Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 38

38 W 6 D
Single digit count down until the due date!  Though Aidan gets to decide how many days are really left...hopefully he'll choose sooner rather than later.

Previously, I joked that I had a discussion with Aidan about not arriving on September 3rd since it's the first Saturday of the 2011 College Football Season, and I love to watch college football.  It's the first season in 3 years I can watch football from the couch instead of studying.  However, my brother is travelling to Wisconsin for work and does not return until Friday evening.  So I would prefer that my brother is back on the East Coast when Aidan makes his debut so my brother can see him soon after he's born. Therefore, if Aidan decides it's Saturday, then I'll be happy...besides, the hospital has ESPN and the internet, so I can watch all the big games and Clemson's game if I happen to be in the hospital at the time.  Besides, college football will probably be a good distraction from labor pains.

The plan is to go natural.  No pitocin, no nubain, no epidural.  That's the plan, and I hope I'm successful, but we'll see.  I think I have a high enough pain tolerance, and I believe the adrenaline rush of the situation will help, but you never know if there are any complications that change the plan.

How far along?: 38 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?: According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Started the week as the size of a Watermelon and about to be a Watermelon. The fruit doesn't change as often as it did early on. Going into week 39, Aidan is approximately 22 inches long and weighs 6 to 9 lbs.

Weight gain?: I think it's water weight since my ankles are swelling, but I did put a 1lb on this week between Monday's doctor appointment and Saturday. Total weight gain is 28 lbs.

Stretch marks?: Not yet.

Maternity clothes?: Definitely. I have to wash clothes more often that I use to because I have very few shirts that I can wear's like an every other week rotation.

Sleep?: Sleeping is still going well.  However, the past few days this week, I have woke up in the middle of the night to go pee, which is a first for me.  Though I have been drinking a lot of water to help decrease the water retention.  Not sure if Aidan has dropped lower and he's on my bladder more or if it's due to the extra water consumption.

Best moment this week?: I can't pick out a particular moment this week, but I do love when I am able to go to my hair stylist to get my hair done.  Despite an incident earlier in the week, he did a great job on my hair and it looked wonderful when I left.

I also found out that my Uncle in Washington is doing much better in his fight against Leukemia.

Worst moment this week?: Thursday morning was by far the worst this week...I struck out twice before 6am.  The day started going downhill when my straightening iron broke and ended up frying the hair I was trying to straighten before I realized the element was falling out.  Then I stepped in dog pee as I was getting a towel so I could swim after work - I just threw out my socks because I didn't feel like dealing with cleaning them.  As I was leaving the house, I realized that AJ accidentally parked behind me (as I was running late to meet my carpool ride), and  I had to run inside to find his keys.  I almost ran into the back of my truck because I put the truck in drive instead of reverse, but fortunately, I realized it in time. So, first strike out.

As I was driving to work, there were TWO cars stopped in the middle of the road.  Not sure what they were doing, but there was no way around them.  I felt a little sketched out with two vehicles in the middle of the road at 4AM.  They finally moved, and I made it to the carpool meeting point.  When I got into the car and we were riding down the road, I realized my personal phone was no longer in its holster.  I have a Droid X, and I really didn't want to replace it.  We arrived to work on gate was really fast, thank goodness.  But then, my boss was coming in late and I didn't know it, so I was technically in charge that morning.  I usually like to be prepared for these situations, but at least nothing crazy came up - there seems to always be a snake in the grass waiting to strike when the boss is out.  So, second strike out.  Finally, the building's AC went out. Ugh, what a day.

So on Friday, my hair stylist had to inform me of the damage to my hair.  He said it could all break off and to just watch it.  The damage was more than I expected...I didn't realize I had tried to straighten so much hair before realizing the iron was falling apart. 

The culprit

Food cravings?: Just my weekly serving of shrimp

Symptoms?: Exhaustion (though not as bad as last week), TMI symptom, swollen ankles

Exercise?: I walked 9 miles, swam a mile, and worked out my arms once, legs once, and core once.

Movement?: Aidan still moves a lot!  He kicks me in the ribs more and more...I think he is running out of room.  Maybe he'll decide he's uncomfortable and come on out. :)

Belly button?: It's an outie

What I miss?: Being able to each as much seafood as I want.  I hate the 12 ounce limit, but it's well worth it.

Labor signs?: Nope - plenty of pelvic pressure though. The doctor did an internal check on Monday - no progress with the cervix.  Although I did experience BH contractions on Monday, and there was a slight discomfort associated with it.  To me, it was awesome, and I wish more would have occurred...definitely an adrenaline rush.

Purchases: Mom and I went shopping last weekend to get a few last minute things.  I did find a baby monitor that I liked - it's a digital Motorola with lots of great reviews.  Mom also bought herself a car seat base for her car.  I also both some more cloth wipes off of - one pattern was John Deere and the second pattern was a boyish "I love mommy and daddy".

What I'm looking forward to?: I am curious what the doctor will say on Monday since I will be 39 weeks and 1 day.  If I waited on more week, he actually wouldn't see me until 40 weeks and 2 days due to the holiday.  I wonder what his thoughts are on induction if I go past 40 weeks - I would like to avoid induction and really only consider it if there's a health reason.  So come on Aidan, make your debut!
I am also looking forward to the return of College Football!!!  Less than a week, and Clemson kicks off their 2011 season.  So excited.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 37

37 W 6 D
15 days until my due date! Wow, where has time gone?  We are waiting in anticipation for Aidan's arrival, and every little stomach ache/cramp or feeling of BH contraction just gets me excited.  I think is today the day?  I can't imagine the adrenaline rush I will feel when I realize that today is the day I will meet Aidan. 

I meant to vacuum out my truck today and install the car seat, but due to swollen ankles, I try to keep my feet elevated as much as possible, which means sitting on the couch with the chair in the recline position!  Though I will manage to get outside at some point this weekend and clean the truck up...maybe even give it one last bath.  Though, I was really hoping for more rain so it would do the job for me.  I'm not lazy, just easily exhausted, though I have kept up with my work out routine, which does make me feel better and helps with sleeping.

How far along?: 37 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?: According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Started the week as the size of a Watermelon and about to be a Watermelon. The fruit doesn't change as often as it did early on. Going into week 37, Aidan is approximately 22 inches long and weighs 7 lbs.

Weight gain?: Status quo this week. Total weight gain is 27 lbs.

Stretch marks?: Not yet.

Maternity clothes?: Definitely.

Sleep?: Sleeping well, and I basically require at least an hour nap everyday.  Though it doesn't help that I only manage to sleep 5-6 hours each night during the week, however, even on the weekends when I sleep 8 hours, I need a nap.  My body must be working overtime these last few weeks. 

Best moment this week?: I was part of an exclusive tour of the IBHS, which researches building materials that greatly improve the ability of your house to withstand natural disasters.  It was an awesome experience, and if/when we build a house on our property, we will definitely incorporate their recommendations - most fortified recommendations only add 2-4% to the cost of the house, but the difference is amazing!
Here's a picture of the exterior full scale facility - it's the only one like it in the world! 

There are 105 fans, each about 5.5' tall, and I know that's accurate because we could walk up to them, and they were slightly taller than me.  Very cool.

Worst moment this week?: Waking up on Tuesday and not finding my ankles!  Argh, I knew my steel toed boots were getting harder to wear, especially on my left foot.  Now, I wear tennis shoes to work and bring my boots just in case I need to make a field visit.  I drink lots of water and exercise, and I definitely limit my salt intake.  However, I guess I can't avoid the swollen ankles. :(

To finish out the week, AJ had to be part of a manhunt that last for 48 hours - though he was only involved for 24 hours.  24 hours of work, save a 2 hour nap, in addition to already being up and working!  Fortunately, they caught the escapee.  However, it always has me worried when AJ is involved in manhunts, and I woke up several times through out the night to see if AJ had made it home - no such luck. :(  And of course, communicating with AJ when he's involved with manhunts are difficult since he was in a remote area, and they are trying to be quiet or constantly listening to chatter on the radio.

Food cravings?: Nothing really, but I will eat more shrimp tomorrow. :)

Symptoms?: Exhaustion, TMI symptom, swollen ankles

Exercise?: I walked 7 miles, worked out my arms twice, legs twice, and core once.

Movement?: Aidan moves a lot, especially not long after I eat.  I love feeling the movement, even if he is kicking my rib cage or punching low.

Belly button?: It's an outie

What I miss?: My ankles. :(  It's not that bad, though.

Labor signs?: Nope - plenty of pelvic pressure though.  The doctor did an internal check on Monday - no progress with the cervix, but if I understood him correctly, he could tell the head was where it needs to be.

Purchases: None this week, though I will go to the store either later this evening or tomorrow.  I finally decided on a baby monitor - I guess it's necessary.

What I'm looking forward to?: I scheduled a hair appointment for Friday - earlier than usual, but I figured I would have more time before Aidan arrives than after.  I always enjoy the hair appointments - great stylist and he's entertaining.  I might try a prenatal massage, but I haven't decided yet. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Aidan,

While daddy and I eagerly await your arrival, there are precious moments I know I am going to miss.  Right now, I can be selfish without someone accusing me of being so.  I have no way to share you, though I do alert daddy when you are kicking and moving so he can feel you, too.  However, one day soon, I will no longer be able to be at work and feel you moving, turning, kicking and punching.  I know I will miss this closeness that I have with you, and I know there will be many other events that will melt my heart.  But I cannot help but think about the things I will miss once you are born.

I will miss hearing your heartbeat when you're sleeping, and I'm an anxiously awaiting you to move to confirm you're still safe and sound inside of me.

I will miss the morning wake-up kicks on my morning drive to work - our quiet time together. 

I will miss those soft punches that sometimes cause my leg to stumble - I know you don't mean to cause me to stumble, and you're just saying hello and stretching out.

I will miss rubbing your butt and back when you press it hard against my abs; sometimes I am not sure if a BH contraction is occurring until I rub the area and you move.

I will miss wondering whether you're moving or whether I am feeling a BH contraction or period like cramping which could mean early labor.  So far, you have fooled me, and yes, I do get my hopes up.  Especially since I am now 37 weeks, I know labor would not be stopped if I went to the hospital.

I will miss the ultrasound images of you moving around or peacefully sleeping.  I know I have videos and pictures to remember these events by, but there's something special seeing you for the first time, watching you move for the first time, and viewing you in 3D where we can see your actual features for the first time.  These moments were remarkable and definitely brought a few tears to my eyes.

I know missing all of these things means that I will have you in my arms, which will be a great feeling, but I will have to share you, too.  Daddy will want to hold you, and there are plenty of people in our lives who will want to love on you, too!  That's a good thing...but for now, I will enjoy being selfish and continue to cherish our moments together until you decide you're ready to make your debut.



Week 36

36 W 6 D
It's crazy how close we are to meeting Aidan!  This coming week, I start going weekly to the OB's office until Aidan makes his appearance in the L&D room. Amazing how time has flown by - I can't believe it's August, and September is right around the corner.

Deer hunting season starts on Monday, and AJ has been busy preparing for it.  Both nights this weekend he has arrived home at 5AM, which is about my waking time on the weekend!  Hopefully the first week will pass by with no surprises.  Usually people hunt heavily the opening week, then realize it's too hot to be deer hunting and take a few weeks off.  We have had several talks with Aidan and his debut, but let's see if he listens. :)

College football returns in three weeks!  I'm always excited for the return of a new season.

How far along?: 36 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?: According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Started the week as the size of a Large Cantaloupe and about to be a Watermelon (round type, not the long, oval watermelons). The fruit doesn't change as often as it did early on. Going into week 37, Aidan is approximately 22 inches long and weighs 6.5 lbs.

Weight gain?: Status quo this week. Total weight gain is 27 lbs.

Stretch marks?: Not yet.

Maternity clothes?: Definitely.

Sleep?: Sleep is still great.  I never wake up to go pee, and once I'm asleep, I stay that way until my alarm goes off at 3:15 AM.  I love the weekends because I can sleep in until 6 to 6:30 AM.  Bojangles, our beagle pup, is usually ready to eat and play by 6:30 anyway.

Best moment this week?: This week was good overall, nothing memorable sticks out.  Just happy to be pregnant with very minimum symptoms.

Worst moment this week?: Being exhausted.  I loved having my energy back, but looks like I'll have to push through these last couple of weeks by napping often.

Food cravings?: Still shrimp!  I plan to eat my limit tomorrow. :)

Symptoms?: Exhaustion has returned - I hope it's not from my low iron levels.  My hemoglobin came back as a 11.6, and the doctor wants me to be at a minimum of 12.  My TMI symptom is still around. 

Exercise?: I walked 7 miles, swam a mile, played an hour of tennis, and worked out my arms, legs and core once.  Great exercise week!

Movement?: Aidan continues to move a lot.  One day this week, it felt like he would ball up and then all at once, move every limb!  The movement felt like he was trying to bust out of my belly!  I also think he's bruising up my rib cage - he's definitely kicking and jabbing his foot into the ribs a lot!

Belly button?: It's an outie

What I miss?: Still miss being able to sleep on my stomach.  When I visit my neighbor's pool, she has this wonderful mesh float that allows me to lay on my stomach, and it feels great!

Labor signs?: Nope - plenty of pelvic pressure though.

Purchases: None this week - probably due to all that I purchased last week.  Though I have a feeling that I will be purchasing more this week.

What I'm looking forward to?: I am really looking forward to the tour of the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety facility in Richland, SC.   A former Clemson professor of mine left Clemson to help found/work for this facility along with other Clemson alumni.  I loved the professor - he had great passion for what he taught.  The facility will greatly improve the safety of houses to weather hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires, etc.  Think of the facility as the equivalent of what crash test dummies did for car safety!  I am so excited to see this facility, and my doctor gave me the okay to go (as long as I am not driving).  Not many people will be given the opportunity to see the facility, so I am glad I can take advantage of the offer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Birth Guesses and a Look Back at Belly Growth

With less than 4 weeks to my estimated due date, I figured I would post the birth guess chart.  The first guess has Aidan being born in less than two weeks!  I have not had a growth ultrasound, which I heard aren't that accurate, so I don't know if Aidan's weight is on track or not. Only time will tell...

So here's the chart listed in order of the date guessed.

And since there are only a few weeks left, here's an interesting picture of my belly growth over the past 36 weeks.  It's amazing to see the changes - had I thought about making this picture months back, I would have taken a few more bare belly shots between weeks 24 and 36, where most of the drastic changes occurred.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The "To-Do" List

The house went through a major transformation when AJ completed the hardwood floors.  It was amazing to see the amount of sand and debris in the carpet and under the pad!  We have noticed we clean the hardwood floors more, but it's due to the sand not being able to hide itself in the carpet.  The difference between the carpet and hardwood is spectacular, and I am glad we went with the hardwood!
So here's the update on our "to-do" list with only 4 weeks remaining.
  • Finish the chairs for the dining room

    • This is definitely being scratched.  I don't think I will finish these chairs in the next few weeks.  I started this project 3 years ago before I began my Masters and PE pursuit, and it has been on the back burner ever since.

  • Finish the china cabinet for the dining room

    • This is also being scratched with the item above.

  • Bring stuff to Goodwill

    • It was nice to clear out the entire corner of boxed and bagged up goods from our bedroom.  Two weeks back I took a lot of stuff to Goodwill, and it feels good to get rid of clutter!
  • Replace carpet in living room and hallway
    • The hardwood floors are down and most of the molding is down, however, 360 Flooring keeps messing up the order for the last few pieces of molding pieces.

  •  Weed the mulch beds and add new mulch

    • AJ finished all the weeding and put mulch in all the beds, except for one...he ran out of mulch. The yard looks great though!
  • Plant the elephant ear

    • I need to get outside and do this!

  • Paint the remainder of the rooms
    •  We'll probably scratch this one, too.  Paint is not necessary anyway. :)
  • Week 35

    35 W 6 D
    Four more weeks!  I can't believe how time has passed so quickly and soon we will be meeting our bundle of joy.  People keep asking me if we are ready - sure we are, not sure what else we can do to be prepared.  There's comes a point where you say "this is it, I'm ready." No more books, no more organization, no more classes.

    Another question I am frequently asked is how long I'm going to work.  Well, as long as I am comfortable and the doctor says it's okay (like no bed rest), I will be at work!  I want to spend as much time of my leave with Aidan, not at home waiting for Aidan.  So I'm hoping that everything continues as it has been, and I can work up until the day I deliver.

    How far along?: 35 weeks 6 days

    How big is baby?: According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Started the week as the size of a Large Cantaloupe and about to be a Large Cantaloupe. The fruit doesn't change as often as it did early on. Going into week 36, Aidan is approximately 22 inches long and weighs 6 lbs.

    Weight gain?: About a pound. Total weight gain is 27 lbs.

    Stretch marks?: Not yet.

    Maternity clothes?: Definitely. 

    Sleep?: Still sleeping great, though I had to get another large pillow.  Now I'm surrounded by pillows.

    Best moment this week?: Seeing some old friends at a shower we had on Saturday!  AJ and I also celebrated being married for 6 years on Saturday.

    Worst moment this week?: Nothing bad this week - I expected work to be worse this week since the boss and two other guys in my group were out, but it was a relatively quiet week, thank goodness.  I did find out that my hemoglobin is still low, so I have to up my iron supplement from 650 mg to 925 mg.

    Food cravings?: Shrimp - I eat my maximum 12 ounces per week.

    Symptoms?: My TMI symptom is still around.  Doctor said it is from the baby dropping lower and putting additional pressure on the area.  He said it was nothing to be concerned about and it would go away after having the baby.

    Exercise?: I walked 6 miles and worked out my arms, core and legs once.

    Movement?: Aidan moves a lot, and he definitely moves 30 minutes or so after I eat.  He still moves the most at night when I am trying to go to sleep.  Sometimes his kicks are painful when they land on my ribs, and sometimes when I stand up and he punches low, my leg stumbles a little.  He hits some nerve or something. 

    Belly button?: It's an outie

    What I miss?: Sleeping on my stomach.

    Labor signs?: Last Sunday, when I walked I could feel my stomach tightening - it was a different feeling than when it gets hard.  I wondered if the tightening was Braxton Hicks contractions.  The feeling stopped as soon as I sat down in my truck.

    Purchases: Since we had the last shower, I purchased a lot of registry items from since I received the completion discount.  I bought important things like an extra car seat base, the car seat adapter for the stroller, a snot sucker along with other things like cloth diaper covers, toys, and diaper pail liner.

    What I'm looking forward to?: I'm looking forward to meeting Baby Aidan.  4 weeks left...give or take two weeks according to my OB!  Let's hope it's not 6 weeks.