Monday, August 22, 2011

38 Weeks, 3 days

Hey guys!

I just got out of a checkup today and my doctor said I'm still not really dilating yet. She said that it even felt like Ryder was moving up from last week. She said if babies get too large they can do that and it would be best to probably get induced. So per the doctor's orders, I am scheduled to be induced on Friday!

I go into the hospital on Thursday night to get a pill that is called cytotec that helps with dilation and makes the induction more successful. I can't believe I'll be a mommy by Friday! Ahh!

Week 38

Hello all :) We are getting super close to the end now! Only a couple of weeks to go! I really don't know if mister RCA is going to wait that long, but we will see. At our appointment last Thursday, we got to see our little guy and found out that he is getting pretty big! He was already 7 lbs 10 oz! His head was measuring about a week bigger than his gestational age, and his feet were already 2.95 inches long! That's why I've been receiving some pretty power blows to the rib cage :) He was poised head-down and ready for whenever God has him planned to make his grand entrance!

Average babies around this week weigh about 6.8 pounds and are over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). Ryder now has a firm grasp, which we'll soon be able to test when we hold his hand for the first time! His organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

I hadn't really thought about it much until my mom asked me what I thought his eye color might be. We may not be able to tell right away. If he's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If he's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time he's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises may gain more pigment in the months after he's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. I can't wait to see what kind of a little person he turns into :)

At our sono he actually let us see his face a little bit and his cheeks are so chubby! I can't wait until I can give them great big kisses. He kept making a face where he would purse and push out his lips and kind of scrunch his forehead. Already making little faces :) This might be my last post until he's here, but we shall see! I have an appointment on the 22nd to see if I'm dilating any more.

Until next time!

Here's what Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Week 37

Less than a month to our due date!

I wonder if Ryder will want to hang out in his cozy current home that long, or if he will come early. I kind of hope he's a little bit early so that I'm not trying to deliver a gigantic baby :) I get to see how big he is in a few days! Can't wait :)

Ryder is now considered "full term," even though my due date is three weeks away. If I go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz. I can't believe there's so little time before we finally get to meet our little man and see what he looks like :)

The classes at the hospital this past week were really good. I'm glad we took them to get a little more information to help us prepare for what we are about to experience. I am still planning on going with no epidural. The part I'm most worried about is the healing part afterwards lol. I think I am fully capable of handling the contractions and delivery, just not looking forward to recovery.

I'm currently trying to find a pediatrician for Ryder and have an interview with two of them in Burleson this coming Monday. I'm looking forward to having that part covered and out of the way so there's one less thing to worry about. The dresser is getting delivered Monday also, so everything is just about ready! Not that there is really a time when you can say you're fullly "ready." Maybe prepared is a better word. One thing that I know Russell and I are both ready for is to hold our little baby and get to meet him for the first time and start bonding and living the rest of our lives together :)

Here is what Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Week 36

Hello all :)

Our baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. I'm not sure how much he weighs, but the average kiddo now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. He's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath. He swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of his first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, Ryder will be considered full-term (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term). Hopefully he's in a head-down position. My nurse told me that if he's not, I can "look forward to" a C-Section. Everyone pray he turns! I've heard of something called an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying the doctor can try to coax the baby into a head-down position by manipulating him from the outside of the belly. I hope she's willing to try this! We may not even have to worry about it tho, fingers crossed!

Starting this weekend and next week, we have our Childbirth Prep, Infant Safety and Breastfeeding classes at the hospital. I'm looking forward to soaking up lots of good information :)

Here is what Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Week 35

Only FIVE weeks to go! I can't believe how fast time flies.

These days Ryder doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's about the size of a honeydew melon. That doesn't mean he's stopped moving by any means. He still kicks the crap out of me every chance he can get :) Because it's so snug in my tummy, I can see his whole body move from side to side. I'm still waiting to see a little hand or foot pop out of my stomach! I've learned that the right side of my tummy must be way more comfy than the left, because he tends to hang out on that side, making me really lopsided. It's funny looking :) As for his development, his kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

My uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside my pelvis when I conceived — now reaches up under my rib cage. If I could peek inside my stomach, I'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. My ballooning uterus is crowding my other internal organs, too, which makes for lots of fun potty runs and the occasional spat of heartburn. It's really not too bad tho.

From here on out, I get to start seeing the doctor every week. The next fun test I get to do is a culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's vital to be screened. Yay.

This past weekend on July 24th we had our baby shower! I'm so thankful for all of you who came out! It was really fun getting to see everyone! Here are some pics below:

Cake and cupcakes compliments of Russell's sisters :)

The ever-so-fun baby food game...yum!

My mom and sister made this ADORABLE door hanger for our room at the hospital :)

Seesturs <3

Here is what Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Week 34

This week, on average, most babies now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Ryder was just under that about 3 weeks ago, so I wonder how much he weighs now. We will get to have another sonogram after 37 weeks and see if he's turned head-down and how big he is. His fat layers — which will help regulate his body temperature once he's born — are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. The need to worry about preterm labor has pretty much diminished; babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

As for me, I've still got a decent amount of energy, but these hot days are kind of getting to me during car rides and things like that. Russell always used to freeze me out every where we were, but now I'm the one freezing him out. I never thought I'd live to see that day! My bladder is also taking a major beating lately. I think Ryder is starting to drop and use it as a punching bag. Not too much longer to go!

I'm really excited about our baby shower coming up next week! My mom is coming up with so many cute ideas for it :) Can't wait!

Here is what baby boy might look like this week:

And here I am:

Week 33

Hello all :)

This week, the average baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (about like a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. However, "little" Ryder was over 4 lbs at his 31 week sonogram. 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 conehead-like 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.

Our little guy is growing right along and I'm growing with him. It's starting to get a lot harder to get out of bed and I was reading thru a funny article about all of the things that pregnant women miss during their nine-month "heist." One girl mentioned missing being able to get out of bed or off of the couch without having to roll off. Haha, so true!

Here is what Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Week 32

Oh my goodness, busy busy busy! Lots has been going on, including the nursery being completed (paint and flooring-wise). It is so dang cute I can hardly stand it! Heather did an amazing job on the walls and Russell did a beautiful job on the floors. Here's what it looks like with the crib in there. I can't wait until it's actually totally done tho :)

We picked out a dresser this past weekend (on July 4), so we should be all set furniture-wise after that gets here.

So at this stage of the game, I ought to be gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to the baby. In fact, he'll gain a third to half of his birth weight during the next 7 weeks as he fattens up for survival outside the womb. He now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). I know he's got at least some hair, because we were able to see it on the last sono. His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.

To accommodate me and Ryder's growing needs, my blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since I got pregnant. Pretty crazy huh? I've had to get on iron pills in order to make sure that I've got enough iron in my blood since I'm on the now-normal end of the spectrum right now. I kind of feel weak when I don't take them.

All and all, everything is moving right along as hoped!

Here is what mister Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Week 31

Hello all :)

The biggest news of this week is that we had our 3D/4D sonogram! It was so neat to see Ryder in 3D :) He was hiding his face for most of it, but the ultrasound tech was awesomely diligent about trying to get Ryder to move his arms out of the way so we could get a face shot. Here are some of the better pictures that we got:

You can see where he was holding onto his feet in a breech jack-knife sort of position. He really didn't want to move out of that position at all...little stinker. I'm still so excited that we got to see his little face, even if it was only for a few seconds. He even gave us a little smile once :)

The doctor told us that he is measuring about a week ahead of "average" and was over 4 lbs. He's also on target for a growth spurt here pretty soon, so I hope he doesn't get toooooo big! Of course, I hope he grows according to God's plan for him and comes out nice and healthy and strong. I can definitely tell that he is getting bigger, because I can see my whole belly shift around when he moves. It's not the occasional jump or flick of motion anymore. He's really getting big! Also as of this week, Ryder can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin.

Here is what little man might look like right about now:

And here I am:

Week 30

Hello all :)

I cannot believe there are only TEN WEEKS LEFT (give or take) until Ryder is here! It seems crazy to think that 30 whole weeks ago we found out that we were about to go on this incredible journey to parenthood :)

We've made some progress on the nursery. All of the tan walls are painted and Heather has made some good progress on the "wood" wall. Here are a couple pictures of what it is starting to look like:

Also this week, I scheduled classes up at the hospital where I'll be delivering (Medical Center of Arlington) for our child birth prep, breastfeeding and infant safety info. Those will all be coming up the first week of August. I've started getting more and more Braxton Hicks contractions, but my doctor told me they are nothing to worry about unless they are about 5 minutes apart for one to two hours straight. They aren't really painful, but more like pressure. Everything in my belly gets really hard and I just feel pressure all over and on my lungs. Not the most fun thing to ever experience, but not as bad as I thought they'd be.

If he is growing at an average pace, Ryder is now about 15.7 inches long now, and he weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as he gets bigger and takes up more room in my uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day. When he does open them, he'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means he can only make out objects a few inches from his face (Normal adult vision is 20/20).

I am sooo excited that I finally scheduled a 3D/4D sonogram for next Friday! We will finally get to see what our little guy looks like (if he cooperates). I can't wait a whole week for that! But I guess I'll have to :)

Here is a picture of what Ryder might look like now:

And here I am, feeling gigantic:

Week 29

Hooray for baby bedding! At my work shower last week, my mom suprised me with the fact that she bought Ryder's mattress and bedding for me. That all arrived this week and I couldn't wait to get it all set up. I didn't even wash any of it first haha. I set everything up and took a few pictures before I threw everything in the wash. I couldn't resist :) Here are some pictures of the setup:

We also started painting Ryder's room this week. We are painting three of the walls with a light tan color and the fourth wall is going to be painted to look like old barn wood. I got the idea from a room setup image that came with the bedding we got :) It's so cute!!! Heather has been so incredibly amazingly awesome to offer to paint the wood for me since I'm not *supposed to be* around all of the paint. I can't wait until it's done!

These days, baby Ryder now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds on average (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain (it will be a big one if it's anything like his daddy's hehe). To meet his increasing nutritional demands, I'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. My doctor prescribed me an iron supplement because I'm at the point where I need to maintain my levels because they're getting kind of low. This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in our baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Here is what baby boy might look like about now:

And here I am:

Week 28

Hello third trimester!

Since last week, we've decided to tear up the carpet and go with a laminate wood floor that matches our office. I'll need to start looking for a rug or something to put down now to act as a sound absorber. I can't wait until everything is done and we can start setting up his room :) The crib came in this week and I came home to Russell getting it all set up for me! It's so pretty!

Also this week, my coworkers threw me a suprise baby shower! It was so much fun! I came into the kitchen at work expecting to be walking into our 'lunch and learn' thing that we do every couple of weeks where we learn about a new topic related to the software we use at work. However, this time I see my mom and sister, Heather, and Russell all sitting there! I was like um....what's going on!? Haha. Turns out there was no lunch and learn and it was all just a cover-up for the shower :) Here are a couple pictures of that:

And in baby growth news, by this week, Ryder weighs somewhere around two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures, on average, 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through my womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Here is what Ryder might look like right about now:

And here I am:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Week 27

Hello all :)

I can't believe I'm already in the LAST WEEK of my second trimester! It's crazy to think that there are only 13 weeks left until Ryder is here! I need to get my booty in gear and get some stuff done! Thankfully, I was able to get the rest of Ryder's soon-to-be room cleared out and we just need to decide if we want to leave the carpet in there or put down other flooring. Any thoughts? Then we can start painting and decorating! I ordered our crib today, so we will be getting that in next week. I'm excited!

As far as Ryder's developments go this week, he weighs somewhere around 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. I think he is mostly a day sleeper and likes to wake up and play in the mornings and at night. He's super wiggly then :)

With more brain tissue developing, our baby's brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. I can likely chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements I may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. I hadn't really thought about it, but there are times when he has twitched several times in a row. Maybe it was the hiccups! I will have to pay better attention to that now. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother him, so I can't wait to just relax and enjoy the tickle :)

Earlier this week I had my glucose test for gestational diabetes. I had to drink a small cup of what I can imagine hummingbird fluid would taste like. It was 'fruit punch' flavored and had 75 grams of sugar in that tiny cup! I was so desperate for water about five minutes after I drank the gunk haha. Anyway, they make you drink the stuff and then take your blood a while later to test your sugar levels and how your body reacted to the sugar. I haven't gotten my results back yet, but I assume I'm good to go.

I feel like Ryder has really grown a lot this past week. I've been pretty comfortable for the most part, until I feel our little man stretch out and I can tell he's taking full advantage of all of the space he's allotted inside my tummy. He's been pushing on my lungs a lot and using my ribs like marimbas :) I'm really glad that I have a pregnancy body pillow to sleep with at night or I think I would be having a really hard time getting comfortable at night. If anyone would like a recommendation, I have the Boppy Total Body Support pillow. It's awesome :)

Here is what Ryder may look like this week:

And here I am:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week 26

Howdy :)

We've gotten a lot done in the past week. Thanks to the help of Ashley, we've gotten our registries done! We are registered at Target and Babies R Us for the essentials and Lone Star Baby for the bedding and room decorations. It feels good to get that big job done and out of the way!

It's been a busy week for Ryder too. The network of nerves in his ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear our voices as we chat with each other. Russell talks to him thru my tummy :) It's super cute!

He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. I can't wait to see him when he comes out to see if he's a chunky monkey or not :) He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds (average for this stage in the game) and measures 14 inches (the size of an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. And since we're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

The day after the 26 week mark, we headed down to Wortham, TX for the outdoor MX Nationals. It was weird being pregnant in the heat for the first time. Normally, I LOVE the heat and prefer it to the cold and it has never bothered me before. That day, I was definitely feeling the 97 degree weather. I think I had a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions from being a little dehydrated and walking around in the heat a lot. It only happened twice, but my tummy got really hard for a couple of minutes. I felt better after I had some water.

Russell's dad and sister got to feel Ryder for the first time while we were at the race :) He was being super wiggly and everyone got to feel him!

I've been keeping track of some pregnancy memories on a baby book app on my phone, and one of them was a weird dream that I had. I dreamed I had Ryder and he looked just like Russell with a ton of hair on his head. His feet were also as big as Russell's (that would be a scary sight on a little newborn haha). He was all cute and chubby, then ended up being a plastic doll. Then, he turned back into a real baby lol. I was instantly skinny afterward (that's how I knew it was a dream hehe) and was worried that I wasted all of the brand new maternity clothes I had gotten the week before. It's crazy what dreams you will have while pregnant.

Here is a pic of what Ryder might look like this week:

And here is me at the 26 week mark:

Week 25

Hi guys :)

Another busy week has gone by and Ryder is still growing and developing. Head to heels, our baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — somewhere over a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. He's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture. I have been trying to come up with an image in my head of what he might look like as a combination of Russell and me. I guess we'll have to wait and see!

A huge thank you goes out to Ashley Rankin for helping us out with a trip to Babies R Us. We walked all of the aisles and she gave us awesome advice on what she's liked and what she didn't so we have a better idea of what to actually register for and what we will need. It's a little overwhelming when you go in there completely clueless as to what you will need. Thank you, Ashley!!!!

Here's an idea of what mister Ryder Cole might look like this week:

And here is me at the 25 week mark: