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.

Ten Weeks Post Partum – The 411


Friday marked 10 weeks since I gave birth to the most perfect creature God every created.  My baby girl is growing by leaps and bounds.  She is now over 11 pounds !  She is truly my little chunk munk.  Her cheeks look inflated and she has tons of fat rolls.  I am constantly cleaning dust bunnies out of her fat rolls on her neck, legs, and under her arms.

At 10 weeks, my baby now laughs, giggles and smiles.  She also attempts to talk back when you are  talking to her… she coos and smiles !

The baby is still sleeping most of the day and night.  She awakes in 4-5 hour stretches to eat and get a diaper change.  She usually stays awake for no more than an hour or she goes right back to sleep after her tummy is full.  She drinks on average 3 oz of milk at a time.  She is still drinking breast milk and supplementing with Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula.  Because I had more clogged ducts, she has been drinking more formula this week than breast milk because my supply dropped and I didn’t take Motilium while the ducts were clogged because it causes worse pain.  It was my fault because I got busy and did not pump and then went to bed after pumping once and slept all night until the baby woke up at 5 am.  I woke up to pain !

My mom watched a bunch of Youtube videos and figured out how to assemble her Stokke Xplory stroller with the carrycot attachment.  It has been a bit cool except 2 days so I have not taken her out on the beach for a walk yet.  I went out yesterday for a quick jog and froze !

I have started back cooking and baking now that we are back at the condo and I have my kitchen stocked with all the gadgets I love.

Nine Weeks Post Partum – The 411

 

It has been two whole months since I gave birth to the most amazing baby girl ever !  It is still surreal to me.  I keep thinking I will wake up and realize it is a dream.

The baby smiles and coos at us when she is engaged.  She loves for me to sing to her and loves when you talk to her or read to her.  She is infatuated with lights.  Now she will laugh or giggle when you talk to her in high pitch voices.

We survived her first round of vaccinations.  My mom went with me to the appointment.  The baby HATED her vaccines !  The only one she enjoyed was the oral one.  She got a few injections in the leg and she screamed and got really mad.  It took me a minute to calm her down.  I gave her Tylenol and Motrin before we left the appointment and I gave it to her every four and six hours respectively for twenty four hours after the injections.

The baby has grown quite a bit over the past nine weeks. She is now 11 pounds and 22 inches long.

My Update:

I finally had my postpartum appointment and had to get a papsmear.  I am awaiting the results but everything else checked out. I am down 63 pounds.

My Mom:

My mother finally got off the wound vac and most of the medications she was taking.  She is feeling a lot better and has been placed on sick leave by her doctor until the end of the year.  Her stress levels due to cancer-related  PTSD was wearing on her and her vitals were not stable.   

My baby and my mom are basically twins.  I pulled up old photos of my mom and Baby Girl looks just like her.

My mom is entirely smitten with the baby.

 I am in the process of planning the baby’s Christening which will take place Christmas weekend on the beach.  We just ordered her custom made gown with a bonnet and a headband.  

Seven Weeks Postpartum- The 411

photoshoot-at-7-weeks

My gorgeous girl (and I know no parent should ever boast about this type of thing, but I am completely objective !  lol)  is 7 weeks old.  This past week was a bit challenging due to a bit of colic.  I called her doctor and demanded to change her formula I am supplementing with to Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula and it has made ALL the difference !  The baby’s poop is normal now.  There is not a lot of trapped gas anymore and the baby is letting them rip ! (embarrassingly so !)

I am still exclusively pumping and I have not gotten another clogged duct (knock on wood) and I am pumping on average 5 to 7 ounces per pump.   I am still taking Motilium and will continue to do so. I am not yet sure how long I plan to continue pumping but I am hoping to continue until she is at least six months old.  Once we start her on homemade, organic food, I will more than likely stop pumping and only give her the Earth’s Best formula until she weans to organic whole milk.

Baby girl had her first professional photo shoot for a local photography studio this week.  Above is a sneak peek !

Mommy News:

My incision is completely closed now and it you can not even tell that I was cut open !  I am amazed at Dr. P’s work !  I wish she had suctioned the excess fat out and pulled that skin down then I would be A OKAY !  lol

I am feeling terrific and am down 54 pounds. I look great and am pleased with my body except my ass is gone!  Oh well… squats are on the menu now 🙂

Grandmomma / My Momma News:

My mother is doing a lot better.  She is still hooked up to wound vac and hopefully will be getting it off in the morning at the surgeon appointment.  We are headed to NYC on Monday so that I can vote and then the baby and I have doctor appointments this week too.  I have to check my post office box and then get a slice of pizza.  My mom was a bit sick for the past week so I took her to her PCP.  He determined that the infection was not 100% gone and he started giving her injection antibiotics.  She went back today for more blood work and she is now in the clear.

How your baby’s growing

Your baby’s brain is expanding in size and complexity. It will grow about 5 centimeters during the first three months.

You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning. Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby – talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she’s absorbing language.

New textures, sights, and sounds are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding the world around her.

Reaching out

Your baby’s hands should be mostly open now — ready to reach out to the world. In the early days of your baby’s life, grabbing was mostly automatic and instinctual and she couldn’t let go if she wanted to. Although she can’t really grab objects just yet, she can hold things placed in her hands. And, once she wraps her hands around something, she might not let go so easily. She’ll also begin to try and bat at objects, so keep potentially dangerous objects far from your little one’s reach. This means not holding hot liquids or sharp objects while you’re holding her.

Learning begins now

You may notice short periods of time when your newborn is quiet and alert. This is prime time for learning: Your baby’s brain will grow about 5 centimeters during her first three months!

Use these calm intervals to get better acquainted with your baby — talk to her, sing to her, describe the pictures on the walls. She may not be able to add to your conversation just yet, but she’s learning nonetheless.

New textures for her hands to feel and new sights and sounds (all in moderation) are all learning opportunities. Even bath time becomes a laboratory for understanding life.

Eyes can track objects

With both eyes now able to follow things consistently and well, your baby can track a moving object much better, something she may have been able to do for only brief periods since birth.

The stores are packed with developmental toys, but you’ll do just as well with everyday objects. Pass a rattle or a bright plastic ladle horizontally in front of her. Then try moving it up and down. This should attract your baby’s attention, though she probably won’t be able to smoothly follow things vertically for another three months and diagonally for another six months.

You can also play eyes-to-eyes by moving very close to her face and slowly nodding your head from side to side. Often her eyes will lock onto yours.

Remember, your baby is an individual

All babies are unique and meet milestones at their own pace. Developmental guidelines simply show what your baby has the potential to accomplish — if not right now, then soon. If your baby was premature, keep in mind that kids born early usually need a bit more time to meet their milestones. If you have any questions at all about your baby’s development, ask your healthcare provider.

Witching Hour Colic Solutions – The 411

Image result for colic

When your fussy baby won’t stop crying and you feel like you’re going to LOSE IT, it can be helpful to have a list of soothing techniques you can try.

Most of us end up getting stuck using the same old techniques, again and again, regardless of whether they’re working or not.

Following is a list of 40 techniques you can try to soothe your colicky, crying infant (they’re not in any particular order).

40 Fussy Baby Soothing Techniques

Movement

1. Bouncing on the exercise ball

This is the technique I hear most often from parents of babies 0-6 months. If I had to pick a single ‘go to’ technique, this would be it. Ideally, you’ll want to swaddle your baby up nice and snug, and then hold her up against your chest, or up high on your shoulder. Now bouncity-bounce while holding her, until she’s fast asleep. This technique works even better when you combine it with a pacifier or letting her suck on your pinky.

2. Gently rolling baby on an exercise ball

If gas is the problem, gently rolling baby across the top of the exercise ball can help. It works by adding a bit of extra pressure to his tummy, releasing those nasty gas bubbles. It also gives your little one a change of scenery, as well as that little bit of extra motion.

3. The standing jiggle

If you don’t have an exercise ball, the next best thing is the standing jiggle. If possible, swaddle baby up nice and snug, and then hoist him up high onto your shoulder. The key is that his entire head should be above your shoulder. Now jiggle up and down (quickly!) so that baby’s head is gently bobbing. This is the same technique you should use on the exercise ball.

4. The rocking chair

I know, you’re going to tell me the rocking chair is too gentle for your baby, and that it only makes her mad. I hear you. I had two babies like that. If you’re lucky enough to have a baby who likes the gentle sway of a rocker, you’re lucky! If not, you need to take things up a notch: Sway back and forth as HARD and as FAST as you can. Clear some space around the  chair: you’re going to need it!

5. The car seat swing

This is a favourite among dads especially. While not sustainable for long periods of time, this can be an instant ‘super soother’. Put baby in her car seat (be sure to buckle her up), and then swing that thing back and forth in a wide arc. Little movements won’t cut it…as long as she’s buckled in, she’s not going anywhere!

6. Baby swing

This is another one that some babies initially appear to hate, but simply need to be convinced of. If possible, swaddle baby up nice and snug (there are swaddles available that only swaddle the arms), soothe him in his preferred method, and then place him (drowsy or completely asleep) in the swing.

Now crank up the swing to the highest setting (important!), preferably accompanied by some loud white noise. It’s super important that your swing goes FAST! Most of the swings on the market are far too slow – the only one I know for a fact is fast enough is the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Cradle Swing (or any swing in that line).

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, put him in the swing if awake and fussy. As Harvey Karps says, “put a screaming baby in a swing, and you have a swinging screaming baby”.

7. Rocking in the car seat

If you don’t have a swing, or are on the go, rocking your baby in the car seat is a good alternative. Buckle her up, and rock that baby back and forth: fast and hard! We went on an overseas trip when Sammy was 4 months old, and without his swing, this is how I had to get him to sleep.

8. Car ride

The old stand by: the 2am car ride. Certainly not ideal, but most of us have resorted to it when all else fails. Buckle baby up, put some loud white noise in the CD player and drive until the crying stops. If you don’t have a white noise CD, try a white noise app, or even just loud radio static can do the trick.

9. A sling or baby carrier

This is another one you may have to convince your baby of. Strap on a pouch, sling, wrap or carrier, and start moving. The trick is to always combine it with movement; try it in combination with the standing jiggle (#3), or take a short walk outside. Once he’s asleep, you may be able to carefully lay him down. If not, plan to do your housekeeping with baby attached!

10. Stroller ride

Although not all babies enjoy the stroller, a brisk walk can work wonders on babies who do. Bundle her up, pop her in the stroller, and start moving. Just be sure not to slow down or stop. Ever.

11. Baby rocker

I’ve heard very good things from parents about the Fisher Price Rock and Play Sleeper. It’s kind of a cross between a bassinet, bouncy seat and swing. With a nice deep bucket seat, your baby will feel secure while you rock away.

12. The sway

Another technique that’s most effective for mild fussiness,  but worth trying nonetheless. Hold baby, preferably in a swaddle, and sway back and forth. The bigger the sway, the better!

13. Knee bends

Want to lose that extra pregnancy weight while calming your fussy baby? In big, fluid motions, bend your knees into a squatting position, and then straighten yourself up. This one works best if your baby is swaddled at the same time. Looking to build those calf muscles? This is the soothing technique for you!

Sucking

14. Comfort feeding

I’m a ‘do whatever works’ kind of gal. While some may disagree, I say if nursing works, go for it! Particularly during the ‘witching hours’ of around 5pm-midnight, babies may need to cluster feed, or may simply need the comfort that comes with nursing. Don’t be afraid to feed all evening if that’s what it takes…just try to stay on one side if you’re sure it’s comfort he’s needing, and not food.

15. Pacifier

If you’re lucky enough to have a soother-loving baby, count your blessings! Yes, I’ve heard of nipple confusion too, but from what I can tell, this is largely a myth. Talk with a nurse or lactation consultant, but as far as I’m concerned, if the pacifier helps calm your baby, more power to you! You’re lucky to have something that works.

16. The pinky

Babies that won’t take a pacifier often tend to prefer something closer to the ‘real thing’. Letting him suck on your pinky can be a great alternative to the soother. Weird looking? Kind of. But in that moment, who really cares.

White Noise

17. The vacuum cleaner

Another cliche, but one that can actually accomplish the herculean task of knocking out a screaming baby. Remember that the womb was loud – we’re talking jet engine loud – so the vacuum isn’t going to hurt her little ears.

18. White noise app

There are many white noise apps available for free for your phone or iPad, if you’re willing to sacrifice your mobile device for the sake of your sanity. Sounds like ‘gentle waves’ and ‘soothing lullabies’ will more than likely just make baby madder, so try to use sounds like radio static, vacuum cleaner, or the generic ‘white noise’ sound.

19. White noise machine

If you’re tired of sharing your iPhone with your baby, it may be time to upgrade to a white noise machine. These will be loud enough for your fussy baby, and are useful to mask household sounds even as your child gets older.

20. The blow dryer

There’s something about the harsh loudness of a blow dryer that’s strangely comforting to fussy babies. A word of warning on this one: make sure to keep it far away from baby, and never leave it on unattended.

21. The fan

While the sound of a standard fan may not be enough to calm really fussy babies, it can work with easier babies. If a regular fan doesn’t work, try a loud bathroom fan or the fan above your stove (which tends to be quite a bit louder).

22. Loud ‘SHUSH’ in the ear.

If you’re stuck with absolutely no other white noise options, a LOUD shushing sound in the ear is usually successful. You may notice your baby suddenly stops crying and looks you in the eyes in surprise. While this one is effective, it’s difficult to do for more than a minute or two without feeling like you’re going to pass out.

23. Sitting next to dishwasher or dryer

The beauty of the dishwasher and dryer is that it’s a combination of cozy warmth, vibrations and soothing white noise. If this alone doesn’t work, try putting the swing right next to it and see if that works.

24. Loud music

While standard white noise is ideal, loud music can do the trick as well. While you don’t want to burst their little ear drums, generally speaking, the louder the better. Watch your baby for cues: if she continues crying, it may be too loud or not quite loud enough.

Miscellaneous Soothing Techniques

25. Swaddling

As we know, babies like to feel as if they’re back in the womb. Swaddling helps achieve this sensation by helping your baby feel warm, secure, and by keeping her flailing little arms in place. But while many babies sleep better with the swaddle, they will often resist the swaddle at first…so much so that you assume he doesn’t like it. Here’s the trick: keep moving. Combining the swaddle with any kind of movement – carrying, the swing, or the exercise ball, for example – can be just the trick to stop the fussies and encourage sleep.

26. The bicycle motion

Place baby on her back in her crib or on a comfy surface, and gently rotate her legs in the air as if she was riding a bicycle. This can help release gas and aid in digestion.

27. Infant massage

You don’t need to have a specific technique or be skilled in massage therapy to be effective at infant massage. Whether it’s the gentle pressure or simply the human contact, I don’t know. But gently rubbing baby’s arms, legs, back and tummy can temporarily provide some needed relief.

28. The 5 S’s from The Happiest Baby on the Block

This is of course a combination of some of the other soothing techniques on this list. The ultimate in baby soothing, these 5 techniques from Harvey Karp’s book The Happiest Baby on the Block are perhaps the most important tool you can have in your arsenal. The 5 S’s are:

  • Shushing (or any kind of loud, harsh white noise)
  • Side-Lying: When placed on their backs, babies can feel as if they’re falling. Try holding baby on his or her side, away from your body
  • Swaddling (too loose, and it defeats the purpose)
  • Sucking (pacifier or pinky)
  • Swinging (in the swing or in your arms)

29. The colic hold

While this one has only worked for us once or twice, maybe it will work for you. Place your baby face down on your forearm, with her head resting in your hand.  This theoretically releases gas and provides gentle pressure on her tummy.

30. Fresh air

Another cliche, but one that often works some soothing magic. Even if all you do is stand out on the front porch for a minute or two, it can be just what your baby needs to distract him from whatever’s bugging him.

31. Give a bath

As a newborn, warms baths were one of the few things that actually calmed our son down. Even now (at 7 years old), he often hops in the bathtub when he’s feeling sad or angry. Make sure the water is the optimal temperature: too cold and he’ll scream even louder. If he still doesn’t like the tub, try getting in with him and see if that helps. This is also a great trick for babies who are having trouble breastfeeding: Feed them in the tub. It may relax them enough that they can finally eat a proper meal.

32. Cut out all stimulation

While many newborns prefer to be surrounded by distractions and loud, droning noises, sometimes it can all get to be a bit much. When all else fails, go into a dark, quiet room, and see if that settles him.

33. Put her down

Even little cuddle bums sometimes need some space. If you’ve tried everything and you find your baby is getting more and more frantic, put her down in a safe place, and see if that helps. When my daughter got particularly fussy, sometimes all she needed was to be put down on the floor so she could flex her arms and legs and cool off a bit!

34. The bum pat

Combined with the standing jiggle, this one can be a lifesaver. Bounce quickly up and down while patting her bum. The trick is to pat it HARD…remember she’s got a diaper on, so you’re not going to hurt her!

35. Warm compress on tummy

For mild fussiness, a warm ‘magic bag’ or hot water bottle (with WARM water) on your baby’s tummy can give some temporary relief. I’ve never seen this one work for the big fussies though!

36. Gripe water

Some people swear by it. It never did anything for us, but when you’re at the end of your rope, it can feel good just to try something. Look for gripe waters without charcoal or other yucky ingredients.

37. Gas drops

If you suspect gas is the issue (it’s usually not), it doesn’t hurt to try giving a few gas drops.

38. Skin-to-skin contact

Particularly effective with newborns, having some skin-to-skin contact can help comfort and calm your baby. Most effective when combined with bottle or breastfeeding.

39. Take his clothes off. All of them.

Some babies HATE being undressed. Others LOVE it. Do you know what your baby prefers? Be a little bit daring, and take ALL his clothes off. Even his diaper. Lay him on a soft towel, and see what happens. You may be surprised! (and would you rather have to clean up a bit of pee, or have him cry for another hour?)

40. Let baby hang out while you shower. 

Put your baby in his seat of choice (bouncy seat, car seat or swing) in the bathroom while you shower. For added effect, try turning on the bathroom fan. There’s something about the warmth and the droning white noise of the shower that helps calm and soothe the fussiest baby.

One Month !

Image result for one month

My sweet baby girl is 30 days old today !   On Friday, she was four weeks old.  I can not believe how time has flown by.

Weight Update:

Baby girl was born weighing 4 lbs 10 oz and was 17.78 inches long.  She is now 7 1/2 pounds and is is 19 inches long. She sleeps most of the time for 3-5 hour stretches at a time.  

Nursing:

We are still supplementing with formula but she gets more breast milk than formula.  I am exclusively pumping since she can’t initiate let down yet. 

My milk supply seems to be improving and I am hoping that with starting Motilium,  the supply will increase even more.

Body Changes Post Partum:

* down 49 pounds

*still experiencing pain in my legs and feet due to edema.  My skin is rough and feels like alligator skin and I have blisters and sore knots on my legs.  The swelling has gone down immensely, but I still have some swelling.

* no more green poop !  The color and texture ( I know… gross) has returned to normal.

* my boobs are smaller now that they were and flatter unless full of milk.

* I have lost my rear end!  Very flat.

* periods of exhaustion come and go a lot like 1st trimester.

*my incision is nearly closed where it opened up.  

* the feeling is starting to come back in my lower tummy above the incision and in my vajayjay below the incision. It feels weird !

Mom:

Our mother is healing and is adjusting to being out of the hospital and her home health nurse comes out daily to repack her wound.  My mom has agreed to find a home health agency at the beach so that we can leave and head out there.  I am sooooo ready to go.  I am glad that we missed the Hurricane Matthew and storms that follow.

Lactation Consultant – Two Hour Class – The 411

Image result for breastfeeding

Because no one properly taught me to latch my baby while I was in the hospital for FIVE NIGHTS and I have been exclusively pumping, I researched and found a top lactation consulting firm, Premier Lactation Services , and called and hired them to help me with my breastfeeding woes.

The company has only RN-BSNs who come out to your home and start with a two hour class and assessment.

My nurse, Jennifer, came today and we started with an assessment of my breasts, medical history, current meds etc.  She said my breasts look great for making milk and they will work with me to increase my supply and get the baby latched.  I am currently making enough milk to exclusively feed the baby breast milk instead of having to supplement with formula.  If I can stay at home long enough to get my eight pumps in per day !

I have had to go to the ER daily for wound care. Now that my incision has pretty much healed to the point that it does not have to be packed any longer, my health insurance is almost done with processing my out of network request for home health care !  Go figure !!

Today, we got the baby latched right away, as she knows exactly what to do and goes for it and we have discovered that the baby wants immediate flow like with the bottle.  I was given a 1 ounce syringe with a long tube on it that slides under my nipple shield and the baby can suck the milk out and it mimics nursing, until the baby is able to cause let down.  She has a great suction, but she, like most preemies, tucker out and will not work for the milk.  By using the SNS method, the baby will have to suck and I control the milk flow, which encourages her to latch the nipple and not be bottle dependent.

The nurse gave me Lecithin to help thin out my colostrum so that the baby has an easier time getting the milk to flow quicker so she doesn’t get discouraged.  I was also given Fenugreek to take as well to increase milk production.  My goal is to pump 25 ounces a day and continue to build from there.  The baby needs 15 ounces per day to grow properly and she should be eating eight times a day at minimum.  I was given a list of meds that my OB can prescribe if need be, but we are going to start here and see if I can get my supply where it needs to be.

In other news:  My mother is still in the hospital and has a staph infection.  The infection was found in the fluid that pooled in her abdomen that collected when the drains were removed.  They now have her hooked up to some kind of machine that drains the fluid and they discard it.  The machine is attached some kinda way up under her skin and the hoses have to be removed and the machine and area has to be cleaned every so many days.  When she is allowed to come home they will send her home with a skilled nurse.

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.