Tuesday, June 30, 2009

38 Week Update

Updates from my Doctor's

My blood pressure is high (that's pretty much been a concern of mine ever since I went to Labor and Delivery at 34.5 weeks), so they want to monitor that. I have to come back in two days to have it checked again. They are concerned about my risk for preeclamsia, but I do not have any other symptoms (protein in my urine or swelling of the hands and face), which is great.

They also ordered a fetal non-stress test (NST) because my kick-counts (that's the number of kicks in a certain period of time) have gone down ever since the contractions have begun. In the first 20 minutes of the test, they didn't record any movements, but after an apple juice, Baby H. woke up and started moving around for them. There was no cause for concern with the results!

I measured normal (she didn't tell me my number) and the baby's heartrate was good: 155bmp. She didn't want to do an internal, because she felt like it wouldn't give her any additional information. We already know I'm dilated and effaced and really I could go from a 2 to a 10 by tonight anyway, so there is no reason to know (every doctor seems to have a different take on internal exams and it doesn't really matter to me). All-in-all, it was a good appointment and I'm happy they're going to monitor my blood pressure a little more closely. It's always better safe than sorry in my book. :-)

I'm feeling great!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thursday - Just Another Day

** Just for a moment, I'm going to talk in mommy/pregnancy code so that the men/women who read this blog who don't want to be provided too many details about my pregnancy, do not need to hear them. On Wednesday night, I lost my "M.P." While this doesn't necessarily mean a whole bunch, it is definitely a step towards giving birth that I'm happy to take.**

Thursday Night
I really, really struggled with sleep. I was in such pain and was having contractions pretty regularly. I fought through it and continued to toss and turn, knowing that I was NOT going to go to Labor and Delivery falsely again. In the morning, I got out of bed, ate breakfast, and tried to ignore the contractions, but they got intense (not labor intense, but a little intense for braxton hicks). It was difficult for me to walk through the contractions. Because Mr. Howard is so far away (well, 30 minutes...but then that's an hour for me from the hospital), I decided I needed to call and have him come home. I then hopped in the shower so I could have blow-dried hair (should I go into labor).

Almost immediately after the shower, the contractions slowed down. I was determined to make this madness stop and so I suggested we take the dogs around the block for a walk. I contracted the entire walk. We came home and ate lunch; I contracted through lunch as well. Then, I suggested we head over to Babies-r-us to pick up some items we still needed and attempt another nice long walk in air conditioning. After that, contractions were almost completely at a standstill, although I was still feeling cramping and pain. So, off we went to the mall to walk some more. We literally walked around the entire mall and half the stores and still nothing was happening. After exhausting the walking inducing method, we did try a few others. Clearly, however, they have not worked.

No contractions! Of course one might think I'd be upset about this, but it was a welcome relief!!! I am absolutely fine waiting until July 15th (or dare I say, even longer) as long as I don't have the false belief that the contractions I experience every 5 minutes will lead to labor!!

Contractions galore. They were much different than what I had experienced the first time I went to L&D. These are a lot more crampy and lower in my belly. So, we spent the day walking around again. At this point, the more I can walk, the quicker we can get this show on the road. :-) We also went out to a nice lunch and a movie (The Proposal), which was very cute and funny!

Friday, June 26, 2009

In Honor of The Less Than 20 Day Mark

While I watch that little ticker go down daily and it excites me, I have tried to prepare myself for the fact that it could actually be longer than 19 days until I give birth. Please pray that this does not happen. ;-)

Without Further Ado...(in honor of the less than 20 day mark):

A Few of My Favorite Things

  • Feeling so wonderfully blessed to be able to experience carrying a baby - there are so many women in the world who never get to experience it - EVER!
  • Feeling the Baby Move!!!
  • Watching My Husband Seeing My Belly Move
  • Having Mr. Howard rub my belly and talk to the baby
  • Bath Time
  • Occasional foot rubs and back rubs from my Darling Husband
  • My Skin (ahhhhh not a single breakout)
  • My Hair (yay for Pre-Natal Vitamins)
  • Setting up the Nursery
  • Watching my Parents, Mr. Howard's Parents, and my Sister Get Excited!
  • Maternity Clothes (feel blessed to have been given the privilege to wear them)
  • Not having to cook every night
A Few of the Things I am Ready to Put Behind Me

  • Contractions
  • Maternity Clothes (I am so ready to shop at normal size stores)
  • Stares (people stare at pregnant people, I swear)
  • Heartburn
  • Pelvic Pain
  • Swollen Feet, Ankles, Calves, and Thighs - okay really EVERYTHING
  • Not being able to even put lotion on my feet or calves
  • Not being able to sit out of bed or the couch without a darn pulley
  • Morning Sickness (Luckily, I did put this behind me at about 14 weeks)
  • Upper Right-hand Rib-cage Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Having to Rely on Someone Else to Help Me Do EVERYTHING
  • Did I mention the swollen feet, ankles, calves, and thighs??!! (Sorry it's 105 degrees today)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At Long Last

It has ONLY been a year (she says quite sarcastically) since we moved into our "new" house and we have finally bought and had installed a garage door opener.

A few Friday's ago the installer came out and got it all hooked up for us and we can, for the first time in a year, park in our garage. Lucky for us, because it is a 3-car garage, we still have an entire storage/work room to the right of our cars where we can put all the things that have occupied our garage for the last year. We also have an external key-pad entrance to the garage, which I am completely thrilled about (never can we be locked out again).

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm Learning Slowly

After playing around with the video camera, I'm learning slowly. I figured out how to upload videos to itunes and to youtube, but haven't tried burning them onto a DVD yet and I can't figure out if you can just save a video to your computer. Here is the fruit of my labor!

Not Even A Tiny Bit

**Here is a picture of our nursery closet with all the wonderful books, cd's, toys, and clothes we've received as gifts.

Last night after I made a noise from Baby H.'s movement in my belly, Mr. Howard asked me if it was a kick. When I explained that I haven't felt kicks in months, I detailed how it feels now when our little one moves around. Instead of feeling a poking or popping (like a kick), I feel a strong push and you can actually watch as the baby pokes a butt, elbow, or knee right out of my belly. After showing Mr. Howard what it feels like, he said, "wow that must be annoying!"

It took me so off guard that I was quiet for a moment, because "annoying" is simply a word I would never-ever use to express it. I feel so blessed and truly at peace when I feel it. Perhaps it was my struggle with infertility, perhaps it's because I'm so ready to meet my little one, or maybe it's just a mommy thing, but it is the most amazing feeling to feel a baby inside of you and I wouldn't change it for the world. Do I get annoyed when I wake up in the middle of the night because of the kicking? Yes. Do I get annoyed when I can't find a comfortable position because of the baby? Of course. But am I annoyed at the feeling of the baby? Absolutely not! It's the most wonderful feeling in the whole world and I only wish that Mr. Howard could experience it for one day (secretly, I'd also like him to experience having to sit up in bed with a nine-month pregnant belly extending from his front-side, or getting up to pee 8 times a night, or having heartburn, but I'd settle for him being able to feel the fun parts of pregnancy).

Someday when time has passed and I have forgotten what it was like to be pregnant, I hope I will remember the feeling of having a life inside me.


Dear Esophagus,

I am writing this letter to you to apologize for all the burning damage I am doing to you, by way of heartburn. I know that you are upset that I am not taking prilosec or some stronger medicine, but I have been forced under duress (with claims I may hurt my unborn child) to stick to tums (I know, what a joke, right?) and pepcid ac (a little better). I am praying that when Baby H. arrives, I will no longer beat you up. In fact, I have been assured by my doctor that this is the case. If it does not alleviate any of your damage, I promise to work to find a better solution. If it makes you feel any better, I am in pain from sun-up to sun-down and have taken to sleeping in an upright position (which, of course, means I will need to write an apology letter to my neck in a few weeks).

Please accept this heartfelt apology,
Mrs. Howard

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Mr. Howard has already been a wonderful daddy to Baby H. and while he hasn't been able to hold or carry our little one yet, in only a few short weeks he will be able to show off his daddy skills. Happy Father's Day to the daddy-to-be! I can't wait to watch you in a role I know you were born to do!

Love you,
Mrs. Howard

Dad Kirkpatrick and Dad Howard, how lucky are we to have such great models of what dads should be! Don't laugh too hard when our kids say and do the things we did to you. Happy Father's Day!! We love you!

Mr. and Mrs. Howard

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yay For Contests!

My incredibly intelligent husband won a contest at work (to be honest, I'm sure he told me what he had to do to win the contest, but we'll blame it on preggo brain and not on my lack of listening). As his prize, he earned gift cards to Best Buy! So we decided to cash in some points we both had on our credit cards for more best buy cards and off we went to Best Buy to get a video camera (see picture) for the Baby, but don't worry, we will not be video taping the birth...hehe!!

We spent last night charging the battery and figuring out the basics of how to take a video, how to take still pictures, etc. and today I'm going to figure out how to upload it to the computer. I am amazed at the new technology and how far video cameras have come. My favorite part is that when you take a video and then stop it, it creates a little file on your screen. So I can just upload that one clip. I remember the days when you'd have to copy the whole video and then if you wanted to edit it, you'd have to sit there and do it manually with a vhs tape and your camera.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Under the Weather

*Enjoy the picture of Jake after being caught DIGGING in the backyard. :-)

I have taken a little hiatus from the world this week and retreated to bed for a while. The few weeks after getting out of work, I ran around like a crazy person doing all sorts of things and completely burnt myself out. So, this weekend and week, I took a break and got in bed, literally.

Sleep had become incredibly difficult with all the contractions and cramping waking me up several times an hour, which left me feeling like a bit of a walking zombie. I promise to return phone calls and emails tomorrow and be back to my normal self.

I had a doctor's appointment today and she explained to me that some women simply experience contractions for a lot longer than others and that it looks like this is just how it's going to be for the next few weeks. She didn't do an internal exam, so I have no idea if I've progressed. The appointment went well: my blood pressure is a little high - but it is supposed to go up in late pregnancy, I measured at 36 cm, baby's heartbeat was in the 150's, baby's head is down (yay no breech baby), birth plan is on file, received a letter for maternity leave, tested negative for GBS (Group B Strep Infection) - which they apparently did while I was in the hospital last week, and was assured that IF I have Dr. Jerk again I can request another doctor.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You Know You're Fat When...

You eat fritos for lunch at around 12pm and find one in your shirt over 7 hours later at dinner and you had NO IDEA it was even sitting on top of your belly the whole ENTIRE day.


I will be soo happy when I do not have this giant protruding belly coming off my body and instead I have a beautiful baby in my arms!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mission: Install Car Seat

After our Labor and Delivery visit last week, we decided it was time to properly install Baby H's new mode of transportation (rear facing, of course).
If you could have heard him: "Hunny, why are we taking we pictures of this?"

We're still waiting on Mr. Howard's base to arrive. But when it comes, he has already decided to do a video for all the naysayers (he gets, "how is a car seat going to fit in THAT tiny car?").

Another Beautiful Baby

Our cousin had her beautiful baby boy on Wednesday, June 10th weighing in at 10 pounds 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long. He joined his brother, mom, and dad at home yesterday. We are soooo very excited for them!! Poor mom went over a week past her due date and was so ready to meet her little Bruce. :-)

Congratulations Snyders!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

9 Months Pregnant

It's another mirror picture. Sorry! Mr. Howard and I took one together a few days ago, but it turned out SUPER blurry.

We still have 4 weeks until our scheduled due date, but only a little over a week until our little one is considered full term.

I am experiencing contractions everyday, maybe 3-4 an hour. They aren't painful at all, but they occasionally take my breath away. I seem to have more when I'm trying to sleep and when I'm super active and walking around. Because this whole Baby Making Business is new to me, I'm not sure how many people experience this. But, in some ways, it makes me super anxious. Everyday I'm left wondering, will it be today? Will my water break today? Is this the contraction that starts it all? Yesterday for about an hour, I was super crampy and I just kept thinking, hurry get those last thank you notes done before anything happens. Everytime I pee, I wonder, will my water break? Will my plug come? I'm a firm believer in the plan for me and I know things will happen when they're supposed to and I'm not trying to hurry things along, but in some ways I wish the contractions wouldn't start until labor started (so every thought didn't revolve around...is this the _____ that starts labor?).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baby Decided to Stay and Cook a Little More

If you haven't read the post from last night, read that first! Mr. Howard and I arrived at the hospital after having about 15 contractions in a 2 hour period. They were still pretty sporadic, but some would come only 2 minutes or so apart. After leaving the hospital the first time, I was experiencing shortness of breath. I would have to rest for a bit after walking or moving or even talking - kinda like I had jogged across the room. As soon as they hooked me up on the monitors, it became clear my blood pressure was high and my heart rate was high (at some points, it was 115 bpm). The contractions were still reading on the monitors, but they had decreased since the first visit. The doctor examined me and told me I was dilated to 1cm and didn't tell me my effacement. I don't know if I had decreased since the last time they had checked me or if because it was a different doctor, she had a different measurement. They decided to monitor me to determine what the next course of action should be and also told me that my fetal fibronectin test from earlier had come back negative (meaning it was highly unlikely I was going into labor).

After a couple of hours, it was clear my blood pressure wasn't going down and my heart rate was still really high, so they decided to put me on an IV for fluids and give me medicine to stop the contractions. This was in direct contrast to what the doctor had told me before (which was that if I was having contractions, he wouldn't stop them because sometimes the "uterus knows best"). But I decided to go with the flow (if I can keep the baby in a few more weeks to cook, why not?). The doctors left, the nurses left, and Mr. Howard and I watched a bit of tv while we waited.

After about 20-30 minutes, I felt the blood pressure machine go off and turned to Mr. Howard. "What's my BP?" I asked, while he looked at the monitor. Sure enough, it had gone down SIGNIFICANTLY. "And my heart rate?" I asked, knowing that it had to have gone down, because I was no longer out of breath. It too had gone into the 80's (from the 115's). When the doctor came in, we didn't say anything. She just looked at the screen and went, "WOW! What happened? No more contractions? Heart rate's down?"

It was decided I could go home. We still don't know what happened. They think maybe a panic attack (which I completely am prone to have). Although, I had more to panick about after they told me I was going to have the IV and medicine (I'm not a huge fan of needles), and it certainly didn't FEEL like one. But, this whole baby business is new to me...so I have no idea. It could just be a string in a long line of stories involving Baby H's stubbornness. Hehe!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

34.5 Week Update

At about noon this afternoon I began to feel different. It is difficult to explain, but it just felt very very different from any other day. At lunch with Saskia I couldn't tell if I was having contractions or if the baby was just moving in weird positions, but I began to get very uncomfortable (not painful at ALL, just uncomfortable). I headed over to Michael's and had trouble walking the aisles. While walking to my car, I had an unmistakable contraction.

After getting home to Mr. Howard, I called an advice nurse, who referred me to Labor and Delivery. They told me that it was difficult to tell over the phone, but that some of my symptoms were consistent with labor. So, off we went to Roseville's hospital.

After a three hour visit, a few things were clear: Yes I was having contractions (how cool to be able to watch them on a monitor), I was dilated to 1.5 centimeters, 50% effaced, with high blood pressure. It was difficult to tell whether or not I was having labor contractions or braxton hicks contractions, so the doctor (or Dr. Jerk as I call him) ordered a fetal fibronectin test. He then sent me home for 2 hours with instructions to rest and come back if nothing changed. Luckily Mr. Howard was able to catch the Lakers game while I was hooked up to monitors for observations (see picture).

It has now been 1.5 hours and nothing has changed. So, off we are going to go to see what they say.

About Dr. Jerk:
One of the first questions he asked us was how long we had been married. When he found out it was just under 2 years, he proceeded to tell us that it was WAYYY to soon to be having a baby and that he was going to have to "talk to" our doctor to find out why she let us get pregnant after a year of marriage. He was saying it jokingly, but it was NOT funny AT ALL. Then, later, in order to "calm me down" the doctor told me first to "RELAX!" and then explained that his finger was only THIS big (holding up his finger) and that a head THIS big (holding up two hands) was going to be coming and that I should get ready, to which I looked at my husband for strength and politely said nothing. The second time he brought it up after wincing in pain from his internal exam, I very rudely replied "Ummm Have YOU ever had a baby?" The nurses at the station who heard me all laughed. I mean, really. What authority does he have in telling me the amount of pain I may or may not experience. I understand he's gone through medical school and LOTS of practice, but really...has he ever had a baby? No! Has he ever been pregnant? No. Has he ever had an internal exam? No. Has he ever been swabbed? No. Has he ever been dilated or effaced? Once again, NO. So shut up! ***She says with a very sweet and very hormonal smile**

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Project Backyard Continues

After months and months (to give you an idea, we've lived in the house for over a year now) of working on the backyard, we decided to give it another go yesterday. I lovingly took pictures and worked on a scrapbook, while Mr. Howard worked in the yard (Hey! Being 8.5 months pregnant, has to count for something).

"Kinda" Before Picture: Getting ready to build a wall (below):
After Picture - Wall Built. Need a few more bricks (below):
Before Side #2 (below):
After Side #2 (all done!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Please, Baby, Move

Us TRYING to capture movement from Baby H., unsuccessfully! If you wait a bit into the video, you can see Harley crawl up on the bed and watch us.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

School's Out for the Summer!!

Now that school is out for the summer, this is what I'll be doing until Baby H. arrives, except for a few minor changes. My ankles will be raised above my heart (because of the swelling), there will be tums on the floor near me instead of nail polish remover, I will be leaning slightly to the left because of the pain in my right ribcage, my hair probably won't be done (I get out of breath blowdrying my hair), I probably won't be reading (a pregnant woman's attention span is very, very short), and my left hand will probably be massaging my lower back because of the excruciating pain that has begun from the basketball sticking out of my belly. Come to think of it...I will look nothing like this picture. ;-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


A friend and coworker had her baby Monday night (well, technically EARLY Tuesday morning) with a 25 minute labor, might I add (Lucky, lucky girl!). I couldn't be more excited for her and, of course, it makes me doubly excited and ready for my own little one to arrive.

Congratulations Josh and Jen!! Welcome to the world Ellie Rose!

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