March 31, 2011

Pregnancy Progression

As I'm nearly at the tail end of this pregnancy, while I still have time on my hands I thought it'd be fun to do a bit of a belly picture montage from over the last nine months.

I was lucky enough never to really have baby parts up in my ribs due to my height (180cm or 5'11") and my son's positioning in the womb; his feet kicked me a lot right out to the upper left side though! Being long in the torso meant that I had more room to carry 'up' during pregnancy rather than out.

How far I've come - August 2010 seems almost like a distant memory....

Click image to see it bigger

March 30, 2011

A Dream

I had one of my first 'baby' dreams last night.

That might strike some of you as odd, but throughout this pregnancy I haven't had many - in fact, in most of my dreams I'm not even pregnant! Unconsciously I feel some of this is linked to the struggles we had to get pregnant in the first place, and not wanting to pin all my hopes on an optimistic outcome. However, this has seemed to progress throughout the last few months, or at least in my dreams.

Occasionally I have flashes of who I think this little boy will be, but last night it was very vivid. I dreamt of him as a newborn, and again a little bit older (around age 1?). He had dark, straight hair like my husband, a pronounced little chin and very dark brown eyes. There were first gummy smiles, nappy blow-outs and an incident of him vomiting in a pair of my shoes (?). Cutting to when he was that little bit older, he resembled my brother more, with fairer hair and a higher forehead. I remember exclaiming that I wasn't involved in the conception of this child, as he looked like everyone else but me!

It will be exciting to finally meet this little soul, stroking his cheek and saying his name aloud. Not too long now. :)

March 29, 2011

38 Weeks

There are only two weeks until my due date, and this means that our little man will make his appearance sometime within the next four weeks (although selfishly I'm ready to meet him now; he can continue to put on extra body fat within me for the time being).

I wonder if I'll be writing a 39 week entry next, or whether it'll be an 'arrival' post... hmmm??

All is doing well over here, baby is continuing to become engaged, and our doctor is no longer concerned about his growth - he hasn't mentioned any additional scans at this point *thumbs up*. I did, however, test positive for Group B Strep, which means I'll be on an antibiotic during labour. Not really what I wanted, but if it keeps us both safe then that's all that matters. I hover between being excited about birth and terrified about labour. It's like getting your period when you're not on the contraceptive Pill - you kind of know when it's going to happen but you don't have the ability to control when it will be here... the same goes for birth. Will it be fast? Slow? Drawn-out over 24 hours? Involve a will-we-make-it-to-the-hospital-in-time dash in the middle of the night?

I've been nesting a little bit more lately, in the form of cleaning and cooking. Nothing crazily out-of-control, but I get random bursts of frantic energy (and then usually I'm tired by the next day). Scrapbooking in the evenings has become the norm for me, and during the day I'm spending a little more time at home than I've been in previous weeks. While a quick trip to the local shops isn't as much of an ordeal as it was when my back was incredibly sore around the 28-34 week mark, it still takes it out of me (not to mention the apartment stairs!), and I have to plan accordingly for when I'm feeling energetic.

We had a little scare the other day involving the baby not moving as much as normal, and I did all sorts of things to try and encourage him to move. As it turns out, he was either running out of space or having a longer sleeping period (I didn't feel him for 5-6 hours), and was back to his normal wriggling by last night - even keeping me up during the night with lots of active movement! This little one is definitely going to keep us on our toes once he's in the big, wide world. ;)

37 weeks & 5 days

March 19, 2011

Great Expectations

I've been working on my pregnancy scrapbook (digitally) since Christmas, on and off with a few other projects - namely Project 365 and various pages related to challenges on a website. Last night I scrapped on my my favourite pages to date, which documented a struggle to have a child.

I wanted to share it with you because not only am I proud of how it turned out, but it also shows our ultrasounds and a recent tummy picture (taken on March 8th, at 34 weeks). Thinking that with some modifications - mainly removing the text - it'll be the front of the scrapbook once it's ready to be printed. :)

Click image to see it bigger.

March 14, 2011

35 Weeks

I find it difficult to believe that tomorrow I'll be nine months pregnant with our son. The little boy who I always hoped would come into our lives but I dared not pin my hopes on. The countdown to his birth is on - while I find myself complaining about Braxton Hicks contractions and added pressure on my bladder, at the same time I don't really want to wish these weeks away.

Will he be born around his due date (April 12th)? Early? Overdue? Who knows!

Perhaps the events of this past week will shed some light on the time ahead (or not!). I hadn't realised it until the doctor mentioned on Thursday that the baby has dropped - he's also "very low" apparently and is engaged in my pelvis. Though to what degree I'm not sure yet, I'll ask him at the next appointment. Either way, with this knowledge and the increasing (mild) cramping I've been having lately, they're all positive signs that my body is starting to suss out the birthing process. And for that, I'm thankful. :)

Tummy comparision to show you what I mean:

33 weeks & 3 days 

35 weeks & 6 days

Some definite changes are happening. :)

In other news, results from the most recent ultrasound show a range of measurements from 31 weeks through to 36 weeks - while this worried me a little at first, talking with other women made me realise that baby measurements can be all over the place and still be okay. Sure, currently it looks like our baby might be born on the smaller side (and I don't deny that I'm carrying him compactly), but if he is a healthy size for him... then that's what matters. Besides, ultrasound weights etc can be off by up to a pound (bigger/smaller).

It has made packing his hospital bag a little more tricky - do I put in 0000-sized clothing or 000-sized? I mainly put in 0000s, but if he is born bigger, it isn't as though hubby can't bring some bigger sizes back with him from home the next day (we live about 10-15min away from the hospital). Still, it's good to know that the bag is packed and ready to go... even if it sits there mocking me until around the 41-week mark! :P

Oh! And baby nook update:

The Mario decals are up and look fantastic!

March 8, 2011

34 Weeks

Our last (or so I hope!) growth scan happened during the week and, after letting my doctor's comments about small fundal heights and fluid levels get to me a little, everything appeared to be 'normal'. Sure, I haven't had my follow-up appointment with the doctor as yet, but the fact I didn't get a phonecall within a couple of days of the scan is a good thing *big thumbs up*.

At 34w1d, baby boy (who was again confirmed to be a boy!) weighs in at 4lb8oz (about 2.5kg) and is measuring within a week of his dates - just with very long legs as per usual. I know that ultrasound weights can vary by quite a bit and aren't completely accurate, but it's nice to have that indicator that my body is growing a healthy baby, one that is measuring along the growth curve documented at 20 and 28 weeks via ultrasound. Even if my body needed a hand to have egg and sperm meet in the first place, it's reassuring that it's been possible to have a so-called normal pregnancy (one that doesn't differ from anyone else's, besides a couple of extra scans).

Here's his latest mugshot (though difficult to make out facial details because of bone causing shadows and the fact he's squished down low in my pelvis already) -

34 weeks (click image to see bigger; tilt your head to the right to see his face)

I've now started my maternity leave, which is both exciting and odd at the same time. Only a week into leave and I can feel my responsibilities with the Kindergarten beginning to melt away (although it's been a slow separationl; I haven't been employed in a teaching capacity since January and have been in the office). Part of me worries if the place can survive without me, part of me knows that it can and will - and that before long I'll be a distant memory there too. As I said, it's a little odd. We're lucky here in Australia to have access to up to 18mths leave by being employed by the Education Department - I've applied for the full amount but it's entirely possible that I'll do a little emergency (relief) teaching come 2012 before making the decision on whether to return to my workplace in September.
Pictures from my last day at work before starting maternity leave.

It was also my birthday yesterday (I turned 29). My parents came to visit - Mum in the morning and Dad in the afternoon - and I took myself out for a solo lunch (I'd been craving a big ol' iced chocolate with plenty of cream; it was as tasty as I'd been imagining!). The most special part of the celebrations was Matt's card to me, where he signed it from him and the baby... and wrote down the baby's name.

I'm beyond thrilled that our little man now has a name (presuming we think it still 'fits' him one he's here in this world), and even happier that Matt was able to play a big part in its choosing. Last night I dreamt of our son with his chosen name... and it just felt right. I'm relieved and thankful. :)

34 week tummy, baby's weight is getting heavier in my uterus and I've had some ligament pain again as his sac continues to grow.