Pregnancy Weeks 38 to the End

This is my very last recap of my pregnancy — I wanted to do one last post on this so I can look back on this special time in my life! Click here for his birth story!

How far along: 
Fletcher was born at 40 weeks and 4 days, which was the same “age” I was when I was born since my due date was on St. Patrick’s day and my birthday is the 21st!


Size of Baby: 

6 pounds 8 ounces and 18.5 inches at birth!

Gender: 
He’s a sweet little boy!


Movement: 

He definitely ran out of room towards the end and most of his movements only involved kicking his legs and waving his arms as opposed to tumbling around. It was crazy because I could totally tell what body part was where towards the end — his little heels kept kicking my ribs and sometimes his little feet would get kind of stuck under my ribs if I tried to lean forward / get out of a chair while his legs were in that position.

Sleep:
I’m no longer waking up at 2:30am for a snack, but I am up multiple times each night to flip from one side to the other since my hips are killing me. Around 38 weeks, my hips started getting SO sore after laying on them while trying to sleep. I keep waking up around 3:30 / 4am, and usually toss and turn until 5 or 6ish then fall back asleep for a couple more hours. All I can say is, I am SO looking forward to sleeping on my stomach again!


Symptoms:
Lower back is really sore and the top of my belly hurts — almost like the muscles are just really tender in that area. I’ve also had such a hard time breathing and have had some bouts of dizziness / headaches (my doctor has been monitoring this and all is well!).


Bump / Body:

I feel just really puffy everywhere — legs, face, feet, and wrists. I’m hoping that all of this flushes out in the days that follow his birth because it’s such an odd sensation. If I crouch down to pick something up, I can feel how extremely tight my calves are due to the excess blood / fluids in them — so strange! My bump feels huge but also some days I find myself questioning how a full size baby can actually fit in there


Maternity Clothes: 

Since I’m home now and really haven’t been going out a ton, I usually just wear shorts or my maternity joggers. My black skinnies are kind of falling apart, so jeans are usually what I wear whenever I leave the house.

Cravings:

Green smoothies have been on heavy rotation for me! Spinach, dates, almond milk, frozen banana, greek yogurt, and peanut butter all whipped up in the blender. I wake up looking forward to this each morning, ha ha.

Supplements:

Still on my prenatal, folic acid, prenatal fish oil, and vitamin D. I’ve also added in this magnesium supplement to help with calf cramping and a probiotic as well.

Fitness:

Daily walks on my treadmill — I try to go for at least 35 minutes but usually end up doing closer to 50 minutes.

Missing Most:

A lot of people look forward to having a glass of wine after they have their baby; I, on the other hand, have a whole list of foods I’m looking forward to eating after he is born. Some of those items include: soft cheeses, deli sandwiches, and a smoothie from our local smoothie shop.

Nursery:

Still need a few decorations but otherwise everything is basically done for now! I’m hoping to illustrate or handletter a print or two for him while I’m home on maternity leave.

Favorite Products:

I shared these the other day!

Favorite Moments:
Knowing we are SO CLOSE to meeting our little dude!

Can't Wait For:

Our new life together as little trio!

Favorite smoothie ingredients?
What did you most look forward to post-pregnancy?

Leading Up to Labor

Just a heads up, this blog post has a touch of TMI thrown in for good measure, so if that’s not your thing feel free to come back another day for regular posting. There’s also a lot of random medical details but I wanted to write this out while it’s fresh in my memory so I can go back and refer to it later on as part of the story of how he came into the world. :)

The Backstory
When I went in for my 36 week OB check, my doctor felt like baby was in a weird position so she had me pop across the hall for a quick ultrasound to check things out. Unfortunately, what we discovered was that Fletcher was breech — more specifically, he was transverse (laying sideways across my abdomen instead of being head down with his feet up by my ribs). I was so discouraged to hear this — as having a c-section was something that I hadn’t really even thought about until this moment. I just figured that if I wound up needing a c-section it would be as a last-resort emergency situation during labor — never a planned one.

My OB discussed my options with me — she could schedule an ECV the following week to try to manually spin him around or we could schedule a c-section for 39 weeks. I didn’t want to do an ECV because the success rate was only 50% and if my water accidentally broke or if Fletcher freaked out during it, I would have to have an emergency c-section right away (which I would have only been 37 weeks). My doctor said to talk it over with Andy and then let her know our decision. She also said she wanted to see me in a few days to check on him again just in case he still had room to spin around on his own even though the chances of this were slim due to being so far along in my pregnancy.

Andy and I went out to dinner that night and I was feeling so discouraged by the news; however, Andy is definitely a glass half-full kind of guy and remained optimistic that Fletcher would flip to the correct position in the next four weeks. Determined to have a vaginal birth, I committed to getting him to flip. I did inversions, walked daily, sat / bounced on an exercise ball, went to the chiropractor daily, got a prenatal massage, played music and turned a flashlight on towards the bottom of my abdomen, talking to him, used ice packs and peppermint oil to try to steer him away from the top of my stomach, etc. I’m not going to lie, it was kind of exhausting because this felt like a part-time job on top of working full time, being 9 months pregnant, and going on with just day to day tasks.

I went in for another ultrasound at 37 weeks and he was still sideways, so my doctor and I scheduled a c-section for noon on Friday, January 4th. I was so discouraged by this but ultimately surrendered to it because in the end, the only thing that really mattered was that Fletcher was safe and a year from now, how he got here wouldn’t even matter.

On Christmas Day, you might remember that we headed into the birthing center in the middle of the night due to me experiencing pain in my upper abdomen. Part of their process of checking me out involved monitoring his little heartbeat, checking for contractions, and doing an ultrasound. Well, imagine our surprise when they pulled up the ultrasound screen to find that he was head down! Merry Christmas to us! We left the hospital feeling SO relieved!

I saw another OB towards the end of that week for my 38 week appointment since my doctor was out of town for Christmas and I was literally holding my breath as she pulled up the ultrasound screen. I immediately let out a sigh of relief when I saw that he was still head-down. This sounds ridiculous, but I was SO paranoid about him flipping back to the incorrect position even after he was head-down. We didn’t tell many people that he ended up flipping due to it still feeling really stressful at the thought that he could flip back to transverse. I felt like I had to keep “checking” him each day by feeling my baby bump to make sure I didn’t feel a head on either side. I always felt so relieved whenever he would kick me in the ribs because it meant he was still in the correct position for a vaginal delivery.

I saw my OB the following week for my 39 week check and since he was still head-down, she canceled my c-section and we talked about signs of labor and when to check into the hospital.

However, 40 weeks came and went and there was still no signs of labor. I had an OB check at 40 weeks, 2 days and hadn’t really made much progress as I was only dilated to a 1, 50% effaced, and he was in the -3 pelvic position when my doctor checked me. I was feeling a little discouraged by this (however, not really surprised since I honestly didn’t feel any different other than growing more uncomfortable by the day) because it meant that we would most likely be choosing an induction date rather than letting him come on his own.

I’m not sure why, but choosing a date on a calendar to be his birthday didn’t sit well with us — Andy and I really wanted him to come in his own time, even if that meant going past 41 weeks. She scheduled me for an induction on the evening of January 15th, meaning he would most likely be born on January 16th since it takes awhile for things to progress once the meds are administered. I really didn’t feel comfortable being induced at 41 weeks so I let things play out through the weekend and planned to call the day before the induction to cancel it and tell them I wanted to schedule it for 42 weeks instead. Well, I ended up never needing to make that call since he came on his own on January 13th!

The Day Before Labor Started
After my 40w2d appointment that Friday, I headed to a coffee shop to do some prep work in my 2019 planner. My boss recommended this little cafe to me since her friend owns it and it instantly became a new favorite — it was so cute inside and my cherry-almond latte was so delicious!

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I sat and planned out some of my priorities for the year and looking back, I feel like this was the perfect activity to complete before Fletcher’s arrival. I have a blog post that outlines the prep work for the year (what worked in 2018, what didn’t work, what I hope to accomplish this year, etc.) started so I’ll be sure to publish that one sometime soon. Side note, the day before was such a rough day — I’m not sure if that had anything to do with labor being on the horizon or what but there were so many tears, nerves about labor, and overall just feeling really exhausted. Therefore, taking time for myself on this particular day really did wonders for me as I headed into the weekend on an optimistic note.

The next morning (Saturday, January 12th), I woke up around 2amwhich was pretty typical for me towards the end of pregnancy. I usually woke up around this time each morning due to needing to use the bathroom (baby was sitting right on my bladder towards the end!) or just being plain uncomfortable. I used the bathroom and as I was walking back to bed, I felt kind of weird so I went back to the bathroom to see what the deal was. What it looked like was the early stages of my mucous plug dislodging — this is the little plug that “seals” things down there and keeps baby safe and sound.

Upon discovering this, I was super excited because I thought it meant that things were progressing! However, once I got back in bed and started googling it, I lost a little hope as some articles said you can lose it weeks before labor starts and that it might just come loose after a cervix check (which I had the day before) and can regenerate if labor is not on the horizon. Humbug.

I never ended up falling back asleep but by the time I got out of bed later that morning, there was more and more of the mucous discharge. I texted a few friends and some said what it said online (that it could be weeks away), while others said they went into labor that night after losing theirs. I tried not to get my hopes up and just went along with my day. I napped throughout the morning due to being awake half the night and then I walked on our treadmill for over an hour while reading a book in hopes that that would help things to keep moving along.

All throughout the day, I continued to have the discharge and overall just felt crampy and just “off”. I had a hunch that he was coming the next day and even delayed our grocery delivery that I had originally planned for Sunday morning at 9am just in case we had to rush to the hospital in the night. Turns out my intuition was correct! :)

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Andy also hung up Fletcher’s bookshelves in the nursery and I couldn’t help but lay out a cute little outfit on his changing table as I was waiting — I just love looking through his dresser drawers at his little tiny outfits. Later that evening, I took a shower, got ready, took a baby bump picture, and then Andy and I headed out for a date night!

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Our first stop was Caribou to purchase a few items from the winter drinkware collection I that designed. I have one more mini collection launching for Valentine’s Day and then that’s the end of it as I’m at a new job now.

Afterwards, we headed out to grab some pizza and I planned to order the spicy one just because some say that spicy foods can kick you into labor. I figured that anything was worth a shot at this point; some of the other things that I did in the week or so leading up to labor were:

  • Eating fresh pineapple

  • Walking for at least 35 min each day

  • Adding crushed red pepper to a lot of my foods

  • Sitting / bouncing on an exercise ball

  • Focusing on staying relaxed (meditation app, taking a bath each night, etc.)

There was a long wait at the restaurant (okay, so maybe 50 minutes isn’t that long but when you’re overly pregnant, starving, and tired, it feels like forever, haha). While we were waiting, Andy and I were chatting and I was also texting a friend of mine who is pregnant (and due just a month or so from now!) and she suggested sipping raspberry leaf tea to help induce labor. I told Andy about it and we decided to stop to grab some after dinner.

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We enjoyed our pizza and what ended up being our last date night before baby! Andy’s pizza had a bunch of meat on it and I went with the Jamaican Jerk chicken pizza with pineapple salsa and a sweet chili glaze. It was SO good!

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On the way home, we were able to find the tea right away and I started drinking a cup of it while relaxing in the bathtub before bed. It definitely doesn’t taste like raspberries, that’s for sure — it reminds me more of a green tea if anything. I’ve also continued to drink it postpartum as it helps with a lot of birth-related things such as reducing bleeding, balancing hormones, and increasing milk supply. I’ve found that I prefer it iced, with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a splash of cranberry juice.

The next morning is when labor started, which I’ll cover in Fletcher’s birth story — stay tuned!

If you’ve had babies, what was the first sign of labor for you?
Favorite kind of pizza?

Third Trimester Favorites

Out of the three trimesters, this one definitely flew by the fastest! Below are some of my favorite items that helped me through weeks 28 until the very end! If you missed my first trimester favorites, you may check them out here along with my second trimester favorites here.

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Peanut Butter
I’m not sure whether to call these “cravings” or if it was a weird case of “nothing sounds good except for like four foods.” Either way, Trader Joe’s natural salted peanut butter was on heavy rotation through the past few months — I love this one because it’s not so thick like most peanut butters.

Ovia Pregnancy App
I used to check this app constantly in the very early weeks of my pregnancy but then things got even more fun towards the end because baby started doing more, growing more, and the timeline got closer and closer. I used a few other pregnancy apps but this one was definitely my favorite, mainly because it would show how big your baby’s hands and feet were each week!

Lavender Essential Oil
This helped me to relax and sleep a little better during some rough weeks of insomnia.

Cereal
During my weird insomnia streaks of waking up in the middle of the night, I ate a bowl of cereal almost every time because it always helped me go back to sleep. Honey Bunches of Oats was my go-to for many weeks!

Grapefruit
Another food that I couldn’t get enough of — many days 2-3 of these were consumed. We buy them in bulk at Costco each week and they are SO perfectly in season right now. Oranges were another daily occurrence— so refreshing!

Sleep Mask
Okay, whoever says that you have more energy after the first trimester was definitely not the case for me! I have never taken so many naps in my life — this sleep mask definitely helped me fall asleep faster when I tried to lay down while it was still light outside.

Nursery Recliner
We added this comfy recliner to the nursery right around Thanksgiving and I have been enjoying sitting in it SO much! I like to take my coffee up there on weekend mornings, read a book, and just relax. It’s definitely my favorite cozy little spot in our house!

PS I’m linking up with Shay and Jenn today!

What’s the coziest spot in your house?
Favorite citrus fruit?

The In-Between Days

One of my friends that recently had a baby girl sent me this article last week that really helped so much during this small stretch of time that falls between pregnancy coming to an end and a new life waiting to emerge. To be honest, I’ve found myself realizing that it’s kind of a strange state to be in as you find yourself waiting, wondering, and worrying.

I keep wondering what birth will be like, what will he look like, and if will we be waiting around or if he will come fast and furious in the middle of the night. It’s exciting but also a little nerve-wracking as well! I’m really trying to savor this special week, knowing that it is such a pivotal one that lies between the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

We went on a date last Friday night and whenever we do, we always wonder if this will be our “last date” before he arrives or if he’ll hang out in there for a few more days. On our way home from our evening out, we stopped to pick up one last baby item that we realized that we needed — some newborn pants for him to wear around the house with his little onesies. Andy found two packs of them and they are seriously the tiniest little pants ever! I washed them this weekend and started laughing out loud as I hung them up on the drying rack in our laundry room because they are so cute and little!

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All of his little clothes are washed, hospital bags are packed and by the door, and the car seat bases are installed in both vehicles. We are ready for him to arrive whenever he decides to make his entrance into the world. It makes me so happy to see his little baby carrier in the backseat of my vehicle while I’m out running errands.

Speaking of which, I ran to Costco last week and couldn’t help but smile when I realized pretty soon we’ll be having a little sidekick joining us on our everyday adventures — even if it’s something as simple as grabbing groceries.

My due date is tomorrow and on one hand, I keep finding myself longing to make plans, get out of the house, and really take advantage of these last few days before having a baby. On the other hand, I’ve also been trying to rest as much as possible, knowing that we won’t be getting much sleep these next few weeks / months, but it’s hard when you have this crazy urge to organize ALLTHETHINGS (literally every closet and cabinet is spotless right now).

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I’ve even gone as far as going and getting a car wash and cleaning out my vehicle just because I feel like I need to be doing something productive! It was almost 50 degrees and sunny one of the days last week and it seriously felt like spring outside! Usually we are either drowning in blizzards or powering through negative temps as highs this time of year so this weather has been so refreshing!

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I was joking to Andy that it feels a bit like Groundhog’s Day over here to be on maternity leave without the baby. Each day I wake up, whiz through a list of tasks that I set for myself, workout, shower, take an epsom salt bath, go to bed, repeat. For someone who is so go-go-go, it feels really strange to not being going to work each day and doing things that matter more than organizing your basket of manicure supplies that sits on the shelf of your linen closet. It’s weird because all of these random organizing tasks honestly do something for your mind during this stage — it’s way more satisfying than usual — it’s hard to explain!

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I keep trying to remind myself that taking care of myself is taking care of my baby right now, so I’ve been focusing on really solid nutrition, staying active by working out every day, and getting as much sleep as I can even if that means taking two naps each day.

I know this sounds crazy, but it still blows my mind that we will have a baby in this house any day now! We’ll be sure to post his arrival over on my IG account, so be sure to follow along if you’re interested in joining the baby watch! :)

Any guesses on what we are naming him?
If you’re a mom, how close to your due date did you have your baby / babies?

Pregnancy Weeks 34 - 37

This is my second to last pregnancy update! The next one will cover weeks 38 up until when he is born which is hopefully very soon!

How far along: 
37 weeks! (This was pre-written, I’m currently 38 weeks!)


Size of Baby: 

A stalk of Swiss chard! (19 inches)

Gender: 
Boy! I had another ultrasound at 36 weeks and this was confirmed again ;) The more I think about welcoming a little boy into our family, the more excited that I am. It’s going to be such a fun experience to be a boy mom and everything that comes with it!


Movement: 

Ever since I’ve been going to the chiro, this little baby has been moving like crazy! I can also tell that he is gaining weight because if I lean forward, it literally feels like there’s a weight in the bottom of my abdomen, if that makes sense. Like...when I walk around, it feels heavy in the front which is so weird! He kicks and moves his arms a ton and whenever I touch whichever limb is moving, he touches back — it’s so cute to experience!


Sleep:
I’ve fallen into a horrible bout of insomnia. I typically fall asleep really quickly because I’m so exhausted from the day, but wake up starving around 2am, eat a bowl of cereal, then am awake until 4 or 5am. Naps are happening almost daily because of this botchy sleep schedule. I’ve heard this is pretty common towards the end of pregnancy as your body starts to adjust to your baby’s feeding schedule. He’s also super active around 3am so that makes sense!


Symptoms:

I’ve reached the point (starting at 36 weeks) where I’ve gotten really uncomfortable. My lower back aches, I’m exhausted, sitting for long periods of time isn’t fun, and I’m super hungry all the time. It’s all worth it though because we are so close to meeting our little guy!

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Bump / Body:

I can definitely tell that I’m carrying him lower than before because the top of my abdomen isn’t as round as it was before. I was also looking back at some photos around the start of my third trimester where I felt like the bump felt SO huge — it’s quite comical now since he is so much bigger these days.


Maternity Clothes: 

These are starting to get uncomfortable mainly due to my swollen legs. I usually just wear shorts around the house and then have like two pairs of pants that kind of work for when I need to go out. I’m really looking forward to wearing real clothes again!


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Cravings:

Cereal, citrus (grapefruits and oranges), peanut butter, and smoothies
. Andy picked up a bag of grapefruit from Costco the other week and I swear it was the best thing ever — I ate three of them in one day!

Supplements:

Still on my prenatal, folic acid, prenatal fish oil, and vitamin D. I’ve also added in this magnesium supplement to help with calf cramping and a probiotic that my aunt recommended to me a few years ago when I had C. Dif because we are not taking any chances of getting that again! ;)

Fitness:

I am still running and walking at 9 months pregnant! I’m proud of myself for keeping up with this because it doesn’t sound enticing most of the time but I feel so much better afterwards.


Missing Most:

Feeling like myself, ha ha. It is so hard for me to slow down so this last month or so has honestly been a good reminder of how important it is to let go and not feel like you have to do EVERYTHING.


Nursery:

We made so much progress this month! Everything except hanging his bookshelves is pretty much done! 


Favorite Products:

That pregnancy pillow is saving my life right now — it is literally like sleeping on a cloud.

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Favorite Moments:
Checking my pregnancy app each week — the countdown to his due date is officially less than two weeks now!


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Can't Wait For:

Finally having him home with us! I’m also super excited to see who he looks like — Andy, me, or a mix of both of us. I’ve been working on packing our hospital bag so that we are ready to go at a moment’s notice but it’s kind of like packing for an early morning flight — you can’t really pack the items that you still need to use to get ready!

Any guesses on what we will name him?
When do you think he will be born?