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42 Week Update

Things have been crazy the past 14 days. We have already learned so much. There was a lot that we had ready to use for baby and other things we hadn’t even opened/washed yet. Things I found to be used the most were his newborn onesies with the mitten cuff, swaddles, and boppy. I have also gotten a lot of use of my medela pump which was completely covered by insurance!

Speaking of pumping, breast feeding has been the hardest task so far. In the hospital, Luca kept falling asleep while I was nursing and then waking up every 30-60 minutes to eat again, and I felt like he wasn’t getting enough to eat. The nurse suggested I pumped to see how much we were getting and to feed him sometimes by bottle. We found that to be a little less painful on me and good because Andre could feed the baby too. Once at home, I pumped as well because it seemed to be faster and again, less painful. However, I ended up with mastitis possibly from overproduction from pumping or from not being able to heal from constant feedings. I ended up meeting with a Lactation Consultant which was amazing. She confirmed that Luca was latching well and that we were doing things right, but suggested we slow down on pumping after the infection was gone and focus on breast feeding. She also gave me a nipple shield to try and protect me so I could finally heal. 3 days later and I am feeling much better. I don’t think I will stop pumping completely because I like being able to have extra milk in case he doesn’t get enough at one feeding with me and so daddy can help at night as needed.

The other hard thing  for us was swaddling at first. It is definitely an art form! But Andre has truly mastered it and get Luca back to sleep easily when he swaddles him (not so much for me!!) And sleeping– Luca is sleeping in his crib all night long! Sometimes he sleeps 2+ hours at a time and we have even gotten some 4+ hours. We are really lucky as he’s an overall easy baby. Hopefully that stays true!

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40 Week Update 

Luca Jacques Lama arrived at 6:08 on 9/29/17 (40 weeks exactly). He weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long.  We are so in love with him.

Here is how it happened:

Thursday 9/28/17 11 am: I had my weekly doctor appointment today with one of my favorite obgyns (we had seen 11 different doctors). I was going to ask her the protocol on how late they let people go after the due date etc. We had talked previously about inducing me at 39 weeks for my low platelets but since they had been stable, I didn’t think it was much or an issue. She walked right in and said, “why haven’t we induced you yet?” (As I had seen a different doc the past two weeks since you don’t know who will deliver you). She and I decided that the sooner the better in case my platelets fell any lower and I needed any kind of spinal anesthesia. She booked me for that night at 5:00 to begin the process at the hospital and said that she would be delivering him tomorrow. I called Andre and told him we had to get ready to go today. I had everything packed but still felt anxious about heading to the hospital. This was it- go time!!

2:00 pm we had a nice big lunch as they told me that I couldn’t eat once I got to the hospital. We hurried home to pack up the car and finalize things (who would watch the dog, etc). I called the hospital at 4:00 to confirm our time and was told to wait until 7:00 now because they had a bunch of deliveries come in. So here we were ready to go and now had to wait.

7:00 pm We got to the hospital and waited for our room. We had lots of questions, vitals, etc. before they began the cervical ripening agent. I had 3 doses every 4 hours over the night. I was only 1 cm dilated when we came in so we knew there was a lot to go. We watched a bunch of movies and tried to sleep but being hooked up to a million things and thinking of the day to come, sleep was hard to come by.

9/29/17 7:00 am Andre and I were finally asleep when my doctor came in and woke us up. She got right to work and broken my water. They started me on anti biotics due to being step-b positive and started the pitocin. The morning wasn’t too bad as I used my breathing exercises we learned in class as the contractions got worse. I slowly moved to 3 and 4 cm dilated as they upped the pitocin. We continued to watch movies and I did some crosswords to distract myself. Unfortunately as the afternoon came, my contractions were much worse and closer together. My nurse was really great and helped coach me through the tougher contractions.

2:30 pm I was 6 cm dilated at this point. I asked for an epidural. My plan was to try and do this without the epidural but I was absolutely miserable with the pitocin making the contractions so close together and strong. At that point, they had to re-draw my blood for a most recent platelet count as the anesthesiogt wouldn’t do the epidural if it was lower than 100. 30 minutes later it came back at 100 so we called the anesthesiologist who said he would do it.

3:30 pm The epidural was placed and I soon felt calmer. By 4:00 I was 10 cm dilated. My doctor was in a c-section so my amazing nurse placed a peanut ball under me to help the baby descend and make pushing easier. I took a little nap and prepared to start pushing.

5:15 pm The nurse and Andre helped me begin pushing. They each had to hold me up because I couldn’t feel my legs. By 5:45 the doctor came in. Everyone was really supportive coaching me and at 6:08 Luca was here.

Overall, the day was long and tough but it went really well and we got the greatest gift at the end of it.

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36 Week Update

9/1/2017 – 36 Weeks

Baby’s still about 20 inches long, but he’s probably up to about 6 pounds in weight this week. And it’s just about all systems go for baby. His lungs and respiratory system are just about ready for the outside world. If baby were born today, chances are good she’d be able to breathe on her own. Baby’s digestive system is ready for action too. Up until this point, baby’s only been drinking amniotic fluid, but once the first drops of colostrum hit baby’s system, the digestive system kicks into gear.

We’ve got just about 4 weeks to go (or until the due date!) So Andre and I decided to take one last weekend away to the beach for Labor Day Weekend. We went to Siesta Key and rented a cottage that allowed our other son (Harvey) to join us. It’s much harder to walk to the beach at 9 months pregnant, but I did my best and Andre was patient with my slow walking. It was so nice to have time to relax on the beach, sleep in, and not worry about anything. The water felt amazing and to enjoy some nice book-reading time was great too. We are some delicious food and had a little too much ice cream! I got one more maternity swim suit as things are starting to become too tight again (lol). This one I got off of amazon and I loved how it fit!

Here are this weekend’s pictures:

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35 Week Update

8/25/17 – 35 Weeks

Babies are on average 5.5 pounds and 20 inches long this week. Back at 20 weeks, baby was only about 2% body fat. Now that number’s closer to 15%, and it will reach around 35% by birth. Expect a soft, squishy little chub! Something else that stays soft is baby’s skull. This is to accommodate baby’s rapidly growing brain, but more importantly, to make it easier for you to birth the little guy! The soft skull will change shape, or “mould,” during delivery, which accounts for the cone-headed appearance some babies get. But don’t worry, baby’s skull reverts back to its normal shape within a few days.

One thing I started was packing the bag for the hospital. Anywhere from 35-37 weeks you should start packing your bag just in case the little one comes early. You can pack two bags- one for the delivery room and one for the baby/mother suite following. But what is it that we actually need to pack?

  • Photo ID, insurance info, hospital forms and a birth plan (if you have one). Most hospitals will let you pre-register online!
  • Eyeglasses (if you wear them)
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Two or three pairs of warm, nonskid socks (for walking the halls before and after labor)
  • A warm robe or sweater you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause
  • Chapstick and lotion (hospitals are very dry)
  • Headband or ponytail holder
  • Sugar-free hard candy or lozenges to keep your mouth moist during labor (candy with sugar will make you thirsty)
  • Non-perishable snacks and change for the vending machines
  • Toiletries and personal items: hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact lens case and solution (remember, travel-sized products are your friends)
  • Loose, lightweight clothing (maternity wards can often be hot)
  • Comfortable going-home clothes in six-month maternity sizes, and flat shoes

Other Optional hospital bag checklist items for mom

  • Very light reading (think magazines and newspapers, not War and Peace)
  • Earbuds to listen to music or speaker system
  • A comfy pillow from home (with a case that can get ruined, in a pattern distinguishable from hospital white)
  • A few pairs of maternity underwear; hospital should give you some disposable pairs
  • A ruin-able nightgown (you can use those lovely hospital gowns, but your own might help you feel more human)
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Nipple cream
  • Some basic makeup and make up remover if you want some pictures taken
  • Sandals for the shower
  • Swim suit for the shower if you want the nurse or someone to assist you.
  • Medications (hospital provides you with them, but you can also bring your own).
  • Dry shampoo
  • Portable fan
  • Exercise ball (the hospital should have some, but you may want your own).

Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby: the hospital will have a lot of the stuff that you “need” but here are some things you still need and some that you may just want.

  • Approved infant car seat
  • A coming-home outfit (bring clothes in different sizes to make sure they fit!) Remember the hospital will be cold and so will baby!!
  • Warm blankets (for the ride home)
  • If you have a preference on diapers, formula, bottles, bring those things as well.

Hospital Bag Checklist for Partner: You’ve meticulously gone through the hospital bag checklist for mom and baby—but don’t forget about packing a bag for your partner! Since you’ll both likely be spending a night or two (or more) in the maternity ward, gather up some overnight essentials—plus a few things to keep your partner occupied (labor can last for a good long while). Here’s what to put in your partner’s hospital bag:

  •  Cell phone, laptop, chargers
  • A change of clothes (underwear, pants, shirts, jacket in case it’s cold)
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, contact lens case and solution
  • Snacks
  • Entertainment, whether it’s something to read, listen to or watch
  • Camera or video camera with batteries, charger and an extra memory card
  • Any daily prescription medication

Here is this weeks photo. What in the world is a Durian?!

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34 Week Update

8/19/2017 – 34 Weeks

We got to see the little man once more this week! He is estimated to weigh 5.6 pounds. Everything with baby is looking great. With me, however, my platelet count continues to drop. What does that mean? It’s called Thrombocytopenia which is a low blood platelet count and is found in 7-12% of all pregnancies. The biggest effect that this would have on me is that I might not be able to have an epidural or spinal block. Hopefully I can get through labor without either one, but we will meet with the hospital’s anesthesiologist to learn more about our options.

In regards to baby, he is continuing to grow and so am I… which means I am running out of clothes again. My friend who is also pregnant joked with me that the dryer keeps shrinking our clothes! Good thing I only have 6 weeks left and hopefully enough to squeeze into in that time. I have found that dresses are the easiest thing to wear these days and bought some a size up in the past few months. Thank goodness for sales at Target!

Here are some photos of our little man:

 

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32 Week Update 

8/4/2017 – 32 Weeks

Baby’s weight is closing in on 4 pounds, and he’s about 18 inches in length. In other words, he’s been working hard! Upstairs, baby’s brain is working it too, establishing the trillions of connections, or synapses, between neurons. Sound intense? I’m sure it is! Which is why baby’s starting to sleep more hours each day as well—not that you would know it from all the jabs and kicks you’re probably feeling.

Now, you and I both know that every part of baby’s development is miraculous. But when you get into the details of brain development, the complexity and precision is mind-boggling.

  • Babies are born with around 100 billion neurons
  • At birth, baby has around 50 trillion connections or synapses
  • In the first 3 months after birth, the number of synapses increases 20 times over
  • We’re talking 1,000 trillion synapses by age 1

Some quick perspective: It would take you 30,000 years just to count to one trillion.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

At 8 months, the questions have changed over the pregnancy from:

The awkward and noisy “Are you pregnant” to “how far are you?… that’s it?” to now “due any day now, huh?” and I even got an “any second now?”

I also have realized that most people don’t understand that you don’t give birth at 9 months/36 weeks. A due date is actually calculated at 10 months/40 weeks. So when I tell people 8 months, they assume this baby is coming in the next 4 weeks. But is he? Most likely and hopefully not. Anything before 36 weeks is considered premature. At 37 weeks, babies are no longer considered to be pre-term. 80% of women give birth at 37-42 weeks. So if that’s the case, this baby can show up anytime between September 8-October 13. I’m really hoping to not have to wait until October, but we have to be realistic over here. I, myself, came a week late for my mother.

So while people think I look ready to go now, they have no idea how much bigger this momma is going to get! This boy can double in size before he shows up!

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23 Week Update

6/3/2017- 23 Weeks

Baby is over one pound now! But he won’t be content weighing just 1 pound for long. He will double in weight over the next month. And then double again. And most likely will double his weight again in the months following. This week, baby’s sense of hearing is getting sharper. He’s rocking out to the soundtrack of your heart, and getting used to loud external sounds like a barking dog or police siren. Also, blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing.

Average weight gain at 23 weeks is 12-15 pounds. Every person is different though! At 23 weeks I am about 10 pounds heavier. Healthy eating and daily exercise is super important.

Here are the best types of exercise during pregnancy:

  • Swimming
  • Brisk walking
  • Indoor cycling
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Running
  • Weight lifting

The doctor told me that if I did it before becoming pregnant, that I could continue to do it during pregnancy, but to not start anything new (such as cross fit). I have continued my workouts (stationary bike for cardio followed by weights), but decreased the amount of weight some. Fatigue was really present for me during the first trimester, so I just had to remind myself to keep moving.

Here are some of the best foods to consume during pregnancy:

  • Dairy products
  • Legumes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Broccoli and dark, leafy greens
  • Lean meat
  • Fish liver oil
  • Berries
  • Whole grains
  • Avocados
  • Dried fruit
  • Water, lots and lots of water!

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