explained to the doctor about our feeding problems. I told her that my nipples were bruised, cracked, bleeding – this hadn’t been the case in the hospital. She looked at Roman and determined that he was tongue tied which can cause problems in nursing. She scheduled a same day frenulectomy  at the children’s hospital to fix it. In the meantime, she told us to supplement with formula and pump and ordered me to sleep for 6 hours. Once the procedure was done, we could breastfeed if I had healed. I pumped throughout the day and Roman alternated between breastmilk and formula. By that evening, my nipples looked a lot better thanks to lanolin and medela soothing gel pads. I attempted to nurse Roman. He got through two feedings successfully, only minor pain, but the third was downright excruciating. Over the next few days I struggled with pumping. My nipples were worst than before I started. It was at this point that I decided that I needed to make a decision.

I had been considering switching to formula for a few days. I spent so much time focusing on breastfeeding. I had my heart set on it from the beginning. I didn’t even buy bottles because I was convinced it was the best thing for us. But like my delivery, this didn’t go as planned either. Even when it was successful, it wasn’t comfortable emotionally. I wasn’t feeling a bond or connection with my son. I couldn’t focus on hi, only on breastfeeding. I wasn’t happy. I was crying constantly about nursing. A sense of dread, resentment developed. Why wasn’t I happy to give my son what he needed? And when I pumped, my supply decreased over the few days instead of increasing. I knew deep down that I need to switch to formula. My mind had already decided that I wanted to formula feed as breastfeeding depressed me so much. But then I thought about how much of a failure I would be and I cried and cried. I went back and forth between pumping exclusively and formula feeding for days until one day, when pumping, my nipples went from healed to completely destroyed. I had to dump the milk from both sides due to the blood mixed in. I gave up. I finally decided that my son need a happy, healthy mother – not one who was emotionally taxed. So, after speaking with my husband, I decided to use formula. And initially, I felt guilty (I even had a coworker make me feel terrible when she voiced her opinion about me switching) but relieved. I could now see how much my son was eating. I could focus on him while feeding him.

I felt like a failure but I knew that this was the best for our family. I struggled with depression in the past and had a c-section, both of which increase the risk of postpartum depression. I already had the baby blues – crying, panic attacks, feelings of insecurity – and was so fearful that I would end up with PPD. Breastfeeding further upset me. Each day since I chose to switch has left me feeling exponentially better.

The baby blues have passed mostly but I still have moments every now and then. No matter how ready you think you are, nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent for the first time. It IS NOT easy. The sleep, eat, poop, and cry. It breaks my heart when Roman is fussy. I want him to be alert and all smiles all the time but he gets fussy about once or twice a day. He can be soothed rather quickly but sometimes it’s difficult to decipher what he wants exactly. Hunger is easy – as soon as he starts sucking his hands/rooting, I know that he’s ready to eat. But other times I have no idea what is bothering him and it makes me sad. On top of that, the monotony that comes with having a newborn is difficult to adjust to. Also, I hate being confined to the house. I try to get out every other day or so, even if it’s just for a few minutes but it isn’t enough. Winter keeps us from being outside. I need it to warm up so I can take Roman on walks. I need sunshine and outings. I’m not a homebody by any means. And finally, we had Edwin’s mom and sister here for about 2 weeks. It was absolutely wonderful having family here and now that they are gone, there is emptiness. I suddenly want to be near family. I feel like we are isolated.

With that said, parenting is definitely special. I love this little boy more than I thought. He’s the best cuddler. He makes awesome faces and when he smiles or coos, I light up. I look forward to those days when he laughs, when we can interact, when I can do something that makes him visibly happy. I look forward to all of the things we will get to do together soon like walks in the park and our family trip to Myrtle Beach in May.

39 weeks

I cannot believe that I am roughly one week from my EDD. Absolutely insane that I have been writing this blog for about 20 weeks.

Here are the pictures I promised you in the last entry (regarding my 38 week check up) – read about it here.

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See those two little spots above his head? Those are his fingers. He had his hands on the top of his head. 🙂

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Cute little lips & nose.

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the bump from the top – a little crooked. Where are my feet?!

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39 weeks, 2 days or 38 weeks, 6 days… depending on who’s counting – me or the doc. 😉

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A couple, who are friends of ours, gave us this changing table! It works perfectly.

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The panorama of the nursery – just need to hang the curtains (I have two more to make) and those photos sitting on the window sill.

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temporary swelling in my ankles and feet – hello sausage toes!

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Edwin & I had a final outing and I picked these up for Roman.

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less than $3 at Target! How could I not buy it? 😉

So I have news! I had my 39 week check up on Wednesday. I went in hoping for more progress but was disappointed to find out none had been made. I am still 1 cm. I was almost in tears as I dressed after the exam and I was sure that when I asked how long I’d have to stay pregnant past my due date, she’d tell me 2 weeks. Fortunately I was wrong here, too! In fact, I didn’t even have to ask her about induction. When I entered her office, she began telling me that my due date is next week and if I don’t have Roman by then, I can pick a date – any date after February 13th. I sighed with relief. I explained to her that this is exactly what I wanted to discuss, as I have family visiting on the 15th and I am trying to figure out my maternity leave. I told her I didn’t want the 14th because it’s Valentine’s Day. She said that her anniversary is the 12th and she will be gone on the 14th anyway so we picked Monday February 17th.

I was immediately relieved. You have no idea. The past week has been anxiety ridden because I just don’t know when anything is going to happen. I am a planner who needs to knowI can’t help it, it is who I am. I can do change – it doesn’t take me long to adapt – but I like to have deadlines. I now know that if my son decides to be stubborn, I will have him by a certain day. I have had a weight on my shoulders that I didn’t know was there. I feel like I can just breathe and enjoy these last few days (YES DAYS! 11 DAYS) of pregnancy. Instead of crying “how much longer” I can cry with anticipation of meeting him. I know my husband could see a difference in me from the moment he saw me after work. Of course, I would much rather go into labor on my own and it’s possible that it will still happen, so I am prepared in the event that it does.

I’m curious if the last few OB appointments are always as fast as this one. When I arrived, the waiting room was swamped – busier than I had ever seen it – and I waited at least 40-50 minutes before I was called back to see the nurse. Once, I saw the nurse, however, I headed to the lab and then was immediately whisked to an exam room to see my OB. The appointment, which was scheduled for 10:20, was over by 11:45. And then, when my doctor took me to the induction scheduler, she also had her schedule my last OB visit for next Tuesday and insisted she find me a spot despite being booked solid. Maybe I just got lucky?

In regards to the vitals and such, I had actually lost a few pounds (the # is debatable as the nurse didn’t let the thingy balance – but it was clear that I had lost weight) so the difference between my pre pregnancy weight and current weight is about 15-16 pounds. Considering Roman is about 8 of those and then you have to count fluids and placenta, I’m feeling freaking great. I don’t even care that I lost 10 pounds after getting pregnant, so in reality I gained about 25-26 pounds, because that’s still excellent! My blood pressure was still excellent and Roman’s heart rate was 146. How did I celebrate? Chipotle, of course. 🙂

Now that I have an induction date, people have started to ask me if I am scared. The first emotion I have is relief. The second, excitement. Third, some fear, yes. I don’t know if I have fully prepared myself mentally for labor. I can’t change the fact that it has to happen so I’m trying not to focus on how scared I am. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. I’ve worked throughout my pregnancy and will continue to until next Friday or I go into labor, whichever is first. Millions of women have gone through labor over the course of history and been fine. I will be, too. I’m not going to stress over the labor. I will have my husband with me and likely members of our family. I have the support of friends and family near and far. I will be okay. 🙂

Survey:

How Far Along? 39 weeks!

Roman’s weight: at last week’s ultrasound he was estimated at 7 lbs 7 oz.

Symptoms: carpal tunnel syndrome, leg cramps, anxiety, heightened emotions

Sleep: constantly interrupted but I do fall asleep on the couch every night before heading up to bed.

Food Cravings: an oreo blast from Sonic. 🙂

Best Moment This Week: getting an induction date!

Worst Moment This Week: there really wasn’t one.

Movement: Still! Isn’t he supposed to slow down?

Labor Signs: nothing new.

Belly Button In Or Out? out

What I Miss: non tingly hands in the morning.

What I Am Looking Forward To: family coming in and meeting my son!!

38 week check up / thoughts on my mind

Pictures in the next post.

I finally had my ultrasound and OB visit on Tuesday.

It was mostly good. We were able to see our little chunk who is estimated at 7 lbs 7 oz with still two weeks of growing to do. He looks like he has plump lips and cheeks and he has a big head. 🙂 ❤ The amniotic fluid and other measurements are great.

The bad is that I’m really starting to dislike my OB. She acts like I’ve been pregnant before and should know things. And then she doesn’t even listen to my descriptions of my symptoms. For example: when I called her last Saturday, I described my contractions as back pain and contractions in the top of my uterus and coming regularly every couple of minutes. She told me to go to the hospital. Then, when I had my appointment, she said I should only go to the hospital if I feel the contractions at the top of my uterus and they are five minutes apart. I had to bite my tongue. 😦

Each day I’m more and more ready to have him. The pregnancy has really started to take a toll on me physically and mentally. And though I’ll miss the attention and the special connection with him inside of me, here’s a few things I am ready for:

1. Being able to get out of bed or off the couch without having to struggle. You should see this lift and roll move I have perfected.

2. Waking up to Roman crying instead of waking up to a full bladder.

3. Sleeping on my back and stomach.

4. Packing away the pregnancy pillow. I’d LOVE to be able to snuggle next to my husband again instead of having a wall of pillows between us.

5. My hormones settling down. I’ve become increasingly irritable the past few weeks. The lack of sleep to come probably won’t help, though.

6. Putting away the pregnancy jeans. My stomach is so big now that the elastic band irritates my belly so much.

7. My stomach to stop itching! Oh my goodness, I’m lathering lotion on it left and right.

8. The guesses on his delivery to stop. I feel like each time someone says “he’s on his way” or “any day now,” they are adding extra time to my pregnancy. It could be any day. Or it could be 3 weeks. Ugh.

So yea, I’ve reached the point in my pregnancy where I’m over it. I’m the most impatient person and I hate waiting games. We have our 39 week check up tomorrow and I’m hoping for some progress. There have been some visual signs (such as spotting and other TMI symptoms) that indicate that he’s coming but I know it’s going to suck when she says I’m still 1 cm… & when she comments on my weight gain, again. Lol.

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!

37 weeks.

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Another rather uneventful week, as last week I wrote following my appointments.

This week has been full of anxiety/nerves/emotions. I’m fearful of the unknown, nervous to fly by the seat of my pants and go with the flow; I like knowing the game plan before the game happens. I’m seriously in for the shock of my life with delivery and parenthood.

I’m fearful of change in my relationship with my husband as a result of having a child. Things are so good. We laugh, joke, tease everyday and I don’t want any of that to change. I don’t want the lack of sleep that we are guaranteed to face to come between us. Of course I have shared these feelings with him and he reassures me that if one of us gets cranky, the other will take over. He’s also shared that just as I will fall more in love with him as I see him with Roman, his love for me will grow, too. I guess I’ve been looking at things one-sided.

Also, I’ve been struggling a bit with not having my mother… something I didn’t think would ever be an issue, as we weren’t on the best terms prior to her illness. Her not being here is disappointing for me. Following my OB visit on Tuesday, I reached for my phone to call her to share the excitement of Roman’s position and my measurements. And I had the wave of sadness hit when I realized I couldn’t call her anymore. I’m currently angry/frustrated that at the most important moment in my life I don’t get to have my mother there. Yes, I’m beyond blessed to have my husband, but my mom wasn’t there physically to see me married. She won’t be there to help me through childbirth and she won’t be a part of my son’s life.

And then there is the anxiety that comes with waiting. I am three weeks from my due date. Roman will be here soon. At this point it’s safe to say that he could come at any point in the next 3-5 weeks (please don’t let me go those last two weeks – Son, I’m asking you to spare me of that 😉 ) and that’s truly frightening and exciting at the same time. Physically I’m ready for him. Mentally? I don’t know. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m *this* close to being a mom. Every day for the rest of my life. It doesn’t seem real. But I’m excited. I am so excited to me this little man who will love me unconditionally, this little man who will look like a mini version of my husband. But still, it is absolutely frightening to become a parent for the first time. Things will be different from here on out and I can already see a change in my priorities.

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Survey

My age: 26

How far along: 37 weeks

How big is baby: around 6.5 pounds? This measurement is the same as last week but at this point, I don’t think I can estimate. He could be more or less… but look at this cute estimate of the size of his hand (via the Ovia pregnancy app):
20140119-142322.jpg

What have you been up to: working (Come on, Ro, Mama needs her maternity leave to start), twiddling my thumbs

Exercise/Activity Level: it comes and goes.

Stretch marks: No but I can see my old ones and briefly panic until I realize they aren’t new.

Belly Button: out

Sleep: I’m waking up every 2-3 hours still to get up to go to the bathroom. It doesn’t count the moments I wake up from pain in my wrists or from the pressure of him pushing down.

Newest baby milestones this week: Still getting fat. 🙂

Best Moment of the Week: Thanks to generous donations from coworkers, I was informed that I have enough hours for 6 weeks of maternity leave. It has to be approved by a donation board within the city, though. I need my son to wait until Feb 1 to enter the world and I need him to do so without the need of a c-section. That’s not asking too much, right?

Worst Moment of the Week: I haven’t really had any rough moments other than brief moments of anxiety.

Food cravings: fruit. So much fruit.

Food aversions: not too many.

Symptoms: still dealing with the carpal tunnel. Also a new-ish symptom that is somewhat TMI is the feeling that someone has taken a baseball bat and hit me between my legs, especially at night. My inner thighs and groin area are so sore that it hurts to get out of bed. The nurse who taught our childbirth class explained that this feeling comes from the hormone relaxin that loosens the bones in preparation for delivery. I personally think relaxin is a deceiving name. 😛

Movement: He’s still stretching all the time. From what I can tell, he has his butt against the upper right side of my belly and his feet directly opposite (OB has confirmed he’s head down) and he pushes his butt and feet out at the same time, usually when his Daddy is touching my tummy.

Gender: Boy

What I’m looking forward to:  our ultrasound on Wednesday – Edwin wasn’t at the viability or anatomy ultrasounds and I didn’t get to witness the entire anatomy ultrasound so I’m excited for him to witness it and excited for myself since I will be seeing all (or as much as we can) of my baby smooshed together in the womb. It should also be the last ultrasound before we welcome him into the world.

What I’m nervous about/praying for: anything and everything.

Next appointment: Wednesday.