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Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby Update -- Week 36, 4 Weeks to Go!

I'm almost there. I'm entering my final month and I've almost reached the point where my doctor won't stop labor if it starts. At my appointment last week, I was measuring a few days early, but right on target. The baby's heartbeat was 146, my blood pressure was a fantastic 112/74 (the lowest it's been this entire pregnancy!), I hadn't gained any weight from 2 weeks ago, and I had a Group B Strep test done to check for bacteria that might harm the baby during birth. I have my next appointment in 2 days, so I'll find out the results then.

Yesterday, during church service of all places, I experiences a series of tight contractions and actually felt a smidgeon of pain at one point. Considering how low-maintenance this pregnancy has been for the first 8 months, actually being able to identify contractions and know everything is working the way it should felt good. I know, I know. You're likely thinking I'm crazy for wanting to feel pain. It's not really the "pain" I want as much as knowing when a contraction hits.

Now that this little one is taking up so much room, I've noticed a greater degree of difficulty eating a normal-size meal. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point, which means when I order at a restaurant, I'm invariably taking at least half of it home, sometimes more depending upon what else I had with the meal. Works for me, though, as I get to prolong the enjoyment! I'm still waiting for the day when I get heartburn less often, although I have noticed a slightly easier time breathing. A friend asked today if my baby had "dropped" and I believe this one has...just not all the way. Guess I just have to wait and see if I start to feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, find walking increasingly uncomfortable, or have to spend even more time in the bathroom. Some of my friends have said it feels as though they're carrying a bowling ball between their legs!

Well, I have a ball of a baby tucked inside, but I'm not quite waddling like that yet. :) And speaking of little balls, it's time to hear from this ball of joy...

All right. So the countdown continues. I'm almost fully developed now and as I said last week, I'm running out of room. Most of my movements are twisting and turning to find a comfortable spot and hoping it's not causing Mommy to be in too much pain. She usually lets me know when I'm hurting her. Sometimes, we get into games of touching hands or her poking at my feet and back. Other times, it's Daddy doing the poking. I can tell the difference. There's also the game of light where I reach out for it or kick it when it shines on Mommy's belly. Of course, that can hurt her too, so I try not to poke too hard. Once in a while, I just feel and hear Mommy let out a loud and long sigh as she shifts. So, I try to shift too and help.

Most of my bones (aside from this soft noggin I have) are now completely hardened, giving me a strong frame from which I can now make my grand debut into the world. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am structurally ready for a secure launch. In physical fitness news: my muscle tone has also improved over these past few weeks, and you're sure to be impressed by my steel-like grasp if you your finger in my palm or near my toes.

Oh, and remember when I said there's more of me than that liquid stuff I've been living in all these months? Well, I'm still swallowing fluid and building up for that historic first poop. Rest assured, I'll be more than ready to swallow and digest milk after birth. Just practicing my sucking and swallowing in here and getting frustrated by all these hiccups. I sure hope they don't continue once I'm on the outside. They're plain annoying! I'm also shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered my body as well as that waxy substance covering and protecting my skin during this nine-month amniotic bath.

At the end of this week, I'll be considered full-term and I've moved into a head-down position. Good thing I have this fluid around me, or all the blood might rush to my head and make me dizzy!

And just in case you haven't quite figured it out yet: my Mommy's got herself an adorable and hungry 6.5 lbs 20-inch baby inside her tummy. I sure hope she's ready! I'm 36 weeks with 28 days to go...

You know, this little one has been rather active in the past few days. Makes me glad I've heeded some of the advice given by the books I've read and the web sites I've frequented. It might seem silly to think about "baby-proofing" before the baby's born, but once this angel is on the outside, I know I'll have far less time to think about it. And no, it's not drastic things like securing all of the cabinets in the house, stowing all sharp objects far above baby's reach, getting safety locks on all doors, etc. It's more like making certain the crib is padded, the car seat and baby carrier have the proper head support and cushioning, the car seat is installed correctly and the crib is free from anything overhead that might fall accidentally into the baby's area.

Since I'll likely be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), once my baby shows the earliest signs of being mobile, I can make certain the cabinets are secure and all outlets are covered. Besides, we have a border collie who is already eager to have something around to "herd." LOL! I'm sure she'll be a great second mommy and keep this little one quite safe. You should see her when I'm out of sight. She HAS to come find me and make sure I'm within sight range. Otherwise, she gets antsy and frantic. :)

Let's see. What else? We have another appointment Wednesday to meet our baby's pediatrician. Praying he's everything we've heard he is and it will be a perfect match for what we're looking to find in a doctor for our baby. It's going to be a long-term relationship, and we want it to be the right one.

We are also going to be getting our carpets cleaned and our air ducts cleared. We just had our furnace serviced. These are the last 2 things to make certain our home is free and clear of the dust and build-up that might hinder breathing or cause allergins to float in the air we're breathing. I haven't really had the "nesting" bug bite me full-force, but I can feel I'm getting close. I'm starting to want to make sure everything is scrubbed, including the walls, and I wipe down all surfaces a lot more often than I have in the past. Before, I'd dust when I vacuumed. Now, I almost have a dust cloth attached to my hand. :) We'll see how long that lasts!

That's all for today. Back to finishing up laundry.

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A happy heart at home said...

Congratulations on your new baby! I enjoyed your post. My third grandbaby (second granddaughter) is due in late March.


Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Thanks. :) And congratulations to you as well. This little one will be the first grandbaby on my side of the family. I'm sure you're anxiously awaiting the birth of your 3rd! How exciting!

Mocha with Linda said...

Congratulations. Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy. As uncomfortable as you can get and as anxious as you are to meet your little one, it won't be long before you won't really be able to remember what it was like to feel the miracle inside you.

Donna said...

I love reading your post. Since my children at all ages 5 to 12 and my baby days are past I love that you are sharing with us. Be sure to keep these post for the future. It will be a wonderful gift for your little one.

Cheryl said...

Looking good, my friend. Just wait until that baby gets suddenly quiet; then you'll know something is up. It can actually be scary at first--at least it was to me--because the baby has been so active, but then you know it can't be too much longer.

I was thinking of you today, so I included "Quills & Promises" with my February featured romance novels. You can find my post here:

I also mentioned the new one and put up a link to your website.

Let me know if you would like me to review "Deceptive Promises"--though somehow I think you're more concerned with other things right now. LOL!


cheryl c said...

Girl, you sound so organized! I am amazed at all the cleaning you are doing. You are going to be the best-prepared mom ever! :-)

Don't forget to rest and take care of yourself, too!