Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29th Mid-day Pregnancy Update

So. Who's tired of updates that don't include news of a birth?...Me for one, but that's not the attitude we're trying to nurture, so I'll turn off the sarcastic anxiousness and get down to the facts.

Sunday was good. We relaxed most of the day at home, with walks sprinkled throughout.

I had a good bout of contractions in the morning for a few hours, then each time we walked they would pick up a bit again for an hour or two, but then subsided fairly soon. They were not very strong and only lasted 20-40 seconds.

In the afternoon from about 5pm till 7:30pm there was another round of very promising contractions every 8-10 minutes, but again, they were not very intense and only lasted for about 30-45 seconds.

Side Note: I can be totally accurate on these figures because of a free app I downloaded to my phone. All we do is press a start contraction or end contraction button and the app does the rest, calculates the time, intervals, averages...and then throws it into a little chart....all very useful and for this purpose, makes the details of the update easy peasy.

Then, last night for about 2 hours, around 10pm-12am I experienced some very strong rushes that lasted between 1:30-2 minutes each and hit every 12-15 minutes. I had to breath through them and block out anything outside of myself....meaning the episode of Buffy we were watching at the time.

I went to sleep fairly quickly after these and was woken up a few times, but didn't check the time or focus on the contraction, cause I was in sleep mode. But when I woke up this morning my back muscles were really sore, like they had been worked out pretty hard, so I suspect I may have experienced more contractions that didn't wake me up.

BUT - I woke up at 7am and haven't had a contraction all day - it's noon now. So. I cleaned the kitchen, made a big breakfast, went for a 45 minute walk in the pouring rain and now we're going to meet some friends at the bowling alley. I'm in need of some getting out of the house and laughing with good people, so what better place to do it than the bowling alley?

We'll see Anita, our midwife, this afternoon and she check what's going on in there, but until then...I'm off to root for some friends and make some outrageous bets on skill as people throw big balls at misshapen wood.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28th AM Pregnancy Update

This is an update, mostly so peeps know what's going on...which in a nutshell is a lot of preparation.

Saturday was a great day! Mid-morning, we pulled in a good stretch of contractions happening 10-12 minutes apart for about 3 hours.

Then nothing.

We went out to Trader Joe's, and just as we pulled up, a nice contraction hit. (This was around 5:45pm.)

We decided not to time them exactly and just let them occur without inhibition, but they were coming less than 10 minutes apart and lasting between 1 min 30 and just under 2 minutes.

This period lasted until around 8:30/9:00pm, and although there were some very strong and progressively longer contractions, things pretty much ceased for the night after that.

I was awoken during the early hours of the morning, beginning around 4:30am, with yet more contractions, but I was able to go back to sleep after they would pass. So far the last one I was awake for was at about 7:45am.

I spoke to Anita, our midwife, this morning and she was very encouraging, things are getting ready and I need to remain in a feeling of 'blessed' that I have hours of rest. All of this is preparation for the main event, and from what I'm hearing from other mothers - days of bouts of contractions have made their births easier and faster.

We are positive and hopeful...and since the boy is moving like a champ in there, there's nothing to worry about.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pregnancy Update

I've been silent on the blog for a bit and that's mostly because I've been going through the toughest part of this whole pregnancy, the end, which is accompanied with the waiting. And for the record, I hate it.

I mostly hate the fact that with our due date being moved up by the ultrasound technician in January from March 22nd to March 14th, it forced me to get things ready more than a week ahead of schedule, in case he were to arrive in the "2 weeks early" window.

38 weeks

Last night, March 25th, from about 6pm till midnight, I charted some great contractions. They were strong and what I would describe as uncomfortable most of the time and a little more intense and a tad painful at other times. They averaged about every 20 minutes and lasted between 30 - 40 seconds.

39 weeks

Then this morning, from around 9:30am - 1:30pm, I charted more contractions. These were a bit stronger than what I experienced last night and averaged about every 14 minutes and lasted more around 2+ minutes each.

Anita. our midwife, has told me that these contractions are all good and mean that my body is most likely taking it slow in preparing for full non-stop labor.

40 weeks

Also this morning I met Anita, at the Oregon Imaging Center for a Biophysical Profile (BPP) Ultrasound.

Due to the discrepancy in the baby's ETA, and because the State insurance we have won't allow Anita to treat us if we go over 43 weeks without it, they offer a BPP to rule out any cause for concern once you've passed the due date on record - their due date on record is March 14th.

The Biophysical Exam checks for 4 things:

Heart rate variability
Volume of Amniotic Fluid
Fetal body movement - both kicks and response to pokes
Fetal breathing movement of the chest and stomach muscles

The test is scored and the baby rated for health and well-being. Our boy scored 8/8

This is all good information, and even more so, better news that he is healthy and thriving and there is no concern that he hasn't made his appearance yet. But the best part in all this was getting to see his little sleeping face, half covered up by his arm, but so precious non the less. (sorry no pictures, it wasn't that kind of ultrasound.)

In other news from the Ultrasound, the tech kept stressing to me that Ultrasounds past 12 weeks are unpredictable at depicting due dates and that the results should always be taken as estimates. When I asked how much of an estimate when it came to the ETA, the reply was "It's off typically from 1 to 3 weeks in either direction." Which means it's typically off by 2-6 weeks! Crazy.

With the "estimate only" in mind here's the ultrasound stats from today:
He measures at 39 weeks 4 days, and around 8lbs

I'm feeling really good, and am in a happy place. My stress and worry that he won't ever be here has been silenced by listening to my body and paying attention to the work that it is doing to be prepared for his arrival. I can say in all honesty that whenever he arrives it will be the right time and we will learn patience until he's here...and then we'll learn a whole new kind of patience.

Thank you all for your love, I certainly feel it!
Whoa - there went another little contraction...things are definitely working in there!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Final Countdown
and how it really doesn't mean anything

An update of the pregnancy kind.

37 weeks

37 1/2 weeks

38 weeks

The countdown.

The countdown is tricky. For starters, the weeks listed under all my photos is based on the March 22nd due date that we've been counting down to since October. But the 'let's be prepared' countdown (due date of March 14th) puts us at 39 weeks as of today.

Both of these numbers give me some anxious thoughts. I know he will come in his time and when the moment is the most perfect for him and at this moment he is very content in my womb, so that is where I think he should be.

The anxiousness comes in to play because of the unexpected. I'm not worried about the birth, and conversely I'm not hating being pregnant (as you know from my last post, this pregnancy has been pretty much a breeze.)

The unexpected simply means that I think a lot - when will it all begin? When will my body and his body become in sync and start the process?
When will the first contraction hit me? I don't worry about how long my labor will be, or how tough or if he'll be alright. I wonder when it will finally start. So every day, I get prepared. I settle things at work at the end of each day, in case I won't return the next. I make sure there is food in the house and that things are cleanish and organized before I go to bed, in case I'm not able to do it in the morning. But, I also make plans and schedule things for the next day or the week to come. I have to-do lists and things on the calendar. I don't like limbo, and I certainly don't like not going ahead with life and letting anxiety take over.

I don't want to be disappointed when a date comes and goes. I don't want to feel discouraged or concerned, cause let's face it, the whole due date thing it's kind of arbitrary to begin with and having a countdown seems really counter productive, especially to me and my desire to never fail.

This whole last part of pregnancy is really teaching me something major. I am not in control. And this doesn't equal failure. Usually I set a goal and work until my fingers bleed to accomplish it and to accomplish it over and above what is called for. I work hard to achieve success and complete a goal. But that's not up to me in this situation...the end goal may have something to do with me, my determination and the preparation to get me through the labor to the birth. But I don't get to say when and start it when I'm ready. And I'm learning to be good with that.

In the end I think I may be terrible at waiting, but I'm super great at being prepared. And if you haven't heard, I'm going to be so awesome at birth. Just wait. So awesome.