Ok, I promised pictures. Here's one from Thursday with Tim and I preggo posing. Don't laugh, ok? And just to give you the full effect of the belly that has taken over my body, this is from this morning (I swear, I have completely exploded in the last week):
So, there you go. I can't guarantee more pictures--come on, it took me 33 weeks to get these up!--but once the baby comes, you'll get tons of pictures of her, I promise.
It's weird how much things have changed in the last week. Other than some insomnia and swelling, I had been feeling great. Then, starting Friday night and lasting since then, I've had wicked heartburn, those scream-worthy leg cramps, and lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions. LOTS of contractions. Yesterday morning I woke up with a sore stomach from how many contractions I had on Sunday. And yesterday during the day they were coming every 2 hours or so and lasting a good 5 minutes.
She hasn't dropped yet, and the contractions aren't painful or strong, so I know she's not ready to come out yet. But the thought of seven more weeks of this? I understand now why people are ready to get the show on the road. Before Friday, I thought, "man, this third trimester stuff is a piece of cake!" Now I get it!
I'm still doing good overall though. Sleep is tough, but I'm functioning. And the heartburn/cramps/contractions are irritating but not painful. Overall, I think I'm doing pretty well.
This weekend put me to the test a little bit though. Friday night Tim, my parents, and I swapped out the stove from our old house and put in the stove from my parent's house. The stove at the old house was a hand me down from his mom and super nice--only a few years old, with a ceramic cook top and two ovens built in below. My mom's stove is functional, but that's about it. So, we gave the nice stove to my parents and left theirs. Really, as far as selling the house goes, buyers in our price range only care if the appliances are present, not what they are. You should've seen the 1984 piece of crap combo stove/microwave that was in when we moved. And it was fine for years.
Anyway, I didn't actually move anything (there's a shocker, right?), but it took us a few hours to do the running between houses. And then we hung out down there for a while, which was nice, but I always feel it the next day when I stay up too late the night before.
And there was no sleeping in on Saturday because we had our childbirth class. We left about 8ish and got home a little before 5, so it was a full day. Totally worth it though. Tim and I were both a bit nervous going in. It's called "express prepared childbirth", and it's offered through the hospital, but it's still based on natural childbirth methods. We were nervous it was going to be another Pre-Cana experience. Pre-Cana is a class Catholics have to do before they get married. 90% of it is communication skills, etc, but there is a section on natural family planning. At our Pre-Cana, the NFP people were crazy. Batshit crazy. The guy said he was a doctor, but he was giving out completely non-factual information about birth control. He was totally pushy and nuts about only using NFP. Tim was so angry at the way things were presented that he wanted to leave right then, but once I explained that we were basically done when the presentation was over (and if we left, we'd have to do it again to get married Catholic), he sat down and took it. But it was not a good time.
We had visions of another Pre-Cana experience for this class. I was pretty sure I wanted an epidural during labor, but we both agreed to just keep our mouth shut if the class was anti-medication. Turns out we didn't need to worry. The class was actually very good. It was taught by a very nice nurse who had a ton of OB and peds experience. The first half of the day was normal labor and delivery, and then after lunch focused on medical interventions. I had read a lot of books and things about labor and delivery, but I still learned a lot from the videos and charts she went over. It really encouraged us to ask questions. The class is also geared a lot towards the husbands and their role as supporters and coaches. She had practical tips on how to know when it's time to go to the hospital, what to expect, etc. I thought it was great.
We also learned some breathing and relaxation exercises. Right before lunch, we all got down on the floor (I understand now why we bring a blanket and pillows) and did a conscious relaxation exercise. If you've ever taken a yoga class, it's the same type of thing. We started with the deep breathing, and about a minute later, I noticed Tim's breathing had gone from the rhythmic deep breathing to more of a natural, shallow breathing. When the exercise was over about ten minutes later, she told us to open our eyes and sit up. There's Tim, eyes closed, totally asleep. I knew he was, and I sort of gently tried to wake him up. At least he wasn't snoring like someone else's husband in the class :) I teased him for the rest of the day--how was he going to coach me through it if he can't stay awake for the directions :)
We also learned some massage options, which was awesome, and a few pushing techniques. With the exception of the pushing, we're supposed to practice. We haven't been great about it yet (although I've used some of the breathing for the Braxton-Hicks contractions), but we'll work on it.
I wish now we would've signed up sooner and done the several-week classes. We didn't have time to get into breastfeeding or infant care much with this class. I'd still recommend it to people though. I learned a lot about pain med options and epidurals specifically. We also saw a c-section (or, I saw one. Tim got grossed out with just the little cartoon c-section, so we made sure he didn't watch the real one). I am still nervous about the whole process, but I think we both feel much more comfortable with labor and delivery now. Plus, it was nice to hang around other expectant couples for a day.
Really, we were both exhausted from the class Saturday night, so we watched some preseason football and just relaxed. Sunday we hit church and then went to his uncle's surprise 60th birthday party (after checking on my dead cells in the lab). It started at 3, so we figured we'd leave about 6 and be home by 7 or so. Not so much. We didn't leave until after 9, and we were home after 10. A long, long day. Everyone is very nice, but I heard so many baby stories and pieces of advice I thought my head was going to explode. We tried to start leaving several hours earlier, but each time we stopped to day goodbye to someone, we got pulled into a baby conversation for at least twenty minutes. And you can't be rude and walk away, really.
I ended up talking to his cousin Liz for a long time. She's pregnant with twins and already has two girls, so she's got a lot to talk about. She's very nice, and she gave us a whole bunch more girl clothes, but I was so exhausted by the end. And I love his aunts and everything, but I was definitely feeling a little violated by the end of the night. It's one thing to just touch my stomach--it's another thing to grope me all over trying to feel the baby move! Seriously, I was worried I was going to have people sticking their hands down my pants to get a good feel. A little icky, thank you very much.
Overall, it was a nice weekend, but I was totally exhausted by the end of it. The weekends for me are usually my chance to recharge after a week of work. I didn't really have that opportunity this time, and I think I'm paying for it. But, this week is pretty slow, and we have a long weekend ahead. My cousin's wedding is Saturday, but other than that and painting the nursery, I think things will be quiet.
That's it for now. I'm half falling asleep at my desk. But only a few more hours to go. Tim's classes start tonight, so I'll have the house to myself for a few hours. I'm thinking little dog and I are due for a nap.