Archive for the ‘New baby’ Category

39 weeks

Despite triple-digit heat indices, all is well in what has to be the home stretch. One way or another, there will be a new baby sometime in the next couple of weeks!

Hold tight

Just a quick baby update . . .

After nearly two weeks of pre labor without much, if any, real progress, my doctor ordered an ultrasound. She had suggested this before, but because I seem to have the kind of babies that make doctors a bit nervous, I had been reluctant to subject myself to anything that could even hint at the need for an early induction given the baby’s size. Turns out, though, there was no need to worry.

The ultrasound tech, upon announcing that this baby currently weighed about 7 pounds, 9 ounces, said, “Yikes, I hope my measurements are off.” Considering that Olivia had already arrived at this point, weighing in just an ounce under 9 pounds, I was too busy celebrating this good news to tell her she need not worry. A seven pound baby at nearly 38 weeks? I was elated, and suddenly in no rush at all.

It would seem that’s a good thing, as this baby is hanging out a bit too high for these contractions to be productive. So, until he decides to head south, nothing much is likely to happen. It’s a big relief to know that despite signs to the contrary, I probably won’t have a baby in the next six hours. In the meantime, I’m doing what little I can to coax him down—walking, sitting on a balance ball and drinking raspberry leaf tea.

And, so, we wait . . . a bit more patiently this week than last.

 

 

 

Weekend round-up and a pre-baby update

We spent the weekend with our friend Tom and his girlfriend Katie, who were visiting from the east coast. I’m not 100 percent sure that Olivia knew exactly which “Tom and Katie” to expect, even though Ava kept reminding her it was the “Tom We’ve Known for a Hundred Years,” and not the “Tom Who Will be Our Uncle Soon.” (For the record, a visit from THAT Tom and Katie would be welcomed anytime, too!)

At Katie’s suggestion, we decided to head to the Flint Hills for a performance by the Kansas City Symphony. The outdoor concert was held in a pasture about halfway between Topeka and Wichita, and the setting could not have been more beautiful. We were expecting a “concert on the square” set-up, maybe with a few hundred people. Instead, we were astonished to learn more than 7,000 people were in attendance. Here’s what we saw as we made our way toward the venue:

We settled in on blankets at the parameter of the crowd, seemingly a half mile from the orchestra. Still, the sound quality was remarkable, and despite 90 degree temperatures, the wind kept us cool.

The sun set just as the symphony played the final notes of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

The entire evening was quite relaxing for me, but I think Bryan was a bit nervous being so far from home at this point in my pregnancy. The shuttle driver that took us from the gate to the venue commented on how brave we were, as he had just delivered a woman back to her car after her water broke. I’m not sure that bit of information helped much, but we made it back home with no trouble at all.

I have spent the last week in “pre labor,” also known by the slightly more irritating term “false labor.” Since last Monday, I have had almost constant contractions, coupled with other symptoms that are normally quite promising. However, a couple of checks with my doctor early last week showed the contractions weren’t resulting in any real progress.

I can imagine that pre labor is helpful the first time around—it probably conditions your body and prepares you mentally and physically for labor. As this is my third, I’m finding it just short of insulting.

Mind you, I’m fine waiting a few weeks—I’m just approaching the 37 week mark (which was when Olivia was born). However, I’d like to spend those few weeks productively, rather than constantly timing painful contractions only to learn that they are six, and then 12, and then four minutes apart—a sure sign that I am not, in fact, in actual labor. It’s more consuming than I’d like to admit, especially since I’m already at that unfortunate point in pregnancy where you become rather self-involved, forgetting that normal people don’t use words like “cervix” in everyday conversation.

When not at work, I spent a bulk of my time at home on the couch, eating sandwiches and complaining about my inability to contract at regular intervals. Meanwhile, it would appear I’ve outsourced nesting to Bryan, who is cleaning and organizing anything he can get his hands on.

Thanks to his efforts, I think we are indeed “ready”—at least as ready as you can be for a third baby. Part of me wonders if this pre labor business isn’t just an important reminder that while I think I know what to expect, there are never any guarantees. Perhaps going from two to three children (or from girls to a boy) won’t be as effortless as I’m anticipating.

In any event, we’re looking forward to welcoming this little one into our lives, and then welcoming what will hopefully be a steady stream of visitors in the coming weeks and months.

Room to grow

We finished painting and decorating the girls’ room this weekend. I have  a tendency to go with the very last option on the paint swatch (why paint something purple when you can paint it PURPLE?) but Bryan talked me into a lighter shade of lavender. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

The beds certainly aren’t space savers, but the colors make for a pretty cute set up. (As I expected, I’ve found two sisters snuggled into the top bunk on more than one occasion.)

This is the cleanest this bookcase will ever look. And, of course, I had to prominently display the Madison terrace chairs and table from American Girl.

Halfway through my photo shoot, I had a volunteer model. Ava’s been spending way too much time perusing direct mail catalogs, it would appear.

We found space to hang the birth samplers my mom made…

…and a spot for the “Pickle Dish” quilt, which Karyl made for Ava. “Night Night Duck,” which Ava loved/loathed for years, took a spot on the shelf next to the book Gramma Great used to read to me, and to my mom before that.

The cradles in the above shot were made by my stepdad and mom—they crafted them with pine from the trees that grew in front of my grandparents’ house for decades. I’ve always intended to do a separate post on this topic, but to be honest, the gesture continues to render me tearfully speechless. (See also: The Dresden Plate quilt Karyl made for me with blocks created from scrap calico by my Great Grandma Wallen, which now hangs just outside of this bedroom.) We are VERY blessed to have such talented and thoughtful family members.

Our final project for the weekend was updating the room just down the hall, which is ready and waiting…

 

 

Overheard: The “I’m only 30 weeks” edition

Various comments directed at me this weekend:

From a shop owner on Mass Street, after learning this is my third: “Let me tell you something no one else will: ALL OF YOUR BABYSITTERS WILL QUIT.”

A college student who appeared to be 14, though I am sure was old enough to legally consume the drink in her hand: “I just love that you’re pregnant and wearing heels. Like, seriously, I love that.”

A woman at the capital campaign kickoff, also upon learning this is my third: “We had three. BUT THEN WE STOPPED. Do you know how expensive college is?” (By the way, my reply here was, “Yes, I do, and that is why the University of Kansas announced a $1.2 billion fundraising campaign 20 minutes ago…”)

Another woman I met at the kickoff: “Oh my goodness! Must be any day now—I hope you make it through this event!”

One of the interns in my department: “When are you going to start maternity leave?” (My response: “About 12 hours after I go into labor.”)

Me, at the grocery store’s meat counter today: “Shhhhh.”

It took me a moment to realize I didn’t have my kids with me, and I had inadvertently shushed a grown woman. A LOUD woman, but still.

Party of Five

We’ve spent the last couple of weekends securing the furniture and storage/organization systems needed to free up space for this new baby. It seems that the third time around, nesting isn’t as much instinct as it is necessity. Though tiny by comparison, our impending addition is leading to quite a bit of shuffling.

The girls will be officially sharing a room, though it’s worth noting they’ve both slept in Ava’s room since Olivia moved from her crib. Her toddler bed didn’t last long—she decided early on she’d rather snuggle with Ava. Even though Olivia makes a remarkably poor bedmate, Ava never argued. But now that they’re having to share a room, I thought they might appreciate having their own space therein. With that in mind, we bought a low loft bed and a trundle that lays perpendicular. I am willing to bet we end up with two girls crammed into a twin size bed, but we’ll see.

To accomodate the consolidated bedrooms, we moved almost all of the toys down to a new playroom in the basement. I think Bryan is spending just as much time down there as the girls—he even set up some vintage gaming systems, which Ava and Olivia are enjoying as well. Despite acquiring new shelving, bins and boxes, most toys are currently “stored” in the center of the room.

I took some time today to go through the storage totes filled with newborn supplies and clothing. I’d say at least half of what we have could pass as gender neutral—a benefit of not knowing the sex of the previous two babies in advance. Bryan set up the crib, which still needs a special part to secure the drop side thanks to a major recall last year.

In the coming weeks, we’ll replace the expired car seat, and maybe even the car . . . Bryan has his eye on a minivan, which admittedly, would be quite practical for a family of five.

Just 10 weeks to go!

It’s a boy, and he’s pretty darn cute.