Twenty Weeks Post Partum – The 411

My angel is now 20 weeks old !  

She is growing by leaps and bounds and is growing super long.  She now weighs almost 16 pounds.

She can sit up with assistance for a little while before falling forward. 

She hates to sit down or lie down. She now prefers to sit up and stand up.  

A friend sent her an Amazon gift card for her christening so we ordered her a Fisher Price Jumperoo. I am still trying to put it together.  I deplore reading instructions and putting things together. Hopefully I will figure out how to get this seat part together this weekend before calling in the calvary lol.

I am completely and head over heels in love with my daughter !  She is the culmination of every dream I have ever had of a child.  

I soooo want to give her a sibling. I have been very depressed about that lately.   Because of the emergency hysterectomy,  I can not carry another baby. I am blessed to have four eggs on ice so that once I find a willing surrogate, my little girl can have a sibling.   I worry about leaving her in the world alone.  I want her to have a sibling that she is close to and to experience having a life growing up fighting and loving a sibling.   There is nothing like it !

I can’t believe that in a few short days, my baby will be five months old !  I am starting to plan her 1st birthday event.  I am doing a safari theme and am looking at trip packages to either Tampa Busche Gardens Africa or to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.   I am hoping my family will be able to go, but if not, it will be just us.

I ask that you all keep my mom in your prayers.  Not only has a knot formed under her breast that she just had surgery on (hoping its just scar tissue) but her anemia seems to be caused by something other than iron deficiency.   The doctor has ordered a colonoscopy and referred her to a Gastroenterologist for further review.  She is nauseated all the time and has been for quite some time.   The doctor assumed is was reflux.  Now I am scared to death, that given how much she sleeps and the fact that even with nausea medications are not very effective, that we are dealing with something far more serious. It is my prayer that God could not and would not be that cruel to allow her to be sick again.  There is only so much the human body can withstand.   Now that she is retired, I want her to be able to travel and enjoy her life and not have it marred by illness and fear of illness. 

Until next week….

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Eleven Weeks Post Partum – The 411

It has been 11 weeks since we welcomed Baby Girl into the world !

She is fat, fluffy, and such a delight. She can now hold her head up and keep it in line with her body when  being held upright.   She turns her head to look for me when she hears my voice.  She loves tummy time and at long last she enjoys her bath.

At current, she still averages 3 to 4 ounces of milk at a time. She drinks 14-28 ounces in a given day but on average, she drinks about 22 ounces a day.

The baby is laughing out loud now and coos when you talk to her and flashes the biggest smile.

I am beyond in love with her and am excited to spend Christmas with her.

Mommy News:

I am down 64 pounds since giving birth and will continue to work on my body.  I plan to walk a few miles a day on the beach and continue with a low carb high protein high fat diet.   

The feeling around my incision is starting to come back and it feels weird.

My milk supply has dropped quite a bit since the clogged ducts.  I have pumped only 10 oz the last several days.   I’m not going to stress about it.  She has been sleeping a lot over the past week and has been drinking about 14 oz total so she is still getting more breast milk than organic formula.  We are in DC for the holiday and I will spend more time trying to pump every other hour when we get back to try to get the supply up.   I also started taking the motilium again now that the clogged ducts are gone.

Grandmom News:

My mother is doing well.  Her wound is almost closed now !  Other than nausea, she feels pretty good.

Thirty-Six Weeks & Counting – The 411

Two heads of romaine lettuce with dark background

How my baby’s growing

Your baby is still packing on the pounds – at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18 1/2 inches long (about the length of a head of romaine lettuce). She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body, as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture called meconium that will form the contents of her first bowel movements.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered “early term.” (Full term is 39 to 40 weeks. Babies born before 37 weeks are preterm, 41 weeks is late term, and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely your baby is already head-down. But if not, your doctor or midwife may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version. That’s a fancy way of saying that your healthcare provider will apply pressure to your abdomen to try to manipulate your baby into a head-down position.

How Mommy’s life’s changing

Now that your baby is taking up so much room, you may have trouble eating a normal-size meal. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point. On the other hand, you may have less heartburn and have an easier time breathing when your baby starts to “drop” down into your pelvis. This process – called lightening – often happens a few weeks before labor if this is your first baby. (If you’ve given birth before, it probably won’t happen before labor starts.) If your baby drops, you may also feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, which may make walking increasingly uncomfortable, and you’ll probably find that you have to pee even more frequently. If your baby is very low, you may feel lots of vaginal pressure and discomfort as well. Some women say it feels as though they’re carrying a bowling ball between their legs!

You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now. Be sure to review the signs of labor with your doctor or midwife and find out when she wants to hear from you. As a general rule, if you’re full-term, your pregnancy is uncomplicated, and your water hasn’t broken, she’ll probably have you wait to come in until you’ve been having contractions that last for about a minute each, coming every five minutes for an hour. Of course, you’ll want to call right away if you notice a decrease in your baby’s activity or think you’re leaking amniotic fluid, or if you have any vaginal bleeding, fever, a severe or persistent headache, constant abdominal pain, or vision changes.

Even if you’re enjoying an uncomplicated pregnancy, it’s best to avoid flying (or any travel far from home) during your final month because you can go into labor at any time. In fact, some airlines won’t let women on board who are due to deliver within 30 days of the flight.

BABY STATS:

How Far Along?

36 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

The baby is the size of a head of romaine lettuce or a spaghetti squash.

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

Eeeeek !   I gained TEN pounds of fluid weight since my hospitalization last week !  I freaked OUT !    That is a total weight gain of 23 pounds !  I had only gained 13 pounds until last week.   I lost 27 pounds my first trimester so I am still under the weight I started at but I do NOT like this weight gain AT ALL !  I am certain that it will fall off after I deliver the baby and also with breast feeding.

Maternity Clothes?

I spend most of my day in either pjs or a body con dress.  I have absolutely NO desire to do anything but shower and put on fresh pjs since I can not really leave the house due to bed rest.  I have gone out a few times to pick up breakfast and just put a dress on on top of my pjs.

Sleep?

Because I am tending to my mom at night, I am not sleeping well.  I wake up because she is talking out of her head , she gets up, or if it is time for her medications.  I have been napping during the day somewhat. My baby is pretty active around 1 am too.

Best Moment of the Week?

I have had a pretty boring week !  My mom had surgery on Friday and I am on total bed rest so I have pretty much been on the sofa or in the bed watching tv, drinking fluids and chilling. I have a biophysical exam and sono in the morning in NYC.  I see the OB after that.  My OB is in Greece until Sunday so I am praying my baby does not try to come out before he is back !  I do the second hospital tour on Sunday in preparation for the birth.  I just pray they do not try to keep me after my appt tomorrow !  I am NOT ready and my mother can not travel four hours to NYC right now. She has her post op appointment tomorrow and gets her drains out.  There is very little drainage now, which is good.

Symptoms?

My legs and feet are so swollen that I look like Miss Piggy !  My toes in the left foot are numb most of the time.  I have an external hemorrhoid that has not gone down. My baby feels super heavy and I am having sharp pains shooting down into the vaginal area and I have problems getting comfy.  I have a definitive waddle when I walk and walking has become uncomfortable due to pressure.  I try to stay on the sofa with my feet up.

Food Cravings?

I have no cravings and really no appetite.  I have more room now for food now that the baby has dropped down a bit but I still am not hungry most of the time.  I have random periods where I am starving.  I will start to eat and get uber full quickly, thus I had eating out !

Food Aversions?

I just have no desire for food at all right now.  I am sitting here drinking lemonade and a protein shake.  I will likely eat apple cinnamon oatmeal for an afternoon snack.

Gender?

baby girl !

Labor Signs?

I hope not !  I have a lot of pressure, but that is just a 5 – 6 pound baby and tons of fluid.  I had contractions in the hospital after the transvaginal exam and a cervix check and I can say without a doubt, SHOOT ME !  Do NOT let me have ANY contractions at all.  That ish is for the BIRDS !

What I Miss?

Having normal size legs and feet !

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Giving birth to a healthy baby girl in short while !   The doctors have scheduled me cesarean and I am just hoping this baby stays put until then.  They have moved our time table up a whole two weeks ! EEEEEEEEk !

Bump?

I have a low basketball !

Navel In/Out?

In

Baby / Mommy Purchases?

The only think I bought this week other than receiving the Milk Snob car seat cover, was a foot bath and Dr. Teal’s foot soak with lavender.  I am sending my sister out to get the baby a preemie outfit to wear home in the event that she is as small as they say she is and her other clothing will not fit.

Thirty Five Weeks – The 411

Whole honeydew melon with stem in green bowl on green table

How my baby’s growing

The baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, she isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete. She’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

How Mommy’s life’s changing

Your uterus – which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived – now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you’d see that there’s more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to pee more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you’re not grappling with these annoyances, you’re one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you’ll start seeing your doctor or midwife every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she’ll do a vaginal and rectal culture to check for bacterium called group B streptococcum (GBS). (Don’t worry – the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won’t hurt.) GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don’t know it, it’s vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own – that’s why you weren’t screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you’re a GBS carrier, you’ll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby’s risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics – like who’ll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won’t follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time – and sharing your preferences with your doctor or midwife – should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Learn about: Arriving at the hospital

How can I prepare for my arrival at the hospital?

Long before you go into labor, you and your partner should map out the most direct route to the hospital or birth center. Find out where to park, keeping in mind that you’ll be leaving your car for at least 24 hours. Ask the hospital staff where you should enter if you arrive after-hours. Most hospitals offer tours of the obstetrical floor at designated times. Taking advantage of these tours will give you a chance to do a dry run before the big day.

BABY STATS:

How Far Along?

35 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

My baby is the size of a honeydew melon and she weighs 4lb 3 oz

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

Although I lost 27 pounds my first trimester, I have only gained a total of 13 pounds. Since I was in the hospital for two days and given 3-4 bags of fluids, I can not do an accurate weight reading this week.

Maternity Clothes?

I am wearing the same maternity clothing:  jeans, capris, oversized tees, maternity tees, body con dresses, sundresses, and a few of my baggy dresses from pre-pregnancy.

Sleep?

I have been sleeping well.  It was hard to sleep the two days I was in the hospital because of the monitors and the unfamiliar noises.

Best Moment of the Week?

The best moment I had this week was the relief of knowing the bleeding was not an issue of my baby and that the baby and I both were fine and also hearing of the excitement of the little gifts I sent to my sister-friend’s children.  One child has been sick and the older toddler helped to care for the other.  I was so tickled to hear how much they enjoyed the little tokens.   Now I am gearing up for my mother’s reconstructive surgery tomorrow.  She will be in the hospital for a few days.  I am just praying all remains stable with me and my little munchkin and that my mom’s surgery goes smoothly.

Symptoms?

I have an external hemorrhoid which has not gone back down.  Some mornings, I awake a bit queasy and my skin is often overly sensitive and itchy. I take children’s liquid Benedryl and it helps tremendously.  This week, I seem to be burping a lot.

Food Cravings?

I still have no appetite so I do not crave anything in particular.

Food Aversions?

None

Gender?

Girl !,

Labor Signs?

I experienced contractions after a vaginal exam in the hospital.  They discovered that I was very dehydrated and after 2 bags of fluids, the contractions stopped.

What I Miss?

Nothing at the moment except being at the beach.

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Seeing my baby and holding her.

Bump?

My little soccer ball is still nice and round.

Navel In/Out?

In

Baby Purchases?

This week, my baby’s 4Moms Breeze Play yard in Grey arrived at Target.  I had giftcards from my shower and Sunday was Run Target day with 10% off, coupled with my 15% off completion coupon, I ordered the play yard so that I could maximize the discounts on the $300 large ticket item. I ended up getting $90 off ! I also ordered a Milk Snob carseat cover to match the baby’s Kate Spade baby bag.

Home & Total Bedrest – The 411

This morning, all the labs were in and everything was normal.  The placenta is in tact and the blood flow from Mommy to baby is perfect.

They think I had a vaginal blood vessel rupture.  I wondered if I had an SCH, but no one could answer.  

The contractions were due to dehydration.  After 3 bags of fluids, they stopped.

My mom stayed overnight with me in the hospital and my sister came by after work.   

At 7pm they allowed me to eat I ate some of the Kabob platter my mom had and then ordered grilled cheese and soup for dinner last night.

This morning at 9 am, we were discharged and I called the HD LIVE sonogram place I initially had an appointment at and was able to get my appointment back.  I figured I would get it done before going on complete bedrest, which I am required to remain on until delivery, sans doc appointments.

Thanks for all the prayers and we’ll wishes !

Thirty Four Weeks – The 411

Whole cantaloupe with green stem on table

How my baby’s growing

The baby now weighs about 5 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers – which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born – are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing, and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

And from this week, until two weeks before birth, she will continue to gain about a half-pound of weight each week. Unlike the first trimester, the weight between all babies in the third trimester is much more variable. Some babies weigh more and are taller; other babies weigh less and are shorter.

Also unlike the first trimester, by week 34, not much is changing. The baby continues gaining weight through the development of subcutaneous fat, and with that weight, is probably gaining strength in her movements. You may even be startled by a sudden jab to the ribs, or be able to see a punch to your belly from the outside!

How Mommy’s life’s changing

By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you’re under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning while trying to get comfortable.

Now’s the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you’ve been sitting or lying down for a long time, don’t jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.

If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly, and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short).

Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your healthcare provider so she can make sure it’s not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don’t have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

BABY STATS:

How Far Along?

34 weeks !

How Big Is The Little One?

My little one now weighs in at 4 pounds 1 ounce

Total Weight Gain / Loss?

To my surprise, I got on the scale this morning after my shower and I have gained a total of five pounds this week !   I am up 13 pounds !!!!   WTH?  I think a few of these pounds are the swelling I have from hip to CANKLE ! After walking around NYC yesterday plus the 4 hour trip up there and back for my appointments, I was extremely swollen in my legs, calves, thighs, and ankles. (cankles !)  My feet look like they belong to Miss Piggy !

Maternity Clothes?

I am pretty sure my round belly will NOT fit into my normal clothing.  I have worn maternity jeans, capris and baggy tees all week.  My running tights are uncomfortable now.

Sleep?

I sleep pretty well and try to stay on my left side.  My baby HATES when I lie on my back.

Best Moment of the Week?

My best moments this week was (1) getting more awesome gifts in honor of my baby girl and hearing her heartbeat at my MFM appointment yesterday.  My placenta previa has resolved itself and the baby is growing and everything looks awesome.  After my ultrasounds, the doctor put me on the monitor for 20 mins and my mom and I sat there and listened to that perfect little heartbeat.  Now we are preparing for my mom’s reconstructive surgery next week.  I just hope she heals quickly with no complications since we are very close to my delivery date. I really do not want to have to hire a full time nurse to help me with the baby.

Symptoms?

I am experiencing an external hemorrhoid ! It is NO fun !  Luckily it doesn’t hurt nor does it burn.  The problem is, I can feel it and it makes for an uncomfy to sit down.  I read that it it best to lie on your side and avoid sitting and standing for long periods.  I stood around for almost 2 hours yesterday waiting until we could leave for Union Station from NY.  Luckily we were able to take an earlier trip instead of having to wait until 2 pm.

Food Cravings?

I still have no appetite !  I am trying to focus on protein right now since my protein levels were low when they did my blood draw two weeks ago.

Food Aversions?

Thank goodness my aversions are gone !

Gender?

Baby Girl !

Labor Signs?

None

What I Miss?

My legs and feet not swelling up every time I travel or do a lot of walking.

What I Am Looking Forward To?

Our HD Live / 4D Ultrasound this week and seeing this little face up close and personal !

Bump?

I have a nice little round soccer ball that measures 36 weeks.

Navel In/Out?

In

Baby  / Mommy Purchases?

I have not made any purchases, however we got some amazing gifts in the mail this week.  We received a Medela Shoulder Bag for the Pump In Style Dual Electric Breast Pump, a gorgeous dress from St. Barth, France from my Godmother, Bree, A Kinde Bottle/Breast Milk warmer, and a baby jungle gym.

Gotta Find a New Doula / Lactation Consultant – The 411

So… I have to now find a new doula and lactation consultant this close to my due date !   Why you ask?  The one I had, whom I initially felt was a perfect fit, turned out to not be !  Missed calls, too many excuses for not keeping appointments, never received the new client package, not calling back after a dropped call ten minutes into a scheduled weekly call despite the fact that I sent a text and attempted a FaceTime (unanswered), being a NO SHOW for my baby shower, costing me to lose $125 for a no show, and the last straw, using MY recipe for lactation cookies that I perfected to start a lactation cookie business without asking me if it was okay to use MY recipe !

My mother told me a few months ago when I was not getting regularly scheduled calls and getting excuses like “my child is sick” to find someone else because that is unprofessional and not a good sign.   A doula is supposed to be your first line of support and I feel like I am flying solo most of the time.   Ten minutes into our scheduled call two weeks ago, the call just dropped and it was not my phone.  I tried to call back… no answer.  I sent a text…. no response… I tried to FaceTime… not available.  So I assumed maybe she would call back soon.  To this day, I have yet to get a return call, an email a text… nothing !

She rsvp’d to attend my baby shower in NYC, saying she and her family were leaving for NY to stay there until after Thanksgiving because she had me and two or three other clients due to give birth from August to November. When I was talking to her, she said she had just got back from Fedexing things to NY she would need.  My baby shower was two days later and she did not show up.

I was so upset by all of these “friends” who rsvp’d for my shower and either cancelled or did not show up, all knowing the struggles I have gone through to get here and how important this was to me, that I decided that the very next day, I was going to change my cellphone number and just purge people out of my space who do not deserve to be there.  I have been to every party, event, engagement, etc that they have all had, whether I was sick or well…whether I could really afford it at the time, and sometimes leaving my sick mother’s side to go support them in whatever was going on at the time.  When it was my time to be celebrated, and note I do not ask much of anyone ever, it was not important enough for them to show up?  Okay… kewl…. Moving on !  Cutting OFF !  DONE !

Anyway, that being said, I now have to find someone for lactation support while in NYC for the two weeks I have to be there after giving birth and also someone to provide support at the beach.  My mom did not nurse us and we will be the only ones at the beach… my nursing friends are way too far away and I want dependable, professional support to make sure I do not fail at this, provided my milk comes in like I pray it does !

My mom told me to contact La Leche and just work with them.  I think that may be the best way to go at this point.   I honestly do not feel I need a doula in the delivery room nor at the hospital with me at this time.  My doula promised to go over my birth plan with me, that I sent her months ago, about three weeks about and it never got done.  I wrote it out and wanted feedback.  So now, I will just go over it with my OB and the nurse coordinator at the hospital and my mom has a copy.  She wants to be in the OR with me with me when my baby girl gets here, and she is all I need !