Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Final Countdown!

We just had our 38 week prenatal visit and the verdict is.... (drumroll) we've dilated 1-2 cm and are progressing through what is called, 'latent labor' which means the earliest phase of labor which can take anywhere from mere hours to days or even weeks before reaching 4cm in dilation and consistent, rhythmic contractions which is when we head to the birthing center. Aargh! So yes, we're progressing but it feels like forever. I've definitely been feeling the contractions (of course, a milder version). I've had to take two sick days from work as I dealt with the cramping, backaches and exhaustion. Today was a better day. I actually got 5 hours of sleep last night...the most in weeks! YAY! So, after the doctor's appointment I headed to work to get some hours in and take my mind off of baby business for a bit. Thankfully, the exhaustion isn't as bad today but the cramping and backaches have been continual all day long. Unfortunately, they're just not getting their act together and becoming consistent. Wish us luck. It could be anyday now!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Waiting Game

Though the house is far from being clean and I still have laundry to put away, we're pretty much ready for the Big Day. Our bag is packed, 'care plans' have been arranged for the dog, the carseat is being installed, the baby's room is as ready as it will ever be, childbirth classes have been taken and materials reviewed. Now what?! We wait...and wait...and wait. This is the part that becomes increasingly frustrating. The Waiting Game.

We know that the longer she stays put the bigger and healthier she may be. Not to mention that our OB likes to let babies 'cook' for as long as possible if there's no sign of complications. But, we're so antsy to meet our little one that the waiting seems like an eternity. It certainly doesn't help when I come to work and each day they look at me with surprise that I haven't popped. And, it's already beginning to become annoying when I hear, "You're still here?" or "That baby isn't here yet?" I just wanna say, "Well, duh! Would I be walking into work if I just delivered last night?" the immortal words of Bill Engvall..."Here's Your Sign!"

False Labor is also a pain in the butt, literally and figuratively. Waking up at 3am with contractions so intense you can't sleep and backaches that won't cease only add to the frustration as I get my hopes up (and Chris's) only to have them dashed when everything slows down after 45 minutes. That's the key. They have to last 1 hour. So far I've been able to discern that it's false labor according to the OB because they slow down or decrease before that magic number. Until that happens, I just have to do as my friends say, "Suck it up, buttercup!" They definitely don't tell you about this part of pregnancy, the fact that your belly will suddenly and without warning, stiffen and cramp up into a hardened basketball leaving you breathless for a minute or so, or that this could go on for weeks and become painful. If it weren't for my baby books, classes and the internet I'd have no clue what was going on.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chris's Baby Dream

So, Chris had his first baby dream and wanted to share it with me. I found it so interesting I thought I'd share it with you!

He dreamt that we were coming home from the hospital with the baby. But, instead of him driving, he actually was in the back seat next to the baby in the carseat. I was in the passenger seat and he couldn't tell if anyone was driving and it didn't seem to matter. The baby was older than a newborn and able to talk and point. At one point he's playing with her and she points behind her (at me) and says, "who's that?" and Chris replies, "That's mommy," and they continue to play. And, then she points to him and asks, "Who are you?" and he replies, "I'm your daddy." And, that's the end of the dream.

Unusual? Yes. But, apparently, fairly common for expectant dads, at least according to I don't know what the significance is behind him willingly taking the backseat and not knowing who's driving. But, it could relate on a more spiritual level that he has finally accepted that he has no control over the outcome of what will happen but that he has faith that everything will be fine and we'll arrive 'home' safe. According to what we've read online, the playing and talking with the child is also very signficant in that it symbolizes acceptance and valuing of the child and an anticipation of fatherhood. This usually occurs earlier for women during the pregnancy as we are more involved in the process from the beginning, but this typically occurs later for men as the final months and weeks come into view.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crying in the Womb

I just came across some interesting facts in my baby book. For instance, did you know that the baby can cry in utero. So, she's already practicing her first cries in the womb. Guess that's how they're so good at it as soon as they're born. Apparently, studies showed fetuses practicing what they call, "the Crying Reflex". Their little bottom lip quivers, they'll take deep, fast breaths (like gasps) and their mouths will open wide in what looks like crying. There's even a YouTube video of a baby crying in utero, though of course the sound (if any) is not what you would think of because there's no air in their lungs as they practice this. Plus, it's typically associated with what researchers call the "Startle reflex". Meaning that the baby is startled by something loud or some movement outside the womb and will instinctively cry in utero. How fascinating! If you're interested in the Youtube video I'm talking about its:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

36 weeks and going strong

With only 4 more weeks (or possibly less) we're in the home-stretch. We've accumulated every baby necessity we can think of and are preparing to 'finally' take our childbirth prep classes. Yes, we know, it's a bit late to be taking classes when we're so close to delivering but with Chris's crazy schedule this was the best we could do. We just had to hope for the best and it seems that the odds are in our favor. The Doc checked the baby and gave us the 'all-clear'. She's healthy, head-down and in the right position. We even got to see a quick ultrasound of her, which was thrilling because I haven't seen her since we were 20 weeks (May). She was looking around in her little confined space and practicing sucking. I don't believe I've 'dropped' yet but I've been having increasing Braxton-hicks contractions. They're still not painful, rhythmic and frequent. They're just uncomfortable and annoying. The Doc also said that my cervix was closed still and that it was 50% effaced. He also said that if he were a betting man he'd bet that I'd at least make it to my next appointment in two weeks (38 weeks). That's good. She'll be a good, healthy full-term baby by then.