36 weeks – in the final stretch

Today I am 36 weeks pregnant. That’s by my count, based on estimated ovulation date. Since the doctor goes by last menstruation period, by his count I’m 36 weeks and 3 days.

This morning I had an ultrasound to check the baby’s growth. They are watching it a little extra because I have an off center cord placement. Baby is so big now that it is hard to see much in the images, but I watched as the technician checked the size of her head, tummy, and kidneys as well as the amount of amniotic fluid. It all was healthy.

They estimate she weighs 6 lbs 11 ounces today! That sounds so big to me, as the average at 36 weeks is about a pound less. But still it is 58th percentile (based on Dr’s due date), which means it’s a very normal weight.

If she were born today she would be big enough to wear the newborn clothing that we have. It’s so amazing to think of!

Another good thing from the scan was confirmation that sheet is in a good position for labor. In fact, she is in an ideal position – left occiput anterior (LOA). I had already suspected as much, with the help of an article on belly mapping. She seems to have settled into that position a couple of weeks ago, having been sitting breech at 28 weeks and transverse a few weeks back. I was careful since then to sit up or forward regularly or to lie on my left side. I’m so glad she moved!

So, 36 weeks and things are looking good. I’m so happy and excited!

Life is good

I am feeling really content and happy.

I figured the Internet can always use some more positivity so I’m going to share some of the reasons why.

Remember a few months ago when I wrote about negotiating part time work after my boss offered to hire someone for me to manage? We’d been looking for someone and I did several phone interviews and invited 3 candidates in did in person interviews. Well, all 3 were good and we decided to work out a plan to make an offer to not 1 but 2 of them, and to refer the third to another department hiring for the same role. One is an internal move and after some negotiating with his manager we have worked out that will start 2 weeks from Monday. I’m very excited!

I have only 5 weeks left in the office, including 3 with holidays. I also have the baby shower, office Christmas party, and a team outing during this time. It’s going to be January before I can blink an eye!

Husband and I are working together to make final decisions on purchases for baby. We recently decided on a stroller (the Uppababy Vista) and ordered furniture for the bedroom (where baby will join us) and living room (where there are currently lots of wires and games and controllers without proper storage). It feels like things are coming together and that we are working as a team.  We are also going to childbirth classes together. I love and appreciate it.

And of course, our baby is growing strong in my belly. Her movements have gotten strong enough to make my belly move, and she’s also started getting the hiccups. We love to look at the ultrasound pictures and imagine what she will be like. We feel bonded already and I’m sure it will only get stronger.

So much love and good things!

Constantly moving

It feels like my baby girl is moving all of the time! Today I was sitting in a company wide meeting when she started kicking strongly in my upper belly. I sat with my hand over it feeling the movement and smiling but definitely finding it hard to concentrate on what was being said!

I love that she is growing strong and healthy but sometimes I am a bit overwhelmed by the constancy of the movements feelings in my belly. It’s really a wacky feeling!

My guest post on whether having lots of boys or lots of girls is genetic is up at What to Expect’s Word of Mom blog!

I am happy to share that I’ve written a guest post for the What to Expect Word of Mom blog. The post is about whether having lots of boys or lots of girls really does run in families – is it genetic?

Check it out here: 

I Tried a New Method to Find Out If I Was Having a Boy or Girl

My experiences so far with pregnancy and mood

As a dysthymic person with a history of almost yearly dips into depression, and as a planner, I took many steps before getting pregnant to prepare myself. I read articles and spoke to numerous psychiatrists in my search for one who I felt knew as much as there was to know about managing mental health and pregnancy and birth.

I know the statistics. As one who has had so many incidences of depression, it is very likely I will have more. My brain is used to this pattern, and it takes careful care to keep it from slipping back into that state where bed seems like the only place to be and life looks like a long gray stretch of things one has to do, or is supposed to do, just so that one can keep living to do more of those things one has to do. So, as such, I am at increased risk for postpartum depression.

As one doctor told me, at this point it’s more a question of when I will have another depression and for how long it will happen than a question of if. The best thing I can do for myself is to stay in regular care, take care of myself and watch my moods, and get help at the first sign of any symptoms. Knowing myself, I know the best way to do that is to have a doctor I feel comfortable talking to.

So I am glad to say I now have a good doctor that I am very comfortable with. She’s a reproductive psychiatrist and a mom of young children, and I feel I really couldn’t have better care at this point.

She and my OB told me that there was really no way to know how my brain would react to pregnancy. Some women’s moods get better, some stay the same, and some get worse.

Well, at about 3 months pregnant, I’m thrilled to say that so far, I’ve been feeling better. I can hardly remember a time when I felt so calm, confident, and at peace. I am filled with anticipation and excitement for the future in a way I haven’t felt since we got married (almost 7 years ago!). I feel the best way to describe it is that I feel overwhelmingly content.

The low-grade, nagging worry that I felt for years as I wondered if and when we would finally have the children I’d been wanting desperately since my baby fever days (see posts in 2006 and 2007!) is gone. I worried we’d never have the stability or health we were waiting, I worried we’d have trouble and I’d worry it was because we waited too long; I worried I we would be one of the 10-15% of couples who would have fertility troubles.

The sane side of my brain knew that I was and am lucky, being in a committed and strong relationship, with two capable individuals on solid career tracks, who earnestly look forward to having children together. Still, while I might bury it at times, it was hard to completely rid myself of those worries.

Until now. At nearly the end of my first trimester, with Husband recently starting a new, salaried job with great pay, and with me a year into a job that is my favorite yet and where I’ve earned recognition for my excellent work, all of those concerns are gone.

The anxiety that I wrote about in the trying to conceive and early pregnancy days has faded. Women in my forum groups write about their worries and nervousness, about their screenings and the baby’s health, and I don’t feel it. I know the odds and am confident that we are making a healthy baby. Our healthy baby.

I feel happy, healthy, confident, and excited. I know I am extremely lucky, and I am thankful.

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