Week 28 (November 16 – November 23) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Braxton-Hicks and lots and lots of movement! I’m also having some serious shortness of breath, which is partially due to pregnancy, but also because of my icky cold.

Body Changes: Growing a belly and more milk production 

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs 

High Point:  I saw my OB/GYN this week and it was, as always, a great appointment. I really like her and am starting to be able to maintain my confidence that she’s not going to suddenly say no to my VBAC. We discussed:

* Whether or not I want to be induced if I went over my due date. I don’t. My induction with E. was horrible and I ended up having a c-section anyway, so I don’t see the point. 

* How long she and I are willing to let me go over my due date. And apparently she’s willing to wait quite a while! This makes me really happy (no pressure to schedule a c-section earlier than necessary), but I hope I won’t have to wait that long! My due date, according to my OB’s office is the 12th, but according to when I believe I conceived and ultrasounds, my OB also has the 8th down. But, my OB is going by the 12th and she’s willing to let me go over two weeks. So, this baby and I could come really close to sharing a birthday (mine’s the 27th). 

* Continuous monitoring. So, I really couldn’t get her to budge on continuous monitoring, but she made me feel better about it in a couple of ways. For one, when I mentioned my fears about mobility she basically said, “I really don’t want to see you if you’re still able to walk around.” Meaning, she is totally encouraging me to labor for as long as I can manage at home, which is great. The other thing she brought up was that they could use telemetry monitoring (I know I’m spelling that wrong or giving it the wrong name), which is basically wireless continuous monitoring. I can walk around with it and even go in the shower, maybe even the tub!

* If I have to have a c-section. I had a few worries about having a c-section that I wanted to get out of the way and used this visit to get them out of the way. Unless absolutely necessary, I did NOT want my arms restrained. My doc said that shouldn’t be a problem. I also wanted to hold the baby while I was being sewn back up so I could have him skin to skin and possibly initiate nursing. She also said that shouldn’t be a problem. My last request was that the baby NOT be given any sort of sugar water or supplementary drink before I got a chance to feed him (this happened with E. and it still ticks me off). My doctor assured me that wouldn’t happen. 

Overall this visit left me feeling at ease and at peace with a lot of worries I’d had previously. I’m still going to write up a birth plan to give to my OB at one of my visits over the next few weeks (I only have 9 left!), but it’s good that we’ve discussed a lot of this ahead of time, I think. 

Low Point: I ate my weight in turkey dinner this week on Thanksgiving and have been feeling a bit worried about my weight and food consumption. It’s not as good as it should be and I’m hoping to improve. 

What I did to prepare this week:  Well, we did a little Black Friday shopping with the hub’s grandparents and mom. We have established a tradition of heading into Target at a reasonable time (this year we were there at 11 am) and buying E.’s Christmas gifts in addition to picking out what we’d like. This year I chose a few things off my registry, namely: a Boppy pillow, a slipcover for the Boppy, Tommee Tippee bottles, and extra nipples for said bottles. While I can’t really play with any of this stuff until after Christmas, it’s very reassuring to know that the Boppy and bottles are sitting upstairs in my closet and the slipcover and bottle nipples are with my mother-in-law. 

Paranoid Moment: I was really worried about the results of my glucose test, which I took on Monday of this week, but I never got a call from my OB’s office, so I’m guessing everything is fine.   

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She’s also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.”

Week 27  (November 9 – November 16) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Braxton-Hicks and all that jazz 

Body Changes: Growing a belly and more milk production  

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs (Yay for Thanksgiving right around the corner!!)

High Point:  I saw the Birth House midwives three times this week! Once, on Saturday for “green” pregnancy consultation with Tiffany, who will also be my doula (more on the consultation below). Then again on Monday for my birth class (which my mom got to attend). And then again for an appointment the following Wednesday. It was a busy week! The thing I love about these midwives (and student midwives) is their really, really relaxed, but still practical, approach to pregnancy and birth. It makes me feel confident about how my body is handling everything and that, in reality, I can’t screw this process up. I’m made to do it. Plus, they’re a really super nice and funny group of people and I enjoy seeing them!

Low Point: During the second birth class, I did start to feel a bit unnerved about the idea of possibly having another c-section and the different things that could possibly get in my way of accomplishing that. I am very concerned about continuous monitoring and fear that it will restrict my movement so much that I won’t be able to use the various comfort measures that I’d like to use. It’s something I brought up during the class (and I got some super encouraging words from one of the other mamas-to-be there as well as from the instructors). That helped, but I also left with the plan to discuss my worries with my OB since she’ll be the one in charge of my care (kind of) when I am giving birth. 

I also have a wicked nasty cold that took a turn for the worse this week. :-(

What I did to prepare this week: Birth class! 

And I had my “green” pregnancy consultation. What this was basically an opportunity for me to learn about green living and what I can and should (versus can’t/shouldn’t) put into my home and body. Tiffany and I looked at the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen in regards to produce, took a tour of my local grocery store to get an idea of what is best to buy, and looked at the variety of products I use in my cleaning (both of myself and my house). It was a really eye opening discussion in terms of learning about how what I eat and use in my house and body can effect my health (I’m starting to wonder if my asthma could be much better managed if I changed up a few of my practices). She also introduced me to the website goodguide.com, which is so, so cool, but slightly addictive. You’ll catch yourself looking up everything to see what their safety rating is (I might have to do a separate blog post about this at some point). 

Paranoid Moment: I’ve really been hanging on to that fear of a repeat c-section.  

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds () and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.”

Week 26 (November 2 – November 9) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: About the same

Body Changes: I might be the cutest pregnant lady ever. Or at least the cutest pregnant me.

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point:  We started our birth ed. classes this week! We’re taking them through the Birth House in Bridgton, ME and the first class left a great impression on us. It was a much more intimate and relaxed set up than the class we took when I was pregnant with E. (which I took mostly because it was free) and I feel like the focus was far more on the inner workings of your mind rather than just the mechanics of birth (which I’m pretty familiar with at this point). While it was definitely a different experience for the hubs, I think he appreciates the fact that taking class styled as this one is helping me deal with my fears about labor and attempting a VBAC.

Low Point: A pretty good week overall.

What I did to prepare this week: Started those birth classes!!

Paranoid Moment: I’ve been feeling pretty good about life and pregnancy this week.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. He’s inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he’s born and takes that first gulp of air. And he’s continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.”

Week 25  (October 27 – November 2) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Movement and some minor milk production (very exciting)

Body Changes: Nothing huge this week

Cravings: Carby carb carb carbs

High Point: My really awesome cousin, Kate, sent me a package that had a Moby wrap, a breast pump with all the essential gear, and some cloth diapers. I’m pretty sure I posted about this before and how much of a HUGE life saver this was (I paid –  or will pay when my check finally reaches her – a mere fraction of the price for those things than I would have if I bought everything new or even used from a stranger…and I wouldn’t have bought a used breast pump from someone I didn’t completely trust), but it’s worth saying again. It was a HUGE life saver.

Low Point: This was a pretty good, easy going week.

What I did to prepare this week: I got my goodies from my cousin, put them away, and did my best to see if I could figure out how the breast pump worked – think I got it covered.

Paranoid Moment: Feeling pretty good about life this week.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but she’s beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she’ll start to look more and more like a newborn. She’s also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture.”

The school year is in it’s full and totally busy swing, the holidays are fast approaching, and I’m starting to get, like, really pregnant. Totally a great time to start thinking about a massive change to our lifestyle, right?

I’ve posted several times on how I’ve been losing weight (well, up until I got pregnant in May). One of the huge factors in the weight loss process for me was looking closely at what and why I was eating. I don’t want to say I’ve completely ditched that now that I’m pregnant, because I haven’t, but I’ve tried to make the cooking and eating process less laborious. For example, I’m not measuring out exact portions and I’m letting myself have a few more sweets (because I’m pregnant, and other than the adorable baby at the end, there aren’t a ton of perks). I am still trying to make sure that what I’m eating is diverse, which is harder to do during pregnancy when all you want to eat is bread and cheese with chocolate fudge as dessert, but I’m trying. And the trying is paying off, because I’m not anywhere near the weight I was with E. at this point in my pregnancy. I had probably packed on about ten or fifteen pounds more!

But this isn’t really about weight loss, because obviously that’s not even on my radar right now and probably won’t be again  until six or so weeks after the baby is born.

I bring up the food thing though, because, regardless of whether or not I’m eating more or less, I’ve been feeling the itch to change what my family is eating for a while. I’ve always held the ability of some women to cook good, wholesome meals for their families from scratch in really high regard. It’s something I’d love to be able to do myself, though when I think about the amount of work involved, it starts to feel really daunting. What’s more, even if I knew I had the amount of time I needed to do this, I wonder about the monetary investment. If I’m going to cook from scratch, I’d like to do it with quality ingredients. Quality usually equates to more money than I’m used to spending. But in the end, I’m not really sure, because I haven’t done it yet.

So why cook from scratch? Is it because I have this bizarre need to be a true domestic goddess that must be fulfilled? Eh…maybe. I mean, I can’t deny that there is a huge part of me who wants to be that mom who not only works a full time job, but also manages to keep her house clean and feed her family nutritious, totally homemade meals. I mean, I’m not entirely sure if that mom exists (and if she does, it’s possible she’s currently institutionalized), but if she does exist and she’s sane, I’d like to be her.

But there are practical reasons, too. Like the idea of only eating things where you know exactly what the ingredients are, or, to take it a step farther (and I don’t know if I can get to this point right now), only eating things where you know exactly where the ingredients came from. The number of crazy preservatives and chemicals that are in even our most basic foods make me nuts. The process that goes into creating skim, pasteurized milk grosses me out. The kinds of foods that are fed to mass farmed chickens and other animals (cows, beef cattle, pigs, etc.) is really yucky, too, and has caused me to limit my own meat/egg intake unless I can buy something locally raised. I mean, I don’t want to get all snobby and stuff, but it’s really hard to digest (ha) all this information that’s really well known, I think, at this point and still want to eat the way we’ve been eating.

I’m at the thinking, dreaming, sort of planning stage right now, because I’m not really sure how to start. I’ve got some thoughts…but I’m still not sure how to make the move, either completely or bit by bit to eating whole/real foods. I’ve scoped out some interesting blogs and started looking at some recipes, but really, that’s about it. I wish someone would write me a plan on how to start (maybe this is something I should take up with my nutritionist?).

So, what’s my eventual dream? Like, if I follow through with everything that is continually running through my head? That my family eats, for the most part, foods that have been prepared using ingredients that I know the source of, ideally from our own yard or neighbors’ yards or a local farm. That even things like cream cheese, jams, and condiments are the products of my effort, not someone else’s. That we feel good, healthy, and happy about the food we eat and the lifestyle (because a change like this is a change to your lifestyle as well) it leads us to.

That’s not a lot to take on, right?

Week 24  (October 19 – 26) 

Estimated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Lots and lots of movement! I’m also starting to feel a bit tired again, or at least run down more easily. More Braxton-Hicks!! Ugh.  

Body Changes: I feel so great and am currently loving my pregnant figure (I suppose this is as much a mental change as a physical one). 

Cravings: Carbs, meat, and my sweet tooth is starting to resurface a bit, mostly wanting chocolate.

High Point: I had an OB appointment this week that went really well. Got to hear the baby’s heart beat again, and he sounded great. My OB was her usual positive self, said everything looked great (per usual) and that I was doing a great job. Gotta love appointments like that.   

We also managed to snag some crucial baby items this week. I am pretty much completely stocked up on 0-3 months clothing for the babe. I found an add on Craigslist advertising for baby boy clothes, so we took a trip to the seller’s house and I grabbed her little stuff for about $60 (she had a whole box up to 6 months but wanted a couple hundred dollars, so I had to say no thanks). Also, on Friday, my friend sold me her little guy’s “old” car seat (they just bought it last January) and a couple of bases. She also gave me a some clothes, baby towels, crib and bassinet sheets, AND leant me some pretty cute maternity clothes. Awesome score and so, so appreciated!

Low Point: Monday night, during the last Presidential debate, coincidentally, I started getting some crazy Braxton-Hicks. Ordinarily, since the incident in September, I wouldn’t be concerned, but they were also accompanied by some wild heart palpitations. I started to feel really light headed and breathless, but after lying down and drinking some water, I felt better and went to sleep. 

Well, to make a long story short, I was persuaded to call my doctor who set me up for an EKG. Everything, including the baby, was fine. Just really, really annoying. However, whenever something “weird” like this happens, it’s always nerve wracking. I’m just glad everything turned out to be all right!

What I did to prepare this week: As mentioned above, I got our car seat, a few other baby items, and some clothes. Getting the car seat also prompted me to clean out my car (though it still needs a very thorough vacuum). Let’s see if I can keep it clean between now and February!

Paranoid Moment: See Low Point. 

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.”

Well, we’re two days past All Hallow’s Eve, and I can’t help but be a bit relieved. For some reason, this holiday always stresses me out a bit. I’m not as good at preparing for it or making it special or feeling that “into it”, which is weird, because I loved Halloween as a kid. 

That said, we did have a good time and thankfully E. is still at the age where trick-or-treating is fun, but she’s over it pretty quickly. We walked around for about forty-five minutes total, between our jaunt at a mall (it was raining when we started) followed by going down a couple of roads the hubs was familiar with from his own childhood (I will say I was leery of this at first, because, you know, that was 20 years ago, but they ended up still being great places to go). 

In all that busy-ness, the hubs’ aunt (who’s house we visited along with my parents and the hubs grandparents) managed to snap this cute little picture of E. in her costume (I can’t find the USB cord to my camera!):

She makes a pretty cute, kitty, huh?