8 Months Down

July has been a bustle of activity. After vacation, we went right back into day camps and other summer activities. Regarding the last post, my tests results came back negative for cholestatis, so life has continued as busy-normal. Wesley’s 7th birthday marathon (which still hasn’t ended – duckpin bowling with the Shattucks this weekend!) has been fun and memorable. He spent the week with my parents at “Grandma Camp,” swimming, playing with cousins, visiting museums and even going to Dave and Buster’s.

CAN YOU BELIEVE MY PARENTS PLAYED ARCADE GAMES? I cannot.

 

We invited neighborhood friends and a handful of other close family friends to his Pokemon-themed birthday party.

   

July is usually hot, and because we still have an empty family room and less indoor seating than normal, I thought having his party at a park with a splash pad would work well. (Plus I wouldn’t have to do as much house cleaning!) And it did – despite the rain showers. But since the kids were already wet, it was really only us parents who had to cope with the weather.

 

A few of the dads hid “Pokeballs” (DIY Easter eggs half sprayed painted red and filled with minifigures of Pokemon) throughout the park, and I think the kids enjoyed that activity just as much as getting wet.

 

We had a quiet birthday celebration at home, and because I spent all my available energy on the massive 4-layer cake (it was a brilliant spontaneous decision) for his birthday party, we were happy to grab a few Flying Cupcakes and toss a candle in one for this birthday evening.

He had asked for “a bird, hamster or bunny” for his birthday. Uh, no. Over the last few weeks, martial arts has come into conversation, so Steven and I surprised him with a uniform and two weeks of Tae Kwon Do lessons to see if he’d like it enough to continue. (The building is a former Dairy Queen, and the running joke is that we’re going to Dairy Qwon Do!) And just a week in, he’s already earned his white belt and three stripes!

 

On the baby front…

I had my 36w6d OB appointment a few days ago, and now I’m at 37 weeks and considered full-term. “I’m going to pick on you a little today,” said my OB. Because of my slightly-too-old-to-be-pregnant status (though she said I’m “barely old” haha), I’m now having weekly non-stress tests up until delivery. I also had another lab to test my blood platelet count, which has been on the lower side, and I had a call today that they’re still lower than normal. I’m to continue having lab work throughout the duration of pregnancy to keep an eye on my levels. If they dip too low, I may not be able to have an epidural, and an early induction may be necessary. (I’ll only start worrying about this if my doctor becomes concerned!)

To further add fuel to the fire, I also tested positive for Group B Strep, which, sparing the gross details, is a gut bacteria that comes and goes in healthy women. It’s not really a big deal, but I’ll need to be given penicillin during labor and delivery to prevent any infection to the baby. Being “advanced maternal age” or AMA definitely makes for a more interesting chart and case!

When I was at this stage in pregnancy with Wesley, I tracked our weekly stats. It’s been fascinating to refer back to over the years, and I thought I’d continue in carrying Maisie.

  • Heartbeat, Measurements, Blood Pressure: 140 bpm, 36 cm, 102/40
  • Weight Gain: Total weight gain thus far is 30 lbs. I’m a little surprised it’s this much, but equally interested that I haven’t gained anything MORE than this. I gained 45 total lbs with Wesley, so it’s less than the last pregnancy, but I still feel like it’s a lot.
  • Movement: She was a little stubborn during my non-stress test, and moved very little. The tech had to use a special vibration zapping device to startle her enough to move around so they could get more readings on the monitor. She’s typically pretty silent during the day, increasing in movement as the evening progresses. She loves the hours between 9-11 p.m. and a certain spot under my right ribs.
  • Dilation: 2 cm, which, as I told Wes, is about the size of a penny. I was exactly the same dilation with Wesley at this time, and I feel like I stayed there for a few weeks. I didn’t get any stats on effacement. Being pregnant around a school-aged kid can get interesting. Wes is observant, and he is following this pregnancy and my body changes closely. Trying to explain dilation to a 7-year-old without getting too graphic has its challenges, but he seems satisfied with my answers! (Which then prompts new questions.) “Mama, how did Mary and Joseph have baby Jesus without any doctors?!”
  • Cravings: Egg McMuffins, but I haven’t yet given in. Ice cream and really cold water always sound refreshing, too. And watermelon.
  • Moods: I’m usually pretty steady and upbeat, but I do get frequently frustrated at myself. It’s like my brain forgets that this body is busy with another job.
  • Biggest Gripe(s): I’ve had Braxton-Hicks (false contractions) all week, and though they’re not painful, the tightening of my stomach causes Maisie to move around, which feels awful against a tight uterus. I know I had these in the last pregnancy, but I don’t remember them being this uncomfortable. Unfortunately my feet and ankles are starting to swell, and it’s super annoying. I think the other biggest gripe is the sight of my “popped turkey” belly button. It looks lovely poking out of all my clothes.
  • Biggest Like: Perhaps the reason for all the contractions is because I’m still attending CrossFit classes. Monday’s workout was tough, but I managed to complete 60 weighted lunges with a 35 lb sandbag, row 2,000 meters, and throw 65 9-foot tosses with a 10 lb wall/medicine ball. It was the first time I’d worked out in a week, and my legs were feeling the activity the next couple days, but I am pleased and proud of my progress. I do have to modify ab work and anything on the rig, and I sweat like crazy. It’s likely not a pretty sight – still aiming to go as long as I can! I joke with my gym friends that I should just think of the actual birth as a WOD (workout of the day).

While at my parents’ condo last week, I saw a photo of myself 7 years ago at the same week of pregnancy and in the same dress I was currently wearing. I thought it would be fun to recreate the photo, and had Dad snap a picture of me.

So I’ve aged a bit, but I like what I see. I’m not self-conscious about my looks or wrinkles or vein-y hands. I’m much stronger in body, mind and spirit than in 2011. Isn’t it fascinating to see side-by-side? Or maybe I’m just in awe of the whole situation – how I’m actually pregnant again!

Ironically the photo on the left (photo credit to Angie Cinnamon Photography) was taken at an open house for Joy’s House, my former employer, and I went to the same event yesterday evening. I was 36 weeks pregnant there, and it was one of the first years we had decided to have an summer ice cream social and open house for the public. I remember planning the prepping for the event, thinking it was one of the last events I’d assemble before maternity leave. It was fun to see people I loved that evening, doting on my baby belly.

Last night was a similar experience. I went by myself because the guys went to Tae Kwon Do, but that meant I could catch up with my Joy’s House family. People who carried me through Wesley’s pregnancy doted on the Maisie bump, and it was sorta like an anointing or dedication experience. I love the people of Joy’s House and the special relationships I maintain with the families, employees and volunteers involved.

You guys, for all the crazy (and sometimes challenging) stuff, life really is fun, isn’t it? My prayer for this pregnancy has been for health and peace, and I feel blessed with support networks and wonderful people in our lives.

 

Want to see the rest of Wesley’s birthday photos? There are some good ones here.

Posted: July 27th, 2018
Categories: Leah
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