Bumpdate: 34-35 Weeks

Katie Beach Maternity
A little peek at some of the gorgeous maternity photos my Dad took for me during our vacation. 

How far along: 35 Weeks. Wow, only 5 weeks to go! Somedays it feels like I have 5 months left and other times it feels like the days are just flying by. On Tuesday my doctor told me that from here on out if I go into labor they won’t do anything to try to stop it. That made reality set in. He could come anytime now. 

Due Date: September 15

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: Baby has gone through a major growth spurt (as well as me.) He’s about the size of a large spaghetti squash. He should be weighing in close to 5.5 pounds now.  He’s adding on fat, his hearing is at full capacity. His physical development is pretty much done, and he’ll mostly be focusing on putting on weight for the next few weeks. 

Weight gain: 29 pounds. And I feel it. 

Movement: He’s running out of some room but he’s still pushing, stretching, and prodding. He was the center of entertainment in our family’s circle of chairs at the beach. We got a kick out of watching him poke his little feet all around. 

Best Moment of the Week: Spending the week at the beach with my family! I loved dreaming of what it will be like next year when Baby Mac will be joining us. 

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 When I first got pregnant (in the dead cold of winter) I cringed at the idea of wearing a bikini while hugely pregnant. Come summer, 100 degree days, and a true appreciation for all that my body can do and I barely gave it a second thought. I’d rather flaunt the bump than be shamed by it. If I don’t love my body, who will? Plus I was super comfy on the beach. So, other pregnant ladies afraid to let it all hang out, do it! No regrets!

Looking forward to: Getting everything at the house ready for the baby’s arrival. I think I’m in full nesting mode now. I have a long list of things I want to clean, fix, organize, wash, and decorate. Ryan is being so helpful. We are so glad to be staying in our current home and he’s still loving his new job.  

Food Cravings: The other day I desperately needed a glass of ice cold milk. It was so strange because we are an Almond Milk household and I never have real milk. I ran out to the store and bought a small bottle and added chocolate syrup. Yum. 

Mood: Still experiencing mood swings. I can go from happy to moody in about 20 minutes. 

Symptoms: I’ve noticed a big change in my body in just the past few days. My bump is always rock hard and heavy feelings. I’m experiencing quite a few Braxton hicks (false labor) contractions. I’m also very, very tired, have carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist, have sore ankles and feet, sore back, and pee about every 20 minutes. This is all normal though, so nothing really to complain about. Oh and the wedding rings are off! Too much swelling!

Previous Weeks:           

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25weeksabla    26-27weeksabla     28weeksabla

29weeksabla   30weeksabla    30-31weeksabla  

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Bumpdate: Weeks 31-32

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How far along: 32 Weeks, less than 8 weeks to go! I can’t believe it!

Due Date: September 15

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: Baby is now just over 4 pounds. (We get a scan today and will know official weight estimate then) He’s fattening up as he prepares to enter the world soon. I should prepare to gain about a pound per week for the rest of my pregnancy (half goes to him, half goes to me). 

Weight gain: 24 Pounds.

Movement: We keep having fantastic reports from Maternal Fetal Medicine, which is SUCH a relief. I feel him so much more these days, mostly at night. He likes to get his legs all cozy up in my ribs and give me a good kicking. Ryan can feel him now too, and we love sharing these moments while parked on the couch in the evening. It’s hard to get comfortable in the car and while sleeping because I feel like he’s really crowding the one side of my belly, diaphragm and ribs.

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Best Moment of the Week: My Mom and two of my best friends threw me a baby shower Sunday. It was such a wonderful day to connect with family that I haven’t seen in forever and celebrate with friends. Baby Mac is already so well-loved. This weekend, Ryan’s mom is throwing me another shower for the Philly area family and friends. I’ll post more about showers after this weekend. 

Looking forward to: Denise’s baby shower this weekend and Ryan being done with the bar next week! He heads up to Harrisburg next Tuesday and Wednesday for two grueling days of tests and essays. He’s been studying intensely since May and I know he’s going to do great, but also ready for the intensity and stress to be over. 

Food Cravings: I don’t know if there just isn’t any more room in my stomach area or if it’s the high heat, but I’m not really that hungry anymore. I’m still craving watermelon and ice-cold water the most. 

Mood: SO emotional and irritable and tired. Last week I was so crabby most of the week. It’s hard to make it through the work day and any after work errands or gym trips. The smallest things can make me cry. I’ve gotten a little better since last week, but if I’m being honest, I’m not always the happiest to deal with. 

Symptoms: Emotional, irritable, tired, sore back, never comfortable. But, I’m also so in love, excited, and anxious. Counting down the next 7ish weeks is like a 4-year-old counting down Christmas from July. 

It’s also getting very hard to workout. I’ve been trying to go to the gym three days a week, but lately, I can barely make it through 30 minutes on the treadmill without wanting to sit down or feeling like the baby is going to fall out. Experienced moms, any tips on how you continued to stay active in your third trimester?

Nursery: I think I’m not experiencing full nesting mode. I think of things that need to be done and I want them done NOW. But then I get too tired to do anything but sit, and then I get irritated that I can’t get anything done because I’m too tired. The struggle is real. But the nursery is really coming together and I will be sharing pictures later in August.

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Kick Counting and Being Patient after a Baby Scare

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 Baby Mac has had a rough week. I’ve stopped uttering the phrase, “I just want him to be here!” and am learning to take this pregnancy day by day and my new label of “high risk” with as little anxiety as possible. 

On Tuesday I went in for my routine checkup. I’ve been feeling great recently; less tired, less back and hip pain, and happy. So, I traipsed into my appointment thinking that I would be in and out in less than ten minutes, like normal, and off to meet my friend for crepes and a milkshake. 

I got weighed in, got my blood pressure taken, and listened to Baby Mac’s heartbeat with a smile on my face. My doctor, donning scrubs and dark circles under her eyes as if she just came from an all-nighter in Labor and Delivery,  sat down to look over my chart. 

She managed a tired smiled and said, “So, 27 weeks! You should be feeling him kick all the time now!”

I paused for a little bit and then explained to her that, no; I am not feeling him kick “all the time”.

I described how I mostly feel small flutters throughout the day, and usually just at night. Some days I’ll feel one or two larger kicks, but it’s mostly flutters, almost like I have a mini goldfish swimming around in my uterus. But I can also go a whole day or two without feeling anything.

A few weeks ago I was told this was normal because I have an anterior placenta. (My placenta rests on top of the baby, adding an extra cushion between his movements and the outside of my uterus.) I was told it would take me longer to feel real kicks or any big movements, so I didn’t worry about it.

But after I described what I feel, my doctor jumped out of her chair and said, “Hmmmm well, I’m going to send you in right now for a non-stress test.”

“A what?”

“A non-stress test. I’m concerned. You should be feeling more movement now. I’m sending you over to Maternal Fetal Medicine”

“Okay, Where? What…what does that mean. What will the test show?” I managed to sputter out. Inside I was losing it. 

I could tell she barely wanted to explain the medical details to me, “Well, if the babies not moving, it means he may be under some sort of stress…and just lying dormant. So we want to check that out and possibly do an ultrasound as well, just to make sure baby is okay.” We were now out of the patient room and walking to the check-out desk. I was so confused and felt poorly communicated too. I had no idea what Maternal Fetal Medicine was or what a Non Stress Test was and was wishing I wasn’t alone. 

The check-out admin woman called Maternal Fetal Medicine to schedule me in. I asked where that was, who that was, and what this test was all about. Her response was a slight smile with worried eyes. She then muttered a few things I could barely understand and said she’d walk me over to this other doctor’s office, which thankfully was literally next door to my OBGYN.

I get checked in there, still with no real clue with where I am or who I’m seeing. While I wait to get called back a quick Google search tells me I’m at a high risk doctor. 

A very kind nurse ushers me back to a sun filled room and finally gives me some information. A non-stress test monitors how active a baby’s heart rate is. I sit down in a recliner and get two monitors strapped to my belly, one checks on baby’s heart rate while the others picks up any contractions I may be having. When baby is active, his heart rate will go up. The sweet nurse, my new favorite person, set me up with a stack of trashy magazine, “I you can relax enough to read”, and a jar of Jolly Ranchers, “to hopefully make baby active”. 

I quickly texted Ryan to fill him in. He responded a few minutes later telling me to not google low fetal movements. I tried to relax as I watched a paper of my son’s heart rate printing out next to me. The nurse returned in twenty minutes and said she’d be back shortly with the results from the doctor. 

She came back and told me that baby passed the test, but not as ideally as they would like and they were sending me in for a BPP. She shuffled me into an ultrasound room and explained that a BPP is a special ultrasound that looks for special movements and checks on my placenta and amniotic fluid.

I get myself comfortable on the ultrasound table and try to enjoy the forty minutes of getting to see my son in action again. I ask the tech about twenty times if things look “good”. She smiles at my kindly and says, “Yeah!” a little too enthusiastically. I’m freaking out, but can she blame me?

When she is done she leaves to go discuss the results with the doctor. I can’t help but to think, will I ever get to meet this high risk doctor, or will he exist for me like the wizard of Oz behind a thin curtain?

Then a very young nurse practitioner comes in and tells me what she and the doctor discussed. (I guess I’m really not going to meet the wizard after all). She informs me that the baby (or the babe as she referred to him) is doing okay and passed all of the tests. So that’s good.

She is very perky and makes good eye contact. But I can’t fight this feeling that she’s tip toeing around the facts.

But, they are labeling me as high risk and that I will come back and see this doctor every week until delivery to get these tests done and be monitored for low fetal movement.

She also threw in that I should be ready for an emergency C-section at any time, in case baby is under stress any week. This would be scary right now, being that I’m only 27 weeks along.

I sat up and said, “I’m hearing mixed messages.  One is that baby is okay and everything looks good and two I’m now high risk and need to be monitored closely.”

I was scared. I was picturing calling Ryan and crying that I was being taken into surgery right that evening and giving birth to our son thirteen weeks early.

She tried to calm me down by saying that they just like to be extra cautious and to make sure he continues to increase movement.

If I do not feel him move for a day, then that is a major cause for alarm. I am then to come into see them  ASAP and take these tests. If he fails the tests then they would prep me for a C-section to make sure they are able to get him out to help him survive. That would be the worst case scenario, but he is doing okay now.

Before I knew it, I was out scheduling weekly appointments throughout the summer. It all felt so fast and surreal that it wasn’t until I got to my car that I really began to process it. And it wasn’t until I googled 27 weeks survival rates that I began to cry. My mama hormones were in high gear. 

But it’s been two days and I’m coming to terms with it.

In a nut shell:

  • Baby Mac is okay! He is healthy! His heart beat is strong. He’s doing well in the womb, but not as perfect as he could be.
  • I’m going to be closely monitored as a precaution. They want to be sure that his movement does not decline.
  • I have an app that I’m using to count his kicks and movements. If I notice a decline in movements I’m to call as soon as possible so that they can help him survive as quickly as possible.
  • I’ll look at these weekly appointments as a way to get reassurance that all is okay with the baby. I’ll get to see him on screen every week!
  • Being high risk will guarantee the doctors will treat me like a queen. 
  • This whole experience has made me appreciate of what my body can do. It’s been an excellent reminder to take one day at a time. Instead of wanting to rush time I will be grateful for each day that passes and Baby Mac stays cooking inside.

So for now you can find me appreciating patience and counting kicks.

 

 

Bumpdate: 25 Weeks

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How far along: 25 Weeks (15 more weeks to go!)

Due Date: September 17

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: He’s about 13.5 inches long and is the size of a rutabaga. (Yeah I had to look that up). His brain is developing in major ways and he is developing more baby fat and his skin is smoothing out and getting less translucent. 

Weight gain: Well it happened, a major jump in weight. Up 18 pounds. I feel like this is too much all of a sudden…the total weight gain for the 40 weeks is 25 – 35 pounds…. 

Movement: I’m feeling him more and more! And Ryan felt him twice this week! It’s such an awesome/weird experience. One time I could even see my belly move with his powerful movements. He really likes sugar…

Best moment of the week: Being able to feel him more and having Ryan join in on the experience. My back pain as also gotten better this week! I’m back up to 3-4 workouts a week and have been sleeping better. On Saturday night I slept for 10 hours, it was amazing!

Looking forward to: Our first baby care class tonight and to the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday!

Food cravings: Ice cream, pizza, chocolate, watermelon. Also enjoying a green smoothie most mornings. I’ve been trying to cut back on the sugar and have a new favorite treat: Yasso mint chocolate chip frozen greek yogurt bars. (About half the sugar of regular frozen yogurt)

What I miss: Orange crushes. Not being SO allergic to the outdoors. 

Mood: Still happy but also getting more anxious about becoming a mother. I feel like my whole identity is changing lately and it’s a little scary. 

Symptoms: Anxious, hungry, and tired.  

Nursery: I received a huge box of hand me downs this week, Baby Mac is officially set on clothes for the first 3 months, I think he has more clothes than he will ever wear!

I’m in full on nesting mood and I’m purging things like crazy and also starting to pack up things in the house that we won’t be using before October. (We will be moving in the beginning of November and I’m already having panic attacks about packing and moving with a newborn so I’m trying to get some things out-of-the-way while I still can).

 

Previous Weeks:           

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xoxo Katie

Bumpdate: 24 Weeks


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How far along: 24 Weeks. 

Due Date: September 17

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: About the size of a a large zucchini. He’s weighing about 1.3 ounces and building up a layer of fat. Taste buds are developing as well as a thin layer of hair. 

Weight gain: 14 pounds. But I feel really big this week, like I went through a big growth spurt.  The skin around my belly is itchy and feels tight and my bump seems to be really sticking out there these days. 

Maternity clothes: I love all of the dresses I get from Target! I have multiple colors in the one pictured above and they are so comfy!

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Movement: Still feeling very subtle movements. Ryan still can’t feel anything, even though he tries hard. 

Best moment of the week: Visiting my college roomie and bestie in DC. We got brunch and walked around a bit and visited the National Portrait Gallery. It was a really nice day despite the 93 degree heat. I quickly learned that I need to pace myself. I returned home with very swollen and red feet and ankles and a sore back. I spent most of the day recuperating. I used to return home from her place with a hangover, not I return home with pregnancy pain. Changes hah!

She got updated on my blog before I arrived and bought me mint chocolate chip ice cream to snack on while at her place since I’ve been craving it. So sweet! Props to Laura!

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Looking forward to: Our Anniversary! And having Ryan home, he quit his job on Friday to devote himself to studying for the bar for the next two months. 

Food cravings: Ice cream, pizza, cheese. We had THE best goat cheese fondue in DC on Saturday at The Fainting Goat. 

What I miss: Mimosas. Margaritas. Not having back pain. Sleeping on my back and sleeping through the night. 

Mood: Happy!

Symptoms: Back pain. 

Nursery: Our glider was delivered on Friday and we got it set up in the nursery. It’s perfect! 

Loathing:  Loathing is a bit strong, but I’ll be the first to admit that being pregnant isn’t easy. Doesn’t mean I’m not grateful for this life growing inside of me one bit, but I’m having a hard time adjusting to all these body changes recently. I know I’m going to continue getting bigger and bigger but I already feel so off-balance with the growing bump. Add in the “mask of pregnancy” (redness all over my face and pimples) and the back pain and it’s not pretty. I feel like as soon as I get used to my body and figure out what clothes looks good, my body goes and changes again. 

Loving: Having more time to spend with Ryan and the sunny weather (even in the heat). I have a feeling this summer will be flying by and September and Baby Mac will be here before we know it. 

Previous Weeks:           

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xoxo Katie

Bumpdate: 23 Weeks

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How far along: 23 Weeks. 

Due Date: September 17

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: About the size of a mango or an ear of corn. His sense of hearing has increased so we’ve been playing him some good tunes in the car and talking to him every night. He should also be getting used to Maggie and Bonnie’s barking so that it won’t phase him when he’s outside the womb. 

Weight gain: Holding out at around 13 pounds.

Maternity clothes: It’s all that fits. I’m loving that it’s warm enough for dresses now. I’ve also had to invest in a few “mom sandals”  (comfort shoes) to help my back and hip pain. 

Movement: Still feeling very subtle movements. Ryan still can’t feel anything, even though he tries hard. 

Best moment of the week: Attending Ryan’s graduation from Rutgers Law School on Thursday! It was a very inspirational ceremony and I did cry, sitting there watching my husband walk across the stage while I held my pregnant belly. We also had a blast celebrating with family and friends at a party on Saturday. The three-day weekend was not long enough. 

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Looking forward to: Going to DC this weekend and celebrating our second anniversary in a week!

Food cravings: Ice cream, watermelon, cheese

What I miss: Drinking summer drinks, wine, and being able to sleep peacefully. 

Mood: Happy!

Symptoms: Allergies and hip pain, that’s it! 

Nursery: It’s really coming together. I love just sitting in that room and looking at all of his little things. 

Loving: I’m really learning to embrace pregnancy this week and it’s been a good week. Hip pain and sleeping problems aside, life is good. We ended the weekend at a pool party and it felt good to float in the water and feel the sun. Happy Summer!

Previous Weeks:           

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xoxo Katie

Bumpdate: 21 Weeks

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How far along: 21 Weeks. 

Due Date: September 17

Gender: Boy!

Baby Size: This week he has grown to the size of a pomegranate. Weighing almost 1 pound. He is looking more human these days, with his facial features almost complete, although his eyes can’t open yet. He is also forming his unique toe and fingerprints.

Weight gain: I honestly haven’t weighed myself this week. After indulging in NYC I’m a little scared to, I’m guessing I’m up to around 13 pounds gained. 

Maternity clothes: Yep! Thank god the weather finally got nice and I can live in dresses. Now I’m facing the challenge of finding a maternity bathing suit or two. Any advice?

Movement: I can feel him now!!! It’s very subtle, but it’s there. It’s hard to describe but it feels like a swooshing feeling in my lower stomach area, almost like a wave rolling through. Other times it feels like I have butterflies in my belly. Very weird!

Best moment of the week: Girls’ trip to NYC! My parents got me tickets to see Wicked on broadway for my birthday. This past weekend my mom and one of our best friends shopped and dined in the city and saw the show. It was a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend as well. 

Looking forward to: Meeting our son!! I still have 18 weeks to go and I feel like I can’t wait that long!

Food cravings: Cheese, Smoothies, Cookies. 

What I miss: Working out. Drinking. Shopping for non maternity clothes. 

Mood: Happy and anxious! 

Symptoms: Allergies, tired, hungry, and still experiencing hip pain.

Nursery: Ryan put together the Ikea dresser we will also use as a changing table (and the drama that dresser brought is a post in itself)

Loving: Finally feeling the baby! Feeling good and enjoying the weather. I love thinking about enjoying the Spring next year as a family of three. 

Previous Weeks:           

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xoxo Katie