Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 39 Belly Pic



Here I am at Week 39. Bulky sweaters are apparently good at hiding baby bumps, so I might take a blue-tank-top photo later today.

Due date is Friday. Baby could come any day now. I'm still hoping for a December baby, okay, Scout?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Scout Update

Clearly, Scout is trying to build up his/her calf muscles for hiking. That’s the only reason I can imagine for all this kicking.

I haven’t gone into labor yet, but I do have my hospital bag packed, just in case. Hubster set up the high chair last night (more for Ella than for Scout, since Ella will be having Thanksgiving with us), and he’s setting up the “pack 'n play” today.

He got quite a deal yesterday. We had several gift cards, and they all added up to afford the pack 'n play. He also had a coupon for 20% off, so he ended up getting money back on the pack & play. So he found a high chair we liked that was on clearance and something like 40% off … and the floor model was the only one left, so he got an additional 10% off. Which means he walked out of Babies R Us with $300 of merchandise and had to spend only $20 of his own money.

My Hubster is awesome. So are the nice folks who gave us the gift cards.

Here’s Scout’s new high chair:



Here’s Scout’s new Cadillac of a pack 'n play:



We’re going to have a spoiled little Scout. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when Miss Ella gets to test out both of our new items!

Meanwhile, it's my last day of work before my maternity leave begins. I'm sitting at work, waiting for the next CD to come out for testing (not that I'll be able to test it), and getting a head start on some of the tasks that will confront me when I come back to work in February. Oh, and listening to The Nutcracker Suite.

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Midwife Appointment Today

Today was my weekly midwife appointment. Maybe it was my last weekly appointment … or maybe I have a few more to come. We’ll see.

I had about a million questions for her, which she answered. I asked her if it was normal to crave ice, since I’ve been sucking/chewing on ice for a couple of weeks now. She said it might be an iron issue, so they tested my iron levels, which turned out to be normal. She said it would be OK for me to eat orange-juice ice chips while in labor! Yay! I cannot get enough orange juice. I asked if it was unhealthy for me to be swigging through three liters of OJ a week, and she said I should be fine.

My mom was worried that I’ve been seeing a midwife and not a doctor every time, so I mentioned that. She said I really don’t need to see a doctor since I don’t have a high-risk pregnancy. That’s what I figured, but I thought I’d ask, just so my mom can rest easy. :)

She checked Scout’s heart rate, which was 150 this time—a little higher than usual. It was funny because Scout was practically doing aerobics when she checked the heart rate. Not only could we hear all these movements, but you could see the butt and feet making bumps on my belly! So cute. She said the higher heart rate was a good sign, since they want and expect the heart rate to increase when the baby moves.

She didn’t check my cervix this week, and I didn’t ask. Scout will come when Scout’s ready to come. I don’t want to stress about too little progress, or get too excited about significant progress, since Scout will still come whenever Scout decides it’s time.

As long as it’s after Thanksgiving. Right, Scout?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Do I Look Pregnant Yet?

Sigh. I got another comment today that I "really don't look very pregnant at all." Here's my Week 38 belly pic.



No, the shirt doesn't fit me so well anymore, does it.

The blue shirt doesn't lie. I look pregnant. At least, the blue shirt and I think so.

Somewhat Daily Scout Update

A friend of mine got a text message in the middle of the night Saturday night. She awoke in a panic, her first thought being, “It’s happened! Waterfall’s gone into labor!”

Oh, but no. I didn’t go into labor this weekend. Scout’s still sitting in my belly, as snug as a bug in an amniotic rug—though I do feel like he/she is kicking me so much as a way of saying, “Get me out of here!” My belly is unbelievably tight, and I’m wondering if I’ll make it through pregnancy without developing stretch marks after all. Maybe that was too much to hope for—though I’d accepted early on that stretch marks are a “pregnancy rite of passage,” and I wasn’t all that stressed about getting them. It’s not like I have dreams of parading around in a bikini next summer. I just assumed I would get stretch marks, and that would be that.

I’ve felt really stressed lately, though. I think that, with my long work hours and being so busy at home, I’m suffering from lack of “me” time, and I know that my “me days,” at least for the next few years, are numbered. I haven’t had the time and/or ability to play piano, write, walk, run, sit in a coffee shop for several hours, or do anything else that’s important to my mental health. On top of that, I’m still not sleeping and am absolutely exhausted.

One night last week, I had a bit of a meltdown and couldn’t stop crying. Yes, the pregnancy hormones are coursing through my body, but I’ve been surprisingly stable and calm during this entire pregnancy—much more so than when I’m not pregnant. Pregnancy has actually been a boon to my mental health; where I had major mood swings before, I haven’t had a single one in the past nine months. So a big crying jag last week was a little surprising. I think most of it was due to fatigue rather than pregnancy hormones.

I know I need rest. I really hope Scout will hold out until his/her due date or later (but not a lot later). This week is going to be crazy, between work, company, and Thanksgiving. I really need a few days to rest before Scout is here. My hiker-friend Bayou is sending me a copy of Southbound, a book by my friends Isis and Jackrabbit, a.k.a. “The Barefoot Sisters.” I haven’t read it yet, and I’ve heard that I’m a character in it, so I’m looking forward to snuggling on the couch with my cats next week and reading my little heart out.

So that’s the latest. I’m going to get a prenatal massage this week to see if that can help lessen the stress, as least so I can hold out through this week without sharing my grumpiness and irritability with my co-workers, or with my family when they come to the house for Thanksgiving. And then, Scout willing, I’ll rest a few days as I enjoy my last “me days” for a while.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Waiting in the Wilderness



Our little Scout, bless his/her soul, has made it to Leeman Brook Lean-to, just north of Monson in Maine’s Hundred Mile Wilderness … that is, if this pregnancy were a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.



What kind of time will our Scout make as he/she treks the Wilderness? Northbounders, who are in excellent hiking shape by this time, are able to speed through the Wilderness in less than a week.

I don’t think Scout will do that. I think Scout will take his/her time. Scout knows his/her mama wants him/her to wait until Thanksgiving is over before summiting the metaphorical “Big K” (Mt. Katahdin), so Scout’s going to take this last bit of trail nice and slow … aren’t you, Scout? Plus, one would be crazy not to take one's time in the Wilderness, as it's one of the wildest, most beautiful sections of the entire Appalachian Trail.

Let’s head south down the trail to find where our intrepid southbound Scout is right now. Oh, look here! There’s Scout at Glassmine Gap, almost to the Georgia state line!



How can Scout possibly slow down at this point? When I was a southbounder, I flew through Georgia in four short days. (Actually, they felt like pretty long days, but I still made good time.)

So. If Scout comes early, that means he/she sped up at the end and reached the terminus early. Which means Scout is a born southbounder. If Scout comes late, it means he/she was dawdling in the Hundred Mile Wilderness, as he/she should—and is a born northbounder.

So, what are you Scout? A personable “nobo” like your dad, or a solitude-loving “sobo” like your mom? Or a flip-flopper mix of us both? Only time will tell.

Of course, if Scout takes a long time to go these last few miles, it could well be because his/her legs are not even a foot long. Plus, the poor thing is upside-down.



This week, Scout will continue to gain weight as he/she plans his/her big entrance, or big exit, however you want to see it.

Meanwhile, I’m waddling all over the place, wincing when Scout kicks too hard, and giggling when Scout gets his/her nightly bout of hiccups. I’ve felt contraction-like sensations that I believe are Braxton Hicks contractions (“false labor”). And I’m tired. Pretty much a typical existence for a woman who is 38 weeks pregnant and working too many hours at the office. (Don't worry. Maternity leave starts after Thanksgiving.)

Still, I’m trying to stay active. In fact, I’m getting ready to walk my second mile of the day. Downhill. Meaning lots of pelvic pressure with every step. Why I torture myself like this, I don’t know.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another “Daily” Update

OK, so I’m not doing so great on the “daily update” thing as we count down the days until Scout is here. If I were to write about what’s happening every day, it would go something like this:

I worked all day today.
Scout is getting bigger and bigger.
Scout is an active little booger!
I’m tired, tired, tired.

So, that’s pretty much my life. You want details? Well … OK.

I worked all day today. It’s development season at work. The “busy season.” I’m averaging about nine and a half hours a day on the job. Sadly, I feel like a slacker; my fellow tech writer and I are so ahead on our deadlines that we haven’t had to work a ridiculous (10+) number of hours each day.

Still, nine and a half hours is tiring, particularly when you’re carrying a growing baby around in your belly. I haven’t had as much opportunity to exercise, which leaves me feeling sluggish and unmotivated to do anything once I get home. I also haven’t done a lot of cooking at night, which means no leftovers for lunch, so I’ve been frequenting local restaurants for my meals. Not good for my health, and not good for my wallet.

Maternity leave will start soon, though. It will be nice to take a break from the busy atmosphere at work, even though I know I’ll probably miss it.

Scout is getting bigger and bigger. This is no lie. I was thinking I might make it through this entire pregnancy without developing stretch marks, but now I’m starting to wonder. Scout has been seriously packing on the ounces for the past week. My poor belly is constantly itching from the stretched skin, and it’s getting harder and harder for me to get out of bed or up from the couch.

Even people at work have noticed the change in my belly over the past seven days. My out-y belly button is even visible from underneath my shirt. How embarrassing, even though it's sort of cute, in a mommy-to-be kind of way.

Scout is an active little booger! Scout is trying his/her old somersault routine, but it’s not working. Still, he/she tries. Scout is kicking and moving all day long, it seems, and into the night. Particularly at night, when I’m trying to go to sleep, it feels like I have a menagerie in my belly. Scout is hiccupping, kicking, turning, moving … it’s crazy.

Oh, and for weeks it seemed I had a heel sticking permanently out from under my right rib. Scout has since moved a little bit, and now the butt is right under my ribs. It’s so sweet when Scout moves and the butt makes a visible bump in my torso. I just pat his/her little bottom and get on with my day. (And the good news is that Scout's still head-down!)

I’m tired, tired, tired. I absolutely cannot sleep. I’m up every hour and a half to pee. I toss and turn, beached-whale-style, trying to get comfortable. I have three pillows in the bed, plus the one I sleep on. It’s ridiculous. I stopped sleeping early in the pregnancy, and it hasn’t gotten any better. It’s gotten worse, actually. People say “the baby will keep you up all night” because it needs to be fed every two hours. At this point, I would give anything for two straight hours of sleep.

The lack of sleep is making me stressed, too, since it leaves me tired and irritable and clumsy. Two more weeks (roughly). While I’ll be waking up every two hours to feed Scout, I’ll at least be free from the iron grip of my teeny-tiny, smushed bladder. And someday, I’ll be able to sleep on my stomach again. Sigh.

So, that’s the Scout update for today! I hit the 38-week mark tomorrow, so I'll be posting the AT maps and weekly update then!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Scout Update

Wow. What a weekend we had, me and Scout. We watched and supervised as Scout’s Grandma Gwen (GG), Aunt Megan, Cousin Ella, and Dad worked on Scout’s room. I’ll put pictures up soon, for those of you who aren’t on Facebook. (If you are on Facebook, you’ve probably already seen them on my page by now.)

So the bedding is on the crib, the baby monitors are all hooked up, the tiny clothes are all washed, and even the hospital bag is partially packed. Scout has 17 days until his/her due date, which means I’ll start seriously expecting him/her sometime between this Friday and December 18.

I went to my midwife today for my one-week appointment. I told her about how Scout is moving constantly, and she laughed as she checked his/her heartbeat because my belly looked like it was making waves from Scout’s little body moving. The heartbeat was 140. I also tested negative for Group B Strep, which was a relief.

I asked if she would be checking my cervix again, and she said she doesn’t routinely do that, but could if I requested it. I didn’t request it for today, but I might for next week. Just because I’m curious.

There really isn’t a lot to report today. Right now, she said, we’re just in the waiting phase. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. Meanwhile, I’m putting in the hours at work and trying to finish things up before I start my maternity leave after Thanksgiving. Life is good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mary Couey Award Fund

I just learned today of the Mary Couey Award Fund at the University of Georgia. You may remember that my friend and co-worker Mary was killed last spring by a drunk driver, about 20 minutes after she dropped me off at my house one night. Mary was a good and inspirational friend to many, and I think it's fitting that an scholarship is being developed in her name at the University of Georgia, her alma mater.

Here's what's written on the promotional flyer:

Mary Couey was tragically killed by a drunk driver in March 2009. A 1999 graduate of Berkmar High School, Mary went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Georgia in 2005. She was employed as a tax software developer at Drake Software in Franklin, North Carolina.

Mary's beauty went so deep and her smiles so far that to know her was to become a part of her forever. She was the kind of person who, just knowing her, gave life meaning. She was always there to help solve a problem, offer encouragement, or just make you laugh. Our world is a better place because of her and her beloved spirit will be with us always. Please help us spread her passion for life by giving other the chance to follow in Mary's footsteps with the first ever computer science scholarship at the University of Georgia.

In her memory, the Mary Couey Award Fund will be established by family and friends. The fund will provide financial support to deserving undergraduate students majoring in computer science. There will be a preference shown for organ transplant recipients/donors and their families.


At this point, Mary's family and friends and the school are in the process of raising money for this scholarship. I encourage you to donate to this very worthy cause in memory of Mary. To do so, visit The Mary Couey Award Fund website. Your donation, of course, is tax deductible. More information is available at the site.

Welcome to Term, Scout!



I’m 37 weeks pregnant today, which means I’ve carried our little Scout to term. If Scout were born today, he/she would be consider full-term (not premature) and would most likely be able to come home with us soon afterward.

If Scout were a northbounder like his/her dad, and this pregnancy were an Appalachian Trail thru-hike, Scout would be somewhere in the vicinity of the Bigelows in Maine and the little town of Caratunk.



It’s almost time for Scout to be ferried across the Kennebec! Wow. Friends, that means Scout is really close to Katahdin. Really close to being a real, outside-of-the-womb, human.

Now, if Scout were a southbounder like his/her mama, Scout would be just south of the Smokies.



Holy moly. When you’re a southbounder and are just south of the Smokies, you know you’re almost to Springer. It’s really starting to hit me that Scout’s due date is just three weeks from today. Gulp.

So, what else is going on with Scout, you ask. Scout’s about six pounds right now and is probably about 19 inches long from head to toe. Scout is also, at the moment, trying to get comfortable … ouch! Happily, Scout’s growth rate should slow this week. Good thing, because there is no more room. Here’s a picture of what Scout might look like right now, only Scout is much, much cuter, I’m sure:



As for me, I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions (“false contractions”) on and off for a few days now. As I mentioned several days ago, on Tuesday I measured at 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced, which means I’m on my way. I get that old "beached whale" feeling when I lie down, I’m not sleeping well, and I'm getting mild backaches in my lower back, but overall, I’m doing fine. I’m looking forward to this weekend, when my mom comes to visit and helps me get Scout’s room ready for the big arrival home.

Three more weeks. Twenty-one more days. Give or take a few. And I have a week and a half until I start my maternity leave. Better get back to work!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

22 More Days, and Not Feeling the Cat Love

Twenty-two more days until Scout’s estimated due date. Will Scout come early? Will Scout come late? Who knows? I keep saying this is the best-timed baby in the history of my company, since Scout’s birth will allow me to get out of my least favorite time of year at work (support season). So, with such good timing, I figure Scout will be either a little early or right on time.

I don’t have any exciting pregnancy news today, other than that Scout had the hiccups for a few minutes this morning.

Here’s something weird: My cats will hardly have anything to do with me these days. They used to always be on me, constantly demanding my attention, and I was happy to give it to them. Beau started giving me the cold shoulder shortly after I became pregnant; I figured he was sensing the hormones. Maybe I smelled different on some subtle level. But Hideaway, who is a mom herself, seemed more lovable than ever. If she smells the hormones, I thought, she’s feeling even more connected to me than ever before.

But several weeks ago, she started giving me the cold shoulder, too. She’s not snuggling with me at night when I read. She isn’t watching TV with me, or insisting on jumping into my lap every time I sit down. It’s like I don’t exist for her anymore.

But guess who does exist. That’s right. Hubster. The Hubster has taken my place as the object of their devoted affection. Every time he sits down, he has two cats on him within five minutes. If he stops petting Beau, Beau will reach his paw out and tug on Hubster’s shirt.

To add insult to injury, Hubster doesn’t even want the cats on his lap half the time. He’ll pick them up, put them on the floor, and tell them to “go to your mother,” or he’ll even take them to me and place them on their lap. But they’re not deterred. They go straight back to him.

It would be funny, but I miss my cats! Maybe they know, somehow, that the day is coming when they will cease to be the sole objects of my devotion forever. Poor things. I’d probably be mad at me, too. Too bad they don’t realize that the Hubster is responsible for all of this!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daily Pregnancy Update

I wonder if I’ll start providing daily pregnancy updates, now that I have only 23 days to go. Or maybe I’ll just provide updates on the particularly riveting days. We’ll see.

Today I started experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. (And I thought focusing on work was hard enough already …) Here’s what BabyCenter.com has to say about Braxton Hicks:

“By the time you’re within a couple of weeks of your due date, your contractions may get more intense and more frequent, and they may cause some discomfort. ... these contractions may help your cervix “ripen”—gradually soften and thin out (efface) and maybe even dilate a bit. This period is sometimes referred to as pre-labor.”

So it looks like Scout, smart kid that he/she is, is continuing to prepare for his/her big entrance (or perhaps I should call it his/her big “exit”).

Here’s my other riveting news for today: The crib was delivered! It was supposed to be delivered in late September, but the company had stopped manufacturing it. So we ordered the new version and had to wait until the company built it. Then we had to wait for it to be “green-certified,” or something like that. So now, almost two months later, it’s finally here. I’ll take pictures once the baby’s room is set up. Meanwhile, here’s a picture of a similar crib frame:



My mom is going to be here this weekend to help wash all the baby clothes and linens and help us get the baby’s room “ready.” I am seriously looking forward to this.

So, that’s the riveting news for today. If these contractions continue into tomorrow, I’ll call my doctor.

Please, Scout, don’t come this early!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eight Years Ago

Eight years ago this week, I fell in love with a scruffy hiker who was making his way, on foot, across America.

He'd gotten as far as Natchez, Mississippi. Since I was living in Baton Rouge, and since he was a friend of a friend, and since I was transcribing his online journal for him, I drove over to Natchez to say hello and spend some quality time with fellow hikers (he was hiking with his friend, Dodger).

Really. Honestly. I seriously went so I could say hi and hang out with hikers for a couple of days. I expected nothing more.

My life has never been the same since.

Happy falling-in-love anniversary, Hubster!

The Eagle Has Landed

(Warning: There’s some TMI stuff in here for anyone who isn’t interested in the joys of third-trimester pregnancy.)

The eagle has landed.

OK, so that’s a dramatic way of saying, “Little Scout has dropped and is now perched, head-first, smack-dab in my cervix/bladder area.”

I suspected it a couple of weeks ago. I was walking from the bathroom (surprise, surprise) to my cube at work when I was suddenly doubled-over with discomfort. (It was discomfort, not pain.) It was like Little Scout had dived, head-first, deep into my pelvis. Little Scout’s weight has felt different—lower—ever since then. And I’m upped my peeing schedule to, oh, every 15-20 minutes instead of every 30-40 minutes.

But people kept telling me Scout hadn’t “dropped.” There’s no reason Scout should have at that point in the pregnancy; generally, the baby waits until a couple of weeks before delivery. Also, you could still see “baby bump” right under my ribcage. Apparently, after a baby has dropped, the area under the ribcage is flatter because the “baby bump” has moved south.

Lucky me. My frame is so small that even a dropped baby still takes up a lot of room in my ribs so I look and feel both “dropped” and “not dropped” at the same time. My midwife said I’d probably continue to have some trouble catching my breath from now until the baby’s born.

Other news from today’s midwife appointment:

- Scout’s heart rate is 130, lower than usual. I certainly will not complain if we have a laid-back baby. That would mean he/she takes after his dad, not his mom. And that’s perfectly fine with me.

- For those who are interested in exactly what is going on “down there,” I’ve dilated 1 cm and am 50% effaced (thinned). The midwife seemed surprised that I was so far effaced and said it was most likely because Little Scout’s head has been so low for a while.

My midwife also said that the degree of dilation and effacement means nothing in predicting whether Scout will come early or not. Still, I’ve had a feeling for some time that Scout is going to get here before his/her due date. I hope I’m wrong. I have way too much stuff to do before then!

I’m feeling very happy, and so is the Hubster. We have three weeks and three days to go until the due date. Less than that if Scout comes early. Time is flying.

Monday, November 9, 2009

25 Days to Go

Warning: This is a very rambly post.

Scout’s due date is 25 days away. It’s hard to imagine Scout will make it that long, as low as he/she is right now. I went on a walk around town Saturday afternoon, and thought I was going to start crying on the downhills—the pressure from the baby’s head against my pelvis was like nothing I’d ever felt before.

Friday night, Hubster and I went to see a local production of “Annie,” so Scout was able to get his/her daily dose of Broadway musical tunes. The Hubster had never seen “Annie” (the play or the movie), and he loved it. I consider that part of my job as Wife: To introduce my poor, non-cultured husband to Broadway musicals. Some would view that as cruel, but not me!

Saturday was a work day for me. I had no choice but to bring Scout, so the two of us headed to work. Despite all the vigorous kicks to my ribs, I managed to get quite a bit of work done. It’s getting harder and harder to focus on work, between the constant moving in my belly and the constant flow of my thoughts away from work and toward all the things that still need to be done. My last day of work is in just over two weeks, so maybe I’m having some sort of maternal short-timer’s syndrome. Luckily (or, actually, due to the fact that I’ve been putting in so many hours), we’re ahead on our documentation goals, so there’s no sense of urgency or panic.

Saturday night, Hubster and I were going to go see Walkin’ Jim Stoltz in Black Mountain, or, if we were too tired, we were going to go to an event at the church we’re thinking about joining.

Friday evening and part of Saturday, we kept having conversations like, “What do you want to do Saturday night?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really care. Either would be fun. What do you want to do?”

Finally, I said, “Hubster, I know what I want to do. I want you to tell me, honestly, what you want to do, and we’ll see if we’re on the same page here.”

So he said, “I don’t want to do anything. I’m tired, and I’m sick of driving all over creation. I just want to sit in my easy chair and watch football all night.”

And I said, “Good. I don’t want to do anything either. I’m exhausted. I think I’ll go to bed at 8:00.”

So he watched football and I made split pea soup and homemade biscuits, and we had the most wonderful evening together, just the two of us. And I went to bed early.

Yesterday, I met my mom in Asheville for a shopping spree. I hate shopping sprees and was much too tired to go on one, but with the baby due in 25 days, there were things I needed to get done. Stuff like …

Buying nursing bras: Who knew that buying nursing bras was even more unpleasant than buying regular bras? The only positive of that experience was that nursing bras are a whole lot cheaper than regular ones.

Getting Thanksgiving tablecloths: Is that a “mom” thing? We’re having Thanksgiving dinner at our house (yes, that’s one week before Scout is due), and I needed two tablecloths and some napkins. So we went to Target for that and got to visit my brother, who is a manager there.

Going to Babies R Us: We still needed a lot of little stuff from my registry, some of which we really needed prior to Scout’s entrance. So we went to Babies R Us and got some basics—washcloths, towels, bassinet sheets, a diaper pail, diapers, etc.

Get glasses: By “glasses,” I mean the kind you drink out of. Hubster and I have about four glasses, which works fine for two people but won’t work so well when we have a crowd of people at our house for Thanksgiving.

Spend time with my mom: She’s been in Louisiana since September and just came back to NC in time for Ella’s birthday last week. So it was good to spend some time with her while doing all this shopping. Plus, she bought me some stuff, including a cute maternity nightgown and robe for me to wear at the hospital. Thanks, Mrs. Gwen!

By the time I got home last night, I was more exhausted than I’d been all weekend. Unfortunately for Hubster, I was cranky, too. Fortunately for me, I have a patient and forgiving husband.

OK, time to get to work.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 36 Belly Pic

What to do, what to do? Do I post the Belly Pic #1, where you can really tell how big my belly has gotten, but where my posture is horrible and I'm wearing a scary frozen smile because it took the Hubster so long to take the picture?



Or do I post Belly Pic #2, which isn't at a great angle for seeing the belly, but where my smile actually looks somewhat natural?



Oh, I'm so vain. On second thought, maybe I'm not. I'm posting pictures that show my shirt not reaching all the way to my pants.

Less than four weeks till Scout's due date!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Scout's in Familiar Territory



Maybe “familiar territory” is the wrong term. After all, I’m guessing nothing is familiar to Scout, except maybe the sound of my heart beating and the sound of my and Scout’s daddy’s voices. And I’m sure Scout knows every square centimeter of my uterine wall.

But if Scout were on the AT, he/she would be in places very familiar to his/her mom and dad.

Southbound Scout is in the Smokies, somewhere around Charlie’s Bunion, which isn’t far from where we lived in Maggie Valley. And what a view Scout has today!



(This photo is from the Hiking in the Smokys website. Fun, because there's a very good chance that Scout's first hikes will be in the Smokies.)

In map terms, here’s where our Southbound Scout is today:



It amazes me. Do you remember how long it took Scout to get through Virginia? Now it seems like Virginia is a distant memory.

In pregnancy terms, Scout’s at 36 weeks. Four more weeks to go! Such anticipation our Scout must be feeling as he/she nears the big destination. Northbound Scout is at Piazza Rock Lean-to, just four weeks from the Big K.



This was one of my favorite shelters on the whole Appalachian Trail—partly because it was a nice shelter, and partly because it has a cool two-seater privy. When Hubster and I were house-sitting a hostel in Maine, we took a few days to hike on the AT near Andover, and we stayed at this very shelter.

Would you like to know what’s going on with Scout right now? Here's what Scout might look like (though, if you scroll to my previous post, you'll see the latest ultrasound picture):



At 36 weeks, Scout’s main goal is to pack on the pounds at about an ounce a day. Scout is losing the lanugo hair and vernix cerseosa, two substances that have been on his/her body for much of the pregnancy. Want to hear something lovely? Scout is swallowing all of this gunk, and it’ll help make up his/her lovely first bowel movement. How sweet.

Scout has one more week before he/she is considered full term. I feel so thankful for that. I know too many people who have gone through the worry and stress of premature babies, and was hoping that wouldn’t happen with Scout.

I must admit, though, with Scout being so low, I wonder if he/she will make it all the way to the estimated summit date of December 4. I can’t imagine Scout would get off the trail before finishing it, can you? I’m hoping Scout holds out; I really want to get Thanksgiving over with before we settle down to embrace our new lives as parents.

Of course, I don’t feel at all ready for that. We still need baby stuff, and the house is a mess. My nesting instinct still hasn’t kicked in. Hopefully soon!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Latest on Little Scout

Well, we did Scout’s ultrasound today to find out why our little one seems to be measuring so small. And we got an answer:

Scout’s head is really, really low. In fact, Scout is right smack on my bladder. I kind of suspected that already, so it’s good to know that’s the case.

But Scout is a normal size; in fact, he/she is measuring at 35 days, 6 weeks—which is exactly how old we think he/she is!

Weight is five pounds, six ounces. Scout’s expected to gain about a pound between now and Birth Day, which means I’ll have, roughly, a six-and-a-half-pound baby. I can live with that.

And here was a surprise: Scout has hair! I was a baldy and figured Scout would be a baldy, too. Oh, but no! Scout is not a baldy. He/she is no Ella, I must admit, but we could definitely see some peach fuzz there.

They measured the amount of amniotic fluid, and I’m in a good range.

Here was the best part of the whole ultrasound: Scout was making little sucking motions with his/her mouth. I nearly started crying. That’s my husband’s baby, already preparing for his first meal! Scout was also making little breathing motions. Oh, and the heart rate was 142.

More good news: Scout is definitely head-down. Scout’s back is against my left rib, the butt is in the middle, and the little legs are on my right. I knew that, though, from the little foot imprints I keep getting just below my right rib.

So, I’m feeling very happy and relieved today that Scout is progressing normally, and that everything seems to be going fine.

My next appointment is Tuesday. I’m wondering if they’ll check to see if I’m dilated at all. I hope I’m not. I want Scout to wait until after Thanksgiving to make his/her big entrance into the world!

Oh, silly me. I almost forgot. He’re Scout’s latest profile. You can see how he/she is making little sucking motions against the uterus:



And here it is with labels, if you’re like most of us and cannot make sense of an ultrasound.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Little Baby

Well, today was my last biweekly OBGYN/midwife appointment. My next appointment is next week. From now until Little Scout is born, I’ll be going every week.

The big news from this appointment is that my hemoglobin levels are good. I’ve been taking iron pills for several months because my hemoglobin was so low, and it stayed low, even with the iron pills. So it was good to see it was in the normal range today. I guess I should thank the Hubster for making meat-ful dinners for me so often lately.

Little Scout’s heart rate was its usual 140. It’s been 140 forever. That’s good, because “normal” is between 120 and 160.

Scout is still measuring small, though. I’m 35 and a half weeks, and Scout’s still measuring at 30 weeks. My midwife isn’t super-concerned, since I’m so small and they would expect me to have a small baby anyway. But she still wants me to get an ultrasound, just so they can make sure Scout is progressing normally. An added benefit to that: They’ll be able to see what position Scout is in. We think Scout’s been head-down for several weeks now, but it'll be good to make sure.

It just blows me away that Scout is measuring the same thing he/she did five weeks ago. I can tell Scout’s bigger—my belly button has popped right out, and, well, I can just tell. It’s kind of hard not to tell that one’s belly has grown.

But still, it looks like I have a truly little baby. That’s fine with me, as long as Little Scout is healthy. As I’ve said before, I won’t complain about having to give birth to a smaller-than-normal little bundle!