This month's web hangouts:
Conceived Dec 3, 1997
The childbirth classes are over. We've bought almost everything we think we'll need for the first few weeks. We're excitedly feeling each little (or big) movement the baby makes and even daydreaming about the day we'll be able to hold our precious gift in our arms. Our bedroom is just about ready to have an extra occupant--we just need to attach the baby's bed to ours, and we'll be set. I've washed 2 loads of baby laundry, folded those precious little outfits, and arranged them in the drawers of Joe's nightstand, which will temporarily serve as the baby's dresser. The excitement is building!
I'm seeing Nyasha, my midwife, weekly this month, except for one week when she's on vacation. Hopefully our little one won't decide to make an early appearance while she's away! We'll be keeping in close contact with her as my own personal "Labor Day" approaches.
At my appointment on the 5th, we observed that I'm having some colostrum leaking (Nyasha says I'll have no problem nursing my baby). We listened to the baby's heart - about 130 beats per minute. We also noticed that the baby is definitely dropping, right on schedule. That explains the little aches and pains I've been feeling...and why people who are seeing me for the first time now think I'm carrying a boy. At this appointment, I was also tested for beta strep, and Nyasha double-checked to make sure I didn't have a yeast infection. Overall I'm healthy, and the baby's healthy. The baby has finally settled into a head-down position facing my back--the perfect position for a smooth labor. I am amazed at how well things are going!
I'm becoming familiar with the discomforts of late pregnancy. I've noticed a lot of soreness in my upper thighs and groin area--the result of the baby pressing on some nerves. It sure makes getting out of bed or out of the car a more interesting experience! Nyasha tells me these discomforts are normal, positive signs that the baby is getting ready to be born--though I am still not overly anxious for that to happen.
One night I dreamt that I was in labor--even felt some contractions, and we're wondering if maybe I actually was having some of those "Braxton-Hicks" contractions. I could have been. At my appointment on the 11th, Nyasha checked and found that I had dilated about a fingertip's diameter, so whether I've felt them or not, I've had at least a few contractions. The baby hasn't completely dropped yet, and my cervix is still thick. Nyasha does not expect me to give birth until at least the 25th or so. Since my appointment, I've begun to notice a few contractions here and there. The baby has apparently switched back to a posterior position (facing forwards), and the heart rate has slowed down to about 120. From what I understand the heart rate will continue to go down slightly as the due date approaches.
On the 11th, we also visited a potential pediatrician's office for a "prenatal" tour and information session. We were quite pleased. One of the 4 doctors there spoke to us, as did the lactation specialist, one of the nurses, and the office manager. They offer the support for breastfeeding that is most important to us, and they see sick kids pretty quickly - usually the same day you call. One of the ladies in my Bible study recommended the practice.
On the 12th, our little one decided to turn and face my back once again and spent all night trying to get comfy in this new position. This change is probably the result of all the pelvic rocks I'd done on hands and knees that evening because my back was hurting!
At my appointment on the 24th, Nyasha commented on how good I was looking and how well pregnancy suited me. She's right--my body does really well with this pregnancy thing! Aside from swollen feet and a few bathroom difficulties, I was able to tell her quite honestly I'm feeling great! She felt my tummy and told me I was having a contraction; I almost didn't believe her! I really didn't feel the contraction at all. I had several more while I was in the office, or so she said. She was also able to tell that the baby's head is engaged quite nicely in my pelvis, so this little one has dropped quite a bit! The heartrate was 130 at this visit, and Nyasha guessed that the baby weighs around 6-7 pounds by now. We talked a little more about our birth plan and about how we can tell when I'm in real labor. She told me to make an appointment for the 31st (my birthday), but she doesn't seem to think I'll make it to that appointment! She has given us the go-ahead and lots of encouragement to help my body produce the oxytocin and prostaglandins that stimulate labor naturally. (Use your imagination.)
As the time for this baby's birth has been approaching, I've been going through a kind of denial. I still have moments when I can hardly believe I'm pregnant, mixed with moments of disbelief that I'll ever be a Mom. The appointment on the 24th boosted my anxiety level a little as I realized this baby really could come any day!
August 26 - The baby's due date is tomorrow, and I can hardly believe it! I have had lots of contractions, most of them painless. We keep noticing how much lower my big belly is looking. In addition to my "Red Hot Jelly Belly" I seem to be afflicted with "Red Hot Jelly Feet" that feel like they jiggle when I walk. They are swollen and uncomfortable, but I am grateful the swelling never got this bad until now, and I've almost reached the end of this pregnancy. I know they will return to normal once I have the baby, but for now I'm stuck wearing Joe's huge sandals! We're hoping the baby will wait until at least Friday (the 28th) to make the grand appearance.
August 27 - We've finally hit the magical 40 week mark. Aside from some a few cramp-like contractions that woke me up in the middle of the night and then rejoined me at the breakfast table, there's no sign of labor beginning...yet! My body is definitely feeling like the baby has dropped even more than before, and I find myself running to the bathroom quite often. Tonight we will go to the airport to pick up my sister-in-law, Holli, and her son Andrew, who will be visiting from California. Maybe all the walking at the airport will do something to bring on labor, who knows? In the meantime, I'm taking it easy and trying to get plenty of rest (and drinking lots of fluids and putting my feet up to help the swelling keep going down), as I know labor could begin anytime. And, of course, I'm doing a thing or 2 to finish getting the house semi-ready for company.
You may be happy to know that I am still not really feeling pregnant (aside from the big belly), and still can hardly believe that in a few short days I may be holding my first baby! But it was certainly fun going out to eat last night and being able to tell the waitress the baby's due tomorrow! It's amazing the stories people start telling when they realize just how close I am to the due date!
Probably one of my favorite parts of being pregnant has been hanging out with other pregnant ladies. Nothing can compare with the stares and looks of astonishment you see when 6 or 8 very pregnant ladies sit down at a table in a restaurant! I think this part of the pregnancy has a lot to do with how at home Joe and I have begun to feel in the Atlanta area. We've really got a lot of friends here, and we're quite grateful for that, especially since we've only lived here for 3 months!
August 28 - Last night we picked up Holli and her son Andrew at the airport. My fears of my water breaking while walking through the airport were certainly not realized. This morning I got up early and went for a walk and almost thought my bag of waters had started leaking when I got back. But as the day wore on, labor certainly didn't start and I didn't notice any leaking. There have certainly been a lot of contractions here and there, but they haven't been at all regular. I timed a few of them, and they varied from 15 minutes to 4 minutes apart. Some of them were quite long and strong, so it might not be too long until real labor begins.
The baby has been moving a lot last night and today. Joe and Holli both felt some major movements from this little one. Holli and I spent today relaxing and putting together a meal plan and shopping list for the next week or so. Tonight's reserved for shopping, and we're thinking of going to the World of Coca-Cola museum tomorrow if I don't go into labor first.
If my Mom and sister, Nina, had been able to follow their original plan, they would have been here already and would be hoping that my labor would start very soon. However, they and my Dad left for Russia on the 28th to adopt twin sisters! They go to court and hope to legally adopt Anastasia and Ekatarina on September 2. We are so excited about all the blessings God is giving our family! At this point, they will probably be in Russia before they hear of the birth of their new grandchild, but it sure is exciting to see things happening all at once like this!
Our bags for the hospital are almost completely packed - most of what's left to pack will probably wait until the last minute. The baby's carseat is in the car just waiting for it's passenger. We are getting things ready to send out birth announcements--please let me know if you would like to be added to the email birth announcement list. There is still plenty we feel we should do before we feel ready to care for our new arrival. At this point, those things probably won't get done, though I'm sure everything will work out just fine. I realize that even after the baby is born, I still may not feel ready. But I'm certainly looking forward to being a Mom!
August 31, 1998 - Please welcome Rebekah Marie Pearson, who was born tonight at 9:09 PM. She weighed in at 7 lbs., 5 oz., and was 20 inches long at birth. She is certainly the most beautiful baby! She had a difficult birth following a long labor. She was born by c-section and had lots of meconium but is perfectly healthy! We are so excited to be the proud parents of this precious little princess.
Thank you for being a part of our pregnancy through this site. It's been an amazing 9 months! Please continue our journey into parenthood with us as we work on a new site for Rebekah. The adventure has only just begun!