Friday, March 31, 2017

37 Weeks

Ok, so I think the What to Expect app just makes up fruits and vegetables to be different.  However, according to it Isabella is the size of a:

Now the good news is she is about the size of the winter melon above versus this winter melon:

So this means she is between 19-22 inches and about 6.5 pounds.

We went to the doctor yesterday and all seems to be well and am still measuring right on time.  We saw the nurse practitioner who wanted to do a quick ultrasound to confirm her position.  So it was nice to see (kind of) baby girl again.  She is so big now that we only got to see her spine and one eye:).  She is still head down, so hopefully we will get to see the rest of her soon!

Friday, March 24, 2017

36 Weeks and a Professional Announcement

We are now seeing the doctor each week so had another appointment today.  Our practice is great in that we never wait for more than 5 minutes after we arrive.  They also normally give us the option between seeing the doctor or seeing the midwife.  We have always chosen the doctor, but today they must have been busy because we were not presented the option and got to meet one of the midwives.  
She was great.  She gave me the Strep B test (which I am so hoping is negative so I don't have to hooked up to an IV from the word go) and explained the "rash" I was seeing was just the fluids from the swelling showing through my skin.    The new norm for Ella's hearbeat is 130 and she was right on target as was her growth.  My vitals were all good too.  The midwife checked her position (head down-good girl!) and my cervix which is dilated 0.5 cm which she said was normal.

The cervix check was less than comfortable and has me questioning my ability at natural birth, but all I can do is try.

I also shared with my staff and included in the parent newsletter my plans to not return to school for the 2017-2018 school year.  I practiced my "farewell address" over and over so I wouldn't cry (got through with just a choke up or two).  There were a few tears from my staff, but no looks of shock.  I guess when it takes almost seven years to have a baby the desire to stay at home with that baby is not very surprising:).

We have a plan in place for bringing on an interim principal and hiring a permanent principal with an interview committee including teachers (a must for me).  It is hard to believe, but in less than four weeks my career as an elementary school principal will come to a close.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let the swelling begin!

I was hoping that drinking water like a camel might help me to avoid this seemingly inevitable part of being pregnant, but I guess the need to spend a good part of my day on my feet and increase in take out seems to outweigh my hydration.

I have discovered over the last few days that I have started to develop the dreaded cankles.  Tonight I also noticed that I have some red splotches (rashes?) on my shins.  J.T. thinks that it might be the blood from the swelling pooling.  Oh joy, guess I will have to ask when I go to the doctor tomorrow.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Maternity Pics Take 3 and Maternity Clothes--Fail!

So I know I seem a bit obsessed, but we have such a history of being negligent in the photo department that I want to make sure that we have hit all of the bases for these maternity pics.  To me that includes a few of J.T. and I (and the puppies if we can get them to cooperate).

The last two weekends J.T. had other things going on so today was to be the day.  It was a cloudy day so we were trying to time it so the sun was out, but also had friends coming over for dinner so needed to get them done before they arrived.  It worked out to a perfect 30 minute window.  J.T. was dressed and ready.  I had the poses and locations figured out.  All we had to do was take them.  I grabbed the equipment and...the dang camera battery was completely drained--ugh!

I also attempted to get some dresses as my maternity clothes still technically fit, but I have decided that I am really most comfortable in dresses.  So I ran to target and attempted to buy some regular dresses in large sizes that I thought would work.  Bought 4, but only 1 actually fit when I got them home to try them on.

Next weekend I have big plans for pretty pictures and flowy dresses that fit.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, March 17, 2017

35 Weeks

We had been doing so well (relatively speaking) keeping a consistent schedule of belly pics, but that has clearly fallen by the wayside as school and classes drain me during the week and the weekends have become time to get some physical rest, classwork and get the house in order for the week to come.  But ready or not 35 weeks here we come!

Our doctor's appointment went well.

Ella's heartbeat--good...BP--good...weight-techincally good, but I suspect I am going to hit the ceiling of healthy weight gain:(...still measuring exactly on schedule.   We discussed our proposed birth plan, and my ongoing Braxton Hicks (this was for my mom as she is still not convinced that they are "normal").

We also got to meet the last doctor we had yet to meet in our practice.  You see we live less than 2 miles from the hospital and the OBGYN's who deliver there practice directly across the street.  The one catch so to speak is that you do not have a single doctor in the practice, rather you rotate through all of them and then whoever is on duty when you deliver is someone with whom you have met at least once.  Not being a particularly sensitive type, not having a dedicated physician is not a big deal to me.

We have liked each of the doctors we have met, but, for some reason we could not quite put our finger on, we liked this doctor the least.  With our luck, she will probably be the doctor on duty when we deliver so I guess we will either learn to like her or be better able to identify what we don't like soon!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

School Shower

I am so blessed to work with amazing teachers and families.  They threw a beautiful shower for Isabella today.  It was short and sweet because they knew I had to get to class, but it was the perfect opportunity for me to thank them.

While I have not been a completely open book, I have been transparent regarding our struggle with infertility and our waiting to adopt.  They were the perfect balance of supportive without being intrusive.  So with that in mind tearfully expressed my appreciation to them not just for their thoughtfulness and generosity in showering Isabella, but in all of their support over the years.

By the way we are now officially bursting at the seams with baby stuff!  And we were gifted the co-sleeper that I considered the final "must have" item we needed before she arrives.  I am glad I organized over winter break otherwise I would likely have been crying for a whole other reason.  I am forever humbled by the generosity of those around us in welcoming our baby girl.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Surprise Shower

Tonight was my Monday night class.  We were presenting videos we had created for a project and the professor said she would provide pizza if we would bring other goodies to supplement.  Turns out it was also an opportunity for my classmates to celebrate Isabella-how sweet!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Maternity Pics Take 2

These are a sample of some I took myself using the tripod.  Note to all: I am supposed to be blowing a bubble using bubble gum.  Note to self:  Bubbalicious is horrible gum for trying to blow a bubble!

I have really come to enjoy taking pictures over the last year, so I am glad to have a targeted purpose for this new outlet.   Next weekend we are going to try to do a few together and with the puppies:).

Friday, March 10, 2017

34 Weeks

ETA:  Sooo, there appears to be no rhyme or reason to these fruit/veggie comparison seeing that according to one site pineapple was 33 weeks AND I managed not realize it until after I posted, so as to not be redundant.  Isabella is the size of...

Isabella is the size of a PINEAPPLE!

Some heartburn?  I am now up to heartburn three times a day.  The 2:00pm burn and 7:00pm burn are like clockwork, the new 8:30am burn shows up when it feels like it.  

Last night we went to our final prenatal class on breastfeeding.  Of the three classes we took I found that it provided the most information that was new to me.  Fingers crossed that I am able to put to use all she shared!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

An Emotional Week (School Related)

This week was supposed to serve as a bit of respite as the university was on spring break and I had planned to come home straight after school each evening an rest, or if so motivated, try to get a little ahead with my coursework.  Little did I know God had different plans for this week and it would prove to be one of the most difficult weeks I have experienced as an educator.

Dylan began as a kindergartener in my school in the fall of 2011.  In his short life Dylan had already experienced more health issues by that point than most do if they live to be 100.  These health issues also led to cognitive, motor and speech deficits.  However, two of the areas his health issues couldn't touch were his joy of people and his joy for life.  He loved to joke and laugh and his smile was infectious.

Dylan wasn't supposed to have lived to see 1...3...5...10 and over his elementary school career he spent multiple stints in the hospital. I assumed when he went into the hospital at the beginning of February he would come back to us as he had done so many times before.  Even when hospitals in Charlotte, Atlanta and Boston determined he did not meet the requirements for their heart transplant list late last week, I convinced myself that he was Dylan and he would somehow find a way to bounce back.  God Bless him-- his tiny heart finally gave up in the early morning hours Monday thus began a school week like none I had previously experienced.

I got a text message just before 5am to call his teacher; however, fearing the reason she was texting me to call her so early I just laid there trying to summon the courage to call dreading what I was to hear.  After we spoke I sobbed and I kept telling J.T. I didn't want to be the boss today.  However, I was the boss and somehow managed to break the news across my staff.  We worked hard to keep the kids in the dark during the day as we wanted the news to come from their parents who we had messaged around lunch time.  It also allowed the day for staff to process so they could be there for the kids on Tuesday, and be there they were.  They did an amazing job of being there for the kids, for one another, for the family and for me.  Our kids and families also did an amazing job of being there for one another, the teachers, and the family.

Wednesday night a viewing and celebration of life was held.  I have never been to services for a child before and hope this one was it.  It was beautiful and while there were moments of levity (Dylan could be such a funny kid), the tears left us all drained.

The graveside service was today and I just couldn't do it.  I gave his mom a big, long hug last night and made sure all of his teachers who wanted to go were able to do so, but selfishly I could not handle it.  Dylan would have been 11 next Tuesday.  They sung him Happy Birthday and released balloons in his honor.  I am sure he loved it and for the first time in his short life could run and jump for joy and is thankful to be with the Lord whom he loves so very much.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Maternity Pics Take 1

Today was the day I had been planning to take maternity pics.  J.T. doesn't feel well and would like to do it next Saturday.  I was still itching to take some pictures so I took these...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Birthing Class

Today was our birthing class at the hospital.  It was an all day event that we thought started at 9:30 so when we walked in at 9:35 we thought we were only 5 minutes late.  Turns out it started at 9:00 and we were 35 minutes late.  Ooops!  It turns out we only missed introductions and creating a list of the positive and negative things about childbirth.

We watched several videos and while many things we had heard or read before, we both thought it was good to hear them again.  Because I have a feeling when it's go time if we only heard it once, it will likely be no longer retrievable!

The more I learn about medical interventions, the more I hope to be able to avoid them because it seems like once you start you end up going down a bit of a rabbit hole.  However, let's be real I have never really confronted pain or any real medical need that was to this level so I am certainly not saying "no" but I do hope to try some natural management strategies first.

While we were sitting their J.T. ordered an exercise ball as a number of the suggested positions/early labor strategies used them.  I am also thinking music, the tub/heat, and staying at home as long as I can will help too.  I am not sure about the breathing.  While it's not the hokey breathing they show in moves, I think it will still take some concerted effort.  The instructor suggested to those of us with Braxton Hicks to try breathing with those for practice-which seems smart and doable.  I also plan to print out some bible verses to use as mantras.  Though I can say with a fair amount of confidence that relaxation music, relaxation exercises and such are things that I will plan to avoid.

As I learn more about natural childbirth, I am discovering that there is a crunchy, I am woman hear me roar vibe to the choices of many.  While I admire their rational, it sheds an interesting light my own (well at least #2).

My primary goals of childbirth are:
#1  A healthy Isabella
#2 The fastest possible labor and deliver I can possibly have!

Friday, March 3, 2017

33 Weeks

Today Isabella is the size of...

We also had another successful doctors appointment today.  Ella's heartbeat broke it's 140 trend, but that's because she was sleeping the nurse said.  So she was averaging in at about 132.  I was measuring at 33 weeks exactly.  "Textbook" the doctor said:).  

He also said he thought she was already head down, though she may flip again in the coming days.  

My BP is back in a range I consider normal (90/75) though I am up three more pounds for a total of 25 (ya know the total amount I was trying to gain for the whole pregnancy-womp, womp).  

We have one more appointment two weeks out before we start going in every week.  Things are getting real!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Geriatric Pregnancy

On my printout from one of my first doctors visits at the OBGYN announced several things, but the thing that stuck out the most were the words "Geriatric Pregnancy".  Now clearly I knew I was "advanced maternal age", but geriatric made me think of hunched over, feeble senior citizens.  You know, something like this:

I was pretty indignant thinking "geriatric my a*&!".  I was still very much mobile, keeping up with a full workload, courseload, and household responsibilities.    "I got this!" I thought- I just needed to keep moving.  So I did and everything went well for the first trimester...and the second trimester...and the start of the third trimester.

Then my body started to crap out on me last week.  This week was more of the same, so I have a new appreciation for the term "geriatric pregnancy".  However, I believe in my case it would be more aptly named "geriatric third trimester".

I am sleeping better this week, but I am struggling to get around.  I guess what I am experiencing are technically Braxton Hicks but I can't time them.  The tightening is now across my whole abdomen and only stops when I sit down.  I hesitate to sit down too much, and frankly I have too much to do to sit down as much as I would like.

I just need to get through this week I think.  Class Monday through Wednesday, Infant CPR tonight and Birthing Class all day Saturday.  With all of the busyness that was involved in last weekend I just haven't had much of a break.  Next week is Spring Break at the university, so just going to work and coming home I think will definitely do me some good.

We still have 7 weeks to go, so I gotta figure something out.  Well, actually hold on a second.  Maybe this is God's way of telling me I am trying to take on too much myself again and I am not relying on Him the way I should.  Hmmm, some interesting food for thought...