32 Weeks: Mr. Personality

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Our baby has not even come into the world yet, but we are already obsessively proud parents.

You know – those parents who are like “Baby just raised his arm! He’s so cute!” “Baby just burped! So cute!” I’m not being mean – babies are super duper cute doing everything they do! And our child is no exception:

He moves from one side of my stomach to another – he’s saying hi!

He kicks violently – he’s mad!

My stomach growls – he’s hungry!

A foot pokes out – he wants to play!

No movement – he’s taking a nap!

Sudden movement – he’s up from his nap to play!

He talks to us in a cute voice: Matt pokes him and he says “Stop it Daddy!” or it’s beyond dinnertime and he squeals “I’mmmm hungry!!!”).

From the outside, Matt and I have given him so much personality. We are already doing crazy parent things : ) I imagine it will only get worse when he’s here. But really, would you expect any less from a family who brings Bears to life?! (FYI, the Bears and the Baby have the same voice…)

Here’s a video clip – the best I’ve gotten so far because he does his best playing at nighttime when it’s too dark to film – of some afternoon playtime. A hard bone is right under my fingers!

[Of course he’s probably thinking “Stop poking me!!!” but I assume he’s playing back : ) ]

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What To Reject When You’re Expecting

Lumpy + Bumpy

The Princess And The Pillows

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32 Weeks: The Princess And The Pillows

32 weeks

I am sleeping so much better this week – and for a surprising reason. I bought a snoogle pillow as soon as sleeping on my stomach seemed a bit awkward. If you haven’t seen one of these before….it’s a big curved body pillow that can be molded into different shapes for a variety of comfortable positions.

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The only problem is – I found the top curve to be way too hard and high to be my neck pillow. So I basically unravel it every night, place my down pillow in the spot to keep the snoogle away, and then enjoy a straight body pillow with a curved bottom.

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I actually really like the bottom curve (so I’m still glad I bought this guy) because I can pull it up between my legs. I’ve never needed a pillow between my legs before, but something about having a bump makes it necessary.

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Flipped the other way = back prop

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As I mentioned last week, rolling over had gotten really hard and I was having lots of hip fatigue in the mornings. The snoogle stays on one side of the bed and I don’t flip with it. Maybe it was the heat or the fact that I am bigger now or just the need for a change, but one night I just decided to banish the giant pillow and sleep with more space.

I’ve realized that I can sleep sort of on my stomach – with my knee propped up for space – pretty well. It’s almost like I was afraid to try this when my bump was growing but now that it’s bigger I can tell it’s ok pressure-wise? If I lie on my right side though, I get kicks to the bed! It’s cute : )

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I’ve noticed at my massage appointments that having a pillow from my knee down to my angle is really awesome, so I invited a regular down pillow in for that purpose.

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I also have this tiny throw pillow that I wedge behind my back that keeps me from falling backwards. See it in the back – bright yellow!

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This pillow change has been good! My abs feel better (could be a coincidence?) and I’m sleeping so much more soundly than I was a week ago (also could be a coincidence). BUT I’m going to assume the pillows are to thank – and I’ll keep using the new system until things change for the worse.

Sweet dreams!

PREVIOUS 32 week posts

To Due List

What To Reject When You’re Expecting

Lumpy + Bumpy

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32 Weeks: Lumpy + Bumpy

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It’s getting closer and closer and closer….!!!

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What I am loving about my bump this week is that it is full of lumps! I guess because there is less space in there and because the babe is growing big that his limbs, butt and body make shapes on the outside all the time now. They aren’t so obvious that you can see the imprint of a leg or foot, but you can most definitely feel them – hard little knobs. Nearly all the lumps are on my upper right side, just under my ribs. So I’m assuming I’m feeling lots of legs, knees and butts. My favorite one to feel is a pointy knee! I’m surprised my uterus can stretch that much to feel them so clearly. I have tried to feel his little head down there, but I think it’s buried deep inside. I’m still feeling hiccups waaaay down in the deep depths of my body.

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Matt and I have started called him “The Gloop” because of the noise Matt makes to animate his shifts in position. “Gloooooop” – imagine a noise you’d make to imitate swimming through jello!

My body seems to change minute by minute. One minute I feel small and firm and then next minute I feel huge and….like I’ve gained a lot of weight. Same with photos! Sometimes I feel like I look the same with a basketball strapped on, and other times I feel like you can see this pregnancy on every inch of my body. I actually feel some of my best when I’m at the gym – and some of my worst when I’m dressed up (I think dresses are the least becoming clothing right now). I’m definitely getting excited mentally about returning to my healthy body (version 2.0 at least). While I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed this whole year so far, I really do miss my old life at times – getting up at 7 to run, long bike rides with Matt, wine tastings…

Basketball belly!

32 weeks-12

Feeling really good physically!! Back is OK, sleeping is good. Even last week’s heat wave didn’t bother me too much. People keep asking me if it’s been a lot worse because I am pregnant and my response is that unless my stomach is attracting the sunshine more than usual, I’m about as hot as I would have been before! That and I get sweat rings on my belly button now : ) [Omg, you STILL can’t see the bottom of my belly button! It’s come out nearly an inch circumference and the bottom is still no where to be found!]

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I will say I’ve noticed a difference in my intestines….slowing down. But that’s all the details I’m going to share : ) Just something to note since I haven’t had any difference from pre-pregnancy until now. I’m guessing things are just running out of space. My abs still hurt : (

I have started to waddle just a bit at times – like when I’m just getting up and walking away. Getting up from a cushy sofa is hard (because of no ab strength!) and getting up from the floor takes me longer than it used to, but all in all, feeling good! No trouble breathing, eating, heartburn, etc. I’m feeling pretty lucky.

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What To Reject When You’re Expecting

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32 Weeks: What To Reject When You’re Expecting

My dad is a huge Consumer Reports guru and sent me this article: What To Reject When You’re Expecting.

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I found it to be a pretty sound article full of stats and research that fit in line with other (more sensationalized) articles, books and movies I’ve read. I think it’s important to note that the author used words like “normal” and “low risk” frequently – no one is trying to say any of these are bad if baby’s health is at risk.

10 Overused Procedures

(See the article for the why!)

  1. A C-section with a low-risk first birth [The national C-section rate hovers between 30-35%; Ina May Gaskin’s is less than 2%]
  2. An automatic second c-section [VBACs have declined drastically in the last few decades)
  3. An elective early delivery [Even though 37 weeks is term, there is research that suggestions 39 weeks or later have less health problems]
  4. Inducing labor without a medical reason [This relates to yesterday’s post on the due date being an estimate. I’m not sure why anyone would choose induction – maybe a really serious date conflict?]
  5. Ultrasounds after 24 weeks [ <— I am totally guilty of this one]
  6. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring [Ina May talks about this – how you’re more likely to see “problems” that aren’t really problems and that intermittent monitoring catches most all dangers]
  7. Early epidurals [I can see why these would be requested for those who don’t care to feel active labor – why not?]
  8. Routinely rupturing the amniotic membranes [I was surprised to read this doesn’t really have an effect and may increase c-section risk according to the research cited in the article because this is something I thought was pretty safe and common]
  9. Routine episiotomies [I think it’s been pretty clearly stated across the board that unless there is a reason to do one, tearing is preferred]
  10. Sending your newborn to the nursery [Luckily our hospital supports babies in the room, but I’ve heard several moms say that sometimes just getting a few hours of solid sleep is worth sending them to the tender care of nurses for a little bit, but the article says sleep is the same…I find that hard to believe!]

The 10 Things You Should Do During Your Pregnancy list I found to be pretty good too. Have a backup plan, try to turn a breech baby, stay at home during early labor, be patient, hire a doula, listen to yourself, skin to skin – all good ideas.

What are your thoughts on the list? Do you disagree with any of Consumer Reports’ bullet points?

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32 Weeks: To Due List

Like most women in their third trimester, I often wonder when I will go into labor. Hopefully not anytime soon! I have friends who went into labor at 36 weeks and women in my yoga class a week overdue on the eve of induction. And many of you have shared in the comments that you or a close friend delivered at 26… 30…32 weeks (thankfully to healthy babies.) I think we all know the “due date” is just a guess – based on a number of factors and definitely not a date to get too attached to.

I did a little research on due date background and found Naegele’s Rule of a 280 day gestation from the last normal period or 266 from ovulation. The numbers have held up in a few studies with 280 (281 for first time moms) days of gestation with a standard deviation of anywhere from 7-13 days. But his rule is also based on a 28 day cycle and ovulation on day 14, which I did not have!

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[Source]

This article states that induction rates have doubled in the last decade but after delivery it’s determined that over 70% of these women aren’t even “overdue” at time of induction due to incorrect due date calculations! Ina May talks about this in her books as well. My doctor has said my practice induces at 41 weeks.

Thinking back to the cycle I conceived…I didn’t ovulate on day 14. It was actually day 24, or 10 days beyond average.

Ovulation

If you use my last period date alone, my due date is way off – and I might have been one of those induction cases! Luckily I was charting and using an ovulation predictor, so I’m fairly confident in the date of conception, give or take 24 hours. When I first got a positive test, I plugged in the ovulation date, not the last period start, into the calculators and got to August 31. My ultrasounds have matched gestational age nearly to the day, which further confirms my ovulation-based EDD. And luckily my doctor has put August 31 in my chart as the “official” EDD. He agrees with my assessment.

I doubt my mom’s labors really have that my genetic influence, but my sister and I were both early by a few days. Matt was right on time.

It would seem that whatever it is that determines when labor starts would start counting from conception. I believe that the baby’s gestational age and physical maturity trigger a hormonal release that it’s time to come out that starts the domino effect that puts a woman into labor.

But what if counting starts with egg age? What if since my egg was 10 days older than the typical cycle it thinks it’s ready sooner? And what if somehow that hormonal release is triggered by the date the egg decides it’s the primary one and not the conception date? [Gosh my brain hurts from trying to recall the female reproductive cycle details…] I don’t think the baby would release the hormones if he wasn’t ready to come out, but it would explain why there is such variation from baby to baby.

For all of these reasons, I’ve been having a gut feeling that I might go into labor early.

However, I think this could also easily be my anti-procrastining, type A self being worried that we’re not ready yet! Or residual worry from those 2 weeks when I was a little concerned about cervical incompetence (which was since found to be totally normal). I’m not putting too much confidence in the gut instinct.

Please note these are just some ponderings and not something I’m obsessing about….but as August 31 gets closer, or really just as August gets closer, I can’t help but wonder what my body will do! I HOPE I go to 40 weeks because that will be best for the babe! August 26 would make a lovely birthday. Karen’s birthday is September 1, so she’s rooting for a grandson as a birthday present. And finally having a baby on Labor Day would be pretty fun too : )

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32 Weeks: Snapshots

This week a beautiful crib sheet arrived in the mail!!

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Thanks to Jessica for the gift : ) It’s hard to tell in the photos because the sun was so bright, but it’s a pretty mist seafoam blue. We’ve had an empty white mattress in the nursery for months, so I was so excited to put some color on the crib.

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What I didn’t anticipate was how hard it is to change a crib sheet! If you think making a queen size bed is hard…my gosh this was much harder to maneuver. I know the tightness is very important for baby’s safety though, but I had to really pinch my hand in there to lift up the mattress and put the sheet on. Hard also to bend over and lift a heavy mattress with a big belly in the way!

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[We will hopefully have mattress pads soon too – and I know the trick about layering for midnight blowouts!]

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The zoo found it to be extremely comfortable and fell asleep at once

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Boppy and sleepy sound sheep were hand-me-downs from a local Twitter friend! Thanks Greg!

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One step closer to a baby friendly bed!

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(32 weeks = 8 months!!!!!!!!!)

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