Wednesday, December 31, 2008

33 Weeks!

Today marks the beginning of my 33rd week. A full-term pregnancy is 37 completed weeks. It's insane to think that in 5 short weeks, delivery will be fair game. Where did the time go?! As Zoe's birth draws closer, I'm starting to have "new mom" fears. Will I be a good mom? Will I enjoy being a mom? Will I still find time to enjoy lunch, dinner or a spa outing with a good friend? Will Trevor and I figure out a way to stay connected as a couple? How will I strike the infamous "work/life balance"? And the list goes on. Being a Type A personality, I wish I could figure out answers and solutions to all of these questions in advance, but I can't. I'll just have to do what every other mother does....take it one day/one moment at a time. That drives me crazy! But I wouldn't trade any of this for the world. I truly cannot wait to be Zoe's mommy!

As far as pregnancy symptoms are concerned, it's still more of the same. Lots of acid reflux/heartburn, back aches abound, and I'm still having minor hand and foot swelling. I'm also officially experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. In addition, I can't seem to eat anything these days without dropping food on my chest or belly. What's up with that?! This year Trevor and I started a tradition of giving one another a gag gift for Christmas. His gag gift to me? A set of bibs! Too funny! I hope I don't jinx myself, but I haven't had a nosebleed in awhile. YAY! Oh, and now I wake myself up with my snoring. LOL. My weight gain is still good. As of today, I'm up 13 lbs. from my pre-preggers weight.

Zoe this week: she is losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren't fused together just yet because they will need to move and slightly overlap to get her through the birth canal. Even after birth, they won't fuse until early adulthood so they can grow as Zoe's brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood. Zoe is developing her own immune system so that she will be able to protect herself, with help from some antibodies from me, from mild infections. She's also acting more and more like a baby by closing her eyes when she's sleep and opening them while she's awake. Awww.... The level of amniotic fluid in my uterus has reached it maximum this week, so there's more Zoe than fluid now. That explains all of the thumping and bumping I'm feeling. Between now and Zoe's birth, she can gain a third more weight or even double (yikes!) her weight, and depending on her current height, she can grow a full inch more this week alone. Wow!

Zoe is anywhere between 17 to 19 inches in length, and she weighs approximately 4.5 lbs. (about the weight of a pineapple ~ yum, mommy's favorite fruit):

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zoe's Ride

Trevor put together Zoe's stroller on Christmas Eve. We can't wait to see her in her "ride." :- ) We love it just as much as we did in the store.

Stroller base w/ stroller seat:

Stroller base w/ car seat:

Finally Feeling Them....

As of last night, I'm finally feeling Braxton Hicks contractions. Actually, they're pretty freaky. So far they aren't painful; just weird. Last night, I was dreaming about them all night. I don't know if I could actually feel them while I was sleeping, or if I was so freaked out about them earlier in the day that I carried them into my subconscious thoughts, but they're all I dreamt about. I've read that a woman can start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions as early as 20 weeks preggers, but the mere fact that I'm just feeling them makes me realize that Zoe's due date is imminent. Wow!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Santa Brought Me....

....a cold! Boooo!!! I really hoped I'd get through my pregnancy without getting sick. No such luck. Thankfully I had a flu shot, otherwise it could be worse.

Despite feeling a little crummy, Christmas was still very nice. My mother (a/k/a "Nana") came to visit Trevor and me. We had Christmas dinner at a local hotel---very relaxing and quite tasty! On Christmas night we drove through a nearby subdivision to admire all the beautiful Christmas light displays. It was a nice, relaxing Christmas. We can't wait to experience Christmas 2009 with Zoe!

As for gifts, Trevor hooked me up. He went to Jared's! Trevor made out like a bandit, too. I think the gift he appreciated most was from Zoe--a daddy diaper changing tool belt. Zoe wanted to be sure Daddy's adequated prepared for those first few diaper changes. LOL.

Now it's time to nurse this cold....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

32 Weeks!

Today marks the start of my 32nd week, and my 8th month! Crazy! Overall, I'm feeling pretty good. My most problematic symptoms are acid reflux (daily), back aches (also daily), and occasional hip pain, primarily in my left hip. My skin and nails seem to be going through some changes, too. It could be from the cooler weather though. My skin is dry lately, even though I religiously use lotion, and my nails have been a little brittle. I'm taking a Calcium supplement in the event the nail issue is a sign of Calcium depletion. My appetite is also increasing. I still don't have any vegetable cravings, and my fruit cravings are mild. I hate that! And I can't eat something I don't crave. Bad mommy!!!

Weight gain is still good. Up 12.4 lbs. from my pre-preggers weight. According to the books, I should be having Braxton Hicks contractions by now. I'm not, or at least I don't notice them. I hope I don't jinx myself.

Zoe this week: she now has toenails, fingernails and hair! If my acid reflux is any indicator, and if the old wives tale is true, Zoe has a lot of hair! Zoe's skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth. Our baby girl is (hopefully) settling into a head-down, bottom-up position in preparation for birth. Zoe is still getting a lot of rest these days; reportedly having sleep cycles of 20-40 minutes long. I hope her sleep cycles are much longer once she's here. :- )

Zoe is approximately 17 inches long and weighs a little over 4 pounds (about the weight of a large jicama (so good in salads---not that I'm eating many these days)):

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Year of "Lasts"

When 2008 rang in, I didn't realize this would be my year of "lasts." While I knew that Trevor and I would probably start trying to conceive, I didn't know when we'd start and how long it would take. As Zoe's birth draws closer, it has occurred to me that this is my year of lasts. As such, today is my last.....birthday not being a mother. I didn't do anything special; I just had a "me" day. Trevor is flying, so I had to play by myself. :- ( The most remarkable thing I did today was sleep in. Ahhhh! Then I had a facial and had my hair washed and styled. I think I'll spend the evening on the couch watching an "on demand" chic flick. I hope there's something good available.

Trevor sent me a sweet text this morning that made me cry. It said "Happy Bday! U get better with time. I love u very much and can't wait for Zoe to meet you. She is truly blessed to have u as a mommy." Awww.....

I can't wait to spend next December 23 as my "first" birthday as a mother! It will be so special!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting Goofier by the Day!

I'm getting goofier these days. I guess my pregnancy brain is in overdrive. At my prenatal appointment this morning, it took me about 2 seconds to forget that I was going to the restroom to give a urine sample. It wasn't until I was about to flush the toilet that I remembered. I think what was more hilarious was when I looked in the toilet trying to figure out a way to correct my mistake. Not really possible. LOL. So I had to down a lot of water to fill my bladder up and of all days/times for it refill slowly, it was this morning.

Then, tonight I was driving home from work and my neck was itching. I made an interesting discovery when I scratched it. Um, yeah, why did I put my sweater on backwards this morning and not notice ALL day! LOL. I thought something looked funny about the shape of my sweater and the turtleneck today. That explains it.

Can I get any goofier?! The sad thing is I know the answer to this question. Scary!

Good Prenatal Appointment (and a pep talk from Dr. S)

I had a regularly scheduled prenatal appointment this morning. The timing couldn't have been more perfect after my classes this weekend and the sense of fear I was left with. All is well with our baby girl. I'm measuring on target - 31 cm - so she's growing at the right pace. Zoe's heart beat was nice and strong - in the 150s. My blood pressure was great - 102/68. Weight gain is still looking good, but I was astonished by the number on the scale today. Most definitely the absolute most I've weighed in my entire life! But I know the number on the scale will go back down to a more comforting number once Zoe is born, so it's all good.

I told Dr. S that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed after the infant care and breast feeding classes. She agreed that it can seem very daunting when one thinks of ALL the things that go into it, but she encouraged me to take it one moment and one day at a time. She told me her own funny story of taking 20 minutes to change her daughter's diaper the first time. Despite all of her years of delivering babies and caring for expectant and new moms, she had her own struggles. Even after 20 minutes of trembling as she changed the diaper she said it still fell off. LOL. She was just so reassuring and put my mind at ease. With respect to breast feeding, she just told me to stay mentally and emotionally committed to it. I'm feeling a lot better today. I'm just going to keep reminding myself to take it one moment/one feeding at a time. I know I can do this. I will do this. I was just a little overwhelmed. I'm glad Dr. S allowed me to talk through it with her.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Preparing for Zoe

This weekend was dedicated to "preparing for Zoe." Saturday, Trevor and I attended an all-day "prepared childbirth" course. It felt as though we were in Saturday detention because it was only us, a woman named Julie and our instructor, Joni. I fully expected the class to be much fuller due to the convenience of knocking it all out in one day, but I guess no one wanted to give up their last Saturday before Christmas. The course was insightful, and it gave Trevor and me a lot to think about. Going into the course I was afraid of what I call the "two epis"---episiotomy and epidural. After the course, I'm not as afraid of the epidural; in fact, I fully intend to ask for one if things get too rough. The episiotomy, on the other other, is a different story. It still concerns me. I think I'm going to ask my doctor to let me risk a tear in lieu of the episiotomy unless she thinks I'll tear significantly. According to Joni, most women only tear superficially (I know there are always exceptions to this rule), whereas with the episiotomy the cut is usually much deeper and longer than the tear would've been.

Sunday's classes were much fuller and involved infant care and breastfeeding. These courses overwhelmed me. There is SOOOO much to consider when caring for an infant. Who knew?! I took so many notes; I hope I can remember it all. Breastfeeding seems like a daunting endeavor, but I'm fully committed to giving it my best shot. I hope I'll have great success. I think the toughest part of all of this will be the days I have to go it alone due to Trevor's piloting schedule, but I know it will all work out.

I hope we can figure all of this out. I know we will. I just hope it doesn't take us too long.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Parenting Philosophy

Trevor and I have been having an interesting conversation the last few days about how we want Zoe to address adults. Our first real parenting philosophy discussion. (Different than the hypothetical "what would you do if Zoe did [fill in the blank]?" questions.) This discussion was prompted by an experience Trevor recently had involving a child referring to him as "Trevor". Not "Mr. Trevor" or "Mr. D", just "Trevor". He was floored! When he was growing up, he was required to address adults, even family friends, as "Mr. or Mrs. [last name] ". I wasn't raised that way. For whatever reason, I was allowed to address family friends by their first name. I used "Mr. or Mrs. [last name]" with strangers, teachers, etc.

I don't want Zoe to address adults, even family friends, by first name only; however, I'm okay with her addressing family friends as "Mr. or Mrs. [first name]". Trevor, on the other hand, wants her to address family friends as "Mr. or Mrs. [last name]". I think that will be confusing to her and will require some type of name chart. Let's say we have a friend named "John Moss". Zoe will hear us calling John by his first name. She will be told to call him "Mr. Moss". How confusing for a child! At least in my opinion. I think "Mr. John" is sufficient. Trevor thinks that sounds ridiculous.

At the end of the day, I completely support my husband and we will teach Zoe to address "John" as "Mr. Moss". It's not a big deal. This discussion just illustrates to me how much our individual experiences bleed into our own parenting philosophy. The funny things you never think of.....

31 Weeks!

31 weeks today! Only 9 weeks to! I'm so anxious to meet my little Zoe-pooh, but I want her to stay in there and keep on baking. Mommy will just have to wait.

I'm still feeling good despite my various pregnancy symptoms. Although I'm still experiencing more of the same, I've added aching hips to my list of symptoms. The hip pain is more pronounced in my left hip and is courtesy of a hormone called "relaxin". Relaxin causes laxity of joints and tendons, which allows for enough room for the baby to pass through the pelvis. Acid reflux and back aches are getting more problematic lately. But it's all worth it and I know the "prize" will be sweet....literally. Oh, and I officially waddle when I have to pee really bad.

I'm up 11 lbs. from my pre-preggers weight.

Zoe this week: her brain connections are developing at an impressive rate these days. She is able to process information, track light, and perceive signals from all five senses. Zoe is sleeping more these days, still getting lots of REM sleep. 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. Zoe's moving a lot lately. I jokingly told Trevor that she's been slam dancing this evening. :- ) I wouldn't have it any other way.

Zoe is about 17 inches long and she weighs about 3.5 lbs (about the weight of 4 navel oranges):

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Husband, the Comedian

When Trevor and I woke up last Friday morning for our flight to San Antonio, he told me he had something he wanted to share with me. Apparently he was rudely awaken at 2:30 am by a wild hog (a/k/a a snoring wife). To prove to me that I really do snore at night, he did something extreme.....he recorded me on his cell phone. I wish I could figure out a way to download the sound clip to this blog. It was hilarious!!! I can't believe I'm capable of producing such.....NOISE! LOL. I sounded horrible! I even had him play it for some of my friends. They cracked up. This whole snoring thing has become a running joke between Trevor and me. Now when we wake up in the morning Trevor greets me with a very loving "good morning, thunder cat" or "good morning, wolverine." LOL.

First Time for Everything

Acid reflux has become the bane of my existence lately. I still refuse to take the Nexium Dr. S prescribed, so I've been suffering through it with Tums, elevated sleeping and lately I've even been drinking a cup of soy milk before bed. The milk really does help. The other tactic I decided to employ last night was eating less for dinner. That helped the acid reflux, but when I woke up at 4:30 am to pee, I was starving! So much so that I couldn't fall back to sleep. So I did something I've yet to do in this pregnancy, I went to the kitchen for a little snack. I had a banana and some water. Nothing major. But it helped to stave off the hunger pangs. Apparently Zoe had been waiting for that because she started doing a jig about 3 minutes after I finished the banana. LOL. I think I'll start keeping a little snack on my night stand.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby Shower #1

I had my first baby shower last weekend in my hometown (San Antonio). It was great being back! I can't believe how much San Antonio has grown and changed. The next time we visit, we'll have Zoe in tow. I can't wait!

Trevor and I flew in Friday morning. I spent Friday afternoon with two of my BFFs that hosted my shower, Sharri and Michelle. I love those girls! We spent Friday afternoon doing one of our favorite things....eating. LOL. We also had manicures and pedicures and did a little shopping, and then we did a little more eating.....hey, Zoe needed a snack, and Michelle and Sharri joined in for moral support! :- )

Saturday morning, I had my make-up done, attended the shower and then on Saturday night Sharri's mom (my "second mom") hosted a fabulous dinner at her home. It was like Thanksgiving! Literally---roast, roasted chicken, ham, homemade mac and cheese, corn, collard greens, dressing w/ gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, peach cobbler w/ ice cream, pound cake, apple pie and sweet potato pie. YUM, YUM, YUM!!!  Trevor and I, my mother-in-law, my mom and my sister-in-law, Misty, attended. It was a late night, but it was worth it.

The shower was amazing! Sharri and Michelle did a great job, and it was so nice to see all of my family and friends! It really made me miss San Antonio! Zoe got some great gifts. Lots of clothes, wash cloths, burp cloths, teethers, etc., plus her exersaucer, diaper champ, tub, a bottle drying system, and a $100 gift card. Everyone's generosity, especially given the holidays and the state of the economy, was much appreciated!

Sunday morning, Trevor and I had our couple's maternity shoot. It was so much fun. I can't wait to see the pics. Sunday afternoon we had lunch with my mom and my sister-in-law, hung out a bit, and then headed back to the airport. I was completely exhausted once we got back home. Although I still have 9.5 weeks to go, this third trimester is already wiping me out!

Here are some pics:

Sharri, Michelle and Me (lunch at Neiman Marcus)---the human "Oreo" as Michelle referred to this picture---the funny thing is we were talking about how good Oreos are just before this picture (LOL):

Michelle, Me and Sharri (getting pedis):

The Food Table (yum!):

The Cake (red velvet, of course):

Michelle, Me and Sharri:

Mom, Me and Misty (my newest sister-in-law...she won my baby brother's heart):

Trevor, Mom, Mama D (my mother-in-law) and Me: (after the shower):

Ms. Mable (my "second mom") and Me:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pregnancy in a Nutshell

And the pregnant women said, "amen!" What a cute preggers cartoon!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

30 Weeks!

Today marks 30 weeks. Woot! I had a scheduled prenatal appointment today. Dr. S is in a 3-doctor practice, so she requires her patients to see the other two doctors at some point between weeks 30-40 in the event she's not on call the day I go into labor. Trevor and I appreciate getting an opportunity to meet the other two doctors. The doctor we saw today, Dr. W1 (there are two "W" docs), was nice. The appointment went well. I'm feeling good---just more of the same. I'm measuring on target and my blood pressure was good ~ 116/64 (or something like that). My urine sample was good. Zoe's heartbeat was nice and strong @ 150-155 bpm. I'm up exactly 10 lbs. from my pre-preggers weight.

Zoe this week: lots to report. 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. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.) Zoe's brain is taking on characteristic grooves and indentations. In addition, her bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (before, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells). This is an important step for Zoe, because it means she is better able to thrive on her own once born. Much of the lanugo — the soft, downy hair covering Zoe's body — is beginning to disappear now because both fat and the brain are regulating her body temperature.

Zoe is still moving a lot. The last several nights she's been making moves that feel like something out of "The Matrix." I wish I could see inside my stomach to see what she's doing. It's funny.

Zoe is about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs just over 3 pounds (as much as a head of cabbage):

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Prediction: Zoe's First Word

I have a prediction about Zoe's first word. While most babies say "dada" first, or possibly "mama", I think Zoe's first word will be "pepto." As in Pepto Bismol. As effective as I think Pepto Bismol is for a minor upset stomach, I don't think it's great as.....a paint color. Trevor and I had Zoe's room painted last Friday. We also had crown molding and a chair rail installed. Our contractor did a great job, but the shade of pink isn't as pale as it looked on the 2x2 color swatch. I was so disappointed! I remain hopeful that the color will grow on me, particularly once the furniture is in the room, the bedding is down and accessories are put in place. Surely all of this will tone down the "pepto" look. I can only hope....for Zoe's sake, and her mommy's. If not, we'll paint the room again.

While I can joke about this now, I must confess that I was a bit down about it on Saturday. Trevor and I talked about it Saturday morning and he asked why I was letting it get to me. He wondered if I was worried about what others would think. I started to explain that I just want the room to be perfect for Zoe. Although I know she won't "notice" the room for awhile, I want her to love the room once she's aware of it. And then I cried. Dang pregnancy hormones! It's only paint for crying out loud! (No pun intended....)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

29 weeks!

I'm always late posting these updates, but yesterday marked 29 weeks! All is well, or as well as can be expected when one is 29 weeks preggers. Same aches and pains, and acid reflux issues still plague me. Most troubling, however, is that the first trimester fatigue is back. Boooo!!! Monday, I did something I've never done.....I actually closed the door to my office and laid my head down on my desk. I took a 20 minute nap, and contrary to popular belief, it did not energize me. I really wish I could figure out a way to slip in a 1-2 hour nap midday. I really feel like I need it these days. YAWN!

I neglected to do my weekly Wednesday weigh-in, but as of last Sunday, I'm up 7.4 lbs. from my pre-preggers weight.

Zoe this week: our baby girl's muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger (not too big, I hope) to make room for her developing brain. In order to meet Zoe's demanding nutritional needs, mommy needs plenty of protein, Vitamin C, folic acid and iron these days. (I think I'm doing good on all fronts, except the Vitamin C part. Must work on that.) Zoe's bones continue to harden, thus she's soaking up a lot of calcium---approximately 250 milligrams per day. Good thing I started taking that Calcium supplement (since I can't drink milk - yuck)! Finally, while Zoe's baby-teeth buds are already in place, she is now forming buds for her permanent teeth.

Zoe weighs close to 3 lbs. these days and is approximately 15.5 inches long (head to heel). She weighs as much as a butternut squash:

No CPAP for Me

I had my follow-up appointment to get the results from my sleep study. The verdict: I don't have sleep apnea. Thank God! The overall impressions from my sleep study indicate that I had some spontaneous arousals from sleep that couldn't be linked to anything in particular. The sleep medicine doctor said they're probably just associated with my pregnancy....probably my frequent restroom breaks or attempts to find a comfortable sleeping position. I did have a few abnormal breathing incidents (8.9/hour), but they only occurred during REM sleep, which apparently isn't uncommon because this is the most relaxed state of sleep. The most important finding is that my oxygen level is not dropping to a dangerous level during the night. That was great news, both for me and for Zoe! My snoring was rated as "mild", which was a surprise because Trevor makes it seem as though he's sleeping with a lumberjack at night. LOL. In the end, there will be no CPAP for me. YAY!!! The doctor wants me to consider sleeping with a mouth guard to help with the snoring, but mainly to help with the limited breathing interruptions they detected. Apparently the base of my tongue is wide, which predisposes me to breathing problems during sleep. My mouth looks like this according to the doc (grade IV diagram):

Due to the lack of clearance between the base of my tongue and my throat, my air passage becomes obstructed when my soft pallet relaxes. This is more than I ever wanted to know about my mouth, tongue and air passage. Using a mouth guard will help to bring my tongue forward and clear my air passage; however, prolonged use of the mouth guard can cause me to develop an under bite, so I'm not crazy about that. We'll see. I think I'll wait until Zoe is born and see if things improve.

Monday, December 1, 2008

She's Got Skills!

Zoe's been doing a number on my bladder this morning. I swear she's doing this: