Saturday, May 28, 2016

28 Week Bumpdate: 3D/4D ultrasound, baby's bath, names & playroom beginnings!

Hello loves!

We celebrated 28 weeks a few days ago and can't believe how fast time is passing, but at the same time it feels so slow. We're just so ready to meet him!  To pass the time until he comes, we have been working hard on his bathroom and playroom.  His overwhelmed closet appreciates that I've slowed down on buying baby boy clothes.  His playroom is still very much a work in progress (the walls are half gray and half brown and according to the tracking his brightly colored playroom couch is somewhere in Maryland right now) but his bathroom is now all done!  More on that later though. :)

The coolest baby updates this month come from our elective HD 3D/4D ultrasound yesterday. These ultrasounds are done between 26 and 30 weeks to give parents a glimpse of baby's features. Medically necessary? No. Super exciting nonetheless? Yes! A lot of the most fun things in life are unnecessary though, right? These ultrasounds are done during this time frame because baby's features have had enough time to be finalized but they haven't gotten so big that it's too tight to see them.  First and foremost, we are always most thankful when we hear a strong heartbeat off the bat.  So many families lose that heartbeat unexpectedly during pregnancy and we never take it for granted.  We were also so pleased with the quality of how our video and photos came out (we got 80 photos on DVD, a video of the entire session and a photo album filled with the photos - Triangle Imaging Center was amazing - HIGHLY recommend)! The facility has couches and large flat screens set up for the husband and other guests to watch the ultrasound live.  My mom had been excited to do this with us since the first trimester, but she's out of the country right now helping my sister, so only my dad came with us. All of my in-laws are in Texas unfortunately too.  I loved watching my dad analyze the screen so closely and so seriously and take it all in. He laughed every time the tech would remark about how unusually long he is... it was precious.  My dad is 6 ft 4 inches tall, so I imagine there had to be some feelings of grandpa ownership there. There was plenty of fluid around baby (I had been CHUGGING water all week, which is supposed to improve the quality of the image) and he mostly cooperated, although he was way less wiggly than in previous ultrasounds because he's so large that he's essentially stuck in his current position. Poor baby! He was also adorably nuzzling and hugging the placenta the entire time, so part of his face was hiding behind it in most of the photos. Maybe we're biased, but how handsome is our little man?!?!

The first revelation of the ultrasound was that baby is still big... VERY big.  The tech (who has done more than 10,000 scans of 26-32 week babies) said that in every way he looked at least 30 weeks in terms of development, behavior and size (mostly length).  She estimates his weight at 3 pounds and his length at 16 inches (some full term babies are born that long!).  If he gains half a pound per week for the rest of the third trimester like he's supposed to, that will put him at exactly 9 pounds at birth, which is no surprise since Ross and I were both 9 and a half pound babies and studies show that maternal and paternal birthweight are the biggest predictors of a baby's weight at birth.  He is head down already (he's a little over eager like mommy!) and apparently has no way to move from that position at this point.  The tech said she would pay his college tuition if he somehow went breech, because she doesn't think he can even twirl 90 degrees on his axis at the point, he's so big and so stuck. She said he's facing my left arm and likely will be until he comes out. Best case scenario he can rotate slightly to look at my back, all the while remaining upside down. His arms were crossed and knees to his chest - he looked so cramped! I feel bad for our big boy but the tech insisted he's cozy.

Because of the clarity of the video, we think we were able to make out several of his features, some of which we traced to my husband and some to me. The tech said he had a very heart shaped face (me) with high cheek bones (me) with sunken eyes (hubby), but they did seem large (me) and a very defined brow line (definitely hubby), although the brow line seemed arched like mine, not straight like Ross's. He has a rounded little button nose which we thought at first must be more like me since my husband has a very geometric, large, roman nose (which is very handsome to me - I love his Italian roots) BUT upon closer examination of his baby pictures, my husband had a fat/round little nose as a baby, so who knows! The tech thought it was Ross's nose because of something with the bridge, but my dad and Ross thought it was mine (that was before we saw Ross's baby pictures though). I would love it if he ended up with my husband's handsome nose, so fingers crossed for that! When he opened his eyes to blink his eye shape looked a lot like Ross's, which absolutely makes me melt.  The tech mentioned that the dip in his upper lip was very pronounced, which we also noticed was very pronounced in my baby pictures.  He has the cutest chunky little thighs (picture below) with ROLLS ALREADY! Swoon! Those definitely come from mama, since daddy has no body fat on his legs at all. His chin is small and round, which I think I've traced back to Ross's baby pictures.

An aerial shot of his head revealed ears that are completely perpendicular to his head, which undoubtedly comes from mom & grandma (our ears are very, um, prominent). Proud mommy moment when your son gets your most notable feature, even if he'll almost certainly hate it. LOL. He has the genetic longer second toe than first toe, which Ross has and is apparently a running joke in his family (they called his feet 'tree climbers' lol). Features we can't really trace to either of us include his attached earlobes, his ADORABLE little pouty lips he had in several shots and his relatively wide set eyes. He blew us a kiss at one point, did duck face at one point, was practicing his breathing (the tech said most babies don't do this until 32+ weeks!), blinked a few times and yawned once. The tech said he already has a full head of hair, eyebrows and long eyelashes. The sweetest part though was by far his precious little smile, which he flashed countless times through the ultrasound and had me almost in tears.  I think he smiles like his daddy, which makes it all the more sweeter.

Who do you guys think he looks like?! Some very poor quality baby photos from us from the 80's are below. 

Baby's bath is all done - yay! We went with a very light mint green for the walls, gold and white for the accents, and a coastal theme for the décor.  The room was really dark with only one sconce over the sink, so Ross decided to add a nice LED recessed light over the shower, which has really improved things. He did all of the electrical work himself - he never ceases to amaze me at what he can teach himself.  He also obliged my request for a custom beach wood mirror frame (after I explained what beach wood was, of course).  He cut the wood and built the frame for the basic glass mirror we already had. Not pictured here: a tub filled with baby bathing gear and supplies hidden behind the shower curtain. Now we just need the baby! We're still debating replacing baby's countertop, which I don't love, with Carrera Marble like what we used in our wine cellar. It would be really inexpensive because of how small it is, but hubby doesn't want the hassle and, perhaps correctly, points out that a newborn doesn't need marble countertops. Touché. 

His playroom is a HOT MESS right now, so I'll spare you those pictures. For those familiar with our house wondering where the playroom is, good question considering we didn't have any empty rooms or playrooms a month ago. Does an infant need a playroom? Probably not (but he also won't be an infant forever). Do I have a nesting problem? YES.  We also really enjoy any home project and are obsessed with baby, so if we could merge the two, nothing could be more fun for us.  We also wanted a place to keep all of his rainbow gear (bouncers, swings, playmats, pack and plays, toys) so that our house doesn't turn rainbow... we'll see how that goes. So we emptied out the library/home office that we literally never set foot in except to put up 3 Christmas trees each November and moved the desk and chair into the turret of the Lady Cave (aka the formal living room). We added new blinds to the new Lady Cave/office hybrid to make it more "officey" and are looking for a more serious rug than the hot pink shag one that's in there now this weekend. The playroom is going to be so much fun - I'll save this for the next post but it's going to have color (rare for me, but this is for baby!), black and white geometric patterns and lots of storage.  His giant chalkboard came in this week as did his infant basketball goal and wild couch pillows.  I want to do a ball pit but Ross is talking me out of it. I guess he needs to be born and learn to walk first... details. The nesting is very real y'all... and this is coming from someone who nested BEFORE being pregnant.

Nursery updates are minimal this month. We got him a fan but haven't installed it because we (okay, I) am not sure it's cute enough. I wanted a chandelier but for complex reasons involving his male sex and the risk of SIDS decreasing when you have a ceiling fan, we decided to go with a ceiling fan. His gold changing pad cover came in and is very cute.  His dresser also came in! I got him some curtains but haven't hung them either because I'm as on the fence about them as I am the ceiling fan. They would also require a change of his rug. Why is this so hard? 

Here are a couple bumpies (sorry for all the work clothes - it's all I've done lately), Ross craving shots & shopping photos from the last four weeks. 

Jackson & Alex's wedding!

This is the skirt that ripped, by the way. 

We also had our hospital tour last weekend, which went really well.  Our OB only delivers at WakeMed Raleigh because of it's highly rated NICU (which hopefully we will never need!) so we didn't have a choice, but we're pleased with their choice.  The labor and delivery rooms are recently renovated and looked wonderful.  The staff was very friendly and gave us a lot of great information.  Most of all, it's just really nice to be able to visualize where the big day (or night... or days... hopefully not days...) of labor will go down. 

We also had our 28 week checkup this week, which also went well and involved lots of very official third trimester things. My routine gestational diabetes test at 26 weeks revealed no gestational diabetes (yay!) but did uncover a bad case of pregnancy induced anemia.  This really surprised me since the prenatal vitamins I've been on for over two years have 150% of your recommended daily iron and I eat raw spinach salads almost daily.  The doc put me on additional iron supplementation and I should be good now.  They also gave me a serious talking to about a not-so-fun recent emergency I had, where a few days after 26 weeks I almost went into preterm labor, which they think was due to working too much/hard. I worked a 6 day week that week (which is unusual for me, but things have been unusually hectic and busy at work), going past 9pm 3 times and until midnight once that week with LOTS of time on my feet now that the Legislature is in town.  I started having two minute Braxton Hicks contractions, but then they stopped stopping if that makes sense and I had one for 90 minutes straight along with extreme nausea (which I haven't had for at least 6 weeks) and period cramping (something that is a big no no in the third trimester unless you're in labor). They almost had to give me a shot to stop the labor, but fortunately it stopped just before that point on its own.  It was really scary.  They urged me to work less and to spend less time on my feet, which I've been trying hard to do and has been much easier now that my AMAZING extra help for the summer began work last week (she's a law student, is incredibly capable and has been wonderful in taking so many things off of my plate). I'm so thankful to my firm for offering to hire her because we were short staffed... she has been a Godsend. 

We're getting really, really close on a name... finally! It's just such a big decision because it's so permanent, plus a good friend suggested waiting for the 3D/4D ultrasound pictures so we could see what he looks like before we decide, which I think has really helped. But names are so hard - you have to think of it passing the playground bully test, how it looks in writing, having good initials, being fitting for an adult AND a child, you don't want it too common but don't want it to so uncommon that it sounds made up, strong yet sweet, presidential in case baby decides to run for president, fitting with your last name, etc! For first names, it's been down to three contenders for a couple months, all of which we really like. We keep "trying them on" when talking about him to see what seems to fit and one seems to be emerging as a front runner, although we're still not quite ready to pull the trigger. Two start with W and one starts with T. For middle names, we've had two in mind for a boy since long before we got pregnant: my dad's name (Robert) and my dad's middle name (Lee)(which, spelled differently, was also my maiden middle name and is also the middle name of my maternal great grandfather and several cousins who are all first horns like me). If we went with Robert, we LOVE that his monogram would likely be our monogram as a couple (WCR) and if we went with Lee, he would likely have my maiden initials (WLC). In a big surprise to us this month, my younger sister who got pregnant while we were still going through infertility decided to use Robert as her child's middle name upon learning at birth that her baby was a boy. That was a big shock for us and hard to swallow, especially since it took her awhile after birth to settle on a name and we had been planning on using one of those two names forever, but we'll manage and I guess that's why you always have multiple options. In retrospect I'm surprised that she didn't ask if we planned on using it, especially since we knew I was having a son months before she did (they waited until birth to find out gender) and family history means so much to me (I did my family's entire genealogy in 2010) but Lee will work well with each of our top 3 first names. He will be the second child named for my father this year, which definitely makes what we were trying to do less special, but it is what it is.  At least it's one less thing less to decide for this indecisive couple!

We also got the professional photos back from our Texas baby shower & loved them! Some favorites are below. :)

As far as general pregnancy symptoms go, I've started to have really bad joint pain in my hips and butt. Sitting hurts. Laying hurts. Standing gets old and makes me worry I'm stretching my feet. There's seriously nowhere to go. It's so painful that it has given me insomnia for the first time in my 29 years.  I woke up in so much pain between 1am and 3am almost every day this week and just stared at the alarm clock until it went off while pouting. Last night I slept for 6 hours straight, which is kind of a miracle based on the current state of affairs, but waking up at 5:30 on a holiday weekend Saturday still felt rough.  I took Tylenol for two days because my doc said it was safe, but I found an enormous Danish study (64,000 subjects!) that linked even moderate Tylenol use during pregnancy to a 40% higher chance of ADHD in children, so now I'm not taking anything. Sigh. I've upped my daily squats to try to build more muscle around it for more cushion/padding (seemed scientific, but who knows). At the ultrasound the tech said that baby's size and low position have everything to do with that pain and that when he makes his final descent before delivery it should go away.  I just keep reminding myself how lucky we are to be here and trying to forget about the literal pain in my butt.

Still no mood swings to my knowledge (but ask Ross to be sure), I'm at exactly 14 pounds gained so far and we're keeping up with our twice daily walks, which I think help the hip and butt pain.  Still no cravings, although Ross has definitely been having them for me.  He gets a large strawberry milkshake from Chick-fil-a almost every day and has been out of nowhere picking up then devouring grocery store rotisserie chickens several times per week (which in 10 years together I've never seen him eat until this month). Last weekend we even went on a quest to find him just the right cheeseburger. It's adorable. He's usually not that into food and is very trim but has gained at least 10 pounds during the pregnancy (despite his weight remaining extremely constant since we started dating a decade ago). It's precious. No foot growth yet (I'm wearing my Chinese foot binding/arch support things religiously that are supposed to help stall it) and no stretch marks yet, although my skin definitely feels like it's stretching. I'm still applying my 3 different stretch mark creams religiously, so we'll see if I can beat mother nature (I'm pretty sure mother nature will win). Being sticky & oily all the time is kinda gross though. 

The bump has reallllly popped over the last week or so and I don't think there's any hiding it at this point.  At 7 months and 1 week pregnant it might be time to hang up my pre-maternity business suits after I popped a skirt suit on the seam (which was conveniently located directly over my butt crack) an hour before testifying before the Senate this week at a doc appointment. Thank goodness for my amazingly resourceful hubby, who learned how to sew (probably for different emergencies than pregnant fashion emergencies) in the Army. He went to Target while I was having my checkup, came back with a sewing kit and got me stitched up before my appointment even ended, reminding me once again that I'm seriously the luckiest girl in the world. But I got the message loud and clear, God. We'll stick with maternity clothes now (even though they're lame).  Peeing has become a part time job, occupying several hours of my day each day. If I made myself learn a new vocabulary word every time I had to pee I would be a walking thesaurus by August, but for now I'll just focus on peeing. Breathing is occasionally difficult, especially after I eat, but overall things are going really well except for the hip/butt pain. 

Sorry for the long post - these last few weeks have been so eventful! 

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