In an effort to keep our family blog, The Parker Pack, from being overrun by pregnancy photos and updates, I’ve started this blog, A Belly in Bloom, to record my voyage through these next 9 months. Check back often for belly pics, sonograms, and just general posts about Mom’s thoughts throughout this journey. Keep watching our original blog, The Parker Pack, to see videos, photos, and more from our day-to-day lives.

Monday, October 27, 2008

37 Weeks

If Aubrey were to come today, she would be considered full-term, so I am officially hanging the "No Vacancy" sign in my uterus.

On Friday, I went to my OB for a check-up and my weekly NST. Aubrey is doing great--her heart rate is still in the normal range and shows good variability. My doc also checked my cervix to see if I'd made any progress, and he informed me that I'm not even quite dilated to 1 cm yet. What?! I'm still at the same dilation I was before, when I started having early labor contractions at 31 weeks! Even after all these weeks of Braxton Hicks, nothing, no progress.

My doc told me we'd schedule my induction for 40 weeks at my next appointment, but I quickly declined--I'm adamant about wanting as few interventions in this birth as possible, after having just about every intervention short of a C-section last time, so starting out with an induction seems like a horrible idea to me. I told him we can schedule an induction at 42 weeks, but not before--I may be miserable, but I'm not THAT miserable! He said he'd strip my membranes next week to see if that would help things along, and said I could spend the next few weeks doing "my part" and hopefully this kiddo will come out sometime between now and her due date (neither of us really wants me in labor on Thanksgiving, right after her due date, if we can help it along naturally). "So, basically I should spend the next few weeks walking around, keeping upright, vacuuming floors, and 'stealing my husbands prostaglandins'?" I asked. "I've never heard it put that way before," he chuckled, and sent me home to have sex with my husband. (A prescription Brad didn't mind in the least, after weeks of being "benched" while I was on bed rest.)

I've stocked up on red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil supplements (2 herbal remedies that are supposed to help things along). I've been walking as much as my poor feet will allow me to, but the swelling has gotten horrible in the past few days. My poor feet look like giant loaves of bread, and my hands are looking pretty bad, too. I'm still having tons of Braxton Hicks contractions--I just hope they'll actually do something to move things along--I'm so tired of being pregnant, I could scream. My back is sore, I can't sleep at night, the heartburn is torture, my feet ache non-stop, and I feel as if I'm puffy and swollen everywhere. It is as if a cartoon character has come along and inhabited my body--I no longer recognize it as my own.

And to top it all off, none of my maternity clothes fit anymore. How this is possible, I don't know. Most of my maternity clothes are leftover from last pregnancy--in which I gained just shy of 60 pounds--and they fit fine through the end. I've only gained 34 pounds this pregnancy, yet my belly sticks out more--most of my shirts no longer cover my big ol' round tummy! (Did they shrink in storage??) So I'm stuck wearing the same 5 shirts and 2 pairs of pants every day until the end--I really don't want to invest in new maternity wear that I'd only wear for a max of 3 or 4 weeks! And now my shoes are all getting too tight--at this rate, I'll be living in PJ's and house shoes all day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

35 Weeks

Only 35 days to go! Aubrey is doing great so far. Her weekly BPP's and non-stress tests (NST's) have all come back great so far, meaning she is doing very well in there. She has been practicing her breathing in the uterus for weeks now, so if she were to come early, the chances are good that she would not need any special help with breathing and would be able to come home with Mom and Dad from the hospital. Mom is doing well so far, too--my blood pressure is staying down and I'm not showing any preeclampsia signs, so all is well.

Cathy and Wayne, Brad's Aunt and Uncle, are in town to close on their new house they bought north of Dallas, so they joined Brad, Aiden and I for the ultrasound this week. Most of these appointments I end up going to alone (the BPP's only take about 5 minutes), but since they were doing both a BPP and a growth check, I brought along the whole gang. Cathy and Wayne enjoyed seeing Aubrey on ultrasound, and Aiden got a kick out of watching her shake her fist at him. The sonographer indulged us with a few extra minutes of "show time" and was great about pointing out Aubrey's many features.

At today's appointment, Ms. Aubrey measured at a whopping 6 lbs. 3 oz. Her thigh bone, arm bone and tummy circumference are all measuring several days ahead of schedule, but what really worries Mom is that her head is measuring 2 WEEKS ahead! Heaven help me if this kid keeps growing like this these next few weeks!

The late-term ultrasounds are so neat. With Aiden, we got one ultrasound at 20 weeks and that was it. At 20 weeks, you can tell the baby's sex and see their basic shape, but with the late ultrasounds, the baby has fat under their skin, so instead of seeing a skeleton, you really see the baby's face and features, even her hair. Speaking of which, I now know why I've been having all this heartburn--Aubrey has grown quite a thick head of hair and it is already pretty long! And it looks as if I'll be getting a chunky baby this time around--she already has little fat rolls along her back!

Now it is just a matter of waiting. As long as all of the NST's and BPP's come back with good results, she'll get to stay inside. If anything changes, they'll induce me that day. And now that I'm past 35 weeks and since Aubrey is showing "respiratory maturity," they won't stop my labor if I go back into labor again. Brad and I are hoping she'll keep "cooking" for another week or so, but then I'm ready to get this kiddo out--I am feeling pretty miserable these days! Constant heartburn, an aching back, swollen feet, a sore belly from all the contractions and little knees and elbows digging in, and sheer exhaustion from an inability to sleep has me ready to GET HER OUT SOON!