37w0d FULL TERM!

week 37Your baby’s the size of a winter melon!

Your baby is now considered “full term,” even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you’re planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier.)

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

We made it!!!  Baby Z and I are considered full term today.  Yay!

Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!  Here’s to a fabulous 2013!  So sorry that I took a holiday hiatus from blogging; J and I spent the holidays putting the final touches on the nursery, washing all of Baby Z’s (itsy bitsy) clothes and sheets, cleaning the apartment, watching old Bond movies, and pigging out on enormous dry age porterhouse steaks at Wolfgang’s (yum).  All in all, it was a pretty nice stay-cation for us – and it was a true STAY-cation in every sense of the word, considering that I can count with one hand the number of times I left our apartment over the course of nearly 14 days.

J and I also made final plans with our families over who will be here when it’s “go time”.  Both my mother and my aunt are planning to fly here to help me and J (and Baby Z) through the first few harrowing postpartum weeks.  In traditional  Chinese practice, the month (or 30 days) after birth is called “zuo yue zi”, which literally translates to “sitting the month.”  The phrase is particularly apropos as new moms are pretty much expected to just sit around in pajamas for a month to recover from childbirth.

Sounds awesome, right?  Nope.

I’m not sure about all the details associated with these 30 days of confinement, but from what I’ve read and heard from my siblings, it’s definitely no cake walk.   Apparently I won’t be allowed to go outside, take a shower or drink cold water for an entire month, among assorted other dietary and physical restrictions.

Say WUT.

Dear Mom and Aunt:  Not to sound particularly ungrateful (because J and I are SO happy and thankful for your help), but please don’t lock me up in a tower for 30 days (literally, cuz we live on the 23rd floor of a high-rise).  And you don’t want to know what I smell like after ONE day of not showering, much less 30 freakin’ days.   Trust me on this.   Also, don’t even THINK about stopping me from binge eating raw sushi immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, after Baby Z is out.  Thinking about that plate of fatty tuna is what has been keeping me going for the past 9 months.  Fatty tuna and seeing my toes again.   K THANKS 🙂

In other news, have I mentioned that J and I are almost finished with the nursery? It’s quickly becoming my favorite room in the apartment.

Here are some pictures:

1.

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2.  Henry testing out the crib.  He approves.

(P.S. Don’t worry – we washed the sheets after this pic was taken.)

photo (2)

3.  Henry testing out the glider.  He approves.

photo (3)

4.  Um, how cute is our elephant hamper?!!??

photo (1)

5.  My friend purchased this baby rattle for us, and I think it’s freaking hilarious.

photo (4)

Now all we need is a baby to come join our family!

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32w6d 33 Week Prenatal

Baby Z and I just went in for our 33-week prenatal appointment, and yay, for once, we passed everything with flying colors.  We definitely don’t have gestational diabetes, we’re right on target on weight gain (despite my anxiety about growing a fatty and becoming one myself), and we’re still on track for a Feb 1 due date.  But if my OB had to make a guess, she thinks that Baby Z will make an appearance at least a week early…

Also good news:  We found out that under Obamacare, breast pumps are now 100% covered under our insurance starting Jan 1.  My OB wrote us a prescription for one today, and I guess Baby Z and I are going to give breastfeeding a shot in a few weeks.  From all sources, I hear that it’ll be a challenging (and possibly painful…) experience.  Gulp.  I’ve been watching YouTube videos on breastfeeding, and I still can’t wrap my mind around my body producing actual FOOD to feed a human being.  It seems so…sci-fi.

(Sort of funny side-note:  I’ve been watching these videos on birth and breastfeeding at work.  Which is probably not a good idea since I sit in an open office environment.  Just last week my boss kind of snuck up on me and I had, like, 5 videos of boobs playing simultaneously on my computer screen, along with a video of a very loud live birth.  Nice.)

funny-pictures-cat-breastfeeds-baby

 

32w5d 12-12-12

Dear Baby Z,

Happy 12-12-12 kiddo!  It’s been pointed out to me that today is the last repetitive date that I’ll see in my lifetime…but possibly not yours!   The next time three numbers will align as they did on 9-9-09, 10-10-10 and 11-11-11 will be January 1, 2101 (01-01-01), and you will be nearly 90 years old.  So I write this letter to your 90 year old self.  (Did I just blow your mind?)

My dearest hope is that by the time you’re 90, you will have lead an amazing, fulfilling, thoughtful life filled with 90 years of  love, laughter, and happiness.  I hope you’ve lived a life that you’ve imagined and a life that you’re proud of.  I hope you are surrounded by people who love you as you are.  I hope you’ve remembered to wash behind your ears, open doors, use correct grammar, eat well, travel when you can, make wise choices, learn how to fail gracefully, and not only sleep when you can, but to dream big.

But most of all, I hope you remember me as the best Mom in the entire universe.

(Just kidding.  Sort of.)

I hope you know that I feel so fortunate and proud to be your Mom.  (Unless you’ve become a sociopath or a serial killer, in which case, I take the aforementioned sentence back.)  I know at 90, it’s probably no longer appropriate for me to refer to you as my Baby Z, but I will probably always think of you that way for all of your life.  If my own mother taught me anything at all about motherhood, it’s that a major part of my job is to make sure that you suffer complete and utter embarrassment on my behalf from time to time.  I hope that I’ve succeeded.

I can hardly believe that in a few short weeks, I will be able to hold you in my arms for the first time.  Your Dad wants to be the first to hold you, but I’m putting my foot down on this one.   I’ve earned to right to be the first to hold you, dammit!  Even as I’m typing this letter, I can feel your (sharp) elbows and knees poking against my belly.  You are so very, very active these days that I’m worried that you hate sleeping already (your Mom’s favorite activity).  Sometimes when I feel your little feet poking out, I like to put two fingers against my belly and pretend that I’m ticking your toes.  You’d make a fluttering movement, and I like to imagine that you’re laughing and kicking your chubby feet around  in glee.  It’s a private game we play together, and I must say, I’m going to miss these little moments the most when you’re out in a few weeks.

Happy 12-12-12 and 01-01-01, my dear baby boy.  Whether inside or outside, I’ll always carry you in my heart.

Love,

Mom

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32w0d the countdown

week-33-durian-fruit

Your baby’s the size of a durian!

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark. He’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal.   With that much baby inside your uterus, your amniotic-fluid level has maxed out, which explains why some of his pokes and kicks feel pretty sharp these days. (There’s less fluid to cushion the blows.) Antibodies are being passed from you to your little one asshe continues to develop his own fetal immune system, which will come in handy once he’s outside the womb and fending off all sorts of germs.

(Source: Baby Center and What to Expect)

 

I cannot believe that I am 33 weeks already.  Was it only 6 months ago that my doctor COULDN’T FIND MY BABY in my enormous uterus?  Now there’s is definitely no mistaking in his constant jabs, rolls, and karate kicks that he’s in there…and quickly running out of room!

These days, I’ve become a fat, hot, swollen, sweaty, waddling, exhausted mess of a human being.  Sleep has become elusive, even though I’m tired all the time.  I wake up at least once an hour  to hit the bathroom, and it takes me at least another 15 minutes to find a comfortable position on my side to fall back asleep…only to wake up again 45 minutes later.  I actually need to hold on to the handrails (yuck) in the subway in order to make it up and down the stairs, and simple tasks such as putting on pants feel like an exercise in dexterity (and humiliation).  My hands and feet look like they belong to Smeagol, and my emotions are like those of Jekyll and Hyde…except Hyde seems to be surfacing more and more.

In short, I’m more than ready to have this baby!  I wonder if making your third trimester as uncomfortable as possible is nature’s way of preparing you to raise a child.  Even though I’m still nervous and worried over whether I’d make a good parent, these days I’m just too freaking tired to worry beyond calculating the distance between the couch and the bathroom, as I would imagine this cat is also thinking.

3 more weeks until I’m full term.  7 weeks until my due date.  Let the countdown begin!

fat cat

 

 

 

31w5d Hair growth

It took me nearly 32 weeks, but I just realized/noticed that since I became pregnant, the hair on my legs and armpits (sexy, eh?) have been growing much more SLOWLY than they were before!  Not that I am complaining, but I’ve only read that pregnancy tends to speed up hair growth, not the opposite.  (http://www.babycenter.com/0_hair-and-nail-changes-during-pregnancy_1456563.bc)

Even weirder, the hair on my head is growing a lot faster.  I have bangs and they are growing so fast that I’ve given up getting them trimmed at the salon and started taking a pair of shears to them myself.  Which probably explains the weird stares I get on the subway these days…

So basically I’m starting to look like this fella – crazy head of mane on my head, none on my body.

Is this normal?!

lion-haircut-dog

30w6d Worst Baby Advice Ever

My friend sent me the below article that appeared in Slate earlier last week on the worst baby advice ever going back to the 1700s.  They’re pretty funny and ridiculous…until you realize that thousands of poor babies and well-intentioned  parents suffered as a result of these jerks who dispensed them. Feeding your baby cereal at 2 days of age?  Potty training your little one at 2 months?  Inspecting your wet nurse’s nipples?  Even I know these to be laughably ridiculous, although I won’t lie, a potty trained 2 month old Baby Z would be A-MAZING.

I’d like to go back in time, find this Sackett dude, inspect his nipples and smear him in lard.

(Hmm, maybe that didn’t come out right.)

The Worst Baby Advice Ever

Smear your baby in lard! Feed the infant bacon and eggs!

by LIBBY COPELAND   NOV. 23, 2012

New York 1898.
New York 1898
Illustration from Sporting Life/Cecil Raleigh and Seymour Hicks/Library of Congress.

In the annals of bad baby advice, a dubious prize goes to Tennessee preacher Michael Pearl, who provoked outrage last year when it came to light that a book he’d written with his wife, To Train Up a Child, was allegedly linked to the deathsof three children by abuse and neglect. An advocate of training children the way one might “stubborn mules,” Pearl recommends eliminating the “selfish compulsion” of 6-month-old babies by striking them with wooden spoons or “flexible tubing.” In a less violent vein, according to this recent video clip, he also believes that devoted mothers can potty-train their infants by the time they’re 2 weeks old.

Inspired by Pearl (and the tale of a 1960s Miami pediatrician who believed in feeding solids to newborns; more about that below), I decided to survey the worst advice given to parents, going back to the 1700s. What stands out most in these books is the chiding tone espoused by the mostly male physicians writing them. From the 1700s until the mid-20th century, when Dr. Benjamin Spock advocated a gentler, instinct-based approach to parenting in The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, science was often positioned in opposition to motherly instinct, and mothers were repeatedly criticized for being “anxious, well-meaning, but ignorant,” as one 1916 book put it. Of course, it was often the so-called experts who were ignorant. Scottish physician William Buchan’s 1804 book Advice to Mothersinformed them that “in all cases of dwarfishness or deformity, ninety-nine out of a hundred are owing to the folly, misconduct or neglect of mothers.”

Some of the tips—like infant lard baths—are not necessarily bad, just strange to contemporary eyes. And some are remarkable only for the fact that they were necessary. An 1878 book called Advice to Mother informed said mother that she should not give her baby gin to relieve flatulence. A 1749 essay by a physician advised changing infants’ clothing frequently because clean clothes didn’t, in fact, “rob them of their nourishing Juices.” Here are the other choice examples:

A Spoiled Baby Is a Socialist Baby

Before Spock’s 1946 book, a strict approach dominated baby advice books. Experts advised mothers to keep infants on schedules for feeding and sleeping. Holding them just for the sake of it was considered a sure way to produce what a 1911 text termed a “little tyrant.” As the U.S. Department of Labor observed in an “Infant Care” pamphlet in 1929, “a baby should learn that such habitual crying will only cause his parents to ignore him.”

Under the behaviorist thinking pioneered by psychologist John B. Watson and others, spoiling a baby was an immoral act that could forever curdle a child’s character. Watson advised parents “never” to “hug and kiss” their children. A 1916 book warned parents not to bounce babies on their knees, as it would spoil babies and lead to “wrecked nerves.” In general, wrote physician L. Emmett Holt in 1894, playing with babies was a bad idea: “Never until four months, and better not until six months.”

As late as 1962, well after Spock’s kinder, gentler approach had become a staple of nightstands across the country, a Miami pediatrician named Walter W. Sackett Jr. came out with a book called Bringing Up Babies, in which he implied that parents who failed to impose strict schedules on their babies were downright unpatriotic. Absolutely no night feedings, he wrote, no matter how young the baby, nor how much it cried. “If we teach our offspring to expect everything to be provided on demand, we must admit the possibility that we are sowing the seeds of socialism,”Sackett warned, likening overindulgent parents to Hitler and Stalin.

Toilet Train Your Newborns

If there is one pervasive theme in baby advice books from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is a preoccupation with the bowels. Much of it traces to concern over diarrhea-causing infections that killed many infants, though “sluggish bowels” were also a concern. “If we lock up the bowels, we confine the enemy and thus produce mischief,” British doctor Pye Henry Chavasse warned in 1878.

The daily drudgery of cleaning dirty cloth diapers may have been part of the impetus for recommendations to toilet train newborns, but experts often added a moral component. In 1935, a U.S. Department of Labor “Infant Care” pamphletcalled an infant’s regulation of his bowels and bladder a key part of his “character building.” Mothers were instructed to start bowel training their babies at 2 months of age, holding the baby over the “chamber” at the precise same time each day, and “using a soap stick, if necessary” to provoke a movement. By 6 to 8 months, the pamphlet predicted, the baby would be trained, and by 10 months, parents could start in on bladder training. As an added benefit to the mother’s cleaning chores, said infant “will begin to learn that he is part of a world bigger than that of his own desires.”

Don’t Poison the Baby With Angry Breast Milk

Several advice books suggested that mothers could harm their babies by thinking the wrong sorts of thoughts. The Sadlers, husband-and-wife doctors who collected their wisdom in 1916, blamed “angry” mothers for causing their babies’ colic. Mothers could also run dry by engaging in “worry, grief, or nagging,” they wrote. In his 1877 bookAdvice to a Wife, Chavasse informed mothers not to nurse for too long. Once the baby was past 9 months of age, nursing could cause “brain disease” in babies and blindness in mothers.

Watch Out for the Wet Nurse (and Baby Nurse, and Washerwoman …)

By the turn of the 20th century, infant care manuals had become “staples in the middle-class American nursery,” medical historian Howard Markel observes, and the women reading them were informed that the lower-class women helping with their child care brought all manner of diseases and bad habits into their homes.

“Mothers cannot be too watchful of nursemaids,” advised a “Mrs. Max West,” the author of a 1914 U.S. government pamphlet, writing that these “vicious” women might leave babies in wet diapers or feed them candy. One 1916 book, The Mother and Her Child, went so far as to suggest that nurses shouldn’t expect too much pay, since they were getting something “money cannot buy” by being permitted to live in the edifying environment of an upper-class home. Meanwhile, washerwomen were apt to wash a baby’s clothes in corrosive “soda” and deny it, Chavasse observed in 1878.

Wet nurses were most suspicious of all. Some of this is understandable, as it was feared they could transmit diseases like tuberculosis and syphilis to their newborn charges. But many other warnings communicated the class tensions inherent in such hires. The Mother and Her Child advised against hiring single mothers; if a woman had more than one illegitimate child, she was apt to be “mentally deficient.” Chavasse’s book advised that parents inspect the wet nurse’s nipples (they had to be “sufficiently long”), and make sure she didn’t “menstruate during suckling,” or eat pastries and gravies, both of which would harm the milk. He mandated the wet nurse’s 10 p.m. bedtime. Last, he suggested prospective employers have the wet nurse milk her product into a glass so parents could ascertain that it was bluish-white in color, and “sweet to the taste.”

Lard Baths

Several advice books around the turn of the century advised that newborns be “well smeared” in lard, olive oil, or “fresh butter.” “Some kind of grease is needed” for the removal of the waxy vernix coating babies are born with, explained one book. After a week of daily oilings, mothers could move on to soap and water.

Start Solids at 2 Days Old

After World War II, commercial baby food producers as well as pediatricians drastically lowered the age at which they recommended babies start solids. Between the 1930s and the 1950s, much to the delight of Gerber and Beech-Nut, the average age at which parents introduced solids plummeted from 7 months to four to 6 weeks, according to various surveys. Sackett, the same guy who feared insufficient strictness would lead to socialist babies, was at the leading edge of this trend, writing in 1962 that breast milk and formula were “deficient,” and therefore babies should be started on cereal at 2 days of age. At 10 days, they could have strained vegetables, and by 9 weeks old, the little one would be eating “bacon and eggs, just like Dad!” Sackett also recommended giving babies black coffee starting at 6 months of age, to get them used to “the normal eating habits of the family.”

*          *          *

These days, we know more about the basics of infant nutrition and medical care, and don’t waste time worrying about angry, brain-maiming breast milk. But we do fixate on matters of style (attachment parenting or cry-it-out from the nursery?), as well as the finer details of infant care (solids at 4 months or 6)? We also know that there are many matters for which we will probably never have definitive scientific answers. As historian Markel pointed out to me, there are ethical problems with experimental trials on babies, and besides, there’s not much money to be gained in testing, for instance, whether babies should be rocked or ignored in the middle of the night. If “there’s no drug, no procedure” being tested, Markel says, there’s “not likely to be funding.”

If it’s any consolation, surveying the fads of past advice can give you some perspective on contemporary ones. There may never be a baby book that offers the conclusive answer to every question, but it’s possible to extract some wisdom from the suffering of past generations of parents. Does the book you’re reading contradict itself repeatedly, require you to override all your parental instincts, or send you into a panic over your own inadequacy? If so, burn it.

30w3d Giving thanks

It’s been a standing tradition for me and J (and Henry) to head to my family’s place in Pennsylvania over the Thanksgiving holiday (and to J’s family in Georgia over Christmas), but sadly, this year we decided to forgo the trip because 1. Henry is still recovering from major doggy hip surgery and 2.  I’m too fat and gassy and small-bladdered to sit in a car for over 8 hours.

Even though it was probably the best decision for us, I was still a little bummed about not being able to see my family before Baby Z’s arrival in a couple of months (gulp).   But with the help of my dear husband and sweet puppy, we managed to rally and put together a pretty cozy (and delicious) family Thanksgiving feast.  J made an amazing roast chicken that may need to become a new Z family Thanksgiving tradition, I made some diver sea scallops and arugula salad, and Henry got a bully stick the size of a small oak tree to munch on.  Not too shabby.

Because of our stay-cation this year, I also had a lot more time to reflect on everything that I have to be thankful for this year – and there is a lot to be thankful for.   This is my short list:

1.  My husband – It’s hard to believe (and remember) that J and I got married in March of this year!  March seems like a million years ago, especially since it’s been a million years since I’ve been able to see my toes, much less fit into my wedding gown (sniff).  But I am thankful each and every day that I’m married to my best friend and to the nicest, funniest, and as I’m discovering now that I’ve turned into a raging shrew, the most patient man I’ve ever known.

2. My family – the one I grew up with and the new one that I’m forging.  I’ve never been as appreciative of or as thankful for my family as I do now that I am about to start my own.  Even though my family members are littered all over the world, I see, hear, feel, and am thankful for their love and support every day.  Baby Z is going to have some pretty amazing grandparents, grand-aunties (or is it great aunties?), uncles and aunts!

3. My adopted family of friends – Because my family is scattered all over the world (and sadly, none are in New York), the amazing friends that I’ve made over the past couple of decades have become my extended family, and I’m so grateful for their years of unwavering support (sometimes literally as I stumbled home over way one too many margaritas on a Monday, err, Friday night) – Baby Z, pretend that you never saw this).

4. My puppy – did you think I would leave my Henry out of my list!?  He may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, but I am thankful to him each and every day for helping me become a more humble, patient, and humorous person.  It’s hard not to learn how to laugh at yourself when you find yourself clinging on to the edge of your king sized bed every night because you don’t have the heart to disturb your sleeping puppy sprawled out like a sultan in the middle…and see your husband doing the same thing on his side of the bed.

5. My health – did I mention yet that I DON’T have gestational diabetes!?  HALLELUJAH.  Other than this diabetes scare, I am so thankful that this has been a fairly calm/uneventful/healthy pregnancy (*knock on wood).  Yes, my back hurts like a mother effer and my farts can clear a room, but I know that it could be so, so much worse.  Like, I could spontaneously sh*t in my pants every time I sneeze like an unfortunate friend of mine.

6. My baby – thank you for picking me to be your mom.  I promise that I will try my hardest not to mess you up too much.  I can’t wait to meet you in a few short weeks.  Please go easy on my vagina, KTHX!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

29w3d Failed Glucose Test

So I received the lovely news from my OB last week that I failed my glucose test, which meant that I had to return to my OB’s office on Friday to undergo further testing to see whether I have gestational diabetes.  Apparently between 2 and 10 percent of expectant moms develop gestational diabetes, and it basically means that I have abnormally high levels of sugar in my blood, which puts Baby Z at risk for being too fat at birth.  My OB said that my glucose level was right at the cut-off point:  the test is normal or negative if the glucose level is 135 mg./dl. or lower.  (So any reading below 135 mg./dl. is considered within normal limits, and the mother is at very low risk for developing gestational diabetes.)

I just failed the test at 140 mg./dl., which meant that I had to return for a long, tortuous three-hour glucose tolerance test. I had to fast overnight and head to my OB’s office early the next morning so that I could drink yet another yucky orange glucose drink and a nervous lab technician with pink hair took a vial of blood from me every hour on the hour for 3 hours (4 blood draws total).

Yeah, it was as awful as it sounds, made especially more so because the vampires, I mean, lab techs at my OB’s office could not find my veins to save their lives.  Both of my arms now look like those of a heroine addict.

I also forgot to bring a good book for the long waits in between blood draws, so I ended up playing silent games of “I Spy” in the waiting room.  I think at one point I spied with my little eye 4 Bugaboo strollers, 3 slobbering babies, 3 bored dads, 2 nursing moms, and 1 ginormous boob.  (Not mine, in case you’re wondering.)

It’s now Monday, and the wait continues.  Please, please let me pass the test.

At least one positive thing came out of this experience:  I now have zero desire to see the new Twilight movie.   A ginormous bloodsucking baby that tears out of the womb hits a little too close to home.

Will keep y’all posted.

28w5d Giving Birth the Dumb Way

Now that I’m in my third trimester (and the size of a beluga whale) I get a lot of questions from friends, coworkers, even a random hipster on the 2 train asking me if I’m planning to take any birth preparation classes.  After doing some research and putting some thought into this, I’ve decided that the answer is…nope.  I know that for some people, these classes can be comforting and informative, but for me, they’d just be a huge waste of time and money because quite frankly, these days I have the attention span and memory retention of a monkey on crack.  In another post I mentioned that J and I took an infant CPR class  a month ago, and how I found the class to be very helpful.

Yeah, that was a month ago.  Try putting a choking infant in front of me now and I’ll show you what choking really looks like.  I can’t recall anything I learned from that infant CPR class now, other than “Call 911”.

So no to birth classes.  And if that makes me a bad mother, then so be it.  Yes, part of me is scared that I will be the laughingstock of the maternity ward by not knowing any labor or birthing techniques or exercises (I can already hear the nurses whispering, “Hey have you seen that batshit lady in 2314 screaming like a chicken without a head?  I bet she wishes that she took lamaze now.”), but that’s a risk that I’m willing to take.

I’m going to go into labor the way I strolled into my college Econ 101 exams – without attending any classes and hungover/drugged up with an epidural.  Oh, and some late night cramming the night before.

I recently told my mom about this birth plan (or lack thereof) of mine, to which she replied, “I see that you’re going into birth the same way you got knocked up – the dumb and unplanned way.”

Yup.

For the record, I ended up getting an A- in Econ, so haters can suck it.

28w0d Third Trimester Worries and Woes

 Your baby’s the size of an acorn squash!

Your baby weighs nearly three pounds now and measures about 17 inches. Though he’s getting pretty close to his birth length, he still has to chub out a bit. In fact, over the next 11 weeks, he’ll more than double — or even come close to tripling — his weight. And as he grows and the room in your womb gets tighter, you’ll be less likely to feel those big kicks and more likely to get poked by an elbow or jabbed by a knee.  His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you’ll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby’s hardening skeleton each day.

(Sources: Baby Center, What to Expect, The Bump)

 

It’s official.  I’m now in my third trimester.  Baby Z will be full term on Jan 4 (37 weeks), although he’s due on February 1.  Jan 4 is exactly 8 weeks from today!  Won’t lie, I’m starting to panic a little.  Maybe more than a little.

I’ve been keeping myself awake at night freaking out about a million and one things, such as:

1. Holy shit.  I’m totally unprepared.

2. I still need to figure out my Company’s maternity leave policy.  Also, when should I take leave?  Two weeks before my due date?  One week before my due date?  The day I go into labor?

3.  Should I take a birthing class?  They are hideously expensive to take in NYC and most of my friends who have taken them say that they’re not really helpful in preparing them for the actual birth, but since I have no freaking clue what I’m doing, will it give me some peace of mind to take one?

4. I need to figure out how the whole breast feeding thing works.  I hear it’s way more complicated than just offering the baby your boobs whenever he wants.

5. Please God don’t let me get an episiotomy.

6.  I will never be able to spontaneously make last-minute plans again.  Not for dinner, not for movies, not for drinks, not for walks, not for poops, not for…anything.   (Deep breaths…)

7.  Need to compile a good list of last-minute babysitters.

8.  Need to finish the nursery.

9.  What if Henry and Baby Z don’t get along?  Worse, what if Baby Z is allergic to Henry?!  This one gives me nightmares.

10.  What if I really, really, really hate being a mother?  I know that I will love Baby Z with all of my heart, but what if I really hate…you know, all the rest that comes along?  Like taking caring of him?  Or what if I just suck at being a mom?

These last two have me breaking into cold sweats at night, even though it’s below freezing out these days.

Is this normal?