Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bump Update: 37 Weeks

(If it looks like I carry high, it is because I am. My midwife's comment last week when looking for his head was 'HOLY COW HE IS WAAAAY UP THERE' - most of the time his head is right up at my ribs/ breast line!)

Baby Size: At my appointment this week my midwife said she thought he was already 7 lbs! I am so glad he is growing great, though I have to say I am surprised I don't feel more uncomfortable? (I am sure I will regret typing that sentence but I am going to enjoy it for now!) 

Feeling: So incredibly excited! Two weeks until our little man makes his appearance (we have a scheduled c-section because he incredibly comfy in his breech position and it is highly unlikely he will flip). It is so strange to know that I have a completely formed, full size Samuel in my stomach right now (in fact, if all of the midwife and OB predictions are right he is already bigger right now than I was when I was born full term!).

I told my sister this week that I am feeling (very naively, I'm sure) prepared for his arrival so I am going to enjoy that while I can! I think there is no way you can ever be completely ready but I at least now have a fridge/ freezer full of food and plenty of diapers and onesies (even though I fully plan on keeping him naked as much as possible because #babythighs). 

I think I wrote it last week but it worth saying again how thankful I am for this pregnancy and how much I love being the vessel that gets to bring Samuel into the world. I have long been fascinated with pregnancy and birth (aka my entire life) and getting to go through this myself has exceeded even my greatest expectations. I truly hope Samuel always knows how much he was and is wanted, loved and cherished from the time he was a tiny poppy seed in his momma's belly.

Food Cravings/ Aversions: Still just delicious fruit and really anything sweet and cold - cold watermelon, popsicles, coconut la croix with watermelon juice. 

Symptoms: Sleep gets a little iffy depending on the night but I honestly can't complain because somehow even on the nights that I wake up 6 or 7 times I still don't feel too tired the next day. Thank you Lord for small mercies! 

This week I also had my first experience with swelling WHAT IN THE WORLD. Only my right ankle decided to get a little bloated on me, and while not uncomfortable at all it did look horrible! I think it was because I was a bit more indulgent with eating and that is how my body handled the increase in sugar/ salt? Or maybe it is just because it is 100 degrees and I am 9 months pregnant ;) Either way it was pretty short lived and things are hopefully back to normal now!

Weight Gain: 26 lbs (I will admit that I had wanted to stay at 25 lbs total which is a silly self-imposed restriction. I give my body good food, stay active and balance it all out with some delicious ice cream (and chocolate croissants - the best morning surprise from my mom!) and I trust my body to regulate accordingly so CHILL THE HECK OUT SELF.) 

Projects: Did some deep cleaning, which made me realize a few more deep cleaning projects I want to get done next week (scrubbing walls and grout). While that sounds ridiculous, I am SO happy to have a project to focus on because I was starting to get a little stir crazy. I also need to get out into our yard and do some weeding but have been slacking on that front. Also, we refinanced our house! This was more of a Preston-driven project and I am SO happy he had us do it because we were able to get an awesome rate. For dad projects, he has also been spending time researching different college saving fund options - Samuel, you are one loved little man!

Dear Samuel: Sweet boy, how are you doing in there?! I keep continue to be nervous that you are uncomfortable but your kicks are reassuring me that you still have at least a tiny bit of room to wiggle in there. I hope that you always know how much I've treasured this time growing you and having you with me always. For your whole life, I hope that you know you were prayed for, wanted and loved more than you can even imagine.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Bump Update: 36 Weeks

Baby Size: As big as a papaya! All of the apps say 6 lbs and 18.5 inches but based on what every midwife has told me this little man is measuring ahead of the curve. :)

Feeling: Really, really great. :) After finally wrapping my head around our change in birthing plans I've been feeling incredibly grateful that Samuel is safe and growing strong and that we are able to provide the safest birth possible for him. Overall I feel fantastic for being 9 months pregnant! I had a couple of days where I was a little bit more tired than usual but I think that is due to waking up every hour during the night to use the bathroom. :) It is definitely tougher to get comfortable at night but I think all of that is just getting me prepared for sleepless nights with Samuel! My mom slept over every night this week because Preston was out of town just in case something were to happen which I was incredibly grateful for - we had such a great time! 

I want to make sure I write here so I always remember how much I have truly loved being pregnant. Growing our son is such a privilege and I have absolutely loved carrying him with me everywhere I go these past nine months!

Food Cravings/ Aversions: All of the watermelon, grapefruit and fruit in general. Thank goodness for Costco!! I am not quite sure if this is a craving or normal summer fruit-loving but I do know that I wake up thinking about cold  watermelon from the fridge! 

Symptoms: Besides night time getting a little tricky to sleep, the only other symptom has been shooting sciatic pain when he does his huge kicks! It normally goes by fast but it definitely takes my breath away when it happens - Samuel you are one strong little dude!

Weight Gain: 25 lbs 

Projects: Repacked my (and Samuel's!) hospital bag (I had everything packed and ready to go for the birth center but since our switch up had to change things around - spending 6 hours post birth vs 3 days calls for a different packing strategy!). I also finished writing in Samuel's adorable baby book (thank you Hannah!) and have it ready to go in my bag for his sweet footprints at the hospital! I also did some more deep cleaning and organized Preston's closet and our pantry which were two areas that were haunting me. :) I finished both of those and got a little nervous that I didn't have an immediate project lined up - not to worry, I've found some areas that need some deep cleaning in the next couple of weeks!

Dear Samuel: My little love, I get to meet you in two and a half weeks! I keep getting nervous about your positioning there - I hope that you are comfortable, I know you're running out of space. I promise you can stretch those sweet legs out all day long once you are here! Know that we are SO incredibly excited to be your parents and I can't wait to kiss your sweet cheeks all day long. But please stay in there for a few more weeks - I want you to be as healthy as possible!!

(Also, I am a slacker this week and somehow didn't take any pictures! Oops!)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Maternity Pictures: Samuel Jacob Simon

Bump Update: 35 Weeks

Baby Size: As big as a pineapple! Nearly 19 inches and can be up to 5.8 lbs (but maybe even bigger based on my midwife's comments!) 

Feeling: It depends on if you were to ask me at the beginning or end of this week. :) Since finding out that Samuel was breech, I had gone to daily chiropractor appointments, done spinning babies, countless headstands in the pool, burned moxibustion by my feet, and went to an acupuncturist. I went to an appointment with my midwife a week after all of this and found out that Samuel had gotten even more cozy in his breech position - he was half frank breech (foot by his head) and half footling (foot down by his bottom). The midwife had planned to do a light version (she is known in the practice as the baby ninja) but after viewing Samuel's position and his size (she said he was a big, healthy baby based on her palpitations) she wasn't willing to try. She referred us to an OB who could do a version (ECV, essentially a procedure where a doctor tries to manually manipulate the baby by pressing/ moving aggressively on the stomach) in a hospital. 

I had known before the appointment that Samuel hadn't moved, but it was still hard to hear that nothing I was doing was working at all. My mom went with me (Preston was out of town) and after the appointment, when I was trying to hold it together, she told me that it was okay to be sad and mourn what I thought was going to be our birth experience. I don't think I've ever written about it here, but we have gone to an out-of-hospital birth center where we see midwives and were planning a natural birth there. I am a huge believer in midwifery care and in trusting a women's body's ability to do what it was created to do. A cesarean was not in my plan. In all honesty, from the day I found out he was breech, I cried every day for a week and a half. I was frustrated that this was happening, scared that something was wrong with Samuel, upset that I was one of the 7% of women with babies who are breech at 35 weeks and disappointed that the birth we had planned and envisioned wasn't going to happen. I also felt horribly guilty for being upset because I had a perfectly healthy baby boy growing in me and I know so many people who would kill for the chance to do that. 

When I woke up on Wednesday, though, I felt like an  new person. There was a weight taken off of my shoulders and I truly felt so thankful that we live in a time and place where I have access to a great hospital, skilled surgeon and am able to provide the safest delivery possible for my son. I felt like God had given me a whole new perspective - I have the complete joy and honor of growing Samuel in my stomach and however he comes into this world, it will be my plan, not God's plan.

Our situation is what c-sections are created for, and while I am pretty strongly opposed to unnecessary medical interventions (for myself), this is very much the safest option for Samuel and I am truly incredible thankful that he is healthy and that we even have this as an option. I've been coordinating several appointments to switch care and am breathing much easier after recognizing that I can't control everything here (obviously this was a lesson I needed to learn and I am glad God taught me it now though I am sure I will need to relearn it about 1,000 times).

Right now, I am truly feeling so happy and EXCITED that we get to meet our precious son so incredibly soon, thankful that he is growing big and healthy and appreciative that I continue to feel great physically this pregnancy.

Food Cravings/ Aversions: WATERMELON. All of the watermelon. It has been sounding so, so good - I actually ate half of one in a weekend which I am not proud of but it was just the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. Grapefruit has been extra delicious lately as well. I can tell my sweet tooth is sneaking out because I have been super tempted by things (fruit snacks, popsicles, etc) that we have at the house that I normally have no problem resisting. Trouble! 

Symptoms: This was my last week of doing Classpass workouts. With Samuel's position and my growing stomach, it was the right time to switch to walking, prenatal yoga and swimming as my forms of exercise. I had wondered how I would handle this because I have LOVED being active this pregnancy, but quite honestly I feel fantastic and am proud of myself for continuing with my normal regimen up until this point. It was funny, because right when I stopped the upper ab tingling/ strange sensation I'd been having relented which I took as a sign that this was exactly what my body needed.

Other symptoms include some big kicks from Samuel that radiate down my sciatic nerve and cause me to make funny 'OOOOOOHHHH boy' noises until they are over. :) Not the best thing that I have ever felt but so worth it to know that he still has some room to kick around in there. I do think that keeping up with my prenatal vitamins daily, eating well and drinking tons of water has really helped with how great this pregnancy has been (and hopefully continues to be!)

Weight Gain: 23 lbs

Projects: Doctor's/ midwives appointments galore (after only going 1/ month this whole pregnancy the last week has felt a little nuts!). I've also organized our baskets all throughout the house with our diaper/ feeding stations, deep  cleaned his nursery and playroom and started working on freezer meals! 

Dear Samuel: I can't believe I get to see your precious face in just a few weeks! After thinking we'd be waiting until mid August to meet you, the most exciting part of this change of plans is knowing that you will be here sooner than that. I've heard that many breech babies like to kick their way out early, but as excited as we are to meet you please stay in there and continue to bake - you have lots of important brain development the next couple of weeks! We love you and are so excited to be your parents my little love.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bump Update: 34 Weeks

Baby Size: The size of a cantaloupe! About 4.75 lbs and almost 18 inches long. It really is incredible how quickly babies grow the third trimester! I continue to see women on birth boards who are due the same time I am give birth to ~6 lb babies which is incredible! 

Feeling: I had been feeling awesome up until our 34 week appointment. We had my normal appt, which was great and when the midwives felt Samuel they even commented that his position felt great. When we went to do the scan to confirm that he was head down, however, that wasn't the case and he is frank breech. It truly threw me for a loop - it was not the news I was expecting to hear (though if I am being honest with myself, there were a few signs that I had been trying to ignore like where I was feeling kicks and the change in my belly shape). I cried on the ultrasound table when they told me, I tried to hold it in but those darn tears snuck out. I tend to be such a planner and having my entire plan thrown off course (even temporarily which I am hoping is the case) is not something I have dealt with very well. It has been a reminder that God is in control, and no matter how hard I may work at trying to have a healthy pregnancy and do everything within my power for things to go smoothly, it is not in my hands. The most important thing is that we have a healthy baby who, if delivered today, would more than likely be A-ok, praise the Lord.

For those wondering what our plan is from here, it is to do everything in our power to try to get him to flip head down (we still have time - thank goodness). I've been doing Spinning Babies moves, had an appointment with a chiropractor trained in the Webster method, have an acupuncture appointment set up for next week, moxa sticks are on there way, I place ice packs on the top of my stomach daily and I've been having long conversations with Samuel and God asking them to help this momma out.

I think that one of the reasons I have been frustrated by this whole ordeal is because I have tried really, really hard to do everything right this pregnancy. I have worked out 3-4 times per week since the beginning, never skipped a day of prenatal vitamins and have eaten well. When I found out he was breech, the thoughts came swarming into my mind of, "Is this my fault? Should I not have been working out? Should I have rested more?". None of those thoughts are helpful and again I keep trying to remind myself that it is in God's hands and not mine. I truly know this is one of the absolute smallest, most minute things we could have to go through in the grand scheme of pregnancy. I am beyond thankful for a healthy baby boy and however he gets here, I can't wait to meet him in a matter of weeks!!

Food Cravings/ Aversions: Food continues to be easy, I did make a yummy batch of banana bread muffins which have been my indulgence this week. They have chia and flax seeds so I can at least pretend like they are healthy. ;) 

Symptoms: While I feel awesome during the day, night time discomfort continued this week. It is just hard to get and stay comfortable! My upper abs go numb/ feel funky and I get sore 'down there' - it is all just my body preparing for labor which is great, it just makes sleep a little more difficult. (After seeing the chiropractor, it turns out some of these are from misalignment in my body and so even after one adjustment I am feeling WAY better.)

Weight Gain: 21 lbs at my appt (though because of Samuel's position my belly was measuring ahead for the first time- which was my first clue that something was up)

Projects: Washed all of Samuel's blankets (his clothes have been washed for weeks, but I was waiting on blankets until we got a closer).  I also have my bags packed in case he decides to make an early appearance (I've been saying all along that he would bake for a long time but his position and how many Braxton Hicks I have makes me want to be prepared just in case). 

I think all of the crazy baby flipping things we're doing over here should count as their own project as well!! ;) Regardless of how he comes out, I know one day I will look back and laugh at my memories of Preston and I doing headstands in the pool trying to get our little boy to flip. 

Dear Samuel: I love you so much sweet little man! Please listen to your momma though, and if you are able to safely turn head down - now is the time. :) I trust you that if after all of the shenanigans I am putting you through you stay head up, you have a good reason for doing so and I can't wait to get you here into my arms safely.