Wednesday, June 18, 2008

37 weeks!

We had our first appointment at St. Johannis yesterday! Everything went wonderfully! My new doctor is really nice. I had a little difficulty understanding him because of his accent but I sort of expected that since he is German. He did an ultrasound to check the baby and took a bunch of measurements. When he was measuring the baby's leg he said that the baby has nice long legs. He looked at the babys heart, brain and spine and everything looked fine. He tried to get a good look at the baby's face but couldn't really get a good picture because the baby wouldn't move and is really cramped right now. He did a 3D ultrasound to try and get a good picture for us but the machine kept cutting away part of the baby's face because it was too close to it. I'm finally at the point where I have an appointment every week so hopefully we'll get a better picture next week. If not, then it's no big deal because we only have two more weeks until we get to look at our baby face to face. Oh, I almost forgot, the dr also measured the baby to see how much s/he is weighing. The measurements he took show that the baby is weighing in at just over 6 lbs right now, which means that s/he will probably weigh right around 7 lbs at birth! That is such a relief for me, I was so worried the baby was going to be close to 9 lbs like Rob! I was also a little worried that we were going to have too many newborn sizes for the baby that s/he wouldn't be able to wear, and now I'm wondering if we will have enough. But, we have enough clothes to get us through the first week so if we need more smaller sizes we'll just go buy more if we need them.
So what's keeping our little one busy while waiting it out until D-day? Practice, practice, practice. Our baby is simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on his or her thumb, blinking, and pivoting from side to side (one day I feel the tushy on the left side, another day it has swung around to the right side). All these are skills needed for his or her next gig — starring as newborn. Here's an interesting fact: our baby's head (which, by the way, is still growing) will, at birth, be the same size circumference as his or her hips, abdomen, and shoulders. And guess what's making an impression (literally) these days on those shoulders and hips: fat — causing little dimples in those cute elbows and knees, shoulders and hip, and creases and folds in the neck and wrists. As for Rob and I, we're both as ready as we'll ever be to meet our little bundle of joy!
That's about all for this week! Don't forget to leave us a comment!
Kayla, Rob and Baby

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Week 36!

I can't believe it!! Only 3 more weeks and our baby will finally be here in our arms (unless s/he is like daddy and decides to show up ten days late, yikes! I don't think I'd make it that much longer).
Our appointment went well this week. I'm still measuring right with my due date! Rob finally got to hear the baby's heartbeat again. He hasn't been able to hear it since the 20 week ultrasound. That was our last appointment at the base hospital! I've finally talked Rob into letting me switch to an off base, German hospital which I've heard a lot of wonderful things about! I got my insurance all switched over and I have my first appointment with my new dr. next tuesday morning. The dr. does a 3D ultrasound at every appointment so we'll get to see our precious baby again! We'll also find out about how much the baby will weigh at birth. If they're not too busy after our appointment on tuesday we'll go over to Labor & Delivery for a quick tour and also check out the postpartum rooms. I was not at all impressed with the base hospital. L&D wasn't too bad, but the postpartum rooms were really small and the showers were down the hall from the room. From what I've heard about St. Johannis, their Labor & Delivery rooms are really nice, they have birthing pools in most of the rooms, and the postpartum rooms are nice too. I really like the fact that they have birthing pools at St. Johannis because I don't want to have an epidural and I'm going to try to go without any pain meds at all. I've heard that the water really helps a lot with the pain. I should have more info about the hospital after our appointment on tuesday.
This week is the last week we need to worry about pre-term labor, and so far everything seems to be going wonderfully! I've had a few contractions here and there, but nothing to really be concerned about. The baby now weighs about 6 pounds and measures slightly more than 20 inches in length. Growth will experience a slowdown now, both so our baby will be able to fit the narrow passageway to the outside and also so he or she can store up all the energy needed for delivery. By now, many of our baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms — and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and our baby's immune system has matured enough to protect him or her from infections outside the womb. Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches. Once such notable example: digestion — which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth. Why's that? Inside his or her little gestational cocoon, our baby has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning that the digestive system — though developed — hasn't been operational. So our baby will take the first year or two to bring that system up to speed. As for me, I'm definitely looking the part of a nearly full-term pregnant woman, and walking the part as well! Yep, the wonderful penguin waddle which Rob certainly enjoys making fun of! I'm moving a lot slower these days, but it's all for good cause. The reason for the waddle? Just those pesky pregnancy hormones causing the connective tissue to soften and loosen. And that's particularly important now that we're nearing D-day (delivery day). Our baby needs to squeeze through the pelvic bones, so it's a good thing that they're more flexible now. The downside to all this joint flexibility (besides the resemblance I now bear to our feathered friends down south) is discomfort in my pelvis and hip. Add the pressure from our baby's head (burrowing deeper and deeper into the pelvis now) and heavier uterus weighing me down, and it's no wonder it's a pain to walk around these days.
I suppose that's about all for this week! Hope you're all doing well!

Kayla, Rob and Baby

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Week 35!!

Well, I finally have a little time to post a quick blog. Everything is going great here! We just had the baby shower last weekend, we got lots of great gifts and had a lot of fun! We did a co-ed bbq shower. It was fun, easy and cheap! The guys played a bean bag toss game while the women socialized and played our own games.

I have my 36 week check up next monday. At my 32 week check up the dr. measured my belly and said that I'm measuring with my due date again so we didn't get to have an ultrasound. The baby and I are both doing great. I'm starting to get to that uncomfortable stage where I'm just ready to be done being pregnant. I wouldn't mind so much if it wasn't so humid here. I have a hard time staying on my feet or sitting at the computer too long because my ankles start to swell up like balloons. My dr told me to drink plenty of water and rest with my feet up for two hours a day. It does help, but I've had a hard time resting for two whole hours; I always feel like there's something that's not getting done.

At about 20 inches and five and a half pounds (but with about five more weeks to grow), most of our baby's growth over the next month or so before we meet will be in weight (with a gain of anywhere from one pound to several), not height (baby's pretty much reached the in utero limit in that department). Accordingly, fat continues to accumulate at a rapid pace these days (on baby, not just on my hips). Back in the middle of my pregnancy, our baby's weight was made up of only two percent fat; now that percentage has soared to closer to 15 percent (and will increase to 30 percent at term). Which means our baby's once skinny arms and legs are now quite plump…and irresistibly, squeezably soft. Also continuing to grow at an amazing pace is our baby's brain power. Luckily, the part that surrounds that amazing brain — the skull — remains soft. And for good reason: A soft skull will allow our baby to squeeze more easily through the birth canal. (Mother Nature was really thinking this one through — imagine trying to push out a rock-hard head…ouch!)

Here are some pictures from the baby shower!

Beverly (in the next picture) made the cake, and was the hostess for the shower!

The object of the game was to grab as many clothespins as they could, using only their hands while holding the baby.

Even the guys had fun participating in this game! They had to cut a piece of string to guess how big my belly is! Most of the guys guessed way too big!

That's about all for now. I'll try to post again next week after my appointment. We love and miss you all!