Thursday, June 9, 2011

More Things I Didn't Know

I wrote a post a couple of months ago about things that nobody had told me to expect in pregnancy.  However, there are a few more things that I have learned just from being pregnant.  These things refer more to the baby in particular.  So, I wanted to share them! 

1.) Due Date & Full Term
Today, I am 35 weeks (going by my original due date).  So, that means I have 5 weeks to go.
BUT! I have only 2 weeks until he is considered full term meaning that if he's born in two weeks, they won't consider him premature.  However, if my ultrasound due date is correct, I have 3 more weeks until he is full term.

2.) So why cook so long?
I think other people surely have wondered this when they learned what I did.  It seems odd that a baby is full term at 37 weeks, but due at 40 weeks.  One of my pregnancy books says, "Because pregnancy is not fair" HAHA! But not really.  It is because even though they are technically developed at 37 weeks, their immune system needs to develop further (as well as the lungs in some cases).

3.) White Baby Boy Syndrome
Speaking of lungs, one of my coworkers had told me that one reason I really want to carry the baby to 40 weeks is due to what she refers to as "White Baby Boy Syndrome." I had never heard of this. Ever. Anywhere.
I looked it up and, although it has a name, it's more of a generalized term that people have coined than a fact.
HOWEVER, there is statistical data that shows baby boys tend to take longer to develop than baby girls.  They use this based on babies they see in the NICU.  Girls are more often more developed at earlier stages.  My coworker said the "White Baby Boy Syndrome" had to do with the fact that baby boys' lungs are usually not as developed as baby girls.
I don't consider this really a syndrome or even something to go preaching, but I will use caution now.  This is why, if my baby comes early, I want them to check his lungs.

4.) Comfortable Inside
Gordon Lee is positioned inside me like this
I know this because of where I am feeling movements.  Plus, I can actually feel his head very distinctly now.  It feels like a small ball, so I know where it is.  
Well, I didn't know what to call this position.  So, when I last saw my doctor, I told her I was 99% sure he was in there "sideways." She looked at me and said, "That means he is transverse." So I learned a new term! This position is called transverse.  Some people referred to it as breech, but breech is only when the baby's head is up and feet are down vertically.  
Upon examination, my doctor agreed that he is transverse.  But she said not to worry about it as this is apparently not too difficult of a position for a baby to go from to head down.
I've also been practicing a few exercises that are recommended to help turn a transverse baby head down.  One of them is getting on all fours and stretching your arms out in front of you like a cat.  This baby is stubborn, though.  He has turned toward the head down position only to move back to transverse when I get up.

5.) Braxton Hicks Contractions aren't Necessarily Painless
On Tuesday, I woke up with my abdomen cramping on and off.  It was so uncomfortable.  I actually became kind of concerned that I was having contractions.  Not wanting to call the hospital in case they were braxton hicks, I decided to try things like drinking more water to see if that would help.  Unlike real contractions, braxton hicks contractions are supposed to go away if you change activities or do something like drinking water.  The water did make it go away, so I realized they weren't real contractions.
But I'm going to be honest.  It was not painless.  

6.) And Finally One Thing That has Been Different for me Than What People Have Told me
A lot of people have said to me that when you get into late pregnancy, you won't be as excited when the baby moves because it hurts so much.  Last night, he was positioned with some body part poking into my ribs and his head jutting out of my right side like he wanted to come out that way.  It hurt so much! I couldn't sleep on my right side.  
But, I still don't even care if it hurts, I like it when my baby moves.  It is reassurance that he is alive in there! So, even if I have to get a jab in the ribs or pee every hour because he is on my bladder, I am just happy to know he is moving and doing well.
My belly jumps around now when he moves.  And it does hurt, but it's still a miracle to me and it makes me happy. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Little Birdie

Almost anybody who knows me knows that I love songbirds.  There are a few here and there that I don't enjoy.  But I absolutely love watching the friendly songbirds who make life pleasant.  I don't even care if the only other people who also enjoy this are older women.  I enjoy what I enjoy no matter what my age is.  I think what I love most about watching the birds is that you can see rare species not seen very often if you put out the right things and watch at the right times of the year.
Two vibrantly colored species I saw several times in Virginia were the Indigo Bunting and the Scarlet Tanager. It's the males that are covered in beautiful bold colors as females are brown to blend in with a nest.  However, they are still a glorious sight to see!
When I catch a glimpse of one of these birds I just sit and stare at the beauty of God's creation.  They are only these wonderful colors during the Spring and Summer time when the male must stand out to keep predators away from the nest.  They are also only in the United States for that period of time as they abide in Mexico and further south the rest of the year.

One bird that I am on the lookout for here now that I am in Georgia is the Painted Bunting.
This bird would be a fantastic one to see and its range does include Georgia.  I still have yet to see one though.

Anyway, now that I have laid the background information out as to why I am so intrigued by birds, I have to say how interesting it is to see TWO big comparisons between myself and a bird being pregnant.

1.) From a frontal view, the pregnant belly really can appear to be shaped like an egg!
        I was commenting to my husband the other day on what it might be like if I actually had to lay an egg instead of carry the baby around at all times.  
  • I certainly would have had to quit working right away.  I'm sure there would be no sitting on eggs and teaching.  Plus a bird must rotate the eggs every so often and add moisture.
  • BUT I wouldn't have any personal weight gain as the child would be able to grow in the egg...unless of course I put on weight by sitting too much.
Although it would be nice to have the extra weight off, I also don't know what I'd think about sitting on an egg all day.

2.) At the end of pregnancy, there is a behavior that they call "nesting." Many people know that this is when a pregnant woman has an insatiable desire to clean house and organize.  
I have found that I have had nesting spurts! One day I will wake up and need to clean everything in sight! The next day I'll feel like I don't have the energy to do a thing! Today is one of my nesting days as I just keep thinking "The house can't be like this when the baby gets here."
I think that I will probably do it increasingly as I get closer to my due date!

On that topic, my due date is now roughly 5-6 weeks away! I am going by my original due date of July 14th for now.  That's the due date that my doctor is using, so it makes it easier for me to just go by that one also.  Otherwise, I'd start getting confused about which appointments to make when.  The other due date, if I go by the ultrasound, is 8 days after the 14th. 

I'm still hanging onto that second date for a couple of reasons.  If the baby is born earlier than the due date, he still may be a week younger than they think.  So, I want his lungs to be checked to make sure they are developed enough.  Also, if I go past my due date, I am still going to hold out that extra week in the event that he really wasn't due on the 14th after all and that I do not need to be induced on July 21st as my true due date would be right around then.  

Anyway, that's all for now! There are a lot of babies being born and due right around now it's hard to believe!