Only 4 weeks left! (36 week update & testing GBS+)

Before I get into this week's update I'm going to give a recap of the news we received during our 36 week appointment with our midwife on Monday. Sorry it's so long, but I got really emotional about this and just wanted to get it all out at once.

I thought it was going to be like any other appointment, but we got a bit of a surprise and just one more thing to plan for when going into labor. I tested positive for Group Beta Strep. Saying that sounds a little scary if you don't know what it means, but I had already researched this issue before seeing my midwife so the fact that I tested positive was still surprising, but at least I knew what it was and what precautions would have to be taken during labor. Basically GBS is a bacteria that most adults already have swimming around in their intestinal tracts and only becomes an issue during a few specific times--like when a woman is pregnant and the bacteria is present anywhere near the birth canal. This means I have to be given antibiotics through an IV during labor so there is less of a risk of the baby being affected (while most adults have GBS, babies aren't born with it and don't have the immune system to withstand exposure at birth). While an IV wasn't in my birth plan, I am getting used to the idea of knowing I won't be constantly tied to a drug administering machine; I will have a hep-lock, which will stay in my arm but I only need to be hooked up once every 4 hours that I am in labor to get a dose of the antibiotic and then it can be disconnected. So it doesn't seem all that bad, but I am still a little worried about the cascade of interventions that COULD occur. As soon as my water breaks, I am put on a timer. In general, the longer a woman goes without delivering the baby after her water breaks, the higher there is for a chance of bacteria build-up or infection that could affect the baby during delivery. Once admitted, most facilities allow a woman to go 24 hours after their water has broken before entering active labor (progressive dilating and effacing of the cervix due to labor contractions). In my case, being GBS+, I am only given 12 hours. Meaning, if dilation doesn't progress with increasing contractions in 12 hours, I will most likely need medical intervention to induce labor. There are several methods to try, but what I'm most afraid of is being given Pitocin, which is what my midwife said could be a possibility. I have read and heard so many horror stories about this drug, most of which end up with an epidural or an emergency c-section, all of which I would do anything to avoid. For a lot of women, Pitocin forces labor contractions that are extremely painful and very close together, making them almost unbearable, which is why more women opt for an epidural at that point. I couldn't help but cry as my midwife was delivering us this information. I know not everything goes as planned, but I had the perfect birthing time and delivery mapped out in my head and I felt like it was all being crushed in that moment. I'm trying to remain optimistic and hope that this is just a bump in the road, rather than being driven off a cliff. I am very hopeful that an IV antibiotic is all I will need because I really want to enjoy the experience and be fully present without any drugs during my birthing time.

Other info from the appointment-- My little munchkin is measuring at 34 weeks, so she is a bit small, but nothing to be concerned about. She is still head down, but is face up, which will make for some interesting back pain if she stays that way when I go into labor. However, I've researched some techniques (google: Spinning Babies), and there are some exercises I can do to help her flip over naturally before birth. My midwife also suggested doing some cat stretches (kind of a yoga technique, and also mentioned on Spinning Babies) to help with the pelvic pain from my ligaments loosening and baby descending in preparation for birth. My red blood cell count will be tested one more time next week to see if my new supplement is helping restore my iron levels. I really hope so because if not, I probably won't be able to donate baby's cord blood and it increases my risk for a higher than normal blood loss during delivery. *Fingers crossed on this one!*

And of course, what we've all been waiting for.... hehe:

Little Roo is the length of a head of romaine lettuce!

How far along? 36 weeks.
Total weight gain? just about 27 lbs.
Belly size? Still 39 inches...?!
Stretch marks? No new ones, thankfully!
Baby's sex? Girl. *fingers crossed*
Size of baby? An average baby is 6 lbs at this point. I think she is smaller though because my midwife measured her yesterday at 34 weeks.
Movement? Baby girl is still head down, but now she is sunny side up! lol So lots of little (and big) kicks under my ribs and top of my stomach from her knees and feet. My midwife squished her up a bit and was able to feel her shoulders down by my pelvis and felt that her legs were crossed up at the top of my belly. I still haven't really done kick counts or anything because of the amount of time I feel her wiggling around all day. The one day I did keep track at work, I think there was more time in the day that I did feel her moving than didn't---in my 8 hour work day she only had 2 periods of an hour and a half when I felt nothing and she was most likely sleeping.
What is your baby doing? This baby should still be packing on the pounds! A healthy rate is an ounce a day. She is shedding the downy covering of hair and the vernix caseosa, both of which protected her skin during her 9 month amniotic bath. This is what she will probably end up swallowing and will come out as meconium in her first messy diaper. Ewww!! lol
What is your body doing? I'm feeling A LOT of pressure on my pelvis now, since the uterine ligaments begin to loosen and the baby usually drops a few weeks before birth for first time moms. I can definitely feel that she is trying to make her way down there and will drop soon!
Belly button in or out? Still flat, but maybe sticks out a teeny bit. I can't really tell.
Happy or moody most of the time? Happy! And getting a little worried, but that's normal. I just can't wait to hold my baby girl.♥
Symptoms? Not much in the Braxton Hicks department, unless they are going unnoticed. A few times I had pretty mild heartburn, but nothing to complain over or do anything about. More ligament pains and pelvic/lower abdominal pressure. Baby is making way for escape! Sometimes it hurts to walk, but also it is kind of nice to walk through the pressure and not have to sit down (especially at work). Maybe I'm crazy but sometimes when I have pain down there I'm walking around smiling because even though it hurts, I know my body is just preparing for Roo's arrival and I get so excited!
Maternity clothes? Nothing new, but I feel like I need them now, lol.
Sleep? It's been great, except for last night. I went to bed feeling like I had a tiny tummy ache and couldn't get comfortable. I usually feel better and more comfortable if I lay on my right side so I rolled over and sure enough, fell fast asleep. Then I woke up suddenly around 1am and felt really sick to my stomach. I ended up throwing up in my hands and running to the bathroom (sorry for the graphics, lol). I have no idea what it was but I kept putting my hands on my tummy to make sure baby was moving and I calmed down and went back to sleep. I still feel kinda yucky this morning, but I think I'm going to go to work anyway and see where the day takes me. Maybe walking around and keeping my mind off of it will help my stomach settle... or I'll get sick at work and go home early, haha, hopefully not!!
Food cravings? I can't think of anything that I REALLY wanted this week...
Anything make you feel queasy or sick? Just whatever happened last night??
Miss anything? Desiree. Not that it has anything to do with my pregnancy, but I miss spending time with her and being close like we used to be. I wish we didn't have to live hours a part. :( I think her and her baby niece will have to have regular skype sessions, haha.
Looking forward to? The baby shower this weekend! Only 4 more days.... but who's counting? Hehe. I really can't wait to see my family since it's not often that I do, but am also excited to set up the nursery and then make a list of things we still might need so we can get them before baby arrives. Yayyyy, I'm so happy for this weekend.
Best moment this week? Anime Boston!! I walked around for 11 hours on Friday and 9 hours on Saturday and baby was pretty well behaved the whole time! I felt like Friday was a breeze for the most part, but I could definitely tell I was getting tired at the end of the day. Ashton and I went to get food before we left Boston and I was so overwhelmed from being hungry and tired that I very nearly cried because he didn't want to stand in line at Qdoba to get a burrito, lol (how ridiculous!). On Saturday I wore boots that weren't the comfiest to be walking around in all day so my feet hurt a lot sooner, and then I noticed my fingers started swelling up halfway through the day probably because I was dehydrated (the swelling went away after several hours and lots of water/sitting down). But we got some cute prints of original Ghibli fan artwork and a Totoro plushie for the nursery!!



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