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

 

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

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?

 

27w5d (BO)bama

Yesterday President Obama won a second term as President of the US (duh) over Mitt Romney.  J and I both work near Democracy Plaza, so we were able to witness some of the excitement first-hand.

Without getting too much into our personal political beliefs, we’re just excited to see more of First Dog, BO OBAMA for the next four years!   Maybe because Bo bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain spoiled First Dog in the Z family….

It just occurred to me that Obama will be the first U.S. President in Baby Z’s life.  Maybe he will be sworn in again on the same day as Baby Z’s arrival – hey, it can happen!

Here’s to new beginnings!

27w4d Hurricane Sandy

It has been a long week for the Z fam.   As you all know, last week, Hurricane Sandy hit Northeastern US, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York.  The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy hit New York City last Monday evening (Oct 29), flooding streets and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city.

Since J and I live right on Wall Street in the Financial District, which is located at the tip of Manhattan surrounded by the East River and the Hudson River, we were one of the first places in Manhattan hit with the storm surge and to lose power and water.

Moreover, we live on the 23rd floor of a highrise building, so we couldn’t easily move in and out of our building to get supplies, charge our batteries, walk Henry, etc.  There was also no way Baby Z and I were going to ever make it up 23 flights of stairs.

Essentially, we were Rapunzels trapped in a tower, minus the hair.

So for three days, the four of us (J, Henry, Baby Z and I) went to bed and rose with the sun.  We carefully laid out potty pads for Henry in the hallway (which he refused to use), rationed out our cereal, and scooped water from the bathtub with a pail to wash our hands.  It was all very colonial, except that we had a (useless) dog instead of a cow.

This was our nightly view of each other.

On the third day, just as we were about to sew and spin our own clothes and braid each other’s hair, J’s company came to our rescue and put all of us up in a hotel in midtown Manhattan.  RESCUED!

After climbing down 23 flights of stairs with a duffle bag and a handicapped dog, we finally felt the sun on our face for the first time in what felt like years.  Outside, we were greeted by unfamiliar scenes of flooding, large trucks pumping out water from building basements, mobile charging vans, and trash bins filled with tap water for people to use.

We spent three blissful nights at the midtown hotel – where we learned to never take hot showers for granted ever again – and finally moved back to our apartment on Sunday, when we were told that our electricity and water have both been restored to our building.  I don’t think anyone was more grateful to be home than this little guy, who crashed for nearly 12 hours straight after we came home.  Poor Henry.

All things considered though, we count ourselves as among the tremendously lucky!  We just found out that our neighbors who live only a couple of blocks away from us will be displaced from their apartment for at least another 2-3 MONTHS due to flooding and oil contamination in their building.  Crazy.  Another one of our friends went into labor during the hurricane!  (Mom and baby are both doing fine, thank goodness.)

Our hearts go out to the thousands of people still without power, without homes, and without loved ones throughout the Northeast region.

26w0d She had dumps like a truck truck truck

Your baby’s the size of a rutabaga!

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother him, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They’re carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.

Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. 

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

This week’s baby description of the 27th week of pregnancy (above) rings particularly true for me.  (Not the rutabaga part – before today, I thought rutabaga referred to an exotic tropical island in the Caribbean.  What is a rutabaga?  Is it a vegetable?  A fruit?  An onion?  A paintball?)

The past couple of weeks have definitely brought new ACHES IN MY BACK and CRAMPS IN MY LEGS.

These days, I can’t get out of bed, sit on the couch, walk to the bathroom, take Henry for a stroll – basically any and all activities involving movement – without feeling a constant, dull ache in my lower back and a cramping, vise-like pressure in my lower calves.    It sucks.

I’ve started doing some prenatal yoga and making J rub out the worst of the kinks each night, both of which bring temporary relief, but an hour later I’d start feeling the aches and pains again.  I feel like I’m freaking a hundred and 31-years-old.

Unrelated, or possibly related, I’m also starting to feel a weird pressure in my lady parts, different from what it feels like when  you have to pee…more like the baby is trying to push all my insides out.  I picture Baby Z doing the YMCA in my belly, but rather than saying that it’s fun to stay at the YMCA, he’s screaming, “I HATE IT IN HERE.  GIMMEE MOAR ROOM MOM.”

It’s just awesome.

All this in addition to the general discomfort of being the size of a dump truck, and I wish I can put on an e-collar and join my handicapped dog in his crate with a bucket of Haagen Dazs until I’m ready to face the world again.

TGIF.

(Buddy, hang in there.  This is how Mommy feels too.)