Tuesday, September 27, 2016

36 Week Update & Recent Goings On

When we set out on this adventure to have another baby, we tried to learn from our last experience and be more prepared this time. We imagined dozens of possible scenarios so that we wouldn't be caught off guard like last time when my water broke early, I had an unplanned C-section, and we had to return to the hospital for two extra nights for jaundice. This time, we've been optimistic about my hopes to have a VBAC while still maintaining a healthy mentality that things might go differently from what we envision.

Still, despite our best efforts, we have found ourselves in a flurry of unexpected events over the last seven or eight weeks. Terry's knee surgery, followed by two weeks of an especially difficult routine for me handling everything at home, work, and with Marshall. Then, Terry healed very quickly (hooray!) and is now nearly at 100% as far as day-to-day activities, so we settled back into our normal.

And then we got hit last week with another whammy: At 35 weeks 2 days, I started having regular contractions. While they weren't intense, they were about five minutes apart for over twenty-four hours, so my doctor sent me to the hospital on Friday (September 16) for monitoring and to get a shot that would stop the contractions. (Ultimately, if the shot didn't work, it would have been safe to deliver the baby, but my doctor emphasized that "every day counts" as far as keeping baby in the womb to continue growing.) Thankfully, it worked! My contractions continued, but I couldn't feel them and they were so far apart that we were in a safe zone and able to go home.

Since then, I've been on bed rest. The contractions are still pretty frequent, but since they haven't intensified we are assuming it's all pre-labor/false labor/Braxton Hicks. And hey, if it means my body is getting all warmed up for baby's delivery, that's fine!

But since I am eager to keep the baby in as long as possible, I am indeed parking myself on the couch as much as possible, and it's been a tough week. Terry and I switched roles from after his surgery, and now he's the one doing 100% of the cooking, cleaning, caretaking for Marshall, grocery shopping, errands, and more. On top of that, Marshall came down with a bad cold and had trouble sleeping, so Terry spent at least one night on his floor for frequent wakeups, plus Terry had to stay home Monday because I couldn't leave the couch to take care of Marshall. Next, of course, the cold hit me and has (so far) lasted a solid five days.

But we've made it through that tough week (apparently Mercury was in retrograde and isn't anymore, so I guess that's something?), and we learned our lesson about thinking that we have imagined every possible scenario. Now I'm just thankful that we have made it to 36 weeks 3 days, and that the worst of my cold seems to be over before labor has truly started (and Marshall's too!). We still want to go longer--ideally at least 37 weeks--but at this point my doctor won't stop labor if it really starts up. I miss being up and about, and I miss helping around the house, and I REALLY miss picking up my toddler and spending time with him that isn't just lying on the floor while he plays nearby, but we're getting through.

As for updates this week (almost 37 weeks):

- I've gained about 28 pounds. For Marshall, I gained 33 total  and delivered at 38 weeks, so I'm a little behind where I was with him, but close enough and my doctor is happy.
- Baby is measuring right on schedule based on the last ultrasound we did (although I know those should always be taken with a grain of salt because measurements are off all the time); I'm just relieved that my doctor isn't worried about a big baby preventing me from attempting a VBAC.
- Baby is moving around a TON still! I can't believe how active this kid is.
- Even with the contractions, I'm not sure when labor will really begin! Perhaps once I'm off bed rest it'll kick in immediately, or maybe it'll still take a few weeks? I am trying to prepare myself for anything!

And last weekend, my parents visited for a few days because they had interviews at LAX for Global Entry (I still don't know what that is). The timing was actually perfect, because they helped us a ton while I was in the hospital, plus (of course) they helped clean our house (my dad shampooed all our carpets, and my mom got our kitchen and bathroom sparkling), not to mention a few meals. They'll be back again when baby arrives, so not much longer, I imagine!

While they were here, we of course enjoyed some fun adventures, as usual:

My dad volunteered to take Marshall for his swim lesson...

My parents took "Marshall" for a wagon ride, which turned into this:

We all went out for donuts, which were insane (Sidecar Donuts is our new favorite!)...

My mom bought Marshall Candy Land and tried to teach him.

Another fun trip. :-)

In food adventures lately...

This delicious fall meal--farro with roasted butternut squash, onion, and brie (SO good!)

(not sure what magazine this is, but here's the recipe!)

Marshall has been cooking up a storm!

(sprinkling spices on his oatmeal...obviously)

Chili from Jenn and Justin in the midst of our crazy week

(Marshall LOVED that chili)

Pancakes courtesy of Daddy and Marshall! Terry encouraged me to sleep in this weekend, so he and Marshall made pancakes. Marshall ran in to our room a few times with some hilarious lines:

- "Mommy, you don't feel good?"

- "Mommy, we're not using buttermilk! We're using regular milk." (so cute!)

Lunches for Marshall, tucked in the freezer for when baby arrives and Marshall is with grandparents.

Now we're counting down to baby! Could be any day, but hopefully baby will grow and stay healthy until he or she is ready to join us. We're actually feeling pretty prepared (dare I say?), and we're definitely excited! 


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