Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful ...

…for my wonderful husband who has kept me sane, alive, and loved through this pregnancy and for so many years.
…for the upcoming birth of our daughter, Avery Grace. She’ll be here Friday morning, and we cannot wait to meet her!
…for all of our wonderful friends and family who have showered us with love and gifts to help us prepare for Avery’s arrival.
…for the end of pregnancy and the beginning of motherhood.
…that Avery’s arrival will give us plenty of time to prepare for and enjoy the holidays, Brian’s favorite season.
…that the next time I post on this blog, I’ll be sharing pictures of our little girl!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What I can't wait to live without

We had our final doctor’s visit today, and basically nothing has changed. Avery is still breech, so the c-section is a go for Friday morning! She’ll be here before we know it!

In thinking about this being my final pre-natal appointment of this pregnancy, most likely my final OB appointment EVER, I started to realize how many items/experiences/etc. I’ll never (EVER) have to deal with again starting in about 3 days …

1-Zofran, the anti-nausea God-send of a medication that allowed me to survive my hyperemisis-pregnancy even though the doctors couldn’t guarantee it was totally safe.

2-Maternity clothes. Let’s face it. Most women buy clothes to make them look smaller, even when they’re in their Size-2-Non-Pregnant glory. There is not a single piece of maternity clothing that can make you look smaller. Okay, I know I’ll probably still live in these for a while, but at least I’ll start to have other options soon.

3-Toilet Paper. Yes, I know I’ll continue to use it on a daily basis, but I’m hoping to stop going through an entire roll each and every day. Insider trading tip: Sell your market shares of toilet paper now! Consumption at my house is going down ASAP!

4-Darker hair. Sure, I know lots of beautiful brunettes, but I’m a natural-born-dye-job-blonde. I miss my lighter shade, and once these lightening-fast-hair-growing hormones are under control I’ll be back to my ‘natural’ self.

5-IV Pole. Seriously, how many people do you know that have their very own IV pole just sitting around in their garage? We also had a fridge full of anti-nausea meds in syringes and a box of glucose/saline fluids until a few weeks ago. If any of my family members are reading this, you better send me your Christmas wish lists soon. Once I’m a sleep-deprived new parent, I cannot promise that this one won’t get wrapped up in your holiday gift bag.

6-Nausea.

7-The epically slow passage of time. You know how, when you hear that somebody else is pregnant, it seems like they have a toddler two days later? Yeah, not so much when you’re the one who is pregnant. I’m definitely ready to move into a new phase of this experience. I’m ready for sleep deprivation to be caused by the joy of nurturing my child, and not leg cramps, bathroom trips, etc. I’m ready for general physical discomfort to be caused by my body healing and eventually getting back into shape (a shape other than ‘round’). I’m ready to meet Avery Grace and start our life together as a family! We’re about 62 hours away from her arrival!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Final Week

Last week I thought that I had created a new stage of grief – Persuasion to Acceptance. However, I’m starting to realize that I don’t need to use my head to talk myself into accepting my c-section fate. My body is doing a great job persuading me all on its own. I think there is something to be said about the miserable state your body enters into at the end of pregnancy. By Friday morning, I’m pretty sure that I won’t care how Avery is delivered as long as pregnancy is over (and, of course, we have a happy, healthy baby girl in our arms)! Aside from feeling pretty miserable, I think it’s totally unfair to make it through almost an entire pregnancy without a single stretch mark only to get them in your final week.

Anyway, except for feeling pretty uncomfortable, I’m really excited to begin this week knowing that we’ll end it with our little girl! Friday morning can’t get here fast enough! That said, I’m taking bets and/or guesses as to what kind of curve ball will be thrown at us this week. We’ve managed to fall into the ‘that only happens to less than 2% of pregnant women’ category so many times over the last 38 ½ weeks, I can only imagine what will happen in the next 4 days!

Any thoughts? What kind of ‘excitement’ should we expect? Will it be related to pregnancy? Traffic? Weather? The holidays? I’m sure it will be something!

Friday, November 20, 2009

That would have been handy to know

So, yesterday I met with a car seat installation safety technician. Yes, she was actually a licensed professional. Who knew this even existed?! I found her to be very knowledgeable and helpful. Did you know that you should look at both the owner’s manual for your vehicle and the owner’s manual for the child safety seat when installing one? I didn’t. There are some tricks to the process that common sense can definitely cause you to overlook. Overall, we had done a fairly decent job of installing Avery’s car seat, and I’m pretty sure she would have been just fine without any of the tech’s changes. However, I must rant about one piece of information that came to light yesterday.

For those of you who know my sweet husband, you know he’s a bit of a perfectionist and a fairly intense neat freak. So, I was very excited when I found car seat protectors during the baby registry process. It’s a handy little piece of fabric that can be placed underneath a child car seat that is supposed to prevent the seat in your vehicle from being too damaged by the 20-30 pounds of baby and safety seat sitting on top. This great product even had a little flap that included a pocket for extra storage and looked very chic. At $15 a piece, I thought this was a great deal and registered (and received) two – one for my car and one for the husband’s car. I was very proud of this little find.

Fast forward to yesterday, and the technician tells me that we can’t use it. What? Huh? Isn’t it designed for this specific purpose? What else would you use it for? She tells me that, if I want to keep it in place, I’ll have to sign a disclaimer before she can officially approve the car seat installation. It will also void the manufacturer’s warranty and liability in the event of an impact (even if it’s obvious that the car seat itself was faulty and caused injury to my child). Well, that would have been handy to know about 3 months ago! There goes $30 worth of diapers.

I thought the wedding industry was a racket, but this whole baby product market really drives me insane. From products that claim to be safety tested and approved (by who? Your next door neighbor?!) to those that are constantly being recalled (seriously, if something is designed to be put in a baby’s mouth, maybe you shouldn’t use lead-based paint … just a thought), it all seems a little ridiculous to me. But that’s just my opinion.

Are there other products out there to avoid? Anything we should be weary about? And what do I do with the car seat protectors?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another doctor's appointment

Yes, another one. They’re coming weekly at this point. Fortunately, next week is the final one! Avery is still stubborn, uh, I mean breech, so it looks the scheduled c-section next Friday is still the plan. I think I’ve created a new stage of grief – persuasion. I’ve done the anger, denial, etc., and now I’m attempting to persuade myself into acceptance. I’m just so over pregnancy and having been sick for so long that the idea of recovering from surgery is less than appealing. I know, I know. It doesn’t matter how she arrives as long as we’re both healthy … blah, blah, blah! I appreciate the encouragement, but I’m also over all the optimism. Plenty of people have healthy, happy hyperemesis-free pregnancies. Plenty of people deliver healthy, happy babies without c-sections. I just want to be one of those people who doesn’t fall into that 2-10% ‘what other crappy thing can happen to you in pregnancy’ statistic.

Okay, off the soap box. Can you tell I’m almost 38 weeks, almost at the end? I’m definitely feeling the end-of-the-third-trimester frustrations. Anyway, the doctor’s appointment went well. Actually, it was fairly uneventful. As I already noted, Avery is still breech. She still has her feet on her head and refuses to move. Her heartbeat is right around 140, which is normal. And, I actually lost a pound. Who knew the ice cream and cookies pregnancy diet could be so effective?!

As someone who has never had real surgery before, I also had several random, but important questions for the doctor.

Q – Can I wear nail polish to the c-section?
A – Yes.
My response – Better schedule a pedicure.

Q – Can I wear make-up during the surgery?
A – Yes.
My response – Good. I was going to anyway.

Q – Can I wear contacts or do I have to wear glasses?
A – Contacts are okay.
My response – Good, because my glasses prescription is about 4 years old, and I’d like to be able to see my daughter when she’s born.

Now that I have answers to all of the important questions, I feel like the persuasion-to-acceptance stage is going to be a little more productive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Odds & Ends

It’s been a busy few weeks! Our dresser/changing table finally arrived (about 6 weeks later than expected), so we were able to finish organizing and decorating Avery’s room. There are still some last minute things I’d like to do, but at least everything is in place now.

Here are a few pictures of the nursery. I'm a little disappointed, because the camera really doesn't do justice to all the cute butterflies and purple/green accents in the room.





We also installed the car seat and extra car seat base over the weekend and assembled the pack ‘n play where we plan to let Avery sleep when she comes home during those first few weeks. And, more importantly (just kidding, well, maybe), some very special accessories finally arrived in the mail!
Avery’s very chic hat and bows.
Avery’s first Christmas ornaments.
I’ve also had several requests for some pictures of my belly! I posted a few of the professional maternity photos a few weeks ago, but here is a nice comparison during the last trimester.

Me at 34 weeks and 37 weeks.
If our little girl maintains her stubborn streak (and since she’s my child, I know she will) and refuses to turn head down, we’ll be welcoming her next Friday morning! It’s almost hard to believe, but we’re so excited!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Newborn's Conversation with God

I got this email today, and it made me cry. I’m not typically this sappy … I blame the hormones! However, the sentiment is very sweet, so I thought I’d share.

A Newborn's Conversation with God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the small child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, You will simply call her, "Mom."

Friday, November 13, 2009

It's Official!

We are officially scheduled for a c-section on November 27th at 7 am! Of course, now that we have a plan, I’m sure Avery will change her mind and throw us some kind of curve ball. I’m still hoping she turns, but I’m trying (and slowly beginning) to accept that a c-section won’t be that bad.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ultrasound today

We had our 4th ultrasound today, and Avery is …. still … breech. In fact, she’s still in the exact same position she was in 6 weeks ago, curled up in a ball with her feet on her head and her hands in front of her face. Dr. Darby informed us that we have about a 30-50% chance of successfully turning her by doing a version. We would have to schedule it for Monday or Tuesday and the likelihood of still needing a c-section is fairly high. That said, we’ve decided not to do the version technique to try and turn her head down. We’ll let her ‘incubate’ for another 2 weeks and schedule our c-section around 39 weeks. Depending on the holiday schedule at the hospital and, more importantly, the availability of the anesthesiologist, we’re hoping that she will be born the day after Thanksgiving on November 27th. If that date doesn’t work, we’ll have to schedule something for the following Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully we can get everything set by tomorrow or early next week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finally!

After calling the offices of both my OB and general practitioner (and the 211 flu hotline and many other sources) day in and day out for weeks, I’m finally going to get my H1N1 vaccine tomorrow morning! Finally! I know this is somewhat of a controversial issue, but I’m a modern-day-medicine-kind of girl. I got the seasonal flu shot back in September, and anything included in this year’s H1N1 vaccine will be in next year’s seasonal flu vaccine. So, if it’s going to be okay for pregnant women a year from now, I’m going to take my chances tomorrow.

Here are a few stats:
How far along: 36 ½ weeksNet weight gain: 21 lbs.
Sleep: Sleeping well … for about 45 minutes at a time. Between the awful pain in my hips that keeps me flipping/rolling around all night and the frequent trips to the bathroom, I’m relatively impressed at how much sleep I’m actually still getting.
Baby movement: She moves like crazy! Except when she goes an entire day without moving at all and completely freaks me out. She’s a night owl for sure, and is much more active late in the day. She also reacts well to peppermint ice cream and Brian’s voice.
Cravings: None really. Luckily, some of the healthier foods that once made me so nauseous are back on my stomach’s approved list … fruit and grilled chicken have been treating me quite well lately.
Food aversions: Okay, so the grilled chicken has to come with extra pickles on a bun from Chic-fil-a, but it’s better than a fried sandwich! Veggies are still hit or miss.
What I miss: Diet soda, cold turkey sandwiches, champagne.
Looking forward to: The ultrasound on Thursday. Hopefully it will give us a better idea of what the coming weeks will bring!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stealing from Stephanie

Stephanie posted a recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Muffins yesterday, and it was just too tasty and easy not to share!

Ingredients
1 – 15 oz can of 100% pure pumpkin
1 – box of spice cake mix
1 – cup of semi-sweet or white chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Mix the 3 ingredients together. Do NOT add the eggs and oil the cake mix tells you to add. Grease your muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes. It can’t get much easier than that!

I actually used the miniature chocolate chips and made mini-muffins, which yielded about 4 dozen (and didn't take quite as long to bake, about 16 minutes). Otherwise, Stephanie says that you get about 15 regular sized muffins.

For somebody who loves to cook but hasn’t really been able to for the last 9 months, this was great! I actually felt somewhat useful again, even though this was super quick and really simple. I’m all about the 3-ingredient recipes these days, especially ones that don’t keep me on my feet for more than 15-20 minutes! Thanks, Stephanie!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Still breech!

Avery’s new nickname is Trouble! Based on what she could feel by pushing on my stomach, the doctor is about 80% sure Avery is still in the breech position. I’m even more certain because I can still feel her kicking low, and I’m pretty sure her head has taken up permanent residence between my ribs. So, we’re going to do another (our 4th!) ultrasound next Thursday to determine her exact position. If she is still not cooperating, the doctor will advise us as to whether doing an external version is a viable option.

External version is where the doctor uses a sonogram to guide him as he applies external pressure to the baby and tries to get her to flip. It’s a procedure that is supposed to be relatively uncomfortable, even painful. However, it is also brief – they should know if they can successfully turn her in less than 5 minutes. That said, if it is a viable option for us (i.e., she’s small enough and has enough room to turn, there is enough amniotic fluid, etc.), we are probably going to try it. As far as I’m concerned, 5 minutes of pain is worth a shot if it means I won’t have to have a c-section and recover from surgery for weeks on end. Unfortunately, the procedure is not a guarantee – even if it works, she could always flip back. And, knowing our little ball of Attitude & Trouble, she probably will!

So, if external version doesn’t work and/or if we decide it’s not a good option, we’re looking at welcoming our little Avery Grace the week of Thanksgiving. We would likely end up scheduling the c-section one of the days toward the end of that week (Wednesday-Saturday), depending on the hospital’s holiday schedule and when they would allow ‘elective’ c-sections. We will know much more after the ultrasound next week, but time is definitely running out! She could be here in just 3 weeks! Until then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she flips – with or without the EV – and stays that way until December 4th!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Packing a bag

I swore I’d have a hospital bag packed and ready to go by November 1st. Given that it’s November 2nd and my suitcase is still hidden in the closet somewhere, I have clearly procrastinated. I typically believe that there is some reasoning behind avoiding tasks like these (aside from laziness, of course), but I just can’t figure out what my problem is on this one. The only thing I can come up with is that sorting through laundry and packing a bag requires a lot of moving, bending, and general mobility, which I seem to be lacking lately. There are also some clothes that I want to pack for the hospital that I still enjoy wearing (i.e. big, stretchy, comfy pants!), which poses the question … when do I part ways with these and commit them to the suitcase?

Another general question I’ve been considering is exactly what I need to bring along to the hospital. Seriously, I have lists from websites, books, nurses, etc. and all of them are different. Lists seem to include anything from ‘pack everything you own’ to ‘just bring your belly and a car seat’ … none of which is helpful! For those of you who have done this recently, I’m taking any and all suggestions for what to pack and/or what not to pack. I mean, is there really time/energy to read books and magazines while you’re there? I can’t imagine so, but they’re on every list I’ve seen!

I’m also concerned over what type of outfit to bring for Avery’s homecoming. The problem is that she’s due in December. Technically, this is a winter month. But, let’s be honest, this is Texas! It could be 80 degrees. It could also be 40 degrees. She could fit perfectly in a newborn-sized outfit or need a size bigger. I think I have 3 different outfits and matching socks, mittens, hats, blankets, etc. piled up to go in the suitcase. With all of this concern and my luck, she’ll end up coming home in some hospital-issued onsie!

Overall, I have to say that packing a bag for a sunny, tropical island destination requires much less thought/planning than packing up to deliver a baby. And, I start making lists and packing weeks in advance of a vacation! For now, I should at least pull the suitcase out of the closet. Perhaps staring at its empty existence will inspire me.