Wednesday, December 30, 2009

39 Weeks

Apparantly, baby Abigail has no plans to make an appearance anytime soon. As of my appointment last week, my internal exam indicated that I've made absolutely no progress as of yet. My doctor even mentioned that she doesn't believe we'll be having a 2009 baby. (ENTER EXASPERATED SIGH HERE). While I realize most first-time moms don't deliver until after their due dates, I'm still feeling pretty discouraged. I just want to meet her already!

Total weight gained so far: +26.1 lbs.

From Baby Center this week, our baby is waiting to greet the world! She continues to build a layer of fat to help control her body temperature after birth, but it's likely that she already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds. The outer layers of her skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

I apologize for the lack of a picture this week. Now that I'm home all the time, I've been living in sweats and am far too embarrassed for the world to see how lazy I've become...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

38 Weeks

Yes, I'm still hanging in here.

I haven't had any more contractions, at least not like I experienced last week. I have my 38 week doctor appointment tomorrow morning where I'll get my first internal exam. While I'm slightly nervous since I've been told these exams can be painful, I'm excited (and hopeful) to find out whether or not I'm making any progress.

I've mostly just been enjoying these past few days of hanging out around the house not working. I've been too exhausted from not sleeping well at night to get much done otherwise, but it's still been heavenly to no longer wake up at the crack of dawn to get showered and dressed. I think I can easily do this for the next 3 months!

From Baby Center this week, our baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19.5 inches long. She has a firm grasp, which we'll soon be able to test when we hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color her eyes will be? We may not be able to tell right away. If she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get lighter or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's My Last Day!

The day I've been waiting for is finally here! No, not my due date - my last day of work until April! I seriously feel like a child on Christmas Eve awaiting Santa's arrival the next morning.

Luckily, because of the holidays, it's somewhat of a "party" day around here and things are pretty laid back. I haven't done much but organize my desk all day and don't plan to do anything else. My boss has even mentioned that since it's slow, she'll allow me to cut out a bit early as well at the end of the day.

Here's to enjoying the next 3+ months away from my stressful job!

Holy Contractions!

Last night started out just like any other night - Mike was at work and I had just gotten off the phone with him as his second break of the night was ending. No sooner had I sat back down on the couch to resume watching TV, did I start experiencing sharp, painful contractions. Since I wasn't able to time them as they were quite sporadic, I decided to try getting into bed and seeing if they would subside if I laid down for awhile. While I had some difficulty making it to the bedroom, the contractions eventually disappeared and everything returned to normal. I hadn't called Mike in the meantime since I didn't want to disturb him at work without initially knowing whether or not this was true labor, and since it ended up being false labor, I'm glad I didn't.

I'm just hopeful that this means I'll be told I'm making some progress at next week's appointment!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

37 Weeks

Baby Abigail is now full term!

From Baby Center this week, our baby weighs 6 1/3 lbs. and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel. Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blondes or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz. Also, if our baby were to arrive now, her lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though my due date is still 3 weeks away.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's My Birthday!

Happy 26th Birthday to me! I'm now officially closer to 30 than to 20.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's (Still) a Girl!

Whew, we're still expecting a baby Abigail! She was extremely cooperative and gave us an excellent shot at her girly parts - even I knew what I was looking at!

She's measuring at approximately 5 lbs. 4 oz. so far and everything else looks great.

My strep B test was negative and I even lost some weight since my last appointment.

All-in-all, it was a great day!

Total weight gained so far: +26.0 lbs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

36 Weeks

Countdown to maternity leave - 7 more business days!

I'm actually feeling much better this week. I've finally started sleeping again and surprisingly, I'm now sleeping very soundly at night. The back-to-back dreams have been very strange (think being strangled by tigers), but extremely interesting.

Also, we've now got the stroller assembled and the car seat is ready to be installed in the car. I was hoping to already have this done, but Mike's work schedule has been a bit crazy and he just hasn't been able to get to it yet.

Aside from that, we're just waiting patiently for my weekly appointment this coming Friday. We'll have our first ultrasound since approximately 19 weeks and we'll get to triple check on the gender of our little one. Mike's a bit on edge - he's not looking foward to re-painting the nursery if our "big" ultrasound was wrong - but I feel oddly at peace with the uncertainty. I've felt strongly from the beginning that I'm having a girl and I still feel 100% confident that she's still, in fact, a she.

From Baby Center this week, your baby is still packing on the pounds - at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is more than 18.5 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, that will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Nursery is Done! (Well, Almost)

Looking back at my blog over the past few weeks, I've noticed that I haven't posted any updated pictures of Abigail's nursery. Well folks, here it is!

While it's not 100% completed (we still need to change the lighting fixture and add some wall decor), it's pretty darn close. We're also contemplating installing blinds on the windows since the nursery is in the front of the house and tends to get alot of sunlight during the warmer months.
What are your thoughts?

The view from the doorway (notice the fabulous winter weather outside):

The crib minus the mobile we still need to purchase:

Another view of the crib:

My attempt at homemade wall letters:

The changing table/dresser:

One half of the closet (the other side is filled with nothing but diapers so I'll spare you the boredom of that half):

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One Month and Counting

As of today, I'm officially one month out from my due date. There are so many thoughts and emotions going through my mind these days and the anticipation of finally getting to meet my baby girl is really starting to build.

I wouldn't really say that I've started nesting as of yet. Sure, there is the ever-growing list of household projects that I'd like to get done, but that isn't really anything new. I haven't had much, if any, energy lately to clean the house so I have to admit that I've been feeling pretty lazy. I've managed, with Mike's help, to keep clutter at bay, but I still don't feel like the house is really clean - there's the regular dusting, vacuuming, mopping, etc. that hasn't been done in awhile. I've been attempting to plug away at the chores doing only a little bit each night, but it still doesn't feel like I'm accomplishing much. While I'm trying to adopt the attitude that my rest is more important and that the house can wait, I find myself struggling with this concept. I chalk this up to my being a complete neat-freak. I have issues.

Secondly, I'm starting to get nervous - not about labor and delivery honestly, but about becoming a parent. Let's face it, I've never cared for a newborn. I've never been responsible for the daily 24-hour care of a child. What do I know? I find myself reading every piece of literature on parenting I can manage to get my hands on and scouring parenting boards for any last words of advice. I feel oddly comfortable about delivery, recovery, and breastfeeding but the thought of becoming a parent and all that it implies is scaring the bejeezus out of me right now. I think Mike is feeling the same (although after our preparation for labor class, I think he's a bit on edge about the delivery portion as well).

Third, I still have a feeling of being generally unprepared for the birth of our daughter. I've gone through our registry as well as our nursery several times and although we still have many items I'd like to purchase at some point for Abigail, we have honestly already purchased all of the necessities that we'll need. So the question is, why do I feel like we haven't? Why does this feeling keep nagging me?

Lastly, while I begin to get things wrapped up here at work, I find myself greatly looking foward to the start of my maternity leave in two weeks. I'm completely drained by my continually stressful job and can't wait to have a 3 month break. I'd much rather be home with a screaming baby than have to be here.

Here's hoping Miss Abbey decides to make an appearance sooner rather than later!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

35 Weeks

With only 35 days left until my due date, I'm beginning to feel very unprepared for this baby to come. While I'm certainly ready for the pregnancy to be over, I feel as if there are still so many baby items that we need to purchase, we don't have the carseat installed yet (although, this is on the agenda for this week), I haven't started packing my hospital bag, and I just don't feel prepared in general to have an "outside" baby in just a few weeks.

What I do feel prepared for, however, is the start of my maternity leave. Only 12 more business days left!

From Baby Center this week, our baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that she's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds. Because it's so snug in my womb, she isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete and she'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

34 Weeks

Ugh. Let's talk about being uncomfortable. I'm exhausted from not sleeping well, my entire body aches, and no matter how I attempt to sit or lay, I can't manage to feel comfortable. I'm in a fairly grumpy mood today as a result, so I'm going to spare you my complaining and move right along to a more pleasant update on how Miss Abbey herself is doing.

From Baby Center this week, our baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers (which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born) are filling her out and making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. In terms of potential premature labor, most babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Louis!

Our little man turns 4 years old today! He's a big fan of homemade vanilla cupcakes :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

O, Christmas Tree

Since I'm already having difficulty with most household tasks these days, I've decided not to wait until Black Friday this year to begin decorating the house for Christmas. Instead, I started plugging away at the project this past week.

Let me just tell you, I'm so glad I did. It completely exhausted me this year just to get the tree up. As it stands now, I've really only got one room completed and will continue working on the others.

Here are some pictures of the dining room in it's Christmas finest, although I'm sure I'll continue to add to the decor as I go:

Also, here are some pictures of our tree lit up:

33 Weeks

As of today, I have exactly one month left until my maternity leave starts! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am by that fact. I am absolutely, positively ready to be done.

Mike and I are continuing to work on the nursery and have begun to stock up on the rest of the necessities we'll need for Abbey once she arrives. I'm beginning to work on packing my hospital bag and we're planning to install the carseat in my vehicle in the next few weeks.

Now that our Preparation for Labor course is over, it's hard to believe that in only 7 more weeks our precious little girl will be here!

From Baby Center this week, our baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark. She's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for her to fit through the birth canal. These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day!

32 Weeks

Well, it appears that all is still well in babyland. I had my 31 week appointment last Friday and Abbey is still measuring right on schedule. I gained another 2.6 lbs. putting me at a total weight gain thus far of 18.4 lbs. which I'm content with.

Now, for the bad news. I recently discovered that due to my short torso and the fact that I'm carrying high, my ribs on the right side are beginning to seperate from the muscle connecting them in order to make more room for the baby. While I'm glad to finally have an explanation for the fact that I've been in so much pain lately, I'm dismayed that there is nothing the doctor can do about the situation. I was advised to simply take Tylenol for the pain (which does nothing, by the way) and to wait until Abbey starts dropping for the pain to decrease. Thankfully, my ribs should return to their normal position after giving birth although that provides little reprieve for me in the meantime.

[Insert a long and drawn-out sigh here.]

The best I can hope for is that she will begin to drop shortly.

From Baby Center this week, by now, our baby weighs 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in my uterus. I should be gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes directly to the baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

31 Weeks

So far, our Preparation for Labor class at the hospital is going well. We had our first class Monday night and couldn't help but giggle like the two immature "kids" that we are when it came to watching the videos - which, I'd like to mention were straight out of the 1980's. I get that the premise of childbirth hasn't changed much in the last 20-some years, but it was still like watching the Flashdance version of labor and delivery.

Don't worry, the class wasn't a complete waste of time. I really did walk away from it feeling much more informed about the stages of labor and what to do if preterm labor occurs. They also gave us a ton of booklets and pamphlets that were extremely informative. Next Monday we're going to focus on different birthing options and relaxation techniques and then the final week will include a tour of the L&D floor, the NICU, and the nursery in the hospital I'll be delivering at.

From Baby Center this week, our baby measures over 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn her head from side to side and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin. She's probably moving a lot, too, so I (may) have trouble sleeping because her kicks and somersaults keep me up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that our baby is active and healthy.

Baby Shower

So I realize I'm a bit behind in posting this since my shower was held on October 25th, but better late than never, right?

My baby shower was absolutely wonderful and I had such an amazing time. It was hosted by my aunt and mom and was held here - (P.S. No, I'm not Scottish. My hostesses just thought the setting was pretty during fall and it was one of the few places that would accomodate the number of guests who were invited.)

As it turns out, approximately 60 family members and friends were able to attend. Mike and I were so completely touched by the generosity we were shown. The food was amazing and we received so many thoughtful gifts.

I misplaced my camera for part of the shower so, unfortunately, I missed out on taking all the pictures that I had hoped to. I'm especially bummed about not catching a picture of the beautiful cake before it was completely devoured. I did manage to at least get some pictures, however.


Some pictures while opening gifts:

Mike and I after helping to clean up afterwards:

The gifts at home in Abbey's room before being put away:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

30 Weeks

Holy crap! We've hit the big 3-0, baby!

Overall, I feel like I'm in a good place. Now that the nursery is really coming along (which reminds me, I need to post some updated pictures), we've settled on a name, and we received so many generous gifts at my shower last Sunday (yes, I'll post those pictures as well), I feel like I'm just about ready for this pregnancy to be over so that we can finally meet the long awaited Miss Abigail. I'm starting to get really excited for her arrival.

Mike and I have also started our pediatrician search recently. Luckily, our health insurance covers about 50 different pedis in our area, however, the bad news is that it's pretty overwhelming to research that many possible doctors for Abbey. We're relying heavily on word-of-mouth at the moment.

From Baby Center this week, Abbey's about 15.7 inches long now and she weighs almost 3 pounds. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in my uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What's in a Name?

Well, we've finally done it. Come up with a name for our little peanut, that is. After many long discussions on the topic and changing our minds several times, we've finally settled on a name. We've been tossing this particular name around for a few weeks now, but I wanted to be 100% certain on our choice before making the "big reveal". I should also mention that this decision did not come easy for us. While we were able to agree on possible boy names from day one, we had a short (very short) list of agreeable girl names and reaching a compromise was no small feat for the two of us.

So here it is folks...

We've officially decided on Abigail Grace, or Abbey for short.

I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I have grown so tired of our name discussions and feel like our decision makes me anticipate her arrival even more so than before.

Mommy and daddy can't wait to welcome you to the world Miss Abbey!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Today's Appt.

...And all is still going well. My weight and blood pressure are in check. My belly is measuring right on schedule and baby's heartbeat is a strong 155 bpm.

Total weight gained so far: +15.8 lbs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

29 Weeks

Holy growing belly, batman! I've noticed a very dramatic change in the size of my bump between this week and last. My belly button has also "popped" slightly. The peanut must be going through a growth spurt. (Disclaimer: Yes, I have now learned that love handles can develop stretch marks. Please ignore the unsightliness of the second picture.)

On the bright side, I'm getting my first pregnancy massage on Saturday (whoo hoo!) so I'm very much looking forward to it. I have finally reached the point where I can't tolerate the discomfort on my own anymore. Now I just wish I could fast forward through the remainder of the week.

From Baby Center this week, our baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain. To meet her increasing nutritional demands, I'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. Because her bones are soaking up lots of calcium, I need to be sure to drink my milk or another good source of calcium. This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in our baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nursery Progress

We've been busy this past week working on the nursery. It's finally painted and we've managed to get the crib set up. We're still working on the changing table/combo unit as we had to call the manufacturer due to some missing assembly pieces (very annoying), but it's starting to come together. My shower is this coming Sunday so once that's over, we'll start purchasing the bedding, window treatments, decorations, etc. to put the finishing touches on it.

Nursery Before:

Nursery Now: