Monday, September 28, 2015

Baby Kono IV: 32 / 33 Week Update

32 Weeks
32 Weeks!  Actually, I'm closer to 33 weeks at this point (tomorrow!!)!  Five or six weeks ago I was very worried we weren't going to make it this far. I was afraid we were potentially looking at a micro-premie with a long hospital stay.  I was worried about her health, how it would affect the boys, and (selfishly) having to go back to work before the holidays. One of the reasons I have always wanted to make it to October 9th is because, if I'm calculating correctly, I'll be off of work for the remainder of the year. There are a couple of other reasons too, obviously, (one of which I'll share with you after her birth) but being home over the holidays has been a big motivator.

Since my update at 31 weeks there really hasn't been much change - I've been holding steady at just 2 cm dilated.  Today my doctor said, "you're going to make it to 34 weeks! That's awesome!"

Although that's not to say I've been feeling awesome all this time. I mean, I have good days; today I feel great! But if you saw me on Saturday evening you would have expected a birth announcement within hours.  I was having contractions that night that were, at some points, only 5 minutes apart.  I could hardly walk and I was so, so uncomfortable. Yesterday I went grocery shopping and was cringing and breathing through contractions as I unloaded my cart onto the belt; I could tell that other patrons were keeping their distance.  I think this is largely due to how low she is; when he checks me he can feel her head  and because I love you guys so much I asked for some photographic evidence to show you:

Unfortunately I'm not working with a real high tech photo editing software here so I'll have to kind of walk you through this.....right below the label "cervix" is what's left of my cervix - which is basically nothing, I don't even think it is measurable at this point.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of it weeks ago to show you are comparison but at one point this was nice and long. That white semi-circle thing is her skull. Here's a stock picture that I think is from Baby Center that shows you what a cervix can look like:

See how long it is in this picture?  The shortening, or thinning, of the cervix is effacement, which he has told me is the hardest part of labor.  It is all making sense now why my labors are so quick, because I'm already completely effaced all my cervix has to do is dilate (or open) once my water breaks or labor contractions start.

Since I know you love looking at pictures of my cervix here's another one!

You're looking at basically the exact same thing as the first photo but do you notice how the white semi-circle of her skull has little spikes on it? THAT'S HAIR! Is that not cool???

Okay, we're done with cervix pictures....

It's nearly impossible to get a good look at her face these days because she is just so low; and by so low I mean that little ultrasound wand has to be in my private region in order to catch a glimpse of these cheeks:

OMG, can you even stand that??  Look at those cheeks!  I sent Ember a message this afternoon that said, "I'm not worried about her head, how am I going to push out those cheeks?"  I went back and looked at some newborn pictures of the boys and I don't think any of them had this chubby of cheeks.  I can't wait to see who she looks like because right now I have no clue.

Some other random updates:

  • The boys are now so used to mom's contractions and need for space/quiet/no touching during them that they now preface each request with, "Mom, are you contracting?" before asking their question.
  • They refer to my water breaking as my "bubble popping": "Mom, when your bubble pops...." or "Oh my gosh, Mom, I thought your bubble just popped."
  • My bag is packed!  Packed, packed, packed!  The car seat is also all cleaned up and just needs the cover put back on.  I still don't know where the bassinet is at....or my breast pump...I guess I still have some work do to.
  • Things I'm dreaming about: A full body massage, a pedicure, a glass of wine, a second glass of wine, sushi, turning over in bed without having to rearrange 8 million pillows, no longer needing to prop myself up to sleep to avoid acid reflux, another glass of wine, FINE! A BOTTLE OF WINE!
  • To close this lovely post here is a fun 32-week comparison picture of me with all four kids:

Thank you for all of your continued thoughts and prayers, we know - without a doubt - that's why she has stayed put this long.  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Baby Kono IV: 30 & 31 week update

30 weeks
As of today I am officially 31 weeks along.  This update could basically be summed up in three words:

I. Am. Exhausted.

I keep hoping that it is due to this new Back to School schedule or the cold I came down with last week, but then a friend (Hi Amanda!) reminded me that, ummm, this is pretty textbook for my pregnancies in the days/weeks leading up to labor and delivery.

I remember this with Keaton. Although he was due to arrive January 25th we opted out of traveling for Christmas that year and I spent the entire weekend camped out in our big soft comfy chair. He was born 5 days later. 

In the last few posts with Hutt I mentioned taking a nap instead of blogging and, as Amanda reminded me (and I had totally forgotten) following a Baby Shower for Nolan I complained about being utterly wiped out, exhausted. Within a week I was admitted to the hospital in pre-term labor. They were able to stop that and I held out another two weeks, but still, exhaustion seems to be a recurring theme.

While I am still hoping to hold out a couple more weeks (I have some work stuff that I have to get done) it really just dawned on me the other day how close we are getting, as the past two weeks I have shown further progression.

As of 30 weeks I was 80% effaced and 1.5 cm dilated. This is after being dilated to 1 cm since week 27.

As of yesterday (basically 31 weeks) I am now 100% effaced (and funneling) and 2 cm dilated. Contractions are starting to get fairly strong at times but have not really been timeable yet.  When I do start timing them, they seem to stop.

Other random updates:
 - The acid reflux has been pretty bad again. Two weekends ago I was jolted out of bed during a nap to run to the bathroom and throw up.  Oddly enough, something similar happened 10 or 11 days before Hutton was born.

- Baby Stella is looking really good. Although it's pretty impossible to get a good look at her face in the ultrasounds these days because she is sitting so low, she took lots and lots of respirations for us yesterday. She's moving around a lot and her heart/organs look good. 

- Oh! She's still a girl!  It had been several weeks since I asked him to check again but last week he did for me and we got a great shot that confirmed again that she is a she.

- And she has big chubby cheeks.

- I will admit I'm dreading actual labor, it hurts so baaaad! But I am looking forward to seeing those cheeks.

- After I took this 30 week picture I remembered that I had taken a belly shot in this same outfit earlier, so for fun here is a 24 vs 30 week comparison shot.  I feel like we should play name 10 things that are different in these pictures, ha!

24 vs 30 weeks

I'm thinking it's probably about time to get a little Baby Stat guessing game going, what do ya think? I'll try to get that between naps. :)