i can’t even come up with a good title. oh, maybe ‘help!’

here’s my disclaimer, this post is going to be a therapy session for me {if you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that i can’t find a decent counselor to counsel}.  i almost decided not to post this, but recently got a little stirred up again {about another family thing – a different post for a different day}, so decided to.  feel free to skip or provide advice.

thought 1: my family is insane, part 1 – communication

sister-in-law had been pending delivery for about a month.  after 3 prior admittances, the 4th time was finally a charm, and my first nephew was born weighing in at 9 lbs, 1 oz a couple of weeks ago.  so happy for them, but watching my parents and extended family behave throughout this process has kind of upset me and the hubs.  each time labor began, my dad would start a group text to send updates {or lack thereof}.  one time my mom started emailing me too {parents are divorced so i hear everything twice}.  once it was the real deal, i received very graphic updates like “sister-in-law is 8 cm dilated and the doctor can feel the head with his finger.”  even after the baby arrived, i was informed of his circumcision.  oh, and did i mention the picture i received of my sister-in-law looking a sweaty mess during {what i presume to be} her first skin to skin time with the baby?  while my bro and his wife didn’t seem to mind this behavior, it has me a bit frustrated.  how much of my labor progress is going to be spammed out for all to hear?  and what kind of photos does my family plan on snapping to share?

continuing on the communication front, news travels fast.  after our ultrasound with the high risk doctor where we learned that little boy is head down, i exchanged a few text messages with my paternal grandmother.  she inquired about the baby’s position, so i gave her an update.  that night while sister-in-law is in labor, i get a text from my mom that says “i know you are sleeping but your dad just told me that brian turned head down!! that’s awesome!!”  so looks like grandma told dad and dad told mom.  news certainly travels fast.  i don’t care that my parents know this information, it’s just frustrating that it doesn’t come from me and that it spreads in about 12 hours.

thought 2: my family is insane, part 2 – the hospital

so, turns out that at least my parents camped out in the waiting room over night as they waited for their first grandchild.  my dad lives 1.5 hours away, so maybe i can see his thought process.  but my mom lives 20 minutes from the hospital.  i guess she didn’t think she’d make it in time?  when i face timed with my brother that evening {14 hours after the baby’s birth and 24 hours from my sister-in-law’s admittance}, my mom was still at the hospital trying to look busy shuffling stuff around.  apparently she never left.

thought 3: my brother is not smart

when telling about your wife’s labor and delivery experience, these are things you do not say to your sister, who will deliver in less than a month:

  • “she is doing good, hurting a little because EVERYTHING TORE APART.  i didn’t even know what was what.  but she’s ok now.  sore.”  {i kid you not, a direct quote from a text he sent me, capitalization and all}
  • she pushed for 4 hours
  • “oh yeah and the epidural only numbed her belly and leg!  talk soon.”  {also a direct quote, and why did he use an exclamation point?  that’s not at all exciting.}

thought 4: expectations

so, i didn’t run down to the hospital to meet my nephew on his birthday.  not that i’m not excited, but i had several things going on that day.  i had to leave work {for the second time that week} for a long doctor appointment.  after that, i had to log on from home to finish up my workday only to find that everything was a hot mess and i needed to put in several more hours of work that evening.  after that, i wanted to do something for me, so i decided to exercise.  by that time, hubby came home and it was time for dinner.  then, was i really going to get myself ready and go back uptown to visit the baby at 8 pm {remember, i’m a tired pregnant person}?  i figured no, because they’ll be there tomorrow.  and they were likely more tired.  and, i texted my brother earlier that day and got no response, so i figured they were overwhelmed.  and {here’s the selfish thought}, do i really want to be in a place full of germs during cold and flu season if i don’t have to be?

well, apparently my family had different expectations of me on my nephew’s birthday.  i started receiving text messages asking if i was busy and why i hadn’t gone to the hospital yet from my father.  he told me “you need to call tonight, your brother wants to share this with you.”  i’m  sorry, but i’m an adult with a life to manage.  i do not need to justify myself to my father or anyone for that matter {other than God}.

clearly my family is “all in” on these type of events.  which is all good if that’s what the couple desires.  again, don’t think the brother and sister-in-law minded, but i worry that my family won’t understand that all of the attention isn’t necessarily what hubby and i desire.

thought 5: if you’re sick, stay home

so after my nephew arrived, we had a little get together at my grandmother’s house to celebrate my sister-in-law and the baby because her baby shower prior to the baby’s birth was cancelled after her first pre-term labor episode and because she got sick.  i guess not wanting to miss the fun, several family members showed up to the get together sick or with illness in their immediate family members at home {one of my aunts was late because one of her daughters got sick in the car on the way down and she had to take her back home}.  then these people proceeded to hold and snuggle the 10 day old infant {without washing hands}.  i pray my nephew is healthy.  all i can say is that this event didn’t fare well for me because i came down with a nasty cold 2 days later {part of the reason i’m behind on blogging}.  guess hubby and i will have to be selective on who comes around and holds bitty after he arrives.

thought 6: how will our labor and delivery experience shake out?

if you haven’t gathered from what i’ve shared above, hubby and i are not fans of extra attention.  while we appreciate the prayers and support from our family, we are also a bit private {i guess that’s the right word}.  we definitely can’t wait to introduce our son to our family, but we feel this doesn’t need to take place within an hour or two of giving birth.  we want skin to skin, bitty’s first meal, stitches and getting cleaned up for me to be just for our family of 3.  we don’t think my extended family needs group texts with my cervical progression, and i certainly don’t want any pictures of me remotely uncovered with the baby being taken by my parents and sent to others.

again, we don’t know how our actual labor and delivery experience will unfold, but the current plan is to be induced in about a week at 39 weeks.  i feel we should share my expectations with my parents, hubby’s parents, and my local grandma prior to the onset of labor.  if bitty is still head down and things seem system go for induction after my OB appointment this week, i plan to send a group email {so it doesn’t look like i’m calling out any one individual} with the date of our induction and our expectation for visits.  hubby’s parents have already told us just to tell them when we’re ready and that they don’t feel the need to be present at every moment if that’s not our desire {why can’t my parents be this awesome?}.

one thing i struggle with is the thought of something going wrong… what if that happens and i’ve just pushed my family away?  hubby and i have fought so hard for this baby, i definitely don’t want my wish for privacy to be a reason something goes wrong.  but i don’t think things work this way.  at least i pray they don’t.

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3rd trimester – week 35 so far

our 35 week ultrasound went well.  bitty boy measured in the 58th percentile, which was great news.  he was asleep the whole time and didn’t want to show us his face {despite the ultrasound tech’s attempt to wake him up by hitting my belly repeatedly with the ultrasound wand.  really, lady?}.  the biggest surprise of the appointment was that we learned he is head down now!  i’m still shocked since he had been transverse for 2 months, presumably due to having a uterus with more space horizontally than vertically {the byproduct of having a repaired septate uterus}.  honestly, i wasn’t mentally prepared to hear he is head down.  it took a while to get used to the idea that he would likely arrive via c-section, but i managed to get there by thinking of the benefits like having a scheduled date and avoiding rips.  i’d rather have a vaginal delivery, but the fear of the unknown {when will i go into labor, will my water break, who will be on call} is definitely getting the best of me.  but really, we are likely several weeks away from d-day, and let’s face it, i can plan as much as I want, but just because i have a plan doesn’t mean that’s how it will go.

the day after my appointment with the high risk doctor, i had a follow up with my OB.  he seemed perplexed by my extremely low papp-a level, but healthy looking baby.  he told me he called the high risk doctor.  the appointment was very informative as he shared their plans for me and bitty over the next several weeks.  i will have weekly NSTs for the next 3 weeks.  {assuming nothing happens before}, i will be induced at 39 weeks if my cervix “shows favorability.”  if it doesn’t, i will have two NSTs during week 39.  and i’m not to pass my due date.  sounds good to me!  my OB also tested for group B strep this week, so i guess i’ll get the results next week.

i still have lots of baby prep to do – pack hospital bags, set up playard/bassinet, organize his room, buy diapers {that one is probably key}, get car seat inspected, and the list goes on.  hubby and i did take an infant CPR class this week.

here’s my update for week 35 so far:

  • weight gain: up 3 lbs for a total of 16.  is 3 lbs too much for one week?  let’s just say i didn’t deny myself nightly oreos and milk after last week’s 1 lb loss.  oops.
  • symptoms: i think i may never sleep well again.  here’s a new one, the bottom of my feet itch at bedtime {after i’ve showered and already covered them in lotion because i know they will itch}.  does this happen to anyone else?  also new, my ankles hurt.  maybe due to new flats?  and maybe i have slightly swollen feet, hard to tell.  indigestion, still.
  • emotions: disaster.  can i blame the hormones?  or maybe lack of sleep?  either way, just trying to pray through it all.
  • baby bump: i think it’s getting bigger.  maybe it’s those 3 lbs i gained over the course of the last week.
  • movement: lots of presses and baby hiccups.  the high risk doctor told me i should be kick counting, so i’ve started doing this when i’m at my desk during the day.
  • stretch marks: left boob.

in other news, brother and his wife had their baby this week.  it’s created quite the stir in my emotions.  so much so that it will get it’s own space on the blog and world wide web.  hopefully i can squeeze that post in soon as i need to get my thoughts out and “organized.”

3rd trimester – week 34

yet another week has passed, and we’re 5 weeks 1 day until full term.  crazy.  especially since i don’t look like it {i’ll get to my complex in a bit}.  as always, this week was busy.  here are the highlights:

  1. i had my first NST this week, and it went well.  little boy was pretty active.  the nurse walked in and said “holy happy baby” after he’d only been on the monitor for 10-15 minutes.
  2. i finished all of my thank you cards from the baby shower, which i felt like i needed to do before i could continue to focus on prepping for our boy.  i knew that once i mixed up all the gifts, it might be harder to identify who gave what as i tried to write thank you notes.
  3. i took a half day off work on thursday afternoon, and my mother-in-law and i went to a big consignment sale.  my goal was to score an exersaucer and an infant play mat.  i met my goal and then some {with a few cute little boy outfits}, but i’m not sure i’m thrilled with the infant play mat.  it’s missing some of the toys that hang down and make it fun.

this weekend was supposed to be 100% dedicated to baby preparations.  we did a lot of things for bitty, but of course, i didn’t get as much as i hoped accomplished.  his first load of laundry is going now {you have no idea how hard it was for me to start taking tags off to start washing little teeny clothes}.  hubby just installed bitty’s car seat, maybe we can get it inspected next weekend.  i bought a few nursing friendly bras/tops so that i can start packing my hospital bag.  speaking of nursing, hubby and i took a breastfeeding basics class at the hospital on saturday morning.  i’m glad we did.  it was very informative.  in fact, so informative that i learned my PCOS diagnosis will haunt me for life.  as if getting pregnant were not hard enough, apparently women with polycystic ovaries have a harder time establishing their milk supply.  awesome.  and apparently if your breasts haven’t grown that much throughout pregnancy {yeah, that’s me… well nothing’s really grown that much}, that can also be a bad sign.  really awesome.  oh, and flat nipples aren’t the best for breastfeeding either.  think i have those as well.  really super awesome.  one day at a time.

here’s my update for week 34:

  • weight gain: are you ready for this?  minus 1 lb.  i had to do a double take.  kind of concerning.  my doctor didn’t seem too worried as long as it doesn’t become a trend.  surely i still have normal “water weight” fluctuations right?  i just find it hard to believe that over a two week period i lost a pound while growing a baby.  if i gain a pound a week until full term, then i will gain a total of approximately 20 lbs.  seems easier for the post-baby weight loss aspect, but still doesn’t seem right.
  • food aversions: i should stop putting this category here.  there are certain things i don’t love, but that was the case before i was pregnant.
  • food cravings: starbucks’ strawberry banana smoothie {they tried to slip one past me and not put a banana in it this week.  you really think a pregnant girl won’t notice that?}.  walnut chocolate chip cookies {from just fresh}.  fun fruit like kiwis and strawberries.
  • symptoms: here are some new ones: wetting myself ever so slightly while sneezing, waking up several times a night/not sleeping well {takes being sleepy to a whole new level}, real bad pregnancy brain {we almost stood some friends up for brunch today – oops}.  ones i haven’t mentioned in a while: charlie horses in my calf muscles {yikes}, tight belly skin.  otherwise the same ones: indigestion/reflux {although i don’t think it’s caused by dairy – maybe it’s just caused by pregnancy}, constipation, pregnancy gingivitis, rib pain, occasional pressure/tightening, shortness of breath.
  • emotions: anxious, excited, afraid.
  • baby bump: according to the universe, too small for 34 weeks.  my OB also skipped the measurement this week.  please keep growing, little boy.
  • movement: presses {that seem to be getting stronger}, lots of stirring, lots of baby hiccups.
  • stretch marks: still the left breast.

i have an ultrasound with the high risk doctor on tuesday to check in on the baby’s growth.  he is now just monitoring to make sure low papp-a doesn’t cause growth restriction.  since my belly seems to be a bit on the tiny side, i’m a little anxious for this appointment.  but really, what am i not anxious about?  also, if bitty is still breech/transverse, my OB will likely go ahead and schedule a c-section for 39 weeks.

for now, i’m grateful for how far we’ve come.  i keep praying Jeremiah 32:17.  God is mighty, so i’m going to focus on not worrying this week.

3rd trimester – week 33

week 33 flew by, but it was fun!  we had snow twice last week, just enough to look pretty and not mess up the roads {my kind of snow}.  i got my hair trimmed up on thursday, and then got a mani/pedi {totally awesome and long overdue} on friday morning in preparation for my baby shower on saturday!  hubby and i took friday off work, so we spent time in bitty’s nursery setting up his bookshelf and hanging ledges, pictures, a painting, and a mobile.  i haven’t taken a picture yet, but will do that and post it soon!

moving to saturday, the baby shower was such a special event.  i really enjoyed the time to celebrate with friends and family, and i feel so incredibly blessed.  bitty is a lucky and loved little boy, he certainly racked up on gifts.  it’s still so surreal to me – that i finally had a baby shower for me.  i’m so thankful to our Lord for our little boy and that we’ve made it this far.  only 6 weeks to go!  here are a few pictures from the shower.

me with the hostesses:

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group photo:

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the lovely {and tasty cake}:

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opening gifts:

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this one is pretty special.  the bath bucket was given to one of my sweet aunts at her baby shower for her first baby boy {16 years ago}:

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a beautiful hand knitted blanket from my mother-in-law:

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sweet personalized gifts.  i guess i should mention that we finally decided on a name.  first name is brian {hubby’s middle name} and his middle name is my maiden name, so he has our middle names:

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saturday afternoon/today, hubby and i {mostly i} have spent time writing thank you notes and inventorying what we have/still need for baby  we were able to go buy bitty’s car seat today.  we still have a few more things to get, so we’ll work on that over the next few weeks.  i also need to pack my hospital bag so it’s ready to go {kind of hard since i only have a few things that fit and since i use most of the things i would pack on a daily basis}.  i guess i can pack the baby’s portion.  i also need to go buy nursing bras, but the bra specialist at nordstrom said it’s best to wait until 2 weeks before your due date {yikes, that’s cutting it kind of close}.  having a baby is kind of like planning a wedding – there is only so much you can do until towards the end.

here’s my update for week 33:

  • weight gain: don’t know, but it has to be at least a couple of lbs after lots of cake the past couple of weeks {hubby’s birthday and baby shower}.  i’ll get the official count at my doctor appointment tomorrow.
  • food aversions: nothing noteworthy.
  • food cravings: also, nothing noteworthy.
  • symptoms: indigestion/reflux is back – doesn’t seem to matter what i eat, but maybe cheese and dairy make it a bit worse.  otherwise the same… pregnancy gingivitis, not sleeping well, rib pain, occasional pressure/tightening, shortness of breath, constipation.
  • emotions: a little more relaxed, which is hard for me.  i feel like i’m not me if i’m not worrying.
  • baby bump: my favorite phrase from the past week or so is “you look like you swallowed a basketball.”  i’ll get measured at the OB tomorrow.
  • movement: presses, wiggles, kicks, and lots of baby hiccups.
  • stretch marks: still the left breast.

tomorrow is the beginning of week 34.  i have a regular OB appointment and my first NST.  i’m praying everything goes well!