Couple of Notes (34w5d)

1) You may have noticed that the dates on the posts rolled back by two days. The actual count we’ve been using this whole time was based on an ultrasound dating from my 2nd ultrasound – way early on. My official due date never was changed from July 17th.

But now that the gestation date makes SO MUCH difference, I’m reverting back to the original count based strictly on the original due date. Mind you, the little man has measured all over the place based on ultrasounds – he was measuring more than 2 weeks ahead on length at one point. But Dr. Schwartz is going strictly by due date, so we are too.

2) Breastfeeding class was tonight, and it was fantastic!! I’ve been doing a lot of reading, research, and asking other mamas about BFing, but 3 hours with a lactation consultant that included a video of actual mothers breastfeeding their babies was SO helpful. The instructor sat with us after the class was over and answered our questions about how things will be different because our little guy is coming early. I learned that I do have the right to refuse formula at the hospital, no matter what the baby’s blood sugar is. No one is gonna be happy about it, but it’s my right. I’m not saying that I will refuse it absolutely, but I am SO glad to know that I can. If nursing and skin-to-skin contact doesn’t help his blood sugar, then *maybe* formula will be OK – but I want Paul and I to have the opportunity to try all other methods of helping our baby before resorting to something with 2-week repercussions, especially if he is stable enough to be nursing at all. (And to that end, if he’s not able to breastfeed for some reason, I can request he be fed through an NG tube or from a cup – he doesn’t *have* to get a bottle.)

2a) Dude, breastfeeding is freaking AMAZING. I am gonna be SUPERWOMAN – with the ability to give my baby EVERYTHING he needs. I am confident that my body will do what it’s supposed to do and that breastfeeding will go just great. I’m looking forward to it. Paul completely supports it.

2b) Melt-my-heart moment tonight: Paul asking the LC about how to do “Kangaroo Kare” with our little guy in case I have a cesarean or he ends up in the NICU. He’s planning on bringing button-down shirts to the hospital now so he can comfortably cuddle his son skin-to-skin.

3) I have a highly recommend pediatrician to call tomorrow to schedule an appointment with. I’ve been meaning to look for one, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Fixing that.

4) No, we still don’t have a name yet. We’re working on it. There’s a list. We’re not just holding out cuz we can. Really.

I think we’re both excited, but I know I’m a little freaked out. It’s not like there’s a ton of stuff to do still – but things just got REALLY real. There’s a date, and an appointment. Holy cats.

Fetal Monitoring (32w4d)

Today was my first experience with fetal monitoring. They did an ultrasound to see what position the baby was in and then took me to another room with a reclining chair for me to hang out in to be monitored. It took the nurse a minute or two to find his heart with the monitor, but once she got that thing strapped on, it was clear as a bell! (Actually, the baby started kicking the monitor which was funny to feel and hear!)

My blood sugar took a nosedive while we were there though. I’d had a super busy morning and a board meeting right before my appointment, so I just hadn’t eaten enough. I took my blood sugar and it was at 48, so I asked for and chugged some juice.

My blood pressure though… not good. It’s been 138/83 or lower this whole time. Today’s lowest was 155/96, and that was after I was done with the monitoring, so I’d been chilling out for a while. So they took some blood and another urine sample, and I’ve got the 24 hour urine collection to do tomorrow. (I did one when I was about 20 weeks or so as a baseline.) We’ll see. Dr. Schwartz says he’s not worrying about me yet so I’m not to worry either.

I feel the same though. Swelling hasn’t gotten any worse. No pain in my upper abdomen. I’ve had a twinge of a headache a time or two in the last week, but nothing severe or lasting at all. No weight gain since last week. (Shocking since I’ve been so dang hungry!) I’m trying to think positive and assume it was the busy/stressful day at work directly before the appointment or because my blood sugar was so low. We’ll see. If pre-eclampsia has started, we’ll figure out a way forward from there.

Unless something changes though, I’ve got an appointment for monitoring in a week, and then I go to twice weekly after that. FWIW, the baby monitored excellently today – Dr. Schwartz said he couldn’t be more pleased.

Tonight we went to our Baby Basics class, and were fairly disappointed. I didn’t learn anything at all. Paul at least got to change a diaper on a baby doll and we both burrito’d the doll and put a shirt on it. Some of the information presented directly contradicted what we’ve already learned in our Prepared Childbirth classes, and what we’ve read in books and online. So meh. Good to have the experience under our belts, but we’re both looking forward to the Breastfeeding class in two weeks much more. I figure between the couple of baby care books we have, my experience, and just fumbling along – we’ll be just fine.

Busy Week Ahead! (32w2d)

This week is gonna be a busy one, but I’m excited for it all!

Last week was our final “Prepared Childbirth” class. I think we both learned a lot about exactly what to expect at the hospital. I know I feel a lot more empowered about some things (like my right to refuse *any* intervention I don’t want used on the baby – like the vacuum or forceps) and more alarmed about other things (like how much of a crapshoot it will be as to whether I can prevent the hospital from giving my son a bottle of formula, or whether I’ll be able to have him and breastfeed immediately after birth.) I think Paul learned A LOT about what really goes on before, during and after labor. His comment to me after class last week (which focused on delivery and aftercare) was “There really is no way that this isn’t going to suck for you, is there?” Nice to know I have his full support and understanding. Ha!

Edited to add: The formula/BF thing is mostly a factor of whether I end up with a C-section. It’s just not possible for them to let me have the gooey baby on my chest try to BF when my lower half is still open to the world. The formula part (which honestly is what I’m most worried about) is a diabetic thing. They’ll test his blood sugar once he comes out and if they don’t like it, he’ll get a bottle. I was under the impression that maybe they’d give him a bottle of glucose water, but apparently St. Rose Hospitals doesn’t do glucose water – only formula. I’m very concerned about this because of the whole “Open Gut” thing, but there doesn’t appear to be much I can do about it. Not much I can do to control the baby’s blood sugar during the rigors of labor, but Paul and I will make sure that everyone on my delivery team knows that I want to avoid giving our son formula (or any other nipple but the ones attached to me) at ALL COSTS. We’ll just pray that I don’t end up with a C-section and hope for the best.

So tonight is our hospital tour and registration. We’ll tour the labor and delivery ward, hopefully seeing an unused room and meeting some of the nurses. (Actually, our Prepared Childbirth class was taught by 3 different nurses from our hospital, so here’s hoping that we might get one of them when the time comes!) I don’t know what the registration process entails, I’m assuming just sitting there and filling out a bunch of paperwork and letting them photocopy my entire wallet. I’m HUGELY looking forward to it though. Knowing exactly *where* to go and where I’ll be helps me visualize things better and makes it a lot easier for me to be calm about how the event will shake out – whenever it happens.

Wednesday is a big day too. I have my first weekly appointment with Dr. Schwartz for fetal monitoring. Non-Stress tests start this week – so I’ve gotta get used to longer appointments based on how cooperative the little man feels like being. Dr. Schwartz has been up front about these appointments, so while I’m concerned (as usual) about using too much paid leave to go to them – I knew they were coming, which helps in being prepared. I’m hoping we can keep these appointments down to once a week, but they might move to twice a week as I get further along. We’ll see. So that fetal monitoring appointment is as 2:30.

Then at 6:00 on Wednesday is our “Baby Basics” class, wherein we learn (refresher for me, 1st time for Paul) how to take care of our little bundle of joy. Feeding, diapering, dressing, washing… I assume this will all be covered. Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a 3 hour, one-time class. I think it will be a good place to start at least. Paul is convinced that the knowledge will just come to him when he’s presented with the baby. I’d like him to have at least a little instruction to build on. :) (Fortunately, there’s a lot of YouTube videos on how to properly apply a cloth diaper – complete with the various folds used. So that will be a help.)

In between all of these classes, there’s lots to do at home in the nursery with washing and sorting baby clothes. I need to get over to Paul’s parent’s house with the unwashed stack of diapers to borrow Jeanne’s sewing machine. I want to run a zig-zag stitch of color down the serged edges of the diapers to make the sizes easier to tell apart at a glance. And I figure this will be easier to do while they’re still very flat, before washing & drying them multiple times quilts them up nicely.

Work is busy this week too. My Executive Director is in the office this week, so that’s always exciting. But the official meeting to discuss my maternity leave duties while I’m gone will happen this week at some point. That’s a little stressful, just to have it all laid out. My boss and I have talked at length about it, and we’re both comfortable with what we’ve concluded about the work that I’ll do while I’m out. (My key duties are best continued by me so an outside person doesn’t need to be brought in, and I can not burn as much paid leave since I’ll be doing Accounts Payable and Payroll twice a month each while I’m out. Telecommuting is a beautiful thing.) I’m glad to be able to work somewhere that is as flexible as my agency is. They don’t have to be – FMLA doesn’t apply here because we’re so small. So I’m appreciative that management is willing to work with me to find an acceptable solution for both sides.

OK, lunchtime is over so I should wrap this up! I PROMISE that sorting through pictures and building a Nursery gallery is very very high on my priorities list. I’ll have it done before the end of the week, I promise – but I’ll aim for sooner than that. Your patience is appreciated. :)