Tag: pregnancy

Jude’s 40 Weeks

I tend to forget a lot about my pregnancies after the baby comes … maybe that’s partly why we have three kids, because of mommy amnesia? God’s way of getting us to go through the whole thing again. Anyway …

I did Project 365 while pregnant with Seth, so I have an almost daily pictorial record of that precious time. I did sporadic updates with Nora while I was pregnant, so I at least have that (and pictures, of course). I didn’t blog at all while pregnant with Jude, so there’s no real record of his belly time! I want to write down what I remember about the pregnancy so I can keep these memories before they all start to fade.

Due Date: 12/26/2012        Birth Date: 12/25/2012 (HURRAY, Jude!)

When we found out: Now that I think about it, I think we found out on the six-year anniversary of when we got engaged! It was either that day or the day after … so let’s say late April. I have a vague memory of my over-developed sense of smell hinting that I was pregnant. We were expecting and hoping it was true, but I’m always super-paranoid. We were trying to get pregnant, so I had stocked up on pregnancy tests at the dollar store. Man … why didn’t I learn about those earlier?! Took me until the third kid to figure that one out …

How we told people: A few people had to know sooner rather than later because my morning sickness starts early and goes hard fast. We didn’t know how to get the news out to all of our family at once, though, and we wanted to make sure that we were fair in letting grandparents and aunts and uncles know around the same time. There are just too many time zones to deal with, and Facebook makes it very hard to keep a pregnancy secret! In the end, I bought some digital clip art from Etsy and made this announcement:

Pregnancy Announcement

Baby’s nickname: Since we don’t find out the baby’s sex, each of our kids gets a special nickname for the pregnancy. Seth was Bunny, Nora was Duckie, and Jude was our Baby Lamb or Lambie.

Special challenges: Horrible, awful morning sickness? check. I can now say it seems to be standard for my pregnancies. I’ve thought about naming each child “Zofran” after the anti-nausea medicine I live on four 4.5 months. Also, at about four months in (or less), I started developing excruciating pain in my hips and lower back. My OB and my chiropractor agreed that it was probably the hormone dump causing my joints there to over-loosen, and they were basically just sliding around and not staying in proper alignment at all. It was horribly painful for several months, then gave me a break, then started to come back, and then went away almost immediately after delivery. Go figure. My chiropractor became my best friend! Hey, at least it’s not the uncontrolled asthma I developed with Seth or the gall bladder issues I had with Nora!

16ish weeks - Baby Lamb
16ish weeks – Baby Lamb. Please ignore the stupid hair.

Cravings: It seemed like I craved everything, at some point in time! Let’s see … the highlights were: chicken chalupas from Chuy’s, Indian food (specifically saag paneer), Vietnamese grilled chicken and vermicelli, sushi … I think Jude should have a well-developed palate.

20 weeks - Baby Lamb
20 weeks – Baby Lamb

Weight Gained: I was doing so well until the last month, which may be a trend with my pregnancies. I had gained about 30 pounds and then – starting at about 36 weeks – I gained another 3-4 pounds PER WEEK. I was retaining water like a fiend! Gone were the wedding rings, gone were any shoes that didn’t allow for swollen-ness … ugh.  I was probably at about 40 pounds gained by the time I went into labor. Still – I wore smaller clothes sizes and felt better overall than in either of my previous pregnancies! Go, Jude!

Halloween - Baby Lamb's Moonwalk
Halloween – Baby Lamb was the moon for Astronaut Snoopy’s moonwalk

Special moments: Sharing this pregnancy with Seth and Nora has been so neat. We told them once I actually started showing and we could find the heartbeat with the fetal doppler we have at home. Nora would ask to hear baby’s heart-beep, and we’d all gather up and listen to the little baby. Seth always wanted to kiss and hug “the baby” (my belly) and give the baby zerberts, and Nora had to do it too. (Ew.)

It was also really special to have the timing of this pregnancy. I was due the day after Christmas, and I was pretty positive we were having a boy. Even though I know December 25 isn’t Christ’s actual birthday, it was very interesting to experience Advent and the Christmas preparations at (theoretically) the same stages as Mary, but with the advantage of knowing how the story ends. And it got me through those very uncomfortable last weeks. My mantra became, “At least I’m not on a donkey or giving birth in a barn.”

Also very special: my mom moved in with us in June, and this was the first of my pregnancies that she actually got to be there for. Whether or not she enjoyed it is an entirely different story.

Low lights: Morning sickness until over halfway through the pregnancy. The excruciating back and hip pain that made walking almost impossible. (There went my exercise plan!) Mountains of stress beginning in the summer: major household changes, getting our house ready to sell, putting it on the market, my sweet cat died, selling our house and moving away from my babies’ nursery, moving to a rental house right before Thanksgiving (almost 9 months pregnant), and getting ready to move again to our newly-built home (with a 5-6 week old). At least there’s not a chance of hurricane evacuation like we had to do with Seth!

35 weeks - Baby Lamb
35 weeks – Baby Lamb

Preparations: You’d think that with the third baby I’d have a lot of this down, but there is seriously so much that you forget! I had to confine myself to Pinterest for nursery preparations since we knew we were moving. Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to be pregnant and full of nesting energy and not be able to prepare for your baby? Knowing the whole time that by the time you GET to prepare, your baby will be almost out of the newborn stage, your hands will be full with everything else, and your maternity leave will almost be over? It was all good reasons for this delay but this was one of many things that made me very jealous/envious while I was pregnant. (Bad Erin.)

Physically, I couldn’t do much. Mentally, I prepped for labor and delivery by using Hypnobabies again. I love my Hypnobabies. It’s self-hypnosis (“eyes open hypnosis and anesthesia” is kind of how they bill it) tracks that you listen to while pregnant to teach yourself to relax and also automatic cues for triggering the relaxation responses while you’re out of your usual mind in labor. If anything, it’s helped me have a positive and healthier attitude while pregnant, manage my stress a little better, and it did help me during labor. (More on that later.)

A lot of our preparations were for our kids: getting them used to the idea of a new baby, planting seeds of what having a baby in our house would be like, explaining how our new baby would come to our family, etc.

Bottom line: it was a good 40 weeks … no hospitalizations (Seth), no crazy gall bladder pain (Nora), and it wasn’t during the middle of summer! And Mr. Jude came one day before his due date instead of needing to come earlier (Seth) or just hanging out an extra week (Nora). What an excellent boy. 🙂

We’re still waiting …

Despite the contractions that started early this morning, we are still without new baby this evening. I hoped this really was going to be it. Not only am I nearing that JUST GET OUT stage of pregnancy, this is the one day in a good stretch that isn’t already a friend or family member’s birthday.

Today was supposed to be my last OB check-up. My OB, bless her, ended up getting called over to the hospital so quickly that she ran out of the office still on the phone, without telling her staff where she was headed. They waited for the text to hear what was going on so they’d know how long the waits would be, but in the meantime they started moving people around as best they could. I know it’s a fact of life that OB/GYN appointments are some of the longest waits ever, but really … when I know that when it really matters my OB will drop everything like that to go take care of one of her patients, that makes me feel pretty good about her attention and care for me as another patient. I can wait.

Today we saw the nurse practitioner, who I also love. Some changes, but not a whole lot of “progress”. There are more and more signs that my body is gearing up for labor, though. She said that everything today could have been signs of very early labor, or it could be a while longer. (Every profession has their own personal version of “It depends.”) “You still okay with waiting it out and being patient?” [i.e., no induction planned when I go post-due date] “Yep, as of this week I’m definitely still good with that.”  I’d just rather not do that again unless (as with Seth) something really necessitates it!

We left with instructions to go walk a lot and some clues about when to actually head to the hospital. And then we walked … and walked … and ate lunch. And walked some more. Still no baby, but lots of discomfort and irregular patterns of contractions. We’ll see what the next few days bring …

Anticipation

We’re in the Baby Watch phase now. Any day could be a leisurely plod toward or beyond my due date (December 26), or it could be THE DAY. We’re not getting very helpful indicators from the baby or me, either. There have been definite signs of readiness, but nothing that has moved us into the full-on “having a baby!” stage.

On Friday night my mother and I went to see Lincoln. Oh wow, was that good. There were parts of the movie I just didn’t feel like my brain was smart enough to understand … I needed a warm-up to be able to follow some of the dialogue. It wasn’t that I felt condescended to or that the movie was trying to be too intellectual; I just felt like my brain wasn’t working as fast as the dialogue was flowing. If I were reading the screenplay, I’d have to go back and re-read a few sections a few times before moving on. I guess that’s sort of a hook for re-watching the movie, right?

So we’re sitting in there, about 40 minutes from the end, and I start having contractions. Suddenly my interest in this movie wanes a bit, and I wonder how serious they are with those threats about being escorted out for looking at my cell phone. I’m not talking about those little squeeze contractions, I’m talking full-on, close your eyes, breathe through it contractions. My impressed-ness with the movie kind of disappeared and it became the LONGEST MOVIE ON EARTH. It was still great and all, but did we need to drag out the ending like that? Okay, maybe I was biased.

Then after the movie? Nothing much. Contractions faded, baby remained in place.

That’s pretty much how the rest of the weekend has gone. I haven’t had the fully intense contractions again, but I’ve had spates of regular ones. I’m awake now, at 4 am, because I woke up so uncomfortable and crampy that I was hopeful of labor starting. Alas, it does not appear to be so …

We have my last prenatal appointment this morning, so we’ll see if there’s any news from that. Other than that, it’s wait and see …  The next guess in our baby pool is December 18, and we’d be good with that. Or, you know, whenever this baby decides to arrive. *sigh*

End of the Rope

Signs You May Be at the End of Your Pregnancy Rope
by Erin

You see this quote from Ina May Gaskin: “Squat 300 times a day, you’re going to give birth quickly.” You start seriously considering 300 squats a day as something normal and easy to work into your daily schedule at 37.5 weeks pregnant.

You watch a cute but not overwhelmingly life-changing, life-affirming, or original movie with David Tennant and a cute chick from Scotland, and you cry into a pillow because it was just so sweet and why can’t more people find love on a remote Scottish island?

The kids have a typical day of being sweet, being, horrid, and being totally obstinate, and you go to your room, shut the door. Go to the bathroom, shut the door. Go into the walk-in close, and shut the door. Then you finally start to feel like you may have a bit of quiet, and you start to cry for no reason.

The walk-in closet becomes your favorite place in the house because it puts three doors between you and anyone else.

You consider throwing away every single toy in the house just so you don’t have to hear “Take TURNS, Seth!” or “NO, NORA! That’s MINE!!” ever again. And it’s not just an idle thought … you start looking for boxes.

You wash all the cloth diapers that are bigger than newborn size and realize the elastic is shot in almost every single one … and wonder how you’re going to fix them all in the month before the baby is likely to start using them.

You try to tell the kids to do something, and can only get out the words that give the exact OPPOSITE message of what you’re trying to say.

You tell your husband about something sprained, and get really frustrated because you can’t seem to form the words you’re really trying to say: “sprayed with stain remover.”

You try to go to bed and rest, and give up because it just isn’t comfortable at all.

You cry for any and all of these reasons, and then for no reason at all.

38 weeks on Wednesday. We can do this, kid. We can make it to the end. This is the best and the worst part of pregnancy … so near, so far, so much guessing and anticipation and STRESS. Is it, isn’t it? Now? Not now. Deep, cleansing yoga breaths … or something like that.

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