Tuesday, July 19, 2016

39 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 39 weeks today! And genuinely shocked that baby is still cooking. That whole "women tend to gestate similarly pregnancy to pregnancy" thing definitely is not holding true here. Baby #2 is already proving to be an entirely different creature than her big sister!

How big is baby? She is officially considered full term and ready to greet the world. The apps say she is the size of a small watermelon, estimated at around 20 inches & 7 pounds. She still moves around pretty constantly- with her most active predictable periods happening around 10:30 am & 3:30pm. She rests primarily on my right side- that's where I always feel the biggest kicks and where I see my belly contorting as she stretches out her legs.

How big is Mama? Mama is feeling HUGE. I'm up just a smidge over a pound from last week, for a total weigh-in of 147.8 this morning (so a 37.8 pound gain in pregnancy so far.... just about 10 pounds MORE than I gained total with Iyla! No wonder I am hurting).

And for comparison's sake, here's the last belly shot I took with Iyla (and ah- being 9 months pregnant during the fall was SO much better than this 100+ degree summer insanity):

Oh how I also miss that thick hair... my hair has definitely changed and thinned out since pregnancy/birth/pregnancy

Labor Signs? I had a rough Sunday with many contractions that continued into the night. They were 10-12 minutes apart and some were pretty intense. I slept terribly, and come morning.... no more contractions.

This little one is definitely playing with me!

I did head to my doctor to re-check me, and found that I am now 4cm dilated, still 50% effaced, and baby hasn't engaged yet. Apparently women can stay at this dilation for weeks, so it really isn't indicative of any impending labor. What it DOES mean is that when baby decides to finally come things will likely move quickly. My doc said that it is pretty common with 2nd pregnancies to have night contractions (when oxytocin peaks) and then have the contractions subside by day. She encouraged me to SLEEP as much as I could with these (vs. trying to time them) and assured me I would know when it was the real deal, in that every.single.contraction would be intense on a different level than what I've felt thus far.

I had been planning to do what's known as a "membrane sweep" this week to see if that might kick start labor naturally. However, I found out that I tested positive for Group B Strep - which means my clinic isn't comfortable doing the sweep due to an increased chance of infection.

So.... we now have an eviction plan in place for baby- an "on or before date" that has been set for a myriad of medical and personal reasons. To include:

*My fibroid (remember Franny?), which has gotten considerably bigger since Iyla's birth. This baby also appears considerably larger than my little 5#14oz firstborn peanut was, so.... that combo already makes Baby #2's ability to push past Franny for a vaginal birth trickier, and the bigger she gets, the harder that journey becomes.

*The whole Strep B Positive fun. This diagnosis is generally considered to be 'no big deal' if treated correctly. What it means logistically is that when I get admitted to the hospital I'll need to receive intravenous antibiotics for as long as possible before giving birth. The RISK comes if you do not receive these antibiotics and the Strep B passes on to baby through a vaginal birth- this can be very dangerous for baby. So: if my water broke on its own I would have to HIGHTAIL it to the hospital to get the antibiotics, hoping baby didn't come TOO fast (hello 4cm dilation!) and that we had enough time to get those into my system. Scheduling an eviction gives us more control over this process to allot the time needed to be super safe.

*My doctor doesn't prefer women over 40 to go past 40 weeks gestation. Now this is NOT something they force or demand of their patients whatsoever, but hell- I'm totally on board with that.

*I'm 39 weeks and full term. AND I AM SO READY. My body is at full capacity right now, and it is oh so hard to get up and down, turn over in bed, walk, sleep, you name it.

Sleep? I had that really crappy night's sleep Sunday with many, many contractions.... then last night got in bed at 8:30pm and slept like a rock. My fingers & hands are still getting numb and achy during the night, shifting positions is horrendous and laborious, and I'm up to use the restroom multiple times....but I always appreciate any sound sleep I can get in between those episodes!

Food cravings/aversions? Here is what's been on the menu this week: Oh's Cereal (I have NO idea where that one came from but it is like heavenly crack to me), watermelon, peaches, apples, eggs, bread, tomatoes. No real aversions, though heavier meals are definitely not something I am craving.


*Constipation is back this week. I'd been doing pretty well managing this with one magnesium supplement at night, but this week it's taking TWO magnesium tabs PLUS a stool softening Colace to get things moving.

*Braxton Hicks on steroids. These have been much more frequent and often painful. I've also noticed the last couple of days that instead of only ONE side of my belly growing into a large hard lump, both sides are starting to harden.

*Actual contractions. I've had a few doozies where the Braxton Hicks are coupled with pretty intense and painful cramping.

*Fingers/hands falling asleep at night and feeling achy by day (still).

*I had one weird night Saturday where I got a really bad headache and also had a lot of nausea & indigestion. Another example of baby teasing me with potential labor... I thought for sure those must be signs that the real deal was near!

Big sister?

Iyla threw out a couple new to her (and me!) Big Girl expressions this morning, to include:

"Don't do anything to embarrass me." Said when I asked about fixing her hair (!).

This was followed by: "I can handle this!" while going down our stairs with 3 stuffed dogs in her arms (cue me teetering VERY close to her, lest she miss a step and topple down).

She also- for the first time in maybe 5 months- wanted to wear her hair down all weekend long, officially breaking up our bun streak. However, it was a short lived phase, as come Monday morning it was back to the buns!


Iyla has been showing us a really amazing ability to psycho-analyze and reflect on scary or sad events that happen to her. A couple examples from the past week:

*We were all out to dinner and the restaurant had one of those toy machines where you direct a crane to try to grab the stuffed animal you want. This proved to be a VERY painful process for Iyla, who adamantly wanted the PINK ELEPHANT- and sadly, that damn crane couldn't for the life of BC or I get it. There were many, many tears as we explained as best we could the nature of the game and acknowledged that YES- it was incredibly frustrating! Cue Iyla 15 minutes later in the car working things out in the way she now does- which involves either BC or I pretending to be HER and play acting how sad she was. Then she play-acts being Mama & Papa, saying soothing things to "Iyla" and talking through the entire event toward a peaceful resolution. It's pretty amazing.

*Another event that happened this week was Iyla accidentally flipping over the back of our couch. She was playing on the couch next to me (as we often do now that I am OH SO PREGNANT) jumping up and down, and the next thing I knew she went flying over the back and landed with a huge THUD.


Mama's WORST nightmare! Luckily she was mostly unscathed- no broken limbs, but there were a LOT of tears and talks about how she had hit her head. Ever since this event we play-act this out several times a day where she'll direct: "Ok, you be Iyla flipping over the couch and hitting your head- and you be SO SAD. I'll be Mama." And we run through the entire event from start to finish with our reversed roles, where she holds me and comforts me and whispers "it's OK Honey" while stroking my hair. Again: amazing!

Here are a few more shots from Iyla's past week:

Baby Prep? Uh, been done there for what feels like weeks now!

Today I am actually re-washing all of the clothes I've had packed in our hospital bag for the past 5 weeks (!)- which are needing a good freshening/de-wrinkling. I'm also washing Iyla's and our bedding, our towels, getting groceries delivered (Instacart is a 9 month pregnant woman's DREAM), and overall just trying to get things cleaned and organized toward baby time.

And baby time is SOON! There won't be another weekly update- hopefully the next post will be announcing the safe arrival of a healthy baby girl. Stay tuned!

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