Thursday, August 30, 2012

Here We Go!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

39 Week OB Appointment

We have a little progress happening!  This week I'm 2 cm dilated and 30% effaced.  My cervix is very soft and Ellison's pelvic station is at -2.  So, we're heading in the right direction!  During my exam, my OB asked if I wanted her to strip my membranes.  Surprise to me...I wasn't prepared for that question!  Basically, she said it could speed up labor by a few days.  So, if baby was planning to come Saturday she may come Thursday.  If she's planning to come next Friday, she may come next Wednesday.  Sounded good to me...the sooner the better at this point!  It was definitely uncomfortable, but not terrible.  Ellison has been super active ever since, so I think she was annoyed by it.  :-)  Dr. Rogers said there's a 50/50 chance it works to speed things up.  If me and baby are ready for labor, things will start happening.  If we're not quite ready yet, nothing will really happen.  So, now we just wait and see. 

One positive outcome from today's appointment is that Dr. Rogers thinks that now we can schedule an induction a little earlier than 41 weeks if we need to.  Because things are moving along and my membranes have been stripped, if she doesn't come by her due date we can call the induction medically necessary instead of elective.  Worst case scenario, if she doesn't come by Sunday, we can schedule an induction for Thursday, September 6.  Hopefully, she'll come before that all on her own though!  We shall see...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week 39

Dear Ellison,

You are 39 weeks old now! You are weighing in at around 7 pounds and are probably about 20 inches from head to heel.  You're about the size of a watermelon!  Your brain is still rapidly developing and your skin has taken on a paler shade thanks to a thicker layer of fat around the blood vessels.  You're now able to flex your limbs and your nails might extend past your fingertips.  You are continuing to build a layer of fat that will help regulate your body temperature after birth.  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Thirty Nine Weeks...7 days to go!

Weight Gain?  We'll see where we are at the OB appointment Tuesday.

Sleep?  I'm pretty much running on an every other night OK sleep schedule.  One night will be OK...I'll be up 3 or 4 times to run to the bathroom and change positions, but I am able to fall back asleep pretty quickly.  Other nights, I'll still be up 3 or 4 times, but I'll be wide awake for at least an hour before I can fall back to sleep.  And I mean WIDE awake.  I hear every noise in the house, hear Buddy everytime he moves, and spend an hour or so just laying awake thinking about all sorts of things.  Maybe my body is just getting ready for what's ahead, but I sure could use a good night's sleep before baby comes!  My OB said to take some Tylenol PM, so maybe I'll try that this week.

Miss Anything? My old body.  I definitely had some work to do before I got pregnany in this department, but at this point I'd be happy to have that one back!  I'm just so uncomfortable, and I know that even after the 12 pounds or so you lose right after giving birth will make me feel so much better! 

Movement?  While she's definitely still active, I can tell she's running out of room!  I keep trying to tell her that there's much more room out here in the world, but she's still feeling pretty cozy right where she is.

Food Cravings? Same old stuff.  I have really been wanting sushi lately, so Barrett and I headed to Cowfish today and I was able to make my own pregnancy-friendly sushi roll.  I can't wait to have raw tuna again!

Any Aversions? Definitely still eggs, but I have gotten a teeny bit better about chicken lately.

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  Still having Braxton Hicks contractions, still having some swelling in my feet and hands, still grunting when I get off the floor/out of the bed/off the couch...  Mostly, just feeling very, very pregnant!

Best Moment this Week? Probaby just being one week closer to meeting Ellison!  We hit single digits this week on our way to her due date!  I'm pretty much convinced that we're going to make it to her due date and probably a little further though! 

Looking Forward To...  We have our last schedule appointment with our OB this week.  Ellison's due date is Sunday, and if she doesn't come by then, we'll start really discussing induction.  Either way, I'm getting by with telling myself that even if she's late, we're looking at two weeks max until she's here.  I can not wait!!  This will also be my last full week at work.  I don't want to take any time off before she arrives, but if Ellison isn't here by the 2nd, I'll just work some half days so I don't have to start using my PTO or FMLA.  Working 8 hours a day is definitely starting to take a toll on me, and I am always so exhausted at the end of the day, so even if I'm overdue, it will be nice to sleep in and get home early.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

38 Week OB Appointment

In this installment of OB updates...not much has changed.  Bummer.

My OB checked today to see if I was making any progress.  Before she checked she said to please not be discouraged if there was no change from the last time.  She said it's really not an indicator of when baby will come anyway. She said that even if I was 3 cm dilated and 80 % effaced, I could still stay that way for a few weeks.  So with that in mind...we're still right where we were 2 weeks ago, with a soft cervix but only about 1 cm dilated.  Oh well.

The good news is that Ellison has definitely dropped.  I already knew that though.  It feels like she's curled into a ball in my pelvis.  I measured the same as I did last week, so that's a pretty good indicator that she's moved down.  When my OB checked me, she confirmed that yes, Ellison's head is super low. So, at least she's moving into position!

Ellison's heartrate is still nice and strong, holding in the upper 140s.  My blood pressure still looks good at about 110/70 or so. 

We have our last appointment scheduled for next Tuesday afternoon.  That will be 5 days before she's due.  If she doesn't come by her due date, they'll try to schedule me for an induction on September 6 or 7, but because I will only be 40 weeks and 4 or 5 days, it would still be considered elective becuase I won't be quite to 41 weeks yet.  So, the hospital could say no or I could get bumped for other, more emergent procedures or deliveries.  If that's the case, then we're looking at Monday, September 10!  Yikes.  That's worst case scenario though.  My OB said to keep in mind that even with late babies, 75% come sometime during the 40th week.  So, we'll see what Ellison has in mind.  Either way, I keep telling myself that regardless of whether she comes early or late, she'll be here in less than 3 weeks...and that sounds good to me!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week 38

Dear Ellison,

You are 38 weeks old now!  You are weighing in at around 6.8 pounds and are about 19.5 inches from head to heel.  You have a firm grasp and your organs are mature enough for life outside the womb.  The last bits of vernix caseosa and lanugo are shedding from your body.  Your head is about the same circumference as your belly and you could have an inch or so of hair already!  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Thirty Eight Weeks...14 days to go!

Weight Gain?  According to the scale at the MD office, we're right at about 35 pounds.  My OB said that at this point, it doesn't really matter what the scale says because it's a hard read since I'm swelling a little.  She said a lot of the weight I'll gain from now until Ellison arrives will probably just be fluid.  She said as long as my blood pressure looks good (which it does) and as long as there's no protein in my urine, that weight gain at this point isn't an issue.  Sounds good to me.  Pass the cookie.  :-)
Sleep?  Eh.  It's OK...nothing to write home about.  I still fall asleep pretty quickly, but am up about 4 times through the night.  I have had a couple of nights that were really terrible...just tossing a turning and waking up at every little noise in the house.  My OB told me today to try some Tylenol PM to try to get a little more sleep before baby comes. 

Miss Anything? Mostly just being able to comfortably do simple tasks like putting on my shoes, getting out of bed, shaving my legs...
Movement?  She's still very active.  Her movements are very big and I can feel her curl into balls and stretch out...both of which are awesome and uncomfortable all at the same time!

Food Cravings? Same old stuff really.  Fruit still sounds great and I'm pretty much always up for Asian food.

Any Aversions? Definitely still eggs, but I have gotten a teeny bit better about chicken lately.

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.
Symptoms?  Definitely having contractions...and to be honest, I have no idea whether they are real or Braxton Hicks.  How is anyone supposed to really know that?!  They are pretty consistent, but not very frequent.  Ellison has definitely dropped too...I seriously feel like she's about to fall out.  I feel like I need to hold my arms under my belly and lift her up!  I called out of work last Friday because I woke up unbelievably nauseous around 4:00 am and was up and feeling crummy for a few hours.  I think it was very likely something I ate though and not baby related. 
Best Moment this Week? Our appointment went really well this past week.  Things are still looking good, and Ellison and I are still happy and healthy albeit a little uncomfortable (I'm sure she's getting pretty cramped!).

Looking Forward To... We will see our OB again this week for our 38 week appointment and see if we're making any progress toward having this baby girl.  I'm also looking forward to a "cold front" coming through!  There's been a nice break in the high temps lately, so maybe I'll actually feel like getting out and walking around the neighborhood.  Maybe that will get little miss moving a little bit!

Friday, August 17, 2012

37 Week OB Appointment

This week we had our 37 week checkup.  At this point, the visits are really just to check my weight, blood pressure, and Ellison's heartrate.  Everything still looks really good.  Dr. Rogers said that on paper, everything is perfect.  My weight gain is still right on track, my blood pressure has remained pretty low, and Ellison is still happy, healthy, and cozy.  I'm measuring right on track at 37 weeks.  The OB said that once the baby drops (if she does...apparently some babies don't) then my measurements will start to drop too.  Ellison's heartrate was still perfectly, beautifully strong at around 155 BPM.  Looking forward to next week's appointment!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 37 ~ Full Term!

Dear Ellison,

You are 37 weeks old now!  We are officially full term!  You are weighing in at around 6.5 pounds and are a little over 19 inches from head to heel.  At this point, your lungs are likely mature enough to fully function on their own outside the womb.  You are gaining about 1/2 ounce per day and are working on your first sticky poop (meconium).  You're brushing up on some skills for the outside world and are perfecting blinking, sucking, inhaling, exhaling, and gripping.  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Thirty Seven Weeks...21 days to go!

Weight Gain? We'll get a definite number at the OB appointment this week, but I think we're right around 32 pounds.

Sleep?  It stinks.  Really.  I'm just never quite rested enough.  I am very, very ready to start sleeping on my belly again!
Miss Anything? Sleeping.  :-)   Guess I'd better just get over that though!

Movement?  She's still moving all the time.  I can definitely tell she's running out of room in there though.  She's really aggressive!  Lots of giant rolls and pokes with her elbows/knees/heels/other pointy body parts.

Food Cravings? Same stuff.  I got some great nectarines this week that made me very happy!  I am eating much smaller meals now more often throughout the day.  There just isn't very much room in there for big meals, but I get hungry more often.

Any Aversions? Definitely still eggs, but I have gotten a teeny bit better about chicken lately.
Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  Major Braxton Hicks contractions this week.  Ouch.  I'm also still having a little swelling in my ankles and hands.  I can't wear my wedding rings anymore which makes me really sad!  I can get them on, and the mornings are usually fine, but they get much more snug throughout the day.  So I just made the executive decision to retire them till this swelling nonsense goes away.

Best Moment this Week? I think we can officially say that we are 100% ready for Ellison's arrival.  Our bags are all packed, the car seat's in the car, & baby clothes are washed.  If she shows up now, we really won't have anything left on our to do list. (Other than the fact that I should really make an appointment to have my hair cut before she arrives!)  It feels great to be so ready, but I also wish I had a little project to keep me busy for the next couple of weeks.  I've seriously packed, unpacked, and repacked Ellison's hospital bag four or five times!  :-)

Looking Forward To... We will see our OB again this week for our 37 week appointment.  I'm hoping these weekly visits will help make the next couple of weeks go by fast!  And - I'm just looking forward to meeting our baby girl!!  We are so close!!  We're so, so ready for her to be here!!  Come on, Ellison!  :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ellison's Nursery

It's finally complete!  Ellison's nursery has truly been a labor of love for both Barrett and me.  We are so happy with the way it turned out and are patiently waiting for its little resident to join us.  When I started thinking about decorating a nursery, I just knew I wanted to stick with mostly neutrals.  However, when we found out we were having a girl, I started looking a little more at gender specific decor.  I mean, isn't everything cuter in pink?!  The more I looked though, the more  I tended to steer back toward neutral.  I knew I wanted her nursery to be sweet and feminine, but I just couldn't see it lathered in pink.  We decided to go with a khaki, white, coral, and aqua color scheme.  Barrett spent weeks painting the feature wall..he wanted it to be perfect for her.  He also spent a good deal of time painting other items, including her side table, shelves, and monogram.  We love it, Buddy loves it, and we know Ellison will love it.  Hope you love it too!  :-)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Baby Showers

In the last few weeks, we've been blessed with three wonderful baby showers.  We had our "big" baby shower on Saturday, July 28 at Villa Antonio here in Charlotte.  My sister and great friends Anna and Lora were the hostesses, and all of the details were so perfect.  It was so great to be able to spend some time with some of my most special friends and family to celebrate Ellison.  We were showered with some amazing gifts and lots of love.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from that day.

Gigi loving on Ellison

Noni, Bea, and Gammy

Happy table with some gifts, Ellison's wish tree, and favors - Shutterfly gift cards and decorative bars of soap.

The room all set up

Me and my amazing hostesses - Anna, Rachel, and Lora

Some of my beautiful friends.

Noni and me

gift time

The world's largest tiramisu...seriously.  I think they must have thought we said 90 rather than 19 servings!

Ellison's wish tree

Poem with wish tree

me and my beautiful sister Rachel

pretty corsage

Barrett checking out our goodies...getting organized!

After the shower, we had a cookout at our house for some of our out of town friends, family, and some of Barrett's friends who weren't at the all girls shower.  :-)  I got very few pictures (other than pictures of food!) but we had such a nice time.  Very laid back...just spending some time chit chatting and chowing down.  I was exhausted by the end of the day!  My entire body was sore...but it was absolutely worth it!

We've been updating the chalkboard in our kitchen since there were 98 days to go!  Now, it says 23!

Drinks and desserts

My favorite section of the table.  :-)


My cousin Michelle, me and Rachel

Some of the boys hanging in the garage.
Last weekend, we went to a cookout with Barrett's team from work.  When we arrived, we realized that they had put together a surprise shower for us.  It was so, so sweet!  Barrett and I were completely surprised, even though when we walked in the house there was an "it's a girl" banner hanging, balloons, and gifts in the living room.  We didn't even notice!  It was so nice of them to think of us. Sadly, I don't have any pictures to share!  If anyone from Barrett's team is reading this...send some over!  :-)

This past Thursday, I had a baby shower with all of the staff from Peds/PICU at work.  We had lots of yummy food and dessert, and we received so many wonderful gifts - including a few handmade items!  I am so, so blessed to be able to work with such an amzing group of people.  I love my job, and the people that I work with are one of the biggest reasons why.  I am so thankful for them, their support, and their friendship.  Here are the thoughtful gifts I came home with for Ellison:

I think it's safe to say that we now have just about everything we need and want for Ellison!  We count our lucky stars daily for all of the wonderful people we have around us.  We are excited for them all to be a part of Ellison's life.

36 Week OB Appointment

We had our 36 week checkup on Tuesday.  I can't believe we're here already!  Nine months along and now we'll see our OB every week until Ellison arrives!  It really has gone by so fast.  The last couple of weeks feel like they've ticked by a little slower, but as a whole it's very strange to think that I've been pregnant for 75% of the last year!

Our appointment went really well.  Our little Ellie Bean's heartbeat was super strong at about 163 BPM.  She was also very active during our appointment, bouncing all over the place while they were trying to catch her heartbeat!  This was the first appointment where they checked to see if I was making any progress.  Much to our surprise, things are happening.  :-)  My cervix was soft and I am about 1 cm dilated at this point.  Ellison is still head down, so she's doing her job too.  Now, I realize that things could stay that way for weeks, but it was nice to hear that things are moving along.  There will actually be a baby girl joining us at some point in the near future!  Dr. Rogers also said that while I wasn't going to be having a baby that very day, she didn't think I'd go late...which was definitely music to my ears! 

We are getting so close!!  We'll see the doctor every Tuesday between now and Ellison's birthday.  At this point, we're just so ready to meet her!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 36

Dear Ellison,
You are 36 weeks old now!  Less than one month till your due date!  You are weighing in at almost 6 pounds and are around 18.5 inches from head to heel.  You are gaining about one ounce per day.  You're shedding most of the downy hair that has covered your body and are also losing the vernix caseosa that's protected your skin.  Your lungs are the only organ that still need to mature, but you're getting closer to being able to breathe on your own every day.  Here are the little details of the week...

How Far Along? Thirty Six Weeks...28 days to go!
Weight Gain? Still hovering at 30 pounds. 

Sleep?  While I have very little trouble falling asleep, the sleep I get is never really restful.  When you're up about every two hours, it's hard to feel like you've had a good night's rest.

Miss Anything? Same things I've been missing...my feet, my energy, breathing easily, a nice glass of wine...  But, nothing I can't deal with for the next month or so.  :-)

Movement?  She's still moving around all the time.  She's getting stronger by the day!  This will definitely be something I'll miss.  Feeling your baby wiggling around is one of the most amazing things.  I don't know that I'll really ever be able to put into words how special it is.  I know that once she's here, there will be so many other amazing things to look forward to, but her little kicks, punches, and rolls will be some of my most treasured memories.
Food Cravings? I've found myself wanting more snacks lately rather than actual meals.  Things like popcorn, chips and salsa, edamame, and pistachios all sound really good!
Any Aversions? Yep...still eggs and big chunks of chicken.

Gender? It's a GIRL ~ Ellison Gray.

Symptoms?  I've been having a little lower back pain and some more hip pain.  I get out of breath really easily, and I am a blazing inferno most of the time!  I'm constantly asking people if they think it's hot in any given room.

Best Moment this Week? We went to our breastfeeding class and now feel a little more informed and empowered about our decision to try breastfeeding.  It was definitely an informative class and we are glad we signed up for it.  After our class, we went to a cookout with Barrett's team from work.  When we got there, we were surprised by a sweet little baby shower!  There were gifts, balloons, a banner, and even some cake.  Barrett works with a really wonderful team, and we were so surprised and thankful that they did that for us.
Looking Forward To...  We will be heading to our 36 week appointment tomorrow.  I'll have the group B strep test and meet with our doctor.  After that, we'll have an appointment every week until Ellison arrives.  I can't believe we're almost there!!  We're also going to go tour the Child Development Center at the hospital where I work.  We're on the waiting list still, but will hopefully continue to move up the list between now and when we would need it around December.