Friday, October 30, 2009

Testing

Testing ... testing ... my blog is acting weird ...

Welcome to Maine, Scout!



It’s official: Our little northbound Scout has made it to Maine!



In fact, Scout is struggling through Mahoosuc Notch this very day, and I can feel it. I woke up nauseated and faint-y feeling, and could barely get out of bed after a long night of no sleep. Scout has been kicking less than usual this morning, most likely because he/she is concentrating so hard on getting through all those boulders—kind of like his/her mommy back in the day:



Then again, maybe our southbound Scout is just in a relaxed mood; he/she has just left the town of Hot Springs, NC, and is headed for the Smokies.



OK, enough trail talk. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that the Appalachian Trail is all a big, adventurous metaphor for Scout’s journey of growth in the womb. (Though I must admit, when I’m writing these things, I have an image of a naked little newborn hiking on the trail, with tiny Leki poles and everything.)

Here’s what’s really up with Scout:

Scout’s most likely grown past 18 inches long from head to toe and weighs at least five pounds. (No wonder I feel like I’m hauling a watermelon around!) Scout’s little kidneys are fully developed, too, as is his/her liver. Most of Scout’s physical development, in fact, is complete. Now Scout just needs to pack on the pounds. (Though I—and my pelvis—really, really, really won’t complain if Scout turns out to be a compact, petite little newborn.)

Here’s what Scout might look like at this stage, only Scout is much cuter, I’m sure:



And how am I doing? Ahh, you don’t want to know. Here are a few words to describe me: Cranky. Irritable. Stressed. Tired. Ready to have this baby, envelop ourselves (with Hubster and the cats) in the cozy cocoon of our house, and leave the rest of the world behind.

Oh, and worried. I guess this is normal, too. I guess it would be a lot worse if I weren’t continuing to work out (mostly yoga at this point) and do breathing and relaxation exercises every day. But I worry about Bobcat Beau attacking Little Scout. I worry about Scout getting the flu and dying, particularly since I'm apparently allergic to the flu shot. I worry about getting postpartum depression. (This is actually a legitimate worry in my case.) I worry about Hubster being at camp all summer while I’m home alone and working full time. How am I supposed to do that with a tiny, utterly-dependent-on-me baby? I have no family close by, and I hate the idea of leaving Scout with a babysitter or in daycare.

I worry that my house is a mess and won’t be clean in time for Scout (hopefully, that worry is a prelude to the “nesting instinct” I keep hearing about but haven’t experienced yet). I worry that I won’t be able to get all my work done at work; it hit me yesterday that my maternity leave starts in less than four weeks. Oh, my. And I have so much work to do! I worry that we won’t have enough baby “stuff,” even though my sister has equipped us with most of the big items (car seat, stroller, bassinet, etc.).

For people like my mom who are freaking out over my worrying right now … don’t worry! I’m not eaten up with worry. It’s not making me crazy or keeping me up at night or anything (I leave that job to my oversized belly). It’s just there. I honestly think it’s a hormonal “mom” thing.

Overall, things are good. The work will get done, the house will get cleaned, we’ll figure something out for next summer, and we'll probably end up with too much baby stuff when it's all said and done. Meanwhile, I need to get back to work so I can get it all done before my last day in (gulp) three weeks and five days.

If both Scout and I (and Scout’s Daddy) can make it through Mahoosuc Notch, we can make it through this.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 34 Belly Pic

OK, so Hubster took about six pictures of me before we finally got this one. Clearly, my lack of beauty sleep is taking its toll.



Once Hubster finished with the camera, I confiscated it and took a picture of my feet. Or at least I tried to. Nice, huh?



The next person who tells me I "don't look very pregnant" is going to get a hormone-induced kick in the mouth.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Six Weeks to Go!



Wow. I opened a blank Word document at 8:00 this morning to write a quick “Week 34” update, and here I am at 1:00 and I’m just getting started.

Work is busy! Time is flying!

Northbound Scout is still in the Whites, just north of Mount Washington. Dad and I are so proud of you, Scout! You’ve conquered the Mount Washington of your time in the womb!



Southbound Scout is just south of Erwin, TN, close to where the trail meets I-26. I-26! That’s, like, not that far from my house! Before I know it, Scout will be right here in the sleepy little trail town of Franklin!



Things are starting to feel surreal now that I have only six weeks until my due date. Six weeks. That’s nothing. When I was six weeks pregnant, I was still in the shock/denial stage of the whole experience. Me? Pregnant at 39? Little Miss I-Have-No-Maternal-Instincts Me?

Now I’m 100% mommy-to-be, talking to this little kicker in my womb, cooing over baby stuff, and telling Hubster silly, sappy things like, “Oh, I can’t wait to experience childbirth with you.”

Scout has already changed my life. For the better, too, I think.

Speaking of Scout (heh heh), let’s see what’s probably going on with the (not so) little one is doing at 34 weeks.

Scout’s about four and three-quarters pounds and 18 inches long from head to toe. Do you realize … that’s not a whole lot shorter than most babies are when they’re born. Gulp. Scout’s getting fat, too—but that’s a really, really good thing! He/she is becoming rounder and more “baby-looking,” and his/her skin is getting smoother than ever.

On the inside, Scout’s central nervous system is maturing, and so are Scout’s lungs (hence the rhythmic little hiccups I’ve been feeling).

If Scout were born today, assuming he/she is as healthy as expected, Scout would probably have no health problems at all. We’re out of the woods on that one, Scout (God willing).

Here’s what little Scout might look like this week:



As for me, if you read my post from earlier this week, you know that I’ve been overtaken by the general discomfort of late-term pregnancy. My maternity clothes are feeling too small, and it’s nearly impossible to sleep comfortably, no matter what position I’m in. I wish it were possible to sleep on my hands and knees.

I’m tired, too. Being pregnant while working 10+ hours a day during development season at work is definitely taking its toll. But I’m still loving work, so that’s good.

My biggest problem these days is my lack of appetite. I pick at my food. I don’t ever want anything to eat. All I want is water and juice. Nothing tastes good to me. This is very frustrating because I know Scout needs the nutrients … but I get all gaggy when I try to eat anything.

I do have some good news on the digestive front, though: my morning nausea seems to be gone. I hope. It seems to be helping to eat a big spoonful of peanut butter first thing every morning. Let’s hope that’s the solution I needed. I get all gaggy with peanut butter, too (particularly first thing in the morning), but I feel better after I eat it.

Next week, Northbound Scout will be in Maine (Maine!), and Southbound Scout will be approaching the Smokies. We’re almost there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Trouble with Working from Home

I felt awful today. Nausea, cramping, weak, etc., plus I was exhausted from lack of sleep over the past few weeks. I didn't go into work first thing this morning, waiting instead until after my midwife appointment to head to the office.

I was nearly in tears at my appointment. I just don't feel good. I usually feel OK in the afternoon, but the mornings and evenings are uncomfortable. I'm not in pain; just very uncomfortable. And I'm starting to feel the tugs of round ligament stretching again as the baby gets bigger and bigger.

(Strangely enough, Scout is still measuring small. Heart rate was 140, and Scout had the hiccups when the midwife listened to the heartbeat with the Doppler. It was very sweet.)

So I went to work and pretty much went straight into an hour-long meeting. I sat there, hoping I wouldn't get sick. Actually, I knew I wouldn't get sick, but I sure felt like I could.

So after the meeting, I got some work-things done, met with my fellow tech writer over some tasks and deadlines, printed out a bunch of hard copies of things I needed to read or edit, and e-mailed myself a couple of articles that I needed to combine into a single article for a Thursday deadline. And I went home to work in the relative comfort of boxer shorts, a t-shirt, and a couch. (Thankfully, I have a nice boss who was OK with that.)

Within minutes after I got home, Hideaway Cat and I conked out on the couch for two hours. Ahh. Not something we (or at least I) had planned to do, but apparently I needed the rest. Then I got to work on the items I'd taken home, and I worked diligently for a good five or so hours, stopping only for bathroom breaks.

Only problem with working at home: Whenever I came back from my bathroom breaks, I was met with this sight:



I know Hideaway sees herself as a co-worker who is only helping me out. She doesn't seem to understand that the computer, unlike my pillow, does not need to be kept warm when I'm gone.

Silly goose.

Now it's 9:00 and I'm getting my nighttime nausea (which is not that different from my morning nausea).

I think I'm starting to feel ready for this baby to come out.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 33 Belly Pic

Do you remember when I posted my first belly pic, at Week 20? You don't? Well, here it is again:



That was back when I had a cute little belly. I don't have such a cute little belly anymore, I don't think. Now that I'm less than seven weeks from Scout's due date, I'm finally looking like a bona fide pregnant woman, one who has a belly worth flaunting:



That little blue shirt isn't fitting me so well anymore, either.

But I'm happy to finally look pregnant. I got so tired of hearing about how un-pregnant I looked. It honestly hurt my feelings (for whatever reason) when people said that, and I'm glad those days are over.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Week 33 of Life with Scout



Scout and I have seven weeks to go. Seven weeks until I’m the mother of some poor, hapless, innocent little soul. More power to him/her.

Southbound Scout is at Carver’s Gap:



I must admit, I feel about as tired now as I did when I was nearing the end of my thru-hike. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks—no, make that months. It’s uncomfortable to lie on my sides, and it downright hurts to lie on my back. I can’t see how women actually give birth while lying on their backs. I’ll do that only if they chain me down or drug me numb.

Anyway, here’s where Northbound Scout is on his/her thru-hike of womb life.



Yep, Scout has made it to the Whites. That’s a big deal. Northbounders know that when they’ve made it to the Whites, they’re almost done.

And I’m almost done, with this stage of Scout’s life, at least. Seven more weeks. Forty-nine more days. Here’s what Scout might look like at 33 weeks:



Scout’s about four pounds now, maybe a little more, and is about 17 inches long. And boy, is this baby active! He/she moves around all day long, it seems, and into the night. And I’m not even drinking coffee! Scout's kidneys finished maturing last week, so now we’re just waiting for the little lungs to develop.

The baby furniture (minus the crib) will be delivered this afternoon, which is pretty exciting. Now I’ll finally have a place to put all these wonderful unisex clothes that Miss Ella has outgrown.

Friday, October 9, 2009

32 Weeks: New States, New Maps!



Good news! Both southbound Scout and northbound Scout are in new states—and new maps—today! We’re 32 weeks along, with just eight short weeks to go. Southbound Scout finally crossed the Virginia state line and crossed over into Tennessee, and is now at Vandeventer Shelter, some 30 miles south of the state line. Welcome to the last map section of your southbound hike, Scout! (Click map to enlarge.)



Our Northbound Scout practically flew through Vermont and is almost to the White Mountains now. Today we can find Scout at Etna-Hanover Center Road, just 6.4 miles past the VT/NH state line. Brr, it’s getting cold for Little Scout in both directions! Anyway, welcome to the last map of your northbound hike, Scout!



If pregnancy is 40 weeks and each “month” is 28 days (at least that’s the way the doctors measure it), then pregnancy is actually 10 months instead of nine. And I’m eight months along. Wow.

Our Scout is about 3.75 pounds now, and about 16 and a half inches long … and growing. Scout is gaining about a half-pound a week, and is expected to gain a third to half of his/her birth weight during the next seven weeks. Here’s what he/she might look like right now:



While Scout grows, he/she is blinking, looking around, breathing, peeing, listening, kicking mommy in the ribs ... and, I guess, waiting. Maybe feeling a little squenched in there, too.

I’m definitely in waiting mode. We were supposed to get the baby furniture a couple of weeks ago, but it was held up, thanks to the crib being discontinued. So we ordered the new model (which, to be honest, is nicer than the old model, and we’re getting it for the old-model price), and are hoping it’s here by early November. We’ll see. Otherwise, we might be using a dresser drawer for Scout’s first bed.

I’ve been visited by some late-term morning sickness, plus the usual fatigue. My daily workouts are getting harder and harder. I’m doing what I can. I'm really enjoying work these days, so that's helping a lot.

Eight more weeks! (Seven more weeks until I go on maternity leave!)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Little Scout Update

Well, little Scout and I had our two-week appointment with the OBGYN this morning. My weight has ballooned, relatively speaking--after three weeks of the scale hardly budging, it jumped five pounds. Looks like Scout had a bit of a growth spurt. That’s hardly a surprise to me; Hubster and I can both definitely tell that my belly has grown more than usual in the past week.

Still, Scout’s measuring just a tiny bit small for a 31.5-week-old fetus. (I hate that word “fetus.” It sounds like “Cletus,” and Scout is definitely not a Cletus.)

Heart rate was 130, which is just perfect for a little Scout. More good news: it looks like Scout is moving into “launch” position, with his/her head down and facing the correct way. Yay! Now, if only Scout will stay that way for the next eight and a half weeks …

Last night, Hubster and I laughed as we watched Scout’s little feet kicking at my belly. Amazing that the only thing that stands between me and little Scout is a bit of skin and muscle.

Speaking of kicking, Scout whooped it up to ragtime music this morning when I played the piano. He/she was pretty still throughout Bach and Chopin, but when I started to play Scout Joplin, there was some real dancing going on in my belly. At least I hope it was dancing and not complaining.

So, things are good. Scout looks healthy. I haven’t had any contractions, false or otherwise, yet, so I’m hoping things will keep going as they are and I’ll carry Scout to term. Feeling very thankful for the way things are going with this little one.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 31 Belly Pic

Scout and I took this one out at Pickens Nose, a rock outcropping in the Wayah Ranger District in Western North Carolina.



Nine weeks to go!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thirty-one Weeks



Nine weeks to go. That’s 63 days, folks. One of my co-workers is having her baby today (via C-section). I should be close behind in the joint effort to add new members to our department at work.

Hiking, anyone? If this pregnancy were a southbound hike, Scout and I would be almost, almost, almost (but not quite) to the Virginia state line.We’ve made it past Mt. Rogers and are on our merry way toward Damascus. This is exciting. After threading my way across the NC/TN border, I’ll be in Georgia, and next thing I know … I’ll have the lil bebby in my arms.

So here we are on the southbound map (click map for bigger picture):



Now, if Scout’s a boy, there’s a good chance that he will want to grow up to be just like his Daddy. (And who can blame him?) And if he does, he’ll most certainly be hiking the trail northbound. If this pregnancy were a northbound hike, Scout would be at Sherburne Pass, where the AT breaks off from Vermont’s Long Trail and heads toward Maine. Since Scout is his/her dad’s child, he/she would be enjoying a brewski at the Inn at Long Trail right about now.



(OK, you can get the idea of an unborn child drinking a beer out of your head now.) (Hee hee ... aren't misplaced modifiers funny?)

Here’s what Scout looks like these days:



A cutie, no?

Scout is now over 16 inches long and weighs about three and a half pounds. (Though I think he/she weighs more. I need an excuse for the three pounds I gained over Felix and Pilot’s wedding weekend.) Scout’s body is finally beginning to plump out, and this baby will gain about a half-pound a week from now until birth. It’s hard to believe; my stomach already feels stretched to the breaking point. (But no stretch marks so far! Yay!)

Also, Scout is moving quite a bit. He/she is usually pretty calm and still during the day; it’s later that our little night owl comes out to play.

All systems are a go, except for Scout’s little lungs. Yep, all the organs are working, and we’re just waiting for those lungs to mature.

As for me … I’m feeling good. The third trimester has been my best trimester so far. I’ve exercised more, laughed more, enjoyed life more than I ever did in the first and second trimesters. This is weird, because the second trimester is supposed to be the best. Oh well. You know me, always the nonconformist.

My belly is getting bigger and bigger (I promise, I’ll post a belly pic for this week.) I used to think pregnancy had given me giant boobs, but the girls are now dwarfed by the belly. I’m still “small” by 7-month pregnancy standards, but I’m big for me. And I’m having the usual pregnancy problems of trouble sleeping, trouble putting shoes on by myself, etc. Hubster thinks it’s cute (the fact that I can’t reach my feet once I have my jeans on).

Work has been busy, which is making the time fly. I’m looking forward to these next few weeks—my favorite time of year at work (development season), with a nice, long maternity leave at the end of it. Sixty-three days to go!