Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

39 Weeks

Yesterday marked the 39th week of the pregnancy.  We are so excited to be this close to meeting Michael!

We had a doctor’s appointment yesterday.  Although I still have not dilated, I have effaced slightly.  Any improvement is good news to me!  The doctor wants to see us again on Monday.  At least I don’t have to wait a whole week!  After 39 weeks of pregnancy, one more week seems like an eternity! 

The doctor doesn’t think Michael weighs 8lbs, so he must have leveled out his growth.  I haven’t gained any weight since the last appointment, so maybe I have leveled out too! :)

On Monday, we will put all of our options on the table.  The nurse assures us that the doctor won’t let us get past week 41.  I told her I hope we don’t have to go much past Monday! I would like Michael to arrive before one of my BFFs comes and visits.  She’s flying down from New Jersey on Thursday and will be here over the weekend.  It would be wonderful for her to meet Michael in person, and not just have to talk to him through my belly.  :)

No matter how many times we bribe Michael with the thought of getting to have a great birthday party with balloons and friends, we know we can’t rush him to come out.  I hold onto the fact that he benefits from each day spent in the womb.  I also hold onto this verse:  “He has made everything beautiful in His time”  from Ecclesiastes 3:11.  I tell Michael not to come out until God tells him it’s time.  I want a beautiful baby and trusting in God’s timing is the best plan of action.

So… what now?  I am taking the opportunity for conscious relaxation.  I am choosing to relax this weekend and on Monday.  Yes, I have chosen to take Monday off of work.  I plan to spend the day with my mom shopping and hanging out.  After all, it could be my last day out and about for a while! :)  This Sunday evening, our church is having an ice cream social.  Now, if Michael has not made his arrival by then, I plan to participate in the ice cream social.  I looked up recipes today on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker.  I found some very intriguing options, and I am excited to try my hand at it tomorrow.  I figured I’d practice tomorrow and make sure it comes out good before I make a batch to share.  :) 

To recap this work week, all in all it was pretty good.  I have great family and friends who check up on me.  My mom and mother-in-law are sweet to send encouraging texts and funny quips to get me through the days.  Although I enjoy receiving texts, I am a little afraid to send texts to people because I’m afraid they’ll think I’m in labor.  Yesterday, a friend and I discussed the concept of “No news is normal news” meaning if I haven’t sent a text or given a phone call, then I am in my same location, waiting for Michael’s arrival.  Once the big moment hits, I imagine people’s phones will be lighting up all over the place!

One coworker this week made me laugh so hard.  He came over to me when I was asking a question of a supervisor.  He looked at me and said “I’ve got to get your work-out plan.”  And I asked “Why?” to which he replied “Because I have never seen abs like that.”   Well, folks, it takes a lot of work to sport around a medicine ball each and every day. :)  My rotund abs are proof of mommy-hood. :)

So many coworkers ask, or state, rather, “You’re still here.”  And I’m always a bit baffled with how I should respond.  I mean, I assume it’s a rhetorical question.  If I’m standing in front of you, then obviously I am still there.  If you do not see me, it is safe to assume that I am not there.  It’s kinda like a weird Aflac commercial:  “If you’re here, then that’s where you are.  If you’re not here, then this is where you’re not.”  However, one of my supervisors used such a wonderful cadence when she said “You’re still here” that it sounded more like a cheer than a statement, and it was such a nice diversion from the ordinary rhetorical question. :)

Usually on Fridays, some coworker friends and I will go out to eat at lunchtime.  Today, I was told that I could pick the location since it might be my last lunch out for a while! :)  So, where does this pregnant lady like to eat on Friday at lunchtime? Chick-fil-A, of course.  It is my most recent restaurant craving.  I don’t get the same thing every time, but I enjoy the atmosphere of Chick-fil-A.  Clean, friendly environment and yummy food! 

My belly picture this week is taken with our puppy Akuna!

He’s excited about being a big brother to Michael!

This Week:

-Little Baby P.’s skin changes from a pinkish color to a blue-pink or white tone.  This is due to the fat that he is accumulating. 
-Michael’s head is about the same circumference as his tummy. 
-The placenta is providing Michael with antibodies he will need to be strong and healthy after birth. 
-Little Baby P. is probably around 19 to 20 inches long and weighs a little over 7lbs. 3oz., which is around the size of a watermelon:

(Photo credit: bonappetit.com)
My Craves:
-Plums.  I have enjoyed one every day.
-Applesauce.  I’ve enjoyed some of this most days, too.
-Milk.  I’ve had to ration my milk servings until I can get back to the store for another gallon. :)
-Chick-fil-A.  We covered this a bit earlier.  Clean, friendly environment and yummy food.  Can’t beat that. :)
Thanks for catching up with us this week!  Who knows? Maybe there will be a post before next week that has some cute baby pictures in it!  We’ll see!  Please keep us in your prayers as we anticipate a safe and healthy delivery, with a safe and healthy mommy & baby as the outcome!  Love, Reba


Saturday, August 18, 2012

38 Weeks

Finally, we are at the 38 week mark!  :)  Thursday marked our 38th week of pregnancy and as I write this blog on Saturday morning, that means we have less than 2 weeks to go!  Can I get a woop woop over here?!?!  The Petersen house is bursting with anticipation for our little one’s arrival! :)

On Thursday we had a doctor appointment.  Michael was putting on a kicking extravaganza, and all of his movements caused his heart-rate to be 156!  He was a busy little guy!  We did not have an ultrasound at this appointment and I do not expect to have another one during this pregnancy.  The doctor pressed on my tummy and could estimate Michael’s growth over the past week.  Michael must be leveling out his weight gain (which some babies do), because the doctor said Michael is not too big and not too small.  Meaning, there is not a reason for me to have a “medically necessary” C-section at this point.   

To this mommy-to-be, the appointment was fun, but it came with a little discouragement and frustration.  Last week, there was so much talk of “discussing our options” this week, and that I could go into labor at any day.  I took it to mean that we could possibly have our baby already.  Now, it seemed like we might actually make it to the due date.  Did I have a crying spell that night? Totally.  But my sweet husband reminded me that the race isn’t over yet.  We’re only at week 38—it’s not like we’re overdue.  He reminded me that we still have plenty of time left to have Michael.  I’ve got one sweet husband, folks.

Aaron’s encouragement helped me get through the night.  But overall, this past work week was tough.  Every day I was asked when I was due, or why haven’t I had the baby yet, or “You’re still here.”  It was hard to smile back at each individual and say “I’m due the 30th, but the baby could come at any time”, “I haven’t had the baby yet because he must not be ready,” and “Yes, I’m still here.”  I felt like a side-show in the circus:  “Come see the amazing pregnant lady who can’t seem to have her kid! Come one, come all!”  It wasn’t until after I talked to my mom and shared my souped-up pregnancy-hormone feelings that she guided me to another way of thinking.  This is what she said “All those people care about you and feel a part of the support.  Babies are exciting and coworkers seldom get to watch the whole pregnancy develop.”   I’ve got a sweet mom.   So, from now on, I’m going to look at each day as a surprise.  If I make it to the end of the day without going into labor, then it just means I’m one day closer to getting to the day when I will go into labor!

Each day is like Christmas Eve.  One day I’m going to wake up and I’m going to have this wonderful gift.  Until then, I get to dream about when that day is going to get here.  It’s a blessing to know that Aaron and I feel ready.  We eagerly await the arrival of our sweet little boy.  I am cherishing the feeling of Michael’s movements throughout the day, and I’m remembering that this is the easiest time of Aaron’s and my journey of parenthood.  Michael goes where we want to go, he eats when I eat, goes to bed when I do, wakes up when I do, and he isn’t needing his diaper or his outfit changed.  Yes, I am anxiously awaiting his arrival.  But I am trying to enjoy these first experiences of parenthood—this bonding that Michael and I have been able to acquire over these last 38 weeks.  I’m his mommy and he’s my little boy.  It’s a very sweet relationship that has started here inside of me and will continue to grow through the years after Michael’s arrival. 

Michael has a very anxious dad who is patiently waiting to hold his little boy.  Aaron’s facial expressions are so wonderful when he places his hand on my belly and Michael gives him a kick or a finger flick (when Michael grabs his foot, then flings his fingers off of it as we saw in the ultrasound).  Aaron’s face lights up and then he sighs a deep sigh.  He is one ready dad-to-be.  :)

As we are in this holding pattern of waiting, it’s not to say that we haven’t tried things to speed up the process.  I’ve eaten pineapple, which I’ve been told could help.  I walk a mile everyday with my friend, and walking is one of the best things to do.  Aaron has given me calf-massages, which I’ve also been told could help.  I’ve looked for raspberry leaf tea to no avail—apparently it’s supposed to help, but not if I can’t find it.  I’ve eaten spicy food, like the spicy Chick-fil-A wrap:

And, alas, at this last doctor appointment, he said I am in the same place as I was last week—nowhere.  No progress has been made on the road to labor, except that I’m one week further along which means we are a week closer to being in labor.  The doctor said “Now, you could go home and sneeze and go into labor.  It still could happen at any time.”  The nurse added “But don’t go home and try to inhale a bunch of black pepper.”  Duly noted.  So, we are waiting.  Waiting, waiting, waiting. And I encourage myself by remembering that God knows exactly when Michael will be born.  So, as I wait, I have been given this opportunity to trust in His timing. 

This week, the belly pictures are in front of Michael’s cradle in our bedroom!  Aaron wanted to take a front picture and a back picture to show that you can hardly tell I’m pregnant from the back.

This Week:
-Michael’s fingernails have grown over his fingertips now.
-His intestines have accumulated the first baby bowel movement, called Meconium.  When Michael has this sticky, tar-like bowel movement after birth, I think it might be a good time for Aaron to get in some diaper-changing practice, don’t you? :)
-Michael’s lungs continue to mature, and this is so important!
-Each day, Little Michael’s brain and nerve function work better and better.
-Little Baby P. at least weighs 7lbs. 3oz as we determined from the ultrasound last week.  He is probably 19 or 20 inches long, which is the size of a pumpkin!

(Photo credit: illinois.edu)

I love pumpkins and am looking forward to my maternity leave which will spill over into the beginning of fall—my favorite season! It will be fun to rock in the rocking chair while holding a cute little baby wrapped up in a blanket on a cool fall morning.  Can you tell we’re ready? :)

My Craves:
-I hate to admit that I am craving sweets, sweets, sweets.  Whether these are things I make myself (like blonde brownies or funfetti cake mix cookies), or buy (like milkshakes), I am trying to curb this craving. 
-Plums and nectarines.  I did buy some of these in the store last week, but next time I’ll know to buy enough to get me through the whole week and not just four days.  Fresh fruit is nice to have in the fridge, and does a good job of curbing my artificial sweets craving.
-Broccoli.  Steamed is best, but I’ll take it how I can get it whether it’s in broccoli and cheese, or broccoli cheese and rice, or broccoli potato and herb sauce. 

Thanks for catching up with us this week!  We know we get closer each day to meeting Michael! :) Love, Reba

Friday, August 10, 2012

37 Weeks

Yesterday was the 37 week mark!  That means, we are less than 3 weeks away from the Due Date.  Do I think we’re going to hold out until then? No, I do not.  J I think Little Michael is going to come a bit early. 

We had our 37 week check-up yesterday, to include an ultrasound.  Michael is quickly running out of room in there to move around!  He is head-down facing to the right.  His little back and booty curve up around the left side of my tummy, and his legs and feet are on the right side of my tummy.  He likes to use one of his hands to grab his feet.  We saw him do this during the ultrasound, and it made us smile.  He sometimes puts his other hand and arm across his face.  He’s such a cutie on the ultrasound screen.  I can’t wait to meet him face to face!  His heart rate was a solid 156.  He was a bit aggravated with the ultrasound wand pushing on him and he kicked at it a few times.  The ultrasound technician measured Michael’s crown, his tummy, and his thigh bone and it appears that Michael currently weighs in at 7lbs 3oz.  J 
The nurse said “Well, the doctor probably has a plan.” She was nervous since we’re still 3 weeks away from the due date, and Michael already weighs over 7lbs.  She doesn’t want Michael to get too big.  The doctor and nurse both told me that I am welcome to go into labor at any time, and they ended the statement with “Please do.” J  At 37 weeks, babies in the womb are considered full-term.  So, if Michael decides to come a bit early, it will be just fine.  The doctor said he doesn’t induce at 37 weeks, but next week when I come in, we’ll start “looking at our options.”  Whether the options include inducing labor, or scheduling a ‘medically necessary’ C-section, we’ll find out in a week.   The doctor performed a pelvic exam and stated that I am not dilated at all.  That’s a bit discouraging for a soon-to-be-mom to hear, after hearing that it’s ok to go into labor at any time.   It’s all just a waiting game now.  There’s not much I can do to speed up dilation, so I’m working hard at trusting God’s timing.  He knows exactly when our little one will be born, and I know His plan is best.
I’m trying to stay distracted.  Fortunately, the Olympics were a big help during this past week.  And now, it’s the weekend and I always look forward to those! J  Tomorrow, Aaron and I are going to “Baby Boot Camp”—a condensed child-birth/Lamaze class given at the hospital where we will deliver.  It will include a tour of the labor & delivery and maternity wards.  I think this will help ease my nerves since I will be prepared as to where to go when the Big Day arrives.  I have been instructed to bring a yoga mat and 2 pillows with me to class.  I am anxious to find out what we will learn tomorrow.  I am very grateful to my sweet husband for coming with me and being my “coach.”  Hopefully this class will help us both with any unanswered questions we have about what’s to come when we have Michael.
Did I mention that I have finished packing my hospital bag??? I accomplished this task on Monday evening.  As far as other ‘nesting’ instincts go, well, I’m kinda waiting around for that burst of energy that will propel me to feverishly become that combination of Danny Tanner from Full House and Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie.  Why these two characters?  Well, Danny Tanner was known for being a clean freak, and Jeannie could fold her arms, bob her head, and blink her eyes and whatever she desired was done!  So, it would be really nice to have the urge to clean, and to be able to do it quickly!
At work, many of us are being shifted around and changing cubicles.  This requires one to pack up his or her current cubicle, and clean the desk before moving to the new cubicle’s location.  I was scheduled to move today, so I spent much of the day organizing my supplies and folders, and dusting and cleaning my current desk.  At the end of the day, it was obvious that the moves weren’t happening at the pace everyone thought they should, so I will be continuing the moving process on Monday.  It was hard to concentrate on anything besides making sure my cubicle was spic and span, so maybe this was my version of nesting.  We’ll see.  If I suddenly get the Danny Tanner/ Jeannie burst of energy, I’ll be sure to let you know in next week’s blog.  J
Here’s my belly picture for the week:

I’m sure you will agree that I look like I could have Michael at any time! J
This Week:
-Michael is full-term!  All of his systems will be fully-functional outside of the womb now!
-Michael’s growth will dramatically slow down after this week. 
-His bones are pliable, which will help during his journey down the birth canal.  The bones will solidify after he is born.
-Little Baby P. is spending his time “practicing” his skills for when he enters the world.  He is busy sucking, grasping, gazing, sleeping and peeing. 
-Little Michael is most likely 19 to 20 inches long and weighs 7lbs 3 oz, which is roughly the size of a prize-winning large mouth bass:

(Photo credit: ligtel.com)

My Craves:
-Milk, milk, milk.  Once again, I could drink this all day long.
-Savory things. My lunch at work usually consists of a PB&J, a Nutragrain bar, and some applesauce—not bad, but all are sweet.  When I get home, I want to eat savory things to counteract the sweetness of my lunch. 
-Ice cold water.  I carry my water bottle with me as my coworker friend and I do our daily walks around our work parking lot.  Water is a necessity for this mom-to-be. 

Thanks for catching up with us this week and sharing in our joy as we eagerly await Michael’s arrival! J  Please keep us in your prayers as we approach delivery, which could be any day now!  Love, Reba

Friday, August 3, 2012

36 Weeks

Yay!  We are at 36 weeks!  Only 4 weeks left to go!  27 days!  And people, 27 days is not a long time.  I am so so happy to be at this point!  Two weeks ago, 6 weeks felt like a long time to go.  Even a week ago when I was 5 weeks away felt like a long time to wait.  But 4 weeks… 4 weeks?!?  That’s nothing!  J 

We are getting down to crunch time!  It’s time to finish stocking up on baby supplies and get ready for the main event—meeting Michael William! J

We had a doctor appointment yesterday.  No pelvic exam (those will start next week), but the doctor did measure my tummy and listened to Michael’s heartbeat.  Once again, he said that Michael has a “Perfect heartbeat” and that’s what this mommy-to-be likes to hear!  When the doctor measures my belly, he also can push down on my belly to see where Michael is positioned.  I asked him if he could tell if Michael was head-up, sideways, or head-down and he said that Michael is head-down! J This is HUGE because I’ve been waiting and waiting for Michael to make his way facing south and now he’s in position ready to enter the world at the appropriate time!  The doctor said we’ll get to have an ultrasound next week to see how big Michael is and to find out how much he weighs.  I am super excited!  I haven’t had an ultrasound since week 19, and I am anxious to get a final look at our little man before we meet him face to face!  J

So, let the guessing games begin!  At work, people have already started making their assumptions as to how big Michael will be, and on what day he will choose to arrive.  The majority of my coworkers think that he’s coming during the week of August 12.  I’m not holding my breath that Michael will come early.  I know it’s important for him to stay inside of the womb as long as possible, but if God chooses to send us our miracle a bit early I’ll be okay with that! J

I am excited for date night and Target shopping with my wonderful husband!  I am still acquiring some last minute things, and when I say that I mean things for my hospital bag (no, I haven’t finished packing it yet). L I have also taken inventory of the baby items we’ve accumulated in order to find out what we still lack.  Bottles and burp cloths top my list.  I’ll grab some of these things while I am at the store just to make sure that I have some.

Today, our photo shoot comes from Michael’s nursery. 

Here I am sitting on the guest bed in the nursery:

And here I am holding up Michael’s “coming-home-from-the-hospital” outfit, which includes a Detroit Red Wings onesie, an Auburn beanie, and soccer-ball patterned socks:

Michael is going to be one cute little boy!

This Week:
-Michael is still busy accumulating fat which will help him regulate his body temperature once he exits the womb. Fat will actually make-up about 15% of his body.

-Little Baby P.’s gums are firm, and they have ridges where the teeth will come in several months from now.

-Michael has definite patterns of sleep and wakefulness.  He closes his eyes while sleeping, and has them open while he’s awake!

-Little Michael is alert to light and sound and will turn his head to face light or sound just as a newborn does.

-Michael weighs approximately 6 pounds and is about 18 and a half inches long, which is the size of a breadbox:
(Photo credit: wordpress.com)

I am so glad Michael is more flexible than a breadbox!
My Craves:
-Apple pie stuff like:
            -Applesauce (I’ve thought about spicing it up with some cinnamon to make it apple pie-like)
            -Apple Cinnamon Nutrigrain bar
            -Apple pie from McDonalds (Haven’t given into this one, but it sure is tempting!)
-Milk.  I could drink this all day long.
-Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal—who knew?  It just tastes so great these days.  Did I mention that I ate three bowls the other day? (One bowl for a snack, and two bowls for dinner).
-Flavored sparkling water.  I bought a multi-pack of this at COSTCO so I wouldn’t resort to drinking sodas at work when I’m bored or need a caffeine jolt.  My ankles and feet had been swelling a lot, and I was choosing to wear pants everyday so no one would see my ankles and feet.  However, it is so sweltering outside, that I decided to try another approach to curb my swollen ankles and feet.  I decided to cut down on my sodium intake.  Sodas can have a lot of sodium, so I switched to sparkling water which has no sodium or sugar.  It also lacks caffeine, but the carbonation of it wakes me up when I’m feeling sluggish at work.  The choice to lower my sodium intake has had marvelous results.  I’m wearing a dress today for the first time in 2 weeks!
Thanks for catching up with us this week!  Only a few more weeks to go before Little Michael makes his debut!  With lots of love, Reba.