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: