Sunday, December 27, 2009

26 wks

Your pregnancy: 26 weeks

How your baby's growing:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other.

He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat.

He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

Are you rushing around trying to get to childbirth classes and prepare your baby's room while still taking care of all your other daily tasks?

Make sure that you also continue to eat well and get plenty of rest. Around this time, your blood pressure may be increasing slightly, although it's probably still lower than it was before you got pregnant. (Typically, blood pressure falls toward the end of the first trimester, and it tends to reach a low at about 22 to 24 weeks.)

Preeclampsia — a serious disorder characterized by high blood pressure and protein in your urine — most often shows up after 37 weeks, but it can happen earlier so it's important to be aware of the warning signs of this condition.

Call your caregiver if you have swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain (more than 4 pounds in a week).

With more severe preeclampsia, you may experience other symptoms. Let your caregiver know immediately if you have a severe or persistent headache, vision changes (including double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision), intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen, or vomiting.

If your lower back seems a little achy lately, you can thank both your growing uterus — which shifts your center of gravity, stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, and may be pressing on a nerve — as well as hormonal changes that loosen your joints and ligaments. Plus, the extra weight you're carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why you may feel worse at the end of the day.

Walking, standing, or sitting for long periods, as well as bending and lifting can all put a strain on your back. A warm bath or hot compress might bring relief. (Some women, though, find cool compresses more comforting.) Try to maintain good posture during the day, avoid activities that require bending and twisting at the same time, take frequent breaks when sitting or standing, and sleep on your side with one or both knees bent with a pillow between your legs, using another pillow (or wedge) to support your abdomen.

Soothing sore feet "To help yourself relax, immerse your feet in a basin filled with warm water. Add a few drops of scented oil and enjoy." — Anonymous

Decision Guide: Should you create a birth plan?

Writing a birth plan can give you an opportunity to think about — and discuss with your partner and caregiver — how you'd ideally like your delivery to be handled. The process of creating a birth plan can be a terrific way to learn more about labor and your own preferences for care. But keep in mind that labor is inherently unpredictable, and you'll need to stay flexible in case things come up that require you and your birth team to veer from the plan.

So is it worth doing?

If you use the birth plan as an educational tool to learn more about your options during labor and delivery and as a point of departure for talking to your caregiver and communicating your wishes, you can't go wrong.

In a recent BabyCenter poll about birth plans, 54 percent of those who responded said their plan was irrelevant once actual labor started. "My birth plan pretty much went out the window once I got to the hospital. But not sticking to the plan didn't take away from my birth experience at all," said one respondent. On the other hand, 46 percent said their birth plans did help them create the birth experience they wanted. Said one new mom: "I was amazed. My midwife and the nurses followed my birth plan like an instruction manual. I was so worried because I had heard all these awful stories about how the hospital staff really doesn't care about birth plans. I got everything I wanted out of my daughter's birth."

If you decide you want to try making a birth plan, it can be as long or short as you like. Some women simply write down their birth philosophy and a general sense of how they'd like things to go. For instance, "I'd like to have as natural a birth as possible. Please don't offer me pain relief medication or do any interventions unless necessary." Or "I'd like my labor to be relatively pain-free and want an epidural as early as possible."

Some issues to consider when creating a birth plan:

• Do you want a drug-free labor or are you banking on an epidural? If you're not sure, it's okay to make a note of that.

• Do you want your delivery to be a private affair (just the attending medical team and your partner)? Would you like other family members or friends in the room for support? Is it okay if medical students or residents are present during your birth?

• Do you want a mirror brought in so you can see your baby crowning?

• Would you like to have the room as quiet as possible? Have special music playing? The lights dimmed? A video camera rolling?

• After your baby's born, do you want your partner to cut the cord? Would you or your partner like to stay with your baby during any procedures or exams?

• Do you plan to breastfeed?

• Do you want your baby to stay with you around-the-clock?

• Are you willing to pay extra for a private room if one's available?

For a detailed look at all the questions to consider, see BabyCenter's online Birth Plan tool.

This Week's Activity:

Discuss some personal issues. Would you like to have your son circumcised? If so, do you want it done in the hospital? Will you have a religious ceremony after your baby's born? Would you like to stay home with your baby full- or part-time? These are just a few of the big decisions you and your partner should discuss now. Even if you think you both agree, it's best to share your opinions openly to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings.

belly pic

Well, they say if you have heartburn - your baby will have a lot of hair... that would mean, if the old wives' tale is true - that my baby is going to be a bloody Sasquatch ;>

OMG the heartburn is wicked!

Need to upload the most recent belly pic...

It looks a little odd -- it's hard to snap them myself but often when I think of it, I am by myself.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

25 wks pregnant

Your pregnancy: 25 weeks

How your baby's growing
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

See what your baby looks like this week.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing

Your baby's not the only one with more hair — your locks may look more full and lustrous than ever. It's not that you're growing more hair, but thanks to hormonal changes, the hair that you'd normally shed is sticking around longer than usual. Enjoy the fullness while you can — the extra hair will fall out after you give birth.

You may also notice that you can't move around as gracefully as before. Unless your caregiver has advised you otherwise, it's fine to continue to exercise, but follow a few safety rules: Don't work out when you're feeling overly tired and stop if you feel any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Don't lie flat on your back and avoid contact sports as well as any exercise where you're apt to lose your balance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and make time for both warm-up and cool-down periods.

When you have your glucose-screening test at 24 to 28 weeks, a second tube of blood may be taken at the same time to check for anemia. If blood tests show that you have iron-deficiency anemia (the most common type of anemia), your caregiver will probably recommend that you take an iron supplement.

Have you started thinking about baby names yet? Choosing a name is an important decision, but it should be a fun one, too. You may want to consider family history (Great Grandpa Zeb), favorite locations (Venice, where you honeymooned), or cherished literary or film characters (Greta, Meg, or Atticus, for example). Check out a couple of baby-name books to help you brainstorm, too.

Constipation cure: "To ease constipation, add oat or wheat bran to anything you can think of — cereal, yogurt, smoothies, or even spaghetti sauce." — Kristin

3 Questions About...Third trimester prenatal care
How often will I see my caregiver in the third trimester?

Between 28 and 36 weeks, you'll see your caregiver every two weeks. One month before your due date, this will increase to once a week.

What will she do at each appointment?

• Ask how you're feeling physically and emotionally and follow up on any issues raised at your last appointment. Among other things, she'll want to know if you're having contractions, vaginal bleeding, or unusual discharge; if you're having headaches; and if you're feeling anxious or depressed. Let her know if you have any symptoms that haven't been addressed.

• Ask about your baby's movements. She'll remind you to call if you sense that your baby has gotten less active. At some point, she may ask you to start counting your baby's movements for a set period of time each day.

• Weigh you and check your urine for signs of preeclampsia, urinary tract infections, and other problems. Take your blood pressure and check your ankles, hands, and face for swelling.

• Check your baby's heartbeat and do an abdominal exam to estimate your baby's size and position. She'll measure the distance between your pubic bone and the top of your uterus to see if your baby's growth rate seems normal.

• Possibly check your cervix. Don't expect a pelvic exam at every visit. Many caregivers don't do one unless they have a specific concern, such as preterm labor. Once you pass your due date, your provider will check your cervix to help decide whether (or when) to induce your labor.

• Tell you what to watch out for. She'll tell you about the signs of preterm labor and preeclampsia, and review other warning signs that should prompt a call. As your due date nears, she'll discuss the signs of labor and let you know when you should get in touch with her.

• Go over your labor and delivery questions. Make a list with your partner and bring it to a prenatal visit.

• Discuss postpartum decisions like whether you plan to breastfeed or circumcise your son. She'll also discuss your options for postpartum contraception. If you haven't found a doctor for your baby, your caregiver can give you some names.

What tests are coming up?

Depending on your situation you may be offered:

• Hematocrit/hemoglobin: This blood test for anemia is usually repeated during the third trimester. (If you were tested when you took your glucose challenge test and the results were normal, it might not be repeated.)

• Gestational diabetes testing: If you have a normal glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks, consider yourself done. But if your screening results are abnormal and you haven't yet done the glucose tolerance test, you'll be tested now.

• Rh antibody screening: If you're Rh-negative, the antibody screen will be repeated (usually at the same time as your glucose challenge test) and you'll get an injection of Rh immune globulin at 28 weeks. In the unlikely case that some of your baby's blood gets into your bloodstream, the Rh immune globulin will protect you from developing antibodies that could pose a risk to future babies or even this one. (Note: if your baby's father takes a blood test and is found to be Rh-negative like you, you'll know that your baby is also Rh-negative so you won't need the Rh immune globulin.)

• Tests for sexually transmitted infections: If you're at high risk, your caregiver will do cervical cultures to check for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and your blood will be tested for syphilis. It's a wise idea to be retested for HIV as well if there's any chance you contracted it since your original test because treatment is available that dramatically reduces the risk of transmitting it to your baby.

• Group B strep test: Between 35 and 37 weeks, you'll be checked for group B streptococci (GBS) in your vagina and rectum. You won't be treated right away if the cultures are positive, because early treatment is no guarantee that the bacteria won't return. Instead, you'll be treated with IV antibiotics when you're in labor. (If you've previously given birth to a baby who had GBS, you can skip this test because you'll be given antibiotics in labor no matter what.)

• Biophysical profiles and nonstress tests: If you have certain pregnancy complications or you've passed your due date, these tests will be ordered to check on your baby.

This Week's Activity

Dedicate time to your partner this week. Treat your partner to a romantic surprise. Write down all the things you love about him, tell him why you think he'll be a great dad, or just go for a stroll while holding hands. Take time to connect on a physical and emotional level and celebrate what connects you and makes you love one another. Try to do something at least once a week that clearly communicates the importance of your partner in your life, says clinical psychologist Diane Sanford.

belly pic

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Your pregnancy: 24 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound.

Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world.

His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

How your life's changing:

In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.

Most women have a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between now and 28 weeks.

This test checks for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related high-blood-sugar condition. Untreated diabetes increases your risk of having a difficult vaginal delivery or needing a cesarean section because it causes your baby to grow too large, especially in his upper body.

It also raises your baby's odds for other complications like low blood sugar right after birth. A positive result on your GCT doesn't mean you have gestational diabetes, but it does mean that you'll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) to find out for sure.

Finally, if you don't already know how to spot the signs of preterm labor, now's the time to learn. Contact your caregiver immediately if you notice any of the signs mentioned below.

3 Questions About...Preterm labor

More than 12 percent of babies in the United States are born prematurely (before 37 weeks). About a quarter of these births are intentional, meaning that the medical team decides to induce labor early or perform a c-section because of a serious medical condition such as severe or worsening preeclampsia or because the baby has stopped growing.

The rest are known as spontaneous preterm births. You may end up having a spontaneous preterm birth if prior to 37 weeks you go into labor, your water breaks, or your cervix dilates with no contractions.

While there are some known risk factors for preterm labor, such as having certain genital tract infections, placental problems, or cervical insufficiency, in many cases no one knows what causes a woman to go into labor before term.

So it's important for all pregnant women to learn the signs of premature labor and what to do if it happens to you.

What are the signs of preterm labor?

Call your midwife or doctor right away if you're having any of the following symptoms before 37 weeks:

• An increase in vaginal discharge
• A change in the type of discharge — if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody (even if it's pink or just tinged with blood)
• Any vaginal bleeding or spotting
• Abdominal pain, menstrual-like cramping, or more than four contractions in one hour (even if they don't hurt)
• An increase in pressure in the pelvic area (a feeling that your baby is pushing down)
• Low back pain, especially if you didn't previously have back pain

These symptoms can be confusing because some of them, such as pelvic pressure or low back pain, occur during normal pregnancies too, and early contractions may just be harmless Braxton Hicks contractions. But it's always better to be safe than sorry, so call your midwife or doctor right away if you're experiencing anything unusual.

What should I do if I think I'm going into labor prematurely?

If you have signs of preterm labor or think you're leaking amniotic fluid, call your practitioner, who'll likely have you go to the hospital for further assessment.

Once there, your medical team will monitor your contractions, watch your baby's heart rate, and test your urine for signs of infection.

A doctor or midwife will do a speculum exam to see whether your membranes have ruptured. She may swab your cervix and vagina and send one sample to the lab to check for an infection and another for a fetal fibronectin (fFN) test.

This test analyzes your cervical and vaginal fluid for the presence of a protein that helps bind the amniotic sac to the lining of your uterus. Between 24 and 34 weeks, elevated levels of fFN mean that this "glue" is disintegrating ahead of schedule (due to contractions or injury to the amniotic sac).

A negative result means that it's highly unlikely that you'll give birth in the next week or two, which can set your mind at ease and allow your practitioner to hold off on treatments that may prove to be unnecessary.

Will my baby be okay if he's born early?

The closer your baby is to full term at birth, the more likely he is to survive and the less likely he is to have health problems. Premature babies born between 34 and 37 weeks generally do fine, although they are still at higher risk for short- and long-term problems compared to babies born full term.

On the other end of the continuum are babies who are extremely premature: These days, some babies born as early as 24 weeks (or even a bit earlier) may survive thanks to advances in neonatal care, but these extremely preterm infants require significant medical interventions and long stays in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), and the survivors often have serious long-term problems.

The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of preterm birth is to avoid known dangers to your baby like smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use. Eat a nutritious diet, keep all of your prenatal appointments, and report any symptoms or problems to your caregiver promptly.

This Week's Activity:

Tackle your home improvement projects. Sit down with your partner and take stock of the things you'd like to fix around the house before your little one arrives. Then let your partner handle them. (You shouldn't be exposing yourself to chemicals or getting up on ladders.) Some things for the list:

• Install or check smoke detectors, get a fire extinguisher for each floor of your house, and plan a fire escape route.
• Fix or remove any broken furniture or fixtures.
• Paint the nursery, hang curtain rods, assemble new furniture.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

1st appt with my OBGYN

So, I took H. with me to be my brain, essentially, and she did a damn good job of it.

I still forgot to ask about how long I can work, about my bouts of swelling feet and about the occasional heart palpitations when I lay down to go to bed (though my family DR was aware of all that and had no concerns or restrictions other than not lifting anything more than 10 lbs and staying off my feet as much as I can).

My weight on the scale at the OBGYN's office was more in line with what my scale at home says and NOT what the scale at my family DR's office said (too bad though, I liked the idea of being lighter).

So according to their scale I am 283 lbs. Which, according to my home scale means I've gained 11 lbs so far.

I guess I am OK with that.

I need to decide whether or not I will have a tubal ligation at the same time as my C-section. My OBGYN does recommend doing it at the same time and thinks it's the best option for me but now I find myself re-thinking the finality of it.

As well, I've been hearing some horror stories online about the side effects women have experienced after getting one done.


I go back for my next appt the morning of Jan 12th.

Oh and there are no concerns about the LEEP I had in Jan '08 and the performance of my cervix. He checked my cervix and the baby was fine.

He said that the max time he will schedule a C-section is 10 days before my due date.

My due date was changed to April 3rd at my 2nd ultrasound so that means the earliest (unless I go into labour) that I will have my baby is - March 24, 2010.

I was really hoping for March 18th because that would be during March Break so I could just have Little Man stay with his father or with some of my friends and not have to worry about how to get him to and from school and all of that.

And of course, I am worried that I might just go into labour early anyway. If that happens, I will still have a C-section but it might be a lil more scary than a scheduled one but hopefully LESS scary than the emergency one I had to deliver Little Man.

Oh but if I go into labour before my scheduled C-section date, I might not have the same OBGYN and I really am not fond of that idea either...

In other news, my baby's heartrate was 153 bpm on the doppler.

There is a funny little site that supposedly predicts a child's gender via their heartrate on their ultrasound dates. But I'll put in the doppler rates too and we'll see which gender is winning.

1st ultrasound

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

family DR office with doppler

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

2nd ultrasound

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

family DR office with doppler

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

OBGYN office with doppler

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

Monday, December 7, 2009

Little Man & Front 242

This morning, Little Man was in the bathroom going pee (with the door open as per his usual behaviour) and I could hear him singing while I was in my room getting dressed.

I opened my door slightly and heard, "Hey poor, hey poor, hey poor, you don't have to be poor anymore. Jesus is here!"

I laughed and asked why he was singing, "Welcome to Paradise."

Little Man replied, "It's just so funny, Mom."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This was so cool!

The baby kicked or punched me and I actually saw my stomach move and I felt it from the inside AND the outside for the first time.

I hollered for Daddy-O to get over and put his hand on my stomach but the baby did it once more before he got there and then stopped.

Still -- AWESOME!!!! :>

Edited to add: Torin got to feel the baby moving when he had his hand on my tummy!!! :>
Your pregnancy: 23 weeks

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes.

Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema.

Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you'll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods. Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes.

You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.

This Week's Activity:

Write a letter to your baby. You and your child will treasure this gift for years to come. Go with your heart and follow your inspiration. If you need help getting started:

• Describe your feelings toward your baby and what it's like to know she's growing inside you.

• Imagine a perfect day with your baby and what you'll do together.

• Write down your hopes, dreams, and wishes for your baby.

• Think about what being a mother means to you and your definition of what makes a good mother.

If writing isn't your style, put together a collage or a memory box of pregnancy mementos, says Diane Sanford, a clinical psychologist whose focus is on helping women make the transition to motherhood.

Friday, December 4, 2009

first term report cards

I was thrilled with Little Man's first term report card which we received this week.

He is in Grade 2.

Reading A-
Writing B+
Oral & Visual Communication B+

Oral Communication A-
Reading A-
Writing A-

Number Sense and Numeration B
Measurement B
Data Management and Probabilty B+


Social Studies

Phys. Ed

Arts & Music

Visual Arts

Drama & Dance

Learning Skills

Independent Work - S
Initiative - G
Homework Completion - G
Use of information - G
Cooperation with others - G
Conflict resolution - G
Class participation - E
Problem solving - G
Goal setting to improve work - E

I am so proud of my Little Man!!!


Baby movements

Just want to say that I am happy to report that the baby has been moving with frequency and in a noticable manner (still not to anyone other than me though) and it's making me feel a lot calmer.

Almost 23 wks now!!!