36 Weeks! Time is Winding Down...

I'm sorry that I've been such a slacker on blogging lately. I just can't seem to make myself write as frequently as I had in the past. We hit the 36 week mark this week...hooray! Here is some information about the baby's development this week:


It is just wild to think that we will be considered full-term next Wednesday! I did have a really funny dream the other night about the baby. Ryan and I were at home, and I went into labor. He was sleeping, and no matter how hard I tried, Ryan just would not wake up. So, I ended up giving birth to FOUR babies by myself, two of which did not have left eye balls, and again they looked like Garbage Pail Kids! It was hysterical!

On Tuesday night, Ryan and I were watching The Bachelor online, and I started getting some pretty frequent contractions. We decided to check out http://contractionmaster.com/, a website that our doula told us about a few weeks ago. This website is WONDERFUL because when you time contractions, you have to time from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next one. You also have to time the duration of each contraction. This website does it all for you! All you have to do is hit the space bar at the beginning and end of each contraction. The last thing I want Ryan to worry about is clicking a stopwatch and writing down all of that information. This will make it really easy! So anyway, I was having contractions Tuesday night, and I knew they were more than Braxton Hicks because I definitely felt more of a stabbing sensation that accompanied the normal squeezing. I had a few that were every five minutes, and some lasted more than a minute. Then, after I laid down on my left side, they started to become less frequent and didn't last as long either. It definitely was a wake-up call that we seriously need to pack our hospital bag! Of course, the bag still isn't packed, but it's on the "MUST DO LIST" for the weekend.

As far as how I'm feeling at this point in the pregnancy, I really do feel pretty well. The mornings and afternoons are the easiest, and then by the time I get off work and relax on the couch, I am definitely more swollen (legs and feet), and my pelvic bone just aches. I can tell the baby is just moving lower, and with the painful sensations I'm having throughout the day, I am really hoping that my cervix is starting to efface and dialate. The more work the baby does now the less we have to do when I'm in labor! :) My hands are also getting pretty swollen in the middle of the night, so they do ache some when I'm sleeping. I'm still only waking up once or twice a night to go to the bathroom, and otherwise, I'm sleeping all night long! It's glorious. I'm really wondering which is happening...either I am a really deep sleeper, and the baby's movements don't wake me up...or the baby is sleeping at night, too. Let's hope it's the latter and that they baby continues to sleep well at night. We'll see soon enough!

We met with Julie (our doula) for our final meeting Thursday night. She was here from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. We talked about all sorts of things (e.g., breastfeeding) and also practiced some relaxation techniques, positions for labor, and positions for pushing. It was really, really good to mentally prepare even more for what is to come. Going through that practice session has really made me realize how hard Ryan is going to have to work through this labor, too. If we were planning to get an epidural, he and I could both just lay around and wait until it was time to push. Since we're attempting a non-medicated labor, it's going to be a lot of effort for both of us! I'm so lucky to have a husband who is so supportive of this type of birth experience and so willing to help me achieve these goals. We wrote down our birth preferences to give to our OB and to the hospital staff so that they know what we want and don't want during the labor and delivery of our little one. I'll post that in a separate blog so you can get an idea about what our preferences are. :)

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these 36 week belly pictures! We met with Dr. Soper on Wednesday, and my beta-strep test came back negative, so that is one less thing to worry about. No IV antibiotics will be needed while I'm in labor, which is great because I'm not trying to be hooked up to an IV while coping with the intensity of labor. My total weight gain is 23 lbs...I lost a pound between last week and this week. Because my blood sugars have been so low despite eating my normal amounts (and I'm definitely getting in milk and cookies for my nighttime snack), I think the baby must have been going through a growth spurt, stealing any calories that would have accumulated as weight gain for me. Dr. Soper was really happy with my sugars! The baby's heartbeat was 132 beats per minute, and my blood pressure was still fine. For the first time, my fundal height was less than expected. I measured 35 cm, and I'm 36 weeks...HOORAY! Maybe the baby's weight gain has slowed down. :)

Well, Ryan and I need to get to bed. He's running the Mini Marathon here in Indy tomorrow morning. Good night!

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