Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pregnancy Week 32

Week 32 for Baby: Little girl now weighs about 3.75lbs and is measuring about 16.5in. She is now sporting toenails, fingernails and hair! Her skin is smoothing out as she gains weight and she is gaining about half a pound a week at this point.

Week 32 for Mom:Sorry, no picture again this week :( I have been continuing to get the house ready for Trayton's 2nd birthday party and getting ahead on projects for school. We have also been at the hospital to visit Ryan's grandma, Virginia who is not doing well. After catching pneumonia while trying to rehabilitate to go home at the nursing home, she took a turn for the worst and returned to St. Anthony. The focus at this point is on making her comfortable and making sure she is with family. My 28th birthday passed quietly (which I am thankful for during this time of sorrow) with my parents and Trayton, as Ryan traveled to Minnesota for his grandma Joyce's birthday. The pelvic pain on top of having high blood pressure would not have made for a good time traveling this trip. Braxton hicks contractions have came and went. I think the past few weeks have caught up to me because I am again, feeling exhausted. Only about a month left of nursing school!

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pregnancy Week 31

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
My guys on St. Patrick's Day!

Saying Happy St. Patrick's Day to Great Grandpa Minnehan after mass.

Week 31 for Baby: Our little girl's length this week is  around 16in and she weighs about 3.3lbs. She ca turn her head from side to side and she continues to accumulate adipose tissue under her skin.

Week 31 for Mom
Braxton Hicks contractions continue and I've noticed they are more prevalent at night during evening clinicals at the hospital. The evenings have not been as intense as days and I am thankful for the rest periods. Now that it is spring break, I have come down with a cold, no doubt caught during the nursing home clinicals. As we get the vaccines for influenza sooner and sooner in the fall, our coverage does not last as long as the potential to catch virus in the spring. I did go to the doctor and found it was just a common cold and neither influenza A nor B (thank goodness!) We took Trayton to the "Our New Baby" class at the hospital on Thursday the 15th. I think he was more interested in the other kids that were there and the snacks but it was nice to see what the class was all about. There were two children younger than him (15-20 months) and several who were older (3-9). He got the chance to change a doll's diaper which he liked and then hold it, which was amusing as he looked at it in disgust after the instructor told him he would be holding a baby. He then looked at me and let it roll off of his lap onto the floor, picked it up and placed it upside down in the car seat before coming back to sit by Ryan and me. It was all I could do not to laugh because I could read on his face what he was thinking...this is not a real baby and I don't want it... Ryan's brother and wife just had a new baby about two weeks ago and Trayton loves holding, kissing and stroking his hair. This doll clearly was no substitute for a baby! He then watched a video about bringing the baby home and how to help mom and dad, then got to see a real baby from outside the nursery which he was much more excited about that the doll. The class was a good introduction for children to a new family member and the instructor was fun, however it was focused on an audience about 4+ years of age. Trayton understands there is a baby in mama's tummy and has been able to feel her kick to which he responds by looking at me with these wide eyes, pointing to my belly and exclaiming baby! Ryan and I plan to keep explaining to him what is going on and make sure he is included in everything he can be with her as mama's little helper and teacher. Sorry, o belly picture this week as I have been really sidetracked with getting trim up and the house deep cleaned before Trayton's 2nd Birthday party on the 31st!    

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pregnancy Week 30

Week 30 for Baby: Little girl is about 15.5in long and now weighs about 3lbs. Her eyesight continues to develop and she continues to fill out with the weight she's gaining.
Week 30 for Mom: As you can see, we have the same shirt on as last week in this picture. Yes, I am at that point where I have about 10 shirts that completely cover my belly and she is all out front. Trayton on the other hand filled me out from side to side and rested much higher. On the plus side, I have had no difficulty breathing with her because of her low position. I had an appointment on March 8th and doctor determine she was still positioned with her bottom down. He wasn't concerned at this point as she still has plenty of time to turn, however, if she does not turn by 37 weeks he would discuss with me external cephalic version (manually turning her from the outside by applying pressure to my abdomen and guiding her to a head down position.) Trouble sleeping has started to occur, one, because I have to get up to use the restroom at least once at night and two, the lovely hormone called progesterone has softened my ligaments even more, which means my pubic symphysis (the anterior portion here the pubic bones meet)the  is slightly sore at frequent intervals on top of the pressure I feel down there (she may just fall out once labor gets going!)  Weight gain was 4lbs, putting me at 224lbs and a total gain of 18lbs and I'm guessing some of it is due to water retention (you can now see the edema in my legs at night; its only a matter of time until my feet fall victim as well.)

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Less Stressful Delivery Day

Preparing for baby's arrival has been an ongoing project the past few weeks - most of which I was trying to put off until I have spring break but keep getting anxious. I'm worried I won't have enough time to get EVERYTHING done with classes and clinical before May. I recently met guest blogger Alan Cassidy online and was approached about hosting a guest post. Alan is a maternity, childbirth, infant and children's health advocate who researches and writes to improve the well-being of families. His post came at the perfect time for me as I'm getting little items accomplished on my list and trying not to become overwhelmed. Alan's post discusses some great ways to removing the stress of delivery day!
Removing the Stress of Delivery Day

Even with nine months to prepare, the day of delivery can still manage to catch moms off guard. Whether a first time mom or a veteran, the list of baby preparations can be long enough that only the most organized and diligent mom-to-be could hope to get through it. Rather than expending a ton of effort trying to prepare for every possible event, it’s a better idea to focus on those tasks that will provide a confident and calm attitude. Consider these tips commonly used by expectant mothers.

Keeping a Journal

Writing is a great way to organize thoughts, manifest hopes and release fears of the unknown. It’s also a great way to prepare for talks with health providers and loved ones about personal preferences for labor and delivery. Some mothers keep more than one journal, using one to keep track of things that need to be done and another to help process emotions. The only rule to using a journal in preparation for childbirth is that there are no rules.

 Know What to Expect

There is always the possibility that plans will need to be changed at the last moment, and even the baby deciding to come into the world earlier than planned can change a scheduled induction. Still, this is no reason to leave it all to fate. Everyone has preferences, and reading about options is a great way to get ideas and learn about the latest research on best childbirth practices. Mothers that decide on a home birth or want specific people present during the procedure should definitely include the appropriate people in these decisions well in advance.

Fortunately, there is ample time to make preferences known. Meetings with the obstetrician or midwife should prepared for by making a list of questions and talking points in advance. It is also a good idea to keep notes, though more providers are making the effort to provide their clients with printed materials. Childbirth classes offer a great opportunity to learn about optional procedures. Cord blood banking is one such option that collects the cord blood from the umbilical cord and saves if for the family as a potential medical resource for future illnesses.

Getting Physically Fit

While it is a good idea to follow a regular aerobic exercise program throughout pregnancy, there are some special exercises that will help with labor and birth. Classes can be found through childbirth clinics or area hospitals to teach Lamaze breathing, which can help maintain stamina and increase awareness of the body. Yoga for pregnancy and exercise targeting the urogenital diaphragm can strengthen the pelvic muscles. Learning about these options will help ensure a smooth delivery.

This article was written by Alan Cassidy, an active writer within the blogging community covering maternity and childbirth, and always advocating for infant and children’s health. Connect with him on Twitter @ACassidy22

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pregnancy Week 29

Week 29 for Baby:  Baby girl now weighs about 2.5lbs and is approximately 15in long. Her lungs continue to mature and her head is enlarging to accommodate her growing brain. Her skeleton is hardening and she will require more calcium (good for her I love milk and cheeses!) Things are pretty slow now, just maturing and gaining in weight.

Week 29 for Mom: Active at this point is an understatement for this little one...she moves all the time! I haven't been asked to count kicks because of all her movement. Heartburn seems to come around about the same time every night and I've been feeling a bit more tired (perhaps due to the increased number of clinical days we have now too.) There were two nights this week that the pressure on my pelvic floor was so bad I could barely move in bed, let alone get out of it to use the restroom. Looks like another trip to the chiropractor is in order! Only one more week until spring break! We are looking forward to taking Trayton to the "Our New Baby" class that our hospital offers on the 15th.
Week 29 Baby Girl

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!