Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hospital Tour!

Today, George and I went on a tour of the hospital where our little boy will be born! We are having him at the UNC Women's Hospital in Chapel Hill. It's a bit of a trek to get there compared to the hospital here in Cary, but I am so glad we switched to this new hospital.

After feeling that my care at Triangle OB/GYN was negligent (to say the least), I just knew the right thing to do was find a new doctor. I searched for a doctor who would deliver here at WakeMed Cary since it's just a few miles from our house, but none of the doctors I spoke with had a philosophy that matched mine. They all seemed eager for C-Sections, inductions and any intervention that would get them through my labor faster. Definitely not what I wanted for my birthing experience. It took some work, but finally I made the decision to move to UNC Family Medicine Center in Chapel Hill. That meant switching hospitals and driving a little farther to get there, but Wow! It's been so worth it! I can't say enough great things about the doctors at FamMed. They are AMAZING! They actually listen to me, they are up to date on all the most recent research, and they are going to do everything they can to help me have the natural childbirth experience I am hoping for.

On our way to the hospital tour today, I was hopeful that I would find the same comfortable feeling at the hospital that I have every time I walk into the Family Medicine Center. And I did! Everyone was so incredibly nice and willing to answer any questions. What's even more comforting is that the actual answers to those questions were exactly what I wanted and needed to hear. There are no crazy consent forms to sign when you get to the hospital (you know, the kind that say you give the doctors permission to do whatever the heck they decide they want to do - like give you pitocin so they don't miss their golf game at 5). The rooms were nice and spacious and laboring mothers have a lot of freedom to walk around and be comfortable.

I will be allowed to eat during my birthing time. We can bring in white Christmas lights for mood lighting. I can have a yankee candle air freshener. There are squat bars on the beds and nice tubs in the rooms. I'm so excited to see that the hospital is lenient and wants mothers to be as comfortable as possible. Also, before any nurses or doctors do anything or give me any drugs or whatever, they will actually discuss it with me and my husband first. I love that. (I mean, I understand that an emergency is a different kind of situation, but I'm not planning for any emergencies, lol.)

As soon as our baby is born, hospital policy is that he'll go directly onto my chest, skin-to-skin, and any tests will be done right there. We'll have plenty of sweet bonding time without the nuisance of nurses hovering to take him and weigh him or clean him off. In fact, the baby will stay with us at all times with the exception of two things: 1) the hearing test, which we can go with him to get and 2) his circumcision, which George can still go with him to watch and comfort him. I'm so happy that we are going to be at a hospital that encourages breastfeeding and family bonding time like that. Even the pediatricians come to the room instead of having the nurses take the baby out of the room for the pediatrician to check.

I thought it was cool too that they actually have lo-jack for babies, haha. There are these ankle bands that have alarms on them and anytime the baby gets close to the doors to the maternity ward, the alarm sounds. If the band is at all tampered with or loses contact with the baby's skin for more than a few seconds, an alarm sounds. So cool and comforting!

Overall, I was extremely happy with our hospital visit today. We even found out that instead of having to park our car and walk, they have "stork parking" which is a valet service for mothers in labor. We simply pull up to the hospital, grab our bags and hand our keys off to the valet. They park the car for free for us for 24 hours. George will have to go re-park at some point, but it's nice to know I won't have to be experiencing contractions in the parking lot, haha.

I am currently 33 weeks and 1 day pregnant (almost 2 since it's 11pm, ha). George has felt all along that Andrew will come a little less than a week early, so if he's right, we're looking at just about 6 weeks until we're back at the hospital for the real thing!! I'm getting so excited and so anxious to meet our little man!!! Now, I'm going to go back to packing our hospital bags and daydreaming of the day we actually bring Andrew home!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks!

Well, almost 33 weeks. Today I am 32 weeks and 4 days, but close enough right? Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but there is so much going on! First of all, remember all those home renovations I was talking about earlier? Well, my brother came up the weekend before this past one to do a lot of the work!! We have all new wood floors downstairs, a new floor in the kitchen, new countertops, newly painted cabinets with all new hardware - the list goes on and on! It's beautiful and I'm so grateful to him for coming up here and working his butt off for several days to get it done. Also, we decided to go ahead and have the carpet on the stairs and all the upstairs rooms replaced. And let me tell you, it was worth every penny!! The carpet is so luxurious and beautiful.

So, where are the pictures? Well, even though the floors are in place and a lot of the work is done, the house still feels like a mess in places! We had to move everything upstairs first to make room for the work downstairs. Then, as soon as Douglas left, we had to move everything downstairs to make room for the carpet people. In the middle of all that, I stepped on a rusty nail. While pregnant. Ugh. Talk about stress! I haven't had a tetanus shot since 1997, so I had to make a decision about whether to get a vaccine while pregnant. Long story short, I decided against the vaccine and have been taking it easy on my foot to make sure I don't get it infected. It's mostly healed now, but with all the work and stress, I've been totally exhausted! Anyway, I promise to post pics as soon as we have things more put together.

Then, there's the whole 30+ weeks pregnant thing, haha. I never knew it could be so tough. I don't want to whine, but wow! Just two trips up and down the stairs with a handful of baby items exhausts me to the point where I have to sit down. (I lost 2 pounds this week, btw, if that tells you anything.) So, my blog has gone ignored. Hopefully I'll remember to post at least a few more times between now and the time baby Andrew is born.

How far along: Almost 33 weeks! Only 7 more to go!!!!

Picture of Baby:

My Baby This Week: By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your 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). His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.

Weight Gain: 18 lbs.

Baby Bump:

Sleep: I am not getting very good rest, unfortunately. I'm up every hour and a half on the dot to pee, haha. Plus, the vivid dreams of the first trimester have returned, so I feel like I'm never really into a deep sleep. My hips are starting to ache, too.

Movement: Andrew is moving all the time these days! It's not always kicks. Sometimes, it is more like he's just rolling around, hehe. I love it though, because I can see him move from the outside and it's like a little alien moving around in my tummy. I love it!

Symptoms: The third trimester has brought headaches as a new symptom. Yuck! Also, I'm very forgetful these days.

What I Miss: Being able to eat anything with sugar! I also miss being able to sleep through the night (not that it will change once the baby comes, ha!) and being able to walk around without some kind of ache or pain. However, let me just say I would go through this for another year if I had to in order to make sure Andrew is a healthy baby!!! It's all so incredibly worth it!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Meeting the baby! Sometimes I can hardly believe it's happening so soon, but most of the time, it just feels like 7 more weeks is forever. I want to see him and snuggle him so badly!

Weekly Wisdom: Don't let doctors bully you into something you don't feel comfortable with. A doctor might tell you that a vaccine is "completely safe", but when it comes to your body and your unborn child, it's worth it to take a little bit of time to research that vaccine and its possible side-effects. In the end, it's still your decision. Doctors are wonderful, but they don't always know what's best for you.

Emotions: There's a lot of crying going on at my house these days, and the baby isn't even here yet :P. I'm very emotional, and I know that it's okay. It's all a part of pregnancy. Overall, I am incredibly happy and excited, but there are also moments where I feel overwhelmed. Thank the Lord for bringing me such a wonderful, caring husband who is extremely patient and loving with me during this time!

Friday, April 6, 2012

3D Pictures of Andrew!!!

Yay!! Yesterday George and I went to a local 3D imaging center and got to see our precious little baby boy on the screen for nearly 30 minutes!! It was seriously one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Of course, I know every parent would feel that way, but so far, we have only seen these rather skeletal black and white images of what our baby looks like in there. The last time we saw him was around 17 weeks, so needless to say, he's grown quite a bit now that I'm brushing up against 30 weeks. And let me tell you, he's ADORABLE! Just wait until you see his chubby little cheeks and his sweet little lips!!

It was so cool that my parents in Georgia were able to watch the whole thing live too! 

More than anything, it was just so great to see him looking so healthy. The tech said that he looked perfect. His chubby cheeks tell us that he's probably already developed most of his major organs and is now concentrating on adding healthy fat and letting his lungs develop. Also, he kept opening and closing his fists, which she said was a sign of healthy neurological development. My smart little man! In some of the pictures, you will see a weird sort of rope across his cheek - that's the umbilical cord. He was holding it in his left hand almost the whole time, lol. I am guessing when he is born, he is going to like having a binky or a blankie to hold!

Andrew is already head down and in perfect position for delivery. The tech said that he is big enough now that he probably won't have enough room to turn breech, which is great news. Tomorrow I will be 30 weeks, so we're looking at 10 weeks until he makes his big arrival - give or take a few. So exciting! 

We walked away from the u/s with 109 pictures and a video of the entire session. I thought I would share four or five of my favorite images with you.

Our son!!!

From the Front - Look at those lips!

Rubbing his eyes

So flexible! That's his hand and foot both in the picture, lol.

My Favorite! Big Smile!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

29 Week Update

I can't believe I'm already at 29 weeks!! I'll be down to a single digit countdown in no time. Time is beginning to fly by at warp speed. I find myself wondering when little Andrew will make his appearance. Will he come early? (A friend just had her baby almost a month early!) Or will he come late? My hope is that he'll decide to come sometime during week 39, hehe. That way I don't have to worry about them wanting to induce me, but he'll still be close to his due date. Of course, I know better than to hope for a completely perfect scenario. All I can do is exercise and eat healthy and take good care of my body until he arrives!

So here's my 29 week update:

Picture of Baby: I don't actually have a recent picture of the baby. Our last ultrasound was our anatomy scan at 17 weeks. BUT, exciting news! We have our 3D/4D ultrasound scheduled for this Thursday afternoon!! I can't wait to see our little man and see how much he's grown. Also, some of these 4D ultrasounds show really great pictures of the baby's faces! I hope we get to see his face!! I'll post some pics as soon as we get them.

My Baby This Week: Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (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. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day. (From

Weight Gain: 16 pounds. Eek! I am hoping to keep the gain to under 25 pounds. Will I make it? I hope so! I'm certainly not going to stress it either way.

Baby Bump: This picture was taken at our mountain retreat this past weekend. We had such an amazing time! It's a billowy shirt which makes me look a little bit bigger than some other shirts, but I still love the pink.

Sleep: Getting up more and more often during the night. Also, it's tough to even turn from side to side, hehe. I'm having to literally roll myself off the bed to go to the bathroom. It's not a pretty picture, I'm sure. I'm definitely looking forward to normal sleeping positions after the baby comes. Unfortunately, I have a feeling it might only be for a few short hours at a stretch once he's here!

Best Moment of the Week: Hands down - the prenatal massage at the resort!! George got the hot stone massage and I'm sure he enjoyed it, but man, the prenatal massage was brilliant!! It was literally the best massage of my life. Not that I've gotten that many, but it was just so needed. I was having some pains in my hips and lower back and for a few glorious days after the massage, there was zero pain. I loved it.

Movement: Wow, our little guy is moving around all the time! We found out at the latest doctor's appointment that he's already head down. That's got to be why I feel him kicking at my ribs all the time, haha. I also feel him stretching his arms out against my side. I love it. And I'm seeing these crazy alien movements on the outside. My entire stomach moves, haha. So amazing!!

Symptoms: I think at this point they are all just starting to run together. Aches everywhere, heartburn, stuffy nose, carpal tunnel, the list goes on. But you know what? It's all so worth it!!

Food Cravings: Apple Juice. I want it so bad! Unfortunately, juices are off limits :(.

What I Miss: Being able to stay up as late as I want. I'm exhausted by midnight!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Holding my little baby in my arms. The closer it gets, the more excited I am about meeting him!!

Weekly Wisdom: Pregnancy is not comfortable, but it's important to keep priorities straight! Growing a baby is hard work, but in the end it's so worth it. I know once it's over, I will miss being pregnant, so I want to focus on the happy things instead of the discomforts.

Emotions: Feeling overwhelmed lately between trying to finish the book and getting things ready for renovations. I am also just so incredibly grateful for all the love from friends and family during this pregnancy. Especially the support of my husband, who is really taking good care of me. And there I go again with the tears.