Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baby moving!

I have been trying to get a video of the baby moving for SOO long and today I think I finally got a good enough one to post. Look to the direct right of my belly button and you'll see part of the baby kind of pop out. :)

Sorry for the noisey background. I was just laying there watching tv when it started to move and all I could think is GRAB THE CAMERA! haha

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hormones do funny things.

After my last post, which turned out to be a really long rendition of how emotionally unstable I was that week, I discovered something. My hormones have changed!! I should have seen it! I feel like I am pretty intune with my body, but hindsight is 50/50 right. The tears, the body image issues, the hot flashes (which I thought was the hot summer getting to me), the complete lack of control over my emotions, the nausea (which felt like morning sickness starting all over again and I forgot to include in my last post) all add up now. I should have seen it and thanks to my doula I am now on the same page as my body. It honestly felt like I was on birth control and now that my body has adjusted I can look back and see the changes that I was going through. I am less of a bear (which I'm sure my family is thankful for), the nausea is gone, I was cold today(!!!), I am totally and completely fine being pregnant again and my hips have started to hurt. The hip ache is actually what convinced me. My body is starting to get ready to give birth. I'm not sure what hormones changed, but my bet is that amongst the other female hormones flowing through my body, the relaxin has definately increased. When I lay or sit for too long it takes a bit to get up and get those hips moving. I was wondering when this was going to begin.

This is such welcome news! I feel like myself again and I can go back to looking at life through rose coloured glasses. If there is one thing that this pregnancy has taught me it is that hormones control EVERYTHING! And when I say everything I mean EVERYTHING!! From appetite, to sleep cycles, to emotions to body temp. It's ridiculous haha. So the next time I start sounding like a lunatic on here please someone remind me that I am a complete utter mess of hormones and I should probably just go have a nap.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

30 weeks!

I know I have said it again and again so I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record. I really want this blog to be real. I don't want to sugar coat my feelings b/c I'm worried about who might read it. There is never any question in my mind that I am more than glad about where we all are right now, but I do have my days and in this instance, my week of struggles. For some reason week 29 was a difficult one and I am quite relieved that we have reached week 30 and I don't have to relive it ever again. I don't know what set me off, but it pushed me over the edge and I had sort of a mini meltdown. I'm not a crier in the least so to push me to the point of tears is not something that happens often.

I think there were probably a few things that just seemed to pile up all at once. I started to feel uncomfortable in this pregnancy for the first time and although I knew it was coming I guess I still wasn't prepared when it did. It was so hot and it was making my feet and hands start to swell. I couldn't help but feel discouraged that this is what my summer was going to be like. I LOVE summer and I was bummed that I wasn't going to enjoy it this year and that I would be wishing it away, especially since we get so few summer months here in Northern BC. Then there was the growing belly and the baby's position. I have carried a child every which way before, but never transverse and this is a whole nother ball game. It actually defy's logic. Why would a baby chose to lay along the smallest possible area in there when there is so much more room if "she" would just stretch out lengthwise with my body. There was baby where I didn't even know baby could be. Is there even uterus that far towards my sides??? Apparently there is b/c I'm feeling a head. I was just feeling very very full of baby. Every once in awhile "his" head will float into a breach position and it gives me a little reprieve and surprisingly it always happens when I am driving... not sure why. I feel like this baby is trying to bust out my sides. I guess "she" is very anxious to be home with "her" parents, but hopefully "he" decides to a. not bust out of anything and b. stay in there a little while longer.

I have also been having a difficult time accepting that I am "loosing" my body to pregnancy. I haven't been as attached to this pregnancy for obvious reasons and so I have found that I have been really holding onto what part is still me. Looking at my body right now what I see is all the work that I have ahead of me to get myself back to where I want to be. It's not just the belly that grows, it's the love handles, the thighs, the butt, the arms, the face... basically anything that can grow will grow. I can try to ignore it right now, but that doesn't take it away. This is normal for me in pregnancy and I expected it, but I guess I didn't quite realize how much harder it would be to except this time. I am not a "momma to be" I am still just Brandi. It's very different. I have ordered a colourful hospital gown to wear while I am in labour and for a lot of people that seemed like a waste of money, but for me it kind of symbolized how I feel. This will be me as a women in labour not a mother. And when this baby no longer inhabits my body I will still just be me. I won't have a life altering position to play for this child. I will be going back to life as usual and unfortunately I will be bringing my over sized body and jelly belly with me. I'm well within the boundaries of healthy weight gain during this pregnancy, but it's still weight gain and it still changes how I look.

All of those things just seemed to pile on top of me at once and I was feeling like this last 10 weeks was going to last FOREVER. I was ready to be done and I knew that I wouldn't be for another 2 1/2 months. I wanted to jump into my skinny jeans or put on a cute summer dress and go to the beach. I wanted to feel like me again.

Laying there in bed I finally succumbed to these feelings that had been plaguing me all week and I had a good cry. My poor husband didn't know what to do with me, but thankfully he just hugged me and reminded me of how beautiful he thinks I am and reminded me of all the fun things we are going to do this summer that will make time just whiz by. I was not wishing away the pregnancy, but wishing away the time and he reminded me that these next few weeks are going to be awesome and that I really didn't want to do that.

I woke up the next morning feeling SOOO much better. Yes the baby is still transverse, but I have decided to enjoy feeling that little head poking out my side instead of groan and I am just going to dip my feet in cool water (or my whole body if need be) when I'm too warm or extra swollen. I'm going to get lots of foot rubs from my hubby and just enjoy knowing that I don't have to do anything to fix my body right now. I will get back to my normal self. I've done it two other times. I am eating healthy and doing everything I can right now to make my job easier when I'm done and that's all I can do. I can't obsess about what I look like right now. I need to be thankful that God has decided to allow us to grow this precious life and remember that this really isn't about me. Yes I have thoughts and feelings and they are important, but there is a bigger picture and I can't forget that. I feel much much better about things. I am back to my usual self and I am enjoying this heat (and the breeze haha) and this journey. It was just a little bump in the road. I never even for a second regretted this decision. I never will! But I did for a few days wish that it didn't take so long. I know growing human beings (optimally) takes 9 months and that's what we all signed up for and once again I am excited that we are officially at 30 weeks and wow what a great point to reach. :) 30 weeks is a blessing beyond words. There are people who don't make it to this stage and it's so scary and can be so devastating. I'm so greatful that neither us nor Ali and Ben have to face that reality. I am thankful for where we are :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

29 weeks!

We are almost to the 30 week landmark!! 30 weeks is when we can (pretty much) start counting down in single digits. It's also when things most likely begin to get uncomfortable, but that just means baby is getting bigger and preparing for his/her arrival.

I had a dream about their baby last night. I remember it perfectly. It was a boy, dark hair, really small, but he was wearing overalls and a green shirt... not sure where that outfit came from. I've never seen a baby come into the world fully clothed before haha. I also got told that our due date was pushed to September 28th instead of September 1st which makes me really question the validity of this dream haha. This is coming from the women who dreamt that my oldest daughter was an Eskimo boy and I kept forgetting her everywhere around town. It was quite inaccurate considering I had a little blond hair, blue eyed baby girl.

So we had a dr's apt. yesterday and everything looks absolutely wonderful with their baby. The baby is laying transverse across my belly which I didn't realize, but now that I know of course I'm feeling like my sides are busting out. I'm thinking it's all in my head and am trying to ignore it. "He" is more head down than head up so hopefully "she" just steadily moves head down more and more as the weeks progress. It's still early so we aren't worried about baby's positioning quite yet. The transverse position has however made me measure at about 24 weeks gestation instead of the 29 that we are. This is nothing to be alarmed about. He isn't worried, it's normal. I'm sure the fundal height will balance out once "he" is head down and if it doesn't that's actually farely normal for me. I measured 4 weeks too small for my dates with my last pregnancy and she was exactly the same size as her sister who measured normally. Fundal height isn't very accurate.

We got good variability with the heartbeat again this time. It was an average of about 152 beats per minute which is a good healthy number and the dr. even felt some nice strong movements from "her". Since everything is going so well he has decided to postpone the onslaught of NST's, ultrasounds and dr's apt's. He will see how the next 4 weeks go and then decide what course of action to take. I haven't had any more cramping and the braxton hicks are very irregular. I can go a day without getting a single one so it looks like my uterus is pretty inactive which is nice to see. So all in all a great apt and one the parents can be happy with. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Early bird braxton hicks and 28 weeks

Oh the braxton hicks! They're back! I feel like I have to share at least a portion of my last experience with these suckers for people to understand why I am somewhat dreading their return.
I never had any with my first pregnancy, or at least none that I could tell. The close personal relationship with these things came with my second pregnancy. I started getting them at about 34 weeks. They started infrequently and not very regular, but by 36 weeks they had started to come every second day, 5 minutes apart like clock work. I know 36 weeks is too early to have a baby, but it's not unheard of so I was a little worried that this was a sign that I was starting to get ready for the delivery, especially since with my first birth my body didn't mess around. When I had uterine activity it was b/c I was in labour. After about a week of sitting there timing "contractions" day after day I asked (begged) my dr. to do a cervical check. Thankfully he reported that no there was no change in my cervix, but did request weekly NST's (non stress tests) at the hospital from that point on. He wanted to make sure baby was still happy in there with all the activity going on. The news that no I wasn't delivering this child yet allowed me to go another couple weeks not focusing on these annoying, but useless contractions and just live my life. Ignoring them was easier said then done since they were still coming every 5 minutes apart 12 hours at a time and would take my breath away with every one. Finally at about 38 1/2 weeks I thought for sure I was in labour. The braxton hicks were getting stronger and they were so frequent that I figured they HAD to be doing something. My mom works in maternity so that evening when she was working I slipped into the hospital to get her to check everything out. They started out with the NST and based on the contractions it looked like I was in the early stages of labour. There was a lot of activity, but after getting her co-worker to check my cervix they gave me the news that not only was I not softened, dilated or effaced, but they couldn't even reach my cervix yet! It was still posterior!! I couldn't believe it!! I only had 1 1/2 weeks until my due date and although I was still enjoying being pregnant, sleeping well, completely comfortable, I was just flabbergasted that nothing was happening! To make a long story short I continued to have these braxton hicks until the day my dr. stripped my membranes. I was barely even one cm. dilated at that point, but at least my body was getting something done. That membrane strip put an end to the braxton hicks for a whole day and at 7pm I got my first real contraction of the pregnancy. I went into the hospital at about 12:30am and delivered my 2nd baby girl at 3:25am (3 days early!). I have to say it was a beautiful labour and delivery. I remember it with such fondness and I honestly can't wait to do it again.

I felt like those braxton hicks had pestered me on a daily basis. They were a constant reminder that I was close to my due date and that it could happen any day and I literally sat on the edge of my birthing ball for the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy wondering when it would be. (I had swapped out my computer chair for my birthing ball to help open my pelvis and hopefully get my cervix ripening)

Thankfully I haven't had them anywhere near as regular yet, but this is by far the earliest they have ever started. The good thing that I can tell you is that at least we know these contractions do ABSOLUTELY nothing to my cervix. This is in no way a sign that this baby is going to come early. I hope that I have learned a few things about my body and that I won't be such a sucker this time around. I really never thought I would know the difference between false and real labour, but when I had that first real contraction I knew without a doubt. Here are some of the things I have learned about my braxton hicks.
1) Real contractions start out slower (10, 15, 20 mins or more apart) and get closer together. My braxton hicks start out close together (5 mins apart), but don't get more frequent. I never had one closer than 3 minutes apart.
2) My braxton hicks DO get stronger. I would put the ones I'm getting now on a strength scale of 2, but they did get up to a 10 with pregnancy #2. The main difference is that real contractions hurt. Even the first one I had caused a small amount of pain. My braxton hicks tighten, but they don't ever hurt. It's not like cramping for me at all. Labour however, can start out like cramping.
3) Braxton hicks (for me) feel like a sneeze that I never quite get out. It wraps around my belly and makes it hard as a rock, but just when I'm waiting for it to peak and maybe hurt it starts receding instead. I also feel like the baby is pushing out with it's whole body so it's not the pushing down sensation that comes with labour. My real contractions start in my hips and/or back and wrap around my whole belly and then no matter what stage of labour they will reach a peak and recede. Both contractions feel like waves rushing through my body, but the braxton hicks never reach my back or hips.
4) Lastly braxton hicks can usually be stopped or slowed down based on what sort of activity you are doing. Mine would almost completely go away if I had a bath or laid down whereas when real labour is here you can slow down the contractions, but no matter what you do that baby is coming and as long as baby is in the right position and things are happening properly you can only slow it down for so long. The braxton hicks I'm getting now stop when I walk around. Sitting is what brings them on... so that's a little different than last time.

I think that's the end of my rant on braxton hicks. I'm kind of sick of typing those two words as I'm sure you are of reading them. I was mainly trying to remind myself that yes I do know the difference between real and false labour, these are not doing anything and I should ignore them. They are easy to ignore right now, but I'm expecting in the weeks to come they will get stronger and more frequent. I am going to have to have a mantra to myself saying "ignore them, they aren't doing anything, do not time them Brandi!" I tend to have a bit of OCD and like to have things organized and on paper, but I will not time them!! haha :)

Here are some updated pics on the growing belly.

Oh side note: I just visited my friend and her brand new tiny 5lbs 12oz baby girl. Looking at the baby I couldn't imagine how she fit in her momma's belly. She was SO tiny and yet it still looked incomprehensible to me. My children weren't even that small! God really is the ultimate designer. The whole process really blows my mind!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The third trimester begins!! 27 weeks :)

I'm a happy woman today!! We officially have entered the 3rd trimester. We have been so fortunate with an easy pregnancy so far and I know that if it is going to get tougher ,the next few months will be the time for that. I welcome it all with open arms b/c I know it only gets us one step closer to welcoming baby. I have been really enjoying this pregnancy since about 17 weeks when I really started showing and I still am, however I can't help but look forward to the special differences the end of this pregnancy will bring for me. I can't wait to start being able to loose weight instead of gain it. I am looking forward to remembering what I look like without a baby inside my body. I seriously can't remember anymore! I'm going to welcome my hugely engorged breasts b/c that means no middle of the night feedings and although I hate to see the milk go to waste I am really glad that I don't have to breastfeed this time around. I can't wait to go to Mexico two months after the baby is born and not have to worry about keeping a newborn cool in that crazy heat. I can't wait to wrap my arms all the way around my husband and give him a big kiss without first maneuvering around the belly. I'm ready to go into labour and know that the next day I can go home and sleep for as long as I want! My parents have offered to take my girls for a day or two after the birth so I am planning on resting lots and going for tea at friends houses. I am a little bit of a social butterfly and we wouldn't want something like giving birth to get in the way of that haha ;) Oh the list could go on and on ,but I don't want to sound too excited at not becoming a mother for the 3rd time. I do believe that if I need to think of these things and look forward to them to not miss all the joys that come with bringing a baby home than that's okay and it's what I am going to do. I want to enjoy this experience to the fullest and I think that controlling my thoughts is huge in how this will turn out for me. I am going to allow myself to feel what I need to feel and work through it, but I won't allow myself to wallow in what I don't have at the end. I don't feel like I will be "missing" something, but I have heard of surrogates who took it very hard and I can't let myself go there. I have protected my thoughts and feelings this whole time by always remembering our #1 goal which is to have a healthy baby, but most importantly that this is NOT my child. It never was, it never will be and that's more than okay, that's awesome! It's one of the main reasons why I just don't feel okay with people believing that this is my pregnancy b/c every time I look in the mirror I see it as someone elses. I know that Ali and Ben will have blessings piling up to the sky with this precious bundle and it's okay for me to be happy with the blessings I can find coming out of this too. Don't get me wrong this is all worth it, I am really enjoying it and I would do it all over again. I believe that these experiences in life help shape us to be the people we will become.

It's so much fun to be able to look towards the birth. Now is about the time I start watching an onslaught of baby story and maternity ward shows on TLC. I love to relive the memory of my two previous delivery's and it really helps me to visualize what I am going to do during the pain. I know every delivery is different, but this is birth #3 for my body so the chances of things going well are pretty good. If it doesn't I'm okay with that b/c the goal always is a healthy baby. The birth being wonderful and enjoyable is all in what you make of the circumstances that present themselves. I will avoid intervention as much as possible, but if it comes to baby being safe and me having to have a c-section or even induction (please no) than that's what we will do.

I feel like I am going to be talking a lot about the birth in the next few months and I really hope I don't bore you all. It's just part of my preparation and excitement. Bare with me please :)

I didn't take a picture yet this week, but hopefully I will get to it later on. The way I look today is not something I want to document haha :)