Sunday, August 9, 2009
I have said since week 6 that my estimated due date was late, and that it is a week off, so by my intuition, we have a week or so left! I am hoping even less. I have started getting some painful contractions for the last 2 nights and every time I take the dog on a walk, they start up pretty hard core and last for a few hours, and then just stop...they are teasers! I believe they call it false labor. False, indeed!! Hopefully this means the end is in sight. I am so done carrying her in my belly, it is time to get her in my arms already!!! In the last like 4 days, I got stretch marks on my belly...really... now? After all this time, I get them now at the end? I couldn't have escaped without any of the darned things? They get darker and longer each day! Gross!
Keep hoping that she comes soon!! Send all your prayers my way, in hopes they break my water, ha!
More news: Since I have to go all natural, with the help of my sister in California, Erin, I have found a "doula" or birthing coach, who is trained in natural pain coping techniques, to help during BellaReese's delivery. She is somewhat new to the doula scene, with 5 deliveries under her belt, and she offered to do our birth for free! Usually a "doula" around here can run about $600, but newer ones are even less since they have less experience, but since it is so last minute, she said she would do it for free! She is in nursing school and training to be a midwife, and is extremely nice and we are looking forward to seeing what she is capable of doing! A thousand thanks to Erin for helping us set this all up!
Anyway, here is what is going on with our little stinker this week:
How your baby's growing:
Your baby's waiting to greet the world! She continues to build a layer of fat to help control her body temperature after birth, but it's likely she already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of her skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.
The lanugo (an exotic word for soft, downy hair) that used to cover your baby's body has mostly disappeared, but you may find a bit leftover on the shoulders, forehead and neck. Don't freak and think you've given birth to a monkey: It'll fall out soon.The color of baby's skin is changing from a red-pink hue to a white or blue-pink color (even in babes with dark skin). These changes are due to the amount of fat your little pudger is putting on. The circumference of your baby's head and abdomen are about the same size now (though you may not be able to tell if your baby's born with the common cone-shaped head!).The placenta is lending your Mini antibodies that'll keep him strong and healthy after birth. That said, it's still a good idea to invest in that mega-size bottle of hand sanitizer.At this point your little critter is about 19 to 20 inches long and weights about 7 pounds. That's just around the size of a large rabbit. What's up Doc?
How your life's changing:
Head for the hospital or birthing center if you think you're in labor (even if it turns out that you're not!) It's better to make a couple of test runs than to deliver your baby at the local truck stop. If you are in labor but it has just started, the hospital may send you back home, which can be a bit of a buzz kill. But trust us, you'd rather be comfortable in your own home than stuck in a hospital bed with only four TV channels for the next 12 hours waiting to dilate from 1 centimeter to 2.While there is nothing false about the pain that comes with false labor, it's a fake-out because it doesn't dilate the cervix like true labor does. And when you're trying to squeeze a grapefruit out of something the size of a cherry, it's an important distinction. Basically, false labor gives you all of the pain and none of the advancements. Nice, huh?One way to identify false labor is to start timing your contractions. True labor contractions come regularly and get progressively closer together (and they hurt more as they get closer). False labor contractions are about as regular as your bowels since you've been pregnant—not very—and they vary from one to another on the pain meter.False labor is more common in second or subsequent pregnancies than in first pregnancies.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Lightening During Pregnancy as an Early Sign of Labor
Lightening during pregnancy actually refers to the term used to describe the baby engaging in the pelvis before vaginal birth. It is thus named because as the baby moved down from under the rib cage, the mother may feel a sense of relief in that her rib cage expands more easily allowing her to draw deeper breaths and eat without feeling full so quickly.
Although lightening may eliminate some uncomfortable symptoms, it may increase others. Some women feel more pressure on their bladders which causes them to urinate more frequently while others have a perpetual feeling that the baby is about to fall out. These feelings result from the added pressure that the baby's head is placing on the rectum and pelvic floor.
In essence, lightening can be the calm before the storm. It cannot be directly linked to indicating that labor will start within a certain window but it usually occurs up to two weeks before labor in 65% of first-time moms. Although it can't pinpoint the beginning of labor, it is a sign that things are headed in the right direction.
It should be noted, however, that lightening usually occurs in a first-time pregnancy whereas in subsequent pregnancies, the baby may not drop until labor has officially begun. It can be a gradual process that happens over several days or weeks or it can be an all-or-nothing event.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Her hospital bag is packed and ready for the hospital, mine is pseudo-packed...everything is on the ground around the bag, just not folded and put into the bag. I don't know what is holding me back from finishing packing, but oh well. At least if we have to rush to the hospital, it is all there for Brian to grab at a later date, not like he has to find things for me, like "underwear"...If I had to ask him over the phone, he'd probably bring something cute and not hospital/post baby appropriate, ha!
Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)
Your baby's intestines have accumulated a considerable amount of meconium (the code name for black, tar-like baby poop), which is usually eliminated shortly after birth and gives you your first experience with the 100-wipe diaper change. Here's what else is up: Your baby might just scratch herself in the womb as the fingernails have grown over the fingertips now. Resist painting them hot pink when she arrives.Baby's lungs continue to mature and her brain and nerve function are working better every day. The latter two will continue to mature until Junior is a teenager, at which point she'll know it all (or at least she'll think she does).Your baby weighs about 6½ pounds and is around 19 or 20 inches long—as long as a duffel bag (in case you needed an excuse to go shopping for a new bag for your labor gear).
How your life's changing:
For many women, the next couple of weeks are a waiting game (um, this whole damned pregnancy has been a waiting game!!!). Use this time to prepare your baby's nursery or to take care of necessary tasks you may not get around to for a while after your baby's born. Take naps (yes, please, I am as tired as I was during the first trimester! I have no problem sleeping during the day, during the night, however, I can't seem to get comfy or sleep long enough to make it count), catch up on your reading (check! I love reading, everything from baby books to fiction, I will take whatever I can find), and spend uninterrupted time with your partner while you can (Brian and I are fortunate enough that we could lock ourselves in our house for the next two weeks and still look forward to spending the next week alone with just each other...it might also help that we have a kick ass TV and home and puppy...not sure...).
Seeing that you've been wearing the same pair of maternity jeans every day for the last month (more like rotating between the same 4-5 dresses, but yes, my wardrobe is pretty scarce), you probably haven't had a ton of laundry to do. That's all going to change in the next few weeks. Who knew that such a tiny person could create such mountains of laundry in a mere 48 hours? There will be so much barf and poop to get out of baby's clothes, you'll think you've given birth to the Exorcist baby.