Being pregnant is definitely the most interesting time of my life. My body is completely new to me and I feel like a slave to its demands. In the last few weeks, I have been more hungry than in my entire life. I know I am eating 4000 calories some days. It's like I am a bottomless pit of hunger. The other thing is that I am also completely exhausted. I have been sleeping better - some times. ( I don't want to jinx myself again). I have a pillow kingdom where I snuggle my body into, a heating pad for my achy back and hip. I try not to toss and turn for comfort and instead try to deal with the pressure and pain of sleep as practice for labor. I also nap like crazy: all weekend long, and at work during my lunch break. I spend most of my time eating a sleeping. I honestly feel like a teenage boy.
I had my 36 week appt on Thursday night. There are 5 midwives in the practice: Alice, Marsha, Regina, Katie and Lisa. (Regina and Katie delivered Sophia, Andrea's daughter). Last night we had Alice. She is one of our favorites because she is so much fun and we play a lot at the appointments. They are all good, though. All great - actually. They have different strenghts that I think will come in handy depending on the type of labor I have. I know that God will take care of us and we will get whomever is best for us.
At the appointment I was tested for Group B Strep and I had some blood drawn for iron count. I also got an internal exam, my first of this whole pregnancy! I am dialated 1cm, 0% effaced, and the baby is head down in station -4 or "floating" I guess He hasn't dropped as much as I thought and my bladder is in for it when he gets down there! eek!
We meet our birth assistant (a medically trained doula) on Saturday for our home visit. I will update you after that if anything happens then! Love, V
Me and Katie N. she is due two weeks after me! Me and Andrea GG Me and Katie again. These were taken at Katie's baby shower which occured this weekend!
So that's it ladies and gentlemen. I am due in exactly 4 weeks. In exactly 6 weeks, I will be induced if I haven't had the baby yet.
I admit, I haven't been the happiest of pregnant ladies. But now that the end is in sight, I really love being pregnant. Right now, the pregnancy means I will have a baby within 6 weeks.
Last week I told Tom that I would be willing to do it again, and I think I would (in a few years!)
I'm really excited about being a mom, holding my baby, looking at my baby, cleaning my baby, singing to my baby, loving my baby. How old am I? Who am I? I am a woman who was made to be a mother, I've had other people's kids as practice - but now its my turn. =)
These past few weeks have been a time of grace for Tom and I. Knowing that our baby is near is making us fall deeper and deeper into love. As I need more rest, Tom can see it and he encourages me to get it. When I can do things, I do them as best I can. We are working as a team better than we ever have. We do our practice exercises for labor and talk about what works and what doesn't. We are making lists of food to have for labor and lists of other things to get ready. We've got lists of things to do soon and things to get before the baby comes. Our birth supplies are all collected, we just need an oxygen tank, we are picking it up on Thursday. Tomorrow we go to meet with a pediatrician. Then, we have "everything" we will need to have the baby.
We are really happy, excited, and sometimes a little bit nervous. We know it will work out, and trying not to worry too much. There are so many things that can happen in life and we are really enjoying being alive right now. We'll enjoy it even more when the life that is inside of me gets a new bed! =)
Thank you America for innaguration day. Today ends Tom's and my 4 day weekend, and I'm really glad we had it. We spent this weekend shopping, and doing other baby prep. We've been to Burlington Coat Factory's Baby Depot, 2 Targets, the Mall, and other furniture stores. We finally assembled the crib and we bought a mattress for it. We bought enough diapers for the first 3 weeks, baby wipes. ( We plan on using cloth diapers after the cord falls off). I've been organizing baby things: breast feeding supplies, bath supplies, medicines/thermometers. Tom and I have been shopping for a glider and a changing table. We registered for one of each online, but now we are going to stores to guarantee that we are getting the best ones, maybe find some that are already assembled, or that we don't have to get shipped. In the past few days, I think the baby may have dropped. I don't really know how to tell, but when I sit down I've got to spread my legs out in order to be comfortable. The baby is still moving very aggressively. He is rubbing his bum on me. He is also jabbing his legs into me, I guess he's stretching. He does some punching in my netherregions around my hip bones and bladder. One thing I am a bit worried about is a compound presentation in delivery, that his arm might be up by his head as he passes through. That would make delivery harder. Another thought I've had (just today) is that my son may have his father's shoulders. Tom has beautiful shoulders, they are huge and strong from all the swimming he's done since high school. I really, really hope Gumbo will develop those when he is a teen, and is not developing them now. As of the 4th day of this weekend, I am really tired. This morning I thought I was going into labor. I felt a pain that was stronger than normal. So I did what the midwives recommend, I took a bath, ate some food and then I laid down. I slept for two hours or so. Now I'm awake again, and I feel tired, but am NOT in labor. Today I am 35 weeks. If I go into labor, then it needs to be after next Tuesday. After next Tuesday, I am allowed to have a home birth, and Gumbo will most likely be ready to be in the outside world with no hospital help.
The shower was amazing. Andrea (my sister in law) and Katie (who is due 2 weeks right after me) threw me an amazing shower. Many work friends came, my cousin Christy, my Aunt Mary, my BFF Liz and her bf Mikey were all there. There was lots of yummy food and a really cute cake. Everyone decorated bibs for Gumbo. We played games: baby scattegories and a memory game. Then we opened presents. Gumbo got lots of really cute clothes, bath supplies, toys, bedding, changing supplies, a stroller, and so much other fun stuff! His mommy got some lotions and things to help her with breastfeeding. After the presents, we all hung out for a few hours. I showed everyone the house and the baby room.
We are so excited to have this little baby. He is so darling. I know he is going to be super cuddly because he is always rubbing out on my belly (either that or he is running out of room!) I am 8 1/2 months this week! EEK! He could come in 2 weeks and not need any extra hospital care. So, we will have a baby between the next 2 weeks and 2 months.
I think the most cool parts were that Aunt Mary flew down from New Hampshire and came with my cousin Christy. The other really cool part was that Liz and Mikey rented a car and came up for the shower. They completely missed it, but thats ok because we had a ton of fun after the party was over. Liz, Mikey, Mary, Christy and I went out to eat and had a great time.
You might be wondering, "Where was Tom?" Well, Tom was there for the first part, he went to work for a little bit and then he hung out with Jake (Andrea's hubby) and Sophia (Andrea's baby) and watched football!
Right now he is in Nashville doing some work things. He is going to visit our friend Maria while he is there. In the meantime, I'm hanging at the house and washing baby clothes! yay!
We just went to the midwife and Gumbo is not breech! Its very, very exciting, very, very happy, and completely comforting to know he is currently in the correct position for birthing! YAY! I have never been so happy. I hope he doesn't flip!
Tonight at the midwife's we also had birth day planning. WE learned all about the procedure for when we think we might be in labor, how to call them, what info to provide, etc. We learned tips for labor, tips for postpartum for me and the baby and Tom. We saw a video and I saw a "friend" there as well.
When I did my 3 hour glucose test, I met another preggo lady at the same time. WE hung out for 2 hours! We saw each other tonight and we were both not diabetic! Great news! Then we saw her and her boyfriend on the train home and talked for the ride together. It was great, I hope she emails me so we can hang out with our babies. She's really fun and feisty, like me =).
Tom and I are feeling pretty good about going into labor and having the baby after tonight. It was really satisfying to know that Gumbo is in the right position, and what to do when labor starts. We've been working on our emergency backup contingency plan and are happy to know what the midwives plan will be. They gave us lots of good advice and filled in the gaps of our knowledge about C-sections, hospital transfers and other stuff that we needed to know about being in a hospital if an emergency occurs.
I'm just really glad and now I'm looking forward to the birth, we have almost all of the supplies ready, we just need some ammonia for clean up.
Tom and I also celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary yesterday and we are really glad we got together. Its very exciting to be married, a huge challenge, but one that makes you a better person. We are thrilled to be expanding our family and welcoming little Gumbo into our home and heart (he's been welcome in my body for almost a year, though, and he will have to get his own bed soon!!!) Thanks for all of your support in being married, it takes a village to raise a married couple. =) Peace out! V
So, the night after I wrote the blog below I had the worst night of sleep I've had since I've been pregnant. Therefore I would like to say that I haven't figured out how to sleep while pregnant. My only hope is in becoming un-pregnant, having my child grow up, and living a fully decent life before I ever expect to have a good nights sleep again.
In other news, Gumbo is the kickingest baby in the world. He has been moving so much. I can't believe how much he moves. Will he sleep when he is born? I don't know!
He weights as much as a pineapple! Impressive!
Today, we had a knock at the door and it was the delivery man. He brought our crib! It is in the living room waiting to be brought upstairs and assembled. Today, Tom rented a carpet cleaner and cleaned the carpet in Gumbo's room and the stairwell. It is currently drying and he'll take care of the crib when the carpet is dry. I'm excited.
I also finished making Gumbo's baby blanket today. I made a quilt-like blanket, but with no stuffing and its not quilted. It is blue and green and yellow on one side. The other side is an adorable print with little babies and storks. It has a blue/green binding. I took a picture of it and will post when I get it on the computer. I wrote song lyrics on the quilt squares, its all praise and worship music that I love and want to sing to him. I'm really excited about singing to him. =) I have my guitar readily accessible in his room. I can't wait for the day that my guitar can sit in the space the baby now occupies of my lap.
(on another note) my laptop now can fit in what is left of my lap perfectly. We will see what happens in the coming month.
Today I bought sheets, and a plastic sheet and some wash clothes for our home birth. We cleaned the house really well (we're still working on it) for our baby shower which is next weekend (Jan 10th). I bought a boppy at Goodwill for $3! Awesome! Now I have a boppy and a my breast friend pillow. They say you should have 2 breast feeding stations in your house, one upstairs and one down, so I will keep one up and one down. This week we also got a yoga/pilates ball to use for the birth. Tom blew it up, so its ready too. We have all of the non-medical supplies that we need for the home birth now! Its very exciting. At 36 weeks we will cook a bunch of food and freeze it. Its to feed everyone during labor and recovery. We will also bring home the medical stuff that we need for the home birth - oxygen tank, antibiotics, iv stuff. The midwives are very capable and can respond to all emergencies. Most they can handle themselves, anything that they cant' handle they transfer you to the hospital. We live very close to one, so there is not much need to worry.
The only thing I need now is for little Gumbo Pineapple Kicker Greenwell to get his head down there in my pelvis, but he has a few more weeks before he fully NEEDS to settle there. (But keep it in your prayers, I would hate to have bought all of those birth supplies for nothing).
We are in exciting times, the end times, and the soon to be beginning times. It is the best of times and the worst of times, but the times of our lives. Thats for sure. Love, V
Well we made it this far. I am happy to know that if I gave birth right now Gumbo would be ok, just on some support for the next month or so. In 4 weeks, Tom and I need to have everything ready to go for our home birth and be completely prepared to have a little life in our hands. Is anyone ever completely prepared? No, so I'm not too worried, but we need to be as ready as we can. I ordered the Crib this week! Thanks Mom! It should be delivered sometime next week. We are having our shower next weekend, Thanks Andrea! And we will go into high gear of getting ready after the party. Next week is going to be exciting for us as we are supposed to give our birth plan to our Bradley Birth Class teacher, and on Thursday we are going to the "Birthday planning meeting" with our Midwife. The birth is now imminent. As I write this, Gumbo is kicking me. He kicks constantly, about 20 hours a day. I hope he isn't uncomfortable in there!
In addition to weighing myself, I've been taking measurements. My waist at my constantly (even at work in the bathroom) now because it itches as it is stre belly button has now grown a foot! A FOOT!!! 12 inches! Its nuts. My belly button is still an innie, but it hurts often and seems to be stretching to contain the Gumbo underneath. I lotion the tummytching. Some days I feel like my skin will rip open and I'll die from exploding, but I haven't read about that happening in "What to Expect When You Are Expecting." nor any of the other baby books we have, so I don't really think it will happen. =)
Sleeping every night is an adventure, but one that Tom and I have become accustom to. We are still in the same bed. I have developed some techniques that give him a better nights sleep (and me too!). Now when I adjust myself (and the pillows) in bed, I move really slowly so I don't wake him. I wake up a few times a night in pain, and some nights more than others. I've had a bad hip since college which gets bothered when I sleep on my side. Before pregnancy, I hardly slept on my side to avoid this pain, instead I would usually sleep on my stomach, sometimes my back. Now when I wake up in hip pain, instead of fidgiting around it or adjusting so much, I try to accept the pain and relax around it. I feel that this will prepare me for the pain of that long labor and Gumboectomy. Another sleep adventure is sweating. Sometimes I dream I am working hard, or in the jungle and I'm getting really hot. Then I wake up and I'm drenched in sweat! Those times I get out of bed and walk to our bathroom (which isn't heated) and that usually takes care of my sweat glands. The walk to the bathroom also helps stretch out my hip, relieves my bladder and gives me time to stretch. I do some "cat stretches" or "pelvic rocks" to help put my lower back back in wack. I do my neck and my upper back as well. Then I get back into bed and hope that sleep does not escape me. It has been an effictive technique. Tom is sleeping better. I am more satisfied in the morning. Even if I wake up 8-10 times in a night, I am still dreaming quite vividly and feel rested when I get up.
I spoke to my boss this week about Maternity Leave. I have opted for 6 months unpaid leave. I get 6 weeks of short term disability pay, which will be nice. She assured me my job would be secure when I come back - which was unexpected - but I really appreciate. =) I'm glad that she likes me and wants me. Its nice to be wanted and feel appreciated. I certainly didn't feel that way in the position I had prior to this one.
Well, Merry Christmas to everyone and happy New Year. Also, Tom says "hi" Love, V