Leek

Dear Poppy Seed –

Yesterday you hit the 38 week mark!  I can’t believe how fast this pregnancy has gone and how close we are to the end.  While this pregnancy hasn’t exactly been easy for me, I wouldn’t trade a single minute of any of it for anything.  I can’t express how excited I am to hold you in my arms and revel in the fact that you’re mine.  According to the ultrasounds that I’ve had you’re around 7 1/2 pounds right now – which is a perfect size for a baby in my opinion.  This week you’re shedding the vernix and lanugo that covers your skin and generally getting ready for life outside the womb.

I’ve been on bed rest for a week now.  It hasn’t been horrible, and thankfully I don’t have to go too much longer till I can leave the house and get up off the sofa without your dad herding me back to my original spot.  My back has really been hurting lately, as has my pelvis.  You’re sitting really low right now, and it feels like my pelvis is stretching out to accommodate you (which while uncomfortable needs to happen).

While I’ve been on bed rest, your dad’s and my good friends Kathleen and Eric came over to help your dad clean the house from top to bottom to get it ready for you.  I can’t express to them how grateful we are for their help and how lucky we are to have friends like them to help out when we really need it.  They were here almost the whole day, but our house  now gleams from their hard work.  Thank you so much Kat and Eric, you’ve made everything so much less stressful for us, and we couldn’t ask for better friends!

I had a midwife appointment yesterday that pretty much left me reeling, which is why your post is a day late (sorry for that).  My midwife is concerned about my heart rate and blood pressure at the moment.  She’s concerned that my heart rate always being elevated is now causing your heart rate to be elevated.  And if my heart rate is elevated at rest, it’ll go even higher when I’m in labor – which could cause your heart rate to get way too high.  On top of that my blood pressure is still high – and it’s looking like I have the beginnings of preeclampsia – although I don’t have it yet.

So, what’s happening now is that I’ve been put on a beta blocker to help lower my heart rate and help lower my blood pressure.  I have a midwife appointment on Monday, and if the beta blocker has done its job by then, then it’s very likely that I’ll be induced on Monday or Tuesday.  If it hasn’t, they’ll give me until Thursday to wait to induce me, but Thursday is the longest that they’ll wait to induce.  I really don’t have too much longer until I get to hold you in my arms.  And while things aren’t necessarily going the way that I envisioned, I can’t wait to meet you and get to know you!

Keep growing and remember that I love you so much!  I’ll see you very soon!!

– Mom

Swiss Chard

Dear Poppy Seed –

You are full term today!!!  I’ve carried you to 37 weeks which means that you could technically be born at anytime now, even though you have 3 weeks until your due date.  You’re still practicing your breathing and sucking skills so that you’ll be good to go once you’re born.  I really cannot wait to meet you and hold you in my arms.

I am really sick right now.  I’m congested, achy, incredibly nauseous and I’ve even started throwing up.  But despite me feeling horrible, you seem to be doing great.  You’re moving plenty and just seem to be doing great, which I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  I’m going to see my midwife in a couple hours and hopefully she’ll be able to help me feel better.  Last night at about 3:00 I think that I had a few contractions.  They didn’t hurt, but they didn’t feel like braxton hicks either.  So, I may not have too much longer until I get to meet you!

Your dad and I finally finished your nursery!  I’m really happy with how it turned out and I think it will be absolutely perfect for you!

I hope that you’ll be as happy with it as we are.  Your dad and I often go in there and just sit and daydream of when you’ll be in there with us.  I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to being your mom.  Keep growing and I’ll see you soon!!

Love,

– Mom

Crenshaw Melon

Dear Poppy Seed –

We’ve made it to 36 weeks!  That’s a huge milestone in my book, as next week you’ll be officially full term!  It’s hard to believe that we have 4 weeks to go until your due date.  This time just flew by, at least this whole third trimester did.  The first trimester dragged on and on, mostly because it’s hard for time to fly when you’re throwing up multiple times a day.  At 36 weeks you’re now the size of a crenshaw melon.  I’ve never heard of one of those before, but apparently they’re pretty big.  There’s really no new information on what’s new with you this week.  You’re still plumping up and getting ready for your big entrance.

I had a midwife appointment this morning, and I actually received nothing but good news!  I’ve lost another pound, but my midwife isn’t concerned at all because she knows that you’re growing.  Speaking of growth, my fundal height was at 36 cm today, and that’s the first time I’ve measured exactly what week I am!  Usually my belly measures a week a head.  My blood pressure is still good too.  My midwife was very pleased with my blood sugar readings and didn’t mention putting me on medication at all.  So, I’m to continue my walks everyday and keep monitoring my diet as I’ve been doing too.  I was tested for group B strep today, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.  She also checked my cervix (which was so incredibly painful!) and she told me that my cervix is soft and that I’m about a fingertip dilated, which means that my body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing – gearing up for labor!  I’m now to start taking evening primrose oil and drink red raspberry leaf tea to help my cervix soften even more.

I’ve been experiencing a lot of round ligament pain lately.  My midwife told me to go slower and to rest when it happens because I can bruise or actually hurt myself if I don’t.  Sleep has been ok the past two nights.  I still get up to go to the bathroom multiple times, but I’m usually able to fall right back to sleep.  I’m also getting really tired, and I get worn out really super easily now.  I keep reading that I’m going to get a burst of energy for nesting, but I haven’t felt that as of yet, and I’m starting to wonder if I will.

This weekend is going to be a busy weekend for your dad, you and me.  We’re going to put the finishing touches on your nursery, and I promise to post pictures as soon as it’s complete.  Basically we need to paint and put up some shelves so we have some more storage space, and finish putting all of your clean clothes and diapers away.  We’re also going to Babies ‘R Us to get the final things we need for you before you arrive.  I’m also getting a few things for the hospital bag and I’ll pack that this weekend too.  Our last birth and baby class is tonight and we actually get to learn about what to do once you arrive.  I’m looking forward to that a lot, these classes have been fun and I feel like the smart kid in class because I already know the answers to all of the questions that the teacher asks.

I think that sums up everything so far.  Keep growing and I I’ll see you soon!

Love,

– Mom

Honeydew

Dear Poppy Seed –

Today we hit the 35 week mark, which means that you’re about the size of a honeydew melon.  All of the books and websites say that you’re pretty much done growing in length and are just going to be working on plumping up.  It’s now my job to ensure that we don’t go overboard on that front.  You’re also starting to run out of room in there.  When your dad and I first started to feel you move your dad would ask me where you were so he’d know where to put his hand.  Your dad asked me that the other day and I believe my response to him was “where isn’t he?”   Now it doesn’t seem to matter where a hand is on my belly, they’ll be able to feel you move.  Your dad often remarks about how strong you are when he’s feeling your kicks, and I do have to agree with him.  Your kicks can be quite strong and sometimes surprisingly strong.  I also think that you’ve dropped or have started to drop.  My walks for the past week have been so much easier to do since I’m not huffing and puffing all the way through them anymore.  I think that my lungs now have a little bit more breathing room (hehe).

Not a whole lot new with me right now.  I’m sleeping ok, but not great.  I’m waking up about 2 times a night now to pee, but other than those episodes it’s the only time I really wake up.  I’m moving pretty slowly too, and I definitely think that I’m waddling now.  I get tired pretty quickly and I have to take a whole bunch of quick rests during labor intensive task so that I can accomplish them, that is if I even get around to attempting them.  I’ve been having a lot of round ligament pain lately too.  And while those are sharp and can be quite painful, they only last a second or two, so they’re easily manageable.

I’m worried about you and me right now.  I’m worried that I won’t get the chance to carry you until you’re ready to come out.  I’m worried that you might get stuck coming out.  I’m worried that you could hurt or injure yourself during the birth.  I’m worried that I won’t be able to birth you and that I’ll have to have a C-Section to get you out.  I can honestly say that I’m trying my best to have my gestational diabetes stay under control so that it will have little to no effect on you, but I’m starting to get the impression that my best may not be good enough.

On a bright side your dad and I got to see you on an ultrasound yesterday.  I started tearing up as soon as you appeared on the screen.  You’re absolutely adorable!  I may make big babies, but I also make darn cute ones.  Your dad’s side of the family all think that you look like him, and my side of the family thinks that you look like me.  I’m curious to see your newborn photo compared to that of your dad’s and mine, and I only have a little wait until I get to do that.

I love you so much!  Keep growing (reasonably please), and I’ll see you soon!!

– Mom

Cantaloupe (Again)

Dear Poppy Seed –

34 weeks.  That just seems amazing, and it’s even more amazing that we have about 6 weeks left until we finally get to be face to face (I can’t tell you how excited I am for that).  According to babycenter, this week you’re the size of a cantaloupe, and according to the bump, you’re the size of a butternut squash (both of which have already been used), which is why I decided to go with a cantaloupe again.  You know weigh in at about 5 lbs and are close to 20 inches long.  I’m hoping that we can get a better idea of how big you are at your ultrasound next week.  I know that they’re quite unreliable when it comes to determining weight, but it would still be nice to have an estimate.  Your nervous system and your lungs are continuing to mature everyday.  As far as other new developments for you go, it just seems like you’re putting the finishing touches on everything so that you’ll be good to go for the birth and life on the outside.

I’ve been feeling really tired lately.  It probably doesn’t help that I don’t sleep well.  I usually have to get up to pee 2 or 3 times a night, and then there is the constant problem of just not being able to get comfortable.  Add in the restless leg syndrome and the leg cramps – and nights can be somewhat miserable.  I’ll survive though, and I promise you that it’s all worth it because I get you.  My belly seems to be getting pretty big – but that probably goes without saying.  One of my favorite things to do lately is to stare at my belly while you’re moving.  Watching you punch and roll and jab is seriously entertaining to me.  You can see my stomach move with you and it’s pretty crazy to look at.  If I can ever catch it on video I’ll have to share it with you.

Your dad and I got a lot of cool stuff for you at the baby shower that your Aunt Bethany threw.  We are now equipped with a bassinet, a Pack ‘N Play, a swing, a tummy time mat, a breast pump, a bouncer seat, as well as a ton of super cute clothing.  Your bassinet and Pack ‘N Play are being tested out by our cats – specifically Healey.  He loves taking naps in your Pack ‘N Play.  It’s nice to know that it’s comfy enough for a cat – so it should be super comfy for you too (I hope you don’t mind sharing – but I promise you won’t have to share at the same time).

Your dad and I did something we haven’t done in a while yesterday.  We went and hung out at the local wine bar.  I sat and drank water while your dad had a couple IPAs.  I mandated that he had to stick to IPAs since I’m really not a fan of all that hoppy bitterness that comes along with them, and it was the only type of beer that wouldn’t make me jealous.  We sat and talked and had a wonderful time just hanging out, and then we went out to dinner afterwards.  We had such a good time, and I’m really hoping that it’s not taboo to bring a baby to a wine bar – because I don’t want to stop going once you’re born.  We’ll have to figure out a way to still make it happen after you arrive, but I have no doubts that we will.  As you’ll come to know your parents can be lushes at times.

I can’t tell you enough how much I’m looking forward to holding you and getting to know you.  I love you so much.

– Mom

Durian Fruit

Dear Poppy Seed –

This weeks size comparison is a bit obscure – outside of watching  Tony Bourdain on “No Reservations,” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a durian.  33 weeks along (7 weeks to go!) you now weigh over 4 lbs and you’re over 17 inches long.  Your dad and I will get a better estimate on how big you actually are in two weeks when we have an ultrasound scheduled to track your growth (I can’t tell you how excited I am for that – your last ultrasound was at 18 weeks!).  According to all the books and websites you’re still packing on the pounds (reasonably so).  Your bones are hardening – although your skull will remain soft for quite some time.  You’re also learning to coordinate your breathing with sucking and swallowing – which seems really important, so don’t slack on those skills.  Because of all the growing that you’re doing my amneotic fluid levels have maxed out – which is why your kicks and punches are feeling pretty strong right about now.

Pregnancy induced insomnia is what’s up with me this week.  I thought I was having trouble sleeping before – but this is just excessive.  Last night I went to bed at 10:30, I was up at 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 5:00, 6:00 and I got up at 6:30 (and those are just the times that I remember).  All of that equates to one tired and cranky me.  It’s not so bad on the weekend when I can just keep going back to sleep until I real (kinda sorta) rested.  But during the week it’s really hard to not pass out on my desk at work.  I’ve been having some major round ligament pain lately too – but it’s quick to pass and is just more annoying than anything else.  I’m also one very swollen and puffy person.  I think all the weight that I’ve gained (minus what you weigh) is all fluid!  Not only are my feet and ankles now perpetually swollen, but my calves are as well – and it goes pretty much up to my knees.  I have to say that the swollen feet thing is incredibly uncomfortable and can even be painful at times (like when you want to move your feet – and the skin feels too tight for that to happen).  I’m amazed that my feet and ankles don’t have stretch marks.

Life is busy right now gearing up for your arrival.  Your dad and I keep buying more and more stuff that we’ll need for you.  We got curtains for your room last night as well as a bunch of baby sized hangers.  All of your clothes look super sweet/cute hanging in your closet.  All of the clothes that we have for you so far are washed and put away.  I still need to wash your diapers a bunch of times to get them absorbent for you.  I have yet to pack my hospital bag (I’m a slacker, I know).  I’m not really sure what I need to put in it – all of the stuff that the websites list seems a bit excessive to me.  Plus, I don’t want to pack something that I might need prior to your arrival, because then I’ll take it out of the bag and then forget to put it back in…

Work is starting to look for someone to cover for me while I’m gone – which seems weird.  I think that I’m slowly starting to get ready for you to be here, once all my ducks are in a row I’ll feel even better about it.    Your dad is super excited for you – he even got teary eyed last night because he’s so excited to meet you.  For the past three nights he’s read you a bedtime story – from the small collection that we have.  I hope that you know how very lucky you are to have a father that loves you so much – I think that we’re both very lucky to have him in our lives.

Keep growing and moving and be start preparing to make your way into the world so your dad and I can hold and cuddle you!

Love,

– Mom

Squash

Dear Poppy Seed –

OMFG….32 weeks have passed already!  It’s really hard to believe that there’s only 8 more weeks until you’re here, but it’s true, the two month count down has started!  This week you’re the size of a squash or weigh as much as a jicama, which means that you’re just shy of 17 inches long and just under 4 lbs in weight.  Everything that I’ve read says that right now you’re practicing all of your mad skills (sucking, swallowing, breathing – although admittedly that one might be a bit difficult in a bunch of fluid) so that you’ll have them down pat when you’re born.  You’re also chunking up (reasonably so) so that you’ll be cute and adorable when you’re born (you’ll be that no matter what though).

Right now my life feels like I’m going 100 miles a minute.  I’ve had more doctor appointments and more appointment on my calendar in the last two weeks than I’m used to and I feel like I don’t actually have a chance to sit and relax.  Not to mention that I’m now having to make up my time at work that I miss (due to midwife appointments) on the weekends, so now I have even less time to just sit and breathe a sigh of relief.  It’s not as bad as I’m making it seem, but I’m still 100x busier than I would like to be.

I took a breastfeeding class this past Tuesday that went over how to breastfeed and what to do if problems arise.  I learned some pretty cool facts about breastfeeding that I didn’t know.  Apparently, now there’s research showing that not only does breastfeeding reduce the mother’s risk of developing breast cancer, but also the baby’s (specifically if it’s a girl) – so yay for breastfeeding!  Next week is the second part of the class where I’ll learn about breastfeeding an older child and how to manage with going back to work and I’m looking forward to it.  Tonight your dad and I start our birthing class at the hospital where you’ll be delivered, and we continue them for every Thursday in May.  I’m excited about it and I hope that we get a lot of good information out of it.

After my incident on Monday my braxton hicks contractions have quieted down and now I’m back to just having a few a day (hoping that it stays that way).  Which is much better than every 15-20 minutes all day long!  As much as I am excited to meet you, it’s way too early for that to happen – so stay put for the next 6-8 weeks ok?

This weekend your dad and I are attending a baby shower that’s being thrown by his student’s and their parents.  It should be a lot of fun – I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to eat some of the food there.  I’ll probably have to go on a really long walk after it to help my blood sugar level out.

I washed a bunch of your clothes last weekend and we put them all away (you should be impressed because I don’t even put my clothes away).  I just need to wash your diapers a few times now to make sure that they’re nice and absorbent for when they cover your cute little tushie.  Your nursery should be almost complete this weekend.  We still need to get curtains for the room and a couple more finishing touches (I’m still looking for the perfect mobile to go above your crib), but it’s just about done!

Keep growing, kicking and moving!  And above all, remember that I love you!

– Mom