Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Week 38 (and a half)

11 days until my due date!  I am so ready to be done being pregnant, to be a mom, and to have my body be my own again.  I know I'm certainly not the first woman to experience the pains and discomforts present in the last couple weeks of pregnancy, and I do wish someone had warned me about just how ready I'm going to be to give birth.  The waiting game is tough, and it is complicated by a delivery taking place over the holidays, and family and friends who are traveling from long distances for the occasion.  Plus, if our baby decides to come late, Eric will be back in school, and I'd really rather have him around full-time that first week.

I'm doing a LOT of walking, water aerobics, etc. to try and get this process moving, but as of my appt. yesterday, I hadn't made any progress and was still only 1 cm dilated.  If anyone has any brilliant tips for inducing labor naturally, please let me know!

In other news, today is my last day of work (likely for quite awhile) and that is a strange feeling.  I'm glad to have some restful, relaxing days at home before giving birth.  I just hope I can find plenty to do to distract myself from wondering when this birth will happen!

Thanks to all our family and friends who are praying for us.  We're eager to see many of you over the holiday season, and hopefully we'll have a new addition to the family for you to meet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weekend in Chicago

Sarah and I went to Chicago for the weekend for some pre-baby fun. It was indeed a lot of fun, not as cold as last time, and despite some worrying from those near and dear to us, we made it home, safe and sound.

Being December and all, Chicago was abuzz with the Christmas rush, and the streets were filled with out-of-towners who drove miles to fight traffic and pay high prices at fancy stores.  Gangs of jolly santas also roamed the streets for some reason, confusing lots of little kids. Even the L was outfitted with Christmas decorations:

Sadly, Santa did not slow down the train to pick us up.

On Friday, after visiting Ikea and reconnoitering the location of our downtown hotel, we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, which was delicious. They make a mean cheesecake.

We spent most of Saturday at the Brookfield Zoo, unlike 99.9% of the rest of city. You see, the zoo is not very popular when it is December and the temperature is below freezing. Fortunately, this made for some pretty good zoo-age. With no crowds to interfere, we had more opportunities to commune with the animals. Plus, the cold weather was negated by the fact that the animal houses were kept toasty warm. Highlights of the zoo included the monkeys and gorillas:

and the dolphin show:

Sunday we took in the Museum of Science and Industry, which was also in the Christmas spirit, and featured Christmas trees from around the world. Despite the excitement of the big Star Wars exhibit that others may have been interested in, we stuck to the main exhibits like the coal mine, U-505 submarine (now 100% more underground!) and Jollyball.

After the museum, we grabbed pizza at Gino's East, saw the Second City (not as good as last time), and headed home. It was a great trip, and probably our last as just the two of us for quite a while. Still, I'm looking forward to trips as the three of us, when it will be even more fun.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Week 37

I'm officially full term!  A few days ago at my (now weekly) doctor's appointments, I was dilated to 1 cm.  Now, this means very little in terms of timing, because my doctor said she's seen women who aren't at all dilated deliver less than 48 hours later and others be dilated to 4 cm for almost a month!  Still, it's a sign that my body is preparing a way to get this baby out eventually.

Eric and I are headed to Chicago in just a few hours for the weekend.  We're hoping to enjoy one last getaway weekend while we're still childless.  It should be fun, and we've got a few things planned, but mostly we're just looking to relax!  The grandmothers-to-be are a little worried that I'll go into labor on this trip, but even if that were to happen, Chicago has wonderful hospitals. ;-)

As soon as we get back, Eric said he's going to be putting a plan into action to get the kiddo to come early - he really wants to have as much time as possible before going back to school in January, but who knows if she'll cooperate.  We'll have to wait and see...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Week 36

I now have less than one month until my official due date!  I'm feeling good because I know that anytime from here on out our baby will be pretty healthy even if she comes early.  In fact, because Eric is done with classes on December 6th, we're almost hoping that she does come a week or two early so she can have more time to bond with her dad.  I also wouldn't mind ending the pregnancy a little early, as I do grow increasingly uncomfortable everyday!

Sleeping when you are pregnant is quite a challenge.  I rotate sleeping on my left and right sides, switching when I wake up every couple of hours to use the bathroom.  But my hips are killing me by the middle of the night, and while it seems like while our baby is pretty quiet during the day, she really likes to move around at night.  And, since she is fairly large now, these movements are now quite noticeable and hard to sleep through.  I've been spending 8 hours in bed the past few nights, but probably only getting about 6 hours of sleep.

Next week at my doctor's appointment they should start checking to see if I am dilated or effaced, so that's exciting.  I'll make sure to post any news!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Week 35

I'm so sorry to the faithful friends and family who regularly check our blog hoping for an update - I haven't written nearly as often as I had hoped.  Part of this I blame on my job, which has been way more stressful and busy this fall than I ever anticipated.  But, the other part is just being a little lazy!  Either way, I'm happy to report that everything is continuing to go well with the pregnancy.

Two weeks ago I was given another ultrasound, and the partial placenta previa I was experiencing earlier has completely resolved itself.  This means I have the green light for a vaginal delivery!  Our little girl was measuring pretty much right on target at that ultrasound, though her head was measuring somewhat big - not exactly what every mother wants to hear. ;-)

I also can't complain too much about pregnancy symptoms.   I have a little trouble sleeping for any long stretch of time at night, and inevitably wake up with sore hips each morning.  But other than that, I continue to feel pretty good, have no had no noticeable swelling, and no stretch marks yet (knock on wood!).  I think staying active  - by running for as long as it was remotely comfortable, and then walking and taking water aerobics - has really helped with a smooth pregnancy.

Eric and I are eager for the arrival of our daughter!  We can't wait to meet her though there are moments when I wonder what we've gotten ourselves into.  I have a feeling that's pretty normal though.  Oh, and a huge blessing for us has been that we found a fantastic childcare provider for after my maternity leave!  Her husband works at Calvin with me, and she has two little kids of her own and watches a third child two days a week.  Oh, and they live four houses down from us - isn't that amazing?!  Eric and I felt completely at peace with her just minutes after meeting with her!

Okay, perhaps the length of this post will make up for the lack of quantity in recent weeks.  Thanks to all of you who are thinking of us and praying for us!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week 27

A couple of days ago I officially entered the third trimester of my pregnancy! It's crazy and terribly exciting to think that in only three months Eric and I will be parents. Things are continuing to progress well, and after taking a horribly disgusting sugary drink, I've learned that I don't have gestational diabetes. I continue to feel our little girl kick (or punch?) quite often, which is often fun and only occasionally uncomfortable. I'm still jogging occasionally, though more often walking or going to water aerobics with other moms-to-be. The only recent complaint is that sleeping through the night has become a rare experience. I commonly wake up in the middle of the night (sometimes triggered by heartburn) and often am wide awake for the next one to two hours. If this is my bodies way of preparing me for feedings in the middle of the night, I think we can hold off on that training for a few more weeks!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Week 26 Update

Our little swimmer is still gestating happily. She is still healthy, and has a new set of pictures to share taken a couple weeks ago at her week 24 photo shoot.

Friday, August 17, 2007

My "condition"

A few days ago I was in the checkout line at the library when a tiny old lady approaches me and says "You're in my favorite condition!" with a big smile on her face. She's old enough that I begin to wonder if she knows what she's saying, and I must look visibly confused, because she points to my stomach and winks. Ah, I get it now, and I realize that she is the first stranger who has identified me as a pregnant woman. I'm feeling pretty happy that I look pregnant, as opposed to pudgy, to the rest of the world, and I half listen as the woman tells me about having six children and many grandchildren. Suddenly, we both notice another woman with a bump about my size listening to us a few feet away. "Congratulations to you too!" says the old lady, and in response, the woman with the bump sadly informs us that she's not pregnant but only wearing comfortable clothing. So much for my verification of looking pregnant and not pudgy - turns out old ladies like this one think everyone is pregnant!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It's a girl!

Yesterday we went to the hospital for our detailed ultrasound. The night before, I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve, and couldn't sleep at all - in part because of the excitement of learning more about this great gift we're being given! Our ultrasound was scheduled early in the morning (though not quite as early as I thought, and thus we arrived 30 minutes early for our appointment), and we watched for over an hour as a student technician, and eventually a more experienced technician, measured all the growing parts of our baby. We saw the liver, the kidneys, the brain, the heart, the spine, the bones in the legs and arms and finally our technician said "there it is - it's a girl". She seemed very confident in this proclamation, as we saw what looked like three dots and a line to Eric and I, and patiently explained that was the labia. So, we are now eagerly awaiting the birth of our daughter! Our little girl wouldn't fully cooperate to let the technician view the four chambers of the heart as well as she wanted, so we'll probably end up going back in a few weeks, but we were able to see that the heart was beating, and seems to be working just fine, and was registering a fetal heart beat of 138 (which is well within the normal range). Praise God!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Baby Update (16 weeks)

If my tummy is any indication, Baby Plantinga is continuing to grow and flourish in utero. Baby is now 16 weeks old, and should be about the size of one's hand (according to all the baby books we're reading), and I am now definitely wearing more maternity clothing, left with only a handful of pre-baby items that still fit.

The most exiting thing that Baby Plantinga has done recently is make his or her presence known to me. The other night I was laying awake in the middle of the night (after one of my MANY trips to the bathroom) and when I returned to bed, I'm pretty confident that I felt the baby move. It felt like a moth was trapped inside my tummy, moving around and trying to find its way out!

Also, we've decided to find out the gender of the baby, and we have an ultrasound scheduled for August 2nd, so you can expect another exiting update shortly after that appointment. Almost everyone who has made a guess thus far has said boy, and that has been my gut feeling throughout most of the pregnancy as well, but we'll soon find out for sure!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First Baby Picture

Baby's first ultrasound was a rousing success! Everything appears healthy and normal, and the baby even showed off a newly-beating heart and some primitive dance moves. We are quite happy and are eagerly awaiting a birth in the last week of December.