Wednesday, April 6, 2011

34 Weeks Pregnant

This week, Norah is developing her own immune system. The lanugo (the fuzz that has covered Norah’s whole body for most of her time in utero) is mostly gone, but she is still covered with a white creamy substance called vernix, which protects her skin from the salty amniotic fluid. My pregnancy sources all say that she should be nearly 5 pounds and around 17 ½ inches long now, but since babies vary SO much in size by the time they are born, I hesitate to take any estimates too seriously.

I’m starting to feel slightly handicapped. It’s hard to put my socks and shoes on, it’s hard to shave the lower half of my legs, and last night after we got in bed I actually said to Travis, “I want to give you a goodnight kiss, but it’s too hard to roll over.” I also dread dropping anything on the floor, especially if my pants aren’t really stretchy (I can squat easily, but certain pants dig into my belly when I do).

My back is feeling SO much better since I went to the chiropractor last week! He was amazing. He had me lying face down on his very adjustable table (didn’t want to squish Norah!), and by just looking down my spine he was able to tell me exactly what bones were out of alignment. There were at least a half dozen different problems that he fixed (I sounded like a very loud bowl of Rice Krispies!), including something in my lower back which he said can cause a lot of contractions when it is out of place. I still feel like I get them a lot, though. He also checked my tailbone, which he said is fine. It only hurts occasionally now, and it wouldn’t hurt at all if it weren’t for the pregnancy exercises I have to do. The last thing he did was check my pelvic ligaments to assess the baby’s ability to get through my pelvis. I was very reassured to know that he thinks I’ll be fine. It’s rare for a woman to have a pelvis that is truly too small. Back when they used to do x-rays on pregnant women to determine the size of the pelvis, a lot of women were thought to have a problem when they really didn’t. Doctors didn’t know or didn’t take into account that the pelvis is made up of several bones which are connected by ligaments that become stretchy during labor. Even so, my biggest fear is not the pain, which has been the most common one expressed by the mothers in our Bradley class, but that I am somehow malformed and incapable of having a baby. I’m trying to get past that, because I know it’s irrational and will only cause unnecessary fear.

This week at the Bradley class we talked about unforeseen circumstances, such as transferring to the hospital, c-sections, etc. She just said that if anything unexpected comes up, we should take a few minutes to talk it over on our own so that we can at least get used to the idea of having to make a new plan. We also talked about postpartum care, which includes planning ahead to have meals premade (or people to make meals for us) and the house already clean, etc. We are lucky because Travis will be home to take care of me.

We had a midwife appointment yesterday, and everything is still going great! My weight is now 136 ½ lbs, and my belly (fundal height) is still measuring a week behind, so 33 centimeters. Norah is also in the best position possible right now, with her head down and her back along my left side. She was that way two weeks ago as well, so hopefully she’ll stay there. Amy explained that all babies rotate in the same direction during the labor/birth process (clockwise, if you’re looking down from my view), and since it’s better for them to come out face down, Norah will only have to do a quarter turn if she stays where she is. This could make for a shorter, easier labor. Yay, Norah! She’s so smart. J Her heart rate is perfect. It gets faster when she moves, which is a sign of good neurological development as well as overall good health.

In two weeks, my appointment will be with the doctor the midwives use. The purpose of this is to do the Strep B test and to get whatever prescriptions I will need to bring with me to the birth center when I’m in labor. These will include Pitocin, which the midwives will inject if I start to hemorrhage, the vitamin K shot for the baby (if we choose to have that done), and one or two other things I can’t remember. At my next midwife appointment (the week after that) I will be considered full term!!!!!!! Holy moly.

Making Room For Norah

We got a ton of stuff done last week! It was amazing how quickly everything came together after we got started. First, we successfully consolidated my piano room with Travis’s art/computer room.

Before (sorry, this is courtesy of our realtor, who is a terrible photographer. It’s the only picture she took of the room.):


There's actually a lot of floor space now. The sewing machine is on a table along the left wall, and the closet (also on the left) is very well organized.

Then, we cleaned up Norah’s room enough that Travis could paint the walls, and while he did that I worked on painting the crib and finishing up the changing table, stopping every once in a while to get some practicing in for the wedding I played for on Saturday (which went quite well, by the way). When Travis finished the walls, he helped me finish painting the crib, and he also somehow lugged the changing table and a bookshelf up the stairs all by himself without me even knowing what he was doing! Now HE needs an appointment with the chiropractor. Then Travis assembled the crib while I organized Norah’s clothes, books, etc. So, all of the major stuff is done. I just have to sew the bed skirt, changing pad cover, etc., and Travis is working on a set of little paintings. I’m also going to order a chair small enough to fit in there, but comfortable enough for Norah and I to hang out in. I don’t want to show the whole room until it’s completely done, but here are a few teasers for you.

First, the before (sorry, these pictures are pretty bad too):

And now, the teasers:

Now, here’s an interesting twist: as soon as we got all of that done, someone wanted to set up an appointment to look at our house. So then we had to clean up the rest of the house too, which was especially difficult because we are in the middle of getting things together to sell at the flea market this Saturday. We managed to stash all of that stuff in the storage area under our house, and we worked like crazy trying to make the closets and everything else look presentable. The showing was this evening, and we have no idea what they thought since we aren’t allowed to be present when they show the house. Anyway, we have very mixed feelings about the whole thing at this point. We were just about to take it off the market for a year or so and do a little more work on it in the mean time. Right now, I don’t know what we would do if they said they wanted to buy it. We’d be moving either right around my due date or a month later when we’re supposed to be in Pennsylvania, which would mean we wouldn’t be able to go. It would just be ridiculous either way. So I kind of hope they don’t want it so we can take it off the market knowing we did everything we could for a full year to try to get it sold. We’re going to see about getting our mortgage payment lowered. We tried twice before, but it’s been a year or more, so maybe they’ll be able to help us this time. Who knows. I’m so conflicted – I really want to get out of this house, but right now is terrible timing! A month or two ago would have been nice. Sometimes I wonder if it was a dumb idea to have a baby before we had all of this figured out. Of course, I wouldn’t ever take it back.

Well, I guess now that I’ve made myself sad I better sign off. One last photo – I wanted to show you our master bathroom since it hasn’t looked this good in quite a while and we don’t have any work left to do in there. All the other areas I haven’t shown you yet still need to be painted or rearranged in some way. Here it is:

See you next week!

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