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39 Weeks – Andre’s Thoughts

January 20, 2017 seemed like a typical Friday. Fridays in our house usually consist of Colleen preparing a charcuterie assortment with wine poured waiting for me when I get home from work. She knows what time I am coming home as she texts me and asks when I am coming. This day was very typical. She texted me, and I told her I was on the way. When I walked in the front door, she asked me to come in the kitchen which too is very typical. This time, there wasn’t charcuterie or wine poured, there was a onesie, a “coolest dad ever sign”, a pink cupcake and a blue cupcake, and a positive pregnancy test. Colleen recorded my reaction to the card she handed me which was a combination of awe, excitement, happiness, and joy. I was going to be a dad, and couldn’t have been happier.

The next 9 months really went by fast. Colleen has been a trooper and overall has had an easy pregnancy compared to the horror stories we have heard from others. We made it a point to work out 3-4 times a week together. The looks she gets at the gym are priceless, as people cannot believe a pregnant woman is working out, but I love it, and just goes to show how determined Colleen is, and indicative of what a dedicated mother she will be. We made it a point to maintain our lifestyle; minus Colleen having wine of course ūüôā . We went out often, had dinners with friends, and stayed active. One thing that really surprised me about the over all process is how much your pregnancy is a part of society. People feel compelled to come up to you and ask you if you are “due any day” at 6 months, ask to feel your belly or simply just walk up and start touching, which has actually happened to Colleen! It has been a journey and was exciting to finally start to see the little guy kick, and move, and swim.

Now, we are at September 28, 1 day before his due date, and Colleen went to the Doctor who said “it’s time”. She is getting induced tonight at 7pm and he will likely come tomorrow! Now that the day is here, I can’t wait to meet the little guy and raise him to be a great human. I know I have a fantastic partner to embark on this next chapter of our lives, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. There are many emotions that are taking place right now, but most of all, excitement. ¬†Next time you hear from us we will be Lama Table for 3! 4 including Harvey if we go to a dog friendly restaurant but 3 most of the time! ūüėČ

 

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38 Week Update 

9/15/2017 – 38 Weeks

All systems go! Baby is ready for life on the outside now. His organs are mature, with the lungs having produced ‚Äúsurfactant,‚ÄĚ which keeps the air sacks open during exhalation, making breathing effortless for baby like it is for you.¬†Appearance-wise, baby continues to shed the ‚Äúlanugo,‚ÄĚ or body hair, along with some of the vernix on her skin. This shed material goes into the amniotic fluid, which in turn goes into baby, which in turn will go into a diaper sometime soon as meconium, the tarry black poop baby has for the first week or so. On average, the baby could weigh in at almost 7 pounds now, and is 19.5 inches long.¬†

We have been busy trying to do all the things we may not be able to do for a while with this little man on his way. We had a nice dinner Friday night, just the two of us. ¬†Sunday, we went to a Bears vs. Buccaneers game. I was excited for the game, but wanted to also plan ahead considering walking long distance and heat are both hard for me. I tried to find a fan that I could take into the game with me, but they had a clear bag rule and I wasn’t sure that they would let me bring it in/ the fan I have didn’t fit in my wristlet. I also made sure to find a parking lot nice and close to the stadium. I called ahead to see what our best options were. They have golf carts that take people from the ADA lots, but I found a lot even closer that wouldn’t require a cart. We got there about an hour before the game and had a nice, close parking spot. They offered to let me use the elevators as well which was nice. However, they had an escalator right at the entrance, sow e just used that. I made sure to drink tons of water while there, too. Luckily, our seats got in the shade within 20 minutes of the game starting, which made sitting there so much nicer. I only had to take a few bathroom breaks which was good because we had some stairs to climb to get to our seats. I made it to the middle of the 4th quarter (my goal was to make it to at least half time!) The bears were terrible and lost the game, but Andre and I had an awesome time. I got so many sympathetic, feel-bad-for-you looks from people which was funny to me. One woman even told me how sorry she felt for me. I laughed and told her that coming to the game was my idea, so there was no reason to “feel bad for me” (other than my team losing!!!)

Here are some pictures from this weekend:

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37 Week Update

9/8/2017 – 37 Weeks

Years ago, the medical world would have considered baby to be ‚Äúfull term‚ÄĚ this week. But ‚Äúfull term‚ÄĚ now falls between weeks 39 and 41.¬†Still, if baby were born this week, he would most likely thrive. Plus, you could probably still have a natural delivery at this point!¬†But let‚Äôs get back to baby. He is 19 inches long and more than 6.3 pounds on average, and still gaining about an ounce each day.¬†Baby continues to plump up, with fat accumulating in all the right areas to make him¬†perfectly squishy‚ÄĒjust in time for his¬†birth day.

We had a very busy week preparing for what was supposed to be a category 4-5 hurricane coming to Tampa. We bought a lot of non-perishable foods, got water, filled up with gas, filled sandbags, etc. We moved around a lot in the house in case of flooding or if any windows were broken from anything flying around in the wind we expected to get. Thankfully, the hurricane was just a 1-2 by the time it got to us, there was no flooding, and our home had no damage!

I had learned the week before that dropping in barometric pressure could cause a woman to go into labor. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck somewhere and to have baby Lama on his way. We heard about women having babies on the bathroom floor at home and in shelters so I am really glad that wasn’t me! We are hoping for a little more of a relaxing week this coming week as we prepare for the arrival of this baby!

One thing that I have learned through this process is that you worry WAY more than ever before!! From the first trimester worrying something will happen to the little guy, to genetic screenings, diagnoses that aren’t that big of a deal, and so on. Even driving makes me more nervous because I have someone else in the car with me! There are so many things that can go wrong in pregnancy, but the good thing is, is that most of them (for us) are no big deal! We learned about what circumvallate placenta is (fetal membranes “double back” on the fetal side around the edge of the¬†placenta), gestational thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), low B12, gestational anemia, and much more. Each time a new topic was brought up or discovered, it appeared scary and a little nerve-racking, but in the end, both the baby and I are healthy. We are so lucky and grateful that things have gone smoothly for us.

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36 Week Update

9/1/2017 – 36 Weeks

Baby‚Äôs still about 20 inches long, but he’s probably up to about 6¬†pounds in weight this week.¬†And it‚Äôs 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‚Äôd be able to breathe on her own.¬†Baby‚Äôs digestive system is ready for action too. Up until this point, baby‚Äôs only been drinking amniotic fluid, but once the first drops of colostrum hit baby‚Äôs 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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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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33 Week Update

8/11/2017 – 33 Weeks

This week your¬†baby¬†weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark (about the size of a¬†pineapple). He’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look, and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a¬†cone-head‚Äďlike appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

 
Since baby is filling out more of my belly, I am beginning to find sleeping to be more of a challenge. Whereas I was just waking up once a night to use the bathroom, I find myself waking up every few hours and trying to find a comfortable position. While I’m up though, I realize I should just use the bathroom, turn the air down, and by then, it takes a while to fall back asleep. Fridays-Sundays allow for naps though which is nice and we have been sleeping in on the weekends until 8-9. We have to sleep while we can (or so everyone says).¬†

We had our first prepared childbirth class this week. I know we could find most of this information in books, internet, friends, etc. but¬†I’m glad that we decided to take the course. There were about 10 other couples and our due date fell right in the middle of the group. People are due the beginning of September until the end of October. It was fun to see all the other mom’s and dad’s to be. We have two more classes and by then maybe we will feel ready for this big day.¬†

We also got our maternity photos back this week. We went to a park in Safety Harbor a few weeks ago. I was right at 31 weeks when we had the photos done. I wanted a big enough belly but not to feel TOO huge in these pictures… I think they turned out pretty great. See below for some of my favorites. We can’t wait to meet this little man!!

OH and here is this week’s update. We have a baby pineapple currently ūüėȬ†

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32 Week Update 

8/4/2017 – 32 Weeks

Baby‚Äôs weight is closing in on 4 pounds, and he‚Äôs about 18 inches in length. In other words, he‚Äôs been working hard!¬†Upstairs, baby‚Äôs brain is working it too, establishing the¬†trillions¬†of connections, or synapses, between neurons. Sound intense? I‚Äôm sure it is! Which is why baby‚Äôs starting to sleep more hours each day as well‚ÄĒnot that you would know it from all the jabs and kicks you‚Äôre 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‚Äôre 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!