Saturday, January 30, 2010

39 weeks

Alright, so here goes a quick update about yesterday's doctor appointment:

Dr. Clark felt my tummy and measured my fundal height, she said, "His size is good.  Probably 7 1/2 pounds."  I wonder why a different doctor felt different just two weeks ago?  Either way, we're glad that he is normal size. 

I was a little scared when she pulled out the sonogram and was listening for his heart.  It took her a little longer to find it.  I was relieved when I heard the swooshes of his beating heart.  She immediately looked at me and said, "He's pretty low.  How far do you live from the hospital?"  This excited me and had me thinking that labor was nearing.  We talked about the forecasted weather (which called for anything from 1 to 10 inches of snow) and about being careful driving to the hospital if I went into labor.

When she examined me, she let me know that I am about 2 1/2cm dilated.  That's a half centimeter of progression from last week.  I had hoped for a little more progress, but 1/2 is better than none!  She also said, "He's still up there a bit and you have some more thinning to do.  I think he'll hold out until after the snow."  She also told us that if I make it to 3 or 4 centimeters without any contractions, it's a good indicator that labor and delivery will go smoothly.  Let's hope that happens!!! 

We also discussed what to expect if my water breaks or if I do start to experience contractions.  If Jackson does not come by his due date, February 5th, they will have me do a non-stress test.  I didn't ask too many questions about it while I was at the office, but I went home and googled it.  Here is some of what I found about the NST:
  • The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test.
  • The primary goal of the test is to measure the heart rate of the fetus in response to its own movements. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during times of movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest. The concept behind a non-stress test is that adequate oxygen is required for fetal activity and heart rate to be within normal ranges. When oxygen levels are low, the fetus may not respond normally. Low oxygen levels can often be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord.
  • A reactive non-stress result indicates that blood flow (and oxygen) to the fetus is adequate. A nonreactive non-stress result requires additional testing to determine whether the result is truly due to poor oxygenation, or whether there are other reasons for fetal nonreactivity (i.e. sleep patterns, certain maternal prescription or nonprescription drugs).
If the results from the NST indicate a healthy baby, they will send me home to wait for labor to begin naturally (which I strongly believe in).  If he still hasn't come by the 8th, they want us to consider being induced between the 9th and 11th.  I really want to avoid being induced.  I want to experience going into labor naturally.  I also fear that the doctors may become impatient with progress and want to perform a C-section (something else I really want to avoid).  Of course I know the doctors know what is best for me and baby and I trust them to make the right decisions.

So come on Jackson.  Everyone is cheering for you.  Make your way down and let's get this labor going!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A letter to my son

Dear Sweet Baby Jackson,

Papi and I are waiting patiently for you.  We know that you are due in ten days and that you are taking your time to make your appearance.  We have worked really hard to get ready for you.  Although you are our first baby, we have been to many classes, read many books and magazines, and asked for a lot of advice about how to take care of you.  We know that once you are here things will come naturally and we will take care of you the best way we can.

We can't wait to see what you look like.  Will you have my curls or Papi's straight hair?  Will you have his dark skin or my fair skin?  Will you have Papi's big dark eyes or my light green eyes?  Who's nose?  Who's ears?  Who's mouth?  Will you be a solid mix of both?  However you look, we know you will be adorable.

There are so many people ready to meet you.  Your Nana calls everyday to see if Mommy feels anything "different."  Friends call, text, and send Facebook messages everyday to see how I am feeling and to ask if you are here yet.  Already, there are so many people that adore you.

I love you and I can't wait to meet you.  I can't wait to hold you in my arms.  Papi can't wait to change your diapers (hehe)....

With all my love,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today is my wonderful mother's birthday.  I wanted to take a moment to wish her well today and always.  Happy birthday, Mom/Nana.  We love you!

Our family celebrated by having dinner at Rafferty's followed by cupcakes and ice cream at my parent's house.  It was nice to spend some time with my family before Jackson gets here.

Mom is making her 49th birthday wish!

Jose and I were able to finish off our checklist this evening as well.  The car seat was installed and the hospital bag is packed.  I have no idea what all I should take for myself and Jackson.  I hope I haven't under or over-packed.  The car seat base went into the car easily.  Let's just hope it is in there right.

Alright, the countdown is really on.  Jackson is due in 12 days.  He may or may not surprise us with an early visit.  If he does, we are ready!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

38 weeks

Yesterday, Jose and I went to our 38 week appointment.  We were scheduled to have an ultrasound first to see how big Jackson is.  If you recall from my post last week, Dr. G thought he may be small because my stomach isn't measuring as it should (I think the weight is going to my legs- oh no!).  The ultrasound tech sped through the measuring part.  I gathered the following from the ultrasound:

  • He is head down and in position to meet the world,
  • His heart looks good and beats at a steady 130 bpm,
  • He has two kidneys,
  • His leg and arm bones are normal size,
  • He has a round belly and small stomach,
  • He has a beautiful foot; and, 
  • He is shy! (He wouldn't turn his head so we could see his precious face).
From the measurements, the tech and Dr. G concluded that Jackson is measuring 38 weeks!  They estimated his weight to be about 7 1/2 pounds, give or take a pound.

I am now 2cm dialated.  This means that if he continues to progress as he has the last week or two, we will be meeting him very soon!  Dr. G said, "Hopefully this is a sign that things will move quickly when you start having contractions."  YES!  Please let that be the case.

I continue to have good blood pressure and my weight is where it should be (although I don't think gaining 30 pounds is awesome).

Pray for us during these last two weeks of pregnancy.  We are ready to meet our baby boy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

37 week appointment

I had my 36 week appointment this morning before school.  My blood pressure and weight are good, Jackson's heart sounds great, and I am about one centimeter dialated.  When she felt Jackson, she thought he seemed small so she wants to do an ultrasound next week to see how big he is.  Of course we don't expect him to be a basketball player; neither Mommy nor Papi are over 5'6".  I'm actually really excited about having the ultrasound.  We haven't seen him since our 18 week appointment.  I hope to find that he is growing just as he should be and will be a happy, healthy baby boy!

Tomorrow morning, Mom and I are going to the Labor & Delivery class at the hospital.  Unfortunately, Jose can't go with us because he has to work.  Here's to hoping the class will ease my mind...

Monday, January 11, 2010

25 days!

I didn't intend to post anything this evening when I stopped by the blog to show Jose the picture I posted of him. When the page loaded, I saw the pregnancy tracker on the left and saw the number 25!  Jackson is due to be here in 25 days.  Oh my goodness... it is crunch time.  We have three final things on our to-do list for this week:

  • Find a pediatrician (have any recommendations?)
  • Clean out my car and install the carseat (this will be easier if the snow melts and it warms up outside), and;
  • Pack the bag for the hospital (again... what do I need and what should I leave at home?)
At my check-up last week, I was not dialated.  The doctor simply said, "His heart sounds great.  He's not doing anything."  I take that as a good thing.  We go back to the doctor this Friday for another check-up.  I will let you all know how we are doing!  

Saturday, January 9, 2010

He thinks he is funny

Dear Jackson,

I want to warn you about your papi.  He really thinks he is funny.  He thought it would be funny to put a small watermelon in his shirt to mock us.  Here is a picture for proof -

Yes, you have made my belly grow.  And yes, my back does hurt after a long day.  But I do NOT walk around looking as terrible as he portrays.  Honestly, I think I look pretty good for being 36 weeks.

Really, your father is a funny guy.  He makes me laugh a lot, which you must like because you always start moving when I have a good laugh.  One day, you will appreciate his humor just like I do.  I can already picture you and your papi playing and laughing together!  :)

I love you forever,

Catching Up, Part 2 - Decorating

I have been excited about decorating a nursery for our baby boy for quite some time now.  Since we are locked into this one bedroom apartment for two more months, we have to share our bedroom space with Jackson.  As told in the previous post, we made him a nursery area in our large bedroom.  

Kelly and I spent a few hours putting the bedding and decor together.  We spent a lot of time gluing the pieces of his name together (Jose had previously painted them) and planning what to do with it.  I have some small animal cutouts I want to add to his name, but I want to wait until there is more space so it doesn't look too cluttered.

I'm sure Jackson will be just fine without a nursery of his own.  Most parent's have their newborns in their bedroom for the first month of life anyway.  It will make the middle of the night feedings and changings a little easier for mommy and papi!  That being said, I will be able to make the nursery I envision when we move at the end of February.  Here are some pictures of what we have for now:

Thanks for all of your help, Kelly!  You are already an awesome aunt!

Catching Up, Part 1

After a short hiatus and much harassment from my sister, I am ready to catch up the blog!  There are a few things that have happened since the last update.  I'm not sure my attention span is long enough to write about them all in one sitting, so expect a few updates today. 

First things first... making room for Jackson:

Now space is an issue in a one bedroom apartment... but we make it work until we can move into a two bedroom.  Over Christmas break, I spent a few days cleaning out my huge walk-in closet.  I donated 7 bags of clothes to the Goodwill, cleaned out two huge double crates of binders and folders from my undergraduate years at EKU, and Jose rearranged my totes and other stored things.  We were able to squeeze my chest of drawers into the closet and move the bed to a different wall to make more floor space in the bedroom. 

Mom and Kelly bought Jackson's bed and dresser a few months back.  It has been stored at Mom and Dad's house since they purchased it.  Jose and I decided to go pick it up last week and work on getting it all put together.  He and I took my aunt's truck to my parent's house.  Mom and Jose worked hard to haul the heavy boxes up from the basement and into the truck.  Mom followed us home and I watched as they carried the dresser and bed up the stairs again and into the apartment.  I know it was no easy task as the dresser alone weighed more than 130 pounds.  Thank you, Mom.  I wish I had thought to grab my camera to capture a few shots of their teamwork.

As soon as Mom left, we started unpacking the bed box.  I pulled every piece out to make sure everything was there before we got started.  Per my count and quick glance at each piece, we were ready to put it together.  I read the instructions as Jose worked on getting the first pieces together.  Assembly was smooth sailing...

Smooth sailing until we went to put on the front.  It was the last major part of the crib.  Jose went to pick up the front rail and when he did, the leg fell off!  It didn't fall off in a way that it could be put back together, either.  It was a solid piece of wood that was BROKE.  I checked the other side and it was cracked in the smae place.  It wasn't a load bearing leg, but there was no way to fix it.

I called Mom while Jose worked on taking the bed apart.  She found the receipt and I called Target to see if they had another so we could exchange it.  After talking with two people, I was told to bring the bed back in and they would hold the last one they had in stock.  Jose had it all packed back in the box and he hauled it to the truck himself.  We stopped by Mom's to get the receipt and headed to Target.  Once there, they did not want to take it back.  They said the receipt was expired by 9 days and there was nothing she could do about it.  I told her, "Well, I'm not keeping a $300 baby bed that is broken."  She said, "Well, wait.  Let me call my manager, he might be able to do this one thing to let the computer accept the exchange."

The manager lacked customer service skills.  He walked up and the woman in guest services explained to him what the problem was.  He looked at me and said, "Sorry, there is nothing I can do."  I said to him, "I'm NOT keeping a broken bed!"  (Keep in mind that a guy that worked in the stock room already had the baby bed loaded to a flat and at the front door, ready to load it in the truck.)  He told me, "Well, the only thing you can do is call Guest Relations and if they say it's okay, I can exchange it for you."  My response, "Well, call them."  I thought to myself, how rude.  Is it the customer's job to call a corporate office to approve a transaction?  Well, I made a bit of a scene.  Being 8 months pregnant, I was heated (literally and figuratively).  I took off my coat and threw it at Jose as the manager handed me the phone and walked away from the service desk.  I never had the chance to talk to anyone before the manager returned and said, "Hang up the phone."  He looked at his associate and said, "Just put it in as a defect and let her have the one he already brought up."

THANK YOU!  Was it really that difficult?  Clearly, the bed was defective (as was the management staff).  The stock guy took it out to the truck and said, "He wasn't going to give you a break was he?  I think it helped that I already had the bed ready for you"  I thanked him for his help and took off towards home, praying that this bed was in better condition.   

Jose lugged the second bed upstairs and we DOUBLE checked all of the parts this time before we tightened the first screw.  Everything looked good so we started assembling the parts.  Assembly went smooth. 
Here are a few pictures of building the bed:

And the finished product...

The bed is gorgeous!  We love it!

The dresser was tough to put together.  It was in about a million pieces, but we managed to figure it all out.  We only put one drawer together incorrectly.  It was a quick fix.  Here is a picture of it upside down as Jose finishes up the last few parts:

Despite the drama and hassle of taking the first bed back, we were able to get the furniture together.  It is all very sturdy and will last for years to come.  Thanks again Mom and Kelly for getting this great gift for Jackson.  He will enjoy sleeping in it (I hope he sleeps well!).

Coming up in Part 2... decorating Jackson's half of the room!