Dear Caleb,

Yesterday you had your 4 month shots. I can’t believe that I have only been your mom for 4 months. It feels like a lifetime already. You make it so easy to be a mom, to be your mom. I cuddled with you most of the afternoon while you slept because I knew you needed it. I knew that you needed the warmth and safety of mom’s arms. Yes, I had to take leave without pay from work but it was worth it. You’re only going to be this small once.

You slept all day and into the evening. Even though I knew that I should wake you, I let you sleep. I knew that your little body needed the rest, even if it meant that we would be up all night. Sure enough, at midnight, you woke, ready to start your day. It made for a long day at work only having 3 hours of sleep, but how could I be upset at you? All you wanted to do was “talk” to me last night, to play with your toy, to share your happiness. Every time I looked over, your brown eyes looked right back at me. You would smile, a smile that filled my heart with joy. I know that you don’t understand the concept of love yet but you know that I am your person, your protector, your provider. I am your world.

But it won’t always be like this. As you grow bigger, as your world grows bigger, you won’t look at me the same. Sure, I’ll always be your mom and you’ll always love me, but things will change. Someone else will come into your life and I want that for you… one day… That’s why I had no problem staying home with you yesterday. I know our time together is short.

I’ve already watched you grow so much since you were born – cooing, reaching for things, holding your head up, interacting with others, TEETHING – it has been so amazing. I can’t wait to see where this journey continues to take us.

With love,

Mom

We have a date! It looks like Lil Bean’s birthday will be December 6th. I was sooo close to having predicted his date of birth back when I was three months pregnant. I said that it would be December 5th. But December 6th is a great day.

It’s weird knowing when his birthday will be. It’s weird knowing that I only have a few days left of feeling him squirm around in my belly. It really makes it real now that I have a date.

This Friday will be my last day at work before I start my maternity leave (which is perfect because we are having a potluck that day). It’ll let me have Monday off to relax/run some errands and Tuesday to go and get my blood drawn. They want to draw 2 pints to have on hand just in case I end up needing to have a blood transfusion during my procedure. I also have to take a shower the night before and the morning of using a special disinfectant soap. At least I’ll start the day with clean hair!

38 Weeks

When I went in for my doctor’s appointment, I really didn’t have many questions. Our doctor went over the basic procedure last week which was good enough for me. I have done research on the after part of having a c-section as well as looked up pictures of the process itself but for the most part (which I jokingly compared to the Chestburster scene in Alien), I know that if I research too much then I will only freak myself out.

We still don’t know what time yet and probably won’t know for a few more days. Scheduling a c-section on a Wednesday is a bit of an anomaly for our hospital but Monday/Tuesday (the usual days) were already fully booked with inductions, c-sections, and other birth/delivery procedures. It’ll either be at 7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Personally, I’m voting for 12:30 since we have to be there 2 hours beforehand.

It was nice weather this past weekend, so we took the dogs down to the pond. We all had such a good time and it was nice to get outside in the fresh air.

Week 37 was a bit of a rough week, more so emotionally than anything. Robb and I went on Tuesday to my ultrasound appointment and they confirmed that Lil Bean was breeched (Lil Bean and I both checked out healthy otherwise). On the bright side, we did get to see Lil Bean waving at us and learned that he has a fat lower lip (he must get his lips from me). The technician also stated that it appears that Lil Bean is currently in the 90th percentile and weighs a little over 8 pounds (she said that she could be off a pound either way).

37 Weeks!

When we met with the doctor, he gave us a few options – we could try external cephalic version (ECV), which is an attempt to physically turn Lil Bean so that he’s head down. There’s about a 50/50 chance that it would work and no guarantee Lil Bean would stay that way until it’s time for labor. He also stated that it could be risky for Lil Bean depending on why he was breeched. We could just see if Lil Bean would turn on his own or we could go ahead and schedule a cesarean. He told us to take the weekend to discuss our options and do some research but our minds are made up.

I’ll be calling Monday to schedule my C-section. It’s a bit ironic because at the very beginning of my pregnancy, I wanted a home birth (which Robb nor my mom felt comfortable with as this was my first pregnancy).

It’s not what either of us wanted and it is a bit upsetting. We are both disappointed that we won’t have the “full” birth experience – the anticipation of if “it’s time”, the rushed journey to the hospital, Robb hearing me moo like a cow, etc. My pregnancy has been so easy this entire time and I’ve been so confident that I would give birth naturally that a C-section never crossed my mind. Ever.

But that’s okay. I know that if it was meant for Lil Bean to turn then he would have. It feels like he has tried but he just can’t make it happen. It could be many things – umbilical cord wrapped around something, he could be stuck because of my size versus his size, or it could be something with me (I did see where the technician notated that my placenta was in a different position than what is common). My health and Lil Bean’s health is what matters most. If I lived in a larger city with more options, I would maybe attempt to give birth vaginally but where I am, I need to make the best choice for us. Besides, I don’t want to end up in a situation where I have to have an emergency C-section after being in labor for hours upon hours.

Our doctor did a good job of explaining things, especially the timeline. Basically once everything gets started, it’ll only be about 45 minutes until I get to touch Lil Bean.

On a lighter note – here’s some other pictures from last week!

Belle has become addicted to cuddling with me during my pregnancy – not that I mind, I love her warmth!

The obligatory Thanksgiving plate photo – yum.

Cranberries that I made – I LOVE cranberries and made sure to buy an extra bag to throw in the freezer.

Oh…my…goodness. 36 weeks! It really feels like Lil Bean has run out of room. My stomach has gotten right lumpy looking in spots and when he moves, you can certainly tell!

I had another doctor’s appointment yesterday. Everything checked out well. Lil Bean Bean and I are both perfectly healthy except for one thing – Lil Bean might be breeched.  A breech baby is one that hasn’t quite moved into the optimal position (head down) yet. Breech births occur in approximately 1 out of 25 full-term births (according to the American Pregnancy Association). I have an ultrasound scheduled for next Tuesday so that we can take a look at how Lil Bean is positioned to see for sure.

Even though hearing that Lil Bean might be breeched is not the best news to get, it’s not the end of the world. It just means some adjustments might need to be made to how we thought the next month might unfold. If he is breeched, Lil Bean can still turn (in fact, if he is breeched, I think he just turned last weekend to be so as he made a whole lot of commotion) and there are things we can do to try and get him to turn. All-in-all, we will do what is best for Lil Bean’s health (and my health) so if it has to be a C-Section in the end, then so be it.

Robb and I actually a little excited to get another ultrasound. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Lil Bean and I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s changed. Plus, it’ll be nice to make sure that we don’t spot any other potential problems.

Robb and I had a date day this past Saturday – probably one of our last because of his on-call rotation. We went up to Virginia to return a few baby items, went out to lunch to Olive Garden, then went and saw Thor: Ragnarok (not my favorite Thor movie by far – I wish that the movie had been a little less science fiction-y and took in more of the Norse legend).  It was great getting to spend time out and about with him. We also picked up some organizational items for the house and some items to complete Lil Bean’s nursery.

Not quite the best photo but I do love showing off the belly! | 36 Weeks

One of the items we picked up for the nursery was a cheap cubby hole and some canvas bins. Initially we were going to put it in the closet (replacing a plastic drawer and file cabinet that already existed in there) but after Robb dragged everything out, I thought that maybe it would look better under the shelves that I had him rearrange earlier in the week. I’m so happy now with how the nursery has turned out. This was about the third time that I’ve had Robb rearrange everything but it now looks like a cohesive unit (and I think he like how it looks now too). We also added in a rocking chair to give us something to sit. I’ll do a proper post on the nursery soon.

I spent Sunday cleaning (possibly nesting). I had received some new cleaning products in and was excited to try them out. C’mon. How many people can really say that they are excited about cleaning? But for some reason, I couldn’t wait to clean.

Keep your fingers crossed that Lil Bean’s in the right position come next Tuesday!

Last week was something. I went to the doctor not once but twice!

On Monday, I alarmed the people at work because of how bright red my face was (I choked on my lunch which more than likely had something to do with it and that had also given me a bit of a headache) so I went to my doctor’s office. When I first arrived, my blood pressure was 140/80 so they let me sit for about 10 minutes quietly and checked my blood pressure again – thankfully it had dropped back down to my normal range. They also checked my weight (down a pound from my last appointment), listened to Lil Bean’s heart rate (perfect), checked my legs/feet for swelling (they were fine), tested my reflexes, and decided to take my blood to run Preeclampsia Labs, just in case. They said that everything seemed fine and that I seemed okay, it was probably just a mixture of the headache and anxiety from all the fussing around me that caused my blood pressure to go up.

Then Wednesday was my normal (i.e. scheduled) appointment. Everything went great there. My blood pressure was spot on, my weight was good (I had regained that pound), Lil Bean’s heart rate was good, and my belly was measuring on par. They did mention again about taking the 3-hour glucose test (as I had failed my glucose test by one point previously) so I decided to get it done. Lil Bean’s health is what matters most to me.

35 Weeks

The 3-hour glucose test was SO boring. I definitely recommend that you bring something to do while you are there. I brought my laptop, two books, and my journal to keep me occupied because I was there from about 7:30 until 12:00 basically (thankfully I arrived early because the place where I went is walk-in only and by midmorning it was packed). During the last two hour-long waits, I ended up taking brief naps in my car (after setting an alarm) which was nice because I went to work after.

Basically this is how my 3-hour glucose test went:

  • The first time they took my blood, it was my “fasting” level to gauge what my normal blood sugar level is. I hadn’t had anything to eat since 9 p.m. the previous night – no water or anything – so it was nice that I got there early.
  • I drank 100 mg of the glucola mixture (orange flavored this time, I actually like it better than the fruit punch) and went back to the lobby to wait.
  • After an hour, they drew my blood and I went back to the lobby to wait again (or rather, my car for nap #1). I know some people have had issues with the glucola drink (nausea, headaches, etc.) but I had zero issues with it.
  • After another hour, they drew my blood again and I went back to my car for nap #2.
  • Finally, after another hour, they drew my blood for the fourth time and I was free to go!

Even though I did bring snacks with me for after my test, I beelined it straight to the water fountain and then the cafeteria. At this point, I felt great, just starving. I ended up eating a turkey burger and french fries and it tasted like the best thing I had ever eaten.

EDIT: I received my results back on Tuesday morning so I thought that I would do a quick update on my results – 

Fasting: 85 mg/dL (Standard Range: 70-95 mg/dL)
1 Hour: 169 mg/dL (Standard Range: 65-179 mg/dL)
2 Hour: 139 mg/dL (Standard Range: 65-154 mg/dL)
3 Hour: 105 mg/dL (Standard Range: 65-139 mg/dL)

At this point of my pregnancy (35 weeks), I feel like we are in the home stretch and I am preparing myself that Lil Bean could come at any time. There are still a few things that I need to get done before his arrival:

  • Car seat installation – This is priority #1!
  • Pack my hospital bag
  • Oil change for my car – Scheduled
  • Prepare a couple of freezer meals – Robb spent the weekend defrosting and cleaning out our big freezer (it needed it) so we have a decent amount of space available. I want to have a couple of freezer meals stored away for us to quickly grab when we are starving but exhausted. A few weeks ago, I helped Robb process a deer into ground venison but since he went on and seasoned all of it, he wants to kill another deer for us to have unseasoned meat to put away. I’ll use the unseasoned ground venison instead of ground beef until it runs out which will certainly help us save on our grocery bill.