Tuesday, February 12, 2013

28 week check up

Yesterday (Monday) I went to my check-up and the doctor reminded me that I needed another ultrasound. Apparently the little one is measuring a little bigger than she should be. Right now, her thigh bone is right on track at 28 weeks but her head and her belly are measuring 10 days ahead; I also have a lot of amniotic fluid. The doctor says it's nothing to be worried about and that's also part of the reason why they were doing the glucose test during the same appointment.

Ugh I forgot how dreadful the flavors are: lemon lime, orange, and fruit punch. Yuck - well I chose the latter which left the most disgusting aftertaste in my mouth long after I left my appointment.

I lost half a pound which puts me at 185.5 lbs, my blood pressure is 122/80, and everything else is right on track. As of right now there haven't been any changes made to the delivery plan because the doc says this may just be an anolmaly.

I also found out (thanks to my mom) that I just had my Tdap shot back in 2011 and I don't have to get another one. That's fantastic because I hate shots. I reminded my husband that he needed to get his shot soon. He's been putting it off for the last three months and he works in a clinic! Lol, I know he gets busy and probably forgets.

It's hard to believe that we've only got 12 more weeks (or less) before she finally arrives. This little girl is loved so much already by everyone around.

My baby shower is on March 24th at the club house here and my husband's best friend's wife is hosting. She's fantastic at hosting and I'm sure she'll make it one to remember. This will be my first and last :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I was just reading...

about what to pack in a hospital bag. With my first two kids I didn't really have the chance to pack a hospital bag but I've been thinking a lot about it. Maybe it's because the nesting instinct is kicking in already. I have cleaned every space imaginable in this house but it's not enough. Yesterday I was cleaning out my closet which was definitely in need of tidying up and I found a bag I could use as a hospital bag. I started doing some research because pregnancy brain kicked in about what should be in a hospital bag. Here's what I found:


Must-Haves: 

[ ] Insurance info, hospital forms and birth plan (if you have one)

[ ] 2-3 pairs of warm, nonskid socks that can get ruined (for walking the halls before and afterlabor)

[ ] A warm robe or sweater you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause

[ ] maternity bras -- no underwire -- and nursing pads (whether or not you plan to nurse, you’ll appreciate the support and leak-protection)

[ ] Lip balm (hospitals are very dry)

[ ] Toiletries and personal items -- hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, makeup (as if), shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact lens case and solution (remember, travel-sized products are your friends)

[ ] Eyeglasses

[ ] Headband or ponytail holder (avoid clips -- they’ll probably poke you)

[ ] Sugar-free hard candy or lozenges to keep your mouth moist during labor (candy with sugar will make you thirsty)

[ ] Pen and paper

[ ] Lots of change for the vending machines and non-perishable snacks (you’ll probably be hungry after labor, and the hospital cafeteria could be closed)

[ ] Cell phone and charger, phone numbers of people to call after birth, prepaid calling card (if your hospital doesn’t allow cell phones)

[ ] Camera, film or extra memory card, battery or charger

[ ] A gym bag packed with a change of clothes and basic hygiene products for your partner

Take it or leave it:
Extra pillow (with a case that can get ruined, in a pattern distinguishable from hospital white)

[ ] Comfortable going-home clothes in six-month maternity size and flat shoes (or, just wear the clothes you came in… sorry, but they’ll probably still fit)

[ ] Bath towel (the hospital will likely supply a small, very thin one)

[ ] Hairdryer

[ ] Your favorite brand of soap, shampoo and heavy flow sanitary pads (the hospital supplies these things, but bring your own if you’re picky)

[ ] A few pairs of maternity underwear that can get ruined (the hospital will have disposable pairs, which some women find handy and others find gross)

[ ] A ruin-able nightgown (you can use those lovely hospital gowns, but your own might help you feel more human)

[ ] Breast pump, if you plan to use one

[ ] Slippers that can get dirty

[ ] Very light reading (think mags and newspapers, not War and Peace)

[ ] Your MP3 (loaded with your favorite tunes, of course)

[ ] Massage oil and tools like rolling pins or tennis balls, and lucky or inspirational objects (honestly, we doubt you'll use 'em…but feel free to prove us wrong!)

Leave Home:
[ ] Any clothes or nighties you really like (they will get ruined)

[ ] Stopwatch (your nurse or a monitor will take care of timing contractions)

What to Bring For Baby:

[ ] Approved car seat
[ ] A coming-home outfit

[ ] Warm blankets (for the ride home)

[ ] Outdoor gear like a snowsuit and hat, as seasonally appropriate (remember, babies are extra sensitive to cold)

Of course there are some things on this list I won't need that I crossed off. It's been six years since I delivered a baby and it's amazing that I remember so little about the entire process. I guess I'll start gathering these things up one at a time since I've only got approximately 12 weeks left.
My guess is that she will come early, maybe 10 weeks out. I've never actually carried full term. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It's time

Yeah so it's been longer than two months since Jesse and I have gone out for some grown up time. I love my girls dearly but anyone that wants to keep their sanity knows that this involves a break from the kiddos.

They're a handful even at 6 and 7 but then again they've always been high maintenance when they're together. Noelle, who is the oldest and much calmer can sit next to me on the couch and watch TV no problem. Jade on the other hand is on the go all the time - unless this child is sick or engrossed in an "amazing" (her words not mine) movie, she is moving, hopping, fidgeting.

I love them though. They give me something to be proud of and reason to brag :) Aliviah will be here in about 3 months and I'm planning on spending at least a little one on one time with daddy-o before she gets here. I'm so worried that I'm gonna be overwhelmed with having a newborn in the house and a very needy, clingy 6 year old. I know that I can depend on Noelle to be the big sister which makes me super happy and excited.

I also don't know how much time, if any, they are giving Jesse off from work once I deliver. My guess is that he will probably have to take some PTO which I don't want him to do.
We usually go camping with the girls every summer in a region up above Steamboat Springs, CO (Hahns Peak) at the border with Wyoming for a whole week. The entire family and close friends come each year to go fishing, swimming, and catch up: I don't want to take that away from them this summer.

We have a giftcard for dinner that his boss gave us as a Christmas present and a night of babysitting promised to us from my father in law that we haven't used yet. It's just a matter of planning. Dinner and a movie sounds heavenly right now.

I wish it was warm enough to go walking around downtown Denver but it still gets really cold this time of year. Maybe closer to April or May.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I had an unscheduled trip to the OB today

I've noticed over the last few days that I had more bleeding than usual. Anyone that has had kids knows that bleeding isn't unusual while pregnant, especially when having a bowel movement. However, I was bleeding into my panties and I could see it when I wiped. I also had some abnormal discharge so just to be safe I called the nurse. So they brought me in for an appointment today and did an ultrasound. It revealed that the placenta was fine but as soon as I cleaned up I was bleeding again.

Once I got in to see the doctor she asked me what was going on and I explained to her that the bleeding had picked up. So she took a look and found some polyps on my cervix. I just had a cervical exam 4 weeks ago so to have them pop up was a little weird. I've never had them until now. So she removed them and said that this is what was causing the bleeding. I was told to expect cramping and bleeding over the next 24-48 hours.

I'm already cramping...


UGH.

Here's some more information on Cervical Polyps.

I'm thinking about switching careers


I'm not very happy with my current job because I don't have any way to excel or be praised for the work I do. I work 40 hours a week and the job is boring so it's not very fulfilling.

Let me explain how I got here.

About a year and a half ago I went to a community college to get my certificate for medical billing. I went to school for 11 months and I even did an externship at the local hospital. On my last day I had paperwork to be signed by the office manager and somehow she graded it all wrong: 1 being bad and 5 being good - she gave me all ones. So I didn't pay attention to the paper (I'm kicking myself now) and turned it in. Two weeks later in June I moved to Colorado with my husband and I was waiting for my certificate in the mail. After four weeks I still hadn't received my certificate so I called the school. They told me that I needed to do my externship over again in order to finish up. I explained that I lived clear across the country and couldn't come back. They told me that there's nothing they could do about it.

So I got a job working customer service (again) on the phone in a call center and I'm going to be honest here when I say that I was good at the job but my stress level was through the roof. Finally in June of this year I was promoted to another department and thought that I was really going to be able to use my skills. Instead I do very unfulfilling work and spend all day at a computer in an uncomfortable chair.

I'm almost 5 months pregnant now and I've been giving a lot of thought to what I'm going to do after the baby is born. I really don't have a desire to come back to my current job. I've been looking into telecommuting opportunity from home. Let's face it, your average American is faced with huge childcare bills and if your kid isn't potty trained you're looking at extra fees. One establishment wanted $800/ mo for my 5 year old before she started school. That's three quarters of our rent... needless to say we got lucky with a friend who is a stay at home mom but she has moved now.

I need a better solution. So I decided that I want to try and get my medical billing and transcription certificate again through a local school here. I can go in the evenings after my husband comes home and I'd love to get started once the baby is sleeping through the night.

The great thing about this is that there are lots of work from home positions available. I worked full time with both kids but now that I'm older I think I want to stay home.

This is what I'm going to school for now:

Health Information Technology (Medical Records) AAS
The Health Information Technology (HIT) program enables the student to develop the technical skills necessary for managing health information within the healthcare delivery system. The health information field has employment opportunities in hospitals, long term care, ambulatory care, mental health and other healthcare facilities as well as private industry. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is eligible to write the national certification examination and upon successful passing of this examination, receive the RHIT (Registered Health Information Technology) credentials. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is the association of health information management (HIM) professionals. AHIMA Web site: www.ahima.org
  Total: 66 Credit Hours

I guess it really depends on how long it takes to complete the programs.my estimate is two years since I have to take every class I've already taken over again. Turns out that what was two credits back home is three credits here. :( So nothing transferred. Great...

All I know is that I have to do something other than what I'm doing now.

Getting those stomach muscles back in gear

*** A few of these posts will be transfers from a blog I am no longer using, but they will be tagged as such so if it seems like things are a little crazy, just hang in there :) ***

I found some really helpful tips for getting those stomach muscles back in gear after I deliver. I thought I'd share it here.



What are some postpartum exercises for separated stomach muscles?

A separation of the rectus abdominus muscles during pregnancy is normal. It allows the belly to expand and make room for the growing baby. This separation, called diastasis recti, isn't a tear or a hernia. It’s simply a thinning and widening of the connective tissue between the two muscles.

After pregnancy, there are exercises that can help bring the muscles back together. I'll include those exercises below. Before you do any abdominal exercises, you should consult with a physical therapist to find out just what's going on with your abdominal muscles.

The postpartum abdominal exercises I'm recommending take you through five levels. Traditional abdominal exercises, such as sit-ups, put too much stress on a postpartum tummy and back, and are not recommended for new moms. Instead, I recommend a series of exercises developed by Shirley Sahrmann, a physical therapist who specializes in abdominal rehabilitation. These exercises are designed to target the area most weakened by pregnancy—below the belly button—without creating stress on the back and abdomen. They're amazingly effective, but it's important for you to go slowly and master each level before moving on to the next one.

A C-section mom can start these exercises once the incision has healed (stitches are dissolved or taken out) and you don’t feel pain when contracting your tummy. If you had a vaginal birth you can get started once any incisions or tears are healed.

The first exercise to try is simply pulling your belly button in towards your back. Hold for five seconds and release. Keep breathing as you hold and try and work up to 5-10 of these contractions several times a day.

Basic breath: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent, feet resting on the floor. Inhale and exhale a few times. Don't flatten your back or tilt your pelvis, just let the natural curve in your back remain. Breathe in slowly and deeply. Now, breathe out and tighten your tummy muscles, pulling your navel towards your spine.

Remember to concentrate on contracting the muscles below your belly button without flattening your back. When you are able to contract and relax your abdominal muscles without moving your back, you have learned to properly isolate the correct muscles. You can then try the first Sahrmann exercise.

Sahrmann Exercise #1
Lie on the floor with knees bent and arms at your side. Hold your tummy in by doing your basic breath contraction. Keeping one knee bent, slowly slide the opposite leg out until it is straight with the floor, and then slide it back up to bent knee position. Relax your tummy.

Repeat with the other leg. Remember not to flatten your back and to keep the curve of your spine relaxed. When your abdominal muscles are contracted it helps to stabilize your pelvis while your legs and lower tummy muscles work. This prevents strain in your back muscles, and trains your abdominal muscles to protect and support your spine. When you can comfortably do 20 legs slides on each side you are ready to move on to exercise #2.

Sahrmann Exercise #2
Lie on floor with knees bent and arms at your side. Pull in on your tummy and hold, then raise one knee towards your chest and slowly straighten it out parallel to the floor—about 2-3 inches above the floor without touching it. Return extended leg to starting position, knees bent, feet resting on floor, tummy relaxed.

Repeat on opposite side, keeping one knee bent as you extend the other leg. Work up to five repetitions on each side without stopping, building to 20 repetitions or more on each side before moving on to exercise #3.

Sahrmann Exercise #3
Use you basic breath as you bring your legs up one at a time towards your body with knees bent. Keep one leg bent as you slowly lower the other leg down to the floor and back up. Repeat on the opposite side, working up to ten times each leg before moving on.

Sahrmann Exercise #4
Use your basic breath as you bring both legs up, knees bent. Slowly extend one leg out, parallel with the floor but not touching it. Return the leg to the starting position and repeat with opposite leg. Work up to 10 repetitions each leg.

With each repetition remember to keep breathing, contract your tummy as you move, and don't let you back pop up. If the arch in your back keeps popping up during the exercise, then you're not strong enough to progress to this level, and need to go back to the previous exercise until you build greater strength.

When you can repeat this exercise 20 times on each leg without discomfort or arching your back, move on to exercise #5.

Sahrmann Exercise #5
Bring both legs to your chest using your basic breath one at a time. Straighten both legs up in the air, at a 90-degree angle from your hips. Keeping your legs together, slowly lower them down toward the floor. Only lower your legs as far as you feel comfortable doing so.

If you feel your back beginning to arch, bring your legs back up and lower legs again only as far as you can without arching the back. Work up to 20 repetitions.
If you notice back pain with this exercise, discontinue doing #5 and maintain at level #4.

Catherine Cram, M.S.
Owner for Comprehensive Fitness Consulting LLC
Author of Fit Pregnancy for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2004)

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