Tuesday, December 22, 2009

33 week Birth Center Appt!

Autumn is rockin and rollin! Met with "S" today. She was the last midwife I had yet to meet. She's not timid. She's got this attitude that's somewhat unpleasant and doesn't make me feel all "happy and cheerful" around, but it doesn't put me off. She REALLY reminded me of a few friends that are really cool people, but have "tough" attitudes and sometimes I just can't stand to be around, but most of the time I don't care. She's definitely no nonesense and I'd be cool with her being my midwife if that's the way things worked out.

I lost 2 lbs. ::GASP!:: Lol! Just another reason I LOVE the birth center...they didn't really care. I know some doctors would probably freak the heck out if a preggo woman lost 2 lbs at 33 weeks. But, hoenstly? There's simple explanations. 1 - my last visit was in the morning so I was bundled in jeans and a huge, heavy sweatshirt when most of the time my visits have been in light clothing, 2 - b/c the last visit was in the morning i was likely still retaining all my morning water weight and what not compared to everything that's already been flushed out by 230pm and 3 - it was RIGHT AFTER THANKSGIVING! I mean sheesh - 8 lbs in 3 weeks? The turkey, stuffing, and PIE had something to do with all that weight! Obviously I have not been eating like that consistently since my last visit and I've been more active since then. SO, a 2 lb weight loss? Not a big deal!

Also, Autumn has been active enough for me not to worry. AND she's measuring TWO WEEKS ahead! That's right. Belly measurement is at 35cm. Two weeks ago it was 31cm. She's gone 4 cm in 2 weeks...what could cause this? Oh, let's be the nice midwife who says, "It could just be her positioning today." Yea...I doubt that. Considering everyone who has seen me in the past week says my belly has gotten HUGE, I'm thinking this isn't a positioning thing...this is...I'm having a big baby. Or she is coming early. Or both. FUN!

They're not worried about me going away for the holidays. I've been given a copy of my records just in case something happen while we're up there, but we should be fine. I have to get out of the car every 2 hours to walk and stretch.

Next appt is in two weeks! And that's about that. Here are the overal quick stats:

Belly Measurement: 35cms
Weight: 158lbs
Heartbeat: 140s bpm
Position: still HEAD DOWN!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And from Autumn...


i LOVE this onesie. It came in one of the tons of bags of clothes I got from a friend. Her daughter just turned one in early Dec, so Autumn will fit a lot of the same clothing. Unfortunately, Autumn won't be here in time for Christmas (which is a good thing!), but she'll definitely be too big for this next year. SO...I decided to dress Autumn while still in-the-womb. I think she looks awesome, don't you?! She's made this year so special for us and our friends and family and we're so lucky to have such a wonderful blessing in our lives!

32 weeks 3 days pic:o)

My arms look fat. They're not...bad shadows;oP

Friday, December 18, 2009

32 weeks...getting interesting!

Things have changed so much in the past week!

Physically, things are getting harder. As of last night I suffered the most severe heartburn at 3am and it was trying its best to make me sick. Also, from 7pm until I went to bed I had consistent Braxton Hicks. I've had them almost my entire pregnancy, but these didn't go away last night - constant pressure in my abdomen. They aren't painful, but they take a lot out of me physically. The only way to relieve some of the pressure was to squat in front of the couch and bend over the cushions. At one point, since this was all new to me, I thought...am I going into early labor? Do I need to make a phone call? But I figured if that was true it would only get worse, I'd know soon enough, so I might as well just wait out. And there's MORE...after the 3am issues with heartburn that I had me gettin gout of bed every 5 minutes, I woke up a few hours later with chest pain. The baby is low AND kicking the crap out of me, but apparently that's also affecting my lungs and chest, so I feel this constant pressure in my chest like someone is sitting on me. It's fabulous. Really. I'm having a great time:oP

Emotionally, I'm up and down. I'm thrilled school is done. However, other non-baby things have been going on that stress me out. Baby-related though, I'm GREAT! I keep seeing these beautiful babies (especially girls) and I'm so ready to meet Autumn. I saw this little baby girl today who was SO cute and SO quiet being carried around by her grandpa and I thought "I can't wait to see my Daddy holding my little girl!" It was so beautiful that I'm so ready to see it for my own eyes. I'm ready to give birth - I know that sounds crazy. But I'm ready for this special moment for me and Shawn, together! I'm just SO excited for this little girl and I'm so in love with her that I wish it was February 10!

So today is my last day of work until Jan. My next dr's appt is next Tuesday. Wednesday night we'll be leaving for NJ. Christmas will be all sorts of fun & craziness. Giants game (gosh, I'm going to FREEZE!) is Sunday. And then I'll have a whole week of relaxation before returning to work. And then it's just chilling out for a month until Autumn decides to arrive. It's crazy how fast it went, but I wouldn't change anything...except the heartburn, lol!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PPD article from my Bradley class

Can I just say how awesome my Bradley instructor is? I mean, she goes beyond teaching the basics and takes time to send out e-mails on interesting articles she has read and deems relevant. Totally cool!

So, here's a copy from what she sent in regards to post-partum depression & fathers.

From the New York Times, 12/07/09
Postpartum Depression Strikes Fathers, Too
The pregnancy was easy, the delivery a breeze. This was the couple’s first baby, and they were thrilled. But within two months, the bliss of new parenthood was shattered by postpartum depression.
A sad, familiar story. But this one had a twist: The patient who came to me for treatment was not the mother but her husband.
A few weeks after the baby arrived, he had become uncharacteristically anxious, sad and withdrawn. He had trouble sleeping, even though his wife was the one up at night breast-feeding their new son. What scared her enough to bring him to my office was that he had become suicidal.
Up to 80 percent of women experience minor sadness — the so-called baby blues — after giving birth, and about 10 percent plummet into severe postpartum depression. But it turns out that men can also have postpartum depression, and its effects can be every bit as disruptive — not just on the father but on mother and child.
We don’t know the exact prevalence of male postpartum depression; studies have used different methods and diagnostic criteria. Dr. Paul G. Ramchandani, a psychiatrist at the University of Oxford in England who did a study based on 26,000 parents, reported in The Lancet in 2005 that 4 percent of fathers had clinically significant depressive symptoms within eight weeks of the birth of their children. But one thing is clear: It isn’t something most people, including physicians, have ever heard of.
At first, my patient insisted that everything was just fine. He and his wife had been trying to conceive for more than a year. He was ecstatic at the prospect of fatherhood, and he did not acknowledge feeling depressed or suicidal.
Suspicious of his rosy appraisal, I pushed a little.
It turned out that he had just taken a new high-pressure job in finance six months before the birth of his son. Though he was reluctant to admit it, he clearly had more than a little concern about his family’s financial future.
And he was anxious about his marriage and his new life. “We go out a lot with friends to dinner and theater,” he said wistfully, as I recall. “Now I guess that’s all going to end.”
He had spent the nine months of pregnancy in a state of excitement about being a father without really registering what a life-transforming event it was going to be.
Unlike women, men are not generally brought up to express their emotions or ask for help. This can be especially problematic for new fathers, since the prospect of parenthood carries all kinds of insecurities: What kind of father will I be? Can I support my family? Is this the end of my freedom?
And there is probably more to male postpartum depression than just social or psychological stress; like motherhood, fatherhood has its own biology, and it may actually change the brain.
A 2006 study on marmoset monkeys, published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, reported that new fathers experienced a rapid increase in receptors for the hormone vasopressin in the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Along with other hormones, vasopressin is involved in parental behavior in animals, and it is known that the same brain area in humans is activated when parents are shown pictures of their children.
There is also some evidence that testosterone levels tend to drop in men during their partner’s pregnancy, perhaps to make expectant fathers less aggressive and more likely to bond with their newborns. Given the known association between depression and low testosterone in middle-aged men, it is possible that this might also put some men at risk of postpartum depression.
By far the strongest predictor of paternal postpartum depression is having a depressed partner. In one study, fathers whose partners were also depressed were at nearly two and a half times the normal risk for depression. That was a critical finding, for clinicians tend to assume that men can easily step up to the plate and help fill in for a depressed mother. In fact, they too may be stressed and vulnerable to depression.
And there is the child to think about. Research has clearly shown that maternal postpartum depression can impair the emotional and cognitive development of infants. A father could well buffer the infant from some of the adverse effects of maternal depression — but that is a tall order if he too is depressed.
Dr. Ramchandani, who also followed children for three and a half years after birth, reported that they were affected differently depending on which parent was depressed. Maternal postpartum depression was associated with adverse emotional and behavioral effects in children regardless of sex; depression in fathers was linked only with behavioral problems in boys. (The study did not report on possible effects when both parents were depressed.)
As for my patient, he recovered within two months with the help of psychotherapy and an antidepressant. Afterward, he summed up the situation in just 10 words: “And I thought only women get this kind of thing.”
All too many doctors think so too.

Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


What an awesome checkup! I loved having my sister-in-law with me. It was so awesome to show someone in the family what Shawn and I have been doing the past 31 weeks. After the visit we re-toured the birthing rooms, so I have a fresh idea of which room(s) I prefer and it makes me look forward to the birthing process that much more. We also went into the boutique, which is always fun with female family member - just ooohing and aaahing over the cute baby stuff.

The visit was with "J." Shawn & I briefly met her our first visit, but the majority of our checkup was with a student midwife, so "J" wasn't with us very long. My initial impression of her was...unpleasant. Kinda bitchy. This time around she had a more pleasant attitude, but she's took quiet for my liking. And her handshake was the WEAKEST EVER...and I'm just not a weak-handshake kinda girl. Sorry, but weak handshake = you are NOT strong enough to be helping me deliver a baby. This isn't some pansy thing we're going through - I need a strong, tough attitude, "let's get this baby out" kinda person and she's just not it. Seriously...if she's our midwife when the time comes she won't be in our room very much because I just don't feel confident with her. She was far from unpleasant...very sweet, VERY quiet, and answered all my questions...just not "man enough" for my labor, IMO!

Stats: 31 cms = RIGHT ON TIME! HEAD DOWN!!!!! (awesome news...although she can go back and turn again, once they're really head down the chances for them moving out of place is unlikely and she seems pretty comfy, so I'm hoping she stays this way). HB in the 150s.

And then there's weight.....I was 152 lbs (total of 19lb gain) last visit on Nov 19. I'm supposed to be going every 2 weeks, BUT due to scheduling issues this visit was 19 days later...almost 3 weeks. With Thanksgiving in between, need I remind you! And I gained 8 lbs!!!! LOL!

So, I'm 160 lbs. With a big bulky sweater and jeans at 930 in the morning after a bowl of cereal and coffee. Normally I have barely had lunch or it's later in the morning and I wear more loose clothing...so this 160 number...not final in my book:oP

Either way I'm not unhappy. 160lbs means 27 lbs total gain in 31 weeks. I'm okay with that, I'm still on target...and I don't look fat, so who's complaining?! Baby's happy. I'm happy. And yes...I will probably eat just as much pie come Christmas time:o)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taking a Break

I'm calling a "time-out" so I can pay attention to my blog. I haven't updated in a few weeks with anything substantial. This week we'll be 31 weeks pregnany...which means...6-9 weeks left! I'm actually really calm over this realization, which makes me worried. In no way am I prepared, but I also look at it as "hey, who ever is 100% prepared for a child being brought home into their life?! You're about as well off as anyone else, so suck it up buttercup and let the good times roll!"

Classes are out, but I still have 1/4 of a paper to write and 2 final exams to take in the next week and a half. I'm completely slacking on the studying effort...and I really don't care. I had the most relaxing weekend in awhile. No homework to stress over. I spent Friday night with my wonderful hubby who made an awesome dinner and then we went out til 12:45 AM! WOW! I spent Saturday cleaning and cooking. And yesterday I chilled out, took a nap, and hung out at the in-laws to watch football.

Besides some tidying here and there, there isn't a whole lot more I can do to prepare for Autumn's arrival until after my shower. Money is tight and Christmas is upon us, so spending money on stuff for her will just have to wait:o( We'll see what we get from our friends & family for the shower and from there we'll pick up the essentials. The house is a disaster, despite my efforts to tidy, because the Christmas stuff came in and has exploded all over the living room. Fab.u.lous.

Tomorrow is another check up, but since Daddy has to work Autumn's awesome Aunt Tara is tagging along for the ride. I'm hoping they'll let me give her a tour of the birth rooms, since I'd also like another review before we go into labor. Childbirth classes start up again, which we haven't had in two weeks due to one absence and the holiday week.

OH! I've already started to go into paranoid/proactive mommy mode. I'm contemplating having testing done on our water, since I'm 99% sure we have lead/copper pipes. Friends of ours had this same issue about a year ago before they moved to FL - they only found out because they recognized their son having developmental problems at a young age and it was due to his exposure (bathtime & tap water for drinking/cooking) to lead. They had no idea their house had lead soldering used on the pipes and so I need to talk to the hubby and figure out how to test and what to do if testing shows anything. A part of me thinks I'm being paranoid. And another part of me says it will be a serious issue IF the testing results come back too high. If they're moderate I'll be okay, but I'm worried about high test results.

I'm making lists of stuff that needs to get done or that we still need to buy. And then I throw the list out. Because 1) it will never all get done and I'll start getting frustrated with it all or 2) I'll never be able to list every little thing I need....I just need to realize that if it's important it will get done and if it doesn't get done, then it obviously wasn't that important!

And that's about it. Looking forward to tomorrow's appointment - hoping we have a head down little girl!!! Stats to come tomorrow afternoon!