Saturday, October 27, 2012

35 weeks.

35 weeks.
5 weeks til my due date. 2 til full term. That puts me at 8 months pregnant today. That's madness! (Some people say they're 8 months at 32 weeks, because 8x4 is 32. That's dumb. Most months have more than 4 weeks. & that would put 40 weeks at 10 months. Pregnancy is only 9 months people, keep up.) I'm hoping to get to 37 weeks, cause if I have to keep having these contractions for another 5 weeks, I'm going to shove a needle, or a scalpel, or something in to my doctor's throat. Okay, that's a little much, but I'll be really upset. I've been having contractions for 2 weeks now. Yes, they are just first stage of labor contractions, so they're not super painful (but occasionally they get to the point I can't talk through them). But they DO hurt. & since I have them pretty much all day every day, my muscles are sore. It's like working your abs for 3 hours at a time, 5 times a day. My hips & my thighs are also feeling the burn. & sleeping while pregnant is already horrible. Having contractions wake you up multiple times a night, moaning in pain, makes it extra unpleasant. The good news is that there has been SOME progress. As of this passed Tuesday, I was 50% effaced. The Wednesday before that there was nothing going on, so that's good! Bright side! I have another appointment this Tuesday, so I'm hoping these contractions are actually making something happen. Pointless contractions really upset me. I'm supposed to call my doctor if I have ones that hurt for a couple of hours. I've definitely had that, but I don't want to call. I really don't want to waste my time going to labor & delivery. But the good news, is if she DOES come early, they tell me baby girl is doing so well that she won't need to be in the NICU. So that's great! But I still have so much to do!! She has to wait a bit longer.

We bought our car seat this week. Gabe is going to install it this weekend. Our stroller also came in. I'm in love with it. It's the Britax B-Agile. It's really light, & it's super nice to put. I'm so happy we decided to go with that instead of the Baby Trend stroller that goes with our car seat. The diaper bag also came this week, which means I need to pack it. I haven't even put my hospital bag together yet. It's out, but empty. That'll be useless if my water breaks in the middle of the night. So I really need to get on that. My parents bought our crib this week. Gabe is upstairs putting it together right now! I'm excited for it. It'll make that room seem like it's actually for a baby, cause right now it has a dresser covered in baby stuff, & a computer chair in there. Doesn't really feel like a nursery. But a good friend of mine did come this week & help me sort through baby clothes. I washed them all & put them away. It's nice to have that done. Her sheets, towels, & blankets people have sent for her are done, too. Everything is so little! It took me a really long time to fold everything, or put them on hangers. But it was so worth it to be able to look back through it all & "aww" at everything again. But there's still tons to do! Must decorate! I'm making a mobile for over her crib. Yes. I'm making one! I saw one on pinterest I liked that someone was selling on Etsy for $179. That's outrageous!!! So I'm making one like it for approximately $15. Max. It's not done yet. I still have to make a few bows, but it's cute. I'm really proud of it.

Not much else has been going on this week. I'm pretty sure our lives basically revolve around getting things ready for baby girl (who is still nameless). I don't know if I said this last week, but it still blows my mind even if I did. I realized when I was in Arizona that I have been pregnant all year. Isn't that crazy? I got pregnant in January (with an iud) & miscarried in February. Then got pregnant a few weeks later, & I've been pregnant ever since. If I went all the way to December, I would be pregnant every month this year. Hopefully I'll only make it to November. But isn't that crazy?! I can't believe I've been trying to grow a baby for 10 whole months!! No wonder my body is so exhausted. Growing a baby is not easy!!!

Anyway. I hope everyone is well. Happy Halloween!

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, October 20, 2012

34 weeks.

34 weeks.
Six weeks until my due date! If I make it, they'll take me in my 39th week, which is 5 weeks away. But it looks like baby girl wants to make an early appearance, so I'm trying to make it to 37 weeks. Three weeks away. November 10th. Seems like forever. When I was in Arizona, I started having contractions. Monday morning we were getting ready to leave the hotel & my parents were going to drop me off at the airport. That didn't happen. I started spotting so my mom took me to labor & delivery. Labor & delivery is never fun...especially in Sierra Vista. Baby girl is doing just fine. There's no known reason for the contractions. But they're accompanied by more nausea (that my miracle drug, zofran, does not touch) & incredible amounts of lower back pain. At the hospital they gave me two shots of terbutaline to stop contractions. I'm not allowed to have it anymore because of my cardiac history. The stuff makes you all agitated & raises your heart rate, & the baby's. I shook like crazy for hours. A few hours after I left the hospital my blood pressure started freaking out & staying conscious was not easy thanks to that stuff. At the same time, my contractions came back. But my doctor told me to fly home the next day, so I did. I saw my doctor on Wednesday & he's a little concerned. But at 34 weeks, more than likely they won't stop me from going in to labor. & since baby girl is doing so well, he said there's a chance I could have the baby in the next week, or couple of weeks. Preferably I would make it to 37 weeks, but it's completely dependent on how bad my contractions get. Sometimes they're really bad. I can't talk through them & I can't really move. Really I just moan & groan until it's over. I don't want to keep doing that. They're no fun. I've been switched to weekly appointments, so we'll see how I'm doing when I go in this week. My belly also dropped a bit this week (as you can see in the above photo). It was the first thing Gabe noticed when he saw me. I remember feeling something weird in my belly on the plane, & sure enough, that's what it was. I look even smaller now. & I can ALMOST see my toes again. But most importantly, I can breath a little better. I seriously have no clue how this kid is fitting in there. It doesn't seem like very much space. She must be super cramped. That or really really small.

Echo. (Mom's dog aka my brother)
This week has been really exciting for several members of my family. Obviously, the reason I went down to Arizona, was my sister getting married. So that was very exciting. & then on Tuesday after my parents dropped me off at the Tucson airport, they got in a car accident. A woman in a mustang side swiped them... or something like that... on the I-10 going 80mph. The cop said they're lucky they didn't flip. But it did crunch the front of my mom's Pilot pretty bad. I don't think they know yet if it's going to be totaled or not. They & Echo (the dog) are fine. They had to stay in Arizona a few extra days, but are now on their way back to Colorado.

So anyway. I'm obviously back in Ohio now. I really miss being out west. A lot. I miss mountains. I want to move back. But I'm really glad that I'm home with my husband. I hated going through all that pre term labor crap without my husband there. I was so scared I wasn't going to be able to come home to him, so I'm really thankful I was able to. It's nice to be home with him. & my puppy. My nesting kicked in this week as well. The downside is that a couple hours of cleaning & organizing makes my contractions seem worse. So that's no fun. But on Thursday I spent the whole day cleaning downstairs & reorganizing the kitchen cupboards. I had to put sticky notes on them so that Gabe can find things. I had big plans for Friday. The upstairs. But unfortunately yesterday was not a good day for me so that didn't get done. I'm freaking out that baby girl is going to come soon & my house won't be ready for her. Her room has her things in it, but it's all just piled in a corner. I haven't sorted through anything. PLUS we have another baby shower on November 6th that people Gabe works with are throwing for us. So I have to make it that far. I realize that these things aren't a a big deal. But I don't like the feeling of losing control & I definitely feel like I'm losing control. It freaks me out. No bueno.

I know that baby girl is doing spectacular & that's the most important thing. & I know that if she comes early they have a good NICU here & she would be fine. But the idea of her coming in the next few weeks really freaks me out. We don't even have a car seat yet. We picked on out though & we're going to go pick it up asap. We even went & picked out our stroller this week. I guess it's just a matter of priorities. But it's so hard to prioritize correctly when you're freaked out about having a baby. Our nameless baby girl will be here soon. Guess I better get used to the idea.

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, October 13, 2012

33 weeks.

32.4 weeks

SEVEN!!! Oh dear. That's actually probably more like six because they should be taking me at 39 weeks. Holy crap. I have so much to do when I get back to Ohio!!! I really really hope I get bit by the nesting bug asap.

This week has been pretty dang great! I flew to Colorado Springs on Sunday, & I spent a few days at my parents house. I finally saw where the fire happened & how close it got to where Gabe & I lived. No wonder we would've been evacuated. Absolutely amazing. I was able to spend a lot of time with my parents (& with my dog, Echo). I loved it. It was great. On Thursday we began our drive down to Sierra Vista, AZ for my sister's wedding. That night we stayed in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Best town name ever. I almost wish I had had the baby there just so she'd be stuck saying she was born there for the rest of her life. But I didn't.

(Story time.) However, we did go to Denny's. Now, I don't drink very much caffeine. My favourite drink is Dr. Pepper, but since we can get the caffeine free kind on the east coast, I stick to A&W root beer. (It seems as though I may have a mild allergy or something to caffeine & when I drink it I usually end up with a really bad headache within a couple of days.) So anyway, I ordered a Dr. Pepper at Denny's. During pregnancy, after the first trimester, you're allowed something like 200mg of caffeine a day. A can of soda has an average of 30mg I believe, so that's well below the limit. & they're only concerned during the first trimester anyway, unless you drink so much you're giving your baby an addiction. I don't. So anyway, I ordered, & the woman "jokingly" but totally seriously said, "are you sure? You can have water, or milk, or root beer." Uh. No. I want the Dr. Pepper. Then she went on to tell me that she didn't think caffeine was good for pregnant woman. I'm sorry 50 year old woman in Truth or Consequences working at Denny's, are you judging me? When she brought me my soda, she told me that she hated the idea of a baby being born with a caffeine dependency. Hey, me too. You don't know my life. Are you really giving me pregnancy wisdom? Wow. I just couldn't believe it. Blew. My. Mind.

Family Tree, by Bret.
So anyway, the next day we went on to Sierra Vista. My sister's wedding was today. She looked absolutely gorgeous & I am so happy for her & Brendan. & their kids (especially Ayden, since she's 11, & the 2 year old probably has no idea what's going on) are really really happy. I was able to stand up as a bridesmaid, though it took some effort on my pregnant behalf. Wedding ceremonies aren't short, but man are they longer when you're this pregnant! Today is actually the first time I've lost my ankles thanks to swelling! Not pretty. Anyway. I teared up like a little girl when Michelle came down the aisle. & I almost lost it twice thanks to my dad. The first time when he came out before the ceremony to hug her, & the second when he gave his toast. There's something about my dad tearing up big time that makes me cry. He's a good dad. Really. The wedding was great, & the reception was too. I got to have my hair & make up professionally done (being doted on while pregnant is the best). All of the siblings were together for the first time in probably over a decade. It was cool. & I got to spend time with my nieces & nephews. They're rad. Seriously. (To the left is a photo of the picture that my brother, Bret, drew for our 7 year old niece, Sadie, explaining how the siblings in our family work. How our mom & dad are connected to each of us, who's half, who's step. The whole deal. I'm clearly the one that looks like she has a nasty growth on her stomach in the middle. That also only has bangs. Bret said it was because my hair was back today.)

Today I was also able to go visit Ed & Big Nina, Gabe's grandparents, briefly. They're so great. Gramma Nina told me my belly was too little the last time she saw me when I was 18 weeks, so I wanted her to be able to see that I've grown. She told me I'm still too small! hahaha. But she rubbed my belly regardless. They think it's really cool that someone they always felt was their granddaughter, is actually carrying their great grand baby. I'm glad I was able to stop by & see them, even though it was a short visit.

Unfortunately, yours truly has been having some belly issues. I've been going non stop for the past few days, from driving, to participating in weddings. My pregnant body just doesn't like it. I've spent the last 24 hours having painful contractions. I'm terrified of going to labour & delivery. I don't want them to tell me I can't fly home. So far I'm okay though. I was supposed to fly home on Wednesday, but my dad, being the great dad that he is, decided to send me home from Tucson on Monday. I need to get back to my husband & near my hospital. I miss my husband majorly. & my puppy. Though I've enjoyed being around family, I think it's important to get back to Ohio so I can take care of baby & I. & make sure everything is totally ready just incase she decides to make her debut early.

So anyway. Hopefully I'll have some photos from this trip soon. I'm glad I was able to make it. Currently I'm still in Sierra Vista, so when I get home I'll work on it.

Wish me luck with getting home before this baby tries to come out!

K. That is all.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

32 weeks.

By Rachel Bridgwood
EIGHT! 8 weeks left until my due date. That is absolutely insane to me. I can't wait for my 36 week appointment. That's when we'll find out if they're going to let me attempt pushing that baby out or not. If I remember correctly, there's a good chance I'll be induced in my 39th week if that's the case. But I haven't spoken to my doctor about in for about 2 months, so maybe things are different now. We'll just have to see. Anyway. I've offically gained 18lbs, which is rad! I'm doing amazingly well actually. My belly is currently 39 inches around. Baby is doing splendidly! I'm measuring right where I'm supposed to be, & she's moving all over the place. Gabe got really excited this morning because he finally felt more than just a bump from her. She actually pushed up against his hand. His reaction was cute. He couldn't believe it. & we also discovered today that if I laugh for more than 3 seconds, my belly button slowly starts to creep out. It hasn't popped out all the way, but it starts to roll out on the edges if I laugh. Luckily I can still poke it back in.

Also. MY DOCTOR APPROVED MY TRIP!!!! YAY!!!! After last week's contractions I was really nervous that he wouldn't. When I first brought it up at my appointment, he was a little skeptical, but eventually he said it was okay & gave me a note to fly. I leave at 635am tomorrow morning on my way to Colorado Springs!!!! I'll be there for a few days, & then I'm driving down to Sierra Vista, AZ with my parents for my sister's wedding!!!! She's getting married next Saturday. I'm so excited for her. & I'm really excited about this trip. I'm a little nervous though cause he said I will no doubt have more contractions, & I'll probably swell a lot worse in Colorado thanks to the altitude. Rad.

Which reminds me. This morning I was getting my haircut & the lady asked me how far along I am. When I told her 32 weeks she responded as everyone else does. Saying that I'm super small for 7 months & she guessed no more than 5. & then she said, & I quote "I should've know cause your nose looks big." Then she went on to tell me that it's normal for your nose to swell toward the end. Um. THANKS! I am aware my nose is swollen. Why on earth would someone think it's okay to say something like that to a pregnant woman? What if my nose was just that big? I mean, it's not like it's huge, but it's definitely swollen. I just didn't know it was obvious to strangers. I couldn't believe it. I just sat there & laughed because I had no idea how to respond to a comment like that. I understand "oh, it looks like you're about to pop" (I never hear that, because I don't look like that), or other comments about my belly...but my nose?! Couldn't believe it. Really it's funny, & she's lucky I wasn't highly emotional at the time.

This week has been great. Tuesday night, Anya graduated puppy school! She got the top score on the puppy test in her class which is amazing cause she was pretty much the wildest one in there when we started this class 8 weeks ago. After the baby is born we're going to move on to pre-agility I think. Poodles love agility & Gabe really wants to get her into agility so he can get her on the big ramps they have. Gabe was home all day on Wednesday since I had to take him in for a quick procedure at the hospital & he had to be drugged for it. Good news is he doesn't have ulcers. Yay! He's also clearly not on drugs very often. When they brought me in to recovery to see him, he woke up briefly & saw me, said "ZYXW..." & then started snoring. He has no recollection of this. But it was pretty funny. He slept for the next 6 & a half hours after we got home. Those drugs hit him hard. Then that night we went to our first birthing class. That's when I decided I don't want to go through labour. I mean, I've always known that, but that really made it more real. How do I get out of that at 2 months out?! You know in the original Willy Wonka where he has that machine that can zap the candy bar out of the tv & put it on the table?! They need to make one of those. For giving birth. Zap the baby out of me & put her on the table. Quick & pain free. Someone get on that. ASAP. I need it no later than December 1st.

Anyway. My flight leaves in 9 & a half hours & I still have laundry & packing to do. Goodie.

K. That is all.

- Alexa

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 weeks.

By: Rachel Bridgwood
30+5 weeks.
Nine.  Oh my gosh. Nine weeks until my due date. Crazy! This week has been very eventful! Monday & Tuesday are kind of a blur, but Wednesday we left on our 8 hour journey (which took 10 hours thanks to traffic & a flat tire) to Virginia. Road trips & pregnancy do not mix. I could only drive 2 & a half hours because my poor feet/legs got so swollen & crampy. & I just got uncomfortable. The excitement began when we arrived at Rachel’s place in Virginia.

About an hour after we got there, I started having cramps. They were unpleasant & coming every few minutes. I probably should’ve been more concerned, but I was tired. I woke up the next morning prepared for a day of maternity photo shoots. The cramps were still there, but only coming every 10 or 15 minutes, so I figured that was an improvement & ignored them for the morning shoot with Gabe. While walking around a grocery store, I realized how uncomfortable I actually was. On our way to Rachel’s mom’s house for the shoot for just me, I called my doctor’s office in Ohio & explained to a nurse what was going on to see if I should be concerned. Uh. Duh Alexa. You’re having actual contractions, of course you should be concerned. That’s not what she said, but she did tell me to go to labour & delivery asap. So naturally I told Rachel I could wait & we did the shoot with just me (which I’m glad we did cause the pictures turned out great). After we were done there, she took me straight to the hospital & husband met me there. As soon as they put me in a bed & hooked me up to the monitors, the contractions stopped. OF COURSE! So I was in this bed, contractionless, feeling & listening to baby girl slosh around violently inside of me. (The doctor was actually impressed with how rambunctious she was.) After I had my exam, a switch flipped & my body hated me again. I was having contractions every 1-2 minutes that were lasting 40 seconds-60 seconds. Um. Not cool. They hurt. I’m aware that when I go in to labour they will be worse & I’m definitely not prepared for that. Anyway. They discovered I had an infection. It came out of nowhere. They got an IV going with fluids & an antibiotic. The first attempt at poking me was awful. Pretty sure she hit a nerve cause when she asked me to move my hand I couldn’t. Not good. So anyway. When the contractions went down to every 10 minutes or so they sent me on my way. I continued to have contractions that night & was told to take it easy the next day. I’m glad we are back in Ohio. Heading in there I was terrified I was going to give birth to my baby during our trip to Virginia. They told me to keep her in there another 6 weeks. That’s it.

So anyway, that was fun. So Friday we were supposed to go to DC, but that didn’t work out cause I had to take it easy. So instead we drove to Stafford to see a good friend of mine. Linda! We went to junior high in England together. It was so nice to see her & catch up. We ended up going to DC on Saturday. I was feeling a lot better & I knew Gabe really wanted to go to the Air & Space Museum. So we went in to DC for the day. I was bound & determined to walk all the way to the Lincoln memorial after the natural history & air & space museums. I told Gabe that I was so determined that I would have the baby on those stairs. What an exciting story!!! But that was a no go. I barely made it to the Washington monument. If you’ve been to the mall in DC, you know that is a long walk. & I was just not having it. 

The main purpose of our trip to was our maternity photos. My good friend Rachel (also from England) is a photographer. Rachel & a friend of hers run a company, Sweet Root Village, that does photography, floral arrangements, & coordination.  She & her husband let us stay with them & their 3 month old baby girl Mia, who is easily the cutest baby I have ever seen. It was great to catch up with Rachel. & she took the most wonderful photographs for us! We did two shoots. One with Gabe & I, & another that was just me. It was a lot of fun. She’s so talented! It’s hard not to look good in front of her camera. She works some sort of photography voodoo magic. Anyway. It was really great & I’m thrilled with all of the pictures we got. So I’m sharing some in this post. As you can see. You can also go to these links (Maternity: AlexaMaternity: Alexa & Gabe) to see the ones she put on their company blog.

Anyway. I’m back in Ohio now, waiting to see my doctor on Friday so he can approve travel for me again this weekend. I’m flying to Colorado Springs on Sunday & then going down to Sierra Vista, Arizona on Thursday for my sister’s wedding! So excited. Hopefully everything checks out at the doctor so I can go.

Hope you’re doing wonderfully!

That is all.

- Alexa