meeting beau

meeting beau

Beau is 10 days old now, which is totally crazy to me. I thought I might (before it all escapes me) write out the story of how we met our amazing little guy. This will probably be an epically long story, but I want to get it all down. Be warned now that not only will this be a long story, but it will also include candid writing about lady bits and labor/delivery and some moderately graphic photos right after Beau arrived–not for the faint of heart.

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Beau’s birth story really starts on Thursday, May 11. I include this part because it involves me winning a million dollar bet. I spent some time during our 37th week getting prepared for going to the hospital, I had my bag mostly packed with just a few things left to include. On Thursday night, I was chatting with Chad, Mom/Nana and Dad/Pop Pop/Grampa Mark about wanting to make sure that I had the bag ready to go and in the car for our 37 week appointment the next day (Friday). Chad basically said that I was silly for needing to have it in the car and bet me $1,000,000 that we would not be needing it.

The next morning–Friday, May 12–we had our carseat checked out at the pediatricians’ office. The carseat had been in the car since the beginning of the month, because on May 2, we were scheduled to have our original car seat check. The night before (May 1, our one year anniversary!) there was a crazy storm and because the power was knocked out in Boalsburg and there was no one in the office. We rescheduled, finally, for the 12th. We passed our inspection (“Excellent. It’s tough to get the base that tight with leather seats!”) and headed to our 37 week appointment (at 37 weeks and 5 days). My blood pressure was reading high at the beginning of the appointment, I had gained 6 pounds from the week before (hello 190s–yikes!), and I was having swelling in my hands and feet (and face, I think). I had my blood pressure checked again–still high. We saw Dr. Brunner who did a cervical check: 0 cm, 50% effaced; “baby isn’t coming any time soon.” Dr. Brunner wanted to me to chill out for 15 minutes and have my blood pressure checked again. We waited and had it read again. Again it was high (we’re talking 160s/100s–high for me). Dr. Brunner came in and said that she would like to send me to the hospital for additional testing and monitoring. She also said that she thought it was very unlikely that we would stay at the hospital, but that 1 in 1,000,000 times in medicine doctors end up eating their words.

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the hospital

We got to the hospital and they set us up in a delivery room–just in case. I was put on fetal monitoring, contraction monitoring and a blood pressure cuff. We waited almost 3 hours before the doctor came in–there was a baby boom; three littles were born during our wait. The nurses seemed to think we were headed home, I thought we were headed home, Chad thought we were headed home. Dr. Patel came in and said that because my blood pressure was still very high, in consultation with Dr. Brunner and Dr. Hovick (the doctor on for the weekend), they decided that the best thing to do was to deliver the baby.

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view of mount nittany from our delivery room

UMMMMM…. WHAT!?!?! I was so sure that we weren’t staying that minutes before the doctor came in I was texting Mom and Dad (who were scheduled to fly out the next morning) asking them where they wanted to go for their “last night in town” dinner.

It was not easy to process this information. There was a lot of “Soooo, we’re not going home?” “We’re going to have the baby this weekend?” “We aren’t leaving this room without a baby?” kind of questions. Dr. Patel was very patient and explained, “Yup, baby is coming.” Essentially, because my blood pressure was high and I had so much swelling the doctors were concerned about preeclampsia. They didn’t feel comfortable sending me home to wait out for the next week. They thought that the best thing for baby and I would be to induce labor and deliver over the weekend. Once we wrapped our brains around the baby coming, we called Mom and Dad and asked them to bring some stuff from home (including Chad’s bag, he didn’t have his in the car like I did… This is where I won the $1,000,000 bet).

Because my body was not at all ready to start labor on its own, the plan was to begin my induction with a cervical foley catheter. The idea is insert a balloon above my cervix and inflate it with water. The pressure from inside my uterus pushes on the balloon which (in theory) expands my cervix with the hope that labor would start as my cervix expands. The catheter was meant to stay in until I was dilated to 3 cms, at which point it should come out. At that point, they would begin pitocin–a drug that mimics oxytocin, the hormone that naturally gets labor going. They guessed that I would be 3 cms dilated around midnight.

I had the catheter inserted around 5 pm (OUCH!). At this point, they let me eat (thank goodness–I hadn’t had anything since 9 am!) and we had Mom and Dad come visit/bring our things. During their visit, we all decided that (of course) they should stay to meet Beau, who we imagined, would be arriving Saturday evening or Sunday (inductions can take a long time).

Chad and I walked the halls, charted contractions, played games and watched TV. I had some legit contractions while we were walking but as soon as I was back in bed (which I needed to be every hour or so for a half hour of monitoring) labor progress stopped. We ate again around 10 and I got a shower and we tried to get some sleep. At midnight, the balloon had come out and I was 3 cm dilated. We asked to wait until about 2 am to start the pitocin so we could get some sleep–for some women labor begins immediately after pitocin starts and we were worried that once we started it, we might not sleep again. We napped for 2 hours and began pitocin. The pitocin is administered by IV drip and each half hour, the volume of the medication is increased until labor begins. The maximum volume of pitocin without consultation from the doctors is 20 ml per whatever. By 7 am (with some limited on-and-off sleeping) I was at 20 ml per whatever and still only 3 cms dilated and having more frequent, but not more intense, contractions. It seemed like nothing was happening; it was very frustrating.

Dr. Patel decided that the next intervention in my induction should be to break my water. Within 5 minutes of announcing that this was the plan, my water was broken (with a giant crochet hook–seriously). Within half an hour of my water breaking, I was in labor–blindingly painful, frequent, “so intense I felt like there was no way I could handle them” contractions. It was insane how fast they came on and how strong they were. I was so uncomfortable and the contractions were so frequent that I asked for the epidural.

The anesthesiologist came in and examined me. He gave us the run down about the epidural and I had it placed. (I was a big mess, the contractions were so awful). All seemed successful, but after about 10 minutes, we realized it was ineffective. Contractions were getting more intense (how is that even possible??) and closer together and I was feeling every single thing. I was in full on panic attack mode–crying, hyperventilating–and at this point, I was stuck in bed, so I couldn’t even wiggle out the contractions (which had been helping). I was an absolute disaster. There was something so defeating about anticipating relief and getting none.

We ended up having to have the epidural removed and replaced. It was really scary and I was in so much pain, I couldn’t hardly hold still. Within about 5 minutes of having it replaced, it worked! I could feel contractions but there was no pain! It was incredible.

Dr. Patel checked me once more before leaving her shift. And despite all the contractions, I was only 4 cm dilated. I felt so little pain that I actually managed to grab some more sleep. It was about 9:30/10 am at this point. I napped and flipped from side to side a few times to make sure the medication was dispersing. I woke up from my nap around 11 with terrible contraction pain on my left side. I told our nurse (Joanna, who was incredible), that I was having awful pains; perhaps there was an issue with the epidural again? She said that that could be the case, but before she called the doctor in she wanted to check my cervix.

Joanna checked my cervix and looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh, you are 8 – 9 cm dilated, 90% effaced… You’re complete! I just need someone to confirm.” UM WHAT (again)!?!??! I’m complete?? Like… baby is coming? Everything had progressed so slowly that we were all shocked that it was go-time and that Beau was like really on his way! In the space of an hour’s nap, I had gone from “Not ready, baby will probably be here late Saturday/Sunday” to “This baby will be here within the hour!” Just like that!

There was a flurry of activity because we were going to being pushing in 10 minutes! (This is a lot to deal with when just waking from a nap!) Joanna gave the Dr. Hovick the heads up that it was time and started prepping the room. She gave me a crash course in pushing. (At this point, I got the shakes/trembles like crazy. It was like I imagine hypothermia sufferers have, except I was hot and sweaty. The shakes disappeared as we began to push.) Chad grabbed my right leg and Joanna took my left and we started pushing. In between contractions, Joanna would set things up for delivery. Two more nurses came in and started readying the room for the doctor.

After about half an hour (felt like 30 seconds), Dr. Hovick came in. I pushed on two contractions and he started to gown up and distributed what looked like welding masks to everyone. Beau’s heart rate was starting to drop (normal during pushing) but was not recovering after pushes as it should. He needed more oxygen and needed to come out. I was put on oxygen to try to help Beau get more air. Dr. Hovick explained that we had two more contractions to try to get Beau out and if he hadn’t come when they were over he would have to use the vacuum extractor (the welding masks were in case the vacuum broke suction–ew). On the next contraction, we could see the head (I had a mirror, so I could see too). I was able to reach down and feel Beau. It was totally incredible. I started to cry. Chad was the best coach ever and was encouraging me that he was almost here. We knew that the next contraction was our last chance to get him out without the vacuum extractor and so I pushed really, really hard three times during the contraction and once right after and that was it, he was here!

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so happy to meet Beau

The doctor and nurses put Beau up on my belly. They examined him and cleaned him and we met our sweet little boy for the first time. It was so incredible to see him. He was totally perfect even though he was purple and COVERED in vernix (cheese-like coating). We cuddled and hugged and kissed him. It was the most incredible thing in the world (I’m sobbing as I type). Chad was the perfect labor partner and coach, it was so amazing to do this truly incredible thing together.

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cheesy purple baby

There was so much going on that I didn’t hardly notice delivering the placenta (or being sutured because my perineum tore). Chad got to cut the cord–it was easier than he thought it would be. Beau was perfectly healthy (despite the scary low heart rate situation) and so we got to skin-to-skin cuddle until it was time to breastfeed. I was able to breastfeed right there in the delivery room. After about an hour and 15 minutes of cuddling, Beau had his exam. The nurses conducted the exam in the delivery room so we got to watch. They weighed and measured him, administered eye meds and a vaccination. He had his footprints taken. They cleaned him up some more. His official time of birth was 11:52 am on 5/13/17, he weighed 7 lb, 7 oz and was 20.5 inches long.

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cuddle time

We had lunch (they messed up and brought two lunches, so Chad got to eat too!) and then I took a shower–assisted by three nurses, ha. I was able to put on a clean gown and then it was time to move to our postpartum room– it felt like everything happened incredibly fast.

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first picture of Beau and his dad
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so happy to know Beau

We moved to postpartum and got settled in, we breastfed again and we got started spreading the news that Beau was here!

We spent the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday (my first Mother’s Day) visiting, recovering, feeding, napping and getting to know Beau. My mom and dad met Beau on Saturday afternoon.

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On Sunday we saw Mark and Kathy again, Beau met Memaw Patty and Jennie (Aunt Ney-Ney??).

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view from our PP room: early morning Mother’s Day rainbow
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memaw and beau bean

By Monday when it was time to leave, we were ready to go.

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Beau is ready to roll
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Chad is ready too (WAITING forever to go)

It was a truly incredible experience. It was such a shock to meet Beau two weeks and a day before his due date. It was so wonderful that his grandparents were able to stay to meet him too; I think it was all meant to be. The whole weekend was a lot of hurry up and wait followed by these crazy bursts of activity. I’m so glad we had a safe, not-too-scary delivery and that Beau is the healthy, happy, sweet boy that he is. I felt so much support from everyone, especially Chad and my parents. We wouldn’t have been nearly as ready for Beau without the support of my Mom and Dad, and they helped us get settled after we got home too. I also have to say, Chad is truly the most wonderful human I know, and there is no way that I could have done this without him. I am so lucky to have him and Beau in my life.

So that’s it: my story of meeting Beau!

37 weeks bump update

37 weeks bump update

How far along?

37 weeks–I missed a bunch of weeks!

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How big is Bean?

Enormous–6.5 pounds and birth length. That’s the size of a) winter melon (??) or b) romaine lettuce.

Total weight gain/loss?

I have gained somewhere between 25 and 30 pounds now.

Sleep?

Sleep is fine! I wake up with leg cramps almost every day and I have to get up often to pee, but I don’t have crazy insomnia like I have heard other moms-to-be do. *Fingers crossed.*

Best moment this week?

Well ok, I have been really bad about updating my blog. So here are some updates for each of the weeks I missed (and some pictures too):

Week 33: April 10 – 15–Kara and Patty threw us an amazing baby shower and Mom and Dad arrived for their visit.

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April 15: 33 weeks and 6 days

Week 34: April 16 – 22– On Saturday 4/22, we (Kathy, Mark, Lydia and Chad) walked 2 miles at the Beaver Stadium Run/Walk and as a team (sponsored in part by Timber Rock Homes) we raised $410 for Special Olympics.

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April 22nd: 34 weeks and 6 days

Week 35: April 23 – April 29–Most of this week was spent getting ready for the baby. Mom and I made 2 weeks worth of freezer meals. Mom and Dad helped us get the downstairs all ready for sale, lots of painting and cleaning. We put together the baby’s furniture and got all ready for Beau’s arrival; we are planning to move a into the new house a few weeks after Beau gets here. At the new house, we made a lot of progress to get ready for moving in. The ladies from Hofbrau host a shower-brunch for Mom and I that was really nice too!

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I took a photo last week with the expectation that I would do a 36 week bump update, but didn’t get around to it:

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This picture shows the realities of pregnancy. Here’s what I wrote about it on my Instagram:

this is my “pregnancy is getting really real” #36weekspregnant#bumpphoto. I tried to take a bump pic every week. I have been having a difficult time lately a) remembering to take it and b) getting up the energy to take it. I had a shower/brunch with Hofbrau coworkers today and did my hair and make up (rare). I had great intentions of taking an adorable put-together photo of myself when I got home, but it was hot today and my ankles were so swollen that the minute I got home, I took my shoes off and changed into the only pair of shorts that fit, which are a pair of Chad’s basketball shorts. my allergies have been really bad and while trying to help Chad work on some stuff outside (because we’re insane and trying to get this house ready for our move) I sneezed really big for the 100,000th time today. turns out, I peed my pants. not a dibble but like real deal wet myself–this explains the boxers in my photo. my pregnancy has been anything but glamorous and some parts of it have been really hard. I’m starting to feel a little bit over it BUT I am so excited to meet our little dude–the wiggle butt whose hopefully small to average head puts so much pressure on my bladder that peeing myself is a real thing now. I wouldn’t trade all the weird/annoying/embarrassing pregnant stuff for anything because it means bringing this amazing little person into our lives.

Week 36: April 30 – May 6–Chad and I celebrated our one year anniversary with an overnight trip to the Nature Inn at Bald Eagle State Park. The weather was insane with crazy rain and thunder/lightening. We played board games and ate pizza and desserts.

Symptoms?

Still feeling swelling some days in my feet and hands. Heartburn almost everyday that I successfully treat with Zantac. Lots of pelvic pain because this baby is on his way down. Gotta pee ALL THE TIME.

Stretch marks?

Still nope.

Food cravings/aversions?

Just really hungry all the time!

Labor signs?

We had our 36 weeks doctor’s visit  (at 36 weeks, 4 days) and I was 0 cm dilated, 50% effaced. My cervix was posterior and the baby was still at -4/-5 station (still pretty high). He is head down as he should be. Looks like labor isn’t too eminent, but we are seeing some progress… I should probably get my hospital bag packed!

Belly button in or out?

In!

What I miss?

Sitting comfortably and ham.

What’s made me more comfortable?

Taking my bra off/not wearing a bra at all. Daily shower! Keeping the temperature cool.

Emotions?

Have been caught off guard with a few back-to-back days of emotional meltdowns, but for the most part, doing well! Anxiety mostly in check. When weird things happen (back cramps, weird belly aches) I get nervous that I’m missing early labor signs, but otherwise, keeping it in check.

Movement?

Baby is still moving a lot. Lots of periods of stillness and periods of activity. When he’s moving, its all jammed up above my ribs. Lots more rolls and stretches than big kicks and punches.

What I’m looking forward to?

MY LAST DAYS OF WORK are a) Monday for Hofbrau and b) Wednesday for Morgan Center.

Milestones?

If Beau were born today, he would be “early term.” And according to The Bump, he is “practicing some cool new skills: inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping, and blinking. In less cute news, baby’s getting the first sticky poop (called meconium) ready for his or her first diaper.” He is also receiving antibodies from me now and can grasp, things like his nose or a toe–and hopefully my finger when he comes out.

Next appointment?

We are on weekly appointments now, and our next appointment is on Friday when I will be 37 weeks and 5 days.

33 week bump update

33 week bump update

How far along?

33 weeks… oops! missed a week!IMG_0010.jpg

How big is Bean?

Bean is as big as a) celery or b) a honeydew melon. I look like I have a honeydew melon in my belly. He’s between 16 and 17 inches long and weighs about 4 1/4 pounds. He’s going to gain about a half pound a week from here on out.

Total weight gain/loss?

I think I’m just about the same: 172 pounds. Which is amazing because I look so much bigger.

Sleep?

Only peeing every 5 hours.

Best moment this week?

This has been a busy two weeks, but it’s been really great getting lots ready for our house! Our birthing and breastfeeding classes were great. Today we took a nice walk with the dogs at Mill Brook Marsh.

Symptoms?

Swelling in my hands and feet, and I think in my face. Or I’m just putting on weight–which is also possible. I have been having heartburn still, but Zantac, which my doctor recommended last week is amazing. I’ve been hot and sweaty. I guess this is due to my extra high metabolic rate? Baby makes me out of breath, which was particularly noticeable as we helped Dan move this weekend. It was a lot of stairs. My breasts are leaking. It’s weird but is so cool too! It’s colostrum, which will be super nutritious for Beau Bean!

Stretch marks?

Nope!

Food cravings/aversions?

Desserts, but I don’t know if that is a craving. I think that’s life.

Labor signs?

Nope!

Belly button in or out?

In but stretching pretty tight.

What I miss?

The usual: running and cured meats.

What’s Made Me More Comfortable? (New question!)

Chad rubs my hands and arms and it feels amazing and helps with the swelling. My maternity pillow is fantastic. Stretch pants! New slip-on shoes. Maternity bras–they help with my under-boob discomfort. I’ve been taking baths, which I never did before, but makes me really feel good. Air-conditioning!

Emotions? (New question!)

Been pretty steady! Some fear about pain in labor and delivery, but mostly feeling in control and on top of it. When I get really tired, which is early–around 8, I get weepy feeling.

Movement? (New question!)

This baby moves constantly. As I type, with my computer balanced on my belly, he is bopping the computer up and down with his big kicks. He’s been getting me in the ribs, especially when I’m seated. I can feel him roll over in there sometimes–big slow movements. I feel fluttery kicks on my left side when I lie on my left side–I haven’t figured out what they are yet. His latest thing is lodging a foot against the top of my belly. I get the protruding lumps that I can push–they are a little uncomfortable, but if I poke him on what I think is his heel, I can get him to move.

What I’m looking forward to?

Our visit from Mark and Kathy begins on Thursday! Our floors are stained and our kitchen starts tomorrow! WE ARE SEEING BEAU IN 3D TOMORROW–an elective ultrasound place opened just up the street from us and tomorrow we are having a 3D ultrasound 🙂 On Wednesday, we have our infant care class. Our baby shower is on Saturday! We have a lot coming up!!

Milestones?

Parenting milestones: We have taken our birthing classes and a breastfeeding class. The birthing class was awesome. Knowledge is power and I am feeling much better prepared for our birth experience. Our breastfeeding class was also great, and I am also feeling better about trying breastfeeding. I think Chad will be an amazing support.

Beau milestones: He can tell day from night and he keeps his eyes open while he’s awake! He has is own immune system! He’s coordinating breath with sucking and swallowing.

Next appointment?

We had our 32 week appointment last week. Other then getting Zantac–a miracle elixir for my heartburn–it was a pretty routine appointment. We saw Dr. Cherry who we hadn’t seen since our first appointment, she was great–even though we had to wait 45 minutes to see her. She told me that because when she pushes on the top of my belly she can move his whole body she thinks he’s head down. He is measuring on track and his heartbeat was 152. Our next appointment is on Thursday!

31 week bump update

31 week bump update

How far along?

31 weeks and one day (because I am a day late… again)

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Post-work photo–Same shirt as last week, ooooops!

How big is Bean?

Bean probably weighs about 3.5 pounds and he is 16 inches long!! HUGE, that’s the size of a) a bunch of asparagus, or b) a coconut! mmmm coconut!

Total weight gain/loss?

I gained one pound this week!

Sleep?

SO MANY CRAZY DREAMS. Other than that, and a middle of every night pee break, sleep is good!

Best moment this week?

We had fun visiting with friends this weekend at a surprise party for Sarah Cleaver (CONGRATS to Sarah for competing her RN and landing an awesome job at an ER)!  We also have been getting a lot of good work done getting the house ready for our big move. Lots of packing and organizing–that’s maybe not that fun, but it’s necessary and feels good!

Symptoms?

I am very achy at the end of the day (and sometimes during the day). The area above my belly below my breasts gets so tired and hurty. If I lie back or sit up really straight it seems to help take some of the pressure off (also, taking the torture device that is my bra off also seems to help a lot). I am finding myself often short of breath and the heartburn is present, but not terrible this week. Swelling in my fingers and feet. Lastly, I am definitely suffering pregnancy brain. Today alone, I put sugar in the dogs’ bowl instead of in the bowl I was using to make potsticker sauce for Chad. Tim at the bar ordered a bottle of Miller Light and I brought him a Coors Light. I went back and tried again but brought him a Michelob Ultra. Sigh.

Stretch marks?

Nope!

Food cravings/aversions?

Nothing really! I have been having a little nausea, and constantly eating helps. I have been craving VERY cold water–does that count as a craving?

Labor signs?

Nope!

Belly button in or out?

In!

What I miss?

Nothing much!

What I’m looking forward to?

Our visit from Mark and Kathy and more progress on our house! Painting starts tomorrow 🙂

Milestones?

Not a milestone so much, but Beau has been VERY active! Lots of kicks, some really big, and some right in the ribs.

There are some weird, interesting Beau milestones this week. He pees about 2 cups a day now! Thankful, my body replaces the amniotic fluid completely several times a day. He’s fattening up, which he will need to because he needs to double his body weight in just 9 more weeks. Beau can turn his head side to side. He’s dreaming, too, which I think is amazing and confusing. His hearing is improving so much so that he can be startled sometimes.

Next appointment?

Our regular 32 week appointment is on Friday 🙂

30 week bump update!

30 week bump update!

How far along?

30 weeks! eeeeek!!

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does this belly make me look pregnant?

How big is Bean?

Bean weighs more than 3 pounds… That’s like half his birth weight, which means we still have a lot of growing to go (where is that all going to fit??!!) He is also about 15.5 inches long! On the fruit-o-meter, he is a) the size of a zucchini or b) a butternut squash.

Total weight gain/loss?

I weighed 170 at my appointment and 168 on my scale at home.

Sleep?

Good! Have I mentioned the dreams? I have been having incredibly weird, super realistic dreams almost every night (and nap) for the last several weeks. It’s really weird!

Best moment this week?

This sounds silly, but my best moment this week was swimming yesterday. Somehow I talked Chad into going to the pool with me yesterday (I just got a super cute maternity swimsuit, which–sidebar–when I unpacked the bag it was shipped in from Old Navy, I thought looked more like the size of a beach towel than a bathing suit). We kicked around and did laps a little bit, but the highlight was a “game” we played. There were some plastic beachy kind of balls and we started a hit-the-ball-back-and-forth game. The rule was that we got one touch each. We got up to 58 hits! We played this game for like 45 minutes. It was really fun to do something active and it felt amazing being in the water. I think it was really good for my back and swollen legs. I will try to go swimming again. Also last night, Penn State Men’s Hockey won the B1G 10 championship game in their second night of consecutive double overtime wins! Hockey Valley!!

Symptoms?

I am getting very tired! I also have pretty constant heartburn. And I have been having, as I mentioned above, swelling in my hands and feet/ankles. Oh and shortness of breath–I have been getting winded talking.

Stretch marks?

Still nope, although I am not sure how because although I’m sure it’s impossible, I feel like I have doubled in size since last week.

Food cravings/aversions?

Nothing really! I am not nearly as hungry as I was a few weeks ago. Which is probably good because I don’t have nearly as much room in my tummy as I did before.

Labor signs?

Nope!

Belly button in or out?

In and looking like it plans to stay that way.

What I miss?

Running! I really have been missing just being able to go for a run. I walked on the treadmill one day this week and I really had to slow down my pace because I was having a lot of Braxton contractions. It was kind of a bummer. I am still pretty active with working 3 or 4 nights a week–I walk a lot at work–but it’s just not the same as going on a run. I can’t wait to start back up with running post pregnancy and am looking forward to being able to share that with Beau!

What I’m looking forward to?

Spring! Can we all just agree that it should be Spring now? I am also looking forward to our visit with Nana Kathy and Pop-Pop Mark in mid-April!

Milestones?

This week Beau’s brain is getting wrinkles! And he should be strong enough to grasp a finger. As his body fat is increasing, he is starting to lose his furry hair that covers his whole little body.

I expected that I would feel him kicking less because he is running out of room in there–as I type this, I can see a reflection of my seated self in the window, I haven’t seen how big I look sitting down, but it’s sure hard for me to believe that he has much space to do anything–however; I feel him a lot! It’s really wonderful being able to feel him. I was laying on the sofa yesterday and I could see this giant kicks and rolls and arm swipes through my belly. It’s like there’s an alien in there.

Next appointment?

Our next appointment is 3/31. This will be our 32 week appointment. It won’t be until 36 weeks that I’ll start having more physical (read: pelvic) exams. These appointments are quick checks: urine screen, blood pressure, baby heartbeat, fundal distance, questions. At our appointment on Friday, everything looked great. Beau’s heartbeat was 152 bpm. My blood pressure and stuff was all fine and he measured right on. I had my Tdap shot (this was THE MOST PAINFUL SHOT I HAVE EVER HAD. I can still barely lift my arm without serious pain.) The doctor explained that after 36 weeks we’ll be able to have a better idea of when our little bean will arrive. That may seem obvious, but for uber-planner me, it was a relief to hear we won’t be flying totally blind. We also talked about a birth plan. Talking to our doctor, it sounds like a birth plan won’t really be necessary for us as we don’t really have any special requests and the hospital’s standard practices (skin-to-skin contact, etc.). So Chad and I have decide that we will talk stuff over, but probably won’t write a specific document. That was really all we talked about.

In Mom and Dad (Lydia and Chad) News, we have started to get organized for our move. We figured out what furniture we are moving and what we will sell. We came up with a plan for organizing the house and packing. We also talked about what it would mean for is if the baby came before the new house was done. This was a topic that was REALLY keeping me up at night–or waking me up in the morning. We decided that, especially with help from my parents who are visiting soon!!!, that we will get packed and organized in our current house and get the current house ready as if we were going to temporarily bring Beau home here. If it turns out that he arrives before the house is ready, we will spend a few nights in a hotel during the transition between houses. Having a solid Plan B makes me feel sooooo relieved. I feel a lot less pressure to have the house done right away and a lot better about bringing Beau back home if he’s early knowing the house will be set up for his arrival. It sounds so obvious, but it didn’t occur to me that it would actually be ok if we weren’t able to get into the house before he showed up. While I certainly don’t want him to arrive too much before his due date, I feel a lot less stressed now about the possibility that he might.

29 week bump update

29 week bump update

How far along?

29 weeks, and 1 day… because I am a day late this week!

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29 weeks! I was thinking that I didn’t look very pregnant from the front yet… WRONG–I look like (according to Nana Kathy, and I agree) I swallowed a basketball!

How big is Bean?

This baby is huge and going to get even bigger! He is 2 and 1/2 to 3 pounds this week, and he is 16 – 17 inches long! That’s almost birth length! He is the size of a) a “small” cabbage, or b) an acorn squash. Holy moly belly!

Total weight gain/loss?

My weight seems to finally be stabilizing a little bit. 166 this morning.

Sleep?

Pretty good! Been EXHAUSTED, but only after a certain point. It’s like all of a sudden 8:30 rolls around and I gotta go to bed at that moment.

Best moment this week?

This was a fun week. Lots of good progress at the house. Lots of laziness on my part because it was Spring Break and I couldn’t drag my butt to the Morgan Center. I would say the highlight of the week came yesterday, we drove to Bloomsburg to visit Patty and we  did an Escape Room (a Christmas gift from Patty). It was so fun! For those who don’t know–I didn’t really–an escape room is “An escape room is a physical adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit, or having completed a mission. The games are physical versions of ‘escape the room‘ video games. Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons and space stations, and are popular as team building exercises.” Our room was the Tornado Room. The set up was that our house had been hit by a tornado and there was a second tornado on its way in an hour. If we didn’t figure out the code to the exit door we’d get hit by a second tornado and all die. The room has a 38% solve rate, and we figured it out! We got out in 46 minutes! Yay. It was really fun solving the puzzles and figuring the room out.

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no womb can hold bean.

Symptoms?

Let’s see. Feeling pretty good. Managing heartburn with Tums. Not starving like I was last week. Have to pee often. Really feeling great (and not suffering from these icky symptoms “The Bump” threatened that I could expect this week: headaches/lightheadedness, itchy belly, sciatica, hemorrhoids…). I should say, the internet is a blessing and a curse, it’s cool to see my labs but it also means that me with my limited medical knowledge can over-interpret. No UTI last week–YAY–I guess that was a false negative/contamination (TMI, I know). But the nurses did recommend switching to a prenatal with iron, which I have! Hopefully that will pull me out of the slight anemia (which is normal in the third trimester–Bean-o is sucking up my resources because he is growing so much now!).

Stretch marks?

Yeeesh, not yet, but I feel like any day now… this belly is getting HUGE.

Food cravings/aversions?

Nope!

Labor signs?

Braxton Hicks still, but again, that’s not labor!

Belly button in or out?

In–I’m guessing it’s not popping!

What I miss?

Nothing! Feeling fantastic!

What I’m looking forward to?

6 – 18 inches of snow tomorrow! NOT! I am not looking forward to that. Actually many places around here are declaring snow emergencies. Schools and business are planning to be closed. I LOVE being snowed in, buuuuut I was also ready to get back to work tomorrow. What am I looking forward to really? Hmmm… More quick progress on the house!

Milestones?

“The buds of your baby’s future permanent teeth begin to form in his gums now. They’ll lie in wait for 5 to 12 years!” I should expect to feel hiccups soon! And Beau’s adrenal glands are producing androgen and estrogen that produce stimulate my milk production… Does that mean I can expect leaking? Pregnancy is fun!

Next appointment?

Friday… should just be a quick check in. And I am going to ask about my Tdap shot. Chad had his.

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basketball belly
28 week bump update

28 week bump update

*I missed a week! Ugh. It was bound to happen. It was one of those situations where I thought: “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Tomorrow turned into tomorrow turned into: “Too close to next week now.”*

How far along?

28 weeks–HELLO THIRD TRIMESTER!!! Whoa!

How big is Bean?

Beau Bean is ENORMOUS. His is the size of A HEAD OF CAULIFLOWER. He weighs 2.5 big huge pounds and is 16 inches long from head-to-foot.

Total weight gain/loss?

Weight gain is steadying out! I weigh about 164 pounds. That’s about 10 pounds total above my pre-pregnancy weight.

Sleep?

Mostly good. A few nights of terrible sleep, but a few nights of awesome sleep too.

Best moment this week?

This was a tough week. I had a scary-ish (but fine) contraction incident on Thursday and found out Saturday that a co-worker–a wonderfully kind man with an also kind son with whom I also work–passed away at work on Friday night. It’s a terrible shock, and a terrible tragedy for his family. Although it has been a tough week in that way, we also had a very nice visit with Seth and Sarah Cleaver, who came to stay for the weekend.

Symptoms?

 

I have been having terrible heartburn and acid reflex, but Tums seem to do the trick! My feet are pretty swollen at the end of the day, and my body has been getting achy. I have been having cramping in my legs and feet at night. I get a tingling aching under my breast, especially at the end of the day, but this just a circulation thing and more of an annoyance than anything else. The shortness of breath is real. Did you know its possible to get out of breath talking? It is. Beau takes up a lot of space in there. The toughest symptom this week was my Braxton Hicks contractions which lead to my incident on Thursday night. I was working at the Hofbrau, it was really busy. I had a bunch of tables. I was really dehydrated. I started having an increase in my contractions, several in a few minutes time. Beau was moving a lot too. I have read that 4 contractions in an hour is about the max that’s ok before calling a doctor. Then I had a contraction that wouldn’t go away. On top of it, I got really freaked out–which probably made it even worse. I called the doctor, but it was after hours and I was in full panic mode before the doctor could call me back. I came home and called Chad and asked him to come home too. The doctor called back and told me that this isn’t uncommon, and is not a problem (or labor) if rest and lots and lots of fluids help the contractions subside. I was instructed to lie on my left side and drink tons of water so that I had to pee every half hour. The contractions slowed down within a few hours and I settled down. Friday was business as usual and my Braxtons returned to normal. I had a doctors visit Friday morning in which the doctor confirmed that incidences like the one I had on Thursday can be expected in physically, emotionally stressed and dehydrated moms. Should it happen again, I am to rest and hydrate.

Stretch marks?

Not yet!

Food cravings/aversions?

Nope, nada. Still hungry, but I am getting full much faster.

Labor signs?

Braxton Hicks, but no real labor!

Belly button in or out?

In! But space is running out.

What I miss?

Cold ham and other pork products.

What I’m looking forward to?

It’s Spring Break! Which just means a light, quiet week at work. I am looking forward to Spring weather.

Milestones?

Bean is dreaming! He has started REM sleep. He is also blinking a lot. And he has started sticking his tongue out.

Next appointment?

We now see the doctor biweekly. My next appointment is on March 17th–Memaw Patty’s birthday.

*More notes: I wanted to write a little bit about my appointment on Friday. I was glad that the doctor we saw confirmed the information from the on-call doctor about my Thursday contractions. I had a blood test and my glucose test. The doctor (Dr. Brunner–who we hadn’t had and who liked) measured my fundus and Beau was measuring right on 27 weeks. Although I haven’t heard the results from my lab tests back from the doctor, I have  gotten them from online, and interpreted them myself. I suspect that I will hear from the doctor tomorrow, I got notification that my labs were in online. I did some internet sleuthing and I have figured out that: a) I don’t have gestational diabetes. In fact, my blood sugar was at the very, very bottom of the acceptable range. b) I have anemia, and c) I have a UTI. I have not been having typical UTI symptoms (that are indistinguishable from pregnancy symptoms anyway), but I have read that that is common in pregnancy. I wonder if the UTI, especially if it were a bladder infection, might have contributed to my contractions episode on Thursday. If I don’t hear from the doctor tomorrow, I will call to follow up on the labs.