Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks

I went in for my 34-week OB appt last week. I gained another 3-4 lbs since my last OB appt, which was two weeks ago, bringing my total weight gain since my first OB appt in April to 13 lbs.

My blood pressure was good at 118/74. My blood pressure has always generally on the lower end, and it hasn't really changed during this pregnancy.

As always, I love hearing the baby's heartbeat when I'm in for these appointments. I get the giggles every time. It's not like I don't know that there is a baby in there, or that I don't have evidence all day long of this little life inside me. There is just STILL something so magical about hearing that heartbeat, loud and strong. Baby’s heart rate was 140 when our doctor first started listening, then went up to 155 while baby was moving around.

She has measured my belly at both of the last two appointments and the belly measurement was right-on for the baby's gestational age. This is the measurement that they take while you're laying on your back on the exam table and I think the measurement is from the top of your pelvic bone to your sternum. I'm not 100% sure about where exactly that measurement starts and finishes, but I know she said I'm measuring just right, and that always makes me feel good. She checked my ankles and feet to see if I had any swelling and all looked good!

There wasn't much else to check on or report at this appointment. As she has said before, I'm boring, which is good. There really aren't any concerns at this point and I am still feeling good. I am going every two weeks now, so my next appointment is at 36 weeks, which will be the middle of next week. At that appointment, we’ll do the Group B Strep Test and she’ll also check my cervix to see if it has dilated at all (opened up) or begun to efface (thin out). Next week is the last appt that is two weeks apart and then I start going every week, as I'll only have four weeks left.

The baby is still moving around quite a bit, which is good. I can tell it’s getting a little more cramped in my belly because the baby seems to meet more resistance as it moves around… meaning baby pushes up against my bladder and my stomach, and outward against my skin. I still swear some days that this little one is trying to get out. It pushes downward sometimes and I seriously feel like if I don’t keep my legs together, it’s going to stick a hand or a foot right out!  I’m feeling less flexible and less mobile all the time and it’s getting a little harder for me to bend down to pick up toys and things around the house. I try to remember to squat instead of bend, but it still seems to be hard to get back up again. I feel... older. I don't remember feeling this immobile or inflexible when I was pregnant four years ago. I remember someone saying something to me about how tough it is when you're 8 months pregnant and can't reach to do the simplest things like paint your toes or even shave your legs. At the time I thought, "What are they talking about? I can paint my toes and shave my legs (and anything else I may want to shave) with no trouble at all"  This pregnancy is different. It IS a challenge to get my legs shaved. I CAN paint my toes, but it's a challenge. I am out of breath loading and unloading the dishwasher and doing laundry and making beds. Just this week, heart burn has set in. Remind me not to eat any more red sauce. We had spaghetti tonight with roasted red pepper sauce, garlic buttered whole wheat pita bread and sweet corn. It was delicious going down, but not so pleasant being burped back up. I know, lovely thought, isn't it?

I'm not sleeping very well, but I don't feel like I could fall asleep at any moment, like I remember feeling so many times in my first pregnancy. I am tired, but sleep just doesn't come very easily. I wake up twice during the night for potty breaks now, and am often awake for 1-2 hours at a time, which makes the total sleeping time in a night, sometimes just 4-5 hours. I still wake up by 7:00am though on weekends and "stay-home days" when I could sleep in. I often try to go back to sleep for an hour, and simply can't. My mind is in motion by this time and I'm already thinking about the day, my to-do list, Gavin, work, dinner, etc.

On a more personal note (can I get more personal?), I am having some anxiety about having this baby. Moreso than I did when I was expecting Gavin I think. I think I've figured it out. When I was pregnant with Gavin, I was still in charge of my life - it was my life. Now, I think I'm realizing that I am not so much in charge of how my days go... he is. That's a bit pathetic to admit, but it's the truth. How my day goes, how my week goes, how life is going in general, is incredibly dependent on how Gavin is behaving, feeling, etc. When he goes to bed without complaints, I go to bed happy. When he goes on and on for two hours calling to me from his room, telling me he's scared of the dark, or thinks Randall is in his closet, or needs to poop, or wants a snack, or wants one more book, or wants to tell me something that happened at preschool... I stress out - MAJORLY. I nearly lose my mind because I'm torn between wanting to be "there" for him when he needs me and wanting to stick to the "rules" that bedtime is bedtime and once we say goodnight, I'm not coming back into his room again. When he is in his bed (like last night) screaming at the top of his lungs "Mom! ...Mooooommmmm! ...Mom!  ...Answer Me! ...Mom, you have to answer me! ...AAAANNNNSWER MEEEEEE!!!" and I am dying to scream back at him "GO TO BED" and yet feeling like I should just ignore him because if I do answer him then I'm "playing into his demands" and feeling like I should go to him because clearly, he needs me...   I just about explode. My mind and my heart are at odds and I turn into a frazzled, tired, teary, angry mess. (and no, I'm not hormonal!  Okay, maybe a little).  These are the moments that put me and Cliff in a tough spot. He's all for tough love and I am a melting mess. So, then we argue about the "right" thing to do and the battle between ensuring our child knows he is safe, and loved, and never alone, and can always come to us with whatever he needs and ensuring he knows that we mean what we say, and bedtime is bedtime, and that we're not going to fall for his little tactics to get us to do what he wants and we're not going to tolerate the whining and yelling. So, then even my strong, solid relationship with my husband begins feeling rocky because I'm mad that he's not responding to his child and he's mad that I'm going back in there one more time because I feel bad that Gavin is calling for his Mommy and I need to be there for him. Ugh! Okay....   glad I got that off my chest.   :)

Please tell me there are other parents out there with almost-four-year-olds who are dealing with a similar issue! Please? Tell me this is normal. That it's not just us. It's not just MY kid who won't go to bed at night without complaints. ???

So... like I said, my entire life feels like it's in the complete control of a three-year-old. Because what I say goes, doesn't always go. Because what I want to happen, doesn't usually happen. Because my day's plans, instead become tomorrow's plans because it just didn't work out today. Because my chance of getting a nap in once or twice a week, depends solely on whether he takes one. Because I can send him to bed or to nap, but if he can't fall asleep no matter how still and quiet he lays there, I can't make him. Because just the way smiles are contageous and happy kids make happy parents,  cranky makes cranky and whiney makes whiney. A happy wife is a happy husband and supposedly a happy mom makes happy children. I am easily tilted from happy mom to cranky, whiney mom in a matter of moments when I am tired or stressed.

So... back to baby...

I think when I was expecting Gavin I felt 90% sure that we could handle a baby, we were ready, we were mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to do what it takes, to walk circles around the house all night long bouncing a crying baby who will only calm down while being bounced in circles all around the house. To be woken up for a feeding the moment we finally fell asleep, to give and give and give and give and then to rest every teeny tiny chance we got. We were ready for it. We had nothing else taking and taking and taking at that time in our lives. Now we do. I don't mean to sound like I don't love the living daylight out of Gavin. I DO love the living daylight out of him. I love him to pieces. I want to kiss his cheeks so badly sometimes (and he doesn't let me anymore) that I have to sneak into his room when he's sleeping to do it. Then I sit there and smell his little boy head and watch his sweet little blonde eyelashes flutter softly as he sleeps. I adore him. I want to eat him up. I want to snuggle him and sing with him and listen to his silly stories and find amazement in his little brain that is way to smart for his age. It's just that so much of my energy goes to him, that I am honestly afraid that I don't have enough for two kids. I'm afraid that I won't be able to play with him the way I like to when I am busy with the new baby and drained from lack of sleep from the new baby. I'm afraid I'll be cranky with him because I didn't get enough sleep or because he's being too loud around the baby or because he isn't being careful around the baby. I'm afraid the two of them will be too stressful on Cliff and then he'll be cranky and he'll be resentful and I'll feel bad. These are the thoughts that worry me. Right now, in this gray and drizzly and cold time of year when the leaves have all fallen and the grass and the flowers are dead and the mist collects and drips down the windows and we're stuck in the house and I'm watching the clock until it's time for Cliff to come home from work or time to leave for preschool or time to go to bed because I just don't know what to do to keep both Gavin and I content and happy and entertained and active, I wonder how I will do it with two. Then I think, "How did my mom do it with 10 of us? How does Rachel @ Finding Joy do it with 7 kids? How does Alyssa @ Resolved2Worship do it with 8 kids? How does Sarah @ Clover Lane do it with 6 kids? Heck, how does anyone do it with two or three kids? How will I do it with two?"

and then I realize it's 12:48am and I've stayed up too late again and will be a cranky Mom tomorrow, so I need to go to sleep... now.


Below is the update on what is typically happening at this point in the pregnancy from BabyCenter.

HOW YOUR BABY IS GROWING: Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, 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

HOW YOUR LIFE IS CHANGING By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you're under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.


Kristin said...

Your fears are written so much more eloquently than mine... And then I remember that lately blogging has been an item on my to-do list the last few weeks, and I just needed to get it posted! I'm confident that you will be a great Mom of two. It's one of those things that you figure out as you go, I hope. :)

Erin J said...

Kristin - does this mean you're online sharing your news??? Gotta go check your blog ! or my email! or call you to chat!

Erin J said...

Kristin - does this mean you're online sharing your news??? Gotta go check your blog ! or my email! or call you to chat!

Big Sis said...

I have great confidence in you! And you are so brave to share your fears so honestly. You are an amazing parent and your children are so lucky to have you.