Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Elliot wants OUT! (video)

Dear Elliot,
One thing I am really going to miss about being pregnant is watching you stretch my belly around. Here's a little video I took this morning. It's crappy quality, but you can still kinda see what I'm talking about :) Almost feels like you are trying to escape. Soon enough!

Love you,

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting closer...

Dear Elliot,
I can't believe I'll be 36 weeks pregnant in two days! I've been keeping busy with doctor's appointments twice a week and trying to get the house baby-ready for you. I've also been trying to get my body baby-ready (or I guess delivery-ready). I've been doing a lot of walking and trying to be active and I think it's working--as of Friday I was starting to dialate! I was only at 1cm, and I know that can mean absolutely nothing, but its encouraging to know that my body is beginning to at least think about getting you out :)

Here's a quick picture of the belly at 35w4d:

I am at the point where I feel noticeable bigger almost every morning. I am also just generally uncomfortable all the time. Like the only way I feel okay is laying on my side or standing or walking (but not for too long or I get all crampy!) Your movements are pretty intense these days too. You seem to really enjoy pushing your feet into my ribs--to the point where I actually think a couple of them might be bruised! I'll take it though!

I can't believe we only have a few weeks left. I'm both really anxious to have you in my arms, and a little bit sad to see our special time together coming to an end. Mostly the first part though :)

Alright, Baby Boy. I love you more than words can say. Keep growing for just a little while longer!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Maternity Pics!

Dear Elliot,
On Sunday my friend Mandy came over and took some maternity pictures for us. She did an awesome job! Here are some of my favorites:

You have no idea how excited I am to start taking and posting pictures of you on the outside, Elliot! 

Love you so much,

Saturday, February 18, 2012

34 week update

Dear Elliot,
I'll be honest. As we get closer and closer to the end here, I'm having a pretty tough time. I was doing really well, feeling (mostly) positive. But my nerves have been getting the best of me the last few days or so. It's so hard knowing that at just under six pounds now(!), you'd probably be just fine if you were born today. Again, not like I actually want you to be born prematurely, but I keep thinking 'what if' you'd be safer on the outside.

I have gone back and forth about the whole planned induction thing. On the one hand, I just want you out and in my arms as soon as possible. Then there's the part of me that really, really wants to have a natural delivery. And I know that the odds of that being possible go down whenever you add Pitocin (the medication they use to cause your uterus to contract) to the mix.

I understand a lot of people don't understand the desire to go through labor and delivery without pain medication, and that's fine, but it's something that is very important to me. One of the main reasons is that I want my birthing experience with you to be vastly different than my birthing experience with Stevie. I had an epidural with her, and while I don't regret having one, I hated how it made me feel so helpless. I remember already feeling so broken, and then being confined to this hospital bed, with a cathader and all these IVs running through my arms, not even able to go to the bathroom by myself...I just felt even more broken down and useless. I just really want my experience with you to be empowering, healing, different.

So anyway, I'm scared of being induced before my body is ready, only to have a long, extra difficult labor, and maybe even end up being forced into a C-section in the end. I had a really good conversation with my doctor about this yesterday and here's what we decided:

She won't induce before 39 weeks. I'll be switching over to twice-daily Heparin when I finish the Lovenox at 36 weeks (Heparin, also a blood thinner, has a half-life of 12 hours vs. 24 hours, so if I were to go into labor on my own after 36 weeks, it would likely be out of my system by the time I delivered). I'll continue to have weekly doppler flow studies, and NSTs/BPPs. Then IF at 39 weeks my cervix is 'favorable' (ie: dialated to at least a 3), and I'm showing other signs of being 'close,' we will induce. My doctor thinks that if my body is almost ready on its own, an induction is much more likely to work, and I'll be much more likely to still have the birthing experience I am hoping for.

So I am hoping I can get this cervix of mine in a 'favorable' position in the next few weeks. By Friday, March 23rd, to be exact :) I feel good about this plan. Of course, I could always end up going into labor on my own before 39 weeks, but I kind of doubt that's going to happen. You have been measuring pretty far ahead of the curve all along though, so I guess you never know!

In other news, our last couple ultrasounds showed you already have a head full of hair! I had no idea they could even tell that from an ultrasound, but it was pretty cool to see. You must have gotten that hair from me, because I'm pretty sure your dad was bald at birth :)

Yesterday during the ultrasound, as the tech was doing measurements, she said, "so...does Andy have a pretty big head?" Well, it appears you may not have gotten Dad's hair, but you got his huge head (measuring around 38 weeks at 34 weeks--yikes!) Must mean you're going to be extra smart, right? Ha.

Well I guess that's it for now. My friend Mandy is taking maternity photos for us tomorrow morning so I need to get on Pinterest and start collecting ideas!

Keep growing baby boy. To say I'm excited to meet you would be the biggest understatement of all time!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On the Line

Dear Elliot,
After Stevie died, I swore that if I was ever pregnant again, I would do things differently. I wouldn't get my hopes up. I wouldn't assume being pregnant meant I'd be bringing home a baby. I wouldn't talk about my pregnancy all the time, take stupid belly pictures, or buy all that baby stuff. I wouldn't lay my heart out there on the line, only to be hurt and humiliated once again.

Well Baby, I failed. My hopes are up. My heart is laid out for everyone to see. I guess I just don't know how to do it any other way.

I've got the weekly belly pictures all over facebook, the nursery painted, organized, and almost ready to go. I've taken birthing classes, have a birth plan all typed up, a 'delivery outfit' (consisting of an old sports bra and stretchy skirt--don't worry, I didn't buy one of those fancy gowns or anything!) picked out. I have a freaking highchair set up in my kitchen. I have one of your ultrasound pictures as my iPhone background, for goodness sake.

I'm sure some people look at me and think I'm the dumbest girl ever. I should know better than anyone else that pregnancy doesn't always equal baby. But despite the fear (and believe me, there is definitely a lot of fear!), you've managed to wrap me around your little finger, just like your sister did, and I just can't help but need to share that overwhelming love I have for you with the world.

Here I am again, believing with all my heart that I'm about to have a baby; one that I get to keep. I just hope that this time, I'm right.

I love you, little Valentine.


Friday, February 10, 2012

33 weeks!

Dear Elliot,
We had your 33-week ultrasound and NST yesterday and you scored another perfect 10/10. Way to go, Son! Maybe you are already a little overachiever like your mama? :) We didn't get any pictures this time, but it is definitely looking like you are running out of room in there! Here's a view from the outside:

I feel like I can finally say we are in the 'home stretch.' About 6 weeks left, give or take. I get to stop taking the Lovenox injections at 36 weeks, so when these last few boxes of shots are gone, that's it! The countdown has begun!

Of course doing these shots has been totally, totally worth every bruise, but they are becoming quite painful as I run out of skin around my belly to stick the needles into!

Want to know another painful thing I've been dealing with lately? Acid reflux. OH my GOSH, I have never had heartburn or reflux before and I seriously thought I was going to die when it started up last week. It didn't matter what I ate, everything made me miserable. I think it's finally under control for now, thanks to Zantac (I know, I know, medicine while pregnant is bad, but my doctor told me to take it!), and baking soda. You know you're pregnant when the only 'shot' you take before bed consists of baking soda and water in a Las Vegas shot glass. Bottoms up!

Well, time for lunch and a bath. Keep on cookin' baby! I love you so much.


PS. Thanks to a super creepy anonymous commenter (if you're reading this, please go away!), I am going to be getting rid of the anonymous comments feature on this blog. Just a head's up that you'll have to have a blogger/google account from now on to comment. Sorry!

PPS. a HUGE thank you to everyone who has emailed me a picture/message for Elliot's 'Who Loves Baby' book that I am making. I have been meaning to respond to each email, but have fallen way behind. But seriously, this is going to be so awesome! There are still a few weeks left to be included if you want to be; here's the link to the original post. Thanks again!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 32

Dear Elliot,
Has it really been eight months already?? Okay, I guess it is starting to feel like I've been pregnant forever, but when we hit 32 weeks last week, and I realized that meant eight months in preggo speak, I almost couldn't believe it!

The belly at 32w3d

My goal is to be pretty much done and ready with your room and all the 'stuff' we need by 36 weeks so I can really just focus on preparing for delivery. We are really getting close, and it feels awesome. Picking things up along the way whenever I'd see a good deal really helped, and now that I've had a shower, we really have almost everything we need. 

We even made a couple big cloth diaper purchases this weekend. After much debate, I had decided on the Flip system (by Bum Genius), and on Friday night a place online was having a sale/buy one get one free deal on Flip covers. We got eight covers for like $50, plus free shipping! Then when we went to buy the inserts that go in them at the natural baby care store by our house, Grovia covers were also buy one get one free, so we got a couple of those to try too! My plan is to use regular disposable diapers for the first few weeks, until you are big enough to wear the cloth covers (they say they fit 7-35 pounds but I've heard they aren't great for newborns). I also don't want to overwhelm myself by trying to figure out cloth diapering while I'm first adjusting to life with a new baby. So anyway, we've also been slowly stocking up on disposable diapers, and I didn't realize how expensive they are. I really think we are going to save a lot of money going the cloth route! Plus, baby butts in cloth diapers are just so cute :)

Moving on...

You had your first BPP/NST on Friday and passed with flying colors. One of the things they check for during the ultrasound part is practice breathing. It was pretty cool to watch your little diaphragm moving up and down, up and down, getting ready to take that first breath on the outside. We also got another little peak at your adorable face:

The NST part of the monitoring was kind of fun too. Basically, I just sat in a big leather recliner with monitors strapped on my belly and listened to your heartbeat for about 20-30 minutes. The monitors record heart rate decelerations and accelerations as you move around. I didn't get to look at the print-out too closely, but my doctor assured me it looked great.

Last night was a bad one, the kind where I was up all night worrying that you weren't moving enough. After I ate some yogurt and drank a big cold glass of milk this morning, you assured me you were okay with some crazy rolls and kicks on the side. I cried I was so relieved. Here's a crappy cell phone video of a couple of them:

Alright, Little E. I can't wait to see you again on Thursday!

Love you,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chubby cheeks

Dear Elliot,
We had another great ultrasound today. Not only did we find out you are weighing in at an estimated 4.5 pounds, are still head down (yay!), and have fantastic cord blood flow (even bigger yay!), it was also confirmed that you have inherited your mama's big fat cheeks!

Yes I may be a bit biased, but I am pretty sure you are the cutest baby boy I have ever seen. I can't wait to kiss those perfect chubby cheeks next month!

I love you more than words can say.

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