Our first pregnancy
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    Posting Addict M.L.'s Avatar
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    Default Our first pregnancy

    29w3d
    Hello again--I'm just going to pick up here and not worry about getting all my earlier posts on the new board.

    So what's been happening over the last few weeks? I have gone from an eating machine back to my normal (pre-pregnancy) light-eating-self. I've gained 24lbs total. Worrisome thing--I am growing out of all my maternity bottoms. I guess I'll have to spend a bit more money on clown pants before all is said and done.

    I had a wonderful surprise shower last week at school--I didn't expect a shower at all this pregnancy. Got lots of great necessities and a few fun extras too.

    What else? Hmmmm. Had the 1-hr glucose test Monday, along with the hemaglobin/hematocrit tests. My 30wk checkup is Monday next, so will get the dr's report on all this. I have lots of questions to ask her then, too: does she or others in the practice strip membranes? do they have a time limit on labor or second stage pushing after which they'd do a c-section? is the leakage in my right breast normal (right breast leakage is off-white, while left breast's is clear)?

    Dave is being an absolute angel--helping me in all kinds of ways. Unfortunately, I know that he will suffer once baby arrives. He has trouble making sure he eats enough (or at least healthy enough), and he'll also need to keep up with bills and such for a while, which will take a little training from me ahead of time, since I use online payments on Quicken and a folder system that he has never used.

    I'm going to start packing my hospital bag this weekend, probably.
    Hope all are well and healthy.
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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    Posting Addict M.L.'s Avatar
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    30 weeks!!
    Been busy busy busy. Cleaned all weekend and had Dave's nephew Christopher down for the day yesterday. He's stationed at McGuire AFB in New Jersey. Friday morning I fell down our carpeted stairs. I was in my slippers and I think (hard to tell) my feet just slipped out from under me. I bumped down on my butt till I hit the next floor. My slippers FLEW off my feet, and one was about 15 feet away from me, which made me laugh despite my pain. My shoulder muscles are a little sore and my tailbone is sore too, although lots of it is from falling in the ice in February, and some of it must be from general pregnancy woes. LOL

    I met with my ob today for my 30 week appointment. Turns out my gd test was normal, but my iron is low, so I'm now on iron pills. Like others have said, maybe it will help me with my tiredness. The doctor also said that taking the iron pills will help keep my strength up in case I lose lots of blood in childbirth. Pleasant thought, huh?

    I'm going to try for an unmedicated birth, and she's really supportive of me. So we talked at some length about the "time limits" the ob's put on labor (the length of time to maximum dilation) and, if the dilation/labor slows, at what point she would either intervene with some pitocin to strengthen the contractions and get labor going or with a c-section. She said all ob's go by something called the "Friedman curve," which maps out an "ideal" rate of dilation and station of the baby. She said a rough answer to my question, based on the curve, is that if a woman has been stuck at a certain dilation for two hours, she would consider pitocin first, and then if nothing progresses, then a c-section. Just something for us all to think about, since not all women are the "ideal" or the average. Everyone is different (and, she reminded me, that first-timers are slower than multi-time moms).

    We also discussed possible rupture of my uterus, based on fibroid surgery I had seven years ago. She noted that if I needed pitocin, for example, she or the doctor in charge would give me an amount only up to a certain point, to prevent the uterus of contracting so tight that it ruptures itself. Lovely! Also, I had electric needle surgery (LEEP) to remove precancerous lesions on my cervix about ten years ago, and she is sending me to have a level II u/s on it to see it's "height" or something like that ("width" maybe?). This will tell her how easily the cervix will dilate and efface or if there is scar tissue buildup. She said another effect of cervical surgery could be "incompetent cervix," but if I'd had that, I would've already delivered the baby!

    All very interesting! Now I will go every two weeks, and at 36 weeks, she will start checking for Nicholas's size and position, since my mother and sister are famous for giant, breech babies. LOL

    I've begun doing some research into perineum massage, which should begin around 36 weeks, according to the Searses. The midwife at my ob's practice recommends it as a way of possibly avoiding an episiotomy or at least just to get the area ready for childbirth.

    I guess that's enough for now...
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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    mid-week of the 31st week. Dogs had to go to the vet today; taking them both at the same time was quite a strain for me. Rocket had two seizures earlier in the week (he's epileptic and on meds) so we had to get a blood test to measure the med levels. Come to find out today that he has an infected anal gland. EEEEEEW. This may have made him seize two days in a row. Anyhow, he's now on penicillin. Waldo had to have his yearly shots and checkup. I talked with one of the vet techs about her childbirth seven months ago. Pre-eclampsia, inducement with long labor, finally emergency c-section. Sigh. She was only able to bf a couple of weeks, too, because one of her breasts clogged and she was scared that baby wasn't eating enough. When she gave the baby the bottle of formula, the baby never looked back--has refused the breast since.

    Went to a "Women in Higher Ed" conference last night--heels, pantyhose, suit. Am I a nut? It was really inspiring, though. We heard talks from two college presidents and a specialist in female leadership. So many things are calling me in teaching and my career, but I know that my life will now be more complicated than ever, divided between my dear family and my career calling. So, the fact that I'm just starting the baby thing at 38 is a bit daunting.

    Pregnancy yoga was to start tonight, after the teacher putting it off once already, and I get an email today announcing that it has been postponed till the end of summer. Well, that's when I'll need post-partum yoga - LOL.
    Yeesh. I guess I'll have to motivate myself to keep moving. I'm still gardening quite a bit, which provides many types of stretches of course. childbirth class begins tomorrow night. Can't wait!!!

    Dave may get involved in a local volleyball league with people at work, which I think he really needs. But I can't help but be selfish and wish that those Tuesday nights were spent at home with me. Surely it'll help his frame of mind, which I should appreciate. He's gotten really bent out of shape at work the last few days.

    I guess that's it for now. Started my iron pills yesterday, and am hoping for a burst of energy any day. hahaha. Had to take a three hour nap today. Snzzzz.
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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    Posting Addict M.L.'s Avatar
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    Last night, we went to the first of six "Prepared" childbirth classes at the hospital I'll be delivering at. Ten couples, all first-timers. Here's the part I'm still depressed about: of them all, I'm the latest due date, meaning I should have the smallest belly. But NOOOOOO, I am the hugest one there, even bigger than the woman due JUNE 6. Dave was so sweet to point that out to me after class, although I had already noticed it for myself.

    Anyways, it looks like we'll learn lots about the hospital and about relaxation, pain management, anesthetic, c-sections, breastfeeding, childcare, etc. We watched a 30-minute film on the stages of labor (does every hospital show the same one probably?) and all the moms were laboring without anesthetic, which impressed me. The nurse said they filmed those moms in order to show exactly how labor and birth affects the woman. It did not look easy, but it looked do-able. I'm beginning to think about the "what-if's" now: what if I have back labor? what if I don't progress and I need pitocin? what if baby is breech or huge and I have to have a c-section? I'll need to work through my thoughts on these things over the next month or two, I guess.

    Today at the college, I sat in a classroom desk for the last time until the baby comes. I just barely fit in the space between chair and desk--wasn't tight, but slightly unnerving. I had to judge a 4th grade speech contest, which was great fun! They were precious, and much better prepared than I had anticipated.

    Tomorrow (Saturday) I am going to a Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Conference for Expectant and New Parents and Healthcare Professionals that my doula has organized at Neumann College in Aston, PA (we live about 20 minutes away). There will be vendors with tables set up during the day, and two talks by local breastfeeding expert Katherin Dettwyler. I'm also going to go to two workshops, one on using a birth ball in labor, and one on infant massage. Looks to be a great day, but it will start TOO EARLY imho. I'll have to get up at 7:15 on a Saturday.

    I've felt lots of pressure in my lower abdomen today. I guess this is only going to increase as the due date draws near. There are so many unanswered questions about Nicholas that I want to know, but that can't be answered until later--questions about his position, size, what body part of his is knocking against me, how my cervix looks, etc.

    I'm gonna weigh in tomorrow and am dreading it since the rude awakening at the birth class last night.
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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    Posting Addict M.L.'s Avatar
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    Well, today at 32 weeks I weigh 167, a gain of 29 pounds. Fine with me, just so I can manage to take off the excess within a year of giving birth (only to put it back on again with--HOPEFULLY--baby number two???).

    Had to get up ungodly early again this Saturday to have a dismal failure of a yard sale. Our community along with about a gazillion others in north Wilmington had community yard sales, and it was 48 degrees and drizzly this morning, and the customers were spread so freakin thin it turned out to be a real pain in the a**. I made...$17. That's right, $17. We just got back from the Goodwill to make a dump of the things we didn't sell, and do you believe they REFUSED three boxes of books. ??? Strange.

    So, the pregnancy seems to be going by quickly at this point--the weeks slip by. At our second childbirth class I noticed some of the other women looked as big as I did (thank goodness). I think I've come to terms with the practice of delivering a breech baby via cesarian for first time moms. That's how the hospital does it, that's how my ob does it. Now I've got to psych myself for having that possible c-section.

    I'm definitely nesting in that I'm working on decluttering and cleaning the house some every day, but it's really procrastinating doing the rest of my school work (collecting and analyzing assessment data for the part of the curriculum I'm in charge of). I'm more in my usual mood to cook, thankfully, so at least DH may get fattened up over the next two months, at least until Nicky comes. I swear Dave refuses to make himself any meal that has more than three ingredients and more than one course.

    Why is it so coooooold!? At least we got some rain yesterday. I dread a drought like last summer, and have already been conserving and reusing lots of water (using pasta water in the garden) to do my part. I think we're going to buy a rain barrel to put at our downspout, which should contribute somewhat to the solution. Hey--at least I can feel good about not washing my car. LOL

    Guess that's all for now.
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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    Posted this last Wednesday (at 32.5wks):
    Through last night and all day today I had frequent painful belly cramps and lots of tightening in my lower uterus, so I did some reading on the internet and in my pregnancy books (and if I could've gotten the #&$^% pg.org site to load, I would've come here too). It turned out I had half the symptoms of preterm labor. I did the drink two glasses of water and lie down on your left side thing, which helped some, but when I got up and carried on, the cramps returned. So I called the dr.'s office at 5pm, and the on-call doc sent me to maternity triage at the hospital.

    They hooked me up to a fetal monitor, a contraction monitor, and did a cervical check. My cervix is closed up as tight as a bug's ear, thankfully. Baby Nicky's hb is fine. I only had one contraction the whole hour I was there, so the dr. thinks the pain/cramping may be a combination of Braxton-Hicks and GI disturbance (gas?). I was sent home a much happier camper, but am still hurting. I'm gonna take some Mylanta before bed and hope that the cramping stops soon.

    SO GLAD I'm not in preterm labor--I really feel for you gals who are trying to get through it.

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    Posting Addict M.L.'s Avatar
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    So now I'm 33.5wks and having pretty regular Braxton-Hicks tightening throughout the day. It's so funny: I wake up all relaxed and feeling like I'm not really pregnant! Then, as I become more and more active throughout the day--running errands, doing housework, taking care of the dogs, gardening--the contractions get harder and harder and my body gets tireder and tireder. I try to nap two hours every afternoon before dinner, but it never fails that by the time I crawl in bed (about midnight), I'm a bundle of ouches. Guess it'll only get worse over the next six weeks.

    Met with my doula, Kathy, Monday morning and we discussed the birth plan. We also talked about how I'll labor at home until we absolutely must go to the hospital. I'm starting to get nervous, but am SOOOO glad she'll be with us here at home and at the hospital to help me understand that everything will be just fine.

    I'm really really nesting now--doing housework every single day. It is so unlike me that my mother would probably have a heart attack if she were here to see it. My husband thinks I'm a little nutty but is chalking it up to the pg hormones. It just makes me feel better knowing that the house will be on auto-pilot for a while as we have our family visitors and as I am consumed by taking care of Nicky once he comes. I've also been cooking my little butt off. Doing lots of freezer things for the near future. Made up some Toll House cookie dough and cooked a couple dozen tonight, and froze teaspoon-fulls for future baking as needed. I also made up some breakfast burritos and some bean-rice-cheese burritos and froze them for future meals. And I'm really making some nice dinners lately, too. Sigh. I guess I know it's kind of my "last hurrah" in the kitchen for a good long while. Hopefully, I can get Dave fattened up somewhat to prepare for some lean months ahead when I can't cook as much. LOL

    I need to get the rest of my hospital bag packed and ready. I've started with the toiletries, but need to complete the task. One of our Ruby Cuties, kylieflower, has given birth to the first July baby. Everyone sounds happy and healthy. Can't believe that it's beginning.
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa
    p.s. to my buddies babynurse and ParkerA, BEST congratulations, sweet girls.

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    Still holding at 169lbs, but from the way my clothes did NOT fit today, I think I've just experienced a growth spurt, or the baby moved down or something. STRANGE. Every day, I've had more and more painless contractions--a feeling like my belly is so tightly bound up that I can barely stand up straight to walk. I had trouble keeping up with the childbirth class tonight as we toured L&D and the postpartum floor. I am truly waddling now--and can't hide it. But I still have six weeks left! Do all these tightenings all day long mean that birth will come sooner rather than later? I almost hope so because it is VERY uncomfortable to get myself around in this state. If I got to stay at home, it would be different, but I'm running errands, being doggie mommy, cleaning house, cooking, etc. I'm having a pain right now, in fact. I guess this is what women really get frustrated about towards the end of the pregnancy. The discomfort that seems to go on and on. Still need to pack that bag and start calling pediatricians tomorrow.

    Today I decided that we must refinance the house. Rates have dropped so wildly since we bought that it would be foolish not to, but that's just more stress on us over the next few weeks. The money payoff will be ample--that makes the stress worth it, right?
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa
    p.s. praying for my TTC7+ buddy ParkerA
    p.p.s. celebrating with our second Ruby Cutie--Jasmines_Mommy/Cassie

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    34w2d
    Okay, I'm now at 174lbs. I gained five pounds in a little over two weeks. I had my 34 weeks checkup yesterday and the dr. said it was fine fine fine--she thinks it's partly fluid. My bp was 110/70, there was no protein in my urine, and my GD test was fine, so it isn't preeclampsia or GD. I'm just g-r-o-w-i-n-g...

    She felt for the baby's position just for fun (he could still move about, she says), and she guesstimated that his head was down and his bottom was under my right rib. Hell if I know what hard knobby part is what, so I'll just have to trust her that he isn't breech (right now, anyways). I have my level II u/s on June 17 and the tech will check for size, position, and my cervix's condition.

    I have been trying to cut down on the number of trips I take up and down the stairs in this house, and I think it is helping with my contractions and general pains. Laundry day is the worst. We have a half flight from the basement (where the laundry room is) to the den/family room, a half flight from the den to the living room/kitchen/dining room/front entrance, and a half flight up to the bedrooms. These "half flights" are a steep six steps. Whew!

    Not much else to share, except that LauraT's twins are just adorable! Missy's next on the TTC7+ due date list...are you ready, Missy???
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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    36w1d
    Had my 36 week checkup today, and I go weekly from now on. Blood pressure was 100/60, weight 176 (38 lbs total so far), uterus measured right on at 36! I had my GBstrep/GC/Chlamydia swabs today, and get the results at next weeks' appt. Of course (had to say it hehe) I'm not worried about the STDs, but wonder if I could have group B strep. I don't think I've ever been tested for it. Who knows? Dr. checked my cervix and says it's not effaced and not dilated. And Nicky is not descended at all. Hmmm. She thinks he is head down and of average size. This sounds good to me. I guess I'm okay that I'm not any farther along, b/c goodness knows Dave and I still have a butt-load of things to get done.

    The backyard garden goes well. Rocket has discovered that he likes the taste of brocolli and cauliflower (I'm not sure he's really a dog), and so tries to force his way through the wire fencing into the beds to chew on the leaves of these plants. He got a taste for them--and radishes--from the compost pile of scraps from harvest. Must start covering that up! Some critter chewed off the first summer squash (yellow straight neck) that was growing. durn those critters.

    Just busy, that's all. And getting ready for the boy! Level II u/s is Wednesday, Dave's coworkers' shower for us is Thursday. Will report with news of those later this week!
    Namaste,
    Mary Louisa

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