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Friday, March 30, 2012

False Alarm

Yesterday was a whole new adventure in pregnancy ... not one that I really enjoyed, to be perfectly honest.

Josh got up to get ready for work at 6:30am. I woke up at 7am with what felt like menstrual cramping. I paid no attention to it at first because the Doctor told me that it could be due to dehydration which happens more in the mornings now that I am a snorer  :-/  So after sleeping for a little while longer I got up to drink some water thinking that it would ease my discomfort ... it didn't.
I continued about my morning with no real change to the cramping. So I text Josh just so that he was aware of what was going on just in case it was real labor. I started paying more attention to pain to see if it got worse and if there was any pattern to the frequency ... there wasn't any pattern and the pain stayed the exact same all day long.
The pain was in my lower abdominal and lower back ... but I had no bloody-show, no more mucus plug shedding and no water breaking, so I wasn't quite sure what was going on. I did decide to go to work, but only made it through 1.5 classes, after which Coach Elly took over so that I could go home.
The discomfort continued and settled in my middle/upper back for the evening. Thankfully Josh was able to give me a back rub. After going to bed I did have to get up to walk around a little bit before turning out the light to try ease the back pain so that I could get comfortable. It wasn't until about 3am or 4am that the cramping finally stopped. So I dealt with the cramping for just a few hours short of 24 hours. I understand that actual labor will be worse etc, but at least it will be worth it because I will get to hold my son when its all over. When this false labor was all over, all I got was relief with that nagging feeling that that wasn't the last time I would be dealing with that.

Here is a little bit of information on False Labor ... something that I didn't really know about or pay attention to until yesterday.

Signs of false labor include:
  • Irregular and unpredictable contractions (for example, intervals between contractions of ten minutes, six minutes, two minutes, eight minutes, etc.)
  • There is no progression of labor
  • Contractions are felt as a generalized abdominal tightening
  • Change in activity or body position causes contractions to slow down or stop
  • There is no evidence of bloody show
  • Membranes have not ruptured
Where do you feel the contractions? With true labor, the pain tends to begin high in your abdomen, radiating throughout your entire abdomen and lower back, or visa versa. In the case of false labor the contractions are often concentrated in the lower abdomen and groin.

Needless to say, I feel like a whole new woman today and got lots of stuff done around the house etc. I have had two or three contractions all day long and nothing more than that. And I do look foward to real labor so that James can come out and into this world  :)   It wont be long now!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seriously Getting Ready Now.

My friend, Pam, gave birth to her son yesterday. She was at exactly 39 weeks.
Since she text me to say that her water had broken the day before I have been moving a lot faster. It has lit a fire under me because we have gone through this whole pregnancy together. And now that she has given birth, I know that I am next.

I spent yesterday and today doing the first baby laundry. I washed the crib and bassinet sheets as well as all the swaddles and enough clothes to get us through the first week or so. Once all that stuff was dry and folded I picked the outfit that James will make his trip home in. I also picked a blanket for the occasion and a blanket that will be presented to our dog Brutus with James' scent before we bring James home. (It is proven that your furry family member will be less stressed at the arrival of a new human if he/she has had some time with the baby's scent before their arrival ... that blanket will forever become Brutus' blanket ... like a gift from James).

I also but the bed pads and sheets on both the crib and bassinet and have extras ready to go. The crib is now also complete with the musical mobile that matches the decor of the nursery :) So if James were to arrive tomorrow, we are ready :)

I have also completed my birth plan which I will share with my doctor at tomorrows appointment. My birth plan isn't specific and I know better than to expect it to be followed to a tee. It is for when I do have options. I havnt made any medical decisions on there except that I will, at some point, be requesting an epidural. My birth plan is basically "If it works for the nurses and doctors, THIS is what will make me most comfortable."

I, myself, I am now 37 weeks. This is considered full term, so it's up to James as to when he wants to come into the world. My symptoms vary from day to day. I have really good days, okay days and awful days. It usually has something to do with my physical comfort. My ribs and pelvis take a regular beating and my comfort that day really depends on where James has made himself comfortable. I am back to having random bouts of nausea and cannot eat like I could a few months ago. But thankfully, my emotional ups and downs have lessened and pretty much just coinside with my physical comfort level ... meaning that if I am physically uncomfortable all day, I am probably in a crappy mood.

Through out this entire blog (how ever many posts that has been), you'll be happy though perhaps a little surprised to know that there is much I have left out. If I have left something out it is probably due to the grossness factor or wanting to keep some things private. Though, unfortunately for my mom and Josh ... I have shared absolutely everything with them! What I am getting at is that I am not sure who said that pregnancy is beautiful, but I am guessing they had yet to experience it for themselves. Don't get me wrong ... I believe that pregnancy is a miracle, but there are many more beautiful things in the world.

To give you an idea of the kinds of things that I have kept from you  ;-)  Here is a quick list (without any details of course): Diarrhea, Urethra Pain, Gas, Mucus Plug, Other Vagina related stuff, Other kinds of Mucus ... and the list goes on. If those words alone don't gross you out then maybe I should have a seperate blog for you ... Though I am not sure that I could write about it without feeling grossed out myself  ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just 3 more weeks! Oh My!

I am 37 weeks pregnant today ... and no, I can't believe it either! Time has gone by so incredibly fast. Though I must admit that starting last week it has slowed down immensely. This is either due to the fact that I am finally ready for him to be here OR because I have entered a phase of perpetual discomfort.

James has lodged himself ... well his little butt at least ... right up inside my ribs, so much so that slouching of any kind causes great discomfort. Maybe I should have been paying attention when I had aunts telling me not to slouch as a kid, then perhaps sitting with good posture wouldn't feel so foreign. Until just a few nights ago I got relief by getting into bed and stretching out but now I am getting to the point where I can still feel him in my ribs while trying to sleep. Last night I couldn't sleep until around 1am and was wide awake again just before 5am. After staring into space until 6:20am I finally just got up. The only thing worse than not being able to sleep is getting frustrated about not being able to sleep. I figure I can take a nap later or just sleep like a rock tonight  :)

As you may know from previous blogs, I was having horrible indigestion until I started taking Prilosec OTC. Don't worry, the Prilosec still works great, however, with my stomach being squashed by my ever growing son I have run into a new problem. When I eat or drink anything I may not lean forward, bend over or even think about reaching down for anything for at least 30 minutes. Here is why: whatever I have ingested will try to make a quick escape as soon as I am not completely vertical. Now don't get too grossed out ... I am not throwing up. It is just like the stomach opening has turned from a one way door into a swinging door :-/
The worst part about this is that sometimes the ingested 'stuff' makes it back up far enough that some of it slides down my wind pipe rather than back into my stomach causing me to cough uncontrollably for five minutes or more. The best part about this is that I have been dealing with it for long enough that should I need to bend over for any reason, I know the feeling that something is about to make a re-appearance and can swiftly return to an upright position  :)

Something new to me in late pregnancy is snoring. Josh calls it karma from all the nights he has kept me awake, but I still feel bad any night that I know I've been snoring like a fog horn. How do I know? Because my throat and other parts of my airway are incredibly dry and sometimes a little sore. I am sure I have snored in the past especially when I had a cold or something, but nothing like this! This is probably due to a combination of the extra weight (I have now gained a whopping 30 pounds!) and the fact that pregnancy causes congestion and stuffiness for some odd reason. I just hope it stops as soon as James arrives!

Other than that stuff I am still thrudging a long ... or waddling rather, which more than one person has felt the need to point out (thank you, by the way, I love knowing that I walk like a duck!). I am not referring to family of course because I dont take any of that to heart when they say it ... if family cant make fun of you then what's the point in having family  ;)  But as a stranger or acquantice it is your duty to keep your pie hole firmly latched or I will most likely reply with something you wont like. LOL!

Anywho, upwards and onwards as they say. We are almost there and I just need to keep reminding myself of that  :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

WIC Program

The WIC Program is something I never heard about until I became pregnant. I found out about it at the beginning of my pregnancy, but didnt start taking advantage of it until now. WIC stands for "Women, Infants & Children" and is a program for pregnant women and children up to the age of 5 years. With the program you get WIC checks monthly or bi-monthly for groceries. The program is to ensure that you are eating healthy and getting what you need nutritionally based on the month of pregnancy you are in.

Up until now I didnt want to take advantage of the program because I was working full time and so was Josh and I didnt want to drain any funds that might go to another mother than needs it more. Now, however, I have stopped working at one job and will be done at the other on in just two weeks and I wanted to take off any kind of stress that that may cause. Not to mention that when you have a new baby, every little bit helps :)

I used the first of four (for the month) checks today and it was really very easy. They give you a book with lists of what you can and cannot buy and you just pick and chose based on what is on that particular check. Today, it saved us over $20 for some of the things that we get every time we go grocery shopping :)

You might be wondering why I am telling you all of this. I want to make sure that every pregnant woman who is elligable for the program takes advantage! I realize that not every doctor is going to remember to tell his/her patients about the program, so I am telling YOU so that you can take advantage or someone you know can take advantage. They will check your income etc to make sure you dont make too much money already, but if you are on the Medi-cal insurance you automatically qualify :) 

So take the help ... its a little bit of help, but its help none-the-less! And as mommy's-to-be we need to take advantage of all the help being offered ... it's good practice for once the little one has arrived!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cankles don't look good on anyone.

Cankles don't look good on anyone ... so it's a good thing I can only see mine when I bend over.

It has been quite the roller coaster week! The week started off well, with an awesome pregnancy photo shoot with our cousin Jeni Allen  <3. The photos from that day look amazing and will be memories that we can share with James when he is older :)

However, the week went downhill from there. I started getting sensations in my lower abdomen that felt very different than the Braxton-Hicks contractions I started getting a few weeks ago. They started feeling more like menstrual cramps ... for my male readers, menstrual cramping is like a dull, achy and at times throbbing pain in your lower abdomen and lower back. These are the pains that we are told to watch out for as pregnant ladies ... these are the pains that should they become more painful, rhythmic, and closer together usually tell us that are heading into labor. But mine weren't at all rhythmic and the times they lasted for varied widely. So I lay on the couch trying to decide if they were just a new level of Braxton-Hicks or if they were indeed labor contraction. But after about 30-45 minutes, the pain slowly wore off and I was fine for the rest of the night. So I decided to stay home.

Along with the new abdominal pains, I have also been experiencing intestinal cramping (like I really need to go to the bathroom), some nausea and sharp stomach pains and an increase in water retention (nothing like toxemia, just more that I was having before). When I wake up during the night or first thing in the morning my knuckles are sore from the swelling trapping the nerves. My feet are also sore to walk on first thing in the morning and I haven't seen my ankles in quite some time. If I am standing at work too long, my feet, ankles and shins start to feel really tight from the swelling, which tells me that it is time to start cutting back on my working hours.

So yeah, it has definitely been a week of discomfort. Also because I am quite a small person and James is about 5pounds now and continuing to grow, most of his movements are sore. His kicks are no longer cute and tickly, they are sometimes downright painful and at times it feels like he will make his way out the side of my body.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so it will be interesting to see what he has to say about all these new symptoms etc. I have a feeling he will tell me to work less. He will no doubt check my cervix to see if I have dilated at all (which will be normal) with having had the menstrual cramping. But we shall see!

All I can say is that I look forward to seeing my ankles again really soon!