Wednesday, October 26, 2016

thirty-eight weeks!

bump watch: we're measuring at 40 weeks again this week! baby thankfully remains head down, and she was right occiput transverse at my appointment yesterday (meaning the back of her head is facing my right side and her arms and legs are pointing towards my left. this position is more favourable for her to turn into the optimal occiput anterior position (back of her head facing out), as opposed to Greta who was occiput posterior (also known as sunny-side-up).

little peanut: is the size of a winter melon ... i'm really quite amazed at how many varieties of melon there apparently are. the midwife estimated that she'd be about eight pounds at delivery, which is exactly what they said about Greta (who was 7 pounds 5 ounces at 41 weeks and 3 days!), so we'll see! her lungs are fully matured, and her vocal cords are ready to start making some noise!

Fetal Development Week 39

best moment: by far, the highlight of the week was resolving the issue with my insurance provider. i spoke to one of their member representatives last week and she filed an expedited appeal on my behalf to try to get them to cover my delivery at in-network rates. i found out yesterday afternoon that they approved my request, so my delivery at Mercy will be covered! i'm so relieved to be delivering at the same hospital where i had such a great experience with Greta, and with the midwives who have taken such excellent care of me through both pregnancies. and i found out from the midwives today that they also approved in-network rates for the other 20 women who were in my exact same situation. lots of happy pregnant women in Pittsburgh today!

symptoms: puffy fingers, and a few irregular contractions. baby's still sitting up high, so i don't have too much of the pregnancy waddle going on yet!

cravings: Halloween candy. specifically Snickers ... and these specially flavored Brach's candy corn someone brought into work. they taste like waffles and i can't get enough.

what i miss: my sense of balance and general idea of how much space i need to maneuver. this morning i accidentally bumped a patient with my belly while examining her back so, you know, that's awkward.
looking forward to: finishing up the remaining few items on my to-do list. i did get the hospital and baby bags packed this week. i still need to put the sheets on the co-sleeper; wrap Greta's gift to the baby, and "baby's" gift to Greta; and assemble the double stroller. and of course, i can't wait to meet our sweet little girl and start to experience life as a family of four!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

thirty-seven weeks!

bump watch: i measured 40 weeks at my appointment this morning ... which the midwife assured me is due to the fact that baby girl is still sitting up so high, not that i'm gestating a giant! regardless, the belly is still growing, and i'm starting to bump into things more often (and i keep stumbling over random toys or shoes on the floor because i don't see them by my feet, which is embarrassing. thankfully i'm always able to recover my balance, though not always my dignity!).

little peanut: is considered "early term" now, although she won't hit true full term status until 39 weeks according to the updated guidelines. this week, her fingers are developing more dexterity. from an immunological standpoint, my antibodies are transferring to her, which is especially helpful given that flu season is rapidly approaching.

Fetal Development Week 38

best moment: confirming via ultrasound as well as at my midwife appointment this morning that baby is definitely head down! i've been pretty sure this past week that that was the case, but it's fantastic to know for sure.

however, that good news was followed by a very frustrating development with Highmark, my health insurance. apparently Mercy, where i planned to deliver, is no longer considered in-network for labor and delivery (even though Highmark had previously guaranteed in-network coverage for all prenatal clients whose pregnancies were confirmed prior to the end of June this year). so my options are to pay out-of-network costs at Mercy (not actually an option as i'm sure that would be astronomical); deliver at the Midwife Center (i really feel more comfortable with a hospital birth); or transfer care at 37 weeks to a new provider at an in-network hospital. ridiculous! and the only other in-network hospital with midwifery care is West Penn, and apparently those midwives as a rule are not accepting new patients (although given all this recent insurance kerfluffle, they may make an exception). ugh! i hate the thought of leaving the Midwife Center providers as they are so wonderful, but unless Highmark decides to honor their previous agreement, i guess i will be switching to a provider with privileges at West Penn. i know in the grand scheme of things it will all be fine, but seriously?!

symptoms: a little puffiness in the ankles and hands when it's hot (and it has been unseasonably warm this week, with temperatures into the high 70s and low 80s!). a few more Braxton Hicks. i had a few irregular contractions this weekend after stuffing myself at a Hungarian restaurant buffet (one of the many delicious meals we ate during our anniversary weekend away!), but i think they may have truly been Braxton Hicks that were only painful because i was so full of peppered pork, chicken paprikash, polenta, and pierogies!

cravings: not anything consistently this week, but i have been ravenous! trying to focus on protein-rich meals and snacks, but i feel like i could easily eat every 2-3 hours.

what i miss: at 37 weeks pregnant with Greta, i wrote, "being able to roll over in bed without feeling like i'm making a 15-point turn in a schoolbus." i have to say that my pregnancy pillow makes that endeavor so much easier as i can just scoot myself over and roll without having to reconfigure 6 different pillows! (and oh yes, that pregnancy pillow came along on our anniversary trip... lucky husband!). anyway, right now i miss my pre-pregnancy energy.
looking forward to: meeting this little one ... discovering her personality and how she fits in our family. the carseat is officially installed in the car, which makes it all seem so real. on my to-do list for this week: pack the hospital/birth bag, put together the double stroller, wash a few more hats and clothes ... and figure out exactly where i'm delivering this baby!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

thirty-six weeks!

bump watch: i think the most notable thing this week is the shape of the bump, rather than the size! i've had three chiropractic adjustments over the past week, and as she has more room to move, my belly is shifting around a lot. fun to watch, and although she often settles in an oblique position rather than completely vertical, her head is back down -- wahoo!

little peanut: weighs an estimated 6 pounds, the size of a large cantaloupe. from here on out until delivery, her lungs are continuing to develop and mature, and her brain and neurologic function are maturing.

Fetal Development Week 38

best moment: totally unprompted, Greta started hugging my belly and singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" to her baby sister. so sweet! she's been practicing her big sister skills this week, as we got to meet two babies -- our neighbor's eight-week-old, and Amelia's gorgeous three-month-old! it's so fantastic to see my friends absolutely rock the new mom gig, and so sweet to get a glimpse of Greta in a big sister role.

symptoms: up and down! my back and pelvis feel so much better since i've started seeing the chiropractor (even though i wasn't having significant pain before, i didn't realize how stiff i was getting!). but i'm also running out of steam a lot faster now, and there have been a few times where i wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep for a while.

cravings: carbs, carbs, carbs. of both the savory and sweet variety.

what i miss: a full wardrobe of clothes that fit and -- dare i say? -- flatter.
looking forward to: celebrating our sixth anniversary this weekend! we're traveling about an hour and a half away, with plans to visit Fallingwater and the autumn festival at Seven Springs resort.  can't wait to spend some time with just the two of us to reconnect before we officially become a family of four!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

thirty-five weeks!

bump watch: the bump is definitely growing! i measured 36 weeks at my appointment this week, although i was almost surprised it wasn't more. some of my maternity dress shirts are already getting perilously short ... and we have a ways to go!

little peanut: she's continuing to chub up and grow that grey matter! she weighs an estimated 5.5 pounds and has reached her birth length. apparently this corresponds to a canary melon, which Google tells me is a little smaller than a watermelon. and the little stinker decided to flip breech this week, which is not cause for alarm yet, but we do want to coax her back to a vertex presentation by 37 weeks. if she's still breech at 37 weeks, we would try an external cephalic version to turn her, which has a success rate of about 60% but also carries a very small risk of inducing active labor or causing fetal distress that would necessitate emergent delivery (so, that's a far cry from my assumption that i'll go to at least 41 weeks with this babe!). and if she stays breech up until the time of natural delivery, i would end up with a c-section as my midwives don't perform breech vaginal deliveries. 

so, in an effort to avoid all of that craziness, i went to the chiropractor for the first time in about 20 years yesterday! Nick has been seeing him for years and i was very impressed with him. he's experienced in treating pregnant patients and in optimal fetal position. apparently i have some spasms in my low back and pelvis that are creating torque and making it hard for baby to nestle down right where she's supposed to (i'm sure some of the same issues were at play with Greta, who was vertex but in the occiput posterior or sunny-side up position). the whole idea is to create enough space in the pelvis for baby to turn on her own, and to adjust my own body mechanics (raising my stool at work, stepping up into my SUV backwards with a neutral pelvis instead of hiking my right leg up sideways to step in, etc.) anyway, he adjusted me on his magic table that had an open spot for my belly to hang (that alone was worth the visit!), and then performed some gentle maneuvers on the baby. she did turn about a third of the way around, and she's been moving around a good bit since, which is hopefully a good sign! i'll go back tomorrow for another adjustment, and the midwife wants to see me in the office next week instead of waiting for 37 weeks like i had originally scheduled so we can check peanut's position again. fingers crossed!

best moment: getting more of the baby gear set up (the thought of baby possibly coming at 37 weeks sent me into a little bit of panic mode!). the swing, mobile, playpen, and bouncer are all ready, and the car seat is installed. i just need to pack the hospital bag and put the sheets on the cosleeper!

symptoms: not much change from last week ... i did have one episode of pregnancy insomnia where i woke up around 3:30 AM and couldn't get back to sleep until almost 5. thankfully that hasn't repeated itself!

cravings: anything crunchy.

what i miss: real sushi.
looking forward to: seeing Amelia and meeting her sweet baby this weekend! can't wait to snuggle her!