Thursday, January 28, 2010


I'm feeling a little nostalgic about the pregnancy since it will quickly be coming to an end, so I sat down this afternoon and started reading over the blog from the beginning. Besides it being really fun to read, I realized that there are plenty of loose ends left to tie up on here. I'll try to address some of these topics in the next week or so while this is still a pregnancy blog and not a new mom freaking out blog.

First up, back in June I mentioned the super cute baby apparel item called BabyLegs (see here) and that they were a "must" on the items to purchase list. I had been putting off buying them because they're a little pricey ($12/pair. Yikes!) but the lovely people at BabyLegs had a big buy one/ get one sale last month and I stocked up!!
These are the styles that I bought. CANNOT wait to see some chubby little baby legs filling them up! (I actually bought 16 pairs, including some in a pale yellow, and yes, even a pink pair)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What to Expect: Weeks 38 and 39

You would think at this point the baby isn't really doing much in there besides getting fatter and practicing her high kicks. I mean, how much more developed can she get after 37 weeks of growing and becoming an entire human being? But there are still important things going on, including the production of surfactant, which coats her lungs and will keep her lung sacs from sticking together when she first starts to breathe. Sounds pretty crucial, don't you think?

Also, she's shedding the lanugo (downy hair) and more importantly to Aaron and I, the vernix. Don't remember what vernix is? It's the gross, white, cottage cheese/wax stuff that the baby has been covered in for awhile to protect her skin from getting all wrinkly and water-logged. Babies that are born early are still covered in it, which we did not realize until watching the horrifying birth video, in which a scary, ghostlike orb began to protrude from the mother's nether-regions like we were watching some science fiction movie, and Aaron and I began to FREAK OUT!!! I distinctly remember leaning over to him and whispering, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT BABY??????" After seeing the birth of cottage-cheese alien ghost baby, I ordered Aaron to make sure that if our wee one comes out covered in that stuff, they are to clean her off before handing her to me. I really don't need that to be my first mental image of my poor child.

**CAUTION - beyond this point, this post uses the words cervix, dilation, membranes and other potentially gross and/or frightening phrases related to my lady parts. If this qualifies as "TMI" for you, then stop reading here. Seriously, I'm not responsible for your queasy stomach.**

I had my first internal exam last week, and it wound up being a doozy! I was a little traumatized by the whole thing, as some of you reading this have already heard. Here's what happened: I knew according to the lovely little handbook my OB's office gave me at my first visit that I would be getting internal exams from this point forward to check for dilation (how open my cervix is) and effacement (how thinned out it is.) These are indicators of progress toward labor and basically let the doctors know that everything is proceeding as it should toward the baby exiting the womb. However, I was surprised when it didn't look like the midwife I was seeing that day was going to do the exam and started to have me leave after only measuring the uterus externally and listening to the heartbeat of the baby. When I asked about the internal exam, she said she'd be happy to do one "if I wanted her to." Well, it said in their book that they should do one, plus I've been paying them $25 a visit for the past 10 months just to have them spend 5 mintues with me on a more and more frequent basis and this time I wanted my money's worth! So I said yes, please, I would like you to perform an internal exam.

I don't know if she took that as a challenge or what, but HOLY CRAP, did she give me an internal exam! She was pushing down really hard on the baby's bottom (which is up near my ribs) and then pushing up really hard into you-know-where. Seriously, it took my breath away. She told me that I was 1cm dilated, and then I asked her, "Is this what it will feel like in the hospital when you guys check me? Because this SUCKS!" Her answer was when things started to go really wrong......

"Well, this is basically what it feels like, but I went ahead and stripped your membranes which will hopefully get labor started."

Excuse me? Labor? I'm 3 days away from being 38 weeks and you're talking about LABOR??? I practically squealed at her, "I DON'T WANT TO HAVE HER EARLY!!!!" at which point she said that really all it would do is make me have more "productive" contractions.

Basically this is the point where the freak out began, first with an inability to speak, then with a few frantic phone calls describing my violation to my husband and my sister (and my dad, who should have warned me about the internal exams since his wife had JUST gone through them!), deteriorating into Google searches of "stripped membranes" to find out how fast I would go into labor now that this insane woman had stripped my membranes over two weeks before my baby was due, and reading horror stories about how she may have broken my water accidentally and my amniotic fluid was going to leak out and cause my baby to be stillborn. (Okay, that was just one person, and several doctors had responded to her post saying one was not related to the other, but in the moment, I was TRIPPING!)

Here's the thing: it wasn't that stripping the membranes is a huge deal when it comes down to it. It will only help you go into labor if your body is ready. The problems are that #1: she didn't ask me if I wanted it performed before she did it. (And I assure you, my answer would have been NO!) #2: She didn't explain the procedure at all, even after she had done it #3: I didn't know about any of the side effects until afterwards (Aside from me completely losing my mind in unsubstantiated fear, another lovely side effect of the membrane stripping was spotting, so I had that to enjoy for 3 days. Seriously, lady? YOU SUCK!)

Bottom line, this incident totally destroyed my trust in this woman and I would like her to stay as far, far away from my vaginal area as possible, and considering she could potentially deliver my baby, that's kind of a problem.

Of course, this week I had another visit scheduled, with another internal exam imminent. I went in with a plan to discuss last week's horror show with Kim, the midwife I was seeing that day. After explaining the situation, she was totally on my side - I should have been asked if I wanted the procedure performed AND I really shouldn't have been offered the procedure in the first place at this stage of my pregnancy. She made me feel a lot better about the situation, assured me that the midwife I had the problem with is very knowledgeable and competent despite her rather gruff bedside manner, and gave me an internal exam that was only slightly uncomfortable (which was pretty impressive considering I was still having flashbacks about the one from the week before.)

The only problem at this point is that as there are only 3 midwives currently on rotation, so there is still a 1 in 3 chance that Little Miss Stripped Membranes could deliver the baby. It's just the luck of the draw and I'll get whoever is on call that day. And next week, it won't be Kim because her daughter is having surgery and she's taking the week off, so that raises my chances to 50/50 that I'll get the lady I don't like. So right now I'm focusing all my energy on hoping beyond hope that I get one of the two ladies that I like and if not, formulating creative ways to keep the membrane stripper out of the room as much as possible. I'm thinking a lot of crank calls to the nurses' desk may be in order, so have your phones on standby, people!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

All Boys Allowed

For our "big" baby shower, I decided (and convinced Aaron) that we should go co-ed. There were several reasons I thought this was a good idea: #1 - I'm not one of those girly-girls that wants to sit around and play those crazy baby shower games and eat tiny little tea sandwiches and be surrounded entirely by pink. #2 - I'm not the only one having this baby! Aaron is just as involved as I am (I mean, except for not having a giant uterus with a baby in it) and he deserves to celebrate just as much as I do. Plus his friends are cool and open-minded and won't have an aneurism if they have to do something that doesn't involve sporting events and crushing beer cans on their heads.

So, my sweet sister and my three surrogate parents / best friends (and former employers) Mark, Paula and Leslie threw us an awesome co-ed baby shower disguised as a cocktail party this past weekend. Melissa took care of the invitations and the decor, Mark and Paula did the food (of course!) and Leslie provided the location and the booze. They get extra brownie points for hosting this shower on the coldest weekend I think Tallahassee has ever experienced - it was in the teens that night, and the high temperature was maybe 45 degrees. Brrrrrrr!

Special thanks to Jessie for being my dedicated paparazzo for the evening and taking all these awesome pictures!!! Of course, as with all parties, the evening went by too fast and we didn't get to spend as much time as we wanted with everyone (or get pictures with everyone), but thank you ALL for coming and helping us celebrate. We have the BEST friends!

with Leslie
my "sissies" helping me with our gifts
Morgan, the life of the party, especially when she busted out "Mr. Roboto". And a special shout-out to Morgan's mommy, Susanna, for driving them up all the way from Naples. Now that's love!
flip flops from our favorite beach worshipper, Leslie

getting baby advice from Kelly and Conner (and doing God knows what with my hand)

how cute is my hubby?

With Aunt Wanda, Tracy and Jason

Daddy and all his girls

Excited Future Grandpa

yummy food! They did an awesome job at making sure the menu was low carb and okay for my diet

Mark and Paula, my two favorite chefs

with future "Grandma Fran"

Chatting with my mom and Nana

With Nana and Pepa. I'm their second Grandchild, and Addison will be their second Great-Grandchild.

the Kautzes

Jessie, crouching down to give the belly some love

Dan, Leslee (our doula) and Sondra. Dan and Leslee are expecting baby #1 in July!!!

showing off the bellies

Baby Belly Farewell Tour

I'm trying to take as many belly pictures as possible before it's gone. Below are a couple of pictures from the past month, including Christmas Day pictures with my mom and Melissa (and my double chin.)

January 4

January 14 (a little bit bigger, but not much)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What to Expect: Week 37

This is it, people! The big kahuna, the final fruit, the moment we've all been waiting for..... the baby is officially a watermelon! Now, I have expressed my concerns about the accuracy of these comparisons in the past and have decided it's more of a length thing than a weight thing (especially since the doctor guessed that the baby weighs between 6 - 6 1/2 lbs right now, which would be a pretty tiny watermelon.) However, if you count the size and weight of all the extras (uterus, amniotic fluid, placenta... yummy visuals, I know!) I think watermelon is pretty right on. This girl is HEAVY! A quick stroll through the mall with Melissa yesterday pretty much wore me out. And the overall swelling is surely adding to me feeling huge - I can't wear my rings anymore, and most days of the week I have what Aaron and I affectionately call "Hobbit Feet." Oh, yeah, I'm super sexy!
As of tomorrow, January 15, the baby is officially full term. That means that she can safely be born at any time without being considered premature or having any of the risks associated with prematurity. When most people discover that I'm only 3 weeks from my due date, they ask me, "Are you ready?" assuming that at this point the "giant pregnant woman just dying to get this freakin' watermelon out of her I don't care how you do it!" stereotype is in play. Well, although it is watermelon-esque, the belly isn't unbearably huge, and as I've said before, I've really enjoyed being pregnant. So as far as I'm concerned, this kid can keep marinating until her due date (or anytime in the following week) and I will be perfectly happy.
As far as that whole "ready" thing, um, yeah..... Is anyone every really READY for this? Practically, we have pretty much all the "stuff" we need for the baby (thanks to our awesome baby shower this weekend which will be fully discussed in a separate entry.) Our doula, Leslee, thinks we're prepared for all of the breathing, positioning, walking, etc. that are involved in labor. Bags are pretty much packed, car seat is installed, we've taken what feels like 20 classes and we've both read 1,000s of pages of baby books. And I'm super excited to see her (FINALLY!) and have a teeny little baby to cuddle! But here's the big hangup - I'M GOING TO BE A MOTHER!!!!! I don't know how to do that! I'm a pretty good big sister, I think, a decent daughter, a good friend, and I think I've done well at the whole wife thing, too. But a mom? My brain cannot wrap around this part. But I've still got 3 weeks, right?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What to Expect: Week 36

Exactly one month left until my due date! Of course, she could be early or late, but we're in the home stretch for sure. According to my last OB visit, the baby is already in head down position, which is good news - no breach worries. Also, she's measuring the right size, which is great because macrosomia (excessive birth weight) is one of the worries involved with gestational diabetes. Except for a few glitches here and there (and my borderline inappropriate daydreams of having a half a pan of brownies with some vanilla ice cream a big 'ol glass of milk) the gestational diabetes hasn't really been a problem. I had another diabetes appointment this afternoon, and they were happy with how I've been doing. One of the perks is that I've barely gained any weight since I had to start checking my blood sugar. I think I've gained maybe 4 pounds in the past month, and this is usually the time when you pack on the most pregnancy weight.

I'm definitely wondering how I'll be feeling over the next few weeks. School starts back tomorrow, and I have to try to hang in there for as long as possible. My professor for the only class I'm taking is allowing me to miss 4 weeks of school, plus Spring Break is the first week of March so that's an extra week. The longer I stay at school before the baby arrives, the longer I can stay OUT of school once she's here! I'm hoping to get a temporary disabled parking permit for campus use to get me through the next few weeks. If you've been to FSU, you know what a nightmare parking is. Add a big, fat pregnant belly to that and walking to class is pretty much impossible. I'm hoping I'll get the permit, and I'll be parking right outside my building and loving life! And I won't have to worry about my water breaking while I'm walking up the hill from the parking garage to Westcott....

I started getting my hospital bag together yesterday. I packed the things I could pack, put a note on the door to remind us to grab things we can't pack yet (things that I use every day like my hair dryer and my makeup, snacks to keep Aaron fueled during delivery) and I ordered a few things that I haven't been able to find in Tallahassee (including a few nursing bras and tanks for me and a coming home outfit for the baby that doesn't look like Barbie and a My Little Pony mated to create it. Why must every clothing manufacturer try to make baby girls look like some deranged blob of cotton candy covered in flowers?)

The nursery isn't totally ready, but we have our last baby shower this weekend, so I'm holding out on buying things we still need until we see what gaps need to be filled. Next week will definitely be my last big shopping spree for awhile - can't wait!