After talking to my boss this morning and working out that Friday will be my last day at work with me working exclusively from home next week, I feel SO much better. I was stressing out about having to sit up and perform at work after having contractions and sleeping very poorly each night. Now that concern is put away, I feel like I can make it through two more days, and Olivia can just take as much time as she needs to grow and prepare for the world. It's amazing how far she's come these nine months! What's a few more days? (I can say that now that I can lay down every few hours and take the pressure off my pelvis! She is definitely my tiny dancer.)
I know I am doing better because I can appreciate the beautiful weather we are having here today--sunny and cooler, I can appreciate how nice the flowers look flowing in purple waves out of the pots on my porch, and I can appreciate how the air feels on my big pregnant belly when I get a breeze flying up between the gap in my pants and the front of my shirt. Life is good. I know that I live a charmed one. I can hardly wait (but I can wait) for Olivia to see and feel all these wonderful things.
Thanks for the comments and the emails and the calls! I REALLY appreciate the encouragement!
I'm trying to stay positive.... Even though I have been having contractions every night since Saturday (and that night they came every 7-10 minutes for a few hours), I made no progress. In fact, Dr. Chwe said that Olivia's head is farther up than last week. I'm still 1 1/2 centimeters dilated. I've gained a total of 30 lbs. Olivia's heart rate was 133 bpm. Dr. Chwe says that the contractions are normal, but he doesn't expect to meet Olivia until after my due date. I am pretty disappointed because I am very uncomfortable, extremely hormonal, and just ready. (I've been crying for no reason at least once a day for the past couple. Ugh! I hate that!) However, I will refer to my list and be thankful that this has been a healthy pregnancy for me and Olivia. Ten days until my due date, and hopefully no more than 7 days after that...
Nicholas and I watched the prenatal massage video on one of Shiva Rea's yoga DVD's this weekend, and he rubbed my feet and ankles Saturday and Sunday using their techniques. The swelling in them went down at least 50%, so that is another reason to be thankful. I can almost wear a few of my sandals.
Okay, I am taking Juliet's advice and I am just going to bank on going past my May 7th due date. Nicholas brought some flowers home for Olivia and me, which was just the push I needed--it was a long day. In an effort to be positive about my probable going past, I'm making a list of reasons to be thankful I am still pregnant:
(1) It's super easy to keep an eye on Olivia. What a compact way to carry her around! (2) The books say she is gaining about an ounce a day, so each day she remains, she is getting heartier...just like her mama! (3) People are telling me that even though I am tired now, it will be nothing like how tired I will be once she is nursing every two to three hours and I am laying awake looking at her to make sure she is breathing. So, I will enjoy my relative restedness. (4) I still have a lot of telling people how to do my job at work, so it's good that there is still some time for that. Otherwise, they might be calling me in the delivery room! (5) There are a few things I would still like to get done pre-baby: writing her a letter in her baby book, setting up the 529 plan, and finishing the "Butterflies and Hiccups" journal about the pregnancy. (6) My maternity leave starts May 10 no matter whether I've had Olivia or not. So, if she doesn't come until May 15, I will have had a few days to rest, rather than going from work to hospital as it would be if I have her pre-May 7. (7) My favorite thing right now is for Nicholas to hug me from behind and lift up my belly so that the weight isn't pushing down. And I love to feel her little squirms, which reassure me all is well. (8) And, as Nicholas reminds me, I should be savoring these last days of "Nicholas and me" time. I am. I do.
This will be a pretty boring post, but just to update: Olivia has a strong heartbeat of 144 bpm and kicked Dr. Chwe when he went to measure me. My blood pressure is still good and low. I'm up a total of 28 lbs now, and I don't even care...I'm to that point. I am a little more dilated--1 1/2 centimeters and Dr. Chwe said that hopefully means that my labor will go a little quicker than someone who starts out not dilated at all. I'm the same amount effaced, but I didn't catch how much that was. He said that Olivia's head had dropped considerably since last week, but I'm not sure if that means that she "has dropped." (I know that it sounds like I didn't get my questions answered, but the reality is, I was so tired that I didn't event think to ask these questions!)
Dr. Chwe suggested wrist splints at night again for my swollen hands, and to rest as much as I can from now until I deliver.
I asked about the size of Olivia. He said that his best guess from my measurements is that she won't hit the eight pound mark even if I make it to 40 weeks. I told him that I was a 10 pound baby, and he said, "You won't be having a 10 pound baby." Hallelujah!
We've decided to name our sweet baby Olivia Ann. Ann is both my and Nicholas's mother's middle name, and Olivia is just a beautiful name she can grow into. And, now, Olivia's nursery is ready for her arrival--stocked and decorated!
We may need to hang the mobiles lower, but for now, we hung them at the length given by the clear wire.
I love the little lamb bedding, the quilt on the wall, and the whimsy of the butterfly mobiles! We may need a couple of decorative shelves or a net for the corner between the changing table and the crib. See next photo:
Olivia's bags are packed and in the van. My bag is packed and in the garage. I have a list for things to pack on the way out the door--popsicles, phones, camera, chargers, toiletries, etc. The car seat is in the van (but not yet installed). Nicholas is going to pack his bag after his conference this week.
We attended our last class today, "Infant CPR." And, although I almost cried due to the story of the nurse performing CPR on her 20-month-old after he had fell in the pool and she found him floating unconscious, we both learned a lot and are really glad we went. (Her boy was fine, by the way.) If you want to learn what we learned, but not sit through a class, here is a link to the American Heart Association's Infant CPR information.
I forgot to mention on the last post that at my latest pregnancy symptom is swelling in my hands and feet. The swelling has been bad enough in my hands to prevent me from wearing my wedding set for a while. This past weekend it started getting so bad that it feels like I have arthritis. Dr. Chwe said I should wear wrist splints to bed as if I have carpal tunnel. I rip them off in my sleep, though, because they are so uncomfortable. I have a new respect for people with arthritis. This is not so fun.
The swelling in my feet has reached new levels as well. Today, I wore black boots with a little heel to work to save my pant hem from getting wet as it was pouring down rain when I left the house. When I got to work, I took off the boots because they felt tight. When I tried to put them back on a little later, there was no getting into them. Whoops! Fortunately I had some tennis shoes in my closet. I looked very odd wearing my dress shirt (see above), slacks, and ratty tennis shoes. Oh, well!
Speaking of shirts, I have outgrown many, many of the maternity shirts I have borrowed. Thank goodness for Mom buying me three dress shirts for work for my showers! They are a staple since the are longer and cover up the ever-expanding belly!
In other news, we attended the "Preparing for your Newborn" class on Tuesday. Most of the information wasn't new, but some was helpful. The best part was watching the videos about what happens to Baby right after birth. In the other classes, we had talked extensively about delivery, but not so much about the testing/clean up done to Baby. So, we are little more prepared for that. (Although I did break down and write a short birth plan to have in my file, which Dr. Chwe approved on Monday that includes putting Baby on my chest/abdomen immediately after delivery and any immediate tests/clean up can be done right there.) Much of the other information just made us feel prepared as we had already taken care of those things: stocking up on diapers, washing Baby's clothes and bedding, preparing the bassinet, getting bath and diaper stuff stocked, etc. We also learned how to take Baby's temperature, give her a sponge bath, and swaddle her. And, importantly, we learned one nurse we would not like to have! I know, that's terrible!
It has just occurred to me this week how a big baby, like I have been hoping for, will be difficult to deliver. (I've been reading real natural birth stories on theBump.) My wish for a ten pound baby, like myself, has changed to a wish for a healthy baby who I can get out safely! What a wimp I am!!
I gained another pound and I am dilated one centimeter. Dr. Chwe said not to get my hopes up, though, as Baby's head is still high and he predicts I go past my due date. He said I'm still measuring well, he's happy with my weight gain and vitals, and everything seems to be going smoothly. He also tested for Group B strep today, so I will find out soon about that. That just has to do with whether or not they put me on antibiotics during labor.
The curtains and sheers are finished and hung! My photography is terrible, but I think they turned out well. I made them large and we hung them wide to make the one window look like two. I think it worked!
Nicholas and I had our maternity photos made this evening, and had a good time. I think she probably thought she was photographing kids as much as we laughed when she told us to be serious! I am really excited about the pictures, though. Two weeks or so, she said...
We attended the "Breathing and Relaxation" class on Thursday night, and thought it was useful. The breathing techniques weren't the highlight, as I do a lot of that in yoga. The nurse telling us what to ask for (saline lock instead of an IV so I can move around during early labor, telemetry instead of the regular continuous fetal monitor which tethers you to a machine, making a deal with my nurse not to offer me drugs--I'll ask for them if/when I need them) was helpful. Also, a few of the pressure point techniques and labor positions seem like they will be useful. A success! Two more to go: "Preparing for your baby" on Tuesday and "Infant CPR" on Sunday.
Today, I hope to (1) get started packing our bags for the hospital, (2) put the car seat in the car, and (3) hang the curtains!!
And, just because Ringo and Puck are so cute and ridiculous, and because they think they are our guard dogs, here is a photo of them on high alert:
They had a little shower for me at work today!! I have to say that I feel extremely lucky for so much love to have already been shown to our little girl! I know that not everyone gets showered with so many gifts and celebration!! A HUGE thank you to everyone at the office for this shower! Isn't the cake cute?! And it was delicious, too!