Monday, December 29, 2008

One Week Away From Parenthood!

Michael and I attended my prenatal appointment today with Dr. Chaudhari. I'm 39 weeks and one day into gestation. My blood pressure manages to stay just below the danger line that would cause my doctor to want to induce me immediately. And I have less protein in my urine than before, so the pre-eclampsia symptoms seem to be staying at bay or even slightly getting better. I do still have some impressive Flinstone feet due to swelling. There was a time this morning when I thought I would have to call out sick from work because I couldn't find any work shoes that still would fit my feet.

Though, I now seem to be getting a head cold again. Not sure if I picked up a new one from work, or took back the cold that I gave to Michael at Thanksgiving time.

There is still concern that I have a short, stocky kid in my belly with a big head and shoulders. So the latest game plan is for me to have an ultrasound on Wednesday and to get another estimate on how big Gabriel is. He was estimated to weigh 7 pounds and 2 ounces on December 9th, which would make him the size of a baby due 12/21/08. And now he's had 3 weeks to gain weight since then.

Michael and I will have another appointment on Friday morning with Dr. Chaudhari to make a birth plan with the ultrasound results. If the measurements from the ultrasound still confirm a huge kid with odd measurements, I may have a c-section on 1/5/09 which is my due date. I am so happy to hear a none holiday potential birth date! If the ultrasound measurements confirm an average to a slightly big boy, I will be induced on Sunday night 1/4/09 just to prevent Gabriel from growing too ginormous to pass through the birth canal on his own.

So either way, it is highly likely by next Monday night Michael and I will be parents!

There's always a chance I could go into labor on my own before then, but I don't feel like I am going to have him in the near future. I am continuing to show positive changes such as increased dilation to 1-2 cm now and lots of signs that I am softening.

So, parenthood in less than a week!! I'm still not sick of pregnancy yet, so last night I was a little saddened feeling Gabriel clump around in my stomach and knowing it will be ending soon. I would like more time to enjoy pregnancy, but I also don't want to deliver a toddler. I am excited that I will be meeting Gabriel in a week. And then there is an occasional good dose of fear too.

My last day of work will be this Friday, and then I will start a 12 week maternity leave.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas with the Vermont Family

My parents came to New Hampshire on Saturday to celebrate Christmas 2008 with us. Being 9 months pregnant made this holiday a little different. There has been a lot less driving this season. And a whole lot less hustle with my bustle.

I made a lasagna and then Grandma D., Grandpa D., Brandi and Angus showed up around noon. Luckily, they didn't hit any of the morning icing that was reported on the weather forecast.

Grandpa and Grandma brought a bunch of gifts for Gabriel, Michael and I. Gabriel got some toys including a top, a Glowworm, a stuffed sheep, a mobile for his crib, and a wooden dump truck. Michael and I were spoiled too, but I am most excited about all of my new pajamas, assuming I will be lounging around in those a bit more over the next few weeks. And Michael has already started wearing his new sweatshirts that he much needed.

Michael and I gave an "anti-gravity" car to Angus for Christmas. It is a remote control car that was suppose to drive on the walls and ceilings. I was a bit skeptical, but it really did work! We have textured ceilings, so it didn't work up there, but Angus was able to drive the car all over our walls. Brandi is becoming a high tech teenager, so she got an iTunes gift card and a USB port. That's the kind of Christmas shopping Michael likes!

Elleigh and Lucas were so excited to see all the company and the presents. Angus was so interesting to them, and yet, over stimulating as well. We haven't had anything that high energy in the house in a while. Probably since Angus' last visit.

After having some lasagna (and fudge, summer sausage, cheese, spinach and artichoke dip, crackers, cookies...), Michael set the Wii up for Angus and Brandi to try their hand at bowling and golf. Michael made sure Angus' controller was firmly secured to his hand before letting him stand in front of his flat screen.

Elleigh and Lucas were so exhausted from the visit. They had to nap all afternoon with Daddy to recuperate.

Thank you for the visit, Mom and Dad!

Christmas will be so different for us next year when Gabriel is here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just Waiting Still...

I'm so glad Michael didn't waste his time trying to leave work on Monday to attend my prenatal appointment with me. I waited 40 minutes for my doctor and then saw him for less than 5 minutes.

My blood pressure remains just below the pre-eclampsia danger point, and I had less protein in my urine on Monday than I did the last two appointments. So there was no further discussion about having to possibly induce labor to stop some of the symptoms I had developed: swelling, some blurred vision during parts of the day, mild headaches, transient blood pressure spikes, etc. I actually felt better over the weekend, having sat around doing nothing during the snow in, but by no means were my symptoms gone.

Unless I go into labor or have and increase in problems before then, my next appointment on Monday the 29th.

My co-workers tell me that my stomach has dropped and some days Gabriel does feel lower, especially noted by the absence of heartburn occasionally. My co-workers seem genuinely surprised to see me every morning I show up for work, and then they make sure to seek me out to say good night at the end of each day "just in case" this is the night I actually start maternity leave.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's Snowing... AGAIN!

I am hearing snow forecasts for our area today that range from 8-20 inches of snow. Ending with wind that will cause blowing and possibly more power outages. Living up on a hill, we get more blowing of snow than everyone else anyway, so can't wait to see what this wind brings. I feel bad for the people in New Hampshire who still haven't gotten their power back yet. I'm sure that this blowing won't help their situations. Good thing we found a new coat for Lucas last night. He and Mike were out this morning in the snow trying to drum up a little enthusiasm for the white stuff. It was fun for a few minutes until Lucas' little feet got too cold. Elleigh prefers the comfort of the warm indoors.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Running Errands During the Break in the Snow

We took supplies for Lucas and Elleigh May to Pet Agree in Candia Friday night. Elleigh and Lucas will be attending "overnight camp" at Pet Agree when Michael and I finally head off to the hospital to deliver Gabriel. And now, in case we go to the hospital in a hurry, Elleigh and Lucas already have food, treats, instructions, and check in forms signed and waiting at Pet Agree. They just need a ride to camp when it's time.

After a quick dinner in the bar at the Ninety Nine restaurant in Hooksett, Michael and I went shopping at a pet store in the new Goodwill shopping plaza. Lucky for Lucas, we found a winter jacket for him. The poor middle child goes ignored. Last year at this time, Lucas was still a puppy, so he didn't have a winter coat that fits him so far this winter. We found him a handsome red and black coat that makes him look like a snow patrol dog.

We also hit Target in Hooksett and found the Graco Pack n Play we wanted for Gabriel, that hadn't been in stock in Concord. It has a bassinet attachment and a changing table too. May have found a shelf solution for Gabriel's room too! We needed something extra to hold stuff in the one corner where we have Gabriel's changing pad on top of the dresser, the Diaper Genie will be, we need a place to put diaper changing stuff and the wipe warmer needs to be plugged in.

And since more snow was looming in the forecast, we stopped at a small grocery store in Allenstown on the way home and got some supplies to get us through a possible snowed in Sunday. I also got some makings for cookies and fudge, as I haven't done any holiday baking or cooking yet.

Holiday Cheer Sent by Glenn

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gabriel's Coming Home Projects

I have now finished Gabriel's mittens, socks, and cabled hat in the Kona Superwash yarn to match his teal Debbie Bliss cardigan. I hand washed all of the pieces and am setting them out to dry and block tonight. I think in the end, all of the pieces are going to be of varying sizes. The socks may be too big for a newborn. His mittens may be too small quickly. And I sure hope the cabled hat is way too big for his head. The cardigan is big and boxy, but I can roll up the sleeves, so I think it will work. Now I just have to figure out what to put under all of these items for his Coming Home Outfit from the hospital. You can see a photo of the socks in my October 15th blog entry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Full Term!

I am 37 weeks and 1 day into gestation today, which is a milestone. Gabriel is now considered full term! He can arrive any day now and his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though his due date is still three weeks away.

On average, a baby at this point should weigh 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel. At my ultrasound on December 9th, one estimate had Gabriel weighing 7 lbs and 2 ounces a week ago, so he is ahead of the average size baby. (Another estimate had him bigger than that.) Lucky me!

I am noticing more and more Braxton Hicks contractions these days, and I have lots of swelling in my feet and hands now. The hand swelling is relatively new over the last few weeks. I have heartburn almost 24 hours a day. My hips are aching, but I usually can get a full night of sleep in if I don't worry too much about work and wrapping up there before maternity leave. I'm also trying to find time to enjoy Gabriel's movement, as I think I am really going to miss that when he is born. I have finally had some net weight gain from when I first got pregnant, but I believe it to be mostly fluid based on the amount of swelling I've had since the start of December. For the most part, being pregnant hasn't been as bad as I expected it to be.

It's probably time to have a bag packed for myself and Gabriel.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another Prenatal Appointment

I had another prenatal appointment with Dr. Chaudhari on Monday morning. I had gained 6 pounds just over the weekend, but it clearly was fluid retention. For the first time, I had trouble getting my engagement and wedding rings off. My feet had experienced some swelling before, but this was the first time my hands really swelled. But my blood pressure still remains okay, so chalk this up to normal end of pregnancy swelling. I'm in my 9th month of gestation now, so almost done!

I finally caught the bugs that were passing around the office. So I have nasal congestion, a cough, a sore throat from post nasal drip, and barely any voice left to speak. I came down with it the night before Thanksgiving and was miserable with it for the long holiday weekend.

Dr. Chaudhari was not sure that Gabriel was head down at my appointment. He was thinking he might be transverse, which makes sense to me as sometimes I have felt like he was going across my stomach and wasn't low in the pelvis. I've never had that sensation of getting kicked up under the ribs like other Mothers have told me about. I feel a lot of movement in there though, and I really enjoy it and am already thinking I will miss it when Gabriel's out. A transverse lie can be a problem, and require a c-section, if the baby is not head down by week 36. And I was 35 weeks and 1 day as of my appointment.

I am scheduled for another ultrasound on the 9th to once again check the size that Gabriel is, and now to confirm his position in the womb too. There is still concern that he is really big for his gestational age. And I don't have to probably write too much about the problems a big baby can cause during delivery. I am sure you can use your imagination on that.

Dr. Chaudhari has indicated that I will most likely have a December birth and that I won't be going past my due date based on what he has found so far, but the next ultrasound will be the final determination on what the birth plan will be. I have given up the idea of having a late baby born around mid-January. I have wanted to get Gabriel's birth as far away from the holidays, so of course, I'm learning already that there is little control in parenting.

I am on a weekly prenatal appointment schedule now that I am in the final month.