Wednesday, January 28, 2015

38 weeks: No baby but predromal labor

I have been having false labor off and on since I last posted about it. Some days by the end of the night my body feels as if it has run a marathon (not that I know what that feels like...but I'm imagining here). Contractions, cramping, pressure, nerve zings...but no progression into full blown labor.

We keep waiting for the moment when the cramping turns to real, "Honey, I can't do this" kind of pain. We keep wondering if tonight will be the night, or will I be the lucky one who gets to endure this falsity for several more weeks. Something that is entirely possible. And something I am determined not to complain about.

Deep down I'm still wanting to savor every last moment. When people ask if I'm ready to be done yet, I still respond with..."not quite". And then they usually look at me like I'm crazy and I can't tell you how many "OH, your one of those....."comments that usually follow.  I smile and nod my head While Kyle is usually the one fuming and slightly offended for me.

Thankfully though all the contractions aren't just in vain, they are actually doing "stuff". At my last appointment I had progressed to nearly a 2 and am now 80% effaced. That's good news. Yes, it may mean that I could very possibly make it to 40 weeks and beyond...because lets be honest, babies will come when they are good and ready despite dilation or effacement. But I left my appointment not feeling defeated, and feeling confident that my body is working, it is doing what it is intended to do for the time being.  And I'm ok with hunkering down awhile longer with this little babe tucked close for me to rub and pat and love. 

37 weeks:

And then here we are at 38 weeks:

Yep, that is one big belly. I'm actually wondering how much bigger it can possibly get.

How far along: 38 weeks and 4 days

Weight gain: 2 lbs....must have been all of my birthday treats that I just couldn't resist. But I actually weigh less at this point than I did with Bennett, so I'm guessing it is just the bigger bump hanging out at front.

Wedding rings on/off: ON, I can't believe it! Usually my fingers have turned to little sausages by now.

Stretch marks: Zip-zero

Best moment this week: Cole asking me if his baby brother was going to come after his next nap. (He is getting very eager to meet him!) Also, my hubby got offered a new job! I am so incredibly proud of him and his hard work.

Sleep: Oh you know, I have some good nights, and then some not so good ones.

Food cravings: Chocolate chip cookies. White cupcakes (thank you Joy for making them and mom for the yummy frosting---totally hit the spot). Mango Mochi, Salt & Straw's Salted Ganache and toffee ice cream, Peanut butter popcorn.....and dark chocolate M&M's. Green smoothies--Yay, for something healthy! I've still been on a mad granola-making kick.

Aversions: Nothing.

Labor Signs: The usual. doesn't have much room left and seems to be pushing everything up. Contractions. Dilating and effacing. The pipsqueaks little noggin is even lower...and I can tell. I think this is the first pregnancy I have been in serious nesting mode. The other night I wanted our entire room vacuumed, dusted, sanitized and everything in place for baby. I started to panic the other night when I saw we were getting low on granola, and HAD to make some more stat. I'm also paranoid that I am going to go into labor and won't have time to shower, so showers have been a super priority. I'm constantly adding more clothes and stuff to the boy's bags (and have kind of lost track as to what all is packed now....)

Movement: He is still moving, but he is slowing down and rolling instead of his usual karate kicks. He still likes to kick me in the right side, and has been hanging out in my ribs. I love feeling his foot in my side, and have really noticed ow much bigger it has gotten the past couple of weeks. I'm sure going to miss all of his movements and watching my tummy move in wave like motions. 

How are you feeling: I know I keep saying this, but I am still feeling really really good! If i can squeeze in a nap during the day, I feel even better! But honestly, I'm not sitting here wishing the baby out...of course I can't wait to meet him. But I am feeling so thankful for this pregnancy, for how smoothly it has gone, for being able to just enjoy it. For not having to spend most of my time at the doctor's office hooked up to NST's and ultra sounds. That was one of my biggest prayers, that I would truly be able to enjoy every moment and so far so good.

We are getting anxious and excited. Words really can't describe all the emotions tumbling around in my heart right now. Kyle and I keep talking about whether this little boy will look like Cole or Bennett or have a look completely his own. We are trying to prepare ourselves for the sleepless nights ahead, and enjoying the bits and pieces of time we have left as a family of four. I'm still really nervous about how Bennett is going to adjust to the a new baby. The other day I was talking to him about it and trying to explain that when his baby brother arrived he would be a big brother...and he kept slapping his chest saying, "No, me the baby!" He still loves to come and sleep with me in the morning, and I'm trying to wrap my mind around how that is going to work. I'm sure there will be some tears and some frustration. But I just pray that overall we will all be able to fall into a feasible and workable agreement when it comes to sharing mama. Because the last thing I want is for one of my boys to feel less important or less loved because of the attention their baby brother will need. But I suppose these are all kinks and adjustments that are made when dynamics change.

And now the countdown and waiting begins.....come on little one, your daddy would like you to come sooner rather than later so he can spend more time at home with you before starting his new job. I wouldn't be opposed to that, but most importantly, I want you to come when you are ready...when you are at your strongest, and when you are ready to meet this bright new world and your adoring brothers!

Friday, January 16, 2015

36 weeks and "Am I in labor?"

(First part was written on Sunday, January 11th )

I don't even know where to begin. As I'm writing this my husband has confined me to bed rest. He even took both boys to Costco by himself even though I really wanted to go. (Yes, I'm a sucker for samples). As you know, I have been having Braxton Hicks quite regularly starting around 17-18 weeks. But they never followed any sort of pattern and would eventually taper off. At my 35 week appointment we found out that I was 75% effaced (I was only around 30% with Bennett and 50% with Cole at 36-37 weeks) My doctor decided to not have me come in the next week since the main point would be to check me. She didn't want to risk aggravating anything, as she really wanted me to get to 37 weeks.

Then last night happened. Cole was up all hours of the night, Kyle finally disappeared and slept with him, in his twin sized bed...such a good daddy. I was up off and on, running to the bathroom, getting water, getting know the usual pregnancy happenings. At about 4:45 Bennett started hollering for me. I waddled myself down the hall and asked if he wanted to come snuggle with me, he of course nodded his approval. Within seconds of curling up next to my bump, he was out like a light. Heavy breathing, and arm flopped across my face. I couldn't help but lay there in the stillness of the early morning, thinking how soon, our family dynamics were about to change. And then it hit me.

A contraction. With cramping. Weird...... I thought to myself. And then it happened again, and again in a 5 minute rhythmic pattern. I was afraid to move, so I just snuggled Bennett in tight and waited for Kyle. Around 6AM Kyle came in and was preparing to take Cole downstairs. Quietly, in hopes of not waking up Bennett, I said "Hey honey" to which Bennett sleepily responded with, "Whaaaaat?" Apparently he thinks he is my only "honey".

I whispered to Kyle that he might want to get some clothes and things packed for the boys.

I got up and did what any very pregnant mom, having contractions, with two little boys would do. I offered to make them breakfast. "PANCAKES!" Is what was requested, of course.....they are always requested. So I made this (Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake) and will totally be making it again, so quick and easy...even a lady who could possibly be in labor can whip them up!

My contractions were still coming, but i couldn't tell how frequently. We decided to still go to church, but brought all of our bags and cameras along, just in case.

To be honest, I don't remember much about the sermon. I was busy pushing buttons on my contraction calculator. And low and behold they were coming every 5 minutes, lasting 45 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes. The only thing holding me back from heading straight to the hospital was that while they were uncomfortable, they weren't getting stronger, and were completely tolerable. I did call my OB after church, and she said if the pain increased to go to the hospital, but she was ok with me going home and laying down to see if that helped.

Hence, the bed rest from Kyle.

Thankfully, they finally tapered off in the late afternoon. And we all breathed a sigh of relief. As much as we really want to meet this little guy, we would be happier if he stayed cooking a wee bit longer.


(Next part written Tuesday, January 13th)

He's at it again! I was having contraction off and on throughout Monday, but nothing too bad. But when I finally layed my weary body down for the night I noticed some pretty intense cramping followed by really long contractions. Hmmm......was my initial thought. And then my second thought was, if this progresses I should probably try and get some sleep. How I managed to convince myself to fall asleep is some sort of miracle in itself! I was awakened around 1:30 by a really strong contraction, it sort of startled me awake. For the next hour I thought for sure, this was it. As they were pretty intense, and the cramping was definitely stronger than it had been on Sunday. I had some contractions that lasted for 3 minutes long, and there were several 2-3 minute breaks between them. Again, after about 2 hours of timing and waiting, I convinced myself that I should put away my contraction counter and try and rest up. Unfortunately, Bennett has decided 4:45 is his new rise and shine time. Only this morning he didn't settle down next to me, but kept whispering, "I wuuuuub you dooooo much mama!" Pretty hard to stay too upset at those sweet words. Thankfully once again my contractions tapered off as I went on with my day.

I think this little guy is going to be a tease! He is trying to make our last leg of the pregnancy journey interesting. Everyone is convinced I will go into labor sometime within the next week. Me, I'm not so convinced, I have heard story after story of this happening for weeks.  But it will be interesting to see how things have progressed at my next appointment.

( 36 week comparisons: From left to right: Cole, Bennett, And Baby boy #3)

Here are the latest stats:

How far along: I'm actually 37 weeks today!

Weight gain: 0 lbs. What?! How is that even possible?! I definitely have been indulging quite a bit the past 2 weeks. And to be honest, I was half expecting a really big gain. Guess baby needed a little indulging.

Wedding Rings on/off: Surprisingly, they are both still on! This may be a record. Every once in awhile I notice them a little tighter, but then they are loose again by the end of the day.

Belly Button in/out: Not really either. However, i think this is the farthest it has ever poked out with any of my pregnancies...but it still isn't really an outie :(  (I'm one of those weird ones who thinks the popped out belly buttons are completely adorable!)

Stretch marks: Still zero! And I have to say, I am super surprised at this! I feel so much larger, I almost bet money that I would get some with this pregnancy. But so far this little boy has been kind to me, just like his brothers.

Best moment this week: My parents took both boys last minute Friday night (they wanted to do a trial run just in case this baby decides to come early and my in-laws are still out of town). It always is a little sad to not see their sweet faces, but it was soooooo nice to be able to have a night out with my love.  And then to top it off, the next morning he took me to get my favorite French toast at Mother's Bistro. My mouth is still watering thinking about it...add on their French pressed coffee = perfection.

My sisters and mom also threw me a baby shower! Technically it was in my 35th week...but since I didn't do an update then I just  had to mention it. Because they put in so much work, and I truly felt blessed by them. Here is a picture of my mom and I and that big baby belly!

Sleep: It's been getting a little bit rougher (as talked about above). Then throw in all the potty breaks, dry mouth, and early bird risers....and yeah, I'm feeling it. We've been doing a lot of Peppa Pig marathons, while beached-whale-mama hangs out on the couch and tries to sneak in a few zzzzz's.

Food Cravings: If you want to get technical, this wasn't a craving I had this week....but it has popped up ever so often...and it's weird. I have been known to dip some flat bread in mayonnaise and eat it like it's going out of style. If you know me, I usually despise grosses me out. But i needed some for a recipe, and I got a really good eggless, vegan and lowfat one from Trader Joe's. And it really doesn't taste like your typical tastes fresh and has a nice tang to it.....Mmmmm, I'm kind of wanting some right now.

I'm still on a pomegranate kick, and a smoothie kick, and a French pressed coffee kick. Apples have made their way back into my line up of cravings. I have been craving a really amazing homemade brownie with ice cream....but have yet to indulge. My mom made some homemade vanilla pudding today, and I kind of want a whole pot full now. I'm betting I can convince her to make me more when I go to her house in a couple of days ;)

(Mom...hint, hint)

I re-stocked my freezer full of my granola bars that I crave every day. I really wanted to have a stash for after the baby comes. And also, I was on a mad hunt for an amazing granola recipe. And by George, I think I found it! I find myself grabbing handfuls throughout the day if I need a little pick me up, and the boys have been loving it in their yogurt before bed.  ( check out the recipe HERE for the best Vanilla Almond Granola! I must note, that I burned the first batch, so watch it like a hawk, and I added in some shredded coconut and cranberries....and, YUM! Can't get enough.)

Aversions: I really can't think of any.

Labor signs: Please read the entire 20 pages that I wrote at the top of the page ;) Aside from being 75%  effaced at 35 weeks, my OB said little boy's head was way down low. Which is most likely why I have a ton of pressure...down there. And get lightning crotch all day long. (Kyle nearly choked when I told him this, and could not believe that it was an actual term).

Movement: Yes, yes and yes! All the time. he still loves to kick me in the side, has gotten his foot hung up in my ribs, and his hiccups can shake my entire being!

How are you feeling: I was actually feeling really really REALLY good. And then the contractions kind of started draining everything out of me. Seriously, they can be so exhausting. But other than being so tired that I almost called-my-hubby-crying-that-I-had-to-actually-make-dinner I have been feeling pretty good.

But mostly I am getting sooooo excited to meet this little guy. Being at this point in pregnancy feels like a dream come true, I didn't think we would get here....and yet, here we are. The final week countdown. Curious if he will be a January or a February baby.

Friday, January 2, 2015

I just might be craving some of these....

I know the holidays are over, I had planned to share the recipe before.....but well, as life sometimes goes. pregnancy brain goes, I forgot.

I made these for our small group's white elephant exchange. This was the first time I have ever served something I didn't do a taste test for. I told Kyle that he HAD to have one at the party, and then I snuck a bite from his. (He loves it when I do that) It just kind of melted into perfection on my tongue. For a moment I thought about tossing my GD restrictions aside,  but convinced myself a healthy baby boy was way more important. Besides, not much longer and I can make and eat these all day long if I so choose. I mean, it takes 9 months to put the baby weight on.....

This recipe yields 24 cookies (so 12 sandwich cookies) I contemplated just piping some frosting on top of each cookies, but then a cookie sandwich is so much more fun. I chose the fun route. 

I always always try and read reviews before I make any recipe. And it seemed some people had issues with the batter being runny. I think the key is to make sure you really do whip the egg mixture the ENTIRE 15 minutes. It's actually kind of nice, while they are being whipped, you can saunter off and do something else, like go upstairs to get your littlest up from nap, only to be welcomed by a boy, his pajamas in one pile and his diaper in will definitely need those 15 minutes to clean up the after math. I'm so thankful Kyle was here for that one. Too bad it doesn't seem to be a one time thing, he likes his new found talent.

That's my super Bennett. Always keeping things real and thinking outside the box....or his pajamas.

Also, while we are talking about 'real' I would suggest making your own real salted caramel sauce, it tastes so much better. And then you can use the leftovers to pour in your morning coffee, or eat straight out of the jar. Mmmmm.....another craving I'm sure I will indulge in once this baby makes his entrance, because I'm sure coffee will be a much needed part of my day.

Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel Buttercream
Recipe Source: Bakers Royale

Brownie Cookie

  • 12 oz. chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
Salted Caramel Creme Filling (by Bakers Royale)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salted
  • 1/4 cup caramel
To make brownie cookies:
  1. Place 7oz. of the chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate mixture, remaining 5 oz. of chocolate and mix to combine. Set aside to to stand for 10 minutes. Spoon a little under a 1 tablespoonful of the mixture, onto parchment lined bake sheet. Bake for about 8–10 minutes (I found 9 minutes to be perfect) or until puffed and cracked. Allow to cool completely on trays.
To make caramel creme filling:
  1. Place butter in a bowl and beat until creamed. Add in confectioner sugar and salt and beat until light combined. Add in caramel and beat until combined.
  1. Spread a  tablespoon and a half of caramel creme on underside of one brownie cookie and place a second brownie cookie bottom side down on top frosting.