Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Contractions and tons of movement!!

On Sunday, I was exhausted and had to relax all day.  As I was lying on my float in the pool, I noticed that my uterus kept getting hard and feeling tight, which means I was having contractions!  Contractions actually occur throughout pregnancy because the uterus is just a big muscle that is constantly being stretched out, so it tends to try to contract back to its original size.  However, when the uterus is smaller earlier in the pregnancy, the contractions typically aren't felt.

I have felt my uterus get hard previously, but on Sunday it was really obvious that it was getting tight and hard multiple times in a row.  The contractions didn't last very long, but they seemed pretty close together (I wasn't timing them).  Later, I felt like Brooke was stretching me out to make more room for herself, like she has done in weeks past, so I'm wondering if that's why my uterus was contracting so much.  It was nuts!!!  And a little exciting and freaky :)

Brooke was also VERY active on Sunday and has been ever since.  She is definitely getting stronger because her movements are much more pronounced and obvious.  When she pushes on me, you can really see it easily, and sometimes it's uncomfortable or a little painful for me because she's pressing so hard.  And sometimes she moves across my belly, so it shifts.  There are times when it seems like she is flailing or playing the drums :) because both sides of my belly raise up in an alternating manner, like she's alternating her kicks all the way across my belly!  It is really funny.

I really love to feel her like this.  It makes me feel more connected to her and reminds me that all of the crappy stuff about pregnancy is so worth it because I am creating a baby!  When I think about that, I am just in awe of this entire process.  It's just so amazing, and sometimes a little overwhelming.

Since Sunday, I have noticed that I am even more uncomfortable and tired than before.  Yesterday Brooke began kicking the top of my uterus, and I could kind of feel it in my stomach!  So she is now really pressing into my stomach, which I notice the effects of when I eat because I can't eat as fast or as much as before.  It took me an hour to eat a burger and salad last night for dinner and I couldn't even finish the burger!  And it's even harder to breathe and sit/stand up now.  And because I'm so tired, including my muscles, it's harder to push myself up with my arms, which makes it REALLY hard to sit and stand up!  It's comical but also frustrating.

I'm also having more trouble sleeping.  I wake up at least 4 times a night - I usually have to go to the bathroom each time I wake up and I always have to turn over on my other side because my shoulder hurts.  I'm really having trouble finding a comfortable sleep position at this point.  The natural childbirth book I'm reading explains a position to use for labor, but I've tried it and it's not comfortable!  Since it doesn't work for sleeping or resting, it definitely won't work for labor.  Maybe I'm doing it wrong, so I'm going to have Paul check it, but I'm guessing I'm going to have to figure out a different way to lie during labor.

On Thursday I will be 30 weeks along.  We have 6 more weeks until we need to be completely ready in case Brooke decides to come early (around 36 weeks along is when you get close to the point where the baby could come at any time and be developed well enough to not have complications).  I feel like we still have so much more to do, but I know everything doesn't have to be perfect before Brooke comes, I just want it to be perfect :)  Last week I finished painting the dressers and bookcase for the nursery, which was really exciting!  That was one of the biggest tasks for getting the nursery ready, so I'm really happy that it's done.  This week our painter should be coming to paint the nursery, so it will be even closer to being done!  I will post pictures once we have everything up and ready.

The month of June ended up going by really fast, so I expect July and August to go by even faster.  Next week we have our first baby preparation class - Breastfeeding (which Paul is super excited about ;) - ok, not at all, but I am!).  I'm really excited to start the classes because that will make it feel even closer!  YAY!!!

On another note, on Saturday we went to visit Brady and read to him.  I still cherish these visits so much and I just don't know if I will be ready to give them up when Brooke is born; although, I know that it's very possible we just won't have time to visit him every month at that point.  However, I told Paul that we absolutely have to visit Brady on his birthday unless I am giving birth that day.  That will be really important for us not to miss. We are planning on bringing him presents, so he has new flowers, toys, and a football of course :)  That will be really special and I'm really looking forward to it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

29 weeks along

Today I am 29 weeks along.  Wow, I can't wait to get to 30 weeks.  Then I will have only 10 weeks left!  I'm starting to get a little stressed about how much we have to do before Brooke comes.  In reality, we really don't have that much to do, but it feels like we have a lot, and because I don't have much energy it just seems so overwhelming.  I have been waking up 3-4 times per night now and I get tired really easily throughout the day.  It seems like I'm more tired than I was in the first trimester, which is really hard to deal with.  But when I have my bursts of energy, I try to take advantage of them.

Right now we are in the process of painting the old dressers and bookcase for Brooke's room so that it matches her crib.  I will be really happy once we are done with that.  My painter is supposed to come next week to paint her room, and once that is finished, I think I will feel a lot better.  I'm trying to just relax and not worry so much, but sometimes it's hard to do.

I got my Bradley method of natural childbirth book on Friday, so I've been reading that.  The techniques really seem to make sense and they actually are similar to the techniques I use during meditation, so that's good.  I have begun practicing them on my own, and then Paul and I will have to practice them together.  I really feel confident that I can do the natural childbirth as long as I prepare myself, so I'm really excited about it.

On Monday I had another OB appointment.  My blood pressure was high again (139/80), but it was super low at home that morning, so we're not really concerned.  But I get to have another ultrasound in 3.5 weeks, which I'm really excited about!  I can't wait to see Brooke again and see how she is progressing.  It will be so exciting!

I am slowly getting a little bigger.  I feel a little more uncomfortable this week than last week, but nothing drastic.  My weight gain has continued to be nice and steady, so that's good.  Here is my latest bump picture:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cool movements!

Last night, Paul and I were sitting at our patio table and Brooke decided that she wanted to kick the same place over and over again on the left side of my belly.  So that part of my belly kept raising up and going down repeatedly.  This happens fairly often, so it wasn't as bizarre for me, but it was really cool for Paul to get to see since he doesn't always get to see her move.  But what was really cool for me was that I pushed down where she was kicking and it was super hard right there.  When I pushed in the same area on the right side of my belly, it was much less hard!  So one of Brooke's body parts must have been just resting right against my belly.  It was so cool!

Then, she started making movements all over my belly really fast, so my belly looked like it was vibrating in various places, first on the left side and then on the right side.  I have no idea what she's doing when that happens, but it's so nuts!  It's such a weird feeling, and it looks really bizarre too.  Paul got to see and feel that too, which was great!  Brooke is just such a mover.  I really wonder if that will be indicative of her personality or not.  We shall see in a few months!

It's also so weird that my belly is sometimes rock hard and sometimes much mushier.  The books say that the uterus has contractions throughout pregnancy, so I think when it's rock hard, it's having a contraction.  It makes sense, but it's still really weird how it changes so much.

One of my books says that Brooke is now around 2.5 lbs and 15.75 inches long!  Wow, that's just amazing to me.  Since most babies average around 21 inches at birth (according to this book), then she doesn't have much more to grow in length.  But she has about 4.5-5 lbs to gain in weight.  According to another one of my books, I'm supposed to only gain 3/4 lb each week at this point and then later in the third trimester (can't remember which week), it tapers down to 1/2 lb each week, which is about how much Brooke will be gaining each week.  So I guess it's saying that all of the things that contribute to the weight gain (uterus size, amniotic fluid, etc.) have almost gotten to their max amounts, so I should mostly only be gaining Brooke's weight gain at this point or somewhat soon.  I hope that's the case!

My sweet tooth has become stronger lately, so that's not helping, and I'm not riding the bike or lifting weights anymore (since it's so hard to sleep now, I think lifting is just going to make me more uncomfortable).  But I have been swimming every day and this morning I took Macho for a 30 minute walk.  I'm trying to increase my endurance for labor, but unfortunately I find myself just getting lazier, which isn't helping the cause.  Oh well, I'll do my best but I won't force myself.  Hopefully it goes well.

I bought a book on the Bradley method of natural childbirth, so I'm really excited to start reading that and practicing the techniques.  I've read so many good things about it, so I'm really hoping I can motivate myself and Paul to really practice it so that we can use it during labor.  I decided against taking the classes because it's so much time investment and we just don't have that kind of time.  We are both good self-studiers, so I'm hoping the book will be enough.  We shall see.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

28 weeks and Happy 10th Anniversary to me and Paul!

Today I am 28 weeks along and Paul and I have been married for 10 years!!  It's amazing how it feels like time has flown but also that it's been longer than 10 years because of how close Paul and I are and how wonderful a marriage we have.  I am so glad Paul and I had our time together in our 20s to grow up and have fun together.  We are so much more prepared to have a child together now :)

Brooke has been moving around and kicking a lot this week, so I have definitely been reassured of her health.  Some of her movements are so bizarre and I still can't figure out if any of them are hiccups.  Sometimes it feels like she is shaking or kicking really fast.  Other times it feels like she is grabbing onto things in there because I feel like something is tensing up inside of me.  It's so weird.

So far I have not become more uncomfortable this week and I think I'm learning how to deal with the discomfort, so that's a great step forward!  I have been meditating in the morning to start retraining myself on relaxing, since I've read that is one of the most beneficial things you can do when in labor, and I'm taking a break to swim during the day to relieve my butt of the pain I feel from sitting all day!  I used to love to sit, and now it causes me pain, even on the the most cushiony and soft chairs!  It's so bizarre.

I have started waking up more often during the night.  I think I'm now averaging around 3-4 times per night.  I usually get up to pee when I wake up, and I always have to roll over to my other side because the shoulder I'm lying on is hurting.  I'm not sure why that happens when it has never happened in the past (I have always slept on my side), but that's all just part of the changes my body is going through.

It's exciting to be at 28 weeks now.  I feel like it's a big milestone.  I only have 12 weeks to go!  Already I feel like this month has been going by more quickly, which is really exciting.  I think it's an indication of how quickly the summer is going to go by.  YAY!

Today's baby bump:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A better start to the week

Yesterday was a great day; although, it started out rough.  Sunday night I felt kind of down and tired and started worrying that I hadn't felt Brooke very much this weekend and wondering if she was okay.  Throughout the night, I kept waking up wondering if she was okay.  A couple of times I felt some quick movements that felt more like muscle twitches than kicks, and at times I wondered if she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and was choking!  It's terrible the tricks your mind can play on you.  So when I woke up yesterday morning, I was really freaking out.  I called my OB office and left a message for the nurse.  Then I decided to eat something to see if I could get Brooke to move.

I felt like I was going to throw up while I was making breakfast because I kept thinking that she was under duress and I would have to be induced this early again, and I just knew I couldn't go through that again.  Luckily, after I ate and sat still for a little bit, Brooke began moving, so I started feeling better about her safety.  I began working and she began moving around even more, so once the nurse called back and reassured me that any kind of movement is good and as long as she moves 10 times in 2 hours, she is good.  I had counted 10 movements in less than an hour after I ate, so I knew she was okay.  Throughout the day, she moved a lot more, so I was definitely convinced that she was okay.

I should have known she was okay because the past several weekends, she didn't move as much because I was busier and moving around, so I either didn't feel her movements or I was rocking her to sleep, so she wasn't moving as much.  And every Monday she starts moving more again.  But for some reason I got freaked out this time, and boy did that suck!  The physical discomfort definitely sucks, but the emotional anxiety of wondering if she is okay is so much worse!  Thankfully Brooke moves around a lot usually, so I don't typically wonder whether or not she is okay, but when I am unsure, it's really upsetting.

Thankfully, I seem to be getting more used to the discomfort that I began feeling last week, so I was much happier yesterday.  Of course, I remember last Tuesday thinking the same thing and then Wednesday I got even more uncomfortable, so we'll see what happens the rest of the week :)  For now, I'll just take one day at a time and be thankful when I have a good day.

Yesterday turned out to be a great day.  I wasn't very uncomfortable and after Brooke started moving, my emotional state was really good most of the day.  After work, Paul and I went to an orientation at a local pediatrician's office to meet the doctors and decide if we liked the practice.  We really liked them, so we will be taking Brooke there, which is very exciting that we have that decision made!  After dinner, I folded up all the blankets I have received from friends and put them away in a dresser in the nursery.  I'm really starting to get the nursery organized, which feels really good!  I then had enough energy to vacuum the upstairs, which really needed it!  It was a very productive night and it felt really good to get all of that done.

I had gotten some stuff done this past weekend because we actually stayed in town because Paul needed to rest and study, but I had felt like I didn't get as much done as I had wanted to, so it was super nice to be so productive last night.  After vacuuming, I searched for some baby books on Amazon regarding baby sign language and how to take care of the baby, etc.  I'm really excited to start reading those books.  It will be a lot of fun to learn about what to expect and how to interact with Brooke through each of her stages, since I have no clue at this point!

This morning I went swimming before work, which was a great start to the day.  This week's weather is much nicer than last week, so I'm trying to get out and enjoy it.  Tonight I'm going to try to get more done around the house but only if I'm feeling up to it.  I never know how much or how little energy I'm going to have, so I'm trying to just go with the flow and do what I feel like doing.  I just hate being tired and lazy, so it felt really good last night to have energy and get things done.  I know I'm supposed to be enjoying this time of getting sleep and resting, but I'm just not the type that likes to lay around a lot, so I'm taking advantage of the energy when it comes, because when I'm tired, I definitely have to lie down and rest.  There's no fighting the fatigue when it comes.

On Thursday I will be 28 weeks along, which feels like a big milestone.  Next Monday I have my next OB appointment, and then I start going every 2 weeks!  YAY!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A rough 2 days

The past 2 days have been a little rough.  On Wednesday I really began feeling a lot more uncomfortable and I have not been dealing with that well.  I feel like I deal with pain better than discomfort.  But I hate that I allow myself to get in these horrible moods because of the discomfort.  I have 3 months left and I cannot keep allowing myself to get in bad moods, so I'm trying my hardest to find ways to make myself more comfortable. 

Paul is the sweetest husband.  Yesterday he built me a shelf for my laptop so I can work in the family room on a more comfortable chair and have my laptop in front of me without it being on my lap (which made me really hot and was not very comfortable).  He's the best!!!  I have also begun swimming in the morning in our pool, and that is such an awesome way to start the day.  It's so nice to be able to spend time outside before it gets blazing hot, and it's so relaxing to just hang out in the pool.  I'm so happy we got the pool and transformed our backyard into a relaxing atmosphere!!!

This discomfort is so bizarre.  I knew it was coming, but I was expecting and hoping it wouldn't be until much later in the third trimester.  It's so weird to have the feeling that your entire insides are completely full and smashed together.  When I bend over, my uterus literally pushes into my diaphram (making it harder to breathe) and my stomach.  I now start breathing heavily after just walking around, instead of just when I walk up and down the stairs.  But I do love seeing these changes.  Brooke has been just as active in the past week, and I think I have finally figured out when she is hiccuping versus kicking, but it's still hard for me to tell.  I really can't wait until she's big enough for me to see body parts :)

I took another picture today.  This one is much better :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

27 weeks along

Tomorrow I will be at 27 weeks.  This is a bittersweet time for me.  At this exact point last time, I was being induced and Brady was born the following morning.  I'm so grateful to have come this far again with Brooke but knowing that she is going to make it and be born a healthy baby.  However, I am still saddened when I think about the loss of Brady.  I really do still miss him and get sad when I think about the fact that we lost him.  And I'm really sad that we never got to truly know him before he left us.  But I'm still so glad that he was in our lives for the short time that he was, and I'm grateful for what he taught me.

So I look toward the future and think about Brooke and how wonderful a gift she already has been and will be once she is born.  Both Paul and I are so ready for this new phase of our lives.  I can't even begin to really express the emotions I have been going through today.  I'm sad about Brady, but I'm excited about Brooke (especially when she kicks me :)).  I've also reached a new level of discomfort today.  I have officially moved from my office to my family room because my office chair just isn't comfortable anymore.  I feel like my uterus got so much bigger overnight because bending over is so much more uncomfortable and difficult today.  Riding the stationary bike was really uncomfortable this morning because every time I pedaled, I felt it in my uterus.  And when I bent over to put lotion on my legs, it felt like my uterus was pushing up on my stomach.  I've also had trouble breathing today.  Even walking around makes me breathe harder; whereas before I used to only have trouble when going up and down the stairs.

So it feels like my uterus has reached its limit on both the top and the bottom, and I feel like the only place it has left to grow is out.  When I look in the mirror, I feel like my belly really fills up my entire mid section now, but I don't feel like it has pushed out much more lately.  So I'm guessing that's the way it's going to have to go from now on.  I just can't believe I've already reached this point of discomfort, right at the beginning of the third trimester.  For some reason, I really thought it would come later on.  Or maybe I just hoped it would :)  I just can't imagine getting so much bigger and even more uncomfortable, but I know it's going to happen!  Scary thought.  And with this discomfort comes my emotional unease.  I started crying this morning when I was uncomfortable in my desk chair.  How ridiculous!

Despite the discomfort, I am so happy to see these changes because they continue to reassure me that Brooke is healthy and growing.  I am SO much bigger and more uncomfortable now than I was with Brady when I was at this point with him, and that is a great comfort to me.  What a roller coaster ride this year has been.  It's amazing what we have been through.  I'm grateful for the experiences, but I'm really looking forward to a normal labor and birth and a healthy baby.  I know it will be really hard bringing a baby home and figuring her out, but it will also be so fulfilling and wonderful, and I know Paul and I will be so incredibly happy.  13 more weeks to go...

Today's baby bump: